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25 Oct, 2018 21:25

Die-hard neocon think-tank is ‘scrubbing the internet of fringe views’ – Max Blumenthal

A sweeping purge in which numerous alternative media pages were cleansed from Facebook and Twitter has actually been driven by a figurehead of a hardline neocon think-tank, investigative journalist Max Blumenthal told RT.

“What we saw taking place since the defeat of Hillary Clinton and the victory of Donald Trump is an effort to identify not just Russian-backed media but alternative media as part of the ‘Russian influence campaign’,” Blumenthal said.

The crackdown on alternative voices spearheaded by Facebook and Twitter are obviously connected to “national security hardliners, funded by Western governments,” he said.

Blumenthal’s recent piece suggested that a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund, a leading think-tank believed to be funded by the US and NATO, partially claimed credit for silencing political speech on social media platforms. “Russia, China, and other foreign states take advantage of our open political system,” Jamie Fly allegedly told Jeb Sprague, a visiting faculty member in sociology at the University of California-Santa Barbara.

“We are just starting to push back,” Fly has said, according to the Blumenthal-Sprague article for the Gray Zone Project. “Just this last week Facebook began starting to take down sites. So this is just the beginning.”

The man in question, who previously served as adviser in the George W. Bush administration, “is someone who has been heavily involved not just in the German Marshall Fund … but through a subdivision of the Marshall Fund called the Alliance for Securing Democracy in jetting up the fear of ‘Russian bots’,” Blumenthal explained on RT.

Among other things, the Alliance for Securing Democracy is believed to be behind the Hamilton 68 dashboard, a controversial online tool that purports to detect Russian online interference on Twitter.

Fly, who Blumenthal said overseas the Alliance has consistently advocated “scrubbing the Internet of what the calls ‘fringe news’.” And his candid comments to Sprague were “really not out of character for him,” the journalist offered.

Earlier this month, US-based tech giants closed hundreds of user accounts citing violation of the platforms’ rules. Some pages belonged to renowned alternative media outlets who garnered hundreds of thousands of followers, such as the Free Thought Project or The Anti Media.

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