Tag: free speech
FCC, FTC and DOJ Asked to Block Elon Musk Acquisition of Twitter on Grounds it Poses a ‘Direct Threat to American Democracy and Free Speech’; Commission Rejects Request
Media Suddenly ‘Concerned’ About ‘Censorship’ and Banning of Politicians from Twitter Amid Elon Musk Takeover
SPEECH FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE: Facebook Suspends Trump Account Until At Least 2023
SAN FRANCISCO (The Hill) — Facebook announced Friday that it is suspending former President Trump until Jan. 7, 2023, a full two years after he was first barred from the platform.
After that date, Facebook will evaluate whether the “risk to public safety” of restoring Trump’s account has abated.
If the suspension is then lifted, Trump will be subject to a “strict” set of sanctions for future policy violations, Facebook said.
“We know that any penalty we apply — or choose not to apply — will be controversial,” Facebook’s Nick Clegg said in a blog post. “We know today’s decision will be criticized by many people on opposing sides of the political divide — but our job is to make a decision in as proportionate, fair and transparent a way as possible, in keeping with the instruction given to us by the Oversight Board.”
The suspension is being made under new enforcement protocols announced Friday in response to the company’s independent Oversight Board ruling that the initial indefinite suspension was not appropriate.
Trump in a statement called the decision “an insult” to Americans who voted for him while repeating his false claim that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
“They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win,” the former president said. “Our Country can’t take this abuse anymore!”
The Oversight Board said it is “encouraged” by Facebook’s adoption of some of its policy recommendations.
“The Board believes the steps Facebook has committed to today will contribute to greater clarity, consistency and transparency in the way the company moderates content, and promote public safety, defend human rights and respect freedom of expression. The Board monitors Facebook’s implementation of all its decisions and recommendations, and intends to hold the company to account on its commitments,” the board said in a statement.
Facebook also announced Friday that it will be providing more clarity about its newsworthiness policy, which allows posts that would otherwise violate platform policy to stay on the site “if it’s newsworthy and if keeping it visible is in the public interest.” The platform claims that, moving forward, it will no longer apply the newsworthiness standard differently to politicians.
The platform is also publicly publishing its strike system that it uses to determine the severity of punishment that can be doled out to successive infringements of Facebook policies.
Trump was initially suspended for posts made about the 2020 election and deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Other platforms, including Twitter, went further than Facebook and instituted a permanent ban on the former president.
The Oversight Board — a collection of academics, former journalists and politicians — said that while the decision to suspend Trump was justified given the situation, the lack of clarity around the length of the suspension and what policy explained the duration was problematic.
Facebook said that it will fully implement 15 of the board’s 19 recommendations.
Notably, it is only partially accepting a suggestion to review its own role in facilitating the spread of the narrative that the 2020 was stolen.
“Ultimately… we believe that independent researchers and our democratically elected officials are best positioned to complete an objective review of these events,” the company wrote in its responses to the recommendations.
Facebook also made clear it believes the responsibility for the events of Jan. 6 “lies with the insurrectionists and those who encouraged them.”
The platform was rife with posts about both the election and plans for Jan. 6 in the weeks leading up to the deadly riot, and critics have said Facebook did not do enough to proactively address them.
Facebook critics slammed the platform’s announcement that leaves open the possibility of Trump coming back onto the platform ahead of the 2024 election.
“Facebook’s decision to reinstate Donald Trump’s accounts just in time for the 2024 presidential election puts the public and our democracy in danger,” Muslim Advocates’s senior policy counsel, Madihha Ahussain, said in a statement.
James Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media, said Facebook’s failure to permanently ban Trump underscored the need for a “comprehensive tech agenda.”
“A two-year ban gets us past the 2022 election cycle, but does not protect Americans from his interference in the next presidential election, which is why Facebook should, and can, permanently ban Trump,” Steyer said in a statement.
The Real Facebook Oversight Board, a group of tech advocates critical of Facebook and its oversight body, slammed Facebook’s Friday announcement as “accountability theater.”
“This is more evidence that we need actual independent oversight where the terms are enforceably set for Facebook, not just optional recommendations from a body they created and fund,” the group said in a statement.
The Oversight Board that advises the company is funded through a $130 million trust from Facebook to cover the operational costs, but has its own staff independent from the social media giant.
The Hill’s Chris Mills Rodrigo and Rebecca Klar contributed to the contents of this report.
TRUMP JR.: Facebook, Twitter Using Power to ‘Manipulate’ 2020 Election
WASHINGTON — Left leaning social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are unfairly targeting conservatives, Donald Trump, Jr. said Tuesday, and something, he says, needs to be done about it.
In an interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, Trump said the censoring of conservatives by major social media platforms is a violation of free speech.
“It’s people who are pro-life, it’s people who are pro-Second Amendment, the religious right, I mean it’s happened to me on numerous occasions,” Trump Jr. said. “I got targeted for hate speech, but it turns out I was right,” he said. “That didn’t stop the mainstream media from, you know, dragging me through the mud for three or four days but you know that’s what’s going on.”
Facebook and Twitter are “controlled by leftists … they all believe in one thing and it’s not free speech,” said Trump. “They only believe in their speech, you know, you can only be woke. If you’re not woke, again a cancellable offense.”
Trump went on to say that social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are also doing whatever they can to prevent his father, President Donald Trump, from winning re-election.
They’re “doing whatever they can to manipulate an election,” Trump claimed, by making sure “certain content is pushed and others’ is totally stymied and that’s not right … they gotta lose those protections and the liability that’s probably worth billions of dollars in terms of protection to them from our federal government because taxpayers shouldn’t be funding their own suppression.”
‘ENOUGH!’: Trump Vows to ‘Close Down’ Social Media Platforms That Censor Conservatives
WASHINGTON — Fed up with what he declared efforts to “silence conservatives voices,” President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to shut down social media platforms that target Republicans.
The move comes after Twitter added fact-check labels to a pair of Trump’s tweets on Tuesday in which the president claimed there is no way “mail-in ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent.” The labels Twitter attached claimed the tweets “contain potentially misleading information about voting processes” and were put in place “to provide additional contest around mail-in ballots.”
“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016,” Trump tweeted in responses to the labeling. “We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that happen again. Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!”
High profile conservatives have long complained of unjust practices by social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, claiming that their accounts were censored, removed from view and unfairly banned.
In an appearance on Fox News, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley complained of special protections put in place to shield tech companies, many of which receive federal funding, from being sued for such practices. “They get this special immunity, this special immunity from suits and from liability that’s worth billions of dollars to them every year. Why are they getting subsidized by federal taxpayers to censor conservatives, to censor people critical of China?”
WAR OF WORDS: Marco Rubio and Alex Jones go to battle over free speech
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Alex Jones and Marco Rubio on Wednesday went head to head outside a hearing over internet censorship with the pair nearly coming to blows in a physical exchange.
Jones, an often colorful alternative news journalist approached Rubio as the Florida senator was being interviewed by a team of waiting press regarding Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who was facing questions from a House committee on whether or not his social media platform had ever “shadow banned” conservatives.
Confronting Rubio before the cameras, Jones, who recently had his social media accounts shut down by Facebook and Youtube, claimed Republicans like Rubio are guilty of pretending that unfair censorship “doesn’t exist.”
After interrupting Rubio’s interview several times in an effort to get Rubio to respond to his allegations, Jones touched the former Republican presidential candidate on the arm and asked for a direct response.
“Hey, don’t touch me again, man,” Rubio said to Jones. “I’m asking you not to touch me again.”
“Sure, I just patted you nicely,” Jones replied while standing to Rubio’s right in the Senate hallway.
“But I don’t want to be touched. I don’t know who you are,” Rubio replied.
Outraged at the rebuff, Jones went on to accuse Rubio of being a liar. “You know exactly who I am,” Jones shouted. “You want me to get arrested, but you can’t shut me up.”
“You’re not going to get arrested,” Rubio replied. “I’ll take care of you myself.”
Seeming to relish Rubio’s response, Jones then accused Rubio of threatening to “beat him up” and referred to him as a “little gangster thug.”
Rubio then answered one more reporter’s question, as Jones carried on, remarking, “I’ll leave you to interview this clown.”
Alex Jones, at the height of his show’s popularity, had millions of subscribers to both his Facebook pages and YouTube channels.
Conservative media have challenged social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter with claims that they censor pages that support President Donald Trump or other conservative causes. Both sites have publicly denied those claims.
CONSERVATIVES UNDER ATTACK: War on right continues as social media sites target Conservative press
KNOXVILLE, TN — The latest attack in the war on Conservatives has taken it’s latest victim…Your’s truly.
After posting to my official Facebook page on Wednesday plans by Antifa to target Arlington National Cemetery over its burial of Confederate soldiers, I was notified that the post had been removed because it “violated” Facebook’s “community standards”.
Moments later, I was notified that another post had been deleted and my account suspended for 30 days over my sharing of a collage of mainstream media headlines in which pedophilia was being openly advocated.
This is not my first time at the rodeo. Over the course of the last year, my Facebook account has been shut down on four separate occasions, my Twitter account suspended and my Instagram account closed due to what censors of the sites deemed “offensive content”.
Ironically, I’ve had it pretty good compared to other conservative journalists and political commentators. In the last year, Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly and Eric Bolling have been forced from their high-profile gigs at the once right-leaning news network after being targeted by the left with unsubstantiated claims of sexual harassment.
In an interview with NBC’s Today, O’Reilly called his removal from the network the result of a “hit job” by the left (https://www.today.com/news/bill-o-reilly-sexual-harassment-allegations-against-him-was-hit-t116460).
“In 42 years, I’ve been in this business. I’ve worked for 12 companies. Not any time have I had any interaction with HR, any complaints filed against me,” O’Reilly told NBC host Matt Lauer, adding: “Nobody is a perfect person but I can go to sleep at night very well knowing that I’ve never mistreated anyone on my watch in 42 years.”
Bolling also denied allegations that he had engaged in sexual harassment after reports surfaced that he had sent unwanted “sext messages” to three women (http://deadline.com/2017/08/fox-news-eric-bolling-lewd-photos-sexual-harassment-1202143178/).
“Mr. Bolling recalls no such inappropriate communications, does not believe he sent any such communications, and will vigorously pursue his legal remedies for any false and defamatory accusations that are made,” Bolling’s attorney, Michael J. Bowe, said in a statement.
In a separate statement to Breitbart News, Bowe said, “The story is based on anonymous sources and not true. No such unsolicited communications occurred.”
Many conservative journalists who were essentially forced to work undercover during the 8 years of the Obama administration had hoped that the election of Donald Trump would result in a new found freedom of expression.
To date, that has not happened.
If anything, the bloodthirstiness of the left has only increased as a majority of the mainstream media, still reeling with anger over the election loss of their beloved Hillary Clinton, seek to destroy anyone who aids President Trump in his “America First” agenda.
To them, American values, as they once stood, simply can not be permitted to return.
However, what social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter fail to realize is that for every conservative commentator or journalist with a high profile that they shoot down, there are millions of hard core patriots behind them who are willing to make their own voices be heard. The men and women of America who are sick and tired of being told that they are “bad” or “evil” for being a Christian or for even simply being white. Men and women who work hard, pay taxes and all they want in return is to give their own children a better hope for the future.
I am just one voice in a sea of many. My voice may have been silenced (temporarily), but the powers that be are soon to be deafened by the screams of those who stand for the same as I.
To protect our borders. To protect our flag. To protect our children. And to protect our future.