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Well, *ahek*, THIS kinda sucks.....
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Posted by: TEEBONE ®

11/12/2017, 23:23:45

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News Nanny: The Race to Censor Internet News

Daniel Greenfield

Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an
investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and
Islamic terrorism.

How can you tell that internet censorship is really taking off? Easy. It’s becoming a business model.

Steven Brill is raising $6 million
to launch News Guard. This new service will rate news sites on their
trustworthiness from green to red. Forget politically unbiased
algorithms. The ratings will be
conducted by "qualified, accountable human beings" from teams of “40 to
60 journalists.” Once upon a time, journalism meant original writing.
Now it means deciding which original writing to censor.

"Can trust be monetized?" The Street’s
article on News Guard asks. But it isn’t really trust that’s being
monetized. It’s censorship. It’s doing the dirty work that Google and
Facebook don’t want to do.

The Dems and their media allies have
been pressuring Google and Facebook to do something about the “fake
news” that they blame for Trump’s win. The big sites outsourced the
censorship to media fact checkers. The message was, “Don’t blame us, now
you’re in charge.”

Facebook made a deal with ABC News and the AP, along with Politifact, FactCheck and Snopes, to outsource the censoring
for $100K. When two of these left-wing groups declare that an article
is fake, Facebook marks it up and viewership drops by 80%.

Facebook is reportedly considering adding the Weekly Standard to its panel of fact checkers. Even if that were to happen, it would be the difference between putting the New York Times without David Brooks or the Times
with David Brooks in charge of deciding what you can read on Facebook.
Adding a token conservative who is acceptable to the left doesn’t change
the inherent bias of the system.

Not only does the roster of
fact checkers lean to the left, but so do its notions of what’s true and
false. For example, Snopes and Politifact both insist that General
Pershing’s forces never buried the bodies of Muslim terrorists with pigs. But General Pershing specifically
stated in his autobiography, "These Juramentado attacks were materially
reduced in number by a practice that the Mohamedans held in abhorrence.
The bodies were publicly buried in the same grave with a dead pig.”

Both the New York Times and the Scientific American
reported on it at the time. Despite that Snopes rated this widely
accepted historical fact as “False” and Politifact marked it as “Pants
on Fire”.

Snopes also recently marked a story that Christ Church
in Virginia is removing a George Washington plaque as false even though
the church publicly announced that it was doing so.

and Snopes are entitled to their incorrect opinions. The trouble is that
they don’t extend the same privilege to those they disagree with. And
Google and Facebook promote fake fact checks while burying sites that
discuss actual historical facts. The big internet companies don’t want
to get involved in all these arguments. But nor are they willing to let
their users decide for themselves anymore.

And so Net Nanny for
news has become an actual business model. Instead of protecting children
from pornography, News Nanny protects adults from news. And from views
outside the left’s bubble.

By adopting the News Nanny model, Google and Facebook are treating their users like children.

The News Guard model is in some ways even more insidious than biased
fact checking because it sets up lists of approved and disapproved
sites. Google is rolling out something similar with its “knowledge
panels” for publishers. Search for the New York Times and the panels will tell you how many Pulitzers the paper has won. Search for Front Page Magazine
and the panel note describes it as, “Political alignment: Right-wing
politics”. No note listing a left-wing political alignment appears in
the panel for the New York Times despite its recent laudatory series about the Soviet Union and Communism.

The media never has an official political orientation. Not even when
it’s cheering Communism. But its opponents and critics always have one.
Follow Google’s link for Front Page’s political alignment and
the top entry states, “Right-wing politics hold that certain social
orders and hierarchies are inevitable”.

That’s a wholly inaccurate description of either Front Page Magazine
or conservative politics in America. And it’s another example of how
the fight against “fake news” by the left actually ends up producing it.

 And it isn’t meant to stop there.

The Google Blog casually mentions that the panels will also list,
“claims the publisher has made that have been reviewed by third
parties”. You get one guess as to who those “third parties” will be.

Fact checking has become a pipeline to censorship. The big social and
search companies outsource fact checking to third parties and then
demonetize, marginalize and outright ban views and publishers that those
third parties disagree with. Fact checks are no longer an argument.
They’re the prelude to a ban.

Google and Facebook respectively
dominate search and social media. When they appoint official censors for
their services, those left-wing fact checkers become the gatekeepers of
the internet.

And the internet isn’t supposed to have gatekeepers.

Senator Al Franken, of all people, made that point at the Open Markets Institute. OMI’s people have emerged as the leading opponents of big tech monopolies on the left.

 “No one company should have the power to pick and choose which
content reaches consumers and which doesn’t,” Franken said. “And
Facebook, Google and Amazon, like ISPs, should be neutral in their
treatment of the flow of lawful information and commerce on their

There is no more obvious example of the lack of
neutrality than Facebook and Google’s partnership with “fact checkers”. 
If Net Neutrality means anything, it should strike down Google’s
partnership with Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network and
Facebook’s use of Snopes to silence conservatives.

When sites
picked and chose content based on algorithms, they were deciding which
content reached users based on what was likely to be popular. And,
occasionally, based on their own agendas. Now they are picking and
choosing which content reaches users based on political orientation.
While the advocates for Net Neutrality rage against cable companies,
Comcast and Charter aren’t engaging in political censorship. No matter
how they disguise it, Google and Facebook’s news nannies are.

News Guard is an ominous warning that online censorship is becoming a
viable business model as the big tech companies look around for someone
else to do their dirty work for them. But subcontracted censorship is
still censorship. And the only people impressed by the credentials of
the “fact checkers” are those who share their politics. Unfortunately
that covers the leadership of Google and Facebook.

about fake news often begin and end with “trust”. Major media outlets
with Pulitzers are trustworthy. Major fact checking operations are also
trustworthy. Even Snopes is somehow trustworthy despite its utter lack
of professionalism, and its founders accusing each other of embezzlement,

But “trust” has more than one meaning. We trust those people and
organizations we like. And sometimes those organizations form a trust.
And anyone who isn’t in, is untrustworthy.

Trust in the
mainstream media has never been lower. Yet the big tech companies insist
that mainstream media sources are the only trustworthy ones. They want
us to trust them, because they don’t trust us.

The internet was a
revolutionary environment that liberated individuals to make their own
choices. Bloggers could compete with big media. Leaked emails could
bring down a government. But the internet is becoming less free. Access
is controlled by a handful of tech companies that keep getting bigger
and bigger. The survivors of the scale wars will combine cable, content
and commerce in new ways. And in a politicized culture, they won’t just
signal their political views, they will enforce them.

If we don’t fight now, ten years from now conservatives will be the rats in the walls of the internet.


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