A Timeline for the Massive Crackdown on Internet Free Speech (part 2)

in propaganda •  2 years ago 

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This is where Government Policy and Mainstream Media Come Together

The Government Initiative referred in part 1 (redacted and presented to the Atlantic Council in March 2016, by Senators Portman and Murphy) made its entrance to the mainstream media thanks to the Washington Post in a subsequent article by the same journalist, Craig Timberg.

In his November 30th article, Timberg does not refer to his past poor journalism or mentions Propornot at all. Instead, he introduces the policy initiative redacted in March -and then corrected in July to address the problem of foreing propaganda as a global issue- almost as a response to the alleged fake news campaign denounced only a few days before (November 2016).

Timberg seems to be in a frenzy about the “Russian threat”… a simple search into his lasts pieces on the Washington Post website reveals that all of his work refers to Russian disinformation.

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The reporter is also a member of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, an American think tank. Its Wikipedia profile states that:

“For most of its history, FPRI was deeply immersed in the intellectual prosecution of the Cold War. It urged the Western world to unite under the leadership of the U.S. to combat the Soviet Union and international communism. In doing so, however, it drew increasing criticism—notably, by name from U.S. Senator William Fulbright—and became increasingly marginalized from academia…”

On April the 3rd, 2017, one of its members and ex-FBI agent, Clint Watts, appeared on Vice News for more of the same Russia/ Trump bashing. A month before he was the expert witnesses testifying before Congress about the alleged Russian Interference in 2016 elections. 1

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Note: the infamous Propornot list of 200 “Russian Propaganda” news websites is a must for anyone searching for real information and news, regardless of their particular political leanings.


Marginalizing Dissent through Media Corporations

It looks better when corporations and not a government do the censorship, it’s almost as society shutting up itself, especially after decades being told that society and mega-corporation’s interests are one and the same.

As Robert Parry explains:

“...you don’t need a huge amount of imagination to see how this combination of mainstream groupthink and artificial intelligence could create an Orwellian future in which only one side of a story gets told and the other side simply disappears from view.”

Algorithms are a set of rules followed by a computer program, and they can effectively purge Google searches and Facebook feeds from whatever the mainstream deems “disinformation”. In today’s doublespeak, we can effectively translate what the mainstream media calls disinformation as: “information from sources different from us, especially if too critical of the establishment”.

As journalist Daniel McAdams reported back in July, algorithms won’t be alone:

“…Facebook will be using Snopes, PolitiFact, Factcheck.org, ABC News, and the Associated Press, among others, to check its members' postings and label them as ‘fake news’ if these organizations determine them to be so".
One problem: these organizations themselves are among the biggest purveyors of real fake news! PolitiFact has a whole website dedicated to exposing the organization's biases. The popular site Snopes is in fact run by a husband and wife out of their home in California. Neither have any background in research or investigative techniques -- they just use Google to make their determinations. As for AP and ABC News -- they are mainstream media outlets with no clean hands when it comes to propagating fake stories. In fact the Associated Press has a long history of coordinating with governments to produce fake news”.

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, directed by McAdams, was also targeted by YouTube censorship back in August, by preventing its videos from receiving advertising revenues. While this is not exactly censorship, it’s also “not about specific videos... It’s about pushing out diversity of thought and uplifting major news networks such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC”, As Tim Black, another affected by YouTube arbitrary demonetization, concludes. 3

On the other side of the political specter, the World Socialist Web Site reported that:

“…While in April 2017, 422,460 visits to the WSWS originated from Google searches, the figure has dropped to an estimated 120,000 this month, a fall of more than 70 percent”.

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“Google’s claim that it is protecting readers from ‘fake news’ is a politically motivated lie. Google, a massive monopoly, with the closest ties to the state and intelligence agencies, is blocking access to the WSWS and other left and progressive web sites through a system of rigged searches.”4

One of the many fact-checkers, in this case sponsored by Google, is the First Draft Coalition, created for the occasion with collaboration from the biggest names in mainstream media and other “establishment-approved” websites like Bellingcat, closely associated with the anti-Russian, pro-NATO Atlantic Council.2

Conclusions

The intention behind this massive crackdown on free speech is pretty clear:

Mainstream, establishment news purveyors like the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and many other media, regardless of their purported political leaning, have been losing credit and audience in recent times, justifiably. Whether they position themselves in the right or left spectrum of opinion, their aim is one: status quo, the protection of power and wealth.

(Perhaps you are still a hostage to old denomiantios like rightist or leftist and feel invited to watch FOX news or perhaps read the NYT where you can feed your bias and feel safe. But you are still in time to reclaim your psychological freedom)

The establishment’s response, which comes at the same time from the intelligence community, mainstream media itself and political parties of all denominations and in many Western countries, is to censor alternative media using different means, like demonetization, flaking, smearing, fear mongering, etc.

We will not hear anything like this from the mainstream media, of course, regardless of their supposed role in protecting the interests of the whole of society, free speech, or any sort of basic freedom. That is not their purpose.

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My past posts related to Propaganda and Informationwar:

A Timeline for the Massive Crackdown on Internet Free Speech
How to Win the War of Ideas
FBI's Role in Fake News
Intellectual Self-Defense against Propaganda

*Follow this blog to learn about the origin and real identity of Google, soon.

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Curated for #informationwar (by @openparadigm)
Relevance:Good review of Google's disinformation campaign