Five Big Tech Companies to Be Investigated for Censorship of Conservative Content: Indiana AG

The apps of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple on Aug. 28, 2019. (Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images)

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said on Wednesday that he will be scrutinizing five big tech companies that might have potentially caused harm to Indiana consumers through “abusive, deceptive and/or unfair” practices.

The five companies to be scrutinized by Rokita are Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

Epoch Times Photo
Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) announces the 2018 budget blueprint during a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 18, 2017. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

The attorney general is particularly looking into procedures that allegedly restrict consumers’ access to specific content, referring to the deletion or obscuring of conservative posts.

“In a free society, few assets are more important to consumers than access to information and the opportunity to express political viewpoints in meaningful forums,” Rokita said. “It is potentially harmful and unfair for these companies to manipulate content in ways they do not publicly discuss or that consumers do not fully understand.”

The attorney general is also probing into allegations that attorney Vanita Gupta took actions that encouraged censorship of conservative voices by the relevant companies.

Gupta is President Joe Biden’s nominee for associate U.S. attorney general. She was questioned in March by Republicans over her partisan record.

“Her Twitter feed has painted Republicans with a broad brush, describing our national convention last year as three nights of ‘racism, xenophobia, and outrageous lies,’” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said.

Rokita has previously been critical of censorship on social media. In February, he posted a Valentine’s day card with President Trump’s image with the words “You stole my heart like a 2020 election.” Twitter initially reacted by blocking the ability of the post to be retweeted or get replies, as well as adding a tag on the post saying that false information could cause violence.

Texas Senate Passes Social Media Bill

The Texas Senate passed a bill that forbids social media companies that have at least 100 million users per month to block, ban, demonetize, or discriminate against any of their users due to their political views.

Senate Bill 12, which is sponsored by Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes, passed on April 1 and would apply to Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms.

“I think we all have to acknowledge, these social media companies are the new town square,” Hughes said.

“And a small group of people in San Francisco can’t dictate free speech for the rest of us. It needs to be an open exchange of ideas, and Senate Bill 12 is going to get Texans back online.”

He said that the bill is on its way to the state House and that it is expected to get a good consideration, adding that he hopes that the governor will sign it into law soon.

The measure would require companies to make their moderation policies known, publish reports about the content blocked out by the platform, and create an appeals process for the removed content.

Source: Five Big Tech Companies to Be Investigated for Censorship of Conservative Content: Indiana AG

A Digital Apartheid Is Upon Us

Facebook, Google, and Twitter logos are seen in this combination photograph. (Reuters)

Commentary – John Mills

Col. (Ret.) John Mills is a national security professional with service in five eras: Cold War, Peace Dividend, War on Terror, World in Chaos, and now—Great Power Competition. He is the former director of cybersecurity policy, strategy, and international affairs at the Department of Defense.

It started innocuously. It was an acceptable drag coefficient from Facebook, just be careful what you say politically when you post something.

The quick and seemingly inexpensive brown boxes from Amazon were addictive, so just accept the sneers and derision of the self-appointed newspaper of record (subsidized by Jeff Bezos, the common owner of both).

Tweet away but be careful next time you were released from the penalty box.

Search all you want with Google, just ignore the first 100 returns that were algorithm-ed to shape your world view.

It’s been 10 years since the kindred dalliance between the Obama Administration and the titans of Silicon Valley began to form and solidify. I point to 2010 and the summer push for Cybersecurity legislation as when the alliance began to take shape.

The initial encounters were tepid and taken initially with baby steps, but now it’s difficult to tell the difference between the Democrat administrations and Big Tech. Now we know there is a price for this lifestyle we became accustomed to and the gleeful surrender of our data. You will be deleted if you do not conform.

Instead of working our alternative worldview and the cyber infrastructure to enable it over the last 10 years, we willingly traded freedom for convenience. Now what do we do to counter-act this groveling obeisance we’re forced into when we’re the majority of the population? We need to walk away and build our own future.

Lawfare

The foundational battleground of societal warfare waged by the public/private progressive alliance is the legal battlefield. Social progressives have refined this capability to an efficient, highly effective, and ferocious art form. The alliance between the Democrat administrations and Big Tech aligned further with a legion of non-profit organizations that are highly lawyerized and have a very mature, repeatable model on how to leverage civil rights laws and environmental laws far beyond their original letter, spirit, and intent.

Cancel culture, massive coercion of the business environment, and intimidation of public figures (with some exceptions) is the current high point of this art form. This progressive alliance has used lawfare as the vanguard of their color revolution to take over America.

I would posit one of the initial groups that refined lawfare from the left was the Southern Poverty Law Center. From that successful model, other activist groups moved onto other cause celebs such as the Nuclear Freeze movement of the 1980’s, the take down of Big Tobacco in the 1990’s, and endless environmental browbeating that goes into attack mode when science is used to upend their litigation gravy train. It will never end—why not? It’s been very successful (and very profitable).

Those being faced with this Digital McCarthyism need to relentlessly establish their own legal take down strategy, just like they did against Big Tobacco. Using the spirit of the Civil Rights movement and the 1964 Civil Rights Act (CRA) they must develop, refine, test, and improve the arguments that demonstrate that although political speech is not a protected class in the CRA, the sheer volume and magnitude of Big Tech’s actions are beginning to negatively affect substantive portions of protected classes established in that law.

Some states do provide some forms of protection in relation to political views. There should be more development of the use of the Rico Act, Equal Protection, and Anti-Trust arguments. It will take time and there will be some court losses, but just like they did, we need to relentlessly return over and over and over again, building upon little legal successes here and there. There is money to be made in these cases and after some success is shown that will release a ravenous pack of trial lawyers upon Big Tech.

Our Own Data Storage

Creating alternative hosting environments for data (i.e. data centers where our data is often stored) is perhaps an action more within immediate reach in the near future. There may be big names in data center hosting such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), but alternatives do exist. This is becoming more and more of a market-based commodity, so steering clear of providers inclined to be partisan combatants is wise.

The mobile access to our data (smart phones, tablets, etc.) is a little more challenging. The two current dominant environments are Android and Apple (IOS). With that dominance comes the ability to essentially determine which apps are compatible and which are allowed to operate in their environments.

In the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021 chaos in Washington D.C., Twitter conducted great purges of users. Many immediately moved to Parler. Parler made a bad decision and assumed their App would be offered and maintained on these environments. When Android and Apple made decisions to not offer or maintain the Parler App, it brought Parler to an immediate halt.

Gab, Rumble, and others had developed their environments to be more old-school, web-based, and independent of Android and Apple and soon took many of the Twitter to Parler refugees. The scent of coordination between Twitter, Android, and Apple gives an opening to an anti-trust lawfare counterattack.

As dominant as Android and Apple may seem right now, their pre-eminence does not stretch that far into the past. And believe it or not, there are rising alternatives. In the fast-paced tech world, the peak of dominance is a transitory vapor that can come and go quickly.

Mobile alternatives are in the making, we have to vote with our dollars to help accelerate this evolution. Disruptive events such as 5G are always opportunities for those companies more agile, hungry, and adaptive. Android and Apple need to watch their rear-view mirrors.

Financial Systems

The growing partisan behavior by financial system providers to enforce their worldviews is perhaps the most disturbing part of recent events. This thinly veiled social activism, may have started by targeting gun sales, but is becoming a standard part of financial firm social activism and is being applied across a larger target set in support of broader issues.

Access to capital is the lifeblood of businesses and citizens, and social activists know this. These financial providers are showing bolder willingness to asphyxiate any form of opposition. The financial sector not only introduced measures to limit conservatives, but at the same time, provide support to activist groups such as BLM.

The all-in nature of these financial firms is craven. Because of this, a clarion call is sounded to establish new financial firms to ensure the full spectrum and diversity of society is serviced. Bank of America started small to ensure migrants received access to capital and financial services. It can be done again.

Taking from one of Jeff Bezo’s toys, let’s make sure democracy and our incredible republic do not die in the darkness of this oppressive Digital Apartheid.

We can begin this journey in simple things such as web browsing using alternatives such as Dissenter, Brave, and DuckDuckGo instead of the web browser that must not be named. The current Tech Titans started out small and grew giant. With a little bit of our coordinated effort they can be retired and become remembered only as questions in future versions of nostalgia trivia games. The sooner we start, the sooner it will happen.

Retired Col. John Mills is a national security professional with service in five eras: Cold War, Peace Dividend, War on Terror, World in Chaos, and now, Great Power Competition. He is the former director of cybersecurity policy, strategy, and international affairs at the Department of Defense. @ColonelRETJOHN

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Source: A Digital Apartheid Is Upon Us

‘Never Warned Me’: Twitter Suspends Conservative Radio Host Wayne Allyn Root

Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey gestures while interacting with students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India, on Nov. 12, 2018. (Prakash Singh/AFP via Getty Images)
 

Twitter suspended conservative radio host Wayne Allyn Root over the weekend alongside the permanent suspension of The Gateway Pundit.

“I am in shock,” Root told Fox News in confirming the development. “It appears to be a permanent ban. Although I don’t know.”

“Twitter never warned me. … And never sent any communication saying I’ve been suspended or banned. I simply tried to tweet yesterday afternoon and could not,” he said. “But unlike a previous suspension … My followers suddenly said 0.”

The Epoch Times has reached out to Twitter for comment.

When attempting to access Root’s Twitter page, it displays the typical suspension message: “Account suspended … Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter Rules.”

Root told Fox News that he asked why he was suspended, saying he was previously suspended for questioning lockdown policies surrounding the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

“That got me a 7-day suspension for ‘misleading medical advice,’” Root said. “We made Jack Dorsey one of the richest men on earth. He got an army of worker bees to spend thousands of hours for free making him rich. And what’s my reward? No more free speech. In America. My opinions are banned. My opinions are forbidden,” he added, referring to the Twitter CEO.

And as of Saturday, The Gateway Pundit’s account was no longer available. Prior to the suspension, the account had around 375,000 followers.

The website’s founder, Jim Hoft, said the suspension came after the website posted an update about alleged election fraud on Election Day at Detroit’s TCF Center.

“Just an FYI—The fake news media and others challenged our TCF Center video report from Friday. That was a bad move. We have much more coming!” he wrote on his website.

Following the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Google have handed out permanent bans of numerous prominent conservatives, including former President Donald Trump. The suspensions were decried by civil liberties groups and conservatives who argued that they could lead to a slippery slope where more people are silenced due to their political viewpoints.

In the waning months of Trump’s administration, the former president frequently argued that Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act needs to be repealed or changed. The law, he said, provides a liability shield for social media and other Big Tech firms while they can censor with impunity.

As a result of Big Tech’s actions, alternative social media and messaging platforms such as Gab, Signal, Telegram, MeWe, and more have exploded in popularity. Meanwhile, an adviser to Trump told news outlets over the weekend that the former president will “reemerge on social media” in the future and may “[create] his own platform.”

Source: ‘Never Warned Me’: Twitter Suspends Conservative Radio Host Wayne Allyn Root

Trump Mulling Whether to Launch Own Social Media Platform, Says Jason Miller

Then-President Donald Trump greets the crowd at the "Stop The Steal" rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Senior adviser to former President Donald Trump, Jason Miller, said on Saturday that Trump is deciding how he will reemerge on social media, including considering whether to create his own platform.

“I would expect that we will see the president reemerge on social media,” Miller told Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125.

“Whether that’s joining an existing platform or creating his new platform, there are a number of different options and a number of different meetings that they’ve been having on that front. Nothing is imminent on that.”

When pressed for more information about Trump’s social media plans, Miller said“all options are on the table.”

“A number of things are being discussed. So stay tuned there because you know he’s going to be back on social media. We’re just kind of figuring out which avenue makes the most sense,” he said.

Trump, who has been one of the most active presidents on social media, was permanently suspended from Twitter and remains indefinitely banned from Facebook following the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol. The targeted policing of Trump’s posts occurred throughout his presidency and ramped up following the Nov. 3 election, when the former president and his team repeatedly joined calls to independently review the integrity of the results in several states.

Other platforms such as YouTube, Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), and Snapchat have also banned the former president from using their platforms.

The social media companies justified their censorship as an effort to guard against violence, claiming that Trump had violated their terms of use. Their move to prevent Trump from expressing his views on the platforms came after the media, lawmakers, and other critics blamed the former president’s remarks for inciting violence, which they claim led to the riots on Jan. 6.

In the upcoming Senate impeachment trial, Trump’s team plans to defend the former president by arguing that the trial is unconstitutional and that he was exercising his First Amendment rights when he made a speech on Jan. 6.

Trump had addressed a crowd in Washington D.C. as Congress met to count electoral college votes where he reiterated allegations about election irregularities and potential fraud, and his dissatisfaction with the media and several lawmakers. In his speech on Jan. 6, Trump called out supporters to “peacefully and patriotically” make their voices heard at the U.S. Capitol.

The breach at the U.S. Capitol began before Trump had finished his speech at the rally, according to a timeline compiled by The Epoch Times. As the incident escalated, Trump continued his urge for peace and respect for law enforcement throughout the afternoon.

Following the incident, Trump condemned the “violence, lawlessness, and mayhem,” saying that those who “infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy.”

“This is a very, very dangerous road to take with respect to the First Amendment, putting at risk any passionate political speaker,” David Schoen, one of Trump’s impeachment defense attorneys, previously said of the new round of efforts to impeachment Trump.

The Justice Department and FBI had also said that they had charged protesters who conspired to breach the U.S. Capitol days before the incident, a detail that challenges the argument put forward in many media reports that Trump’s speech on Jan. 6 was the impetus for the violence. Meanwhile, the pipe bombs that were planted at the RNC and DNC headquarters on Jan. 6 were believed to be placed there the night before the riots, law enforcement bodies have said.

This week, media outlets began speculating whether Trump had joined the social media website Gab after the account realdonaldtrump, which is the same handle as Trump’s Twitter account, posted a copy of the letter Trump’s lawyers wrote to Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the House of Representatives’ lead impeachment manager.

Miller denied that the account is being used by the former president. Meanwhile, Gab said in a statement on Twitter that the account was “a mirror of POTUS’ tweets and statements that we’ve run “for years.”

“We’ve always been transparent about this and would obviously let people know if the President starts using it,” Andrew Torba said in a statement on Gab.

Source: Trump Mulling Whether to Launch Own Social Media Platform, Says Jason Miller

First Amendment Rights Being Eroded by Technocrats: Director of Citizens for Free Speech

The logos of Big Tech companies Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, in file photos. (Reuters)

The increased censorship of people’s views expressed on social media by Big Tech companies has been part of an orchestrated attack on the First Amendment, Patrick Wood, director and founder of Citizens for Free Speech, told The Epoch Times.

Wood believes that there is an agenda behind the censorship. It would be almost statistically impossible to attack simultaneously all five elements of the First Amendment: freedom of religion, free speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, Wood said in an interview for Epoch Times’ “Crossroads.”

All five of those “have been shattered to pieces in the last year and the attack had started actually before that probably five [or] six years ago,” Wood said, adding, “Free speech is hanging by a thread and the First Amendment is hanging by a thread.”

Wood said that it was unprecedented that three Big Tech companies in one day took down competitor Parler under the pretext of violating their policies, calling it collusion.

Apple and Google removed the social media platform Parler from their app stores, saying that the app would be suspended until they could moderate “egregious content.” Soon after, Amazon Web Services took the site down due to alleged violations.

Parler was taken down by those companies after civil unrest and acts of violence marred a largely peaceful protest at the Capitol building in Washington on Jan. 6.

Free speech has been at the heart of all human and economic progress in the last 200-300 years, Wood said. “When you curtail free speech it becomes regressive to society; in other words, you’re going backwards when you start to censor it,” he added.

Wood compared censoring speech on the Internet to electronic book burning. Every Marxist or fascist revolution takes over or squashes media first because they need to control communications before they proceed with the rest of the revolution, Wood explained.

The people in the technocratic core of Big Tech believe that they must silence any narrative which disagrees with their narrative, Wood said. And it is not limited to conservatives, he explained, providing the example of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., founder of the Board of Children’s Health Defense, who was also silenced for criticizing vaccine safety even though Kennedy is a liberal.

“They don’t want to hear an alternative narrative so they are squashing free speech in the process of shutting other people up from contradicting their own narrative, Wood said.

When attacks on First Amendment rights started about five years ago, similar policies had been openly advocated at the World Economic Forum (WEF) as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Wood explained.

Epoch Times Photo
World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab during the WEF’s annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 20, 2020. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

The Fourth Industrial Revolution “is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres,” Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the WEF, wrote on the organization’s website.

Schwab also proposed the concept of the Great Reset to transform the world economy from “shareholder capitalism” to “stakeholder capitalism” which will harness the innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution “to address health and social challenges.”

But the Great Reset is “warmed over technocracy from the 1930s,” Wood said.

columbia university cancels classes
The campus of Columbia University in Manhattan in a file photograph. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

What is Technocracy?

Technocracy was a political-economic movement that started in the early 1930s at Columbia University in New York.

“Engineers and scientists at that time believed capitalism was dead and that they and only they had some kind of a mandate to create a brand new economic system that was a resource-based economic system that would control the entire economy,” Wood said.

The concept of technocracy assumes that price cannot be used to control the abundance of goods because it decreases with the increase of abundance. Therefore a scientific method of balancing production and distribution must be used, according to a 1937 edition of The Technocrat magazine.

“Technocracy will distribute by means of a certificate of distribution available to every citizen from birth to death,” The Technocrat magazine states.

The movement failed when the economy recovered after the Great Depression, but it was revived in the early 1970s and it began to mature, Wood said, adding that what he called a global elite had embraced the idea that controlling the world’s resources would allow them to control the world’s economy.

Michael Rectenwald, a retired liberal arts professor at New York University, wrote for the Mises Institute that the planners of the Great Reset support driving ownership and control of the most important factors of production to those enrolled in stakeholder capitalism.

Stakeholders “include the enterprise’s owners and shareholders, customers, suppliers, collaborators of any kind, as well as the government and society, including the communities in which the company operates or which may in any way be affected by it,” according to a WEF report (pdf).

“The productive activities of said stakeholders, meanwhile, would be guided by the directives of a coalition of governments under a unified mission and set of policies, in particular those expounded by the WEF itself,” Rectenwald wrote.

“While these corporate stakeholders would not necessarily be monopolies per se, the goal of the WEF is to vest as much control over production and distribution in these corporate stakeholders as possible, with the goal of eliminating producers whose products or processes are deemed either unnecessary or inimical to the globalists’ desiderata for ‘a fairer, greener future.’ Naturally, this would involve constraints on production and consumption and likewise an expanded role for governments in order to enforce such constraints,” Rectenwald wrote.

Epoch Times Photo
Former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski speaks at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Oslo on Dec. 11, 2016. (Terje Bendiksby/AFP via Getty Images)

The technocracy idea was introduced to communist China in the 1970s by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the political scientist, co-founder of the Trilateral Commission, and the national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, Wood said.

That caused a blending of the Chinese Communist Party and communism in general with “this technocratic system of social management, of total management of the economy and the people,” Wood explained.

“If you look deeper you see that there’s a group of people, a core of engineers and scientists, that are working to use high technology to capture the entire society, all of the people in it, and to control and engineer the economic system.”

Source: First Amendment Rights Being Eroded by Technocrats: Director of Citizens for Free Speech

Parler CEO ‘Prepared to Take Full Legal Action’ After Big Tech Companies Target Platform

Parler founder and CEO John Matze speaks to The Epoch Times' American Thought Leaders in 2019. (Screenshot/The Epoch Times)

Parler founder and CEO John Matze said his company is “prepared to take full legal action” after several big tech companies suspended the social media network from their services, according to an email.

John Matze, Parler’s founder, told The Epoch Times in an email that he believes Apple, Google, and Amazon had acted in bad faith and that the social media platform is considering legal action.

Responding to accusations that Parler was enabling “threats of violence and illegal activity,” Matze said these companies are using recent events to “go after Parler,” even though “there is no evidence Parler was used to coordinate the events.”

“Parler has no groups-style feature and Facebook was the number one tool for coordinating meetups for that event,” Matze said.

The targeted moderation by these companies against Parler came after civil unrest and acts of violence marred a largely peaceful protest at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. A group of rioters and a minority of protesters waving American and Trump flags illegally stormed the Capitol building as lawmakers were counting electoral votes in a joint session of Congress. The mayhem on the day left five people dead, including one police office, and dozens of officers injured.

In response to the Capitol breach, a number of Silicon Valley technology companies ramped up their policing of statements and comments from President Donald Trump, conservatives, and other voices they believe may cause harm. Twitter on Friday permanently removed Trump’s account on its platform and justified its censorship by saying that the president had violated its “Glorification of Violence Policy” after he posted a message urging protesters to remain peaceful and leave the Capitol. The Trump campaign Twitter account has also been removed.

Parler, which has attracted a large following of classical liberal and conservative-leaning users, appeared to have been targeted for lacking a system to “implement robust moderation for egregious content.”

Apple said in a statement to media outlets on Saturday that they believe Paler had “not taken adequate measures to address” the proliferation of “threats of violence and illegal activity.”

“We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues,” the statement said.

Apple did not respond to The Epoch Times’ questions about the ban.

Similarly, Amazon told Parler that they would be shutting Parler’s servers at midnight Sunday, Jan. 10, over what it says is the platform’s alleged lax approach to violent content posted by its users. Parler disputes this claim.

Amazon also did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ questions about their suspension.

Matze said he believes these companies are also operating with a double standard.

“Twitter let ‘Hang Mike Pence’ trend the same day Parler was banned from Google … the double standard is obvious,” he said.

The big tech suspension came after Parler rose to become the number one application in Apple’s app store on Saturday, following Twitter’s suspension of Trump’s personal account. Matze said his social media network had around 20 million accounts at the time the companies suspended them.

Mobile app analytics company Sensor Tower told The Wrap in a statement that Parler saw approximately 182,000 first-time downloads in the United States on Jan. 8, which is up 355 percent on Jan. 7. The app saw about 268,000 installs across U.S. app stores since Jan. 6, the statement said.

Matze said on his Parler account late Saturday that he believes Amazon, Google, and Apple coordinated to “try and ensure they don’t have competition.”

“They will NOT win! We are the worlds last hope for free speech and free information,” he said.

“This is a battle against all of us. Liberals, conservatives, atheists, Christians, black, white, etc. They want to keep their monopoly over speech. They want us fighting. They don’t want us working together. They don’t want us working with each other, they want us hating one another.”

Unbalanced policing of user content and certain political views has raised concerns over First Amendment rights and the lack of checks and balances on decisions made by big tech companies. Discussions over limiting or eliminating liability protections under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act for tech companies that have engaged in censoring or political conduct have been heavily discussed in the past year.

Twitter’s move to remove Trump’s account has received widespread scrutiny. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, State Secretary Mike Pompeo, and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley likened Twitter’s move to conduct by the communist party ruling China.

Source: Parler CEO ‘Prepared to Take Full Legal Action’ After Big Tech Companies Target Platform

Twitter Locks President Trump Out of His Account for the First Time

President Donald Trump calls on protesters near the U.S. Capitol building during the Joint Session of Congress in Washington to go home, on Jan. 6, 2020. (Donald Trump)

Twitter has disabled the account of President Donald Trump after deleting recent posts made by the president, including a video of him calling on protesters who had gathered on Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington to go home in peace.

“As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy,” a Twitter announcement reads.

“This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked,” the announcement continues. “Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”

Both Facebook and Twitter have removed a video of the president calling on protesters to go home. “You have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order,” Trump said in the deleted video.

Facebook was first to remove the video, which was up for just a few hours on late Wednesday afternoon.

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to new outlets, “The violent protests in the Capitol today are a disgrace. We prohibit incitement and calls for violence on our platform. We are actively reviewing and removing any content that breaks these rules.”

Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, said in a statement, “This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump’s video. We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”

Trump had not called for violence in his speech.

Prior to the removal of the video, Facebook applied a label to the president’s video that linked to its “Voting information center,” which shows Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as the winner of the November 2020 election. The Facebook label at the time read: “The US has laws, procedures, and established institutions to ensure the integrity of our elections. Get Accurate Election Info.”

The Epoch Times has yet to call the race.

Twitter removed the same video from its platform within an hour later of Facebook’s video removal, replacing the post with the message, “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules,” and linked to the platform’s “enforcement options” page.

Twitter also removed a message from the president posted at 6:01 p.m. ET that read, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!

“I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side,” the president said in the now-removed video.

“We don’t want anybody hurt. It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us—from me, from you, from our country,” he added.

“This was a fraudulent election but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home, we love you, you’re very special. You’ve seen what happens, you’ve seen the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home, and go home in peace.”

The U.S. House and Senate temporarily halted the joint session of Congress on Wednesday after protesters breached the Capitol building, which interrupted concurrent debates in the two chambers over an objection to the counting of a slate of presidential electors from Arizona for Biden. The session has since resumed.

Source: Twitter Locks President Trump Out of His Account for the First Time

Twitter Drops SPLC Following Controversy. But What About Facebook And Google?

Facebook, Google, Amazon Silent For Days After Twitter Drops SPLC

Author’s Comment: I have been personally attacked and labeled on the SPLC hate-watch list. My crime was supporting the Bundy Ranch Patriot Political Prisoners and their families during their unjustified incarceration while waiting for the trials that ultimately exonerated them. At one point I was also removed from Facebook for more than 2 months. It took the actions of an Attorney to have my account reinstated.

Twitter distanced itself from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) following reports suggesting that the group scams liberal donors out of money. Facebook has not yet revealed whether it plans on ending its partnership with the group.

Twitter appears to be one of the only big tech companies in Silicon Valley to completely divorce itself from the SPLC, an Alabama-based group that got slammed in March following reports it takes donors’ money while ignoring racial harassment. Facebook has not responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s repeated requests for comment about its affiliation with the SPLC.

“The SPLC is not a member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council or a partner the company has worked with recently,” a source within Twitter told TheDCNF on the condition of anonymity. The company listed the SPLC as a “safety partner” working to combat “hateful conduct and harassment,” according to a June 2018 DCNF report.

Twitter also included the Trust and Safety Council, which “provides input on our safety products, policies, and programs,” the company’s policy page noted at the time. Twitter’s page no longer includes SPLC as a member helping to govern certain types of conduct. Facebook’s involvement with the group was apparently more intimate.

The SPLC is on a list of “external experts and organizations” that Facebook works with “to inform our hate speech policies,” Facebook spokeswoman Ruchika Budhraja told TheDCNF in June 2018. The company consults with outside organizations when developing changes to hate speech policies, he said at the time.

Budhraja declined to name all the outside groups working with Facebook but confirmed the SPLC’s participation. The SPLC accused Facebook in a May 2018 article of not doing enough to censor anti-Muslim hatred. That article did not disclose the SPLC’s working partnership with Facebook.

Amazon has not responded to TheDCNF’s repeated requests for comment after SPLC fired co-founder Morris Dees on March 13 over “inappropriate conduct.”

(RELATED: Twitter Backs Off Partnership With SPLC Amid Bombshell Reports. Amazon Stays Silent) 

Google was also dinged in 2018 for using the SPLC to assist YouTube in policing content on its platform. The left-wing non-profit group is one of the more than 100 nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and government agencies in YouTube’s “Trusted Flaggers” program, TheDCNF reported in June 2018. Google has also not yet responded to TheDCNF’s requests for information.

The group designated the Family Research Council a “hate group” in 2010 because of its occasional belligerent defense of traditional marriage. Media outlets often rely on the SPLC to craft stories.

CNN, for instance, published the group’s list of 900 hate groups in 2017 under the headline “Here Are All the Hate Groups Active in Your Area,” then was forced to modify the story after conservatives complained that the story effectively conflated conservatives with neo-Nazis. CNN maintains that the SPLC is one of the only groups that monitors hates groups.

Source ~ dailycaller.com/2019/04/15/splc-facebook-conservatives/