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Facebook HAS been filtering out left-wing news. Is it time to check your settings? 

Facebook: presumably, all the silhouetted people here have been cut off from the left-wing news-related articles they wanted to read and are wandering aimlessly in search of them. Isn’t it time this interference was ended?

The social media platform Facebook has confirmed that it knowingly changed its news algorithms to filter out sites like Vox Political from your feeds.

The claim is that this was in response to pressure from right-wingers who claimed that they were being victimised.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, Mark Zuckerberg.

This lopsided treatment appears to have continued: SKWAWKBOX readers have reported posts they have shared disappearing from their newsfeeds, ‘see first’ settings disappearing in spite of repeated attempts to prioritise the page’s updates and other anomalies when they try to view or share news.

If you get your links to articles by This Site, or Skwawkbox, or The Canary, or any of the other left-wing sites via Facebook, it seems now would be a good time to check that the system hasn’t messed with your preference settings.

Alternatively, why not cut out the middle man altogether?

In the right-hand column of this page (if you’re using a computer) there’s a section marked “SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL”. It’s easy to use and won’t take more than a minute of your time.

Then you can be sure of receiving the articles you want to see. Isn’t that better than letting some faceless Facebook fascist separate you from what you want to see?

Source: Confirmed: Facebook changed its system to filter out left news from user feeds while leaving right untouched – SKWAWKBOX

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Libellous news articles reveal Labour is running a hate campaign against Vox Political

Keir Starmer: he seems to be conducting a war against This Site and others like it. Let’s put a stop to it.

One would imagine that, faced with a legal battle that it is unlikely to win, any organisation would back away from further antagonising the opposing side.

Not so with Labour!

Despite facing court proceedings for breach of contract over the way the party accused This Writer of anti-Semitism and expelled me from the party – a case it is almost certain to lose – it seems Labour is waging a hate campaign against me and This Site.

I read about it in a paper!

In its piece Labour suspends Brighton councillor over alleged antisemitism, The Guardian refers to Labour’s decision to suspend the party membership of Anne Pissaridou, over alleged anti-Semitic content.

Yes, it says “alleged” – but the article is clearly intended to give the impression that the pieces she shared on Facebook are anti-Semitic.

It continues: “Labour’s inquiry will also focus on a second post from August 2018 on a website run by Mike Sivier, who was expelled from Labour in the same year after he allegedly refused to undertake antisemitism training.

“The headline of that post said: “Jewish Israeli journalist claims pro-Israel propagandists have ‘taken out contract’ to stop Jeremy Corbyn being elected.””

Apparently the party’s compliance unit received the complaint the previous week.

For clarity, anyone reading my article will see that it consists mostly of quotes from a piece by a highly-respected, award-winning Jewish Israeli journalist, Gideon Levy, supporting Jeremy Corbyn as a potential future prime minister of the UK (it was published in 2018). There isn’t a scrap of anti-Semitism in it.

The Guardian piece, of course, fails to include a link to my article, thus depriving readers of the opportunity to judge for themselves.

Here’s a link to it. If you use it, you will see that Mr Levy was arguing that it is Israel’s aggression against Palestinians that is enflaming anti-Jewish sentiment across the world, and that Corbyn was right to speak up against it. The attempt to use the article as an example of anti-Semitism is an example of exactly the kind of behaviour it highlights: “the gagging, in the form of labeling any criticism as anti-Semitism, is outrageous”.

It is outrageous.

I have written to The Guardian, at first simply asking why I had not been offered the right of reply to the allegation made against me. The response has been unsatisfactory so I have now demanded a full retraction and apology. Otherwise I will consider my options.

And those options are likely to have serious repercussions for the newspaper. Remember that court case? I’m taking Labour to court at Bristol Civil Justice Centre on October 2, starting at 10am – for breach of contract. The party broke its own rules by mishandling accusations of anti-Semitism against me, in order to have an excuse to expel me. The evidence is very clear and I do not expect to lose.

If I win, then any news organisation publishing the lie that I am anti-Semitic in any way will be in a highly actionable position.

That includes the Brighton and Hove News, from which the Guardian piece seems to have been copied verbatim, on the very same day. Odd, that.

So I would like to appeal for anybody who has been accused of sharing anti-Semitic articles because they have shared pieces from This Site to contact me with information about these accusations. Let’s put this in front of a judge as soon as we can.

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Vox Political writer mentioned in Graun piece on anti-Semitism – where’s my right of reply?

Keir Starmer: he’s clueless about anti-Semitism, as this latest debacle demonstrates.

This is pathetic from the Guardian – and the Labour Party.

It seems a councillor in Brighton and Hove has been suspended by the Labour Party for sharing Facebook posts “promoting alleged anti-Jewish conspiracy theories” – including one on This Site.

The article states:

Labour’s inquiry will also focus on a second post from August 2018 on a website run by Mike Sivier, who was expelled from Labour in the same year after he allegedly refused to undertake antisemitism training.

The headline of that post said: “Jewish Israeli journalist claims pro-Israel propagandists have ‘taken out contract’ to stop Jeremy Corbyn being elected.”

I was not contacted for comment on this, despite the fact that it clearly concerns me and implies that I have been spreading anti-Semitism.

The article – if either of the reporters on this piece (Henry McDonald and Jessica Elgot) had bothered to visit it – quotes the highly-respected award-winning (and occasionally controversial) Jewish journalist Gideon Levy, demonstrating that former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had support among Jews at a time when many – including high-profile members of the Labour Party itself – were claiming he was an anti-Semite.

As Mr Levy is himself Jewish, it could be argued that attacks on his article – or mine that quotes it – are themselves anti-Semitic, by alleging anti-Jewish behaviour by someone who is himself a Jew.

Regarding my own circumstances, regular readers will know it is true that I was expelled from Labour in November 2013, but not because I refused to undertake anti-Semitism training.

The expulsion was based on false accusations by people who had selectively quoted from my articles in order to present a false impression of my views.

There was a hearing involving a tribunal of Labour’s National Constitutional Committee that was nothing short of a kangaroo court; my own evidence was ignored and it was clear to me that the tribunal members had made up their minds before even arriving at the hearing.

I have therefore launched a legal action against the Labour Party – for breach of contract – with the case to be heard at Bristol Civil Justice Centre on October 2.

Guardian reporters are certainly invited to attend, where I expect to win my case.

If I do, it will have a significant impact on perception of the Labour Party’s attitude to allegations of anti-Semitism – and, I hope, to the reporting of this issue in rags like the Graun.

In the meantime, I have contacted The Guardian and expect the newspaper to make an offer of restitution in the near future.

Otherwise it seems I may be forced to consider even more litigation.

Source: Labour suspends Brighton councillor over alleged antisemitism | Politics | The Guardian

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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After the report, the backlash: Facebook bans posts on Vox Political page due to vexatious complaint

In context: The image that Facebook said showed support for “dangerous individuals or organisations”. Do you think that’s what it does?

This is utterly despicable.

After This Site’s article on the Labour Party’s 851-page report into the way anti-Semitism complaints weren’t investigated by a right-wing team – whose factional opoposition of Jeremy Corbyn led them to do nothing in a bid to make him look incompetent, Facebook has banned This Writer from posting on the Vox Political page hosted by that platform.

But get this – it isn’t because of the link to my article about the Labour report. No, it’s because someone complained about an article I published nearly four years ago.

I received the following message today:

“You can’t post or comment for 30 days
“This is because you previously posted something that didn’t follow our Community Standards.

“Vox Political
“14 September 2016 ·

“Suspension of Attlee’s nephew proves Labour’s ‘compliance team’ does not understand satire http://wp.me/p4Sru1-6AR

How we make decisions

“We use either technology or a review team to remove anything that doesn’t follow our standards as quickly as possible.

“We use the same Community Standards around the world for everyone on Facebook.

“Different regions of the world have their own review teams trained on the standards.

“We don’t allow symbols, praise or support of dangerous individuals or organisations on Facebook.

“We define dangerous as things such as:

• Terrorist activity
• Organised hate
• Mass or serial murder
• Human trafficking
• Organised violence or criminal activity

“Because your post goes against our Community Standards on dangerous individuals and organisations, only people who manage Vox Political can see it.

Accept Decision
“You won’t be able to request a review and we’ll update other people who manage Vox Political.

Disagree with decision
“We use your feedback to make improvements on future decisions.

“We usually offer the chance to request a review, and follow up if we got decisions wrong.

“We have fewer reviewers available at the moment because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We’re trying hard to prioritise reviewing content with the most potential for harm.

“This means we may not be able to follow up with you, but your feedback will help us do better in the future.

Thank you for understanding.

I didn’t understand – and I told them so in no uncertain terms:

“Your Community Standards system has stopped working properly.

“Its team has banned me from posting on my page Vox Political because of a link I posted on September 14, 2016: : Suspension of Attlee’s nephew proves Labour’s ‘compliance team’ does not understand satire http://wp.me/p4Sru1-6AR

“I believe the decision was based on the image accompanying the link, which was the image that had led to Clement Attlee’s nephew’s suspension. If I am right then it shows your community standards team has no understanding of satire either.

“The claim is that, in posting it, I am showing praise for dangerous individuals or organisations but this is nonsense.

“The image is a commentary on then-UK prime minister David Cameron. It depicts him as Adolf Hitler, and quotes Hitler saying the best way to remove people’s rights is piecemeal, because then they do not realise their rights have been removed until the time they could successfully get them back is long past. It was a comment on Mr Cameron’s policies at the time and was an expression of opposition to those policies – not of support for either him or Hitler (who I suspect was the “dangerous individual or organisation” implied in your notice banning me from posting.

“I supply a screenshot of the image, in its place in the article. Clearly your Community Standards team never bothered to visit the article or read it, as this would have made the matter perfectly clear.

“Please restore my ability to post to my page IMMEDIATELY and explain why you allow your Community Standards team to ban people from posting on their pages on the basis of such poor evidence-gathering, which is utterly unacceptable from an organisation that claims to act responsibly.

“As the article that appears to have caused the offence is now nearly four years old, I am guessing that Facebook must have received a complaint about it. Who issued that complaint? Will you be taking action against them, or at least refusing to accept any further vexatious complaints from them?”

I note that Labour’s report (The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014-2019) states on page 847: “Currently, half of all antisemitism complaints the Labour Party receives come from one individual, who is trawling social media for evidence.”

I wonder if the complaint to Facebook originated with the same individual.

Interestingly, Labour’s report appears to describe this individual as one “who is highly abusive towards Party staff and Party members and submits large numbers of poorly formatted and poorly evidenced complaints”. The report’s author then tries to make it seem praiseworthy that Labour is giving such a deranged individual the time of day.

If the complaints are similar to this, both Labour and Facebook should not only refuse to countenance any further correspondence from this individual, but should name and shame that person – to ensure they cannot spread their poison any further.

Who is it, Labour? Who is it, Facebook? Tell us now.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Website whitewash of Cornwall Job Centres is a bad joke for anyone using them

The facts: This graffiti was not painted outside a Cornwall Job Centre but it does accurately describe the way Universal Credit sufferers feel about it.

Vulnerable people in Cornwall were likely to be left reeling in disbelief at the glowing terms in which a web news service has described their local Job Centre.

Is this an outlier of the campaign that saw the free Metro newspaper run a huge – and hugely expensive to the taxpayer – propaganda campaign on Universal Credit over the summer?

The plan – before it was outed by This Site, among many others – was to present the propaganda as a series of news stories, with nothing to indicate that the Department for Work and Pensions was responsible.

It didn’t work.

And the backlash led to revelations that the DWP had been filling local news outlets with similar disinformation, intended to brainwash people into thinking that the overwhelming disaster we call Universal Credit is somehow a good thing.

Judge for yourself whether the article in Cornwall Live is news or propaganda. It states:

“The Jobcentre is the only government department you can come in off the street without an appointment.”

Really? This Writer cannot recall the last time I attended a Job Centre without an appointment – or accompanied anybody else who didn’t have one.

“Services users – known these days as customers rather than benefit seekers – have a set appointment to suit their needs and are met with smiling greeting staff. Waiting times are no more than a few minutes.”

Because “smiling” staff have an opportunity to cancel anybody’s claim if they are late by even a moment?

“Anyone coming through the doors will be met by staff on the ground floor who will help people sign up for Universal Credit or help them find employment but upstairs is another floor with capacity to increase the number of work coaches if required or host job fairs, events and seminars and courses.”

Are people claiming sickness or disability benefit required to attend appointments upstairs? And is there a lift?

“[Jamie Dean, Jobcentre customer service manager for Devon and Cornwall District, said:] ‘Universal Credit is so much better than the previous claim systems. It’s the Facebook of the benefits world. It moves it to the 21st century.'”

Does this mean it stops people seeing the information they want, while trying to take money off them at every opportunity?

“Mr Dean believes the fit-to-work agenda is one that has attracted the wrong kind of headlines when people who claimed to be invalidated off work were seen kite surfing in the Caribbean.”

This reinforces the false claim that people claiming sickness and disability benefits are “shirkers” who have nothing wrong with them.

“But not all disabilities are physical. Mental health, depression, stress can all affect a person’s ability to work.”

And mental illnesses are not taken into account when judging a person’s eligibility for sickness and/or disability benefits. There is no place for them on the computerised, tick-box, point-based system that has been used by the DWP – in the face of the evidence that it is wrong – for many years.

This nonsense goes on and on. Click on the link and scroll down, and you’ll see that it is full of disinformation about the Tory government’s broken-down system.

I have a doubt about this feature. I doubt that staff members at Cornwall Live had anything to do with it beyond putting it on a page.

It looks like an advertorial for the DWP in Cornwall, put together by the DWP to create a false impression of the work it carries out.

I see no information to show this.

It seems a referral to the Advertising Standards Authority may be in order.

Source: Inside the Cornwall Jobcentre and the impact of Universal Credit – Cornwall Live

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Tories accused of changing BBC headline to mislead the public. Quelle surprise!


It is remarkable that the Conservative government felt the need to ‘doctor’ a BBC News article, apparently because it wasn’t complimentary enough.

The BBC, as we all know, might as well changes its name to “Conservative Party Propaganda Unit”. You only have to look at Fiona Bruce’s sickening fawning towards Brandon Lewis on Question Time to see that.

But altering a news story to present a false impression to the public is unforgivable.

This is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.

But then, the Conservatives are led by a known liar – Boris Johnson.

Interestingly, the lie was perpetrated on Facebook, which has an ongoing drive to eliminate ‘fake news’ – headed by former Liberal Democrat leader (and Coalition collaborator with the Tories) Nick Clegg. Will he penalise his former colleagues? Will he even notice what they’ve done?

You cannot expect better from these people – but you can certainly count on matters becoming worse.

The Conservative Party has been accused of running “misleading” adverts on Facebook after appearing to manipulate a BBC News article to promote Boris Johnson’s education policy.

Adverts paid for by the party featured an article on school funding that had had its headline altered to read “£14 billion pound cash boost for schools”. The original article was headlined “School spending: Multi-billion pound cash boost announced”.

The £14bn figure used by No 10 has been criticised because it relates to the combined spending increase across several years, rather than per year.

Source: Tories accused of running ‘misleading’ Facebook advert after altering BBC headline about Boris Johnson’s education policy | The Independent

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Will Johnson really have the guts to resign? It could land him with a criminal record…

Racist and sexist: Boris Johnson.

Current speculation that Boris Johnson may resign as prime minister could be more than a little premature as his position as prime minister may be all that’s keeping him from a criminal conviction.

BoJob was rightly pulled up short during Prime Minister’s Questions last week, when Sikh MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi took him to task over his 2018 Daily Telegraph column comparing Muslim women with “bank robbers” and “letterboxes”.

He said: “For those of us who from a young age have had to endure and face up to being called names such as towel-head, or Taliban, or coming from bongo-bongo land, we can fully appreciate the hurt and pain of already vulnerable Muslim women when they are described as looking like bank robbers and letterboxes.

“Rather than hide behind sham and whitewash investigations, when will the prime minister finally apologise for his derogatory and racist remarks?”

BoJob dodged the issue, of course.

But there is a case to answer.

According to the Public Order Act 1986, “A person who … displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, is guilty of an offence if … having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby.”

Anybody found guilty of such a crime could face up to seven years in prison.

I mention this because we know from monitoring group Tell Mama that anti-Muslim hate crime increased by 375 per cent in the week after Boris Johnson’s article was published.

It was a rise from eight incidents the previous week to 38. Of the 38 anti-Muslim hate incidents, 22 were directed at Muslim women who wore the niqab, or face veil.

The group recorded a total of 57 incidents in the three weeks following the publication of the column by the former foreign secretary and current prime minister, 32 of which were directed at Muslim women.

It said that between August 5 and 29, 2018, 42 per cent of the street-based incidents reported to Tell Mama directly referenced Johnson and the language used in his column.

I’m no lawyer but that evidence seems conclusive to me!

I look forward to the day BoJob comes out of the cabinet to face prosecution on that basis.

Source: Boris Johnson urged to apologise for ‘derogatory and racist’ letterboxes article | Politics | The Guardian

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Boris Johnson prompted a surge in racist and sexist attacks. He has to go

Racist and sexist: Boris Johnson.

Evidence from the monitoring group Tell Mama shows that Boris Johnson is a sexist and a racist who promotes sectarian violence against people of other religions.

This is the man who is trying to take the UK out of the European Union in such a way that he will be able to strip rights from particular sections of society and persecute as he pleases.

We know he is capable of it because we have witnessed the persecution of the sick and disabled, with thousands of people having their benefits withdrawn for no good reason, driving them to poverty and death.

Who knows what Dictator Johnson would do to other minority groups, given the chance?

He has to go. The sooner, the better.

Hopefully events in Westminster over the next few days will eject him.

If not, then we must find ways to push him out.

Boris Johnson’s comments on women wearing the veil led to a surge in anti-Muslim attacks and incidents of abuse, the monitoring group Tell Mama has said.

In its annual report, the group said [a] significant spike occurred in August [2018] after Johnson wrote a column referring to veiled Muslim women as “letterboxes” and “bank robbers”.

In the week following that article, Tell Mama said anti-Muslim incidents increased by 375% – from eight incidents the previous week, to 38 in the following.

Of the 38 anti-Muslim hate incidents, 22 were directed at Muslim women who wore the niqab, or face veil.

The group recorded a total of 57 incidents in the three weeks following the publication of the column by the former foreign secretary and current prime minister, 32 of which were directed at Muslim women. It said that between 5 and 29 August, 42% of the street-based incidents reported to Tell Mama directly referenced Johnson and the language used in his column.

Source: Boris Johnson’s burqa comments ‘led to surge in anti-Muslim attacks’ | Politics | The Guardian

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Don’t believe the lie: UK can NOT have 10 years’ free trade with EU post-Brexit

Here’s a nasty little lie somebody’s been putting about:

I hope you haven’t been gullible enough to believe it.

Chances are that you might have been fooled if you read Politico

… or The Express

… or listen to Jacob Rees-Mogg.

It refers to Article XXIV of the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which you can read here.

The suggestion is that trading terms at the formation of a customs union between two territories, or during an interim period prior to the introduction of such a union, may not be higher than previously existed between those countries, and that there must be a plan to form a full customs union within “a reasonable length of time”.

How that translates into saying that the EU must offer the UK continued free trade for at least 10 years is anybody’s guess!

I think The Independent was right when it said the people coming forward with this nonsense had got it backwards:

“Trade experts say this covers the circumstances of two countries forming a new trade agreement, not of them leaving one. And they insist that those who cite it as a reason why nothing has to change on trade after Brexit are labouring under a gross misunderstanding of the rule.

“’The idea that Article XXIV…somehow obliges the EU to continue providing the full benefits of the single market for the next ten years, or even allows the UK to unilaterally offer the EU (and no one else) market access is preposterous,’ says Dmitry Grozoubinski, a former Australian trade negotiator.

“In any case the overriding concern of industry resulting from a no-deal Brexit is not actually tariffs but the negative impact of border checks resulting from leaving the EU’s customs union and single market.”

So if anybody tries to tell you that a “no deal” Brexit is no problem because free trade will continue, you tell them they’re either fatally weak-minded or a damned liar.

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