RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY FINALLY REACTED TO CENSORSHIP ON YOUTUBE AND FACEBOOK

South Front

Russian Foreign Ministry Finally Reacted To Censorship On YouTube And Facebook

On May 20, the Russian Foreign Ministry released an official statement on the censorship of four Russian-language media organizations – “Krim 24” (Crimea 24), “Anna News”, “News Front” and “Riafan” – on YouTube.

The YouTube channels of “Krim 24” (Crimea 24), “Anna News”, “News Front” were blocked on May 19, while the channel of “Riafan” was blocked on April 17.

““Krim 24” TV channel is one of the most popular sources of information on the peninsula. It is a part of Crimea’s largest media holding “Television and Radio Company “Krim” that unites  five television channels, three radio stations, an information portal and two Internet sites. The team of “Krim 24” TV channel traditionally covers the most relevant major news topics in this Russian region.

As a result of the deletion of the Krim 24 account on the Youtube platform, about 30 thousand subscribers lost access to videos that had tens of millions of views. The US platform has taken restrictive measures under the clearly far-fetched pretext of “violating hosting rules.”

The fact that Youtube did not provide any convincing facts explaining its actions, as well as the fact that the appeal of the channel’s team still remains unanswered, is unacceptable,” the foreign ministry said in its statement.

The foreign ministry emphasized that it considers “the actions of video hosting as another act of discrimination against Russian-language media resources by US-controlled Internet platforms that systematically resort to arbitrary censorship of content in Russian.”

The Russian side also recalled that in January 2019, Facebook deleted more than 500 pages related to Russia, including materials from the Sputnik news agency.

“These are just some examples of US Internet censorship of Russian information portals,” it said.

SouthFront cannot but express solidarity with the indignation of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Over the past years, SouthFront has repeatedly become a target of informational attacks, censorship and theft of content.

At the same time, SouthFront recalls that our YouTube channel with over 152,000 subscribers, 1,900 uploaded videos and approximately 60 million views was terminated on May 1.

SouthFront immediately made an appeal of this decision on YouTube and sent requests of informational support to various organizations. We also sent emails to the Russian Foreign Ministry and a number of Russian mainstream media organizations. SouthFront emails and requests were expectedly ignored.

Russian Foreign Ministry Finally Reacted To Censorship On YouTube And Facebook

The reason is simple. SouthFront has no relations with the Russian government system. Russian official bodies and mainstream media do have no influence on the editorial policy of SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence. Therefore, they have no motive to provide SouthFront with any kind of support or informational assistance. On top of this, SouthFront critically covers the situation and political tendencies in Russia and has never pushed propaganda in the interests of Russia or any state.

In any case, we are glad to see that Russian media organizations that were censored on YouTube and Facebook got support from Russian official bodies.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

After Youtube and Facebook, Vimeo bans ‘Sayed Hasan’ & Nasrallah’s videos

After Youtube and Facebook, Vimeo bans ‘Sayed Hasan’ & Nasrallah’s videos

May 16, 2020

Source

‘Sayed Hasan’ channel censored for the umpteenth time

The only sure way to follow my work is to subscribe to the Newsletter.

Please write to Vimeo (legal@vimeo.com) to protest this decision, putting me in bcc if possible (contact@lecridespeuples.fr).

On February 28, 2020, Vimeo arbitrarily deleted my channel ‘Sayed Hasan‘ which, since the deletion of my Youtube channel in December 2017 (followed by my Facebook pages in May 2019), published my French subtitled videos —extracts from speeches from Hassan Nasrallah, Ali Khamenei, Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, alternative anti-imperialist documentaries, Al-Mayadeen or Russian TV News Bulletins, etc. Thus, two years and two months of work, 400 videos posted and 600,000 views, which is not negligible in view of the fact that Vimeo is marginal vis-a-vis the giants Youtube or Facebook and their quasi-monopoly, went up in smoke.

This is not Vimeo’s first act of censorship. In June 2019, the Project Veritas account was banned following the publication of its exclusive investigation into Google’s ideological censorship, the first part of which I captioned.https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x7eegy3

And most recently, in April 2020, at the heart of the coronavirus pandemic, Vimeo censored a documentary denouncing the influence of lobbies on the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Vimeo platform, for which I had to pay an annual fee of 84$ to post my videos, therefore did not prove to be safer than Big Tech, on the contrary: while Youtube has a system of three warnings, largely biased anyway, Vimeo deleted everything without warning, simply informing me in these terms:

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The reason invoked was grotesque, as no part of the Vimeo Guidelines mentions such a prohibition. The only rules that applied were the —classic and legitimate— Copyright and Fair Use, so I protested to Vimeo on March 9, pointing this out:

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Vimeo’s response came the same day:

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The absurdity and the contradiction were obvious: on the one hand, it was no longer the Vimeo Guidelines that were invoked, but the Terms of Service (note Vimeo’s hypocritical apologies for this ‘confusion’), which don’t make any mention of content from TV or the internet. On the other hand, the original pretext of theft or plagiarism is completely disconnected from the only questions relevant in this regard, namely respect of Copyright and Fair Use, to which long sections of the Vimeo Guidelines are devoted. But Vimeo manages to affirm that even by respecting these rules, my content could not be published because it would not be a 100% original creation, which is absurd, discriminatory and would empty the sections devoted to Fair Use of any interest. I reacted in these terms on March 23:

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Vimeo refrained from answering for more than 2 weeks. It was only after Norman Finkelstein intervened on my behalf on April 6 that they deigned to answer him (the same day).

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Vimeo then responded to the second follow-up email that I sent right away, transcribed below with their April 8 response.

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I replied to this email empty of substance on April 8:

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Of course, launching a lawsuit would require resources that I do not have, unless a lawyer or a Civil Liberties association agrees to do them at little cost. I nevertheless ask all those who can to write to Vimeo (legal@vimeo.com), putting me in Bcc if possible (contact@lecridespeuples.fr) to protest against this decision, and share this article widely. It should be noted that at least one lawsuit is currently underway in the United States against Vimeo for freedom of expression issues, a pastor having had his account deleted for having mentioned his renunciation of homosexuality and his journey to God.

This is neither the first nor the last time that I have to start from scratch after years of hard work, when they were bearing fruit. Faced with incessant censorship, which will increase as we approach the inevitable Liberation of Palestine, the only sure way to follow Resistance News is to subscribe to the Newsletter, which is also an important act of support. Please do so and invite your friends to do it.

Finally, those who can are invited to make a donation to help this volunteer work.

My videos in English are accessible on Dailymotion and are safeguarded in the Unz Review.

Everything having been said in two previous articles (Kafka 2.0: how political censorship is exercised on Youtube & Freedom of expression, Hassan Nasrallah and other victims of censorship on the Internet), I will conclude again with Norman Finkelstein’s statement of support when my Facebook page was deleted:

“It is a scandal that the speeches of Hassan Nasrallah are banned on Youtube. Whatever one thinks of his politics, it cannot be doubted that Nasrallah is among the shrewdest and most serious political observers in the world today. Israeli leaders carefully scrutinize Nasrallah’s every word. Why are the rest of us denied this right? One cannot help but wonder whether Nasrallah’s speeches are censored because he doesn’t fit the stereotype of the degenerate, ignorant, blowhard Arab leader. It appears that Western social media aren’t yet ready for an Arab leader of dignified mind and person.”

The online intifada to which Hassan Nasrallah called continued. As he keeps saying since May 25, 2000, the time for victories has come, and the time for defeats is well and truly over: this is why his word is mercilessly hunted down —ironically, on Youtube, the Israeli channel i24 News is the main source still available for his speeches, all the others having been suppressed: the Zionists will even try to make a buck out of the rope to hang them! Repeated censorship is an eloquent sign of the importance of this work, and, far from discouraging me, it will only motivate me more.

An ominous prediction, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic and its huge toll on the United States

Sayed Hasan

Donate as little as you can to support this work and subscribe to the Newsletter to get around censorship.

“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

YOUTUBE RESTORED SOUTHFRONT’S TEMPORARILY CHANNEL BLOCKED ON SATURDAY

South Front

YouTube Restored SouthFront's Temporarily Channel Blocked On Saturday

On May 18, YouTube restored our temporary channel blocked two days ago – on May 16. This was done in respnose to our appeal sent on May 16. (The active link to our temporary channel is here)

The text of the appeal: This channel was created with an informational purpose only and does not violate any YouTube’s Community Guidelines. Every video was carefully inspected by me personally. Today neutral, objective information often causes very false flagging by different political or personal reasons. I ask you to make a detailed investigation of this case and restore my channel.

The answer of YouTube: Hi there,

After a review of your account, we have confirmed that your YouTube account is not in violation of our Terms of Service. As such, we have unsuspended your account. This means your account is once again active and operational.

Sincerely,

The YouTube Team

It seems that objective members of YouTube Team reviewed SouthFront videos and took over responsibility for the decision to restore SouthFront’s temporary channel. There is no doubt that YouTube Team consists of people with various ideology and points of view. At the same time, professionalism and impartiality should be on the first place. The members of YouTube Team that decided to restore the channel demonstrated their commitment to these principles.

The decision to restore SouthFront’s temporary channel demonstrated that our videos do not violate YouTube’s policies and Terms of Service. Therefore, there was no objective reason to terminate our main channel with  over 152,000 subscribers, 1,900 uploaded videos and approximately 60 million views on May 1. (LINK TO MAIN CHANNEL)

We appealed the decision to terminate our main channel “South Front” on the same day (May 1), but have received no official decision on this situation from YouTube so far. SouthFront, with a great interest, is waiting a reaction of those who decided to terminate our channel and YouTube lawyers to this case.

DEAR FRIENDS,

We want to say a “Big Thank You” for your informational support, the assistance in sharing information about the censorship of SouthFront and helping to share SouhFront content with a wider audience. Even this small victory and the restoration of our temporary channel became possible only thanks to your help and your active public position.

Once again, Big Thank You All! SouthFront is proud to have such readers and subscribers.

SouthFront operates thanks to lots of volunteer work and the audience’s donations. Now your support are especially important to keep SouthFront alive:

FACEBOOK REMOVES NEWS OUTLETS IN LATEST ORWELLIAN PURGE

Source

12.05.2020 

Facebook Removes News Outlets in Latest Orwellian Purge

Written by Dave DeCamp; Originally appeared on AntiWar.com

Over the past three years, Facebook has been removing accounts for participating in what they call “coordinated inauthentic behavior” (CIB). According to Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, the Orwellian term refers to when “groups of pages or people work together to mislead others about who they are or what they’re doing.” Facebook takes down accounts for CIB due to “deceptive behavior” not for sharing false information. In the latest purge, Facebook removed accounts from two news outlets, SouthFront and News Front.

The two outlets have no affiliation; the only thing they share besides the word “Front” in their names is content that does not toe the Western mainstream media line. In its effort to remove CIB and limit “disinformation,” Facebook partners with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab (DFRLab). The Atlantic Council is a Washington-based think-tank that receives funding from Western and Gulf State governments, defense contractors, and social media outlets. Some of its top contributors for the 2018 fiscal year include the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Embassy of the UAE to the US, the US State Department, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon.

Facebook started releasing monthly CIB reports in March that detail the networks and accounts they take down. On May 5th, Facebook released its CIB report for April 2020. The report says Facebook removed eight networks of accounts, pages, and groups engaging in CIB. SouthFront and News Front are included in the first network covered in the report. “We removed 46 Pages, 91 Facebook accounts, 2 Groups, and 1 Instagram account for violating our policy against foreign interference which is coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign entity,” the report reads.

Facebook claims they linked this activity to “individuals in Russia and Donbass, and two media organizations in Crimea – NewsFront and SouthFront.” In a response to the reportSouthFront says the claim that they are based in Crimea is a “blatant lie” that they are willing to “defend in court.” SouthFront says the organization is made up of “an international team of independent authors and experts,” some of whom are from Russia and post-USSR states. News Front, on the other hand, is based in Crimea, but the organization does not try to hide its pro-Russia bias.

In a press release, the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab announced Facebook’s removal of the two organizations. The DFRLab refers to News Front and SouthFront as “two Crimea-based media organizations with ties to the FSB.” The FSB is a Russian security and intelligence agency, a successor to the Soviet Union’s KGB. In its independent analysis of the two outlets, the DFRLab offers little evidence to back up the claim of FSB ties. The analysis only uses a 2017 story from the German outlet Zeit, where a former News Front staffer claims the organization receives funding from the FSB. The DFRLab offers no evidence to link the FSB with SouthFront.

The DFRLab does not make a strong case for Facebook’s removal of the news outlets. The press release says, “While the DFRLab could not corroborate Facebook’s finding of CIB, it also found no evidence to contradict it.”

But using Facebook’s definition of CIB, the DFRLab’s analysis of the two outlets does seem to contradict Facebook’s findings. The pages and users analyzed do not seem to be misleading others or hiding who they are. “Most of the assets that DFRLab had access to did not hide their connection to South Front or News Front. Many of the pages wore their connections on their sleeves, naming themselves as different language versions of the websites,” the analysis reads. News Front is an international news organization with websites in English, Russian, German, Spanish, French, and Georgian and had Facebook pages to reflect that.

The analysis finds what they call “suspicious links” between News Front and ANNA News, another pro-Russia news outlet. But those “suspicious links” are just two former ANNA News anchors who now work for News Front. Facebook removed pages dedicated to the two anchors.

The analysis goes on to address the only connection between SouthFront and News Front, and probably, the real reason why they were removed from Facebook. Both outlets share stories that go against the Western narrative. The example the analysis seems to take the greatest issue with is stories that take into account Russia’s denial in the role in the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine in 2014. The analysis also points out that News Front accounts shared news stories from Russian-state funded media outlets like RT and Sputnik.

Ultimately, the DFRLab does not provide any information linking SouthFront or News Front’s social media activity to the Russian government and does not give examples of the accounts intentionally hiding their identity. The best they can do is mention some connections to the Russian government the founders of News Front have, but it is nothing they are trying to hide.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused an increase in internet censorship. YouTube’s CEO recently said they would remove any videos that go against the World Health Organization’s guidelines for the virus. On top of the Facebook ban, SouthFront’s YouTube channel has also been removed without any explanation. Although most of SouthFront’s content is military analysis, some stories they published on Covid-19 were flagged as “disinformation” by a ministry of the European UnionSouthFront published a detailed response to those accusations, pointing out that only three of the 3,000 stories they published this year were found to be “disinformation” by what they call “pro-NATO propagandists.”

SouthFront posted a video asking their readers for support in the wake of the social media bans. For independent news outlets, reach on social media is vital for their survival. SouthFront’s Facebook page had around 100,000 subscribers, and the YouTube channel had about 170,000. SouthFront publishes multiple news stories each day, mostly following updates on wars in the Middle East. One of the website’s best resources is its frequently updated maps.

Other networks removed by Facebook in April include accounts in Iran, Georgia, Mauritania, the US, and Myanmar. Facebook claims they took down a network of accounts connected to Iran’s state broadcasting company, although they provide no evidence to support the claim. Content credited to this network includes a post promoting former presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul from 2012. Another example from 2014 is just a news story about Israeli forces preventing Palestinians from praying in al-Aqsa Mosque.

Facebook and its Western government-backed partners will continue to remove accounts each month for engaging in CIB. It will be hard to know if the connections they make to the accounts are genuine. But if the sloppy work they did on SouthFront and News Front is any indication, claims from Facebook and the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab should always be met with skepticism.

Dave DeCamp is assistant editor at Antiwar.com and a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn NY, focusing on US foreign policy and wars. He is on Twitter at @decampdave.

AN IN-DEPTH LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES OF SOUTHFRONT CENSORSHIP

An In-Depth Look Behind the Scenes Of SouthFront Censorship

The situation surrounding the censorship of Southfront on Facebook has turned into a display of the stereotypical Big-tech super villain. Facebook has published a report justifying its actions, which is an egregious, textbook example of fake news. The report contains only disjointed accusations under the cover of meaningless words, and without a single example being presented. Special attention should be paid to the fact that in the full 29-page report, there are no mentions of SouthFront itself, besides the baseless accusations at its outset.

Furthermore, in order to label SouthFront as allegedly official Russian propaganda, Facebook first identifies another media site with a similar name, and then proceeds to emphasize the similarity of the brands. The name of this organization is “News Front”, which indeed shares the word “Front” in its name, yet the similarities end there. News Front is an official Russian organization that is located in Crimea and publicly pursues an acute pro-Russian patriotic informational agenda for a Russian speaking audience.

In the case of News Front, to assert that the site is engaged in pushing fake news or disinformation is also nonsense. There are no hidden “trolls” infecting the weak minds of the citizens of Russia or other countries of the post-Soviet space through devious attempts to manipulate and mold their innermost perception. This is a regular Russian patriotic media site with a declared pro-Russian bias. Having a declared and obvious bias is not a crime in a democratic world.

As for the wider, global, non-Russian-speaking audience, News Front has a minimal presence. So why it was necessary to censor this Russian organization? The answer is now obvious, as described above.

The comparison of the audience of southfront.org and news-front.info by Alexa:

An In-Depth Look Behind the Scenes Of SouthFront Censorship

The comparison of the audience of southfront.org and news-front.info by SimilarWeb:

An In-Depth Look Behind the Scenes Of SouthFront Censorship

The catalyst that led to these actions concern mass complaints made by propaganda units created and funded by NATO, the EU and other Euro-Atlantic organizations. A majority of these propaganda units, like Euvsdisinfo, StopFake, or the Atlantic Council, have offices and representatives in Ukraine and Baltic states. They operate with the designated goal of utilizing both formal and informal tools to undermine the work of independent and non-mainstream media. To achieve their goals, the pro-NATO propagandists often exploit the so-called ‘Russian threat’ concept; however, this merely provides a cover for their aggressive actions to silence and discredit opposing opinions and sources of information they deem to be counter to their own interests.

The reason behind their activity is simple – they must justify their existence in reports to their sponsors. They are constantly and fiercely working to engineer ‘successful actions’ regardless of their validity. In order to continue securing funding to expose and defeat an imaginary enemy, they must create imaginary victories, irrespective of reality.

EXAMPLE 1:

An In-Depth Look Behind the Scenes Of SouthFront Censorship

The real title of the article is “COVID-19 – THE FIGHT FOR A CURE: ONE GIGANTIC WESTERN PHARMA RIP-OFF” (source)

This article is written by Peter Koenig and submitted via Global Research. Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization in many parts of the world, including in Palestine, in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; Greenville Post; Defend Democracy Press, TeleSUR; The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of “Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed”, a fictional work based on historical fact and over 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (Global Research). Global Research itself is run by a group of authors that have advanced academic degrees from respected academic institutions and teach in universities of the United State and Canada.

So, what kind of ‘fake news’ or ‘disinformation’ did Mr. Koenig push in the article? The article provides a critical look at and addresses the concerns regarding the goals of the global pharmaceutical industry, otherwise known as Big Pharma, in the larger context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Are these global corporations not commercial entities that seek to gain larger revenues and increased profits? Yes, clearly so. So, what is wrong with this logic? Furthermore, Mr. Koenig wrote his article based on official statistics and sources.

For example:

“The vaccine that might eventually be applied to COVID-19, may most likely no longer be valid for the next coronavirus outbreak – which, also according to Mr. Redfield, CDC, will most probably occur. A later virus may most certainly have mutated. It’s quite similar to the common flu virus. In fact, the annually reoccurring common flu virus contains a proportion of 10% to 15% (sometimes more) of coronaviruses.”

This is an obvious scientific fact – a specific vaccine acts against a particular strain of virus. Complex vaccines act against several strains, but the accumulated modern scientific knowledge has yet to invent a vaccine that can act against all the possible strains. The converse statement is a falsehood and is aimed at misleading the public.

A biased critic may label as conspiracy the author’s point of view towards the aggressive advertising of vaccines or the need for electronic IDs; however, this very same point of view has been voiced by various politicians or representatives of big business. Even the term ‘New World Order’ which appears twice in the subject text, was itself widely used by the mainstream political establishment, and even presidents of the United States like George H. W. Bush.

However, this did not stop paid propagandists from labeling the article the work of a conspiracy theorist and thus labelling it as disinformation. One could claim that the author asserted a notion of conspiracy, but there was zero disinformation, as the author’s hypothesis was based on scientist fact and common knowledge.

EXAMPLE 3:

An In-Depth Look Behind the Scenes Of SouthFront Censorship

The real title of the article is “WESTERN MEDIA TALKS UP BIG PHARMA’S SEARCH FOR CORONAVIRUS VACCINE WHILE IGNORING USE OF HIGH DOES VITAMIN C TO SAVE LIVES IN CHINA” (source)

This article is written by a well-known international author, Dr. Leon Tressell. The main assertion of the article is that high dose vitamin C therapy apparently helps to deal with acute respiratory disease and viral pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2. The article clearly shows that the methods of treating the symptoms caused by SARS-CoV-2 share some commonality with the actions taken to treat the symptoms of respiratory disease and viral pneumonia caused by other viruses. There is no correlation between the effectiveness of a particular drug or method of treatment and its monetary cost. This fact is also universally recognized in the scientific community.

Mr. Tressell writes:

  • Clinical trials using high dose vitamin C therapy in China ignored by Western media
  • New York hospitals now using vitamin C therapy to treat coronavirus patients

Are these false statements? No. These points are demonstrably true.

Indeed, the author states that the “mainstream media, and the scientific and political establishments are completely under the spell of big pharma”; however, in the same article he explains this point of view in detail. This remark is based on his personal point of view (protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution) as well as those of scientists quoted in the text. For example:

Dr. Andrew W. Saul, Editor in chief of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service

Dr. Richard Cheng, an American-Chinese doctor currently based in Shanghai

Dr. Andrew G. Weber, a pulmonologist and critical-care specialist affiliated with two Northwell Health facilities on Long Island

Thus, there is no reason to say that Tressell distributes fake news. In the worst case, the author writes about a valid hypothesis and only once does he make a personal judgment regarding the motives and aims of big pharma. Is this false news or disinformation? Of course it is not. Is some conspiracy theory present here? If one claims “yes”, then that person will have to accept that most of the political establishment of the United States, which also uses the terms the New World Order and Big Pharma are also conspiracy theorists. Surely one statement of the article’s author pales in comparison to the thousands of statements of politicians and top businessmen espousing similar views. How popular does a dissenting view have to become before it is no longer considered a conspiracy theory?

EXAMPLE 3:

An In-Depth Look Behind the Scenes Of SouthFront Censorship

The real title of the article is “WHILE THE WORLD IS IN DISARRAY, COVID-19 IS BREAKING UP RUSSIA” (source)

The article was likely used by the Euvsdisinfo authors either out of a lack of humor, ignorance, or sheer stupidity. This article is a critical review of the political and administrative situation in Russia amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the first part of April 2020. The article provides a critical look at the actions of the Russian government (in particular the Moscow authorities) and points out that, while the COVID-19 pandemic presents a significant public health challenge, the threat of the pandemic may be estimated inaccurately, resulting in the government making poor decisions in dealing with it. The developments in Russia in the second half of 2020 confirmed this analysis. Meanwhile, the article itself regularly refers to scientific and state sources of data and criticizes political and administrative actions of the Russian government. It also looks critically at actions of Moscow mayor Sergey Sobaynin, which at the time went contrary to the Russian legislative system.

Euvsdisinfo labeled the article as conspiracy theory and disinformation. This decision raises some eyebrows. Does NATO really support the actions of the Moscow authorities? If this is the case, perhaps President Putin should consider taking a closer look at the mayor of the Russian capital. Another explanation is that nobody in Euvsdisinfo actually read the article. The aforementioned article regularly refers to publicly available facts and quotes numerous substantiated sources, while providing a critical point of view of the author towards the administrative and political situation in Russia.

The aforementioned articles are all that pro-NATO propaganda organizations have been able to highlight to accuse SouthFront of spreading disinformation. Three articles out of approximately 3,000 published since the start of the year. The attention of such propagandists to SouthFront comes amid the termination of our YouTube channels. These arbitrary and unjustified actions lead us to believe that there is almost no objectivity in the modern world. So, if somebody wants to claim that white is black, he will continue to do so as long as it serves the interests of his sponsors. Nonetheless, in the case of YouTube, the situation is even more surprising. SouthFront released no videos that could be labeled as ‘COVID-19 disinformation’ even theoretically. There were only 3 video infographics on the topic on our YouTube channel. They presented facts and data and did not even feature narration. SouthFront’s YouTube channel had zero active strikes to over 1,900 uploaded videos up until the point of termination.

In this situation, it will be especially interesting to witness how YouTube will react to the developing scandal.

WE CRITICALLY NEED YOUR INFORMATIONAL ASSISTANCE

Please, help us by sharing this message with the global audience. Also, please inform your family, friends, and your social circles about southfront.org as an independent platform covering crucial developments in the Middle East and around the world.

As always, but especially during this uncertain and economically challenging time, your donations are especially important in keeping SouthFront alive.

Why I No Longer Read Facebook

 BY GILAD ATZMON

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Source

by Eve Mykytyn

In an effort to stem the torrent of ‘false’ cures and conspiracy theories about COVID-19, Facebook announced it would begin informing users globally who have liked, commented on, or shared “harmful” misinformation about the coronavirus, that the content they reacted to was incorrect and  pointing them in the direction of what Facebook considers to be a  ‘reliable’ source. The reliable source?  The World Health Organization. Here’s the distinctly noninformative WHO Covid 19 website . 


I don’t know what caused Covid 19 to become our disease du jour. Was it a bat? A natural or laboratory mutation? Not only do I not know, but I don’t believe that Facebook, or the WHO know either. Why not let theories abound? Perhaps free speech means that we trust the people to evaluate the source and sort out the facts for themselves. 

The general rule in the US is that no publisher has an obligation to print any particular view: that rule dates from  when ‘publisher’ meant print and print was inexpensive. The founders intentionally strove to open a ‘marketplace of ideas,’ a ‘public square’ with pamphleteers and speeches. Published content was restricted only  by the threat of litigation over libel or defamation which requires publishing material known (or should have known) to be false.

Exceptions to the general rule came about when publishing was through a limited medium regulated by the government. When television stations were a limited resource obtained through government licensing of the  few channels, the government imposed  free speech requirements including an equal time rule, requiring television stations to present both sides of an issue. The rule was dropped, considered unnecessary only when television began to offer a plethora of stations.

So now we get to Facebook( youtube, twitter, etc.). Which is it most like, television or freely available printing?

For many years, including the time that these major platforms became monopolies, the internet depended on cable service which due to the physical nature of cable was a limited resource for which the government issued licenses to certain cable companies. In 1965 , the FCC established rules for cable systems and the Supreme Court affirmed the FCC’s jurisdiction over cable. I believe that  Facebook is also subject to regulation as a monopoly as the government has authority to interfere with monopolies, particularly when they are successful (which is, admittedly another issue) ask AT&T. 

But Facebook wants it both ways.  They don’t admit liability for defamatory statements published on their site. They argue that they behave simply as a platform, a means of transmission. But they also reserve the right to censor content by restricting or deleting material they deem incorrect. So which is it? If they have the power to censor what we see why shouldn’t they be liable for the content?

This censoring of free speech applies broadly. Google favors some content over others in its search engine, Youtube has been on a tear not only deleting videos but replacing videos with others that express an alternative view.   See where they plan to ban holocaust  ‘denial’ (revisionist in any way)  videos and offer wikipedia instead.  Further they intend to offer the banned videos to researchers and NGOs “looking to understand hate in order to combat it,” thereby providing content only to a restricted class of their own choosing.  Twitter inserts a page when a ‘controversial’ link is clicked warning the user that the link has been identified as  malware although Twitter admits that malware warnings are posted based on content. 

What is it that compels these platforms to come down on both sides of the free speech issue?  After all, by editing content Facebook becomes more like a  publisher and less like a mere  platform. Facebook does so because it regularly gets brought before Congress to explain free speech congress doesn’t like. Facebook also defers to European countries that regulate speech.

Facebook argues that internet companies aren’t governments and they can restrict what they like. That’s why they don’t follow the First Amendment and instead enforce more restrictive rules in response to criticism of their content.  See, for ex., The New Yorker on the ‘free speech excuse.’  

I believe that major platforms have become the public square. Yet we allow Facebook to restrict our speech and they do so effectively. As owners of the public square they are uniquely positioned to and do silence  dissenters. Platforms take down posts that don’t fit their ‘standards, and they do so swiftly. Perhaps before we allow Facebook to be the arbitrator of free speech, we should rethink the present day meaning of a marketplace of ideas.

AngloZionist controlled media bans SouthFront

The Saker

AngloZionist controlled media bans SouthFront

Dear friends,

Here is the email I got in my inbox today:
——-

Dear friend,

Once again, SouthFront faced an unprecedented censorship.

On April 30, our Facebook page with about 100,000 subscribers was deleted without any notifications or an option to appeal the decision:

On May 1, YouTube terminated SouthFront’s channels with approximately 170,000 subscribers. The main YouTube channel in English had over 152,000 subscribers, 1,900 uploaded videos and about 60,000,000 views.

This happened despite the fact that our YouTube channels had zero active strikes. We cover conflicts in the Middle East. This is a sensitive topic. Therefore, we strictly follow YouTube’s Community Guidelines and comply with the Terms of Service. There was no so-called “coronavirus conspiracy” content on our YouTube channels.

SouthFront’s YouTube channels were terminated without any warning. All that we got was a single automated email regarding the termination ofour inactive channel in Farsi “SouthFront Farsi” that included several translations of our war reports. However, even this email provides no details regarding the decision and just claims that “SouthFront Farsi” violated YouTube’s Terms of Service without any elaboration.

For over 5 years of our work, SouthFront repeatedly faced attempts to censor our coverage, analysis and videos. However, the current blatant and illegal ban of our activity is an unprecedented case.

The explanation may be that US authorities ordered YouTube and Facebook to cleanse the media sphere of sources of objective coverage and analysis on the Middle East region as a part of the ongoing preparations for a war with Iran.

We think that the current situation deserves attention of the international public, including the journalistic community beyond individual ambitions of separate media organizations and journalists.

We ask you to cover this situation and, if you have an opportunity, to provide us with informational or juridical help.

Sincerely yours,
SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence

——-

What can I say?

First, the fact that the AngloZionist controlled media wants to silence SouthFront is a sign of how effective SouthFront’s work has been.  They can wear that as a badge of honor.

Second, I don’t believe that there is anything that should/could be done.  The First Amendment only applies to situation in which the state silences somebody, not when corporations do it.

Third, I strongly believe that we all (those in overt resistance to the Empire) should never become dependent on the good-will or decency of AngloZionist controlled media/hosting outlets.  Expect no decency or mercy from these people, they are servants of Satan, quite literally!

Please try to help SouthFront either financially or by lending them a helping hand.  These are good people, doing an important job and, unlike so many others, they have always repaid us with their faithful support and friendship.

By helping SouthFront you help all of us, including the entire Saker Community!

Please do the right thing.

Kind regards

The Saker

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