Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 22, 2018

Facebook Kills "Inauthentic" Foreign News Accounts - U.S. Propaganda Stays Alive

The creation of digital content led to the re-establishment of claqueurs:

By 1830 the claque had become an institution. The manager of a theatre or opera house was able to send an order for any number of claqueurs. These were usually under a chef de claque (leader of applause), who judged where the efforts of the claqueurs were needed and to initiate the demonstration of approval. This could take several forms. There would be commissaires ("officers/commissioner") who learned the piece by heart and called the attention of their neighbors to its good points between the acts. Rieurs (laughers) laughed loudly at the jokes. Pleureurs (criers), generally women, feigned tears, by holding their handkerchiefs to their eyes. Chatouilleurs (ticklers) kept the audience in a good humor, while bisseurs (encore-ers) simply clapped and cried "Bis! Bis!" to request encores.

Today anyone can create content and rent or buy virtual claqueurs in from of  "likes" on Facebook or "followers" on Twitter to increase its distribution.

An alternative is to create artificial social media personas who then promote ones content. That is what the Internet Research Agency, the Russian "troll factory" from St. Petersburg, did. The fake personas it established on Facebook promoted IRA created clickbait content like puppy picture pages that was then marketed to sell advertisements.

The profit orientated social media giants do not like such third party promotions. They prefer that people pay THEM to promote their content. Selling advertisements is Facebook's business. Promotional accounts on its own platform are competition.

The anti-Russian mania in U.S. politics gives social media companies a welcome excuse to clamp down on promotional schemes for sites like Liberty Front Press by claiming that these are disinformation campaigns run by the U.S. enemy of the day.

Yesterday Facebook announced  that it deleted a number of user accounts for "inauthentic behavior":

We’ve removed 652 Pages, groups and accounts for coordinated inauthentic behavior that originated in Iran and targeted people across multiple internet services in the Middle East, Latin America, UK and US. FireEye, a cybersecurity firm, gave us a tip in July about “Liberty Front Press,” a network of Facebook Pages as well as accounts on other online services.
...
We are able to link this network to Iranian state media through publicly available website registration information, as well as the use of related IP addresses and Facebook Pages sharing the same admins. For example, one part of the network, “Quest 4 Truth,” claims to be an independent Iranian media organization, but is in fact linked to Press TV, an English-language news network affiliated with Iranian state media.

The FireEye report Facebook acted on notes:

FireEye has identified a suspected influence operation that appears to originate from Iran aimed at audiences in the U.S., U.K., Latin America, and the Middle East. This operation is leveraging a network of inauthentic news sites and clusters of associated accounts across multiple social media platforms to promote political narratives in line with Iranian interests. These narratives include anti-Saudi, anti-Israeli, and pro-Palestinian themes, as well as support for specific U.S. policies favorable to Iran, such as the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA).
...
Based on an investigation by FireEye Intelligence’s Information Operations analysis team, we assess with moderate confidence that this activity originates from Iranian actors.

The evidence FireEye presents is quite thin. The purpose of its inquest and report is obviously self-promotion.

Moon of Alabama is also promoting anti-Saudi, anti-Israeli, and pro-Palestinian themes. It supports the JCPOA deal. This is, according to FireEye, "in line with Iranian interests". It may well be. But does that make Moon of Alabama a "suspected influence operation"? Is it an "inauthentic news site"?

Is the @MoonofA Twitter account showing "coordinated inauthentic behavior" when it promotes the pieces presented on this site? We, by the way, assess with high confidence that that this activity originates from a German actor. Is that a reason to shut it down?

Who will shut down the tons of "inauthentic" accounts U.S. spies, the British military and Israeli propaganda organisations run?

Here is another high confidence tip for FireEye. There is proof, and even an admission of guilt, that a hostile government financed broadcasting organization is creating inauthentic Facebook accounts to disseminate disinformation. These narratives include anti-Russian, anti-Syrian, and pro-Saudi views, as well as support for specific U.S. policies favorable to Israel, such as its financing of the anti-Iranian headscarf campaign.

This year the U.S. government run Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) will spend more than $23 million for its Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB). OCB administers Radio and Television (TV) Martí programs directed at the Cuban public. In its 2019 budget request to Congress (pdf) the BBG admits that it creates inauthentic Facebook accounts to increase the distribution of its dreck:

In FY 2018, OCB is establishing on island digital teams to create non-branded local Facebook accounts to disseminate information. Native pages increase the chances of appearing on Cuban Facebook users newsfeeds. The same strategy will be replicated on other preferred social media networks.

How is this different from what the PressTV may have done? When will Facebook shut those inauthentic BBG accounts down?


---
h/t to Left I on the News

Posted by b on August 22, 2018 at 01:29 PM | Permalink

Comments

The truth hurts the 1%

Thanks b

Posted by: jo6pac | Aug 22, 2018 1:31:58 PM | 1

Before most of us had ever heard of "Putin's Chef", the Pentagon was bragging publicly that it
was using Facebook click-bait for propaganda.

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2017/09/analysts-are-quitting-state-departments-anti-propaganda-team/140936/


At the Defense One Summit last November [2016], former GEC director Michael Lumpkin [GEC, Pentagon propaganda department] described how the Center was using the data it received as a Facebook advertiser to maximize the effectiveness of its own targeted appeals.

“Using Facebook ads, I can go within Facebook, I can go grab an audience, I can pick Country X, I need age group 13 to 34, I need people who have liked — whether it’s Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi or any other set — I can shoot and hit them directly with messaging,” Lumpkin said. He emphasized that with the right data, effective message targeting could be done for “pennies a click.”

Posted by: librul | Aug 22, 2018 1:48:13 PM | 2

How is this different from what the PressTV may have done

But, but, but, the US is the good guy!

These narratives include anti-Saudi, anti-Israeli, and pro-Palestinian themes, as well as support for specific U.S. policies favorable to Iran, such as the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA).

Thank heavens we are not seeing anything like censorship.

Jesus wept.


Posted by: jrkrideau | Aug 22, 2018 1:48:30 PM | 3

Ironically, when I created a FB page hangout for my foreign students to disseminate topical educational materials that were freely available as PDF links, or free 'loss-leader' lessons from for-profits, or Khan Academy free lesson links ... in other words, organizing a docent-guided free education feed for terribly poor 3W students ... FB informed me that this was an 'illegal' business activity, lol. They shut it down with *zero* warning. One moment it was a beautiful colorful uplifting education resource, the next it was burnt to ashes. 404.

ATM, on an Anony FB page I launched to reconnect with my students, after a couple ill-advised comments to their thread posts, discussing what's *really* going on in the world, FB has blocked any posts that I might want to make. They just never show up when I hit enter. Like training a bad puppy, lol. All FB lets me do is 'like' or emoji or 'wave' to my students, so it's a semaphore that I still exist, even in FB lockup.

But I think I'll stop. It's bread-crumbing them to FBs candy-cane house and the boiling cauldron that awaits. Frog in a Pot!

Posted by: Chipnik | Aug 22, 2018 1:50:52 PM | 4

Regarding 4:

Chipnik,

Open a VK account and invite your students! No more censorship!

Posted by: Ianovskii | Aug 22, 2018 2:16:03 PM | 5

Yet another example of why the planet's people need a public social media platform, not more private types like Facebook, the main differences being public's not for profit and not affiliated with any one nation/government. Moderators would still monitor content based on a basic code-of-conduct/user agreement, so users would still get banned for bad behavior. Blatant propaganda campaigns would be treated as Spam, the content removed and users disciplined using a 3 strikes format as explained in the code-of-conduct. And of course, no user info would ever be "shared."

I believe there's a market for such a platform. Yes, it would need funding of some sort, perhaps a small annual user fee. Being free of loathsome ads would allow for quicker loading, easier navigation, and greater eye-appeal. IMO, public social media sites would eventually drive for-profit sites out-of-business being more secure and enjoyable.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22, 2018 2:26:30 PM | 6

"...we assess with moderate confidence that this activity originates from Iranian actors."

Jeez, can't they at least produce a "highly likely" for us?

On the intelligence community's confidence scale, "moderate" has to be just above "wishful" and "doubtful"

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Aug 22, 2018 2:30:32 PM | 7

One of the tricks of corporate propaganda:

Often, when exposed to capitalist propaganda, a socialist gets the impression that he can have the best of both worlds! - the perceived benefits of capitalism as he keeps his beloved social benefits.

It isn't until some time after the bmobing has stopped, that he realizes that he has lost ALL his former social benefits and what he has thereafter is hard capitalism and no money.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Aug 22, 2018 2:32:46 PM | 8

Well this surely shows that Facebook/Twitter is run through the help of US/Western intelligence.
Only way is to fight back or you will eventually have fines and end up in jail for thoughtcrimes.

This site and us here commenting is of course already targeted by these scums, besides, sites like this will certainly be shut down sooner or later.

Remember Facebook also attacked Venezuela recently,

"Why Did Facebook Purge TeleSUR English?"

TeleSUR English is a rare voice of dissent to US foreign policy. Is that why Facebook deleted its page?

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Why-Did-Facebook-Purge-TeleSUR-English-20180816-0016.html

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 22, 2018 2:45:53 PM | 9

Sorry, but, if you let any opinion on Facebook or Twitter sway your politics, you're an idiot. At the very least, naive to a fault.

Claqueurs is a new word for me b, thanks for the education.

Posted by: ben | Aug 22, 2018 2:47:13 PM | 10

ben

Its not facebook itself this is about but views, freedom of speech itself - that is what being attacked.

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 22, 2018 2:49:46 PM | 11

b.. thanks... your first paragraph giving context to how the public was swayed going back close to 200 years ago was very interesting..

the usa gov't has something to sell and something to buy.. fireEye, google, yahoo, facebook and so many other tech companies are all in a few miles radius of one another in san jose area of california.. if russia was to bomb somewhere in the usa - that would be one good place to start! they are all selling to the usa gov't at this point... the usa devotes so much to propaganda and these corps all try to peddle the needed tools to keep the fearmongering going, when they're not snooping of course! hey - they can do both - snoop and sell!!

Posted by: james | Aug 22, 2018 3:20:48 PM | 12

My Outrage Quotient is rapidly depleting -- I suppose this is what TPTB want to have happen, so a positive progressive thinking recharge is needed for myself and all others in this situation.

Posted by: chet380 | Aug 22, 2018 3:21:50 PM | 13

Long ago before the Hydrocarbon Epoch, the Broadsheet was your typical newscast assembled by the local printer who was often reporter and editor, and even in small towns there was competition, with readers of news gathering in coffee shops to discuss their contents. The vociferousness of many publications was extreme, but as Jefferson observed in the 1790s, easily disproved hyperbole was far more desirable than censorship--people were deemed capable of determining a publication's veracity for themselves and thus their success or failure would be determined by the marketplace of ideas.

In the battles over ideas, printing presses were often targeted for destruction so ideas could be restricted--what's happening with Twitter and Facebook is merely an updated version of such repression. With the advent of the personal computer and internet, ease of publishing exploded, which presented elites determined to control the overall discourse with a huge problem they are still grappling with. One of the aims of the Independent Media Center on its founding in 1999 was to turn every activist into a reporter and every computer into a printing press with contents published collectively at regional Media Centers. Unfortunately, after a promising first several years, the nascent movement failed and remains in dormancy, being mostly replaced by personal blogs.

Blogs today represent yesterday's broadsheets, and by using social media, they can increase their exposure to a wider audience. Thus, social media represents a point-of-control for those trying to shape/frame discourse/content. They may be private companies, but they interact with public discourse and ought to be subjected to Free Speech controls like the USA's 1st Amendment.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22, 2018 3:31:39 PM | 14

Very many hi-tech companies in the US are working with the CIA. Such as Oracle that has an office on the east coast of the US that keeps a very low profile inside the company. In fact the first contract that launched the company was a contract with the CIA to implement the IBM SQL standard. I shouldn't have to explain to anyone here why the CIA would use a relational database (have to keep all those subversive secret ops in order). Similar connection to CIA for Google, Facebook, Symantec, etc.

If you are using US software (very likely) then assume CIA and NSA back-doors. Some solutions are to use Linux and VPNs, and Yandex for cloud storage. Get away from US software.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Aug 22, 2018 4:30:10 PM | 15

Is claqueur clapper in English?

Posted by: hopehely | Aug 22, 2018 4:33:49 PM | 16

Robert Bridge provides us with a timely written article dealing with the issue at hand: "And if US intel is in bed with Hollywood you can be damn sure they’re spending time in the MSM whorehouse as well."

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22, 2018 5:13:35 PM | 17

Sorry, should have included this in 17. As many know, Caitlin Johnstone, a Truth Seeker par excellence, has also been censored, but prior to that wrote this essay on the subject at hand, which is all about manufacturing consent as she sees it:

"This is a setup. Hit the soft target so your oligarch-friendly censorship doesn’t look like what it is, then once you’ve manufactured consent, go on to shut down the rest of dissenting media bit by bit."

This is a US government ordered setup supported by the evidence she presents in her intro, but not by Trump!

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22, 2018 5:28:53 PM | 18

It'll be the death of these platforms. People will find a way otherwise. The market always chooses.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Aug 22, 2018 5:43:42 PM | 19

IMHO, it would be foolish to presume that the CIA would simply discontinue and to walk away from (as it claims!) a program like Operation Mockingbird.

Government agencies have famously infiltrated the Quakers (ferchrissakes!).

Facebook was funded and developed by a CIA front shop. Zuckerburg is a dopey kid and a frontispiece.

Posted by: fast freddy | Aug 22, 2018 5:53:49 PM | 20

No doubt the following comment will be censored and deleted in 3,2,1...

Well, it was not deleted, but censored. The comment accused me personally of supporting some crazy holocaust deniers.

I never did such and I see no reason to allow such slander on my blog.

b.]

Posted by: Nicole | Aug 22, 2018 6:24:47 PM | 21

The danger of course is when people start to conclude that any media site permitted by FB or SM is Sanctioned by the Propoganda department of the Ministry of Truth and ignored. Then these few truthful media sites that are unbanned will need to beg these social media giants to ban them so as to restablish credibility. FB and SM will then need to ban a few controlled MSM sites so people will belive they are credible and read the propaganda

I guess we are not there yet, or are we?

I do not use FB or other SM for news or anything else, although I do occasionally click on links to them from a web page, but I guess a lot of people do. Maybe that will change.

Posted by: Pft | Aug 22, 2018 7:06:53 PM | 22

The battle over Net Neutrality is related to this. Recently, Verizon blackmailed a California fire department engaged in fighting the state's largest ever wildfire by throttling its data feed thus threatening public safety for a Few Dollars More.

Trump would be hailed a savior if he were to morph into President Taft and Bust the Trusts like BigLie Media, its allied telecoms and social media corps.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22, 2018 7:13:05 PM | 23

Claqueurs. One of the earliest versions of the annoying "laugh track" used in television. Like Ben 10, I learned something new today.

As to a lack authenticity, what about the tweets from outside Egypt pushing and reporting on the "Arab Spring" protests there. We have other examples of "inauthentic" social messaging on other agendas pushed like Syria. What about "A Gay Girl in Damascus?"

As usual, thanks for pointing out the hypocrisy of US govt/media.

Posted by: Curtis | Aug 22, 2018 7:21:01 PM | 24

who still uses face book?

the only people i know who still are active users are senior citizens.

Posted by: pB | Aug 22, 2018 8:41:56 PM | 25

Authentic = Pro-US (and allies), pro-Atlanticist, pro-corporate (at least, the right corporations), pro-Israel

Inauthentic = pro-Russian, Palestinian, Syrian, Iranian, Venezuelan, etc.

The inauthentic voices shall be censored without mercy.

Posted by: worldblee | Aug 22, 2018 9:02:34 PM | 26

I followed FireEye link a bit and I have several conclusions.

1. The diagram they made about several "inauthentic sites" is totally bogus. People have various reasons to create anonymous accounts, for example if they have Saudi citizenship and they post something "pro-Iranian" because of authentic views they may be kidnapped, whipped and perhaps even executed. An American citizens may want to be anonymous if his/her views are unpopular among management where they work. Besides several black lines of "shared e-mail addresses" that are already inconclusive they have "red arrows" of "promotional activity", presumably links, re-Tweets etc. of which there are billions.

2. I checked a "persona" and black-linked "fake journal". Persona has almost zero activity, 3 Twitter followers. Journal seems to be somewhat fake because it has several articles with low originality, nicely looking frontpage and some pages that are totally empty (e.g. Central Asia). It seems that this is one person effort to collate themes and views to his/her liking and practice web design, and due to sparse posting and mediocre originality, probably zero effective influence.

3. Eliminating 543 such accounts changes next to nothing given their sparse traffic. But FireEye identifies them as "threats". WFT?

4. By the way of contrast, when I followed tweets about fighting in Syria I witness huge concerted waves of masked re-tweets, identical tweets presented not as re-tweets that clearly had the purpose of swamping the traffic sympathetic to their opponents. The numbers were not surprising given the number of jihadi volunteers that actually served as cannon fodder rather than twitter warriors.

5. People with original content and distingushable personalities were purged from Twitter for reasons that are hard to discern (posting bloody pictures from battlefields? non-purged accounts show them too).

Probably 99% of posters at Twitter (the only "social media" that I read) are amateurs who never had time, talent or inclination to post anything original. For example they may find several posts of their liking and re-post them, expressing their views without inventing new content. If they create more than one account and are noticed by others, they could fall into FireEye criteria. If we count re-tweets or copies of pictures of cute cats and puppies, the percentage of "inauthenticity" is huge. But when one posts about atrocities in Yemen rather than puppies or adorable Israeli settlers in West Bank then he/she can be identified as a "threat". To USA? to humanity? to puppies? to the adorable settlers?. Who knows and who cares.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 22, 2018 9:20:38 PM | 27

That's quite an intelligent and observant post Piotr Berman. The evolution of the social media phenomena has me, for one, astounded. Not to mention confounded. How to go viral?
That's the question to answer. Even the mightiest sea wall can not resist the big tide.


Posted by: Guerrero | Aug 23, 2018 12:34:08 AM | 28

who still uses face book?

the only people i know who still are active users are senior citizens.

Yep! Pictures of my grandkids. Who the hell reads news on Facebook?

Posted by: DM | Aug 23, 2018 1:20:00 AM | 29

I had never heard of the claquer tradition. Only, now there are robotic claquers.

Oooof!

Posted by: Guerrero | Aug 23, 2018 1:24:26 AM | 30

@25 pB, respectfully, you must not know a lot of people... Many, many people still use Facebook and even use it as their main source of information; instead of ridiculing and thinking oneself superior to these people, we should engage them where they are at and tell them that it is not the best place to rely on for news.

The social media censorship has certainly escalated lately but it is of course following a long trend - we've known for several months for example that Facebook was shutting down pro-Palestine pages at the behest of the Israeli, American, and German governments, and of course there was the PropOrNot fiasco and the tweaking of Google's algorithms to supress alternative, mainly (real, not liberal-capitalist) left-wing websites. I am hopeful however that in a sense the cat is out of the bag, there is a critical mass of people who simply do not trust enough in the official channels anymore, and eventually all this censorship will backfire. That is an optimistic view anyway...

Posted by: George Lane | Aug 23, 2018 2:01:02 AM | 31

When I tried to open MoA at work today, got a message: "Access denied. Contact Administrator."

Congratz 'b! Your work is noticed and active suppression started by the usual suspects. If they didnt deem you noteworthy, they wouldnt bother.

Posted by: Harry | Aug 23, 2018 4:05:38 AM | 32

DM

Alot of people get news from Facebook, after all why wouldnt they? Its all about sharing links, just like here or any other social media place.

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 23, 2018 4:26:30 AM | 33

there's a long and even honourable history behind the use of such professional actors
going back to Ancient Egypt and the use of wailers at high-class peoples funerals,
and one could see the point to all of that.

but that was all done for the best of intentions.

unfortunately the modern incarnation of such ancient traditions is
now being done for all the worst of intentions.
(originally it was all done to generate positive emotions and feelings)
nowadays its the complete opposite.

what you see going on nowadays reminds you of George Orwells
"2 minutes of hate" in his book 1984.

if you are going to say anything, at please do try to be positive or constructive.
otherwise probably best not to do or say anything at all.

Posted by: chris | Aug 23, 2018 6:20:46 AM | 34

Why (for what reason) is anybody on this social media shit?
Not a rhetorical question; I dumped all of it well more than a dcade ago.
I'm not claiming some kind of superiority here; just questioning where critical thinking skills failed big time.
It should have been obvious (it was to me) where this would end.
And here we are...

Posted by: V | Aug 23, 2018 6:36:03 AM | 35

V

See my response at 33,
just like people gather here there are groups where people gather and share links, debate and so on.

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 23, 2018 6:58:42 AM | 36

Zanon | Aug 23, 2018 6:58:42 AM | 36

That is not an answer; that's a justification.
Later will be greater...bye

Posted by: V | Aug 23, 2018 7:01:44 AM | 37

V

Certainly a justification, but not on on my part:

Two-thirds of American adults get news from social media: survey
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-internet-socialmedia/two-thirds-of-american-adults-get-news-from-social-media-survey-idUSKCN1BJ2A8

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 23, 2018 7:32:38 AM | 38

Certainly a justification, but not on on my part:

Then why do you claim it?

Posted by: V | Aug 23, 2018 7:49:59 AM | 39

34

there's a long and even honourable history behind the use of such professional actors
going back to Ancient Egypt and the use of wailers at high-class peoples funerals,
and one could see the point to all of that.

but that was all done for the best of intentions.


Best of intentions, maybe not. The proletariat struggled greatly against their rulers. Slavery and serfdom were cultural norms. Not that these were attendees of upper class funerals, but in service to the elite to be sure. The illusion that oppressors are benevolent must be upheld. The reports would be spread throughout the town. Perhaps we were wrong in our assessment that ol' Joe was a cruel and miserable oppressor.

This trick has endured through the ages. See Facebook. By the looks of it, everyone now suffers from Stockholm Syndrome.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Aug 23, 2018 8:48:30 AM | 40

@36 I don't see much serious debate on FB. Most people are communicating with friends, or people they call friends. And they are not anonymous which makes people cautious about expressing their true feelings.

Posted by: dh | Aug 23, 2018 10:08:21 AM | 41

I work in a library part-time. Most of my regular patrons who do nothing but use the computers use Facebook for their entire two hours for messenging friends or lovers, or they divide up their time between that and YouTube videos. I try to help them from time to time figure out the latest changes to their Facebook accounts, even though I haven't used it in years.

They're ordinary sorts of people whose lifestyles require them to get their Internet through our public space rather than at home, or they don't want to use their phones for it. There are also folks who have various social or physical disabilities who enjoy watching videos of trains and steam engines. There are also kids who don't use Facebook but watch endless reiterations of AI-generated YouTube videos or play roblox or agar.io.

So, I guess I'm saying people use social media shit to pass the time. Much like those of us who are passing the time using this site. While we might believe we are getting deeper to the truth of our realities through MoA, we're also sitting in front of a screen just as much.

Sometimes more.

Posted by: Charles R | Aug 23, 2018 10:43:45 AM | 42

@42 "While we might believe we are getting deeper to the truth of our realities through MoA, we're also sitting in front of a screen just as much."

Party pooper! You just ruined my whole internet experience!

Posted by: dh | Aug 23, 2018 10:51:56 AM | 43

Selling advertisements is Facebook's business.

Well only partially, a secondary line. Their main business is harvesting the psychometric data all its users so carelessly hand them, and then selling said data on to nefarious third parties.

@karlof1 | Aug 22, 2018 3:31:39 PM | 14

In the battles over ideas, printing presses were often targeted for destruction so ideas could be restricted--what's happening with Twitter and Facebook is merely an updated version of such repression.

While Amazon (and others) banning books is the updated version of book burning.

@Nicole | Aug 22, 2018 6:24:47 PM | 21

First they came for the revisionists...

Posted by: Ross | Aug 23, 2018 11:34:45 AM | 44

V wrote: @35

Why (for what reason) is anybody on this social media shit?
Not a rhetorical question; I dumped all of it well more than a dcade ago.
I'm not claiming some kind of superiority here; just questioning where critical thinking skills failed big time.
It should have been obvious (it was to me) where this would end.
And here we are...

I was active on a few web-places in the years 2002-2008 or so. The oportunity for
"platonic dialog" was suited to my temperment I guess and the results were interesting.

I turned more than one big site on it's head with my questioning. Some of my posts
went insanely viral. Those were the early days. I noticed professional trolls from the
outset who seemed to be part of the web-site forum itself. They were my adversaries,
and over time began to mimic my posts since no one could beat me at socratic dialoging.

The topics were many different: for examples: global warming and the environmental ethos, the old Leibnitz-Newton argument, and regarding the justifications for the Iraq War...

It was fun! A socratic dialog site with member-referees would actually be a great thing.

This is based on my experience: it is a great learning experience to have to defend a thesis. I did independent research at that time to avoid getting caught in an argument with my pants down. In every thread it was just about EVERYBODY in there against me.

(I knew the non-poster listeners were fascinated by what was going on. One site employed
a software called Motet which is excellent for making repeated references to one´s own
posts or to the posts of another or to documentary evidence, so the discussions don't
get bogged down explaining the debate to new-comers). I came to realize that my posts
were being studied when i drew some conclusions fromm the responses they were provoking.

Ten years ago, I totally dropped out of these kinds of internet forums where ideas might
so usefully be examined in light of the opinions and knowledge of a diversity of persons.

Posted by: Guerrero | Aug 23, 2018 12:32:57 PM | 45

b: "Facebook Kills ..."

Young Millennials were drawn to Facebook like 1950's teenyboppers were drawn to smoking. All the kids were doing it.

Decades later, those smokers paid a terrible price: lung cancer, COPD, etc. And they had even (unknowingly) poisoned their own kids (via secondhand smoke).

People simply have no "sense" for systemic risk. We only seem to learn via disaster. Whether it is social media, MIC, financial markets, propaganda, climate change, etc.

Hey all the cool kids are on THIS side of the boat!!

Despite the well-known problems with Facebook, few care to explore alternatives. Here's one struggling for attention that pays for your time on the social network.

But the naivete of Millennials is now legendary. From SJW "snowflakes" to attractive joggers that think their cellphone protects them in sparsely populated areas:

Rivera told officials he exited his vehicle and started "running behind her and alongside her," according to the criminal complaint. Tibbetts then grabbed her phone and told him she was going to call the police, according to the criminal complaint.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 23, 2018 12:57:18 PM | 46

well, at least one poster thinks fb is a viable place to get ''''information''', lol.... these promo pitches are getting worse by the minute..

Posted by: james | Aug 23, 2018 1:05:53 PM | 47

fb is relevant.. the sultan in turkey thinks it is relevant and his goons in syria think it is relevant, lol..

"Free Syrian Army sentences Syrian doctor to 6 months in prison for criticizing Erdogan on Facebook"

and that is why i believe everything i read on the internut, especially on facebook, rof!

Posted by: james | Aug 23, 2018 1:15:51 PM | 48

ot - i see harper at sst has an article up on zukerberg as well..HARPER: ZUCKERBERG JOINS THE WAR PARTY CONTINUED...

Posted by: james | Aug 23, 2018 1:25:29 PM | 49

@46 "But the naivete of Millennials is now legendary. From SJW "snowflakes" to attractive joggers that think their cellphone protects them in sparsely populated areas:..."

And that is precisely what I dislike about FB. If I was to post something like that there I would be called a fascist or dragged into unwinnable arguments. Or, horror of horrors, publicly unfriended.

(Messenger is pretty good though)

Posted by: dh | Aug 23, 2018 1:30:01 PM | 50

@7

"...we assess with moderate confidence that this activity originates from Iranian actors."

Jeez, can't they at least produce a "highly likely" for us?


Here you go:

"...we assess with moderate confidence this activity is highly likely to originate from Iranian actors."

Posted by: Mike P | Aug 23, 2018 1:46:39 PM | 51

james 47

How is a sourced comment on Facebook any worse than someone making a link here to a news source?

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 23, 2018 1:48:36 PM | 52

@46 jr / @50 dh.. as someone else mentioned - fb is mostly old folks, not young folks... young folks have skipped over to instagram i am understand it.. being involved in music and working with a lot of younger people - this is my observation of the dynamics on fb... i never express anything personal on fb - opinions and etc..

@52 zanon... you seem to misunderstand the difference of visiting/posting on moa verses fb.. i can't help you.. sorry..

Posted by: james | Aug 23, 2018 1:56:11 PM | 53

Looks like CNN has exclusive rights to report from head chopping areas:

Syrians in Idlib brace for the war's final showdown

When war planes struck Urem Kubra, a rebel-held village just outside Idlib province on Friday night, most of the women in the village were home with children, preparing dinner. The planes hovered in the air for around 10 minutes before the first strikes, witnesses said. The jets then swung back around, hitting the town two more times. More than 40 people were killed in 30 minutes, the majority of them women and children.

Syria's al-Qaida leader vows to fight on in rebel province

The leader of Syria's al-Qaida affiliate has vowed to fight on in Idlib province, the country's last major rebel stronghold, in the face of a possible government offensive there.

Islamic State chief, in rare speech, urges followers to fight on

Baghdadi also warned that Idlib province in Syria was about to fall as Russia and Syrian government forces were preparing to invade it. Idlib province is in the last swathe of territory still held by rebels opposed to the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

CNN will do all the filming and the White Helmets the acting after they dropped the ball in Douma:

Bolton: US to act 'very strongly' if Syria uses chemical arms

"We are obviously concerned about the possibility that Assad may use chemical weapons again.

"Just so there's no confusion here, if the Syrian regime uses chemical weapons we will respond very strongly and they really ought to think about this a long time," he added.

You know the public's gullibility has hit rock bottom when you can get away with John Bolton clauqing the next chemical weapons "attack".

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Aug 23, 2018 2:04:31 PM | 54

@53 It is interesting to see how FB has evolved. I joined about 10 years ago for family reasons (my kids insisted). Then I started looking for old friends or they found me....anyway it snowballed to about 200 but I probably only met about 50% of my 'friends'.

A lot of them tended to be people involved in counterculture (as we bravely called it in the 60s)...older now but still clinging to those ideas. I guess they feel good posting memes about global warming human rights etc...

As FB went from a reasonably community minded startup to a massive business based on information I lost interest. My kids have changed too.

Now most of my friends are dying off so I only do the occasional R.I.P.....but I find messenger useful.

Posted by: dh | Aug 23, 2018 2:10:05 PM | 55

@dh... i think i have 1200 friends - many musical connections.. absent an e mail contact, it is handy for that..

you might enjoy pidgin.. i had that set up so as to avoid having to go to fb for messages.. i don't have a cell phone, so i am a bit of a luddite on the one hand and not on the other!

Posted by: james | Aug 23, 2018 2:12:38 PM | 56

james

I believe that is what you miss - and thus my point,

Take a look at this,

https://www.facebook.com/handsoffsyria/

Thats a Facebook group where people share news with sources, people debate under with comments and so on. See, thats no difference between whats going on here if someone link to a news souce.

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 23, 2018 2:14:36 PM | 57

@57 That group does look OK Zanon. I'm surprised it hasn't been shut down.

Posted by: dh | Aug 23, 2018 2:19:29 PM | 58

@56 I guess FB does make sense for artists, musicians etc..

No cell phone here either.....just a tablet for travelling.

Posted by: dh | Aug 23, 2018 2:25:47 PM | 59

Ross @44--

Anyone patronizing Amazon isn't paying attention.

IMO, too many assets that elevate/enhance one's life experiences need to be made into publicly owned utilities, social media communication platforms being one as I explained above. If the Outlaw US Empire's people can finally get universal healthcare for all enacted, then other realms of the for-profit arena can be targeted as a tsunami-sized political wave is building that will make such changes possible provided the insurrection's sustained for decades to forestall the forces of Reaction. It's really the only political direction capable of making America great for the first time in its history--Being a Great Nation contains a moral aspect the USA has never attained and is nowhere near close to attaining anytime soon.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 23, 2018 2:38:50 PM | 60

zanon - fb actively turns over all it's data to the nsa/ snoop usa... i don't believe moa is doing anything similar... in other news - how thick are you?

Posted by: james | Aug 23, 2018 2:45:57 PM | 61

james

It was how people got their news from Facebook, you didnt seems to understand the ability to create groups at Facebook so I just gave an example. Did you check it and understood how it worked?

As for surveillance, thats not really how things work, its not like intelligence services need to ask the owner of a blog to "turn over" information. They steal it constantly. Havent you followed Edward Snowden's exposure on this?

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 23, 2018 3:09:10 PM | 62

dh

Yeah its pretty good, that is how many people get their news...for now:

Facebook & Atlantic Council unite: Now social media giant serves NATO’s agenda
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/427207-facebook-atlantic-council-nato/

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 23, 2018 3:10:37 PM | 63

Here we go:

news now: "Google erases 58 US accounts linked to Iran 'influence operation'"

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 23, 2018 3:18:07 PM | 64

This article suggest the banning of the "pro-Iranian" anti-Saudi accounts is linked to the impending execution of Saudi activist Israa al-Ghomgham.

Saudis Move to Behead Woman Activist as Facebook Censors Anti-Saudi Content

Saudi prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a 29-year-old woman activist for crimes such as chanting slogans at a protest. Beheading a woman is unprecedented in the kingdom. Meanwhile, Facebook has sprung into action to protect Riyadh’s back by initiating a crackdown on hundreds of accounts posting anti-Saudi content.<(blockquote>

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 23, 2018 3:28:51 PM | 65

Fake News Update

Hilary Clinton is gentle and kind,
Benny Netanyahu has not lost his mind,
Boris Johnson is measured and wise,
Emmanuel Macron never tells lies.
Vladimir Putin is a trillionaire,
He's stashed the cash, we don't know where.
Aspartame is wholesome and healthy,
Queen Elizabeth's not particularly wealthy.
George Soros has a heart of gold
And Henry Kissinger's not very old.
Obviously all these things are true,
But what if someone lies to you?
The Ministry of Truth has decisions to make
On what news is real and what news is fake.
Unverified opinions will have to wait
While Zuckerberg decides if they're love or hate.
Certain elements cannot be reformed
So they will be quickly de-platformed
That subversive lot at Moon of Alabama
Will be rounded up and thrown in the slammer
Action will be taken you can be sure
And the internet will be clean and pure.

Posted by: Willie Wobblestick | Aug 23, 2018 3:57:24 PM | 66

Another victim:

Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai on Twitter, August 19, 2018

Another account suspended by @Twitter @TwitterSupport: Bill Purkayastha aka @JihadiColin is an artist and political analyst. He has the right to express his ideas through his caricatures.

His work here: please support for his return.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 23, 2018 5:13:07 PM | 67

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 23, 2018 12:57:18 PM | 46
"Tibbetts then grabbed her phone and told him she was going to call the police"

When seconds count, the police are just minutes away.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 23, 2018 6:19:03 PM | 68

Someone tweeted this a few weeks ago during rumors about Assange being ousted from the Ecuadorian UK embassy:

#truth is illegal

To which I replied:

No, its unprofitable..

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 23, 2018 6:45:57 PM | 69

Petri Kohn @ 65:

While I agree it is likely FB is restricting critical coverage of KSA at least partly because of the expected beheading of woman activist, Israa al-Ghomgham this would hardly be a first for the brutally barbarian Wahhabi Kingdom. Publicly chopping off the heads of women is a common “tradition” in KSA, which these “news” sources claiming this new one is “a first” surely know. That is, they too are whitewashing KSA.

Here’s an article from 2 years ago about a documentary:

Saudi Arabia: Women beheaded in street, corpses dangling from cranes

From 2015:
Saudi Arabia publicly beheads woman in Mecca

From 2011:
Saudi woman beheaded for 'witchcraft and sorcery


Posted by: Daniel | Aug 23, 2018 6:53:03 PM | 70

Claqueurs is a new word for me b, thanks for the education.

Obviously, fb is reacting to its gigantic stock market loss a few weeks ago by getting more in bed with establshment entities that live off of tax money...

I cant believe that in 2018 anybody still thinks that fb likes and twitter followers are authentic metrics of influence.

Why any truth teller would become addicted and dependent on fb, twitter, yt, etc, I will never understand....go to steam.com or www.hpub.org etc

Posted by: Daniel Bruno | Aug 23, 2018 9:01:45 PM | 71

I will, as it were, retweet this because I like it:

Fake News Update

Hilary Clinton is gentle and kind,
Benny Netanyahu has not lost his mind,
Boris Johnson is measured and wise,
Emmanuel Macron never tells lies.
Vladimir Putin is a trillionaire,
He's stashed the cash, we don't know where.
Aspartame is wholesome and healthy,
Queen Elizabeth's not particularly wealthy.
George Soros has a heart of gold
And Henry Kissinger's not very old.
Obviously all these things are true,
But what if someone lies to you?
The Ministry of Truth has decisions to make
On what news is real and what news is fake.
Unverified opinions will have to wait
While Zuckerberg decides if they're love or hate.
Certain elements cannot be reformed
So they will be quickly de-platformed
That subversive lot at Moon of Alabama
Will be rounded up and thrown in the slammer
Action will be taken you can be sure
And the internet will be clean and pure.

Posted by: Willie Wobblestick | Aug 23, 2018 3:57:24 PM | 66

Posted by: Daniel Bruno | Aug 23, 2018 9:05:12 PM | 72

Guerrero | Aug 23, 2018 12:32:57 PM | 45

Wow, an actual answer, thank you Guerrero.
Every couple of weeks friends drop by for topical discussions in which disection (critical analysis) of the subject is enjoyed.
With exceedingly rare exceptions, discussion on forums generally gets derailed.
I for one, operate far better face to face.

Posted by: V | Aug 23, 2018 10:25:15 PM | 73

The comments sections under 'y a h o o' news articles is a good place for now to put out, to the average folks, the counter-narrative to establishment lies and warmongering. But you don't 'make friends' there.

As for a real national/international community, created for solidarity and for organizing the 'revolution' ... The corporations won't create such internet places and will do their best to wreck ones that appear through getting around their intentions. And that's a real dilemma.

Posted by: fairleft | Aug 24, 2018 2:25:52 AM | 74

There appears to be some truth to the allegations leveled by Trump about social media censorship, although the document uncovered is somewhat comical in its analysis of why Trump won.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 24, 2018 11:56:44 AM | 75

And speaking of Trump, his recent tweet denouncing corporate censorship of social media accounts most of us barflies would likely endorse:

"Social Media Giants are silencing millions of people. Can’t do this even if it means we must continue to hear Fake News like CNN, whose ratings have suffered gravely. People have to figure out what is real, and what is not, without censorship!" [My Emphasis]

Garrie notes the similarity of Trump and Corbyn on this issue.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 24, 2018 12:46:16 PM | 76

@70 V - i gave an indirect answer to your question @53 and 56...

@75/76 karlof1... i am quite sure censorship is happening big time on the social media platforms.. i think this is a given.. as for the msm - one could say it is self censorship on the part of the journalists who know where their pay is coming from and how they must align with the agenda of the so called 'neutral' msm..

Posted by: james | Aug 24, 2018 12:56:42 PM | 77

@73 v, not @70....

Posted by: james | Aug 24, 2018 12:57:12 PM | 78

The first thing to do is decide, if your on the side of the victem or the perpetrator.

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 24, 2018 3:29:46 PM | 79

karlof1. I saw a snippet of a Trump rally where he said he'd rather have "fake news" (loud boos) than censorship.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 24, 2018 4:59:50 PM | 80

Daniel | Aug 24, 2018 4:59:50 PM | 80
But isn't fake news a form of censorship?

Posted by: V | Aug 24, 2018 10:27:41 PM | 81

Ahh. The gatekeepers! Where would the war-making State be without them?

https://arrby.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/gatekeepers/

Posted by: Arby | Aug 25, 2018 4:38:56 AM | 82

Surely it is when free communication breaks down and fails, that is the time when violence breaks out ! It's the poorest form of communication ! But don't lets fall for the trap, that violence is only what criminals, ignorant, or poor people do.
Governments do it, bad cops occasionally do it, brain washed members of the public do it ! I hate violence as we all do.
So we better be dam sure not to silence the people we are oppressing !

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 25, 2018 6:31:55 AM | 83

re: 46
But the naivete of Millennials is now legendary. From SJW "snowflakes" to attractive joggers that think their cellphone protects them in sparsely populated areas:

With all due respect, this is an unworthy remark. First, the victim "attractive jogger" was jogging very close to (her?) village, and what was she suppose to do not to be naive? Perhaps she could have a holster with pepper spray or something, but I doubt that joggers in my area would do something like that given the low crime rate. In any case, she was jogging in an area with reception, so a call to police would create a significant risk to the attacker, too bad that he was not rational at all, in which case the only thing that could save her was a gun and good shooting practice. But if we go that way as the society, we can always be at risk from someone who shoots faster and more accurately.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 25, 2018 9:55:21 AM | 84

Posted by: V |@81

"But isn't fake news a form of censorship?"

Hmmm... I'd say that "fake news" serves to block out true news, especially when promoted by the MSM and those "alternative" sources that serve as "gatekeepers." So it prevents large numbers of the public from learning alternative (in this case, specifically true) information, which is the goal of censorship.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 25, 2018 4:47:31 PM | 85

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