I think so, Brain … but can the FCC revoke a license it never issued?
I saw this on Gab this morning.
Ms. Attkisson’s post is about being temporarily suspended on Facebook because she posted an accurate quote from an historical figure. She notes that she is being punished while certain Facebook users are routinely allowed post false information without any consequences.
Facebook is indeed an Orwellian operation—it follows the principle that all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
YouTiube cited the same alleged reason when they banned my account, and they blew off my appeal as well.
Facebook has been blocking links to Hogewash! for a bout a year. Recently, they stated that the reason someone could not post a link to Hogewash! was because of spam. I contacted Facebook demanding that they either provide evidence of a connection between this site and spam by close of business Eastern Time yesterday or that they cease and desist from blocking links to Hogewash!.
I received no response from Facebook. However, when one of the Gentle Readers attempted to link to a post yesterday evening, he received this notice—I am not amused.
Glenn Greenwald has a post up on his Substack account about How Big Media Outlets So Often “Independently Confirm” Each Other’s Falsehoods. It’s long, but its review of how the Main Stream Media have cooperated in selling false narratives in service of The Narrative is worth the read. Here’s the TL/DR—
But all of this highlights the real crisis in journalism, the reason public faith and trust in media institutions is in free fall. With liberal media outlets deliberately embracing a profit model of speaking overwhelmingly to partisan Democrats who use them as their primary source of news, there is zero cost to publishing false claims about people and groups hated by that liberal audience.
That audience does not care if these media outlets publish false stories as long as it is done for the Greater Good of harming their political enemies, and this ethos has contaminated newsrooms as well. Given human fallibility, reporting errors are normal and inevitable, but when they are all geared toward advancing one political agenda or faction and undermining the other, they cease to be errors and become a deliberate strategy or, at best, systemic recklessness.
But whatever else is true, it is vital to understand what news outlets mean when they claim they have “independently verified” the uncorroborated reports of other similar outlets. It means nothing of consequence. In many if not most cases — enough to make this formulation totally unreliable — it signifies nothing more than their willingness to serve as stenographers for the same anonymous political operatives who fed their competitors similar propaganda.
Yes, the folks play-acting as journalists will keep working as propagandists for The Party until it becomes too costly for them.
Нет известия в «Правдa» и нет правда в «Известия».
There is no news [izvestia] in Pravda and no truth [pravda] in Izvestia.
We’re already beginning to see some cracks in the foundation supporting of the current media structure, and two forces are acting to further destabilize the system. First, Orange Man Bad is gone from the news cycle, and the story lines built on railing against Trump no longer have traction. Viewers aren’t tuning in as the did, and the revenue that underpins many of the media operations is shrinking. Layoffs are occurring.
Second, after years in attack mode, they’ve been unable to find good news to report to sell the new Narrative. For example, years of ranting about kids in cages has made it hard to put a positive spin on a sudden surge in minor children being detained at the border. Masks still required after vaccination, no Fourth of July, and renewed bombing in the Middle East are not an easy sell as good news. Reality keeps interfering with The Narrative, and the public is beginning to suspect that the warm fluid on our legs isn’t rain.
Alternatives to the Main Stream Media and Main Stream Social Media are popping up and some are getting traction because the compete with The Narrative rather than colluding with it. There’s a market for news and truth, and I suspect that many of the legacy media companies will be replaced by new organizations.
You can see signs of panic in the calls for censorship that are beginning appear, some from media outlets beginning to sense they are at a disadvantage competing with truthful reporting. Given the level of control The Party has over the House, Senate, White House, and corporate media/social media, the next few years probably will be stressful for the First Amendment.
The New York Times reports that experts recommend the Biden administration put together a cross-agency task force to tackle disinformation and domestic extremism, which would be led by something like a “reality czar.”
The Gestapo, Stasi, and KGB were run by experts.
When I first started using Twitter eight years ago, it was still a more-or-less open platform where I was able to interact with folks of all sorts of political persuasions, but by 2015, it had evolved into a space much less friendly to conservatives. I was one of the first conservatives permanently banned, allegedly because I was engaged in “targeted abuse” of a leftwing political operative. I was also one of the few to have one of my accounts restored when it turned out the allegations against me were false. Twitter appeared to have learned from that episode and became more careful in the way they describe their reasons for lockouts and bans. By being nebulous about their “Rules” they’ve managed to avoid making provably false statements about punished users, protecting the company from defamation claims.
That changed this year. Twitter is now willing to punish users who publish truthful material and to publicly state a false reason for the punishment. The case of the @nypost account lockdown is but one example. Yes, Twitter has now admitted that the Post‘s story was factual and based on documents that weren’t hacked, but as I write this, the @nypost account is still locked.
Based on what I can see, it looks as if Twitter is afraid of the likely changes in the regulatory and legal environments that could come during a second Trump administration, not just for the leftwing causes the company and many of its employees support, but also for the company’s own power in the marketplace. It’s not that Twitter has nothing to lose. It’s more like they feel they have everything to lose and are willing to sacrifice (the stock price tanked after @jack’s testimony this week) to save a failing business model—and their sense of importance and control. They’re all in.
Meanwhile in the Real World (and the part of the Internet that intersects with it), Twitter’s attempts at suppressing truthful reporting on the Hunter Biden story have backfired.
Barbara Streisand and Brett Kimberlin were unavailable for comment.
UPDATE—Twitter has unlocked the @nypost account without requiring the newspaper to take down it tweets to truthful news stories. Also, institutional investors took an aggregate loss somewhere north of 2 billion dollars over this week’s drop in Twitter’s stock price. The Gentle Reader may remember that I have suggested that the market may provide corrective action for the misbehavior of various social media companies faster than any government.
From Twitter on our iPhones to Facebook on our laptops, a silicon curtain has descended across the face of the Internet. Behind it lie all the media outlets and individuals engaged in fair reporting. The NY Post and all its readers are but one example of those who suffer from what I must call Progressive censorship, and all of us are subject to one form or another of Progress influence over what we may hear and say, increasingly under the control of Silicon Valley.
Twitter’s ham-fisted attempt at censoring the New York Post has blown up in their face. @Jack tweeted this—I’ve been sued for defamation because of posts here at Hogewash!, and I’ve won all of those suits because the plaintiff was never able to show that anything I wrote was false. The truth or a reasonable opinion based on evidence can’t be the basis for a defamation claim. The plaintiff also tried to claim that I was responsible for the content of remarks made by commenters here at Hogewash!, but Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provides immunity for website publishers from third-party content. Neither this site nor Twitter is responsible for what a third party posts.
However, if Twitter adds “context” to a tweet or comments on it, Twitter will be responsible for what it posts—and could be held responsible for the its statements providing such context or commentary. By making its own comments, by speaking for itself, Twitter should become a speaker unprotected by Section 230 with respect to its own speech. Saying that an article contains hacked information when there is evidence that the information was obtained legally might be the sort of false statement that would trigger a defamation suit.
Twitter needs to keep its users satisfied. It makes money by selling ads, and driving users away with unfair censorship policies isn’t good for business. OTOH, keeping its users happy may make it difficult to operate as a progressive echo chamber, so we may have reached a market-based solution to Twitter’s unfair treatment of a large group of its users, many of whom have been leaving for Gab and Parler. Section 230 may need some legislative tweaking based on lessons learned since it was enacted in 1996, but the market may apply more pressure more quickly to drive Twitter toward better behavior.
Of course, Twitter may think that it is a monopoly that is too big to fail. That’s what
America Online AOL thought.
Things are about to get interesting.
Here’s a Tweet from the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee.
Here’s what you get when you click on the link.
I told you they’re all in on their censorship. Twitter is now deprecating links to official dot gov websites.
The Left has given up on any pretense of fair play for the coming election. They are lying brazenly, and they’re pulled out all the stops on their Internet censorship. The censorship of this morning’s Hunter Biden story from the NY Post by Facebook and Twitter show the Left really has reached the point where they feel they must use any means necessary to defeat Donald Trump.
In order to confirm the censorship was happening, I attempted to post a link to the Biden story on Twitter. I was blocked.
Then, I posted this tweet.Twitter has suspended the New York Post‘s account and suspended or locked the accounts of several people who tried to link to the Biden article, including White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Twitter responded to users’ questions about the blocking and suspensions with tweets from @TwitterSafey containing various excuses, but while I was typing this post, this tweet from@Jack popped up in my timeline—Twitter may be feeling some heat, but I’m pessimistic about their ultimate response. Based on my personal experience from having been unjustly banned for truthful reporting, I expect that Twitter will do its damnedest to continue its censorship. (I was banned for allegedly harassing Brett Kimberlin. I got the @wjjhoge account back when the false criminal complaint against me dropped for lack of evidence. I suspect that their lawyers figured out that I had an open-and-shut defamation case against them.)
The Left has pushed all their chips out on the table. If Trump wins the election, I expect the Left, including Facebook and Twitter, will go down swinging. Things have gotten ugly; I’m afraid they’re about to get uglier.
BuzzFeed has a post up titled Facebook’s Preferential Treatment Of US Conservatives Puts Its Fact-Checking Program In Danger.
BTW, Hogewash! is one of the websites that Facebook censors. I’m informed that users have not been allowed to link to my posts.
GoDaddy participated in the deplatforming of Gab by withdrawing as the registrar for the gab.com domain. Epik has announced that it has stepped up and will serve as the new registrar. Epik’s CEO has posted a statement explaining why.
De-platforming a haven of free speech is not about left or right. Anyone who remembers studying civics is familiar with the concept of inalienable rights — rights that a worthy government can only protect but would have no moral authority to take away. The idea of Natural Law and Inalienable Rights dates back to Ancient Greece, if not before. Tolerance for competing views — including those protected by Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press — is not an American concept even though the Founding Fathers of the United States built a prosperous nation around the concept.
To the casual observer, the case of Gab.com seems like it is something new. It is not. It is history repeating itself. While there are consequences to actions, there is also the proverbial risk of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. My hope, for all of our sakes, is that Gab.com treads wisely, using its liberty for the betterment of most, and the enlightenment of all.
Read the whole thing.
There’s a post by Warner Todd Huston over at The Lid taking note of Bill Maher’s opposition to the Main Stream Social Media’s censorship of Alex Jones.
Like I said, Maher is no righty. He is 100 percent a leftist. And despite that I am a righty, I wouldn’t go near Alex Jone’s material (or Bill Maher’s either). But Bill Maher is exactly right that if the left succeeds in eliminates the free speech of those on the center-right, it will eventually come back to bite them when certain liberals find that the speech of other liberals isn’t liberal enough to pass the new test on who is allowed to have free speech and who isn’t.
Read the whole thing.
And remember that the cost of your free speech is my free speech.
I think so, Brain … but when I asked the North Korean guy how things were going there, he said he couldn’t complain.
Benjamin Domenech and Robert Tracinski have a post over at The Federalist reviewing the history of America’s culture war over the past few decades and speculating on its future.
If history repeats itself, it is good news for traditional Americans and bad news for the Left, which has taken on the role of Grand Inquisitor so rapidly that overnight civil liberties have become a Republican issue. Slowly but surely, the American Right is adopting the role of the cultural insurgent standing up for the freedom of the little guy. They crowdfund the pizza shop, baker, and photographer; they rebel against the establishment in the gaming media and at sci-fi conventions; they buy their chicken sandwiches in droves. The latest acronym that came out of the Sad Puppies movement says it all. They describe their opponents as CHORFs: cliquish, holier-than-thou, obnoxious, reactionary, fascists. This is their description of the cultural Left.
Hogewash! has been engaged in a few of the minor skirmishes of the Culture War. I’m thankful for the support I’ve been receiving. Meanwhile, the Domenech and Tracinski piece helps put things in perspective. Read the whole thing.
Actually, only on part of it, that messy stuff about freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Harry Reid is moving forward with a vote on an amendment proposed by Senators Tom Udall and Bernie Sanders that would allow Congress and state legislatures to regulate political speech.
I wonder if Canada has been overrun by Eastasia. The Ottawa Citizen still has coverage of Malia Obama’s spring break trip to Mexico (protected by 25 Secret Service agents). All the other coverage on the Internet seems to have gone down the memory hole at the insistence of
Minitrue the White House Press office.
While I do believe that the President’s children deserve as much privacy as possible, it is worthwhile knowing about the expense of protecting his family on the 17th vacation trip they have taken in the past three years.
UPDATE–Howard Portnoy asks:
Does the image of a 13-year-old member of the First Family jetting off on a luxe vacation send the wrong message at a time when most Americans, the president keeps reminding us, are struggling to put bread on the table?
Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself.
The proposed Stop Online Piracy Act is an ill-concieved bill which, if it became law, could have very unfortunate consequences for the Internet. Click here for details on SOPA.
Hogewash is joining with other sites on the web in a one day blackout on 18 January, 2012. I encourage you to contact your Congresscritter to express your views on SOPA.
No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law …
—U. S. Constitution, Amendment V
By placing discretion in the hands of an official to grant or deny a license, such a statute creates a threat of censorship that by its very existence chills free speech.