MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘SouthFront.’

Does the Termination of Russian YouTube Channels Mean Impending War? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 23, 2020

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/05/yvonne-lorenzo/does-the-termination-of-russian-youtube-channels-mean-impending-war/

Recently, I had to change embedded video links in several posts to LewRockwell.com due to the termination of Southfront’s YouTube channel. Southfront, which features regular “Syrian War Reports” and videos that discuss the Russian and American military and hardware, but not from a necessarily pro-Russian government perspective, wrote about their theory why the channel was terminated in this post, that Unz.com carried. They theorized that:

The article was likely used by the Euvsdisinfo authors either out of a lack of humor, ignorance, or sheer stupidity. This article is a critical review of the political and administrative situation in Russia amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the first part of April 2020. The article provides a critical look at the actions of the Russian government (in particular the Moscow authorities) and points out that, while the COVID-19 pandemic presents a significant public health challenge, the threat of the pandemic may be estimated inaccurately, resulting in the government making poor decisions in dealing with it. The developments in Russia in the second half of 2020 confirmed this analysis. Meanwhile, the article itself regularly refers to scientific and state sources of data and criticizes political and administrative actions of the Russian government. It also looks critically at actions of Moscow mayor Sergey Sobaynin, which at the time went contrary to the Russian legislative system.”[Emphasis added.]

While spreading the party line on COVID-19, which as Gary D. Barnett noted in this article on LewRockwell.com, “This Coronavirus Fraud Is Planned Panic and Murder for the Purpose of Advancing Agendas of Control” is surely part of the decision, there might be other factors in play.

Recently, The Saker posted the “Russian Foreign Ministry Press release on YouTube removing the accounts of Krym 24 TV Channel and Anna News and News-Front news agencies” in which they state:

“These are just some examples of US online censorship of Russian news portals.

“We consider YouTube’s actions as another act of discrimination against Russian-language media resources from US-controlled online platforms that systematically resort to arbitrary censorship of content in the Russian language.

“This policy by US authorities represents a gross violation of US international obligations to ensure free and unfettered access to information, freedom of the media and freedom of expression.”

Again, this is part of the reason but not the whole reason; Washington is evidently at war, although not yet using military hardware, against Russia and this is an informational war.

Southfront recently posted these videos, which might be of benefit to CIA Analysts as well as ordinary Americans.

This one concludes Elon Musk and SpaceX are in effect “a beard” for the Department of Defense.

SpaceX: Camel’s Nose under the Tent of Space Militarization

This video highlights the possibility that the Poseidon is not designed to deploy a 150 Megaton warhead to destroy the American coast land, but is a sophisticated drone that integrates with advanced Russian submarines.

Poseidon Multi-Purpose Oceanic System And Russian Undersea Warfare

And this:

How Precise Are Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Hard Times For U.S. Forces In Northeast Syria. Army Prepares For Idlib Escalation

And this:

Russia Tests T-14 Armata Battle Tanks In Syria

Is it just me, or do you think perhaps these topics are driving the Neocons over the edge?

Regarding this recent Yahoo News post, “The US Navy sent surface ships deep into the Arctic, and close to Russia, for the first time in over 30 years,” Military Analyst and Historian Andrei Martyanov wrote on his blog:

“This action has no military meaning since any surface force sent to actually fight – from launching TLAMs to conducting ASW operations – to Barents Sea in case of actual war has the staying power approaching zero and time counted in minutes it takes to receive targeting and launch, and Russia has in Arctic more than enough to launch to ensure that no hostile surface force in any combination survives. Just recall basic (of course it is slightly more complex that that but still, [it] gives a good impression) [the] factors which I wrote in my last book about:

see the rest here

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Facebook Removes News Outlets in Latest Orwellian Purge – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on May 11, 2020

Facebook and its Western government-backed partners will continue to remove accounts each month for engaging in CIB. It will be hard to know if the connections they make to the accounts are genuine. But if the sloppy work they did on SouthFront and News Front is any indication, claims from Facebook and the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab should always be met with skepticism.

https://original.antiwar.com/Dave_DeCamp/2020/05/10/facebook-removes-news-outlets-in-latest-orwellian-purge/

Over the past three years, Facebook has been removing accounts for participating in what they call “coordinated inauthentic behavior” (CIB). According to Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, the Orwellian term refers to when “groups of pages or people work together to mislead others about who they are or what they’re doing.” Facebook takes down accounts for CIB due to “deceptive behavior” not for sharing false information. In the latest purge, Facebook removed accounts from two news outlets, SouthFront and News Front.

The two outlets have no affiliation; the only thing they share besides the word “Front” in their names is content that does not toe the Western mainstream media line. In its effort to remove CIB and limit “disinformation,” Facebook partners with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab (DFRLab). The Atlantic Council is a Washington-based think-tank that receives funding from Western and Gulf State governments, defense contractors, and social media outlets. Some of its top contributors for the 2018 fiscal year include the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Embassy of the UAE to the US, the US State Department, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon.

Facebook started releasing monthly CIB reports in March that detail the networks and accounts they take down. On May 5th, Facebook released its CIB report for April 2020. The report says Facebook removed eight networks of accounts, pages, and groups engaging in CIB. SouthFront and News Front are included in the first network covered in the report. “We removed 46 Pages, 91 Facebook accounts, 2 Groups, and 1 Instagram account for violating our policy against foreign interference which is coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign entity,” the report reads.

Facebook claims they linked this activity to “individuals in Russia and Donbass, and two media organizations in Crimea – NewsFront and SouthFront.” In a response to the report, SouthFront says the claim that they are based in Crimea is a “blatant lie” that they are willing to “defend in court.” SouthFront says the organization is made up of “an international team of independent authors and experts,” some of whom are from Russia and post-USSR states. News Front, on the other hand, is based in Crimea, but the organization does not try to hide its pro-Russia bias.

In a press release, the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab announced Facebook’s removal of the two organizations. The DFRLab refers to News Front and SouthFront as “two Crimea-based media organizations with ties to the FSB.” The FSB is a Russian security and intelligence agency, a successor to the Soviet Union’s KGB. In its independent analysis of the two outlets, the DFRLab offers little evidence to back up the claim of FSB ties. The analysis only uses a 2017 story from the German outlet Zeit, where a former News Front staffer claims the organization receives funding from the FSB. The DFRLab offers no evidence to link the FSB with SouthFront.

The DFRLab does not make a strong case for Facebook’s removal of the news outlets. The press release says, “While the DFRLab could not corroborate Facebook’s finding of CIB, it also found no evidence to contradict it.”

But using Facebook’s definition of CIB, the DFRLab’s analysis of the two outlets does seem to contradict Facebook’s findings. The pages and users analyzed do not seem to be misleading others or hiding who they are. “Most of the assets that DFRLab had access to did not hide their connection to South Front or News Front. Many of the pages wore their connections on their sleeves, naming themselves as different language versions of the websites,” the analysis reads. News Front is an international news organization with websites in English, Russian, German, Spanish, French, and Georgian and had Facebook pages to reflect that.

The analysis finds what they call “suspicious links” between News Front and ANNA News, another pro-Russia news outlet. But those “suspicious links” are just two former ANNA News anchors who now work for News Front. Facebook removed pages dedicated to the two anchors.

The analysis goes on to address the only connection between SouthFront and News Front, and probably, the real reason why they were removed from Facebook. Both outlets share stories that go against the Western narrative. The example the analysis seems to take the greatest issue with is stories that take into account Russia’s denial in the role in the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine in 2014. The analysis also points out that News Front accounts shared news stories from Russian-state funded media outlets like RT and Sputnik.

Ultimately, the DFRLab does not provide any information linking SouthFront or News Front’s social media activity to the Russian government and does not give examples of the accounts intentionally hiding their identity. The best they can do is mention some connections to the Russian government the founders of News Front have, but it is nothing they are trying to hide.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused an increase in internet censorship. YouTube’s CEO recently said they would remove any videos that go against the World Health Organization’s guidelines for the virus. On top of the Facebook ban, SouthFront’s YouTube channel has also been removed without any explanation. Although most of SouthFront’s content is military analysis, some stories they published on Covid-19 were flagged as “disinformation” by a ministry of the European Union. SouthFront published a detailed response to those accusations, pointing out that only three of the 3,000 stories they published this year were found to be “disinformation” by what they call “pro-NATO propagandists.”

SouthFront posted a video asking their readers for support in the wake of the social media bans. For independent news outlets, reach on social media is vital for their survival. SouthFront’s Facebook page had around 100,000 subscribers, and the YouTube channel had about 170,000. SouthFront publishes multiple news stories each day, mostly following updates on wars in the Middle East. One of the website’s best resources is its frequently updated maps.

Other networks removed by Facebook in April include accounts in Iran, Georgia, Mauritania, the US, and Myanmar. Facebook claims they took down a network of accounts connected to Iran’s state broadcasting company, although they provide no evidence to support the claim. Content credited to this network includes a post promoting former presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul from 2012. Another example from 2014 is just a news story about Israeli forces preventing Palestinians from praying in al-Aqsa Mosque.

Facebook and its Western government-backed partners will continue to remove accounts each month for engaging in CIB. It will be hard to know if the connections they make to the accounts are genuine. But if the sloppy work they did on SouthFront and News Front is any indication, claims from Facebook and the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab should always be met with skepticism.

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