‘Christchurch Call’ is a blueprint for more online censorship — and Zuckerberg is a big fan

CAP

By Danielle Ryan

There is nothing inherently wrong with the new ‘Christchurch Call’ to curb violent and terrorist content online. No one in their right mind wants mass shootings live-streamed online — but it’s what comes next that should worry us.

Drawn up in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque massacre, which was streamed live online, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s ‘Christchurch Call’ is billed as a “roadmap for action” and calls for the “immediate and permanent” removal of “terrorist and violent extremist content” from social media platforms. It has been signed by 18 governments and eight tech companies.

On the face of it, that sounds fine. It’s difficult to argue against removing terrorist content from the platforms so many of us use on a daily basis. The trouble is, Ardern has already admitted that the pledge is simply a “starting point” — and if you were expecting this to be the moment at which social media companies finally began to push back a little bit, sorry to disappoint you, but they’re all in on it together.

ALSO ON RT.COMFacebook ban on Alex Jones and others is a form of modern-day book burning

Endorsing censorship

Lord of social media, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is afflicted with an obvious and ever-worsening God complex, offered a full-throated endorsement of online censorship a few days ago, saying “…the question of what speech should be acceptable and what is harmful needs to be defined by regulation, by thoughtful governments.”

That’s right, Zuck thinks “thoughtful governments” should be deciding what is “acceptable” for us to say online. There’s no ambiguity there. It’s a simple, straight-forward endorsement of the idea that governments should be allowed to regulate our speech. If that doesn’t worry you, then maybe you’re the kind of person who reads dystopian novels and cheers for the wrong side.

Zuckerberg’s comment isn’t exactly out of the blue. Facebook is already under fire for censoring political speech from both the right and left ends of the political spectrum. The company has banned a slew of right-wing commentators and conservative agitators from its platform and taken worrying steps against leftist and anti-war activists around the world.

Just the beginning

So, if social media companies aren’t going to fight back on our behalf (and they clearly are not), who will? The obvious answer is “journalists” — but they don’t appear to be in too much of a rush to halt this creeping censorship either. Some of them appear to be advocating more censorship, rather than less.

ALSO ON RT.COMNo kissing gays or conservative hunters: Overcautious Facebook blocks political ads in SwedenIn an interview with Le Monde on Monday, Ardern was asked why she decided to focus “uniquely on violent terrorist content, and not more broadly on hate speech, which also contributes to the drift in social media?”

Ardern replied that focusing on terrorist content was just the “point of departure” on which everyone could agree. So this is a journey we are on. We’ve departed at ‘terrorism is bad’ — but where will we end? Ardern said she was wary that going any further right now would “open the way for debate” on potential risks to freedom of expression. But in a joint press conference on Wednesday with French President Emmanuel Macron, she said her hope was that working together, governments and tech companies could “eliminate ideologies of hate.”

That would be lovely — and if only the word were so simple, we could just eliminate all the meanies from the internet and live in an online utopia. Unfortunately, this is completely unrealistic, and when you start talking about eliminating certain ideologies, that’s where things get sketchy. Particularly if we’re going to delegate the task of deciding what is and is not “harmful” (as Zuckerberg said) to “thoughtful governments.”

‘Hate speech’ or ‘free speech’?

Florida’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis is set to sign a bill that would make it a “hate crime” to “demonize” or“delegitimize” Israel. The bill purports to be about “anti-Semitism” but it’s really just a vehicle to censor and even criminalize political speech. You see, that’s the kind of thing that “thoughtful” politicians get up to if left to their own devices. Then again, the Florida bill probably isn’t something that would ring alarm bells at Facebook HQ, either. Zuckerberg already happily complies with orders from the Israeli government to delete Palestinian activist accounts.

As for the US government, it has refused to sign Ardern’s ‘Christchurch Call’ citing first amendment rights — but declining to sign a vague and non-binding agreement doesn’t mean much. Capitol Hill is still swarming with politicians just dying to enforce more restrictions on free speech.

ALSO ON RT.COMFrance wants more govt regulation of Facebook and Zuckerberg calls it ‘model’ approachDemocratic Senator Chris Murphy tweeted in the aftermath of last year’s Infowars ban that the very “survival of [US] democracy” depends on Facebook’s willingness to “take down” more websites that “tear our country apart.” Sure, why don’t they just get rid of any content that could conceivably be categorized as divisive? Sounds like a foolproof plan.

A US government intelligence report last year highlighted a former RT show hosted by Abby Martin as an example of content that sowed “radical discontent” in society for critically covering controversial issues like US regime change wars, fracking, capitalism and police brutality. Be careful out there, you never know what could be defined as “radical” content next.

As journalist Igor Ogorodnev wrote in a recent oped, the aftermath of an atrocity “is a honeypot for short-sighted do-gooders buzzing about looking to do something, but also opportunist politicians to realize their long-harbored ambitions.”

Trying to distract us

Social media is what the public uses to organize en masse in the 21st century.

Is it any wonder that Macron, facing months of Yellow Vest protests against his government, is helping lead the charge toward more online censorship?

A French government report recently called for the eradication of content that damages “social cohesion” and warned that“false information,”“unfounded rumors” and “individuals pursuing political or financial objectives” can have an impact on “the social order.” But who decides what constitutes “false information” and “unfounded rumors”? Is Macron’s government “thoughtful” enough for Zuckerberg?

ALSO ON RT.COMWhite House posts call for social media censorship stories, triggering hope & cynicismOf course, it’s much easier for governments to pass the blame for social discontent onto companies like Facebook, while arguing that censorship is the only solution. If they didn’t do that, they’d have to admit that what really drives mass discontent are the neoliberal policies that have had a detrimental effect on basic standards of living, wiped out people’s life savings and ravaged the planet.

But maybe that’s all something Ardern and Macron can work on some other day — that is, if we’re allowed to talk about it.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Former Obama Official Joel Rubin Accuses Trump of Encouraging Poway Synagogue Shooter

Joel Martin Rubin (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

By Joel B. Pollak

Former Obama administration official Joel Martin Rubin appeared on Fox News on Saturday and accused President Donald Trump of encouraging the shooter who attacked a Poway, California, synagogue earlier that day.

Rubin, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for House Affairs, and former staffer for the far-left J Street group — which frequently opposes Israel — cited the Charlottesville “very fine people” hoax in blaming Trump.

While admitting that Trump is not an antisemite himself, Rubin claimed that Trump encouraged antisemites:

I’m not saying Donald Trump is an antisemite, but what I am saying is that the rhetoric, for example, in Charlottesville, the “Jews will not replace us” rhetoric, the president’s response to that equivocated, and did not call it out for what it was, and he said these were “very fine people.” And that encouragement, and other language about immigrants, and language about people of difference, people of color, in many instances, that’s the problem.

Rubin went on to connect the president’s alleged “rhetoric” to attacks on Christians in Sri Lanka on Easter, and to Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, last month.

As Breitbart News and others have shown repeatedly, Trump did not refer to the neo-Nazis as “very fine people,” but specifically excluded them from that description, and said they should be “condemned totally.”

Far from not “call[ing] it out for what it was,” Trump also delivered a televised statementfrom the White House in which he declared: “Racism is evil — and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

Even CNN has, belatedly, admitted Trump was not referring to white supremacists as “very fine people.”

Trump immediately condemned the synagogue shooting Saturday, and also applauded a Border Patrol agent who intervened. He later told a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Saturday night: “We forcefully condemn the evil of anti-Semitism and hate. It must be defeated.”

Reports of the shooter’s antisemitic manifesto suggest that far from taking “encouragement” from Trump, as Rubin suggested, he hated Trump, calling the president a “Zionist, Jew-loving, anti-White, traitorous cocksucker.”

‘They are Christians’: Obama & Clinton lambasted for calling bombed Sri Lankans ‘Easter worshipers’

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 11.15.53 AM.png

Some people believe prominent Democrats deliberately avoided using the word “Christian” when condemning bombings of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday as part of a policy to undermine Christian faith in the US.

The eight bomb attacks in Sri Lanka, which killed almost 300 people on Easter Sunday, sparked worldwide condemnation. But the way some US politicians expressed their condolences sparked a minor outcry among conservative Americans. Former President Barack Obama and the former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, were blasted for using the term “Easter worshipers” instead of “Christians” when referring to the victims of the attacks.

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 11.16.43 AM

Three Sri Lankan Christian churches were targeted by the perpetrators, implying that the Christian minority was in the crosshairs. Some commentators in the US said Obama and Clinton were in the wrong when they failed to name the religion.

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 11.17.43 AM

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 11.18.25 AM

Particular ire was sparked by the fact that both US politicians didn’t hesitate to use the word “Muslim” when expressing condolences to the victims of last month’s massacre at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 11.19.23 AM

Notably, Obama and Clinton were not the only US figures, who used the term in remarks about the bloodshed in Sri Lanka. So did Adam Schiff, the Democrat chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 11.20.31 AM

And the same goes for US Attorney Trent Shores.

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 11.21.22 AM

The criticism is based on the perception that the Democratic Party is bent on downplaying America’s Christian roots for the sake of sensibilities of people adhering to other religions. The sentiment is probably best reflected in Fox News’ coverage of the supposed “war on Christmas” in the US.

In this particular case, however, the notion may be misplaced, one commenter pointed out. Christian churches are not exclusively Christian places of worship there, quite the contrary.

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 11.22.33 AM

In Sri Lanka, Christianity plays a unique role of serving as a bridge between people by welcoming both the Sinhalese and Tamil ethnic groups. Considering that Tamil separatism was behind a bloody 25-year-long civil war on the South Asian island, which ended just a decade ago, one can understand why this role is highly appreciated.

Facebook bans all praise of ‘white nationalism’ & ‘white separatism’

CAP

Facebook has announced that it will ban content relating to ‘white nationalism’ and ‘white separatism’ from its platform. The nature of the content that will be banned raises some free speech concerns.

Facebook’s hate speech policies already forbid any content praising or promoting “white supremacy.” The company has, until now, drawn a distinction between this content and “white nationalism” and “white separatism,” much to the ire of civil rights activists, who argue that the terms are interchangeable.

“Going forward,” the company announced in a blog post on Wednesday, “while people will still be able to demonstrate pride in their ethnic heritage, we will not tolerate praise or support for white nationalism and separatism.”

As of next week, users attempting to post such content will be redirected to Life After Hate, a nonprofit staffed by former extremists that seek to turn young people away from white supremacy. The new policy will apply to both Facebook and Instagram.

White nationalism and white separatism are hazy concepts. Facebook initially considered them in the same category of Basque separatism in Spain, the Zionist movement, or Malcolm X-style black separatism. However, the latest decision seems to place explicitly white movements into a category of their own.

Enforcing the ban will likely prove controversial, especially in the United States where Facebook has been accused of a pervasive anti-conservative bias. Phrases like “I am a proud white nationalist” and “Immigration is tearing this country apart; white separatism is the only answer” will now be banned, the company told Motherboard. Less explicit and “coded”references will be removed on a case-by-case basis, an opaque policy that will surely draw accusations of misuse.

Behind the scenes, most of the content sifting will be done using artificial intelligence and machine learning, Facebook said on Wednesday.

Facebook’s clampdown on the extreme right comes less than two weeks after gunman Brenton Tarrant murdered 50 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Tarrant livestreamed his rampage on Facebook, and the social media giant was criticized for failing to take down reposts of the video quick enough in the days afterward.

Tarrant’s murder spree, inspired by a blend of white supremacist and fascist ideologies, prompted New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden to issue a “global call” to fight the “ideology” of racism, particularly online.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Leader Of New Zealand Mosque Blames Jews For Christchurch Massacre

On Saturday, at a rally for the victims of the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand, where 50 people were murdered at a mosque, a well-known mosque leader accused Jews of being responsible for the massacre.

At the rally in Auckland’s Aotea Square, Ahmed Bhamji, chairman of the Mount Roskill Masjid E Umar, which is associated with The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, stated of the shooter who targeted the victims, “”I really want to say one thing today. Do you think this guy was alone? … I want to ask you, where did he get the funding from? I will not mince words. I stand here and I say I have very, very strong suspicion that there is some group behind him and I am not afraid to say I feel that Mossad is behind this.”

An onlooker shouted, “It’s the truth! Israel is behind this. That’s right!”

According to Newshub, Bhamji also said the gunman was funded by “Zionist business.”

Outrage erupted from the local Jewish community. New Zealand Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses told Newshub, “These conspiracy theories are dangerous lies. They put the Jewish community at risk, at a time of heightened security concerns. Conspiracy theories – particularly the idea that Jews (whether through the Jewish state or otherwise) are a malevolent controlling force in the world — are at the very core of anti-Semitism.”

Screen Shot 2019-03-26 at 2.56.39 PM

The event was organized by a group calling itself Love Aotearoa Hate Racism; its co-founder Joe Carolan protested to Newshub spoke that Bhamji was only one of 30 speakers and different perspectives were offered at the rally. He told Newshub he personally did not believe that Jews were behind the massacre.

Moses said that was no excuse for not publicly denouncing Bhamji’s vitriol, asserting, “It is unfortunate that they did not appear to put its anti-racism message into practice, by challenging or condemning the racism in their midst. We must call out hateful dehumanizing language, whatever the source, target and circumstances, and even when it is not politically expedient to do so.”

When he was queried by Newshub, Bhamji doubled down on his rhetoric and claimed he was being targeted, saying, “I made a statement, a lot of other people made statements,” adding that there should be an investigation of how the gunman financed his action, snapping, “Mossad is up to all these things. When I talk about Mossad, why should the Jews be upset about it? Give me an answer?”

The first mainstream New Zealand news agency to suggest that Israel was connected to the Christchurch massacre was Stuff irresponsibly sharing an Associated Press article with a provocative headline “Christchurch mosque attacks: Alleged gunman Brenton Tarrant visited Israel in 2016.” It is in paragraph six that we learn “Also in late 2016, Tarrant visited Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia, where he stopped by historic battle sites, before travelling in Western Europe in 2017.” Yet the headline would suggest Israel is somehow special and there is comment from unnamed “Israeli officials” but no other nation’s officials are sought for comment.

“ALLAHU AKBAR”: NEW ZEALAND RECOGNIZES MUSLIM CALL TO PRAYER AS NEWS ANCHORS WEAR HIJABS

"Allahu Akbar": New Zealand Recognizes Muslim Call to Prayer as News Anchors Wear Hijabs

Mosque leader calls on governments to ban “hate speech”

 | Infowars.com – MARCH 22, 2019

New Zealanders across the country stopped to recognize the Muslim call to prayer as news anchors and armed police officers wore hijabs in solidarity one week after the Christchurch mosque massacre.

The call to prayer preceded a two minutes silence. The video below appears to show the event at a shopping mall.

In other capital cities such as London, “Allahu Akbar” rung out in memory of the victims.

Meanwhile, according to one Guardian journalist, “New Zealand television journalists and anchors are wearing headscarves for their live broadcasts and using Arabic greetings.”

Another image shows an armed female police officer wearing a hijab as a show of support to the Muslim community.

CAP

Al Noor mosque prayer leader Imam Gamal Fouda called for governments “around the world” to “bring an end” to hate speech by cracking down on “anti-Muslim rhetoric” by individuals and media outlets.

SUBSCRIBE

EXCLUSIVE: DEEP INSIDE A LEFTIST TROLL FARM

Link between “fashwave” ideology and YangGang meme culture exposed

 | Infowars.com – MARCH 20, 2019

Millie Weaver investigates meme trends and hoaxes surrounding the infamous YangGang surreptitiously supporting Andrew Yang’s 2020 presidential campaign.

Millie exposes a link between an emerging “Fashwave” accelerationist ideology found infiltrating the YangGang meme culture, as well as the Christchurch Shooter’s Manifesto. We watched in live action as trolls targeted various conservative content with coordinated dog-pile attacks.

 

WOMEN’S MARCH FUNDRAISES OFF OF NEW ZEALAND MOSQUE ATTACK

Women’s March Fundraises Off Of New Zealand Mosque Attack

Left-wing activist group Women’s March on Tuesday used Friday’s terrorist attack on a New Zealand mosque that killed 50 people to solicit donations from supporters

The Daily Caller – MARCH 20, 2019

Left-wing activist group Women’s March on Tuesday used Friday’s terrorist attack on a New Zealand mosque that killed 50 people to solicit donations from supporters.

Women’s March sent out a fundraising email from co-chair Linda Sarsour, who asked supporters to “give the gift of justice” by donating to the activist organization she leads.

Sarsour’s email noted Tuesday was her 39th birthday, “the age Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was when he was assassinated.”

Sarsour said “51 of my fellow Muslims were murdered in New Zealand as they prayed, killed for just being who they are,” misstating the number of dead, before going on to ask for donations to combat anti-Muslim sentiment. (RELATED: Linda Sarsour Attacks ‘White Feminist’ Nancy Pelosi)

“Will you donate $10 this month so that we can continue to stand up boldly against Islamophobia and be ready to show up for our neighbors in times of need?” Sarsour asked in the email.

Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 11.09.33 AM

“The same ideology that inspired the Christchurch shooters inspired the Pittsburgh shooter. They were inspired and radicalized by the xenophobic and hateful rhetoric of Trump and his administration,” Sarsour continued. “Trump has declined to address whether he recognizes the rise in white nationalism that is clear for the eye to see.”

“We see things differently. I want to forge a new way. We’re building a community out of fierce love for ourselves and each other and rejecting the politics of hate and divisiveness. Our children depend on it. Our country depends on it,” she said.

Sarsour then asked supporters to “give the gift of justice” by donating to Women’s March.

Women’s March did not return an email seeking comment on the fundraising email.

TWITTER ADMITS SHADOWBANNING LISA PAGE TWEET BY FEDERALIST CO-FOUNDER “TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE”

Twitter Admits Shadowbanning Lisa Page Tweet By Federalist Co-Founder "To Keep People Safe"

Sorry citizen, some facts are just too dangerous for your own good

Zero Hedge – MARCH 19, 2019

Twitter has admitted to shadowbanning a tweet by The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis in order to “keep people safe.” 

Tweeting a passage last week from former FBI attorney Lisa Page’s Congressional testimony discussing the FBI’s rush to find connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, Davis pointed out the irony of Hillary Clinton’s campaign employing former UK spy Christopher Steele, a foreign national, “working with Russians to obtain damaging information about Donald Trump.” 

CAP

Of note, the dossier Steele compiled which was subsequently used to obtain a warrant to spy on a Trump adviser (and later smear Trump) relied on a “senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure” and “a former top level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin,” according to Vanity Fair.

CAP

Following his March 12 tweet, Davis wondered if Twitter was experimenting with “shadow bans” – as he could only see his tweet if he was logged in, meaning nobody else could see it.

CAP

Six days later, Twitter confirmed with Davis that they had deliberately shadow-banned his tweet in order to “keep people safe.”

CAP

“Twitter gave me no notice or explanation when it shadowbanned one of my Tweets about Russian interference in our elections,” wrote Davis, adding “But what’s worse is how Twitter apparently gives its users the fraudulent impression that their tweets, which Twitter secretly bans, are still public.”

In short, Twitter did not want the public to consider the irony of Hillary Clinton’s campaign paying for a foreign national to collude with Russians against Donald Trump, while the FBI scrambled to prove the Trump campaign did.

Unreal.

In other censorship news, ZeroHedge is now banned in New Zealand and much of Australiafollowing our reporting on the Christchurch terror attacks.

Sorry citizen, some facts are just too dangerous for your own good.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑