Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The New Red Scare and the Move to Censor Dissent


Alarm about Russian meddling in the last presidential election has been strategically deployed by unscrupulous sorts to red-line opinion leaders on the left and right, as this article in the Wall Street Journal illustrates:
Georgia Wells & Timothy Puko (2018, March 1). Russian Meddling on Social Media Targeted U.S. Energy Industry, Report Says. The Wall Street Journal. Available https://www.wsj.com/articles/russian-meddling-on-social-media-targeted-u-s-energy-industry-report-says-1519902001
The article cites a new report written by Republican staff on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology alleging that Russian-back propaganda groups tried to disrupt US energy industry operations and influence energy policy with social media content – photos and messages – posted on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter supporting pipeline protests and alternative energy.

The Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) allegedly began posting materials in 2015 aimed at encouraging Americans to reject fossil fuel.

A representative from Twitter said that IRA content was “an ‘extremely small’ portion of the broader energy discussion on Twitter” (cited in Wells & Puko 2018).

However, the new house report notes in its executive summary the following:
United States House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Majority Staff Report: Russian Attempts to Influence US Domestic Energy Markets by Exploiting Social Media, March 1, 2018. Available, https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/SST%20Staff%20Report%20-%20Russian%20Attempts%20to%20Influence%20U.S.%20Domestic%20Energy%20Markets%20by%20Exploiting%20Social%20Media%2003.01.18.pdf Accessed March 7 2018.
“Russian-sponsored agents funneled money to U.S. environmental organizations in an attempt to portray energy companies in a negative way and disrupt domestic energy markets”
This effort to stigmatize as Russian-propaganda a tiny fraction of social media content addressing energy issues is, in itself, a deliberate propaganda move.

By labeling anti-carbon content as Russian propaganda, the house report aims to stigmatize alternative energy and environmentalism more generally.

The House report relies on a flawed inductive argument, but that argument will circulate widely as it will be propelled by those who benefit from the carbon and nuclear apparatuses.

More generally, I see a growing effort to stigmatize as Russian propaganda any content that runs counter to the dominant apparatuses of power in energy, and in other terrains as well.

For instance, in 2016, Glenn Greenwald rightly condemned The Washington Post for sloppy journalism and redlining sites as Russian propaganda. The post had uncritically accepted the labeling and condemnation by Propornot, a non-transparent entity: 
Glenn Greenwald (2016, November 26). Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist from a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group. The Intercept, https://theintercept.com/2016/11/26/washington-post-disgracefully-promotes-a-mccarthyite-blacklist-from-a-new-hidden-and-very-shady-group/
Propornot labels as Russian propaganda a wide array of alternative news and editorial sites, including Naked Capitalism and Washington’s Blog. Here is the link to this new red censor: http://www.propornot.com/p/home.html

I am very familiar with Naked Capitalism and Washington’s Blog, having read them for almost a decade, and can state with confidence that they are not Russian propaganda sites.

However, once tainted there is no way to adjudicate this type of false accusation.

Propornot is dangerous and the willingness of mainstream media to accept its designations uncritically is even more risky for democracy.

There is no doubt that propaganda is everywhere, but keep in mind that there are many, many propagandists and the Russians are late to the game.

I believe that we must take a stand against this new red scare or new algorithms will censor any opinion or narration of events that does not coincide directly with a small handful of mainstream media giants.

In fact, this is already happening....

See my previous posts for more discussion:







7 comments:

  1. Intercept is run by the oligarch that founded ebay. Most people in murica get news from msnbc the warmonger tv station or fox the other warmonger pronuclear network. Cnn is also an oligarch puppet outfit. Seems like a lot of red scare propaganda, is directed at antinuclear sites.
    Sixty percent or more, of americans identify as antinuclear, and yet the republicans, corporate democrats give us nothing but warmonging and pronuclear spin. They actively try to shut down anti-nuclear website.
    The oligarch-controlled, corporate puppet media and center of right politicians are pro-nuclear energy, pro-nuclear weapon, militarist.
    I know a person, in her fifties, in a cancer hospital. Attractive, rich. Had a huge tumor removed. She cannot walk anymore. What good did all,her money and attractiveness do for her in the end with nuclear pollution destroying life on earth, now?
    A great deal of the oligarchs money-stability and growth is based on military industrial complex-investments, nuclear energy investments, nuclear weapons upgrades, extraction, chemical and petroleum investments and growth, new chemical pollution madness. They all feed from the same trough.
    There are a lot of oligarchs and billionairs now. More than ever before. In fact, we can bitch all we want, and at the end of april, it will not matter. That is because the end of net neutrality, will be enforced. Their will be no alternate left or antinuclear websites, after that point in time. All of tje news will be right wing, militarist, pronuclear, neoliberal propaganda.

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  2. The lady I know, had a massive brain tumor, normally associted with some sort of radiation exposure. She has lived most of her life in florida. Plenty of nuclear pollution there. Some oligarchs pose as liberals. They are not. Their noblesse oblige is phoney. They make lots of fast money from warmoning and frausulent, apocolytic scams like nuclear energy. It sucks the life out of us. It sucks the life out of every living creature on planet earth.

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  3. I do not think anyone, will do anything in time in murica. Coastal reactor phaseout should begin now. Securing used fuel, in casks, would be top prority too. In a sane country, with recent catastrophic coastal, weather patterns, people would do this. Especially after Fukushima. It would put a lot of people to work. Rebuilding the grid with more efficent, reliable, safe energy sources should be top priority, in these perilous times. There are few sane nucleoape countries, except maybe korea and taiwan. Korea and taiwan are phasing out nuclear in the wake of fukushima. Whether they can do it quickly enough, is another story. No one will get out of this intact. And most will have terrible deaths, when these old coastal nukes start melting down, and blowing up. When fuels pools catch fire. Such horrid insanity, is hard to fathom.

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  4. Propornot lists snopes as a related project. Snopes is pro-nuclear. Clinton and her neoliberal, corporate supporters are pro-nuclear. Trump is extremely pronuclear, no matter how sites like washingtons blog or naked capitalism try to spin it. Russia is controlled by Putin. Putin IS extremely pronuclear. Putin is using Rosatom, to try to build flawed, dangerous reactors all over the world. Trump and his nefarious swamp snipes, have been trying to get into the action of building reactors with rosatom in the middle east and countries all over the world, from the beginning.
    It is confusing at times.
    TRUMP IS NO REFORMER, and is dangerous, as you have pointed out many times Majia. People concerned about nuclear power, keeping dangerous reactors open in the cace of catastrophic weather patterns, the ongoing Fukushima tragedy, should be very wary of corporate media. They should also be careful of internet, alternative media sites, and sites like propornot and Snopes.

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  5. Shutting down reactors should not be an ideological battle, as some of the trump-trolls try to portray it. Many of the old reactors, in the United States, are ready to blow. Many have fuel pools, that could rupure and catch fire, when the next batch of monster storms come through. Maybe ayn rand goons, are dumn enough to think that it is not governments place to shut down dangerously situated old reactors. Government, should certainly not be subsidising them, and bailing them out as both republicans and corporate democrats are doing. Who is going to shut them down at this juncture? They will not even turn them off when hurricanes are headed straight for them.

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  6. This is the text printed on the screen you get when you try to go to enenews. Though, it is not a screen shot. Anyone who runs a wordpress site knows what it means. Registration data and fees, have to be kept up to date, to keep a wordpress site up.



    not verifiedYou have reached a domain that is pending ICANN verification.
    As of January 1, 2014 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will mandate that all ICANN accredited registrars begin verifying the Registrant WHOIS contact information for all new domain registrations and Registrant contact modifications.
    Why this domain has been suspended
    Email address has not been verified.
    This is a new domain registration and the Registrant email address has not been verified.
    or
    The Registrant contact data for this domain was modified but still requires verification.
    Specifically the First Name, Last Name and/or email address have been changed and never verified.
    If you're the site owner, reactivate your site
    Resend the verification email.
    This will be sent to the Registrant email address populated in your WHOIS data. If you are unsure what email address is listed, please log into your account with the provider where you currently manage this domain to view and/or update the info.






    Click the link in the email
    and your contact information will be immediately verified. We estimate the site will come back online within 24 to 48 hours.
    Frequently asked questions
    Why was my domain suspended?
    ICANN requires that the domain registrant's contact information or changes to the registrant's WHOIS information be verified within 15 calendar days. If the data is not verified in this timeframe, ICANN mandates that the website be suspended pending the verification.
    How can I remove the suspension on my domain?
    The suspension of the domain will be removed after the WHOIS information is successfully verified. Please update the WHOIS information with complete and accurate contact details through your domain service provider. Once updated you will recieve a new verification email.
    Once the suspension is removed, when will my website come back online?
    We estimate it may take 24 to 48 hours for the website to come back online.
    Who is ICANN?
    ICANN is responsible for the coordination of the global Internet's systems of unique identifiers and, in particular, ensuring its' stable and secure operation. ICANN maintains policies and specifications for registrars and registrants to abide by.
    What is WHOIS?
    WHOIS services provide public access to data on registered domain name holders. Registered Name Holders are required to provide accurate and reliable contact details to their Registrar to update WHOIS data for a Registered Name.

    Anyone who has putup a custom wordpress site, like I have knows, what this means. . It meams the owner has abandoned the enenews site. As it says, email information registration information, and some fees must be maintained on wordress sites, like this, to keep them up, on the internet. I do not know how it is, for google sponsored Blogger sites, like yours Majia.
    The crapola that enenews has been censored, is just wrong.

    Google censors sites, that it deems as too radical, like anti-nuclear sites. Redbaiting corporate media like the new york times and elements in the intercept, want to censor sites they deem pro-russian, like counterpunch, alternet, and opednews but, enenews is not being censored!

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  7. I know a person, who is actively anti-nuclear. She says, that with the propaganda, from the corporate media, dark money, that has flowed to supposedly independent-alternate, internet sites, and sensationalist-ideological web sites, you cannot trust anyone! Rense was not actively involved with overt racists, like David Duke and the Daily Stormer types, until 2015. Then rense.com jumped into it all the way, though it hurt his ratings. Rense went on thereafter to whole-heartedly promote Trump and his racist crap, and not just anti-semitic garbage.

    ReplyDelete