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Lawmakers Push for the Censorship of “Harmful Content,” “Disinformation” in Latest Section 230 Reform Push

Section 230 of the Communications Act (CDA), an online liability shield that prevents online apps, websites, and services from being held civilly liable for content posted by their users if they act in “good faith” to moderate content, provided the foundation for most of today’s popular platforms to grow without being sued out of existence. But as these platforms have grown, Section 230 has become a political football that lawmakers have used in an attempt to influence how platforms editorialize and moderate content, with pro-censorship factions threatening reforms that force platforms to censor more aggressively and pro-free speech factions pushing reforms that reduce the power of Big Tech to censor lawful speech.

And during a Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing yesterday, lawmakers discussed a radical new Section 230 proposal that would sunset the law and create a new solution that “ensures safety and accountability for past and future harm.”

We obtained a copy of the draft bill to sunset Section 230 for you here.

In a memo for the hearing, lawmakers acknowledged that their true intention is “not to have Section 230 actually sunset” but to “encourage” technology companies to work with Congress on Section 230 reform and noted that they intend to focus on the role Section 230 plays in shaping how Big Tech addresses “harmful content, misinformation, and hate speech” — three broad, subjective categories of legal speech that are often used to justify censorship of disfavored opinions.

And during the hearing, several lawmakers signaled that they want to use this latest piece of Section 230 legislation to force social media platforms to censor a wider range of content, including content that they deem to be harmful or misinformation.

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Biggest Corporate Welfare Scam of All Time

Biggest Corporate Welfare Scam of All Time

President Joe Biden keeps lecturing corporate America to “pay your fair share” of taxes. It turns out he’s right that some companies really are getting away scot-free from paying taxes.

But it isn’t Big Tech companies in Silicon Valley or the Wall Street financial company “fat cats” or big banks or Walmart. They pay billions in taxes.

The culprits here are the very companies that President Biden is in bed with: green-energy firms.

It turns out that despite all of the promises over the past decade about how renewable energy is the future of power production in the United States, by far the biggest tax dodgers in the country are the wind and solar power industries. Over the past several decades, the green-energy lobby—what I call the climate-change-industrial complex—hasn’t been paying its fair share. That’s because the vast majority of these companies pay nearly zero income taxes.

But they wade in rivers of federal direct and indirect subsidies that keep these zombie companies alive. Over the past two decades, the renewable energy lobby has collected more than $250 billion in subsidies—payments that we’ve been assured over and over would be temporary. The argument for these grants, loans, tax abatements, and other sweetheart kisses is that these were “infant industries” in need of a Head Start program for CEOs. Except that these companies have never even reached puberty after all these years.

What’s worse is that President Biden keeps spoiling the children with lavish gifts for bad performance. A new report by tax expert Adam Michel at the Cato Institute finds that the green-energy subsidies—mostly created by Biden policies such as the so-called Inflation Reduction Act—will drain the Treasury of as much as $1.8 trillion over 10 years.”

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Social Media Fact Checkers Claim Their Work Isn’t Censorship. Here’s Why It Is.

“Fact-checking” isn’t just labeling. It tanks the visibility of posts.

There’s good news, and bad: first, the fact that “fact-checkers” masquerading as unbiased and accurate moderators of content – while actually unreliable and bias-prone tools of censorship – are now recognized widely enough as just that, to trigger a reaction from some prominent actors.

But then – these “fact-checkers” are reacting in order to double down on their role as something positive, and justified.

Because there are no facts to support this attitude, one of the key “fact-checkers” is hiding behind an opinion piece. But the claim is there: “Fact-checking is not censorship,” a post on Poynter wants you to believe.

This, despite the organization, which acts to “certify fact-checkers” via the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), having a project that has resulted in mass suppression of posts on Facebook.

According to Facebook (Meta) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, posts that get fact-checked experience a 95% drop in clicks. In other words, even if this content is not outright removed, it is made virtually invisible. That’s censorship by any other name.

So how in the world can Poynter claim that activities of those it certifies actually result in “adding to the public debate” rather than suppressing it?

It can, and does. Meanwhile, a report recently published by Meta paints a different picture: the EU that was no doubt happy to share that “fact-checking” reduces users’ attempts to share posts by 47 and 38 percent on Facebook and Instagram, respectively.

Of course, neither Meta nor the EU are offering this data as proof of negative and nefarious efforts resulting in censorship; instead they are treated simply as proof that Meta complies with EU’s “codes” and other rules, also in the end producing more censorship.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Scotland Implements Controversial Hate Legislation That Damages Free Speech

A major attack on free speech was introduced on April 1st.
Scotland’s contentious “hate crime” legislation, widely criticized as an affront to free speech, is now in effect. Critics have voiced concerns that these new measures, while designed to address the alleged harm inflicted by hatred and bias, may inadvertently act as a tool to suppress freedom of speech and be abused.

Implemented on 1 April under the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act, the laws aim to bolster protections for individuals and communities vulnerable to hate crimes.

These laws offer a unifying structure that both consolidates current legislation and introduces new offenses. Now, any threatening or abusive conduct intended to inflame hate, rooted in prejudice towards various characteristics like age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and transgender identity, constitutes wrongdoing.

The law, applicable even within the boundaries of private family homes, penalizes behavior devised to incite hatred, a provision previously only applicable to racial matters in Scotland.

Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s First Minister, stated emphatically that a “zero-tolerance approach” is needed to combat hate. He expressed his confidence in the police’s ability to handle investigations related to alleged hate.

The majority of the Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) approved the legislation in 2021. High-profile figures like J.K. Rowling and Elon Musk have publicly expressed their disapproval of the act, highlighting its threat to free speech.

A recent letter to Holyrood’s criminal justice committee from the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (ASPS) raised concerns that an activist fringe might “weaponize” the law.Police Scotland has pledged to examine every hate crime reported.

The First Minister reaffirmed his “absolute faith” in the abilities of the police force to filter out frivolous complaints at the First Minister’s Questions session.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Irish Government Wants Pre-Election Pact With Tech Giants To Counter Online “Disinformation”

A move that raises accusations of manipulating Big Tech’s power.

Many governments around the world are no longer at least pretending they don’t see Big Tech as a major political asset, or that they will not try to use that asset to their advantage. Instead, this behavior is slowly being normalized – albeit always qualified as a democracy-preserving, rather than undermining policy.

In other words, something driven by the need to combat “disinformation” and not what critics suspect it is – the need to harness and control the massive reach, influence, and power of major social platforms.

Judging by reports out of Ireland, it is among those countries, with big words like “supercharged disinformation threats to democracy” flying around as the government looks to use what some might call “supercharged fearmongering” to secure no less than a “pre-election pact with tech giants.”

Some of this is yet to be enacted through the Electoral Reform Act, so in the meanwhile Big Tech representatives have been summoned to a meeting, via lobbyists representing them, Technology Ireland, to discuss the said “threats.”

The Electoral Reform Act is supposed to formalize new rules for both platforms and those buying ads, while during the meeting, set to take place in late April, tech companies will be expected to sign “the Irish Election Integrity Accord.”

A letter signed by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien and Minister of State Malcolm Noonan explained that the Accord will be new, but based on the Electoral Reform Act from 2022, and always focusing on “disinformation,” and advertising. What the giants are expected to sign up to is “a set of principles for the sector and the state to work by to safeguard our democracy over these crucial next few months.”

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More Details Have Come to Light About Feds’ Surveillance of Everyone That Watched Certain YouTube Videos

Recently, it came to light that US courts are issuing orders to YouTube (Google) to hand over user information – a previously unreported form of dragnet investigation. And now additional details about the practice are emerging.

Forbes broke the story last month after seeing documents that showed a court order covering all YouTube users who watched certain videos over a period of time. Personal data required by law enforcement in these cases was very detailed.

Regarding Google users – that’s information from their Google accounts (name, address, phone number and records, online payments history, IP address, etc…), while everybody else visiting URLs listed in the order had their IP addresses surrendered.

A one-year gag order made sure Google could not make any of this publicly known, and now we’re hearing about it because that time period has expired.

However, the actual documents that the original article was based on were not published at that time; now, reports say they have been made available on the Bluesky platform.

The order covers the first 8 days of 2023, and three apparently obscure and in and of themselves harmless YouTube videos (the target of the investigation was a person suspected of illegal activity, while the video’s URLs were “exchanged” during communication between undercover investigators and their target).

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Judge Bars Biden Officials, Agencies From Contacting Social Media Companies

Judge Bars Biden Officials, Agencies From Contacting Social Media Companies

In an order fittingly issued on Independence Day, a federal judge in Louisiana has forbidden multiple federal agencies and named officials from having any contact with social media companies with the intent to moderate content.  

The preliminary injunction arises from a suit filed by the states of Missouri and Louisiana, along with individuals that include two leading critics of the Covid-19 lockdown regime — Harvard’s Martin Kulldorff and Stanford’s Jay Bhattacharya — and Jim Hoft, who owns the right-wing website Gateway Pundit.

“If the allegations made by plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history,” wrote US District Judge Terry A. Doughty. “The plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits in establishing that the government has used its power to silence the opposition.”

The dozens of people and agencies bound by the injunction include President Biden, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, the Treasury Department, State Department, the US Election Assistance Commission, the FBI and entire Justice Department, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Bhattacharya and Kulldorff, who are among the originators of the Great Barrington Declaration that denounced the lockdown regime, have been victims of social media censorship. For example, the pair says their censorship-triggering statements included assertions that “thinking everyone must be vaccinated is scientifically flawed,” questioning the value of masks, and stating that natural immunity is stronger than vaccine immunity.

While the case is dominated by Covid-19 censorship, it also encompasses the Justice Department’s efforts to suppress reporting about Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” in the run-up to the 2020 election. Doughty gave credence to that accusation.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Twitter Files Prove America Headed For “Totalitarian State Territory”, Expert Warns

Twitter Files Prove America Headed For “Totalitarian State Territory”, Expert Warns

Thanks to the revelations in the Twitter Files, there’s evidence that the FBI and other agencies worked to suppress “lawful speech,” and if this type of action is allowed to continue, the United States is headed for “totalitarian state territory,” Matthew Peterson, the cofounder of New Founding, said in an interview with Epoch Times–NTD collaborative program “Newsmakers.”

New Founding helps people and organizations position themselves to avoid threats from Big Tech and “woke capital,” and Peterson has two decades of experience in digital media and political consulting.

When asked what will happen if the country’s current trajectory continues for three to five years, Peterson said, “We’ll be in totalitarian state territory, there’s no question about it.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray (C) on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Nov. 15, 2022. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“I mean, remember, this went so far as the government saying, ‘You need to find evidence that there are Russians influencing the election on Twitter.’ And Twitter saying, ‘No, that’s not happening.’

“And then [Twitter had] to be quiet about it and not even defend themselves when they knew that there wasn’t Russian interference that they could find,” he added.

Peterson further explained that the U.S. government drove a narrative that it knew wasn’t true and was the “antithesis” of America’s founding principles.

“[The government’s actions are] the antithesis of America. The American founding is basically contradicted by what’s happening here, over and over again. And if we don’t do something about that, we will not have free speech in this country,” Peterson warned.

FBI and Fake News

Peterson pointed out that one of the biggest revelations in the Twitter Files—a collection of internal emails and communications made public by the company’s CEO, Elon Musk—was that the intelligence community’s influence on Twitter was more significant than anyone imagined.

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Of Economic Crises and Pandemics: Facebook as Fact, Government as Truth, Big Pharma as God

Of Economic Crises and Pandemics: Facebook as Fact, Government as Truth, Big Pharma as God

If events since March 2020 have shown us anything, it is that fear is a powerful weapon for securing hegemony. Any government can manipulate fear about certain things while conveniently ignoring real dangers that a population faces.

Author and researcher Robert J Burrowes says:

…if we were seriously concerned about our world, the gravest and longest-standing health crisis on the planet is the one that starves to death 100,000 people each day. No panic about that, of course.”

No panic because the controlling interests of the global food system have long profited from a ‘stuffed and starved’ strategy that ensures people unnecessarily go hungry when corporate profit rather than need dictates policies.

US social commentator Walter Lippmann once said that ‘responsible men’ make decisions and must be protected from the ‘bewildered herd’ – the public. He added that the public should be subdued, obedient and distracted from what is really happening. Screaming patriotic slogans and fearing for their lives, they should be admiring with awe leaders who save them from destruction.

During COVID, Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern urged citizens to trust the government and its agencies for all information and stated:

Otherwise, dismiss anything else. We will continue to be your single source of truth.”

In the US, Fauci presented himself as ‘the science’. In New Zealand, Ardern was ‘the truth’. It was similar in countries across the world – different figures but the same approach.

Like other political leaders, Ardern clamped down on civil liberties with the full force of state violence on hand to ensure compliance with ‘the truth’. Those who questioned the COVID narrative – including world-renowned scientists – were smeared, shut down and censored.

It was an internationally orchestrated campaign involving governments, the big tech companies, media and the WHO, among others.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Hunting the Twitter Files

Hunting the Twitter Files

Legacy Media Censor Details About Censorship

By Nolan Higdon

More than two years since Big Tech made the historic decision to limit access to the New York Post’s story about President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, users are getting a glimpse into how Twitter came to that decision. However, delusional legacy and social media outlets are doing everything they can to misrepresent and bury the consequential details of the process.

An October 2020 New York Post story titled “Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad” offered sensationalistic photos and details of Hunter’s addiction issues coupled with damning emails indicating that Hunter utilized his connection with his father to curry favor and economic opportunity in foreign countries. At the time, intelligence officials told members of the press that the story was Russian propaganda aimed at influencing that year’s election. As a result, Big Tech platforms limited access to the story including in direct messages which is usually done only in extreme cases such as child pornography.

On Friday, December 2, 2022, Elon Musk promised to release files related to the matter. Soon afterward, journalist Matt Taibbi published a report based on thousands of internal Twitter documents. Taibbi demonstrated that Twitter’s decision to remove the Hunter Biden story was influenced in part by Biden’s campaign. Indeed, as Taibbi described, Twitter’s staff regularly fields phone calls from powerful people in government and acts upon their requests to moderate content. And it’s is not just Twitter. During a 2022 interview with Joe Rogan, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Meta (formerly Facebook) Mark Zuckerberg  admitted that his company’s decision to moderate content – including the 2020 Hunter story – is sometimes based on recommendations from the intelligence community. Similarly, The Intercept reported in 2022 that the Department of Homeland Security regularly informs Big Tech’s content moderation practices.

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Leaked Docs Reveal Shocking Extent Of DHS “Disinfo” Collusion With Twitter, Facebook

Leaked Docs Reveal Shocking Extent Of DHS “Disinfo” Collusion With Twitter, Facebook

In August, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted on the Joe Rogan podcast that the FBI approached the company warning of “Russian propaganda” shortly before the Hunter Biden laptop story broke at the NY Post.

“Basically, the background here is the FBI, I think, basically came to us– some folks on our team and was like, ‘Hey, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert…  We thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that, basically, there’s about to be some kind of dump of that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant,” Zuckerberg told Rogan.

Now, leaked documents provided to The Intercept reveal that government collusion with big tech goes much deeper.

The effort began in 2018, after former President Donald Trump signed the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act in the wake of several high-profile hacking incidents, forming a new wing of DHS devoted to protecting critical national infrastructure.

The Department of Homeland Security is quietly broadening its efforts to curb speech it considers dangerous, an investigation by The Intercept has found. Years of internal DHS memos, emails, and documents — obtained via leaks and an ongoing lawsuit, as well as public documents — illustrate an expansive effort by the agency to influence tech platforms.

The work, much of which remains unknown to the American public, came into clearer view earlier this year when DHS announced a new “Disinformation Governance Board”: a panel designed to police misinformation (false information spread unintentionally), disinformation (false information spread intentionally), and malinformation (factual information shared, typically out of context, with harmful intent) that allegedly threatens U.S. interests…

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Why The Biden Admin Wants Censorship Of Renewable Energy Critics

Why The Biden Admin Wants Censorship Of Renewable Energy Critics

National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy calls on Big Tech to censor renewable energy critics in the name of “public health”

Biden Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy last week demanded that Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies crack down on those who are “seeding doubt about the costs associated with [green energy] and whether they work or not” in the name of public health.

In the face of widespread public outrage, the Biden Administration last month backed away from a proposal to create a disinformation board at the Department of Homeland Security.

But now it’s back with new demands to censor its critics, this time using a tactic that has worked in the recent past: by framing them as a threat to public health.

In a talk with Axios, Biden Administration Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy said, “The tech companies have to stop allowing specific individuals over and over again to spread disinformation.”

After an Axios reporter asked, “Isn’t misinformation and disinfo around climate a threat to public health itself?” McCarthy responded, “Oh, absolutely… We are talking, really, about risks that no longer need to be tolerated to our communities.”

McCarthy pointed specifically to those who criticized the failure of weather-dependent renewables during the blackouts in Texas in February 2021. But many of those criticisms were factual. Over the last decade in Texas, investors sunk over $53 billion on weather-dependent energy sources, mostly wind turbines, which alongside frozen fossil fuel plants were largely unavailable during the cold snap in February. That was only partly because of the cold and mostly because of low wind speeds.

McCarthy claimed that the critics of renewables are funded by “dark money” fossil fuel companies, which she compared to Big Tobacco…

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Digital Brownshirts and Their Masters


Digital Brownshirts and Their Masters

We are under siege. A nihilistic fanaticism is running free among us thanks to the emergence of a journalistic “ethos” that establishes an almost complete equivalence between the “truth” and those utterances that support the strategic goals of the great economic and digital powers of our time.

A few months ago Facebook censored an article in the British Medical Journal that highlighted serious irregularities in Pfizer’s clinical vaccine trials. Then two weeks ago, fact-checkers from the Spanish websites Newtral and Maldita burst into the public square to accuse professor of Pharmacology, renowned expert in drug safety, and ex-WHO adviser, Joan Ramón Laporte of foisting lies and disinformation onto the Spanish populace. This, in reaction to Laporte’s testimony before a Spanish parliamentary commission investigating the country’s vaccination effort.

Despite his towering credentials, his intervention was quickly tarred as problematic by the media and subsequently banned by YouTube. The crime of this new Galileo Galilei? Alerting the assembled parliamentarians to the existence of grave procedural irregularities in the trials for the vaccines, and questioning the wisdom of a health strategy that aims to inject every Spanish child over the age of six with a new, poorly tested, and largely ineffective medication.

This incident reveals that the fact-checkers will attack anyone who does not accept the truth as dictated by the great economic and government centers of the world. This is not the usual official media obfuscation to which we’ve become accustomed over the years, but rather a brazen McCarthyist intimidation device, designed to frighten citizens into submission by appealing to their lowest and most ignoble instincts, an approach lain bare in Maldita’s smug and Manichaean slogan: “Join and support us in our battle against lies.”

Under this harsh binary logic, an internationally famous scientist like Laporte is not even given the opportunity to be judged wrong or misguided in good faith. Rather, he is immediately accused of being a willful and dangerous liar who must be immediately banished from public view.

Fact-checkers as destroyers of science and the public sphere.

Nowadays the word “fascist” is used so profligately that it has lost most of its meaning. But if we are really serious about describing the operational logic of fact-checking entities like Maldita and Newtral we must recur precisely to that term, adding the prefix “neo” to avoid confusion with the original version of this totalitarian sensibility.

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Defending Freedom And Democracy Sure Requires An Awful Lot Of Censorship

Defending Freedom And Democracy Sure Requires An Awful Lot Of Censorship

Listen to a reading of this article:

Kremlin-backed media outlets have been banned throughout the European Union, both on television and on apps and online platforms. RT has lost its Sky TV slot in the UK, where the outlet is also blocked on YouTube. Australian TV providers SBS and Foxtel have dropped RT, and the federal government is putting pressure on social media platforms to block Russian media in Australia.

In the Czech RepublicSlovakia, and Latvia, speaking in support of the Russian invasion of Ukraine will get you years in prison.

Twitter, historically the last of the major online platforms to jump on any new internet censorship escalation, is now actively minimizing the number of people who see Russian media content, saying that it is “reducing the content’s visibility” and “taking steps to significantly reduce the circulation of this content on Twitter”. This censorship-by-algorithm tactic is exactly what I speculated might emerge after former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey resigned back in November, due to previous comments supportive of that practice by his successor Parag Agrawal.

Twitter is also placing warnings labels on all Russia-backed media and delivering a pop-up message informing you that you are committing wrongthink if you try to share or even ‘like’ a post linking to such outlets on the platform. It has also placed the label “Russia state-affiliated media” on every tweet made by the personal accounts of employees of those platforms, baselessly giving the impression that the dissident opinions tweeted by those accounts are paid Kremlin content and not simply their own legitimate perspectives. Some are complaining that this new label has led to online harassment amid the post-9/11-like anti-Russia hysteria that’s currently turning western brains into clam chowder.



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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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