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Leaked Documents From Google, Pinterest Reveal Censorship of Alternative Media

Newly leaked documents from Pinterest and Google reveal ongoing efforts to censor independent media, Christian websites, and unpopular opinions. 

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Newly leaked documents from Google and Pinterest reveal ongoing efforts to censor independent media, Christian websites, and unpopular opinions.

(TMU) — As more and more Americans question the practices of tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, the topic of censorship on social media and in search results continues to be a hotly debated topic. Do these companies essentially act as publishers, and if so, should they be regulated as such? Should the government make efforts to break up the tech giants? These questions and more need answering as the public grapples with the reality that “Big Tech” is gaining more control over what we see, hear, and read while surfing the internet.

Now, more fuel has been added to the fire as the controversial conservative investigative outlet Project Veritas has released leaked documents which show Pinterest blocking links of alternative media websites and search terms related to Christianity and abortion. The apparent blacklist is part of a “porn domain block list” designed to keep the social media platform free of sexually explicit content. Veritas published the internal documents and reportedly interviewed a company insider who claimed Pinterest directly and indirectly censors content related to pro-life and Christian themes, as well as alternative health sites, and several independent news websites known for challenging the U.S. government narrative on a range of topics, including the War on Terror. These sites include ZeroHedge, The Anti-Media, NewsWars (operated by Alex Jones’ Infowars), The PedoGate, Tracking Vaccinations, and Organic Healthy Tips.

Other documents leaked to Project Veritas include a large text file titled “Sensitive Terms List” containing search terms that Pinterest considers “sensitive.” A user searching one of these “sensitive” terms will received modified search results per Pinterest internal policy. The documents note that search terms are assigned an “abusive,” “sensitive,” and “brand unsafe” value. Pinterest employees have the option to either block auto-complete results in the search bar, show the user a warning, or remove the term from recommended or trending feeds. The so-called “Sensitive Terms List” reveals that Christianity-related terms like “christian easter” and “bible verses” were marked as “brand unsafe.”

This is not the first time Pinterest made the news for censoring certain material. In February, the platform also blocked searches related to “anti-vaccination” material.

However, the company is not alone in their efforts to remove unpopular opinions and alternative media from their platforms. One day after Project Veritas‘ report, the Daily Caller reported that a whistleblower within Google leaked screenshots of two apparent blacklists of websites which are being scrubbed from the search engine’s results. The Daily Caller reviewed documents and found that employees are instructed to add the line “# REMOVE url” to ensure that a “fringe” website is removed from Google’s “featured snippets” search results. The “featured snippets” feature is responsible for finishing users sentences when they type questions into Google’s search box. The document suggests that the removal of certain websites from featured snippets is being conducted manually by a human employee rather than the result of a mistake by an algorithm or artificial intelligence.

The Caller also reports that a second blacklist, called “all_fringe_domains,” is designed to block websites labeled “fringe.” Some of the websites being blocked include “the American Spectator, Breitbart, Breaking911, the website of pastor Brian Jones, the website of Bring Your Bible to School Day, Consortium News (published by Robert Parry), St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church, speakerryan.com, The Franklin Society (a cryptocurrency blog), Free Thought Project, The Gateway Pundit, and The Gorka Briefing”.

The leaked documents reported on by the Daily Caller and Project Veritas raise a number of questions regarding how much control and influence the Big Tech giants have over public discourse. Even more worrisome is the fact that websites like the Free Thought Project, the Anti-Media, and ZeroHedge have been facing waves of censorship for over a year, with both the Anti-Media and the Free Thought Project being purged from Facebook in October 2018.

By Derrick Broze | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Adam Toledo: Chicago Police Video Shows 13-Year-Old’s Hands Were Up When Cops Shot Him

Elias Marat

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The Chicago Police Department has released gruesome footage depicting the moment that police officers fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo while his hands were up.

In new bodycam footage from the March 29 slaying, an officer pursuing Toledo can be heard shouting at the young boy to show his “f*cking hands” before shooting him a single time, leaving the boy covered in blood and gasping for air.

While the officer can be heard shouting “drop it,” the teenager appeared to have empty hands when he raised his arms in the moment before he was shot. Video also shows officers discovering a handgun near the scene.

Adam was later pronounced dead at the scene.

The video released Thursday by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability the footage from the officer who shot Toledo, along with 16 other body-warn camera video clips, two recordings of 911 calls, an incident report, and a response report, along with other materials.

The mother of Adam, Elizabeth Toledo, reported the boy one week prior to the shooting, although he did return hom on March 27 before leaving that night, reports WBEZ.  Because Adam did not have any form of identification, the family wasn’t informed by police about his death until March 31. In a GoFundMe page set up by Elizabeth, it was noted that one of Adam’s “dreams was to become a police officer.”

“It weighs heavy on our hearts to be planning our last goodbyes instead of watching him grow up and live out those dreams,” the family noted on the page.

The child has been described as having a “big imagination” and was a fan of children’s shows and zombie movies.

“Adam was really into zombies. And the zombie apocalypse. He even had this zombie apocalypse bag packed and ready to go. Some of his favorite movies and TV shows were ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,’ ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘SpongeBob SquarePants,’ ‘Toy Story,’ ‘Cars,’ ‘The Walking Dead,’” Elizabeth told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has appealed for calm over the release of the gruesome footage while businesses in the area have boarded up their windows in anticipation of large protests.

“We live in a city that is traumatized by a long history of police violence and misconduct,” the mayor told reporters. “So while we don’t have enough information to be the judge and jury of this particular situation, it is certainly understandable why so many of our residents are feeling that all too familiar surge of outrage and pain.”

The release of the video comes amid continuing anger and grief over the April 11 shooting of Daunte Wright by an officer in a Minneapolis suburb.

It also comes as authorities fear a new wave of protests as communities await the outcome of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer accused of killing George Floyd last May after kneeling on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.

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Music

Lil Nas X Song Is #1 In Saudi Arabia, Where Homosexuality Is Illegal Under Sharia Law

Elias Marat

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Lil Nas X has been on top of the world for weeks now, whether it’s living rent-free in the heads of homophobes or topping the Billboard charts after his smash hit “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” dominated playlists.

And ironically, the anthem has become the most-played song in Saudi Arabia, the conservative kingdom where open expressions of same-sex love and even private acts of gay sex are punishable by death.

The song, whose video features the artist giving Satan himself a lap dance have dominated news conversations all over the globe, smashed through to the top of the Billboard Global 200, which ranks top tracks in over 200 territories, on Monday.

According to Apple Music, the song is also leading Saudi Arabia’s top 100 charts as the most-played song in the country.

Apparently overjoyed by the ranking, Lil Nas X tweeted: “WE NUMBER 1 IN SAUDI ARABIA WTF LETS GOOOO”

The autocratic kingdom, which has long been governed by a strict yet uncodified interpretation of Sharia law, has an atrocious record on LGBTQ rights and classifies homosexuality as a variety of extremism. N many circumstances, gay sex is punishable by death.

As the Human Dignity Trust explains, “The punishment varies depending on the circumstances: married men and interfaith sex are punished with the death penalty, while non-married men are punished with flogging. Sharia law principles underpinning the criminal law in Saudi Arabia also impose strict dress codes that impact on the gender expression of transgender people.”

However, this does not mean that Saudi citizens abstain from these “illicit” acts. As one fan wrote on Twitter: Period!!!! Let’s correct the narrative about the Middle East! Shoutout Saudi Arabia.”

However, another user responded: “I lived in Saudi Arabia my whole [life] and if I come out I will literally get stoned and people will be happy about it, saying it’s a ‘narrative’ doesn’t help anyone in the contrary, the middle IS homophobic and change NEEDS to happen.”

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Corruption

Cop Who ‘Accidentally’ Killed Daunte Wright Arrested on 2nd-Degree Manslaughter Charges

Elias Marat

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The former Minnesota cop who shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old unarmed Black man, during a traffic stop will now face charges of second-degree manslaughter, a prosecutor announced on Wednesday.

The brutal killing of Wright, which comes amid the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for last May’s killing of George Floyd, threatens to spark a new round of nationwide protests against police brutality and discriminatory policing.

On Wednesday, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput confirmed that Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, would be charged.

On Wednesday morning, agents with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension arrested Potter, the bureau announced in a statement.

Potter was taken into custody in St. Paul and will be booked at Hennepin County jail.

On Tuesday, Potter resigned as demands for justice for Wright reverberated nationwide. Her resignation coincided with that of the city’s former police chief, who claims that Potter accidentally grabbed her Glock when she thought she was reaching for her Taser during the Sunday traffic stop.

Wright’s family and attorneys have rejected the claim that Wright’s death was merely the result of an “accident” and are demanding accountability and sweeping reforms of policing in Minnesota.

Potter could face up to 10 years in prison along with a $20,000 fine, per Minnesota law.

“While we appreciate that the district attorney is pursuing justice for Daunte, no conviction can give the Wright family their loved one back,” said Wright family attorney Ben Crump in a statement.

“This was no accident. This was an intentional, deliberate and unlawful use of force,” the statement added.

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