“Be Afraid, Be Actually Afraid”: Reporters Panic at the Thought of Twitter Restoring Free Speech Protections

Twitter Logo“Be afraid, be actually afraid.” Those words from former Politico Magazine editor Garrett M. Graff captures the hyperventilation in the media this week. No it is not Vladimir Putin’s threat of unleashing a nuclear war or the word that our national debt has reached a staggering $31 trillion. No, it is the news that Elon Musk may go forward with the purchase of Twitter and . . . [trigger warning] . . . free speech protections might be restored on the platform. The pearl-clutching of various media and academic figures shows how engrained the censorship culture has become in the United States.

After Musk indicated that he was going forward, the Twitter stock quickly soared. The news that Musk might bring an end to Twitter’s extensive censorship system had previously drawn people back to the platform. However, the media is in full panic mode that the control over speech could be loosened with Musk. Twitter employees also previously panicked at the thought that they might lose some of their control over the speech of others.

NBC News reporter Ben Collins quickly raised the most immediate concern that the sudden ability to speak freely on Twitter could impact the midterm elections: “For those of you asking: Yes, I do think this site can and will change pretty dramatically if Musk gets full control over it. No, there is no immediate replacement. If it gets done early enough, based on the people he’s aligned with, yes, it could actually affect midterms.”

Consider that for a second: the loss of control over political speech could mean a loss of control over the midterm elections.  There is, of course, no concern by Collins that Twitter (and other social media companies) have long been “aligned” with Democrats and the Biden Administration.

NPR editor Neela Banerjee retweeted and echoed his concern about “the broader implications for the rest of us of a Musk takeover of Twitter.” Others joined in on the collective panic that there could be a loss of control over what people say on social media.

BBC journalist Dickens Olewe warned that “Guardrails will be dropped, misinfo & conspiracy theories will thrive. No functional alternatives available, this is it: a complete destruction of the global public square. Been nice y’all.”  In other words, free speech protections will lead to the destruction of “the global public square” by losing control of who can speak or what people can say.

PoliticusUSA head Sarah Reese Jones seemed to move from the desperate to the outright delusional: “Before 2020, Facebook deplatformed progressives, then it came for mainstream media and elevated only radicalized conservatives. Cut to 2022, we know Elon Musk plans to do same with Twitter. We know how damaging it will be.Tech giants pose ongoing threat to western democracy.”

151 thoughts on ““Be Afraid, Be Actually Afraid”: Reporters Panic at the Thought of Twitter Restoring Free Speech Protections”

  1. “. . . misinfo & conspiracy theories will thrive.”

    Translated into honest language:

    “misinfo” = Opinions that the Left doesn’t like.

    “conspiracy theories” = Theories that the Left doesn’t want others to hear.

    Power-lusters always obfuscate their actual motivations.

  2. Twitter seems to be doubling down in preparation for the election.
    In history it’s the bad guys who use the Orwellian tactics.

  3. Honestly, I could care less about Twitter.
    But their hypocrisy of censoring “conservative” speech is, well, hypocrisy.
    I hope Musk does his own purge of leftists in his company. After all, it is HIS (soon to be) company.

  4. A true free speech advocate would support free speech rights for private entities as well as free speech rights for individuals. There is no reason individuals cannot choose with their digital feet.

    Thus, a progressive Twitter should be able to censor whoever they want, and a conservative Twitter should also have that same right. If users don’t like it, then… go somewhere else! Twitter is not the entire public square.

    This site is clearly an example of a conservative alternative to liberal Twitter, just as I assume the conversation on liberal blogs provides a similar outlet for progressives.

    This is the 21st century equivalent of arguing that liberals or conservatives control the horse drawn carriages that are needed to take people to a town’s public square. No one controls the square itself. Twitter is but a tool used to transport users to the public square.

    1. I’m with you if Twitter and others drop their “we’re not editors” protections that they get from the govt. and drop the cencoring by proxy for the govt..

      1. I partially agree. I think we will get some restrictions on 230 this term. I don’t think hosting terrorists should make a platform liable, but any pervasive third party content editing and promotion should be viewed as publishing. That is likely where we will fall, which will just mean the companies will have incredibly lengthy user agreements that no one will read, limiting their liability.

    2. I agree. The real problem is woke companies like Amazon that kicks a “conservative Twitter” off the Internet

      1. If conservatives can’t create there own version of AWS to host conservative social media sites, then that would seem to be an anti-trust issue, not a free speech issue.

        1. No it’s more of a Holiday Inn not letting African Americans stay in their hotel issue. You can only create a version of AWS if you use write off its costs against a $300,000,000,000,000 retail sales business. (I think there is some anti trust stuff going on against the retail part of Amazon)

          1. Discrimination based on race and discrimination based on viewpoint are not the same in constitutional law. The former warrants strict scrutiny whereas the latter only requires the rational basis test. Therefore, I do not think that comparison is particularly apt.

            1. To continue with your analogy, are you under the impression that a Holiday Inn could not turn away any liberal from its hotels?

        2. It is far more than that, but the most egregious issue is our leftist government is indirectly having SM companies censor data. That is unconstitutional, something you refuse to deal with.

          If you can’t deal with indirect censorship by government, how can we expect you to deal with anything else?

    3. “…. If users don’t like it, then… go somewhere else! Twitter is not the entire public square…..”

      That was tried with an alternative site “Parler” but big tech shut them down.

    4. “Thus, a progressive Twitter should be able to censor whoever they want, and a conservative Twitter should also have that same right.”

      This is the type of shallow thinking one sees from uninformed people. Some SM platforms are censoring at the government’s behest. That is indirect government censorship which is unconstitutional. That type of censorship should be hated by all who can remember Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Castro, etc. Unfortunately there are too many on the left that think like the Dictators I mentioned. They too depended on government telling the media what to do.

          1. Please inform me. What is this “indirect government censorship” of which you speak?

            If you are referring to a public-private partnership between the Biden administration and a private social media company, the Supreme Court has already adjudicated this in 2019. Check out Manhattan Community Access Corporation v. Halleck. A public entity, New York City, designated a private nonprofit to operate public access channels. The nonprofit suspended two producers from its facilities after the nonprofit ran a film they produced about its own neglect of the East Harlem community. The producers claimed that the nonprofit violated their First Amendment free speech rights by restricting their access to public access channels because of the content of their film.

            Justice Kavanaugh stated that private operators of a public access cable channel are not state actors subject to the First Amendment.

            Therefore, any public-private partnership to censor speech would not be covered because such action is not deemed a state action. You may disagree with the consequences of Kavanaugh’s ruling, but that is binding precedent (although in 2022, that may mean very little).

            1. There is an unbroken chain that makes what was done unconstitutional. The Supreme Court decision doesn’t apply to what has been proven. You always quote things that do not pertain to the subject matter.

              .I posted this before. Obviously, you never read or didn’t understand it or the Court’s prior decision that did not pertain.

              Outsourced censorship: Feds used private entity to target millions of social posts in 2020
              Biden administration gave millions in tax dollars to groups after election, records show. Election Integrity Partnership says it had 35% success rate getting tech platforms to label, remove or restrict content.

              A consortium of four private groups worked with the departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and State to censor massive numbers of social media posts they considered misinformation during the 2020 election, and its members then got rewarded with millions of federal dollars from the Biden administration afterward, according to interviews and documents obtained by Just the News.

              Continued: https://justthenews.com/government/federal-agencies/biden-administration-rewarded-private-entities-got-2020-election?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter#article

    5. Three Aonymouses are arguing each other on this comment. I can’t believe I broke my rule and replied to one of them

      1. Just two. I accidentally responded to myself above. The comment from the other anonymous is pretty clear as he/she is incorrect on this fictitious “indirect censorship by government” concept.

  5. Seems unlikely that this transaction would close before the midterms. Is anyone reporting that it might

      1. Interesting. I’ll go look it up. I guess the wheels turn quickly when its your $44,000,000,000 🙂

  6. A good chunk of the Republican Party at this point has gone full QAnon, including the former President. That is conspiracy theories about how Trump is going to break up a pedophile ring and going to run with JFK Jr. for reelection. This stuff is all over twitter. It is completely delusional so it thrives.

    This did not happen because twitter and its ilk have been disadvantaging or censoring conservatives too much.

    1. I disagree. When you drive even the mainstream into the shadows, it’s the nuts who tend to rise to prominence.

      1. “When you drive even the mainstream into the shadows, it’s the nuts who tend to rise to prominence.”

        That is what has happened on this blog. Mainstream leftists have left the scene.

  7. THE LEFT WING RADICALS and SOCIAL JUSTICE CROWD alon with the ELITES, along with the DEMS and most of the Press HATE FREE SPEEECH. Especially beofre the elections of 2022 and 2024. They are all in a PANIC.

  8. One does not need to be a PhD in Statistics to know that there is more than sufficient data to unequivocally conclude that much of the MSM is nothing but an extension of the Democratic Party and that these so called journalists would be very happy working in a political environment similar to China or Russia so long as their allies are in power. They are Orwellian and are antithetical to everything the 1st Amendment represents. They are beyond contemptable. There are some days I almost wish Trump had been the true fascist they accuse him of being and had them rounded up! In the end, the are the true fascist.

  9. 50 years ago, and likely longer ago than that, the prevailing wisdom in the VietNam War era was ‘if you want a sobering view of the United States of America, either read the foreign press, or live outside the USA at least for a while.

    I’m reviewing what other nations and their newspapers think about the privatization of Twitter, with Musk at the helm.

  10. I love watching the apoplectic meltdown of some media pundits. It would be an overdue fresh breath of air to see a large media platform be required to promote a modicum of freedom of speech. One could dream.

    Now, the malefactors in government collaborate with the “private” media outlets to do their dirty work in a workaround to subvert the law and destroy the voice of their political opposition. They just hire the hit men instead of doing all the dirty work themselves.

    These are practitioners of North Korean and Chinese style propaganda methods. If they can’t shut down the flow of information they launch a campaign to make the news source radioactive. The trolls come out to taunt anyone with a differing opinion. Are the trolls paid or are they just people who live in their parent’s basement? They don’t seem to have jobs or lives. They probably wear their mask when they are by themselves and have Cheeto stained hands.

    What a bizarre and dangerous bunch of weirdos. The President is included, being carted out to read what the teleprompter says. We are supposed to believe he is not diminished. We are supposed to believe that he is good ol’ Joe from Scranton. Reporters don’t challenge him, comedians are warned to stay away but the obvious is obvious and it is not good., “Where’s Jackie?” He could put an end to the speculation and simply take a cognitive test.

    It will be interesting to see how this turns out. The truth doesn’t hurt if one has nothing to hide. But what is being perpetrated on this nation and the world at large is a travesty.

  11. Turley as usual is being quite disingenuous. Twitter does not have a “censorship culture”. Twitter is exercising THEIR free speech right to operate it’s own private platform according to THEIR own rules. Turley’s own blog operates in the exact same way. He censors posters too his only excuse is that he has no control over it because it is managed by a third party vendor. That’s a load of crap. Turley is just being hypocritical as he usually is when ti comes to free speech and censorship.

    Private entities are NOT bound by the restrictions of the 1st amendment. None are. If Twitter deems some posts false claims, misinformation, or offensive they have every right to delete the posts or revoke the privilege of a poster. Why? Because every single user on Twitter or Facebook singed an agreement that they agreed to in exchange for access to the platform. Every single one. When people click on the “I agree” button they are literally giving away their right to the content they post and any content IS subject to Twitter’s or Facebook’s terms and conditions. Turleys’s own blog has the same thing. He permanently bans people from the site if they violate the policy on this blog. Darren himself edits other posted content when he kindly reminds those new of the blog that they can only post two hyperlinks per post. That means he has control over who posts and what they post on the site. Twitter does the exact same thing.

    Turley is being quite partisan and hypocritical when it comes to complaints about “censorship” where it is very legal and very well within any private entity”s prerogative. NONE are required to abide by the restrictions of the 1st amendment because it only applies to government.

    1. Private entities can and do censor. Censoring does not require violating the First Amendment. Stop proving half the country has below average intelligence. This is basic.

      1. Read the 5th Circuit case on Texas’ law against censorship by internet platforms. That case held that a large platform holding itself out as being open to all is not engaged in speech when it conducts viewpoint censorship. For that reason, a state may prevent it from doing so. It has no 1st Amendment right to censor.

        1. Daniel,

          The 5th circuit decision was wrong. Based on the plain text for the constitution a private entities CANNOT violate the 1st amendment’s prohibition on censoring speech, even if it’s on viewpoints. The platforms are open to all PROVIDED they all agree to THEIR terms and conditions and everyone who signs up voluntarily agrees to THEIR terms and conditions.

          The 1st amendment not only protects free speech from GOVERNMENT censorship, but it also protects others from being FORCED to carry other’s speech against their will. Here Texas is forcing SM to carry political speech and people’s points of view by threat of prosecution. THAT is a direct violation of the 1st amendment.

          I will reiterate, SM platforms CANNOT violate the 1st amendment’s prohibition on censorship because the clause’s limitation is ONLY on the government. Not private entities.

          Turley can argue that the censorship by private entities is immoral and wrong. But he can’t argue in support of FORCING them to carry speech that violates THEIR own policy because even they have the right NOT to publish or allow what they consider a violation of THEIR policy.

          The Supreme Court has made it quite clear that even large corporations and companies such as twitter or even Hobby Lobby have free speech rights. Texas is violating the 1st amendment right of SM by threatening to prosecute them for not carrying content that is against their policy which users AGREED to in a legally binding contract.

          1. The 5th Circuit carefully considered all the relevant Supreme Court cases. My guess is that the Supreme Court will uphold the 5th Circuit’s decision.

            1. Daniel I wouldn’t be too sure about that. SCOTUS would have to do quite a lot of mental and legal gymnastics in order to agree with the 5th circuit.

    2. Svelaz wrote, “Twitter does not have a “censorship culture”.”

      It’s so well known and a proven fact that Twitter has a “censorship culture” that a bald-faced lying (64. Yoo’s Rationalization or “It isn’t what it is”) unethical rationalization like that is signature significant showing us your full anti-free speech, anti-American Marxist totalitarian tendency to lie in our faces. You’re a liar.

      Svelaz wrote, “Twitter is exercising THEIR free speech right to operate it’s own private platform according to THEIR own rules.”

      Trying to use the fact that their platform is private to show that they don’t have a “censorship culture” is using the logic of a complete moron.

      You must be a ignorant political operative from Russia or China, or an indoctrinated 8th grader.

      Svelaz wrote, “Turley as usual is being quite disingenuous.”

      What’s disingenuous is your moronic daily posts.

        1. EconIsEasy,

          Because I can. Just because I don’t agree with most of what Turley says or most posters say doesn’t mean I can’t post and put my two cents in. That is the whole point of free speech.

          This is Turley’s blog and he has his own rules. If he wants to kick me out or censor me he can do that. I would have no problem with it because I AGREED to HIS terms and conditions in exchange for the privilege of posting on HIS blog. He can edit my posts or even block posts whenever they violate HIS policy. This isn’t rocket science, but apparently it is for many here who can’t grasp what the concept of free speech according to the constitution really is.

          1. “Because I can. Just because I don’t agree with most of what Turley says or most posters say doesn’t mean I can’t post and put my two cents in.”

            That does not make your lying any more pleasant or acceptable for everyone else.

            “If he wants to kick me out or censor me he can do that.”

            Take note how he hasn’t censored you. That proves your complaints about censorship are bogus and your ideas conflict with one another.

            1. Anonymous,

              “ That does not make your lying any more pleasant or acceptable for everyone else.”

              I don’t really care what you or anyone else thinks. It’s just the plain fact that I can post my opinion or criticism that matters to me. Whether you don’t like it or not is not my concern. If you wish to debate or criticize my posts as lies that is your prerogative.

              “ Take note how he hasn’t censored you. That proves your complaints about censorship are bogus and your ideas conflict with one another.”

              I’m not the one complaining about censorship. Obviously you’re not paying attention.

              Turley hasn’t censored me because I haven’t violated his policies. Just as twitter or Facebook won’t censor you if you don’t violate THEIR policies.

              If I end up violating policy I expect to be censored or banned just as you should when posting on Facebook or Twitter.

              1. “I don’t really care what you or anyone else thinks. “

                That is obvious. Your mouth takes up much of your brain, leaving little space for you to think.

                “Turley hasn’t censored me because I haven’t violated his policies.”

                Then you can cut out your criticism of the censorship on this blog.

      1. Witherspoon,

        Obviously you are not being honest with yourself when you can’t argue on the merits of what pointed out and instead focus on attacking me.

        Their platform IS private. They have their OWN rules and terms that EVERYONE AGREES to the second they click on the “ I AGREE” button. It’s as simple as that. You can’t seem to grasp the concept that people are WILLINGLY agreeing to THEIR terms and that includes the right for them to censor posts or content that is in violation of THEIR policy.

        I know you don’t do twitter. But you are ignoring the very thing that allows ANYONE to avoid this. They can go to another site that is more tolerant than twitter when it comes to their policies. Trump did this with Truth Social. There’s also Parler, and a host of other conservative social media platforms. The Irony here is that even THEY have policies that mirror twitter’s or even Facebook. Trump’s own social media platform has been noted for censoring posts that are critical of Trump. That is perfectly fine because it’s HIS platform and HIS policies. What Turley is arguing for is the equivalent of FORCING Truth Social to post content that is critically harsh towards Trump or even critical of conservative ideas. The truth is at Truth Social the censor just the same as the other SM sites Turley complains about.

        I stand by my statement that Twitter or Facebook don’t have a “censorship culture”. They are just applying their policy that everyone agreed to. If it involves more conservatives being censored maybe it’s because more conservatives are violating the policy more often than liberals. Why? Because they are either ignorant of what they are posting or they badly misinformed about what the constitution really says about free speech. Many seem to think it applies to private entities and companies such as twitter or Facebook when in fact it doesn’t. That just speaks of the ignorance of those complaining and making arguments from ignorance.

    3. Can you explain or point to examples of “censorship” on this blog. I see none (every day some guy posts a comment saying Lincoln should be impeached and that is allowed) but perhaps there is some stuff I never see because there is a list of forbidden words. Who manages that list. Where can I see it. You say a third party controls this blog; do you mean WordPress?

      1. Dennis Byron wrote, “perhaps there is some stuff I never see because there is a list of forbidden words.”

        I’m positive that there actually is such a list, I know that’s true because I’ve run head first into it when ever I post the word b-a-s-t-a-r-d-i-z-e (without the -) it rejects the entire comment because that word contains the word b-a-s-t-a-r-d, the software is not intelligent enough to discern these kind of monumentally ignorant moderation programming errors, it’s stupid and it just runs code. My understanding is that this list is not created by the blogger or the administrator, it’s built into the program that automatically scans the text. It must be a WordPress added on comment scanning service because my blog doesn’t do this.

      2. Dennis Byron,
        There are some who believe that the 1stA should allow them to use cuss words, anti-semitic speech, racist speed (e.g. the N-word), misogynist language, things that would not be allowed in polite society.
        Inside of JetPack (the back end comment app in WP) is a black list of words that are automatically blocked. Helps Darren in the moderation process. There is also a list for known violators of the civility rules, and their IP addys. Also helps block SPAM.
        Some of these violators like to play the victims, and accuse the professor of hypocrisy. My take on that is, if you come into my home (blog) use harsh language, disrespect me in my own home (blog), why would I invite you back?

        And, sometimes, WP has a hiccup and does not post a comment. Happened to me a few times.

        1. “ My take on that is, if you come into my home (blog) use harsh language, disrespect me in my own home (blog), why would I invite you back?”

          Upstatefarmer makes the same point Darren has and it’s a valid one. The irony however, is lost in the fact that this same argument applies to twitter and Facebook too. Their platform is THEIR platform and also THEIR “home”.

          You break the rules you get kicked out or censored. Just like Turley’s blog.

          1. AS IF there’s an express rule that says “you can’t express an opinion “we don’t agree with” or having ALL your comments banned because “we don’t like your political philosophy” is the same as having your comment being deleted for “bad language”.

            SNORT.

      3. There have been a few posters who have been banned permanently here. There are a few that used to post as “anonymous” and some posts have been removed because the advocated violence or included really racist content or personal attacks. On this blog the enforcement has not been very consistent which is funny because it is not consistent on other SM platforms as well.

        There is no way to post a list of who has a been banned without Darren making it possible since he is moderator on the site. WordPress I assume is the third party vendor who manages the blog, I could be wrong and it might just be the program that runs the comments section.

    4. Svelez,
      I agree with everything you have just said. Private entities are not bound by the 1st Amendment and can make their own rules. And this blog also has it’s own rules. But if Musk buys Twitter doesn’t he have the right to make the rules on the private entity that he now owns?
      That seems to be a conundrum for some of those quoted in this post. They like the rules when they reflect a certain mindset. But abhor the rules when it goes against their political dogma. To use your vernacular, ” partisan and hypocritical”.

        1. Iowan2,

          No, no judge ordered a baker to put a message on a cake. The case was about creating a wedding cake, not putting a message on it. It’s the creation of the cake itself that is the issue. The gay couple couldn’t legally force a baker, any baker to put a message on their cake that they disagree with. However creating the cake itself with no message and just a design is a different issue.

      1. The 5th circuit just held that censorship by large internet platforms open to all is not speech protected by the 1st Amendment. It thus upheld Texas’ law prohibiting it.

        1. The 5th circuit ruling was wrong. Because it ignores the free speech rights of the internet platforms. They can’t be forced to carry the message of someone else that is against their policy. That is government compelling a private entity to carry someone else’s speech under threat of prosecution.

          There are two opposing rulings on this issue. One from a Florida law which is similar to Texas saying it’s unconstitutional and Texas which says it is. This is going to be heading to the Supreme Court for sure.

          The 5th circuit court is clearly wrong since it did not articulate exactly why Texas can punish social media platforms for censoring speech that the constitution does not forbid them to censor.

      2. “ But if Musk buys Twitter doesn’t he have the right to make the rules on the private entity that he now owns?”

        Yes he will have the right to change the rules if he wants. I have no problem with that.

        The problem is those crying foul over “unfair censorship” can’t grasp the concept that you don’t have the right to be heard or have your message delivered to an audience. You have a right to speak your mind and offer your point of view. SM allows you to do that, BUT it is dependent on a PRIVATE platform that offers an audience far bigger than you could imagine with the caveat that you AGREE to THEIR rules. The frustration seems to be from the expectation that the platform IS supposed to provide you with the means to express your views or opinions because the 1st amendment says you have freedom of speech. That’s not correct.

    5. AS another mentioned earlier, when sensible mainstream leftists abandon the ship the unintelligent rise to the top and make absolutely no sense.

      “Twitter does not have a “censorship culture””

      Every major person and scientist that posted opposing viewpoints on Twitter was censored or cancelled. Only the very ignorant can make a comment like Svelaz made. We have seen that repetitively on other issues.

      1. Anonymous (S. Meyer) says,

        “ Every major person and scientist that posted opposing viewpoints on Twitter was censored or cancelled. Only the very ignorant can make a comment like Svelaz made. We have seen that repetitively on other issues.”

        Most of the time those opposing viewpoints have been shown to be false claims, outright lies, or claiming things that others should try despite them being harmful. The fact that they were cancelled or censored BECAUSE they violated policy they were well within their right to cancel or censor the individual. None of those “scientists” or “major person” had a constitutional right or even a right to have their views posted contrary to a platform’s policy. Nobody has a right to post on twitter or facebook or any other social media platform. You’re only posting there because you have been granted the privilege. You are granted access to the platform when you AGREE to THEIR policies. It’s just that simple. Those “scientists” or “major persons” can still post their opposing viewpoints elsewhere. Being censored on twitter or facebook is not the end of the world for them. They have other options available. Just because they WANT to post on the platform that offers the biggest audience with the biggest reach and violate THEIR policy doesn’t mean they are entitled to have their viewpoints and messages heard.

        1. “Most of the time those opposing viewpoints have been shown to be false claims, outright lies, or claiming things that others should try despite them being harmful. “

          Because many have since been proven correct, you show yourself to be even more ignorant than most might have previously thought. It is probably hard for many to realize that you could exceed the ignorance recognized earlier.

    6. “Turley’s own blog operates in the exact same way. He censors posters too his only excuse is that he has no control over it because it is managed by a third party vendor. That’s a load of crap.”

      Another Stupid comment. Have your comments been censored? No. Can you show a pattern of political censorship? No. We heard the same complaint from ATS who makes sure he uses an email or IP address that causes him to be banned. That is his fallacious proof. We hear that Bug has been banned, same problem, four letter words leading to his being banned.

      You can’t prove your libel but you will repeat it despite it being disproven by many folk on the blog.

      1. Anonymous (S. Meyer) says,

        “ Another Stupid comment. Have your comments been censored? No. Can you show a pattern of political censorship? No. We heard the same complaint from ATS who makes sure he uses an email or IP address that causes him to be banned. That is his fallacious proof. We hear that Bug has been banned, same problem, four letter words leading to his being banned.

        You can’t prove your libel but you will repeat it despite it being disproven by many folk on the blog.”

        As usual you are not paying attention. My comments haven’t been censored, BUT others HAVE and that is the point. ATS comments aren’t being censored because he uses an email or IP address that causes him to be banned. The fact that he I still able to post something only to be have it deleted is proof that he isn’t being banned. He is being censored. If he has been banned he wouldn’t have been able to post at all. He’s not broken any of the rules and the majority of his comments have been well within the scope of wordpress policy. His comments have been specifically removed once it is determined who it is that is posting. Since he posts as anonymous and you do too it’s difficult censor the post UNTIL it is clear it is ATS. That is a targeted action.

        Notice that it is only liberal commenters that have been banned or censored lately and others have not. There is no consistency and ironically it’s the same inconsistency that plagues other platforms like twitter and facebook. I could say that Turley’s blog is unfairly censoring liberal points of view.

      1. “ Can wireless companies monitor your phone calls and texts and delete them if they don’t like them? They are private companies.”

        No, because wireless companies are not the same as social media. Phone calls are PRIVATE communications between to PRIVATE individuals. So are text messages. You PAY these companies for access to communication infrastructure to privately communicate. Social media your opinions or criticism is open for all who are on the platform to see. There is a very big difference between the two.

  12. For some reason, my email address was given to the dems and I receive MANY daily emails from them telling me how biden’s poll numbers are soaring, how the economy is wonderful, how the MAGA people are going to stifle voting rights, subjugate women to the dark ages, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. They are blind to their own false narratives yet they think they are the gatekeepers of truth. Just typical to this cabal of truly brainwashed/fully fanatical ignorants that hate this nation with a passion. The hypocrisy is sickening to behold.

      1. “I tuned into NPR’s All Things Considered”

        Why would someone willingly do that? Are you some sort of masochist?

        1. Pre-2016, I listened to NPR everyday, sometimes even while tending to livestock, or in the barn. Sure they lean left, but I could dismissed their bias and still get the news.
          Post-2016, yeah, they went all in hard left. It was so over the top, nauseating I switched them off.
          Matt Taibbi wrote a article a few months(???) ago about how all NPR is now is about race, climate change, gender identity.
          Once in awhile I will tune in to see if Matt was right.
          And he was.

      2. Upstatefarmer,

        It may sound strange to you because you spend so much time listening only to one side. So naturally the more moderate views will seem like they are from another planet. That is what extremism does.

  13. Jon, as misinformation and censorship are both part of this site, I no longer put as much credence into your thoughts on what constitutes free speech. I actually consider you more of an expert on what to selectively leave out in order to shape a story.

    That said, I’m with you on waiting to see how things shake out with a Musk takeover before making massive judgements.

    1. No one, left or right should make decisions and form opinions in an information bubble that is outside of their personal control. At that point you are just a pawn for someone else’s agenda. You need to be able to hear from all sides, including the nuts and extremes, in order to make proper, informed decisions, because every now and then even the loons sometimes get it right.

    2. “Jon, as misinformation and censorship are both part of this site, I no longer put as much credence into your thoughts on what constitutes free speech.”

      Nice ad hominem.

      Next time, try wrestling with his *arguments*.

      1. To Mr. Or Ms. Sam:

        I did. Don’t think I can do any more to see what’s right in front of your face.

        1. “I did.”

          No you didn’t (Anon sockpuppet #10k). You blithely ignored his arguments with the personal attack that he is (allegedly) a hypocrite. That’s textbook ad hominem, and par for your course.

          1. Mr. Or Ms. Sam:

            I am just stating my (experienced) opinion. Part of which is in agreement with Turley, part of it isn’t. Plainly clear if you actually read the relevant details with how I addressed Turley.

            You don’t agree with me seemingly as much as I don’t agree with you. All good.

            Ad hom’s all all on you though as your comments quickly degenerate into personal attacks, homie.

            Take home message: it’s okay to disagree with someone in print. It’s foundational within the Constitution.

  14. The real danger is non-defined legal speech. Federal agencies aren’t using the terms “violent extremist” but the more ambiguous term “extremist” to perform illegal computer searches.

    Using this ambiguous language – which does not exist in constitutional law – could have been used against women’s rights. Anyone simply wanting voting rights for women would have met the “extremist” label in 1920.

    Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover considered non-violent Christian preachers that supported voting rights for African-Americans as “extremist”.

    This problem could be fixed by Merrick Garland and Christopher Wray today – stop using ambiguous terminology that violates the U.S. Constitution. The DOJ or any agency can’t perform warrantless computer searches investigating non-violent and legal speech exercises. Such a search is akin to an 18th Century “General Warrant” outlawed under our 4th Amendment.

  15. Nothing like having a grenade thrown into the the cushy little censorship henhouse. God only knows what will become of the world. I can see soapboxes being brought out of storage and dusted off (figuratively speaking) as we return, hopefully, to the chaotic world of free speech where everyone needs to do your homework, both writer and reader. Although I am a conservative, I do look at other media. When I see something that is too convenient or maybe even outlandish in the conservative media I will search myself. Most of the news stories out there start locally and there are all sorts of local newspapers and tv stations with web pages to search. I also have more than one search engine. The question is, will Twitter be dropped from the Apple and Android app stores, or by Amazon Web Services.
    Since Elon has such a presence in Texas near and around Austin I would suggest Seguin (near San Antonio) or Waco (well north of Austin) for the transfer. Might be able to share facilities with the Magnolia Channel. Just imagine cooking classes and cooking up a storm all in 1 facility .
    I would avoid inner Austin. Terrible traffic and politics are akin to San Francisco

  16. The “pearl clutchers” know that if their ideas and reports are forced to compete with opposing ideas and reports, they will lose. For example, what would have happened if before the election voters had learned about the lap top and its evidence that the “Big Guy” and his son Hunter appeared to be neck deep in corruption? If they lose control of Twitter, they have good cause to be afraid. Even so, it will not restore credibility to the media or cleanse them of their notion that being a propaganda outlet is good journalism. The fact that they are clutching their pearls today shows how difficult a job it will be.

  17. OH NO! Free speech. Unless speech incites explicitly calls for violence or law breaking, it should be unfettered. There is no doubt that Twitter has censored one side unfairly. Best example is Libs of TikTok. This site only shows what individuals have put out themselves on social media without editing. Yet because some of what is put out is so maniacal, Twitter has suspended the account numerous times. Because to anyone with an I.Q. over room temperature what is posted is sometimes ridiculous. And embarrassing. But it is certainly their right to post it.
    What are all these people afraid of? That someone who does not do their ” homework” will be duped. People have the right to be stupid. It is not society’s job, a private entity’s job and certainly not the government’s job to ” protect” you from speech.
    I would have thought that the ” Scary Poppins” exposure would have resonated.
    I know I have said it before, but it is worth repeating.
    If you want to put forth the proposition that the aliens built the pyramids, SO WHAT?
    If you want to put out the proposition that Elvis is still alive SO WHAT?
    If you are getting your medical advise from social media and not a health professional, I am sorry ,but you deserve the consequences.
    The alternative is censorship. And as with most things that are regulated, the problem is not with the regulation, but who decides how it is to be imposed. For years I heard the argument that Twitter, Facebook etc,, had rules that every user needed to adhere to be on the platform. Which was fair. If you don’t like the rules, don’t participate. If Musk changes the rules, how is that any different?

  18. Major news and media organizations need to invite Ira Glasser (documentary “Mighty Ira”) to appear on their programs. Glasser is generally viewed as left of center but most left leaning networks won’t include his decades of experience in their coverage.

    Free speech cable shows like HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” has done several shows featuring Ira Glasser. Why won’t network news invite him to speak?

  19. Besides providing a public platform for censored speech,Twitter’s other vital role is to reveal to the world how decadent and clueless some media practitioners are. There was a time in journalism when displaying politicial bias would be grounds for firing or, at the least, reassignment. Today they shout their bias from the rooftops and expect to be applauded by the woke crowd. No one seems to care that the public trusts news media less today than they trust Congress.

    Elon Musk needs to clean house. Then he should move Twitter out of San Francisco to a sane city somewhere in the the United States.

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