Trump Creates “Free Speech Site” While Barring Criticism of the Site or Its Creators

Many of us have called for free speech alternatives to social media given the expanding censorship programs on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites. Former President Donald Trump announced this week that he was supporting the creation of such an alternative site in TRUTH Social. Any alternative to the regulated speech found on social media is welcomed from a free speech perspective, but TRUTH Social contains a fatal flaw as a free speech site: it reserves the right to censor any criticism of itself. The inclusion of this reservation in the “Terms of Service” was not just hypocritical given the free speech premise of the site but self-destructive as the creators seek to roll out the site.

The “Terms of Service” also include a prohibition on the “excessive use of capital letters.” That rule seems a tad odd given the name of the site, which is fifty percent caps: “TRUTH Social.”  Then there is President Trump’s own signature use of all caps writing.

However, the loss of all caps communications is hardly a major blow against free speech. What is far more concerning is this specific term for service:

PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES

You may not access or use the Site for any purpose other than that for which we make the Site available. The Site may not be used in connection with any commercial endeavors except those that are specifically endorsed or approved by us.

As a user of the Site, you agree not to:

    1. disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site.

While companies like Twitter have embraced biased and extensive censorship platforms, they do not censor criticism of their sites. Indeed, while Twitter has refused repeatedly to “verify” my identity, it has never censored my many tweets criticizing the company or its officers.

It is not clear what “us” encompasses, which adds a dangerous ambiguity to the regulation of speech on the site. Free speech demands bright lines. Saying that you can censor criticism of “us” without a definition is an absurd rule of service.

The reservation also uses sweeping and ill-defined terms of “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm,” which could mean anything. Merriam Webster defines “to tarnish” as “to dull or destroy the luster of by or as if by air, dust, or dirt” or “to detract from the good quality of ...[or]  to bring disgrace on.” That could mean anything from mocking to outright defamation.

We have faced such issues on this blog. As a site committed to free speech values, we minimize the deletion of comments. As stated in the site policy, we will remove threats, doxxing, or personal attacks as well as possible copyright violations, profanity, and openly racist comments. (Profanity is automatically deleted by WordPress through a list of prohibited words). Repeat violators can be barred from the comment section. However, our stated default is against such deletions. We prefer good speech to correct any bad speech on the site. We delete a tiny fraction of comments despite our disagreement with the tenor or substance of some postings.

Many blogs have eliminated comment sections. We have kept our comment section as a forum for free speech. Comments routinely criticize or attack me as the host. To that end, I have never deleted a criticism of the site or myself without some violent or threatening element. That includes comments that contain clearly false statements about me, my writings, or the site. Moreover, I follow a long-standing view of columnists that it is a privilege to write for newspapers or major sites. The cost of that ticket is to allow others to criticize your writings or views. That is why I rarely respond to comments on the blog.

To be honest, I do not put much stock in the objections of the many commentators crying foul over the rule on TRUTH Social. Many of these same writers are silent or openly supportive of censorship rules on social media to combat what they define as “disinformation” on subjects ranging from election fraud to climate change to gender issues.  There is even a new Orwellian term for censorship: “content modification.” Saying that you are no better than we are is hardly a compelling argument.

Nevertheless, the hypocrisy of these critics does not justify the same hypocrisy on sites like TRUTH Social. The reservation on the TRUTH Social site is anathema to free speech and immediately undermined the credibility of the site. It should be removed.

 

156 thoughts on “Trump Creates “Free Speech Site” While Barring Criticism of the Site or Its Creators”

  1. It’s a false logic Mr. Turley and surprising coming from you. The words you highlight are clear “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site”. Where does it say ‘criticism’? At the minimum you can take every word you highlighted and explain them and then link them to your definition of ‘criticism’ or censorship. You fail to do this. Did you do it on purpose? Yes, you did it on purpose because you’re no stupid.

      1. Can you explain how are ‘disparage’ or ‘tarnish’ equal to ‘criticism’? Mr. Turley has a duty to be accurate and he is not.

    1. Olly says:

      “If what Glenn Beck is saying in the short video embedded in this article is even remotely true, it really brings into focus the insane policies and direction the Left is taking this country.”

      If it was not already clear to me how unhinged you are, now it is. If you would believe anything that lunatic says, I can only pity you. The Blackboard Man was too nutty even for Fox News! He is not taken seriously by anyone who is serious.

      I watched the clip for laughs, but I turned it off 5 minutes in when the inevitable sales pitch came for his new book. Can’t you see that these talk show types are grifters? I have never once fallen for their spiel and bought one of their books. Sadly, too many poor whites are fleeced out of their money by these shameless charlatans.

      Please, Olly, don’t tell us you fell for this conjob and bought his book too.

      1. If it was not already clear to me how unhinged you are, now it is.

        You’re reputation for being on the wrong side of facts makes that a great endorsement of the need for people to dig in and do their own research.

        1. Olly says:

          “You’re reputation for being on the wrong side of facts makes that a great endorsement of the need for people to dig in and do their own research.”

          Research yes, but Glenn Beck is second only Alex Jones as a nutty conspiracy theorist. How come Turley never mentions his admiration of Glenn Beck? If only we could ask him what he thinks of him. If only he would take a question!

          1. Research yes, but Glenn Beck is second only Alex Jones as a nutty conspiracy theorist.

            I don’t give a $hit if Beck is #1. Conspiracy fact doesn’t come from a microphone. Beck is famous for saying don’t take my word for it. Do your own research. Use original source documents. That’s what I’m doing.

            Why do you need Turley’s opinion to form your own?

            1. Olly, the problem for Jeff is that if he considers Beck a “nutty conspiracy theorist”, then what is Jeff? Beck has been correct far more than Jeff, The Washington Post or the NYT.

              1. SM,
                The problem for Silberman isn’t Beck or Turley or anything else. His problem is rooted in his atheism.

                1. Olly says:

                  “The problem for Silberman isn’t Beck or Turley or anything else. His problem is rooted in his atheism.”

                  You are an atheist to the hundreds of gods invented by man from time immemorial. I reject all those gods for the EXACT same reason you do.

                  The only difference between you and I is that I make no exceptions to my disbelief in gods; you do. And you will never be able to justify or otherwise rational explain your granting one exception.

                  Accordingly, I don’t anticipate that you will reply to my challenge by responding to this post.

                    1. As I suspected, you can’t defend your own atheism and the one exception you make!!

                      Pathetic.

            2. Olly says:

              “I don’t give a $hit if Beck is #1. Conspiracy fact doesn’t come from a microphone. Beck is famous for saying don’t take my word for it. Do your own research. Use original source documents. That’s what I’m doing. Why do you need Turley’s opinion to form your own?”

              Learn to read carefully. I said Beck is #2 after #1 Alex Jones.

              You don’t trust my opinion on anything. The Trumpists trust Turley’s opinion generally as I do. So, it stands to reason that you would trust his opinion about Beck. Here is Turley mocking Beck when Beck had yet to be completely ignored by everyone except Trumpists:

              https://jonathanturley.org/2011/09/02/beck-travels-to-jerusalem-to-denounce-human-rights-organizations/

              https://jonathanturley.org/2010/05/09/happy-mothers-day-from-glenn-beck/

              Beck is a joke. Why you Trumpists follow such discredited loudmouths is beyond me.

              1. And I said I don’t care if Beck were #1. I trust Turley as far as he can be proven correct. I’d trust you if you could be proven correct. So far, I don’t trust you. Turley? Usually trustworthy.

  2. The most remarkable thing about this revelation is that anyone is surprised by it.

    I felt the same way about public reaction back in 1987 when the Iron Sheik and Hacksaw Jim Duggan got arrested because they were hanging out together and got caught driving while drinking and doing drugs. I couldn’t understand how so many people were “shocked” and “outraged” that these two so called arch enemies were actually buddy buddy behind the scenes since it was all obviously an act.

    After all I stopped watching Championship Wrestling (what the WWE was called in my day) back in the days of Chief J Strongbow, “Stan the Man Staziack; Master of the Heart Punch” and Andre the Giant (His early years, he often tagged with the Chief) when I was around 13. It took me about a 3 or 4 months before I realized what I was looking at with these guys was all staged. A choreographed dance movement, nothing more. I figured it out right about the time I realized I could predict the top fighters moves before they made them because I’d seen them enough times to recognize the pattern.

    It was a loop pattern back then. They’ve gotten not much more sophisticated these days. The props and pomp and show along with the hype has, and they use better steriods these days so the “wrestlers” are more impressive looking, but the performances are only slightly improved upon from the choregraphed dance parties of the late 60s and 70s that was Championship Wrestling. Yet millions of people still eat it up, many demanding “its real, they’re really hurting each other!”. Well, they’re not. And its not. Yes, it is athletic. In fact its extreme athleticism. But its just an act.

    A performance. A dance recital. And all it takes is two open eyes and an average human brain connected to them, to see it.

    A few thousand years ago Julius Caesar when confronted with a contentious Senate and rebellious populace employed a method of rule fashioned several hundred centuries earlier called “divide et impera”, simply translated meaning “divide and rule”.

    The idea being in Caesar’s case if you want to keep the population or the Senate or both from conspiring against you (the ruler\executive, govt then divide them into two opposing camps and side yourself with one of them. This works for central govts too as a whole. As long as the people are fighting each other, and one side is on the govt’s side, then the govt never has to fight the people. They let the people fight the people for them. They are free to oppress them with the assurance one side will always defend them along with their right to do so.

    So its just as remarkable to me today that anyone would be surprised in any way that Trump would employ the exact same methods as his “arch enemies” to further limit freedom of speech and muddy the very concept of it by promoting his platform as one embracing it.

    Why wouldn’t he? For one thing its exact same way he ran the White House Press room for 4 years, banning any opposing questions, pulling press credentials of reporters writing unfavorable press about him, surrounding himself with yes men and women and refusing to listen to any criticism whatsoever. So why wouldn’t he? Its who he always was.

    But that’s not the only obvious (if you step back and look) reason he’d do it.

    There’s a much more obvious and in your face reason that he’d employ the exact same methods and principals and produce the same results as his supposed arch enemies.

    Don’t you see?

    We’re not watching politics.

    We’re watching the WWE.

  3. Eb says:

    “Turley writes push pieces and it couldn’t be more obvious that content influence comes from his on air employer.”

    Since I force myself to scan and monitor 3 hours of prime time Fox News, many of the false narratives I see on cable are “coincidentally” repeated here by Turley. To be fair, Turley’s take is not as deceptive as Hannity, Carlson or Ingraham. Still, there is some sort of- dare I say it- *collusion* which accounts for the fact that this coordination is no coincidence.

    It would appear that Fox does not pay Turley just to sit around until called upon to give his legal opinion on-air to buttress a Fox talking point; he has a job to do off-air; and he does it.

  4. It is not worth much.

    For someone banned and silienced – you do not appear to be either banned or silenced.

  5. Did Trump become a Billionare by suing people ?

    I would note that for the most part Trump is not litigious. What he is is successful as a defendant in lawsuits.

    Quite different.

    But then why would anyone expect more than shallow perception from the left.

  6. Why am I not surprised that Trump purporting to want to promote free speech, only wants the free speech he wants?
    Politicians gonna politic.

  7. Trump Will Be Lost In A Safe Space

    The problem is that a safe space, where Trump can converse free of engagement with liberals, isn’t what devoted Trumpists want. Trumpism isn’t about avoiding libs, it’s about triggering libs. This highlights the essence of Trump’s success on Twitter: He wielded so much influence there because that’s where the journalists are. Every time Trump launched some new, offensive tweet, reporters wrote about it which enabled Trump to dominate mainstream conversation. It was this engagement, with mainstream, that created the conflict fueling Trump’s rise. In that way, Trump’s social media presence was fundamentally focused on the elite, not the millions of conservative followers.

    Condensed From:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/10/21/trump-social-media-political/
    ……………………………………………………………………

    This piece notes that Parlor was a dud because liberals never went there. So nothing said on Parlor traveled out to the mainstream. It just stayed at Parlor, wilting on the vine. Trump’s new site could meet that same fate.

    1. This Washington Post opinion writer makes a profound point.

      My Never Trumper presence here is instrumental in the success of Res Ipsa Loquitur.

      You’re welcome, Turley!

  8. It’s not a free speech platform if it censors.

    We need a digital public square. If it’s legal to say in public, it should be allowed to be said in that digital venue.

    Only social media that refrains from content censorship should receive 230 protections. Everyone else should be held to the standard of a publisher, since they act like publishers.

    1. Karen says:

      “If it’s legal to say in public, it should be allowed to be said in that digital venue.”

      It’s refreshing that you are taking issue with Trump. Brava!

      1. You forgot the rest of her statement. “Only social media that refrains from content censorship should receive 230 protections. Everyone else should be held to the standard of a […]”

        I think most conservative libertarians would have agreement with that ,though leftists would disagree. You will say ‘that sounds uhhh. I don’t have the knowledge so I will have to study that before I provide my opinion’ Then you will berate Turley for having an opinion.

        1. Ti317 says:

          “BTW, it’s BRAVO, check your pronouns.”

          I was complimenting Karen who I presume is a female in which case “brava” is correct.

    2. We need a digital public square. If it’s legal to say in public, it should be allowed to be said in that digital venue.

      A public square is owned by the public. You have a right to enter and speak as the law allows. A digital public square is not owned by the public. You may have the privilege to enter and speak as the TOS allow. Since the site is not operational until 2022, any claims that it does not function as a digital public square are obviously premature.

      1. Olly says:

        “A digital public square is not owned by the public. You may have the privilege to enter and speak as the TOS allow.”

        Turley says:

        “TRUTH Social contains a fatal flaw as a free speech site: it reserves the right to censor any criticism of itself. The inclusion of this reservation in the “Terms of Service” was not just hypocritical given the free speech premise of the site but self-destructive as the creators seek to roll out the site.”

        Case closed.

        1. The site doesn’t say it is a free speech site. Once again, Jeff is mischaracterizing Trump’s actions. That is what TDS does. It makes people incompetent in a debate about politics. It makes them end up resorting to Uh, uh, uh…, and I have no opinion because I need to research the question.

          Jeff, you should research first and then talk, but we all know that is impossible for a guy like you.

          “I created TRUTH Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” he said in a statement. “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced. This is unacceptable. I am excited to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soon.”

          1. SM, I’m sure you’re aware by now that in the absence of facts, these Leftists rely on feelings to argue a point. Trump is already being accused of censorship on a site that is not even active. That’s quite a trick. Of course it’s old news that they wanted him to be impeached within hours of his inauguration. Since Silberman does not believe in rights that do not come from government, he has no credibility arguing against any infringement of rights.

            1. ” Since Silberman does not believe in rights that do not come from government, he has no credibility arguing against any infringement of rights.”

              Absolutely correct.

            2. Without free will there is no morality

              Free will requires accepting the existance of rights BEFORE government.

              Of others wish to reject Free Will – that is fine – but they must accept all that comes from doing so.

              The declaration of independence predates the constitution.
              It STARTS with the existance of inalienable rights, and the social contract as the means of securing those pre-existing rights.

            3. Olly says

              “Since Silberman does not believe in rights that do not come from government, he has no credibility arguing against any infringement of rights.”

              I believe in man-made Constitutional rights, you idiot.

              1. …Silberman does not believe in rights that do not come from government…

                I believe in man-made Constitutional rights, you idiot.

                🤣 A distinction without a difference.

                When your government amends your constitutional rights and leaves you with only the right to serve the government, according to you, that’s what you believe in.

                Damn, you are the poster boy for useful idiot.

                1. Olly says:

                  “When your government amends your constitutional rights and leaves you with only the right to serve the government, according to you, that’s what you believe in.”

                  This statement is incomprehensible. How come Turley does not espouse a belief in “Natural Rights” other than, perhaps, Free Speech?

                  I don’t look at Rights as do you. To me, I don’t need a Right to speak freely. I have a mouth; thus, I have the ability to speak as I wish. The question is- what power does the government have to silence my natural power to speak?

                  Despite its title, the Bill of Rights function as a limitation of the power of government rather than a granting of Rights per se. For instance, the notion of having the “right to remain silent” is absurd- as if I don’t have the ability to keep my mouth shut without such a Constitutional grant! What the 5th amendment actually does is limit the power of government to TORTURE if you refuse to talk! In Merry Old England, the King did torture to gain confessions. The Bill of Rights put an end to that abuse by stating that the government could not force a person to speak against their will. Now, you can call that a “Right”; I consider it a Constitutional prohibition against governmental torture.

                  1. If use this blog search feature and type in “natural rights” with the quotation marks, you will get about 4 articles where he cites natural rights. You won’t find him saying “I believe in natural rights.” You will however get an unmistakable understanding of his beliefs about them.

                    The question is- what power does the government have to silence my natural power to speak?

                    Since you believe your constitutional right to use that natural power doesn’t exist until it’s given to you by man, then you don’t have the “natural power,” they do. They have all the power because you gave it to them.

                    1. Olly says:

                      “If use this blog search feature and type in “natural rights” with the quotation marks, you will get about 4 articles where he cites natural rights. You won’t find him saying “I believe in natural rights.” You will however get an unmistakable understanding of his beliefs about them.”

                      I did type in “natural rights,” and it stated that nothing was found, so I tried those words without quotations, and I got a slew of articles, most of which seemed inapposite. One article I read did reference “natural rights”:

                      https://jonathanturley.org/2020/12/14/remembering-francis-salvador-the-jewish-person-to-be-elected-and-the-first-to-die-for-the-united-states/

                      Of this Jewish American, Turley stated:

                      “It is a shameful element that we find in many of our Revolutionary figures. Here was a man who faced anti-Semitic laws barring him from even voting or holding office. He was fighting for the independence of a new nation based on the natural rights of all humanity. Yet, like many in his generation, he fought for independence while enslaving individuals to work on his land. It is a horrible contradiction on every level: social, political and religious. It is part of our conflicted legacy in dealing with the scourge of slavery. We cannot recognize his sacrifice without condemning his status has as a slave owner. At best, we can put this life into the historical context of the American Revolution.”

                      It is ironic that these so called “Natural Rights” applied ONLY to white men, not black. I guess you would have to presume that blacks were not men at all, but rather chattel, in order to explain their lack of “Natural Rights”! In America, the only Rights ever afforded blacks came at the hands of man, not god.

                      You say:

                      “Since you believe your constitutional right to use that natural power doesn’t exist until it’s given to you by man, then you don’t have the “natural power,” they do. They have all the power because you gave it to them.”

                      You have it bass-ackwards. I don’t need to be given any rights by anyone. Did Neanderthal man? Or do you suppose that his pagan god gave him “Natural Rights” long before your Christian god did? The People have all the power. What limited power secured in the hands of government to interfere with the inherent capabilities of the individual is constrained by the prohibitions enumerated in the Bill Of Rights.

                    2. Jeff,

                      It’s odd that you got no results for “natural rights” in quotation marks. I got 8 results, 2 of which were written by guest bloggers.

                      I checked out 2 of the ones by JT. I enjoyed this one:
                      https://jonathanturley.org/2007/08/18/a-lawyers-guide-to-fatherhood/

                      And I was interested to learn that JT had argued for doing away with the Electoral College in another:
                      https://jonathanturley.org/2008/04/08/de-accrediting-the-electoral-college-the-real-costs-of-a-constitutional-relic/

                    3. Anonymous says:

                      “It’s odd that you got no results for “natural rights” in quotation marks. I got 8 results, 2 of which were written by guest bloggers.”

                      I can’t explain it myself. I really enjoyed the “Lawyer’s Guide to Fatherhood.” However, it is not a scholarly endorsement of the theory of Natural Rights despite what Olly might claim. If children at birth have an innate sense of fairness and right and wrong, it could be a function of natural selection. Even dogs have been groomed over millennia to perceive human interaction:

                      https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/puppies-are-born-ready-communicate-humans-180977881/

                      The fact that the Founders believed in Natural Rights can be dismissed on account of their religious faith. Like their ancestors who had to invent gods to explain their existence, had these brilliant men of their day known then what mankind has since learned about Evolution and Cosmology, many of them would have been atheists and dismissed the fantasy that god granted Natural Rights to his creation man.

                  2. Two statements made by you and one contradicts the other.

                    – I believe in man-made Constitutional rights, you idiot.

                    – You have it bass-ackwards. I don’t need to be given any rights by anyone.

                    You either have a split personality, or your hostility toward religion or God has you denying reality.

                    Here’s the truth that your comments reveal. You believe you and everyone else have rights that exist solely because humans exist. They preexist any government. These are referred to as natural rights. But because some people believe these rights come from God, you have chosen to deny they exist naturally and that they can only come from man.

                    Guess what? You can be an atheist and believe in natural rights.

                    1. Jeff has no permanent natural rights because he believes those rights are given to him by man. What man gives, man can take away. That is the authoritarianism that Jeff promotes and that leads to force and violence.

                    2. I never stated, Olly, that humans are born with rights. I said that humans are born with CAPABILITIES, i.e., to speak. Unless there is a power greater than his own in order to shut him up, he will continue to speak freely. Government has been granted the power by the consent of the governed to censor him on rare occasion. We call that a “right,” but I look at it as a prohibition on government to interfere with his ability to speak his mind except in rare cases, e.g., speech exciting imminent danger.

                      Olly claims:

                      “You can be an atheist and believe in natural rights.”

                      Impossible. Natural Rights depend upon the delusion of a god as the source of such rights. Cite a reference to your proposition!

                2. Olly in the following post Jeff uses all his legal training to superficially respond, but he misses the point that you so elegantly made.

            4. Olly,

              Trump’s platform TOS explicitly states that any derision, criticism or badmouthing of Trump or the site will be removed. That’s censorship. Trump is avoiding any criticism by censoring it on his site. It’s the very same kind of “tyranny” he claims he was a victim of. Turley is pointing this out as the fatal flaw in the new platform.

              1. That’s censorship.

                You idiots pulled this same $hit to impeach him twice. This is the essence of TDS. It cannot be censorship because the site isn’t active yet. But hey, by all means. Don’t stop there. It’s also racist. Keep up the lunacy. Attack, attack, attack. I’m sure the investors appreciate the attention.

          2. I do not know much about “Truth Social”.

            I would hope that Trump did more than create a right leaning equivalent of FB or Twitter.

            But if that is all he did that is still a significant accomplishment.

            The question is what is your objective – to allow free speech by creating silo’s for competing viewpoints – which though valid and valuable will polarize us further, or to create an actual censorship free forum where ideas compete on their merits.

            My hope and ultimate expectation is that we will see a Peer 2 Peer social media service.
            This is a bit more difficult to accomplish, but becomes uncensorable.

            But that may pose challenges to those on the right.
            Without central control you can not silence the left or the right.
            You also can not censor peodophiles or pornography – Freedom often comes with consequences – like allowing the freedom of ideas you abhor.

            1. Social changes move slowly. Technology is rapid. Put the two together and one develops growing problems. Those problems are mostly solvable except where force is concerned. Whomever has the guns and power will tilt the solutions in their direction, and that is bad.

              Freedom has compromises, but sometimes compromise is essential. You and I will disagree on that score though not by much.

              The best solution for freedom, as far as I can see, is the dispersion of power. That is why I favor federalism and a markedly restricted federal government.

          3. S. Meyer,

            Trump created this platform because he was kicked out for making false claims. That’s the “tyranny” he claims is the problem. But you know as well as Turley knows that those platforms had every right to boot him out because he violated their TOS. Now Trump’s own TOS allows for censorship just because you criticize or make fun of him on his site. That is his own “tyranny” which Turley points out is why Trump’s own platform will practice the same form of “tyranny” trump claims big tech is guilty of.

            TRUTH won’t last long. It’s already facing legal lawsuits due to trump ripping off the software from someone else.

            1. “Trump created this platform because he was kicked out for making false claims. ”

              You were kicked out of the sandbox and are changing the subject. We should be taking about why you were kicked out of the sandbox. You were 35 years of age and the 6 year olds saw that you had no business being in their sandbox or in their class. They felt at least a year ahead of you educationally.

              SM

        2. I think neither of us wishes to engage with S. Meyer, one of the trolls here, but I have to say, Jeff, that I find it hugely amusing that you quote Turley, and S. Meyer condemns you — rather than Turley — for “mischaracterizing Trump’s actions.”

          As for whether Trump’s site portrays itself as a free speech site, it did say things like “TRUTH Social is America’s ‘Big Tent’ social media platform that encourages an open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology” and “has a mission to give a voice to all,” while also saying “As a user of the Site, you agree not to: … disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site,” where “us” = the site and Trump Media & Technology Group, so the site will discriminate against anti-Trump ideology.

          What’s even more striking to me is that unlike Twitter and Facebook, it says “In addition to terminating or suspending your account, we reserve the right to take appropriate legal action, including without limitation pursuing civil, criminal, and injunctive redress.” AFAIK, companies like Twitter and Facebook don’t threaten to sue users they ban/suspend.

          1. Instead of quoting what “It” said, quote Trump in context.

            Trump said: “I created TRUTH Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” he said in a statement. “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced. This is unacceptable. I am excited to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soon.”

            That tells us Big Tech has been using their powers to pervert freedoms most Americans are accustomed to having. His desire is “to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech”. There is also a question of holding all types of media to libel. When one discusses libel one is implying legal action

            You don’t seem to be able to portray the significant facts accurately. That is why you are known as a trickster and a liar.

            1. Allan continues his long history of accusing others of engaging in the behaviors that Allan himself engages in.

              1. The problem, anonymous, is I have a name where you can prove that what I said was wrong, You are unable to do so. You have no name. You have no personhood. You are a thing programmed to lie and deceive.

                1. First, your 2:37pm comment (and lots of other comments on this column) were posted anonymously, so whatever you believe about anonymous commenters, that applies to your anonymous comments too.

                  Second, my comment was to Jeff about S. Meyer, and anyone who is mildly literate can see that Jeff wrote

                  Turley says:

                  TRUTH Social contains a fatal flaw as a free speech site: it reserves the right to censor any criticism of itself. The inclusion of this reservation in the “Terms of Service” was not just hypocritical given the free speech premise of the site but self-destructive as the creators seek to roll out the site.

                  And S. Meyer responded “The site doesn’t say it is a free speech site. Once again, Jeff is mischaracterizing Trump’s actions,” when the characterization was a quote from Turley, not a statement from Jeff. I find it quite funny that S. Meyer was insulting Jeff for what Turley wrote. Had some anonymous commenter addressed Jeff in the same way, I’d have called that anonymous commenter out by timestamp. You may be fixated on names, but I am not.

                  1. Anonymous, most of my comments to you posted anonymously like this one have been posted under my alias that is recognizable. I do not see the need for others to waste their time reading on once you have fired your last shot and are busy trying to deflect. You want to fight about things that do not matter, for when you fight about things that do matter you lose and look foolish.

                    “I find it quite funny that S. Meyer was insulting Jeff for what Turley wrote”

                    What you left out was Jeff’s comment, “Case closed.” The case is not closed and Turley wrote a lot more. The problem is you like the abridgment of comments and replying out of context. You are a trickster and a liar.

                    1. Allan continues his long history of accusing others of engaging in the behaviors that Allan himself engages in.

                    2. ATS you continue to avoid context and content dealing only with the peripherals. WE know you don’t like your name or the characteristics that are so obvious in your personality, so why do you dwell on your failings? Why not deal with the subject matter instead of avoiding it.

          2. If all Trump has done is create a silo in which those mostly sharing his views can do so freely – as opposed to Twitter or FB – then he has done something good.

            I honestly do not care much about Terms of service – no SM site has ever considered them binding on themselves.
            There is no such thing and a one way contract. Online TOS’s are meaningless.

            I hoped but did not expect that Trump would embrace P2P technology and create an uncensorable Social Media Site.

            But such a site would not only be uncensorable regarding politics, but also many other topics that are still broadly accepted as taboo – such as peodphilia.

            1. John B say,

              “If all Trump has done is create a silo in which those mostly sharing his views can do so freely – as opposed to Twitter or FB – then he has done something good. ”

              It doesn’t seem like it will be good at all. Turley pointed out the problem. Like parler which was doing exactly what trump is claiming to do is not going to take off as much as he thinks it will. There is already a problem with the legality of the software he is using for his platform. It may not even be legal to use.

              “Donald Trump’s social network broke software rules and has 30 days to comply before access is terminated or the platform is sued, report says”

              “The Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), which announced the upcoming launch of Truth Social on Wednesday, appears to have violated a license agreement by snatching the code of the decentralized social network Mastodon and refusing to abide by its terms, The Verge reported.

              While platforms are entitled to reuse Mastodon’s code, as Gab already has, the Software Freedom Conservancy, a non-profit that enforces free and open-source software licenses, said they must comply with the Affero General Public License (or AGPLv3).

              A condition of the APGLv3 is that every user can receive the complete corresponding source for the website based on that code. “That’s how AGPLv3’s cure provision works – no exceptions – even if you’re a real estate mogul, reality television star, or even a former POTUS,” said the Software Freedom Conservancy.”

              https://www.businessinsider.com.au/trump-truth-social-broke-software-rules-30-days-to-comply-2021-10

              True to Trump form, he decided to make the least amount of effort in creating his site and cutting corners than making sure it was 100% legitimate. Like many of his failed ventures, this one seems destined to join them.

              1. Trump isn’t interested in your views. You have nothing to say. He is interested in getting his word out. Success means he reached his target audience. But you wouldn’t recognize that. Go back to the sandbox.

            1. No, lots of people who disagree with me aren’t trolls. For example, I’ve never called Karen a troll, even though she and I disagree about a lot of things.

          3. Anonymous says:

            “I think neither of us wishes to engage with S. Meyer, one of the trolls here, but I have to say, Jeff, that I find it hugely amusing that you quote Turley, and S. Meyer condemns you — rather than Turley — for “mischaracterizing Trump’s actions.”

            I don’t engage S. Meyer. No matter what I say, Meyer finds fault. I can’t recall one time he didn’t!

            I don’t criticize Turley’s positions because he believes in the rule of law. I criticize him for his hypocrisy in working for Fox which does more “advocacy journalism” than the cable networks he *correctly* does criticize.

            Turley has sold out his principles. He will not condemn much less mention the hate-filled raging diatribes of his Fox colleague Mark Levin. He thinks that if he NEVER mentions Levin, he has no responsibility. And yet how many times has Turley denounced the MSM for its silence on reporting certain stories, e.g., Hunter Biden? He mocks the MSM by stating, “crickets.”

            Turley will not criticize his network or ANY Rightwing network such as Newsmax or OAN for ANYTHING!

            Hypocrite.

            I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. But as much as I lambast Turley, there is something worse than being a hypocrite and that is being a lying Trumpist. And I NEVER accused him of that.

      2. “A public square is owned by the public. You have a right to enter and speak as the law allows. A digital public square is not owned by the public.”

        Olly, whether we like it or not, these companies are very similar to common carriers. The question I have is the actual definition of the phrase, common carrier, and whether or not one’s definition would or would not include AT&T and the like. I think the purpose of common carrier legislation has a lot of vague aspects to it. Still, I believe, when Congress passed the law, to a great extent, they were targetting monopolies even though monopoly status is not valuable for the definition of a common carrier.

        1. I mostly prefer to avoid debates that focus on details of law – though I expect that those in government will obey their oath to enforce the constitution and the laws of the land – whether they like them or not.

          We do not change the law by having some of those in power choose to ignore the law.

          We change the law by amending the constitution, or repealing or writing new legislation.

          With respect to the DMCA and Section 230 – granting Social media companies a benefit – immunity from prosecution, without requiring a public benefit from them, does two things – it violates equal protection of the law. and it makes social media companies an agent of govenrmernt and subject to government censorship constraints.

          But there are more fundimental issues – which we see in abundance today.

          Regardless of the constitutional or legal nuances – social media censorship undermines faith in our institutions.

          One of the problems with the financial crisis was that the SEC temporarily banned short selling to stabilize the market – the result was greater instability. Turns out that Short Selling is a critical market signal informing all investors of their actual risk.

          The same is true of heterodox positions.

          As JS Mill noted – he who knows only his own position knows little of that.

          It is challenges to the dominant narrative that establish whether that narative is likely true or not.

          Eliminate the challenges. Supress “missinformation” – and you undermine the trust of everything you do not censor.

          We are seeing exactly that now.

          56% of americans think it is atleast likely that the 2020 election was stolen.

          That poll is NOT proof of fraud. But it is Absolute proof that the government has lost our confidence.
          Or as the declaration of independence would express – we have withdrawn our consent.

          Social MEdia Censorship – legal or not, constitutional or not, still undermines trust in critical institutions,

          Worse it is a viscious circle.

          We are increasingly seeing pushback against various mandates.

          Like it or not there are only rare instances in which imposing our will on others by force is justified, is moral.
          It is irrelevant whether our objective is good, the ends quite litterally do not justify the means. In fact using force undermines the ends.

          One of the stupidest things that Democrats have done in the past 2 years is attacking law enforcement and the rank and file military.

          When leftists seek to impose their will on others by force – that FORCE does not come from Social workers, or the Chairmen of the Joint Cheifs of staff.

          We already know that a substantial portion of the Capital police were sympathetic to the protestors on Jan. 6.

          While there was conflict in some places – mostly the west entrance, and especially after a polcewoman started kicking an older woman whom she had pushed tot he ground, in most places the capital police were letting protestors in and allowing them through the capital.

          There is of course the separate problem of Why was the capital locked ? Are there any past examples when the Capital was locked while congress was in session to thwart free speech, protest, assembly, and petitioning government ?

          Regardless, when you can not get people to comply with government edicts – Government MUST use force to acheive compliance.

          That means police, it may mean national guard and even the military. Groups that the left has alienated.

          Those on the left are afroad of those they depend on to protect them and to accomplish their agenda.

          1. “I mostly prefer to avoid debates that focus on details of law ”

            That is a major focus of this blog.

            Re 230, In all our discussions, we forget ‘in good faith.’ We also forget what the meaning of liability is. These companies concerning us have no right to any government protections whatsoever as such protection can incentivize them to work as a proxy for the government.

            Re the Constitution. The Constitution is not a libertarian document. It is the best we have and anchors our society.

            Re: “56% of americans think it is atleast likely that the 2020 election was stolen.” Almost 100% of the posters on the left wish to have selective amnesia to that idea, along with many others.

            Re: “We already know that a substantial portion of the Capital police were sympathetic to the protestors on Jan. 6.”

            History will interpret Jan 6 based on who is in power. If our nation is a free nation and the historians are unbiased, they will find that most of Jan 6 rhetoric was a hoax in an attempt by the left to gain power.

            It’s hard to communicate through broken windows. If that is puzzling, think about it.

    3. “Only social media that refrains from content censorship should receive 230 protections. “

      True. Hamburger pointed out reasons why FB and Twitter shouldn’t have such protection.

  9. Yes, the Democrats have free speech standards. While most people would appreciate just a single standard, Democrats have evidently concluded it would be better to have double standards. Case in point:

    It’s one thing for the media to entirely ignore what is happening behind closed doors at the nation’s largest abortion provider. We know how journalists feel about abortion, thus their lack of coverage is entirely expected. But on corporate media’s treatment of fellow journalists and defending the First Amendment, the double standard is glaring.

    When the Trump administration revoked a journalist’s White House press badge, the corrupt corporate media treated the story like a journalist had been thrown in jail. Here we have evidence that Harris was plotting to use her position of power to throw a journalist in jail for his reporting, and the story might as well not exist.

    California law explicitly states that a journalist’s unpublished materials cannot be seized via search warrant, and yet that’s exactly what Harris did at the behest of her political donors. This new evidence that she also passed on those illegally seized materials for the purposes of prosecuting a journalist for his reporting should be even more frightening for anyone concerned about free speech in this country. Any journalist who claims to care about his own First Amendment rights should be sounding the alarm about the vice president’s blatant corruption.
    https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/21/new-court-evidence-confirms-kamala-harris-abused-power-to-help-campaign-donors/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=the_federalist_daily_briefing_2021_10_21&utm_term=2021-10-21

    1. No matter what, this character will promote a Trump crime anytime Trump moves, but he will say there is no proof behind the Hunter Biden laptop.

      Dumb, dumb, dumb.

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

    – James Madison

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