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In order to salvage the failing mainstream media and stop the public from getting news elsewhere, advertising and search engine behemoth Google plans to invest $300 million into a new algorithm that, for all intents and purposes, threatens to permanently destroy the independent news industry.
Known as the “Google News Initiative,” the program will redirect advertising dollars back to mainstream publishers and away from many up-and-coming news outlets that have broken free from the Wall Street propaganda machine. Google says it will begin to work with publishers to “elevate accuracy, quality content and stem the flow of misinformation and disinformation” – which is just code speak for censorship.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal was never really about Cambridge Analytica.
As we’ve pointed out, neither Facebook nor Cambridge Analytica have been accused of doing anything explicitly illegal (though one could be forgiven for believing they had, based on the number of lawsuits and official investigations that have been announced).
Instead, the backlash to these revelations – which has been justifiably focused on Facebook – is so severe because the public has been forced to confront for the first time something that many had previously written off as an immutable certainty: That Facebook, Google and the rest of the tech behemoths store reams of personal data, essentially logging everything we do.
In response to demands for more transparency surrounding user data, Facebook and Google are offering users the option to view all of the metadata that Google and Facebook collect.
And as Twitter user Dylan Curran pointed out in a comprehensive twitter thread examining his own data cache, the extent and bulk of the data collected and sorted by both companies is staggering.
Google, Curran said, collected 5.5 gigabytes of data on him – equivalent to some 3 million Microsoft Word documents. Facebook, meanwhile, collected only 600 megabytes – equivalent to roughly 400,000 documents.
YouTube is entering the gun control debate with a new ban on videos which demo firearms or link to websites selling firearms or firearm accessories.
The move to ban firearm demos dovetails with the media platform’s desire to “prohibit videos with instructions on how to assemble firearms.”
Ironically, guns built at home have not been part of the mass public attacks that have drawn national attention over the past months and years, but guns acquired at retail via background checks have been.
When searching for terms that challenged the official narrative of the Parkland shooting, the results on Google varied drastically, compared to other search engines.
Google may be the world’s most popular search engine, but it has also been the subject of a number of accusations in recent years that it is purposefully censoring searches and influencing results. In the case of search results related to the Parkland shooting, that alleged influence is becoming even more apparent.
This week, the staff at The Free Thought Project began testing various keywords related to the Parkland shooting on different search engines, and we noticed that if our search terms were controversial, the first page of Google results was filled with entirely different information than the other search engines. The information showed on Google was often not relevant to our search, and the results always seemed to support the official narrative.
In the latest assault on the freedom to think for yourself, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has announced that YouTube will begin “correcting” controversial videos with “facts” from Wikipedia, an utterly discredited disinfo propaganda website run by pharma trolls who routinely demonize holistic medicine.
“Jimmy Wales and his army of liberal trolls will determine what’s truth and anything which goes too far in countering the narrative will be banned or censored,” warns Information Liberation. Wales, of course, is the former porn king who launched Wikipedia as a thought control “Ministry of Truth” to push big pharma quack science and pro-Monsanto propaganda.
Facebook’s user data gathering prowess has been common knowledge for some time now, but one journalist’s impromptu experiment suggests it is even more ubiquitous and pervasive than previously believed. Nick Whigham, a reporter for the New Zealand Herald, decided to test out a feature on Facebook that allows users to download a ‘secret’ file showing how much personal history the company has gathered about them. What he discovered is that Facebook not only has disturbingly vast consumer profiles on all 1.4 billion daily users but also tracks the internet movement and personalities of people who don’t even log into the website.
A large part of Facebook’s business model is selling the information it collects about users to advertisers. It’s free to us because we’re the product. Its algorithms track your posts, likes, shares, and preferences, of course, but they also track your overall Internet activity — the websites you go to, your operating system, your IP address, and comments you happen to leave on random forums — via social media plugins and cookies on third-party websites. Even if you’re not logged into Facebook, your browsing behavior is tracked by secret trackers called Pixels, which are embedded on over 10,000 websites. Sorry, social media Luddites — even if you’ve never used Facebook, your online activity is tracked everytime you merely visit a website that contains Facebook ads and trackers.