The political issues raised by the media ban on UK far-right leader Tommy Robinson By Thomas Scripps

15 March 2019 — WSWS

UK far-right leader Tommy Robinson has been banned from a growing list of social media outlets.

Last week, Amazon blocked the sale of Robinson’s Islamophobic diatribe on the Quran, co-authored with another far-right figure, Peter McLoughlin. In February, he was permanently banned from Facebook and Instagram, following a Twitter ban in March 2018 and a PayPal ban in November 2018. YouTube suspended advertising on his account this January and is under pressure to bar his account.

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On TEDx, Gene Therapy, Profits, and Criminal Thinking By Phil Butler

7 March 2019 — New Eastern Outlook

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And the headlines read, “Putin wants his own private internet.” This genius stroke of Neanderthal mass information came from TechRadar via the golden string of stupidity that emanates from Bloomberg. This “thread” I speak of is the connective tissue of the most ominous force in the history of our planet. How’s that for sensational? Now let me show you why America’s propaganda machine will be the end of us all. Very soon, thinking at all will be a crime.

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UK parliament committee demands sweeping social media censorship By Robert Stevens

22 February 2019 — WSWS

Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) has called for the sweeping censorship of Facebook and other social media.

Reporting its 18-month investigation into “Disinformation and ‘fake news’,” the select committee’s explicitly anti-Russian agenda was clear from the outset, with a remit to tackle accusations of foreign interference in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the 2016 referendum on the UK’s European Union membership and the 2017 general election.

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Major Psy-Op in Europe Exposed: UK Government Tramples on Values It Vowed to Protect By Alex Gorka

26 November 2018 — Strategic Culture Foundation

Those who have been saying that the West has turned Russia into a scapegoat to be blamed for each and every thing that goes wrong have been proved right. We have witnessed concocted stories invented to denigrate Moscow that have gone viral as directed by the secret services. The UK, the country that is spearheading the anti-Russian information campaign, offers a good example that illustrates how this is being done.

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How Google, Facebook and Twitter are manipulating the Mexican presidential elections—Part 1

28 April 2018 — WSWS

US election meddling in the age of the Internet

By Alex González and Andrea Lobo

This is the first part in a two-part series

In recent months, Google, Facebook and Twitter have signed agreements with the Mexican National Electoral Institute (INE), the organization charged with carrying out elections in Mexico, in what amounts to a massive campaign to manipulate the outcome of the July 1 general elections in the world’s tenth most populous country.

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The Real Reason Social Media Makes Hollywood So Nervous By J. F. Sargent

26 April 2018 — FAIR

Scene from the Black Mirror episode Nosedive

The Black Mirror episode “Nosedive” envisions a dystopia where every human interaction is rated on social media.

There’s an episode of the Netflix show Black Mirror called “Nosedive,” about a world where everyone can rate their interactions with everyone else on a scale of 1–5, and each person’s average rating determines their socioeconomic status. The moral of the episode (because most episodes of Black Mirror have a techno-moral at the end) was a warning against the dangers of mob mentality and groupthink on social media. It’s easy to see where they got the idea: you only need to look at the story of Justine Sacco, whose life was turned upside down over an offensive joke she wrote on Twitter, or Zoe Quinn, who’s life was torn apart over lies spread by a vengeful ex, to see that internet hatred and rumor-mongering is dangerous, and we haven’t figured out how to deal with it yet. It’s scary, but TV is obsessed with it.

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If you don’t want Facebook, what do you want? By Dan Hind

11 April 2018 — Return of the Public

Facebook is once again in the news. Last month a joint investigation by the Observer, the New York Times and Channel 4 revealed that a UK company, Cambridge Analytica, had used information about Facebook’s users to target voters during Donald Trump’s successful campaign to become president in 2016. But the threat that the data giants’ business model poses to individual autonomy and to democratic process is not news.

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Who Will Take on the 21st Century Tech and Media Monopolies? By Justin Anderson

10 April 2018 — FAIR

Observer: Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach

Facebook “failed to alert users and took only limited steps to recover and secure the private information of more than 50 million individuals” (London Observer, 3/17/18).

After decades of regulatory neglect, Big Tech is finally coming under the microscope.

Facebook is under fire for (among other things) its involvement with Cambridge Analytica, a British data analytics firm funded by hedge fund billionaire and major Republican party donor Robert Mercer and formerly led by President Trump’s ex–campaign manager and strategist Steve Bannon. Cambridge Analytica harvested data from over 87 million Facebook profiles (up from Facebook’s original count of 50 million) without the users’ consent, according to a report by the London Observer (3/17/18) sourced to a whistleblower who worked at Cambridge Analytica until 2014.

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Media Warn of ‘Russian Bots’—Despite Primary Source’s Disavowal By Adam Johnson

5 April 2018 — FAIR

WaPo: Russian bots are tweeting their support of embattled Fox News host Laura Ingraham

Washington Post (4/2/18): “Wading into controversy is a key strategy for Russian propaganda bots.”

One could forgive the average reader for thinking reporters covering bots had been replaced by bots. The formula is something we’ve seen a million times now: After a controversial story breaks, media outlets insist that “Russian bots” used the controversy to “sow discord” or “exploit tensions”; a “Russian bot dashboard” is offered as proof. (These “dashboards” let one see what Russian bots—automated online persona controlled by the Kremlin—are allegedly  “pushing” on social media.)

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The truth about Cambridge Analytica-SCL: Psy-ops by UK-US deep state actors By Julie Hyland

26 March 2018 — WSWS

The scandal surrounding Facebook’s relationship with Cambridge Analytica, the election data company previously associated with former Trump campaign Chairman Steve Bannon, dominates the media in the US and Britain.

The serious privacy concerns involved in the harvesting of the personal information of some 50 million Facebook users were underscored by Britain’s Channel 4 News. An undercover investigation filmed Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix boasting of dirty tricks operations to ensnare politicians and subvert elections.

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