The Web censors emerge in force
By Wayne Madsen Report
Facebook, which was partly seeded in funds from the Central Intelligence Agency's IN-Q-TEL venture capital firm as a method to collect personal information, has announced it is partnering with several "independent" fact checkers to combat the dissemination of "fake news" from the Internet on social media. This is a major step by the government, in concert with the information technology industry, in censoring information on the Web itself.
Facebook's partners in identifying "fake news" with a goal of identifying it as such and downgrading its ability to be widely re-posted represent a panoply of media operations with embedded political biases.
Facebook is partnering with the Poynter Institute of St. Petersburg, Florida, along with Factcheck.org, an operation of the Annenberg Public Policy Center that investigates political claims; Politifact, another political claim fact checker that is run by The Tampa Bay Times, owned by the Poynter Institute; the Associated Press; ABC News; and, perhaps, the worst example of a hopelessly biased fact checking operation, Snopes.com.
In this editor's new book, "The Almost Classified Guide to CIA Front Companies, Proprietaries, and Contractor," Snopes.com is identified as a notorious CIA propaganda partner. The Washington Post is also partnering with Facebook in its anti-"fake news" campaign even though the paper, owned by Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, recently listed 200 websites that it claimed were lackeys for distributing "Russian propaganda." Although a dozen or so websites listed were bona fide fake news sites, the vast majority were legitimate web-based news originators, disseminators, and aggregators. After the Post refused to identify the players at the list producer -- a website called PropOrNot.com that has links to the CIA and George Soros -- the Post issued a half-hearted retraction of the story originally written by Carl Timberg, the son of Robert Timberg, the Annapolis classmate and friend of Arizona Senator John McCain. And there are no greater phony in American politics today than McCain, the "singing canary" of Hanoi and infamous fire starter of the USS Forrestal.
The Facebook model would not be so dangerous if it were to only identify fake news sites, of which there are far too many. But its program delves into the area of acting as a self-appointed web news editorial operation that seeks to call into question any news story not approved by the Poynter Institute's partners.
The Poynter Institute runs an international fact checking network called the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) that not only identifies bogus news websites but also takes it upon itself to criticize news stories for lack of sources political and "biases." Of course, the Poynter network runs counter to two journalistic traditions: news stories based on strict confidentiality -- the Drew Pearson/Jack Anderson model -- and opinion columns based on not-for-attribution interviews.
WMR has had its own bitter experience with the blatant bias and censorship tactics of the Poynter Institute. In June 2013, a group of Twitter account holders based out of the National Security Affairs department of the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island waged a Twitter and media campaign against this editor's interview by The Sunday Observer. The interview provided details on the National Security Agency's Third Party signals intelligence partners in Europe and their mutual intelligence sharing agreements.
After the interview appeared on the front page of the paper, Naval War College professor John Schindler, who claims to have worked in both the NSA's counter-intelligence and signals intelligence operations branches -- a claim highly disputed by senior NSA officials with whom WMR spoke -- was quoted in various media outlets, including BusinessInsider.com, the Poynter Institute, and others as stating this editor was "batshit crazy." Schindler was identified as a professor at the Naval War College, giving his personal attacks more gravitas than they might have otherwise warranted. Subsequently, Schindler was terminated by the college after this editor brought to its attention Schindler's "sexting" of an unsolicited photograph of his penis to a female. The Poynter Institute demonstrated a crass disregard for journalistic integrity in its "hit piece" report on this editor written by staffer John Gillen, whose normal beat included the US Central and Special Operations Commands in Tampa. For the Poynter Institute to play such a major role in Facebook's fact checking of news sites is laughable on its face.
Snopes.com waged a similar diatribe against WMR in its report on Lee Harvey Oswald's quite probable association with Rafael Cruz in New Orleans in August 1963. Snopes wrote the following: "In April 2016, the notoriously unreliable conspiratorial 'Wayne Madsen Report' (WMR) published an article (in their typical 'just asking questions' style (i.e., making wild accusations acceptable by framing them as questions rather than statements) positing a link between the father of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz and the JFK assassination." The piece was written by Snopes's co-founder David Mikkelson, who has failed to answer questions about his site's funding, merely claiming the privately-held company was originally a "mom and pop" operation.
Mikkelson and his Canadian citizen wife subsequently divorced but Snopes managed to expand its operations. This self-described small-scale operation based in Agoura Hills, California is able to maintain a staff of employees, including Kim Lacapria, formerly of Inquistr, owned by Daniel Treisman, an Israeli businessman. Although Inquistr has published propaganda and bogus news stories it did not show up on PropOrNot's list of fake news and Russian propaganda sites because Inquistr limits its fake news and propaganda to the Israeli and Zionist variety. It is more than clear what lies behind the current effort to censor the Internet and label uncomfortable news stories as false. Track Zuckerberg, David Mikkelson, George Soros, Carl Timberg, and others, and you will likely eventually end up at the front door of the fraudulent "master list keeper" of Dixie, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and its founders Morris Dees and Joseph Levin.
This censorship of the web was predicted by WMR in January 2014. We reported on control of information on the Internet being the top item of discussion at the 2014 World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland: "With the impending demise of World Wide Web 'net neutrality,' which has afforded equal access for website operators to the Internet, the one percent of billionaire investors are busy positioning themselves to take over total control of news reporting on the Internet."