October 14, 2020 has shown many America First patriots how social media censorship is one of the biggest issues during the 2020 election cycle.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was locked out of her Twitter account for simply sharing a hot story posted by the New York Post regarding Hunter Biden’s suspected hard drive and an email connecting Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden to his son’s work for a Ukrainian energy company.
“Your account has been locked,” was what a message sent to McEnany said. The White House Press Secretary boasts over 1 million followers.
“We have determined that this account violated the Twitter Rules,” Twitter said, calling attention to her tweet that shared the New York Post story.
In typical fashion, Twitter did not demonstrate any evidence for this violation.
McEnany shared a screenshot of the incident with New York Post, in which Twitter claimed that she violated “our rules against distribution of hacked material” by sharing this Biden story.
The press secretary said to the media outlet she will not follow through with Twitter’s request to delete her tweet so she can regain access to her account.
“This is a story reported by the New York Post and Fox News with the Biden campaign notably not disputing the authenticity of the emails,” McEnany stated. “I will not comply with censoring reporting that may not fit the ideology of Silicon Valley. This is abominable and not the American way.”
This same day Twitter kept users from sharing the New York Post’s link to the story. This news piece breaks down an alleged 2015 email sent by Burisma energy executive Vadym Pozharskyi expressing his gratitude to Hunter Biden for “giving an opportunity to meet your father.”
Biden was one of the people leading then-President Barack Obama’s Ukraine policy. In 2019, he claimed that “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,“ which included the alleged $83,000 of monthly compensation he received for being on Burisma’s board.
Twitter claimed that it barred users from tweeting or sending direct message of the article’s link due to how it allegedly violated a ban on disseminating hacked material. They used similar reasoning when the social media giant locked McEnany’s account
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani provided the New York Post with the Hunter Biden hard drive, after he acquired it from a Delaware computer repairman. Giuliani is Trump’s personal attorney.
The repairman claims to have legally gained access to the content under an abandonment contract clause when Hunter Biden did not pick up a damaged laptop within a 90-day window.
Similarly, Facebook said it was taking action to limit the dissemination of the New York Post’s piece while waiting on “fact-checking”.
Several Republican elected officials were infuriated by Big Tech’s latest actions. Some like Missouri Senator Josh Hawley have called for Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to be reformed. This law shields websites that host third-party content from liability. In the meantime, Hawley requested the Federal Election Commission to launch an investigation for potential violations of federal election law.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 14, 2020
People who support reforming Section 230 believe that tech titans should be stripped of their protections if they behave like a publisher, as opposed to a neutral platform.
“Condemnation is not enough. It’s time to reform Section 230,” tweeted Colorado congressman Ken Buck.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 14, 2020
“Twitter is attempting to meddle in the election with anti-conservative bias. @jack is acting like a publisher, making the case yet again to reform Section 230,” Buck said in another tweet.
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) October 14, 2020
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, tried to mitigate the situation after receiving massive backlash from right wing commenators. He tweeted, “Our communication around our actions on the @nypost article was not great. And blocking URL sharing via tweet or DM with zero context as to why we’re blocking: unacceptable.”
— jack (@jack) October 14, 2020
However, many conservatives weren’t buying any of Dorsey’s argument.
No doubt Big Tech censorship is one of the biggest issues during the 2020 election cycle.
Trump must emphatically run on this issue. When he wins in November, he should make reform of Big Tech a major policy plank for the second term of his administration.
Does the Arizona Constitution Provide Means for Lawmakers to Crack Down on Big Tech Censorship?
Does the Arizona Constitution provide protections from Big Tech?
The Arizona Constitution provides stronger protections for freedom of speech than the First Amendment does, potentially providing legislative solutions to Big Tech censorship in the state at a moment where political censorship is more pervasive than ever.
Article 2 Section 6, Arizona Constitution states that “Every person may freely speak, write, and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right. “
This differs greatly from the federal constitution in that it doesn’t limit the powers of a legislature to restrict freedom of speech. The US Constitution identifies “Congress” as the body it’s restricting from making a law abridging the freedom of speech.
The speech rights established by the Arizona Constitution are thus expressed positively; recognizing a right belonging to the people, as opposed to negating an infringement of said right.
Quite obviously, the Arizona Constitution was written in an 1910, an era in which the internet would’ve been just as inconceivable as it was in 1789.
In a 2019 Arizona Supreme Court case, the state’s highest court recognized in a 4-3 judgement that the Arizona Constitution provided greater protections than the federal constitution. The case recognized that violations of the First Amendment would represent de facto violations of the
It’s not outside the realm of possibility that the Arizona Attorney General, or state legislature, could hold Big Tech oligarchs to account for violating the Article 2 Section 6 rights of Arizona citizens- especially in a context the major platforms are collectively adjudicated to be acting as a trust in order to suppress competition and silence lawful speech.
Three Arizona legislators called upon Attorney General Mark Brnovich to begin an antitrust investigation into Big Tech oligarchs following the coordinated deplatforming operation against Parler, in which both Amazon and Apple colluded to restrict the free speech platform from the internet.
In an era where the overwhelming majority of free speech is communicated online, the censorious actions of Big Tech very plausibly represent an assault of the right of free expression guaranteed in the Arizona Constitution. Both chambers of Arizona’s legislature remain Republican, even as the state has become purple, and action against Big Tech censorship on the state level could become a real possibility in the coming years.
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