Tag Archives: greenwald

The Secret Playbook of Social Media Censors

February 26, 2014

Source: Washington’s Blog

The “Counter Reset”

Glenn Greenwald’s piece on manipulation of the Internet by intelligence agencies gives examples – based upon documents leaked by Edward Snowden – of how governments disrupt social media websites.

Other whistleblowers have provided very specific information about how agents disrupt social media news sites.

This essay will focus one specific technique: the “Counter Reset”.

To explain the Counter Reset technique, we have to understand the concepts of “momentum” and “social proof”.

Specifically, the government spends a great deal of manpower and money to monitor which stories, memes and social movements are developing the momentum to actually pose a threat to the status quo.  For example, the Federal Reserve, PentagonDepartment of Homeland Security, and other agencies all monitor social media for stories critical of their agencies … or the government in general.   Other governments – and private corporations – do the same thing.


Because a story gaining momentum ranks high on social media sites.  So it has a high probability of bursting into popular awareness, destroying the secrecy which allows corruption, and becoming a real challenge to the powers-that-be.

“Social proof” is a related concept.  Social proof is the well-known principle stating that people will believe something ifmost other people believe it. And see this.  In other words, most people have a herd instinct, so if a story ranks highly, more people are likely to believe it and be influenced by it.

That is why vested interests go to great lengths – using computer power and human resources – to monitor social media momentum.   If a story critical of one of these powerful entities is gaining momentum, they will go to great lengths to kill its momentum, and destroy the social proof which comes with alot of upvotes, likes or recommendations in social media.

They may choose to flood social media with comments supporting the entities, using armies of sock puppets, i.e. fake social media identities. See thisthisthisthis and this. Or moderators at the social media sites themselves can justcensor the stories.

Or they can be more sneaky … and do a Counter Reset to destroy momentum.

Giving specific examples will illustrate the technique.   Reddit moderators have continuously reset the counter over the last couple of days on the new Greenwald/Snowden story, to destroy momentum which would otherwise have guaranteed that the story was the top story.

Similarly, the owners of popular Youtube channels have repeatedly reported that Counter Resets are done on their most controversial news stories.

The attractiveness of the Counter Reset from a moderator’s perspective is that it destroys momentum, while leaving some plausible deniability.

If users point out that the story keeps getting spiked, the moderator can say that it hasn’t been censored, but instead that the moderators have allowed it to stay up (with periodic Counter Resets along the way).

Alternatively – if the moderators have continuously deleted the story each time it is posted – the moderators can say that it has been posted “numerous times”, and pretend that shows that they are letting the story gather momentum, when they are in fact deleting it again and again.  For example, when hundreds of Redditors complained yesterday that the Greenwald/Snowden story kept getting deleted, moderators chimed in on every thread proclaiming that the story had run multiple times … without admitting that it had been deleted each time.

Now that you know about the Counter Reset, watch your favorite social media sites to see how this technique is used for the hardest-hitting stories and videos which directly challenge the legitimacy of the powers-that-be.


What is Greenwald Covering Up?


Got this email from Forbidden Knowledge TV, take a look, what do you think?

Dear Andy,  

This second pilot edition of Boiling Frogs 
Post Roundtable expands on the background 
information discussed in a short clip by 
James Corbett which I sent earlier this 
Sibel Edmonds is a former FBI translator 
who was fired in March 2002, after accusing 
the FBI of deliberately suppressing and 
endangering national security, which later 
gained her awards and fame as a whistleblower. 
Edmonds testified before the 9/11 Commission, 
but her testimony was excluded from the 
official 9/11 Commission Report.
She is the founder of the National Security 
Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC) and Editor 
of her website, BoilingFrogsPost.com, where 
she has recently raised questions about the 
extremely slow release of the Snowden 
Corbett, along with Sibel Edmonds and 
Guillermo Jimenez discuss the controversy 
surrounding the $250 million dollar media 
venture between Glenn Greenwald and eBay 
Chairman, Pierre Omidyar. PayPal, a 
subsidiary of eBay has vocally supported 
and materially enabled illegal NSA activities.
They discuss the glacial pace at which the 
Snowden documents are being released, in 
the name of mutli-million-dollar profits and 
Edmonds is still waiting for a response to an 
open letter to Snowden, as to whether he 
condones the manner with which the 
documents he obtained at the risk of his own 
life have been handled (if, indeed his story is 
all that it has been purported to be, of which 
she has expressed some doubt) and whether 
he is receiving his fair “cut” from these 
astronomical deals.
For this, Edmonds, a longtime supporter of 
Greenwald’s crusade against the lapdog, 
propagandist and criminal mainstream media 
has found herself savaged by extremely 
unseemly tweets from Greenwald, and his 
emailed response to her perfectly reasonable 
questions were, quote: “Go away, bitch!”
Greenwald’s reactions demonstrate a complete 
breaking from rank among dissident journalists 
and whistleblowers – besides demonstrating 
immense misogyny. Greenwald’s unwarranted 
and absurd assaults against Edmonds truly beg 
askance as to his ultimate motivations.
At this juncture, it sure looks, walks and talks 
like an NSA buy-out of the data dump – probably 
the most legally prudent option for Greenwald – 
lest he become another Julian Assange or 
Chelsea Manning.
The Snowden documents are considered by 
the US to be stolen Government Property. 
Constitutional Law would argue that this 
property was, in turn illegally stolen from 
the People of the US – who unwittingly 
funded the NSA’s illegal activities, therefore, 
it legally belongs to the American People.
As a Constitutional Lawyer, I’m sure 
Greenwald has studied the situation and 
become convinced that this illegally-acquired 
cache is salable. But if this $250 million dollar 
Omidyar deal actually represents an NSA 
buy-out and a blockade of the information 
obtained, on pain of death by a recipient of 
the Sam Adams Award for integrity and 
ethics by the intelligence community; if it 
is a betrayal of Ed Snowden’s alleged 
intentions and his sacrifice, that will feltch 
beyond human comprehension. We’re 
watching and waiting…tapping our little 
toes, over here, Mr. Greenwald. 
Video (almost 60 mins): 
– Alexandra 
P.S. Please share Forbidden Knowledge TV emails
and videos with your friends and colleagues  
by using the “Forward to a Friend” link within this 
newsletter, below. 
That’s how we grow. Thanks.
Alexandra Bruce Publisher, ForbiddenKnowledgeTV.com 
Daily Videos from the Edges of Science Buy Books by Alexandra Bruce