The Latest Move to Censor and Silence Dissenting Voices

The CFR Media Empire

NewsGuard and Microsoft Team Up To Destroy Independent Media Ahead Of 2020 Elections; Linked To Several Think Tanks, Government Officials

  JANUARY 31, 2019
The service NewsGuard, an establishment attempt to silence alternative media and independent media sites, has teamed up with Microsoft to help its effort to destroy free press. Meanwhile, the mysterious firm connected to intelligence agencies and former government officials on their advisory board has also just been linked to Saudi Arabia through Publicis Groupe, an investor in NewsGuard.

NewsGuard is now automatically included in Microsoft’s Edge browser on iOS, Android and Microsoft phones. Microsoft’s press release regarding the partnership states that NewsGuard “will empower voters by providing them with high-quality information about the integrity and transparency of online news sites.” Just one problem, who is providing transparency about the news rating agency?

When a user decides to search the Web, the extension tells the user whether or not a story is credible or not credible with 5 indicators and an information box judging the website.

  • Green icon — Sites that follow “basic standards of accuracy and accountability” based on nine criteria,which include full disclosure of possible conflicts of interest, financing, and “notable ideological or political positions held by those with significant financial interests in the site.”
  • Red icon — Sites that do not fulfill NewsGuard’s criteria for credibility and transparency.
  • Orange icon — Satire and humor sites that mimic real news.
  • Blue icon — Sites that primarily host user-generated content.
  • Gray icon —Unrated sites.

There is just one problem: the plugin is only blacklisting certain sites and does not actually have fact checkers looking into the story in question. So, in fact, the service is censoring alternative and independent media. But, let’s be honest, that’s exactly what its founders, creators, funders, and advisors want.

About that transparency … the list of advisors for NewsGuard includes Tom Ridge, the former secretary of Homeland Security, Richard Stengel, former editor of Time magazine and Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy (Obama administration), (Ret.) General Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA, former Director of the National Security Agency and former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (George W. Bush administration), Don Baer, chairman of Burson, Cohn & Wolfe and former White House Communications Director (Clinton administration), Elise Jordan, political analyst, NBC, and former speechwriter for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Oh and then there are the journalists (traitors of free speech) like John Battelle, co-founding editor of Wired and founding chief executive of Industry Standard and Jessica Lessin, founder, and editor-in-chief of The Information.

If you aren’t worried about a company with a former CIA director (who lied under oath to Congress misleading officials, according to the Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation program) and a former secretary of Homeland Security official as its advisors, you may need a reality check. Please go see Dr. Benn Swann for a checkup stat!

Read More: https://www.activistpost.com/2019/01/newsguard-and-microsoft-team-up-to-destroy-independent-media-ahead-of-2020-elections-linked-to-several-think-tanks-government-officials.html

Free Speech and Tech Giant Censorship

Social Media Facebook Twitter PayPal Censorship

How The New NAFTA Trade Deal Lets Big Tech Squelch Conservative Speech

By   13, 2018

Less than two weeks ago, President Trump signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement intended to be the successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has attacked for decades. The White House says the agreement will “better serve the interests of American workers and businesses” and “includes the strongest digital trade … provisions of any United States trade agreement.”

Unfortunately, an obscure article in one provision of the agreement only serves the interests of the largest tech monopolies by granting them special privilege to censor conservatives. Congress should demand the removal or amendment of this article before giving consent to confirm section 230.

How did this happen? Big Tech lobbyists orchestrated the quiet insertion of a seemingly innocuous provision (Article 19.17) into the deal that is based on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230, much beloved by big tech, and an essential building block of their monopolistic dominance, holds that platforms like Facebook cannot be held liable as a “publisher or speaker” of their users’ content.

Under the right circumstances, there’s good reason for tech companies to have this type of immunity. If Facebook were legally responsible for everything its more than 2 billion users post, then it would enforce overly restrictive rules and restrictions and block lawful posts. Because Congress explicitly acknowledged that these platforms served as a “forum for a true diversity of political discourse,” it granted this important privilege.

Read More: http://thefederalist.com/2018/12/13/the-new-nafta-trade-deal-lets-big-tech-squelch-conservative-speech/

Congress Should Reconsider Big Tech’s Special Legal Privileges That Foster Censorship

   14, 2019

On Jan. 9 we sent letters to the chairs and ranking members of the House Judiciary, House Energy and Commerce, Senate Judiciary, and Senate Commerce committees requesting hearings on this matter in order to seek an appropriate governmental remedy to online censorship.

This request comes after we have carefully tracked and documented viewpoint censorship for years. Repeatedly, we have urged Big Tech leaders to adopt a free speech charter to ensure their platforms are an even playing field for debate. In December 2017, we launched Internet Freedom Watch to draw greater attention to this problem. For many years we have amassed evidence of viewpoint censorship on the internet, illustrating it with a timeline with more than 40 high-profile examples.

In addition to Graham, the timeline is a veritable who’s who of Christian and conservative leaders and causes, including cases involving Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Susan B. Anthony List, PragerU, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Alliance Defending Freedom, NRBTV, Erick Erickson, Dr. Michael Brown, Live Action, D. James Kennedy Ministries, Dr. Carol Swain, Ray Comfort, Phil Robertson, Todd Starnes, Chuck Colson’s Manhattan Declaration, and other Christian leaders and ministries, as well as conservative leaders and organizations.

The common denominator is espousing viewpoints progressives oppose and increasingly seek to squelch in the public marketplace of ideas. Although some of these cases of censorship were later corrected, that the problem persists and is growing indicates it is systemic.

Read More: http://thefederalist.com/2019/01/14/congress-reconsider-big-techs-special-legal-privileges-foster-censorship/

‘The goal is to automate us’: welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism

John Naughton
Sun 20 Jan 2019

…The headline story is that it’s not so much about the nature of digital technology as about a new mutant form of capitalism that has found a way to use tech for its purposes. The name Zuboff has given to the new variant is “surveillance capitalism”. It works by providing free services that billions of people cheerfully use, enabling the providers of those services to monitor the behaviour of those users in astonishing detail – often without their explicit consent.

“Surveillance capitalism,” she writes, “unilaterally claims human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioural data. Although some of these data are applied to service improvement, the rest are declared as a proprietary behavioural surplus, fed into advanced manufacturing processes known as ‘machine intelligence’, and fabricated into prediction products that anticipate what you will do now, soon, and later. Finally, these prediction products are traded in a new kind of marketplace that I call behavioural futures markets. Surveillance capitalists have grown immensely wealthy from these trading operations, for many companies are willing to lay bets on our future behaviour.”

While the general modus operandi of Google, Facebook et al has been known and understood (at least by some people) for a while, what has been missing – and what Zuboff provides – is the insight and scholarship to situate them in a wider context. She points out that while most of us think that we are dealing merely with algorithmic inscrutability, in fact what confronts us is the latest phase in capitalism’s long evolution – from the making of products, to mass production, to managerial capitalism, to services, to financial capitalism, and now to the exploitation of behavioural predictions covertly derived from the surveillance of users. In that sense, her vast (660-page) book is a continuation of a tradition that includes Adam Smith, Max Weber, Karl Polanyi and – dare I say it – Karl Marx.

Read More: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/20/shoshana-zuboff-age-of-surveillance-capitalism-google-facebook

Google Staff Tell Bosses China Censorship Is “Moral and Ethical”

CrisisRyan Gallagher
August 16 2018

Google employees are demanding answers from the company’s leadership amid growing internal protests over plans to launch a censored search engine in China.

Staff inside the internet giant’s offices have agreed that the censorship project raises “urgent moral and ethical issues” and have circulated a letter saying so, calling on bosses to disclose more about the company’s work in China, which they say is shrouded in too much secrecy, according to three sources with knowledge of the matter.

The internal furor began after The Intercept earlier this month revealed details about the censored search engine, which would remove content that China’s authoritarian government views as sensitive, such as information about political dissidents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest. It would “blacklist sensitive queries” so that “no results will be shown” at all when people enter certain words or phrases, leaked Google documents disclosed. The search platform is to be launched via an Android app, pending approval from Chinese officials.

The censorship plan – code-named Dragonfly – was not widely known within Google. Prior to its public exposure, only a few hundred of Google’s 88,000 employees had been briefed about the project – around 0.35 percent of the total workforce. When the news spread through the company’s offices across the world, many employees expressed anger and confusion.

Read More: https://theintercept.com/2018/08/16/google-china-crisis-staff-dragonfly/

The Oligarchical Globalist Organizations that Propagandize Americans

Globalist Cabal Diagram

Atlantic Council Explains Why We Need To Be Propagandized For Our Own Good

Caitlin Johnstone

I sometimes try to get establishment loyalists to explain to me exactly why we’re all meant to be terrified of this “Russian propaganda” thing they keep carrying on about. What is the threat, specifically? That it makes the public less willing to go to war with Russia and its allies? That it makes us less trusting of lying, torturing, coup-staging intelligence agencies? Does accidentally catching a glimpse of that green RT logo turn you to stone like Medusa, or melt your face like in Raiders of the Lost Ark?

“Well, it makes us lose trust in our institutions,” is the most common reply.

Okay. So? Where’s the threat there? We know for a fact that we’ve been lied to by those institutions. Iraq isn’t just something we imagined. We should be skeptical of claims made by western governments, intelligence agencies and mass media. How specifically is that skepticism dangerous?

Trying to get answers to such questions from rank-and-file empire loyalists is like pulling teeth, and they are equally lacking in the mass media who are constantly sounding the alarm about Russian propaganda. All I see are stories about Russia funding environmentalists (the horror!), giving a voice to civil rights activists (oh noes!), and retweeting articles supportive of Jeremy Corbyn (think of the children!). At its very most dramatic, this horrifying, dangerous epidemic of Russian propaganda is telling westerners to be skeptical of what they’re being told about the Skripal poisoning and the alleged Douma gas attack, both of which do happen to have some very significant causes for skepticism.

When you try to get down to the brass tacks of the actual argument being made and demand specific details about the specific threats we’re meant to be worried about, there aren’t any to be found. Nobody’s been able to tell me what specifically is so dangerous about westerners being exposed to the Russian side of international debates, or of Russians giving a platform to one or both sides of an American domestic debate. Even if every single one of the allegations about Russian bots and disinformation are true (and they aren’t), where is the actual clear and present danger? No one can say.

No one, that is, except the Atlantic Council.

Read More: https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/atlantic-council-explains-why-we-need-to-be-propagandized-for-our-own-good-fd3470254ea5

The Council On Foreign Relations Says Domestic Propaganda Is Necessary

One year ago, a State Department press event included quite possibly the most epic “deer in the headlights” moment in all of government press briefing history.

During the final press briefing in May of 2017, the State Department put high level official Stuart Jones at the podium to give the daily briefing, and he was asked how the US could call for democracy in Iran while ignoring the fact that one of Washington’s closest Middle East allies is an oppressive autocratic state with an opaque legal system run by strict Islamic sharia courts.

ere’s how Newsweek‘s Tom O’Connor set the scene at the time:

Stuart Jones, who was appointed as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq by former President Barack Obama in 2014 before assuming the title of assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs in January, took a long, silent pause after an Agence France-Presse reporter asked the official how President Donald Trump could criticize Iran’s democracy, while standing next to Saudi Arabian officials.

Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, where every position of power is appointed by either the king or other members of the Al Saud royal family from which the nation derives its name. Trump recently visited Saudi Arabia, a close ally of the U.S., and took the opportunity to deeply criticize the two nations’ mutual foe, Iran, and its commitment to democracy weeks after it held its presidential election.

Though clearly hilarious and at the same time appropriately awkward, the incident highlighted the fact that mainstream journalists rarely ask the obvious questions that might so easily expose the glaring hypocrisy of US foreign policy and its leaders.

As Wide Asleep in America blog so aptly described: “In lieu of delivering an actual answer, Jones became visibly uncomfortable, signed audibly, stared blindly into nothingness and said nothing for roughly 18 seconds. You could see the squeaky gears laboring to rotate in his head. You hear the faint trickle of urine run down his thigh. You could feel Jones praying to be suddenly whisked away by a dragon-drawn chariot sent to him by the sun god Helios.”

It’s so beautiful and epic we thought it deserved its own anniversary of remembrance.

But on a more serious note, about six months after Stuart Jones’ internal meltdown moment, a leaked State Department memo obtained by Politico spelled out how Washington merely values the concept of human rights insofar as it can be molded toward propaganda ends. The leaked government memo, made public for the first time in December 2017, instructed top State Department leadership that “Allies should be treated differently — and better — than adversaries.”

“For this reason,” the leaked internal State Department memo argued“we should consider human rights as an important issue in regard to US relations with China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. And this is not only because of moral concern for practices inside those countries. It is also because pressing those regimes on human rights is one way to impose costs, apply counter-pressure, and regain the initiative from them strategically.”

As the May 2017 Stuart Jones presser demonstrated, this means countries like Saudi Arabia or Qatar will always be let off the hook in spite of — for example — US ally Saudi Arabia executing over 50 people so far this year, half of them related to nonviolent drug chargesaccording to HRW. Or this might further translate into government officials choosing to look the other way when allies illegally possess or pursue nuclear or other banned weapons.

Politico explained that the memo encourages government leadership, on up to the level of the Secretary of State, “that we should do exactly what Russian and Chinese propaganda says we do — use human rights as a weapon to beat up our adversaries while letting ourselves and our allies off the hook.”

More recently, one year after the incredible and embarrassing State Department scene, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has delivered an even more astounding propaganda fail which went largely unnoticed in the media. The CFR is among America’s oldest and most establishment think tanks, with a who’s who of government insiders filling up its ranks, and has often played an advisory role on important policy questions to elected officials.

The CFR’s Richard Stengel, a former editor of TIME magazine, told an audience at a CFR event in late April called Political Disruptions: Combating Disinformation and Fake News that governments “have to” direct “propaganda” toward their own populations.

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-31/council-foreign-relations-says-domestic-propaganda-necessary

New Study: The Gender Pay Gap is a False Narrative

Feminism in 2019 is about beating everyone in the head with false grievances over stereotypes and platitudes, while casually accepting ideologies of hatred based on gender and race, murder of humans based on their status as a “person,” and the general transformation of the sacred female into masculine, screeching, blood-lusting, harpy hobgoblins…

feminism is social pseudo science

So what’s the real cause of the gender wage gap?

Federico Anzil
January 10, 2019

…In this article, we found that one of the main sources of the gender pay gap is the fact that, on average, women and men devote a different number of hours to their jobs, specially after marriage and parenthood.

The literature on gender pay gap is very extensive. Different papers focus on diverse causes to explain it. Two of the most mentioned reasons are gender discrimination and motherhood and gender roles.

Gender discrimination against women occurs if a woman is paid less than a man for doing the same job.

If we consider that the quantity of hours devoted to a job determines whether we consider a job to be the same as another, the data doesn’t support the idea of gender discrimination at the aggregate level.

The hourly pay rate for married women is lower than for married men on average, but a probable explanation is because the job market pays less per hour if the number of hours worked decreases, and married women tend to work less. The same pattern can be seen in almost every occupation.

Also, men tend to devote more time to work, thus acquire more experience as years pass by, and the job market pays more if the worker has more experience.

This doesn’t mean that gender discrimination doesn’t exist. Our analysis just shows that, at the aggregate level, most of the gap is not explained by gender discrimination.

Regarding the second aspect of the pay gap, societal ideas of gender roles influence the behavior of women and men. Also, biological factors related to parenthood do play a role in the creation of differences in preferences. Namely, women get pregnant and women breastfeed. These differences between sexes could be a plausible explanation of why women tend to spend more time at home versus their couples, especially after marriage and parenthood6.

To conclude and to recap, we can say that, according to our analysis, job market forces and gender preferences in relation to marital status and parenthood could explain almost all of the pay gap. Most of the gap is not the result of gender discrimination….

Read More: https://visme.co/blog/wage-gap/

Political Censorship: Facebook Purges Pages and Groups Based on Anonymous Political Hit List

Facebook was Created by DARPA

Pages purged by Facebook were on blacklist promoted by Washington Post

By Andre Damon
13 October 2018

Media outlets removed by Facebook on Thursday, in a massive purge of 800 accounts and pages, had previously been targeted in a blacklist of oppositional sites promoted by the Washington Post in November 2016.

The organizations censored by Facebook include The Anti-Media, with 2.1 million followers, The Free Thought Project, with 3.1 million followers, and Counter Current News, with 500,000 followers. All three of these groups had been on the blacklist.

In November 2016, the Washington Post published a puff-piece on a shadowy and up to then largely unknown organization called PropOrNot, which had compiled a list of organizations it claimed were part of a “sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign.”

The Post said the report “identifies more than 200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans.”

The publication of the blacklist drew widespread media condemnation, including from journalists Matt Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald, forcing the Post to publish a partial retraction. The newspaper declared that it “does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot’s findings regarding any individual media outlet.”

While the individuals behind PropOrNot have not identified themselves, the Washington Post said the group was a “collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds.”

Read More: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/13/cens-o13.html

Facebook Purges Over 800 Accounts With Millions Of Followers; Prominent Conservatives Vanish

Just in time for midterms, Facebook has removed 559 pages and 251 accounts they claim have been spreading misinformation and spam. Several of the pages however – some with millions of followers, were pro-Trump conservatives who had spent years cultivating their followings.

Facebook claims that “domestic actors” have been creating “fake pages and accounts to attract people with shocking political news,” reports Bloomberg.

“The people behind the activity also post the same clickbait posts in dozens of Facebook Groups, often hundreds of times in a short period, to drum up traffic for their websites,” Facebook said in a Thursday blog post.

“And they often use their fake accounts to generate fake likes and shares. This artificially inflates engagement for their inauthentic pages and the posts they share, misleading people about their popularity and improving their ranking in news feed.”

Some pages Facebook removed had large followings of real and fake accounts. Nation in Distress, a conservative meme page, was followed by more than 3 million people, according to the Internet Archive, which stores historical versions of websites and other online content. –Bloomberg

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-11/facebook-purges-over-800-accounts-millions-followers-including-conservative-meme

The Corporate Media Propaganda Information War on You

You know the drill, ownership of American media has consolidated to the point where all media is owned by one of five companies.

Those companies hold stock in every other major company from industries outside of media… like “defense” (weapons manufacturing,) or international banking, or drug manufacturing, or factory farming, or healthcare providers and insurers.

So why do we still believe ANYTHING the corporate-owned media says when it comes to issues on war, the monetary system, big pharma, food and nutrition, or health and healthcare?

Is What You Believe To Be True Actually True? Or Do You Believe Fake News

Why One Should Distrust the News

ERIC ZUESSE | 05.01.2019

Intelligent skeptics dig down like this (which can be done only online, which is why print and broadcast ‘news’ is even less trustworthy than online news), and routinely find that there’s a very selective use of ‘evidence’ that’s behind most claims, and that the reality is that the ‘news’ is often false, and, worse than that, the ‘news’ is usually false for a purpose or purposes — that the ’news’ is often fraudulent, that it is propaganda, PR, often even of the lying sort, instead of being honest and carefully verified research and reporting, such as it claims to be. Usually, it’s false because the intention is to deceive, not because Wikipedia (or whatever other news-and-public-affairs medium one happens to be considering) merely goofed. As was noted here, Wikipedia is edited, and even written, by the CIA. (Remember what a “slam-dunk” about “Saddam’s WMD” they delivered to the George W. Bush regime in 2002?) Only sources that are approved by the CIA are linked to there. Some of the sources are true, but many are not. The article on Chossudovsky was done for the CIA by an asset of the CIA, about a critic of the CIA. The CIA represents America’s billionaires, and Chossudovsky doesn’t.

Extremely wealthy people buy, advertise their corporations in, and/or donate to, public-affairs media, not in order to profit from them as owners of them, so much as in order to influence public affairs by means of them. This is one of the ways in which to grab hold not only of the government, but even of the people who vote for the government and who also buy those billionaires’ corporations’ products and services.

Trust should never be given; it should only be earned. Regarding what is public, trust is earned only rarely — and is never earned when that trust is in the major ‘news’-media (all of which are owned and controlled by billionaires and centi-millionaires who actually have interests in many corporations, including some they don’t control but only serve or else invest in). The major ‘news’-media don’t always lie, but they often lie — especially about foreign affairs, which are the main focus and concern of international corporations.

Read More: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/01/05/why-one-should-distrust-the-news.html

How the American Media Was Destroyed

…I have many times written that it was President Bill Clinton who destroyed the independent US media when he permitted 90 percent of the US media to be concentrated in six mega-corporations that were in the entertainment and other businesses and not in the news business. This unprecedented concentration of media was against all American tradition and destroyed the reliance that our Founding Fathers placed on a free press to keep government accountable to the people.

Until I read Mary Mapes book, Truth and Duty (St. Martin’s Press, 2005), I was unaware of how this monopolization of the media in violation of the Sherman Anti-trust Act and American tradition had proceeded to destroy honest reporting.

Read More: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/10/01/how-the-american-media-was-destroyed/

Hold the Front Page: The Reporters are Missing

… Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years. Dissent tolerated when I joined a national newspaper in Britain in the 1960s has regressed to a metaphoric underground as liberal capitalism moves towards a form of corporate dictatorship. This is a seismic shift, with journalists policing the new “groupthink”, as Parry called it, dispensing its myths and distractions, pursuing its enemies.

Witness the witch-hunts against refugees and immigrants, the willful abandonment by the “MeToo” zealots of our oldest freedom, presumption of innocence, the anti-Russia racism and anti-Brexit hysteria, the growing anti-China campaign and the suppression of a warning of world war.

With many if not most independent journalists barred or ejected from the “mainstream”, a corner of the Internet has become a vital source of disclosure and evidence-based analysis: true journalism sites such as wikileaks.org, consortiumnews.com, wsws.org, truthdig.com, globalresearch.org, counterpunch.org and informationclearinghouse.com are required reading for those trying to make sense of a world in which science and technology advance wondrously while political and economic life in the fearful “democracies” regress behind a media facade of narcissistic spectacle.

Read More: https://consortiumnews.com/2018/09/19/hold-the-front-page-the-reporters-are-missing/

Why No One Trusts the Elites: The Real Fake News = The Lies of Mainstream “Authorities”

Is What You Believe To Be True Actually True? Or Do You Believe Fake News

Manufacturing Truth

Read More: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/12/04/the-disintegration-of-western-society/

Why we stopped trusting elites

 29 Nov 2018

A modern liberal society is a complex web of trust relations, held together by reports, accounts, records and testimonies. Such systems have always faced political risks and threats. The template of modern expertise can be traced back to the second half of the 17th century, when scientists and merchants first established techniques for recording and sharing facts and figures. These were soon adopted by governments, for purposes of tax collection and rudimentary public finance. But from the start, strict codes of conduct had to be established to ensure that officials and experts were not seeking personal gain or glory (for instance through exaggerating their scientific discoveries), and were bound by strict norms of honesty.

But regardless of how honest parties may be in their dealings with one another, the cultural homogeneity and social intimacy of these gentlemanly networks and clubs has always been grounds for suspicion. Right back to the mid-17th century, the bodies tasked with handling public knowledge have always privileged white male graduates, living in global cities and university towns. This does not discredit the knowledge they produce – but where things get trickier is when that homogeneity starts to appear to be a political identity, with a shared set of political goals. This is what is implied by the concept of “elites”: that purportedly separate domains of power – media, business, politics, law, academia – are acting in unison.

A further threat comes from individuals taking advantage of their authority for personal gain. Systems that rely on trust are always open to abuse by those seeking to exploit them. It is a key feature of modern administrations that they use written documents to verify things – but there will always be scope for records to be manipulated, suppressed or fabricated. There is no escaping that possibility altogether. This applies to many fields: at a certain point, the willingness to trust that a newspaper is honestly reporting what a police officer claims to have been told by a credible witness, for example, relies on a leap of faith.

A trend of declining trust has been underway across the western world for many years, even decades, as copious survey evidence attests. Trust, and its absence, became a preoccupation for policymakers and business leaders during the 1990s and early 2000s. They feared that shrinking trust led to higher rates of crime and less cohesive communities, producing costs that would be picked up by the state.

What nobody foresaw was that, when trust sinks beneath a certain point, many people may come to view the entire spectacle of politics and public life as a sham. This happens not because trust in general declines, but because key public figures – notably politicians and journalists – are perceived as untrustworthy. It is those figures specifically tasked with representing society, either as elected representatives or as professional reporters, who have lost credibility.

To understand the crisis liberal democracy faces today – whether we identify this primarily in terms of “populism” or “post-truth” – it’s not enough to simply bemoan the rising cynicism of the public. We need also to consider some of the reasons why trust has been withdrawn. The infrastructure of fact has been undermined in part by a combination of technology and market forces – but we must seriously reckon with the underlying truth of the populists’ charge against the establishment today. Too often, the rise of insurgent political parties and demagogues is viewed as the source of liberalism’s problems, rather than as a symptom. But by focusing on trust, and the failure of liberal institutions to sustain it, we get a clearer sense of why this is happening now.

The problem today is that, across a number of crucial areas of public life, the basic intuitions of populists have been repeatedly verified. One of the main contributors to this has been the spread of digital technology, creating vast data trails with the latent potential to contradict public statements, and even undermine entire public institutions. Whereas it is impossible to conclusively prove that a politician is morally innocent or that a news report is undistorted, it is far easier to demonstrate the opposite. Scandals, leaks, whistleblowing and revelations of fraud all serve to confirm our worst suspicions. While trust relies on a leap of faith, distrust is supported by ever-mounting piles of evidence. And in Britain, this pile has been expanding much faster than many of us have been prepared to admit.

Confronted by the rise of populist parties and leaders, some commentators have described the crisis facing liberalism in largely economic terms – as a revolt among those “left behind” by inequality and globalisation. Another camp sees it primarily as the expression of cultural anxieties surrounding identity and immigration. There is some truth in both, of course – but neither gets to the heart of the trust crisis that populists exploit so ruthlessly. A crucial reason liberalism is in danger right now is that the basic honesty of mainstream politicians, journalists and senior officials is no longer taken for granted.

There are copious explanations for Trump, Brexit and so on, but insufficient attention to what populists are actually saying, which focuses relentlessly on the idea of self-serving “elites” maintaining a status quo that primarily benefits them.

Read More: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/nov/29/why-we-stopped-trusting-elites-the-new-populism

DEBRA SOH NOVEMBER 28, 2018

A new academic journal, titled The Journal of Controversial Ideas, launching in the new year, will be peer-reviewed and offer a diverse range of viewpoints, calling upon liberals, conservatives, as well as those who are religious and secular, to submit their work. Most notably, it will allow academics to publish under pseudonyms.

Much of the response to this journal has been criticism alleging that only academics with hateful ideas would require the option to publish under a pseudonym. In truth, facts today are deemed controversial if they deviate from accepted narratives, and professors must self-censor out of fear of being condemned and losing their jobs.

Based on conversations I’ve had with colleagues still working in academia and from what I can tell about recent cases of censorship, the antagonism is primarily from left-leaning colleagues attacking other liberals. The problem has been increasing and was the reason I chose to leave the field of sex research.

In the last several months alone, multiple controversies involving academic censorship have emerged. Earlier this year, a paper by Theodore Hill, a professor emeritus of mathematics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, wrote about the “greater male variability hypothesis,” which posits that men are more variable than women along a number of traits, including intelligence, translating to a greater number of men at the high and low extremes.

After the paper was accepted in one journal and subsequently rescinded due to feminist scholars’ fears that it would be used to justify sexism, Dr. Hill got the paper published in another journal online, only to have it disappear from its website shortly thereafter. He was told the decision was not due to the paper’s scientific methods but its political implications.

In August, another controversy erupted when PLOS ONE published a study by physician Lisa Littman. She wrote about rapid-onset gender dysphoria, a growing phenomenon of girls who, out of the blue, announce they are transgender. Due to backlash from transgender activists, Brown University pulled the study’s corresponding press release, and PLOS ONE said the study had been placed under review. Considering that it underwent peer review prior to being published and other experts in the field would have scrutinized it for its methodology and content, the decision was unheard of.

These instances are indicative of a larger, worrisome trend – instead of debating contentious ideas, those in opposition to them throw words ending in “-phobic” around, shutting the conversation down and pretending they don’t exist.

Read More: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-in-academia-censorship-and-conformity-have-become-the-norm/

Google’s Social Engineering for Leftist Bias Revealed in Writing

Ever try the same search terms using different search engines to see the difference?

Google Search Results for Idiot 2018
Google Search Results for “Idiot” 2018
Duck Duck Go Search Results for Idiot 2018
Duck Duck Go Search Results for “Idiot” 2018

EXCLUSIVE: GOOGLE EMPLOYEES DEBATED BURYING CONSERVATIVE MEDIA IN SEARCH

Peter Hasson  11/29/2018

  • Google employees debated whether to bury The Daily Caller and other conservative media outlets in the company’s search function as a response to President Donald Trump’s election
  • “Let’s make sure that we reverse things in four years,” one engineer wrote in a thread that included a Google vice president
  • Google employees similarly sought to manipulate search results to combat Trump’s travel ban

Google employees debated whether to bury conservative media outlets in the company’s search function as a response to President Donald Trump’s election in 2016, internal Google communications obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation reveal.

The Daily Caller and Breitbart were specifically singled out as outlets to potentially bury, the communications reveal.

Trump’s election in 2016 shocked many Google employees, who had been counting on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to win.

Communications obtained by The DCNF show that internal Google discussions went beyond expressing remorse over Clinton’s loss to actually discussing ways Google could prevent Trump from winning again.

“This was an election of false equivalencies, and Google, sadly, had a hand in it,” Google engineer Scott Byer wrote in a Nov. 9, 2016, post reviewed by The DCNF.

Byer falsely labeled The Daily Caller and Breitbart as “opinion blogs” and urged his coworkers to reduce their visibility in search results.

“How many times did you see the Election now card with items from opinion blogs (Breitbart, Daily Caller) elevated next to legitimate news organizations? That’s something that can and should be fixed,” Byer wrote.

“I think we have a responsibility to expose the quality and truthfulness of sources – because not doing so hides real information under loud noises,” he continued.

“Beyond that, let’s concentrate on teaching critical thinking. A little bit of that would go a long way. Let’s make sure that we reverse things in four years – demographics will be on our side.”

Some of Byer’s colleagues expressed concern that manipulating search results could backfire and suggested alternative measures.

Read More: https://dailycaller.com/2018/11/29/google-censorship-conservative-media/

Nineteen-Eighty-Four is here as Internet Censorship Silences Thousands of Opposing Veiws

facebook censorship

Internet Censorship Just Took An Unprecedented Leap Forward, And Hardly Anyone Noticed

Caitlin Johnstone  Oct 13

While most indie media was focused on debating the way people talk about Kanye West and the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an unprecedented escalation in internet censorship took place which threatens everything we all care about. It received frighteningly little attention.

After a massive purge of hundreds of politically oriented pages and personal accounts for “inauthentic behavior”, Facebook rightly received a fair amount of criticism for the nebulous and hotly disputed basis for that action. What received relatively little attention was the far more ominous step which was taken next: within hours of being purged from Facebook, multiple anti-establishment alternative media sites had their accounts completely removed from Twitter as well.

As of this writing I am aware of three large alternative media outlets which were expelled from both platforms at almost the same time: Anti-Media, the Free Thought Project, and Police the Police, all of whom had millions of followers on Facebook. Both the Editor-in-Chief of Anti-Media and its Chief Creative Officer were also banned by Twitter, and are being kept from having any new accounts on that site as well.

Read More: https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/internet-censorship-just-took-an-unprecedented-leap-forward-and-hardly-anyone-noticed-e6ae2d8adaf2?fbclid=IwAR2o6wLOqJXsby9aWdHFrIuY208ZN4x2G2jrqC9sE89kOp2e9uxox92Qq-0

The Purge Has a New Posterchild — Zuckerberg Just Made a Crucial PR Mistake

When Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook purged the Right Wing News page they may not have known who they were messing with.

This could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Brain Kolfage, a purple heart recipient and a triple-amputee veteran airman, was page administrator for the Right Wing News FB page.

Read More: https://www.dcclothesline.com/2018/10/15/the-purge-has-a-new-posterchild-zuckerberg-just-made-a-crucial-pr-mistake/