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Josh Hawley Calls Out Twitter for Receiving Government Privileges

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CNS News reported that Missouri Senator Josh Hawley sent Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey a letter on May 27, 2020 taking the company to task for “fact-checking” President Trump’s about mail-in ballots.

In a number of Tweets he made on May 27, Dorsey sustained that Trump’s comments regarding mail-ballots being filled with fraud “may mislead people into thinking they don’t need to register to get a ballot (only registered voters receive ballots),” Dorsey Tweeted. We’re updating the link on @realDonaldTrump’s tweet to make this more clear,” Dorsey continued.

Hawley noted that on Tuesday, “for the first time ever, Twitter branded the President’s tweets with a ‘fact check’ designed to encourage readers to believe that the President’s political speech was inaccurate.”

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Hawley commented, “Twitter’s decision to editorialize regarding the content of political speech raises questions about why Twitter should continue receiving special status and special immunity from publisher liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.”

According to Section 230, companies that distribute user content are not treated as a publisher, like outlets such as New York Times or the Washington Post.

Hawley also called attention to the fact that Twitter failed to respond to the “outright lies and propaganda by the Chinese Communist Party,” which used social media to scapegoat American soldiers for starting the Wuhan virus pandemic.

Hawley is wanting Twitter to explain why companies which behave like publishers — namely editing President Trump’s tweets in the aforementioned case — should not receive publisher treatments.

Hawley said on Fox News’s Laura Ingraham on the night of May 27 that the “special deal” the government has granted to Twitter, Facebook and Google has enabled them to become as influential as they are:

“It’s not because of free-market competition but the lack of free-market competition, because the government has given them a special deal that Fox News doesn’t get and “The New York Times” doesn’t get — no traditional publisher gets.

They are free from liability, free from suit. They’ve got a special immunity. And here’s the thing. If they are going to act like regular publishers, and Twitter’s going to editorialize about the president of the United States, then they ought to be treated like a regular publisher, and that’s what my bill would do.”

Hawley believes social media platforms have been politicized for a while, censoring conservative views in a number of cases. In his view, Twitter’s decision to “fact-check” the president has “really elevated what they’re doing.”

“They are editorializing, they are censoring, they are making political judgments. And yet they’re claiming that, oh, no, no, no, we’re not like traditional media. We should be treated differently. We’re neutral. We don’t have any opinions, we just post other people’s opinions. It just isn’t true, Laura. And it’s time to start calling them out on it.”

Hawley declared that if social media companies want to editorialize in the way other media outlets do, “go right on ahead – you can do that, it’s a free country, they’re a free company, but they shouldn’t get a special deal from government because of it.”

Late on the night of May 27, Twitter CEO Dorsey tweeted, “We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally…This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth.’ Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions.”

Dorsey believes that Trump’s tweets about mail-in ballots being filled with fraud “may mislead people into thinking they don’t need to register to get a ballot (only registered voters receive ballots).”

“We’re updating the link on @realDonaldTrump’s tweet to make this more clear.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg informed Fox News on May 27 that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter “shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.”

In a series of tweets on May 27, President Trump vowed to take “big action” against Twitter:

“Twitter has now shown that everything we have been saying about them (and their other compatriots) is correct. Big action to follow!”

Trump also added:

“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservative voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that…happen again. Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!”

Hawley is correct to make noise about Big Tech.

Even if no legislative action is taken, the pressure may be enough to make these social media companies somewhat reconsider their policies.

Nonetheless, this highlights the importance of having an America First trifecta in the U.S congress in 2020 and beyond.

It is the only way to assure that America First policies are enacted.

 

Big League Guns

Democrats Introduce Expanded Background Check Legislation

Democrats are going to implement a background check which targets “extremism.”

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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and California Congressman Mike Thompson brought forward legislation on March 2, 2021 that aims to broaden the federal background check system on firearms sales, according to a report by The Hill.

Under The Background Check Expansion Act,  gun sales and purchases between all unlicensed sellers and buyers would be subject to a mandatory background check. The background checks would not be applicable for law enforcement officers, lending out firearms for the purpose of hunting, temporary transfers for self-defense, or family members gifting a firearm. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and 43 Senate Democrats have co-sponsored this bill. Thompson, who is the chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, reintroduced this legislation in the U.S. House

“For years, the bipartisan House-passed background checks bill languished in the Senate under Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Now, with Senate Democrats in the Majority, we have the opportunity to act on this overwhelmingly popular, lifesaving legislation to protect American communities,” Schumer declared in a press release.

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According to a CBS News report, President Joe Biden has repeatedly called on Congress to pass stiffer gun control laws. This gun control bill will not pass so easily given how it will need 10 Republican senators to vote in favor of it.

Against the backdrop of the January 6 storming of the Capitol, such a background check will likely feature provisions that target so-called “extremists.” The ruling class has routinely lumped average gun owners with domestic extremists and will most certainly use recent events to justify encroachments on people’s right to bear arms. 

Biden is a veteran of the gun control movement, as evidenced by his sponsorship of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. With Democrats in control of all branches of the federal government, they will certainly move to pass gun control. However, their success is not guaranteed due to moderate Democrats like Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia Joe Manchin not being completely receptive to radical gun control that could alienate them from their more right-wing constituents.

Nevertheless, the Left has shown that it’s willing to act regardless of the political context. Keeping this in mind, gun owners must be ready to beat back any kind of gun control coming from D.C. Such fights will allow the Right to rebuild its forces and make a splash in the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential race. 

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