On February 1, 2017, award-winning journalist Ben Swann “went dark” as his social media accounts on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere were suddenly deactivated. Swann is a well-known local journalist at CBS46 in Atlanta, as well as a viral Internet sensation for his Reality Check investigative reports. Swann’s Reality Check reports began to garner attention around the 2012 U.S. election and have continued to gain millions of views while questioning the mainstream narrative.
Prior to his disappearance, Swann had been under attack by much of the corporate media (as well as left-leaning media which supported Hillary Clinton) for his now notorious Reality Check segment on the controversial Pizzagate theory. During the segment, Swann draws attention to what he sees as curious aspects of the theory which warrant further attention. Swann was immediately attacked by The Daily Beast (going so far as to place a tin-foil hat on the journalist), the Inquisitr, and many other publications. CBS46 initially defended Ben Swann’s reporting, but later appeared to take the blame for allowing the report to air.
Shortly after the Pizzagate segments and the subsequent attacks, Ben Swann posted the following message across social media:
Hey guys, everyone is asking if everything is ok. They are. I will be heading back to CBS46 on Monday but there will be changes. The biggest one will be that this social media page will be going dark f/n on Tuesday, Feb. 1. We’ve been building this project for 6 years and those who have come to know me.. I hope you have also come to trust me.
Swann’s disappearance from the Internet sparked a massive debate and outcry from his supporters who wondered whether or not the Internet sensation had become a victim of censorship or something worse. Despite shutting down his own website (Truth In Media) and all his social media channels, Ben Swann continued to report on CBS46 in Atlanta. However, his reporting has exclusively focused on local news as opposed to the hard hitting journalism of his earlier Reality Check segments.
In mid-December 2017, Ben Swann began posting in the forums of the cryptocurrency, DASH. While an increasing amount of public attention is given to the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin, many people in the privacy focused crypto community are placing their support behind DASH. Originally released under the name “Darkcoin” back in 2014, the crypto would later be rebranded as DASH, or digital cash.
What differentiates DASH from Bitcoin and other alt coins? DASH is designed to confirm transactions faster than Bitcoin with their “InstantSend” feature which can confirm payments in less than a second. DASH also allows for privacy with transactions and balances via “PrivateSend.”
The biggest feature that sets DASH apart from Bitcoin is the use of self-governing, self-funding protocol. This allows users to submit proposals to the treasury which help grow the DASH community and potentially receive funding. (DASH is a powerful cryptocurrency and I recommend visiting their website linked above for a more thorough, technical understanding.) Users submit proposals via forums in the DASH community. It is in these forums where Ben Swann sought assistance for reviving Reality Check and his Truth In Media website. Ben Swann wrote:
We propose that just as DASH is creating disruption in the financial world, it now creates disruption in the media world by bringing back to the masses Reality Check with Ben Swann. As the sole sponsor of Reality Check, DASH will be branded and tied to what is one of the most successful news segments in the world. Our hope is to establish and sustain a long-term partnership, and we would be honored to be an enduring ambassador of Dash.
Swann’s proposal called on the DASH community to fund the return of 24, two- to five-minute episodes of Reality Check. The proposal also asked for funding for hiring writers for the Truth In Media website, including a section on cryptocurrencies like DASH. In late December the proposal was approved with Ben Swann and team receiving a payout of 800 DASH per month for 3 months (about $2.3 million USD). According to the proposal, the episodes will air every Tuesday and Thursday beginning February 6th.
Although Ben Swann’s proposal was ultimately approved by the community, he did face opposition because of his reporting on Pizzagate and vaccinations. In response to two different questions regarding Pizzagate, Ben had the following to say:
First, Pizzagate. I can’t say a lot about this at this point but I will say this. I did not create Pizzagate. Nor was I the first journalist to cover it. In fact, I did not cover it until every major network in the country talked about the gunman who entered the pizza place. Those networks also reported that the gunman was responding to a fake conspiracy theory but never explained what that theory was. After receiving hundreds of requests to explain the theory, that is what I did. You may not like the fact that I covered the story at all, but you are yet to explain what I said in that report that was false.
Regarding his social media blackout Swann offered the following:
I can’t discuss (yet) everything that has happened to cause RC to be discontinued. I am still working working with CBS in Atlanta. I can tell you that since the beginning of 2017, I have had dozens of huge websites and video content companies contact me about providing RC through their channels. I have absolutely no doubt that the continued viral reach will not be a problem. I still receive several dozen emails every week asking when RC will come back.
Ben Swann also confirmed that he will begin appearing publicly starting with the Anarchapulco conference in Acapulco, Mexico in late February. “I have already been invited by Jeff Berwick to speak in Acapulco… The slot I have been offered is to be just before the keynote speaker (Dr. Ron Paul),” Swann wrote.
Ben Swann’s reporting style, honesty, and credibility has been sorely missing from the independent media for the last year. Many of us (myself included) have done our best to fill the gap left by Swann. It will be a great pleasure to have Ben Swann back in the trenches working alongside the truth media.
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