because democracy dies in darkness…and drowns in #Fake News…


…Trump’s poodle Emmanuel Macron is promising bans on Fake News during French elections, and is about to introduce legislation allowing emergency blocks and legal actions against Fake News websites.  The legislation would include increased transparency about sponsored content, including the financing; the amount of funding would be capped.

““If we want to protect liberal democracies, we must be strong and have clear rules,” he added.  He said France’s media watchdog, the CSA, would be empowered to fight against “any attempt at destabilisation” by TV stations controlled or influenced by foreign states.

Macron said he wanted to act against what he called “propaganda articulated by thousands of social media accounts”.

Meanwhile, the EU security commissioner says new regulations may have to be brought in if tech firms fail to tackle issues voluntarily, and that Brussels may threaten social media companies unless they urgently tackle Fake News (and mumble, mumble, Cambridge Analytical style, hooom-hooms) which EU SC Julian King said “opened their eyes”.

See, CA is simply a McGuffin; Facebook shares have increased since the Great Scandal and Zuck-the-fuck’s ‘grilling’ before a Senate subcommittee.. ‘soooo eye-opening’, though.

“Under King’s ideas, social media companies would sign a voluntary code of conduct to prevent the “misuse of platforms to pump out misleading information”.

The code would include a pledge for greater transparency, so users would be made aware why their Facebook or Twitter feed was presenting them with certain adverts or stories. Another proposal is for political adverts to be accompanied with information about who paid for them.

“We want to see whether we can rapidly reach agreement with key platforms and stakeholders on a policy level, with them being a bit more open about why you are seeing what you are seeing,” King said.”

Then: Regulate yourselves or…we will regulate you!  But without, yanno, falling into the trap of (gasp): Censorship!

The author does mention this (ahem) little oopsie:

“The EU has also run into criticism over the approach of its counter-propaganda unit, East Stratcom, which runs a website, Disinformation Review, intended to weed out false facts about the EU and tell positive, true stories.

Earlier this year, the taskforce made an embarrassing about-turn after naming three Dutch websites as purveyors of fake news, as a result of translation errors. Newspaper De Gelderlander, anti-EU weblog GeenStijl and the Post Online were removed from the EU v Disinfo site this year, after complaints and threats of legal action. The episode exposed the reliance of the taskforce on a network of NGOs and journalist fact-checkers, who may be using machine translators.”

But the author quotes King as saying that ‘East Stratcom’s doing an important job of uncovering systemic attempts to run fake stories’, and they welcome any challenges to their…decisions in error, let’s say.

But oh, dear me, as so many predicted, including wsws, Andre Damon at wsws reports:

“Facebook, the world’s largest social media company, spelled out for the first time the criteria it uses to censor speech on its platform, purely at its own discretion, and with no legal oversight or recourse.

Its “community guidelines” are so sweeping and broad that effectively any statement expressing any critical political view can be constrained as violent, defamatory, “extremist,” “bullying” or—in the most sweeping catchall—“fake news,” and flagged for removal or undetectable censorship.

These “community guidelines” are used by the 20,000 in Facebook’s “security” and “moderation” departments—constituting the absolute majority of the company’s employees—to shape political discourse and block content the massive and unaccountable technology monopoly deems objectionable.

The centerpiece of this censorship apparatus is Facebook’s policy regarding “fake news.” In its newly released community guidelines, the social media monopoly made clear that it would not let users know their content is being blocked from distribution as “fake news” because such censorship is a “sensitive issue”:

‘Reducing the spread of false news on Facebook is a responsibility that we take seriously. We also recognize that this is a challenging and sensitive issue. We want to help people stay informed without stifling productive public discourse. There is also a fine line between false news and satire or opinion. For these reasons, we don’t remove false news from Facebook but instead, significantly reduce its distribution by showing it lower in the News Feed.’

“La Rochefoucauld’s maxim that “hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue” applies here. Since journalists, publishers and users would raise a hue and cry over their content being censored, Facebook simply carries out its censorship in secret. By blocking distribution on the Facebook news feed, the company’s actions have the same effect as simply deleting content, but without any legal proof that the company violated its users’ First Amendment rights.”

Now he doesn’t say where he’d seen this report, nor link to it, but:

“In a quarterly report published Monday, Google bragged that it removed over 8 million videos from YouTube, of which the great majority—some 6.7 million—were “first flagged for review by machines rather than humans.” More than three quarters of the videos flagged by Google’s AI systems “were removed before they received a single view.”

The company declared, “Deploying machine learning actually means more people reviewing content, not fewer. Our systems rely on human review to assess whether content violates our policies.” Like Facebook, Google has hired an army of censors, aiming to employ 10,000 people in this department by the end of the year.”

Having seen evidence of claims that some Tankies on Twitter have been disappeared, when I clicked in this a.m. I found at the top of the screen: ‘Updates to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy’ including these hints and clues:

“These updates will take effect on May 25, 2018. By using our services on or after that date, you’ll be agreeing to these revisions. You should read the documents in full, but the key updates in our Privacy Policy include:

  • More focus on the controls we offer you over your personal data;
  • More focus on how Twitter shares your public data broadly and instantly, including through our developer tools;
  • More transparency and control over how we share your data with business partners; and
  • More clarity about how we share your data to prevent harm, comply with law, serve the public interest, and keep Twitter safe and welcoming for everyone.

Remember, you can use the controls we highlight in our updated policy to limit the information we collect about you or how we use it. You can also choose to deactivate your Twitter account. You have the final say about whether and how we process your personal data. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Yes, yes, the internet was supposed to be the ‘great leveler’ wasn’t it?  Citizen journalism, war-crimes and po-po-busting videos? The IDF blasting holes in citizens during the March of Return?  Fuck it, with net neutrality a thing of the past, and a corrupt ‘only legacy parties allowed’ US electoral system that share the same toxic bowels?  I’m just glad electro-shocks don’t come through my laptop mouse when I try to click into one of the Propaganda™ sites or Twitter accounts…so far.

Yanno, I’m glad the ruling class and social network multi-billionaires are working so hard to keep us safe from #Fake News from propagandists like these:



I give up; what did The Great Equalizer end up changing anyway?  This Empire’s gonna go down soon, maybe we’ll sort it out later. Who needs Craig Murray, anyway?  Who needs WikiLeaks with Julian Assange stuck in a virtual prison if he’s even still alive?   Who needs the Peace Corps?  Illegitimate and Evil USA and Western gummints: rot in hadesDue Process and the Rule of Law?  Ha!Drafted by and for property and slave owners.

So me, I’m gonna go shopping with some Beyoncé bucks and lay around the shanty and put a good buzz on.  By the by: where is that free soma Aldous Huxley promised us, anyway?


(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Crap! Looking around the incredibly shrinking circle of truth tellers, and wishing I had the tech ability to create a social media site which would enshrine our first amendment. CM's account of his sudden censorship is chilling.

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wendy davis's picture

@GusBecause

but this one's really flipped him out, as is evident. truth tellers? ay yi yi. take a gander at this! and oy, i'd meant to look at democracy now, dagnabbit. later on that. but this fella will be banned from twitter (his account's full of good nuggets) for being outraged at the flipping intercept. he may have shone a light on another new 'syrian' one at counterpunch, battin' for the imperium. and oh, my, wait till you look at the author robert mackey's CV! pure Not on the propOrnot lists.

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Wink's picture

you what this King of the World thing is all about... "

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

wendy davis's picture

@Wink

and change your mind the next! no one notices when ya cover all your bases...!

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Big Al's picture

Notice my avatar.
Talking to someone this morning about the newspaper industry, he works for the city paper here. I asked about circulation, how they were doing and he brought up the Trump tariffs which evidently are causing significant price increases for the actual paper products. I told him it will probably come full circle and local and underground papers will make a comeback because the internet will become too restricted and controlled.
Like the joke about bringing back smoke signals.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

accounts, i mean...eradicating them...will make it nigh on to impossible for social movements to organize. workers strikes, for instance, and other resistance actions. google's already been minimizing search results from wsws, popular resistance, etc. bernhard at MoA said his whisky bar is likely on the 'list of a hundred', but w/ no evidence or context. but sure, he does some purdy amazing analysis, even when i don't entirely agree with his take.

print news. hmmmm. decades ago, mother jones for us, but it's subversive days are long gone.

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@Big Al
and hard to find now that we've consigned them, in our haste, into antiquity.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

wendy davis's picture

@Timmethy2.0

samizdat?

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Anja Geitz's picture

Ya think?

La Rochefoucauld’s maxim that “hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue” applies here. Since journalists, publishers and users would raise a hue and cry over their content being censored, Facebook simply carries out its censorship in secret

.
I'll admit there is a petty part of me that wishes I came up with that quote. Transparency my ass, Obama.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

wendy davis's picture

@Anja Geitz

one comical note is that i'd read it to mr. wd a few days ago, then forgot where i'd read it. kinda scanned a few pieces at dissident voice, i forget where else. finally bingled for more of his witty quotes 'urbane', his wiki says (and yeah, some are self-contradictory) found it, and when i went to put this together: bingo! but fancy that he lived from 1613-1680.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@wendy davis

Has a long history. I too have a comical note about La Rochefoucauld, even though I took an advanced English course in college with a professor who was a Francophile, the first time I ever heard of La Rochefoucauld was in a Frasier episode. Lol

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

wendy davis's picture

@Anja Geitz

thank you for the chuckles.

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Two newspapers and four television stations, all owned by two corporations (and almost one but the merger failed). And most cities had a lot less.

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We are so screwed.

wendy davis's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

in amerika, but the fusion of news, entertainment, film companies, publishing, etc. to deliver the corporations' messages is getting ever more apparent, isn't it? this is an older global list, but still worthy as far as names and which media, disney, comcast, viacom, news corp... netflix? oy, what agitprop!

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Bollox Ref's picture

of a major European power, I will not be happy being dragged around by the hand of Donald Trump.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

wendy davis's picture

@Bollox Ref

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@Bollox Ref

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Beware the bullshit factories.

Pluto's Republic's picture

The French, many of them, are very disappointed with their neoliberal weasel on the world stage. They sense austerity looking their way.

As for our own Orwellian fate — which became inevitable when the Patriot Act was signed — I always think of China. I remember the bitter tears shed by the State Department Neocons for the poor, poor Chinese who had their Internet censored. Essentially, China decided to build their own search engine rather than adopting Google. (No loss there. Google, has become worthless for news and related research.) There was loud wailing and the gnashing of teeth from the Interventionalists because China could not enjoy the wholesome culture of Google. All that propaganda and misinformation going to waste. There was even talk of regime change along with the fundamental necessity of a Pivot to Asia for the US military. And now, the US mounts another try for the TPP and enhanced US hegemony in the region.

Good times.

But who will weep for the poor censored Americans? Won't someone bring us regime change, too?

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Alligator Ed's picture

@Pluto's Republic Hussein still thinks he's president and travels the same route as Orange one, contradicting his successor every chance he gets. Hillary also thinks she's president, at least until she sobers up.

"I'm the President. It's my turn, you mofos"

She [HRC] actually said that “The U.S. is in a very bad spot and we haven’t seen the bottom” yet when it comes to having Trump as our president. And that he still breaks into chants at his rally’s saying “Lock her up.” like he wants to “Impeach” her.

Please, please, let it be true.

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

engine. i reckon Our Rulers weren't too happy with assange's 'google is not what it seems'. the captioned photos are priceless.

but oh, my, apparently the twittersphere went a bit berserk w/ that photo, snort! guffaw...
Trolling the bromance: Trump-Macron love-in sparks major meme meltdown’, via RT

well, remember that at the end of wm. blum’sOverthrowing other people’s governments: The Master List’, he wittily offers:

Q: Why will there never be a coup d’état in Washington?
A: Because there’s no American embassy there.

mebbe we should build one...staff it...

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Alligator Ed's picture

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wendy davis's picture

@Alligator Ed

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/la-nuit-est-sur-la-ville-night-lies-over-...

Far from you, bored
All alone so many nights
Why, why
Is everything pushing me towards you?
Everything in me forgets about you in a sudden

Nothing is really easy
Nevertheless I still believe
That I truly love you
Yes, I truly love you...

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wendy davis's picture

@Alligator Ed

"Merkel stated that the Iranian issue is way more important for Germany than for the US, since the country is “at the Germany’s footsteps.”
“I believe that obviously this agreement is anything but perfect. It will not solve the problems with Iran. It’s just one piece of the mosaique, one building block, on which we can build the structure,” Merkel said during a joint press conference with Trump.
Merkel, who arrived in the US to hold talks with the US President Donald Trump, has apparently gave in to Washington’s pressure and changed her stance on the landmark nuclear deal with Tehran.

Germany has repeatedly warned the US against pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Merkel herself has consistently urged all the parties to stick to the agreement and implement it fully.

Merkel's statement comes as French President Emmanuel Macron who visited Washington DC this week also changed his mind about the Iran agreement after meeting with Trump. He said on Tuesday that discussions with US President Donald Trump have made it possible to forge a new agreement on Iran.

“He is viewing Iran a lot differently than he did before he walked into the Oval Office,” Trump boasted while speaking on Fox and Friends on Thursday." via RT.

the power of charismatic love as persuasion?

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snoopydawg's picture

Instead of Tony Blair being the USA's puppet, it looks like Macron is not only our puppet, but Germany's puppet too.

What he is doing to the worker's protections has thousands of French people out in the streets protesting against him.

Still wondering what it's going to take for us to jump out of the boiling pot and into the streets? Maybe it's this issue that will do it.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

bin salman. but as you'd brought up the strikes in france, read this and snarl and cringe:
Addressing US Congress, Macron backs neocolonial carve-up of Middle East’, Alex Lantier, 26 April 2018 wsws.org

but it was my understanding that macron had allied with herr hair's wanting to 'moot or massively change' the iranian nuclear treaty...over a matter of two days or close. so, i dunno. but the EU is giving dire warnings for that course.

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orlbucfan's picture

poodle. I think it's the other way around. Orange swamp thing is so stupid and egomaniacal that a half-a-brain can manipulate it. The only thing it knows is TV and Twitter. Woo-Wee. I dislike Macron and his EU version of Turd Wayers just like I hate them here. Macron also gently insulted the Congressional yahoos in his speech. Glad I avoid the twin plagues of Facebook and Twitter. Rec'd!!

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Some yahoos make me want to change species!

wendy davis's picture

@orlbucfan

up yonder? i hadn't listened to his speech, nor looked for transcripts. i did however, watch comprador sell-out alexis tsipras genuflect before the orange one at the white house. "we share common values".

and this, too, w/ bibi, of course....oh, those 'heroes' with such feet of clay.

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wendy davis's picture

Neocons & Russiagaters unite! New think tank will protect democracy from Russia, sell booksvia RT, and yes, they link to the new...’New Democracy Initiative’ organization

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wendy davis's picture

the angry arab got warnings from google and facebook on april 25:

'Zionist war on freedom of expression'

"Something is going on. I have been receiving from Google messages that I have violated their rules here on my blog. And today I received this warning from Facebook that I used "abusive material" in a post. I looked below and found a post about the assassination of a Palestinian academic in Malaysia and a reference to the Mossad. Basically, I hurt the feelings of the Mossad in the post. It is clear that the political sphere of expression for Arabs on social media is increasingly controlled and limited by the Israeli government.

"A post you made contains content that violates our Terms of Use. This message serves as a warning. Additional violations will result in the termination of your account. Please read our Terms carefully and refrain from posting abusive material in the future. Thanks in advance for your understanding and cooperation.
The Facebook Team"

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