Tag Archives: censorship

Blockbuster WSJ Investigation: How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results

Naked Capitalism
by Jerri-Lynn Scofield

Jerri-Lynn Scofield has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

The WSJ published a comprehensive investigation Friday, How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results, that provides fodder for ongoing or new antitrust investigations of the company,  both in the US, and worldwide:

THE JOURNAL’S FINDINGS undercut one of Google’s core defenses against global regulators worried about how it wields its immense power—that the company doesn’t exert editorial control over what it shows users. Regulators’ areas of concern include anticompetitive practices, political bias and online misinformation.

Permit to me quote from the WSJ’s takedown at length – although I encourage readers, if possible, to read the entire (paywalled)  version, for it contains a wealth of information, as well as lots of cool graphics:

Google’s evolving approach marks a shift from its founding philosophy of “organizing the world’s information,” to one that is far more active in deciding how that information should appear.

More than 100 interviews and the Journal’s own testing of Google’s search results reveal:

• Google made algorithmic changes to its search results that favor big businesses over smaller ones, and in at least one case made changes on behalf of a major advertiser, eBayInc., contrary to its public position that it never takes that type of action. The company also boosts some major websites, such as Amazon.com Inc.and Facebook Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

• Google engineers regularly make behind-the-scenes adjustments to other information the company is increasingly layering on top of its basic search results. These features include auto-complete suggestions, boxes called “knowledge panels” and “featured snippets,” and news results, which aren’t subject to the same company policies limiting what engineers can remove or change.

• Despite publicly denying doing so, Google keeps blacklists to remove certain sites or prevent others from surfacing in certain types of results. These moves are separate from those that block sites as required by U.S. or foreign law, such as those featuring child abuse or with copyright infringement, and from changes designed to demote spam sites, which attempt to game the system to appear higher in results.

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A New Kind of Tyranny: The Global State’s War on Those Who Speak Truth to Power

John Whitehead
The Rutherford Institute
(November 5, 2019)

“What happens to Julian Assange and to Chelsea Manning is meant to intimidate us, to frighten us into silence. By defending Julian Assange, we defend our most sacred rights. Speak up now or wake up one morning to the silence of a new kind of tyranny. The choice is ours.”—John Pilger, investigative journalist

All of us are in danger.

In an age of prosecutions for thought crimes, pre-crime deterrence programs, and government agencies that operate like organized crime syndicates, there is a new kind of tyranny being imposed on those who dare to expose the crimes of the Deep State, whose reach has gone global.

The Deep State has embarked on a ruthless, take-no-prisoners, all-out assault on truth-tellers.

Activists, journalists and whistleblowers alike are being terrorized, traumatized, tortured and subjected to the fear-inducing, mind-altering, soul-destroying, smash-your-face-in tactics employed by the superpowers-that-be.

Take Julian Assange, for example.

Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks—a website that published secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous sources—was arrested on April 11, 2019, on charges of helping U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning access and leak more than 700,000 classified military documents that portray the U.S. government and its military as reckless, irresponsible and responsible for thousands of civilian deaths.

Included among the leaked Manning material were the Collateral Murder video (April 2010), the Afghanistan war logs (July 2010), the Iraq war logs (October 2010), a quarter of a million diplomatic cables (November 2010), and the Guantánamo files (April 2011).

The Collateral Murder leak included gunsight video footage from two U.S. AH-64 Apache helicoptersengaged in a series of air-to-ground attacks while air crew laughed at some of the casualties. Among the casualties were two Reuters correspondents who were gunned down after their cameras were mistaken for weapons and a driver who stopped to help one of the journalists. The driver’s two children, who happened to be in the van at the time it was fired upon by U.S. forces, suffered serious injuries.

This is morally wrong.

It shouldn’t matter which nation is responsible for these atrocities: there is no defense for such evil perpetrated in the name of profit margins and war profiteering.

In true Orwellian fashion, however, the government would have us believe that it is Assange and Manning who are the real criminals for daring to expose the war machine’s seedy underbelly.

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House Votes in Favor of Disastrous Copyright Bill

Senate Can Still Stop CASE Act

Electronic Frontier Foundation
(October 23, 2019)

The House of Representatives has just voted in favor of the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act) by 410-6 (with 16 members not voting), moving forward a bill that Congress has had no hearingsand no debates on so far this session. That means that there has been no public consideration of the serious harm the bill could do to regular Internet users and their expression online.

The CASE Act creates a new body in the Copyright Office which will receive copyright complaints, notify the person being sued, and then decide if money is owed and how much. This new Copyright Claims Board will be able to fine people up to $30,000 per proceeding. Worse, if you get one of these notices (maybe an email, maybe a letter—the law actually does not specify) and accidentally ignore it, you’re on the hook for the money with a very limited ability to appeal. $30,000 could bankrupt or otherwise ruin the lives of many Americans.

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Koch & Soros Unite to Censor Internet

Max Slavo
SHTFPlan.com

Establishment left-wing and establishment conservative billionaires are teaming up to censor the Internet.  It looks like elitists on both sides of the political aisle are trying to make sure you only get the information they want you to have.

Organizations established by left-winger George Soros and neo-conservative Charles Koch have been working together on a key priority of globalist neoliberals and neoconservatives: censorship of the Internet, according to Breitbart NewsCensorship is necessary for tyranny so it makes sense that those who need the government to enslave humanity would be working together to achieve the means to an end.

Last year, the Charles Koch Institute pledged its support for the “After Charlottesville Project,” an initiative organized by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) aimed at combating “online extremism.”

Sponsors of the initiative include Comcast, NBC Universal, the Kresge Foundation, and the George Soros Charitable Foundation.

Other groups involved in the project include a host of Soros-funded organizations, including “Hope not Hate,” the British equivalent of the far-left SPLC, and the pro-immigration National Immigration Forum.

The former group, Hope not Hate, has a reputation for far-left extremism. Liberal anti-extremism campaigner Maajid Nawaz accused them of “book burning” after it announced a campaign to get allegedly “racist” books banned by major retailers. It was also forced to retract a smear against a Jewish pro-Israel activist last year.-Breitbart News

The Charles Koch Institute, once seen as a conservative nemesis of the left, has now aligned itself with this group of left-wing, pro-censorship, anti-Trump agitators. When it comes to censoring the Internet, both the progressive and “conservative” establishment appear to be converging on a common position.

The Charles Koch Institute now also appears committed to advancing Internet censorship and aligning with totalitarianism and slavery over freedom and libertarian principles. Koch is now for  “content moderation,” as they call it. Sarah Ruger, the Institute’s director of “free expression initiatives” has praised Airbnb for canceling the reservations of far-right activists, and has called for “online hate” to be treated like a “virus.”
As always, there’s an elephant in the room — what counts as “online hate?” Is it questioning the official narrative? Is it condemning authoritarians who harm others? Is it siding with morality even though it contradicts the existence of government?  What exactly is “online hate” and who gets to decide if you’re hateful?

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Google Censors Dr. Joseph Mercola From Search Results

Dr. Joseph Mercola
Mercola.com
(June 24, 2019)

Over the years, the government and business monopolies, including the likes of Big Tech, have formed a global alliance hell-bent on protecting and concentrating member profits. The price for keeping business going as usual is personal liberty and freedom of speech that may impact these fascist government-industrial complexes.

The major industries colluding to take over the government and government agencies include banking, military, agriculture, pharma, media and Big Tech.

The leaders of these industries have organized strategies to buy off politicians through lobbying and to capture regulatory agencies through revolving door hiring strategies and paid-for media influence through advertising dollars.

Big Tech has joined the movement, bringing in a global concentration of wealth to eliminate competition and critical voices — voices that bring awareness to the frightening future as our rights, freedoms and competition erode into a fascist sunset, all disguised as a means to protect you from “misinformation.”

This year, we’ve seen an unprecedented push to implement censorship across all online platforms, making it increasingly difficult to obtain and share crucial information about health topics. If you’ve been having difficulty finding articles from my website in your Google searchers of late, you’re not alone.

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Facebook’s “Libra”: A Backdoor to ChiCom Style Censorship?

Facebook executive David Marcus, formerly of PayPal, appeared this week before the US Congress to introduce what could eventually become the world’s most-used e-currency system.  Facebook has plans for this to become the preferred monetary instrument of the platform’s 2 billion global users.

It’s called “Libra”. Major media deem Facebook’s “Libra” a cryptocurrency. Yet the project is in fact antithetical to what cryptocurrency enthusiasts espouse. This is primarily because the digital money will be centralized and there is a very high financial bar to becoming a Libra participant ($10 million to become a transaction-authenticating “node”), thus making it an ideal vehicle for censorship.

Such censorship could be realized via Facebook et al’s de facto ability to financially penalize certain individuals whose ideas and speech are not compliant with its own “Terms of Service,” and likely what Libra and its eventual consortium of major corporate controllers deem acceptable.

In recent state “innovations” such as China’s “social credit/national reputation” system citizens can be excluded from real world activities simply because of their ideas and behavior, such a project brings up special concerns on how access to Facebook money may eventually be used.

In light of this Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy poses the most significant question of the hearings:

“Can Milo Yiannopoulos or Louis Farrakhan [both of whom have been banned from Facebook due to the content of their speech] use Libra? … On Facebook you don’t allow gun sales. So can a gun dealer who’s abiding by American law, use your system?”

Facebook’s Marcus replied that “we haven’t written a policy yet” governing such potential exclusion.

What is certain, however, is that the when that policy is written, it will be overseen and enforced not by democratically elected officials, but rather the major private corporate participants comprising the Libra consortium.

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James Tracy 2016 Interview Banned By YouTube

Free Speech = “Hate Speech”

A March 2016 interview with James Tracy conducted on the popular alternative news outlet SGT Report was stricken from YouTube last week, presumably in the wake of the major video platform’s most recent campaign to rid itself of “hate speech.”

According to YouTube’s new policy, “hate speech” now effectively includes virtually any discussion or insinuation calling into question the veracity of complex public events, including mass casualty events.

“Hate speech is not allowed on YouTube,” the exhibition giant declared on June 5th.  “We remove content promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups based on any of the following attributes,” which now includes,

“Victims of a major violent event and their kin.”

Yet as SGT Report‘s host Sean points out in a recent commentary addressing the censorship, the 2016 interview wasn’t even about the Sandy Hook shooting event. Rather, the discussion centered on the anti-free speech actions taken by Tracy’s former academic employer, Florida Atlantic University, in retaliation against Tracy for his controversial online speech.

As Sean notes, “We merely discussed the First Amendment and the high cost of free speech as it pertains to discussing, investigating, and/or questioning any event at all. “Evidently now,” he adds,

if you don’t fall in line with the mainstream media version of events and parrot the official story, you will be targeted as an unhinged conspiracy theorist who spews hate speech.

(Video also available on Bitchute.)

In April 2016 Tracy filed a federal civil rights suit against Florida Atlantic and its chief administrators who carried out his firing. That suit is now before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

YouTube’s censorship of the interview is in lockstep with the overall news blackout of TracyvFAU by national media, the same media that focused so intently on Tracy’s personal blogging in 2013, then celebrated the academic’s termination three years later.

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