Facebook has censored a report by the world’s most famous investigative journalist, Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh, on the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline between Russia and Germany. While discouraging its users from posting Hersh’s article, Facebook instead recommends a website that is funded and partially owned by the government of NATO member Norway. Facebook has millions of dollars worth of contracts with the US government, including with the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security. The Nord Stream system consisted of two sets of two pipelines each (known as Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2) that delivered natural gas from Russia, through the Baltic Sea, to Germany.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, announced on January 19 that the company no longer considers Ukraine’s Azov Regiment to be a “dangerous organization.” The far-right paramilitary group grew out of the street gangs that helped topple Ukraine’s president in the US-backed 2014 coup. Originally funded by the same Ukrainian oligarch that backed President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s rise to power, Azov was on the front lines of civil war in Eastern Ukraine, and was later fully integrated into the Ukrainian national guard. The main outlet to report on this move was the Kyiv Independent (1/19/23), a Ukrainian newsroom closely linked to Western “democracy promotion” initiatives. These ties are reflected in its coverage of Facebook’s move. Take the description of the Azov Regiment: The group has sparked controversy over its alleged association with far-right groups—a recurring theme used by Russian propaganda.
The US government employs many strategies to try to justify its intervention in the internal affairs and violation of the sovereignty of foreign nations. Chief among these deceptive tactics is Washington’s weaponization of accusations that its adversaries violate the freedom of expression. This is quite ironic, given that the United States is the world’s leading violator of press freedoms, according to any consistent definition of the term. And unlike the countries that Washington claims supposedly repress the freedom of expression within their borders, US government censorship of independent media outlets and suppression of alternative voices is global, hurting people across the planet. The Joe Biden administration has in particular gone to great lengths to depict itself as a defender of civil liberties.
Most of the fact-checking organizations Facebook has partnered with to monitor and regulate information about Ukraine are directly funded by the U.S. government, either through the U.S. Embassy or via the notorious National Endowment for Democracy (NED). In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an information war as bitter as the ground fighting has erupted, and Meta (Facebook’s official name) announced it had partnered with nine organizations to help it sort fact from fiction for Ukrainian, Russian and other Eastern European users. These nine organizations are: StopFake, VoxCheck, Fact Check Georgia, Demagog, Myth Detector, Lead Stories, Patikrinta 15min, Re:Baltica and Delfi. “To reduce the spread of misinformation and provide more reliable information to users, we partner with independent third-party fact-checkers globally,” the Silicon Valley giant wrote.
Managua, Nicaragua - Less than a week before Nicaragua’s presidential election, social media giant Facebook deleted the accounts of hundreds of the country’s top news outlets, journalists and activists, all of whom supported the ruling left-wing Sandinista government, a top Washington target for regime change. Facebook claims that these accounts were bots engaged in “inauthentic behavior.” Considering that around half of the country uses the platform for news and entertainment, the decision could barely have been more heavy-handed and intrusive. However, early reports show that if their goal was to swing the result, it has failed badly and the Sandinistas have achieved an overwhelming victory.
On Tuesday, billionaires Reid Hoffman and George Soros launched Good Information Inc., a “public benefit corporation” to serve as a conduit of funds to newsrooms that “cut through the echo chambers with fact-based information.” On its website, Good Information further describes itself as a “civic incubator” aimed at fostering and financially backing projects that “counter disinformation where it spreads by increasing the flow of good information online.” But more than merely providing an alternative to bad information through their own reporting, the company suggests that censorship is also on the menu: “We believe there is an urgent need for regulation of social media platforms,” their website [states](https://goodinfo.us/info').
A former employee of Facebook named Frances Haugen earned national renown after appearing before Congress on October 5, 2021 to accuse the company where she once worked of everything from poisoning the minds of young American women to aiding and abetting global evildoers. While Haugen has presented herself as a “whistleblower” who risked it all to expose the secrets of the powerful, she was cultivated and legally represented by an organization led by former intelligence insiders with close ties to the US national security state. Called Whistleblower Aid, the outfit was founded by a national security lawyer, Mark Zaid, who has been accused of ratting out his client, CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, to his employers in Langley. Zaid is joined by a former State Department official and government-approved whistleblower, John Tye, ex-CIA and Pentagon official Andrew Bakaj, and veteran US government information warrior, Libby Liu, who has specialized in supporting color revolution-style operations against China.
Havana -After gaining access to their private Facebook group, MintPress can reveal that the people who sparked the July 11 protests in Cuba are planning similar actions for October and November. The group, La Villa del Humor, is widely credited with providing the initial spark that ignited nationwide protests on the Caribbean island in the summer, the most significant demonstrations since the 1990s. On July 10, one of the group’s administrators posted this message: Tired of not having electricity? Stubborn because they didn’t let you sleep for 3 days? Tired of putting up with the impudence of a government that doesn’t care about you? It is time to go out and demand. Do not criticize from home, let’s make ourselves heard. If we’re not going to do it, we’d better shut our mouths and not talk shit from home that doesn’t solve anything. Are we more afraid to go out than to put up with all this cheek? How is it possible? We demand that [Presidents Miguel Díaz-Canel and Raúl Castro] also have blackouts. We demand that, since we have no food, at least they let us sleep. Hit the streets. Down with the opportunistic communist government now. This Sunday at 11am, Parque de la Iglesia. See you there. If you don’t go, stop complaining so much.
Page, Arizona – Loren Reed, a 26-year-old Diné (Navajo) man, is set for trial on May 4, 2021 for a trumped-up federal charge of “Threats to Damage and Destroy a Building by Means of Fire” after he engaged in a heated debate over Black Lives Matter protest tactics in a private Facebook chat group created to organize a local police brutality protest. Reed has been held in federal pretrial detention without bail for ten months after a prior high school acquaintance reported him to the police for a different satirical social media post about planning a protest or ‘riot’ at the courthouse that never actually happened. An undercover FBI agent then infiltrated the private chat group, and monitored numerous messages exchanged by Reed and his friends.