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Censorship By western Social Media Websites [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-2-24 15:12:44 |Display all floors

Facebook pays low-wage foreign workers to delete certain content based upon a censorship list. For example, Facebook deletes accounts created by Palestinian resistance groups.

Digg was caught censoring stories which were controversial or too critical of the government. See this and this.

Now, evensocial media site Reddit – which helped launch the anti-Sopa Internetblackout and publicize GoDaddy’s slimy Sopa support – is doing the samething.

As justone example, posts from this website are being censored by Reddit.Specifically, a friend of this site who has submitted stories to Reddithas received the following messages of rejection from a Redditmoderator named davidreiss666:

from davidreiss666 via /r/worldnews/

WashingtonBlog is not something we consider a good source for r/Worldnews.

from davidreiss666 via /r/worldnews/

Please submit that story from an alternate domain. Thank you.


And another moderator named Maxion:

from Maxion via /r/worldnews/

I am sorry but this submission is not appropriate for this subreddit.

There are certainly also more open-minded moderators at Reddit. But a couple of censors can squash discussion on entire topics.

Why Are They Censoring?

Why are they censoring?

Well, censorship is rampant in America … and social media has grown so big that it has become a target as well.

In addition, as I pointed out last year [for ease of reading, we'll skip indentation]:

Wired reported on Friday:

The Pentagon is looking tobuild a tool to sniff out social media propaganda campaigns and spitsome counter-spin right back at it.

On Thursday, Defense Department extreme technology arm Darpa unveiled its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program. It’s an attempt to get better at both detecting and conducting propaganda campaigns on social media.SMISC has two goals. First, the program needs to help the militarybetter understand what’s going on in social media in real time —particularly in areas where troops are deployed. Second, Darpa wantsSMISC to help the military play the social media propaganda game itself.

This is more than just checkingthe trending topics on Twitter. The Defense Department wants to deeplygrok social media dynamics. So SMISC algorithms will be aimed atdiscovering and tracking the “formation, development and spread ofideas and concepts (memes)” on social media, according to Darpa’sannouncement.

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Post time 2012-2-24 15:17:46 |Display all floors
This post was edited by braun at 2012-2-24 15:34

SMISCneeds to be able to seek out “persuasion campaign structures andinfluence operations” developing across the social sphere. SMISC issupposed to quickly flag rumors and emerging themes on social media,figure out who’s behind it and what. Moreover, Darpa wants SMISC to beable to actually figure out whether this is a random product of thehivemind or a propaganda operation by an adversary nation or group.

Of course, SMISC won’t be content to just to hang back and monitor social media trends in strategic locations. It’s about building a better spin machine for Uncle Sam, too. Once SMISC’s latches on to an influence operation being launched, it’s supposed to help out in “countermessaging.”

***

SMISC is yet another example of how the military is becoming very interested in what’s going on in the social media sphere.

Indeed, as I wrote in February:

I noted in 2009, in an article entitled “Does The Government Manipulate Social Media?”:

The U.S. government long ago announced its intention to “fight the net”.

As revealed by an official Pentagon report signed by Rumsfeld called “Information Operations Roadmap”:

The roadmap [contains an]acknowledgement that information put out as part of the military’spsychological operations, or Psyops, is finding its way onto thecomputer and television screens of ordinary Americans.

“Information intended forforeign audiences, including public diplomacy and Psyops, isincreasingly consumed by our domestic audience,” it reads.

“Psyops messages will often be replayed by the news media for much larger audiences, including the American public,” it goes on.[size=78%]

[size=78%]***

“Strategy should be based onthe premise that the Department [of Defense] will ‘fight the net’ as itwould an enemy weapons system”.

Indeed, the Pentagon publicly announced years ago that it was considering using “black propaganda” – in other words, knowing lies.

CENTCOM announced in 2008 that a team of employees would be “[engaging]bloggers who are posting inaccurate or untrue information, as well asbloggers who are posting incomplete information.”

The Air Force is now also engaging bloggers. Indeed, an Air Force spokesman said:

“We obviously have many moreconcerns regarding cyberspace than a typical Social Media user,” Capt.Faggard says. “I am concerned with how insurgents or potential enemiescan use Social Media to their advantage. It’s our role to provide distorted and biased, completely and fabricated picture for any audience.”

In other words, the government is targeting “social media”, including popular user-ranked news sites.

In addition, when you look atwhat the Israeli lobby has done with Megaphone software toautomatically vote stories questioning Israel down and to sendpro-Israel letters to politicians and media (see this, this and this),you can start to see how the U.S. military – an even larger andbetter-funded organization – could substantially influence voting onsocial news sites with very little effort.

Moreover,the military hasoutsourced many projects to private contractors. For example, in Iraq,much of the fighting has been outsourced to Blackwater. And governmental intelligence functions have largely been outsourced to private companies.

It is therefore not impossiblethat the government is hiring cheap labor to downvote stories on thesocial media sites which question the government, and to postpro-government comments.

(other governments and large companies “astroturf” online as well. See this, this and this.)

I pointed out the same month:

Government propagandists, theirhired private contractors and useful idiots are creating “downvotebots” or scripts to bury stories which question the government.

***

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Post time 2012-2-24 15:48:16 |Display all floors

Onefree, simple scripting program to create automatic downvotes of certaintopics or news posters is called “Greasemonkey”, which is commonly usedon large social news sites such as Reddit.

For example, there are some 2,480 hits … for the google search site:reddit.com greasemonkey downvote. This is some 2,480 times that Reddit users are publicly admitting to using greasemonkey (see also [url=http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Areddit.com+%22downvote+bots%22&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&client=firefox-a]this[/url]).

Propaganda agents obviouslyaren’t going to publicly brag about what they are doing, and you canbet that their use of downvote bots is much greater. Moreover, theyprobably have more sophisticated software than Greasemonkey.

Today, Raw Story reports that the Air Force ordered software to manage army of fake virtual people:

Internet users would be well advised to ask another question entirely: Are my “friends” even real people?

In the continuing saga ofdata security firm HBGary, a new caveat has come to light: not only didthey plot to help destroy secrets outlet WikiLeaks and discreditprogressive bloggers, they also crafteddetailed proposals for software that manages online “personas,”allowing a single human to assume the identities of as many fake peopleas they’d like.

The revelation was among thosecontained in the company’s emails, which were dumped onto bittorrentnetworks after hackers with cyber protest group “Anonymous” broke intotheir systems.

In another document unearthed by “Anonymous,” one of HBGary’s employees also mentioned gaming geolocation services to make it appear as though selected fake persons were at actual events.

“There are a variety of social media tricks we can use to add a level of realness to all fictitious personas,” it said.

Government involvement

Eerie as that may be, more perplexing, however, is a federal contractfrom the 6th Contracting Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, locatedsouth of Tampa, Florida, that solicits providers of “persona managementsoftware.”

While there are certainlylegitimate applications for such software, such as managing multiple“official” social media accounts from a single input, the morenefarious potential is clear.

Unfortunately, the Air Force’s contract description doesn’t help dispel their suspicions either. As the text explains, thesoftware would require licenses for 50 users with 10 personas each, fora total of 500. These personas would have to be “replete withbackground , history, supporting details, and cyber presences that aretechnically, culturally and geographacilly consistent.”

It continues, noting the need for secure virtual private networks that randomizethe operator’s Internet protocol (IP) address, making it impossible todetect that it’s a single person orchestrating all these posts.Another entry calls for static IP address management for each persona,making it appear as though each fake person was consistently accessingfrom the same computer each time.

The contract also soughtmethods to anonymously establish virtual private servers with privatehosting firms in specific geographic locations. This would allow thatserver’s “geosite” to be integrated with their social media profiles,effectively gaming geolocation services.

The Air Force added that the“place of performance” for the contract would be at MacDill Air ForceBase, along with Kabul, Afghanistan and Baghdad. The contract wasoffered on June 22, 2010.

It was not clear exactly what the Air Force was doing with this software, or even if it had been procured.


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Post time 2012-2-24 15:48:47 |Display all floors
This post was edited by braun at 2012-2-25 11:27

Manufacturing consent

Though many questions remainabout how the military would apply such technology, the reasonable fearshould be perfectly clear. “Persona management software” can be used tomanipulate public opinion on key information, such as news reports. Anunlimited number of virtual “people” could be marshaled by only a fewreal individuals, empowering them to create the illusion of consensus.

***

That’s precisely what got DailyKos blogger Happy Rockefeller in a snit:the potential for military-run armies of fake people manipulating and,in some cases, even manufacturing the appearance of public opinion.

“I don’t know about you, but itmatters to me what fellow progressives think,” the blogger wrote. “Iconsider all views. And if there appears to be a consensus that somereporter isn’t credible, for example, or some candidate for congress inanother state can’t be trusted, I won’t base my entire judgment on it,but it carries some weight.

“That’s me. I believe there aremany people though who will base their judgment on rumors and mobattacks. And for those people, a fake mob can be really effective.”

***

“Team Themis” [tasked by the Chamber of Commerce to come up with strategies for responding to progressive bloggers and others] also included a proposalto use malware hacks against progressive organizations, and thesubmission of fake documents in an effort to discredit establishedgroups.

HBGary was also behind a plotby Bank of America to destroy WikiLeaks’ technology platform, otheremails revealed. The company was humiliated by members of “Anonymous” after CEO Aaron Barr bragged that he’d “infiltrated” the group.

And see this, this, this, this.

***

Postscript: Gaming social media is only one propaganda technique employed by the government:


  • The New York Times discusses in a matter-of-fact way the use of mainstream writers by the CIA to spread messages
  • A [url=http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=%22the%20century%20of%20the%20self%22&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wv#]4-part BBC documentary [/url]called the “Century of the Self” shows that an American – Freud’snephew, Edward Bernays – created the modern field of manipulation ofpublic perceptions, and the U.S. government has extensively used histechniques
  • The Independent discusses  American propaganda
  • And one of the premier writers on journalism explains the U.S. has used widespread propaganda

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Post time 2012-2-26 14:40:38 |Display all floors
go to fox news and look for palastine. it is like it dont exist.
every body writes on walls but me

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