Twitter Censors Tweets From President Donald Trump, Official White House Account

Censorship Riots

It looks like Big Tech is really overstepping the bounds now. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey greenlit his staff to directly censor tweets from the President of the United States of America, and from the official White House. This is direct interference of a public statement from the Commander in Chief by a tech company. Centrists™ will defend this action saying that “Twitter is a private company”, but keep in mind that Donald Trump was forbidden by the courts from blocking followers because his account was considered a public space since he’s a sitting President and government officials are not allowed to censor constituents. It’s ironic that tech companies are allowed to censor government officials, though.

It started with tweets from President Trump on May 28th, 2020, which were quickly censored by the Twitter Trust & Safety staff.

This was in response to the looting, vandalism and violence being committed by Black Lives Matter rioters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as covered in detail by Sargon of Akkad.

Hours later they posted up tweets explaining why the censored President Trump’s tweets.

This followed President Trump’s Executive Order on May 28th, 2020 titled “Preventing Online Censorship”, which would strip Big Tech social media outfits of their Section 230(c) protections as platforms against liability for user generated content.

In short, Twitter, YouTube, and Google previously weren’t responsible for individual user content, but as publishers, instead of platform holders, they would be responsible for their user content. A simple way of looking at it is that if a phone company started cutting off service to people who used certain kinds of language or phrases in a personal conversation, but only certain people who had certain sociopolitical beliefs. The phone company would be engaging in selective censorship, and therefore since they’re specifically targeting certain people for censorship, they would be responsible for every phone call made by every customer, and phone calls pertaining to illegal matters that they don’t step in to inform law enforcement about could put them into the crosshairs of being liable for said content.

It’s the same now with the Executive Order for social media platforms: If they’re going to selectively censor certain people, political groups, or politicians, and not enforce the rules fairly, then the 230(c) protections will be stripped of the service and they will be held account for civil liability.

Reported by NBC News, an excerpt from the Executive Order explains the reasoning behind the measure, which reads…

“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.”

In fact, YouTube was just recently caught censoring anti-CCP comments, something that tech guru Palmer Luckey lamented about in a tweet recently.

Videos on YouTube have popped up, explaining that YouTube is censoring certain kinds of anti-CCP sentiment on the platform.

You can check out the video below from Optimus that gives you an idea of what’s going on behind the scenes.

Essentially Big Tech are using the 230 protections to censor whoever they want while also promoting and allowing certain kinds of actual illegal language and content to stay on their platforms, such as any and everyone on Twitter encouraging or inciting to commit acts of violence that could endanger others, which is a form of speech that is not protected under the First Amendment.

Here are examples of tweets that should have been flagged and removed from the platform, but aren’t.

Worse yet is that the people encouraging the looting are still allowed to use Twitter freely, while President Trump and the White House account were censored manually by Twitter’s Trust & Safety division. In fact, if you manually report Trump’s tweet, Twitter’s own automated system claims that the tweet does not violate their terms of service.

This was uncovered by a little digging by the fine folks at KotakuInAction 2.

Nevertheless, Twitter was completely fine with all the encouragement and promotion to loot, vandalize, and destroy public property in Minneapolis.

You can see some of the damage done to the stores thanks to video footage shared by Mark Collet.

Hopefully, with the new Executive Order in play and with protections stripped from Big Tech, we’ll start to see civil liability come down around the ears of the Silicon Valley oligopoly who thought that they were too big to fail.

(Thanks for the news tips KotakuInAction 2 and Guardian EvaUnit02)

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