“Google will ‘de-rank’ RT articles to make them harder to find,” reads a recent RT headline. The story cites Google shit-head-in-chief Eric Schmidt, and includes this:
“We are working on detecting and de-ranking those kinds of sites – it’s basically RT and Sputnik,” Schmidt said during a Q & A session at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada on Saturday, when asked about whether Google facilitates “Russian propaganda.”
“We are well of aware of it, and we are trying to engineer the systems to prevent that [the content being delivered to wide audiences]. But we don’t want to ban the sites – that’s not how we operate.”
The discussion focused on the company’s popular Google News service, which clusters the news by stories, then ranks the various media outlets depending on their reach, article length and veracity, and Google Alerts, which proactively informs subscribers of new publications.
Great. Google, which already owns New America Foundation, a prominent Washington think tank, will now be exercising even greater control over what we poor plebes can read and write.
So will Twitter, which “has gone from bastion of free speech to global censor,” Alfons López Tena, a member of the Catalan Parliament, wrote in a Business Insider op-ed.
Here’s the top to his story:
On June 17th at around 10 am Doha time (07:00 GMT) the Twitter account of Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel, a verified account with more than eleven million followers, was suspended due to an organized campaign. Engineers at Al Jazeera Arabic who were in communication with Twitter said there was a “storm attack” of mass reports of the account to Twitter, which forced the algorithm to temporarily suspend the account, but Twitter did not immediately respond to request for comment.
It has been a high profile case of an already well established pattern: Twitter receives significant numbers of complaints at the same time, a mass reporting of an account, and automatically closes it. No warnings, no checks, no costumer’s guarantees whatsoever.
Of course, the mainstream press doesn’t report much about this, because this is, for it, merely a case of responsible corporate citizens protecting the public from “fringe publications” — even, it seems, Washington Babylon.
I recently got the following email:
I save links to all of my news sources in one place and use Mozilla‘s Pocket program to do it. Never had problems accessing your page via Pocket, til today. A pop up comes up saying your site may not be safe. I wonder how many people that will scare off? Took a screenshot of it if you want me to send it to you. [Note: See below.]
It’s almost too obvious to point out here the famous quote by Martin Niemöller, “the Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps“: It begins, “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.”
But don’t forget, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC et al, don’t totally not care about these overt acts of censorship merely because they don’t care about free speech. They also don’t care because they are not, as corporate citizens, socialists. They are owned by and advocated for the corporate class and its political minions.
So if you want to support a free press, don’t be like all those dumb, smug Daily Show fans and subscribe to the New York Times or Washington Post, or attend Hamilton, to protest Donald Trump.
Say “Fuck You” to the whole shit show and donate to Washington Babylon, by clicking here.