By Aaron Kesel
YouTube has announced a crackdown on conspiracy themed videos, which will soon feature informative debunking boxes linking back to Wikipedia and other sources, Yahoo News reported.
In light of the recent conspiracy driven narratives after shootings, with many claiming mere minutes after an event that a situation was a false flag attack, YouTube has taken measures into its own hands.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki detailed what the company has deemed a “potential solution.” YouTube will now begin displaying links to supposedly fact-based content to combat conspiracy videos.
Wojcicki announced the new feature, which she called “information cues,” during a talk with WIRED editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.
Here’s how the new information box will work according to WIRED: If a user searches and clicks on a conspiracy video about “insert topic,” YouTube will now link to a Wikipedia page that will aim to debunk the claim alongside the video.
A video calling into question whether humans have ever landed on the moon might be accompanied by the official Wikipedia page about the Apollo Moon landing in 1969. Wojcicki says the feature will only include conspiracy theories right now that have “significant debate” on the platform.
“Our goal is to start with a list of internet conspiracies listed on the internet where there is a lot of active discussion on YouTube,” Wojcicki said at SXSW.
YouTube made sure to clarify that it wasn’t banning the videos or becoming an arbiter of truth.
“People can still watch the videos, but then they have access to additional information,” said Wojcicki.
In regards to using Wikipedia, the website can also be edited by anyone and has had its own credibility issues in the past.
Ironically, Activist Post reported months ago that since Google was heading towards targeting critical thinkers demonized as “Conspiracy Theorists” who ask the difficult questions in its rating guidelines, YouTube wouldn’t be too long to follow behind those actions.
Considering that the origination of the word “Conspiracy Theorist” comes from the CIA, I would say using a derogatory word to discuss those who think is dangerous. More modernized, in fact, it is also straight out of the JTIRG playbook that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed.
Misinformation is plaguing the Internet, but who is to decide what is and isn’t misinformation? The readers themselves need to, because policing thought and opinion opens a door to the avenue of a Truth Council and information oversight where admins (the purveyors of truth) decide what is and isn’t fact. What happens when one of these people doesn’t dig deep enough and just dismisses something without looking at the evidence, due to lack of information or understanding? Censorship of not only ideas but also people as a whole who are effectively removed from the discussion.
As discussed in this reporter’s last article entitled “YouTube Purge: The End Of Freedom Of Expression Or The Great Awakening For Alternatives?” – questioning is healthy; and as writer Naomi Wolf exposed, you should think before it’s illegal to do so. “It’s no longer crazy to assess news events to see if they are real or not real,” she stated in the video below. As history has shown through declassified documents (overthrow of Mossadegh), leaked diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks, and reporting by murdered journalist Michael Hastings who exposed propaganda used against the Senate and Congress, “all over the world, it’s well-established, the State Department intelligence agencies engage in theatre, and it’s what they do, it’s spycraft, to create spectacles and events that people may not realize are spectacles and events…,” Naomi says.
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Hastings exposed the use of propaganda to get into Afghanistan in his report entitled: “The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon Doesn’t Want You to Read.” The article was surrounding a leaked unclassified Pentagon report. The report took the shroud off the U.S. military’s psyops operation command revealing several techniques the group uses in psychological warfare to manipulate the public, including but not limited to fake intelligence information, lack of information and social media manipulation, according to Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis. The kicker is that not only were those tactics used against the American people but the tactics were used against senators.
It is an extremely worrying fact that the Military Industrial Complex would manipulate elected officials with fake news, especially considering that propaganda wasn’t legalized in America again until 2012. Previous legislation had been passed to protect citizens during the Church Committee hearings as part of a series of investigations into intelligence abuses during the mid-1970s, amended by the Smith-Mundt Act. Smith-Mundt was repealed in 2012 under Obama, as Business Insider reported, “The NDAA Legalizes The Use Of Propaganda On The US Public.”
As Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright stated, VOA, Radio Free Europe, and many others “should be given the opportunity to take their rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics.” Fulbright’s amendment to Smith-Mundt was bolstered in 1985 by Nebraska Senator Edward Zorinsky, who argued that such “propaganda” should be kept out of America as to distinguish the U.S. “from the Soviet Union where domestic propaganda is a principal government activity.”
This is extremely dangerous; one perspective might see things a different way because one person has acquired information, while the other lacks that information. For example, the U.S. government (specifically the CIA) used documented propaganda on the public and uses foreign propaganda against other countries. It’s not just the CIA, other nations’ intelligence services do it, too.
While one person might feel that is insane, (and it quite literally is) the other person might know of the previous existence of Operation Mockingbird,which used CIA-employed journalists to produce fake stories during the Cold War era 1950s through 1970s. They also funded student and cultural organizations and magazines as front organizations. This CIA operation became known as Operation Mockingbird and was mentioned in the infamous CIA Family Jewels collection.
The U.K. equivalent to Operation Mockingbird was known as Operation Mass Appeal. It was allegedly run by MI6 during 1997–98 and exaggerated Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction according to former U.N. chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter. That claim was further exaggerated years later in 2003 when the U.K. government Downing St. produced a fake Iraq war memo that was exposed as being based off academic papers. It is a claim that would never have seen the light of day if it wasn’t for a doctor named David Kelly, one of the lead scientists who called the Iraq dossier a sham. Kelly was later found in the woods, and his death remains a mystery to this day.
Another example is how the media as a whole portrayed a video that was claimed to be from Syria (known as the “Syrian boy hero”) as real, but was later revealed by Norwegian filmmakers to have been faked. As a result, the media had to backpedal their story issuing retractions.
Years later in an unrelated incident, five people were arrested for using children in staged Aleppo videos, showing how dangerous it is to report any information out of Syria, as well as how important it is to have independent free thinkers.
Perhaps a better example, and one that doesn’t involve propaganda, that more people can relate to is the situation in Flint, Michigan where water was poisoned due to negligence that was attempted to be covered up by the local government. YouTube as a medium allowed those citizens to have a voice and show the carelessness by their government officials. Further, the government even removed the citizens’ power to sue the state of Michigan over the lead contamination of its water supply.
For a moment imagine that this was called fake; these people would have been ignored far more than they were by the national mainstream media.
Then there is the spraying of carcinogenic chemicals on unknowing residents in the U.S. and Canada by the Army under Operation DEW and Operation Large Area Coverage (LAC) during the Cold War in testing linked to weaponry involving radioactive ingredients meant to attack the Soviet Union. Which, if I am being frank, sounds absolutely bonkers; but if you study history, you will see that this is the least that was done during that time frame, i.e. the infamous program known as Project MKUltra. During that covert program, people all over the place were tested with various experiments, many times against their own will.
So to say that YouTube will link to one source that can be edited by anyone and claim it as the moral high ground of “truth” is insanity.
For now, at the very least, we can be thankful that YouTube is stating that it will not outright ban all content it designates as conspiracy theory (yet), despite the recent purge of dozens upon dozens of accounts that are connected to free speech and free thought. There are also always alternatives such as DTube, BitChute, and many others for uploading content. We need to ask ourselves is the YouTube purge the end of freedom of expression or the great awakening for alternatives?
YouTube’s moves against free thinkers could backfire for the company quite severely because truth is stranger than fiction. Although this writer can agree with YouTube that the world is a spheroid, definitely not flat or completely round for that matter, it is important to have free independent thought and speech. Even if that means I have to share the planet with flat-Earthers or people who believe every crazed murder spree is a false flag attack (granted some might be because Operation Northwoods against Cuba and a memo suggested a false flag attack against Russia during the Cold War using civilians as cannon fodder, so it’s not that insane to suggest.)
The rapid changes we are witnessing with the main drivers of Internet perception has even drawn the attention of one of the inventors of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee. He noted in an open letter that “What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms.” Do we really want those dominant platforms telling us their exclusive version of the truth?