by Ruby Henley
As social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter start to label some political and conservative posts as “hate speech,” what does this mean to Conservatives and Pro-Trump supporters? Are we safe in the censorship environment that is now taking place? How will that hurt us personally? How will it affect Conservative websites? Most of all, how will it affect supporters of President Trump?
First of all, I have to ask the question: Did you ever think you would be condemned for supporting the President of the United States?
I want to say I apologize if the above video has been removed, but as of late someone has been removing videos when I add them to my articles. I have subscribed to every video I use, but I have a feeling “use clauses” are rapidly changing.
I have to alert all our readers to an issue IWB is now facing. We hope you will support us now at this critical time. Facebook is shadow banning our Facebook posts. This means that the posts that post on Facebook, which are supposed to reach the followers, are stopped.
How can you help? You can share our articles on other websites. Also, if you are a follower of IWB on Facebook, you can report the issue to Facebook. Plus, you can subscribe to the IWB newsletter. We want to keep going, but we know without the support of our readers, we could face serious issues, which could threaten our survival.
I just received news from a trusted website that I use as a source in so many of my articles. It is shocking, and I can see the battle between the Right and the Left has taken a very grave turn. I am so sad and horrified to read this latest news. Those of us who are Conservatives and Trump supporters must now face the truth: We have transitioned from the “field office” to the “front lines” of this ongoing war. Comfort zones for those of us fighting this battle will be destroyed, betrayals will occur, and difficult decisions will have to be made.
Blacklists are ugly things. They’re how you terrorize and intimidate people. They’re a weapon of hate. And Color of Change, an extremist group, is using blacklists to smear all conservatives as racists.
Color of Change, the organization founded by Van Jones, a 9/11 Truther and former Communist, has circulated a blacklist to PayPal, Discover, Visa, Master Card and American Express that falsely and libelously groups together a black Harlem church, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an ex-Muslim organization, Jihad Watch and others as “white supremacists” alongside actual Neo-Nazis.
I depend on PayPal for all of my Internet purchases. I have several cards I use, as most people do. I cannot imagine if PayPal or one of my cards was turned down because of my political beliefs. As a wise man just told me, “freedom is not free, and we should fight for it.”
Color of Change’s definition of “white supremacist” is Republican. “We must hold every enabler of #Trump accountable,” Color of Change boss Rashad Robinson had tweeted. “#Enablers of white supremacist & nazi sympathizers are not neutral, they are complicit.” In another Tweet, he laid out his real agenda for bringing down Trump. “Continuing to ensure there are consequences for #enablers – corporate, political and cultural – is critical to forcing him out. Isolate him!”
I received this additional news which is also very troubling, as I follow @jihadwatchRS on Twitter…or I did. I just closed my Twitter account and my Facebook account, as some of my posts were being labeled “hate speech.”
Islam is not a religion of peace. The Quran exhorts Muslims to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers. #ConfessYourUnpopularOpinion
— Robert Spencer (@jihadwatchRS) August 7, 2017
Dear Twitter user,
We are writing to inform you that certain content on your Twitter account @jihadwatchRS has been flagged, for possible violation of Twitter’s hateful conduct policy. END OF QUOTE
So as we can see this brutal and cruel war to oust President Trump has also fallen on Conservative shoulders. It has fallen on our shoulders, but I have to say I saw this coming. I believe it is the great war between the TRUTH and the LIE. Freedom is speech is a God-given freedom to all of mankind. Freedom to speak and hear was given to us by God from birth. We came into this world crying and hearing the cries of others. No one can take that away from us.
UPDATE – WHAT CAN YOU DO IF FACEBOOK CENSORS A POLITICAL POST?
The answer is not clear as to what is legally binding. I believe one has the right to appeal Facebook censorship, but it seems to me to really fight this censorship, one must consult an attorney. I am going to list the links I found, but I cannot find a definitive answer.
Davidson sued, alleging a violation of his free speech rights. As U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris explained in his decision, Randall essentially conceded in court that she had blocked Davidson “because she was offended by his criticism of her colleagues in the County government.” In other words, she “engaged in viewpoint discrimination,” which is generally prohibited under the First Amendment. Cacheris elaborated:
Defendant’s offense at Plaintiff’s views was therefore an illegitimate basis for her actions—particularly given that Plaintiff earned Defendant’s ire by criticizing the County government. Indeed, the suppression of critical commentary regarding elected officials is the quintessential form of viewpoint discrimination against which the First Amendment guards. By prohibiting Plaintiff from participating in her online forum because she took offense at his claim that her colleagues in the County government had acted unethically, Defendant committed a cardinal sin under the First Amendment.
In response to Randall’s claim that Davidson retained the ability to express his views elsewhere, Cacheris cited the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Packingham v. North Carolina, in which the court asserted that social media may now be “the most important” modern forum “for the exchange of views.”
“The Court cannot treat a First Amendment violation in this vital, developing forum differently than it would elsewhere,” Cacheris wrote, “simply because technology has made it easier to find alternative channels through which to disseminate one’s message.”
Cacheris’ ruling seems quite right to me, especially in light of Packingham, which explicitly noted that citizens can use social media to “petition their elected representatives and otherwise engage with them in a direct manner.” The decision’s reasoning can also be applied neatly to Trump’s practice of blocking Twitter users with whom he disagrees. When Trump blocks Twitter users, they can still see his tweets—by, for instance, viewing them in an incognito window. But they cannot engage directly with his tweets, at least not without resorting to an intricate and unreliable workaround. (Knight mentions “a third-party application” that can “mitigate the implications of the block,” but it is “burdensome” and seems to rely “on a temporary glitch in Twitter’s interface.”) This inability to respond to Trump may seem to present only a minor burden on speech. But it poses a real First Amendment problem nonetheless, inflicting a potentially unconstitutional burden on protected political speech.
There’s just one lingering issue with this comparison: It isn’t clear whether Trump intends his personal Twitter page to function as a public forum the way Randall did. (Trump has a presidential account, @POTUS, from which he does not block users—but he doesn’t use it for interesting communications.) Public officials have more latitude to censor expression in personal, private forums than they do in forums that they use to speak in their official capacity. Trump’s lawyers will almost certainly argue that his personal Twitter feed is a private forum, not a government project.
But that argument will likely fail. As Trump’s recent tweets banning transgender military service demonstrate, the president uses Twitter not just to convey official policy but also for lawmaking. This habit would seem to turn his feed into a quintessential public forum. And so, under the First Amendment, he lacks the power to block those users who tweet their discontent at @realDonaldTrump.
Facebook’s decision to block me generated quite a bit of outrage. Don’t choke on your Fruit Loops, but even the folks over at The Washington Post came to my defense.
And a few hours after banning me, Facebook had a change of heart.
“A member of our team accidentally removed something you posted on Facebook,” they told me in an email. “This was a mistake and we sincerely apologize for this error.”
Since that fateful day, I’ve noticed that my page has been subjected to random censorship by the Facebook gods. I’ve received dozens of complaints from readers who tell me my content no longer appears on their pages. In some cases, Facebook won’t allow them to share my postings.
And I’ve lost count of the number of fellow conservative writers whose pages have been blocked, banned or censored.
So I wasn’t all that surprised when a group of former Facebook workers told the tech news website Gizmodo that they put a liberal spin on “Trending Topics” – and routinely censored conservative news.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg strongly denied the allegations.
“Facebook stands for giving everyone a voice,” he wrote in a Facebook posting. “We believe the world is better when people from different backgrounds and with different ideas all have the power to share their thoughts and experiences. That’s what makes social media unique.”
Mr. Zuckerberg has agreed to meet with some conservative newsmakers later this week to address the allegations that Facebook suppressed conservative content.
“The reason I care so much about this is that it gets to the core of everything Facebook is and everything I want it to be,” he wrote. “Every tool we build is designed to give more people a voice and bring our global community together. For as long as I’m leading this company this will always be our mission.”
I really want to believe that Mr. Zuckerberg’s social networking platform is a place where anyone can share anything –a place that gives people a voice — including people who ascribe to traditional American values.
Because any community that frowns upon the Good Book and sweet tea is a community that violates my personal standards.
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary. His latest book is “The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again.” Follow him on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.