Sunday, February 17, 2019

Facebook collars pages owned by Americans distantly connected to partly Russian funding sources, raising the ante about political website owenrship transparency

Facebook has suspended some pages run by Maffick Media, which apparently are critical of American military or foreign interventions, and associated with an American journalist Rania Khalek  and her In the Now

The reason was that some of the funding for the pages supposedly came from Russian interests, although legally (if indirectly).  CNN Business has a detailed story (and mobile summary).  Presumably Facebook might restore the pages if funding becomes more transparent.

This reminds me of the issues I had in September when I tried to have my Facebook page post about power grid security boosted (Aug 30).  Facebook said, after some convoluted attempts to use their identification procedure, that they couldn’t identify me with actual domestic advertisers, and that I should let other companies admin and sell on my page to become known – a practice that actually contributed to the October Purge 3.0!

Tim Pool’s video, above, also notes that Newsguard will not give a green rating to a site that does not make its funding sources clear to the public.
Let’s put this all together, connect the dots.  Any website that discusses political and social issues and doesn’t have obvious or transparent pay-your-own-way funding sources could eventually be de-platformed if there were enough political pressure put on web hosts or social media companies. Patronage and ad revenue (clickbait) might be acceptable if it could be easily tracked.  But such a policy could eliminate many independent web operators. 
I fund my work, in retirement, from savings accumulated for all the years I was employed (in IT).  It is funded by assets accumulated by capitalism (which I guess Ocasia-Cortez  or Umair Haque doesn’t like). There is inherited wealth, but only money in my name (and properly distributed from trusts first) is ever used.  I guess I could prove that if I had to (I’ve talked about this more on the “doaskdotellnotes” blog recently). But there is no way an external third party could know that I didn’t receive money from foreign interests, even Russia or China.  I didn’t (as far as I know).  But I can’t prove it because of it is private. (The trusts are grantor trusts, to make the tax accounting easier, but that even complicates accountability for this issue if someone wants to go fishing).

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