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The Fact-Check Racket Finally Unravels

The Fact-Check Racket Finally Unravels

Before the COVID lockdowns, social media companies had started contracting with new third-parties organizations called fact-checkers to assist in “content creation.” Getting a pass meant the post or story was amplified but getting dinged for inaccuracy meant that the post would be throttled or deleted.

For a while we believed it but certain revelations changed that. We came to realize that the posts labeled false were typically contrary to regime narratives. And a close look at the supposed refutation revealed that many points were very much in dispute. The companies developed a talent for seeming to reveal something false that was actually still debatable and interesting to consider. In most cases, what was declared false was still under consideration.

As time went on, the attempts to censor became more brazen and obvious. Then the Twitter files and other FOIAs generated proof of what many suspected all along. These entities were funded either directly or indirectly by government or by other dark-money sources as quid pro quos for other relationships they had cultivated with interested parties.

In other words, they were not some independent, science-based entities at all but rather hit squads with a hard political agenda. What was actually happening here was a form of censorship laundering. Government wants to censor but cannot so it turns to the social-media company to do the dirty work. To make this hand-in-glove racket less obvious, the companies would outsource to a fact-checking organization, making the lines of control even more blurry.

Sometime within the last several months, the whole racket seems to have unraveled. I rarely see the fact-checks cited at all. Or maybe they are cited ironically: what is declared false came to be seen as a badge of honor, a confirmation of core truth. That might seem crazy but these are the times in which we live. Nothing is as it seems.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Facebook Fact Checkers getting Fact Checked

We really have desperate need of independent investigation of both government and Facebook. But the likelihood of an honest investigation is up there with admitting that climate always changes and there is no global warming. The Office of Inspector General is really the ONLY hope of ever having anyone investigate the government. People ask all the time what can we do? The Biden Administration is as corrupt as it can possibly be and I am not talking about Biden and his family. I believe they use that to ensure that they get to do whatever they want and Biden will look the other way or find himself and id son the first criminally charged President in history.

The Office of Inspector General should be inundated with demand to investigate the connection between BigPharma, the government, and the fact-checkers of Facebook who are costing people’s lives. One of the more respected medical journals that called into question Pfizer’s questionable trial data had their articles black-listed by Facebook. Anything that questions this agenda is black-listed. There is something seriously wrong here and the corruption runs very deep. Without overthrowing the Biden Administration, there is ZERO chance of the Department of Justice doing anything to protect the people against this corruption.

Stunning: Facebook court filing admits ‘fact checks’ are just a matter of opinion

Stunning: Facebook court filing admits ‘fact checks’ are just a matter of opinion

Surprisingly little attention is being paid to a bombshell admission made by the attorneys representing the corporation formerly known as Facebook, Inc., which has now transitioned into Meta Platforms, Inc.

In a court filing responding to a lawsuit filed by John Stossel claiming that he was defamed by a “fact check” Facebook used to label a video by him as “misleading,” Meta’s attorneys assert that the “fact check” was an “opinion,” not an actual check of facts and declaration of facts.  Under libel law, opinions are protected from liability for libel.

Anthony Watts of Wattsupwiththat explains:

Opinions are not subject to defamation claims, while false assertions of fact can be subject to defamation. The quote in Facebook’s complaint is,

Meta’s attorneys come from the white shoe law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dore, with over a thousand attorneys and more than a billion dollars a year in revenue.  They obviously checked out the implications of the matter for Section 230 issues, the legal protection Facebook/Meta have from liability for what is posted on their site.  But at a minimum, this is a public relations disaster, revealing that their “fact checks” are not factual at all and should be labeled as “our opinion” or some such language avoiding the word “fact.”

As an amateur, it seems to me that if Facebook inserts its opinions into posts or blocks them because of its opinion, then that does make it a publisher with legal responsibility for what appears on its website.

Technically speaking, Facebook farms out its “fact-checking” to outside organizations, usually left-wing groups.  In the case of Stossel’s video that was defamed, the outside website is called “Climate Feedback,” which is also named a defendant in the lawsuit.

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


Fact Checking Patrick Moore, Climate Skeptic

Fact Checking Patrick Moore, Climate Skeptic

The ex-Greenpeacer claims his new book is science-based. It’s gaining traction. But when contacted, researchers he cites said he got their work wrong.

Five years ago, the Great Barrier Reef was hit by its worst recorded bleaching to date, with media outlets around the world rushing to tell the public why that was putting the World Heritage site at risk.

Their stories were accompanied by headlines such as “Bleaching hits 93 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef,” “93 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef is suffering” and the hyperbolic “93 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef is practically dead.”

This bleaching happens when corals are put under stress and expel the colourful algae that are their primary food source. It’s considered a consequence of climate change because that stress can be caused by rising water temperatures, with the Great Barrier Reef’s 2016 bleaching the result of a record-breaking marine heatwave.

But former Canadian Greenpeace leader turned prominent climate science skeptic Patrick Moore was suspicious about reports of that bleaching. In his new Amazon-bestselling book Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom, Moore wrote “the careful reader would be hard pressed to find the origin of the 93 per cent as there is no record of it other than in headlines.”

There’s just one problem: such a record does exist. At least some articles referenced the work of Terry Hughes and the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce.

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


“Fact-Checking” Takes Another Beating

“Fact-Checking” Takes Another Beating

Fact-checkers are great, but the media business keeps trying to solve its credibility problem by misrepresenting what they do

The soul of rectitude testifies in the Senate

The news business just can’t stop clowning itself. The latest indignity is an international fact-checking debacle originating, of all places, at a “festival of fact-checking.”

The Poynter Institute is perhaps the most respected think tank in our business, an organization seeking to “fortify journalism’s role in a free society,” among other things through its sponsorship of the fact-checking outlet PolitiFact. A few weeks back, it held a virtual convention called the “United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking.”

The three-day event featured special guests Christiane Amanpour, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Brian Stelter, and Senator Mark Warner — a lineup of fact “stars” whose ironic energy recalled the USO’s telethon-execution of Terrance and Phillip before the invasion of Canada in South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. Tickets were $50, but if you wanted a “private virtual happy hour” with Stelter, you needed to pay $100 for the “VIP Experience.”

During the confab, PolitiFact’s Katie Sanders asked Fauci, “Are you still confident that [Covid-19] developed naturally?” To which the convivial doctor answered, “No, I’m not convinced of that,” going on to say “we” should continue to investigate all hypotheses about how the pandemic began:

Conservatives in particular were quick to point out that Fauci last year said, “Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species.” At that time last May, of course, the issue of the pandemic’s origin had already long since been politicized, with Donald Trump’s administration anxious to point a finger at China for causing the disaster…

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

Twitter Tool Could See ‘Verified’ Users Given Power To Label “Lies” & “Harmful” Tweets

Twitter Tool Could See ‘Verified’ Users Given Power To Label “Lies” & “Harmful” Tweets

Twitter is preparing to roll out more ways it intends to censor and “label” speech. The company is also experimenting with giving only blue checkmark “verified” fact-checkers and journalists the power to identify “lies” and label and edit accordingly. What could possibly go wrong? 

“Twitter is experimenting with adding brightly colored labels directly beneath lies and misinformation posted by politicians and other public figures, according to a leaked demo of new features” obtained by NBC, which first broke the story Thursday. 

We’re exploring a number of ways to address misinformation and provide more context for tweets on Twitter,” a Twitter spokesperson said. “Misinformation is a critical issue and we will be testing many different ways to address it.”

Get ready for a potential new Twitter where essentially all utterances and perspectives on controversial events and data will have to pass through blue checkmark gatekeepers

This is an astounding and Orwellian section from the NBC report

In this version, disinformation or misleading information posted by public figures would be corrected directly beneath a tweet by fact-checkers and journalists who are verified on the platform and possibly by other users who would participate in a new “community reports” feature, which the demo claims is “like Wikipedia.”

Replying to @oneunderscore__

Here’s what it might look like when a politician tweets “harmfully misleading” content after March 5th. Big red/orange flag underneath the offending tweet.

These are screenshots from that were left on a public testing site. Twitter confirmed they’re possible iterations.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

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

On the 70th anniversary of Orwell’s death: The danger of third parties “curating” and “fact checking” our info

On the 70th anniversary of Orwell’s death: The danger of third parties “curating” and “fact checking” our info

Political writer George Orwell, who died Jan. 21, 1950

It is a dangerous practice: Government, corporations, universities, news outlets and “experts” curating our information so that we cannot access, see or believe that which they determine we should not access, see or believe. 

If anyone had suggested to Orwell, or the American founders, that we would invite this sort of manipulation and control of our information, they wouldn’t have believed it.

The idea was first introduced on the national stage by President Obama in October of 2016 right before the presidential election. He insisted that somebody needed to step in and “curate” our information in the “Wild, Wild West” internet environment.

Nobody had been clamoring for any such thing. 

So the challenge for those who came up with this bright idea– in my opinion in an effort to control news and information– was to convince the public to accept something very un-American: their information being shaped and censored by others. 

Watch Attkisson’s Tedx talk: Astroturf and Manipulation of Media Messages

This feat was accomplished in concert with the anti-fake news effort, started in September 2016 through a nonprofit called First Draft. (First Draft was funded by Google, owned by Alphabet, run by Eric Schmidt, a major Hillary Clinton funder and supporter.) The anti-fake news effort was also an effort by special interests to step in and control news and internet information. 

In a relatively short period of time, they had us. Curate our information, we cried. Block “untrue” news reports and blogs! Fact check political ads and certain politicians! Remove selected social media accounts! We invited special interests and political players to control our information under the guise of knowing what’s best for us.

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

All Along the Watchtower

All Along the Watchtower

‘There must be some way out of here’
Said the joker to the thief
‘There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine
Plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth’

‘No reason to get excited’, the thief he kindly spoke
‘ There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late’

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl 
All Along the Watchtower, by Bob Dylan (1967)

Quis custodiet Ipsos custodes?

But who will watch the watchmen?
Satires, by Juvenal (2nd Century)

We haven’t published an update on our Fiat News Index for a little while, but it is for a good reason. We are working on an improved version that does more to handle gradations, nuance and context in affective language. If the concept of fiat news is new to you, Ben’s original piece here offers the best explanation. In short, it is news which broadly cheapens the credibility of media by presenting opinion as fact. It debases information in the same way that a capricious sovereign might debase a currency. It tells you how to think.

But there is a certain type of fiat news which is the most pernicious, most in need of calling out where it rears its head. It seeks, like all fiat news, to present subjective judgments and opinions as fact.

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

‘Media Bias Fact Check’ Smears WikiLeaks, Supports Western Propaganda Machine

‘Media Bias Fact Check’ Smears WikiLeaks, Supports Western Propaganda Machine

With the latest US-backed coup underway in Venezuela and Roger Stone’s arrest as much an exercise in theater as the rest of his political career, one may wonder what a critique of Media Bias Fact Check (MBFC) and similar sites could contribute to the conversation in our tempestuous news cycle.

We examine the issue now, as attacks made on the credibility of independent media outlets damage the ability of independent journalists across the board to have their voices heard.

In order to provide context for this report, we must reintroduce Disobedient Media’s recent report on multiple attacks against this outlet stemming from proxies of the Integrity Initiative. The Integrity Initiative was revealed to have been a front organization for British intelligence, and partnered with groups including the Atlantic Council in order to push neo-McCarthyist propaganda.

Within days of this outlet’s coverage of the Integrity Initiative, the website ‘Media Bias Fact Check‘ produced an updated page appraising Disobedient Media as right-leaning, supportive of conspiracy theories, and “supportive of Guccifer 2.0.” In characterizing Disobedient Media as a hard-right news source, a smear lands on not only the writers producing work with this outlet, but also those whose stories this outlet has covered.

The first article cited by Media Bias Fact Check in its report on Disobedient Media is a clearly-labeled opinion piece authored by this writer, which focused on the multiple unprosecuted felonies committed by former Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes, and the unaddressed election-rigging of the congressional race in Florida’s 23rd district. In MBFC’s opinion, an opinion piece which decries documented crimes that have cheated progressives of a voice is an example of hyperbole. MBFC omits the fact that the article in question and many other opinion pieces penned by this author have shown clear support for progressives and greens, not the right-wing.

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

How a NeoCon-Backed “Fact Checker” Plans to Wage War on Independent Media

Steven Brill | Newsguard

How a NeoCon-Backed “Fact Checker” Plans to Wage War on Independent Media

As Newsguard’s project advances, it will soon become almost impossible to avoid this neocon-approved news site’s ranking systems on any technological device sold in the United States.

Fact-checking the second volume of the U.S. National Climate Assessment

Fact-checking the second volume of the U.S. National Climate Assessment

This recently-issued study (the “Assessment”) was seized on by the media as proof of the massive damage the US will suffer if nothing is done about climate change. The Assessment’s conclusions are based largely on speculative model projections that aren’t amenable to checking, but it also claims that the US is already experiencing some of the impacts of man-made climate change, and these claims can be checked. This post accordingly evaluates them claim-by-claim and finds that they are rarely backed up by any hard data, that in some cases they are contradicted by disclaimers buried in the text, and that in no case is there any hard evidence that conclusively relates the impacts to man-made climate change. The credibility of the Assessment’s predictions can be judged accordingly.

The Assessment is 1,600 pages long and I doubt that anyone has read it from cover to cover – I certainly haven’t. I have obtained my information from the Summary Findings, Overview, Report Chapters and Downloads sections in the boxes that clicking on this linkleads to. These sections themselves contain several hundred pages of text, much of it repetitive, but there is always the possibility that I’ve missed some critical graphic or piece of text. On the other hand, if I’ve missed it the media, who will have read the introductory sections only, will have too.

And how did the media report the Assessment’s results? Here are some excerpts:


Climate change is already harming Americans’ lives with “substantial damages” set to occur as global temperatures threaten to surge beyond internationally agreed limits ……… The influence of climate change is being felt across the US with increases in disastrous wildfires in the west, flooding on the east coast, soil loss in the midwest and coastal erosion in Alaska

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

The problem with models…is getting stuck on just one

The problem with models…is getting stuck on just one

Alfred Korzybski, the father of general semantics, first uttered what must now seem like a well-worn phrase: “The map is not the territory.” And yet, I don’t think this view has yet been well-incorporated into human culture.

In a time when social media outlets are trying to sort what is “fake” from what is “genuine” or “true,” very little thought is being put into what we even mean by “fake,” “genuine” or “true.” Facebook, for example, has resorted to third-party fact-checkers, a mix of news organizations and fact-checking nonprofits. It is also hiring thousands of new employees to check what it calls “non-news” information posted on Facebook pages.

A lot of checking revolves around whether someone said or did what is claimed. That’s not too hard. The next level involves the effect of a policy or position. That’s more difficult since some of the policies in question aren’t in effect and even for those that are, it is always hard to trace cause and effect from a policy to a specific result.

Then, there are what I’ll call “model” questions. Some claims fit into one model, but not into another. So, it’s very important to know what model one is using. In physics what’s true in our everyday experience isn’t true in the world of quantum mechanics, the domain of the very small. For example, it takes time for information, say, in the form of electrical signals through a cellphone network, to travel from where I am in Washington, DC to a client in Eastern Europe. We notice ourselves overlapping in our conversation sometimes because of the delay.

In an actual experiment of quantum effects, electrons that were a mile apart influenced each other with no time delay, suggesting that information at this level somehow travels instantaneously from one place to another. It’s a weird result, but consistent with the theory.

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

Blowout Week 241

Blowout Week 241

This week’s lead story features YouTube, which is fighting what it considers to be the misinformation  on videos posted by global warming dissenters with fact-checking boxes (inset), with the data sourced from Wikipedia. We continue with Saudi Arabia’s oil production – is it up or down?; the Saudi/Canada standoff; US LNG and Nord Stream 2; coal in Poland and China; nuclear in France and India; the Laos hydro dam collapse; Australia’s national energy guarantee; the hydrogen-to-ammonia “breakthrough”; renewables to power Blockchain; renewables and the UK capacity market; subsidies for UK SMRs; climate change to cause more windless periods and how to save the planet – give up meat.

Mail: YouTube places Wikipedia entries below videos ‘refuting evidence of global warming’

YouTube is fighting back against climate change deniers by implementing a fact-checking box below user-uploaded videos on the controversial topic.

The system will surface information from Wikipedia or Britannica Encyclopedia to display factual information in bitesize chunks below videos on climate change. The feature is the latest step from the Google-owned video platform in its battle to reduce the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories on the service. At the moment, the scientific fact-checking blurbs are only visible to US-based users, however, YouTube is slowly rolling-out the feature to viewers worldwide. YouTube says the policy is designed to give users easy access to external information to provide context and information on topics prone to misinformation.

Oil Price: OPEC Oil Production Surges 340,000 Bpd As Saudis Pump Near Record

Last month, OPEC produced an average of 32.66 million bpd of crude oil, including production from its newest member the Republic of Congo. The biggest OPEC producer, Saudi Arabia, pumped 10.63 million bpd in July, up by 240,000 bpd from June and its highest level since its record of 10.66 million bpd from August 2016, according to Platts survey archives.

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

Fact-Checking the “Fact-Checkers”: Snopes & Politifact Said I’m a Big Fat Liar, But Let’s Look at THEIR “Facts”

Fact-Checking the “Fact-Checkers”: Snopes & Politifact Said I’m a Big Fat Liar, But Let’s Look at THEIR “Facts”

Last weekend when I wrote about the new bills that were turned into law in California by a mercifully-departing Governor Jerry Brown, I never expected a hub-bub. I did my research, came to some conclusions, and titled my article, “Now It’s Illegal to Have a Shower and Do Laundry on the Same Day.” That’s the link if you want to read it first. Fact-checkers Snopes and Politifact said I was a big fat liar, but let’s take a look at their “facts,” shall we?

Contrary to popular belief, no kittens were sacrificed to the devil in the writing of that article. I just sat down, did a little research, and came to some conclusions that in my eyes were (and still are) entirely reasonable. However, Snopes and Politifact disagreed rather vehemently. (About the conclusions, not the kittens. The kittens actually were a figment of my imagination, unlike anything in the article they “debunked.)

Now, before I get into fact-checking these so-called fact-checkers, let me tell you a quick personal story. Writing controversial content can be a wee bit stressful sometimes.

When the mainstream picks up on what you’ve written, you can expect a lot of hate mail.  Most of it is of the generic, “you’re an idiot” style but there are always a few overachievers.

I’d like to send out my very best wishes to the guy who hopes that my daughters and I get locked in a basement and die of thirst. You’re a stellar human being. Almost as nice as the guy who believes it would be my just desserts if I were to drown in all the water I want to waste.

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


Paradise in LA LA Land

More is revealed with each passing day.  You can count on it.  But what exactly the ‘more is of’ requires careful discrimination.  Is the ‘more’ merely more noise?  Or is it something of actual substance?  Today we endeavor to pass judgment, on your behalf.

Normally, judgment would be passed on a Thursday, but we are making an exception. [PT]

For example, here in the land of fruits and nuts, things are whacky, things are zany. Last month, State Senator, Dick Pan, introduced Senate Bill (SB) 1424, which would require California based websites to utilize fact checkers to verify news stories prior to publishing them.

Who exactly these fact checkers would be – the moral servants that would save the world from the ills of fake news – was conveniently missing from the bill. Ironically, the control freaks in California state government can’t control themselves; they want to muck around with people’s lives unconditionally.

Nonetheless, screwball proposals like this out of Sacramento fall into the mere noise category – for now.  We estimate it will take another Presidential election cycle, or two, before such nonsense is taken seriously by the majority of state lawmakers.

At the local level, there are more demanding problems that require more demanding solutions.  Here in Los Angeles County, according to something called the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, there is now a homeless population of precisely 57,794.  For perspective, Chavez Ravine (i.e., the Dodger Stadium), has a capacity of 56,000.

This army of indigents, roaming about the LA LA land paradise, has become a significant embarrassment for local leaders.  Haphazard urban campsites litter the bank tops of the colossal, concrete Los Angeles River Channel between Downtown Los Angeles and Downtown Long Beach.  The massive collection of tents and makeshift shelters has become too much to ignore.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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