Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Google the unfriendly

Andre Damon (WSWS) reports the latest on Google censorship (hidden by their ploy to eliminate 'fake news'):

A growing number of leading left-wing websites have confirmed that their search traffic from Google has plunged in recent months, adding to evidence that Google, under the cover of a fraudulent campaign against fake news, is implementing a program of systematic and widespread censorship.
Truthout, a not-for-profit news website that focuses on political, social, and ecological developments from a left progressive standpoint, had its readership plunge by 35 percent since April. The Real News , a nonprofit video news and documentary service, has had its search traffic fall by 37 percent. Another site, Common Dreams , last week told the WSWS that its search traffic had fallen by up to 50 percent.
As extreme as these sudden drops in search traffic are, they do not equal the nearly 70 percent drop in traffic from Google seen by the WSWS.
“Something has happened with Google across the board that affects left-wing media in a big way,” said Scott LaMorte, a web developer for both Truthout and The Real News.
“This is absolutely an aberration. It’s a three-year low for both Truthout and The Real News, and likely unprecedented in the life of these organizations. Neither have previously experienced three straight months of declines as they have since May.”
“It’s not like everybody on the left suddenly changed their SEO [Search engine optimization],” LaMorte said. “I don’t think it was a change in Google’s algorithm in how they value SEO practices.”
Eric Maas, a search engine optimization consultant working in the San Francisco Bay area, said his team has surveyed a wide range of alternative news sites affected by changes in Google’s algorithms since April.  “While the update may be targeting specific site functions, there is evidence that this update is promoting only large mainstream news organizations. What I find problematic with this is that it appears that some sites have been targeted and others have not.”
“This is political censorship of the worst sort; it’s just an excuse to suppress political viewpoints,” said Robert Epstein, a former editor in chief of Psychology Today and noted expert on Google.
Epstein said that at this point, the question was whether the WSWS had been flagged specifically by human evaluators employed by the search giant, or whether those evaluators had influenced the Google Search engine to demote left-wing sites. “What you don’t know is whether this was the human evaluators who are demoting you, or whether it was the new algorithm they are training,” Epstein said.

I got Jim (THIRD) to log into THE COMMON ILLS since that's the community's most high traffic site.

What did he find?

A slight increase in traffic in the last two weeks but not from Google.  Google was the number one traffic sources.  It's now the fifth.

Jim said he's never seen it that low.

Google also appears to have reduced traffic on all terms except ISIS.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Tuesday, August 8, 2017.  Attention focuses on a bombing the killed several militia members.

14 years and counting -- how's that war on Iraq 'improving' lives?

This is how Iraqis live now.Listen to Al Sharqiya News in Iraq.

That's 'progress.'  14 years later and counting.

Does anyone remember the Iraq war and how well that worked out?

Do you remember, Val, that the Iraq War continues?

Valerie Plame was at war with her own agency.  The CIA is often at war with itself.  It's probably the only thing that's prevented its complete takeover of America.  Val stomped her feet and made a spectacle of herself.

For those who don't remember, she was outed by the administration of Bully Boy Bush.

For Val, the whole issue is Val.

She's never really been able to speak to Iraq, of the ongoing war, of the dead.

But damned if she couldn't hop in a convertible to pose for VANITY FAIR.

Vanity's not fair and Valerie Plame's self-obsession goes a long ways towards explaining why the United States is still in Iraq.

A book deal, Naomi Watts playing her in a movie, and Val's hungry ego has still not been satisfied.  Some day, it may be and she may get around to actually talking about Iraqis.

The Iraq War hasn't helped the people of Iraq.

Now it's even hurting the thugs in the militias.

Most infamous for their attacks on Sunnis and their publicly professed loyalty to Iran, Iraq's Shi'ite militias number a few less as a result of a US action.

XINHUA reports:

A paramilitary Hashd Shaabi unit said Tuesday the U.S. forces pounded its posts near the border with Syria and killed dozens of its militants, warning that the attack will not go without punishment.
The U.S. forces carried out "heavy bombardment on Monday morning on the posts of Sayyd al-Shuhadaa Brigades in Akashat area near the border with Syria, leaving large number of martyrs and wounded fighters," the unit said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.

It said that group "holds the U.S. forces the responsibility for the consequences of the action. We declare that it will not go without punishment."

AHLULBAYT NEWS AGENCY also notes the statement from the militia:

The “criminal forces” of the US heavily pounded the positions of Sayyid al-Shuhada Brigades along the common border between Iraq and Syria which led to the martyrdom and injuring of a large number of fighters, the statement said.

“We declare that this move will not go unpunished,” the statement read. 

ANADOLU AGENCY counts 30 militia members dead and eighty more injured in the bombing.  BBC NEWS also goes with 30 dead but counts eighty-five injured.

BBC also notes the denial from coalition forces that they were involved in the bombing:

Allegations of strikes vs. Popular Mobilization Forces near - border are INACCURATE. No Coalition strikes there ATT

PRESS TV adds, "In the statement, the brigades called on the Iraqi government to launch an extensive investigation into the incident, while noting that the US’ actions will not remain unanswered."

Some feel there are additional motives behind whatever happened:

And here's another view on social media:

created ISIS.US sponsors, arms, defends ISIS. US acts as ISIS's airforce, bombing anti-ISIS Iraqi Shi'a fighters

The status of the militias is being debated in Iraq.  Prime Minister Hayder al-Abadi has made them part of the military.  Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr has stated they need to be under government control or disbanded.

Among the reasons some people distrust the militias?

(A) Many have publicly stated they answer to Iran.

(B) They are known for War Crimes.


Turning to politics, last month Ammar al-Hakim left the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq to form a new party National Wisdom.  Now Ammar is stating that creating the new party does not mean leaving ISCI.  IRAN FRONT PAGE reports:

However, in an interview with the Mehr News Agency, he said the formation of the new party does not mean breaking relationship with the members of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.
“Since 2009 and after the relative failure of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq in the political arena of the country, we came to the conclusion that the structure and approaches of the council need some sort of reform in order to restore its position according to the facts in the Iraqi society,” the Iraqi politician added.
“This approach has been discussed for a long time at the higher levels of the council, but for some reasons it was not accepted by some colleagues, and finally we decided to form a new party.”
Hakim also pointed out that the management of the new conditions in which the young generation of Iraq came into existence need to be reviewed.
“We are trying to take a fresh look at how to attract more of this generation,” he added.

“There is not going to be any negative competition between us and our friends from other groups, especially in the Supreme Council. I am the same Seyyed Ammar, but we should take into consideration that getting updated in the field of political action needs change in some approaches, especially in relation to the new generation of Iraqi society,” Hakim noted.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and BLACK AGENDA REPORT -- updated:

  •  19 hours ago

  • iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq Iraq