Internet ‘freedom’ at its lowest in 11 years: study

The internet is an increasingly unwelcome place for many. A new study suggests that online “freedom” is in decline — for two very different reasons, depending on who you ask.

The annual report by Freedom House, a Washington, D.C.-based research and advocacy group, said this year is the 11th consecutive to see a global internet freedom decline.

The “Freedom on the Net” report rates countries on a 100-point scale, with the bottom considered least free. This year, scores internationally range from as low as 10 points in China to 96 points in Iceland. Scores 71 and above are designated “free,” while scores below 40 are “not free”; everything in the middle is considered “partly free.”

Considerations made in scoring include the extent to which free speech is legally protected, the proliferation of misinformation and hate speech and whether government authorities were known to target individual users, such as in India or Hungary where journalists and activists have been hit with state-supported spyware.

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New Proof Emerges of the Biden Family Emails: a Definitive Account of the CIA/Media/BigTech Fraud

A severe escalation of the war on a free internet and free discourse has taken place over the last twelve months. Numerous examples of brute and dangerous censorship have emerged: the destruction by Big Tech monopolies of Parler at the behest of Democratic politicians at the time that it was the most-downloaded app in the country; the banning of the sitting president from social media; and the increasingly explicit threats from elected officials in the majority party of legal and regulatory reprisals in the event that tech platforms do not censor more in accordance with their demands.

But the most severe episode of all was the joint campaign — in the weeks before the 2020 election — by the CIA, Big Tech, the liberal wing of the corporate media and the Democratic Party to censor and suppress a series of major reports about then-presidential frontrunner Joe Biden. On October 14 and then October 15, 2020, The New York Post, the nation’s oldest newspaper, published two news reports on Joe Biden’s activities in Ukraine and China that raised serious questions about his integrity and ethics: specifically whether he and his family were trading on his name and influence to generate profit for themselves. The Post said that the documents were obtained from a laptop left by Joe Biden’s son Hunter at a repair shop.

From the start, the evidence of authenticity was overwhelming. The Post published obviously genuine photos of Hunter that were taken from the laptop. Investigations from media outlets found people who had received the emails in real-time and they compared the emails in their possession to the ones in the Post‘s archive, and they matched word-for-word. One of Hunter’s own business associates involved in many of these deals, Tony Bobulinski, confirmed publicly and in interviews that the key emails were genuine and that they referenced Joe Biden’s profit participation in one deal being pursued in China. A forensics analyst issued a report concluding the archive had all the earmarks of authenticity. Not even the Bidens denied that the emails were real: something they of course would have done if they had been forged or altered. In sum, as someone who has reported on numerous large archives similar to this one and was faced with the heavy burden of ensuring the documents were genuine before risking one’s career and reputation by reporting them, it was clear early on that all the key metrics demonstrated that these documents were real.

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Facebook and Instagram delete Project Veritas vaccine video for “misinformation” that could cause “harm”

Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram have removed a new video from the undercover reporting operatives Project Veritas under its “misinformation” policy.

“We encourage free expression, but we don’t allow false information about COVID-19 that could contribute to physical harm,” the Facebook message shared with Project Veritas read.

Facebook didn’t specifically state which part of the video caused them to decide to delete it.

The video in question featured a whistleblower from the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), registered nurse Jodi O’Malley, making allegations that the federal government were underreporting the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines.

In the video, O’Malley was discussing with Dr. Maria Gonzales, an ER doctor, who alleges that not all patients suffering from heart inflammation after taking the vaccine are being reported. “But now, they [the government] are not going to blame the vaccine,” Dr. Gonzales said of a patient who had suspected myocarditis.

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Facebook won’t respond to accusations it “asked fact-checking partners to retroactively change their findings”

“The Facebook Files” is an in-depth series based on leaked internal documents that expose the way social media giant Facebook views its platform and its social impact. It was released earlier this week.

Several factors are raised in The Journal’s reporting, including Instagram’s negative impact on minors, the implications of algorithmic changes on political discourse, and Facebook’s protection of influential users. Facebook’s internal research opposes its public assertions, and the company has internalized its societal ills while publicizing its positives in the report.

The Journal also highlighted that their decisions may not be as impartial as they appear on the surface and that “Facebook has asked fact-checking partners to retroactively change their findings on posts from high-profile accounts.”

The outlet also accused Facebook of having “waived standard punishments for propagating what it classifies as misinformation and even altered planned changes to its algorithms to avoid political fallout.”

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Durham Indictment Shows Clinton Likely Worked With Top Google Exec To Fabricate Russia Hoax, Says Google Whistleblower

In the bombshell felony indictment made public this week, Special Prosecutor John Durham alleged that agents of the 2016 Clinton campaign knowingly concocted false allegations that President Donald Trump was receiving secret hi-tech communications from the Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank. The Durham indictment further alleged that Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann intentionally spread that hoax to the FBI, Democrat-friendly media and another undisclosed federal agency under false pretenses.

Moreover, the Durham indictment identifies the mastermind of the operation to create spread and spread the Alfa Bank Hoax as a Big Tech executive, who allegedly “exploited” privately-held data of several large tech companies to create a false “narrative” about Trump-Russia collusion. This person may be Eric Schmidt, the former Executive Chairman of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

The conspiracy theory that Donald J. Trump’s 2016 campaign was secretly communicating with Russia-based Alfa Bank through a secret server has been an obsession of Anti-Trump circles for years, despite being debunked by both the FBI and the Mueller Investigation. Proponents still insist that, despite being repeatedly bound baseless, federal authorities have simply failed to muster the technical expertise to expose the dastardly Russian plot.

However, according to the Durham indictment, the team which initially drafted the white paper outlining the conspiracy theory knew full well that it was nonsense – but disseminated it anyway to craft a “narrative” to trigger a federal investigation and publicly undermine President Trump.

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Facebook Aided In Recruitment Of Modern Day Slaves, Cartel Hitmen Internal Documents Show

It seems like the WSJ’s entire San Francisco bureau has been preoccupied lately with churning out a series of stories sourced from “leaked” internal Facebook documents exposing embarrassing internal reports on everything from Instagram’s deleterious impact on the mental health of its twentysomething and teenage users to political divisiveness to – today’s entry – how Facebook’s products are abused to facilitated human trafficking and terror recruitment in parts of the emerging world.

The gist of the piece is this: Facebook has a small staff dedicated to combating human trafficking around the world, particularly in countries where the rule of law isn’t as robust as it is in the US and Europe. In the Middle East, Facebook is used to lure women into sex slavery (or some other form of exploitative labor).

In Ethiopia, armed groups use the site to recruit and to incite violence against other ethnic minorities.

Facebook’s monitors have also sent reports to their bosses on everything from human organ trafficking, pornography and child pornography, and government’s cracking down on political dissent.

The documents leaked to WSJ show that while Facebook removes some pages, many continue to operate openly.

While some might sympathize with Facebook’s inability to whack every mole (after all, they’re fighting a never-ending torrent of misconduct). But the sad truth is that Facebook could do more to stop its platform from being abused by traffickers, criminals and abusers – particularly in the emerging world (we all remember what happened in Myanmar).

The reason it doesn’t is because that would be bad for business”, according to a former chief executive who resigned from the company last year. Facebook treats harm in developing countries as “simply the cost of doing business” in those places, said Brian Boland, a former Facebook vice president who oversaw partnerships with internet providers in Africa and Asia before resigning at the end of last year.

Facebook has focused its safety efforts on wealthier markets (like the US) where powerful government and media institutions can help keep it accountable. But in smaller countries, Facebook answers many problems with a shrug.

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Revealed: Facebook allows select elites to bypass censorship rules

Facebook is accused of building a two-tier system of rules and standards around allowed content and speech: one for ordinary people, and another for the elites.

At the same time, the company is under fire for misleading the public and its Oversight Board about the program that makes this possible.

That’s according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which said it had a chance to see documents detailing how the scheme, dubbed XCheck (cross check) works.

The idea behind it was to protect high profile politicians, celebrities and journalists on the network that is now said to have reached 3 billion users globally. But this very small group of privileged users has overtime become protected from Facebook itself and some of its own rules, said the report.

Using a variety of tools, including whitelisting which means complete exclusion from review, and delayed review of content by human moderators, XCheck reportedly openly favors VIP users to the point of allowing them, unlike the rest of those on the social media site, behavior that violates the giant’s standards, and “without any consequences.” That’s according to an internal confidential document looking into the program.

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Google as the Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth’: Tech giant admits it’s preventing Australians from seeing certain videos that veer from accepted ‘facts’

If visionary writer George Orwell, author of “1984,” which gives a dystopian vision of the future, were alive today, he would be amazed at how utterly correct many of his predictions were about all-powerful central governments.

Such as the existence of a “Ministry of Truth,” whereby bureaucrats decide what the public can and cannot know in terms of ‘established facts’ — namely, no truths are permitted that run afoul of the central government’s narratives, even if they’re false.

Take what’s happening in newly authoritarian Australia as an example.

According to reports, Google officials have admitted preventing Australians from seeing certain videos because the platform’s engineers have adjusted algorithms to prevent those videos from showing up in searches.

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Twitter, Facebook, President Biden, and Surgeon General sued for alleged censorship collusion

US data analyst Justin Hart is one of the recent victims of COVID-related censorship on social networks, but he’s also one of those joining to fight back in the legal arena.

The Liberty Justice Center, a non-profit focused on constitutional rights, is suing on his behalf, with Facebook, Twitter, US President Joe Biden and the Surgeon General Vivek Murthy all named as defendants.

We obtained a copy of the complaint for you here.

Hart is alleging that his First Amendment free speech rights had been violated when his social media accounts got suspended for posting what is said to be a scientifically-based graphic under the title, “Masking Children is Impractical and Not Backed by Research or Real World Data.”

News outlets like the New York Post – who recall that their own factually correct, and occasionally bombshell stories (like the “Hunter Biden files“) got suppressed by Big Tech – suggest this claim should by now not be particularly contentious, let alone a reason for censorship.

“Study after study repeatedly shows that children are safer than vaccinated adults and that the masks people actually wear don’t do much good,” writes the Post.

But when Hart posted the infographic, Facebook reacted by locking his personal account, created in 2007, for three days. The filing indicates that the same happened to this data analyst and digital strategist on Twitter as well – but what’s particularly interesting is why top government officials, including the president himself, have been named in the lawsuit.

Namely, Hart alleges collusion between these privately owned giants and the US government, with the purpose of monitoring, flagging, suspending and deleting content that it chooses to label as misinformation.

Under current rules in the US dictated by its Constitution, the government would not be able to do this directly; but recent statements coming from Biden and some of his top collaborators have added fuel to the fire of suspicion that a form of collusion to suppress free expression on the internet might actually be taking place.

Biden recently went as far – to then be forced to walk back – as to publicly accuse Facebook of “killing people” by not getting rid of COVID content unwanted by the current administration fast enough.

This happened just after White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “We are regularly making sure social media platforms are aware of the latest narratives dangerous to public health that we and many other Americans are seeing across all of social and traditional media,” adding, “You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others.”

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