Biden Pushes Facebook and Twitter To Remove Trump Criticisms of Mail-In Voting

220px-Biden_2013We have been discussing the erosion of free speech on social media and the Internet. This includes calls from leading Democratic leaders for years to implement private censorship of political speech, a view supported by academics who have declared that “China was right” about censorship.  The latest attack on free speech comes from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign which has asked Facebook and Twitter to remove posts by Republican President Donald Trump aimed at discrediting mail-in voting. While Trump’s statements have been widely criticized as without foundation, they constitute political speech.  Biden however wants these companies to help censor such statements from his opponent and many are supporting the effort.

Once again, we come to this dispute as a free speech matter. Ironically, the Biden campaign is citing that fact that Trump’s views have been widely discredited in calling for censorship. However, that is precisely the reason we do not need censorship.  The solution to alleged bad speech is more speech, not the forced silence that the Biden campaign wants to impose through social media companies.

Trump has been tweeting that mail-in voting raises the danger of fraud, a view shared by many in the country.  It is also a view roundly rejected by many.  It is one of the core issues in this presidential campaign.

Biden however does not want those views to be read by others.  Campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon declared “Our campaign has sent letters to Twitter and Facebook demanding that this disinformation, which seeks to undermine faith in our electoral process, gets taken down immediately.”

To their credit, Facebook and Twitter declined.

However, the chilling aspect to this controversy is how Biden now advocates such private censorship and wants to enlist these companies to silence his opponent — rather than engage his views in the public forum.

Censorship and speech regulation have become a regular component to Democratic messaging and demands.  There was a time when the Democratic Party was a fierce advocate for free speech values.  It seems that many are falling out of love with free speech, including many who now view it as a danger.

For years, we have discussed the unrelenting attacks on free speech in Europe with the expansion of hate speech laws and the general criminalization of speech, including international speech crimes. Some in the United States would like to follow down that dangerous path (and universities are reinforcing the view of the need to regulate speech). The implications of such anti-speech policies are evident in Germany where a survey, conducted by the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach(and published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) found that only 18 percent of Germans feel free to express their views in public. It is the most vivid example of how Europeans are learning to live without free speech.

This movement has now made it to our shores as vividly demonstrated by the presumptive Democratic nominee publicly demanding that his opponent’s views be censored.  This is precisely the risk that many of us warned about.  Such speech regulation creates an insatiable appetite for more and more censorship, as shown in countries like France, England, and Germany.  The lack of any media push back on Biden’s demand shows how resistance to such anti-free speech views is becoming more mainstream in the United States.

156 thoughts on “Biden Pushes Facebook and Twitter To Remove Trump Criticisms of Mail-In Voting”

  1. I heard a fun story from the “Daley era” recently. A young chap received a plum job in Chicago’s county-city building of that time.

    He was sent by boss to drop off a package in a certain room.

    In the room there was a cloudy haze of cigar smoke. There were bookies taking bets, fun and laughter, and a busy crew of people filling out blank abstentee ballots with empty names. The young guy delivered the package and hung around for a bit. Someone explained to him slyly that names were taken from lists of deceased voters.

    The young chap said “Oh” and kept his yap shut,. Then he made himself scarce. He went back to his boss and thinking that these people were making a big mistake, told the boss about it breathlessly. The young chap hoped to gain some merit for correcting this apparent mischief.

    The boss laughed and told him to not say a word of it to anyone and remember his place. That was the end of it.

    This came out at a recent funeral in Crook county. I don’t know if it is true. I just know the people there were, um, let’s just say, well informed into such matters in that era.

    Sadly it was a small group. Because, unlike at other certain funerals thronged with thousands of attendees, well, one can only have 10 attendees at a funerary service now in Illinois, due to the COVID. A limitation which does not apply to black protesters, somehow.

    And another rich Democrat is governor, pushing those absentee ballots so many decades later. Plus ca change….

  2. Democrats have one goal and that is to impose European Marxism/Socialism on this country. The United States was founded by the children of Europeans who left their native countries to get away from restrictions imposed primarily by the Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches through government affiliation. The churches have been replaced by Marxist/socialists whose adherents came to the US mostly after the Civil War. (Actually, the War Between the States since it wasn’t a true civil war.) Their activists, supported by blacks who have been lied to for a half century, have taken over the Democratic Party and now they want to stifle free speech – actually, they want to impose thought control. They have no intention of allowing any views that disagree with theirs.

    1. Interesting. Maybe this will give the Maga’s a taste of the type of discrimination and disrespect they’ve been foisting unconsciously on people of color, immigrants, women, etc.?

      1. Hellvis, I don’t know how the video pertains to what you have just said.

        Trump was called an anti-Semite despite the fact his daughter is an orthodox Jew and he has Jewish grandchildren
        Women: I think in NY Trump had more women in high executive positions than any other comparable builders if they had any at all.
        Immigration: Trump is against illegal immigration and is for immigration laws that do not hurt America or American citizens.
        Color: I think Trump is the least judgemental when it comes to color. He is a true businessman in the sense of the word and business will follow the money though today in some businesses they follow PC BS or they follow the money from China. Outsourcing takes lower level jobs from Americans that are frequently filled by minorities, but you don’t care because you are not color blind. Instead you are sexist and anti-American.

        1. Yet Trump began his campaign on a birther fraud and kicked it off coming down an escalator talking smack about Mexicans in front of paid stand ins. And you like him. That’s pretty much all that’s needed to know.

          Trump is not just bad, he’s an awful president. He’s on his way out. This is going to be a painful day in November when all this hits home.

          1. Hellvis, you really have to get your points together. It’s time consuming for everyone that has to correct virtually everything you say.

            Obama or his agents are responsible for the birther problem. The insertion of his birth outside of the US in a book jacket was not helpful. Trump asked for a birth certtificate but he was following up on some of the comments made by the Hillary campaign. Trump’s “birther questioning” ended with the birth certificate being provided.

            Mexicans? Illegal Mexicans broke our laws and should have been thrown out of the country. He is correct some were criminals but the Democrat Party protected the murderers and rapists among them who killed Americans and raped women. So much for the Democrat Party worrying about law and order or women’s rights. I love Mexico and Mexicans. I lived in Mexico for several months and visited it many times but I agree with Trump.

            You don’t like Americans that have jobs, you don’t like equality under the law. (see the Project Veritas tapes to understand the denial of equality)

            You love gun running by Obama that killed Mexicans and Americans. You love the rioting in the streets and the destruction of private property. You love this rioting that kills blacks, destroys their businesses and homes leaving the area without employment or shopping.

            There isn’t much that one can say about what you promote that is good. You don’t even sound intelligent.

            1. Allan says: “It’s time consuming [sic] for everyone that has to correct virtually everything you say.”

              Thanks to Hellvis for occupying Allan’s time. Most of us know that Allan’s a champion time-waster. If only his corrections (as he sees them) had any merit.

                  1. Looks like Fido is back with another master to follow. When you do your thing don’t pee on Hellvis’s leg.

              1. Born poor but learned early how to work, earn money, save and to stay away from the dumb ones that went nowhere. Now I am surrounded by them.

          2. Perhaps you’re right. sit back and enjoy the show Hellvis, it’s all going to go your way., you can relax

          1. Obviously the writer of the piece doesn’t like Trump but is unable to make a specific case against Trump. Instead he relies on meaningless generalities and insults. He writes for the unintelligent like you, Anon and Anonymous so I am glad you all enjoyed what he wrote. Between the two and a half of you I don’t think you can copy and demonstrate that he said anything worthwhile and meaningful.

    2. Sell Facebook. Sell Twitter. They are done. It’s coming.

      They screw their users and exploit user data without paying for it; they use the taxpayer built internet information highway for free without paying one cent of user tax; they manipulate opinion to suit the billionaire ownership agenda.

      they are abusive monopolistic enterprises that should be broken by antitrust law

      tyranny by private oligarchs is still tyranny. first amendment can’t be a constant shield for billionaires to work their mischief.

      1. Though I bought Apple at $15 before the splits I never bought FB or Twitter.

        I think both companies are rotten to the core.

        1. this is the company that blatantly advances the interests of the Democratic party

          More to the point, they hate US because we are white men.
          A HR directed just admitted they have a policy of explicitly discriminating against white men


          How pathetic that some white guys are so self hating and weak that they can’t come to grips with this.,



          Hey Mr Izzy Amaran– “MOLON LABE!”

      2. I’ll buy the soon-to-become state regulated monopolies with fat dividends.

        Until such time as effective competition emerges, these platforms must be directed by a public utilities commission.

        The “manifest tenor” of the rights and freedoms of Americans must be absolutely and comprehensively upheld on these public fora.

      3. Lawyers need to sue Google/Apple’s azzes off for violently everyone’s 4th Amd by hooking up govt’s Illegally with their contact tracer app.

        The Gov admit’s he’s using it now in Okla.

  3. Breathtaking. The 2020 presidential election campaign has become very simple: Free speech, as defined in Amendment Number 1 to the United States Constitution is either to be retained or forbidden.

  4. Newly Discovered or is it more likely the DOJ/FBI have been obstructing justice, committing sedition & espionage against the USA for decades?

    How far can I throw a cast iron bath tub?

    Jonathan Turley @JonathanTurley

    Newly discovered notes show Comey telling Obama and Biden that Flynn conversations with Russians were “legit.” … Yet, the FBI still kept investigating and discussed any possible charges.

  5. So Biden is openly calling for election interference by publicly traded corporations. Where is the FEC? Where is the SEC? Where is the FCC?

  6. Love how you seed your op eds with these, JT: False claim >> followed by ” a view shared by many”. A way to try to legitimize a spurious claim. Good in the school for persuasiveness for the somewhat easily persuadable. Not so good for the truth.

    In this case you use the tactic to try to legitimize the claim that voter fraud is much more common than it is, and to try to tilt the playing field to those who are being loudest about their claims (which in this case has been Trump and Trumpists, clearly).

    It doesn’t square with actual data as the only real sizable voter fraud that has been proven recently has been the North Carolina house race that had to be done over a couple years back. Now, if it were up to me to try to tilt the playing field in a particular direction, it would be hard not to point out that the Russians certainly put to use the internal polling data that Manafort gave them access .to while in his role as Trump’s campaign manager. The Russians didn’t want that data ‘just cuz’. There was a method to it and I think we all know it was to target battle ground states that, surprise surprise, Trump won, giving him a technical victory in the electoral college in a low turnout election.

    And then there’s this: “While Trump’s statements have been widely criticized as without foundation, they constitute political speech. Biden however wants these companies to help censor such statements from his opponent and many are supporting the effort.”…

    Again, misleading. It uses the same tactic as above when you tack on the clause “…and many are supporting the effort.” Someone wanting lies taken down is not supporting cxensorship outright. As always, i support your surface view on free speech, Turley. Your subtextual attempts at persuasion I’m not as huge a fan of. Better just to attach editorial statements/notes when a factually challenged view is presented rather than removing outright, sure. But the times are being tested when there is a president and political movement that will lie outright so much and so often. And even more challenging when their surrogates (you???) will go out and clear the way for them.

  7. Time to Silence those who censor our voices. And silence them forever as they would do to us… Start with the Executives and work your way down to employees.

  8. “The preparations for Hate Week were in full swing, and the staffs of all the Ministries were working overtime. Processions, meetings, military parades, lectures, waxworks, displays, film shows, telescreen programmes all had to be organized; stands had to be erected, effigies built, slogans coined, songs written, rumours circulated, photographs faked..”.

    -George Orwell

        1. I think it was when his first red pill slowly began to shape his thinking. in the trenches against Franco and had to flee for his life because of the Communists on his side of the trenches.

  9. If we ever get to a point of Mail Balloting, Conservatives should counter them and flood them with fake ballots as they do.

    We end up with thousands and thousands of more ballots than the eligible ballots, the system breaks down with no or contested results in every case.

    1. So you want people to break the law, got it.
      What I don’t get is why you advocate voting fraud and want “the system [to] break[] down.”

      For the record, there is no evidence of anyone “flood[ing vote-by-mail] with fake ballots.” Voter suppression is much more common than voter fraud.

      1. I am not advocating it, but trying to get even with the frauds that are already being committed.

        At present it is easier to commit fraud than voter suppression, gone are those days of evil doers.

        If you care to try, you can find the data that are available of the past elections.
        In Philadelphia 2016 election more votes than the no of voters registered to vote in some of the precincts, in recent primaries in California individuals getting multiple ballots (some more than 80), Ballots of another state ending up in Pennsylvania etc. Many States refusing to cleanup their voter rolls of dead and ineligible people as well as refusing voter id laws. Boxes and boxes of mail ballots showing up and counted after the election results in Minnesota, California etc.

        All I am saying is use the same tactic as the opposition.

    2. Election Postponement – Not Vote By Survey Monkey

      President Trump must postpone the November election due to COVID-19, understanding that a fair and equitable election is impossible and that all other economic and social activities have been modified and/or suspended for reasons of the pandemic. To conduct a legitimate election, voters must appear and have their identity confirmed at a polling place. Democrats have already cancelled their convention. Communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) are promoting “vote-by-mail” knowing that they will be afforded an historic opportunity to manipulate and defraud the vulnerable voting system. Communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs), in order to seize unfair advantages, absurdly propose that America surrender its self-governance to Survey Monkey. Communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) employed our South Korean “allies,” K-pop, to enlist and encourage Tik Tok users to crash President Trump’s Tulsa rally. Communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) “harvested” ballots to conquer Orange County, CA and other districts. Lincoln won 1860 with 38.9% and 1864 with brute military force. Joe Kennedy erased a Nixon victory and bought the presidency for JFK through Mob purchases in Chicago. Is it conceivable that the communists will not maximally corrupt and manipulate “vote-by-mail” to obtain a November victory? Of course they will. To communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs), the ends justify the means. No ethic, regulation, law, promise, duty or point of honor will ever prevent them from attempting to steal power. The essence of the Republic must be preserved at all costs, as Lincoln would say. President Trump must postpone the election due to COVID-19 until such time as the pandemic is in sufficient and quantifiable decline.

  10. In pressuring these monopolistic platforms to suppress more free speech, what’s next for Biden and the Demo-Marxcrats? How about suppressing showing and discussing all Biden lapses of mental clarity?

    Regarding whether mail-in ballots increasing the potential for fraud, I fail to see how JT can be so naive as to so easily reject it, especially when the voter rolls haven’t been cleaned up and there are issues in collecting and counting mail-in ballots. And what about ballot harvesting, JT?

  11. “The solution to alleged bad speech is more speech, not the forced silence that the Biden campaign wants to impose through social media companies.”

    These companies force silence in lots of ways; they rejecting certain kinds of commercials, they block accounts, etc.
    If your desired solution is more speech, then they’d have to create ways to either mark false claims themselves or to let others target the viewers of the false statements. More speech doesn’t help if the people who see the false statements don’t see the corrections.

  12. FB and Twitter are businesses, not public utilities or airwaves – which “conservatives” in the age of Reagan scrubbed of competing viewpoints by eliminating the “Fairness Doctrine”. There is no 1st Amendment issue with their controlling their content how ever they see fit. One expects a law professor to acknowledge this simple fact and to simply advise consumers to not use the product if they don’t like it.

      1. Anyone relying on them for news not footnoted is a fool and deserves that fate. Paul says he prefers Youtube, another “opinion” gutter which I’m sure occasionally harbors a diamond ring, but is it worth the search?

        1. understand all these Democrats crying out First amendment were the same ones saying the First amendment meant that you can’t have a football team say a prayer before a game because there might be one aggrieved atheist in the stands who took offense even though 99.9 % of the rest of the people prayed in unison

          they’re also the same people who say the First amendment lets rich porn producers sell videos of acts of prostitution and make big money on it, but a poor woman who trades one act of sex for money can go to jail.

          in short it protects a faction of billionaires who live in NYC and LA.

          throw this elaborate and crafty and yet false misunderstanding of the First Amendment on the dungheap of history. it is totally twisted by 70 years of clever lawyers and their cousins on the federal bench. this is the most un-democratic of all the bill of rights and it deserves a redo badly

      2. Squeeky– “they have become public utilities.”

        I was thinking along those lines too. They are public utilities. Can the power company refuse power to Republicans? To blacks? To anyone who pays the hill? There is no reason for these utilities to censor any comment or post that does not directly violate the law.

    1. You completely miss the point of the article, which is that Biden is calling for censorship. Also, the fairness doctrine was anything but fair. It doesn’t take much smarts to understand that. It did not scrub anything.

      1. Right wing pushing Sinclair Broadcasting now controls local stations in 40% of US markets and dictates right wing editorials and news shows. Talk radio is wall to wall right wing noise over almost the entire US market and also controlled by a few broadcasting companies deciding content. There is no longer any requirement that our public airwaves provide dissenting viewpoints and in fact there is virtually none.

    2. “conservatives” need to grow up and realize the First amendment has been both a sword and shield for certain Democrat factions for 70 years now and it’s time to act decisively against these plutocrats without regard of any Enlightenment fictions and fantasies.

        1. Not from me, and probably from nobody.

          But, according to the usual historic blueprint of insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, that is a phenomenon that may emerge.

  13. BIDEN/PELOSI/DEM’s are showing their true beliefs and objectives, limit freedoms and free speech. They do not want to be challenged. They are driving this country to ruin all for POWER and CONTROL.

    BIDEN has no idea where he is, his staff are just pushing the LEFT WING AGENDA and restrict freedoms.

    1. Agreed. Not sure about Facebook. Little doubt Twitter would be happy to do this, but they’re playing their cards carefully. Liberals are bad people.

    2. Note, what Biden’s staff want censored is the truth. There is little security with postal ballots and with scant doubt the whole process is shot through with fraud. Also, from what we know of how the virus is transmitted, postal ballots are unnecessary. What you need to do is to spread in-person voting out over a Friday evening, a Saturday morning, and a Saturday afternoon, have people wear protective equipment, and recruit your poll inspectors from people under the age of 50. Except for the age restriction on poll inspectors, we should be doing it this way every year.

      None of this is too challenging, but the Democrats won’t countenance it because they have trunks full of mail in ballots that have been filled out using the names of relict entries on voter rolls. In New York, people used to have to register in person annually at the County Board of Elections or the town clerk’s office. Then they moved to mail in registration with quadrennial purges. If you wanted an absentee ballot, you had to apply for one and state a reason for it. Now purges and restrictions on mail-in ballots are called ‘voter suppression’.

      Note, everything the Democrats have advocated for over 40 years has worked to corrupt the electoral process or protect incumbents. They never advocate anything that will render the electoral process more transparent and competitive. I am including, of course, the partisan Democrats in the appellate judiciary in this judgment.

    3. “ Biden’s a hollow shell through which the Marxists speak.”

      Pssst! 2/3 of Americans are the size of humongous buffalos. Marxist nations were not so generous with feeding their people. Mao? Stalin? Fidel? Maduro? Those names ring a bell?

      Nah, of course youve never experienced Marxism but dont let cogent informed arguments get in your way of sounding as stupid as CNN

  14. All freedoms come with responsibility. The freedom of speech performed irresponsibly can lead to the damaging of others: fraud, slander, yelling fire in a crowded place, etc. The gray area where the freedoms of one infringes on the freedoms of others is where Turley plays his tunes. Trump is the President of the country. His words carry an absolute weight of the truth for some, those that are simple minded. Trump spreading lies about anything amounts to someone yelling fire in a crowded place, to those simple minded. Trump’s lies infringing on the ability of people to vote, regardless of how simple minded they are, is infringing on citizens’ rights. There is politicking and then there is limiting the voting process. While calling people names may not be slander, telling the simple minded not to vote by mail is a lie that is destructive. Any information regarding voting by mail must come from an objective source. Trump is anything but objective. To make it worse, Trump is a blithering idiot.

    1. The only “blithering idiot “is you. You are are also think you are a superior being with your mention of “simple minded” people. If these are your views you are a “disgrace to humanity”

    2. Simple minded, ha, Isaac, i laugh at you. Your lack of education is belied by your pathetic run on sentence structures and awkward phrasing. The comment as a whole lacks a coherent thesis and ends with an insult that betrays your own simple mindedness.

      Tell me arrogant fool, did you even finish a baccalaureate degree?

      1. Kurtz, I don’t have a degree and I run circles around you every day. I thought you were against elites and for the blue collar guys?

        1. You think you run circles around me. You think so. You actually just repeat the same old talking points and insults laboriously. You try hard and are pleased to believe what you like.

          I was not talking to you anyways, but rather to a verbose fool who derides others as simple minded, when he himself is advancing the most simplistic propaganda aimed at Trump supporters we have seen. That’s Isaac. You are obviously smarter than he is. I don’t know what your educational attainments are, but, if you didn’t get a degree either, well, it actually shows that a lot of people without degrees can be very savvy. You are insightful in your own way, and savvy., Isaac is neither.

          However, you remain an amateur when it comes to certain things, such as, all your recent lecturing about the Flynn case, and all that gibberish about a certain rule, which has now come to naught. the overly complicated nonsense about why the case should not be dismissed was all a complicated far out “swing for the bleachers” contrivance. Like a super-complicated trick play that failed. A triple reverse, stuffed by the nose guard. A reminder of why triple reverses may look good on paper but don’t work.

          One that was easily laughed off by any lawyer worth his salt. If you had that line of BS fed to you by capable lawyers, then, I am sorry to say, either they fooled you about it; or perhaps– more likely– they fooled themselves in spite of their own legal educations. Wishful thinking, in a nutshell.

          If you think being completely wrong about that was running circles around me, when i am the one who correctly predicted the outcome, then you are just failing to objectively measure your own results.

        2. Book is here casting insults but they are sincere insults. I can handle some sincere insults, and some dedicated cheerleading from Democrat rah rahs. I don’t need to answer ever provocation or petty dig or insult from a person who, at least to me, shows a certain measure of sincerity.

          But I can’t suffer a fool coming here and calling Trump supporters simple minded when he’s barely able to compose a coherent paragraph himself. I will have something to say about that.

          I welcome discourse with people of different viewpoints. I had a nice hour long conversation with a “democratic socialist” in person yesterday and we reached many points of agreement. We had a nice chat about “proportional representation” as a legitimate for of electoral representation and one that might be better for America than our ossified two party system that is ever dominated by insincere party functionaries and hangers-on.

          I did not call that person any names and they did not call me simple minded. That was the kind of mutual respect one can have in person, which is ever absent from the faceless internet

          1. Calling Trump supporters simple minded is the most positive explanation available and you should take it that way.

            The legal argument Judge Wilkenson made and a variant of one I have been making since it was before Sullivan is based on the actual written record of the drafting of Rule 48, which the case now hinges on, as well as his cites. You once again fail to address the principle – as did the majority – and that is not a defensible position. No wonder you don’t try.

          2. “His words carry an absolute weight of the truth for some, those that are simple minded.” Kurtz, amongst your obvious many shortcomings is that you cannot focus well enough to understand what you read. ‘Some, those’ specifically addresses the dolts among the hordes of maggots that drool over the blithering idiot Trump and soak up his every idiotic word as gospel. That is to include that many Trump supporters are so out of default. There is simply no other choice for a conservative hard liner. This reality is illustrated by the strained expressions of Republicans as they lie to support their champion or brush off his nonsense as something other than idiocy. The clear fact of the matter is that when mindless followers of the likes of a Trump hear his words, they are prone to take it as gospel and act accordingly. Trump tells them that voting by mail is bad and so they don’t support voting by mail and the voting process is curtailed, especially so at this time when it could serve the nation. It is important to note that voting encouraged presents the opportunity for either side to garner support. The preceding may be a disjointed, run on of awkward sentence structures but it bears repeating as it went right over your head, the first time. Pay attention.

  15. Daily on Twitter I am getting photos of mail-in ballots that people did not ask for or for dead people. Trump is right and Creepy Joe is wrong.

    1. There are neighborhoods in any city thick with young people who move every year or every other year. They register to vote, they leave town, they stay on the rolls until the rolls are purged. As long as they do not re-register at a new address in the same county, you’re good. You request an absentee ballot in their name and have it delivered to a postal box you’ve rented. People who canvass neighborhoods for petitioning can build up a file of entries like this.

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