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Thread: The Trust Project: Big Media and Silicon Valley’s Weaponized Algorithms Silence Dissent

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    The Trust Project: Big Media and Silicon Valley’s Weaponized Algorithms Silence Dissent

    The Trust Project: Big Media and Silicon Valley’s Weaponized Algorithms Silence Dissent
    by Whitney Webb

    After the failure of Newsguard — the news rating system backed by a cadre of prominent neoconservative personalities — to gain traction among American tech and social media companies, another organization has quietly stepped in to direct the news algorithms of tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.

    Though different from Newsguard, this group, known as “The Trust Project,” has a similar goal of restoring “trust” in corporate, mainstream media outlets, relative to independent alternatives, by applying “trust indicators” to social-media news algorithms in a decidedly untransparent way. The funding of “The Trust Project” — coming largely from big tech companies like Google; government-connected tech oligarchs like Pierre Omidyar; and the Knight Foundation, a key Newsguard investor — suggests that an ulterior motive in its tireless promotion of “traditional” mainstream media outlets is to limit the success of dissenting alternatives.

    Of particular importance is the fact that the Trust Project’s “trust indicators” are already being used to control what news is promoted and suppressed by top search engines like Google and Bing and massive social-media networks like Facebook. Though the descriptions of these “trust indicators” — eight of which are currently in use — are publicly available, the way they are being used by major tech and social media companies is not.
    ...
    Notably, the Trust Project’s media partners, involved in creating these new “standards” for news algorithms, include major publications owned by wealthy oligarchs: the Washington Post, owned by the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos; the Economist, directed by the wealthy Rothschild family; and the Globe and Mail, owned by Canada’s richest family, the Thomsons, who also own Thomson Reuters. Other Trust Project partners include The New York Times, Mic, Hearst Television, the BBC and the USA Today network.
    ...
    Given the Trust Project’s rich-get-richer impact on the online news landscape, it is not surprising to find that it is funded by rich and powerfl figures and forces with a clear stake in controlling the flow of news and information online.

    According to its website, the Trust Project currently receives funding from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Google, Facebook, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (often abbreviated as the Knight Foundation), and the Markkula Foundation. Its website also states that Google was “an early financial supporter” and that it had originally been funded by Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist. As previously mentioned, the Trust Project’s co-founder is Richard Gingras, current Google vice president of News. The Trust Project’s website described Gingras’s current role with the organization as “a powerful evangelist” who “can always be counted upon for expert advice and encouragement.” Newmark’s current role at the Trust Project is described as that of a “funder and valued connector.”
    ...
    Newmark is currently working with Vivian Schiller as his “strategic adviser” in his media investments. Schiller is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, former head of news at Twitter, and a veteran of well-known mainstream outlets like NPR, CNN, The New York Times and NBC News. She is also a director of the Scott Trust, which owns The Guardian.
    ...
    The Democracy Fund, another top funder of the Trust Project and a bipartisan foundation that was established by eBay founder and PayPal owner Omidyar...
    ...
    The Democracy Fund’s involvement in the Trust Project is notable because of the other media projects it funds, such as the new media empire of arch-neoconservative Bill Kristol, who has a long history of creating and disseminating falsehoods that have been used to justify the US war in Iraq and other hawkish foreign policy stances. As a recent MintPress series revealed, Omidyar’s Democracy Fund provides financial support to Kristol’s Defending Democracy Together initiative and also supports Kristol’s Alliance for Securing Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund think tank that is best known for its cryptic Hamilton68 “Russian bot” dashboard. Omidyar’s Democracy Fund has also donated to the German Marshall Fund’s Defending Digital Democracy project and directly to the German Marshall Fund itself. In addition, Charles Sykes, a co-founder and editor-at-large of Kristol’s new publication The Bulwark, is on the Democracy Fund’s National Advisory Committee.

    An acolyte of Kristol’s who works at the German Marshall Fund, Jamie Fly, stated last Octoberthat the coordinated social-media purges of independent media pages known for their criticisms of US empire and US police violence was “just the beginning” and hinted that the German Marshall Fund had a hand in past social media purges and, presumably, a role in future purges. Thus, the Democracy Fund’s links to neoconservatives who promote the censoring of independent media sites that are critical of militaristic US foreign policy jibe with the fund’s underlying interest in the Trust Project.

    Omidyar’s involvement with the Trust Project is interesting for another reason, namely that Omidyar is the main backer behind the efforts of the controversial Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to become a key driver of which outlets are censored by Silicon Valley tech giants. The ADL was initially founded to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all” but critics say that over the years it has begun labeling critics of Israel’s government as “anti-Semites.”
    ...
    Much more: https://www.mintpressnews.com/the-tr...issent/259030/
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
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    They are what they hate.” - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.



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  3. #2
    And the war on free speech continues.
    "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration is minding my own business."

    Calvin Coolidge

  4. #3
    More on Jamie Fly:

    Jamie Fly, a former adviser to the George W. Bush administration, served as executive director of the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) during 2009-2013 and was a blogger for the Weekly Standard, both bastions of beltway neoconservative advocacy.[1] Fly’s experience includes serving in the National Security Council and the Defense Department during the Bush presidency, stints at the Claremont Institute and the American Enterprise Institute, and working as a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations.[2]

    In early 2013, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), then a presumptive candidate for the GOP presidential contest, hired Fly to be his “counselor for foreign and national security affairs.”[3] News of the appointment prompted one blogger to write: “Despite the neoconservative movement’s ideas being thoroughly out of the mainstream, the neocons remain with us, shaping the U.S. foreign policy debate.”[4]
    ...
    Fly, who was replaced by Chris Griffins as director of FPI, first gained public prominence when he was tapped to head the neoconservative advocacy group in 2009. Founded by several high-profile neoconservative figures—including William Kristol, Robert Kagan, and Dan Senor—FPI is similar in its aims and operations to the now-defunct Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a letterhead organization associated with AEI that played an important role in advocating the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.[6] As a successor to PNAC, FPI is devoted to promoting an aggressive U.S. security posture in the post-George W. Bush era.

    FPI Track Record

    As FPI’s executive director, Fly authored numerous articles and was frequently quoted in the press promoting a variety of neoconservative agenda items, including attacking Iran, increasing defense spending, remaining in Afghanistan, and forcing regime change in various hostile countries.[7]
    ...
    His other professional experience includes being “a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations from 2002-2004, where he worked on European and national security issues. He has worked at the World Bank and interned at the American Enterprise Institute, the American Embassy in London, and the United States Senate. … Mr. Fly was a 2004 German Marshall Fund Manfred Wörner fellow, 2009 Claremont Institute Lincoln fellow, and he participated in the 2004 Aspen Institute’s Transatlantic Young Leaders Program in Berlin, the 2006 Atlantik Brücke German-America Young Leaders Conference, and the 2006 Bucerius Summer School on Global Governance.”
    ...
    More: https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/jamie-fly/
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    They are what they hate.” - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.



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