‘Ministry of Truth’ Previously Compared Free Speech to “Fairy Dust”

‘Ministry of Truth’ Previously Compared Free Speech to “Fairy Dust”


‘Ministry of Truth’ Previously Compared Free Speech to “Fairy Dust”

Hinting she doesn’t believe it should even exist

Paul Joseph Watson

The head of what has been dubbed the Biden administration’s ‘Ministry of Truth’ previously compared free speech to “fairy dust” during testimony about social media censorship in front of the UK Parliament.

Yes, really.

Nina Jankowicz, recently appointed DHS ‘disinformation czar,’ made the comments while providing oral evidence regarding the implementation of the UK’s controversial Online Safety Bill, which will ban legal content which has “the potential to cause harm.”

After agreeing that the government should set minimum speech standards which ban “misogyny,” Jankowicz blasted alternative social media platforms for supporting “freedom of expression and fairy dust.”

She also said that government-connected communications regulators such as Ofcom should “be able to establish the minimum standards that would be applied to all platforms and incur fines.”

“That could be based, again, on the preexisting terms of service,” she added.

Jankowicz also endorsed empowering governments to demand data on individual users from social media cites for the purpose of implementing further censorship policies.

“The social media platforms can do that if they are compelled to,” she said.

Jankowicz also asserted that social media platforms should utilize algorithms that would “allow us to get around some of the free speech concerns” by demoting content so few people saw it.

“You can shout in the black void, but you do not get a huge audience to do that,” she stated.

The comments are in line with previously statements made by Jankowicz when she revealed that free speech made her “shudder” while also promoting the lie that the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation.

The disinformation czar also ludicrously cited Christopher Steele as an expert on disinformation. Steele was the author of the infamous Clinton campaign-funded Trump ‘peegate’ dossier’ that turned out to be an actual product of disinformation.

As we previously highlighted, Jankowicz previously demanded that “trustworthy verified people” like her be given the power to edit other people’s tweets, making Twitter more like Wikipedia.

*********

(TLB) published this article from Summit News as compiled and written by Paul Joseph Watson


Brand new merch now available! Get it at https://www.pjwshop.com/

In the age of mass Silicon Valley censorship It is crucial that we stay in touch. We need you to sign up for our free newsletter here. Support our sponsor – Turbo Force – a supercharged boost of clean energy without the comedown. Also, we urgently need your financial support here.


Header featured image (edited) credit:  Nina Jankowicz/YouTube screen shot

Emphasis added by (TLB) editors

••••

••••

Stay tuned to …

••••

The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)

••••

Comment Policy: As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, or personal/abusive attacks on other users. This also applies to trolling, the use of more than one alias, or just intentional mischief. Enforcement of this policy is at the discretion of this websites administrators. Repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without prior warning.

••••

Disclaimer: TLB websites contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

••••

Disclaimer: The information and opinions shared are for informational purposes only including, but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material are not intended as medical advice or instruction. Nothing mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Share this…
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Source

AP Suggests Elon Musk is a Hypocrite For Supporting Free Speech

AP Suggests Elon Musk is a Hypocrite For Supporting Free Speech


AP Suggests Elon Musk is a Hypocrite For Supporting Free Speech

But Using it to “Attack” His Critics

Wait, what?

Paul Joseph Watson

The Associated Press published a bizarre article suggesting that Elon Musk is a hypocrite for supporting free speech on Twitter yet using the platform to “attack” his critics.

“Elon Musk boasts that he’s acquiring Twitter to defend freedom of speech,” the AP reported. “But he has long used the platform to attack those who disagree with him.”

Apparently, the news agency can’t comprehend the basic notion that Musk exercising his free speech to respond to his critics is also a form of free speech.

Perhaps the article is another shocking illustration of how the media and journalists no longer have any basic grasp of the fundamental tenets of free speech.

Similar ignorance has been displayed by those who think Elon Musk is denying them free speech because he blocks them on Twitter.

They’re seemingly unaware of the very simple fact that your right to free speech doesn’t compel others to listen to it.

“Elon Musks *claims* to be in free speech, yet argues with those who disagree with and attack him. Checkmate!” joked Glenn Greenwald.

As Chris Menahan notes, the AP’s sudden interest in protecting free speech rights of critics of powerful people doesn’t seem to extend to those who have criticized the Ukrainian government.

Last month, the AP proudly accompanied SBU thugs as they went door to door kidnapping and arresting people for criticizing President Zelensky.

“Zelensky’s goon squads going door-to-door jailing his critics gets more favorable coverage from the AP than Elon Musk!” he writes.

*********

(TLB) published this article from Summit News as compiled and written by Paul Joseph Watson


Brand new merch now available! Get it at https://www.pjwshop.com/

In the age of mass Silicon Valley censorship It is crucial that we stay in touch. We need you to sign up for our free newsletter here. Support our sponsor – Turbo Force – a supercharged boost of clean energy without the comedown. Also, we urgently need your financial support here.


Header featured image (edited) credit:  Cell phone over bird/SOPA Images via Getty Images

Emphasis added by (TLB) editors

••••

••••

Stay tuned to …

••••

The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)

••••

Comment Policy: As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, or personal/abusive attacks on other users. This also applies to trolling, the use of more than one alias, or just intentional mischief. Enforcement of this policy is at the discretion of this websites administrators. Repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without prior warning.

••••

Disclaimer: TLB websites contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

••••

Disclaimer: The information and opinions shared are for informational purposes only including, but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material are not intended as medical advice or instruction. Nothing mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Share this…
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Source

Elon Musk Can Use The First Amendment To Make Twitter Open To Free Speech Again

Elon Musk Can Use The First Amendment To Make Twitter Open To Free Speech Again

Edit buttons, open-source algorithms, long-form tweets, and stopping scam bots are just some of the modifications Elon Musk suggested he would implement in the run-up to his successful bid to buy Twitter. All of those sound like interesting ideas.

But none of them will directly improve the prospects for free and open dialogue on the platform, which appear to be Musk’s overarching reason for buying the company. As he has rightly said, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

Musk also recently tweeted, “By ‘free speech,’ I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law.” He is on the right track. Twitter should do what “matches the law” by modeling its policies after First Amendment standards.

Musk’s commitment is a breath of fresh air for those who value free speech. He seems to comprehend that free speech is essential to preserving a free society, and that social media has replaced the physical town square as the primary place for debate and expression.

So how should Musk practically implement his promise to improve free speech on Twitter? He should revise the platform’s policies based on the lessons of First Amendment case law — the world’s richest repository of practical wisdom on protecting free speech.

As a private company, Twitter is not legally obligated to follow the Constitution as a government actor would be. Nevertheless, the First Amendment’s legal protections are valuable guidelines for how private actors can help create a culture of free speech.

Here are two actions he can take that will directly improve the prospects for free and open debate and dialogue on the platform: One, eliminate private “speech codes” — policies that contain vague and imprecise terms that threaten free speech. Two, adopt a robust anti-censorship policy.

Step One: Eliminate Private Speech Codes

What are speech codes? They are rules that control the content of what people can or can’t say. In addition, these regulations commonly contain unclear and imprecise terms that give enforcement officials unbridled discretion to censor speech they don’t like.

In the First Amendment context, courts routinely strike down government speech codes because of the plain threat they pose to free speech. Unfortunately, these types of policies now proliferate on private social media platforms, including Twitter, and significantly contribute to the censorship problem in the digital public square.

Musk can spot speech codes by looking for vague or imprecise language — two tell-tale signs of looming censorship. One basic guideline on how to spot these problematic terms is to look for vague terms.

A term is vague if it (1) forces an individual of ordinary intelligence to guess at what it means, or (2) invites arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement due to a grant of unfettered discretion or lack of objective standards. Terms that lack clarity and grant broad discretionary powers to those in control threaten free speech because officials can use them to suppress whichever viewpoint they disfavor.

Another thing to look for is imprecise terms: A term is imprecise if it fails to narrowly target the specific harmful activity it is designed to prohibit. Imprecise terms imperil free speech because they reach beyond the harmful activity they purport to target and instead censor and chill speech.

Unclear Terms Allow Censorship

“Hate speech,” “hateful conduct,” “misinformation,” and “disinformation” are some of the most common terms in speech codes. They are also notoriously unclear and imprecise. Twitter has numerous policies containing these terms. Each of these terms is a threat to free speech because they can be wielded to silence any viewpoints those in authority choose.

Take, for example, how these policies affect the free exchange of ideas on the ongoing national debate over gender ideology and its effects on female athletics, privacy, religious freedom, and free speech. This issue is, borrowing from Musk’s words, a “matter vital to the future of humanity.” Yet time and again, Twitter’s policies have hampered the freedom of people to freely discuss this critical issue.

Specifically, Twitter has wielded its “hateful conduct” policy to censor or deplatform users on one side of this debate. Among other things, that policy says, “You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.” It also bars “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”

Prohibiting “hateful conduct” or “targeted harassment” is a noble objective. But, as applied to speech, Twitter’s speech code allows for disproportionate application and censorship. And that’s exactly what has happened.

Just Look at Twitter’s Recent History

For example, in late January 2021, Twitter locked out The Daily Citizen, a Christian news outlet, from its account for stating that one of President Joe Biden’s nominees is a man who identifies as a woman. The full tweet said: “On Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden announced that he had chosen Dr. Rachel Levine to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of HHS. Dr. Levine is a transgender woman, that is, a man who believes he is a woman.”

The tweet linked to an article on The Daily Citizen’s website. This tweet addressed a matter of dramatic importance — whether identifying as a woman is what makes a person a woman — and expressed the position that many reasonable people hold: that identity is not the only thing that makes someone a man or a woman.

The tweet neither expressed any hatred nor encouraged any violence toward Levine. Nevertheless, Twitter informed The Daily Citizen that the tweet violated its “hateful conduct” policy because it “promoted violence, threatened, or harassed” Levine. Twitter denied The Daily Citizen’s appeal and imposed a four-month ban.

Similarly, The Federalist’s Senior Editor John Daniel Davidson was locked out of his Twitter account for saying Levine was a man. Twitter refuses to unlock Davidson’s account unless he deletes the offending tweet, a common practice Twitter applies disproportionately to conservative commentators.

Bans on Transgender Discussion

Similarly, during the 2021 summer Olympics, Twitter banned several commentators for questioning Olympic rules that permit males to compete in women’s categories. For example, when New Zealand transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard exited the competition after failing all three attempts, Allie Beth Stuckey tweeted that “Laura [sic] Hubbard failing at the event doesn’t make his inclusion fair. He’s still a man, and men shouldn’t compete against women in weightlifting.”

In response to Stuckey’s 12-hour ban, Erick Erickson tweeted, “This is absurd. Laurel Hubbard is a man even if Twitter doesn’t like it.” He also received a 12-hour ban. Both times, Twitter invoked its “hateful conduct” policy.

More recently, Twitter has censored The Babylon Bee and U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler for expressing their views on gender identity ideology and its impact on women. These examples of viewpoint discrimination against high-profile users only scratch the surface of the distortion Twitter’s “hateful conduct” speech code does to Twitter’s “town square” in cyberspace.

‘Misinformation’ Policies Restrict Speech

The same free speech threats spring from policies barring so-called “misinformation” and “disinformation,” which have both been wielded to silence ongoing conversations about public health, gender identity ideology, voting integrity, and more. For example, one current Twitter policy defines “informational harm” as follows: “Harm that adversely impacts the ability for an individual to access information fundamental to exercising their rights, or that significantly disrupts the stability and/or safety of a social group or society including medical mis-information i.e. COVID-19.”

It’s difficult to imagine policy language that grants more discretion to restrict speech than the terms of this policy. There are no standards at all. The policy will inevitably be enforced based solely on Twitter employees’ subjective judgments about which views “impact the ability of a person to access information,” or “significantly disrupts the stability of society.” Those who control access to a speech forum, and what you are allowed to say, have no business wielding this kind of unchecked power over the exchange of ideas.

Twitter’s current policies fail to appreciate a critical First Amendment maxim: The answer to speech you don’t like is more speech, not censorship. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis wrote in a 1927 decision, “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

Thankfully, Musk appears fully cognizant of Twitter’s policies’ propensity to squelch free speech. He seems motivated to make good on Twitter’s promise “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information, and to express their opinions and beliefs without barriers.” To do so, he must eliminate Twitter’s speech codes, starting with the policies outlined above. Any essential limits on content should be shaped with surgical precision to give users clear notice of the boundaries and prevent employees’ biases from infecting their enforcement decisions.

Step Two: Adopt an Anti-censorship Policy

Musk should take one additional step to restore free speech on Twitter. He should adopt a policy that bars censorship and expressly states that it will not enforce any of its policies in a manner that restricts the free exchange of ideas. By doing so, he will provide his content moderation team a workable roadmap to implement his guiding free speech principles across the enterprise.

Here is model language Musk should consider for a new free speech policy:

Twitter does not discriminate against users, censor users or a user’s expression, or interfere with users’ ability to receive the expression of another based on the viewpoint of the user or another person, regardless of whether the viewpoint is expressed on the platform or through another medium.

No Twitter policies will be enforced in a manner that restricts expression on matters of public concern because of the expression’s viewpoint, even when some may find the expression offensive, hurtful, misguided, upsetting, or otherwise objectionable.

By following the steps outlined above, Musk can make important strides toward realizing his goal of aligning Twitter’s policies with First Amendment free speech protections.


Source

Interesting news from the Twitterverse

Interesting news from the Twitterverse


by Fabian Ubiquitus

I don’t usually spend much time on Twitter – usually just long enough to tweet an article and then I’m off.

But today I had a scroll down just looking at the tweets to get an idea of what’s going on over there in the parallel globalist universe of Twitterland.

Doing so I noticed a large number of tweets from “Democracy Now”. Attracted by the name I checked them out and discovered what appears to be a quite well funded “news” site that despite its pretentious name has less to do with democracy than relentlessly pushing the globalist narrative in every item thinly disguised in the traditional mainstream manner as “news”.

The interesting thing was that every tweet from this organisation got about 20-30 “likes”. This was a surprisingly small number.

I compared this with tweets from various people and groups of the “free thinking” or “freedom movement” persuasion, mostly amateur, challenging or disagreeing with the government/globalist narrative on various issues such as vaccines, censorship, war, the MIC, bodily autonomy, political corruption, corporate shenanigans etc etc.

Tweets of the “freedom movement”/protesting-against-the-government orientation were routinely getting “likes” in their hundreds or thousands – many many times the likes gotten by Democracy Now’s official narrative tweets.

This reminded me that various corporate interests and their government proxies are kicking up a fuss over Musk’s takeover of Twitter and his apparent intent to reduce the inordinate degree of censorship of dissenting voices and allowing some semblance of free debate.

In fact, from their reaction, allowing people to express and exchange ideas freely, suggests they think such free communication spells the end of civilisation as we know  it.

This is reflected in various other efforts to shut up people who disagree with whatever narrative the powers-that-be wish to spoon-feed us, demonise and vilify as “misinformation” any view that differs from the ordained orthodoxy and probably burn heretics at the stake if they thought they could get away with it.

I can see why what is happening on Twitter has them in a panic because it swiftly becomes apparent that “dissidents” are very large in number, much larger than they want us to know lest we become emboldened by discovering we number millions of by now very pissed off citizens.

At the same time it becomes evident that support for the official spin is much less than we have been given to believe.

I can understand why the globalist cult are terrified and desperately fighting a losing battle to prevent better ideas breaking  through. New and better ideas, more pro-survival and liberating paradigms are simmering just below the surface, just behind the thinning force screens of censorship.

The globalists CANNOT relax the censorship for fear that will let these ideas break through. So many of their narratives, such as viruses, vaccines, global warming, the smoke screen of complexity they call “economics”, the lies, the jiggery pokery and perpetual efforts to cow and subdue Man could not withstand free and open scrutiny and debate. They cannot relax their censorship because the truth threatens to break through the dam and sweep them away.

So they are scared and desperate and are fighting a losing battle to stifle questions, dissent and challenges to their “settled” but bogus science.

And they do not want us to discover how numerous and powerful we are.

>We are on the verge of a second renaissance, an explosion of new ideas and very real progress for mankind.

The globalists are doing their best to stop it but it is becoming evident that they cannot. The voices of freedom have, far from being subdued, grown far more numerous, confident and purposeful.



Visit People’s Media at Liberty Rising

www.strong-voices.net

This article is from UK Reloaded


••••

The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)

••••

Comment Policy: As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, or personal/abusive attacks on other users. This also applies to trolling, the use of more than one alias, or just intentional mischief. Enforcement of this policy is at the discretion of this websites administrators. Repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without prior warning.

••••

Disclaimer: TLB websites contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

••••

Disclaimer: The information and opinions shared are for informational purposes only including, but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material are not intended as medical advice or instruction. Nothing mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Source

Russian Priest Fined for Preaching Peace

Russian Priest Fined for Preaching Peace

Putin moves to squelch any murmurs of dissent against his invasion of Ukraine, trampling on religious freedom and free speech. Biden is not far behind.

Any and all in-country criticism of Putin’s aggression in Ukraine is now branded unlawful.

A new article under 20.3.3 of the Code of Administrative Offences allows Russian citizens to be fined between 30,000 and 50,000 roubles for speaking out against Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Left-leaning Human Rights Watch explains the fast-tracked laws impose ‘strict censorship,’ banning the use of terms ‘war’ or ‘invasion’.

State Control

The official political narrative authorised by the Kremlin is that its offensive in Ukraine is a “military peacekeeping operation.”

Newsweek understood Putin’s newspeak directive to include a ban on the distribution of information which is deemed to “discredit the use of the Russian Armed Forces.”

The Kremlin’s addition to 20.3.3 coincides with laws threatening Russians with up to 15 years in gaol for “spreading misinformation” — loosely defined as ‘anything that goes against Putin’s position on the way in Ukraine.’

PBS quoted Speaker of the Lower House Vyacheslav Volodin as stating,

“[These] rules will force those who lied and made statements discrediting our armed forces to bear very grave punishment. I want everyone to understand, and for society to understand, that we are doing this to protect our soldiers and officers, and to protect the truth.”

Kharkiv HR Protection Group added that the new article punishes:

‘Public actions [suspected of] discrediting the use of the Russian Federation armed forces to defend the interests of the Russian Federation and its citizens; the support of international peace and security.’

In other words, for the Russian bureaucratic caste, suppressing free speech is protecting the truth.

This places opponents of Putin’s bloodletting in Ukraine, particularly Christians, high up on the dissent suppression list.

Persecuted Priest

In early March, Kostroma police arrested Ioann (Viktor Valeryevich) Burdin, an Orthodox priest and rector of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in the village of Karabanovo.

Kostroma News recounted that Burdin was charged because of statements he made during a sermon in which he defended peace.

Burdin had also published an anti-war statement he had co-signed with Archpriest Georgy Edelstein.

Part of it reads:

“We Christians do not dare to stand aside when a brother kills a brother, a Christian kills a Christian. We cannot bashfully close our eyes and call black white, evil good, say that Abel was probably wrong when he provoked his older brother.”

Hinting at Burdin being on some form of watchlist, Kostroma News mentioned his solidarity with Russia’s political opposition.

The outspoken Russian Christian held a memorial service for Boris Nemstov in late February, a man the BBC described as “a fierce adversary of Putin.”

Nemstov was murdered in 2015.

Burdin told independent reporter Lew Nescott Jnr.

“I don’t consider it possible to remain silent on this situation. It wasn’t about politics. It was about the Bible. […] If I remain silent, I’m not a priest.”

Biden in Lockstep

Although there’s no hard link connecting the two, Russia’s new laws align with United States President Joe Biden’s Four Pillars against Domestic Terrorism.

Back in June 2021, the Democrat administration released its own plans for legislating a Putin-esque persecution by conflating domestic terrorism with “(systemic) racism”, bigotry, disinformation, and political polarisation.

Meaning: Biden’s administration is adding the Intersectional handbook for Critical Race Theory to how it fights the “war on terror.”

Putin’s anti-woke proclamations, much of which I agree with, are contradicted by the Russian leader’s propensity for borrowing the same cancel culture policy and procedures.

A report from Amnesty International in August 2021 depicted the regressive trend going against Russia’s civil liberties.

Pre-Putin’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Amnesty recalled how ‘peaceful street protests have come to be seen as a crime by state officials.’

They added,

‘Nine out of the 13 major legislative amendments that have been used to curtail the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in Russia have been introduced since 2014, as part of a crackdown on anti-government protests.’

This doesn’t paint Western far-left totalitarians as his political opponents — it paints them as his comrades in arms.

___

Photo: PortaLuz

Thank the Source

Biden: the State, the Media, and Misinformation

Biden: the State, the Media, and Misinformation

Biden’s new “Disinformation Governance Board” is the stuff of dystopian novels. How will his partisan government be able to provide objective “fact-checking” facilities? It is just a means to control the flow of information in accordance with the Democrats’ agenda.

When much of the media is about pushing agendas and taking partisan, ideological positions on what should be straight out objective news reporting, we are in trouble. When the state seeks to take control of the media, and launches an attack on the independent press, you know we are also headed for trouble.

But what happens when the state and the mainstream media end up happily in bed together, sharing the same ideological outlook and promoting the same radical agenda items? Then we are in massive trouble. This is the stuff of dystopian novels such as Nineteen Eighty Four. As Orwell presciently said in that 1949 book:

Do you realise that the past, starting from yesterday, has been actually abolished? … Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.

Infowars

Or as Andrew Breitbart somewhat more recently put it in his 2011 volume, Righteous Indignation:

Make no mistake: America is in a media war. It is an extension of the Cold War that never ended but shifted to an electronic front. The war between freedom and statism ended geographically when the Berlin Wall fell. But the existential battle never ceased. When the Soviet Union disintegrated, the battle simply took a different form. Instead of missiles the new weapon was language and education, and the international left had successfully constructed a global infrastructure to get its message out.

And Scott Powell in his 2022 book Rediscovering America put it like this:Rediscovering America book

Many assume that because the press is not state-controlled in the US, there is a long way to go before the American government has the power of Orwell’s Big Brother.

But what if the universities and the educational system and the major television and print media institutions embrace the groupthink that ingratiates them with the ruling elite and deep state?

What if the culture shapers in Hollywood and the advertising industry on Madison Avenue follow a similar path in participating in and reinforcing the same groupthink norms?

What if the rise of social media promotes a kind of groupthink conformity that effectively marginalizes and silences opposing views?

Propaganda may actually be more effective in America than in totalitarian societies because of the power of repetitive messaging — the key integral means and essence of brainwashing — from ostensibly separate private media sources within the United States. Citizens in totalitarian societies aren’t as easily fooled because they know that the government controls the media and all its messaging.

State Control

That is now where we seem to be heading in the West. In America in particular, an ominous new development from the Biden Administration may well mean we must dig out our copies of Nineteen Eighty Four and read it again. This has to do with a soon to be created Disinformation Governance Board by the Department of Homeland Security.

Ostensibly it is to be about monitoring and surveying misinformation and disinformation coming in from overseas. Hmm, what could possibly go wrong? One meme making the rounds shows a “pregnant man” emoji saying, “We must stop disinformation.”

Two pieces in the Wall Street Journal sounded the alarm on this. Its editorial board said this in part:

The concern isn’t that the board will spy on Americans. The problem is that this new board may choose to play the role of national fact checker, a kind of government PolitiFact. They’ll look down from Mt. Washington at this or that statement and vouchsafe to the masses what is true and what is false.

No doubt there’s some utility in telling migrants from Haiti that they will be deported if they seek to cross the Mexican border into the U.S. And there may be a need for someone in government to monitor and rebut Russian or Chinese propaganda.

But does anyone think this board will limit itself to foreign falsehoods? The temptation will be great to address issues that are part of America’s raucous domestic political debate. All the more so given that the disinformation board’s first executive director is reported to be Nina Jankowicz, whose partisan footprints are all over social media. She can be seen on TikTok singing her own highly partisan adapted lyrics to the tune of a “Mary Poppins” song. (What did Julie Andrews do to deserve that?)

Mr. Mayorkas’s intentions may be nonpartisan, but refereeing political debate isn’t the government’s job. Leave that to the free exchange of ideas in the public square. The Disinformation Governance Board will promote more mistrust than it prevents.

Alarm Bells

Roger Koppl said this:

By creating the DGB, the U.S. government is creating a crisis monitor with the dial permanently set to “existential threat.” No one inside the board will have the incentive — or the courage — to dial it down. The dangers of the DGB will be amplified if it becomes the tool of partisan political actors. And it already has.

Executive director Nina Jankowicz, who once described Hunter Biden’s laptop as “a Trump campaign product,” has written that America’s “information landscape” includes “declining trust in the media, fed by the Trump administration’s relentless attacks on the fourth estate.”

She has said: “Unless we mitigate our own political polarization, our own internal issues, we will continue to be an easy target for any malign actor — Russian or Iranian, foreign or domestic — to manipulate.”

Yes, you read that right. We must all fall in line because of the many grave threats — domestic as well as foreign — out there. Incorrect political opinions become a national-security threat. The DGB already looks frighteningly similar to the KGB.

Others have expressed their concerns. For example, Brian S. Brown of the National Organization for Marriage put it this way:

If you look at the calendar you might think that we’re in the year 2022. Actually, it appears that we’re living in 1984 and fulfilling George Orwell’s predictions of a dystopian society. The latest evidence of this is the “Disinformation Governance Board” that Joe Biden has authorized be created in the Department of Homeland Security ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

What will the Biden Administration consider to be “disinformation?” The woman selected to head the new department is a hard-core leftist who once declared that the Hunter Biden laptop story was a Trump-inspired hoax. We don’t know what their immediate targets for suppression might be in coming months, but we do know that it will be in furtherance of a hard-left political ideology. One set of issues high on the priority list is likely to be any critical discussion of the LGBT agenda. Biden is already pushing legislation to make the demonstration of support for traditional marriage a “sex stereotype” that could lead to ruinous lawsuits and punishment. Biden is also aggressively pushing the lie that gender-confused children can “change” their gender and government employees should encourage this even if they have to do it behind parents’ backs.

Yes, this is all very worrying indeed. Things are bad enough when you have the secular left Tech Giants deciding that they must monitor and control what information we get. Most of us have already fallen victim to their censorship and propaganda. Biden and the Democrats will simply make all this much worse.

Let me finish with another quote from Orwell: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” When the State gets in the business of telling people what they are allowed to hear, see and read, then we have reached a very scary place indeed.

___

Originally published at CultureWatch. Photo by Werner Pfennig.

Thank the Source

Twitter Lost Its Way On Free Speech Right When Donald Trump Entered National Politics

Twitter Lost Its Way On Free Speech Right When Donald Trump Entered National Politics

In the wake of Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, many commentators bemoaned Musk’s promises to end censorship on the platform. In so doing, these writers have spun a revisionist narrative. It alleges that, after 2016, Twitter nobly attempted to engage in responsible, politically neutral “content moderation” aimed narrowly at preventing threats and harassment. But now, supposedly, Musk’s purchase threatens to undo the platform’s “progress” in enhancing “user safety” and promoting civility.

This narrative, however, is baseless. In reality, Twitter’s practices and public statements on free speech changed dramatically around 2016, from a position of stringently defending the free speech rights of its users to bemoaning the entire concept. Indeed, Twitter’s post-2016 efforts at “content moderation” have been shot through with political bias, both at the policy and enforcement level.

Until about five years ago, Twitter took a nearly absolutist position in defending the free expression of its users and disavowing censorship of any sort — one similar to the position taken by Musk today. At the policy level, Twitter promised its users that “we do not actively monitor user’s content and will not censor user content, except in limited circumstances” such as impersonation, violation of trademark or copyright, or “direct, specific threats of violence against others.”

Twitter’s public statements were likewise unequivocal. In 2012, Twitter’s then-vice president declared, “We are the free speech wing of the free speech party.” Twitter’s chief legal officer stated that same year, “We should not and cannot be in the business of proactively monitoring and flagging content, no matter who the user is.”

Twitter fought compliance with even criminal subpoenas seeking user posts, and The New York Times said the company “has deftly built something of a reputation for protecting free speech, even unpopular speech.” The Times praised Twitter for sticking to its “principles,” noting that “other companies” like Yahoo and Google had “repeatedly stumbled on issues of free speech and privacy,” such as by compromising user anonymity, which “can endanger dissidents and others with unpopular opinions.”

The Shift Began in Late 2015

Twitter’s rhetoric began to change, however, in late 2015. In December 2015, Twitter unveiled its first “hateful conduct policy,” prohibiting users from “promot[ing] violence against or directly attack[ing] or threaten[ing] other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.” Twitter emphasized that it still sought to promote freedom of speech, but that abuse and harassment can prevent people from speaking out.

It soon became clear, however, that Twitter’s new censorship efforts would be slanted against conservatives. On February 9, 2016, Twitter announced it was creating the “Trust and Safety Council,” which it billed as “a new and foundational part of our strategy to ensure that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter.” The council included left-wing groups such as the Anti-Defamation League and Feminist Frequency, but no free speech advocates or right-of-center voices.

In 2017 and again in 2018, Twitter made major additions to its hateful content policy. Twitter’s 2018 revision, for example, tripled the policy in length and explicitly built in political bias by including a controversial ban against “misgendering,” which was eventually used to censor The Babylon Bee and Tucker Carlson. This new policy effectively censored the expression of the widely held political viewpoint that an individual’s gender is determined by his sex at birth.

The promulgation of new policies came with the permanent banning of many prominent right-wing accounts but of virtually no liberals. Indeed, Twitter’s account bans targeted conservatives almost exclusively. Of the 22 prominent individuals permanently banned by Twitter between 2015 and early 2019, 21 were supporters of Donald Trump.

Disavowing Neutrality and Free Speech

Beginning in 2017, amid the fallout from Brexit and Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election, Twitter began to publicly disavow its past defense of free speech. Sinead McSweeney, a Twitter vice president, testified before British Parliament in December 2017, “I look back over last five and a half years, and the answers I would have given to some of these questions five years ago were very different.”

Back then, she explained, “Twitter was in a place where it believed the most effective antidote to bad speech was good speech. It was very much a John Stuart Mill-style philosophy.” But the company had “realized the world we live in has changed. We’ve had to go on a journey with it, and we’ve realized it’s no longer possible to stand up for all speech in the hopes society will become a better place because racism will be challenged, or homophobia challenged, or extremism will be challenged.”

Similarly, Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, declared in early 2019, “I don’t believe that we can afford to take a neutral stance anymore. I don’t believe that we should optimize for neutrality.”

Twitter’s bias grew even more pronounced after 2019. It culminated in Twitter’s coordinated suppression of reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop just before the 2020 election, which Dorsey later admitted was “wrong,” and its ban of President Trump in January 2021. The latter was ostensibly for Trump’s comment that he would not attend President Biden’s inauguration, which Twitter characterized  (absurdly) as a “glorification of violence that could inspire others to replicate violent acts.”

In short, Twitter’s stepped-up efforts at “content moderation” post-2016 were not neutral attempts to purge the platform of abuse. Instead, they were nakedly political efforts to control public discourse by selectively banning viewpoints, users, and news articles.

And the company’s post-2016 censorship efforts marked an open break with the company’s previous vigorous defense of free speech as its core value. Indeed, it was under the banner of “free speech” that Twitter at first grew into an unprecedented public forum for global communication and attracted a critical mass of users.

Twitter’s recent struggles to attract new users and revenue, and its subsequent purchase by Musk, reflect justified frustration at heavy-handed and biased censorship practices — not an unfortunate break with a noble experiment in “content moderation.”


Noah Peters is an attorney in Washington, D.C.

Source

An Easy Way For Musk To Restore Free Speech On Twitter

An Easy Way For Musk To Restore Free Speech On Twitter


An Easy Way For Musk To Restore Free Speech On Twitter

The First Amendment Option

By Jonathan Turley

Twitter Logo

Below is my column in the Hill on one way for Elon Musk to re-introduce free speech values on his newly acquired social media platform. Pro-censorship advocates like former President Barack Obama may have given Musk a roadmap for restoring free speech on Twitter.

Here is the column:

For free speech advocates, Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter could prove the most impactful event since Twitter’s founding in 2006. The question, however, is how Musk can accomplish his lofty goal of restoring free speech values to social media. He first would have to untie the Gordian knot of censorship in a company now synonymous with speech control. The answer may be simpler than most people think. Indeed, anti-free-speech figures in the country may have given Musk the very roadmap he’s looking for: the First Amendment.

The purchase of Twitter alone will have immediate and transformative changes for free speech. The control over speech on social media required a unified front. Free speech is like water, it tends to find a way out. With social media, there was no way out because of the unified front of companies like Google, Apple and Facebook. Facebook is actually running commercials trying to convince people to embrace their own censorship. This message was reinforced by Democratic leaders like President Biden, who demanded that these companies expand censorship and curtail access to harmful viewpoints.

Now this market has one major competitor selling a free speech product.

The fear is that Musk might be proven right and that Twitter could become larger and more profitable by allowing more free speech. Facebook has not had much success in convincing customers to embrace censorship, but it may find shareholders wondering why the Facebook board (like the Twitter board) is undermining its own product as a communications company committed to limited speech.

Another immediate change could be the forced exodus of a line of ardent censors from the company, with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal (hopefully) at the head of line. Agrawal is one of the most anti-free-speech figures in Big Tech. After taking over as CEO, Agrawal quickly made clear that he wanted to steer the company beyond free speech and that the issue is not who can speak but “who can be heard.”

However, once such figures are removed from Twitter, the question is how to re-establish a culture of free speech.

The answer may be in the very distinction used by Democratic politicians and pundits to justify corporate censorship.

For years, anti-free-speech figures have dismissed free speech objections to social media censorship by stressing that the First Amendment applies only to the government, not private companies.

The distinction was always a dishonest effort to evade the implications of speech controls, whether implemented by the government or corporations. The First Amendment was never the exclusive definition of free speech. Free speech is viewed by many of us as a human right; the First Amendment only deals with one source for limiting it. Free speech can be undermined by private corporations as well as government agencies. This threat is even greater when politicians openly use corporations to achieve indirectly what they cannot achieve directly.

Corporations clearly have free speech rights. Ironically, Democrats have long opposed such rights for companies, but they embrace such rights when it comes to censorship. The Democratic Party embraced corporate governance of free speech once these companies aligned themselves with their political agenda. Starbucks and every other company have every right to pursue a woke agenda. Social media companies, however, sell communications, not coffee. They should be in the business of free speech.

Democrats have continued to treat the First Amendment as synonymous with free speech, as a way to justify greater censorship.

Just last week, former President Barack Obama spoke at Stanford to flog this false line. Obama started by declaring himself, against every indication to the contrary, to be “pretty close to a First Amendment absolutist.” He then called for the censorship of anything that he considered “disinformation,” including “lies, conspiracy theories, junk science, quackery, racist tracts and misogynist screeds.”

He was able to do that by emphasizing that “The First Amendment is a check on the power of the state. It doesn’t apply to private companies like Facebook or Twitter.”

Well, what if it did?

The Constitution does not impose the same standard on Twitter — but Musk could. He could order a new Twitter team to err on the side of free speech while utilizing First Amendment standards to maximize protections on the platform. In other words, if the government could not censor a tweet, Twitter would not do so.

The key to such an approach is not to treat Twitter as akin to “government speech,” a category where the government has allowed major speech controls. Rather, tweets are very much as Musk has described them: akin to speech in “the digital town square.” If the government could not stop someone from speaking in a public forum like a town square, Twitter should not do so through private means.

The value to tying private speech to First Amendment jurisprudence is that there is a steady array of cases illuminating this standard and its applications.

Such a rule would admittedly allow a large array of offensive and objectionable speech — just as the First Amendment does in a public square. That is the price of free speech.

This is, admittedly, not a perfect fit. Twitter needs to protect itself from civil liability in the form of trademark, copyright and other violations in the use of its platforms. Moreover, most sites (including my own blog) delete racist and offensive terms. That can be done through standard moderation systems or, preferably, optional filters for users to adopt on Twitter. There are also standard rules against doxxing as well as personal threats or privacy violations.

Social media companies long had these limitations before plunging headlong into the type of content-based speech regulations made infamous by Twitter. Musk can use the baseline of the First Amendment with these limited augmentations to re-create the type of relatively open forums that once characterized the internet.

I have long admitted to being a type of “internet originalist” who prefers precisely the digital town square concept embraced by Musk. Adopting the First Amendment standards would create a foundation for free speech that can be tweaked to accommodate narrow, well-defined limitations.

The greatest challenge is not the restoration of free speech but the retention of such a site.

Notably, figures like Hillary Clinton have suddenly turned from advocating corporate censorship to calling for good old-fashioned state censorship. Last week, Clinton called on the European Union to pass the Digital Services Act (DSA), a massive censorship measure that has received preliminary approval. Coming after Musk’s bid for Twitter, Clinton and others now want to use European countries to offer the same circumvention of the First Amendment. Rather than use a corporate surrogate, they would use an alternative state surrogate to force Twitter to censor content or face stiff penalties in Europe.

Musk will have to fight that battle when it comes. In the interim, he can rally the public, as he did Twitter shareholders, to the cause of free speech.

*********

(TLB) published this article from Jonathan Turley with our appreciation for this  perspective. 

Header featured image/credit: The Choice is Yours/Birds/ nationandstate.com/ 2022/04/28/the-first-amendment-option


unnamed-1

Bio

Professor Jonathan Turley is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law. He has written over three dozen academic articles that have appeared in a variety of leading law journals at Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Northwestern, University of Chicago, and other schools.

After a stint at Tulane Law School, Professor Turley joined the George Washington faculty in 1990 and, in 1998, was given the prestigious Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law, the youngest chaired professor in the school’s history. In addition to his extensive publications, Professor Turley has served as counsel in some of the most notable cases in the last two decades including the representation of whistleblowers, military personnel, judges, members of Congress, and a wide range of other clients.

Continue reading Bio…

••••

••••

Stay tuned to …

••••

The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)

••••

Comment Policy: As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, or personal/abusive attacks on other users. This also applies to trolling, the use of more than one alias, or just intentional mischief. Enforcement of this policy is at the discretion of this websites administrators. Repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without prior warning.

••••

Disclaimer: TLB websites contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

••••

Disclaimer: The information and opinions shared are for informational purposes only including, but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material are not intended as medical advice or instruction. Nothing mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Share this…
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Source

error

Please help truthPeep spread the word :)