Twitter Doubles Down On Censorship With Renewed Warnings On Trump Tweets

Twitter LogoWe have been discussing the rising private censorship on the Internet demanded by Democratic leaders and meted out by companies like Twitter and Facebook.  The original purpose of the Internet as a free and robust space for political and social expression is under attack as politicians demand greater levels of control to combat “disinformation.” Indeed, Biden adviser Pete Buttigieg on Election Day demanded more penalties for companies not stopping “inciting material,” a subjective term left intentionally undefined. This drumbeat for censorship was amplified on Election Day when Twitter again hit tweets from President Donald Trump with warnings of disinformation. The tweets were pure political speech and Twitter again showed that it is now fully committed to biased regulation of speech between users of its service.

I have criticized President Trump’s rhetoric in the election about “stealing” the election. However, that is hyperbolic political speech. Biden supporters, including leaders like House Whip James Clyburn, have been saying that Trump was stealing the election through voter suppression.  They have not been hit with Twitter warnings.  Yet, Trump was immediately hit when he sent a Twitter post that Democrats were trying to “steal” the election: “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!”

I have previously objected to such regulation of speech. What is most disturbing is how liberals have embraced censorship and even declared that “China was right” on Internet controls. Many Democrats have fallen back on the false narrative that the First Amendment does not regulate private companies so this is not an attack on free speech. Free speech is a human right that is not solely based or exclusively defined by the First Amendment.  Censorship by Internet companies is a “Little Brother” threat long discussed by free speech advocates.  Some may willingly embrace corporate speech controls but it is still a denial of free speech.

This is why I recently described myself as an Internet Originalist:

The alternative is “internet originalism” — no censorship. If social media companies returned to their original roles, there would be no slippery slope of political bias or opportunism; they would assume the same status as telephone companies. We do not need companies to protect us from harmful or “misleading” thoughts. The solution to bad speech is more speech, not approved speech.

If Pelosi demanded that Verizon or Sprint interrupt calls to stop people saying false or misleading things, the public would be outraged. Twitter serves the same communicative function between consenting parties; it simply allows thousands of people to participate in such digital exchanges. Those people do not sign up to exchange thoughts only to have Dorsey or some other internet overlord monitor their conversations and “protect” them from errant or harmful thoughts.

The actions by Twitter and Facebook on Election Day were reprehensible and wrong. What is so disturbing is that so many Democrats have come enablers of such corporate speech controls by the giant tech companies.

64 thoughts on “Twitter Doubles Down On Censorship With Renewed Warnings On Trump Tweets”

  1. They have the balls to censor the President for pointing out these ballot dumps are strange and the pollsters were wrong? This is absolutely unacceptable what these little power-tripping tyrants at Twitter get away with.

    1. Big Tech is at it again, this time with Twitter censoring The Federalist’s co-founder Sean Davis. His offense? Accurately summarizing an official Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision.

      “Pennsylvania’s top court said that all ballots received after election day — even those without a postmark — must be assumed to have been cast by election day,” Davis said, quote-tweeting National Review Senior Writer David Harsanyi, who noted, “PA is allowing post-election day ballots. It’s a fact.”

      Twitter flagged Davis’s tweet because according to the Big Tech overlords, “Some or all of the content shared in this tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.” Now, in order to view the tweet, users must click past a warning screen.

      Nothing about Davis’s tweet, however, is “disputed.” It’s taken straight from a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling regarding ballot-counting.

      According to a footnote in the Supreme Court decision, the Pennsylvania secretary of state recommended that the court “order that ballots mailed by voters by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day be counted if they are otherwise valid and received by the county boards of election by November 6, 2020. Ballots received within this period that lack a postmark or other proof of mailing, or for which the postmark or other proof of mailing is illegible, should enjoy a presumption that they were mailed by Election Day” (emphasis mine).’

      https://thefederalist.com/2020/11/04/twitter-is-censoring-sean-davis-for-quoting-pas-supreme-court-decision-allowing-post-election-ballots/

      1. Work on your reading.

        “Ballots received within this period that lack a postmark or other proof of mailing, or for which the postmark or other proof of mailing is illegible, should enjoy a presumption that they were mailed by Election Day” does not mean “PA is allowing post-election day ballots.”

        Any ballot that was clearly sent after Election Day — as demonstrated by a Nov. 4 or later postmark — will be rejected.

        It’s possible that {someone would mail a ballot after Election Day} + {the USPS would fail to include a legible postmark showing it to have been mailed after Election Day} + {it would arrive by Nov. 6}, but that combination is not likely, and it’s much less likely than it being legibly postmarked and rejected or it arriving too late.

    2. So create your own social media site and you decide what is on your social media site. Section 230 needs to be repealed and legislation created that only exempts them from specific actions, such as one person defaming another

      They own the site, they set the rules! The internet is free from censorship. The individual sites are not!

        1. There are two differences in your question.
          1) Verizon is considered a utility and regulated by the government
          2) There are many alternatives to Verizon, so if they monitored your calls people would go elsewhere for their addiction.

          Neither of these are true for social media. I believe I may have said in my original comment that 230 needs to be repealed for S.M. since I think S.M. now has the best of both worlds. They are free to censor speech they dont like and are not liable for what they allow.

          I am very libertarian when it comes to capitalism. I do not believe in government regulation. I believe in competition. If a company provides goods or services, they should be free to regulate their own company UNLESS there is no opportunity for competition, much like the original utilities like telephone, power, water etc services. Now with all the cell services, competition should determine company policies and as long as people have alternatives, I think cell services should be analyzed for removal as a utility.

          1. Ron P, removing 230 protection will lead to less speech not more, and how does a company benefiting from it therefore logically lose all ability to control what goes out on their sites?

            If you are concerned with control of limited resources, remember that the GOP successfully killed the “fairness doctrine” on our limited public airwaves back during Reagan. The result is coast to coast right wing screamers, 24/7 on national networks with no opposing views, and now in smaller TV markets a national owner like Sinclair Broadcasting mandating right wing content to it’s affiliates. The internet does not have similar limited bandwidth, so competition is entirely possible.

    3. Sad that you think it takes balls for them to say that his claim about “surprise ballot dumps” is misleading. There are no “dumps” and it’s the opposite of surprising that they’re counting the mail-in ballots.

  2. What is the right to vote? Is it the right to cast the nation into a direction contrary to Constitution? Is it the right to vote for your self interest? Half the populous seems to not understand the founding documents or the Constitution of the Republic of the United States of America._____ Today I asked these questions, and wondered what happened to The United States of America. The results at present (11-4-2020), regardless of whom wins the Presidency, it appears the populous has shifted towards Socialism in greater numbers than I thought possible. We see voters casting ballots for candidates who espouse socialist agendas. To what end do these voters think their votes will assist the United States in the years to come? That there will be a better economy, better health care, better education, less poverty or less turmoil? Do they wish to become slaves to the State for a token? The most recent examples of Democratic elected states that have fallen into the Socialist trap are Venezuela and Bolivia, they were prosperous states prior to the move toward Socialism i.e. Communism. Now even those that thought the move would benefit all have become more dependent on the State, which has failed to provide even the barest of necessities to sustain life. Both these failed States have experienced Inflationary trends, lack of food staples, hygiene and health degrades and unrest due to poor conditions. I know the Socialist Candidates say we are more advanced that these examples, but, that is a naïve and arrogant view. ______ I quote from Alexander Hamilton: “And yet, just as these sentiments must appear to candid men, we have already sufficient indications, that it will happen in this, as in all former cases of great national discussion. A torrent of angry and malignant passions will be let loose. To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties, we shall be led to conclude, that they will mutually hope to evince the justness of their opinions, and to increase the number of their converts, by the loudness of their declarations, and by the bitterness of their invectives. An enlightened zeal for the energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized as the offspring of a temper found of power, and hostile to the principles of liberty. An over scrupulous jealousy of the danger to the rights of the people, which is more commonly the fault of the head than of the heart, will be represented as mere pretense and artifice…the stale bait for popularity at the expense of public good. It will be forgotten, on the one hand, that noble enthusiasm of liberty is too apt to be infected with a spirit of narrow and illiberal distrust. On the other hand, it will be equally forgotten, that the vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty; in the contemplation of a sound and well informed judgment, their interest can never be separated; and that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people, than under the forbidding appearances of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government. History will teach us, that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism, than the latter, and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career, by paying an obsequious court to the people… commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants. I PRAY FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND ALL ITS PEOPLE!

    1. Labels are usually inaccurate and taken out of context. For example, most localities have “socialist” police, fire, EMS, public education and social security. None are mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Any politician de-socializing these programs would be run out of office. It’s not always black and white.

      1. Truth as far as Social Security as it is now administered. It was proposed as a defined contribution initially vs. defined benefit based on lifetime payroll tax contributions. It has morphed into a highbred of both contribution and benefit regardless of the tax contribution by the individual. Medicare was added as a requirement for those Citizens over 65 and is defined as supplemental insurance. Medicaid is truly a Socialist program for the most disadvantaged of the population. There are other Socialist programs administered by both the State and Federal Governments, food stamps, Section 8 housing, unemployment benefits and more. These programs were introduced by the Socialist Left of years past. Impossible to now defund, “Even wisdom has to yield to self-interest” I do not who to credit with this quote. As for Police, Fire, EMS, Public Education these items could be addressed under Section 8 of the Constitution “The Congress shall have Power, #1 To lay and collect Taxes… for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States…”. Agreed States may have different wording but most agree with the general welfare provision. —-II add one more quote by Orson Scott Card “If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side. “

  3. Jonathan, I appreciate you. You not only possess a keen legal mind, you understand and emphasize fairness. Thank you.
    My question is in the wrong place, but I don’t know where to ask it.
    How can we find a lawyer who will represent plaintiffs in judicial misconduct cases? What can we do? Pursing justice in a judicial misconduct case pro-se is nearly impossible.

    1. I’ll answer that Hank. You call your local bar association in your county.

      If nobody wants your case, it’s perhaps because it lacks merit. This comes up a lot. People don’t like to hear it, I know.

      Otherwise you can google search for lawyers who take ‘legal malpractice” cases. But they are a not interested in weak cases.

    2. re: Hank

      It may not help your case directly but it would be good to contact the ACLU affiliate in your state and file an “intake form” or call your state ACLU office. Make them aware of this situation so they can monitor it in the future. Go to http://www.DuckDuckGo.com and enter “ACLU of ________” (name of your state).

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