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Facebook, Twitter And Google Outline Unprecedented Mass Censorship At US Senate Hearing

Behind the backs of the US and world populations, social media companies have built up a massive censorship apparatus staffed by an army of “content reviewers” capable of seamlessly monitoring, tracking, and blocking millions of pieces of content.

The character of this apparatus was detailed in testimony Wednesday from representatives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google’s YouTube before the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, chaired by South Dakota Republican John Thune.

The hearing was called to review what technology companies are doing to shut down the communications of political opposition organizations. It represented a significant escalation of the campaign, supported by both Democrats and Republicans, to establish unprecedented levels of censorship and control over the Internet.

Armed with increasingly powerful artificial intelligence systems, these technology companies are free to remove and block the communications of their users at the behest of the government, in a seamless alliance between Silicon Valley and the major US spy agencies.

Monika Bickert, head of Global Policy Management at Facebook, told lawmakers that the social media giant now employs a security team of 10,000 people, 7,500 of whom “assess potentially violating content,” and that, “by the end of 2018 we will more than double” the security team.

This group includes “a dedicated counterterrorism team” of “former intelligence and law-enforcement officials and prosecutors who worked in the area of counterterrorism.” In other words, there is a revolving door between the technology giants and the state intelligence and police forces, with one increasingly indistinguishable from the other.

Bickert pointed to the growing use of artificial intelligence to flag content, saying Facebook does not “wait for these… bad actors to upload content to Facebook before placing it into our detection systems,” bragging that much of the “propaganda” removed from Facebook “is content that we identify ourselves before anybody” else has a chance to view it.

She added that Facebook has partnered with over a dozen other companies to maintain a blacklist of content, based on “unique digital fingerprints.” This means that if a piece of content, whether a video, image, or written statement, is flagged by any one of these companies, it will be banned from all social media. This database now includes some 50,000 pieces of content and is constantly growing, officials said.

In other words, the technology giants have created an all-pervasive system of censorship in which machines, trained to collaborate with the CIA, FBI, and other US intelligence agencies, are able to flag and block content even before it is posted.

Juniper Downs, global head of Public Policy and Government Relations at YouTube, likewise boasted that Google uses “a mix of technology and humans to remove content,” adding that YouTube relies on a “trusted flagger program” to provide “actionable flags” based on the flaggers’ experience with “issues like hate speech and terrorism,” words that imply that these “trusted flaggers” are connected to US intelligence agencies.

“Machine learning is now helping our human reviewers remove nearly five times as many videos as they were before,” Downs said, adding that Google’s censorship machine is virtually automated. She said that this year there will be “10,000 people across Google working to address content that might violate our policies.”

Downs declared that since June YouTube has “removed 160,000 videos and terminated 30,000 channels for violent extremism.” The company has “reviewed over two million videos” in its collaboration with “law enforcement, government,” and “NGOs.”

Downs stated that Google is actively engaged in promoting what she called “counter-speech,” that is, the promotion of propaganda narratives. She also pointed to Google’s Jigsaw program as deploying “targeted ads and YouTube videos to disrupt online radicalization,” and “redirecting” users to content that Google approves of.

The hearing also featured the testimony of Clint Watts, a former FBI official, former US Army officer, fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and a leading promoter of social media censorship.

Watts presented the hearing with an unhinged justification for what these massive powers might be used for, in a hypothetical scenario he dubbed “Anwar Awlaki meets PizzaGate.”

“The greatest concern moving forward,” he said, “might likely be a foreign intelligence service, posing as Americans on social media, infiltrating one or both political extremes in the US and then recruiting unwitting Americans to undertake violence against a target of the foreign power’s choosing.”

In this formulation, social opposition, what he calls the “political extremes,” including left-wing politics, is the product of foreign intervention and therefore treasonous. It is also defined as “terrorist” in content and therefore criminal.

Watts expressed extreme fear over the widespread growth of opposition to the policies of US imperialism. He arrogantly decried, “Lesser-educated populations around the world predominately arriving in cyberspace via mobile phones will be particularly vulnerable to social media manipulation.”

The content of Thursday’s testimony points the far-advanced preparations for the establishment of police state forms of rule.

The effort to control speech online is driven by a ruling elite that is immensely fearful of social opposition. Amid growing social inequality and the ever-mounting threat of world war, broad sections of the population, and in particular the working class, are increasingly disillusioned with the capitalist system. Having no social reform to offer, the ruling elites see censorship as the only means to prop up their rule.

Given the explosive content of the statements made at Thursday’s hearing, it is extraordinary that they received no significant coverage in either the print or broadcast media.

The hearing took place just one day after the World Socialist Web Site carried its live webinar, “Organizing Resistance to Internet Censorship,” featuring WSWS chairperson David North and journalist Chris Hedges.

Note: The source article promotes socialism. Whiskey Tango Texas is anti-communism and socialism

By Andre Damon | World Socialist Web Site

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Teens Catch CNBC Director Using Spy Camera In Bathroom

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A prominent employee with CNBC has been accused of using a hidden camera to spy on his teenage nanny.

According to The New York Daily News, 44-year-old Dan Switzen, director of “The Suze Orman Show,” is accused of placing a camera inside a tissue box in the bathroom of his New York home. Law enforcement sources say the camera was discovered on Nov. 13 after two of the 18-year-old live-in nanny’s friends came over to Switzen’s residence. The teens took the camera to Pleasantville police at around 7:50 p.m. that evening where “cops found incriminating images on its memory card.” After securing a search warrant, police took Switzen into custody on felony unlawful surveillance charges. “He intentionally installed a video recording device in a tissue box located in his family’s bathroom to surreptitiously view a person dressing or undressing… at a place and time when (the victim) had a reasonable expectation of privacy without (her) knowledge or consent,” a complaint filed in court reads. Switzen, according to attorney Jeffrey Chartier, was released without bail.

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Dan Switzen, married with children

“He’s a very decent family man. I don’t want to litigate these allegations in the press,” Chartier said. “We will defend him accordingly.” Both Switzen and CNBC declined to comment when contacted by reporters. “No comment at all. Thanks, bye,” Switzen said when reached by phone. News of Switzen’s arrest comes amid reports that NBC is attempting to clamp down on sexual misconduct within its ranks.

Numerous high-profile employees including Mark Halperin, Matt Lauer, and Chris Matthews have also been accused of wrongdoing in recent weeks. Similar allegations have also been rife within other progressive news outlets as well as the entertainment industry this year.

By Mikael Thalen | Infowars.com

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CNN Reporter Hides in Bushes to Film Trump Playing Golf

 

Click on blue tweet bird across from Manu Raju’s name to play the clip.

This Is Modern Dance ― This Is What Passes For Culture

It’s OK to rebel against the modern world, embrace traditionalism.

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… is America haunted?

 

Cops & Gov’t Workers Arrested in Massive Sting, Eager To Buy Children Young as 4 for Sex

A massive sting targeting society’s worst, who prey on children, ensnared scores of people including a police officer, postal worker, and a teacher.

Trenton, NJ — Scores of people were arrested this week in a multi-agency sting that targeted child predators. “Operation Safety Net” was led by the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and took down 79 predators, some of whom were attempting to purchase children as young as 4-years-old for sex.

Setting this sting apart from the multiple other stings throughout the country is the fact that it concentrated solely on children instead of simply busting willing adults paying for consensual sex.

As TFTP has reported in the past, arresting consenting adults engaging in sex for money causes far more problems than it prevents by pushing the sex trade into the criminal market and actually fostering illegal human trafficking. Concentrating law enforcement efforts on stopping those who go after children is a much more effective and moral crusade than busting consenting adults for sex.

Operation Safety Net ensnared some of the region’s vilest child predators who Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino’s office called “hands-on” offenders. According to NBC 10, these sickos included George Castillo, 36, of Inglewood, California, who authorities said asked undercover police detectives to send a 4-year-old girl and a 9-year-old girl to Los Angeles for sex.

He was arrested at the Los Angeles airport when he showed up to meet the girls, Porrino’s office said.

Castillo faces federal charges of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and production of child pornography, as well as state charges that include child trafficking, according to the report.

Another disgusting human being to be swept up in the sting was Joseph Donohew, 26, of Brownsburg, Indiana, who tried to offer an undercover detective money to have sex with a 9-year-old girl. He had bought the girl a nightgown from a Disney movie, authorities said. He was charged in Indiana with attempted child molestation, according to NBC 10.

To illustrate just how wide-spread the problem is, law enforcement arrested at least one person in every single county in the state, as well as some from out of state.

It wasn’t just basement dwellers and recluses who were busted either. Included in the 79 arrests was a police officer from Trenton—Paul Marinelli, a 20 year veteran of the department—a teacher, a postal worker, and multiple successful IT professionals.

Marinelli was also just arrested in September for possession of child porn and pleaded not guilty. However, it appears that he was able to keep his job on paid suspension only to be busted 2 months later for similar charges.

To aid them in their bust, police used the only electronics sniffing dog in the country to help sniff out USB drives disguised as Lego bricks and other small items like cuff links.

“The men we arrested lurked in the shadows of the internet and social media, looking for opportunities to sexually assault young children or to view such unspeakable assaults by sharing child pornography,” Porrino said in the statement. “We set up a wide safety net in this operation to snare these alleged predators and to protect children, which remains our highest priority.”

What this sting illustrates is that the problem of child sex abuse exists in all walks of life, including those tasked with stopping it. TFTP applauds the men and women who devoted the last nine months to Operation Safety Net and their work should serve as an example to the countless other departments who spend far more money and time going after people for possessing a plant or for their illegal window tint.

When there is clearly a child predator in every county in New Jersey, wasting taxpayer dollars to kick in doors in the middle of the night to arrest people for possessing a plant becomes one of the most asinine tasks a police officer can do. If these resources that were applied to the drug war were shifted over to stopping the exploitation of children, rest assured, these predators’ days would be numbered.

Source: Blacklisted News

Sex Toys, Penis Shots, & Sexting

More Details Emerge About Culture Of American Communist State Propaganda Fake News Readers

The details of the sexual harassment complaints against former Today Show host Matt Lauer have finally emerged, and even by 2017 standards, they are pretty remarkable.

But perhaps more disturbing than the details of the actual harassment is the fact that – like the executives at Weinstein Co. and ABC News – the brass at NBC’s news division were repeatedly approached by female employees and warned about Lauer’s behavior. Yet they did nothing, because they didn’t want to jeopardize any of the lucrative advertising deals tied to Today and Lauer.

Fearing being followed by tabloid reporters, Lauer reportedly pursued relationships with female colleagues because he is married and feared being caught cheating. He kept an office in a secluded space at 30 Rock, and even had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside, which is incredibly creepy.

Variety’s story is the result of a monthslong investigation, which suggests that – contrary to the network’s official story – NBC knew the expose was coming and decided to get out in front of it.

Several women told Variety they complained to executives at the network about Lauer’s behavior, which fell on deaf ears given the lucrative advertising surrounding “Today.” NBC declined to comment. For most of Lauer’s tenure at “Today,” the morning news show was No. 1 in the ratings, and executives were eager to keep him happy.

In its report, Variety paints Lauer as vain, crude and lecherous – a far cry from the “America’s Dad” image he cultivated at Today.

The daytime host was reportedly “obsessed” with women’s bodies and had numerous affairs with female employees at NBC.

Despite being married, Lauer was fixated on women, especially their bodies and looks, according to more than 10 accounts from current and former employees. He was known for making lewd comments verbally or over text messages. He once made a suggestive reference to a colleague’s performance in bed and compared it to how she was able to complete her job, according to witnesses to the exchange. For Lauer, work and sex were intertwined.

“There were a lot of consensual relationships, but that’s still a problem because of the power he held,” says a former producer who knew first-hand of these encounters. “He couldn’t sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people, because he’s Matt Lauer and he’s married. So he’d have to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn’t ever complain.”

In one shocking anecdote, a producer recounted how Lauer exposed himself to her after inviting her to his office.

On another day, he summoned a different female employee to his office, and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis. After the employee declined to do anything, visibly shaken, he reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act.

Lauer also had a bizarre penchant for playing “f—, marry, kill” with colleagues, a game popular among teenage boys.

He would sometimes quiz female producers about who they’d slept with, offering to trade names. And he loved to engage in a crass quiz game with men and women in the office: “f—, marry, or kill,” in which he would identify the female co-hosts that he’d most like to sleep with.

He even reportedly gave one colleague a sex toy as a gift with a note saying he’d like to use it on her.

As the co-host of NBC’s “Today,” Matt Lauer once gave a colleague a sex toy as a present. It included an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her, which left her mortified.

Of course, the complaint that led to Lauer’s dismissal was about inapporpriate sexual contact that started when Lauer and an NBC News team were covering the Olympics in Sochi.

On Wednesday, NBC announced that Lauer was fired from “Today.” It was a stunning move for a co-host who was widely considered the crown jewel of the network’s news division, with a $25 million annual salary. The cause of his dismissal, according to sources, was a detailed complaint from another current NBC employee about inappropriate sexual conduct from Lauer that started on a trip at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 and continued for several months.

Even the male employees Lauer surrounded himself with at Today were sexual harassers. As Variety reports, the spotlight on Lauer intensified earlier this month, when his longtime booker Matt Zimmerman was fired over sexual harassment complaints. The two were very close, and Lauer had promoted Zimmerman to a high executive position and offered him a powerful perch.

Lauer is undoubtedly one of the most visible media figures to be felled by the widening national conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace. The scandal is yet another embarassment for NBC  after the network was criticized for turning down Ronan Farrow’s first Harvey Weinstein expose. With Charlie Rose and Lauer gone, Daytime television has now lost two of its most prominent male co-hosts.

Despite Variety’s reporting to the contrary, one of the heads of NBC News said the network received its first complaint about Lauer in 20 years on Monday.

pulling it all together …

Source: ZeroHedge

Please Stand Up …

 

The Flammarion engraving (1888) depicts a traveler who arrives at the edge of a flat Earth and sticks his head through the firament, by Camille Flammarion.

One day a college professor of Psychology was greeting his new college class. He stood up in front of the class and said, “Would everyone who thinks he or she is stupid please stand up?”

After a minute or so of silence, a young man stood up.

“Well, good morning. So, you actually think you’re a moron?” the professor asked.

The kid replied, “No sir, I just didn’t want to see you standing there all by yourself.”