Published on Nov 21, 2017
“Russia is the bogeyman right now and this is all part of that deal” says Steve Malzberg as Google openly vows to ‘de-rank’ RT & Sputnik to make them harder to find.
Published on Nov 21, 2017
NOVEMBER 14, 2017
Franken appeared to be an over-reaction to testimony given by legal counsel for Google, Facebook, and Twitter, to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 31, in which each of the Internet social media content giants reported statistics that showed minimal Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Yet, in the face of this concrete evidence, Franken seems determined to continue beating the New McCarthyism narrative advanced by Hillary Clinton and her Democratic Party supporters to explain away her devastating 2016 loss to Donald Trump.
Franken argued Hillary’s loss demanded government censorship over social media on the Internet. He wrote the following:
Last week’s hearings demonstrated that these companies may not be up to the challenge that they’ve created for themselves. In some instances, it seems that they’ve failed to take commonsense precautions to prevent the spread of propaganda, misinformation, and hate speech.
In advancing his argument for government censorship, Franken asked the following rhetorical questions:
The platforms that big tech has designed may now be so large and unruly that we can’t trust the companies to get it right when they do start paying attention. If you have five million advertisers a month using your highly sophisticated, nearly instantaneous ad platform, can you ever really know who all of them are? Can you ever catch all the signals that would seem obvious to a pair of human eyes – for example, political ads that are paid for in rubles?
“Very ominous words”
Franken got immediate push-back from Michael Snyder, a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, who penned a rebuttal in EndOfTheAmericanDream.com.
“These are very ominous words,” Snyder insisted. “So precisely what would constitute ‘propaganda,’ ‘misinformation’ or ‘hate speech’?”
Snyder pushed back, suggesting Franken’s motive really involved a plan by hard-left Democrats to censor the speech of conservatives and libertarians on the Internet, so as to create a wide-open social media field in which even two-time losers like Hillary Clinton might win the presidency in 2020.
Snyder argued that government censorship constituted a serious risk to First Amendment free speech rights. He wrote:
When you start regulating speech, you cross a very dangerous line. There is a reason why our founders guaranteed us freedom of speech in the Bill of Rights, because if we don’t have the freedom to say what we want then what do we really have left?
He argued the “government truth police” would lead us down the road to totalitarianism, a conclusion he judged is precisely what Franken wants. Snyder continued:
During the presidential election, there was a lot of talk about Hillary Clinton’s health. The mainstream media insisted that she was just fine, and they accused those of us in the alternative media that were questioning her health of engaging in “propaganda” and “misinformation”. Well, it turns out that we now know that Clinton’s health was so bad that Donna Brazile was actually consideringreplacing the nominee, and so it was actually the mainstream media that was putting out “propaganda” and “misinformation.”
Snyder argued that elite leftists like Franken are actually scared of the free exchange of ideas because that gives people far too much control over their own destiny.
“Will everything that we do on the Internet have to be evaluated for ‘truthiness’ before it is allowed to be posted?” Snyder asked. “And who decides what the ‘truth’ actually is?”
Snyder concluded by asserting that he is a big believer in the marketplace of ideas.
“I have always been convinced that if everyone is allowed to openly share what they believe that the truth will win in the end,” he insisted.
What does the evidence show?
Perhaps Sen. Franken should review the evidence Facebook, Twitter, and Google presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee, as previously reported by Infowars.com.
In their prepared testimony, each of the three social media companies attempted to estimate the extent of Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. presidential election cycle.
Facebook reported that the disinformation campaign associated with the Internet Research Agency, IRA, a Russian company located in St. Petersburg, spent approximately $100,000 on more than 3,000 Facebook and Instragram ads between June 2015 and August 2017.
Facebook’s analysis also showed that the IRA accounts used ads to promote roughly 120 Facebook Pages they had set up, which in turn posted more than 80,000 pieces of content between January 2015 and August 2017.
Facebook estimated 11.4 million people in the United State saw at least one of these ads between 2015 and 2017.
Twitter identified 36,746 accounts that generated automated, election-related content and had at least one of the characteristics we used to associate an account with Russia.
During the relevant period, those accounts generated approximately 1.4 million automated, election-related Tweets, which collectively received approximately 288 million impressions.
Twitter placed those numbers in context as follows:
Twitter estimated that fewer than 5 percent of all 360 million accounts active during the election period was identified with a foreign nation-state actor.
Google attempted to distinguish itself from the other two websites, arguing that its search engine does not lead to the same viral content activity that distinguishes Facebook and Twitter.
Google reported finding only two accounts during the election cycle that appeared to be engaged in an activity associated with known or suspected government-backed entities. These two accounts spent approximately $4,700 in connection with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Google also reported finding 18 channels on YouTube with approximately 1,100 videos that were uploaded by individuals who we suspect are associated with this effort and that contained political content.
These videos mostly had low view counts, with just 3 percent having more than 5,000 views, constituting only forty-three hours of YouTube content. While this is a relatively small amount of content in that people watch over a billion hours of YouTube congtent a day, with 400 hours of content are uploaded every minute.
3 Nov 2017
A majority of Google employees have stated that the company culture has not improved since they joined the company, in an anonymous internal poll conducted shortly after thefiring of viewpoint diversity advocate James Damore. In screengrabs of the discussion below the poll, one employee states a more specific concern: political intolerance.
Google “throwing money around to silence its critics” is an allegation the company has faced before, from left-wingers and mainstream journalists as well as right-wingers. It was the employee’s comments about political correctness, however, that caused ire from his colleagues, one of whom suggested he simply leave the company.
One colleague intervened, saying the comment was “no more appropriate” than telling a gay worker he would be happier if he quit his job.
Another poster interjected, comparing the statement to telling a woman forced to wear a headscarf at work to just shut up and accept it.
The original poster then returned to the thread, stating that he couldn’t even “keep his head down and work” at the company.
Another employee entered the conversation to reject the call for viewpoint diversity, telling his fellow Googler that he thought the company would be better off without him. “A culture which makes you feel uncomfortable is indeed making Google a better place,” stated the employee.
The attitude appears to reflect that of other Google employees, including managers, who openly called for supporters of James Damore to be fired and blacklisted in the wake of the viewpoint diversity controversy.
Later in the thread, a Jill Stein voter admitted that conservatives who complained about political discrimination at Google had a point. “The situation at Google is completely out of control,” says the employee.
“Now the problems have leaked out into the press and I fear they are irreparably harming the company’s reputation.”
Facebook users in Bolivia, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Cambodia, and Guatemala have hit back at the social media giant, which is trialing a scheme to charge news outlets for their posts. It could have a significant impact on the organizations using the social network to distribute information and material.
The online community has lashed out, saying the social media network will be supplying people what they want to hear, also severing the link between the organizations and users.
RT: Facebook wants to charge companies for including content. Do you think it will work?
Martin Summers: I think this is an abuse of the monopoly powers on Facebook, and the other major US internet companies are basically trying it on, they are experimenting with it to see if they can use their monopoly power to increase their profits. But also more sinisterly they are working with US intelligence services to censor the news. I think it is very worrying development.
RT: From a business point of view, advertisers have to pay, why shouldn’t any organization have to do the same?
MS: It is not really a competitive market. What’s developed is we’ve now got private monopoly power developing here, which is ultimately unregulated. There are calls from across the spectrum in the US for internet companies to be treated like utilities. And they even got to be run by the government, or they have got to be regulated by the government to ensure that a competitive market exists. One of the other sinister things they are doing – is demonetizing people they don’t like. So certain content, for example, Luke Rudkowski, who is a famous alternative journalist, his material is now being demonetized – and that is his living. That is the sort of thing they are capable of doing, and they are doing.
RT: This would essentially filter content for the user. What are the implications for press freedom?
MS: As I say, it is not just a commercial issue. It clearly has aspects that are to do with commercial manipulation. But even more sinister is Google changing its algorithms, so that the radical websites that are critical of government policy found their traffic going down by 60 percent, 70 percent as a result of changing their algorithms. Now that sort of power needs to be regulated. You can’t just allow Facebook’s business leaders, who are absolutely in cahoots with the secret state, the deep state in the US to have this kind of power and to abuse it in the way that they are.
RT: Could this backfire? Users of Facebook have power too, so they can just vote and go elsewhere, can’t they?
MS: That’s right. What tech-savvy young people should be doing is using other web-based internet explorers like Web crawler, DuckDuckGo, Yandex. And we if we can get youngsters to recognize that they are being manipulated by Google and by Facebook – then that would probably hit them on their bottom line. But there is still a case for the government to intervene and regulate these big monopolies to ensure that there is a fair player on a level playing field. That is what happened with other utilities in the past: we’re at the ‘robber baron’ state now of the internet revolution. And it is time for the government to step in and make sure that fair play is done.
By Rick Wells
Schumer and Pelosi issued a joint statement saying, “The administration can’t be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant [illegal alien squatter] community and to the vast majority of Americans.”
As is usually the case, Chuck and Nancy were a little off in their figures, in their favor. President Trump was elected on a pledge of strong border and immigration law enforcement. Saying a vast majority support benefits for illegals runs counter to the reality of who is sitting behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.
They went on to say that if President Trump was “serious” in their discussions last month about helping illegals presently hiding behind the DACA shield “his staff has not made a good faith effort to do so.” Perhaps they haven’t made a good faith effort to surrender, the customary Republican posture when facing Democrats and what “Chuck and Nancy” may have been expecting.
The 70-point immigration enforcement plan the White House submitted to Congress contains the stiffest reforms ever proposed by an administration. It includes the elimination of loopholes illegals and Democrats have used to circumvent US law.
The plans include a border wall, more ICE agents, a crackdown on sanctuary cities and stricter limits on chain migration. All of these issues, according to the White House, must be included in any proposed DACA legislation.
Additionally, the plan gives border agents more leeway to deny illegals entry at the border, to arrest and hold them when they are detected in the interior, and provides for an expedited deportation process.
Among the loopholes for circumventing the law that the plan closes or reduces are:
It also proposes canceling the annual visa “diversity lottery” and requiring all businesses to use E-Verify to assure that job applicants are legally able to work in the United States.
Pandering Hack Senator Dick Durbin joined with his comrades in denouncing the attempts to actually secure our nation, exposing themselves once again as being nothing more than open border, anti-sovereignty globalists.
Durbin said, “Please do not put the burden on the Dreamers to accept every aspect of comprehensive immigration reform to get a chance to become citizens of the United States. That’s too much to ask.” It’s not comprehensive immigration reform and the President’s plan isn’t asking anything of the so-called Dreamers but rather their enablers in Congress.
It is the Democrats, behind the false front of the DACA protectees that Durbin is actually claiming can’t go along with the measures to create a secure America.
Thankfully, President Trump has returned to his senses and the positions he was elected on. It’s also great that we’re no longer aligned with “Chuck and Nancy.” We’re too good for that. It was beyond offensive.
“If America wants to go back to the experience [of imposing sanctions], Iran would certainly return in a short time – not a week or a month but within hours – to conditions more advanced than before the start of negotiations,” Rouhani told a session of parliament broadcast live on state television, as cited by Reuters.
“The world has clearly seen that under Trump, America has ignored international agreements and, in addition to undermining the [nuclear deal], has broken its word on the Paris agreement and the Cuba accord… and that the United States is not a good partner or a reliable negotiator,” he said.
In early August, US President Donald Trump signed into law a bill, passed by the US Congress, which imposes sanctions on Iran, Russia, and North Korea.
Following the decision, prominent libertarian and former Congressman Ron Paul accused Trump of betraying his promises to the American people by seeking a new conflict with either Iran or North Korea, warning the president that any such war will put an end to his term.
“President Trump seems to be impatiently racing toward at least one disastrous war. Maybe two. The big question is who will be first? North Korea or Iran?” Ron Paul wrote in his weekly column published on the site of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity last month.
Trump “seems determined to push a confrontation,” while Iran was actually “in compliance” with the deal, Paul said.
Tehran earlier said the latest round of sanctions violates the landmark 2015 agreement. Iran officially agreed to halt parts of its nuclear program and subject other sectors to increased UN monitoring in exchange for the removal of economic sanctions, in July two years ago when, following months of negotiations, the long-awaited deal was signed between Tehran and major world powers – the US, France, Britain, Russia, and China, plus Germany.
Under the deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Tehran also agreed to cap its uranium enrichment below the level needed for bomb-grade material. It also vowed to reduce its enriched uranium stockpile from around 10,000kg to 300kg for 15 years and agreed to international inspections. In response, Western countries agreed to lift sanctions.
“Iran would not be the first to pull out of the nuclear deal, but it will not remain silent about the US repeated violations of the accord. Those who want to tear up the nuclear deal should know that they will be ripping up their own political life,” the Iranian president said earlier this month.
In late July, the US government imposed sanctions against six Iranian companies after Tehran launched a satellite into orbit, saying they were “central” to Iran’s ballistic missile program. Six enterprises listed as subsidiaries of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group were placed on the US sanctions list after what Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin described as a “provocative space launch.”
Kaveh Afrasiabi, former adviser to Iran’s nuclear negotiation team, called the latest sanctions ineffective and utile. “Unfortunately, despite the fact the Trump administration has repeatedly certified Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement, it continues to take these counterproductive steps that threaten the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and elicit an Iranian response, as we have seen by the Iranian Parliament sanctioning some American entities, and Iran for a fifth time complaining to the JCPOA joint commission.”
On July 27, Iran successfully tested the Simorgh rocket, a two-stage vehicle meant to deliver small space satellites into orbit. The US government said the technology used in the launch is inherently designed to to carry a nuclear payload, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
Tehran denied its missile development breaches the resolution, saying its missiles are not designed to carry nuclear weapons.
Assange spoke of the threat of AI-controlled social media via video link at rapper and activist M.I.A.’s Meltdown Festival in the Southbank Centre, London.
Speaking about the future of AI, Assange told a panel including Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek that there will be a time when AI will be used to adjust perception.
“Imagine a Daily Mail run by essentially Artificial Intelligence, what does that look like when there’s only the Daily Mail worldwide? That’s what Facebook and Twitter will shift into,” he said.
Assange referenced the apparent intense pressure Facebook and Google were under to ensure Emmanuel Macron, and not Marine Le Pen, won last month’s French presidential election runoff.
When asked by M.I.A. if AI and VR technology will make society more vulnerable to becoming apolitical, Assange replied: “Yes, of course we can be influenced, but I don’t see that as the main problem.”
“Human beings have always been influenced by sophisticated systems of production, information and experience, [such as the] BBC for example.”
The technologies “just amplify the power of the ability to project into the mind,” he added.
The main concern in Assange’s eyes centers around how AI can be used to advance propaganda.
“The most important development as far as the fate of human beings are concerned is that we are getting close to the threshold where the traditional propaganda function that is employed by BBC, The Daily Mail, and cultures also, can be encapsulated by AI processes,” Assange said.
“When you have AI programs harvesting all the search queries and YouTube videos someone uploads it starts to lay out perceptual influence campaigns, twenty to thirty moves ahead. This starts to become totally beneath the level of human perception.”
Using Google as an example, and comparing the wit involved to a game of chess, he said at this level human beings become powerless as they can’t even see it happening.
Admitting his vision was dystopian, he suggested that he could be wrong.
“Maybe there will be a new band of technologically empowered human beings that can see this [rueful] fate coming towards us, [which] will be able to extract value or diminish it by directly engaging with it – that’s also possible.”
Another insight offered by the WikiLeaks founder was his opinion that engineers involved in AI lack perception about what they’re doing.
“I know from our sources deep inside the Silicon Valley institution[s] that they genuinely believe that they are going to produce AI that’s so powerful, relatively soon, that people will have their brains digitized, uploaded to these AIs and live forever in simulation, therefore have eternal life.”
“It’s like a religion for atheists,” he added. “And given you’re in a simulation, why not program the simulation to have endless drug and sex orgy parties around you.”
Assange said this vision makes them work harder and the dystopian consequences of their work is overshadowed by cultural and industrial bias to not perceiving it.
He concluded that the normal perception someone would have regarding their work has been supplanted with “this ridiculous quasi-religious model that’s it all going to lead to nirvana.”