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YouTube Removes 35,000 EU Videos for “Misinformation,” Enhances Content Censorship Ahead of 2024 Elections

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, join Reclaim The Net.

YouTube has (“voluntarily” or otherwise) assumed the role of a private business entity that “supports elections.”

Google’s video platform detailed in a blog post how this is supposed to play out, in this instance, in the EU.

With the European Parliament (EP) election just around the corner, YouTube set out to present “an overview of our efforts to help people across Europe and beyond find helpful and authoritative election news and information.”

The overview is the usual hodgepodge of reasonable concepts, such as promoting information on how to vote or register for voting, learning about election results, etc., that quickly morph into yet another battle in the “war on disinformation.”

And what better way to “support” an election (and by extension, democracy) – than to engage in another round of mass censorship? /s

But YouTube was happy to share that in 2023 alone, it removed 35,000 videos uploaded in the EU, having decided that this content violated the platform’s policies, including around what the blog post calls “certain types of elections misinformation” (raising the logical question if some types of “election misinformation” might be allowed).

As for who is doing this work, YouTube suggests it is a well-oiled machine hard at it around the clock, and “at scale” – made up of “global teams of reviewers” and machine learning algorithms.

The blog post first states that one of the goals of YouTube’s efforts is to help users “learn about the issues shaping the debate.” But then in the part of the article that goes into how the platform is “dealing with harmful content,” it at one point starts to look like the giant might be trying to shape that debate itself.

“Our Intelligence Desk has also been working for months to get ahead of emerging issues and trends that could affect the EU elections, both on and off YouTube,” reads the post.

In case somebody missed the point, YouTube reiterates it: “This helps our enforcement teams to address these potential trends before they become larger issues.”

And while machine learning (aka, AI) is mentioned as a positive when it comes to powering YouTube’s ability to censor at scale, later on in the post the obligatory mention is made of AI as a tool potentially dangerous to elections and democracy.

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

The Proof of Censorship is…Censored

The Proof of Censorship is...Censored

The Proof of Censorship is…Censored

It’s not been a good week for the Censorship Industrial Complex.

The machine has been built and put into action over nearly a decade but largely in secret. Its way of doing business has been via surreptitious contacts with media and tech companies, intelligence carve-outs in “fact-checking” organizations, payoffs, and various other clever strategies, all directed toward boosting some sources of information and suppressing others. The goal has always been to advance regime narratives and curate the public mind.

And yet, based on its operations and insofar as we can tell, it had every intention of remaining secret. This is for a reason. A systematic effort by government to bully private sector companies into a particular narrative while suppressing dissent contradicts American law and tradition. It also violates human rights as understood since the Enlightenment. It was a consensus, until very recently, that free speech was essential to the functioning of the good society.

Four years ago, many of us suspected censorship was going on, that the throttling and banning was not merely a mistake or the result of zealous employees stepping out of line. Three years ago, the proof started to arrive. Two years ago, it became a flood. With the Twitter files from a year ago, we had all the proof we needed that the censorship was systematic, directed, and highly effective. But even then, we only knew a fraction of it.

Thanks to discovery from court cases, FOIA requests, whistleblowers, Congressional inquiries thanks to the very narrow Republican control, and some industrial upheavals such as what happened at Twitter, we are overwhelmed with tens of thousands of pages all pointing to the same reality.

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

CISA, FBI resuming talks with social media firms over disinformation removal, Senate Intel chair says

CISA, FBI resuming talks with social media firms over disinformation removal, Senate Intel chair says

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. (L) speaks with NightDragon Founder and CEO Dave DeWalt (R) at the 2024 RSA conference in San Francisco, California.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. (L) speaks with NightDragon Founder and CEO Dave DeWalt (R) at the 2024 RSA conference in San Francisco, California. DAVID DIMOLFETTA/STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO — Key federal agencies have resumed discussions with social media companies over removing disinformation on their sites as the November presidential election nears, a stark reversal after the Biden administration for months froze communications with social platforms amid a pending First Amendment case in the Supreme Court, a top senator said Monday.

Mark Warner, D-Va., who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters in a briefing at RSA Conference that agencies restarted talks with social media companies as the Supreme Court heard arguments in Murthy v. Missouri, a case that first began in the Fifth Circuit appellate court last July. The case was fueled by allegations that federal agencies like the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency were coercing platforms to remove content related to vaccine safety and 2020 presidential election results.

The Supreme Court is expected to decide whether agencies are allowed to stay in touch with social media firms about potential disinformation. Missouri’s then-Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed the suit on the grounds that the Biden administration violated First Amendment rights pertaining to free speech online in a bid to suppress politically conservative voices.

According to Warner, communications between agencies and social platforms resumed roughly around the same time that multiple justices appeared to favor the executive branch’s stance on the issue, he said.

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

Flashback: When Newt Gingrich Demanded Internet Censorship For Terror War

Flashback: When Newt Gingrich Demanded Internet Censorship For Terror War

The neocon faction of the permanent ruling class, which permeates both parties, is eternally dangerous and must be perpetually kept in check, if not purged entirely.

The year was 2006, in the middle of a decade that cemented my hate for the state, probably forever.

The terror induced by government’s War of Terror propaganda was at its apex.

Jingoistic “Freedom Fries” were on offer at various patriotic establishment because “French fries” were faggy and soft.

The neocons had their guy, literally minus a beating heart, Dick Cheney, strategically placed as the real president, playing his moronic nominal boss like a fiddle.

The PATRIOT Act was in full effect and American civil liberties had never been more broken — although they would be in subsequent years.

And one Newt Gingrich, the viscerally repulsive, bloated embodiment of the rot in the overfed GOP establishment, wanted to censor the internet… because ‘Merica.

It went without saying at the time that, if you oppose state control of the web, you support terrorism.

In order to defend America, once must undermine all of the fundamental founding principles that made it great in the first place.

Via Politico (emphasis added):

Back in 2006, Gingrich argued censoring the Internet would be the right thing to do when it comes to Islamic radicals who use the web to organize jihad against the U.S.

We need to get ahead of the curve rather than wait until we actually literally lose a city, which I think could literally happen in the next decade if we’re unfortunate,’ Mr. Gingrich said during a speech in New Hampshire, according to a story I wrote at the time for The New York Sun. ‘We now should be impaneling people to look seriously at a level of supervision that we would never dream of if it weren’t for the scale of the threat.’…

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

Art of the Collapse, May 2024

Art of the Collapse, May 2024

Let’s play “match the satire to the atrocity”

There are so many wars (and related civil unrest) these days, that it’s hard to keep track of which meme/satire/diatribe is aimed at which crisis.

But April included April Fools’ Day, so at least we have a logical place to start:

CNN Publishes Real News Story For April Fools’ Day

(Babylon Bee) – Fooling thousands of readers in a prank that the cable news organization said was “just for fun,” CNN published a real news story for April Fools’ Day this year.

The story simply contained a list of facts, with no embellishment, editorializing, or invented details. The story also didn’t cite shaky “anonymous sources” and only quoted firsthand witnesses to the event. It was completely factual without any errors whatsoever.

Baffled CNN fans immediately knew something was up.

“I was reading this story, and I was like, ‘Wait, what is this?'” said one man in New York who relies on CNN for his fake news every morning. “They really got me good. Then I looked up at the calendar and I realized I’d been duped. A classic gag!”

And Scotland passed a hilariously draconian censorship law, which resulted in the police being swamped by prank complaints and the First Minister resigning.

Meanwhile, “squatters” became a thing:

As for the rest, I’ll just toss them out and you can play “match the satire to the atrocity”:

Exclusive: Every right-wing party in Europe needs to prepare for mass censorship, warns Flemish MEP Gerolf Annemans

Exclusive: Every right-wing party in Europe needs to prepare for mass censorship, warns Flemish MEP Gerolf Annemans

In an exclusive interview with Remix News, Gerolf Annemans, the Vlaams Belang MEP and president of the European Identity and Democracy group, warns that even greater censorship of conservatives is just around the corner, and tells right-wing groups what they must do to ensure their message continues to be heard

Conservative political parties across Europe should begin contingency planning for the inevitable time in the near future when right-wing platforms are the victims of mass censorship by an increasingly desperate liberal establishment, a senior Belgian nationalist lawmaker told Remix News at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Hungary last week

“Globally, we expect that we have to seek alternatives. That’s why we now organize visiting homes on a very large scale. We are shifting toward means that give us the opportunity to reach the electorate even if we are cut off on social media,” said Vlaams Belang MEP Gerolf Annemans.

“We have new means to talk to the people. People want to hear us. So, the people are open to hear and to listen to us and we adapt to the situation. We expect social media to be shut down for normal political communication,” the MEP warned.

Vlaams Belang is a Flemish nationalist party that proposes independence for the region of Flanders from the rest of Belgium. It has had considerable success on social media in recent years, particularly on Facebook where it has amassed 620,000 followers, helping the party push its core messages and propel itself to the top of the polls in the region….

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

24 ORGANIZATIONS AND EXPERTS CALL ON GOOGLE TO STOP AMPLIFYING AND PROFITING FROM CLIMATE DENIAL CONTENT

24 ORGANIZATIONS AND EXPERTS CALL ON GOOGLE TO STOP AMPLIFYING AND PROFITING FROM CLIMATE DENIAL CONTENT

Climate groups and academics call on Google to extend its climate disinformation policy, demonetize and stop amplifying climate denial content, and collaborate with NGOs and academic experts to update its policies.

Download report Find out more

In a letter to Google’s CEO Mr. Sundar Pichai, 24 organizations and academics call on Google to demonetize and stop amplifying climate denial content.

Organization signatories:

  • The Center for Countering Digital Hate
  • Association québécoise des médecins pour l’environnement (AQME)
  • Centre for Citizens Conserving Environment & Management (CECIC)
  • The Climate Coalition
  • ClimateMama
  • Équiterre
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Friends of the Earth (England, Wales & Northern Ireland)
  • Global Action Plan
  • Kairos Fellows
  • One Earth Sangha
  • Stand.earth
  • Texas Campaign for the Environment
  • TIAA-Divest!
  • QuotaClimat
  • The Working Class Climate Alliance
  • 350 Conejo / San Fernando Valley

Individual signatories:

  • Constantine Boussalis, Trinity College Dublin
  • John Cook, University of Melbourne
  • Marie-Eve Carignan, Université de Sherbrooke / Chaire UNESCO en prévention de la radicalisation et de l’extrémisme violents
  • Mirjam O. Nanko, University of Exeter
  • Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge
  • Stanley Rothbardt, Climate Reality Project
  • Stephan Lewandowsky, University of Bristol

UN Official Condemns Health “Misinformation,” Advocates for “Digital Integrity Code”

Under the guise of combating disinformation, the UN advocates for stricter censorship with its new Code of Conduct for Information Integrity.

The United Nations continues with an attempt to advance the agenda to get what the organization calls its Code of Conduct for Information Integrity on Digital Platforms implemented.

This code is based on a previous policy brief that recommends censorship of whatever is deemed to be “disinformation, misinformation, hate” but that is only the big picture of the policy UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications Melissa Fleming is staunchly promoting.

In early April, Fleming gave a talk at Boston University, and here the focus was on AI, whose usefulness in various censorship ventures makes it seen as a tool that advances “resilience in global communication.”

A piece on the Boston University Center on Emerging Infectious Diseases site first asserts that AI had a “major role” in helping spread misinformation and conspiracy theories “in the post-pandemic era,” while the UN is described as one of the institutions that have been undermined by all this, while “working to dispel these narratives.”

(The article also – helpfully, in terms of understanding where its authors are coming from – cites the World Economic Forum (WEF) as the “authority” which has proclaimed that “the threat from misinformation and disinformation as the most severe short-term threat facing the world today”).

You will hardly hear Fleming disagreeing with any of this, but the UN’s approach is to “harness” that power to serve its own agendas. The UN official’s talk was about AI can be used to feed the public the desired narratives around issues like vaccines, climate change, and the “well-being” of women and girls.

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

Brazil’s AG and Supreme Court Reportedly Consider Shutting Down Access To X

Brazil’s Attorney General and Supreme Federal Court are exploring drastic measures after getting called out for censorship demands.

According to reports out of Brazil, the country’s attorney general, Jorge Messias, and the Supreme Federal Court (STF) are trying to find a way to shut down X in that country.

The Gazeta do Povo newspaper says that it has had exclusive access to a 10-page document that Messias earlier this week sent to Alexandre de Moraes, an STF justice and president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), asking STF to suspend or completely shut down X, if there is proof that the company “prejudiced” STF and TSE investigations.

Messias also wants Moraes to share with his office any evidence from the ongoing investigation into X owner Elon Musk’s conduct, who is suspected of “obstruction of justice.”

And now a new, internal probe is being prepared by the attorney general regarding the alleged leak of confidential information from investigations conducted by Moraes, published as part of the Twitter Files.

This information, the newspaper said, concerns pressure exerted on X executives to censor accounts belonging to Brazilians. It was to support this investigation that Messias requested more evidence from Moraes.

Now, the X executives are considered to be criminally liable, while Messias thinks X’s Brazil branch, X Brasil Internet, should be treated as an entity involved in a harmful act “hindering the investigation or supervision of public bodies, entities or agents, or intervening in their activities.”

If proven, the fine would amount to 20% of revenue, however, Messias told Moraes that the punishment could be made much more severe. The AG then proceeded to quote the opinion of an internal department with his own office, that said a law would allow the authorities to go as far as suspend X or dissolve the local company.

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

The Vast Pharmaceutical Conspiracy to Silence Online Dissent

The Vast Pharmaceutical Conspiracy to Silence Online Dissent

Millions of dollars were spent to weaponize the public against all of us

Story at a Glance:
•There has been a coordinated campaign to attack and defame anyone who has spoken out against the COVID-19 response. This has primarily been restricted to social media (e.g., getting people deplatformed) but it has also been weaponized in real life (e.g., getting medical licenses revoked).

•This coordinated campaign was the result of a “non-profit” known as The Public Good Project (PGP), which was actually directly linked to the pharmaceutical industry. The PGP used the industry funding it received to defend industry interests.

•Vaccine safety advocates were able to get into the group where these campaigns were coordinated. There, they discovered numerous public figures working hand in hand with healthcare workers to descend like a hive of bees on anyone “promoting misinformation.” Likewise, we learned that the most belligerent doctors we keep encountering on Twitter belonged to these groups.

•Some of the influencers advancing PGP’s message through “Shots Heard” (and its sister United Nations initiative “Team Halo”) were hucksters who faked their own credentials. My overall impression from looking at everything was that this group operated in a very similar manner to many of the sleazy internet marketing operations I’ve seen in the past. Fortunately, the public appears to be seeing through what they did.

Almost any viewpoint can be “proven” using the “correct” evidence and logic. Purely as a challenge, I’ve successfully done this in the past with beliefs I consider to be abhorrent and completely disagree with…

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

The Lancet Publishes CDC Studies on Misinformation, Hoping You Forgot The Lancet and CDC Spread Pandemic Misinformation

The Lancet Publishes CDC Studies on Misinformation, Hoping You Forgot The Lancet and CDC Spread Pandemic Misinformation

Censorship academic Claire Wardle helps guide the journal’s descent into authoritarian, censorship hell.

Medical authorities and like-minded charlatans address public failure with several strategies. One method is to deny error, feign outrage at critics pointing to the screwup, and shroud yourself in the holy mantle of science. When caught lying about the science on masks and the possibility he funded a lab accident in Wuhan, Anthony Fauci famously deployed this strategy by first denying what he had said, and then striking back at his critics, “Attacks on me quite frankly are attacks on science.”

The second strategy science academics and kindred con artists deploy is to ignore their blunder, blunder onward while feigning expertise, and hope the public has the mental capacity of goldfish who forget their entire world every 15 minutes. After being humiliated several times for publishing COVID misinformation, The Lancet has landed on this second tactic, inverting reality to assert authority on misinformation—the very same topic they fucked up in the recent past.

But a few were not fooled. The Lancet’s announcement that they were publishing two papers warning about medical misinformation set off howls of laughter and merry disbelief on social media.

“You guys may want to sit this one out,” quipped conservative commentator, Tracy Beanz.

“Misinformation you say?” tweeted another, linking to news deriding a bogus study by a company called Surgisphere that the Lancet was forced to retract.

“By publishing falsehoods like the surgisphere fraud and the Lancet commission whitewash of lockdown failure and harms, the @Lancet was among the worst contributors to public misinformation during the covid era,” tweeted Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya.

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

Big Tech Sponsors Event With Canadian Pro-Censorship Justice Minister Advocating Online Censorship

Canada’s justice minister, Arif Virani, proposes speech-restrictive legislation at an event backed by corporate sponsorship from Meta and AWS.

Canada’s government, represented by “captain of censorship” Arif Virani – the country’s justice minister and attorney general, will use an upcoming event as the opportunity to once again push for more speech-restrictive legislation, allegedly solely in order to deal with online “harm and hate speech.”

No surprise there, but the list of the sponsors of the event – dubbed, “Where Online Harms Have Real World Consequences: The Case for Legislating Against Harm and Hate” – is interesting. It includes Meta, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

There could be different interpretations of this, one being that the giants want online speech regulated “to entrench their positions and keep out dissenting views” – as Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski put it.

Or it could be that Canada’s relentless policies damaging these companies’ business interests in the process of restricting speech are motivating the likes of Meta and Amazon to try to stay on the authorities’ good side, including through sponsorships.

And, two wrong things get to be true at the same time, so we may be witnessing some combination thereof.

In any case, the Empire Club, where the gathering is to be held, announced it by saying participants will be able to learn about the government’s plans to “tame some of the worst excesses of life online, and protect the rights of all Canadians who wish to express themselves without fear.”

All Canadians, that is, except those Virani would like to be put under house arrest or cut off their internet access as a kind of dystopian “preventive measure” – namely, when there is “fear” they might commit whatever’s designated as hate propaganda or crime, at some point in the future.

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

Brazil Targets Twitter Files Author Who Revealed Censorship Orders

Brazil’s Attorney General claims his Twitter Files coverage amounts to a “probable crime” against the state, a charge the journalist vehemently denies.

Twitter Files journalist Michael Shellenberger, who has recently been covering the public clash between X owner Elon Musk and the President of Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE) and Supreme Federal Court (STF) justice Alexandre de Moraes, is now likely to himself be targeted by one of those courts, the STF.

If the court starts a criminal prosecution against Shellenberger, it will be at the request of Brazil’s Attorney General Jorge Messias, who claims that there is information proving that the US journalist has committed a “probable crime” against the rule of law and institutions, along with an “attempt to destabilize the democratic state.”

Messias further accuses Shellenberger of disclosing confidential information related to the events of January 8, 2023.

The memo sent to STF says that the journalist on April 3 published, as part of the Twitter Files that concern Brazil, a number of emails exchanged by the court and X employees, which are referred to as “confidential files.”

And, of course, Shellenberger is “guilty” of making accusations against Moraes, Messias wrote, remarking that the journalist – “attributes authoritarian and anti-democratic measures” to the STF justice.

Shellenberger has denied these claims made against him, in turn describing Messias’ move as an “abuse of power,” urging the country’s Congress to investigate and finally end such conduct, and noting that in a democracy, there is no law against “destabilizing the democratic state” through non-violent means.

That would pretty much be what politics is all about – given that in this case, the term “state” clearly refers to those currently in power.

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

Leading German politician calls for the state to issue “revocable social media licenses” for the privilege of commenting online

Leading German politician calls for the state to issue “revocable social media licenses” for the privilege of commenting online

If only speech were not a right but a privilege granted selectively by the state, our democratic freedoms would be that much more secure.

You may remember this man. His name is Mario Voigt, and he is the head of the centre-right CDU in Thüringen. He made national headlines a few weeks ago for grievously threatening German democracy by agreeing to debate his AfD counterpart Björn Höcke on national television. Because the AfD in general and Höcke in particular are antidemocratic fascists, allowing them anywhere near a microphone is very likely to destroy our entire system of government, that is what a weak and failed state we have here in Germany.

The duel between our leading Thuringian politicians was all but unwatchable, as indeed almost all political debates turn out to be. While Höcke could’ve acquitted himself better, Voigt’s performance was flat, uninspired and profoundly banal. Among other things, the man suffers from a peculiar rodentine aspect; he bites his way stiffly through bland preformulated arguments like a squirrel chewing a stale nut or a beaver gnawing through saplings. After the event, the CDU took to the press to declare victory, but polls showed that viewers found Höcke on balance more persuasive, which is of course the real reason that everybody told Voigt to avoid the confrontation. Voigt is intensely democratic and therefore extremely right about everything, but somehow – and this is very awkward to discuss – his being eminently righteous and correct in all things does not manifest in an ability to defeat the very wrong and evil arguments of his opponents. It’s very weird how that works, perhaps somebody should look into it.

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

Rumble Defies Global Censorship Trends, Takes Stand Against New Zealand’s Free Speech Crackdown

Rumble rejects New Zealand’s censorship demand after whistleblower reveals alleged Covid vaccine-related deaths.

The CEO of Rumble, a free-speech YouTube competitor, says that global censorship levels are on the rise, but that what’s particularly noticeable are censorship demands coming from Australia and New Zealand – who seem to be following in the controversial, to say the least, footsteps of France and Brazil.

On the one hand, this is surprising, given these countries’ formal democratic provenance.

On the other hand, their actions over the last years, including site blocking at ISP level, constant demands for more stringent regulation to facilitate social media content removal, and even the draconian Covid – and post-Covid era measures, tell a different story.

Chris Pavlovski told Mat Kim that the FreeNZMedia channel has now become a deplatforming target in New Zealand, for reporting about leaked data from the National Vaccination Database, that a whistleblower, former Health New Zealand IT employee Barry Young, made available.

And the data Young gave to reporters and activists concerns Covid vaccine-related deaths and claims that these facts are being covered up.

For referring to Young, and referring to the data he provided to the public, a letter has been sent to Rumble to remove FreeNZMedia. It came from the National Health Authority.

However, Pavlovski said that the company has decided to refuse to do that, or to withdraw from the country, and will instead “challenge it and see what happens.”

Pavlovski went on to refer to this particular New Zealand case as “absurd” and “disgusting” – in that it bears resemblance to the Pentagon Papers. At that time, journalist Daniel Ellsberg emerged as a hero of free speech that was protected by the courts in the US.

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

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