Twitter Flags Saying ‘Islam Is NOT a Religion of Peace’ as Possible ‘Hateful Conduct’

The logo of social network site Twitter reflected in a pair of glasses. Twitter says it suspended more than 375,000 accounts for violations linked to the promotion of terrorism in the last six months of 2016. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire URN: 30627884

PJ Media, by Robert Spencer, Sept. 6, 2017:

A few weeks ago I noticed that the hashtag #ConfessYourUnpopularOpinion was trending on Twitter. So I thought I would have a little fun, posted the tweet below, and forgot about it — until this weekend, when I received this email warning me that the tweet was being evaluated for possible violation of Twitter’s “hateful conduct policy”:

Dear Twitter user,

We are writing to inform you that certain content on your Twitter account @jihadwatchRS has been flagged, for possible violation of Twitter’s hateful conduct policy (https://support.twitter.com/articles/20175054), specifically:

We are sending you this notification to allow you to evaluate it.

If it is determined that the flagged content does not violate our hateful conduct policy, Twitter may still withhold content in France if the content appears to violate the laws of France.

For more information on our Country Withheld Content policy please see this page: https://support.twitter.com/articles/20169222

If you believe we have contacted you in error, please reply to this email and let us know.

Sincerely,

Twitter

“We are sending you this notification to allow you to evaluate it,” said Twitter.

All right. Let’s do that.

I could quote violent passages from the Qur’an, but those might be waved away with the dismissive and erroneous claim that the Bible contains similar exhortations to violence. Let’s focus instead on what Islamic authorities say — because one should get the impression that Islam is not a religion of peace from the authoritative sources in Sunni Islam, the schools of Sunni jurisprudence (madhahib).

Shafi’i school

A Shafi’i manual of Islamic law that was certified in 1991 by the clerics at Al-Azhar University — one of the leading authorities in the Islamic world — as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy stipulates about jihad that:

[T]he caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians … until they become Muslim or pay the non-Muslim poll tax.

It adds a comment by Sheikh Nuh Ali Salman, a Jordanian expert on Islamic jurisprudence: the caliph wages this war only:

… provided that he has first invited [Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians] to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya) … while remaining in their ancestral religions. ( ‘Umdat al-Salik, o9.8).

Of course, there is no caliph today, unless one believes the claims of the Islamic State, and hence the oft-repeated claim that ISIS, et al are waging jihad illegitimately, as no state authority has authorized their jihad. But they explain their actions in terms of defensive jihad, which needs no state authority to call it, and becomes “obligatory for everyone” (‘Umdat al-Salik, o9.3) if a Muslim land is attacked.

The end of the defensive jihad, however, is not peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims as equals: ‘Umdat al-Salik specifies that the warfare against non-Muslims must continue until “the final descent of Jesus.” After that?

“ [N]othing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus’ descent” (o9.8).

Hanafi school

A Hanafi manual of Islamic law repeats the same injunctions. It insists that people must be called to embrace Islam before being fought, “because the Prophet so instructed his commanders, directing them to call the infidels to the faith.” It emphasizes that jihad must not be waged for economic gain, but solely for religious reasons. From the call to Islam:

… the people will hence perceive that they are attacked for the sake of religion, and not for the sake of taking their property, or making slaves of their children, and on this consideration it is possible that they may be induced to agree to the call, in order to save themselves from the troubles of war.

However:

“[I]f the infidels, upon receiving the call, neither consent to it nor agree to pay capitation tax [jizya], it is then incumbent on the Muslims to call upon God for assistance, and to make war upon them, because God is the assistant of those who serve Him, and the destroyer of His enemies, the infidels, and it is necessary to implore His aid upon every occasion; the Prophet, moreover, commands us so to do.” (Al-Hidayah, II.140)

Maliki school

Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), a pioneering historian and philosopher, was also a Maliki legal theorist. In his renowned Muqaddimah, the first work of historical theory, he notes:

[I]n the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.

In Islam, the person in charge of religious affairs is concerned with “power politics,” because Islam is “under obligation to gain power over other nations.”

Hanbali school

The great medieval theorist of what is commonly known today as radical or fundamentalist Islam, Ibn Taymiyya (Taqi al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyya, 1263-1328), was a Hanbali jurist. He directed:

[S]ince lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God’s entirely and God’s word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought.

This is also taught by modern-day scholars of Islam.

Majid Khadduri was an Iraqi scholar of Islamic law of international renown. In his book War and Peace in the Law of Islam, which was published in 1955 and remains one of the most lucid and illuminating works on the subject, Khadduri says this about jihad:

The state which is regarded as the instrument for universalizing a certain religion must perforce be an ever expanding state. The Islamic state, whose principal function was to put God’s law into practice,sought to establish Islam as the dominant reigning ideology over the entire world. … The jihad was therefore employed as an instrument for both the universalization of religion and the establishment of an imperial world state. (P. 51)

Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee is an assistant professor on the Faculty of Shari’ah and Law of the International Islamic University in Islamabad. In his 1994 book The Methodology of Ijtihad, he quotes 12th century Maliki jurist Ibn Rushd:

Muslim jurists agreed that the purpose of fighting with the People of the Book … is one of two things: it is either their conversion to Islam or the payment of jizyah.

Nyazee concludes:

This leaves no doubt that the primary goal of the Muslim community, in the eyes of its jurists, is to spread the word of Allah through jihad, and the option of poll-tax [jizya] is to be exercised only after subjugation [of non-Muslims].

All this makes it clear that there is abundant reason to believe that Islam is indeed inherently violent.

It would be illuminating if Twitter produced some quotations from Muslim authorities they consider “authentic,” and explained why the authorities I’ve quoted above and others like them are inauthentic. While in reality there is no single Muslim authority who can proclaim what is “authentic” Islam, and thus it would be prudent not to make sweeping statements about what “authentic Islam” actually is, clearly there are many Muslims who believe that authentic Islam is inherently violent and not a “Religion of Peace.”

Are they all hateful “Islamophobes”?

Is Twitter going to drop this tweet, and probably soon enough ban me altogether, for telling unwelcome truths? Have at it, you simpering millennial totalitarians with your horn-rimmed glasses and your lattes. Before too long, the evil that you are enabling will turn its attention to you.

Two New Totalitarian Movements: Radical Islam and Political Correctness

Gatestone Institute, by A. Z. Mohamed, August 23, 2017:

  • The attempt in the West to impose a strict set of rules about what one is allowed to think and express in academia and in the media — to the point that anyone who disobeys is discredited, demonized, intimidated and in danger of losing his or her livelihood — is just as toxic and just as reminiscent of Orwell’s diseased society.
  • The main facet of this PC tyranny, so perfectly predicted by George Orwell, is the inversion of good and evil — of victim and victimizer. In such a universe, radical Muslims are victimized by the West, and not the other way around. This has led to a slanted teaching of the history of Islam and its conquests, both as a justification of the distortion and as a reflection of it.
  • Thought-control is necessary for the repression of populations ruled by despotic regimes. That it is proudly and openly being used by self-described liberals and human-rights advocates in free societies is not only hypocritical and shocking; it is a form of aiding and abetting regimes whose ultimate goal is to eradicate Western ideals.

Political correctness (PC) has been bolstering radical Islamism. This influence was most recently shown again in an extensive exposé by the Clarion Project in July 2017, which demonstrates the practice of telling “deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them in order to forget any fact that has become inconvenient” — or, as George Orwell called it in his novel, 1984, “Doublespeak.”

This courtship and marriage between the Western chattering classes and radical Muslim fanatics was elaborated by Andrew C. McCarthy in his crucial 2010 book, The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.

Since then, this union has strengthened. Both the United States and the rest of the West are engaged in a romance with forces that are, bluntly, antagonistic to the values of liberty and human rights.

To understand this seeming paradox, one needs to understand what radical Islamism and PC have in common. Although Islamism represents all that PC ostensibly opposes — such as the curbing of free speech, the repression of women, gays and “apostates” — both have become totalitarian ideologies.

The totalitarian nature of radical Islamism is more obvious than that of Western political correctness — and certainly more deadly. Sunni terrorists, such as ISIS and Hamas — and Shiites, such as Hezbollah and its state sponsor, Iran — use mass murder to accomplish their ultimate goal of an Islamic Caliphate that dominates the world and subjugates non-Muslims.

The attempt in the West, however, to impose a strict set of rules about what one is allowed to think and express in academia and in the media — to the point that anyone who disobeys is discredited, demonized, intimidated and in danger of losing his or her livelihood — is just as toxic and just as reminiscent of Orwell’s view of a diseased society.

These rules are not merely unspoken ones. Quoting a Fox News interview with American columnist Rachel Alexander, the Clarion Project points out that the Associated Press — whose stylebook is used as a key reference by a majority of English-language newspapers worldwide for uniformity of grammar, punctuation and spelling — is now directing writers to avoid certain words and terms that are now deemed unacceptable to putative liberals.

Alexander recently wrote:

“Even when individual authors do not adhere to the bias of AP Style, it often doesn’t matter. If they submit an article to a mainstream media outlet, they will likely see their words edited to conform. A pro-life author who submits a piece taking a position against abortion will see the words ‘pro-life’ changed to ‘anti-abortion,’ because the AP Stylebook instructs, ‘Use anti-abortion instead of pro-life and pro-abortion rights instead of pro-abortion or pro-choice.’ It goes on, ‘Avoid abortionist,’ saying the term ‘connotes a person who performs clandestine abortions.’

“Words related to terrorism are sanitized in the AP Stylebook. Militant, lone wolves or attackers are to be used instead of terrorist or Islamist. ‘People struggling to enter Europe’ is favored over ‘migrant’ or ‘refugee.’ While it’s true that many struggle to enter Europe, it is accurate to point out that they are, in fact, immigrants or refugees.”

To be sure, the AP Stylebook does not carry the same weight or authority as the Quranic texts on which radical Islamists base their jihadist actions and totalitarian aims. It does constitute, however, a cultural decree that has turned religious in its fervor. It gives a glimpse, as well, into the intellectual tyranny that has pervaded liberal Western thought and institutions.

The main facet of this PC tyranny, so perfectly predicted by Orwell, is the inversion of good and evil — of victim and victimizer. In such a universe, radical Muslims are victimized by the West, and not the other way around. This has led to a slanted teaching of the history of Islam and its conquests, both as a justification of the distortion and as a reflection of it.

As far back as 2003, the Middle East Forum reported on the findings of a study conducted by the American Textbook Council, an independent New York-based research organization, which stated:

“[Over the last decade], the coverage of Islam in world history textbooks has expanded and in some respects improved…. But on significant Islam-related subjects, textbooks omit, flatter, embellish, and resort to happy talk, suspending criticism or harsh judgments that would raise provocative or even alarming questions.”

Thought-control is necessary for the repression of populations ruled by despotic regimes. That it is proudly and openly being used by self-described liberals and human-rights advocates in free societies is not only hypocritical and shocking; it is a form of aiding and abetting regimes whose ultimate goal is to eradicate Western ideals. The relationship between the two must be recognized for what it is: a marriage made in hell.

A. Z. Mohamed is a Muslim born and raised in the Middle East.

Tech Blacklisting of Counterjihadists Is What Muslim Brotherhood Seeks: Sabotage by Our Hands

Ein Fachbesucher testen am 22.08.2017 in Köln (Nordrhein- Photo by: Oliver Berg/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

PJ Media, by Ben Weingarten, Aug. 22, 2017:

When one thinks of the embodiment of “hate,” modern-day jihadists are perhaps without equal.

They murder those who refuse to submit to their totalitarian theopolitical belief system in the most vile and horrific ways, from stabbings and shootings to beheadings, bombings, and vehicle crashings.

They revile non-believer “infidels,” from Jews and Christians to atheists and gays, and mercilessly persecute all who fall under their clutches.

They engage in sex slaverymass rape and pillaging.

But when today’s sophist Left thinks of “hate,” it focuses its sights not on jihadists, but on those who forthrightly discuss the jihadist threat, among other advocates of non-leftist views.

That is the sad reality in light of the emerging story of the blacklisting of such individuals and organizations by major technology platforms.

The most notable early casualty is Robert Spencer, who headlines a list of other opponents of the global jihad.

Spencer has dedicated his life to exposing Islamic supremacist ideology and the goals, tactics, and strategies of its peaceful and violent foot soldiers. He has published several bestselling books, and through his Jihad Watch website catalogues daily the global jihad’s advance and the tragic aiding, abetting, and enabling of the movement by Islamophiliac dupes, useful idiots, and fellow travelers.

For his long rap sheet of thought crimes, he’s paid a physical price. In May of 2017, Spencer was poisoned by a leftist while in Iceland to deliver an anti-jihad speech.

Now he is paying an economic one.

The online payment system service PayPal has booted Jihad Watch from its serviceunder the guise of a user agreement violation, meaning that its financial supporters can no longer easily contribute to the site online. These contributions support Spencer’s public appearances and website operations.

This comes on the heels of a campaign in which the purported “independent, non-profit,” but heavily leftist-funded investigative journalism website ProPublica blasted out an email to various groups and individuals – including Spencer — fingered by the Leftist Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and American Defamation League (ADL) as “hate” or “extremist,” asking them to in essence prove their innocence while simultaneously chilling their efforts.

It bears noting that the SPLC has previously lumped in conservative nonprofits of all stripes with neo-Nazis, effectively smearing its ideological adversaries.

The questions posed by ProPublica’s Lauren Kirchner included:

1) Do you disagree with the designation of your website as hate or extremist? Why?

2) We identified several tech companies on your website: PayPal, Amazon, Newsmax, and Revcontent. Can you confirm that you receive funds from your relationship with those tech companies? How would the loss of those funds affect your operations, and how would you be able to replace them?

3) Have you been shut down by other tech companies for being an alleged hate or extremist web site? Which companies?

4) Many people opposed to sites like yours are currently pressuring tech companies to cease their relationships with them – what is your view of this campaign? Why?

Is Google Working with Liberal Groups to Snuff Out Conservative Websites?

(Shutterstock)

PJ Media, by Paula Bolyard, Aug. 19, 2017:

See below for an important update.

Google revealed in a blog post that it is now using machine learning to document “hate crimes and events” in America. They’ve partnered with liberal groups like ProPublica, BuzzFeed News, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to make information about “hate events” easily accessible to journalists. And now, there are troubling signs that this tool could be used to ferret out writers and websites that run afoul of the progressive orthodoxy.

In the announcement, Simon Rogers, data editor of Google News Labs, wrote:

Now, with ProPublica, we are launching a new machine learning tool to help journalists covering hate news leverage this data in their reporting.

The Documenting Hate News Index — built by the Google News Lab, data visualization studio Pitch Interactive and ProPublica — takes a raw feed of Google News articles from the past six months and uses the Google Cloud Natural Language API to create a visual tool to help reporters find news happening across the country. It’s a constantly-updating snapshot of data from this year, one which is valuable as a starting point to reporting on this area of news.

The Documenting Hate project launched in response to the lack of national data on hate crimes. While the FBI is required by law to collect data about hate crimes, the data is incomplete because local jurisdictions aren’t required to report incidents up to the federal government.

All of which underlines the value of the Documenting Hate Project, which is powered by a number of different news organisations and journalists who collect and verify reports of hate crimes and events. Documenting Hate is informed by both reports from members of the public and raw Google News data of stories from across the nation.

On the surface, this looks rather innocuous. It’s presented by Google as an attempt to create a database of hate crimes — information that should be available with a quick Google search, it should be noted. But a quick glance at the list of partners for this project should raise some red flags:

The  ProPublica-led coalition includes  The Google News Lab,  Univision News, the  New York Times,  WNYC,  BuzzFeed News,  First DraftMeedan,  New America Media,  The Root,  Latino USA,  The Advocate100 Days in Appalachia and  Ushahidi. The coalition is also working with civil-rights groups such as the  Southern Poverty Law Center, and schools such as the  University of Miami School of Communications.

ProPublica poses as a middle-of-the-road non-profit journalistic operation, but in reality, it’s funded by a stable of uber-liberal donors, including George Soros’s Open Society Foundations and Herb and Marion Sandler, billionaire former mortgage bankers whose Golden West Financial Corp. allegedly targeted subprime borrowers with “pick-a-pay” mortgages that led to toxic assets that were blamed for the collapse of Wachovia. The Southern Poverty Law Center, of course, is infamous for targeting legitimate conservatives groups, branding them as “hate groups” because they refuse to walk in lockstep with the progressive agenda. And it goes with out saying that The New York Times and BuzzFeed News lean left.

A perusal of the raw data that’s been compiled thus far on hate stories shows articles from a wide array of center-right sites, including The Daily Caller, Breitbart News, The Washington Times, National Review, and the Washington Examiner. It also includes many articles from liberal sites like BuzzFeed News and The New York TimesOne story from PJ Media’s Bridget Johnson is included in the list. It’s a report about a Sikh ad campaign aimed at reducing hate crimes against members of their faith community. Many of the articles are simply reports about alleged hate crimes from sources running the gamut of the political spectrum.

ProPublica vows to diligently track “hate incidents” in the coming months. “Everyday people — not just avowed ‘white nationalists’ — intimidate, harass, humiliate and even harm their fellow Americans because of the color of their skin, how they worship or who they love.” [Emphasis added] Note that they’re not just focusing on hate “crimes.”

It’s easy enough to figure out the direction of this project by taking it for a test drive. A search for “Scalise” returned four results, one of which didn’t even mention Steve Scalise, the congressman who was shot by a crazed leftist in June. A search for “Trump” during the same time period yielded more than 200 results. A search of the raw data resulted in 1178 hits for Trump and not a single mention of Scalise.

Note that Google, which recently fired an employee for expressing his counter-progressive opinions, thinks this information could be used to “help journalists covering hate news leverage this data in their reporting.” What do they mean by “leverage this data”? They don’t say, but an email sent to several conservative writers by a ProPublica reporter may give us some indication. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer along with some others received this from ProPublica “reporter” Lauren Kirchner:

I am a reporter at ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative newsroom in New York. I am contacting you to let you know that we are including your website in a list of sites that have been designated as hate or extremist by the American Defamation League or the Southern Poverty Law Center. We have identified all the tech platforms that are supporting websites on the ADL and SPLC lists.

We would like to ask you a few questions:

1) Do you disagree with the designation of your website as hate or extremist? Why?

2) We identified several tech companies on your website: PayPal, Amazon, Newsmax, and Revcontent. Can you confirm that you receive funds from your relationship with those tech companies? How would the loss of those funds affect your operations, and how would you be able to replace them?

3) Have you been shut down by other tech companies for being an alleged hate or extremist web site? Which companies?

4) Many people opposed to sites like yours are currently pressuring tech companies to cease their relationships with them – what is your view of this campaign? Why?

In other words, nice website you’ve got there. It would be a shame if anything happened to it.

To summarize: Liberal ProPublica, working with the smear merchants at SPLC — powered by Google — sent a reporter out to issue not so veiled threats against conservative websites. It’s blatantly obvious that the goal here is to tank websites they disagree with by mounting a campaign to pressure their advertisers and tech providers to drop them as clients. This comes on the heels of Google, GoDaddy, CloudFlare, Apple, and others singling out alt-right sites for destruction in the wake of the Charlottesville riots.

Robert Spencer (who also writes for PJ Media) responded to the threat on his Jihad Watch blog:

The intent of your questions, and no doubt of your forthcoming article, will be to try to compel these sites to cut off any connection with us based on our opposition to jihad terror. Are you comfortable with what you’re enabling? Not only are you inhibiting honest analysis of the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, but you’re aiding the attempt to deny people a platform based on their political views. This could come back to bite you if your own views ever fall out of favor. Have you ever lived in a totalitarian state, where the powerful determine the parameters of the public discourse and cut off all voice from the powerless? Do you really want to live in one now? You might find, once you get there, that it isn’t as wonderful as you thought it would be.

Spencer has recently criticized Google and the SPLC here at PJ Media for their attempts to squelch dissent, so it’s not surprising that they’ve decided to target him. Only instead of fighting Spencer’s words with words of their own, they’re lashing out with actions designed to silence him.

William A. Jacobson, writing at Legal Insurrection, explained the seriousness of this recent spate of blacklistings:

 Companies like Cloudfare and others who provide internet infrastrucure will come under increasing pressure, and it won’t be limited to the Storm Fronts of the world. We know from history that the “hate” label is broadly applied for political purposes, and will be used only against right-of-center websites.

Being cut off from domain registrars and other aspects of the internet backbone is something we expect from totalitarian governments. Now that power is in the control of almost-uniformly left-wing corporate managers.

He went on to warn that the threats he highlights have gone way beyond mere politics. “They are about our liberty — on the street exercising our free speech rights, accessing the internet to communicate our ideas, and preserving the protections of the First Amendment and free speech,” he writes. “It’s a dangerous time.”

Robert Spencer wrote, “Authoritarianism in service of any cause leads to a slave society despite the best intentions of those who helped usher it in.”

We’re on a very slippery slope. Be assured that the left won’t stop at taking down alt-right sites. They’ve tasted blood with their recent successes and they won’t quit until we are all silenced.

UPDATE August 19 5:43 p.m.: ProPublica came out today with the expected hit piece on Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch, and others they disagree with, repeating the Southern Poverty Law Center’s smears and legitimizing the dishonest group’s hate list. In the article titled “Despite Disavowals, Leading Tech Companies Help Extremist Sites Monetize Hate,” Lauren Kirchner along with two fellow journalistsactivists documented the recent blacklisting of “hate websites” by tech companies and, although they didn’t come right out and say it, strongly implied that this should be the norm. They accept without question the hate designations bestowed by the SPCL and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The article leaves no doubt that ProPublica — which is working with Google, remember — wants to see more blacklisting. They will not rest until every one of the names on SPLC’s dubious 900-member hate list is purged from the Internet. Make no mistake. They are marshaling forces to pressure advertisers and tech providers to take conservative sites down. Just take a look at this list of Christian groups that made the listbecause they haven’t jumped on the LGBTQ bandwagon.

ProPublica explained what they’re doing with excruciating duplicity under the guise of “journalism”:

We supplemented the SPLC list with a list of top extremist websites provided to us by the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL does not publish this list and supplied it to us for research purposes. [Wasn’t that super helpful of the ADL?] 

See the list of websites we investigated. Download the data.

We located websites associated with the SPLC hate groups and combined it with the ADL’s list of hate sites. [Because 917 isn’t enought — they want more scalps.] We then compared the combined SPLC/ADL lists with the Alexa’s Top Million websites and filtered our list to use only websites that had enough traffic to appear in the top million sites worldwide.

We then wrote software to automatically browse to each website and collect a list of external domains contacted by each website. In the wake of Charlottesville, some popular white nationalist websites, such as The Daily Stormer, were shut down and we removed them from our list. Others, such as Richard Spencer’s National Policy Initiative, were shut down after we finished collecting data and so we included them in our results.

In order to identify which domains loaded advertisements or provided payment forms for the hate sites, and to eliminate domains that only provided basic functionality, we checked the external domains we found on those sites against the AdBlock Easylist. This crowdsourced list is used by ad blocking software to hide ads when users are browsing the internet.

[…]

In order to verify our results, we visited every website and clicked on the payment links to determine if a working credit card form was loaded, and we visually inspected each site to ensure that the ad networks were actually delivering ads when we loaded the page.

Note what they didn’t do? They didn’t actually read the sites to verify they were “hate sites.” It continues:

We then contacted all the websites and the tech companies and asked them to verify whether our results were correct. In some cases, such as Google Custom Search, the company clarified for us that although some websites were using the technology, none were being paid for its use.

If the SPLC and ADL, with their (growing) list of “hate groups” is going to be the arbiter for approved online speech, we have reached a very scary place in this country. It will be the end of the Internet as we know it and America will be no better than totalitarian China and N. Korea.

Follow me on Twitter @pbolyard

YouTube to Begin Censorship Via Mob Rule as Internet Titans Turn Liberal

Constitution, by Andrew West, August 1, 2017:

The war on conservatism has been waging on the internet for years, and now, YouTube is looking to get in on the action.

Recently, internet giants such as Google and Facebook have been working overtime to restrict the world’s access to non-mainstream media.  Facebook has been extremely egregious in their anti-conservative slant, openly admitting to employing a team of censors to eliminate right wing sources from appearing within their “trending topics” section.  This corrupt curation has been lambasted by watchdog groups the world over as nothing more than totalitarian censorship carried out by a power-hungry CEO.

Google has had its fair share of conservative controversy as well, as a number of popular search terms were neutered by the world’s most popular search engine.  Particularly, during the 2016 election, any searches for negative information on Hillary Clinton were either buried or completely omitted from the autocomplete results displayed on the website.

Furthermore, Google has already received record fines in Europe for their self-serving product search modifications that pointed consumers to Google-owned or Google-centric devices as opposed to the most popular devices as the website purported to be doing.

Now it looks as though YouTube, which is owned by Google, will also look to rig its search results, leaving free speech advocates concerned over the reality-shaping leftist scam completely inundating the internet as we know it.

“According to a post on YouTube’s official blog, videos will now be subject to the rule of the mob. If enough users flag a video as ‘hate speech’ or ‘violent extremism,’ YouTube may impose restrictions on the content even if it breaks none of the platform’s rules.

“‘We’ll soon be applying tougher treatment to videos that aren’t illegal but have been flagged by users as potential violations of our policies on hate speech and violent extremism. If we find that these videos don’t violate our policies but contain controversial religious or supremacist content, they will be placed in a limited state. The videos will remain on YouTube behind an interstitial, won’t be recommended, won’t be monetized, and won’t have key features including comments, suggested videos, and likes.’

“YouTube has also rolled out a ‘trusted flagger’ program, in which 15 ‘expert NGOs and institutions’ to help them identify hate speech and extremism on their platform.

“Among these organizations are the No Hate Speech Movement, a left-wing project pushed by the Council of Europe, as well as the Anti-Defamation League, an organization whose president has been accused of ‘manufacturing outrage’ by the World Jewish Congress.

“YouTube is also planning to artificially alter its search results so that searches for ‘sensitive’ topics on YouTube no longer return the most popular videos, but a ‘playlist of curated YouTube videos that directly confront and debunk violent extremist messages.’”

While the concept of censoring hateful videos seems innocuous enough, the reality of this overreach will likely be much more damaging than imagined.

Free speech in America has been under attack for some time, with February’s UC Berkeley riots being the flashpoint for the liberal New Fascist movement to bolster their offensives.  These militant leftists believe that the First Amendment should be rewritten to nullify free speech in cases where people are offended.

***

Also see:

YOUTUBE’S DANGEROUS CONFLATION OF “TERRORISM” AND “INFLAMMATORY SPEECH” by Daniel Greenfield

Google was unique as a major dot com with an absolutist position on free speech. Where Twitter eagerly censored the right and favored the left, Facebook favored the left, Google stood by free speech.

When Obama came looking for a Benghazi scapegoat and seized on the Innocence of Muslims video, not only did YouTube refuse to take it down, but Google fought an extended court battle over it. It was an impressive feat that is coming undone.

Google News and then Google began baking in partisan “fact checks” into search results. Then the search algorithms were retooled to promote Islamist views over those of counterterrorism critics, as Robert Spencer has discussed.  Search for Jihad and you’ll find Islamist results while Jihad Watch has been buried.

Now Google will have a cage for “inflammatory videos”. As a subset of measures being taken to flag pro-terrorist videos, there will be a crackdown on non-violent but inflammatory videos.

Third, we will be taking a tougher stance on videos that do not clearly violate our policies — for example, videos that contain inflammatory religious or supremacist content. In future these will appear behind an interstitial warning and they will not be monetised, recommended or eligible for comments or user endorsements. That means these videos will have less engagement and be harder to find. We think this strikes the right balance between free expression and access to information without promoting extremely offensive viewpoints.

The question is who decides what is inflammatory or offensive. And what are the metrics?

Google is a private company. It has the right to decide who uses its service. But

1. Google is vocally fighting for Net Neutrality. There’s a good deal of hypocrisy in demanding that cable companies shouldn’t be able to rein in YouTube’s bandwidth as part of their own corporate policies, while playing the capitalism card when it suits it.

2. Google is a monopoly. There’s no way around it. It controls much of the internet. Its dominance in search is particularly troubling. As it begins biasing its results, the worry stops being abstract and becomes a real threat to freedom of speech. When a corporate monopoly can silence political dissent, we’re in troubling territory.

And this needs to be addressed.

YouTube terminates jihadi monitoring channel. ISIS/AQ vids remain

Rego Korosi | Flickr

THE VIDEO-SHARING GIANT HAS SHUT DOWN THE SITE INTEL GROUP.

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, Jully 25, 2017:

YouTube continues its crackdown on individuals and groups that expose radical Islamic terror, while allowing for jihadi material to remain on its platform for years.

The Site Intelligence Group, a Washington, D.C.-area terrorist monitoring organization, revealed Monday that YouTube has banned the group “due to repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines.”

Site founder Rita Katz protested the ban, describing her company’s page as providing “carefully edited education-purposed clips of jihadi materials.”

And Site has received bipartisan recognition for its work. On Monday, New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi voiced her frustration with the “broken regulations” of YouTube that still allows ISIS videos but bans groups like Site.

YouTube has in the past commented to Conservative Review about its editorial policies: “we take our role in combating the spread of extremist material very seriously.”

Though YouTube has chosen to terminate Site from its platform, the Google-owned organization continues to be a platform for radical extremist content.

One can still easily find ISIS recruitment videos and lectures from former al-Qaida chief propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki. Extremist content from hate imams who are credited with inspiring terrorist attacks such as the one in June at London Bridge are also readily available.

Meanwhile, the platform continues its quick trigger approach when targeting right-of-center authors.

CRTV’s Michelle Malkin recently published a piece in Conservative Review documenting her own experiences utilizing the platform. “Anti-jihad and conservative content creators have been throttled, flagged, demonetized and kicked off the site since the P.C. hammer first came down on me,” Malkin explained.

The Site Intelligence Group did not return a request for comment.

Also see:

Did Facebook Just Agree to Enforce Blasphemy Laws?

(Photo; Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Clarion Project, by Meira Svirsky, July 13, 2017

Doublespeak is language that deliberately distorts or even reverses the meaning of words. For example, when critics of radical Islam expose this extremism for what is it, Islamists and their “progressive” enablers call them “Islamophobes;” when those who call themselves “social justice warriors” campaigning for tolerance exhibit just the opposite (i.e., intolerance) by shutting down any conversation with which they don’t agree; when others force their religious beliefs (i.e., blasphemy laws) upon others in the name of freedom of religion (as in Canada’s new motion against criticism of Islam); or when perpetrators of crimes frame themselves as victims.

Doublespeak often leads to doublethink, as George Orwell writes in his seminal novel Nineteen Eight-Four: “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient.” In the novel, people explicitly learn doublethink due to peer pressure and a desire to fit in or gain status with in the “Party.”

With these definitions in mind, Clarion Project launches a week-long expose of some of the worst offenders:

A high-level Facebook executive met with the interior minister in Pakistan last week to discuss Pakistan’s demand that the social media platform remove what the Islamist country deems “blasphemous content.”

The fact the meeting took place at all speaks volumes about Facebook’s intent.

First, the tete-a-tete, the first-ever discussion on the issue between a senior Facebook exec and the Pakistani government, comes on the heels of the decision by a Pakistani “counter-terrorism” court to sentence a 30-year-old man to death for making “blasphemous” comments on Facebook.

Such an outrageous verdict should have caused any company serious about human rights to refuse to engage with such a regime. Even the fact that there exists such a law such a law that violates the basic — and what should be universal — right to freedom of speech should be reason to protest.

Yet apparently, business is business for Facebook.

Facebook has 33-million users in Pakistan. So not only did Facebook engage with the Pakistani government, they made assurances to the sharia-compliant country that they were committed to keeping their platform “safe” by “promoting values” that are in congruence with their “community standards.”

Facebook also committed to removing explicit, hateful and provocative posts that incite violence and terrorism.

In Pakistan, that means blasphemous content (as per Pakistan’s definition of blasphemy). Because in Pakistan, just the mere mention of blasphemy can incite mob violence and extra-judicial lynchings.

Pakistan is active in pursing internet service providers to convince them to make any criticism of Islam forbidden. In March, it convened a meeting of Muslim countries to discuss how they can shut down freedom of expression on social media with regards to blasphemous (read: anti-Islam) content.

As to how the meeting went with Facebook, Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said, “We appreciate the understanding shown by the Facebook administration and the cooperation being extended to us on these issues.”

So, when Facebook – which has a history of taking down material critical of Islamists — says to Pakistan it will remove “hateful and provocative” material, it is most likely doublespeak for “We will comply with Islam’s blasphemy laws.”

Unfortunately, compliance with – and even enforcement of—Islamist blasphemy laws has become an all-too-common fixture in the West.

In some cases, the West has simply bowed to Islamists under the threat of violence. After the Danish cartoon riots which spread across the globe and the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Western publications have demurred from publishing most any material deemed offensive to Islam.

Yet other examples are more insidious. Canada just passed a motion “condemning all forms of Islamophobia.” The motion, hailed as a “first-step” by its supporters, is dangerously close to and may even make illegal any criticism of Islam.

Europe, which has no bill of rights guaranteeing the freedoms enshrined in America’s constitution, has traditionally balanced freedom of expression with social concerns. In recent years, that balance has become defined through the relativistic morality of each country’s political climate, with freedom of speech in a serious decline due to pressure from Islamists and their “progressive” supporters.

If we intend to hold on to the freedoms we now take for granted in the U.S., pressure should be put on Facebook as well as any other company which exhibits compliance with sharia blasphemy laws. Otherwise, we will sadly see our rights slipping away as is the situation in Europe today.