Facebook and Twitter being called out for censorship


Facebook and Twitter have been called out for their censorship and biases:

November 18, 2016

In an attempt to rationalize the fact that Donald Trump has been elected as the next president of the United States, a growing movement is lashing out against “fake news sites,” even labeling them responsible for the election results. …

Facebook and Google have responded to the hysteria by announcing their decision to ban what they deem to be fake news sites from their advertising platforms. This is a cause for concern for many reasons.

As Edward Snowden pointed out, “[t]o have one company that has enough power to reshape the way we think, I don’t think I need to describe how dangerous that is.” Snowden addressed the fake news issue in detail via Beambot at Fusion’s Real Future Fair on Tuesday.

“I don’t think many people need to have this explained to them, that when you type something into the Google search box, it’s Google that decides what you get back. When you go to your Facebook page, it’s Facebook that decides what news it is that you see on your page.

When you go to a platform like Twitter, or any of these, really, the voices that are heard are the ones that are selected and permitted by the corporation.”

He identifies the source of the problem as a lack of competition.

There seems to be no alternative to the larger services. Because of this network effect, because [of] the first mover advantage. When you get a Google or a Facebook or Twitter in place, they never seem to leave.”

His solution? Don’t rely on Facebook for your news. By banning websites from their platform, they are essentially telling users they aren’t intelligent enough to decide for themselves what is and is not news.

As Snowden put it,they’re creating more silence than they are creating more speech.” http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-18/snowden-world-stop-letting-facebook-control-your-news

November 18, 2016

Days after Twitter unleashed a purge of so-called “alt-right” accounts, deleting users without explanation, many speculated that this would lead to an angry backlash in which conservative pundits using Twitter would voluntarily leave the struggling social network in protest over Twitter’s suddenly rampant, and dubious, censorship.

Overnight, this was confirmed when actor and prominent conservative commentator James Woods tweeted that “Since @Twitter is now in the #censorship business, I will no longer use its service for my constitutional right to free speech. #GoodbyeAll”

He also changed his bio to say “Twitter has now sadly abdicated its position as a sole beacon of free speech. Voltaire’s famous dictum has been quietly buried by these left wing savages.” http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-18/backlash-prominent-conservative-james-woods-quits-twitter-censorship-protest

Twitter made the news a few days ago when it said is would go against “atl-right” accounts. Here is a complaint about it from The Atlantic:

November 16, 2016

Twitter emerged during the 2016 presidential election as the pre-eminent means by which pro-Trump troll accounts—many of them automated, located outside the United States, often in Russia—disseminated false news and attempted to drive opponents off social media altogether.

Twitter has responded by periodic crackdowns against people known or suspected of organizing abuse. Breitbart.com’s Milo Yiannopoulos had his verification status stripped, and ultimately his account suspended, for his role fomenting the campaign against Leslie Jones.

In the case of Richard Spencer, however, there is no evidence of harassment or incitement to harass. The same can be said of most (although not all) of the other accounts suspended on November 15. These suspensions seem motivated entirely by viewpoint, not by behavior.

Let’s pause here for the necessary caveats: Twitter is a private actor; it has no First Amendment obligations to anybody. It is a for-profit entity, seeking to maximize the value of its service. It can turn away anyone it likes, subject only to non-discrimination laws—and personal belief is not a forbidden ground of discrimination. Twitter is acting wholly within its rights.

I’ll add a second group of caveats; these maybe a little more controversial than the first. Social-media platforms are not common carriers. They are entitled to turn away customers who behave in ways inconsistent with the platform’s identity and purpose. Americans have wide rights to post and view pornography—but there are strong business reasons why Instagram, for example, insists that Americans exercise that right somewhere else. If Twitter decides, “This is not the place for political discussion,” that’s Twitter’s prerogative.

But, of course, that’s not what Twitter has done. Politics remains welcome at Twitter, as its most famous user, the president-elect, can attest. What Twitter is saying is that some and only some speech will be policed, by standards that can only be guessed at in advance.

That’s socially undesirable for a lot of reasons, but consider just this one: It’s precisely the perception of arbitrary and one-sided speech policing that drives so many young men toward radical, illiberal politics. On campus especially, but also in the corporate world—and now on social media—they perceive that wild and wacky things can be said by some people, but not by others. By useful comparison: On the very same day that Twitter suspended the accounts of some alt-right users, DePaul University forbade a scheduled appearance by the broadcaster and writer Ben Shapiro. Shapiro is not an alt-rightist; in fact, the Anti-Defamation League reported last month that Shapiro is Twitter’s single most frequently targeted victim of anti-Semitic abuse by alt-rightists. But Shapiro is a scathing polemicist and provocateur—an alumnus of the same Bannon-Breitbart empire that incubated Milo Yiannopoulos—and DePaul expressed worry that his appearance on campus might provoke violence.

The culture of offense-taking, platform-denying, and heckler-vetoing—now spreading ever outward from the campuses—lets loudmouths and thugs present themselves as heroes of free thought. They do not deserve this opportunity.

Of course, this is not new.

I have reported about censorship from organizations such as YouTube (a Google company) and Facebook before.

And while some may have seen the complaints against Facebook for not policing ‘fake news’ from ‘the right,’ Facebook itself has been accused in the past of making ‘fake news’ for ‘the left.’  Notice something from last Spring:

May 9, 2016

Talk-radio giant Rush Limbaugh wants to know: Why is everyone so surprised that Facebook actively censors conservative news?

“This doesn’t surprise me,” Limbaugh said on his show Monday, reacting to reports that former Facebook “curators” and at least one journalist who worked for the company say the media giant is as anti-conservative as mainstream news comes. “They need to rename it, ‘Fakebook.’ It’s not news.”

As WND reported, a former Facebook journalist told Gizmodo that Facebook regularly prevented stories about Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, CPAC – the Conservative Political Action Conference – and other topics of major interest to conservatives from posting in its “trending” news section, one of the most-read and heavily trafficked sites on the Internet.

Other former “news curators” who worked for Facebook as independent contractors told Gizmodo they were told to “inject” certain stories into the trending news spot, despite the fact they weren’t trending hot at all. Among the news injected into feeds was everything concerning “Black Lives Matter.”

“In other words, if it was dull, if it was dead news, if it wasn’t trending, if it wasn’t spreading through the user base, the curators would put it in there anyway to advance the leftist agenda and harm the conservative agenda,” Limbaugh said. “Does this cause surprise, anybody? Now, I know it makes you mad, but does it come as a surprise?” http://www.wnd.com/2016/05/limbaugh-blows-lid-off-fakebook-censorship-surprise/#zpX71Bv88oUEoVO1.99

If you’ve ever used Facebook, you’ve noticed the list of trending topics on the vertical navbar along the right side of the page. You may have even clicked one or two of them to see what’s happening or why the topic is trending. What you probably didn’t know is that Facebook apparently blacklists certain topics from showing up, or certain news outlets from having their coverage seen by Facebook’s audience.

Gizmodo, a tech blog, talked to the people behind Facebook’s news aggregation service–“news curators” in Facebookspeak–and it turns out that Facebook’s news coverage isn’t based on fancy, unbiased algorithms at all. Nope. Facebook’s news service is instead run by people who want to make sure none of that icky right-wing coverage finds its way in front of people’s eyeballs:

They were also told to select articles from a list of preferred media outlets that included sites like the New York Times, Time, Variety, and other traditional outlets. They would regularly avoid sites like World Star Hip Hop, The Blaze, and Breitbart, but were never explicitly told to suppress those outlets. They were also discouraged from mentioning Twitter by name in headlines and summaries, and instead asked to refer to social media in a broader context.

News curators also have the power to “deactivate” (or blacklist) a trending topic—a power that those we spoke to exercised on a daily basis. A topic was often blacklisted if it didn’t have at least three traditional news sources covering it, but otherwise the protocol was murky—meaning a curator could ostensibly blacklist a topic without a particularly good reason for doing so.

You read that correctly: Facebook’s news curators regularly went out of their way to make sure coverage from conservative sites like The Blaze rarely found its way into Facebook’s coverage of trending news topics. http://thefederalist.com/2016/05/03/surprise-facebook-blacklists-trending-topics-and-conservative-news-outlets/

May 9, 2016

Facebook has just responded to allegations that news curators at the social media giant have been systematically censoring conservative news outlets by saying company guidelines do not allow suppression.

“We take allegations of bias very seriously,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Facebook is a platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum.”

“There are rigorous guidelines in place for the review team to ensure consistency and neutrality,” the spokesperson added. “These guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives. Nor do they permit the prioritization of one viewpoint over another or one news outlet over another. These guidelines do not prohibit any news outlet from appearing in Trending Topics.”

What’s notable about Facebook’s response is that it does not deny allegations that news curators manipulated the algorithm to systematically exclude conservative news outlets. Rather, it simply says guidelines do not permit the practice and adds there are rigorous guidelines to prevent manipulation from taking place. http://dailycaller.com/2016/05/09/facebook-responds-to-allegations-of-conservative-censorship/#ixzz48G6JIiKG

Now, Facebook is directly involved with censorship, as is Twitter.

Last December Facebook censored radio talk show host Michael Savage for posting photos that had been in the news a couple of years earlier (see Facebook censors Michael Savage for showing photos of Islamic demonstrators).

How does it try to justify it?

By pointing to its ‘Community Standards’ guidelines.

Here are some of Facebook’s policies from its Community Standard’s pages:

We remove content, disable accounts, and work with law enforcement when we believe there is a genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety. …

People use Facebook to share their experiences and to raise awareness about issues that are important to them. This means that you may encounter opinions that are different from yours, which we believe can lead to important conversations about difficult topics. To help balance the needs, safety, and interests of a diverse community, however, we may remove certain kinds of sensitive content or limit the audience that sees it.

While the above may seem reasonable to many, the reality is that internet censorship is a real threat as how the above is interpreted can lead to inappropriate censorship. Facebook used to allow COGwriter Church of God News page items to directly go to my page as part of an RSS feed, but stopped that a few years ago.

Twitter still carries the headlines of the posts from the page, but one day it may declare that this is either “alt-right” or “religious extremism” or whatever else it may chose to use as ‘justification’ to stop it.

This censorship issue on social media is so serious that we in the Continuing Church of God decided, because of an incident with YouTube, to come up with an alternative to YouTube if we were seriously faced with its censorship again (a sermon by Steve Dupuie allegedly violated ‘community standards’ essentially because he said that Christians needed to obey God’s written word–I filed and appeal to YouTube and they decided they should not have censored that sermon).

The USA no longer has the type of ‘freedom of religion’ or ‘freedom of speech’ its founders envisioned. And while neither Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube are part of the government of the USA, they do not support the agenda or the morality of the Bible.

The time will come when the USA, and likely some private companies, will apparently stop the efforts of websites like this one. As well as our numerous video channels on the internet.

Notice a report about loss of free speech in Europe:

November 18, 2016

  • According to New Europe, in Leeuwarden, “about twenty opponents of the plans [to establish asylum centers] in the region received police visits at home.” In other words, the Netherlands are engaging in state censorship, thereby raising the question: Is the Netherlands now a police state?
  • In the town of Sliedrecht, police came to Mark Jongeneel’s office and told him that he tweeted “too much” and that he should “watch his tone”: his tweets “may seem seditious”. His offense? One tweet said: “The College of #Sliedrecht comes up with a proposal to take 250 refugees over the next two years. What a bad idea!”
  • In September 2015, Die Welt reported that people who air “xenophobic” views on social media, risk losing the right to see their own children.
  • While ordinary European citizens risk arrest and prosecution for “xenophobic” remarks, a German EU Commissioner, Günther Oettinger, called a visiting Chinese delegation of ministers “slant eyes” (“Schlitzaugen“). European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has promoted Oettinger to be in charge of the EU budget.
  • Clearly, the law is not equal. EU Commissioners can make “xenophobic” remarks and get a promotion; European citizens, for exercising their right to free speech, are arrested and prosecuted.

In Europe, is the enemy now the governments? Evidence is mounting that expressing even a mild opinion that runs counter to official government policy can land you in prison, or at least ensure a visit from your friendly local Kafkaesque police. Has Europe effectively become a police state?

Several European governments are making it clear to their citizens that criticizing migrants or European migrant policies is criminally off limits. People who go “too far,” according to the authorities, are being arrested, prosecuted and at times convicted. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-17/europe-lets-end-free-speech

The world is getting less tolerant of speech.

Consider the following prophecy:

13 Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, For it is an evil time. (Amos 5:13)

The above indicates that even those that are doing nothing wrong will need to be silent at the coming evil time.

Yet, currently, it is still time to:

1 Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins. (Isaiah 58:1)

Which is what we in the Continuing Church of God are doing. We have denounced, not only sins that the world sometimes seems to consider politically correct, but also sins that many claimed COGs will not do, because of their own concerns about their political fates and/or fates that could happen if they offended their financial supporters if they told the truth to truly fulfill Isaiah 58:1.

For years, this website has warned of civil unrest in Europe and the USA and has mentioned that Islamic issues will be a factor in both those regions.

Many in and out of the government have plans and are watching the internet with plans to deal with materials that they some day hope to silence.

Notice the following from the Bible:

1 Hear my voice, O God, in my meditation;
Preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
2 Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
From the rebellion of the workers of iniquity,
3 Who sharpen their tongue like a sword,
And bend their bows to shoot their arrows — bitter words,
4 That they may shoot in secret at the blameless;
Suddenly they shoot at him and do not fear.

5 They encourage themselves in an evil matter;
They talk of laying snares secretly;
They say, “Who will see them?”
6 They devise iniquities:
“We have perfected a shrewd scheme.”
Both the inward thought and the heart of man are deep. (Psalms 64:1-6)

And while you might think that if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear from surveillance, consider that many in the government of the USA consider that not supporting homosexual marriages, etc. are extremist. I also saw someone once on a documentary that stated that people who believed in the millennium could not be trusted and should be considered as potential terrorists. The fact that we in the Continuing Church of God would be considered pacifists, does not change the fact that since we hold to millennial and other biblical views that we will not be improperly classified by government employees with various agendas.

The Prophet Amos was inspired to record the following:

11 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,
“That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
But shall not find it. (Amos 8:11-12)

Notice that the Bible tells of a time that will come when the word of God will not be found. And that would seem to be because truth from it will be taken off the internet. In the 21st century, the internet is accessed by people in every country, and thus some type of internet restriction/suspension/site removal is coming.

We are getting closer to this time.

That is part of why we in the Continuing Church of God are preparing for the ‘short work’ (Romans 9:28) and the coming ‘famine of the word.’

Despite the first amendment to the US Constitution, I have warned that more censorship on the internet is coming. And more has come.

In time, the ‘famine of word’ will hit. But Jesus’ message of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God will reach the world as a witness.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermons Why Teach the Kingdom of God? and The Gospel of the Kingdom.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. A video of possible interest may be Will Will USA Spying Help the Beast Power?
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? This is a sermonette length video.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]
Internet Control, Famine of the Word, and 666 On October 1, 2016, the USA officially relinquished control over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), despite objections from certain political leaders and former military officials. Might this lead to more censorship, imposition on non-biblical ‘community standards,’ and loss of first amendment rights? Could this transfer of control have any prophetic ramifications? Will the internet be a factor in the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28 and the coming ‘famine of the word’ that the Prophet Amos warned about? Will internet control be something that the 666 power will have? Dr. Thiel addresses these matters and more in this video.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them there.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, and Dholuo.

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