Introduction “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 involves […]
“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 involves the withdrawal of support for individuals or businesses after they have done or said something considered objectionable, offensive, or in some way dangerous. In other cases, it is expressed by means 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.
One of the most commonly cited justifications for canceling someone is the notion that the targeted person is guilty of spreading “misinformation” or “disinformation” whose consequences could have serious ramifications in terms of public health. Consider, for instance the case of the highly popular podcaster Joe Rogan, who in late 2021 and early 2022 came under fire for his decision to interview “canceled” individuals like Dr. Robert Malone and Dr. Peter McCullough regarding the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. In January 2022, Rogan explained how misleading and illegitimate the terms “misinformation” and “disinformation” can be:
“I think there’s a lot of people that have a distorted perception of what I do maybe based on sound bites or based on headlines of articles that are disparaging. The podcast has been accused of spreading dangerous misinformation, specifically about two episodes, a little bit about some other ones, but specifically about two: one with Dr. Peter McCullough and one with Dr. Robert Malone.
“Dr. Peter McCullough is a cardiologist and he is the most published physician in his field in history. Dr. Robert Malone owns nine patents on the creation of mRNA vaccine technology and is at least partially responsible for the creation of the technology that led to mRNA vaccines. Both these people are very highly credentialed, very intelligent, very accomplished people, and they have an opinion that’s different from the mainstream narrative. I wanted to hear what their opinion is. I had them on. And because of that, those episodes in particular, uh, those episodes were labeled as being dangerous — they had dangerous misinformation in them.
“The problem I have with the term misinformation, especially today is that many of the things that we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago are now accepted as fact, like for instance, eight months ago, if you said, ‘if you get vaccinated, you can still catch COVID and you can still spread COVID,’ you’d be removed from social media. They would, they would ban you from certain platforms. Now that’s accepted as fact.
“If you said, ‘I don’t think cloth masks work,’ you would be banned from social media. Now that’s openly and repeatedly stated on CNN.
“If you said, ‘I think it’s possible that COVID-19 came from a lab,’ you’d be banned from many social media platforms. Now that’s on the cover of Newsweek.
“All of those theories that at one point in time were banned, were openly discussed by those two men that I had on my podcast that have been accused of dangerous misinformation. I do not know if they’re right. I don’t know because I’m not a doctor. I’m not a scientist. I’m just a person who sits down and talks to people and those conversations with them.”
The 4 overarcvhing themes explored in this section of Discover The Networks are:
I. Corporations & Organizations Seeking to Censor, Cancel, Blacklist, Boycott, De-platform, or De-program Conservatives & Anti-Leftists
II. Individuals Seeking to Censor, Cancel, Blacklist, Boycott, De-platform, or De-program Conservatives
III. Corporations Seeking to Censor, Cancel, Blacklist, Boycott, De-platform, or De-program Non-Leftist Conspiracy Theorists
IV. The Biden Administration Admits Its Collaboration with Big Tech / Social Media Giants
I. Corporations & Organizations Seeking to Censor, Cancel, Blacklist, Boycott, De-platform, or De-program Conservatives & Anti-Leftists
YouTube/Google: The Monolithic, Anti-Conservative Gatekeepers
The Oculus and Anduril founder Palmer Luckey reported that YouTube deleted his comments criticizing the Chinese government. Luckey tweeted: “YouTube has deleted every comment I ever made about the Wumao ((五毛), an internet propaganda division of the Chinese Communist Party.” A YouTube spokesperson told the Media Research Center, “This appears to be an error in our enforcement systems and we are investigating.”
Google/YouTube have censored more explicitly American cultural targets as well.
A trailer for the documentary “America! America! God Shed His Grace on Thee!” was removed several times from Google and YouTube advertising. A Google spokesperson told the Media Research Center (MRC) that the company’s “sensitive events policy” designed to “protect users from harmful advertiser behavior such as price-gouging” was somehow triggered by the trailer. “ In this instance, our automated systems mistakenly overflagged the content as it includes mentions of COVID and imagery of face masks. We regret the error”the spokesperson acknowledged. The note also included a laughable claim that makes the entire discussion suspect: “We enforce our policies consistently, regardless of political or religious affiliation.”
Google’s accidental censorship has massive implications for entire organizations. Google claimed that a technical issue prevented many high profile conservative websites from being reached, making them appear blacklisted. Google said the problem was merely a bug in the system. Websites such as NewsBusters, MRCTV, CNSNews.com, The Washington Free Beacon, Breitbart, The Resurgent, Twitchy, RedState, PJ Media, Judicial Watch, The Blaze, Townhall, Project Veritas, LifeNews, PragerU, and The Daily Wire could not be found in an organic search via Google. Google later apologized via Twitter after fixing this so-called pre-election “bug.”
Facebook/Instagram: Where No Conservative Is Safe
Photo-sharing platform Instagram is owned by Facebook. Both have a history of haphazard censorship against conservative figures.
“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,” The Federalist reported Dec. 8. The photo Instagram found so controversial was merely an image of Trump himself, First Lady Melania Trump, and a man in uniform saluting a monument showing the names of Pearl Harbor victims with the words “Remembering Pearl Harbor” superimposed in all caps.
After public outcry, however, Instagram removed the fact-check. Herald Sun opinion columnist Rita Panahiretorted, “They heard you. @instagram removed the warning/fact check they put on President Trump’s Pearl Harbour post. #RevokeSection230.”
Conservative influencers have been targeted as well. Instagram has also cracked down on conservative commentator and producer Ashley StClair on Nov. 21 for posting a “photo with a gun after hog hunting.” Screenshots shared by StClair indicated that Instagram had removed her photo for “coordinating harm or promoting crime” and “violence and incitement.” StClair’s instagram story reporting on this was then “removed for coordinating harm or promoting crime.” If that weren’t enough, she announced that “Instagram has banned me from doing livestreams as well.”
When contacted, the press team who works for Facebook/Instagram responded: “Thank you for your inquiry – this was an error and we have since addressed it.” No further details were provided.
Facebook itself was accused of “banning two ads centered on the abortion stance of then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris,” the Washington Examiner reported. Social Media Producer Andrew Miller summarized in an article what took place: “The ads in question label Biden and Harris as ‘extreme’ on abortion and supporting the practice ‘up until the moment of birth.’” The Examiner summarized that “the Dispatchapologized and retracted its fact check, saying that it was published in error,” and Facebook reportedly reinstated the ad.
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)
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)
Democrats Seek to Punish Sinclair Broadcasting Group
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)
Twitter Suspends Jamie Glazov for Quoting Qur’an and Hadith
And what was my hateful conduct? It appears that quoting the Qur’an and Hadith now falls under that category.
Twitter tells me that two of my tweets “violate” their “rules” in this context. In one of the tweets, I quote Sahih Bukhari’s texts about Mohammed’s marriage to Aisha when she was 6-years-old and how he treated her. In the other tweet, I quote Qur’anic Suras that mandate the Hijab for women and sanction sex slavery.
Tweet Violation #1:
Tweet Violation #2:
Twitter informed me that I could have my account back in 12 hours if I deleted these two rule-violating tweets. I did delete them. I felt a bit weird following their orders, as this meant deleting verses from Islamic texts — and surely such an act will hurt the sensibilities and rights of Muslims all over the world.
In deleting the tweets I was also surrendering to Twitter’s totalitarian suffocation of my free speech — and others’ free speech. But I did so, because I would like to get my Twitter account back so I can return to promoting freedom and, of course, to protest my suspension from Twitter on Twitter.
The mystery remains: how is quoting Islamic texts “hateful conduct”? Will Twitter soon be suspending Muslims’ accounts when their owners quote Islamic texts? They do so all the time.
Will this policy soon materialize into official public policy and will law enforcement soon be confiscating Qur’ans and other Islamic literature from mosques, Muslims’ households and other Islamic institutions?
Or do we have a situation in which kafirs (Islam’s dirty secret word for unbelievers) are the ones who are not allowed to quote Islamic texts, but Muslims are? If so, and that appears to be the case, then it means that Twitter has bowed to Islamic blasphemy laws.
This must explain why Tommy Robinson and Shazia Hobbs, two truth-tellers about Jihad and Sharia, are now permanently banned from Twitter – and why illustrator Bosch Fawstin, whose cartoons dare to depict the truths about Islamic Supremacism, was suspended from Twitter and had to fight to get his account back.
It also explains why Hamas enjoys a Twitter account, which links to its terrorist website that promotes genocide and is responsible for murdering thousands of people. It would do well to note that the U.S. State Dept. lists Hamas as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Is it legitimate to ask this question: Is Twitter’s providing of services to Hamas actually legal?
Or is asking such a question hateful conduct?
Suffice it to say that Twitter also provides the luxury of an account to two other recognized terrorist organizations: Al Aqsa TV (Hamas’ tv channel) and Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV. (Source, 5-2-2018)
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 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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:
“There’s definitely a lot of bias, [and] it wasn’t just the content moderators, it’s the policy itself that’s biased and rigged against conservatives. Just a quick example … if you’re attacking someone, you can call someone a ‘Trump-humper’ but you can’t call them a ‘feminazi,’ so words and phrases that are usually tied to left-wing people, you can’t call them that. Even if I report that [anti-conservative] post, it would still stay on the platform.”
“During pride month of June 2018 … they said, we’re making an exception to policy. Now normally in the hate speech policy you can’t attack anyone because of their gender entities, but they said hey, during pride month it’s okay to attack straight white males and call them ‘filth’ if it’s in the context of attacking them for not supporting LGBT. It extended [to] other policies as well… Fairly recently, towards the end of my tenure there, they said it’s not a violation to call someone ‘white trash,’ when before, it was. So they modified the policy. Same thing goes with calling cops ‘pigs’ … they specifically said in their guidance to us that that would now be allowed.”
“It came from the top. The policy was shaped by left-wing individuals who were seeking to influence the discourse and also influence the election.” (6-23-2020)
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)
Jim Jordan Says Big Tech Is out to Get Conservatives
“I’ll just cut to the chase: Big tech’s out to get conservatives,” said [Rep. Jim] Jordan, Ohio Republican. “That’s not a suspicion. Not a hunch. That’s a fact.
“July 20th, 2020, Google removed the home pages of Breitbart and the Daily Caller. Last night we learned Google has censored Breitbart so much that traffic has declined 99%. June 16, 2020, Google threatened to demonetize The Federalist.
“April 19th, 2020, Google and YouTube announced a policy censoring content that conflicts with recommendations of the World Health Organization. Think about that. World Health Organization. An organization that lied to us. The organization that chilled for China, and if you contradict something they say, they can say whatever they want. They can lie for China. They can shill for China. You say something against them, you get censored.
“June 29th, 2020, Amazon bans President Trump’s account on Twitch after he raised concerns about defunding the police. June 4th, 2020, Amazon bans a book critical of the coronavirus lockdowns written by a conservative commentator. May 27th, 2020, Amazon Smile won’t let you give to the give to the Family Research Council, but you can give to Planned Parenthood.
“Facebook, June 19th, 2020, takes down posts from Trump’s re-election campaign. Nov. 1, 2018, Facebook silences a pro-life advertisement. May 19th, 2020, former Facebook employees admit facebook routinely suppresses conservative views. I haven’t mentioned Twitter. Who we invited. I asked for you guys to invite them as a witness. You guys said no, I haven’t mentioned them two years ago they shadowbanned two members of this committee.
“Four members of Congress were shadowed two years ago. Out of 435 in the House, only four. Only four. Gates, Meadows, Nunes, Jordan, get shadowbanned. What did Mr. Dorsey tell us? It was just a glitch in our algorithm. What did you put in the algorithm, the names Gates, Meadows, Nunes, and Jordan?
“… We’ve heard that excuse time and time again.
“On May 28th, they censored President Trump’s tweets about the riots in Minneapolis. Twitter censors the White House account for quoting the president’s comments about the riots in Minneapolis.
“June 23, 2020, Twitter censors the president again for saying he would not allow an autonomous zone in Washington D.C. You can tweet all you want about the autonomous zone that happened in Seattle, but the president tweets he’s going to have one in Washington, D.C., oh, no, you can’t do that. You get banned. Censored. Dozens of examples.
“I forgot one. I forgot one. Just last week, July 21st. July 21st on Twitter. The leader of Iran, Islamic Republic of Iran, the largest state sponsor of terrorism. Twitter allows this tweet. Quote, “The Islamic Republic of Iran will never forget the martyrdom of Soleimani and will definitely strike a blow in the United States.”
“So you can threaten the citizens of this great country, the leader of the largest state sponsor of terrorism, that’s just fine, but oh, the president says he’s not going to allow some autonomous zone in D.C. and he gets censored. All kinds of examples.” (Source, 7-29-2020)
Twitter Blocks Trump Tweets, but Not Those of Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei
A Twitter spokeswoman has defended the company’s decision to block and restrict tweets from President Trump but not those of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei which call for genocide of the Israeli people. The reason? Because the Iranian dictator’s tweets pass as “commentary on political issues of the day” while Trump’s could “inspire harm,” Twitter claims.
During a hearing on antisemitism in front of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem, lawmakers grilled a Twitter representative over why the platform was policing missives from Trump, but not other world leaders such as Khamenei calling Israel “a cancerous growth.”
“You have recently started flagging the tweets of President Trump,” noted Arsen Ostrovsky, a human rights lawyer and executive director of the Israeli-Jewish Congress. “Why have you not flagged the tweets of Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who has literally called for the genocide of Israel and the Jewish people?” he asked.
In an astonishing response, the Twitter spokeswoman claimed that tweets from the Iranian leader — where he has publicly called for the “elimination” of Israel — amounted to little more than “foreign policy saber-rattling.” “We have an approach to world leaders that presently say that direct interactions with fellow public figures, comments on political issues of the day, or foreign policy saber-rattling on military and economic issues are generally not in violation of our Twitter rules,” the spokeswoman responded.
Stunned lawmaker Michal Cotler-Wunsh interrupted: “So calling for genocide is OK?” “Calling for genocide on Twitter is OK, but commenting on political situations in certain countries is not OK?” she continued. […]
Iran’s leader has repeatedly shared tweets calling Israel a “deadly, cancerous growth” to be “uprooted and destroyed” — all going unchecked by Twitter. “The long-lasting virus of Zionism will be uprooted thanks to the determination and faith of the youth,” Khamenei wrote as recently as May.
The Twitter spokeswoman worked herself in a knot as she refused to answer why the platform had begun restricting the president’s tweets, but not Khamenei’s — leading to accusations of “double standards.” “If a world leader violates our rules, but it is a clear interest in keeping that up on the servers, we may place it behind a notice that provides some more context about the violation,” the Twitter rep said. “That it has happened for the Trump tweet, that tweet was violating our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line of that tweet and the risk that it could possibly inspire harm and similar actions,” she continued. (Source, 7-29-2020)
Facebook Threatens to Censor the Conservative “Hodge Twins”
Facebook has threatened to blacklist the page of conservative comedy duo Kevin Hodge and Keith Hodge, better known as the Hodgetwins, on the same day that The New York Times identified them among the most successful conservative content creators on the platform. The duo rose to fame on YouTube, where they amassed 1.4 million subscribers with viral videos. In 2018, they set up a second channel, “Conservative Twins,” focused on political content, which has accumulated over a million subscribers. Their Facebook page is also enormously successful, with over 5.8 million followers and over 3.3 million likes.
Earlier today, the New York Times published an article lamenting the success of conservative content creators on Facebook, with the Hodgetwins featured as a prominent example. The NYT complains that the two most popular posts about Black Lives Matter on the platform are videos from the Hodgetwins critiquing the movement:
The most-shared Facebook post containing the term “Black Lives Matter” over the past six months is a June video by the right-wing commentators The Hodgetwins, which calls the racial justice movement a “damn lie.” The second most-shared Black Lives Matter post? A different viral video from The Hodgetwins, this one calling the movement a “leftist lie.” (The Hodgetwins also have the 4th, 6th, and 12th most shared posts.)
On the same day that the article was published, the Hodgetwins reported on Twitter that Facebook threatened to unpublish their page. “They are interfering with the election!” said the Hodgetwins. “Conservatives are being censored on FB.” (Source, 8-28-2020)
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)
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 otheraccounts. (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)
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 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)
Massive Disparity in Censorship of Conservatives, vs. Censorship of Leftists & Liberals
A study from the Media Research Center out in October showed that together, Facebook and Twitter censored Trump and affiliated campaign accounts at least 65 times over the past two years. How many times did each censor former Vice President Joe Biden? Zero. According to their report, 98 percent of the censorship came from Twitter. (Source, 12-4-2020)
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)
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)
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)
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 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. (January 8, 2021)
Brandon Straka and All His Employees Are Banned from Facebook
He added that people merely associated with the page were also removed from Facebook. “Every volunteer, every paid employee, banned,” Straka said. “This is only the beginning of a total conservative shutdown if we don’t get help,” Straka added in a tweet to Sen. Ted Cruz asking for assistance.
In another tweet, Straka referred to the censoring as “absolute mayhem.” “I have a dozen paid employees,” Straka said. “I have dozens of volunteers. ALL BANNED at the same time today. Absolute mayhem!! Is this the unity and healing of Joe Biden’s America??? This is horrifying.” […]
“Massive Twitter purges seem to be happening,” Straka tweeted Thursday. “I’ve lost now 10,000 followers since last night.”
Straka’s movement gained notoriety in 2018 after the now ex-liberal decided he was fed up with the Democratic Party and began urging others to leave the party with him. (Source, 1-8-2021)
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)
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)
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)
Stripe Stops Processing Payments to Trump Campaign
The bans against President Trump just keeps on coming. Fintech company Stripe has announced they have stopped processing all payments to President Trump’s campaign. The Communistic move by Stripe will make sure all future donations to the Trump campaign will be denied. It looks like Big Tech has waged war against President Trump and anyone that supports him.
CBS covered the ridiculous move by Stripe and had this to share: “Financial technology company Stripe stopped processing payments for the Trump campaign, a person familiar with the matter told the Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because the decision hasn’t been made public.”
The move by Stripe reportedly cuts off Mr. Trump’s fundraising arm from what has been a steady stream of small-dollar donations that are often solicited through emails and text messages.
First Facebook banned Trump then Twitter, and now the Financial Technology company is now banning him. (Source, 1-12-2021)
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)
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)
YouTube Demonetizes The Epoch Times
Excerpt: YouTube, the video platform service that is a Google subsidiary, has banned The Epoch Times, a rising, conservative-leaning media outlet, from earning money off its videos.
“YouTube demonetized the Epoch Times and related accounts last week,” Stephen Gregory, publisher of The Epoch Times confirmed to Just the News on Tuesday in an email. “This is the latest example of big tech suppression of free speech, a step on the road to communist-style censorship.” A YouTube spokesperson acknowledged Tuesday in an email to Just the News that the company had demonetized the publication’s channel and affiliated channels and had suspended them from the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) – over issues related to harmful or sensitive content.
Twitter Suspends Focus on the Family, for “Hateful Content”
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 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)
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)
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
Excerpt: This week, our editor at The National Pulse, Raheem Kassam, was banned from Twitter immediately after publishing an article critical of the Congressional Black Caucus. (Source, 2-28-2021)
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 JustTheNewsreported 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)
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 Journalopinion 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)
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 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 Examinerreported 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:
Claims that a candidate only won a swing state in the U.S. 2020 presidential election due to voting machine glitches that changed votes.
Claims that dead people voted in numbers that changed the outcome of the U.S. 2016 presidential election.
Claims that fake ballots were dumped to give one candidate enough votes to win a state in a past U.S. presidential election.
“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)
Twitter Permanently Suspends Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe
Twitter permanently banned James O’Keefe [on April 15, 2021]. The Project Veritas founder spent the preceding days posting videos taken of a CNN employee without that employee’s knowledge, in keeping with his organization’s practice of coverted recorded content, but in violation of Twitter’s policies. O’Keefe, who had over 900,000 followers at the time of his suspension, told TheWrap that he plans to sue the social media platform.
“The account you referenced (@JamesOKeefeIII) was permanently suspended for violating the Twitter Rules on platform manipulation and spam,” a Twitter spokesperson confirmed. “As outlined in our policy on platform manipulation and spam, ‘You can’t mislead others on Twitter by operating fake accounts,’ and ‘you can’t artificially amplify or disrupt conversations through the use of multiple accounts.’”
The rep declined to elaborate on the claim that O’Keefe was running multiple fake accounts, including how many he was running or how they were used.
In his statement, O’Keefe said, “I am suing Twitter for defamation because they said I, James O’Keefe, ‘operated fake accounts.’ This is false, this is defamatory, and they will pay. Section 230 may have protected them before, but it will not protect them from me. The complaint will be filed Monday.”
In February, Twitter banned the Project Veritas account after the right-wing activist group posted a video confronting a Facebook vice president outside his home. (Source, April 15, 2021)
Facebook & Instagram Prevent Sharing of New York Post Black Lives Matter Story
Facebook and Instagram are censoring users from sharing a New York Post report regarding the luxury homes purchased by Black Lives Matter Co-founder, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, in predominantly white neighborhoods. The article was published on April 10 and states that Cullors had purchased “four high-end homes for $3.2 million” in the United States since 2016.
She had also looked into purchasing a residence in the Bahamas at an ultra-exclusive resort where Justin Timberlake and Tiger Woods both have homes, according to the report. The Post learned that apartments and townhouses at the beachfront Albany resort outside Nassau are priced run from $5 million to $20 million.
Facebook users noticed on Thursday that they could not share the link to the Post’s article on Cullors’ multi-million-dollar property portfolio directly on their timeline or through the Messenger app. When a user attempts to share the link, they are blocked from doing so and the following message is displayed: “Your post couldn’t be shared, because this link goes against our Community Standards. If you think this doesn’t go against our Community Standards let us know.” (Source, 4-16-2021)
YouTube & Twitter Censor Michelle Malkin for “Medical Misinformation”
Conservative author and journalist Michelle Malkin has been censored by Google-owned YouTube, causing Malkin to declare that a “purge” of her content is underway. She is posting the censored content on Bitchute a video hosting platform that is pro-free speech, and is also posting the content to her Gab account.
Malkin said YouTube is targeting episodes of her regular online show, MalkinLive. She shared a message from YouTube declaring that an interview had been censored for “medical misinformation.” The video is an interview with two mothers from Colorado who are fighting for religious and philosophical exemptions from local vaccine mandates.
The conservative author was also prevented from sharing a link to her Bitchute video by Twitter.
“The purge of my YouTube #MalkinLive shows is underway,” said Malkin “Interviewing moms who support religious/philosophical exemptions from vax mandates is FORBIDDEN. Go to Bitchute for my back-ups, including this one from June 2020 that just got banned this morning. Twitter seems to have a nice arrangement w/ Google/YouTube to squash competition & squelch dissent. I am forbidden from sharing my Bitchute channel links because Twitter & its partners have identified them as “harmful.” TRUTH IS HARMFUL TO LIARS & MANIPULATORS.” (Source, 4-23-2021)
YouTube Censors Dan Bongino Interview with Trump Talking about 2024 and Biden
Conservative commentator Dan Bongino said YouTube censored his interview with former President Donald Trump for what the platform said was promoting “deceptive practices and scams.” After Bongino interviewed Trump on the most recent episode of The Dan Bongino Show, the radio show host received a message from YouTube explaining its decision to remove the video from its platform.
“Our team has reviewed your content, and, unfortunately, we think it violates our spam, deceptive practices and scams policy,” the video-sharing platform wrote to Bongino, according to a screenshot he shared on his website.
“But you wouldn’t have heard any of it on YouTube, which is apparently attempting to justify censoring it under the guise of their ‘deceptive practices and scams’ policy, as opposed to their ‘we don’t like Trump’ policy,” a post on the website for Bongino’s show said.
In the video, which is still available on competitors such as Rumble, the pair discussed Trump’s 2024 plans and the Biden presidency. At one point, Trump said that “right after” the 2022 midterm elections is “probably the most appropriate time” to announce another run for the White House. (Source, 4-28-2021)
Facebook Permanently Bans Lifesite News
Facebook has just permanently banned LifeSiteNews’ Facebook page. This apparently is not a temporary measure: It is gone for good.
In a quick series of notices and emails to LifeSiteNews’ marketing department, Facebook delivered the shocking news, accusing LifeSite of publishing “false information about COVID-19 that could contribute to physical harm.”
Facebook also said that they deplatform Facebook pages that publish “vaccine discouraging information on the platform.” Facebook cited an article posted on April 10, 2021, headlined “COVID vaccines can be deadly for some.”
“Much like when LifeSite was removed from YouTube, this comes with little surprise,” noted LifeSiteNews Marketing Director Rebekah Roberts. “We have known this day was coming for months now.” “Facebook has been silencing any voice that goes against their beliefs and agenda,” continued Roberts. “Our LifeSiteNews Facebook page has been removed simply because we have shared reports of doctors, nurses, expert researchers, and even the former Pfizer VP speaking out against the COVID shots. We’ve also been tagged for the numerous articles we have shared making the connection between the COVID shots, and really all vaccines, and aborted baby cell lines.”
“This all comes down to another case of Big Tech silencing free speech on their platform,” she added. (Source, 5-4-2021)
JW Player Drops Prager University
Excerpt from Prager U email communication to supporters, 6-6-2021:
When YouTube began restricting 200+ “dangerous” PragerU videos a few years ago—including our series on The Ten Commandments—we took matters into our own hands and our viewership quadrupled! Thanks to supporters like you, PragerU had the funding to innovate and build our own streaming infrastructure. Instead of embedding (often restricted) videos from YouTube on our website, mobile app, and streaming TV channels, we hosted them natively using a video player software company called JW Player.
Every time we’ve hit a wall, we’ve been able to find a way around it. But now, we are facing a serious new threat. Just as our contract was coming up for renewal, JW Player informed us they had updated their “community guidelines.” They announced they won’t be renewing our contract as they claim that “PragerU’s content is misleading.”
PragerU pressed for more information. Which videos did they feel were misleading? What kind of methods were they using to fact-check information? Is this decision final? In their words: “…the primary basis for our decision was related to the prohibition of misleading content…based on the nature of the violations, I don’t see a viable path forward…”
In cowardly fashion, they refused to give specifics and hid behind third party “fact-checkers” to purge PragerU as a client.
Meanwhile, JW Player’s current clients include left-wing media outlets like The Young Turks and Vice! These companies produce thousands of videos using politically-charged narratives that divide our country and teach young folks to resent America. (Source: Prager U email communication to supporters, 6-6-2021)
YouTube Bans Sen. Ron Johnson For Discussing Early Treatment Of COVID-19
Google’s YouTube has stepped up its draconian censorship of a sitting U.S. senator. The powerful video-sharing company removed a video of a speech given by Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and banned him from uploading new videos for at least seven days. The action took place several months after YouTube removed two videos of testimony given at a hearing he hosted of the Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on the topic of early treatment of COVID-19.
In the video YouTube censors are prohibiting the public from viewing, Johnson took bureaucrats in the Trump and Biden administrations to task for “not only ignoring but working against robust research [on] the use of cheap, generic drugs to be repurposed for early treatment of COVID.”
While large pharmaceutical companies and their allies in government bureaucracies and the World Health Organization have focused their research and funding on new treatments for the novel coronavirus, some doctors and studies have argued for the use of drugs that have been on the market for decades. The patents for the drugs have expired, meaning they are now manufactured by multiple companies who would share in the profit. Therefore trials involving the drugs have to be funded by the government and private donors.
Johnson noted that he held two hearings on early treatment for COVID-19. He said one of the people testifying at one of the hearings talked about “the four pillars of pandemic response,” those being prevention of the spread of the virus, early treatment, treatment in the hospital, and vaccines.
“It always baffled me that there was such a concerted effort to deny the American public the type of robust exploration research into early treatment early in this pandemic,” Johnson said, explaining why he wanted to bring more focus to that topic. He noted that studies have shown that “both hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin” are “incredibly safe” drugs.
Both drugs have been on the market for decades and are recommended for various uses, such as Lupus and scabies. Currently, the National Institutes of Health recommends against the use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19, after a study showed it did no harm but did not provide benefit. NIH is currently neutral on the use of ivermectin for COVID-19, a shift from a previous recommendation against its use.
While most pharmaceutical companies and countries funding research aren’t evaluating the two drugs for robust study, some recent studies have buttressed defenders’ hope in the treatment. See, for example, this study awaiting peer review on positive outcomes associated with multi-drug treatment including hydroxychloroquine, and this similarly not-yet-reviewed study out of Argentina on ivermectin.
YouTube said it was censoring discussion of the drug as part of its policy against “medical misinformation,” which says it won’t allow anything that “contradicts local health authorities’ or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19.”
WHO scientists and other local authorities have changed their position on whether masks are ineffective or need to be doubled up, whether a vaccine could be developed in a few months, whether asymptomatic spread was a problem, whether spread occurred via infected surfaces, whether children were at significant risk from the virus, whether the economic lockdown would require only “15 days to flatten the curve” or more than a year, and whether the novel coronavirus appeared naturally or accidentally leaked out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. (Emphasis Assed)
YouTube’s position is that content on the site must parrot whatever comes from its narrow set of authorities, even though their positions change frequently and dramatically as more is learned about the novel coronavirus. […]
In the censored video, Johnson said he supports Operation Warp Speed, which fast-tracked vaccines, but that more is needed with regard to early treatment for COVID-19 patients. “I thought it was brilliant the way the Trump administration squeezed all of the economic efficiencies out of producing the vaccine, but I think we’re still going to need early treatments” since the coronavirus isn’t going away, he said.
He noted that some “world-renowned experts … have come to a different conclusion than our health agencies” and that the health agencies had “pretty well sabotaged the ability for many doctors to even consider hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, or other of these multi-drug generic repurpose drug approaches here.”
When YouTube censored videos of Senate testimony, Johnson wrote for the Wall Street Journal about it. “The censors at YouTube have decided for all of us that the American public shouldn’t be able to hear what senators heard. Apparently they are smarter than medical doctors who have devoted their lives to science and use their skills to save lives. They have decided there is only one medical viewpoint allowed, and it is the viewpoint dictated by government agencies. Government-sanctioned censorship of ideas and speech should frighten us all,” he wrote. (Source, 6-11-2021)
YouTube Blocks Videos Exposing China’s Slow-Motion Genocide in Xinjiang
A human rights group focused on exposing China’s slow-motion genocide of the Uyghur people and others in Xinjiang is moving videos from YouTube to another platform after YouTube repeatedly blocked some of its videos for ostensibly violating the company’s terms of service. In one case, YouTube claimed the videos promoted violent criminal organizations, echoing the Chinese Communist Party’s attacks on dissenters.
“There is another excuse every day. I never trusted YouTube,” Serikzhan Bilash, one of the founders of the human rights group Atajurt, told Reuters. “But we’re not afraid anymore, because we are backing ourselves up with LBRY. The most important thing is our material’s safety.”
Atajurt attracted millions of views on YouTube to testimonies from people who say their families have disappeared in Xinjiang. The nonprofit is moving its videos to the alternative video service Odysee after Google-owned YouTube took them down. …
Atajurt Kazakh Human Rights’ channel has published nearly 11,000 videos on YouTube, racking up over 120 million views since 2017. Thousands of those videos feature people speaking to the camera about relatives who they say have disappeared without a trace in Xinjiang. Human rights groups estimate that the CCP has detained over a million people there in recent years.On June 15, YouTube blocked Atajurt, claiming the channel had violated its guidelines. Twelve of Atajurt’s videos had been reported for breaching the platform’s “cyberbullying and harassment” policy.
Between April and June, YouTube had blocked the videos and Atajurt had appealed the censorship. The platform had reinstated some of the videos, but it did not provide an explanation as to why others remained out of the public view.
YouTube removed the channel, but the platform restored it after Reuters asked for comment about the removal. YouTube said that Atajurt had received several “strikes” for videos containing people holding up ID cards to prove that they were related to missing persons, violating a YouTube policy that prohibits personally identifiable information in its videos. The platform reinstated Atajurt on June 18, asking the human rights group to blur the IDs.
The channel’s administrator said he is hesitant to comply, fearing that blurring the videos would jeopardize their trustworthiness. Fearing another YouTube block, the organization decided to back up its content to Odysee, a website built on the blockchain protocol LBRY. It has moved about 975 videos so far.As administrators started moving the videos, they received another series of messages from YouTube stating that the videos in question had been removed from public view due to concerns that they may promote violent criminal organizations.
Bilash himself fled to Istanbul last year after suffering repeated threats from Kazakh authorities. Bilash said the police in Kazakhstan had repeatedly confiscated his hard disks and mobile phones, making YouTube the only place he could preserve the video collection.
YouTube insisted that the messages about promoting violent criminal organizations were automated and not related to Atajurt’s content, but the platform allowed administrators to make edits to the videos, which remained private.
Atajurt fears that pro-China groups that deny the very existence of human rights abuses in Xinjiang are using YouTube’s reporting features to remove the human rights group’s content by blocking it en masse, triggering an automatic block. …
The Chinese Communist Party has allegedly imprisoned 1 million members of Muslim minority groups in what China defends as de-radicalization and retraining centers. Human rights activists have compared the camps to prisons and worse, claiming that inmates are sentenced there with little due process. The Uyghurs (the largest Muslim minority targeted) and others are compelled to denounce their religion, language, and culture and to pledge allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party and President Xi Jinping. According to an Associated Press investigation, Uyghur women are forced to use birth control or undergo involuntary sterilizations. Experts have described China’s efforts in Xinjiang as a form of “demographic genocide.” (Source: 6-27-2021)
YouTube Deletes CPAC’s Video About Trump’s Lawsuit
YouTube has deleted a video uploaded by the American Conservative Union, which hosts the Conservative Political Action Conference, for allegedly violating its terms and conditions about COVID-19, the group said on July 11. In an emailed statement, the American Conservative Union (ACU) said its video featured former President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would file lawsuits against Google, as well as Facebook and Twitter. YouTube “issued a strike against” the group’s account two days after the video was uploaded on July 9. The Big Tech firm also “banned the organization from posting for one week,” according to the statement. “As a result, YouTube has prevented ACU from sharing content from CPAC 2021 Part 2 in Dallas, Texas, including former President Donald Trump’s speech on Sunday, July 11,” the statement said. Trump was scheduled to deliver CPAC’s headliner speech on July 11 at 3:35 p.m. CDT.
According to the ACU, YouTube said the video contained alleged “medical misinformation” regarding COVID-19 when it cited the reason for removing the video. The group said YouTube didn’t cite any examples that violated its policies.
“It is clear that YouTube censored CPAC because we stood with former President Donald Trump on his lawsuit against Big Tech,” ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp said in a statement. “This is yet another example of Big Tech censoring content with which they disagree in order to promote the political positions they favor.”
The ACU further suggested that YouTube opposed a comment from Trump referencing studies about hydroxychloroquine and saying it’s effective in treating COVID-19. “Google’s political biases heavily influence YouTube’s definitions of ‘misinformation’ and that the political beliefs of Google executives take priority over the free speech rights of Google users,” the group stated.When reached for comment, an ACU spokesman told The Epoch Times that claims in the video “are backed by sound medical research conducted by local health authorities” and it’s “clear to CPAC that YouTube’s removal of our content and the one-week ban they imposed on our account has nothing to do with ‘medical misinformation’ and everything to do with suppressing content about the class-action lawsuit.” (Source: 7-11-2021)
YouTube Censors North Carolina County Government Meeting
A county board of commissioners in North Carolina is pushing back against tech giant Google after YouTube, owned by Google, deleted one of the board’s videos for allegedly violating YouTubes terms and conditions regarding medical misinformation. After its June 16 meeting, the Henderson County Board of Commissioners video upload on YouTube was taken down, prompting commissioners to call an emergency meeting on Friday, June 18. During the emergency meeting, the board directed staff to seek out other platforms on which the board’s meetings can be posted, as well as to find alternatives to Google products. Henderson County’s budget includes about $400,000 for Google Chromebooks for the county’s public school system. […]
According to a spokesperson for YouTube: “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we established clear policies to prevent the spread of misinformation that could lead to real-world harm. While we welcome open debate and discussion about the COVID-19 vaccines on our platform, we don’t allow content that includes claims the vaccines have killed thousands of people, and as such we removed a video from the Henderson County Board of Commissioners’ channel.”
Though none of the 12 people who spoke in the meeting made the direct claim that vaccines have killed thousands of people, each one of them spoke against the vaccine programs “targeting massive groups of people” based on what they said were “suppressed facts.” One of the speakers in the meeting addressed Big Tech censorship as one of the causes of misinformation on the COVID-19 vaccines. (Source: July 14, 2021)
Sky News Australia Suspended by YouTube
YouTube has temporarily suspended Sky News Australia from posting on its video platform, issuing a first strike to the popular conservative news channel over “COVID-19 misinformation,” according to a statement. The tech giant said its decision to issue a strike was based on local and global health authority guidance, which Sky News Australia challenged as being constantly “subject to change” alongside updates to guidance from the various authorities. Sky News Australia said the suspension was over “old videos” posted on its channel. The strike means that Sky News Australia is suspended for a week from uploading content to its 1.85 million subscribers on its YouTube account.
“Specifically, we don’t allow content that denies the existence of COVID-19 or that encourages people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus,” YouTube said in an early version of its statement that was sent to local media. “We do allow for videos that have sufficient countervailing context, which the violative videos did not provide.”Sky News Australia said it “expressly rejects that any host has ever denied the existence of COVID-19 as was implied, and no such videos were ever published or removed.” […]According to YouTube’s policies, three strikes within a 90-day period will see a channel banned permanently from the platform. (Source: August 1, 2021)YouTube Censors & Suspends Rand Paul for His Comments About Masks’ Ineffectiveness at Preventing Coronavirus TransmissionExcerpt: YouTube is once again curbing free speech, this time censoring Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., for disagreeing with the government. Paul posted a video about masks that contradicted current CDC guidance, and as punishment, YouTube removed the video and banned Paul from uploading content for seven days.Paul originally posted a video of a journalist interviewing him, which included a discussion about the science of masking. “Apparently, because I dared to contradict Dr. Fauci and the government, YouTube has removed my video,” Paul said in a response video, which the Big Tech company also removed. “YouTube might be a private entity, but they’re acting like an arm of the government censoring those who provide an alternative view to the science deniers in Washington — people like Dr. Fauci, who have lied to the American people time and time again about masks.”The “offensive” content in the video was Paul’s claim that N-95 masks are effective but cloth masks are not. “Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work, they don’t prevent infection,” Paul said. “Saying cloth masks work when they don’t actually risks lives, as someone may choose to care for a loved one with COVID while only wearing a cloth mask. This is not only bad advice but also potentially deadly information.”Paul said the health experts at the CDC have been ignoring key studies on the efficacy of surgical masks. “A Danish study of 6,000 participants found that wearing a surgical mask did not significantly reduce a person’s risk of COVID-19 infection compared to the risks facing those who did not wear masks,” Paul said. “A Vietnamese study of 1,600 participants found that cloth masks allow for 97 percent penetration of particles the same size as the virus. This study also found that cloth mask wearers had a higher rate of infection than the control group who wore no masks.”Paul said he’s always supported N-95 masks because they are more protective, which is why health care workers in contact with COVID-19 wear them instead of cloth coverings. “Dr. Fauci knew that too, which is why he originally lied to the public and said that the masks don’t work. He feared not enough health workers would be able to buy N-95 masks if the public was buying them,” Paul said. “Ask any doctor or nurse what mask they wear when they go into a COVID patient’s room: only an N-95 mask, because the other masks don’t work.”A YouTube spokesperson told The Federalist that Paul has been issued a “first strike” for his comments on masks. “We removed content from Senator Paul’s channel for including claims that masks are ineffective in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19, in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies,” the spokesperson said. “This resulted in a first strike on the channel, which means it can’t upload content for a week, per our longstanding three strikes policy. We apply our policies consistently across the platform, regardless of speaker or political views, and we make exceptions for videos that have additional context such as countervailing views from local health authorities.” (Source: August 12, 2021)Twitter Permanently Suspends Alex Berenson Over Viral COVID-19 TweetsExcerpt:Twitter has permanently suspended former New York Times journalist and author Alex Berenson, an outspoken critic of CCP virus mandates and lockdowns—as well as Big Tech censorship. “The account you referenced has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation rules,” a Twitter spokesperson told news outlets on Aug. 28 .Berenson, on his Substack page, also confirmed the suspension, writing: “Goodbye, Twitter.” “This was the tweet that did it,” he wrote, referring to a now-deleted tweet that downplayed the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. “Entirely accurate. I can’t wait to hear what a jury will make of this. Meantime, guess you’ll be getting more Substacks.”Berenson later noted that the ban didn’t surprise him. “I expected this day was coming,” he wrote. “And Twitter can’t touch my Substack (in fact, it reportedly tried to buy Substack last year, but Substack fortunately said no).” Berenson also hinted at possibly filing a lawsuit against Twitter over the suspension. […]Before his suspension, Berenson had often cited the results of a preprint Israeli study that found that previous COVID-19 infection provides better protection against the Delta variant than any of the COVID-19 vaccines. “SARS-CoV-2-naive vaccinees had a 13.06-fold increased risk for breakthrough infection with the Delta variant compared to those previously infected, when the first event (infection or vaccination) occurred during January and February of 2021,” the study reads. […] Those who were vaccinated, the study found, were also at a higher risk of being hospitalized compared to people who were previously infected.Berenson also assailed what he described as Big Tech censorship, writing for The Wall Street Journal in December  that the pandemic has ushered in a “new age of censorship and suppression.” “Information has never been more plentiful or easier to distribute. Yet we are sliding into a new age of censorship and suppression, encouraged by technology giants and traditional media companies. As someone who’s been falsely characterized as a coronavirus ‘denier,’ I have seen this crisis firsthand,” he wrote, with Amazon twice having allegedly blocked the publication of his book. (Source, 8-29-2021)YouTube Bans All Content That Spreads “Vaccine Misinformation”Excerpt:YouTube is cracking down on the spread of misinformation by banning misleading and inaccurate content about vaccines. The platform announced the change in a blog post Wednesday, explaining that its current community guidelines, which already prohibit the sharing of medical misinformation, have been extended to cover “currently administered” vaccines that have been proven safe by the World Health Organization and other health officials.The site had previously banned content containing false claims about COVID-19 vaccines under its COVID-19 misinformation policy. The change extends that policy to a far wider number of vaccines.”We’ve steadily seen false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spill over into misinformation about vaccines in general, and we’re now at a point where it’s more important than ever to expand the work we started with COVID-19 to other vaccines,” the company said.YouTube said it now bans videos that claim vaccines aren’t safe or effective or cause other health issues such as cancer and infertility. In its announcement, the company pointed specifically to videos that inaccurately describe what ingredients are used in vaccines as well as allegations that vaccines contain properties that can be used to “track” those who receive them.There are some exceptions: Users are still allowed to share content related to their personal experiences with the vaccine, but only if those videos adhere to the site’s community guidelines and the channel in question doesn’t routinely encourage “vaccine hesitancy.”The new mandate goes into effect immediately, and YouTube has already removed pages known for sharing anti-vaccination sentiments such as those belonging to prominent vaccine opponents Joseph Mercola, Erin Elizabeth, Sherri Tenpenny and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense organization…. (Source, 9-29-2021)
Google and YouTube Will Remove Monetization and Prohibit Ads from Content That Questions Global Warming
Google and YouTube announced that they will take measures to strip online content of revenue producing opportunities if they express skepticism about global warming. In a statement from Google’s ad team on Thursday, the massive online company said they would deny ad revenue from content that contradicts “well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change.”
Google says the new policy is in response to advertisers expressing frustration that their ads are appearing on content they disagree with. “Advertisers simply don’t want their ads to appear next to this content,” the company said. “And publishers and creators don’t want ads promoting these claims to appear on their pages or videos.”
The new policy will be implemented through a mix of human review and automated tools. The company appeared to claim that not all skeptical content will be demonetized, but that they will carefully distinguish “between content that states a false claim as fact, versus content that reports on or discusses that claim.” (Source, 10-7-2021)
YouTube Censors Steven Crowder
More than 5 million users follow Steven Crowder’s popular late-night comedy show on YouTube, but the video platform has frozen his channel for a week over an episode spotlighting California’s decision to house biological males in women’s prisons. “We removed content from and issued a strike to the StevenCrowder channel for violating our hate speech policy, through repeated targeting of the LGBTQ+ community,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Daily Signal on Thursday afternoon.
The Crowder show in question is a Sept. 30 episode titled “Special Guest ALEX JONES on ‘Great Reset’ & Joe Rogan TRIGGERS Leftists AGAIN!” (Jones is a prominent far-right radio host and Rogan is a popular podcaster.) “Hate speech is not allowed on YouTube,” the YouTube spokesperson told The Daily Signal, “and in some cases, we remove content or issue other penalties—such as a strike—when a creator repeatedly targets, insults, and abuses a protected group based on attributes such as sexual orientation or gender identity and expression across multiple uploads.”
In a letter to Crowder’s lawyer, William Richmond, YouTube said the Sept. 30 episode contained “a segment that targets the transgender community in an offensive manner, for example, by indicating that trans people pose a rape threat to women.”
If any YouTube channel receives three “strikes” in the same 90-day period, it will be removed permanently from YouTube, the spokesperson told The Daily Signal.
This is not the first time that YouTube has censored Crowder’s channel. The platform said it also gave the StevenCrowder channel a strike in March for violating the platform’s policy on presidential election integrity and a second strike in May for violating its harassment policy. YouTube also indefinitely suspended Crowder from its Partner Program for violating program policies, making the Crowder channel ineligible for monetization.
In May, Crowder filed a lawsuit against YouTube in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. “We have filed a legal notice of a lawsuit and an immediate injunction against YouTube,” the comedian said at the time. “This is the big one. This is the big one with the Roman Empire at this point. As a matter of fact, the Roman Empire couldn’t fathom the power of Alphabet, who owns YouTube and Google.” Crowder added:
It’s tantamount to saying, ‘No conservatives are welcome.’ I do not say this to boast. You know I never talk about the numbers on my show because I want the content to speak for itself, but this is far and away the No. 1 show on new media. Period. We beat [Jimmy] Kimmel. We beat Trevor Noah. We beat these guys every single day. Every single day. But it’s not because of us—it’s conservative views. These views are not welcome. And the reason we’ve filed an injunction for immediate relief is to make sure our channel is still up, that we know what steps to take next.
The Sept. 30 show discussed reports from the Women’s Liberation Front, a feminist organization, that a female inmate in a California women’s prison became pregnant after biological males who said they identified as females were housed in the prison. A year ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed into law a bill requiring the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to ask inmates entering its custody to specify their preferred personal pronouns and gender identity, and state whether they identify as transgender, nonbinary, or intersex. The law took effect in January. The new California law also requires that the corrections department house an inmate in a facility “based on the individual’s preference,” prevents the department from disciplining those who refuse to provide gender information, allows for that information to be updated later, and requires staff to use inmates’ requested gender pronouns.
Crowder’s Sept. 30 show featured a discussion of this topic, followed by a short comedy sketch.
“What’s terrifying is that there IS a story about a trans—err, bisexual boy wearing a skirt who allegedly raped a girl in a high school bathroom,” a Thursday post on Crowder’s website said, referring to a Daily Wire report on the father of a ninth grade girl who said she was raped in a girls restroom in a Loudoun County high school by a boy who reportedly is “gender-fluid.”
“That father was arrested at the [Loudoun County] school board meeting and became a poster child of why school boards ‘need’ Joe Biden’s Department of Justice to treat concerned parents as domestic terrorists,” the post on Crowder’s website said. “We discussed THAT horrifying story today. And TODAY is when we find out we’re suspended for a story from two weeks ago?”
Lora Ries, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Technology Policy, told The Daily Signal in a Thursday email that YouTube and other Big Tech platforms need to “get out of the business of trying to identify and censor ‘hate speech,’ ‘misinformation,’ ‘offensive’ material, and other content that they suddenly find ‘otherwise objectionable’ on an ever-changing basis.” (Source, 10-14-2021)
Twitter Suspends Jamie Glazov
Excerpt (written by Jamie Glazov):
On Monday morning, Oct. 25, 2021, at 5:14am Pacific, Twitter informed me that they had locked me out of my account. The reason they gave me was that I had violated Twitter’s “rules against hateful conduct.”
I had to wait 12 hours to find out what my specific offense was. And when they finally informed me, it was no surprise. Twitter had suspended Rep. Jim Banks’ Twitter account because he called Dr. Rachel Levine, the transgender Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary, a “man”. I tweeted the story with an honest question that is on my mind: Does it matter if Rachel has a penis or not? I honestly think this is a legitimate question in the context of Rep. Banks’ punishment.
I was informed that I had to delete the Tweet in order to get my account back. I decided to delete it – so that I can ask many similar questions once I get back to Twitter. (Source, 10-27-2021)
Twitter Permanently Suspends Jamie Glazov
Excerpt (written by Jamie Glazov):
On Thursday morning, Nov. 18, 2021, at 2:39am Pacific, Twitter informed me that my Twitter account had been permanently suspended. The reason they gave me was that I had violated Twitter’s “Covid-19 Misleading Information Policy.”
This permanent suspension is a culmination of a long history of Twitter punishing me for violating their leftist One-Party line. Just recently, for instance, on Oct. 25, 2021, Twitter had informed me that they had locked me out of my account because I had violated their “rules against hateful conduct.”
My “hateful conduct” involved me entering the discussion over Twitter suspending Rep. Jim Banks’ Twitter account because he had called Dr. Rachel Levine, the transgender Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary, a “man”.
I tweeted the story with an honest question that was on my mind – and remains on my mind: Does it matter if Rachel has a penis or not? I honestly think this is a legitimate question in the context of Rep. Banks’ punishment.
I was informed that I had to delete the Tweet in order to get my account back. I decided to delete it – so that I could return and continue to ask many similar questions.
Another instance of Twitter punishing me transpired a few years back – when I was suspended for quoting the Qur’an and Hadith. This also apparently falls under what Twitter terms “hateful conduct.”
The mystery remains: how is quoting Islamic texts “hateful conduct”? If it is, why does Twitter never suspend Muslims’ accounts when their owners quote Islamic texts? Why does it only suspend people like me when I quote the texts, in this case, in defense of Muslim women and girls? I never did get an answer from Twitter on this issue.
We are constantly suspended from posting at YouTube and they have threatened us that if we have one more “strike” (i.e. telling the truth about Covid, the vaccines, the mandates and the lockdowns), that they will remove our YouTube channel. (Source, 11-19-2021)
Twitter Locks Account of PJ Media for “Misgendering” Rachel Levine
Recently, Twitter decided to show its bias to leftist narratives by suspending the account of RedState’s sister site PJ Media.
What did PJ Media do? They stated a scientific fact: that Rachel Levine is not a female. He is, in fact, a male.
The article that the tweet contained refused to accept Biden’s claim that Levine was the “first-ever female four-star admiral” of the U.S. Public Health Services (USPHS) Commissioned Corps. “Even if you believe that gender is a social construct and subject to how one feels and not dependent on biology, sex chromosomes determine whether an individual is male or female,” wrote PJ Media’s Matt Margolis. “Rachel Levine is 100 percent male, right down to his DNA. He is not a female. He may have grown his hair out and changed his name to a woman’s name, but that doesn’t make him a female.”
The title of the piece, “Rachel Levine Is Not the ‘First Female Four-Star Admiral’ … Because He’s a Male,” appeared in the tweet promoting the piece and Twitter took action, suspending PJ Media’s account until it deletes the tweet and admits they violated Twitter’s TOS. (Source, 10-29-2021)
Twitter Permanently Bans Dr. Robert Malone
On December 29, 2021, Twitter permanently suspended the account of Dr. Robert Malone, an American virologist and immunologist who is considered to be the inventor of the mRNA technology upon which the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against COVID-19 were based. According to The Rio Times: “Malone is an internationally recognized vaccine researcher who has authored dozens of scientific papers and been cited thousands of times…. Although Malone supports vaccines as a medical doctor, he believes that the steps the United States government has taken to bring mRNA Covid-19 vaccines to market from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna ‘have been detrimental and contrary to globally accepted standards for developing and regulating safe and effective licensed products.’ He shares his views on social media…. [H]is Twitter account had over half a million followers when it was permanently suspended.”
Just hours before the Twitter ban, The Associated Press had posted a “fact check” report claiming that Malone had “misled” the public by claiming that the vaccines were failing to protect people against the Omicron variant of COVID-19. A Twitter spokesperson said that the permanent suspension of Malone’s account was due to his “repeated violations of our Covid-19 misinformation policy.”
Twitter Permanently Suspends the Account of Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene
In early January 2022, Twitter announced that it would permanently suspend the personal account of Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who, according to the social media giant, had been repeatedly spreading “misinformation” about the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccines designed to combat it. (The day before the ban was announced, Greene had tweeted about an “extremely high amount of covid vaccine deaths” that she said were being “ignored” by the media.)
YouTube Suspends Dan Bongino for Saying Masks Are Ineffective at Stopping the Spread of COVID-19
YouTube has suspended conservative commentator Dan Bongino over a video about “mask fascists.” The suspension was announced on Friday, with the Bongino Report Twitter account announcing the suspension that YouTube said was due to violating the Big Tech platform’s “misinformation” policy.
“YouTube just suspended Dan’s channel for daring to question the mask fascists. I guess they were waiting for an apology from us. But that’s not quite how it worked out for them. Here’s Dan’s email to ‘Coco’ at YouTube telling them to plant a big wet kiss on his ass,” the tweet reads.
Bongino has shared the email he responded to YouTube with. “I was sent your email about YouTube’s suspension of my channel. If I said I was surprised here. I’d be lying,” Bongino wrote. “We knew it was just a matter of time before the tyrannical, free-speech hating, bullshit, big tech shithole you work for, would try to silence us. I anxiously waited for this moment however, as I’ve said on my show many times.”
Bongino, who is an investor in the Rumble platform, has recently reached over two million subscribers there, more than double what he has reached on YouTube. “Thankfully, I’m one of the investors in Rumble, a video platform that respects free-speech. As a matter of fact, I have more than double the number of followers there, than on your shit platform,” Bongino added in his email to YouTube. (Source, 1-15-2022)
YouTube Permanently Bans Dan Bongino
Conservative talk show host Dan Bongino had both of his YouTube accounts permanently banned Wednesday [January 26, 2022], a YouTube spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Bongino’s second channel, the Dan Bongino Show Clips, was initially suspended and demonetized for seven days after Bongino posted a video in which he said masks were “useless” in stopping the spread of the coronavirus, violating YouTube’s COVID-19 misinformation policy. Bongino then attempted to upload a video within the seven-day suspension period on his main channel, resulting in a permanent ban for both accounts, a YouTube spokesperson confirmed to the DCNF.
“We terminated Dan Bongino’s channels for circumventing our Terms of Service by posting a video while there was an active strike and suspension associated with the account,” the YouTube spokesperson told the DCNF. “When a channel receives a strike, it is against our Terms of Service to post content or use another channel to circumvent the suspension.” Bongino will not be able to create a new YouTube account in the future, the spokesperson said. The talk show host’s main account had 900,000 subscribers at the time of its deletion, according to The Hill. “If a channel is terminated, the uploader is unable to use, own or create any other YouTube channels,” the spokesperson said.
Bongino maintains an active presence on alternative social media sites and regularly posts videos to video sharing platform Rumble. The Bongino Report’s Twitter account responded to the ban by mocking YouTube. “Hilarious watching the @YouTube communists desperately try to save face after we told them to go f%^* themselves,” the account tweeted. “They’re claiming we ‘tried to evade suspension.’ Really? By posting a final video LITERALLY titled ‘Why I’m Leaving YouTube’?” (Source, 1-27-2022)
Facebook Removes “Freedom Convoy” Page of Truckers Organizing Against COVID Vaccine Mandates
A Facebook page organizing a protest by US truckers against vaccine mandates has been removed by the social media giant, riling long-haulers blasting “censorship at its finest,” according to a report. The “Freedom Convoy” of truckers, following the lead of their Canadian counterparts, plan to drive from California to Washington, DC, in opposition to vaccine rules nationwide. The group’s “Convoy to DC 2022” page on Facebook, however, was removed Wednesday for violating policies around QAnon, Fox News reported.
Trucker Jeremy Johnson, who set up the Facebook group, said his personal profile was also removed, leading him to contact a civil rights attorney to figure out his next move. “They like to silence people that speak the truth,” Johnson told Fox News.
Brian Brase, who helped organize the US trucker protest, said he was troubled by the alleged censorship without further clarification from Facebook’s parent company, Meta. “I have to laugh about that,” Brase told Fox News Wednesday. “They actually had offered the administrators to remove content and then request to review again. They didn’t even give that option.”
Mike Landis, another long-haul trucker involved in the movement, said the protest has been a “long time coming” and that Americans are fatigued by ongoing “government overreach” in the form of pandemic-related mandates. “The presence of that amount of people that show that they are unhappy with what’s going on is a good way to hopefully get their attention,” Landis told Fox News.
The truckers want an immediate end to vaccine mandates via peaceful protests, Brase said. “This crosses all genders, all races, all sexual orientations, all occupations,” he told Fox News. “Truckers might be standing up, but it’s not about the truckers. It’s about America.”
In a statement to Fox News, Meta confirmed the “Convoy to DC 2022” page was taken down. “We have removed this group for repeatedly violating our policies around QAnon,” the statement read, referring to the conspiracy theory that devil-worshipping pedophiles operate at the highest levels of government. […]
The US truckers spoke out as GoFundMe suspended a “Freedom Convoy 2022” fundraiser for their Canadian comrades that took in nearly $8 million before it was paused for review. Thousands of truckers and other protesters descended on Canada’s capital, Ottawa, on Saturday in defiance of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Trudeau announced Monday he had tested positive for the virus after he was moved to a secret location during the heated protest. The so-called “Freedom Convoy” originally targeted a Jan. 12 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers, but grew into a larger demonstration against all COVID-19 policies. Trudeau blasted the protesters during a news conference Monday, accusing them of using “hateful rhetoric” and violent tactics. “There is not a right to shut down our democracy, our democratic processes,” Trudeau said.
Truckers in the US, meanwhile, say they’re eyeing March 1 as their protest date, according to a “Freedom Convoy to DC 2022” GoFundMe page. “Up in Canada we stood up to tyrants and came together at the Capitol,” organizer Daniel Grieg wrote. “We want American truckers to be able to reach DC as well … Mandates have been proven to only hurt people, destroy businesses and people’s lives. We need to stand together to make sure our freedoms are maintained.” (Source, 2-4-2022)
Spotify Removes More Than 100 Episodes of Joe Rogan Podcast
More than 70 episodes of the Joe Rogan podcast were removed from Spotify this evening — which brings the total list of deleted episodes to 113. The removals were first spotted by JREmissing.com, which tracks all available Joe Rogan episodes on Spotify. The web tool, which specifically tracks which episodes are no longer available to stream on the Spotify app, flagged 71 newly-removed episodes this evening. JREMissing finds the missing episodes by comparing Spotify’s official API against a list of all JRE episodes released.
It’s unclear why this list of 71 was suddenly deleted. But it’s worth noting that the removals appear to have happened late on a Friday, when many people are offline. The content of the removed episodes do not appear to focus on COVID-19 issues or vaccinations, which is the topic that spurred Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and others to remove their music from Spotify.
The move closely follows pressure from the Biden Administration to take greater action against Rogan, though it’s unclear if the removals are tied to any government demands. Referring to Spotify’s decision to issue disclaimers ahead of certain podcasts that discuss COVID-19 while pointing listeners to an approved information hub, White House press secretary Jen Psaki pushed for more action. “This disclaimer, it’s a positive step, but we want every platform to be doing more to be calling out mis- and dis-information, while also uplifting accurate information,” Psaki said this week. “Ultimately, our view is that it is a positive step, but there is more that can be done.”
Strangely, Joe Rogan’s most controversial podcasts that sparked Neil Young’s removals are still available. Specifically, interviews with Dr. Robert Malone and Dr. Peter A. McCullough, both released in December of 2021, have not been deleted at the time of this article’s publication. Both interviews sparked the current boycotts and content removals. (Source, 2-4-2022)
GoFundMe Freezes Canadian Trucker Fundraiser, After Having Promoted Violent Leftwing 2020 Protest/Occupation in Seattle
Crowdfunding platform GoFundMe, which is now caught up in controversy over its nixing of a fundraiser for the Canadian trucker protests, once promoted an appeal for the 2020 Seattle Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP.) The platform on Friday announced that it had frozen the convoy’s official campaign, offering a justification that there was violence connected to the Freedom Convoy and the protest had turned into an occupation. The truckers are protesting Canada’s vaccine mandates. “We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity,” a statement from GoFundMe said. It said it had subsequently judged the fundraiser to be in violation of its terms of service (specifically clauses barring the promotion of violence and harassment) and that it was being removed. It subsequently reversed a decision to redistribute any funds that had not been claimed.
The GoFundMe page to support the “Freedom Convoy” of Canadian truckers was approaching $10 million as of Monday evening, which is more money than the major federal political parties of Canada raised during the last quarter of 2021.
However, despite its concern about “occupation,” in 2020 the platform not only allowed, but also gave its backing on social media to a fundraiser for a farmer working in the left-wing Seattle protest which occupied a six-block downtown area. “In a community with no police, this farmer is feeding people & bringing them closer together,” the tweet said with a link to the fundraiser. “Learn how you can support Marcus’ mission within the CHOP” The platform retweeted a Bloomberg interview with the farmer, in which he said it was interesting to him to see “an area that has been highly gentrified taken over and occupied and for these people to experience what it’s like to be occupied and to deal with issues of being displaced.”
While the CHOP was initially heralded by liberal media outlets and politicians, the New York Times later reported on the experience of besieged business owners who endured the occupation and violence that accompanied it. “Business crashed as the Seattle police refused to respond to calls to the area. Officers did not retake the region until July 1, after four shootings, including two fatal ones,” the Times reported. Fox News reported at the time that crimes including shooting and assaults had taken place, that protesters had reportedly blocked police from responding to crimes and that the local police chief had said that 911 response times to reports of burglaries, rapes and other crimes had tripled in the vicinity. (Source, 2-6-2022)
Two Banks Cancel Mike Lindell
Mike Lindell, the founder and CEO of MyPillow, told [Business] Insider on Friday that he’s been told by two financial institutions to “leave their bank.” Lindell said Minnesota Bank & Trust and Heartland Financial USA told him they no longer wanted to do business with him.
Lindell is one of the most vocal supporters of former President Donald Trump; he recently told Insider he’s spent $25 million pushing Trump’s baseless voter-fraud claims.
Earlier this month, the January 6 House select committee subpoenaed the pillow CEO’s phone records over his ties to the former president. According to Lindell, this raised concerns at Minnesota Bank & Trust. “But what if somebody came in and said, ‘You know what? We’re going to subpoena all of his account records and this and that,’ and we make the news?” a man whom Lindell identified as Tom Cardle, a senior vice president at Minnesota Bank & Trust, said in recordings obtained by Insider. Cardle also referred to the bank’s continued relationship with Lindell as a “reputation risk.” […]
“These guys have an agenda. There’s something wrong, or they would have done something before,” Lindell told Insider on Friday, responding to the call. “They would have done something last year or a year ago. Like on January 9, when I was at the White House, running around with papers from a lawyer that said ‘martial law,’ they would have done this.” Lindell was actually photographed at the White House carrying notes about martial law on January 15. “Why did they wait until now?” he continued. “There’s something behind this, and we can’t let everyone get debanked in our country.”
Lindell added that he thought the banks wanting to terminate their relationship with him was about the First Amendment, floating a theory that “somebody got to them.” (Source, 1-17-2022)
Minnesota Bank Moves to Close MyPillow Corporate Account
On Monday [Feb. 14, 2022], MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell told longtime Trump ally Steve Bannon on his War Room show that Heartland Financial’s Minnesota Bank & Trust sent him papers notifying him that they’re closing his account. Lindell revealed on the popular Bannon podcast that he “just got served the papers” informing him they’re shutting his presence down at the bank. The closure of his bank account is set to happen by … Feb. 18th.
“The coward served these papers on Friday afternoon,” [said Bannon] “after the close of business day. They didn’t even bother to sign it. It says, ‘Respectfully, Minnesota Bank & Trust…’ and it puts in here, ‘Should the account scheduled be closed with a negative balance on February 18th, a report will be submitted to check systems.’”
The stated reasoning by the bank is said to be “a compliance review,” according to Lindell. The MyPillow founder told the viewers on Bannon’s program that it was previously because the bank didn’t want to be in the public eye. “What cowards,” Lindell declared during Monday’s appearance. “They’re just cowards, unreal.” (Source, 2-14-2022)
NPR Says That Climate-Change Skepticism Is “Misinformation”
On February 15, 2022, NPR warned that opponents of President Biden’s Energy Department — and of its enormous emphasis on the purported dangers of climate change — were gaining many new adherents by spreading lies and misinformation. “The spread of misinformation about solar and wind energy is leading some states and counties to restrict or even reject [alternative energy] projects,” said NPR in its introduction to a piece dismissing the notion that there could be any principled dissent from global-warming alarmism or from the tenets of the Green New Deal. As one NPR reporter put it, “a network of anti-wind and anti-solar groups across the country” — some of which had “ties to the fossil fuel industry” — were using social media platforms as a “major megaphone” for the spreading of “misinformation.”
Twitter Suspends Republican Lawmaker for “Hateful Conduct”
Twitter suspended Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) on the grounds of “hateful conduct” after she tweeted about biological males — or transgender women — competing in women’s sports. Hartzler, who is running for Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R-Mo.) seat, tweeted on Monday, “Women’s sports are for women, not men pretending to be women.” She shared the sentiment from her official campaign account, which has since been disabled.
According to Fox News, Hartzler’s tweet echoed a line from a February TV campaign spot in which she discussed University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, who has been dominating across all lanes of women’s college swimming.
A spokesperson for Twitter told the outlet that if Hartzler decides to delete the tweet, the tech giant will reinstate her account within 12 hours. “The Tweet you referenced violated the Twitter Rules on hateful conduct,” Twitter told Fox. “The account owner will need to delete the violative Tweet and spend 12 hours in read-only mode before regaining full access to their account. Per that policy, we prohibit targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”
A spokesperson for the Hartzler campaign told the outlet that the congresswoman has no plans whatsoever to delete the tweet.
“Vladimir Putin is a murderous psychopath who invaded a sovereign nation causing death and destruction, and is currently allowed to tweet,” Hartzler’s campaign said in a statement on the suspension. “Yet, Twitter believes the bigger threat is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee saying women’s sports are for women. It’s shameful, utterly ridiculous, and a horrible abuse of censorship by big tech giants to stifle free speech.” (Source, 3-1-2022)
Twitter Suspends Charlie Kirk, The Babylon Bee, & Tucker Carlson
On March 15, 2022, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk was suspended from Twitter for commenting on USA Today‘s choice of the biological male (transgender female) Rachel Levine, the Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services, as its “Woman of the Year.” Kirk’s offending tweet read: “Richard Levine spent 54 years of his life as a man. He had a wife and a family. He ‘transitioned’ to being a woman in 2011, Joe Biden appointed Levine to be a 4-Star Admiral and now USA Today has named ‘Rachel’ Levine as a ‘Woman of the Year.’ Where are the feminists?”
On March 20, 2022, the Christian satire site The Babylon BeemockedUSA Today for having recently declared the biological male (transgender female) Rachel Levine, the Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services, as its “Woman of the Year.” “The Babylon Bee’s Man of the Year is Rachel Levine,” said the headline of The Babylon Bee article. Twitter, alleging that The Babylon Bee headline and article violated the platform’s prohibition against “hateful conduct,” then locked The Babylon Bee’s account for 12 hours on the condition that the account’s administrators delete the offending tweet. Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon said in response: “We’re told our account will be restored in 12 hours, but the countdown won’t begin until we delete the tweet that violates the Twitter Rules. We’re not deleting anything. Truth is not hate speech. If the cost of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, then so be it.” Soon thereafter, Twitter also locked the accounts of The Babylon Bee‘s editor-in-chief, Kyle Mann, and its founder, Adam Ford. And on March 23, 2022, Twitter denied The Babylon Bee‘s appeal of the suspension.
On March 23, 2022 as well, Twitter locked Fox News host Tucker Carlson out of his account for simply posting screenshots of the tweets, cited immediately above, by the Babylon Bee and Charlie Kirk, and stating that “both these tweets are true.”
Reddit Bans the Word “Groomer” & References to Trangenderism As a Mental Illness
Reddit has banned the word “groomer,” a description of child predators who expose children to sexually explicit material, in what it says is an effort to tackle “hate speech.” The site also banned the claim, which until recently was a matter of mainstream psychology, that being transgender is a mental illness. In protest, some on social media have coined the term “predditor” as a replacement for groomer.
Over the past year, the problem of children being exposed to sexually explicit material has attracted increased attention on social media, particularly the leftist-backed trend of children being taken to drag shows….
The popularity of the word “groomer” arose in response to this trend, quickly becoming the word of choice for people who were horrified at the left’s apparent determination to destroy the innocence of children.
Reddit has now banned the use of the word groomer. The far-left website, which directly interfered in the 2020 election by blacklisting its largest community of pro-Trump users, says it is only banning the word if it is used to reference LGBT people — but that will encompass a wide range of frequently criticized behavior, including taking kids to drag shows and pride parades.
A writer for Slate, Alejandra Caraballo, celebrated the news, urging Twitter to take similar action. “Reddit is now more proactive than Twitter,” said Caraballo. “Your move, @TwitterSafety.”
Reddit users and social media onlookers have begun posting #Predditor in response to the censorship.
In Reddit’s updated rules, it is also forbidden to “refer to being trans as a mental illness.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the standard handbook of mental disorders used by psychiatric professionals around the world, classifies gender dysphoria as a disorder.
Twitter Bans the Word “Groomer”
This week, Twitter confirmed to Daily Dot in a statement that describing trans or non-binary people as “groomers” was now against its hate speech policy.
“We are committed to combating abuse motivated by hatred, prejudice, or intolerance, particularly abuse that seeks to silence the voices of those who have been historically marginalized,” Twitter’s health product communications lead Lauren Alexander said. “For this reason, we prohibit behavior that targets individuals or groups with abuse based on their perceived membership in a protected category. Use of this term is prohibited under our Hateful Conduct policy when it is used as a descriptor, in context of discussion of gender identity.” (Source, 7-22-2022)
Twitter Unpersons James Lindsay
In August 2022, Twitter placed a lifetime ban on the account of scholar and activist James Lindsay — an account called @ConceptualJames — for the offense of criticizing people who encouraged confused children to undergo irreversible sex-reassignment surgeries, get sterilized, and take puberty-blocking drugs that could permanently damage their bodies. Specifically, Lindsay disparaged those in favor of performing such radical procedures on young people as “groomers” and “child sexualization specialists.” In a letter notifying Lindsay of his punishment, Twitter stated: “VIOLATION FOUND [….] We suspended @ConceptualJames’s account for breaking our hateful conduct rule. We found they broke our hateful conduct rule through different reports we received about their behavior.” Further, Twitter claimed that Lindsay’s tweet had violated company policy by promoting “violence against, threaten[ing], or harass[ing] other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
Facebook & Instagram Posts Are Flagged As False for Rejecting Biden’s Redefinition of the Term “Recession”
In the latter part of July 2022, the Biden White House published an online article rejecting the standard definition of an economic recession — i.e., two consecutive fiscal quarters of declining GDP. “Both official determinations of recessions and economists’ assessment of economic activity are based on a holistic look at the data—including the labor market, consumer and business spending, industrial production, and incomes,” wrote the White House. “Based on these data, it is unlikely that the decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year—even if followed by another GDP decline in the second quarter—indicates a recession.”
Politifact, a Facebook-affiliated fact-checker run by the Poynter Institute, subsequently rated as “false” the claim that “the White House is now trying to protect Joe Biden by changing the definition of the word recession.” When Instagram personality Graham Allen then posted a video taking issue with Politifact’s assessment, Facebook and Instagram dramatically reduced that video’s visibility by posting a disclaimer stating that it contained “false information reviewed by independent fact-checkers.”
Phil Magness, director of research and education at the American Institute for Economic Research, asserted that Politifact was engaging in political bias. Said Magnes: “In this case, PolitiFact’s ‘ruling’ is compounded by the fact that they have previously invoked the very same definition of a recession—2 consecutive quarters of GDP decline— in previous rulings to either provide cover to exaggerated Democratic claims about an impending recession or tear down Republican claims to the same effect.”
Facebook Blocks Republican House Judiciary Committee Post Regarding Biden’s “Forgiveness” of Student Loans
On August 24, 2022, President Biden announced his plan to forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for individual borrowers whose annual earnings were less than $125,000 per year, and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients whose earnings were likewise below $125,000. Criticizing the president’s action as an “unfair” measure that would benefit mostly wealthy people, the Republican House Judiciary Committee wrote in a Facebook post: “If you take out a loan, you pay it back. Period.” Facebook responded by swiftly flagging the post for violating the social media platform’s “community standards,” and blocked it from public view. After the House Republicans protested, however, Facebook stated that its action had been the result of a “technical error,” and restored the post on August 26. But Representative Jim Jordan, the leading Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, told The Epoch Times: “It’s always a ‘glitch’ when it comes to Republicans and Big Tech,. No one’s buying it.”
Google Bars Trump’s Truth Social App over “Content Moderation” Concerns
The approval of Donald Trump’s Truth Social on Google’s app store, which controls access to 44 percent of smartphones in the U.S., is being held up due to “content moderation concerns,” according to reports. As Google’s decision hangs in the balance, a flurry of negative media coverage about Trump’s platform is underway.
In a statement obtained from Axios, now being covered elsewhere in the media, Google said Truth Social’s approval on the Play Store was being held up due to content moderation concerns. “On Aug. 19, we notified Truth Social of several violations of standard policies in their current app submission and reiterated that having effective systems for moderating user-generated content is a condition of our terms of service for any app to go live on Google Play.” […]
The dispute about Truth Social’s presence on the Play Store is receiving a flurry of media coverage, and comes shortly after the New York Times published a hitpiece about “QAnon” content on Trump’s platform, based on data from the partisan establishment organization NewsGuard.
As Google’s decision whether or not to approve Truth Social hangs in the balance, it appears the media is attempting to influence the tech giant’s decision.
The smartphone market is a duopoly, with over 99 percent of smartphone users in the U.S. using either Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android operating systems. Truth Social has been approved by Apple, which controls approximately 55 percent of the market in the U.S., but not Google — cutting off the app, and former President Trump’s primary method of communicating on social media, from the remaining 44 percent.
After reporting that Google’s main concern is threats of violence on the platform, Axios misleadingly claims that posts threatening violence remain on Truth Social, citing just one example among millions of posts. But Truth Social has a clear-cut policy against threats of violence and other criminal activity, just like every other social media platform.
Axios’ complaint appears to be that Truth Social’s moderators occasionally miss threats of violence, or fail to take them down speedily enough. But this same complaint can be made against every other social media platform, including Twitter, which has repeatedly failed to prevent threats of violence from spreading on its platform, including threats against high school kids and Supreme Court Justices.
Months after the overturning of Roe, which precipitated an outpouring of threats and slurs against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, some of the posts — clear violations of Twitter’s policies — remain on the platform …
Despite these and many other such examples, Twitter, unlike Truth Social, is approved on the Google Play Store. (Source: 8-30-2022)
PayPal Shuts Down Free Speech Union and The Daily Sceptic Accounts
PayPal has demonetised the account of the Free Speech Union, a British organisation that defends people who have lost work and been cancelled for expressing opinions.
The U.S. online payments system PayPal has closed the account of the Free Speech Union (FSU) as well as the news and opinion site The Daily Sceptic without a clear explanation, a move which their founder Toby Young called “a new low.”
“This feels like an escalation in the ongoing war against free speech by Big Tech. It’s one thing to shut down and demonetise accounts for expressing non-conformist views, that’s nothing new, unfortunately. But in this case, PayPal has shut down the account of an organisation that defends people who express non-conformist views. That’s a new low,” Young told The Epoch Times in an email.
Columnist and associate editor of The Spectator Young started the FSU in 2020 to support self-styled defenders of free expression. It says that its members have “been sacked, cancelled, penalised, harassed or attacked by outrage mobs for exercising their legal right to free speech.”
The organisation has supported the author Gillian Philip, who was cancelled by the publisher HarperCollins in 2020 when she tweeted her support for JK Rowling, to a British rail conductor who was sacked when he questioned “black privilege” in an online diversity training.
In the same year, Young also started The Daily Sceptic, a successor to Lockdown Sceptics, to challenge science-based stories that “often appear to be rooted in a covert political agenda” such as lockdown policy, COVID-19 restrictions, the efficacy and safety of the mRNA vaccines as well as Net Zero.
The withdrawal of PayPal is proving a challenge as the FSU charges members £2.49 a month, accepts donations, and a significant amount of members’ recurring membership fees are processed by the company.
Writing in The Daily Sceptic, Young said that he’d received a notification on Thursday afternoon last week from his personal PayPal account informing him that it was being shut down because he’d violated the company’s “Acceptable Use Policy.”
He then got notifications for The Daily Sceptic and FSU PayPal accounts that they too had been shut down and for the same reason.
His subsequent appeals were unsuccessful and he said that the only clue as to what might be going on was a message sent from PayPal on the now-closed Daily Sceptic account, which read:
“PayPal’s policy is not to allow our services to be used for activities that promote hate, violence or racial intolerance. We regularly assess activity against our long-standing Acceptable Use Policy and carefully review actions reported to us, and will discontinue our relationship with account holders who are found to violate our policies.”
Young said that he defies anyone to point to an article on his sites that promotes “hate, violence, or racial intolerance.”
He said he suspected the closure of the accounts could be down to a number of reasons including questioning transgender ideology, raising questions about COVID-19 vaccines, and articles critical of the mainstream narrative about the Ukraine war (though it has published several articles defending Ukraine). […] “Provided you haven’t said anything unlawful, your political views should be a matter of complete indifference to financial services companies,” he added. (Source, 9-21-2022)
Gays Against Groomers says Venmo & PayPal Shut Down Accounts for ‘Violating’ User Agreements
Tech companies have shut down the accounts of an LGBT organization that opposes a growing movement sexualizing children, according to its founder. Gays Against Groomers tweeted out a statement Tuesday that it had been banned from PayPal and Venmo. Late Tuesday evening, the organization announced its Google accounts had been shuttered as well.
Jaimee Mitchell, the founder of Gays Against Groomers, went on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to talk about the ban. “We’ve never gotten a violation before. They said that we violated, though, their user agreements, which, we’re not sure what in the agreement we violated,” Mitchell said. “There was no really detailed message to that. Just the notification that we have been banned.”
PayPal and Venmo did not answer questions about what agreements Gays Against Groomers violated or whether it would be eligible to have its accounts restored.
“PayPal has a long-standing and consistent Acceptable Use Policy,” PayPal and Venmo wrote in a statement to FOX Business. “We take action when we deem that individuals or organizations have violated this policy. Per company policy, PayPal does not disclose specific account information for current or former customers.”
Google told Fox News Digital Gay Against Groomers’ account was flagged and temporarily suspended but has since been reinstated. “Per our regular process, this account was temporarily suspended after it was automatically flagged under our policies prohibiting bulk account creation,” Google wrote in its statement. “Upon appeal and completion of a security check, we immediately reinstated the account.”
Mitchell told Carlson that her organization is “comprised completely of gay people. We even have a few trans people in our organization. Just trying to fight this evil that is happening in the name of LGBTQIA, you know, the whole alphabet mafia now.”
According to its website, Gays Against Groomers is concerned about the “recent trend of indoctrinating, sexualizing and medicalizing children under the guise of ‘LGBTQIA+.’”
Mitchell said her organization is being “punished” for its beliefs and accused the companies suspending its accounts of standing on the side of “pedophiles and child predators.”
“They say that they took our account down for discriminatory behavior. But I think that’s exactly what they did to us,” Mitchell said. “I mean, no other LGBT organization would ever be banned from their platform if they fell in line with this agenda. But we don’t, and we’re not scared by this. We’re not intimidated. We’re not going to stop. It only makes us stronger.” (Source, 9-21-2022)
Twitter Censors Florida A.G. Because of His Warnings About COVID Vaccine
Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo has been censored by Twitter on Sunday over his tweet yesterday advising men between the ages of 18-39 not to get the Covid vaccine as it was found to cause an 84 percent increase in death for that age group. Disclose.tv posted the news on Twitter, “JUST IN – Twitter has removed a tweet from Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo about mRNA vaccines for violating the platform’s rules.”
On Friday, Ladapo released the state’s analysis of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, revealing an 84 percent “increased risk of cardiac-related death among men 18-39.” Florida “will not be silent on the truth,” he said. The guidance “recommends against the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines for males ages 18-39 years old.” In a statement, Ladapo said that “Studying the safety and efficacy of any medications, including vaccines, is an important component of public health. Far less attention has been paid to safety and the concerns of many individuals have been dismissed – these are important findings that should be communicated to Floridians.”
The Florida Department of Health released the findings of a self-controlled case series which they used to evaluate the safety of the Covid vaccines, which “studied mortality risk following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.” It found that “there is an 84% increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related death among males 18-39 years old within 28 days following mRNA vaccination.” The findings also showed that “Males over the age of 60 had a 10% increased risk of cardiac-related death within 28 days of mRNA vaccination,” and that “Non-mRNA vaccines were not found to have these increased risks among any population. (Source, 10-9-2022)
II. Individuals Seeking to Censor, Cancel, Blacklist, Boycott, De-platform, or De-program Conservatives
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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:
“[Y]ou have a large number of people [conservatives] who are angry and aggrieved, and who have been lied to by the right-wing news ecosystem, as well as online influencers about the election, and who want to show that anger and they want to feel like they’re part of something. And then within that disorganized mob, you have a small number of people who are highly organized and who really want to create violence…. Those groups need to be treated like ISIS effectively, right? There is a history here of both between law enforcement and social media companies of being able to reduce the online presence and the influence of those groups. And then we have to work on the broader disinformation problem to try to turn down the anger that you see from that huge percentage of Republicans who believe that the election was stolen.”
“It’s really hard because what’s happening is people are able to seek out the information that makes them feel good. That is what’s happening. People have so much choice now. They can choose what their news sources are. They can choose what influencers they want to follow and they can try to seal out anything that helps them question that. And I think that gets to a really core issue with how our freedoms as Americans in the way we have treated press freedom in the past is being abused by these actors in that we have given a lot of leeway both in the traditional media and on social media to people to have a very broad range of political views. It is now in the great economic interest of those individuals to become more and more radical. And I think one of the places you can see this is on the fact that you now have competitors to Fox News on their right.”
“OANN and Newsmax, which are carried by all the major cable networks who are trying to outflank Fox on the right because the moment Fox introduced any kind of realism into their reporting, immediately, a bunch of people chose to put themselves into a sealed ecosystem. And they can do that both on cable. They can do it online. And that becomes a huge challenge in figuring out how do you bring people back into the mainstream of fact-based reporting and try to get us all back into the same consensual reality.”
“[T]here needs to be an intentional work by the social media companies collaborating together, to work on violent extremism in the same way they worked on ISIS. When I started on Facebook in 2015, the number one challenge from a content perspective was the abuse of social media by the Islamic state. And there was a collaboration between the tech companies and law enforcement to make it impossible for them to use the Internet to recruit and radicalize mostly young Muslim men at the same around the world. Now, we’re talking about domestic audience in the United States. And the challenge is going to be partially that ISIS did not have a domestic constituency in the United States Congress, but there is over half of the Republicans in Congress voted to overturn the election. And there will be a continual political pressure on the companies to not take it seriously.”
“So, I think, first, you have to focus on those violent extremists, and those companies have to be brave in that way. And, second, we have to turn down the capability of these conservative influencers to reach these huge audiences. There are people on YouTube, for example, that have a larger daytime — larger audience than daytime CNN, and they are extremely radical and pushing extremely radical views. And, so, it is up to the Facebooks and YouTubes in particular to think about whether or not they want to be effectively cable networks for disinformation. And then we have to figure out the OANN and Newsmax problem, you know, these companies have freedom of speech but I’m not sure we need Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and such to be bringing them into tens of millions of homes.” (1-17-2021)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
III. Corporations Seeking to Censor, Cancel, Blacklist, Boycott, De-platform, or De-program Non-Leftist Conspiracy Theorists
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)
IV. The Biden Administration Admits Its Collaboration with Big Tech / Social Media Giants
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday the Biden administration is identifying “problematic” posts for Facebook to censor because they contain “misinformation” about COVID-19. Psaki disclosed the government’s role in policing social media during her daily press briefing after Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called on companies to purge more pandemic posts.
The demand for censorship — and Psaki’s admission of government involvement — follows a series of flip-flops from health officials who contradicted themselves throughout the pandemic on issues such as mask efficacy, as well as censorship of claims that later gained credibility, such as the theory that COVID-19 leaked from a Chinese lab.
“We are in regular touch with the social media platforms and those engagements typically happen through members of our senior staff and also members of our COVID-19 team — given as Dr. Murthy conveyed, this is a big issue, of misinformation, specifically on the pandemic,” Psaki said.
She added: “We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the Surgeon General’s Office. We are flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.”
Psaki added, “it’s important to take faster action against harmful posts … and Facebook needs to move more quickly to remove harmful violative posts.”
Psaki and Murthy, who also spoke at the press briefing, specifically said they are concerned about “misinformation” about COVID-19 vaccines. About 68 percent of US adults have had at least one vaccine shot, according to CDC data, dramatically lowering infection rates in most parts of the country.
Murthy said “we’re asking [social media companies] to consistently take action against misinformation superspreaders on their platforms.”
“Misinformation takes away our freedom to make informed decisions about our health and the health of our loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health misinformation has led people to resist wearing masks in high-risk settings. It’s led them to turn down proven treatments and to choose not to get vaccinated. This has led to avoidable illnesses and deaths,” Murthy said.
Psaki and Murthy would not answer a shouted question about the fact that Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser and the government’s top infectious diseases expert, has himself vacillated on COVID-19 information.
Fauci did not promote mask-wearing in February, March and early April 2020 as the respiratory virus spread in the US, despite the historical use of masks to counter airborne viruses and their successful early adoption in East Asia. But Fauci later pushed even wearing two masks at a time.
Other US health officials initially discouraged wearing masks. Surgeon General Jerome Adams asserted in a now-deleted tweet that masks were “NOT effective” at protecting people from COVID-19 before later saying that they were effective.
Facebook this year stopped censoring posts that claimed COVID-19 may have emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China due to “evolving” information that bolstered the theory.
Former President Donald Trump filed lawsuits last week against Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, arguing that they are illegally squelching free speech rights on behalf of the government. Trump was banned from the platforms after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. “These companies have been co-opted, coerced and weaponized by government actors to become the enforcers of illegal, unconstitutional censorship,” Trump said. Trump lawyer John Coale said the suits would prove that the tech companies “are government actors” and that “therefore, the First Amendment does apply” to their actions. (Source: 7-15-2021)
Four Major Stories That Were “Disinformation” — and Then Were Not
On July 22, 2021, DailyCaller.com published an article explaining the inherent danger of having a government that colludes with Big Tech to be the self-declared arbiters of what should, and what should not, qualify as “misinformation” or “disinformation.” In some cases, for example, stories that are widely disparaged and dismissed as false eventually turn out to be true, and vice versa. Some excerpts from the Daily Caller piece:
The White House announced a plan to partner with Facebook to flag problematic posts that it believed contained “disinformation” about novel coronavirus vaccines. But there were many stories labeled disinformation that turned out to be legitimate.
The Lab Leak Theory
For months after the coronavirus began its spread, Democrats and media talking heads alike dismissed the possibility that the virus could have leaked from a research laboratory like the Wuhan Institute of Virology. They scoffed at Republicans like Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and former President Donald Trump for saying they believed the virus had originated in a lab, and labeled it as a fringe conspiracy theory. But over a year into the pandemic, the lab leak theory has gained stronger ground.
Russian Bounties on American Soldiers
Just a few months before the 2020 presidential election, the media began to circulate a report suggesting Russian officials secretly placed bounties on the heads of American soldiers — effectively paying the Taliban to execute Americans. Everyone from The New York Times to now White House press secretary Jen Psaki pushed the narrative. The Washington Post even gave Trump “four Pinocchios” for calling the story “fake news.” But some six months after the election, the story changed dramatically. A new statement from Biden’s White House said what former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said from the beginning: that the intelligence community did not have high confidence in the information.
Hunter Biden’s Laptop
The New York Post — and a number of people who shared the Post’s exposé on Hunter Biden — found themselves at least temporarily suspended from Twitter. The reason, according to Twitter, was that the story revealed personal information and was considered to be the product of “hacked materials” — in spite of the fact that the Post did not appear to have published anything resulting from a hack. The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained a forensic analysis of the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop — the source of the Post’s story — and determined the “smoking gun” email implicating his father in his overseas business dealings to be 100% authentic. Just after the election, however, outlets like NPR that had dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop story as “not really a story,” suddenly reversed course. […]
Democrats and the media spent the better part of Trump’s first three years in office trying to make the Russian collusion narrative stick — and Democratic California Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell claimed to have direct evidence of that collusion. After Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation came to an end with no indictment for Trump, Schiff doubled down, attacking then-Attorney General William Barr for summarizing Mueller’s report in a way that didn’t implicate Trump.
And the list doesn’t end there.
Claims that Trump snubbed veterans during a trip to France were rebutted by several close associates — including national security adviser-turned-Trump critic John Bolton.
Media outlets accused Trump of lying when he claimed senior members of former President Obama’s administration spied on his campaign — but those concerns turned out to be legitimate.
The question is obvious: with a record like that, should the White House — or anyone else, for that matter — have the authority to universally determine for Big Tech what qualifies as “disinformation”?
IV. Big Tech Comes to the Defense of Leftists
To Hide President Biden’s 2021 Border Crisis, Twitter Censors a 2017 Journalistic Video on Horse Patrol Units
During the week of September 19, 2021 – by which time more than 14,000 Haitians had recently gathered under the Del Rio International Bridge on the banks of the Rio Grande in hopes of gaining approval for asylum in the U.S. — the media were abuzz with accusations claiming that Border Patrol agents were using whips to prevent those Haitians from illegally entering the United States. Specifically, the controversy was sparked by photographs of agents mounted on horseback attempting to corral incoming migrants. Some photos showed the agents twirling their reins to coax the horses in certain directions. Many critics misidentified the reins as whips that were being used to harm and degrade the migrants.
Paul Ratje, the photographer responsible for the images in question, said that neither he nor any of his colleagues had seen Border Patrol agents whipping anyone. “Some of the Haitian men started running, trying to go around the horses, and that’s when the whole thing happened,” Ratje explained. “I never saw them whip anyone. The agent was swinging the reins that to some can be misconstrued when you’re looking at the pictures.”
Rowdy Ballard — who, prior to retiring, had spent 17 years on horseback for the Border Patrol and had served 6 years as the horse coordinator for Del Rio, Texas — told Fox News: “We all have the same message: we don’t carry whips.” Explaining that the Border Patrol does not train its agents to whip illegal migrants, and that those agents hardly ever place their hands on people “unless they’re not compliant,” Ballard said on America’s Newsroom: “It was a tense situation. The horses were a little reluctant to do the job that the agents were asking… twirling the reins was just another tool they used to get the horses to do what they’re asking.”
Notwithstanding the fact that the “whipping” claims were entirely false, the Biden Administration quickly announced that: (a) horse patrols at the border would be immediately suspended pending further investigation of the charges, and (b) the specific agents in the aforementioned photos would remain on administrative duty while the probe was being conducted. Biden’s announcement prompted Rowdy Ballard to say: “The horse is a great tool we’ve used [at the Border Patrol] for almost 100 years now. And with that going, it’s going to be harder to patrol that area.”
President Biden said in response to the (false) reports: “It was horrible [what] you saw. To see people treated like they did [sic]. Horses nearly running people over and people being strapped.” “It’s outrageous,” he added. “I promise you those people will pay. They will be investigated. There will be consequences.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that President Biden and his entire Administration were “horrified by the photos of the Border Patrol officers and that behavior.” “We feel those images are horrible and horrific,” she added.
Vice President Kamala Harris said she was “outraged” by the “horrible and deeply troubling” images shown in the photos. “Human beings should not be treated that way,” she elaborated, “and as we all know, it also evoked images of some of the worst moments of our history where that kind of behavior has been used against the indigenous people of our country, has been used against African Americans during times of slavery.”
DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that a full investigation was warranted. “One cannot weaponize a horse to aggressively attack a child,” he stated. “That is unacceptable. That is not what our policies and our training require. Please understand, let me be quite clear, that is not acceptable. We will not tolerate mistreatment, and we will address it with full force based on the facts that we learn.”
On September 28, 2021, The Daily Signal reporter Kelsey Bolar revealed what Twitter had done to cover up the lies inherent in the Biden Administration’s account of what had happened between the Border Patrol and the Haitian migrants:
“In 2017, I had the privilege of visiting the U.S.-Mexico border as a reporter for The Daily Signal…. Among those I met with and interviewed were members of the Department of Homeland Security’s Horse Patrol Unit in San Diego. Horseback was a method of patrolling the border that I didn’t know about prior to my trip. Figuring that many others didn’t either, we produced a video.
“In the San Diego sector, agents are partnered with the same horse for three years, during which they establish a strong bond and treat their horses as the partners they are. The U.S. Border Patrol was founded on horseback in 1924, and the video we produced pays homage to that. Far from controversial, our video sat mostly idle after publishing in 2017. Until last week, when Twitter censored it.
“After a photo and accompanying video went viral showing a Border Patrol agent on horseback allegedly ‘whipping’ Haitian migrants, The Daily Signal re-shared the video on Twitter in an effort to add context to the important role horses play in helping Border Patrol agents secure the border. Instead of showing the video in the tweet as it should, some users saw this warning: ‘The following media includes potentially sensitive content.’
“Twitter’s warning had the effect of suppressing video views and cutting off a significant contribution to the conversation that was occurring in real-time about border security and President Joe Biden’s border crisis. It robbed the public of an opportunity to learn more about the Border Patrol’s horseback unit before participating in a smear campaign against an agent just trying to do his job. Worse, slapping a ‘sensitive content’ label on a harmless video sent a message to Twitter users that our report featured violent or upsetting content that might have supported the narrative that Border Patrol agents act inappropriately. This couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Twitter Suspends the Account of PJ Media for “Misgendering” Rachel Levine
In October 2029, Twitter suspended the account of PJ Media as punishment for having post a tweet that cited an article in which PJ Media writer Matt Margolis rejected the Biden Administration’s recent assertion that transgender HHS Assistant Secretary Rachel Levine was the “first-ever female four-star admiral” of the U.S. Public Health Services (USPHS) Commissioned Corps. “Even if you believe that gender is a social construct and subject to how one feels and not dependent on biology, sex chromosomes determine whether an individual is male or female,” said Margolis. “Rachel Levine is 100 percent male, right down to his DNA. He is not a female. He may have grown his hair out and changed his name to a woman’s name, but that doesn’t make him a female.” Twitter said that the suspension would continue indefinitely unless PJ Media agreed to delete the offending tweet and admitted that it had violated Twitter’s terms of service.
New Twitter Rule Bans the Dissemination of Memes & the Mockery of Public Figures
On November 30, 2021 — one day after Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey resigned and was replaced as CEO by Parag Agrawal — Twitter announced a new set of rules that effectively banned the dissemination of memes and the mockery of public figures. The new policy read as follows:
“When we are notified by individuals depicted, or by an authorized representative, that they did not consent to having their private image or video shared, we will remove it. This policy is not applicable to media featuring public figures or individuals when media and accompanying Tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.
“However, if the purpose of the dissemination of private images of public figures or individuals who are part of public conversations is to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence them, we may remove the content in line with our policy against abusive behavior. Similarly, private nude images of public individuals will continue to be actioned under our non-consensual nudity policy. […]
“We will always try to assess the context in which the content is shared and, in such cases, we may allow the images or videos to remain on the service. For instance, we would take into consideration whether the image is publicly available and/or is being covered by mainstream/traditional media (newspapers, TV channels, online news sites), or if a particular image and the accompanying tweet text adds value to the public discourse, is being shared in public interest, or is relevant to the community.”
In short, the new policy empowered Twitter to unilaterally justify the removal of any content it might deem – for whatever subjective reason — “irrelevant,” not in the “public interest,” or of no “value to public discourse.” That is, Twitter tacitly acknowledged that it is a publisher that makes editorial decisions about its content, rather than a public forum for the free and open exchange of ideas.