False Neutrality: Center for Democracy and Technology Admits ‘Political Orientation’ of Censorship Partners Cannot Shift

The keystone of the censorship industry’s branding operation is its claim to be is non-partisan. It doesn’t censor particular viewpoints – it censors “disinformation.” It doesn’t persecute its political opponents – it monitors “extremists.” It doesn’t interfere in elections on behalf of particular parties or candidates – it simply defends “election integrity.” Every major censorship…

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10 Times The Censorship Industry Suppressed Factually True Information

The era of online censorship was fueled by media-driven panics about “fake news” and “disinformation.” The focus of fear switched many times, from the spy-thriller narrative of Russian agents spreading disinformation intended to undermine U.S. elections, to “conspiracy theorists” questioning the official response to COVID-19 and undermining “election integrity” by raising concerns about mail-in ballot…

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USAID Internal Documents Reveal Government Plot To Promote Censorship Initiatives

SUMMARY The US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Center on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG) created an internal “Disinformation Primer” that revealed the agency’s explicit praise for private sector censorship strategies and proposed additional censorship practices and techniques. USAID’s censorship proposals were aimed at influencing private sector technology companies, media organizations, education ministries, national…

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Hunter Biden / ATI
Congressionally-Chartered Nonprofit’s Disinformation Dashboard Used to Track Hunter Biden Laptop Story

Junkipedia, a dashboard for tracking and reporting “problematic content” created by the Algorithmic Transparency Institute (ATI), a project of the Congressionally-chartered National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), was used to help discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story ahead of the 2020 election — linking the laptop story to “Pizzagate” and other conspiracy theories. Rolled out in…

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‘Trusted Messengers:’ Volunteer Censors Trained to Control Your Community’s Speech

SUMMARY Heading into 2024, the censorship industry wants to recruit “trusted messengers” in key demographics to take control of narratives, and monitor their communities for “misinformation,” logging their activity on databases controlled by censors. The government’s top-down coordination of online censorship has receded due to pressure from congressional scrutiny and lawsuits.  Censorship organizations have lost…

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Protection Racket: Why The Censorship Industry Bails Out The Media

SUMMARY Establishment media companies are facing a decline in their dominance due to competition from decentralized media. Some media figures have used recent layoffs at news companies to claim the industry is facing a crisis. In the U.S., these efforts have coalesced around the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), which would funnel money from…

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Civic Listening / WhatsApp
‘Civic Listening’: Political Informants and Citizen Spies, Rebranded

SUMMARY The popularity of private messaging channels such as WhatsApp to share news and political opinions is a major obstacle for the censorship industry, which cannot easily monitor such channels. These private networks are particularly popular in non-English speaking demographics, a growing cause of concern for online censors. In response, top censorship organizations have turned…

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The Censorship Industry’s Plan to Censor Latino Communities

SUMMARY The censorship industry is concerned by Latino voters’ growing sympathies for populism and Donald Trump. The National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), a purportedly nonpartisan nonprofit established by a Congressional charter, launched the Algorithmic Transparency Institute (ATI), which pioneered efforts to monitor and censor Spanish online speech. ATI targets speech that has “ill effects,” regardless…

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Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic Advertising: Decoding The Censorship Industry’s Top Weapon

SUMMARY Programmatic advertising, the automated buying and selling of digital ads based on demographic tracking and targeting, is the bedrock of the online economy, providing the majority of revenue for a large number of news websites and social media platforms. Post-2016, the censorship industry manufactured crises for brands by cherry-picking examples of ads next to…

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Graham Hancock / DOJ
A DOJ Funded ‘Violent Extremism’ Censorship Project is Tracking Archaeology Journalist Graham Hancock’s Website

A recent FFO report revealed the Department of Justice is pouring millions of taxpayer dollars into “research” programs that monitor millions of Americans at scale, labeling them as potential violent extremists. The Justice Department explicitly sought out such programs, through a grant program on “domestic radicalization and violent extremism,” with $4,109,127 in grants awarded so…

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