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Censored News Stories
The Top Censored News Stories of 2018

Note: To find the top media censorship stories of any year from 2003 to present, click here.

Censored News Stories

Project Censored specializes in covering the top news stories subjected to censorship either by being ignored or downplayed by the mainstream media each year. Project Censored is a research team composed of more than 300 university faculty, students, and community experts who annually review many hundreds of news story submissions for coverage, content, reliability of sources, and national significance.

The top 25 stories selected are submitted to a distinguished panel of judges who then rank them in order of importance. The results are published each year in an excellent book available for purchase at their website,, and most major book stores.

A summary of the top 25 media censorship stories of 2018 provided below proves quite revealing and most informative. Each summary has a link for those who want to read the entire article. For whatever reason the mainstream media won't report these stories. Yet thanks to the Internet and wonderful, committed groups like Project Censored, the news is getting out. By revealing these examples of media censorship, we can stop the excessive secrecy and work together for a brighter future. Please help to spread the word, and take care.

Note: To find all of these stories and their sources on the Project Censored website, click here. The stories below actually cover a 12-month period spanning 2017 and 2018.

Top 25 Censored News Stories of 2018

1. Global Decline in Rule of Law as Basic Human Rights Diminish (For full story, click here)

A 2018 survey conducted in response to global concerns about rising authoritarianism and nationalism shows a major decrease in nations adhering to basic human rights. The World Justice Project (WJP)'s "Rule of Law Index 2017-2018" examined legal systems around the world. Since 2016 overall rule of law scores declined in 38 countries, with the greatest declines occurring in the category of fundamental rights, which measures absence of discrimination, right to life and security, due process, freedom of expression and religion, right to privacy, freedom of association, and labor rights. From 2016 to 2018, 71 countries out of 113 dropped in this category. Constraints on government powers, which measures the extent to which those who govern are bound by law, saw the second greatest declines. In the fundamental rights category, the United States fell five places to 26th overall.

Sources: Will Bordell and Jon Robins, "'A Crisis for Human Rights': New Index Reveals Global Fall in Basic Justice," The Guardian, January 31, 2018.

2. "Open-Source" Intelligence Secrets Sold to Highest Bidders (For full story, click here)

In March 2017, WikiLeaks released Vault 7, which consisted of some 8,761 leaked confidential Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents and files from 2013 to 2016, detailing the agency's vast arsenal of tools for electronic surveillance and cyber warfare. The malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized "zero-day" exploits, and remote-controlled systems detailed in Vault 7 are "unclassified, open-source, and can be used by anyone." The CIA is limited by law in what it can do with these hacking tools. Subcontractors are not similarly restricted. A 2016 report estimated that 58,000 private contractors worked in national and military intelligence. Intelligence [has] been privatized to an unimaginable degree. An unprecedented consolidation of corporate power inside US intelligence has left the country dangerously dependent on a handful of companies for its spying and surveillance needs.

Sources: George Eliason, "How Intel for Hire is Making US Intelligence a Threat to the World Part 2," OpEdNews, February 14, 2018.
George Eliason, "The Private Contractors Using Vault 7 Tools for US Gov: Testimony Shows US Intel Needs a Ground-Up Rebuild Part 1," OpEdNews, March 31, 2017

3. World's Richest One Percent Continue to Become Wealthier (For full story, click here)

The richest 1 percent of the world now owns more than half of the world's wealth. The world's richest people have seen their share of the globe's total wealth increase from 42.5% at the height of the 2008 financial crisis to 50.1% in 2017. This concentrated wealth amounts to $140 trillion. The number of millionaires in the world is now nearly three times greater than in 2000. This staggering concentration of wealth comes at an extreme cost. The world's 3.5 billion poorest adults each have assets of less than $10,000. Collectively these people, who account for 70% of the world's working age population, account for just 2.7% of global wealth. Those with low wealth tend to be disproportionately found among the younger age groups, who have had little chance to accumulate assets. Millennials face particularly challenging circumstances. Tremendous concentration of wealth and the extreme poverty that results from it are problems that affect everyone in the world.

Source: Rupert Neate, "Richest 1% Own Half the World's Wealth, Study Finds," The Guardian, November 14, 2017.

4. How Big Wireless Convinced Us Cell Phones and Wi-Fi are Safe (For full story, click here)

A Kaiser Permanente study (published December 2017 in the Scientific Reports section of the science journal Nature) conducted controlled research testing on hundreds of pregnant women in the San Francisco Bay area and found that those who had been exposed to magnetic field (MF) non-ionizing radiation associated with cell phones and wireless devices had 2.72 times more risk of miscarriage than those with lower MF exposure. Furthermore, the study reported that the association was "much stronger" when MF was measured "on a typical day of participants' pregnancies." The wireless industry has "war-gamed" science by actively sponsoring studies that result in published findings supportive of the industry while aiming to discredit competing research that raises questions about the safety of cellular devices and other wireless technologies. Multiple studies have correlated long-term exposure to cell phone radiation with the risk for glioma (a type of brain tumor), meningioma, DNA damage, and other health risks.

Sources: Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie, "How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones are Safe: A Special Investigation," The Nation, March 29, 2018.
"Phonegate: French Government Data Indicates Cell Phones Expose Consumers to Radiation Levels Higher Than Manufacturers Claim," Environmental Health Trust, June 2017, updated 6/2018.
Marc Arazi, "Phonegate: New Legal Proceedings against ANFR and Initial Reaction to the Communiqué of Nicolas Hulot," Dr. Marc Arazi blog, December 2, 2017.

5. Washington Post Bans Employees from Using Social Media to Criticize Sponsors (For full story, click here)

A new policy at the Washington Post prohibits the Post's employees from conduct on social media that "adversely affects The Post's customers, advertisers, subscribers, vendors, suppliers or partners." In such cases Post management reserved the right to take disciplinary action "up to and including termination of employment." In addition to restricting criticism, the Post's new policy encourages employees to snitch on one another. This new policy offers a simple loophole to corporations that wish to avoid criticism from the Post, as becoming a sponsor of the paper would quickly put an end to any unfavorable coverage. The policy might affect the Post's coverage of stories involving the CIA. Four months after Jeff Bezos purchased the Post, Amazon Web Services signed a $600 million contract with the CIA for web hosting services that now serve "the entire U.S. intelligence community." (Bezos is the CEO of Amazon.)

Sources: Andrew Beaujon, "The Washington Post's New Social Media Policy Forbids Disparaging Advertisers," Washingtonian, June 27, 2017.
Josh Delk, "Washington Post Prohibits Social Media Criticism of Advertisers," The Hill, June 28, 2017.
Whitney Webb, "Bezos Bans WaPo Staff from Criticizing Corporate Advertisers on Social Media," MintPress News, July 17, 2017.

6. Russiagate: Two-Headed Monster of Propaganda and Censorship (For full story, click here)

Russiagate, which began as a scandal over Russian efforts to sway the 2016 US election, has since proliferated into a drama of dossiers, investigative councils, Russian adoption cover-ups, and an ever-changing list of alleged scandals. Corporate media coverage of Russiagate has created a two-headed monster of propaganda and censorship. Russiagate has superseded other important, newsworthy stories. News coverage that has been reflexively hostile toward Russia also serves to link political protest in the United States with Russian operatives and interests in ways that discredit legitimate domestic activism. Under the influence of Russiagate rhetoric, according to [Rolling Stone's Matt] Taibbi, "We've jumped straight past debating the efficacy of democracy to just reflexively identifying most anti-establishment sentiment as illegitimate, treasonous, and foreign in nature."

Sources: Aaron Maté, "MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Sees a 'Russia Connection' Lurking Around Every Corner," The Intercept, April 12, 2017.
Matt Taibbi, "The New Blacklist," Rolling Stone, March 5, 2018.
Norman Solomon, "Is MSNBC Now the Most Dangerous Warmonger Network?" Truthdig, March 1, 2018.

7. Regenerative Agriculture as "Next Stage" of Civilization (For full story, click here)

Regenerative agriculture represents not only an alternative food production strategy but a fundamental shift in our culture's relationship to nature. Climate disruption, diminishing supplies of clean water, polluted air and soil, rising obesity, malnutrition and chronic disease, food insecurity, and food waste can all be traced back to modern food production. Regenerative agriculture is designed to address these problems from the ground up. Regenerative farming could potentially draw a critical mass of 200-250 billion tons of carbon from the earth's atmosphere over the next 25 years, mitigating or even reversing key aspects of global warming. Regenerative agricultural techniques allow carbon to be stored in soils and living plants, where it can increase food production and quality while reducing soil erosion and the damaging runoff of pesticides and fertilizers. Industrial farming systems effectively "mine" soils, decarbonizing them and, in the process, destroying forests and releasing an estimated 44 to 57 percent of all climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases.

Source: Ronnie Cummins, "Regeneration: The Next Stage of Organic Food and Farming - and Civilization," Organic Consumers Association, May 28, 2017.

8. Congress Passes Intrusive Data Sharing Law under Cover of Spending Bill (For full story, click here)

Hidden in the massive omnibus spending bill approved by Congress in February 2018 was the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act of 2018. The CLOUD Act enables the US government to acquire data across international borders regardless of other nations' data privacy laws and without the need for warrants. The CLOUD Act was subject to almost no deliberation as the Senate was working swiftly to avoid a prolonged government shutdown. The CLOUD Act gives US and foreign police new mechanisms for seizing data - including private emails, online chats, Facebook posts, and Snapchat videos - from around the world, with few restrictions on how that information is used or shared. Specifically the CLOUD Act creates an exception to the Stored Communications Act, enabling certified foreign governments to request personal data directly from US companies. Such contracts partially negate the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, which mandates that foreign governments must obtain a warrant through the Department of Justice before requesting data.

Sources: Robyn Greene, "Somewhat Improved, the CLOUD Act Still Poses a Threat to Privacy and Human Rights," Just Security, March 23, 2018.
David Ruiz, "Responsibility Deflected, the CLOUD Act Passes," Electronic Frontier Foundation, March 22, 2018.

9. Indigenous Communities around World Helping to Win Legal Rights of Nature (For full story, click here)

In March 2017, the government of New Zealand officially recognized the Whanganui River - which the indigenous Maori consider their ancestor - as a living entity with rights. By protecting the Whanganui against human threats to its health, the New Zealand law established "a critical precedent for acknowledging the Rights of Nature in legal systems around the world." A similar effort to protect the Missouri River could be produced for the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River nations by the American government. In the battle over the Dakota Access pipeline the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin "amended its constitution to include the Rights of Nature." If more tribes followed the path of the Ho-Chunk Nation in affirming the rights of nature we might finally see "an end to nonconsented infrastructure projects in Indian Country." New Zealand's law differed from previous rights of nature laws adopted in Ecuador and Bolivia by designating "specific guardians" for the Whanganui River.

Sources: Kayla DeVault, "What Legal Personhood for U.S. Rivers Would Do," YES! Magazine, September 12, 2017.
Eleanor Ainge Roy, "New Zealand River Granted Same Legal Rights as Human Being," The Guardian, March 16, 2017.
Mihnea Tanasescu, "When a River is a Person: From Ecuador to New Zealand, Nature Gets Its Day in Court," The Conversation, June 19, 2017.

10. FBI Racially Profiling "Black Identity Extremists" (For full story, click here)

In August 2017, the counterterrorism division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued an intelligence assessment warning law enforcement officers, including the Department of Homeland Security, of the danger of "Black Identity Extremists." Foreign Policy [reported] that, as "white supremacists prepared to descend on Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, the FBI warned about a new movement that was violent, growing, and racially motivated. Only it wasn't white supremacists; it was 'black identity extremists.'" The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reported that the FBI's intelligence assessment used the term "BIE" (the Bureau's acronym for "Black Identity Extremists") to describe "a conglomeration of disaffiliated racist individuals who are anti-police, anti-white, and/or seeking to rectify perceived social injustices against blacks." The new BIE term categorized a range of activists not by their common ideologies or goals, but by race.

Sources: Jana Winter and Sharon Weinberger, "The FBI's New U.S. Terrorist Threat: 'Black Identity Extremists,'" Foreign Policy, October 6, 2017.
Hatewatch Staff, "FBI 'Black Identity Extremists' Report Stirs Controversy," Southern Poverty Law Center, October 25, 2017.
Brandon E. Patterson, "Police Spied on New York Black Lives Matter Group, Internal Police Documents Show," Mother Jones, October 19, 2017, .

More of the Top 25 Media Censorship Stories of 2018

11. US Air Force Seeks to Control Seventy Percent of Nevada's Desert National Wildlife Refuge (For full story, click here)

More than 32,000 people have submitted comments opposing a military takeover of most of Nevada's Desert National Wildlife Refuge. In order to expand its Nevada Test and Training Range, the US Air Force wants to take control of nearly 70 percent of the 1.6-million-acre refuge. That would give more than two-thirds of the refuge to the US military. The Desert National Wildlife Refuge is the largest national wildlife refuge in the lower 48 states.

12. ICE Intends to Destroy Records of Inhumane Treatment of Immigrants (For full story, click here)

Numerous news reports have highlighted illegal or inhumane actions committed by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. ICE officers in the past year have been given provisional approval by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to destroy thousands of records that document illegal detainment of immigrants, inhumane holding conditions, sexual abuses by officers, and wrongful deaths while in ICE custody.

13. The Limits of Negative News and Importance of Constructive Media (For full story, click here)

As Christopher Reeve Linares reported for The Whole Story, as a result of a "negativity bias," news reporting often fails to "capture and circulate some of the most essential information that society needs to understand and solve its problems." As an alternative to relentlessly negative news coverage, "constructive journalism" aims to produce stories that engage and inspire readers while remaining committed to journalism's core function of informing the public.

14. FBI Paid Geek Squad Employees as "Confidential Human Source" Informants (For full story, click here)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Louisville field officers have been paying Best Buy Geek Squad employees as informants for more than a decade. A Geek Squad facility in Kentucky has been violating customers' constitutional rights by secretly handing over data found on customer computers to the FBI whenever employees suspected customers of possessing illegal material. At least four Geek Squad CHS were paid for their "services" to the FBI.

15. Digital Justice: Internet Co-ops Resist Net Neutrality Rollbacks (For full story, click here)

More than 300 electric cooperatives across the United States are building their own Internet with high-speed fiber networks. These locally-owned networks are protecting open Internet access from the Internet service providers (ISPs) that stand to pocket the profits from the rollbacks of net neutrality. They are making affordable and fast Internet accessible to anyone, narrowing the digital divide that otherwise deepens socioeconomic inequalities.

16. $21 Trillion in Unaccounted-for Government Spending from 1998 to 2015 (For full story, click here)

The Department of Defense and the Department of Housing and Urban Development may have accumulated as much as $21 trillion in undocumented expenses between 1998 and 2015. Mark Skidmore, a professor of economics at Michigan State University, began researching the alleged irregularities in DoD and HUD spending after hearing Catherine Austin Fitts, who was assistant secretary of HUD, say that the Department of Defense's Office of Inspector General (OIG) had found $6.5 trillion worth of military spending that the Department of Defense could not account for.

17. "Model" Mississippi Curriculum Omits Civil Rights Movement from School Textbooks (For full story, click here)

In 2011, Mississippi adopted new social studies standards. Before then, public schools in the state were not required to teach the Civil Rights Movement, and the phrase "civil rights" was mentioned only three times in the 305-page document that outlined the previous standards. However, even as Mississippi's new standards were intended to be a model system for other states to emulate, an investigation [found] that "all of the state's 148 school districts rely on textbooks published before the model standards appeared."

18. Adoption Agencies a Gateway for Child Exploitation (For full story, click here)

Global adoption is a big business, fraught with loose regulations and profit incentives that have made it a target for kidnappers, human traffickers, and pedophiles. In 2017, the Firstpost news outlet reported on a "kidnap-for-adoption" racket in India in which an adoption agency was found guilty of "stealing babies from impoverished unwed mothers, rape survivors and marginalised families." The United States is a source and transit country and is also considered one of the top destination points for victims of child trafficking.

19. People Bussed across US to Cut Cities' Homeless Populations (For full story, click here)

An investigative report by the Guardian studied homeless relocation plans in major cities and counties across the United States. The investigation recorded 34,240 journeys made by homeless people participating in a variety of city and county relocation programs between 2011 and 2017. Relocation programs provide people who are homeless with free one-way bus or plane tickets, [and] "serve the interests of cities, which view free bus tickets as a cheap and effective way of cutting their homeless populations."

20. Extravagant Hospital Waste of Unused Medical Supplies (For full story, click here)

Hospitals in the United States are wasting millions of dollars' worth of sterile and unused medical supplies. The type of equipment that gets thrown away ranges from simple items like surgical masks to more expensive equipment such as $4,000 infant warmers or even $25,000 ultrasound machines. This kind of waste occurs all over the country, despite the existence of nonprofit organizations that accept unused medical supplies while poorer hospitals in rural areas of the United States are unable to afford the high-quality medical supplies that big hospitals are discarding.

21. Parkland Shooter's JROTC Connections Spotlight Militarization of Schools (For full story, click here)

Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. One aspect of Cruz's biography that was not given much, if any, critical attention was his membership in his high school's Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program. [Pat] Elder, who directs the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy wrote, "Few in America have connected the dots between military indoctrination and firearms instruction on the one hand, and the propensity for training mass killers."

22. Big Pharma's Biostitutes: Corporate Media Ignore Root Cause of Opioid Crisis (For full story, click here)

At least 64,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2016, with more than 80 percent of those deaths attributed to opioid drugs. The beginning of the opioid crisis goes back to drug manufacturing companies hiring "biostitutes," a derogatory term for biological scientists hired to misrepresent research or commit fraud. Purdue Pharma, which manufactures OxyContin, and McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen, which distribute that drug and other opioids, suppressed research and began to push doctors to write more prescriptions.

23. New Restrictions on Prisoners' First Amendment Rights (For full story, click here)

On November 1, 2017, the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) implemented strict changes to its prison mail policy that discouraged inmates, their families, and friends from using the US Postal Service. As Rand Gould reported for the San Francisco Bay View, the policy will actually "stop prisoners, their families and friends from sending mail via the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and force them into buying email 'stamps' from JPay," allowing JPay and the MDOC to "rake in profits" and closely monitor all mail.

24. More Than 80,000 Stolen Guns Worsen Crime in Florida (For full story, click here)

Over the past ten years, more than 82,000 guns stolen in Florida remain missing. In Tampa Bay alone at least 9,000 stolen guns have not been recovered. In 2016, on average, at least one gun was reported stolen every hour. Those guns turn up in the hands of drug dealers and felons. Burglaries of cars and of gun stores account for the great majority of stolen guns. A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office detective, Tom Martin, said criminals are not buying guns: "They're stealing them."

25. Sheriffs Using Iris Recognition Technology along US-Mexico Border (For full story, click here)

In April 2017, the Southwestern Border Sheriffs' Coalition (SBSC) unanimously approved use of new biometric identification technology as a defense against "violent unauthorized immigrants." All 31 US counties along the 1,989 miles of the US border with Mexico will receive a free three-year trial of the Inmate Recognition Identification System (IRIS), created by the company Biometric Intelligence and Identification Technologies, or BI2. BI2 plans on expanding the use of their system to law enforcement throughout the country.

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