Facebook was recently accused of helping the Trump administration because some people got less stories from the Women’s March than others. This was not censorship, though. Yes, of course it was, but not the way most people thought. This was a part of Facebook’s war on fake news. They have changed how they collect stories for the trending topic. It used to be that it was based on how popular these stories were among Facebook users, but now it will be based on publishers headlines. That means it doesn’t matter how many millions of Facebook accounts have mentioned a specific story. What matters is that mainstream media has shared a story.
I feel very confident that outlets liked Fox News, Newsweek, The New York Times and CNBC are more than capable of giving us nothing but the truth. Of course I am. I have a feeling many see Bernie Sanders as a pretty good candidate right now. He wrote How Corporate Media Threatens Democracy, which mainstream naturally didn’t like. He explains the situation in the United States, and I am sorry to say that the rest of the world isn’t any better. I like the the independent Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett and her blog In Gaza. She speaks Arabic and is one of the few to report real news from Syria. She is telling a very different story from what we read and hear in mainstream media, but because she is considered to be fake news she is in danger of disappearing from social media.
The infrastructure that allowed free flow of information recently allowed me to discover Tulsi Gabbard, who represents the Democrats and Hawaii in US Congress. She confirmed Eva Bartlett’s version when she recently visited Syria. Media focused on what a shameful act this was:
Mainstream media claim to know a lot about Syria, but they rely on mostly two sources that are supposed to give us objective news from the ground. The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights is a one man operation run by an anti-Assad refugee in Coventry, England. The other one, White Helmets, was founded by a British security consultant, and according to an article on Wikipedia the organization has bee funded by government programs in Canada, USA, Denmark, New Zealand and Japan. It’s a controversial organization to say the least, and even if we disregard the videos where members are seen staging injuries of people they supposedly have saved and celebrating with members of Jabhat-al Nusra (Al Qaida in Syria), one wonders how they can operate inside rebel territory, have ties to the governments that want to bring the regime down, and still report the unbiased truth. What makes them more credible than Christians and Muslims in Syria, and the outsiders giving them a voice in Europe and the USA?
I am neutral, but there is something not right about the news from Syria. There seems to be a strong focus on getting rid of Bashar al-Assad. The goal doesn’t appear to be democracy or stability. It is to bring in a new regime, and I get the impression that it doesn’t matter what the Syrian people think about the matter. It’s actually irrelevant whether Assad is as democratic as we’d like him to be if it’s true that most Syrians want him. I have written about possible financial motives in earlier posts. One argument could be a pipeline that is planned from Qatar to Turkey, which could make Europe independent from Russian natural gas, but Assad didn’t want it to go through his country. Another point is that Russia, China, Syria, Japan and Iran have either stopped oil trade in USD or plan to. The Guardian reported on this in 2009, but I am not sure what happened. It is however what Saddam Hussein did and Muammar Gadaffi of Libya was planning to do as well.
There is a reason why activists and independent journalists use social media and blogs to spread their stories. That’s because mainstream media doesn’t. Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard and Eva Bartlett may be seen as propaganda at best, and consequently these stories may vanish. This is nothing less than an attack on the infrastructure that made some of the biggest whistle-blowers of our times possible. What we get instead is a version of reality. Kellyanne Conway, special adviser to President Trump, was ridiculed for her statement about alternative truth, but she had a point.What we get without activists and whistle-blowers isn’t necessary the absolute truth because that is a fluid term to many people.
In short, we need to make an effort to find the news. Everything is available to us.