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

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

  1. SEDeuce says:

    How do you square your proposed solution to the censorship with “But it’s a private company. If you don’t like how they do business stop using them and find another one.” Google has DuckDuckGo and Facebook has Gab as alternatives. Don’t know about Twitter. What would happen if Our President dropped off Twitter and Facebook and started using Gab and whatever is Twitter’s competitor? Other than the fact that the competitors almost certainly couldn’t handle the traffic?

    • Mark America says:

      SEDeuce, I generally agree with that. I do. I think that if you don’t want to use their service, then you shouldn’t, but here’s the problem: When you sign up, they don’t tell you in advance that “We HATE CONSERVATIVES, We’re going to treat you like crap, and you’ll be at a perpetual disadvantage here.” People sign up expecting to be treated equally according to the ToS, and that doesn’t happen. Instead, they make up rules as they go along, they leave too much up to the discretion of attitudinal low level employees, and they generally rob you of the service they promise. Meanwhile, they’re earning ad revenue from everything you do on their platforms, as you spend time to set up your profile, perhaps share interesting content that improves the value of their site, and you take that all as part of the deal on the very reasonable expectation that you’re going to be treated equally to every other “customer” or “user” or whatever term applies.

      I have no problem with Facebook or Twitter or whichever platform limiting who is on their platform and establish rules for what users can and can’t do there, but under current law, if they’re essentially determining content, then they’re a publisher, and they should be open to defamation, liable and slander suits just like everybody else, but if they want that exemption, then they need to shut the Hell up about content beyond illegalities and move along. They’re free to sell advertising and even tell users that because some advertiser doesn’t wish to run ads on their profile advertising the virtues of Samoan Separatism or whatever(not picking on Samoans, just picked one out of space that is not usually mentioned in the top 20 of separatist groups) and advise them that as such, they lose some other benefit of membership, but anyway, I have no problem with that.

      One of the things I’m waiting for is an honest social media company to arise. Here’s what that would look like: Imagine Facebook, and now imagine it with ads that accompany your content, and imagine you getting some tiny fraction of the ad revenue because your provided the content with which the ad was run. Something like that might even provide an incentive to behave well and get along, etc.

      Anyway, I understand your libertarian-ish point, I really do. I think the real problem here is that people invested a lot of time and money(developers, etc) to create Social Media presence, only to be told after the fact, via shady banning practices, that they’re not welcome. This has happened, for instance, to a number of gun/shooting related pages on Facebook. Ditto Twitter, Instagram, etc… The problem is changing the ToS AFTER people have invested time/money in creating that Social Media presence. It’s roughly akin to breach of contract, IMO. If they’d been up front about it from the start, that they hate conservatives, freedom, the constitution, etc, it would be another thing.

      • SEDeuce says:

        I agree completely that if the social media companies are committing fraud, which they clearly are, then they need to be held to account. If that can’t be done by the marketplace, with significant enough competition to attract enough of the defrauded users to incentivize the companies to change their behavior, then the government needs to step in if the negative societal impact is great enough. I don’t know if you’ve gotten this far into Q, but he states clearly that both Facebook and Google were formed as a result of intelligence agency projects for the purpose of vacuuming up data on all of us which is then made available to those agencies. They’re doing a pretty fine job of that…

  2. the unit says:

    All this technology is above my ability to understand. How alogrithims work and shadow banning so user can still see and followers can’t, I can’t imagine.
    There’s a pretty good article about the Nunes’ lawsuit at Biz Pac Review. Headline confusing to me though. Says he drops lawsuit. ‘Til I read this blog, then returned to BPR and read article, I thought he dropped/did away with the lawsuit.
    Can this sort of thing happen on this blog site as well. For instance the link for the article ‘Some Unsolicited Advice For @ POTUS: No Deal!’ says comments closed, which I know usually happens after about two weeks. But used to the comments could still be read. Haven’t been able to see comments lately?
    Yes, even though I don’t understand how they do it, good for the lawsuit to stop their hindering free speech. Hope it will work to that end.

    • Mark America says:

      Hey Unit!
      I think you’re cleverer with tech than you let on. Basically, it’s more or less like the way you can filter comments in the comment section using disqus. You can order by more popular or less, new or old, or whatever. It’s basically a set of results on what is really just a database search, more or less. What they do is make your posts less likely to be found in a search result, more or less. It gets a little more complicated than that, but at the root of it, that’s what happens.
      I noticed the absent comments. I wonder if something is going on since I upgraded the server back around the end of last year. I will investigate.

      • the unit says:

        I’d noticed a while back. What spurred my interest the other day was the links to older posts at the bottom of the current post showed a comment by someone with the same name as my son. I’m sure it’s not him, but it made me want to read it.

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