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After UNCA Fake Twitter Followers Exposed, Dropped from 5500 Below 300

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 12 -- With the UN Correspondents Association through Pamela Falk trying to brand every UN press conference and even UN Security Council presidency with the name UNCA, it was perhaps not surprising that her UNCA bought Twitter followers, as reported May 9 and 10.

  Further inquiry after being contacted by sources finds that the volume of fake Twitter followers acquired by UNCA under Falk was much higher: up to 5,500 on May 3, 2014. See photo of graph which counters cover-up, here. How can the post-exposure reduction to below 300 on May 10 after exposure be explained?

  That UNCA's middle followers had few to no connections to the UN, journalism or international affairs and little profile information except some pornographic come-ons was noted in an article on the evening of May 9, here.

  By May 10, the UNCA account's followers had suddenly fallen back down below 300, in what some are calling a cover up, as Falk's UNCA did once exposed for lining up for a free Samsung television through the UN and the South Korean mission. Once exposed, it was canceled - and Falk's UNCA demanded a "correction." And now? There are calls for an explanation of the spike and collapse, who paid for it, even, was UN wi-fi used. Not that the UN would pursue, much less fix, that...

  In order to prop up its UN Censorship Alliance, the UN gives UNCA a big room on the third floor. It has been closed and scarcely used for months, as a big screen TV (Samsung through the South Korean mission until exposed) and other UN work was done. Now Falk announces that in four weeks time a toast will be raised mid-day then the room will be open 10-4, for "all" correspondents. If so, why name it for the Censorship Alliance? To prop it up.

   On May 1, Falk comfortable trying to dictate how and who UN Television filmed on World Press Freedom Day. 

  According to multiple sources, Pamela Falk of CBS complained to the top of the Department of Public Information that UNTV dared cut away to a shot of a skeptic during her speech claiming UNCA protects journalists. Video here on Inner City Press' YouTube channel (on full video on UN website, here, from Minute 30).

  Now that the video and the UNCA attempt to censor that it spawned are known, other critics have come forward. This doesn't represent us, said one. Another brought up the surge in Falk's UNCA twitter accounts low number of followers, pointing out hundreds in a row with little identifying information, some with pornographic profiles, concluding, "they're bought followers."

  Now, even after the reversal or cover-up, the question of precisely how this happened remains, and new questions need answering.

  These included "EXTREMELY DOMINANT BBW," "Nudist * Foreskin lover #BBBH" and "the finest of erotic events and vacations" as well as being padded by executives and stringers for Falk's CBS, like Sharon Hoffman, Nick Barnets and Luke Fredberg.

  These and hundreds of other followers bought by UNCA were removed between May 9 and May 10.

  The month started when UNCA's 2013-14 president Pam Falk grandiosely attempted to launch a Twitter hashtag promoting the group. An UNCA member, rather than obediently tweeting the contrived tag, noted online that when Falk claimed the "GA commends UNCA every year," UNTV camera cuts to @innercitypress shaking head in disbelief, too funny.

 (The UNTV video, which we went back and found for the reasons below is online here, from Minute 30.)

  As we first diplomatically recorded, the UNTV control room got a complaint about their camera angles. This is called attempted censorship, as is this Digital Millennium Copyright Act filing with Google, here.

  Now we can report based on multiple sources that Falk herself complained to the top of DPI - and that this complaint, rather than being as it should have been laughed at and rejected, was passed on to the control room, trying to dictate even what the camera operators film as cut-aways.

  This is outright censorship: the UN's Censorship Alliance's reverse flow.

  In 2012, some on UNCA's Executive Board tried to pursue the investigative Press for its coverage of UN official Herve Ladsous and also separately of France's ambassador Gerard Araud, then moved for expulsion based on coverage of Sri Lanka. Now, UNCA's president demands that the UN itself change how it films, to censor opposition.

  Out in the real world, the UN Secretariat had no comment on Ethiopia's jailing of journalists including the Zone 9 Bloggers, when asked about it by the new Free UN Coalition for Access. As we covered on May 8, the UN has yet to speak on Yemen's deportation of one of the few (but more than two) non-Yemeni journalists working in the country. The next story is Myanmar - watch this site.


 

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