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 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.
… that I remember when the Left described themselves a The Reality-Based Community and informed those who didn’t agree that they were Science Deniers. On Saturday, Twitter locked the account of a noted Ph.D. psychologist because he tweeted about his scientific opinion which was based on his years of clinical practice.
Here’s what got his account locked:
BTW, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, lists gender dysphoria as a mental disorder. DSM-V serves as the principal authority for psychiatric diagnoses, and Dr. Blanchard was one of the contributors to the current edition.
Twitter experienced significant pushback which included some users tweeting direct quotes from DSM-V and then daring Twitter to ban them for it. Late yesterday, Twitter restored Dr. Blanchard’s account.
Final Score: Science 1, Twitter Safety 0
Laura Loomer is suing CAIR and Twitter. She alleges that Twitter improperly deplatformed her at the behest of CAIR. Here’s her complaint.
One of the lawyers representing Ms. Loomer is Ron Coleman. He recently successfully represented The Slants in their First Amendment case (Matal v. Tam) before the Supreme Court. He also was one of the lawyers who successfully represented Patrick Frey in the Kimberlin v. Frey RICO Retread LOLsuit.
IANAL, but the breach of contract claims being made against Twitter based on its unbalanced use of its Terms of Service to silence certain kinds of speech would have been the approach I would have taken against them if my account had not been restored after I had been permanently banned.
I think so, Brain … but truth isn’t a defense to a Twitter ban.
A short while ago, Arron Walker received this email about his @AaronWorthing account—
Aaron was simply using an old Saturday Night Live catchphrase to point out how the Fifth Amendment constrains any government investigation.
Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin were unavailable for comment.
I’m scheduled to be on Fault Lines with Garland Nixon and Lee Stranahan at 7:20 ET this morning to discuss the Nunes v. Twitter, et al. lawsuit and the health of the Twitter platform.
Congresscritter David Nunes (R-CA) is suing Twitter and several Twitter account holders alleging negligence, defamation per se, insulting words, and common law conspiracy. He’s asking for $250,000,000 in actual damages and $350,000 in punitive damages. Here’s a copy of his complaint. (H/T, Fox News’ Scribd account)
I’ve read the whole complaint. It describes disgusting tweets of the sort that are far too common on Twitter. I think that it presents a case that Twitter does not fairly apply its Terms of Service, but I don’t understand how it alleges behavior by Twitter that gets around the protection it enjoys under federal law (47 U.S.C. § 230) as an interactive computer service. He seems to have a much better case against the Twitter users than against the service itself.
IANAL, but Canadian feminist Meghan Murphy’s suit in California alleging that Twitter’s unfair treatment of her amounted to a breach of contract seems to make more sense to me.
From my point of view as a Twitter user who was permanently banned based on false and malicious complaints and whose account was suddenly restored when the civil and criminal complaints against me failed, it seems that the only way to get Twitter to live up to its promise “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information, and to express their opinions and beliefs without barriers” is the realistic possibility of legal liability. The Murphy case appears to have a basis in law, Nunes’ suit not so much.
I’ve been informed that my podcasting partner Stacy McCain has received a seven day suspension of his Twitter account because he engaged in “dead naming,” i.e., referring to a person presenting as the opposite sex of his or her biological sex by that person’s birth name.
Explaining Twitter Safety’s aversion to inconvenient truth might be easier if one could refer to Twitter Safety by its birth name, but the outfit’s exact origin is unclear. Cheka? Gestapo? Stasi? Savak? Miniluv? …
Alas, it seems my favorite SJW doesn’t understand how Twitter works.It Twitter had an IQ filter set for a lower limit at around 90, it’s traffic would plummet, something an advertising-based service can’t afford. She’ll just have to deal with the capitalist reality of the situation.
The last few years have been rough on the media business, and the past week has been a real doozy. The media have been crunched between bad economic news (more layoffs) and worse reporting (fake Cohen testimony, fake Vietnam Veteran, etc.). I posted this tweet yesterday as a response to a post by my podcasting partner Stacy McCain—
This morning, Charlie Martin has a post over at PJ Media that expands on the economic wisdom in Pablo’s reply.
Some years ago, I crunched numbers from the New York Time‘s 10K financial statements and found that a single copy of the Times cost them about $4 to print, ship, and sell. At the time the cover price was $1; to make a profit they had to sell more than $3 worth of advertising or something. (Now you know why they, and many other publishers, have turned into tour organizers and sell merchandise.)
A single column of the paper version of the Times costs between 1¢ and 10¢ to print; delivering a similar amount of advertising, with full-color graphics and even video, costs between one and ten million times less, and can be targeted to the guy who just googled for fly-fishing gear instead of everyone on the Upper West Side.
When your competition can deliver a better product for 0.000001 times as much, your business model has big problems.
When new technologies make a product obsolete, it’s time to look for a new business, and that new business will undoubtedly require a new business model. If the cost of entry into journalism is vastly reduced and there are vastly more people able to engage in reporting, then some of those new competitors will drive out some of the old players. That’s the free market at work as people vote democratically with their wallets. As Stacy notes in a post today,
Liberal journalists do not want to admit that their political bias may be a major reason for their industry’s decline, but when the money crunch hits, they insist that their work is valuable to “democracy.” But what did BuzzFeed do to attract hundreds of millions of dollars of investment capital? Quite simply, they figured out how to game the Facebook algorithm for cheap hits with clickbait, which might have been good for BuzzFeed’s traffic numbers but didn’t do anything in terms of creating an informed citizenry.
It seems to me that BuzzFeed’s core problem is that it can generate lots of clicks, but those clicks don’t generate successful advertising impressions. BuzzFeed’s cost per million views may be dirt cheap, but the cost per sale seen by the advertisers is too high. The site’s product does not attract serious, qualified eyeballs for its advertisers. One of the consequences of a free market is that our competitors are free to out-compete us.
So BuzzFeed is laying off 400 employees, 15 % of its staff. That means that they had close to 2,700 people on the payroll. Now, Stacy and I haven’t been able to lose millions of dollars a year of other peoples’ money, but our blogs have generated modest profits. The Other McCain operates with one full-time and two part-time bloggers. Hogewash! gets by with me part-time and the occasional assistance of members of the Vast Hogewash! Research Organization.
To paraphrase Instapundit: You’re gonna need a smaller blog.