How the election was stolen 6

Time magazine recounts in detail how the November 2020 US election was stolen from Donald Trump.

Time calls it  “saving” the election.

Also “protecting” it and “fortifying” it.

But the report is nothing less than a confession of fraud and theft. 

Why? It seems that the busy people who did the dirty work are giving all away now because they cannot help boasting. They’re cock-a-hoop and gloating. They obviously have no idea that they were being used, or by whom.

While the authors (several are mentioned beneath the article though only the name Molly Ball appears at the top) boldly state that there was an anti-Trump conspiracy, they yet seem genuinely to believe that President Trump was organizing a conspiracy of his own to steal the election. In the course of describing what their heroes did to prevent the democratic process from working in the normal way, they indignantly accuse him of an “assault on democracy”.

There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs. Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans. The pact was formalized in a terse, little-noticed joint statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO published on Election Day. Both sides would come to see it as a sort of implicit bargain–inspired by the summer’s massive, sometimes destructive racial-justice protests–in which the forces of labor came together with the forces of capital to keep the peace and oppose Trump’s assault on democracy.

So the forces of labor and capital were inspired by the destructive protests of the “racial-justice” enemies of President Trump to “conspire” together to keep the peace –  by also opposing President Trump, not the destructive protestors.

The account is ludicrous. But it sufficiently lays bare what needs to be known about how the election was stolen.

It identifies many of the toilers for the cause, and a plethora of their organizations.

They believe one man started it on his own initiative.

Sometime in the fall of 2019, Mike Podhorzer became convinced the election was headed for disaster–and determined to protect it. He is a “senior adviser to the president of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest union federation” who has “marshaled the latest tactics and data to help its favored candidates win elections”.

He was soon joined by others:

It turned out Podhorzer wasn’t the only one thinking in these terms. He began to hear from others eager to join forces. The Fight Back Table, a coalition of “resistance” organizations, had begun scenario-planning around the potential for a contested election, gathering liberal activists at the local and national level into what they called the Democracy Defense Coalition. Voting-rights and civil rights organizations were raising alarms. A group of former elected officials was researching emergency powers they feared Trump might exploit. Protect Democracy was assembling a bipartisan election-crisis task force.

Then COVID-19 erupted …

In his apartment in the D.C. suburbs, Podhorzer began working from his laptop at his kitchen table, holding back-to-back Zoom meetings for hours a day with his network of contacts across the progressive universe: the labor movement; the institutional left, like Planned Parenthood and Greenpeace; resistance groups like Indivisible and MoveOn; progressive data geeks and strategists, representatives of donors and foundations, state-level grassroots organizers, racial-justice activists and others. …

Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public-awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction. After Election Day, they monitored every pressure point to ensure that Trump could not overturn the result. “The untold story of the election is the thousands of people of both parties who accomplished the triumph of American democracy at its very foundation,” says Norm Eisen, a prominent lawyer and former Obama Administration official who recruited Republicans and Democrats to the board of the Voter Protection Program.

the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream–a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information. They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it.  …

Protecting the election would require an effort of unprecedented scale. As 2020 progressed, it stretched to Congress, Silicon Valley and the nation’s statehouses. It drew energy from the summer’s racial-justice protests, many of whose leaders were a key part of the liberal alliance. And eventually it reached across the aisle, into the world of Trump-skeptical Republicans appalled by his [Trump’s!] attacks on democracy.

… the most urgent need was money …

That came chiefly from a much higher sphere, where the truly powerful enemies of President Trump were working on their own plans to overthrow him:

An assortment of foundations contributed tens of millions in election-administration funding. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative chipped in $300 million.

In November 2019, Mark Zuckerberg invited nine civil rights leaders to dinner at his home, where they warned him about the danger of the election-related falsehoods that were already spreading unchecked. “It took pushing, urging, conversations, brainstorming, all of that to get to a place where we ended up with more rigorous rules and enforcement,” says Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, who attended the dinner and also met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and others.

They needed a meeting over dinner before they decided to cut out pro-Trump opinion from the social media they controlled? Hmmm.

The protectors and fortifiers of democracy thought of everything, anticipated every possible complication.

What if ballot forms carrying votes for Biden were thrown out because they showed signs of fraud?

The Voting Rights Lab and IntoAction created state-specific memes and graphics, spread by email, text, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, urging that every vote be counted. Together, they were viewed more than 1 billion times. Protect Democracy’s election task force issued reports and held media briefings with high-profile experts across the political spectrum, resulting in widespread coverage of potential election issues and fact-checking of Trump’s false claims. The organization’s tracking polls found the message was being heard: the percentage of the public that didn’t expect to know the winner on election night gradually rose until by late October, it was over 70%. A majority also believed that a prolonged count wasn’t a sign of problems. “We knew exactly what Trump was going to do: he was going to try to use the fact that Democrats voted by mail and Republicans voted in person to make it look like he was ahead, claim victory, say the mail-in votes were fraudulent and try to get them thrown out,” says Protect Democracy’s [Ian] Bassin. Setting public expectations ahead of time helped undercut those lies. …

Fearing that Trump, being against democracy, might instigate violent protests, they would “harness the momentum” of “the racial justice uprising”; recruit the Antifa-BlM rioters, arsonists, cop-killers who had been thus “peacefully protesting” for months, to be active in their cause:

The racial-justice uprising sparked by George Floyd’s killing in May was not primarily a political movement. The organizers who helped lead it wanted to harness its momentum for the election … Many of those organizers were part of Podhorzer’s network, from the activists in battleground states who partnered with the Democracy Defense Coalition to organizations with leading roles in the Movement for Black Lives [BLM]. …

They planned huge street demonstrations to counter those that they just knew Trump would launch the day after he lost the election to effect a coup against … against … against the administration that would take over in January 2021 (as a result of their efforts):

More than 150 liberal groups, from the Women’s March to the Sierra Club to Color of Change, from Democrats.com to the Democratic Socialists of America, joined the “Protect the Results” coalition. The group’s now defunct website had a map listing 400 planned post-election demonstrations, to be activated via text message as soon as Nov. 4. To stop the coup they feared, the left was ready to flood the streets. …

Now enter, out of the global mists and high boardrooms, down into the well-lit bustling scene, more of the people who do know – are verily part of – the real vast inexorable movement of the truly powerful against President Trump’s re-election. Their eagle eyes had spotted the useful workers down there:

About a week before Election Day, Podhorzer received an unexpected message: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wanted to talk. …

Neil Bradley, the Chamber’s executive vice president and chief policy officer … reached out to Podhorzer, through an intermediary both men declined to name. Agreeing that their unlikely alliance would be powerful, they began to discuss a joint statement pledging their organizations’ shared commitment to a fair and peaceful election. They chose their words carefully and scheduled the statement’s release for maximum impact. As it was being finalized, Christian leaders signaled their interest in joining, further broadening its reach.

We wonder how the Christian leaders got to know about it if the preparation for the statement’s release was as quietly confidential as the story suggests.

The statement was released on Election Day, under the names of Chamber CEO Thomas Donohue, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, and the heads of the National Association of Evangelicals and the National African American Clergy Network.

It was a carefully worded appeal to American voters – long accustomed to a day of voting, a pause while votes were counted, and a result declared – not to be surprised, not to ask questions, not to object if votes were added and counted for days or even weeks after election day. The statement is  quoted:

It is imperative that election officials be given the space and time to count every vote in accordance with applicable laws. We call on the media, the candidates and the American people to exercise patience with the process and trust in our system, even if it requires more time than usual. … We are united in our call for the American democratic process to proceed without violence, intimidation or any other tactic that makes us weaker as a nation.

Podhorzer knew that only if late counting was accepted, Biden could be made to win:

Election night began with many Democrats despairing. Trump was running ahead of pre-election polling, winning Florida, Ohio and Texas easily and keeping Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania too close to call. But Podhorzer was unperturbed … the returns were exactly in line with his modeling. … He could tell that as long as all the votes were counted, Trump would lose.

Towards the end of the confession, the question is asked: who should get the credit for thwarting Trump’s plot?

Liberals argued the role of bottom-up people power shouldn’t be overlooked, particularly the contributions of people of color and local grassroots activists. Others stressed the heroism of GOP officials like [Aaron] Van Langevelde [Republican member of the Michigan Board of Canvassers] and Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, who stood up to Trump at considerable cost. The truth is that neither likely could have succeeded without the other. …

Democracy won in the end. The will of the people prevailed. But it’s crazy, in retrospect, that this is what it took to put on an election in the United States of America.

Well, anyway, that’s what it took to put over a fraud of an election in the United States of America.

The full ingenuous article provides the names of many perps and their organizations. And after all, why not? Since the conspirators succeeded and their man won, nothing will be done about any law-breaking that went on. It was all in the great cause of fortifying democracy.

Their self-congratulation is not unwarranted. They worked diligently and efficiently – and they brought off their cheat. Who would grudge them their celebrations, their happy faces, their loud cheers? Only the mean-spirited would want to rain on such joy.

Let them rejoice while they can. It won’t be long before they experience the consequences of their achievement. Most of them will be just as oppressed by their chosen government as those of us who voted honestly for Donald Trump.

America goes 4

As the Catholic Church did in ages past, and Islam still does, the Left strives to bring every nation, and every last member of every nation, under its rule: a rule not of law but of lawyers, law-makers and law-breakers; bureaucrats, bankers, communication controllers, billionaires.

In America there are still tens of millions who refuse to comply, and they are being treated as heretics, infidels, and pariahs. If you are a Trump supporter, or in the least degree opposed to the Leftists who have seized the executive branch of government and now control both houses of the legislative branch, you are likely to be forced into conformity and unquestioning obedience. The means to be employed will be cutting you off from the services you need to live a normal life.

Through institutions of government and enormously powerful corporations, the heresies of patriotism, populism, anti-tribalism, individualism, and defiant defense of free speech, private property, arms bearing, and the teaching of reading writing reckoning and history to your children, will be punished.

You will be denied the services of banks, credit card companies, the internet, social media, insurance companies, the national health service, schools, universities. It will be very hard for you to find a job.

There will be degrees of deprivation. If you are a mild offender, you may be allowed some health care, for instance, and a low-paying job. If you are a grave offender – one who goes so far as to persist in speaking well of Donald Trump – you may face long imprisonment. An active attempt to reinstate him could be ruled a capital offense.

If you capitulate and submit, your life will not be easy. Your record will be held against you.

Even if you always supported the Left and voted the totalitarians into power, you will receive only the information that the rulers choose to allow you. You will have no way of knowing – unless by chance you personally witness a reported event – whether what you are being told is true or false.

Bruce Bawer writes at Front Page:

I’ve been ranting for years about the perfidy of the left. At times I’ve been accused of exaggerating. On rare occasions I feared – or hoped? – that perhaps I was exaggerating. In fact I can now see that these people are worse than I ever imagined. Worse than most of us ever imagined.

Worse than even Donald Trump “with all his insight” imagined.

He went into office determined to clean up the swamp. He was tireless. But not tireless enough. No mere mortal could have been tireless enough. Trump had denounced the swamp in apocalyptic terms, but it proved to be even deeper and more extensive than he knew. It reached into the upper echelons of the intelligence community and the military, into cabinet departments and the judiciary.

Not only did the Democrats try to derail his campaign and then his presidency. Even people whom he appointed to White House jobs proved unreliable. Far from being too suspicious, he’d been too trusting. He’d appointed two-faced D.C. insiders. He’d trusted people who turned out to be snakes in the grass.

The news media, with very few exceptions, made it their task to thwart his progress and poison his name with a constant flow of disinformation. They said Trump had told people to drink bleach. They said he’d called neo-Nazis “good people”. They said many other outrageous things that they knew were outright lies. They relentlessly repeated the charge that he did nothing but lie, lie, lie, when in fact it was they, the media, who were constantly feeding us lies. …

When enemies of Trump, and of freedom, created violence and mayhem in cities around the country, they were whitewashed, protected, and even praised by the media, by Democratic politicians, and by police officials. In a debate with Trump, Biden said Antifa was an idea, not an organization. Congressman Jerrold Nadler called it a myth.

Meanwhile Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gave BLM $3 million. While the leftist gangsters went unpunished, citizens who tried to protect their homes and businesses from destruction by them were arrested by the police and demonized in the media. If you tried to spread the truth about all this on social media, you were shut down by Silicon Valley bosses who said you were lying.

And then the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

Republican officials in the states affected by the steal sat on their hands. State legislatures, ditto. Even the justices he’d named to the Supreme Court refused to hear Texas v. Pennsylvania, absurdly maintaining that a state didn’t have standing to challenge the conduct of a presidential election in another state.

Trump’s supporters, ever civilized, waited patiently while every possible means of stopping the steal was dutifully exhausted. When it came down to the final vote certification in Congress, an army of [between 600,000 and 2,000,000!) MAGA folk gathered peacefully in Washington to show that they had Trump’s back.

Then a tiny percentage of them foolishly entered the Capitol building. And a tiny percentage of that tiny percentage – at least some of whom seem to have been Antifa goons – caused minor damage. Most of them appear to have milled harmlessly around the building, leaving paintings and statues untouched. The contrast with the conduct of Antifa and BLM insurgents during the previous year could hardly have been more striking. …

One of those people, an Air Force veteran named Ashli Babbitt, was shot dead by a Capitol Hill policeman. She didn’t do anything to provoke the shooter. It was impossible not to think of George Floyd, the career criminal who, on May 25 of last year, died while resisting arrest after committing a crime. Floyd was black; the arresting officer was white. In the ensuing months, Floyd’s death was used to justify rioting, arson, and vandalism by Antifa and BLM agitators, none of whom ended up being killed by a cop.

But nobody’s making a martyr out of Ashli Babbitt.

I’m not saying anybody should. I’m just saying that after four years of reportage that routinely demonized Trump, sugarcoated his opponents, and cruelly mocked his supporters, and after an election that was blatantly stolen yet described in the media as eminently fair, those supporters could hardly be expected not to explode – especially since they’d seen, during the previous few months, one leftist explosion after another rewarded with praise.

But they did not explode.

On January 6, Biden, oozing faux solemnity, addressed the ongoing situation on Capitol Hill. After months of referring to Antifa and BLM thugs as “protesters”, he called the non-violent people who’d entered the Capitol a “mob” of “domestic terrorists” who, in an action bordering on “sedition”,  had made an “unprecedented assault…on the citadel of liberty….This is not dissent, it’s disorder”.

He wasn’t alone. In one voice, people who’d spent months cheering leftist violence expressed horror at the breach of the Capitol building and blamed it on Trump. Once the Capitol was secured, the planned challenges to the vote steal were scuttled and the election of Biden and Harris duly certified.

Whereupon the left – and not just the left – moved with the swiftness of lightning.

Accusing Trump of having incited the Capitol breach, [Speaker] Pelosi and [Senate minority leader] Schumer raised the possibility of using the 25th Amendment to deny him his last few days in office …

And she absurdly introduced a proposal to impeach him for a second time, though he had only a few days more as president. .

Republicans who were never strong Trump supporters to begin with were quick to profess outrage at Trump’s purported provocation. Cabinet members Elaine Choi and Betsy DeVos quit. The Wall Street Journal called on Trump to resign. Senator Pat Toomey gave a thumbs-up to impeachment. Forbes warned companies not to hire anybody with a Trump connection.

Both Twitter and Facebook deplatformed Trump, and when he shifted from his personal Twitter account to the POTUS account, Twitter silenced that one, too. Other enemies of the left were also kicked off social media – among them Sidney Powell, Michael Flynn, and Steve Bannon. Facebook ejected the WalkAway movement, in the process deleting countless heartfelt posts by ordinary citizens explaining why they’d quit the Democratic Party. YouTube took down a video by Rudy Giuliani. Amazon, Google, and Apple removed Parler, a “free-speech” alternative to Twitter and Facebook, from their app stores. The CEO of Mozilla, developer of the Firefox browser, wrote an essay entitled “We Need More than Deplatforming.”

(Yet the social-media accounts of the Chinese Communist Party and Ayatollah Khamenei remained untouched.)

Pelosi tried to get the military to stop taking orders from the President. …

She urged the Chiefs of Staff to mutiny against their commander-in-chief! (They refused.)

The director of ABC News spoke of “cleansing” the Trump movement after January 20, whatever that might mean. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, who’d taken the lead in challenging the vote steal, to be expelled from the Senate. Simon & Schuster canceled Hawley’s contract for a book about cancel culture. Biden likened Cruz to Goebbels. …

There’s no intrinsic magic about America that protects it from becoming Mao’s China or Stalin’s Russia. Only utopians believe in the perfectibility of man. People are people. And some of the people who are now, or are about to be, in power in the United States would, if accorded enough power, do far more to those of us who falter in loyalty than merely take away our social-media accounts.

Indeed, as scary as the situation may be right now, one thing’s for certain: worse is on its way. The Democrats now control both houses of Congress and are about to be handed the executive branch. The totalitarian-minded elements in that party are on the ascent, backed up by Silicon Valley, the legacy media, and much of corporate America.

Bruce Bawer thinks that by “listing, arresting, and imprisoning ‘enemies of the state'” – as, he reminds us, was done in the terrible reign of Stalin, and under the brutal tyranny of Mao –

These people will overreach. Their lists will grow so long, their cancelations so widespread, that, as happened with the Reign of Terror, everyone who isn’t clinically insane will finally realize that things have gone too far and will, in one way or another, put an end to the madness.

He asks:

But how far will things have to go before that happens? How long will it take? And how many lives will be destroyed before it’s over? These, alas, are the all too sobering questions that have yet to be answered.

In the meantime, those of us who care about liberty will simply have to do our best to keep enduring the daily tsunami of evil ideology, fake news, and contempt for decent people, and to continue hoping that the true and good will yet prevail.

Much as we would like his optimism – such as it is, sorrowful and tentative – to hearten us, we are less sure that such a realization will come, or that “the true and good will yet prevail”.

What has happened seems to us to demonstrate that there is a tragic weakness in freedom and tolerance. They permit those who value neither to exploit them to gain the power to abolish them. 

Facebook is for Leftists only 2

Step by step, Facebook is becoming a medium for the communication of Leftism only.

Its existing policy of censoring conservative opinion is to be ever more strictly implemented, to the point – we foresee – of total suppression.

It has now put itself under the orders of “90 left-wing organizations”.

Brent Bozell writes at Media Research Center (MRC):

On Sunday [June 30, 2019], Facebook Chief Operations Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced the company’s latest efforts to institutionalize the demands of 90 left-wing organizations into the company’s operations, including disturbing efforts geared toward the 2020 elections.

Brent Bozell is making this widely known on behalf of a coalition of conservative organizations.

Media Research Center President (MRC) Brent Bozell issued the following statement Tuesday on behalf of The Free Speech Alliance, a coalition of more than 50 conservative organizations committed to combating online bias and censorship: 

Sheryl Sandberg just announced that she is allowing the ACLU and 90 left-wing organizations to dictate nearly every aspect of Facebook’s policies. This will let the left dominate the most powerful social media platform on the face of the earth. That raises significant legal and statutory issues that should worry both left and right.

Facebook hasn’t released the names of these groups, but the crux of their plans is clear – the influence of everything Facebook does from hiring more liberals to control of all content. That goes so far as to include advertising, partnerships and control of the product itself.

Now these left-wing groups have the power over every post a conservative makes. Facebook can’t be a free marketplace of ideas with the left controlling everything and the firm’s No. 2 [Sheryl Sandberg] overseeing and embracing all they are doing.

The company getting in bed with these liberal organizations – especially in its efforts to prepare for the 2020 elections – should be deeply alarming to the conservative movement, Congress, potentially the FEC, and indeed all Americans.

This was a big mistake on Facebook’s part. We hope they will rethink the decisions they have made.

They won’t.

Corinne Weaver, also at MRC, writes more about the decision:

Facebook released an update of its so-called “civil rights” audit June 30. The results did not bode well for conservatives, as the company committed to work with left-wing groups in every facet of its business.

The audit announced a “Civil Rights Task Force”, led by COO Sheryl Sandberg, which will rely on third-party “civil rights expertise” to make decisions. The task force will address all key departments of the business from content and partnerships to human resources. It will exist to “ensure civil rights concerns raised by outside groups are escalated promptly to decision-makers so that they can be considered and acted on quickly”.

[The audit] called for even more censorship than Facebook already has … hate speech to be censored even more, as well as “hateful ideologies”.

Humor will be removed as a protected category. [“Any humor that could be construed as an attack should be removed.”] …

Scrupulous human scrutiny is needed:

“Under-enforcement of hate speech policies” … [has meant] that only 65 percent of posts removed for hate speech were removed automatically, as opposed to being subject to human review.

Conservative opinion as such is classed as “hate speech”. All of it must go.

By this means the Facebook honchos expect to get the Left into power – forever.

Why persons who have made billions in this sweet land of capitalism want to hand it over to socialists, who will turn it into a vast permanent refugee camp, remains an impenetrable mystery.

Posted under Leftism, Technology by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, July 2, 2019

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Freedom of speech on the internet 7

In 2011 Elizabeth Warren said:

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did.

In 2012 President Obama said:

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me – because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t – look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

Whether or not they meant to be attacking private enterprise capitalism, that is what they were generally understood to be doing.

The capitalist, free-market argument is that if you own something you can use it as you like for all lawful purposes. If bakers of wedding cakes do not want to sell a cake, or florists do not want to supply bouquets, to same-sex couples, they are within their rights not to do so.

It is generally agreed that the private owners of places of public entertainment such as restaurants, movie theaters, hotels cannot be permitted to shut out some customers on grounds of personal antagonism.

Controversy has arisen as to whether the private owners of the “social media”, notably Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google, have a right to refuse the use of their forums to persons whose opinions they dislike, or whether they have the same obligations as owners of restaurants, movie theaters and hotels not to discriminate against some on grounds of personal disagreement.

Daniel Greenfield writes this magisterial opinion on the arguments:

“But, it’s a private company.”

It’s a familiar argument. Bring up the problem of Google, Facebook and Twitter suppressing conservative speech and many conservatives will retort that it’s a free market. The big dot com monopolies created their own companies, didn’t they? And we wouldn’t want government regulation of business.

In a FOX Business editorial, Iain Murray writes that breaking up dot coms like Google would be “a repudiation of conservative principles”. He argues that “Twitter is a private company” and that “there is no positive right to free speech on Twitter or any other private venue.”

“The same goes for the president’s attacks on Google and the complaints of conservative censorship,” Diane Katz writes at the Heritage Institute. “These private enterprises are not obligated to abide any sort of partisan fairness doctrine.”

The talking point that Google, Facebook and Twitter are private companies that can discriminate as they please on their private platforms, and that the First Amendment doesn’t apply, is in the air everywhere.

But it overlooks two very simple facts.

The driving force behind the censorship of conservatives isn’t a handful of tech tycoons. It’s elected officials. Senator Kamala Harris offered an example of that in a recent speech where she declared that she would “hold social media platforms accountable” if they contained “hate” or “misinformation”.

“Misinformation” is a well-known euphemism among Democrats and the media for conservative political content. It was originally known as “fake news” before President Trump hijacked the term to refer to the media. The recent Poynter list of “unreliable” sites was stacked with conservative sites. Lists like these aren’t hypothetical. Poynter runs the International Fact Checking Network which had been empowered by Facebook and other sites to deplatform conservative content through its “fact checks”.

All of this got underway in response to claims by Hillary Clinton and her allies that “fake news” had cost her the election and represented a grave attack on our democracy. The call was quickly taken up by Democrats in the House and the Senate. It’s been commented on supportively by powerful Clinton allies in the tech industry, like Eric Schmidt, the former chairman of Google.

Dot coms like Facebook are cracking down on conservatives as an explicit response to pressure from elected government officials. That’s not the voluntary behavior of private companies. When Facebook deletes conservatives in response to threats of regulatory action from Senate Democrats, its censors are acting as government agents while engaging in viewpoint discrimination.

Free market conservatives can argue that Facebook should have the right to discriminate against conservatives. But do they really want to argue that Senate Democrats should have the right to compel private companies to censor conservatives?

What’s the difference between that and a totalitarian state?

It might, arguably, be legal for your landlord to kick you out of your house because he doesn’t like the fact that you’re a Republican. But is it legal for him to do so on orders from Senator Kamala Harris?

Defending abusive behavior like that is a desecration of the free market.

The second fact is that the internet is not the work of a handful of aspiring entrepreneurs who built it out of thin air using nothing but their talent, brains and nimble fingers.

At this point we are going to have to concede, however much it stings our political nerve to do so, that Obama got something right when he said that Government research created the internet.

The internet was the work of DARPA. That stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA is part of the Department of Defense. DARPA had funded the creation of the core technologies that made the internet possible. The origins of the internet go back to DARPA’s Arpanet.

Nor did the story end once the internet had entered every home.

Where did Google come from? “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine,” the original paper by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the co-founders of Google, reveals support from the National Science Foundation, DARPA, and even NASA.

Harvard’s computer science department, where Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg learned to play with the toys that turned him into a billionaire, has also wallowed in DARPA cash. Not to mention funds from a variety of other DOD and Federal science agencies.

Taxpayers sank a fortune into developing a public marketplace where ideas are exchanged, and political advocacy and economic activity takes place. That marketplace doesn’t belong to Google, Amazon or Facebook. And when those monopolies take a stranglehold on the marketplace, squeezing out conservatives from being able to participate, they’re undermining our rights and freedoms.

“A right of free correspondence between citizen and citizen on their joint interests, whether public or private and under whatsoever laws these interests arise (to wit: of the State, of Congress, of France, Spain, or Turkey), is a natural right,” Thomas Jefferson argued.

There should be a high barrier for any company seeking to interfere with the marketplace of ideas in which the right of free correspondence is practiced.

Critics of regulating dot com monopolies have made valid points.

Regulating Google or Facebook as a public utility is dangerous. And their argument that giving government the power to control content on these platforms would backfire is sensible.

Any solution to the problem should not be based on expanding government control.

But there are two answers.

First, companies that engage in viewpoint discrimination in response to government pressure are acting as government agents. When a pattern of viewpoint discrimination manifests itself on the platform controlled by a monopoly, a civil rights investigation should examine what role government officials played in instigating the suppression of a particular point of view.

Liberals have abandoned the Public Forum Doctrine, once a popular ACLU theme, while embracing censorship. But if the Doctrine could apply to a shopping mall, it certainly applies to the internet.

When dot com monopolies get so big that being banned from their platforms effectively neutralizes political activity, press activity and political speech, then they’re public forums.

Second, rights are threatened by any sufficiently large organization or entity, not just government. Government has traditionally been the most powerful such organization, but the natural rights that our country was founded on are equally immune to every organization. Governments, as the Declaration of Independence asserts, exist as part of a social contract to secure these rights for its citizens.

Government secures these rights, first and foremost, against itself. (Our system effectively exists to answer the question of who watches the watchers.) But it also secures them against foreign powers, a crisis that the Declaration of Independence was written to meet, and against domestic organizations, criminal or political, whether it’s the Communist Party or ISIS, that seek to rob Americans of their rights.

A country in which freedom of speech effectively did not exist, even though it remained a technical right, would not be America. A government that allowed such a thing would have no right to exist.

Only a government whose citizens enjoy the rights of free men legally justifies its existence.

If a private company took control of all the roads and closed them to conservatives every Election Day, elections would become a mockery and the resulting government would be an illegitimate tyranny.

That’s the crisis that conservatives face with the internet.

Protecting freedom of speech does not abandon conservative principles, it secures them. There are no conservative principles without freedom of speech. A free market nation without freedom of speech isn’t a conservative country. It’s an oligarchy. That’s the state of affairs on the internet.

Conservatives should beware of blindly enlisting in leftist efforts to take regulatory control of companies like Facebook. The result would be a deeper and more pervasive form of censorship than exists today. But neither should they imagine that the “free market side of history” will automatically fix the problem.

We have an existing useful toolset to draw on, from anti-trust laws to civil rights investigations to the Public Forum Doctrine. This will be a challenging process, but we must remember through it all, that we have a right to freedom of speech on the internet.

Our tax dollars, invested over generations, built this system. It does not belong to the Left. Or, for that matter, the Right. It belongs to all of us.

Now how to make sure Facebook etc. do not discriminate against us because of their political bias?

President Trump is willing to help us. (Though exactly what he can do we don’t know.)

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS should advance FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Yet too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear “violations” of user policies. 

No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump.

https://whitehouse.typeform.com/to/Jti9QH?fbclid=IwAR1oumZ36_InMnU29hRFZukzdSUrbBAxAaQ338B2_Lf-DYxMTJr2UBJMJWs

It’s worth trying.

.

(Hat-tip to liz for the White House link)

 

 

To keep the internet free and open 5

Solid is the technically potent open-source platform built to decentralize the web. Inrupt is the company that’s helping to fuel Solid’s success.

Facebook, Twitter, Google and its subsidiary YouTube are virtual monopolies – and they discriminate against conservative users.

Will someone come to the aid of conservatives?

Yes!  The greatest of all the technological innovators is riding his computer to the rescue: the true knight, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.

We quote from a report by Katrina Brooker at Fast Company, a website that specializes in discussion of technological innovation:

Last week, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, asked me [and other reporters] to come and see a project he has been working on … He leads us into a sparse conference room. At one end of a long table is a battered laptop covered with stickers. Here, on this computer, he is working on a plan to radically alter how all of us live and work on the web.

“The intent is world domination,” Berners-Lee says with a wry smile. … But he is not joking.

This week, Berners-Lee will launch Inrupt, a startup that he has been building, in stealth mode, for the past nine months. … Its mission is to turbocharge a broader movement afoot, among developers around the world, to decentralize the web and take back power from the forces that have profited from centralizing it. In other words, it’s game on for Facebook, Google, Amazon. For years now, Berners-Lee and other internet activists have been dreaming of a digital utopia where individuals control their own data and the internet remains free and open. But for Berners-Lee, the time for dreaming is over.

“We have to do it now,” he says … “It’s an historical moment.”

Ever since revelations emerged that Facebook had allowed people’s data to be misused by political operatives, Berners-Lee has felt an imperative to get this digital idyll into the real world. In a post published this weekend, Berners-Lee explains that he is taking a sabbatical from MIT to work full time on Inrupt. The company will be the first major commercial venture built off of Solid, a decentralized web platform he and others at MIT have spent years building.

If all goes as planned, Inrupt will be to Solid what Netscape once was for many first-time users of the web: an easy way in. And like with Netscape, Berners-Lee hopes Inrupt will be just the first of many companies to emerge from Solid.

“I have been imagining this for a very long time,” says Berners-Lee. …

[He shows us how] on Solid, all the information is under his control. Every bit of data he creates or adds on Solid exists within a Solid pod … These pods are what give Solid users control over their applications and information on the web. Anyone using the platform will get a Solid identity and Solid pod. This is how people, Berners-Lee says, will take back the power of the web from corporations. …

Berners-Lee believes Solid will resonate with the global community of developers, hackers, and internet activists who bristle over corporate and government control of the web. …

Developers around the world will be able to start building their own decentralized apps with tools through the Inrupt site. Berners-Lee will spend this fall crisscrossing the globe, giving tutorials and presentations to developers about Solid and Inrupt. (There will be a Solid tutorial at our Fast Company Innovation Festival on October 23.)

“What’s great about having a startup versus a research group is things get done,” he says. …

It’s not likely that the big powers of the web will give up control without a fight.

When asked about this, Berners-Lee says flatly: “We are not talking to Facebook and Google about whether or not to introduce a complete change where all their business models are completely upended overnight. We are not asking their permission.”

Game on.

 

(Hat-tip to liz)

Posted under Technology by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, October 2, 2018

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Facebook shuts us out 10

Our Facebook page has been shut down by the simple means of depriving us of a space to post something.

The space at the top of the page which normally carries the invitation to “Write something …” has been removed.

Perhaps we have only been suspended and not shut out.

We wait to see.

We have of course complained through the means the company provides. We have heard nothing back.

This follows a gradual shrinking of our “reach” (the number of Facebook subscribers they send our posts to) from thousands to tens – and the removal of many of our posts.

We are being treated by Facebook the way they treat all (?) conservative sites to some degree. But how many are completely silenced?

 

Later:

The space to write something on the page has been restored to us – whether in response to our complaint or not, we have no idea.

Posted under Miscellaneous by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, June 6, 2018

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The name of the wall 1

What do the globalists mean by “globalization”?

Do they mean anything more than their power, their wealth, their commercial and political control over a borderless world?

Is “globalization” anything other than a new name for old International Communism, the dictatorship over the very many by the very few?

Facebook. Google. Twitter. These are world powers, and they are all on the Left. They have the power to suppress criticism and opposition – and they do.

Elizabeth Vos writes at Disobedient Media about one of the very few:

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Alphabet’s board of directors, stepped down without naming a successor. …  Alphabet, Google’s parent company, had announced Schmidt would be transitioning to a technical advisory role, and will continue to serve on the company’s board. …

Schmidt gained notoriety during his tenure at Google and Alphabet for his involvement in politics as well as technology. He was a regular figure amongst the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign, even going so far as to donate the use of a private Google jet for the campaign’s use. Press reports on the relationship between Schmidt and Clinton’s campaign referred to his role in Clinton’s campaign as “crucial”.  … Schmidt created a start-up which was described as: “The stealthy, Eric Schmidt-backed startup that’s working to put Hillary Clinton in the White House.”

Emails published last year by Wikileaks reveal that Schmidt’s support for the Clinton campaign dated [from] as far back as 2015. The emails illustrate a close relationship between Schmidt and Clinton insiders, notably Bill Clinton and John Podesta, the Clinton campaign’s Chief of Staff. … [Schmidt] has been a regular speaker at Clinton Global Initiative events. …

His position within the global power structure was noted by The Guardian, who described Schmidt: “Bilderberg insider Eric Schmidt, who runs Google, once began a speech at Davos with the words: ‘I assume that everybody here agrees that globalization is wonderful.’”

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been a long-time critic of Google. Assange authored “When Google Met Wikileaks” during his time under house arrest, detailing the various ways in which Google has become increasingly enmeshed within the structure of the American deep state.

Wikileaks‘ extract from the book describes a revolving door between Google, the State Department, the United Nations and The Council On Foreign Relations. Assange describes the close ties between Schmidt and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “Not only had Hillary Clinton’s people known that Eric Schmidt’s partner had visited me, but they had also elected to use her as a back channel.” …

Assange described Google’s evolution under Schmidt:

Schmidt’s tenure as CEO saw Google integrate with the shadiest of US power structures as it expanded into a geographically invasive megacorporation … Long before company founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin hired Schmidt in 2001, their initial research upon which Google was based had been partly funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  And even as Schmidt’s Google developed an image as the overly friendly giant of global tech, it was building a close relationship with the intelligence community.

This crossover between Google and intelligence agencies and military/state function, as described by Assange, is echoed by the structure and executive makeup of Crowdstrike. The company, with substantial funding from a Google subsidiary, is headed by a number of former long-serving figures from the FBI.

Crowdstrike served the Democratic Party during the 2016 Presidential campaign, which Schmidt was deeply embedded with himself, as shown in the contents of the Podesta email leak.

Crowdstrike is also the only company to have examined DNC servers, and their word serves as the entirety of the basis for Russian hacking claims.

Press reports indicate that Alphabet has financed Google Capital. Acting as an arm of Alphabet, Google Capital then financed Crowdstrike to the tune of $100 million. Google Capital has rebranded, and currently goes by the name “CapitalG.” CapitalG maintains on their website that: “Our Google connection is our key asset. ” CapitalG reiterates that “CapitalG (formerly Google Capital) is a growth equity fund backed by Alphabet, Google’s parent company.” …

The writer repeats, and we stress:

Crowdstrike is the only entity that has examined the DNC’s servers. US authorities including the FBI have not been allowed to access them in order to independently verify the firm’s claim that Russians hacked the DNC.

And she speculates:

… One possible explanation for [Schmidt’s] sudden decision that has not previously been considered by legacy press, is that the investigation into Russian hacking claims made by Crowdstrike and the DNC may have turned up some unsavory information about the company or the involvement of Mr. Schmidt in the saga as an insider to Clinton’s campaign, and that this may have prompted him to step down without announcing a successor.

This information is all very sinister. It is about conspiracy – low and dirty.

It is also bewildering. What is going on? Does anyone who is not part of the vast Left-wing conspiracy know what it is that is being plotted?

Whatever else it might be, it is certainly a movement against the nation state.

So the nation state must be preserved. Borders must be strict and strong.

We need a wall.

We need a wall that protects us from the globalists.

President Trump is all we have to protect us from them. He is the Wall.

Censoring the internet 26

The internet was a revolutionary environment that liberated individuals to make their own choices. Bloggers could compete with big media. Leaked emails could bring down a government. But the internet is becoming less free. Access is controlled by a handful of tech companies that keep getting bigger and bigger. The survivors of the scale wars will combine cable, content and commerce in new ways. And in a politicized culture, they won’t just signal their political views, they will enforce them.

So Sultan Knish writes at his website on the subject of internet censoring by those who control the technology:

How can you tell that internet censorship is really taking off? Easy. It’s becoming a business model.

Steven Brill is raising $6 million to launch News Guard. This new service will rate news sites on their trustworthiness from green to red. Forget politically unbiased algorithms. The ratings will be conducted by “qualified, accountable human beings” from teams of “40 to 60 journalists”.

Once upon a time, journalism meant original writing. Now it means deciding which original writing to censor.

“Can trust be monetized?” The Street’s article on News Guard asks. But it isn’t really trust that’s being monetized. It’s censorship. It’s doing the dirty work that Google and Facebook don’t want to do.

But nevertheless do, as we know from experience. We will come to that.

The Dems and their media allies have been pressuring Google and Facebook to do something about the “fake news” that they blame for Trump’s win. The big sites outsourced the censorship to media fact checkers. The message was, “Don’t blame us, now you’re in charge.”

Facebook made a deal with ABC News and the AP, along with Politifact, FactCheck and Snopes, to outsource the censoring for $100K. When two of these left-wing groups declare that an article is fake, Facebook marks it up and viewership drops by 80%.

Eighty percent!

Not only does the roster of fact checkers lean to the left, but so do its notions of what’s true and false. For example, Snopes and Politifact both insist that General Pershing’s forces never buried the bodies of Muslim terrorists with pigs. But General Pershing specifically stated in his autobiography, “These Juramentado attacks were materially reduced in number by a practice that the Mohamedans held in abhorrence. The bodies were publicly buried in the same grave with a dead pig.”

Both the New York Times and the Scientific American reported on it at the time. Despite that Snopes rated this widely accepted historical fact as “False” and Politifact marked it as “Pants on Fire”.

Snopes also recently marked a story that Christ Church in Virginia is removing a George Washington plaque as false even though the church publicly announced that it was doing so.

Politifact and Snopes are entitled to their incorrect opinions. The trouble is that they don’t extend the same privilege to those they disagree with. And Google and Facebook promote fake fact checks while burying sites that discuss actual historical facts. The big internet companies don’t want to get involved in all these arguments. But nor are they willing to let their users decide for themselves anymore.

And so Net Nanny for news has become an actual business model. Instead of protecting children from pornography, News Nanny protects adults from news. And from views outside the left’s bubble.

By adopting the News Nanny model, Google and Facebook are treating their users like children.

The News Guard model is in some ways even more insidious than biased fact checking because it sets up lists of approved and disapproved sites. Google is rolling out something similar with its “knowledge panels” for publishers. Search for the New York Times and the panels will tell you how many Pulitzers the paper has won. Search for Front Page Magazine and the panel note describes it as, “Political alignment: Right-wing politics”. No note listing a left-wing political alignment appears in the panel for the New York Times despite its recent laudatory series about the Soviet Union and Communism.

The media never has an official political orientation. Not even when it’s cheering Communism. But its opponents and critics always have one. Follow Google’s link for Front Page’s political alignment and the top entry states, “Right-wing politics hold that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable.” 

That’s a wholly inaccurate description of either Front Page Magazine or conservative politics in America. And it’s another example of how the fight against “fake news” by the left actually ends up producing it.

Fact checking has become a pipeline to censorship. The big social and search companies outsource fact checking to third parties and then demonetize, marginalize and outright ban views and publishers that those third parties disagree with. Fact checks are no longer an argument. They’re the prelude to a ban.

Google and Facebook respectively dominate search and social media. When they appoint official censors for their services, those left-wing fact checkers become the gatekeepers of the internet.

And the internet isn’t supposed to have gatekeepers.

Senator Al Franken, of all people, made that point at the Open Markets Institute. OMI’s people have emerged as the leading opponents of big tech monopolies on the left.

“No one company should have the power to pick and choose which content reaches consumers and which doesn’t,” Franken said. “And Facebook, Google and Amazon, like ISPs, should be neutral in their treatment of the flow of lawful information and commerce on their platform.”

We never thought we’d have a good word to say about Al Franken. But this time we like what he said.

There is no more obvious example of the lack of neutrality than Facebook and Google’s partnership with “fact checkers”. If Net Neutrality means anything, it should strike down Google’s partnership with Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network and Facebook’s use of Snopes to silence conservatives.

When sites picked and chose content based on algorithms, they were deciding which content reached users based on what was likely to be popular. And, occasionally, based on their own agendas. Now they are picking and choosing which content reaches users based on political orientation.

While the advocates for Net Neutrality rage against cable companies, Comcast and Charter aren’t engaging in political censorship. No matter how they disguise it, Google and Facebook’s news nannies are. …

Trust in the mainstream media has never been lower. Yet the big tech companies insist that mainstream media sources are the only trustworthy ones. They want us to trust them, because they don’t trust us.

We do not want our posts to be “about us”. But this time we make an exception. Our Facebook page is being subjected to what is called “shadow-banning”. Fewer and fewer people are “reached”. Day by day the number of “likes” is decreased, stripped away, usually by twos and threes, but now and then by larger numbers. Last week we lost 30 in a few days. (The “likes” at the moment of this writing stand at 10,779; the number of our followers at 10,425.) Sometimes  when we have asked to “boost” a particular post (for which a charge is made), our request has been denied. We posted a complaint about being stripped of “likes” and having ever fewer readers, and sent it directly to Facebook, asking them why this was happening. We received no reply. But a regular long-time reader of our page sent us this information:

Well I just found out it’s worse than you know – I’ve been relying on my “feed” using the FB app for Android to see your posts since I both “like” and follow TAC. However, I just explicitly went to your page and encountered hundreds (yes, literally hundreds, going back many months) of TAC posts that have never appeared in my feed! What the hell can we do about this blatant censorship?

The discouraging answer is – nothing.

The Left, though politically weak, owns the culture. Owns the mainstream media. And owns the internet.

It is not our Atheism which offends our Facebook censors, it is our Conservatism.

Germany kills free speech 4

This is bad, very bad.

Yet again we have German authoritarianism, this time in the interests of totalitarian supremacist Islam.

What they say – “Kill the infidel” (Koran 9:5), “Enmity and hate shall reign between us until you believe in Allah alone” (Koran 60:4)  – is called “free speech”.

What we say – “let every idea be critically examined” – is absurdly called “hate speech”.

Robert Spencer writes at Jihad Watch:

Death of free speech: Germany approves bill imposing massive fines for online “hate speech” and “fake news”.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said that the companies offering such online platforms are responsible for removing hateful content. He said the new bill would not restrict the freedom of expression, but intervene only when criminal hatred or intentionally false news are posted.

What is “criminal hatred”? Clearly what German authorities mean is not just incitement to violence, but opposition to their suicidal policies regarding Muslim migration: “the issue” of this online censorship “has come to the fore amid the recent influx of migrants to Germany, which has sparked a backlash among some Germans including a rise in online vitriol.” German authorities apparently define “vitriol” as including any opposition to the Muslim migrant influx, no matter how reasoned, and to their supine attitude regarding jihad terror 

Facebook and Twitter have already blocked 90% of their daily referrals from Jihad Watch, and the site is blocked by many Internet service providers in the UK and Europe. The government of Pakistan says that Facebook is doing its bidding and removing content that violates Sharia blasphemy laws.

The concept of “hate speech” is subjective. I don’t think that what I do constitutes “hate speech,” but Leftist and Muslim groups insist that it does, and they have all the power. “Hate speech” laws are tools in the hands of the powerful to silence the powerless and quell their dissent. But the increasingly authoritarian character of the political elites is in the final analysis a sign of their desperation. They didn’t see Brexit or Trump coming. They are rapidly moving to delegitimize and silence all those who dissent from their globalist internationalist agenda. But our numbers are growing. This ain’t over. And they will not succeed in silencing us.

That is optimistic talk, and we hope he is right.

His source for the bad news? He quotes AP (which is generally on the side of the speech suppressors and the Muslim totalitarian supremacists):

Germany’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new bill that punishes social networking sites if they fail to swiftly remove illegal content such as hate speech or defamatory fake news.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet agreed on rules that would impose fines of up to 50 million euros (53.4 million dollars) on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said that the companies offering such online platforms are responsible for removing hateful content. …

“Just like on the streets, there is also no room for criminal incitement on social networks,” Maas said.

“The internet affects the culture of debate and the atmosphere in our society. Verbal radicalization is often a preliminary stage to physical violence,” he added.

The minister pointed out that social networks don’t delete enough punishable content, citing research that he said showed Twitter deletes just 1 percent of illegal content flagged by users, while Facebook deletes 39 percent.

Maas also said that measures to combat hate speech and so-called fake news will ultimately have to be taken at the European level to be effective.

And Judith Bergman writes at Gatestone:

Germany has formally announced its draconian push towards censorship of social media. On March 14, Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas announced the plan to formalize into law the “code of conduct”, which Germany pressed upon Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in late 2015, and which included a pledge to delete “hate speech” from their websites within 24 hours.

“This [draft law] sets out binding standards for the way operators of social networks deal with complaints and obliges them to delete criminal content,” Justice Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement announcing the planned legislation.

“Criminal” content? … “Hate speech” has included critiques of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migration policies. To be in disagreement with the government’s policies is now potentially “criminal”.

Social media companies, such as Facebook, are supposed to be the German government’s informers and enforcers – qualified by whom and in what way? – working at the speed of light to comply with the 24-hour rule.

Rule of law, clearly, as in North Korea, Iran, Russia or any banana-republic, has no place in this system.

Maas is not pleased with the efforts of the social media companies. They do not, supposedly, delete enough reported content, nor do they delete it fast enough, according to a survey by the Justice Ministry’s youth protection agency. It found that YouTube was able to remove around 90% of “illegal” postings within a week, while Facebook deleted or blocked 39% of content and Twitter only 1%. The German minister, it seems, wants more efficiency.

There also appears to be no differentiation made between primary-source hate speech, as in many religious tenets, and secondary-source hate speech, reporting on the former. …

Germany does not want these measures to be limited to its own jurisdiction. It wants to share them with the rest of Europe: “In the end, we also need European solutions for European-wide companies,” said Maas. The European Union already has a similar code of conduct in place, so that should not be very hard to accomplish.

Facebook, for its part, has announced that by the end of 2017, the number of employees in complaints-management in Berlin will be increased to more than 700. A spokeswoman said that Facebook had clear rules against hate speech and works “hard” on removing “criminal content”.

If Facebook insists on operating under rules of censorship, it should at the very least aim to administer those rules in a fair manner. Facebook, however, does not even pretend that it administers its censorship in any way that approximates fairness. Instead, Facebook’s practice of its so-called “Community Standards” – the standards to which Facebook refers when deleting or allowing content on its platform in response to user complaints – shows evidence of entrenched bias.

Posts critical of Merkel’s migrant policies, for example, can get categorized as “Islamophobia”, and are often found to violate “Community Standards”, while incitement to actual violence and the murder of Jews and Israelis by Palestinian Arabs is generally considered as conforming to Facebook’s “Community Standards”. …

It is only a small step from imposing censorship on social media companies to asking the same of email providers, or ordering postal authorities to screen letters, magazines and brochures in the event that citizens spread supposed “xenophobia” and “fake news”. There is ample precedent for such a course of action on the continent: During the Cold War, people living behind the Iron Curtain had their private letters opened by the communist authorities; those passages deemed to be out of line with the communist orthodoxy, were simply blacked out.

Who would have thought that more than a quarter of a century after the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), Western Europe would be reinventing itself in the image of the Soviet Union?

All this helps Islam to conquer and colonize Europe. All this is done in order to help Islam conquer and colonize Europe.

If the peoples of Europe want to survive, they must overthrow their present rulers, the suigenocides who are doing this, and rid themselves of the Muslim invaders very soon.

It may already be too late. But they must try to make their countries independent, secular and great again.

US President Trump shows them the way.

End of free speech on the social media? 17

On September 3, 2011, and again on September 28, 2015, we posted an article that makes the case for free speech.

Today we repeat this vital part of it:

The greatness of the West began with doubting. The idea that every belief, every assumption, should be critically examined started the might of Europe. When those old Greek thinkers who founded our civilization learnt and taught that no one has a monopoly of truth or ever will have, they launched the intellectual adventure that has carried the human race – not without a long interval in the doldrums – literally to the skies.

Socrates taught the utility of suspicion. He is reputed to have said, “The highest form of human excellence is to question oneself and others.” He was not, however, the first to use doubt for discovery. Thales of Miletos, who was born 155 years before Socrates, dared to doubt that religion’s explanatory tales about how the world came to be as it is were to be trusted, and he began exploring natural phenomena in a way that we recognize as scientific. He is often called the Father of Science. With him and his contemporary, Anaximander, who argued with him by advancing alternative ideas, came the notion – for the first time as far as we know – that reason could fathom and describe how the universe worked.

Science is one of the main achievements of the West, but it is not the only product of constructive doubt that made for its greatness. Doubt as a habit of mind or tradition of thinking meant that new, foreign, even counter-intuitive ideas were not dismissed. Europe, before and after it stagnated in the doldrums of the long Catholic Christian night (and even to some extent during those dark centuries), was hospitable to ideas wherever they came from. …

Our civilization cannot survive without this openness. Critical examination is the breath that keeps it alive. But it is in danger of suffocation. It is more threatened now than it has been for the last four hundred years by dogmatisms: Marxism, environmentalism, religion – above all Islam which absolutely forbids criticism.

Now to those sources of destructive dogmatism we must add another: the European Union.

The ideas of Marxism, environmentalism, Islam most need to be criticized. Because they are inherently intolerant, terroristic, and totalitarian. Over and over again, unendingly, they need to be torn to pieces by critics who hate them.

And they are the very ideologies that the European Union wants most to shield from critical examination. 

Breitbart London reports:

The European Commission has today [May 31, 2016] announced a partnership with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft in order to crack down on what it classes as “illegal hate speech” while “criminaliz[ing]” perpetrators and “promoting independent counter-narratives” that the European Union favours.

A press release from the Commission this morning claims the new initiative has been set up “to respond to the challenge of ensuring that online platforms do not offer opportunities for illegal online hate speech to spread virally”.

The move has been branded “Orwellian” by Members of the European Parliament, and digital freedom groups have already pulled out of any further discussions with the Commission, calling the new policy “lamentable”.

The unelected, executive branch of the European Union (EU) released a Code of Conduct today that “includes a series of commitments to combat the spread of illegal hate speech online in Europe” developed “together with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft (‘the IT companies’)” who have “signed up”.

That the bureaucratic dictatorship of the EU should try such a deplorable move is not surprising.

But why are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft conceding to its authoritarian anti-freedom demands?

The commitments include “educat[ing] and rais[ing] awareness with their users” and building a “network” of “trusted reporters” to flag unwanted content. Facebook and Twitter are to provide “regular training to their staff on current societal developments” and work more closely with national governments and “their law enforcement agencies” to remove content the EU does not favor.

Most alarmingly, however, the platforms have also promised to engage in the active promotion of views and organisations the EU does favour, and the re-education of supposedly hateful users.

Facebook and others must, “recogniz[e] the value of independent counter speech against hateful rhetoric and prejudice, aim to continue their work in identifying and promoting independent counter-narratives, new ideas and initiatives and supporting educational programs that encourage critical thinking.”

Note that in  current leftist-dominated jargon, “critical thinking” means “uncritical thinking” – ie. meek acceptance of leftist dogma.

Janice Atkinson MEP told Breitbart London: “It’s Orwellian. Anyone who has read 1984 sees it’s very re-enactment live.

The Commission has been itching to shut down free speech in the Parliament and now they’re attacking social media. We have already seen Facebook ‘policing’ so-called right-wing postings.

“If an MEP, such as the centre-right Hungarians, the Danish People’s Party, the Finns, the Swedish Democrats, the Austrian FPO, say no to migration quotas because they cannot cope with the cultural and religious requirements of Muslims across the Middle East who are seeking refugee status, is that a hate crime? And what is their punishment? It’s a frightening path to totalitarianism.” …

The Code of Conduct has also been slammed by groups who have been working closely with the Commission. In a sign of an impending backlash, one organisation which promotes privacy, data protection, and net neutrality has already vowed to break ties.

The European Digital Rights (EDRi) announced its decision to pull out of future discussions with the Commission today, stating it does not have confidence in the “ill-considered code of conduct”.

“Faced with this lamentable outcome, and with no possibility to provide meaningful input to this process, the Commission has left us with no other choice but to withdraw from the discussion,” said Estelle Massé, EU Policy Analyst at Access Now. …

What does Facebook have to say about it?

Monika Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management at Facebook, said: “We welcome today’s announcement and the chance to continue our work with the Commission and wider tech industry to fight hate speech.”

Last September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was overheard confronting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg about “hate speech”, with Mr. Zuckerberg replying: “We need to do some work”

Now, the EU has described how: “The IT Companies support the European Commission and EU Member States… They share, together with other platforms and social media companies, a collective responsibility and pride in promoting and facilitating freedom of expression throughout the online world.”

Promote freedom of expression by censoring it? How does the Commission (ie. the bureaucratic oligarchy that governs the EU) reconcile these two contradictory activities?

The Commission argues that expanding censorship will somehow protect and expand free speech, because “[hate speech] negatively impacts those who speak out for freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination in our open societies and has a chilling effect on the democratic discourse on online platforms”.

Orwellian indeed!

Vĕra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said the new measures would counter Islamist terrorism:

“The recent terror attacks have reminded us of the urgent need to address illegal online hate speech. Social media is unfortunately one of the tools that terrorist groups use to radicalise young people and racist use to spread violence and hatred”.

Some excuse! The Islamic terrorists use code. And it is primarily to protect Islam from justified and desperately needed censure, that this whole scheme is being hatched, anyway.

What do Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft have to say about it? We are given only a Twitter statement:

Twitter’s Head of Public Policy for Europe, Karen White, said: “Hateful conduct has no place on Twitter … We look forward to further constructive dialogue between the European Commission, member states, our partners in civil society and our peers in the technology sector on this issue.”

“Hateful conduct”?  People express their opinions on Facebook. They argue for what they like and against what they don’t like. If they can no longer do that, there won’t be much use for it. What will Twitter be used for if not opinion? And how interesting will YouTube be, purged of argument?

Who will use the social media merely to repeat authorized opinions like mantras? By agreeing to carry only permitted orthodoxies, they are destroying themselves.

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