George Soros’s hedge fund, Soros Fund Management, bought stakes in Netflix and Google’s holding company, Alphabet, in the third quarter of 2016 according to a November 14 report by MarketWatch last year. Soros also liquidated shares of Disney and General Motors in the same period.
Both Google and Netflix have engaged in recent censorship of information and engaged in propaganda campaigns to support various government initiatives. The timing of these campaigns to promote disinformation is concerning considering his new investments.
I. Google has engaged in censorship of political news concerning the 2017 French Presidential Elections
On February 6th, 2017, Google News Lab announced CrossCheck, a new project aimed at fighting so-called “fake news” prior to the French presidential election as a collaborative effort between journalists, newsrooms, and social media companies alike. What CrossCheck appears to be is a function that has taken the liberty of appointing various groups to collaboratively decide what is true or false in real-time. Google called CrossCheck “a coalition news verification project”. The announcement claims journalists in France and abroad will be involved, with their goal being:
“. . . to find and verify content circulating publicly online, whether it is photographs, videos, memes, comment threads and news sites. CrossCheck partners will make use of the collective reporting in their own articles, television programs and social media content.”
CrossCheck’s rollout is suspicious given that it comes at time where French conservative outsider candidate Marine Le Pen has surged ahead in polls and some of her opponents have been hit with political scandals.
Almost twenty radio, television, and online news/media outlets have already joined the seemingly leviathan effort to ensure “. . . hoaxes, rumours and false claims are swiftly debunked, and misleading or confusing stories are accurately reported.” Among these groups is New York City based Buzzfeed News, the self-described “social news and entertainment company” who recently came under heavy fire for publishing an unverified and fabricated document about President Donald Trump shortly before his inauguration. Buzzfeed’s involvement alone is enough to raise questions about the merits of the entire project.
II. Soros invested Netflix has begun to engage in propaganda Efforts
George Soros’s new stake in Netflix is equally concerning. Netflix’s audience is incredibly broad, reaching a total of 86.7 million people in the third quarter of 2016. Numbers outside the United States have exploded in the past few years thanks to Netflix’s global expansion strategy. About 37.7 percent of Netflix’s subscribers are estimated to be located outside of the U.S.
Last September, Netflix ran a documentary about the Syrian White Helmets. The documentary portrayed the group as selfless heroes. However, research by Disobedient Media has indicated that the group is a propaganda tool, have been involved in numerous war crimes and has members who have appear to be fighters of various militia groups with in Syria. The willingness of Netflix to engage in distribution of propaganda supporting government initiatives raises questions about how George Soros is using his new influence with the company.
Netflix has also recently come on under fire for their announcement of a new TV series, “Dear White People.” The rollout prompted accusations of racism and propaganda online.
George Soros has faced recent international backlash against his Open Society Foundation. Most recently, Macedonia has taken steps investigate and resist Soros aligned NGOs while Hungary has entirely banned the Foundation and other related NGOs from the country. The central reason for the investigations and expulsions in both states was Soros’s purported role in meddling with national elections and improperly seeking to influence public opinion.