The Purpose Of COVID-19 Censorship: Don’t Allow ‘Both Sides Of The Argument’

Academics have clearly articulated the modus operandi for mass censorship of opposing views: when “the science tells us that there’s only one side”, then “avoid presenting ‘both sides of the argument’”. This is the pinnacle of Scientism and Technocracy, and fully explains why COVID-19 critics are being ‘canceled’.

This also explains who is in control of the entire COVID-19 narrative, namely, Technocrats. It also demonstrates that Climate Change and the ‘Great Panic of 2020’ is being run by the same crowd. The Marxist rioting in the streets of major cities is only a smoke screen to keep the focus off of these nuts who are worshipping at the alter of pseudo-science. America must reject this evil and destructive ideology before the damage to society becomes permanent. ⁃ TN Editor

Climate change and COVID-19 are the two most significant crises faced by the modern world – and widespread behaviour change is essential to cope with both. This means that official messaging by government and other authorities is critical. To succeed, leaders need to communicate the severe threat effectively and elicit high levels of public compliance, without causing undue panic.

But the extent to which people comply depends on their psychological filters when receiving the messages – as the coronavirus pandemic has shown.

With COVID-19, the early messaging attempted to circumscribe the nature of the threat. In March, the WHO announced that: “COVID-19 impacts the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions most severely.” Similar statements were made by the UK government.

And to prevent optimism bias, we also need to avoid presenting “both sides of the argument” in the messaging – the science tells us that there’s only one side.

A reasonable interpretation of this would be that the virus does not “affect” young people. But as new clinical data came in, this message was changed to emphasise that the virus could affect people of all ages and doesn’t discriminate.

But human beings are not necessarily entirely rational in terms of processing information. Experimental psychology has uncovered many situations where our reasoning is, in fact, limited or biased.

For example, a mental process called the “affect heuristic” allows us to make decisions and solve problems quickly and (often) efficiently, but based on our feelings rather than logic. The bias has been shown to influence both judgements of risk and behaviour. For COVID-19, the official messaging would have established a less negative reaction in young people compared to older people. This would have made them more likely to take more risks – even when new authoritative data about the actual risks came in. Researchers call this “psychophysical numbing”.

Another mental obstacle is confirmation bias. This makes us blind to data that disagrees with our beliefs, making us overly attentive to messages that agree with them. It influences (among other things) automatic visual attention to certain aspects of messages. In other words, if you are young, you may, without any conscious awareness, pay little visual attention to the news that the virus is serious for people of all ages.

The initial positive message for young people also created an “optimism bias”. This bias is very powerful – we know of various brain mechanisms that can ensure that a positive mood persists. One study found that people tend to have a reduced level of neural coding of more negative than anticipated information (in comparison with more positive than anticipated information) in a critical region of the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in decision making. This means that we tend to miss the incoming bad news and, even if we don’t, we hardly process it.

All of these biases affect our behaviour, and there is clear evidence that young people were more likely to fail to comply with the government’s directives about COVID-19. A survey conducted on March 30 by polling firm Ipsos MORI found that nearly twice as many 16-24 year-olds had low or limited concern about COVID-19 compared with adults who were 55 or older. The younger group was also four times as likely as older adults to ignore government advice.

Lessons for climate change

Our own research has shown that significant cognitive biases also operate with messaging about climate change. One is confirmation bias – those who don’t believe that climate change is a real threat simply don’t take in messages saying that it is.

What’s more, unlike coronavirus messages, most climate change messages inadvertently accentuate what we call “temporal” and “spatial” biases. The UK government campaign “Act on CO2” used images of adults reading bedtime stories to children, which implied that that the real threat of climate change will present itself in the future – a temporal bias.

Other campaigns have used the perennial polar bear in the associated images, which strengthens spatial bias – polar bears are in a different geographical location (to most of us). These messages therefore allow for a high degree of optimism bias – with people thinking that climate change won’t affect them and their own lives.

Research using eye-tracking to analyse how they process climate change messages demonstrates the effects of such biases. For example, optimistic people tend to fix their gaze on the more “positive” aspects of climate change messages (especially any mentions of disputes about the underlying science – there is less to worry about if the science isn’t definitive).

These gaze fixations can also affect what you remember from such messages and how vulnerable they make you feel. If you don’t think that climate change will affect you personally, the affect heuristic will not be guiding you directly to appropriate remedial action.

To make climate change messages more effective, we need to target these cognitive biases. To prevent temporal and spatial biases, for example, we need a clear message as to why climate change is bad for individuals in their own lives in the here and now (establishing an appropriate affect heuristic).

And to prevent optimism bias, we also need to avoid presenting “both sides of the argument” in the messaging – the science tells us that there’s only one side. There also needs to be a clear argument as to why recommended, sustainable behaviours will work (establishing a different sort of confirmation bias).

We also need everyone to get the message, not just some groups – that’s an important lesson from COVID-19. There can be no (apparent) exceptions when it comes to climate change.

Read full story here…




Boom: Squarespace Shutters Website Of America’s Frontline Doctors

Apparently, micro-minded Technocrats at a leading website hosting company Squarespace know better how to treat COVID-19 than do highly-trained doctors actually treating patients. This is the utter and Orwellian hypocrisy of Technocracy, claiming pseudo-science to be real and real science to be fake. ⁃ TN Editor

Website hosting provider Squarespace has shut down the website of the group America’s Frontline Doctors following a press conference they held in Washington D.C., according to Dr. Simone Gold. According to a screenshot posted by Gold, the web hosting service shut down the group’s website for “activity that’s false, fraudulent, inaccurate or deceiving.”

Breitbart News recently reported that the Masters of the Universe quickly censored a live stream published by Breitbart News of a press conference held in Washington D.C. by the group America’s Frontline Doctors and organized and sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) was featured at the event and doctors at the event shared their views on the coronavirus pandemic and the medical community’s treatment of the virus.

Footage of the livestream on Periscope, Twitter’s livestreaming platform, had generated 1 million views before being removed by the site. Footage on Facebook had accumulated over 17 million views within 8 hours and had 185,000 concurrent viewers at the time it was streamed. On YouTube, a clip from the event received 80,000 views before being removed by the platform for “violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.”

Now, the founder of America’s Frontline Doctors, Dr. Simone Gold, stated in a recent tweet: “Our website host @Squarespace has just completely and arbitrarily shut down our website, claiming a violation of their terms of service.”

Gold included a screenshot of an email sent by Squarespace in which the hosting provider stated that the group’s site was “in violation of Section 3.1 of our Acceptable Use Policy regarding activity that’s false, fraudulent, inaccurate or deceiving.”

Read full story here…




Facebook Whistleblower: Interference ‘On A Global Level In Elections’

Another whistleblower at Facebook has revealed that its culture and policies are lined up to throw elections in the direction they choose, throwing all non-leftists out of the political process. At a very minimum, this is Sedition. ⁃ TN Editor

Another report demonstrating rampant censorship of conservative content by Facebook content moderators and an interview with the latest insider who experienced it firsthand was released today, by the non-profit media company, Project Veritas.

“I was seeing them interfering on a global level in elections. I saw a blatant exception that just targeted conservatives or favored liberals—and you know, we’re deleting on average 300 posts or actioning 300 posts a day,” said Arizona-based Facebook content moderator Ryan Hartwig. “If you magnify that by however many content moderators there are on a global scale, that’s a lot of stuff that’s getting taken down,” he said.

Hartwig is the second Facebook Whistleblower Project Veritas debuted this week to report on the behavior. Earlier this week, recordings captured Facebook content moderators bragging about deleting posts and comments supporting President Donald Trump and conservative causes.

Hartwig was employed by Cognizant the same third-party company reported earlier this week to have contracted with Facebook to conduct content moderation. Cognizant content moderators are called “process executives” and they use Facebook’s review queue to adjudicate whether a post or comment should be allowed, taken down or escalated to a supervisor.

Hartwig wore a hidden camera to document reviewing of content and office interactions. In an interview with Project Veritas CEO James O’Keefe, Hartwig said although he signed a confidentiality agreement, he could no longer ignore the suppression of Facebook content supporting President Donald Trump, Republican causes or the conservative agenda with a massive exception to the company’s public position on protecting political speech across the platform.

“That was the tipping point. knowing about what I knew about how they were giving exceptions for the policy, I knew that it was likely that it was happening elsewhere on a global scale,” he said. “Just seeing such blatant bias from Facebook really bothered me.”

O’Keefe said Hartwig exemplifies the heroic virtues of Project Veritas’ “Be Brave. Do Something.” campaign.

Content Moderators Express Hostility to Trump, His Supporters

One of the moderators Hartwig recorded was Israel Amparan, who he said typifies the worldview of most of the content moderators he encountered.

“Trump supporters are f*cking crazy *ss *ssholes, that every other f*cking word out of their mouth is you know ‘Come take it,’ ‘Seal the border,’” said Amparan. “Come take it” refers to the “Come and Take It” slogan Texan colonists put on their flag after the Mexican government demanded they turn in their cannon.

Amparan said he targeted content by Trump supporters because it scared him.

“I hate government as much as the next f*cking person, but you’re not gonna catch me riding over the f*cking. It’s like impeachment. It’s like a PRAW. Trump called it a f*cking coup–and it’s like that should scare you more than anything.” A PRAW, or Python Reddit API Wrapper, is a Reddit program to allow user to more quickly and easily post on Facebook.

Hartwig also videotaped Steve Grimmett, who is a team lead at Facebook-Cognizant’s content review—and who said Trump supporters are in the same speech category as Hitler, under the Facebook policy on Dangerous Individuals and Organizations.

“One of my projects before now was, was hate,” Grimmett said. “I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at pictures of hate organizations, Hitler, Nazis, MAGA, you know, Proud Boys, all that stuff all day long.” MAGA is the acronym for Trump’s 2016 slogan: Make America Great Again.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress the only speech Facebook targets for deletion is speech advocating hate, violence and terrorism, but not political speech.

Facebook Waived Hate Speech Policies to Advance its Pro-Pride/LGBTQ Agenda

One example was when Facebook-Cognizant policy and training manager Shawn Browder told all the content moderators in Hartwig’s section for the 2018 Pride Month hate speech would be allowed to stay up if it was in support of the LGBTQ agenda.

Hartwig said Browder told the moderators to implement the special policy, which in the case of Pride Month allowed attacks on a single group of people, quoting Browder: “Hey, we’re making the exceptions for our policy to favor the, LGBT community.”

O’Keefe: Hate speech is allowed if it’s ‘intended to raise awareness for pride LGBTQ,’ so hate speech is allowed in some cases, but apparently not others?

Hartwig: Yeah.

Read full story here…




Slouching Toward Sedition: Social Media Giants Are Crossing The Line

As their own actions demonstrate, social media companies are coming together to essentially overthrow the government of the United States. While it’s difficult to prove back-room collusion, it is not difficult to see these companies forming a like-minded mob that moves in unison toward some common objective.

In this case, the objective is to destroy a presidency, a person and a system of government that has served America for over 200 years.

Attacks are coming from all directions, large and small. Twitter, Google, YouTube and Facebook’s antics of censorship are well known. Now, lesser- known platforms are joining in, like Yelp, WordPress.com and Neighborside.

Censoring the speech and thoughts of citizens is a direct attack on the First Amendment in specific and the U.S. Constitution in general. This is designed to overthrow the Constitution.

The government, along with its elected officials, has the explicit and necessary right to communicate with the American people. Any private organization that interferes with this right to diminish, discredit or prevent unfettered communication is making a direct attack on the ability of the government to function properly.

It has also become clear that Big Social Media’s censorship is very selective. While censorship of government officials is being executed, there is no censorship of violent forces who are dedicated to the violent overthrow of the government.

Lastly, the personal attacks seen against a duly-elected President are serving only to overthrow him. Some such attacks are obvious and some are very subtle. For instance,  if you type the word”racist” into Twitter’s search bar, the first entry that comes up is “Donald J. Trump.”

Sedition by any other name…

There is a fine line between free speech and sedition. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica:

Sedition may have the same ultimate effect as treason, it is generally limited to the offense of organizing or encouraging opposition to government in a manner (such as in speech or writing) that falls short of the more dangerous offenses constituting treason.

The publication of seditious writing (“seditious libel”) or the utterance of seditious speech (“seditious words”) was made a crime in English common law. Modern statutes have been more specific. The display of a certain flag or the advocacy of a particular movement such as criminal syndicalism or anarchy have been declared from time to time to be seditious. 

To be more specific, however, one must look at the specific U.S. Code to get the details.

18 U.S. Code § 2382. Misprision of treason

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States and having knowledge of the commission of any treason against them, conceals and does not, as soon as may be, disclose and make known the same to the President or to some judge of the United States, or to the governor or to some judge or justice of a particular State, is guilty of misprision of treason and shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than seven years, or both.

18 U.S. Code § 2383. Rebellion or insurrection

Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

18 U.S. Code § 2384. Seditious conspiracy

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

18 U.S. Code § 2385. Advocating overthrow of Government

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or

Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or

Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in this section, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

As used in this section, the terms “organizes” and “organize”, with respect to any society, group, or assembly of persons, include the recruiting of new members, the forming of new units, and the regrouping or expansion of existing clubs, classes, and other units of such society, group, or assembly of persons. [emphasis added]

Clever Social Media Hides Behind Free Speech

The knee-jerk argument by social media advocates is that a) their speech is protected by the First Amendment and b) since they are not a government entity, they are not violating the First Amendment by “making a law” to nullify it.

Both of these statements make a point, but the line into Sedition is crossed when intentions become known. In this case, as noted above, social media is acting in concert to:

  • Promote the overthrow of the U.S. Constitution
  • Block the proper function of the government by denying open communication with the citizens of America
  • Enable violent groups like Antifa, which is dedicated to anarchy and the overthrow of the U.S. government
  • Launch personal attacks against a duly elected and seated President of the United States, with intent to discredit and disrupt the normal functioning of an organized government.

Technocracy by any other name…

I have communicated frequently in speech and writing that Technocracy is executing its coup d’etat to dominate the entire planet. America is the last nation on earth whose people naturally reject the Technocrat ideology. Social media companies are run mostly by Technocrats who only understand that the current status quo in America must be permanently destroyed. As such, the social media industry has risen to become the number one opponent of America and the American way of life.

(Note: As TN editor, I will be carefully timing how long before all social media bans, blocks or deletes this article. You are well-advised to make a printed copy asap.)




Social Media Technocrats Help Antifa But Censor Everyday Americans

Technocrats love Antifa because it promotes the destruction of the status quo, out of which Technocracy will rise. Big Tech’s radical bias is so blatantly obvious that they seem not to care whether anyone has figured that out or not ⁃ TN Editor
.  

Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) highlighted Facebook and Twitter’s politically-driven and arbitrary censorship of information, contrasting the platforms’ facilitation of operations executed by Antifa and Black Lives Matter while censoring disagreement with public health authorities’ positions.

West joined Tuesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Ed Martin to discuss ongoing unrest, protests, and riots following the death of George Floyd.

West remarked, “What infuriates me more than anything else is that these social media platforms are being used by groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter to organize, to get out their orders and instructions, but when we had everyday Americans that wanted to have rallies about the unconstitutionality of these stay-at-home orders and the lockdowns and shutdowns — I call it illegal martial law and house arrest — Facebook and Twitter threatened to censor them … Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey need to stop making decisions based upon their ideological agendas.”

“[The killing of George Floyd] was heinous,” West stated. “It was offensive. It was evil. It was tyrannical and despotic to see someone put their entire weight in their left knee on the carotid artery of a man who was handcuffed, and his crime was forgery — $20 bills — not armed robbery, not attempted murder, or aggravated assault. So, he was not armed or any danger to any of those four police officers that were there around him.”

West continued, “There is no excuse for what we see happening in America. It just goes back to the Rahm Emanuel mantra of never letting a good crisis go to waste.”

“Antifa is a domestic terrorist group,” West declared, “and we need to peel the onion back. We need to find the leadership. We need to find the resourcing. Black Lives Matter is no better. Black Lives Matter does not show up in Chicago or any of the other major urban population centers across the country run by Democrats, where you see black-on-black crime. They say nothing about the atrocious fact that 20 million black babies have been murdered in the womb thanks to Planned Parenthood, which was founded by a white supremacist and a racist.”

West went on, “I see people cherry-picking and using the theme of racism and being a racist to fit an ideological agenda, and we have got to have strong voices to stand up and push back against this. If we cannot maintain law and order in our streets, then we’re going to see the undermining of our constitutional republic.”

“We now have a domestic enemy,” West said. “We have an enemy that, without a doubt, has declared that they want to undermine this constitutional republic. They want to replace it with a governing system that is completely different.”

West added, “We cannot have these seditious organizations and groups that are running amok in the United States of America and recruiting people.”

November’s elections present a choice between individual sovereignty and collective enslavement, determined West.

“It comes down to understanding the right and true relationship between the individual citizen and the institution of government,” West said. “In the United States of America, the individual citizens — if you read our Declaration and our Constitution — are sovereign. And why is the individual sovereign? Because their inalienable rights come from their creator, God, not from man.”

West articulated a fundamental distinction between left-wing ideology and conservatism.

Read full story here…




Blackout: Executive Order On Preventing Online Censorship

Since President Trump signed this EO on May 28, 2020, it has been totally ignored and hit with a virtual blackout of reporting and analysis. The Federal behemoth is now narrowly focused on setting social media giants straight on free and protected speech.

It is the policy of the United States that large online platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, as the critical means of promoting the free flow of speech and ideas today, should not restrict protected speech. ⁃ TN Editor

 

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Policy.  Free speech is the bedrock of American democracy.  Our Founding Fathers protected this sacred right with the First Amendment to the Constitution.  The freedom to express and debate ideas is the foundation for all of our rights as a free people.

In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand pick the speech that Americans may access and convey on the internet.  This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic.  When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power.  They cease functioning as passive bulletin boards, and ought to be viewed and treated as content creators.

The growth of online platforms in recent years raises important questions about applying the ideals of the First Amendment to modern communications technology.  Today, many Americans follow the news, stay in touch with friends and family, and share their views on current events through social media and other online platforms.  As a result, these platforms function in many ways as a 21st century equivalent of the public square.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube wield immense, if not unprecedented, power to shape the interpretation of public events; to censor, delete, or disappear information; and to control what people see or do not see.

As President, I have made clear my commitment to free and open debate on the internet. Such debate is just as important online as it is in our universities, our town halls, and our homes.  It is essential to sustaining our democracy.

Online platforms are engaging in selective censorship that is harming our national discourse.  Tens of thousands of Americans have reported, among other troubling behaviors, online platforms “flagging” content as inappropriate, even though it does not violate any stated terms of service; making unannounced and unexplained changes to company policies that have the effect of disfavoring certain viewpoints; and deleting content and entire accounts with no warning, no rationale, and no recourse.

Twitter now selectively decides to place a warning label on certain tweets in a manner that clearly reflects political bias.  As has been reported, Twitter seems never to have placed such a label on another politician’s tweet.  As recently as last week, Representative Adam Schiff was continuing to mislead his followers by peddling the long-disproved Russian Collusion Hoax, and Twitter did not flag those tweets.  Unsurprisingly, its officer in charge of so-called ‘Site Integrity’ has flaunted his political bias in his own tweets.

At the same time online platforms are invoking inconsistent, irrational, and groundless justifications to censor or otherwise restrict Americans’ speech here at home, several online platforms are profiting from and promoting the aggression and disinformation spread by foreign governments like China.  One United States company, for example, created a search engine for the Chinese Communist Party that would have blacklisted searches for “human rights,” hid data unfavorable to the Chinese Communist Party, and tracked users determined appropriate for surveillance.  It also established research partnerships in China that provide direct benefits to the Chinese military.  Other companies have accepted advertisements paid for by the Chinese government that spread false information about China’s mass imprisonment of religious minorities, thereby enabling these abuses of human rights.  They have also amplified China’s propaganda abroad, including by allowing Chinese government officials to use their platforms to spread misinformation regarding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to undermine pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

As a Nation, we must foster and protect diverse viewpoints in today’s digital communications environment where all Americans can and should have a voice.  We must seek transparency and accountability from online platforms, and encourage standards and tools to protect and preserve the integrity and openness of American discourse and freedom of expression.

Sec2.  Protections Against Online Censorship.  (a)  It is the policy of the United States to foster clear ground rules promoting free and open debate on the internet.  Prominent among the ground rules governing that debate is the immunity from liability created by section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act (section 230(c)).  47 U.S.C. 230(c).  It is the policy of the United States that the scope of that immunity should be clarified: the immunity should not extend beyond its text and purpose to provide protection for those who purport to provide users a forum for free and open speech, but in reality use their power over a vital means of communication to engage in deceptive or pretextual actions stifling free and open debate by censoring certain viewpoints.

Section 230(c) was designed to address early court decisions holding that, if an online platform restricted access to some content posted by others, it would thereby become a “publisher” of all the content posted on its site for purposes of torts such as defamation.  As the title of section 230(c) makes clear, the provision provides limited liability “protection” to a provider of an interactive computer service (such as an online platform) that engages in “‘Good Samaritan’ blocking” of harmful content.  In particular, the Congress sought to provide protections for online platforms that attempted to protect minors from harmful content and intended to ensure that such providers would not be discouraged from taking down harmful material.  The provision was also intended to further the express vision of the Congress that the internet is a “forum for a true diversity of political discourse.”  47 U.S.C. 230(a)(3).  The limited protections provided by the statute should be construed with these purposes in mind.

In particular, subparagraph (c)(2) expressly addresses protections from “civil liability” and specifies that an interactive computer service provider may not be made liable “on account of” its decision in “good faith” to restrict access to content that it considers to be “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable.”  It is the policy of the United States to ensure that, to the maximum extent permissible under the law, this provision is not distorted to provide liability protection for online platforms that — far from acting in “good faith” to remove objectionable content — instead engage in deceptive or pretextual actions (often contrary to their stated terms of service) to stifle viewpoints with which they disagree.  Section 230 was not intended to allow a handful of companies to grow into titans controlling vital avenues for our national discourse under the guise of promoting open forums for debate, and then to provide those behemoths blanket immunity when they use their power to censor content and silence viewpoints that they dislike.  When an interactive computer service provider removes or restricts access to content and its actions do not meet the criteria of subparagraph (c)(2)(A), it is engaged in editorial conduct.  It is the policy of the United States that such a provider should properly lose the limited liability shield of subparagraph (c)(2)(A) and be exposed to liability like any traditional editor and publisher that is not an online provider.

(b)  To advance the policy described in subsection (a) of this section, all executive departments and agencies should ensure that their application of section 230(c) properly reflects the narrow purpose of the section and take all appropriate actions in this regard.  In addition, within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), in consultation with the Attorney General, and acting through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), shall file a petition for rulemaking with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requesting that the FCC expeditiously propose regulations to clarify:

(i) the interaction between subparagraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of section 230, in particular to clarify and determine the circumstances under which a provider of an interactive computer service that restricts access to content in a manner not specifically protected by subparagraph (c)(2)(A) may also not be able to claim protection under subparagraph (c)(1), which merely states that a provider shall not be treated as a publisher or speaker for making third-party content available and does not address the provider’s responsibility for its own editorial decisions;

(ii)  the conditions under which an action restricting access to or availability of material is not “taken in good faith” within the meaning of subparagraph (c)(2)(A) of section 230, particularly whether actions can be “taken in good faith” if they are:

(A)  deceptive, pretextual, or inconsistent with a provider’s terms of service; or

(B)  taken after failing to provide adequate notice, reasoned explanation, or a meaningful opportunity to be heard; and

(iii)  any other proposed regulations that the NTIA concludes may be appropriate to advance the policy described in subsection (a) of this section.

Sec3.  Protecting Federal Taxpayer Dollars from Financing Online Platforms That Restrict Free Speech.  (a)  The head of each executive department and agency (agency) shall review its agency’s Federal spending on advertising and marketing paid to online platforms.  Such review shall include the amount of money spent, the online platforms that receive Federal dollars, and the statutory authorities available to restrict their receipt of advertising dollars.

(b)  Within 30 days of the date of this order, the head of each agency shall report its findings to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

(c)  The Department of Justice shall review the viewpoint-based speech restrictions imposed by each online platform identified in the report described in subsection (b) of this section and assess whether any online platforms are problematic vehicles for government speech due to viewpoint discrimination, deception to consumers, or other bad practices.

Sec4.  Federal Review of Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices.  (a)  It is the policy of the United States that large online platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, as the critical means of promoting the free flow of speech and ideas today, should not restrict protected speech.  The Supreme Court has noted that social media sites, as the modern public square, “can provide perhaps the most powerful mechanisms available to a private citizen to make his or her voice heard.”  Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730, 1737 (2017).  Communication through these channels has become important for meaningful participation in American democracy, including to petition elected leaders.  These sites are providing an important forum to the public for others to engage in free expression and debate.  CfPruneYard Shopping Center v. Robins, 447 U.S. 74, 85-89 (1980).

(b)  In May of 2019, the White House launched a Tech Bias Reporting tool to allow Americans to report incidents of online censorship.  In just weeks, the White House received over 16,000 complaints of online platforms censoring or otherwise taking action against users based on their political viewpoints.  The White House will submit such complaints received to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

(c)  The FTC shall consider taking action, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to prohibit unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, pursuant to section 45 of title 15, United States Code.  Such unfair or deceptive acts or practice may include practices by entities covered by section 230 that restrict speech in ways that do not align with those entities’ public representations about those practices.

(d)  For large online platforms that are vast arenas for public debate, including the social media platform Twitter, the FTC shall also, consistent with its legal authority, consider whether complaints allege violations of law that implicate the policies set forth in section 4(a) of this order.  The FTC shall consider developing a report describing such complaints and making the report publicly available, consistent with applicable law.

Sec5.  State Review of Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices and Anti-Discrimination Laws.  (a)  The Attorney General shall establish a working group regarding the potential enforcement of State statutes that prohibit online platforms from engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices.  The working group shall also develop model legislation for consideration by legislatures in States where existing statutes do not protect Americans from such unfair and deceptive acts and practices. The working group shall invite State Attorneys General for discussion and consultation, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.

(b) Complaints described in section 4(b) of this order will be shared with the working group, consistent with applicable law. The working group shall also collect publicly available information regarding the following:

(i) increased scrutiny of users based on the other users they choose to follow, or their interactions with other users;

(ii) algorithms to suppress content or users based on indications of political alignment or viewpoint;

(iii) differential policies allowing for otherwise impermissible behavior, when committed by accounts associated with the Chinese Communist Party or other anti-democratic associations or governments;

(iv) reliance on third-party entities, including contractors, media organizations, and individuals, with indicia of bias to review content; and

(v) acts that limit the ability of users with particular viewpoints to earn money on the platform compared with other users similarly situated.

Sec6.  Legislation.  The Attorney General shall develop a proposal for Federal legislation that would be useful to promote the policy objectives of this order.

Sec7.  Definition.  For purposes of this order, the term “online platform” means any website or application that allows users to create and share content or engage in social networking, or any general search engine.

Sec8.  General Provisions. (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)    the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)   the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Read full story here…




Twitter

Twitter Raises Censorship Bar Over COVID-19

Twitter is full of Technocrats who want to control the narrative of every issue. Once censorship started over COVID-19, it has gone in only one direction: more of it. Now, Twitter will warn and/or censor you over anything that differs from the official WHO/CDC narrative. ⁃ TN Editor

It feels like it was just yesterday we pointed out that the Twitter censor machine had gone into overdrive, concerning itself with policing mean comments and curse words. Now, the censorship machine is sliding even further down the slippery slope.

In a blog post published yesterday, Twitter said it would be “introducing new labels and warning messages that will provide additional context and information on some Tweets containing disputed or misleading information related to COVID-19.”

In other words, the site’s efforts to police coronavirus discussion using the WHO as a truth rubric – which resulted in Zero Hedge’s permanent ban from the site for accurately predicting that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was likely at the middle of the ongoing global pandemic – hasn’t been enough.

The site says it is now going to append labels to Tweets “containing potentially harmful, misleading information related to COVID-19” and that the change is going to be retrofit to all previous Tweets.

The labels will link to a “Twitter-curated page or external trusted source containing additional information on the claims made within the Tweet.”

Warnings could also be applied to Tweets, the site said. The warnings “will inform people that the information in the Tweet conflicts with public health experts’ guidance before they view it.”

Twitter said it will take action based on three broad categories:

  • Misleading information — statements or assertions that have been confirmed to be false or misleading by subject-matter experts, such as public health authorities.
  • Disputed claims — statements or assertions in which the accuracy, truthfulness, or credibility of the claim is contested or unknown.
  • Unverified claims — information (which could be true or false) that is unconfirmed at the time it is shared.

It then posted this vague chart, which does very little to clear up anything:

Read full story here…




Censorship

Net Censorship Kills Free Speech In Britain

Thanks to PM Boris Johnson, Techno-Populism has swept Britain. The Populism element of the political equation will soon be discarded as Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth” is established and Technocracy takes over. ⁃ TN Editor

The United Kingdom has become the first Western nation to move ahead with large-scale censorship of the internet, effectively creating regulation that will limit freedom on the last frontier of digital liberty. In a move that has the nation reeling, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled rules that will punish internet companies with fines, and even imprisonment, if they fail to protect users from “harmful and illegal content.”

Couched in language that suggests this is being done to protect children from pedophiles and vulnerable people from cyberbullying, the proposals will place a massive burden on small companies. Further, they will ultimately make it impossible for those not of the pervasive politically correct ideology to produce and share content.

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes

The new guardian of the internet will be the Office of Communications (known as Ofcom), a government-approved body that already regulates television, radio, broadcasting, and even the postal service. This group has been accused on many occasions of “acting as the moral arbiter” for the nation, and perhaps unsurprisingly, tends towards a very left-leaning position.

Speaking to Order-Order.com, Matthew Lesh, the head of research at The Adam Smith Institute, warned:

“Make no mistake: free speech is under threat. The Government is proposing the most censorious online speech regime in the Western world. We must not be fooled by platitudes about freedom of expression. The inevitably woke bureaucrats in Ofcom will be deciding what sort of speech is and is not allowed across much of the internet. They will have extraordinary discretion to decide who to target and what is harmful.

This is a recipe for disaster for anyone that thinks differently to the Notting Hill set — any correct but unpopular opinions will not just come under attack from the Twitterati, but the law itself.”

Ofcom has a new boss in place to go along with the new powers: Dame Melanie Dawes. Dawes has been a career civil servant for her entire working life and was most recently the Civil Service Gender and Diversity Champion from 2015 to 2019.

The Rules

Among the sweeping and censorious powers awarded to Ofcom are:

  • The ability to create guidelines that instruct content-hosting companies (YouTube, Facebook, etc.) on how to manage online censorship of “user-generated content.”
  • Create rules for content that is “not illegal but has the potential to cause harm.”
  • To have the remit for deciding, writing up, and adapting rules on how internet regulation works.

Not only is the government mandating an outside body to orchestrate the regulation of the internet, but they are also handing over the power to decide exactly what should be censored. Boris Johnson, formerly considered the darling of liberty for his backing of Brexit, appears to have handed over control of who may speak and what may be said online to an organization that prides itself on its ability to clamp down on speech it considers fringe.

The nation’s newspapers are owned by a small group of people and companies. Many of the major television and radio stations are under charter with the U.K. government. Book publishing companies are too afraid to publish a single word that goes against the progressive orthodoxy. The ability to congregate and hold rallies is tightly controlled by government bodies. And now, the last realm of freedom, the last place in which like-minded souls can exchange ideas, learn, and express themselves to their fullest is about to fall under the Orwellian control of an agency that will not even be accountable to the government itself.

The Ministry of Truth is here.

Read full story here…




VAXXED

Medical Association Sues Rep. Adam Schiff For Censorship

American Association of Physicians & Surgeons is suing Rep. Adam Schiff over demanding that Twitter remove the vaccine movies Vaxxed and Shoot ‘Em Up: The Truth About Vaccines. Twitter ‘obeyed’ Schiff and removed the videos. Schiff’s actions are patently unconstitutional and the lawsuit intends to hold him accountable. ⁃ TN Editor

AAPS Press Release – The internet is supposed to provide open access to information to people of different opinions, and algorithms for search engines such as Google were originally designed to rank entries on the basis of traffic to a site. It was democratic in the sense that people voted with their mouse clicks.

Freedom of communication is a threat to oppressors. Communist China has erected the Great Firewall (tinyurl.com/y7allgtb). Google’s secret Project Dragonfly would  collect data about people’s searches that could be used for facilitating human-rights abuses, and would purge links to websites prohibited in China (https://tinyurl.com/y9ujjy3g). Because of political pressure, it has reportedly been terminated—for now (tinyurl.com/yatvngmo)—although a shareholder resolution to stop it failed (https://tinyurl.com/y5jz6j8u).

In the U.S., online service providers have broad protections from legal liability for content created by the users of their services, under the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA), which added Section 230 to the Communications Act of 1934. This permits entities like Facebook, Twitter, and Google to publish others’ content without reviewing it for criminality or other potential legal issues. There are concerns that it protects pornography and sex-trafficking.

On Jun 13, 2019, the House Intelligence Committee chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) held a hearing on technology that allows the creation of “fake” videos. At the outset, Schiff challenged the CDA immunity enjoyed by interactive computer services, apparently intending to pressure services such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter to comply with his position on access to information he deems inappropriate for public access.

In early 2019, Schiff contacted leading interactive computer services, including Google, Facebook, and Amazon, to encourage them to de-platform or discredit what Schiff asserted to be inaccurate information on vaccines. He then posted the letters and press release on the House.gov website.

Information Is Blocked; AAPS Sues

In response to Schiff’s letter, Amazon removed the popular videos Vaxxed and Shoot ’Em Up: the Truth About Vaccines from its platform for streaming videos, depriving members of the public of convenient access.

Under a policy announced in May 2019, Twitter includes a pro-government disclaimer placed above search results for an AAPS article on vaccine mandates: “Know the Facts. To make sure you get the best information on vaccination, resources are available from the US Department of Health and Human Services.” The implication is that if information is not on a government website, then it is somehow less credible. On Facebook, a search for an AAPS article on vaccines, which previously would lead directly to the AAPS article, now produces search results containing links to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Visits to the AAPS website have declined significantly since March 2019, both in absolute terms and relative to the decline that would result from a story’s losing its recency.

On Aug 9, 2019, Amazon suddenly announced the termination of AAPS, after 10 years’ participation, from the Amazon Associates Program, which by its own description is one of the largest affiliate networks in the world to enable website owners to earn commissions based on their traffic.

AAPS is not “anti-vaccine,” but rather supports informed consent, based on an understanding of the full range of medical, legal, and economic considerations relevant to vaccination and any other medical intervention, which inevitably involves risks as well as benefits. For two decades, AAPS has published informative articles pertaining to vaccination, which continue to draw visitors, even years later.

Schiff creates an arbitrary binary divide, simplistically labeling all speech on vaccinations as either “pro-vaccination” or “anti-vaccination,” with the latter taken to mean “anti-science” or unintelligent and uneducated and thus unworthy of public access.

WHO has declared “vaccine hesitancy” to be a major public-health concern. Thus, any information, however valid scientifically, that might influence a person to decline a  vaccine, could be labeled a public-health threat and censored.

AAPS notes efforts by the AMA and others to declare that many controversial issues are public health threats—such as “gun violence,” “climate change,” or lack of convenient and affordable access to abortion or “sex-change” surgery. A precedent to censor speech on vaccine adverse events has broad implications.

AAPS and Katarina Verrelli, on behalf of herself and others who seek access to vaccine information,  have filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs allege that Defendant Adam Schiff has abused government  power and infringed on their free-speech rights (tinyurl.com/st2wdbr).

“The First Amendment protects the rights of free speech  and association. Included within the right of free speech is a right to receive information from willing speakers. Under the First Amendment, Americans have the right to hear all sides of every issue and to make their own judgments about those issues without government interference or limitations,” Plaintiffs argue. “Content-based restrictions on speech are presumptively unconstitutional, and courts analyze such restrictions under strict scrutiny.”

Read full story here…




Kathy Castor

House Climate Chair Calls For Google To Censor ‘Climate Deniers’

Shame on Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), who is chairperson of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. She demands that Google censor videos that promote “climate denial and climate misinformation.” What happened to the First Amendment, Kathy? ⁃ TN Editor

The chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis was accused Wednesday of censorship after calling on Google to take action against YouTube videos that promote “climate denial and climate misinformation.”

Rep. Kathy Castor, Florida Democrat, asked Google in a Monday letter to remove “climate disinformation videos” from YouTube’s “recommendation algorithm,” demonetize videos that promote “harmful misinformation,” and correct the record for those exposed to such “misinformation.”

“YouTube has been driving millions of viewers to climate misinformation videos every day, a shocking revelation that runs contrary to Google’s important missions of fighting misinformation and promoting climate action,” said Ms. Castor, who requested a response by Feb. 7.

Google, which owns YouTube, has yet to comment publicly, but climate skeptics were outraged, charging the congresswoman with attempting to shut down debate on climate policy by silencing dissenting voices, no matter how knowledgeable about climate science.

“Rep. Castor’s demand that Google pull down climate skeptic YouTube videos because she doesn’t approve of their content says a lot about the totalitarian instincts of the climate movement,” said JunkScience’s Steve Milloy.

Read full story here…