Donald Trump internet censorshop threatens


This 13 August 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

ALERT: Trump Internet Censorship Order is Authoritarian CRISIS

Donald Trump is assembling an internet censorship executive order to combat so-called anti-conservative social media bias and it is an authoritarian nightmare.

There is already internet censorship by other governments; and by internet Big Businesses, like Facebook. Contrary to what Trump claims, that censorship is usually not against ‘conservatives‘, but against leftists, opponents of wars, opponents of Trump’s xenophobia, etc.

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Facebook censors photography museum


At the Inland Sea, Japan, by Ed van der Elsken

This 1960 photo is At the Inland Sea, Japan, by famous Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken. It used to be on the Facebook page of the Dutch photography museum. Until Facebook censored it; along with all photos of the museum. One of many cases of Facebook censorship: from a photo showing Vietnamese children burnt by United States napalm to whistleblowing on war crimes to criticism of Donald Trump’s xenophobia. Meanwhile, the Dutch Hitler-worshiping nazis of the Nederlandse Volks-Unie are welcome on Facebook.

Translated from Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad today:

Photo museum: Facebook page offline due to nude photo by Van der Elsken

A photo by Ed van der Elsken is supposedly offensive according to the social network. They then took the entire page of the museum offline.

By Chris Koenis

The Facebook page of the Dutch photo museum was taken offline by the social network on Wednesday. One of the works of the world-famous photographer Ed van der Elsken is said to be offensive and therefore contrary to the rules of Facebook. They prohibit the posting of “Naked Material or Sexually Tinted Content.”

That photo, entitled At the Inland Sea, Japan is part of the exhibition Lust for life in the Rotterdam museum. The photo was used on the museum’s Facebook page to promote that exhibition.

Museum director Birgit Donker is indignant about Facebook‘s action. “This is a beautiful work of art that is censored by Facebook. That is contrary to their own rules. ”When the museum discovered on Wednesday that the page was ‘grayed out’, the museum reported the matter, but received no response at first.

More and more art offline

Thursday morning, a Facebook spokesperson at last contacted the museum and the corporation said that it would reconsider the decision. Until then, the Facebook page is inaccessible. That Facebook message in which Van der Elsken’s photo could be seen was not placed as an advertisement but as a regular message, the museum says.

Facebook has taken artistic photos offline more often in the past. Last year, eg, the 17th-century painting of the Descent from the Cross by Peter Paul Rubens was removed because Christ -except for his loincloth- is depicted without clothes, just like the famous prehistoric fertility sculpture Venus of Willendorf.

Other social media also sometimes delete messages. Eg, the YouTube channel of the Alkmaar Regional Archive was taken offline in June because there were images from the Second World War on the channel.

YouTube is part of the Google corporation, which does much censorship. Not just at YouTube.

Facebook censors Dutch photographer Thijs Heslenfeld: here.

WHATSAPP IS RADICALIZING THE RIGHT IN BRAZIL Facebook famously bolstered Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 by serving as a force multiplier for wild rumors. But a different culprit (with the same corporate parent) propelled far-right authoritarian Jair Bolsonaro to victory in Brazil’s presidential election last year: WhatsApp. [HuffPost]

Presidential candidate Gabbard, Puerto Rico, Google censorship


This 28 July 2019 video from United States Democratic party congresswoman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard says about itself:

Last week, I went to San Juan [in Puerto Rico] to join the people calling for the corrupt Governor Ricardo Rosselló to resign — and on Wednesday, he did.

Like all Americans, the people of Puerto Rico deserve leaders that are focused solely on serving the interest of the people. Not lining their own pockets. Not abusing the trust and power of elected office to benefit themselves and their cronies.

We all know how it feels to not have our voices heard by our government. As Commander in Chief, I will lead with a soldier’s heart

Ms Gabbard is an Iraq war veteran.

to fight for what’s best for our people and our country.

This 26 July 2019 video says about itself:

Tulsi Gabbard sues Google for blocking her campaign ads

Google is already interfering in the 2020 US presidential election, Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard claims – and she’s suing the search behemoth for blocking her campaign ads from appearing after the first primary debate.

Read more here.

Malware attack on program on Wikileaks


This 13 July 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

CN LIVE! Episode 1

Featuring Francis Boyle, Marjorie Cohn, Mike Gravel, Nils Melzer, George Szamuely & Aaron Maté.

Consortium News launched its first live show, CN Live!, on July 12, 2019 at 2pm EDT, to provide weekly insights into WikiLeaks, the Middle East, the US presidential elections and other topics in the news.

Hosted by Joe Lauria, Elizabeth Vos. Executive producer, Cathy Vogan. Technical production, Ebon Kim.

By Kevin Reed in the USA:

Consortium News website taken down by a malware attack after streaming program defending Julian Assange

20 July 2019

Consortium News—a news website devoted to investigative journalism founded by the late Robert Parry and which has steadfastly defended WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange—was the target of a malware attack last Monday that took down the site for more than five hours.

That the site was rendered inoperable was initially reported in a Consortium News Twitter post, “Our website is completely down. Our media host said we have been attacked by malware. They actually tried to blame ‘the Russians’! Every article published since 2011 now gets a 404 Not Found. They are working on it. Problem started slowly on Friday first day of CN Live!”

A report published after the site was restored explained that the malicious attack shut down Consortium News “days after the premiere episode of the outlet’s live-streamed show, CN Live!” and “followed on the heels of the suspension of pro-Assange account Unity4J from Twitter.”

On July 11, the Unity4J account—a Twitter feed dedicated to circulating information and advocacy for Julian Assange, who remains incarcerated at London’s Belmarsh Prison while awaiting extradition to the US—was arbitrarily suspended by Twitter. After one week of being taken down, the account was abruptly restored on Thursday with no explanation provided by Twitter for their act of censorship.

The Consortium News report identified the attack on their website with the Twitter censorship because they had conducted Unity4J online vigils over the previous months. Consortium News and other independent news outlets denounced the Unity4J ban along with the rock musician Roger Waters who called Julian Assange a “great hero of freedom of the press” and attacked Twitter as “Big Brother” and “an arm of the Thought Police” and “an arm of the forces of oppression.”

ConsortiumNews.com was founded in 1995 by Robert Parry, a former journalist for the Associated Press who became distressed by “the propaganda that had come to pervade American journalism”. Parry was a reporter who helped expose the Iran-Contra scandal to the public in the mid-1980s and subsequently—after the founding of Consortium News—wrote to expose the war crimes and lies of successive US administrations both Democratic and Republican.

The timing of the attack on the Consortium News website shows—whoever was behind the malware assault—that the forces of reaction are seeking to silence anyone who wishes to tell the truth about the ongoing criminal persecution of both Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Manning is currently locked up in a federal prison in Virginia and being fined $1,000 per day for refusing to testify before a grand jury empaneled for the purpose of bringing further frame-up charges against Assange.

Significantly, the inaugural episode of Consortium News’ CN Live! video broadcast included a 26-minute segment on Julian Assange that was mostly an interview with the UN special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer. Melzer spoke about the inhumane conditions of imprisonment facing Assange and explained in detail the political reasons why the WikiLeaks publisher has been tortured and denied his legal rights.

In his interview, Melzer denounced the US, British, Swedish and Ecuadorian governments for their “mistreatment and misuse of judicial powers against a single individual” as well as the so-called human rights advocates who have refused to come to Assange’s defense.

Melzer said, “This is the first time in twenty years that I see democratic states ganging up and isolating a single individual and systematically violating his fair trial guarantees, his human rights in every aspect and even ill-treatment mobbing that amounts to psychological torture cumulatively. That’s very serious.”

When asked by CN Live! Editor Joe Lauria if Assange has any chance of a fair trial in the US, Melzer replied, “The public prejudice against Assange is monumental in the United States. He is being perceived as public enemy number one. He has been described as a public enemy by the current Secretary of State and former CIA director. Other public figures have called for his assassination.”

“So, you have this environment and you send him to a court where to my knowledge no national security defendant has ever been acquitted—I think it’s the same court and the same judge who has been responsible for the trial against Chelsea Manning where she has been sentenced to thirty-five years originally, which is a draconian punishment … where are the investigations and prosecutions of all the other crimes and activities that have been exposed by this whistle-blower and by WikiLeaks? If you don’t prosecute the war crimes, then clearly you don’t have equality before the law, clearly there is no chance of having a fair trial, clearly then prosecution becomes persecution.”

Consortium News also reported that the Twitter accounts and websites of activists associated with Unity4J had also been suspended and hacked around the same time. The report said, “Aaron Kesel, who also writes as an independent journalist, said in an interview that they were locked out of their accounts within minutes of publishing an article covering the Catalonian public’s celebration of Assange’s birthday. Activist Post, the site on which the article was published, was likewise reportedly hacked in recent weeks.”

There is no doubt that international public access to this kind of independent reporting is of great concern to the military-intelligence state behind the persecution of Assange and Manning. It is the exposure of these important facts that is behind the ongoing online censorship of socialist and oppositional websites that has been identified by the World Socialist Web Site going back to the spring and summer of 2017.

The coordinated attacks on defenders of free speech and those fighting for the freedom of Assange and Manning is a sign that the apparatus of the state repression fears that mass support is building against this unprecedented international conspiracy against the truth. At the same time, it is a warning that the drive to silence and punish them for exposing the crimes of US imperialism is being extended to others in an effort to browbeat anyone who dares take up the fight for his defense and freedom.

The international working class will not be intimidated by these tactics. The demand for the freedom of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning must be expanded on a world scale and taken up in every country, workplace, neighborhood and school. As has been shown by striking workers, peasants and students in Ecuador, the fight for the rights of Julian Assange is key to the struggle of the working class for socialism and against the entire capitalist system.

The author also recommends:

For a worldwide campaign to prevent Julian Assange’s rendition to the US!
[20 June 2019]

The vindictive campaign against Chelsea Manning, America’s political prisoner
[18 July 2019]

YouTube pro-corporate media, anti-independent media


This 12 July 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

BOMBSHELL: YouTube Now Crushing Independent News, Pushing Corporate News

This 8 July 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

YouTube has now become corporate media, it is destroying independent channels like The David Pakman Show, and David presents the details and data.

YouTube is part of the Google corporation, which practices censorship.

YouTube’s conspiracy theory crackdown has one big winner: Fox News [HuffPost]

YouTube Paid Neo-Nazi Thousands Of Dollars For Hate Videos: here.

LGBT YOUTUBERS SUE GOOGLE FOR DISCRIMINATION A group of LGBTQ YouTubers say they have been unfairly targeted with discrimination and suppression of their content because of their sexuality, a new federal lawsuit against the platform alleges. [HuffPost]

Spanish censorship of research on Franco atrocities


This is a 2012 Spanish video about poets in the prisons of dictator Franco.

By Alejandro López in Spain:

Spain’s University of Alicante censors scholarly articles on fascist repression

27 June 2019

In an unprecedented decision, the University of Alicante (UA) agreed to a request from a fascist lieutenant’s son to censor scholarly articles linking his father to deadly repression at the time of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). This sets a dangerous precedent to censor academic research, opening the door to large-scale revision of the history of Spanish fascism.

Last week, the UA provisionally agreed to erase from two digital articles written by Professor Juan Antonio Ríos Carratalá the name of lieutenant Antonio Luis Baena Tocón, who participated in the fascist repression. Baena was secretary in the council of war that condemned to death the famous poet Miguel Hernández. Another article by Ríos Carratalá, “The Diego San José case, the shadow of Miguel Hernández and the humourist judge” was removed from the UA’s Institutional Repository.

The fascist regime led by General Francisco Franco was one of Europe’s most repressive regimes in the 20th century. More than 200,000 men and women were executed during the Civil War, and another 200,000 died in fascist concentration camps. Officially, 114,266 people are still classified as “disappeared”, that is, their bodies were abandoned or buried by paramilitary units of the fascist Falange or by the military. Hundreds of thousands of others fled Spain and remained in exile until the fall of the dictatorship.

Hernández was a poet and playwright associated with the Generation of ’27 movement and the Generation of ’36 movement, and is recognised as one of great Spanish poets. During the Civil War, he campaigned against Franco’s fascist forces, enrolling in the Communist Party-led Fifth Regiment, and joined the First Cavalry Company as a cultural-affairs officer, reading his poetry daily on the radio. He travelled extensively, organising cultural events and reading his poetry at rallies and on the front lines to Republican forces fighting the fascists.

Hernández did not escape Spain after the Republican surrender to Franco in April 1939. He was arrested multiple times after the war for his anti-fascist sympathies. He was eventually sentenced to death as “an extremely dangerous and despicable element to all good Spaniards.” Franco later commuted his sentence to 30 years in prison, to avoid making him an international martyr like Federico Garcia Lorca—the celebrated poet, playwright, and theatre director who was executed by fascist forces at the beginning of the civil war.

The harshness of his incarceration took its toll, however, and Hernández died of tuberculosis in 1942, at the age of 31.

According to Ríos Carratalá, Baena Tocón was a secondary figure in fascist repression, but supported it. Carratalá writes that Baena Tocón, “the person who could have told the specialists in the biography of Miguel Hernández so much, carried out an essential task during the postwar period, under the orders of the investigating judge: purging, emptying and eliminating the collection of republican press deposited in the library of Madrid. His objective was to search for ‘crimes’, whose consequences could be a death sentence.”

Now, however, Antonio Luis Baena Tocón will only be linked with Hernández’s death through his initials in Ríos Carratalá’s articles. The fascist lieutenant’s son complained to El País: “I have found various falsehoods about the way he was and acted … They present him as an executioner, while he was another victim” of Franco.

… Now, amid a broad promotion of Francoism in the Spanish ruling elite, researchers are to be forbidden to identify the authors of its bloody crimes.

Over 40 years later, after decades of increasing war since the 1991 Stalinist dissolution of the Soviet Union, and a decade of draconian social austerity since the 2008 financial crisis, Spanish capitalism is in a deep crisis. Amid the discrediting of the post-Francoite Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and the Popular Party (PP) duopoly, police brutally cracked down on the 2017 Catalan independence referendum. The ruling elite was then promoting Vox, an explicitly pro-Francoite party linked to the army, granting it air time and allowing it to establish itself in mainstream politics.

As part and parcel of this offensive, the Spanish ruling class is now seeking to suppress the record of its bloody crimes under fascism in order to legitimise the resurgence of Spanish fascism.

The UA’s resolution comes just weeks after Spain’s Supreme Court issued a ruling endorsing Franco’s 1936 fascist coup. Claiming that the removal of Franco’s remains from the “Valley of the Fallen”, a state-run monument, would be “extraordinarily harmful” to the “public interest”, the court referred to Franco as “head of state from 1 October 1936 until his death in November 1975.” This unprecedented ruling implies that the state considers as legitimate Franco’s declaration that he was head of state, based on launching a fascist coup against an elected government.

The UA’s resolution is receiving growing opposition.

Ana Martínez Rus, Professor of Contemporary History at University Complutense of Madrid told eldiario.org: “I’m very angry … [the resolution] questions our profession and is another obstacle to writing about the Franco regime.”

Enumerating everything that the resolution questions, Martinez Rus lists “Freedom of teaching and expression, scientific rigor, historiographical practice, the right to information.” She added that it opens a precedent: “All of us can get involved in a lawsuit, and not only about the civil war, this can be extended to other times, everyone is a descendent from someone and has a surname. They do not want their names to appear as repressors, and we end up not knowing the magnitude. This opens the Pandora’s box, it leaves us helpless.”

Ismael Saz, professor at Valencia University, said the resolution is “academic censorship, one of the worst kind”. He added that “we work with people, not statues, with victims and repressors.”

Saz also linked the case to the Supreme Court’s recent endorsement of Franco, stating that “It comes just 10 days after the Supreme Court’s resolution recognising the dictator since ’36. … Francoism continues to raise blisters because they won a war, lasted a lot, and during the Transition there was no break with it.”

The opposition to the censorship was also visible on Twitter. Hours after El País posted the story, tens of thousands of users repeated the name of Antonio Luis Baena Tocón, the name of the university or Miguel Hernández, making these terms the Trending Topic in Spain in the social network. Many Twitter users stressed that they did not want the name of Antonio Luis Baena Tocón to be forgotten.

The author also recommends:

Spain’s Supreme Court endorses 1936 fascist coup
[17 June 2019]

The Spanish elections and the struggle against authoritarian rule
[27 April 2019]

Facebook censors advertisement on war crimes whistleblowers


This 11 August 2010 video from British daily The Guardian says about itself:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange – ‘There appears to be evidence of war crimes

Iraq war: 10 years on

Thousands of leaked US military papers from Afghanistan contain evidence of possible war crimes that must be urgently investigated, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says at press conference in London.

By Alex Lantier in France:

Facebook blocks ad for PES meeting in Paris to defend Assange

22 June 2019

On Thursday morning, members of the Parti de l’égalité socialiste (PES) received an email from Facebook, stating that it was suspending a paid advertisement for the June 23 PES meeting in Paris calling for freedom for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

PES members campaigning for the meeting have met a warm response among workers, youth and “yellow vest” protesters in Paris. By Thursday, over 700 people had clicked “interested” on the meeting event page, a common form of expressing political solidarity with or support for an event. This points to the broad popular support in France for the courageous journalist and principled whistleblower, who have played central roles in exposing imperialist war crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond, amid growing working class opposition to President Emmanuel Macron.

Last week, Facebook had approved the purchase by PES members of advertising for the meeting’s Facebook page, which made the meeting’s page appear on the Facebook feeds of users who have expressed relevant interests. Yesterday, Facebook reversed course, blocking further purchases of ads for the meeting.

The notice from Facebook stated: “We have reviewed your ad more closely and have determined it doesn’t comply with our Advertising Policies. This ad will not be active any longer until you edit it to comply with policy.” This would require creating an authorized account, a process that can take 48 hours, during which time the advertising has been cancelled.

Under Facebook’s Advertising Policies, adopted after Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 US presidential elections, anyone posting a political ad is required to undergo an onerous authorization process. This includes submitting images of a state-issued ID, verifying their address and providing further personal information.

These events underscore that the fight to free Assange and Manning and prevent Assange’s extradition to the United States, where he faces 175 years in prison and threats of further charges carrying the death sentence, is the focal point of a campaign to defend the democratic rights of working people internationally against the growing danger of capitalist police-state rule.

Facebook now censors and manipulates posts of its billions of users around the world. Under orders from Zuckerberg to Facebook to push its users to have “personal moments” not political discussion, including by demoting “viral videos” because they are not “good for people’s well-being and for society”, a vast censorship campaign is underway. Facebook Artificial Intelligence algorithms and its army of thousands of “content reviewers” now scour social media for content to remove and report to police and intelligence agencies.

Apart from the US government itself, the French government is among the most closely tied to Facebook censorship. Last November, as “yellow vest” protests against social inequality began in France, Macron hailed France’s World War II-era fascist dictator Philippe Pétain as a great soldier and launched an unprecedented collaboration on social media censorship with Facebook. Countless “yellow vest” social media posts have been deleted since, as police detained over 7,000 protesters in the largest wave of mass arrests in metropolitan France since the Nazi Occupation.

On May 10, Zuckerberg personally met with Macron to review six months of this collaboration, in which French officials are invited directly into Facebook “content moderation” offices to monitor and examine posts culled from Facebook users’ feeds. The French state also issued a social media report co-written by Google France executive Benoît Loutrel, denouncing “unacceptable content” and “individuals pursuing political or financial objectives”, and calling for “struggle against content that is damaging for users and for social cohesion.”

Shortly after Zuckerberg’s visit to France, the 350,000-member France en colère (Angry France) “yellow vest” Facebook page was frozen for a day, during the European elections.

The decisions leading Facebook to reverse its approval of the PES meeting ad are shrouded behind a veil of corporate secrecy. But what is clear is that the company works intimately with the intelligence agencies of the US government who are seeking to destroy Assange and Manning. As for the French regime, it is so terrified of the workers that it sees all criticism of the despised “president of the rich”, including of its own acquiescence to US persecution of Assange and Manning, as a mortal threat to “social cohesion”—that is, to its enforcement of the banks’ austerity diktat.

The meeting organized by the PES is part of a worldwide campaign to free Assange and Manning and mobilize the vast social opposition in the working class against austerity and the growing threat of authoritarian danger and war. The PES appeals to its supporters to share the announcement of its meeting and its material in defense of Julian Assange and Manning, as well as the “yellow vests,” to discuss these issues broadly in workplaces and schools, and to attend its meeting in Paris:

Sunday, June 23, 3 p.m.

AGÉCA

177 rue de Charonne, 75011, Paris

Métro: Charonne, Alexandre Dumas.

The author also recommends:

For a worldwide campaign to prevent Julian Assange’s rendition to the US!

[20 June 2019]

Last Thursday, lawyers for the courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning issued a legal challenge to punitive fines that were imposed upon her by a federal district court judge last month. Her legal team has warned that the unprecedented financial penalties threaten her with imminent bankruptcy: here.

Last Thursday, without notice or explanation, Twitter arbitrarily suspended the account of @Unity4J, a platform dedicated to circulating information and advocacy for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. As of this writing, the account has been gone for two days: here.