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House Republicans Propose Legislation to Allow Biden to Ban Sanctioned Foreign Leaders From Social Media

By Kirill Kurevlev – Sputnik – 03.03.2021

US House Republicans are introducing legislation that would broaden US sanctions law to ban social media platforms from letting foreign persons or organizations which were put under sanctions for terrorism from using their services, Fox News reported Tuesday citing a copy of the bill.

The law bill is reportedly proposed by representatives Andy Barr, Jim Banks, and Joe Wilson, and is reportedly co-sponsored by 40 other members of the House Republican Study Committee. The social media platforms mentioned in the proposed law include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

“US law gives big tech a free pass to provide platforms to terrorist groups and dictators,” Representative Barr of Kentucky is quoted in the report as saying. “Social media companies should not provide a vehicle for terrorist groups like ISIS to raise money or for dictators like the Ayatollah of Iran to spread propaganda.”

The bill reportedly aims to clarify the current sanctions legislation by empowering the president with authority to limit the “provision of services,” including the management of accounts by Big Tech platforms to foreign persons or organizations sanctioned for terrorism by the US, and top officials of states, which are listed as sponsors of terrorism.

“Economic sanctions prohibiting the provision of services to individuals and entities sanctioned for terrorism should apply to social media platforms, while still supporting the free flow of information and maintaining the important principle that information should remain free of sanctions,” the legislation reportedly reads.

The bill also reportedly encourages the Treasury Department to “ensure that consumer communications technologies, as well as tools to circumvent government censorship, are available to civil society and democratic activists in such countries.”

Representative Jim Banks of Indiana, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a conservative caucus within the House, claimed because of “outdated sanctions laws, social media platforms are able to ban President Trump and other conservatives but let the Iranian Supreme Leader and President Bashar Assad of Syria continue having accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.”

“Thanks to Rep. Barr, we have a bill that would fix this double standard and hold Big Tech accountable to the same sanctions laws other American companies are required to follow,” Banks said.

Controversially enough, the lawmakers claim at the same time that the US Department of Treasury “should encourage the free flow of information in Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, and other countries,” which, according to Washington, are “controlled by authoritarian regimes,” in order to counter them.

Under the existing law, the US president does not have the authority to compel social networks to comply with US sanctions law as it pertains to designated terrorists due to the International Economic Emergency Powers Act of 1976, and especially the so-called Berman Amendments, adopted in 1988 and revised in 1994 to include electronic media. Those amendments forbid the president from even implicitly restricting or banning anything that deals with the free flow of informational services.

Republicans have repeatedly challenged social media’s liability protections under Section 230 that shield social networks from being held responsible for the content posted on their platforms, while enabling them to moderate it.

Tech giants have incurred criticism for the permanent suspension of then-President Trump’s accounts from social media platforms in the aftermath of the violent events on January 6 at the US Capitol. Particularly, Trump’s ban on Twitter has raised concerns that Big Tech could silence practically everybody online, even a country leader.

Following the criticism, Twitter suspended the account of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and removed the tweet where he said that Western COVID-19 vaccines were “completely untrustworthy.”

March 3, 2021 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 Comment

YouTube Removes RT’s Video of Trump’s ‘Violative’ CPAC Speech – yet it’s ok when posted by Western outlets

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | March 2, 2021

Having a video of former US President Donald Trump’s speech at CPAC may get you warnings and a deletion from YouTube, but apparently only if you’re RT, as the platform seems to selectively apply its arbitrary and capricious rules.

On Tuesday, RT and its German-language channel RT DE got a notice from YouTube that the video of Trump speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Florida on Sunday was being flagged for a “strike” under the platform’s rules on “supporting the 2020 US presidential election” announced in December.

Those rules say any questioning of the 2020 US presidential elections or claims of fraud is verboten. However, YouTube explicitly says “news coverage and commentary on these issues can remain on our site if there’s sufficient education, documentary, scientific or artistic [EDSA] context.”

A live-streamed public address by a former US president is the very definition of “news coverage.” According to one estimate, over 31 million people watched in on various social media platforms.

Yet when asked for a clarification, YouTube responded that the video lacks “enough context that additionally describes and demonstrates that this is Trump’s violative CPAC speech” and that “more details and explanatory information must be provided.”

There was no answer as to how such details and explanations should be provided in a live feed that did not have a correspondent commenting, or if it would be enough to include it in the text description underneath – something RT and our video news agency Ruptly have repeatedly asked about, without ever getting a response.

After RT’s inquiry YouTube proceeded to delete the video outright, for violating its “spam, deceptive practices and scams policy.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s speech was posted on YouTube by multiple other outlets – ReutersABC and The Independent, for example – without any of the aforementioned “context” or disclaimers. While it’s impossible for us to know if they also got warnings or strikes, their videos are still up, so it certainly appears that RT was singled out for enforcement.

Back in December, YouTube said it would boost “authoritative news” and suppress “problematic misinformation.” It now seems that the same exact video is treated as “problematic misinformation” when it comes from RT or RT DE, but as “authoritative news” when it comes from a Western corporate outlet.

It would be one thing if YouTube demanded that anything showing what Trump says be labeled as lies, or come with a disclaimer. Admittedly, that is the behavior of a publisher and not a platform, as YouTube claims to be in order to enjoy the protections of the infamous Section 230. Singling out RT channels for enforcement, while giving Western establishment outlets a free pass, however, is far more troubling. If that is indeed the case, then the Alphabet subsidiary is telling the world it does not judge videos on the basis of their content, but on the identity of their uploader.

That this sort of discrimination is posing as YouTube’s “community guidelines” and policies aimed at “supporting” – or would that be “fortifying”? – the US presidential elections, speaks volumes about the platform, but also the state of American democracy.

March 2, 2021 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | | 1 Comment

FBI laments that deplatforming of ‘extremists’ makes it harder to spy on Americans

RT | January 22, 2021

Law enforcement is complaining about social media platforms’ full-frontal assault on American political dissidents’ freedom of speech, crying that removing so-called ‘extremists’ from the internet makes it harder to spy on them.

A former FBI profiler recently took to NBC to complain that while Big Tech restricting Americans’ ability to freely communicate was all well and good, it was making it harder for the US intelligence apparatus to properly snoop on every aspect of these people’s lives.

FBI alum Clint Van Zandt complained that a 70-year-old man involved in the raid on the Capitol earlier this month was totally unknown to the bureau, showing up with a truck full of Molotov cocktails, a rifle, and some “improvised grenades” unheralded by any sort of presence on social media.

Leaving aside the laughable image of the US’ deep-pocketed intelligence apparatus being thwarted by a 70-year-old man from Alabama – who, it’s worth pointing out, is not known to have even entered the Capitol building (!) – FBI agents like Van Zandt and their local counterparts in small-town sheriffs’ offices are really worried that if social media keeps purging Trump supporters and other undesirables, these platforms will create an unstoppable army of Lonnie Coffmans.

Lonnie Coffman, the man in question, had no criminal record or ties to any extremist groups, but “was struggling financially and fixated on right-wing views,” Van Zandt explained, adding – in all seriousness – that the senior citizen was the sort of threat that keeps FBI agents “up at night.”

“The purging of people with radical views from popular social platforms, which has escalated in recent weeks, deprives investigators of a crucial tool in tracking people who might move along the continuum of ideation to action,” the former agent said.

In plain English, the profiler lamented that mass deplatforming prevents FBI agents from both spying on the majority of Americans whom it considers to be potential domestic terrorism threats and entrapping wannabe criminals by posing as terrorists, militia members, and other law-breakers.

Indeed, given that nearly all high-profile FBI cases involve the bureau entrapping suspects, and that this work is increasingly done online, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have become crucial tools in what the FBI describes as its fight against domestic extremism. Ordinary Americans might describe the agency’s work, however, as an unjustifiable effort to lure ordinary people into committing crimes in order to make the FBI and the rest of the US’ sprawling intelligence apparatus seem indispensable.

So please, Twitter and Facebook, the next time you highlight a bunch of users whose views fall outside the ever-more-stifling claustrophobia of the mainstream media and prepare to hit ‘delete’, think of the FBI.

Now that – according to such free-speech-loathing figures as former CIA director John Brennan and House intel committee chair Adam Schiff – the War on Terror is coming home, the FBI is going to need all the help it can get to manufacture the terror statistics that could possibly justify criminalizing political dissent in a nation whose Bill of Rights includes an ironclad guarantee to protect the individual right to free speech. The bureau certainly isn’t going to get that if it hasn’t been cultivating a pool of bored young men with no economic future across multiple platforms, stringing them along with promises of things that go boom.

January 22, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, False Flag Terrorism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump’s been deleted from internet, and any one of us could be next

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | January 14, 2021

Donald Trump has been deleted from the internet. He hasn’t been put behind a warning or had his followers reduced, or been forced to switch platforms. He’s gone.
Snapchat. Twitter. Facebook. YouTube. Google. Amazon. Instagram. Shopify. Twitch. Tiktok. Gone.

And he’s the President of the United States. If they can do it to him, they can do it to anyone.

Indeed, that’s the message being sent. It’s an intimidation move, designed to frighten people into policing themselves.

Many people have picked up on this already.

But unfortunately, many more are still lost in what they falsely believe to be the heady scent of victory. They’ll realise their mistake eventually, but it may be too late for us all by then.

It didn’t even stop at Trump, either. Tens of thousands of other people were banned in the following days.

For years the refrain from people defending censorship on social media – ironically, people who would usually identify as “socialists” – has been that private companies have the right to police their platforms as they see fit, and if you don’t like it you can switch to another social network.

… but now those other social networks are being shut down too.

It started with Gab a few years ago, but the recent assault on Parler was even stronger. Gab survived, Parler has not. The tech giants got together and stamped the life out of a smaller competitor. (Pretty sure antitrust laws are there to prevent exactly that scenario, but nevermind.)

The whole week since the “Capitol Hill Riot” has been one long display of dominance. A peacock fanning its tail or a silverback banging on tree trunks.

They are telling us who’s in charge, but some people are refusing to listen.

A common meme doing the rounds among “liberal” voices – who are these days well-schooled in missing the point – goes something like this: “If he’s too dangerous to have a twitter account, why does he have the nuclear codes?”

But, of course, the real question is – if they don’t even let him have a Twitter account, do you honestly think they let him anywhere near the nuclear codes?

Do you really think he has, or had, any power at all? Do you think Joe Biden does?

Do you think the same architecture that just publically castrated the “most powerful man on Earth” and the “leader of the free world” will suddenly start doing what it’s told when a “progressive” voice is in charge?

If they don’t bow to the will of the people now, why should they ever?

They won’t. They never have.

We’ve been told, in very clear terms, who has the power. And it is certainly not us, nor is it our elected representatives.

In fact, it’s not anyone with either democratic mandate or legal accountability, but rather a series of nameless executives, faceless bureaucrats and a succession of tech-billionaires forming a new breed of royalty.

Deleting Donald Trump wasn’t just a “panic response” to the “violence” on Capitol Hill, and it wasn’t a punishment for the man himself – It was a calculated display of honesty. A declaration of intent.

A notification of the limitations we’re all going to face as the increasingly dystopian new normal shapes a different kind of society.

It’s all been clearly co-ordinated. The Deep State and big business and the media working together. Police are instructed to create unrest on Capitol Hill, allow “rioters” into the building. The media report it as an “attempted coup”, while the social networks remove all of Trump’s denunciations so he can be blamed for “inciting violence”.

They created the lie. They spread the lie. They silenced anyone who would gainsay the lie. They have, as Karl Rove would put it, “created reality”, and now we’re here analysing it.

It was a big lie, this time, because it had to be. Because the man – or rather the office – was big. But for Joe Bloggs it can be a small lie. “he posted child porn” or “he was spreading hate” or “he was denying the pandemic”.

The precedent has been created. They can ban anyone they want and make up the reasons later.

Frank Zappa famously said:

The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.

Well, we’ve been shown the wall, and we’re being encouraged to cheer because the first person to run into it was Donald Trump. Rather predictably, millions have fallen for it.

January 14, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tech guru Durov warns Apple & Google pose threat to freedom, as Russian Senator says Trump Twitter ban a challenge to sovereignty

RT | January 11, 2021

The move by US Tech companies to censor US President Donald Trump has raised concern in Russia, with politicians and IT industry figures expressing concerns about it, and about its potential implications for political freedoms.

Alexey Pushkov, a prominent Senator and Chairman of the Federation Council on Information Policy and Media Relations warned on Sunday that the “diktat of internet giants” set a dangerous precedent. In a message posted to his official Telegram channel, the politician added that Moscow would “draw serious conclusions from the blocking of Trump by US social network conglomerates. Almost totally depending on foreign internet platforms is incompatible with the sovereignty of the country,” he argued.

However, the founder of the Russian-created Telegram messaging service, Pavel Durov, has now warned that “the Apple-Google duopoly poses a much bigger problem for freedoms than Twitter.” Of the two, he said, Silicon Valley stalwart Apple, worth more than $1.3 trillion, was the most worrying.

This, he suggests, is “because it can completely restrict which apps you use.” Over the weekend, the tech giant announced it would ban social media service Parler from its iOS store over apparent breaches to its guidelines. Telegram, which says it prioritizes the right to free speech more than its rivals, has become popular with Trump and his supporters since the president was indefinitely suspended from Twitter and Facebook. Telegram’s Durov added that his company was working on a web-based app as a contingency, should it become the next target of an App Store ban.

The Telegram founder, who first made his name with Russia’s top social network VK, also urged smartphone users to make the switch to the Android operating system, where users have more control over what they can install and use. This, he said, is “the least they can do to retain access to a free flow of information.”

In November, Russia’s media watchdog warned Google, and its subsidiary YouTube, over perceived censorship of content from the country’s media organizations. The row was sparked by the California-based streaming service’s decision to label an RT documentary on American right-wing militias as “extremist.” Roskomnadzor, the federal communications agency, warned that “cases of the administration of the YouTube video hosting service blocking, labelling, warning, consent and other restrictions with respect to materials of Russian media and journalists have become more frequent.”

Parler goes offline as Amazon pulls the plug on the conservative social network

Donald Trump has faced a near-total removal from social media sites since facing accusations that he’d encouraged his supporters to storm Washington’s Capitol building last Wednesday. Four protesters and one police officer are said to have lost their lives in the violent scenes. While he urged the activists to “go home,” the president reiterated claims that November’s election had been rigged, and told demonstrators that “we love you. You’re very special.”

As well as his removal from Twitter and Facebook, Trump has since faced action from platforms including Instagram, Google, YouTube, TikTok, Reddit, Snapchat and Pinterest.

January 11, 2021 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , , , , | Leave a comment

The ‘War On Terror’ Comes Home

By Ron Paul | January 11, 2021

Last week’s massive social media purges – starting with President Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter and other outlets – was shocking and chilling, particularly to those of us who value free expression and the free exchange of ideas. The justifications given for the silencing of wide swaths of public opinion made no sense and the process was anything but transparent. Nowhere in President Trump’s two “offending” Tweets, for example, was a call for violence expressed explicitly or implicitly. It was a classic example of sentence first, verdict later.

Many Americans viewed this assault on social media accounts as a liberal or Democrat attack on conservatives and Republicans, but they are missing the point. The narrowing of allowable opinion in the virtual public square is no conspiracy against conservatives. As progressives like Glenn Greenwald have pointed out, this is a wider assault on any opinion that veers from the acceptable parameters of the mainstream elite, which is made up of both Democrats and Republicans.

Yes, this is partly an attempt to erase the Trump movement from the pages of history, but it is also an attempt to silence any criticism of the emerging political consensus in the coming Biden era that may come from progressive or antiwar circles.

After all, a look at Biden’s incoming “experts” shows that they will be the same failed neoconservative interventionists who gave us weekly kill lists, endless drone attacks and coups overseas, and even US government killing of American citizens abroad. Progressives who complain about this “back to the future” foreign policy are also sure to find their voices silenced.

Those who continue to argue that the social media companies are purely private ventures acting independent of US government interests are ignoring reality. The corporatist merger of “private” US social media companies with US government foreign policy goals has a long history and is deeply steeped in the hyper-interventionism of the Obama/Biden era.

“Big Tech” long ago partnered with the Obama/Biden/Clinton State Department to lend their tools to US “soft power” goals overseas. Whether it was ongoing regime change attempts against Iran, the 2009 coup in Honduras, the disastrous US-led coup in Ukraine, the “Arab Spring,” the destruction of Syria and Libya, and so many more, big US tech firms were happy to partner up with the State Department and US intelligence to provide the tools to empower those the US wanted to seize power and to silence those out of favor.

In short, US government elites have been partnering with “Big Tech” overseas for years to decide who has the right to speak and who must be silenced. What has changed now is that this deployment of “soft power” in the service of Washington’s hard power has come home to roost.

So what is to be done? Even pro-free speech alternative social media outlets are under attack from the Big Tech/government Leviathan. There are no easy solutions. But we must think back to the dissidents in the era of Soviet tyranny. They had no Internet. They had no social media. They had no ability to communicate with thousands and millions of like-minded, freedom lovers. Yet they used incredible creativity in the face of incredible adversity to continue pushing their ideas. Because no army – not even Big Tech partnered with Big Government – can stop an idea whose time has come. And Liberty is that idea. We must move forward with creativity and confidence!

Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute.

January 11, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Big Tech Censorship: Part 1

FULL MEASURE | January 10, 2021

This past week saw a turbulent beginning of the end of the unprecedented term of President Trump. A rally in Washington supporting the president and calls to overturn the election turned violent. Protesters stormed both chambers of Congress and one was shot before being driven from Capitol Hill. Members of Congress returned to certify Joe Biden as president-elect. Meantime, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube took aggressive, new steps to clamp down hard on President Trump’s social media accounts. Among other objections, Twitter said President Trump violated policies in his video urging protesters to be peaceful and go home, because he reiterated claims about election fraud. Some welcome Big Tech’s crackdown; others say it’s a radical violation of free speech. It highlights a long-simmering battle over the control of information online. That’s the focus of our special investigation.

Zachary Vorhies was as an insider for more than eight years, a senior software engineer at Google and Google’s YouTube.

Sharyl Attkisson: Can you give sort of the short version of how you discovered or came to believe something wrong was going on?

Zachary Vorhies: Yeah. I was working at YouTube in 2016 and everything was really great. But then something happened. And what happened was Donald Trump won the election.

Vorhies: And after he won the election, the company just took a hard left and decided that they were going to abandon their liberal principles and start going towards an authoritarian sort of management of their products and services.

Sharyl: Can you describe how that manifested itself, this change in direction you describe?

Vorhies: It happened the first week after Donald Trump won the election. Google had an all hands meeting, which they usually do every week, called TGIF. The CFO broke down into tears recounting how she was communicating with the New York office about how they were going to lose this election. The founder Sergey Brin said that he was personally offended at the election of Donald Trump. And Sundar Pichai, the CEO, said that one of the most successful things that they had done in the election was applying machine learning in order to hide fake news.

Donald Trump’s candidacy didn’t only ignite a new trend of heavy handed manipulation and censorship at Google. Ten days after Trump was elected, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced efforts unheard of before. Facebook would begin judging and rating news organizations in terms of trustworthiness and attaching warning labels to content. It also changed how “trending topics” work, no longer reflecting the number of people discussing something.

The liberal propaganda group Media Matters, founded by Hillary Clinton supporter David Brock, took credit for convincing Facebook to take the drastic new steps.

Within days of the inauguration in January 2017 the whole strategy was outlined in in a confidential memo to donors by Media Matters and some of its affiliates, American Bridge, CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and ShareBlue.

The memo stated that Media Matters was a “partner” of Facebook and other Big Tech players to crack down on online information Media Matters didn’t like. “Facebook needed our help in fully understanding the problem and identifying concrete solutions. We’ve been engaging with Facebook leadership behind the scenes to share our expertise” with the goal of getting Facebook to “adjust its model” Media Matters also said it lobbied Google to “cut off access to revenue” of “40 of the worst fake news sites” —as identified by Media Matters, of course.

This leaked internal video shows the CEO of Google’s YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, discussing their new approach.

Susan Wokcicki (2017 video): We’re pushing down the fake news and demoting it, and we are increasing authoritative news and promoting it. Content that isn’t that we don’t think that is authoritative news it’s just kind of encouraging people to look at is not true. We work with Google news on that to define what reputable sources are.

Sharyl: And when you say ‘They bragged about effectively cracking down on fake news,’ that sounds like a good thing?

Vorhies: Yeah, you would think. But when I looked at the design documents, I started to notice something very interesting, which was a lot of the fake news that they were using as examples of things that they should censor were things involving Hillary Clinton. And I was sort of apolitical, but I started to think to myself, is this really fake news? Why is Google defining this as fake news in order to justify censorship of it? So once I realized that there was this fake news regimen that they were using and it seemed like it was political, I started looking for what that censorship execution could be. And I found it and the project was called Machine Learning Fairness.

Sharyl: What does Machine Learning Fairness describe?

Vorhies: Machine learning is a type of A.I. You’ve got A.I. that plays chess and checkers

Sharyl: Artificial intelligence?

Vorhies: Yeah.

Vorhies leaked a confidential Google document describing what he calls Artificial Intelligence censorship designed to rerank the entire internet by making “machine-learning intentionally human-centered” to “intervene for fairness.”

Sharyl: Do you think there’s evidence that the instructions that Google basically gave its program or machine on how to flag fake news was skewed unfairly, and in favor of liberal interests over conservative interests?

Vorhies: I mean, I wouldn’t even call them liberal because they’re kind of authoritarian, totalitarian right now. And yeah, the evidence of that is whenever you go to news.google.com or you type in a Google search, it’s always being directed towards anti-Trump sentiment. And the reason why, this is because they’re training these classifiers with people that are highly biased.

At the same time, Vorhies says Google was working on social reconstruction to correct what it calls “algorithmic unfairness.”

Sharyl: What is algorithmic unfairness?

Vorhies: Algorithmic unfairness is any sort of algorithm that reinforces existing stereotypes. So a really good question that was answered at Google is: Could objective reality be algorithmically unfair? And Google’s answer to that was actually yes. And the example that they give was let’s say you’re doing a search for CEOs. And let’s say Google returns a bunch of images and most of those images are images of men. Now, even if that reflects objective reality, this can still be considered algorithmically unfair and justify product intervention in order to fix.

Sharyl: And that was happening at Google?

Vorhies: That was happening at Google. And you could tell this because you can go into Google search and you can say, “men can”, and then let Google auto complete. And what it was doing is it was saying “men can have babies,” “men can have periods,” “men can get pregnant.” And then you try to do the same thing but for women, and Google returned results like “women can get drafted,” “women can do anything.” So it’s this inversion of the stereotypes that they were trying to enforce. And it wasn’t just them being equal. They were actually trying to reverse the gender roles. And this is what they think is an algorithmically fair engine.

Meantime, Vorhies says people within Google began organizing anti-Trump activism through an email list: “Resist at Google dot com.” and suggested chants like: “What do we want? JUSTICE! When do we want it? NOW!”

In June 2019, the next presidential campaign was gearing up. After more than eight years at Google, Vorhies says he decided to resign and blow the whistle.

Vorhies: I realized that I couldn’t remain silent anymore and that I had to go and seek out and disclose this to the public because it appeared that Google was attempting a coup on the president.

VIDEO

January 11, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Economics, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Tech giants want to prove they are ‘American gods’. Anyone watching the watchers?

By Frank Furedi | RT | January 9, 2021

Big Tech has just taken a gigantic step toward its objective of gaining total control over what can and what cannot be said on the internet.

Apple and Google have commanded Parler, a social network used by conservatives, to police its users. In effect, what their warning issued to Parler means, ‘do as you are told or face digital annihilation!’.

Google suspended Parler from its Play Store, declaring that it will shut the network until it rigorously polices its app. Apple was reported to have followed suit giving Parler 24 hours to fall in line; otherwise it would be removed from Apple’s App Store.

Apple and Google’s declaration of war on Parler has serious implications. These two giant companies make operating systems that support nearly every smartphone in the world. That means that if Apple shuts Parler out of its App Store, people would not be able to download the app on their iPhones or iPads.

The timing of the edict issued by the masters of Silicon Valley is not a coincidence. Parler is one of the fastest growing apps on the internet. Millions of conservatives fed up with the censorious behavior of Twitter and Facebook have been attracted to this social network. In the aftermath of President Trump being forced off Facebook and Twitter, it was expected that millions of his supporters would turn to Parler to freely express their convictions.

Big Tech censorship is nothing new. In recent years, social-media companies – once reluctant to be drawn into becoming official censors and arbiters of truth – have increasingly clamped down on what they deem to be hate speech or misinformation.

Since the beginning of the pandemic Big Tech companies have behaved as if they are digital gods. These powerful unaccountable billionaires have issued one Papal Bull after another. Facebook has used the pandemic to expand its policing of what can be posted. Initially it stated that it would continue to remove “misinformation that could contribute to imminent physical harm,” while deploying its army of fact-checkers to flag certain posts, depress their distribution, and direct sharers of such material to ‘reliable’ information. A few weeks later in April, 2020 it was reported that it was removing event posts for anti-lockdown gatherings.

Early on in the pandemic Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, declared that she saw their role as the arbiter of truth on the coronavirus. She stated that anything that contradicted the recommendations of the WHO would be removed from her platform.

That Big Tech sees itself as a veritable global power that stands above elected governments was strikingly illustrated by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, when he announced that Trump’s page would be closed down, at the very least, for the rest of his presidency. A day later, Twitter followed suit and suspended Trump’s account permanently. This humiliation of the American president indicates that a handful of billionaire capitalists now get to decide who can have a voice in the digital public square.

Big Tech companies censoring their own platforms is bad enough. However, when they take it upon themselves to determine how another independent social network must police itself, they have in effect assumed a tyrannical role over the entire internet. Their declaration of war on Parler, indicates that they see themselves as not simply private companies but as global institutions that can wield political and policing power over the digital world.

It is likely that Parler will be forced to cave in and accept the terms imposed on it by Apple and Google. John Matze, Parler’s CEO, has gone on record to state that he believes that “we can retain our values and make Apple happy quickly.” If Parler is forced to fall in line with the edict issued by Big Tech then it will constitute the greatest blow struck against internet freedom so far.

Despite its rhetoric of supporting diversity, Big Tech is distinctly opposed to the diversity of opinion. As recent events show they intend to turn the digital world into an entirely homogeneous system, where the only values that can be freely expressed are those of Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

Restoring the freedom to express whatever view you want to put forward on the internet is one of the most important challenges confronting genuine democrats.

Frank Furedi is an author and social commentator. He is an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent in Canterbury. Author of How Fear Works: The Culture of Fear in the 21st Century.

January 9, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

YouTube removes lockdown-sceptical interview with renowned immunologist Dr Mike Yeadon for ‘violating terms of service’

RT | November 20, 2020

Dr Mike Yeadon has argued that the British government is using “lethally incompetent” scientific advice in its Covid-19 response. YouTube has mysteriously taken down a video in which the immunologist explains his point.

The UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has got many things about the Covid-19 pandemic wrong, says Dr Mike Yeadon. He is an expert in allergy, immunology, and respiratory diseases, with over three decades of experience, including working as Pfizer’s vice president and chief scientific officer. Apparently his credentials amounted to nothing, though, when digital ‘censors’ at YouTube noticed that he was criticizing the prevailing narrative on the necessity of lockdowns.

For its modelling, SAGE assumed that the entire population was susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 when it first emerged in China last year. And it now considers that only a fraction of the public has been infected so far, based on the detectable presence of antibodies in their blood. These premises are behind the harsh restrictions currently in place in the UK, which are designed to prevent a massive and deadly outbreak of Covid-19.

According to Dr Yeadon, the assumptions are totally wrong, and the worst of the disease is over, with Covid-19 falling into the background as a relatively nasty but otherwise ordinary seasonal respiratory disease. A significant part of the population was actually not susceptible to the virus, thanks in large part to cross-immunity from previously being exposed to other kinds of coronaviruses. Those range from the relatively exotic but closely related SARS-CoV-1, the pathogen behind the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak, to human coronaviruses causing the common cold.

The large number of positive Covid-19 tests is not indicative of the number of active cases, Dr Yeadon believes. The common PCR test detects RNA remnants of the coronavirus, but it cannot tell if they came from live viruses or those long conquered by the immune system. There are also false positives. Mass testing causes an increase in those, he says, as people less experienced in how to properly conduct tests are recruited to run them.

On the other hand, the percentage of people currently immune to Covid-19 is seriously underestimated because it is measured by the presence of antibodies in people’s blood, Dr Yeadon argues. Antibody levels rise when an organism reacts to an active infection, but immune response memory – which determines whether the immune system is trained to beat a disease – is stored in T-cells. So, a person perfectly capable of standing up to Covid-19 may test negative for antibodies, he concludes.

Dr Yeadon has made his case and explained why he believes SAGE’s advice to be “lethally incompetent” in a number of interviews, including a 30-minute sit in with Unlock UK, a lockdown-sceptical media outlet. The video was published on Friday and is available on Facebook, but for some reason it was banned by YouTube, which says it violated its terms of service.

Western tech giants have been relentlessly pressured by politicians and legacy media to fight against misinformation on their platforms. Their idea of what constitutes misinformation seems to be closely aligned with prevailing narratives, while complaints about censorship mount from those challenging the mainstream narrative.

This seems especially true for Covid-19 response coverage, as many people find restrictions at best controversial and at worst a government assault on liberties. Just this week, the UK’s top counter-terrorism police officer, Met Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, advocated punishing those who spread “misinformation that could cost people’s lives,” like anti-vaccination conspiracy theories.

Dr Yeadon, incidentally, argues that mass vaccination against Covid-19 would be unnecessary, because the outbreak has almost run its natural course before an efficient vaccine was even available.

View the video.

November 20, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter Limit Access to 20 Russian Media Sources, Internet Watchdog Says

Sputnik – 27.10.2020

In late-September, Facebook said in a statement that it had removed a total of 242 users, 41 Pages, 19 Groups and 45 Instagram accounts allegedly originating from Russia.

Censorship of Russian media outlets by foreign Internet companies has become systematic, with Google, Facebook and Twitter restricting access to materials of around 20 Russian outlets, the Russian communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said on Tuesday.

“Foreign Internet companies’ censorship of Russian media has become systemic, Google (YouTube), Facebook and Twitter restrict access to materials of around 20 Russian media outlets, including RIA Novosti, Russia Today, Sputnik and Russia-1,” Roskomnadzor said in a statement.

As a result of these foreign attempts to control the Russian media, Russians may fail to receive objective information, the watchdog specified.

“Multiple requests to stop the censorship of Russian media outlets are being ignored,” Roskomnadzor went on to say.

The communications watchdog added it had submitted to both chambers of the Russian parliament proposals on enshrining in the national legislation measures that may be implemented to retaliate to the facts of censorship.

Roskomnadzor also reported an increase in the spread of fake news by foreign platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

YouTube mysteriously bans Russia-friendly opposition politician just before crucial elections in Ukraine

RT | October 24, 2020

The YouTube channel of Viktor Medvedchuk, the co-chair of Ukraine’s main opposition party, has been suspended just as the country holds crucial municipal elections.

Medvedchuk is a controversial figure in Ukraine, going defiantly against the anti-Russian line to which most other political forces adhere. For example, earlier this month he called on Kiev to purchase the Russian-developed vaccine against Covid-19, which he claimed he had tested on himself.

The suspension of Medvedchuk’s YouTube channel came out of the blue with no explanation from the video service, which now labels it with a generic message that it had violated terms of service. His party, Opposition platform – For Life, called it an act of political retaliation by the US government for his Russia-friendly, West-skeptical position. It didn’t explain why they believe Washington was behind the move.

Before being banned, the channel had more than 70,000 subscribers, with some videos scoring over a million views. The party bragged that its co-chair was more popular on YouTube than other major Ukrainian politician, including President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The ban was reported on Saturday, a day before Ukraine holds municipal elections throughout the country. Zelensky’s Servant of the People party is fighting an uphill battle to produce a result even remotely comparable to the landslide victory it won last year.

During the July 2019 general election, the president’s party secured a huge majority in the 450-seat Ukrainian parliament, taking 254 seats. Medvedchuk’s party came a distant second with 43 seats. Recent opinion polls ahead of Sunday’s vote suggest that the Servant of the People party could end up behind both the pro-Russian politician’s grouping, and that of his predecessor, Petro Poroshenko.

October 24, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment

Amazing Polly on the Purge – Technological Harassment

Have the wrong opinion? You will be burned to the ground. That’s what is happening to an increasing number of people – our ability to buy & sell, contact our people, use the bank, use the phone, etc is not only under threat but absolutely under their tyrannical control. I talk about the insane level of technological harassment I and other have been subjected to in the past week. I must say once again that we should NOT BE AFRAID. This was expected. We fight on!

My web page has my PO Box address here: https://www.amazingpolly.net/contact.html – Thank you to everyone who has sent support, letters & prayers. God bless you all!

References:

Dollar Vigilante: https://www.bitchute.com/channel/DkNYbFJKDPpX/

HighImpactFlix: https://www.bitchute.com/channel/msOrGRqxxZ7S/

SGTReport: https://www.bitchute.com/channel/nLPcg68RnP97/

RoyPotter: https://www.youtube.com/user/roypotterqa

Richie From Boston: https://watch.richiefromboston.tv/webtv-v3/

October 20, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 2 Comments