By Aaron Kesel
Freedom of the press is dying as the most hated are being targeted by the establishment, opening up a door for censorship and control of information like the world has never seen, undoubtedly in preparation for the 2020 U.S. elections.
This week Julian Assange was sentenced in a Kangaroo Court in London for “skipping bail” for 50 weeks of a defunct bail warrant and fraudulent rape case, as well as having his first hearing on his extradition trial. Which, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden expressed, “it is not just a man who stands in jeopardy, but the future of the free press.” It is a sentiment shared and echoed by historic antiwar activist Daniel Ellsberg, a former Defense Department analyst who worked for the RAND Corporation and leaked the Pentagon Papers, this is possibly “The beginning of the end of Press Freedom.”
Edward @Snowden on the US extradition of #Assange: "No one today disputes that the revelations of @xychelsea were news of the highest order… immediately carried on the front pages of every newspaper. It is not just a man who stands in jeopardy, but the future of the free press" pic.twitter.com/ocePgdS9Wh
— Bella Magnani ⏳ (@BellaMagnani) May 2, 2019
Daniel Ellsberg on Assange arrest: The Beginning of the End For Press Freedomhttps://t.co/oFB9ZKfASq
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 12, 2019
It’s not only Julian Assange — the U.S. has recently been added to the list of most dangerous countries for journalists.
At least 63 professional journalists were killed doing their jobs in 2018, a 15 percent increase over last year, according to a Reporters Without Borders annual report.
That’s just statistics for 2018. A journalist ignored by the mainstream press, Serena Shim, also uncovered the smuggling of ISIS soldiers through the Turkish and Syrian border using NGO trucks. The Turkish MIT accused her of spying and 2 days later she was killed in a suspicious accident with a cement truck.
Further, Shim was banned from Turkey by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself, only to be allowed back in and then murdered.
The U.S. has also failed to address the Saudis for the issue of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman who is accused of being behind the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) was accused by the CIA of brutally dismembering Khashoggi last year. Now, Trump’s son in law and senior White House advisor Jared Kushner has just admitted that he believes Khashoggi was killed by the Saudis and they should be transparent. However, he doesn’t think that the deals he organized should be walked back, while stating Saudi Arabia should be held accountable.
“The advice I gave was, be as transparent as possible,” Kushner said. “We have to make sure there is accountability for what happened.”
Now the U.S. is going after Julian Assange’s extradition for claims of hacking under the CFAA, as a starting point for the charges they no doubt intend to pile on if they can get him to the United States. This sends a very clear message to nations like Saudi Arabia and others that “it’s okay to punish truth-tellers and muckrakers for doing their jobs even if that means death.”
That’s not all. At the same time that arguably one of the most influential journalists was told he will spend 50 weeks in Britain’s Belmarsh prison — a move that has drawn a request for visitation from Assange’s longtime friend Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire — Facebook decided to remove users who it deemed deplorable. Facebook also stated that it would use a new censorship link filter to block users from talking about certain sources unless it’s in a negative light; these sources need to be clearly condemned, and if you talk about them you will get banned, too — their words not mine.
Via The Atlantic:
Infowars is subject to the strictest ban. Facebook and Instagram will remove any content containing Infowars videos, radio segments, or articles (unless the post is explicitly condemning the content), and Facebook will also remove any groups set up to share Infowars content and events promoting any of the banned extremist figures, according to a company spokesperson. (Twitter, YouTube, and Apple have also banned Jones and Infowars.)
What everyone is missing is the power that Facebook is now openly displaying with a riveting message that should shock those who even hate the aforementioned individuals — Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, white supremacist Paul Nehlen, Infowars hosts Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer.
Now, with a system in place or admitted to the public eye, Facebook can openly remove anyone they see fit for violating their rules about certain ideas.
At the same time, the Poynter Institute — a partner in Facebook’s war against false claims and fake news — decided to release a list of 515 “unreliable” news websites”Unnews,” including 29 conservative websites, NewsBusters reported.
That list included several popular news sites — Breitbart, CNSNews.com, Daily Signal, Daily Wire, Drudge Report, Free Beacon, Judicial Watch, LifeNews, LifeSiteNews, LifeZette, LiveAction News, the Media Research Center, PJ Media, Project Veritas, Red State, The Blaze, Twitchy, and the Washington Examiner.
The article was written by a Southern Poverty Law Center producer, Barrett Golding, even though the SPLC has been exposed for its own hate in recent months. Golding, combined five major lists of websites marked “unreliable.”
Poynter further recommended that advertisers “who want to stop funding misinformation” should use its list. It stated that while marketers can create their own “blacklists,” those lists might be incomplete. Golding wrote that “Advertisers don’t want to support publishers that might tar their brand with hate speech, falsehoods or some kinds of political messaging.”
So the agenda here is clear censorship of information and the death of opposition and competition.
It’s incredibly interesting that Poynter would allow the SPLC to write such a smear job since it has been dropped by Twitter from its Trust and Safety Council and slammed by the mainstream media after multiple scandals have rocked the organization, as ZeroHedge reported.
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After the smear job was published, Poynter tried to rewind its actions and apologize for the release, but the damage has already been done.
“Soon after we published, we received complaints from those on the list and readers who objected to the inclusion of certain sites, and the exclusion of others. We began an audit to test the accuracy and veracity of the list, and while we feel that many of the sites did have a track record of publishing unreliable information, our review found weaknesses in the methodology,” Poynter’s managing editor Barbara Allen said in a statement on their website. “We detected inconsistencies between the findings of the original databases that were the sources for the list and our own rendering of the final report.”
Poynter is funded by Open Society Foundations, liberal billionaire George Soros’ massive foundations, as well as the Omidyar Network. The two combined for “$1.3 million in grant funding.”
Defending the right to Freedom Of Press means that you may have to stand up for those human beings whose speech is so vile and grotesque. Why? Because once one person’s rights are violated then the rest of us can soon follow.
This is a corporate social media giant telling its users that it will take action against them if they see fit and don’t meet their criteria. For the big giants like Alex Jones, it can be absorbed; but for newer and less-established people, this means Facebook now decides whether you succeed or fail in your venture. This easily could be used as a means to silence independent journalism and not just the above-mentioned people.
Ultimately, the list and the agenda show how far Poynter has fallen from its role as “the world’s most influential school for journalists,” to now attempting to censor those they disagree with, which coincidentally included mostly conservative news websites.
Do some of the sites listed produce propaganda without naming names? Sure, but so do those on the left as well as corporate media giants, which were conveniently left off the list. So this is entirely biased to fit an agenda.
Activist Post has previously written about another fact checker “NewsGuard” which was found to be connected to intelligence and think tank organizations.
As Kurt Nimmo (formerly of Infowars) recently stated, the rise of an increasing number of “fact checkers” is part of a larger operation to destroy alternative media:
While doing research for a Newsbud video, I came across the Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC) website. This is one of a growing number of “fact checking” websites designed to discredit news websites not following official narratives closely enough.
Here’s what the site has to say about Newsbud and my participation:
Newsbud (NB) is a right wing, conspiracy and anti-government site founded by, among others, Kurt Nimmo, the former lead editor and writer for Infowars. What sets NB apart from other sites of this type is that the stories are, for the most part, well written and contain numerous sources. The bias of the writing is also more subtle than sites such as Infowars, but just as prevalent. Both as an overtone to all the stories as well as the sometimes questionable sources and / or the conclusions drawn from the source material. Additionally, many of their sources are other NB stories, or work the author and editors have done elsewhere.
MBFC imparts misinformation in the first sentence. If it had done appropriate research, its ideologically driven checkers would have discovered Newsbud was established by Sibel Edmonds. I was invited to participate after the website was established and I am not a founder, as MBFC claims.
This error—more accurately described as shoddy and careless research—reveals the liberal bias of the site and its proprietor, Dave Van Zandt.
With all that stated, it’s worth mentioning that 90% of U.S. media was owned by 6 different companies in 2012 including GE, NewsCorp, Disney, Viacom, TimeWarner, CBS. Which, as a fun fact, the CFR owns major media holdings as Julian Assange pointed out. As former Army Major Todd Pierce described, the CFR acts as “primary provocateurs” using “psychological suggestiveness’ to create a false narrative of danger from some foreign entity with the objective being to create paranoia within the U.S. population that it is under imminent threat of attack or takeover.” We don’t see any of these being censored by fact checking organizations, yet all major media companies pushed a lie that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that Russians hacked the election and there was collusion with the Trump administration, without any single proof of evidence.
Council on Foreign Relations links to major media holdings
— Defend Assange Campaign (@DefendAssange) January 28, 2018
And all of this is still far from the only efforts to try and suppress the free flow of information online. In 2017 Activist Post reported that Full Fact foundation, backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and our favorite billionaire tycoon George Soros, the same men behind $1.3 million dollars in the funding of Poynter Institute were also planning to fight the efforts of “fake news” with their AI-powered “bull shit detector.”
In essence, there is a general consensus that the “fact checkers” are angry at alternative outlets for taking their viewers and are just censoring their competition. There’s no better time to remind readers that there are a number of alternatives out there to proprietary applications like Twitter and Facebook. While we shift into the future it’s even possible for you the reader to get paid for your comments and contributions using services like Steemit.com, SoMee.Social, Minds.com and soon Gab.ai
Again, as this writer has expressed before, it’s not up to shady individuals or organizations to decide what is and isn’t news — that’s the Ministry of Truth which George Orwell warned us all about and a nightmare that seems to be becoming our immediate reality. We don’t need arbiters of truth; what we need are smarter readers who research and dig deeper themselves, instead of blindly believing what they are told or hand fed in all forms of media as Edward Snowden said – “we need critical thinking.” If we punish those who give transparency we are only asking for tyranny, and Facebook and others need to realize suppressing something or someone or idea only has the opposite effect.
“The answer to bad speech is not censorship. The answer to bad speech is more speech. We have to exercise and spread the idea that critical thinking matters now more than ever, given the fact that lies seem to be getting very popular,” Edward Snowden.
— Stand With Snowden (@StandSnowden) December 13, 2016
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.
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Image credit: Truthstream Media