Jenna Ellis: Congress needs to ‘get off their butts’ and tackle Sec. 230

October 23, 2020

Constitutional Law Attorney, Senior Legal Adviser to the Trump Campaign, and Counsel to the President Jenna Ellis emphasized the need for Congress to act and fast to tackle big tech censorship, during Thursday’s episode of “The Sara Carter Show.” Ellis explained to host Sara A. Carter that social media companies have gone too far and act as publishers by censoring users, such as the President and prominent media outlets and reporters.

The only way to fix the problem, Ellis said, is to have the U.S. government intervene and fix Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which states that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

In recent months, just ahead of the November 2020 presidential election, social media companies like Twitter and Facebook have censored users. For example, it seems like every time the President tweets about mail-in voting being fraudulent, Twitter issues a warning or clarification to his tweets.

“What needs to happen is that Congress absolutely has to act, they need to get off their butts, they need to do something about this,” she told Carter. “And they need to make sure that section 230 whether or not it’s repealed, does not apply. And that’s where there has to be a whether it’s you know, it’s a class action or whether you know, it’s an individual plaintiff, who will actually go into court and say, Judge, look, they are acting like a publisher in this regard, because their term their use and Terms of Service are not being applied.”

The New York Post’s recent reporting on Hunter Biden’s alleged shady foreign business dealings has been censored by the platform as well. In fact, many accounts that shared the reports including that of the White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s were suspended.

The issue pushed the Senate Judiciary Committee this week to issue subpoenas to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.

Ellis added of Twitter’s actions, “It’s discriminatory enforcement. And it has a chilling effect on speech because they are acting as a publisher, not a platform. And so big tech is going to have to choose Do you want censorship like you can with a publisher? Or do you want section 230 immunity? You should not be able to have both under the law.”

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BuzzFeed Peddles Baseless Claim To Delegitimize Hunter Biden Emails As ‘Stolen’

BuzzFeed peddled disinformation of its own Thursday when it claimed emails published by the New York Post last week implicating Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in his son’s potentially criminal overseas business activity were stolen.

The emails published contradict Biden’s repeated denials of ever discussing business with his son, Hunter, “or with anyone else,” and show Biden stood to personally rake in millions from businessmen with deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party with Hunter serving as the conduit.

“For two weeks Trump and his supporters have latched onto the narrative with new vigor,” BuzzFeed reported, “enabled in part by the opinion sections of Rupert Murdoch’s two main US newspapers – that involves stolen emails and screenshots of screenshots of DMs of questionable provenance.”

The only evidence the authors cite to claim the emails were stolen however, is a link to another BuzzFeed story explaining that Twitter censored the Post’s blockbuster reporting over violations of company guidelines governing the publication of hacked content.

Contrary to Twitter’s claims, there’s nothing to suggest at this point the laptop was stolen. The Post reported in its first bombshell story that the laptop came into its possession after it was declared abandoned property at a computer repair shop in Delaware. The store owner told the Post it was dropped off in April 2019 and the owner, suspected to be Hunter Biden, never paid for the service or came to retrieve the computer. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Fox News he found the hard drive at the store in Delaware after its owner contacted an associate and in turn, gave it to the Post.

“The gentleman who was repairing the hard drive — and Hunter Biden abandoned it,” Giuliani said, referring to store owner John Paul Mac Isaac. “He [Hunter Biden] may very well have forgotten where he left it for a while, because the gentlemen who got it said he [Hunter] was drunk for the entire time that he dealt with him, and he dealt with him twice.”

Hunter Biden has long been public about his struggles with drug addiction.

“When he [Isaac] stopped hearing from the FBI, Isaac said he contacted several members of Congress, who did not respond. At that point, his intermediary reached out to Rudy Giuliani’s attorney, Robert Costello,” Fox News reported.

The FBI later seized the laptop in December after the owner told the authorities of its existence. At the time, Hunter Biden was facing scrutiny over the course of the president’s impeachment proceedings for holding lucrative positions in Ukraine while his father served as the Obama White House’s “public face” of the administration’s dealings with the eastern European ally.

On Wednesday, Fox News reported that the recovered laptop was seized by the FBI as part of a federal investigation into money laundering.

The Biden campaign has yet to dispute the authenticity of the now-public emails. It has only chalked up the published material as Russian disinformation, which has been debunked by the FBI, the Department of Justice, the Department of National Intelligence, and the Department of State.

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If the laptop was stolen, Facebook and Twitter’s censorship of the Post’s reporting still remains inconsistent.

Here are 11 other hacks, leaks and hoaxes outlined by Federalist Executive Editor Joy Pullmann that Twitter and Facebook didn’t censor.

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Joe Biden: ‘America Was an Idea’

“America was an idea.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted that statement Wednesday evening, describing the country he wishes to lead — in the past tense.

The full text of the tweet reads: “America was an idea. We’ve never lived up to it but we’ve never walked away from it before.”

Biden included a link to a podcast interview with Brené Brown, and an audio clip in which he repeated the same message — “America was an idea”:

America was an idea, an idea. “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” We’ve never lived up to it, but we’ve never walked away from it before, and I just think we have to be more honest. Let our kids know, as we raise them, what actually did happen. Acknowledge our mistakes, so we don’t repeat them.

Biden’s words were a re-hash of his stump speech — with some important modifications.

For two years, Biden has cited the Declaration of Independence on the campaign trail, arguing that while ours has never been a truly equal society, we have never given up trying to make it so.

In his campaign launch video, for example, Biden said:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” We’ve heard it so often, it’s almost a cliché. But it’s who we are. We haven’t always lived up to these ideals; Jefferson himself didn’t. But we have never before walked away from them.

Biden has sometimes added “men and women” to the text of the Declaration, and has occasionally forgotten it altogether (“you know, you know the thing“).

But what is new in Biden’s tweet is his emphasis on America’s mistakes — echoing his recent refrains about “systemic racism,” apparently an attempt to identify with the left-wing protests of the last several months.

President Donald Trump has sought to draw a contrast with Biden on this point, adding a line to his recent speeches: “The Democrat party is ashamed of America. The Republican party is proud of America, and that’s a big difference.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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Twitter Changes Retweet Functionality to Add ‘Friction’ Before Election

Social media site Twitter is reportedly altering how retweets work on its platform ahead of the November presidential election in an attempt to prevent the spread of what it considers “misinformation” on the platform. The company hopes that adding “friction,” or extra clicks, will slow down the virality of content like the New York Post Biden bombshells the company clumsily censored last week.

The Verge reports that social media giant Twitter is altering how retweets on its platform work ahead of the November 3 presidential election in an attempt to prevent the spread of “misinformation.” From today, when users click or tap the retweet icon, Twitter will automatically pull up the Quote Tweet composer to encourage users to write something about the tweet before sharing it. Tech companies call this “friction,” additional steps that slow down or disrupt the user experience.

Users don’t have to write anything if they don’t want to, but Twitter is hoping that by introducing an extra step into the retweet process, users might consider exactly what they’re retweeting or decide to take the opportunity to add their own perspective. It is a blatant attempt to slow down the virality of tweets the company doesn’t like, such as President Donald Trump’s posts, or the spread of the New York Post‘s Biden bombshells.  Twitter’s outright censorship of the Post failed, with the MIT Technology Review finding that the censorship actually doubled the articles’ attention on the platform.

Twitter also plans to stop showing “liked by” or “followed by” recommendations from people that users don’t follow and the trends box will only show trends with “additional context.” Like the change to retweets, these changes will also impair Twitter’s traditional user experience, which may prove troubling for advertisers and shareholders.

The changes will be in place from today until at least the end of election week in the United States.

The New York Post recently reported that Twitter’s executives and employees appear to have a long history of anti-Trump bias according to a review of dozens of accounts. Breitbart News recently reported on the New York Post’s bombshell story that indicated that Joe Biden may have met with an adviser to the board of Burisma while he was Vice President, arranged by his son Hunter, who was working as a lobbyist for the company at the time. Joe Biden has previously said, “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”

However, the leaked emails appear to show that Hunter introduced his father to a Bursima executive less than a year before Biden, acting as Vice President, pressured the Ukrainian government into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company. Shortly after the story broke, many found themselves having trouble sharing it across social media. This censorship comes just weeks after executives from both Facebook and Twitter joined the Biden transition team.

The Post‘s Twitter account is still banned for sharing the story more than four days since it broke. The Post has since examined the Twitter profiles of a number of Twitter employees and discovered a long-running theme of anti-Trump bias. The Post claims that on August 18, a senior site reliability engineer at Twitter wrote: “GET HIM OUT… What a f–king baboon,” in relation to President Trump.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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Twitter Is Nuking Retweets Until After The Election

Twitter is temporarily changing how users can retweet during the final stretch of the election, a move which the company says will discourage the spread of false information. The website changes announced on Oct. 9 are being implemented less than a week after the platform began suppressing blockbuster reporting from the New York Post publishing compromising information of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Starting Tuesday, users who go to retweet will instead by taken to the “Quote Tweet” box prompting users to comment on the content being re-posted on their own feeds.

“Though this adds some extra friction for those who simply want to Retweet, we hope it will encourage everyone to not only consider why they are amplifying a Tweet, but also increase the likelihood that people add their own thoughts, reactions and perspectives to the conversation,” the company explained.

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Users can still retweet if they simply post re-publish the post without typing any additional comments where prompted.

Twitter says the new change will remain in place until at least the end of election week in November.

Meanwhile, the Twitter account for the New York Post is still locked six days after breaking major news that expanded the public scope of former Vice President Joe Biden’s growing web of conflicts while serving at the upper echelons of government.

According to emails published by the Post obtained from a laptop found at a Delaware computer repair shop, Biden repeatedly lied about never having discussed his son Hunter’s overseas business ventures with either Hunter, “or with anyone else.” Correspondence shows however, that Hunter actually introduced his vice president father to a senior advisor to the Ukrainian energy company showering Hunter Biden with upwards of $50,000 a month in excess compensation.

Subsequent reporting from the Post, and confirmed by Fox News, showed Chinese businessmen with deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party were preparing to offer Hunter Biden $10 million a year for “introductions alone,” 10 percent of which would be funneled to Joe Biden.

While Twitter joined Facebook in weaponizing their platform monopoly power over the 21st century digital public square to suppress the Post’s bombshell reporting and of others, Democrats have continued to spread misinformation freely on Twitter.

A new study from the Media Research Center out Monday showed Twitter and Facebook censored President Donald Trump and the president’s affiliated campaign accounts at least 65 times in the last two years, while leaving Biden untouched.

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Will Joe Biden Get Any Questions In The Final Debate About Hunter Biden’s Foreign Pay For Play?

The supposedly independent Commission on Presidential Debates unveiled the topics for Thursday night’s primetime match-up. The topics were announced late last week after a series of bombshell revelations from the New York Post expanded public knowledge of the Biden family’s corrupt overseas business activity while in the upper echelons of U.S. government.

The debate, moderated by NBC’s Kristen Welker — who celebrated Christmas with the Obamas and whose family has donated thousands to Democrats including Joe Biden — will feature questions on “Fighting COVID-19,” “American Families,” “Race in America,” “Climate Change,” “National Security,” and “Leadership.”

After former Clinton White House Communications Director George Stephanopoulos refused to ask Biden a single question during ABC’s town hall last week about the fresh evidence implicating the former vice president in his son’s foreign business dealings, one has to wonder if the Democratic candidate already being protected by big tech, legacy media, and the debate commission will be forced to finally address the controversy.

On Wednesday, the New York Post dropped its first round of blockbuster reporting that revealed incriminating evidence against the former vice president on a laptop suspected of belonging to Hunter Biden obtained from a computer repair shop in Delaware.

Emails published by the Post show Joe Biden lied when he claimed repeatedly that he never spoke business with his son, “or with anyone else.” Now-public correspondence shows that Hunter Biden introduced his vice president father to a senior adviser for Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company where Hunter served on the board. Hunter had no prior experience in the industry yet received upwards of $50,000 a month in excess compensation.

“Thank you for inviting me to DC and giving me an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together,” Burisma consultant Vadym Pozharskyi wrote to Hunter, whose father at the time was the “public face” of the Obama administration’s policy towards Ukraine.

Twitter and Facebook immediately weaponized their monopolistic power over the 21st-century public square to suppress the story.

On Thursday, the New York Post dropped round two of their reporting on content found in the computer that showed Hunter Biden stood to rake in $10 million a year for “introductions alone,” from a Chinese businessman with deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party. The story was, of course, subjected to big tech censorship again.

The debate commission revealed its debate topics the next day. Foreign policy, which the Trump campaign claims had been the previously agreed focus following internal deliberations with Team Biden and the debate commission, wasn’t among them.

Trump Campaign Manager Bill Stepein demanded the commission feature foreign policy as a primary topic for Thursday night’s event. That has become custom for the third presidential debate, although this week’s is technically the second to actually occur, after last week’s was canceled.

“We write with great concern over the announced topics for what was always billed as the ‘Foreign Policy Debate,’ in a series of events agreed to by both the Trump campaign and the Biden campaign many months ago,” Stepein wrote, noting that many of the topics on the next debate’s docket had already been addressed at length in the first debate moderated by Chris Wallace. “For the good of campaign integrity, and for the benefit of the American people, we urge you to rethink and reissue a set of topics for the October 22 debate, with an emphasis on foreign policy.”

It’s unlikely they will, given that the commission run entirely by Biden supporters has already been making decisions to the Democrat’s benefit such as flanking Trump with demands for a virtual debate that ultimately ended in canceling it. The second debate was also supposed to be moderated by a former Biden intern who exposed his own bias on Twitter when he publicly consulted fired former Trump White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, now a vocal NeverTrumper, on how to handle the president.

Scully initially claimed he was hacked before admitting it was a lie a week later. C-SPAN suspended Scully indefinitely. The town halls that took place instead paraded Biden supporters as “undecided voters,” and each failed to offer substantive dialogue on American foreign policy from the candidates, a major area of success for the Trump administration. Trump has brokered Middle East treaties culminating in the explosion of peace in the region.

Whether Biden will be pressed on Hunter Biden Thursday night is certain. The Trump campaign has already promised it. Whether it comes from the debate moderator as it should, however, remains the open question. Whether the moderator will step in to protect Joe Biden on stage remains an even bigger one.

When the Democratic nominee was finally pressed on the charges of corruption now plaguing his campaign, at least from conservative media reporting what legacy media has attempted to delegitimize despite hyping up the pee tape Steele dossier, Biden lashed out at the press, calling the report a smear campaign.

“I have no response,” Biden said. “It’s another smear campaign, right up your alley.”

With new allegations of corruption roiling the campaign, reporters reverted to softball coverage, asking Biden what kind of ice cream he got on Sunday.

One could easily imagine how the same reporters would behave if the roles were reversed and it was Trump exiting the North Carolina food joint while facing the same kind of accusations.

Possibly to avoid any more questions about the content revealed on his son’s laptop, the Biden campaign called a 72-hour cessation of campaigning Monday while not disputing the authenticity of the reported emails.

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Chris Wallace Just Finally Admitted

Chris Wallace

Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday,” spoke with the podcast “Fox News Rundown” on Friday about reports of Facebook and Twitter restricting their users from sharing a series of New York Post articles discussing Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings.

Chris Wallace stated that censorship of the stories by the big tech platforms reminds him of Big Brother, a reference to George Orwell’s book 1984.

“I’ve got a real problem with that. I think you’re either in or you’re out. And when I say that, either it’s the Wild West and you post everything — and I can understand the concern about that after what happened in 2016 with Russian disinformation — or you put everything out there and if you have a problem with some of it …

then put a word on there to your users and say, ‘We can’t confirm this story’ or ‘There’s some questions with this story.’ But to just ban it and to say, ‘Nobody is allowed to discuss this story or post this story’ — which, you know, is out there and you can’t put the genie back in the bottle, it was the front page of the New York Post — really strikes me as smacking of Big Brother,” Wallace said.

On Wednesday, the New York Post reported that it had obtained emails from a laptop that reportedly belonged to Hunter Biden. The laptop was allegedly abandoned at a computer repair shop in Delaware.

One of the many emails discovered on the laptop indicated that Hunter Biden had introduced an executive from the Ukrainian energy firm which he was on the board of, Burisma Holdings, to his father Joe Biden, who was the vice president of the United States at the time. Joe Biden has repeatedly denied that he has ever discussed his son’s overseas business dealings with him, and the Biden campaign has denied any formal meeting with the executive took place.

Immediately after the first New York Post article was published, Facebook Policy Communications Director and former Democratic congressional staffer Andy Stone announced that Facebook would be “reducing its distribution on our platform.”

Twitter followed Facebook’s lead, and began blocking users from sharing the Post story, citing a violation of the platform’s “Hacked Materials Policy.”

On Friday, Chris Wallace said the actions of these big tech platforms had “backfired because… it has created not just a story about the story, but a story about how big [social] media giants are.”

The Fox News host also went on to describe the Post report as “very sketchy.”

“Not saying it’s not true, but it seems to me it needs a lot of investigation. The guy who ran the computer store is supposedly legally blind, he’s not sure who even came in with the computers. He says that, although the story keeps changing, that he gave it to the FBI last December. But, you know, they’re not confirming that,” he continued.

“Now, he’s saying that he gave it to Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer. Rudy Giuliani is not the most independent source on all this stuff. So I think it’s absolutely worth investigating, but I’m not sure I’d even go with it at this point,” Wallace added.

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Trump Campaign: 11 Questions The Media Must Ask Joe Biden About Hunter Biden ‘Selling Access’

Tim Murtaugh, the spokesperson for President Donald Trump’s campaign, said Sunday that the news media should ask Democratic rival Joe Biden “red, flashing, glaring” questions about allegations about his son, Hunter Biden, “selling access.”

Murtaugh noted that the Biden campaign had not denied the substance of reports that Hunter Biden had arranged meetings between his business partners in Ukraine and China and with then-Vice President Biden.

The reports have been based on emails purportedly discovered on a laptop abandoned at a repair shop in Delaware, and subsequently reported by the New York Post and others; and emails shared independently with Breitbart News by one of Hunter Biden’s former partners.

Biden is reported to have met with an adviser to the corrupt Ukrainian energy company, Burisma; and with executives from the China Entrepreneur Club (CEC), including Chinese billionaires and Chinese Communist Party loyalists.

The Biden campaign “does not dispute the authenticity of these emails nor do they dispute that the laptops these emails came from” belonged to Hunter Biden, Murtaugh said.
He argued that the emails showed that Joe Biden lied when he said: “I have never discussed, with my son or my brother or with anyone else, anything having to do with their businesses. Period.”

Murtaugh added that Biden had not denied any of the allegations.

“The lone exception is to say that no such meeting [with Burisma] appeared on Joe Biden’s official schedule at the time. This explanation is a joke, and it’s embarrassing to the Biden campaign that this is the best they can do.”

He noted that the Biden campaign had told Politico that it could not rule out that such a meeting might have taken place. And he noted a report in Fox News about emails that discussed 10% of one deal being set aside for someone called the “big guy.”
Murtaugh also noted that the one time a mainstream media reporter asked Biden about the allegations, Biden attacked him.

Nevertheless, Murtaugh argued, journalists covering the Biden campaign had a duty to ask him the following questions:

  1. Did Hunter drop off this laptop at that repair show in Delaware?
  2. Does the laptop belong to Hunter Biden?
  3. Why would a grand jury subpoena the laptop [which was seized by the FBI for a grand jury]?
  4. Are the emails authentic?
  5. Have you ever met any of Hunter Biden’s foreign business partners?
  6. What did you talk about with Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s business partner and fellow Bursima board member, when you played golf [as captured in a photo revealed last year]?
  7. Did you meet with Vadym Pozharskyi, the Bursima executive, in that meeting [in 2015], as described in the emails?
  8. Can you explain the 10% stake n the Chinese energy company described as being specially for you, as worked out by Hunter and his business partners?
  9. Is Hunter Biden holding money for you?
  10. Do you make Hunter give him half of his income [as alleged by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, based on a text message purportedly found on the laptop]?
  11. Are you, as a candidate for President of the United States, compromised by the Chinese?

Murtaugh added that efforts by Facebook and Twitter, the “Silicon Valley mafia,” to “squelch” the story had “backfired on them, because it made it a much bigger story.”

He said that if the moderator in the third debate did not bring up the issue, President Trump would likely do so.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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White House Expert Scott Atlas Censored By Twitter

Social media company Twitter finished its week of apparently politically motivated censorship on its platform by banning tweets regarding the efficacy of masks from Scott Atlas, a member of the White House scientific team battling the coronavirus.

Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institute, not only had his tweets removed, he was banned from tweeting until he deleted the tweets that Twitter for unclear reasons objects to. Here are the tweets in question:

In an email to The Federalist, Atlas outlined the evidence behind his tweet.

In the deleted tweet, I cited the following evidence against general population masks:

1) Cases exploded even with mandates: Los Angeles County, Miami-Dade County, Hawaii, Alabama, the Philippines, Japan, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Israel.

2)  Dr. Carl Heneghan, University of Oxford, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine and editor in chief of British Medical Journal Evidence-Based Medicine: ‘It would appear that despite two decades of pandemic preparedness, there is considerable uncertainty as to the value of wearing masks.’

(https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/masking-lack-of-evidence-with-politics/)

3) The WHO:  ‘The widespread use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence and there are potential benefits and harms to consider’  (http://bitly.ws/afUm)

4) The CDC: ‘Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.’ (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article).

I also cited an article giving detailed explanation of the reasons why masks might not prevent spread:  https://t.co/1hRFHsxe59

Notwithstanding this evidence regarding arguably the most important and contentious debate raging in American society — the constant mandate of masks — it appears some 20-something with his pronouns in his Twitter bio just pushed a button and erased scientifically accurate information. For some reason, which hopefully Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey can explain when he is dragged before the Senate, Atlas was silenced by the tech giant.

This comes the same week that Twitter blocked New York Post articles alleging improprieties involving presidential candidate Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma revealed by a laptop now held by the FBI. For good measure, Twitter also banned the New York Post’s official Twitter account from the platform.

Universal masking is a subject of scientific dispute, and just happens to be a contentious political argument in the midst of the 2020 presidential election. Under the dubious policy of stopping the spread of disinformation, Twitter has silenced an expert on the matter for what seems to be politically motivated purposes.

Twitter, which claims to be a neutral platform and enjoys legal protection as such, has once again proven that not only does it have an editorial agenda, it has a political one. You see, the information overlords at Twitter dot com will decide what information and what facts the masses like you and me are allowed to consume on their platform.

That would be fine if they were a publisher and treated as such legally, but for now they are not. Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act gives Twitter special protection to engage in censorship, but after this week of obviously politically motivated silencing, many in Congress are looking to stripping the company of that protection.

Twitter’s reasoning behind banning information that questions the efficacy of masks is as opaque as a smile behind one. Like much of the traditional media, it seems to believe that the American people are too stupid to confront and analyze actual information, and instead must be spoon-fed instructions like toddlers. You don’t have to know why you must cover your face everywhere you go, you just have to do it!

This is enough; it was well past enough already, frankly. Twitter is now censoring important and much-needed scientific information that the American people need to make informed decisions about their health. If Dorsey wants to be a mask busybody while he parties maskless with Beyonce and Jay Z on a yacht, so be it. The mask rules don’t apply to him. But the laws of the United States should and must.

Twitter is no neutral platform. This fact is as obvious as a punch in the mouth, which is exactly what Congress needs to give it. Free speech is as central to the American experiment as any concept is, and as foreign to Twitter as could be.

It would be a shame if screen captures of Atlas’s tweets somehow found their way onto Twitter, I know @Jack would be dismayed — if he’s not in Indonesia engaging in fasting and spiritual development.

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Twitter Updates ‘Hacked Materials’ policy after censoring NY Post’s Hunter Biden Exposé

October 16, 2020

After intense backlash for suppressing the spread of the New York Post‘s Hunter Biden emails exposé on its platform, including a Senate subpoena, Twitter announced Thursday night that it’s changing its policy on “hacked materials.”

“Over the last 24 hours, we’ve received significant feedback (from critical to supportive) about how we enforced our Hacked Materials Policy yesterday,” tweeted Vijaya Gadde—Twitter’s lead for legal, policy, and trust and safety—in a nine-part thread. “After reflecting on this feedback, we have decided to make changes to the policy and how we enforce it.”

In her statement, Gadde listed two major changes to the policy. Firstly, Twitter “will no longer remove hacked content unless it is directly shared by hackers or those acting in concert with them.” And then secondly, the site “will label Tweets to provide context instead of blocking links from being shared on Twitter.”

Explaining Twitter’s reasoning, Gadde said that “We believe that labeling Tweets and empowering people to assess content for themselves better serves the public interest and public conversation,” and that the “Hacked Material Policy is being updated to reflect these new enforcement capabilities.”

However, she notes, “All the other Twitter Rules will still apply to the posting of or linking to hacked materials, such as our rules against posting private information, synthetic and manipulated media, and non-consensual nudity.”

When users tried to tweet a link to the exposé or retweet someone who had already tweeted it, a notification preventing them from sharing it would pop up, saying, “The link you are trying to access has been identified by Twitter and our partners as being potentially spammy or unsafe,” and then listing potential reasons for why the link was categorized as such. (See image below)

Twitter originally justified slowing the Wednesday exposé‘s spread because the Hunter Biden emails in question that The Post obtained had allegedly originated from the hard drive of a laptop given to a Delaware repair shop. Because of this, Twitter claimed initially that these emails fell under the umbrella of hacked materials and were unverified.

Seeing this action, many political figures, commentators, journalists, and publications eviscerated Twitter on its very own platform, accusing it of censorship and interfering in the 2020 U.S. presidential election that’s days away.

Complicating matters, because the exposé alleged that former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate and father of Hunter Biden, possibly engaged in corruption, conservatives especially went after the social media site. Furthermore, it was the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who have spearheaded the effort to subpoena the company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey.

Faith in the electoral process was already disastrously low, and this only compounds people’s anxiety and lack of trust. Retweeting Gadde’s thread, Dorsey wrote that the “Straight blocking of URLs was wrong, and we updated our policy and enforcement to fix,” adding “Our goal is to attempt to add context, and now we have capabilities to do that,” he added.

Regardless, it is unlikely that these policy changes will fan the flames of this censorship scandal: Too little, too late.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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