|Wednesday, October 17, 2018
You are here: Home » Politics » Social media control of Content threatens First Amendment

Social media control of Content threatens First Amendment 


First Amendment

Alternative media in America and other Western societies are threatened.

As speech, media and academic freedoms erode in America, all other rights are threatened.

During Obama’s tenure, the Center for Constitutional Rights said:

“The growing threat to the right to dissent has been demonstrated in the US government’s efforts to silence speech, and criminalize and target peaceful movements,” adding:

“These efforts are becoming more aggressive, emboldened further by the Supreme Court’s increasingly conservative decisions, for instance regarding material support in the form of humanitarian aid to so-called terrorist organizations.”

Activism and dissent are increasingly threatened in America – for expressing constitutionally guaranteed views US dark forces want suppressed.

Earlier Supreme Court rulings upholding First Amendment rights  don’t matter, including Justice William Brennan’s majority opinion in Texas v. Johnson (1989), saying:

“(I)f there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.”

Justice Thurgood Marshall once said: “(A)bove all else, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content.” Nor does anyone else.

Separately he said: “If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a State has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his own house, what books he may read or what films he may watch. Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men’s minds.”

Post-9/11, dissent in America has been increasingly marginalized and threatened. It’s all about wanting views opposing the official narrative suppressed.

It has nothing to do with protecting national security from terrorist or other threats, as falsely claimed.

Raging US war on terror is a colossal hoax, a pretext for raping and destroying countries, along with eroding fundamental freedoms all just societies cherish – at risk of disappearing altogether in America.

Targeting net neutrality, the last frontier of media freedom, is all about giving cable and telecommunications giants greater control over online content, along with empowering them to charge more for increased profits.

Eroding digital democracy is all about heading toward silencing dissent altogether, controlling the message – the hallmark of totalitarian societies, what America and other Western states are increasingly becoming.

On August 6, Alex Jones’ Infowars website said the following:

“Apple, Spotify, Facebook and YouTube all banned (the website) within 12 hours of each other, illustrating how last night’s purge was a coordinated effort and has nothing to do with these platforms enforcing (phony) ‘hate speech’ rules,” adding:

“Infowars is being purged by Big Tech” for helping to elect Donald Trump. “By banning Infowars, big tech is engaging in election meddling” ahead of November midterms.

Banning Infowars is “part of a wider censorship purge,” wanting views conflicting with the official narrative suppressed – “the modern day electronic equivalent of book burning.”

Alternative media in America and other Western societies are threatened. Banning other online content may follow Infowar’s targeting.

Earlier, the NYT blasted Jones for reporting on 9/11 truth, calling him a “notorious conspiracy theorist,” claiming it again on Monday after tech giants suppressed Infowar’s content.

“Mr. Jones and Infowars have used social media for years to spread dark and bizarre theories,” claimed the Times.

The self-styled newspaper of record operates as a press agent for wealth, power and privilege, along with other Western media scoundrels, proliferating the official narrative, suppressing hard truths on vital issues.

Criticizing online and other content is acceptable, exercising the right of free expression.

Suppressing “idea(s) simply because society finds (them) offensive or disagreeable” is unlawful and unacceptable, as Justice Brennan explained.

No one on the US Supreme Court today approaches his or Thurgood Marshall’s stature.

Their support for equal justice under law no longer exists in America, police state injustice replacing it all too often – along with censoring content dark forces in the country find objectionable.

Censorship the New Normal in America

Government and social media efforts to control online content threaten First Amendment rights in America like never before – on the phony pretexts of prohibiting hate speech, protecting national security and other invented reasons.

What’s going on is all about controlling the message, wanting online content dissenting from the official narrative suppressed. Is digital democracy’s abolition next?

A new Ipsos poll found 43% of self-identified Republicans want Trump empowered to shut down media he believes are engaged in “bad behavior.”

Only 36% of respondents disagreed. Nearly half of them believe “the news media (are) the enemy of the American people.”

Survey results showed 12% of self-identified Dems and 21% of independents support giving Trump the power to shutter media for “bad behavior.”

Banishing any media compromises speech and press freedoms – the hallmark of totalitarian societies.

Major media aren’t threatened. Congress and the courts protect them. For independent online news, information and analysis, it’s another issue altogether.

Led by neocon Dem Mark Warner, undemocratic Senate Dems drafted a thought control policy paper on the phony pretext of combating disinformation they support when sticking to the official narrative.

Titled “Potential Policy Proposals for Regulation of Social Media and Technology Firms,” it falsely accused Russia of spreading fake news, along with using online technology to interfere in America’s 2016 presidential election – bald-faced lies.

Saying Moscow aims “to undermine Americans’ faith in democratic government” turned truth on its head. No evidence suggests it.

US-style democracy mocks what rule of the people is all about. Undemocratic Dems want online platforms held legally liable for alleged “defamation, invasion of privacy, false light…public disclosure of private facts,” and other designated content diverging from the official narrative.

The policy paper states: “The size and reach of (certain online)  platforms demand that we ensure proper oversight, transparency and effective management of technologies that in large measure undergird our social lives, our economy, and our politics” – code language for supporting thought control if these ideas become the law of the land.

After targeting Infowars.com for alleged “hate speech,” Twitter banished Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity’s Peter Van Buren and its executive director Daniel McAdams.

Van Buren said he was falsely accused of “harass(ing), intimidat(ing), or us(ing) fear to silence someone else’s voice.”

Responding to the action, he explained the following:

“I don’t think I did any of that, and I wish you didn’t have to accept my word on it. I wish instead you could read what I wrote and decide for yourself.”

“But Twitter won’t allow that. Twitter says you cannot read and make up your own mind. They have in fact eliminated all the things I have ever written there over seven years, disappeared me down the Memory Hole.”

“That’s what censorship does; it takes the power to decide what is right and wrong away from you and gives it to someone else.”

“Hate what I write, hate me, block me, don’t buy my books, but please don’t celebrate handing over those choices to some company.”

“I lost my career at the State Department because I spoke out as a whistleblower against the Iraq War. I’ve now been silenced, again, for speaking out, this time by a corporation. I am living in the America I always feared.”

Antiwar.com’s editorial director Scott Horton was banished for allegedly using improper language against journalist Jonathan Katz.

McAdams was banished for retweeting his remark, Horton saying he was “suspended from Twitter for calling @KatzOnEarth a ‘boo hoo little bitch,’ for tattletaling on Peter Van Buren and getting him suspended. Dan McAdams has also been suspended for RTing me.”

On August 3, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) digital rights groups said in its supposed effort to police “misinformation,” Facebook “deleted an event page for the anti-fascist protest “No Unite the Right 2 – DC.”

It unjustifiably claimed the event was sponsored by an “inauthentic” organization with possible foreign connections – despite no evidence suggesting it.

FB refused to give event sponsors the right to dispute accusations against it.

Cracking down on alleged “misinformation” is part of a campaign to suppress news and views conflicting with the official narrative.

EFF Santa Clara Principles on Transparency and Accountability in Content Moderation “call on social media platforms to provide human review of content removal and give users meaningful and timely opportunity to present additional information as part of that review” – to prevent unacceptable censorship.

UK libertarian politician Nigel Farage said banning Infowars “represents a concerted effort of proscription and censorship that could just as soon see any of us confined to the dustbin of social media history.”

Will US thought control legislation come next – banishing online content dissenting from the official narrative?

About the author: Stephen J. Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Add a Comment