Archive for the ‘Council of Conservative Citizens’ Category

‘Things have changed’: White supremacists cite Trump in bomb threat targeting Muslim students – Raw Story

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March 2, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

Concordia bomb threat: Who is the group purportedly behind the threat? – Globalnews.ca

Montreals Concordia University was forced to evacuate two campus buildings Wednesday after receiving a threat against Muslim students, allegedly from the Canadian chapter of a white nationalist group.

Several Canadian media outlets, including Global News, received an emailed threat purportedly from the Council of Conservative Citizens of Canada (C4).

This is a warning letter from the underground C4 chapter at Concordia University to all Moslem students, the letter reads. We will inform the authorities and the media about it.

WATCH: Students scared after bomb threat at Concordia University

The letter goes on to say that Now that President Trump is in the office south of the border, things have changed.

We will not tolerate your behaviour anymore. One of our members reported her concern to the [Concordia Student Union] who didnt do anything about the Friday Prayers and the often anti-Christian and anti-Jewish speeches, reads the threat, complete with C4 letterhead.

Though it remains unclear, the C4 appears to be a splinter group of one of Americas largest white supremacist groups known as the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a group that was established in the mid-1980s.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that monitors hate groups and extremists, the CCC was founded by attorney and racist activist Gordon Baum in 1985 and stemmed from the defunct group Citizens Councils of America, also known as White Citizens Councils. As the watchdog group points out, the White Citizens Councils opposed the desegregation of schools in the 50s and 60s.

WATCH: Police discuss procedures taken at Concordia University following bomb threat

In 2015, attention was focused on the CCC after some of the groups white supremacist propaganda was cited in Charleston, South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roofs so-called manifesto.

Roof was sentenced to death earlier this year for the 2015 killing of nine members of a black church during a Bible study class.

The CCC also has a Canadian connection. Paul Fromm, a former Ontario teacher, serves as the international director of the white supremacist group and is the executive director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression; a Mississauga-based group that has fought against anti-hate legislation, immigration policy and laws to protect gay rights.

Fromm was removed from the classroom in 1997 and was stripped of his teaching licence in 2007 over ties to racist organizations and activities.

WATCH:Bomb threat shuts down Concordia University in Montreal

In todays threat against the post-secondary institute, the C4 said Until Concordia University stops religious activities of all kinds on campus, we decided the following action to show how far we are ready to go to fight Moslems.

The group said it would set off small amateur explosive devices that they claimed were planted on floors in buildings where Moslems hang out.

These are not meant to kill anybody. The only aim is to injure some Moslem students, reads the email from C4. Unfortunately some non-Moslems might be collateral damage. If Concordia decides to ban Moslem activities, we will deactivate the explosives.

With a file from Global News reporter Nick Logan

2017Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Concordia bomb threat: Who is the group purportedly behind the threat? – Globalnews.ca

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March 2, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

Canadian university evacuated over anti-Muslim bomb threat – WION

A bomb threat targeting Muslim students forced an evacuation of nearly 4,000 students from the downtown campus of Concordia University in Montreal.

In an email to school administrators and also to local media, a group identifying itself as the “underground” chapter of C4, or the Council of Conservative Citizens of Canada, at the university directly warned “Muslim students” there it would detonate one homemade explosive a day through Friday to protest their activities.

“Now that President (Donald) Trump is in office south of the border, things have changed. We will not tolerate your behaviour anymore,” the group said in its emailed letter, referring to the US president.

“Until Concordia University stops religious activities of all kinds on campus, we decide the following action to show how far we are ready to go to fight Muslims,” the group vowed.

Montreal police said they were investigating the “threatening email”. They swept the campus for explosives but found none.

A similar threatening letter was also sent to nearby McGill University, which was put on heightened alert, but it did not specify a time or place of a possible attack.

Three Concordia University buildings were evacuated just before midday, and would remain closed until around 6:00 pm (local time), Concordia spokeswoman Christine Mota said. CBC reports that by 7:00 pm (local time) all buildings at Concordia University hadreopened, and students were back inside.

One of the sites was hosting an “Islam awareness week”. Quebec Universities Minister Helene David, speaking to reporters at the scene, called the threat against Muslim students “deplorable”.

“We strongly denounce these attacks against a university which is a model of living together,” she said. “Quebec is an inclusive place,” the minister added. “We want to live together. We will not tolerate this kind of situation.”

There has been an escalation of hate crimes in the country in recent months. In January, a white supremacist student, who “liked” Donald Trump on Facebook,shot dead six worshippers at a mosque in Quebec City.

CBC reports that police constable Boisselle said investigators are now looking for the main computer which sent the threatening emails. “We don’t take anything for granted,” they quote him as saying. The report also states they will increase patrols of private security officers, as well as police, since the threatening email mentioned a 48-hour window.

(With inputs from AFP)

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Canadian university evacuated over anti-Muslim bomb threat – WION

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March 2, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

Breitbart Under Bannon: How Breitbart Became A Favorite News … – Southern Poverty Law Center

Outlinks to Breitbart steadily grew over the course of 2016 on the most prominent white supremacist websites. By late 2016, Breitbart was regularly topping outlets like the UKs Daily Mail, long favored for their sensational tabloid style reporting and breaking news, and on The Daily Stormer, the Internets premier neo-Nazi water cooler.

And the extremists are thanking Bannon.

Breitbart went hardcore when he was running it, Andrew Anglin, proprietor of The Daily Stormer told the hosts of Nordfront Radio, a Swedish neo-Nazi radio program, in November. It is still hardcore now. It really changed from being this kind of basic cuckservative type website to being this, I mean, the articles that they publish about blacks in America and about Muslims in Europe, its basically stuff that you would read on the Daily Stormer.

Breitbart overtook the Daily Mail in July of 2015, the month that President Trump announced his bid for the presidency, as the most cited outlet by authors at the Daily Stormer. When factoring in outlinks found in the comment section of the website, it led through the 2016 presidential election.

Breitbarts popularity among readers of The Daily Stormer is unsurprising given that its lineage can be traced back to the cesspool /pol/ section of 4chan, a largely unregulated imageboard well-known for its tenacious far-right population. Anglin has identified the sites /new/ section going full nazi as part of his ideological journey to neo-Nazism.

4chan regularly linked to Breitbart stories over 1,000 times a month in 2016, peaking in January after the outlets London bureau published an explosive story titled, REVEALED: 1,000+ Migrants Brawl, Rape, Sexually Assault, and Steal at One German Train Station on New Year’s Eve, describing a war-zone with migrants attacking ordinary Germans with fireworks and committing sexual assault.

The story was seized upon by white nationalists around the world as evidence for their arguments against accepting refugees and immigrants into western countries. Radix Journal, Richard Spencers primary publishing organ at the time, labeled the event The Rape of Cologne.

Breitbarts coverage of the tragic attacks, which did in fact involve a reported 80 victims, 35 of whom were sexually assaulted, portraying thousands of perpetrators exemplifies an editorial strategy of depicting the west as at war with radical Islam that was put in place while Bannon was at the helm of Breitbart.

Breitbarts ascension hasnt been ignored by longstanding leaders on the far right who have reacted with shock at the resemblance its editorial bent has to their own.

Imagine for a moment what it looks like from our perspective, Brad Griffin, proprietor of Occidental Dissent wrote. You write for a pro-White website like the Council of Conservative Citizens, AmRen, or VDARE, you have been labeled and stigmatized as an extremist, notorious racist and a member of a hate group, and when you wake up in the morning and look for the subject to write about, say a refugee rapist, you realize that it is semi-pointless because UK Daily Mail or WorldNetDaily has already covered it. What is there left to do but link to the Breitbart story?

Griffin attributes this shift to a California Gold Rush of clicks that has driven journalism outlets desperate for ad revenue to look for increasingly extreme and polarizing topics to cover. Its notable that while an outlet like the Daily Mail may have initially covered the story, Griffin and his compatriots prefer the editorial styling of Breitbart.

I thinkBreitbarthas had a positive impact on our culture and politics, Griffin wrote in January. It is unwittingly engaging in what I call discourse poisoning. I assume the profit motive is at work here anyway, it benefits us to erode taboos, so I dont really care how much money they make. You could also say that we can look atBreitbartas a model that those of us who are further to the Right ought to be doing instead of writing history lectures or boring essays about obscure philosophers no one cares about.

James Kirkpatrick took a similar stance at VDARE last Fall, writing, The Truth: Breitbart is not extreme even the best journalism at that site just recycles the same material VDARE.com has been pushing for more than a decade.

Stormfront, the extremist rights most trafficked site until last summer, also saw a shift towards Breitbart from its users. Although it never surpassed the Daily Mail, Breitbart surged beginning in July of 2015, just as it did on The Daily Stormer. While sites like YouTube, Wikipedia, and Twitter dominate Stormfront, as well as The Daily Stormer, the Daily Mail held the title of most referenced news outlet.

The Daily Stormer also preferred the Daily Mail to all other news services, rounded out its top three sources with the Daily Mail and RT, the Russian governments international television network. This held true for the sites commenters as well.

Bannon, who took an indefinite leave of absence on August 17, 2016, to become the CEO of the Trump presidential campaign, told a Breitbart news editor in 2014 to, Let the grassroots turn on the hate because thats the ONLY thing that will make them do their duty, referring to Republican leaders.

His editorial vision demonstrably mobilized a different grassroots, one that is fighting for a white ethnostate and, in many cases, another Holocaust. Their hate is real and thriving.

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Breitbart Under Bannon: How Breitbart Became A Favorite News … – Southern Poverty Law Center

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March 2, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

Report all about hating, little about facts – Dothan Eagle

The problem with President Donald Trumps claim of fake news is it is proven true over and over again. And now, our somewhat quiet and somewhat peaceful town of Eufaula has become a victim to such false reporting.

On Wednesday, al.com ran with a story from Alabamas often questionable Southern Poverty Law Center, which had run with a report someone came up with despite little or no factual backing.

SPLCs story should have been dismissed after its first paragraph said 2016 marked the second consecutive year of a nation-wide rise in Hate Groups and it was energized by the presidential candidacy of Trump and the radical right. Hmmm, second consecutive year? Who was responsible for 2015? Almost everyone will agree, most news outlets didnt really believe Trump would be president until he won in November. Perhaps SPLC should have pointed its fingers in a different direction, or better yet, researched the report before it began crediting Eufaula with having two of the states 27 Hate Groups. (There are supposedly 917 nation-wide.) While real Hate Groups do exist any faction of the Ku Klux Klan falls into the category I and others have asked around our lovely town and have never heard of the two groups credited with being here Occidental Dissent and Council of Conservative Citizens.

One of the aforementioned groups own web site doesnt even mention Eufaula, rather Wetumpka. I guess SPLC or al.com didnt bother looking that far into the report.

Meanwhile, people that actually believe what they read in the reports now think Eufaula is home to Hate Groups. Im not nave enough to think there is no place anywhere that doesnt have some hateful-minded people, but for it to be splattered about as if it is actual group or group in town is damaging to the good people of Eufaula. And I know — because Ive worked in seven states — Eufaula has more good people than most.

Sure, we have radical rights and radical lefts, but this is shameful having our community perceived in such a way that is simply not true. If there is someone and his nephew calling themselves a Hate Group meeting in a shed out back, I guess SPLC can consider it an official group if it likes. But, I can guarantee you if that is indeed the case, Alabama has a whole lot more than 27 groups if that fits the criteria. However, I guess it would have to do more research and thats obviously not in this reporters criteria for putting out material.

One guy told me SPLC must not have mentioned his Hate Group I Hate Hate Groups which makes it at least 28 in Alabama, or at least by SPLCs strange math.

Fortunately, SPLC is hardly considered a real news organization. Therefore, Eufaula can keeps its head held high and continue to be proud to call this community home.

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Report all about hating, little about facts – Dothan Eagle

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February 18, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

Parks: Why don’t we call white extremists terrorists? – Charleston City Paper

Much to the chagrin of authority figures throughout my life, “because I said so” has never struck me as an adequate explanation for the big whys of this world. This need for the why led me to major in philosophy, to study how the historical trajectory of ideas shapes everything in our present, including the very language we use to describe our experiences and understand them. I obsess over words, in particular how words used by the media and those in positions of power influence the conversations of our culture at large, and often inadvertently serve as an indictment of it. Perhaps because of this, one thing that has consistently bothered me about the narrative surrounding Dylann Roof is that he has rarely been called what he is: a terrorist. Given that the conversation about terrorism in our country is increasingly focused almost exclusively on Muslims, maybe we need to ask why so many of us are hesitant to call white extremists the T-word.

On February 6, the White House released a list of 78 terrorist attacks that they felt were underreported, though some included dominated the news cycle the November 2015 Paris attacks, the San Bernardino shootings, the Pulse nightclub massacre. Glaringly missing was Emanuel AME. The following day, Republican Rep. Sean Duffy appeared on CNN’s “New Day,” where host Alisyn Camerota began by questioning Trump’s assertion that media does not cover terrorist attacks. When asked why President Trump failed to mention the recent attack in Quebec in which a right-wing, anti-immigrant white man shot and killed six Muslim men at a mosque while they were praying, Duffy described the attack as a “one off,” saying that “there is a difference” between attacks committed by white extremists versus those by Muslims. Duffy went on to say that “good things” came from the the terrorist attack on Emanuel AME, citing the removal of the Confederate flag from our statehouse, an act of political expediency that should not have required the loss of nine profoundly loved, good people. It was also during this interview that Camerota asked perhaps the most pressing question relating to white extremism: “Why do you think that when it’s a white terrorist, it’s an isolated incident?”

Roof admitted to first being exposed to white supremacist ideology online via the Council of Conservative Citizens, whose former webmaster, Kyle Rogers, served on the Dorchester County Republican Party’s Executive Committee from April 2013 until at least June 25, 2015, as reported by the Summerville Journal Scene. (Dorchester County Republican Party chairman Tim Higgins could not be reached via email for comment relating to Rogers’s current executive committee status.) Roof was almost immediately cast as some kind of outlier, a loner, instead of part of a white nationalist extremist faction; however, when a Muslim terrorist is self-radicalized online, media and law enforcement almost immediately seek to find a connection to a larger terror cell or network. What’s the difference?

We need to question the societal implications of evaluating violent attacks committed by whites on a case-by-case basis, seeking to understand the attacker on a individual level based on their personal history and mental health, versus analyzing the violent actions of non-whites, particularly non-white Muslims, on a systematic level. We regularly label non-Christian, non-white US citizens terrorists, but rarely Christian white citizens. Do we consider the former less American? What does this say about us as a nation?

A study by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism found that between 2012 and 2016, the Twitter accounts of white nationalist movements gained more than 22,000 followers, roughly a 600 percent increase, and were far less likely to be subject to account suspension than those of ISIS. White nationalism is on the rise, and to not to label white extremists terrorists perpetuates their ideology. By vilifying Muslims and wrongly portraying their entire culture as repressive, evil, against everything we stand for as Americans, are we not implicitly furthering the agenda of those like Dylann Roof, who believe that multiculturalism is destroying our country, who fail to recognize the individual humanity of people with black or brown skin, who see everything from an us-versus-them perspective, who hate anyone who is different from them? The religion, race, and nationality of violent extremists should not be the primary determining factors as to whether we label them terrorists because their goal is ultimately the same: to destroy the core values of our nation liberty, equality, diversity which, though we have historically not lived up to them, are ideals we must continue to strive for, perhaps more now than ever.

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Parks: Why don’t we call white extremists terrorists? – Charleston City Paper

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February 15, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

Neo-Confederates Arm To Fight The South’s ‘Leftist Menace’ – Vocativ

A group of neo-Confederates whose goal is to achieve a free and independent Southern republic is militarizing in anticipation of a leftist menace that the group claims has been growing in response to the presidency of Donald Trump.

The League of the South, an anti-government group of Southern secessionists, announced last week that it plans to form a Southern Defense Force to protect southerners from left-wing activists who have been wreaking havoc across the U.S. since Donald Trumps election in November.

As a League member, you will have opportunities to increase your proficiency with hand-to-hand defense skills, firearms training (both pistols and long weapons), and other related skills, the organizations leader, Michael Hill, wrote in an announcement posted last Thursday on the groups website. Also, you will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other Southern warriors in an organization dedicated to the survival, well-being, and independence of the Southern people.

Hill did not respond to an interview request.

The League of the South has been around since the early 1990s and has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist and extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the New Black Panther Party. The organization made headlines in 2015 when the mass-murder of nine black people by white supremacist Dylann Roof at a church in South Carolina ignited a debate over whether state governments should fly the Confederate battle flag at government buildings. The League of the South, obviously, wanted the flag which they view as a symbol of southern heritage, but others see as a remnant of the souths racist history to stay.

The leftist menaces specifically named in the League of the Souths call to arms are members of the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-fascist groups (Antifa) like those who rioted in Washington D.C. the day Trump was inaugurated. The organization claims that groups like these areon the march rioting, burning, and physically assaulting those with whom they disagree. They go on to say that its only a matter of time until they move from major urban areas and college/university campuses into smaller cities and towns, the suburbs, and ever [sic] some rural areas. We dare not wait to organize our defenses until they appear on our doorstep here in Dixie.

The organization has attempted to militarize itself before. As the SPLC points out, the League of the South created a paramilitary unit in 2014 called the Indomitables in an effort to create another secession movement. That effort, the SPLC said, fizzled quickly.

Promising increased LOS militancy has cost the group and led to faltering membership, the SPLC said. Its also seen a drop-off since the massacre in Charleston, when the League of the South defended a leader of another secessionist group, the Council of Conservative Citizens Kyle Rogers, who detractors blamed for turning Roof into a violent white nationalist in the months leading up to the June 2015 shooting. Roof never met members either group, but cited the CCC in the manifesto he posted online prior to the shooting in Roofs rant he claims he carried out the shooting to bring attention the amount of black-on-white crime that goes unreported by the mainstream media. He wrote that he first learned about it by reading articles posted on the website of the CCC.

From our point of view, all Mr. Rogers has done is diligently catalog the facts about the epidemic of black-on-white violent crime in America, Hill wrote in a message posted on the Leagues website shortly after the shootings. We see this as a service that the mainstream U.S. media refuses to provide to the public, thereby endangering the lives of many innocent people.

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Neo-Confederates Arm To Fight The South’s ‘Leftist Menace’ – Vocativ

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February 9, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

Trump’s List Of Underreported Terrorism Completely Ignores Domestic Right-Wing Extremism – Media Matters for America (blog)


Media Matters for America (blog)
Trump's List Of Underreported Terrorism Completely Ignores Domestic Right-Wing Extremism
Media Matters for America (blog)
Wired reported that Roof searched for 'black on white crime' and ended up on the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens' website, which The Atlantic said has its roots in an organization that aimed to be a (somewhat) more respectable …

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Trump’s List Of Underreported Terrorism Completely Ignores Domestic Right-Wing Extremism – Media Matters for America (blog)

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February 7, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

From Holocaust Denial To Hitler Admiration, Google’s Algorithm Is Dangerous – Huffington Post

If you Google Was the Holocaust real? right now, seven out of the top 10 results will be Holocaust denial sites. If you Google Was Hitler bad?, one of the top results is an article titled, 10 Reasons Why Hitler Was One Of The Good Guys.

In December, responding to weeks of criticism, Google said that it tweaked it algorithm to push down Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic sites. But now, just a month later, their fix clearly hasnt worked.

In addition to hateful search results, Google has had a similar problem with its autocompletes when Google anticipates the rest of a query from its first word or two. Google autocompletes have often embodied racist and sexist stereotypes. Google image search has also generated biased results, absurdly tagging some photos of black people as gorillas.

The result of these horrific search results can be deadly. Google search results reportedly helped shape the racism of Dylann Roof, who murdered nine people in a historically black South Carolina church in 2015. Roof said that when he Googled black on white crime, the first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens, which is a white supremacist organization. I have never been the same since that day, he said. And of course, in December, a Facebook-fueled fake news story about Hillary Clinton prompted a man to shoot up a pizza parlor in Washington D.C. The fake story reportedly originated in a white supremacists tweet.

These terrifying acts of violence and hate are likely to continue if action isnt taken. Without a transparent curation process, the public has a hard time judging the legitimacy of online sources. In response, a growing movement of academics, journalists and technologists is calling for more algorithmic accountability from Silicon Valley giants. As algorithms take on more importance in all walks of life, they are increasingly a concern of lawmakers. Here are some steps Silicon Valley companies and legislators should take to move toward more transparency and accountability:

When it comes to search results about an individual persons name, many countries have aggressively forced Google to be more careful in how it provides information. Thanks to the Court of Justice of the European Union, Europeans can now request the removal of certain search results revealing information that is inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant or excessive, unless there is a greater public interest in being able to find the information via a search on the name of the data subject.

Such removals are a middle ground between information anarchy and censorship. They neither disappear information from the internet (it can be found at the original source) nor allow it to dominate the impression of the aggrieved individual. They are a kind of obscurity that lets ordinary individuals avoid having a single incident indefinitely dominate search results on his or her name. For example, a woman in Spain whose husband was murdered 20 years ago successfully forced Google Spainto take news of the murder off search results on her name.

In 2004, anti-Semites boosted a Holocaust-denial site called Jewwatch into the top 10 results for the query Jew. Ironically, some of those horrified by the site may have helped by linking to it in order to criticize it. The more a site is linked to, the more prominence Googles algorithm gives it in search results.

Google responded to complaints by adding a headline at the top of the page entitled An explanation of our search results. A web page linked to the headline explained why the offensive site appeared so high in the relevant rankings, thereby distancing Google from the results. The label, however, no longer appears. In Europe and many other countries, lawmakers should consider requiring such labeling in the case of obvious hate speech. To avoid mainstreaming extremism, labels may link to accounts of the history and purpose of groups with innocuous names like Council of Conservative Citizens.

In the U.S., this type of regulation may be considered a form of compelled speech, barred by the First Amendment. Nevertheless, better labeling practices for food and drugs have escaped First Amendment scrutiny in the U.S., and why should information itself be different? As law professor Mark Patterson has demonstrated, many of our most important sites of commerce are markets for information: search engines are not offering products and services themselves but information about products and services, which may well be decisive in determining which firms and groups fail and which succeed. If they go unregulated, easily manipulated by whoever can afford the best search engine optimization, people may be left at the mercy of unreliable and biased sources.

We also need to get to the bottom of how some racist or anti-Semitic groups and individuals are manipulating search. We should require immutable audit logs of the data fed into algorithmic systems.Machine-learning, predictive analytics or algorithms may be too complex for a person to understand, but the data records are not.

A relatively simple set of reforms could vastly increase the ability of entities outside Google and Facebook to determine whether and how the firms results and news feeds are being manipulated. There is rarely adequate profit motive for firms themselves to do this but motivated non-governmental organizations can help them be better guardians of the public sphere.

In cases where computational reasoning behind search results really is too complex to be understood in conventional narratives or equations intelligible to humans, there is another regulatory approach available: to limit the types of information that can be provided.

Though such an approach would raise constitutional objections in the U.S., nations like France and Germany have outright banned certain Nazi sites and memorabilia. Policymakers should also closely study laws regarding incitement to genocide to develop guidelines for censoring hate speech with a clear and present danger of causing systematic slaughter or violence against vulnerable groups.

In the U.S. and elsewhere, limited annotations rights of reply could be permitted in certain instances of defamation of individuals or groups. Google continues to maintain that it doesnt want human judgment blurring the autonomy of its algorithms. But even spelling suggestions depend on human judgment, and in fact, Google developed that feature not only by means of algorithms but also through a painstaking, iterative interplay between computer science experts and human beta testers who report on their satisfaction with various results configurations.

Its true that the policy for alternative spellings can be applied generally and automatically once the testing is over, while racist and anti-Semitic sites might require fresh and independent judgment after each complaint. But that is a small price to pay for a public sphere less warped by hatred.

We should commit to educating users about the nature of search and other automated content curation and creation. Search engine users need media literacy to understand just how unreliable Google can be. But we also need vigilant regulators to protect the vulnerable and police the worst abuses. Truly accountable algorithms will only result from a team effort by theorists and practitioners, lawyers, social scientists, journalists and others. This is an urgent, global cause with committed and mobilized experts ready to help. Lets hope that both digital behemoths and their regulators are listening.

EDITORS NOTE:The WorldPost reached out to Google for comment and received the following from a Google spokesperson.

Google was built on providing people with high-quality and authoritative results for their search queries. We strive to give users a breadth of content from a variety of sources, and were committed to the principle of a free and open web. Understanding which pages on the web best answer a query is a challenging problem, and we dont always get it right.

When non-authoritative information ranks too high in our search results, we develop scalable, automated approaches to fix the problems, rather than manually removing these one-by-one. We are working on improvements to our algorithm that will help surface more high quality, credible content on the web, and well continue to improve our algorithms over time in order to tackle these challenges.

Weve received a lot of questions about Autocomplete, and we want to help people understand how it works: Autocomplete predictions are algorithmically generated based on users search activity and interests. Users search for a wide range of material on the web 15 percent of searches we see every day are new. Because of this, terms that appear in Autocomplete may be unexpected or unpleasant. We do our best to prevent offensive terms, like porn and hate speech, from appearing, but we dont always get it right. Autocomplete isnt an exact science, and were always working to improve our algorithms.

Our image search results are a reflection of content from across the web, including the frequency with which types of images appear and the way theyre described online. This means that sometimes unpleasant portrayals of subject matter online can affect what image search results appear for a given query. These results dont reflect Googles own opinions or beliefs.

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From Holocaust Denial To Hitler Admiration, Google’s Algorithm Is Dangerous – Huffington Post

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February 7, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

‘Things have changed’: White supremacists cite Trump in bomb threat targeting Muslim students – Raw Story

On Wednesday morning, two buildings at Concordia Universitys downtown campus in Montreal were evacuated after several media outlets received an email threatening to target Muslim students at the college by setting off bombs, the Montreal Gazette reported. Montreal police are investigating the matter, andpolice spokespersonBenoit Boisselle said the department does not yet know whether the threat is founded. The email making the threat was written by a group that called itself theCouncil of Conservative Citizens of Canada (C4). TheCouncil of Conservative Citizens (CCC) is a U.S.-based white supremacist group that was founded in 1985 as a spinoff of theWhite Citizens Councils of the 1950s and 1960s that fought school desegregation, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The groups mission states an opposition to all efforts to mix the races of mankind, and was describedby the Atlanticas the largest white-supremacist group in the nation. The grouphas also been active in Canadaand was cited in Dylann Roofs manifesto,the white supremacist behind the 2015 Charleston churchmassacre. This week, one of the buildings at Concordia that was targeted by the bomb threat is scheduled to hold anIslamic Awareness Week between Monday and Thursday. Theemail from the Council of Conservative Citizens of Canada included threats to detonate once per day, a small artisanal amateur explosive devices, targetingtwo floors of the Hall building and one floor of theEngineering, Computer Science and Visual Artsbuilding, both of which were evacuated on Wednesday morning. The specific locations were described in the email as where Muslims hang out, and the sender clarified that the bombs are not meant to kill anybody. The only aim is to injure some Muslim students. According to Global News, the email demands a halt of religious activities of all kinds on campus. McGill University reportedly received a similar message, according to CBC. The campuscommunity radio station at McGill University was among the media outlets to receive the letter threatening Muslim students at Concordia, CBC reported. Since we will [spread] our fight to McGill too, we at C4 decided to give you a heads up of the emergency situation at Concordia University, the email read, and was signed by an individual who self-identified as the C4co-ordinator. Things have changed, now that President Donald Trump has taken office in the U.S., according to the email. The emailcomes as101bomb threats have been recorded, targetingJewish institutions across the United States in 33 states so far. Classes at Concordia have been cancelled until 6 p.m. local time. A statement on the schools website noted, Concordia is now cooperating with police who are now on-site investigating a potential threat in these buildings. Bomb threat at a Concordia. Downtown is pretty nuts right now. Hall and EV evacuated. pic.twitter.com/W5gAh9lktf Nick Gertler (@nickgertler) March 1, 2017 See below for what appears to be a copy of the email sent by the group. Disgusting. #BombThreat #ConcordiaUniversity pic.twitter.com/vbCDTj9yFC Felicia Clemente (@feliclemente) March 1, 2017

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March 2, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

Concordia bomb threat: Who is the group purportedly behind the threat? – Globalnews.ca

Montreals Concordia University was forced to evacuate two campus buildings Wednesday after receiving a threat against Muslim students, allegedly from the Canadian chapter of a white nationalist group. Several Canadian media outlets, including Global News, received an emailed threat purportedly from the Council of Conservative Citizens of Canada (C4). This is a warning letter from the underground C4 chapter at Concordia University to all Moslem students, the letter reads. We will inform the authorities and the media about it. WATCH: Students scared after bomb threat at Concordia University The letter goes on to say that Now that President Trump is in the office south of the border, things have changed. We will not tolerate your behaviour anymore. One of our members reported her concern to the [Concordia Student Union] who didnt do anything about the Friday Prayers and the often anti-Christian and anti-Jewish speeches, reads the threat, complete with C4 letterhead. Though it remains unclear, the C4 appears to be a splinter group of one of Americas largest white supremacist groups known as the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a group that was established in the mid-1980s. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that monitors hate groups and extremists, the CCC was founded by attorney and racist activist Gordon Baum in 1985 and stemmed from the defunct group Citizens Councils of America, also known as White Citizens Councils. As the watchdog group points out, the White Citizens Councils opposed the desegregation of schools in the 50s and 60s. WATCH: Police discuss procedures taken at Concordia University following bomb threat In 2015, attention was focused on the CCC after some of the groups white supremacist propaganda was cited in Charleston, South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roofs so-called manifesto. Roof was sentenced to death earlier this year for the 2015 killing of nine members of a black church during a Bible study class. The CCC also has a Canadian connection. Paul Fromm, a former Ontario teacher, serves as the international director of the white supremacist group and is the executive director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression; a Mississauga-based group that has fought against anti-hate legislation, immigration policy and laws to protect gay rights. Fromm was removed from the classroom in 1997 and was stripped of his teaching licence in 2007 over ties to racist organizations and activities. WATCH:Bomb threat shuts down Concordia University in Montreal In todays threat against the post-secondary institute, the C4 said Until Concordia University stops religious activities of all kinds on campus, we decided the following action to show how far we are ready to go to fight Moslems. The group said it would set off small amateur explosive devices that they claimed were planted on floors in buildings where Moslems hang out. These are not meant to kill anybody. The only aim is to injure some Moslem students, reads the email from C4. Unfortunately some non-Moslems might be collateral damage. If Concordia decides to ban Moslem activities, we will deactivate the explosives. With a file from Global News reporter Nick Logan 2017Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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March 2, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

Canadian university evacuated over anti-Muslim bomb threat – WION

A bomb threat targeting Muslim students forced an evacuation of nearly 4,000 students from the downtown campus of Concordia University in Montreal. In an email to school administrators and also to local media, a group identifying itself as the “underground” chapter of C4, or the Council of Conservative Citizens of Canada, at the university directly warned “Muslim students” there it would detonate one homemade explosive a day through Friday to protest their activities. “Now that President (Donald) Trump is in office south of the border, things have changed. We will not tolerate your behaviour anymore,” the group said in its emailed letter, referring to the US president. “Until Concordia University stops religious activities of all kinds on campus, we decide the following action to show how far we are ready to go to fight Muslims,” the group vowed. Montreal police said they were investigating the “threatening email”. They swept the campus for explosives but found none. A similar threatening letter was also sent to nearby McGill University, which was put on heightened alert, but it did not specify a time or place of a possible attack. Three Concordia University buildings were evacuated just before midday, and would remain closed until around 6:00 pm (local time), Concordia spokeswoman Christine Mota said. CBC reports that by 7:00 pm (local time) all buildings at Concordia University hadreopened, and students were back inside. One of the sites was hosting an “Islam awareness week”. Quebec Universities Minister Helene David, speaking to reporters at the scene, called the threat against Muslim students “deplorable”. “We strongly denounce these attacks against a university which is a model of living together,” she said. “Quebec is an inclusive place,” the minister added. “We want to live together. We will not tolerate this kind of situation.” There has been an escalation of hate crimes in the country in recent months. In January, a white supremacist student, who “liked” Donald Trump on Facebook,shot dead six worshippers at a mosque in Quebec City. CBC reports that police constable Boisselle said investigators are now looking for the main computer which sent the threatening emails. “We don’t take anything for granted,” they quote him as saying. The report also states they will increase patrols of private security officers, as well as police, since the threatening email mentioned a 48-hour window. (With inputs from AFP)

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March 2, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

Breitbart Under Bannon: How Breitbart Became A Favorite News … – Southern Poverty Law Center

Outlinks to Breitbart steadily grew over the course of 2016 on the most prominent white supremacist websites. By late 2016, Breitbart was regularly topping outlets like the UKs Daily Mail, long favored for their sensational tabloid style reporting and breaking news, and on The Daily Stormer, the Internets premier neo-Nazi water cooler. And the extremists are thanking Bannon. Breitbart went hardcore when he was running it, Andrew Anglin, proprietor of The Daily Stormer told the hosts of Nordfront Radio, a Swedish neo-Nazi radio program, in November. It is still hardcore now. It really changed from being this kind of basic cuckservative type website to being this, I mean, the articles that they publish about blacks in America and about Muslims in Europe, its basically stuff that you would read on the Daily Stormer. Breitbart overtook the Daily Mail in July of 2015, the month that President Trump announced his bid for the presidency, as the most cited outlet by authors at the Daily Stormer. When factoring in outlinks found in the comment section of the website, it led through the 2016 presidential election. Breitbarts popularity among readers of The Daily Stormer is unsurprising given that its lineage can be traced back to the cesspool /pol/ section of 4chan, a largely unregulated imageboard well-known for its tenacious far-right population. Anglin has identified the sites /new/ section going full nazi as part of his ideological journey to neo-Nazism. 4chan regularly linked to Breitbart stories over 1,000 times a month in 2016, peaking in January after the outlets London bureau published an explosive story titled, REVEALED: 1,000+ Migrants Brawl, Rape, Sexually Assault, and Steal at One German Train Station on New Year’s Eve, describing a war-zone with migrants attacking ordinary Germans with fireworks and committing sexual assault. The story was seized upon by white nationalists around the world as evidence for their arguments against accepting refugees and immigrants into western countries. Radix Journal, Richard Spencers primary publishing organ at the time, labeled the event The Rape of Cologne. Breitbarts coverage of the tragic attacks, which did in fact involve a reported 80 victims, 35 of whom were sexually assaulted, portraying thousands of perpetrators exemplifies an editorial strategy of depicting the west as at war with radical Islam that was put in place while Bannon was at the helm of Breitbart. Breitbarts ascension hasnt been ignored by longstanding leaders on the far right who have reacted with shock at the resemblance its editorial bent has to their own. Imagine for a moment what it looks like from our perspective, Brad Griffin, proprietor of Occidental Dissent wrote. You write for a pro-White website like the Council of Conservative Citizens, AmRen, or VDARE, you have been labeled and stigmatized as an extremist, notorious racist and a member of a hate group, and when you wake up in the morning and look for the subject to write about, say a refugee rapist, you realize that it is semi-pointless because UK Daily Mail or WorldNetDaily has already covered it. What is there left to do but link to the Breitbart story? Griffin attributes this shift to a California Gold Rush of clicks that has driven journalism outlets desperate for ad revenue to look for increasingly extreme and polarizing topics to cover. Its notable that while an outlet like the Daily Mail may have initially covered the story, Griffin and his compatriots prefer the editorial styling of Breitbart. I thinkBreitbarthas had a positive impact on our culture and politics, Griffin wrote in January. It is unwittingly engaging in what I call discourse poisoning. I assume the profit motive is at work here anyway, it benefits us to erode taboos, so I dont really care how much money they make. You could also say that we can look atBreitbartas a model that those of us who are further to the Right ought to be doing instead of writing history lectures or boring essays about obscure philosophers no one cares about. James Kirkpatrick took a similar stance at VDARE last Fall, writing, The Truth: Breitbart is not extreme even the best journalism at that site just recycles the same material VDARE.com has been pushing for more than a decade. Stormfront, the extremist rights most trafficked site until last summer, also saw a shift towards Breitbart from its users. Although it never surpassed the Daily Mail, Breitbart surged beginning in July of 2015, just as it did on The Daily Stormer. While sites like YouTube, Wikipedia, and Twitter dominate Stormfront, as well as The Daily Stormer, the Daily Mail held the title of most referenced news outlet. The Daily Stormer also preferred the Daily Mail to all other news services, rounded out its top three sources with the Daily Mail and RT, the Russian governments international television network. This held true for the sites commenters as well. Bannon, who took an indefinite leave of absence on August 17, 2016, to become the CEO of the Trump presidential campaign, told a Breitbart news editor in 2014 to, Let the grassroots turn on the hate because thats the ONLY thing that will make them do their duty, referring to Republican leaders. His editorial vision demonstrably mobilized a different grassroots, one that is fighting for a white ethnostate and, in many cases, another Holocaust. Their hate is real and thriving.

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March 2, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

Report all about hating, little about facts – Dothan Eagle

The problem with President Donald Trumps claim of fake news is it is proven true over and over again. And now, our somewhat quiet and somewhat peaceful town of Eufaula has become a victim to such false reporting. On Wednesday, al.com ran with a story from Alabamas often questionable Southern Poverty Law Center, which had run with a report someone came up with despite little or no factual backing. SPLCs story should have been dismissed after its first paragraph said 2016 marked the second consecutive year of a nation-wide rise in Hate Groups and it was energized by the presidential candidacy of Trump and the radical right. Hmmm, second consecutive year? Who was responsible for 2015? Almost everyone will agree, most news outlets didnt really believe Trump would be president until he won in November. Perhaps SPLC should have pointed its fingers in a different direction, or better yet, researched the report before it began crediting Eufaula with having two of the states 27 Hate Groups. (There are supposedly 917 nation-wide.) While real Hate Groups do exist any faction of the Ku Klux Klan falls into the category I and others have asked around our lovely town and have never heard of the two groups credited with being here Occidental Dissent and Council of Conservative Citizens. One of the aforementioned groups own web site doesnt even mention Eufaula, rather Wetumpka. I guess SPLC or al.com didnt bother looking that far into the report. Meanwhile, people that actually believe what they read in the reports now think Eufaula is home to Hate Groups. Im not nave enough to think there is no place anywhere that doesnt have some hateful-minded people, but for it to be splattered about as if it is actual group or group in town is damaging to the good people of Eufaula. And I know — because Ive worked in seven states — Eufaula has more good people than most. Sure, we have radical rights and radical lefts, but this is shameful having our community perceived in such a way that is simply not true. If there is someone and his nephew calling themselves a Hate Group meeting in a shed out back, I guess SPLC can consider it an official group if it likes. But, I can guarantee you if that is indeed the case, Alabama has a whole lot more than 27 groups if that fits the criteria. However, I guess it would have to do more research and thats obviously not in this reporters criteria for putting out material. One guy told me SPLC must not have mentioned his Hate Group I Hate Hate Groups which makes it at least 28 in Alabama, or at least by SPLCs strange math. Fortunately, SPLC is hardly considered a real news organization. Therefore, Eufaula can keeps its head held high and continue to be proud to call this community home.

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February 18, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

Parks: Why don’t we call white extremists terrorists? – Charleston City Paper

Much to the chagrin of authority figures throughout my life, “because I said so” has never struck me as an adequate explanation for the big whys of this world. This need for the why led me to major in philosophy, to study how the historical trajectory of ideas shapes everything in our present, including the very language we use to describe our experiences and understand them. I obsess over words, in particular how words used by the media and those in positions of power influence the conversations of our culture at large, and often inadvertently serve as an indictment of it. Perhaps because of this, one thing that has consistently bothered me about the narrative surrounding Dylann Roof is that he has rarely been called what he is: a terrorist. Given that the conversation about terrorism in our country is increasingly focused almost exclusively on Muslims, maybe we need to ask why so many of us are hesitant to call white extremists the T-word. On February 6, the White House released a list of 78 terrorist attacks that they felt were underreported, though some included dominated the news cycle the November 2015 Paris attacks, the San Bernardino shootings, the Pulse nightclub massacre. Glaringly missing was Emanuel AME. The following day, Republican Rep. Sean Duffy appeared on CNN’s “New Day,” where host Alisyn Camerota began by questioning Trump’s assertion that media does not cover terrorist attacks. When asked why President Trump failed to mention the recent attack in Quebec in which a right-wing, anti-immigrant white man shot and killed six Muslim men at a mosque while they were praying, Duffy described the attack as a “one off,” saying that “there is a difference” between attacks committed by white extremists versus those by Muslims. Duffy went on to say that “good things” came from the the terrorist attack on Emanuel AME, citing the removal of the Confederate flag from our statehouse, an act of political expediency that should not have required the loss of nine profoundly loved, good people. It was also during this interview that Camerota asked perhaps the most pressing question relating to white extremism: “Why do you think that when it’s a white terrorist, it’s an isolated incident?” Roof admitted to first being exposed to white supremacist ideology online via the Council of Conservative Citizens, whose former webmaster, Kyle Rogers, served on the Dorchester County Republican Party’s Executive Committee from April 2013 until at least June 25, 2015, as reported by the Summerville Journal Scene. (Dorchester County Republican Party chairman Tim Higgins could not be reached via email for comment relating to Rogers’s current executive committee status.) Roof was almost immediately cast as some kind of outlier, a loner, instead of part of a white nationalist extremist faction; however, when a Muslim terrorist is self-radicalized online, media and law enforcement almost immediately seek to find a connection to a larger terror cell or network. What’s the difference? We need to question the societal implications of evaluating violent attacks committed by whites on a case-by-case basis, seeking to understand the attacker on a individual level based on their personal history and mental health, versus analyzing the violent actions of non-whites, particularly non-white Muslims, on a systematic level. We regularly label non-Christian, non-white US citizens terrorists, but rarely Christian white citizens. Do we consider the former less American? What does this say about us as a nation? A study by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism found that between 2012 and 2016, the Twitter accounts of white nationalist movements gained more than 22,000 followers, roughly a 600 percent increase, and were far less likely to be subject to account suspension than those of ISIS. White nationalism is on the rise, and to not to label white extremists terrorists perpetuates their ideology. By vilifying Muslims and wrongly portraying their entire culture as repressive, evil, against everything we stand for as Americans, are we not implicitly furthering the agenda of those like Dylann Roof, who believe that multiculturalism is destroying our country, who fail to recognize the individual humanity of people with black or brown skin, who see everything from an us-versus-them perspective, who hate anyone who is different from them? The religion, race, and nationality of violent extremists should not be the primary determining factors as to whether we label them terrorists because their goal is ultimately the same: to destroy the core values of our nation liberty, equality, diversity which, though we have historically not lived up to them, are ideals we must continue to strive for, perhaps more now than ever.

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February 15, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

Neo-Confederates Arm To Fight The South’s ‘Leftist Menace’ – Vocativ

A group of neo-Confederates whose goal is to achieve a free and independent Southern republic is militarizing in anticipation of a leftist menace that the group claims has been growing in response to the presidency of Donald Trump. The League of the South, an anti-government group of Southern secessionists, announced last week that it plans to form a Southern Defense Force to protect southerners from left-wing activists who have been wreaking havoc across the U.S. since Donald Trumps election in November. As a League member, you will have opportunities to increase your proficiency with hand-to-hand defense skills, firearms training (both pistols and long weapons), and other related skills, the organizations leader, Michael Hill, wrote in an announcement posted last Thursday on the groups website. Also, you will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other Southern warriors in an organization dedicated to the survival, well-being, and independence of the Southern people. Hill did not respond to an interview request. The League of the South has been around since the early 1990s and has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist and extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the New Black Panther Party. The organization made headlines in 2015 when the mass-murder of nine black people by white supremacist Dylann Roof at a church in South Carolina ignited a debate over whether state governments should fly the Confederate battle flag at government buildings. The League of the South, obviously, wanted the flag which they view as a symbol of southern heritage, but others see as a remnant of the souths racist history to stay. The leftist menaces specifically named in the League of the Souths call to arms are members of the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-fascist groups (Antifa) like those who rioted in Washington D.C. the day Trump was inaugurated. The organization claims that groups like these areon the march rioting, burning, and physically assaulting those with whom they disagree. They go on to say that its only a matter of time until they move from major urban areas and college/university campuses into smaller cities and towns, the suburbs, and ever [sic] some rural areas. We dare not wait to organize our defenses until they appear on our doorstep here in Dixie. The organization has attempted to militarize itself before. As the SPLC points out, the League of the South created a paramilitary unit in 2014 called the Indomitables in an effort to create another secession movement. That effort, the SPLC said, fizzled quickly. Promising increased LOS militancy has cost the group and led to faltering membership, the SPLC said. Its also seen a drop-off since the massacre in Charleston, when the League of the South defended a leader of another secessionist group, the Council of Conservative Citizens Kyle Rogers, who detractors blamed for turning Roof into a violent white nationalist in the months leading up to the June 2015 shooting. Roof never met members either group, but cited the CCC in the manifesto he posted online prior to the shooting in Roofs rant he claims he carried out the shooting to bring attention the amount of black-on-white crime that goes unreported by the mainstream media. He wrote that he first learned about it by reading articles posted on the website of the CCC. From our point of view, all Mr. Rogers has done is diligently catalog the facts about the epidemic of black-on-white violent crime in America, Hill wrote in a message posted on the Leagues website shortly after the shootings. We see this as a service that the mainstream U.S. media refuses to provide to the public, thereby endangering the lives of many innocent people.

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February 9, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

Trump’s List Of Underreported Terrorism Completely Ignores Domestic Right-Wing Extremism – Media Matters for America (blog)

Media Matters for America (blog) Trump's List Of Underreported Terrorism Completely Ignores Domestic Right-Wing Extremism Media Matters for America (blog) Wired reported that Roof searched for 'black on white crime' and ended up on the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens ' website, which The Atlantic said has its roots in an organization that aimed to be a (somewhat) more respectable …

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February 7, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed

From Holocaust Denial To Hitler Admiration, Google’s Algorithm Is Dangerous – Huffington Post

If you Google Was the Holocaust real? right now, seven out of the top 10 results will be Holocaust denial sites. If you Google Was Hitler bad?, one of the top results is an article titled, 10 Reasons Why Hitler Was One Of The Good Guys. In December, responding to weeks of criticism, Google said that it tweaked it algorithm to push down Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic sites. But now, just a month later, their fix clearly hasnt worked. In addition to hateful search results, Google has had a similar problem with its autocompletes when Google anticipates the rest of a query from its first word or two. Google autocompletes have often embodied racist and sexist stereotypes. Google image search has also generated biased results, absurdly tagging some photos of black people as gorillas. The result of these horrific search results can be deadly. Google search results reportedly helped shape the racism of Dylann Roof, who murdered nine people in a historically black South Carolina church in 2015. Roof said that when he Googled black on white crime, the first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens, which is a white supremacist organization. I have never been the same since that day, he said. And of course, in December, a Facebook-fueled fake news story about Hillary Clinton prompted a man to shoot up a pizza parlor in Washington D.C. The fake story reportedly originated in a white supremacists tweet. These terrifying acts of violence and hate are likely to continue if action isnt taken. Without a transparent curation process, the public has a hard time judging the legitimacy of online sources. In response, a growing movement of academics, journalists and technologists is calling for more algorithmic accountability from Silicon Valley giants. As algorithms take on more importance in all walks of life, they are increasingly a concern of lawmakers. Here are some steps Silicon Valley companies and legislators should take to move toward more transparency and accountability: When it comes to search results about an individual persons name, many countries have aggressively forced Google to be more careful in how it provides information. Thanks to the Court of Justice of the European Union, Europeans can now request the removal of certain search results revealing information that is inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant or excessive, unless there is a greater public interest in being able to find the information via a search on the name of the data subject. Such removals are a middle ground between information anarchy and censorship. They neither disappear information from the internet (it can be found at the original source) nor allow it to dominate the impression of the aggrieved individual. They are a kind of obscurity that lets ordinary individuals avoid having a single incident indefinitely dominate search results on his or her name. For example, a woman in Spain whose husband was murdered 20 years ago successfully forced Google Spainto take news of the murder off search results on her name. In 2004, anti-Semites boosted a Holocaust-denial site called Jewwatch into the top 10 results for the query Jew. Ironically, some of those horrified by the site may have helped by linking to it in order to criticize it. The more a site is linked to, the more prominence Googles algorithm gives it in search results. Google responded to complaints by adding a headline at the top of the page entitled An explanation of our search results. A web page linked to the headline explained why the offensive site appeared so high in the relevant rankings, thereby distancing Google from the results. The label, however, no longer appears. In Europe and many other countries, lawmakers should consider requiring such labeling in the case of obvious hate speech. To avoid mainstreaming extremism, labels may link to accounts of the history and purpose of groups with innocuous names like Council of Conservative Citizens. In the U.S., this type of regulation may be considered a form of compelled speech, barred by the First Amendment. Nevertheless, better labeling practices for food and drugs have escaped First Amendment scrutiny in the U.S., and why should information itself be different? As law professor Mark Patterson has demonstrated, many of our most important sites of commerce are markets for information: search engines are not offering products and services themselves but information about products and services, which may well be decisive in determining which firms and groups fail and which succeed. If they go unregulated, easily manipulated by whoever can afford the best search engine optimization, people may be left at the mercy of unreliable and biased sources. We also need to get to the bottom of how some racist or anti-Semitic groups and individuals are manipulating search. We should require immutable audit logs of the data fed into algorithmic systems.Machine-learning, predictive analytics or algorithms may be too complex for a person to understand, but the data records are not. A relatively simple set of reforms could vastly increase the ability of entities outside Google and Facebook to determine whether and how the firms results and news feeds are being manipulated. There is rarely adequate profit motive for firms themselves to do this but motivated non-governmental organizations can help them be better guardians of the public sphere. In cases where computational reasoning behind search results really is too complex to be understood in conventional narratives or equations intelligible to humans, there is another regulatory approach available: to limit the types of information that can be provided. Though such an approach would raise constitutional objections in the U.S., nations like France and Germany have outright banned certain Nazi sites and memorabilia. Policymakers should also closely study laws regarding incitement to genocide to develop guidelines for censoring hate speech with a clear and present danger of causing systematic slaughter or violence against vulnerable groups. In the U.S. and elsewhere, limited annotations rights of reply could be permitted in certain instances of defamation of individuals or groups. Google continues to maintain that it doesnt want human judgment blurring the autonomy of its algorithms. But even spelling suggestions depend on human judgment, and in fact, Google developed that feature not only by means of algorithms but also through a painstaking, iterative interplay between computer science experts and human beta testers who report on their satisfaction with various results configurations. Its true that the policy for alternative spellings can be applied generally and automatically once the testing is over, while racist and anti-Semitic sites might require fresh and independent judgment after each complaint. But that is a small price to pay for a public sphere less warped by hatred. We should commit to educating users about the nature of search and other automated content curation and creation. Search engine users need media literacy to understand just how unreliable Google can be. But we also need vigilant regulators to protect the vulnerable and police the worst abuses. Truly accountable algorithms will only result from a team effort by theorists and practitioners, lawyers, social scientists, journalists and others. This is an urgent, global cause with committed and mobilized experts ready to help. Lets hope that both digital behemoths and their regulators are listening. EDITORS NOTE:The WorldPost reached out to Google for comment and received the following from a Google spokesperson. Google was built on providing people with high-quality and authoritative results for their search queries. We strive to give users a breadth of content from a variety of sources, and were committed to the principle of a free and open web. Understanding which pages on the web best answer a query is a challenging problem, and we dont always get it right. When non-authoritative information ranks too high in our search results, we develop scalable, automated approaches to fix the problems, rather than manually removing these one-by-one. We are working on improvements to our algorithm that will help surface more high quality, credible content on the web, and well continue to improve our algorithms over time in order to tackle these challenges. Weve received a lot of questions about Autocomplete, and we want to help people understand how it works: Autocomplete predictions are algorithmically generated based on users search activity and interests. Users search for a wide range of material on the web 15 percent of searches we see every day are new. Because of this, terms that appear in Autocomplete may be unexpected or unpleasant. We do our best to prevent offensive terms, like porn and hate speech, from appearing, but we dont always get it right. Autocomplete isnt an exact science, and were always working to improve our algorithms. Our image search results are a reflection of content from across the web, including the frequency with which types of images appear and the way theyre described online. This means that sometimes unpleasant portrayals of subject matter online can affect what image search results appear for a given query. These results dont reflect Googles own opinions or beliefs.

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February 7, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens  Comments Closed


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