Free Speech Inc.: How Democrats Have Found A New But Shaky Faith In Corporate Speech

Below is an updated version of my column in The Hill on Facebook’s decision to uphold the ban on former president Donald Trump. Notably, this weekend, Twitter took it upon itself to add a gratuitous response to an observation made by Donald Trump Jr. after he tweeted “Biden isn’t the next FDR [Franklin Delano Roosevelt] he’s the next Jimmy Carter.” Twitter took it upon itself to say that many are “confused” by the remark since Carter was a great humanitarian and noble prize winner. It was a telling moment. These companies now act as either censors as officious intermeddlers when it comes to comments made on the platforms. They view themselves as a party to any postings and that viewpoints must be corrected or clarified to advance the corporate position.

Here is the column:

After Facebook’s oversight board this week upheld the social media giant’s continuing ban of former President Trump, the response of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) captured the visceral joy of many on the left: She posted a series of laughing emojis.

Welcome to Free Speech, Inc.: the Democratic incorporation of free speech built around the a presumption of corporate censorship (for some).

Of course, Democrats insist they are not attacking free speech, just combating “disinformation.” After all, they say, private companies have every right to control speech — unless you are, say, a bakery opposed to preparing a cake for a same-sex wedding, or a company contributing to political causes. The current mantra defending Facebook’s corporate speech rights seems strikingly out of sync with years of Democrats and political activists demanding the curtailment of such rights.

When Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado refused on religious grounds to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) denounced the bakery’s claim of free speech: “It was never about a cake — it’s about making sure no one has a license to discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans.” When the Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United case that corporations have free speech rights to participate in politics, Warren was appalled. She has long rejected the notion that corporations have the constitutional rights like individuals: “Corporations are not people. People have hearts. They have kids. They get jobs. They get sick. They cry. They dance. They live. They love. And they die.”

Notably, Warren felt that one company (Masterpiece Cakeshop) can be forced to speak while another corporation (Facebook) should be able to stop others from speaking. When Facebook barred Trump, Warren declared: “I’m glad that Donald Trump is not going to be on Facebook. Suits me.” House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) also celebrated and added: “Facebook must ban him. Which is to say, forever.”

When free speech concerns are raised over corporate censorship, Democrats often drop references to “free speech” violations and instead address “First Amendment” violations. Indeed, when Trump objected to the ban on Twitter as “banning free speech,” a host of media outlets ran stories like: “Fact Check: Did Twitter Violate President Trump’s First Amendment Rights?” Experts like Wayne State University law professor Jonathan Weinberg chimed in that, under the First Amendment, a company “gets to choose who it does business with and who it doesn’t.”

Likewise, when questioned about the Board’s decision and its impact on free speech, board member and Stanford Law Professor Michael McConnell dismissed such concerns by insisting that the First Amendment does not apply to Facebook and “no judge in the country would rule” in favor of the former president.”

The First Amendment is not the full or exclusive embodiment of free speech, however. It addresses just one of the dangers to free speech posed by government regulation. Many of us view free speech as a human right. Corporate censorship of social media clearly impacts free speech, and replacing Big Brother with a cadre of Little Brothers actually allows for far greater control of free expression.

This is even more concerning when politicians openly pressure companies to increase censorship. In one hearing last year, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) actually warned Big Tech CEOs that he and his colleagues were watching to be sure there was no “backsliding or retrenching” from “robust content modification.”

Obviously, these politicians would insist that the Masterpiece Cakeshop case is about discrimination while the Facebook controversy is about disinformation. However, some of us have long viewed all of these controversies as about free speech. Indeed, taking a free speech approach avoids the hypocrisy on both sides.

Under a free speech approach, cakeshop owners have a right to refuse to prepare cakes that offend their deep-felt values, including religious, political or social values. Thus, a Jewish cakeshop owner should be able to decline to make a “Mein Kampf” cake for a local skinhead group, a Black owner to decline to make a white supremacist-themed cake, or a gay baker to decline to make a cake with anti-LGBT slogans. While these bakers cannot discriminate in selling prepared cakes, the act of decorating a cake is a form of expression, and requiring such preparation is a form of compelled speech.

In the same way, NFL teams have a free speech right to prevent kneeling or other political or social demonstrations by players during games, Citizen’s United has a right to support political causes — and, yes, Facebook has a right to censor speech on its platform.

Free speech also allows the rest of us to oppose these businesses over their policies. We have a right to refuse to subsidize or support companies that engage in racial or content discrimination. Thus, with social media companies, Congress should not afford these companies legal immunity or other protections when they engage in censorship.

These companies once were viewed as neutral platforms for people to exchange views — people who affirmatively “friend” or invite the views of others. If Big Tech wants to be treated like a telephone company, it must act like a telephone company. We wouldn’t tolerate AT&T interrupting calls to object to some misleading conversation, or cutting the line for those who misinform others.

As a neutral platform for communications, telephone companies receive special legal and economic status under our laws. Yet, it sometimes seems Facebook wants to be treated like AT&T but act like the DNC.

In defending Big Tech’s right to censor people, University of California at Irvine law professor Richard Hasen declared that “Twitter is a private company, and it is entitled to include or exclude people as it sees fit.” That is clearly true under the First Amendment. It also should be true of others who seek to speak (or not speak) as corporations, from bakeries to sports teams.

Yet, when the Supreme Court sent back the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in 2018 for further proceedings, an irate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared: “Masterpiece Cakeshop is a commercial bakery open to the public, and such services clearly must be made available to the public on equal terms … No business or organization open to the public should hide their discriminatory practices behind the guise of religious liberty.” But Pelosi applauded when social media companies barred some members of the public based on viewpoint discrimination on subjects ranging from climate change to vaccines to elections.

The difference, of course, is that Masterpiece Cakeshop was willing to sell cakes to anyone but refused to express viewpoints that conflict with the owners’ religious beliefs. Conversely, social media companies like Twitter and Facebook are barring individuals, including a world leader like Trump, entirely from their “shop.” And, taking it one step further, Facebook has declared it will even ban the “voice of Donald Trump.”

Big Tech is allowed to be arbitrary and capricious in corporate censorship. However, our leaders should follow a principled approach to corporate speech that does not depend on what views are being silenced. Because Elizabeth Warren was right. This “never was about a cake” or a tweet or “likes” for that matter. It was always about free speech.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley

276 thoughts on “Free Speech Inc.: How Democrats Have Found A New But Shaky Faith In Corporate Speech”

  1. The Outer Limits… Nightmare

    In this episode, actor Martin Sheen, playing “Dix”, was crying like a baby & got his mouth starched shut on the set. Martin is a hard core Hollywood Democrat supporter.

  2. I usually have no trouble following JT’s arguments. But this one confuses me.

    On the one hand, he seems to be arguing — on free speech grounds — that it’s wrong for Facebook to reject Trump as a customer.

    On the other hand, he seems to be arguing — also on free speech grounds — that it’s okay for a bakery owner to reject someone as a customer.

    Did I miss something? (That’s a sincere question.)

      1. “Yes. You missed something.”

        What?

        I’m not trying to be antagonistic. I sincerely cannot understand what his conclusions are with respect to Facebook’s and the bakery owner’s denying service to a customer. Is he arguing that those companies do have such a right or that they don’t have such a right?

        And I can’t understand what his premises are.

        To be clear: It’s not that I agree or disagree with his arguments. It’s that I can’t understand *his* arguments.

        1. His point is that it is OKAY to be angry with one business for their political beliefs if you agree with their beliefs and not the other company if you disagree with their political views. His point is that it is both political views and it is free speech regardless of where you stand. He is in a matter saying it is hypocritical to not back both.

          While I disagree with his stand on the cake decorator, I would disagree if it was a racist word or Nazi symbol too. If one is banned, then all are banned. This is all or nothing. You cannot in good conscience allow some, but not others. That is showing favoritism of speech.

          At the end of the day, you have to back all speech or none of it is protected because it can fall to the whim of the times.

          1. On the issue of free speech, I do think there is a difference between a small business owner who is the business essentially and a corporation that has a CEO and a board of directors.

            Also, the Tech Giants had presented themselves as though they were just a platform, effectively modern-day park amphitheaters or town square soap boxes. They got special treatment because they were not producing content. What they are exactly is not clear. Are they essentially a public utility, shared public space like a town square or park is? Are they publishing content since they choose what to allow (outside of reasonable limits of things that actually promote violence or engage in abuse)?

            1. The only real difference is the public impact a large public corporation has as compared to a small cake shop. The only reason we even heard of the cake shop owner was because he made it to the the Supreme Court. Both the cake shop owner and the CEO represent their respective companies and the company policy. so when a cake shop owner does not want to make a special cake for a gay wedding and a corporation pulls out of a state due to voting laws, They are making public statements, which is free speech as is their right.

              If the Giant Tech acted like a uninterested platform, then I would agree with them. Yet, they are actively choosing what speech to publish and what the “truth” is when it comes to statements. That is not an uninterested public platform. There is a reason political candidates are given equal access to the airwaves. To prevent an unfair advantage to one over the other. If they want to be considered a public town square, then big Tech needs to act like the public square and not call balls and strikes like an umpire no matter who like what they are doing.

              Democrats are happy with them right now, but watch what happens when the advantage disappears or turns the other way….

              1. “Yet, they are actively choosing what speech to publish and what the “truth” is when it comes to statements.”

                Quiet Man, I agree with you and would like to add that there is an interstate commerce issue involved as well. Since statements on these platforms are monetized, the platforms are interfering with that form of commerce based on political speech which, I believe, was considered by many of the founders to be the highest form of speech, most in need of protection.

        2. Sam, without getting to the other points, the bakery did not deny service to a customer. In fact those people were customers of the bakery and the bakery was willing to sell to them in the future.

          The customer wanted the baker to add symbols that were against what the baker believed. The unreasonable party was the customer. They could have had whatever the baker sold but they wanted him to use his intellectual knowledge to create something the baker could not do in good conscience.

        3. He is saying that democrats shouldn’t have it both ways. Sometimes its illegal corporate discrimination and sometimes they say a corporation can do what it wants.

          SHORT ANSWER:

          What democrats say about private businesses and the first amendment is true, but I there is a duality and hypocrisy of their views or philosophy on who private business can or cannot discriminate against. If Twitter discriminates based on political philosophy or speech that is ok because the 1st amendment doesn’t apply to private business. Turley acknowledges it, but he points out what he sees as a flaw in their philosophy. How can you argue that private business can’t discriminate, but then also argue they can discriminate because no law protects against the discrimination based on speech. I think Turley believes that there should be no discrimination against speech, philosophically. Free speech should be protected like other rights under the federal and state civil rights acts. Under current law democrats can argue for more protected classes being protected under the CRA of 1964 and similar state laws, yet they do not consider free speech from conservatives as a right worth protecting under the Civil Rights Act.

          LONGER EXPLANATION:

          Dems are saying it is perfectly ok for Twitter and Facebook to discriminate against conservative viewpoints or “disinformation”, but it is not okay for private businesses to discriminate against any group that Dems like.

          The catch is that neither democrats (nor most republicans) think it is okay to ban a group of people from employment or a “place of public accommodation” under the Civil Rights Act of 1964–title title I is employment, Title II is public accommodations. 42 USC 2000a et seq. Under federal law there are a few protected classes–race, color, religion, and national origin. Under the CRA of 1964 A private business cannot refuse the employment of refuse service of “public accommodations” based on a person being a member of the protected classes. Many states have enacted their own version of civil rights that extends the classes to “sex”, “sexual orientation,” “military discharge status” and more. Most of the extensions beyond the federal law only apply to employment discrimination, however, dont extend to public accommodations. That means it is a state law violation to refuse to higher someone or fire someone because they are gay, unless sexual orientation is not a protected class under the state law.

          So the problem Turley sees (and I would agree) is that what is really happening is Elizabeth Warren and democrats are saying its okay to discriminate against free speech, but not ok to discriminate based on other factors. Dems are not being philosophically or intellectually consistent when telling us what private business can or cannot do. Dems want to see protection for LGBTQ rights so that government can restrict discrimination by a private business but at the same time saying a private business has every right to discriminate against certain political speech. Although what democrats are arguing for now does reflect the state of the law. But their argument is disenguos. because they say cases such as the Colorado cake case is about speech, yet say conservatives can be silenced by private business because no law restricts them. No federal law prevents discrimination based on transgender either, but the Democrats cry foul when private employer’s discriminate against transgender people. Turley believes a private business should not be able to discriminate at all, free speech rights should be given the same protection as other categories of civil rights. At a minimum, I think he is saying that Dems view on private business should be consistent. Free speech is as important a right as other civil rights.

          1. “At a minimum, I think he is saying that Dems view on private business should be consistent.”

            I see now that JT’s argument is that Democrats are being hypocritical about their free speech positions with respect to private businesses.

            Thank you for the “short” and “longer.”

            So now, here’s the problem with that argument.

            His position is that it’s wrong for Facebook, et al., to “censor” users (or to ban them) (Sometimes? Anytime? It’s not clear.) — because doing so allegedly violates a users’ free speech. So in this context, he focuses on the user’s so-called free speech. A user is just a customer. So presumably, the same argument should apply to the customer of, for example, a bakery. And based on that argument, the bakery owner violates a customer’s free speech by refusing to bake a cake. (What’s inscribed on the cake is the customer’s form of expression.)

            I don’t agree with that argument, but in the name of consistency — goose meet gander.

            The only logically consistent, principled position is that a company (regardless of its size) is private property. As such, the owner(s) have the inviolate right to set the terms of a trade. Those terms might be rational or irrational, consistent or inconsistent. Your only “right” is to either accept his terms or to reject them, and not become a customer.

            A business transaction is a *voluntary* exchange. To demand that the government inject physical force into such a transaction (as some here are doing) is to turn businessmen into slaves of whatever pressure group happens to be in power.

            1. “A user is just a customer”

              Except, aren’t these ‘customers’ often treated as the product, with their personal information bought and sold like cattle?

              I’m not on FB, but I thought there was an element of this going on, too.

              Does this muddy the waters at all?

              And, if the government can tell these Media giants to give them user information, is there the potential that the government could be telling them what to do with certain people/posts? I’m a tad skeptical that this is just the companies behaving unilaterally.

              1. “Does this muddy the waters at all?”

                Not so long as those terms are disclosed. In fact, it’s a price a user/customer pays for the service — instead of, say, a monthly fee. Monetizing customer information, with full disclosure, is a common retail practice — e.g., grocery stores, sporting goods stores, Google, et al.

                “I’m a tad skeptical that this is just the companies behaving unilaterally.”

                That is a separate issue, and one that concerns me greatly, too. (I think you mentioned the issue of colluding with the government, in another comment.) A power-lusting politician issues threats such as this: “Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) actually warned Big Tech CEOs that he and his colleagues were watching to be sure there was no ‘backsliding or retrenching’ from ‘robust content modification.’”

                *That* is censorship. That is a statist politician demanding that the government use its police powers to control ideas and to ban certain ideologies. That is the opposite of a voluntary exchange and of free choice. That is the naked use of force to criminalize opinions.

                During the rise of Hitler, private companies considered it “safe” to do the Nazi’s bidding. I fear that a similar horror is happening now.

            2. “A business transaction is a *voluntary* exchange. To demand that the government inject physical force into such a transaction (as some here are doing) is to turn businessmen into slaves of whatever pressure group happens to be in power.”

              This is a good point.

              1. I am for government staying out of business. There is too much regulation. But why couldn’t “political affiliation and beliefs not be added to a state’s Civil Rights Act which prohibits discrimination, based on race, color, religion LGBTQ, sex and other groups in addition to those depending on the state to the list of things protected from discrimination from a public forum? A diner selling food is a voluntary transaction the gornment has put their hand into already. And that is a good thing. The less discrimination the better. Being forced out of restaurants is a thing that has happened to many more than just Sara Huckabee’s family. Gun sales are private transaction that government puts its fist in, depending on the state you live in. My state requires I apply for a firearms owner IF, if you buy a gun, there is a mandatory 3 day waiting period along with another criminal background check. I think that is reasonable. Even though it’s a private transaction between 2 parties. So I don’t think democrats are thinking about the philosophy of staying out of business transactions. They like what is happening now bc it is in their favor and reaches the ends they want. Put the shoe on the other foot and the parties would be making the exact arguments that the other side is making now. Around 20 states have laws on private businesses discrinating based on political affiliation and beliefs. So make it a protected class so there won’t be a constant swinging back and forth based on which party is in charge. Turley did not get into that but I’m putting it forward as a way to protect political views, ensure academic freedom. That would fix the problem, but this is a problem of discrimination that democrats won’t want to fix. Discrimination when it favors them, they quickly drop the private business is bad philosophy and talk about the sanctity of private business transactions and how it should be free of government intrusion. Republicans are now for govt intervention, which usually they are against. Do like states have done and make “political affiliation” a protected class and then add it to “public accommodations law and then there is no more arguing it. Less discrimination the better. You can see how social media continues to drive division in the US. The status quo is going to lead to more and more division and hate.

                1. “But why couldn’t “political affiliation and beliefs not be added to a state’s Civil Rights Act which prohibits discrimination, based on race, color, religion LGBTQ, sex and other groups in addition to those depending on the state to the list of things protected from discrimination from a public forum?”

                  Isn’t this implicit in the 10th Amendment and the First under free association?

            3. “And based on that argument, the bakery owner violates a customer’s free speech by refusing to bake a cake. (What’s inscribed on the cake is the customer’s form of expression.)”

              Sam, the baker did not refuse to bake a cake. The customer, after purchasing the cake, was free to place on it any form of expression he wished.

              “Your only “right” is to either accept his terms or to reject them, and not become a customer.”

              What happens when your rights as a customer might have been abridged by federal law and thereby limited your freedom of speech?

              1. “Sam, the baker did not refuse to bake a cake. The customer, after purchasing the cake, was free to place on it any form of expression he wished.”

                I know that. I was applying JT’s free speech argument to the bakery case. I don’t agree with how JT frames the argument. This is *not* a free speech issue — for either the bakery case or for the Facebook, et al., cases. These are all issues of private property. It’s a property issue. And either a right to property includes the right to refuse service, or it does not.

                In fact, with respect to the bakery owner, I’ll go a step further: He has the absolute right to not bake, sell, inscribe so much as a cupcake to anyone he chooses — for any reason he chooses (disclosed or not). He doesn’t like your blue hair? No cupcake. He doesn’t like MAGA hats? No cupcake. It’s *his* business. If you don’t like his (crazy) terms, don’t trade with him.

                Think the Soup Nazi in “Seinfeld.” Was he overbearing? Sure. Do you find his terms unacceptable? Fine — vote with your wallet.

                There is no such thing as a divine right to a cupcake — or to a social media account.

                1. Sam, I have no problem with the specific point you are trying to make, “vote with your wallet”. There are many points involved but the specific ones you are making are fine with me.

                  Putting away both the facts and the many different points involved, property rights are essential, but I don’t think that is the issue we are dealing with. Those that want to limit speech when in power might think it is but they have lost the important points the nation was built on.

                2. Colorado state law prohibits equal access to public accommodations regardless of disability, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, transgender, marital status, familyy status, religion, national origin or ancestry. So Your statement is not accurate about the cake maker. He cannot refuse to bake a cake upon any of the foregoing reasons.

                  1. “Colorado state law . . .”

                    The issue is not what the law is, but what it *ought* to be. A law that compels a businessman to serve someone — under the penalty of fines, confiscation, imprisonment — is an unjust law. It is a violation of his right to the *use* of his property, and (among others) a violation of his right to the freedom of association.

                    The progression from such a “law” to totalitarianism is only a matter of time. The proof? Look around you.

    1. The cake shop is subject to a law suite. Facebook is protected from lawsuits because they claim to be like the phone companies and not responsible for what their customers say. They also think that they are not responsible for what they themselves say because of their special protection. Let’s say that you owned a bake shop and someone came in and wanted a cake decorated with a racist word. Would you have a right to freely say the word “no”.

      1. Notice, too, that Muslim shops are never targeted by these private and government activists.

    2. Yes. One is a monopolistic actor, a massive public utility, the other was a hole in the wall shop with no power

      Used to be Democrats could tell the difference. They’re dumber than they used to be, that’s for sure.

  3. I have ‘splained before, but I must ‘splain again. “Social media companies” such as Facebook and Twitter are really Leftist Indoctrination Centers (“LIEs”), much as “colleges” and “universities” are simply another type of LIE. Once you understand the basic principle that a particular institution or organization is simply another type of LIE, all of the objectives, goals, policies, and practices of the Leftist Indoctrination Entities make perfect sense and are completely predictable. And there is no need to post any more articles about Facebook “doing this” or Twitter “doing that” or this “university” or that “college” firing employees for telling the truth, and so forth. They’re not “social media companies,” “universities,” or “colleges.” They’re LIEs. “One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad instances and applications?”–Henry David Thoreau.

  4. Twitter just showed their ignorance with that tweet. Of course, the poster probably wasn’t even alive when Carter was president. Yes, Jimmy Carter was given a Nobel Prize (as was Barack Obama) and he built houses but he was an ineffectual and incompetent president who got the United States into the most humiliating event in recent history. Remember those Embassy workers held hostage in Tehran? The man was a joke as president, as is Biden.

  5. This is a good sign.Twitter’s “meddling” comments are just making it harder for it to define its rule on when to censor “dangerous” speech. Let it respond all it wants. By reinforcing its identity with the liberal perspective, it lets the Public know what to expect. That means whenever Twitter censors something as “dangerous”, it’s really admitting it’s just afraid of losing the argument to “the other side”. The “danger” part is exposed as phony.

  6. “Twitter took it upon itself to say that many are ‘confused’ by the remark since Carter was a great humanitarian and noble prize winner.”

    Hmm. Twitter comments on its posters now. Sounds like a content provider to me, not a platform.

    Break ’em up!

      1. Allan chimes in to an editorial content discussion in the most refined of ways with a suggestion that would get him a 2 day penalty on twitter.

        EB

  7. There were spaces between Donald…
    And whatever he said.
    Strangers had forced him to live in his bed.
    He remembered the details of romantic scenes…
    When he had sex with dogs at the barracks latrine.
    Donald!
    Mar A Lago…is like a big rat.

    Etc

      1. Actually I detect a thought out rhyme scheme in liberty2nd’s poem, so I’m going to call into doubt your being a highly educated suburban woman.

        EB

    1. I’ve said it before, but I pray that you’re a Turley sock puppet doing drive bys in the comment section.

      EB

  8. Democrats, Liberals, Socialists, and progressives are fascists – not only in America but wherever they exist. They have been indoctrinated for years by academia to be reflexive social virtue signallers and to rely on their “Dear Leaders” to determine what they think. Those leaders are perpetual liars – Schiff, Schumer, Biden, Psaki, Rice, HRC, WJC, Obama, Pelosi, BLM, Antifa, Cuomo, Newsome, etc. Those leaders are also the most illiberal of people and don’t believe in the US Constitution or the rule of law. They perpetuated lies about Russia, Ukraine, GA calls, Biden’s China money schemes, C’ville, Covington Catholic, Kavanaugh, impeachment, Covid, etc. Sadly, their Press sycophants are also liars as well.

  9. “Facebook has declared it will even ban the “voice of Donald Trump.”

    Take it one step further as an individual and delete Facebook from your life. Permanently. There is literally no good reason to have a Facebook account.

  10. Despite the First Amendment, the decline of the West continues to proceed at an alarming rate.

  11. Turley, I always want to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you’re intentions around the 1st amendment come from a righteous place. At least originally. They can’t help but be shaped by working for Fox news, that’s just a given. Why do I say that? Fox doesn’t come from a place of good faith. And there is ‘free’ speech that is clearly tainted by bad faith. Even though I’ve experienced multiple incidents of being censored on your blog here and would disagree with whatever interpretation that was put upon my comments, I do always assume that said comments are run through an internal filter that places them in the ‘bad faith’ commentary pile, leading to the particular comment being pulled…

    Certainly, I agree that when I openly speculated that Allan felates rescue dogs that it was clearly stepping over the line into bad faith territory.

    Here’s the thing though…, I think that trump regularly stepped into bad faith territory on all social media. He wasn’t exercising free speech, he actively strayed into a category of dangerous speech with its ability to breed violence. He did it so often it lost its edge. He did it from a place of mondo self interest…, often just to deflect from the latest crisis that just broke for him. And he, having grown up in the world of NY tabloidism, masterfully knows how to play the tabloids. On top of that, there’s been a tabloidism of media on all levels that naturally follows from internal competition over ‘hits and likes’.

    When factoring in those realities, and while I believe in the 1st amendment as strongly as I possibly can, I have *zero* problem with twitter and facebook banning trump, even if the ban is for life. It would be hard for me to say anyone should be banned for life. I’ve personally experienced a couple of two day time outs on twitter myself. Had to learn the hard way it wasn’t okay to suggest trump punch himself in the mouth upon awakening was a postitive action for him to take…

    But trump did plenty to earn a ban even before january 6th. He cemented himself into lifetime ban territory from that day forward and twitter, facebook and, indeed, the world are much better off for him being gone. Trump speaks, always, from a place of bad faith. He yells fire in a crowded theater as communication mandate to all his commentary every single day on social media. He earned his place in the penalty box.

    EB

        1. Bug, that is why you spend so much time on Fox News. (take note that the word news in Fox News needs to be capitalized.)

          SM

          1. Right after I note your faulty use of parentheses and period there, Shartmeister. You so dumb.

            EB

        2. Actually, “the insane” are those who consume propaganda over at CNN and MSDNC. Both are known neuro-toxins.

    1. Bug is writing his typical word salad that makes one think he requires a bit of emotional support. He says little of anything so knowing the Bug to have formerly corrected spelling and grammar let me do the same thing for him as this posting is loaded with mistakes.

      There is no need for others to do this type of thing because most of us are in a rush, but The Bug became famous for his spell check and grammar check.

      Close to 2 dozen mistakes Bug, maybe more. Lack of appropriate capitals, poor spelling, poor word use, lack of hyphens, and lack of commas. You and your buddy Anonymous the Stupid are big on these things because you guys have nothing to say and lack the equipment to think.

      SM

        1. How about the other missed capitalizations, poor spelling, poor word use, lack of hyphens, and lack of commas?

          SM

          1. Allan, your writing is remedial. And you’re a bald eagle. No one wants to be a bald eagle.

            EB

            1. You might feel my writing is remedial. Then again you insist that my IQ is better than 80 and might be 90. Yet you have a problem intelligently debating me and you don’t seem to be able to make any sustaining points. I wonder how dumb you have to be to so abysmally lose to a guy with an IQ of 80?

              Do you get the point? Probably not. I don’t have to prove if I am intelligent or not, but that is what you continuously fail to prove about yourself.

              SM

        1. “Stupid Meyer and sanity do not go hand in hand.”

          That should be:

          Stupid Allan Meyer and sanity do not go hand in hand.

            1. Anonymous the Stupid, why do so many things you say come out in duplicate or triplicate. Do you work for a government agency? Are you part of the Department of Stupidity?

        2. Anonymous the Stupid, I cannot figure out what you are trying to prove linking us to what YOU said. This appears to be one of your many errant linkages. What you are doing is proving me right, that you are the one and only (drum roll) Anonymous the Stupid.

    2. I believe in the 1st amendment as strongly as I possibly can, I have *zero* problem with twitter and facebook banning trump, even if the ban is for life.

      The test becomes, do you allow this power to be used against your ideological allies? Democrats have no person that can dominate consecutive news cycles like President Trump. You have to go back to Clinton, and he falls woefully short. The questions is, if some ally of yours was blocked from all venues, woud you still think its fine.

      1. Yes…

        The issue to me doesn’t break down into ‘sides’. It’s an issue of principle rather than personality. Trump, and entities favorable to trump regularly published demonstrably false information on fb and twitter. Add to that, trump’s advocation of violence put him over the edge.

        EB

  12. Debating over how the left has successfully imposed censorship doesn’t interest me.

    The question is: How can this be stopped? Right now.

  13. House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) also celebrated and added: “Facebook must ban him. Which is to say, forever.”

    ***********************************************************

    Says a guy who spread the lies of the Russiagate hoax for four years.

    1. It gets worse. Biden’s DOJ is quickly becoming one heck of a politicized deep state mess. Republicans in Congress need to make some noise and stop it.

      Biden’s Dept of Injustice is staffing up and rewarding every Russiagate conspiracy hoax pusher as fast as they can. Latest is Susan Hennessey —–>>

      ‘This woman is one of the worst purveyors of Russia collusion lies. Her reward is a job at Biden’s DOJ.

      Huge failure by Barr not to hold anyone to account.

      Huge failure by Trump not to declassify.’ @hansmahncke

      ‘Susan Hennessey being appointed to DOJ is one of the biggest slaps in the face against conservatives imaginable. If the GOP was serious, they’d spotlight her litany of lies and hoaxes. And they would do it until the appointment is rescinded. Only language Democrats understand.’ @hansmahncke

      1. ‘Susan Hennessey being appointed to DOJ is one of the biggest slaps in the face against conservatives imaginable.

        If the GOP was serious, they’d spotlight her litany of lies and hoaxes. And they would DO IT UNTIL THE APPOINTMENT IS RESCINDED. [emphasis added].

        Only language Democrats understand.’

        @hansmahncke

  14. No First Amendment would have been possible without a pre-existing culture of free speech, or at least a culture that tended to favor free speech. Now the D’s and their allies in the universities and Woke Capital (especially Big Tech) are mocking and dismantling the culture of free speech that prevents the First Amendment from becoming a nullity.

  15. Has Twitter ever intervened when someone tweeted a negative comment about say Reagan? Hmm.

  16. Terrific column. I would add that Masterpiece Cakeshop has many competitors whereas Facebook, etc. are close to monopolies. Moreover, unlike a bakery, the business of the latter is to provide a platform for communication amongst its customers.

  17. It isn’t about law or morality. It is just power.

    And the Lefties are determined to control that power.

    People get hurt, the Constitution is trampled, and the seeds of conflict are sowed. Doesn’t matter to the left.

    Ugly people who have to be stopped.

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