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Google Executive Allegedly Says Only Big Tech Can Prevent 2020 ‘Trump Situation’

Sputnik – June 25, 2019

While Big Tech has consistently brushed off accusations of discrimination and political bias, a new investigative report by Project Veritas provides new insight into Google’s alleged internal practices.

Project Veritas has published a new report on Google along with an undercover video of the company’s head of Responsible Innovation, Jen Gennai, and leaked docs by an alleged insider that purportedly expose the tech giant’s plans to influence the outcome of the 2020 presidential elections in the United States and “prevent the next Trump situation”.

“Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google. And like, I love her but she’s very misguided, like that will not make it better it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it’s like a small company cannot do that”, she appears to be saying in the footage, which was filmed at a restaurant on a hidden camera.

Gennai was referring to a statement by Massachusetts Senator Warren to break up tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Facebook as the companies face mounting backlash ahead of the 2020 vote.

The executive, whose “Responsible Innovation” sector monitors and evaluates the implementation of AI technologies, said in the video that Google has been working to reprogramme its systems and algorithms.

“We all got screwed over in 2016, again it wasn’t just us, it was, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over so we’re rapidly been like, what happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again. We’re also training our algorithms, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?”

According to Project Veritas, Gennai as well addressed the anti-conservative bias accusations the company has recently faced and explained that “conservative sources” and “credible sources” didn’t always overlap in line with Google’s editorial practices.

“We have gotten accusations of around fairness is that we’re unfair to conservatives because we’re choosing what we find as credible news sources and those sources don’t necessarily overlap with conservative sources…”

As part of the report, the video also contains snippets of an interview with an alleged Google whistleblower, who provided information on the alleged “algorithmic unfairness” and Machine Learning Fairness, which he claimed was “one of the many tools the company uses to advance a political agenda”.

“They are going to redefine a reality based on what they think is fair and based upon what they want, and what and is part of their agenda”.

Gennai has already read the Project Veritas report and penned a Medium post to explain what happened, claiming that the outlet had edited the video “to make it seem that I am a powerful executive who was confirming that Google is working to alter the 2020 election”.

She dismissed the report as an “unadulterated nonsense” and reiterated that the company “works to be a trustworthy source of information, without regard to political viewpoint”.

“In a casual restaurant setting, I was explaining how Google’s Trust and Safety team (a team I used to work on) is working to help prevent the types of online foreign interference that happened in 2016. I was having a casual chat with someone at a restaurant and used some imprecise language. Project Veritas got me. Well done”, she wrote.

YouTube has already removed the video of the interview with Gennai from the platform, while Reddit has suspended Project Veritas’ account following the release of the report.

This isn’t the first time Project Veritas has had its accounts or content removed after publishing an investigative report which exposes the internal practices of big tech firms. One of its reports, which shed light on Pinterest’s internal blacklists, was censored heavily as a result of questionable privacy complaints.

Aside from being taken down from YouTube, Project Veritas was also suspended on Twitter and other journalists who talked about the report in their videos had them removed.

In the past few weeks, Google and its video-sharing platform YouTube have faced multiple accusations of political bias against conservative views and independent media sites, as well as suppression of free speech.

The tech giants have, however, always denied the allegations.

June 25, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 1 Comment

Internet Free Speech All but Dead

Unelected, unnamed censors are operating across the Internet to suppress “unapproved” content.

Internet All But Dead

By Philip Giraldi | Global Research | June 8, 2019

The Internet was originally promoted as a completely free and uncensored mechanism for people everywhere to exchange views and communicate, but it has been observed by many users that that is not really true anymore. Both governments and the service providers have developed a taste for controlling the product, with President Barack Obama once considering a “kill switch“ that would turn off the Internet completely in the event of a “national emergency.”

President Donald Trump has also had a lot to say about fake news and is reported to be supporting limiting protections relating to the Internet. In May, a “net neutrality” bill that would have prevented service providers from manipulating Internet traffic passed in the House of Representatives, but it is reported to be “dead on arrival” in the Senate, so it will never be enacted.

Social networking sites have voluntarily employed technical fixes that restrict some content and have also hired “reviewers” who look for objectionable material and remove it. Pending European legislation, meanwhile, might require Internet search engines to eliminate access to many unacceptable old posts. YouTube has already been engaged in deleting existing old material and is working with biased “partners” like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to set up guidelines to restrict future content. Many users of Facebook will have already undoubtedly noted that some contacts have been blocked temporarily (or even permanently) and denied access to the site.

Google now automatically disables or limits searches for material that it deems to be undesirable. If Google does not approve of something it will either not appear in search results or it will be very low on the list. And what does come up will likely favor content that derives from those who pay Google to promote their products or services. Information that originates with competitors will either be very low in the search results or even blocked. Google is consequently hardly an unbiased source of information.

In May 2017 Facebook announced that it would be hiring 3,000 new censors, and my own experience of social networking censorship soon followed. I had posted an article entitled “Charlottesville Requiem” that I had written for a website. At the end of the first day, the site managers noticed that, while the article had clearly attracted a substantial Facebook readership, the “likes” for the piece were not showing up on the screen counter, i.e., were not being tabulated. It was also impossible to share the piece on Facebook, as the button to do so had been removed.

The “likes” on sites like Facebook, Yahoo! news comments, YouTube, and Google are important because they automatically determine how the piece is distributed throughout the site. If there are a lot of likes, the piece goes to the top when a search is made or when someone opens the page. Articles similarly can be sent to Coventry if they receive a lot of dislikes or negative marks, so the approvals or disapprovals can be very important in determining what kind of audience is reached or what a search will reveal.

In my case, after one day my page reverted to normal, the “likes” reappeared, and readers were again able to share the article. But it was clear that someone had been managing what I had posted, apparently because there had been disapproval of my content based on what must have been a political judgment.

A couple of days later, I learned of another example of a similar incident. The Ron Paul Institute (RPI) website posts much of its material on YouTube (owned by Google) on a site where there had been advertising that kicked back to RPI a small percentage of the money earned. Suddenly, without explanation, both the ads and rebate were eliminated after a “manual review” determined the content to be “unsuitable for all advertisers.” This was a judgment rendered apparently due to disapproval of what the institute does and says. The ability to comment on and link from the pieces was also turned off.

Dissident British former diplomat Craig Murray also noted in April 2018 the secretive manipulation of his articles that are posted on Facebook, observing that his “site’s visitor numbers [were] currently around one-third normal levels, stuck at around 20,000 unique visitors per day. The cause [was] not hard to find. Normally over half of our visitors arrive via Facebook. These last few days, virtually nothing has come from Facebook. What is especially pernicious is that Facebook deliberately imposes this censorship in a secretive way.

“The primary mechanism when a block is imposed by Facebook is that my posts to Facebook are simply not sent into the timelines of the large majority of people who are friends or who follow. I am left to believe the post has been shared with them, but in fact it has only been shown to a tiny number. Then, if you are one of the few recipients and do see the post and share it, it will show to you on your timeline as shared, but in fact the vast majority of your own friends will also not receive it. Facebook is not doing what it is telling you it is doing—it shows you it is shared—and Facebook is deliberately concealing that fact from you. Twitter has a similar system known as ‘shadow banning.’ Again, it is secretive and the victim is not informed.”

More recently, pressure to censor Internet social networking and information sites has increased, coming both from government and from various interested constituencies. In late May, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss how to eliminate “hate speech” on the Internet.

The two men agreed that the United States Internet model, in spite of already being heavily manipulated, is too laissez faire, and expressed an interest in exploring the French system where it is considered acceptable to ban unacceptable points of view. Zuckerberg suggested that it might serve as a good model for the entire European Union. France is reportedly considering legislation that establishes a regulator with power to fine Internet companies up to 4% of their global revenue, which can in some cases be an enormous sum, if they do not curb hateful expressions.

So unelected, unnamed censors are operating all around the Internet to control the content, which I suppose should surprise no one, and the interference will only get worse as both governments and service providers are willing to do what it takes to eliminate views that they find unacceptable—which, curiously enough, leads one to consider how “Russiagate” came about and the current hysteria being generated in the conventional media and also online against both Venezuela and Iran. How much of the anger is essentially fake, being manipulated or even fabricated by large companies that earn mega billions of dollars by offering under false pretenses a heavily managed product that largely does what the government wants? Banning hate speech will be, unfortunately, only the first step in eliminating any and all criticisms of the status quo.

June 9, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 2 Comments

People Who Support Internet Censorship Are Infantile Narcissists

By Caitlin Johnstone | June 7, 2019

As of this writing, journalist Ford Fischer is still completely demonetized on YouTube as the result of a new set of rules that were put in place because of some doofy Twitter drama between some unfunny asshole named Steven Crowder and some infantile narcissist who thinks the world revolves around his opinions named Carlos Maza. It remains an unknown if Fischer will ever be restored to an important source of income around which he has built his livelihood.

Fischer often covers white supremacist rallies and counter-protests, and his channel was demonetized within minutes of YouTube’s new rules against hate speech going into effect because some of his content, as you’d expect, includes white supremacists saying and doing white supremacist things. Maza, a Vox reporter who launched a viral Twitter campaign to have Crowder removed from YouTube for making homophobic and bigoted comments about him on his channel, expressed concern over Fischer’s financial censorship.

“What’s happening to Ford is fucking awful,” Maza tweeted yesterday. “He’s a good journalist doing important work. I don’t understand how YouTube is still so bad at this. How can they not differentiate between white supremacist content and good faith reporting on white supremacy?”

I say that Maza is an infantile narcissist who thinks the world revolves around his opinions because it genuinely seems to have surprised him that good people would get harmed in the crossfire of his censorship campaign.

I mean, what did he think was going to happen? Did he think some soulless, multibillion-dollar Silicon Valley corporation was going to display company-wide wisdom and woke insightfulness while implementing his agenda to censor obnoxious voices? Did he imagine that YouTube executives were going to sit down with him over a cup of coffee and go down a list with him to get his personal opinion of who should and should not be censored?

Think about it. How narcissistic do you have to be to assume that a vast corporation is going to use your exact personal perceptual filters while determining who should and should not be censored for oafish behavior? How incapable of understanding the existence of other points of view must you be to believe it’s reasonable to expect that a giant, sweeping censorship campaign will exercise surgical precision which aligns perfectly with your own exact personal values system? How arrogant and self-centered must you be to demand pro-censorship reforms throughout an enormous Google-owned platform, then whine that they’re not implementing your censorship desires correctly?

This is the same staggering degree of cloistered, dim-eyed narcissism that leads people to support Julian Assange’s persecution on the grounds that he’s “not a journalist”. These egocentric dolts sincerely seem to believe that the US government is going to prosecute Assange for unauthorized publications about US war crimes, then when it comes time to imprison the next Assange the US Attorney General is going to show up on their doorstep to ask them for their opinion as to whether the next target is or is not a real journalist. Obviously the power-serving agenda that you are helping to manufacture consent for is not going to be guided by your personal set of opinions, you fucking moron.

The fact that other people aren’t going to see and interpret information the same way as you do is something Carlos Maza and the thousands of people who’ve supported his pro-censorship campaign should have learned as small children. Understanding that the world doesn’t revolve around you and your wants and desires is a basic stage in childhood development. People who believe Silicon Valley tech giants can implement censorship in a way that is wise and beneficent are still basically toddlers in this respect. One wonders if they still interrupt their mother’s important conversations with demands for attention and apple juice.

Ford Fischer was not the first good guy to get caught in the crossfire of internet censorship, and he will not be the last. In addition to the way unexpected interpretations of what constitutes hate speech can lead to important voices losing their platforms or being unable to make a living doing what they do, the new rules appear to contain a troubling new escalation that could see skeptics of legitimate military false flags completely censored.

“Finally, we will remove content denying that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place,” reads a single sentence in the official YouTube blog about its new rules.

The sentence appears almost as an aside, without any elaboration or further information added, and at first glance it reads innocuously enough. No Holocaust deniers or Sandy Hook false flag videos? Okay, got it. I personally am not a denier of either of those events, so this couldn’t possibly affect me personally, right?

Wrong. YouTube does not say that it will just be censoring Holocaust deniers and Sandy Hook shooting deniers, it says it will “remove content denying that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place.”

So what does this mean? Where exactly is the line drawn? If you are not an infantilized narcissist, you will not assume that YouTube intends to implement this guideline in the same way you would. It is very possible that it will include skeptics of violent events which the entire political/media class agrees were perpetrated by enemies of the US-centralized power alliance, which just so happen to manufacture support for increased aggressions against those nations.

Would the new rules end up forbidding, for example, this excellent YouTube video animation explaining how a leaked OPCW report disputes the official narrative about an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria last year? If you are not making the assumption that YouTube will be implementing its censorship using your own personal values system, there is no reason to assume it wouldn’t. After all, the official narrative that dozens of civilians were killed by the Assad government dropping chlorine cylinders through rooftops is the mainstream consensus narrative maintained by all respected US officials and “authoritative” news outlets.

This is a perfect example of a very real possibility that could be a disastrous consequence of increased internet censorship. It is a known fact that the US government has an extensive history of using false flags to manufacture consent for war, from the USS Liberty to the Gulf of Tonkin to the false Nayirah testimony about removing babies from incubators to the WMD narrative in Iraq. These new rules could easily serve as a narrative control device preventing critical discussions about suspicious acts of violence which have already happened, and which happen in the future.

Consider the fact that Google, which owns YouTube, has had ties to the CIA and the NSA from its very inception, is known to have a cozy relationship with the NSA, and has served US intelligence community narrative control agendas by tweaking its algorithms to deliberately hide dissenting alternative media outlets. Consider this, then ask yourself this question: do you trust this company to make wise and beneficent distinctions when it comes to censoring public conversations?

In a corporatist system of government which draws no meaningful distinction between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship. Only someone who believes that giant Silicon Valley corporations would implement censorship according to their own personal values system could ever support giving these oligarchic establishments that kind of power. And if you believe that, it’s because you never really grew up.

June 7, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, False Flag Terrorism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Leave a comment

Election? What Election? EU Elite Will Censor Their Way Out of This Mess (or Die Trying)

By Helen Buyniski | Aletho News | June 7, 2019

The neoliberal establishment is wringing its hands in the wake of European elections that proved a resounding victory for populist parties across the continent, casting around for someone to blame but utterly incapable of realizing their own interference has doomed them. Doubling down on the censorship, they are determined to provoke the catastrophe they need to make free speech history.

The NGO-industrial complex was operating at maximum capacity in the weeks leading up to the election, shutting down hundreds of Facebook pages deemed “fake” or “hate speech” in the hope of controlling the messages reaching voters before they made the terrible mistake of voting for a candidate who represents their interests.

Led by Avaaz, which claims to be a “global citizens’ movement monitoring election freedom and disinformation,” this well-heeled fifth column whipped the press into paranoid frenzies with reports like “Fakewatch,” which breathlessly documented 500 “suspicious” pages and groups it claims are “spreading massive disinformation.” The groups have little in common other than their alleged “link[s] to right-wing and anti-EU organizations,” a capital offense for the promoters of “democracy,” which can only be permitted where it doesn’t stray from the center-left path of most #Resistance.

“Far-right and anti-EU groups are weaponizing social media at scale to spread false and hateful content,” the study warns, gloating that after sharing its findings with Facebook, the platform shut down an “unprecedented” number of pages on the eve of the election (77 out of the 500, according to VentureBeat, which has credulously signal-boosted every utterance of Avaaz as if it is divine truth from the Oracle of Delphi). Avaaz’s reports frame the problem as an affliction of the right wing only, even though disinformation is second nature to political operatives at both ends of the spectrum (and, more importantly, in the sanctified center).

The Computational Propaganda Project, an Oxford-based research group, made no secret of its elitist leanings, declaiming, “On Facebook, while many more users interact with mainstream content overall, individual junk news stories can still hugely outperform even the best, most important, professionally produced stories,” as if users have no choice but to consume “professionally-produced” Oxford-approved material or wallow in junk content. And Facebook’s own statistics bear out the hypothesis that coordinated inauthentic behavior has surged – the site removed almost 3.4 billion “fake” accounts from October 2018 to March 2019, more than the number of actual users.

Activist wearing a mask depicting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg demonstrates during the EU finance ministers meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 4, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

But Facebook is not simply targeting fake accounts for takedown. Last Sunday, as Europeans prepared to head out to the polls, Facebook froze the largest group used by the Yellow Vests to organize protests and share information, silencing its 350,000+ members at a critical moment in French politics. More than one group member, reduced to commenting on existing posts, pointed out that President Emmanuel Macron met with Facebook chief executive android Mark Zuckerberg three weeks earlier to discuss a first-of-its-kind collaboration in which French government officials are being given access to material censored from users’ newsfeeds, essentially permitting them direct control of what the French are allowed to see on social media. Facebook, then, is providing France with the same techno-fascist services it provides the US government: Facebook will take on the burden of actually censoring dissent, thus skirting any pesky free-speech laws that might otherwise trip up a government that attempted to do the same.

Avaaz focused on the Yellow Vests in its coverage of the French elections, complaining RT France was getting huge quantities of views compared to native French media – perhaps because native French media have been doing Macron’s bidding and attempting to minimize the protests. By framing RT as a perpetrator of “information warfare,” the NGO was making a deliberate effort to have it deplatformed under one of Macron’s controversial police-state laws passed in 2018, by which any outlet spreading so-called “false information” can be gagged for three months leading up to an election. Yet Macron’s own interior minister, Christophe Castaner, lied on Twitter when he claimed the Yellow Vests had attacked the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, and RT was the first outlet to publish the truth about the incident. Who is the disinfo agent?

When the election results came in, Avaaz and its political allies in the neoliberal center could only gape in disbelief. Surely they had wiped La Liga and the Front National (now National Rally) from social media, salting the earth in their wake? How had they won? And what happened in Germany, where Angela Merkel’s CDU performed worse than ever in European election history? Merkel could blame YouTube – 70 influential video stars put out a call to their followers to shun her coalition – but the creators also called for shunning the far-right AfD, so the platform couldn’t be demonized as a tool of the ever-present Nazi Threat. That didn’t stop her party from trying, of course – CDU party leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer complained about online “propaganda” and promised to “tackle this discussion quite aggressively.”

The populist parties won in large part because of the establishment’s unseemly embrace of fascist tactics, from the UK’s totalitarian information warfare disguised as “protecting citizens” or France’s visceral police violence, maiming protesters as if for sport. Europeans voted out of disgust with an establishment so insecure in its control of the narrative that it has sought to annihilate all signs of dissent, dismissing euroskepticism as Russian astroturfing and xenophobia and plugging its ears to the legitimate grievances of its subjects. The National Rally may have beat Macron’s jackbooted thugs, who in the past two months have hauled half a dozen journalists in for questioning by intelligence agencies for publishing stories that embarrassed the regime, but nearly half of French voters refused to vote for anyone at all, according to an Ipsos poll, and Germany’s Greens mopped the floor with Merkel’s coalition among young voters.

The triumph of Nigel Farage’s Brexit party in the UK is the product of a populace wrestling with cognitive dissonance, forced to realize that the “constitutional monarchy” they believed they lived in isn’t so constitutional after all, having jettisoned its democratic mask to cling to the EU under the guise of good old British pragmatism. Even passionate Remainers are happy to see Theresa Maybe go, though it remains to be seen whether her successor will be any more inclined to honor the result of 2016’s referendum. Meanwhile, the Guardian’s embarrassing attempt to shame Farage over a handful of appearances on the Alex Jones show – the paper claimed any reference to “globalists” and “new world order” were dog-whistles for the dreaded “antisemitic conspiracy theories” – proves the establishment media will never regain narrative primacy as long as alternatives exist. Jones, for all his flaws (and they are legion), has a massive audience; the Guardian, despite being propped up by the UK government’s Operation Mockingbird-esque “Integrity Initiative” (and the award for most ironic name ever goes to…), does not.

With the vast American election-fraud apparatus scrambling to prepare itself for 2020, now enabled by Pentagon-funded, Unit-8200-approved Microsoft “election security” software from the makers of the wrongthink-babysitter browser plugin NewsGuard, the US ruling class seems to be poised to make the same mistake as its global peers. Facebook, working hand in hand with the Atlantic Council, has banned and shadowbanned legions of anti-neoliberal activists over the past year, selectively applying (and inventing) new rules in an effort to keep popular content-creators jumping through hoops instead of influencing the discourse. Facebook has been allowed its place of privilege because as a “private corporation” it is legally permitted to violate users’ free speech rights in ways the US government cannot. But if Facebook can’t deliver a victory for the “right guys” this time around, it will be punished. Indeed, a massive anti-trust probe appears to be in the offing, 14 years of Zuckerberg apologies notwithstanding.

The site learned back when it tried to roll out a “disputed” tag for “wrongthink” stories that people were actually more likely to click on those stories; it learned the lesson again when its hugely expensive Facebook Watch news show featuring Anderson Cooper flopped last year. Zuckerberg is on the record begging for government regulation; will Facebook and Twitter use the outcome of this round of elections as a springboard for further crackdowns?

YouTube already has – thousands of creators found their channels demonetized and riddled with takedown notices this week in what has been dubbed the #VoxAdpocalypse after a pathologically whiny Vox blogger became the face of the mass deplatforming, but the censorship appears to be more of a response to Macron’s Orwellian “Christchurch call” to censor “extremism” – that ill-defined conveniently-variable catch-all whose borders are perpetually expanding to engulf all inconvenient speech – aided and abetted by the ADL than Google taking pity on a thin-skinned professional victim.

A sinister coalition of MEPs, “civil society” groups, and the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity – a who’s who of war criminals, psychopaths, and oligarchs that includes Michael Chertoff, John “death squad” Negroponte, Victor Pinchuk, and Anders Fogh Rasmussen – has already demanded “parliamentary inquiries into the impact of the use and abuse of technology platforms on democracy and elections.” It’s no coincidence that several of these “election integrity” enthusiasts sit on the board of NewsGuard, which is currently trying to weasel into the EU’s internet regulatory framework by playing up the “disinformation” threat. 

The blue-check intelligentsia has been trying for years to convince the hoi polloi that “conspiratorial” thinking is somehow detrimental to democracy. Former Obama labor secretary Robert Reich told Buzzfeed exactly that – “If we become a conspiracy society, we all carry around a degree of paranoia and that’s not healthy for democracy.” But this divorces cause from effect, as if “conspiracy theorists” have formulated their theories out of whole cloth – as if there isn’t evidence for these theories piled knee-deep, as if once-trusted institutions haven’t proven themselves time and again to be as trustworthy as tabloid tales of Elvis risen from the grave. If paranoia is unhealthy for democracy, how is a media incentivized to lie, misdirect and obfuscate any better?

The populist wave has been conflated with an uptick in “hate” in an attempt to delegitimize and demonize it. Outside of groups like the ADL, whose statistics are easily debunked, there is no credible evidence bigotry is on the rise, but as an actual Nazi once said, tell a big enough lie often enough, and it might as well be real. Beginning around 2012, the establishment media began relentlessly flogging the “white privilege” narrative in an effort to fan the flames of interracial conflict. Political science doctoral student Zach Goldberg performed an analysis of several terms using the LexisNexis database and found evidence of heavy narrative manipulation – “whiteness” was mentioned in four times as many news articles in 2017 as in 2012, “white privilege” was mentioned ten times as often in 2017 as in 2012, and “racism” was mentioned ten times as often in the New York Times alone in 2017 as in 2012. Yet even as the media has seemingly talked of nothing else, actual prejudice – by whites against non-whites, at least – has declined since 2008, according to a University of Pennsylvania study published last month, and the FBI’s own statistics show hate crimes against most minority groups are on the decline. Because few European governments separate “hate crimes” from “normal” crime statistics, information on bigotry in Europe often comes solely from NGOs and “civil society” groups that rely for their funding on the perception that Hate is on the march. Populists are capable of prejudice like anyone else, but it is their defining characteristic – a “prejudice” against oligarchy – that motivates the smears churned out by the media.

Protest votes like Trump and Brexit are cries for help from a disenfranchised populace. The European elections boasted the highest turnout in decades, and the ruling class ignores the results at its peril. When the election ritual no longer satisfies a population’s need to feel it is exerting its free will on society, we get public hexings of political figures, people reasoning black magic is more likely to solve their problems than voting. This is the same desperation that leads people like Arnav Gupta to set themselves on fire in front of the White House. Europeans have demonstrated unequivocally that they are sick of unaccountable dictatorship from Brussels, where EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, never one for sympathy with the little guy, sneers at the “populist, nationalists, stupid nationalists” who are “in love with their own countries.” They are sick of being displaced from their homes by a seemingly endless tide of migrants, just as those migrants themselves are displaced from their homes by a seemingly endless tide of American wars. Both groups are victimized by the IMF’s neoliberal austerity policies, epitomized by Juncker, who has done more than perhaps any one person to help Europe’s corporate “citizens” dodge taxes while nickel-and-diming the humans.

Instead of addressing these legitimate grievances, those in power on both sides of the Atlantic tighten the screws on online discourse – out of sight, out of mind. YouTube declares conspiracy theorizing a form of hate speech and plays whack-a-mole with a documentary confirming everyone’s long-standing suspicions that “save-the-migrants” NGOs are cashing in on the desperate human tide. Big Tech promises to work even more closely with Big Brother to crack down on dissident speech, tarring its victims as Nazis while hoping no one will point out such collusion is one of the defining characteristics of fascism.

These measures are guaranteed to further radicalize the discontent. Deleting social media accounts does not delete the people behind them, and France has already proven that starving a protest movement of media attention only makes it angrier. The ruling class may welcome their rage, aiming to use the inevitable outbreak of violence to choke off the last avenues of free expression, but once the guillotines come out, it isn’t the masses’ heads that will be rolling in the streets.

June 7, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

As US Government Strangles Iran’s Economy, Google ‘Suffocates’ Iranian Media

Sputnik – April 25, 2019

The recent shutdown of PressTV and HispanTV’s YouTube and Gmail accounts are more examples of the continued effort by the US government to silence Iranian media outlets, Alex Rubinstein, a journalist for MintPress News, told Sputnik.

“I think that this is part of a larger trend of cracking down on Iranian media,” Rubinstein told Radio Sputnik’s By Any Means Necessary on Wednesday. “Just as this was happening, the United States was saying that we want to bring down Iranian oil exports to zero. Well, it seems like they’re also trying to bring down Iranian expression down to zero through these kinds of moves.”

“It’s a message which both strangles their economy and also suffocates their voice,” he added.

​Google barred PressTV and HispanTV, an Iranian Spanish-language outlet, from accessing their respective YouTube and Gmail accounts without notice and without an explanation detailing what Google policies were violated, the outlets recently reported.

Although content from both outlets is still viewable, the organizations are unable to upload new content.

Israeli media outlets have speculated that the order was handed down by Google after HispanTV issued a report claiming imprisoned Palestinians were being used for medical experiments.

“On its face, that sounds like that could be questionable,” Rubinstein said of the speculation. “But there have been a number of other outlets to carry this report, and it wasn’t like they were pulling this information out of thin air — it came from a Palestinian politician in Israel… he made this allegation, and they were citing him properly.”

The journalist told hosts Eugene Puryear and Sean Blackmon that while it’s unclear what initiated Google’s action, it seems in line with the behavior of tech companies vying to “stifle Iranian media” at the behest of the US government.

“These tech companies are basically extensions of the US empire. You look at all that’s going on with NATO and the US government trying to push back on Chinese 5G — well, the point of that is that [the US] can’t spy so well if [the 5G grid is] Chinese,” Rubinstein said.

“The American government has a dominance over these companies, and we see that with the ban on PressTV, and we see that with the other countries that have been targeted, which are primarily Russia and Venezuela.”

“It’s hard to imagine that this is just a coincidence,” he added.

Earlier this month, after the US formally designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, popular photo and video-sharing platform Instagram began banning pages belonging to various Iranian military officials. The site later explained that the move was in line with the US’ designation.

“I understand to have a policy against spreading terrorist messages on a social media platform… but we didn’t see these crackdowns for terrorist organizations like the Free Syrian Army, or any of the other supposedly moderate rebels in Syria,” Rubinstein told Blackmon.

“We see them [crackdowns] for the supposed terrorist that are enemies of the United States… It seems like the tech companies are all too happy to follow in lockstep.”

See also:

Google’s Campaign Against Iranian Media Outlets Sets ‘Dangerous Precedent’

Facebook Takes Down Iranian Media Pages in Continued War on Alternative News

April 25, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Google ‘disables’ Press TV’s YouTube account without prior warning

Press TV – April 19, 2019

Google has blocked Press TV and Hispan TV’s access to their official accounts on the technology company’s platforms, including YouTube and Gmail, without prior notice, citing “violation of policies”.

“Your Google Account was disabled and can’t be restored because it was used in a way that violates Google’s policies,” Google said in a message that appears after Press TV tries to log into its account.

The YouTube channels are open to public view for now, but the administrators cannot publish any new content.

Google has so far refused to provide any explanation for disabling Press TV’s account.

This is not the first time that Google is blocking Press TV’s YouTube channels.

The original YouTube channel was established in December 2009, and closed in September 2013. A new channel was then opened, but it was shut almost two months later.

Another channel was opened, but it suffered the same fate after five months.

The fourth channel, however, remained active with over 270,000 subscribers until it was closed today without any prior notice for what Google calls “violation” of its terms and policies.

Google Support says it may not provide any prior notice “in some urgent or extreme cases”. However, it has yet to explain for what “urgent” case it has “disabled” Press TV’s account.

Google has also deprived Press TV of its News service.

US pressure

The Google ban seems to be in line with the US government’s stepped-up pressure on Iran and an all-out propaganda campaign against the country, which includes targeting Iranian media.

In January, Press TV anchor Marzieh Hashemi was detained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in Missouri.

The journalist, a 59-year-old American-born Muslim convert who has lived in Iran for years, was jailed in the US for days and later released on January 23 after some 10 days of detention without charge.

A US federal court failed to indict the journalist, who was arrested as a material witness in an unspecified criminal proceeding, of any crime.

Hashemi’s detention prompted condemnation in the US and abroad, sparking rallies in several countries, including the United States.

While in detention, she was forced to remove her hijab and was only offered non-halal food.

April 19, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | | 2 Comments

How Online Users responded to YouTube’s termination of Middle East Observer – Facts & Figures

Middle East Observer | March 14, 2019

Hello fellow observers,

Just five days after YouTube’s termination of our channel, here’s some of the major developments that occurred in response to this decision:

a) the number of ‘Patrons’ supporting us financially on our Patreon page grew by an outstanding 70%, opening up much greater opportunities for MEO to not only become more sustainable but to increase its content production too (e.g. one more Patron and we will reach 30 total Patrons – which means we’ll be committing to producing at least 6 video translations/month, in line with our current stated goal on Patreon – a significant milestone indeed!).

b) the number of subscribers on our website mailing list grew by %170

c) the number of our Twitter followers grew by 200%

d) major spikes in the number of ‘likes’ and general engagement on our Facebook page

Many heartfelt thanks once again to everyone who supported us with a word of solidarity, a subscription to our website mailing list or social media, and/or crucially, a financial sponsorship of our project on our Patreon page!

Meanwhile, ALOT is going on behind the scenes, most notably:

1. We are gradually uploading some of the more than 250 videos that were taken down by YouTube on to our Daily Motion channel. We will embed every video that we upload on our Daily Motion channel on to our website aswell as stand alone posts.

2. We are replacing the ‘dead’ embedded video links on our website with the Daily Motion video links (this is a gradual process, but you may have noticed that we have already replaced many dead links with the functional Daily Motion versions).

3. We are working on a more detailed and rigorous long-term strategic plan for MEO which takes into consideration the relatively huge developments (both positive and negative) that MEO experienced over the past one week. We will share some details of this strategic vision with you in due time.

Thanks again to every single person who stood in solidarity with MEO and the freedom to express alternative news and views.

March 15, 2019 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Video | | 1 Comment

YouTube terminates Middle East Observer after almost 10 years online

Middle East Observer | March 9, 2019

After almost 10 years online, over 250 videos, almost 13,000 subscribers, and about 8 million total video views, YouTube has terminated the Middle East Observer (MEO) channel on its platform.

Although perhaps MEO became best known for its video translations of regional political actors such as Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, its work was certainly not limited to that. Middle East Observer sought to provide its viewers with reliable English translations on politics, religion, and culture from the Middle East more broadly, with a particular focus on media from key states such as Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The termination of MEO’s channel came after several months of seemingly routine ‘violation’ emails sent to us by YouTube, the taking down of various videos of ours (most of which were uploaded several years ago) and the imposition of ‘channel strikes’ accompanied by emails about how we could better uphold its rather vague and in many ways hegemonic ‘Community Guidelines’. We gradually realised that no matter what measures we took, it would not satisfy YouTube’s ‘Guidelines’, as the platform’s architecture and policies increasingly moved towards the censorship of alternative news and views.

This censorship process against MEO began several years earlier, when YouTube deactivated our ability to monetise the absolute majority of our videos, classifying them as “Non-advertiser friendly”. Needless to say, this demonetisation regime has increasingly been criticised by many observers and major ‘YouTubers’ in recent years. They argued that the “Non-advertiser friendly” label was deeply ideological, as it worked to effectively censor (no funds = less ability to produce content) alternative and non-mainstream narratives while continuing to portray YouTube as a democratic and transparent media platform.

To bypass reliance on YouTube advertising revenue, we tried various options over the years, the last of which being an up-until-now successful experience on Patreon (here’s our page), where after only a few months 17 of our global viewers/readers joined the highly flexible crowd sourcing platform to fund our work and keep it going. Truly without their support we would not have been able to continue producing translations consistently (by all means support us to help us expand our work too).

Nevertheless, we believe that the termination of our channel today is a great blow to the coverage on YouTube of voices, news, and perspectives found on Arab and Islamic media that are rarely covered – or even purposefully silenced – by Western mainstream media.

YouTube’s message today is clear: the production, uploading, and viewing of genuinely critical and alternative ideas and viewpoints is not welcome.

Thankfully we at MiddleEastObserver.net have been anticipating this scenario for many years, and especially in the last 6 months. For now, these are the best ways to continue to follow and support our work:

– Support us financially (even with $1/month) on Patreon
– You won’t miss out on any content if you subscribe to our Website Mailing List
– We will now be uploading our video content on our Daily Motion channel
– Like our Facebook page 
– Follow us on Twitter

Best wishes,
Middle East Observer

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 3 Comments

‘Soft child-porn’ or honest political debate? Take a guess which one YouTube failed to censor

By Robert Bridge | RT | February 25, 2019

Despite employing a small army of ‘anti-extremist’ flaggers, YouTube somehow overlooked an entire prison block of pedophiles on its platform. Is the video-sharing site wasting too many resources censoring political content?

Last week, a regular guy named Matt Watson, working at his home computer, shook the wired world to its very foundations by providing convincing evidence that YouTube supports – either wittingly or unwittingly – a pedophile ring that openly preys on the most vulnerable members of society, children.

As Watson demonstrated, not only are these bottom feeders free to comment on videos that feature minors, but they also provide time stamps, presumably for the benefit of the wider pedophile community, indicating exactly when the children can be seen in their most compromising positions. They also actively promote links to porn sites that cater for these twisted minds.

The discovery prompted some of the most popular corporate brands, including Disney and Nestle, to bolt for the emergency exits after it was discovered their ads were running alongside the work of sexually depraved deviants. Needless to say, not the best business model.

Aside from the lewd comments accompanying the videos, which is not overly surprising considering the planet’s high creep factor, one of the most disturbing revelations is how ‘user friendly’ YouTube has become for pedophiles. Watson showed how Google-owned YouTube, through no more than a couple mouse clicks, navigates users to a frolicking playground where the sidebar is loaded with nothing but children-themed videos, a virtual pedophile paradise. But it gets more disturbing.

Once a user has entered this “wormhole,” as Watson calls it, there are no alternative video options available for escaping from it. A user will not even find ‘awareness’ videos, for example, that discuss the threat of child predators. In other words, once the user makes it to YouTube’s children video section it is game over, so to speak, unless he or she physically activates a new search.

The reason that this scandal makes no sense is that YouTube has known about its pedophile problem for years. Back in 2017, advertisers were fleeing the platform for the very same reason they are today – their ads were being featured next to scantily clad girls, as well as the predictable depraved comments. Today, algorithm technology is so advanced that Google Maps, for example, is able to blur out the faces of every single person’s image that is captured by its Google Street View. Yet somehow YouTube appears to be technologically handicapped when it comes to finding ways to combat online pedophiles. Why is that?

One possible explanation is that Google and YouTube, as well as the majority of other IT companies, have become overly attentive to politics at the expense of everything else – and more so ever since Donald Trump ‘stole’ the White House from the Democratic darling Hillary Clinton.

First, it is important to state the obvious: Silicon Valley is to Liberals what Yankee Stadium is to the New York Yankees. In other words, the holy of the holies. To quote Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, Silicon Valley, the home to hundreds of IT companies, is an “extremely left-leaning place.” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, meanwhile, admitted that his company is so liberal that conservative employees “don’t feel safe to express their opinions” in the workplace.

Given this blatant liberal predilection within the industry, who do you think Google and YouTube teamed up with to police its content from ‘extremist’ (i.e. conservative) content? Certainly not far-right groups.

In 2017, YouTube doubled the size of its so-called ‘Trusted Flaggers’ program, which now partners with over 100 organizations, the full member list of the program remains confidential. Among the few members that have been made public, however, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), No Hate Speech and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), they could best be described as ‘extremist’ in their liberal ideology. Meanwhile, as the Wall Street Journal reported, “less than 10 of the slots are filled by government agencies.”

Ironically, given the nature of this discussion, several of those agencies deal with “child-safety” issues.

Conservatives argue that the glaring lack of transparency with regard to the secretive ‘Trusted Flaggers’ program, combined with the IT industry’s well-known liberal affections, explains why so many right-wing and alternative news sites are being either demonetized, downgraded, or outright banned. And since we are talking about private businesses, these organizations have no legal obligation to uphold the Constitution’s Second Amendment that guarantees ‘freedom of speech.’ They just casually shrug their shoulders and blame everything on the almighty algorithms. Yet, as even the most technologically handicapped person knows, algorithms were not magically conjured up out of thin air. Human beings, not robots (at least not yet), work tediously to develop them.

As just one example of the Orwellian atmosphere now pervading Planet Google, Jordan Peterson, a professor with a reputation for opposing political correctness, had one of his YouTube videos blocked in over two dozen countries last year. YouTube duly informed him that it had “received a legal complaint” about the video and decided to block it. Just like that!

Only after a major outcry on multiple social media platforms, which included Twitter user Ethan Klein and his one million followers, did YouTube finally back down, while portraying the event as some sort of fluke that was “fixed.”

This isn’t the first time YouTube users have experienced “glitches” with the platform. Last year, it was forced to explain the mass removal of right-wing video channels, calling it a “mistake.” What is so strange about these technological breakdowns is that they always seem to affect conservative users. This snafu happened shortly after YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced she was bringing on board – in addition to the so-called ‘Trusted Flaggers’ – some 10,000 moderators to crack down on rising occurrences of hate speech and – wait for it – “child safety.”

Meanwhile, Google can take draconian measures to downgrade RT and Sputnik, for example, over totally unfounded charges related to ‘Russiagate’ hysteria, yet they seem incapable of micromanaging the comments section in kiddie videos.

What this is intended to show is that YouTube does not hesitate to take deliberate steps to intervene in issues that matter most to them, which overwhelmingly seem to be of a political nature. Yet, when the welfare of children is at stake, the mini-surveillance state that the platform has built always goes missing in action, as it has now for many years.

How is it possible that one young man, working alone and without pay, is able to weed out a viper’s den of pedophiles from YouTube’s dungeon? Yet YouTube, with its army of ‘flaggers’ and moderators and government agencies, has failed to filter these miscreants for several years?

The sad reality is that the world of IT is totally consumed with politics, and politics is totally consumed with the world of IT, to the point where society’s most vulnerable are left at risk.

Unfortunately, parents must assume a great deal of vigilance against pedophiles when their children use the video sharing platform because YouTube has obviously dropped the ball on the issue and simply cannot be trusted. Like the rest of the IT kingdom, their heart is in politics, and that is it.

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

YouTube Will Determine What ‘Conspiracy’ Is and Stop Recommending Such Videos

By Michael Krieger | Liberty BlitzKrieg | February 11, 2019

While the evolution of Google’s YouTube from a free expression platform into something entirely different has been underway for a while, it just took another step in a very short-sighted and restrictive direction. NBC News reports:

YouTube has announced that it will no longer recommend videos that “come close to” violating its community guidelines, such as conspiracy or medically inaccurate videos… Chaslot said that YouTube’s fix to its recommendations AI will have to include getting people to videos with truthful information and overhauling the current system it uses to recommend videos.

There’s a lot to unpack here so let’s get started. First, it appears YouTube has announced the creation of a new bucket when it comes to content uploaded to the site. It’s no longer just videos consistent with company guidelines and those that aren’t, but there’s now a category for “conspiracy or medically inaccurate videos.” This is a massive responsibility, which neither YouTube or anyone else seems fit to be judge and jury. In other words, YouTube is saying it’s comfortable deciding what is “conspiracy” and what isn’t. Which brings up a really important question.

“Conspiracy” and covering up conspiracies is a fundamental part of the human experience, and always has been. It demonstrates extreme hubris for a tech giant to claim it can differentiate between a legitimate conspiracy to explore, versus an illegitimate one. One person’s righteous investigation is another’s conspiracy theory, with Russiagate serving as an obvious contemporary example.

Going back to the early 21st century, we witnessed a major conspiracy to start a war in Iraq based on lies; lies which were endlessly repeated uncritically throughout the mass media. Even worse, General Wesley Clark described an even larger conspiracy which consisted of starting multiple additional wars in the aftermath of 9/11. This conspiracy is ongoing and has continued to move forward in the years since, through both Republican and Democratic administrations.

It’s pretty clear what will end up happening as a result of this tweaking to YouTube’s recommended videos AI. The “conspiracies” of your average person will be pushed aside and demoted, while government and mass media lies will remain unaffected. Google will assume mass media and government are honest, so government and billionaire approved propaganda will be increasingly promoted, while the perspectives of regular citizens will be pushed further to the margins. YouTube is simply not a platform anymore, but rather a self-proclaimed arbiter of what is ridiculous conspiracy and what is truth.

While YouTube says videos it deems conspiracy will still be available via search, it’s not a stretch to imagine this is just the first step and before you know it certain categories will be banned from the site entirely. Either way, I think there’s a silver lining to all of this.

As I outlined in a recent post, U.S. tech giants, particularly Facebook, Google and Amazon, aren’t simply private companies. They appear more akin to quasi-government entities that increasingly view themselves as instrumental gatekeepers for a discredited status quo. Moreover, their primary business models consist of mass surveillance and violating our privacy.

Ultimately, I think the increasingly nefarious and desperate behavior of these tech giants will lead to their demise. More and more of us have looked under the hood and seen the seedy and privacy-destroying nature of these entities. We’ve also seen what it’s like to have genuine free expression on the internet and we don’t want to turn the web into another cable news where Facebook, Google and Amazon become the new CBS, NBC and ABC. If we do, then the entire promise of the internet will have turned out to be a giant waste.

But I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think most of us have had a taste of what’s possible, and agree that free speech and expression on the internet, the good, the bad and the ugly, is better than an internet censored by tech companies and their billionaire executives, who will always be biased toward the status quo point of view. It’s still not clear which platforms will emerge to replace the tech giants, but it seems fairly clear to me the best days are over for these companies, and it cannot come a moment too soon.

February 13, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 4 Comments

Beyond Kafka: How Youtube & Facebook Keep Purging Alternative Media

Hassan Nasrallah is persona non grata on Social Networks, where Anti-Zionism is the ultimate thoughtcrime 

By Sayed Hasan | Resistance news, unfiltered. | January 8, 2019

The guillotine’s blade fell again, one year later. On December 2017 already, my 5-years-old Youtube channel Sayed Hasan, mainly translating speeches from Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, was completely removed by Youtube, along with its 10 000 subscribers, +6 millions views and +400 subtitled videos of anti-Zionist & anti-Imperialist content. I then denunced this censorship in detail in my article Kafka 2.0: How Youtube’s Political Censorship is Exercised. And just around New Year’s Eve 2019, the +6000 Subscribed Facebook Page Resistance News Unfiltered, along with all its similar content, got deleted without explanation. The only thing left online is a cache view of the page dating back from this summer, in French.


I had created this Page at the beginning of 2018, since no other place can compete with Youtube and its near-monopoly on video content, in order to reach a broader audience. But it was deleted without explanation by Facebook short of its first anniversary. I can’t even know the precise date of termination. Youtube did at least bother to send emails notifying of the removal of a video or of a whole channel, but Facebook has only internal notifications for posts removals. Here is how it happened. 

I got two warnings from Facebook, dated December 24th and December 25th, 2018:

When I logged in on December 28th and saw these messages, I immediately appealed the decisions through the automated procedure, as shown above, though the specific posts alledgedly violating the Communnity Standards weren’t even accessible, since they had been removed. It means that I didn’t –and still don’t– even know which posts got me these “strikes”. At least, Youtube was specific about the videos alledgedly violating their rules –three speeches of Hassan Nasrallah–, though they didn’t say more than that. I don’t know if the whole Page was finally removed because of a third “strike” –Facebook does not even state how much “strikes” you can get before termination– or because of something else, like constant flagging and reports by cyber-IDF soldiers and Hasbara trolls. But I am positive it has to do with my anti-Zionist content. It is a blatant attempt to take down important speech and silence already marginalized voices, as stated by Vera Eidelman from the ACLU

Of course, one should always protest and complain using the due procedures. After all, Facebook has been known to restore such Pages after the public outcry following their removal without proper reason (TeleSur, VenezuelAnalysis, etc.). I did protest, and I am still expecting an answer from them, without much hope, since earlier appeals as old as September 17th are still awaiting a response almost 4 months later, as shown below (screenshot dated January 4th, 2019).

Appeals are not suspensive. Anyway, without any mention of a motive, corpus delicti and mere notification of removal of my page, not even in Facebook’s internal notifications on my personnal account, we are clearly beyond kafkaesque.

This witch-hunt against the voice of the Resistance Axis online, especially Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah (I am the main translator of his speeches in English and French, voluntary and non-affiliated), is not new. Over and over again most often after Israeli-backed indictment campaigns, in 2012, 2014, 2016 and June 2018, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter closed down all accounts affiliated to the Lebanese and Palestinian Resistance, including Al-Manar TV Channel, banned for good. In 2014 and 2016, Facebook was hunting down Nasrallah’s very picture and temporarily blocking the accounts that featured it, even though they were individuals having no link whatsoever with the organization: not only Hezbollah’s missiles and fighters, but the very voice and picture of its Secretary General are considered as an existential threat for Israel, whose paid trolls keep reporting his videos as terrorist hate-speech to ban mercilessly. The right to information, neutrality or equity is a chimera in the Internet Giants’ turf, where only alternative views, especially videos hostile to Zionism, are subject to censorship and banishment.

On January 8, 2019, Norman Finkelstein commented on the issue:

It is a scandal that the speeches of Hassan Nasrallah are banned on Youtube. Whatever one thinks of his politics, it cannot be doubted that Nasrallah is among the shrewdest and most serious political observers in the world today. Israeli leaders carefully scrutinize Nasrallah’s every word. Why are the rest of us denied this right? One cannot help but wonder whether Nasrallah’s speeches are censored because he doesn’t fit the stereotype of the degenerate, ignorant, blowhard Arab leader. It appears that Western social media aren’t yet ready for an Arab leader of dignified mind and person.

Thankfully, my first article got the attention of Ron Unz, who offered to safeguard my videos in his own website, and I published them back gradually in a new Dailymotion Channel from where they are automatically saved in The Unz Review’s internal storage system. Thus, even if they end up deleted by Dailymotion, they’ll still be accessible in one and same place without need to re-upload them again. I will keep posting my videos on Dailymotion –though it has its own, more subtle way of censorship: age-restricting videos, burying them in the search results… –, and I call on everyone to subscribe to my channel on the Unz Review (RSS feed) and on all those who can to donate to support this work. Whatever happens, the Electronic Intifada to which Hassan Nasrallah called will carry on.

January 8, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Francis Fukuyama and the End of Social Media Freedoms

By Robert BRIDGE | Strategic Culture Foundation | 09.11.2018

The American political scientist known for promoting the “end of history” fish tale following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the spread of Liberal-capitalist values around the world now appears to be angling for ways – wittingly or unwittingly – to curtail the freedom of speech.

Writing in The American Interest as the virtual crackdown on Alex Jones was underway, Fukuyama argued that the usual suspects of the social media universe – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Apple, and all of their vast subterranean holdings – need to come clean by entering a two-step rehabilitation program where they must: (1.) “accept the fact that they are media companies with an obligation to curate information on their platforms,” and (2.) “accept the fact that they need to get smaller.”

I think we can safely skip the “need to get smaller” suggestion with a hearty chuckle and focus our attention instead on the question of social media being held to the same rules as those that regulate America’s squeaky clean media divas, like The Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC.

The social media monsters argue that since they do not create original content, but rather mindlessly provide the clean slate, as it were, for third-party developers to post their own thoughts, opinions, news and of course wild-eyed ‘conspiracy theories,’ they cannot be bound by the same rules and regulations as the mainstream media, which must bear ultimate responsibility for its increasingly damaged goods.

“We’re not a media company,” the late Steve Jobs of Apple fame told Esquire in a rough and tumble interview. “We don’t own media. We don’t own music. We don’t own films or television. We’re not a media company. We’re just Apple.” On that note, Jobs reached over and switched off the interviewer’s tape recorder, bringing an abrupt end to the strained conversation.

Thanks to the provisions laid out in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, the social media platforms are granted immunity from liability for users of an “interactive computer service” who publish information provided by third-party users.

The act was overwhelmingly supported by Congress following the verdict in the 1995 court case, Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Services Co., which suggested that internet service providers that assumed an editorial role with regards to client content thus became publishers and legally vulnerable for any wrongdoing (libel and slander, for example) committed by their customers. At the time, when alternative voices on the social media frontier had not turned into actual competition for the legacy media, legislators deemed it more important to protect service providers from criminal proceedings than to nip freedom of speech in the bud. Honorable? Yes. But I wonder if they’d have made the same decision knowing the powerful forces they had unleashed.

At this point, Fukuyama summarizes the plight regarding the social media platforms with relation to their independent creators, who wish to express their freedom of speech.

“Section 230 was put in place both to protect freedom of speech and to promote growth and innovation in the tech sector. Both users and general publics were happy with this outcome for the next couple of decades, as social media appeared and masses of people gravitated to platforms like Facebook and Twitter for information and communication. But these views began to change dramatically following the 2016 elections in the United States and Britain, and subsequent revelations both of Russian meddling in the United States and other countries, and of the weaponization of social media by far-Right actors like Alex Jones.”

Despite being a learned and intelligent man, Fukuyama jumps headfirst into the shallow end of a pool known as ‘Blame Russia’, while, at the same time, blames the far-Right for the “weaponization” of social media, as though the Left isn’t equally up to the challenge of waging dirty tricks, in a crucial election year, no less.

Next, he genuflects before the Almighty Algorythm, the godhead of Silicon Valley’s Valhalla, which, as the argument goes, was responsible for attracting huge audiences to particular channels and their messages, instead of the other way around.

“Their business model was built on clicks and virality, which led them to tune their algorithms in ways that actively encouraged conspiracy theories, personal abuse, and other content that was most likely to generate user interaction,” Fukuyama surmises. “This was the opposite of the public broadcasting ideal, which (as defined, for example, by the Council of Europe) privileged material deemed in the broad public interest.”

In other words, had Mark Zuckerberg and friends not toggled their algorithmic settings to ‘conspiracy theories,’ then the easily manipulated masses would never have given a second thought to well-known catastrophes based on pure and unadulterated evil, like the Invasion of Iraq in 2003, which, as the tin-foil-hat crowd constantly crows, was made possible by the fake news of weapons of mass destruction.

Here, Fukuyama lays on thick his extra-nutty academic drivel: “This is the most important sense in which the big internet platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have become media companies: They craft algorithms that determine what their users’ limited attention will focus on, driven (at least up to now) not by any broad vision of public responsibility but rather by profit maximization, which leads them to privilege virality.”

In other words, internet users are not inquisitive creatures by nature with fully functioning frontal lobe regions like the honorable Francis Fukuyama. They do not actively search out subjects of interest with critical reasoning skills and ponder cause and effect. And let’s not even mention the mainstream media’s disastrous coverage of current events, which led to the alienation of mainstream audiences in the first place. In Fukuyama’s matrix, otherwise normal people subscribe to ‘alternative facts’ or conspiracy theories because those damn algorithms kept popping up!

This ‘more righteous than thou’ attitude on the part of left-leaning Silicon Valley prompted hundreds of independent channels – the overwhelming majority from the right – to be swept away by a force known as ‘private ownership’ where brutal censorship has become the latest fad. Fukuyama, serving as the mouthpiece for both corporate and political interests, shrugs off this noxious phenomenon by arguing: “Private actors can and do censor material all the time, and the platforms in question are not acting on behalf of the U.S. government.”

Let’s give Fukuyama the benefit of the doubt. Maybe there really is no cooperation between the most powerful and influential industries for manipulating public opinion and the U.S. government. Yet we would do well to keep in mind some key facts that strongly suggest otherwise. During the two-term presidency of Barack Obama (2009-2016), Google executives met on average once a week in the White House with government officials. According to the Campaign for Accountability, 169 Google employees met with 182 government officials at least 427 times, a Beltway record for such chumminess. What is so potentially disastrous about such meetings is that Google, the chokepoint on news and information, which has the power to actually rewrite history, is fiercely Liberal in its political outlook as per some whistleblowers who escaped the well-manicured campus known for employee neck massages and free lunches. What was discussed in the White House? Nobody really knows. However, there is already a treasure trove of publicly available information detailing the intimate relationship between US intelligence and Google (as well as the other usual suspects).

Fukuyama tries to conclude with an upbeat, happy message by saying “private sector actors… have a responsibility to help maintain the health of [America’s democratic] political system.” However, judging by everything in the article that preceded that remark, I would have to guess Francis Fukuyama would fully support yet more intolerance in the world of social media as a means of preserving America’s freedom-squashing status quo.

November 9, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 1 Comment