View Full Version : Google’s First Draft Project: Ministry of Truth has been set up by Google

26th April 2017, 14:44
Within a few months, the content of the national and international media has changed profoundly in the West!

We are witnessing the birth of an Entente whose actual initiators we do not know, nor the real objectives, but whose direct consequences against democracy we immediately observe.

The West is going through an unprecedented systemic crisis: powerful forces are steering gradually The entire media in a single direction.

Simultaneously, the content of the media is transformed: last year, they were logical and tended towards objectivity.

They brought about a mutual contradiction in a healthy emulation.

Henceforth, they act in gangs, base their coherence on emotions and become wicked against the individuals they denounce.

Currently, 14 groups share more than two-thirds of the western press (21st Century Fox, Bertelsmann, CBS Corporation, Comcast, Hearst Corporation, Lagardère Group, News Corp, Organizações Globo, Sony, Televisa, Time Warner, Viacom, Vivendi).

Now, the alliance between Google Media Lab and First Draft is forging links between these already dominant groups.

The presence in the Entente of the three main press agencies of the planet (Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Reuters) assures him a hegemonic strike force.

It is undoubtedly an "unlawful understanding", not established for the purpose of fixing prices, but the fixation of minds, the imposition of an already dominant thought.

It can be seen that all members without exception of the Google Agreement have already, over the last six years, given an unambiguous vision of the events in the broader Middle East.

So, who are the “responsible” journalists who should be anointed to regulate what the world’s public gets to see and hear? For that Orwellian task, a kind of Ministry of Truth has been set up by Google, called the First Draft Coalition, which touts itself as a collection of 30 major news and technology companies, including the Times and Post, tackling “fake news” and creating a platform to decide which stories are questionable and which ones aren’t.


Links :





Michelle Marie
26th April 2017, 19:20
Each person is evolving to discern Truth within. If these are self-proclaimed experts with an agenda to control perception, WE WILL KNOW!

Happy pure perceptions!!!

Love All Always,
MM :happythumbsup:

13th August 2017, 15:10
Google goes full-on 'Ministry of Truth': Brings ADL on board as YouTube content flagger (http://www.mintpressnews.com/youtube-censor-controversial-content-adl-flagger/230530/)

Whitney Webb Mint Press News (http://www.mintpressnews.com/youtube-censor-controversial-content-adl-flagger/230530/)
Mon, 07 Aug 2017 15:32 UTC

https://www.sott.net/image/s20/411911/large/248139294_320170327.jpg (https://www.sott.net/image/s20/411911/full/248139294_320170327.jpg)
© Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

With the war between mainstream and independent media heating up, YouTube has weaponized a new content censorship program, calling it an effort to "fight terror content online." With standards set by groups like the Anti-Defamation League, political agendas are sure to intrude.

Ever since "fake news" found its place among the various explanations used by the Clinton campaign and supporters to account for their candidate's loss, there has been a quiet but concerted effort on the part of establishment media, technology, and telecommunications companies to thwart the surging popularity (https://consortiumnews.com/2016/11/18/what-to-do-about-fake-news/) of independent media.

The rise of the independent media has been hugely detrimental to the once privileged position of the mainstream media, who have now lost the trust (http://www.gallup.com/poll/195542/americans-trust-mass-media-sinks-new-low.aspx) of the vast majority of Americans and - along with that trust - their ability to control political and social narratives.

Chief among the groups seeking to clamp down on independent media has been Google, the massive technology company with deep connections (https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/how-the-cia-made-google-e836451a959e) to the U.S. intelligence community, as well as to U.S. government and business elites.

Since 2015, Google has worked to become the Internet's "Ministry of Truth," first through its creation of the First Draft Coalition (https://consortiumnews.com/2016/11/18/what-to-do-about-fake-news/) and more recently via major changes made to its search engine that curtail public access (https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/07/31/goog-j31.html) to new sites independent of the corporate media.

Google has now stepped up its war on free speech and the freedom of the press through its popular subsidiary, YouTube. On Tuesday, YouTube announced (https://youtube.googleblog.com/2017/08/an-update-on-our-commitment-to-fight.html) online that it is set to begin censoring content deemed "controversial," even if that content does not break any laws or violate YouTube's user agreement.

Misleadingly dubbed as an effort "to fight terror content online," the new program will flag content for review through a mix of machine algorithms and "human review," guided by standards set up by "expert NGOs and institutions" that are part of YouTube's "Trusted Flagger" program. YouTube stated that such organizations "bring expert knowledge of complex issues like hate speech, radicalization, and terrorism."

One of the leading institutions directing the course of the Trusted Flagger program is the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The ADL was initially founded to "stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all" but has gained a reputation over the years for labeling any critic of Israel's government as an "anti-Semite."

For instance, characterizing Israeli policies (https://www.adl.org/education/resources/profiles/students-justice-palestine) towards the Palestinians as "racist" or "apartheid-like" is considered "hate speech" by the ADL, as is accusing Israel of war crimes (https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/10/29/palestine-israel-and-the-adl/) or attempted ethnic cleansing. The ADL has even described (http://www.salon.com/2013/10/22/anti_defamation_league_slams_jewish_groups_for_isr ael_criticism/) explicitly Jewish organizations who are critical of Israel's government as being "anti-Semitic."

In addition to its labeling of Palestinian rights activists as "extremists," the ADL has also given (http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/01/popular-youtubers-react-to-censorship-of-controversial-content/) numerous U.S. conservatives the same label, including Mike Cernovich and Gavin McInnes. Cernovich and McInnes, though controversial, are extremely popular figures among conservatives and Trump supporters on YouTube and social media. Cernovich's website, Danger & Play, gets nearly 150 million views (https://twitter.com/Cernovich) every month. McInnes, co-founder of Vice Media, also enjoys a wide viewership (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGy6uV7yqGWDeUWTZzT3ZEg), with many of his videos boasting millions of views.

The ADL is also known for being quite selective in identifying what it terms "extremism."

While it consistently labels pro-Palestinian groups and those critical of the Israeli government as "extremists," it has avoided that label with respect to the right-wing Israeli groups and figures that openly call for the murder or even genocide of Palestinians.

In addition, although it has flagged figures of the so-called "alt-right," the ADL has not done the same for similar left-wing groups - such as Antifa, a group some states have listed (http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/07/antifa-listed-among-domestic-terrorism-group-by-new-jersey/) as a "domestic terror" organization. With the ADL at the helm, YouTube's new censorship policy is likely to selectively target those critical of Israel's government, as well as conservative voices.

Even more unsettling, YouTube's new policy doesn't stop with merely censoring content.

According to the announcement, any user who searches for keywords or terms deemed "controversial" by YouTube's chosen authorities will be redirected to a playlist of "curated" videos intended to "directly confront and debunk" the content sought by the user.

Critics have warned that the mix of censorship and redirection to "curated" propaganda videos would create (https://youtube.googleblog.com/2017/08/an-update-on-our-commitment-to-fight.html) a "PC, extreme-left, propagandizing echo chamber" with consequences that would go far beyond combatting "online terrorism." Indeed, given that Google's Jigsaw once created tools (http://www.mintpressnews.com/wikileaks-google-provided-tools-bolster-ranks-al-qaeda/227925/) intended to bolster the ranks of al-Qaeda in Syria, Google and YouTube's desire to fight the spread of actual terrorism is dubious, making it all the more likely that this latest move is instead targeting free speech and expression.

Orwellian Google does government bidding by censoring news-based YouTube videos (http://theduran.com/orwellian-google-censors-news-based-youtube-videos/)
Google turns over user data in 94% of US demands (https://www.sott.net/article/230654-Google-turns-over-user-data-in-94-of-US-demands)
Google's new search algorithm decides search results based on if they are 'officially approved' or not (https://www.sott.net/article/304069-Googles-new-search-algorithm-decides-search-results-based-on-if-they-are-officially-approved-or-not)
Megalomaniac Google? ... Internet behemoth now fancying itself as the ultimate gatekeeper of the truth (https://www.sott.net/article/293546-Megalomaniac-Google-Internet-behemoth-now-fancying-itself-as-the-ultimate-gatekeeper-of-the-truth)
The Disappeared: SOTT.net and Google's conspicuous omissions (https://www.sott.net/article/147895-The-Disappeared-SOTT-net-and-Googles-conspicuous-omissions) [10 years old Google tricks]
The Google AI report is HERE ( [Jim Stone article]

14th August 2017, 01:55
The Purging of Alternative Media Has Begun in Earnest (http://thefreethoughtproject.com/youtube-censors-anti-war-channels-military-industrial-complex-marches-toward-ww3/)

Matt Agorist Free Thought Project (http://thefreethoughtproject.com/youtube-censors-anti-war-channels-military-industrial-complex-marches-toward-ww3/)
Fri, 11 Aug 2017 00:00 UTC

https://www.sott.net/image/s20/413229/large/youtube_censorship_696x366.jpg (https://www.sott.net/image/s20/413229/full/youtube_censorship_696x366.jpg)

If you get your news from mostly far left sources, chances are you've heard YouTube and Google are censoring or blacklisting left and progressive sites and content. Conversely, if you get your news from far right sources, chances are you've heard YouTube and Google are censoring their content as well. If you want to know which side is being truthful in trying to expose their censorship, it is both of them.

In the last week, we've witnessed a massive crackdown on alternative media - the likes of which are unprecedented. Quite literally overnight, YouTube issued a sweeping update and demonetized thousands of video in accounts across all political spectrums.

If you ask Paul Joseph Watson (https://youtu.be/D8HJrr4-7B8) from Infowars.com, it's because they are cracking down on pro-Trump pages. Pro-Trump personalities Diamond and Silk (http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/08/diamond-silk-blast-youtube-demonetizing-95-videos-supporting-trump/) were also hit with the demonetization purge and they also claim it's because YouTube is going after Trump supporters.

While both Watson and Diamond and Silk had their videos demonetized, the rabbit hole goes far deeper than just pro-Trump sites.

If it were just pro-Trump videos being hit with the censorship sweep, then why is Luke Rudkowski, founder of We Are Change (https://wearechange.org/), also being purged?

The Free Thought Project spoke to Rudkowski Friday and asked if any of his many videos that were clearly critical of Trump were demonetized. He tells us that all of them were.

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/848306522517979136/HaZ1ocCC_bigger.jpg Luke Rudkowski‏Verified account @Lukewearechange (https://twitter.com/Lukewearechange)

Nearly all of my youtube videos have just been demonetized by YouTube! WTF
7:04 AM - 9 Aug 2017 Rudkowski is most certainly not a participant of the left/right paradigm, nor is he a Trump supporter, but he was hit as well.

We asked Rudkowski what he thought about people claiming that it's their pro-Trump status getting them censored, here's what he said:
"Obviously that is not the case since it looks like they hit me first and my channel is clearly very critical of Donald Trump for the real reasons that the MSM would never touch." It's not just We Are Change and pro-Trump folks either. The World Socialist Web Site (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/08/goog-a08.html) - a far left organization with a clearly advertised agenda - is also being hit.

According to a scathing report from wsws.org, they aren't alone either. Google, YouTube's owner, has reportedly undertaken a similar attack on alternative viewpoints. As wsws reports,
Truthout, a not-for-profit news website that focuses on political, social, and ecological developments from a left progressive standpoint, had its readership plunge by 35 percent since April. The Real News , a nonprofit video news and documentary service, has had its search traffic fall by 37 percent. Another site, Common Dreams, last week told the WSWS that its search traffic had fallen by up to 50 percent. "This is political censorship of the worst sort; it's just an excuse to suppress political viewpoints," Robert Epstein, a former editor in chief of Psychology Today and noted expert on Google, told wsws. (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/08/goog-a08.html)

Those who've been paying attention predicted this crackdown and watched it come to a head at the beginning of this month, when the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) applauded Google and YouTube for taking on hate speech and extremist content while having the ADL be the ones who decide what gets flagged. (https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/adl-applauds-google-and-youtube-in-expanding-initiative-to-fight-online-hate)

"The fight against terrorist use of online resources and cyberhate has become one of the most daunting challenges in modern history," said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. "Google has been a leader in this area from the beginning. The reality is extremists and terrorists continue to migrate to and exploit various other social media platforms. We hope that those platforms can learn from and emulate what YouTube is doing to proactively identify and remove extremist content."

For those that don't know, last year, the ADL labeled the cartoon, Pepe the frog (https://www.adl.org/education/references/hate-symbols/pepe-the-frog), a symbol of hate. This irrational behavior is hardly indicative of a third party who ostensibly possesses the skills to determine what people should and shouldn't see online.

Given these recent moves, we can infer that what is likely happening is far more insidious than pro-Trump censorship or pro-left censorship. While the ADL is likely using their newfound authority to silence those with whom they disagree politically - by labeling them extremists - this new censorship appears to go after anyone who challenges the establishment.

Disagreeing with the status quo is the new hate speech.

Those who challenge the corporate government paradigm are being lumped in with extremist groups and being flagged as hate speech. Sadly, only those who get their information from these alternative sources who are unafraid of challenging the oligarchy will even know this is happening.

It takes years of hard work to build a platform that is able to break through the static shoved out by the mainstream media and reach people still plugged into the matrix. However, once they see the establishment for what it is, this cannot be unseen. The powers that be know this and appear to be moving in to stop it.

Imagine if you never came across alternative media that challenged your thought process and made you question the government. Imagine if you never 'woke up' to the atrocities committed by the state on a daily basis. Imagine where you'd be right now without that information. Now, imagine that information is snubbed out forever. Is that a world you want to live in?

We didn't think so.

If ever there were a time for people to get over their political, religious, racial, sexual, or any other differences - it is now. While we may disagree on different issues, if any one group is allowed to be silenced, it is only a matter of time until everyone else is silenced too.

What makes freedom work is the ability for contrasting ideas to be presented - even if you find them repugnant. When we stop the dissemination of ideas, only one idea prevails and it is certainly not freedom.

The good news is that many have seen this day coming and have made moves to combat it. One such move is the social media platform Steemit. (https://steemit.com/@tftproject)

This uncensorable network is a blockchain-based social media platform where anyone can post and read what they want - and even earn money. It works in a similar fashion to Reddit, however, instead of being banned or censored for posts, if other users like your content, you make money.

As the deep state continues to tighten its grip on humanity, we need to continue to resist through outlets like this one. Also, it has never been more important to inform your family members and friends of the blatant censorship taking place under their noses. Please, encourage them to seek out alternative media and bookmark it as those like Google, YouTube and Facebook - who have a monoploy on the dissemination of information - may make it all but impossible to find in the near future.

For now, Americans, along with the rest of the world, would do well to remember these most powerful words by the German journalist and poet, Christian Johann Heinrich Heine, "Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen."

Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.


25th August 2017, 16:25
Google will help diagnose your clinical depression: it’s wonderful (https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/google-will-help-diagnose-your-clinical-depression-its-wonderful/)

by Jon Rappoport (https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/author/jonrappoport/) Aug 25 (https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/google-will-help-diagnose-your-clinical-depression-its-wonderful/), 2017

In my work-in-progress, The Underground, here is what I wrote about Google:
“They’re clever, I’ll give them that. They’re saying you can search them for any information in the world, but they’re really searching you.”
Google has decided it’s not doing enough to lead us into a better world. So now it’s going to enter the field of psychiatry.

Engadget.com (https://www.engadget.com/2017/08/23/google-offers-clinical-depression-questionnaire-in-search/): Google is “offering a medically validated, anonymous screening questionnaire for clinical depression if you search for information on the condition. This won’t definitively indicate that you’re clinically depressed, to be clear, but it will give you useful information you can take to a doctor.”

“Google and others are determined to fight fake news, and they know that the consequences of false or incomplete medical information could be serious. If you need help, they want to be sure you get the appropriate support.”

Let’s see if I can help Google fight false or incomplete medical information.

For example, be aware that there is no defining lab test for clinical depression.

No blood test, no urine test, no saliva test, no brain scan, no genetic assay.

Committees of psychiatrists sit down and look at unscientific menus of human behavior, lump certain behaviors together, and arbitrarily label them “clinical depression.”

Therefore, any Google questionnaire is simply going to feed into that trough of pseudoscience. That’s all.

Then, of course, there are the drugs that come with a diagnosis of depression. Drugs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft. I’ll help Google fight “incomplete medical information” in this area as well.

In 2004, Dr. Peter Breggin, eminent psychiatrist, expert witness in court trials, and author of Toxic Psychiatry, wrote the following about these drugs. I suggest paying close attention:
“On March 22 [2004] the FDA issued an extraordinary ‘Public Health Advisory’ that cautioned about the risks associated with the whole new generation of antidepressants including Prozac and its knock offs, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa, and Lexapro, as well as Wellbutrin, Effexor, Serzone, and Remeron. The warning followed a public hearing where dozens of family members and victims testified about suicide and violence committed by individuals taking these medications.”

“…In the debate over drug-induced suicide, little attention has been given to the FDA’s additional warning that certain behaviors are ‘known to be associated with these drugs’ including ‘anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, impulsivity, akathisia (severe restlessness), hypomania, and mania’.”

“From agitation and hostility to impulsivity and mania, the FDA’s litany of antidepressant-induced behaviors is identical to that of PCP, methamphetamine and cocaine—drugs known to cause aggression and violence. These older stimulants and most of the newer antidepressants cause similar effects as a result of their impact on a neurotransmitter in the brain called serotonin.”

“For more than a decade, I have documented in books and scientific reports how this stimulation or activation profile can lead to out-of-control behavior, including violence…”

“As a psychiatrist and as a medical expert, I have examined dozens of cases of individuals who have committed suicide or violent crimes while under the influence of the newer antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox and Celexa. In June in South Carolina, Christopher Pittman will go on trial for shooting his grandparents to death while they slept. Chris was twelve when his family doctor started him on Zoloft. Three weeks later the doctor doubled his dose and one week later Chris committed the violent acts. In other cases, a fourteen-year-old girl on Prozac fired a pistol pointblank at a friend but the gun failed to go off, and a teenage boy on Zoloft beat to death an elderly woman who complained to him about his loud music. A greater number of cases involve adults who lost control of themselves while taking antidepressants. In at least two cases judges have found individuals not guilty on the basis of involuntary intoxication with psychiatric drugs and other cases have resulted in reduced charges, lesser convictions, or shortened sentences.”

“The FDA includes mania in its list of known antidepressant effects. Manic individuals can become violent, especially when they are thwarted, and they can also ‘crash’ into depression and suicidal states. They can carry out elaborate but grandiose and doomed plans. One clinical trial showed a rate of 6% manic reactions…on Prozac. None developed mania on a sugar pill [placebo]. Even in short-term clinical trials, 1% or more of depressed adults develop mania compared to a small fraction on the sugar pill.”

“Unfortunately, there are also risks involved with stopping antidepressants. Many can cause withdrawal reactions that last days and sometimes longer, causing some patients to feel depressed, suicidal or even violent. Stopping antidepressants should be done carefully and with experienced clinical supervision.”

“…the FDA and the medical profession must forthrightly educate potential patients and the public about the sometimes life-threatening risks associated with the use of antidepressant medications.”
Here is the kicker. Google can do anything it wants to with the information in this article, the one you’re now reading. It can lower its ranking.

Google can control the flow of information.

Given that Google has that kind of power, I strongly suggest caution when it touts its own “depression questionnaire.”

It’s not only rigging the system, it is the system.

Jon Rappoport

28th August 2017, 15:19
'Not suitable for all advertisers': Ron Paul joins the list of political commentators economically censored by YouTube (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-27/youtube-economically-censors-ron-paul-labels-videos-not-suitable-all-advertisers)

Tyler Durden Zero Hedge (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-27/youtube-economically-censors-ron-paul-labels-videos-not-suitable-all-advertisers)
Sun, 27 Aug 2017 13:48 UTC

https://www.sott.net/image/s19/389373/large/58e8af71c46188a67c8b45a9.jpg (https://www.sott.net/image/s19/389373/full/58e8af71c46188a67c8b45a9.jpg)
Ron Paul © Mark Makela / Reuters

Former US Congressman Ron Paul has joined a growing list of independent political journalists and commentators who're being economically punished by YouTube despite producing videos that routinely receive hundreds of thousands of views.

In a tweet published Saturday, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange tweeted a screenshot of Paul's "Liberty Report" page showing that his videos had been labeled "not suitable" for all advertisers by YouTube's content arbiters.

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/841283762914656256/2AyBiX8E_bigger.jpg Julian Assange (https://twitter.com/JulianAssange)🔹‏ @JulianAssange (https://twitter.com/JulianAssange)

YouTube economically censors former presidential candidate @RonPaul (https://twitter.com/RonPaul) for criticizing U.S. foreign policy on Afghanistan and WikiLeaks.


2:22 PM - 26 Aug 2017

293 replies 5,206 retweets 6,441 likes Assange claims that Paul was being punished for speaking out about President Donald Trump's decision to increase the number of US troops in Afghanistan, after Paul published a video on the subject earlier this week.

The notion that YouTube would want to economically punish a former US Congressman for sharing his views on US foreign policy - a topic that he is unequivocally qualified to speak about - is absurd. Furthermore, the "review requested" marking on one of Paul's videos reveals that they were initially flagged by users before YouTube's moderators confirmed that the videos were unsuitable for a broad audience.

Other political commentators who've been censored by YouTube include Paul Joseph Watson and Tim Black - both ostensibly for sharing political views that differ from the mainstream neo-liberal ideology favored by the Silicon Valley elite.

Last week, Google - another Alphabet Inc. company - briefly banned Salil Mehta, (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/one-statistics-professor-was-just-banned-google-here-his-story) an adjunct professor at Columbia and Georgetown who teaches probability and data science, from using its service, freezing his accounts without providing an explanation. He was later allowed to return to the service.

Conservative journalist Lauren Southern spoke out about YouTube's drive to stifle politically divergent journalists and commentators during an interview with the Daily Caller. (http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/11/conservative-and-independent-youtube-channels-hit-by-censorship-and-demonetization/)
"I think it would be insane to suggest there's not an active effort to censor conservative and independent views," said Southern.

"Considering most of Silicon Valley participate in the censorship of alleged 'hate speech,' diversity hiring and inclusivity committees. Their entire model is based around a far left outline. There's no merit hiring, there's no support of free speech and there certainly is not an equal representation of political views at these companies." Of course, Google isn't the only Silicon Valley company that's enamored with censorship. Facebook has promised to eradicate "fake news," (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-22/facebook-has-quietly-developed-censorship-tool-push-chinese-return)which, by its definition, includes political content that falls outside of the mainstream.

Still, economically punishing a former US Congressman and medical doctor is a new low in Silicon Valley's campaign to stamp out dissent.

Sounds like censorship: YouTube cracks down on vocal Trump supporters Diamond and Silk by demonetizing 95% of their videos (https://www.sott.net/article/359000-Sounds-like-censorship-YouTube-cracks-down-on-vocal-Trump-supporters-Diamond-and-Silk-by-demonetizing-95-of-their-videos)

28th August 2017, 17:22
I feel sickened by what is happening now, so so sad, disgusted by those who abuse 'authority', and show feilty to the bankster cabal, the 1%, our 'slave-drivers' 😡, two fingers to the elitist bastards, we can circumnavigate their censorship. They are complacent in their assumptions that they are the only access to real news and views. Let's go alternative again 👍

31st August 2017, 15:13
Let's see where this leads...

...other words for "demonetization:

threats of withdrawal of - or withdrawal of - advertisers' sponsorship...
economic sanctions...
"Boycott" of products...

History repeating itself... like how, back at the beginning of the last century, local newspapers got financially bankrupted, products of certain origins were blacklisted, etc....

That's basically the strategy for the elimination of "competitors."

1st September 2017, 18:09
Kashmir Hill: New American think-tank firing shows Google quashes ideas it doesn't like - they did it to me too (http://gizmodo.com/yes-google-uses-its-power-to-quash-ideas-it-doesn-t-li-1798646437)

Kashmir Hill Gizmodo (http://gizmodo.com/yes-google-uses-its-power-to-quash-ideas-it-doesn-t-li-1798646437)
Thu, 31 Aug 2017 16:56 UTC

https://www.sott.net/image/s20/416943/large/djshfph5unlgu754zgwk.png (https://www.sott.net/image/s20/416943/full/djshfph5unlgu754zgwk.png)
© Jim Cooke/GMG, Getty

The story in the New York Times this week was unsettling: The New America Foundation, a major think tank, was getting rid of one of its teams of scholars (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/30/us/politics/eric-schmidt-google-new-america.html?_r=0), the Open Markets group. New America had warned its leader Barry Lynn that he was "imperiling the institution," the Times reported, after he and his group had repeatedly criticized Google, a major funder of the think tank, for its market dominance.

The criticism of Google had culminated in Lynn posting a statement to the think tank's website "applauding (https://www.newamerica.org/open-markets/press-releases/open-markets-applauds-european-commissions-finding-against-google-abuse-dominance/)" the European Commission's decision to slap the company with a record-breaking $2.7 billion fine for privileging its price-comparison service over others in search results. That post was briefly taken down, then republished. Soon afterward, Anne-Marie Slaughter, the head of New America, told Lynn that his group had to leave the foundation for failing to abide by "institutional norms of transparency and collegiality (https://www.newamerica.org/new-america/press-releases/interest-transparency-new-america-releases-email-correspondence-barry-lynn/)."

Google denied any role in Lynn's firing, and Slaughter tweeted that the "facts are largely right, but quotes are taken way out of context and interpretation is wrong." Despite the conflicting story lines, the underlying premise felt familiar to me: Six years ago, I was pressured to unpublish a critical piece about Google's monopolistic practices after the company got upset about it. In my case, the post stayed unpublished.

I was working for Forbes at the time, and was new to my job. In addition to writing and reporting, I helped run social media there, so I got pulled into a meeting with Google salespeople about Google's then-new social network, Plus.

The Google salespeople were encouraging Forbes to add Plus's "+1" social buttons to articles on the site, alongside the Facebook Like button and the Reddit share button. They said it was important to do because the Plus recommendations would be a factor in search results - a crucial source of traffic to publishers.

This sounded like a news story to me. Google's dominance in search and news give it tremendous power over publishers. By tying search results to the use of Plus, Google was using that muscle to force people to promote its social network.

I asked the Google people if I understood correctly: If a publisher didn't put a +1 button on the page, its search results would suffer? The answer was yes.

After the meeting, I approached Google's public relations team as a reporter, told them I'd been in the meeting, and asked if I understood correctly. The press office confirmed it, though they preferred to say the Plus button "influences the ranking." They didn't deny what their sales people told me: If you don't feature the +1 button, your stories will be harder to find with Google.

With that, I published a story headlined, "Stick Google Plus Buttons On Your Pages, Or Your Search Traffic Suffers," that included bits of conversation from the meeting.
The Google guys explained how the new recommendation system will be a factor in search. "Universally, or just among Google Plus friends?" I asked. 'Universal' was the answer. "So if Forbes doesn't put +1 buttons on its pages, it will suffer in search rankings?" I asked. Google guy says he wouldn't phrase it that way, but basically yes. (An internet marketing group scraped the story after it was published and a version can still be found here (https://imanetwork.org/hot-topics/081811-stick-google-plus-buttons-on-your-pages-or-your-search-traffic-suffers/).)

Google promptly flipped out. This was in 2011, around the same time that a congressional antitrust committee was looking into whether the company was abusing its powers (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-tech/post/googles-eric-schmidt-defends-the-companys-search-practices/2011/09/21/gIQAR7AllK_blog.html).

Google never challenged the accuracy of the reporting. Instead, a Google spokesperson told me that I needed to unpublish the story because the meeting had been confidential, and the information discussed there had been subject to a non-disclosure agreement between Google and Forbes. (I had signed no such agreement, hadn't been told the meeting was confidential, and had identified myself as a journalist.)

It escalated quickly from there. I was told by my higher-ups at Forbes that Google representatives called them saying that the article was problematic and had to come down. The implication was that it might have consequences for Forbes, a troubling possibility given how much traffic came through Google searches and Google News.

I thought it was an important story, but I didn't want to cause problems for my employer. And if the other participants in the meeting had in fact been covered by an NDA, I could understand why Google would object to the story.

Given that I'd gone to the Google PR team before publishing, and it was already out in the world, I felt it made more sense to keep the story up. Ultimately, though, after continued pressure from my bosses, I took the piece down - a decision I will always regret. Forbes declined comment about this.

But the most disturbing part of the experience was what came next: Somehow, very quickly, search results stopped showing the original story at all. As I recall it - and although it has been six years, this episode was seared into my memory - a cached version remained shortly after the post was unpublished, but it was soon scrubbed from Google search results. That was unusual; websites captured by Google's crawler did not tend to vanish that quickly. And unpublished stories still tend to show up in search results as a headline. Scraped versions could still be found, but the traces of my original story vanished. It's possible that Forbes, and not Google, was responsible for scrubbing the cache, but I frankly doubt that anyone at Forbes had the technical know-how to do it, as other articles deleted from the site tend to remain available through Google (https://www.google.com/search?q=Google%27s+Diversity+Rumpus+-+The+Fun+Thing+Is+He%27s+Right+About+The+Cause+Of+ The+Gender+Disparity+forbes.com).

Deliberately manipulating search results to eliminate references to a story that Google doesn't like would be an extraordinary, almost dystopian abuse of the company's power over information on the internet. I don't have any hard evidence to prove that that's what Google did in this instance, but it's part of why this episode has haunted me for years: The story Google didn't want people to read swiftly became impossible to find through Google.

Google wouldn't address whether it deliberately deep-sixed search results related to the story. Asked to comment, a Google spokesperson sent a statement saying that Forbes removed the story because it was "not reported responsibly," an apparent reference to the claim that the meeting was covered by a non-disclosure agreement. Again, I identified myself as a journalist and signed no such agreement before attending.

People who paid close attention to the search industry noticed the piece's disappearance and wrote (https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/156317/googles-sword-of-damocles.html) about (https://www.wired.com/2011/08/google-studying-re-ranking-search-results-using-1-button-data-but-its-touchy/) it (https://raventools.com/blog/forbes-reports-that-google-plus-will-be-universal-ranking-signal-then-pulls-the-article/), wondering why it disappeared. Those pieces, at least, are still findable today.

As for how effective the strategy was, Google's dominance in other industries didn't really pan out for Plus. Six years later, the social network is a ghost town and Google has basically given up on it (https://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/07/27/google-gives-up-on-google-as-a-facebook-rival/). But back when Google still thought it could compete with Facebook on social, it was willing to play hardball to promote the network.

Google started out as a company dedicated to ensuring the best access to information possible, but as it's grown into one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world, its priorities have changed. Even as it fights against ordinary people who want their personal histories removed from the web, the company has an incentive to suppress information about itself.

Google said it never (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-30/google-rejects-claim-it-urged-think-tank-to-fire-vocal-critic) urged New America to fire Lynn and his team. But an entity as powerful as Google doesn't have to issue ultimatums. It can just nudge organizations and get them to act as it wants, given the influence it wields.

Lynn and the rest of the team that left New America Foundation plan to establish a new nonprofit to continue their work. For now, they've launched a website called "Citizens Against Monopoly (https://citizensagainstmonopoly.org/)" that tells their story. It says that "Google's attempts to shut down think tanks, journalists, and public interest advocates researching and writing about the dangers of concentrated private power must end."

It's safe to say they won't be receiving funding from Google.

This story was produced by Gizmodo Media Group's Special Projects Desk (https://specialprojectsdesk.com/).

1st September 2017, 21:27
It's safe to say they won't be receiving funding from Google.

And with that post, and this thread, it's safe to say that Project Avalon also won't be receiving any funding from Google, and that traffic to Project Avalon from Google search hits will continue to decline (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?99444-Google-suppressing-free-speech-Google-search-traffic-to-Avalon-down-over-half.).

:highfive: :cow: :highfive:

1st September 2017, 21:54
And in related news, Youtube (a Google owned subsidiary since early 2006) has introduced a new way to all-but-censor Youtube videos it doesn't approve of.

As reported in the UK's The Sun, at DOWN THE 'TUBE (https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/4372177/youtube-accused-of-censorship-over-controversial-new-bid-to-limit-access-to-videos/):


YouTube accused of CENSORSHIP over controversial new bid to ‘limit’ access to videos

Google-owned video site is taking steps to reduce the audience for content deemed 'inappropriate or offensive', but not illegal.

By Jasper Hamill
1st September 2017, 8:56 pm
Updated: 1st September 2017, 9:57 pm

YOUTUBE has been accused of censorship after introducing a controversial new policy designed to reduce the audience for videos deemed to be "inappropriate or offensive to some audiences".

The Google-owned video site is now putting videos into a "limited state" if they are deemed controversial enough to be considered objectionable, but not hateful, pornographic or violent enough to be banned altogether.

This policy was announced several months ago but has come into force in the past week, prompting anger among members of the YouTube community.

The Sun Online understands Google and YouTube staff refer to the tactic as "tougher treatment".

One prominent video-maker slammed the new scheme whilst WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange described the measures as "economic censorship".

However, YouTube sees it as a way of maintaining freedom of speech and allowing discussion of controversial issues without resorting to the wholesale banning of videos.

Videos which are put into a limited state cannot be embedded on other websites.

They also cannot be easily published on social media using the usual share buttons and other users cannot comment on them.

This is the screen users are shown when they click on a video that has been 'limited'
Crucially, the person who made the video will no longer receive any payment.

Earlier this week, Julian Assange wrote: "'Controversial' but contract-legal videos [which break YouTube's terms and conditions] cannot be liked, embedded or earn [money from advertising revenue].

"What's interesting about the new method deployed is that it is a clear attempt at social engineering. It isn't just turning off the ads.

"It's turning off the comments, embeds, etc too.

"Everything possible to strangle the reach without deleting it."


There's more to this article at the above link.