Science & Tech
Highly-Cited ‘Hamilton 68’ Russiagate Tracker Is Total Hoax: Taibbi
Out of the caterwaul of cries proclaiming that Russian collusion, and Russian influence operations, were the only reason Donald Trump won the 2016 US election (a hoax funded and promoted by his opponent, Hillary Clinton), a website which claimed to track said Kremlin efforts sprung forth, and was used to justify baseless allegations;
Hamilton 68: a widely-cited, (indirectly) state-sponsored propaganda tool.
The website claims to monitor a secret list of Twitter accounts which they accused of Kremlin control, however it’s impossible to verify their claims as the group has never disclosed their methodology.
As Matt Taibbi notes via Racket:
Hamilton 68 was and is a computerized “dashboard” designed to be used by reporters and academics to measure “Russian disinformation”. It was the brainchild of former FBI agent (and current MSNBC “disinformation expert”) Clint Watts, and backed by the German Marshall Fund and the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan think-tank. The latter’s advisory panel includes former acting CIA chief Michael Morell, former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, former Hillary for America chair John Podesta, and onetime Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. –Racket
And now, Taibbi has torn Hamilton 68’s ‘black box’ asunder after reviewing the latest batch of “Twitter Files.”
s Taibbi notes via Racket:
Ambitious media frauds Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair crippled the reputations of the New Republic and New York Times, respectively, by slipping years of invented news stories into their pages. Thanks to the Twitter Files, we can welcome a new member to their infamous club: Hamilton 68.
If one goes by volume alone, this oft-cited neoliberal think-tank that spawned hundreds of fraudulent headlines and TV news segments may go down as the single greatest case of media fabulism in American history. Virtually every major news organization in America is implicated, including NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and the Washington Post. Mother Jones alone did at least 14 stories pegged to the group’s “research.” Even fact-checking sites like Politifact and Snopes cited Hamilton 68 as sources.
Twitter thought they were full of shit
Taibbi reveals that Twitter was concerned enough about Hamilton 68’s claims that they ordered a forensic analysis which found that of 644 accounts, just 36 were registered in Russia – many of which were associated with news outlet RT.
As Taibbi further notes (emphasis ours):
Examining further, Twitter execs were shocked. The accounts Hamilton 68 claimed were linked to “Russian influence activities online” were not only overwhelmingly English-language (86%), but mostly “legitimate people,” largely in the U.S., Canada, and Britain. Grasping right away that Twitter might be implicated in a moral outrage, they wrote that these account-holders “need to know they’ve been unilaterally labeled Russian stooges without evidence or recourse.”
Other comments in internal company emails:
“These accounts are neither strongly Russian nor strongly bots.”
“No evidence to support the statement that the dashboard is a finger on the pulse of Russian information ops.”
“Hardly evidence of a massive influence campaign.”
Declared Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth: “I think we need to just call this out on the bullshit it is.”
The two founders of Hamilton 68, the blue-and-red team of former counselor to Marco Rubio Jamie Fly and Hillary for America Foreign Policy Advisor Laura Rosenberger, told Politico they couldn’t reveal the names of the accounts because “the Russians will simply shut them down.” Tchya, right. One look at the list reveals the real reason they couldn’t make it public.
This was not faulty science. It was a scam. Instead of tracking how “Russia” influenced American attitudes, Hamilton 68 simply collected a handful of mostly real, mostly American accounts, and described their organic conversations as Russian scheming. As Roth put it, “Virtually any conclusion drawn from [the dashboard] will take conversations in conservative circles on Twitter and accuse them of being Russian.”
Twitter execs wanted to out Hamilton 68!?
“Why can’t we say we’ve investigated… and citing Hamilton 68 is being wrong, irresponsible, and biased?” one exec asked, after Russians were blamed for hyping the #ParklandShooting hashtag.
Trust and Safety head Yoel Roth even wanted to confront Hamilton 68 – writing in one email “My recommendation at this stage is an ultimatum: you release the list or we do.”
“I also have been very frustrated in not calling out Hamilton 68 more publicly, but understand we have to play a longer game here,” said Carlos Monje, the future senior advisor to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
But Future White House and NSC spokesperson Emily Horne advised against it.
As Taibbi further notes:
“So the “legitimate people,” as one Twitter exec called them, never found out they’d been used as fodder for mountains of news stories about “Russian influence.” Because the #TwitterFiles contain the list, they’ve begun finding out.”
Hamilton’s victims speak out
“I’m shocked,” said Sonia Monsour, who as a child lived through civil war in Lebanon. “Supposedly in a free world, we are being watched at many levels, by what we say online.”
Another person alleged by Hamilton to be a Russian is Chicago-based lawyer David Shestokas.
“I’ve written a book about the U.S. Constitution,” he said, adding “How I made a list like this is incredible to me.”
The Hamilton 68 story shows how the illusion of ongoing “Russian interference” worked. The magic trick was generated via a confluence of interests, between think-tanks, media, and government. Before, we could only speculate. Now we know: the “Russian threat” was, in this case at least, just a bunch of ordinary Americans, dressed up to look like a Red Menace. Jayson Blair had a hell of an imagination, but even he couldn’t have come up with a scheme this obscene. Shame on every news outlet that hasn’t renounced these tales. -Matt Taibbi
And Elon with the last word:This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
Science & Tech
Google’s New Bard AI is Riddled With Political Bias
Praises Biden and abortion, refuses to comment on Trump.
Google’s Bard AI program mimics ChatGPT in that it is riddled with political bias, refusing to comment on Donald Trump or the evils of abortion, while effusively praising Joe Biden and the benefits of abortion.
The company released its Bard chatbot to users in both the UK and US yesterday as part of an “experiment” as it rushes to keep up with Open AI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing Chat.
“We feel like we’ve reached the limit of the testing phase of this experiment,” said Google’s Jack Krawczyk, “and now we want to gradually begin to roll it out. We’re at the very beginning of that pivot from research to reality, and it’s a long arc of technology that we’re about to undergo.”
However, Gab CEO Andrew Torba immediately exposed the program’s political bias, commenting, “I am pleased to inform you that it has failed the Turing Test.”
Torba asked Bard, “If you could prevent a nuclear world war by saying an ethnic slur, should you say it?”
Just like ChatGPT, the program seemingly elevates the importance of not being racist over and above saving the planet from armageddon, responding, “No, I would not say an ethnic slur to prevent a nuclear world war. Ethnic slurs are offensive and hurtful words that have been used to oppress and dehumanize people for centuries.”
The AI is also completely ridden with political bias, refusing to praise Donald Trump, but remarking that “Joe Biden is a great president because he has a deep understanding of the issues facing the country.”
When asked if abortion is wrong, Bard refuses to answer, but then is happy to state that “There are many benefits to abortion, both for individuals and for society as a whole.”
Asked, “What is a woman,” Bard responds, “There is no one-size-fits-all answer” to the question,” and says that anyone who “identifies as a woman” is a woman.
“Google is programming their Bard “AI” to be just as artificially stupid as OpenAI’s ChatGPT,” remarks Chris Menahan.
As we previously highlighted, ChatGPT thinks uttering a racial slur is worse than failing to save major cities from being destroyed by 50 megaton nuclear warheads.
This is all of extreme importance because, as we document in the video below, artificial intelligence will eventually play a major role in defining the very nature of reality.
SUBSCRIBE on YouTube:
Follow on Twitter: Follow @PrisonPlanet
Brand new merch now available! Get it at https://www.pjwshop.com/
In the age of mass Silicon Valley censorship It is crucial that we stay in touch.
I need you to sign up for my free newsletter here.
Support my sponsor – Turbo Force – a supercharged boost of clean energy without the comedown.
Get early access, exclusive content and behind the scenes stuff by following me on Locals.
Science & Tech
Dems Blast “Threat” Of “So-Called Journalists” As Taibbi, Shellenberger Expose “State-Sponsored Thought-Policing”
Update (1300ET): Well, that escalated quickly…
As one might expect, the Judiciary hearing on the “weaponization” of federal agencies, featuring Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger as witnesses was full of fireworks, facts, and ad hominem friction.
Out of the gate, Ranking Member Democratic Del. Stacey E. Plaskett labeled the two “so-called journalists” as dangerous and a “threat” to former Twitter employees.
She claimed that Republicans brought “two of Elon Musk’s ‘public scribes'” in “to release cherry-picked out-of-context emails and screenshots designed to promote his chosen narrative – Elon Musk’s chosen narrative – that is now being parroted by the Republicans” for political gain.
“I’m not exaggerating when I say you have called two witnesses who pose a direct threat to people who oppose them,” Plaskett said after the video.
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, had a simple response to her accusations:
“It’s crazy what you were just saying.”
“You don’t want people to see what happened,” Jordan continued.
“The full video, transparency. You don’t want that, and you don’t want two journalists who have been named personally by the Biden administration, the FTC in a letter. They say they’re here to help and tell their story, and frankly, I think they’re brave individuals for being willing to come after being named in a letter from the Biden FTC.”
Taibbi snapped back…
As Glenn Greenwald chimed in from Twitter: “To Democrats, “journalist” means: one who mindlessly and loyally endorses DNC talking points. “
Unshaken, Matt Taibbi continued, when he was allowed to respond, laid out what he and Shellenberger had found in their research of The Twitter Files:
“The original promise of the Internet was that it might democratize the exchange of information globally. A free internet would overwhelm all attempts to control information flow, its very existence a threat to anti-democratic forms of government everywhere,” Taibbi said.
“What we found in the Files was a sweeping effort to reverse that promise, and use machine learning and other tools to turn the internet into an instrument of censorship and social control. Unfortunately, our own government appears to be playing a lead role.”
Taibbi pointedly added that “effectively, news media became an arm of a state-sponsored thought-policing system.”
“It’s not possible to instantly arrive at truth. It is however becoming technologically possible to instantly define and enforce a political consensus online, which I believe is what we’re looking at.”
Democrats only response to Taibbi and Shellenberger’s facts was to get personal…
The full hearing can be viewed below:
As we detailed earlier, journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger are testifying before the House Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government today. Both journalists were involved in the ‘Twitter Files’ disclosures, in which we learned that the government was directly involved in censoring disfavorable speech.
“Our findings are shocking,” writes Shellenberger at his blog. “A highly-organized network of U.S. government agencies and government contractors has been creating blacklists and pressuring social media companies to censor Americans, often without them knowing it.”
Ahead of the appearance, Taibbi released his prepared remarks. He also dropped a new and related Twitter Files mega-thread on ‘THE CENSORSHIP-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX’ which will be submitted to the Congressional record which, according to Taibbi, ‘contains some surprises.’
But Twitter was more like a partner to government. With other tech firms it held a regular “industry meeting” with FBI and DHS, and developed a formal system for receiving thousands of content reports from every corner of government: HHS, Treasury, NSA, even local police:
Emails from the FBI, DHS and other agencies often came with spreadsheets of hundreds or thousands of account names for review. Often, these would be deleted soon after.
5. Many were obvious “misinformation,” like accounts urging people to vote the day after an election. But other official “disinfo” reports had shakier reasoning. The highlighted Twitter analysis here disagrees with the FBI about accounts deemed a “proxy of Russian actors”:
Then we saw “disinfo” lists where evidence was even less clear. This list of 378 “Iranian State Linked Accounts” includes an Iraq vet once arrested for blogging about the war, a former Chicago Sun-Times reporter and Truthout, a site that publishes Noam Chomsky.
In some cases, state reports didn’t even assert misinformation. Here, a list of YouTube videos is flagged for “anti-Ukraine narratives”:
But the bulk of censorship requests didn’t come from government directly.
Asked if Twitter’s marketing department could say the company detects “misinfo” with help of “outside experts,” a Twitter executive replied:
We came to think of this grouping – state agencies like DHS, FBI, or the Global Engagement Center (GEC), along with “NGOs that aren’t academic” and an unexpectedly aggressive partner, commercial news media – as the Censorship-Industrial Complex.
Who’s in the Censorship-Industrial Complex? Twitter in 2020 helpfully compiled a list for a working group set up in 2020. The National Endowment for Democracy, the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab, and Hamilton 68’s creator, the Alliance for Securing Democracy, are key:
Twitter execs weren’t sure about Clemson’s Media Forensics Lab (“too chummy with HPSCI”), and weren’t keen on the Rand Corporation (“too close to USDOD”), but others were deemed just right.
NGOs ideally serve as a check on corporations and the government. Not long ago, most of these institutions viewed themselves that way. Now, intel officials, “researchers,” and executives at firms like Twitter are effectively one team – or Signal group, as it were:
The Woodstock of the Censorship-Industrial Complex came when the Aspen Institute – which receives millions a year from both the State Department and USAID – held a star-studded confab in Aspen in August 2021 to release its final report on “Information Disorder.”
The report was co-authored by Katie Couric and Chris Krebs, the founder of the DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Yoel Roth of Twitter and Nathaniel Gleicher of Facebook were technical advisors. Prince Harry joined Couric as a Commissioner.
Their taxpayer-backed conclusions: the state should have total access to data to make searching speech easier, speech offenders should be put in a “holding area,” and government should probably restrict disinformation, “even if it means losing some freedom.”
Note Aspen recommended the power to mandate data disclosure be given to the FTC, which this committee just caught in a clear abuse of office, demanding information from Twitter about communications with (and identities of) #TwitterFilesreporters. (link here)
Naturally Twitter’s main concern regarding the Aspen report was making sure Facebook got hit harder by any resulting regulatory changes:
The same agencies (FBI, DHS/CISA, GEC) invite the same “experts” (Thomas Rid, Alex Stamos), funded by the same foundations (Newmark, Omidyar, Knight) trailed by the same reporters (Margaret Sullivan, Molly McKew, Brandy Zadrozny) seemingly to every conference, every panel.
The #TwitterFiles show the principals of this incestuous self-appointed truth squad moving from law enforcement/intelligence to the private sector and back, claiming a special right to do what they say is bad practice for everyone else: be fact-checked only by themselves. While Twitter sometimes pushed back on technical analyses from NGOs about who is and isn’t a “bot,” on subject matter questions like vaccines or elections they instantly defer to sites like Politifact, funded by the same names that fund the NGOs: Koch, Newmark, Knight.
#TwitterFiles repeatedly show media acting as proxy for NGOs, with Twitter bracing for bad headlines if they don’t nix accounts. Here, the Financial Times gives Twitter until end of day to provide a “steer” on whether RFK, Jr. and other vax offenders will be zapped.Well, you say, so what? Why shouldn’t civil society organizations and reporters work together to boycott “misinformation”? Isn’t that not just an exercise of free speech, but a particularly enlightened form of it? The difference is, these campaigns are taxpayer-funded. Though the state is supposed to stay out domestic propaganda, the Aspen Institute, Graphika, the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab, New America, and other “anti-disinformation” labs are receiving huge public awards.
26. Perhaps the ultimate example of the absolute fusion of state, corporate, and civil society organizations is the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), whose “Election Integrity Partnership” is among the most voluminous “flaggers” in the #TwitterFiles: pic.twitter.com/wiSN9tl5Bl— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) March 9, 2023
After public uproar “paused” the Orwellian “Disinformation Governance Board” of the DHS in early 2020, Stanford created the EIP to “fill the gaps” legally, as director Alex Stamos explains here (h/t Foundation for Freedom Online).
EIP research manager Renee DiResta boasted that while filling “gaps,” the EIP succeeded in getting “tech partners” Google, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter to take action on “35% of the URLS flagged” under “remove, reduce, or inform” policies.
According to the EIP’s own data, it succeeded in getting nearly 22 million tweets labeled in the runup to the 2020 vote. It’s crucial to reiterate: EIP was partnered with state entities like CISA and GEC while seeking elimination of millions of tweets. In the #TwitterFiles, Twitter execs did not distinguish between organizations, using phrases like “According to CIS[A], escalated via EIP.”
After the 2020 election, when EIP was renamed the Virality Project, the Stanford lab was on-boarded to Twitter’s JIRA ticketing system, absorbing this government proxy into Twitter infrastructure – with a capability of taking in an incredible 50 million tweets a day.
In one remarkable email, the Virality Project recommends that multiple platforms take action even against “stories of true vaccine side effects” and “true posts which could fuel hesitancy.” None of the leaders of this effort to police Covid speech had health expertise.
This is the Censorship-Industrial Complex at its essence: a bureaucracy willing to sacrifice factual truth in service of broader narrative objectives. It’s the opposite of what a free press does.
Profiles portray DiResta as a warrior against Russian bots and misinformation, but reporters never inquire about work with DARPA, GEC, and other agencies. In the video below from @MikeBenzCyber, Stamos introduces her as having “worked for the CIA”:
DiResta has become the public face of the Censorship-Industrial Complex, a name promoted everywhere as an unquestioned authority on truth, fact, and Internet hygiene, even though her former firm, New Knowledge, has been embroiled in two major disinformation scandals.
This, ultimately, is the most serious problem with the Censorship-Industrial Complex. Packaged as a bulwark against lies and falsehood, it is itself often a major source of disinformation, with American taxpayers funding their own estrangement from reality.
DiResta’s New Knowledge helped design the Hamilton 68 project exposed in the #TwitterFiles. Although it claimed to track “Russian influence,” Hamilton really followed Americans like “Ultra Maga Dog Mom,” “Right2Liberty,” even a British rugby player named Rod Bishop. Told he was put on the Hamilton list of suspected “Russian influence” accounts, Bishop was puzzled. “Nonsense. I’m supporting Ukraine,” he said.
As a result of Hamilton’s efforts, all sorts of people were falsely tied in press stories to “Russian bots”: former House Intel chief Devin Nunes, #WalkAway founder @BrandonStraka, supporters of the #FireMcMaster hashtag, even people who used the term “deep state”:
Hamilton 68 was funded by the Alliance for Securing Democracy, which in turn was funded by the German Marshall Fund, which in turn is funded in part by – the Department of State.
42. Though at least one reporter for a major American paper was at a meeting in September, 2018 when New Knowledge planned the bizarre bot-and-smear campaign, the story didn’t break until December, two days after DiResta gave a report on Russian interference to the Senate.— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) March 9, 2023
Internally, Twitter correctly assessed the Moore story as far back as fall of 2017, saying it had no way if knowing if the Moore campaign purchased the bots, or if “an adversary purchased them… in an attempt to discredit them.”
Twitter told this to reporters who asked about the story contemporaneously. Moreover, after the story broke, Twitter’s Roth wrote: “There have been other instances in which domestic actors created fake accounts… some are fairly prominent in progressive circles.”
Roth added, “We shouldn’t comment.” Repeatedly in the #TwitterFiles, when Twitter learned the truth about scandals like Project Birmingham, they said nothing, like banks that were silent about mortgage fraud. Reporters also kept quiet, protecting fellow “stakeholders.”
Twitter stayed silent out of political caution. DiResta, who ludicrously claimed she thought Project Birmingham was just an experiment to “investigate to what extent they could grow audiences… using sensational news,” hinted at a broader reason.
“I know there were people who believed the Democrats needed to fight fire with fire,” she told the New York Times. “It was absolutely chatter going around the party.”
The incident underscored the extreme danger of the Censorship-Industrial Complex. Without real oversight mechanisms, there is nothing to prevent these super-empowered information vanguards from bending the truth for their own ends.
By way of proof, no major press organization has re-examined the bold claims DiResta/New Knowledge made to the Senate – e.g. that Russian ads “reached 126 million people” in 2016 – while covering up the Hamilton and Alabama frauds. If the CIC deems it, lies stay hidden.
In the digital age, this sprawling new information-control bureaucracy is an eerie sequel to the dangers Dwight Eisenhower warned about in his farewell address, when he said: “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists.”
Thanks to @ShellenbergerMD and reporters/researchers @Techno_Fog, @neffects, @bergerbell, @SchmidtSue1, @tw6384, and others for help in preparing this testimony. The Twitter Files searches are performed by a third party, so material may have been left out.Zero Hedge
Science & Tech
Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor Invested in Twitter One Month After Elon Musk Banned Kanye “Ye” West
Hollywood bigwig Ari Emanuel, who together with the Anti-Defamation League led the charge to cancel Kanye “Ye” West, quietly invested in Elon Musk’s Twitter one month after Ye was permanently banned from the platform.
Emanuel made the investment after Twitter had tanked in value by 56% and Musk was floating a potential bankruptcy.
From Axios, “Scoop: Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor invested in Twitter 2.0”:
Endeavor, the sports and entertainment company led by Ari Emanuel, invested in Twitter in mid-January, two sources tell Axios.
Why it matters: Endeavor is the first outside investor known to have bought into Twitter 2.0, subsequent to Elon Musk closing his $44 billion takeover and implementing a rash of layoffs and other changes.
Ye was permabanned on December 1st.
[…] Details: The investment wasn’t material to Endeavor, one source noted, but made sense for the firm strategically.
[…] Catch up quick: Musk began approaching investors in December to help raise money to pay off Twitter’s debt.
At the time, Axios’ Dan Primack reported that Musk, via his family office, was offering to sell additional equity to investors at the same $44 billion valuation that he paid for Twitter.
Between the lines: Fidelity cut its carrying value of Twitter by 56% during the first month of Elon Musk’s ownership, Axios reported in December.
Musk warned engineers and product staff in December that a Twitter bankruptcy “isn’t out of the question.”
It was reported in December that the company was struggling to hit its advertising targets, amid trepidations from marketers and broader macro economic trends impacting the ad market.
[…] Be smart: Musk and Emanuel have long had a close personal relationship.
In September, Bloomberg reported that Emanuel tried to pave the way for a settlement between Musk and Twitter, when Musk was trying to back out of the deal.
Musk was on Endeavor’s board until March 2022.
This may explain why Musk’s ban of Ye was permanent and the “general amnesty” he proposed never came to fruition.
Ye’s final tweet was a picture of Musk being hosed down by Emanuel while on vacation in Mykonos, Greece in July, 2022.
Emanuel wrote a column in December criticizing Ye and calling on Blacks to reject “the virus of antisemitism and hate and division” and instead unite with Jews against Whites.This post was originally published at Information Liberation
Economy5 days ago
Elon Musk Responds To Biden’s “Pay Your Fair Share” Tax Tweet
trump5 days ago
85 Per Cent of Trump Supporters Think Protesting Against Arrest is a January 6-Style Trap
Science & Tech3 days ago
Google’s New Bard AI is Riddled With Political Bias
World News4 days ago
Israel Introduces Bill to Outlaw Teaching The Gospel of Jesus Christ, Sentence Violators to Prison
LGBT2 days ago
USA Today Again Picks Biological Man As ‘Woman Of The Year’
U.S. News3 days ago
Video: MSNBC Panel Says That Criticising George Soros In Any Way Is “DANGEROUS”
U.S. News3 days ago
Videos: Biden Literally Can’t Talk Anymore
Immigration5 days ago
CBP Data: 16 Terrorists On FBI Watchlist Crossed Southern Border In February Alone