Facebook’s former public policy director for elections suggests more censorship is needed

Former Facebook public policy director for global elections Katie Harbath says social media and tech platforms might lead to future political violence.

“I still believe social media has done more good than harm in politics, but it’s close,” she said to the WSJ. “Maybe it’s 52-48—and trending south.”

Harbath left Facebook last year. She’s now part of the Integrity Institute, yet another group that advises lawmakers in the US and Europe on laws promoting more regulation of social media. She’s also a fellow at several think tanks that focus on election issues.

Despite the massive amount of censorship that Facebook has implemented in the last few years, a move that has driven many users to seek out alternative platforms, Harbath is one of those who believes that Facebook needs to do more.

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Instagram and Facebook block quote from Thomas Paine for “false information”

What if social media existed in the Dark Ages? Users posting a quote by an Enlightenment era figure, and getting censored for it, might have just gotten some idea of what that would be like.

Facebook’s “dumb algorithms” are most likely (or at least, hopefully) behind the decision to “fact check” and censor none other than a quote by Thomas Paine, an 18th century Anglo-American figure whose work was instrumental in inspiring the declaration of independence of the United States.

Even in the current climate of out of control online censorship, it would be a bitter pill to swallow if it turned out there was a human behind this particular decision.

Whatever the case, multiple Facebook and Instagram users were saying on Twitter on Monday and Tuesday that their posts were either removed or that they had their accounts temporarily blocked for uploading a picture of Paine and his quote, reading, “He who dares not offend cannot be honest.”

According to Facebook’s censorship machine, that is false information, worthy of bans and deletions.

The irony of yet another instance of suppression of speech is particularly painful here (no pun intended) given Paine’s own pro-freedom, individual liberty and human rights, as well as anti-slavery stances, that made him a prominent Enlightenment figure.

Well, those quoting him today on social media, like evolutionary biologist Colin Wright are discovering that they live in a different era – where Instagram informs them that their stories containing the image and the quote had been removed for “false information” that goes against the giant’s community guidelines.

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Facebook’s fake fact-checkers censor medical journal article on alleged safety issues with Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine study

This is a dangerous time, indeed, when self-proclaimed fact checkers and curators are permitted to control information in the name of what they claim is the public good.

This trend was relatively unheard of prior to 2016. Until that time, the shaping and censoring was largely done in an invisible way. Nobody admitted to it because the public wouldn’t have stood for it.

But a successful propaganda campaign I’ve described in my books The Smear and Slanted aimed to convince many in the public to accept third parties telling us what we can cannot know or see.

Obviously, corporate and political interests are behind the efforts, using them to keep the public from seeing or hearing information that is contrary to their paid interests.

This helps explain a lot about Facebook’s indefensible censorship of a factual investigation published in the prestigious British Medical Journal.

The article by Paul Thacker exposed alleged poor practices and quality control issues during Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine studies based on whistleblower documentation.

According to the article:

A regional director who was employed at the research organisation Ventavia Research Group has told The BMJ that the company falsified data, unblinded patients, employed inadequately trained vaccinators, and was slow to follow up on adverse events reported in Pfizer’s pivotal phase III trial. Staff who conducted quality control checks were overwhelmed by the volume of problems they were finding. After repeatedly notifying Ventavia of these problems, the regional director, Brook Jackson, emailed a complaint to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ventavia fired her later the same day. Jackson has provided The BMJ with dozens of internal company documents, photos, audio recordings, and emails.

Paul Thacker, British Medical Journal

Of course this bombshell information is not what vaccine industry interests and their supporters in government and media wanted to be seen. (Pfizer has always denied any wrongdoing. Pfizer, the FDA and CDC all say all vaccines in use in the U.S. are safe and effective.)

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British Medical Journal criticizes Facebook over “inaccurate, incompetent and irresponsible” “fact-check” used to censor

The editor of The British Medical Journal (BMJ), one of the world’s oldest and most respected medical journals, has written a letter to Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg to bring to his attention an “incorrect” fact-check on one of its reports.

The report was titled: “Covid-19: Researcher blows the whistle on data integrity issues in Pfizer’s vaccine trial.”

A former employee at Ventavia, a research company that helped with the trials of the Pfizer Covid vaccine, provided The BMJ with dozens of internal documents, photos, email, and recordings, that revealed “a host of poor clinical trial research practices occurring at Ventavia that could impact data integrity and patient safety,” according to the letter.

“We also discovered that, despite receiving a direct complaint about these problems over a year ago, the FDA did not inspect Ventavia’s trial sites,” the letter, written by BMJ editor Fiona Godlee, further claims.

The BMJ hired an investigative reporter to write the story, which was published on November 2. The article had been peer reviewed, legally reviewed, and subjected to The BMJ’s high editorial standards.

However, starting November 10, Facebook users started reporting problems when trying to share the article. Some said they were unable to share, others said their posts were flagged with a warning saying, “Missing context… Independent fact-checkers say this information could mislead people.” Others were warned about the consequences of repeatedly sharing “false information.”

The BMJ’s article was fact-checked by Lead Stories, a Facebook contractor. The BMJ described the fact-check performed by Lead Stories as “inaccurate, incompetent and irresponsible.”

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New Fauci-Zuckerberg Emails Reveal Offer of ‘Data Reports’ To Aid Lockdown Policies, Vaccine Development.

In private emails between Mark Zuckerberg and Anthony Fauci – obtained exclusively by The National Pulse – the Facebook founder and CEO offered to send “data reports” on users to “facilitate decisions” about COVID-19 lockdowns.

The revelation is a stark example of how Big Tech corporates and government can easily collude using user data to restrict the liberties of the general public.

In the exchange, Zuckerberg insists: “I want to make sure you have all the resources you need to expedite the development of a vaccine.”

Zuckerberg – whose personal foundation referenced in the email plowed hundreds of millions of dollars into securing a victory for then-candidate Joe Biden in 2020 – offered the assistance to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director just one month after the pair had connected over emails that were redacted by the U.S. government.

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Facebook, Google, and Snapchat Are Bypassing Apple’s APP Tracking Transparency and Still Collecting Data on Users

Downloading “free” apps onto devices more often than not allows app providers to collect personal data on users.  Of course, companies that manufacture and sell devices tend to collect personal data on users too (see 12345).  Having access to this data allows companies and providers to analyze users’ habits and preferences so they can market additional products and services to them.  They can also sell users’ data to 3rd parties.  This practice is sometimes referred to as “Surveillance Capitalism.”  As more customers are becoming aware of this, more want to be able to “opt out” of privacy invasive data collection.  Companies aren’t necessarily making this easy though.  Recently Verizon was exposed for automatically enrolling its customers into a new program that scans users’ browser histories.  Facebook, Google, and Snapchat are now also being exposed for continuing to collect data on without users’ knowledge or consent.

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Facebook Court Filing Admits ‘Fact Checks’ Are Just A Matter Of ‘Protected’ Opinion

Surprisingly little attention is being paid to a bombshell admission made by the attorneys representing the corporation formerly known as Facebook, Inc., which has now transitioned into Meta Platforms, Inc.

In a court filing responding to a lawsuit filed by John Stossel claiming that he was defamed by a “fact check” Facebook used to label a video by him as “misleading,” Meta’s attorneys assert that the “fact check” was an “opinion,” not an actual check of facts and declaration of factsUnder libel law, opinions are protected from liability for libel.

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Orwellian Facebook censorship strikes again

Facebook’s fake fact checkers, working on behalf of various money interests, have long been known to ignore blatant false information when it’s put out by favored government, public health officials or other special interests as long as it’s on-the-narrative.

And they censor factual information.

It’s a dynamic that might even make George Orwell shake his head and say, “Even I never predicted it would be this blatant, and allowed to continue.”

Now, a new tale under the category of “You can’t make this stuff up.”

Facebook banned a post I made that was nothing more than a factual citation of a historical quote from Hitler’s propagandist, Goebbels.

It was posted entirely without comment. But a fair read of it would be to infer how dangerous and powerful false propaganda can be.

How that becomes worthy of censorship can only be explained in today’s highly-managed information landscape where facts are not to be heard and read if the chosen minders don’t want people to know them and share them.

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