By Aaron Kesel –
The service NewsGuard, an institution try and silence various media and unbiased media websites, has teamed up with Microsoft to assist its effort to destroy free press. In the meantime, the mysterious agency related to intelligence businesses and former authorities officers on their advisory board has additionally simply been linked to Saudi Arabia via Publicis Groupe, an investor in NewsGuard.
NewsGuard is now mechanically included in Microsoft’s Edge browser on iOS, Android and Microsoft telephones. Microsoft’s press launch relating to the partnership states that NewsGuard “will empower voters by offering them with high-quality details about the integrity and transparency of on-line information websites.” Only one drawback, who’s offering transparency concerning the information score company?
When a consumer decides to look the Net, the extension tells the consumer whether or not or not a narrative is credible or not credible with 5 indicators and an info field judging the web site.
- Inexperienced icon — Websites that comply with “primary requirements of accuracy and accountability” based mostly on 9 standards,which embrace full disclosure of attainable conflicts of curiosity, financing, and “notable ideological or political positions held by these with vital monetary pursuits within the website.”
- Purple icon — Websites that don’t fulfill NewsGuard’s standards for credibility and transparency.
- Orange icon — Satire and humor websites that mimic actual information.
- Blue icon — Websites that primarily host user-generated content material.
- Grey icon —Unrated websites.
There is only one drawback: the plugin is simply blacklisting sure websites and doesn’t even have reality checkers wanting into the story in query. So, actually, the service is censoring various and unbiased media. However, let’s be trustworthy, that’s precisely what its founders, creators, funders, and advisors need.
About that transparency … the listing of advisors for NewsGuard consists of Tom Ridge, the previous secretary of Homeland Safety, Richard Stengel, former editor of Time journal and Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy (Obama administration), (Ret.) Common Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA, former Director of the Nationwide Safety Company and former Principal Deputy Director of Nationwide Intelligence (George W. Bush administration), Don Baer, chairman of Burson, Cohn & Wolfe and former White Home Communications Director (Clinton administration), Elise Jordan, political analyst, NBC, and former speechwriter for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Oh after which there are the journalists (traitors of free speech) like John Battelle, co-founding editor of Wired and founding chief government of Business Normal and Jessica Lessin, founder, and editor-in-chief of The Info.
For those who aren’t apprehensive about an organization with a former CIA director (who lied beneath oath to Congress deceptive officers, based on the Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation program) and a former secretary of Homeland Safety official as its advisors, you could want a actuality examine. Please go see Dr. Benn Swann for a checkup stat!
Then there’s Richard Stengel, a member of the Atlantic Council (neo-liberal assume tank) and former Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy underneath President Barack Obama who deserves a brief blurb for his personal involvement. Why? As a result of Stengel admitted his position in life at a earlier dialogue hosted final Might by the Council on Overseas Relations (CFR). On the occasion Stengel described his previous place on the State Division as a “chief propagandist” and additional said that he’s “not towards propaganda” and it was wanted. H/T Disobedient Media.
“Each nation does it they usually need to do it to their very own inhabitants and I don’t essentially assume it’s that terrible,” Stengel stated.
Buyers in NewsGuard — which raised a whopping $6M in funding — embrace the next individuals and firms, in response to Finsmes, an internet site for real-time VC and personal equities and information. Nevertheless, Finsmes seem to have ignored an enormous investing group referred to as the Publicis Groupe. Publicis Groupe is the third largest international communications firm on the planet, with greater than 80,000 staff in over 100 nations and an annual income of over €9.6 billion ($10.98 billion), in response to its web site.
– Steven Brill
– Gordon Crovitz
– Nicholas Penniman IV and Nicholas Penniman V
– Eijk van Otterloo
– Jules Kroll
– Cox Funding Holdings, Inc.
– John S. & James L. Knight Basis, Inc.
– Blue Haven Initiative
– Eugene Garrett Bewkes III
– John McCarter
– Fitz Gate Ventures, L.P.
– Leslie Hill
– Charlotte Hill
– Thomas Glocer
– Michael Hill
– John Levy
– Whitney Hatch
In the meantime, the present CEOs of NewsGuard are Steven Brill and Louis Gordon Crovitz, certainly one of whom has a colourful historical past; the opposite is only a journalist. Crovitz is a member of the Council on Overseas Relations, and he additional notes in his bio, obtainable on NewsGuard’s web site, that he has been an “editor or contributor to books revealed by the American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Basis.”
Sure, the notorious Heritage Basis, and the American Enterprise Institute, a neoconservative assume tank.
Nevertheless it doesn’t finish there! Within the early 1980s, Crovitz held quite a few positions at Dow Jones and at The Wall Road Journal, ultimately turning into government vice chairman of Dow Jones and the writer of The Wall Road Journal in 2006-2007.
Mockingly, Crovitz “Mr. I need to repair pretend information” has persistently been accused of spreading misinformation into his Wall Road Journal columns, with teams just like the Digital Frontier Basis accusing him of “repeatedly getting his details improper” on NSA surveillance. And hilariously he falsely claimed that the Web was invented completely privately at Xerox PARC, which was uncovered as “fantastically false claims” by the identical individuals he cited for them.
TechDirt wrote on the time:
Virtually everybody he [Crovitz] sourced or credited to help his argument that the web was invented solely privately at Xerox PARC and when Vint Cerf helped create TCP/IP, has spoken out to say he’s fallacious. And that listing consists of each Vint Cerf, himself, and Xerox. Different sources, together with Robert Taylor (who was there when the web was invented) and Michael Hiltzik, have rejected Crovitz’s spinning of their very own tales.
In response to NewsGuard, the service has rated greater than 2,000 information and knowledge websites, whereas it plans to take its rating efforts a lot additional by ultimately reviewing “the 7,500 most-read information and knowledge web sites within the U.S.; additionally noting that the quantity accounts for “about 98 % information and knowledge individuals learn and share on-line” in the USA in English.
The corporate is lobbying to have its rankings of stories websites put in by default on computer systems in U.S. public libraries, faculties, and universities in addition to on smartphones and computer systems bought in the USA. And its partnership with Microsoft for its Edge browser simply helped that effort rigorously.
A number of articles symbolize NewsGuard as utilizing “old-school journalism” to battle “pretend information” by means of its reliance on 9 standards to find out whether or not a information website is credible or not.
Nevertheless, as Breitbart identified (like them or not the knowledge is credible), the information verify extension is marking verifiable FAKE information tales as actual information, a worrying prospect. In fact, it’s value noting that NewsGuard might be (speculatory) in partnership with choose information publications like The New York Occasions, LA Occasions, CNN, Washington Submit, and so forth. (All the standard huge gamers.)
Take a look at how NewsGuard and Microsoft brazenly and audaciously deceive their readers…
The Washington Publish’s debunked hoax about Russia hacking Vermont’s utility grid — credible!!
The lie about first woman Melania Trump being an unlawful alien — credible!!
The lie about Trump altering the identify of Black Historical past Month — credible!!
The lie about Trump threatening to invade Mexico — credible!!
The lie about Congress investigating a Russian fund with ties to Trump — credible!!
Then there’s the shortage of point out by NewsGuard concerning the Washington Submit’s founder Jeff Bezos $600 million conflicts of curiosity with the CIA and Voice of America, the U.S. state-funded media outlet having been concerned in propaganda admitted by its appearing affiliate director, Ted Lipien, who stated that the outlet produces “fluff journalism.”
Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright has beforehand said that VOA, Radio Free Europe, and lots of others “must be given the chance to take their rightful place within the graveyard of Chilly Conflict relics.” Fulbright’s modification to Smith-Mundt was bolstered in 1985 by Nebraska Senator Edward Zorinsky, who argued that such “propaganda” ought to be stored out of America as to distinguish the U.S. “from the Soviet Union the place home propaganda is a principal authorities exercise.”
These are apparent purple flags for anybody on the lookout for a very unbiased fact-checking service when such issues are hidden and never publicly displayed … that, or they only suck at researching, which might primarily imply they aren’t certified to find out what’s actual and faux information.
Digging even deeper into NewsGuard we might discover solutions as to why they don’t seem to be reality checking each information story and simply giving web sites themselves a score, as a result of the corporate solely has 21-30 staff in accordance with Pitchbook.
If that’s not sufficient, Publicis Groupe features a huge variety of P.R. companies whose sole function is to form the information and affect the general public on behalf of its company shoppers together with the drug and tobacco industries. A type of companies related to Publicis Groupe is Qorvis Group.
The Intercept describes how Qorvis tried to form American public opinion in favor of Saudi Arabia’s coverage.
The Saudi Embassy’s effort to form media protection is led by Qorvis, a consulting agency that has labored for the Saudi authorities because the months following the terrorist assaults on September 11, 2001. Qorvis’ current disclosures beneath the Overseas Brokers Registration Act present that it created a whole web site — operationrenewalofhope.com — to advertise the Saudi-led conflict in Yemen. It additionally “researched potential grassroots supporters in choose states” and offered an ongoing effort to succeed in out to reporters in regards to the Yemen warfare.[…]
In July, the Saudi Embassy introduced the launch of Arabia Now, an “on-line hub for information associated to the Kingdom,” in response to a press launch. Since then, the location has work to advertise Saudi Arabia as a bastion for human rights and progress, with posts claiming that the Kingdom is the “most beneficiant nation on the earth.” Whereas Saudi Arabian struggle ships blocked humanitarian help to Yemen, the Arabia Now information hub claimed that “Saudi Arabia was the one nation that responded to the humanitarian help attraction launched by the U.N. to assist Yemen by extending a donation of $274 million.
Just lately filed disclosures present that Focused Victory, a consulting agency based by Zac Moffatt, a GOP strategist who served as digital director for Mitt Romney’s marketing campaign, has helped to handle Arabia Now. Moffatt’s agency was introduced on by Qorvis.
For extra info on NewsGuard, see the extra in-depth NewsGuard backstory on MintPress Information, concerning the agency’s connections to Silicon Valley Giants and the federal government.
This, in fact, follows makes an attempt by one other service, PropOrNot, to do a lot of the identical, who I ruined once I was working at We Are Change exposing them to the core. A lot in order that they responded to my now-suspended Twitter account An0nkn0wledge. H/T guys! As a reminder, on the final try PropOrNot was discovered to be backed by none aside from the Overseas Coverage Analysis Institute. And what’s the Overseas Coverage Analysis Institute? A assume tank with the mission of indoctrinating the U.S. with its overseas coverage agenda:
The Overseas Coverage Analysis Institute is devoted to bringing the insights of scholarship to bear on the overseas coverage and nationwide safety challenges dealing with the USA. It seeks to teach the general public, train academics, practice college students, and supply concepts to advance U.S. nationwide pursuits based mostly on a nonpartisan, geopolitical perspective that illuminates modern worldwide affairs via the lens of historical past, geography, and tradition.
So right here we now have two makes an attempt to censor info, each showing to return from assume tanks and a number of other authorities officers as advisors on “NewsGuard.” Which, if we’re being trustworthy ought to have a reputation change to “Propaganda Guard” as a result of they’re guarding propaganda by telling everybody it’s actual information, just like the examples said above. You’ll be able to’t decide websites with a score of inexperienced, orange, blue, grey and purple. This isn’t a terror advisory, Tom Ridge (I can solely guess the thought got here from Ridge). When Ridge was the former secretary of Homeland Safety underneath George Bush, he got here up with the coded terror alert system after 9/11. The system is elementary at greatest and doesn’t actually require any sort of considering to provide you with, so who is aware of who got here up with it. However it’s extraordinarily flawed.
Figuring out that each “Propaganda Guard” (NewsGuard) and PropOrNot had authorities involvement ought to scare the shit out of you as a result of each corporations are about as unbiased as The Washington Submit was in the direction of Hillary Clinton through the 2016 election. Each have a stake sooner or later overseas coverage of America; NewsGuard by means of its former authorities advisors, and PropOrNot via the extra hilariously related Overseas Coverage Analysis Institute. Neither firm has a proper to form the opinions of People or anybody else by giving information web sites like Activist Publish and lots of others any sort of score. That’s as much as the readers themselves to determine, not a shadowy agency with “educated analysts” who’re making a censorship blacklist of data or opinions they don’t like … you understand, like those that hinder firms or the army industrial complicated’s endlessly struggle machine.
In reality, it is going to be fascinating to see the place this goes if this plugin is adopted by the mainstream as a default into purposes. I foresee class motion stop and desist lawsuits towards “NewsGuard” for deliberately inflicting hurt to companies with only a checkmark. That is already fairly properly confirmed with a current Gallup research that said 63 % of stories readers have been much less more likely to share an internet site with a purple score, whereas a inexperienced score elevated the probability of sharing by 56 %. Though the research was funded by NewsGuard themselves, so the outcomes ought to be taken with a grain of salt. That research truly might be used to chew them within the ass later.
Did anybody assume this via earlier than saying, “oh yeah I need to assist destroy the livelihoods of different individuals?”
My well-thought-out educated analytical skilled guess is, “no they in all probability didn’t.”
Oh wait, additional analysis into NewsGuard and its different merchandise exhibits they’ve a BrandGuard, which they market to advertisers as a “model security software aimed toward serving to advertisers maintain their manufacturers off of unreliable information and knowledge websites whereas giving them the reassurance they should help hundreds of Inexperienced-rated [NewsGuard-approved] information and knowledge websites, massive and small.”
All of this has an fascinating timing, proper earlier than the 2020 primaries. Who’s to say that this know-how couldn’t be used to sway the election excess of Russia, the UK or Israel ever might? Particularly because the agency is looking for to have its tech implanted by default into each main technical system.
We don’t want arbiters of fact; what we’d like are smarter readers who analysis and dig deeper themselves, as an alternative of blindly believing what they’re advised or hand fed.
With all that said, it’s value mentioning that 90% of U.S. media was owned by 6 totally different corporations in 2012 together with GE, NewsCorp, Disney, Viacom, TimeWarner, CBS. Which, as a enjoyable reality, the CFR owns the media. As former Military Main Todd Pierce described, the CFR acts as “main provocateurs” utilizing “’psychological suggestiveness’ to create a false narrative of hazard from some overseas entity with the target being to create paranoia inside the U.S. inhabitants that it’s beneath imminent menace of assault or takeover.”
So with all that in thoughts, one finds it exhausting to consider that a CFR member and authorities cronies — some even related to assume tanks — need to “restore belief and accountability” in journalism.
That is removed from the one effort to attempt to suppress the free move of data on-line. In 2017 Activist Submit reported that Full Reality basis, backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and our favourite billionaire tycoon George Soros, have been additionally planning to struggle the efforts of “pretend information” with their AI-powered “bull shit detector.” Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales was additionally planning to launch a crowd-funded information service referred to as WikiTribune to assist fight pretend information.
Ship your mail to NewsGuard’s Twitter feed and Fb web page, and flood them together with your opinion about their efforts. In the event that they ask who despatched you, say George Orwell from his grave and ensure to inform them they aren’t the Ministry Of Fact, this isn’t 1984.
Placing the way forward for what we consider in anybody’s arms, not to mention synthetic intelligence, appears reckless; however a system backed by Soros and Omidyar or assume tanks and authorities officers looks like a dangerously silly concept that may solely result in a path paved towards a street of Orwellian censorship the likes of which even George Orwell couldn’t have imagined.
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Publish. Help us at Patreon. Comply with us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Fb and Twitter. Prepared for options? Subscribe to our premium publication Counter Markets.
Supply: NewsGuard and Microsoft Group Up To Destroy Unbiased Media Forward Of 2020 Elections; Linked To A number of Assume Tanks, Authorities Officers
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