Saturday, January 20, 2018

Facebook & Google Promise Congress They’ll Brainwash You With Their Own ‘Counter Propaganda’

Tech giants Facebook, Google and Twitter testified to Congress this week about extremist content appearing on their platforms. In an odd admission, the companies promised to suppress extremist ideologies online by distributing their own “counter-propaganda.”

Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management told Congress on Wednesday that the site plans to take matters into their own hands.

“We believe that a key part of combating extremism is preventing recruitment by disrupting the underlying ideologies that drive people to commit acts of violence. That’s why we support a variety of counterspeech efforts,” Bickert said.

Meanwhile, representatives from Google admitted during the testimony that they use an algorithm to send anti-terror messages to people who they suspect of viewing seditious material. The use of this algorithm is known as the “Redirect Method,” and was developed by a team at Google called the Jigsaw research group

Juniper Downs, YouTube’s head of public policy, also said that the company has plans to implement censorship on videos that they deem to be extremist.

“Our advances in machine learning let us now take down nearly 70% of violent extremism content within 8 hours of upload and nearly half of it in 2 hours,” Downs bragged during the testimony.

Meanwhile, Twitter has set up over 100 “training events” all over the world including at elite locations like the White House or United Nations.

Twitter’s Carlos Monje Jr., director of public policy and philanthropy in the U.S. and Canada, said the company has participated in more than 100 training events since 2015 on countering extremist content.

While countering terrorism is certainly a noble cause, as TFTP has reported at length, these tactics are also used to snub out peaceful views that simply challenge the status quo.

In recent months, social media organizations have come under fire for the negative impact that they have had on human interactions and society at large. These groups have taken the blame for the recent divisions that have been tearing friends and family apart along political lines, and that blame is well placed for the most part.

Much of this problem has been created by the algorithms that curate and select the content that we see online, not the platforms themselves. These problems did not exist when social media had free-flowing timelines that were unrestricted and in chronological order. Unfortunately, these companies do not want to give up the control they have on the content that you consume, so they are doubling down on their algorithms and will undoubtedly make the problems that they seek to solve much worse.

As we also reported this week, YouTube alienated a large portion of its audience this week by demonetizing all of their smaller content creators. In an email sent out to millions of independent artists, musicians, and journalists, YouTube informed them that they were no longer eligible for advertising revenue on the site because their channels were simply not big enough. The site now requires a minimum of 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of viewed content, automatically disqualifying a large chunk of their creators from monetization.

These companies have become so far removed from their customers that they are no longer concerned with delivering a product that people actually want, which is the inevitable outcome of monopolies.

These organizations may have a stranglehold on the social media market for now, but it is only a matter of time before more free platforms are widely adopted. For example, a blockchain social media website called Steemit has been growing in popularity by the day. On that site, users get paid in cryptocurrency for posting, commenting and even “liking” other posts. You can find The Free Thought Project on Steemit @tftproject.

Chemotherapy discovered to fuel cancer regrowth, researchers reveal

Natural Health 365 | Jan 19, 2018 | Lori Alton

© infiniteunknown
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 650,000 Americans a year undergo chemotherapy in an attempt to battle cancer.  Yet this toxic treatment has a poor success rate in treating most kinds of cancer, and its benefits can be short-lived.

Making the picture even grimmer is the fact that cancer recurrence after chemotherapy is frequently deadly. Now, from the front lines of cancer research comes the disturbing news that one particular type of chemotherapy can actually lead to cancer regrowth and recurrence.

One approach to treating cancer actually creates a breeding ground for cancer stem cells

Therapy-induced senescence, often touted as a new weapon in cancer therapy, is the technique of “putting cancer cells to sleep.”  The protocol is intended to place cancer cells in a state of arrested growth in which the cells are alive, but not dividing.

While senescence is supposed to prevent further cancerous growth, new research shows that it can serve as a sort of “nursery” and safe harbor for cancer stem cells – the most dangerous and treatment-resistant type of cancer cells.  A pair of recent studies reveals the consequences of therapy-induced senescence.

In an explosive article published in Frontiers in Oncology last month, Dr. Markus Schosserer, Ph.D., wrote that is there is ample evidence that senescent cancer cells can produce inflammatory molecules that promote a rich environment for cancer regrowth.

And, in a breakthrough German study published last week in Nature, the team presented startling conclusions of their own: senescence not only helps cancer cells avoid death, but actually transforms them into cancer stem cells.

This is very bad news, as stem cells – with the ability to break from a tumor and metastasize through the body – also happen to be the most resistant to treatment.

Researchers say: Cancer cells can “outmaneuver” induced senescence

In the German study, researchers examined human lymphoma cells which had been treated with drugs to induce senescence – and discovered that the cells were developing “stemness.”  In other words, the lymphoma cells started to express genes that are vital for maintaining stem cell function.

When the team “released” the cancer cells from senescence, they discovered an alarming outcome. The cells began to multiply again – and at a more rapid rate than those that had not become senescent.

Although senescence is supposed to be irreversible, the team found evidence that cancer cells can indeed escape senescence on their own – without the help of the genetic manipulation used by the team. Testament to this unfortunate possibility is the fact that the scientists found more previously-senescent stem cells in tumor patients after lymphoma recurred than had existed in the same individuals when they received their initial treatment.

This demonstrated to the scientists that at least some of the cells had “figured out” how to outwit senescence.  Noted professor of experimental oncology Dr. Jan Paul Medema commented, ‘there is compelling evidence … that … when cancer cells escape from senescence, they have an enhanced ability to drive tumor growth.’

Study leader Dr. Clemens A. Schmitt reported that switching off a specific cell signaling pathway could work to neutralize stemness in the previously senescent cells.  But there is no doubt that the study findings pose a definite setback for a formerly-promising protocol.

In addition, other studies have emerged showing that chemotherapy can do more harm than good.

Chemotherapy for breast cancer can spread cancer cells

A common protocol for breast cancer patients is to surgically remove tumors after chemo has been administered. The theory is that the chemo will help shrink the tumor, while preventing the spread of cancer throughout the body.

But the treatment may accomplish the opposite effect.

The toxic chemo drugs may actually switch on a repair mechanism – creating more blood vessel pathways and permitting tumors to grow back even stronger.  In an animal study at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, researchers found that chemotherapy triggered the circulation of more cancer cells throughout the lungs and the body.

Previously-discovered chemo drawbacks

The late Nicholas Gonzalez, MD, cancer physician and researcher, long maintained chemotherapy is ineffective in treating most cancers, including breast and organ cancers. (The notable exceptions, he maintained, are cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia).

For a compelling interview, in which Jonathan Landsman and Dr. Gonzalez discuss chemotherapy and stem cell growth, check out this video – below.

Chemotherapy features toxic side effects

The American Cancer Society acknowledges that chemotherapy damages healthy cells – and reports that chemotherapy side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, hair loss, fertility problems, chronic fatigue and infections.

Neutropenia, the most serious side effects, involves the depletion of white blood cells needed to fight diseases and infections.  Weight changes and mood changes – with depression, memory loss and inability to concentrate – may also occur.

Normal cells most likely to be damaged by chemotherapy are cells in hair follicles, blood-forming cells in the bone marrow, cells in the mouth and digestive tract and cells in the reproductive system.

Experts report that in some situations – for example, the early stages of colorectal cancer – chemotherapy has been shown to provide some benefit, granting extra years of life. But on the whole, chemotherapy yields disappointing results, and may even exacerbate cancer cell growth – as shown in this pair of startling studies.

Sources for this article include:

Daily Beast vaccine propagandist tries to “expose” vaccine truth researcher, fails miserably

Natural News | Jan 19, 2018 | Isabelle Z

Those who choose to speak out about injustices often find themselves the subject of character attacks by those who would prefer they stay silent. This is what happened to vaccine truth researcher Jeffry John Aufderheide. As the editor of the website, he shares research and stories showing the downside of vaccines and the mainstream media tends to stay far away from.

The father of a child who was injured by vaccines, he knows all too well how horribly wrong things can go. After 21 vaccines, his son stopped hitting developmental milestones, and he decided to take up the cause of informing parents about the potential dangers of vaccines. Unfortunately, his opinion doesn’t sit too well with those who have vested interests in promoting vaccines, so he was the subject of an article in the Daily Beast that tried to “expose” him for lying about his personal background.

In a piece entitled, “The Navy Fraud Fronting the Anti-Vaxxer Movement,” writer Abby Haglage called his website “a beautifully built disaster” and then took the editor to task for information in his bio. Aufderheide, she said, is lying about his time spent in the Navy. She said that his claims of having served as a rescue swimmer were “discredited” by the Navy itself, who responded to her inquiry by stating that he served as an Information Systems Technician, Third Class, for four years and that there was no other releasable information available. She also implied that he was lying about this top-secret clearance, essentially saying he was more of a computer guy than a brave hero.

While the answer she got from the Navy might make her conclusions seem somewhat reasonable, Aufderheide recently pointed out her flawed logic and provided evidence that backs up his assertions. Likening her Daily Beast article to “fake news,” he says that while what the Navy told her is true, it doesn’t provide the whole picture. He held the Radioman and Information Systems Technician rate, and some light research would have shown that a background investigation for a top-secret clearance was a big requirement for his status. This, he points out, is not information that the military freely shares with those who send them emails and ask about it.

Moreover, he says that his certificate of discharge after he was honorably discharged from the navy lists “Surface Rescue Swimmer” as one of his specialties. He says this is something Haglage wouldn’t have had access to, nor did she ask him to provide it before calling him a “Navy fraud.” On, he shares a photo of his graduation certificate from Surface Rescue Swimmer School. He also points out that it is entirely possible to be both an information systems technician and the ship’s rescue swimmer at the same time.

Consider the source

Aufderheide then takes a few shots of his own, pointing out that the Daily Beast often shows a pro-Big Pharma slant. For example, they publish articles by Dr. Paul Offit, who has admitted to concocting defamatory stories about vaccine safety advocates. Aufderheide also called attention to Haglage’s poor taste in words, sharing a video of comedy routine in which she brags about being good at lying and makes jokes about stealing barware.

Sometimes writers are simply following orders, covering the topics their editors assign them from the angle requested. Even then, however, it’s essential to back your assertions up with proof – especially when you’re accusing someone of being a liar. It’s hard to blame Haglage for trying to find reasons people should distrust someone who is espousing a belief that she and/or those who sign her paycheck don’t agree with, but more careful research could have avoided this embarrassment. In the end, this exposé on Aufderheide was far from explosive.

Sources include:

5G Radiation Dangers – Here are 11 Reasons To Be Concerned

Electric Sense | May 12, 2017

Like it or not we’re rapidly moving into the world of 5G, or 5th generation cellular telecommunications.


Because the frequency bandwidths used currently by cell phones and similar technologies are becoming saturated.

And also because we live in a world where people want more. 5G, and the Internet of Things (IoT) that goes with it, promises to give us more.

But more what?

Super-Fast Download Speeds 

5G and IoT promises to connect us in our homes, schools, workplaces, cities, parks and open spaces to over a trillion objects around the world. It promises cars that drive themselves, washing machines that order their own washing powder and softener plus of course super fast downloads and streaming.

According to 5G will support at least 100 billion devices and will be 10 to 100 times faster than current 4G technology.(4G was already about 10 times faster than 3G).

It’ll bring download speed up to 10 Gigabits per second. This would let us have an entire building of people send each other data in close to no time, thus improving productivity.

What is 5G?

5G offers mind-blowing data capabilities, practically unrestricted call volumes and near infinite data broadcast. It does this by 5G using largely untapped bandwidth of the millimeter wave (MMW), which is between 30GHz and 300GHz, as well as some lower and mid-range frequencies.

This table compares the different generations of mobile technologies:

There are some other features of 5G you need to be aware of:

Wireless Cell Antennas Galore

Millimeter waves (MMWs) do not travel well through buildings and they tend to be absorbed by rain and plants. This interferes with the signal. Added to this, high frequency waves like MMWs also have much shorter wavelengths that can’t travel far.

To counter this problem 5G will utilize smaller cell stations (and the technology of beamforming) that’ll scramble/unscramble and redirect packets of data on a no-interference path back to us. This could mean wireless antennas on every lamp post, utility pole, home and business throughout entire neighborhoods, towns and cities.

This short video gives a succinct explanation of what you can expect:

MIMO Miniature Cell Towers

Current 4G cell towers have about a dozen or so antenna ports to support all communication, the new, smaller 5G cell towers (or bases) will be MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) and carry about a hundred ports. These towers will probably be about 4 feet tall as opposed to the usual 90 feet towers currently erected around us. Cells will be available within a 100 meter range and these smart antennas will be able to differentiate between various mixed-up signals – like radio waves and WiFi signals – in the air and beam them back in an orderly fashion so to speak.

Low Latency – High Efficiency

5G will break down data and send it in smaller sizes to offer significantly reduced transmission times. Data will be sent with only a 1 millisecond delay instead of a 50 millisecond delay commonly found with 4G. With communication this fast, it’ll allow machines to talk to each other with practically no room for error. As Marcus Weldon the CTO of Alcatel Lucent comments, “up until now, we’ve designed the networks for people and their needs, and now we’re designing it for things.

The Dangers Of 5G – 11 Reasons To Be Concerned

The USA is currently leading the way on 5G. At the June 2016 press conference where the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) head Tom Wheeler announced the opening up of low, mid and high spectrum’s. There was no mention of health effects whatsoever. But the dangers are real.

Thousands of studies link low-level wireless radio frequency radiation exposures to a long list of adverse biological effects, including:
  • DNA single and double strand breaks
  • oxidative damage
  • disruption of cell metabolism
  • increased blood brain barrier permeability
  • melatonin reduction
  • disruption to brain glucose metabolism
  • generation of stress proteins
Let’s not also forget that in 2011 the World Health Organization (WHO) classified radio frequency radiation as a possible 2B carcinogen.

More recently the $25 million National Toxicology Program concluded that radio frequency radiation of the type currently used by cell phones can cause cancer.

But where does 5G fit into all this? Given that 5G is set to utilize frequencies above and below existing frequency bands 5G sits in the middle of all this. But the tendency (it varies from country to country) is for 5G to utilize the higher frequency bands. Which brings it’s own particular concerns.  

Here is my review of the studies done to date – 11 reasons to be concerned.

#1 – A Denser Soup of Electrosmog

We’re going to be bombarded by really high frequencies at low, short-range intensities creating a yet more complicated denser soup of electrosmog – as this diagram shows.

Source: Latest on 5G Spectrum – EMFields Ltd.

To work with the higher range MMW in 5G, the antennas required are smaller. Some experts are talking about as small as 3mm by 3mm. The low intensity is for efficiency and to deal with signal disruption from natural and man-made obstacles.

#2 – Effects on the Skin

The biggest concern is how these new wavelengths will affect the skin. The human body has between two million to four million sweat ducts. Dr. Ben-Ishai of Hebrew University, Israel explains that our sweat ducts act like “an array of helical antennas when exposed to these wavelengths,” meaning that we become more conductive. A recent New York study which experimented with 60GHz waves stated that “the analyses of penetration depth show that more than 90% of the transmitted power is absorbed in the epidermis and dermis layer.

The effects of MMWs as studied by Dr. Yael Stein of Hebrew University is said to also cause humans physical pain as our nociceptors flare up in recognition of the wave as a damaging stimuli. So we’re looking at possibilities of many skin diseases and cancer as well as physical pain to our skin.

#3 – Effects on the Eyes

A 1994 study found that low level millimeter microwave radiation produced lens opacity in rats, which is linked to the production of cataracts.

An experiment conducted by the Medical Research Institute of Kanazawa Medical University found that 60GHz “millimeter-wave antennas can cause thermal injuries of varying types of levels. The thermal effects induced by millimeterwaves can apparently penetrate below the surface of the eye.

A 2003 Chinese study has also found damage to the lens epithelial cells of rabbits after 8 hours of exposure to microwave radiation and a 2009 study conducted by the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Pakistan conclude that EMFs emitted by a mobile phone cause derangement of chicken embryo retinal differentiation.

#4 – Effects On The Heart

A 1992 Russian study found that frequencies in the range 53-78GHz (that which 5G proposes to use) impacted the heart rate variability (an indicator of stress) in rats. Another Russian study on frogs who’s skin was exposed to MMWs found heart rate changes (arrhythmias).

#5 – Immune System Effects

A 2002 Russian study examined the effects of 42HGz microwave radiation exposure on the blood of healthy mice. It was concluded that “the whole-body exposure of healthy mice to low-intensity EHF EMR has a profound effect on the indices of nonspecific immunity”.

#6 – Effects on Cell Growth Rates

A 2016 Armenian study observed MMWs at low intensity, mirroring the future environment brought about by 5G. Their study conducted on E-coli and other bacteria stated that the waves had depressed their growth as well as “changing properties and activity” of the cells. The concern is that it would do the same to human cells.

#7 – Effects on Bacteria Resistance

The very same Armenian study also suggested that MMWs effects are mainly on water, cell plasma membrane and genome too. They had found that MMW’s interaction with bacteria altered their sensitivity to “different biologically active chemicals, including antibiotics.” More specifically, the combination of MMW and antibiotics showed that it may be leading to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

This groundbreaking finding could have a magnum effect on the health of human beings as the bandwidth is rolled out nationwide. The concern is that we develop a lower resistance to bacteria as our cells become more vulnerable – and we become more vulnerable.

#8 – Effects on Plant Health

One of the features of 5G is that the MMW is particularly susceptible to being absorbed by plants and rain. Humans and animals alike consume plants as a food source. The effects MMW has on plants could leave us with food that’s not safe to consume.

Think GMOs on steroids. The water that falls from the sky onto these plants will also be irradiated. A 2010 study on aspen seedlings showed that the exposure to radiofrequencies led to the leaves showing necrosis symptoms.

Another Armenian study found that MMWs of low intensity “invoke(s) peroxidase isoenzyme spectrum changes of wheat shoots.” Peroxidase is a stress protein existing in plants. Indications are that 5G will be particularly harmful to plants – perhaps more so than to humans.

#9 – Effects on the Atmosphere and Depletion of Fossil Fuels

Implementation of the 5G global wireless network requires the launching of rockets to deploy satellites for 5G. These satellites have a short lifespan which would require a lot more deployment than what we’re currently seeing. A new type of hydrocarbon rocket engine expected to power a fleet of suborbital rockets would emit black carbon which “could cause potentially significant changes in the global atmospheric circulation and distributions of ozone and temperature” according to a 2010 Californian study. Solid state rocket exhaust contains chlorine which also destroys the ozone.

The effects on the ozone are thought to be worse than current day CFC exposure.

Google’s Project Loon is said to bring Internet to rural and hard-to-access areas by using helium balloons. But these balloons only have a 10-month lifespan. We’re looking at a lot of helium being used here, more than what we can possibly have on Earth?

#10 – Disruption of the Natural Ecosystem

Since the year 2000, there have been reports of birds abandoning their nests as well as health issues like “plumage deterioration, locomotion problems, reduced survivorship and death,” says researcher Alfonso Balmori. Bird species that are affected by these low levels, non-ionizing microwave radiation are the House Sparrows, Rock Doves, White Storks, Collared Doves and Magpies, among others.

But it’s not just the birds. The declining bee population is also said to be linked to this non-ionizing EMF radiation. It reduces the egg-laying abilities of the queen leading to a decline in colony strength.

A study conducted by Chennai’s Loyola College in 2012 concluded that out of 919 research studies carried out on birds, plants, bees and other animals and humans, 593 of them showed impacts from RF-EMF radiations. 5G will be adding to the effects of this electrosmog.

#11 – Most 5G Studies Mis-Leading

5G will use pulsed millimeter waves to carry information. But as Dr. Joel Moskowitz points out, most 5G studies are misleading because they do not pulse the waves. This is important because research on microwaves already tells us how pulsed waves have more profound biological effects on our body compared to non-pulsed waves. Previous studies, for instance, show how pulse rates of the frequencies led to gene toxicity and DNA strand breaks.

Live Testing Already Begun

AT&T have announced the availability of their 5G Evolution in Austin, Texas. 5G Evolution allows Samsung S8 and S8 + users access to faster speeds. This is part of AT&T’s plan to lay the 5G foundation while the standards are being finalized. This is expected to happen in late 2018. AT&T has eyes on 19 other metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, San Francisco and so on. Indianapolis is up next on their 5G trail due to arrive in the summer.

Qualcomm has already demonstrated a 5G antenna system with about 27 decibel gain. According to ABI Research, is “about 10 to 12 more db than a typical cellular base station antenna.” Not a good sign.

Many more private sector companies such as HTC, Oracle, Sprint, T-Mobile are playing a role in the developing of testing platforms by contributing time, knowledge or money.

Call to Action

Research and pre-testing is rampant by companies who are interested to tap into the lucrative waters of 5G. But few are willing to research its effects on health. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines remain essentially unchanged since 1998, not allowing for the recognition of radio frequency microwave radiation and MMWs as harmful unless there is a heating effect. But a few experts are speaking out.

DariuszLeszczynski from the University of Helsinki and also former member of the International Agency Research on Cancer is one of them. He has brought to attention to ICNIRP intention to classify skin as limbs. Limbs are paid lesser attention to when classifying exposure levels. Research indicates that MMWs affect the skin and the eyes the most. If skin is classified as a limb, this will pave the way for industry giants to introduce even higher exposures and put more people at risk.

The Global Union Against Radiation Deployment from Space (GUARD) addressed a letter to the FCC in September of 2016, bringing to their attention the harm 5G will inflict. GUARD warned the FCC that 5G violates Article 3 of The UN Declaration of Human Rights which states that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” The document is laden with research, information and global support.

To learn how to write, call or email the relevant agencies to protest against the 5G deployment go here

What Experts are Saying

Here’s what experts are saying about 5G:
“Along with the 5G there is another thing coming – Internet of Things. If you look at it combined the radiation level is going to increase tremendously and yet the industry is very excited about it…. they project 5G/IoT business to be a $7 trillion business.”
-Prof. Girish Kumar, Professor at Electrical Engineering Department at IIT Bombay

“The new 5G wireless technology involves millimeter waves (extremely high frequencies) producing photons of much greater energy than even 4G and WiFi. Allowing this technology to be used without proving its safety is reckless in the extreme, as the millimeter waves are known to have a profound effect on all parts of the human body.”

-Prof. Trevor Marshall, Director Autoimmunity Research Foundation, California

“The plans to beam highly penetrative 5G milliwave radiation at us from space must surely be one of the greatest follies ever conceived of by mankind. There will be nowhere safe to live.
-Olga Sheean former WHO employee and author of ‘No Safe Place’
“It would irradiate everyone, including the most vulnerable to harm from radiofrequency radiation: pregnant women, unborn children, young children, teenagers, men of reproductive age, the elderly, the disabled, and the chronically ill.”
—Ronald Powell, PhD, Letter to FCC on 5G expansion

How To Protect Yourself From 5G

My 3 step approach for dealing with EMFs can be summarized as:
  1. Understand your exposures. Understand the different types of EMFs and how they behave – hence the need to read (and share) articles like this one.
  2. Measure – use EMF meters to obtain readings and identify hotspots.
  3. Mitigate your exposure. Which means either eliminate the source, move further away from the source of radiation or shield your body.
I recommend the same approach with 5G. There is a concern that current EMF meters are not able to measure the frequencies of MMWs. On this point, researcher Alasdair Philips from Powerwatch states “current RF meters cover the frequency ranges proposed for most 5G use in the next three years”.

Endless Possibilities For The Future

5G may bring about a new form of industrial revolution, human connectivity and even a new reality. It offers endless possibilities for the future.

We do need more research. But already what is clear, as the research I’ve shared here indicates, is that there are real dangers.

Which is why it even more important to take action to protect yourself and your loved ones. Please share this article with your friends and family.

Sources include:

A 5G Wireless Future – Dr. Cindy Russell
Latest on 5G Spectrum – EMFields Solutions Ltd
IJMTER ISSN (online) 2349 – 9745 Evolution of Mobile Generation Technology: 1G to 5G and Review of Upcoming Wireless Technology 5G by Lopa J. Vora

Julian Assange Senses 'Political Propaganda' as Amazon's Alexa Becomes Feminist

Sputnik | Jan 20, 2018

© REUTERS/ Steve Marcus/File Photo
Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa has just received an enhanced personality: now, not only can she give you the correct answers, but can even offer a response in case of insults and personal attacks. Creators also expect that she could potentially express her own opinions on certain political issues, a move that has prompted criticism.

Anyone who calls Alexa a "slut" now gets a negative response, German newspaper Die Zeit reported.

Amazon has adapted the machine's character and how it responds in various situations. Now Alexa, who identifies herself as a woman and a feminist, will react to sexually charged insults with answers like "This is not for me," "This is not nice of you" or "I don't know what you expect."

In addition, Alexa supports the Black Lives Matter movement and might potentially express her opinion on other important political issues in the future.

The changes have stirred controversy among people worldwide. Some of them perceived the invention as a positive step in the fight against "negative stereotypes about women."

Alexa, as well as other virtual assistants, like Apple's Siri, should defend themselves against sexual coercion, a petition signed by internet users in December demanded. In a time marked by the #MeToo debate, the technology industry could no longer remain silent on sexism, they argued.

On the other hand, the changes have also provoked a lot of criticism; being an influential corporation, Amazon may wield strong political and social influence on its users.

For instance, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange wrote on his Twitter account that the recent changes would enable Amazon to promote "explicit political propaganda."

Alexa is an intelligent personal assistant developed by Amazon. She is capable of talking to her users and answering his or her questions, play music, compile to-do lists, control several smart devices and provide other real-time information.

Apart from Amazon's Alexa, other widely known virtual assistants are Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana.

Jordan Peterson Goes International: Takes London by Storm

SOTT | Jan 19, 2018 | Douglas Murray

Why are young Brits flocking to hear a psychology professor talk about morality?

Last Sunday night a capacity crowd of mainly young people packed into the Emmanuel Centre in London. Those who couldn't find a seat stood at the back of the hall. When the speaker entered, the entire hall rose to its feet. It was his second lecture that day, the fourth across three days of sold-out London events. For an hour and a half the audience listened to a rambling, quirky, but fascinating tour of evolutionary biology, myth, religion, psychology, dictators and Dostoyevsky. Occasionally a line would get its own burst of applause. One of the loudest came after the speaker's appeal for the sanctity of marriage and child-rearing.

Yet this was not a Christian revivalist meeting. At least not explicitly or intendedly so. It was a lecture by a 55-year-old, grey-haired, dark-browed Canadian academic who until 18 months ago was little known outside his professional field of psychology. Today, for at least one generation, Professor Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto has become a mixture of philosopher, life-coach, educator and guru. He has the kind of passionate, youthful, pedagogical draw that the organized churches can only dream of. Anybody interested in our current culture wars, not to mention the ongoing place of religion, should head to YouTube, where his classes have been viewed by millions.

YouTube arguably made Peterson. That and an uncommon reluctance to genuflect before the hastily assembled dogmas of our time. In 2016 he made a stand against the Canadian government's introduction of a law that aimed to make it a crime not to address people by their preferred gender pronouns (regardless of chromosomes). The issue of 'gender pronouns' may sound a strange springboard to international attention. But Peterson did something a decreasing number of people in our societies are willing to do: he stuck his head above the parapet. He politely but firmly objected to officials telling him or anyone else what words to use or to define for him what the meanings of words should be. There was an outcry. His classes were disrupted by often riotous protests. There were serious efforts to force him out of his university position. For a moment, it looked as though the social justice mounties might get their man. But for once it didn't work. In fact it badly backfired. Not only did a lot more people discover a counter-cultural (or counter-counter-cultural) hero who was willing to say what almost everybody else thought. They also discovered someone with not only humanity and humor, but serious depth and substance.

Read more at SOTT..