“Cancel culture” — sometimes referred to as “call-out culture” — is a form of ostracism in which people are thrust or locked out of social or professional circles, either in the real world or in the realm of online social media. Those who are the targets of this ostracism are said to be “canceled.” Such cancellation often takes the form of withdrawal of support for individuals or businesses after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. In other cases, it takes the form of open and volcanic rage directed at the target. Cancel culture is a phenomenon that has become emblematic of the political Left, whose totalitarian orientation is innately hostile to the notion that those who dissent from Leftist dogmas and orthodoxies are entitled to freedom of speech and freedom of thought. The cancellations typically take a variety of different forms, most notably: censorship, blacklisting, boycotts, de-platforming (from social media), and assertions that conservatism is akin to a mental illness that: (a) causes people to develop cognitive and emotional pathologies whereby they robotically imbibe disinformation and propaganda, and (b) must be eradicated by means of a psychological de-programming process.
Twitter Bans Milo Yiannopoulos
In July 2016, Twitter banned outspoken conservative Milo Yiannopoulos, a white man who served at that time as the technology editor at the conservative website Breitbart News, after critics claimed that he had harassed comedic actress Leslie Jones, a black woman who appeared in a female-led version of the movie Ghostbusters. Yiannopoulos responded by stating that he simply did not like the movie, and that this did not constitute harassment. Adding that any online trolls who may have gone after Jones were not his responsibility, Yiannopoulos railed at Twitter.
“With the cowardly suspension of my account, Twitter has confirmed itself as a safe space for Muslim terrorists and Black Lives Matter extremists, but a no-go zone for conservatives. Twitter is holding me responsible for the actions of fans and trolls using the special pretzel logic of the left. Where are the Twitter police when Justin Bieber’s fans cut themselves on his behalf?… Anyone who cares about free speech has been sent a clear message: you’re not welcome on Twitter.”
Yiannopoulos also said that [Twitter CEO Jack] Dorsey was “using the [Twitter] network as his own private fiefdom” to advance his preferred political agenda. “This utility, which is how Dorsey has always described it and how he’s wanted Twitter to be perceived, has always been run along party lines,” Yiannopoulos told CNBC. He also pointed out that Twitter’s opaque policies about permissible content were arbitrary. “I want Twitter to be honest with its users about the reasons for suspensions, bannings and all the punitive actions they take on their platform,” he said.
Dorsey replied to Yiannopoulos by saying: “Abuse is not part of civil discourse. It shuts down conversation and prevents us from understanding each other. Freedom of expression means little if we allow voices to be silenced because of fear of harassment if they speak up.” (July 2016)
Democrats Seek to Punish Sinclair Broadcasting Group
In April 2018, a group of Democrat senators sought to punish the Sinclair Broadcast Group – widely perceived as a conservative media company – which (a) consisted of 193 television stations and 614 channels in 89 markets nationwide, and (b) had recently announced plans to acquire the Tribune Media Company’s 42 TV stations in 33 markets, a merger that, if completed, would extend Sinclair’s reach to 72% of all American households. The twelve senators included Independent Bernie Sanders and 11 Democrats: Tammy Baldwin, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Maria Cantwell, Edward Markey, Jeff Merkley, Patty Murray, Tina Smith, Tom Udall, Elizabeth Warren, and Ron Wyden.
In a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai, these senators expressed concern over the fact that Sinclair had recently aired an ad showing its various local anchors reading from a corporate script extolling the virtue of “balanced journalism”; stating that “truth is neither politically ‘left or right’”; emphasizing the importance of a “commitment” to reporting that “seek[s] the truth and strive[s] to be fair, balanced and factual”; criticizing “some members of the media” for “us[ing] their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’”; and condemning “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country.”
Viewing the Sinclair ad as an implicit defense of President Donald Trump, who had long been under withering attack by media outlets nationwide, the senators wrote in their letter: “We are concerned that Sinclair is engaged in a systematic news distortion operation that seeks to undermine freedom of the press and the robust localism and diversity of viewpoint that is the foundation of our national broadcasting laws.” “We have strong concerns,” they added, “that Sinclair has violated the public interest obligation inherent in holding broadcast licenses. Sinclair may have violated the FCC’s longstanding policy against broadcast licensees deliberately distorting news by staging, slanting, or falsifying information.” The senators also demanded that the FCC put on hold its review of Sinclair’s potential merger with Tribune.
In his response, Pai said he “must respectfully decline” the senators’ request “in light of my commitment to protecting the First Amendment and freedom of the press.” “I understand that you disliked or disagreed with the content of particular broadcasts,” he added, “but I can hardly think of an action more chilling of free speech than the federal government investigating a broadcast station because of disagreement with its news coverage or promotion of that coverage.” (April 2018)
AIG Insurance Cancels Curt Schilling’s Policy
Excerpt: Curt Schilling, a World Series champion with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox, says that his insurance company canceled his plan because he praised President Trump on his social media accounts. (Source, 1-14-2021)
National Association of Realtors Bans Dissent
Excerpt: The National Association of Realtors has just announced that if you express dissenting views (on race, especially) in private, you may be fined and lose your membership in the organization—which effectively ends your career as a realtor. (Source, 1-19-2021)
Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s, Wayfair, & H-E-B to Stop Selling MyPillow Products
Excerpt: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, [a Trump supporter] who has pushed claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, says several retailers will stop selling his brand’s products. In a Right Side Broadcasting interview Monday night, Lindell said he spoke to Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s representatives and that both said they would discontinue selling the pillows…. Lindell also told Fox 9 that Wayfair and H-E-B have severed ties with the company. (Source, 1-21-2021)
Excerpt: The cancellation of Lindell’s products is the latest in punitive action taken against Trump and his supporters since the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol. (Source, 1-19-2021)
Twitter Permanently Bans MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell
Excerpt: Twitter has permanently banned My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell’s account after he continued to perpetuate the … claim that Donald Trump won the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Twitter decided to ban Lindell, who founded bedding company My Pillow, due to “repeated violations” of its civic integrity policy, a spokesperson said in a statement. The policy was implemented last September and is targeted at fighting disinformation…. Lindell, a Trump supporter, has continued to insist that the presidential election was rigged even after U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has begun.” (Source, 1-26-2021)
Twitter Uses Censorship to Harm President Trump and Protect Joe Biden
On October 14, 2020 — less than three weeks before the 2020 presidential election — the New York Post published a potentially game-changing story showing that the laptop computer of Hunter Biden, son of Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, contained hard evidence of enormous corruption and deception by the entire Biden family.
The very next day, October 15, 2020 — which was part of a time period when tens of millions of Americans were participating in early voting for presidential — Politico reporter Jake Sherman tweeted the following: “I tweeted a link to the New York [P]ost story right after it dropped yesterday morning, I immediately reached out to the Biden campaign to see if they had any answer…. Twitter suspended me.” Twitter justified the suspension by explaining that Sherman’s account had been “locked for violating Twitter rules” against spreading alleged misinformation. Sherman explained, however, that his goal was neither to spread information or misinformation, but simply “to raise questions about the story.”
At a November 17 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing following the 2020 presidential election, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended Twitter’s interference by stating that “all of our policies are focused on encouraging more speech.” He lied to lawmakers, claiming that the decision to suppress the New York Post story came out of Twitter’s “hacked materials” policy, even though the younger Biden’s computer had not been hacked. (October 2020)
Twitter Censors President Trump
Twitter censored another of its most popular users, President Donald Trump, in November 2017, deactivating his account for 11 minutes. Dorsey subsequently claimed that the turning off of Trump’s account was a mistake. “We have implemented safeguards to prevent this from happening again,” tweeted the Twitter Government page. “We won’t be able to share all details about our internal investigation or updates to our security measures, but we take this seriously and our teams are on it.” (November 2017)
Twitter Permanently Cancels President Trump’s Account
On January 6, 2021 — shortly after several hundred people claiming to be Trump supporters had occupied the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. for several hours to protest what they viewed as an illegitimate 2020 presidential election — Twitter announced that it was suspending President Trump’s account, which had 88 million followers, for 12 hours. Alleging that Trump had incited the protesters’ lawlessness by tweeting that the election had been stolen from him, the company cited “severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy” by the president. Two days later — on January 8, 2021 — Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s account, stating in a tweet: “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” In a blog post later that same day, Twitter expanded upon the reasoning behind its decision:
“In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action. Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open. However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules and cannot use Twitter to incite violence. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.”
In the same blog post, Twitter attributed Trump’s permanent suspension to his two most recent tweets, posted on January 8. In the first one, Trump had written: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” In the next, he had tweeted, “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Twitter explained its objection to those two Trump tweets as follows:
Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks. After assessing the language in these Tweets against our Glorification of Violence policy, we have determined that these Tweets are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service…. This determination is based on a number of factors, including:
- President Trump’s statement that he will not be attending the Inauguration is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate and is seen as him disavowing his previous claim made via two Tweets (1, 2) by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Dan Scavino, that there would be an “orderly transition” on January 20th.
- The second Tweet may also serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a “safe” target, as he will not be attending.
- The use of the words “American Patriots” to describe some of his supporters is also being interpreted as support for those committing violent acts at the US Capitol.
- The mention of his supporters having a “GIANT VOICE long into the future” and that “They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” is being interpreted as further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an “orderly transition” and instead that he plans to continue to support, empower, and shield those who believe he won the election.
- Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021.
As such, our determination is that the two Tweets above are likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021, and that there are multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as encouragement to do so.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was vacationing on a private island in French Polynesia when he made the decision to permanently suspend Trump’s Twitter account. On January 6 Dorsey received a phone call from Twitter’s top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde, to whom Dorsey had delegated all moderation-related decisions, and Gadde informed Dorsey that Trump’s account had been temporarily suspended in order to prevent him from posting any further statements relating to the protests at the Capitol. According to a New York Times report: “Mr. Dorsey was not sold on a permanent ban of Mr. Trump. He emailed employees the next day, saying it was important for the company to remain consistent with its policies, including letting a user return after a suspension. Many workers, fearing that history would not look kindly upon them, were dissatisfied. Several invoked IBM’s collaboration with the Nazis … and started a petition to immediately remove Mr. Trump’s account.” But after Trump subsequently posted two additional tweets on January 8, Dorsey and other Twitter executives decided that he had “crossed a line.” Thus came the permanent suspension, which caused many Twitter employees to celebrate — in some cases weeping with joy.
Twitter Says Ban on Trump Is Permanent
Excerpt: Former President Donald Trump won’t again be allowed on Twitter after his account was banned last month, according to a company executive on Wednesday morning. “If you are removed from the platform, you are removed from the platform,” Twitter CFO Ned Sagal said, adding that the ban applies to “whether you’re a commentator, you’re a CFO, or whether you are a former or current public official.” (Source, 2-10-2021)
Major Companies Suspending Donations To Republicans (Marriott, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Commerce Bancshares, Disney, AirBnb, Amazon, American Express, AT&T, Best Buy, Comcast, Dow, Intel, Mastercard, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Verizon)
Background: In the wake of a January 6, 2021 incident where several hundred Trump supporters had temporarily occupied the Capitol building in Washington to protest what they viewed as a stolen presidential election, the following occurred:
Excerpt: [S]cores of major corporations and banks have said they are altering or reviewing the political donations made through their PACs, with many suspending contributions specifically to the Republican members of Congress who challenged the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Hotel giant Marriott International, the health insurance network Blue Cross Blue Shield and bank holding company Commerce Bancshares were the first to indefinitely suspend donations to members of Congress who objected to the certification of the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6…. Disney, AirBnb, Amazon, American Express, AT&T, Best Buy, Comcast, Dow, Intel, Mastercard, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Verizon are halting donations to the Republican objectors specifically for either a few months or an indefinite period of time. (Source, 1-12-2021)
Simon & Schuster Cancels Senator Hawley’s Book
Excerpt: The publisher Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that is cancelling plans to publish Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-Mo.) book, “The Tyranny of Big Tech,” because of the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, for which some Republicans have blamed Hawley. “After witnessing the disturbing, deadly insurrection that took place on Wednesday in Washington, DC, Simon & Schuster has decided to cancel the publication of Sen. Josh Hawley’s forthcoming book,” Simon & Schuster announced in a statement…. “We cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom,” the company said. (Source, 1-7-2021)
Philadelphia Inquirer Forces Top Editor Stan Wischnowski to Resign
Excerpt: Stan Wischnowski, the top editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, resigned on Saturday, days after an article with the headline “Buildings Matter, Too,” on the effects of civil unrest on the city’s buildings, led to a walkout by dozens of staff members. (Source, 6-6-2020)
Bonneville International Fires Sacramento Sports Announcer Grant Napear
Excerpt: Kings play-by-play announcer Grant Napear has lost his job following an exchange on Twitter with former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. Napear was asked by Cousins for his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement before responding “All Lives Matter…Every Single One!” Bonneville International, which owns the radio station, said in a statement it parted ways with Napear who was also a sports talk radio personality for KHTK. “His recent comments about the Black Lives Matter movement do no[t] reflect the views or values of Bonneville International Corporation,” the media company said. “The timing of Grant’s tweet was particularly insensitive. After reviewing the matter carefully, we have made the difficult decision to part ways with Grant.” (Source, 6-2-2020)
New York Times Forces Editorial Page Editor James Bennet to Resign
Excerpt: James Bennet, the editorial page editor of The New York Times, has resigned in the wake of a controversy over an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas. The op-ed by Cotton was titled “Send In The Troops.” Times staffers immediately bashed running it, and though publisher A.G. Sulzberger initially defended running the piece, he backed down hours later. Sulzberger blamed it on “a significant breakdown in our editing processes.” Cotton noted that the op-ed was initially defended, but that the Times leaders backed down “after this woke mob began to rise up.” “They still haven’t identified any facts that are wrong in the op-ed,” Cotton said. They haven’t identified what was so rushed about this process. They have only prostrated themselves in front of their young children who are … acting like kids in a social justice seminar, as opposed to acting like grownups in the workplace.” (Source, 6-7-2020)
Facebook Removes All “Stop The Steal” Content
Excerpt: Facebook has announced that it will remove all content that mentions “Stop the Steal,” a phrase in reference to the 2020 U.S. presidential election that is popular among supporters of President Donald Trump…. [T]he social media company said it is removing “Stop the Steal” content from Facebook and Instagram, claiming that such language might incite violence on Inauguration Day…. “We are now removing content containing the phrase ‘stop the steal’ under our Coordinating Harm policy from Facebook and Instagram,” said Facebook in a blog post. “We began preparing for Inauguration Day last year. But our planning took on new urgency after last week’s violence in Washington, D.C., and we are treating the next two weeks as a major civic event,” the company added. In November , Facebook shut down a group called “Stop the Steal,” which had garnered over 364,000 members. (Source, 1-11-2021)
Facebook Places Prager University on Restricted List As a “False News” Media Outlet
In May 2020, Facebook announced that it had decided to classify Prager University, a website run by conservative author and radio host Dennis Prager, as as a “false news” media outlet. Consequently, Facebook said it would thenceforth restrict Prager U’s ability reach to its own audience of people who had expressed their desire to receive notification regarding all new Prager U posts. (May 2020)
Facebook’s Content Moderators Target Conservatives
In June 2020, Project Veritas released an undercover hidden-camera investigative report documenting widespread censorship occurring at Facebook. Specifically, Facebook content moderators were recorded bragging about their practice of deleting posts and comments supporting President Trump and conservative ideas. For example, one such moderator was asked if she typically deleted every Republican item that came up on her queue, to which she replied: “Yes! I don’t give no f*cks, I’ll delete it.” She also stated that she refused to take down anti-Trump content, even if it violated official Facebook policy. “You gotta take it down but I leave it up,” she said. “If you see something that’s not supposed to be up, it’s probably me.”
Another content moderator, Lara Kontakos, was asked what she did when she saw a posts supporting President Trump. She answered: “If someone is wearing a MAGA [Make America Great Again] hat, I am going to delete them for terrorism. I think we are all doing that.”
Steve Grimmett, a content review lead, said it was part of Facebook’s culture to target President Trump and his supporters: “It’s a very progressive company, who’s very anti-MAGA.”
In June 2020 as well, Ryan Hartwig, who formerly worked for Cognizant, a third-party company that performed content-moderation services for Facebook, told an interviewer that Facebook’s content-moderation policies had become more biased during 2018-20. Some excerpts from Hartwig:
Facebook, Twitter, & Amazon Unite to De-platform the Social Media Website “Parler”
Excerpt from Glenn Greenwald:
The united Silicon Valley attack began on January 8, when Apple emailed Parler and gave them 24 hours to prove they had changed their moderation practices or else face removal from their App Store. The letter claimed: “We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property.” It ended with this warning: “To ensure there is no interruption of the availability of your app on the App Store, please submit an update and the requested moderation improvement plan within 24 hours of the date of this message. If we do not receive an update compliant with the App Store Review Guidelines and the requested moderation improvement plan in writing within 24 hours, your app will be removed from the App Store.”
The 24-hour letter was an obvious pretext and purely performative. Removal was a fait accompli no matter what Parler did. To begin with, the letter was immediately leaked to Buzzfeed, which published it in full. A Parler executive detailed the company’s unsuccessful attempts to communicate with Apple. “They basically ghosted us,” he told me. The next day, Apple notified Parler of its removal from App Store. “We won’t distribute apps that present dangerous and harmful content,” said the world’s richest company, and thus: “We have now rejected your app for the App Store.”
It is hard to overstate the harm to a platform from being removed from the App Store. Users of iPhones are barred from downloading apps onto their devices from the internet. If an app is not on the App Store, it cannot be used on the iPhone. Even iPhone users who have already downloaded Parler will lose the ability to receive updates, which will shortly render the platform both unmanageable and unsafe….
Shortly thereafter, Parler learned that Google, without warning, had also “suspended” it from its Play Store, severely limiting the ability of users to download Parler onto Android phones. Google’s actions also meant that those using Parler on their Android phones would no longer receive necessary functionality and security updates….
The day after a united Apple and Google acted against Parler, Amazon delivered the fatal blow. The company founded and run by the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, used virtually identical language as Apple to inform Parler that its web hosting service (AWS) was terminating Parler’s ability to have AWS host its site: “Because Parler cannot comply with our terms of service and poses a very real risk to public safety, we plan to suspend Parler’s account effective Sunday, January 10th, at 11:59PM PST.” Because Amazon is such a dominant force in web hosting, Parler has thus far not found a hosting service for its platform, which is why it has disappeared not only from app stores and phones but also from the internet.
On [January 7], Parler was the most popular app in the United States. By [January 11], three of the four Silicon Valley monopolies [Apple, Google, and Amazon, but not Facebook] united to destroy it. (Source, 1-12-2021)
Instagram Locks a Conservative’s Account
Excerpt: For the past eight years, Esther Berg has been posting regularly for her 330,000-plus Instagram followers. Now she’s locked out of her EstherandSasha account. While the influencer normally covers a range of lighthearted lifestyle issues, on Sept. 14 the registered Republican posted a story comparing Ivanka Trump with Chiara de Blasio — juxtaposing a glam photo of the president’s daughter with a picture of the NYC mayor’s daughter curled up on the subway and baring her body, accompanied by the caption: “On November 3rd, you decide what kind of America you want your daughter growing up in … Vote.”
The next day, Berg, who splits her time between Florida and Long Island, discovered her account was locked. A message from the platform said it had been disabled and to check back in 30 days. An Instagram representative told the [New York] Post: “We do not allow people to show intimate images of others without their consent.” But Berg notes that the same photo of Chiara is still up on other accounts. (Source, 10-10-2020)
Twitter Censors the New York Post
Excerpt: Twitter infamously jumped the gun to censor a Post article on an unprecedented level. The shocking revelation released by the Post on Oct. 14, cited purported emails from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter and reportedly exposed the alleged scandalous dealings of both father and son in Ukraine. Twitter responded by disabling the link to the story and preventing users from being able to share the article to each other in private messages. Dorsey later admitted in a Big Tech hearing that the unprecedented crackdown was a mistake. (Source, October 2020)
Twitter Censors Candace Owens
Twitter reinstated the account of conservative Candace Owens, the Turning Point USA communications director, following a backlash for her 12-hour ban from Twitter after she mimicked the racist tweets of the NYT’s recent hire Sarah Jeong but swapped words such as “white” with “black.” […]
Jeong was recently hired to The New York Times’s editorial board, but shortly after her hire, tweets from several years ago resurfaced that said, for instance, “#CancelWhitePeople” and, “oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men.”
Jeong also tweeted, @RepDanMode White people have stopped breeding. You’ll all go extinct soon. This was my plan all along. She also tweeted, “Are white people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically being only fit to live underground like groveling goblins.” […]
In an attempt to expose the double standard of the New York Times and the left in general, conservative Candace Owens copied Jeong’s tweets but swapped out the words “white” and “men” for “black,” “Jewish” and “women.”
Twitter acted swiftly, banning Owens for 12 hours. Twitter cited her tweets about Jews as the reason for the ban, according to The Daily Caller. However, Twitter later reinstated Owens’ account, saying they “made an error.” (Source, 8-7-2018)
Twitter Suspends CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan After He Touts Success of Border Wall
Twitter briefly suspended the account of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan … after he touted the success of the wall along the southern border. “We took enforcement action on the tweet…but the decision was reversed following an appeal by the account owner and further evaluation from our team,” a Twitter spokesperson told Fox News.
The Federalist first reported the that Morgan’s account was suspended, citing “screenshots shared exclusively” with the organization that indicated Twitter temporarily locked Morgan’s account for violating its “hateful conduct” policy by tweeting that the border wall helps stop “gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drugs” from entering the United States. “It’s fact, walls work,” Morgan wrote, according to the screenshots.
“You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease,” Twitter initially told Morgan, according to The Federalist. (Source, 10-29-2020)
Facebook Bans “Late-Term Abortion” Ad Exposing Biden and Harris
A national anti-abortion group is accusing Facebook of banning two ads centered on the abortion stance of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris. “The national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) is calling foul today after Facebook banned two of its ads exposing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s support for late-term abortion in the key battleground states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, based on a factually incorrect third-party ‘fact check,’” the Susan B. Anthony List posted on its website Friday.
The ads in question label Biden and Harris as “extreme” on abortion and supporting the practice “up until the moment of birth.”
“Big Tech and the media are teaming up to run interference for the Biden-Harris campaign on what is a losing issue for Democrats – their shameful support for abortion on demand through birth,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement. (Source, 10-16-2020)
Twitter Bans ZeroHedge Account for Speculating about Origins of Coronavirus
Excerpt: Twitter banned ZeroHedge’s account for allegedly violating Twitter’s platform-manipulation policy by theorizing about the COVID-19 virus’s origins. The initial ZeroHedge article suggested that the mainstream narrative about coronavirus being spread thanks to some bat soup was a “fabricated farce.” After the account was reinstated over 100 days later, Twitter spokesperson reportedly told the Verge, “We made an error in our enforcement action in this case. Based on additional context from the account holder in appeal, we have reinstated the account. We have a dedicated appeals process for all account holders.” (Source, January 2020)
YouTube Censors Critic of the Chinese Communist Party
YouTube is blocked in China by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). But that doesn’t seem to stop the censorship of criticism about the CCP. According to Palmer Luckey, the founder of tech companies Oculus and Anduril, YouTube deleted his comments on its platform. He tweeted, “YouTube has deleted every comment I ever made about the Wumao ((五毛), an internet propaganda division of the Chinese Communist Party.” He then asked, “Who at Google decided to censor American comments on American videos hosted in America by an American platform that is already banned in China?” (Source, 5-26-2020)
Google Blacklists Conservative Websites in Searches
Google … has seemingly blacklisted numerous conservative websites like NewsBusters, MRCTV, CNSNews, Free Beacon, Breitbart, The Resurgent, Twitchy, RedState, PJ Media, Judicial Watch, The Blaze, Townhall, Project Veritas, LifeNews, PragerU, and The Daily Wire. None of these websites show up in an organic search on Google. While more than 3.5 billion Google searches are performed per day, certain conservative news sites appear prohibited from appearing in the general results.
Mediaite reporter Charlie Nash noted that Google had “removed several conservative websites from search results.” These sites included RedState, Breitbart, Daily Caller, and Human Events. The Media Research Center used a virtual private network in order to use the most generic version of Google possible in confirming this phenomenon.
Other [leftwing] news sites, like Newsweek, The Daily Beast, The Washington Post, HuffPost, and Teen Vogue, show up as the very first result in a Google Search. While [the conservative site] NewsBusters appears in the Google News search results, the website is still not showing up organically. The website does also not appear on the second or third page of organic results.
The Media Research Center, the parent organization for NewsBusters, MRCTV, and CNSNews.com, is also not listed on organic search results for Google. However, on Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo, the websites are the first results to show up….
Even site-specific searches on Google are not displaying the websites. A user who searches for a term or topic and adds “site:newsbusters.org” will not see the website displayed, only images.
Previously, a Google whistleblower informed Project Veritas that there was a Google Now blacklist and a Google blocklist. On those lists were NewsBusters, MRCTV, Twitchy, Conservative Tribune, Front Page Mag, Christian Post, Daily Caller, and Catholic News Agency, among others. (Source, 7-21-2020)
Instagram Puts Bogus Election Warning Label On Trump Remembrance Of Pearl Harbor Attacks
Instagram slapped a “fact-check” on President Donald Trump’s Pearl Harbor remembrance post Wednesday, insisting on a post that had nothing to do with the election that President-elect Joe Biden is, indeed, the president-elect. “Joe Biden is the projected winner of the 2020 US Presidential Election,” tagged the Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform on a post that merely featured a graphic of the president, first lady, and man in uniform honoring those who sacrificed. Instagram later removed the tag.
While Trump has disputed the results, deriding the contest as unfair, Trump’s Monday post had nothing to do with legal challenges his campaign launched to flip several tipping-point states in the president’s favor. Instagram’s censorship in fact reinforces that the election wasn’t fair due to [B]ig [T]ech interference with what voters were able to learn about the candidates. (Source, 12-8-2020)
PayPal Blocks a Christian Crowdfunding Site
Excerpt: PayPal Holdings Inc said late on [January 11, 2021] it had blocked a Christian crowdfunding site, GiveSendGo, after it helped raise funds for people who attended [the January 6] event in Washington when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol. The digital payments processor also confirmed … that it closed an account held by Ali Alexander, one of the organizers of the gathering. (Source, 1-12-2021)
Etsy Bans Pro-Trump Slogan in Wake of Contested Election
Excerpt: This week, Etsy [an e-commerce website] reportedly banned pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” merchandise while allowing sellers to list merchandise with the originally anti-Trump slogan “Not My President.” Etsy has claimed that “Stop the Steal” merchandise “promotes or endorses harmful misinformation,” even though President Donald Trump is contesting the 2020 election results. (Source, 12-4-2020)
YouTube Demonetizes The Epoch Times
Attacks against free speech by big tech companies have quickly escalated into a full-blown censorship campaign as social media giants are now regularly targeting and silencing Christians and conservatives. Their latest target? Focus on the Family. The Christian organization has just been censored by Twitter. The platform locked the global ministry’s Daily Citizen publication for allegedly violating their rules against posting “hateful” content.Focus on the Family CEO Jim Daly said this accusation is absolutely untrue. The Daily Citizen tweeted a quote on Jan. 19 from one of its articles acknowledging that the Biden administration appointed a transgender woman to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of HHS. The tweet read: “Dr. Levine is a transgender woman, that is, a man who believes he is a woman.” Daly argued that the comment was simply defining what a transgender woman is and had nothing to do with Levine’s “trans” identification.
Twitter wrote in an email, “Hi The Daily Citizen, your account, @FocusCitizen has been locked for violating the Twitter Rules. Specifically for: Violating our rules against hateful conduct. You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.” (Source, 2-1-2021)
Chapman University Forces Law Professor John Eastman to Retire Because He Represented President Trump
Excerpt: Because of his legal counsel to former President Donald Trump, constitutional scholar and law professor John Eastman—the former dean of the law school no less—was pushed out of Chapman University, where he spent his entire, very distinguished academic career. (Source, 2-4-2021)
Facebook Bans Second Amendment Group
Facebook this week banned a Second Amendment group without providing notice or a clear explanation, the group’s president said. The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) Facebook page was taken offline on Tuesday [February 2, 2021]. “We were banned without notice or exact reason,” Philip Van Cleave, president of the group, told The Epoch Times via email. Facebook didn’t respond to a request for comment. A Facebook spokesperson told the Washington Free Beacon: “This was correctly actioned and we will not be republishing.” […]
The group was used to keep gun owners informed on legislative proposals and new laws and stories relating to gun rights in Virginia, Van Cleave said. The group has also organized peaceful rallies at the state’s General Assembly for 18 years. “The page and group were helping to coordinate the equivalent this year – which, due to COVID, was a rolling caravan with over 1,000 vehicles driving through Richmond, decked out in with gun-rights messages, signs, flags, etc. We have never had a single violent event in our history and not one arrest,” he wrote…. He believes the ban is politically motivated. “We were careful and had many moderators to stay in compliance. At the end of the day, we believe they just wanted to shut us up,” he said. (Source, 2-5-2021)
Twitter Suspends Fox News Contributor and Podcaster Dan Bongino for Posting a Video of President Trump Speaking
Excerpt: Fox News contributor Dan Bongino, who said he received a 12-hour suspension from Twitter on [January 7, 2021], told TheWrap he won’t be returning to the platform where he has 2.8 million followers. “I’ll make my last post, my one final ‘F— you’ to Twitter — and you can print that, by the way — tomorrow,” he told TheWrap [on January 7]. Bongino said the post that earned him the 12-hour ban included a video posted by President Donald Trump Wednesday after a violent riot by some of his supporters in the Capitol…. “Regardless of your feelings about what he said and how he said it, he’s the president of the United States,” said Bongino, who mused that a message from the president would only fail to be newsworthy in “communist regimes” before accusing Twitter itself of being communist. (Source, 1-7-2021)
Twitter Permanently Suspends “The Gateway Pundit”
Twitter has permanently suspended The Gateway Pundit’s account over what it says are “repeated violations” of the platform’s rules. The social media giant said the account, run by conservative Jim Hoft, was suspended for repeated violations of its “civic integrity policy,” according to a statement viewed by media outlets…. The policy states that users may not use the platform “for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes.” […] Prior to the suspension, the account had at least 375,000 followers.
In an article on The Gateway Pundit website, Hoft argued that the suspension came hours after his website posted on Twitter an update regarding an ongoing investigation of election day at the Detroit TCF Center, which was the subject of a number of allegations about election irregularities. According to Hoft, that post read: “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!” (Source, 2-7-2021)
Twitter Suspends Conservative Radio Host Wayne Allyn Root
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.” […] 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 [Twitter CEO] 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.” (Source, 2-7-2021)
Lucasfilm (a Subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios) and United Talent Agency Cut Ties with Gina Carano, Actress & Former MMA Fighter
Gina Carano, who starred as the unassailable warrior Cara Dune in The Mandalorian, won’t appear in any future Star Wars projects after she shared offensive social media posts, including one that compared Nazi Germany to the current [American] political landscape.
Lucasfilm fired Carano [on February 10], calling the social media posts she made that day “abhorrent.” “Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future,” a Lucasfilm spokesperson said in a statement to Variety. “Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”
Carano was also dropped by United Talent Agency [that same day], Variety reported.
One of Carano’s posts, which she appeared to repost from another account, referenced the Holocaust, during which an estimated six million Jewish people were murdered, and how the conditions then were similar to contemporary political divides.
“How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?” part of the post read, according to Variety.
She later deleted that story and another that appeared to poke fun at mask-wearing with an image of a person whose entire head was covered with masks, captioned “Meanwhile in California.”
She didn’t delete every story she shared …, including one that repeated the conspiracy that convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein didn’t die by suicide.
Carano courted controversy in fall of 2020 when she refused fans’ requests to put her pronouns in her Twitter bio as a show of support for transgender people. Instead, she wrote “beep/bop/boop” in her bio, which to fans appeared to mock trans people.
“Beep/bop/boop has zero to do with mocking trans people (heart emoji) & (100 emoji) to do with exposing the bullying mentality of the mob that has taken over the voices of many genuine causes,” she wrote in September with a gif of R2-D2. “I want people to know you can take hate with a smile. So BOOP you for misunderstanding.”
Variety reported that she later removed the words from her Twitter bio after speaking to her co-star Pedro Pascal, who she said “helped (her) understand why people were putting them in their bios.” She then said she supports “freedom to choose.”
Carano has also posted about ending child sex trafficking with the hashtag #SaveOurChildren. Because the hashtag has been co-opted by QAnon conspiracy followers, Facebook, which owns Instagram, restricted the hashtag’s visibility on its apps. (Source, 2-11-2021)
Lucasfilm / Disney Hypocrisy: Carano’s Co-Star Who Had Likewise Compared the U.S. Government to Nazis Was Never Punished
Pedro Pascal, who stars in The Mandalorian on Disney +, appears to have gotten a pass from Lucasfilm for his posts comparing the US government to Nazis, while his former costar Gina Carano was fired for it. Pascal posted in 2018 to compare the detention of children by border control at the US/Mexico border to the detention of Jewish children by the Nazi regime during World War II in Germany. Using the hashtag #ThisisAmerica, Pascal was celebrated for making the comparison between Hitler and the Trump administration.
Yet when Gina Carano made a comparison noting that the [Biden] government’s intentional demonization of its [conservative Republican] citizens could lead to trouble, she was fired. Mandalorian star Carano was let go by LucasFilm on Wednesday over comments she made on social media that the mega-studio apparently took issue with. Her post took a look at the Holocaust through the lens of government’s villainization of individuals and the groups to which they belong….
Pascal’s tweet is from before The Mandalorian series began to air, but it remains up and is in fact, a celebrated tweet. (Source: 2-11-2021)
More Disney Hypocrisy
Excerpt: Actor Kevin Sorbo blasted Hollywood’s treatment of Gina Carano Saturday, highlighting a producer who has worked with Disney and received no rebuke from the company when he fantasized about “MAGA kids” going “into the woodchipper.” “Just so we’re all clear, he still has his job at Disney,” Sorbo wrote on social media, sharing a screenshot of the infamous post from film producer Jack Morrissey. Morrissey — whose producer credits include Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast — had tweeted, “#MAGAkids go screaming, hats first, into the woodchipper,” alongside a violent image in reaction to the Covington Catholic High School incident in January 2019. (Source, 2-14-2021)
Ford Foundation As Well As Soros, Bloomberg, & Bezos Seek to Get Tucker Carlson Show Removed from the Airwaves
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson said on the [February 11, 2021] episode of his program that his show has been targeted for cancellation. Carlson said that “in the last several weeks, and particularly in the last 24 hours, the call to take this show off the air by groups funded—for real—by the Ford Foundation, or by George Soros, by Michael Bloomberg, by Jeff Bezos, has become deafening, going after our advertisers, going after the companies that carry our signal into your home.” What’s more, he added, there has been a “cowardice and complicity” on behalf of the “entire media class in all of this,” suggesting that eventually, reporters at legacy news outlets will be targeted as well.
Writing for Fox News’ website, Carlson added that it may be part of a larger campaign to silence Fox News and other media, noting that some legacy news outlets have dedicated resources calling for the channel to be taken down. One columnist for The New York Times, he added, “has written three separate columns demanding that someone yank this news channel off the air immediately” and on [February 10], “suggested that ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ was somehow guilty of terrorism and violence, something that we’ve opposed consistently for four years.”
“Fox is the last big organization in the American news media that differs in even the smallest ways from the other big news organizations. At this point, everyone else in the media is standing in crisp formation, in their starched matching uniforms and their little caps, patiently awaiting orders from the billionaire class. And then there’s Fox News off by itself, occasionally saying things that are slightly different from everyone else,” Carlson wrote. (Source, 2-12-2021)
Law School & Civil Rights Law Group Cancel Trump Impeachment Attorney David Schoen
An attorney who represented President Donald Trump during the [February 2021] impeachment trial says a law school canceled a civil rights law course he was going to teach and he was suspended from a civil rights lawyer email discussion list. “I was hoping to teach a civil rights course at a law school in the fall. We’ve been in talks about it, kind of planning it out. I wrote to them and I said, ‘I want you to know, I’m gonna be representing Donald Trump in the impeachment case. I don’t know if that impacts on your decision at all,’” David Schoen, one of the three attorneys who argued before the Senate, told The Epoch Times. “And they said, you know, they appreciated my writing and, frankly, it would make some students and faculty uncomfortable, so I couldn’t do it. That was sad for me because I really want to go more and more into teaching. I like doing that,” Schoen said.
Schoen, an Alabama-based lawyer recognized for his civil rights litigation, declined to name the school that canceled his course. He likewise declined to name the legal organization behind the email list that suspended him. “They actually spent 48 hours discussing this with their board and so on. And they decided that they needed to suspend me from the list,” Schoen said. (Source, 2-17-2021)
Twitter Bans The National Pulse Editor Raheem Kassam for Publishing an Article Critical of the Congressional Black Caucus
YouTube Temporarily Bans Rudy Giuliani
Google-owned YouTube has temporarily banned former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani from uploading and streaming videos on its platform. The suspension comes after Giuliani claimed that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Giuliani has served as the former president’s attorney for the Trump Campaign’s bid to prove allegations of election fraud following the November 2020 presidential election. The former New York City mayor has also been using YouTube for his popular podcast, Rudy Giuliani’s Common Sense.
“We removed content from the Rudy W. Giuliani channel for violating our sale of regulated goods policy, which prohibits content facilitating the use of nicotine, and our presidential election integrity policy,” said a YouTube spokesperson in a statement. “Additionally, in accordance with our long standing strikes system, we issued a strike against the Rudy W. Giuliani channel, which temporarily restricts uploading or live-streaming,” the spokesperson added.
YouTube’s “strike” policy bans its users from uploading content for two weeks if they violate the company’s policies twice within a 90-day time period. In January, the former mayor was suspended from the platform for the first time. This means that if Giuliani is determined to be in violation of the platform’s rules one more time in the same timespan, then his YouTube channel will be permanently banned.
Giuliani was also removed from YouTube’s Partner Program — which allows creators to earn ad revenue from their videos — in January. At that time, YouTube had also extended its suspension of former President Donald Trump’s account on the platform.
It is against YouTube’s policy to upload any content making fraud claims relating to last year’s election, as well as “content alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of a historical US Presidential election.” (Source, 3-1-2021)
Amazon Bans Books Containing “Hate Speech”
Amazon has adopted a rule against books that contain anything the company labels as “hate speech.” It appears there was no announcement of the new rule. It was only noticed by media after the online retailer recently banned a book that criticizes transgender ideology.
It’s not clear what Amazon means by “hate speech” or even if it used that label to drop that particular book. In general parlance, Americans hold widely diverging views on what constitutes hate speech, a 2017 Cato poll found. […]
“As a bookseller, we provide our customers with access to a variety of viewpoints, including books that some customers may find objectionable,” an Amazon spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement. “That said, we reserve the right not to sell certain content as described in our content guidelines for books, which you can find here. All retailers make decisions about what selection they choose to offer, and we do not take selection decisions lightly.”
The statement omitted that the $1.5 trillion company changed the rules sometime after August 10 last year, apparently without telling its customers. Previously, Amazon prohibited “products that promote, incite, or glorify hate or violence towards any person or group,” but explicitly stated the policy didn’t apply to books.
Its book policy used to contain no mention of “hate speech,” according to a version of the page archived on Aug. 10. It mentioned Amazon reserved “the right not to sell certain content, such as pornography or other inappropriate content.”
The current “Content Guidelines for Books” include a section against “Offensive Content” that reads: “We don’t sell certain content including content that we determine is hate speech, promotes the abuse or sexual exploitation of children, contains pornography, glorifies rape or pedophilia, advocates terrorism, or other material we deem inappropriate or offensive.” […]
The change apparently occurred prior to Feb. 24 when JustTheNews reported on the new policy. The report followed the banning of When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, a 2018 book by Ryan Anderson, president of the Washington-based think tank Ethics and Public Policy Center. Amazon purged the book around Feb. 21, though the exact timing is hard to pinpoint since the author only learned about the move from people who were looking for the book, he told the Daily Caller.
Anderson couldn’t get an explanation from Amazon on why his book was banned. “A week after they removed my book, Amazon still refuses to say which aspect of their ‘content policy’ the book violates (after three years of not violating that policy). And they refuse to say which page of the book commits the offense,” he said in a Feb. 26 tweet.
The book argues that the push to encourage individuals who feel like a different gender to undergo sex-change procedures is driven by ideology rather than sound medical advice, according to Princeton University politics lecturer Matthew Franck, who reviewed it in 2018.
The book disappeared around the same time Anderson published an op-ed in the New York Post critical of a bill pushed by the Biden administration that would insert sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Source, 3-1-2021)
YouTube Removes Trump CPAC Speech and Suspends Live-Streamer RSBN (Right Side Broadcasting Network) for Carrying the Event
YouTube reportedly deleted videos of a speech given by former President Donald Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and suspended at least one channel that published it.
The Right Side Broadcasting Network first noted the deletion of their CPAC Trump video on Thursday in a tweet from their official account. “RSBN has been suspended from YouTube for two weeks because of the Trump #CPAC2021 speech, which violated their guidelines on election misinformation,” said the RSBN Network. “The video was approaching 4 million views. They have also removed it from their platform,” the network added.
RSBN later added that it appeared that uploads of the speech by Trump were deleted from other channels, including those from the mainstream media. A search of YouTube garnered no results for his speech from the 2021 convention.
Videos critical of the president and others who spoke at CPAC were still available, including those which showed clips from the speeches.
RSBN indicated that the deletion and suspension might have been in relation to false claims the former president made about the results of the election. “We try to follow the rules. Don’t air certain things that we normally would—but we won’t censor President Trump or push back against things he says that, quite frankly, we agree with,” they added in a second tweet. (Source, 3-4-2021)
YouTube Demonetizes World Net Daily for Defending Mike Lindell
Excerpt: World Net Daily, a conservative news and commentary site in operation since 1997, was demonetized by Google-owned YouTube after releasing a video defending MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. Lindell, a Trump supporter, has been banned from most social media platforms. He is in the process of launching his own alternative to Twitter and YouTube, called “Vocl.” WND said it was demonetized (meaning its ability to generate ad revenue and receive donations through YouTube has been switched off) after “posting a short video in support of Mike. (Source, 3-15-2021)
Facebook Censors Sports Show Host Clay Travis for Giving Positive Coverage to President Trump & Summarizing a Wall Street Journal Opinion Piece Claiming that the U.S. Could Soon Reach Herd Immunity vis-a-vis COCID-19
Clay Travis, the founder of a prominent sports website, told Congress at a [House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law] hearing on Friday that Facebook cut traffic to his company’s page after he did an interview with President Donald Trump last summer, which he said led to “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in lost revenue.
Travis, a radio host who runs the site Outkick, also said that Facebook issued his company a warning last month after it published an article summarizing a Wall Street Journal opinion piece which said that the U.S. could reach herd immunity from the coronavirus next month. Travis read from an email Outkick received from Facebook which said that story was “misinformation” and would be removed from Facebook. […]
Travis lamented that Big Tech firms have been granted the power to regulate Internet content. “We would all be rightly concerned if the government of the United States was making these kinds of decisions,” said Travis. “My concern is all of the Big Tech companies now have the same power now that China has to regulate the Internet in its country. Instead of the government doing it, we have allowed Big Tech to do it.”
Travis … accused Facebook of cutting the reach of articles on his site by 70% following an interview he conducted with President Donald Trump on Aug. 11, 2020. Trump appeared on Travis’ radio show to call on the NCAA to allow the college football season to continue. “The day after that interview, Facebook tanked our traffic,” said Travis, adding that the decision, “cost my company hundreds of thousands of dollars.” Travis said he believes that the sudden drop in traffic was evidence that Facebook was engaged in “content-based speech discrimination.” “Facebook didn’t like that we had the President of the United States on our program. They also didn’t like that the majority of the content of the interview was positive,” Travis said.
Facebook did not respond to a request for comment about Travis’s remarks. The site frequently revises the algorithms that determine what type of content shows up on users’ Facebook feeds.
Travis also claimed that Facebook punished his company after it published a summary of an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal that said that the U.S. would reach herd immunity by the end of April. “Within a matter of days, we received a notification from Facebook with the downright Orwellian subject: Misinformation violation,” testified Travis, who provided the email as an exhibit to Congress. “Facebook told us that we were not allowed to share the opinion of a doctor on our website because they said that it was a fact-check inaccuracy.” “It was, members of this subcommittee, an opinion, an opinion of a reasoned, well-learned doctor,” Travis said. (Source: 3-12-2021)
Facebook Bans All Future Posts Containing Audio or Video of Donald Trump’s Voice
Facebook reportedly removed a video interview between former President Donald Trump and his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, following the former commander in chief’s ban from the platform in January. “…and just like that, we are one step closer to Orwell’s 1984. Wow,” Lara Trump posted on Facebook Tuesday evening, accompanied by screenshots of messages ostensibly from a Facebook employee explaining why the video was pulled.
“We removed content from Lara Trump’s Facebook page that featured President Trump speaking,” the Facebook message posted by Lara Trump said. “In line with the block we placed on Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, further content posted in the voice of Donald Trump will be removed and result in additional limitations on the accounts.”
Her husband, Eric Trump, also shared the message reportedly from Facebook. “This is Facebook friends! What an absolute slap in the face to 75 Million Americans,” Eric Trump tweeted. (Source, 3-31-2021)
YouTube Censors Governor Ron DeSantis’ COVID-19 Roundtable Challenging Lockdown Consensus
YouTube has removed a video of a public health roundtable hosted by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) with a panel of scientists and researchers who challenged the effectiveness of COVID-19 lockdowns and masks, claiming the discussion violated its Community Guidelines. The roundtable, which took place at the state Capitol on March 18 and was streamed and posted to YouTube by WTSP-TV, featured former Trump White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas, epidemiologist Professor Sunetra Gupta, and researchers Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Dr. Martin Kulldorff.
The scientists and researchers discussed how public policy measures adopted during the pandemic to mitigate spread of the virus, including quarantining healthy people, shutting businesses down, and mandating mask-wearing, were inspired in part by fear rather than by scientific evidence.
Dr. Bhattacharya called lockdowns “the single biggest public health mistake in history” and argued they failed to protect vulnerable populations like senior citizens from contracting COVID-19. The panel discussed evidence that contradicted some studies that suggest lockdowns may have saved millions of lives globally.
The experts also disputed the effectiveness of mask-wearing, offering various opinions that differed from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for preventing spread of COVID-19. […]
YouTube’s Community Guidelines state the platform “doesn’t allow content about COVID-19 that poses a serious risk of egregious harm.”
The website bans “content that spreads medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19.” Such content may be related to treatment, prevention, diagnosis, transmission, social distancing and quarantine guidelines, or the existence of COVID-19. (Source, 4-8-2021)
Twitter Censors Jason Whitlock for a Post Critical of Black Lives Matter Co-Founder
Twitter reportedly censored sports journalist Jason Whitlock over his criticism of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors over her purchase of a $1.4 million home in a mostly white neighborhood of Los Angeles. The purchase of multiple high-end homes by Khan-Cullors, who once described herself as a “trained Marxist,” was widely reported in the media over the weekend, making the front page of the New York Post under the headline “Black Lives Manors.”
In addition to the $1.4 mil L.A. home, Khan-Cullors reportedly bought three other homes worth a combined total of over $1.5 million. In response to the story, the head of New York’s chapter of Black Lives Matter called for an investigation into who the organization’s money is spent. Black sports journalist Jason Whitlock, a critic of the Black Lives Matter movement, drew attention to the story on Twitter, only to be censored by the platform [which locked his account]. (Source, April 12, 2021)
University of Rhode Island Condemns Professor for Disagreeing with Transgender Orthodoxy
[T]he distinguished Professor Donna Hughes … holds an Endowed Chair in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Rhode Island. She founded the invaluable academic journal Dignity: A Journal of Analysis of Exploitation and Violence and also pioneered the academic study of sex trafficking in the United States, Russia, Ukraine, and Europe. Professor Hughes’s Thought Crime involved the publication of an essay at a feminist website in which she said that a person could not change their biological sex; that children are not “born in the wrong body” and cannot have the brain of one sex and the body of another.
Hughes, who has a Ph.D in genetics, is now in grave danger. Her university released a statement to the media which says: “The University does not support statements and publications by Professor Donna Hughes that espouse anti-transgender perspectives….a faculty member’s First Amendment and academic freedom rights are not boundless…faculty have a special obligation to exercise critical self-discipline in transmitting their personal opinions.” (Source, April 13, 2021)
YouTube Bans Sebastian Gorka’s Channel for Violating 2020 Election Policy
YouTube has banned former Trump aide and radio host Sebastian Gorka’s channel for repeated violations of its “presidential election integrity policy,” according to several reports. The Washington Examiner reported Sunday that Gorka’s show, “America First,” was removed from YouTube’s platform days ago. In a statement, a spokesperson for YouTube said that the channel had been banned for posting information that made allegations of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
“In accordance with our long standing strikes system, we terminated the channel America First with Sebastian Gorka, for repeated violations of our presidential election integrity policy,” said spokesperson Ivy Choi. “As we’ve publicly shared, our presidential election integrity policy prohibits content uploaded after last year’s safe harbor deadline that alleges widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Any channel that violates this policy will receive a strike and channels that receive three strikes in the same 90-day period are permanently removed from YouTube, as in the case of America First with Sebastian Gorka.” […]
The Examiner suggested that an episode of “America First” titled, “Can we stop the Next Steal? Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing on AMERICA First with Sebastian Gorka,” may be in violation of YouTube’s policies. The episode, which is still available on popular YouTube alternative Rumble, featured a discussion about “all of the ways the 2020 election was stolen from President Trump.” […]
On Dec. 9, YouTube enacted its Presidential Election Integrity policy and announced it would remove “content that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.”
An incomplete list of content that is not allowed on YouTube includes:
“We may allow content such as the examples above if it includes countervailing views or sufficient context in the images or audio of the video itself. Providing it in the title or description may be insufficient,” YouTube’s guidelines state. (Source, April 13, 2021)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Chrissy Tiegen, and Julian Castro Call for Boycott of Pro-Trump Goya Foods
Excerpt: On Thursday, Robert Unanue, the CEO of Goya Foods, attended an event at the White House where President Trump signed the Hispanic Prosperity Initiative, which was described as an effort to improve access to educational and economic opportunities. Mr Unanue praised the president at the event, saying: “We’re all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder.” Critics said his comments were tone deaf to the community Goya Foods largely serves…. Celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen and Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez … say they have decided to boycott the company…. Former Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro [tweeted that] Americans should “think twice before buying their products” given that their CEO had praised “a president who villainises [sic] and maliciously attacks Latinos for political gain.” (Source, 7-10-2020)
Maxine Waters Encourages Harassment of Trump Supporters & Aides
On June 24, 2018, Maxine Waters encouraged Americans to rise up and harass members of the Trump administration wherever they might appear in public places. “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” the congresswoman told a crowd of supporters. And in a message to the president himself, Waters said: “Already you have members of your cabinet that are being booed out of restaurants, who have protesters taking up at their house. No peace, no sleep. No peace, no sleep.” And during an interview on MSNBC, Waters stated: “I have no sympathy for these people that are in this administration. For these members of his cabinet who remain and try to defend him – they are not going to be able to go to a restaurant they are not going to be able to stop at a gas station they are not going to be able to shop at a department store.” (6-24-2018)
Max Boot, Washington Post Columnist, Calls for Shutting Down Fox News, One America News, & Newsmax TV; He Also Praises Facebook & Twitter for Purging Conservatives
Excerpt: In a Monday op-ed, the Washington Post called on heavyweight telecommunications corporations to shut down conservative cable news outlets including Fox News, One America News, and Newsmax TV, comparing the need to do so with that of shutting down foreign terrorist influencers. (Source, 1-18-2021)
In a Monday op-ed, the Washington Post called on heavyweight telecommunications corporations to shut down conservative cable news outlets including Fox News, One America News, and Newsmax TV, comparing the need to do so with that of shutting down foreign terrorist influencers. The essay, penned by prominent Trump critic Max Boot, … begins by explaining how merely holding the president accountable for “his role in inciting this violent insurrection” is “insufficient.” “There is a whole infrastructure of incitement that will remain intact even after Trump leaves office,” Boot writes. “Just as we do with foreign terrorist groups, so with domestic terrorists: We need to shut down the influencers who radicalize people and set them on the path toward violence and sedition.”
The essay then heaps praise on the recent purging of conservative voices on social media platforms by tech giants, hoping that broadcast media will follow suit. “Anyone who cherishes our democracy should be grateful to the management of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites for their newfound sense of social responsibility,” the op-ed reads. “We should expect at least the same level of responsibility from broadcast media — and in particular from Fox News, which has the largest reach on the right.”
The essay then criticizes Fox News for not issuing an edict to stop “spreading false claims” regarding election fraud. “Cumulus Media, one of America’s largest talk-radio companies, has ordered its hosts — who include some Fox News personalities — to stop spreading false claims of election fraud,” Boot writes. “But Fox News itself has issued no such edict.”
The author then suggests that if key members of the Murdoch family, which owns News Corp and its sister company Fox Corp., won’t comply, then large cable carriers should have Fox News shut down. “If [they] won’t listen, then large cable companies such as Comcast and Charter Spectrum, which carry Fox News and provide much of its revenue in the form of user fees, need to step in and kick Fox News off,” states Boot.
The essay also targeted other conservative outlets. “And if smaller competitors such as One America News and Newsmax continue to incite viewers, they, too, should be booted off,” the author writes….
[T]he essay concludes with a demand that Joe Biden take heed. “As president, Biden needs to reinvigorate the FCC [Federal Communications Commission].” (Source, 1-18-2021)
Democrat Rep. Brad Schneider Calls for Action Against “Hate” & “Domestic Terrorism”
Excerpt: Today, legislation introduced by Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL) to address the threat of domestic terrorism passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 24-2. The Committee’s markup and bipartisan vote reports H.R. 5602, the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2020, out of the House Judiciary Committee. “The rising tide of domestic terror across our country, particularly from violent far-right extremists and white supremacist organizations, demands a response from Congress,” said Schneider. “It is not enough to just condemn hate, we need to equip law enforcement with the tools needed to identify threats and prevent violent acts of domestic terrorism.” (Source, 1-18-2021)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Proposes Funding to “De-program” White Supremacists
Conflating conservatives with white supremacists, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, during a virtual town hall on January 15, 2021, asserted that the federal government should fund the psychological and ideological de-programming of such people. “The White supremacist cause is futile, it’s nihilist,” she declared. “Their world will never exist. That’s why we’re seeing violence [a reference to the siege of the Capitol] right now. We have to pick up those pieces…. There are people who are radicalized right now. It’s going to take a very long time to de-radicalize these people and a lot of effort. This is a problem that doesn’t go away on January 20,” a reference to the date when Trump was slated to leave the White House and be succeeded by President-elect Joe Biden. Asserting that many fringe conservative radicals operate in a “misinformation bubble,” the congresswoman said that “healing is possible” only if “we … double, triple or quadruple the funding for these [de-radicalization] programs.” (Source, 1-15-2021)
Katie Couric Says Trump Supporters Need to Be “Deprogrammed”
Excerpt: “Former co-anchor of NBC’s “Today” show Katie Couric ripped the Republicans in Congress who voted against impeaching President Donald Trump and certifying the 2020 presidential election results. “And the question is: How are we going to really, almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump?” Couric said during an appearance Friday night on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. (Source, 1-18-2021)
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post Columnist, Says White Republicans Need to Be “De-programmed”
Excerpt: “There are millions of Americans, almost all white, almost all Republicans, who somehow need to be deprogrammed,” urged Robinson on MSNBC last week alongside The New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones. (Source, 1-18-2021)
Nikole Hannah-Jones Seeks to Break White “Power Structure”
Excerpt: Nikole Hannah-Jones, the [New York Times] journalist responsible for her publication’s revisionist “1619 Project,” noted that she doesn’t know “how we can stop people.” “I think we can look to history though. What ultimately breaks that power structure in the South is enforcement, right? There has to be consequences,” Hannah-Jones declared. (Source, 1-18-2021)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez & the Trump Accountability Project Call for Compiling an Enemies List of Trump Allies & Supporters
During the first weekend after Election Day in November 2020, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future.” (November 2020)
A group calling itself the Trump Accountability Project (TAP) voiced its agreement with the congresswoman’s position. Said TAP: “Remember what they did. We should not allow the following groups of people to profit from their experience: Those who elected him. Those who staffed his government. Those who funded him.” (November 2020)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Advocates for a Government-Run Ministry of Truth to Counter Conservatives’ “Misinformation”
During a live stream on Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram page in the immediate aftermath of a January 6, 2021 incident where several hundred people claiming to be Trump supporters had temporarily occupied the Capitol building to protest what they viewed as a stolen presidential election, a viewer asked the congresswoman if the House of Representatives might consider instituting some type of “truth-and-reconciliation or media-literacy initiatives” to help unify a divided nation. Ocasio-Cortez replied affirmatively, stating that she and some of her colleagues had been exploring such a possibility to help “rein in” the press and combat misinformation allegedly disseminated by people like Trump and his supporters — i.e., claims that election fraud and unconstitutional changes to election law had greatly affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential race. “It’s one thing to have differentiating opinions but it’s another thing entirely to just say things that are false,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “So that’s something that we’re looking into.” (January 2021)
Ben Rhodes Calls for Government Censorship of Conservatives
During MSNBC’s coverage of President Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021, Ben Rhodes, a former policy adviser to President Barack Obama, stated that if social media companies like Twitter did not intensify their regulation of speech that Democrats and the Biden administration deemed objectionable, then government would have to impose its own regulatory measures. Said Rhodes: “I think from a policy perspective … there are big questions about the future of social media in this country, whether or not someone has to step in and regulate these platforms so that it’s not left to the CEO of Twitter to make a decision to kick President Trump off a couple weeks before his term ends and after the Democrats have won back control of government. But rather, can government work with these tech companies to determine how they can at least slow the spread of this poisonous disinformation?” “All of us have a responsibility now, starting from the presidency, starting from the White House, but to those social media companies, to Facebook, and to all of us as citizens to realize, to wake up to just how close we came to losing it all,” Rhodes continued. “We need everybody to step up here and that includes social media, and if they won’t, that means that government’s going to have to step in as well.” (1-20-2021)
Joy Reid Calls for “De-Baathification” of Republicans & Trump Supporters
In a January 2021 discussion with MSNBC colleague Nicolle Wallace, Joy Reid likened President Trump to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and asked if it was possible for the Republican Party to undergo a kind of “de-Baathification” process — an allusion to the 2003 effort by Iraqi leaders to purge the influence of Saddam’s Baath Party from the nation’s newly forming government in the aftermath of the Iraq War. Said Reid: “I wonder if [Republican Congresswoman] Liz Cheney, her [anti-Trump] statement being the thing that … the Democrats used … to explain why they needed to impeach Donald Trump, is there a little wing of the Republican Party that you think can do this sort of de-Baathification of the party?” (1-14-2021)
Alex Stamos, Former Facebook Chief Security Officer, Calls for Censorship of Conservatives & Compares Them to ISIS
In a January 17, 2021 interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter, Alex Stamos, Facebook’s former chief security officer, likened conservatives to ISIS terrorists. He also called for the government to censor all conservative voices — including those on social-media platforms — so that any messages which are anathema to Facebook and the left can be de-platformed. Some key excerpts from Stamos’ remarks include the following:
Rep. Stephanie Murphy Introduces Legislation to Disqualify Many Conservatives from Obtaining Federal Security Clearance
Excerpt from Rep. Murphy’s web page:
U.S. Representative Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., […] will introduce legislation to disqualify participants in the violent assault on the United States Capitol and members of the conspiracy movement QAnon from obtaining or maintaining a federal security clearance, which an individual must possess in order to hold a national security position and to access classified information.
Before individuals can obtain a security clearance to work for or with the federal government, they are subject to a rigorous background investigation. This typically involves completing the Standard Form 86 (SF-86) questionnaire and undergoing an interview process. The purpose […] is to examine the individual’s “behavior, activities, and associations” in order to determine whether the individual is “reliable, trustworthy, of good conduct and character, and loyal to the U.S.”
“Any individual who participated in the assault on the Capitol or who is a member of the conspiracy movement QAnon should be required to disclose this fact when applying to obtain or maintain a federal security clearance,” said Murphy…. “It is highly unlikely that such an individual will be found by investigators to have shown the conduct, character, and loyalty to the United States that is a prerequisite to holding a national security position and viewing classified information.”
The 130-page SF-86 covers many topics…. Section 29 of the questionnaire asks applicants about their “Association Record.” However, Section 29 is limited in scope. Applicants are asked whether they have ever been a member of an organization dedicated to terrorism; an organization dedicated to the use of violence or force to overthrow the U.S. government; or an organization that advocates the use of force or violence to discourage others from exercising their rights under the U.S. Constitution. Murphy’s bill, the Security Clearance Improvement Act of 2021, would direct the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to add another question to Section 29 that asks applicants whether they have ever been a member of, associated with, or knowingly engaged in activities conducted by an organization or movement—like QAnon—that spreads conspiracy theories and false information about the U.S. government….
In addition, Murphy’s legislation would require the security clearance process—whether the SF-86, the interview portion, or both—to ask applicants whether they participated in the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol or a similar “Stop the Steal” event [alleging that the 2020 presidential election was stolen by means of fraud and unconstitutional changes to state election laws], and the precise role they played in that event. Even if it does not constitute a criminal offense, attendance at an event designed to overturn the results of a presidential election and prevent the peaceful transfer of power raises serious questions about an applicant’s suitability for a security clearance. (Source, 1-15-2021)
Hundreds of Publishing Professionals Demand Ban on Book Deals for Trump Officials
Excerpt: A long list of authors and other publishing professionals are calling on their industry to effectively refuse book deals with anyone who worked in former President Trump’s administration. “As members of the writing and publishing community of the United States, we affirm that participation in the administration of Donald Trump must be considered a uniquely mitigating criterion for publishing houses when considering book deals,” reads the letter signed by hundreds of publishing professionals. The letter allowed others to add their signatures, which had reached around 550 by Wednesday afternoon. The letter added, “Consequently, we believe: No participant in an administration that caged children, performed involuntary surgeries on captive women, and scoffed at science as millions were infected with a deadly virus should be enriched by the almost rote largesse of a big book deal.” (Source, 1-20-2021)
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc., Calls for Censorship of Conservatives
On December 3, 2018, Cook made a speech to the Anti-Defamation League, in which he made clear his plan to censor conservative voices on the pretext that they foment misinformation, violence, hatred, division, and white supremacy. Exhorting his listeners “not to be bystanders as hate tries to make its headquarters in the digital world,” Cook said: “We [at Apple] only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division and violence: You have no place on our platforms. You have no home here. From the earliest days of iTunes to Apple Music today, we have always prohibited music with a message of white supremacy. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. And as we showed this year, we won’t give a platform to violent conspiracy theorists on the App Store. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do.” (12-3-2018)
Tim Cook Justifies Apple’s Decision to De-platform the Social Media Site Parler
In a January 2021 interview with Fox News, Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook was asked to comment on Apple’s recent decision to suspend the social media platform Parler, which was a competitor to Facebook and Twitter, from its App Store. Because the suspension occurred shortly after a January 6 incident where several hundred people had swarmed into the Capitol building in Washington, ostensibly to protest what they viewed as an illegitimate presidential election in which Joe Biden had defeated Donald Trump, Cook’s implication was that Parler had been used by Trump supporters to organize and promote that event. Said Cook: “We looked at the incitement of violence that was on there. We don’t consider that free speech and incitement to violence has an intersection.”
Notably, Cook did not provide any examples of the purported incitement to violence to be found on Parler, nor was he asked why Apple’s App Store had not suspended either Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube when, throughout the spring and summer of 2020, so many Black Lives Matter supporters had clearly been glorifying and inciting violent riots from those platforms. Moreover, on January 12, leftwing journalist Glenn Greenwald reported that of the thirteen people who had been arrested thus far for the breach at the Capitol, “none appear to be active users of Parler.” Rather, “The Capitol breach was planned far more on Facebook and YouTube.” (1-15-2021)
Mark Zuckerberg Bans President Trump from Facebook
On January 7, 2021 — a day after hundreds of President Trump’s supporters had occupied the U.S. Capitol as an act of protest against what they viewed as a stolen presidential election — Zuckerberg announced that Trump would be banned from both Facebook and Instagram — the photo- and video-sharing service owned by Facebook — “indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks” until the “peaceful transition of power” to President-elect Joe Biden was complete. “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg wrote, referencing “the shocking events of the last 24 hours.” Making clear his belief that Trump was personally responsible for the mayhem, Zuckerberg said that the previous day’s events “clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power” and “to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.” (1-7-2021)
Jack Dorsey Vows That Twitter’s Censorship Against Conservatives Will Continue Indefinitely
On January 14, 2021, the investigative news organization Project Veritas released a new undercover video provided by an insider at Twitter who recorded Dorsey stating that the censoring of President Trump was merely the beginning of what would become a much larger censorship effort, and vowing to impose additional restrictions against Trump and conservatives on the Twitter platform. Said Dorsey in the video:
“We are focused on one account [@realDonaldTrump] right now, but this is going to be much bigger than just one account, and it’s going to go on for much longer than just this day, this week, and the next few weeks, and go on beyond the [Joe Biden] inauguration…. So, the focus is certainly on this account [@realDonaldTrump] and how it ties to real world violence. But also, we need to think much longer term around how these dynamics play out over time. I don’t believe this is going away anytime soon. And the moves that we’re making today around Q Anon [the suspension of more than 70,000 accounts that were allegedly dedicated to sharing QAnon content], for instance, [is] one such example of a much broader approach that we should be looking at and going deeper on. So, the team has a lot of work and a lot of focus on this particular [Trump] issue, but we also need to give them the space and the support to focus on the much bigger picture, because it is not going away. You know, the U.S. is extremely divided. Our platform is showing that every single day, and our role is to protect the integrity of that conversation, and do what we can to make sure that no one is being harmed off that. And that is the focus. And that is the color we want to provide.” (January 2021)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney Calls for FBI Investigation of Parler
On January 21, 2021, Democrat Rep. Carolyn Maloney, in her position as chair of the House Oversight Committee, called for an FBI investigation into the alleged involvement of Parler — a free-speech social media platform that operated as a competitor to Twitter and Facebook — in fomenting a January 6 incident where several hundred Trump supporters had temporarily occupied the Capitol building in Washington to protest what they viewed as a stolen presidential election. (Note: Both Apple and Google, in the immediate aftermath of the January 6 incident, had dropped Parler from their respective app stores, and Amazon had cut Parler off from its cloud hosting service, Amazon Web Services, thereby forcing Parler offline completely. Prior to its sudden banishment from the Internet, Parler had been growing at an astounding rate and was #1 in Apple’s app store — a growth spurt that had been ignited by Twitter’s and Facebook’s recent decisions to ban President Trump from their respective sites.)
In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Maloney asked the Bureau to “conduct a robust examination of the role that the social media site Parler played” in organizing and facilitating the events at the Capitol. The congresswoman added that her committee would open its own investigation of Parler as well, and she requested a meeting with FBI officials regarding the direction that such a probe should take. Also in her letter, Maloney cited several instances in which Parler users had been arrested for “threatening violence against elected officials” and organizing protests on the platform. And in a January 22 interview with The Washington Post, Maloney vowed: “I am going to get to the bottom of who owns and funds social media platforms like Parler that condone and create violence.”
Maloney’s allegations about Parler’s involvement in planning and organizing the January 6, 2021 incident at the Capitol were entirely false, however. As leftwing journalist and former civil rights lawyer Glenn Greenwald noted on January 12: “Of the first 13 people arrested by the FBI in connection with the event at the Capitol, a total of zero were active users of Parler. The overwhelming amount of planning for that event, the overwhelming amount of advocacy for people to go there and to breach the Capitol was done on Facebook, and on YouTube, and on Twitter.” Greenwald further observed that Google “kicked Parler off of its app at the exactly the time that Parler had gone to number one.” (January 2021)
Keith Olbermann Says Twitter “Must Ban Trump”
Excerpt: Keith Olbermann is among the many establishment Democrats who are calling for censorship against conservatives on the internet. On Saturday, he made a tweet stating Twitter, “MUST ban Trump, or WE must boycott Twitter advertisers.” “Twitter must ban him, today, right now, permanently,” said Olbermann. (Source, 11-28-2020)
Senator Mazie Hirono Calls for Facebook & Twitter to De-Platform Trump
Excerpt: Sen. Mazie Hirono also called for Trump to be de-platformed at the Senate Judiciary Committee, which features [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg and [Twitter CEO] Jack Dorsey. She said: “What are both of you prepared to do regarding Donald Trump’s use of your platforms after he stops being president, will be still be deemed newsworthy and will he still be able to use your platforms to spread misinformation?” (Source, 11-28-2020)
Senator Cory Booker Praises Facebook for Suspending Trump Account
Sen. Cory Booker also expressed interest in censoring certain conservative groups. “I was really pleased,” he said to [Facebook CEO Mark] Zuckerberg, adding “that the group Stop the Steal, which was a group formed on Facebook with disinformation trying to delegitimize the [2020 presidential] election, I was grateful that you all suspended that account after 24 hours.” (Source, 11-28-2020)
In August 2019, Sheila Jackson Lee spoke about the urgent need to address the allegedly growing level of white racism plaguing America. “I believe that racism… should be declared a national security threat,” she said. “Racism is a national security threat. Before, we would say, ‘you have a right to your racist views. You have a right to believe that slavery was right. That segregation was right.’ We live in an era where that can no longer be allowed.” Asserting that FBI statistics showed “an acceleration” of the incidence of hate crimes since the start of Donald Trump’s presidency, the congresswoman said that “young, disaffected white males” were the principal offenders. “We must find a way to invest huge sums of money intervening in these white minds that are drawn to white militia, white supremacy, white nationalism because they have nothing else to do — no intervention, no recreation, no libraries, no training of communities,” Jackson Lee added. (August 2019)
Brian Stelter, CNN Anchor, Calls for Limiting the Ability of Fox News & Newsmax to Reach a Large Audience
Dishonest cries of censorship are filling Fox’s airwaves, with charges that these guys right here are being suppressed. The word censorship has been invoked almost 400 times on FOX this month alone, and more than 300 times on Newsmax…. And Tucker Carlson is telling viewers that this network, CNN, is trying to force Fox News off the air, which is patently false.
It is predictable as the sunrise. Democrats win elections and Republicans say they are being silenced. But while some cry cancel culture, let me suggest a different way to think about this, a harm reduction model.
Most people want clean air and blue skies and accurate news and rational news. In that healthy environment that looks beautiful, then we can have fights about taxes and regulation and health care and all the rest. The vast majority of people can agree that disinformation about, let’s say, the pandemic is unhealthy. It’s harmful. So, how can that harm be reduced? Well, big tech platforms say they are removing lies about vaccines and stamping out “stop the steal” BS and QAnon content. Now, do these private companies have too much power? Sure, and many people would say, yes, of course, they do.
But reducing a liar’s reach is not the same as censoring freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is different than freedom of reach, and algorithmic reach is part of the problem….
This harm happens all over the place. In the words of a recently fired FOX News editor, news consumers are both overfed and malnourished at the same time, gorging on empty informational calories, indulging their sugar fixes of self- affirming half-truths and even outright lies. It is impossible to make those lies go away, but they can be reduced. All right? Harm reduction.
But instead, we get this over on Newsmax. Look at this: Biden’s plan to destroy America. It looks like some crazy comic book movie or something, some action movie. That’s what we get on Newsmax.
Here’s what we get on Fox. Tucker Carlson declaring that unity for Dems means locking up their opponent. And, quote, you can now be arrested for saying the wrong thing. What? And the government is at war with its own people. What?
This apocalyptic stuff is day in, day out on these channels. It is part of a radicalization pipeline that pits neighbors against neighbor and lets fear overpower courage. And it poisons American politics.
To borrow the pollution metaphor again, the people who live closest to the factory, who ingest most of the pollution, they get the sickest. But everyone is affected by this toxic information world….
This is complicated, but a harm reduction is possible. Harm reduction is possible by adding more news and less opinion to the content. Harm reduction is possible by pushing some of the QAnon craziness out of your newsfeed on Facebook. This is not ultimately about freedom of speech. It’s about freedom of reach. (Source, 1-31-2021)
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel, & Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson Call for Disbarment of Four Lawyers who Represented Trump
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), […] Attorney General Dana Nessel (D), and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) called for the disbarment of Michigan’s Greg Rohl, Scott Hagerstrom and Stefanie Junttila, as well as Texas-based Sidney Powell, a pro-Trump lawyer who promoted unproven election fraud claims. The state officials accused the attorneys of contributing to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot through their involvement in litigation that would overturn President Biden’s victory in the state, according to The Detroit News. The four “used their law license in an attempt to disenfranchise Michigan voters and undermine the faith of the public in the legitimacy of the recent presidential election, and lent credence to untruths that led to violence and unrest,” the officials wrote. […]
“The 2020 general election was the most secure in our nation’s history, and these lawyers abused their authority by filing meritless, frivolous lawsuits for the sole purpose of undermining public faith in the election,” Benson said in a statement, according to the Detroit newspaper. “They must be held accountable for this unprecedented attack on our democracy and prevented from replicating such harm in the future.” (Source, 2-2-2021)
Twitter Suspends 70,000 Accounts That Shared QAnon Theories
(Note: QAnon has nothing in common with mainline conservatism, which embraces the values enshrined in the Declaration and the Constitution: ordered liberty, individual rights, the rule of law, limited government, and free enterprise.)
Excerpt: QAnon is a conspiracy claiming that President Donald Trump is waging a war against Satan-worshipping pedophiles in politics, business and the media. Supporters were involved in the storming of the U.S. Congress building [on January 6, 2021]. Twitter has deleted accounts that “share harmful QAnon-associated content at scale.” “We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm,” Twitter said in a blog post. “Given the violent events in Washington, DC, and increased risk of harm, we began permanently suspending thousands of accounts that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content on [January 12, 2021].” (Source, January 2021)
“Cancel Culture” Hits Fever Pitch
By Daniel Payne
February 14, 2021
The Democrat ‘Deprogramming’ Myth and the 7 Truth
By Pierce Roberts & Loyd Pettegrew
February 15, 2021
Communist Tactics to Force Self-Censorship Sweeping America
By Petr Svab
March 9, 2021