“Civic Listening,” More Newspeak For Censorship
“Civic listening.” That is what social media platforms call it when they help the government spy on its citizens.
This comes from a new round of Twitter Files, published by Andrew Lowenthal, former executive director of a non-governmental organization called Engage Media.
Lowenthal shows copious amounts of communication between social media companies and government organizations and journalists to hand over access and control. The government presented frameworks for access and was granted that access by Facebook, Google, Reddit, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Verizon, and of course Twitter. The emails show executives happily coming up with “industry-wide” policies for an open door for government reach.
How bad is it?
According to Lowenthal, “tech companies not only collaborate on content, they gather regularly for “private sector engagement” with the FBI, DOD, DHS, House and Senate Intel Committees, and others.” The files show an “alliance of academics, journalists, intelligence operates, military personnel, government bureaucrats, NGO workers and more,” all working together cartel-style. Source
The government provides these companies with suggestions on how to give certain accounts “state media” labels, which in turn discredits accounts that are guilty of wrong think. This happened to former Scottish politician George Galloway whose account was labeled “Russian state media” because he is critical of the war. The label has since been removed, but how did it get there in the first place??
This round of Twitter Files also shows government and NGOs alike trying to figure out how to reach into encrypted communication through programs such as WhatsApp and Signal in order to hunt down “problematic content.” That initiative is code named Junkipedia.
Through these files we can see that the lines between the government, the media and social media are non-existent. Thus the censorship industrial complex and it’s a hungry beast. Source
DHS staff such as Matt Masterson became fellows at the Stanford Internet Observatory to work on the Virality Project’s censorship of “true stories of vaccine side effects.” The communication states that while these stories are not clearly mis or disinformation, they may be malinformation, for being exaggerated or misleading or true posts that could fuel hesitancy, such as individual countries banning vaccines.
Automated Controversy Detection & Center for an Informed Public (CIP) boast of their online monitoring capabilities and use a “pioneering algorithm that identifies opposing sentiment on a topic as well as quantifies the amount of disagreement.” Source
Anti-disinformation conferences teem with Beltway journalists – the same names from The Post, Atlantic, NBC, over and over – but these proto-censorship workshops are often off the record, like defense or intel confabs, making reporters participants. So, the people accusing others of “disinformation” RUN the biggest disinformation campaigns themselves. Source Since Jan. 2020, the CIP has collected more than 11 BILLION tweets and more than 100 terabytes of social media data as part of its rapid-response mis-and disinformation research activities.
The scale of funding is beyond shocking. Governments and foundations pour millions, with one company alone reportedly winning $979 million from the Pentagon – into “anti-disinformation” firms and NGOs.
Now we know why the Pentagon failed its 5th annual audit in a row.