Bye, bye. Rebekah!
Reuters reports that the Government of India has issued an ultimatum to Twitter—the platform has one last chance to comply, or face “unintended consequences.”
Everything isn’t with the program yet, but some things are beginning to proceed as I have foreseen.
The Government of Nigeria has suspended Twitter because of “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
Perhaps @jack should have checked his spam folder of Nigerian emails.
Susan Crabtree has an article over at RCP titled Group of Tech Execs Takes On Social Media Censorship. It takes a look at what may be going on behind the scenes in Silicon Valley related to Facebook’s recent uncensoring of discussion about the possibility of a lab leak being the source of the recent pandemic from the point of view of Mike Matthys, a venture capital executive. She also cites Matthys’ criticism of Facebook’s censorship relating to a Wall Street Journal review of a book on climate change, YouTube’s suppression of a video about the efficacy of masks and lockdowns by Gov. DeSantis and physicians from Stanford and Harvard, and an attempt by Reps. Eshoo (D-CA) and McNerney (D-CA) to pressure media companies.
[P]olitically biased censorship only further fuels widespread mistrust in the media writ large – especially when they suddenly reverse course and lift bans on certain narratives that subsequent evidence shows weren’t crackpot ideas at all.
Many of the Titans of Tech have become intoxicated with their success to date. They’ve become legends in their own minds, and that has led them to overreach. Hubris invariably attracts Nemesis.
Hogewash! is very tiny slice of the overall media pie, but it has been the a victim of social media censorship. In 2015, my blog and I were banned from Twitter because truthful reporting was deemed to be targeted harassment. That was very early in Twitter’s campaign to control The Narrative, and the company wound up restoring one of my accounts. However, Twitter has applied some of the lessoned learned dealing with accounts like mine to refine their censorship methods and try to keep them within the Section 230 safe harbor.
About a year ago, I began receiving emails and comments saying that Facebook was not permitting users to post links to Hogewash! because this site violated Facebook’s “community standards.” Given Facebook’s behavior with regard to free speech, I took that as a badge of honor, and late in 2020, I closed my own Facebook account. Last month, I received an email from one of the Gentle Readers with a copy of a notice he received when he tried to link to a post at Hogewash!. This notice gave a more specific reason for banning links to Hogewash!—it claimed this site is a source of spam.
I have asked Facebook to provide me with any evidence they have connecting this site with spam by close of business today.
Twitter has called for the government of India to respect freedom of expression.
Team Kimberlin’s campaign attempting use lawfare in the form of defamation LOLsuits and bogus criminal charges as a means of silencing their critics blew up in their faces when almost all of the defendants vigorously stood up for our First Amendment free speech and free press rights. Eight years ago today, I wrote this post, Blog It Now, about why we bloggers were pushing back against being cancelled.
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In an earlier post today I alluded to Edward R. Murrow’s 1954 See It Now broadcast about Senator Joseph McCarthy. Whether or not one agrees with Murrow’s conclusions, that broadcast is an excellent example of using someone’s own words as criticism against him. Given the various lawfare tactics used by Team Kimberlin over the past couple of years, I’d like to offer this paraphrase of Murrow’s closing words from that broadcast:
We will not be driven by fear if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine and remember that we are not descended from fearful men—not men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend their causes. This is no time for men who oppose Team Kimberlin’s methods to keep silent. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a free citizen to abdicate his responsibility. As bloggers we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves defenders of free speech wherever it exists, but we cannot defend freedom for ourselves by deserting it for others.
The actions of the Cabin Boy from Team Kimberlin have caused alarm and dismay to some amongst our ranks and have given considerable comfort to the enemies of free speech. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create a situation of fear; he has merely been used to exploit it. If we allow him to succeed, then Cassius was right. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”
Good night and good luck. Stay tuned.
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I’m beginning to believe that Kimberlin’s lawfare was a dry run for a proposed larger use of defamation lawsuits by the Left for the purpose of shutting down effective voices on the Right. The initial proposal for the lawsuits came from a minor-league Democrat operative named Neal Rauhauser. Rauhuaser, who appears to have connections to Democrats such as Anthony Weiner, was working with Kimberlin during the period when the first cases were filed. He theorized that the targeted defendants would be intimidated by the suits and would settle out of court. However, it turned out that while we were deplorable, we weren’t a bunch of Neanderthals, and we weren’t frightened and confused by the modern legal system. We fought back and won.
Lawsuits have been a favorite tool for the Left, but I believe Kimberlin’s rather spectacular failures have caused the Left to look for different means of stifling the Right’s free speech, and I note, for example, Twitter began seriously purging accounts of folks on the Right within days of Kimberlin’s first RICO LOLsuit being dismissed.
We won the skirmish with Team Kimberlin because we had the facts and the law on our side and because we were in a venue where the facts and the law mattered.
The battle over cancellation is now in a venue where neither the facts nor the law will matter. If we can’t move the contest to a more favorable venue, we will need to master the rules of the new battleground.
Parler is suing Amazon Web Services alleging violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, breach of contract, and tortuous interference with business. IANAL, but it seems to me that this is exactly the approach that is most likely to be successful against Big Tech. If I read the complaint correctly, Parler is alleging that AWS effectively conspired with Twitter to silence Parler because it would be mutually beneficial for Amazon and Twitter.
Here’s the complaint.
Parler is asking for an injunction requiring AWS to restore their service pending the outcome of the case and for treble damages under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.
I only lost two followers on Twitter overnight.
Note the red tag line Twitter has added to this tweet—In one sense, the tag line is true. Democrats are continuing to make statistically improbable claims about the election without offering any evidence that Joe Xiden actually got as many votes as they allege. OTOH, Trump’s legal team keeps bringing forward sworn testimony, expert analysis, and, now, video evidence of illegal acts during the vote counting. The Democrats are making extraordinary claims without producing extraordinary evidence, while the Trump campaign is making straightforward claims supported by such mundane evidence as eyewitnesses testimony backed up by videos.
And Twitter has chosen an editorial side in the controversy.
The Gentle Reader should not be surprised that Twitter would choose a side—or that the company would take the side unsupported by the evidence. For years, it has demonstrated an allegiance to the Left’s politically correct worldview that is incredibly resistant to Reality. Consider how long it took to unlock the NY Post’s account after the Hunter Xiden laptop lockdown.
I’m still on Twitter because I use it to promote posts here at Hogewash!, but I wish it were less of a leftwing echo chamber. Gab, Paler, and MeWe show promise, but they need to find ways to attract more diverse user bases.
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.
Brett Kimberlin fails and inflicts failure on others because his arrogance entraps him in carelessness. For example, he left bomb making supplies in the trunk of the car he was driving when was arrested for impersonating a DoD security/police officer and wound up with a 50 year sentence for his crime spree as the Speedway Bomber. More recently, he sent an email to Bill Schmalfeldt about a hearing scheduled on one of the restraining orders sought against the Cabin Boy™ and clicked Reply All by mistake, sending his comments to members of the court staff. The TKPOTD for five years ago today showed a part of that email.
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This is the header and opening portion of one of the emails submitted to the Ayer District Court in support of the Cabin Boy™ in the Hinckley v. Schmalfeldt Harassment Prevention Order hearing this past week.
It must be some special bit of training at Acme Legal that would lead someone to cc an email to a court referring to one’s friend’s adverse party as a “piglet” whose case is “bullshit.” Such professionalism!
Note that it sent by WhoIsNumberNone. With a “excellent” friend like that, who needs enemies?
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Kimberlin used WhoIsNumberNone as a nom de cyber for years. However, he doesn’t seem to have used it publicly for awhile. The @WhoIsNumberNone Twitter account hasn’t seen any activity since a retweet on 9 February, 2017. The account follows three of Bill Schmalfeldt’s abandoned Twitter accounts, the newest from February, 2017.
BTW, According to the Bureau of Prisons inmate locator (which still tracks him because his sentence doesn’t expire until 2030), Brett Kimberlin’s number is actually 01035-079.
I think so, Brain … but if we just use Twitter, we could produce the text of Hamlet without having to keep feeding that room full of monkeys with typewriters.
I think so, Brain … but I suspect my Twitter account has been hacked because the tweets are starting to make sense.
Here’s a post from seven years ago today about my picking up a new follower on Twitter. Based on evidence that has come to light since 2013, I believe that Follower No. 394 was Brett Kimberlin.
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And I’m Follower No. 21 over at RadioWMS.
UPDATE—Or I was until Cabin Boy Bill blocked me.
UPDATE 2—The Sore Loserman seems to think that the peace order prohibits me from following his blog, or something like that. Of course, he has the right to block me, but I have the right to read what he publishes. Believe it or not, he is an occasional source of useful information.
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I discussed one of the bits of evidence that leads me to believe that the Brett Kimberlin was the operator of the (at)BrietbartUnmask account a few weeks ago at the end of this post.
Of course, Kimberlin has denied any connection with Breitbart Unmasked. He’s also denied (under oath) that he ever had his parole revoked. The Gentle Reader may form his own opinion concerning Kimberlin’s credibility.
In April, 2015, Brett Kimberlin filed a malicious series of false complaints with Twitter concerning my (at)wjjhoge account. Twitter responded by suspending that account. When I appealed the suspension, Twitter informed that it was permanent and that I would never get it back. In late June, the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office dismissed the false criminal complaint the Kimberlins had filed against me because there was no evidence to support their accusations. Five years ago today, I was able to publish a post titled As I Was Saying Before I Was Interrupted …
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I received this email from Twitter today.The Gentle Reader may remember how The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin and his buddies made much of the suspension of that account. It now appears that Twitter has come to the same conclusion as the Circuit Court for Montgomery County and the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office concerning the truth of Kimberlin’s claims of harassment.
I’m sure this will come as a disappointment to TDPK and his fans. I can offer this deal from Amazon to help soothe their pain.
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I can’t be sure why Twitter decided to reinstate my account, but it’s been suggested to me that their legal department was concerned about being drawn in to any civil matter on the same side as Brett Kimberlin.
I do know that Twitter’s shameful behavior during those months convinced me that they were not a reliable platform. As a result, I became one of the early adopters of Gab and one of Gab’s first investors.
Ron Coleman has a white paper posted over at Likelihood of Confusion which suggests using a state-based consumer protection process to reign in censorship abuse by social media companies.
Political or ideologically-based corporate censorship of social media content and users is a discernable social, economic and political problem. As private conduct, it is not a violation of the First Amendment’s speech clause. The problem appears intractable because of a combination of broad statutory protections for online service providers, one-sided terms of service and a lack of federal regulatory acknowledgment fo the problem. This paper suggests, however, that a state-base consumer protection initiative requiring “good faith” application of social media platforms’ terms of service to user bans could overcome these obstacles and would be consistent with a wide range of consumer-oriented remedial regimes that have survived constitutional and other attacks.
That’s the paper’s abstract. Read the whole thing.
I’ve been on the receiving in of Twitter’s bad faith. My business and personal accounts were permanently suspended as the result of a false claim of harassment. When the legal case against me collapsed for lack of evidence and it became obvious that the complaint had been based on false testimony, Twitter told me I could have one of my accounts back. One. Not both. I elected to have my business account reinstated.
None of the accounts related to my false accuser were sanctioned in any way.
The sort of regulation Ron Coleman proposes is overdue.
UPDATE—I received an email this morning from a friend who tells me that Facebook won’t allow her to share content from Hogewash! because it violates their “community standards.” I’ll take that as a badge of honor.
Mika haz sad …
One of the running gags in the pointage, laughery, and mockification of Team Kimberlin’s lawfare has been the assumption that they have been buying their legal advice from the same Acme that sells all those wonderful gadgets to a certain coyote. Whether that true or not, it’s a plausible explanation for their mind-boggling misunderstand of legal principles. This post called Hoge Logic Explained first ran six years ago today and takes a poke at Bill Schmalfeldt’s inability to comprehend why send a message via Twitter is a violation of a no-contact order.
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Yep. That’s it. And it’s the same logic that makes my AT&T ring my iPhone if you dial my number. It’s the same logic that makes the U. S. Postal Service deliver mail to my mailbox if you put my address on the envelope. It’s the same logic that makes the Internet route email to my account if you use my email address. It’s the same logic that makes …
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There’s a reason why the Twitter account the Cabin Boy™ was using was referred to as Derp Brain Radio.
The @AaronWorthing Twitter account has been sentenced to a week in the Twitter gulag. During an exchange with someone using bigoted language, Aaron criticized him for his bigotry. One of Aaron’s tweets contained a hypothetical insult as an example. Twitter is punishing Aaron for opposing hateful speech. (Let me interrupt here to make a distinction between hateful speech, speech which intentionally expresses hatred, and hate speech, speech which doesn’t fit The Narrative.)
Aaron appealed, and Twitter denied his appeal. Twitter has also declined to reveal what it is about Aaron’s tweet that violates their Rules. Logically, it can’t be the use of the word “fag,” because that appears in multiple tweets every day. OTOH, the connection between Twitter’s enforcement of its Rules and logic sometimes seems rather tenuous. BTW, I strongly suggest that the Gentle Reader avoid doing a word search for “fag” on Twitter. The results for such a search are downright appalling.
I had a similar experience when I was permanently banned. Twitter was unresponsive to all appeals and requests for information. In my case, it took a series of wins in court against the third party who had initiated the false claim against me to get Twitter to do the right thing and restore my account.
Aaron is now prohibited from posting tweets. This means that he can no longer tweet to @RealDonaldTrump; he’s effectively blocked. Given the recent ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals concerning blocking access to politician’s accounts, is Twitter’s action legal? Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps someone should bring the question before a court.
Axios reports that She Guevara (aka ¡Ocasio-Cortez!) is being sued by Twitter users for blocking their accounts based on their political beliefs. The suits were filed after the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that Donald Trump may not block Twitter users for their political beliefs, even on his personal account.
I’ve let the Google story broken by Project Veritas percolated through the Interwebz for a day before commenting. I wanted to see how some of the usual suspects reacted. There’s only been one real surprise so far, and that was how long it took YouTube, a sister company to Google, to send the Project Veritas video down the memory hole. (BTW, if you haven’t seen the video, it’s available here. Go watch it, and come back. I’ll wait …)
Today’s TKPOTD deals with an effort back in 2015 to silence me. As part of that effort, my business and personal Twitter accounts were shut down. Twitter claimed that it was because of “targeted abuse” but could not cite a single example. I believe I was being punished for not following their approved narrative. However, I was one of the earliest victims of Twitter’s “safety” system, and my permanent suspension was only temporary. When the false criminal charge failed for lack of evidence, Twitter seemed to realize their potential liability. My business account was reinstated, but the lessons learned from that failure were used to refine their tactics.
Facebook, Google, YouTube, Pinterest, … the list goes on. They all seem to have the same sort of definition of fairness, one that wouldn’t survive the old Fairness Doctrine I worked under as a broadcaster in the ’60s and ’70s. These companies’ users aren’t customers. The users are the product being sold to advertisers, and as product, they are something to be moulded and controlled.
So why am I still on Twitter if I view it as an unfair platform and untrustworthy business partner? I can use it to promote blog posts at no real cost to me. Beyond that, it has no real appeal. I got on Gab when it was brand new, and I’ve made a small investment in the company because it really seems dedicated to free speech.
Except for Maps and Scholar, I’ll pretty much given up on Google. DuckDuckGo has been my default search engine for over a year. I’ll still link to YouTube content, put if I wanted to post a video, I’d use BitChute. I’ve deleted my Pinterest account. I no longer post to Facebook.
And I’m not the only person who has grown tired of online services who despise me.
Twenty years ago, as the Internet Bubble was bursting, Google survived because it was a robust company infrastructure with a viable business model. Coincidentally twenty years ago, Venezuela was one of the wealthiest countries in the Western Hemisphere with thriving petroleum industry. While I’m saddened, I’m not shocked by what Marxism has done to Venezuela. If I’m still around in 2039, I suspect that I’ll feel more schadenfreude than sadness for what a post-modern, neo-Marxist business model is likely to do for Google. Or Twitter. Or the rest of ’em. I certainly don’t expect to have use my shocked face.