Beautifying Israel’s occupation on the red carpet

Appearing on an important, well-publicised platform may make you look great in the public eye. This is a conventional maxim that is rarely ignored by those seeking to mislead public opinion. The dress worn by the Israeli minister of culture on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival last week is an example. It provoked a storm of criticism, not least because it was embroidered with images of the Old City of Jerusalem, which has been occupied by Israel for 50 years. The minister herself served in the occupation army as an officer and spokeswoman. The dress revealed the logic of propaganda that tries to convince the world in any way possible that Jerusalem is Israeli. However, the extremist […]

Here’s How Facebook Decides What You Can And Can’t See

One of Facebook’s overwhelmed content moderators – who reportedly sometimes have just 10 seconds to decide whether or not a piece of content is appropriate for the site’s immense user base or not – appears to have leaked a slideshow outlining the company’s complex rules for governing what Facebook’s 2 billion users can and cannot see to the Guardian.

The Guardian published the presentation in a series of slideshows divided into different topics: Sadism, violence, child abuse…

One of the slides outlining how the company handles depictions of graphic violence appeared with the following editor’s note:

“Some use language we would not usually publish, but to understand Facebook’s content policies, we decided to include it. See for yourself how Facebook’s polices what users post.”

It’s important to remember that Facebook’s moderators remove content “on report only,” meaning that millions of Facebook users could see a graphic image or video – such as a beheading – before it’s removed.

As one report notes, the guidelines “may also alarm free speech advocates concerned about Facebook’s de facto role as the world’s largest censor. Both sides are likely to demand greater transparency.”

Facebook employs about 4,500 “content moderators” but recently announced plans to hire another 3,000, the Guardian reported.

Here are some notable excerpts highlighted by the Guardian:

  • Remarks such as “Someone shoot Trump” should be deleted, because as a head of state he is in a protected category. But it can be permissible to say: “To snap a bitch’s neck, make sure to apply all your pressure to the middle of her throat”, or “fuck off and die” because they are not regarded as credible threats.
  • Videos of violent deaths, while marked as disturbing, do not always have to be deleted because they can help create awareness of issues such as mental illness.
  • Some photos of non-sexual physical abuse and bullying of children do not have to be deleted or “actioned” unless there is a sadistic or celebratory element.
  • Photos of animal abuse can be shared, with only extremely upsetting imagery to be marked as “disturbing”.
  • All “handmade” art showing nudity and sexual activity is allowed but digitally made art showing sexual activity is not.

Here’s a sampling of the more-than 100 slide presentation.

Here’s an example of the slides relating to guidelines surrounding depictions of graphic violence. It begins, predictably, with a trigger warning:








Here are a few slides that explain the site’s policies for determining whether threatening language crosses over into being a credible threat.



Here’s a slide that describe how the site handles threats made about public figures – which it determines as anyone who has over 100,000 followers on any social media website.

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GE Strikes Deals Worth $15B In Saudi Arabia

GE has closed preliminary agreements with Riyadh on a number of projects worth a collective US$15 billion, the company said. GE’s Vice Chairman John Rice traveled with President Trump on his first visit abroad, to Saudi Arabia. According to him, the deals will help Saudi Arabia with its Vision 2030 economic diversification program. In a press release, GE said that about US$7 billion of the total investments will be dedicated to technology and solutions specifically from GE, including the company’s cloud-based data analytics platform…

Tunisian Oil Protests Continue, Second Pumping Station Closed

Protesters in southern Tunisia have closed another oil pumping station in the Kebili province, signaling that the months-long sit-ins and gatherings are nowhere near an end. The protests erupted soon after the 2011 Arab Spring revolution as Tunisia suffers high unemployment rates amid an economic transition following the uprising. The protesters, whose activities have been peaceful so far, demand not just jobs, but also more transparency with regard to the North African country’s oil and gas wealth revenues distribution. Averaging 44,000…

Seth Rich Plot Thickens: “DC Insider” Speaks Of “Complete Panic” At Highest Levels Of DNC

Last week, Fox News dropped a bombshell report officially confirming, via anonymous FBI sources, what many had suspected for quite some time, that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich was the WikiLeaks source for leaks which proved that the DNC was intentionally undermining the campaign of Bernie Sanders. In addition to exposing the corruption of the DNC, the leaks cost Debbie Wasserman Shcultz her job as Chairwoman.

Of course, if it’s true that WikiLeaks’ emails came from a DNC insider it would end the “Russian hacking” narrative that has been perpetuated by Democrats and the mainstream media for the past several months.  Moreover, it would corroborate the one confirmation that Julian Assange has offered regarding his source, namely that it was “not a state actor.”

Meanwhile, the plot thickened a little more over the weekend when Kim Dotcom confirmed via Twitter that he was working with Seth Rich to get leaked emails to WikiLeaks.

I knew Seth Rich. I know he was the @Wikileaks source. I was involved.

— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) May 20, 2017


Which was followed up by the following posts on 4Chan’s /pol/ subgroup that high-ranking current and former Democratic Party officials are terrified of the Seth Rich murder investigation.

“Anons, I work in D.C.


I know for certain that the Seth Rich case has scared the shit out of certain high ranking current and former Democratic Party officials.


This is the reason why they have backed away from impeachment talk. They know the smoking gun is out there, and they’re terrified you will find it, because when you do it will bring the entire DNC, along with a couple of very big name politicians.


It appears that certain DNC thugs were not thorough enough when it came time to cover their tracks. Podesta saying he wanted to “make an example of the leaker” is a huge smoking gun.”

The post went on to claim that a “smoking gun in this case is out of the hands of the conspirators” which has resulted in near “open panic” in DC circles.

“The behavior is near open panic. To even mention this name in D.C. Circles [sic] will bring you under automatic scrutiny. To even admit that you have knowledge of this story puts you in immediate danger.


If there was no smoke there would be no fire. I have never, in my 20 years of working in D.C. Seen [sic] such a panicked reaction from anyone.


I have strong reason to believe that the smoking gun in this case is out o [sic] the hands of the conspirators, and will be discovered by anon. I know for certain that Podesta is deeply concerned. He’s been receiving anonymous calls and emails from people saying they know the truth. Same with Hillary.”

And here is the original tweet:

An Anon working in DC says that he’s seeing people in a panic like never before about #SethRich.

They know their about to be exposed.

— /pol/ News Forever (@polNewsForever) May 21, 2017


Meanwhile, Kim Dotcom has promised more information will be released on his interaction with Seth Rich by tomorrow.

I’m meeting my legal team on Monday. I will issue a statement about #SethRich on Tuesday. Please be patient. This needs to be done properly.

— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) May 20, 2017


This raises several questions.  First, if Kim Dotcom knew that Seth Rich was, in fact, the WikiLeaks source, why is he just now coming forward with such information?  Second, while Seth Rich may explain the DNC leaks we still don’t know who is responsible for the “Podesta Files” which we’re certain will continue to be attributed to “Russian hackers.”

Which leads to the most improtant queistion of all: is this all just another fake news diversion, or is there more to the Seth Rich murder?

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Michael Flynn To Plead The Fifth, Will Decline Senate Subpoena

Confirming last week’s report that Michael Flynn will not comply with requests to testify before the Senate Intel Committee, moments ago AP reported that Flynn has indeed declined the subpoena and plans to officially invoke the Fifth Amendment sometime on Monday.

ACcording to a repot from the AP, Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will invoke his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination on Monday as he notifies the Senate Intelligence committee that he will not comply with a subpoena seeking documents.

That’s according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private interactions between Flynn and the committee.

Flynn’s decision comes less than two weeks after the committee issued a subpoena for Flynn’s documents as part of the panel’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

Furthermore, according to Dow Jones, Flynn is refusing to turn over documents that were subpoenaed by the Senate Intel Committee. This echoes what AP reported, which noted that legal experts have said Flynn was unlikely to turn over the personal documents without immunity because he would be waiving some of his constitutional protections by doing so. Flynn has previously sought immunity from “unfair prosecution” to cooperate with the committee.

Flynn previously offered to testify before the Senate and House Intelligence committees in exchange for immunity, but neither committee accepted the offer.

Last week, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr said that Flynn was “not cooperating” so far with the committee’s investigation, but that he hadn’t received a “definitive” answer on whether Flynn would testify.

As a reminder, also last week CNN reported that the FBI had first issued subpoenas relating to Flynn’s business records, so the ousted National Security Adviser is now at at the center of both investigations and at least for the time being, he is refusing to comply with the Congressional probe. And while pleading the Fifth is a popular legal tactic, especially for those who do not have apriori immunity from prosecution such as virtually the entire Clinton campaign in their FBI testimonies, it is largely an admission of guilt in the court of public opinion and will prompt a new round of question over just what Flynn is hiding.

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Fear as an obstacle to peace: Why are Israelis afraid?

Bat-Hen Epstein Elias’ long article on Iranian Jews is interesting. Parts of it, in fact, are heartwarming. Yet, despite the lack of any serious evidence, the story is entirely framed in the language of fear. Entitled, “All the Jews there live in fear that their telephones are tapped”, the story in Israel Hayom peddles the idea that, although Iranian Jews seem generally content with their lives in Iran as an economically-privileged group, somehow, they are still afraid. Or, perhaps, Israel needs them to be afraid, despite the fact that the Iranian Jews interviewed in the article expressed little or no fear sentiment at all. One such character is M, who, like others asserted: I never felt like I was being […]