Wednesday, May 30, 2018

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Adam Ford is the guy who started the Christian news satire site Babylon Bee. If you’ve missed that so far, well, that’s probably okay, provided you have no sense of humor. If you do, it’s a little bit like having missed Monty Python’s Flying Circus (minus the occasional bout of virulent rudeness) in the early seventies. Except with the Bee, more often than not there’s a sharp spiritual point to go with the guffaws.

Adam sold the Bee a month ago to concentrate on his new project, the Christian Daily Reporter, a plain-Jane news aggregator. CDR is ... well, why don’t I let Adam tell you in his own words?

I consider this kind of a public service announcement:

“Stop letting Facebook and Google dictate which news and opinions you are allowed to see.

The majority of people get their news from social networks. We rely on Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, YouTube, etc. to such a degree that we allow them to decide what content we consume, what issues we consider important, what news is news, what is and is not allowed to be said, what’s true and what’s not.

These companies shape the way our brains think by controlling what our eyes see every day. When we search for something on Google, it’s Google that decides the results. When we go on Facebook, it’s Facebook that decides what news and content we see. When we go on Twitter, we only see what they have permitted us to see. Objectivity is an illusion.

Now they increasingly shut down content that they don’t approve of. At their own discretion, by their own definitions and values. Facebook and Google have practical monopolies on referral traffic, search, and advertising, and they ban or starve content and publishers that they dislike.

We have given them extreme power over the flow of information. For a few companies to have the power to control the way billions of people think is terrifying and dangerous. It is unacceptable.

As they gobble up the internet, Facebook and Google are creating a world in which information, before it is allowed to reach us, is first filtered through them. Thus, their worldview is propagated, to the detriment of all others.

These companies are increasingly hostile toward Christian content and information. This will only get worse as time goes by. It will not get better.

Put all of this together and imagine the internet 20 years from now.”

This isn’t a new revelation for Adam, but I’m still amazed how many Christians remain blind to the fact that social media is not your friend. We have been barking on in this space about the inevitable clampdown on Christian internet content since our own inception and will probably do so until the day before the incoming censorship tsunami finally hits.

And, yeah, we know where this is headed, not to get all doom-and-gloom on you. Scripture tells us plainly that a time will come when the two-horned beast that speaks like a dragon “causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.” Hard to believe, I know, but one day compliance with the Official Narrative will be enforced economically.

That’s Satan’s end game, and social media is helping put the all the necessary pieces in place to facilitate it by data-mining you to death right now, and both storing and selling the reams of information they accumulate. The fact that their algorithms also make it easy to manage what you read (and keep track of it) is just a bonus.

Personally, I don’t expect to be around for that final push for complete control of the world’s hearts, minds and wills through economic coercion, but that doesn’t mean we’re not likely to see increasing movement in that direction as Satan advances his agenda for this world toward its prophesied conclusion.

In the meantime, as much as possible, Adam Ford is trying to extract interested Christians from the growing information stranglehold by providing a variety of news links we might not otherwise come across:

“The Christian Daily Reporter is a source for the most important news and content from a Christian perspective — and it lives outside the tech-giant information choke hold.

CDR is not on any social media network, and never will be. We refuse to be beholden to the internet content gatekeepers. While most publishers base all of their operations around appeasing the ‘search and social gods’ — from their website design to their content — CDR is intentionally not optimized for Facebook or Google. We don’t care about social media or search referrals. CDR is 100% independent and always will be.

In the spirit of the Drudge Report, the Christian Daily Reporter is a refreshingly simple web page, devoid of noise, detached from trends.

We focus only on delivering what you need to know, every day.
And if you want to read the Christian Daily Reporter, you have to come to christiandailyreporter.com directly. Instead of only visiting when Facebook or Google tell you that you may.”

There’s almost no original content on CDR, though Adam says he’ll do the occasional podcast-style “CDR Talk” commentary. As mentioned, the site is an aggregator: Adam chooses news articles from other content providers and news sources that you might easily miss if you get your news through social media links these days, or even if you don’t look much past the front page of the newspapers lying around the office. For instance, a CDR link to a PJ Media article written last week revealed mainstream media sources have completely buried the Democratic Party’s five-day poll collapse. You will not hear about that shift in public opinion on CNN.

The comparison to Drudge is apt: the site is very, very simple. The good news is it’s not hard to navigate, with none of the horrific-yet-obligatory Drudge clickbait to slog through.

Adam’s complete statement about why he sold Babylon Bee and what’s happening to it now (spoiler: it’s still running, Adam still has a minor role there, and it’s still pretty much written by the same folks) is available on his personal site and worth a read if you have the time.

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