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Astroturf outrage driving boycott threats - FifthGen Warfare Tactics
While Jill and I were traveling in Florida last week, we were alerted that the Washington Post had published another hit piece titled “Extremist influencers are generating millions for Twitter, report says”. In this article, author Taylor Lorenz cites a “study” by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) in which 10 Twitter accounts were identified as “Extremist influencers”.
According to Taylor Lorenz and the Washington Post:
The 10 influencers CCDH considered in its survey are Andrew Tate, Robert Malone, Andrew Anglin, Emerald Robinson, Rogan O’Handley, Peter McCullough, Stew Peters, Anthime Gionet, Rizza Islam, and Gateway Pundit. All had their accounts removed from Twitter for violating rules before Musk restored them.
What made these persons “Extremist influencers”, and how were these ten selected?
No information is provided regarding why these particular ten were selected.
CCDH’s chief executive, Imran Ahmed, linked the drop off in ad revenue to the decision by Musk to restore the formerly banned accounts. “Our research shows that there is a depressingly banal answer to why Elon Musk would reinstate the accounts of self-professed Nazis, disinformation actors, misogynists and homophobes — it’s highly profitable,” he said.
Who and what is CCDH?
According to Wikispooks:
The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) is a nonprofit limited company based in London. With ties to the top levels of the Labour Party and Conservative government and with murky funding, CCDH lobbies American "big tech" firms such as YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Instagram and Apple to "deplatform" individuals so that they cannot present their views to the general public.
Using a glaring example of projection (attributing its own qualities to others), the Center states that "identity-based hate" means "a lack of respect for a free press"... and "suppresses democratic discourse and participation by the most disadvantaged, undermines fundamental human rights, our ability to enact evidence-based policy, the capacity of conventional politics to provide effective solutions, and popular support for the longstanding foundations of our democracy."
When the Joe Biden administration pressured Silicon Valley to wage a war on the so-called “disinformation dozen” 12 people who allegedly were responsible for 65% of all dissenting information from the government’s COVID-19 propaganda campaign, the info came from the Center.
Campaign against The Gateway Pundit
Campaign against vaccine hesitancy
Imran Ahmed, From CCDH website
Imran Ahmed is the founder and CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate US/UK. He is an authority on social and psychological malignancies on social media, such as identity-based hate, extremism, disinformation, and conspiracy theories. He regularly appears on the media and in documentaries as an expert in how bad actors use digital spaces to harm others and benefit themselves, as well as how and why bad platforms allow them to do so. He advises politicians around the world on policy and legislation. Imran was inspired to start the Center after seeing the rise of antisemitism on the left in the United Kingdom and the murder of his colleague, Jo Cox MP, by a white supremacist, who had been radicalized in part online, during the EU Referendum in 2016. He holds an MA in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge. Imran lives in Washington DC, and tweets at @Imi_Ahmed.
Simon Clark, Chair of the Board. CCDH US & UK. Simon Clark is a resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Lab based in Washington, DC. Simon chairs the Center for Countering Digital Hate US/UK. He is a director and former chair of Foreign Policy for America, the advocacy organization for principled American engagement in the world. He was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress where he led their work on combating violent white supremacy that informed the White House’s Domestic Terrorism strategy.
The Center for American Progress is a think tank founded in 2003 by John Podesta, as an organization dedicated to progressive ideas and action.
What is the Atlantic Council? Basically, it appears to be a CIA shop that specializes in astroturf (fake grassroots) media campaigns, such as those run by the CCDH, which appears to essentially be a spinout or subsidiary of the Atlantic Council.
Enemies of Democracy
Facebook said they’ll be working with the Atlantic Council “to protect free and fair elections across the world” but some find that hard to believe considering the council’s longest serving board member is Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state who toppled the democratic government of Chile with the CIA.
The CIA of course has a long history of overthrowing democracies and propping up dictatorships. Dictatorships kind of like the monarchies of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates, who donated millions of dollars to the Atlantic Council and don’t even pretend to give a damn about democracy
They still say it’s about democracy though. So there’s nothing to worry about because nothing nefarious has ever done in the name of democracy before…
The Atlantic Council’s board of directors is filled with members of the George W. Bush administration (including Stephen Hadley, Condoleezza Rice, and Colin Powell), who launched the most disastrous disinformation campaign in modern history, when they lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, lied about a connection between 9/11 and Iraq, and then got a million people killed by misleading the country to war in Iraq based on those lies.
Incredibly, the same day the council announced their partnership with Facebook, they were engaging in their own blatant disinformation campaign, praising George W. Bush with a “Distinguished International Leadership Award.”
That’s like giving the 9/11 hijackers an award for “Distinguished Aviation”.
Atlantic Council Vice Chair Richard Edelman is President and CEO of the largest private PR firm in the world. Edelman has been caught multiple times creating fake grassroots campaigns like the anti-union “Workers for Walmart”, which was secretly funded by Walmart, and the anti cap-and-trade Energy Citizens, whose rallies were entirely made up of paid fossil fuel employees.
Ms. Lorenz reports:
To conduct its survey, CCDH created new accounts on Twitter and followed the 10. Then CCDH calculated the advertising value of those accounts by taking publicly available information about the numbers of impressions the influencers’ tweets received and annualized that number, along with the frequency that ads are served to users. It then multiplied that result by an industry benchmark of the cost for 1,000 impressions. The rates were provided by the social media analytics firm Brandwatch, which shows that Twitter ads cost an average of $6.46 per 1,000 impressions.
“Just 10 of these reinstated bad actors will generate billions of Twitter views, all of which Elon Musk can sell to household brands and advertisers, such as Apple, Amazon, and the NFL. Brands’ ads are appearing right next to Nazi-level hate and lies that can kill,” said Ahmed.
In other words, there is no information provided regarding why these ten were selected. In Ms. Lorenz’ article, these ten are linked by association to the following statement, which does not include any cited reference or link:
On Thursday, the Anti Defamation League (ADL) issued a report documenting 18 extremists and purveyors of disinformation who have been welcomed back onto the platform by Musk.
“In recent weeks a number of problematic groups and individuals have had their accounts reinstated on Twitter, have increased the use of their existing accounts, or have joined the platform as new accounts,” the report reads. The 18 extremists have already resumed posting hate speech, misleading information and conspiracy theories, according to screenshots in the report. The ADL has reported several of the 18 accounts for racist and antisemitic hate speech but Twitter has not responded or taken action, the ADL said.
I searched for the article and study from the ADL referenced above, and could only find one recent article which might be the source, titled “Ye is Right” Antisemitic Campaign Continues”.
So who is author/”journalist” Taylor Lorenz?
According to her bio at the Washington Post, Taylor Lorenz is a columnist at The Washington Post covering technology and online culture. Before joining The Post, she was a technology reporter for the New York Times' business section. She was also previously a technology reporter at the Atlantic and the Daily Beast. She was a 2019 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where her research focused on Instagram and news consumption. She is also a former affiliate at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Lorenz also serves on the board of the Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society (ATLAS) Institute at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
More notoriously, Taylor Lorenz is the “journalist” who intentionally Doxed the woman who posts as “Libs of TicTok”. As covered in the American Conservative:
Earlier this month, MSNBC ran a segment on female journalists who have been harassed on the internet. One of the subjects was Taylor Lorenz.
After reading a series of nasty tweets and messages that were directed at her, Lorenz disclosed that she has “severe PTSD” from the harassment she has endured.
“You feel like аny little bit of informаtion thаt gets out on you will be used by the worst people on the Internet to destroy your life,” she said, her face quivering. “It’s terrifying.”
She’s not exactly ducking under tables at the sound of fireworks or shuddering at mentions of the Viet Cong.
Whether the result of “severe PTSD” or otherwise, Lorenz published a piece Tuesday in the Washington Post doxing a private citizen, listing the person’s name and linking to her real-estate license and home address— inviting exactly the sort of abuse Lorenz decried in the MSNBC segment.
The woman whom Lorenz doxed runs Libs of TikTok, a Twitter account that takes videos from left-wing TikTok users and reposts them on Twitter. Lorenz claims the videos are posted with “incendiary framing designed to generate outrage” and have been used to justify “anti-LGBTQ+ legislation” around the country. At no point does she considers the possibility that the videos are genuinely outrageous and not simply perceived as such because of “incendiary framing.” In fact, she deliberately obscures the contents of the videos she describes in the piece.
What are the characteristics of those who CCDH selected as “Extremist influencers”?
Andrew Tate, Robert Malone, Andrew Anglin, Emerald Robinson, Rogan O’Handley, Peter McCullough, Stew Peters, Anthime Gionet, Rizza Islam, and Gateway Pundit.
As previously noted by Wikispooks, CCDH seems to have an unusual obsession with both the Gateway Pundit as well as myself.
What does the CCDH list as the characteristics of these selected individuals?
● Andrew Tate, the influencer and former kickboxer known for posting extreme misogynistic videos. He has said that rape victims “bear some responsibility” for being raped and that he would threaten women who accuse him of cheating with a machete.
● Robert Malone, a doctor who has built up a following by pushing falsehoods about Covid vaccines, while also claiming to have played a key role in their development. He has claimed that the “science is settled” that Covid vaccines “are not working”.
● Andrew Anglin, an American neo-Nazi who founded the Daily Stormer website, which takes its name from the Nazi propaganda sheet known as Der Stürmer.
● Gateway Pundit, an online media outlet notorious for its promotion of disinformation, including claims around vote tampering, climate denial and Covid misinformation.
● Emerald Robinson, the former Newsmax reporter who was sacked and suspended from Twitter in 2021 for claiming that the Covid vaccine contains a satanic marker.
● Rogan O’Handley, a Hollywood former entertainment lawyer turned far-right conspiracy theorist, who has been criticized for fanning the flames of vaccine conspiracies in the wake of the NFL athlete Damar Hamlin’s heart attack.
● Peter McCullough, a doctor known for pushing misinformation about Covid. He has claimed that health officials withheld treatments for Covid in the early days of the pandemic in order to spread fear and push people into taking a vaccine.
● Stew Peters, a former bounty hunter who produced the film ‘Died Suddenly’, which promotes false claims about Covid vaccines.
● Ronnie Steven Islam, known as “Rizza” Islam, is an internet personality who regularly posts antisemitic, anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-vaccine rhetoric. He was named in CCDH’s “Disinformation Dozen”, listing twelve of the most influential online anti-vaxxers.
● Anthime Gionet, known as Baked Alaska, is a white supremacist internet personality who attended the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally and has been sentenced for his role in the Capitol insurrection.
Why have legitimate skilled physicians and media organizations been paired with antisemites, white supremacists, and NeoNazis? There can be no explanation other than that this is a clear attempt to delegitimize, censor and defame credible voices who are raising inconvenient (for the current administration) concerns.
In the report entitled “Toxic Twitter”, CCDH is once again trying to spin up an astroturf campaign against both Twitter and the named individuals. What is my specific cited sin? This tweet:
Note that this is a re-tweet of a post by the esteemed British cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra, regarding a report from a MIT professor and expert on drug safety. The fact that these “vaccine” products which do not protect against infection, replication, or spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is now widely accepted, including in a recent publication by senior author Dr. Anthony Fauci. This not disinformation, this is fact. The mRNA “vaccines” are clearly associated with myocarditis, pericarditis, formation of unusual highly crosslinked fibrin clots, alterations in menstruation, and, according to a senior Pfizer executive, appear to be damaging the hypothalamic/pituitary/adrenal/gonadal axis. That is not safe, by anyone’s account.
This is scientific fact.
So, what is the advertisement associated with this tweet which the CCDH finds so alarming?
A Fortune magazine promoted article/advertisement for a company claiming to be working to combat “climate change”, advancing better living via chemistry.
This astroturf campaign, in which the CCDH is trying to spin up fake umbrage against Twitter advertisers, is reminiscent of the prior CCDH effort to generate outrage towards Substack for allowing banned authors such as myself to publish editorials, using a similar strategy involving contrived calculations of financial returns in an effort to generate outrage.
Who are the anti-vaxx Substack millionaires?
The substack author/publication eugyppius: a plague chronicle has provided a nice summary of Mr. Imran Ahmed titled “The Center for Countering Digital Hate is Dumb
A closer look at the propaganda outfit at the centre of the pressure campaign against Substack.”, which I recommend that interested readers review for additional insight into this organization and its founder.
What the public really needs to know is that CCDH, despite being registered as a 501c3 non-profit (which classification has significant limits on allowable political activity), is actually a liberal “astroturf” organization which for some reason gets dutifully republished and cited by in the New Yorker, Nature, and Rolling Stone. He even crops up in a few places you wouldn’t expect, like this weird Vogue profile of Selena Gomez. And of course the Washington Post.
This is propaganda, yet another form of fifth generation warfare. Like the GARM organization and agreement which has been weaponized to support the deplatforming of conservative publications and media via the Google Adsense monopoly, the CCDH is fundamentally a political operation with CIA ties which seeks to enforce federal government censorship and propaganda objectives by influencing corporate advertising decisions.
At a minimum, the 501c3 status of this organization deserves close review and scrutiny. And the Washington Post should have to address why they routinely regurgitate the propaganda and astroturf campaign claims of this political operation masquerading as a legitimate independent analysis think tank.
The Center for Countering Digital Hate spreads mis- and dis-information for political purposes, and in so doing promotes rather than counters “Digital Hate”.
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