Microsoft has installed a new news filter into its Edge mobile web browser, which provides users with uninvited assessments of the credibility of various news outlets. Predictably, the scoring of Microsoft’s filter is heavily biased towards establishment and legacy media outlets.
Microsoft’s filter, called “Newsguard,” assigns a “red,” or unreliable, scoring to several outlets that present a conservative or anti-establishment perspective. Some platforms it deems to be dangerous to Edge users include Breitbart, the Daily Mail and Drudge Report.
All of these platforms are widely popular and well read, with the Daily Mail being the third-highest circulating digital news outlet in the United Kingdom, and the Drudge Report serving as the most widely viewed news aggregator in the United States for at least a decade.
Wikileaks is also given a red scoring for supposed unreliability, despite never releasing inauthentic documents and serving as a neutral political accountability platform.
Ironically, some of the outlets given a “green” or credible scoring by Microsoft’s Edge filter have a track record of spreading some of the infamous fake news stories in recent memory. Buzzfeed was laughably assessed as credible- despite getting busted promoting a totally fake conspiracy theory about President Trump instructing Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about his plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
Microsoft’s news filter extension- hoisted upon the browser without any input from users requesting its implementation- represents the latest attempt from big technology companies to control and siphon the political content viewed by its consumers. No longer do companies such as Microsoft seek to offer a service to people as their defining mission, instead opting to create an environment where their behavior can be controlled by small teams of centrally-located corporate authoritarians.
Leading neoconservatives and career establishment foreign policy operatives such as Deep State-linked former CIA Director Michael Hayden are said to have played a role in the design and implementation of Microsoft’s new news filter, according to a report by Breitbart’s Allum Bokhari.
Facebook Will Create “Oversight Board” For Users to Appeal Censorship Decisions
A smidgen of accountability.
Facebook is planning on rolling out an “oversight board” to which users of the platform can appeal the censorship of content.
“Over the next few weeks, our nearly 3 billion users will have access to an independent review of difficult content decisions,” announced the company in a Thursday blog post.
Oversight Board to Start Hearing Cases https://t.co/AAaa2nPmsF
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) October 22, 2020
Facebook is describing the oversight board as a “global body of experts separate from Facebook that will make independent and binding decisions on the cases they choose to hear.” Facebook users will presumably have the option to appeal incidences of censorship to Facebook’s oversight board when they have exhausted use of Facebook’s existing censorship appeal process. However, the existing process is only available on a seemingly arbitrary basis, and it’s probably not unlikely that those who already aren’t in Facebook’s good graces won’t be allowed the opportunity to appeal to the oversight board.
The overseers are employed and selected by Facebook itself, casting serious doubt as to whether they’re genuinely impartial arbiters of social media censorship.
It’s hard to tell if this is a step in the right direction or merely a ruse for the monopoly to counter accusations that its arbitrary censorship process is undemocratic and authoritarian. In predictable fashion, the powerful Oversight Board is staffed almost exclusively with Soros-linked neoliberal progressives, some of whom have already advocated for a European understanding of “free speech” as opposed to an American one.
With great power comes great responsibility, and Facebook seems content to accept the former without the latter. It simply isn’t their place to declare what is permissible political speech.
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