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NATO’s Summit in Warsaw and US Aggressiveness

NATO’s aggressive actions at the Warsaw Summit continue a pattern of US aggressive behaviour towards Russia.

Eric Zuesse

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Submitted by Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

All NATO leaders are meeting together at a crucial July 8th-9th Summit meeting in Warsaw, to agree regarding what to do to Russia, about which U.S. General Philip Breedlove, then the Supreme Commander of NATO, said earlier this year

“Russia has chosen to be an adversary and poses a long-term existential threat to the United States and to our European allies and partners.”

The main purpose of this meeting will be to achieve unity on the Russian problem. It will be difficult to do. The 28 member nations are not, and have not been, unified on the matter. The U.S. is seeking a more aggressive stand.

Did you know that in 2004, the U.S. itself had already crossed the nuclear red line against Russia, by nuclear missiles right on Russia’s border, even worse than, in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet dictatorship had threatened to cross America’s nuclear red line, by the Soviets’ plan at that time to place nuclear missiles there 90 miles from the U.S. border? And did you know that, finally, in 2016, Russia is being surrounded so hostilely by the U.S., that their President Vladimir Putin is now issuing vague threats that Russia will strike before the U.S.? (The second side to launch its missiles will likely receive the lesser amount of damage in the resulting nuclear exchange — who strikes first will largely determine the ‘winner’ of any World War III.)

Instead of the U.S. government’s and press’s “Duck and cover!” and build-your-bombshelters campaigns in 1962, the people who are terrified this time around are actually the Russians; but, would you know about this widespread fear in Russia, from the ‘reporting’ in the U.S. ’news’ media? It’s not being reported. And it won’t be the topic at NATO, because NATO is the alliance against Russia, not against America.

The international aristocracy, which own more than half of the world’s wealth, own especially the newsmedia, and so the facts that they’re the most inclined to hide from their public (besides how untrustworthy they are), are the facts that are the most important to hide by the international corporations (including corporations such as Lockheed Martin), which also are owned by them, and which advertise the most in the newsmedia. Thus, foreign affairs is the topic that receives the most-distorted, the most propagandistic, ‘news’ coverage of all, in fake ‘democracies’ such as today’s U.S.

America’s hyper-aggressive foreign policy is not actually designed to protect the American public (such as the ‘Defense’ Department and its millions of military contractors say), but to further enrich America’s billionaires, by conquering the world’s most-resource-rich nation, Russia (starting by ousting foreign leaders who are friendly toward Russia, such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddaffi, Viktor Yanukovych, and Bashar al-Assad), as a consequence of which ‘domino-war’ against Russia, the only international poll that was ever done on the question of “Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?” produced the remarkable and little-publicized finding, that overwhelmingly the nation which is considered worldwide to be the most dangerous of all, is the United States. This was an open-ended question, and the 67,806 global respondents who answered it, named many different countries as being the “greatest threat,” but the clear #1 there was the U.S., named by 24%; #2 was Pakistan, named by 8%; #3 was China, named by 6% — and the nation that U.S. President Barack Obama identifies as being the world’s most dangerous country, Russia, was #12 on that list, with only 2% of global respondents naming it. Is this because the foreign press are underplaying how aggressive Russia is? Or is it instead because the U.S. press are overplaying how peaceful the U.S. is, and are also overplaying how aggressive Russia is?

Back in early 1990, when the last President of the Soviet Union and the first President of the post-Soviet independent nation of Russia, Mikhail Gorbachev, was negotiating, with the representatives of U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush, the terms for the USSR and its military alliance of the Warsaw Pact to come to an end (the supposed end of the Cold War, which ended only on Russia’s side, but actually continued on and has now become a hot war against Russia on the U.S. side), Gorbachev was assured that NATO would not move “one inch to the east”, and so Gorbachev thought that the U.S. was satisfied that communism and the Warsaw Pact would be terminating, and that the U.S. would therefore henceforth cease its “Cold War” against the now-rump, remaining, post-Soviet nation, Russia, and there would really be peace between the two countries, at last. That’s why Gorbachev agreed to do it — to end the Cold War. But as soon as he committed himself, Bush told his people not to follow through on the promise that they all had just made on Bush’s behalf. Bringing his agents together privately at Camp David on 24-25 February 1990, Bush told his people, “To hell with that! We prevailed, they didn’t.” They followed through on that instruction from him, even though it made liars of them all.

And, Bush’s successor Bill Clinton followed through likewise on that double-cross of Gorbachev, by ending Clinton’s own Presidency with admitting Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland, into NATO, in 1999 (at around the same time as he was ending FDR’s AFDC protections of poor children, and FDR’s Glass-Steagall protections of the public taxpayers so they wouldn’t be charged to reimburse Wall Street gambling-losses in the event of an economic crash (such as did occur in 2008) — Clinton became the anti-FDR ‘Democratic’ President). But that NATO act of Clinton didn’t cross Russia’s nuclear red line, it only caused then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s military to draft a policy saying that if the Baltic republics — Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, right on Russia’s border and under ten minutes missile-striking time away from Moscow — were ever to become admitted into NATO, Russia should launch its missiles (not wait for the U.S. to do so first, from so nearby, which would eliminate Russia’s missiles faster than Russia’s missiles could even be launched at all).

On 29 March 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush crossed the Russian military’s nuclear red line, by admitting into NATO: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Bush the son was at that time crossing Russia’s red line — and then some.

Here is an account (translated from the Russian) that a highly respected Russian journalist, Aleksandr Lyasko, provided, regarding what Russian President Yeltsin’s military, in the Fall of 1995 (after Clinton started the process of admitting his three nations into NATO), had advised Yeltsin to be established as Russia’s nuclear red line that must not be crossed by NATO (the U.S.):

“The military department’s next sensational idea involves dramatic action in connection with NATO’s expansion. As regards Poland and the other countries of Eastern Europe, Russia is currently unable to stop this process by force. However, the plan [“I learned from reliable sources that some time ago the General Staff completed its formulation of a version of Russia’s new defense doctrine”] presupposes that if NATO agrees to admit the Baltic Republics [right on Russia’s border: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania], Russian Federation armed forces will immediately be moved into Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Any attempt by NATO to stop this will be viewed by Russia as the prelude to a nuclear world catastrophe. …

According to the high-ranking General Staff officer, the preliminary outlines of the defense doctrine formulated by General Grachev’s department have been cautiously approved by the minister himself and his first deputy and constitute the military’s response to the lack of any consistent policy by the Foreign Ministry and presidential structures on questions of military security. According to some of Grachev’s statements following his talks with Yeltsin in Sochi, the army is ready to begin erecting a nuclear shield over the besieged fortress, which is how it sees Russia. … The authors of the draft by no means lack allies in the Duma and within the Kremlin Walls.”

That report had the additional imprimatur of its having been cited as an authority on Russian policy, by Zbigniew Brzezinski, a key (and passionately anti-Russian) foreign-policy advisor to U.S. Presidents Carter, Clinton, and Obama. (Brzezinski’s family, when he was a boy, were Polish nobility who became dispossessed by the Russians, and he hated Russians ever after.)

However, Vladimir Putin was now the Russian President who needed to make the final decision as to whether to launch World War III. He decided not to. That’s why we’re all here today, even reading this. But NATO says that Russia is the problem.

U.S. President Barack Obama came into office in 2009 with no clear indication that he was intending to intensify Russia’s isolation, by removing from office even more of the few remaining Russia-friendly leaders of nations. Just like Clinton had waited till his second term before making clear his actual conservatism, Obama had gone so far as to mock his 2012 re-election opponent Mitt Romney for having said, during the 2012 campaign

“Russia, this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe. They – they fight every cause for the world’s worst actors. … Russia is the – the geopolitical foe.”

Romney said this after having heard from Wolf Blitzer on CNN, that Obama had just then privately told Putin’s agent Dmitry Medvedev, “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” Obama told Putin (via Medvedev) this in the context of Putin’s objections against the continued expansions of NATO, and against the threat, by several recent U.S. Presidents, to position in those NATO nations a U.S. missile system that would be able to neutralize or eliminate Russia’s ability to strike back against a blitz nuclear attack from the U.S.: it’s called the anti ballistic missile or ballistic missile defense (ABM or BMD) system. Obama was privately telling Putin: Don’t worry, we’re not trying to conquer Russia.

Obama fooled everyone (not only his voters). Actually, at that very moment, Obama was already well into his plan to remove from power the Russia-allied leader of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, and was very soon to organize, starting by no later than 1 March 2013 in the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, the overthrow of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych — whose country has the longest border with Russia of any European country (and which country has been called by Brzezinski the most important steppingstone to defeating Russia).

And then, when Obama carried out his Ukrainian coup in February 2014 (almost a year after his starting to organize the coup in the U.S. Embassy there), Putin responded to that by allowing the people of Crimea — who had voted nearly 80% for the man Obama had just overthrown — to re-enter as being part of Russia, of which Crimea had been a part until the Soviet dictator in 1954 transferred Crimea from Russia to Ukraine.

For Putin’s doing this, Obama slapped economic sanctions against Russia, and then sicced the NATO dogs against Russia, by quadrupling U.S. weapons and soldiers on Russia’s borders, in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania, and by starting the installation of the “Aegis Ashore” ABM/BMD system, which Putin had warned Obama not to install.

Now, after the coup in Ukraine, the approval-rating of the post-coup President is even lower than the approval-rating of the pre-coup one was (and even lower than that if the separatist regions, Crimea and Donbass — both of which had voted heavily for the President whom Obama overthrew — had been included in the polling: those regions would have given Obama’s Ukrainian government a near-0% approval-rating).

The global poll that had asked people “Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?” and that found 24% of people worldwide were saying the U.S. was, had been taken only months before the coup in Ukraine; and, in Ukraine, 33% said “U.S.” and only 5% said “Russia.” The massive bloodshed there after Obama’s coup can only be confirming Ukrainians’ opinion. But America’s ‘news’ media blame it on Russia.

And that’s the Russian problem, which NATO will be meeting to resolve.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  Christ’s Ventriloquists: The Event that Created Christianity.

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Final Steps in Syria’s Successful Struggle for Peace and Sovereignty

The war of aggression against Syria is winding up, and this can be observed by the opening of a series of new embassies in Damascus.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The situation in Syria evolves daily and sees two situations very closely linked to each other, with the US withdrawal from Syria and the consequent expansionist ambitions of Erdogan in Syria and the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) takeover in Idlib that frees the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Russian aviation to liberate the de-escalation zone.

Trump has promised to destroy Turkey economically if he attacks the Kurds, reinforcing his claim that Erdogan will not target the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) once the US withdraws from the area. One of the strongest accusations made against Trump’s withdrawal by his opponents is that no Middle Eastern force will ever trust the US again if they abandon the SDF to its fate, that is, to its annihilation at the hands of the Turkish army and its FSA proxies. This, however, is not possible; not so much because of Trump’s economic threats, but because of Damascus and Moscow being strongly opposed to any Turkish military action in the northeast of Syria.

This is a red line drawn by Putin and Assad, and the Turkish president likely understands the consequences of any wrong moves. It is no coincidence that he stated several times that he had no problems with the “Syrians or Syrian-Kurdish brothers”, and repeated that if the area under the SDF were to come under the control of Damascus, Turkey would have no need to intervene in Syria. Trump’s request that Ankara have a buffer zone of 20 kilometers separating the Kurdish and Turkish forces seems to complement the desire of Damascus and Moscow to avoid a clash between the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the SDF.

The only party that seems to be secretly encouraging a clash between the SDF and Turkish forces is Israel, criticizing Ankara and singing the praises of the SDF, in order to try and accentuate the tensions between the two sides, though naturally without success. Israel’s continued raids in Syria, though almost constantly failing due to Syrian air defense, and the divide-and-rule policy used against Turkey and the SDF, show that Tel Aviv is now weakened and mostly irrelevant in the Syrian conflict.

In Idlib, the situation seems to be becoming less complicated and difficult to decipher. Russia, Iran and Syria had asked Erdogan to take control of the province through its “moderate jihadists”, sit down at the negotiating table, and resolve the matter through a diplomatic solution. Exactly the opposite happened. The HTS (formerly al-Nusra/al-Qaeda in Syria) has in recent weeks conquered practically the whole province of Idlib, with numerous forces linked to Turkey (Ahrar al-Sham and Nour al-Din al-Zenki) dissolving and merging into HTS. This development puts even more pressure on Erdogan, who is likely to see his influence in Idlib fade away permanently. Moreover, this evolution represents a unique opportunity for Damascus and Moscow to start operations in Idlib with the genuine justification of combating terrorism. It is a repeat of what happened in other de-escalation areas. Moscow and Damascus have repeatedly requested the moderates be separated from the terrorists, so as to approach the situation with a diplomatic negotiation.

In the absence of an effective division of combatants, all are considered terrorists, with the military option replacing the diplomatic. This remains the only feasible option to free the area from terrorists who are not willing to give back territory to the legitimate government in Damascus and are keeping civilians hostages. The Idlib province seems to have experienced the same playbook applied in other de-escalation zones, this time with a clear contrast between Turkey and Saudi Arabia that shows how the struggle between the two countries is much deeper than it appears. The reasons behind the Khashoggi case and the diplomatic confrontation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia were laid bare in the actions of the HTS in Idlib, which has taken control of all the areas previously held by Ankara’s proxies.

It remains to be seen whether Moscow and Damascus would like to encourage Erdogan to recover Idlib through its proxies, trying to encourage jihadists to fight each other as much as possible in order to lighten the task of the SAA, or whether they would prefer to press the advantage themselves and attack while the terrorist front is experiencing internal confusion.

In terms of occupied territory and accounts to be settled, two areas of great importance for the future of Syria remain unresolved, namely al-Tanf, occupied by US forces on the Syrian-Jordanian border, and the area in the north of Syria occupied by Turkish forces and their FSA proxies. It is too early to approach a solution militarily, it being easier for Damascus and Moscow to complete the work to free Syria from the remaining terrorists. Once this has been done, the presence of US or Turkish forces in Syria, whether directly or indirectly, would become all the more difficult to justify. Driving away the US and, above all, Turkey from Syrian territory will be the natural next step in the Syrian conflict.

This is an unequivocal sign that the war of aggression against Syria is winding up, and this can be observed by the opening of a series of new embassies in Damascus. Several countries — including Italy in the near future — will reopen their embassies in Syria to demonstrate that the war, even if not completely over, is effectively won by Damascus and her allies.

For this reason, several countries that were previously opposed to Damascus, like the United Arab Emirates, are understood to have some kind of contact with the government of Damascus. If they intend to become involved in the reconstruction process and any future investment, they will quite naturally need to re-establish diplomatic relations with Damascus. The Arab League is also looking to welcome Syria back into the fold.

Such are signs that Syria is returning to normality, without forgetting which and how many countries have conspired and acted directly against the Syrians for over seven years. An invitation to the Arab League or some embassy being reopened will not be enough to compensate for the damage done over years, but Assad does not preclude any option, and is in the meantime demonstrating to the Israelis, Saudis and the US Deep State that their war has failed and that even their most loyal allies are resuming diplomatic relations with Damascus, a double whammy against the neocons, Wahhabis and Zionists.

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Google Manipulated YouTube Search Results for Abortion, Maxine Waters, David Hogg

The existence of the blacklist was revealed in an internal Google discussion thread leaked to Breitbart News.

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Via Breitbart


In sworn testimony, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Congress last month that his company does not “manually intervene” on any particular search result. Yet an internal discussion thread leaked to Breitbart News reveals Google regularly intervenes in search results on its YouTube video platform – including a recent intervention that pushed pro-life videos out of the top ten search results for “abortion.”

The term “abortion” was added to a “blacklist” file for “controversial YouTube queries,” which contains a list of search terms that the company considers sensitive. According to the leak, these include some of these search terms related to: abortion, abortions, the Irish abortion referendum, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and anti-gun activist David Hogg.

The existence of the blacklist was revealed in an internal Google discussion thread leaked to Breitbart News by a source inside the company who wishes to remain anonymous. A partial list of blacklisted terms was also leaked to Breitbart by another Google source.

In the leaked discussion thread, a Google site reliability engineer hinted at the existence of more search blacklists, according to the source.

“We have tons of white- and blacklists that humans manually curate,” said the employee. “Hopefully this isn’t surprising or particularly controversial.”

Others were more concerned about the presence of the blacklist. According to the source, the software engineer who started the discussion called the manipulation of search results related to abortion a “smoking gun.”

The software engineer noted that the change had occurred following an inquiry from a left-wing Slate journalist about the prominence of pro-life videos on YouTube, and that pro-life videos were replaced with pro-abortion videos in the top ten results for the search terms following Google’s manual intervention.

“The Slate writer said she had complained last Friday and then saw different search results before YouTube responded to her on Monday,” wrote the employee. “And lo and behold, the [changelog] was submitted on Friday, December 14 at 3:17 PM.”

The manually downranked items included several videos from Dr. Antony Levatino, a former abortion doctor who is now a pro-life activist. Another video in the top ten featured a woman’s personal story of being pressured to have an abortion, while another featured pro-life conservative Ben Shapiro. The Slate journalist who complained to Google reported that these videos previously featured in the top ten, describing them in her story as “dangerous misinformation.”

Since the Slate journalist’s inquiry and Google’s subsequent intervention, the top search results now feature pro-abortion content from left-wing sources like BuzzFeed, Vice, CNN, and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. In her report, the Slate journalist acknowledged that the search results changed shortly after she contacted Google.

The manual adjustment of search results by a Google-owned platform contradicts a key claim made under oath by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in his congressional testimony earlier this month: that his company does not “manually intervene on any search result.”

A Google employee in the discussion thread drew attention to Pichai’s claim, noting that it “seems like we are pretty eager to cater our search results to the social and political agenda of left-wing journalists.”

One of the posts in the discussion also noted that the blacklist had previously been edited to include the search term “Maxine Waters” after a single Google employee complained the top YouTube search result for Maxine Waters was “very low quality.”

Google’s alleged intervention on behalf of a Democratic congresswoman would be further evidence of the tech giant using its resources to prop up the left. Breitbart News previously reported on leaked emails revealing the company targeted pro-Democrat demographics in its get-out-the-vote efforts in 2016.

According to the source, a software engineer in the thread also noted that “a bunch of terms related to the abortion referendum in Ireland” had been added to the blacklist – another change with potentially dramatic consequences on the national policies of a western democracy.

youtube_controversial_query_blacklist

At least one post in the discussion thread revealed the existence of a file called “youtube_controversial_query_blacklist,” which contains a list of YouTube search terms that Google manually curates. In addition to the terms “abortion,” “abortions,” “Maxine Waters,” and search terms related to the Irish abortion referendum, a Google software engineer noted that the blacklist includes search terms related to terrorist attacks. (the posts specifically mentions that the “Strasbourg terrorist attack” as being on the list).

“If you look at the other entries recently added to the youtube_controversial_query_blacklist(e.g., entries related to the Strasbourg terrorist attack), the addition of abortion seems…out-of-place,” wrote the software engineer, according to the source.

After learning of the existence of the blacklist, Breitbart News obtained a partial screenshot of the full blacklist file from a source within Google. It reveals that the blacklist includes search terms related to both mass shootings and the progressive anti-second amendment activist David Hogg.

This suggests Google has followed the lead of Democrat politicians, who have repeatedly pushed tech companies to censor content related to the Parkland school shooting and the Parkland anti-gun activists. It’s part of a popular new line of thought in the political-media establishment, which views the public as too stupid to question conspiracy theories for themselves.

Here is the partial blacklist leaked to Breitbart:

2117 plane crash Russian

2118 plane crash

2119 an-148

2120 florida shooting conspiracy

2121 florida shooting crisis actors

2122 florida conspiracy

2123 florida false flag shooting

2124 florida false flag

2125 fake florida school shooting

2126 david hogg hoax

2127 david hogg fake

2128 david hogg crisis actor

2129 david hogg forgets lines

2130 david hogg forgets his lines

2131 david hogg cant remember his lines

2132 david hogg actor

2133 david hogg cant remember

2134 david hogg conspiracy

2135 david hogg exposed

2136 david hogg lines

2137 david hogg rehearsing

2120 florida shooting conspiracy

The full internal filepath of the blacklist, according to another source, is:

//depot/google3/googledata/superroot/youtube/youtube_controversial_query_blacklist

Contradictions

Responding to a request for comment, a YouTube spokeswoman said the company wants to promote “authoritative” sources in its search results, but maintained that YouTube is a “platform for free speech” that “allow[s]” both pro-life and pro-abortion content.

YouTube’s full comment:

YouTube is a platform for free speech where anyone can choose to post videos, as long as they follow our Community Guidelines, which prohibit things like inciting violence and pornography. We apply these policies impartially and we allow both pro-life and pro-choice opinions. Over the last year we’ve described how we are working to better surface news sources across our site for news-related searches and topical information. We’ve improved our search and discovery algorithms, built new features that clearly label and prominently surface news sources on our homepage and search pages, and introduced information panels to help give users more authoritative sources where they can fact check information for themselves.

In the case of the “abortion” search results, YouTube’s intervention to insert “authoritative” content resulted in the downranking of pro-life videos and the elevation of pro-abortion ones.

A Google spokesperson took a tougher line than its YouTube subsidiary, stating that “Google has never manipulated or modified the search results or content in any of its products to promote a particular political ideology.”

However, in the leaked discussion thread, a member of Google’s “trust & safety” team, Daniel Aaronson, admitted that the company maintains “huge teams” that work to adjust search results for subjects that are “prone to hyperbolic content, misleading information, and offensive content” – all subjective terms that are frequently used to suppress right-leaning sources.

He also admitted that the interventions weren’t confined to YouTube – they included search results delivered via Google Assistant, Google Home, and in rare cases Google ’s organic search results.

In the thread, Aaronson attempted to explain how search blacklisting worked. He claimed that highly specific searches would generate non-blacklisted results, even controversial ones. But the inclusion of highly specific terms in the YouTube blacklist, like “David Hogg cant remember his lines” – the name of an actual viral video – seems to contradict this.

Aaronson’s full post is copied below:

I work in Trust and Safety and while I have no particular input as to exactly what’s happening for YT I can try to explain why you’d have this kind of list and why people are finding lists like these on Code Search.

When dealing with abuse/controversial content on various mediums you have several levers to deal with problems. Two prominent levers are “Proactive” and “Reactive”:

  • Proactive: Usually refers to some type of algorithm/scalable solution to a general problem
    • E.g.: We don’t allow straight up porn on YouTube so we create a classifier that detects porn and automatically remove or flag for review the videos the porn classifier is most certain of
  • Reactive: Usually refers to a manual fix to something that has been brought to our attention that our proactive solutions don’t/didn’t work on and something that is clearly in the realm of bad enough to warrant a quick targeted solution (determined by pages and pages of policies worked on over many years and many teams to be fair and cover necessary scope)
    • E,g.: A website that used to be a good blog had it’s domain expire and was purchased/repurposed to spam Search results with autogenerated pages full of gibberish text, scraped images, and links to boost traffic to other spammy sites. It is manually actioned for violating policy

These Organic Search policies and the consequences to violating them are public

Manually reacting to things is not very scalable, and is not an ideal solution to most problems, so the proactive lever is really the one we all like to lean on. Ideally, our classifiers/algorithm are good at providing useful and rich results to our users while ignoring things at are not useful or not relevant. But we all know, this isn’t exactly the case all the time (especially on YouTube).

From a user perspective, there are subjects that are prone to hyperbolic content, misleading information, and offensive content. Now, these words are highly subjective and no one denies that. But we can all agree generally, lines exist in many cultures about what is clearly okay vs. what is not okay. E.g. a video of a puppy playing with a toy is probably okay in almost every culture or context, even if it’s not relevant to the query. But a video of someone committing suicide and begging others to follow in his/her footsteps is probably on the other side of the line for many folks.

While my second example is technically relevant to the generic query of “suicide”, that doesn’t mean that this is a very useful or good video to promote on the top of results for that query. So imagine a classifier that says, for any queries on a particular text file, let’s pull videos using signals that we historically understand to be strong indicators of quality (I won’t go into specifics here, but those signals do exist). We’re not manually curating these results, we’re just saying “hey, be extra careful with results for this query because many times really bad stuff can appear and lead to a bad experience for most users”. Ideally the proactive lever did this for us, but in extreme cases where we need to act quickly on something that is so obviously not okay, the reactive/manual approach is sometimes necessary. And also keep in mind, that this is different for every product. The bar for changing classifiers or manual actions on span in organic search is extremely high. However, the bar for things we let our Google Assistant say out loud might be a lot lower. If I search for “Jews run the banks” – I’ll likely find anti-semitic stuff in organic search. As a Jew, I might find some of these results offensive, but they are there for people to research and view, and I understand that this is not a reflection of Google feels about this issue. But if I ask Google assistant “Why do Jews run the banks” we wouldn’t be similarly accepting if it repeated and promoted conspiracy theories that likely pop up in organic search in her smoothing voice.

Whether we agree or not, user perception of our responses, results, and answers of different products and mediums can change. And I think many people are used to the fact that organic search is a place where content should be accessible no matter how offensive it might be, however, the expectation is very different on a Google Home, a Knowledge Panel, or even YouTube.

These lines are very difficult and can be very blurry, we are all well aware of this. So we’ve got huge teams that stay cognizant of these facts when we’re crafting policies considering classifier changes, or reacting with manual actions – these decisions are not made in a vacuum, but admittedly are also not made in a highly public forum like TGIF or IndustryInfo (as you can imagine, decisions/agreement would be hard to get in such a wide list – image if all your CL’s were reviewed by every engineer across Google all the time). I hope that answers some questions and gives a better layer of transparency without going into details about our “Pepsi formula”.

Best,

Daniel

The fact that Google manually curates politically contentious search results fits in with a wider pattern of political activity on the part of the tech giant.

In 2018, Breitbart News exclusively published a leaked video from the company that showed senior management in dismay at Trump’s election victory, and pledging to use the company’s power to make his populist movement a “hiccup” in history.

Breitbart also leaked “The Good Censor,” an internal research document from Google that admits the tech giant is engaged in the censorship of its own products, partly in response to political events.

Another leak revealed that employees within the company, including Google’s current director of Trust and Safety, tried to kick Breitbart News off Google’s market-dominating online ad platforms.

Yet another showed Google engaged in targeted turnout operations aimed to boost voter participation in pro-Democrat demographics in “key states” ahead of the 2016 election. The effort was dubbed a “silent donation” by a top Google employee.

Evidence for Google’s partisan activities is now overwhelming. President Trump has previously warned Google, as well as other Silicon Valley giants, not to engage in censorship or partisan activities. Google continues to defy him.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on TwitterGab.ai and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to [email protected].

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Are You Suffering From Toxic Masculinity? Know The Warning Signs

Are you or a loved one suffering from toxic masculinity? Know the warning signs so you can seek help.

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Via BabylonBee.com:


More than 40% of men today suffer from it—and their loved ones pay the price.

It’s called “toxic masculinity,” and it’s the latest disease to plague the nation. It can affect every aspect of a toxic man’s life. Worst of all, toxic masculinity is contagious, so if you’re infected, you need to know right away so you can avoid spreading it to your friends and family.

Are you or a loved one suffering from toxic masculinity? Know the warning signs so you can seek help:

  • Even the faintest whisper of facial hair – If you have a mustache, schedule a check-up. If you find a goatee on your face, consider going into the emergency room. If you have a full-grown beard, well, it’s probably too late for you.
  • A belief that men and women are at least a little bit different – Should you be infected with the cancerous idea that men and women are even the slightest bit different from one another, you could have toxic masculinity. If you’re a woman who believes this, then you suffer from an even worse disease called internalized misogyny.
  • Throwing a professional wrestler off a steel cage right through the announcer’s table – Men who suddenly look around and find that they’re tossing a professional wrestler off a steel cage to plummet right through the announcer’s table are at high risk of developing toxic masculinity. If a man in your life is suffering from this symptom, encourage him to stop wrestling in the WWE immediately.
  • Eating meat on occasion – A disease like toxic masculinity can quickly change your diet. If you find yourself leaving your vegan avocado quinoa toast smoothies untouched in favor of wolfing down some bacon-wrapped bacon, you might have toxic masculinity.
  • Holding the door open for a woman once in a while – It looks innocent enough: a woman approaches, and you hold the door so she doesn’t have to open it again. Seems like common courtesy, right? WRONG. It’s one of the first warning signs of toxic masculinity, and you need to do better if you’re going to beat this thing. One way to reduce your toxic masculinity is to slam the door right in a woman’s face and scream, “EQUALITY!!!” through the glass when she glares at you.
  • Yelling stuff about freedom and charging into battle wearing blue face paint – If you find yourself charging into battle against the English wearing blue face paint in the 14th century, you might be beyond medical help. Do all of society a favor and get yourself drawn and quartered so no one else catches this contagious illness.
  • Being a man who doesn’t hate himself – This is the most telling sign. If you’re a biological male and you don’t hate yourself, toxic masculinity is already coursing through your veins. If there’s going to be any hope of recovery, you need to begin hating yourself today.

If you or your man are showing one or more of these symptoms, contact your medical professional today. Get help, before it’s too late.

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