By Jerome Corsi
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the Internet social media giants step up their censorship of conservative and libertarian views, law enforcement commentators continue to be silenced, leaving Internet space for support of hard-left anti-police organizations such as Antifa and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The strategy being implemented by the hard-left entrepreneurs who run Internet social media companies appears to be not just censoring any who express disagreement with their agenda, but also punishing them by slashing the revenue through videos and postings on social media.
The current round of censorship that happened in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, threatened to ban from the Internet those who supported the NRA. Anyone who argued that student David Hogg was coached on his lines as part of an FBI plot to create false gun-control activism against President Trump risked being banned from YouTube, Facebook, and/or Twitter. If not banned, posts exploring this theory or daring to ask why “crisis actors” are called up in school shooting situations were attacked as being machine-generated “bot” attacks aimed at using the Internet as an echo chamber to broadcast fringe opinions that leftists claimed lacked substantiation.
Those championing law enforcement wonder why the social media giants did not censor Bernie Sanders supporters after it was discovered that Jeremy Joseph Christian, a 35-year-old man from Portland, Oregon, and anti-circumcision Bernie Sanders supporter, stabbed two train passengers after they interrupted his anti-Muslim smears.
Similarly, Antifa and black nationalist groups were not kicked off social media after Kori Ali Muhammad fatally shot three white men in downtown Fresno, California, after realizing he was wanted for the killing of a white security guard. “Kori Muhammad is not a terrorist, but he is a racist, and he is filled with hate, and he set out this week to kill as many people as he could,” Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer told a press conference.
Clearly, the recent round of Internet censorship has magnified the reality that the determination of what is “fake news,” as well as the determination of what is “hate speech,” is clearly subject to interpretation through the lens of the censor’s political orientation, with the hard-left rapidly becoming intolerant of ideological disagreement to the point of abandoning altogether First Amendment free speech rights.
For the leftists currently running the social media giants, the controversy over gun rights was intensified by the “March for Life” spearheaded by the students Parkland High school. Today, in the eyes of the social media moguls, those users posting views supportive of Second Amendment rights are suspected of being right-wing extremists and/or white supremacist Nazis. In direct contrast, those arguing for the repeal of the Second Amendment, the creation of “gun-free zones,” and reliance upon the state for personal defense are seen as right-thinking champions of freedom.
Facebook changes a censorship algorithm
In January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook was changing the algorithm for news feeds, deciding to reduce the public content posted by businesses, corporate brands, and the media, in an effort to increase the personal content of postings, making “sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being.”
This policy change impacted conservative-leaning publishers significantly more than liberal-leaning outlets, an analysis by the Western Journal revealed. Liberal publishers gained about two percent more Web traffic from Facebook, while conservative publishers have lost an average of nearly 14 percent of their traffic from Facebook.
“This algorithm change, intentional or not, has in effect censored conservative viewpoints on the largest social media platform in the world,” the Western Journal concluded. “This change has ramifications that, in the short-term, are causing conservative publishers to downsize or fold up completely, and in the long-term could swing elections in the United States and around the world toward liberal politicians and policies.”
As a case in point, the Western Journal compared the impact of Facebook’s algorithm change to two rival publishers in New York City: the New York Post, known as a right-leaning outlet, and the New York Daily News, known for its left-leaning editorial slant. In the wake of the Parkland school shooting, the New York Daily News ran a headline that read, “Brave Florida survivors plan day of action for gun sanity and to call out ‘blood on hands’ of NRA puppets.” The Western Journal concluded headlines like that helped the Daily News garner a 24.18 percent increase in traffic from Facebook, while the right-leaning Post’s dropped 11.44 percent in the same period.
Campbell Brown, a former anchor on NBC and CNN who now leads Facebook’s news partnerships team, told attendees at a recent technology and publishing conference that Facebook would be censoring news publishers based on its own internal biases:
This is not us stepping back from news. This is us changing our relationship with publishers and emphasizing something that Facebook has never done before: It’s having a point of view, and it’s leaning into quality news. … We are, for the first time in the history of Facebook, taking a step to try to define what ‘quality news’ looks like and give that a boost. (Emphasis added.)
Western Journal commented that the impact of the algorithm change makes clear that Facebook’s definition of “quality news” is news with a leftist political bias.
Google appoints Southern Poverty Law Center as censor
In February 2018, Google and YouTube partnered with the Soros-funded Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to function as a “trusted flagger” to delete questionable video content from its platform. Tucker Carlson has said that the SPLC is itself a “hate group” masquerading as a group that exposes hate groups.
As we have previously noted, the SPLC is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt foundation headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, that is quick to demonize law enforcement in any conflict with minorities typically protected by the hard-core left that increasingly has taken control of the Democratic Party. Yet, when asked to characterize the Black Lives Matter as a hate group, the SPLC refused to do so, arguing that while BLM protesters have said “offensive things, like the chant ‘pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon’,” BLM was formed as a reaction to white racism.
Almost immediately, Google’s new policy resulted in the termination of this author’s YouTube account and the cancellation of live stream, after tagging three videos as “bullying” without giving any specification of what in particular was deemed “bullying.” After an outcry of protest at the termination, Google reinstated the YouTube account and live stream, without explaining either the initial decision to terminate the account, or the subsequent decision to reinstate it.
After similarly censoring a flurry of conservative and libertarian YouTube accounts, Google evidently thought better of the exercise, explaining publicly that many accounts had been terminated “by mistake.”
“YouTube’s new moderators, brought in to spot fake, misleading and extreme videos, stumbled in one of their first major tests, mistakenly removing some clips and channels in the midst of a nationwide debate on gun control,” Bloomberg Technology reported on February 28, 2018. “The Google division said in December it would assign more than 10,000 people to moderate content after a year of scandals over fake and inappropriate content on the world’s largest video site.”
James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas tears into Twitter censorship
In a stunning series of undercover videos, O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has captured Twitter engineers boasting how Twitter censors out conservative and libertarian views.
Just consider the following admissions O’Keefe got on video:
O’Keefe has targeted Twitter, in large part, as a means of survival.
Shut out from the mainstream media Project Veritas seeks to expose, O’Keefe relies upon social media, including Twitter, where he currently has 377,000 followers, to get his videos seen and his message broadcast.
To date O’Keefe has fought back successfully to get Twitter to reinstate his account every time Twitter has cancelled it or threatened to cancel it, but the battle has been hard fought.
Federal Trade Commission moves to regulate Facebook
On March 26, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission confirmed that Facebook is under investigation over a developing controversy involving London-based Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm that mined data from over 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge to profile voters.
It is apparent the whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, now a 28-year-old activist with pink hair, made the revelation with the intent to damage President Trump. Wylie, who describes himself as a gay Canadian vegan who came up with an idea that led to the foundation of Cambridge Analytica, ended up creating “Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare mind-bending tool.”
Bannon was chief strategist of the Trump campaign when Wylie proposed to him that he had invented a way to hack Facebook “to harvest the Facebook profiles of millions of people in the U.S., and to use their private and personal information to create sophisticated psychological and political profiles.” The idea was that the Facebook-stolen user data could be used to target Facebook users with political ads designed to work on their psychological makeup.
While Cambridge Analytica was working for the Trump campaign, Zuckerberg allegedly assisted Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Trying to help Hillary win the presidency, Zuckerberg assisted then-chairman and CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, who worked as one of Clinton’s top outside advisors. Schmidt had volunteered to use Google user data to create Hillary Clinton’s “Get Out the Vote,” – a critical tool in the lastest phase of modern database-dominated political campaigning.
The attack on giant Internet companies is likely to expand from Facebook to include Twitter, as well as Google and YouTube – all companies that have admitted to instituting censoring projects targeting “fake news” and “provocative content.” Critics fear these categories are so loosely specified as to be susceptible to a subjective interpretation that always seems to result in targeting conservative and libertarian content, at least as long as Silicon Valley and the social media giants are controlled by left-leaning investors and managers.
On March 28, 2018, Jonathan Swan at Axios.com reported that President Trump had targeted Amazon.com for anti-trust action, concerned that Amazon is killing shopping malls and brick-and-mortar retailers, while getting a free ride from taxpayers and favorable treatment from the U.S. Postal Service. In reaction to the Axios.com article, Amazon shares fell 4.6 percent when trading opened, wiping out more than $33 billion in shareholder value.
Conclusion: An Internet Bill of Rights (IBOR)
Applying fundamental American freedoms to the Internet is critical to the future of law enforcement if we are to avoid one-sided law enforcement commentary that follows a Soros-funded script branding law enforcement as a racist social-control force determined to apply the law unequally, discriminating against people of color and other minorities favored by hard-left identity politics.
While the battle to keep the Internet free and open to political views is just the beginning, it appears the Trump administration will be involved in regulating the Internet, not just through FTC privacy and anti-trust action, but also by seeking new legislation in Congress.
On January 24, 2018, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson called for an “Internet Bill of Rights,” a suggestion that was favorably received by the Trump administration.
“AT&T is committed to an open internet,” Stephenson’s statement said. “We don’t censor online content. And we don’t throttle, discriminate, or degrade network performance based on content. Period.”
Stephenson argued that congressional action is needed to establish an Internet Bill of Rights that applies to all Internet companies and guarantees neutrality, transparency, openness, non-discrimination, and privacy protection for all Internet users.
“Legislation would not only ensure consumers’ rights are protected but it would provide consistent rules of the road for all Internet companies across all websites, content, devices and applications,” he said.
In a statement published on the AT&T website, Stephenson explained that AT&T does not censor online content.
“AT&T is committed to an open internet,” he wrote. “We have publicly committed to these principles for over 10 years. And we will continue to abide by them in providing our customers the open internet experience they have come to expect.”