So much for free speech online. On Saturday, the American Mirror’s Kyle Olson reported that one user received a seven-day ban from Twitter after criticizing Rep. Maxine Waters, the California Democrat obsessed with impeachment and conspiracy theories involving Russia.
The user, who goes by the handle @TrueJackDaniel, said he received the ban after calling Waters a “crazy old lying lunatic in a bad wig.”
— ThatJackDaniel (@TrueJackDaniel) March 3, 2018
Daniel was forced to delete the tweet. So much for Free Speech.
Last month, Waters spread lies on the social media platform by accusing this website of being a bot.
The Disgrace of California — who faces stiff competition from Nancy Pelosi, Kalama Harris, Jerry Brown and Barbara Lee — took to Twitter to accuse this site, which has been cited by the Drudge Report, the Washington Post, Fox News and many others, of being a bot.
One Twitter user, Olson said, observed that Waters’s GOP opponent, Omar Navarro, “has raised more individual contributions than the multi-term California congresswoman.”
— Debbie Brandt (@DebbieBrandt1) February 15, 2018
“Waters has raised more total funds, due to the large sums of special interest PAC money she’s raked in,” Olson added.
Waters, however, claimed it was “More smears & lies spread by #Trump supporters & bots.”
This is by no means an isolated incident. In February, Washington attorney Noah Peters, writing at the Daily Caller, noted:
In today’s America, Twitter drives much of the news cycle and much of the political debate. It is, as the Supreme Court described it, the “modern public square.” Every member of Congress now has a Twitter account, as does every state’s governor. A modern political candidate cannot win without a Twitter presence. Some 96 percent of journalists report they use it regularly. Twitter allows a level of direct access to politicians, journalists and thought leaders that is unprecedented in history. To quote the Supreme Court again, Twitter is among “the most powerful mechanisms available to a private citizen to make his or her voice heard,” allowing anyone with an Internet connection “to become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox.”
That’s why Twitter’s recent attempts to censor certain users should scare all of us. In the past two years, Twitter has kicked off and suspended several well-known conservatives. It banned a pro-life campaign advertisement from Rep. Marsha Blackburn because it deemed it “inflammatory.” It has refused to allow ads that target illegal immigration. As Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai said in November: “When it comes to an open Internet, Twitter is part of the problem. The company has a viewpoint and uses that viewpoint to discriminate.”
The situation has gotten so bad that Kim Dotcom said he would build an alternative to Twitter that would bring the social media giant down within a year:
If you keep messing with our free speech @jack I will build a team to create a Twitter alternative, without censorship. Twitter could be toast within a year. I hear you’re hurting about the Trump presidency. Don’t let your frustration destroy your business. #StopTwitterCensorship
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) March 4, 2018
According to RT:
Dotcom told RT many of his followers had shared similar experiences with retweeting, saying that it seems the platform “is actively targeting accounts that talk about the Seth Rich case.”
“There is a large number of Twitter users out there, especially Trump supporters, who claim that they sometimes cannot even retweet the tweets of the President,” he added. “I’m thinking this isn’t just a bug. I think Twitter is proactively interfering with free speech because of the political bias of its leadership,” Dotcom said. “And if that is true then the time has come for a Twitter alternative, a neutral platform without censorship.”
But there already is a platform that provides a free-speech alternative to Twitter — Gab.ai.
Peters further noted:
Indeed, allowing Twitter to censor content is extremely troublesome given Twitter’s self-proclaimed mission to “give everyone the power to create and share ideas instantly, without barriers.” Imagine if Google could browse your emails, or Facebook could browse through your posts, and delete ones it found objectionable. Imagine, too, that Google could deny you email and Facebook an account not because of anything you’ve said, but merely because of who you’ve associated with in the past. Yet Twitter is now saying it will ban users based on viewpoints and off-platform associations. The chilling effect that the judge warned about is here.
Adding (Emphasis added):
While the First Amendment does not apply to Twitter censorship, California law arguably does. And the California Constitution contains broader protections for free speech than the First Amendment. Unlike the First Amendment, which couches the right to free speech as a limit on congressional power, the California Constitution gives “every person” an affirmative right to “freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects.” In a 1979 case called Robins v. Pruneyard Shopping Center, the California Supreme Court held that this broad language means that privately-owned public forums can’t censor speech. While the Pruneyard case involved a shopping center, the California Supreme Court has held that the decision applies to any entity that is the “functional equivalent of a public forum.” There is no better modern example of a privately-owned public forum than Twitter. Indeed, unlike shopping centers, which exist mainly to facilitate the purchase of consumer goods, Twitter’s entire purpose is to serve as an open forum for speech and debate.
Peters said he is involved in a lawsuit that is “about whether Twitter and other technology companies have the right to ban individuals from using their services based on their perceived viewpoints and affiliations. If Twitter wins this battle, there is nothing stopping tech behemoths from searching through users’ social media posts or emails, or investigating their off-platform speech, and banning people whose views it dislikes.”
“That is a prospect that should terrify everyone,” he said in conclusion.
Everyone except maybe Maxine Waters…
- Panel to discuss social media censorship and political bias by Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google
- Twitter censorship suspected in alleged suppression of viral #FullofSchiff hashtag
- Maxine Waters: Trump ‘racist’ for questioning my IQ
- Sean Hannity’s Twitter page mysteriously disappears
- Twitter faces civil rights complaint for attacks against conservative Americans
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