Tag Archives: Social media censorship

The Big Tech Exodus Has Begun — Join Us!

It’s been a long time coming and we still have a long way to go, but we can now confidently say that an era of new media has begun.

Over the last several years, we have clearly seen the writing on the wall that Big Tech would start getting far more aggressive about how it polices content. Not satisfied with merely fact checking and adding notices, entire channels have been deleted for wrongthink.

Readers might have noticed, however, that while we continue to highlight the injustices seen across social media, we do not advocate for government intervention. Instead, we always have promoted the building of entirely new systems. Nevertheless, most people do not understand how laborious and costly such an undertaking really is – especially now that Big Tech systems are so firmly entrenched in the daily lives of most people. However, due to millions of readers across independent media being told they have no access to the information they desire, we are now witnessing a dramatic increase in the breadth of alternative offerings as well as much higher quality.

Below, for example, is a group of our most respected independent journalists who recently threw a Goodbye YouTube Party (originally hosted on YouTube, LOL!!!). You’ll notice that there are no tears shed for their collective deplatforming, but rather an agreement that this is an exciting new beginning.

Goodbye YouTube indeed – look at today’s Tweet from rival BitChute:

There are many new social media channels, but we would like to highlight where we participate the most frequently so that our readers have a clearer understanding of how to migrate over to these new platforms TODAY. You also will find ALL of our content at these sites.

SoMee (Somee.social) – This platform might prove to be the true Facebook killer. It’s a project that is still in Beta, but has framed an incredible system to “gamify” audience participation. With a built-in cryptocurrency wallet, readers can earn SoMee tokens (ONG) for posting, upvoting and eventually commenting on their favorite content. An ad-share marketplace is also currently being designed. Additionally, SoMee has made a commitment to free speech without arbitrary censorship based on politics – only the most obviously egregious violations will result in removal and bans. SoMee currently has 80,000 users with very little marketing of the project. In our estimation, their slow rollout is indicative of a careful and long-lasting approach. Activist Post contributor Aaron Kesel is involved with SoMee as business development director. Perhaps most refreshing of all is how positive and supportive the community is with a broad range of cultures taking part. A tutorial is posted below. Once you sign up, you can send us a friend request at https://somee.social/profile/activist-post/. You can also follow SoMee’s mission to bring transparency to their development here.

Flote (Flote.app) – This platform has been heavily promoted by Josh Sigurdson of World Alternative Media, as well as Derrick Broze of The Conscious Resistance Network. Flote also has a built-in crypto wallet where Bitcoin donations can be sent and received by users. Flote is fast, simple, super clean and also offers video hosting. Please visit us at: https://flote.app/ActivistPost. Here is an introduction to this censorship-resistant site which is currently seeing a massive influx of new users judging by the uptick in our personal followers:

Minds (minds.com) – This is one of the longer-running alternative platforms where we’ve been participating. Here, too, you can find a built-in wallet for crypto tokenization and transfer. Please visit us: https://www.minds.com/ActivistPost/. Here is an interview with co-founder Bill Ottman giving an overview of their mission for decentralized social media based on privacy and transparency, as well as some of the key features.

Parler (Parler.com) – This platform is becoming the de facto Twitter of the “right” and is absolutely exploding in the wake of this heavily contested election. While it is indeed heavily focused on the establishment political right, there is a growing diversity of voices there including AP contributor Spiro Skouras and many other respected independent voices. Follow us here: https://parler.com/profile/Activist/

MeWe (mewe.com): This is a new one for us, but not for many others. We finally set up our profile after being prodded by our good friends at The Free Thought Project. MeWe – along with Parler – is among the top 3 most downloaded apps right now as the Big Tech Exodus accelerates. Follow us here: https://mewe.com/i/activistpost

Here’s an excellent overview of MeWe, including strategies to build your own MeWe presence from our friend Jack Spirko:

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Lastly, censorship is not only online. Recently, PayPal deleted our account after 10 years in good standing without explanation. Their only stated reason was “potential risk.” They also froze our funds for 180 days. The impact was significant, so we do appreciate support at Patreon where you can follow us for as little as $1 per month HERE. We also accept crypto support here: https://www.activistpost.com/support

Please choose at least one of these platforms today and accompany us on this journey to build something great!

Who Funds Facebook Fact Checkers?

Social media fact-checking organizations are not the independent public health watchdogs they’re made out to be. Fact-checkers for Facebook are funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has given more than $250 million in grants to steer media outlets

In what it describes as a commitment to “fighting the spread of misinformation,”[i] Facebook claims to work with “independent, third-party fact-checking organizations” to review content and take action against that deemed to be “viral misinformation” or fake news.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has stated that when a post is identified as misinformation, meaning it’s given a warning label as such by Facebook, it results in users not clicking through 95% of the time.[ii]

While presented as a tool to protect the public, what it amounts to is blatant censorship, which can easily push certain agendas into public view while silencing others. Facebook, again, claims to be unbiased, but several of its fact-checking partners receive funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, raising serious questions about conflicts of interest.

Gates Foundation Funds Prominent ‘Fact Checkers’

Who’s behind Facebook’s fact-checking? Africa Check is one fact-checking organization, which launched in 2018 across five sub-Saharan Africa countries. In 2019, they announced they were expanding coverage to prevent fake news from spreading across 10 more languages, including Swahili in Kenya, Wolof in Senegal and Afrikaans in South Africa.[iii]

In August 2019, the Gates Foundation paid $1,478,700 to Africa Check, for the reported purposes of advocacy to increase the accuracy of health claims made by public figures and promote the use of evidence-backed information by the media and others in terms of public health and development issues.[iv] An additional $445,760 grant was also paid to Africa Check by the Gates Foundation in 2017.[v]

Yet, in the Columbia Journalism Review, journalist Tim Schwab said he found 16 examples of Africa Check fact-checking media claims about Gates, and all of them — save one correction about an incorrect malaria statistic — were supportive or defensive of Bill and Melinda Gates and/or their foundation.[vi]

The Poynter Institute is another of the Gates’ Foundation’s beneficiaries, receiving a $382,997 grant from Gates in November 2015 “to improve the accuracy in worldwide media of claims related to global health and development.”[vii]

The Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) certifies Facebook’s fact-checking organizations, which must adhere to their code of principles.[viii] And, adding in one more layer of conflict, Facebook is also a major donor to Poynter and its subsidiary PolitiFact.[ix]

Is Bill Gates Media’s Puppet Master?

Bill Gates has emerged as a powerful figure in public health, despite holding no medical degree. Aside from being a top funder of the World Health Organization (WHO),[x] the Gates Foundation funds a number of mainstream media outlets, yielding a potentially disturbing level of control over the free press.

According to Schwab, “I recently examined nearly twenty thousand charitable grants the Gates Foundation had made through the end of June and found more than $250 million going toward journalism.”[xi] Recipients of Gates Foundation grants include:[xii]

BBC

NBC

Al Jazeera

ProPublica

National Journal

The Guardian

Univision

Medium

The Financial Times

The Atlantic

The Texas Tribune

Gannett

Washington Monthly

Le Monde

The Center for Investigative Reporting

Throwing money at the media means favorable press is a given, and the internet is awash in pieces praising the Gates Foundation’s charitable endeavors. Gannett’s USA Today is one example that has been quick to defend Gates from criticism, including claims that he would profit from the drug Remdesivir.[xiii]

The Poynter Institute’s PolitiFact, another one of Facebook’s fact-checking partners,[xiv] also pushed back against claims that the Gates foundation would profit from a COVID-19 vaccine, stating, “False claims about the Gates Foundation’s connection to the novel coronavirus know no borders” and adding that such “fake news” posts on social media would be “flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.”[xv]

Just how far Gates’ puppet strings over the media extend remain unknown, Schwab reported, because the foundation only discloses charitable grants, not contracts, except for one with media outlet Vox.

“In the same way that the news media has given Gates an outsize voice in the pandemic, the foundation has long used its charitable giving to shape the public discourse on everything from global health to education to agriculture — a level of influence that has landed Bill Gates on Forbes’s list of the most powerful people in the world,” Schwab wrote.[xvi]

Facebook Sued for Censorship

In a lawsuit filed against Facebook, Zuckerberg and the fact-checking organizations Science Feedback, Poynter Institute and its subsidiary Politifact, nonprofit group Children’s Health Defense (CHD) alleges that Facebook censored information it shared regarding vaccine safety and 5G health concerns.[xvii]

In their lawsuit, they compared Facebook to the printing presses of 17th century England, through which the government-controlled free speech. They allege that government actors, namely the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and WHO, actively partnered with Facebook to censor CHD’s speech critical of government policy.

In regard to Facebook and Zuckerberg, the suit alleges, “At a time when the social media platform and its creator claim to be exponents of free expression and the scientific method for discovering truth, this case reveals the opposite: that they are indeed censors, and opponents of real science and open debate.”[xviii]

As the line between what constitutes real and fake news becomes increasingly, and perhaps intentionally, blurred, be sure to look beyond mainstream and social media’s seal of approval in your own search for truth.


References

[i] Facebook, Fact-Checking on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/business/help/2593586717571940?id=673052479947730

[ii] Reclaimthenet.org May 21, 2020 https://reclaimthenet.org/zuckerberg-defends-censoring/

[iii] Africa-Newsroom August 14, 2019 https://www.africa-newsroom.com/press/facebook-together-with-africa-check-expands-its-local-language-coverage-as-part-of-its-thirdparty-factchecking-programme?lang=en

[iv] Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grants, Africa Check https://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2019/08/OPP1214960

[v] Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grants, Africa Check https://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2017/09/OPP1176188

[vi] Columbia Journalism Review August 21, 2020 https://www.cjr.org/criticism/gates-foundation-journalism-funding.php

[vii] Gates Foundation, Grants, The Poynter Institute for Media, Studies https://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2015/11/OPP1138320

[viii] IFCN Code of Principles https://ifcncodeofprinciples.poynter.org/

[ix] Children’s Health Defense v. Facebook August 17, 2020 https://docs.reclaimthenet.org/FACEBOOK-COMPLAINT-DKT-1-08-17-2020-a.pdf

[x] Devex June 5, 2020 https://www.devex.com/news/big-concerns-over-gates-foundation-s-potential-to-become-largest-who-donor-97377

[xi] Columbia Journalism Review August 21, 2020 https://www.cjr.org/criticism/gates-foundation-journalism-funding.php

[xii] Columbia Journalism Review August 21, 2020 https://www.cjr.org/criticism/gates-foundation-journalism-funding.php

[xiii] USA Today May 14, 2020 https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/05/14/fact-check-anthony-fauci-bill-gates-wont-profit-remdesivir/3120063001/

[xiv] Reclaimthenet August 21, 2020 https://reclaimthenet.org/gates-foundation-funds-facebook-fact-checkers/

[xv] Politifact May 14, 2020 https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/may/14/facebook-posts/no-evidence-gates-foundation-will-profit-coronavir/

[xvi] Columbia Journalism Review August 21, 2020 https://www.cjr.org/criticism/gates-foundation-journalism-funding.php

[xvii] Reclaimthenet August 19, 2020 https://reclaimthenet.org/childrens-health-defense-sues-facebook/

[xviii] Children’s Health Defense v. Facebook August 17, 2020 https://docs.reclaimthenet.org/FACEBOOK-COMPLAINT-DKT-1-08-17-2020-a.pdf

Why social media censorship is worse than useless

Source

nypost.com

Mark Weinstein is CEO of the ­social-network company MeWe.

Moderation, I can tell you firsthand, is one of the most important and challenging aspects of social media. With the COVID-19 pandemic, social networks have been under greater pressure than ever to police their platforms to prevent the spread of misinformation.

As a result, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the other social-media giants have cranked up their censorship into overdrive, but they are ignoring the structural problems that allow misinformation to be boosted on their platforms in the first place.

These companies are increasingly dictating what their users should and should not see and believe. They are kicking out good users and taking down countless harmless posts, pages and groups simply for asking questions about COVID-19 or presenting opinions that differ with those from the company’s executives and authorities. This widespread censorship of ideas would make George Orwell dizzy and runs counter to the whole purpose of social networking.

On May 11, Twitter announced it would add labels to tweets with false or disputed information about COVID-19, and Facebook already started adding similar labels. This is a Band-Aid that does not solve the fundamental issue and can actually create even more problems.

According to MIT research, when people see that some posts on social media have warning labels, they’re far more likely to assume, incorrectly, that all the posts without these warning labels have been verified by fact-checkers. This misperception is exacerbated by the fact that only a fraction of posts with false or unverified information are checked and marked as such.

Continue:

Source

Mark Weinstein is CEO of the ­social-network company MeWe.

‘Time to fact-check the fact-checkers’: Candace Owens vows to SUE Facebook’s partners over censorship

‘Time to fact-check the fact-checkers’: Candace Owens vows to SUE Facebook's partners over censorship
Conservative activist Candace Owens has announced plans to sue Facebook’s third-party fact-checkers, accusing them of censorship and vowing to expose the relationship between the social media giant and fact-checker “activists.”

“It is time to fact-check the fact-checkers,” Owens said in a video posted to her social media accounts.

I’m going to put these suckers through discovery and figure out what the relationship is that they have with Facebook.

The defendants in the lawsuit include USAToday, as well as Lead Stories Fact Checker – both third-party, fact-checking partners for Facebook. Owens said she was also planning to bring “independent fact-checking” nonprofit PolitiFact to court as well.

Owens accused the fact-checkers and Facebook of being a part of the allegedly ongoing attempt to turn the US into a “communist” country, where “wrong” opinion is suppressed, speaking of her experience with the platform. The fact-checkers are “activists for the left that shut down your speech if they don’t like it,” Owens argued.

“Quite literally a doctor gave his opinion about Covid-19, which I shared, and Facebook issued a strike on my account because they said only information that they agree with about Covid-19 … was acceptable,” she said, adding that her Facebook account was subsequently demonetized.

Similar – and even harsher – measures have been introduced by other social media networks, including Twitter. Instead of employing third-party fact-checkers to stay “neutral” like Facebook, it rolled out its own algorithms, labelling “misleading” content and providing links to information it deems “credible.”Facebook’s fact-checking program was rolled out back in 2016 the aftermath of the US presidential election, with the social media giant insisting it was needed to promote an “authentic environment” while still “enabling people to have a voice.” Instead of bluntly removing the content disapproved by the fact-checkers, the network reduces its visibility in the feed, as well as issues various warning labels ranging from “altered” and “missing context” to outright “false.” The process has repeatedly faced criticism from various, primarily conservatively-minded, users, who accused the fact-checkers of having a strong left-wing bias and exercising political censorship.

Ahead of the US presidential election, which has still not yielded a final result, Twitter even prohibited its users, including candidates, from prematurely claiming victory until it’s called by at least two “authoritative” news outlets. The updated rules have resulted in multiple warning labels of “disputed and misleading” content on US President Donald Trump’s messages, which claim there is voter fraud.

Told You So: After Supporting Censorship of Others, Mother Jones Now on the Receiving End of It

jones

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Alex Jones has come a long way since his days of calling out the Federal Reserve, fighting the two-party paradigm, pushing for a real investigation into 9/11 and calling for an end to war in the Middle East. Now, he pushes anti-Muslim rhetoric, plays right along with the two-party paradigm, and serves as little more than a cheerleader for the current president, all while stoking divide all the way along.

In 2018, his vitriol got him thrust in the limelight and a concerted effort by corporate media giants to silence him and purge his information took place. In a move like we had never seen before, it was announced that Facebook, Apple, Spotify, and YouTube all permanently deleted the Infowars and Alex Jones Channels, Podcasts, and pages. Outside of their own domain, Infowars was nearly entirely purged from the internet.

The thought of silencing this loud mouthed Trump-pumping Islamophobic blowhard was appealing to many who acted as cheerleaders for the mass censorship. However, as we pointed out back then, the effects of such a coordinated move and ability of these corporations to silence him with such ease are chilling.

With 100 percent accuracy, the Free Thought Project predicted that censoring Alex Jones would lead to a slippery slope of rampant censorship which could be applied to anyone. And, several months after Jones was wiped from the internet, another coordinated attack was launched. This time, they came for the Free Thought Project and over 800 other liberty minded anti-establishment alternative media outlets.

The Free Thought Project, along with nearly 6 million fans that took years to build, was wiped from the face of Facebook and Twitter in a matter of hours. Sadly, this was still not enough to shake the pro-censorship mafia from their dangerous path and now, and a painfully ironic twist, they are experiencing similar silencing.

One of the main outlets who pushed the censorship of Alex Jones and others was Mother Jones. When Alex Jones was wiped from the internet, Mother Jones praised it, running the headline, “Facebook Finally Removes Another 22 Alex Jones Accounts.” This was one of several articles.

“These three add nothing to planet Earth by their existence, so I don’t mind banning them,” wrote Mother Jones contributor, Kevin Drum, in an article about the censorship of Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan, and Milo Yiannopoulos.

But now, those words are coming back to haunt them and they are likely realizing the error of their ways.

Mother Jones is now waging a campaign to expose the exact same censorship used to wipe out their political rivals — because it is being used against them.

You guys were one of the outlets who got singled out to balance the ledger“: That’s what a former Facebook employee told Mother Jones CEO, Monika Bauerlein and editor-in-chief of the magazine, Clara Jeffery, as they dug into recent news that the platform was throttling traffic to certain publishers, including Mother Jones.

Last week, Jeffery made it her mission to expose this rampant censorship on the platform, calling Facebook a “garbage company” and a “toxic cesspool” damaging the US.

“Facebook used its monopolistic power to boost and suppress specific publishers’ content—the essence of every Big Brother fear about the platforms, and something Facebook and other companies have been strenuously denying for years,” they said.

Jeffery claims the move by Facebook to throttle their content has cost the outlet over $400,000 in revenue. They are now running a fundraiser to capture back this budget shortfall, caused by Facebook — using the very censorship Mother Jones once praised.

Alex Jones’ rhetoric, along with many other folks with whom you may disagree, whether hateful or not deserves its platform like everyone else. Ideas in the conversational realm fight for themselves. Racism, bigotry, sexism: these things are dying out — not because some corporate overlord with massive influence over the flow of information wiped them out — but because they were debated in the public sphere and those who held them were shown to be the idiots that they are.

When everyone is told what to think, and ideas — even racist and vitriolic ones — are kept from them, everyone becomes an idiot, completely dependent on this system of censorship to tell them what to think. A dangerously slippery slope indeed.

Alex Jones was the first unperson in this war on information and this censorship is now spreading like wildfire. In fact, just this week, without any justification, myself and Jason Bassler were removed as admins from pages we created by Facebook. We had no warnings or reason, just poof.

If you support this dangerous control of the flow of information, you deserve the hellish police state that will inevitably ensue as a result of it. If you want to end up on the right side of history, the good news is that there are other options.

Over the past couple of years, we have been helping to build a new model and with your help, it can replace the tyrannical old one.

You can find us on mewe.com which shows no ads, censors no one’s political views, and has no algorithm designed to stoke divide and control your thought.

Our pages are below:

Matt Agorist

Jason Bassler

The Free Thought Project

Police the Police

We are also on minds.com and telegram.

If you are not on our email list, please sign up here.

If you’d like to become a member of the Free Thought Project to aid in the battle against the censors and receive special perks along the way, you can do so at this link.