Tag

Censorship

Browsing

(RepublicanWire.org) – A federal judge, Terry Doughty, handed a pair of Republican AGs a big win over the Biden Administration. Doughty rejected Joe’s arguments and told the Biden administration it has 21 days to turn over emails sent by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Anthony Fauci to social media platforms regarding misinformation.

Missouri AG Eric Schmitt and Louisiana AG Jeff Landry brought the case. “This Court believes Plaintiffs are entitled to external communications by Jean-Pierre and Dr. Fauci in their capacities as White House Press Secretary and Chief Medical Advisor to the President to third-party social media platforms,” Doughty said in the ruling.

In their initial filing, the AGs argued that “having threatened and cajoled social-media platforms for years to censor viewpoints and speakers disfavored by the Left, senior government officials in the Executive Branch have moved into a phase of open collusion with social-media platforms under the Orwellian guise of halting so-called ‘disinformation,’ ‘misinformation,’ and ‘malinformation’.”

“As a result of these actions, there has been an unprecedented rise of censorship and suppression of free speech – including core political speech – on social media platforms,” the lawsuit said. 

“Not just fringe views, but perfectly legitimate, responsible viewpoints and speakers have been unlawfully and unconstitutionally threatened in the modern public square.”

Schmitt said:

“In our lawsuit against the Biden Admin for colluding with social media companies to censor speech, the Court just ordered DOJ to produce records from key WH & HHS officials like Dr. Fauci, the WH Press Secretary, and others.”

A Biden admin official told Fox News:

“As we have said over and over again since the beginning of the administration in our battle against COVID-19, it has been critical for the American people to have access to factual, accurate, science-based information.

“For example, we worked hard to debunk inaccurate or misleading information about the COVID vaccines that have saved millions of lives and encourage Americans to get vaccinated and boosted to stay safe.

“Democrats and Republicans came together to urge the public to get vaccinated, stressing the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines.”

“We believe in and we support freedom of speech, and we also believe it is important for all media platforms, including social media, to represent factual scientific information and combat misinformation and disinformation that can cost lives,” the official said.

(RepublicanWire.org) – With Elon Musk’s recent $44 billion purchase of Twitter, some of the countries largest brands have faced calls to boycott the social media platform. The worry that the company’s new owner will rolls back content moderation policies which proponents say help limit hate speech and election misinformation.

Letters were sent to brands including Disney, Coca-Cola and Kraft. More than two dozen left-leaning organizations urged companies to secure commitments from Twitter to ensure that its user censorship policies are kept after Musk’s takeover and threaten to withdraw funding if Twitter refuses to comply.

“As top advertisers on Twitter, your brand risks association with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists,” the letter said

“Your ad dollars can either fund Musk’s vanity project or hold him to account,” it added.

According to Media Matters for America CEO Angelo Carusone, negotiating forward-looking contracts with Twitter can help companies protect their brands against any changes made after Musk’s takeover.

“If Elon Musk comes in and gets rid of all the brand safety protections, I think Coca-Cola should be able to cancel their contract,” Carusone said. “It would be very revealing if Twitter refuses to or does not sign or does not give those cancellation options.” 

The letter’s signatories include Media Matters for America, Accountable Tech, the feminist group UltraViolet, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the National Hispanic Media Coalition and the digital rights group Free Press, CNN reported.

Although Twitter said it has “no planned changes” to its “commitment to brand safety,” in an investor filing on Monday the company admitted it “cannot speculate on changes Elon Musk may make post-closing.”

Elon Musk took to Twitter on Thursday to respond to the letter, calling into question the business interests behind the groups involved.

“Who funds these organizations that want to control your access to information? Let’s investigate…,” he tweeted.

(RepublicanWire.org) – Hillary Clinton was heavily rebuked after urging the European Union to pass legislation to stop the spread of “disinformation” and “extremism” online on Thursday evening.

Conservative Twitter users showed complete disdain for Clinton’s tweet on Friday, reminding her that she was part of the effort to tie former President Trump to the Russia Collusion “hoax”. They also accused her of wanting to “control” speech and having a “totalitarian impulse.”

“I urge our transatlantic allies to push the Digital Services Act across the finish line and bolster global democracy before it’s too late,” she added, speaking about a new law proposed by the European Union which will force Big Tech companies to better police illegal content posted online.

Actor Adam Baldwin mentioned Hillary’s “tyrannical impulse,” tweeting, “No, your totalitarian impulse is wrong. Best and least restrictive practice is for the free market to distill and decide ideas. GTFO of the way!”

“Once they called the revelations from Hunter’s laptop ‘disinformation’ they made it clear the word simply means ‘stuff damaging to Democrats.’ It shocks me that journalists take cries of ‘disinformation’ seriously still,” author and Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney tweeted about tech platforms censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020.

Carney continued: “…and so we know exactly what the below [Hillary’s tweet] means. Democrats want to use the force of the government to push Big Tech to censor news and commentary that makes them look bad.”

“Like her co-conspirator Obama, Hillary Clinton also wants the government to regulate and censor speech she doesn’t like,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton tweeted, referencing the former president’s recent initiative to counter “disinformation” online. 

“Our Republic is under assault. A former president (Obama) and former and possible presidential candidate (Hillary Clinton) just reconfirmed support for mass government monitoring and censorship of Americans,” Fitton said in another tweet.

Many are calling for Americans to stand up against global censorship.

(RepublicanWire.org) – Progressives can’t defend their ideas in an open debate. They also can’t honestly explain away the horrible results of their policies.

That is why leftists rely on censorship to advance their agendas. Blocking opposing voices means no debate happens before or during their actions, and there is no accountability for their failures afterward.

The internet is the new public square, and Big Tech colludes to quash free speech.

Now, however, free speech advocate Elon Musk seems intent on changing that. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO became Twitter’s largest stockholder on April 4 when he bought 9.2 percent of the social media giant — and he has positioned himself to go much further.

Unsurprisingly, the company’s embedded progressive employees are melting down at even the possibility that more liberty might invade their “safe space.”

Before Musk’s purchase, he created a Twitter poll on March 25 that could be seen as a shot across the bow.

“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy,” he said. “Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?”

More than 2 million people responded, and 70.4 percent indicated Twitter was a communications platform that was unprincipled about communication. That’s an organization in need of reform.

Of course the partisans of the censorious status quo feel threatened.

As reported Monday by Bloomberg, a director from Twitter’s AI research team, Rumman Chowdhury, tweeted, “Musk’s immediate chilling effect was something that bothered me significantly.”

The Twitter board tried to corral the company’s new largest shareholder by getting Musk to join the board of directors. CEO Parag Agrawal announced it on April 5 as if it were a done deal.

Being a board member would have limited Musk to owning 14.9 percent of the company’s stock — and might have encouraged him to tone down his public criticisms.

Instead, Musk turned down the board membership, giving him flexibility for further actions, even those that confront the existing corporate culture.

That gave Twitter’s disgruntled employees even more to worry about. Musk is known for erratic behavior and has enough money not to worry about consequences.

Musk sent a series of now-deleted tweets that seemed designed to troll the concerned workers. He mused about turning the corporate headquarters into a homeless shelter and shaking up the way authentication checkmarks are awarded, and even made a crude joke about removing the W from the brand name, according to The Washington Post.

He could force his ideas onto the company by increasing his stock ownership or aligning with other unhappy shareholders.

Bloomberg described Twitter staffers as “super stressed” with some saying they were “working together to help each other get through the week.”

I think it’s hilarious. They are afraid of losing the usurped power they held over society. Twitter manipulates narratives instead of supporting open dialogue.

Twitter abused the public trust. It took an active part in blocking honest discussions about COVID-19, the 2020 election, political class corruption and so much more. It censored the president of the United States. The platform needs a major overhaul.

It remains to be seen if there is even enough left to salvage. On Saturday, Musk himself wondered if Twitter was dying based on the low activity on major accounts.

This year, Trump Media and Technology Group, whose chairman is former President Donald Trump, launched a competing platform, TRUTH Social. Its CEO, former GOP Rep. Devin Nunes, described Twitter as “a ghost town” and observed, “Once you get rid of the bots and the trolls, you really have a house of cards.”

Twitter employees are worried Musk might prevent them from acting as the Thought Police. Time will tell if he is serious about making it a responsible, neutral platform again.

After the incident at the Capitol on January 6, the media — and social media companies — rushed to throw blame at every conservative they could. President Trump, despite his attempts to calm the crowd. Conservatives in general, despite the peaceful nature of the protest. In the rush to demonize anyone to the Right of Nancy Pelosi, conservative social media network Parler was removed from Apple and Android app stores. Then, Amazon killed its web hosting. Eventually, Parler found a new hosting service that doesn’t hate free speech. But now, he company has won a major victory: it’s back on iPhone app stores.

Noting the company’s commitment to constantly improve its methods of detecting and moderating hate speech — which has always been against Parler’s rules — Apple sent a letter to Congress on Monday announcing that the social media service would be allowed to return. CNN reports:

The letter — addressed to Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ken Buck and obtained by CNN — explained that since the app was removed from Apple’s platform in January for violations of its policies, Parler “has proposed updates to its app and the app’s content moderation practices.”On April 14, Apple’s app review team told Parler that its proposed changes were sufficient, the letter continued. Now, all Parler needs to do is to flip the switch.

“Apple anticipates that the updated Parler app will become available immediately upon Parler releasing it,” Apple’s letter said.Apple declined to comment. Parler didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

When Apple removed Parler from the app store, it was for things that exist on other social media platforms — “hate speech,” glorification of violence, and more. Parler has always made an effort to moderate these things, but the newness of the platform allowed the Left to take advantage of growing pains to cut off access.

We can expect the Left to throw tantrums — but now that the media-stoked furor has died down, we are regaining some sense of sensibility.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has warned that social media companies like Facebook and Twitter’s decisions to censor conservative speech may have dire consequences. Recently, Thomas blasted Section 240 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects these companies from the consequences of their actions for many things, including censorship.

NPR reports that Thomas is incensed that Twitter and other companies abused their platforms to unfairly ban President Trump and others simply for exercising their First Amendment rights:

…Thomas took broad aim at social media networks, attacking Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the landmark law that protects technology companies from lawsuits and also provides platforms wide latitude in patrolling speech on their sites.

To Thomas, Twitter’s ban of Trump exposed the potential abuses of this legal protection, noting how “applying old doctrines to new digital platforms is rarely straightforward.”

Thomas went on: “As Twitter made clear, the right to cut off speech lies most powerfully in the hands of private digital platforms. The extent to which that power matters for purposes of the First Amendment and the extent to which that power could lawfully be modified raise interesting and important questions,” Thomas wrote.

Big Tech companies Facebook and Google, Thomas pointed out, have vast and largely unchecked control over online marketplaces.

“It changes nothing that these platforms are not the sole means for distributing speech or information. A person always could choose to avoid the toll bridge or train and instead swim the Charles River or hike the Oregon Trail,” Thomas says. “But in assessing whether a company exercises substantial market power, what matters is whether the alternatives are comparable. For many of today’s digital platforms, nothing is.”

Thomas feels that social media companies are “sufficiently akin” to a public utility like a phone company, and should be  “regulated in this manner” rather than be given unchecked censorship power.

Could the Supreme Court step up and force social media companies to be fair under the First Amendment? Only time will tell — but Thomas clearly wants to.