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Illegal Collusion Between Government and Big Tech Exposed

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | September 15, 2022

In a September 1, 2022, article,1 the Post Millennial reveals how federal officials in the Biden administration have held secret censorship meetings with social media companies to suppress Americans’ First Amendment rights to free speech, and to ban or deplatform those who share unauthorized views about COVID and vaccines.

The evidence for this comes out of a lawsuit2 brought by the New Civil Liberties Alliance and the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana (Eric Schmitt and Jeff Landry) against President Biden, filed in May 2022.

During the discovery process, the plaintiffs sought to identify “all meetings with any social media platform relating to content modulation and/or misinformation,” which is how we now know that such illegal meetings did, in fact, take place.

Illegal Collusion to Suppress Free Speech

Monthly, a Unified Strategies Group (USG) meeting took place — and may still be taking place — between a wide variety of government agencies and Big Tech companies, during which topics to be censored and suppressed were/are discussed.

Censored topics included stories involving COVID jab refusal, especially those involving military refusals and consequences thereof, criticism against COVID restrictions and their effects on mental health, posts talking about testing positive for COVID after getting the jab, personal stories of COVID jab side effects, including menstrual irregularities, and worries about vaccine passports becoming mandatory.3 According to the New Civil Liberties Alliance:4

“… scores of federal officials … have secretly communicated with social-media platforms to censor and suppress private speech federal officials disfavor. This unlawful enterprise has been wildly successful.

Under the First Amendment, the federal government may not police private speech nor pick winners and losers in the marketplace of ideas. But that is precisely what the government has done — and is still doing — on a massive scale not previously divulged.

Multiple agencies’ communications demonstrate that the federal government has exerted tremendous pressure on social-media companies — pressure to which companies have repeatedly bowed …

Communications show these federal officials are fully aware that the pressure they exert is an effective and necessary way to induce social-media platforms to increase censorship. The head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency even griped about the need to overcome social-media companies’ ‘hesitation’ to work with the government …

This unlawful government interference violates the fundamental right of free speech for all Americans, whether or not they are on social media. More discovery is needed to uncover the full extent of this regime — i.e., the identities of other White House and agency officials involved and the nature and content of their communications with social-media companies.”

Jenin Younes, litigation counsel for the New Civil Liberties Alliance added:5

“If there was ever any doubt the federal government was behind censorship of Americans who dared to dissent from official COVID messaging, that doubt has been erased. The shocking extent of the government’s involvement in silencing Americans, through coercing social-media companies, has now been revealed …”

Federal Agencies Involved in Free Speech Suppression

Documents obtained so far have identified more than 50 federal employees across 15 federal agencies, who participated in these censorship meetings or otherwise engaged in illegal censorship activities.6 This includes officials from:

  • The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) Election Security and Resilience team
  • Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Intelligence and Analysis
  • The FBI’s foreign influence taskforce
  • The Justice Department’s (DOJ) national security division
  • The Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • White House staff (including White House lawyer Dana Remus, deputy assistant to the president Rob Flaherty and former White House senior COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt)
  • Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
  • The Office of the Surgeon General
  • The Census Bureau
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • The State Department
  • The U.S. Treasury Department
  • The U.S. Election Assistance Commission

Emails from a strategic communications and marketing firm called Reingold7 also reveals that outside consultants were hired to manage the government’s collusion with social media to censor Americans. For example, Reingold set up a “partner support portal” for the CDC so that CDC officials could link emails to the portal for easier flagging of content it wanted censored by social media companies linked to the portal.

Big Tech Companies Involved in Government Censorship

On the private industry side, notable tech participants in the censorship meetings include:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Reddit
  • Microsoft
  • Verizon Media
  • Pinterest
  • Wikimedia Foundation

While some social media companies may have “hesitated” to censor on the government’s behalf at times, Facebook was certainly an eager beaver from the get-go. As early as February 2020, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in contact with the State Department, offering its services to help “control information and misinformation related to coronavirus.”8

Biden Administration’s ‘Executive Privilege’ Denied

As you might expect, the White House has not cooperated with discovery and have fought to keep communications secret — especially with regard to Dr. Anthony Fauci’s correspondence — claiming all White House communications as “privileged.”

However, executive privilege does NOT apply to external communications, so the plaintiffs called on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana to “overrule the government defendants’ objections and order them to supply this highly relevant, responsive and probative information immediately.”

September 7, 2022, Judge Terry Doughty did just that. The Biden administration’s claim of executive privilege was rejected and Doughty ordered the White House to hand over any and all relevant records.9 That includes correspondence to and from Fauci, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and many others. According to the judge’s order, they have three weeks to comply.

Examples of Illegal Government Censorship

On Twitter,10 Missouri AG Schmitt has shared a long list of examples of government censorship, including one document in which Clarke Humphrey, COVID-19 response digital director at the White House, asked Facebook to take down the Instagram account “anthonyfauciofficial,” a parody account dedicated to making fun of Fauci.11 Facebook complied.

Schmitt also shared emails12,13 between a senior Facebook official and the surgeon general, stating, “I know our teams met today to better understand the scope of what the White House expects from us on misinformation going forward.” This email came on the heels of the surgeon general’s July 2021 “misinformation health advisory.”

The CDC also coordinated with Facebook, providing them with talking points to debunk various claims, including the claim that spike protein in the COVID shots is dangerous and cytotoxic. In a July 28, 2021, email, a CDC official provided Facebook with the following counter-narrative, taken straight from the “How mRNA Vaccines Work” section on the CDC website:14

“Messenger mRNA [sic] vaccines work by teaching our cells to create a harmless spike protein …” (Emphasis in the original.)

Fast-forward to mid-June 2022, and the CDC was suddenly less sure about the harmlessness of the spike protein.

Up until then, the words “harmless spike protein” had always been bolded, but in this June revision, they removed the bolding, along with an entire section in which they’d previously claimed that mRNA was rapidly broken down and spike protein did not last more than a few weeks in the body.15 Clearly, the truth was catching up to them and certain lies were getting too risky to hold on to.

CISA also reached out to Google, Meta (Facebook’s parent company), Microsoft and Twitter for help, shortly after the DHS’s Disinformation Governance Board was announced.16 Fortunately, public outcry put an end to this Orwellian Ministry of Truth before it got started.

When Censorship Becomes Election Interference

According to The Washington Times :17

“Details about the Biden administration’s conduct raised the hackles of Republican lawmakers. ‘Confirming that this is the most dangerously anti-free speech administration in American history AND that Facebook … is nothing but an appendage of the deep state,’ Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, said on Twitter as he shared news of the court filing.”

Other lawmakers are also getting involved. In an August 29, 2022, letter18,19 to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, Republican Sens. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin requested records of the government’s contacts with social media companies to ascertain whether the FBI and/or DOJ did, in fact, instruct them to censor information about the Hunter Biden laptop scandal by falsely referring to it as “Russian disinformation.”20

Zuckerberg has also been asked21 to provide any correspondence involving the censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story, especially as it pertains to the FBI’s instructions to censor this political hot potato — something he openly admitted in a recent Joe Rogan interview (see video above).22

Lawmakers Pursue Legislation to Penalize Gov’t Censorship

Three Republican House Representatives on the House Oversight and Reform, Judiciary, and Commerce committees — Reps. James Comer of Kentucky, Jim Jordan of Ohio, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington — have also introduced the Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act23 (HR.8752), aimed at preventing federal employees from using their positions to influence censorship decisions by tech platforms.

The bill would create restrictions to prevent federal employees from asking or encouraging private entities to censor private speech or otherwise discourage free speech, and impose penalties, including civil fines and disciplinary actions for government employees who facilitate social media censorship.

While the U.S. Constitution clearly forbids government censoring and restricting free speech, HR. 8752 could be a helpful enforcement tool, as people might tend to think twice when they know there’s a real and personal price to pay.

Sources and References

September 17, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Yet another “whistleblower” means yet more censorship

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | September 13, 2022

A new Twitter “whistleblower” has come forward. Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, allegedly a former hacker and Twitter’s ex-head of security, testified in front of congress today, with dire warnings about the business practices of the social media giant.

Did he talk about the company’s egregious attacks on their users’ free speech under the guise of “protecting” the public?

Did he mention the suppression of alternative and independent journalism through practices such as “shadow-banning” and discretely removing followers?

Perhaps he told them about how, like all major social media platforms, it is so cross-pollinated with intelligence assets it may as well be considered just another branch of the Deep State.

No, none of that. His main concern is that Twitter’s security is too lax, and that the platform’s “cyber-security failures” leave it potentially open to “exploitation” that can “cause real harm to real people”.

According to the write-up of his testimony in The Guardian“Zatko said Twitter runs out-of-date and vulnerable software on more than half of its data center servers and that in “multiple episodes” the platform was breached by foreign intelligence agencies.”

Adding, “Zatko has also accused Twitter of doing little to combat problems with spam bots – an allegation that bolsters Elon Musk’s case for backing out of his Twitter acquisition.”

Do you see how this works? It’s gearing up the machinery to label anyone who dissents as either a “spy” or a “bot” (and perhaps reveals something of the purpose behind Elon Musk’s “revelation” about the number of “fake accounts” on twitter).

If this all sounds eerily familiar, don’t worry you’re not experiencing deja vu, you’re just remembering Frances Haugen, the facebook “whistleblower” from last year. She said very similar things in a very similar way.

We’ve seen this dance before, we know the steps. As I wrote only last year:

Like so many other testimonies before congress in the past, the entire event looks fake and probably is. A stage-managed exercise involving some “expert witness” telling a bunch of politicians exactly what they want to hear, so they can go ahead push the legislation they were going to push anyway. It’s all leading up to loud bipartisan calls for “regulation”, and that’s not a good thing.

They wheel out some person – who may or may not be real, and may or may not have an axe to grind – prop them up in a nice suit in front of some po-faced senators and have them reel off a few thousand serious sounding words.

Their pay-off is a few minutes of fame, a ghost-written book deal and being called “brave” by moist-eyed liberal pundits, their hands white-knuckling around their pearls.

While they prattle on at length about the supposed “problem”, the “solution” is already planned and ready to roll out. Such is the crushingly predictable nature of the Hegelian dialectic.

And, just in case any of you hadn’t already figured out what that was, The Guardian is more than clear [emphasis added]:

In his testimony, Zatko said there had not been enough government enforcement when it comes to the operations of big tech, and that the federal trade commission (FTC) is “in over its head” when going up against huge tech firms.

More “government enforcement”.

It’s all so tiresome.

September 13, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Judge Orders Fauci to Cough It Up

BY JEFFREY A. TUCKER | BROWNSTONE INSTITUTE | SEPTEMBER 8, 2022

A lawsuit against the federal government – Anthony Fauci in particular – from the Attorneys General of Missouri and Louisiana has been brewing for a good part of the summer of 2022. The issue concerns the censoring of certain high-level experts on social media, three of whom are senior scholars of the Brownstone Institute. We know for sure that this censorship began early in the pandemic response and included exchanges between Fauci and then head of NIH Francis Collins, who called for a “quick and devastating takedown” of the Great Barrington Declaration.

At issue is whether and to what extent the government itself has had a hand in encouraging tech companies to squelch speech rights. If so, this is unconstitutional. It flies in the face of the First Amendment. It never should have happened. That it did required arduous legal means to expose and, hopefully, stop.

The Framers guaranteed that Congress would make no law “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” The Constitution never allowed an exception for an administrative bureaucracy answerable not even to voters to collaborate with large-scale private corporations to obtain the same result by other means. It’s still a violation of free speech.

It is of course true that any private company can regulate itself and make terms of use. But matters are different when its managers directly collude with government agencies to distribute only information of high priority to administrative bureaucrats while censoring dissident voices at the behest of government and its interests.

In order to determine if that happened, courts need access to full information on precisely what was going in their circles of communication. On September 6, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty released a decision that orders the government to give up information relevant to the case and do so in 21 days.

Dr. Fauci’s communications would be relevant to Plaintiffs’ allegations in reference to alleged suppression of speech relating to the lab-leak theory of COVID-19’s origin, and to alleged suppression of speech about the efficiency of masks and COVID-19 lockdowns. (Karine) Jean-Pierre’s communications as White House Press Secretary could be relevant to all of Plaintiffs’ examples.

Government Defendants are making a blanket assertion of all communications to social media platforms by Dr. Fauci, and Jean-Pierre based upon executive privilege and presidential communications privilege. Plaintiffs concede they are not asking for any internal White House communications, but only external communications between Dr. Fauci and/or Jean-Pierre and third-party social media platforms.

This Court believes Plaintiffs are entitled to external communications by Jean-Pierre and Dr. Fauci in their capacities as White House Press Secretary and Chief Medical Advisor to the President to third-party social media platforms…

The initial complaint was filed May 5, 2022 and can be read in full here. It includes vast evidence of collusion between government officials and social media companies. But the government answered by claiming some kind of executive privilege and would not fork over information.

An amended complaint added the fireworks: It documented that 50 government officials in a dozen agencies were involved in applying pressure to social media companies to censor users, reports Zachary Stieber of Epoch Times.

That second filing might have flipped the switch and resulted in the judge’s decision to pull no punches. Indeed, it is a remarkable document, reproducing vast amounts of correspondence between government agencies and Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

What you see here is not antagonism but obsequious friendship: ongoing, relentless, guileless, as if nothing could be wrong here. They knew what they believed to be the problem voices and were determined to stamp them out. And that target included the documented censorship of top scientists associated with Brownstone Institute along with thousands of other credible experts and regular citizens who disagreed with the government’s extreme policy response to Covid.

Martin KulldorffAaron Kheriaty, and Jay Bhattacharya are represented in the filing by the New Civil Liberties Alliance with Jenin Younes leading the legal team for the scientists. Within weeks, we’ll have a better sense of whether and to what extent these individuals were the targets directly and how many other accounts were named in takedown orders. For example, we know for sure that Naomi Wolf, another writer for Brownstone, was directly named in correspondence between the CDC and Facebook.

All of this went on for the better part of two years, during which time the First Amendment was a dead letter insofar as it concerned Covid information on platforms that are overwhelmingly dominant on the Internet. Through those means, individual citizens were restricted in their access to a diversity of views and instead inhabit a world of censorship and tedious hegemonic exhortation that have seriously hurt the credibility of the platforms that cooperated.

Finally we see courts coming around to the view that government needs to be held accountable for its actions. It is happening far too little and far too late but at least it is happening. And at long last, we might gain a clearer look into the mysterious works of Fauci and its imperial reign over American public health during the worst crisis for constitutional rights in many generations.


Jeffrey A. Tucker, Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute, is an economist and author. He has written 10 books, including Liberty or Lockdown, and thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fauci’s Red Guards: Lawsuit Reveals Vast Federal Censorship Army

By Michael P Senger | The New Normal | September 2, 2022

One aspect of dictatorships that citizens of democratic nations often find puzzling is how the population can be convinced to support such dystopian policies. How do they get people to run those concentration camps? How do they find people to take food from starving villagers? How can they get so many people to support policies that, to any outsider, are so needlessly destructive, cruel, and dumb?

The answer lies in forced preference falsification. When those who speak up in principled opposition to a dictator’s policies are punished and forced into silence, those with similar opinions are forced into silence as well, or even forced to pretend they support policies in which they do not actually believe. Emboldened by this facade of unanimity, supporters of the regime’s policies, or even those who did not previously have strong opinions, become convinced that the regime’s policies are just and good—regardless of what those policies actually are—and that those critical of them are even more deserving of punishment.

One of history’s great masters of forced preference falsification was Chairman Mao Zedong. As László Ladány recalled, Mao’s decades-long campaign to remold the people of China in his own image began as soon as he took power after the Chinese Civil War.

By the fall of 1951, 80 percent of all Chinese had had to take part in mass accusation meetings, or to watch organized lynchings and public executions. These grim liturgies followed set patterns that once more were reminiscent of gangland practices: during these proceedings, rhetorical questions were addressed to the crowd, which, in turn, had to roar its approval in unison—the purpose of the exercise being to ensure collective participation in the murder of innocent victims; the latter were selected not on the basis of what they had done, but of who they were, or sometimes for no better reason than the need to meet the quota of capital executions which had been arbitrarily set beforehand by the Party authorities. From that time on, every two or three years, a new “campaign” would be launched, with its usual accompaniment of mass accusations, “struggle meetings,” self-accusations, and public executions… Remolding the minds, “brainwashing” as it is usually called, is a chief instrument of Chinese communism, and the technique goes as far back as the early consolidation of Mao’s rule in Yan’an.

This decades-long campaign of forced preference falsification reached its apex during the Cultural Revolution, in which Mao deputized radical youths across China, called Red Guards, to purge all vestiges of capitalism and traditional society and impose Mao Zedong Thought as China’s dominant ideology. Red Guards attacked anyone they perceived as Mao’s enemies, burned books, persecuted intellectuals, and engaged in the systematic destruction of their country’s own history, demolishing China’s relics en masse.

Through this method of forced preference falsification, any mass of people can be made to support virtually any policy, no matter how destructive or inimical to the interests of the people. Avoiding this spiral of preference falsification is therefore why freedom of speech is such a central tenet of the Enlightenment, and why it is given such primacy in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. No regime in American history has ever previously had the power to force preference falsification by systematically and clandestinely silencing those critical of its policies.

Until now. As it turns out, an astonishing new release of discovery documents in Missouri v. Biden—in which NCLA Legal is representing plaintiffs including Jay Bhattacharya, Martin Kulldorff, and Aaron Kheriaty against the Biden administration for violations of free speech during Covid—reveal a vast federal censorship army, with more than 50 federal officials across at least 11 federal agencies having secretly coordinated with social media companies to censor private speech.

Secretary Mayorkas of DHS commented that the federal Government’s efforts to police private speech on social media are occurring “across the federal enterprise.” It turns out that this statement is true, on a scale beyond what Plaintiffs could ever have anticipated. The limited discovery produced so far provides a tantalizing snapshot into a massive, sprawling federal “Censorship Enterprise,” which includes dozens of federal officials across at least eleven federal agencies and components identified so far, who communicate with social-media platforms about misinformation, disinformation, and the suppression of private speech on social media—all with the intent and effect of pressuring social-media platforms to censor and suppress private speech that federal officials disfavor.

The scale of this federal censorship enterprise appears to be far beyond what anyone imagined, involving even senior White House officials. The government is protecting Anthony Fauci and other high level officials by refusing to reveal documents related to their involvement.

The discovery provided so far demonstrates that this Censorship Enterprise is extremely broad, including officials in the White House, HHS, DHS, CISA, the CDC, NIAID, and the Office of the Surgeon General; and evidently other agencies as well, such as the Census Bureau, the FDA, the FBI, the State Department, the Treasury Department, and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. And it rises to the highest levels of the U.S. Government, including numerous White House officials… In their initial response to interrogatories, Defendants initially identified forty-five federal officials at DHS, CISA, the CDC, NIAID, and the Office of the Surgeon General (all within only two federal agencies, DHS and HHS), who communicate with social-media platforms about misinformation and censorship.

Federal officials are coordinating to censor private speech across all major social media platforms.

The third-party social-media platforms, moreover, have revealed that more federal agencies are involved. Meta, for example, has disclosed that at least 32 federal officials—including senior officials at the FDA, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and the White House—have communicated with Meta about content moderation on its platforms, many of whom were not disclosed in response to Plaintiffs’ interrogatories to Defendants. YouTube disclosed eleven federal officials engaged in such communications, including officials at the Census Bureau and the White House, many of whom were also not disclosed by Defendants. Twitter disclosed nine federal officials, including senior officials at the State Department who were not previously disclosed by Defendants.

Federal officials are granted privileged status by social media companies for the purpose of censoring speech on their platforms, and officials hold weekly meetings on what to censor.

These federal bureaucrats are deeply embedded in a joint enterprise with social-media companies to procure the censorship of social-media speech. Officials at HHS routinely flag content for censorship, for example, by organizing weekly “Be On The Lookout” meetings to flag disfavored content, sending lengthy lists of examples of disfavored posts to be censored, serving as privileged “fact checkers” whom social-media platforms consult about censoring private speech, and receiving detailed reports from social-media companies about so-called “misinformation” and “disinformation” activities online, among others.

Social media companies have even set up secret, privileged channels to give federal officials expedited means to censor content on their platforms.

For example, Facebook trained CDC and Census Bureau officials on how to use a “Facebook misinfo reporting channel.” Twitter offered federal officials a privileged channel for flagging misinformation through a “Partner Support Portal.” YouTube has disclosed that it granted “trusted flagger” status to Census Bureau officials, which allows privileged and expedited consideration of their claims that content should be censored.

Many suspected that some coordination between social media companies and the federal government was occurring, but the breadth, depth, and coordination of this apparatus is far beyond what virtually anyone imagined. And the scale of this censorship apparatus raises troubling questions.

How could so many federal officials be convinced to engage in the clandestine censorship of opposition to tin-pot public health policies from China which have killed tens of thousands of young Americans and—let’s be honest—were never really that popular to begin with? The answer, I believe, is that high-level White House officials such as Anthony Fauci must have been simultaneously threatening social media companies if they did not comply with federal censorship demands, while also threatening entire federal bureaucracies if they did not toe the Party line.

By simultaneously threatening both the federal bureaucracy and social media companies, a handful of high-level officials could effectively transform the federal government into a sprawling censorship army reminiscent of Mao’s Red Guards, silencing any opposition to tin-pot public health policies with increasing detachment and certitude as this systematic silencing falsely convinced them that the regime’s policies were just and good. A few of these federal employees must have eventually let slip to the Republicans that this jawboning was taking place, which appears to have been how this suit began.

In plaintiff Aaron Kheriaty’s words:

Hyperbole and exaggeration have been common features on both sides of covid policy disputes. But I can say with all soberness and circumspection (and you, kind readers, will correct me if I am wrong here): this evidence suggests we are uncovering the most serious, coordinated, and large-scale violation of First Amendment free speech rights by the federal government’s executive branch in US history.


Michael P Senger is an attorney and author of Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World. 

September 4, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

YouTube will censor election “misinformation” that doesn’t break any rules

By Tom Parker | Reclaim The Net | September 1, 2022

YouTube has detailed how it will scale up its censorship efforts in the run-up to the 2022 US midterm elections by removing election “misinformation” and suppressing content that doesn’t break any rules but is considered to be “borderline.”

YouTube claims that its election misinformation policy applies to any past US presidential election, the 2021 German federal election, and the 2014 and 2018 Brazilian presidential elections. Under this policy, alleging that “widespread fraud, errors, or glitches” occurred in these elections or claiming that “certified results of those elections were false” is banned.

Despite YouTube’s claim that this policy applies to any past US presidential election, numerous videos questioning the 2016 US presidential results and alleging that Russia hacked the election are still on the platform. By contrast, the policy was used to remove more than 8,000 channels for making “harmful and misleading” claims about the 2020 US presidential election. And YouTube said it’s already removed several videos related to the 2022 US midterms.

In addition to removing content that breaks its election misinformation rules, YouTube will also prevent “borderline” content from being widely recommended. According to YouTube, borderline content doesn’t break any rules but is suppressed because it comes close to breaking the rules.

Finally, YouTube will amplify mainstream media outlets that it deems to be “authoritative” by:

  • Prominently recommending their content
  • Promoting their election night live streams on the YouTube homepage
  • Adding labels from these sources below videos about the midterms and in search results about the midterms

YouTube said that PBS NewsHour, The Wall Street Journal, Univision and local ABC, CBS and, NBC affiliates are some of the authoritative sources that will receive additional amplification.

In 2020, YouTube’s artificial amplification of mainstream media outlets gave them a huge advantage over independent creators. Independent creators were 14x less likely to be recommended on election-related content and mainstream media outlets had an 88% chance of ranking in the top 10 search results for election-related content.

This year, YouTube has censored several videos about the 2022 Brazilian general election including a video from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and multiple videos from journalists.

YouTube is one of several Big Tech platforms to announce increased election censorship measures in the run-up to the 2022 US midterms with Facebook and Twitter recently describing how they plan to censor what they deem to be election misinformation as the midterms approach.

Related:

 🛡 The subtle (and not so subtle) ways Big Tech has the power to influence elections

September 2, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 2 Comments

The Historic Suppression of Scientific Debate in COVID

Never before in modern history have entire topics in Medicine been actively prevented from discussion in public forums

By Pierre Kory, MD, MPA | Medical Musings | August 30, 2022

I started reading about the definition, history, and legal background of censorship. The entry on Wikipedia (ugh) was quite revealing:

Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information. This may be done on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, or sensitive. Censorship can be conducted by governments, private institutions and other controlling bodies.

But get this, look at the examples of topics that have traditionally been censored:

General censorship occurs for a variety of claimed reasons including national security, to control obscenitypornography, and hate speech, to protect children or other vulnerable groups, to promote or restrict political or religious views, and to prevent slander and libel.

Note that “scientific opinion” is not on there. Because scientific data nor interpretations of that data, should ever be considered offensive. You can argue that wrong interpretations of data can be harmful, but debate is how you resolve that, not censorship! Science literally rests on open debate and the sharing of data and exchanging of interpretations amongst not only experts, but the wider public.

Now, also from Wikipedia:

Censorship has been criticized throughout history for being unfair and hindering progress. Censorship is counterproductive as it prevents the censored topic from being discussed. Those who impose censorship must consider what they censor to be true, as individuals believing themselves to be correct would welcome the opportunity to disprove those with opposing views (just ask Steve Kirsch).

But again, science is not on there as a category of discourse to censor. Although history is replete with attempts to censor individuals with scientific views contrary to established orthodoxy, in all the instances I can think of, the person being censored was eventually proven correct! Galileo (earth is round), Seimelwess (importance of handwashing), Scopes (teaching of evolutionary theory) etc.

Yet, in the last 2 years we have undergone a massive censorship of the discussion and sharing of scientific data in public forums. I believe this was the proximate cause of what can now only be viewed as humanitarian catastrophes resulting from 1) the suppression of knowledge of early treatment with effective repurposed drugs and 2) the suppression of data showing the toxicity, lethality, and ineffectiveness of the vaccines.

This period should serve as one of the most damning arguments against censorship.

We were not allowed to openly discuss our data or our interpretations and applications of that scientific data (i.e. scientific opinions) in major media or social media. The journalist Matt Taibbi called me “the ghost of the internet” because whenever I had scientific discussions with folks who are now dear friends and colleagues, their content and podcasts were de-platformed or demonetized (as in the case of my dear friend Dr. Been), and/or they immediately founds their posted videos of those discussions taken down, like immediately (the speed in which I “disappeared” was astonishingly fast at times). All because we had a scientific discussion where I had shared data and interpretations of that data. I was honored with the opportunity to make my case in front of some truly expert and deep thinkers. Folks who could challenge me, ask questions, express concerns or offer alternative interpretations or hypotheses. I would say that the only problem with those discussions is that the data in support of ivermectin was just so overwhelming. It is a drug with proven efficacy in COVID. Note that conclusion is shared by some of the most highly published doctors in the history of our specialty (the FLCCC) as well as by a group of some of the top evidence-based medicine researchers in the world (Tess Lawrie, Andrew Bryant, Edmund Fordham et al. of EBMc2).

And therein lay the problem. The data could not be debated because any other interpretation than ivermectin being effective was pretty much indefensible in the face of a mountain of repeatedly and almost universally supportive data from myriad sources. So, instead, such discussions were banned from wider public view. Strong move. I think the only thing that saved a good portion of humanity was that individual and organizational websites (like the FLCCC’s, AAPS, c19early.com, and others) were largely secure and not taken down or booted off of hosting servers. But I imagine they could have been.

So, in COVID, Big Pharma and Big Government literally got media companies to shut down debate and discussion on certain topics like HCQ and IVM and vaccine toxicity and ineffectiveness. See YouTube’s community guidelines, which are so absurd, I literally turn purple with rage every time I read it. But it is also sort of comical because they literally put it in writing, right out in the open, plain to see, essentially saying “thou shalt not discuss these medicines on our platform.” And they did it while their efficacy was still being debated. In a global pandemic with thousands dying each day. Safe medicines.

Check it out:

Insane. Crazy town. Clown world. Now, keep in mind that these “guidelines” restricting any discussion of the efficacy, even potential efficacy during a global pandemic, were employed by every major media company in the world with few exceptions, like Trial Site News (although massively impactful, not yet “major media”) and maybe on a few occasions Fox News or some conservative radio hosts.

But all was not lost. Independent podcasters and some radio hosts saved the day, contributing to the dissemination of life-saving information to millions of people in this country and world. Folks like Bret WeinsteinJoe RoganJohn CampbellDr. BeenDr. MercolaGreg HunterVicki McKenna and countless others. But the print and TV media giants did not have that policy written and made public for all to see (and laugh at). It was under the table, understood by all media that ivermectin should instead only be referred to as a horse dewormer. Not subtle. Alex Berenson’s recent sharing of evidence that the White House was behind his Twitter de-platforming shows how high up the censorship was coming from.

So you literally had the government and Pharma pressuring all the media and social media giants (all of them – Facebook, Linked in, Instagram, Twitter etc) to outlaw, yes, outlaw discussion of even the possibility these medications were effective. Never, ever forget this. Note how YouTube wrote that their guidelines were based on WHO recommendations. Control the top, you control everything beneath it. Read my detailed deep dive uncovering the corruption of ivermectin at the WHO here and here.

Now, one of the reasons Paul Marik was such a famous critical care doctor is that he had long been successful at debunking prevailing orthodoxy supporting standard of care practices in our specialty. He did it via lecturing and debating at national conferences and in publications within medical journals. It was how he and I met, when he congratulated me on an editorial I wrote in a major journal, where I argued against using ultrasound to measure the size of the inferior vena cava to estimate central venous pressure (CVP), largely drawing on the science and rationale he had compiled and published.

Talking to Paul this morning, he told me he is most proud of his work (note he accomplished this feat on his own) in teaching a global generation of critical care doctors that measuring the CVP to estimate the fluid needs of a patient was useless outside of a very narrow set of circumstances like hemorrhage (in those circumstances though, you don’t need the CVP to estimate fluid needs as the patients vitals and clinical presentation will tell you all you need to do.

You have to understand that the CVP was used for decades by critical care doctors in ICU patients who were in states of shock (dangerously low blood pressure). It was the standard of care in ICU’s. Paul did a deep dive into the published literature and especially into the complex physiology of the factors which influence CVP and wrote pretty much the coolest and most impactful paper ever called “Does Central Venous Pressure Predict Fluid Responsiveness?: A Systematic Review of the Literature and the Tale of Seven Mares.” The papers most memorable sentence was “the only study we could find demonstrating the utility of CVP in predicting volume status was performed in seven standing, awake mares undergoing controlled hemorrhage.” Brilliant. Funny.

His paper triggered fierce and I mean, fierce debate in critical care… for years. Reversing established orthodoxy in medicine (and anywhere really) is nearly impossible. But Paul singlehandedly pulled it off with his papers and lectures (helped by a lot of folks like me who followed his work closely). I would argue that today, the obsession with using the CVP to guide fluid resuscitation has largely (but never completely) been abandoned. Wow.

But, again, back then, you could have “debates” on controversial topics, in fact, such topics demanded them! I remember when the United Hospital Fund used to put on this terrific conference in Manhattan where they invited experts in the field to debate “controversies” in critical care (like CVP). Each speaker was given ten minutes and were assigned the pro side or the con side of a topic, but the assigned debaters could not choose the side to argue! After both speakers were heard, the audience voted on which conclusion was based on the more compelling data and argument. I was invited several years in a row and sometimes had to argue the side I was not on intellectually. Which made it even more enlightening an exercise – imagine getting Berenson to have to argue in support of ivermectin? It just might happen that he learns something important. Also, it was a “hard” ten minutes they gave you. So much so, I remember one year I got the whole room laughing because I did not shut up when the big timer hit ten minutes and the big red stoplight turned on, so a close colleague of mine ran up to the podium, put me in a headlock and started to drag me away from the podium as I was still yelling my final points. That was fun. Now, not so much.

More trips down the memory lane of debates. One of the first “corruptions” by Pharma that I experienced in my career was when Eli Lilly invented a national campaign called “Surviving Sepsis” in an attempt to create guidelines supporting optimal care practices. They involved all the professional societies in critical care to participate. Leaders in the field all with a seat at the table.

Yep, you guessed it, it turned out to be cover for their efforts in making a $5,000 harmful drug (Xygris) the standard of care in sepsis. Every single one of those committee members got money. The entire campaign and strategy was developed by a PR firm. Recall that Disinformation tactics were first invented by a PR firm in the 1950’s working for the Tobacco Industry at a time when their products were starting to look bad in the scientific literature.

I would argue that Pharma is the most skilled practitioner of Disinformation amongst all industries. I mean 20 years ago already, the entire country’s critical care doctors gave a very expensive, harmful drug to every septic patient for years based on a manipulated trial with the tiniest of mortality benefits amidst a splashy “public health” campaign concocted by a PR firm working for a pharmaceutical company.

When Xygris was eventually shown to be harmful it was abandoned. But that decision occurred on the back of fierce debates and constant re-analysis and discussion of the accumulating data. Hmm, I wonder when that will happen to Remdesivir? Fun fact: during my fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care, my mentors, Dr. Paul Mayo and Dr. Samual Acquah essentially forbade the use of Xygris at a time when every other fellow in training was using it like water. I never once ordered it for any patient.

But there were other controversial aspects of the sepsis guidelines that Paul was a beast in demolishing at national conferences. He was so good, his take on the data so expert and compelling that his lectures were always packed, like standing room only type packed. For a medical lecture.

The most debated aspect of sepsis treatment (and yes, it was debated repeatedly at national conferences) was called “early goal directed therapy” (EGDT) which required that you resuscitate patients using fluids and vasopressors to a target central venous pressure (CVP) and a target central venous oxygen saturation (SCV02), but to monitor the latter continuously, you had to insert a special catheter into the large neck veins to do it. I will not go into the detailed physiology of those parameters but the need to measure them was nonsense.

I knew it (even as a fellow), my mentors knew it, Paul knew it, yet EGDT was widely adopted across the country and world. The protocol was based on a single center study whose Principal Investigator Manny Rivers held the patent on that catheter (unknown by most at the time). Further, information later came out that the data were manipulated. That information was leaked by a whistleblower who was a fellow of Rivers at the time. The fellow was threatened by the hospital with the ending of his career if he were to continue to speak publicly about it. They even apparently threatened to “kill his kids.”

But the point is, the debates were fierce, in the open, and at conferences and hospital auditoriums across the country and world. They were data driven arguments by experts with decades of scientific inquiry and clinical expertise who reviewed the physiology and published literature. And sometimes led to conflicting interpretations. Yes, we all had biases when interpreting the data (all humans do), but we debated. It was not outlawed to say that SCV02 and IVC were unnecessary. Or to say they were critical. And you were not forced to use all aspects of EGDT in the care of patients back then as they were just “guidelines,” not rigid protocols supported by Federal government funded bonuses in every patient you used it in like we have now with Remdesivir.

Interestingly, widespread EGDT adoption actually showed consistent impacts in reducing mortality, but we knew it was not from the targeting of those parameters but instead just from the early recognition and resuscitation of sepsis. Might even be the one instance in history where a corrupt action by Big Pharma actually led to a benefit in public health. Anyway, eventually studies showed that targeting those parameters versus simply using clinical judgement led to the same outcomes and the practice was abandoned. Paul was right again.

Another aspect of the U.S resuscitation guidelines that Paul was absolutely brilliant in debunking was the decision to target a reduction in lactate as a resuscitation endpoint. This was another fiction like the CVP. Again, almost all of emergency and critical care medicine had been indoctrinated with the physiologic concept that lactate is a marker of hypo-perfusion (reduction in blood flow to organs). Now, in certain, specific clinical instances (ischemic bowel etc), a rise in lactate can reflect hypo-perfusion. But in most septic patients it is simply a marker of illness and stress. It is not harmful, in fact, if anything, lactate is better utilized by organs to maintain function and energy. However, doctors were taught to target lactate as a resuscitation endpoint instead of simply interpreting it as a marker of disease severity.

But, in this instance, that practice and belief was not the result of corruption. No-one as far as I can tell was making money off of dumb doctors and nurses being forced to check lactates repeatedly. It simply stemmed from ignorance and established practice, with leading “experts” (dotards) arrogantly teaching that it was important to target (because they were taught that and did not critically think about it). Paul’s research revealed that targeting lactate was the result of a gross misunderstanding of lactic acid physiology. It was again one of the most masterful papers I have read. He marshaled tons of physiologic knowledge and logically presented the concepts and data which defined the cause and purpose of lactic acid production.

Just like with his teachings on CVP, again you had one man arguing against an entire generation of doctors who believed that reducing lactate was important in the general septic patient. I totally agreed with Paul’s papers and conclusions. Which made my life difficult because I tried in vain to disseminate this knowledge among my trainees, trying to stop what I saw as the pervasive “lacto-bolo reflex” they were all exhibiting. Paul actually invented the term, and it was brilliant: “bolo” refers to a bolus of fluids, and the “reflex” was the ordering of an infusion of a half liter or liter of fluids every time a high lactate was measured.

Lacto-bolo reflexes unfortunately led to what he also brilliantly coined as “salt water drowning,” i.e the receipt of excessive amounts of saline fluids by patients. Every time a doctor or nurse received a report of a high lactate… the doc ordered fluids. Lacto-bolo reflex. What is crazy is that the excess fluid administration that resulted paradoxically worsened kidney function and led to more kidney failure despite the fact the doctors were trying to preserve kidney function with fluid infusions! It was insane and I knew it because of Paul’s research and teaching. I also tried for years to fight the lacto-bolo reflex in my trainees and colleagues with little success except for when I was physically present in the ICU. When I went home for the night though, my fellows and residents all continued with their lacto-bolo reflexes. When the cat’s away the mice will play.

However, in this instance, despite Paul’s papers and lectures on the topic, the unthinkable became true. “Experts” (dotards) eventually established the checking of repeated lactate as a national quality of care standard. Those standards are what hospitals are judged on which affects their reimbursement and accreditation.

So, doctors across the country are now literally mandated to repeatedly check and respond to lactates in septic patients. Again, another example of an orthodoxy based on fiction. Despite all of Pauls efforts in teaching, lecturing, and publishing on the topic, this time, he was unsuccessful in changing orthodoxy. He may have been if his career didn’t end but History marches on. I would argue that his efforts in singlehandedly trying to reverse orthodoxies unfounded by “the science” led to a widespread respect, admiration, and reverence for the deep knowledge and scientific acumen he consistently displayed. But not so much anymore it seems.

And that is solely because Paul’s final effort in academic medicine was in trying to reverse the fiction that ivermectin was ineffective in COVID. That effort ended his career because for the first time, unrealized by him at the time, instead of fighting ignorant knowledge of physiology, he was poking The Bear, i.e tackling a subject that threatened Big Pharma. In a big, big way. Thus, that effort ended his career. But let’s be specific about that – his former hospital (SENTARA GENERAL IN NORFOLK, VIRGINA) was the one who actually ended his career.

Now, how they ended it is pretty interesting, as my last job was ended in the same way. They did it by using a process that hospitals have long employed when a physician “doesn’t toe the line.” In COVID, Paul was a clinical leader in a major hospital and was employing a highly effective protocol using a combination of repurposed drugs and not using Remdesivir. And he was vocal about it. And he was teaching the doctors in training about the harms of Remdesivir and all of the data supporting “unapproved therapies.” So, they invoked a process called “sham peer review” to get rid of him. What the heck is “sham peer review?”

From a seminal paper on the topic:

In 1986, the United States Congress enacted the Healthcare Quality Improvement Act (HCQIA). which granted immunity to hospitals and reviewers participating in “good faith” peer review of physicians and dentists. These reviews were envisioned to be vehicles by which it could be determined if any actions or recommendations against a physician should become necessary on the measures of incompetence, unprofessional conduct, or behaviors that impact the doctors’ clinical privileges. However, of late, HCQIA has resulted in many unforeseen consequences, not the least of which is the rise of ‘sham peer reviews’ —and the consignment of guiltless, lifesaving, pre-eminent physicians into obscurity. 

What is “Sham” Peer Review? 

Sham peer review is an adverse action taken in bad faith by a hospital for purposes other than the furtherance of quality health care. It is a process that is disguised to look like legitimate peer review. But sham peer review is not objectively reasonable, precisely because it is not performed to advance the quality of health care (violation of safe harbor provision).

A sham peer review happens when the hospital invents some pretext on which to attack the physician and acts to disguise the adverse action against the targeted physician by conducting a such a review—where the truth and the facts do not matter, because the process is contrived to be rigged, and the outcome is predetermined.

Over the years, sham peer reviews have unfortunately become fairly well-known. Hospitals in the United States have mounted these proceedings for at least four decades to rid themselves of physicians who “get in their way.” Often, they are doctors who don’t ”follow the party line” and whom they consider “disruptive.” Hospital officials are resistant to physicians who bring patient safety or care quality concerns to their attention. Some hospitals retaliate against these whistleblowers, by instigating these sham peer reviews.

How Sham Peer Review works 

Hospitals that use sham peer review bring trumped up, fabricated, and thoroughly false charges against the targeted physician. Although no court of law would permit depriving an accused person of files or records needed to defend himself, as it is fundamentally unfair and in violation of due process, hospitals that employ sham peer review frequently refuse to provide records required to the physician under review. Based on these totally erroneous and phony charges the physician’s hospital privileges are summarily suspended. The physician is usually given 14 days to respond in writing to the sham charges. The charges and the physician’s response are then supposedly shared with the Medical Executive Committee (MEC). The physician then meets with the Medical Executive Committee. The physician is usually denied legal representation (which is unlawful), and the meeting takes the form of a Kangaroo court.

And the above, is EXACTLY what happened to Paul. Like.. to the T. Most importantly, he had no rights during the process. No ability to bring a lawyer in to help defend him. No ability to discover the identity of the complainant or exact documentation of the complaint. That is how they can just make shit up.

I won’t go into the details because the above explains everything that happened to Paul but his was particularly egregious (mine was short and simple). They generated at least 8 anonymous, invented complaints by other providers, nurses and employees inventing things he said or did and characterizing his behavior as “disruptive.” He had never gotten a single complaint from a patient or colleague in his entire career. They even accused him of malpractice for treating a patient for severe COVID who had tested negative for COVID. I saw the patient’s films and labs, heard his history, and presentation. The guy had COVID, period. Plus, the guy was super sick, on a ventilator, and Paul saved him with his protocol. No small feat for a COVID patient on a ventilator. The patient survived yet the hospital used the case as a mark against him. Insane.

Everything was right out of the sham peer review playbook. And it resulted in the ending of his career.

My “sham peer review” was different given that I was working as an independent contractor running an ICU for a hospital in central Wisconsin. The hospital administration had been asking my partners who hired me to get rid of me as soon as they heard I had been hired, likely due to my public profile (ya think?). My partners refused as we got along great and they deeply appreciated my skills, contributions, COVID expertise and protocols. They told the administration “if he goes, we go.” And this was a hospital with a long track record of difficulty recruiting physicians. Yet, my partners were continually harassed by the administration who kept sending them “hit pieces” they found about me in newspapers and magazines.

Six months later, in November 2021, the Chief Medical Officer of the hospital knew I was not vaccinated and that a mandate was about to start. So he called me and asked if I was going to be vaccinated because he had to plan for contingencies. I asked him for a couple of days to think about it. I decided I would just get a vaccine card instead. Not proud of that plan but I knew the vaccines were built on unconscionable lies. He called me two days later, and I told him I would get vaccinated.

The next morning after my shift, my lead partner called and told me “they didn’t need me anymore.” I asked what happened (I knew they needed me, badly). He explained that I had told some ER patient to not get vaccinated and that their practice believed in vaccination so could not be associated with someone who was not. One catch – I had not been in the ER for two weeks. I defended myself, to no avail. My partner knew I was telling the truth, but I knew he was likely under an ultimatum. He apologized and said, “I am so sorry, but there is a war going on and you are unfortunately a casualty of that.” We said pleasant goodbyes and wished each other well. Pretty quick sham peer review because I was not an employee so they had the right to cancel my contract at anytime. Done. Gone.

So, as you can see from the above, COVID is not our first rodeo battling ignorance and corruption in Medicine. But we battled with debate using data, published literature, and deep knowledge of physiology. Now, no more.

Steve Kirsch has been offering 1-2 million dollars for anyone in academia or the agencies to participate in a public or even privately recorded, moderated debate of the evidence to support vaccine safety and efficacy. No-one took him up on it.

An organization in Kansas City asked me, Peter McCullough and two other experts to participate in a debate with the clinical leaders at KU. They refused to show. Their table sat empty on the stage while we debated the public statements they had made with a local TV program instead. They literally told the TV presenter that “we do not debate in public forums, only in journal clubs amongst fellow doctors.” Note he said this on TV then went on to support their policies citing what we know are corrupt and easily disprovable evidence-free narratives. What a farce.

Just as sad as the above is that Paul had long been invited every year by a medical education organization to lecture to anesthesiologists as he was a perennial favorite lecturer. This past year, he gave a masterful lecture on the data supporting the use of ivermectin in COVID. Soon after, he was told that he will never again be invited to give lectures.

He also gave the same lecture to the Anesthesia Department at Mass General (Harvard). The evaluations by attendees all complained that his lecture was full of mis-information. He will never be invited back.

Twitter, which describes itself as a “public square” has de-platformed many of my colleagues (multiple times) for sharing newly emerging data supporting the efficacy of ivermectin. Hey Juan Chamie, how many times have you been Twitterwhacked? One of life’s greatest mysteries (slight overstatement) is how I am still alive on Twitter, although to be accurate, I am only half-alive as they severely shadow ban me on that platform.

I guess we just have to accept the fact that two new commandments have come down from the mountaintop:

  • Thou shalt not share favorable ivermectin data in any public media sphere
  • Thou shalt not present analyses of the scientific data supporting ivermectin in lectures to physicians

The world has gone mad.


Next post, I will delve more specifically into the tactics Pharma deployed in pulling off their massive Disinformation campaign against ivermectin using propaganda as well as censorship of the FLCCC .

August 30, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

79% of Americans believe not censoring Hunter Biden laptop story would have changed election outcome: survey

By Christina Maas | Reclaim The Net | August 29, 2022

According to a survey conducted by the TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics (TIPP), 79% of Americans believe “truthful” coverage of the Hunter Biden laptop story, had it not been censored by Big Tech, would have changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

The recently published survey was based on the responses of people who claimed that they were “very” or “somewhat” closely following the laptop story.

Overall, 79% of the respondents said that a “truthful interpretation” of the laptop story would have “very” or “somewhat” likely resulted in the reelection of former President Donald Trump.

Of the 79%, 57% of Republicans believed Trump would have won, compared to 44% of Democrats and 48% of independents.

A majority, 89% of Republicans, 74% of independents, and 61% of Democrats, said they believe the laptop story “is real.” Only 11% said that they believe the story was “created by Russia.”

81% of the respondents said that US Attorney General Merrick Garland should open an investigation into Hunter Biden’s laptop, whose contents were first reported by the New York Post.

The spread of the story was restricted on mainstream social media platforms, with Twitter going to the extent of banning it entirely and suspending the Post’s account.

On Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience and said the FBI had warned Facebook of an imminent “dump” of “Russian propaganda” shortly before the Hunter Biden story broke, which caused them to decide to censor it.

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

Trump demands election rerun ‘immediately’

Samizdat – August 29, 2022

Former President Donald Trump called on Monday for himself to be declared the “rightful winner” of the 2020 presidential election, or for the vote to be held again. Trump’s outburst came after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that he limited the spread of a story damaging to Joe Biden’s campaign on the advice of the FBI.

“So now it comes out, conclusively, that the FBI buried the Hunter Biden laptop story before the election,” Trump wrote in a post to his Truth Social platform, adding that the agency did so knowing “if they didn’t, ‘Trump would have easily won the 2020 Presidential Election’.”

“This is massive fraud and election interference at a level never seen before in our country,” the former president continued, adding that as a “remedy,” he should be declared the “rightful winner,” or that the government should “declare the 2020 election irreparably compromised and have a new election, immediately!”

Zuckerberg told podcast host Joe Rogan last week that Facebook worked to limit the reach of a New York Post story on Hunter Biden’s laptop in the runup to the 2020 election. The laptop, which has since been independently verified as genuine, contained details of Joe Biden’s son’s drug use, activities with prostitutes, and foreign business dealings, some of which stood to benefit Biden Sr.

Zuckerberg said that the FBI “came to us” and warned that “there’s about to be some kind of dump” of “Russian propaganda.” The Biden campaign also falsely described the laptop’s contents as “Russian propaganda” at the time.

Despite Trump’s protestations, there is likely little he can do. The former president already accused Biden of winning by fraud, citing ballot harvesting, alleged abuse of mail-in voting, and claims of late-night pauses in counting followed by “dumps” of ballots for Biden at voting locations in key swing states. Trump filed numerous lawsuits protesting his loss, but of the few that courts agreed to hear, none were successful.

Facebook was not the only platform to limit the spread of the laptop story. Twitter banned any mention of the Post article and temporarily suspended the newspaper from its platform, while other media outlets – who now admit that the laptop was real and newsworthy – refused to cover the story.

In a statement released after Zuckerberg’s interview, the FBI said that it “routinely notifies US private sector entities, including social media providers, of potential threat information, so that they can decide how to better defend against threats.” However, the agency added that it “cannot ask, or direct, companies to take action.” The FBI did not elaborate on why it labeled the contents of the laptop a “threat.”

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , , | 5 Comments

MEET THE EX-CIA AGENTS DECIDING FACEBOOK’S CONTENT POLICY

By Alan Macleod | MintPress News | July 12, 2022

It is an uncomfortable job for anyone trying to draw the line between “harmful content and protecting freedom of speech. It’s a balance”, Aaron says. In this official Facebook video, Aaron identifies himself as the manager of “the team that writes the rules for Facebook”, determining “what is acceptable and what is not.” Thus, he and his team effectively decide what content the platform’s 2.9 billion active users see and what they don’t see.

Aaron is being interviewed in a bright warehouse-turned-studio. He is wearing a purple sweater and blue jeans. He comes across as a very likable, smiley person. It is not an easy job, of course, but someone has to make those calls. “Transparency is incredibly important in the work that I do,” he says.

Aaron is CIA. Or at least he was until July 2019, when he left his job as a senior analytic manager at the agency to become senior product policy manager for misinformation at Meta, the company that owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. In his 15-year career, Aaron Berman rose to become a highly influential part of the CIA. For years, he prepared and edited the president of the United States’ daily brief, “wr[iting] and overs[eeing] intelligence analysis to enable the President and senior U.S. officials to make decisions on the most critical national security issues,” especially on “the impact of influence operations on social movements, security, and democracy,” his LinkedIn profile reads. None of this is mentioned in the Facebook video.

Berman’s case is far from unique, however. Studying Meta’s reports, as well as employment websites and databases, MintPress has found that Facebook has recruited dozens of individuals from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as well as many more from other agencies like the FBI and Department of Defense (DoD). These hires are primarily in highly politically sensitive sectors such as trust, security and content moderation, to the point where some might feel it becomes difficult to see where the U.S. national security state ends and Facebook begins.

In previous investigations, this author has detailed how TikTok is flooded with NATO officials, how former FBI agents abound at Twitter, and how Reddit is led by a former war planner for the NATO think tank, the Atlantic Council. But the sheer scale of infiltration of Facebook blows these away. Facebook, in short, is utterly swarming with spooks.

TRUST ME, BRO

In a political sense, trust, safety and misinformation are the most sensitive parts of Meta’s operation. It is here where decisions about what content is allowed, what will be promoted and who or what will be suppressed are made. These decisions affect what news and information billions of people across the world see every day. Therefore, those in charge of the algorithms hold far more power and influence over the public sphere than even editors at the largest news outlets.

There are a number of other ex-CIA agents working in these fields. Deborah Berman, for example, spent 10 years as a data and intelligence analyst at the CIA before recently being brought on as a trust and safety project manager for Meta. Little is known about what she did at the agency, but her pre-agency publications indicate she was a specialist on Syria.

Between 2006 and 2010, Bryan Weisbard was a CIA intelligence officer, his job entailing, in his own words, leading “global teams to conduct counter-terrorism and digital cyber investigations,” and “Identif[ying] online social media misinformation propaganda and covert influence campaigns”. Directly after that, he became a diplomat (underlining how close the line is between those two professions), and is currently a director of trust and safety, security and data privacy for Meta.

Meanwhile, the LinkedIn profile of Cameron Harris – a CIA analyst until 2019 – notes that he is now a Meta trust and safety project manager.

Harris Embed

Individuals from other state institutions abound as well. Emily Vacher was an FBI employee between 2001 and 2011, rising to the rank of supervisory special agent. From there she was headhunted by Facebook/Meta, and is now a director of trust and safety. Between 2010 and 2020, Mike Bradow worked for USAID, eventually becoming deputy director of policy for the organization. USAID is a U.S. government-funded influence organization which has bankrolled or stage managed multiple regime change operations abroad, including in Venezuela in 2002, Cuba in 2021, and ongoing attempts in Nicaragua. Since 2020, Meta has employed Bradow as a misinformation policy manager. 

Others have similar pasts. Neil Potts, a former intelligence officer with the U.S. Marine Corps, is vice president of trust and safety at Facebook. In 2020, Sherif Kamal left his job as a program manager at the Pentagon to take up the post of Meta trust and safety program manager.

Joey Chan currently holds the same trust and safety post as Kamal. Until last year, Chan was a U.S. Army officer commanding a company of over 100 troops in the Asia Pacific region.

None of this is to say that any of those named are not conscientious, that they are bad people or bad at their job. Vacher, for example, helped design Facebook’s amber alert program, notifying people to missing children in their area. But hiring so many ex-U.S. state officials to run Facebook’s most politically sensitive operations raises troubling questions about the company’s impartiality and its proximity to government power. Meta is so full of national security state agents that at some point, it almost becomes more difficult to find individuals in trust and safety who were not formerly agents of the state.

Despite its efforts to brand itself as a progressive, “woke” organization, the Central Intelligence Agency remains deeply controversial. It has been charged with overthrowing or attempting to overthrow numerous foreign governments (some of them democratically elected), helping prominent Nazis escape punishment after World War Two, funnelling large quantities of drugs and weapons around the world, penetrating domestic media outlets, routinely spreading false information and operating a global network of “black sites” where prisoners are repeatedly tortured. Therefore, critics argue that putting operatives from this organization in control of our news feeds is deeply inappropriate.

One of these critics is Elizabeth Murray, who, in 2010, retired from a 27-year career at the CIA and other U.S. intelligence organizations. “This is insidious,” Murray told MintPress, adding,

I see it as part of the gradual and sinister migration of ambitious young professionals originally trained (with CIA’s virtually unlimited, U.S.-taxpayer funded pot of resources) to surveil and target ‘the bad guys’ during the so-called Global War on Terror of the post-9-11 era.”

MintPress also contacted Facebook/Meta for comment but has not received a response.

ARM’S LENGTH CONTROL

Some may ask what the big fuss is. There is a limited pool of individuals with the necessary skills and experience in these new tech and cybersecurity fields, and many of them come from government institutions. Casinos, after all, regularly hire card sharks to protect themselves. But there is little evidence that this is a poacher-turned-gamekeeper scenario; Facebook is certainly not hiring whistleblowers. The problem is not that these individuals are incompetant. The problem is that having so many former CIA employees running the world’s most important information and news platform is only one small step removed from the agency itself deciding what you see and what we do not see online – and all with essentially no public oversight.

In this sense, this arrangement constitutes the best of both worlds for Washington. They can exert significant influence over global news and information flows but maintain some veneer of plausible deniability. The U.S. government does not need to directly tell Facebook what policies to enact. This is because the people in decision-making positions are inordinately those who rose through the ranks of the national security state beforehand, meaning their outlooks match those of Washington’s. And if Facebook does not play ball, quiet threats about regulation or breaking up the company’s enormous monopoly can also achieve the desired outcomes.

Again, this article is not claiming that any of the named individuals are nefarious actors, or even that they are anything but model employees. This is a structural problem. Put another way, if Facebook were hiring dozens of managers from Russian intelligence agencies like the FSB or GRU, everybody would recognize the inherent dangers. It should be little different when it hires individuals from the CIA, an organization responsible for some of the worst crimes of the modern era.

FROM STATE INTELLIGENCE TO PRIVATE INTELLIGENCE

Facebook has also hired a plethora of ex-national security state officers to run its intelligence and online security operations. Until 2013, Scott Stern was a targeting officer at the CIA, rising to become chief of targeting. In this role, he helped select the targets for U.S. drone strikes across South and West Asia. Today, however, as a senior manager of risk intelligence for Meta, “misinformation” and “malicious actors” are his targets. Hopefully he is more accurate at Facebook than at the CIA, where the government’s own internal assessments show that at least 90% of Afghans killed in drone strikes were innocent civilians.

Other former CIA men at Facebook include Mike Torrey, who left his job as a senior analyst at the agency to become Meta’s technical lead of detection, investigations and disruptions of complex information operations threats, and former CIA contractor Hagan Barnett, who is now head of harmful content operations at the Silicon Valley giant.

BarnettMeta’s intelligence and online security team includes individuals from virtually every government agency imaginable. In 2015, Department of Defense intelligence officer Suzanna Morrow left her post to become director of global security intelligence for Meta. The FBI is represented by threat investigations manager Ellen Nixon and head of cyber espionage investigations Mike Dvilyanski. Facebook’s influence operations policy manager Olga Belogolova had stints at the State Department and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Before Meta, David Agranovich and Nathaniel Gleicher both worked for the National Security Council. Agranovich is director of global threat disruption at Facebook while Gleicher is head of security policy. Hayley Chang, director and associate general counsel for cybersecurity and investigations, worked formerly for both the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. And Meta’s global head of interaction operations, David Hansell, was once an Air Force and Defense Intelligence Agency man.

One of Meta’s most outwardly-facing employees is its global threat intelligence lead for influence operations, Ben Nimmo, a character MintPress has covered before. Between 2011 and 2014, he served as NATO’s press officer, moving the next year to the Institute for Statecraft, a U.K. government-funded propaganda operation aimed at spreading misleading information about enemies of the British state. He was also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, NATO’s semi-official think tank.

Perhaps then, it is not surprising that Facebook never seems to find U.S. government influence operations online – they are part of one!

CYBER WAR, CYBER WARRIORS

While Meta has not unmasked any nefarious U.S. government action, it regularly uncovers what it claims are foreign disinformation campaigns. According to a recent Facebook report, the top five locations of coordinated inauthentic behavior between 2017 and 2020 on its platform are Russia, Iran, Myanmar, the United States and Ukraine. However, it was at pains to note that American operations were driven by fringe far-right elements, white supremacists and conspiracy theorists, and not the government.

This is despite the fact that it is now well-established that the Pentagon fields a clandestine army of at least 60,000 people whose job is to influence public opinion, the majority of them doing so from their keyboards. A Newsweek exposé from last year called it “The largest undercover force the world has ever known,” adding,

The explosion of Pentagon cyber warfare, moreover, has led to thousands of spies who carry out their day-to-day work in various made-up personas, the very type of nefarious operations the United States decries when Russian and Chinese spies do the same.”

Newsweek warned that this army was likely breaking both U.S. and international law by doing so, explaining that,

These are the cutting-edge cyber fighters and intelligence collectors who assume false personas online, employing ‘nonattribution’ and ‘misattribution’ techniques to hide the who and the where of their online presence while they search for high-value targets and collect what is called ‘publicly accessible information’—or even engage in campaigns to influence and manipulate social media.”

As far back as 2011, The Guardian was reporting on this enormous cyber force, whose job it was to “secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.” Yet the ex-military and ex-CIA officials Facebook employs do not seem to have found any trace of their former colleagues’ at work on the platform.

DIGITALLY SWINGING ELECTIONS

Since its beginnings in 2004, Facebook has grown to become a massive global empire and by far the most important news distributor the planet has ever known. The company boasts almost 3 billion active users, meaning that nearly 2 in 5 people worldwide use the platform. A recent 12-country study suggested that around 30% of the entire world gets its news via their Facebook feeds. This gives whoever is in charge of curating those feeds and controlling those algorithms inestimable power. It also represents a serious national security threat for all other countries, especially those that might wish to take a path independent from the United States. That those people are in large part former spooks makes this threat all the more perilous.

This is far from a hypothetical quandary. In November, less than a week before the country’s election, Facebook took the decision to delete hundreds of pages and accounts belonging to individuals and groups that supported the Nicaraguan Sandinista party – a longtime U.S. target for regime change. These included many of the nation’s most influential journalists and media outlets. Considering that around half of the country uses the platform for news and entertainment, the decision could barely have been more intrusive, and was likely designed to try to swing the election towards the pro-U.S. candidate.

Facebook claims that those accounts were bots engaged in “inauthentic behavior.” When those individuals migrated on to Twitter, recording videos identifying who they were to show they were not bots, Twitter immediately deleted those accounts too, in what was dubbed a coordinated attempt at suppression.

The individual behind this attempt was the aforementioned Ben Nimmo, who co-authored an unconvincing report, full of questionable assumptions and allegations. This included an insinuation that accounts following a pattern of activity whereby their Facebook usage levels peaked in the morning and afternoon and dwindled to almost nothing after midnight Nicaragua time suggested they were bots.

Facebook was also used by right-wing Cubans to attempt a U.S.-backed color revolution against the ruling Communist government last year.

Giving any individual or group that much control over the airwaves of communication raises huge questions about national security and sovereignty – doubly so when those individuals are so intimately connected to the U.S. national security state.

When asked what the public’s reaction would be to the news of such an intimate connection between Facebook her former employer, Murray stated that she was unsure whether many would be bothered:

I would like to think that the American public would strenuously object. However the CIA and other agencies have worked over many decades to cultivate a positive – indeed almost glamorous – image in the eyes of the vast majority of the public, mostly through TV series, Hollywood films, and favorable media coverage – so sadly my guess is that the vast majority of the public probably believes that these are the folks who should be in charge.”

However, she said, the news would likely land a very different way in countries that have been the target of Washington’s ire. “As you’re no doubt aware, the CIA has an atrocious public reputation in most parts of the world,” she added.

SPOOKS IN EVERY DEPARTMENT

MintPress has found former representatives of the U.S. national security state in virtually every politically sensitive department at Facebook. This includes even higher levels. Between 2020 and 2021, Kris Rose was a member of Meta’s governance oversight board – the group responsible for the overall direction of the platform. He left his job at the Director of National Intelligence as the president’s daily brief writer to take up the role. Before that, he had spent six years at the CIA as a political and counterterrorism analyst. Meanwhile, Gina Kim Sumilas, Facebook’s director and associate general counsel for the Asia Pacific region, spent nearly twelve years in the CIA before moving into the tech private sector.

There is also considerable overlap with the U.S. government in the company’s front facing staff. Kadia Koroma, for instance, was plucked from her position as an FBI spokesperson in January 2020 to become media relations manager at Facebook. Jeffrey Gelman, policy communications manager for Facebook’s oversight board, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and held influential roles in both the State Department and the National Security Council. And executive communications spokesman Kevin Lewis spent many years in the White House as President Obama’s spokesperson.

Meta’s vice president of legal strategy is Rachel Carlson Lieber, who went straight from the CIA into Facebook. Her first role at the Silicon Valley giant was as head of the North America regulatory and strategic response, a department that continues to feature a number of former state officials. This includes head of strategic programs, Robert Flaim, who spent more than twenty years as an FBI, and Erin Clancy, who left a 16-year career at the State Department to become a manager of strategic response policy.

Clancy’s official work centered around U.S. policy in the Middle East. Her own bio boasts that she worked on the U.S. sanctions regime placed on Iraq and Sudan. She also worked at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus at the time of the Arab Spring and the beginning of the Syrian Civil War. It is known that she also coordinated closely with the White Helmets, a controversial aid organization that some have alleged is far too close to Al-Qaeda and its affiliates. Even after her Facebook appointment, Clancy moonlighted as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and as a fellow at the Atlantic Council, the hawkish body that serves as NATO’s brain trust.

Why are these national security state officials so attractive to Meta? One reason, Murray explained, is financial. “By snagging a CIA employee a company can save a considerable sum,” she said, explaining that, “The individual has likely undergone extensive professional training (at taxpayer expense) and probably has a security clearance,” something that is difficult, expensive and time-consuming to obtain in private sector work. Therefore, companies dealing with matters of state secrecy (such as defense contractors) have historically courted both current and former officers to fill their ranks, enticing them with much higher salaries than they can receive in government service.

“What is new (or at least newly known to us!) is that now these professionals are being sought after by social media companies like Facebook, Google and others who are now heavily into monitoring, surveilling, and censoring content, and then sharing data about users with U.S. government entities,” Murray added.

Such is the need for these individuals in these fields that private companies often hire former national security agents to do the recruiting for them. For instance, John Papp, who spent 12 years at the CIA as a senior intelligence officer and 4 years as an imagery analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency, went on to work as a recruiter for many of the largest defense contractors in Washington. These included Booz Allen Hamilton, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, IBM and Lockheed Martin. Today, he works as a recruiter for Meta.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Meta also employs former spooks for their internal security operations. The company’s vice president, chief security officer is Nick Lovrien, a former counterterrorism operations officer at the CIA, while its head of insider protection is ex-CIA operational psychologist and “undercover officer” Nicole Alford.

Meanwhile, Meta’s director of global security governance – the individual reportedly responsible for the personal safety of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg – is Jill Leavens Jones. Jones left her job as a U.S. Secret Service special agent to take the appointment. And director of global security operations Alexander Carrillo continued on as a lieutenant commander in the Coast Guard for several months after his appointment at Facebook. The company also hires former feds to work directly with law enforcement on legal issues. One example of this is former FBI special agent Brian Kelley.

A LONG PATTERN OF INFILTRATION

45 years ago, legendary journalist Carl Bernstein released an investigation documenting how the CIA had managed to infiltrate U.S. and global media. The CIA had placed hundreds of agents into newsrooms and had convinced hundreds more reporters to collaborate with them. These included individuals at some of the most influential outlets, including The New York Times. The CIA needed to do this clandestinely because any attempt to do so openly would harm the effectiveness of the operation and provoke stiff public resistance. But by 2015, there was barely a murmur of disapproval when Reuters announced that it was hiring 33-year veteran CIA manager and director Dawn Scalici as a global director, even when the company announced that her primary responsibility was to “advanc[e] Thomson Reuters’ ability to meet the disparate needs of the U.S. government.”

Facebook, however, is vastly more influential than the New York Times or Reuters, reaching billions of people daily. In that sense, it stands to reason that it would be a prime target of any intelligence organization. It has become so big and ubiquitous that many consider it a de facto public commons and believe it should no longer be treated as a private company. Considering who is making many of the decisions on the platform, that distinction between public and private entities is even more blurry than many presume.

Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles.

August 22, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WEF Proposes Globalized Plan to Police Online Content Using Artificial Intelligence

By Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D. | The Defender | August 19, 2022

Warning about a “dark world of online harms” that must be addressed, the World Economic Forum (WEF) this month published an article calling for a “solution” to “online abuse” that would be powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and human intelligence.

The proposal calls for a system, based on AI, that would automate the censorship of “misinformation” and “hate speech” and work to overcome the spread of “child abuse, extremism, disinformation, hate speech and fraud” online.

According to the author of the article, Inbal Goldberger, human “trust and safety teams” alone are not fully capable of policing such content online.

Goldberger is vice president of ActiveFence Trust & Safety, a technology company based in New York City and Tel Aviv that claims it “automatically collects data from millions of sources and applies contextual AI to power trust and safety operations of any size.”

Instead of relying solely on human moderation teams, Goldberger proposes a system based on “human-curated, multi-language, off-platform intelligence” — in other words, input provided by “expert” human sources that would then create “learning sets” that would train the AI to recognize purportedly harmful or dangerous content.

This “off-platform intelligence” — more machine learning than AI per se, according to Didi Rankovic of ReclaimTheNet.org — would be collected from “millions of sources” and would then be collated and merged before being used for “content removal decisions” on the part of “Internet platforms.”

According to Goldberger, the system would supplement “smarter automated detection with human expertise” and will allow for the creation of “AI with human intelligence baked in.”

This, in turn, would provide protection against “increasingly advanced actors misusing platforms in unique ways.”

“A human moderator who is an expert in European white supremacy won’t necessarily be able to recognize harmful content in India or misinformation narratives in Kenya,” Goldberger explained.

However, “By uniquely combining the power of innovative technology, off-platform intelligence collection and the prowess of subject-matter experts who understand how threat actors operate, scaled detection of online abuse can reach near-perfect precision” as these learning sets are “baked in” to the AI over time, Goldberger said.

This would, in turn, enable “trust and safety teams” to “stop threats rising online before they reach users,” she added.

In his analysis of what Goldberger’s proposal might look like in practice, blogger Igor Chudov explained how content policing on social media today occurs on a platform-by-platform basis.

For example, Twitter content moderators look only at content posted to that particular platform, but not at a user’s content posted outside Twitter.

Chudov argued this is why the WEF appears to support a proposal to “move beyond the major Internet platforms, in order to collect intelligence about people and ideas everywhere else.”

“Such an approach,” Chudov wrote, “would allow them to know better what person or idea to censor — on all major platforms at once.”

The “intelligence” collected by the system from its “millions of sources” would, according to Chudov, “detect thoughts that they do not like,” resulting in “content removal decisions handed down to the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and so on … a major change from the status quo of each platform deciding what to do based on messages posted to that specific platform only.”

In this way, “the search for wrongthink becomes globalized,” concludes Chudov.

In response to the WEF proposal, ReclaimTheNet.org pointed out that “one can start discerning the argument here … as simply pressuring social networks to start moving towards ‘preemptive censorship.’”

Chudov posited that the WEF is promoting the proposal because it “is becoming a little concerned” as “unapproved opinions are becoming more popular, and online censors cannot keep up with millions of people becoming more aware and more vocal.”

According to the Daily Caller, “The WEF document did not specify how members of the AI training team would be decided, how they would be held accountable or whether countries could exercise controls over the AI.”

In a disclaimer accompanying Goldberger’s article, the WEF reassured the public that the content expressed in the piece “is the opinion of the author, not the World Economic Forum,” adding that “this article has been shared on websites that routinely misrepresent content and spread misinformation.”

However, the WEF appears to be open to proposals like Goldberger’s. For instance, a May 2022 article on the WEF website proposes Facebook’s “Oversight Board” as an example of a “real-world governance model” that can be applied to governance in the metaverse.

And, as Chudov noted, “AI content moderation slots straight into the AI social credit score system.”

UN, backed by Gates Foundation, also aiming to ‘break chain of misinformation’

The WEF isn’t the only entity calling for more stringent policing of online content and “misinformation.”

For example, UNESCO recently announced a partnership with Twitter, the European Commission and the World Jewish Congress leading to the launch of the #ThinkBeforeSharing campaign, to “stop the spread of conspiracy theories.”

According to UNESCO:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a worrying rise in disinformation and conspiracy theories.

“Conspiracy theories can be dangerous: they often target and discriminate against vulnerable groups, ignore scientific evidence and polarize society with serious consequences. This needs to stop.”

UNESCO’s director-general, Audrey Azoulay, said:

“Conspiracy theories cause real harm to people, to their health, and also to their physical safety. They amplify and legitimize misconceptions about the pandemic, and reinforce stereotypes which can fuel violence and violent extremist ideologies.”

UNESCO said the partnership with Twitter informs people that events occurring across the world are not “secretly manipulated behind the scenes by powerful forces with negative intent.”

UNESCO issued guidance for what to do in the event one encounters a “conspiracy theorist” online: One must “react” immediately by posting a relevant link to a “fact-checking website” in the comments.

UNESCO also provides advice to the public in the event someone encounters a “conspiracy theorist” in the flesh. In that case, the individual shold avoid arguing, as “any argument may be taken as proof that you are part of the conspiracy and reinforce that belief.”

The #ThinkBeforeSharing campaign provides a host of infographics and accompanying materials intended to explain what “conspiracy theories” are, how to identify them, how to report on them and how to react to them more broadly.

According to these materials, conspiracy theories have six things in common, including:

  • An “alleged, secret plot.”
  • A “group of conspirators.”
  • “‘Evidence’ that seems to support the conspiracy theory.”
  • Suggestions that “falsely” claim “nothing happens by accident and that there are no coincidences,” and that “nothing is as it appears and everything is connected.”
  • They divide the world into “good or bad.”
  • They scapegoat people and groups.

UNESCO doesn’t entirely dismiss the existence of “conspiracy theories,” instead admitting that “real conspiracies large and small DO exist.”

However, the organization claims, such “conspiracies” are “more often centered on single self-contained events, or an individual like an assassination or a coup d’état” and are “real” only if “unearthed by the media.”

In addition to the WEF and UNESCO, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council earlier this year adopted “a plan of action to tackle disinformation.”

The “plan of action,” sponsored by the U.S., U.K., Ukraine, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, emphasizes “the primary role that governments have, in countering false narratives,” while expressing concern for:

“The increasing and far-reaching negative impact on the enjoyment and realization of human rights of the deliberate creation and dissemination of false or manipulated information intended to deceive and mislead audiences, either to cause harm or for personal, political or financial gain.”

Even countries that did not officially endorse the Human Rights Council plan expressed concerns about online “disinformation.”

For instance, China identified such “disinformation” as “a common enemy of the international community.”

An earlier UN initiative, in partnership with the WEF, “recruited 110,000 information volunteers” who would, in the words of UN global communications director Melissa Fleming, act as “digital first responders” to “online misinformation.”

The UN’s #PledgeToPause initiative, although recently circulating as a new development on social media, was announced in November 2020, and was described by the UN as “the first global behaviour-change campaign on misinformation.”

The campaign is part of a broader UN initiative, “Verified,” that aims to recruit participants to disseminate “verified content optimized for social sharing,” stemming directly from the UN communications department.

Fleming said at the time that the UN also was “working with social media platforms to recommend changes” to “help break the chain of misinformation.”

Both “Verified” and the #PledgeToPause campaign still appear to be active as of the time of this writing.

The “Verified” initiative is operated in conjunction with Purpose, an activist group that has collaborated with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the World Health Organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Google and Starbucks.

Since 2019, the UN has been in a strategic partnership with the WEF based on six “areas of focus,” one of which is “digital cooperation.”

Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., is an independent journalist and researcher based in Athens, Greece.

This article was originally published by The Defender — Children’s Health Defense’s News & Views Website under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Please consider subscribing to The Defender or donating to Children’s Health Defense.

August 19, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Leaked chats: Biden regime reportedly pushed for Alex Berenson to be banned from Twitter

By Tom Parker | Reclaim The Net | August 12, 2022

Newly released internal messages between Twitter staff show them discussing an April 2021 meeting with the White House where the Biden administration reportedly pushed for journalist and author Alex Berenson to be booted from the platform before Twitter banned him.

Berenson was banned from Twitter for violating its “COVID-19 misinformation” rules four months later in August 2021. Berenson responded by suing Twitter in December 2021, with the lawsuit accusing the tech giant of acting “on behalf of the federal government in censoring and barring him from access to its platform.” Berenson’s account was subsequently reinstated in July 2022 after both parties settled the censorship lawsuit.

These internal messages were published by Berenson and show April 22, 2021 discussions between Twitter employees on the business messaging app Slack. Berenson said he obtained the messages as part of his lawsuit against Twitter.

In one of the Slack messages, a Twitter employee says their meeting with the “WH [White House]” was “pretty good” but “they had one really tough question about why Alex Berenson hasn’t been kicked off from the platform.”

In another Slack message, a Twitter employee says that the White House “really wanted to know about Alex Berenson” and that Andy Slavitt, a Senior Advisor to President Biden’s COVID-19 Response Coordinator, “suggested they had seen data viz that had showed he was the epicenter of disinfo that radiated outwards to the persuadable public.”

Berenson said that in another Slack message, a Twitter employee said: “I’ve taken a pretty close look at his account and I don’t think any of it’s violative.”

Berenson noted that the message about White House officials questioning why he hadn’t been banned from the platform “make clear that top federal officials targeted me specifically, potentially violating my basic First Amendment right to free speech.”

He added: “If the companies are acting on behalf of the federal government they can become ‘state actors’ that must allow free speech and debate, just as the government does.”

Berenson also noted that previous censorship lawsuits accusing the government and social media companies of colluding to ban users have failed because the courts have “universally held that people who have been banned have not shown the specific demands from government officials that are necessary to support state action claims.”

However, in this case, Berenson argues that “federal officials appear to have gone far beyond generically encouraging Twitter to support Covid vaccines or discourage ‘misinformation’ (i.e. information that the government does not like). Instead, top officials targeted me personally.”

Berenson said he intends to sue the Biden administration for violating his First Amendment rights by pressing Twitter to ban him and that there will be “more to come soon.”

Jenin Younes, an attorney for the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), who has worked on two lawsuits that accuse the Biden administration of violating Americans’ First Amendment rights by coercing tech companies to censor “misinformation,” said that the revelations in the Slack messages released by Berenson are “a virtual smoking gun, and along with myriad circumstantial evidence proves our contention beyond any doubt.” Younes added that despite initial setbacks, she is confident that the NCLA’s lawsuits will be successful.

August 12, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Leave a comment

Twitter bans NYP columnist Paul Sperry following criticism of FBI Mar-A-Lago raid

By Christina Maas | Reclaim The Net | August 12, 2022

New York Post columnist and investigative journalist Paul Sperry was suspended from Twitter following tweets criticizing the FBI’s raid on President Trump’s Mar-A-Lago.

The tweet that was widely shared when Sperry got suspended read: “Funny, don’t remember the FBI raiding Chappaqua or Whitehaven to find the 33,000 potentially classified documents Hillary Clinton deleted. And she was just a former secretary of state, not a former president.”

However, speaking to MRC’s News Busters, Sperry said that he received a notice from Twitter saying that his account had been permanently suspended. He added that Twitter did not give a reason or explanation for the suspension.

“This is outrageous censorship,” Sperry told MRC. “Yes, Twitter is a private entity, but it has become the [dominant] public town square for political information and debate and it also enjoys a monopoly as the site where government agencies and corporations first post their releases and statements to the press. Denying a veteran working journalist access to this platform restricts my ability to cover events and issue[s].”

Sperry went on to criticize the Biden administration for its involvement in censorship on social media, saying the suspension “amounts to state censorship by proxy.”

The Biden administration has encouraged social media censorship. Last year, former White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration was “regularly making sure social media platforms are aware of the latest narratives dangerous to public health that we and many other Americans are seeing across all of social and traditional media.”

August 12, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment