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Russia has a model for peace and stability for Afghanistan–it’s called Chechnya

One only needs to study Russia’s experience with bringing former Chechen rebels to the table, in order to learn why the Taliban must be spoken to rather than bombed into anger and alienation.

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Between 1994 and 1996, a Russian Federation weakened by internal political chaos fought the First Chechen War. The war was fought between the Russian armed forces and forces loyal to the self-proclaimed Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.

During the First Chechen War, one of the leading commanders of rebel forces was Akhmad Kadyrov. His battle field tactics helped win the war, forcing an uneasy truce with Russia.

During this time, Kadyrov’s forces were backed by foreign Mujaheddin, many of whom were battle hardened from fighting Soviet troops in Afghanistan between 1979 and 1989. As with Afghanistan, the US supported the Mujaheddin against Russia, albeit in a more covert manner than during the 1980s.

In 1999, war flared up again in Chechnya when Islamist extremists from Chechnya invaded the neighbouring Russian Republic of Dagestan. It was at this time that Akhmad Kadyrov switched sides, pledging his loyalty to Russia.

This was motivated by several factors. First of all, the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was a self-proclaimed country of chaos, corruption and poverty, one which was ultimately in need of Russian material support, just as Afghanistan needs much the same from Pakistan today. Secondly, Kadyrov found that the Mujaheddin forces which helped win the First Chechen War were both unreliable and too extreme for his liking, their designs on the region were very different than his.

By the year 2000, the wars in both Chechnya and Dagestan were over and Kadyrov was once again on the winning side, only this time the winning side was the Russian side.

In the subsequent years, some local rebels as well as foreign Mujaheddin continued to cause problems in the region. Things came to a head when in 2004 Akhmad Kadyrov, who had become the President of the Chechen Republic, was assassinated. Chechen rebel Shamil Basayev later claimed responsibility. He was killed by the FSB (Russian Federal Security Service) in 2006.

In 2007, Akhmad’s son Ramzan Kadyrov became the Head of the Chechen Republic. Ramazan’s leadership marked Chechnya’s transformation from an uneasy hotbed of rebellion and foreign terrorism to a place that is generally stable, a loyal subject of the Russian Federation and a place with zero tolerance for trouble makers. Crucially, the region has a high degree of autonomy in which Islamic customs and local laws are integrated into the overarching laws of the Russian Federation. It is a balance that has worked far better than many could have imagined. It many ways, it is a textbook example of 21st century compromise in respect of cultural autonomy combined with sovereign loyalty to a large state.

Afghanistan requires a similar solution. Russia learned from experience what the US has failed to learn after nearly 16 years in Afghanistan: no peaceful solution can take place without the Pashtun majority having their interests accounted for. The strongest group around which many Pashtuns now rally is the Taliban and has been so for decades.

Russia who in the 1980s fought against the people who would come to support the Taliban in the 1990s, has realised that there is a time for war and a time for dialogue.

It was this approach that allowed Russia to accept Akhmad Kadyrov as a loyal subject to Russia even though he had been a supreme enemy of the state just years prior to this reconciliation. Likewise, in Afghanistan, Russia realises that the Taliban, the moderate rebels of modern Afghanistan, cannot be disregarded and nor can they be bombed into coming to the peace table, not least because many Taliban leaders have already made comparatively generous peace offers that Afghanistan’s neighbours such as Pakistan could easily work with.

Russia has let the ideological wars of the past slip into memory and Russia’s modern leaders have learned the lessons necessary to formulate a new Afghan policy. This new Russian policy of dialogue with the Taliban is in line with that of Pakistan which seeks a stable country free from American or Indian influence on its western border and it is also what China seeks as China requires a stable Pakistan and a comparatively placid Afghanistan in order to complete a crucial section of One Belt–One Road infrastructure in the region. Iran too has come to this realisation in more ways than one.

The future leader that Afghanistan needs is someone like Ramzan Kadyrov, an individual who is local, can implement Islamic law with sincerity and authority, can act pragmatically though patriotically when dealing with others, including non-Pashtun Afghans such as the Tajiks, Uzbecks and Shi’a Hazaras, and most of all, a leader who can work with the country which for all intents and purposes is Afghanistan’s lifeblood: Pakistan.

Such a leader may already exist among the more moderate rebel ranks of the Taliban. Such a leader would clearly by willing to work with Pakistan, Russia, China, possibly even Iran but certainly not with the United States. Russia understands this because Russia has the experience of Afghanistan in the 1980s from which Vladimir Putin learned that in order to bring peace and loyalty to a volatile region, one must work with locals who are willing to meet one half way. Putin learned equally from the mistakes chaotic Yeltsin regimem how to best deal with such issues within Russia, in Chechnya in particular. In return, Russia has not made extraordinary demands over the style of government in Chechnya, one which is now stable and increasingly prosperous, but very different from the kind of Russia one sees in Moscow, Crimea, Vladivostok and almost everywhere else in the Russian Federation.

This is the solution, but America is doing the opposite, because unlike Russia in respect of Chechnya, the United States is not looking for a solution in Afghanistan in the first place.

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Brendan Trainor
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Brendan Trainor

Yes I believe that Chechnya is better off now as a very conservative Muslim state in the Russian federation. However, I do not believe that respect for the Muslim social rules should extend to torture and honor killing of gays. Kadyrov said on American cable television in an interview over his love of MMA that there are no gay people in Chechnya, and if there were, he did not believe that people who act outside the law against them should be punished. Violence against anyone, including gays, should not be tolerated in Chechnya!

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

I dont know if the people to whom you refer really do hold these emotions: “Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Gay: happily excited : merry in a “gay” mood : keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits: a bird’s “gay” spring song. 2a : bright, lively “gay” sunny meadows : brilliant in color.” I suspect you are referring to homosexual men. If so, could you do so please, and leave the lovely old English word, for which there is no substitute, to it’s proper meaning. Re the Western MSM garbage you are quoting, there appears to be no evidence to… Read more »

BobValdez
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BobValdez

Perhaps you and your boyfriend should head over to Chechnya, in your crotch-less leather pants and Village People hats, wave your rainbow flags and protest. I’m sure they’ll listen to you.

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

Gays are less than 2% of the population in most countries. Why is this issue so important to keep glorifying and using it as a tool to apply pressure to different societies and beliefs? Enough already! There are other peoples at a much larger percentage that are discriminated against, like left-handed people, and not a peep from anyone. This so called “gay lifestyle” is proven by statistics as destructive, with much higher suicide rates, drug use, and early death, when compared with Heterosexuals. Destructive lifestyles of small minorities should not be endlessly talked about and glorified as being something normal.… Read more »

AM Hants
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AM Hants

Nice photo of both President, owing to their body language.

The US is only there to make sure the poppy harvest is harvesting well and see what they can grab with regards natural resources. Not forgetting to upset China, with the ‘One Belt and Road’ partnership with Pakistan. That is the only reason they will not leave. Saudi – 9/11 and I never knew Saudi was part of Afghanistan. Bin Laden family and Bush family, partners in Carlsle Group, even after 9/11????

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

It is a nice photo is not it? Marked by spontaneity and natural spirits. No, America is in Afghanistan for one reason and one reason only – it suits its personal agenda of making big money from the heroin trade, moreover, it uses that heroin as a social dis-locator in target countries. It’s a major problem for Russia especially. Plus they have a “base” to try and launch a much longed for attack on Russia via the “underbelly”. The American Ruling Junta are just a criminal Mafia gang who lie to cover their actions – lies now accepted only by… Read more »

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

I was drinking water earlier, and it must be something to do with the sun around here. It only went and turned into wine and for some reason I cannot think nice thoughts. I have no problem with the people of America and feel sorry for those that have woken up, like us over in the UK. Wish them all the best. However, I am happily in a rage, with regards the things we elect. I do believe in karma, but, sure certain powers will not mind me wishing they all suffered some serious reaction from a Bill Gate vaccine… Read more »

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

🙂 I’ve heard about that wine. Magic Water we call it – try and do it to make a few bucks, it never works 🙂 It is – beyond pathetic – I agree. But try and remember, when it gets bad – and believe me, I know how that is, I’ve let fly and sworn at them too – that if you get into a rage and filled with hate and bad thoughts, it’s you you’re hurting. They dont feel it at all, but your inner balance and serenity which you need for good health go right out the window.… Read more »

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

That blasted water, I thought it was holy and my liver needed blessing. I don’t stay angry for long, as you say, it is a waste of energy. However, it is seriously frustrating. Like you, I no longer vote, owing to all parties in Westminster supporting the genocide in Ukraine and encouraging it. Not just Ukraine, but, that is where I switched off from UK politicians. I have just read a brilliant article by Robert Parry, over on RI. Here is a section, but, it is worth reading the whole article. Ukraine’s SBU security service also has been implicated in… Read more »

Samantharbuck
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Samantharbuck

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BettyTDominique
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BettyTDominique

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Scott Robinson
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Scott Robinson

The REAL reason the US is escalating the Afghanistan invasion….see the Jimmy Dore Show titled “Rachel Maddow Promotes Stealing Afghan Minerals & Endless War”

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

I will, thanks for the link Scott.

Bessarabyn
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Bessarabyn

Spot on !

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

Thank you Bessarabyn.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Excellent article, Adam. Nice picture too.

Freethinking Влади́мир
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Freethinking Влади́мир

Weird article. The comparison with Chechnya is incorrect. Chechnya is a republic of Russia. Afghanistan is not part of Pakistan. This article needed to flesh this out but didn’t. A reasoning such as “something something Afghanistan depends on Pakistan” doesn’t work for me. Besides, the peace with Chechnya is a burden. They don’t bring in anything, but are only a cost. Kadyrov himself is a high maintenance. I always raise my eyebrows when I read the comments of Russia-dreamers on these blogs who never even visited my country, yet judge or interpret the actual situation here. What you need to… Read more »

Simon
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Simon

A thoughtful comment, Vladimir. But many (vast) parts of the RF are as you say ‘a burden’ – in that they cost a lot of money. But that does not mean they are not Russia. And Chechnya has form compared to other regions – so just NOT fighting a war there is itself a huge ‘benefit’ which outweighs the ‘burden’. I do agree with you about the stability and its temporary nature; also it and some of its diaspora are in criminal syndicates throughout Russia. But imperfect as it is, this strongman (Kadyrov) stability is perhaps the best way forward.… Read more »

Freethinking Влади́мир
Guest
Freethinking Влади́мир

I don’t deny that peace is the better option, but I criticize this article for painting the current situation as too bright. This article cuts too many corners, not counting in the opinion that Afghanistan should have some kind of a dependency on Pakistan like Chechnya has on Russia. This article needs to elaborate on what that means and why the Afghani people would agree – other than assuming the people would go along with a leader comparative to Kadyrov.

Edit: also not counting in why the Pakistani would agree…

Gary Wells
Guest
Gary Wells

Whatever the Americans do will fail. Notwithstanding the fact that Afghanistan is probably unconquerable, ten or fifteen thousand US troops are certainly not going to achieve the task. These are sufficient numbers to ensure an ongoing simmering conflict and to make certain that the opium/heroin business proceeds unimpeded. This should be obvious to everyone. I think there’s an awful lot of willful blindness about.

Jeff King
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Jeff King

Chechnya? You mean the place where they murder gays? Get a better example than that.

pogohere
Guest

Details? Sources? TIA

ajokete
Guest
ajokete

“…the United States is not looking for a solution in Afghanistan in the first place.” That exactly is the method in the US apparent madness.

Navneet Bhatnagar
Guest
Navneet Bhatnagar

The writer ADAM GARRIE seems to be highly mistaken , when he recommends ” Pakistan to be the lifeblood of Afghanistan, for all intents and purposes and proposing generous peace offers for Taiban that Afghanistan’s neighbours such as Pakistan could easily work with” . At one stage, he professes for a country, which should be able to deal peacefully with all ethnicities in Afghanistan , ” including non-Pashtun Afghans such as the Tajiks, Uzbecks and Shi’a Hazaras “. While on the other hand, he seems to forget the pathetic record , which Pakistan has in maintaining a peaceful environment for… Read more »

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

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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.

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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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