Nato and France admit that we are in an information war for people's hearts and minds. This talk is an introduction to the topics of freedom of speech, freedom to listen, de-platforming, imprisonment and murder of journalists, character assassination, fake news, spun news, censorship and self-censorship.
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We are in the middle of both national and international information wars for our hearts and minds. In the US, 2020 Election spending was $14 Billion. Corporations literally get a great ROI on their lobbying and campaign contributions. Internationally, military organizations are getting involved. Here is the French military's strategy in English, and in French. And here you can read about Nato's policies. And Canada does it. They are not the only ones.
How do they do it? Let us examine the whole information-flow chain from the news source, to the journalist, through the network, through social media, and how it gets to you the reader. Once we understand the problem, it is easy to free ourselves at least from the algorithms and bots.
News starts with a source. In the US, some whistleblowers are not treated well, causing other whistle blowers to self-censor. Next the news gets to the reporters. Reportes Without Borders reports 50 journalists killed in 2020, 387 journalists are currently detained in connection with their work, and how many more were intimidated into self-censorship or a different career? Then the news has to cross the networks. There have been multiple cases of countries shutting down their entire internet network. According to the #KeepItOn Coalition, in 2020, 29 countries around the world resorted to shutdowns, with 33 in 2019, and 25 in 2018.
Then we get to the proprietary algorithms which determine what we see. In 2017 World Socialist Website (WSWS) began documenting that it, ( along with other leftist and antiwar outlets), had suddenly experienced a dramatic drop in traffic from Google searches. This was later confirmed by the Google CEO. Here we have the YouTube CEO saying that they will prioritize corporate videos over alternative news media. And here is one honest billionaire stating that he bought Politico for propoganda purposes. You can read more about censorship by Silicon valley, by the Main stream Media and by the US government.
We also have people being kicked off of Social Media. While you may not like him, many international leaders including Angela Merkel werre appalled that President Trump was kicked off of Facebook and Twitter without any due process. The 2020 Green Party presidential candidate was also temporarily kicked off Twitter. How many others have been de-platformed without our even noticing. Or worse yet, have their traffic throttled by the proprietary algorithms?
What can be done about all of this?
Substack.com provides a commercial solution. You subscribe to newsletters either for free, or as a paying subscriber. The journalist then publishes both free and paid newsletters. It includes great writers like Glenn Greenwald, Caitlin Johnstone, Matt Stoler, and Matt Taibi. Glenn Greenwald knows the substack staff personally and trusts them. They are of course closed source, and practice surveillance capitalism.
Of course there are many web sites with great content, but no email newsletter. But you can access both Substack and most websites articles using an rss readder. RSS is an ancient technology for accessing the newest articles from your favorite web sites. The problem is that then you get flooded with articles, many of which are junk.
i can't do anything about murders, imprisonment, or networks getting cut, but it is quite easy to beat the algorithms bots and de-platforming. UncensoredNews.US/newest does this, it pulls in RSS feeds daily, but there is still a lot of junk in there. Manual curation recommends the best articles sorts them into categories, and avoids being susceptible to bots. You can also see the source feeds. Better yet, you can browse the recommended articles by category.
In the video, page previews were displayed using the Google Chrome Browser Extension Link Preview.