21-year-old Michael Zydel broke the rules of his probation for DUI and assault charges, which prompted the police department in Redford Township to post an appeal to their Facebook followers to assist them in locating him and bringing him to justice. Zydel, who goes by “Champagne Torino” on Facebook, was actually one of the people who replied to the post, saying that he wasn’t to worried about it and challenging police to get at least 1,000 shares on their next post if they wanted him to turn himself in.
“I’m not worried about it,” Zydel wrote. “If your next post gets 1,000 shares I’ll turn myself in with a dozen doughnuts and that’s a promise. “And I’ll pick up every piece of litter around your public schools.”
That was apparently too good an offer to pass up, so the Redford PD again asked people to help them complete the challenge. Judging by their post, the promised donuts were just the incentive they needed. “Donuts!!!! He promised us donuts! You know how much we love Donuts!” they wrote on their Facebook page.
The police made it clear that they didn’t know if the wanted man would actually stay true to his word, but they thought completing the challenge was worth a shot. After news of it went viral online, the police managed to get over 4,000 shares on their post, so it was up to Michael Zydel to fulfill his promise.
On Monday, October 6, the wanted man showed up at the Redford PD headquarters with a bag of donuts in hand, prompting the department to write “Zaydel made good on his promise to turn himself in to RTPD for his outstanding warrants. He walked in on his own, and not only did he bring the doughnuts, he brought one bagel! We would again like to express our gratitude for the support of all who followed this, shared it, and left us positive feedback.”
Despite staying true to his word, Michael Zydel still had to pay the price for breaking probation. A judge recently sentenced him to 39 days in jail, a sentenced that could be extended by 30 days if he fails to pay all court costs and fines.
The political representatives of the American ruling class are engaged in a conspiracy to suppress free speech. Under the guise of combating “trolls” and “fake news” supposedly controlled by Russia, the most basic constitutional rights enumerated in the First Amendment are under direct attack.
The leading political force in this campaign is the Democratic Party, working in collaboration with sections of the Republican Party, the mass media and the military-intelligence establishment.
The Trump administration is threatening nuclear war against North Korea, escalating the assault on health care, demanding new tax cuts for the rich, waging war on immigrant workers, and eviscerating corporate and environmental regulations. This reactionary agenda is not, however, the focus of the Democratic Party. It is concentrating instead on increasingly hysterical claims that Russia is “sowing divisions” within the United States.
In the media, one report follows another, each more ludicrous than the last. The claim that Russia shifted the US election by means of $100,000 in advertisements on Facebook and Twitter has been followed by breathless reports of the Putin government’s manipulation of other forms of communication.
An “exclusive” report from CNN last week proclaimed that one organization, “Don’t Shoot Us,” which it alleges without substantiation is connected to Russia, sought to “exploit racial tensions and sow discord” on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and even Pokémon Go, a reality game played on cell phones.
Another report in CNN on Monday asserted that a Russian “troll factory” was involved in posting comments critical of Hillary Clinton as “part of President Vladimir Putin’s campaign to influence the 2016 election.” All of the negative commentary in news media and other publications directed at Clinton, it implied, were the product of Russian agents or people duped by Russian agents.
As during the period of Cold War McCarthyism, the absurdity of the charges goes unchallenged. They are picked up and repeated by other media outlets and by politicians to demonstrate just how far-reaching the actions of the nefarious “foreign enemy” really are.
While one aim has been to continue and escalate an anti-Russia foreign policy, the more basic purpose is emerging ever more clearly: to criminalize political dissent within the United States.
The most direct expression to date of this conspiracy against free speech was given by the anticommunist ideologue Anne Applebaum in a column published Monday in the Washington Post, “If Russia can create fake ‘Black Lives Matter’ accounts, who will next?”
Her answer: the American people. “I can imagine multiple groups, many of them proudly American, who might well want to manipulate a range of fake accounts during a riot or disaster to increase anxiety or fear,” she writes. She warns that “political groups—on the left, the right, you name it—will quickly figure out” how to use social media to spread “disinformation” and “demoralization.”
Applebaum rails against all those who seek to hide their identity online. “There is a better case than ever against anonymity, at least against anonymity in the public forums of social media and comment sections,” she writes. She continues: “The right to free speech is something that is granted to humans, not bits of computer code.” Her target, however, is not “bots” operating “fake accounts,” but anyone who seeks, fearing state repression or unjust punishment by his or her employer, to make an anonymous statement online. And that is only the opening shot in a drive to silence political dissent.
Applebaum is closely connected to the highest echelons of the capitalist state. She is a member of key foreign policy think tanks and sits on the board of directors of the CIA-linked National Endowment for Democracy. Married to the former foreign minister of Poland, she is a ferocious war hawk. Following the Russian annexation of Crimea, she authored a column in the Washington Post in which she called for “total war” against nuclear-armed Russia. She embodies the connection between militarism and political repression.
The implications of Applebaum’s arguments are made clear in an extraordinary article published on the front page of Tuesday’s New York Times, “As US Confronts Internet’s Disruptions, China Feels Vindicated,” which takes a favorable view of China’s aggressive censorship of the Internet and implies that the United States is moving toward just such a regime.
“For years, the United States and others saw” China’s “heavy-handed censorship as a sign of political vulnerability and a barrier to China’s economic development,” the Times writes. “But as countries in the West discuss potential Internet restrictions and wring their hands over fake news, hacking and foreign meddling, some in China see a powerful affirmation of the country’s vision for the internet.”
The article goes on to assert that while “few would argue that China’s Internet control serves as a model for democratic societies… At the same time, China anticipated many of the questions now flummoxing governments from the United States to Germany to Indonesia.”
Glaringly absent from the Times article, Applebaum’s commentary and all of the endless demands for a crackdown on social media is any reference to democratic rights, free speech or the First Amendment.
The First Amendment, which asserts that “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech,” is the broadest amendment in the US Constitution. Contrary to Applebaum, there is no caveat exempting anonymous speech from Constitutional protection. It is a historical fact that leaders of the American Revolution and drafters of the Constitution wrote articles under pseudonyms to avoid repression by the British authorities.
The Constitution does not give the government or powerful corporations the right to proclaim what is “fake” and what is not, what is a “conspiracy theory” and what is “authoritative.” The same arguments now being employed to crack down on social media could just as well have been used to suppress books and mass circulation newspapers that emerged with the development of the printing press.
The drive toward Internet censorship in the United States is already far advanced. Since Google announced plans to bury “alternative viewpoints” in search results earlier this year, leading left-wing sites have seen their search traffic plunge by more than 50 percent. The World Socialist Web Site’s search traffic from Google has fallen by 75 percent.
Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have introduced similar measures. The campaign being whipped up over Russian online activity will be used to justify even more far-reaching measures.
This is taking place as universities implement policies to give police the authority to vet campus events. There are ongoing efforts to abolish “net neutrality” so as to give giant corporations the ability to regulate Internet traffic. The intelligence agencies have demanded the ability to circumvent encryption after having been exposed for illegally monitoring the phone communications and Internet activity of the entire population.
In one “democratic” country after another governments are turning to police-state forms of rule, from France, with its permanent state of emergency, to Germany, which last month shut down a subsidiary of the left-wing political site Indymedia, to Spain, with its violent crackdown on the separatist referendum in Catalonia and arrest of separatist leaders.
The destruction of democratic rights is the political response of the corporate and financial aristocracy to the growth of working-class discontent bound up with record levels of social inequality. It is intimately linked to preparations for a major escalation of imperialist violence around the world. The greatest concern of the ruling elite is the emergence of an independent movement of the working class, and the state is taking actions to prevent it.
YouTube’s curation team are able to promote even non-trending videos on the platform by “using some kind of intervention” into algorithms controlling the website. This allows specific news organizations to be favored, Project Veritas revealed.
Investigative group Project Veritas secretly filmed Earnest Pettie, the Brand and Diversity Curation Lead at YouTube, who said he works “on a team that does provide some human inputs into a lot of the machinery of YouTube.” This would mean that videos from specific news sources could be made to appear at the top of search results.
Petite explained how YouTube’s so-called news carousel is formed: “It’s above the search results, so at the very least, we can say this shelf of videos from news partners is legitimate news because we know that these are legitimate news organizations.”
“People are searching for a topic that our systems know is a ‘newsy’ topic, so let’s give them videos that we know to be newsy because we know we have these news partnerships.”
“In very rare cases we will try to make up to the fact that something isn’t in the trending tab,” he admitted. “Use some kind of intervention to… encourage the thing to be there, basically.”
In the recording Pettie also says Nick Dudich, audience strategy editor for the New York Times, is “one of the people I think who has more knowledge about YouTube as a platform than probably anyone else that I know.”
Speaking with a member of Project Veritas, Dudich said that he placed a negative report about Facebook in a spot where he knew it wouldn’t draw much attention, while bragging about using his Silicon Valley friendships to make videos trend.
“We actually just did a video about Facebook negatively, and I chose to put it in a spot that I knew wouldn’t do well,” Dudich said in the secretly filmed conversation.
Dudich claimed that his friends in Silicon Valley helped NYT videos trend, while saying he doesn’t want the NYT to know about his connections, according to Project Veritas.
“Let’s say something ends up on the YouTube front page, the New York Times freaks out about it, but they don’t know it’s just because my friends curate the front page. So, it’s like, a little bit of mystery you need in any type of job to make it look like what you do is harder than what it is,” Dudich says in the recording.
The video released Wednesday is the latest in a Project Veritas series called “American Pravda,” aimed at the US mainstream media. The installment released Tuesday also featured recordings of Dudich, in which he claims he worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to counter the “threat” of Trump and that he did not join the Times to “be objective.”
It is impossible to assess the credibility of Dudich’s claims, however, as he also claimed that former FBI Director James Comey was his godfather, and that he used to participate in Antifa activities on behalf of the FBI.
Dudich admitted this was not true after Project Veritas interviewed his father, who said he didn’t even know Comey. It was “a good story,” Dudich said when asked why he lied.
In response to the Tuesday video, a New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha said that Dudich was a “recent hire in a junior position” who appeared to have “violated [the newspaper’s] ethical standards and misrepresented his role.”
“In his role at The Times, he was responsible for posting already published video on other platforms and was never involved in the creation or editing of Times videos. We are reviewing the situation now,” Rhoades Ha said.
James O’Keefe, who founded Project Veritas in 2010, has released a number of controversial undercover videos, including one with CNN political commentator Van Jones this summer. Jones accused O’Keefe of editing the video in such a way as to take his words out of context and create a “hoax.”
In the Veritas video Jones was recorded saying the investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election was “a big nothing-burger.” Jones said the missing context was that he said Democrats couldn’t use it to impeach Trump, even if the allegations were true.
Everyone hates sore losers, so why do the globalists and their puppet media still exist? Reading today’s headlines, listening to failed politicians sputtering and stuttering around the world, I’m constantly dismayed by the apathy and ignorance of the world’s populations. Isn’t it abundantly clear by now, Vladimir Putin and Russia hold the winning cards?
Before I go on, let’s get something straight. I am a patriotic American who loves his country and her people. Nobody on God’s Earth can prove otherwise. Now that this is settled, let me make something else abundantly clear. America has no positive future without the kinship and partnership of Russia. If the globalists elite who’ve admittedly set themselves up as the new world order (See leaders from Obama to Trump admitting same) remain on the present geo-policy course, then war or certain economic collapse will ensue. Many of the world’s leaders already know this and are making moves to side with Russia should the inevitable happen suddenly. But before I go on, let’s look at some sore loser media headlines.
The western world’s most famous “fake news” tabloid these days, Newsweek continues its unending tabloid Russophobia with “Putin’s Birthday: Protests Call for his Exit as he Hits Retirement Age Under Russian Law”. I’ll not get into how or why Newsweek became a media whore for the globalists, this Pew Research analysis of the magazine industry should explain this succinctly. The fact there is virtually no dissent aimed at Vladimir Putin inside Russia shows once again the Russian leader’s winning ways. I can almost hear the average Newsweek policy genius reader glowing with agreement, “Hey, that’s right, it’s illegal for Putin to be president anymore!” As if the universe will turn over, and America will elect Hillary Clinton and become truly great again of Putin is gone!
Next in the sequence of news delivered by Google, I guess the Washington Post and the New York Times bombardment this morning was not harsh enough for the NSA’s favorite tool, and AFP bit parroted by The Times of India was highlighted for me. “Russia is not Putin’s says Pussy Riot’s Alekhina” stands out as a total waste of digital news space. Once again, the mainstream and the elites running media in the west lost – this woman is a nobody, and nobody cares. Another desperation grab at attention, that´s all AFP is trying to do here. Enter what we know about CNN and admitted traffic sensationalism. The typical Times of India reader chimes in in broken English, “Oooh, who, who, dat pooseee riot is a riot man! Dey some crazeee beaches” Give the world a break AFP.
Over at CNN the news network most in need of viewers even let’s US President Donald Trump off the hook for a day to paint a picture of Russia’s Putin alongside North Korean’s Kim wringing their hands at America’s most recent tragedy, which Trump is supposed to be distracted by. “As Trump deals with tragedy, Putin and Kim regroup” is a fabrication, a propaganda tidbit meant for total idiots, and insult to intelligent life forms. The story attempts to cement together all America’s justifiable and unreasonable fears into one comfortable globalist narrative – everything is Putin’s fault, and anything that is not can be solved by bombing North Korea to hell. Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock ends up aiding and abetting evil tyrants Putin and Kim in this fairy tale.
Finally, the grand mucky muck of news, financial “go to” Bloomberg proclaims, “As Putin Turns 65, His Power is Slowly Waning”. I had to take a moment or two to stop laughing at seeing the ultimate loser, nobody Russian blogger Alexei Navalny in the feature photograph of this major Bloomberg story. If this nincompoop western oligarch patsy is the best the Rothschilds and the American deep state can come up with to foil Vladimir Putin, they need to pack up and run for their lives. The typical big chested banker idiot reading Bloomberg chimes in, “Thank God Putin’s on the way out, maybe my energy stocks can finally split when Israel annexes the West Bank for good!” Yeah, American investors don’t give a damn about dead soldiers or babies. ROI is the name of the Wall Street game.
I could go on and on, but the point of this report is to show the mediocrity I reveal in my upcoming book on this media war, the pitiful essence of failed democracy and capitalism – or the bred mediocrity of the elites who’ve lost the Great Game. The bas sportsmanship and loser ethics you see in news against Putin every day, play out in my work “Putin’s Praetorians: The Top Kremlin Trolls Confess”, which is out this month. The reason for my plug here is to frame the reality that Vladimir Putin has won at every turn not simply because of his or his team’s genius, but because of the losers they have faced. Let’s take a brief look at what Vladimir Putin has done versus this elite world order and its trillion dollar media machine.
Even if we examine Putin’s efforts the last few years from a western globalist’s perspective, his strategies seems flawless. When the EU and NATO threatened Russia’s doorstep Ukraine, the Russian leader simply secured the frontiers by ensuring the naval base at Sevastopol remained secure, and that the Donbass would serve as a literal “no man’s land” should Kiev choose to arm up with NATO. Take note, this is not actually what Putin did, but from the Washington think tank and Pentagon perspective, the event amount to a win for Putin. Next, in a bid to weaken Putin and Russia, the western oligarchs imposed massive sanctions that only ended up making Putin’s country and his position stronger. Again, a win for Putin without hardly trying. In the meanwhile, as western media and politicians turned up the heat on the Russian leader, American and its coalition elevated the proxy war in Syria to thwart and Israeli enemy, and to cut off Putin’s South Stream pipeline plan. Turkey was leveraged to shoot down Russia’s airmen, and the west threatened with a wider regional conflict. Again, Putin outmaneuvered western strategists and ended up in full alliance with Erdogan and Turkey. Through the efficient use of military force against ISIL and “moderate” terrorists propped up by the US, the Saudis, and Israel, Russia’s leader made absolute fools of Washington and its satraps in London, Brussels, and Berlin.
As it stands now, with the mediocre losers in the west pounding out the same idiotic tune in media, Vladimir Putin is on the cusp of creating a grand coalition of his own, one that could end US dominance on the world stage forever. Putin’s recent meetings with Turkey’s Erdogan, with the Saudi King, and with Iran’s leadership show a polar shift in global influence. For me, the inevitable emergence of Russia as a leader on the global stage is happening no matter what. While Trump stomps about threatening at the UN, Putin does not even waste the time attending. Instead, Russia’s leader leverages wins in Syria and elsewhere, along with the trend away from dollar dominance, to forge new friendships and possibilities. The “loser” mentality American and European dinosaurs have adopted, it leaves them looking like fools who simply scramble to keep up, or to keep afloat at all. And the “loser” narrative in their media is the clearest indicator. Look at what Washington is trying to do to Russia’s RT in America. It’s pitiful to see a tiny by comparison media effort, so feared by the trillion dollar ad network the western oligarchs created. Now they have Google, Twitter, Facebook, the US Senate, cyberwarfare companies, the technocrats, universities, and God knows who else – all attempting to mitigate the tiny voices of dissent. It’s pitiful.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
YouTube is the biggest video sharing website in the world, no doubt about that, but It isn’t the only place to upload and watch videos online, there are other good options too which often gets ignored because YouTube takes a huge chunk of share when it comes to online publishing and broadcasting of videos.
Looking at the options, here are some of the best video sites like YouTube, where you can either upload or watch videos, check them out.
The interface of the website is quite similar to what YouTube used to look like in the past. You will see trending videos on the homepage and a search bar at the top.
To upload the videos, simply register for an account on DailyMotion with any valid email id and start uploading.
Maximum allowable uploading size of any video is 60 minutes in length and 4 Gb in size with a resolution of HD 1080p.
To remove the limit of size or length of video, you will have to sign up for MotionMaker account, which is also free of cost. You can find more details about MotionMaker account here.
You can also earn money from your video but for that you will have to be a part of DailyMotion OpenVOD program.
After DailyMotion, next in the list is Vimeo. The interface of the website is very beautiful. On the homepage you will see a big sign-up form and if you scroll down, you will find some really good videos handpicked by the staff. Also, there are no ads before, after or in-between videos unlike YouTube.
Uploading videos on Vimeo is free but up to a certain extent,
With free account, you can upload 500 Mb of content weekly. You can upload any number of videos and of any duration but the weekly content shouldn’t exceed 500 Mb.
For upgrading the limit up to 5 Gb per week, go with the paid plan starting from 9.95 USD per month.
And the PRO plan with limit up to 20 Gb per week is billed annually only, 199 USD per year.
This place is more beneficial for serious video creators and If you are one of those, check out this awesome place.
I’ve written about the dangers of monopolies within the drug and agricultural industries on numerous occasions, but Google is perhaps one of the greatest monopolies that ever existed on the planet. The reason why I’ve decided to address Google here is because the technology giant is injecting itself ever deeper into our day-to-day lives, from childhood education to patented meat substitutes1,2 and health care, and with its internet monopoly and personal information tracking and sharing,
Google poses a very unique threat. Anyone concerned about their health and food and their ability to obtain truthful information about both needs to understand the role Google plays, and whose side Google is really on.
Starting with the issue of health care, the company recently partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and is getting deeper into the drug promotion business with its launch of a depression self-assessment quiz.3,4 Just like WebMD before it, this test funnels you toward a drug solution. No matter how you answered WebMD’s questions, you were diagnosed as being at risk for major depression and urged to discuss treatment with your doctor.
That test, it turns out, was sponsored by drugmaker Eli Lilly, maker of the antidepressant Cymbalta. Now, any time you use the search term “clinical depression” in the Google mobile search engine, you will find a link to a page to “check if you’re clinically depressed.” The quiz is part of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHG-9), “a clinically validated screening questionnaire” according to MedicalXpress.5
Beware of ‘Patient’s Rights Groups’ Working on Behalf of Drug Makers
While it may seem like an altruistic ideal to raise awareness about mental illness, the “stop the stigma” campaign is actually funded and driven by the drug industry itself, under the guise of various front groups, of which NAMI is one. As noted by PsychCentral, nearly 75 percent of the organization’s funding comes from drug companies.6 Evidence also shows that drug companies have instructed NAMI to “resist state efforts to limit access to mental health drugs” and “how to advocate forcefully for issues that affect industry profits.”
As noted by CCHR International,7 the “next time you see an ad promoting ‘stop the stigma’ see it for what it is, a pharmaceutical marketing campaign.” While CCHR was started by the Church of Scientology, which does not believe in conventional psychiatry to begin with, the group has some valid points. What they forgot or failed to include is the fact that the insurance industry has also played a significant role in creating the trend of over-prescriptions by favoring reimbursement for drug treatment over other forms of treatment.
The article goes on to discuss how the drug industry created “patient’s rights groups” for the mentally ill. In reality, these so-called advocacy groups are part of the drug industry’s marketing and lobbying machine. According to CCHR, front groups like NAMI and Children and Adults With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) “have consistently lobbied for legislation that benefits the mental health and pharmaceutical industries which fund them, and not patients they claim to represent,” adding:
“A patients’ rights group for the mentally ill would never endorse something as absurd and obviously dangerous as giving electroshock to pregnant women, nor condone schools being able to require children to take a psychiatric drug as a condition of attending school.
Furthermore, they would never be opposed to the FDA actually doing its job and finally issuing long overdue warnings that antidepressants can cause children to commit suicide, or issue warnings that ADHD drugs have serious and even deadly side effects. Yet these are just some of the actions condoned and promoted by these so-called patients’ rights groups.
To put it simply, these groups are not what they appear to be. Yet their influence over legislation, lobbying, drug regulation (or lack thereof), and public relations campaigns is substantial and effects the entire nation,” CCHR warns. “[T]hese groups … frenetically lobby Congress and state governments to channel billions more taxpayers’ dollars into mental health programs that benefit the industry that funds them — not the patients they claim to represent.”
Tech-Driven Mental Health Diagnostics
In 2015, Google hired former National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) director8 Dr. Tom Insel as senior researcher for the Google Life Sciences (GLS) unit.9 (GLS was later rebranded as Verily, partially owned by Alphabet, the parent company that now also owns Google.) At the time, Insel told The Register his job at GLS would entail identifying technology to “help with earlier detection, better prevention and more effective management of serious health conditions.”
Insel served as director for NIMH between 2002 and 2015.10 In 2010, Insel — who led efforts to tighten ethics rules — got caught up in a conflicts of interest scandal and was accused of having a longstanding “quid pro quo” relationship with Charles B. Nemeroff, a psychiatrist and researcher at Emory University found guilty of failing to disclose pharmaceutical funds totaling $1.2 million.11 According to The Chronicle of Higher Education:12
“In 2003, the journal Nature toughened its policies for author disclosures after Dr. Nemeroff used an article in Nature Neuroscience to praise treatments for depression in which he had an unreported financial interest. In 2004, Emory issued a report citing him for multiple “serious” violations of its conflict-of-interest policies for protecting patients.
He quit as editor of the journal Neuropsychopharmacology in 2006 after he was reported to have endorsed an implantable device for treating depression without disclosing payments from its manufacturer. And he finally left Emory … after U.S. Senate investigators found he received $2.8 million from GlaxoSmithKline and other pharmaceutical companies between 2000 and 2007 and failed to disclose at least $1.2 million of it.”
Insel initially denied the charge outright,13 but weeks later expressed regret in a letter to Sen. Charles Grassley, admitting that helping Nemeroff get a job at the University of Miami was inappropriate.14 In May of this year, Insel left Verily (formerly GLS) to join another technology startup called Mindstrong. Interestingly, Mindstrong is doing more or less exactly what Verily is doing — creating smartphone and computer app technologies to diagnose and treat mental health disorders. According to Wired:15
“[A]combination of your medical records … and how you use your gadgets … could be a Big Data bonanza for predicting and treating health issues … In fact, mood is one of the things that Verily’s $100 million Baseline study will track among its 10,000 eventual participants. At Mindstrong, one of the first tests of the concept will be a study of how 600 people use their mobile phones, attempting to correlate keyboard use patterns with outcomes like depression, psychosis, or mania.”
I don’t know about you, but the idea that your electronic medical records might eventually be linked to your use of the internet and social media to assess your risk of mental health problems and/or other health issues does not make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Google has repeatedly been caught infringing on privacy rights and misrepresenting the type and amount of data it collects on its users.
It’s now become clear that Google catches every single thing you do online if you’re using a Google-based feature. It’s also clear that capturing user data is Google’s primary business.16 The fact that it provides services while doing so is really beside the point and serves as a convenient distraction from the fact that obnoxious privacy violations are taking place. As reported by Gawker:17
“Every word of every email sent through Gmail and every click made on a Chrome browser is watched by the company. ‘We don’t need you to type at all,’ [Google co-founder Eric] Schmidt once said. ‘We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.’”
Today’s youth, and their parents, need to be particularly vigilant and aware of what Google is doing. Over the past five years, Google has taken over classrooms across the U.S. As noted by The New York Times,18 more than 30 million American children now use Google-based education apps such as Gmail, Google docs, Google classroom apps and Google-powered Chromebooks.
Once out of school, these youngsters are encouraged to convert their school accounts into personal accounts, allowing Google to build exceptionally powerful personality profiles of them as they grow into young adults. If these profiles are used for marketing purposes only, that would be bad enough. But what if they’re used for other types of profiling? Google’s data harvesting is particularly concerning in light of its military connections.19
A recent Activist Post article reveals how YouTube is censoring Ron Paul, former congressman and 2011 Republican GOP presidential candidate, for promoting peace.20 Paul has also been a tireless defender of health freedom throughout his long career. In other words, Google is now actively controlling the public narrative — also known as social engineering — and, as noted in the article:
“When standing up against an illegal war with a message of peace and liberty becomes a censorable ‘offense’ it’s time to start paying attention … Make no mistake, what we are witnessing on YouTube and Facebook right now is a move to silence the peaceful opposition …
[T]his crackdown is also coinciding with a massive push by the mainstream media to stoke divide among the people … [D]ivisive identity politics are shoved down the collective throats of the masses in order to create an atmosphere so divided that people never look up at who’s controlling them. Disagreeing with the status quo is the new hate speech — speak out and you will be mowed down.”
Google’s catchphrase used to be “Don’t be evil,” but that’s exactly what it is. When Google became Alphabet, it dropped the “don’t be evil” slogan for a more comprehensive motto, which begins with doing “the right thing — follow the law, act honorably, and treat each other with respect.”21 Yet the company continues to act as if it’s above the law and really struggles when it comes to doing what’s right. In fact, Google seems to think its actions are righteous and justifiable simply by the fact that they’re doing them.
Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
All of this brings us to the issue of monopolization and the corruption that inevitably follows. At this point, I cannot think of any company operating in breach of antitrust rules as blatantly as Google. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and this adage certainly fits when describing Google. As reported by The Washington Post:22
“Google has established a pattern of lobbying and threatening to acquire power. It has reached a dangerous point … The moment where it no longer wants to allow dissent … Once you reach a pinnacle of power, you start to believe that any threats to your authority are themselves villainous and that you are entitled to shut down dissent. As Lord Acton famously said, ‘Despotic power is always accompanied by corruption of morality.’ Those with too much power cannot help but be evil.
Google, the company dedicated to free expression, has chosen to silence opposition, apparently without any sense of irony… [I]n recent years, Google has become greedy about owning not just search capacities, video and maps, but also the shape of public discourse. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, Google has recruited and cultivated law professors who support its views.”
According to a recent Campaign for Accountability (CfA) report,23 Google has paid academics in both the U.S. and Europe millions of dollars to influence public opinion and policymakers alike.24,25
This includes funding research papers “that appear to support the technology company’s business interests and defend against regulatory challenges such as antitrust and anti-piracy.” Some of these academics have not declared the source of their funding, even though payments have reached as high as $400,000. As noted by The Times:26
“On one occasion Eric Schmidt, Google’s former chief executive, cited a Google-funded author in written answers to Congress to back his claim that his company was not a monopoly — without mentioning that it had paid for the paper …”
Europe Fines Google Nearly $3 Billion for Antitrust Violations
Power can be assessed by looking at lobbying expenditures and, so far this year, Google is leading the pack when it comes to corporate spending on lobbying — efforts primarily aimed at eliminating competitors and gaining power over others. Google also appears to take full advantage of its power over organizations that it helps fund.
A recent example of this was when the Open Markets team at the New America think tank published a statement praising the EU’s decision to levy a $2.7 billion fine against Google for antitrust violations. In summary, Google gave preference to its own shopping subsidiaries over competitors in its search results, which the EU deemed to be a violation of antitrust rules (see the featured video above).
The Open Markets team also called on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice (DOJ) and state attorneys general to apply American monopoly law to Google’s business in the U.S. Google’s response to the Open Markets statement was swift, and within three days, the New America think tank — which has received more than $21 million from Google over the years — ousted the entire Open Markets team.27
Zephyr Teachout, associate professor of law at Fordham University, writes in her Washington Post article, “Google Is Coming After Critics in Academia and Journalism. It’s Time to Stop Them:”‘ 28
“The imperial overreach of Google in trying to shut down a group of five researchers proves the point that the initial release from Open Markets was trying to make: When companies get too much power, they become a threat to democratic free speech and to the liberty of citizens at large …
Google is forming into a government of itself, and it seems incapable of even seeing its own overreach. We, as citizens, must respond in two ways. First, support the brave researchers and journalists who stand up to overreaching power; and second, support traditional antimonopoly laws that will allow us to have great, innovative companies — but not allow them to govern us.
Google’s actions forced the Open Markets team to leave New America. But, thankfully, it did not succeed in silencing them entirely. Open Markets will continue on as a separate organization, which I will chair. Their work exposing corporate monopolies and advocating for regulation is more important than ever. Google shows us why.”
New America Faces Backlash
The fact that New America was coddling Google and doing the company’s bidding did not go unnoticed, however, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, president of the Google-funded think tank is now accused of jeopardizing New America’s reputation with her decision to kick Open Markets out.
Scholars affiliated with New America have also been “quietly comparing notes on past instances in which they contend she placed donors’ interests over ideology.” According to The New York Times,29 Slaughter has “pledged to re-examine her group’s policies for dealing with donors while defending the organization’s intellectual integrity.” Whatever might come of that “re-examination” remains to be seen.
Former business journalist Barry Lynn, director of Open Markets, who spent over a decade with the New America Foundation before being ousted by Slaughter, has been a longtime advocate against monopolies such as Google, and his work is now gaining traction in what some have called an “antitrust revival.”30 As noted by The Daily Beast:31
“For years, Lynn has been warning about the pernicious effect monopolies have on all facets of American life: from the food one eats, to the financial system one uses, to the forms of communications on which one depends. And for years, his work has been restricted to the usual confines of advocacy and academia …
On [July 24, 2017], that changed. [Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)] … outlined an agenda that put heavy emphasis on cracking down on corporate monopolies.
The topic occupies the first four pages of a 10-page document and includes placing new standards on the consolidation of corporate power, giving new tools to regulators to confirm and review mergers, and creating a new consumer competition advocate to tackle ‘anti-competitive behavior.’ Lynn, who estimates that he has been working on this stuff for 15 years, called the new agenda ‘fantastic.’”
Monopolies Threaten Public Liberties and Democracy
In a recent interview by The Verge,32 Lynn discusses his plans to continue fighting monopolies in America. Open Markets still has most of its funders and the organization is “already up and running” as an independent institution. They also have new funding sources lined up. When asked why it’s so important to dialogue about monopoly power, Lynn replies:
“[M]onopolies are a threat to our democracy and to our basic liberties and to our communities. Monopolization, this concentration of wealth and power, is a threat to everything that is America … So, Open Markets is built to fight the environment of law and regulation that currently promotes unrestrained monopoly. America today has a monopoly problem.
We’re seeing basically a second wave of consolidation and monopolization because of the digital revolution. These companies are just as bad as Newscorp or Walmart or Citibank was in 2005. Google, Facebook, and Amazon: the danger they pose is on a vastly different level.The first issue is consumer protection and potential consumer harm. We created antitrust laws originally to protect our liberties, often as producers of stuff …
My liberty to bring my wheat, my ideas, the product of my labor to market. That’s liberty. The second purpose was to protect our democracy against huge concentrations of wealth and power. To protect our democratic institutions. And the third purpose [was] to protect your community.
If I’m living out in Peoria, do I want the city of Peoria to be run by a couple corporations based on Wall Street, or do I want it to be run by the citizens of Peoria? So you use anti-monopoly law to ensure that.”
Tech Monopolies Merge to Create Ultimate AI World
Last year, The Register33 published an article pointing out the revolving door between Google and EU policy advisers; 16 Google employees have joined the government ranks in the EU while 64 policy advisers left to join Google. We see this revolving door phenomenon so often these days, it’s become quite cliché. Unfortunately, it is highly effective, which is why industry abuses it. Google is running such a clear monopoly, it’s quite astounding the U.S. has not nailed it on antitrust charges similar to those raised in the EU.
Then again, Music Technology Policy published a long article34 last year describing how Google managed to install one of its own lawyers in the DOJ antitrust division, thereby protecting its own interests. These revolving doors between government and corporations exist for a reason, and it is not to benefit the public in any way.
As we look to the future, we also have Google’s sights on artificial intelligence (AI) to contend with. Already, two large monopolies have joined forces to bring about the ultimate AI world. As reported by The New York Times,35 Amazon and Microsoft are now working together, merging their voice-controlled digital assistants — Alexa and Cortana — in order to enlarge the capabilities of both by building on each other’s strengths and abilities.
“In an interview … [Amazon CEO Jeff] Bezos predicted that over time people would turn to different digital assistants … the same way they turn to one friend for advice about hiking and another for restaurant recommendations. ‘I want them to have access to as many of those A.I.s as possible.’ Mr. Bezossaid.”36
Ultimately, the goal is to create self-learning AIs capable of imitating human thought processes. Meanwhile, Vanity Fair reports that Elon Musk is raising a “billion-dollar crusade” to prevent the AI apocalypse, calling for regulations on the technology “before it’s too late.” According to Musk, AIs are improving at a far greater pace than most people realize, and there’s no telling what they might ultimately be used for. Vanity Fair writes:37
“In a startling public reproach to his friends and fellow techies, Musk warned that they could be creating the means of their own destruction. He told Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance … that he was afraid that his friend Larry Page, a co-founder of Google and now the C.E.O. of its parent company, Alphabet, could have perfectly good intentions but still ‘produce something evil by accident’ — including, possibly, ‘a fleet of artificial intelligence-enhanced robots capable of destroying mankind.’
It’s in Larry Page’s blood and Google’s DNA to believe that A.I. is the company’s inevitable destiny — think of that destiny as you will. (‘If evil A.I. lights up,’ Ashlee Vance told me, ‘it will light up first at Google.’)”
Take Action — Here’s What You Can Do
As you can see, Google (or more accurately, Alphabet, the rebranded parent company that houses all of the various divisions) is turning into a gigantic octopus-like super entity, the tentacles of which reach into government, food production, health care, education, military applications and the creation of AIs that may run more or less independently.
A key component of many of these enterprises is data — your personal usage data; the tracking of every webpage you’ve ever visited and every single thought you’ve ever written on a Google-enabled device, along with geo tracking tracing your every move.
Ultimately, what can be done with that kind of information, besides personalized advertising? How might it be used in combination with military AI-equipped robots? How might it be used to influence your health care decisions? How might it be used to influence your lifestyle decisions? How might (or is) it used to shape politics and society at large?
Today, being a conscious consumer includes making wise, informed decisions about technology. Anyone who has spent even a small amount of time pondering the ramifications of Google’s ever-growing monopoly over our day-to-day lives is likely to shudder at the possibilities and agree that we cannot allow this to continue. To be part of the solution, I encourage you to take the following actions:
Avoid any and all Google products. If you have a Gmail account, close it and open an account with a non-Google affiliated email service. Stop using Google docs. Digital Trends recently published an article suggesting a number of alternatives.38 If you’re a high school student, do not convert the Google accounts you created as a student into personal accounts
Don’t use Google search engine. So far, one of the best alternatives I’ve found is DuckDuckGo.39 It is now my primary search engine and I avoid Gmail and all of Google products whenever possible.
Most, who follow the Anonymous movement, have heard of the YouTube channel, “Anonymous Official”, which is notorious for stealing videos created by actual Anons, revamping them, and calling them their own.
Over the last five years, Anonymous Official has slowly gained a monopoly over ‘Anonymous’ on YouTube. They have made a hefty profit off the theft of other’s hard work and accomplishments. Meanwhile, they’ve contributed nothing to the movement itself.
This behavior has largely gone unchecked due to the fact Anons do not take their battles to the courtroom. This is a technicality Anonymous Official is using to their advantage.
After observing Anonymous Official over the years, what initially started as mild gratitude, quickly turned to suspicion. This one channel pumped out “Messages” from Anonymous by the masses, many of which originated elsewhere.
Sharing videos created by those within the Anonymous movement – those who are actually trying to bring about change in the world – is entirely appropriate. Recreating Anonymous videos to make them appear as your own for the purpose of recognition and profit, is unacceptable.
Through a mixture of over-confidence and hubris, the sole owner of “Anonymous Official” made himself known to us through one of our little birdies.
Meet Anthony Vaiana, an English and Film Studies teacher at the Niagara Catholic District School Board in Niagra Falls, Ontario. He lives in Buffalo, NY:
Anthony formerly worked as a painter in Rochester (NY) before attending school at the State University of New York at Fredonia. He likes the New York Yankees, photography, and threatening people who report videos he’s stolen:
This is our original content and you own NONE of the rights to it. Remove this strike imminently.
I swear, under penalty of perjury, that I have a good-faith belief that the material was removed due to a mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.
I consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the district in which my address is located or, if my address is outside the United States, the judicial district in which YouTube is located, and will accept service of process from the claimant.