NROP: Free Speech – For Me but NOT For You.

Some of you might have noticed that I did not post a NROP last week. Sometimes life gets in the way (not always in a good way). While I had to skip last week, I realized that I missed writing and discussing stuff with you all. This piece if a bit longer than my normal NROPs, but I hope you take the time to read it anyway.

It is a good day to be alive!

***

Freedom of speech is a very important to me topic, which I have been writing about ever since I started this blog. Free speech can be expensive was only the fourth post I shared with my audience (in 2017). If you want another example of my writing on this topic, take a look at a post from 2019 entitled: “NROP: Ban on freedom of speech – public service, or oppression?” It talks about how social media content (on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest) is being monitored and edited as needed. The freedom of our speech did not start deteriorating in 2017. It has been under attack for generations. However, I believe that our struggles to defend our freedom got a lot worse in the XXI century.

Some of you might wonder why I do not have many social media accounts. Simply put, the cons outweigh the pros for me. To be a little bit more specific – there are multiple factors that contributed to my stance on the topic of social media. It is true that I do not have much time to spend on all these various platforms in a fruitful way. Yes, my privacy also plays a role. However, another factor worth mentioning is me not enjoying being silenced. In the past, I have been a member of different online groups, most of which ended up banning me in one form or another. It was always due to a violation of “Terms and Conditions” that were written in a way that allowed the moderators/owners to do as they pleased. Those groups varied from online gaming, through political, to psychology and mental health, with everything in-between.

We all know that our accounts can be closed on most (all?) major platforms if only someone deems our behavior as deviating from the norm or ‘unfit.’ Whatever that might mean. These are privately-owned companies and they can do whatever they want. I realize that. If I subscribe to whatever product you are selling, I am agreeing to play by your rules. However, should you choose to eliminate me from the game, at least have the decency to admit that you (or someone else on whose behalf you are acting) did not like what I had to say, instead of hiding behind the “Terms and Conditions” for the good of all involved, and making me out to be the villain.

In the heat of the moment, I might have called someone dumb, but that is probably the extent of my online transgressions. Everything else was just misconstrued stuff. Whether purposefully or not. Why do I tell you all this? It is because I understand how it is to be excluded from a conversation.

Because I understand how it feels to be SILENCED.

Since you are reading this, it means you have the Internet, which, in turn, means you have access to the “news.” The reason why I put the word news in quotation marks is because today’s definition of the news differs from the one we had a couple of decades ago. Not everything considered news today is exactly that. Whatever medium you use to check up on world events, you probably know about some recent Twitter (and other social media platforms) bans.

Less than two weeks before the USA Presidential Inauguration on January 20th, 2021, Donald Trump’s personal account (@realDonaldTrump) was (permanently) banned from Twitter. Subsequently, so was Trump’s official presidential account @POTUS as well as the @WhiteHouse account (temporary bans). That caused an avalanche of bans on other platforms.

Twitch (live-streaming service) followed suit and banned Donald J. Trump. Facebook banned him for two weeks (until at least after the Inauguration Day). Trump’s Snapchat account was also locked. Shopify banned official accounts related to the sale of his merchandise. While Apple only suspended Parler (social media app popular among conservatives), Google removed it from their store entirely. YouTube took down videos discussing potential voters fraud and/or other voting irregularities. TikTok took a similar route, redirecting some of the hashtags to their Community Guidelines page for “re-education.” Reddit banned a sub-group called “r/DonaldTrump” on their site. If you do not know what Reddit is, Google comes to the rescue and tells us that it is a “network of communities based on people’s interests,” which means that average citizens gather there to talk about their opinions and world views. (For a more extensive list of tech companies and their actions, take a look here.)

I bet you have some sort of an opinion right about now. Whether you hate the guy, or love him, I urge you to put that aside, and focus on the topic at hand – freedom of speech.

Whenever I talk about our freedom of speech being impeded, someone speaks out about bullying. No, we are not fighting for the freedom to be rude to you and abuse you. We are only trying to fight for the right to express our opinions. No, freedom of speech is not an excuse to be an ass. But, just because you cannot handle the truth, it does not mean that I cannot speak it.

Let us take a closer look at Twitter’s action in order to analyze if they were right or wrong in making the decision that they had.

Twitter issued an announcement explaining their actions. Their first paragraph reads:

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” 

Twitter

So, it clearly states that it is not anything that he said, but how his words were being interpreted. On and OFF Twitter that led to the ban. (How does Twitter know how people interpret things in real life if they do not share it on Twitter? Scary or what?)

This further shows how no matter what we say, CAN and WILL be used against us in the court of the public eye.

Let us continue reading Twitter’s statement:

“On January 8, 2021, President Donald J. Trump Tweeted:

“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

Shortly thereafter, the President Tweeted:

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences(…)

Twitter

I have no idea how more benign these posts could have been. Trump stood up for his supporters and announced that he would not make it to the Inauguration. “What is wrong with that?” you ask. Great question. Keep reading to find out.

The same Twitter announcement post goes on to say how those two tweets “were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.”

How did they deduce this? All this time I thought I could read, but it seems that I cannot and need companies like Twitter to tell me what is written black on white. “… these two tweets must be read…”

MUST

BE READ.

Twitter showed us how it arrived at the ban decision based on those two tweets. (Comments in green are my own and not part of the quote.)

  • “President Trump’s statement that he will not be attending the Inauguration is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate (…) Or maybe it just shows that he does not feel like freezing his butt off at a party that is for his opponent? Not everyone loves being fake.
  • The second Tweet may also serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a “safe” target, as he will not be attending. I hope nothing bad ever happens at work when I have a day off. I would hate to see someone connect the dots and arrive at a weird conclusion.
  • The use of the words “American Patriots” to describe some of his supporters is also being interpreted as support for those committing violent acts at the US Capitol. Or it just means those who love this country, want to see it grow, and who believe in the core values of the country?
  • The mention of his supporters having a “GIANT VOICE long into the future” and that “They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” is being interpreted as further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an “orderly transition” and instead that he plans to continue to support, empower, and shield those who believe he won the election.” Unless he dislikes bullies and has a dream for a FREE America.

How? How can those conclusions be drawn from these two benign tweets. Sounds like a lot of reaching to me.

Twitter also banned plenty of other accounts, saying that: “We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm.” You see how general those statements can be? What does NOT have the potential to lead to offline harm. Positive posts can make other people feel inferior, lead to depression, and at times even to suicide.

In the light of all this, I found it funny to read about a woman who is suing another person for blocking her on Twitter. A former Democratic state representative asked to be unblocked by a new Republican representative. Moreover, she wants an acknowledgment from the “offender” that freedom of speech was violated with the block.

It is interesting to me to see how freedom of speech seems to only be a privilege that some, but not all, get. Personally, I am not a fan of blocking others. There simply is not good enough reason for me. However, I do see that as an option for some people on specific social media platforms. Do I think it can be a sign of a coward to block another person? Sure. But, a simple block does not prevent you for speaking. It just keeps you away from the person who blocked you. You have the right to talk, and they have the right to not listen.

If you are interested in seeing where the oppression of freedom of speech may lead, check out CW: New world order (Speak up!) [Part 1 of 2] and CW: New world order (Speak up!) [Part 2 of 2]. These are two parts of a story I wrote, inspired by censorship.

  • Do you think freedom of speech is in jeopardy?
  • What do you think about people being banned on social media?
  • Do you see blocks as helpful or unnecessary?
  • What actions do you take to be able to continue sharing your opinions?

Stay golden,

SGK signature.png

***

Did you enjoy reading this post?
Hit LIKE.
Have some thoughts on the topic?
Share in the COMMENTS.
Do you regularly enjoy my blog?
Be sure to FOLLOW.
Are my posts getting lost in your busy Reader?
Try SUBSCRIBING.
Want to get to know me better?
Check me out on TWITTER @SamGoldieKirk.

113 thoughts on “NROP: Free Speech – For Me but NOT For You.

Add yours

  1. The only tweet I saw from President Trump specifically asked for a peaceful demonstration, reminding his supporters that “We are the party of law and order,” and asking them to respect our men and women in blue.
    P.S. If these privately owned social media companies have the right to do as they choose, then why shouldn’t other privately owned businesses have the right to do as THEY choose – i.e. stay open. 🤨

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Yet another great article Goldie, as always. I agree 100%, again, as usual. I am very fearful of this banning of free speech. Our country has a lot of problems, but one of the biggest problems is the media and the fact that we no longer have shared information. I just finished re-reading 1984, and the similarities between the book and now are very frightening and very eerie. Freedom loving people around the world need to wake up and wake up quickly, or soon we won’t have any freedoms left. One of my cousins in Australia is just as worried about things over there as I am over here. They are facing the same problems and issues there as we are here. It’s very scary! Yet far too many people have chosen to bury their heads in the sand and don’t want to see what is actually going on all around us.

    Recently, I had to unfriend and block someone from FB, not because we had different opinions, but because she was being very abusive towards me. This is someone I have personally known as a friend for over 20 years. Her oldest daughter and I were talking and she said they had to block and unfriend her too, and they don’t have anything to do with her any more. That speaks volumes when you own children don’t want to have anything to do with you. Normally, I am like you, I do not like to unfriend or block people. I welcome the different opinions and I do not want to be in an echo chamber. But sometimes you have to draw the line, especially when it becomes abusive. Hang in there Goldie. At least we have each other. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s true, There is so much talk of a divide, but why are we surprised. There’s media that report only A or only B. It’s hard to be able to just hear pure new and make our own opinions. A long as the media continue to push their opinions on others, there will be problems.

      I think many don’t know how to go about standing up. I myself wonder how I can do more. But, as I often say, if we focus on those around us, we CAN make a difference. It could cause a chain reaction.

      Australia always gives me hope, so I’m sad to hear that they might be facing similar issues. Just yesterday, I read that Google might not offer their services there. Australia demanded that Google pay the news media that they use in their search engines. I’m not sure whom that would include, but it’s an interesting idea. Google of course refuses to play ball and threatens withdrawal. I hope Australia does not let the foot of the pedal and Google tastes a bit of a bitter pie.

      Indeed! Thanks for stopping by, and sharing your thoughts, Jeanne!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Once again, i am with you. I have been forming “chat groups” with like minded people, and I have taken it upon myself to get information from MANY, many different sources. One page you might like is called Australian Liberty Alliance. I think we just have to be as vocal as we can, to as many as we can. I have also signed up for local govt. group. I am “attending’ a zoom orientation meeting next month, and then i will help spread the word and do what I can from there. It is so vitally important for people to take action, before we loose the opportunity. It’s hard, because even Larry doesn’t really even like to discuss things much. he too has his head in the sand, and refuses to really the severity of the problems all around. I expect that form most people, but I sure didn’t expect it from my own husband. It has caused many heated disagreements lately.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I believe that getting your info from multiple different sources is the best you can do to be able to deduce what is really going on.

          I’ll take a look at that website.

          A local government group? That’s awesome. I’ve been thinking about it for a few years, but never really looked into it. Thanks for the reminder.

          I wonder why that is so. I find that some people, if they are not touched by something directly, choose not to see it. If that’s the case, he’s lucky. Unfortunately, I’ve had direct examples of hate speech from the other side, which is seen as totally acceptable, yet any utterance from this end (peaceful, calm words) is met with disapproval.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Do I think freedom of speech is in jeopardy? Maybe, but not because of rules on social media. The only problem I have with banning Donald Trump is it happened four years too late. That makes Twitter money-grubbing hypocrites: Trump regularly violated terms and conditions. Social media only started to worry about it when it looked like they were complicit with sedition.

    I think blocks would be helpful if they were consistently applied. Rules are different for blue checkmark people, or whatever “verified” system exists on a particular platform. Honestly, I think my son is right: we are not really ready for social media platforms. We are too easily sold: we are too willing to jump on the bandwagon, move with the crowd, do anything for likes. The problem is none of these platforms are willing to spend the money needed for security and monitoring. They want money coming in. Out is less of a concern.

    I think people confuse consequences with suppression. It’s like the confusion about opinions. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Somewhere, however, this got mixed up and now people think all opinions are equal and equally valid. Unfortunately, people perceive they are being oppressed. They perceive they are being silenced. That makes it true for them and thus the consequences of that belief carry forward. A problem.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Blocking ANYONE, no matter what they say is a a very slippery slope. Who gets to determine what can and cannot be said, or by whom? Who gets to determine what is “hate speech”?
      Sadly most people today call things that are simply a different opinion “hate speech”, and that is wrong, wrong, wrong. Pretty soon, if you start banning those just because they say something you disagree with, at some point, EVERYONE will be banned. I HATE and ABHOR the Neo Nazi Party, and all they stand for, but do they have a right to speak their minds, YES, they do, as long as it is peaceful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, in the case of private platforms, they get to determine it. They set the rules. And we’re going to have to agree to disagree on people having the right to engage in hate speech in the public sphere.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. NO they do not. If they are are PLATFORM, then EVERYONE has a right to be heard, and they cannot censor it. If they are an EDITORIAL or an OPINION piece , than yes, they can. They can choose to be EITHER one or the other, but they CANNOT choose to be both. the laws and protections are totally different for each one. FREE SPEECH is FREE SPEECH for EVERYONE. Id doesn’t matter that people don’t like it, don’t agree with it, r are offended by it. Free speech is protected under the 1st Amendment to EVERYONE. Once you start messing with that, and changing the Constitution, then soon NO ONE will have free speech.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. No. Private is private. Your argument is that child pornographers should be free to participate in Facebook. Ridiculous. If you don’t like the rules, don’t participate. Unless they are discriminatory, the company is allowed to set them. Also, the first amendment is not an argument for unfettered free speech.

            “Categories of speech that are given lesser or no protection by the First Amendment (and therefore may be restricted) include obscenity, fraud, child pornography, speech integral to illegal conduct, speech that incites imminent lawless action, speech that violates intellectual property law, true threats, and commercial speech such as advertising.” Various legal cases have affirmed this.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Sadly, there is a ton of porn, child porn, and all kinds of other horrible things available on social media platforms that have NOT been removed, yet they remove things from Conservatives all the time that are nothing other than a difference of opinion, and we CANNOT allow this.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. They remove things from liberals too. They remove everything. My account is flagged with a warning on Facebook. I have tried to appeal but getting in touch with a real person is impossible. It’s flagged for posting nudity. What I posted was an article from the newspaper “The Guardian” about indigenous tribes in South America. The picture showed their butts. I was suspended and now I’m marked. It is not only to you.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. You are just reiterating my point! Censorship is censorship is censorship and no matter who it happens to, it is wrong. Free speech, no matter what, unless it is specifically inciting harm or violence is protected under the 1st Amendment, Once we allow SOME to be censored, then eventually ALL will be censored.

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. Well, may be, but they are much more prevalent and dangerous now than ever, not just to the US, but the free world in general. It is VERY reminiscent of the late 1930’s Germany, as well as 1948, by George Orwell. People had better wake up, and wake up quickly or there will be no hope whatsoever.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. It’s not reminiscent to those things in the way you mean. The far-right push to authoritarianism from people like Orban, Trump, Bolsanoro is close but the push-back has meant, so far, it hasn’t reached those levels.

                      It might interest you to know, however, that “1984” was written as an argument about aggressive conservativism and fascism and the dangers inherent in propagandism and doublespeak. Those are not features of liberal political philosophy. They do, however, dovetail nicely with the echo chamber of social media. Orwell would’ve hated Facebook. There are several good articles about it but this quick read is a good summation. https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/books/2021/01/11/using-term-orwellian-wrong-george-orwell-explainer-1984/6616511002/

                      Liked by 2 people

                    3. Some might argue that the right is trying to push back, not the other way around.

                      You’re right. These are not features of liberal philosophy. But what we’re seeing now is not really liberal. It’s post-modernism.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. I’m not sure I agree it’s collective restrictions against this or that philosophy, although it can appear that way due to the way our information is filtered.

                      But I agree, people’s lives are being ruined, over a mistake from long ago, a mistake that can be correct, a mistake that the mob has made. It’s awful. But then, we don’t do that well as a species in groups. It’s like the Coliseum but we’ve amped it up.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    1. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I just ordered the book I mentioned to you yesterday. I should get it within a couple of days. I also just bought “A Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley and I still have “Animal Farm” by George Orwell, yet to read as well.

                      I laugh at people who think they have all the answers when all they really need to do is go back and read their history. People laugh at me all the time for making references to NAZI Germany, but my dad raised me to be a WWII buff. I have seen many documentaries and have read countless documents, books both history, and fiction, etc. about WWII, and the similarities between today and then are sickeningly striking. My dad ran away at 14 and lied about his age, saying he was 16, and went off to fight in the Australian Army in North Africa in 1939. I have been to Dachau. I’ve toured all around Germany and Europe. Anyone who does not know their history is bound to repeat it, and I for one, DO NOT care to EVER repeat that part of history.

                      Liked by 1 person

              2. If it’s like anything else I deal with on a daily basis, then it’s not the content that is the worst that gets removed but the content that is protested the loudest. (Weak) People get annoyed by complaints and they give in. If enough people “flag” content (i.e. scream), then they will remove it. Sad.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I get stuff from them all the time, That’s strange, although, the main personality and journalist for them was just arrested because …. wait for it …. he did not SHUT UP AND COMPLY to the Left Wing, Socialist points of view. He is out now, but still restricted. WAKE UP people! Soon there will be NO FREEDOMS left and we will be living in the days of George Orwell’s 1984. It’s coming sooner than we think, and it is scary as hell.

                  Liked by 1 person

            2. I’d say that child pornography is different. Why? Because it’s illegal. I don’t think criminal activities should be promoted on the web (although they often are). And you bring up a great point with that – consequence. Yes, we are free to say whatever we want, but we should also be ready for consequences. I’m not taking about the warped cancel culture, but the milder reactions. You say something mean, whether consciously or not, you might have to deal with someone who gets offended by what you said. You might have to put in more work to salvage a relationship. But that’s what being a mature adult is all about – being able to handle the outcome of your actions.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. You’re a lot more hopeful than I am…
                P.S. Something weird it happening – as I am reading your comments/replies, I hit “like” and then, a few seconds later, the star goes back to grey and I have to click “like” again… On the last comment, I had to do it like 4 times for it to stick. This one required only two…

                Liked by 1 person

        2. I tend to agree – private is private and we can use it or not. But, it’s not so cut and dry. Some private businesses don’t get to fully govern their businesses. (Why do we have all of the lawsuits that sue a private baker due to their refusal to make cake?) [I was shopping for something and was pretty much refused due to discrimination. I ended up walking away. They didn’t want my business, their loss.]

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I think one of the problems is the order of events. It would be best if we could come up with the rules for things before we implemented them, worked out all the bugs. Unfortunatley, the thing comes first and then we work out the “how best to use it” later.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. As it is written in the 1st Amendment of Th United States Constitution – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. An interesting perspective regarding why Twitter acted only now. I have to admit that I don’t disagree. Trump tweeted all sorts of things throughout his presidency (I didn’t follow all of it), but to choose the two tweets that they did to shut him down was just weird.

      We are being told that we are all equal but then we have celebrities with “verified” check-marks that get more privileges than the rest of us. I find it funny.

      I totally agree with your son. I keep repeating on my blog that big companies care about profit first and foremost. Anything else is a result of the first and foremost. I know not everyone agrees, but I strongly believe in that.

      Opinions definitely aren’t equally valid. I mean, we can all have one, but it doesn’t mean that we are all right.

      When only a certain opinion is being heard everywhere you look, you start to wonder. Yes, there is a chance that your opinion is just plain wrong. But, if that’s the case, why wouldn’t people try to explain that to you? Why would they instead ruin you, your family, and your livelihood?

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m happy to see this post, as few that very few people seem to recognize the threat to freedom of speech (or few that are willing to say so). Many are arguing that platforms have the right to interpret user posts and take action based on those post. While I don’t disagree, we’re in borderline monopoly territory in a highly digital world… if you are banned from social media platforms, web hosting services, banking services, employment opportunities, etc. than you are essentially outcast from society. It’s tricky. I’ve been part of a local libertarian group for the last decade and we have great discussion and have voted of great liberty-minded folks into local political offices. Beyond that, it’s tough… most people that disagree aren’t willing to hear the opposing side and the mainstream media propaganda is relentless. It’s an uphill battle, for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ve been well.

      You make a great point regarding the social media platforms and their monopoly. Back in the day a politician could go on to any news channel and have a cordial interview. Now, that isn’t a possibility. So, yes, social media (and/or live streams) are really the only way to communicate for some.

      I’m glad to hear that you are doing whatever you can to keep us in the fight. We just have to keep going!

      Stay golden!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, to be honest I don’t think there’s ever been such a thing as ‘free speech’, even in the most democratic of countries. If you express an opinion on social media that is deemed to be unsuitable in some way, you will get banned. In the old days, people were ostracised or silenced for voicing an opinion counter to the accepted norm, but their platform was limited. Social media has given everyone the power to voice an opinion to the entire world very easily. The problem is, social media is now full of crazy opinions, mistruths and potentially offensive or downright dangerous material… you don’t have to look very far to find this. When social media started out originally it was an excellent way of bringing people together. Now it’s an excellent way of driving people apart. So I think there has to be some restrictions on (social media) free speech otherwise we’ll all be at each others throats; it’s human nature. The question is, what constitutes ‘unsuitable’ material or opinions? How do you distinguish between what is false and what is true? And how far do you go in restricting this stuff? I guess the answer lies with what sort of governing body is in charge…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fair enough.
      Yes, you got ostracised, but it wasn’t just for a different political opinion, and it wasn’t as far reaching as it is now. At least, in my opinion. Unless you were applying for an elite position, I never heard of anyone caring about your political views.

      “When social media started out originally it was an excellent way of bringing people together. ” I think is a brilliant quote.

      But isn’t restricting freedom of speech so we’re not at each other’s throat a form of a lie? Or prison? Decisions are being made “for our own good.” It feels like being a kid again and your parents telling you that as long as you live under their roof… We know where that often leads – rebellion.

      Great questions. The answers are harder to figure out.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes you’re right, restricting freedom of speech is indeed a form of lie. I don’t have any answers for this, it’s a really tough one. Great post though, very thought provoking and you’ve certainly generated a lot of comments from it!

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Do you think freedom of speech is in jeopardy?

    No. Freedom of speech, as long as it does not include hate speech, inciting or instigating violence, or being abusive, is not in jeopardy. It’s against the law to yell “fire” in a crowded theater, and that is essentially what Donald Trump has been doing since even before the election.

    What do you think about people being banned on social media?

    Most social media sites publish Terms of Service (TOS), and most such sites include in their TOS prohibitions against hate speech, inciting or instigating violence, or being abusive. Anyone who continually violates these TOS, as Donald Trump has, should be banned from using the site, be they just ordinary people like you and me, or heads of state.

    Do you see blocks as helpful or unnecessary?

    Because of my answers to the first two questions, I consider them to be appropriate.

    What actions do you take to be able to continue sharing your opinions?

    I’m not on Twitter, Facebook, or any other of the typical social media sites. I am on WordPress and I have never felt constrained when it comes to sharing my opinions and perspectives. But I don’t use hate speech in my posts, nor do I promote, incite, or instigate violence. So I’m good on that count.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for answering my questions. I have a few more.

      What do you consider “hate speech?” When can something be described as inciting violence?

      Do you see the Terms and Conditions as black and white rules, or with a lot of gray area?

      Do you yourself block others? Why/why not?

      Why is it that you limit your social media use to only WP?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent post Goldie. I completely agree. I actually posted on my IG account that if there were any followers who agreed with the censoring of President Donald J Trump and other people, they were to unfollow me. I will not abide it. I personally unfollowed about 100 people who were actively pursuing and advocating for censorship simply because they don’t like someone. It’s ridiculous. What a bunch of children. This cancel-culture is out of hand.

    Yet Twitter leaves up child-porn. These fascist companies are showing their true colors and that actually makes me happy.

    One reason I decided to blog on WordPress was their stance on the freedom of expression. Unlike every other blogging platform I researched. So yeah, I have this woman who stalks me and trash talks me and sends me hate emails. I cannot do anything about her on WordPress (though I DID open a case with the police regarding it after she told me to commit suicide). Seems extreme? Well, WordPress will not police it. I agree on their stance.

    The fact is, freedom of expression, I believe, is a human right… not just an American right. Doesn’t matter if you agree with them or not. It’s still a person’s right to believe what they wish and to think for themselves, not what the mainstream media or fascist social media TELLS you to think. Hell, not even your parents or peers should tell you how to think.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely. It’s so easy to get on the train of “I don’t like this, to hell with it” nowadays. It’s “trendy.” Most want to belong, so they join the train. Some see it as an opportunity, so they join the train as well. Many have benefited from this movements.

      Thanks for mentioning that. I actually wasn’t sure what WP’s stance on this is. I never had any issues, and I hope that stays that way. I never did anything bad on here, but anything can be misconstrued, as we both know.

      Agreed!

      Stay golden!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A similar point was raised in Uganda after Facebook started shutting accounts belonging to the presidential campaign and supporters, for violating Ts and Cs .. In return the president ordered the internet shutdown to level out the playing field…..

    Well of course the were other reasons too …

    And setting aside that the president went on to stifle the same freedom of speech he was accusing Facebook and company of doing…. He made a valid point that these guys were giving themselves authority to decide who should be heard….

    I have never really known freedom of speech. I am so used to structuring and self censuring my thoughts trying to toe the line because there’s definitely never freedom after speech And to me these private social media platforms with their warped rules allow for more freedom than speaking out in public… being blocked from a platform is certainly less daunting than ending up in jail or worse dead….

    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s insane! First, we let them skew the “news” they give us, now we are fighting to get both sides. A perfect example of a slippery slope.

      I feel terrible for you. I only learned about holding back about a decade ago. Before that, I spoke my mind fully. I learned how to tip-toe for “my own good.” And look where that brought us. Another lesson as to why playing nice will not always reward you.

      Like

  9. I am quite concerned about where this is heading. Perhaps the most alarming aspect of this is the issue with Parler. Not only was Parler removed from Google Apps and the App Store, Amazon literally shut it off.

    This isn’t Hulk Hogan suing Gawker for a hundred million and forcing them into bankruptcy, this is a group of powerful corporations booting a potential competitor off of the web, with no recourse to government action. In real life municipalities often have some sort of say over the businesses which they allow to operate. Say a strip club is trying to move into town, but the citizens of that town don’t want it. Since the strip club must be approve through various municipal processes the people of the town have plenty of time to argue whether or not that strip club should be allowed.

    With Parler there was no government action involved, no input from the broader community. To make an analogy, it would be like the owner of the hardware store deciding that he didn’t like the strip club, driving his bulldozer across town and razing it to the ground. You may not like the strip club, but you can’t just destroy it without going through proper legal means. Even landlords who evict tenants have to go through a fairly long process to do so.

    I think we lack an appreciation for how much of a wild west the tech industry is. Once these people attain power they can basically do anything they want.

    Another thing I find kind of funny. There’s a lot of people on the left saying that these private corporations should be allowed to do anything they want, but from my perspective that seems like cover for saying that they really wanted Trump kicked off Twitter, so they’re happy about it. If you really wanted private corporations to do whatever they wanted you would be fighting against mask mandates and smoking bans. I bet that the number of people who are arguing against mask mandates and in favor of Trump being kicked off Twitter is a fairly small percentage of the population, although I’m sure that there are some people out there making that argument.

    The honest truth is that right now Big Tech has won the battle. I hate that. We can fight back in the long run by supporting Candidate who are maybe younger than 80 and understand the world that we’re living in a little better, and by supporting legislation that brings the tech industry a little more down to earth. But let’s not forget that a big way to vote is with our feet. for a long time I would log onto Google and Facebook from my MacBook Pro like all the cool kids. A couple years ago I got rid of Facebook. Now I’m in the process of De-Googling my life. So while I’m still writing this on my Mac, I am using a browser and search engine which are not connected to Google. I have absolutely no idea how to rid myself of Amazon.

    (I’m going to be putting up my own essay on this in the near future, thanks for letting me whip out a first draft.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing such a lengthy comment with me!

      “I think we lack an appreciation for how much of a wild west the tech industry is. Once these people attain power they can basically do anything they want.” Precisely! When I was in school, I learned about monopolies as well as certain laws that govern businesses. You explained all that perfectly with the strip club example. It IS absolutely insane! As I mentioned to Jeanne in another comment, I’m proud of Australia standing up to Google who is threatening discontinuing their services in Australia. Good! Go for it! I hope this sparks some fresh blood to come out and play. I’m not a programer, but I’d be excited right about now if I was. Although it’s hard to imagine anything changing, I sure hope it will.

      Yes! People are saying that private companies can do whatever, and I don’t disagree. But, those same people go up in arms when a CEO of a private business speaks out for or against something. “He has the power and influence to fight for what’s right.” Phleaseee.

      Yes, I have Twitter. For blogging/ writing. Do I need it? No. Do I want it? No. But I keep it and try to grow it because no one gets published these days if they don’t have a Twitter account and a certain amount of followers. Am I consistently active there? No. Will I delete it? Maybe…
      Google… yes, I still use it, but am trying to use other browsers and search engines, too. It will take some time to adopt this new habit. It’s sooo engrained in us. I was never Amazon’s fan. But my partner gets gift cards through work. So, I use it… We will try to request different gift cards in the future. There is no reason we can’t go to the store and get whatever we need instead of ordering online.

      I look forward to reading your essay! Good stuff!

      Stay golden!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I am pro blocking people.
    If you have the right to speak, I also have the right to mute you.
    Reddit is absolutely my LEAST favorite social media. It seems to me that it consist of bored teenagers who pretend they know everything about life.
    Twitter is full of shit too. Whenever I saw something about Trump, it was filled with Kpop gifs.
    Please tell me what the connection is.
    I don’t think Trump cared about Kpop nor these bored teenagers.

    It is complete BS that Trump got banned from Twitter.
    Can’t we just all start to ban Twitter?
    I am pretty sure that Twitter will be old news in a few years. A new Social Media will come up.

    The worst of it all is that probably everyone against Trump think that they won the “war”.
    Trust me honey, being banned from Twitter IS NOT the worst that can happen to a full grown man.
    I can imagine that Trump feels bitter about the whole situation, but in the end he is the one with an impressive CV and the money.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Trump and Kpop? That’s a new one, but then again, I’m not much of a Twitter person.

      I hope you’re right. But then again that’s what I thought about Facebook – that it’d be gone a while back. I do think TikTok is taking over quite quickly, though.

      I agree with your conclusion.

      Like

  11. It is indeed pretty absurd that various social media platforms banned Trump, almost as if they became the voice of the People (???)… I mean… Sure, he had insane comments to share here and there but never really explicit with criminal intent… which should be the real reason to ban legitimately anyone… Private corporations having this much power is indeed scary in the age of Internet… I think social media platforms should be “accusable” if they have such powers… That’s when you’ll see the number of cases skyrocket against them and a better understanding of “freedom of speech” can be preached once again…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People see what they want to see. To me, it’s funny to see the Tweets Twitter chose to use in their explanation why they banned him. I’m glad to see that no one in the comments is trying to argue that those tweets were violent. It’s just ridiculous.

      Your “accusable” approach sounds intriguing.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. If the government owned twitter, then this would have been a violation. They don’t. The 1st Amendment guarantees that social networks can determine their own paths. To force THEM to accept any and all accounts would be a violation of THEIR rights.
    If anyone, who gets blocked by any one site cares to, they are constitutionally guaranteed the option of starting their own platform and block anyone they like.
    The fact that Parler got compromised is not technically an issue, as they can start and host their own servers to host their social platform. It’s not conducive to trusting Amazon, I agree.
    But I look forward to that IBI Drumpf to starting his own messing site. Maybe he should call it twatter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with the fact that a private company can do whatever they want (I’m generalizing, because of course there are some laws). We can either use their services/products or not. However, why are then private bakers sued for refusing to make cakes they don’t want to make? Why does the “they’re private” only work one way?

      Again, I agree that people can start their own platforms and host them themselves. However, it’s really tough to get through with those tech giants that feel like they’re more than gods. There ARE laws and regulations regarding monopolies, etc.

      Twatter sounds funny.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I agree with what you wrote.

    Did you see that Dorsey is being sued for allowing porn that showed a victim of human trafficking? How very noble of him to boot out conservative while allowing groups to watch modern day human trafficking victims being abused. Had Trump won, I am positive that anti-trust laws would have been used to break up the Tech giants monopoly and that is one of the big reasons why they wanted him gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. If this turns out to be true, it’s totally unacceptable. It’s good that at least they could get the material taken down when a federal agency became involved.

    https://nypost.com/2021/01/21/twitter-sued-for-allegedly-refusing-to-remove-child-porn/

    Floridaborne said: Did you see that Dorsey is being sued for allowing porn that showed a victim of human trafficking? How very noble of him to boot out conservative while allowing groups to watch modern day human trafficking victims being abused.

    *********************
    Specifically, Twitter is being sued. The laws of corporations usually protect the owners and operators but not always the monetary bottom line — in that there could be a fine. I would hope that in the matter of child pornography and trafficking the penalty could be worse than a fine; we will see. Whoever was doing the analyzing will surely have to answer for their thinking and behavior. Companies generally need large staffs to go through everything.

    It is not only conservatives who get booted off these big platforms, by the way. If one hangs out with conservatives, one will hear some of them complain about their situation; if one hangs out with non-conservatives, one will hear about their woes. If you touch in with both, you can see that it happens to both. (And, just to be additionally clear, a trafficker or person using child porn is not, by definition, a non-conservative.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think this would be better suited to be posted as a reply to Floridaborne so she can see it instead of the post in general. Nevermind, though.

      This truly is an important case. And you are right that it’s not only conservatives that are banned. Absolutely. It’s not about party lines. It’s about content. Obviously.

      Like

  15. While social media’s flaws are notable, it nevertheless has enabled far greater non-gate-keeping information freedom — particularly in regards to corporate environmental degradation — than that by what had been a news-monopoly mainstream news-media, including those of print.

    The mainstream news-media have lost both information control (e.g. story parameterization) and, perhaps most problematic for them, advertisement revenue to popular social media platforms.

    Though I don’t know his opinion of social media in general, renowned American author and linguistic/cognitive scientist Noam Chomsky noted that while there are stories published about man-made global warming, “It’s as if … there’s a kind of a tunnel vision — the science reporters are occasionally saying ‘look, this is a catastrophe,’ but then the regular [non-environmental pro-fossil fuel] coverage simply disregards it.”

    Although it’s a couple decades late, I believe that progressive movements are far more effective with the unprecedented informative and organizational abilities made widely available by social media.

    I also noticed that many news outlets that criticize social media will still use Facebook as the sole means by which readers can comment on posted articles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most definitely. There is so much criticism against Facebook, and yet people and corporations use it. Why? Because that’s where many people are. It would be silly of them to abandon a cash cow only because of their believes (sic!),

      Thank you for sharing your feedback. You do have a point – it is easier for us to access pertinent information. However, it’s also easier to get lost in the lies.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I heard about the ban on Trump, but I’ll be upfront here and say I don’t follow the news – local or otherwise… it’s so depressing!
    As for freedom of speech, sadly, we don’t have it here in the Middle East, not to post on social media or even to speak out loud in large groups in fear it would be construed as incitement and later end up in jail.

    Liked by 2 people

Hmm? What did you say? I did not hear ya.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Built with WordPress.com.

Up ↑

A Prolific Potpourri...

The Artistic Endeavors and Musings of Matt Snyder

Darlene Foster's Blog

dreamer of dreams, teller of tales

Emotion Doodles

Children's book illustrator & writer

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: