World Socialist Web Site
World Socialist Web Site logo.svg
Type of site
Opinion and analysis
HeadquartersOak Park, Michigan
OwnerInternational Committee of the Fourth International
EditorDavid North (editorial board chairman)
URLwsws.org
CommercialNo (supported by donations)[citation needed]
RegistrationNo (Disqus account is required for commenting on articles)
LaunchedFebruary 14, 1998; 24 years ago (1998-02-14)[1]
Current statusOnline

The World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) is the website of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI). It describes itself as an "online newspaper of the international Trotskyist movement".[2] The WSWS publishes articles and analysis of news and events from around the world, updated daily. The site also includes coverage of the history of working-class political and organized labor movements.

About

The WSWS was established on February 14, 1998. The site was redesigned on October 22, 2008,[3] and then again on October 1, 2020.[4]

The WSWS supports and helps campaign for the Socialist Equality Parties in elections. The site has no advertisements, except for material from Mehring Books, the ICFI's publishing arm. Instead, it sustains itself through the donations of readers and supporters.[citation needed] David North serves as Chairman of the site's International Editorial Board.[5]

Content

The WSWS publishes articles on politics, finance and economics, culture, police violence, racism, war, media and information technology, corporate power, history, and labor issues. It also regularly reviews films, television and online series, music, art and artists, and books and authors.[citation needed]

The WSWS periodically undertakes focused political campaigns, during which numerous articles, videos, interviews, and perspectives are published on the topic. Campaigns undertaken include defending Julian Assange,[6] Chelsea Manning,[7] and Edward Snowden,[8] civil rights and free speech,[9][10] and the opposition to utility shutoffs and bankruptcy in Detroit.[11][12]

Demotion in Google searches

According to Julianne Tvetan writing in In These Times, in July 2017 the WSWS drew attention to new Google search algorithms intended to remove fake news, which WSWS believed to be a form of censorship by Google.[13] Using evidence from SEMrush, an analytics suite for search engine optimization, the WSWS alleged that several sites, such as AlterNet and Globalresearch.ca, had received reduced traffic from Google due to changes in its search algorithm. According to the WSWS, between late April 2017 and the beginning of August 2017 its Google search traffic fell by 67%.[2][13] Google said that it had not deliberately targeted any particular website,[2] and Google vice-president Ben Gomes wrote that Google had "adjusted [its] signals to help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content."[14] According to WSWS, the documentary film-maker John Pilger offered his support to a webinar involving David North and Chris Hedges about the issue because he said the website, along with WikiLeaks, Consortium News, Global Research, Democracy Now!, and CounterPunch, were increasingly being tagged as "offensive" by Google.[15][non-primary source needed] Matt Taibbi also commented on what he called a "massive drop" in traffic experienced by "small, independent media outlets on both the left and the right" such as WSWS.[16]

The 1619 Project

In 2019, WSWS received considerable attention for its criticisms of the New York Times' The 1619 Project, which aimed to reframe American history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the center of the country's national narrative. WSWS described the project as "one component of a deliberate effort to inject racial politics into the heart of the 2020 elections and foment divisions among the working class”.[17] According to The Washington Post,

On Dec. 16 [2020], Wall Street Journal opinion columnist Elliot Kaufman brought into the mainstream criticisms of the 1619 Project from four historians who had been questioning it for months on the World Socialist website, a fringe news publication founded upon the principles of Trotskyism. Some of what those professors wrote had gained momentum in the Twitterverse and sparked discussion about their analysis of the 1619 Project.[18]

WSWS received considerable praise from right-wing commentators for its criticisms. For example, the National Review described it as "one of the few media outlets examining the 1619 Project in critical detail" and extensively cited contributions by historians Gordon S. Wood and James M. McPherson;[19] the research director of the right-wing American Institute for Economic Research told the Dartmouth Review that there was a "strange alliance" between conservative historians and the Trotskyists of WSWS, who he described as "old-school historians" following the data;[20] and Michael Barone in the conservative New York Post gave positive attention to historian Sean Wilentz's criticisms of the project in WSWS.[21]

Criticism

In an article for the socialist magazine New Politics, the Lebanese Trotskyist academic Gilbert Achcar described the WSWS as "pro-Putin, pro-Assad and 'left-wing' propaganda" combined with "gutter journalism ... run by a 'Trotskyist' cult ... which perpetuates a long worn-out tradition of inter-Trotskyist sectarian quarrels in fulfilling its role as apologist for Putin, Assad, and their friends."[22]

Reason has said that a 2020 viral false account of New York University agreeing to racially segregated student housing was partially due to an inaccurate report on the World Socialist Website. Reason commented: "As a socialist publication, TWSW sometimes criticizes the progressive left for being preoccupied with issues unrelated to class."[23]

References

  1. ^ "This Year in Review: 1998". World Socialist Web Site. International Committee of the Fourth International. Archived from the original on May 20, 2016. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Wakabayashi, Daisuke (September 26, 2017). "As Google Fights Fake News, Voices on the Margins Raise Alarm". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on January 13, 2018. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  3. ^ "Welcome the redesigned World Socialist Web Site". World Socialist Web Site. ICFI. Archived from the original on November 30, 2008. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
  4. ^ "Welcome the relaunch of the World Socialist Web Site! - World Socialist Web Site". Wsws.org. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  5. ^ correspondents, Our. "David North speaks in Berlin on the 15th anniversary of the World Socialist Web Site". WSWS. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  6. ^ Mazhar, Fatimah, "World's Most Widely Accessed Socialist Website Defends Edward Snowden", Carbonated.TV, archived from the original on March 5, 2016, retrieved February 20, 2016
  7. ^ Reporter, Ben Rosenfeld Daily Staff. "IYSSE members discuss Manning imprisonment following rally". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  8. ^ "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange rape allegations: What's behind them?". Hot Topics. September 1, 2010. Archived from the original on October 24, 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  9. ^ Elliott, Tim (May 5, 2010). "Hunt was up against civil rights arguments". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on October 23, 2017. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  10. ^ "'Fake news' or free speech: Is Google cracking down on left media?". Salon. October 18, 2017. Archived from the original on October 24, 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  11. ^ "IYSSE facilitates campus discussion about socialism". The South End. Archived from the original on October 23, 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  12. ^ "Socialists to protest in defense of Detroit's DIA Friday, day after EM Orr tells business leaders he was once 'somewhat of a Socialist' himself". MLive.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  13. ^ a b "How the "Fake News" Scare Is Marginalizing the Left". In These Times. October 11, 2017. Retrieved August 16, 2022.
  14. ^ Sheffield, Matthew (October 18, 2017). "'Fake news' or free speech: Is Google cracking down on left media?". Salon. Archived from the original on January 13, 2018. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  15. ^ "Documentarian John Pilger issues statement of support for January 16 webinar, 'Organizing resistance to Internet censorship'website=World Socialist Web Site". ICFI. January 11, 2018. Archived from the original on January 11, 2018. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  16. ^ "Opinion - Is Fox News Really All That Powerful?". The New York Times. June 30, 2021. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
  17. ^ Wagner, Laura (October 16, 2020). "New York Times to Staff: You Can Only Trash Colleagues If You Have a Column". VICE. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
  18. ^ Mettler, Katie (December 22, 2019). "Five professors say the 1619 Project should be amended. 'We disagree,' says the New York Times". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
  19. ^ "History According to the 1619 Project". National Review. January 16, 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
  20. ^ "Debunking 1619: An Interview with Phillip W. Magness". The Dartmouth Review. April 25, 2022. Retrieved August 17, 2022. You also had people from the far left jumping in. Some of the heaviest criticisms came from a website called the World Socialist Website, which has a Trotskyist Marxist perspective, but they’re old school historians. These are people that bring a left-wing perspective to history, but they use a methodology that’s rooted in evidence. That’s rooted in factual analysis, following the data and following the facts and the archives to where they lead. So they give a spin on it that’s very different from my own, but their evidentiary approach is very similar. So I’m in the middle of a very strange coalition. And there’s also conservative historians that jumped in, but a very strange coalition across the political spectrum that looked at this thing and said, “There are defects.”
  21. ^ Barone, Michael (January 25, 2020). "Scholars are eviscerating The New York Times' 1619 Project". New York Post. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
  22. ^ Achcar, Gilbert (October 10, 2019). "On Gutter Journalism and Purported "Anti-Imperialism"". New Politics.
  23. ^ Soave, Robby (August 24, 2020). "Yes, Black NYU Students Demanded Segregated Housing. No, the University Didn't Agree to It". Reason.com. Retrieved August 17, 2022.