STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Facebook Fake News Checkers Affiliated With US Gov?
By Daily Belll Staff - December 18, 2016

Facebook’s war on ‘fake news’ has skeptics asking: Who decides? … Facebook’s big crackdown on so-called “fake news” has one glaring fault, according to critics: Who gets to say what’s real and what’s not? – Fox News

Facebook, which is rapidly becoming the largest “news” agency in the world, intends to use a selected group of supposedly non-government facilities to determine what’s fake or not when it comes to news dissemination on its vast ‘Net site.

But these groups may in fact be affiliated with the US government and thus vulnerable to influence from DC and various government related intel agencies including the CIA.

This is ironic because there is plenty of evidence, here, that Facebook itself is at least partially the creation of the CIA, which reportedly funded its initial formation and has doubtless been instrumental in its expansion.

The information on users collected by Facebook is easily available to American intel efforts. This is one supposed reason Chinese officials won’t allow Facebook into their country as of yet.

Potential Facebook evaluators of fake news reportedly include Politifact, Factcheck, The Associated Press, The Washington Post, ABC News and Snopes.

More:

Facebook’s plan to purge fake news relies on users, who flag stories they suspect of being bogus. Then, those stories are sent to third-party fact checkers …

If ultimately deemed questionable, the story is labeled “disputed.”  The fly in the ointment, critics say, is that even media outlets and self-professed truth squads are biased.

And distinguishing between made-up stories and ones the news police don’t agree with is risky business, they say.  “Everyone who cares about free speech and a free press has cause for alarm,” said Alex Marlow, editor-in-chief of Breitbart, a conservative news site that has been accused without evidence of peddling fake news.

Is Marlow right to be alarmed? The Washington Post under Jeff Bezos has via several controversial articles shown itself willing to support what amounts to American censorship.

The Washington Post was, as well, reportedly part of a group of publications that participated in a CIA-led intelligence operation called Project Mockingbird. This involved ensuring that US reporters wrote articles that would be favorable to the US government and its military-industrial complex.

In a November posting at Newsbud, John Whitehead writes the following,

Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein … along with Bob Woodward blew the lid off the Watergate scandal … [He] reported in his expansive 1977 Rolling Stone piece, “The CIA and the Media”:

“More than 400 American journalists … in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency… There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services… Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters… In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.”

It is possible the AP was involved at least tangentially in Project Mockingbird, as many large media enterprises are said to have been involved including The New York Times, and TIME. It is could be that the large US television networks were involved as well.

Snopes wasn’t around at the time but alternative media reporter Wayne Madsen has apparently reported here that Snopes.com is “a CIA operation” He wrote, “The so-called ‘fact-checking’ authentication website Snopes.com is the go-to website for CIA propaganda.”

His Oct. 7, 2016 subscribers-only report is said to have stated:

Snopes.com: the latest CIA addition to Internet disinformation … is run by a California couple named Barbara and David Mikkelson, who founded the San Fernando Valley Folklore Society . . .

The Mikkelsons chose the name Snopes because it is the name of a fictional family featured in William Faulkner’s novels that includes a pedophile, a murderer, a bigamist, a corrupt racist politician, and a thief who live in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County in Mississippi.

…  As far as Snopes.com is concerned, nothing they report should be taken seriously. They are as reliable a news source as The Onion.”

Do Facebook’s news-evaluators have connections to US intel? Will they thus ensure that news presented on Facebook is favorable to the US even at the expense of the truth? There are deeper questions as well. A great deal of controversy remains over the definition of fake news and even whether it exists in amounts enough to make a difference.

Conclusion: The idea of identifying and then banning fake news may have more to do with removing reports Western governments find offensive. Much of this material is published by the alternative media that has turned mainstream media into a single, vast, loss-making enterprise. But we have written that even censorship, however it is applied, won’t stop the gradual collapse of mainstream news. It is too late for that in our view. Nonetheless it will be tried.

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