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Is the censoring of conservative news on Twitter a form of domestic terrorism?

Twitter is by far the largest influencer network with 100 times more activity than than competing services like Parler.com. In today's hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz discussed Twitter's banning of the New York Post's account and all links to their website over their reporting of Hunter Biden's email... but they allowed for the dissemination of Trump's hacked tax returns. Video at: [video.foxnews.com]

Section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act expanded the definition of terrorism to cover ""domestic,"" as opposed to international, terrorism. A person engages in domestic terrorism if they do an act "dangerous to human life" that is a violation of the criminal laws of a state or the United States, if the act appears to be intended to: 1. intimidate or coerce a civilian population; 2. influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or 3. to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.

Of course this is hyperbole but at what point is the threat of being banned from a large platform over political positions a form of intimidation or coercion of a civilian population? Is being banned a modern form of assassination? At what point is a private company so large a platform to be considered a common carrier and subject to government oversight?

Admin 8 Oct 28
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8

I don't think it is an act of domestic terrorism. But, I do think it falls under violations of campaign laws. If anything their censorship was an in-kind campaign contribution, that they did not disclose. To censor an article this damning of a politician, during the election, was a use of power to hide the truth from the American people, (with intentions to sway an election).

Would you then say Fox News having Trump on almost every day is a violation of campaign equal-time rules, and continually parroting his narrative is a kind of campaign contribution and not disclosed?

@JacksonNought, which days has Trump been on Fox news as a guest? I believe he called in and talked to them once. As for having him on Fox News "every day", I have to say that you are grossly over-exaggerating!

@DeplorableToo perhaps "ever day" is hyperbole, but it seems to be constant. A report in July of last year said he was on Fox 61 times since his inauguration, and of course that was pre-election.

He was on Fox & Friends on Sept 15 saying he would be calling in every week. He was also on F&F Oct 20. He calls into Hannity and Dobbs all the time as well. When was Biden on recently? Trump's campaign members are also frequent guests.

"In the two-and-a-half days immediately following the New York Post’s hit job on Hunter Biden, Fox News reportedly dedicated three times as much airtime to the former vice president’s son as it did to the COVID-19 pandemic."

@JacksonNought and how do you balance that with the ~95% negative coverage Trump gets in the MSM? The 5% positive spin I assume (tongue in cheek) must be some of Fox's Trump, because Fox reports Trump with a more evened hand than any other networj; both positive and negative.

@NonAgrssvMight I am not the one claiming Twitter, or other media, is engaging in "an in-kind campaign contribution, that they did not disclose" because of favorable coverage.

After the election, Trump gave Hannity an entire hour in the White House.

@jaymaron, an entire hour? Well, that is a far cry from @JacksonNought's claim of every single day, wouldn't you agree?

6

I dropped off of Twitter 2-3 years ago when I realized it was a cesspool of useless blather. I'm pretty sure the handful of minutes I spent there cost me several thousand brain cells. I don't see it as domestic terrorism...just a colossal waste of time.

In 2016 there was great excitement on twitter as the Democrat leaks were coming out, and there were many trending hashtags for the leaks. Twitter killed the hashtags. All the work people put into twitter was destroyed.

6

There are Rules Governing the behavior of these platforms.
They were acting as a Public Forum and were basically exempt from prosecution for opinions posted there.
They Stopped being a Public Forum when they began to Censor based on Their Own Ideology.
They then became a Publisher.
Publishers Do Not Have the Protections of a Public Forum.
They should be sued by Everyone and Every Thing that has a grievance.

They should, in reality, be disbanded altogether or forced to convert to a Commercial Publisher.
They had One Simple Rule to Exist Under ...
They Broke that Simple Rule.

6

Only Twits use Twitter... honestly why would anyone even bother its a Woke Wonderland full is lunacy and ratbags.

6

No. Social media censorship is not terrorism.

I detest the woke-progressive game of conflating words with violence. They use that tactic to great effect to chip away at freedom of speech. Words are not violence; and neither is censorship. Propaganda and suppression of information are deplorable in and of themselves. We don't have to engage in the leftist game of using misleading and extreme language to get the point across.

Don’t denigrate the victims of San Bernardino, Fort Hood or 9-11 by suggesting Twitter engages in terrorism. It doesn’t.

Social media, like every major corporation in America, is being held hostage by the anti-rationalists who are imposing their will on the culture they are deconstructing. No government intervention will change that, especially since woke postmodernists have wormed their way into the highest levels of the state. I don't see this changing until people set aside the outrage and begin to educate themselves. And, no, I don't see a critical mass choosing reason over emotion.

Informed centrists and conservatives still believe in reason, rationality and truth; but more and more of us are falling victim to the progressive game of exaggeration, dramatics and hysteria.

GeeMac Level 8 Oct 28, 2020
6

Too many people are using the term “Terrorist” much too freely.
Its losing its impact ... being perverted into something else.

Pretty soon the DemLeft will start telling people Terrorists are people who give out the wrong color flowers for Mother’s Day ...

The term "Mother" will be offensive soon. I'm waiting.😂

@saramarylop3z hey! Did you just use the word “mother”?
Blocking, in three, two...

5

Whether this censorship rises to the level of terrorism is an interesting question that I hadn't considered before reading this post. I believe that Twitter has reached the point of being a "common carrier" and should be subject to antitrust laws. Just as public right-of-ways are used to set the utility poles and lines that carry telephone lines, the federal government built the internet. The phone company would never be allowed to write a contract saying that we can't talk about certain topics in our private phone calls. Deed restrictions that prevented people of different races from buying homes in certain neighborhoods were invalidated years ago. For Twitter and other companies to ban political speech that goes against their leftist views is wrong under our laws. If they really want to change the law, then they can make that effort. For now, they need to live by the law.

Ideally, Twitter, Facebook, and Google should be broken up the way that the phone company was broken up in the seventies. The result of that breakup was not that we couldn't call people who were served by the regional phone companies that grew out of "Ma Bell." However, no one company had as much power as the phone company had at that time. I'd like to see different Twitter and Facebook hosts established. Each could have their own rules and standards. Maybe one or two of them would continue to have the leftist "fact-checkers" that Facebook uses now. Others might have more right-leaning "fact checkers." I'd like to join one that doesn't attempt to "fact check" anything I post. Individuals could decide whether they would see posts from friends in different companies under this umbrella. Each subsidiary would be able to control what is posted within that company, but none would be able to stop people in other companies from saying what they believe.

It will come to the question: Who owns the content you built on the social media site?
Suppose you want to transplant your content from facebook to a different site.
Facebook claims they own your friends list and everything you posted. That's a slavery contract
and courts should nullify it on this grounds. You own your friends list and your content.
Facebook is ONLY successful because of the effort that its users put into generating content. By not letting us have ownership of the content, facebook is in effect hating and exploiting its users.

If you contruct a program to automatically download all your facebook content so that it can be transplanted to another site, facebook will immediately change their format to block the program, just like Apple continuously updates its iPhone operating system to defeat jailbreakers. Do not let them do it.
Not only does the anti-slavery clause in contract law apply to your facebook data, it also applies to your ability to retrieve it. This is the hill upon which the decisive battle will take place.

The president should issue an executive order mandating these things.

5

At the end of the day, these companies know how much influence they wield. They are also aware that they are responsible for how many of their consumers perceive the world. If social media and the like are now going to not just decide what news gets seen, but actively suppress people from spreading stories they don't like, it certainly seems like a good time to revisit their protections.
IMO, they have been granted a tremendous amount of leeway and they have chosen to abuse it. I have read that 230 affords them more protections than even the news outlets have. It seems to take an act of god to hold the regular news accountable for some of the stuff they pull and nobody IMO should have even more protections than that.
These companies are spying on you, selling your data, tracking your movements and your habits, and they are now also forming your opinions for you. It seems at the very least they could put you on the health care plan.

@TheMiddleWay This site is the closest thing I have to social media. I have no other accounts and do not want them. I do not agree with you in regards to the free market. You do not always have a choice and sometimes the choices you have are all bad yet there are no other options and you certainly were not consulted on the crappy ones you are presented.
I also think the loss of social media would do more good than harm. Its not that the concept is bad, its what people choose to do with it. People can screw up anything.
If I recall you are or were a teacher? I find it hard to believe that you would be in favor of them censoring points of view they don't like. There are many young people and ones not so young that do not know any better. What they see or hear on these platforms they take for the truth, that is serious power. I would stick to my original argument, right now they are afforded more protections under section 230 than even the mainstream news. You have a better chance of winning the lottery than winning a judgement against the mainstream news. The lottery ticket is also cheaper than an attorney. As a platform and not a publisher is why they have these protections and they are abusing it. Good points sir, but agree to disagree.

@Lexpd1145
TMW ... makes many claims ... claimed to be in the Medical Profession as well.
He’s simply a Pointless Contrarian who will threaten to have you removed from IDW if you you call him things like Witless ...
You waste your time bothering to engage.

@Lexpd1145 just because there isn't something out there which meets your needs doesn't change the fact that it is the free market at work. It just means nothing that meets your needs has been demanded enough or been profitable. You can always try to start something yourself.

@JacksonNought I honestly fail to see how this became a free market issue. All power should be checked. They are abusing theirs. They are preventing the free flow of information. Contrary to what Mr. Dorsey would have you believe they wield a great deal of influence and are bending peoples view of the world. You might be ok with that, I am not.

@TheMiddleWay I agree about not using their services. For me it’s easy not to use twitter and Facebook but it’s tough not to use YT and Google. A lot of people use them as a base for small business and there aren’t good alternatives.

@Lexpd1145 it's a free market issue because they are a private company which provides a free service in return for ad revenue and user data, and you can choose not to use their product. They are under no legal obligation to cater to your whims. If Conservatives think they are acting improperly, there are plenty of them with fat wallets who can invest in Conservative-based alternatives. Currently the market hasn't given an alternative success either because no one is trying to provide one, or it isn't profitable.

I can't demand Fox News start covering stories which cater to me.

@JacksonNought You can defend the censorship all you like, my tune doesnt change.

5

Twitter is evil. The fact that people use it as a source when posting what they're presenting as "news" or fact irritates me to no end. I close any story that uses tweets as its source, or as the very basis for creating/introducing yet more noise into information ecosystem.

govols Level 8 Oct 28, 2020
4

I would have thought this Biden corruption investigation is for the public good. The public's right to know. Censure is not in the public good!

angelo Level 8 Oct 29, 2020
4

There is nothing American about these people, so not terrorism, rather war.

4

Social Media and the decaying old guard media are a joke. They lie, defame, dox, put people in harms way and destabilize the republic. For anyone of average intelligence, this is not debatable.
Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Almost every magazine and newspaper in the country. CNN, ABC, NBC, BBC, NPR...etc and ad nauseum. I hope Trump wins and crushes them.

Tarpon Level 7 Oct 28, 2020

@TheMiddleWay I see the balance, for sure.

3

Dorsey has clearly committed perjury here, he should be indicted.

Andyman Level 8 Oct 29, 2020
3

It is un-Constitutional. Why call it anything else? That means it is illegal; explicitly against the First Amendment. And that means it is up to the Federal government to prosecute and punish the offender.

3

Donald Trump lost a case in court when he tried to block selected users from commenting on his Twitter account. The ruling found that, given their scope and audience, social media in general and Twitter in particular are essentially a 21st century town square. Nothing is as American as the guarantee of freedom of speech in the town square.

Call it what you want, they are abusing the position that they’ve found themselves in. I doubt they planned at the outset to control information worldwide. Just like I doubt Bezos thought he was going take over the entire retail market across the economy; Zuckerberg never expected to control the worldview of billions world wide, and Google just wanted to make it easy to find stuff on the web. And every one of them followed classic capitalist techniques to grow their companies—and their influence.

But at some point, they all became more than private companies. And at that point, their political philosophies of the founders and the employees have to be balanced with their impact on the country. Their corporate sphere has overlapped with the Constitution.

@Edgework, you are wrong. The ruling against Trump had absolutely nothing to do with Twitter being a "town square". People block others all the time, even official public servants. The problem is that Trump chooses to use his Twitter account in an official capacity as POTUS. He isn't using it to talk about his golf game, he uses it to announce major decisions like firing his Chief of Staff or banning transgender people from the military. If Trump used his Twitter for more personal stuff, it wouldn't be a problem. But Trump chooses to use his Twitter as an official communication with the American people. That means he isn't allowed to block people.

@JacksonNought
I’m talking about the wording of the ruling. You are correct that the rub is the use of his account for official government business. The court found that blocking people violated their rights to participate in a “designated public forum.”

That ruling constitutes a legal precedent and establishes grounds for treating all social media as public forums, and they can no more block content than could Trump. Trump was clearly wrong. So is Twitter, for the same reason.

@Edgework it did not set a precedent for social media being a public forum. Twitter has a TOS and can block or kick off whoever they want. That is why Twitter is allowed to kick off Russian and Chinese bots and ISIS terrorist cells.

The ruling was simply that Trump used Twitter for official communication as a public servant, and therefore could not block people from a public forum he created on his account. It did not extend to any other accounts.

3

Isn't this about the same as the last question about Twitter / Facebook / Google? And isn't this also just free market capitalism at work? These are private-sector companies that do not provide a necessary utility. They are not obligated to be impartial. Providing a free platform and then choosing not to allow certain content cannot be considered terrorism. Full stop. If you don't like it, create a competing platform.

Actually they’re “playing” the rules ...
This isn’t actually about being a “Free Market” ... this is about whether they are classified correctly as “Publishers” or not.
Acting as they have been, they ARE, In Fact, “Publishers” and are therefore susceptible to Lawsuits which can be brought against them for dozens of reasons such as Liable and Slander.

If all they are is a place where Others Post Personal Opinions then they are shielded, however, since they are Manipulating What IS and What IS NOT Seen, they are PUBLISHERS.

@Bay0Wulf incorrect. They aren't creating or curating content. They are just choosing to ban, censor, or flag content they deem dangerous or inaccurate. That is their right to do so, as they are allowed to set their own TOS and run their platform as they wish.

If you want to remove their protection, then guess what, Trump's Twitter account is the first to go - just imagine the lawsuits that can come from that mess.

@JacksonNought
Oh ... picking and choosing ... amplifying and stifling ... of content isn’t, in fact, “Creating” or ... “Destroying” content?

I’d like to argue that with you in a Court of Law.

You are a funny person ... but I’ve known that about you for awhile ...

@TheMiddleWay
Nope ...
Once again you’re being an idiot.
SURPRISE!!!

@TheMiddleWay
Oh!!!
And ... a SECOND Time!!!

Darn ... you oughta spend some time looking over the Law ...
Or ... the context of the situation ...
Or ... figure out which side of the Pizza you want to eat ...

Or ...
Simply stop bothering ME with your witless responses.

@Bay0Wulf are you going to actually provide a counter argument, or just act like a child and throw insults back?

And I guess I have to remind you once more, you can simply ignore comments and move on. You choose to keep being bothered. The only one wasting your time is you.

@JacksonNought
Yes, I could simply “ignore” the responses that strike me as being nonsensical.
That would be typically “Conservative”.
I prefer to point out BS when I see it and hope maybe to create a desire to rethink one’s lack of intellectual thought or reasoning.

Seriously, the saying; “If you can’t Blind them with Brilliance, Baffle them with Bullshit” is allowed to occur way too often and passes unremarked.

@TheMiddleWay
On the other hand, if we lump them in with other publishers, my guess is it will lead to the death of social media since those companies will not be able to survive the onslaught of litigation for content they have no control over.

Except they DO have control over the content they push and manipulate otherwise they would not be banning anything.

@TheMiddleWay
Good. Stop interacting. That would suit me fine.

3

From somebody who has personally experienced being locked out of FB and deleted by YT for posting my conservative views, I feel these tech giants need to be cut down to size. If they're doing it to me, they could be doing it to others as well. And I'm hearing that they are.

2

I thought it was hyberbole until point 2.
If you assume some level of working together then someone can be dropped from Twitter, facebook, Youtube, patreon, some credit card and employment damaged or ended. (coughAlex Jones cough)

2

I say let’s burn Twitter down !

Rick-A Level 8 Oct 28, 2020
2

I actually think these groups while pandering to the left, who must provide the bulk of advertising, support, funds, IS sensitive.
Writing must become COVERT, metamessages which you KNOW but can't prove.
You never put..gut feelings, your own wishes, FACTS. Forget FACTS.

So, DIFFERENT writing style. And they'll still do it, ban, bcuz they'll research YOU not the story. So, lots of YOU, many able to do this who don't have much known on them.

Then there's boycotting. Eg. We would use TWITTER if they didn't
ban all differing viewpoints. We like Twitter, will be sorry to have to tell our company employees our position.
Would THIS be banned too?

While the principles of 'their choice' is true, there's such a thing as 'going too far. To ban an entire POSITION is 'going too far.
I think 'going too far laws could allow suing.

1

Between OUR Educational System and Social Media, the last TWO generations have NO chance of learning or hearing the truth about our country and it's TRUE history!!!
There fore they will repeat the mistakes we have corrected once!!!

Serg97 Level 8 Oct 29, 2020
1

It’s terrorism!

Rick-A Level 8 Oct 28, 2020
1

Definitely not terrorism. It’s game-rigging..some serious establishment boot-licking game-rigging..but nonetheless it’s apparent in any system. The truly gross thing that they and their MSM brethren are doing, actively colluding with each other and a political party to stifle the viewpoints of people with whom they disagree, is abhorrent behavior to those who value freedom of speech.

Glen Greenwald was on Rogan today talking about this very thing. Like Taibbi, a brutal critic of Trump, but an even bigger critic of the MSM and their transparent cowardice.

That's what I thought but: 2. influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion. Sounds damning to me.
I'll have to look for the Greenwald discussion. Taibbi can give a great talk on a subject and out of nowhere rip into Trump for something I think is just incorrect. He can certainly compartmentalize the hatred.

1

Banning users from a public platform is not terrorism, however it should be forbidden by law. The provider of the platform should be liable for claims of large sums of money by victimized users, the government should be able to seize the platform and auction it to the highest bidder if banning occurs.

Corjova Level 6 Oct 28, 2020

So a private sector company is not allowed to run its product?

@JacksonNought
So a restaurant should be allowed not to serve blacks?

“Public platform” and “public places”... where do you draw the line?

@Hanno restaurants are not covered under the same regulations. Plus, political ideology is not protected by the civil rights act, whereas being black is. Which is why you see things happen like Huckabee-Sanders getting asked to leave a restaurant.

@JacksonNought
That is the exact point I am trying to make.
You may not discriminate against race or sex or gender choice or religion, but you may discriminate against personal political view?
I don’t agree with Corjova, however where do you draw the line?

The fact that you discriminate against political views in principle is very wrong.
The right to do so in your own business is another matter, however it should have the same rules as for race, sex, religion etc.

@JacksonNought I cannot see a reason why a private sector company should be allowed or free to run a product in a way that damages the interests of the users / consumers. Nobody is free to act like a crook!

@Corjova part of free market capitalism - if you don't like it, don't use it.

I comment on Townhall some times. I have opinions that most people there do not like. I often get my comments removed. Can I now call for Townhall to be sued and shut down because they don't let my comments through?

@TheMiddleWay
You would be surprised how much I agree with you...

@JacksonNought Your Townhall comments are beside the point, because you are not the user, you comment in somebody elses virual account and this hypothetical person is in my eyes allowed to remove comments as he or she sees fit. Townhall however should be forbidden to ban this account and it also should be forbidden to co-edit comments in an account. I intend to protect accountholders on a platform, not commenters.

@JacksonNought Let me give an axample. Donald Trump has a Twitter account and Ann Coulter has another twitter account. Ann can comment on Donalds tweets if Donald allows it (he can also block her) Ann can retweet Donalds tweets accompanied with a sneer, this retweeting is in her own thread. Donald cannot block that.Now Twitter as a platform provider should should stay out of it all, it should be forbidden that twitter changes, adds, removes or whatever in either account. Also it should be forbidden that Twitter bans Ann Coulter, it is in the public interest to protect Ann not from Donald, I'm OK with him blocking her, but from Twitter. Twitter should be made punnishable and accountable.

1

The key qualifier is “dangerous to human life”.
If that is not met, the rest does not matter.
So as long as they do not pose a danger to o human life, points 1-3 does not apply.

Hence my confusion how some people called for the death of Trump and were not arrested.

Hanno Level 8 Oct 28, 2020

While I admit that this could be considered a stretch but is it important to human life to have functioning political discourse? That is, does silencing ones opposition result in a safer society?

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