He Who Must Not Be Heard: Facebook Removes Interview By Lara Trump For Including The “Voice Of Donald Trump”

Recently, Sen. Bernie Sanders raised concerns over the banning of Donald Trump from Twitter as an attack on free speech by corporate censors. It apparently had no impact on Big Tech.  Facebook has removed a video of an interview by Lara Trump of her father-in-law and former president. The company declared that it would censor  any content “in the voice of Donald Trump.” It appears that Trump has achieved Voldemort status on social media and is now “he who must not be heard.”

According to news reports,Trump officials were sent an email from a Facebook employee, warning that any content posted on Facebook and Instagram “in the voice of President Trump is not currently allowed on our platforms (including new posts with President Trump speaking).”
The otherwise cheerful note started with “Hi folks” and then stated “In line with the block we placed on Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, further content posted in the voice of Donald Trump will be removed and result in additional limitations on the accounts.”
The move is an obvious attack on free speech, including political speech.

Notably, he could be talking about the Yankees but the posting would be censored because the team was discussed in the voice of Donald Trump.  It is not his view but Trump himself that is being canceled by the company. However, presumably, Lara Trump could sit next to Trump and have him whisper his views into her ear. She could then give his views in the voice of Lara rather than Donald Trump.

As we have previously discussed, Democrats have abandoned long-held free speech values in favor of corporate censorship. They clearly has a different “comfort zone” than Sanders.  What discomforts many Democratic members is the ability of people to speak freely on these platforms and spread what they view as “disinformation.”

When Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey came before the Senate to apologize for blocking the Hunter Biden story before the election as a mistake, senators pressed him and other Big Tech executive for more censorship.

In that hearing, members like Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., HI) pressed witnesses like Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey for assurance that Trump would remain barred from speaking on their platforms: “What are both of you prepared to do regarding Donald Trump’s use of your platforms after he stops being president, will be still be deemed newsworthy and will he still be able to use your platforms to spread misinformation?”

Rather than addressing the dangers of such censoring of news accounts, Senator Chris Coons pressed Dorsey to expand the categories of censored material to prevent people from sharing any views that he considers “climate denialism.” Likewise, Senator Richard Blumenthal seemed to take the opposite meaning from Twitter, admitting that it was wrong to censor the Biden story. Blumenthal said that he was “concerned that both of your companies are, in fact, backsliding or retrenching, that you are failing to take action against dangerous disinformation.” Accordingly, he demanded an answer to this question:

“Will you commit to the same kind of robust content modification playbook in this coming election, including fact checking, labeling, reducing the spread of misinformation, and other steps, even for politicians in the runoff elections ahead?”

“Robust content modification” has a certain appeal, like a type of software upgrade. It is not content modification. It is censorship. If our representatives are going to crackdown on free speech, they should admit to being advocates for censorship.

Now “robust content modification” includes censoring the voice of Donald Trump. It is not just censorship but senseless.  These companies are trying to erase a unpopular figures but in doing so they are only deepening the divisions and anger in our country. Yet, the media is largely either supportive or silent in the face of this corporate regulation of political speech.

The move by Facebook could strengthen calls for changing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Big Tech once fashioned itself as the equivalent of the telephone company, and thus sought protections as neutral suppliers of communication forums allowing people to voluntarily associate and interact. It then started to engage in expanding, conflicting acts of censorship. Yet, it still wants to remain protected as if it were neutral despite actively modifying content. We would never tolerate a telephone company operator cutting into a call to say the company did not approve of a statement that was just made, or cutting the line for those who did not voice approved positions.

That is why I call myself an “internet originalist.” True neutrality leaves it to individuals to choose who they read, watch or converse with in the media.  You leave it up to people to decide whose voices will be heard.

135 thoughts on “He Who Must Not Be Heard: Facebook Removes Interview By Lara Trump For Including The “Voice Of Donald Trump””

  1. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.
    Above are compromise for the expletive I wish I could write.
    Basically Facebook is asked to please go elsewhere .
    Regards, Facebook.

  2. I love to see Professor Turley get all indignant about the oppressive regime he voted for.What’s the old saying, You only get to vote for communism once? Enjoy. Too bad the rest of us have to pay for the price for your shortsightedness.

  3. Turley says: “We would never tolerate a telephone company operator cutting into a call to say the company did not approve of a statement that was just made, or cutting the line for those who did not voice approved positions.”

    This is an altogether inapposite analogy. There is a profound difference between interrupting a private phone conversation and demanding that a company host a public forum. In the former case, there is an expectation of privacy, and in the latter, there is the spreading of speech which the company does wish to enable for moral reasons. The fact that a law professor would not recognize this difference presents too possibilities: he is an idiot or he is disingenuous. Of course, I think the latter.

    Turley is oblivious to the fact that the First Amendment prohibits government from silencing a person’s speech, but it does not grant a right to be HEARD by forcing private parties against their will to publicly spread that speech to others.

    1. The analogy is appropriate if you understand the threat monopolies pose. Facebook, Twitter, Google and others effectively function as one large entity with different business units that all share a common culture. While technically independent companies, in practice, they function as one entity and they control the vast majority of information that flows on the internet. More like a Big Tech Caliphate. AT&T was a private company with different business units handling different aspects of the long-line telephone business which they also effectively controlled.

      Based on how Facebook, Twitter and Google are exercising control of the flow of information and silencing any opposition to their worldview, a another parallel to them would be the Axis powers during WWII. Yes, they were separate countries and yes, they didn’t necessarily coordinate military operations, but they all shared a common enemy…freedom, liberty, rights and the rule of law.

      The Big Tech Caliphate needs to lose it’s monopolistic control over the internet.

      1. @Olly, the post you were responding to was written by me on a mobile not registered on this blog. I’m all for breaking up monopolies. Now that we agree on that point, perhaps you will respond to the gist of my argument that eavesdropping on a private conversation between 2 parties in order to determine its suitability is not analogous to refusing to platform and thereby broadcast to millions rhetoric which offends the moral or religious sensibilities of the host?

        1. Both are censorship on platforms designed to provide users a vehicle to communicate. They function as a government-sanctioned mass communication monopoly, controlling what users are permitted to effectively speak, read and ultimately know. They either need to cease this censorship, or lose 230 protections.

  4. The simple fact, leftist never prevail in the arena of ideas. Leftists only hope is to silence all debate of facts, on the merits.

  5. Even Big Brother in George Orwell’s “1984” allows the traitorous Emmanuel Goldstein to speak during the “Two Minute Hate.” It gave the party underlings an enemy to hate. Liberals/leftists/loonies are dumber than a bag of hair.

  6. What do you expect from a Socialist publication or whatever it is. Facebook has nothing to do with anything like our Constitutional Republic of, by, and for the people.. It would have worked in pre1990 Russia

  7. “[Private property is] that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”

    – James Madison
    _____________

    Congress has no authority to regulate any aspect of private property, or anything other than (1) the value of money, (2) the “flow” of commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;…,” and (3) land and naval Forces.
    ______________________________________

    Social media are private property.

    The 5th Amendment right to private property is not qualified by the Constitution and is, therefore, absolute.

    1. Tell that to private clubs: ‘whites only’, ‘men only’? Really? You want that legal again?
      [well, that approach would legalize clubs with ‘no whites’ rules]

      You are stretching so hard you got it completely backwards.

      Interstate commerce clause that is the foundation of Federal Rule???

      What are you? (a poorly programmed computer?)

      1. “Tell that to private clubs: ‘whites only’, ‘men only’? Really? You want that legal again?”

        ***
        They are already legal.

        Freedom of association.

        Wouldn’t a black men only private club be legal? [apart from jail, that is, which is also legal].

      2. People must adapt to the outcomes of freedom.

        Freedom does not adapt to people, dictatorship does.

      3. “Tell that to private clubs: ‘whites only’, ‘men only’? Really? You want that legal again?”

        What do you mean by “legal again”?

        https://100blackmen.org/

        Get out of your safe space and look around. There’s a whole world out there.

    2. George, The New York Times is private property but they can be sued for defamation when they present a story that is false. The times however does not present itself as a disinterested party that allows to all the equal ability to express their opinions. Because of this equal opportunity platform Twitter and Facebook are exempt from liability for what their posters say. Once the idea of equal opportunity to post is eliminated the process of choosing one poster over another then begins. The result is the choosing of who is right and who is wrong. In other words, once the advocation of one opinion over another is reinforced by the venue it is no longer an arbiter based on equal opportunity of expression and should no longer be protected by law because it’s very nature has been changed and it should be open to lawsuit. Twitter and Facebook themselves presented themselves as entities of no bias but they are biased when they only allow one opinion to be presented. Do yo want to live in a nation where the government, MSM and Social Media control what you hear and who you here it from. There are places on this globe that you can go to where you can be subject to such controls. The idea of private companies because of their control being able to do whatever they want was ended with the downfall of the Robber Barons. The Barons used exactly the same private business argument that you are using now. Thankfully the nation saw the danger then and hopefully will see it now. The worry is that propaganda controlled by one side is even more dangerous than the control of the rail cars and the Steele miles. If your not familiar with the Robber Barron’s your opinion might change if you read of their history.

  8. It is obvious they are curating content, the social media companies should be liable accordingly.

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