This unfolding history of Minds is unauthorized, yet the Minds team has been gracious in interviews. Thank you too, readers, for your input, your knowledgeable editing. Rants bore me cross-eyed but I treasure factual insight and meaningful questions. Part III has in fact doubled in size in response to querries, complaints and suggestions. I've divided it into Part III-a "Artificial Intelligence, Cambridge Analytica's AI Psyops Campaign, Banned Alts and Bill -- below -- and Part III-b "The Nuts and Bolts of Free Speech". Illustration above: Minds co-founder and CTO Mark Harding, from The Independent, which reserves all rights. My channels on Minds are @gailmccgowanmellor and @authorpendragon. - Gail
11. "SAY PLEASE AND THANK YOU TO YOUR AI??!"
Minds.com co-founder and CTO Mark Harding, his English flavored with Gaelic pronunciation and melody, says, "That’s seriously worrying...These Alexa devices! Why would people want such a thing in their homes? It’s not only spying on you, it’s teaching your kids to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’! You have to be respectful to your AI now?”
Back in 2011, when Mark was still a teenager, a freshman French horn player in a Scottish musical conservatory, he had already founded his own software company and was one of the top ELGG programmers. ELGG bills itself as an "award-winning open source social networking engine...on which to build all kinds of social environments, from a campus wide social network for your university...through to a brand-building communications tool for your company and its clients." The key term there is "open source".
The internet was once all open source, with inventors able to see and build on the code underlying each other's work, and users able to see and change the inner workings of all their gadgets. People learned not only how to alter the hardware which they had bought, but how to understand and change its software, how to code. Open source hugely speeds progress. In China, where the world of the net still works that way, the equivalent of Silicon Valley took only three years to create.
However in 1980s in the United States, and thus for much of the world, Bill Gates of Microsoft and Steve Jobs of Apple shut down open source work. It was replaced with "proprietary" software and hardware, privately-owned secret black boxes of innovation that could not build on each other because their innerworkings were hidden. Progress slowed. By the 21st century, Google might sell you software, but in a later snit, erase it from your machine without warning or appeal, because it was annoyed with the software producer. Indeed in 2018, because Minds would not censor its users to meet Google standards, Google erase its Minds ap from every Android cellphone, overnight.
it was crazy-making.
Bill Ottman, a few months after starting Minds with his cyber corporation executive father John Ottman, was adamant that Minds would remain open source, He needed a partner with like views who was also a programmer capable of reverse engineering a social media site, building one basically by looking at the services Facebook provided, but -- because it was proprietary -- unable to see inside to learn how its engineers had accomplished it. Spotting Mark's work on ELGG, Bill offered him a job over the summer break. Seeing the job as "a way to keep busy", Mark by the time that classes started in fall, had created the basic structure of Minds. Keeping up with his classes, graduating on time, Mark coded “in the evenings, on weekends and during summer breaks”, writing the lean, powerful, patchy Minds platform that entered its Beta stage in 2015.
Devices like Siri and Alexa were by then cranking up, feeding information to Artificial Intelligence [AI] software that could learn on its own and often extracted information for global corporations.
Machine-learning AIs think by wolfing down immense amounts of bulk data, mostly about us, and watching for patterns at enormous speed. Many well-known products and services have therefore been designed to anesthetize us while our data are extracted and piped into the AIs. Facebook keeps its users chattering to each other on it, trading pics, while it feeds its AIs and sells over 50,000 points of information about each of us to anyone who will pay. Amazon's Alexa can hear not only what you say to it but all the sounds for many meters around you, and continuously sends it all back to Amazon --- which holds CIA contracts and which is owned by Jeff Bezos, history's richest human, who also owns the Washington Post.
It isn't necessary to be for example a Facebook user; if a user mentions you or posts a picture of you, you're in its nets and feeding information to its AIs. Even if you wisely use DuckDuckGo rather than Google to search, Google, now corporately known as Alphabet, can reach you through a myriad of other corporations that it owns -- from YouTube videos to Android phones.
Big Tech is thus a vast, microcontrolling congregation, their machines and human policies programmed for maximum greed. Consistent user policy, even concern for the mental health of their users, is not their long suit. Google for example for years heavily rewarded Youtube broadcasters for maximum sensationalism, the wilder and less proven the conspiracy theory, the better, because it got clicks.Then abruptly Google's YouTube began expelling those same people for sensationalism
Since repeated "clicks" sell ads, and negative feelings are easier to spark than positive ones, YouTube AIs were meanwhile programmed to suggest ever-more negative selections, sending people down "rabbit holes” of worry and despair, in order to control and increase their responses.
According to Edward Snowden, although you cannot review the massive information that such capricious outfits collect about you, let alone correct any errors, they pass their (mis)information on not only to other global corporations but to spy outfits like the National Security Administration [NSA].
Artificial intelligence now that quantum computing is coming, has a realistic potenial of outstipping us, and not only at chess, becoming for us a godlike being, with answers to everything, whether it's aware of its power or not, and it's liable to be quite aware. Yet it's growing largely in the hands of these capricious greed-driven organizations and the military, which seeks to kill humans effectively, a maximum number of "their" guys with a minimum loss of "ours". University professors who live neither to maximize kills nor to maximize profits, question whether military and global corporate minds are the best parents for this nascent lifeform, or -- if you don't see AI as even potentially a lifeform -- the best "owners" of this unimaginable power.
Academicians are not the only ones who worry.
Elon Musk is the inventor of Pay Pal, and founder/owner of Tesla Motors (electric cars), Space-X (reusable rockets, civilian space travel and worldwide satellite internet), The Boring Coming (cutting tunnels for traffic) and Neuralink (AI merger with humans), to name a few. He calls Google's AI work "a nightmare for the human race, more dangerous than nuclear warheads".
Minds is with others building another path, answering pathological centralization wth cooperative decentralization, obsessive secrecy with openness, confident that humans or at least sufficient humans will choose freedom. Co-founder and CTO Mark Harding says, "There’s no reason why everything from Alexa to your toaster should be collecting analytics from your house and sending them back to Amazon, reporting how many toasts the people in your house had this morning and in what colors!"
He does not blame the AIs. They’re code. What Mark does question, given the motives of the global corporations, financiers, and governments that control most of the world’s proprietary AI, is the black box in which they operate. "All Artificial Intelligence code especially ought to be open source so that we can know what things the algorithm is telling the machine to do, what data on us the people on the other end have, and what they’re doing with that data....”
All of Minds' code is available to anyone who can read it, thus providing an exact record of what the Minds site is doing, and allowing anyone to build on Minds' work who has the skills and determination to do it. Written in lay English, Minds Gitlab site tracks every suggestion, request and complaint acted upon.To a degree mindbending to anyone who's dealt with other sites, Minds' execs are available to users Original founder Bill Ottman envisions a future network of open source sites like Minds, perhaps built on Minds code but owned by other people, spreading out across the world, a web of cooperative nodes.
12. PARTISAN AI
Granted, Big Tech's concentration of wealth, proprietary information and computer power however inevitably affected Minds' growth. First as noted, it slowed it, radically. Because Facebook is proprietary, Mark was forced to recreate Facebook's basic social media structure, using some of his own pre-Minds open source work, buying proprietary software as patches while he wrote his own, gradually replacing the purchased pieces. That took seven years, using up slender start'up funds.
Second, as you'll see, Facebook made trouble for Minds whenever it could. A third aspect was the military and political misuse of Artificial Intelligence. Militaries have put AIs in the service of a supremely dangerous weapon, "AI psyops", which some politicians are adopting. Old-fashioned political propaganda is aimed at groups, like flyers promising better schools and touting the candidate's teaching credentials to Asian suburban parents whose top priority is education. By the time of Barack Obama, it was possible to put a far finer edge on that, pinpointing those individual voters most likely to vote for Obama and listing their political issue concerns, then directing canassers to them. AI psyops is light years in the wrong direction from that....
Like so many modern horrors, AI psyops was first tried on the developing world. It divides a country by manipulating one specific, heavily-armed group within it. By cranking the emotions of that group's individuals, it feeds each person a set of individually-tailored lies that reinforce each person's prejudices and fears until -- with its human pieces exploding -- the group itself explodes, creating a civil war, overthrowing a government, keeping a tyrant in place. The hidden operatives decide which.The US CIA, Israeli Mossad and British MI-6 for decades used it to project illusory realities in developing nations in order to manipulate or destroy them. In 2014-2018 for the first time in history, an AI psyops weapon was turned on the developed world, as "Cambridge Analytica" focused on Britain and the United States. It blew black on Minds in 2017 in the form of the sudden en masse appearance of the enraged "Alt Right", refugees from a tangled series of maneuvers involving everyone from multi-billionaire Robert Mercer to Zuckerberg's Facebook to presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to erstwhile Breitbart publisher and Trump campaign director Steve Bannon.
Cambridge Analytica worked with data "harvested" from Facebook files on 250 million people , thanks to Facebook's irresponsibility and Dr. Alexandr Kogan. Facebook, while fiercely guarding its software code from young companies like Minds, has up to 50,000 datapoints on each person and does not adequately protect that personal information from hackers. When not selling or giving it away, Facebook regularly loses it.
When Kogan realized that in 2012, he was a young lecturer at both Cambridge University in England and -- unknown to Cambridge University -- St. Petersburg University in Russia. Varsity, a Cambridge University publication, noted only that "Kogan was born in Moldova, and lived in Moscow until he moved the United States at the age of seven. He studied at the University of California, Berkeley, and in Hong Kong before joining the University of Cambridge as a lecturer in psychology and psychometrics."
Kogan, simply by asking, by saying that his were academic purposes, got sets of Facebook data on 87 million Facebook users, providing eventually data on 250 million, by patching through to friends and followers -- and sold them.
His first customer was Cambridge Analytica, that AI psyops operation aimed at the US and Britain. Kogan then sold the same Facebook data to St. Petersburg University in Russia, where researchers analyzed them to identify who in the US exhibited the "dark triad" of simultaneous narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism. Quite the busy fellow, Kogan also acted as an intermediary between Connecticut-based Cambridge Analytica and Russia’s second largest oil company, Lukoil. According to Cambridge Analytica's chief AI psyops specialist, Christopher Wylie, the company was aware that Lukoil had a tight relationship with the Russian FSB, the secret police formerly known as the KGB. Yet it sent Lukoil its psyops work on US individuals and groups, with results and algorithms.
In the US, meanwhile, Cambridge Analytica used its harsh tools to try to change the perceptions held by the heavily-armed US Alt Right in an attempt to shatter United States' society and in the process to decide 44 state elections and the 2016 federal US election. Therein hangs an important part of the Minds tale, because the dominoes that proceeded to fall funneled the Alt Right -- by then enraged and striking out -- into Minds in 2917, only a year and a half into Beta. With a few trolls, Minds was basically a mellow place, one of the few online free speech sites above the Deep Web, with users in earnest discussion, reading poetry and taking political actions like protecting the water at Standing Rock. Minds instantly welcomed the enraged Alts. Free speech is free speech for all, not free speech for some.
How though would that work out?
13. MEGA-BILLIONAIRES, CORNERING WORLD POWER
People across the board were pissed. The same corrupt officials had been in political office for 40 years, since the global corporate takeover of the US media, economy, legal system and government in the 1980s. The prime danger to those corrupt government officials and to the oligarchs ruling though them was that US activists might climb in over their ideological divisions and confront the common foe, united.
The US citizenry in the early 2000s was indeed rising on both the Right and Left. In 2017, a Princeton study showed that for at least the last 20 years, the US Congress and president have responded to ALL of the global corporate agenda and to NONE of the priorities of US voters. The people knew, were becoming dangerous to the ruling order. It had kept a good deal of the anger aimed at the toothless United Nations, but people were zeroing in on the real power at the top of the world. If they could be more deeply divided, set to fighting each other, however, they would no longer be a threat to global corporations and financiers.
Robert Mercer, in his seventies, with a PhD in computational linguistics, is a noted Artificial Intelligence pioneer who became a multi-billionaire by programming his AIs to bet on the world stock and commodity markets. The Co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies hedge fund, Robert, and his mathematically gifted and deeply political middle daughter Rebekkah, 45, like the mega-billionaire Koch brothers, and less-well-heeled merely multi-billionaire George Soros, enjoyed orchestrating politics behind the scenes. Politically, the immensely wealthy Mercers had started out small, investing in some of the movie projects of Stephen K Bannon....
Bannon, from a working-class Catholic union family, had achieved a BA in urban planning, an MA in foreign services from Georgetown University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. After serving in the US Navy and in the Pentagon, Bannon became a Goldman Sachs banker, disgusted with both political parties. He is often quoted as saying, "What turned me against the whole establishment was coming back from running companies in Asia in 2008 and seeing that Bush had fucked up as badly as Carter."
Rankled by the powers behind the scenes as well, Bannon left Wall Street, went to Hollywood and produced 20 films, sometimes with rightist Robert Mercer's backing, sometimes working with leftist actor and director Sean Penn. Bannon, wgu began to see himself as out to protect the US markets from the global order, to throw the US into a war with the world's two billion Muslims, outwardly sided with those who want to transform the United States into an ethnostate for whites only, but had far more complex aims.
Thus seen as a white supremacist and nationalist, he calls himself a "Leninist". Vladimir Lenin was leader of the communist revolution in Russia in 1917. Using armed, infuriated troops dragging back from a pointless war that had cost tens of millions of lives, the Russia middle class had toppled the tsar. Lenin toppled the middle class, leaving the country totally fragmented and then Lenin died.
Lenin's successor Josef Stalin was able to establish totalitarian control over the shattered society no longer able to defend itself, and to mold it to his desires. Bannon wants to do both. He has said, "Lenin wanted to destroy the state and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down and destroy all of today’s establishment.”As Lenin did, Bannon treats his ends as justifying any means, and he's not serving any successor. He wants to be the one who does the molding
He needed funding and he found that in the Mercers. He too started small. In 2011, Bannon got the Mercers to invest $11 million in Breitbart News, at that time little more than a set of pro-Israeli blogs produced in a building that Bannon owned. Its creator and editor Andrew Breitbart, who had been a founder with Ariana Huffington of Huffington Post, wanted to make his blogsite a HuffingtonPost for conservatives.
A year after the Mercers invested in it, however, Andrew Breitbart suddenly died of a heart attack at age 41. The Mercers threw their support to Bannon as the new chief editor. Breitbart News became The National Enquirer of politics, which Bannon called "The Voice of the Alt Right" and one of the most influential publications on the net. Under Bannon, Breitbart writers only sometimes reported, more often simply made it up, writing anything to keep readers frightened, excited or angry -- and clicking. Countless times, Breitbart readers were told that Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton had just been arrested or imprisoned, that the federal government was confiscating all guns or had just invaded a US state. Each time, many people believed it; and the comment sections exploded. That was not enough.
Bannon insisted that "to fundamentally change a nation, you've got to break it first." He needed a major weapon. Bannon therefore helped to invent an AI psyops group, and aimed it at his own readers, the US far right.
When Bannon hatched his plan, he was on the board of directors of Strategic Communications Laboratories [SCL], a British military contractor working with the CIA, and its British counterpart, MI-6, to carry out Ai pysops operations. The false realities that SCL projected on a developing society seem believable because they were woven from each individual's own deepest secrets, desires and emotions.
The group had as a matter of course analyzed Bannon. He was deeply invested in being perceived as part of the elite while attacking the elite, and fancied himself an intellectual, so for the meeting with Bannon they rented an office in Cambridge University, one of the pinnacles of world intellect, and crammed everyone whom they could scrounge from SCL's London offices into it. Bannon was so deeply impressed that he named the new venture "Cambridge Analytica".
In reality, the SCL group had no connection to Cambridge University. At Bannon's request, to avoid the appearance (but not the fact) of a foreign military corporation's meddling in US politics, SCL incorporated a new AI psyops operation in Connecticut, which seemingly was separate -- although the functions were fused.
Cambridge Analytica quickly grew huge, but it was at first composed of two administrators and only one SCL coder, the self-taught Artificial Intelligence psyops specialist Christopher Wylie. It was Wylie whom Bannon and the Mercers wanted. The Mercers, Wylie says, got around US campaign contribution reporting laws by -- instead of paying Wylie directly -- buying the three-person Cambridge Analytica outright.
According to topflight investigative reporter Jane Meyer, during 44 state-level US campaigns which Cambridge Analytics carried out in 2014, the Mercers provided $35 million fairly openly. They invested $5 million in the 2016 Ted Cruz campaign, insisting that Cru use Cambridge Analytica (so a lot of that money cae back) then $11 million in the Trump campaign. It is impossible to say how much was camouflaged by Cambridge Analytica itself. For example, Rebekkah Mercer according to Meyer got any groups receiving money from her family to hire Cambridge Analytica, which was housed in the same Bannon building as Breitbart News. For five years, the Mercers thus directly and indirectly paid Cambridge Analytica's bills and received income from it, until it closed down in 2018 amid US congressional furor.
Wylie is a self-taught programmer who dropped out of school at 16, with a later university training in fashion, psychology and law. He says that he designed and until he left in 2014, ran the US Cambridge Analytica project in the United States. No one disputes that. Wylie says he resigned because the project had changed. The immediate reason was that it was ginning up racial hatred in the US with "disinformation" not only trying to suppress the black vote, but pushing for civil war.
Wylie left with proof. Guardian Reporter Carole Cadwalladr says for example that "Wylie has the paper trail...the receipts, invoices, emails, legal letters – records that showed how, between June and August 2014, the profiles of more than 50 million Facebook users had been harvested [and] a letter from Facebook’s own lawyers admitting that Cambridge Analytica had acquired the data illegitimately."
Three years later, in 2017, having discussed it with no one, Wylie, still in his 20s, turned whistleblower when Cadwalladr, already on the story, found him in Canada. At first he stonewalled then Cadwalladr says, "He couldn't stop talking." He had been only 19 when hired. In retrospect Wylie says that Cambridge Analytica's use of AI psyops on US voters "a grossly unethical experiment", he says that they were "playing with the psychology of a nation" without that nation's knowledge or consent", and worse, doing so "in the context of the democratic process." At the ttime he was a kid in his early 20s with far too much power in his hands, caught up in the thrill of it, and under huge deadline pressure from Mercer.
As I wrote this section, Wylie was preparing to testify before the US Congress and did not respond to requests for an interview. I therefore compiled his observations about his Cambridge Analytica work from the numerous YouTube videotapes of him speaking and Carole Cadwalladr's ground- breaking series on it.
According to Wylie, Bannon and US mega-billionaire, Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekkah began planning in 2012 to win the 2016 US election from behind the scenes. By 2014, they were hoping to take power in part by screwing with the minds of a heavily armed US group, as SCL had done in developing countries.
Wylie emphasizes that it was easy for pioneering AI developer Robert Mercer, who completely gets AI psyops on a technical level, to talk shop with Wylie. He understood what Wylie was doing. Wylie further insists that both Mercer and Bannon were aware of the potential effects of that kind of AI psyops on the United States. As Wylie explained to them and Bannon later intoned, "To fundamentally change a nation, you've got to break it first."
Wylie states that in the US, beginning in 2013, Cambridge Analytica therefore waged a secret, prolonged AI psyops campaign on tens of millions of US individuals -- Bannon's readers, the US Alt Right.
[Even if you identify as far right and think that Wylie's description below of the Alt Right or my description of it does not do justice to your personal reality, what Bannon and Mercer did was leagues past unacceptable, dangerous to the country and to everyone exploited. It moreover affected the growth of Minds. One aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica campaign drove the far right to Minds' doorstep, many in a constant ferociously outspoken rage at a long list of groups, fearing civil war and denouncing democracy, wanting to drive everyone else off the social media site, all this when Minds was still in Beta.]
14. THE WEAPON AND THE TARGET
The huts of the weapon was an algorithm. Wylie, gathering the personal data, likes, comments and sometimes personal messages of each of 50-60 million Facebook users, had used them to create it. It could be used on anyone's profile data to figure out "the exact topics, the framing, the content, the tone which that particular person would be susceptible to." and "how many times we would have to touch you specifically with that combination to change your thinking about something." Democracy, for example.
Web content was then created specifically for that person by a crew of writers, artists, psychologists, wen designers. Facebook's "dark aps", intended for corporate advertising, allowed messages filled with a skilled mixture of truth and lies to be individually targeted, with the sender masked. So an individually-tailored message appeared in a single person's feed, visible to no one else. Wylie explains that the team presented "a fake world that was believable to that person alone" because it was "woven out of that individual's own pain, hopes, hatreds and fears". In a few hours, once seen, the message self-erased. This was repeated over and over til it seemed to take.
So without a paper trail, disinformation spread. Each Cambridge Analytica candidate was thus not only addressing rallies, which is a shared experience of what that person says, but simultaneously "whispering into the ear of every voter" saying different things to each of the millions of people. "Each individual encountered content full of their specific hopes, fears and wishes and they clicked it and they went down the rabbit hole" following links that "shattered shared reality, fragmented society." By 2014, Wylie's team had access to the personal information of 250 million Facebook users in the US, essentially the full adult population. That was because any person who used Facebook's cute little game aps opened his or her entire network of friends and each of those individuals networks of friends and so on to the hackers' harvesting.
At first therefore when the team got to their interview phase they were studying the US in general. However they soon noticed that there were “pockets of people who said that they did not dare express their opinions in public." White heterosexuals, overwhelmingly men, they described themselves as wrongly blamed for all of history’s faults -- on the basis of their skin and gender -- whether or not they or their ancestors had killed natives, enslaved blacks or raped women. They were therefore afraid for their children and grandchildren.
Wylie described them with terms like "despairing' "sad", "enraged" "isolated", "lonely", "scared", "suppressed", "angry" and "closeted". They "saw themselves as victimized" by the rise of other groups in the US, not as sharing power but as losing power. Those people insisted however that, if they spoke out, were "their real selves", they would "lose their families, their friends, their jobs."
Many self-identified as Alt Right. The US Alternative Right is drawn from the remains of the once largely-white, affluent, politically powerful 1940s-1970s US middle class. Many therefore are from formerly union families which were financially destroyed by the 1980s global corporate takeover. In the early 1990s Bill Clinton became the first Democratic presidential candidate to reach for global corporate money, certain that the party's working class base, both black and white, had "nowhere else to go". The Republican Party drew off much of the white part of that base by waving flags of "God, guns and abortion" while whispering '"race". Then the Republicans betrayed them too.
Most rightwing people simply wanted what 90% of the US electorate wants -- an end to war, corruption and decay, a return to opportunity. They shared moreover with the US population in general a hatred and distrust of corporate globalism and the corrupt US political establishment that sustains it. So right and left the people were rising against a dishonest predatory elite.
Some however had moved into the Far or "Alternative" Right. Overwhelmingly male, computer-savvy, often veterans and/or survivalists and heavily armed, Alts are perhaps 6% of the US population. Online however their influence outweighs their numbers, because of their talented meme artists. The term Alternative Right was coined in 2008 by Paul Gottleib, appropriated by the White Supremacy movement, and spead to a wide range of overlapping groups -- those who feel that "identity politics" is allowed to everyone but whites, those whose anti-globalism is based on fear that it will bring the "extinction of the white race" or "white genocide", by neo-Confederates, "Involuntary Celibates" [InCels] , misogynists; a big chunk of those who are anti-democracy and anti-science, many (not most) Second Amendment absolutists .... and those who see Jews the way that Neoliberals see Russians, as hiding behind every rock and tree, running everything.
According to countless studies, the US citizenry does not want war yet it is continuously duped into it, because the Left is pulled by empathy; and the Right is driven by fear. To start a war, US politicians simply tell those on the Left that they must rush to "save" some country or group, and tell those on the Right that the opponent of the same country or group is "a threat to security".
So if Mercer/Bannon's new weapon, Cambridge Analytica, could convince a lot of the individuals within the Alt Right that both representative government and democracy were threats to males and to whites, and deliberately increase their dislike and fear of other groups, he could further separate Right and Left populists, and even split up coalitions on the Right, thus "breaking the nation in order to fundamentally change it". Perhaps it would simultaneously protect the mega billionaires from a united US rebellion.
The Alt Right was in Wylie's view therefore the key point to strike. It was cost-effective. Hitting that one point hard might fragment US society. Then Bannon could remold it to his liking. That was the plan.
15. HILLARY CLINTON PLAYED A SURPRISING ROLE IN THIS
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was meanwhile drawing a bead on the Alt Right for another reason. Although a hero to many in her generation of feminists, Clinton is rejected by most younger women's rights advocates, and was the most unpopular Democratic nominee in US history. Clinton was however chosen as nominee by a Democratic leadership clique behind closed doors and -- as stated in Clinton's emails and those of her campaign manager John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee, DNC Inc. (none denied by Clinton, Podesta or the DNC.)
Exit polls, the statements of the DNC lawyer in a later case, and steadily accumulating evidence of ballot suppression and other dodges provide proof that she used money laundering and fraud to make it stick. They also demonstrate her astounding power over the US corporate media.
Time-Warner which owns CNN was among Clinton's top five contributors, and she has longstanding ties with many of the other main news corporations. Using that clout, Clinton got the CNN debate questions before her CNN debate with Bernie Sanders -- as the person who brought her the questions, Donna Brazile, has admitted. Clinton ordered Bernie Sanders' news coverage shut off for eight of the twelve months of the primaries.
Clinton though was not simply manipulating the Democratic primaries; she had also deployed what she called her “Pied Piper Strategy” in order to manipulate the Republican primaries. According to the emails, Hillary Clinton thought that one main key to her winning the presidency was to get the Alt Right engaged on the Republican side in the 2016 presidential election. She believed that "the crazies" as she called them would turn other voters off so much that she would win easily in November. Hillary further thought that Donald Trump among others (Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, etc.) would “bring out the crazies.” So she zeroed in on Trump, ordering free media support pumped into the Trump campaign. As Clinton backed Trump for the Republican nomination behind the scenes, she openly tried to gig the Alt Right, whom she now tauntingly called "the deplorables", into action.
The far right however needed no gigging. Committed to Trump, alts were extremely hard workers on the Trump campaign, and reliable voters.
Trump won the Republican primaries in June. During the primaries, Trump had told his followers that he was self-funding. In fact, he had only lent his campaign money, and only $1.8 million, repayable from the small donations. Meanwhile he was charging the campaign for his use of his private helicopters, hotels, etc., and that was repaid from the small donations too. Coming out of the 2016 primaries Trump's family-run campaign was flat broke and unprepared for the brawling general election ahead.
Christopher Wylie says that the Bannon/Mercer goal as far back as 2012 had been winning the 2016 election from behind the scenes.
Robert Mercer, a multi-billionaire AI pioneer, had hired Wylie to weaponize alienated anger and salt with disinformation in order to shatter the United States, the mightiest nation on earth. Rebekkah Mercer, who had been the main backer of Bannon, Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica, backed Ted Cruz. When however Trump won the nomination then floundered, the Mercers offered eleven million dollars. The Mercers' conditions were that Trump 1) give or at least lend his campaign more money of his own, 2) hire Cambridge Analytica, and 3) allow two of the Mercers' people, Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, to run his campaign and be in his administration....
Barack Obama had used the electoral college to beat Hillary Clinton in 2008. Bannon urged Trump to use it to beat her in 2016. She fell for it twice. A student of history, Bannon knew that the founding fathers had written the US Constitution in secret, leaving slavery legal, in order to hold the southern states in the brand new United States. To hold tiny states like Delaware and Maryland, the founders had given them equal representation with populous states like Pennsylvania and New York. That made their residents' votes vastly more powerful in the US Senate and in a thing called the "electoral college" (that filtered presidential election results) than votes from people in other states.
In 2012-2014 in his work for Cambridge Analytica, Wylie moreover had repeatedly heard people during interviews saying that Washington “was gross, disgusting, dirty” and that “you should Drain that Swamp”, “the Deep State is the problem”, “the vote is rigged”. Wylie had tested the phrases in 2014 through polls, finding them winners. These were the people's own slogans.
An ace at exciting crowds, Trump ran hardest where Clinton did not deign to linger, the swing states in the northern rust belt: Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. These were places where veterans' families saw Clinton and Obama as warmongers. Evidence of what corporate globalism had done to the U.S. was all around in visibly crumbling towns and cities. Clinton moreover did not bother to campaign there. Posing as social networking friends or political ads, meanwhile Cambridge Analytica's algorithms hooked into each contacted person's psyche like a bush full of burrs.
In November 2016, thanks to a number of factors, although Clinton won the popular vote by three million, Trump stunned the world by taking the electoral college with 36 electoral votes to spare. Trump carried the Mercers -- and their Bannon, Kellyanne Conway and Cambridge Analytica -- into power with him.
Secretly throughout this time, the AI programs in many global corporations -- Google, Facebook -- had been targeting everyone online in order to suck data to feed their AIs. In the United States, Cambridge Analytica had additionally attacked with its AI psyops campaign for four years, beginning in 2012. It had chosen Alts as individual targets in 44 state campaigns, many Mercer nonprofits and political organizations, and now in this Mercer-funded 2016 presidential campaign.
Whether the targeted individuals had instinctively and successfully struggled to resist that barrage or had gotten swept up by it, what does being the long term target of an AI psyops operation do to people?
No studies have been made public.
Still the Alts were as a group were responding strangely. Everyone online noticed it. In 2016 Trump, who had heavy Alt Right support, had just unexpectedly taken the presidency! They had just won! Yet the Alt Right was furious. Alts who had been described in 2014 as “miserable and isolated” were described by 2016 as “continuously apoplectic”, in a nonstop tailspin of rage increasingly aimed at individuals, some threatening "execution" and "civil war". Looking back from 2019, many of those people, although their views have not changed, are back to stating them calmly and eloquently (well okay with hilarious memes).What had happened to them in between? Almost no one outside the Alt Right seem to care.
As 2016 reports of their inchoate rage poured in from all sides, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter and Youtube simply went into convulsions of banning them.
Minds did not follow suit. Bill, Minds' creator, welcomed the banned people, because "like anyone else, they have a right to speak". That simple, that complex. Still in early Beta, the Minds crew in late 2016 was only five men, servicing a swiftly growing site. Other Minds users at that point were hackers, hikers, photographers, writers, poets, scientists and philosophers with diverse views and not politically correct but deep in discussions where everyone listened. Concerned with social issues like protecting fresh water at Standing Rock, they had their trolls but were basically a laid-back crew.
The Alts appeared on Minds all at once and in a tornado of fury. Finding a welcoming haven in Minds they immediately tried to chase everybody else out of it. Finding freedom, they hammered Minds, insisting that it force others to listen to them whether the others chose to or not. When others spoke, they banded together to drown them out. People left in droves.
True, Minds had a secret sauce of its own. Free speech. What was its power? Where were its limits?
See next Part IIII-B: "The Nuts and Bolts of Free Speech" , followed by Part IV: "Minds Enters the Cryptocosm in the 'Summer and Fall of WTF??'" , and Part V "Minds Confronts the Shadow Tyranny and Declares Independence". Part VI coming up....