Shortly after Hillary Clinton’s crushing defeat, the media came up with another spin: Zuckerberg and Facebook were held responsible for her debacle! What crap! Facebook apparently carried “fake news”. Didn’t the media invent and promote precisely this kind of “news” to bounce Hillary over the last hurdle? It’s convenient for media whores to blame everybody except themselves and Hillary’s corrupt campaign organization for her defeat. Clinton labeled ordinary Americans “deplorables”, displaying her contempt for half of the population. Hillary Clinton was favorite puppet of the Establishment. She was the embodiment of a hopelessly corrupt political system. And the American people realized it despite massive attempts by media presstitutes to sell her image. An estimated 95 per cent of media outlets beat the drums for her and for her husband’s corrupt Clinton Foundation.
The real reason behind the attempt to blame Zuckerberg’s Facebook is, that it makes everyone (and no one) responsible. What is posted on Facebook can no longer be controlled by the media and the political class. They lost control of public opinion. Established methods of mind-control do not work any longer. The fawning media report only what they are fed by government spin-doctors. It is more comfortable for them to act like the mouthpieces of their masters. This holds true for US media, as well of the media class in the European vassal states. German media were, for example, as manipulative as those in the United States. They celebrated President Obama as the embodiment of “good America”, ignoring that he waged wars during his entire presidency, incarcerated several whistleblowers and signed off extra-legal executions. But he possessed a great advantage, he was black, or if you wish, non-white. Obama was thus a non-white and smarter version of George W. Bush.
When Mark Zuckerberg visited Berlin in February 2016, he was bootlicked by the German political and media class. The Springer group, the most outspoken mouthpiece of U.S. interests US in Germany, awarded him the Axel Springer Award. Of greater political relevance was the dinner meeting between Zuckerberg and Chancellor Angela Merkel who tried to convince him to apply himself with more determination against so-called hate-speech on the internet. The Merkel regime considers that freedom of speech hurts her policy. Merkel’s minister of justice, Heiko Maas, has established some sort of a private internet police that hunts the web for “hate speech”, whatever that means.
There is no agreed upon definition what “hate speech” implies, hence the meaning can be volatile or arbitrarily. The range of “Hate speech” can range from anti-Muslim rhetoric via personal insults and threats to a call “to kill every Jewish Zionist”. There is a duty of government under the “International Convention for the Abolition of All Forms of Racial Discrimination”, to prohibit the dissemination of racial propaganda. Ergo, there exists a legal and ethical basis for prohibiting certain forms of “hate speech”.
Even restrictions to “free speech” extend to other spheres, such as prohibition of deceitful advertising, slandering other people, and in some countries advertising tobacco and alcohol is forbidden in Iceland. Human rights law accepts the right of governments to restrict freedom of speech in order to protect other social values. There is a great deal of jurisprudence regarding the question who to weigh this right against other rights.
In Germany, this body of private detectives includes civil society groups such as “klicksafe.de, “jugendschutz.net”, “Gesicht zeigen” (Show your Face), to name a few. The most eminent of these is the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, run by a former Stasi agent by the name of Anetta Kahane, who claims to fight racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia. Today, she and her organization are at the forefront of criticizing people who dare to criticize the excesses of Merkel’s policy of government failure.
Internet giants such as Facebook, Google (and youtube) and Twitter also participated “voluntarily” in this constitutive meeting in which this kind of internet watchdog was set up. In September 2015, this new “censorship body” was established in the German Ministry of Justice and works since then without legal basis! The participants agreed on “best practices” in handling hate messages. There are no publically known criteria according to which one can recognize “hate speach”. That means that this censorship body makes it decisions arbitrarily. There are no rules or statutory provisions. Those whose messages are blocked have thus no legal recourse against such censorship. Despite such arbitrary practice, the interim results, which were presented in the Ministry of Justice on 27 September 2016 were not satisfactory. Google (and youtube) and Facebook representatives participated in the presentation of the results. From August to September, 622 punishable contents were reported that were deleted by the companies. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Justice was not satisfied.
Thus, it is not only the American political class which is blaming Facebook for the defeat of its minion Hillary Clinton but also the German political class and its compliant media that intend to crack down on Facebook, fearing that ordinary people could endanger Merkel’s quest for a renewed mandate as Chancellor. But what appears more important is their desperate attempt to control public opinion because the “deplorables”, i.e. the mass of ordinary people, do not anymore wish to be bamboozled by half a dozen editors-in-chief. The attempt to free themselves from such control has to be crushed with the help of Facebook and Google.
At the beginning, Zuckerberg rejected the ridiculous accusations of being responsible for Clinton’s defeat. After a while, it appears that he has accepted to do the dirty work for the censors and caved in. On Friday, November 18, 2016, Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook that the amount of “misinformation is relatively small”, nonetheless there is “much work ahead on our roadmap”. The following work in progress was outlined by him:
“A stronger detection system. The most important thing we can do is to improve our ability to classify misinformation. This means better technical systems to detect what people will flag as false before they do it themselves.
- Easy reporting. Making it much easier for people to report stories as fake will help us catch more misinformation faster.
Third party verification. There are many respected fact checking organizations and, while we have reached out to some, we plan to learn from many more.
Warnings. We are exploring labeling stories that have been flagged as false by third parties or our community, and showing warnings when people read or share them.
Related articles quality. We are raising the bar for stories that appear in related articles under links in News Feed.
Disrupting fake news economics. A lot of misinformation is driven by financially motivated spam. We’re looking into disrupting the economics with ads policies like the one we announced earlier this week, and better ad farm detection.
Listening. We will continue to work with journalists and others in the news industry to get their input, in particular, to better understand their fact checking systems and learn from them.”
Apparently, Zuckerberg understands the importance of the issue. I beg to differ. The issue is not about fake news, it is about universal freedom of speech that poses a threat to the mind-control industry, owned by a few families on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. If they lose this control of public opinion, they rightly fear to lose in the long run their privileges.
Dear Mr. Zuckerberg, take courage, and do not interfere with ordinary folks speaking their minds despite the pressure and intimidation by the political and media class.
When one discusses freedom of expression and the role of Facebook one point needs special scrutiny, namely the private character of this entity. The private character of an entity precludes transparency. Citizens and users do not possess any rights to inspect the finances, let alone participate in determining Facebook projects and policies. As a citizen, one cannot accept that one unelected person, however, nice he may be, could determine the projects and policies of an entity that is now serving billions of human beings. Such a structure just cries for corruption and arbitrary rule. One can see this operating within Wikipedia where doctrinaires exert control over subjects of social science such as the circumstances of 9/11 or the Israel/Palestinian conflict. It’s impossible to even insert critical question because they don’t pass the censorship of certain guardians of mind control. Google is another such Leviathan that cries for public and transparent ownership. How such public ownership of a global corporation is to be accomplished is a question that begs for an answer. The first step would certainly be for civil society, without influence from the corporate world, to get together and consider a more democratic and transparent structure for such global services. It would be wise for civil society to get going before corporations will establish fake democratic forums to preempt this goal.
Dr. Ludwig Watzal works as a journalist and editor in Bonn , Germany . He runs the bilingual blog between the lines. http://between-the-lines-ludwig-watzal.blogspot.de/