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Mass Media News Stories
Excerpts of Key Mass Media News Stories in Major Media


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

Note: This comprehensive list of the mass media news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Ivermectin: Can a Drug Be "Right-Wing"?
2021-06-25, Matt Taibbi on Substack
Posted: 2021-07-04 16:03:36
https://taibbi.substack.com/p/ivermectin-can-a-drug-be-right-wing

At the bedside of a single Covid-19 patient who's already received the full official treatment protocol and is failing anyway, the decision to administer a drug like ivermectin, or fluvoxamine, or hydroxychloroquine, or any of a dozen other experimental treatments, seems like a no-brainer. Nothing else has worked, the patient is dying, why not? Telescope out a little further, however, and the ivermectin debate becomes more complicated, reaching into a series of thorny controversies, some ridiculous, some quite serious. The ridiculous side involves ... the censorship of ivermectin news. Anyone running a basic internet search on the topic will get a jumble of confusing results. YouTube's policies are beyond uneven. It's been aggressive in taking down videos ... and doling out strikes to independent media figures. Ivermectin has suffered the same fate as thousands of other news topics since Donald Trump first announced his run for the presidency nearly six years ago, cleaved in two to inhabit separate factual universes for left and right audiences. The drug has become a test case for a controversy that's long been building in health care, about how much input patients should have in their own treatment. Should people on their deathbeds be allowed to try anything to save themselves? That seems like an easy question to answer. Should the entire world be allowed to practice self-care on a grand scale? That's a different issue.

Note: Don't miss the entire article to see just how crazy the medical establishment has become in treating COVID. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Trump spied on journalists. So did Obama. America needs more press freedom now
2021-06-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-06-28 20:42:08
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/15/donald-trump-barack-oba...

The US Department of Justice is under increasing fire for the still-unfolding scandals involving the secret surveillance of journalists and even members of Congress in the waning days of the Trump presidency. In response to the growing scandal – and the scathing condemnations from the surveillance targets at the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN – the US attorney general, Merrick Garland, has vowed the DoJ will no longer use legal process to spy on journalists "doing their jobs." The Times, the Post and CNN are set to meet with the justice department this week to seek more information on what happened. Administrations in both parties have spied on journalists with increasing abandon for almost two decades, in contravention of internal DoJ regulations and against the spirit of the first amendment. Before Trump was known as enemy number one of press freedom, Barack Obama's justice department did more damage to reporters' rights than any administration since Nixon. But there is another issue looming large over this debate. Garland has said so far that the DoJ won't spy on journalists unless they are engaged in a crime. Well, the DoJ is currently attempting to make newsgathering a crime, in the form of its case against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. The actions described in the indictment against him, most notably the 17 Espionage Act charges, are indistinguishable for what reporters do all the time.

Note: Read more about the growing trend to criminally prosecute journalists who rely on confidential sources to expose corruption. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Beware of 'expert' consensus. The covid-19 lab leak theory shows why.
2021-05-30, Washington Post
Posted: 2021-06-21 15:09:57
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/05/30/beware-expert-consensus-co...

People who believe the coronavirus was manufactured in a lab haven't been allowed to say so on Facebook since February – until Wednesday, that is, when Facebook announced it was lifting the ban. Presumably this has something to do with the wavering elite consensus on lab leaks. This consensus was never as monolithic as proponents claimed. But it did produce a Facebook ban and a lot of journalism dismissing the hypothesis as a well-debunked conspiracy theory. In one light, this is a happy scientific ending. Over time, with study, natural transmission looked less likely, and a lab accident somewhat more so. As the evidence changed, a previously hard-and-fast consensus became more open to other possibilities, as should be the case for any good scientific theory. But in another light, this story is a disaster. How did so many smart people come to believe, not just that a natural origin was much more likely than a lab leak – which is still, to be clear, the opinion of many scientists – but that a lab leak was basically an impossibility? Labs have leaked deadly viruses in the past. And a lab in the same city where the pandemic began happened to study bat coronaviruses and had a sample of this coronavirus's closest known relative, gathered from a cave hundreds of miles away. It's possible, and maybe even probable, that this was pure coincidence. But it is a hell of a coincidence, and it wasn't kooky to say so.

Note: Top officials were told not to explore the possibility that the virus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Facebook's Secret Rules About the Word "Zionist" Impede Criticism of Israel
2021-05-14, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-06-21 14:59:43
https://theintercept.com/2021/05/14/facebook-israel-zionist-moderation/

Facebook's secret internal rules for moderating the term "Zionist" let the social network [to] suppress criticism of Israel amid an ongoing wave of Israeli abuses and violence, according to people who reviewed the policies. The rules appear to have been in place since 2019, seeming to contradict a claim by the company in March that no decision had been made on whether to treat the term "Zionist" as a proxy for "Jew" when determining whether it was deployed as "hate speech." The policies ... govern the use of "Zionist" in posts not only on Facebook but across its subsidiary apps, including Instagram. Both Facebook and Instagram are facing allegations of censorship following the erratic, widespread removal of recent posts from pro-Palestinian users critical of the Israeli government, including those who documented instances of Israeli state violence. Mass violence has gripped Israel and Gaza since last week. Israeli security forces stormed the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's old city. The Palestinian militant group Hamas responded with rocket fire aimed at Israel. Israel, in turn, unleashed massive aerial bombardments and artillery attacks against the occupied Palestinian Gaza Strip. Though none of Facebook and Instagram's content removal has been tied conclusively to the term "Zionist," users and pro-Palestinian advocates were alarmed by disappearing posts and notices of policy violations over the last week.

Note: Read how a U.S. Congresswoman is being slammed for asking legitimate questions about Israel. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


This is Sinclair, 'the most dangerous US company you've never heard of'
2017-08-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-06-13 18:19:30
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/aug/17/sinclair-news-media-fox-trump-w...

Sinclair Media Group is the owner of the largest number of TV stations in America. "Sinclair's probably the most dangerous company most people have never heard of," said Michael Copps, the George W Bush-appointed former chairman of Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the top US broadcast regulator. The New York Times refers to the group as a "conservative giant" that, since the Bush presidency, has used its 173 television stations "to advance a mostly right-leaning agenda". Already the biggest broadcaster in the country, Sinclair is poised to make its biggest move yet. If the FCC approves Sinclair's $3.9bn purchase of an additional 42 stations, it would reach into the homes of almost three-quarters of Americans. Sinclair forces its local stations to run pro-Trump "news" segments. In 2004 ... as George W Bush faced criticism over the faltering war in Iraq, Sinclair ordered seven of its stations not to run an episode of Nightline in which host Ted Koppel read the names of every American soldier killed in the war, saying it "undermine[d] the efforts of the United States in Iraq". Meanwhile, with its 2015 purchase of Circa, a mobile aggregated news app, Sinclair has control for the first time of a national text-based news outlet.

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


Covid-19: politicisation, "corruption," and suppression of science
2020-11-13, The BMJ (Formerly British Medical Journal)
Posted: 2021-04-25 22:17:06
https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4425.full

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency - a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. The UK's pandemic response provides at least four examples of suppression of science or scientists. First, the membership, research, and deliberations of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) were initially secret until a press leak forced transparency. The leak revealed inappropriate involvement of government advisers in SAGE. Next, a Public Health England report on covid-19 and inequalities ... was delayed by England's Department of Health. Third, on 15 October, the editor of the Lancet complained that an author of a research paper, a UK government scientist, was blocked by the government from speaking to media because of a "difficult political landscape." Now, a new example concerns the controversy over point-of-care antibody testing for covid-19. Research published this week by The BMJ ... finds that the government procured an antibody test that in real world tests falls well short of performance claims made by its manufacturers. Researchers from Public Health England and collaborating institutions sensibly pushed to publish their study findings before the government committed to buying a million of these tests but were blocked by the health department and the prime minister's office.

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


How the FDA Manipulates the Media
2016-10-01, Scientific American
Posted: 2021-04-25 22:03:48
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-the-fda-manipulates-the-media/

It was a faustian bargain–and it certainly made editors at National Public Radio squirm. The deal was this: NPR, along with a select group of media outlets, would get a briefing about an upcoming announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a day before anyone else. But in exchange for the scoop, NPR would have to abandon its reportorial independence. The FDA would dictate whom NPR's reporter could and couldn't interview. This kind of deal offered by the FDA - known as a close-hold embargo - is an increasingly important tool used by scientific and government agencies to control the behavior of the science press. We only know about the FDA deal because of a wayward sentence inserted by an editor at the New York Times. But for that breach of secrecy, nobody outside the small clique of government officials and trusted reporters would have known that the journalists covering the agency had given up their right to do independent reporting. The two-tiered system of outsiders and insiders that undergirds the close-hold policy is also still enforced. Major press outlets such as Scientific American and Agence France-Presse have written to the FDA to complain about being excluded but have not received any satisfaction from the agency.

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


Bad News Bias
2021-03-24, New York Times
Posted: 2021-04-06 02:18:41
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/24/briefing/boulder-shooting-george-segal-ast...

When Covid cases were rising in the U.S., the news coverage emphasized the increase. When cases were falling, the coverage instead focused on those places where cases were rising. And when vaccine research began showing positive results, the coverage downplayed it, as far as [Dartmouth professor Bruce] Sacerdote could tell. He began working with two other researchers, building a database of Covid coverage from every major network. The researchers then analyzed it with a social-science technique that classifies language as positive, neutral or negative. The results showed that Sacerdote's instinct had been right. The coverage by U.S. publications with a national audience has been much more negative than coverage by any other source that the researchers analyzed, including scientific journals, major international publications and regional U.S. media. About 87 percent of Covid coverage in national U.S. media last year was negative. The share was 51 percent in international media, 53 percent in U.S. regional media and 64 percent in scientific journals. Notably, the coverage was negative in both U.S. media outlets with liberal audiences (like MSNBC) and those with conservative audiences (like Fox News). If we're constantly telling a negative story, we are not giving our audience the most accurate portrait of reality. As Ranjan Sehgal, another co-author, told me, "The media is painting a picture that is a little bit different from what the scientists are saying."

Note: Explore an inspiring article sharing some of the good news to come out of these challenging times. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mass media corruption from reliable sources.


Fact-Checking Facebook's Fact Checkers
2021-03-05, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2021-03-14 16:22:50
https://www.wsj.com/articles/fact-checking-facebooks-fact-checkers-11614987375

China last winter censored doctors who shared "dangerous" misinformation about the novel coronavirus on social media. Now America's self-anointed virus experts and social-media giants are also silencing doctors with contrarian views in an apparent effort to shut down scientific debate. Facebook this week appended a Wall Street Journal op-ed "We'll Have Herd Immunity by April" by Johns Hopkins surgeon Marty Makary (Feb. 19) with the label "Missing Context. Independent fact-checkers say this information could mislead people." According to Facebook, "Once we have a rating from a fact-checking partner, we take action by ensuring that fewer people see that misinformation." The Facebook label links to the third-party site Health Feedback ... an affiliate of the nonprofit Science Feedback that verifies scientific claims in the media. Another Science Feedback affiliate fact-checks climate-related articles in predominantly conservative media. Dr. Makary ... made a projection, much like the epidemiologists at Imperial College and University of Washington do. But the progressive health clerisy don't like his projection because they worry it could lead to fewer virus restrictions. Facebook's fact-checkers "cherry-pick," to borrow their word, studies to support their own opinions, which they present as fact. Facebook's fact checkers are presenting their opinions as fact and seeking to silence other scientists whose views challenge their own.

Note: Read more in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


More Journalists are Imprisoned in China, Middle East, Advocates Say
2020-12-15, U.S. News & World Report
Posted: 2021-03-01 16:24:25
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2020-12-15/china-leads-co...

In a year that witnessed a crackdown on civil liberties in Hong Kong, China has detained more journalists in 2020 than any other country, extending a role it assumed last year, two leading media rights groups say in studies published this week. The reports, published on Tuesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists and on Monday by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), found Asia and the Middle East to be the most challenging regions of the world for journalists to operate freely. According to RSF ... the top five countries for imprisoning journalists in 2020 were China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Syria, which collectively accounted for 61% of the 387 journalists they had documented behind bars as of Dec. 1. RSF said at least 117 journalists were detained in China this year. Meanwhile, CPJ reported a record number of detained journalists – 274, according to its report, adding that China, Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia imprisoned journalists at the highest rates. Officials from both organizations said the coronavirus pandemic even provided cover for some governments to more openly target the press in retaliation for critical COVID-19 coverage. "Fourteen journalists were arrested in connection with coverage of the pandemic," RSF Editor-in-Chief Pauline Ades-Mevel says, in response to what their governments called unfair or imprecise coverage. We've seen a backlash around the world against journalists reporting on the pandemic itself as well as government responses to the pandemic.

Note: Explore more on this and on censorship around questioning the official story of COVID-19. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.


I Am Guilty of Violating the Espionage Act
2020-12-21, New York Times
Posted: 2021-02-14 16:51:48
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/21/opinion/laura-poitras-assange-espionage-ac...

I am guilty of violating the Espionage Act, Title 18, U.S. Code Sections 793 and 798. If charged and convicted, I could spend the rest of my life in prison. This is not a hypothetical. Right now, the United States government is prosecuting a publisher under the Espionage Act. The case could set a precedent that would put me and countless other journalists in danger. I confess that I – alongside journalists at The Guardian, The Washington Post and other news organizations – reported on and published highly classified documents from the National Security Agency provided by the whistle-blower Edward Snowden, revealing the government's global mass surveillance programs. This reporting was widely recognized as a public service. Last year ... the Justice Department indicted Julian Assange, the founder and publisher of WikiLeaks, with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act. None of the architects of the "war on terror," including the C.I.A.'s torture programs, have been brought to justice. Mr. Assange is facing a possible sentence of up to 175 years in prison. I spoke to one of the best First Amendment lawyers in the country. He read the Espionage Act out loud and said it had never been used against a journalist, but there is always a first time. It is impossible to overstate the dangerous precedent Mr. Assange's indictment under the Espionage Act and possible extradition sets: Every national security journalist who reports on classified information now faces possible Espionage Act charges.

Note: The above was written by award-winning journalist Laura Poitras. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


YouTube Cancels the U.S. Senate
2021-02-02, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2021-02-08 23:58:37
https://www.wsj.com/articles/youtube-cancels-the-u-s-senate-11612288061

Google's YouTube has ratcheted up censorship to a new level by removing two videos from a U.S. Senate committee. They were from a Dec. 8 Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on early treatment of Covid-19. One was a 30-minute summary; the other was the opening statement of critical-care specialist Pierre Kory. Dr. Kory is part of a world-renowned group of physicians who developed a groundbreaking use of corticosteroids to treat hospitalized Covid patients. His testimony at a May Senate hearing helped doctors rethink treatment protocols and saved lives. At the December hearing, he presented evidence regarding the use of ivermectin, a cheap and widely available drug that treats tropical diseases caused by parasites, for prevention and early treatment of Covid-19. He described a just-published study from Argentina in which about 800 health-care workers received ivermectin and 400 didn't. Not one of the 800 contracted Covid-19; 58% of the 400 did. Before being removed from YouTube and other websites, Dr. Kory's opening statement had been viewed by more than eight million people. Unfortunately, government health agencies don't share that interest in early treatment. A year into the pandemic, NIH treatment guidelines for Covid patients are to go home, isolate yourself and do nothing other than monitor your illness. The censors at YouTube have decided for all of us that the American public shouldn't be able to hear what senators heard.

Note: You can access the entire article free of charge on this webpage. Can it be any more blatant that facebook is in cahoots with big Pharma in not wanting cheap, effective treatments for COVID-19? Watch an excellent, eye-opening 14-minute interview with a facebook insider revealing how censorship works. Read about how Silicon Valley is shutting down even live streams by legitimate journalists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


Why tech giants limited the spread of NY Post story on Biden
2020-10-15, Star Tribune/Associated Press
Posted: 2020-11-01 23:13:16
https://www.startribune.com/why-tech-giants-limited-the-spread-of-ny-post-sto...

When Facebook and Twitter moved quickly this week to limit the spread of an unverified political story published by the conservative-leaning New York Post, it led to predictable cries of censorship from the right. But it also illustrated the slippery hold even the largest tech companies have on the flow of information. While Facebook and Twitter have often been slow to combat apparent misinformation ... their response in this case shows how quickly they can move when they want to. For the first time in recent memory, the two social media platforms enforced rules against misinformation on a story from a mainstream media publication. The story in question, which has not been confirmed by other publications, cited unverified emails from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son that were reportedly discovered by President Donald Trump's allies. Facebook used the possibility of false information as the reason to limit the article's reach, which means its algorithm shows it to fewer people, much the way you might not see as many posts from friends you don't interact with often. Twitter, meanwhile, blocked users from tweeting out the link to the story and from sending it in private messages. Though they acted quickly, both companies stumbled on communicating their decision to the public. In part because of this, and in part by the mere act of trying to limit the story, the tech platforms soon became the story.

Note: For more on this important story, read Matt Taibbi's article titled "With the Hunter Biden Expose, Suppression is a Bigger Scandal Than The Actual Story." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


New Documents Reveal How the Animal Agriculture Industry Surveils and Punishes Critics
2020-10-10, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-10-19 17:02:33
https://theintercept.com/2020/10/10/new-documents-reveal-how-the-animal-agric...

Animal agriculture industry groups defending factory farms engage in campaigns of surveillance, reputation destruction, and other forms of retaliation against industry critics and animal rights activists, documents obtained through a FOIA request from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveal. That the USDA possesses these emails and other documents demonstrates the federal government’s knowledge of, if not participation in, these industry campaigns. These documents detail ongoing monitoring of the social media of news outlets, including The Intercept, which report critically on factory farms. They reveal private surveillance activities aimed at animal rights groups and their members. They include discussions of how to create a climate of intimidation for activists who work against industry abuses, including by photographing the activists and publishing the photos online. And they describe a coordinated ostracization campaign that specifically targets veterinarians who criticize industry practices. One of the industry groups central to these activities is the Animal Agriculture Alliance, which represents factory farms and other animal agriculture companies. The group boasts that one of its prime functions is “Monitoring Activism,” by which they mean: “We identify emerging threats and provide insightful resources on animal rights and other activist groups by attending their events, monitoring traditional and social media and engaging our national network.”

Note: Watch an interview with Dr. Crystal Heath, a veterinarian targeted by Animal Agricultural Alliance for her activism against inhumane factory farming practices. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


The New York Times Guild Once Again Demands Censorship of Colleagues
2020-10-11, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-10-19 16:58:24
https://theintercept.com/2020/10/11/the-new-york-times-guild-once-again-deman...

The New York Times Guild, the union of employees of the paper of record, tweeted a condemnation on Sunday of one of their own colleagues, op-ed columnist Bret Stephens. What angered the union today was an op-ed by Stephens on Friday which voiced numerous criticisms of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “1619 Project,” published last year by the New York Times Magazine. One of the Project’s principal arguments was expressed by a now-silently-deleted sentence that introduced it: “that the country’s true birth date” is not 1776, as has long been widely believed, but rather late 1619, when, the article claims, the first African slaves arrived on U.S. soil.” The 1619 Project has become a major controversy. In his Friday column, Stephens addressed the controversy by first noting the Project’s positive contributions and accomplishments, then reviewed in detail the critiques of historians and other scholars of its central claims, and then sided with its critics by arguing that “for all of its virtues, ... the 1619 Project has failed.” But his colleagues in the New York Times Guild evidently do not believe that he had any right to express his views on these debates. In a barely-literate tweet that not once but twice misspelled the word “its” as “it’s” — not a trivial level of ignorance for writers with the world’s most influential newspaper — the union denounced Stephens and the paper itself on these grounds: "It says a lot about an organization when it breaks it's own rules and goes after one of it's own. The act, like the article, reeks."

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


Facebook suspends environmental groups despite vow to fight misinformation
2020-09-22, MSN News
Posted: 2020-10-12 00:20:20
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/facebook-suspends-environmental-groups-d...

Facebook has suspended the accounts of several environmental organizations less than a week after launching an initiative it said would counter a tide of misinformation over climate science on the platform. Groups such as Greenpeace USA, Climate Hawks Vote and Rainforest Action Network were among those blocked from posting or sending messages on Facebook over the weekend. Activists say hundreds of other individual accounts linked to indigenous, climate and social justice groups were also suspended. The suspended people and groups were all involved in a Facebook event from May last year that targeted KKR & Co, a US investment firm that is backing the Coastal GasLink pipeline, a 670km-long gas development being built in northern British Columbia, Canada. The suspensions, the day before another online action aimed at KKR & Co, has enraged activists who oppose the pipeline for its climate impact and for cutting through the land of the Wetʼsuwetʼen, a First Nations people. “Videos of extreme violence, alt-right views and calls for violence by militias in Kenosha, Wisconsin, are allowed to persist on Facebook,” said Delee Nikal, a Wet’suwet’en community member. “Yet we are banned.” Many of the accounts have now been restored, but a handful are still blocked. The suspensions came just a few days after the social media giant said it was launching a “climate science information center” to counter ... posts that reject the established science of the climate crisis.

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


Why The Social Dilemma is the most important documentary of our times
2020-09-18, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-10-04 21:02:29
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/social-dilemm...

Netflix’s brilliant new 90-minute docu-drama, The Social Dilemma ... might be the most important watch of recent years. The film, which debuted at Sundance Film Festival in January, takes a premise that’s unlikely to set the world alight ... ie that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram et al aren’t exactly creating a utopia. Its masterstroke is in recruiting the very Silicon Valley insiders that built these platforms to explain their terrifying pitfalls – which they’ve realised belatedly. You don’t get a much clearer statement of social media’s dangers than an ex-Facebook executive’s claim that: “In the shortest time horizon I’m most worried about civil war.” The commonly held belief that social media companies sell users’ data is quickly cast aside – the data is actually used to create a sophisticated psychological profile of you. What they’re selling is their ability to manipulate you, or as one interviewee puts it: “It’s the gradual, slight, imperceptible change in your own behaviour and perception. It’s the only thing for them to make money from: changing what you do, how you think, who you are.” Despite it being public knowledge that Vote Leave and Trump’s 2016 election campaign harvested voters’ Facebook data on a gigantic scale, The Social Dilemma still manages to find fresh and vital tales of how these platforms destabilise modern politics. Russia’s Facebook hack to influence the 2016 US election? “The Russians didn’t hack Facebook. They used the tools that Facebook made for legitimate advertisers,” laments one of the company’s ex-investors.

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


Journalism’s Gates keepers
2020-08-21, Colombia Journalism Review
Posted: 2020-09-07 23:14:30
https://www.cjr.org/criticism/gates-foundation-journalism-funding.php

Last August, NPR profiled a Harvard-led experiment to help low-income families find housing in wealthier neighborhoods. Every quoted expert is connected to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which helps fund the project. NPR itself receives funding from Gates. The story ... is one of hundreds NPR has reported about the Gates Foundation or the work it funds, including myriad favorable pieces written from the perspective of Gates or its grantees. And that speaks to a larger trend - and ethical issue - with billionaire philanthropists’ bankrolling the news. As philanthropists increasingly fill in the funding gaps at news organizations ... an underexamined worry is how this will affect the ways newsrooms report on their benefactors. Nowhere does this concern loom larger than with the Gates Foundation. During the pandemic, news outlets have widely looked to Bill Gates as a public health expert on covid - even though Gates has no medical training and is not a public official. PolitiFact and USA Today (run by the Poynter Institute and Gannett, respectively - both of which have received funds from the Gates Foundation) have even used their fact-checking platforms to defend Gates from “false conspiracy theories” and “misinformation,” like the idea that the foundation has financial investments in companies developing covid vaccines and therapies. In fact, the foundation’s website and most recent tax forms clearly show investments in such companies, including Gilead and CureVac.

Note: Watch an excellent 15-minute presentation by courageous journalist Ben Swann on the agenda of facebook fact checkers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


Does Gates funding of media taint objectivity?
2011-02-19, Seattle Times
Posted: 2020-09-07 23:12:38
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/does-gates-funding-of-media-taint-o...

Perhaps you saw Ray Suarez’s three-part series on poverty and AIDS in Mozambique on the PBS NewsHour. Or listened to Public Radio International’s piece on the rationing of kidney dialysis in South Africa. These reports ... were all bankrolled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Better-known for its battles against global disease, the giant philanthropy has also become a force in journalism. The foundation’s grants to media organizations such as ABC and The Guardian, one of Britain’s leading newspapers, raise obvious conflict-of-interest questions: How can reporting be unbiased when a major player holds the purse strings? The foundation has invested millions in training programs for journalists. It funds research on the most effective ways to craft media messages. Gates-backed think tanks turn out media fact sheets and newspaper opinion pieces. Magazines and scientific journals get Gates money to publish research and articles. Experts coached in Gates-funded programs write columns that appear in media outlets from The New York Times to The Huffington Post, while digital portals blur the line between journalism and spin. Over the past decade, Gates has devoted $1 billion to these programs. Beyond direct links to media, the foundation also supports a dizzying mix of organizations whose goals include influencing media coverage. An interested citizen might think she’s getting news and information from a variety of sources, but many of them might be funded by Gates.

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


Deepfakes Are Going To Wreak Havoc On Society. We Are Not Prepared.
2020-05-25, Forbes
Posted: 2020-08-31 02:40:34
https://www.forbes.com/sites/robtoews/2020/05/25/deepfakes-are-going-to-wreak...

Deepfake technology enables anyone with a computer and an Internet connection to create realistic-looking photos and videos of people saying and doing things that they did not actually say or do. A combination of the phrases “deep learning” and “fake”, deepfakes first emerged on the Internet in late 2017, powered by an innovative new deep learning method known as generative adversarial networks (GANs). Several deepfake videos have gone viral recently, giving millions around the world their first taste of this new technology: President Obama using an expletive to describe President Trump, Mark Zuckerberg admitting that Facebook's true goal is to manipulate and exploit its users, Bill Hader morphing into Al Pacino on a late-night talk show. The technology is improving at a breathtaking pace. Experts predict that deepfakes will be indistinguishable from real images before long. It does not require much imagination to grasp the harm that could be done if entire populations can be shown fabricated videos that they believe are real. In a world where even some uncertainty exists as to whether such clips are authentic, the consequences could be catastrophic. In a recent report, The Brookings Institution grimly summed up the range of political and social dangers that deepfakes pose: “distorting democratic discourse; manipulating elections; eroding trust in institutions; weakening journalism; exacerbating social divisions ... and inflicting hard-to-repair damage on the reputation of prominent individuals.”

Note: Watch a scary video showing how easy it is to make very realistic fake videos of Bush, Obama, and Trump. Read more about this emerging technology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


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