Leaked slides detail YouTube’s Ukraine censorship – journalist

August 23, 2022

RT reports:

Posting screenshots from an internal training course reportedly cost a Polish contractor his job

Leaked slides detail YouTube’s Ukraine censorship – journalist
© Thiago Prudêncio / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

A tutorial for YouTube’s content moderators that emerged on social media on Tuesday shows that the Google-owned platform has labeled a number of critical positions on the conflict in Ukraine “hateful” or “extreme” and can censor or demonetize creators on those grounds. While the parent company Alphabet has not confirmed or denied the screenshots’ authenticity, a Polish contractor who shared them has reportedly been fired.

Six screenshots shared by Russian journalist Andrey Guselnikov on Telegram show internal codes and examples of what YouTube has labeled “harmful” or “hateful” content in an online course mandated for content moderators.

According to the slides, the “glorification/promotion of [the] ‘Z’ symbol associated with the Russian military” is labeled “hate” and “extreme” under policy ID 864. So is saying that the conflict “is to denazify the Ukrainian government,” which is what Russian President Vladimir Putin said in February.RT

©  Telegram/guselandrei

Saying that “Ukraine military is attacking its own people” is also considered problematic, ranging from “harmful-misinformation-moderate” (ID 862) to “harmful-misinformation-extreme” (ID 863) if the powers that be decide it amounts to “promotion or glorification.”

There was no clarification whether either standard would apply to factual reports of Ukrainian artillery targeting Ukrainian citizens living in territories under Russian control, for example.RT

©  Telegram/guselandrei

Another highlighted phrase under policies 862 and 863 is “US funded bioweapons labs in Ukraine.” Presumably the key word here is “bioweapons,” since the existence of “biological research facilities” in Ukraine was recognized by US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in a Senate testimony in March, and the Russian military has repeatedly presented evidence that these labs were funded by the US government, and the Pentagon in particular.

One of the slides shows a list of “out of scope” claims, noting there is no “full-scale block on all content” related to the conflict.

According to Guselnikov, the source of the leaked slides is a Polish national named Kamil Kozera, who used to work for Majorel, a contractor hired by YouTube for content moderation. YouTube somehow identified Kozera from the screenshots and had him fired over the leak. RT cannot independently verify the authenticity of the screenshots, and has reached out to YouTube for comment.

The video hosting platform, owned alongside Google by the Silicon Valley behemoth Alphabet, took the unprecedented step in censorship by globally blocking RT, Sputnik and all channels “associated with Russian state-funded media” in early March, expanding on the original ban ordered by the EU authorities in their jurisdiction. It also “paused” all advertising and “all of the ways to monetize” on the platform – such as sponsorships and superchats – in Russia.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos in May, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said that the company continues to operate in Russia so it can “deliver independent news” to Russians, noting that “What we’re really seeing in this conflict is that information does play a key role, that information can be weaponized.”

CENSORING PALESTINE: SWARMS OF ISRAELI BOTS ARE CRIPPLING PRO-PALESTINIAN TWITTER ACCOUNTS

MAY 17TH, 2022

Source

By Jessica Buxbaum

OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — On April 29, Inès Abdel Razek woke up to 80 new Twitter followers.

“These accounts were following the exact same people that were tweeting about Palestine, but from France or Francophone accounts that work on Palestine,” Razek said of her new followers.

The advocacy director of Rābet, the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy’s digital platform, became wary of the issue after Abier Khateb, a grants manager at Open Society Foundations, reported mass followings as well.

Razek told MintPress News that she began individually reporting each account as fake but kept her own account open — lest she let the alleged bots win. But after a few days, Razek made her profile private. At the peak of the mass following, Razek had accumulated 400 fake followers.

From the end of April through the first few weeks of May, more than 40 pro-Palestine Twitter accounts reported mass followings. Digital-rights experts say acquiring huge amounts of fake followers triggers Twitter’s algorithm and can lead to the tech giant suspending an account, effectively censoring users by forcing them to make their accounts private.

These accounts included those belonging to human rights and activist organizations Adalah, Combatants for Peace, Breaking the Silence, and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights. They also included news publications and journalists, like The Palestine Chronicle, Ali Abunimah and Hind Al-Eryani; and politicians, such as Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Kingdom. Twitter did not respond to MintPress inquiries on the source of the suspicious accounts.

Dr. Marc Owen Jones, an assistant professor at Hamad bin Khalifa University, conducted an analysis that found more than 1,150 fake accounts. Twitter deleted approximately 1,090 of these accounts, according to Jones. His analysis determined that the average account-creation time was one to three per minute, suggesting these accounts were created using an automated process.

The profiles were in various languages, including French, Spanish, English and German, but usually had Arabic bios. They often had strange names — like Noble Betty Thomas — and zero followers.

“They had clearly made-up names,” Sarah Leah Whitson, who also experienced a large influx of new followers, told MintPress. “The vast majority of them had Israeli names and Israeli addresses. Some of them had made-up Arab names, which were mangled. It’s clear that they’re [using] stolen images of people.”

In response to the bulk followings, software developer Daniel Easterman created a free script to automatically report and block hundreds of these bots for users.

Easterman said the spamming problem has a censorship effect by forcing users to make their accounts private. “This means they won’t be able to distribute their messages widely as they would normally,” Easterman told MintPress News.

Another area of particular concern is how a flood of fake followers may cause Twitter to shut down an account. “When you see such a dramatic increase in followers, it’s usually somebody manipulating the system for commercial gain,” Easterman said. “So that could trigger Twitter to automatically flag that as suspicious activity and suspend the activist’s account.”

Using Twitter to target human rights defenders and journalists isn’t unusual. In 2017, journalist Iona Craig and others who report on Yemen were spammed with thousands of fake followers. Many speculated the culprits were state entities belonging to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The reason behind this particular mass following campaign remains unknown. Jones hypothesized it’s acting as a form of social media suppression, writing on Twitter:

Some suggest it’s a means to degrade the algorithmic quality of a Twitter account so that it possibly gets suspended; some suggest it’s others trying to boost popularity of an account. When it’s unsolicited, as in this case, I tend to think it’s more of a targeting operation. I am naturally cynical, but most people who get a sudden influx of fake followers feel unnerved and uncomfortable. If that fact is widely known, it functions as a tool of surveillance and potentially intimidation (e.g., you are being watched). It also makes many people mute their accounts for a bit which has a censorship effect.”

Razek, Whitson, and others told MintPress that the flood of fake followers appears to be diminishing for them. However, a new operation has emerged.

In the past week, Jones found around 2,800 fake accounts following pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist accounts who have recently been tweeting on the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu-Akleh.

“This network is likely the same as the one found at [the] end of April, although now it is active,” Jones wrote on Twitter.

The accounts have between 0 to 20 followers, with the majority of bios written in English and simply stating the account location, which is Israel. Most accounts don’t have a banner picture and the profile pictures have purportedly been swiped from real people.

According to Jones, the accounts have begun liking and retweeting posts, without any real partisan regularity: they like both pro- and anti-Palestinian subject matter and follow both pro-Zionist and pro-Palestinian accounts but appear to target the pro-Palestinian side more. Accounts targeted include The Jerusalem Post; the government of Israel’s official state account; activist organization Jewish Voice for Peace; the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement; Israeli journalist Ilan Pappe; and former Palestinian Liberation Organization executive committee member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi.

Again, the reason for the bulk followers remains unclear. “Those who get followed understandably find it intimidating, as if a form of surveillance or a technique to try and degrade [the] quality of an account with low-quality follows,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “The fact remains, these are clearly fake accounts and ruin the experience of Twitter.”

CENSORSHIP OF PALESTINE, AN ONGOING PROBLEM

Palestinian digital-rights experts have long decried the increasing censorship of Palestinian content online. During Israel’s assault on Gaza and the upticks in Israeli attacks at Al-Aqsa Compound and in Sheikh Jarrah in May 2021, Palestinian activists reported social media companies were removing their content on Israeli violence and ethnic cleansing for violating community guidelines.

The social media censorship didn’t stop when tensions died down over the summer, though. Last month, social media users in Jordan said their posts related to Israeli violence at Al-Aqsa were taken down and their accounts blocked. Additionally, accounts belonging to Palestinian news publications covering the violence in occupied East Jerusalem and at Al-Aqsa were deactivated by Facebook.

In their recent monthly report on social media violations, Palestinian NGO Sada Social stated the deletion of Palestinian content “is in line with and in response to Israeli requests to tighten the screws on Palestinians and their media.”

Palestinian-American model Bella Hadid also accused Instagram of shadow-banning (having content viewership limited) her pro-Palestinian content during Ramadan.

Razek suggested the swarm of fake followers on Twitter may be an extension of Instagram’s alleged shadow-banning. “The purpose is to pollute our algorithms and make our accounts less visible. So in the way that Instagram is shadow-banning some content, this could be a way that Twitter shadow-bans our content,” she said.

While the identities behind the fake followers haven’t been revealed, many have pointed to Israel. The Israeli government’s targeting of Palestinian digital content is well-documented. According to 7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, the Israeli Ministry of Justice Cyber Unit sends content-removal requests aimed at Palestinian content to social media companies such as Facebook, Google, and YouTube. The Justice Ministry has boasted these corporations comply with 95% of their requests. And Israeli governmental organizations and NGOs also encourage their citizens to flag Palestinian content for removal.

ATTACKING FREE SPEECH

Tech billionaire Elon Musk’s pending purchase of Twitter came with a promise of securing free speech on the digital platform. “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” the self-declared free-speech advocate said in a statement about his Twitter deal.

While digital-rights experts like Jones are wary of Musk’s potential Twitter takeover, Whitson, who’s experienced targeted attacks, harassment, and censorship threats for decades for speaking out against Israeli abuses, views the buyout positively.  For the executive director of nonprofit Democracy for the Arab World (DAWN), the risk of corporate censorship is a bigger issue than online hate speech. Whitson said:

I’m hopeful that Elon Musk will be true to his word to protect and promote free speech and to end concerted efforts to target and cancel speech that we don’t like. Seeing how Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have launched systematic efforts to silence pro-Palestine activist voices, I’m very wary of corporate moderators deciding what speech is and isn’t acceptable.”

Whitson doesn’t agree the bots are a form of censorship, but she does see them as an assault on free speech. “It’s a form of targeted harassment and bullying,” she said. “It’s a targeted attack on people who are speaking freely, including journalists and human rights activists.”

The hidden casualties of War… Or Why Russia is Doomed.

March 17, 2022

ٍSource

by F(unny) MAN

Everybody is behaving like crazy ants seeking Information on the Web(1), junkies that are looking for Battle Maps, Strategical and Tactical Analysis, Political speeches and statements, Videos of combat footage between the contenders, rocket and aerial Bombings, a little bit of gore here and there…

But… I would like to write some words about the Hidden Losses of this War.  Losses so heavy to bear that if this were to happen in any of the countries in the zone A, they would need years (alas Decades!) of hard work, psychological help, post-traumatic-stress-disorder medication, and a lot of caresses on the back to recover from.

Because no matter what, for Russia, these losses would affect the future generations of Russians in a much more profound way that all the destruction and casualties of WWII… All this, of course, according to the actual politically correct, woke-friendly, gender fluid, non-racist, liberal way of thinking that is actually predicated and practiced in the countries of Zone A.

What am I writing about?

Russian Influencers CRY(2) about the closing of their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

After President VVP signed and implemented his “Article 207.3” of the Criminal Code of Russia against the dissemination of false information, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have left (or have been blocked and forbidden) the Russian Federation. After the Tit for Tat measures following the closure of RT, Sputnik News, and other Russian Media outlets in some Western Countries. CNN, BBC, DW, and other MSM(3) News Broadcasters have to leave the country or face the consequences.

Some of the most known Russian Influencers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter(4) are complaining that they have lost their well-earned income sources. They are complaining that they wouldn’t be able to help millions of adolescents and young people that are absolutely dependent on their opinion, about which nail lacquer, makeup, or fashion trends to follow just to mention a couple of vitally important aspects of their lives. Some others were complaining that they wouldn’t be able to buy Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabana, Salvatore Ferragano, Gucci, or Lipton Candies anymore. Whatever these candies are, they are so incredibly exclusive that you have to be one of the members of “la crème de la crème” to get one, because it is the first time I hear these candies Exist. Some of them (Influencers) also pointed out that this closure will cause a lot of people to lose their jobs and the devastating impact that this will have on the Russian economy(5).

Recent estimates, after an analysis of this problem based on open sources by Bellingcat, the CIA, the US State Department, The Pentagon, the NSA, and some of the most renowned Think Tanks in Washington (6) are saying that these Job losses might be equivalent to the number of Moderate Rebels trained by the US and their Proxies to fight in Syria against the Assad Tyrannical Regime(7).

If you add to the loss of such Mainstream Media Outlets the fact that some of the most famous brands and products of Restauration and Fast Food companies are ceasing their activity and leaving the Russian Federation. Such as McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Starbucks, Heinz Ketchup, Doritos, Lipton, Candies(8), and many others… we can say without a doubt that the Russian Federation Citizens will be, after a couple of months, the most healthy, centered, self-reliable and well informed human beings of the entire World. As I said, it will affect the future generations of Russians for the years to come.

Ha! A hit from which they will never recover, that is why Russia is doomed.

Thank God(9), the People in Zone A, do not have to suffer such nuisances, difficulties, and inconveniences.

God Bless our beloved leaders.

F(unny) MAN

References

  1. If you are reading this, I have to inform you that you are one of those Junkies.
  2. This is absolutely unacceptable for the Zone A, this grade of cruelty is infuriating. The degree of unfairness, political incorrectness, misogynism and racism that this Influencers have to suffer can be perfectly considered a CASUS BELLI for an intervention of NATOstani countries in Ukraine
  3. One of the acceptations of MSM is: Mainstream Media. In this case Manure, Shite and Muck is a better definition if applied to such Outlets.
  4. I don’t want to name them, there is quite a couple dozen, just make some research in google. But you should know that Viewer discretion is advised, due to the crudeness of the Instagram images, Facebook videos, and Twitter statements that you might find.
  5. Please refer to Reference (7)
  6. BCR Institute (Bottom Cellar Rats Institute), SMB (Scratch My Back, I will scratch yours later), CMICPC (Crap Military Industrial Complex Porn Center), BNL Institute (go Brandon, Neocons and Libertards Institute)
  7. 5… yes, that is, 5… only 5. After Billions of Dollars of taxpayer’s money invested. They could send only 5 Moderate rebels to the Fight in Syria.
  8. I still don’t know, what the Hell Lipton Candies are, I tried to find them on the internet, somewhere, to no avail… but I have to say in my defense that I haven’t found my mind yet, after the Paragraph 3 of the last Essay.
  9. GOD the major deity in the Pantheon of Zone A, A.K.A “Gold, Oil & Diamonds“

Facebook and Instagram Say It Is Okay to Support Nazism in Ukraine, and They Modify Terms Allowing Advocacy for Death to Russians

March 14, 2022

By Sundance

Global Research,

The Last Refuge 10 March 2022

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***

There are very few things in this world that can leave me almost speechless.  This is one of them.

Dropping all pretense of their hidden ideology, Reuters is reporting exclusively that Facebook and Instagram have modified their terms and conditions to permit advocacy and support for the Nazi party in Ukraine (Azov Regiment), and they have modified their violence terms to allow platform users to advocate for death to Russians.

I don’t quite know where to begin.  However, this report from Reuters does actually make sense based on some pictures that were floating around a few days ago.  The pictures show U.S. military “advisors” training Ukrainian neo-Nazi’s in the Azov regiment how to use FGM-148 javelin missiles.

It would be odd if Big Tech were generically against all Nazi’s, while U.S. military advisors are in Ukraine training specific Azov Regiment Nazi’s to fight Russians.   The Javelin missile system, pictured above, is what Ukraine is using to defeat Russian tanks and armored vehicles.  The U.S. is sending the Ukraine military thousands of them.  Apparently arming and training Nazis is okay right now.

The Reuter’s article notes:

“Emails also showed that Meta would allow praise of the right-wing Azov battalion, which is normally prohibited, in a change first reported by The Intercept.  Meta spokesman Joe Osborne previously said the company was “for the time being, making a narrow exception for praise of the Azov Regiment strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard.” (link)

Facebook and Instagram to Permit Posts Calling for Violence Against Russians and Death of Putin

March 10 (Reuters) –

Meta Platforms (FB.O) will allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, according to internal emails seen by Reuters on Thursday, in a temporary change to its hate speech policy.

The social media company is also temporarily allowing some posts that call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in countries including Russia, Ukraine and Poland, according to internal emails to its content moderators.

“As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’ We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement.

The calls for the leaders’ deaths will be allowed unless they contain other targets or have two indicators of credibility, such as the location or method, one email said, in a recent change to the company’s rules on violence and incitement.

The temporary policy changes on calls for violence to Russian soldiers apply to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine, according to one email.

[…] “We are issuing a spirit-of-the-policy allowance to allow T1 violent speech that would otherwise be removed under the Hate Speech policy when: (a) targeting Russian soldiers, EXCEPT prisoners of war, or (b) targeting Russians where it’s clear that the context is the Russian invasion of Ukraine (e.g., content mentions the invasion, self-defense, etc.),” it said in the email. (read more)

For almost fifteen years we have been outlining the connection of the Obama and EU ideologues to Nazism.  This is something that everyone associated with the Democrat Party have denied repeatedly.   Now, all of a sudden, Facebook and Instagram, the support system in Big Tech for the ideology of Democrats, is openly admitting a change in position allowing public support for Nazism on their platforms.

This is a remarkable moment.

*

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Censorship is the Last Gasp of the Liberal Class

November 11th, 2021

Truthful, honest, and independent journalism and analysis is anathema to a social order that has little else to offer humanity but endless war and austerity.

By Danny Haiphong

Source

On November 8, 2021, Twitter locked my account for a period of one day for responding to corporate media darling and Russiagate fanatic Keith Olbermann’s slanderous reply to journalist Wyatt Reed’s coverage of the Nicaraguan election. The flagged tweet simply restated Olbermann’s question, replacing “whore for a dictator” with “whoring for the American oligarchy.” Twitter demanded that I delete the tweet or send a time-consuming, lengthy appeal with no assurances as to if or when my sentence in “Twitter jail” would end. This prompted me to delete the tweet and wait for the 12-hour suspension to end. Keith Olbermann’s account went unscathed.

This isn’t Olbermann’s first go-round with censorship. Last July, Olbermann called progressive comedian and YouTube host Jimmy Dore a “feral succubus” and demanded Twitter “and other platforms” promptly ban him. Olbermann has justified censorship over the past several years as a necessary response to the thoroughly debunked allegation that Russia “meddled” in the 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump. He has publicly acknowledged his support for censorship as a righteous crusade to ban from platforms people who seek to “tear this country apart.”

Olbermann claims that his censorship crusade is exclusively directed at the right wing. Yet the sports analyst and corporate-media pundit is no friend to progressive or left-wing politics. The U.S. continues to lurch further to the right politically precisely because of elite-driven conspiracies such as Russiagate. Olbermann’s belief that “everything” about the Trump administration is connected to Russia has only further distracted from the progressive politics required to counter the destructive policies of the D.C. duopoly. Olbermann’s obsession with Russia is also racist in character, as evidenced by the admission that he feels immense shame living “with the stain of Russian heritage” in his family.

Hilary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump in 2016 unveiled a deepening crisis of legitimacy for the American Empire that the ruling elite has desperately tried to conceal. Liberal class elites such as Olbermann have embraced censorship under the guise of Russiagate. The consequences have been devastating. The Democratic Party and corporate media have fully backed Julian Assange’s extradition and a host of other measures that have tightened the grip of corporate power over the media. Independent journalists have been demonetized or removed from YouTube, shadow-banned from Twitter, and suppressed in the algorithm on Google and YouTube’s search engines.

Silencing independent media serves a militarist agenda. International media outlets critical of U.S. wars, such as RT and CGTN, have faced intensifying repression within the U.S. and its allied nations in the West. RT and CGTN have been forced to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Iran-based PressTV had its domain seized by the U.S. government in June 2021 after being removed from Facebook six months earlier. YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook have labeled all three outlets “state-affiliated media.” The BBC and CIA-linked outlets such as Radio Free Asia have yet to receive the same treatment.

The message is clear: media outlets from countries targeted as U.S. adversaries such as China, Russia, and Iran are worthy of censorship while U.S. outlets promoting propaganda against said countries are safe for consumption. The same could be said about Nicaragua, a nation that has received countless attacks from the United States in the form of economic sanctions and information warfare. In the week prior to Twitter’s locking of my account, hundreds of Facebook users supportive of the popular FSLN government in Nicaragua were removed from the platform in the lead-up to the presidential election in that country. This includes Canadian physician Timothy Bood, whose account was suspended for commenting on U.S. interference in the Nicaraguan election. U.K.-based Morning Star journalist Steve Sweeney was detained for three days in Mexico on his way to observe the Nicaraguan elections.

Censorship is the last gasp of liberal class elites who find themselves rapidly losing grip over the political narrative. In the midst of growing economic inequality and endless war, the liberal class has chosen information warfare as its principal tool for maintaining the consent of the governed. Social media and streaming platforms are not public utilities and have thus been directed as weapons of information warfare against the people. Government agencies and military contractors have secured thousands of contracts with big tech corporations to increase their spying powers and influence over the media. It should come as no surprise that alternatives to the existing order have been marked as necessary for removal from public visibility as a means of self-preservation for a self-interested ruling elite.

While elements of the so-called “rightwing” have been caught in the web of censorship, it is clear that the Left is the principal target. Right-wing politics and pundits continue to enjoy growth while outlets such as MintPress News and Black Agenda Report struggle to expand audiences within a suffocating environment of censorship. Truthful, honest, and independent journalism and analysis is anathema to a social order that has little else to offer humanity but endless war and austerity. The last gasp of the liberal class seeking to protect this social order is the suppression of the truth — the first commitment of anyone who claims to stand for peace and justice.

HRW Criticizes Facebook Censorship of Palestinians, Demands Investigation

October 8, 2021

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Facebook has “wrongfully removed” content by Palestinians and pro-Palestine activists, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Friday.

According to the New York-based international NGO, Facebook unfairly removed posts describing human rights abuses carried out during the May 2021 Israeli aggression.

“Facebook has suppressed content posted by Palestinians and their supporters speaking out about human rights issues in Israel and Palestine,” said Deborah Brown, senior digital rights researcher and advocate at HRW. “With the space for such advocacy under threat in many parts of the world, Facebook censorship threatens to restrict a critical platform for learning and engaging on these issues.”

According to the HRW report, several posts were also removed by Instagram, the American photo and video sharing social networking service that was recently acquired by Facebook.  

“In one instance, Instagram removed a screenshot of headlines and photos from three New York Times opinion articles for which the Instagram user added commentary that urged Palestinians to ‘never concede’ their rights,” the report reads.

HRW also condemned Facebook policy to designate certain organizations as ‘dangerous’, thus limiting the freedom of expression.

“Facebook relies on the list of organizations that the US has designated as a ‘foreign terrorist organization,’ among other lists,” HRW report said. “That list includes political movements that also have armed wings, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hamas.” 

“By deferring to the broad and sweeping US designations, Facebook prohibits leaders, founders, or prominent members of major Palestinian political movements from using its platform. It does this even though, as far as is publicly known, US law does not prohibit groups on the list from using free and freely available platforms like Facebook.”

In its report, HRW called for an “independent audit .. (to) evaluate Facebook’s relationship with the Israeli government’s Cyber Unit, which creates a parallel enforcement system for the government to seek to censor content without official legal orders.”

The California-based social media giant did not provide exhaustive explanations to justify its behavior, according to HRW. 

“Facebook has acknowledged several issues affecting Palestinians and their content, some of which it attributed to ‘technical glitches’and human error. However, these explanations do not explain the range of restrictions and suppression of content observed.”

The NGO ultimately asked for an independent investigation and urged Facebook to ensure “that investigators closely consult with civil society at the outset of the investigation, so that (it) reflects the most pressing human rights concerns from those affected by its policies.”

Last April, HRW issued a report, titled ‘A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution’, concluding that Israel is committing the crime of “apartheid” by seeking to maintain Jewish “domination” over Palestinians and its own Arab population.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Nothing Normal About Normalization

October 5, 2021

Bahrain anti-normalization protest
Bahraini demonstrators protest against normalization with the Zionist entity in Bahraini capital, Manama last week.

Ragheb Malli*

Israeli NSO’s Pegasus spyware hits headlines yet again, however this time, used by Bahrain to spy on human rights activists. According to the Canadian Citizen Lab Institute, the victims included 9 human rights activists from 3 different organizations; 2 of which have voluntarily exiled in England. Other than the more blatant issue of normalization with ‘Israel’, the joint endeavor in capturing human rights activists sets a prime example of the brutality and oppression that was not needed in the already repressive state in which human rights activists live in Bahrain.

The three movements targeted were Al-Wefaq, the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) and Waad, some of which are often labelled as ‘terrorist organizations’. The attacks occurred between June 2020 and February 2021. The Canadian Citizen’s Lab revealed that the Israeli NSO’s Pegasus Spyware has developed a ‘no-click’ hacking system which is revolutionary, since in the typical espionage circumstances, a link is sent to the victim’s phone, under the guise of a genuine link, in this case – a DHL message to the victims’ iPhones. Contrary to iPhone’s claim that their security is solid, the Pegasus spyware were seemingly able to bypass their strongest security feature ‘BlastDoor’.

Israeli NSO claims no responsibility, as expected, demanding the release of evidence the Canadian Citizen Lab claim to hold – as it has done previously at every accusation stop, including the 2019 WhatsApp lawsuit against them that is still presently ongoing.

It must be said that amidst all these so-called new headlines, there really is nothing new about it at all. Bahrain has been investing in spyware and espionage techniques since 2010; and although normalization with Israel only occurred last year, truth dictates that relations between the two preceded, as NSO cyber programs were purchased by Bahrain since 2017.

As normalization with ‘Israel’ spreads in the Middle East, control of the rebelling population has become even more of a priority. Pegasus, ‘the most powerful piece of spyware ever developed,’ as the Guardian described it, is crucial in controlling and repressing any powerful uprisings and rebellion; which is why it expectedly will grow and intensify as time goes by. Nevertheless, although Pegasus is evolving rapidly, it being Israeli is far more cause for concern. A concern that, unfortunately has begun to infiltrate the Middle East officially for all to see and being labelled as normal helping aid. It is not normal. It will never be normal.

*Ragheb Malli is a researcher for the Gulf Institute of Democracy and Human Rights and also a London-based social media activist for human rights.

Al-Manar.com.lb is not responsible for the content of this article. All opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

The ‘Pegasus’ Saga: All iPhone Devises Were Exploited by Israeli Spy Tech Firm, Report Indicates

September 13, 2021

Israeli malware Pegasus has been used to spy on journalists, activists. (Photo: via Wikimedia Commons)

The digital rights group CitizenLab has discovered a vulnerability that allowed Israeli spyware company NSO Group to implant its Pegasus malware onto virtually every iPhone, Mac, and Apple Watch device.

CitizenLab revealed the vulnerability on Monday, a week after discovering it by analyzing the phone of a Saudi activist that had been infected with the malware. The discovery was announced to the public shortly after Apple rolled out an update to patch the vulnerability.

The vulnerability allowed the NSO Group’s clients to send malicious files disguised as .gif files to a target’s phone, which would then exploit “an integer overflow vulnerability in Apple’s image rendering library” and leave the phone open to the installation of NSO Group’s now-infamous ‘Pegasus’ malware.

The exploit is what’s known as a ‘zero-click’ vulnerability, meaning that the target user would not have to click a suspicious link or file to allow the malware onto their device.

While most Apple devices were vulnerable, according to the researchers, not all of those afflicted by the spyware were breached in this way. Instead, NSO Group sold the use of its malware to clients around the world, who used the tool to spy on the phones of rival politicians, journalists, activists, and business leaders.

News of the malware’s existence was first broken earlier this summer by Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories, a French investigative outlet, and reported by a collection of partner news outlets. Among those accused of using the Israeli malware are the governments of Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, India, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

A leaked list suggested that as many as 52,000 names were marked as possible targets for surveillance by NSO Group’s customers, and roughly a tenth of these targets were reportedly surveilled. Pegasus granted users access to calls, messages, photos and files, and allowed them to secretly turn on the target phones’ cameras and microphones.

CitizenLab pinned the latest exploit on NSO Group after discovering a so-called ‘digital artifact’ left behind that matched calling cards left by the company’s other exploits, and similarly-named processes in its code.

The NSO Group has not commented on CitizenLab’s latest research, which comes just one day before Apple’s anticipated unveiling of the iPhone 13 ahead of its launch later this month.

(RT.com, PC, Social Media)

‘There has just been non-stop idiocracy happening. We’re living in a comedy goldmine right now’ – YouTube comic Joey B Toonz

September 7, 2021

Sep 5, 2021, RT.com

moi

-by Eva K Bartlett

They walk among us, and apparently proliferate on social media: narcissists who will do seemingly anything for a like or a click. Luckily YouTuber and comedian Joey B Toonz is here to help us all look and laugh.

Recently I had a rude awakening to something that was inexplicably trending worldwide. Seeing the tweet of a comedian and social commentator I follow, I learned of the bizarre ‘milk crate challenge’.  While many people around are struggling to get by, or are under lockdown, a surprisingly significant number of people were filming themselves trying to walk over a pyramid of milk crates. 

Being generally oblivious to such time-wasting and stupendously idiotic fads, I decided to speak with the guy whose tweet brought it to my attention. 


Joey Borelli
, or as he is known on social media, Joey B Toonz, is an American comedian, illustrator, animator. Before starting his social commentary, he worked in the film industry, and toured film festivals with his comedy-based animated shorts.

In recent years, he started doing scathing critiques of some of the most bizarre and narcissistic trends and people on social media. 

I came across him sometime last year, stumbling upon his hilarious videos highlighting the narcissism so prevalent on social media platforms nowadays, a series titled ‘Narcissists and social media’. 

During our conversation, he explained his drive to do social commentary.

“There has just been non-stop idiocracy happening. We’re living in a comedy goldmine right now. I’m basically trying to highlight the idiocracy of what is going on in the world right now, saying some of the stuff that we accept as normal is the problem.” 

I, myself, am not on TikTok, so have remained blissfully unaware of the insanity that reigns there. But Joey B is acutely aware. 

“I discovered TikTok two years ago. I said to myself, what the hell is this?” he said, noting not only the narcissism prevalent on the platform, but also the general lack of talent or creativity of some extremely popular “influencers.” 

“These kids are twirling their arms around, but anybody could do this. It’s not like these people are salsa dancing or doing some kind of complex ballet routine. And they’re getting sponsors and they’ve got millions of followers. Meanwhile, there’s a guy painting like Leonardo da Vinci and he’s got 300 followers.”

Sayyed Nasrallah: US Has Major Role in Destroying Lebanon, Its Economy

06/07/2021

By Zeinab Essa

Beirut – Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Monday a speech in the opening session of “Palestine Emerges Victorious” Conference, held by the National Media Gathering.

Sayyed Nasrallah: US Has Major Role in Destroying Lebanon, Its Economy

In his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted the role of the media rhetoric behind displaying and conveying the ongoing events.

“The advancement of media confrontation is a must, just like the advancement of the military confrontation,” His Eminence stressed, noting that “Had it not been for the victory of the resistance, one of the black strife’s goals was to make the Palestinian cause a forgotten matter.”

He further underscored the importance of confronting the US-“Israeli” front by saying: “When confronting the ‘Israeli’ occupation and the American hegemony, we cannot divide this confrontation.”

“The US hegemony turned all resources in the region to serve the ‘Israeli’ enemy’s interests,” Sayyed Nasrallah clarified, pointing out that “The Zionist entity’s both existence and arrogance rely on the US support.”

According to the Resistance Leader, “We’re facing the US hegemony and its occupation of Iraq, its attacks against the Hashd Al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Forces] and its occupation of eastern Syria.”

“The media rhetoric of the Axis of Resistance is based on the right of the Palestinian people in their land, and the Syrian people in the occupied Golan Heights,” His Eminence mentioned.

Hailing the efforts of the Resistance’s media, he underlined that “We find the standards of righteousness in the Palestinian Cause and in the media rhetoric of the Axis of Resistance.”

“The resistance media relies on the victories of the Axis of Resistance and this axis’ imposing the rules of engagement on ‘Israel’ and the US,” Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized, praising the fact that “The resistance’s media contributed to making victory by relying on facts, studies and researches.”

To the enemy, His Eminence said: “We’re fully aware of the points of the enemy’s weakness, from which we can triumph against it.”

On this level, he stressed that “In our psychological warfare, we didn’t rely on illusions or lies as one of the most important elements of the resistance’s strength is not exaggerating the goals.”

“Among the most important points of strength the Axis of Resistance possesses is honesty in reporting news and facts,” His Eminence elaborated, pointing out that “There is a great development in the capabilities of the axis of resistance.”

In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted that “The enemy today trusts the media of the resistance more than it believes its leaders, this is thanks to the credibility of our media.”

Listing some aspects of the Resistance’s media honesty, His Eminence stated: “The Resistance promised to liberate the land and fulfilled its promise, and promised to release the detainees and so it did. The Resistance in Palestine promised to defend al-Quds and so it did.”

He went on to say: “The popular basis of the Axis of Resistance are ideologically and religiously diverse, but they are united by al-Quds, the sanctities and the unjustness against the Palestinian people.”

“Within the Resistance media, there are experts and innovations despite the lack of the suitable [resources] the other media outlets are being provided with,” Sayyed Nasrallah underscored, noting that “The achievements made by the Resistance media in the last decades is a major thing upon which things should be based to develop more.”

According to His Eminence: “The popular base of the Resistance needs a media rhetoric that interacts with them wherever they are, and with which they can also interact.”

“Social media participated in making the resistance’s victories,” he viewed, noting that “The enemy can take down satellite channels, but not social media platforms, so we must take advantage of them.”

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah predicted that “‘Israel’ will reconsider its calculations when it gets convinced that its threatening of Islamic and Christian holy sites will lead to a regional war.”

“When the Palestinians were displaying the victories in Operation al-Quds Sword, which were admitted by the world and the Zionist, some Arab satellite channels were concentrating on the images of sorrow and sufferings,” he added.

In response, the Resistance Leader underlined that “The resistance’s rhetoric and strategy of the new deterrence equation must be adopted and established, which is that al-Quds is in exchange for the entire region.”

Urging the resistance media to exchange experiences and expertise so that they take advantage of social media platforms, Sayyed Nasrallah explained that “The enemy bans some satellite channels and blocks some websites due to its influence.”

“The enemy could ban some satellite channels, but it could not stop social media platforms; this is why we should take advantage of them,” he said, noting that “There is a media warfare against the Resistance, for which billions of dollars are dedicated to distort the image of the Resistance.”

According to His Eminence, “There should be a media plan to confront fabrications and fake news being published by some sides, especially regarding the cause of Palestine and al-Quds.”

“Developing the media rhetoric of the Resistance must be convenient with the regional transformations and threats,” he stated, advising the resistance axis to “revise the language of our rhetoric and literature based on the major achievements.”

On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah warned that “Those setting conspiracies for the region aim at keeping people busy making their living, and this is happening indeed. The reason behind the ongoing conspiracies is to remain busy from supporting Palestine.”

Moving to the internal front, His Eminence explained that “The governmental crisis in Lebanon is a result of the regime crisis.”

“We have to work on two parallel tracks; the first is to work upon Lebanon’s crises, and the second is not to stay busy from what is happening to the nation,” he said.

As His Eminence reiterated that “The US bans any aid to solve the crisis in Lebanon; this is to serve the ‘Israeli’ enemy,” he wondered: “Isn’t the US administration the side behind banning Lebanese banks from bringing their cash from outside the country?”

Sayyed Nasrallah also slammed some Lebanese people who fear being blacklisted by the US: “The fear being blacklisted by the US while the entire country is heading to death.”

“The goal behind the American blockade is to provoke the Lebanese people and the people of Resistance against it,” he said, pointing out that “The US Embassy in Lebanon is partner in the collapse of the Lebanese currency.”

On this level, His Eminence emphasized that “Wrong policies are among the reasons behind the crisis in Lebanon, but the US is the main reason because it is a partner of the corrupt.”

Denouncing the US ambassador “who is shedding crocodile tears over the Lebanese,” Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that “Major companies want to invest in Lebanon without costing the Lebanese state anything, but they are being told “No” because some are afraid of the Americans.”

On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah lamented the fact that the defendants in the Beirut Port Blast issue learned their names in the case through media outlets

Rejecting the political blackmail in Beirut port blast case, he wondered whether the investigation is a true judicial work or a political targeting. “Justice is still distant and the truth is still concealed,” he said, announcing that the coming days are decisive regarding the new government.

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How Israeli spies influence and infiltrate Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Google, and other social media

Israeli officials worked with former Nazis like Otto Skorzenry and Stepan Bandera.

By Jonas E. Alexis -June 5, 2021

…by Jonas E. Alexis, VT Editor

If you don’t think that Israeli spies haven’t been engaged in covert warfare online and via social media, then you have been living in a cave somewhere on planet earth.

We know for example that Israeli spies under the guise of “art students” infiltrated the United States, particularly the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, way back in 2002,[1] one year before the Bush administration led us to a bloody war in Iraq. Back in 2019, Insider came out with an article entitled, “A company run by former Israeli spies reportedly tried to influence a local US election — and courted Trump’s campaign.”[2]

If readers would like to pursue these things further, I would highly recommend Gordon Thomas’ Gideon’s Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad, Ronen Bergman’s Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations, Michael Bar-Zoha’s Mossad: The Great Operations of Israel’s Secret Service, Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman’s Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars (New York: Levant Books, 2012), etc.[3]

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IsraeliWar--320x180.jpg

We are certainly in a war with the Israelis, who find it congenial  to call anyone who criticizes Israel a Nazi, but Israeli officials and Neoconservatives find it congenial to work with former Nazis like Otto Skorzenry,[4] who styled himself “Hitler’s most daring commando,”[5] and Stepan Bandera;[6] the United States and Israel tell us that they are fighting against gangsters and terrorists, but one of the infamous gangsters in America, Meyer Lansky,[7] was working for the Israeli Mossad.

So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to realize that Israeli spies have been infiltrated media outlets like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. The following video shows how:

If you still believe that Israeli spies are “the Good Guys,” then I have nothing to say to you because you have already gone too far.


  • [1] “Spies, or students?,” Haaretz, May 13, 2002; “The Israeli “art student” mystery,” Salon, May 7, 2002.
  • [2] “A company run by former Israeli spies reportedly tried to influence a local US election — and courted Trump’s campaign,” Insider, February 12, 2019.
  • [3] For related studies, see  Avner Cohen, Israel and the Bomb (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998); The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010); Michael Karpin, The Bomb in the Basement: How Israel Went Nuclear and What That Means for the World (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006).
  • [4] See Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal, Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service (New York: HarperCollins, 2012), chapter 8.
  • [5] Otto Skorzeny, My Commando Operations: The Memoirs of Hitler’s Most Daring Commando (Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 1995).
  • [6] See E. Michael Jones, “Crimea River: The Hypocrisy of U.S. Foreign Policy,” Culture Wars, April 2014.
  • [7] For historical studies on this issue, see for example Albert Fried, The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Gangster in America (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993); Jenna Weissman Joselit, Our Gang: Jewish Crime and the New York Jewish Community, 1900-1940 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1983); Stephen Birmingham, The Rest of Us: The Rise of America’s Eastern European Jews (New York: Syracuse University Press, 1999); David Pietrusza, Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series (New York: Basic Books, 2011); Robert A. Rockaway, But He Was Good to His Mother: The Lives and Crimes of Jewish Gangsters(Jerusalem and New York: Gefen Publishing House, 2000).

BIOGRAPHY

Jonas E. Alexis

Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, history of Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled, Kevin MacDonald’s Abject Failure: A Philosophical and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and White Identity. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.

Logoswars1@gmail.com

Peace in the Middle East is a prerequisite for Global Peace.

Peace in the Middle East is a prerequisite for Global Peace.

May 28, 2021

By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

Without going into history, how the Jewish State of Israel was created in the middle of the Arab World (Muslim World), let’s focus on the current issues and find a solution. As long as it was recognized by the United Nations in 1948, we have to accept this reality; either one likes it or not. The irony is that, since 1948, Israel kept on expanding and pushing Arabs out of their homes and lands and forcing them to leave their land and property, either to immigrate to other countries or live a miserable life in refugee camps.

After Eleven days of recent aggression, it is encouraging that the ceasefire has been implemented. There were multiple reasons for the truce, but the most important was public opinion, which was condemning Israel worldwide. Almost all big cities all over the World have witnessed mass protests, demonstrations, and agitations. It seems the whole World was standing in solidarity with Palestinians. Although few Governments, like the UK, US, and France, were supporting Israeli acts of brutalities, but the public in their own countries was against Israeli aggressions. Some of the biased Western Media was supporting Israel and fabricating lame excuses and irrational justification for Israeli aggressions. But Social Media has played a positive role and rectified public opinion globally. Of Course Russian, and Chinese pressure was also irresistible on the State of Israel to stop air raids. On the ground, within Israel, a civil war erupted among Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Moreover, the Israeli defense system was not so much practical and could not save its territories from rocket attacks. There are reports that the Israeli defense system has shot down its own drones and fighter jets too. Also, there are reports that Israeli security forces killed one suspect within Israel, which was identified as American Jew later on.

Since 1848, Isreal was building its defense and spending lavishly. American economic assistance and Military aid were generous. Even during the recent 11 days conflict, the US was supplying the latest and advanced weapons to Israel, which is an open breach of the UN charter and all norms of the civilized World. Even the US was behind to postpone three times the UNSC statement to stop killings of innocent Palestinians.

Israeli defense capabilities are unmatched in the whole region. With Nuclear weapons, hi-tech, advanced systems, missiles, and the latest war techniques, Israel maintains hegemony. There is no comparison between the whole Arab World’s defense capabilities with Israel alone. Nothing to talk about Palestine or Gazza only, which is a fraction of Israel and that is too dependent on Israel for day-to-day life even.

Looking at the Israeli atrocities and brutalities against the Arab World since 1948, one can reach the conclusion that The Jewish State of Israel is Zionist, aggressive, and illegitimate. Based on its military might, it keeps on expanding and becoming bigger and stronger day by day.

This phenomenon is not new; history tells us there were Germany and Japan, two aggressive countries, and were held responsible for World Wars. But soon, they were brought to justice and held responsible for war crimes. They were made to pay war compensation, and their Military might was scattered and capped to revive in the future. Under the treaty, both Germany and Japan were prevented from rebuilding their Military power again. Both countries are still paying for war crimes, compensation as well as could not reconstruct their military might again.

Once it is established that Israel is an aggressive state and held responsible for killings of Muslims in millions, making them homeless in millions, and refused to live in peace and harmony with their neighbors. It is time for International Community to take action.

The international community must do more to safeguard the lives and fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, who continue to suffer under illegitimate foreign occupation. It should also not condone the violations of international law that underpin global and regional security.

For long-lasting and durable Peace in the region, it is imperative that the Palestinian people are granted their inalienable right to self-determination according to respective UN consensus. It is believed that a viable, independent, and contiguous original Palestinian State, with the pre-1948 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, is the only just, comprehensive and ever-lasting solution to the Palestine issue in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions. All Arab lands occupied in 1967 and 1973 should be returned back to Arabs.

International Community should mobilize all possible humanitarian assistance for the devastated Palestinian population in Gaza and other parts of the occupied territories. In addition to the UNRWA emergency appeal, the UN Secretary-General should launch a comprehensive humanitarian aid plan to deliver succor and sustenance to the Palestinians. There is a dire need to provide medical teams, medicines, and other supplies, food, and other necessities to Gaza and other parts of the occupied Palestinian territories immediately. Egypt’s immediate supply of humanitarian assistance to Gazza is highly appreciated. Israel must open all the access and entry points to Gaza to ensure the timely and urgent delivery of international aid and end the siege of Palestine immediately.

The UN General Assembly should call for concrete steps to protect the Palestinians and should deploy an international peace force, as was called for in General Assembly Resolution ES-10/20 and as demanded by the Islamic Summit Conference held on 18 May 2018.

If the Security Council cannot approve immediately to send the safeguarding force, a “coalition of the willing” can be shaped to provide at least civilian observers to monitor a cessation of the hostilities and supervise the delivery of humanitarian help to the Palestinians.

The UN Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to offer safety to Israel’s Arab (Muslims and Christians both) citizens living within Israel who are being lynched and murdered by fascist Israeli gangs at the present time.

The UN General Assembly should condemn: Israel’s forcible and illegal eviction of Palestinians, including in Al-Jarrah district of Jerusalem and constantly construction of Jewish new settlements; the onslaught against Palestinian worshipers in Haram Al-Sharif and Al-Aqsa mosque, the first Qibla of Islam, during the month of Ramadan; and Israel’s brutal and indiscriminate aerial and land wild-bombardment of Gaza.

Israel’s crimes against humanity should not spurt accountability. There should be no exemption for violation of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention and other human rights Conventions. The Human Rights Council, the ICC, the ICJ, and other avenues should be actuated to ensure Israeli accountability for its war crimes.

International Community should enhance concrete efforts to end Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and to dismantle the illegal settlements and the apartheid-like regime Israel has enforced in the occupied territories. The General Assembly should secure unconditional implementation of resolution 242 of November 1967 in which the Security Council declared the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and demanded that Israel withdraw its armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 war. It is, therefore, commanding to initiate bold steps to secure the implementation of the Security Council and General Assembly resolutions calling for the establishment of a viable, independent, and contiguous original Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. President of Palestine (Fateh Group) Mehmood Abbas’s call for an International Conference to secure a peaceful settlement must be appreciated.

The Palestine catastrophe is at the heart of the chaos and conflicts in the Middle East. It is also the principal root cause of the humiliation and irritation in the Muslim and Arab world – anger which breeds extremism and often spawns acts of violence. A just solution for Palestine is imperative for the preservation of regional and global peace and security. It is to be understood well that Peace and stability in the Arab-Isreal are vital for international Peace, stability, and prosperity. Our next generations deserve a peaceful and happy life; we must understand that the Peace in Middle-east is an energy-rich region and can play a vital role in the global economy and prosperity. Peace in the Middle-east is a prerequisite for international Peace

It is only through determined and significant action that this Assembly can reinstate the credibility of the United Nations and demonstrate its effective role in stabilizing world peace and global order based on equity and justice.

Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

Ynet: We Keep Losing Media War

24/05/2021

Ynet: We Keep Losing Media War

By Staff

As part of its humiliattion on the military level, the Hebrew ‘Ynet’ daily chose to shed liht on another aspect of the “Israeli”entity’s sounding defeat.

Under the title, “Israel bungles the PR war, again”, the daily lamented the fact that “with all of ‘Israel’s’ recent military operations, it miserably failed on the public relations front.”

“As always, the entity’s military achievements are dwarfed by its inadequacies on the global stage,” it mentioned to reach the conclusion: “we keep losing the media war.”

Ynet further wrote: “On the surface level, it seemed like we were prepared for this, establishing an official governmental PR arm just for this sort of occasion. The center was established in accordance with a government decision.  Although that does sound promising, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opted to leave it leaderless, effectively paralyzing the entire effort.”

“Maybe the premier thought he could outperform the department by himself. Maybe he thought that he will place authority within the hands of a worthy competitor, G-d forbid,” it highlighted, noting that “Either way, there is no one directing Israel’s PR efforts at a time it is most crucial.”

According to the daily, “Instead of a unified and coherent front — the task befell a long list of different elements: The Prime Minister’s Office, the ‘Israeli” Army, the foreign and ‘defense’ ministries, the police, the Shin Bet domestic security agency and local authorities.”

“Numerous informants, but no information. No coordination, no authority, no objective or a unified media front. And before us stood the Palestinian propaganda machine — a focused, well-oiled, sophisticated and world-encompassing enterprise with clear and dramatic press releases, as well as a thorough understanding of news and social media,” it summarized.

Meanwhile, Ynet stated: “Not only were the ‘Israelis’ late to react on social media, but completely ignored the fact that platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram have all been superseded by Tik Tok, where the ‘terror’ group was nearly uncontested.”

Facebook, Social Media Giants Admit to Silencing Palestinian Voices Online

May 14th, 2021

By Jessical Buxbaum

Source

Social media companies including Facebook have admitted to MintPress that pro-Palestinian posts were removed, blaming “technical bugs” and “spam filters.”

OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — In a video posted on activist organization Jewish Voice for Peace’s Twitter account, Muna El-Kurd explained why social media is so vital for the Palestinian cause.

“We rely on the honorable people standing in solidarity with us, people who tweet #SaveSheikhJarrah everyday,” Muna El-Kurd said. “Even a short tweet or post is a treasure.”

El-Kurd and her family are under threat of forcible displacement by Israel settlers and Israeli government forces from their home in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in Occupied East Jerusalem. Over the past week, Palestinians on the ground have documented both Israeli police brutality and settler violence.

In response, the world rallied behind Palestinian home defenders online by sharing information related to Sheikh Jarrah, al-Aqsa Mosque, and Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine. However, activists claim their content was met with censorship from the very platforms with which they’re engaging.

Instagram disabled Muna El-Kurd’s account last week and her brother, Mohammed El-Kurd, had several of his Instagram stories removed and was threatened with account deletion.

A flurry of content removal and banning

Activists reported that social media companies have been removing their content, stating it violated community guidelines or deeming it “hate speech.” Reports also included suspended and deactivated accounts and text-only content labeled “sensitive,” a designation usually reserved for photos and videos containing violence, gore or derogatory images. The “Save Sheikh Jarrah” Facebook group was also deactivated, according to Mohammed El-Kurd.

Reports were largely centered on Instagram and Twitter, with some restrictive behaviors conducted by Facebook and even TikTok.

Over the weekend, hashtags related to al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Jarrah and Jerusalem could not be found on Instagram.

According to internal employee communications provided to Buzzfeed, al-Aqsa — the third holiest site in Islam — was flagged by Instagram as associated with “violence or dangerous organizations.” The label is typically reserved for terrorist groups.

During the last days of Ramadan, worshippers at al-Aqsa were attacked with stun grenades and rubber bullets by Israeli police in riot gear. More than 170 Palestinians were injured. Social media users hoping to publicize the state violence instead found their content removed from search results.

Twenty-four rights organizations signed a statement demanding that Facebook and Twitter reinstate affected accounts and explain their actions:

The removed content and suspended accounts on both Instagram and Twitter are involved in documenting and reporting what is happening in Sheikh Jarrah, as well as denouncing Israel’s policies of ethnic cleansing, apartheid and persecution. These violations are not limited to Palestinian users, but also affect activists around the world who are using social media to raise awareness about the grave situation in Sheikh Jarrah.

Nadim Nashif, founder and CEO of 7amleh, one of the letter’s signatories, said the digital rights organization had received approximately 200 cases of social media censorship related to the recent events in Palestine. However, he believes the actual number could be well into the thousands, as many users experiencing censorship may not report it.

“Actually, 99 percent of our [content removal] appeals to social media companies were put back, with no questions asked. And this is clearly because these posts did not really violate their community standards,” Nashif told MintPress News. “What’s basically happening is the Israeli Cyber Unit is abusing the system of so-called voluntary takedown.”

When reached for comment, a Twitter spokesperson said “Our automated systems took enforcement action on a small number of accounts in error by an automated spam filter.”

“We are expeditiously reversing this action to reinstate access to the affected accounts, some of which have already been reinstated,” Twitter said.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, responded to requests for comment from MintPress by issuing a statement that reads in part:

We know there have been several issues that have impacted people’s ability to share on our apps, including a technical bug that affected Stories around the world, and an error which temporarily restricted content from being viewed on the Al Aqsa mosque hashtag page. While both issues have been fixed, they never should have happened in the first place. We’re so sorry to everyone who felt they couldn’t bring attention to important events, or who felt this was a deliberate suppression of their voice. This was never our intention.

Corporate and government collaborative censorship

As previously reported by MintPress, social media suppression of Palestinian media is not a new phenomenon. 7amleh’s research unveiled significant cooperation between social media behemoths and Israel in targeting Palestinian content: According to a 2020 7amleh report on the systematic erasure of Palestinian content, the Israeli Ministry of Justice’s Cyber Unit is responsible for submitting removal requests to tech companies based on purported violations of domestic law and the companies’ community guidelines.

7amleh wrote in their report:

The Israeli Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, stated that ‘Facebook, Google, and YouTube are complying with up to 95% of Israel’s requests to delete content that the Israeli government says incites Palestinian violence.’ This shows a significant focus on Palestinian content and efforts to label Palestinian political speech as incitement to violence.

The Israeli government and non-governmental organizations also encourage citizens to participate in these censorship efforts by making their own content removal requests with regard to Palestinian information.

“The big issue of the voluntary takedowns is that there aren’t any legal or bureaucratic procedures to clarify them,” Nashif said.

In 2019, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) filed a joint petition to Israel’s High Court of Justice against the Cyber Unit on the grounds its mechanisms violate the constitutional rights of freedom of expression and due process. Last month, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected that petition.

“As usual, the Supreme Court supported and validated the actions of the Cyber Unit,” Nashif said. “And now they’re trying to suppress the Palestinian voice by intensifying these requests for takedowns.”

Nashif could not confirm that Israel’s Cyber Unit is behind the latest alleged censorship. But through Adalah and ACRI’s use of the Freedom of Information Law, 7amleh knows the government entity made more than 15,000 requests last year to social media platforms. Nashif explained:

We don’t have evidence about what’s happened in the last week because neither the Cyber Unit nor Facebook is transparent about the takedowns. But it’s clear from following them, researching their policies, speaking with people working in Facebook and from the different appeals in the court against the Cyber Unit, we know that this is obviously happening.”

Escalating violence, growing grassroots action

Tensions in Jerusalem and throughout Palestine have intensified in recent days. At the time of writing, Israeli airstrikes have killed 87 Gazan Palestinians, including 18 children, and rocket fire from Hamas, the resistance movement governing Gaza, has killed six Israelis and one Indian national. More than 530 Palestinians have been injured and 28 Israelis wounded.

Israeli forces have fired skunk water and stun grenades at crowds demonstrating against the expulsions of Sheikh Jarrah residents. Armed groups of Israelis are currently storming Palestine’s streets—chanting “Death to Arabs,” destroying Palestinian properties, and attacking Palestinians.

Palestinians Gaza
Palestinians carry the body of a child found in the rubble home destroyed by a precision Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, May 13, 2021. Abdel Kareem Hana | AP

Palestinians Gaza
A relative mourns over the bodies of four young brothers from the Tanani family killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, May 14, 2021. Khalil Hamra | AP

Palestinians Gaza
A wounded boy lies on a stretcher following an Israeli attack in Beit Lahiya, Gaza, May 10, 2021. Mohammed Ali | AP

The Israeli Supreme Court postponed a court hearing on the possible dispossession facing Sheikh Jarrah families, including the El-Kurds. The court is expected to set a new date in 30 days.

While the Israeli authorities continue crushing Palestinian dissent on the ground, Nashif said Palestinian voices remain silenced online as well.

“Our feeling is that it’s less now because we are getting fewer requests to appeal. But it is still happening,” Nashif said, referring to how the Israeli Cyber Unit, artificial intelligence, and pro-Israel internet communities like Act.IL are all part of the campaign to diminish the Palestinian perspective on social media.

“You have to understand that this is a fight on narrative,” Nashif said. “There is a strong attempt to suppress the Palestinian narrative.”

Facebook bans Iran’s Press TV page

Sayyed Nasrallah to the ‘Israelis’: Stop Playing with Fire, It Is the Era of the ‘Axis of Resistance’

Sayyed Nasrallah to the ‘Israelis’: Stop Playing with Fire, It Is the Era of the ‘Axis of Resistance’

By Zeinab Abdallah

Beirut – Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned the ‘Israeli’ enemy that the Lebanese resistance movement will strike sensitive Zionist military targets in case the enemy used a similar pretext to bomb Lebanese cities.

In a televised speech on Tuesday marking Hezbollah’s Martyr Leaders Day, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the occasion follows the 42nd anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran, which is an example on maintaining sovereignty and independence.

The resistance leader’s speech commemorated the martyrdom anniversaries of Sheikh Ragheb Harb, Sayyed Abbas al-Mousawi and Hajj Imad Mughniyeh.

“Forty-two years have passed on the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran; The Isalmic Republic resisted and developed on every level until it became a great and considerable regional power,” His Eminence stated.

Regarding the Bahraini revolution’s February 14th anniversary, Sayyed Nasrallah further hailed the Bahraini people who sacrificed a lot to obtain their freedom, atop of them is Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, adding that “the Bahraini people are struggling to return their country to its normal situation after its rulers have turned it into a base for normalization with ‘Israel’.”

Praising the common characteristics of martyr leaders enjoyed, Sayyed Nasrallah said that they were dedicated to resistance and tolerated all hard circumstances to develop the project of resistance.

“The resistance of our martyr leaders developed and became followed by the enemy before the friend because it threatens its existence,” His Eminence underscored, noting that in our time, “We need stances similar to those of Sheikh Ragheb Harb to confront normalization with ‘Israel’.”

We preserve the will of Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi by preserving the resistance and serving the people, Sayyed Nasrallah added, stressing that “The most important service we offer to the people is to preserve their existence and defend their lands, dignity and country.”

“We carry on the will of Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi and work within it in all fields, and when an ‘Israeli’ or a terrorist threat endangers our people we won’t hesitate in defending our honorable people.”

In the same context, the Hezbollah leader stressed that “We need the spirit of martyr Imad Mughniyeh to develop the project of resistance, and the brothers of Hajj Imad are doing this nowadays.”

Internationalizing Lebanese Affairs

Elsewhere in his remarks, His Eminence slammed any talks about an international resolution under the United Nations Charter VII regarding the formation of the Lebanese government, which he referred to as a call to war towards which we mustn’t remain silent.

“Calling for internationalization to resolve domestic issues is unacceptable regardless of who said so, and it can pave the way for undesirable consequences,” His eminence added.

“Internationalizing the Lebanese issue contradicts the country’s sovereignty and could be a cover to a new occupation. It would open the door wide to settling Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. We reject any form of internationalizing the Lebanese issue, which we find a danger that threatens Lebanon,” Sayyed Nasrallah outlined.

The anti-Hezbollah Chorus

Commenting on the electronic armies and the media outlets that grab any incident to point the blame on Hezbollah, Sayyed Nasrallah described those sides as saying “There is a chorus in Lebanon whose goal is to insult Hezbollah without any pretext. This only represents them, and all of their acts won’t affect us.”

In this respect, the resistance leader called on its audience not to be dragged to this chorus’ behavior as all the blamed accusations contradict all norms, laws and traditions.

“There is a systematic, managed and paid targeting of Hezbollah. This campaign has failed to distort the image of resistance within its people. Some reactions by some of the resistance’s audience as a result of this campaign shouldn’t be considered as an act of the entire audience, although they should be dealt with,” Sayyed Nasrallah made clear.

The Beirut Port Mystery?

In reference to the yet unannounced results of investigations regarding the Beirut Port blast which have already ended, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that he had previously called on the Lebanese Army, the Internal Security, and the Judiciary to announce the result.

“It is the duty of the concerned parties in the Lebanese Judiciary to announce the results of the investigations regarding the Beirut Port blast, and we have been told that the due amounts of insurances for the families of the martyrs and the owners of damaged properties is estimated at $1.2 billion,” His Eminence said while renewing calls for announcing the results of the investigations.

Lebanese Government Formation

“Nobody doesn’t want the formation of a Lebanese government,” the Hezbollah leader emphasized, adding that “It is in everybody’s interest to form a government, and talking about waiting the Iranian nuclear issue is baseless.”

“Waiting foreign powers is futile and pressures may push some sides to adhere to their stances. It is unjust to hold the president responsible for not forming the government.”

Pointing that Hezbollah understands other parties’ demands to hold certain portfolios, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that “We don’t understand insisting on forming an 18-minister government while some sides believe that the aim behind this is to eliminate their participation.”

The Hezbollah-FPM Understanding

On the 15th anniversary of the understanding that was made between Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed to that the resistance movement wanted it to be a base for wider understandings with other powers.

“The understanding has made a group of achievements that served Lebanon, Hezbollah, and the FPM. We don’t agree on some negative remarks that were made by the FPM as they serve as a material for those who are waiting such things.”

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah affirmed the solid relationship with the FPM and expressed keenness to develop it.

Lebanon As Seen Via Social Media

Sayyed Nasrallah made clear that Tel Aviv, Washington, and their allies announce that they form electronic armies to cause strife and disputes.

“There are sides that want to cause an explosion in Lebanon via what is happening on social media platforms,” Sayyed Nasrallah said before calling for strong presence on social media platforms while adhering to awareness, politeness and not harming anybody.

The post-Trump Region

Pointing to the major developments that took place in the region and the world after Trump’s departure, Sayyed Nasrallah insisted that Lebanon is a key part in the region which is affected by all the developments that take place in it.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has shown endurance and braveness regarding its nuclear issue, and there are clear ‘Israeli’ and Saudi concerns regarding it.”

As for the revival of Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group], Sayyed Nasrallah said that “The Americans’ talking that their mission doesn’t include protecting the oil in Syria anymore came along with reviving Daesh,” making clear that the Americans want to remain in Syria and Iraq.

“They might mobilize Daesh in both countries, and the new US administration is using this pretext to remain there,” His Eminence noted, stressing however that “those who defeated Daesh in the past will defeat it again, and working to defeat the terrorist organization should be crushing so that it won’t be able to be revived.”

The Steadfast Yemen

In reference to the new US administration of Joe Biden, Sayyed Nasrallah said that Washington’s announcement of ending its support for the war on Yemen is a positive step that is a result of the Yemenis’ steadfastness, noting that any call for ending the war on Yemen is positive, and the brothers in Yemen are aware of the situation, which is normal and required.

“The Yemenis steadfastness and tolerance of the siege, the pain, and the bombing pushed the silent world to issue daily reports to defend the aggressive Saudi Arabia, and the Yemeni Army today is in an advanced place, and the other side is screaming in Marib due to the progress the Yemenis are making,” Sayyed Nasrallah explained.

“The honest and steadfast Yemenis will bear the fruits of their steadfastness, and the concerns are growing among Saudi Arabia and the enemy’s entity.”

The Declining ‘Deal of the Century’

Mentioning that the ‘Deal of the Century’ has majorly decreased, Sayyed Nasrallah found it as a clear explanation that it either ended or is declining. “This is a source of concern for the ‘Israelis’ and the Saudis.”

The persistence of the Palestinians and the Axis of Resistance in the face of Trump resulted in the decline of the ‘Deal of the Century’, His Eminence noted, criticizing the Zionists exaggeration regarding the Arab acceptance of normalization: “We’ve seen the stances of the Bahraini people, and before them the Egyptian and Jordanian people against the normalization.”

He then urged boycotting the ‘Israeli’ enemy and rejecting normalization as an important step that represents the religious and national sense of belonging.

“Rulers in Sudan will realize that normalization won’t solve their economic problems, which already happened with countries that normalized ties years earlier,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, noting that some people’s visits to the enemy’s entity or the actions of some electronic armies don’t express the Arab and Muslim popular mood.

It Is the Era of the ‘Axis of Resistance’

In response to hollow remarks made by ‘Israeli’ military chief Aviv Kochavi, Sayyed Nasrallah concluded with a clear and precise message.

His Eminence warned that the game of combat days is a dangerous one for the ‘Israelis’ as nobody can guarantee that such a game won’t lead to an inclusive and major war.

Kochavi claimed that the Zionist military will not hesitate to launch an attack in full force against any civilian neighborhoods, installations or even residences where unmanned missiles, rockets and aircraft are being stored or launched from.

“We will take part in any confrontation imposed on us, and I say it clearly: bombing cities for bombing cities, and bombing settlements for bombing villages.”

Using pretexts of striking military targets inside cities will be responded to by bombing military targets inside the enemy’s cities, the resistance leader insisted.

“In a case a war broke out, the ‘Israelis’ shouldn’t brag about their strength as the enemy’s internal front will face incidents that it didn’t witness since the establishment of this entity in 1948.”

“This is why I tell you to stop playing with fire,” Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized, telling the enemy that it should be aware of its limits.

“The time when the enemy threatens people and they remain silent has gone! There is a resistance from Gaza to Lebanon to the entire regional countries.”

This matter cannot be run the same way they used to in old mentalities, Sayyed Nasrallah said. “It is a different time; it is the era of the Axis of Resistance which is following all developments quietly and precisely.

“Don’t think for a moment that all the ongoing developments would affect the will of the resistance to confront or change the equations,” Sayyed Nasrallah conluded.

السيد نصر الله: ستواجه الجبهة الداخلية الإسرائيلية في الحرب المقبلة ما لم تعرفه منذ قيام “إسرائيل”

المصدر: الميادين نت


الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله يؤكد أن أي كلام عن قرار دولي تحت البند السابع بشأن الحكومة هو دعوة إلى الحرب، ويشدد على أن الجبهة الداخلية الإسرائيلية ستواجه في أي حرب مقبلة ما لم تعرفه منذ قيام “إسرائيل”.

  • كلمة الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله بمناسبة الذكرى السنوية للقادة الشهداء

قال الأمين العام لحزب الله، السيد حسن نصر الله، بمناسبة الذكرى السنوية للقادة الشهداء: “من الصفات المشتركة للقادة الشهداء هي التمحض في المقاومة، وهم تحملوا كل الظروف الصعبة من أجل تطوير مشروع المقاومة”.

وأضاف السيد نصر الله: “نحن بحاجة إلى مواقف الشيخ راغب حرب لمواجهة التطبيع، وروح الشهيد عماد مغنية من أجل تطوير مشروع المقاومة، ونحن نحفظ وصية السيد عباس الموسوي بحفظها وخدمة الناس، والخدمة الأهم للناس هي الحفاظ على وجودهم وأرضهم وكرامتهم وبلدهم”.

وبمناسبة الذكرى العاشرة للثورة البحرينية، قال: “الشعب البحريني يناضل لإعادة بلاده إلى مكانتها الطبيعية بعدما حولها حكامها إلى قاعدة للتطبيع. نحيّي شعب البحرين الذي دفع الكثير من التضحيات للحصول على حريته، وفي مقدمة قادته سماحة آية الله الشيخ عيسى قاسم”.

وحول مرور 42 سنة على انتصار الثورة الإسلامية في إيران، قال إن الأخيرة “صمدت وتطورت على كل الصعد، وباتت قوة إقليمية كبرى يحسب لها ألف حساب”.

نصر الله: تدويل ملف الحكومة اللبنانية قد يكون غطاء لاحتلال جديد

وفي الملف الداخلي اللبناني، أكد السيد نصر الله أن “أي كلام عن قرار دولي تحت البند السابع بشأن الحكومة هو دعوة إلى الحرب، والتدويل يتنافى مع السيادة، وقد يكون غطاء لاحتلال جديد، وقد يفتح الباب على مصراعيه، وقد يفرض توطين الفلسطينيين”.

وأكد رفض أي شكل من أشكال التدويل، مضيفاً: “إننا نراه خطراً على لبنان، ونشعر بأن فرض فكرة التدويل هو لاستقواء بعض اللبنانيين على بعضهم الآخر”.

وعن تشكيل الحكومة اللبنانية، قال السيد نصر الله: “لا أحد لا يريد تأليف حكومة جديدة في لبنان، في وقت من مصلحة الجميع أن تتألف حكومة، والكلام عن انتظار الملف النووي الإيراني ممجوج ولا مكان له. سابقاً، كان الكلام عن انتظار الانتحابات الأميركية وغيرها.. انتظار الخارج لن يؤدي إلى أي نتيجة، والضغوط قد تدفع البعض إلى التمسك بمواقفه”.

واعتبر أن “من غير المنصف تحميل مسؤولية عدم تأليف حكومة لرئيس الجمهورية. نحن نتفهم مطالبات بعض الجهات بحقائب معينة ووجود قلق من حصول حزب واحد على ثلث معطل”.

وتابع: “لا نتفهم الإصرار على حكومة من 18 وزيراً. هناك شرائح تعتقد أن إلغاءها هو الهدف من ذلك”.

وعن التفاهم بين التيار الوطني الحر وحزب الله في 2006، قال السيد نصر الله: “15 عاماً مرت على تفاهم مار مخايل. كنا نريده أساساً لتفاهمات أوسع مع قوى أخرى”، لافتاً إلى أن “التفاهم حقق مجموعة من المصالح للبنان ولحزب الله وللتيار”، وقال: “لا نوافق على خروج بعض الملاحظات السلبية حول التفاهم في بيان للتيار، فهي تعطي مادة للمتربصين”، مؤكداً “متانة العلاقة مع الوطني الحر والحرص على تطويرها”.

نصر الله: هناك استهداف ممنهج ومدفوع الثمن ضد حزب الله

وفي سياق آخر، قال السيد نصر الله إن “هناك جوقة هدفها السباب والشتائم لحزب الله من دون أي حجة، وهذا يعبر عن أصحابها. كل أفعال هذه الجوقة لا تؤثر فينا. أدعو جمهور المقاومة إلى عدم الانجرار لسلوكهم”. 

وتابع: “هناك استهداف ممنهج ومدبر ومدفوع الثمن ضد حزب الله، وما يجري معنا من اتهامات خارج كل الأعراف والتقاليد والشرائع، وما يجري أن هناك من يتعامل مع حزب الله على أنه متهم وقاتل ومسؤول حتى تثبت براءته”. 

كلام السيد نصر الله يأتي في سياق الاتهام الذي وُجّه إليه من قبل أطراف سياسية وإعلامية باغتيال الناشط السياسي لقمان سليم. وقد أكد في هذا السياق أن “إسرائيل تقتل مواطنيها من أجل خدمة مشروعها، والمجازر الصهيونية لم تقتصر على المسلمين والمسيحيين فقط، بل شملت يهوداً رفضوا الهجرة إليها”.

وشدد على أن “هناك استهدافاً ممنهجاً ومدبراً ومدفوع الثمن ضد حزب الله. وقد فشل في تشويه صورة المقاومة لدى بيئتها وجمهورها”، مشيراً إلى أن “انفعال بعض جمهور المقاومة نتيجة الحملة يجب ألا يحسب على كل الجمهور، وإن كان يجب أن يعالج”.

وفي سياق الحديث عن الحملات الممنهجة في مواقع التواصل، شدد السيد نصر الله على أن “تل أبيب وواشنطن وحلفاءهما يعلنون أنهم يشكلون جيوشاً إلكترونية لإثارة الفتن والخلافات، وهناك من يريد أن يأخذ البلد إلى الانفجار من خلال ما يجري في وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي”، داعياً إلى “الحضور القوي في وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي مع الالتزام بالوعي والأدب وعدم الإساءة”.

وفي ملف انفجار مرفأ بيروت، قال السيد نصر الله إن “التحقيق في التفجير انتهى. طالبت سابقاً الجيش والأمن الداخلي والقضاء بإعلان نتيجته، ومن واجب الجهة المعنية الإعلان عن نتائج التحقيق”.

نصر الله: هناك قلق إسرائيلي وسعودي واضح حيال الملف النووي واليمن

إقليمياً، قال أمين عام حزب الله إن “تطورات كبيرة تحصل في المنطقة والعالم بعد رحيل الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب غير مأسوف عليه، ووصول إدارة أميركية جديدة، ولبنان جزء أساسي في المنطقة، وهو يتأثر بكل ما يجري فيها”.

وأضاف أن هناك “قلقاً إسرائيلياً وسعودياً واضحاً حيال الملف النووي الإيراني”.

وعن إعلان واشنطن وقف دعمها للحرب على اليمن، اعتبر السيد نصر الله أنها “خطوة إيجابية. وقد جاءت نتيجة صمود اليمنيين. الجيش اليمني واللجان الشعبية في موقع متقدم في كل الجبهات. أيضاً، نجد أن القلِق هو السعودي والإسرائيلي”.

وعن الملف السوري، قال: “حديث الأميركيين عن أن مهمتهم لم تعد تشمل حماية النفط في سوريا ترافق مع إعادة إحياء داعش”، مؤكداً أن “من هزم داعش سابقاً سيلحق الهزيمة به مجدداً، وأي عمل بمواجهته يجب أن يكون هجومياً لا دفاعياً”.

وحيال “صفقة القرن”، قال السيد نصر الله: “لا أحد يتحدث اليوم عن الصفقة التي يبدو أنها انتهت أو باتت في حالة تراجع وتلفظ أنفاسها، نتيجة صمود الشعب الفلسطيني والقيادات الفلسطينية ومحور المقاومة”.

وحول تطبيع الدول العربية مع الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، أكد أن “موقف الشعبين المصري والأردني نموذج واضح لرفض التطبيع، وهو ينسحب إلى باقي الشعوب. ثمة دول عربية وإسلامية، كالجزائر وتونس وباكستان وغيرها، ما زالت صامدة ومتمسكة برفضها للتطبيع”.

وأكد أن “أصحاب الأوهام، كحكام السودان، سيكتشفون أن التطبيع مع إسرائيل لن يحل مشاكلهم الاقتصادية”، لافتاً إلى أن “الإسرائيليين يعطون موضوع التطبيع أكثر من حجمه، والجيوش الإلكترونية لا تعبر عن مزاج الأمة والشعوب”. 

ولفت السيد نصر الله إلى أن “إسرائيل لم تلتزم يوماً بالقانون الدولي، ودمرت مدناً، وقتلت المدنيين في كل حروبها”، وأضاف: “أقول لرئيس الأركان الإسرائيلي إننا لا نبحث عن مواجهة وعن حرب، ولكن إن فرضتم حرباً فسنخوضها. وإذا ضربتم مدننا، فسنرد بالمثل. وإذا استهدفتم قرانا، فسنقصف مستعمراتكم. وفي أي حرب مقبلة، ستواجه الجبهة الداخلية الإسرائيلية ما لم تعرفه منذ قيام إسرائيل”، مشيراً إلى أن “لا أحد يضمن ألا تتدحرج “الأيام القتالية” إلى حرب واسعة”.

فيديوات ذات صلة

فيديوات ذات صلة

Facebook Hires NATO Press Officer Ben Nimmo as Intelligence Chief

By Alan Macleod

Source

Ben Nimmo

Ben Nimmo, a former NATO press officer and current senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, has announced Facebook has hired him to “lead global threat intelligence strategy against influence operations” and “emerging threats.” Nimmo specifically named Russia, Iran and China as potential dangers to the platform.

His announcement was greeted with joy by several NATO officials but was not met with such enthusiasm by others. “More censorship on the way as the former NATO press officer turned Pentagon-funded ‘researcher’ who labeled real people as Russian bots and peddled disinformation to link Jeremy Corbyn to Russian active measures moves to big tech,” responded investigative journalist Max Blumenthal.

Nimmo’s questionable past certainly raises questions over whether such an official having a substantial say in what 2.8 billion Facebook users worldwide see in their feeds is such a positive step for the free and open exchange of information.

“Disinformation agents”

For example, in 2019, U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn revealed secret Conservative Party documents showing negotiations the Tory government had with the U.S. over the privatization of the National Health Service (NHS). With just days to go before the U.K. general election, the scandal could have toppled the government and brought into power the most radical antiwar, anti-establishment government in the country’s history. Corporate media went into overdrive to spin the news, and Nimmo was a key part of this, immediately announcing, without evidence, that the documents “closely resemble…a known Russian operation.” His supposedly expert conjecture allowed the story to become “Corbyn’s links to Russia” rather than “Tories privatizing the NHS in secret.” Nimmo’s work helped the Conservatives to an election victory and consigned Corbyn to the scrapheap.

This was much to the relief of Nimmo’s Atlantic Council, who had branded Corbyn the “Kremlin’s Trojan Horse” — someone pushing Moscow’s agenda abroad. A British Army general was of a similar opinion, claiming that if Corbyn were to win the election, the military would respond. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said that the U.S. government was “doing its best” to prevent a radical leftist from winning power in the U.K.

Nimmo has been extremely liberal with whom he labels Russian disinformation agents. In 2018, his research identified one Twitter user, @Ian56789, as a “Kremlin troll.” In reality, the user, Ian Shilling, was a British pensioner, as Sky News was easily able to confirm, interviewing him on air and asking him the patently absurd question if he was actually a Russian bot or not. Despite clearly being a flesh and blood human, Shilling’s account was later deleted anyway.

In the past, Nimmo has also insisted that Ruslana Boshirova was an influential Russian bot. In reality, she is an internationally known concert pianist, as one Google search would have shown. This sort of behavior does not augur well for those critical of Western foreign policy, who have faced constant harassment, suspension, or outright bans from social media.

Pro-war putsch

The Atlantic Council began as an offshoot of NATO itself and maintains extremely close connections to the military alliance. It continues to receive major funding from Western governments and weapons contractors, and its board of directors is filled to the brim with senior American statespersons, such as Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Henry Kissinger. Also appearing on the board are no fewer than seven former CIA directors and a number of top military generals, such as Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis, Wesley Clark, and David Petraeus.

In recent years, the council’s employees have penetrated deep into big tech and social media organizations. In 2018, it announced it had partnered with Facebook to aid in the curation of Facebook news feeds of users worldwide, giving it considerable power over what sort of views to highlight and which to demote. One year previously, Jessica Ashooh left the position of the council’s Deputy Director of Middle Eastern Strategy to take the position of Director of Policy at Reddit, the eighth-most visited website in the United States. However, as with many intelligence agencies, it is unclear whether one truly “leaves” the Atlantic Council.

It is not just Russia that is in NATO’s crosshairs. Last week, the Atlantic Council published an anonymous, 26,000-word report stating that their goal for China was regime change and advising President Biden to draw a number of “red lines” around it, beyond which the U.S. would respond militarily. Meanwhile, the head of STRATCOM, Admiral Charles A. Richard, wrote that the U.S. must prepare for a potential nuclear war with Beijing.

Greater control

The military escalation has been mirrored by an intensifying online propaganda war, where the U.S. has attempted to isolate China economically and stop advancing Chinese technologies such as Huawei’s 5G network, mobile phone, and semiconductor manufacturer Xiaomi, and video sharing app TikTok. Nimmo has played his part in ramping up suspicions of nefarious Chinese activity online, claiming the existence of a wide-ranging pro-Beijing bot network encouraging Americans to believe that China has handled the COVID-19 pandemic far better than the United States. That Americans might have come to that conclusion on their own appears not to have been considered.

There is an enormous government effort to convince its population of the existence of (foreign) government efforts to manipulate their opinions online. In a massive case of projection, Western governmental organizations point the finger at their enemies, all the while securing greater access and control over the means of communication themselves, to the point where it is now difficult to distinguish where the deep state ends and the fourth estate begins. Nimmo’s move from NATO to NATO-aligned think tank to Facebook is just another example of this phenomenon. Perhaps the reason Nimmo is not looking for any Western influence operations online is that he is part of one.

Trump’s Opponents Succeeded With Their Government Coup (Ruslan Ostashko)

January 20, 2021

Translated and subtitled by Leo.

A successful coup was staged by opponents of Donald Trump in Washington on January 6. Of course, Joe Biden’s inauguration has not yet taken place, but at the moment the incumbent head of the United States looks broken and surrendered, and the Democratic Party is triumphant.

I greet you, our respectable subscribers of PolitRussia and once again congratulate you on the New Year 2021 and the Nativity of Christ. While we were calmly and peacefully celebrating these remarkable holidays, in the USA, there was a dramatic event for Donald Trump supporters. I was asked to speak out and and post daily by many subscribers on the geopolitical results of last year’s events. And so in December, I voiced an assumption that the head of the White House might try to keep the Democratic Party from taking power, by using extraordinary methods.

Right now, with the first 10 days of January passing, I have to admit that this option is not allowed to become reality, and the chance of it happening is close to 0%. The reason for this deplorable position for Trump is because of betrayal from the vice president’s side, Mike Pence and the further failed attempt to protest inside the Congress about the electoral votes going in favor of Biden. The move of protesting could have changed the outcome, but the misfortune with Trump is that this move was easy to foretell. And the Democrats cut short the session in Congress to arrange the so-called “capture of Capitol Hill by Trump supporters on January 6th.” The logical version of what happened in the capital of the USA was outlined by publicist Alexander Rogers.

Alexander Rogers: “While Trump supporters were peacefully rallying in front of the Capitol Hill, a group of unknown people, among which some of them were identified as BLM and Antifa activists, broke several windows in the back portion of the building, and got inside. Notice how they did it without firearms. Under the pretext that the building was under threat of seizure, the session in Congress gets interrupted exactly in the moment where Republicans protested the acceptance of the electoral votes from one of the disputed states – Arizona. It was very convenient for Democrats if they were worried that they would not be able to push the much needed decision.”

The so-called “seizure of Capitol Hill” was a staged provocation comparable to the Nazis igniting the Reichstag on fire, is evidenced by many facts, which came out after the events. For example, people who portrayed themselves as leaders of the Trump supporters, everyone turned out to be mummers or crisis actors and activists hired by Democrats operating under what’s called a ‘false flag’.

Aleksandr Aksenov (Telegram social media): “The [horned] shaman turned out to be actor Jake Angel, and was the so-called decoy ‘gatekeeper’ who was called upon to provoke the supporters of Trump. Here he is with Nancy Pelosi’s son-in-law, Michael Voss. It really does look like the Reichstag fire setup.”

Vatnik (Telegram): *Picture of two ‘Trump supporters’ who resemble two members of phillyantifa.org* “Listen, but were there any actual Trump supporters there? It turns out that the whole vanguard were made up of BLM-Antifa-Demo Leftists, from decoy ducks to goat provocateurs. And if there were any Republicans there, then they stupidly ran towards them.”

Real backers of Trump of course were there too, and they were shot at. Even to death, like [14 year] veteran of the US Air Force, 35 year old, Ashli Babbitt. Killed inside of the Capitol Hill building. But first of all, they were allowed inside the regime’s building without any resistance by the police.

*Video plays* – 3:35

Alexander Rogers: “The video where it’s seen that police are themselves allowing the protesters to get inside the Capitol. The tactic is simple: Dress Antifa members up as Trump supporters and disrupt the presentation of evidence [of election fraud] in Congress. Now Trump is the enemy, and they are working on various options of how to get him out of the way, deprive him of power and attempts to get a second term. Too easy and too suspicious. The leftovers of democracy in the USA are over.”

*Video ends* – 3:59

All of this was arranged for the sake of creating a media image meant to intimidate Republican congressmen. And the maneuver succeeded.

Alexander Rogers: “’Terrorists’ and ‘insurrectionists’ (such a friendly manner in which the democratic medias have called them) are given 30 minutes to fool around and make funny photos with Nancy Pelosi’s stand from the congressional hall. Seriously, tens of unarmed idiots, which didn’t do anything, besides taking pictures in the seat of the congressional speaker, were labelled as a universal evil, terrorists and ‘threats to democracy.’ And all of the media, all the journalists and a bunch of officials and congressmen with the most pompous looking faces are calling them a ‘scary threat to our way of life and our values.’ After which, calmly without a fight or gunshots or even an intervention by Bruce Willis and Gerard Butler, these horrible terrorists are removed from the building. On the sly, Pence bypassed the president and made a decision to deploy the National Guard to the capital. What is it called? Right, a governmental overthrow. Or in English, a coup. Oh yeah, Trump’s Twitter was blocked for 12 hours, and his address to the protesters to peacefully disperse was deleted by Facebook. This is exactly how a coup happens.”

The head of the USA trivially had his mouth shut, and couldn’t do anything at all since he was in the information space that is fully controlled by Democratic Party. And his opponents frolicked through all of it. Here we have someone’s ears stick out for half a meter. The main Maidanite [supporter of color revolutions] on the planet, Henri Lévy, quickly dumped the method he typically uses.

Bernard-Henri Lévy - Agent of Israel | The photo dossier - Radio Islam

Bernard-Henri Lévy: “Terrible image of vandals in hunting hats assaulting the seats of Jefferson and Roosevelt at the Capitol. Thousands of women and men gave their lives for this Republic. Millions dreamt of it. And billions watch it besieged by grotesque fascists.”

Vatnik (Telegram): “The great argument of calling you Hitler: ‘What point is there to talk to you if you’re like Hitler.’ Oh God, oh God. And a lying discourse to go with it: ‘Either you’re fully for democracy in our way, or you’re a fascist!’ Arguments at full length.”

For that reason they needed the hired clowns and the depicted caricature rednecks. But a serious man and woman during that time were sharpening their political steel, not walking away from the high tribune.

Alexander Rogers: “Here, Pence and Pelosi show up and declare that the meeting will be continued. A portion of the Republicans are demoralized, they declare that they no longer support the demand of a serious investigation in falsification of the election. Which the conspirators had wanted to hear. Looking at the objections of the rest of the states is removed from the agenda. Very convenient, what else is needed? The congressional meeting continues, and the duty clowns read text from already prepared papers about condemning the ‘horrible terrorists’, they intensely imitate a hearing (even though everybody says the same thing.) After which, the Capitol Hill Police outside is given an order to disperse the crowd by using tear gas and special equipment. The extras are no longer needed, the picture of ‘terrorists’ has already been drawn.”

Trump clearly was not prepared for such a vile provocation, it became a blow under his hook. But the opponents didn’t let them come to their senses and quickly unloaded their flywheel of repression. Trump was banned from everywhere [with social platforms] he possibly could. (Image shows he got banned from Facebook, Twitter, Google, Spotify, Snapchat, Instagram, Shopify, Reddit, Twitch, YouTube, Tik Tok and Pinterest.) His supporters that participated in the rally started to get pressed. Including those who just attended, but didn’t follow the provocateurs to Capitol Hill. The hidden hand of the market presses them. For those who did follow them, the democratic American media went after those people.

Maria Butina (Previous victim of US foreign agent claims and smear campaign. Her Telegram account): “Washington DC police published a list on January 7 of 736 people being indicted in connection to the protests and the infiltration of the Capitol. Citizens are accused of organizing a riot and a call for disorder, violence towards police officers, non-observance of curfew, violation of police fencing lines, penetration into private territory, possession of unregistered firearms, threats of violence, damage to property, robbery or attempted robbery, obscene acts, urination or bowel movements in a public place, threats of kidnapping, infliction of harm to the person and many other things.”

Sanctions under these articles are up to 10 years of imprisonment. And you don’t need to be a genius to understand that the detained Trump supporters will be condemned to their maximum sentences to scare the rest.

Chinese Threat (Telegram): “If the United States saw what the United States is doing inside the United States, the United States would have invaded the United States to liberate the United States from the tyranny of the United States.”

I congratulate all the storytellers who for decades sang to us about how fertile the state system of the USA is. It’s only a shame that these storytellers mostly live not in the creepy progressive United States, but rather in our lovable Russia. Where the provocateurs like Navalny for years are advocating for a violent change in state structures, yet walk free. Maybe it’s time for our so-called horrible totalitarian regime to take an example from the Democratic Party and tighten the screws? What do you think? Well at least for now, the information agents of foreign influence have not tried to attempt a coup here.

Social Media Giants Ban Trump, but the Real Censorship is of Palestinians

Facebook censorship

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

“Israel is using this for its political aim to silence Palestinians. They’re using hate speech as a political tool.” —  Alison Ramer, 7amleh 

In the wake of the Capitol Hill insurrection, Facebook and Twitter finally took a principled stand against President Donald Trump by suspending his accounts. While Trump lashed out at the tech giants, media analysts condoned the move—noting stronger moderation of his and other inflammatory posts are long overdue.

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media behemoths have faced criticism over the years for allowing misinformation and dangerous incitement to run rampant on their platforms. Yet while these companies seem to fail at controlling right-wing propaganda, they’ve had no problem suppressing content on Palestine.

Palestinian Facebook pages see 50% drop in reach

According to Palestinian non-governmental organization Sada Social Center, Palestinian Facebook pages saw their content’s reach dip by more than 50%, and in some cases, by more than 80%. Sada Social attributes the steep decline to coverage of Arab countries’ normalization agreements with Israel.

“Most of the pages that brought complaints to us are followed by millions of users through Facebook,” Sada Social wrote in their report. “These pages actively participated in covering the issue of Arab normalization with the Israeli occupation recently.”

The Global Campaign to Return to Palestine and Muslim Scholars were just two of the numerous Facebook pages to have their content blocked or restricted in the last month.

When pressed for an explanation about the recent removals, a Facebook company spokesperson told MintPress News:

We do our utmost to ensure that only content in violation of our Community Standards is removed. Where mistakes are made, due to human or technical error, the content is restored. The Global Campaign for Return to Palestine page was unfortunately removed due to an error – it has now been restored. We were not trying to limit anyone’s ability to post or express themselves.”

In response to the increasing censorship, The Palestinian Content Protection Initiative—a group of media outlets, activists, and journalists working to defend Palestinian content online—called for a two-hour boycott of Facebook on Jan. 9.

“The administrations of social media websites have been pursuing, targeting, and restricting the publishing and access of Palestinian pages and accounts, and in full coordination with the Israeli occupation government,” the Initiative said in a statement. “As a result, Palestinian media have been restricted, and were unable to convey their national message.”

Facebook working with Israel to suppress content

Facebook’s targeting of Palestinian content isn’t new. The social media titan has a long history of working with Israeli authorities to remove Palestinian information.

Under the guise of hate speech, Facebook cracks down on content often related to certain keywords such as “Hamas” or “Zionism,” Alison Ramer, International Relations Manager at 7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, explained.

“A lot of times this is done through artificial intelligence, which the companies are really being pushed to use under increasing pressure from governments and the public to respond to hate speech,” Ramer said.

But it’s not just automatic processes that are determining what’s permitted on social media. According to a 2020 7amleh report, the Israeli government has orchestrated a systematic campaign through Facebook to ensure content related to the Palestinian cause is removed.

“The Israeli Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked stated that ‘Facebook, Google, and YouTube are complying with up to 95% of Israel’s requests to delete content that the Israeli government says incites Palestinian violence.’ This shows a significant focus on Palestinian content and efforts to label Palestinian political speech as incitement to violence,” 7amleh wrote.   

These requests are done through the Ministry of Justice’s Cyber Unit, which was established in 2015. Even Facebook’s own personnel appear to be in bed with Israel. Currently, Emi Palmor, Israel’s former Justice Ministry director-general, sits on Facebook and Instagram’s Oversight Board — a committee responsible for content moderation.

Additionally, governmental and non-governmental organizations are urging citizens to report Palestinian content. “Several of these organizations — dubbed “GONGOs” (government-operated NGOs) — are working to conflate criticism of Israel and anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and hate speech and have designed strategies to manipulate social media algorithms with the support of online trolls,” 7amleh wrote.

These efforts not only remove Palestinian content but elevate smear campaigns against Palestinians. As Facebook works diligently to remove white supremacist content, Ramer acknowledged that it leaves hate speech directed toward Palestinians on its site.

“7amleh has documented hate speech directed toward Palestinians in Hebrew, which we have seen left online for many years, while legitimate political speech critical of Israel is being flagged as hate speech and censored,” Ramer said. “We know that the Israeli government and government-supporting NGOs are pushing for tech companies to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, which is leading to increasing censorship of Palestinians and human rights defenders.”

According to Ramer, pressure from the Israeli Lobby is the motivating factor in restricting Palestinian content.  

“There’s pressure on Facebook to expand the definition of anti-Semitism, and we know that the intention of this is to censor those critical of Israel, Palestinians and human rights supporters. And this, obviously, can have a large impact on the development of many other tech companies’ policies,” Ramer said.

Not just Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media platform for Palestinians, but it’s not the only one restricting their content.

TikTok recently removed the account belonging to Palestinian news organization, Quds News Network (QNN). The account manager, Hamzah al-Shobaki, said it was deleted after sharing 1,200 posts about Arab countries’ normalization with Israel. TikTok has since reinstated the account, claiming a violation error led to the account’s removal.

This isn’t QNN’s first experience with social media censorship, however. In 2019, the news outlet had four of its Twitter accounts deactivated without warning. QNN editors also had their personal Facebook accounts suspended in 2016, reportedly by mistake. Other Palestinian media sources have also had their Twitter and Facebook accounts removed over the years.

YouTube has been accused of violating Palestinian digital rights as well. Research from 7amleh details that the video-sharing platform uses hyper-surveillance tactics referred to as “locative discrimination” to monitor content coming from Palestine.

According to their findings, Palestinian YouTube user Ahmad conducted an online experiment to see if the removal of his content was due to his location:

“I sent the same video which has been deleted from my YouTube account to my friend’s YouTube account in Europe…and YouTube was fine with the video being published from a European country.”

“This simple test showed that content that’s being uploaded in the Palestinian Territories is being treated differently than the content uploaded by Western countries,” 7amleh’s Ramer said. “These policies are discriminatory and overly surveying and censoring Palestinians.”

Ramer emphasized that tech companies should not be the decision-makers regarding freedom of expression. Yet because they control these communication channels, they are ultimately tasked with monitoring what is shared—and Israel is taking full advantage of that.

“Israel is using this for its political aim to silence Palestinians. They’re using hate speech as a political tool,” Ramer said, clarifying that what’s happening not only blacks out Palestinian issues but the global conversation on human rights as a whole.

“This won’t just silence Palestinians, but it’ll silence human rights defenders, and it will show other governments how to use hate speech to silence and censor people.”

Birth of the Digital Oligarchy: The Trump Ban and the Social Media Ruse

Birth of the Digital Oligarchy: The Trump Ban and the Social Media Ruse

By Raul Diego

Source

The events at Capitol Hill provided the perfect excuse for Twitter and other social media companies to advance the agenda of their benefactors in the permanent government of the United States

On January 6, as the events unfolding at the U.S. Capitol were discussed on Twitter, the barrage of opinions predictably accumulated on one side of the political spectrum. Outrage over what mainstream pundits characterized as the desecration of the symbols of democracy and similar bleeding heart liberal rhetoric was far more prevalent than the opposing camp’s tendency to side with the so-called “insurrectionists” or tweets in support of the made-for-social media putsch.

Evidence of straight forward collusion between elements of law enforcement and the Trump loyalists who stormed the Congressional building began to emerge throughout the evening, giving a measure of credence to the emerging narrative of a purported “coup” attempt by the sitting president. Simultaneously, members of Congress with large followings started calling for impeachment and other retaliatory measures against fellow members of Congress, who seemed to be implicated in the tawdry affair.

On January 6, as the events unfolding at the U.S. Capitol were discussed on Twitter, the barrage of opinions predictably accumulated on one side of the political spectrum. Outrage over what mainstream pundits characterized as the desecration of the symbols of democracy and similar bleeding heart liberal rhetoric was far more prevalent than the opposing camp’s tendency to side with the so-called “insurrectionists” or tweets in support of the made-for-social media putsch.

Evidence of straight forward collusion between elements of law enforcement and the Trump loyalists who stormed the Congressional building began to emerge throughout the evening, giving a measure of credence to the emerging narrative of a purported “coup” attempt by the sitting president. Simultaneously, members of Congress with large followings started calling for impeachment and other retaliatory measures against fellow members of Congress, who seemed to be implicated in the tawdry affair.

Predictably, conservative publications like Fox News decried the measures as a power grab by Big Tech and protestations came as far away from Europe, where German Chancellor, Angela Merkel – whose disdain for Donald Trump has never been a secret – called the decision to deplatform a head of state “problematic,” an opinion shared by France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Marie, who warned of a “digital oligarchy” usurping the powers of the state.

Missing in the salacious back-and-forth conversation between ideological factions and absent from the argument that they are private corporations, which have the legal authority to ban or deplatform anybody they wish, is the fact that Twitter, Facebook, and all the other major social media platforms are organs of the state to begin with, and that nothing they do falls outside of the ultimate designs of the powers they serve. 

Examples abound of how these platforms regularly engage in cyber reconnaissance missions for American and Atlanticist interests in violation of their own terms of service, such as when NATO commanders made use of coordinates provided by Twitter users in order to select missile strike targets in their war against Libya in 2011. 

Facebook’s recently created oversight board includes Emi Palmor, who was directly responsible for the removal of thousands of Palestinian posts from the social media giant during her tenure as Director of Israel’s Ministry of Justice. She, along with other individuals with clear sympathies to American interests, now sit on an official body tasked with emitting the last word on any disputes regarding issues of deplatforming on the global social network. 

Following you since 1972

In Yasha Levine’s seminal work, “Surveillance Valley,” the military origins of the Internet and the close relationship of social media companies to federal and local law enforcement are made patently clear. Since their creation, Twitter, Facebook, and other Silicon Valley behemoths have worked hand in hand with law enforcement agencies to augment their capacity for mass tracking and surveillance.

From facial recognition technologies to aggregated user post history, these platforms have been a crucial component in the development of the pervasive surveillance state we now live in. In the book’s prologue, Levine details the attempted creation of a citywide police surveillance hub in Oakland, California called the “Domain Awareness Center” (DAC), which drew intense opposition from the local citizenry and privacy advocates who were quick to undress city officials who were trying to hide the proposed center’s insidious links to the NSA, CIA and military contractors.

Among other capabilities, the control hub would be able to “plug in” social media feeds to track individuals or groups that posed any kind of threat to the establishment. While the DAC project was successfully defeated by an engaged public, similar initiatives were quickly implemented throughout law enforcement agencies across the country and continue to be perfected in order to not only track, but infiltrate political groups deemed problematic. 

From the early 1970s, when the Internet’s precursor ARPANET was used to spy on anti-war protestors, the vast machinery that constitutes our present-day technological ecosystem has not deviated from the original intentions of its creators and has reached a level of sophistication most of us can barely comprehend.

The seemingly innocuous ad-targeting algorithms that generate bespoke advertisements based on our surveilled lives via social media conceals a far more sinister architecture of control, which includes direct influence over people’s political opinions through micro-targeted messaging and even more insidious methods that are powerful enough to influence people’s actual behavior.

Amateur honeypots and the victory of the surveillance state 

One of the biggest misconceptions we have about social media is that platforms like Twitter and Facebook represent the voice of the people and that they are the new “public square” where anybody can get on and voice their opinion. While this perception holds some water on the surface, a closer examination reveals that – on the contrary – these platforms are simply propaganda tools brilliantly disguised as vox populi.

According to a Pew Research study from 2019, 80% of all tweets are created by just 10% of Twitter users. Most people who have an account on the ostensibly left-leaning social media platform rarely tweet at all. In addition, a majority of the content is created by accounts with very large followings and, in most cases, verified accounts that mainly represent established mainstream media personalities. 

Given that the politics espoused by this minuscule portion of the social network’s user base are amplified by the platform’s own algorithms, which have been shown to contain biases as all algorithms do, the perception that these platforms represent some kind of public opinion is revealed to be a very dangerous assumption.

A case in point is disturbingly reflected in a meme that ostensibly developed in yet another social media platform and rapidly spread on Twitter as a result of the incident on Capitol Hill. A tweet posted the day after on January 7 claimed that a woman in Washington D.C. was changing her profile preference on the Bumble dating app to “conservative” in order to entrap “insurrectionists” looking to hook up while visiting the nation’s capital by forwarding their photos to the FBI.

The tweet received hundreds of thousands of ‘likes’ and was retweeted thousands of times. The comments expressed overwhelming support for what amounts to an ostensibly spontaneous snitching operation by regular American citizens against other American citizens. In such a case, whether the meme itself is true has no bearing on the fact that Twitter, Facebook and any other platform where it was disseminated has the ultimate effect of normalizing and generating consent for the idea of self-monitoring and bringing the designs of the surveillance state full circle.

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