Now Facebook Serves NATO's Needs

Authored by Bryan MacDonald, op-ed via RT.com,

Facebook has engaged a think tank funded by weapons manufacturers, branches of the US military and Middle-Eastern monarchies to safeguard the democratic process. It's akin to hiring arsonists to run the fire brigade.

If Facebook truly wanted to “protect democracy and elections worldwide,” it would build a broad coalition of experts and activists from a wide and disparate range of the countries it serves. Instead, the American social media giant has outsourced the task to NATO’s propaganda wing.

For the uninitiated, the Atlantic Council serves as the American-led alliance’s chief advocacy group. And its methods are rather simple: it grants stipends and faux academic titles to various activists that align with NATO’s agenda. Thus, lobbyists become “fellows” and “experts,”while the enterprise constructs a neutral sheen, which is rarely (if ever) challenged by Western media outlets – often reliant on its employees for easy comment and free op-eds.

While that has always been ethically questionable, Facebook’s latest move, given its effective monopoly position, is far more sinister. Because it is now tied to a “think tank” which has proposed terrorist attacks in Russia and has demanded Russian-funded news outlets be forced to register as “foreign agents” in the United States.

Make no mistake: this is a dream scenario for NATO and those who depend on it for their livelihoods and status. Because the Atlantic Council is now perfectly positioned to be the tail wagging the Facebook dog in the information space.

Fresh hell

On Thursday, the social network announced how it was “excited to launch a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, which has a stellar reputation looking at innovative solutions to hard problems.” It then added that “experts” from the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRL) will liaise closely with Facebook’s “security, policy and product teams” to offer “real-time insights and updates on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns from around the world.”

Now, this sort of talk would be fine if Facebook had assembled a diverse group, comprised of stakeholders from a wide range of democracies. But, by selecting a clearly biased actor to police “misinformation and foreign interference” during “elections and other highly sensitive moments” and also work to “help educate citizens as well as civil society,” Mark Zuckerberg’s team has essentially made their company a tool of the US military agenda.

Just look at who funds the Atlantic Council: donors include military contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon, all of whom directly profit from tensions with powers like Russia and China. Meanwhile, in addition to NATO itself, there are also payments made by the US State Department, along with bungs from the US Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines.

Other major paymasters include the government of the United Arab Emirates, which is, of course, an absolute monarchy. And more UAE cash comes via the Abu Dhabi state oil company and Crescent Petroleum. Not to be outdone, Morocco, again not noted for its freedoms, also throws significant coin into the bucket.

Clear bias

And here’s the absurdity inherent in Facebook’s approach. It has essentially handed over control to activists who are funded by enemies of democracy and entities which benefit from stirring up hysteria about malevolent external influence in Western elections. Not forgetting, naturally, how the US itself has been, by some distance, the biggest election meddler around.

What’s more, the paucity of Western media coverage of Thursday’s announcement is alarming, because big-hitters like CNN, the Washington Post, BBC and the New York Times (who all frequently use Atlantic Council lobbyists as guests, “experts” or analysts) more-or-less ignored the story. And the outlets who have covered it, such as CNET and The Hill, failed to reference the think tank’s agenda. Notably, influential media journal Adweek even began its report with a description of the lobby group as “non-partisan.” 

Now, if you are sitting in Washington, non-partisan may mean supporting neither the Democratic or Republican parties, but in the rest of the world, the Atlantic Council is clearly factional. Because it exists to promote, via NATO, US foreign policy objectives, particularly in Europe.

And, let’s be clear, without Moscow as an enemy, NATO ceases to exist. Which means smearing Russia is an existential matter for the Atlantic Council.

As a result, Facebook’s new partners bear a vested interest in creating the impression that Moscow is interfering in Western elections. Indeed, given the platform’s penetration rates in the country itself, they now also have the power to potentially meddle in Russia’s own polls. This hasn’t been lost on officials in Moscow who appeared alarmed at the development on Friday.

As for why the Atlantic Council was chosen? Well, only last month Mark Zuckerberg was the subject of an intense grillingat the US House of Representatives. And what better way to assuage the Washington establishment’s fears than to employ workers from NATO’s own propaganda adjunct as fact-checkers?

Comments

a Smudge by an… GreatUncle Mon, 05/21/2018 - 05:21 Permalink

This is like falling off a bridge. Given as many of us saw the danger coming a long time ago, but it's like Zuck went from this innocent looking youngster to Lord Voldemort overnight. Suddenly he's jumped into politics with both feet. He went from "hey I love everybody I'm here to help" to I RUN YOUR WORLD MUA HA HA HA HA!

AFAIC facebook just committed corporate hara-kiri. Ritual suicide. It will take a while for all that inertia (read stupid people) to dissipate but the one thing these morons can't do is force people to participate on their platforms. The eyeballs are leaving. Young people regard it with all the glamor of the clap.

Zuck is the man that killed his own golden egg laying goose. What a turkey.

In reply to by GreatUncle

NidStyles a Smudge by an… Mon, 05/21/2018 - 06:56 Permalink

Zuckman hates me more than you can believe. He actually had me barred from his site for the longest time. 

 

However, I think he’s realized I am more rational than the alternative such as Anglin. Speaking of Anglin, hey douche quit trying to sabotage legitimate businesses because they support homeless people. I’d appreciate it if you’d quit using my colors and imagery as well, but everyone knows you’re a tool.

There’s nothing wrong and I agree about Tomi Lauren. Great example of good breeding.

 

 

Everyone knows that Zuck isn’t Voldemort. The guy called Voldemort by the Dumbledore Army actually is a poster here on Zerohedge.

In reply to by a Smudge by an…

BritBob Mon, 05/21/2018 - 05:12 Permalink

Didn't Russia invade Georgia and the Ukraine?  Just ask the Baltic States if they feel threatened by Russia...

Why does NATO threaten Russia. 

a Smudge by an… Obamanism666 Mon, 05/21/2018 - 05:42 Permalink

We need look for no other motive than the massive, massive profit this gains our MIC. Plus it seems like we have to resort to some extremes to keep NATO together.

It's really curious how this is all repeating a historic cycle of things falling apart right in Constantinople. I mean Istanbul. Or Ankara these days. Truly this is where East meets West. Turkey has a foot in both worlds and it can't shift from this position. To pick up a foot in one place means you get subsumed by the other.

Unwisely, the West and the USA in particular has always treated Turkey like the bastard red haired stepchild. Like the junior partner. It was always gonna be Turkey that led the fracturing of NATO.

Word  up to NATO now? TICK TOCK MOTHER F*CKER.

In reply to by Obamanism666

a Smudge by an… WTFUD Mon, 05/21/2018 - 05:55 Permalink

Them and pretty much the whole of Western Europe lols. Right into England's green and pleasant land. That's always been the comedy at play here. Given as it would punish Russia's economy hard if Putin were to simply turn off the valves but hey, THEY AIN'T GONNA FREEZE TO DEATH ARE THEY?

Hey, think Windsor Palace is cold in the winter now? They would have to move the royal court to Bermuda. Smart move hodling onto those remaining colonies Your Majesty.

In reply to by WTFUD

WTFUD Mon, 05/21/2018 - 05:20 Permalink

How Repugnant!

The Nazi-Neocon Party aka The Atlantic Council was obviously the Price Facebook had to pay to dampen Deep State's IRE with them. Foisted upon them and in turn hastening Facebook's demise.

Zuckerberk is obviously on Meds in taking this decision (again, even though he ultimately had no choice with Al-CIAd'uh calling the shots ).

BrownCoat WTFUD Mon, 05/21/2018 - 07:55 Permalink

"in turn hastening Facebook's demise"

Wishful thinking. FB satisfies a need for people to stay in touch with friends and family. (Postal services satisfied that function for centuries.) FB surveillance also satisfies a need for the Deep State.

FB may be an evil monopoly, but it will remain a fixture in society for a long time to come.

In reply to by WTFUD

a Smudge by an… MARDUKTA Mon, 05/21/2018 - 06:02 Permalink

Hey what about the Zen patriot approach of letting them hang themselves? Even that's a bit dramatic. Zuck and his platform will slowly just fizzle out and get replaced by whatever.

What has more staying power is the Google ecosystem. They have this entrenched hardware base going. Historically the best search engine, they now have tipped their hand too. As they now attempt to "filter fake news", they literally shift traffic off their platform. That's their core product. OOPS.

In reply to by MARDUKTA

Golden Showers Mon, 05/21/2018 - 08:06 Permalink

Has any one here read the Wikipedia article about Zerohedge?

This is not off topic.

Take a look see: Take a shot, smoke a blunt, have a laugh. I've got two words for you: Hee Haw!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hee_Haw

Zerohedge is almost, almost like MaximumRocknroll from the day. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximumrocknroll

Facebook is the centerfold of propaganda alive and well today up in your face book. You've come a long way, baby!

Facebook is what you read at church on Sunday morning. It's bible study. Hence the book in your face. Face Book because you read a book in your face. Your primer. Your little Dick and Jane Diana Moon Glampers handicaper general to make you equal kind of shit. Harrison Bergeron kinda shit. Facebook is a reward program offering content. Facebook is a clinical trial on you. Facebook is a double blind placebo study of your reward circuit that influences you. Facebook gets you to give a little bit to get you to give more. Facebook is a parasite you sign up to get.

Facebook is the extention of cointelpro, project paperclip, sociology, public relations, the frankfurt school, newspeak, mkultra, and the old catholic confessional booth in one handy package.

Not only do you inform on yourself but you inform on your friends, your "social network", your family. Obviously someone decided it was a waste of time to have a secret police when it was easier to have a camera and microphone in every house just like in 1984 or THX 1138. You are the dead. Remain exactly where you are and make no move until you are ordered. Or was that F451?

The dystopian timelines are so vast, human paranoia is so precise and cutting we can't tell fact from fiction. Is this because we have so much more information? More truth? More lies? Let me explain something. Now, I'm just a drunk fuck, but a long time ago people figured out you cannot make any more truth than the truth. What you can do is make a whole lot of lies. So one has to eventually come to a fork in the road. Where am I aligned? Do I want to know the truth, or am I satisfied with a bunch of fucking lies I don't have to categorize? We talk about "the Big Lie"... any lie is a big lie. Every small lie is a big lie. That's the truth about lies. You see? The calculus of logic, reason, epistomology, morality, ethics is not an ideology. It is a science of truth vs untruth. The only thing one can credit Facebook for is wasting time because it isn't a machine for truth and transparency. Facebook is an obfuscation. It's a psyop.

Truth is inviolable. Truth is the way. Although an organization or several create a million untruths and encourage these woodpaths, it has never changed the truth. Don't tell me shit about truth and fact being different. That's the first argument. The first thing anyone does is challenge your perception. They say you're biased. That's fair. If you are biased for truth and facts, well, God help you. The wonderful thing about truth is that there is only one of it.

smacker Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:04 Permalink

What is it about these Slimebergs and their friends.

They start life as an independent business, ostensibly with a legitimate business model.

They somehow manipulate events to become big dominant players in their field.

And then suddenly and quietly they become organs of the Almighty State, spying on their clients and pulling the rug from under the very people who pay them money.

Exactly the same thing happened to Micro$oft and Goolag.

All of them are in bed with the security and alphabet agencies of state.

Moribundus Mon, 05/21/2018 - 11:34 Permalink

it is clear that US government spent lot more tax payers money than just 700 mills on Voice of Amerika. Hypokratical criticism of Russia with poor RT is funny