A computer scientist in London has stumbled upon massive networks of fake Twitter accounts – with the largest consisting of over 350,000 profiles – which may have been used to ‘fake‘ numbers of followers, send spam, and boost interest in trending topics.
On Twitter, bots are accounts that are run remotely by someone who automates the messages they send and activities they carry out.
Some people pay to get bots to follow their account or to dilute chatter about controversial subjects. Continue reading »
The crackdown has begun.
In a blog post by Scott Spencer, director of product management for sustainable ads, posted on Wednesday, Google said it has banned 200 publishers from accessing its Adsense advertising service for posting fake news stories. Google said it had cracked down on sites which contained 1) Ads for illegal products; 2) Misleading ads; 3) Bad ads on mobile; 4) Ads trying to game the system and, 5) Promoting and profiting from bad sites. But the emphasis was on the so-called “fake news” category which has dominated media buzz for the past two months.
This is how Spencer explained his action: Continue reading »
First it was the US, then Germany blamed much of what is wrong in society on “fake news”, and not, say, a series of terrible decisions made by politicians. Now it is Italy’s turn to call for an end to “fake news”, which in itself would not be troubling, however, the way Giovanni Pitruzzella, head of the Italian competition body, demands the European Union “cracks down” on what it would dub “fake news” is nothing short of a total crackdown on all free speech, and would give local governments free reign to silence any outlet that did not comply with the establishment propaganda.
In an interview with the FT, Pitruzzella said the regulation of false information on the internet was best done by the state rather than by social media companies such as Facebook, an approach taken previously by Germany, which has demanded that Facebook end “hate speech” and has threatened to find the social network as much as €500K per “fake” post.
Pitruzzella, head of the Italian competition body since 2011, said “EU countries should set up independent bodies — co-ordinated by Brussels and modeled on the system of antitrust agencies — which could quickly label fake news, remove it from circulation and impose fines if necessary.” Continue reading »
Fake news and propaganda driven by government’s and corporations is of course, nothing new. Brexit and the American election have brought the subject into sharp focus more recently as the political class have been unexpectedly losing important desired outcomes. Consequently, as TruePublica reported a week ago, in Britain, controversial laws have been introduced to stem free speech, which, over the passage of time will be used to halt any individual, website or news outlet from reporting against the government narrative with so-called fake news eventually being outlawed. Think this is conspiratorial theorising? Think again.
Last Friday, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which authorises $611 billion for military spending in 2017. Leaving aside the year-on-year increase and the huge sum overall, buried deeply inside its hefty documentation the NDAA authorises the “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016”. Continue reading »
(RPI) Are you terrified of “fake news”? Don’t worry, the elites are doing something to combat it!
As anyone active on the Internet is aware, there have been increasing calls for social media companies (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to address the mostly manufactured crisis of “fake news” making its way onto people’s computer screens. The mainstream media, which finds itself increasingly viewed as untrustworthy by the American public, has latched on to the idea that the relatively free flow of ideas and opinions on the Internet actually poses a threat to our well-being. Continue reading »
Facebook has announced a new plan today that will very quickly transform the social media site into an “echo chamber” of left-wing media lies and delusional propaganda (just like we’ve recently seen pushed by the Washington Post).
The new effort will rely on left-wing “fact checker” organizations like Politifact and Snopes to determine the “truthiness” of news stories, reports Business Insider. Those stories deemed by left-wing “fact checkers” to be inaccurate will be buried in Facebook users’ feeds as a form of organized totalitarian censorship. Continue reading »
(Screenshot – Click on image to enlarge.)
Here is the censored article:
In my commentary to the above article I wrote:
– Greek Central Bank Accused of Encouraging Naked Short Selling of Greek Bonds (Financial Times)
And remember that the biggest Greek CDS speculator has been the state-controlled Hellenic Post Bank with help from (Yes, you’ve guessed it!) Goldman Sachs:
– State-controlled Hellenic Post Bank (TT) bet against Greece (Kathimerini)
– Fragwürdige Finanzgeschäfte Griechen wetten auf eigene Pleite (Sueddeutsche Zeitung)
The state-controlled Hellenic Post Bank was betting on Greece going bankrupt!
What will happen if Greece defaults:
So who could possibly ‘dislike’ such an article?
On a side note:
Infinite Unknown had a global Alexa Rank of just above 100,000 (for a while) and even below that (quite a while ago).
A webmaster told me (when it became apparent that the numbers were dropping fast) that Alexa had changed its rating methods, which in his opinion clearly disfavors websites like I.U.
You can look up I.U.’s global ranking here:
The only way we can make up for all this censorship coming our way is if readers would start hitting that social media buttons like crazy.
Maybe that would also bring more attention to the website, which could possibly result in more financial support for my work, which is much, much needed.
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According to a new statement by Facebook, they have joined with YouTube, Microsoft, and Twitter to create a shared database of “terrorist content” which they can all jointly use to identify further attempts to post such banned content.
The database will create hashes of videos and images that they’ve already decided are related to terrorism, and then will allow them to single out any further content matching those hatches. Facebook says this will allow them to more quickly remove such content. Continue reading »
A Kuwaiti online activist will spend 10 years in jail, an appeals court has ruled, for posting messages on Twitter that “insulted the emir” and “spreading false news” that endangered the country.
The court on Thursday confirmed the jail term against Waleed Fares handed down by a lower court in May, AFP reported.
Fares was arrested in September 2015 for comments under the name “Gibrit Seyassi” about Kuwait’s emir and ruler, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al Sabah, “offending the judiciary” and “accusing the attorney general and public prosecution of being biased”.
And it has passed …
– Britain Passes The “Snooper Charter” Ending All Privacy – Edward Snowden: “The UK has just legalized the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy. It goes farther than many autocracies.”
– Why the Snoopers’ Charter is bad news for online privacy! (June, 2016):
If you haven’t heard of the Investigatory Powers Bill (IP Bill), more commonly known as the “Snoopers’ Charter”, don’t fret – you are not alone! According to a recent poll conducted by market research firm ComRes for the privacy campaign group Liberty, 72 per cent of British people have never even heard of the Investigatory Powers Bill or don’t know anything about it, and only 2 per cent of British adults say they have heard of the IP Bill and know a lot about it.
These results align themselves with research carried out by Hide My Ass! which found that two-thirds (62%) of people incorrectly attributed quotes taken from the Investigatory Powers Bill to popular dystopian fiction like Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World, The Hunger Games and The Matrix. Continue reading »
In just two weeks since its beta launch, free speech Twitter alternative Gab has already accumulated a waiting list of over thirty-thousand people looking to get onto the platform.
The platform, which is currently accepting users in waves, has also received over 1,300,000 views, while over 120,000 posts have been made on the social network within the past two weeks.
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We have a confession to make, everything we’ve said over the past ~7 years has been fake. Well, not really, but that’s what the ultra-liberal, Assistant Professor of Communications at Merrimack College, Melissa “Mish” Zimdars, would like for you to believe.
While it’s unclear exactly what prompted Zimdars to publish a list of “fake news” sources, we have a sneaking suspicion it was a coping mechnism cleverly employed by the New England, liberal arts snowflake to deal with the stunning defeat of her chosen Presidential candidate. Or, perhaps she was simply trying to help the folks at Google and Facebook who have vowed to censor “fake news” sources by cutting off their access to advertising.
But, no matter the reason, below is the full list of information resources that Zimdars, the ultimate arbiter of credibility, has deemed “fake.” Notice that while the list includes numerous conservative news sources like Breitbart, Infowars, Twitchy, The Blaze and Bizpac Review, it excludes the beacon of impartiality known as The Huffington Post.
Moreover, Zimdars even provided the following helpful categorization guidelines to help you determine the level of “fakeness” exhibited by each site. Zero Hedge has not yet been assigned a category, which we find kind of hurtful.
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In a move dubbed as “corporate Stalinism” by one of those impacted, overnight Twitter again suspended dozens of accounts associated with the alt-right movement, the same day the social media service said it would crack down on hate speech.
Among those suspended was Richard Spencer, who runs an alt-right think tank and had a verified account on Twitter.
According to USA Today, Twitter on Tuesday removed Spencer’s account, @RichardBSpencer, that of his think tank, the National Policy Institute @npiamerica, and his online magazine @radixjournal. Continue reading »
Just days after admitting that some 500 millions of its email accounts were hacked (allegedly Russians, of course), the Yahoo confessional continues as Reuters reports, somewhat stunningly that, Yahoo secretly built software to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for US intel officials. Yahoo’s reaction to this: we are “a law abiding company.”
Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company complied with a classified U.S. government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said two former employees and a third person apprised of the events. Continue reading »
The US government, much to the chagrin of Senator Ted Cruz, is set to officially relinquish the Department of Commerce’s oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as of tomorrow night at midnight. ICANN is a California nonprofit that has supervised website domains since 1998, essentially under subcontract from the Commerce Department. Under the Obama transition plan oversight by the U.S. Commerce Department would end and be replaced by a multi-stakeholder community, which would include the technical community, businesses, civil society and governments.
Cruz had attempted to block the internet transition by tying the recently passed funding bill to the reversal of the ICANN turnover. That said, apparently his harsh admonishments on the Senate floor failed to draw enough support from his fellow republicans to force a government shutdown over the topic.
“In 22 short days, if Congress fails to act, the Obama administration intends to give away control of the Internet to an international body akin to the United Nations,” Sen. Cruz said. “I rise today to discuss the significant, irreparable damage this proposed Internet giveaway could wreak not only on our nation, but on free speech across the world.” Continue reading »
If you’re a video maker on youtube, plan for an organized STRIKE on Thanksgiving 2016 in response to the outrageous “Youtube Heroes” issue.
#YoutubeOnSTRIKE November 24th.
As videomakers, our livelihoods are now going to be threatened by anonymous NON-GOOGLE EMPLOYEES who can randomly “sign up” to be “moderators”, and who are rewarded for flagging videos down, in a new program called “youtube heroes” put out by Google / Youtube.
When Bruce Schneier writes a post titled, Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet, you better listen.
Read his post below and share widely:
Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet. These probes take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down. We don’t know who is doing this, but it feels like a large nation state. China or Russia would be my first guesses. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“Don’t know if it works, but it’s worth a try to check on how far they got on their intrusive monitoring & spying for the NSA isn’t it?”
In the past, we have published many articles proving that the Internet search giant, Google is secretly spying on people who are using its services.
Particularly, in 2015, we revealed how Google had tracked Smartphone users everywhere they go, indicating it with a red dot on a map, marking and making the user’s location much clearer for identification. This made users very vulnerable to cyber criminals and government agencies.
In the latest Google spying activities, the company has gone a step further, by recording the voice of its users. Below the article, is a step by step guide to hear the voice being secretly recorded, and how you can delete it, stopping the function permanently.
Views of some Concerned Media Outlets
According to the Free Thought Project, the recording feature secretly picking out voices, without the person’s consent, was built into Google’s search function as a means of delivering accurate search results. However, the sheer accuracy and amount of data Google is now storing, is chilling. Statistics show that Google now processes on average, over 40,000 search queries every second, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year, worldwide.
H/t reader kevin a.
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H/t reader kevin a ….
& reader squodgy:
“Looks like Facebook/CIA are backing themselves into a corner where only totally uneducated, vacuous and unthinking morons will be allowed to post.
No change there then!!!”
Facebook says it is working to fight the spread of fake news on its platform after false stories claiming the 9/11 attacks were a conspiracy and that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly was backing Hillary Clinton appeared among its “trending topics.”
The trending section is supposed to include news stories that are popular among users, but the algorithms used to determine their selection have backfired on the company. Continue reading »