Facebook and Instagram have begun promptly removing posts that offer abortion pills to women who may not be able to access them following a Supreme Court decision that stripped away constitutional protections for the procedure. Such social media posts ostensibly aimed to help women living in states where preexisting laws banning abortion suddenly snapped into effect on Friday. That’s when the high court overruled Roe v. Wade, its 1973 decision that declared access to abortion a constitutional right. Memes and status updates explaining how women could legally obtain abortion pills in the mail exploded across social platforms. Some even offered to mail the prescriptions to women living in states that now ban the procedure.
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.
Katharina Gellein: Charles was the special adviser to the UK's Select Committee on fake news that started in 2017, and I wanted to make a film about fake news. Charles was the first person to walk through the door in Parliament and sit down and say to the MPs: "Cambridge Analytica." This was when everybody was sort of at the level of, "Oh, isn't Facebook a nice thing and isn't that good?" And then of course, shortly after that, [Cambridge Analytica whistleblower] Chris Wiley came with his evidence and the whole case just blew the doors open.
An online media company is suing social media giant Facebook for falsely smearing it as a Russian state-controlled propaganda outlet. Maffick, the owner of In The Now, Soapbox and Waste-Ed, has filed a lawsuit against Facebook in a Northern California district court for defamation, intentional interference and violating section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, unjustly causing them economic and reputational harm, claiming that Facebook’s actions represent unfair competitive practices. Go to any of the Maffick-owned Facebook pages, including In The Now ...
Lately a question I have been asking myself is: how worried do we need to be about the Boogaloo groups? The Boogaloo movement, if you’ve been sitting this one out so far, refers to a loosely knit group of right-wing extremists, some of whom advocate for second civil war. (The name derives from the camp classic breakdancing movie Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. In the delightfully dry phrasing of Wikipedia authors, “2: Electric Boogaloo became a verbal template appended to a topic as a signal of pejorative parody.”) While the use of the term in this way dates to at least 2012, it has gained new prominence after a series of violent incidents linked to its adherents. An Air Force staff sergeant was charged with the murder of a Federal Protective Service officer and a Santa Cruz sheriff’s sergeant earlier this month, and authorities have said they found paraphernalia connected with the movement in the suspect’s van.
A loose network of Facebook groups that took root across the country in April to organize protests over coronavirus stay-at-home orders has become a hub of misinformation and conspiracy theories that have pivoted to a variety of new targets. Their latest: Black Lives Matter and the nationwide protests of racial injustice. These groups, which now boast a collective audience of more than 1 million members, are still thriving after most states started lifting virus restrictions. And many have expanded their focus. One group transformed itself last month from “Reopen California” to “California Patriots Pro Law & Order,” with recent posts mocking Black Lives Matter or changing the slogan to “White Lives Matter." Members have used profane slurs to refer to Black people and protesters, calling them “animals,” “racist” and “thugs”— a direct violation of Facebook’s hate speech standards.
There is no silver bullet solution that will stop the spread of online misinformation without resulting in collateral damage and censorship of legitimate content and marginalized voices. Instead of calling for more aggressive moderation, we should address the problem at its root: Big Tech companies’ underlying business model of data harvesting, micro-targeting, and artificial algorithmic amplification maximized for engagement above all else. These inherent flaws have become societal crises as a tiny handful of companies have become so large that their policies become de facto law for the entire Internet, something that can only be addressed by either breaking them up or building decentralized alternatives.