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The Battle to control free speech on the Internet continues.
“Astroturfing: Astroturfing is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message or organization to make it appear as though it originates from and is supported by grassroots participants. It is a practice intended to give the statements or organizations credibility by withholding information about the source's financial connection.” -Wiki
As I have written about previously, the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) is an astroturf organization, whose primary objective is political, and this “non-profit” corporation is allied with political factions whose desire is to stop free speech on the Internet. I wrote yesterday about my belief that the CCDH non-profit status should be investigated, as I do not believe that they are non-political in nature. Furthermore, their past history as a political organization in the UK sheds doubt on their legitimacy here in this country (USA). The history of CCDH and their founder and CEO, Imran Ahmed clearly documents the political involvements of the organization over time, which is at least partially driven by organizational ties to the UK and US governments.
The early history of CCDH is outlined in the following article, printed in the Canary. This history is important, as it shows how the CCDH has been used as a political weapon.
Exclusive: Labour right linked to campaign to shut down The Canary (a workers coop/journal)
On 2 August 2019, an anonymous internet campaign named Stop Funding Fake News (SFFN) celebrated its apparent success in downsizing The Canary. For six months, SFFN had been trying to demonetise The Canary by lobbying companies to remove advertisements from its website (sound familiar).
The Canary can now reveal that Morgan McSweeney, Member of Partialment Keir Starmer’s chief of staff, launched the organisation that now runs SFFN.
SFFN CEO Imran Ahmed has also worked closely with a number of Labour figures previously involved in the campaign to remove Jeremy Corbyn as party leader.
Center for Countering Digital Hate
SFFN claims that it has been “a project of the Center For Countering Digital Hate” since 4 May 2020. The relationship between the two organisations, however, appears to date back far longer. And crucially, CCDH is linked to a number of figures on the Labour right.
CCDH is a not-for-profit NGO which was initially registered on Companies House as Brixton Endeavours Limited. At the time of incorporation, 19 October 2018, the organisation’s only director was Morgan McSweeney – Labour leader (MP) Keir Starmer’s chief of staff. McSweeney was also the campaign manager for (MP) Liz Kendall’s leadership bid.
Brixton Endeavours Limited was officially renamed the Center for Countering Digital Hate on 30 August 2019, and McSweeney did not resign his directorship until 6 April 2020. The resignation was listed on Companies House on 4 May 2020, the day CCDH and SFFN’s relationship was formally acknowledged.
Why does all this matter? Because the article above clearly documents that Brixton Endeavours Limited, whose name was changed to CCDH in 2019, was a political organization. Their purpose was to destroy the political opposition from the get-go by pressuring advertisers to stop advertising on blacklisted sites. This has been their standard playbook for taking down the opposition.
This smear campaign tactic was used to oust the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.
As The Canary extensively reported during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party, figures from the Conservative Party, the Labour right, and the establishment media orchestrated a transparently politically-motivated smear campaign against him. Their weapon of choice was employing a litany of bogus accusations of antisemitism to paint the lifelong anti-racism campaigner as some kind of bigot.
The purpose of the campaign was straightforward – they sought to derail his chances of becoming prime minister and distract attention from his (widely popular) policy proposals. Their motive was equally straightforward – they rightly feared the threat that a Corbyn-led government would pose to the status quo and their own political and economic interests. Now, one of the major players in this campaign has admitted that its whole underlying premise was false all along.
Recently, the politicians working with mainstream media have used the bogus label of anti-Semitism to remove Andrew Bridgen from the Conservative Party in the UK. In addition, The Guardian, working with leading Jewish groups in the UK, has tried to have Neil Oliver deplatformed from GB News for speaking about the COVID-19 vaccine and the risk of a one world government, which is evidently is the same as being an “anti-semite” in the minds of some. Last year, main stream media attempted to smear Robert F. Kennedy with a similar hogwash smear campaign and now, CCDH is also trying to label me and others with similar terms (guilt by association). Of course, this was followed by the attacks by the Washington Post and Yahoo News - calling those of us the CCDH smeared as “extremist influencers.” Remember that this has become their “playbook,” dating back from at least 2018.
I suggest that these defamatory claims are not originating from grass roots organizations, but are being brought forth for political gain. The goal is to shut down free speech. The goal is to generate outrage.
But our First Amendment of the Constitution states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The truth is that it is unfortunate that there are people who truly engage in such hate speech. That there are “extreme” trolls, bigots, racists in the world who truly say and post horrible things.
Antisemitism is real. But allowing the term to be weaponized in the political arena and social media is not ok. Such labels should not be exploited for political gain. End of story.
This is about controlling free speech. The ability of people to discuss politics, world events, ideas, and to draw their own conclusions. This is the basis of our society. But some can’t abide the idea of a truly free nation. They think it is not controllable. They do not trust in the laws of the land and the Constitution/Bill of Rights to protect our republic and our peoples. They want to take matters into their own hands.
Following the logic of President Obama, the new twitter is a danger to society. In the government’s opinion, free speech can’t be controlled. It can’t be fully manipulated.
Hence, Twitter must be bought to heel. Obviously, the plot to take down Elon Musk is much bigger than any one individual or organization can take on.
So, how to put pressure on Twitter when the regulator’s threats have failed to be effective? How to put pressure on Twitter when the government censorship programs put in place years earlier have now failed. How to put controls on free speech?
More about the CCDH. The CCDH was incorporated in the states in 2021. Guidestar lists a 1.4 million dollar gross revenue for that year (2022 tax returns aren’t available yet).
The chairman of the board has close ties to the Atlantic Council, which is aligned with politicians, government organizations and even the CIA.
Note that the Atlantic Council’s gross receipts top 46 million a year, and they hold assets of over 90 million US dollars.
The above text documents that The Atlantic Council works to “create collaborative approaches
to fascism particularly between the public and private sector.” This is important, as fascism is exactly what we are witnessing here.
So, the CCDH is tasked with controlling free speech on the Internet. Remember, the CCDH and SFFN takedown of the online journal, the Canary in 2019, which caused advertisers to demonetize the Canary. This in turn, caused the online paper to crash… Yeh- that’s the ticket.
Now, the CCDH doesn’t have enough political power or money to pull this one off by themselves. So, back to the astroturf basics. They formed a coalition of “groups.” Then used that coalition to pressure corporations.
It is interesting how the Stop the Toxic Twitter website completely fails to mention who actually leads the coalition. Who does lead it? Inquiring minds want to know? could it be CCDH? Duh…
This coalition’s hidden threat is that they can cause the ESG social score to go down when companies advertise on a “forbidden” social media site. This coalition is putting pressure on companies that rely on ESG scores for capital in the form of investments or loans. They might even cause companies to lose their ability to advertise on Google through the GARM agreement. It isn’t much of a surprise to learn that the World Economic Forum is also behind the GARM agreement.
THIS IS BASICALLY A SHAKEDOWN. The hidden message from the “Stop Toxic Twitter” campaign is that if companies don’t comply with their demands, their ability to access capital will decrease or disappear. Their ability to advertise on the internet could cease.
Who are the Stop Toxic Twitter “Partners”?
But the story and the hate doesn’t stop there.
Remember, this is NOT about criticing the vaccine, Russia, a laptop, Trump, January 6, or being an anti-semite. This is open warfare on Elon Musk. So why not bring out the anti-semite ploy? It has certainly worked well for CCDH in the past!
So, Media Matters steps into the fray.
Now, Media Matters puts their own “spin” on the CCDH story.
Media Matters main conclusions seems to be that if ANYONE or organization said something that could be construed as bigoted, they should NEVER have normal account privileges again on Social Media. Permanent excommunication from online communities.
BANISHMENT for free speech. It is the only way.
Remember, EVERY account on Twitter is monetized by ad revenue. This is a call to action to again ban accounts permanently.
Another witch hunt.
Mirror, mirror on the wall - who is purist of them all?
Just in case you have been living under a rock, who is Media Matters anyway?
So, government intervention didn’t work to stop
free bad speech - lets turn it over to the progressive organizations and the threat of ESG score downgrades! The threat of permanently losing the ability to advertise!
Media Matters has the voice of progressives and the liberal government. CCDH and its founder, Morgan McSweeney as well as it’s affiliated coalition of astroturfers and progressive organizations now work hand in glove with politicos and governments alike to stop speech they don’t like. They are all working together toward a goal to ban free speech on the Internet. This is the government’s agenda.
“ Disinformation is destroying democracy”
Of course, they only want to ban speech that they don’t like. I am sure that we all agree that we should just trust their judgement on what is good speech and bad speech <not>.
Elon Musk has truly been a hero in all of this, for holding out as long as he has. If the government were to follow it’s usual game plane, the next thing Elon Musk will receive is some sort of government contract - too good to turn down. Or they will try to create an oversized scandal or honeytrap to take him down. I hope that he can withstand the pressure.
Yep, I predict more fascism. It may be the only way to control
free speech bad speak on the Internet. Because what is freedom without controls?
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