I previously wrote a column about the rising calls by Democratic leaders and activists for different forms of public and private censorship. Indeed, the recent extreme demands and controversy at the New York Times shows how speech controls have been a virtual article of faith for many. Twitter’s actions against Trump tweets are another example of the inconsistent use of such controls. Now GoFundMe has taken it upon itself to censor causes that it views as offensive in closing down a fundraiser by conservative political commentator Candace Owens in support of an Alabama cafe whose co-owner criticized the George Floyd protests. The question again is not whether we agree with such sentiments but the free speech implications of these forms of private censorship. Rather than respond to such controversial statements, critics today focus on silencing the speakers or barring their views or causes to be heard by others. What is interesting is that, by abandoning neutrality, GoFundMe is now affirming that it does regulate content and will face demands for more such action. That could undermine the position of these companies against the loss of immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Birmingham’s Parkside Cafe, whose co-owner Michael Dykes said Floyd was a “thug” and protesters were “idiots” in a text message to a co-worker that was posted online. The comments in my view were offensive and inflammatory but they are not my views. Dykes was expressing his personal view and the result is that he was given death threats and the cafe boycotted.
Owens, who is African American, shared the views of Dykes. She has also been criticized for statement like this one:
“The fact that he has been held up as a martyr sickens me. George Floyd was not a good person, I don’t care who wants to spin that. I don’t care how CNN wants to make you think he changed his life around, He was just after his sixth or fifth stint in prison.”
On Sunday, Owens disclosed that her campaign to support Dykes’ cafe was suspended by GoFundMe after the company found her fundraiser “to be in support of hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind.”
Owens ironically wrote on Twitter:
“Guess my message to little kids would be for them not to idolize men that: Get high on fentanyl, get high on meth, use counterfeit bills, shove guns into the stomaches of pregnant women while robbing them, go to prison 5 times. What a truly horrible message I carry.”
231 thoughts on “NoFundThem: Conservative Commentator’s Fundraising Blocked Over Floyd Criticism”
If the old Greek God, Momus, is still around, he will arrange it where GoFundMe publicly unfunds a Christian Baker for refusing to bake a cake for a gay marriage, on the grounds that businesses should serve everyone..
This was a privately owned business.No shoes,no shirt, no service.This bakery had every right by his beliefs that homosexual conduct is morally wrong.I totally agree.
Article VI S4 requires the federal government to secure republican government for the states and to protect the states against domestic violence. – though the later is only when the state legislature is not in session.
I beleive this not the commerce clause is the foundation for the insurrection act.
I am similarly uncomfortable with the federal government intruding into the powers of the state.
Regardless, this is LESS offensive that Wickard.
So long as WvF remains the law of the land – there is no basis for challenging this.
But even if WvF were overturned – about zero possibility, federal prosecution of people torching police cars would be arguably possible.
I have far more with the EPA, the FDA, the Department of Education, than with this.
John Say – Washington used this for the Whiskey Rebellion.
What? No citation.
Practice what you preach, young man.
David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me forty-five citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after seventy-nine weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. David, you get NOTHING until you catch up.
There is no need for citations to things that are not in dispute.
Is DB actually disputing the Whiskey Rebellion ?
I would not personally mind a source for the claim GW used A4S4
but not because I am looking to challenge you, GW MUST have used something.
Are you challenging the existance of the Whiskey Rebellion ?
Or that Washington put it down by force ?
Or that he used A4S4 to justify his actions ?
Lets pretend the A4S4 justification is not supported.
The whiskey rebellion is not a myth. Nir is the claim that Washington put it down with federal force.
So does it mater if he relied on A4S4 or some other part of the constitution ?
Which seems to work fine in this situation.
Ni Commerce Clause in site.
A lot of people who think they know what Candace Owens stands for never bother to watch her videos in their entirety.
After George Floyd’s murder, she posted a video that described her position. She said what happened to Floyd was wrong, and the cops deserved to be charged. That was not a question.
What she had a problem about was the lionizing of George Floyd, honoring him like he was a hero. She described his long history of trouble with the law, and the fact that he shoved a gun into the stomach of a pregnant woman he robbed. He had meth and fentanyl in his system. He is not a hero, but he is someone who died wrongfully. Turning him into a folk hero is wrong. Rioting and looting in his name is wrong. Claiming that most police are racist is wrong. Destroying black owned businesses is wrong.
Sounds like GoFundMe either did not listen to what Candace had to say, or they disagree with her reasonable position.
Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, GoFundMe, and Google all censor conservatives and promote Democrat points. This makes them not a public square, and rather a content censor, in which case they need to lose their protections under Sect 230.
This is 2020. We need a public square with free speech protections. The problem is that social media has taken over the digital age of the telephone, and, to use Turley’s earlier metaphor, then cut off conversations they didn’t like.
If these platforms want to be private publishers, then they must lose that protection.
In that case, we need a digital public square where you can say anything you could legally say in public. Posts, comments, groups, videos, photos…if you could get together in the public park and say it, then you can say it there. Who would pay to construct this public square? If it’s public, like a park, do taxpayers pay for it? Or do private companies, enjoying that 230 protection, earning money off ads?
Karen S– I thought one of the many points made by Candace Owen in her video about George Floyd was that the black culture is the only one that will take to the streets almost instantly when a black criminal is killed by police. I thought about it and I think she’s generally right. I don’t recall any massive protests when a white, Hispanic, Chinese or other cultural group has one of its criminals killed by police. I heard some blacks and liberal democrats justifying the riots as part of the protest as if rioting should ever be acceptable in a civilized society. And, although she could not discuss the debacle in Seattle since it had not yet occurred, I cannot imagine and I doubt that she could imagine a city government that would back down when a criminal group invades a six block part of downtown with government and private buildings and residences and claim it as their own. I saw the Chief of Police — a pretty thing– who had so little courage that she did not resign when the city council and mayor told her not to do the job she took an oath to do. They should make a new movie– “Gutless in Seattle”– so the world can see what a truly worthless local government looks like.
honestlawyer – really it is Gutless in Washington, but Gutless in Seattle flows better. 😉
Paul– I was trying for a literary flourish and so the flow was uppermost in my mind. Thank you for noticing! As this response shows, I’m not so good at humor.
honestlawyer – I thought Gutless in Seattle was funny just inaccurate. 😉
I agree with most of your assessment.
I agree that government should not afford Section 230 protections to content providers that do not adhere to the same constraints that government must when providing a forum.
But despite agreement, I ultimately believe the answer is with the market not the law.
Businesses are far more fragile than most people presume.
We have watched as myriads of businesses have kowtowed to the left.
That has only occured because at this moment they are more affraid of the left than the rest of us.
Politics was transformed by the Tea party in 2009. Because they did the unthinkable.
They voted against republicans that did not meet their expectations.
Politics is just a different form of market. Democrats are having their own TP problem right now. It is absolutely essential that democrats must fawn to BLM – they can not win in 2020 if blacks stay home. But they must also fawn to the progressive vote. They can not win if progressives stay home. And they must not alienate the moderate vote – because they can not win if moderates stay home or vote for Trump.
For the most part Democrats are depending on the hope that all facets of their own electorate will be enraged enough to vote against Trump – ignoring that Democrats have kowtowed to every interest.
We shall see if that works.
But the same is true of markets.
Last year about this Time FB stock tanked – because FB revised downward the number of new subscribers they expected in the coming year.
What do you think happens to FB stock if the number of subscribers drops ?
It is not necescary to slash FB users by 20%.
1% will destroy their shareholder equity and the left can play all kinds of games, but the most woke shareholders will not take large losses.
You write so compellingly of censorship, but this website seems to practice quite a bit of censorship, and not for profanity or ad hominem attacks. Res ipsa non licet loqui.
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