Tuesday, September 24, 2019

America's Technology Tyrants in the Post-Truth Era

A recent announcement on Facebook's Newsroom website provides us with yet another glimpse into how American technology tyrants are functioning in the post-Clinton 2016 loss era.  In this announcement, Facebook clearly outlines its narrative in the global post-truth reality.

Here is the announcement:

Notice this sentence:

"We’re constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don’t want our services to be used to manipulate people."

We have no choice but to accept that Facebook is not manipulating us into believing that it has not deleted these pages solely on the basis of their content which is clearly not pro-Washington but rather on the basis that the people behind the accounts attempted to mislead readers about who they really were and their agenda (which is pretty clear).

Here are examples of the pages that didn't meet Facebook's exacting standards, noting the mention of NED or National Endowment for Democracy on the second screen capture which purports to tracking United States meddling in Thailand:

Facebook states that they removed 12 Facebook Accounts and 10 Facebook Pages for "engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour that originated in Thailand and focussed primarily on Thailand an the US."  They also claimed that, the people behind these accounts frequently shared "divisive narratives and comments" on a wide variety of topics including criticism of democracy activists in Thailand.  Although the people behind these "fake accounts" attempted to hide their identities, at least some of this activity was linked to an individual in Thailand who was associated with New Eastern Outlook, a Russian government-funded journal.  

Let's look at who Near Eastern Outlook is and what they represent.  Near Eastern Outlook, the target of at least some of these actions by Facebook says this about itself:

"Our journal is called the New Eastern Outlook, so we are primarily interested in processes taking place at the broad expanse that stretches from Japan and the remote coasts of Africa. However, we do not limit ourselves geographically. We also look at political events happening in other areas of the world as they relate to the Orient. We cover political and religious issues, economic and ideological trends, regional security topics and social problems.

We are committed to develop NEO into a notable international networking platform offering unbiased expert opinions and open dialogue among all thinking people worldwide regardless of their nationality, race or religion. NEO editorial staff appreciates viewpoints of any reader or contributor ready to share and defend his convictions and approaches, whether commonplace or unconventional.

Our priority is to promote understanding rather than ideology, strategic outlook rather than simple reporting on events and to reveal causes rather than its consequences. We are focused on creating a new culture of partnership where opinions influence decisions. We have launched NEO community spaces in Facebook and Twitter for you. Please do join in, invite your friends, write, comment, argue, send us your contributions, and share!"

NEO's head office is located in Moscow, a fact that is clearly presented to readers.  When you click on NEO's Facebook link as provided on their "About" page, this is what you now find:

This is what you find on their Twitter page since the purge:

Apparently, both Facebook and Twitter don't want us to read an alternative to their chosen narrative.  With that in mind, let's look at some recent stories from Near Eastern Outlook:

1.) Blackwashing Google - an article about how Google influences elections and other key issues:

2.) Will China Trigger the Next Financial Tsunami?: an article about China's economy, the Renminbi  and trade with the United States:

3.) DPRK's Fourth Short Range Missile Launch and the International Reaction: an article about North Korea's August 2019 missile launches at the responses of the United States and South Korea:

4.) Did the Fed Already Decide the 2020 US Election?: an article about the Federal Reserve, its recent actions and its impact on United States politics, particularly the upcoming 2020 US presidential election:

While these articles that are written by a number of different authors may not parallel the narrative that is promoted by America's technology giants, it is pretty hard to deny the factual basis of many of the articles which provide readers with an alternative viewpoint on key issues.

In the interest of balance, and since one of the issues that concerns Facebook is the criticism of Thailand's democracy movement, let's look at what Washington's National Endowment for Democracy or NED (which is funded by Congress) has done over the past year in Thailand:

It certainly appears that Washington has been very, very busy meddling in Thailand's democratic movement in 2018, doesn't it?  This flies right in the face of what Facebook would prefer that we believe about the democracy movement in Thailand and the involvement of the United States government.

Since Hillary Clinton, the favourite candidate of the technology sector, lost the election in 2016, the very concept of truthiness in America has changed, bringing us to a post-truth era in which consumers of news have to search for news that is not sourced from a politically polarized sector of America's economy that is promoting its own agenda.  By acting against news sources like the Near Eastern Outlook, both Facebook and Twitter have made it more difficult to find viewpoints that the leadership of these two companies don't share, eliminating any hope of balanced journalism and public education on key issues.  God forbid that we should see another side of any story.

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