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BRICS in talks to create own cryptocurrency in another blow to US Dollar

BRICSCoin could be the world’s newest currency.

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The Head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev has stated that the BRICS may opt to create their own cryptocurrency for the purposes of global commerce.

A cryptocurrency is a digitally based means of exchange wherein the value of said currency is not determined by a central-bank. Most cryptocurrencies can be converted into state-issued currencies (Dollars, Euros, Yuan, etc.) through various foreign exchange services.

Currently, one of the biggest issues facing crypocurrency development is the fact that they are not backed up by any central bank. However, many also see this apparent disadvantage as a possible opportunity, particularly where unilateral Dollar based sanctions are concerned.

While the US Dollar remains the most popular global trading and reserve currency, this is rapidly changing. A BRICS backed cryptocurrency may be both the proverbial ‘Dollar buster’ as well as a ‘sanctions buster’.

In May of this year, China and Russia agreed to begin a process of trade in local currencies. Turkey and Iran have also begun steps to break away from the Dollar.

READ MORE: 5 ways Russia and China are deepening their cooperation

Even more recently, China announced that is plans to allow for oil trading in Yuan which will be convertible to gold at the Shanghai and Hong Kong international gold exchanges.

The creation of a BRICS cryptocurrency could potentially retain the flexibility of current cryptocurrencies with the additional benefit of being backed by the leaders of a large economic-trading union which would give traders confidence in such a currency that many existing cryptos such as Bitcoin are lacking.

It is not certain what the exchange rate of a would-be BRICSCoin would be, but there is every chance that it could be based on a derivative of what is known as Special drawing rights (XDR) a current means of exchange which pools the values of the US Dollar, British Pound, Japanese Yen and the Euro.

A possible variation which would set the initial exchange rates of a BRICSCoin could be a combination of a gold backed Chinese Yuan, Russian Rouble, Indian Rupee, South African Rand and Brazilian Real.

This could create an effective hybrid currency that could easy trade and make exchange rates between BRICS states and their partnership more equitable. There is also a potential for such a currency to be used as a means of everyday exchange among businesses and individuals in growing and emerging markets that seek to partner with the BRICS in the so-called BRICS Plus format.

While cryptocurrencies are relatively easy to create, they are more difficult to promote as a widely accepted means of exchange. However, with the prominent economies of the BRICS backing such a currency, this problem could be easily bypassed, as a semi-central regulatory body would likely be the logical outgrowth of such an initiative.

As Kirill Dmitriev stated during the BRICS summit in Xiamen China,

“Another topic discussed by the financial committee was cryptocurrencies. The creation of BRICS’ cryptocurrency as an alternative to other payment tools might also be discussed.

…cryptocurencies are also being discussed as one of the possible options for financial settlement. For particular payments it might be quite relevant and serve as a good alternative to the dollar or any other currency.

We estimate that the mutual investments of the BRICS countries might see an increase by 3-4 times due to such instruments as BRICS [Development] Bank”.

READ MORE: Russia seeks to break free of Dollar dependence

In many ways, the most powerful asset the US has internationally is the Dollar. If the effective hegemony of the Dollar is broken, it could be a substantial opportunity for emerging markets to assert their monetary and consequentially fiscal independence.

Russia is already taking its own steps towards developing its own cryptocurrency. According to Communications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov, a Russian cryptocurrency will be designed to work with existing Russian technologies rather than the foreign technologies which form the basis of the Bitcorn blockchain.

Nikiforov stated,

“Bitcoin and Etherium are cryptocurrencies developed on the basis of foreign cryptography. Russia has its own cryptography school. I think that we are absolutely capable of creating a cryptographic unit, a tool, based on the blockchain technology, and work out concrete regulations to set the framework for the operations”.

Such a currency could receive an official sanction from the Russian Central Bank. This technology could be used to help develop the BRICS wide crypto which has been widely discussed at the current summit.

The BRICS summit in Xiamen continues through the 5th of September.

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Abi Shah
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Abi Shah

The creation of the hegemonic and evil petro dollar needs to be eradicated because this dominance has put the entire globe under their rule and if it was not for Russia and China leading the way towards are more fairer system then I certainly believe Israel would and may and will bring about their new world order by stealing the wealth of other nations as it has been doing for decades such as greece ireland and many of the european nations. I for one would gladly shy away from the Dollar and rebuild a system that provides some kind of… Read more »

Jets
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Jets

Brilliant in every way and every word (especially the last sentence).

TEN thumbs up :-))

Ricardo Silva
Guest
Ricardo Silva

Israel is a great country, as they’re proving now by getting extremely upset at Netanyahu because he wasted some money. They’re even talking about removing him from the job. Wow!

Oddly enough, I never saw this many Israelis getting upset when Netanyahu Mass Murdered innocent civilians. Nor they get upset when they are asked to intentionally murder children and pregnant women. Israelis have no problems committing atrocities. They even celebrate it. Disgusting savages.

bcguy
Guest
bcguy

Great points. i know Russia did kick the rotchild money launderers out and he also paid off the IMF. This new currency backed by a development bank seems like a really good investment.

Abi Shah
Guest
Abi Shah

Thank you sir i truly believe that your certainly a petson of integrity because you r eyes are open to a much more sinister agenda by we know who>>Israeli zionists likud party and the entire puppet us congress.
What we should be appaulled at is when a new president of the united states is inaugurated the 1st mandate he has to sign is to pledge his undeniable allegiances to the zionist state of Israel..so plesse tell me what this really encompasses?

Wayne Blow
Guest
Wayne Blow

I knew there is a very sinister plot at play here “(BRICS)” the big threat to USA, UK, Israel!!!! They need a big war like North Korea to divert attention!!! Too effing bad for the 2 Koreas, but then pawns are just pawns, eh?

Trauma2000
Guest
Trauma2000

I keep reading up on articles that talk about ‘replacing the U.$. hegemonic dollar… blah blah” but I’m yet to read anything significant about the “framework” that is being developed to ‘replace the Reserve Bank’ framework that is controlled by the Rothschilds. Only when the ‘Reserve Bank’ framework ceases to be necessary, will countries be free to regain control their finances. It’s the ‘Reserve Bank Framework’ that keeps entire countries subservient to Rothschild controlled financial markets; not the presence of money per se. And what makes anyone think that the Rothschilds, and their incredible wealth, will not corner the CryptoCurreny… Read more »

Gareth Barnard
Guest
Gareth Barnard

Firstly there are no reserve banks in which any Rothschild has any stake. That’s fake news. Controlling monetary supply is also essential to maintaining it’s value and there is a free market in international currency exchanges.

Ricardo Silva
Guest
Ricardo Silva

Well, if that’s fake news, then… who the hell do all the countries from all over the world … own money to…? To the Aliens? To no one? Then we might as well stop paying.

You know very well that Zionists own and control the Federal Reserve. But why do you deny it? Are you hoping they’ll give you a stake in it, perhaps? Keep dreaming, little marionette.

bluewater
Guest
bluewater

a heads up …from an insider source…..Bitcoin was created by THE NSA and it is owned by ROTHSCHILD IT IS A SCAM and if you can not hold it in your hand..it is worthless..When the INTERNET GOES DOWN..YOU ARE SCREWED and BY LAW…THE NSA can take it away from you ..IT IS LEGAL FOR THEM TO DO IT!!!!! from another very good source…..YOU will not have a FINANCIAL RESET till the CABAL is taken out and they will …then you will have a new currency to use that will be backed up by GOLD.. THE ELITES..JPMORGAN,ROTHSCHILDS have been manipulating GOLD… Read more »

Ricardo Silva
Guest
Ricardo Silva

Stop injecting drugs… they’re bad for you.

jenuty
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jenuty

no sense

Great Expectations
Guest
Great Expectations

‘It is not certain what the exchange rate of a would-be BRICSCoin would be, but there is every chance that it could be based on a derivative of what is known as Special drawing rights (XDR) a current means of exchange which pools the values of the US Dollar, British Pound, Japanese Yen and the Euro.’ NO chance whatsoever, I would have thought. The SDR is a tool created by the IMF so, while a SDR backed BRICSCoin might bypass central banks, it falls straight under the influence of the IMF, which ‘controls’ the central banks. ‘A possible variation which… Read more »

Gonzogal
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Great Expectations
Guest
Great Expectations

Thanks, I’ll take a look. Max Keiser on RT’s Keiser Report has done a full 180 degree turn on gold and bitcoin in the last year or so. He was promoting bitcoin again today and trashing Jim Rickards for focusing on gold. But Max never explained why he changed his mind so radically. Interesting.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

You are welcome and I hope it answers some of your questions. I must say that I personally am not 100% clear of all the implications, but I can only liken it to the US Fed “creating money out of nothing” and seeing the similarities.

Great Expectations
Guest
Great Expectations

I agree.

Gonzogal
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Gonzogal
Great Expectations
Guest
Great Expectations

Yep, thanks for that last one – just read it and it confirms what I thought and what Peter Schiff says in his podcast. Bitcoin does not pass the test for a currency and it is an as like anything else bought on the stock exchange. I haven’t had a chance to read all the zero hedges you linked yet but I’ve read similar on there before and I note in one of the ones you sent, China says it’s not a currency (was that the one above? Can’t remember, my grandson doesn’t like me concentrating on anything but him… Read more »

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

I saw that one last week.

What is interesting from the BRICS this year is the idea being solidified re a crypto currency for the BRICS nations and their partners to be able to circumvent sanctions etc! I imagine that that currency would possibly be backed by gold to solidify its worth.

Here is some info on it…it should be interesting to see it develop.
http://www.mintpressnews.com/blow-us-dollar-brics-considers-cryptocurrency/231571/
http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_10_09/What-will-happen-to-global-economy-if-BRICS-announce-launch-of-new-currency-Bricso-1897/

Great Expectations
Guest
Great Expectations

Yes, a basket of currencies (their own), along the lines of the IMF SDR idea; backed by gold, which Russia and China have been reputedly accumulating in large quantities, would make sense. India isn’t short of gold either. After the way Russia, China and Brazil have been treated by the international community (I mean the US elite), one can only wish them every economic success. I am still intrigued, though, how Brazil’s Michel Temer fits into the BRICS set up; Dilma Rousseff was impeached and dispatched politically, largely by Temer, who is Washington’s puppet. I can’t imagine the other BRICS… Read more »

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

I read Temer is up for impeachment too!
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-25/brazil-president-temer-threatened-impeachment-after-new-corruption-scandal-emerges
On BRICS, he seems to be less vocal during the meetings but so far as I have heard he is on board with BRICS goals. This despite the US coup in Brazil it doesnt seem that there is some permanent damage done to the group. Although who knows for sure.

If there is problems on the horizon I think it might come from India, as it seems to be indecisive as to its commitment to BRICS vs the US.

Great Expectations
Guest
Great Expectations

Yes, India doesn’t seem to see eye to eye with China.

I thought that was Temer’s daughter standing with him.

With Brazil sliding all over the place, India playing all sides for its own gain and South Africa, which was a late arrival, it would seem that Russia and China are doing all the heavy lifting. Good reason to bring in some of the other Asian countries, I suppose.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

Re South Africa, the US is trying to pull a “regime change” or else there.

As regards bringing in other countries, that is why they set up the BRICS+ and BRICS++. They are certainly not keeping anyone out that wants to work with them! It seems that even Germany is interested!
http://valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/re-thinking-the-brics/
https://sputniknews.com/politics/201703221051849196-brics-enlargement-plan/

India is upset because of Pakistan’s being part of the BRICS+
https://sputniknews.com/world/201703111051472250-china-pakistan-brics/

I dont know if you have seen this article re BRICS 2017 by Pepe Escobar, if not its a good read as to what turmoil seems to be going on.
http://www.atimes.com/article/odds-brics-nations-get-act-together/

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

Just read this article…SUPER interesting re India and Brazil as regards BRICS. It also mentions the other countries showing interest in BRICS http://www.atimes.com/article/real-brics-bombshell/

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

I just read this on the US’ SEC and the IMF possibly regulating (taking over) bitcoin. Super interesting and will be interested to see how the crypto currency of BRICS will be set up differently.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-05/global-elites-secret-plan-cryptocurrencies
http://www.zerohedge.com a;ways has a lot of articles on bitcoin (plus a lot of other interesting news)

dago dingo
Guest
dago dingo

Like a rabid dog at the end of its life, it lashes out & uses any means at it’s disposal to hurt others in order to survive, this is what we see happening before our very eyes. America is on the verge of collapse & it will use any means at it’s disposal to retain the empire. Hence all the Russo-phobia & China bagging. I say the death of this pariah, America cannot come soon enough!!! The world is sick to death of the wars it wages on sovereign soils, responsible for the deaths of millions of innocents in order… Read more »

Gareth Barnard
Guest
Gareth Barnard

Yes Dago. It’s time people like Kim Jong-ug take there rightful place on the stage of world power

dago dingo
Guest
dago dingo

Oh & the mad men running The Empire of Chaos are better???

Ricardo Silva
Guest
Ricardo Silva

Yep… Divide & Conquer is the plan. The Zionists have been destroying the USA by the inside since 1776… and the endgame is very near. The US will probably end up breaking up into a variety of different countries. United we stand, divided we fall.

Dennis Morrisseau
Guest

DO IT!

Popart 2015
Guest
Popart 2015

Cryptocurrency sounds like avoiding the problem! Why crypto if you can do the real deal?

Kubrickian
Guest
Kubrickian

That would be the currency to buy but like the ones before it you wouldn’t be able to buy it until the currency was inflated beyond what an average investor could afford.

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May survives ‘no confidence’ vote as UK moves towards March 29 deadline or Article 50 extension (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 168.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the ‘no confidence’ vote that UK Prime Minister May won with the a slim margin…meaning that though few MPs have confidence in her ‘Brexit withdrawal’ negotiating skills, they appear to have no problem allowing May to lead the country towards its Brexit deadline in March, which coincidently may be delayed and eventually scrapped altogether.

Meanwhile Tony Blair is cozying up to Brussels’ oligarchs, working his evil magic to derail the will of the British people, and keep the integrationist ambitions for the UK and Europe on track.

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Via RT


The UK government led by Theresa May, has survived to fight another day, after winning a no-confidence vote, tabled by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, following parliament rejecting the PM’s Brexit deal, earlier on Tuesday evening.

The no-confidence vote was defeated by 19 votes – the government winning by 325 to 306. It’s a rare positive note for May’s Tory cabinet after the humiliating Brexit defeat.

Speaking immediately after the vote, a victorious May said she was “pleased” that the House expressed its confidence in her government. May said she will “continue to work” to deliver on the result of the Brexit referendum and leave the EU.

May invited the leaders of parliamentary parties to meet with her individually, beginning on Wednesday evening.

“I stand ready to work with any member of this House to deliver on Brexit,” she said.

Responding to the vote, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that the House had “emphatically” rejected May’s deal on Tuesday. The government, he said, must now remove “clearly once and for all the prospect of the catastrophe of a no-deal Brexit from the EU and all the chaos that would result from that.”

Labour will now have to consider what move to make next. Their official Brexit policy, decided by members at conference in September, states that if a general election cannot be forced, then all options should be left on the table, including calling for a second referendum.

Liberal Democrats MP Ed Davey also called on May to rule out a no deal Brexit.

The way forward for Brexit is not yet clear and May’s options are now limited, given that the Brexit deal she was offering was voted down so dramatically on Tuesday.

Gavin Barrett, a professor at the UCD Sutherland School of Law in Dublin, told RT that May will now have to decide if her second preference is a no-deal Brexit or a second referendum. Her preference will likely be a no-deal Brexit, Barrett said, adding that “since no other option commands a majority in the House” a no-deal exit is now “the default option.”

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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.

The Duran

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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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