Tag Archives: Facebook

Meta Censors Anti-Imperialist Speech In Obedience To The US Government, by Caitlin Johnstone

The tech giants are propaganda arms of the U.S. government. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

Anti-imperialist commentator Richard Medhurst reports that Instagram has deleted some 20 images from his account and given him a warning that he could face a permanent ban if he continues making similar posts. The posts in question are screenshots from a Twitter thread Medhurst made to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the Trump administration’s assassination of renowned Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani.

Go ahead and read the thread; here’s the hyperlink again. There’s nothing in there that comes anywhere remotely close to violating Instagram’s terms of service as they are written; Medhurst condemns the assassination and the bogus justifications provided for it, and discusses Soleimani’s crucial role in the fight against ISIS and Al Qaeda. The reason for Instagram’s censorship of Medhurst’s political speech is that Instagram’s parent company Meta (then called Facebook) determined after Soleimani’s assassination that anything which seems supportive of him constitutes a violation of US sanctions and must therefore be removed.

In 2019 the Trump administration designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, which was as hypocritical and arbitrary as any other government designating any other branch of another government’s military a terrorist organization. Despite this completely baseless designation, both the Meta-owned social media platforms Facebook and Instagram have been actively censoring political speech about Soleimani, who was the commander of the IRGC’s Quds force when he was assassinated. Medhurst reports that he has been censored on Instagram under the same justification for posting about Hamas as well.

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Pierre Omidyar’s Financing of the Facebook “Whistleblower” Campaign Reveals a Great Deal, by Glenn Greenwald

Real whistleblowers don’t generally get invited to testify before Britain’s Parliament. They’re generally on the run or in jail. From Glenn Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:

The internet is the last remaining instrument for dissent and free discourse to thrive outside state and oligarchical control. This campaign aims to put an end to that.

Pierre Omidyar, Founder of eBay, and Publisher of the Intercept looks on during the final session of the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York, on Thursday, September 23, 2010. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images)

It is completely unsurprising to learn, as Politico reported last Wednesday, that the major financial supporter of Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen’s sprawling P.R. and legal network coordinating her public campaign is the billionaire founder of EBay, Pierre Omidyar. The Haugen Show continues today as a consortium of carefully cultivated news outlets (including those who have been most devoted to agitating for online censorship: the New York Times’ “tech” unit and NBC News’s “disinformation” team) began publishing the trove of archives she took from Facebook under the self-important title “The Facebook Papers,” while the star herself has traveled to London to testify today to British lawmakers considering a bill to criminally punish tech companies that allow “foul content” or “extremism” — whatever that means — to be published.

On Sunday, Haugen told The New York Times that her own personal Bitcoin wealth means she is relying on “help from nonprofit groups backed by Mr. Omidyar only for travel and similar expenses.” But the paper also confirmed that the firm masterminding Haugen’s public campaign roll-out and complex media strategy, a group “founded by the former Barack Obama aide Bill Burton,” is “being paid by donors, including the nonprofit groups backed by Mr. Omidyar.” He is also a major donor to a shady new group calling itself “Whistleblower Aid” — bizarrely led by anti-Trump lawyer and social media #Resistance star Mark Zaid, who has been one of the most vocal critics of actual whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, both of whose imprisonment he has long demanded — that is now featuring Haugen as its star client.

Omidyar’s net worth is currently estimated to be $22 billion, making him the planet’s 26th richest human being. Like so many billionaires who pledge to give away large parts of their wealth to charity, and who in fact do so, Omidyar’s net worth somehow rapidly grows every year: in 2013, just eight years ago, it was “only” $8 billion: it has almost tripled since then.

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The Military Origins of Facebook, by Whitney Webb

Few people realize that Facebook was conceived as a conduit of information to the government and intelligence agencies from inception. From Whitney Webb at unlimitedhangout.com:

Facebook’s growing role in the ever-expanding surveillance and “pre-crime” apparatus of the national security state demands new scrutiny of the company’s origins and its products as they relate to a former, controversial DARPA-run surveillance program that was essentially analogous to what is currently the world’s largest social network.

In mid-February, Daniel Baker, a US veteran described by the media as “anti-Trump, anti-government, anti-white supremacists, and anti-police,” was charged by a Florida grand jury with two counts of “transmitting a communication in interstate commerce containing a threat to kidnap or injure.”

The communication in question had been posted by Baker on Facebook, where he had created an event page to organize an armed counter-rally to one planned by Donald Trump supporters at the Florida capital of Tallahassee on January 6. “If you are afraid to die fighting the enemy, then stay in bed and live. Call all of your friends and Rise Up!,” Baker had written on his Facebook event page.

Baker’s case is notable as it is one of the first “precrime” arrests based entirely on social media posts—the logical conclusion of the Trump administration’s, and now Biden administration’s, push to normalize arresting individuals for online posts to prevent violent acts before they can happen. From the increasing sophistication of US intelligence/military contractor Palantir’s predictive policing programs to the formal announcement of the Justice Department’s Disruption and Early Engagement Program in 2019 to Biden’s first budget, which contains $111 million for pursuing and managing “increasing domestic terrorism caseloads,” the steady advance toward a precrime-centered “war on domestic terror” has been notable under every post-9/11 presidential administration.

This new so-called war on domestic terror has actually resulted in many of these types of posts on Facebook. And, while Facebook has long sought to portray itself as a “town square” that allows people from across the world to connect, a deeper look into its apparently military origins and continual military connections reveals that the world’s largest social network was always intended to act as a surveillance tool to identify and target domestic dissent.

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Facebook Has Ruined Human Social Interaction And Now Zuckerberg’s ‘Metaverse’ Wants to Destroy Whatever’s Left, by Helen Buyniski

Bet you can’t wait for cradle-to-grave Facebook. From Helen Buyniski at RT News via lewrockwell.com:

Having bulldozed most real-life relationships already, Mark Zuckerberg is now moving to strip away what’s left of our expectations of privacy by dragging us kicking and screaming into an online padded cell called the ‘metaverse’.

The emergence of all-too-perfect whistleblower Frances Haugen, backed by a bevy of PR valkyries declaring Facebook a profit-seeking hive of hate, might suggest to some that the social network’s goose is cooked. But while the government and censor-happy NGOs delusionally battle over how best to carve up Facebook’s carcass, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is busy leveling up, leaving the wreck of real-life social interaction behind while he crafts a new virtual holding pen for the millions daily glued to Facebook and Instagram.

Under fire politically for putting profits before users’ welfare – an attribute that describes every corporation in existence – Facebook’s m.o. has been clear since the platform’s early days. The platform exists to slurp up as much data as physically (and metaphysically) possible before the user realizes he’s being used and stops logging in. Now that there’s no longer any doubt about that in the public eye, Zuckerberg is free to go full Manifest Destiny, reaching into users’ minds in search of ever more data to pimp out.

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The real story behind Facebook’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week, by Kit Knightly

If the government regulates Facebook and the rest of the Internet do you think that will expand or contract allowable expression on the Internet? From Kit Knightly at off-guardian.org:

The social media giant is in the crosshairs, and that might be bad news for the internet in general.

Facebook suffered a massive outage on Monday. At the same time a high profile “whistleblower” has come forward to dish the FB dirt. These two things have combined to create a perfect storm of narrative portraying Mark Zuckerberg’s company as a monster in desperate need of slaying by some deft government intervention.

But to what extent is that story contrived? Is Facebook willingly going along with it? And what does it mean for the rest of the internet?

What happened?

For several hours on Monday afternoon Facebook – and its subsidiaries Instagram and Whatsapp – were completely offline. Rumours circulated that large portions of the social media giant had been totally deleted. Others suggested it was a cyber attack.

Facebook itself insists there was no attack, and that it was purely an engineering error, but of course no tech company would ever admit to being vulnerable to a hack.

There’s always the possibility the whole event was staged of course. Either way, the timing is very suspicious.

Why do you say that?

For weeks an anonymous “whistleblower” has been “leaking” documents to the Wall Street Journal allegedly showing Facebook is utilising highly unethical business practices.

The leaker of the so-called “Facebook Files” finally revealed her true identity as Frances Haugen, a data scientist, in an interview with 60 Minutes this past Sunday.

The massive Facebook outage then happened on Monday, with Ms Haugen’s scheduled testimony in front of Congress happening the following morning on Tuesday.

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White House Admits to Flagging Posts For Facebook, by Jonathan Turley

Let’s just call Facebook an agency of the government and be done with it. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:

We have previously discussed the extensive censorship programs maintained by Big Tech, including companies like Twitter and Facebook taking sides in major controversies from gender identification to election fraud to Covid-19. The rise of corporate censors has combined with a heavily pro-Biden media to create the fear of a de facto state media that controls information due to a shared ideology rather than state coercion.  That concern has been magnified by demands from Democratic leaders for increased censorship, including censoring political speech, and now word that the Biden Administration has routinely been flagging material to be censored by Facebook.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted that the Biden administration is working with Facebook to flag “problematic” posts that “spread disinformation” on COVID-19. She explained that the Administration has created “aggressive” policing systems to spot “misinformation” to be “flagged” for the social media companies.

Obviously, anyone can object to postings. There is a greater danger when the government has a systemic process for aggressively flagging material to be censored. The real problem however is with the censorship system itself. We have seen how there needs to be little coordination between political figures and the media to maintain controlled narratives in public debates and discussions.

The concern is obvious that this allows for a direct role of the government in a massive censorship program run by private companies. There have been repeated examples of the censoring of stories that were embarrassing or problematic for the Biden Administration.  Even when Twitter expressed regret for the censoring of the Hunter Biden laptop story before the election, there was an immediate push back for greater censorship from Democrats.

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To Avoid 1st Amendment Concerns, Biden Administration Announces They Will Let Facebook Run The Gulags

From The Babylon Bee:

WASHINGTON, D.C.—After critics raised concerns regarding the constitutionality of the Biden administration’s planned gulags for anti-vaxxers and insurrectionists, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki announced they will now avoid any legal pitfalls by having Facebook run the camps instead.

“We are proud to announce that our gulags will be run by the beloved mega corporation Facebook!” said Psaki to reporters. “There are many problematic people in this country who desperately need re-education, and we can think of no one better to run the camps than the most powerful social media platform in history! Yay!”

Unfortunately, none of the reporters were still paying attention at that point, since they were happily munching on chocolate chip cookies.

Legal experts say that since Facebook is a private corporation, it can do whatever it wants, even if that means forcibly detaining American citizens in labor camps until they die of abuse and malnutrition.

“This is such a great idea,” said brilliant Conservative folk hero David French. “The government is not violating the 1st Amendment by outsourcing the gulags to Facebook since Facebook is a private entity—and their terms of service clearly state at the bottom of page 3,272 that they are allowed to detain you in a labor camp any time they want to. If you agreed to the terms of service, there’s really nothing you can do. I guess you should have used another monopolistic social media platform. This is a huge win for conservative free-speech principles.”

In a statement, Facebook said they remain committed to gently re-educating purveyors of vaccine and 2020 election misinformation until they have all the correct opinions on everything.

Conservative politicians said they will not take this lying down, and have promised to haul Mark Zuckerberg before a committee and yell at him a little bit.

https://babylonbee.com/news/to-avoid-1st-amendment-concerns-biden-administration-announces-they-will-let-facebook-run-the-gulags

Biden Administration Completely Kills The “It’s A Private Company So It’s Not Censorship” Argument, by Caitlin Johnstone

When the government is telling a media company what it must delete from its platform the company can no longer be considered “private” in any meaningful sense of the word. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

In what’s surely the biggest “Imagine the outrage if Trump had done that” moment to date, the Biden administration has admitted that it is giving Facebook a list of accounts to censor for spreading “disinformation” about the Covid-19 response.

“We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki told the press on Thursday. “Within the Surgeon General’s Office, we’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation. We’re working with doctors and medical professionals to connect medical experts with people, who are popular with their audiences with accurate information and boost trusted content. So, we’re helping get trusted content out there.”

Psaki told the White House press corps that the administration has a list of accounts who produce most of the anti-vaccine information on Facebook, which civil libertarians are decrying as an obviously authoritarian government overreach.

“The Biden administration is telling Facebook which posts it regards as ‘problematic’ so that Facebook can remove them,” Glenn Greenwald said on Twitter in response to the news. “This is the union of corporate and state power — one of the classic hallmarks of fascism — that the people who spent five years babbling about fascism support.”

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Facebook To Provide Pop-Up Warning When Your Friends Begin Thinking For Themselves

From The Babylon Bee:

How Facebook Turned Its Market Success Into A Culture War On America, by Ryan McMaken

It’s a sad fact that throughout the history of American business, many of those who have been most successful have seen their next step as telling everyone else how to live. We’d be better off if they stayed in their vaults and counted their money, like Scrooge McDuck. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

In twenty-first-century America, millions of Americans—Christians and social conservatives especially—are finding that the nation’s most influential institutions appear to be implacably hostile toward them.

These institutions include universities, public schools, the news media, and government bureaucracies. Moreover, corporate America has increasingly embraced a posture of hostility toward groups considered to be “right wing” or conservative.

Recent examples are numerous, to say the least. Major League Baseball, for instance, recently moved its all-star game out of the state of Georgia with the explicit purpose of punishing voters and policymakers who supported policies MLB didn’t like. These “objectionable” policies were mostly supported by conservatives. Meanwhile, YouTube—owned by Google—bans content creators who express opinions Google’s employees and leaders disagree with. These opinions are usually ones we would consider to be “conservative” or at least “anti-Leftist.” Twitter and Facebook employ a similar bias when actively intervening to ban users and opinions deemed unacceptable by corporate personnel.

In other words, corporate power is being used to wage ideological battles far beyond the usual issues of minimizing the firm’s tax burden or avoiding regulatory compliance costs. Corporate America has chosen a side in the culture war.

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