Author Topic: The Goolag, Facebook, Youtube, Amazon, Twitter, Gov censorship via Tech Octopus  (Read 151766 times)




Body-by-Guinness

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Faucing Zuckers .v America
« Reply #1053 on: April 02, 2024, 04:59:19 PM »
Check out this exchange between Marky and Tony. It doesn’t get more clear cut than this:

https://x.com/DrJBhattacharya/status/1775221797098852545?s=20

Crafty_Dog

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Clear as day and will be unseen and unnoticed by most people.


Crafty_Dog

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FO: FBI and CISA resume disinfo campaign ahead of election
« Reply #1056 on: May 09, 2024, 02:27:21 PM »

(3) FBI, CISA RESUME DISINFORMATION WORK WITH SOCIAL MEDIA AHEAD OF ELECTION: At the RSA Conference yesterday, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) said federal agencies including the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the FBI resumed communications with social media companies after the Supreme Court appeared to favor the Biden administrations argument in Murthy v Missouri earlier this year.

“The secretary delivered a very clear message that we view interference in our domestic democratic process as dangerous and unacceptable,” Cyberspace and Digital Policy Ambassador Nathaniel Fick said during the conference.

Why It Matters: Expect social media censorship to increase as the election nears. Many tech company Trust & Safety divisions, which handle requests from government agencies to deemphasize or take down posts, are staffed by former government officials, and they have coordinated in the past with CISA and the FBI. – R.C.

Body-by-Guinness

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New “Censorship Industrial Complex” Revelations Looming?
« Reply #1057 on: May 21, 2024, 04:35:23 PM »
Given Tabbi’s work breaking the Twitter Files I suspect this bodes some very interesting revelations:

Note to Readers: That Eerie Silence
Getcha popcorn ready.
MATT TAIBBI
MAY 21, 2024

“THE AI ELECTION”: Forget Russians, domestic terrorists, or “Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior.” This year’s censorship hobby horse is AI

Subscribe
Racket readers may have noticed it’s been a bit quiet in here of late. That’s because I’ve been spending the last few weeks on an investigative series in cooperation with another site. What seemed like a cut-and-dried report turned into a bit of a rabbit hole on us; hence the delay.

When I first started publishing the Twitter Files in 2022-2023 along with Michael Shellenberger, Bari Weiss, Lee Fang, David Zweig, Paul Thacker, and others, there was an emphasis on speed. Once we saw phrases like “flagged by DHS,” I knew the project was temporary, and guessed we’d probably need to stay ahead of the news cycle in order to avoid seeing material drown in blowback. So, we set aside some explosive bigger-picture storylines to focus on things that could be confirmed and published quickly. There were also topics we didn’t fully understand at the time.

Some of those broader stories will begin coming out now, hopefully starting this week. There’s a reason for working back through this material now. Sources tell me at least two different active groups are working on political content moderation programs for the November election that tactically would go a step or two beyond what we observed with groups like Stanford’s Election Integrity Partnership, proposing not just deamplification or removals, but fakery, use of bots, and other “offensive” forms of manipulation.

If the recent rush of news stories about the horror of foreign-inspired AI deepfakes (“No one can stop them,” gasps the Washington Post) creating intolerable risk to the coming “AI election” sounds a bit off to you, you’re not alone. This is one of many potential threats pro-censorship groups are playing up in hopes of deploying more aggressive “counter-messaging” tools. Some early proposals along those lines are in the unpublished Twitter Files documents we’ve been working on. Again, more on this topic soon.

Also: beginning around the time we published the “Report on the Censorship-Industrial Complex,” Racket in partnership with UndeadFOIA began issuing Freedom of Information requests in bulk. The goal was to identify inexcusably secret contractors of content-policing agencies like the State Department’s Global Engagement Center. The FOIA system is designed to exhaust citizens, but our idea was to match the irritating resolve of FOIA officers by pre-committing resources for inevitable court disputes, fights over production costs, etc. Thanks to UndeadFOIA’s great work, we now have a sizable library of documents about publicly-funded censorship programs (and a few private ones scooped up in official correspondence).

We’ll be releasing those, too, focusing on a few emails per batch, and publishing the rest in bulk. There’s so much material that a quick global summary here would be difficult, but suffice to say that the anti-disinformation/content control world is much bigger than I thought, enjoying cancer-like growth on campuses in particular, in the same way military research became primary sources of grants and took over universities in the fifties and sixties. Some of these FOIA documents are damning, some entertaining, some just interesting, but all of them belong to the public. We’re going to start the process of turning them over, hopefully today.

In any case, thanks to Racket readers for their patience. I’m very appreciative of the commitment every subscriber makes, especially in this narrowing media environment, which is why I want to make sure readers understand what’s usually going on when things go dark around here. My idea of a vacation is one or two days. If you don’t hear from me for six, I’m working on something. Back soon, and thanks again.

https://www.racket.news/p/note-to-readers-that-eerie-silence

Crafty_Dog

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Feel free to double post this in the Deep State thread too.

Body-by-Guinness

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Social Media Censorship Blueprint
« Reply #1059 on: May 22, 2024, 05:29:27 PM »
Just Security is a reliable Deep State mouthpiece. As such, this post of theirs likely serves as a blueprint for what we are likely to see as the 2024 election looms:

Tech Platforms Must Do More to Avoid Contributing to Potential Political Violence
Just Security / by Yaël Eisenstat / May 22, 2024 at 10:05 AM
This essay is co-published with Tech Policy Press.

At the end of March, we convened a working group of experts on social media, election integrity, extremism, and political violence to discuss the relationship between online platforms and election-related political violence. The goal was to provide realistic and effective recommendations to platforms on steps they can take to ensure their products do not contribute to the potential for political violence, particularly in the lead-up to and aftermath of the U.S. general election in November, but with implications for states around the world.

Today, we released a paper that represents the consensus of the working group titled “Preventing Tech-Fueled Political Violence: What online platforms can do to ensure they do not contribute to election-related violence.” Given the current threat landscape in the United States, we believe this issue is urgent. While relying on online platforms to “do the right thing” without the proper regulatory and business incentives in place may seem increasingly futile, we believe there remains a critical role for independent experts to play in both shaping the public conversation and shining a light on where these companies can act more responsibly.

Indications of potential political violence mount

The January 6th, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol looms large over the 2024 election cycle. Former President Donald Trump and many Republican political elites continue to advance false claims about the outcome of the 2020 election, a potential predicate to efforts to delegitimize the outcome of the vote this November.

Yet such rhetoric is but one potential catalyst for political violence in the United States this political season. In a feature on the subject this month, The New York Times noted that across the country, “a steady undercurrent of violence and physical risk has become a new normal,” particularly targeting public officials and democratic institutions. And, a survey from the Brennan Center conducted this spring found that 38% of election officials have experienced violent threats. And to this already menacing environment, add conflict over Israel-Gaza protests on college campuses and in major cities, potentially controversial developments in the various trials of the former president, and warnings from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security about potential threats to LGBTQ+ Pride events this summer. It would appear that the likelihood of political violence in the United States is, unfortunately, elevated.

The neglect of tech platforms may exacerbate the situation

What role do online platforms play in this threat environment? It is unclear if the major platforms are prepared to meet the moment. A number of platforms have rolled back moderation policies on false claims of electoral fraud, gutted trust and safety teams, and appear to be sleep walking into a rising tide of threats to judges and election officials. These developments suggest the platforms have ignored the lessons of the last few years, both in the United States and abroad. For instance, a year after January 6th, supporters of Brazil’s outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro used social media to organize and mobilize attacks on governmental buildings. And an American Progress study of the 2022 U.S. midterm elections concluded that “social media companies have again refused to grapple with their complicity in fueling hate and informational disorder…with key exceptions, companies have again offered cosmetic changes and empty promises not backed up by appropriate staffing or resources.”

Platforms’ failure to prepare for election violence suggests that in many ways, 2024 mirrors 2020. In advance of that election, two of the authors (Eisenstat and Kreiss) convened a working group of experts to lay out what platforms needed to do to protect elections. Sadly, platforms largely ignored these and many other recommendations from independent researchers and civil society groups, including enforcing voting misinformation restrictions against all users (including political leaders), clearly refuting election disinformation, and amplifying reliable electoral information. The failure of platforms to adequately follow such recommendations helped create the context for January 6th, as documented by the draft report on the role of social media in the assault on the Capitol prepared by an investigative team of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attacks.

Recommendations

To avoid a similar outcome, we propose a number of steps the platforms can, and should, take if they want to ensure they do not fuel political violence. None of the recommendations are entirely novel. In fact, a number of them are congruent with any number of papers that academics and civil society leaders have published over the years. And yet, they bear repeating, even though time is short to implement them.

The full set of seven recommendations and details can be found in our report, but in general they center on a number of themes where online platforms are currently falling short, including:

Platforms must develop robust standards for threat assessment and engage in scenario planning, crisis training, and engagement with external stakeholders, with as much transparency as possible.
Platforms should enforce clear and actionable content moderation policies that address election integrity year-round, proactively addressing election denialism and potential threats against election workers.

Politicians and other political influencers should not receive exemptions from content policies or special treatment from the platforms. Platforms should enforce their rules uniformly.
Platforms must clearly explain important content moderation decisions during election periods, ensuring transparency especially when it comes to the moderation of high profile accounts.

This election cycle, so much of the conversation about tech accountability has moved on to what to do about deceptive uses of AI. But the distribution channels for AI-generated content still run largely through the online platforms where users spread the “Stop the Steal” narrative in 2020 and galvanized the people who ultimately engaged in political violence at the U.S. Capitol. We will continue to draw attention to these unresolved issues, in the hope that rising demands for accountability will prompt platforms to act more responsibly and prioritize the risk of political violence both in the United States and abroad.

The post Tech Platforms Must Do More to Avoid Contributing to Potential Political Violence appeared first on Just Security.


Crafty_Dog

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From the Deep State thread a few days ago-- guess who is behind this play?

"James Clapper and John Brennan"?!?  The Axis of the Deep State and the Controligarchs burrows in deeper yet:
=========================
Forward Observer

(2) DHS RESTARTS INTEL ADVISORY BOARD AFTER COURT LOSS: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it will establish the Homeland Intelligence Advisory Board, which will mirror the Homeland Intelligence Experts Group.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas disbanded the Homeland Intelligence Experts Group earlier this month to resolve a lawsuit brought by America First Legal, which argued that DHS did not follow the law when it established the group.

Why It Matters: This is an additional data point supporting the likely increase in coordination between federal agencies and online platforms to censor political speech in the fight against “misinformation” and “election interference.” James Clapper and John Brennan, as part of the new advisory board and members of the disbanded experts group, signed a letter ahead of the 2020 election claiming media coverage of Hunter Biden’s laptop “had the hallmarks of Russian disinformation operations.” This is likely to result in more censorship of online political speech and media coverage of stories that could negatively impact Biden’s reelection. – R.C.

Body-by-Guinness

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Snatching the Wheels from Our Hands on the Information Superhighway
« Reply #1061 on: May 27, 2024, 07:33:40 PM »
Pay no attention to the spooks behind the search engine. I’ve certainly had several of the search engine experiences described below:

The Propaganda Superhighway
Search engines and the taming of the Digital West

JUPPLANDIA
MAY 26, 2024

I remember a very long time ago, when the Internet was young and I was too, the expression ‘information superhighway’. It was a term expressed at the same time that people thought of the new digital realms being created as a sort of Wild West free from State control and regulation. Both ideas linked technology with freedom. The idea of the information superhighway was that the emerging Internet was one part of an exciting technological advance that also included telecommunications. All of it was getting faster and better. All of it made us more connected with each other. Like a road network, these things provided easier access to places and ideas. Like a highway, they traversed the miles that separated us, drawing us together in a community of minds. Like a physical road, the whole thing suggested freedom of travel, individual agency, the chance to ‘boldly go’ wherever we pleased.

The Internet was what we would make it. The future was ours.

Jupplandia is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

Apparently though ‘information superhighway’ was a phrase invented by Al Gore in a 1978 meeting with computer industry magnates, and much beloved by the Clinton administration. In some ways the optimistic slant on communications technology harked back even further, recalling Harold Wilson’s 1963 speech about the ‘white heat of technology’. Boundless promises of technological advance have always excited governments, many of whom like to fantasise about a political legacy secured via sudden innovative advances. If purveyors of new technology are sometimes snakeoil salesman selling fake remedies, governments are often the balding consumptive hypochondriac who constitutes the perfect customer. And behind the idealistic visions, there were always political operatives.

Today, such messianic technological optimism recurs in Boris Johnson style grand projects, or in telecommunications again via the promises made for each increasing generation of broadband supply. Building a 5G as opposed to a 4G network, and presumably after that a 6G version, is proof, today, of taking technology and its impact on the economy seriously. The whole Net Zero agenda is another example, combining anxiety and political promises at one and the same time. There’s an element of anxiety too, as governments agonise over whether their communications, satellite network and Internet provision is being ‘left behind’ by other nations.

Today, even a pandemic is a political opportunity. Fear and hope, alleged crisis and alleged technological solution, are constant bedfellows. The WEF alternates between stoking fear and promising a tech utopia, as do advocates of things like 15 minute cities.

Both extreme hopes regarding technology, and extreme fears regarding being left behind, have long been expertly exploited by the corporate interests we call Big Tech. Silicon Valley and similar tech hubs are both the propagators and recipients of hopes and fears that are couched as broad and humanitarian ones, but are just as often commercial and political ones. The dream of new technology is sold as the dream of human progress, as the next leap in an uplifting saga of progress from the ape to the space race, a narrative which merely by us being human applies to us all. We gain some of the reflected glory. Everything from Da Vinci to Neil Armstrong is part of our story, and supposedly it encompasses too the rise of the mobile phone or the death of the fax machine.

Underneath this idealistic vision of progress, though, the true motivators are political in nature, encompassing monopolies of industry and technologies of control. Underneath, we find out with just a little investigation how closely involved political players and corporate actors have always been, quite often to their immediate advantage rather than in service to the general public or to ideal visions of future utopia. We find, for example, that Google was essentially a creation of the military-industrial complex. The still most famous search engine there is, the thing which decides where the information superhighway actually takes us, was designed from the start to let the CIA and other agencies monitor our thoughts and habits.

Search engines were built not just to provide a useful service in this new sphere of technology. They were built to track what we were saying to each other in this digital environment, to log what we were asking for and talking about, and to guide us towards the answers and conclusions that government preferred. This isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s a plain fact confirmed by any more than cursory examination of the history of modern tech giants and of specific companies in the Big Tech ecosystem. If you care to look, DARPA funding and technology is easily found. When you do look, you can see in some cases these were never independent commercial enterprises that then allowed themselves, for example, to be used as outsourced censorship advocates or propaganda suppliers. They were built by aspects of the State in the first place.

All of which has been made a lot plainer to the rest of us by Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, and by the subsequent revelations in the reporting of Matt Taibbi and others showing how embedded within the structure of these organisations agents of the State were. Today, we know that the FBI had a permanent presence in Twitter. We know how the Hunter Biden laptop story was suppressed across social media platforms as well as within legacy print media. Ironically, even the AI generated content supplied by (still controlled) search engines now has to admit these links. Thanks to alternative media reporting, some of the proof of a fascistic alliance between the State and corporations is now undeniable.

Here, for example, is what that AI generated search on Twitter will reveal:

James Baker: Former FBI General Counsel, Twitter’s Head of Policy and Trust & Safety (2020-2022). Baker was fired by Twitter CEO Elon Musk in November 2022 after his role in suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story.

Matthew Williams: Former FBI Intelligence Analyst, Twitter’s Senior Director of Product Trust (2020-2022). Williams spent over 15 years at the FBI, including serving as Chief of Staff to top executives.

Dawn Burton: Former FBI Special Agent, Twitter’s Director of Corporate Resilience (2020-2022). Burton worked at the FBI for 21 years, including as a senior supervisory agent.

Kevin Michelena: Former FBI Special Agent, Twitter’s Director of Security and Risk (2020-2022). Michelena spent over 20 years at the FBI, including as a senior supervisory agent.

CIA Figures at Twitter:

Jeff Carlton: Former CIA Operative, Twitter’s Head of Strategic Response Team (2020-2022). Carlton worked for both the CIA and FBI before joining Twitter.

Stacia Cardille: Former CIA Attorney, Twitter’s Senior Legal Executive (2020-2022). Cardille was involved in the CIA’s “Info Ops” program and worked with the FBI on social media surveillance and censorship efforts.

These individuals, along with others, have played key roles in shaping Twitter’s content moderation and censorship policies, raising concerns about the potential for government influence and bias in the platform’s decision-making processes.”

What’s remarkable here is not only how search engines today will admit these past links, but how at the same time they still work to move people away from the most obvious conclusions. The idea we are supposed to reach today is that State and alphabet agency interference in Big Tech and social media platforms (especially through the silencing of politically awkward or dissident messages and accounts) is a past scandal, rather than a still active or relevant one. But really it is only Musk’s independent decision to challenge woke attitudes and some forms of corruption (a limited challenge, but a vital one) which has allowed any of this truth to be acknowledged.

State responses to that process, and the continued existence of State and corporate aligned censorship and propaganda on everything else, show us that all of this information-censorship complex is still active. Musk now faces numerous legal troubles from the State, almost all of which are as baseless as similar prosecutions of Donald Trump. The message remains that going off-message is extremely dangerous, even if you happen to be a billionaire.

In other words, all the censorship and propaganda has not gone away. In fact, it’s getting worse. It’s been joined by an escalating attempt to criminalise all opposition through new legislation, and the distortion of existing legislation to pursue offenders against allowed orthodoxy.

All of the above is the context that occurred to me on reading a fascinating article on the popular Substack The Honest Broker. In Let’s Just Admit It: The Algorithms Are Broken, Ted Gioia discusses the algorithms deployed by search engines. The gist of the article is that the algorithms used by platforms like Spotify, Rumble, Google and others are now completely useless. Gioia talks about looking at a Jazz book and then receiving recommendations for books on spy fiction or, at best, AI generated jazz books of very low quality. The Honest Broker is blunt on the efficacy of search engines that have been corrupted by sponsored links and by suppliers purchasing priority appearance in lists of recommendations:

“The Google algorithm deliberately makes it difficult to find reliable information. That’s because there’s more money made from promoting garbage, and forcing users to scroll through oceans of crap.”

All of this is of course true, but what’s really astonishing about the article is its strict avoidance of a political dimension of discussion. In the course of a quite lengthy description of the way search engines now direct people towards junk content, including multiple examples of this process and a fairly honest assessment of the financial incentives underpinning it, the one thing Goiai doesn’t refer to is the way the information superhighway and its search engine navigators only direct people towards results that fit a political narrative.

Selling us crap after all comes in more than one form. Yes, it can come by means of directing us towards products we don’t want, or products unrelated to what we do want. Yes, this can apply in a purely commercial sense as we receive endless advertising for inferior items, or as we get ads for a bicycle when we are looking for a toy pony. In those cases the algorithms may just be crap, or they may be manipulated by already existing payments from others. But there’s a kind of innocence still to this purely mercenary distortion of search results. It’s not there to serve a bigger or more malign agenda. It’s an annoyance where a service isn’t as good as it should be.

Far more worrying, surely, is the way that search engines refuse to supply access to political commentary that the masters of search engines do not want us to see. The fact is that search engines in the digital age have become vital tools of research used by everyone. If we want to read a product review, we go to a search engine. If we want to access statistical information on a political topic, we go to a search engine. Theoretically, we can still go to a library or consult our own bookshelves, but that’s of rather limited use in a rolling news cycle. Politics in particular depends on access to accurate information, and politics in particular is always going to be subject to distortion and lies. It’s the home field of propaganda, and the heavily contested ground of competing, self-declared Truths.

I can’t be the only one who has noticed how the navigation system of the information superhighway leads us only to acceptable destinations. Not truthful ones. Not accurate ones. Not representative ones. Allowed ones. Search engines are the satnavs of the information superhighway, of the entire telecommunications network. And they are being used to guide us towards only those pre determined conclusions we are supposed to have.

Nor is this a process that some old fashioned version of market competition allows us to escape. Disgusted with the political bias of the algorithms of Google, I have moved time and again to fresh search engines. Each time I have found that alternatives, search engines like DuckDuckGo or Brave, are just as bad. Quite often any alternative that emerges is quickly subsumed within the existing Big Tech monopolies. If it was ever independent, any hint of success sees it being purchased by the near feudal lords of the tech monopolies. In each case, I have had instances where articles I have previously read cannot be found again, even with highly accurate search enquiry terms related to them. Things which you know exist are then banned or shadow banned, or are lowered so far down returned results that you will never see them.

And at the same time the search engines will spew out forty or fifty articles or sources saying the exact opposite of the thing you were looking for. This is not accidental, nor is it proof that these ‘opposite results’ are in fact more real, more accurate, and more truthful than the thing you were looking for. All it proves is that you are being politically directed, steered at all times towards a conclusion of their choice, even as you search for evidence in support of your choice.

The truly astonishing thing in Let’s Just Admit It: The Algorithms Are Broken is the total lack of consideration of this political dimension to the corruption of search engines and algorithms. It’s bizarre to see this kind of blindness from an ‘honest broker’. Search engines and the selectivity provided by politically biased algorithms are now just as much a vital problem as the journalist activism of the controlled mainstream media and the constant pumping out of propaganda funded by vested interests is a problem. Not letting you see the truth is as powerful a tool of control as pointing your eyes towards lies is. Contemporary propaganda works by both instruction and omission, and talking about minor irritations of search engines directing you towards crap you don’t want to buy commercially may be just another way of avoiding discussing the way these search engines direct you towards crap you don’t want to buy politically.

Perhaps that’s why I’m still allowed to read The Honest Broker in the first place. Critics of modern tech who avoid the political issues are, after all, pretty safe. They are themselves safe from silencing, and they are considered safe enough for us to consume their content. In reality though, people have known since at least Orwell’s time how much tyranny depends on the things not said as well the things that are said. I don’t mean to be unfair to a Substacker who is saying something true, but I wish the bigger truths were on offer too.

One of those is that AI direction of human thought towards selected conclusions will be a terrifying phenomenon. It will be worse than biased search engines hiding the truth from us. It might be a stage by which the capacity for truth is lost as a human quality altogether. The machines will determine what we think, entirely, both the political machine and the artificial intelligence. This is a lot more important than getting a spy book recommended to you instead of a Jazz book.

https://jupplandia.substack.com/p/the-propaganda-superhighway?r=2k0c5&triedRedirect=true

Body-by-Guinness

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Windows 11 Update Will Preserve Every Screen You’ve Seen on Your Computer
« Reply #1062 on: May 28, 2024, 05:41:40 PM »
And those screen will be AI searchable. Some days I’m really freaking glad I’m an Apple products user:

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2024/05/27/oh-gawd-windoze-11-to-record-all-your-screens-are-belong-to-us/

Body-by-Guinness

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Who’s Spending What, Where?
« Reply #1063 on: May 30, 2024, 05:02:20 PM »
Interesting breakdown of presidential candidate spending on Meta (FB), who they target, in which markets. My big takeaway is that Biden, who is spending 3 times more, is doing so in some places where he ought to have a lock:

https://www.worldofdaas.com/p/biden-campaign-outspending-trump-and-rfk-jr-by-3x-on-meta

Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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Yes and thanks to Elon's Starlink he got the remote Brazilian tribesmen addicted to porn

 :-o

https://torontosun.com/news/world/remote-amazon-tribe-gets-internet-turns-men-into-porn-addicts

 :-D

yeah baby ......... 


Body-by-Guinness

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The Walkaway Movement in the Crosshairs
« Reply #1066 on: June 09, 2024, 02:56:57 PM »
You can tell how scared the Dems are of this movement by their efforts to derail and defame it:

https://twitterfiles.substack.com/p/twitter-files-extra-the-defaming

Crafty_Dog

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PP: Prager beats Google
« Reply #1067 on: June 10, 2024, 10:58:24 AM »


PragerU beats Google: On Friday, the Google app store removed PragerU's app for purportedly violating its rules on "hate speech." Google said that a review found "content or speech asserting that a protected group is inhuman, inferior or worthy of being hated." That content was a documentary on Hamas in which various interviewees had less than nice things to say about the terrorist group. As PragerU put it, "According to Google, sharing the stories of a former Palestinian refugee, an Arab Muslim born in Israel, and brave U.S. Navy SEALs who witnessed the horrors of Muslim extremism constitutes 'hate speech.'" Fortunately, someone at Google tapped into some common sense. "After further re-review," Google told PragerU, the suspension was declared to be in error, and the app was reinstated. Unfortunately, Google-owned YouTube has still demonetized more than 200 of PragerU's videos, including videos on the Ten Commandments, for various violations of its nebulous and very left-wing standards. Big Tech speech suppressors never do really get the message

Body-by-Guinness

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FB Isn’t Only Dishonest on the Political Front
« Reply #1068 on: June 10, 2024, 03:38:13 PM »
FB/Meta knowingly hosted scam ads the left their users on the losing side of things, ads that indeed violated Meta’s terms of service. As such judge says they can be sued:

Court Rules Meta Must Face Lawsuit Over Fraudulent Ads

Tyler Durden's Photo
BY TYLER DURDEN
MONDAY, JUN 10, 2024 - 11:25 AM
Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Facebook parent company Meta must face a lawsuit over claims it breached its terms of service by soliciting fraudulent advertisements from Chinese companies, a federal appeals court has ruled.


Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington on Jan. 31, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Christopher Calise and Anastasia Groschen sued Facebook in 2022 after they bought items advertised on Facebook. Mr. Calise’s car engine assembly kit did not arrive. Ms. Groschen’s toddler activity board did arrive, but it was a puzzle, not a board.

The pair said Facebook was unjustly enriching itself and being negligent by not only accepting but soliciting ads from scammers. That included efforts to solicit ads from China-based advertisers, despite internal data indicating nearly three-in-10 such ads violated one or more Facebook policies.

They also said that Facebook was breaching the contract it made with users when it stated in its terms of service that if it learned of harmful conduct, “we will take appropriate action,” but instead solicited, encouraged, and assisted deceptive advertisers.

The entire case was thrown out by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White, who ruled the claims were barred by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

However, Judge White was wrong to toss the breach allegations, according to the new ruling, which came from a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Section 230 confers immunity on providers “of an interactive computer service” for “information provided by another information content provider.” The law bars treating the providers “as a publisher or speaker” in such cases.

But Meta “has failed to meet its burden of showing that § 230(c)(1) applies to plaintiffs’ contract-related claims, because these claims do not ’seek to treat [Meta] as a publisher or speaker,'” U.S. Circuit Judge Ryan Nelson, writing for the majority, said.

“To the extent that Meta manifested its intent to be legally obligated to ’take appropriate action' to combat scam advertisements, it became bound by a contractual duty separate from its status as a publisher. We thus hold that Meta’s duty arising from its promise to moderate third-party advertisements is unrelated to Meta’s publisher status, and § 230(c)(1) does not apply to plaintiffs’ contract claims,” he added later.

The appeals court remanded the case back to Judge White.

“Discussions of a narrower application of Section 230 coming from the Ninth Circuit are encouraging,” Courtney Maccarone, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told The Epoch Times in an email. She added, “We look forward to continuing to pursue our clients’ claims in district court.”

Meta did not respond to a request for comment.

The claims regarding unjust enrichment, negligence, and state business law were correctly judged as falling under Section 230 immunity because there was not enough evidence to show Meta “materially contributed” to the ads, Judge Nelson said.

“Without more allegations of Meta’s contribution, its ’solicitation‘ or ’assistance' for advertisers—a fundamental part of Meta’s business model and that of countless other internet companies—does not undo § 230(c)(1)’s protections just because it could be misused by third parties,” he wrote.

Judge Nelson was joined by U.S. Circuit Judges Jacqueline Nguyen and Eugene Siler Jr.

Judge Nelson was appointed under President Donald Trump, while Judge Nguyen received his appointment from President Barack Obama. Judge Siler was appointed by President George H. W. Bush, and Judge White was appointed by President George W. Bush.

In a concurring opinion, Judge Nelson said that it was time to reconsider the sweeping immunity that courts have ruled Section 230 gives to Facebook and other Big Tech companies. He pointed to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s statement in 2020 that said courts have stretched the protection from publishers and speakers to distributors, thus granting immunity “even when a company distributes content that it knows is illegal.”

“These courts argue that this rule encourages ’self[-]regulation,'” Judge Nelson said. “But as plaintiffs have plausibly pled, when an internet company has an economic incentive to permit unlawful content to be posted by third parties, it seems to encourage the opposite—willful blindness.”

The broad immunity also conflicts with other laws, including one that imposes liability for knowingly displaying obscene material to children, the judge said, and has resulted in protecting companies displaying such material and even facilitating terrorism.

“These applications stretch the statute’s plain meaning beyond recognition. And they will continue to occur unless we consider a more limited interpretation of § 230(c)(1)’s scope of immunity,” Judge Nelson said. “In a world ever evolving and with artificial intelligence raising the specter of lawless and limitless protections under § 230(c)(1), we should revisit our precedent and ensure we have grounded its application.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/court-rules-meta-must-face-lawsuit-over-fraudulent-ads

Body-by-Guinness

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Facebook Back in the Censorship Biz
« Reply #1069 on: June 11, 2024, 04:47:30 AM »
2nd FB/Meta are fascist scumbags posts in a row. A centrist Dem scientist that is credentialed out the wazoo and doesn’t buy the Church of Anthropomorphic Climate Apocalypse’s CACA pronouncements is (again) being censored on Facebook:

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2024/06/facebook-censoring-climate-dissent-again.php

For those that haven’t been keeping up on emerging climate related science over in Pathological Science, numerous tenets of CACA’s religion have take big hits of late, not that the MSM is reporting on any of it….

Body-by-Guinness

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State Dept. Won’t Say if it’s Again Collaborating w/ Censorship Orgs
« Reply #1070 on: June 14, 2024, 08:41:54 PM »
Well it worked four years ago, so why stop now?

State Department Won’t Say If It’s Colluding With Big Tech To Censor Speech Ahead Of 2024 Election

BY: SHAWN FLEETWOOD
JUNE 14, 2024

The State Department didn’t respond when pressed on whether it’s colluding with Big Tech to censor so-called ‘disinformation.’
Author Shawn Fleetwood profile
SHAWN FLEETWOOD

The State Department is refusing to say whether it is communicating with Big Tech platforms to censor free speech online leading up to the 2024 election.

The agency’s silence on the matter came after The Federalist asked about a new working group launched by the United States and Poland on Monday that seeks to counter Russian “disinformation” about Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Called the “Ukraine Communications Group (UCG),” the body will involve the two aforementioned countries and representatives from NATO states, and work to “coordinate messaging, promote accurate reporting of Russia’s full-scale invasion, amplify Ukrainian voices, and expose Kremlin information manipulation.”

According to the Associated Press, James Rubin, the special envoy and coordinator for the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC), was involved with and attended the UCG’s inaugural launch in Warsaw. As The Federalist’s Margot Cleveland previously explained, GEC “funded the development of censorship tools” that work to silence (primarily conservative) speech online and “used ‘government employees to act as sales reps pitching … censorship products to Big Tech.'”

Notably, Rubin and the GEC are named defendants in a lawsuit filed by The Federalist, The Daily Wire, and the state of Texas in December to stop the federal government’s censorship operations.

When pressed by The Federalist on whether the UCG or its participating members — including the State Department and GEC — will be collaborating with Big Tech and social media companies to censor what they deem to be “Russian disinformation,” a State Department spokesman claimed the working group “is a coordination mechanism between governments and will not involve collaboration with private technology companies or social media companies.”

“The UCG member states intend to work together to unify our communication efforts and ensure the world hears Ukraine’s story and never forgets the Kremlin’s ongoing efforts to wipe Ukraine off the map and subjugate its people,” the representative said.

However, when subsequently pressed on whether the State Department or GEC are collaborating or plan to collaborate with Big Tech and social media companies outside of their work with the UCG to counter so-called “disinformation,” the spokesman did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment.

Meanwhile, the FBI confirmed to The Federalist last month it has resumed communications with social media platforms ahead of the 2024 election. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) — another wing of the government’s censorship-industrial complex — declined to comment when asked about its alleged resumed communications with Big Tech.

GEC’s Censorious Past

GEC has acted as a critical component of the federal government’s orchestrated campaign to silence free speech.

Through GEC, the State Department funded the U.K.-based Global Disinformation Index (GDI), a so-called “disinformation” tracking organization “working to blacklist and defund conservative news sites,” including The Federalist. As Victoria Marshall previously wrote in these pages, GDI’s “shadowy network of tracking groups labels the content on these independent news sites as disinformation so brands will not offer ads on their sites.”

The goal, as described by Marshall, is “to financially hurt independent publications and ultimately prevent them from disseminating content.” Other non-leftist media outlets GDI’s 2022 “exclusion list” labeled as the “riskiest” pushers of supposed “disinformation” include The Daily Wire, RealClearPolitics, and Newsmax.

NewsGuard — another “disinformation” tracking group with a history of assigning bogus ratings to news organizations — has also received federal grant money through an initiative sponsored by GEC.

An interim report released by House Republicans in November revealed GEC’s censorship efforts in U.S. elections. According to that analysis, GEC — along with CISA — colluded with Stanford University to pressure Big Tech companies into censoring what they claimed to be “disinformation” during the 2020 contest.

At the heart of this operation was the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), “a consortium of ‘disinformation’ academics” spearheaded by the Stanford Internet Observatory that coordinated with DHS and GEC “to monitor and censor Americans’ online speech” ahead of the 2020 election.

Created “at the request” of CISA, EIP allowed federal officials to “launder [their] censorship activities in hopes of bypassing both the First Amendment and public scrutiny.” As documented in the interim report, this operation attempted to censor “true information, jokes and satire, and political opinions” and submitted flagged posts from prominent conservative figures to Big Tech companies for censorship. Among those targeted were The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway and Sean Davis.

Will SCOTUS Save the Day?

Federal agencies’ ability to continue coordination with Big Tech to censor posts they deem unfavorable was made possible due to an October ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in a case known as Murthy v. Missouri.

In that case, which was filed in 2022, the then-attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana alleged that the federal government’s pressuring of social media companies to censor free speech online constitutes a violation of the First Amendment. U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty agreed and issued a preliminary injunction on July 4, 2023, barring federal agencies from colluding with Big Tech to censor posts they don’t like.

Despite being later upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, SCOTUS lifted the 5th Circuit’s injunction without explanation in October. (The 5th Circuit’s injunction excluded the State Department, with the court’s majority claiming Doughty “erred in finding that … State Department Officials likely violated Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights.”)

In his dissent, Associate Justice Samuel Alito espoused fears that the high court’s “unfortunate” decision “will be seen by some as giving the Government a green light to use heavy-handed tactics to skew the presentation of views on the medium that increasingly dominates the dissemination of news.”

“The injunction applies only when the Government crosses the line and begins to coerce or control others’ exercise of their free-speech rights,” Alito wrote. “Does the Government think that the First Amendment allows Executive Branch officials to engage in such conduct? Does it have plans for this to occur between now and the time when this case is decided?”

Alito was joined in his dissent by Associate Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a final verdict in Murthy v. Missouri this month.

Shawn Fleetwood is a staff writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He previously served as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood

Crafty_Dog

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