Twitter wasn’t stopping people from yelling “fire” in a crowded movie house. They were shutting people down because of their political views. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:
Yesterday’s hearing of the House Oversight Committee featured three former Twitter executives who are at the center of the growing censorship scandal involving the company: Twitter’s former chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde, former deputy general counsel James Baker and former head of trust and safety Yoel Roth. However, it was the testimony of the only witness called by the Democrats that proved the most enlightening and chilling. Former Twitter executive Anika Collier Navaroli testified on what she repeatedly called the “nuanced” standard used by her and her staff on censorship. Toward the end of the hearing, she was asked about that standard by Rep. Melanie Ann Stansbury (D., NM). Her answer captured precisely why Twitter’s censorship system proved a nightmare for free expression. Stansbury’s agreement with her take on censorship only magnified the concerns over the protection of free speech on social media.
Even before Stansbury’s question, the hearing had troubling moments. Ranking Member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D., Md) opened up the hearing insisting that Twitter has not censored enough material and suggesting that it was still fueling violence by allowing disinformation to be posted on the platform.
Navaroli then testified how she felt that there should have been much more censorship and how she fought with the company to remove more material that she and her staff considered “dog whistles” and “coded” messaging.
The push is on — harder than ever — not just to ban people like me from Twitter and YouTube, but to make what we say illegal. Sheila Jackson-Lee, congresswoman from Texas for the last 28 years, has been fighting “racism” all her life — just ask her — and she was at it again last week.
On January 9th, she introduced an act in Congress, “To prevent and prosecute white supremacy inspired hate crime and conspiracy to commit white supremacy inspired hate crime.”
The Left has ignored it, but conservatives are paying attention. Breitbart News says the bill would criminalize “criticism of non-white people.”
I’m sure the congresswoman would love to do that, but that’s not quite what her bill does.
It does invent a new category of hate crimes: those that are inspired by white supremacy. What’s white supremacy? We get this: “antagonism based on “replacement theory”, or “hate speech that vilifies or is otherwise directed against any non-White person or group.”
Can Western Civ, as James Howard Kunstler calls it, rescue itself from suicide? From Kunstler at kunstler.com:
Twitter execs were regularly meeting with FBI over what to censor. Twitter’s censorship was almost 100% aligned with the Dem Party. Twitter’s chief censors were deranged ideologues abusing their power over our discourse to silence dissent. —Glenn Greenwald
Startling fact of the week: Twitter’s senior ranks of content moderators included over a dozen former FBI and CIA agents and analysts who let child porn run loose all over the app while surgically removing any utterance contradicting the government’s claim that mRNA “vaccines” are “safe and effective” — not to mention the effort this elite crew expended against anyone objecting to the Woke-Left’s race and gender hustles. Wouldn’t you like to know how much they were paid? Probably more than government work.
Here’s another awful reality (better fasten your seatbelts): What also emerged in the tweet record of Yoel Roth, the company’s chief censor (former “Head of Trust and Safety”), begins to look like a gay mafia assault on the collective American psyche. Having gained official federal government sanction and protection, a statistically tiny homosexual demographic left in charge of the country’s main public forum has been out for revenge against their perceived enemy, political conservatives — Americans disinclined to join the cheerleading for drag queen story hours, “minor-attracted persons,” transsexuals in the military, and other LBGTQ cultural pranks.
We know why and now we’re finding out how the totalitarians have executed their tyrannical designs. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
I admit to being skeptical of Elon Musk as a free speech hero. He has moved from one US government-subsidized business to another on his path to becoming the world’s richest person. But there is no denying that his release of the “Twitter Papers” this past weekend, which blew the lid off government manipulation of social media, has been a huge victory for those of us who value the First Amendment.
The release, in coordination with truly independent journalist Matt Taibbi, demonstrated indisputably how politicians and representatives of “official Washington” pressed the teams that were then in charge of censorship at Twitter to remove Tweets and even ban accounts that were guilty of nothing beyond posting something the power-brokers did not want the general public to read. Let’s not forget that many of those demanding Twitter censorship were US government officials who had taken an oath to the US Constitution and its First Amendment.
It is important to understand that both US political parties were involved in pushing Twitter to censor information they didn’t like. There is plenty of corruption to go around. However, as the Twitter Papers demonstrated, vastly more Tweets were censored at the demand of Democratic Party politicians simply because Twitter employees on the censorship team were overwhelmingly Democratic Party supporters.
Perhaps the most damning piece of evidence released in this first installment of the Twitter Papers was a series of Tweets from the Biden 2020 campaign to its contact inside Twitter asking that the social media censor them. An internal Twitter document shows that the censor team “handled these,” meaning censored them.
James Burnham and the Machiavellian tradition show that the truth doesn’t always, or even often, win in politics. However, having the truth on your side does come with tactical advantages. It means white advocates can defend free speech not just from principle, but for political advantage. If we can speak, we win. It’s our opponents who are spreading dangerous misinformation of race denial and the huge conspiracy theory that is known as “white privilege.”
Even (especially) if we were in power, I’d be a free speech absolutist. The 2015–2016 presidential campaign was an example of what free speech can accomplish.
Our opponents seem to think it was, too. They are afraid that Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover will mean more free speech, and unlike in 2015–2016, they are pushing repression right away.
There’s a clear and present danger that free speech may break out, and the Left is girding for battle. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:
“I have had enough of this insanity and lack of national media attention or regulatory attention to this clear and present danger and tragedy.” — Ed Dowd
Barreling down to Christmas and the bitter butt end of a bad year, a primal fear of the deepening darkness makes people desperate — another reminder that human nature has not changed so much in ten thousand years, despite the discoveries of Prozac and plant-based meat. Yet Freud was right: death has its attractions for tormented minds. Thus, our nation appears to hasten to its own funeral.
Can anyone actually grok how “progressive” thinking works these days? This faction now in charge of so many things has decided in the starkest terms that freedom of speech has got to go. For some years, the Party of Chaos had achieved such exquisite control of all national debate by seizing the dials and toggles of social media that they made reality itself their hostage. The truth was only what they said it was, and anyone who said otherwise got banished, cancelled, and even destroyed.
A lot more lawsuits by states against the federal government should be filed, against all sorts of liberty-destroying laws and regulations. From Katabella Roberts at The Epoch Times via zerohedge.com:
Two Republican-led states have filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden, White House press secretary Jen Psaki, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and other top administration officials for allegedly pressuring and colluding with social media giants with the aim of censoring and suppressing free speech.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana on April 5, they announced in separate statements on Thursday.
The attorneys claim that Biden and other government officials worked with big tech companies like Meta, Twitter, and YouTube to censor conversation around matters relating to everything from COVID-19 and election integrity to the Hunter Biden laptop story, doing so under the guise of combating “misinformation.”
Others named in the lawsuit include Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and the executive director of DHS’s newly established “Disinformation Governance Board,” Nina Jankowicz.
The new Ministry of Truth may be the final nail in the coffin of American civil liberties. From Boyd D. Cathey at lewrockwell.com:
I suspect that many readers will have seen the opening monologue of the Tucker Carlson Tonight program of Thursday, April 28. For seventeen minutes Carlson took direct aim at the latest advance of the Biden administration and the managerial state in their incremental assumption of authoritarian power over not only over what Americans read or see, but how they think: the creation of a new agency within the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Disinformation Governance Board.
Here is the clip, and it’s a message that should send chills down the backs of every American who is at all concerned about what has happened and is happening to our country…and about those supposed guaranteed rights of speech under the Constitution.
Glenn Greenwald is certainly not the first to point out the fascism of the anti-fascists. From Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:
Those who most flamboyantly proclaim that they are fighting fascists continue to embrace and wield the defining weapons of despotism.
When it comes to distant and adversarial countries, we are taught to recognize tyranny through the use of telltale tactics of repression. Dissent from orthodoxies is censored. Protests against the state are outlawed. Dissenters are harshly punished with no due process. Long prison terms are doled out for political transgressions rather than crimes of violence. Journalists are treated as criminals and spies. Opposition to the policies of political leaders are recast as crimes against the state.
When a government that is adverse to the West engages in such conduct, it is not just easy but obligatory to malign it as despotic. Thus can one find, on a virtually daily basis, articles in the Western press citing the government’s use of those tactics in Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela and whatever other countries the West has an interest in disparaging (articles about identical tactics from regimes supported by the West — from Riyadh to Cairo — are much rarer). That the use of these repressive tactics render these countries and their populations subject to autocratic regimes is considered undebatable.
But when these weapons are wielded by Western governments, the precise opposite framework is imposed: describing them as despotic is no longer obligatory but virtually prohibited. That tyranny exists only in Western adversaries but never in the West itself is treated as a permanent axiom of international affairs, as if Western democracies are divinely shielded from the temptations of genuine repression. Indeed, to suggest that a Western democracy has descended to the same level of authoritarian repression as the West’s official enemies is to assert a proposition deemed intrinsically absurd or even vaguely treasonous.
In Canada, like the U.S., protection of free speech depends heavily on the political orientation of the speaker. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:
Below is my column in the Hill on the government and media campaign against the Canadian truckers. The Canadian government has now cleared the Ambassador Bridge. However, there was lasting damage done to the rights of free speech and association after an alliance of the government, corporations, and the media sought to isolate the protesters politically and financially. The most disturbing element was the freezing of donations by companies and the courts. Most recently, the TD Bank joined in blocking support from thousands of citizens. The organized effort to cut off access to donations is alarming, particularly in conjunction with efforts to curtail social media and other informational avenues for the protesters.
Here is the column:
Canada appears to be facing its greatest threat since Benedict Arnold came close to seizing Ottawa in 1775. The source of this “insurrection” and “attack on democracy,” however, is not a foreign government but Canadians who have descended on their own capital to protest continuing COVID-19 mandates.
The protest has been peaceful — and highly successful in cutting off key highways. But the most alarming development has not come from the convoy but from the commentary about it, including calls for mass arrests and even vigilantism. The Ottawa Police Services Board chairman has called it a “nationwide insurrection,” adding, “Our city is under siege.”
CNN analyst and Harvard professor Juliette Kayyem was apoplectic at the thought of truckers shutting down roads and interfering with trade. She tweeted out a call to “slash the tires, empty gas tanks, arrest the drivers, and move the trucks.” CNN correspondent Paula Newton said this act of civil disobedience was nothing less than a “threat to democracy. An insurrection, sedition.”
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