Big Tech Continued Censorship


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🔥 Mintpress News, which is really doing some fantastic investigative journalism lately, ran a story yesterday headlined, “Meet the Ex-CIA Agents Deciding Facebook’s Content Policy.” The gist is — and this is going to shock you — Facebook has hired a whole raft of experienced CIA agents, while Twitter seems to favor the FBI for its personnel pool.

Take Aaron Berman, for example. For years he used to help craft the CIA’s daily security briefing for the President. In 2019 Berman left the Agency as a senior analytic manager and joined Meta as its senior product policy manager for… misinformation. Of course.

As Mintpress properly notes, there are rational reasons why the social media giants would want some folks with law enforcement background, to protect the platforms from abuse by various kinds of bad actors. But the sheer number of “former” agents in the media companies, at all the key positions of influence, staggers the imagination. Mintpress says it’s getting hard to tell where the government stops and the social media companies begin.

Of course, there’s another, more sinister possibility. How long would it take for the U.S. agencies to figure out that the social media companies were trying to acquire some of their talent, and devise a strategy to occupy the influential private firms? Like, how does someone like Aaron Berman go from writing critical top-secret daily security briefs for the President of the United States to a happy fun product manager at Facebook?

It feels like we don’t know the whole story. That’s all I’m saying.

I took a look at Aaron’s tweet history. His posts are bland, happy fun comments about his personal life. He offers lots of professional tips like how to write more effectively on Twitter. He sits just left of center in his political tone. On the one hand, he seems mildly concerned about climate change, but on the other hand, he observes that, no matter many gender-neutral toys he and his wife offer her, his daughter still just wants to play with Barbie. None of his posts reference elections, politicians, or direct political issues.

He’s everyman and no man.

If you’re curious, watch Aaron’s happy fun product manager video here, where he doesn’t mention his CIA history at all, for some reason.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments.



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Shocking New Study Shows Big Tech Censorship Is A Way Bigger Problem Than You Thought

The Media Research Center (MRC), which defines secondhand censorship as “the number of times that users on social media had information kept from them,” found that Big Tech has engaged in direct censorship of individuals and organizations at least 4,000 times. Other users, however, were blocked from seeing these posts or videos at least 144,301,713 times in the first quarter of 2022 alone. That’s more than 36,000 times the instances of direct suppression.

By adding the followers of those censored by Big Tech, MRC calculated how many people were prevented from seeing a post or video that was removed or otherwise suppressed.

“It’s truly mind-boggling that the Silicon Valley speech police have this kind of power,” MRC founder and President Brent Bozell said. “This report gets us one step closer to understanding the real impact anti-conservative discrimination at Facebook, Twitter and others are having on speech in this country.”

Through its own CensorTrack database, MRC found Facebook to be the greatest culprit, with users undergoing secondhand censorship 86,627,526 times. YouTube was second at 23,543,230, and Twitter was close behind at 17,065,054.

When Facebook canceled sitting President Donald Trump’s account, it effectively censored his more than 90 million followers in one fell swoop. By suppressing conservative talk show host Dan Bongino’s posts about masks not working to prevent the spread of Covid-19, YouTube secondhand censored his viewers 1,764,989 times. Twitter even removed Post Millennial Editor-at-Large Andy Ngo’s post of a death threat he received on the grounds that it violated its community standards, resulting in 976,300 people affected secondhand.


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Court orders Google to turn over docs on choking free speech competition

Last month, a federal judge ordered that social media companies Meta (Facebook), Twitter, and YouTube must turn over documents and answer questions in a suit alleging collusion between the companies and the Biden administration to censor "disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content" on their platforms.

Twitter let former New York Times journalist Alex Berenson back on the platform last month to settle his advancing breach-of-contract suit.

YouTube has particularly targeted videos that challenge COVID orthodoxy, removing public meetings where COVID policy is debated, science-based criticisms of COVID mitigations by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and a parent's criticisms of school COVID policy. It also labeled an anti-Biden rap song as "medical misinformation."

Rumble can now obtain internal Google documents on "algorithmic manipulation of its search engine" and requirements that "all but force" companies reliant on its infrastructure to use YouTube, lawyer Glenn Greenwald, a progressive critic of censorship and prominent Rumble user, wrote in his newsletter Saturday.


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Twitter stops censoring Epoch Times links following public outcry

When users earlier last week clicked on links to Epoch stories, Twitter told them: "The link you are trying to access has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially spammy or unsafe."

By Saturday the links began working properly again, Epoch reported.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called out the social media company: "Twitter must explain itself for this outrageous act of censorship."

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) called the situation "alarming."

"Twitter is censoring @EpochTimes under the guise of 'unsafe' speech. Remember what happened the last time corporate media and big tech tried to censor my investigation on Hunter Biden corruption? The truth always prevails," he wrote.

Cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough, who has been censored before for his comments about COVID-19, said: "Twitter hemorrhaging evidence of CDC collusion, malfeasance, and suppression of free speech is found to be censoring leading news outlet Epoch Times. As more censorship happens audiences are further drawn to those sources of information for the truth. Keep it up Twitter!"


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McCarthy Blasts Decision Decreasing Reach Of Facebook Political Content

“Facebook made sure no one saw the Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 election,” the House Republican tweeted. “But now that America has record inflation, rising crime, & a border crisis —all as a result of Dem policies— Facebook is shutting down more ‘political content’ to hide the truth from Americans.”

Meta announced recently that it would be implementing changes around the world to decrease “political content” in users’ Facebook feeds. The company made the announcement on July 19, saying that changes to decrease the spread of political content on Facebook through a ranking system would be made around the world.

“Our tests have concluded and demonstrated that placing less emphasis on likes and shares for political content is an effective way to reduce the amount of political content people experience in their Feed. We have now implemented these changes globally,” the company announced.

The company originally announced these changes in February 2021, saying that it was hoping to decrease political content in news feeds. These changes included moves to “rank political content in people’s feeds using different signals.”

Content from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and other health agencies were “exempt” from the tests, with the company citing their “authoritative” status.

The company’s political ranking tests were later expanded to “Facebook Watch” in December 2021, and they announced in May this year that they would be weighing comments and shares on political posts less in a continued effort to decrease the reach of political posts.

McCarthy’s criticism stems from Facebook’s limiting of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden story prior to the 2020 election.


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Economist Phillip Magness slams ‘Orwellian’ Facebook for fact-checking recession post

A prominent economist has revealed that Facebook placed a fact-checking label on a post asserting that the US has entered a recession, giving it a “partly false” rating as President Biden continues to reject the grim assessment of the economy.

Dr. Phillip Magness, the research and education director at the American Institute for Economic Research, a libertarian think tank, shared a screenshot from his Facebook account, showing that the social media site had “independent fact-checkers” review his post from July 24, and that they found it was “partly false.”

“We live in an Orwellian hell-scape,” Magness tweeted on Thursday. “Facebook is now ‘fact checking’ anyone who questions the White House’s word-games about the definition of a recession.”

Facebook added a notice to the post warning that “people who repeatedly share false information might have their posts moved lower in News Feed to other people are less likely to see them.”