Military and Intelligence Flaunt Their Control over Internet
Reddit is one of the world’s top internet sites, with 1.2 billion visits in April 2021, making it the eighth most-visited site in the United States, ahead of Twitter, Instagram, and eBay (not to mention the mainstream media) and the 18th most-visited in the world. So why as so little attention been paid to who runs this social news aggregator? That is the question posed by Alan Macleod in an article on mintpressnews.
In 2017, Reddit appointed as its Director of Policy a foreign policy hawk from the NATO-linked Atlantic Council think tank, Jessica Ashooh. Prior to her promotion to the American social news aggregator, Ashooh was Deputy Director of the Council’s Middle East Strategy Task Force, working with and under Madeleine Albright and Stephen Hadley. Her particular focus appears to be Syria.
She has called for bombings of the country, the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad, and military support for the so-called “moderate” rebels trying to gain power. The Atlantic Council is funded by, among others, NATO, the U.S. government, other Western governments, Middle Eastern dictatorships as well as big tech companies and weapons manufacturers, Macleod points out. Before joining the Atlantic Council, Ashooh worked
for the Foreign Ministry of the United Arab Emirates.
Why was such a cheerleader for the Establishment’s war party, with no particular internet or marketing background, named a top executive of a news board that was created with a devotion to free-speech and an anti-establishment reputation? Simple — to change Reddit’s character.
It’s not the only discussion website that is staffed with intelligence hawks. In 2018, Facebook and the Atlantic Council announced a partnership for checking for misinformation, to decide which sources are “trustworthy.” And a few months ago, Facebook hired NATO press officer Ben Nimmo as its intelligence chief, while its Vice President of Global Affairs is former U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. (The man who confirmed a couple of weeks ago that former President Trump would be banned from that social network for at least two years – cf. SAS 23/21).
Then, there’s Microsoft, which has worked to install in its Edge browser a piece of software called NewsGuard, which displays little green and red badges for trustworthy and naughty news sites. Who runs NewsGuard? Former DHS Secretary, NSA Director and CIA director General Michael Hayden and former Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
And at Twitter, a senior executive responsible for Southwest Asia was outed in 2019 as an active duty officer in the British Army’s 77th Brigade, which is devoted to online operations and psychological warfare.
The transformation of Reddit, which was co-founded by the young free speech activist Aaron Swartz, is just one example of the brazenly direct takeover of media by military and intelligence agencies, along the hiring of spooks by the dozens for MSNBC, CNN, and other media, together with the deranking of alternative media, and the attacks on independent sources of news and commentary, such as substack. So much for the myth of private companies making private choices over who uses their “independent” services and for what…