If Big Tech’s latest censorship fiasco – the suppression of a New York Post scoop that might harm Joe Biden’s presidential campaign – doesn’t spur Republicans to act, they may as well quit pretending to represent their voters.
If even this isn’t enough to trigger so-called conservatives to loosen Silicon Valley’s death grip on America’s public marketplace of ideas, nothing will. All the talk about defending free speech and fighting election interference will be exposed for the meaningless posturing that it is, much like all those years of hearing Republicans campaign on stopping illegal immigration, which they had no intention of doing.
In this case, however, the stakes are more personal for Republican politicians. This isn’t only about throwing their constituents under the bus and giving lip service about political bias while taking donations from the likes of Google and Amazon. This time, the bus is about to run over them and leave tread-marks on their former careers in Washington.→
If Facebook and Twitter are private companies and can allow whatever they want on their sites, then they are not content neutral platforms, they are publishers, and must be subject to defamation and other laws to which publishers must comply. From Glenn Greenwald at theintercept.com:
Just weeks before the election, the tech giants unite to block access to incriminating reporting about their preferred candidate.
The New York Post is one of the country’s oldest and largest newspapers. Founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton, only three U.S. newspapers are more widely circulated. Ever since it was purchased in 1976 by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, it has been known — like most Murdoch-owned papers — for right-wing tabloid sensationalism, albeit one that has some real reporters and editors and is capable of reliable journalism.
On Wednesday morning, the paper published on its cover what it heralded as a “blockbuster” scoop: “smoking gun” evidence, in its words, in the form of emails purportedly showing that Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, traded on his father’s position by securing favors from the then-Vice President to benefit the Ukranian energy company Burisma, which paid the supremely unqualified Hunter $50,000 each month to sit on its Board. While the Biden campaign denies that any such meetings or favors ever occurred, neither the campaign nor Hunter, at least as of now, has denied the authenticity of the emails.
The Post’s hyping of the story as some cataclysmic bombshell was overblown. While these emails, if authenticated, provide some new details and corroboration, the broad outlines of this story have long been known: Hunter was paid a very large monthly sum by Burisma at the same time that his father was quite active in using the force of the U.S. Government to influence Ukraine’s internal affairs.
The social media outlets aren’t even pretending to be impartial anymore, and nobody would believe them if they tried. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
As if anyone needed more evidence of Silicon Valley’s overt political bias – just weeks before Twitter and Facebook nuked Biden corruption revelations from their platforms with the intensity of a thousand suns, executives from both companies joined the Biden transition team.
In a bombshell report from the New York Post, leaked emails reveal that Hunter Biden introduced his father to a Burisma executive less than a year before then-VP Joe Biden pressured the Ukrainian government into firing its chief prosecutor investigating the company – something Biden openly bragged about on tape.
As soon as the news hit, social media cracked down – suspending accounts who shared the story – including the NY Post, and preventing people from tweeting it or sharing it in Direct Messages (DMs). Twitter defended itself, claiming in a nebulous statement that they do not allow ‘content obtained through hacking that contains private information, may put people in physical harm or danger, or contains trade secrets.’
The Biden emails weren’t hacked – they were found on a laptop reportedly dropped off at a Delaware computer repair store. Yet, Twitter had no problem allowing President Trump’s leaked tax records on the platform.
Twitter once again throws its weight around, censoring Breitbart for daring to challenge conventional medical wisdom. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Update (1015ET): Breitbart News is still unable to post to their 1.4 million followers on Twitter, after their account was locked and suspended for posting the viral video of pro-HCQ doctors at the heart of the latest debate over Silicon Valley censorship.
According to Breitbart, Twitter has yet to respond to their appeal after nearly three days.
Twitter is punishing a news organization for live-streaming a press conference held by a congressman and licensed medical doctors.
Breitbart News lodged an appeal with Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. Nearly 48 hours later, Twitter has yet to respond or restore Breitbart’s ability to post. Twitter has not replied to a Breitbart News request for comment on how long such a review is expected to take.
You have to wonder if Jack Dorsey will ever read this letter, but it has some worthwhile sentiments. From Jason Sullivan and Bill Binney at zerohedge.com:
Open Letter to Jack Dorsey…
The American People and Social Media
“We seek a free flow of information… we are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values.”
– John F. Kennedy, February 1962
Dear Mr. Dorsey,
At the September 5, 2018, U.S. Congressional Hearing in which you gave testimony under oath, you stated, in part:
“Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules. We believe strongly in being impartial, and we strive to enforce our rules impartially. We do not shadowban anyone based on political ideology. From a simple business perspective and to serve the public conversation, Twitter is incentivized to keep all voices on the platform.”
What we now know, thanks to multiple media investigations, is that; not only is Twitter engaged in censorship, but that it also openly weights its decisions by subjective terminology like “highest potential for harm” meant to obscure its motive of silencing any opposition to the mainstream narrative of both political “sides.”
Google, YouTube and Twitter have set themselves up as medical censors. From Joseph Mercola at lewrockwell.com:
The documentary “Plandemic” by Mikki Willis has raised the ante on internet censorship to a whole new level. Across the board, the film has been banned from social media platforms and hidden by Google. If you do an online search for it, all you find are dozens of pages with articles calling it a hoax, a fraud or the dreaded old “conspiracy theory.”
The film features Judy Mikovits, Ph.D., a cellular and molecular biologist1 whose research showed that many vaccines are contaminated with gammaretroviruses, thanks to the fact that they use viruses grown in contaminated animal cell lines.
A May 27, 2020, article2 in The Jewish Voice, which carries the telling headline, “Washington Post Journalist Advocates Censorship of Controversial Dr. Judy Mikovits Film, as Stunning Censorship Grips World,” notes:
“When The Jewish Voice posted the 20 minute preview of Dr. Judy Mikovitz’ documentary ‘Plandemic’ our website literally crashed for 24 hours straight due to huge traffic … The movie is about vaccines and pandemics and her views on Bill Gates and others. Is the 20-minute preview controversial, absolutely — is this material dangerous? Absolutely not.
“Free speech” and “social media” are fast becoming oxymoronic. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:
Below is my column on the Twitter controversy and censorship of social media. President Donald Trump has continued to tweet on cracking down on the riots as well as controversy over his tweets on Twitter. Like former Vice President Joe Biden, he is now calling for the outright elimination of Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act. While supported by many liberal members and commentators, Twitter continues to build a case against itself — and ultimately free speech on the Internet.
Here is the column:
Free speech, our defining right in the United States, seems to be dangling on social media. Twitter added warnings on tweets from President Trump, marking a major escalation of speech controls on the internet, something that has been demanded by Democrats. While the company clarified that Trump did not violate the rules, it still intervened between him and all his followers to add its own view of the truth on a political controversy.
The action against Trump on his mail voting tweets is the realization of the fear of free speech advocates. People sign up for updates from Trump, not Twitter, but the company decided to force his 80 million followers to view its own position on this issue. Imagine if a telephone company listened for errant political statements on calls to flag its business concerns.
If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em. Maybe this is how the voices shut out of the big social media sites will get their voices reinstated. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Some will say it’s long overdue. We would agree.
According to Bloomberg, billionaire Paul Singer’s activist hedge fund Elliott Management has taken a sizable stake in Twitter and plans to push for changes at the social media company, including replacing Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey. As part of its activist campaign, Elliott has nominated four directors to Twitter’s board, and while there are only three seats becoming available at this year’s annual meeting Elliott wanted to ensure that it nominated enough directors to fill all three seats or any other vacancies that may arise.
Initially, Elliott reportedly approached Twitter about its concerns privately “and has had constructive discussions with it since then”, although the hostile turn of events suggests that discussions were not all that “constructive.”
Elliott’s push to revamp Twitter comes at a pivotal time – just as Twitter cracks down on alternative voices, silencing and suspending anyone who disagrees with the company’s ultraliberal, virtue signaling ethos without as much as a second thought. As an example of Twitter’s unprecedented anti-conservative bias we can point to the recent tweet of the company’s associate General Counsel Jeff Rich, who in direct breach of his own employer’s Terms of Service, recently urged his followers to “cull” Trump from the herd, in what appears to have been a clear appeal to assassinate a sitting US president.
The tech giants are aiding and abetting the government’s ever-increasing repression and curtailment of liberty. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:
A second former Amazon employee would spark more controversy. Deap Ubhi, a former AWS employee who worked for Lynch, was tasked with gathering marketing information to make the case for a single cloud inside the DOD. Around the same time that he started working on JEDI, Ubhi began talking with AWS about rejoining the company. As his work on JEDI deepened, so did his job negotiations. Six days after he received a formal offer from Amazon, Ubhi recused himself from JEDI, fabricating a story that Amazon had expressed an interest in buying a startup company he owned. A contracting officer who investigated found enough evidence that Ubhi’s conduct violated conflict of interest rules to refer the matter to the inspector general, but concluded that his conduct did not corrupt the process. (Ubhi, who now works in AWS’ commercial division, declined comment through a company spokesperson.)
Ubhi worsened the impression by making ill-advised public statements while still employed by the DOD. In a tweet, he described himself as “once an Amazonian, always an Amazonian.”
That U.S. tech giants are willing participants in facilitating mass government surveillance has been widely known for a while, particularly since whistleblower Edward Snowden risked his life and liberty to tell us about it six years ago. We also know what happens to executives who don’t play ball.
Let’s just have the US and UK governments jointly nationalize Twitter at a handsome premium to its current stock price, make it a propaganda agency, and be done with it. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
“The senior Twitter executive with editorial responsibility for the Middle East is also a part-time officer in the British Army’s psychological warfare unit,” Cobain writes. “Gordon MacMillan, who joined the social media company’s UK office six years ago, has for several years also served with the 77th Brigade, a unit formed in 2015 in order to develop ‘non-lethal’ ways of waging war. The 77th Brigade uses social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as podcasts, data analysis and audience research to wage what the head of the UK military, General Nick Carter, describes as ‘information warfare’.”
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