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Constructing the Narrative: Censorship On Wikipedia, YouTube, Instagram

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Constructing the Narrative: Censorship On Wikipedia, YouTube, Instagram

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In recent days, new wave of censorship started on Social Media, including Wikipedia and YouTube. It could, of course, all be “incidentally” happening at the same time.

On November 11th, White Helmets co-founder and former MI-6 officer James Le Mesurier was found dead near his Istanbul home.

Following that, an anonymous editor, with the nickname “Philip Cross” is attempting to censor all Wikipedia publications that indicate that the White Helmets “rescue organization” collaborate with terrorists and engaged in the production of “chemical attacks” in Syria.

The observation was made by UK politician and former ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray, on twitter:

Constructing the Narrative: Censorship On Wikipedia, YouTube, Instagram

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Craig Murray also authored a piece on Philip Cross, asking why James Le Mesurier, as well as some high-profile narrative managers followed the account on Twitter.

“Why then does James LeMesurier, founder of the ‘White Helmets’, follow Philip Cross on twitter? Why does ex-minister Tristram Hunt follow Philip Cross on Twitter? Why does Sarah Brown, wife of Gordon, follow Philip Cross on twitter? Why then do so the following corporate and state journalists follow ‘Philip Cross’ on twitter?”

The same Philip Cross was looked into by Caitlyn Johnstone, and she’s provided quite a bit of evidence that the individual constantly managing the Wikipedia pages of both pro-establishment and anti-establishment media figures in a very pro-establishment slant.

“An article by Five Filters which you can read by clicking here documents how the “Philip Cross” account has been working morning to night with precisely zero days off toward this endeavor.”

In addition, the Wikipedia editor actively intervenes in articles about British politicians who oppose US military campaigns in the Middle East There’s even an award for identifying who “Philip Cross” really is.

In the James Le Mesurier page on Wikipedia, Philip Cross made dozens of alterations, to present the White Helmets in a positive light.

When it comes to YouTube there’s been a lot of controversy regarding its algorithm and the potential for censorship, and the facts of censoring conservative voices and opinions, under the pretext of “hate speech” and other justifications.

That is all about to change.

From December 10th onwards, YouTube is changing is Terms of Service, allowing it to potentially terminate any account that isn’t “commercially viable.” And not only to YouTube, but to all Google services.

“YouTube is under no obligation to host or serve content,” the new terms of service policy reads.

YouTube is a relatively open platform, but it doesn’t mean that the company is required to keep videos up.

Most of the updates are focused on who’s using the platform, and to protect children. In September, the Federal Trade Commission issued a $170 million fine against Google for alleged violations of the children’s online privacy protection act (COPPA). YouTube also agreed to make changes to further protect children’s privacy and comply with the law.

YouTube claims that it’s “not changing.” A spokesperson said: “We’re making some changes to our Terms of Service in order to make them easier to read and to ensure they’re up to date. We’re not changing the way our products work, how we collect or process data, or any of your settings.”

Of course, channels that are not “commercially viable” are likely to include many of the controversial accounts and users that don’t share the mainstream narrative and refuse to propagate it.

A version of the line for commercial viability and terminating accounts is present in the current ToS, but the wording is different in the news one, allowing YouTube more leeway.

It now says that YouTube has the “sole discretion” to terminate an account, whereas before it said that YouTube must “reasonably believe” it should do so. A YouTube spokesperson said that the company is “also not changing how we work with creators, nor their rights over their works, or their right to monetize.”

When it comes to Facebook its recent removals of pages allegedly related to Russia, Iran and such are notorious.

Regardless, a Twitter user by the name of Joshua Maddux published a video, after he noticed something strange. His camera was working while he was browsing the Facebook app and watching adverts.

Specialized publications reported that this was a “bug” that “made” Facebook actively use your camera while you scrolled.

In a tweet, Guy Rosen, Facebook vice president of Integrity, said that Facebook is submitting a fix to the App Store on November 12th.

“We recently discovered our iOS app incorrectly launched in landscape,” Rosen said. “In fixing that last week in v246 we inadvertently introduced a bug where the app partially navigates to the camera screen when a photo is tapped. We have no evidence of photos/videos uploaded due to this.”

Users’ concerns with Facebook security are long standing and this hardly assists in abolishing any of them.

At the same time, apart from “accidentally” using your camera, microphone and having access to your calendar, personal pictures and information, Facebook also partakes in some good, old fashioned censorship.

The South China Morning Post, a very obviously pro-Western media reported that Facebook was twice asked by the Hong Kong Police to remove false and defamatory information.

The reports the Hong Kong police asked for the removal are two: the first is about “sexual assault by the police,” the second is about “killing Hong Kong residents.”

In its letter, publicly available on its official website, the force said: “As a global social media platform, Facebook absolutely has the responsibility to ensure that contents dispatched by its users are factual and in the public interest.”

Facebook didn’t fulfill the request, and then a second letter was send, expressing the Hong Kong police’s “extreme disappointment” with the company’s inaction.

In the second letter, the force referred to more “defamatory” posts and again insisted Facebook act decisively against “inaccurate reports” and posts that “provoke hatred”.

“We strongly demand the Hong Kong office of Facebook remove such content and hand over relevant information to police for further investigation,” the October 24th letter read.

A Facebook spokesman said: “We can confirm that we have received two letters from the Hong Kong police force regarding Hong Kong protest content on Facebook.”

Of course, Facebook didn’t undertake any action, since the reports are in line with the Western-led narrative for Hong Kong, why would it.

Finally, Instagram announced that the company would pay for celebrities’ video production for its IGTV, but these videos must not include content about social issues, elections, or politics.”

IGTV is Instagram’s answer to YouTube, and it appears to be much more censored than YouTube currently is.

“There’s a pretty big difference between allowing political speech and funding it directly,” Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, tweeted.

The contract would prohibit creators from making content about social issues including civil rights, immigration, education, health, and guns.

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