Facebook Upholds Trump Ban But Admits Permanent Ban Lacked Any Objective Standard

Facebook’s Oversight Board just voted that the company may want to give Trump back his boots.

The decision of the board to uphold the decision to ban Trump but reconsider his lifetime ban may seem transparently convenient for many. However, there is precedent. One of my favorite trial accounts is from Ireland where an Irishman was accused by an Englishman of stealing a pair of boots. The guilt of the defendant was absolutely clear but the Irish jury could not get itself to rule for the Englishman. Instead, it acquitted the Irishman but added a line, “We do believe O’Brien should give the Englishman back his boots.” Case closed.

Few people thought that, after expanding the censorship of political figures like Trump for years, Facebook could ever summon the courage to declare itself wrong in the ban first imposed on January 7, 2021. Instead, the board ruled that it was absolutely right to suspend Trump but it may want to reconsider the permanent ban given the absence of any objective standard to support it. So Trump will still get the boot for now. Facebook in the meantime will continue its insidious campaign to get people to “evolve” on regulations impacting privacy and free speech.

It may be too harsh to expect anything more from a board that literally monitors one of the world’s largest censorship programs. Facebook, Twitter, and other companies now openly engage in what they like to euphemistically call “content modification.” The decision reflects the convoluted logic of censor’s free speech review board. The company – and the Board – start from the assumption that it can and should censor views deemed “misinformation” or dangerous. The starting position therefore is that censorship is justified and that content neutrality is dangerous.

The Board’s position on the standardless policy on permanent bans ignores that its temporary suspension policy is equally standardless. The company cited the response to Trump’s speech by third parties as opposed to a specific call by Trump to commit violence. It does not take the same position when similar words are used by figures like Rep. Maxine Water (D., Cal.) during protests. The board worries that the permanent ban is not grounded in a state policy and that such limitless authority should concern everyone.  Indeed it does. Just as we are concerned by the limitless authority imposed on suspensions.

Recently, Facebook banned not just the postings but the very voice of Donald Trump. In what could be called Zuckerberg’s “He Who Must Not Be Heard” standard, Facebook blocked an interview of Trump with his daughter-in-law Lara Trump.  The company declared that it would censor  any content “in the voice of Donald Trump.” Thus, if Trump whispered his answers to his daughter-in-law, she could say the words. That is not considered what the Board calls an “indeterminate and standard less penalty.”

Even Facebook’s self-criticism of acting without a governing standard is self-contradictory.  If your company banned someone permanently without having a basis or standard, why is the natural response to look for a standard as opposed to lifting the standardless ban? This is not some remand for re-sentencing. The board concluded that there never was a stated basis or policy for the decision to permanently ban Trump. It is like a judge saying that I believe that the police had a reason to arrest you but I cannot see a reason for keeping you indefinitely in jail . . .  so I am going to keep in jail while we try to figure out if we ever had a reason to keep you indefinitely in jail.

Yet, that is the logic when your natural default is “content modification” and speech controls.

What is most alarming is that Facebook, Twitter, and other companies have been defended by Democratic leaders, writers, and academics. Indeed, the Atlantic published an article by Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith and University of Arizona law professor Andrew Keane Woods calling for Chinese style censorship of the internet.  They declared that “in the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong” and “significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet.”

Democratic leaders like Senator Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) have warned Big Tech companies that they are watching to be sure that there is no “backsliding or retrenching” from needed “robust content modification.” Many commentators on the left have become unabashed enablers of not just censorship but corporate censorship.

The common rationalization is that these companies are not subject to the First Amendment so there is no free speech issue.  The First Amendment is not synonymous with broader values of free speech. Private companies can still destroy free speech through private censorship. This is particularly the case with companies who not only run platforms for communications but received immunity from lawsuit under the view that they would be neutral providers of such platforms. Imagine if your telephone company took it upon itself to intervene in phone calls to object to something you just said or ban you from further calls for spreading misinformation. Some of us believe free speech is a human right that is defined by values beyond the confines of the First Amendment.

The alliance between political figures and these companies is particularly chilling. Big Tech has allowed for the creation of a state media without the state. Recently, Twitter admitted that it is censoring criticism of India’s government over its handling of the pandemic because such views are deemed illegal in India.  Facebook has been accused of censoring the views of Sikhs raising genocide concerns. Governments can now outsource censorship duties to Big Tech which benefits from government support ranging from immunity to taxation laws.

Trump has moved to create his own platform to communicate with voters. However, this is not about Trump. It is about Facebook and its censorship program. Many of us are not impressed by Facebook’s effort to work out its censorship standards because it is based on a premise of censorship. The Internet was once the greatest creation for free speech in history. It is now being converted into a managed space for corporate approved viewpoints. For free speech advocates, it is like going from a rolling ocean of free speech to a swimming pool of controlled content.

In the end, Facebook’s board could not go as far as the Irish jury to say that the company should give Trump back his boots but rather it “might want to consider” giving him back his boots. In the world of corporate censors, that is considered a principled stand.

An earlier version of this column ran on Fox.com.

256 thoughts on “Facebook Upholds Trump Ban But Admits Permanent Ban Lacked Any Objective Standard”

  1. I am a genuine leftist, i.e., I am deeply critical of the Democratic Party and advocate for democratic socialism, and Facebook is definitely censoring me much more tightly now than they used to, before 2016. I think their current algorithm ensures that virtually nobody sees my posts. I’m also on Minds and MeWe, but most of the people I know have stayed with Facebook, so I remain there, as well, although what they are doing really pisses me off.

    1. Brothermartin,

      Your criticism of Facebook brings us an example of how an anecdote, your experience with them, can be so pervasive it is nearly universal in scope. The Orwellian nature of social media giants has become a systemic problem with free publishing on the Internet. The fact of Facebook doing all it can to craft and marshal their user base into a singular set of approved content makes in my view a convincing argument for returning to the early 1990’s atmosphere of the world wide web where everyone relied on common protocols and formats to disseminate information to the readership, that is hosting their own website on one’s own servers and using e-Mail, RSS, IRC, NNTP and other non-proprietary modes of transmission to conduct that information.

      The technology exists and has since the 1980s for the most part to do all of this but for the average person setting up their own website, List Server, and RSS feed is daunting and people have become so hardwired to being betrothed to a few social media giants that they effectively won’t listen to information transmitted by anything other than those media.

      There was a period in the past few years where some did escape from the Facebook/twitter/Myspace etc. type of outfits and set up their own domains hosted at various providers. It wasn’t long before censorship minded opponents began harassing the Internet Service Providers until they finally dropped the site owners. Of course, one only needs to simply find another hosting service elsewhere and change the domain registration to a different IP address, but after having had to relocate to different providers, one after the other; they finally got tired of the harassment and gave up. It is no wonder why SeaLand became so popular of an idea for their foray into hosting service.

      A long term problem with this is that each new generation of users will grow up accepting an increasingly narrow band of permissible speech and will be truly clueless as to the kind of freedom that once was on the Internet. So I expect the censorship to only get worse because too many are invested in taking away the liberty of others. What is kind of ironic actually is that the behavior of people has gotten much worse over the years. Thirty years ago a person more or less had to have their act together to participate on the internet, both from technical knowledge and generally being more of a virtuous and decent person. Now that any Tom, Dick and Harry can post at nearly the same volume and scope as remarkable and honorable people, the level of baseness here is at an all-time high. Society hasn’t really been able to catch up with the speed and velocity for the changes in which technologically driven interpersonal communication is conducted, and people’s ability to cope with it has been a bit blindsided–leading up to much strife in the minds of many. I believe a way to mitigate some of this is to simply turn off as much as the noise and irritation and for individuals who would like to have their own website/blog taking charge of their own virtual household might bring some solace.

      A friend mentioned someone he knows who is a medical doctor and hosts a blog providing information on medial issues. The doctor eventually became so frustrated with intolerant, fervent people attacking him, posting vulgarity, and using his site as a means to blurt out completely unsound information amounting effectively to medical quackery that he shut off comments and links to social media. Essentially the comments and social media tweets were requiring so much time for babysitting and the aggravation made him question why he even bothered to host a website at all. So he fell back on what he enjoyed doing most, writing only the medical articles and nothing more. It probably saved his website in doing this. He decided what was more important to him and went with it.

      1. A Corollary to the doctor’s situation above is the idea of simply writing articles to a blog without any regard to how many people will read it and what they might have to say about the content. A person can achieve a form of liberation by not allowing their sense of importance to be tied to the size of their audience and how loved / hated they are. That way one is free to write what they want, and not be influenced by the demands and expectations of others. The virtue behind this is that a person is fully at liberty to express their unique ideas to the fullest extent they are capable. If everyone was enabled to be so free to express themselves as individuals, the marketplace of ideas would be awash with a great many interesting perspectives to choose and learn from. And moreover if a person writes particularly meritorious content, the marketplace will by design tend to award them with as many fans as the market will bear for their particular flavor of idea or skill level. Surely this is not the easiest way to start a blog from scratch, but that is an inescapable requisite of freedom and liberty, it isn’t always easy.

        Yet if we remain as content providers in an unholy marriage to Facebook and the likes our individual freedom and consequently the broader market of ideas will be constrained. And the velocity of progress will become stagnant. And human history has demonstrated repeatedly that stagnation is something that humanity should strive to avoid.

        1. Darren,
          I’m curious to know if JT began his blog as you describe here or did he early on, participate in the blog? There was a question posed yesterday wondering if JT participates in his own blog now under a pseudonym.

          1. Olly,

            Professor Turley was more active with personal comments from 2007 to 2011 then the frequency of comments began to lessen. 2014 was a contentious year for the blog and he had to personally intervene more frequently because some of the commenters were constantly violating the Civility Rules. It became quite bad. After that he seemed to allocate more of his time toward other matters. It has been my observation that the number of articles he writes per week has increased and at the same time the number of personal comments he offers dropped. I don’t obviously keep up with his schedule but that is what I have seen here, as others have.

            As to the matter of whether or not Professor Turley comments under a pseudonym, I have never seen any evidence of that happening nor do I personally believe it is something he would do. I recognize that it is a practice some blog owner’s might engage in, but I don’t believe it is the case here.

            1. Thank you Darren. I do recall his comments in 2014 regarding the civility rules. I certainly haven’t seen any comments on this blog that would lead me to think he’s contributing.

              On the other matter, this article came into my email earlier today from the Federalist regarding RSS feeds. I didn’t know anything about them and since I’ve deleted my accounts with FB and Twitter, it would be good to have a news aggregator. I’ve signed on to Feedly.

              Thanks for the tip!

              https://thefederalist.com/2021/05/13/5-ways-to-reduce-your-daily-dependence-on-big-tech/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=the_federalist_daily_briefing_2021_05_13&utm_term=2021-05-13

              https://www.wired.com/story/rss-readers-feedly-inoreader-old-reader/

            2. “As to the matter of whether or not Professor Turley comments under a pseudonym, I have never seen any evidence of that happening nor do I personally believe it is something he would do.”

              Darren, I consider it libel when someone says he uses a pseudonym. That is his reputation that is at stake and his reputation is his most valuable asset. It is so valuable that though many of my views are opposite to Turley’s when it comes to his view of the law I listen closely recognizing that one can reasonably disagree. Reputation is key to a well functioning societies and businesses. Before the FDA and all the government intervention people based many of their purchases on reputation. Reputation removes a lot of transactional costs.

    2. A Corollary to the doctor’s situation above is the idea of simply writing articles to a blog without any regard to how many people will read it and what they might have to say about the content. A person can achieve a form of liberation by not allowing their sense of importance to be tied to the size of their audience and how loved / hated they are. That way one is free to write what they want, and not be influenced by the demands and expectations of others. The virtue behind this is that a person is fully at liberty to express their unique ideas to the fullest extent they are capable. If everyone was enabled to be so free to express themselves as individuals, the marketplace of ideas would be awash with a great many interesting perspectives to choose and learn from. And moreover if a person writes particularly meritorious content, the marketplace will by design tend to award them with as many fans as the market will bear for their particular flavor of idea or skill level. Surely this is not the easiest way to start a blog from scratch, but that is an inescapable requisite of freedom and liberty, it isn’t always easy.

      Yet if we remain as content providers in an unholy marriage to Facebook and the likes our individual freedom and consequently the broader market of ideas will be constrained. And the velocity of progress will become stagnant. And human history has demonstrated repeatedly that stagnation is something that humanity should strive to avoid.

      1. “not be influenced by the demands and expectations of others.”

        Richard Feynman

    3. I am a genuine leftist, i.e., I am deeply critical of the Democratic Party and advocate for democratic socialism,

      To help me understand what that means, what criticism deep or otherwise, do you have of this current iteration of the Democratic party? As a leftist that advocates for democratic socialism, can you cite where in that ideology that they support the free exchange of ideas, i.e. no censorship from platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc?

  2. Ben, this response apparently didn’t go through, so I am reposting it.
    ———
    >>Ben, the tax cut benefitted a majority especially lower income.

    >𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐭.

    You can go right to the IRS tables and see the percentage reduction to lower income is higher. You can also go to the IRS tables to further your understanding of the loss of the property tax deduction.

    >𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐝𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐝𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬.

    Assuming the lockdown was done to save lives. Why could the largest billionaire corporations sell products when smaller companies were closed.

    >𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐛𝐥𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐢𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐜𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭.

    I don’t need to. The Democrats are at fault.

    Look at the latest employment numbers. They fell when they should have been higher
    unemployment rose to 6.1
    More jobs are available than people looking for jobs
    There are millions staying home collecting Biden checks while many businesses are being starved from labor.

    This will end badly.

    There is no need to go further. Your ignorance is already totally on display.

  3. Ben, per my post so that you better understand tax reductions. It is done in a very simple way so that perhaps you will be able to understand.
    —–

    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay $1.
    The sixth would pay $3.
    The seventh would pay $7.
    The eighth would pay $12.
    The ninth would pay $18.
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

    So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.
    “Since you are all such good customers”, he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20”. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his “fair share?”
    They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

    And so:
    The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
    The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
    “I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $10!”
    “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!”
    “That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”
    “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”
    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
    The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

    —viral email

  4. I posted 3 comments. in this post of Professor Turley’s opining censorship. 2 of them displayed. 1 of them, the last one was censored. I tried reposting it several times but got the message “looks like you’ve already said that”. The comment however never posted. It was censored.

    Professor Turley, and whoever the law student fan of yours is that you have censoring your blog,, … you rest their case.

  5. I’m curious how many here believe the election was stolen? (this is an intelligence test)

  6. OT: Biden is weakening American security substantially. Other enemies are carefully looking at Vienna. Bullies look for weaknesses and prey on the weaknesses of others to dominate and get their way. Post Biden a lot of attention will have to be paid to reverse the Damage he is presently doing.

    “Biden is so obsessed with getting a “photo op agreement” reversing President Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA that he is prepared to make any concession and overlook any Iranian violation of the agreement. As a result, the Vienna nuclear talks are a sham”

    Full article at: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/nuclear-talks-vienna-are-sham–and-iran-winning-them-184419

    1. Yeah right. Biden accused Putin of being a murderer and his Secretary of State read China the riot act in Alaska.

      Trump kissed Putin’s ass whenever he could and what did he do with China, cancel TikTok?

      You bet on the Chiefs and Gonzaga, didn’t you?

      No American should be as dumb as you.

      1. The arrogance of this fellow Ben who presumes to know what he’s talking about whenever he types. A typical Left coast jerk.

      2. Ben, you are a Stupid fellow. We have 4 major enemies at the present time that provide active threats. China, Russia Iran and N. Korea. If one is smart he tries to separate his enemies from one another. In other words diplomacy is essential with Russia.

        Calling Putin a murderer is plain stupid. Trump talked nice to Putin but was strong which Putin didn’t like, but respected. The oil pipeline is one, The Ukraine is another. There are many more but you are too dumb to search them out.

        Russia is loaded with resources including rare earth minerals. Economically it is failing. We rely almost completely on China for rare earth elements. Maybe Russia could produce them improving its economy and acting as a competitor to China? I provided that as a tiny tidbit of things we don’t even talk about just to further demonstrate how Stupid your argument, “Biden accused Putin of being a murderer” is.

      3. Oh yes Ben, Trump puts billions of dollars of sanctions on China. A strange way to kiss their butts. You use the word Nazi against Trump and then you say he bent down to China. In each of these statements you show an amazing ignorance of history. We all see it, but we have lost all sense of surprise when we read your shallow comments born from a total lack of knowledge.

        1. If Trump were the China-hating, deal-genius he claims to be he would have – with the swipe of a pen – nullified the $1 trillion in American debt held by China as just a downpayment on the total damages and compensation for launching a global pandemic by the bat eaters.

          And diverted those billions in interest payments to American businesses and families that need it.

          And Trump would encourage all other China-debtor nations to do the same, because what will the total bill on this be?

          Hundreds of trillions?

          Into the quadrillions?

          Did Trump do that? No, he cancelled Tik Tok.

          Why isn’t America and the world holding China responsible for all this?

          Millions of dead people, untold trillions in economic losses.

          1. Here’s Ben again. Trump said it was a China virus and cancelled travel from China. Pelosi marched through China town in San Francisco and called Trump xenophobic. The left also came out against the tariffs that Trump imposed on China. Ben, your are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own history. Ben begins a new chapter in the Ben’s book of historical religion in every post he makes. We can tell that he’s researched every historical point of history with complete due diligence in order to enlighten us one and all.
            .

            1. San Francisco County has had less than 600 deaths from Covid which is remarkable for a city that dense.

              San Francisco – Pelosi’s district – handled it a lot better than Trump – who didn’t handle Covid at all, other than tweeting about The Bachelor and telling Americans to huff Lysol.

              America needed leadership.

              All American presidents face some kind of crisis and how they deal with the crisis is indicative of their leadership.

              What if Lincoln lost the Civil War or FDR/Truman lost World War II?

              Trump couldn’t con his way out of a pandemic.

              He failed America – completely – and that’s why he was voted out after one term.

              Republicans screw it up. Democrats clean it up.

              1. Nice cherry pick Ben. Deaths in California from the China virus, 62,000. So much for Trump being xenophobic.

                1. California has 40 million people.

                  One-eighth the entire United States.

                  Does California have one-eighth of the total deaths from Covid in the United States?

                  No.

                  If California had 2 million people or whatever is the population of the nowhere, impoverished Red State you’re from, our death toll would be much lower.

          2. Just to let you know Ben, Trump is no longer President. Your question should be, why hasn’t Biden nullified the U.S. debt to China with one fell swoop of his pen? Why hasn’t Biden encouraged other nations to do the same. What effect would it have in our relations with other nations if we just snapped our fingers and cancelled our debts with them. Have you noticed that Biden hasn’t ended our sanctions on China that were put in place by Trump. TDS lies deep within this one.

            1. Well Trump claimed to be the aggressive China-hater. Was he?

              Biden has only been in office 100+ days. It takes a lot longer than that to unscrew four years of incompetent leadership.

              Biden will deal with China in good time.

              His ambassadors already read them the riot act in Alaska and flustered them so bad, the Chinese broke protocol, lost their temper and rambled for 20 minutes.

              All in good time.

              Biden has to clear off the pandemic and fix the economy first.

              Answer this question.

              What is Trump’s legacy?

              Obama has ObamaCare and fixing the Great Recession and ending stupid wars in the Middle East.

              Not to mention loaning Tesla $465 million and getting that loan back five years early, a loan that created tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of billions in wealth.

              Did Trump attempt or achieve anything like that? Did he do anything that succesful?

              How will history remember Trump?

              What is his legacy?

              1. We have the vaccines because of Trump.

                Plus a long list of other accomplishments that have been listed many times over. Do you not read anything John Say writes? Sheesh.

              2. “Biden will deal with China in good time.”

                No he won’t. Biden is bought and paid for by China.

                    1. Tony Bobulinski?

                      That your cousin or something?

                      One person? That’s it?

                      Joe Biden is worth $9 million.

                      My neighbors have guest houses worth more than that.

                      If he’s corrupt, he’s not very good at it.

              3. “Obama has ObamaCare”

                They rammed Obamacare through based on lies and on a party line vote. Voters were not able to keep their plans or their doctors. Voters were furious about Obamacare and were rejecting the mandate and unaffordable premiums with way too high unusable deductibles. Angry voters were showing up at townhall meetings with their representatitves for years. Obamacare was extremely unpopular with voters until Trump did away with the mandate/penalty.

              4. “His ambassadors already read them the riot act in Alaska and flustered them so bad, the Chinese broke protocol, lost their temper and rambled for 20 minutes.”

                The Chinese were not “flustered” by Blinken. Not even a little bit. China wiped the floor with Biden’s secretary of state as he sat there and took it. Blinken was outmatched, unprepared and out of his league. Amateurish and weak. Blinken blew it. That’s what happened in Alaska. Humilation of the U.S. by China.

  7. The First Amendment says, in part:

    “Congress shall make no law . . .abridging the freedom of speech . . .”

    It does *not* say: “and government can force others to build you a bridge from which you can speak.”

    For those of you arguing that this is a “free speech” issue: Where on Earth did you get the idea that your right to free speech includes the “right” to compel others (e.g., Facebook) to provide you with a forum?

    Similarly, does the right to bear arms (2A) include the “right” to force S&W to provide you with a gun?

  8. It wasn’t a Trump Ban. It was a bunch of Obama failed to send stuff to the Congress for the most part kyoto this and Paris that so then we all remembered the 1500 blank pages of obama care and said oh no not again. But this time Congress had to deal with the bills Obama failed to send to congress and bills with blank pages were the reason but Not sending things like the immigration stuff and the treaty stuff was just sheer lazy.

  9. For the leftists on the blog that feel injured when being called fascists or any other such name, VDH wrote an article with 10 points. You can compare your beliefs with the ten points he mentioned and see how closely Sovietized you really are.

    Are Americans Becoming Sovietized?
    https://amgreatness.com/2021/05/05/are-americans-becoming-sovietized/

    If you object to the term being used on you, one can always explain why those 10 points aren’t true.

    1. One of the most fascinating things to me about trumpism is that its adherents literally saw their candidate funnel information to the Kremlin in order for help in getting elected, regularly genuflected and deflected any negative attention directed toward Russia while in office, and then fell into a McCarthy esque re-election strategy…, and the follwers bought it.

      EB

      1. Bug, look at the 10 points in the article and tell us which are wrong or don’t apply to you. You didn’t bother to do that. Instead you demonstrated you are Sovietized and accept what you are told without thinking. That is why you always lack proof. You have proven VDH’s claim. I will mention a few things from the article.

        #1) “There was no escape from ideological indoctrination—anywhere.

        Your data is filled with ideological indoctrination. That is why you can’t list what was sent to the Kremlin and argue what that means.”

        You are totally indoctrinated.

        #2) “The Soviets fused their press with the government. Pravda or “Truth” was the official megaphone of state-sanctioned lies. Journalists simply regurgitated the talking points of their Party partners.”

        You read the journalists without trying to determine if what “you were told was true or false.

        #6) “The Soviets mastered Trotskyization, or the rewriting and airbrushing away of history to fabricate present reality. Are Americans any different when they indulge in a frenzy of name changing, nighttime statue toppling, monument defacing, book banning, and “cancellation”?”

        That is what you do on a continuous nature.

        You can read some more of the article on your own.

        SM

          1. Bug , if that is so then the information went over your head. If you don’t recognize what is being said and what those things mean, like Svelaz, I am not paid to teach you. Further, even if I did get paid, trying to teach you principles is near impossible. The concrete set long ago.

            SM

                1. Could be…

                  However any general interest list like this that doesn’t include Trump’s constant tongue holing of Putin, his shuffling of polling data to Russian intelligence, etc.regarding “Sovietization” gets immediately rejected by me. Doesn’t recycle into the slush pile, just gets filed in the trash under ‘Diesel powered idiocy’.

                  That’s in addition to its inherent generic and wishy washy prose quality and content.

                  EB

                  1. Bug that is because the content and context of what people like you bring to the table is so awfully Stupid. You run away so fast hoping no one will see or remember that you provided such ignorant material.

                    Take note how you ramble and say nothing except words that you hope will be interpreted as ideas. You would have presented those words in the more complete form of ideas and argument if you had any.

                    SM

                    1. +10

                      Allan isn’t a guy big on original thought, I think we can stipulate that. Ha.

                      EB

        1. SM,
          What you’re posting needs to be said, and I’m sure you’re aware it will not make a dent in the head’s of EB and the other useful idiots pumping their Marxist lies. It’s tragic conservatives didn’t take action from the warnings Yuri Bezmenov gave us nearly 40 years ago.

          The essence of subversion is best expressed in the famous Marxist slogan, (if you substitute “proletarians” for a more appropriate word): “Useful idiots of the world — UNITE! To achieve the desired effect, the subverter must first — make idiots out of normal people, and DIVIDE them, before turning the people into a homogenized mass of useful and united idiots. Tanks and missiles may or may not be needed at final stage. For the time being they are simply the means of terrorising people into inaction and submission.”

          “500 years before Christ, the Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu formulated the principle of subversion this way:

          1. Cover with ridicule all of the valid traditions in your opponent’s country
          2. Implicate their leaders in criminal affairs and turn them over to the scorn of their populace at the right time
          3. Disrupt the work of their government by every means
          4. Do not shun the aid of the lowest and most despicable individuals of your enemy’s country
          5. Spread disunity and dispute among the citizens.
          6. Turn the young against the old
          7. Be generous with promises and rewards to collaborators and accomplices.”

          “Sound familiar? About 2500 years later we can read this very same instruction in a secret document, allegedly authored by the Communist International for their “young revolutionaries”. The document is titled “Rules of Revolution” (these “rules” are almost a literal interpretation of those theories and practices which I learned from my KGB superiors and colleagues within the ‘Novosti’ Press Agency:

          1. Corrupt the young, get them interested in sex, take them away from religion. Make them superficial and enfeebled.
          2. Divide the people into hostile groups by constantly harping on controversial issues of no importance.
          3. Destroy people’s faith in their national leaders by holding the latter up for contempt, ridicule and disgrace.
          4. Always preach democracy, but seize power as fast and as ruthlessly as possible.
          5. By encouraging government extravagances, destroy its credit, produce years of inflation with rising prices and general discontent.
          6. Incite unnecessary strikes in vital industries, encourage civil disorders and foster a lenient and soft attitude on the part of the government towards such disorders.
          7. Cause breakdown of the old moral virtues: honesty, sobriety, self-restraint, faith in the pledged word.”
          https://unconstrainedanalytics.org/kgb-defector-yuri-bezmenov-warns-america-of-marxist-subversion/

          1. “It’s tragic conservatives didn’t take action”

            All one has to do to see how the Republican Party acts is to look at the details of how Trump’s election was handled by Republicans. (Don’t bother blaming Democrats for the Party has been Sovietized.)

            Bug always tries to use baseless and useless rhetoric in response to important input. I don’t blame him, for he is ignorant of the facts and doesn’t have the mindset to take a single problem and engage his critical thinking skills. He knows he doesn’t have what it takes, so he side tracks and disguises his ignorance with a lot of superficial rhetoric.

            1. Here’s hoping Trump has the same effect on the Republican party that Hitler had on the Nazi party.

              Both parties are equally corrupt and incompetent.

              Trump broke Facebook’s rules.

              IT’s as simple as that.

              They ban people all the time.

              Trump thinks the rules don’t apply to him.

              They do.

              Thank Odin he is stifled.

              If he wants to mouth off he can go on Fox.

              1. Ben, you talk a lot about Hitler. You need not discuss Nazi policy or how it relates today. A lot of what you proposed in the past is consistent with Hitlarian type thinking so we already get the idea. Like the Nazi’s, you do and you say what you please, and later change those thoughts to please whatever is flying by your mind in the present.

                All we need to know is nothing you say necessarily relates to the truth.

                “Trump broke Facebook’s rules.”

                Trump broke Nazi rules. Therefore you will burn everything he wrote and everything written by anyone who had even one positive thought about Trump. You will cancel him and his supporters. You will demonize them so that should someone take the lives of those Trump supporters it will be considered a good thing. You are a Nazi.

      2. EB, You must be referring to the tank buster rockets that Trump sent to replace the blankets sent by Obama. Obama sends blankets to the Ukraine so that they can defend themselves against Russian tanks and Trump sends rockets. Out of these two who does it look like was the one kissing Putin’s backside under the blankets. One other thing I can’t leave out was the Russian reset button with reset in Russian misspelled. Reality awaits your presence.

    2. VDH has nailed it once again. The points won’t be disputed by the Lefties on this blog. Instead they will do what they always do, trot out well-proven lies in a feeble attempt to deflect attention away from the hideous neo-Marxist ideology destroying this country. As Solzhenitsyn wrote: Live Not By Lies.

      Our way must be: Never knowingly support lies! Having understood where the lies begin (and many see this line differently)—step back from that gangrenous edge! Let us not glue back the flaking scales of the Ideology, not gather back its crumbling bones, nor patch together its decomposing garb, and we will be amazed how swiftly and helplessly the lies will fall away, and that which is destined to be naked will be exposed as such to the world.

      And thus, overcoming our temerity, let each man choose: Will he remain a witting servant of the lies (needless to say, not due to natural predisposition, but in order to provide a living for the family, to rear the children in the spirit of lies!), or has the time come for him to stand straight as an honest man, worthy of the respect of his children and contemporaries? And from that day onward he:

      · Will not write, sign, nor publish in any way, a single line distorting, so far as he can see, the truth;

      · Will not utter such a line in private or in public conversation, nor read it from a crib sheet, nor speak it in the role of educator, canvasser, teacher, actor;

      · Will not in painting, sculpture, photograph, technology, or music depict, support, or broadcast a single false thought, a single distortion of the truth as he discerns it;

      · Will not cite in writing or in speech a single “guiding” quote for gratification, insurance, for his success at work, unless he fully shares the cited thought and believes that it fits the context precisely;

      · Will not be forced to a demonstration or a rally if it runs counter to his desire and his will; will not take up and raise a banner or slogan in which he does not fully believe;

      · Will not raise a hand in vote for a proposal which he does not sincerely support; will not vote openly or in secret ballot for a candidate whom he deems dubious or unworthy;

      · Will not be impelled to a meeting where a forced and distorted discussion is expected to take place;

      · Will at once walk out from a session, meeting, lecture, play, or film as soon as he hears the speaker utter a lie, ideological drivel, or shameless propaganda;

      · Will not subscribe to, nor buy in retail, a newspaper or journal that distorts or hides the underlying facts.

      This is by no means an exhaustive list of the possible and necessary ways of evading lies. But he who begins to cleanse himself will, with a cleansed eye, easily discern yet other opportunities.
      https://www.solzhenitsyncenter.org/live-not-by-lies

  10. Something the Professor and others perhaps seem to not realize is that this is modern Silicon Valley’s attitude toward EVERYTHING. Has been since at lest the advent of web 2.0. Many of them are indeed on the spectrum of autism, and they not only don’t care what others think might be best, it never even occurs to them to ask or consider (so throw in narcissism, too). This is not new behavior, not by a long shot, they just have more reach now. If one hadn’t been involved in tech for at least the past 15 years, one might be forgiven for being unaware. But the aware did warn and were ignored, and here we are.

    1. You are so right and it should be a concern to all. The higher up they go on the Asperger’s Syndrome the more difficult it seems to be for any sort of empathy to enter their kingdoms. This needs to be looked at very seriously and soon because the accrued power they hold may just do us all in.

  11. Jonathan: So the Facebook Oversight Board says the tech giant’s decision to ban Trump was “justified”. No big surprise. When you select the Board members you get to determine the result. When you are a private corporation you can choose who appears on your platform. You say the Board’s decision is part of an incidious campaign” that “literally monitors one of the world’s largest censorship programs”. Fine. But if you want to complain about a “state media without the state” what about FoxNews that acted pretty much as “state media” during the Trump era when it pushed and echoed Donald Trump’s every conspiracy theory. Even after Trump lost the election Fox pushed his conspiracy theory that he lost only because of “massive Democratic voter fraud”. Fox practices “censorship” in spades. Rarely is any guest allowed on FOX that does not push Rupert Murdock’s agenda. That includes you. By now appearing on Fox as a paid contributor some of your colleagues at George Washington Law School say you have forsaken the “academic” pretense for the pursuit of fame and fortune. Ellie Mystal of The Nation observes that “Turley’s the hack they call when they don’t want to look like they’re calling in a hack”. When was the last time Mystal or Lawrence Tribe was called to appear along side you in any segment on any issue? Fox claims on its masthead that it is “fair and balanced”. It is neither. Your presence on Fox is solely to reinforce the Fox line of the day. Many of your columns seem to be tailored to fit into the Fox narrative so you will be invited to appear. When you complain often that conservative alternative perspectives are marginalized or censored on college campuses and demand more “free speech” for students and professors or now complain about “censorship” at Facebook you say this without any sense of shame or embarrassment. When you appear on Fox you get to monopolize the conversation. That’s OK as long as you acknowledge that your employer also practices censorship. Your complaints about Facebook reek of hypocrisy!

    1. Dennis,

      Well said. I am looking forward to the day when Turley debates another academic in a public forum wherein he has to answer the charges you have made. To date, he has not been willing to defend his decision to work for Fox.

      1. Jeff, a debate of sorts did happen recently during the impeachment trials when Turley spoke, answered questions, and countered the talking points of other attorneys. In that debate he came out fantastic and that is why you dislike him. He proved your case wrong and you had nothing to respond with except the vitriol you demonstrate towards him in almost every comment on this blog.

    2. What you have yet to understand is that Turley is no longer in the matrix. You are still in it. You too can break on through to the other side. Then, perhaps you will understand where Professor T is coming from.

  12. Traditional paper newspapers separated articles into “opinion sections” and “straight news” (without opinion). One major American newspaper uses the “4 Pinocchios” rating system – if the opinion is 100% fact based it’s zero Pinocchio icons, but if the opinion is totally false it’s 4 Pinocchio icons.

    Facebook has even more advanced tools. Facebook could rate a post “mostly true” or “mostly false” and the use footnotes to inform the readers. For serial misinformation, Facebook could simply block that particular post from “public” viewing by anyone and only available to “friends” of the serial misinformation. Facebook could easily do this especially for misinformation by public celebrities.

    Never forget that Facebook has abused this censoring authority for very legitimate posts also. Years ago, Facebook blocked the entire ACLU home page. What was the offense? The ACLU posted a bronze statue of a female in a public park that anyone could see in person. The ACLU is the most respected law firm by federal judges and the U.S. Supreme Court specializing in censorship. Facebook needs reforming.

  13. Liberals:

    Tiny little bakery shops have no right to decide what cakes they do and don’t want to make based on their religious and moral principles.

    Tech monopolies are private corporations and can platform or not platform whoever they want without being told what to do.

    @glenngreenwalk

    1. Anonymous, there’s a difference. When you run a business that offers a service for compensation to the public it is not the same as offering a service that is free to use if you sign an agreement to abide by its rules and agree to your content being removed if they violate the terms of the contract you agreed to.

      A bakery does not require you to sign an agreement before you buy a cake.

      1. ” When you run a business that offers a service for compensation to the public it is not the same as offering a service that is free to use if you sign an agreement to abide by its rules “

        Svelaz, forgetting the fact that your comment made legal errors, Facebook is not free. It uses a different method of exacting payment. You should have known that already.

        “A bakery does not require you to sign an agreement before you buy a cake.”

        Whether in writing or orally both are contracts that can be upheld in court. In fact during the discussion of the cake the bakery outlined its contract. It didn’t bake cakes that was against their religious beliefs.

        I’m glad you now realize that the bakery has rights at least based on their verbal contract.

        SM

        1. Anonymous SM,

          “ Facebook is not free. It uses a different method of exacting payment. You should have known that already.”

          Show us how we pay for Facebook SM. How much does it cost to sign up?

          “ Whether in writing or orally both are contracts that can be upheld in court. In fact during the discussion of the cake the bakery outlined its contract. It didn’t bake cakes that was against their religious beliefs.”

          Wrong. The baker doesn’t state his requirements before agreeing to make a cake so the customer can choose whether or not to shop there.

          Facebook requires you to agree to the contract before allowing you to use it. A baker will not make it public that they won’t cater to certain people. They can lose business very quickly, especially when cancel culture championed by conservatives is so popular right now.

          1. Svez, your data is what they trade you for your use. They aggregate it and sell it. Duh! FB is not free. Your privacy is what you trade with them to use it.

          2. “Show us how we pay for Facebook SM. How much does it cost to sign up?”

            Svelaz, you are like a child who asks questions but never researches or thinks. Go to an encyclopedia and look at what the word, pay, means. You are ungrateful to people that try to educate you so you can do it for yourself.

            Suffice it to say you pay enough that Zuckerberg is one of the richest people on the planet.

            “Wrong. The baker doesn’t state his requirements before agreeing to make a cake so the customer can choose whether or not to shop there.”

            Again you don’t think. The baker DIDN’T make the cake because no agreement could be made as to what the verbal contract would be.

            “cancel culture championed by conservatives is so popular right now.”

            Cancel culture is championed by the left.

            SM

            1. Anonymous SM, PAY; give (someone) money that is due for work done, goods received, or a debt incurred.

              you said Facebook is not free? So what does it cost you to join? You should be able to answer that simple question.

              “ Suffice it to say you pay enough that Zuckerberg is one of the richest people on the planet.”

              Again SM, how are you paying Zuckerberg? How much does it cost to join Facebook SM?

              Again YOU said Facebook isn’t free?

              “ Again you don’t think. The baker DIDN’T make the cake because no agreement could be made as to what the verbal contract would be.”

              Here you’re going off on a tangent as usual. You used the baker as an equivalent comparison to Facebook’s terms and conditions agreement people sign in order to use Facebook.

              It’s not an equivalent comparison. You being a dumba$$ is the bigger problem here.

              Actually “cancel culture” is a creation of the right. It started with all those boycotts of stores or companies every time Christians got offended about some petty thing. The left just took a page from that.

              1. 1) get a dictionary.
                2) learn the various mechanisms of paying for something. Payment occurred prior to the use of money.
                3) You brought up the bakers agreement. When none could be made no cake was produced.
                4) boycotts and cancel culture today are not the same thing and boycotts were used long before the Christmans you seem to remember.

                Your lack of knowledge is astounding.

                SM

  14. Turley: “Facebook, Twitter, and other companies now openly engage in what they like to euphemistically call “content modification.”

    Speaking of euphemisms, Judge Barrett-Jackson just declared that Turley’s pal Bill Barr was “disingenuous” in his role summarizing the Meuller Report. That is a judicious way of saying that he lied. This is the second judge to conclude that Barr was less than honest in his role as AG.

    On the strength of their long-standing friendship, I predict that Turley will not allow this recent judicial condemnation to go unanswered. I have not read her opinion, so I don’t know how strong an argument she has made, but Turley has his work cut out for him to defend Barr. Incidentally, Mark Levin, his Fox Need colleague, pointed out that she was “appointed by Obama” and simply dismissed her as a “hack.” I don’t imagine that Turley will insult our intelligence likewise! However, it does show the mentality of the people with whom Turley now associates.

    1. Wonder if Turley will defend Barr’s right to be “disingenuous” on First Amendment grounds. This lying was blatant.

      1. The Trumpists want a safe zone for lying. But the Supreme Court has stated, “there is no constitutional value in false statements of facts.”

        Turley constantly shifts the debate to “opinions” and “views” when the issue is demonstrable or knowing falsehoods. Who decides what’s false? The owners of the microphone. It’s a free country, and the government has no power to force broadcasters to amplify falsehoods.

        Look what is happening to Turley’s Fox News. It gave a platform to Trump’s liars, and now it is being sued for defamation for amplifying those lies. If it had acted responsibly like the mainstream networks by refusing to broadcast these demonstrable lies, it would not be in this predicament.

        1. “The Trumpists want a safe zone for lying.”

          Jeff, you know, or should know that statement is false. You are slinging mud on everyone that supports Trump yet you do so without providing proof.

          “there is no constitutional value in false statements of facts”

          That is true, but perhaps your problem lies not with what is true or false rather what a fact is. Perhaps that is the type of problem that can make anyone appear foolish.

          “Who decides what’s false? The owners of the microphone. “

          The one that decides what is false also indirectly decides what is true. Hitler owned the microphone so Now Jeff Silberman believes Hitler was correct? Jeff, do you believe Hitler’s control over the microphone made him correct?

          “Look what is happening to Turley’s Fox News. It gave a platform to Trump’s liars, and now it is being sued for defamation for amplifying those lies.”

          Most news platforms get sued. That doesn’t mean they did anything wrong. The WaPo and NYT get sued as well and sometimes have to pay for their errors. Project Veritas has had 7 suits in a row with left-wing media and won all of them.

          You sound somewhat naive which leads you open to being convinced of things before you have a good handle on the facts.

          1. Meyer asks me: “Now Jeff Silberman believes Hitler was correct?”

            And I will ask you: “When did you stop beating your wife?”

            1. Meyer,

              FYI: I will no longer reply to your replies. You have proven yourself- to my satisfaction- that you are not debate worthy.

              1. “FYI: I will no longer reply to your replies.”

                You didn’t have to announce that. It would be obvious when you don’t reply. But, you did announce it, because you are trying to tell everyone you are choosing not to respond rather than accepting the fact that in every single discussion we have had you have been unable to satisfactorily respond.

                Don’t worry. You are a leftist who cannot defend what he says. That is pretty normal around here. I’ll make my comments but I will not be distressed when I get no answer. I have responded all this time to a lot of your answers that were the equivalent of no answers.

                Let me give you a piece of advice given by Richard Feynman. You should never be totally convinced of anything (including your leftist ideas). Once everyone is convinced they have the right answer they never progress to the next level. That is your problem. For years you have never asked yourself the simple questions you have been asked here. You are foolishly too sure of yourself. That is why your mind hasn’t advanced so that you can produce better and better answers. You are striving to prove yourself right and not striving to make yourself smarter.

            2. Jeff, the question you first have to ask is did you ever beat your wife? To that my answer is no. But since you worded it in the way you did one has to suspect that to you beating of one’s wife is normal. Now that the question is raised, “When did you stop beating your wife?”

    2. You mean “Judge” Berman Jackson. If commentator Mark Levine called her a “hack,” he was putting a positive spin on her. A more accurate and complete description is she’s a worthless leftist political ideologue without a scintilla of integrity.

    3. Jeff Silberman, I’m pasting a comment made by Darren the moderator explaining why Turley’s blog censors certain things. I find it ironic in how he describes Turley’s blog. Facebook is essential Mark Zuckerburg’s “house” except he has a much bigger one.

      Facebook is no different.

      “ Carlyle,
      I agree with what you discussed in the first three paragraphs about the circumnavigating course of some words from being labeled preferable and then inevitably becoming pariah. But it seems that in our host’s views, if I may conjecture and speak of him, the “here and now” of the words’ or ideas’ maligned natures might have contributed to their removal. Yet whether I agree with it or not matters not since it is his weblog and his house rules are of his personal purview. What some others here fail to understand is that Professor Turley’s personal website is more akin to a “closely held” entity than it would be for a general utility or perhaps a large corporation. As such, I would propose in terms of what he chooses to remove from his comment section or his own articles afford him a greater degree of liberty to do so. It is more like his household of where he resides than the public park a few miles away. For example generally in Trespass Law a person has an absolute right to evict an unwanted guest from their residence, with or without cause, for any reason he or she deems proper. When the police were called for a person refusing to leave, if the trespasser was not an immediate family member or for example rented a room there, the reason for the eviction is irrelevant. Once the homeowner said he wanted them to leave that was all the police needed to hear…and its either they leave immediately or they go to jail. So back to the closely held notion, if someone attends a gathering at Professor Turley’s house and starts acting in a manner the host objects to; out he goes…and that’s the end of it. But they are more than welcome to walk to the city park and spout their words off in a manner they see fitting. That is how it works with his website and using another website that allows other forms of speech they prefer to utilize.”

      1. Svelaz! That is just you and I have been saying! It’s up to the owner of the house/platform to say to a liar “take it to the public park.” House rules! You come to my house, you work for my company, you sign-up for my platform, you abide by house rules.

          1. Svelaz, when a person can only add and subtract the world of mathematics is very simple. That is the type of world you live in.

      1. EB,

        Turley should forthrightly tell us where he stands on the Republicans cancelling Liz Cheney because she refuses to lie for Trumpists. He should defend Bill Barr against accusations that he had been less than honest. He should comment on the audit of the votes now ongoing in Arizona.

        Instead Turley is deliberately avoiding tackling these important issues and, rather, directs our attention instead to these piddling free speech cases which he manages to dredge up.

        1. “Turley should forthrightly tell us where he stands on the Republicans cancelling Liz Cheney because she refuses to lie for Trumpists. “

          Jeff, first you need to learn what cancelling is. Second you need to be more aware of normality. McCarthy actually lended some support to Cheney regarding the Trump issue. Presently she is not being cancelled. She is being removed from a position because it appears that she hurts the party by being there. If you started to question what you say you would see a lot of what you say is ignorant and foolish. Cancelling is something completely different.

  15. But we have censorship right here on Jonathan Turley’s blog. My attempts to use the N word are later removed.

  16. I’m thinking a tax on ALL politically-motivated bans is a good idea. At first, I thought $12/subscriber-year. But a couple billion a year really isn’t enough.

    So, let’s say $25/subscriber/year. If you ban Trump, the number of facebook members in the USA * $25/year, that’s fair.

    That would be for ANY political ban. I will gladly sit on the board that decides what is and isn’t politically motivated.

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