Trump pledges to remedy ‘illegal situation’ of big tech censorship
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WASHINGTON, D.C., May 18, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump has called out the “Radical Left” for its influence over various social media based in the United States. At the same time, he vowed his administration would work on improving the situation.
“The Radical Left is in total command & control of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google,” Trump tweeted on May 16. “The Administration is working to remedy this illegal situation.”
The Radical Left is in total command & control of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google. The Administration is working to remedy this illegal situation. Stay tuned, and send names & events. Thank you Michelle! https://t.co/ZQfcfD3Hk9— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2020
Trump’s tweet was sent out in response to a video of a speech on tech censorship, given by conservative political commentator Michelle Malkin. The president commented, “Thank you Michelle!”
Ironically, the tweet on tech censorship, originally put out by America First Clips, was removed by Twitter after Trump retweeted it.
“Twitter has DELETED the video clip you RT’ed of my remarks against Silicon Valley censorship this morning,” Malkin informed the President via Twitter. “OUT OF CONTROL. The situation must be remedied ASAP.”
Thank you @realdonaldtrump - @Twitter has DELETED the video clip you RT'ed of my remarks against Silicon Valley censorship this morning! OUT OF CONTROL. The situation must be remedied ASAP.https://t.co/97CBshuHOF@twitter @jack @vijaya @TwitterSafety— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) May 16, 2020
America First Clips subsequently uploaded the speech once again.
“I’ve witnessed friends and allies stripped of their platforms, and their reputations, and their voices,” Malkin said in the video. “Some can no longer communicate on social media.”
She added that tech censorship often translates into the real world, where conservatives are no longer allowed to “gather peacefully” at conferences, or do business with their banks. “There is no more safe space,” Malkin warned.
It remains to be seen whether the Trump administration will finally take action on the question of tech censorship.
In May 2019, the White House asked Americans to tell their stories of free speech under attack.
“No matter your views, if you suspect political bias has caused you to be censored or silenced online, we want to hear about it,” the White House tweeted.
In August 2019, Politico revealed that the Trump administration was preparing an executive order “that would address allegations of anti-conservative bias by social media companies.”
Politico’s sources declined to talk about “the contents of the order, which one person cautioned has already taken many different forms and remains in flux. But its existence, and the deliberations surrounding it, are evidence that the administration is taking a serious look at wielding the federal government’s power against Silicon Valley.”
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic this spring, tech giants like Twitter and YouTube, which is part of Google, have implemented a number of new measures they claim are needed to stop the spread of what they consider false information regarding the virus.
Last week, Twitter began to attach warning labels to “some tweets containing disputed or misleading information” in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
“In serving the public conversation, our goal is to make it easy to find credible information on Twitter and to limit the spread of potentially harmful and misleading content,” Twitter said in a statement. The company introduced “new labels and warning messages that will provide additional context and information.”
Twitter indicated that in the future, “we may use these labels and warning messages to provide additional explanations or clarifications in situations where the risks of harm associated with a tweet are less severe but where people may still be confused or misled by the content.”
The warning labels will send users either to a website curated directly by Twitter and containing more information on whatever the subject of the tweet was, or to an “external trusted source.”
In certain cases, Twitter might not even show a supposedly “harmful and misleading” tweet to users. Instead, it will display a message similar to those warning of potentially “sensitive material.”
“Some or all of the content shared in this tweet conflicts with guidance from public health experts regarding COVID-19,” the new warning message reads. Twitter users can still view the tweet, or they can choose to move along to a “trusted source.”
YouTube, meanwhile, started using fact-check information panels for viewers in the United States, flagging, among other things, what the company deems to be “misinformation” regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The company claimed the fact-check information panels are necessary in order “for viewers to get accurate information during fast-moving events.”
On April 19, Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, announced that all content contradicting the Word Health Organization (WHO) on the coronavirus pandemic would be removed from the video streaming platform.
“We also talk about removing information that is problematic,” she said. “Of course, anything that is medically unsubstantiated. So people saying, like, take vitamin C, you know, take turmeric, like, those are – will cure you. Those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy.”
She then specified that any content going “against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy. And so [removal] is another really important part of our policy.”
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during an interview in mid-April that he considers protests against stay-at-home orders, which are often planned via Facebook, to be “harmful misinformation” that must be deleted.
While claiming that “it’s important that people can debate policies,” Zuckerberg indicated that there is a limit to how much freedom he will allow Facebook’s users to do this.
“But, you know, more than normal political discourse, I think a lot of the stuff that people are saying that is false around a health emergency like this can be classified as harmful misinformation that has a risk of leading to imminent physical danger and we’ll just take that kind of content down,” he said.
Facebook also introduced an international Oversight Board packed with leftists and those with ties to globalist George Soros, wielding massive power to judge what is acceptable speech.
The Oversight Board was created to “help Facebook answer some of the most difficult questions around freedom of expression online: what to take down, what to leave up, and why.”
Dozens of conservative organizations denounced Facebook’s move.