Liberals show their tendency to threaten our freedoms


Democrat Ted Lieu: ‘I Would Love to Be Able to Regulate the Content of Speech’

In a recent CNN interview that was subsequently reported in a 12 December 2018 Washington Times article, Democrat Ted Lieu revealed his dictatorial tendencies.

Rep. Ted Lieu told CNN on Wednesday that his desire to regulate speech is only thwarted by the U.S. Constitution.

An interview on Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony before lawmakers with House Judiciary Committee took a tyrannical turn when the California Democrat expressed his “love” for the idea of controlling free speech.

The moment happened after host Brianna Keilar asked if Mr. Lieu failed to “press” Google’s CEO on Tuesday regarding the company’s vulnerabilities to “outside interference.”

“It’s a very good point you make,” Mr. Lieu replied. “I would love if I could have more than five minutes to question witnesses. Unfortunately, I don’t get that opportunity. However, I would love to be able to regulate the content of speech. The First Amendment prevents me from doing so, and that’s simply a function of the First Amendment, but I think over the long run, it’s better the government does not regulate the content of speech.”
Viewers on The Washington Free Beacon’s YouTube channel were stunned at the lawmaker’s admission.

(Read more at Washington Times)

This remotely sounds like Barack Obama before he decided to circumvent immigration law by creating DAPA and DACA.

Thankfully, we have been saved from the effects of DAPA and hopefully will see the demise of DACA. Nonetheless, you have to wonder if Rep. Lieu will make a move on the freedom of speech now that the Democrats have the House.

  

Project Dragonfly

Google denies its partnership with the repressive government of China to repress free speech

Report: Google Hasn’t Halted ‘Project Dragonfly,’ Continues to Devote ‘Substantial’ Resources

As a possible preview of the free-speech-killing acts available to Democrats, Breitbart reports in a 12 December 2018 article (at least in the title) how Google may be hiding the development of a tool that the government of China may use to direct searches.

In an article, Wednesday, the Verge analyzed Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s comments about Project Dragonfly, Google’s censored Chinese search app project, during his hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

The Verge reported that though Pichai claimed there are “no plans” to “launch a search product in China,” the company is indeed still working on the project.

“[Pichai] made it clear that, whether the company currently has ‘plans’ to launch the product, Google certainly hasn’t halted work completely,” declared the Verge. “In fact, it has continued to devote substantial resources to the project. While saying the effort was ‘limited,’ Pichai at one point said Google had devoted about 100 people to it, although The Intercept has reported the number is closer to 300.”

During the hearing, Pichai repeatedly denied Google’s intentions to launch Project Dragonfly in China, after Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) asked multiple questions about the project.

After Marino then asked, “Am I then to understand you have no plans to enter into any agreements with China concerning Google, how it’s used, in China?” Pichai replied, “We currently do not have a Search product there… Right now there are no plans to launch a Search product in China.”

(Read more at Breitbart)

Considering the times Google has been caught lying about its censorship of conservative videographers, lying about conservative cancer survivors, lying to Congress about the bias built into its search engine, lying about meddling in the campaign of Rep. Blackburn, and caught in many other lying events — something tells me not to trust them here.

Facebook finds itself fighting problems on three fronts


Facebook investors call on Mark Zuckerberg to resign as chairman following damaging report

A 16 November 2018 article at The Telegraph reports that investors at Facebook do not seem enthused with Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership.

Facebook investors have called on the company’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg to step down as chairman, following reports that the company hired a public relations firm to smear its critics by drawing links to George Soros.

The attack on Mr Zuckerberg is set to complicate the daunting challenge facing Sir Nick Clegg, Facebook’s new global head of policy and communications, who joined last month and has been asked to conduct a review of Facebook’s use of lobbying firms.

Jonas Kron, a senior vice president at Trillium Asset Management, a US investor which owns an £8.5m stake in Facebook, last night called on Mr Zuckerberg to step down as board chairman in the wake of the report.

“Facebook is behaving like it’s a special snowflake,” he said. “It’s not. It is a company and companies need to have a separation of chair and CEO.”

Both Mr Zuckerberg and Sir Nick have been under pressure following reports Facebook hired Definers, a Republican public relations firm, to help repair its battered reputation following intense criticism of the social media platform’s handling of a scandal over Russian interference in the 2016 US elections and the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

(Read more at The Telegraph)

Considering the many pro-life groups Facebook has removed without warning, this is not “fitting” or “karma.” Considering the number of conservative campaigns (from Brazil’s Movimento Brazil Livre pages to the Trump pre-midterm ad), they don’t deserve to be heralded as supporters of free speech. They only support one side.

Nonetheless, for Facebook to hire a firm to defend George Soros seems just odd. Maybe this is an indicator that Zuckerberg will not be able to take the firm further left until he takes it off the stock market. With shareholders, he will have to stop his march to the left.

Who knows? With market forces in play, he might have to allow free speech for all. (chuckle)

Do we want to regulate Facebook?

Senators Threaten to Regulate Facebook

Bloomberg reports in a 16 November 2018 article how Senators Coons and Corker have determined to get Facebook to fly straight.

Senators Chris Coons and Bob Corker warned Friday that Congress would impose new regulations to rein in Facebook Inc. unless the social-media company addresses concerns about privacy and the spread of misinformation on its platform.

Speaking in a joint interview on the sidelines of a development forum in Wilmington, Delaware, the two senators said that Facebook probably wouldn’t like what Congress does, so it should come up with a solution first.

Chris CoonsPhotographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
“If they don’t, if they continue to act as if we couldn’t possibly deign to regulate them, they’ll get regulated and they’ll be unpleasantly surprised with how swiftly it may happen,” said Coons, a Delaware Democrat and member Senate Judiciary Committee. “I think they’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”

(Read more at Bloomberg)

If Soros wants to regulate social media, we need to watch for Big Brother in Big Social Media

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When Democrats like Cicilline and liberal globalists like Soros support regulating social media giants, conservatives have to look out for censorship to increase to Big Brother levels. Instead of pushing regulation, maybe conservatives should look toward to a guarantee of the Bill of Rights. Further, we should look toward breaking up the monopolies of social media.

I wish the senators would focus less on the spread of misinformation. Rather, I would have them focus on the full acceptance of free speech (for all parties — not just the liberals).

Since I can judge which news pieces seem viable, maybe they should focus on ensuring all get heard. That is, since I have a habit of verifying news through good sources (e.g., the Wall Street Journal, National Review, or Breitbart), they can make certain that even the gossip publishers can publish. Therefore, in a pinch, we might even accept a story from the New York Times (if corroborating sources exist).

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Leave Facebook?

Some Facebook users are dialing back use over latest scandal

Yahoo Finance suggests in a 16 November 2018 article that people have reached their limit with Facebook.

Expect some Facebook (FB) users to dial back their use of the popular social network and even delete their accounts following the publication of a damning exposé this week.

On Wednesday, The New York Times published an extensive feature that revealed how Facebook management was reluctant to tackle Russia-linked activity on the social network following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, how unprepared Facebook was for the ensuing public fallout, as well the social network’s efforts to wield influence on Capitol Hill. Chief among Facebook’s alleged infractions: employing Definers Public Affairs, a Republican opposition research firm, to accuse left-wing financier George Soros of quietly backing anti-Facebook groups.

“It’s too early to tell the full impact The New York Times story is having — we would have to see in a month — but it will impact [Facebook’s] Daily Active Users and even just the people who are concerned about occasionally logging on and giving clicks and views to a company they might disagree with,” says Altimeter Group analyst Omar Akhtar, who adds the report severely tarnished Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s once-sterling reputation.

(Read more at Yahoo Finance)

As for myself, I have had it with Facebook and don’t use it as a primary means of sharing news. However, I can understand their anger and would suggest use of another platform (such as gab.ai (twitter alternative), vidme (youtube alternative), WordPress (blogger alternative), or Digg (Facebook alternative)).

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Censorship by Facebook, Twitter, & other media giants


Thanks Breitbart for this explanatory illustration.

Midterm meddling: Twitter follows Facebook & blacklists GOP candidate’s family story of immigration from Cambodia

In a 16 August 2-18 Breitbart article, Facebook and Twitter have been shown to be stifling political speech in California again.

Twitter has followed in Facebook’s footsteps by blocking a campaign video ad for Republican congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng. Facebook eventually admitted that a campaign video including the communist atrocities in Cambodia is not “shocking, disrespectful, or sensational,” but Twitter, which describes the ad as “obscene,” disagrees.

Shortly after Facebook came under fire for refusing to allow Republican Congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng to advertise with her campaign ad on their platform, Twitter has made the same decision. Facebook blocked the ad, which shared the story of Heng’s family being forced to flee Cambodia for the U.S., claiming that the Facebook couldn’t allow videos that contained “shocking, disrespectful, or sensational” imagery on their advertising platform. The ad was eventually approved with a Facebook spokesperson stating: “Upon further review, it is clear the video contains historical imagery relevant to the candidate’s story. We have since approved the ad and it is now running on Facebook.” A decision Twitter apparently disagrees with.

Twitter has blacklisted the campaign ad, according to Heng. The Heng campaign stated in a press release: “In recent attempts to advertise Elizabeth Heng’s campaign video on Twitter, the campaign has received a message from the company stating that upon review, the ad is ‘ineligible to participate in the Twitter Ads program at this time based on our Inappropriate Content policy.’ Twitter defined inappropriate content as ‘that which is offensive, vulgar, or obscene.’”

Heng’s advertising refusal comes shortly after Infowars host Alex Jones received a seven-day suspension on the platform and many Twitter users reported a decline in followers as Twitter purged accounts from its platform.

(Read more at Breitbart)

Did Twitter find the images of Pol Pot’s Cambodia offensive, vulgar, or obscene? That is, did the brutality of a communist regime offend the millennial sensibilities of Twitter? Or was it scenes of Fresno’s deteriorating storefronts that offended Twitter?

If it was the images of the results of economic radicals like Pol Pot, will Twitter, Google, or Facebook block video of Patriot’s Day?

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Facebook opens up on vote meddling

A 4 August 2018 Associated Press article points out how Facebook has admitted to vote meddling (however, it does not mention the removal of conservative Brazilian pages or similar actions by Facebook).

For a company bent on making the world more open, Facebook has long been secretive about the details of how it runs its social network — particularly how things go wrong and what it does about them.

Yet on Tuesday, Facebook rushed forward to alert Congress and the public that it had recently detected a small but “sophisticated” case of possible Russian election manipulation. Has the social network finally acknowledged the need to keep the world informed about the big problems it’s grappling with, rather than doing so only when dragged kicking and screaming to the podium?

While the unprompted revelation does signal a new, albeit tightly controlled openness for the company, there is still plenty that Facebook isn’t saying. Many experts remain unconvinced that this is a true culture change and not mere window dressing.

“This is all calculated very carefully,” said Timothy Carone, a business professor at the University of Notre Dame. He and other analysts noted that Facebook announced its discovery of 32 accounts and pages intended to stir up U.S. political discord just a week after the company’s stock dropped almost 20 percent — its worst plunge since going public.

But Facebook’s proactive disclosure, including a conference call for reporters with chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, struck a markedly different tone from the company’s ham-handed approach to a string of scandals and setbacks over the past two years. That has included:

  • CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s infamous dismissal of the idea that fake news on Facebook could have influenced the 2016 election as “a pretty crazy idea”;
  • The company’s foot-dragging as evidence mounted of a 2016 Russian election-interference effort conducted on Facebook and other social-media sites;
  • Zuckerberg, again, declining for nearly a week to publicly address the privacy furor over a Trump campaign consultant, Cambridge Analytica, that scavenged data from tens of millions of Facebook users for its own election-influence efforts.

A chastened Facebook has since taken steps toward transparency, many of them easy to overlook. In April, it published for the first time the detailed guidelines its moderators use to police unacceptable material. It has provided additional, if partial, explanations of how it collects user data and what it does with it. And it has forced disclosure of the funding and audience targeting of political advertisements, which it now also archives for public scrutiny.

Facebook said its timing was motivated by an upcoming protest event in Washington that was promoted by a suspicious page connected to a Russian troll farm, the Internet Research Agency. Several people connected to the IRA have been indicted by the U.S. special counsel for attempting to interfere in the 2016 election.

Despite Zuckerberg’s repeated mantra — delivered to relentless effect in some 10 hours of testimony before Congress in April — that the company now really gets it, some who know the company best have their doubts.

David Kirkpatrick, the author a Facebook history, argues that neither Zuckerberg nor Sandberg have ever shown themselves to be “deeply alarmed in public.” As a result, he suggests, Facebook seems more concerned with managing its image than with solving the actual problem at hand.

Such issues run deep for the company. Some of its biggest critics, including former employees such as Sandy Parakilas and early Facebook investor Roger McNamee, say the company needs to revamp its business model from the ground up to see any meaningful change.

These critics would like to see Facebook rely less on tracking its users in order to sell targeted advertising, and to cut back on addicting features such as endless notifications that keep drawing people back in. Parakilas, for example, has advocated for a subscription-based model, letting users pay to user Facebook instead of having their data harvested.

Merely hiring more moderators, or hanging hopes on the evolution of artificial intelligence, isn’t going to cut it, in their view. There have also been widespread calls for Facebook to acknowledge that it is, in a sense, a media company, responsible for what happens on its platforms — a characterization the social network has long fought.

For all that, Facebook is well ahead of Silicon Valley rivals such as Google and Twitter when it comes to openness — even if only because it’s attracted the lion’s share of criticism, said Paul Levinson, a media studies professor at Fordham University.

But Facebook “can’t win at this game,” said Siva Vaidhyanathan, a University of Virginia professor of media studies whose 2018 book “Antisocial Media” critiques Facebook’s effect on democracy and society. Because it’s so huge — 2.2 billion global users and counting — and so difficult to police, he said, “it will always be vulnerable to hijacking and will never completely clean up its content.”

(Read more at the Associated Press)

This is not big news. So what if Facebook caves again to the socialist forces that would limit free speech. This allows the media giant to feel good about itself. Too bad Facebook could not learn from the lessons provided by Stalin, Pol Pot, Kim Jong-il, and George Orwell.

Then again, there was the example of Barack Obama.

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Twitter takes a stab at silencing the “shitty people”

In the following undercover video, the interviewer got Olinda Hassan, Policy Manager for Twitter Trust and Safety, to admit that “we’re trying to get the ‘shitty people’ not to show up.”

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Spotify, Apple, Google, and Facebook purge the free speech rights of Alex Jones of InfoWars

In the insightful fiction from the middle of the last century (1984 by George Orwell), the author saw the deleterious effect of a central government that controlled everything down to speech and thought. That insight came from exposure to governments that attempted to provide everything to the working class — down to what we should think.

Even with these cautionary tales, a number of media giants (Spotify, Apple, Google, Twitter, and Facebook) have taken up the task of limiting the free speech rights of others.

The rise of corporate censorship

A 7 August 2018 Spiked Online article delves into censorship by the online media giants.

So we’re now trusting the capitalist class, massive, unaccountable corporations, to decide on our behalf what we may listen to and talk about? This is the take-home message, the terrible take-home message, of the expulsion of Alex Jones’ Infowars network from Apple, Facebook and Spotify and of the wild whoops of delight that this summary banning generated among so-called liberals: that people are now okay with allowing global capitalism to govern the public sphere and to decree what is sayable and what is unsayable. Corporate censorship, liberals’ new favourite thing – how bizarre.

We live in strange times. On one hand it is fashionable to hate capitalism these days. No middle-class home is complete without a Naomi Klein tome; making memes of Marx is every twentysomething Corbynistas’ favourite pastime. But on the other hand we seem content to trust Silicon Valley, the new frontier in corporate power, to make moral judgements about what kind of content people should be able to see online. Radicals and liberals declared themselves ‘very glad’ that these business elites enforced censorship against Jones and Infowars. We should be ‘celebrating the move’, said Vox, because ‘it represents a crucial step forward in the fight against fake news’. Liberals for capitalist censorship! The world just got that bit odder, and less free.

Over the past 24 hours, Jones and much of his Infowars channel has been ‘summarily banned’ – in the excitable words of Vox – from Apple, Facebook, Spotify and YouTube. Initially, Facebook and YouTube had taken only selective measures against Jones. In response to a Twitterstorm about his presence on these platforms, they took down some of his videos. But then Apple decided to ban Jones entirely – removing all episodes of his podcast from its platform – and the other online giants followed suit. Or as the thrilled liberal commentary put it: ‘The dominoes started to fall.’ Despite having millions of subscribers, despite there being a public interest in what he has to say, Jones has been cast out of the world of social media, which is essentially the public square of the 21st century, on the basis that what he says is wicked.

This is censorship. There will of course be apologists for the corporate control of speech, on both the left and right, who will say, ‘It’s only censorship when the government does it!’. They are so wrong. When enormous companies that have arguably become the facilitators of public debate expel someone and his ideas because they find them morally repugnant, that is censorship. Powerful people have deprived an individual and his network of a key space in which they might propagate their beliefs. Aka censorship.

(Read more at Spiked Online)

The Real Reason for the Left’s Double Standard on Hate Speech

Having used the ideas of Dr. Brown as much as they aligned with my own, I again find myself dipping from the well of Dr. Michael Brown’s thought (which often appears in OneNewsNow and TownHall) in his 9 August 2018 article on the left’s propensity to excuse its own hate speech.

Why is it that organizations like the SPLC can designate conservative Christians as hate groups while ignoring radical leftists like Antifa? Why is that Facebook and Google and YouTube and Twitter appear to punish conservatives disproportionately for alleged violations of community guidelines?

The answer is as disturbing as it is simple. The left believes it is so morally and intellectually superior to the right that it can see nothing wrong with its extreme positions and hostile words. Is it wrong to be intolerant of bigots? Is it wrong to hate (or even punch) a Nazi?

In short, if I’m a member of the KKK, is it wrong for you to disparage and mock me? If I’m a dangerous homophobe, is it wrong for you to vilify and exclude me? If I’m a hate-filled propogandist spreading dangerous lies, is it wrong for you to mark me and marginalize me?

Of course, there are double standards on all sides of the debate, on the right as well as on the left. And there is more than enough hypocrisy to go around, from the most progressive to the most conservative.

All of us also have our share of blind spots, so we tend to condemn in others what we justify in ourselves. Welcome to human nature.
Still, it is conspicuous that the same behavior gets treated differently by the leftist elite (including many a university professor) and by watchdog groups like the SPLC and by the internet giants.

Back in 2004-05, when I first began to address gay activism, I was widely mocked for saying, “Those who came out of the closet want to put us in the closet.”

The response was consistent: “No one wants to put you in the closet!”

A few years back, I noticed a change in tone: “Bigots like you belong in the closet!”

But of course!

While being interviewed on a Christian TV program back in 2011, I quoted the comment of a Christian attorney. He told me that those who were once put in jail (speaking of pioneer gay activists) will want to put us in jail.
For having the audacity to say this on Christian TV, I was vilified and maligned.

Yet when Kim Davis was jailed in 2015 for refusing a court order to grant same-sex marriage licenses, there was widespread rejoicing on the left: “Kim Davis is ISIS! Lock her up!”

(Read more at AskDrBrown.org)

NBC ignores an Antifa attack on its own reporter and crew

A 12 August 2018 NewsBusters article illustrates how a “news” outlet self-censors a significant story about a group who would really repress the free press.

On the one-year anniversary of the deadly Charlottesville protests, white supremacists and radical leftists known as Antifa descended on the Virginia town once more to commit more violence. Late Saturday night, NBC News reporter Cal Perry and his crew were in the thick of it as Antifa members ganged up on them and attacked. The next morning, NBC’s Sunday Today ignored the attack and suggested the media was simply “heckled” by their assaulters.

On Twitter, Perry was documenting the protesters as they marched through the streets of college town when they started to get “very aggressive with the media” and trying to block their camera shots. “Yeah. We’re getting a lot of this. Protesters trying to grab our camera,” he responded to one Twitter commenter telling him to “f**k off national media vulture.”

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Things got super-heated when one Antifa protestor shouted “F**k you, snitch a** news b**ch. F**k you” and tried to either pull the camera away from the person using it or knock it to the ground. It was unclear in the video.

Despite the video evidence on the ground from their own reporter, NBC went to Garrett Haake, who was at the White House in anticipation of violence there as another white supremacist rally was set to be held. “Overnight, tense moments in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, strong far left protesters heckling the media and chanting anti-police slogans,” he suggested at the top of his report. They actually used footage Perry and his crew shot but didn’t show anything from their attack.

The assault on NBC’s reporter came almost a year since their political director, Chuck Todd used his MSNBC program, MTP Daily to elevate Antifa’s violence as a legitimate tactic against the right. He even doubled down and allowed them to use the formerly prestigious Meet the Press as a platform to push their hate and violent methods. Todd has never condemned them.

Todd appeared on Sunday Today and had nothing to say about the attack or Antifa, which had been declared a domestic terrorism group by the State of New Jersey before he had them on last year. Instead of condemning Antifa, he lambasted the President for criticizing anthem protesters and targeted his supporters as racists.

So I don’t think, if the President is, quote, ‘learned anything’ I think in his mind, he has seen this is an effective political strategy to keep his base, his base,” he declared about what the President had learned since last year’s violence. “That it is the president’s continuation of using to be generous, dog whistles, others say they’re not silent. You can hear the whistles pretty loudly.

It’s sad and disturbing that NBC would choose to ignore violent leftists assaulting their own employees in exchange for railing against President Trump’s voters, but this appears to be the world we live in now. The assault also came after the entire liberal media had been trying to convince the public that Trump supporters where violent ones reporters had to watch out for.

(Read more at NewsBusters)

I have always been warned not to “cut off my nose to spite my face.” It looks like NBC let its nose get cut off and then dared the rest of us not to notice the profuse bleeding.

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Patreon and Mastercard ban Robert Spencer without explanation

Jihad Watch reports in a 15 August 2018 article that Robert Spencer has been banned by Patreon and Mastercard without explanation. Nonetheless, this banning likely stems from his shining the light of truth on Islam.

Recently Alex Jones and Gavin McInnes have been banned from various social media platforms, in a desperate attempt by the Left to ensure that the 2016 election results aren’t repeated in 2018. Some people say it doesn’t matter that these men were deplatformed, because they don’t like what they say, and what’s more, these are all private companies. They are indeed private companies, but they have a virtual monopoly today over the means of communication, and once they start banning people because they don’t like what they say, they’ve set a precedent that is inimical to the survival of a free society.

If only approved viewpoints can be aired, we live in a totalitarian state, not a free society, and the effects of this will reverberate in our lives in ways we cannot imagine. If you think that the banning will stop when those who are deemed “crazy” or “extremist” are all banned, you’re in for a surprise.

Yesterday, they came for me, albeit in not yet as thoroughgoing a manner as the way they went after Jones and McInnes.

(Read more at Jihad Watch)

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Silenced News Stories – Part 3


Top 10 states packing heat, bottom 10 lacking

In a 17 March 2018 OneNewsNow article, the following states were pointed out to be at the top and bottom of numbers of guns owned and percentages of people with guns.

State # of guns State guns / 1K citizens
TX 588,696 WY 229
CA 344,622 Washington, DC
FL 343,288 NH 47
VA 307,822 NM 46
PA 236,377 VA 36
GA 190,050 AL 33
AZ 179,738 ID 28
OH 173,405 AR 26
AL 161,641 NV 25
NC 153,238 AZ 25

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Published by Hunting Mark.

Facebook algorithm kills conservative news feeds, boosts left’s voice

A 16 March 2018 article in OneNewsNow details how Facebook’s internal workings work against conservative causes:

An in-depth analysis of Facebook’s publicized algorithm change has revealed that the social media giant is drastically reducing users’ news feeds to conservative outlet websites – while boosting those of liberal publishers.

[C]onservative publishers have lost an average of nearly 14 percent of their traffic from Facebook, [while] liberal publishers have gained about 2 percent more web traffic from Facebook than they were getting prior to the algorithm changes implemented in early February,” researchers from The Western Journal divulged. “This algorithm change has, in effect, censored conservative viewpoints on the largest social media platform in the world – [a] change that in the short-term, [is] 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.”

(Read specific examples at OneNewsNow)

For those of us who have felt the hand of shadow banning, this comes as no surprise.

Facebook bans Cambridge Analytica for doing for Trump what others did for Obama

Along the same lines, a 16 March 2018 article at CNBC affords those on the left to bemoan the way Facebook aided Trump’s victory (although Obama openly took data from Facebook during his campaigns):

Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica, a political data analytics firm that worked on Facebook ads for President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election, saying that it lied about deleting user data sent to it by the makers of a popular psychology test app.

In a blog post that went up late Friday night, Facebook explained that a University of Cambridge psychology professor, Dr. Aleksandr Kogan, created an app called “thisisyourdigitallife,” which asked users to answer questions to build a psychological profile.

According to the social network, Kogan “lied” to Facebook by passing that data along to Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) and Cambridge Analytica — an SCL affiliate — without informing users.

The net effect allowed the firm to turn innocuous page “likes” and other Facebook user data into information that was mined for political use.

“In so doing, [users] gave their consent for Kogan to access information such as the city they set on their profile, or content they had liked, as well as more limited information about friends who had their privacy settings set to allow it,” Facebook said.

(Read more at CNBC)

Go cry me a river.

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A group representing 3K British advertisers threatens to pull support from Facebook

A 22 March 2018 article at Fox News points to the problems brewing between Facebook and its advertisers in Britain.

Facebook is facing the possibility of an advertiser exodus in the U.K. over the data scandal that has enveloped the company, prompted widespread demands for new regulations and knocked almost $50 billion from its market cap.

ISBA, a group representing about 3,000 advertisers including major brands like Unilever and Procter & Gamble, is demanding answers from Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data-mining scandal. The companies the group works with could abandon the social network if their concerns aren’t addressed.

The trade group confirmed to Fox News that it will meet with representatives from Facebook on Friday.

“We want to understand the scope of the inquiry Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday. We want reassurances for our members that it will get to the bottom of the issues and any implications for the public and for advertisers,” Phil Smith, ISBA director general, told Fox News in a statement.

(Read more at Fox News)

Although that this likely comes as the response of liberal executives at companies founded by conservatives, I fully support them in their ability to determine where they (and their hires) spend their money. Take that, Zuck.

After the Austin bomber is killed, Facebook scrubs his page

Local news outlets use his mother’s Facebook feed to get photos

Despite the fact that Facebook almost immediately took down the page posted by the Austin bomber (thereby depriving the local media of a source of a photo of the bomber), local and then national media outlets used photos posted by the mother of the Austin bomber.

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The sad thing about the photos they captured from the mother’s Facebook feed was that, though they took pains to mask the names of those who corresponded with the mother, they took no effort to hide her name. She had done no wrong and had not been accused of any crime.

Of course, you could point out that I am also putting her name out for public ridicule. However, the 100 to 1,000 that regularly view my blog do not hold a candle to the readership numbers of the Austin American Statesman and other papers that link to it.

Did Facebook’s data giveaway to Obama in 2008 and 2012 break federal law?

A 29 March 2018 article at OneNewsNow looked into the question

Another accusation has surfaced that Facebook was playing fast and loose with user data, and this time it can’t blame an outside political operative or rogue third-party app.

Barack Obama changed the way American politicians campaign with his pervasive use of social media and data collection in 2008 and 2012.

It now appears a lot of that data was given to the campaign, perhaps illegally.

The latest breach was revealed in a pair of Tweets from Carol Davidson, the media director for the Obama 2012 campaign.

“Facebook was surprised we were able to suck out the whole social graph,” she wrote, “but they … were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.”

Hans von Spakovski of The Heritage Foundation says the problem with Facebook providing that data is that corporations are banned by law from making contributions, including in-kind donations, to federal campaigns.

“It’s very possible that the Obama campaign violated campaign finance law by accepting, illegally, a corporate contribution,” the attorney warns, “and Facebook may have violated the law by making an illegal contribution.”

(Read more at OneNewsNow)

The only problem with even pointing this out is that we live in Jeff Session’s America (or, rather, AG Rosenstein’s America). Just as Hillary, Rosenstein, Comey, and McCabe will never have to answer for crimes that sent Kristian Saucier to prison — this breaking of campaign finance laws by Obama will never see the inside of a courtroom.

Facebook, Google, & Twitter take extreme measures to fight leakers

The Guardian points to the strict standards of Google, Facebook, and Twitter when it comes to their leakers.

One day last year, John Evans (not his real name) received a message from his manager at Facebook telling him he was in line for a promotion. When they met the following day, she led him down a hallway praising his performance. However, when she opened the door to a meeting room, he came face to face with members of Facebook’s secretive “rat-catching” team, led by the company’s head of investigations, Sonya Ahuja.

The interrogation was a technicality; they already knew he was guilty of leaking some innocuous information to the press. They had records of a screenshot he’d taken, links he had clicked or hovered over, and they strongly indicated they had accessed chats between him and the journalist, dating back to before he joined the company.

“It’s horrifying how much they know,” he told the Guardian, on the condition of anonymity. “You go into Facebook and it has this warm, fuzzy feeling of ‘we’re changing the world’ and ‘we care about things’. But you get on their bad side and all of a sudden you are face to face with [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg’s secret police.”

The public image of Silicon Valley’s tech giants is all colourful bicycles, ping-pong tables, beanbags and free food, but behind the cartoonish facade is a ruthless code of secrecy. They rely on a combination of Kool-Aid, digital and physical surveillance, legal threats and restricted stock units to prevent and detect intellectual property theft and other criminal activity. However, those same tools are also used to catch employees and contractors who talk publicly, even if it’s about their working conditions, misconduct or cultural challenges within the company.

While Apple’s culture of secrecy, which includes making employees sign project-specific NDAs and covering unlaunched products with black cloths, has been widely reported, companies such as Google and Facebook have long put the emphasis on internal transparency.

Zuckerberg hosts weekly meetings where he shares details of unreleased new products and strategies in front of thousands of employees. Even junior staff members and contractors can see what other teams are working on by looking at one of many of the groups on the company’s internal version of Facebook.

(Read more at The Guardian)

The left likes to sling about the terms “Nazi” and “facist.” However, when it comes establishing who has worked to earn the moniker, we need to consider the information in this article.

Drudge saw the monsters Facebook and Google would become

A 3 April 2018 World News Daily article pointed out how Matt Drudge foresaw Facebook’s and Google’s monopolistic hold on both social media and our secrets.

The Internet showed such great promise more than two decades ago when Matt Drudge shook up the media world, followed quickly by WND’s entry as the first independent online news-gathering organization – and, later, an independent book publishing arm and an independent film-production company.

There was no Google, at least not as the domineering search engine with an eye to becoming an out-of-control, invasive corporate version of the National Security Agency that would know everything about you, tracking your every move, on and offline – and monetizing it. It was not yet controlling the means of distribution of information, nor had it yet placed the left-wing extremist Southern Poverty Law Center in a position to censor the news – and even define what news is.

There was no Facebook yet, the other corporate giant that would come alongside Google to grab control of 75 percent of the online ad revenue so together they could starve out independent voices, most of whom had not yet emerged.

It’s a different world today, and it’s a dangerous one in which this Digital Cartel is – without oversight, without checks and balances, without restraint – literally the powerful gatekeeper that is killing personal privacy and free speech.

Matt Drudge saw it coming. I regret to say I did not.

Here’s what he said in 2015: “Don’t get into this false sense that you are an individual when you’re on Facebook. No, you’re not! You’re a pawn in their scheme. …”

He warned back then how online revenue would be weaponized by Google. He warned how Facebook would control and sell you as product. He warned that Americans were becoming confined on the Internet into the “playgrounds” of massive corporations.

“This is ghetto,” he said. “This is corporate. They are taking your energy and you get nothing in return! I’m just warning this country. …”

Matt Drudge saw it coming. Again, I can only admit, with regret and remorse, I did not. Many others did not, either.

So, here we are in 2018. We’ve fallen for Digital Cartel’s trap. They’ve taken our privacy and our freedom. We must fight back – and fight we will.

The independent media is in crisis with falling revenues, controlled by this cartel. We are faced with falling or static traffic that is controlled by this beast. And if the independent media fail, so will free-spirited individual voices of independence. That’s the crisis we face today.

How do we respond?

We need to respond collectively and individually as if we are in a new war of independence, a new fight for liberty, a new battle for the mind, heart and soul of America.

Don’t let the first domino fall, or it will start a chain reaction whose consequences will be catastrophic. Don’t let WND be the first domino.

(Read the rest at World News Daily)

Admittedly, the final line serves WND well; however, I wouldn’t be quoting them if I didn’t support them. I encourage all to follow suit in support of non-main-stream media.

The problems with social media: viewpoint discrimination, issue myopia, government


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Censoring of Christians by Google, Facebook, and Twitter

OneNewsNow provides an account of several voices against the censoring by the giants of social media in a 10 December 2017 article.

After years of censoring Christians online, the big three Internet technology giants – Google, Facebook and Twitter – are now being targeted by the Internet Freedom Watch initiative to give believers their online voice back.

The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) launched the initiative via the InternetFreedomWatch.org website, where numerous cases are documented, such as former Gov. Mike Huckabee’s (R-Ark.) Facebook post in 2012 supporting Chick-fil-A’s pro-family stance regarding same-sex “marriage” and Twitter’s removal of an ad by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who stands for biblical morality on a number of hot-button issues.

Let the censorship end

NRB announced that the free speech effort is being endorsed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and a former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, as the campaign focuses on exposing the censorship of Christians on the Internet by social media search engine giant Google, as well as the popular social media channels Facebook and Twitter.

NRB President and CEO Jerry A. Johnson stresses that his organization was founded back in 1944 to fight corporate censorship of evangelical radio ministries at the time – something that continues to plague America more than seven decades later.

“[NRB is focusing on] those who desire to expunge opposing viewpoints from the marketplace of ideas by recklessly using nebulous terms like ‘hate speech,’” Johnson told those attending a press conference held last week at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., according to WND.

(Read more at OneNewsNow)

As Christians, there are two ways we might be led to react to this electronic oppression:

  • We might figuratively turn the other cheek (something not to be confused with avoiding the conflict or being silent) or
  • We might follow the example of Paul by demanding the rights afforded to citizens.

Oddly, both of these responses involve talking (either gently or very directly) with the opposition. Therefore, Christians and those who would preserve freedom must stand against this censorship.

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Left-leaning Bloomberg laments the problems Facebook wants to admit

In a 14 December 2017 Bloomberg article the social media giant looks at the damage it does to children’s brains (but does not seem to make plans for lessening the detrimental impact they have). Too bad Facebook also does not also consider its own censorship of conservatives, the detrimental affects brought on by those actions, and ways to fix those bad affects.

Facebook is projected to boost sales by 46 percent and double net income, but make no mistake: It had a terrible year. Despite its financial performance, the social media giant is facing a reckoning in 2018 as regulators close in on several fronts.

The main issue cuts to the core of the company itself: Rather than “building global community,” as founder Mark Zuckerberg sees Facebook’s mission, it is “ripping apart the social fabric.” Those are the words of Chamath Palihapitiya, the company’s former vice president of user growth. He doesn’t allow his kids to use Facebook because he doesn’t want them to become slaves to “short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops.”

Palihapitya’s criticism echoes that of Facebook’s first president, Sean Parker: “It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other … God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

Facebook has reacted nervously to Palihapitya’s accusations, saying he hadn’t worked at the company for a long time (he left in 2011) and wasn’t aware of Facebook’s recent initiatives. But I can’t see any practical manifestations of these efforts as a user who has drastically cut back on social networking this year for the very reasons cited by Parker and Palihapitya.

A wise man said, “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?” While it is good that Facebook is seeing that constant social media use does change the brain of children and adolescents, you think that they would also wake up to the constant calls for them to stop censoring conservatives. Still, there is never anyone as blind as someone who refuses to see.

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OneNewsNow provides a view of what we should expect

Through a 15 December 2017 OneNewsNow article, a few things we should expect now that Obama’s Net Neutrality has been erased have been provided.

“I can pretty much guarantee it,” he says. “If you are a consumer and you want to know what’s going to happen now that Net Neutrality regulation has been taken off the book, the answer is probably nothing for the short-term. Your Internet experience is not going to change dramatically; probably not at all, in fact. It’ll more or less be the same, at least for the time being.”

In the longer run, Radia says consumers may see changes that are beneficial, perhaps even some arrangements involving ISPs and content companies like Netflix that Radia says could mean lower bills for Internet users.

“[I think] that’s … a little longer on the horizon maybe in a few years, rather than in the immediate term, [but] there is nothing to worry about right now,” he continues. “Your ability to binge-watch over the holidays is not going to be affected by the FCC decision, no matter what you hear from left-wing activists and certain companies that have a self-interest in not having to pay for any of this infrastructure.”

(Read more at OneNewsNow)

Since Obama’s “Net Neutrality” seemed to discriminate against a number of business and content interests, such as “edge providers” (as identified in a November 2014 article) just as the Democrat’s “Fairness Doctrine” weighed down conservative radio shows, we should expect a lot of caterwauling from the left as long as Net Neutrality remains out of effect.

Due to Obama’s and the Democrat’s record of the NSA phone surveillance scandal, the IRS targeting scandal, the VA waiting list scandal, Fast & Furious gun scandal, Benghazi, … somehow I don’t trust “Net Neutrality” to be neutral (if it ever was).

During the last of my tenure at the Johnson Space Center, I experienced the Y2K hype. Except for election cycles where the Democrat was in serious likelihood of being beaten, the Y2K only marginally beats out the Net Neutrality on the big, bad, hype-o-meter (and that assumes that NN doesn’t drag on for over a year).

Viewpoint discrimination by liberal social media networks against conservatives


YouTube says conservative videos from Prager University violate “community standards”

A 25 October 2016 article in the National Review noted a pattern of abuse that has started in YouTube. Guess what? It continues.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal wrote the following editorial about YouTube restricting access to 16 videos — down from 21 — created and posted online by my non-profit educational organization, Prager University: “YouTube thinks Dennis Prager’s videos may be dangerous.”

Tech giants like Google and Facebook always deny that their platforms favor some viewpoints over others, but then they don’t do much to avoid looking censorious. . . .

Dennis Prager’s “PragerU” puts out free short videos on subjects “important to understanding American values” — ranging from the high cost of higher education to the motivations of Islamic State. The channel has more than 130 million views. . . . As you might guess, the mini-seminars do not include violence or sexual content.

But more than 15 videos are “restricted” on YouTube. . . . This means the clips don’t show up for those who have turned on filtering — say, a parent shielding their children from explicit videos. A YouTube spokesperson told us that the setting is optional and “based on algorithms that look at a number of factors, including community flagging on videos.” . . .

Sign the petition to stop the censorship against Prager University

Go to this link to sign the petition to stop the censorship by YouTube.