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Corporate Corruption Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Corporate Corruption Media Articles in Major Media


Below are key excerpts of highly revealing corporate corruption articles reported in the major media. Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These corporate corruption articles are listed by article date. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.


Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


The world's biggest PR firm claims to be an expert on trust – but is it?
2023-01-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jan/15/edelman-pr-firm-davos-trust

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, the public relations juggernaut Edelman will publish the latest edition of its "trust barometer", an annual survey that purports to measure whether people around the world trust businesses, governments, NGOs and the media. There's just one problem: even as Edelman promotes its brand and pursues clients with stern warnings about the importance of trust, critics charge the company appears reluctant to follow its own advice. The firm's clients have ranged from ExxonMobil to the Saudi government and members of the Sackler family, the former owners of the opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma. Successful PR firms do more than simply promote and spin – they actually infuse the public discourse with their clients' perspectives. "These companies are trying not just to manage trust, but to make trust," [media studies professor Melissa] Aronczyk said. "And if they themselves are the owners of that survey, or barometer, or whatever it is, then, of course, they become the proprietors of that kind of value." Edelman's most effective case study might be the firm itself. It has managed to cultivate a reputation for trust even as its business model appears regularly to contradict its advice and its CEO's admonitions. Over the past four years Edelman has signed about $9.6m worth of deals with the government of Saudi Arabia and companies controlled by the regime, while simultaneously urging businesses to stand up for human rights.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


The US should break up monopolies – not punish working Americans for rising prices
2023-01-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/jan/08/us-monopolies-inflation...

Job growth and wages are slowing. This is music to the ears of Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, because the Fed blames inflation on rising wages. The Fed has been increasing interest rates to slow the economy and thereby reduce the bargaining power of workers to get wage gains. But aren't higher wages a good thing? The typical American worker's wage has been stuck in the mud for four decades. Most of the gains from a more productive economy have been going to the top – to executives and investors. The richest 10% of Americans now own more than 90% of the value of shares of stock owned by Americans. Powell's solution to inflation is to clobber workers even further. But if the demand for workers exceeds the supply, isn't the answer to pay workers more? Not according to Powell and the Fed. Their answer is to continue to raise interest rates to slow the economy and put more people out of work, so workers can't get higher wages. The Fed projects that as it continues to increase interest rates, unemployment will rise to 4.6% by the end of 2023 – resulting in more than 1m job losses. The problem isn't that wages are rising. The real problem is that corporations have the power to pass those wage increases – along with record profit margins – on to consumers in the form of higher prices. If corporations had to compete vigorously for consumers, they wouldn't be able to do this. Competitors would charge lower prices and grab those consumers away.

Note: The above was written by former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Tensions with Virgin Islands governor over Epstein led to attorney general's firing
2023-01-06, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/06/business/virgin-islands-epstein-attorney-g...

The former attorney general for the Virgin Islands, who recently secured a $105 million settlement from the estate of Jeffrey Epstein, was recently fired following months of friction between her and the U.S. territory's governor over the handling of the investigation into the disgraced financier, according to people briefed on the matter. Denise N. George, the former official, was dismissed by Albert Bryan Jr., the governor of the Virgin Islands, on New Year's Eve, four days after her office sued JPMorgan Chase in federal court in Manhattan for its dealings with Mr. Epstein, who died of an apparent suicide in 2019 while in federal custody. The timing of Ms. George's firing fueled media speculation in the Virgin Islands and beyond that the suit against JPMorgan was the immediate cause. In late December, Ms. George's office sued JPMorgan in federal court in Manhattan, claiming that bank was derelict in providing banking services to Mr. Epstein during the time he was charged with sexually abusing teenage girls and young women at Little St. James and elsewhere in the U.S. The lawsuit accused JPMorgan of facilitating and concealing wire and cash transactions that should have raised suspicions that Mr. Epstein was engaging in the sexual trafficking of teen girls and young women. The lawsuit contends the bank essentially turned a "blind eye" to Mr. Epstein's conduct because it was profitable. JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, was Mr. Epstein's primary banker from the late 1990s to 2013.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on banking corruption and Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking ring from reliable major media sources.


Facebook Wanted Out of Politics. It Was Messier Than Anyone Expected.
2023-01-05, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-politics-controls-zuckerberg-meta-11672...

A Journal article in 2021 cited internal [Facebook] research showing that steps to promote engagement had favored inflammatory material, with publishers and political parties reorienting their posts toward outrage and sensationalism. After the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. said it wanted to scale back how much political content it showed users. [Chief Executive Mark] Zuckerberg and [Meta's] board chose the most drastic, instructing the company to demote posts on "sensitive" topics as much as possible ... an initiative that hasn't previously been reported. Depending on the mix of suppression features deployed, projected Facebook traffic to Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, Newsmax, the Atlantic and The Wall Street Journal would initially fall by as much as 40% to 60% beyond the already enacted reductions. Suppressing civic content didn't appear likely to convince users that Facebook wasn't politically toxic. According to internal research, the percentage of users who said they thought Facebook had a negative effect on politics didn't budge with the changes, staying consistently around 60% in the U.S. Ravi Iyer, a former Meta data-science manager ... said there should be more focus on the way platforms allow certain content to go viral, rather than subjective decisions about what to leave up or take down. “Having employees judge good vs. bad speech often creates more problems than it solves,” he said. “Our goal should be fewer judgment calls.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Epstein's sex trafficking was aided by JPMorgan, a U.S. Virgin Islands lawsuit says
2022-12-30, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2022/12/30/1146221454/epstein-jpmorgan-virgin-islands-law...

The government of the U.S. Virgin Islands alleges in a lawsuit filed this week that JPMorgan Chase "turned a blind eye" to evidence that disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein used the bank to facilitate sex-trafficking activities on Little St. James, the private island he owned in the territory until his 2019 suicide. In a more than 100-page complaint filed by U.S.V.I. Attorney General Denise George in the Southern District of New York in Manhattan on Tuesday, the territory alleges that JPMorgan failed to report Epstein's suspicious activities and provided the financier with services reserved for high-wealth clients after his 2008 conviction for soliciting a minor for prostitution in Palm Beach, Fla. The complaint says the territory's Department of Justice investigation "revealed that JP Morgan knowingly, negligently, and unlawfully provided and pulled the levers through which recruiters and victims were paid and was indispensable to the operation and concealment of the Epstein trafficking enterprise." It accused the bank of ignoring evidence for "more than a decade because of Epstein's own financial footprint, and because of the deals and clients that Epstein brought and promised to bring to the bank." "These decisions were advocated and approved at the senior levels of JP Morgan," it said. The bank allegedly "facilitated and concealed wire and cash transactions that raised suspicion of – and were in fact part of – a criminal enterprise whose currency was the sexual servitude of dozens of women and girls," according to the complaint.

Note: Just days after filing the lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase, the district attorney of US Virgin Islands was fired. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking ring from reliable major media sources.


Twitter Is Said to Have Struggled Over Revealing U.S. Influence Campaign
2022-12-22, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/22/technology/twitter-military-influence-camp...

In response to a 2017 request from the Pentagon, Twitter kept online a network of accounts that the U.S. military used to advance its interests in the Middle East, according to internal company emails that were made public on Tuesday by The Intercept, a nonprofit publication. A counterterrorism division at Twitter knew about the arrangement, but others did not, five people with knowledge of the matter said. The situation was unusual because Twitter normally removes and publicly discloses influence campaigns conducted by governments. The internal documents published by The Intercept were provided by Twitter under its new owner, Elon Musk. Mr. Musk has made an archive of documents available to select journalists to scrutinize the decisions of the company's previous leaders. The situation began in 2017 when an official working with U.S. Central Command requested that Twitter verify some of the military's accounts. The accounts had been flagged by a Twitter system used to automatically detect terrorist content and were not easy to find in searches. The Pentagon asked Twitter to "whitelist" the accounts, which would prevent the automatic tools from flagging them and make them more broadly visible on the platform. Twitter's counterterrorism team complied. While the company regularly disclosed other state-backed influence campaigns in transparency reports, executives ... feared they could violate national security laws by speaking publicly about the takedown of the campaign.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Wells Fargo ordered to pay $3.7 billion for 'illegal activity' including unjust foreclosures and vehicle repossessions
2022-12-20, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/20/investing/wells-fargo-cfpb-foreclosure-fine/in...

Federal regulators fined Wells Fargo a record $1.7 billion on Tuesday for "widespread mismanagement" over multiple years that harmed over 16 million consumer accounts. Wells Fargo's "illegal activity" included repeatedly misapplying loan payments, wrongfully foreclosing on homes, illegally repossessing vehicles, incorrectly assessing fees and interest and charging surprise overdraft fees. The CFPB ordered Wells Fargo to pay the $1.7 billion civil penalty in addition to more than $2 billion to compensate consumers for a range of "illegal activity." CFPB officials say this is the largest penalty imposed by the agency. The misconduct described by the CFPB echoes previously reported revelations that have emerged about Wells Fargo since 2016 when the bank's fake-accounts scandal created a national firestorm. "Wells Fargo's rinse-repeat cycle of violating the law has harmed millions of American families," Rohit Chopra, the CFPB's director, said in a statement. Chopra noted that the settlement does not provide immunity for individuals at Wells Fargo, and the agency recognizes the $3.7 billion in fines and restitution will not fix the bank's problems. Although Chopra credited Wells Fargo with making some progress, he said it's not clear "they are making rapid enough progress" and said the agency is concerned that the bank's product launches, growth initiatives and profit-boosting efforts have "delayed needed reform."

Note: In 2016, Wells Fargo was caught opening millions of fake accounts in its customers' names. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Congress and Industry Leaders Call for Crackdown on Hospice Fraud
2022-12-19, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/congress-and-industry-leaders-call-for-crac...

After ProPublica and the New Yorker published an exposé of hospice fraud, members of Congress have called on the Department of Health and Human Services to "immediately investigate this situation." The ... investigation described how the lucrative design of the Medicare benefit incentivizes many profit-seeking hospices to cut corners on care and target patients who are not actually dying. It chronicled the lack of regulation and the frustrated efforts of whistleblowers to hold end-of-life care conglomerates accountable. And it drew on state and federal data to reveal how, in the absence of oversight, the number of for-profit hospice providers in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada has lately exploded. Hospice began more than 60 years ago as a countercultural charity movement to help patients die with comfort, support and as little pain as possible. After the 1980s, when President Ronald Reagan authorized Medicare to cover the service, dying became a big business. In 2000, less than a third of all hospices were for-profit. Today, more than 70% are. Between 2011 and 2019, the number of hospices owned by private equity firms tripled. For profit-seeking providers, hospice is lucrative: Medicare pays a fixed rate per patient a day, regardless of how much help is offered. The aggregate Medicare margins of for-profit providers hover around 20% compared with just 5% for nonprofits. For-profit hospices are more likely than their nonprofit counterparts to have less skilled staff ... and fewer home visits.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


In the Southeast, power company money flows to news sites that attack their critics
2022-12-19, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2022/12/19/1143753129/power-companies-florida-alabama-med...

Six news outlets across Alabama and Florida [have] financial connections to the consulting firm Matrix LLC. The firm, based in Montgomery, Alabama, has boasted clients including Alabama Power and another major U.S. utility, Florida Power & Light. Last year, Florida Power & Light wrote a bill that was passed by the Florida Legislature and that would have gutted the ability of homeowners to make money off solar panels. One state away, Alabama Power runs and owns a coal-fired power plant that is the largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. In Alabama and Florida, Matrix sought to ensure much coverage was secretly driven by the priorities of its clients. Payments flowed as the utilities in Florida and Alabama fought efforts to incorporate more clean energy in electric grids – a fight they are still waging. [Floodlight and NPR investigations reveal] a complex web of financial links, in which the six outlets collectively received, at minimum, $900,000 from Matrix, its clients, and associated entities between 2013 and 2020. Matrix shrewdly took advantage of the near collapse of the local newspaper industry and a concurrent plunge in trust in media in propelling its clients' interests. Matrix founder Joe Perkins has long held an interest in the power of the media. As a doctoral student at the University of Alabama, he wrote his thesis about a specific quandary: How can journalists' choice of sources and anecdotes affect public sentiment?

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


US health agency accused of bowing to drug industry with new opioid guidance
2022-12-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/dec/17/cdc-accused-opioid-guidelines...

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been accused of bowing to drug industry pressure after releasing new guidelines that doctors say put lives at risk by rowing back on warnings about the dangers of opioid prescribing. The latest CDC guidelines have caused controversy after dropping specific limits on dosages and lengths of prescribing from a key summary of recommendations used by physicians. Dr Andrew Kolodny, president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, sees the drug industry's hand behind the change. Kolodny has testified against opioid makers in legal actions over their part in driving the opioid epidemic by pushing sales with false claims about their safety and effectiveness. They include Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of OxyContin, a powerful narcotic pill that kickstarted the US's opioid epidemic alongside the company's marketing strategy to see the drugs widely prescribed. Kolody said ... that the drug industry calculated how much the 2016 CDC guidelines would cost it if doctors followed the recommendations to limit prescribing of high dosage pills. "The highest dosage products have had the highest profit margin. It only costs a few extra pennies to make the higher dosage pill, but retail it's almost double what they get per pill or prescription. So the industry fought very hard to block the release of the 2016 guideline and when that failed they did everything they could to make the guidelines appear controversial. And that worked," he said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in Big Pharma from reliable major media sources.


The Scorched-Earth Legal Strategy Corporations Are Using to Silence Their Critics
2022-12-16, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2022/12/16/corporate-rico-environmental-advocate/

Weeks before he was murdered, Victor Hugo Orcasita presented his wife with a letter describing his last wishes. Orcasita, a union leader, had been pushing for better conditions at his workplace, a mine in northern Colombia owned by a subsidiary of the Alabama-based coal company Drummond. Then the death threats started coming in. The miners’ union was convinced that Drummond was involved in the murders. To make the case that the company was complicit in the killings, the union turned to Terry Collingsworth, a lifelong human rights attorney. In March 2015, the case took a surprising turn. Drummond had returned fire in the legal fight with an unusual accusation. The company charged that Collingsworth – an advocate who recently brought a case before the U.S. Supreme Court – had led a "multifaceted criminal campaign" to extort Drummond into paying a costly settlement. This campaign, Drummond alleged, was in fact a racketeering conspiracy as defined by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as RICO. Drummond's charges represent a scorched-earth legal strategy in which corporations are turning the tables on attorneys and advocates who accuse them of wrongdoing. By shifting the spotlight to these attorneys’ conduct, corporations effectively sidestepped the original allegations against them. The true purpose ... is to send attorneys and activists a message: Going toe-to-toe with heavyweight corporations can lead to personal ruin.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Why the government fails to limit many dangerous chemicals in the workplace
2022-12-15, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/12/15/1142915184/ortho-toluidi...

The permissible exposure limit for ortho-toluidine is 5 parts per million in air, a threshold based on research conducted in the 1940s and '50s without any consideration of the chemical's ability to cause cancer. Despite ample evidence that far lower levels can dramatically increase a person's cancer risk, the legal limit has remained the same. Paralyzed by industry lawsuits from decades ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has all but given up on trying to set a truly protective threshold for ortho-toluidine and thousands of other chemicals. The agency has only updated standards for three chemicals in the past 25 years; each took more than a decade to complete. David Michaels, OSHA's director throughout the Obama administration, [said] that legal challenges had so tied his hands that he decided to put a disclaimer on the agency's website saying the government's limits were essentially useless: "OSHA recognizes that many of its permissible exposure limits (PELs) are outdated and inadequate for ensuring protection of worker health." The agency has also allowed chemical manufacturers to create their own safety data sheets, which are supposed to provide workers with the exposure limits and other critical information. OSHA does not require the sheets to be accurate or routinely fact-check them. As a result, many fail to mention the risk of cancer and other serious health hazards. Almost one-third of more than 650 sheets for dangerous chemicals contain inaccurate warnings.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.


Lessons from Germany to help solve the U.S. medical debt crisis
2022-12-14, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/12/14/1142601526/lessons-from-...

In one recent study of health care in 11 high-income countries, the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund found that 44% of Americans had out-of-pocket medical expenses that topped $1,000 in the previous year. Just 16% of Germans reported paying that much. The rates were even lower in France, at 10%, and Great Britain, where only 7% reported similar medical expenses. "Many Americans may not understand how affordable health care is for patients in other countries," said Reginald D. Williams II, who oversees international research at the Commonwealth Fund. "Medical debt is a largely U.S. phenomenon. It just doesn't happen in other countries." Germany, like the U.S., has a largely private health care system that relies on private doctors and private insurers. Like Americans, many Germans enroll in a health plan through work, splitting the cost with their employer. But Germany has long done something the U.S. does not: It strictly limits how much patients have to pay out of their own pockets for a trip to the doctor, the hospital or the pharmacy. This regulation occurs through a highly structured system in which insurers negotiate collectively with physician and hospital groups to set prices. American hospitals and other medical providers for decades have fiercely resisted limits on their prices, spending millions to fight government regulation. [Dr. Eckart] Rolshoven's patients pay nothing when they see him. That not only bolsters their health, he said. It helps maintain what Rolshoven called social peace.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption, pharmaceutical corruption, and health from reliable major media sources.


CIA Venture Capital Arm Partners with Ex-Googler's Startup to "Safeguard the Internet"
2022-12-09, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2022/12/02/cia-google-content-moderation-trust-lab/

Trust Lab was founded by a team of well-credentialed Big Tech alumni who came together in 2021 with a mission: Make online content moderation more transparent, accountable, and trustworthy. A year later, the company announced a "strategic partnership" with the CIA's venture capital firm. The quiet October 29 announcement of the partnership is light on details, stating that Trust Lab and In-Q-Tel – which invests in and collaborates with firms it believes will advance the mission of the CIA – will work on "a long-term project that will help identify harmful content and actors in order to safeguard the internet." Key terms like "harmful" and "safeguard" are unexplained, but the press release goes on to say that the company will work toward "pinpointing many types of online harmful content, including toxicity and misinformation." It's difficult to imagine how aligning the startup with the CIA is compatible with [Trust Lab co-founder Tom] Siegel's goal of bringing greater transparency and integrity to internet governance. What would it mean, for instance, to incubate counter-misinformation technology for an agency with a vast history of perpetuating misinformation? Placing the company within the CIA's tech pipeline also raises questions about Trust Lab's view of who or what might be a "harmful" online, a nebulous concept that will no doubt mean something very different to the U.S. intelligence community than it means elsewhere. Trust Lab's murky partnership with In-Q-Tel suggests a step toward greater governmental oversight of online speech.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


How the Global Spyware Industry Spiraled Out of Control
2022-12-08, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/08/us/politics/spyware-nso-pegasus-paragon.html

The Biden administration took a public stand last year against the abuse of spyware to target human rights activists, dissidents and journalists: It blacklisted the most notorious maker of the hacking tools, the Israeli firm NSO Group. But the global industry for commercial spyware – which allows governments to invade mobile phones and vacuum up data – continues to boom. Even the U.S. government is using it. The Drug Enforcement Administration is secretly deploying spyware from a different Israeli firm, according to five people familiar with the agency's operations, in the first confirmed use of commercial spyware by the federal government. The most sophisticated spyware tools – like NSO's Pegasus – have "zero-click" technology, meaning they can stealthily and remotely extract everything from a target's mobile phone, without the user having to click on a malicious link to give Pegasus remote access. They can also turn the mobile phone into a tracking and secret recording device, allowing the phone to spy on its owner. But hacking tools without zero-click capability, which are considerably cheaper, also have a significant market. Commercial spyware has been used by intelligence services and police forces to hack phones used by drug networks and terrorist groups. But it has also been abused by numerous authoritarian regimes and democracies to spy on political opponents and journalists. This has led governments to a sometimes tortured rationale for their use.

Note: Read about how NSO Group spyware was used against journalists and activists by the Mexican government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Revealed: group shaping US nutrition receives millions from big food industry
2022-12-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/dec/09/academy-nutrition-financial-t...

Newly released documents show an influential group that helps shape US food policy and steers consumers toward nutritional products has financial ties to the world's largest processed food companies and has been controlled by former industry employees who have worked for companies like Monsanto. The documents reveal the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a record of quid pro quos with a range of food giants, owns stock in ultra-processed food companies and has received millions in contributions from producers of pop, candy, and processed foods linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and other health problems. The findings are a part of a recently published peer-reviewed study that examined a trove of financial documents and internal communications obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (Foia) request. "It's incredibly influential so if the Academy is corrupt then nutritional policy in the US is going to be corrupt," said Gary Ruskin ... a co-author of the study. The Academy accepted at least $15m from corporate and organizational contributors from 2011-2017, and over $4.5m in additional funding went to the Academy's foundation. Among the highest contributions came from companies such as NestlÄ‚©, PepsiCo, Hershey, Kellogg's, General Mills, Conagra, the National Dairy Council and the baby formula producer Abbott Nutrition. The Academy and its foundation also received food industry fundings via sponsorships, which are in effect quid pro quos.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Elon Musk speaks out on 'Twitter Files' release detailing platform's inner workings
2022-12-04, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/04/business/elon-musk-twitter-files-comments/inde...

Twitter owner Elon Musk spoke out on Saturday evening about the so-called "Twitter Files," a long tweet thread posted by journalist Matt Taibbi, who had been provided with details about behind-the-scenes discussions on Twitter's content moderation decision-making, including the call to suppress a 2020 New York Post story about Hunter Biden and his laptop. During a two-hour long Twitter Spaces session, Musk said a second "Twitter Files" drop will again involve Taibbi, along with journalist Bari Weiss, but did not give an exact date for when that would be released. Musk – who claims to have not read the released files himself – said the impetus for the original tweet thread was about what happened in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election and "how much government influence was there." Taibbi's first thread reaffirmed how, in the initial hours after the Post story about Hunter Biden went live, Twitter employees grappled with fears that it could have been the result of a Russian hacking operation. It showed employees on several Twitter teams debating over whether to restrict the article under the company's hacked materials policy, weeks before the 2020 election. The emails Taibbi obtained are consistent with what former Twitter site integrity head Yoel Roth told journalist Kara Swisher in an onstage interview last week. Taibbi said the contact from political parties happened more frequently from Democrats, but provided no internal documents to back up his assertion.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.


Elon Musk, Matt Taibbi, and a Very Modern Media Maelstrom
2022-12-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/04/business/media/elon-musk-twitter-matt-taib...

The so-called Twitter Files, released ... by the independent journalist Matt Taibbi, set off a firestorm among pundits, media ethicists and lawmakers in both parties. It also offered a window into the fractured modern landscape of news, where a story's reception is often shaped by readers' assumptions about the motivations of both reporters and subjects. Mr. Musk teased the release of internal documents that he said would reveal the story behind Twitter's 2020 decision to restrict posts linking to a report in the New York Post about Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s son, Hunter. Mr. Musk, who has accused tech companies of censorship ... pointed readers to the account of Mr. Taibbi, an iconoclast journalist. Published in the form of a lengthy Twitter thread, Mr. Taibbi’s report included images of email exchanges among Twitter officials deliberating how to handle dissemination of the Post story on their platform. Skeptics of Mr. Taibbi seized on what appeared to be an orchestrated disclosure. “Imagine volunteering to do online PR work for the world’s richest man on a Friday night, in service of nakedly and cynically right-wing narratives, and then pretending you’re speaking truth to power,” the MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan wrote in a Twitter post. Mr. Taibbi clapped back on Saturday, writing: “Looking forward to going through all the tweets complaining about ‘PR for the richest man on earth,’ and seeing how many of them have run stories for anonymous sources at the FBI, CIA, the Pentagon, White House, etc.”

Note: Matt Taibbi is one of the few journalists who reports it as he sees it and is willing to look far beneath the surface. We subscribe to his excellent reports as one very useful source of unraveling the jumble of news that comes our way. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


Meta's new AI is skilled at a ruthless, power-seeking game
2022-12-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/12/01/meta-diplomacy-ai-cicero/

Researchers at Meta, the parent company of Facebook, have unveiled an artificial intelligence model, named Cicero after the Roman statesman, that demonstrates skills of negotiation, trickery and forethought. More often than not, it wins at Diplomacy, a complex, ruthless strategy game where players forge alliances, craft battle plans and negotiate to conquer a stylized version of Europe. It is the latest evolution in artificial intelligence, which has experienced rapid advancements in recent years that have led to dystopian inventions, from chatbots becoming humanlike, to generated art becoming hyper-realistic, to killer drones. Cicero, released in November, was able to trick humans into thinking it was real, according to Meta, and can invite players to join alliances, craft invasion plans and negotiate peace deals when needed. Its mastery of language surprised some scientists and its creators, who thought this level of sophistication was years away. But experts said its ability to withhold information, think multiple steps ahead of opponents and outsmart human competitors sparks broader concerns. This type of technology could be used to concoct smarter scams that extort people or create more convincing deep fakes. "It is a great example of just how much we can fool other human beings," said Kentaro Toyama, a professor and artificial intelligence expert ... who read the Meta paper. "These things are super scary" and "could be used for evil."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Revealed: more than 70% of English water industry is in foreign ownership
2022-11-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/30/more-than-70-per-cent-eng...

Foreign investment firms, private equity, pension funds and businesses lodged in tax havens own more than 70% of the water industry in England, according to research by the Guardian. The complex web of ownership is revealed as the public and some politicians increasingly call for the industry to be held to account for sewage dumping, leaks and water shortages. Six water companies are under investigation for potentially illegal activities as pressure grows on the industry to put more money into replacing and restoring crumbling infrastructure to protect both the environment and public health. More than three decades after the sector was sold off with a promise to the public they would become individual small shareholders or "H2Owners", control of the water industry has become dominated by overseas investment vehicles, the super-rich, companies in tax havens and pension fund investors. The ownership structure is such that transparency and accountability are limited, according to Dr Kate Bayliss ... at Soas University of London. The Qatar Investment Authority is the third largest shareholder in Severn Trent, with a 4.6% holding, while almost 10% is held by the US investment company BlackRock and its subsidiaries. A subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has a 9.9% stake in Thames Water, while 8.7% is owned by China, the analysis shows. At least 72% of the industry is controlled by firms in 17 countries, while UK firms own 10%. Ownership of 82% of the water industry was traced overall.

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