I stumbled across an article in my newsfeed a few minutes ago titled “Julian Assange Says Clinton Campaign Manager Podesta Had 7,300 Child Porn Images”, from an outlet called Hub Pages. The article, archived here, does not have a visible social media share tally or a page view count so I can’t comment on how much it’s been circulated, but I can’t be the only one whose newsfeed it wound up on.
To support its central claim, this clickbait article cited a tweet from the Twitter handle @Real_Assange, which as of this writing currently has 2,541 retweets and 3,467 likes.
@Real_Assange is deliberately set up to be indistinguishable from @JulianAssange, which is Assange’s actual Twitter account, complete with the same profile pic, the same page banner, the same bio, and the same absence of a blue checkmark badge indicating that the account has been verified by Twitter staff as the authentic account of a high-profile user. Twitter reports that it authenticates accounts which are “determined to be an account of public interest. Typically this includes accounts maintained by users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas.”
Whatever your opinion of him and his work, Julian Assange is indisputably a character of high public interest in many of those fields. @JulianAssange has been independently confirmed to belong to Assange by the verified WikiLeaks Twitter account, and Twitter themselves openly acknowledged that they are aware that @JulianAssange is Assange’s account. They know it’s him, they simply refuse to verify him. And to this day they refuse to make any public statement as to why.
@Real_Assange – which tweets talking points more in alignment with a garden variety Trump supporter than the nuanced anti-establishment ideas put forward in Assange’s real account – is not the only Assange impostor. There’s also @JulianAssange_ , which currently has nearly as many followers as the real account, as well as many other lower-profile variations on Assange’s name. These fake accounts are routinely mistaken for the real one by casual social media users due to the lack any verified Julian Assange account existing on Twitter. This causes confusion, obfuscates Assange’s voice, and interferes with his ability to get his message out to people who’d like to hear it.
The most damaging aspect of Twitter’s refusal to verify Assange’s account, however, is that it greatly impedes his ability to amass followers. Without doing some research it can be hard for a casual user to know which account is the real one if they’re not dissuaded altogether by the lack of a verification badge, and, more importantly, people who are likely to be interested in following Assange don’t receive notifications suggesting him as a follow.
So Twitter is knowingly putting its foot on the brakes of Assange’s Twitter presence, which is a politically biased action just as outrageous as if they’d refused to verify a world-famous liberal or conservative pundit or politician. You will never, ever see Twitter refusing to verify a popular pundit from MSNBC or Fox, though, or any other powerful media corporation that toes the establishment line.
What makes this even more unacceptable are the types of accounts that Twitter does validate. I’m not just talking about how they’ll verify a nobody media consultant in LA or some schmuck who came in ninth on Survivor a decade ago, but about the fact that they’ll even verify a blatant, deceitful war psy-op posing as a child’s Twitter account.
@AlabedBana, unlike @JulianAssange, is unquestionably fake, and is unquestionably malignant. The little girl desperately pleading for NATO forces to invade Syria and overthrow Assad in tweet after tweet since the account was first created in September of last year does not speak English and is far too young to have a grasp of the complex military and geopolitical ideas she promulgates. Neocon war propaganda operation Bellingcat has tried to dismiss these undeniable accusations by arguing that since the @AlabedBana page says “Account managed by mom” in its bio, nothing nefarious or deceitful is happening with the account; her mom writes the tweets and is forthcoming about it.
Which could sound plausible, if the account weren’t also full of videos of the little girl reciting clearly-scripted lines in English, and if she hadn’t been made to appear in a fake war propaganda “interview” on CNN with the despicable Alisyn Camerota.
Please watch the above video if you have time. Listen to her sound out the script syllable-by-syllable, and listen to the very adult concepts she’s using. Watch how her eyes move back and forth. She’s plainly sounding out words from a teleprompter, or at best reciting from rote memory while doing weird things with her eyes. Most disturbing of all, of course, is the fact that Alisyn Camerota has the other half of the script they’re using. Again, this little girl does not speak English, so Camerota was necessarily also working with a script in order to know when to ask what questions. Watch the following short video, please:
CNN would then go on to use the intensely manipulative footage from this fake, scripted war propaganda video to shut down any dissent against further US military involvement in Syria:
So that’s clearly a vile, disgusting lie in which a little girl is exploited to help manufacture consent for more slaughter in Syria. They can’t just come right out and say they want regime change to shore up the hegemony of the US power establishment in the region, so they make it about children instead.
Twitter verified that. They’ll tell their users to trust a blatant war psy-op but they won’t verify someone who tries to wage peace using truth. Classy.
Could this perhaps have something to do with WikiLeaks’ Saudi Cables releases? And perhaps maybe the fact that Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal is Twitter’s second-biggest shareholder? It’s hard to know, but we can be sure that if someone powerful at Twitter wanted to hide leaked evidence of establishment crimes and offenses from the public, minimizing Assange’s visibility would be a great way to do that. Personally, I just know it’s gross.