Author Topic: The Goolag, Facebook, Youtube, Amazon, Twitter, Gov censorship via Tech Octopus  (Read 128472 times)



DougMacG

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https://www.thecentersquare.com/florida/article_a0ffff5c-1f7b-11ee-ae32-0768ce6c6daa.html

"Meta" (facebook, Instagram) used in human trafficking according to Florida attorney general.

They censor us. They (apparently) don't censor them.

Leftist censorship is the highest form of free speech, if you ask them. If so, do a better job.

We freed the slaves 158 years ago. Why do we have human trafficking running rampant in this country under leftist rule, or lack of enforcement?  It is beyond shameful.



Crafty_Dog

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WT: Judge unmasks staffers who stifled free speech
« Reply #1005 on: July 12, 2023, 01:57:56 AM »

https://washingtontimes-dc.newsmemory.com/?token=652f7a90b6fd689c0c4937ece40c02a9_64aea50b_6d25b5f&selDate=20230712&goTo=A01&artid=1&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=washingtontimes-E-Editions&utm_source=washingtontimes&utm_content=Read-Button

Judge unmasks staffers who stifled social posts

White House officials browbeat sites to pull content

BY SUSAN FERRECHIO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A federal judge who excoriated the Biden administration for pressuring social media platforms to censor Americans’ speech shined a light on a group of obscure but powerful White House staffers who leaned on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other sites to remove posts and ban users whose content they opposed.

U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty, acting on a lawsuit filed against the Biden administration by two states and a group of plaintiffs, said the case “arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history.”

Court documents show that while top Biden administration officials such as Dr. Anthony Fauci sought publicly and privately to censor social media posts over COVID-19 content, the task was more extensively carried out behind the scenes by a select band of staffers.

These aides led the administration’s efforts to squelch content they opposed, mostly by pressuring social media platforms with repeated requests for content removal, deplatforming of specific users and relentless demands for access to their internal content moderation policies and practices.

The effort began almost as soon as Mr. Biden entered the White House with a Jan. 23, 2021, email from Clarke Humphrey, then the digital director for the administration’s COVID-19 response team.

Mr. Humphrey emailed Twitter officials at 1 a.m. on Mr. Biden’s third day in office and asked them to remove a tweet posted a day earlier by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that suggested, without evidence, that the death of Hank Aaron, 86, could be tied to the coronavirus vaccine.

“Hey folks — Wanted to flag the below tweet and am wondering if we can get moving on the process of having it removed ASAP,” Mr. Humphrey wrote to Twitter.

The job of policing social media appeared to fall mostly to Mr. Humphrey’s White House colleague, Rob Flaherty, who recently left the administration, reportedly to take a job in President Biden’s reelection campaign.

Mr. Humphrey had looped in Mr. Flaherty on the Jan. 23 email to Twitter,

requesting he “keep an eye out for tweets that fall in this same genre.”

Mr. Flaherty, who served as deputy assistant to the president and director of digital strategy, subsequently led a dogged campaign to coerce Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms to remove content about COVID-19 that went against the Biden administration’s policies, especially on posts and content that were skeptical of the vaccines or pandemic-related mandates.

Mr. Flaherty continually pressured Facebook to share with the White House the company’s internal policies for removing or moderating content.

He demanded Facebook take more aggressive action to censor “borderline” anti-vaccine content, which included posts that did not violate the platform’s rules but made the administration uncomfortable.

Mr. Flaherty in March 2021 sent Facebook offi cials a media report about Facebook’s internal study on the link between vaccine hesitancy and “borderline” Facebook content.

Such content included Facebook posts about experiencing or fearing severe vaccine side effects.

Mr. Flaherty accused Facebook of “hiding the ball” from the White House by not turning over the platform’s internal study information, to which Facebook responded that the media report did not accurately convey the research they are conducting.

“I don’t think this is a misunderstanding,” Mr. Flaherty wrote to Facebook in response. “I’ve been asking you guys pretty directly, over a series of conversations, for a clear accounting of the biggest issues you are seeing on your platform when it comes to vaccine hesitancy, and the degree to which borderline content — as you define it — is playing a role.”

In the exchange, Mr. Flaherty accused Facebook of allowing social media posts that spurred the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. He demanded to know “what actions and changes you are making to ensure you are not making our country’s vaccine hesitancy problem worse.”

While Mr. Flaherty strong-armed Twitter and Facebook to cooperate with the White House, another staffer, Andy Slavitt, ramped up the effort by threatening the social media platforms with federal action.

Mr. Slavitt at the time was serving as a senior adviser to the Biden administration’s pandemic response team and was copied in on Mr. Flaherty’s emails to Facebook. He followed up with a message to the social media giant, warning them that “internally, we have been considering our options on what to do” about the platform’s failure to comply with White House demands.

Mr. Slavitt didn’t say specifically what the administration was considering.

The federal government can’t control private social media platforms but could hobble them significantly by working with Congress to eliminate their liability shield, known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The 1996 law protects them from legal liability over the content posted on their sites.

Mr. Slavitt also played a role in coercing Twitter to deplatform Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter who during the pandemic posted questions, concerns and research about the mRNAbased vaccine’s side effects.

Mr. Berenson’s tweets also highlighted the research and data demonstrating the limited efficacy of the vaccines, lockdowns, masks and other Biden administration pandemic policies.

According to court documents, Mr. Slavitt, during a White House meeting with Twitter officials in April 2021, called Mr. Berenson “the epicenter of disinfo that radiated outwards to the persuadable public.”

Mr. Berenson was suspended by Twitter on July 16, 2021, and deplatformed on Aug. 28, 2021.

Mr. Berenson, who successfully sued Twitter to reactivate his account, is suing Mr. Slavitt and other White House officials as well as two senior board members of the vaccine maker Pfizer, over their bid to silence him.

“The White House was particularly concerned about me as someone whose questions could not be dismissed as mere conspiracy theories or paranoid delusions,” Mr. Berenson told The Washington Times. “They targeted me because — not in spite of — the fact that I presented reasonable, data-driven objections to mRNA vaccinations for young people and for mandates.”

Mr. Slavitt, who left the administration in June 2021, did not respond to a request for comment.

Upon his departure from the White House, Mr. Slavitt introduced Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to senior Facebook officials to help Dr. Murthy carry out the administration’s quest to quash COVID-19 social media content it opposed.

Eric Waldo, who is a senior adviser to Dr. Murthy, led the effort to implement Dr. Murthy’s July 2021 “health advisory on misinformation.” The advisory aimed to “stop the spread of misinformation on social media platforms” related to COVID-19.

Mr. Waldo worked to ensure Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and YouTube turned over internal company data on the content they labeled as misinformation as well as the steps taken by them to censor information that was critical of the vaccine or the Biden administration’s pandemic policies.

In August 2021, The surgeon general’s staff ramped up the pressure on Facebook, giving the platform a two-week deadline to provide the information.

Facebook responded with the report “How We’re Taking Action Against Vaccine Misinformation Superspreaders.” It included a detailed list of steps it had taken to block content posted by a White House-promoted list of users called the “Disinformation Dozen.”

The dozen social media accounts were identifi ed in March 2021 by the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate, which has ties to the left-wing British Labor Party. The group worked to get conservative commentator Katie Hopkins banned from Twitter in the United Kingdom and attempted to coerce Google into deplatforming the U.S. conservative website The Federalist.

The center’s list of a dozen offending posters included Mr. Kennedy, a longtime vaccine skeptic who is now a Democratic presidential candidate.

The White House promoted the center’s list of a dozen offenders as part of Dr. Murthy’s “misinformation” health advisory. “There are about 12 people who are producing 65% of vaccine misinformation on social media platforms,” then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on July 15, 2021.

In addition to Mr. Kennedy, the list of offending users included osteopath physician Sherri Tenpenny, who the center cited for posting on Facebook a study that concluded cloth masks are ineffective and may increase the risk of infection.

Facebook in response provided Mr. Waldo with two additional reports in September 2021 on its efforts to silence the so-called misinformation on COVID policies and mute some of the pages and posts of the dozen offending platforms.

Mr. Waldo sought similar updates from Twitter, Instagram, Google and YouTube, according to court documents.

Carol Crawford, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s digital media director, also helped carry out the White House’s censorship scheme.

The court documents detail how she began holding weekly meetings in January 2021 with Facebook’s content mediation team to discuss “misinformation” about the vaccines. She looped in Census Bureau officials, who partnered with the CDC on the effort and wanted to discuss “misinformation topics,” including concerns about the vaccine causing side effects, infertility and death.

Ms. Crawford repeatedly emailed Facebook about specific postings that she deemed as misinformation on both Facebook and Instagram, which are both owned by Meta.

According to court documents, Facebook “began to rely on Crawford and the CDC to determine whether claims were true or false,” including whether the virus had a 99.96% survival rate, whether the vaccine caused Bells’ palsy and whether people who were administered the shot were part of a medical experiment.

Under the direction of Ms. Crawford, Facebook would remove or censor claims the CDC said were false.

Ms. Crawford also had regular contact with Twitter over posts that she and CDC experts believed were misinformation.

She sent Twitter a list of content the CDC, working with the Census Bureau, identified as false. The list included posts alleging the vaccines were not approved by the FDA, posts about “fraudulent cures,” vaccine injury data “taken out of context,” and claims the COVID shot caused infertility.

Ms. Crawford, according to the court documents, “understood she was flagging the posts for Twitter for possible censorship.”

Twitter responded to Ms. Crawford that some of the offending posts had been “reviewed and actioned.”

The behind-the-scenes efforts by the White House and the Biden administration to censor social media content were effective. The platforms began removing content and banning users almost as soon as Biden administration officials began contacting them, and they set up special portals that allowed White House and administration staffers to collaborate with the companies about content moderation.

The Biden administration is seeking to halt Judge Doughty’s injunction. White House officials defended their actions and said they were aimed at preserving public health, safety and security during a deadly pandemic.

The Justice Department on Monday filed an emergency stay motion in a federal appeals court after Judge Doughty, who was a Trump nominee, denied the department’s initial request to lift the ban on communicating with social media outlets.


Just a few days into the Biden presidency, a White House staffer asked Twitter personnel to remove a post from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. who posted tweeted an anti-vax opinion about Hank Aaron’s death.


U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy worked with social media companies to quash certain COVID-19 content.


Andy Slavitt, then-senior adviser to the White House COVID-19 Response Team, ramped up efforts to remove some posts. ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPHS


Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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aldean is no hero

remember when during the Vegas shooting he ran of the stage faster then a bat flies over my head at dusk without even taking a few seconds to warn the crowd.

I allege he is also one who seems to sing lyrics that are same as some that disappeared out of our house

No I don't allege he steals anything - but I allege his friends do......

he is a phony.


Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: DOJ Antitrust vs. Google
« Reply #1012 on: September 12, 2023, 06:43:57 AM »
U.S. v. Google: What to Know About the Biggest Antitrust Trial in 20 Years
Search engine faces charges of using illegal agreements with partners such as Apple to maintain a monopoly
By
Dave Michaels
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Sept. 11, 2023 9:00 pm ET





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The Justice Department argues that Google’s exclusive deals prevent rivals from effectively competing for search business. PHOTO: JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES
Google, the country’s dominant search engine, faces its biggest legal threat ever this week when the company goes on civil trial in Washington on allegations of violating U.S. antitrust laws.

The Justice Department’s case is aimed at Google search, and whether the company has used illegal agreements to sideline its rivals and harmed consumers and advertisers in the process. Google pays billions of dollars to Apple, for example, to be the default search engine on the Safari browser. 

Alphabet GOOG -0.21%decrease; red down pointing triangle-owned Google grew up during an era of more relaxed antitrust enforcement, particularly against technology companies that developed innovative—and often free—ways to explore and use the internet. Efforts to regulate Google and other technology giants have failed to advance in Congress in recent years. In the absence of such rules, the government is trying to use antitrust law to govern competition on the web and put curbs on the internet’s gatekeepers. Here are some crucial questions about the biggest U.S. antitrust trial since the government challenged Microsoft more than 20 years ago.

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Why is Google facing an antitrust lawsuit?
 The Justice Department and a group of states sued Google three years ago, alleging it illegally maintains a monopoly in online search and related advertising markets. Google has about a 90% market share in search and maintains its dominance through restrictive agreements with browser and phone partners such as Apple, Mozilla, Samsung and Verizon, according to the Justice Department. These deals, which the government says are illegal, make Google the default search engine on most U.S. phones. Google’s separate agreements with Android-based mobile-device manufacturers forbid pre-installing or promoting rival search engines if they opt to take a cut of Google’s search revenue.

Why the FTC’s Lina Khan Is Taking on Big Tech, Even if It Means Losing
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Since Lina Khan became Federal Trade Commission chair in 2021, she has taken on Meta, Microsoft and Amazon, making her a lightning rod for controversy. WSJ breaks down the battles she has picked and why she is willing to lose. Photo illustration: Xingpei Shen
What harm comes from Google’s agreements?
The Justice Department argues that Google’s exclusive deals with Apple and others prevent rivals from effectively competing for search business or improving their products. Because Google locks up all the browsers and gets all the queries, other companies such as Microsoft can’t perform enough searches to improve their product, the government says, giving it an anticompetitive scale advantage. Google’s agreements also stifle innovation, the Justice Department says, because the company doesn’t have to improve its search engine to maintain market share. Finally, Google has used its monopoly to raise prices for advertising on its search-results pages, according to the government.

How does Google explain the deals?
Google says its deals with Apple and others promote competition by supplying browser providers with what they want: a single default search option for customers. Apple and Mozilla chose Google because it continues to outstrip rival search engines, and not because they are coerced by revenue sharing or other inducements, it says. Windows users, who don’t have any Google products preloaded on their personal computers, generally opt for Google search because it is the best way to explore the internet, the company says.

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Google also points out that its agreements don’t prevent its partners from offering other search engines, because users of Apple’s Safari or Mozilla’s Firefox browsers can change the default search option in their settings. And on Android phones, Google says, consumers can switch away from its preloaded search engine to other products on their own; the fact that few do so isn’t evidence of exclusionary practice, Google says, but of consumers sticking with a superior product. 

What happens if Google loses?
In theory, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta could order Google broken up but legal analysts consider that unlikely. More possible, they say, are new constraints on how Google does business, such as its ability to pay Apple, Samsung and others to be the default search engine on phones. “That seems like the most natural remedy,” said Paul Gallant, a tech-policy analyst at Cowen Washington Research Group. “Breaking up the company over unlawful payments to equipment manufacturers seems unlikely relative to the harm.”

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When did the U.S. government last challenge a big monopoly in court?
 The government sued Microsoft in 1998 over its attempt to control the market for internet browsers on Windows computers. The Justice Department prevailed in the lawsuit, which created an opening for rivals such as Google and Facebook to flourish in the future, according to the DOJ. The Justice Department says Google has emulated Microsoft’s 1990s playbook to build and maintain its own monopoly in internet search and advertising, while Google says the comparison is inapt. 

How long will the trial last and when will a verdict be reached?
 The Justice Department has one month to present its case, meaning the states and Google won’t question witnesses until October. Witness testimony is expected to conclude in November, and then the two sides will write briefs to the judge summarizing the case and arguing which way he should rule. Closing arguments and a judgment aren’t expected until next year. If Judge Mehta finds that Google violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, he would schedule a separate trial to decide penalties. The decision is likely to be appealed, so the final outcome might be years away. 


Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google parent Alphabet, is likely to be questioned during the trial. PHOTO: HELYNN OSPINA FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Who are the key witnesses in the trial?
While a complete witness list isn’t available yet, Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai and some Apple executives, such as Eddy Cue, senior vice president of services, are likely to be questioned. The Justice Department is likely to call executives from Microsoft and DuckDuckGo, which operate competing search engines.

Who are the key lawyers working on the case?
 Google’s principal trial lawyer is John Schmidtlein, a partner at litigation powerhouse Williams & Connolly. Schmidtlein represented a group of states in part of the 1998 trial against Microsoft. Google Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker and Susan Creighton, a partner at the Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini, have played key roles in dealing with the Justice Department and shaping trial strategy.

The Justice Department’s top lawyer in the courtroom is Kenneth Dintzer, a 30-year veteran of high-stakes government litigation. Dintzer began his DOJ career in the early 1990s and worked on the early Microsoft investigation. His trial colleagues include Adam Severt, Meagan Bellshaw and David Dahlquist.

—Miles Kruppa contributed to this article.

Crafty_Dog

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5th Circuit defends First Amendment from Biden-Tech collusion
« Reply #1013 on: September 12, 2023, 10:24:44 AM »
A Rebuke to Biden-Tech Censorship
The Fifth Circuit issues a landmark on collusion against free speech.
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The Editorial Board
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Sept. 11, 2023 6:38 pm ET


The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday against federal officials for colluding with tech platforms to suppress speech, but you’d hardly know it from the limited press coverage. The decision in Missouri v. Biden deserves more attention because it defines the constitutional limits to coordination between government and private actors and may be headed to the Supreme Court.

Missouri and Louisiana—joined by individuals whose posts opposing government views on Covid were censored—sued various federal officials for violating their First Amendment rights. Federal Judge Terry Doughty ruled against the government on nearly all points. The three-judge Fifth Circuit panel largely upheld his findings of fact and law while narrowing his injunction.

The unsigned 74-page opinion begins by detailing the unprecedented coordination during the pandemic between government agencies and social-media platforms. Tech employees “attended regular meetings” with government officials and “seemingly stepped-up their efforts” to remove content to appease them, the decision explains.

Platforms “gave the officials access to an expedited reporting system, downgraded or removed flagged posts, and deplatformed users,” the opinion says. And they “changed their internal policies to capture more flagged content and sent steady reports on their moderation activities to the officials.”

The Biden Administration argued that the tech platforms acted independently, and that communications by federal officials are protected “government speech.” The Fifth Circuit disagreed, holding that officials crossed the First Amendment line by coercing platforms with threats of antitrust action and legal liability for user content under Section 230.

A private party “is ‘not ordinarily constrained by the First Amendment,’” the Fifth Circuit explains. “That changes, though, when a private party is coerced or significantly encouraged by the government to such a degree that its ‘choice’” if “made by the government would be unconstitutional.” The court calls this the “close nexus test.”

Its decision analyzes in depth how government actions violate the First Amendment under this test. “Significant encouragement requires ‘omething more’ than uninvolved oversight from the government,” the ruling says, citing the Supreme Court’s Blum (1982) precedent. Yet federal officials were far from “uninvolved” in content decisions.

The Fifth Circuit distinguishes the complaints in Missouri from Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s lawsuit against Sen. Elizabeth Warren for asking Amazon to modify its algorithms to make his book harder to find. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that suit this year. Unlike the facts in this case, Ms. Warren’s letter was framed as a “request rather than a command” and she “lacked regulatory authority” over Amazon. The Senator’s letter also “contain[ed] no explicit reference” to “adverse consequences,” and “there was no indication that Amazon perceived the message as a threat.”

The nuanced opinion dismisses complaints against Anthony Fauci and other National Institutes of Health officials because they had merely “promoted the government’s scientific and policy views and attempted to discredit opposing ones—quintessential examples of government speech that do not run afoul of the First Amendment.”

The Fifth Circuit also narrows Judge Doughty’s injunction by spelling out how government officials can communicate with platforms without violating the First Amendment. For instance, they could ask social media companies to “Be on The Lookout” for certain posts provided there’s no intimidation.

The careful, detailed opinion sets the case up well for a Supreme Court appeal if the Biden Administration has the nerve. It may prefer to quit while it’s behind. In either case the ruling is a landmark that protects free speech from the government’s current method of laundering its censorship through private platforms.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2023, 10:28:38 AM by Crafty_Dog »

DougMacG

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Dismantle the Censorship-Industrial Complex
« Reply #1014 on: October 19, 2023, 06:30:32 AM »
https://westminsterdeclaration.org/

Matt Taibbi, et al
(Quite a list of signatories)

Body-by-Guinness

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Google Forced to Show what’s Under the Kimono
« Reply #1015 on: October 30, 2023, 06:22:03 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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Sounds like CNN at airports , , ,


ccp

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Meta plot to re-engineer society
« Reply #1018 on: November 14, 2023, 12:32:49 PM »
anyone see the Charles Loughton move "Island of lost souls" early 30's

remade with Marlon Brando in the 70s or 80s ?

I am thinking justice would be for the peasants who are mind controlled rebel
and physically take the brat into the lab and hook his brain up to the Metaverse and force feed him and make him addicted to conservative values

this is getting beyond diabolically sick:

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2023/11/14/exposed-metas-36-billion-plot-to-reengineer-society-and-mark-zuckerbergs-dangerous-future-plans-for-tech-addiction/

The Chinese are in a way doing this to us already with shittock

but they are too smart to let FB or meta , whatever , get away with doing it to them.

yet of course we will let FB do it to us.    :x
« Last Edit: November 14, 2023, 12:57:36 PM by Crafty_Dog »

G M

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Re: Meta plot to re-engineer society
« Reply #1019 on: November 14, 2023, 01:07:05 PM »
https://www.thefp.com/p/how-china-got-our-kids-hooked-on

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/china-s-president-xi-jinping-turns-down-mark-zuckerberg-s-request-to-name-his-unborn-child-at-white-house-dinner-a6679156.html

Grovel harder, Zuck.


anyone see the Charles Loughton move "Island of lost souls" early 30's

remade with Marlon Brando in the 70s or 80s ?

I am thinking justice would be for the peasants who are mind controlled rebel
and physically take the brat into the lab and hook his brain up to the Metaverse and force feed him and make him addicted to conservative values

this is getting beyond diabolically sick:

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2023/11/14/exposed-metas-36-billion-plot-to-reengineer-society-and-mark-zuckerbergs-dangerous-future-plans-for-tech-addiction/

The Chinese are in a way doing this to us already with shittock

but they are too smart to let FB or meta , whatever , get away with doing it to them.

yet of course we will let FB do it to us.    :x

ccp

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Zuck's wife:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priscilla_Chan

CCP connection ?  probably not but a thought.

" at the dinner, which included Apple’s Tim Cook and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Zuckerberg reportedly asked President Xi whether he would be able to give an honorary Chinese name to the daughter he and wife Priscilla Chan are expecting.
Page Six claims President Xi said the task would be “too much responsibility” and declined, though a spokesperson for Zuckerberg told the newspaper this was not correct."

if true, I am sure Xi would have not been smart enough to guess this was a business play from the get go.
Zuck at least would have been more honest if he simply asked if he could shine Xi's shoes.


Crafty_Dog

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Body-by-Guinness

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Zuck’s Science AI Unplugged 2 Days Later
« Reply #1023 on: November 14, 2023, 04:16:46 PM »
« Last Edit: November 14, 2023, 07:39:39 PM by Body-by-Guinness »




Crafty_Dog

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Body-by-Guinness

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Snopes Gets Backwards Backward
« Reply #1029 on: January 28, 2024, 10:58:57 AM »
Add “Snopes” to the topic line for this to fit, but it’s a lovely case in point of a website carrying water for a Democrat despite an obvious error, and ought to be all anyone needs to know about the veracity of that site:

https://www.mediaite.com/news/snopes-fact-check-calls-true-biden-story-false-despite-photos-they-included-in-post-then-reverses-it/

Body-by-Guinness

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An Easy Fix to Prevent CACA from Losing the Climate Debate:
« Reply #1030 on: January 28, 2024, 09:25:01 PM »
Censor "deniers" on social media! Oh, and create an AI to scour social media for heretics the Church of Anthropomorphic Climate Apocalypse can burn at the digital stake so as to protect their CACA canons.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/01/23/our-best-climate-realism-communicators/

Body-by-Guinness

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Higher Ed Outsources Censorship for Biden/Feds
« Reply #1031 on: February 07, 2024, 12:28:54 PM »
This could go more than one place, but given the censorship involved I'm dropping it here. Jaw dropping stuff:


“Externalizing the Difficult Responsibility of Censorship”: Higher Education in the Censorship Triad

Jonathan Turley, Feb. 7, 2024

 This week, the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government issued a new report on the Biden Administration’s massive censorship system. The ongoing investigation has exposed the coordination in a system of blacklisting, throttling, and suspensions of targeted citizens and groups. Now, it appears that the Biden White House also pushed for Amazon to target dissenting books to suppress sales by blocking promotions. After all, why burn books when you can bury them?

The apparently successful effort by the White House was little surprise given what a federal court called Biden’s “Orwellian” and unprecedented censorship efforts. As I discuss in my new book, “The Indispensable Right: Free Speech in the Age of Rage,” Biden is now unquestionably the most anti-free speech president since John Adams.

What is new is the details on how academic institutions are critical to this censorship system and the coordination with the government to deal with the backlash from the public. The disclosed emails show how government officials orchestrated media campaigns to shield the system, and their academic partners, from attacks over free speech. The report includes discussions in response to my own past writing denouncing this system.

Some of us have been raising the alarm over the role of universities in this censorship system. While faculty and students once opposed any academic research supporting the military industrial complex, there has been no such opposition to researchers supporting a censorship system targeting dissenting views and supplying blacklists to government and corporate partners.

There has long been a narrative in the media that portrayed academics working in this system as victims hounded by critics. For example, one article featured the work of Kate Starbird, director and co-founder of the UW Center for an Informed Public. The University of Washington is one of the most important partners in the academic-corporate-government triad. Other key institutions include Stanford University, University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin. The article discussed how “her attempt to promote factual information and strengthen democracy has gotten her sued, blasted by congressional inquiries and subjected to a death threat.”

The internal messages revealed by the House show how such media campaigns were coordinated to frame the coverage. While these researchers actively work to target others, they often object to criticism of their work as bullying and the work of disinformers.

Notably, in her communications disclosed by the House, Starbird cautions against giving examples of disinformation to keep them from being used by critics, adding “since everything is politicized and disinformation inherently political, every example is bait.”

She and others reached out to grant managers in dealing with the public spin. Wisconsin Journalism Professor Michael Wagner flagged one of my columns to Michael Pozmantier, a program manager at the National Science Foundation, an independent government agency. What is striking that the two suggest that the column was wrong but do not state a single mistaken fact.  Indeed, the report confirms the extensive effort to coordinate the identification of those spreading what the researchers deemed disinformation. In another email, Pozmantier explained that “Track F is the NSF ‘Accelerator track focused on combating mis/disinformation.'”

Pozmantier also shows the sweeping agenda behind these grants, noting “Projects in Track F will pursue a convergence research agenda and leverage multi-sector partnerships to address issues of trust and authenticity in communication systems, including predicting, preventing, detecting, correcting, and mitigating the spread of inaccurate information that harms people and society.”

Other academic institutions in the report are shown marketing their own eagerness to become part of this censorship system. University of Michigan’s James Park is shown pitching that school’s WiseDex First Pitch program, promising that “our misinformation service helps policy makers at platforms who want to . . . push responsibility for difficult judgments to someone outside the company . . . by externalizing the difficult responsibility of censorship.”

These emails show the fluidity of what is deemed unacceptable viewpoints for these academics and their partners. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), during prior court testimony. CISA’s director, Jen Easterly, previously declared the administration’s intent to extend its role over maintaining critical infrastructure to include “our cognitive infrastructure” and combating not just mis- and disinformation but also “malinformation,” which CISA describes as “based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.”

For academic institutions, the central role played in this censorship infrastructure is alarming. Some of these programs have now pledged that they will no longer target content on the Internet. However, for years, the Biden Administration funded blacklisting systems as well as programs to target the advertisers of conservative sites.

For example, the federal government helped to fund the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), to discourage advertisers from supporting certain sites. All of the top 10 most risky sites are popular with conservatives, libertarians and independents. GDI warned advertisers against “financially supporting disinformation online.” Those top disinformation sites included Reason, a libertarian-oriented source of news and commentary about the government. However, HuffPost, a far left media outlet, was included among the 10 sites at lowest risk of spreading disinformation.

Universities should be places where false claims and conspiracy theories are debated and exposed. However, there is a dangerous line that is crossed when universities partner with the government or corporations in a system targeting individuals and groups for censorship.

Here is the report: NSF-Staff-Report_Appendix

ETA Here's the link for the NSF report cited above: https://jonathanturley.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/NSF-Staff-Report_Appendix.pdf

Executive summary for the above:

This interim report details the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) funding of AI- powered censorship and propaganda tools, and its repeated efforts to hide its actions and avoid political and media scrutiny.

In the name of combatting alleged misinformation regarding COVID-19 and the 2020 election, NSF has been issuing multi-million-dollar grants to university and non-profit research teams. The purpose of these taxpayer-funded projects is to develop artificial intelligence (AI)- powered censorship and propaganda tools that can be used by governments and Big Tech to shape public opinion by restricting certain viewpoints or promoting others.

Non-public documents obtained by the House Judiciary Committee and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government demonstrate that these federal bureaucrats, “disinformation” researchers, and non-profit groups understood that their actions—“content moderation” and combatting so-called misinformation—amounted to “censorship.”2 And yet, NSF forged ahead, supporting new technologies that would essentially enable the censorship of online speech “at scale.”

But NSF’s taxpayer funding for this potential automated censorship is only half of the story. The Committee and the Select Subcommittee have also obtained, via document requests and subpoenas, nonpublic emails and other documents that reveal a years-long, intentional effort by NSF to hide its role in funding these censorship and propaganda tools from media and political scrutiny. From legal scholars, such as Jonathan Turley, to conservative journalists, NSF tracked public criticisms of its work in funding these projects. NSF went so far as to develop a media strategy that considered blacklisting certain American media outlets because they were scrutinizing NSF’s funding of censorship and propaganda tools.

The First Amendment prohibits the government from “abridging the freedom of speech.”3 Thus, “any law or government policy that reduces that freedom on the [social media] platforms . . . violates the First Amendment.”4 To inform potential legislation, the Committee and Select Subcommittee have been investigating the Executive Branch’s collusion with third- party intermediaries, including universities, non-profits, and businesses, to censor protected speech on social media. The Committee and Subcommittee have uncovered serious violations of the First Amendment throughout the Executive Branch, including:

 The Biden White House directly coercing large social media companies, such as Facebook, to censor true information, memes, and satire, eventually leading Facebook to change its content moderation policies;5

 Stanford’s Election Integrity Partnership (EIP)—created at the request of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)—working with the federal government to flag thousands of links and submit recommendations directly to large social media platforms to censor Americans’ online speech in the lead-up to the 2020 U.S. election;6 and

 The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) harassing Elon Musk’s Twitter (now X) because of Musk’s commitment to free speech, even going so far as to target certain journalists by name.7

As egregious as these violations of the First Amendment are, each still faced the same limitation: the censors were human. Senior Biden White House officials had to spend time personally berating the social media companies into changing their content moderation policies. Social media executives expended considerable time and effort responding to the White House’s threats and evaluating the flagged content. Stanford had nearly a hundred people working for the EIP in shifts flagging thousands of posts, which was only a fraction of the number of election- related posts made in the fall of 2020.8
But what happens if the censorship is automated and the censors are machines? There is no need for shifts or huge teams of people to identify and flag problematic online speech. AI- driven tools can monitor online speech at a scale that would far outmatch even the largest team of “disinformation” bureaucrats and researchers. This interim report reveals how NSF is using American taxpayer dollars to fund the tools that could usher in an even greater threat to online speech than the original efforts to censor speech on social media. The NSF-funded projects threaten to help create a censorship regime that could significantly impede the fundamental First Amendment rights of millions of Americans, and potentially do so in a manner that is instantaneous and largely invisible to its victims.

The Committee and the Select Subcommittee are responsible for investigating “violation of the civil liberties of citizens of the United States.”9 In accordance with this mandate, this interim staff report on NSF’s violations of the First Amendment and other unconstitutional activities fulfills the obligation to identify and report on the weaponization of the federal government against American citizens. The Committee’s and Select Subcommittee’s investigation remains ongoing. NSF still has not adequately complied with a request for relevant documents, and more fact-finding is necessary. In order to better inform the Committee’s legislative efforts, the Committee and Select Subcommittee will continue to investigate how the Executive Branch worked with social media platforms and other intermediaries to censor disfavored viewpoints in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY... 1 TABLE OF CONTENTS ... 4
I.
II.
A.
B.
Can Lead to Censorship “At Scale”................................................................................................ 9 C. The National Science Foundation’s Funding of Censorship Tools ................................... 10
1. The National Science Foundation ...................................................................................... 10
2. NSF’s Convergence Accelerator Program ......................................................................... 11
3. NSF’s Track F: The Censorship Program.......................................................................... 11
D. Censorship and Propaganda in Action: Universities and Non-Profits Develop AI Tools and Other New Technologies to Censor at Scale with Help of Federal Funding ......................... 13
1. The University of Michigan: WiseDex .............................................................................. 14
2. Meedan: Co-Insights ... 16
3. The University of Wisconsin: CourseCorrect .................................................................... 21
4. MIT: Search Lit... 21
III. THE FEDERALLY FUNDED CENSORS: PARTISAN AND CONDESCENDING............................. 22 A. In Their Own Words, “Disinformation” Pseudo-Scientists Describe Their Work As “Political” and “Censorship” ... 23 B. NSF-Funded Researchers Believe the American Public is Not Smart Enough to Discern Fact from Fiction, Especially Conservatives, Minorities, and Veterans....................................... 25 C. NSF-Funded Researchers Understand the Leverage They Have Over Social Media Companies to Ensure the Platforms Bow to Their Demands ....................................................... 26 IV. NSF IS TRYING TO COVER UP ITS FUNDING OF AI CENSORSHIP........................................ 28 A. NSF Developed an Official Media Strategy to Hide its Track F Censorship Program from the American People ... 28
B. NSF Considered Blacklisting Conservative Media Outlets............................................... 32
C. NSF Attempted to Hide Additional Funding to Its Track F Censorship Program............. 33
D. NSF Continues to Try to Cover Up Its Funding of Censorship Tools............................... 34
E. NSF Is Attempting to Stonewall Congressional Investigations......................................... 38
V. The Role of Congress: Defund the Censorship-Industrial Complex and Fight the Next Battle to Defend Free Speech ... 38
APPENDIX A:
APPENDIX B: APPENDIX C:
APPENDIX D:
LETTER FROM THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION DIRECTOR SETHURAMAN PANCHANATHAN TO REP. JIM JORDAN, CHAIRMAN OF HOUSE COMM. ON JUDICIARY COMMITTEE (JUNE 13, 2023).
NSF’S “TRACK F MEDIA STRATEGY” DOCUMENT (NOV. 22, 2021).
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN’S WISEDEX FIRST PITCH SLIDE DECK (OCT. 26, 2021).
MIT’S SEARCH LIT PHASE I PROPOSAL TO NSF (2021).
THE HISTORICAL LIMITS OF HUMAN CENSORSHIP ............................................................... 5
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS FUNDING AI-POWERED CENSORSHIP TOOLS ..................... 7 Government Censorship Has Extended to the West, including the United States............... 8 Free Speech Advocates Have Sounded the Alarm Regarding How Artificial Intelligence
« Last Edit: February 07, 2024, 12:43:42 PM by Body-by-Guinness »

Crafty_Dog

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BBG:  Suitable thread!  Yay!  :-D

ccp

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zuck censorship begins
« Reply #1033 on: February 10, 2024, 01:33:48 PM »
one can easily see why he has an escape bunker on a relatively remote Hawaiian island...


https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2024/02/10/zuck-wants-you-distracted-instagram-threads-to-stop-recommending-political-content/