Outsourced censorship: Feds used private entity to target millions of social posts in 2020

Aconsortium of four private groups worked with the departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and State to censor massive numbers of social media posts they considered misinformation during the 2020 election, and its members then got rewarded with millions of federal dollars from the Biden administration afterwards, according to interviews and documents obtained by Just the News.

The Election Integrity Partnership is back in action again for the 2022 midterm elections, raising concerns among civil libertarians that a chilling new form of public-private partnership to evade the First Amendment’s prohibition of government censorship may be expanding.

The consortium is comprised of four member organizations: Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, and social media analytics firm Graphika. It set up a concierge-like service in 2020 that allowed federal agencies like Homeland’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and State’s Global Engagement Center to file “tickets” requesting that online story links and social media posts be censored or flagged by Big Tech.  

Three liberal groups — the Democratic National Committee, Common Cause and the NAACP — were also empowered like the federal agencies to file tickets seeking censorship of content. A Homeland-funded collaboration, the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center, also had access.

In its own after-action report on the 2020 election, the consortium boasted it flagged more than 4,800 URLs — shared nearly 22 million times on Twitter alone — for social media platforms. Their staff worked 12-20 hour shifts from September through mid-November 2020, with “monitoring intensif[ying] significantly” the week before and after Election Day.

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Biden Admin Spends Tens Of Millions To Deliver Fiber Internet To Only About 90 Rural Alaska Households

President Joe Biden’s Department of Agriculture (USDA) is spending tens of millions in tax dollars to bring fiber optic internet to rural southeast Alaska.

As part of USDA’s “Reconnect Program,” it awarded a roughly $33 million grant to the Alaska Telephone Company (ATC), the agency announced last Thursday. Fiber will be delivered to 92 households and a total of 211 people and five businesses in two Alaska native villages called Skagway and Chilkat, according to a federal grant award listing.

ATC’s fiber plan will cost around $204,000 per passing of each residence and business, according to an analysis by Fierce Telecom, a tech publication. ATC also said in a Sept. 22 statement it will invest roughly $11 million into the fiber project.

“The Klukwan-Skagway Fiber project will spur economic growth and significantly enhance quality of life in very remote, hard-to-serve locations, empowering rural Alaskans with options for remote work, distance learning, telemedicine, and more,” Mike Garrett, CEO of Alaska Power & Telephone Company, which oversees ATC, said in the statement.

Fiber is a type of broadband connection that involves plastic or glass cords and is used for cable television and telephone signals as well as internet. It is roughly 20 times faster than standard cable internet and 80 times faster than digital subscriber line (DSL), another internet technology, according to HP.

USDA’s reconnect program allocates up to $1.1 billion in grants and loans to areas in rural America that lack “sufficient access” to broadband internet, a type of internet through service providers. The program was authorized under Biden’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed in November 2021.

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The surprising power of internet memes

To most of the world they are just amusing pictures of an adorable cartoon bunny sitting beside, or sometimes inexplicably amidst, a bowl of rice. But in China, where these images have been circulating on social media, they carry a deeper, and more serious meaning.

“Rice bunny” (米兔), as this collection of images and emojis are known, emerged in 2018 as part of the global #MeToo movement among women to expose sexual harassment. In China, where state censorship saw hashtags related the campaign being blocked, internet users had to find an alternative to coordinate the movement in their country. Enter the rice bunny. As an image it looks innocuous enough, but when the words for the two seemingly unrelated subjects are said aloud, the true meaning becomes clear – they are pronounced “mi tu”.

Through the use of this translinguistic homophone, women in China were able for a time to share their stories and spread the word about the #MeToo movement within a country that can be highly suspicious of organised social movements.

On the surface, internet memes are a ubiquitous source of light entertainment – a way for people to express themselves through cleverly remixed templates of text, images and videos. They are arguably the wallpaper of our social media feeds and often provide us with a few minutes of idle, amusing fodder for procrastination during our day.

But memes also have a serious side, according to researchers looking at modern forms of communication. They are a language in themselves, with a capacity to transcend cultures and construct collective identities between people. These sharable visual jokes can also be powerful tools for self-expression, connection, social influence and even political subversion.

Internet memes “are one of the clearest manifestations of the fact there is such a thing as digital culture”, says Paolo Gerbaudo, a reader in digital politics and director of the Centre for Digital Culture at Kings College London.

Gerbaudo describes memes as a “sort of a ready-made language with many kinds of stereotypes, symbols, situations. A palette that people can use, much like emojis, in a way, to convey a certain content”.

According to social media site Instagram, at least one million posts mentioning “meme” were shared every day in 2020. But what is it that makes the internet meme so popular and why is it such an effective way of conveying ideas?

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Meet the Fart-Fetish Tranny Activist Behind the Latest Push to Shut Down the Internet

Your freedom of speech at this very moment is controlled by an alleged child groomer with a fart fetish.

We wish this were another one of our satirical articles. Sadly, it’s not. The above lede is true, and thanks to a fart-sniffing tranny, the best resource for understanding the real nature of transgenderism just got knocked offline.

The resource in question is KiwiFarms, a largely-obscure web forum founded in 2013 by former 8chan administrator Joshua Moon. For nine years, KiwiFarms has slowly grown on the margins of the Internet. But now, it may be no more, slain thanks to a coordinated assault from media, Big Tech, and the “trannissaries” — the highly-online transgender activists who are now the most aggressive shock troops of modern wokeism.

The loss of KiwiFarms is a great blow to both freedom of speech online, both because of the content the site contained and how it died.

KiwiFarms was a lightly-moderated web forum originally created to discuss Chris Chan, the autist, transgender, and all-around weirdo arrested last year for allegedly sexually violating his bedridden mother. The forum eventually expanded into discussion of other online figures and eventually became noteworthy as a reservoir of “forbidden” online content. In particular KiwiFarms has over the past several years emerged as one of the rare venues — of any size — hosting content critical of the contemporary sacred cow of transgenderism, even though many KiwiFarms users are themselves transsexuals (or perhaps because of that fact).

In a world where thought control is more omnipresent and domineering by the day, KiwiFarms was one of the only places letting people curate and share the truth about transgenderism. The forum documented how children are groomed by transsexuals, what “gender treatments” really entail, the sickening true nature of prominent transgender activists, and so forth.

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California’s war on internet freedom

California appears to be waging war on internet freedom.

Last week, California governor Gavin Newsom signed off a new social-media transparency law that poses a serious threat to free speech. Known as AB 587, the law will force social-media companies to disclose their content-moderation policies, and submit detailed descriptions of their efforts to police speech in certain categories, including hate speech, extremism and harassment. Failure to demonstrate that they are regulating, editing and no doubt censoring what appears on their platforms could land social-media companies with big fines.

As noted by Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, the law will have draconian consequences. It effectively forces social-media companies to please the regulatory authorities now empowered to watch over them.

But that was not the only attack on online freedom launched by California lawmakers last week. Newsom also signed the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act into law. This is arguably an even more troubling move than AB 587.

The Age-Appropriate Design Code Act aims to protect children from harmful online content, by insisting that children’s interests are prioritised when businesses are designing and developing their online services. This law effectively insists that all internet users should be treated like children.

After all, the law will apply to any business ‘likely to be accessed by a child’, or unable to establish the age of its consumers ‘with a reasonable level of certainty’ – which goes for most businesses. Businesses will therefore have to assume that the child, defined by the act as any individual under 18, is the default user

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“The Regime of Censorship Being Imposed on the Internet is Dangerously Intensifying in Ways I Believe Are Not Adequately Understood”

U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald has condemned the Government, media and Big Tech for coordinating to censor dissent. Writing on Twitter on Tuesday, the Intercept cofounder blasted those who have taken advantage of a series of ‘crises’ as a pretext to conspire to suppress their ideological opponents. The searing Twitter thread is reproduced in full below.

The regime of censorship being imposed on the internet – by a consortium of Washington D.C. Democrats, billionaire-funded ‘disinformation experts’, the U.S. Security State, and liberal employees of media corporations – is dangerously intensifying in ways I believe are not adequately understood.

A series of “crises” have been cynically and aggressively exploited to inexorably restrict the range of permitted views and expand pretexts for online silencing and deplatforming. Trump’s election, Russiagate, January 6th, Covid and war in Ukraine all fostered new methods of repression.

During the failed attempt in January to force Spotify to remove Joe Rogan, the country’s most popular podcaster – remember that? – I wrote that the current religion of Western liberals in politics and media is censorship: their prime weapon of activism.

But that Rogan failure only strengthened their repressive campaigns. Dems routinely abuse their majoritarian power in D.C. to explicitly coerce Big Tech silencing of their opponents and dissent. This is Government censorship disguised as corporate autonomy.

There’s now an entire new industry, aligned with Dems, to pressure Big Tech to censor. Think tanks and self-proclaimed ‘disinformation experts’ funded by Omidyar, Soros and the U.S./U.K. Security State use benign-sounding names to glorify ideological censorship as neutral expertise.

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The MrSleepyPeople Rabbit Hole

For nearly a decade, a strange channel by the name of “MrSleepyPeople” has been posting disturbing clips onto YouTube. And after diving deep into this rabbit hole, I realized that not only is this channel very real. But it’s even more twisted than it seems. If you recognize any of the women or men shown in this video, please reach out to SleepyPeopleTipLine@gmail.com . Identifying these people may be our best chance at putting a stop to this.

Pipergate: A YouTube Rabbit Hole

In December of 2017, a 10 year old girl named Piper would start a YouTube channel known as “Piper Rocks” which she would use to showcase her video editing skills. However, the edits within this channel were bizarre and highly disturbing, causing many to wonder who this child might be. Leading to one of the darkest rabbit holes we’ve ever explored.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell Bans Students From Sending or Viewing “offensive” Material Online

Most of the internet is apparently off-limits for students at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

The school’s Acceptable Use Policy, which governs the use of computing and networking resources, prohibits students from intentionally transmitting, communicating or accessing “offensive” material. Every month, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression highlights a university policy that hinders students’ free expression. Since most online content could be called offensive by someone, the policy has earned the dubious honor of FIRE’s August Speech Code of the Month.

The Supreme Court has explicitly held, time and time again, that speech cannot be restricted by the government merely because it offends others. In Texas v. Johnson (1989), the Court held that burning the American flag was protected speech, explaining: “If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”

In spite of such clear precedent, colleges and universities routinely ban offensive speech in campus speech codes, especially in IT policies. Whether a person is burning a flag at a protest or advocating for (or against) flag burning on Twitter, a ban on “offensive” speech calls for impermissible viewpoint discrimination.

UMass Lowell couldn’t possibly take action every time someone views or retweets something subjectively offensive over university wifi — every single student, and probably every professor, would be on trial. But a policy like this makes it all too easy for the university to crack down on select, disfavored speech.

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