from the White House
President Trump was right and justified Thursday to sign an executive order calling for new regulations to strip legal liability protections from social media companies that censor posts and engage in political conduct on their sites.
I hope the president never has to take action against any social media company. The solution to the very real problem of social media company discrimination – which most often is directed against conservative views – is to end the discrimination, rather than for the government to intervene.
However, President Trump and many conservatives have identified a serious problem. Twitter and some other social media companies want to be two things at the same time: common carriers where anyone can post comments, and news organizations that selectively fact-check some posts and determine which ones are accurate and which ones are not. Making such determinations is an editorial decision that is often very subjective.
Right now social media companies enjoy protection from liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act for what is posted on their sites, because in most cases they allow people to post whatever they wish – as if they were posting on a giant virtual bulletin board.
In contrast, news organizations can be sued for libel if they publish false information with “’actual malice’ – that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not,” according to a 1964 Supreme Court decision in the case New York Times Co. v. Sullivan.
More from Opinion
- Tucker Carlson: Big Tech authoritarians are willing to censor Trump, think nothing of silencing you
- Rep. Rodney Davis: Twitter tries to censor Trump with ‘fact check’ but gets its facts wrong on voter fraud
- Texas AG Ken Paxton: Trump is right and Twitter ‘fact check’ is wrong – mail-in ballot fraud is a real problem
On average more than 500 million tweets are posted each day. You can see the enormous number tweeted on the day you read this here. It would be impossible for Twitter to review each of these tweets and fact-check them all before posting. Other social media companies face a similar impossible task.
However, Twitter has selectively targeted conservatives – most recently President Trump this week – and has either taken down their tweets or labeled them as misleading and added a fact check, as was the case with two of the president’s tweets dealing with problems with mail-in voting.
Ironically, the president’s tweets saying voter fraud can take place with mail-in voting were accurate. Twitter’s fact check claiming that the president’s tweets were factually inaccurate was itself inaccurate.
What is crucial here is that by deciding to selectively review a tiny number of tweets on its site and running supposed fact checks on them, Twitter is exercising editorial judgment and deciding what people are told is true.
Even Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, told Fox News’ Dana Perino that social media companies should not act as the “arbiter of truth.”
President Trump’s executive order states that social media companies that remove or restrict content should be exposed to liability “like any traditional editor and publisher that is not an online provider.”
by Alex Bruce, US correspondent
The Truth Factory suspects that something deeper is afoot with the recent de-platforming and demonetization of numerous accounts belonging to Conservative pundits on Facebook. She takes a look at the history of Facebook to find out what is going on.
She reminds us of a DARPA project called LifeLog, which tracked users’ browsing, chat and banking histories – plus the books and magazines users had read, plus television watched – plus geolocation!
Does this sound like anything you’ve ever used? Like Facebook? She notes that DARPA’s LifeLog project was canceled on February 4, 2004 – on the very same date that Facebook was founded.
Facebook, like Google and other Big Tech companies was funded through CIA incubators, like In-Q-Tel and the Highlands Forum and it was always intended to be a form of privatized intelligence-gathering, which would enable the intelligence agencies and law enforcement to circumvent Constitutional law to spy on platform users.
She points out the speciousness of Zuckerberg’s story about the birth of Facebook and wonders how someone with the “charisma of styrofoam” was able to attract investors, let alone how someone with lackluster coding skills was able to write the hundreds of thousands of lines of source code for the Facebook website in a matter of 3 weeks while also attending classes at Harvard University full-time.
According to Michael McKibben, Zuckerberg’s claims sound far-fetched because they’re not true. McKibben claims his 1999 white paper with his revolutionary source code for the scalability of social media fell into Zuckerberg’s hands while the latter was attending Harvard as a classmate of his son. The verdict in McKibben’s case against Facebook said that Facebook HAD infringed on his patent – but that the patent was invalid due to an obscure law.
Until recently, Fcaebook was working with DARPA to develop a Silent Speech Interface, which would enable users to send texts and emails directly “from their brains”, without taking out their phones.
The Truth Factory says, “While they’re acting as moral arbiters, selectively silencing out speech, who is monitoring their morality?…Who is to say that this culture war and move towards political correctness and censorship online hasn’t been created and orchestrated by them through social manipulation, by intentionally and repeatedly showing us what they want us to believe?…If we weren’t a threat to them and their agenda, there wouldn’t be any need to get rid of us. They know that the right-leaning pundits on their websites in no small way helped Trump get elected. And now they’re using ‘hate speech’ to manipulate the entire world.”
The tech giants have so far evaded Anti-Trust litigation because they’ve provided a convenient way for the Deep State to break the law but if 13 Russian trolls can be indicted for subverting democracy by posting political memes on Facebook, then Facebook deleting American political pundits with millions of viewers is also subverting democracy and potentially manipulating political outcomes. On the bright side, the Anti-Trust investigations launched last week enjoy surprising bi-partisan support.
Running Time: 18 min
by Alex Bruce
As you may have heard by now, several personalities, including Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, Gavin McGinnes, Milo Yannopoulos and Louis Farrakhan were permanently de-platformed by Facebook on Thursday, with the most heavily-sanctioned entity being Alex Jones’ Infowars, which had already been de-platformed last year.
Like the others, Paul Joseph Watson had never broken Facebook rules but as an associate of Alex Jones and Infowars, he was deemed guilty by association. Like him, you too can now be banned from Facebook for sharing too many stories from the Infowars website!
What was really sick is that the usual suspect Far Left outlets, like BuzzFeed, in full coordination with Facebook published their stories about this mass de-platforming before many of the de-platformees were even aware that they’d been de-platformed! The entire move was actually rolled out as a celebratory publicity stunt.
CNN’s Nicaragua-born Never-Trumper “Republican”, Ana Navarro was ready to go Thursday afternoon on ABC’s The View, cheerleading Facebook and commenting about the de-platformees, “I want them shut down, I want them silenced, I want them muted. I think they are horrible for our society.”
Indeed, that Globalist engine known as Silicon Valley appears to be proceeding at a fast clip with their Chinese-style, social credit form of political and behavioral control. It’s as if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 Election.
The upside is the fertile discussion now unfolding, with mathematician, Kathy Neiheisel tweeting to remind us that US Tax Dollars funded the precursor to Facebook known as DARPA’s Lifelog project and that the American people are technically the owners of its R&D. She asks, “How was this gifted to Zuck and Jack? How dare those platforms limit speech when the USA taxpayer funded the R&D?”
For his part, President Trump issued multiple tweets deploring the banning and the demonetization of several Internet personalities in recent years, saying, “I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States of America — and we have what’s known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!”
To which Paul Joseph Watson responded pithily: “Thank you Mr. President. Now hopefully Facebook will be stripped of its immunity under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act because it is clearly acting as a partisan publisher and not a platform. This is election meddling.”
Watson is referring to section 230, tucked inside a 1996 law that attempted to regulate pornography. Section 230 is also known as the Internet Freedom and Family Empowerment Act, which states in part, “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
In other words, this section immunizes both ISPs and Internet users from liability for torts committed by others using their website or online forum, even if the provider fails to take action after receiving actual notice of the harmful or offensive content.
In other words, there is no US law forcing these Big Tech behemoths to impinge on the law of the land, that being the First Amendment. These tech giant censorship initiatives are purely extra-judicial. Their actions therefore make them publishers and not the “public square”-type platforms they claim to be and as publishers, they would be subject to an altogether different set of laws, including Copyright Infringement, which alone if enforced could shut down all social media, instantly!
I looked high and low for the best video to explain what’s happening and by far, the best one detailing this situation was done last night by Tucker Carlson, who explains what an outrage it is that a 34-year-old guppy worth $72 billion and completely cut off from the world can decide to roll back the First Amendment after 250 years (even if Zuck is a fake cardboard cut-out minion of his Globalist overlords).
Tucker is joined by journalist Chadwick Moore, who explains how Paul Joseph Watson’s case against Facebook could become incredibly contentious, due to the UK’s much stronger Libel laws (whereas in the US, Libel is weak, due to the First Amendment).
Running Time: 10+ mins