Censorship by Facebook


Facebook Ends ‘Disputed’ Tag for Fake News

A 21 December 2017 article in The Wrap documents how Facebook has abandoned one method of censoring thought on its platform.

It’s not yet been a year, and Facebook has already decided to throw out its new key feature designed to combat fake news.

The social network announced it’s scrapping its “disputed” label for flagging questionable stories because the feature ended up reinforcing “deeply held beliefs,” rather than making users look with a skeptical eye. Instead, Facebook will start adding related articles next to links.

“Related Articles, by contrast, are simply designed to give more context, which our research has shown is a more effective way to help people get to the facts,” the company said in its blog post this week on the decision. “Indeed, we’ve found that when we show Related Articles next to a false news story, it leads to fewer shares than when the Disputed Flag is shown.”

Facebook said “academic research” showed putting a disputed tag did little to disabuse readers, which is something Yale professor David Rand told TheWrap about months ago. Rand said the initiative put in place by FB back in March, after Russia used the platform to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election, was “not really effective,” according to a university study.

The professor pointed to two reasons for this: The impact of flagging was “pretty small,” with a 3.7 percent decrease in “perceived accuracy” for articles with the disputed label. The second indicated a backfiring of sorts from the labeling process, where articles without the disputed tag are, by virtue, assumed to be true — even if they’re false.

“We call this the ‘implied truth effect,’” said Rand. “Because if you tag some stories, some people will assume all of the untagged stories — rather than being stories that haven’t been checked yet — they will assume they’re stories that have been checked and verified.”

So, in other words, they were told it would not work, they tried their Big-Brotheresque, liberal-favoring program long enough that it not only failed, but failed spectacularly. Then they announced the end of the program.

The only way it could be worse would be where Facebook were declared to fall under governmental protection and thereby become a federal program.

Nonetheless, maybe they should have considered the way that they suppress conservative opinions (as documented in Gizmodo‘s article on former Facebook employees, Fox News list of 10 censoring events, The Hill‘s article on the deletion of Trump’s posts, and the Daily Signal article on Facebook censorship).

Still, the end of this program does not suggest that censorship of conservative causes has ended at Facebook.

Facebook Removes Warriors for Christ and offers no right of appeal

Freedom Outpost reports in a 7 January 2018 post how Facebook has removed, restored, and then removed again (due to their re-posting reports concerning the initial removal).

On January 1, the Geller Report brought you the news that Facebook had shut down the “Warriors for Christ” in its ongoing effort to choke off and silence all voices that dissent from the leftist line.

The Warriors for Christ page was subsequently reinstated. After that, they had done little more than post the Geller Report link and other links to stories about how Facebook had shut them down — and Facebook blocked their page again. Evidently now writing about Facebook censorship is grounds for being censored on Facebook.

I received this message from one of the Warriors for Christ admins:

We literally shared your article, articles by Joe Newby, we did 2 live streams (last night was a live prayer service-they removed that video with no explanation). Today we created an even to promote Carla D’Addesi streaming tomorrow and now the page is gone. Not just unpublished but deleted. No way of appealing nothing. We have a back up page (facebook.com/wfcchurch.org) but we only have 5,100 followers on that page. Our main page had over 225,000 and was growing even more rapidly since these articles came out.

As I said before, remember Pastor Niemoller’s famous poem:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

Just as God worked through Nebuchadnezzar’s life, atheist Pamela Gellar has proven herself as a strong ally of Christians seeking online equity.

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Good news: Part 1


Good news on New Mexico’s abortion front

OneNewsNow reports in a 14 December 2017 article how the New Mexico government will have to uphold the rights of Americans as a probe into abortionaries proceeds.

Amid a federal criminal investigation into a segment of the abortion industry, a New Mexico pro-life group contends upholding the law is far more important than political correctness.

New Mexico Alliance for Life, headed by Elisa Martinez, has been able to confirm through the offices of Congressman Steve Pierce (R-New Mexico) and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) that two New Mexico entities are targets of a federal probe.

“The University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women’s Options are under criminal investigation by the FBI,” states Martinez, “for the practices of illicit harvesting of infant body parts and unlawful consent forms that were given to women in order to obtain those body parts.”

In 2016, the U.S. House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives forwarded information on possible criminal charges to New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas. And though there have been no indictments in the past year, Martinez contends there is a vital issue at stake.

“It’s extremely important that the rule of law is upheld.” declares Martinez. “No one is above the law, but a lot of folks from the other aisle are quick to defend anything that has to do with the abortion industry.”

(Read more at OneNewsNow)

Of course, this case is only in its beginning stages. Still, it provides good news to those of us who support the right to life.

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Judge rejects restraining order against Tastries Bakery in lawsuit over owner’s refusal to bake same-sex wedding cakes

The Bakersfield Californian reports in a 14 December 2017 article how Kern County Superior Court Judge ruled in favor of a Christian cake maker.

Kern County Superior Court Judge David Lampe denied the state of California a temporary restraining order against a local bakery that refuses to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples.

Lampe ruled Thursday that he didn’t have enough information to make the call.

But the case is scheduled to come back to Lampe on Feb. 2 at a hearing in which Tastries Bakery could be ordered to either make wedding cakes for members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Questioning community — or stop making wedding cakes altogether.

According to court records, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing petitioned the court to issue a restraining order against Tastries and owner Cathy Miller, prohibiting her from denying service to same-sex couples, as is her practice.

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Daniel Piedra, executive director of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, which is defending Miller, said the government sought the temporary restraining order to force Miller into a tough position.

It would have required her to either make wedding cakes for LGTBQ couples or to not make wedding cakes for anyone, he said.

Piedra said Miller has been required to respond to the state with detailed personal and employment information that answers 40 questions.

Judge Lampe, he said, wants to see those answers before he rules on the restraining order.

The judge, Piedra said, felt both sides had important rights that must be seriously considered prior to taking any action.

According to a press release from the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, “the government wanted a court order to compel Miller to create wedding cakes for LGBT persons even though doing so would violate her sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Charles LiMandri, president and chief counsel for the organization, said in the press release the case was an assault on Christians and accused the state of using surprise tactics to get the court to approve the restraining order.

The case first came about in August when Miller personally refused to make a wedding cake for Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio, the couple said, and their concerns, expressed on social media, triggered a firestorm of debate locally.

One other same-sex couple also said they were denied a wedding cake by Miller.

Miller, at the time, said she loves all people.

But, she said, “My conscience doesn’t allow me to participate in certain activities that are contrary to my biblical beliefs. I pray that we can all come to an understanding so that we can continue to get along.”

(Read more at the Bakersfield Californian)

While this will find challenges in other courts, this is good. As a conservative, I wouldn’t want a gay man to be forced to print t-shirts for the Westboro Baptist Church. On the same note, Christians that object to participating in gay events should not be forced to be part of those events. Don’t be fooled, photographers and bakers have to participate in the event if they provide their product to the event.

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One Common Factor Between Las Vegas, New York, Sutherland Springs, & Tehama County


Blogger finds one common factor between the Las Vegas, New York, Sutherland Springs, and Tehama County

Motive still unexplained for the Las Vegas attack

In a 20 October 2017 CNN article, the author admitted:

The lack of answers, especially about the timeline, seems all the more curious when, it would appear, many moments in the shooter’s dayslong preparation — and the actual assault — were captured by hotel video surveillance or by cameras the gunman himself installed in his suite and hallway.

For the current main stream media journalists, the crush of time must prevent any research beyond the notes handed out by the local law enforcement officers. Otherwise, they might discover that Stephen Paddock regularly verbally abused his girlfriend (Marilou Danley) or that he had an abnormal gambling habit. Whether this indicates an underlying mental health issue, the issue certainly can be debated.

A Socialist news site struggles to explain the Halloween New York bike path attack

A 2 November 2017 installment of Socialist Worker opined over their inability to discern the stated objective of the Islamic terrorist, Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov.

Coming less than a month after Stephen Paddock gunned down 58 people at a country music concert in Las Vegas, it seems like would-be killers are competing to come up with the most horrifying atrocities, whether or not they pledge allegiance to ISIS, as Saipov allegedly did.

It’s too early to know much more about Saipov and his motivations, but it can be clearly stated from the beginning that if he did think murdering innocent people in New York City would in any way strike a blow against the forces of U.S. empire that are oppressing Muslims across the world, he was horribly wrong.

Admittedly, I had to wade through a number of sites that saw the truth; however, this socialist website remained true to the message that initially appeared on many main stream sites like CNN.

Sutherland Springs

The Washingon Post continued this theme in a 6 November 2017 article by claiming to see no motive.

While authorities have not publicly identified a motive for the attack, they emphasized that the shooting did not appear to be fueled by racial or religious issues, as has been the case with other rampages at U.S. houses of worship. Instead, they pointed to the gunman’s issues with his relatives, saying that Kelley had been sending “threatening texts” to his mother-in-law, who was not at the First Baptist Church when he opened fire on the congregation Sunday morning.

“This was not racially motivated, it wasn’t over religious beliefs,” Freeman Martin, a regional director with the Texas Department of Public Safety, said at a news briefing Monday. “There was a domestic situation going on within the family and the in-laws.”

Yeah, the Washington Post thinks wasn’t fueled by religious issues (although the shooter had previously railed against Christians on Facebook and did not stop shooting when he saw his in-laws were not at the church). Then again, the Washington Post has been known to slant things the ways they want to slant them.

NPR tells of the lack of motives in Tehama County

As told in a National Public Radio article, it seems that there are again no motives for the murders of innocents.

Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said police recovered two semi-automatic rifles with “a number of multiround clips. These firearms were manufactured illegally, we believe, by him at his home.” Johnston said Neal also had two handguns registered in someone else’s name.

Johnston said police believe that Neal killed his wife Monday night after the two had quarreled and that he stashed her body beneath the floorboards.

“We believe that is what started this whole event,” he said in a news conference Wednesday.

But Johnston also said police have not yet determined a motive for the shootings. “I think he was just on a rampage. I think he had a desire to kill as many people as he could, and whether or not he had a desire to die at the hands of police, I don’t know.”

So, while skirting around the fact that gun laws were in effect in Tehama County when this man used other people’s identities and his own skills to both buy and make guns for murder, NPR focuses on the fact that nobody can pin down a reason for the murders. Considering that these acts likely came from a deranged mind, who will?

Other Considerations

Devin Kelley sent messages to his in-laws at the church

Newsmax reported in a 6 November 2017 story how the atheist had been sending threatening texts to his mother-in-law prior to making the murderous rampage.

The gunman who murdered 26 people at a Texas church Sunday is believed to have been driven by a “domestic” dispute, officials said Monday.

“This was not racially motivated, it wasn’t over religious beliefs. There was a domestic situation going on with the family and in-laws,” Freeman Martin, regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told a news conference.

“The suspect’s mother-in-law attended this church,” he said, adding that 26-year-old shooter Devin Patrick Kelley had sent her “threatening texts” prior to the mass shooting.

“We know he sent threatening … that she had received threatening text messages from him,” Martin said.

Kelley’s in-laws were not at First Baptist’s church service Sunday, but did go there to talk to authorities Sunday afternoon.

“I heard that they attended church from time to time, not on a regular basis,” Sheriff Joe Tackitt said earlier Monday.

Martin also there is video from inside the church, but is not prepared to speak about what it shows, at this time.

ATF agent Fred Milanowski said during a news conference Monday that officers recovered a Ruger AR-556 rifle at the church.

Milanowski said two additional handguns were recovered from the vehicle driven by Kelley — a Glock 9mm and a Ruger .22-caliber. Milanowski says all three weapons were purchased by the now-deceased suspect.

(Read more at Newsmax)

In addition to this report, there are also a number of articles that tell us how Devin Kelley regularly went on anti-Christian rants and berated anyone who believed in God. Therefore, to say that this was just a domestic dispute would seem to be cutting a large part of the story out.

Air Force admits it should have followed procedures

A 6 November 2017 Washington Times article centers on the Air Force admission that it mistakenly did not inform the FBI of Devin Kelley’s domestic abuse of his family (one of several things that should have stopped Devin Kelley from buying any guns).

The Air Force launched a review Monday after admitting that it had blundered by failing to submit Devin Patrick Kelley’s criminal history to the FBI background check system, thus providing ammunition to both sides of the gun control debate.

On the one hand, gun control advocates called for closing loopholes and tightening background checks in the aftermath of the mass shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, that left 26 dead and 20 wounded.

On the other hand, Second Amendment supporters argued that the Air Force’s mistake comes as another example of gun control measures failing to stop mass shootings, even as a former National Rifle Association instructor was able to stop Kelley.

“No amount of top-down gun control is going to stop a determined killer — whether it’s from human error or from killers stealing their weapons,” said Gun Owners of America spokesman Jordan Stein. “The Sandy Hook shooter in Connecticut stole his AR-15. So did the Clackamas mall shooter in Oregon.”

Mr. Stein added, “What actually stops an evil psychopath is what we saw on Sunday — a good guy with a gun.”

The Air Force announced it would undertake a “comprehensive review” of its handling of criminal records after discovering that Holloman Air Force Base officials failed to report to the federal database Kelley’s 2012 court-martial and conviction on two counts of domestic assault.

(Read more at Washington Times)

Had I continued to quote the Washington Times, it would have claimed that Kelley legally purchased the guns used in the massacre. However, although I sometimes respect some reporters, I am more likely to take the opinion of lawmakers and lawyers when it comes to gun law.

Just because the Air Force neglected to report a felon domestic abuser to the FBI and just because Kelley lied on a form and did not get caught does not make his lawlessness legal.

Joseph Watson offers some points out of the polarizing statements made

Please take in mind that this post’s article does not constitute a transcript to the following video. In contrast, the following text both follows and augments the points Mr. Watson makes. Thence, he starts by noting that this mass murder cannot be placed at the feet of:

  1. Atheists
  2. Left-wingers 
  3. Whatever other group you can reasonably associate with Devin Kelley

Nonetheless, in order to explain the events that have unfolded in Sutherland Springs, we can say this about the shooter:

  1. He was a committed atheist who had a habit calling Christians stupid. This, of course, does not infer that all atheists bear responsibility; however, it might suggest that this is (in part) an anti-Christian hate crime. For if it were just a personal dispute, why did he go on to massacre everyone he could in the church?
  2. He did have an issue with someone in the church (as mentioned in the first article of this post); however, to ignore his bias against Christians would be to ignore an enormous part of the overall equation.
  3. While we do know that Devin Kelley had spent time in a mental hospital (and escaped from it) after assaulting his wife and child in the Air Force, we do not know what role mind-altering SSRI drugs played in the events of the day. However, it should be noted that at least 36 school shootings can be linked to those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs.

The responses Mr. Watson observed from the left show how these people argue from emotion without bothering to refer to the record:

  1. They labelled the NRA a terrorist organization although no mass shooting has ever been carried out by a member of the National Rifle Association.
  2. They blamed the Second Amendment and gun owners, despite the fact that two legal gun owners (Johnnie Langendorff and Stephen Willeford) chased down and fired back at the mass murderer.
  3. They blamed White despite the fact that most mass shooters are not White.
  4. They blamed Joseph Watson because Google linked to his tweets (go figure).

A new line of attacks from the God-hating left showed a new level of inhumanity:

  1. Since their first reaction to the death of 26 Christians was to attack Christians and the tenets of Christianity
  2. Since rural voters may have different values than the godless haters on Twitter, they felt that the 26 murders were deserved.

    Never mind that Bernie supporter James T. Hodgkinson went to a Republican baseball practice and shot Representative Steve Scalise. In this guy’s mind, all shootings are the fault of Republicans.
     

  3. Since these people may have supported the majority party in Texas, Chelsea Handler felt they got what they deserved.

The Christian neighbor who returned fire against the Sutherland Springs murderer

Stephen Willeford gives his first interview to a friend with an Arkansas TV station

Stephen Willeford steps through the events of that eventful Sunday. One thing that stands out to me is how he ran out bare foot in the West Texas landscape and ran toward the gunfire.

Stephen Willeford tells of the ordeal with Johnny Langendorf as they pursued

In a second interview, Stephen Willeford explains what happened on the morning of that Sunday.

Democrats filibustered the Grassley/Cruz bill that would have stopped this

In an interview with Fox News, Senator Ted Cruz pointed out the Democrat filibuster of the bill that would have ensured that the criminal element would not be able to buy a gun.

Christians should be thankful for these events


US to stop funding ‘ineffective’ UN efforts to help Christians persecuted in Middle East

The Trump administration has announced that it “will no longer rely” solely on the United Nations to disperse funds meant to aid Christians being persecuted in the Middle East and will now direct that money to faith based organizations, as shared in a 25 October 2017 Washington Examiner article. To wit, the article began:

Vice President Mike Pence announced Wednesday that President Trump ordered the State Department to stop funding “ineffective” United Nations relief efforts to combat the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and that, instead, the U.S. will help Christians directly through the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Pence noted how the Obama administration spent over $1 billion in humanitarian aid to the Middle East, but sent the funding to various U.N. programs.

Pence outlined how the U.N. was neglecting vulnerable communities, especially religious minorities and said persecuted Christians in the Middle East have not been getting the relief they need.

“My friends, those days are over,” Pence said Wednesday at the In Defense of Christians’ annual Solidarity Dinner for Christians in the Middle East in Washington, D.C. “Our fellow Christians and all who are persecuted in the Middle East should not have to rely on multinational institutions when America can help them directly.”

“Tonight, it is my privilege to announce President Trump has ordered the State Department to stop funding ineffective relief efforts at the United Nations and from this day forward, America will provide support directly to persecuted communities through USAID,” he added.

(Read more at the Washington Examiner)

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Ted Cruz stands against liberal anti-religious litmus tests

In a 31 October 2017 Daily Signal article, the bigotry within the Democrat ranks came to the forefront.

Every Democrat in the Senate has an opportunity to stand for religious liberty this week in a vote to confirm a nominee for a federal appeals court, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Monday. But only three Democrats crossed over Tuesday afternoon to vote to confirm Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett as a federal appeals court judge.

>>> Update: The Senate voted to confirm Barrett by a vote of 55-43. The three Democrats who backed Barrett were Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Donnelly seeks re-election in Barrett’s home state.

Cruz had challenged Democrats to support Barrett, President Donald Trump’s pick for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, who had faced sharp questioning from Democrats for her Catholic faith.

“I do think we’re seeing a test, but it’s not a test of the nominees. It is a test of the United States Senate,” Cruz said at a press conference Monday at the Capitol also featuring eight other senators among supporters of Barrett’s confirmation.

Not voting were Democrats Claire McCaskill of Missouri, whose husband is in intensive care with a heart condition, and Bob Menendez of New Jersey, who is on trial on corruption charges.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and other Senate Democrats had questioned Barrett about her Catholic faith at a Judiciary Committee hearing Sept. 6.

“The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s a concern,” Feinstein, who is Jewish, said at the hearing.
Cruz said the Democratic Party is not the same party it was when President John F. Kennedy, a Democrat who faced his own doubters because he was Catholic, ran for office. The current party, the Texas Republican said, is more “secular” and “happily embraces atheists.”

Cruz, a Baptist, recalled a time when “legal barriers” were put in front of Catholics.

(Read more at the Daily Signal)

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Trump picks over 100 judicial nominees in the mold of Scalia

A 7 November 2017 CBN article pointed out one thing that Christians should be very happy about. President Trump has made over 147 judicial nominations in the mold of Scalia (who interpreted the Constitution as written, not as a “living document”).

If you believe the mainstream media, you might think President Trump doesn’t get much done except to get involved in daily controversies. But there’s at least one area where he’s making major changes that could affect the country for decades, even generations to come.

Leonard Leo has had a huge impact advising the president in a personal capacity on picks for federal judgeships.

Leo told CBN News, “This president has an opportunity to potentially fill as many as 40 percent of the seats on the federal bench. And that will just be transformative.”

Trump Picks: Not Left Like Obama, Not Safe Like Bush

President Obama picked left-leaning jurists and George W. Bush safe, non-controversial nominees. But Trump has been nominating judges in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia, who gave first priority to the U.S. Constitution and to the law as it’s written, rather than coming up with his own interpretations.

There are some 107 vacancies and Leo stated that if Trump fills them all with strict constitutionalists, their influence, “Will last 40, 50 years and will have an enormous impact on the future of our country.”

(Read more at CBN)

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