From NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
By Paul Homewood
h/t Robert Christopher
On top of the Covering Climate Now (CCN) that Reuters is embroiled in, Jo Nova has the latest on the Trusted News Initiative (TNI):
What if the news media formed a global monopoly to control the news?
Imagine if the media and tech giants of the world banded together behind-the-scenes to rule certain stories were “misinformation” and all their agencies thus reported the same “news”?
That’s what the Trusted News Initiative aimed to do — decide what ideas were and were not allowed to be discussed.
It’s like “free speech” but without the free part.
Not only could the media bury things but they could get away with it if no upstart competitor could red-pill their audience.
It would be the death of the Free Press
In a world like that the people would be ruled mostly by whomever it was that decided what was “misinformation”. Those controllers would be the defacto Ministry of Truth.
We all saw it happen over the last three years, so it’s good to put a name on the beast, but even better, Robert F Kennedy is suing them for anti-trust violation.
The Trusted News Initiative is everything journalists should hate. It’s basically there to “protect” voters from hearing about things like the Hunter-Biden Laptop, good climate news and bad vaccine reactions. TNI practically told us that in 2020:
The Trusted News Initiative (TNI) was set up last year [2019, just in time, eh?] to protect audiences and users from disinformation, particularly around moments of jeopardy, such as elections.
Nearly everyone’s on board:
Core partners in the TNI are: AP, AFP, BBC, CBC/Radio-Canada, European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Financial Times, Information Futures Lab, Google/YouTube, The Hindu, The Nation Media Group, Meta [Facebook], Microsoft, Reuters, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Twitter, The Washington Post, Kompass – Indonesia, Dawn – Pakistan, Indian Express – India, NDTV – India, ABC – Australia, SBS – Australia, NHK – Japan.
Which is a handy list of “where not to get your news”.
Read the full story here.
And unsurprisingly our own BBC is at the very heart of it:
Disinformation is one of today’s great harms. It can undermine democracy, create division, and distort public debate. Tackling it is a pressing priority.
- International partnership of major news and tech organisations will build on successful co-operation to date and share alerts over dangerous disinformation during the US election
- TNI also announces plans to engage with ‘Project Origin’ verification technology which will tag content in order to identify when it has been manipulated
- New organisations joining TNI for the US Election: The Associated Press, The Washington Post
- The Trusted News Initiative (TNI) is extending the scope and ambition of its groundbreaking collaboration to tackle the most dangerous disinformation worldwide
At a recent summit chaired by the BBC’s Director-General, Tony Hall, the TNI agreed to a shared early warning system of rapid alerts to combat the spread of disinformation during the US presidential election.
The TNI is an industry collaboration of major news and global tech organisations working together to stop the spread of disinformation where it poses risk of real-world harm.
In the month leading to polling day, partners will alert each other to disinformation which poses an immediate threat to life or to the integrity of the election so that content can be reviewed promptly by platforms, whilst publishers ensure they don’t unwittingly republish dangerous falsehoods.
Alerts will also flag up content that undermines trust in partner news providers by identifying imposter or manipulated content which claims to come from trusted news brands.
This new expansion to the US follows the TNI’s success in tackling disinformation during the UK 2019 General Election, the Taiwan 2020 General Election and more recently, harmful coronavirus disinformation, including a claim that the UK Prime Minister had died whilst in hospital with Covid-19.
The TNI is also expanding its global network. New organisations joining the TNI for the US Election include The Associated Press and The Washington Post.
Notes to Editors
The Trusted News Initiative (TNI) was set up last year to protect audiences and users from disinformation, particularly around moments of jeopardy, such as elections. The TNI complements existing programmes partners have in place.
In summer 2019 the BBC convened a Trusted News Summit, bringing together senior figures from major global technology firms and publishing.
The TNI agreed to work collectively, where appropriate, to agree collaborative actions on various initiatives. Initiatives include:
- Early Warning System: creating a system so organisations can alert each other rapidly when they discover disinformation which threatens human life or disrupts democracy during elections. The emphasis will be on moving quickly and collectively to undermine disinformation before it can take hold.
- Media Education: a joint online media education campaign to support and promote media education messages
- Voter Information: co-operation on civic information around elections, so there is a common way to explain how and where to vote
- Shared learning: particularly around high-profile elections
Why on earth should the BBC have any interest in the US General Election anyway, unless it was to ensure that the “right” candidate won.
TNI were no doubt heavily involved in the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story, which was suppressed by most of the US media prior to the 2020 election as “Russian disinformation”. As has now become apparent, the story was true from the very start, and it uncovers potential corruption involving Joe Biden himself.
As Tony Thomas writes in his Wentworth article this week, Robert Kennedy, the nephew of President Kennedy, has launched an anti-trust lawsuit against TNI:
Kennedy’s lawsuit, less kindly, claims TNI’s commercial goal is to deplatform and crush the myriad of upstart online publishers who are contradicting the official lines and reducing trust in big media, along with its ad revenues. The legacy, high-cost media are smarting over competition from bloggers in the shift to digital publishing, with 85 per cent of Americans now getting their news online. …
US conservative pundit Tucker Carlson has satirised the Big Media censorship as: “We have a monopoly on telling lies. No one else can talk.” …
How’s that working out with the public?
Among 46 countries, the US media has become the least trusted (only 29 per cent trust it). …
In Australia, reporters are the second-least trusted of 30 occupations, ahead of politicians but behind delivery drivers. Only 43 per cent of Australians trust the media …
Kennedy says TNI’s Big Tech members collectively have a gatekeeping power over at least 90 per cent of online news traffic. De-platforming a small news publisher typically costs at least 90 per cent of its traffic. Even well-known major online news publishers can lose up to 50 per cent of their traffic from a seemingly minor change to Google’s search algorithms. Smaller online news publishers have been destroyed completely when shadow-banned, throttled, de-monetized, or de-platformed. …
Kennedy quotes the TNI alleged cartel making admissions. Last year Jamie Angus, then the senior BBC controller of news, said:
the real rivalry now is not between for example the BBC and CNN globally, it’s actually between all trusted news providers and a tidal wave of unchecked” reporting “that’s being piped out mainly through digital platforms … That’s the real competition now in the digital media world. Of course organizations will always compete with one another for audiences.
But the existential threat I think is that overall breakdown in trust, so that trusted news organizations lose in the long term if audiences just, just abandon the idea of a relationship of trust with news organizations.
The lawsuit also references suppression by the TNI group of electoral news harmful to the Democrats and other liberal establishment players.
In particular the lawsuit cites the mainstream news blackout in the weeks before the 2020 Presidential election on the scandalous contents of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, which revealed allocating 10 per cent to “the big guy” — his father, Joe Biden — of Hunter’s lucrative influence peddling with America’s opponent nations. This coordinated blackout was justified by the lie — belatedly withdrawn by the Washington Post and New York Times 18 months post-election — that the laptop was Russian disinformation. Kennedy blames TNI for much of the blackout, thus the “truth controllers” propagated untruths.
So the future of information is really between a cartel of big media and government players that spread the narrative, and lots of little sites like this that try to find and spread the truth. Well-funded propagandists for those in power, versus the rest on a shoe-string budget.
And they claim that they are “speaking truth to power.” Fully sick.
That says it all.
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