Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

How Donald Trump Can Save the World (Or at least the Internet)

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Trump Can Save the World… Or at least the Internet

In the wake of the horrific shooting in New Zealand, what we’ve learned is that the country is fully invested in Internet censorship.  They now threaten to jail and fine people who possess, publish, and/or share video of the shooting.  There’s no such thing as Freedom of Speech in New Zealand, and this is a spreading phenomenon as more and more countries use their regulatory power over telecommunications companies as well as plain old tyrannical law to censor their people.  We must never permit this here in the United States, but increasingly, large corporations that claim exemptions under the Communications Decency Act have begun to behave like content publishers rather than mere publishing platforms for content creators.  This is despicable.  On the one hand, Facebook claims indemnification from lawsuits because they are not a content creator, but on the other hand, Facebook wants to control and maintain veto authority over content.   President Trump must act to take this on, and one lever he has against some foreign governments deals directly with Anglophone countries, including the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  What he must do is threaten to walk from FVEY(pronounced Five Eyes) and begin denying them access to our signals intelligence.  They already deserve sanctions for assisting the Obama administration in spying on Trump’s campaign, but this is an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: Reform and free the Internet along with free speech or the USA will withdraw from the UKUSA agreement.

President Trump should begin on a small scale, by conquering the Anglophone world, first. The first place he must act, sadly, is in the United States.  He must put the various “platforms” on notice that if they insist on censoring content, he will be forced to treat them just like any other content publisher.  Let’s see how that goes, first.  After that, he needs to push this first to the allegedly enlightened Anglophone world, and then to Europe, and from there, Central and South America.  After that, it gets harder, but he’s going to need to tackle this.  Not only can he save the Internet, but in the process, he can save the world. You see, the Internet really only works well when free speech prevails.

This morning, GatewayPundit published an article demonstrating pretty convincingly that Twitter has intentionally depressed the popularity of @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS in order to hamper President Trump directly.  There are two things about this that must be addressed:

  1. This may constitute an illegal campaign contribution to Democrats
  2. This would mean that Twitter is acting as a publisher, and not as a platform, which would end their exemption under the Communications Decency Act

Of course, there are all sorts of other things implied in this case, but it’s clear that Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, (@Jack on Twitter) is going to have some serious explaining to do. It’s clear that his social media platform is acting more like a content provider.  I and other conservatives have noted some “Shadow-banning” in association with our own accounts, and it began in earnest once Twitter began tinkering with its algorithms.  Early on, what you got in your timeline was always in pure date-time order, meaning you got the tweets of the people you followed, and that was it.  Then Twitter inserted ads.  After that, they began manipulating who you saw, and how often, and started trying to determine whose tweets you ought to see, and whose tweets you ought not see.  Then came the great timeline kerfuffle in which they openly and brazenly manipulated the way your timeline received tweets.  The blow-back was pretty severe, so they tucked away an option in your settings, hidden in plain sight, that permits as user to revert to plane date-time ordered timelines.  The problem is that even there, Twitter is still manipulating the results.

For the last several years, it has been strongly suspected, and now proven, that Twitter has shadow-banned users and content for what appear to be wholly political motivations. “Shadow-banning” basically lets a user send out his or her tweets like normal, but those tweets are hidden from the user’s followers, and neither the user nor his followers are aware.  In some cases, they’ve used this to simply delay the posting of tweets, meaning that your tweets will ultimately be seen, but often long after their relevance has been lost.  Sometimes, this seems to be user-based, and sometimes, it’s based purely on the content of a particular tweet.

What all of this means is that Twitter is engaged in systematic discrimination against conservatives and other users they don’t like for various reasons.  This means that they’re actually designing the content of peoples’ timelines, rather than letting come what may, as should be the case if they’re simply a platform for free speech, as they claim. It’s time to address this, and President Trump has that authority.  Yesterday, Devin Nunes(R-CA) filed a lawsuit against Twitter for defamation based on these and related types of discriminatory and misleading activities.  Here’s a clip from Hannity, on which Nunes appeared on Monday:

The President is in a position to do something about all of this, and he should leverage any assistance he can get from Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and any other assets at his disposal.  If Twitter(and other social media companies) is going to maintain its exemption under the Communications Decency Act, then they must immediately cease censorship of content.  Otherwise, they must lose their exemptions and be subject to the myriad of lawsuits that would ordinarily arise if that exemption was not in place.  The whole purpose of that exemption was to create a place where free speech could reign, and not be confounded by endless lawsuits, but when the platform itself is corrupted, it becomes a publisher and not a referee preventing abuses.  That’s where the Federal role to intercede arises.

In our modern age, Twitter is just one of a number of social media companies, but as Nunes contends in his lawsuit, to remain competitive in politics, business, or almost any sort of pursuit, one must be tied into social media or be overrun by competitors.  It’s therefore essential that Twitter and other “platforms” be brought to heel, before they are making all of the decisions about who can speak in any context on any subject.  What they’re doing now is a fraud and a hoax against their users.  If President Trump wants to make a real difference, he can save free speech, and thereby save the prime value of the Internet, which is to give you and I a voice and a way to plug into the global discussion.  Otherwise, it really is just an Orwellian world of double-speak in which freedom doesn’t exist despite flowery words to the contrary.

Go get ’em, President Trump!

 

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