• Google, YouTube, Facebook, Others, Now Using Automated Blocking of ‘Extremist’ Content

    June 25, 2016

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, NSA, Post-Constitution America


    The web’s biggest content providers have started using automation to remove “extremist propaganda” videos from their sites.

    Censoring Content

    YouTube (owned by Google) and Facebook are among the sites deploying systems to block or rapidly take down Islamic State videos and other similar material, sources said, though no company would confirm the action.

    The technology employed was originally developed to remove copyright-protected content on video sites. It looks for “hashes,” unique digital fingerprints that Internet companies automatically assign to specific videos, allowing all content with matching fingerprints to be removed rapidly. Someone finds an offensive video, tags it, and then searches find other copies across the Internet.

    Newly posted videos would be checked against a database of banned content to identify unauthorized information.

    The system was kicked off in late April, amid pressure from an Obama White House concerned about online radicalization. Internet companies held a conference call to discuss options, including use of a content-blocking system put forward by the private Counter Extremism Project, a nonprofit controlled in part by George W. Bush Homeland Security Advisor Frances Townsend.

    Get it yet?

    Government and private industry will decide what content you (as well as journalists and academics) may see on the Internet. What is and is not allowable will be decided by a closed process, and will be automated. A database will be drawn upon for decision making.

    Databases and tagging can be hacked/manipulated, perhaps by governmental intelligence organizations, maybe some bad guys, hell, even by advertisers to control what is available to you online.

    Since content removed equals content prohibited, you’ll never know what you can’t see. The obvious slippery slope is in decisions about what is “extremist” and what is legitimate free, political speech that, while offensive, has a right to be heard and a place in the market of ideas.

    So how about blocking all videos of police violence during say a Ferguson/Baltimore scenario, so as not to “inflame” a situation?

    And even if Government A plays nicely, Government B may not, and dictatorships and oligarchies will have a new tool for repression. In the same way Western companies are forced now by China, for example, to adjust content, they will likely be forced to add things to the no-fly database of ideas. Corporations will be in a position to censor things on behalf of governments.

    Via the Edward Snowden documents, we already know that many tech companies cooperate directly with the NSA and others, either voluntarily, or under pressure from secret national security practices and laws. It is not a matter of “it can happen here,” but one of “it is already happening here.”

    But, some will say, Google, et al, are private companies. They can do what they want with their businesses, and you don’t have to use them.

    Certain private businesses, such as power companies and transportation providers, have become clearly so much a part of society that they indeed can’t just do what they want. They become public utilities, and there is no doubt that organizations like Google are squarely in the category.

    Lastly, for those who prefer dictionary things, do check up on the definition of true fascism: a collusion between government and industry.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • rich bauer said...


      When Donald Trump holds his first White House meeting with Google and Facebook, we can assume the agenda will include content-blocking all those lies about Donald Trump.


      06/25/16 11:45 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      When Hillarious (Dick Cheney is a dress) holds her first meeting in the White House with Google and Facebook, we can assume the agenda will include content-blocking of American dissent about the War Witch.

      06/25/16 1:13 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      I may be blocked from this site for bringing this subject up.
      Peter, when are you going to finally deliver the eulogy for the DOA subject of Hillary being indicted? The FBI can present their case and ask Obama’s Attorney General to bring an indictment.
      Hillary has said there is zero chance of her being indicted. Obama has now endorsed Hillary. If there was any chance he wouldn’t have endorsed her. What say you?

      06/25/16 4:37 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      OK, my prediction.

      Of course she won’t be indicted, and the FBI report will be whitewashed.
      Then someone inside CIA/NSA leaks the real story.
      And American voters don’t care.

      06/25/16 8:01 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Meanwhile, sane human beings look upon the current landscape of the insane and dismay…

      quote:Yes, like demagogues before him, he is making America grate again. Never mind that e pluribus unum and the Bill of Rights and the Pledge of Fucking Allegiance argue otherwise. “unquote


      06/25/16 7:22 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      John Poole said…

      quote”I may be blocked from this site for bringing this subject up.”unquote

      Hahahahaha. John..if “I”..Mr. Shitfaced Pottymouth can last 5 yrs here..I wouldn’t worry about it. Besides..you asked a valid question. Carry on. Oh..another thing. I like your posts.

      06/25/16 7:32 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Maybe I should stop writing, block everyone BUT Pitch, and just let him entertain us. FYI, I have never blocked anyone but obvious spammers.

      06/26/16 9:35 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Peter said:
      “The web’s biggest content providers have started using automation to remove “extremist propaganda” videos from their sites.”unquote

      Yeah, and pigs fly. Hahaha. These Corporate morons will NEVER stop “extremist propaganda”. I mean..look at our own government. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

      C’aaman Peter..get a grip. Unless the USG TOTALLY shuts down the Internet.. they will NEVER stop people who aspire to 4000 yrs of belief in another form of religion. After all, Christianity has been trying for 2000 yrs. TOTAL FAIL.

      06/25/16 7:41 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      And what happens when China buys Google? Freedumb. You get what you pays for. It’s just all under the table.


      06/26/16 9:08 AM | Comment Link

    • Alec said...


      Well what a surprise … the website of pamela geller (quoted by anders brevik as a source of inspiration!) with its daily Islamaphobic obscenitie is still up … does that mean that jewish owned purveyors of hate and lies wont be included in the filter? ….

      06/26/16 10:44 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Rich..you are insufferable… 🙂

      06/26/16 7:52 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Meanwhile.. who needs the 2nd Amendment when you really are intent on killing someone…


      I can hear that dipshit Feinstein as I type.

      She’s so fucking stupid I’ve got $5 that says she tries to introduce a bill to force you to register your knives. wait..wait..

      No one is that stupid.


      06/26/16 7:57 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      btw.. I’m having to adjust my opinion of the citizenry of the USA. Instead of the Dumbest Country on the Planet,, it appears at least 2/3’s don’t belong in that demographic….:

      Poll: Nearly Two Thirds of Americans Believe Trump Is Unqualified for President


      I might even sleep tonight. 🙂

      06/26/16 8:02 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      “Government and private industry will decide what content you (as well as journalists and academics) may see on the Internet.”

      Let US dispense with the passe labels. They’re all mercenaries – only in it for the money, and looking out for themselves.

      “Jordanian intelligence officials intercepted a CIA shipment of arms intended for Syrian rebels and resold those weapons on the black market, an FBI investigation has concluded. Worse yet, one of those black market weapons ended up in the hands of a Jordanian police captain in the commission of the murder of two American trainers in an insider attack. Jordanian police captain Anwar Abu Zaid used black market CIA small arms in an attack in November that killed two Americans.

      Intelligence officers, who were supposedly in the logistics division, used the proceeds from stolen CIA weapons to buy luxury goods, such as SUVs and iPhones. Other stolen weapons include Kalashnikov rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. It’s unclear where the majority of these weapons ended up.”

      06/26/16 9:19 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Ya know Rich..I have a mental picture of the US taxpayer. He’s hog tied, and bent over, while Congress, the DOD, and the IC take turns butt fucking him, all the while cackling.

      06/27/16 10:12 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...



      It’s HILLARIOUS to listen to the media “experts” warning of a BREXIT TRUMP scenario. They obviously fail to recognize in their elite bubble that the BREXIT contempt for the British elites MIRRORED the Trump voter contempt for the Repugnican elites. Interesting that Article 50 is the Brits’ elites last stand to stop them from leaving the EU. Meanwhile, military justice article 50 in the US- EU may save us from Hillarious when she is indicted for violation of the Espionage Act:

      “It is an affirmative defense in a trial by court-martial that, at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the accused, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of the acts.”

      As our Commander-in-chief, Obama can give Hillarious a get-out-of-jail card. But her insanity defense should disqualify her (and Trump too) from occupying the White House.

      06/27/16 10:44 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      AS for her other crimes, Hillarious could use this for her GoldmanSachs defense:


      06/27/16 10:49 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer. All crooks consider themselves good people. Why should they be judged and harshly punished here on earth for suspected corruption when God will surely reverse the decision and open the gates to heaven with open arms. In the “Big Picture” a little thing such as taking a bribe for a favor is insignificant. God already sees it as a trifling issue. If God is OK with it then the courts should also ignore it. That is the ethos of 99% of humans. I happen to be in the 1% who takes issue with such a stance.

      06/27/16 2:51 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...



      “All crooks consider themselves good people.”

      Yeah, don’t they know we’re the good guys? Have to laugh that our Dips are really upset about getting the DIP treatment from the Russians that the “good guys” have been using against them for years.

      Wash Post: At a recent meeting of U.S. ambassadors from Russia and Europe in Washington, U.S. ambassadors to several European countries complained that Russian intelligence officials were constantly perpetrating acts of harassment against their diplomatic staff that ranged from the weird to the downright scary. Some of the intimidation has been routine: following diplomats or their family members, showing up at their social events uninvited or paying reporters to write negative stories about them.

      Pravda: The deterioration of U.S.-Russia relations, which was not caused by us, but rather by the current Administrations’ policy of sanctions and attempts to isolate Russian, had a negative affect on the functioning of diplomatic missions, both in U.S. and Russia,” the spokesman said. “In diplomatic practice there is always the principle of reciprocity and, indeed, for the last couple of years our diplomatic staff in the United States has been facing certain problems. The Russian side has never acted proactively to negatively affect U.S. diplomats in any way.”

      Well, aren’t the chickens coming home to roost, Paul E. Bauer?

      06/27/16 3:26 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      06/28/16 9:20 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      06/28/16 9:28 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Gawdammit.. this is the BEST comment section on the entire net.

      06/28/16 8:00 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Rich.. you’re on a roll. Damn. Meanwhile..

      wemeantwell said…

      “Maybe I should stop writing, block everyone BUT Pitch, and just let him entertain us. FYI, I have never blocked anyone but obvious spammers.”

      Geezus Peter. Maybe I should stop contributing and spend the time I spend here on finishing my wifes HONEYDO list instead. Maybe I’d get laid..instead of wasting bandwidth on your comment section.

      06/28/16 8:05 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer- I’ve referred to the Pentagon as a shake down racket by beribboned gangsters gong back decades.They run a strong arm criminal protection extortion with we taxpayers like shop owners terrified they’ll burn our shops down if we “refuse” their protection .In a perverse way ISIS works for the Pentagon as their goons.

      06/29/16 7:57 AM | Comment Link

    • Sara said...


      I found your blog via your opinion piece posted on Reuters today and am fascinated by your insider viewpoint on how the (federal) government works—or mostly doesn’t work.

      In re: the second section of this blog, this concept (censorship of search results) became very apparent to me recently when the story of Dionisio Garza III, an Army officer who randomly shot 212 rounds in a Houston suburb in May, killing one person and injuring six others, became virtually unsearchable the day after it happened. It never appeared on the Google News page or Facebook Trending, and it took me multiple pages of searching just to find updates on what had occurred.

      It has never been more crystal-clear to me that Google and other search engines—almost certainly in collusion with the government—worked very hard to bury this story. The basic narrative of what happened (shooter terrorizes community by firing bullets at random people) was very similar to that of the shooter in Kalamazoo, but with one key difference: Garza was an active-duty Army officer.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective with the world (and btw, I got to your Reuters piece through Google News, so at least they’re not censoring you)!

      06/29/16 5:43 PM | Comment Link

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