REPORT: Tech Elite Building ‘Social Credit’ System Masters of The Universe to Track Everything You Do Zuckerscore: Points Control Your Freedom?

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By Allum Bokhari

Fast Company has caught on to what Breitbart News has been highlighting for some time: that the Big Tech Masters of the Universe are developing systems to monitor and regulate personal behavior that closely resemble China’s totalitarian “social credit” system.

The “social credit” system assigns all Chinese citizens a “social credit score.” A citizen’s score drops if he engages in a range of disfavored activities, ranging from littering to supporting political dissidents.

Citizens whose score drops low enough can find themselves subject to strict punishment, including bans from the use of public transport, exclusion from top jobs, and prohibitions on their children attending top-rated schools.

This may sound alien and Orwellian, but as Fast Company notes, Silicon Valley is bringing a version of this grim reality to America.

Via Fast Company:

Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about China’s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.

The articles goes on to note a range of ways in which western citizens are being systematically rated, and in some cases excluded, by corporate America. These include insurance companies scanning the social media feeds of applicants, an app called “PatronScan,” that logs the face and name of troublesome bar and restaurant clientele, and the growing tendency of services like Airbnb, Uber, and WhatsApp to ban users for arbitrary reasons.

The comparison to China’s social credit system is similar to the one this reporter made on Breitbart News Daily in June:

In China, they have what’s called a “social credit system” — in which, if you engage in behavior that the regime doesn’t like, they’ll assign you a score, and when it drops below a certain point, they’ll exclude you from certain basic services, like transportation, they might not let your kids go to good schools — all sorts of basic services, they’ll cut you off from.

We have a corporate version of this already evolving. So if you don’t do the things that Facebook approves of, they’re going to cut you off from their platform, which is now essential for maintaining a social network, building a business, running for office. We rely on Facebook and other social media platforms for so many things. Uber and Lyft will also ban you now — they’ve started to ban people for political viewpoints, so you think China is the only one that’s going to cut you off from transportation for having the wrong opinions — well, Western corporations are now doing that, too. Airbnb, Amazon, they’re all doing it.

One other comparison from the Fast Company article deserves note — the Chinese communist government’s partnership with tech platforms like Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. Far from aiding dissidents, Chinese social media companies like Weibo and WeChat aid and abet the government in the persecution of its citizens.

That too, has eerie parallels with the West, where social media platforms have become a means of extra-judicial censorship for politicians. Because America has the First Amendment, politicians can’t pass laws suppressing speech or punishing dissidents against the established order — but they can, and frequently do, bully tech companies into doing their dirty work for them.

 

Hypocrisy: New York Times Alleges Conspiracy After Backing Boycotts of Conservative Media

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By Joel B. Pollak

New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger alleged that his newspaper was the target of a vast right-wing conspiracy on Sunday — after the paper boosted an effort to shut down conservative media by encouraging boycotts since early 2017.

Last week, Breitbart News exposed a history of racist and antisemitic tweets by a Times politics editor, Tom Wright-Piersanti. The Times admitted Sunday, in a news article, that the tweets were racist and antisemitic — though it did not indicate what action, if any, it was taking against the editor. In a statement to newsroom staff, Sulzberger — who did not acknowledge that the tweets were racist and antisemitic — alleged that the Times had been the victim of “a coordinated campaign by President Trump’s allies to attack hundreds of journalists in retaliation for coverage of the administration.”

The Times‘ objection is rich, given that it boosted an effort by left-wing activists to shut down conservative media solely for their journalists’ coverage of the left and their editorial support for President Donald Trump.

In January 2017, the Times published an op-ed by an author named Pagan Kennedy, titled “How to Destroy the Business Model of Breitbart and Fake News.” The article was a puff piece boosting the efforts of Sleeping Giants (whose ringleader was later unmasked by the Daily Caller as advertising executive Matt Rivitz). The piece even reprinted instructions for helping the boycott. It concluded, admiringly: “[A] new consumer movement is rising, and activists believe that where votes failed, wallets may prevail. This struggle is about much more than ads on Breitbart News — it’s about using corporations as shields to protect vulnerable people from bullying and hate crimes.”

The Times is attempting to play the victim rather than applying the same standard toward hate speech in its own room that it applies to others. Sulzberger, who took over the paper in 2018, claims the Times has “high standards,” but in effect he is arguing that that Timesjournalists ought to be held to a lower standard — that it is unfair to report “on news organizations in the same way that news organizations report on elected officials and other public figures.”

Perhaps the most laughable claim in Sulzberger’s statement is that the Times‘ critics are “[u]nable to challenge the accuracy of our reporting.” This is a newspaper that chased the Russia collusion hoax for the better part of three years, and whose executive editor, Dean Banquet, recently described plans to build the next year of news around the idea that “racism and white supremacy” are “the foundation of all of the systems in the country.”

That is not journalism; that is propaganda. And for years the Times has been propagandizing against conservative media outlets, hoping to destroy them, even printing instructions to guide readers in the effort. Far from being a victim, the Times is one of the great bullies of the mainstream media. Scrutiny is long overdue.

(JUST IN TIME FOR THE 2020 ELECTIONS) – Facebook hiring editors to pick stories for ‘News Tab’, that didn’t work out well last time

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Facebook will hire a “small team” of journalists to select featured content for its much-hyped ‘News Tab’ section, which the platform will begin testing across its US user base later this year.

What could go awry with human editors in charge? Facebook should know, since the company was forced to fire its last team of human content-pickers over revelations of bias against conservative viewpoints.

READ MORE: Facebook tells Trump ads can’t appeal to ‘strong women LIKE YOU,’ caving in to ex-Clinton staffer

The platform said Tuesday that the new team — which will likely be fewer than 10 employees at the beginning — will choose the content for the ‘Top News’ section of the News Tab. Stories found in the other sections will be chosen by algorithms and determined by specific user interests, the New York Times reported.

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‘Trending’ no more: Facebook removing controversial news feature

Facebook said it made the decision to go after human curators after discussions with publishers convinced them that algorithms would not be capable of “news judgement” the way real journalists would and that it would take too long to train an algorithm to that level.

But there are pitfalls to consider with human editors, too. Facebook ditched its ‘Trending Topics’ section last year after being plagued by accusations that it was politically biased and amplified “fake news.” 

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An explosive Gizmodo story put the spotlight on Trending Topics in 2016, revealing that human editors, independently contracted by Facebook, were asked to suppress conservative news and even stories about Facebook itself.

The contractors were also told to artificially “inject” preferred stories into the trending module, even if they were not trending organically. Rather than relying on algorithms (as it claimed), Facebook was acting like a traditional news organization and reflecting the personal biases of its employees.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Facebook is planning to pay publishers “millions of dollars” to include their content in its News Tab.

A source told Digiday that the new batch of curators will be given the option to include that content in the Top News section, but they will not be obliged to. The new hires will be full-time employees, unlike the contractors used for the doomed Trending Topics section.

As Facebook rolls out the News Tab, users will no doubt be waiting to see if it has learned its lesson after the last debacle.

READ MORE: Google is censoring political content? *Gasp!* Who knew?

‘We are moving into a new, controlled society worse than old totalitarianism’ – Zizek on Google leak

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Modern censorship is more dangerous than open totalitarianism, it being concealed and incorporated in our daily routine, says Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, commenting on the insider leak detailing Google’s news blacklist.

The intellectual told RT he’s not advocating for online anarchy, comparing it to snuff movies in hardcore pornography – some regulation should be in place to block harmful content on the internet, he says. But hiding political motives for suppressing voices online is what worries Zizek the most.

“We all know we have to censor things at some level, but the main rule for me is that the process should be transparent. Not in the way – I’m talking about the developed West – it is done now, when all of a sudden somebody is prohibited and you are not even allowed to debate it,” Zizek explains. The “false choice” between politically correct censorship and radical liberalism is a trap, he believes.

This week, conservative transparency group Project Veritas published documents it received from an ex-Google employee. The documents appeared to confirm that Google can boost or de-rank news sources based on a seemingly biased set of internal rules. Calling the practices “dark and nefarious” the whistleblower, Zachary Vorhies, also leaked a doc detailing Google’s “blacklist” that lists nearly 500 websites, including both conservative and leftist media outlets.

Zizek believes the Big Tech’s practice of blacklists and shadow bans could prove an opportunity for right-wing activists to show themselves as a group fighting establishment politics and targeted for their opposition. The philosopher thinks this tactic will actually backfire against liberals by giving “the new populist right a position where they can say: you see, we’re the true alternative, we’re the true oppressed.”

ALSO ON RT.COM‘Something dark & nefarious’: Google insider leaks docs revealing search engine ‘blacklist’

Google is likely not the only tech megacorporation with a tight grip on their users’ digital menu, Zizek argues – but “the process isn’t some kind of a dark plot,” rather an inconspicuous slide “into a new, controlled society.”

What’s terrifying about it is that we don’t even experience it as something controlled. We just use social media, buy things, go to a doctor – and all the data about us is out there. But those are the things that we perceive as our freedom. So what we perceive as freedom becomes the very way we are controlled.

One doesn’t know anymore “if there is secret police following you or somebody reading your letters,” and this in Zizek’s mind is what differentiates it from the totalitarianism of the past. Modern control is hidden and undeclared, Zizek says.

 

Ilhan Omar’s Congressional Challenger Chased Out of Event by Masked ANTIFA Thugs with Weapons

She was threatened for infiltrating an ANTIFA plotting session against ICE.

By Shane Trejo

Danielle Stella, the only declared Republican challenger for 2020 attempting to unseat Somali socialist Rep. Ilhan Omar in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, was accosted by ANTIFA thugs earlier this month.

Stella infiltrated an ANTIFA event in Minneapolis, MN on Aug. 6. She witnessed the domestic terror group’s ongoing “Border Resistance Tour” to promote their plan to obstruct border enforcement in El Paso, TX from Sept. 1 to Sept. 10, as they hope abolish ICE and allow third-world migrants to flood the borders unabated.

“Instead of doing their court cases on the U.S. side of the border, they are applying for asylum at a point of entry around U.S. soil on the border, and then are being sent back to Mexico to whatever border town they were in, and they have to be doing their court process while remaining there,” one ANTIFA organizer said via a Skype call-in to the Minneapolis event.

Stella was only able to capture a few minutes of the discussion that was taking place before she was ushered out of the event, and that is when the left-wing intimidation began.

“I was leaving. I went out the back way, and she followed me to the parking lot, and she said ‘nope, you need to get off the property completely,’ and started complaining I wasn’t doing it fast enough,” Stella said.

The woman who was barking threats was accompanied by male ANTIFA thugs armed with a weapons meant to intimidate Stella into submission.

“One of the ANTIFA men had a baseball bat, and another one had a cattleprod. They decided to give me 30 seconds, and they also threatened to call the police on me while holding weapons and wearing their ANTIFA riot gear,” she said.

She was appalled by the domestic terrorists who are egged on by her extremist opponent Omar, who has frequently made incendiary anti-Semitic, anti-white and anti-American comments.

“When you have a whole bunch of you in riot gear and weapons, who do you think you are? A bunch of losers is what you are,” Stella continued.

“Why did I get kicked out of a public event that they put online? There were no signs saying no videotaping. I was not being disruptive. ANTIFA sucks,” she said.

“To clarify, the parking lot did not belong to that lady. The parking lot was a shared property. There are other businesses nearby,” she added.

Stella assured her audience that they missed very little from the meeting other than left-wing crybabies whining and complaining about the border crisis while blaming President Trump and conservatives for all that is wrong in the world.

The entire video can be seen here.

 

Hungary Announces Investigation into Social Media Censorship in Europe

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By Chris Tomlinson

Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga has announced that she will be starting an investigation into censorship of political views on social media in Hungary and across Europe.

The Hungarian minister made her announcement on social media platform Facebook over the weekend, saying she would be creating a “working group” within the ministry to “investigate the possibilities for a legal environment to ensure the transparency of social media service providers – both on EU and national level.”

“Originally their job would not be to influence societal processes and elections by censoring comments on an ideological basis, however, if they had done it once they shall accept the necessity of the regulation and follow the rules of democracy,” she added.

The announcement comes only a month after Emmanuel Macron’s government announced it would be taking the opposite view and would look to force search engines and social media networks to censor “hate speech” in France.

The measure, which was passed in early July, would see large fines for internet companies who do not remove offending material within a 24-hour period.

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The European Union has also pushed for censorship of “hate speech” on social media in recent years, including proposing a similar law to the French legislation in September of last year.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has also demanded social media companies remove “hate speech” and introduced fines of up to 50 million euros for companies which violate the policy.

Social media censorship has been a major issue in the United States with President Donald J. Trump looking to use various agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to potentially regulate online censorship through an executive order.

A leaked draft of the executive order, entitled “Protecting Americans from Online Censorship,” would allow the FCC to change how social media companies are treated under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which allows tech companies to censor lewd or questionable content.

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Modesto, California Denies Permit for Straight Pride Parade

The City of Modesto won’t permit a straight pride parade to take place at a city park on August 24th.

By Richard Moorhead

The City of Modesto, California, has denied a permit for a planned Straight Pride Parade slated to take place in a city park on August 24th.

The event was being organized by the National Straight Pride Coalition.

In a twist many are calling indicative of the city’s double standards and selective approval process, Modesto has granted permission for a Gay Pride Festival to take place in the city. From the looks of it, the gay pride event receives a significant amount of city resources, a luxury the municipal government is unwilling to provide to the planned straight pride parade.

On their website, the National Straight Pride Coalition expresses their support for heterosexuality, God-ordained nuclear families, Western Civilization, Caucasians, Christianity and Nationalism.

The movement expresses a desire for “preventing the current and future generations of all races and colors from being destroyed by the inherent malevolence of the Homosexual Movement toward our founding principles.”

A city spokesman named Thomas Reeves claimed the city couldn’t approve the straight pride parade because of safety concerns. Modesto apparently wanted the National Straight Pride Coalition to obtain liability insurance for the event.

He said the event may end up receiving approval after all if it’s willing to move their desired location from Graceada Park to downtown Modesto. It remains to be seen if city is merely going through to motions to make it seem like the pride event received a fair process before shutting down their event, or intends to actually the straight pride organizers a chance to voice their views.

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