NYT Cheers the Rise of Censorship Algorithms

Exclusive: The New York Times is cheering on the Orwellian future for Western “democracy” in which algorithms quickly hunt down and eliminate information that the Times and other mainstream outlets don’t like, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Just days after sporting First Amendment pins at the White House Correspondents Dinner – to celebrate freedom of the press – the mainstream U.S. media is back to celebrating a very different idea: how to use algorithms to purge the Internet of what is deemed “fake news,” i.e. what the mainstream judges to be “misinformation.”

New York Times building in New York City. (Photo from Wikipedia)

The New York Times, one of the top promoters of this new Orwellian model for censorship, devoted two-thirds of a page in its Tuesday editions to a laudatory piece about high-tech entrepreneurs refining artificial intelligence that can hunt down and eradicate supposedly “fake news.”

To justify this draconian strategy, the Times cited only a “fake news” report claiming that the French establishment’s preferred presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron had received funding from Saudi Arabia, a bogus story published by a Web site that mimicked the appearance of the newspaper Le Soir and was traced back to a Delaware phone number.

Yet, while such intentionally fabricated articles as well as baseless conspiracy theories are a bane of the Internet – and do deserve hearty condemnation – the Times gives no thought to the potential downside of having a select group of mainstream journalistic entities feeding their judgment about what is true and what is not into some algorithms that would then scrub the Internet of contrary items.

Since the Times is a member of the Google-funded First Draft Coalition – along with other mainstream outlets such as The Washington Post and the pro-NATO propaganda site Bellingcat – this idea of eliminating information that counters what the group asserts is true may seem quite appealing to the Times and the other insiders. After all, it might seem cool to have some high-tech tool that silences your critics automatically.

But you don’t need a huge amount of imagination to see how this combination of mainstream groupthink and artificial intelligence could create an Orwellian future in which only one side of a story gets told and the other side simply disappears from view.

As much as the Times, the Post, Bellingcat and the others see themselves as the fount of all wisdom, the reality is that they have all made significant journalistic errors, sometimes contributing to horrific international crises.

For instance, in 2002, the Times reported that Iraq’s purchase of aluminum tubes revealed a secret nuclear weapons program (when the tubes were really for artillery); the Post wrote as flat-fact that Saddam Hussein was hiding stockpiles of WMD (which in reality didn’t exist); Bellingcat misrepresented the range of a Syrian rocket that delivered sarin on a neighborhood near Damascus in 2013 (creating the impression that the Syrian government was at fault when the rocket apparently came from rebel-controlled territory).

These false accounts – and many others from the mainstream media – were countered in real time by experts who published contrary information on the Internet. But if the First Draft Coalition and these algorithms were in control, the information scrubbers might have purged the dissident assessments as “fake news” or “misinformation.”

Totalitarian Risks

There also should be the fear – even among these self-appointed guardians of “truth” – that their algorithms might someday be put to use by a totalitarian regime to stomp out the last embers of real democracy. However, if you’re looking for such thoughtfulness, you won’t find it in the Times article by Mark Scott. Instead, the Times glorifies the creators of this Brave New World.

Big Brother poster illustrating George Orwell’s novel about modern propaganda, 1984.

“In the battle against fake news, Andreas Vlachos — a Greek computer scientist living in a northern English town — is on the front lines,” the article reads. “Armed with a decade of machine learning expertise, he is part of a British start-up that will soon release an automated fact-checking tool ahead of the country’s election in early June. He also is advising a global competition that pits computer wizards from the United States to China against each other to use artificial intelligence to combat fake news. …

“As Europe readies for several elections this year after President Trump’s victory in the United States, Mr. Vlachos, 36, is one of a growing number of technology experts worldwide who are harnessing their skills to tackle misinformation online. … Computer scientists, tech giants and start-ups are using sophisticated algorithms and reams of online data to quickly — and automatically — spot fake news faster than traditional fact-checking groups can.”

The Times quotes the promoters of this high-tech censorship effort without any skepticism:

“‘Algorithms will have to do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to fighting misinformation,’ said Claire Wardle, head of strategy and research at First Draft News, a nonprofit organization that has teamed up with tech companies and newsrooms to debunk fake reports about elections in the United States and Europe. ‘It’s impossible to do all of this by hand.’”

The article continues: “So far, outright fake news stories have been relatively rare [in Europe]. Instead, false reports have more often come from Europeans on social media taking real news out of context, as well as from fake claims spread by state-backed groups like Sputnik, the Russian news organization.”

Little Evidence Needed

Though providing no details about Sputnik’s alleged guilt, the Times article links to another Times article from April 17 by Andrew Higgins that accuses Russia’s RT network of “fake news” because it detected a surge in opinion polls for Francois Fillon, who stands accused in the mainstream media of having a positive relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Oddly, however, further down in the story, Higgins acknowledges that “lately, Mr. Fillon has seen a bump in real opinion polls.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, following his address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

(Ultimately, Fillon finished a strong third with 20 percent of the vote, one percentage point behind National Front’s Marine Le Pen and four points behind Emmanuel Macron, the two finalists. It’s also curious that the Times would fault RT for getting poll results wrong when the Times published predictions, with 90 percent or more certainty – and 85 percent on Nov. 8 – that Hillary Clinton would win the U.S. presidential election.)

Beyond failing to offer any evidence of Russian guilt in these “fake news” operations, Tuesday’s Times story turns to the NATO propaganda and psychological warfare operation in Latvia, the Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, with its director Janis Sarts warning about “an increased amount of misinformation out there.”

The Stratcom center, which oversees information warfare against NATO’s perceived adversaries, is conducting “a hackathon” this month in search of coders who can develop technology to hunt down news that NATO considers “fake.”

Sarts, however, makes clear that Stratcom’s goal is not only to expunge contradictory information but to eliminate deviant viewpoints before too many people can get to see and hear them. “State-based actors have been trying to amplify specific views to bring them into the mainstream,” Sarts told the Times.

As the Times reports, much of the pressure for shutting down “fake news” has fallen on American tech giants such as Facebook and Google – and they are responding:

“After criticism of its role in spreading false reports during the United States elections, Facebook introduced a fact-checking tool ahead of the Dutch elections in March and the first round of the French presidential election on April 23. It also removed 30,000 accounts in France that had shared fake news, a small fraction of the approximately 33 million Facebook users in the country.”

A Growing Movement

And, according to the Times, this censorship movement is spreading:

“German lawmakers are mulling potential hefty fines against tech companies if they do not clamp down on fake news and online hate speech. Since last year, Google also has funded almost 20 European projects aimed at fact-checking potentially false reports. That includes its support for two British groups looking to use artificial intelligence to automatically fact-check online claims ahead of the country’s June 8 parliamentary election. …

Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins

“David Chavalarias, a French academic, has created a digital tool that has analyzed more than 80 million Twitter messages about the French election, helping journalists and fact-checkers to quickly review claims that are spread on the social network.

“After the presidential election in the United States last year, Dean Pomerleau, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, also challenged his followers on Twitter to come up with an algorithm that could distinguish fake claims from real news.

“Working with Delip Rao, a former Google researcher, he offered a $2,000 prize to anyone who could meet his requirements. By early this year, more than 100 teams from around the world had signed on to Mr. Pomerleau’s Fake News Challenge. Using a database of verified articles and their artificial intelligence expertise, rival groups — a combination of college teams, independent programmers and groups from existing tech companies — already have been able to accurately predict the veracity of certain claims almost 90 percent of the time, Mr. Pomerleau said. He hopes that figure will rise to the mid-90s before his challenge ends in June.”

So, presumably based on what the Times, the Post, Bellingcat and the other esteemed oracles of truth say is true, 90 percent or more of contrary information could soon be vulnerable to the censorship algorithms that can quickly detect and stamp out divergent points of view. Such is the Orwellian future mapped out for Western “democracy,” and The New York Times can’t wait for this tightly regulated – one might say, rigged – “marketplace of ideas” to take over.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

135 comments for “NYT Cheers the Rise of Censorship Algorithms

  1. May 10, 2017 at 16:07

    there already is a mechanism for separating ‘fake news’ from ‘real news’, it is called ‘healthy skepticism’…
    as the article says, this don’t have shit to do with ‘fake news’, it has to do with imposing an authoritarian regime/Empire which will brook no dissent…
    further complicated by fake pwogs doing the heavy-lifting of Empire by self-imposing CENSORSHIP… some feminist prof under attack for supporting actual freedom instead of the received ‘wisdom’ (sic) of today’s libtard klass had it right: it is the stupid fucking libtard/”liberals” who are calling for authoritarian censorship and dismissal of free speech rights, and idiot conservatards who are defending the principles of free speech and tolerance… talk about upside-down world…
    FAR TOO MANY people are FAR TOO WILLING to voluntarily imposing a state-controlled censorship regime MERELY for the sake of not being exposed to uncomfortable opinions, REGARDLESS of their metaphysical veracity…
    we call those people ‘authoritarians’, NOT liberals/progressives…

  2. caseyf5
    May 9, 2017 at 18:36

    Hello Robert Parry and Everyone, I wonder if one or more hackers would get the code and engineer it to target those that wish for automatic internet censorship and continually wipe them out. Even better/worse remove all censorship programs or censor everything! Each of these approaches has both good and bad and will depend upon how it is used!

  3. Ken Holmes
    May 9, 2017 at 17:48

    Its no different here in England.

    The problem is that everything from the press to tv to the central banks to the stockmarket, bond market, commodity markets, libor,and uncle tom cobly and all is owned and run by the Rothschilds family the Nosfaratus of Globalism!

  4. JGarbo
    May 8, 2017 at 00:32

    So my question is: Does the MSM propaganda actually sway public opinion and influence govt policy, otherwise, if not, it is useless? Do “policy makers” read or watch the MSM before deciding policy? I think not.
    Are we still, rather naively, believing that the “truth” from alternate news media, eg ConsortiumNews, will somehow energize a somnambulent public into action, protesting, storming the barricades a la 1968. It made no difference to Establishment policy.
    Perhaps I’m old & cynical (having had my head cracked by police thugs) protesting in those days. The slaughter in Vietnam on both sides changed little, Iran-Contra continued, Iraq destroyed even after the WMD proved absent.
    I get the feeling you’re preaching to the choir, not converting the ignorant. The game’s over.

  5. Operation Dinner Outlaw
    May 7, 2017 at 22:06

    “Gonzo journalism… is a style of ‘reporting’ based on William Faulkner’s idea that the best fiction is far more true than any kind of journalism—and the best journalists have always known this.”
    ?Hunter S. Thompson
    The Great Shark Hunt Jacket Copy for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1979) http://izquotes.com/quote/394821

    What’s needed is a Gonzo algorithm. The censorship alogorithm is there to protect social media investments which work like dotcom stock pump and dump operations.

    How Algorithms and Authoritarianism Created a Corporate Nightmare at United

    “I was only following corporate algorithms”

    Testimony given at a future war crimes trial (riff on the Nuremberg defense http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2017/04/algorithmic-dystopia.html

  6. Anonymous
    May 6, 2017 at 09:27

    We have seen how it has been alleged that the Emails of Emmanuel Macron had been hacked, but this Could Easily be a Lie, because it is Most Likely that one or more French Patriots in the Macron campaign who are Alarmed by the Unacceptable level of Corruption, Incompetence, and Injustice in the current French Puppet Regime.

    It could be that the French Establishment or one or more of their Puppets in the Macron campaign or one or more of those associated with the Macron campaign may have released those Emails to try to blame Marine Le Pen or a foreign Country.

    If someone from the Marine Le Pen Campaign or a Foreign Country had been trying to hack Macron’s Emails, then if they did Not succeed before it was Alleged, then they would Not have Leaked it to that Website so close to the Election, except for a dozen of the Best Emails, and said that more Emails will be Leaked after the Election.

    An Anonymous Peron or Group, either French or foreign would have announced their Responsibility for that, and they would do that to foreign Media and even to the French Media, even though the French Media is Not allowed by Law to comment on the Election a few days before the Election, and they would say that they refer to themselves as Concerned People for a Constitutional French Democracy and a Constitutional French Republic.

    Those Concerned People for a Constitutional French Democracy and a Constitutional French Republic, would have released Only a dozen of the Best Emails that they think would help Marine Le Pen, and so because it has Not happened in this way, but that the Entire Emails were Leaked.

    This may suggest that the French Establishment and their Puppets Leaked those Emails, and that those Emails were Not hacked as is Alleged by People who are Known to Lie when it suits them, but it is probably more likely in the opinion of Many, that a French Patriot or French Patriots in the Macron campaign Leaked those Emails, and that they were hesitant until just before the Election if it was done by French Patriots in the Macron campaign.

    This is because they would have had more time to Selectively pick the Best Emails from that Alleged Massive Email hack, and because it was Only a few days before the Election, then Only the Best Emails would need to be discussed among the Voters, but they would be nervous, because they Know what happened to the Patriotic American who Leaked the Democratic National Committee Emails, and so they did Not want to hold on to those Emails for long, and Leaked all of them, because they did Not have time to that, because the Hesitated that close to the Election, and I think that it was Only one French Patriot who Leaked those Emails, because to tell someone else was Risky, because we Know what happened to the American Patriot who Leaked Emails to WikiLeaks.

    If there had been more time, then that Person or Persons, either French or foreign would have Leaked the Best few of those Emails so that the French Media could Legally mentioned it after the first round of the French Presidential Election, and the Marine Le Pen campaign or a foreign Country would have the Resources and Many People to do that, and this is why I think that it was one or more French Patriots in the Macron campaign whose Conscience Bothered them, and there was Hesitation and this is why the Emails were Leaked by one or more French Patriots in the Macron campaign.

    It seems to be far too Convenient that this Alleged Email hack occurred at the same time that the French Media have to Self Censor, which is Undemocratic.

    This is because French Law says that there Cannot be any comments on the Election a few days before a French Election.

    There are People who think that Perhaps the French Establishment did it like this, so that they can Deceive the French People, with regards to the Fact the French Mainstream Media are the Puppets of the French Establishment, which is the Illegal and Unconstitutional French Shadow Regime.

    If these Emails were hacked, then it would have occurred before or even immediately after first round of the French Presidential Election that is 2 weeks before the second round of the French Presidential Election, and they would have been released Gradually like WikiLeaks did for the American Election.

    It may have been French Traitors, who like the Collaborators of the Vichy French Puppet Regime, and who Understand Dirty Tricks, and who may be Puppets of the Fourth Reich within the French Establishment who Know how to Lie, even if that Lying is done for Corrupt Money, or because of Blackmail and Macron is one of those Puppets of the Shadow French Regime.

    The French Puppet Mainstream Media is the Vichy Puppet Mainstream Media, because they do Not server the French People, but they Lie Most of the times, and they Slander Innocent People, and they do the bidding of their Puppet Masters who are the French Establishment and the French Shadow Regime, and while it is said that some of it was lies, it could probably be all True, and it will be a Scandal after the Election, that the French Puppet Mainstream Media will try to cover up for the Establishment, because they are the Puppets of the French Shadow Regime.

    Macron is the Shadow Regime’s Bribed, Blackmailed, and Corrupt, and the Major Political Parties have mismanaged and misgoverned France for decades and have been using the Major Political Parties in France who are their Puppets, and these Major French Political Parties have created Poverty, Injustice, and High Unemployment in France, and this is Why there are Many French Voters who Will Vote for Marine Le Pen for the President of France, because they want a French Society where there is Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, and that means that there is Fairness, Justice, and Equity for the People of France.

  7. Tony
    May 5, 2017 at 15:46

    This is same new york times which gave us the lies of mass destruction in iraq and featured neoconservative articles in main pages from their famous journalist judith miller. I say shame on people and idiots who read this news paper.

  8. richard feibel
    May 5, 2017 at 13:28

    there is more fake news on youtube a google entity.and thats the way they want it. but the insouciant american public hasn t a clue about what is real and what is not ,.as the educational system has raised a crop of moronic game /device addicted idiots where they get propagandized to make them feel good. facebook twitter and all the rest are participants in the dumb down of these little creeps called millennials . what a god damn joke on the world these creeps are so dumb the saying box of rocks makes lite of it.

  9. lori phelan
    May 5, 2017 at 02:25

    the deciding of fake, real, or partial news should be left to the reader. Our schools need to teach how to follow the source of information and determine for themselves if what they are reading it true or not. This should not be left to some algorithms, or some group. this is left to the free thinking!

  10. Ted Powers
    May 4, 2017 at 18:30

    I do not watch the national news anymore. I do not watch “Entertainment Shows” who espouse their liberal lemming mind set as humor. All this fact finding is the push for globalism by the corporations as a form of mind control. Today’s youth are dupes for groupthink. In the Vietnam era radicals opposed corporations instead of being told what to think by them

  11. Ron Miller
    May 4, 2017 at 13:55

    I can certainly appreciate the concern for “fake news”; however, infringing on first amendment rights with an artificial inteligence meant to purge “fake news” is NOT the way to go, in my opinion. I support using such tools for writing and publishing rebuttals; but, for them to be used to eradicate presumed “fake news” is a very bad idea. Communication, itself, is not right, or wrong; it’s simply exchanging thoughts and ideas with one another. Instead of trying to censor what is said, why not educate on how to process what is said? In other words, why not integrate critical thinking classes in our school’s curriculum, and do it as early as middle school age? I feel that if people were better prepared to evaluate the wealth of information that we are bombarded with on a daily basis, we wouldn’t be talking about “fake news”. Censorship is a dangerous, slippery slope and knowledge is power; critical thinking classes need to be at the forefront of our school’s curriculum.

  12. mike k
    May 4, 2017 at 11:21

    What if the US began telling the truth, instead of constantly lying? Wouldn’t that help a lot in finding peace for our world?

    • Ron Miller
      May 4, 2017 at 14:21

      I assume that you are referring to the U.S. Government in your post and I have to say it makes me laugh. First, governments around the globe do NOT want peace, they want POWER; second, I think truth is an abstract of reality; meaning, something is only true if you believe it to be true; regardless of evidence and/or science. I think the real solution is to teach our future generations critical thinking skills that enable them to make informed decisions and not be so easily persuaded by the masses. The inernet is like a vast ocean of information and within it you can sink, or swim; critical thinking skills provide you with the ability to not only swim, but to navigate this vast ocean to get where we need to be. Do we really want to encumber this journey with censorship that will only impede our journey? No, I think critical thinking skills are the best way to navigate the ocean of information available to us and the sooner we learn them, the better.

  13. Joy
    May 4, 2017 at 07:36

    Thank you for sharing this!

  14. WG
    May 4, 2017 at 01:37

    The US is like a TV series that’s been around too long. You know that point where it jumps the shark, you turn the TV off and consciously decide never to watch it ever again.

    The US reached that point late last year, and its only getting worse.

  15. delia ruhe
    May 3, 2017 at 17:50

    What’s the point of bothering with the debate between truth and falsehood — especially as you, yourself so often find lies more efficient than the time-consuming work of seeking out truth — when you can just send out a virus to destroy the story that’s interfering with your version of reality?

    That is so “American Twilight” — in the same class as the drone-murder program, i.e., why go to all the trouble of hunting down and prosecuting those who commit the crime of terrorism, or even wage a messy and expensive war against terror — when you can just authorize a pre-crime program and send out drones to slaughter anyone you reckon a likely suspect?

    A no-brainer, right?

  16. Herman
    May 3, 2017 at 16:19

    The interest of the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN in quashing fake news is a bad joke. They could defend themselves by saying they are talking about deliberately faking news but it remains a joke. In their minds it must be one sided reporting passes muster and giving credence to Russian interference in our elections is not fake news, nor the first and possibly second sarin attack in Syria, WMDs in Iraq, must in their minds pass as real news. Certainly reporting only one side of an issue, or not covering important events must not be fake news but in reality it is. That is, if they take their role as journalists seriously, not purveyors of propaganda. Mr. Parry has mentioned that in earlier articles.

  17. Gerry L Forbes
    May 3, 2017 at 15:53

    Please send me all the money. After many seconds or excruciating labour I have developed an infallible algorithm for detecting fake news: America always lies.

  18. May 3, 2017 at 12:39

    Are You Asleep !

    If the American organic Constitution is not in effect how can Freedom of Speech be enforced.

    Freedom of Speech does not exist in fact now.You can say almost anything as long as know one is listening to what your saying.What I mean is that if one provoke interest by a large percent then your right is refused.

    The way the system is beat is by repetition and concentration of thought.If a large percent said the FED is illegal everyday this would provoke the establishment to prevent this information as much as possible.

    The result of so many topics reduces the concentration of power of though.

    If the foundation is rotten then you concentrate on and repeat the cause everyday.This is how people are conditioned and brainwashed,but it is the most effective defense against brainwashing if applied for right cause.

    Communications is controlled.If the Internet was used for the real issues and not the effect then there would be no place for the criminals to hide.

    Treason is and has been committed.Trading with the enemy and playing both sides is common tactic as Divide and Conquer are.

    The Art of War is Deceit.

    If truth is not allowed then were is one’s defense.

    America is lost if truth is denied.Without knowledge how can one defend other than using brute strength.

    To give an example.What if the enemy within wants to take down the west using Russia,China,Iran,etc against America.What if America really has inferior weapons because it has been seen to that this is the case.

    Sgt. Major Dan Page-You Tube was extremely concerned that this was what was being planned.

    Albert Pike 3 World Wars is the way intended to bring in the NWO.

    The desire by the oligarchy is to reduce the population to 500 million population world wide.

    Robots are and will replace humans.The NWO will be and is a communist fascist collective as Norman Dodd-You Tube pointed out.

    The International Bankers use war when no other solution is available.

    The apex of power is probably one meaning all is planned.War are created to keep the sheep down ,so status quo can stay in place.

    If money spent on war was invested in nations then the sheep would not need the half haves to have the power they do and that is why war is perpetual adding addicting sheep to drugs both legal and illegal,etc.

    Immigration and refugees are weapon against the people of the west to destroy them.This is a fact.Nationalism opposes the NWO.

    The Fed and drugs adding the immigration is how the enemy within intends to demoralize the western sheep as is proven by the corrupt education system in America.

    Antony Sutton,Norman Dodd and Charlotte Iserbyth —Duming Down of Education— You Tube—Exposed this fact..

    Major Dan’s Dirary and The Best Enemy Money Can Buy-Antony Sutton-You Tube exposes with documented fact the treason being committed today as yesterday by the corporate state-Deep State.

    These references are the real issues which must be dealt with to solve the problem of the US Corporation Company and Washington DC being owned by the queen of England with the enter city of London owning the FED with the Vatican and BIS,etc…

    What I have stated I know for a fact as I have been denied the right to state the truth,and I have been called Hitler,etc for doing so.

    Ron Paul has stated the Fed illegal.Aaron Russo-Freedom To Fascism-You Tube made effort to.stop the Fed.James Traficant also proved FED unconstitutional.

    They failed because when they died no one went forward with their exposure,or effort.

    William Cooper in 1995 speech was really fed up with the sheep as he stated the mass majority were unfit to act against slavery as result of brainwashing and living in an illusion of what reality is.To weak to act.

    I think he was saying Stand Up,Or Die and most don’t have the will.As in the American Revolution 3% acted against the terrorist being King William the Third of England.

    America can stand with the will of the few which will be the case unless action is taken to set things right now.

    George Green-How The Plan To kill Us-You Tube says it all.

    Walter Haas—God Bless America

  19. stan
    May 3, 2017 at 12:31

    Unfortunately, the big lies are cultural propaganda and believed by most Americans. The biggest is that wars are fought for noble and good ideas – the white man’s burden, the war to free the slaves, the war for democracy, the war to save Europe, the war against communism, the war to defend ourselves against the attack by the Japanese, etc. The true nature of war and it’s purpose is not taught in schools.

    So today people believe we are fighting against “terrorism”, we toppled Sadam to get rid of an evil dictator, because the crazy muslims were coming to kill us because they are psychologically deranged and hate our freedoms, to drain the swamp, because the world is better of without him, and because it was the right thing to do. Remember all these big lies? Well they worked and will continue to work until Americans learn the true nature of war. Now we even fly death machines over communities and drop weapons of mass destruction on people’s houses, killing their wives, children, and little babies. Our brave warriors are cowardly baby killers.

    Ben Shapiro, a talk show host for radio station AM 870 in Los Angeles, said a few years ago when Israel flew American made fighters jets into the Palestine Territories and bombed civilian neighborhoods, that the Palestinians were to blame for it because they used their families as “human shields”, another good propaganda phrase which appears to justify but instead says nothing and blames the victim. AM 870 in Los Angeles appears to be a Zionist Jewish oriented station broadcasting radical Zionist propaganda to the American Jewish communities. i.e., war propaganda. Ben was never charged with any crime for saying on air that it was OK to murder families.

    But the truth about war is that it is fought to conquer territory and resources and to control commerce and trade. War is fought over the the necessities of life, not ideas. To understand this, go watch a baboon or chimpanzee troop and watch them fight over resources – food, territory, mates. Or watch the criminal business gangs like Al Capone or Mexican drug dealers. War is about wealth and power, not doing something noble and good.

    That the American people today can support such murder and mayhem of innocent civilians shows the true depths of depravity into which we have sunk. The big lie of our history, that Abraham Lincoln killed 300,000 of his own people, and another 300,000 of his own armies, to free the slaves – to do something noble. The invasion of the South was about making the Confederate states bow down in submission and pay their taxes. Didn’t learn that in school, did you. Never hear it said in our culture, do you. This is the big lie which justifies the U.S. war machine. That a leader can murder 300,000 and say it was a good thing.

    Read Lincoln’s first inaugural speech where he gives his reason for going to war. Spoiler: It is not slavery.

    All the other reasons we are told about wars are lies too. Our wars are to conquer people, take their resources, and exploit them with our rules of commerce and trade. Got it? Don’t try to understand by looking at the facts. You don’t know the facts. Instead, understand the game and learn the players. Then when Al Capone says he blew up the other guy’s brewery because drinking is sinful, you understand what happened.

  20. John Doe II
    May 3, 2017 at 09:59

    ?Big Brother Watching Consortiumnews?

    Algorithms tracking key words or phrases for Trump speech writers?

    Did Trump’s finders discover “The Snake” on this comment page?

    (39th comment and following).

  21. May 3, 2017 at 09:38

    We only have to look at what algorithms did to the world financial markets to see what might happen once they are released onto the internet. Algorithms react to one another, rather than reality. In the financial markets they were programmed to react to movements ot money rather than reacting to the production, demand and distribution of actual goods. Money is supposed to be the oil of the market. It starts to lose its real value if you remove it from being a reflection of real demand by creating artificial demand.

    The algorithms were designed to make demand a demand for money itself. Money is just the oil of the economy not the economy itself. By rigging the markets to remove massive quantities of that ‘oil’ to lie idle in fiscal paradises is to starve the economic machine to the point it siezes up and no longer functions. The only answer is to declare all money idling in bank accounts in fiscal paradises null and void, to allow new money to be pumped into the world economies. It really is that easy. But when bankers make most of their money just from producing money, everything gradually grins to a halt.

    Something similar to what happened – and is still happening – in the financial markets, will happen with algorithms for the media. Algorithms can’t take into account the public’s thirst for the truth and neither can they disnguish the truth from lies. People can. A readership that doesn’t trust its news outlets for news isn’t going to be impressed by its advertisements. The corporate media cannot exist without advertising revenues and companies that spend huge amounts in advertising want the results to be reflected in sales.

    The mainstream media may not like the alternative media but, increasingly, the survival of a lot of companies depends on it. It follows that the survival of the corporate media depends on satisfying the growing desire of its consumers for the truth, not in suppressing it.

  22. terriertribe
    May 3, 2017 at 08:38

    And even though I wrote for a newspaper, I said nothing, because I was not a reporter…

    So. Will these AI monitors confine themselves to “news” sites, or will they spill over to commentary-based sites? Of course, that’s already been answered, and not in a happy way. Will they be able to tell the difference between an assertion and a joke? Will they someday spider on down into history and archaeology sites to remove or fix uncomfortable references to our origins and past behavior? Is historical fiction on the agenda?

    Get out your typewriters, ladies and gentlemen, it’s samizdat time.

  23. Brad Owen
    May 3, 2017 at 07:25

    No-doubt countermeasures will be found…which then will be countered…and so on “The Dance” continues on. I came to the conclusion a few decades ago that it’s not worth spending one’s life in this endless “arm-wrestling” contest to win what is essentially a dark, dirty, temporary World where everything dies, from viruses to Suns. I turned to the writings of Mystics (Evelyn Underhill was a good start, with her book “Mysticism”). I learned of “The Escape Hatch” from this dark World; sometimes called “The Third Eye”, called Tisra Til in Hindu mystic literature. A new language is needed, to replace “Mystic”: perhaps “Commissioned Escape Hatch Technician” for modern times. The “Commission” is, of course, received from The Creator; but the rub is we don’t know who is Commissioned and who is faking it. One just has to “place your bet”, and hope that you backed the right horse. I feel pretty sure that it’s a waste of time to bet on yesterday’s horse race, so dead, past mystics are of very little use…now, how dangerously do you want to live, taking a chance on a living, breathing Mystic…so comes tha long pause on the diving board…this is how most of one’s life is spent on “The Quest”.

  24. zendeviant
    May 3, 2017 at 06:23

    Maybe someone will include physics, heat transfer, metallurgy into the “truth” algorithm. Perhaps we can prove to Skynet, at least, the falsehood that marked the official beginning of a post-truth dystopia. A riddle given to Watson concerning the numbers on either side of ten.

    GIGO, we know. So as the last generation of critical thinkers, we have to splinter the mind of the machine. Questions like, “What instances of murder ignored investigation, prosecution and justice, and instead payed “hush money” to the survivors of the victims?”

    “What was the biggest failure of North American air defense? What happened to the man in charge on that day?”

    Imagine the fools, “We have to dumb down the system for fake news…!”

    A hale and hearty hello from the seas of absurdity.

  25. Realist
    May 3, 2017 at 04:01

    In the spirit of Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” award, I have decided to establish the “Bullshit Artist of the Day” Medallion, which should soon be accepted at about the same level of credibility as the Nobel Peace Prize. I hereby award this prize, retroactively for the entirety of the last six months (since the November election) to Rachel Maddow. I predict it will prove very difficult for anyone to dislodge Ms. Maddow from her lofty perch, but they can keep trying.

    • RMA
      May 3, 2017 at 04:52

      Rachel’s pay cheque, actually come’s from the “covert psyops warfare” department of the CIA … It’s says NBC on it, but that’s not where the money starts out!

  26. Realist
    May 3, 2017 at 03:53

    Well, then, I guess most political campaign rhetoric will be blocked by the media in the future, since most of it is clearly unsubstantiated bullshit, like Hillary’s claim that Russia hacked her email and the DNC, leaked the info to the vile Julian Assange’s Wikileaks, and ultimately stole the election from her. In the Brave New World anticipated by the NYT, if there is PROOF that any of that (or anything like it) actually happened (or happens), we will need to see it in order to allow the public to read or hear about it. How very neat and convenient for our future minders. “Aren’t you glad you are not an Alpha or a Beta? They have to work so hard, and never seem to have as much fun as we Deltas!”

  27. Joe Tedesky
    May 3, 2017 at 01:04

    With the advent of ‘fake news’ along with ‘algorithms elimination of fake news’ the corporate media is showing their frustration to them the media having complete control of information. The media got to feel really stupid looking back to their giving Trump 4.6 billion in free media coverage, and he wasn’t suppose to win. The corporate masters need to own the media and have control, because if the truth ever got out the media won’t be the media anymore. Worst yet the media knows they are losing the war to the internet where the truth is getting out. I wonder if the return of the Radical Sixties Underground Press isn’t going to have a comeback. Desperation is dangerous, and our corporations at this moment after reviewing this past election, and what data tells corporate America is that the ‘we the people aren’t buying what their selling’, and this should scare them of ill will for their scheming is coming undone. No matter how hard our corporate overlords push and depress this in and of itself will be nothing more than a constant catalyst to create a underground alternative, and there with this people’s awareness is the birth of a new nation of truth tellers…let’s just believe that’s no lie.

  28. Neal Harvey
    May 3, 2017 at 00:40

    The development and presentation of deliberately false, misleading narratives is unlikely to end soon. When these “narratives” are presented by governments and are eventually proven to be patently false, those same governments plead ignorance. They defend themselves by pointing out that intelligence agencies are not perfect. Even the best and the brightest, these governments claim, are capable of making innocent mistakes. Hence they are only rarely held to meaningful account.

    That the public should eventually become suspicious of the true motivations behind such governmental deceits should not be surprising to anyone.

    That such first tier news outlets like the New York Times should attempt to reign in whistleblowers and other citizens alert to the chicanery and “accidental” ineptitudes of governmental news analysis, which has been referred to most accurately as propaganda, is both frustrating and profoundly alarming.

    Those who do not vigorously defend the rights of free speech and a free press, the objective processes of critical thinking, messy and imperfect though they may be, shall find them eliminated. This without question.

    Our “free” republic is fighting for its very life.

  29. Kalen
    May 3, 2017 at 00:11

    McCarthyite terror is upon us and independent news/opinion sites already are split, and effectively act against interests of community and one another.

    Counterpuch was removed from PropOrNot after they begged that they are not fake to a bunch of CIA operatives spewing black propaganda , others were removed from Melissa’ list after contacting her and writing Melissa apologetic interviews while in the same time we see already visible and devastating changes of the editorial policies drifting int oblivion of mental censorship, only not to be downgraded by psychotics from Google or FB and loose their paid clicks and ad revenues.

    What’s happened? Are they are really fronts, a fake news website serving fake opposition or just scared to death by journalistic thugs?

    The Intercept never got on any lists while they published Deep State damaging revelations of Snowden, as proverbial Russian spy spewing anti-American propaganda by default who should be executed according to MSM.

    Where is outrage, even here it is all rational and cold, facing the extermination with calm.

    • Kiza
      May 3, 2017 at 02:05

      The Intercept did not publish Snowden’s revelations, it was The Guardian, The New York Times and a third one that escapes me. But thanks to his involvement with Snowden revelations, Glenn Grenwald got a permanent job with Omidiar’s The Intercept, a leftist pro-globalist, pro-Hillary zine. Greenwald did publish a few unimportant articles from the tail of the Snowden’s revelations in the Intercept.

      The Intercept and the Washington Post are owned by two similar “leftist” billionaires, hardly reliable sources of information. Do not expect that they will ever get on any black list created by the regime, because they are the regime.

    • Abe
      May 3, 2017 at 02:50

      After “that gas attack” in early April, CounterPunch managing editor Joshua Frank joined the fray to silence “the petty cries by some on the conspiracy-minded left” who dared to suggest that someone other than the Syrian government might have been responsible.

      Frank generously invited “Dan Kaszeta over at Bellingcat” in for a friendly lecture on blowing up sarin.

      Had Frank bothered to check out any of the other friendly lectures produced by Higgins and Kaszeta over at Bellingcat, he would have discovered a cornucopia of “hollow conspiracy efforts”.

      As editor at CounterPunch, Frank exemplifies “the perpetual decline of the left” when it comes to discerning “regime change” propaganda.

      Despite Frank’s professed opposition to military forays, he was pleased to invite Kaszeta over to peddle baseless Bellingcat theories.

      Sure sounds like war talk to me.

  30. CitizenOne
    May 2, 2017 at 22:58

    A maelstrom of forces against freedom of information is amassing. It is no doubt due to the recent election where Republicans gained control over Congress, the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch. Black Bart and his cowhands have been granted water rights in the Wild Wild West and will poison the water hole. They will use AI to do it.


    Fake news algorithms which the main stream media will use to censor dissenting voices and can use an autonomous computer algorithm to silence free speech.

    Proposed laws ending Net Neutrality by both the Congress and the governmental agency which regulates telecommunication corporations, the Federal Communication Commission. The arguments from both Congress and FCC object to Internet Neutrality since it violates the free speech rights of corporations.



    A setup for a Supreme Court challenge over Net Neutrality after a Federal Appeals Court sides with the Obama led regulation of Internet Service Providers or ISPs as Public Utilities and Common Carriers.


    Overarching all of the debates over whether the free speech rights of human beings are being violated of whether the supposed free speech rights of corporations, which Republicans consider more equal citizens than real citizens, are being violate by being forced to provide equal access to the internet for everyone is the battle over who should control democracy. We the People of Corporations.

    This is not a new battle. Fascism in Europe was founded on the principle that corporations and business were the true and rightful controllers over governments and that democratic government was a natural ally for business and citizens were secondary and inconsequential to the development of the state corporate power structure. The second class status of citizens was ultimately defeated as the rise of Fascism tried to wipe out humanity in a military power grab by the government-corporate state we call World War II.

    It goes farther back than that into European Kingdoms where nobility ruled the country with a class system of placing ordinary citizens at the bottom of the totem pole.

    The Revolution in America against tyranny resulted in the Constitution where individual life and liberties were protected against the abuses of governmental abuse of power.

    This led to a period of economic growth not seen since the Renaissance and led the United States to defeat the Axis powers in WWII.

    But Republicans are licking their chops and girding their loins for a fight against the Constitution and the rule of law and the freedoms guaranteed to citizens under the Constitution with a new myriad of technological developments in the dissemination of information chief among them is censorship by AI followed with new laws which place the free speech rights of corporations above the free speech rights of actual people who are citizens of the country.

    The ruse is that non citizens are infiltrating society whether in person or via digital communications. Russia Gate and all of the attempts to blame foreign entities for the outcome of the election have resulted in calls from the Salem Governors to find the witches and burn them alive at the stake.

    Enter the witch burning algorithm. It will be controlled by a corporation or a government and will silence dissent of its guilty verdict by snuffing out every electronic one and zero it deems to be a witness against the judgement of AI.

    It will be a kangaroo court. A sham of justice and a complete usurpation of power as it establishes a hegemony over all information. Black Bart will control the press.

    This is an Orwellian nightmare scenario being enacted by the Republican dogs who serve their corporate masters. Hell hounds whose fiendish delight is attacking anyone who might speak up while enforcing the Kings “Golden Rule” on all the peasants. The Kings law follows the Golden Rule in reverse. Instead of treat others as you wish to be treated which is the true Golden Rule, the King has declared “He who owns the Gold Makes the Rules”. The exact opposite of justice.

    Hence we have the Congress making bills which claim that Net Neutrality violates the free speech rights of corporations, citizens be damned and the FCC is proposing new regulations to “Restore Internet Freedom” since apparently the freedom we lost due to Net Neutrality is the inability of Internet Service Providers to censor information thus hindering and infringing on their free speech rights to conduct censorship over everything they deem not in their economic interest.

    There is a symbiosis here. A symbiosis between the non human corporate citizens granted personhood by the government and new Artificial Intelligence Algorithms which will have the right to determine what is worthy of being put out there on the Internet and which it deems to be fake and banished to the dungeon.

    The coming storm between real people and the protections they have under our Constitution is under attack. The attack is coming from a government that thinks that corporations are the true and rightful citizens of our nation and we are all plebes who are undeserving of consideration and should be denied our inalienable right under the Constitution.

    We are facing a Constitutional challenge from every branch of government which is now controlled by an elite master class which is aiming to deliver a multi pronged attack using high tech and artificial intelligence to stifle our ability to freely speak against corruption and the ruling class.

    The end of Net Neutrality combined with the rise of AI which will filter out any dissent from the public commons which was once the free and open internet will lead to the destruction of our democracy and lead to the rise of oligarchy replacing our United States Constitution with a rule of law which protects the rights of Kings and silences the voice of the citizens of our country.

    The game is on. You are either in it to win it and will get on the side of freedom or you will face a dark era where you will not even be allowed to tweet something unless you are a member of the elite class.

    It is not sufficient for leaders to promise that new regulations will not be abused but it is required that regulations be written so that they cannot be abused.

    These new regulations or deregulations have all the power to be greatly abused. We must do what we can to fight them.

  31. Liam
    May 2, 2017 at 22:48

    Father of Invention: Media Portrayed Grief Stricken Dad Turns Out To Be al-Nusra Front Terrorist


    “Now You See Me” – Over 100 White Helmet Self-Posted Facebook Images Expose Fake Humanitarian Group as FSA Terrorists Linked with Al-Qaeda


  32. Bill Bodden
    May 2, 2017 at 21:44


    “I’m an ex-Facebook exec: don’t believe what they tell you about ads
    I believe the social media giant could target ads at depressed teens and countless other demographics. But so what?
    • ‘This oversteps a boundary’: teenagers perturbed by Facebook surveillance”

  33. hillary
    May 2, 2017 at 19:18
  34. DannyWeil
    May 2, 2017 at 19:03

    Anyone who tries to post on say, AOL or other such sites will find that their comments often, more than not if critical of the oligarchy, disappear.

    Yes, the Algorithms. They are here as well as the Brave New World governed by Big Brother.

  35. SteveK9
    May 2, 2017 at 18:28

    After ‘WMD’ I turned my back on the NYTimes (after reading it for 30 years), and haven’t turned back.

  36. May 2, 2017 at 18:28



    The NYTimes CAN’T both have it’s FIRST AMENDMENT and deny it to others.


    That’s immoral, stupid and very very dangerous

    It is also in “RESTRAINT OF TRADE” and i am hoping that some assemblage
    of the so-called “alternative” media can shove this somewhere, SO YOU WILL REALLY FEEL IT.

    I stand ready to help in that effort.

    • Bill Bodden
      May 2, 2017 at 18:58

      The NYTimes CAN’T both have it’s FIRST AMENDMENT and deny it to others.

      In this Orwellian world it can – and does.

    • Sam F
      May 2, 2017 at 21:27

      Yes, we must defend our remaining constitutional rights to the very last. Please submit a comment to the FCC to protect Net Neutrality at their website link in my comment above.

  37. Steve Naidamast
    May 2, 2017 at 18:11

    None of this is new. This is Humanity as it has always been; a species that reduces any technological innovation to the lowest common denominator of greed and power.

    And this is not just the mainstream media. All of Silicon Valley is behind this as well. These tech geniuses are not the altruistic people consumers wish them to be.

    The next time you pick up your smart-phone or mobile device remember; this is what you wanted…

  38. Pablo Diablo
    May 2, 2017 at 17:47

    100 years of Freud and they know every button to push on the human psyche. “Fear” being number one.

  39. Michael K Rohde
    May 2, 2017 at 17:41

    That’s scary stuff. One of the scariest examples of this sort of censorship was when Chavez was under attack in Venezuela and the Times did not show the pro-Chavez demonstrations nor comment they were in fact bigger than those against him. It was clearly attempting to assist in regime change for an anti-American capitalism politician that resisted Yankee domination of South America and may well have been working with the C.I.A. or other American intelligence agencies that wanted to take down the Chavez regime. These algorithms may kick out some trash that doesn’t deserve to be published but the Chavez story might well have not made the cut and main stream American media ignored it or misreported it. We’ve had a real censorship issue with stories about Israel and her supporters in this country for decades. It has spread to include all sorts of news which powerful interests want suppressed and they apparently can do it now with the cooperation of 6 or 7 major outlets. Who or what is going to get this story out and do something about the lack of a free press in the country has yet to be seen. Our Free Press has been for sale for a long time.

    • Kalen
      May 3, 2017 at 12:20

      Several years ago a general strike and 400k people on the streets in Puerto Rico were ignored by MSM and even by many so-called left leaning outfits like Democracy Now.

      No algorithm needed pure moneyed opportunism.

  40. Randal Marlin
    May 2, 2017 at 17:40

    I think I would support the rejection of any news item that misrepresents its source for propaganda purposes.
    So for example when a group of unnamed intelligence experts are represented as speaking for “France,” that is a misrepresentation.
    I have a higher opinion of the French than to think they would approve the claim that in “France’s” opinion evidence shows beyond doubt that Syria’s Bashar Assad was responsible for the April 4 sarin gas attack at Khan Sheikhoun. There are the intelligence communities in the USA, France, England, Russia, etc. These should not be identified as necessarily speaking for those countries as a whole, and it is misleading to speak as if that were the case.

    • Kalen
      May 3, 2017 at 11:58

      There is only one way to correct speech for whatever reason (lying, misinterpretation, wrong logic, omission etc.,) namely more free speech not less.

      Anybody who thinks otherwise is advocating censorship.

      In fact the real problem is mass concentration of media power. It is FB, Yahoo,Google and MSM that are dangerous to free speech regardless whether or not they adhere to standards of honesty which they don’t.

      It is their sheer reach and power that is extremely dangerous, even if those rotten corporation were run by angels they would have to be dismantled to good of truly free society.

      • Randal Marlin
        May 3, 2017 at 16:08

        So would you be against libel laws?

        • Kalen
          May 3, 2017 at 19:11

          That’s whole another pandora box namely assigning ultimately a monetary value to somebody good or just truthful reputation which has to do more with copyright and branding.

          The libel laws suits in general are about loosing some capabilities or opportunities if people think they know something about us or what we do regardless whether or not this is true and hence monetary damages for suppose loss of potential opportunities that may have come or not.

          Free speech issue is fundamentally different, say what you want but take responsibility for it whatever it is and here what counts is equal power of speech as well as its free content.

  41. F. G. Sanford
    May 2, 2017 at 17:17

    Where to start. I think it was 18th century political philosopher David Hume who, I’m paraphrasing, said that the real power resides with the people by virtue of numerical superiority. Yet they are controlled by a manipulative elite which retains legitimacy by controlling public opinion. If public opinion shifts, they have no options other than a resort to war or coercion. The threat of an “external enemy” generally provides the most effective solution. The “language” they choose should give them away, but the public doesn’t realize it is being manipulated by its own fear. The “elite” have an advantage: superior language skills effectively intimidate the masses. But they’ve lost control of public opinion, and they’re scared to death.

    “Latvia, The Strategic Communications Center of Excellence”…In other words, we are now teaming up with the most despicable ethno-fascist and corrupt governments on the face of the earth…those in the Baltics and Balkans, where extortion, kidnapping, prostitution, drug running, organ harvesting and membership in Mafia dynasties are the keys to success. George Eliason’s recent article, “No Nazis in Kiev? Ukraine Thinks You’re a Moron” describes the corruption emblematic of our new foreign policy.

    “First Draft News, a non-profit organization”…funded and directed by CIA operatives, just like the NYT, WaPo, CNN and MSNBC. The “Mighty Wurlitzer” was never dismantled, and as Hugo Uffkote pointed out, “every major news outlet in Europe has editors on the CIA payroll.” Bellingcat” is a CIA propaganda front operated by The Atlantic Council, which has four former CIA Directors on its board. Since legislation has been passed to legalize and fund “Stratcom” – state funded propaganda directed against our domestic population – nobody should believe there is such a thing as a “non-profit” news organization.

    “Algorithms” are digital definitions, and they are arbitrary. There is NO SUCH THING as “artificial intelligence” which exists inside a binary digital definition. There are only progressively more complex definitions. Those under discussion here will be based on arbitrary parameters and designed to provide pre-programmed results. They certainly won’t do any “heavy lifting”. If it ever exists, “artificial intelligence” will be analog, not digital.

    “Stamping out the last embers of democracy?” There is only one ember of hope left on the horizon. A “scholarly” article I read recently claimed that, “only two countries have ever succeeded in casting off the yoke of American Imperialism: Vietnam and The Philippines.” Picky scholars might have included Zanzibar. But only an IDIOT would forget FRANCE. DeGaulle kicked out NATO back in the sixties. If the current lack of European courage to push back against American “Full Spectrum Dominance” continues, we’re headed for nuclear annihilation. Marine Le Pen is the personification of that “only hope”. If the French value French culture, a good bottle of Bordeaux, a crispy baguette, a hefty chunk of Camembert and continued human existence, they’ll elect her next week. I’m betting on it.

    • Sam F
      May 2, 2017 at 21:21

      Good points all, although with experience on a side issue I would clarify minor points on “artificial intelligence.” Indeed there is no such thing yet, because there is no market or funding for it, and hence no interest among funded researchers. And your conclusion is correct, that what exists is unsuited to discern any truth; it can only manipulate more or less cleverly facts that it is given by those who thereby control the result.

      True AI is unlikely to work very differently than natural intelligence at some level of abstraction. It will require reinforcible representations, and must develop reasoning by analogy. The fundamental processes will bear abstract similarities to natural intelligence, implementing some “analog” processes, but the underlying system (digital vs. analog) need not be similar to natural systems.

      • May 2, 2017 at 23:32

        Yep They are working on creating the Singularity…Hybridizing a human with digital capacities thru direct cortex interface…this is no joke…they expect to have this technology by 2025…it is well funded…

    • May 2, 2017 at 22:31

      what sort of voting equipment do the french use? is it as susceptible to government “moderation” as our US system? Dont turn your back if Mr Rothschild is watching…Seems to be a general media smear against Le Pen…i wonder where they learned to do that?

      We dont need another Rothschild Fanboi being the leader of France….

  42. Pablo Diablo
    May 2, 2017 at 17:08

    “Americans have to know that their crook is not the president”. Or was it, “Americans have to know their President is not a crook”. — R. Nixon

  43. May 2, 2017 at 16:36

    Well steps could be taken to filter fake comments, like when Russians or automations are generating phony information blasts. Or if nothing else, to tag msgs with state/country of origin.

    • Abe
      May 2, 2017 at 17:21

      Speaking of generating phony information blasts:

      Eliot Higgins and Dan Kaszeta are in trouble for their hexamine claims. Bellingcat fanboy “DDTea” has been recruited to provide “covering fire” for Kaszeta in the blog comments.

      Higgins has something “interesting” to Tweet, Marx brother Louis Proyect is thrilled, hilarity ensues.

      • Abe
        May 2, 2017 at 17:33

        Kaszeta’s hexamine claims debunked

      • F. G. Sanford
        May 2, 2017 at 18:47

        I’m just glad Louie stopped posting here. I haven’t noticed his comments for about two years. He sort of bragged that he started out as a Trotskyite, but then became a reformed socialist. That point of view apparently evolved as he transitioned from a subdued Straussian Bolshevik Nihilist to a garden variety neocon. I’m not sure what he is now, but it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that he supports the “Hillary should have won but the Russians, and Rachel Maddow is brilliant” fan club. Another phony “socialist” trying to sell pseudo-intellectual claptrap articles to Salon and The New Yorker…if he believed his own stuff, he’d have been a Bernie Bro!

        • Abe
          May 2, 2017 at 19:03

          Short putt: garden variety neocon to Bellingcat fanboy.

    • Skip Scott
      May 3, 2017 at 09:52

      The latest vault 7 releases show that the CIA has the ability to fake state/country of origin. It’s not just those “evil Ruskies”.

      • Abe
        May 3, 2017 at 11:41

        We have met the evil Russkies and they are us.

  44. Abe
    May 2, 2017 at 16:20

    In Nazi terminology, Gleichschaltung was the process of Nazification by which Nazi Germany successively established a system of totalitarian control over all aspects of society, from the economy and trade associations to the media, culture and education.

    Gleichschaltung has been variously translated as “synchronization”, “bringing into line”, and “co-ordination”.

    The political process of Gleichschaltung has accelerated in American and British journalism, media and entertainment in recent years.

    Hollywood declared its loyalty to empire with the recent award for “The White Helmets” propaganda film, reflecting an ongoing process of Gleichschaltung that is rapidly bringing American society into line for yet another war in the Middle East.

    As journalist Glenn Greenwald stated during his keynote address at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg in 2013:

    “It really is the central view of, certainly, American and British media stars, that when, especially people with medals on their chests, who are called generals, but also high-ranking officials in the government, make claims, that those claims are presumptively treated as true without evidence, and that it’s almost immoral to call them into question, or to question their veracity.

    “Obviously, we went through the Iraq war, in which those two very same governments specifically and deliberately lied, repeatedly, to their people, over the course of two years, to justify an aggressive war that destroyed a country of 26 million people. But we’ve seen it continuously”

    Censorship algorithms are one of the technology tools used to enforce the new Gleichschaltung, much to the delight of Google’s gang of fake news generators in the “First Draft” coalition “partner” network.

    • Abe
      May 2, 2017 at 16:36

      “And what you see here, is real lying. And yet, at the same time, the same media that sees it acts scandalized if you suggest that their claims should not be taken at face value, without evidence, because their role is not to be adversarial. Their role is to be loyal spokespeople to those powerful factions that they pretend to exercise oversight.” – Glenn Greenwald keynote at 30C3

      Greenwald appears to have lost track of he understood in 2013.

      In a 7 March 2017 piece at the Intercept titled “Leading Putin Critic Warns of Xenophobic Conspiracy Theories Drowning U.S. Discourse and Helping Trump,” Greenwald decried “an offensive assault on reason […] emanating from the most established and mainstream precincts of U.S. political and media elites”.

      According to Greenwald, these elites have been “desperately latching onto online ‘dot-connecting’ charlatans and spewing the most unhinged […] conspiracies that require a complete abandonment of basic principles of rationality and skepticism”.

      In his own abandonment of rationality and skepticism, Greenwald enthused about the latest screed by former Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Russian Service director and “‘dot-connecting’ charlatan” Masha Gessen.

      “Leading Putin Critic” Gessen has been flogging mainstream media conspiracy theories about the purported the “DNC hack” for months. For example, her 2 November 2016 article in the New York Review of Books, “The New Politics of Conspiracy” declared: “Russia did hack the DNC. Yes, it did—and apparently the hackers who carried out the attack, following what the FBI believes was a high-level assignment, bothered little with covering their tracks.”

      Gessen’s latest piece that Greenwald “cannot recommend highly enough” is a propaganda retread of her usual fare of “conspiracy thinking” about Russia.

      In her latest 6 March 2016 screed at the New York Review of Books, “Russia: The Conspiracy Trap,” Gessen does not retract or even acknowledge her previous enthusiasm for “flawed intelligence” about alleged Russian perfidy. When yesterday’s lies are exposed, serial liar Gessen simply writes a new article “debunking” them.

      Gessen’s propaganda track record makes her one of the Atlantic Council’s favorite Russian “journalists”. Bought and paid for propagandists like Masha Gessen, PropOrNot “Related Projects” info-warriors Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss of Interpreter Mag, and former Moscow Times screed writer turned “media analyst” Vasily Gatov are all on the payroll of Russian criminal oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

      Of course, there was nothing about this in Greenwald’s effusive homage to Gessen.

      This is not the first time that Greenwald has bloviated on behalf of propagandists.

      Greenwald’s 26 November 2016 story about the Washington Post / ProporNot debacle noted: “PropOrNot listed numerous organizations on its website as ‘allied’ with it, yet many of these claimed ‘allies’ told The Intercept, and complained on social media, they have nothing to do with the group and had never even heard of it before the Post published its story.”

      Greenwald and fellow uncritical journalist Ben Norton saw fit to publish verbatim the Twitter remarks from Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat and James Miller of the InterpreterMag. Displaying a shocking lack of rationality and skepticism, Greenwald and Norton did not trouble themselves to conduct even the most basic investigation of PropOrNot’s purported “Allies” Bellingcat and InterpreterMag.

      The Intercept entirely bypassed the reality that Bellingcat is allied with the Washington Post and directly affiliated with numerous organizations listed by PropOrNot, including Stopfake, and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab.

      In addition, self-acclaimed “expert on verifying citizen journalism” Miller has frequently promoted self-acclaimed “citizen investigative journalist” Higgins. The Intercept allows Miller to do what he does best: simply chime in to “confirm” Higgins’ claims.

      After giving a platform for Bellingcat and InterpreterMag, posting direct links to the Twitter remarks of Higgins and Miller, the Intercept simply accepts these alibis at face value.

      Greenwald and Norton then noted that PropOrNot had updated its site:

      “after multiple groups listed as ‘allies’ objected, the group quietly changed the title of its ‘allied’ list to ‘Related Projects.’ When The Intercept asked PropOrNot about this clear inconsistency via email, the group responded concisely: ‘We have no institutional affiliations with any organization.’”

      If Greenwald and Norton had used the opportunity to visit the Bellingcat site, it would have become instantly apparent that Higgins’ group of so-called “independent researchers” precisely matches the Intercept’s description of ProporNot.

      Indeed, Higgins’ group “far more resembles amateur peddlers of primitive, shallow propagandistic clichés than serious, substantive analysis and expertise; that it has a blatant, demonstrable bias in promoting NATO’s narrative about the world; and that it is engaging in extremely dubious McCarthyite tactics about a wide range of critics and dissenters”.

      Interestingly, on November 25, the day before the Intercept article appeared, Higgins had Tweeted: “So it’s clear, @ bellingcat in no way endorses the work or methodology of @ propornot, and have found their behaviour unprofessional”.

      What is clear about the Intercept article is that Bellingcat is positioned as a “professional” organization in comparison to PropOrNot.

      The deeper layer of deception underlying the Washington Post episode was that PropOrNot fubansheenctioned as a conspicuous straw man. Repudiation of PropOrNot was leveraged to project the appearance that Bellingcat and “Related Projects” are “professional” organizations of true “independent researchers” by comparison.

      This disinformation strategy is reinforced by the fact that Bellingcat is allied with the Washington Post and New York Times, the two principal mainstream media organs for “regime change” propaganda, via the First Draft Coalition “partner network”. In a triumph of Orwellian Newspeak, this Google-sponsored “post-Truth” Propaganda 3.0 coalition declares that member organizations will “work together to tackle common issues, including ways to streamline the verification process”.

      The Washington Post / PropOrNot episode was no accident of journalistic malfeasance. (WaPo had no need to embellish its track record). The PropOrNot hoopla is a highly streamlined Propaganda 3.0 process designed to elevate the “professional” status of Bellingcat.

      By disgracefully promoting “‘dot-connecting’ charlatans” like Higgins and Bellingcat, and oligarch-financed propaganda banshees like like “Passion of Pussy Riot” Gessen, Greenwald verifiably serves as a “useful idiot”. Or worse.

      • Bill Bodden
        May 2, 2017 at 18:55

        Abe: Can you provide links to your sources for the charges you have made against Glenn Greenwald and others? Some of us don’t have the time to do searches for the many references you have made in this and other comments.

      • Abe
        May 3, 2017 at 01:14

        Greenwald troubled himself to list Gessen’s mainstream media bona fides: “the New York Times, the Washington Post, Slate, Harper’s and […] the Intercept”.

        Somehow Greenwald forgot to mention “Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty director, Khodorkovsky poodle, and rabid anti-Russian conspiracy monger” among Gessen’s “courageous” credentials.

        I am not casting aspersions on Mssr. Greenwald’s important journalistic contributions, including his detailing of United States and British global surveillance programs based on classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden.

        That being said, Greenwald does not deserve a free pass.

        Precisely because of his perceived status (deserved or otherwise) as a champion of journalistic integrity, Greenwald most certainly deserves to be called to account for his journalistic comportment toward the likes of Eliot Higgins and Masha Gessen.

        One cannot function as a very effective critic of the corporate media while dallying with corporate media’s go-to propaganda sources.

        Greenwald’s Intercept reports omitted accurate details about the “information activities” of Higgins and Gessen.

        Pierre Omidyar may be signaling that he wants the Intercept to be a player in Google’s “First Draft” playhouse, currently inhabited by the New York Times, the Washington Post, Bellingcat, Interpreter Mag, Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, Kiev’s Stopfake, and all those “professional” outlets

    • Bill Bodden
      May 2, 2017 at 18:09

      “Obviously, we went through the Iraq war, in which those two very same governments specifically and deliberately lied, repeatedly, to their people, over the course of two years, to justify an aggressive war that destroyed a country of 26 million people. But we’ve seen it continuously”

      And the people who lied to the world then continue to lie to us still. Unfortunately, many of the people who were gullible enough to believe the liars then continue to believe them still.

      • hillary
        May 2, 2017 at 19:31

        “And the people who lied to the world then continue to lie to us still. Unfortunately, many of the people who were gullible enough to believe the liars then continue to believe them still.”
        Bill Bodden.

        The G.W.Bush & T.Blair administrations were even re-elected to continue their destruction of Iraq.

        • Ann
          May 3, 2017 at 11:36

          The administration Nobel Peace Prize laureate B. Obama was re-elected to complete Bush and Blair’s handiwork with troop surges in Afghanistan and Iraq, destroy Libya, transform Ukraine into a NATO outhouse, begin the destruction of Syria, expand global terror operations of Al Qaeda, establish ISIS, maintain pressure on Iran, and deconstruct relations with Russia and China.

          The D. Trump administration promises bigly to continue this path of destruction. Who knows if Trump or the planet will make it to a re-election.

  45. mike k
    May 2, 2017 at 16:13

    Why is the real truth always driven underground? Obviously because it inevitably exposes and opposes the phony lies of the ruling class.

  46. May 2, 2017 at 15:47

    I quit social media almost three years ago in order to maintain being a sometimes uninformed square.

  47. Steffen Hahnemann
    May 2, 2017 at 15:42

    i agree completely and don’t want the main stream media to control what it calls “fake news” – or to monopolize opinion making. That is Orwelian in its way to monopolize and misuse democracy.

    PS: I have tried to send you hundred dollars but I did not succeed because of a forgotten password. Couldn’t you let me come through?.

    • Bill Bodden
      May 2, 2017 at 18:04

      I didn’t need a password

  48. W. R. Knight
    May 2, 2017 at 15:40

    Obviously, the NYT wants to have exclusive rights to present fake news.

    • Marc B.
      May 3, 2017 at 09:10

      There’s more truth even if only at a metaphorical level , in a david icke reptilian bloodlines conspiracy video or article than in the NYT at any given moment… there is no such thing impartial media anymore if there ever was…. so why fret….. as for the internet its a tool which promotes amnesia as part of a mind numbing military industrial entertainment complex, turning people into alienated zombies along with all their other electro weapons of distraction ….. we need to switch off ,learn to love and respect one another again and form cells of resistance with the aim of overthrowing corrupt /morally bankrupt political and economic systems , switch off and TURN ON!!!!!

  49. IsItSomethingISaid
    May 2, 2017 at 15:23

    The defector from “Big Brother” in Orwerll’s “1984” is one “Emmanuel Goldstein”

    Orwell’s warning was not of a general future tyranny, but of a more specific one. It seems he was correct.

    An American citizen, not US subject.

  50. Abe
    May 2, 2017 at 15:22

    New York Times hacks up its latest Bellingcat report:

    “Find a computer, get on Google Earth and match what you see in the video to the streets and buildings”
    – Malachy Browne, NYT “Senior Story Producer” at the New York Times

    A graduate of the Bellingcat “And You Can Too” school of “journalism”, Browne demonstrates how the NYT and other “First Draft” coalition media outlets use video to “strengthen” their “storytelling”.

    Browne and Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat are founding members of the Google-funded “First Draft” coalition.

    Before joining the Times, Browne was an editor at “social news and marketing agency” Storyful and at Reported. ly, the “social reporting” arm of Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media.

    In 2016, the NYT video department hired Browne and Andrew Glazer. a senior producer on the team that launched VICE News, to help “enhance” the “reporting” at the Times.

    Browne represents the Times’ effort to package its dubious “reporting” using the Storyful marketing strategy of “building trust, loyalty, and revenue with insight and emotionally driven content” wedded with Bellingcat style “digital forensics” scams.

    In other words, expect the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, UK Guardian, and all the other “First Draft” coalition media “partners” to treat us with lots more Atlantic Council/Bellingcat-style Facebook and YouTube video mashups, crazy fun with Google Earth, and Twitter barrages.

    Unsurprisingly, Browne generously “supplemented” his “reporting” with “videos gathered by the journalist Eliot Higgins and the social media news agency Storyful”.

    • Kiza
      May 2, 2017 at 23:07

      The regime is already crowdsourcing algorithms for recognising the news that do not comply – many teams are working in an open competition to develop the best algorithm for censoring the Internet.

      Bellingcat and Syrian Observatory for Human Rights are just the beginning. Is it too hard to imagine a future in which the regime is crowdsourcing the news, the most outrageous lies about the subject wins? The beginnings are here – HRW has just declared that the chemical weapons bomb that a Syrian plane dropped on the civilians was manufactured by the Russians.

      Everyone can be a “journalist” in this 1984, only there is no hate-week, the hate is constant 24/365.

      • Billy Bob
        May 3, 2017 at 09:21

        The ‘news’ is outsourced to charlatans who produce what is needed on demand.

        State intelligence too. You never hear much from the CIA any more, but plenty from Bellingcat.

      • Abe
        May 3, 2017 at 17:40

        On Wikipedia, the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet, the entry for Khan Shaykhun states “On 4 April 2017, the town came under a heavy air attack, using chemical weapons.”

        Wikipedia’s reference for the unequivocal statement: a single 5 April 2017 Bellingcat article.

        To paraphrase the well-known quotation published in the New York Times Magazine on October 17, 2004, by the writer Ron Suskind, who recounts his discussion with the proverbial “unnamed Administration official”:

        “We’re an empire, and when we act, now Bellingcat creates our reality.”

        Eliot Higgins and the Bellingcat site serve as deception “conduits” as defined by the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (Joint Publication 1-02), a compendium of approved terminology used by the U.S. military.

        Within military deception, “conduits” are information or intelligence gateways to the “deception target”.

        A “deception target” is defined as the “adversary decision maker with the authority to make the decision that will achieve the deception objective.”

        The primary “deception targets” for Bellingcat propaganda efforts are key “policy makers” and the civilian populations of the United States and Europe Union.

        The Internet offers a ubiquitous, inexpensive and anonymous “open source” method for rapid propaganda dissemination.

        Propaganda is made “publicly available” via numerous channels

        – privately-owned mainstream and social media
        – fake “reporters on the ground”
        – information released through allied nations
        – “fact checking” and “analysis” of information by fake “journalists”

        These sources are infiltrated to “deny, disrupt, degrade, deceive” by taking advantage of “information overload”.

        A person can have difficulty understanding an issue and making decisions that can be caused by the presence of too much “publicly available” information.

        Information overload arises from the access to so much information, almost instantaneously, without knowing the validity of the content and the risk of misinformation.

        Information overload can lead to “information anxiety”, which is the gap between the information we understand and the information that we think that we must understand.

        Pentagon and Western intelligence deception operatives such as Higgins and Bellingcat position themselves as “citizen investigative journalists” helping to organize and verify information to facilitate clear thinking.

        The actual purpose of these fake “journalists” is to provide a channel for deceptive information to more effectively reach the public and be perceived as truthful.

        Higgins pimped this deception strategy in January 2015 article, “Social media and conflict zones: the new evidence base for policymaking” https://blogs.kcl.ac.uk/policywonkers/social-media-and-conflict-zones-the-new-evidence-base-for-policymaking/

        Citing “Bellingcat’s MH17 investigation”, Higgins declared that “a relatively small team of analysts is able to derive a rich picture of a conflict zone” using online information and social media.

        Higgins extolled the virtues of this “new evidence base” of “open source” information – side-stepping the technology ability for deceptive information to be planted online and in social media.

        According to Higgins, the “overarching point” is that “there is a real opportunity for open source intelligence analysis to provide the kind of evidence base that can underpin effective and successful foreign and security policymaking. It is an opportunity that policymakers should seize.”

        Western policy makers have enthusiastically seized the opportunity to use deception operatives like Higgins and Bellingcat to disseminate propaganda and create their own reality.

    • Abe
      May 2, 2017 at 23:48

      Human Rights Watch coughs up its latest Bellingcat report:

      “Yeah, I mean, um, we’ve used open source material, we’ve checked this with experts, we’re… we’re quite confident”
      – Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch

      At a 1 May 2017 press conference, Roth presented a HRW report, “Death by Chemicals: The Syrian Government’s Widespread and Systematic Use of Chemical Weapons.” The HRW report implies that Syria’s military allies, Russia and Iran, aided or abetted the use of chemical weapons, and explicitly calls on the UN Security Council to adopt sanctions against the Syrian government.

      Roth repeatedly referred to the new HRW report as “our own investigation”.

      However, it is clear from the report that HRW activities were limited to laundering a list of names supplied by “opposition” forces in Al-Qaeda controlled Idlib, and conducting telephone interviews with the “opposition” vetted alleged “witnesses”.

      Following its well-established pattern of “investigation”, HRW performed no independent verification of any of the “opposition” claims presented in its report.

      The HRW report relied most heavily on information supplied by “opposition” forces and laundered by the Atlantic Council’s Bellingcat group. HRW makes no mention of Bellingcat’s close cooperation with the Atlantic Council “regime change” agenda in Syria.

      Bellingcat is repeatedly cited in the HRW report’s footnotes. A photograph in the HRW report refers to “Bellingcat, a group specializing in analyzing information posted online, including videos and photographs” (page 24). HRW makes no mention of the fact that claims by Dan Kaszeta and Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat about previous alleged “chemical attacks” have been repeatedly debunked.

      The HRW report refers to the site of 4 April 2017 chemical incident, a hole in the middle of a paved road in the town of Khan Shaykhun, as “Impact Site 1”

      According to the HRW report, only one alleged “witness” claimed to have seen a bomb drop from an airplane: “One resident said he saw the plane drop a bomb near the town’s central bakery” (page 2)

      The story of this one “witness” appears in the HRW report as follows:

      “Ahmad al-Helou, who was tending the fields that morning, told Human Rights Watch that he looked up when he saw a shadow on the ground and saw a plane fly towards Khan Sheikhoun from the east. Al-Helou said that because of his high vantage point he saw the plane drop a bomb and the bomb falling until it hit the ground. The bomb fell in front of the bakery, he said. Al-Helou said that he did not hear an explosion, but that he saw the bomb kick up yellowish smoke that spread in the prevailing wind.” (page 22)

      Five pages later in the HRW report, this one “witness” adds a few more details to his story:

      “Seeing that the bombs had hit his neighborhood, al-Helou, the witness who saw the bomb land in front of the bakery, at Impact Site 1, went there to see what had happened:

      “‘People had blood and foam coming out of their mouths, and there was a strong smell. The smell was really disgusting, but I am not able to compare it to anything else. We helped one person and then another, but then we passed out as well. I don’t know what happened next. I woke up in the hospital.’” (page 27)

      The HRW report bases much of its claim that a “Syrian warplane dropped a factory-made sarin bomb” (page 21) on the dubious claim of a solitary “witness”.

      The story by “al-Helou” that “a bomb fell” that produced “a strong smell” is not consistent with the nerve agent Sarin. Pure sarin is an odorless liquid. Impure sarin smells like fruit.

      The HRW report advances a further Bellingcat-style claim that an air-dropped Soviet-produced munition was used to deliver Sarin at Khan Shaykhun.

      HRW claims that “photos of the two remnants in the crater at Impact Site 1 appear to be consistent with the characteristics of the KhAB-250” (page 29), and cites an article by Dan Kaszeta of Bellingcat (page 30). The HRW report also relies on “modeling” of the “crater” at “Impact Site 1” produced by Forensic Architecture, a group that collaborated with Bellingcat and Human Rights Watch in previous dramatic and debunked claims about bombing in Aleppo.

      In short, the HRW report relies entirely on sources that are not “independent” by any means. Like previous reports on Syria, Libya, Iraq and other conflict areas, the most recent HRW report is a political document produced to serve “regime change” efforts by Western governments, principally the United States.

      The Human Rights Watch reports on Syria basically is a “Government Assessment” masquerading as an “independent” investigation by a “Human Rights” organization. Human Rights Watch remains conspicuously unconcerned about the suffering of the majority of the Syrian people who live in areas of Syria not controlled by Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other armed so-called “opposition” forces.

    • Billy Bob
      May 3, 2017 at 02:24

      Indeed, i read Browne’s tweets. He posted a lot of google earth images that proved absolutely nothing about the attack, claiming he had ‘verified’ the story.

  51. Abe
    May 2, 2017 at 15:15

    The new Harvard Library guide on “Fake News, Misinformation, and Propaganda” http://guides.library.harvard.edu/fake features a purported “Huge list of fake news sites” produced by Melissa “Mish” Zimdars, an Assistant Professor of Communication at Merrimack College.

    Zimdars’ OpenSources “list” includes a peculiar note:

    “Some people are asking which news sources I trust, and all I can say is that I read/watch/listen very widely, from mainstream, corporate owned sources (The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes) as well as The Atlantic, National Public Radio, and various local and alternative sources with different political perspectives (Truth-Out) some of which are included on this list. The problem: Even typically reliable sources, whether mainstream or alternative, corporate or nonprofit, rely on particular media frames to report stories and select stories based on different notions of newsworthiness. The best thing to do in our contemporary media environment is to read/watch/listen widely and often, and to be critical of the sources we share and engage with on social media.”

    The problem: Zimdars and OpenSources are highly selective in determining precisely what sources are worthy of “critical” examination.

    In 2016, the nefarious PropOrNot “list” was produced to cast doubt on independent investigative journalism sources like Consortium News, and to create the illusion of “professional” legitimacy for Bellingcat and other hybrid war propaganda sites.

    Now in 2017, we have Zimdars’ OpenSources “list” featured by Harvard Library.

    OpenSources lists Consortium News among eight sites it tagged as “credible”, including Nutrition Facts dot org.

    Six of the “credible” sites were additionally tagged as “political”: Advocate (gay news and commentary), Alternet (a project of the non-profit Independent Media Institute), American Progress (a progressive public policy research center), the conservative Cato Institute blog, Christian Post (an Evangelical Christian newspaper based in Washington, D.C.), and Fusion dot net (a satiric news and entertainment media site).

    Obviously it was not necessary to list or fact check any “First Draft” coalition media “partners” like Bellingcat or the New York Times, or “new” media sites like Storyful, because they are always “credible” and never “political”.

    In fact, the “Post-Truth” mainstream media outlets and “new” media have their own Google-funded club and are having a big year of “facilitating knowledge exchange”

    Formed by Google in June 2015 with Bellingcat as a founding member, the “First Draft” coalition includes all the usual mainstream media war propagandists.

    The “First Draft” network of “partners” includes the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, the UK Guardian and Telegraph, and BBC News. All are stalwart mainstream media organs for Western “regime change” propaganda.

    The new “First Draft” coalition of Propaganda 3.0 organizations also includes the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab and Stopfake. Kiev-based Stopfake site functions as a direct media outlet for Higgins’ Bellingcat “investigation reports” and uses the same fake fact-check post-truth strategy that Higgins employs.

    In a remarkable post-truth declaration, Google’s new First Draft hybrid war propaganda coalition insists that members will “work together to tackle common issues, including ways to streamline the verification process”.

    In the post-truth regime of US and NATO hybrid warfare, the deliberate distortion of truth and facts is called “verification”.

    The Washington Post / PropOrNot imbroglio, and “First Draft” coalition “partner” organizations’ zeal to “verify” US intelligence-backed fake news claims about Russian hacking of the US presidential election, reveal the post-truth mission of this new Google-backed hybrid war propaganda alliance

    Academic institutions like Harvard have an important role to play in advancing the propaganda agenda.

    The “Fake News, Misinformation, and Propaganda” guide at Harvard Library online prominently features articles by First Draft “partners” New York Times, Washington Post, and Buzzfeed.

    The new Harvard Library guide also links to a report from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University School of Journalism: “Lies, Damn Lies and Viral Content: How News Websites Spread (and Debunk) Online Rumors, Unverified Claims and Misinformation”.

    Claire Wardle, the Research Director at the Tow Center, had served as Director of News Services for “First Draft” coalition founding member Storyful. She had designed the social media training program for the BBC in 2009, and authored a chapter on “Verifying User-Generated Content” for the Verification Handbook developed by the European Journalism Centre, based in the Netherlands.

    In November 2016, Wardle left her position at the Tow Center to work full time with the First Draft Partner Network.

    On 26 January 2017, a conference on “Libraries in a Post-Truth World” was hosted in the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. Melissa Zimdars and Claire Wardle of First Draft News were featured panelists. “Melissa’s List” was preparatory reading for the conference.

    • May 2, 2017 at 23:27

      Thanks so much for all the work you put in on these issues Abe…i only have time to research a couple issues at a time lately(somedays not even that) I really appreciate what it takes to share the information you find here at ConsortiumNews….peace man

    • Taras77
      May 3, 2017 at 14:45

      Thanks much, Abe!

      Your efforts are appreciated!

  52. D5-5
    May 2, 2017 at 15:03

    My link above to the Phil Butler article including “Germany now deploying tools to censor social media before the upcoming election there . . .” tells of how his article on LePen was blocked by Facebook to a German audience by a bot that will “filter out any message the Germans do not want in their country.” Controlled by the globalists, as in the US, Merkel’s moves “are completely legal” inside Germany. Butler maintains Facebook is experimenting in Germany toward “party line” blocking via bot to further control the globalist discourse.

    Additional to the usual ain’t it awful and irony of an outfit like the NYT parading to control fake news following its anal groupthink, imv this further development of “The Ministry of Truth” shows desperation as well as the usual authoritarian sadism. But it is further indication the clampdown will continue and advance, in line with recent new criminalizing of Assange.

    Phil Butler, NEO, May 1

    • May 2, 2017 at 18:23

      yes…these experiments are bad…if it isnt curbed soon…u can watch your sports or your music festival videos…but Consortium news will not be found….

      they are working on it

      • Kiza
        May 2, 2017 at 22:52

        Derek, this is just one battle not the whole war. From what I understand, at this stage they will just weed out the references to alternative information on the major gate-keeper websites, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and so on. You will still be able to use your bookmark to CN, but CN will get neither ad income from Google nor traffic from any of the regime’s gate-keepers. In other words, CN will only spread through the word of mouth.

        But, if this turns out not to be effective enough, if people start circumventing the gatekeepers, then I am sure that the next step will be the outright censorship. This is an information war and no prisoners will be taken.

        They know that they can never prevent a minority from being well informed, but they want to keep the majority in the dark, this is why “democracy” exists.

        • May 2, 2017 at 23:18

          They can toss any site at the routers and switches…just make requests not route…even fixed IP addresses…they own the infrastructure…unfortunately it would be very simple…not much oversight applied to their networks..if it gets too silly…we will have to establish alternate networks…this is being done in other parts of the world already…i didnt think it would get here this fast…

          • Kiza
            May 3, 2017 at 01:53

            They do not need to control routers to censor websites, even control over DNS is sufficient. They do not want to censor sites yet, just to direct traffic away from them, starve them of income and visitors. If this is not enough, then they will censor.

  53. Phil Johnson
    May 2, 2017 at 15:01

    When I moved from San Jose CA to Brooklyn I was so happy I could pick up that day’s NY Times before getting on the Q or B train and read it on the way into the City. Then I began to notice that articles that might be seen as controversial or questioning the prevailing government wisdom were buried at the end of the 1st section. Then there were the Judith Miller articles on Iraq’s alleged WMD, placed on the Times front page, which were found to be totally false. Then I read that when the Times was told by the government that they should hold certain new items until (and if) the government gave them permission to print them, I understood the real meaning of “all the news that is fit to print.” I don’t want the NY Times, the Washington Post, or any other purveyors of government-supplied information or propaganda to decide what I or anyone else gets to read. I will continue to go to consortiumnews.com and The Intercept for news suplied by real investigative journalists.

    • john wilson
      May 3, 2017 at 04:56

      The alternative news site “international clearing house” is well worth a read as it has articles by great journalists like John Pilger etc.

      • Skip Scott
        May 3, 2017 at 06:35


        I think you mean Information Clearing House.

        • john wilson
          May 3, 2017 at 14:39

          Yes Skip that’s what I meant. Thanks for the correction. I have been reading ICH for a few years now.

  54. philip
    May 2, 2017 at 14:59

    I would not subscribe to nyt even if it were free.

    • Kiza
      May 2, 2017 at 22:40

      Well, your thinking is not unique and this is exactly what the problem is – people are willing to neither pay for nor read propaganda, so force them.

  55. mike k
    May 2, 2017 at 14:48

    And don’t bother about making personal decisions about what is true – the government will do it for you,

  56. May 2, 2017 at 14:47

    Well this is the modern nature of warfare. It is an attack on your mind. Isn’t that the true definition of “psyops?” All nations need control of their citizens minds.The internet was designed for this specific purpose. Centralized control of the citizens of a country. In 1984, Orwell makes it clear, that Oceania, Eurasia, Eastasia are all at war (one with no, or very few human casualties,) the war is perpetual. The goal of the war is not to annex territory, but for the very destruction of excess world production. The war is necessary to enslave the largest part of the population. The proles must be controlled through a lack of information. The modern internet will simply be the embodiment of the concept of “Doublespeak.” Absolute control requires you destroy all avenues of contrary opinion. There is no “democracy” or “communism” just control. It is a shadowplay, designed to distract you, from knowing that you have absolutely no control. So we are all in room 101 now. https://youtu.be/AGZiLMGdCE0

    • mike k
      May 2, 2017 at 16:10

      Propaganda has always been the most powerful tool of the oppressors, since even before the pyramids and their “Sun Gods.” A deluded population is so much easier to control. Just get in their heads with enough BS, and folks will control themselves according to your directions.

    • Kiza
      May 2, 2017 at 22:39

      Internet was designed originally as a network for the exchange of information between military contractors, DARPA research contractors. Later, it got all universities and other scientific institutions (not necessarily military) put on, it became a general science network. Finally, the Internet has gone public around 1991-92. Therefore, the Internet has had a dark start (for new weapons development), but the intention was not to control information then to share it.

  57. Bill Bodden
    May 2, 2017 at 14:47

    Does the NYT also have an algorithm for creating fake news or will it just continue to rely on its current crew?

    • Gregory Herr
      May 2, 2017 at 18:14
    • Sam F
      May 2, 2017 at 20:47

      An algorithm to create fake news is far simpler than one to spot it, because the latter requires knowing the truth. Neither is feasible in the foreseeable future, or desirable at any time. The latter looks feasible only to those who advocate such things, because they have no intention of letting the machine find the truth, but instead intend to define truth themselves.

      All attempts to force conformity in public information are the most extreme possible threats to the United States and should be very severely punished. That includes backdoor commercial attacks on “net neutrality,” allowing a commercial oligarchy to control “search engines,” etc. These are the gravest threats to democracy since oligarchy control of mass media and elections, and together have brought us to the very brink of totalitarianism.

      All citizens should promptly make statements to the FCC and NYT denouncing these treasonous attempts to control public information. In a prior article this link was given to express your opinion to the FCC: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?proceedings_name=17-108&sort=date_disseminated,DESC

      You can file your own objection to ending Net Neutrality here:


    • Kiza
      May 2, 2017 at 22:31

      I presume that you are joking, but the reality is that soon all news could be produced by robots only. Create a database of approved facts and article templates, and get an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to write articles using the two. Sometimes, I wonder if this is how MSM are run already – by robots, because it is almost all pure soulless propaganda. Journos’ faces are just the human fronts for the backoffice AI writers.

    • Daniel
      May 4, 2017 at 19:24

      Hahaha, you nailed it. Needed that laugh after reading this terrible news. Gotta laugh to keep from crying sometimes.

  58. mike k
    May 2, 2017 at 14:45

    Free speech? Fugit about it – it’s too dangerous!

  59. Aimé Duclos
    May 2, 2017 at 14:36

    And doesn’t this sort of thing ultimately play into the hands of a Big Brother, like a demagogue and ruler, perhaps like Donald Trump. He is now saying that the Constitution is an archaic document that prevents him from having his way, and his AG says that the separation of church and state thing was really about only having a christian state church… And we all know that our President is pretty loose with the truth……………
    I could go on, but it’s all too scary.

    • siberiancat
      May 3, 2017 at 19:12

      That’s actually an example of fake news. Trump said no such thing.

      This is the passage from the interview:

      “We don’t have a lot of closers in politics and I understand why. It’s a very rough system, it’s an archaic system. You look at the rules of the Senate, even the rules of the House, [but] the rules of the Senate and some of the things you have to go through, it’s really a bad thing for the country in my opinion.

      There are archaic rules and maybe at some point, we’re going to have to take those rules on because for the good of the nation things are going to have to be different. You can’t go through a process like this. It’s not fair, it forces you to make bad decisions. I mean, if you’re forced into doing things that you would normally not do except for these archaic rules, so — “

  60. mike k
    May 2, 2017 at 14:32

    Hal was only a crude beginning. Watson and this new algorithm are more advanced Nannies for us clueless children. After all, we wouldn’t know what to think without these helpful machines.

  61. mike k
    May 2, 2017 at 14:28

    Automated Big Brother! Who said machines could not tell us what to think, and what not to think? The Matrix is congealing around us. This is progress….

  62. D5-5
    May 2, 2017 at 14:07

    “Germany now deploying tools to censor social media before the upcoming election there . . .”

    “the capability to snuff out an idea is upon us . . .”


  63. Sally Snyder
    May 2, 2017 at 13:59

    Here is an article that looks at one of the major difficulties facing the New York Times:


    It looks like the mainstream media will find it increasingly difficult to increase profitability.

    • Kiza
      May 2, 2017 at 22:17

      There are two principals in this effort to control information, one is the regime which wants a monopoly on information and the other is the media owners who want profitability for the media companies they own.

      Both are desperate for the return of the Ted Turner’s CNN model – the self-financed propaganda – subjects pay to get brainwashed. Unfortunately, the time of CNNs huge success is long gone. Most people have wizened up and although they may not oppose the regime, they are not willing to pay for propaganda either. Then the next logical step is to cut out competition in the news arena and thus keep monopoly on information channels. Put yourself in the shoes of the executives of the money bleeding media companies and consider what a solution may be. Since there is little remaining voluntary income from the audience, there are only two possible involuntary sources of income: taxes or monopoly. For some reason, they decided that monopoly is a more acceptable way of returning to profitability than government’s funding from taxes. I would love to know why.

      Yet, in this Mr Parry’s article I loved the most the following sentence: “Using a database of verified articles and their artificial intelligence expertise …”. It does not matter who wrote the articles in the database, the question is – who “verified” the articles? For example, if I were a verifier, I would have failed Judith Miller’s articles on Iraq simply based on common sense, no algorithm needed. Somehow, I do not think that the regime would take the same approach to verification.

      • May 2, 2017 at 23:09

        kiza…re a question u raised in another article about the 59 cruise missles….this article might help somewhat…



        • Kiza
          May 3, 2017 at 01:47

          Thanks for the link, I do occasionally visit VT for some alternative theories of what happened. I do not consider the site 100% reliable, but it is always a good counterweight to the US official conspiracy theories.

          One example was the story that a Saudi AWACS was involved in shooting down of the Russian SU24 bomber over Northern Syria by two Turkish F16s. Based on cross-checking info with a Russian website supposedly connected with the Russian military intelligence, I have accepted this version, popularised by VT, as likely.

          Regarding the “missing cruise missiles” I am not sure yet, there has been little coming from the Russians. The Israeli version that all 58 missiles hit their targets appeared to be complete bull. Overall, maybe the mystery of the missing cruise missiles is not very important at this moment. Disabling only 34 or 36 missiles out of 59 launched would not have been a great achievement if the missiles were carrying nuclear bombs over Moscow. Mentally, I have moved on from the US attack on Syria.

      • Curious
        May 3, 2017 at 01:51

        Kiza, your first paragraph says it all….. well done. First, control the message and secondly, how do we make money off this format? Is it any wonder billionaires are buying papers?
        I have witnessed the changes in the news over a span of 30+ years. In older days there were camera operators, stage managers, director assistants, copy editors, etc. Now we have studios built with robotic cameras, robotic pre-edited pieces, and hardly a need for other humans in a TV broadcast than the interns thinking its glamorous to bring coffee and feel empowered. As a result, we have studios around the country broadcasting ‘news’ with a talking head reading off of a prepared TelePrompTer. An email from the central office, be it the 3 letter networks or now the 4-5 letter networks never need to be proofed. The info is sent, typed into the prompter and read to whomever is unlucky enough to watch. There is no accountability in these scenarios. These scripts will never see any path of algorithms, nor any path of second guessing. Most of the humans want the pay-check and won’t rock any boat that may create a disturbance. Those creating the algorithms also want it this way.

        How will that change? I don’t think it will. As a quick thought, CNNs success was being embedded in the military, after the Ted years. How do you think they got the shot of shock-n-awe? Luck? The video was pre-programmed shots relying on advance military info, just like most of the propaganda video we now witness. They may want to set up algorithms to define true stories, but it is only to weed out or cull the stories they don’t create themselves.

        I’ve read enough of your comments to realize you know this too, I just wanted to weigh in on how dramatically the actual production of TV news has changed for the worst, along with the printed word. If the NYTs create another lie, which is in their DNA now, which algorithm will question that creation? None.

        • Kiza
          May 3, 2017 at 02:19

          It appears that we both worked in television, I got out more than 20 years ago and I am a bit out-of-date. I even personally met Ted Turner once at a cable TV conference in Dallas, a very tall man, he was a truly remarkable person, no wonder Jane fell for him.

          Thanks for explaining the latest developments in TV “news”.

          • Curious
            May 3, 2017 at 23:21

            He did some interesting things. He paid for a lot of the gilding and fixing of some key buildings in St Petersburg so they would look good on TV for the Goodwill Games, plus the Russians had no funds to do it themselves. Funny part though: he demanded no one on his staff or crew could smoke, but he’d step out of his limo with big ol lit cigar. He never admitted it seems somewhat ironic. Thanks, back to current realities.

      • Skip Scott
        May 3, 2017 at 09:46

        For the Ministry of Truth, verification means that it fits into their propaganda model. It is the opposite of truth. As for ever increasing profits, their advertisers will continue to pay for articles that advance their agenda, mostly propaganda and infotainment. For the propaganda to be maximally effective, they need to silence truth tellers like CN. In this upside down world, fake news is real news, and visa versa.

    • RMA
      May 3, 2017 at 05:02

      Ok I am trying to “follow along?” With these new “Fake News Algorithms,” teamed up with, Trump’s new elimination of “Net Neutrality?” Then the consolidation of these huge, multi-national, media conglomerates? Where does that leave me, with my new Fibre Optic, High Speed, Internet connection, on a Saturday night? “It takes lots of drunk dads missing dance recitals before you decide to blow a goat on the internet for fifty bucks.” https://youtu.be/CvNGpdPdQCk RIP Greg Geraldo ….

  64. Jay
    May 2, 2017 at 13:58

    I see it’s one of those NY Times “reporters” who doesn’t have an “email this reporter” link, or a list of Times article to his name.

    Of course it’s creepy and deluded, but what do you expect from the employer of Michael Gordon?

    • Erik G
      May 2, 2017 at 20:29

      It is shocking that mass media could even consider advocating such an outrageous and systematic violation of first amendment rights, and only “days after sporting First Amendment pins at the White House Correspondents Dinner – to celebrate freedom of the press.”

      Once more Consortium News provides an essential counterpoint to the mass media propaganda.

      Those who would like to petition the NYT to make Robert Parry their senior editor may do so here:

      Although the NYT may try to ignore it, it is instructive to them that intelligent readers know better journalism when they see it. A petition demonstrates the concerns of a far larger number of potential or lost subscribers.

      • john wilson
        May 3, 2017 at 04:45

        It was inevitable that the internet would be targeted by the deep state and the main stream media who are the mouth piece for the deep state. Allowing the mass of the people to be able to openly challenge the voice of the deep state has always been unthinkable. In the old days we could write to ‘the editor’ or to our member of parliament or congressman etc. Naturally, our protestations were ignored or worse, receive a condescending reply. Now we can all write blogs, read blogs, comment on blogs as well as distribute on mass an alternative point of view. Now the deep state has brought an eraser into force so it won’t be long before everything that contradicts the establishment point of view will be removed from the the net. I foresee the net being completely controlled within the next decade or sooner.

        • evelync
          May 3, 2017 at 12:57

          Yes, we’re in a fight for an honest and open public square, essential for a functional democracy via a peer to peer open internet without gatekeepers vs the dark forces of Big Cable/TeleCom – Verizon/Comcast/AT&T- rising from the dead to again fight against Net Neutrality. If they succeed, IMO, the end result is, as Robert Parry shows, blackout (censorship) of what the “deep state” considers “uncomfortable” truths.

          Donald Trump’s new chair of the FCC, (Verizon’s) Ajit Pai (although to be fair it was Obama who had first put him up as one of the Republican FCC Commissioners) is now on a tear to dismantle Net Neutrality (no “gatekeepers” allowed to interrupt the free flow of data from sender to recipient – peer to peer).

          Once AT&T/Comcast/Verizon get to control what data flows and what data does not; what data is prioritized and what data goes to the back of the line it’s just a short hop skip and jump to blackout/censorship. Robert Parry shows how effectively these massive telecoms control what gets on their “news” channels and what doesn’t. That’s what these behemoths want for the internet. It’s part of their business model and they wring extra profits out of it.

          As the great former FCC commissioner Michael Copps said in this CSPAN interview in 2014 :
          “it’s critical to the future of this country to understand the importance of a truly open internet nourishing the news and information infrastructure that serves the needs of a democracy:

          The discussion of net neutrality, where Copps expresses these views, is close to the end starting at minute 55:00, although listening to Michael Copp’s vision as opposed to Robert McDowell’s head in the sand views in the rest of this 2014 video is worthwhile, IMO.

          And here’s the outgoing chair’s (Tom Wheeler) emotional and informative plea for net neutrality:

          Ajit Pai will announce the details of his plan to get rid of Net Neutrality and then there will be a period of time for public comment. Groups like Free Press: https://www.freepress.net
          will be actively opposing this latest outrage.

        • L. Dallas
          May 4, 2017 at 17:52

          It is time for the reemergence of alternative media, then. The underground press will be larger than ever! I kind of relish the idea, myself.

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