For Independent Media,we know we hit a nerve when attacks against the website increases exponentially and come from a variety of directions, which is something we here at ANP have experienced over the last two weeks.
Porn spammers increased by well over 95 percent, keeping us very busy blocking, banning, and deleting throughout the days and evenings. At some points multiple threads were hit with a series of comments all in the same minute, indicating someone set off some type of bot attack against the website.
Then came the "bad browser"† attacks shown to us by Cloudfare, (kind of a default nickname for unspecified 'threats'), which shows nearly 2,500 "threats" were mitigated over the last week, with more than a thousand in a one day period. Normal numbers average about 100+ a day.
Then this morning we became aware of a different type of attack, different in the manner of it, but not the source, being big tech. We, and others, have documented the consistent censorship of Independent Media by big tech, including social media platforms, and the downranking Independent Media via search results, the demonetization of video content, the removal/blocking of prominent conservatives from search auto-populate functions..... generally anything they can do to limit exposure to any narrative other than what the preferred liberal narrative they want spread.
This morning I was contacted by a reader that sent me the following message: "Just remembered; can you get the web page changed to allow sharing the stories on at least Twitter? The format s/b as automated as possible to allow the tweet icon by each story w opening the tweet; once tweeted, close the tweet box to allow continued reading.†Thank you. I remembered because you changed the format to NOT allow tweeting the stories; so I put the news icon aside because I tweet most different stories and I had liked your company reporting."
Boy did that open a can of worms because as I explained to the reader, we never changed the format and do have share buttons, including Twitter, on every single page, right above the headline on article pages and in the top right corner of all pages, article, menu and main pages.
He thanked me, provided screen shots of what he was seeing, using his Firefox/Mozilla browser, one from the main page and one from an article page..... where no sharing icons were visible.
He also informed me he used to read and share our articles all the time, but he stopped when he thought we changed the format and removed the sharing option.†
NOTE: Word of mouth and having articles shared is critical to the health of a website, without readers spreading the truth; 1) Less people become awakened and; 2) Revenue generation decreases, making it difficult to sustain an online presence.
Since I use the icons every day to share to a few platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Google, I knew they were showing for me, so I complied with his request to show him what he was missing.
Front page share button, main page, top right:
Article page share right above the headline:
I suggested he try another browser, asking him to let me know if the icons showed then, which he agreed to do, stating "I'll try this experiment first cuz I want to be able to share ur articles; even if I ONLY use another browser for ur stuff. Thanks Susan."
While he did that, Stefan and I opened GoogleChrome and Firefox and started testing. My Firefox hasn't been updated since I stopped using it many years ago, and the icons took over a minute to load, but showed up. Stefan's research found something far different as the share buttons showed on his Google Chrome, but did not show on his Firefox browser on the front page or on article pages. The Share This option was blank.
Stefan took a step further and† did the same test over at Infowars, where the sharing options showed up in chrome, but not using his Firefox browser, as seen in the screen shot he sent with the underlying image from Chrome and the inserted image to the right, from Firefox.
(Chrome shows sharing icons, inlay of Firefox shows none)
Stefan then used his Firefox to check out other traditional media sites, such as The Hill, and all the share icons showed up immediately. Apparently it is just certain Independent Media sites that FireFox is attempting to limit the ability of users to share content from, forcing them to share manually or not at all.
By this time the reader got back with me, saying he tried Microsoft Browser, and provided another screen shot, with the sharing icons.
This observant reader then decided to try something else, and he seems to have found the culprit, which in and of itself is interesting. He then told me "WARNING: I installed a FireFox Popup Blocker a while ago. It NEVER blocked your share buttons; then all of a sudden it started to block them! I turned it off after I tested the Microsoft Browser to see if it was the culprit and sure enough; it was! I can get you data on that too if you want; but like I said IT NEVER DID THIS BEFORE."
The reason that was interesting is because the share icons are written into the template, they are not popups. Once a share icon is clicked, then a box will pop up to share, or it will open another tab, but the buttons themselves are coded into the page templates.
Apparently back in August 2017, Firefox introduced "fact-checking software backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and George Soros," to start censoring Independent Media, under the guise of fighting against "fake news," meaning any news that did not conform to the liberal media's official narrative, and it appears they are also using software, ad-ons, and plugins in a manner that helps prevent Independent Media or Alternative Media from receiving the same exposure as liberal establishment media.
Despite big techs denials it is clear they are using a variety of methods to censor conservative and Independent Media. Some methods are in-your-face blatant, with others happening behind the scenes, such as the Firefox issue detailed above, leaving Independent Media website owners blind until a reader notifies us.
We have no idea how many of our readers simply thought we removed the icons because they cannot see them to share our work and had we not been notified of the issue this morning, we would still not have even known to warn readers using Firefox that their ability to share something they may want to share, has been taken away from them by Firefox, without their permission or knowledge.
They are quite literally trying to drive Independent Media out of business.
NOTE TO READERS:†ANP Needs Your Help. With digital media revenue spiraling downward, especially hitting those in Independent Media, it has become apparent that traditional advertising simply isn't going to fully cover the costs and expenses for many smaller independent websites.
They have stepped up those attacks ahead of the midterm elections, soooo.....
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