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18 thoughts on “Trump files suit against Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

  1. “Frivolous class action litigation will not change the fact that users—even U.S. Presidents—have to abide by the rules they agreed to,” he said in a statement.

    Huh? The statement ignores the basis of the argument that the continued banning and censorship is undeniably politically biased against conservatives. Come on, professor, we are not that dumb.

    1. Rebecca W, Since inciting sedition against the US Government seems to be a Republican thing, I can see how you might view the ban as politically biased.

  2. In spite of everyone who says private companies have the right to censor however they want, the problem is their are only a handful of companies that control the words. Throw in Amazon that hosts the majority of these platforms and you clearly have a frustrated conservative movement that is not allowed to freely speak and be heard. Something must be done or their is no such thing as free speech. I would be just as concerned about this if I were a liberal on the controlling side because the principal is the same and no amount of selective censorship is fair. Could you imagine President Biden being silenced! I have seen Facebook delete the most innocuous posts that major news organizations have themselves written about. In spite of all the wrangling over vote counting in the past election I’m more concerned about future elections where Republican’s are going to be quietly marginalized in favor of Democrat’s by a handful of partisan companies that have no business deciding elections.

    1. There is almost no barrier at all a private individual setting up their own web site and self publishing.

      Trump is the case in point. Just like he failed to win the election, he failed to get enough idiots willing to follow his seditious blather.

    2. Dan, like Parler for example? I would agree with you if you didn’t have monopolistic, controlling enterprises, but unfortunately that’s what these companies are. I’ll give you an example. Microsoft’s a pretty big company, right. No matter how hard they tried they could never cut into Apple and Android’s share of the mobile phone market so they finally gave up. That’s completely fair, but when it comes to a few large companies that can effectively control what people see and hear I would say that’s a problem we have to fix. I wish you were right that other individuals or companies could rise up to challenge the controlling companies, but it’s impossible when their market share is as large as it is.

    3. And please notice I am saying nothing about Donald Trump because his high profile as President is what started the censorship which now extends far beyond politics like censoring opinions about vaccines and origins of covid for example. We must have the ability to hear and see all voices whether we like them or not and people working at these companies should not get to make those choices unless it’s obviously unacceptable as a societal norm. These companies have shown a growing willingness to censor and block what they don’t like and the things I’ve seen blocked recently on FB for example is getting laughable.

    4. Jeff what you’re saying is that a private company should be forced to have host people it does not agree with. A clear first amendment violation if I’ve ever seen one. If Clay Travis, Cucker Carlson, Bill OReilly and any number of conservative nutrags haven’t been removed from social media how can you justifiably say big tech is being websites. Marjorie Taylor Greene spouts nonsense everyday on Twitter. Maybe if you stopped lying about the vaccine and misinforming people about the real world you and your friends wouldn’t be worried about “censorship”.

    5. Also if content is being blocked on Facebook how are you able to view it? Are you seeing it before it gets removed? Are people sending you (edited) videos of posts being removed? Sounds like a bunch of nonsense to me.

    6. Just to be clear, none of these companies are “private”. They are all publicly traded. Furthermore, these companies monopolize how the vast majority of Americans speak, communicate, and find information.

    7. Donald Trump would never have been president if not for these companies, especially Facebook, which oh-by-the-way still favors conservative voices because it makes them more money. Trump should have been banned long before he was president since he’d violated the terms of service for each of service. It only took January 6th for these companies to realize that, geez, maybe we’ve let things get out of hand.

      Conservatives, though, aren’t smart enough to realize that the system is rigged in their favor, they have a massive echo chamber they can take advantage of, they just have to, you know, not encourage people to storm the Capitol and try to hang Mike Pence.

      I mean, look at the top-performing link posts from July 2nd for US Facebook accounts:

      1. Ben Shapiro
      2. TWICE
      3. Franklin Graham
      4. Dan Bongino
      5. Dan Bongino
      6. Ben Shapiro
      7. Dinesh D’Souza
      8. The Onion
      9. VOA Burmese News
      10. Ben Shapiro

      Yes, please, tell me more about the silencing of conservative voices.

      Who gets silenced are the people who point out this bias. Here’s an article from August 2020. Rather prescient, I’d think…

      “While there are signs Facebook will stand up to Trump in cases where he violates its rules — as on Wednesday when it removed a video post from the president in which he claimed that children are “almost immune” to COVID-19 — there are others who suggest the company is caving to critical voices on the right. In another recent Workplace post, a senior engineer collected internal evidence that showed Facebook was giving preferential treatment to prominent conservative accounts to help them remove fact-checks from their content.

      The company responded by removing his post and restricting internal access to the information he cited. On Wednesday the engineer was fired, according to internal posts seen by BuzzFeed News.”

      https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/facebook-zuckerberg-what-if-trump-disputes-election-results

    8. Thomas, I’m talking about things I see that are quickly removed. I’ll give you an example. After the condo collapse I saw people asking could the Navy’s powerful explosions a few days earlier contributed to the tragedy. FB was removing those posts. A few days later a major paper posted a story about the subject and no their testing had nothing to do with it, but why be in the business of censoring fair questions. They are so hyper sensitive about anything they deem conspiratorial they now remove it. I need to look into what Joe B is saying deeper as maybe it was just Trump and not a larger problem of censorship. His post is certainly worthy of further inspection and debate, but I’m not ready to concede the battle because again this is something that liberals should be concerned about as well and that’s why you have some bipartisanship efforts on the power of these companies in the senate and house. They are no longer just content provider’s and shutting down an American President certainly gives you a glimpse of their power. They have become too big and untouchable by any competitor and that’s not good for anyone in a supposedly free society.

    9. Jeff, they let it all go until January 6th. They let Trump talk about election fraud until it turned into action. Now they’re stuck.

      Democrats and Republicans are after Facebook for different reasons, IMO. Republicans don’t want any pushback on their echo chamber – they want free speech with no consequences, from a private company no less, which as noted is an inaccurate reading the first amendment. Democrats have concerns with the output – what they see as Republicans being able to use social media to lie to their followers and rile them up.

      Some of the other complaints both parties have about Google, Apple, etc. are a different thread.

      Let me quote pretty liberally from a Politico story last year that’s got something for everyone.

      “But Facebook says there’s a reason why right-wing figures are driving more engagement. It’s not that its algorithm favors conservatives — the company has long maintained that its platform is neutral. Instead, the right is better at connecting with people on a visceral level, the company says.

      “Right-wing populism is always more engaging,” a Facebook executive said in a recent interview with POLITICO reporters, when pressed why the pages of conservatives drive such high interactions. The person said the content speaks to “an incredibly strong, primitive emotion” by touching on such topics as “nation, protection, the other, anger, fear.”

      “That was there in the [19]30’s. That’s not invented by social media — you just see those reflexes mirrored in social media, they’re not created by social media,” the executive added. “It’s why tabloids do better than the [Financial Times], and it’s also a human thing. People respond to engaging emotion much more than they do to, you know, dry coverage. …This wasn’t invented 15 years ago when Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook.”

      Later…

      “The company, with its largely liberal workforce, has been defensive about the censorship allegations from Republicans — and also lax in enforcing its rules with some popular conservative pages. In one case, the company erased “strikes” and downgraded violations for posting misinformation by Trump surrogates Diamond & Silk, according to NBC News. Democrats, meanwhile, argue that it’s ridiculous for conservatives to claim that Facebook is suppressing content when many of their pages are so popular.

      Facebook employees have challenged Zuckerberg in companywide Q&A’s on these topics, and the CEO has pushed back against his progressive workforce.

      “The community we serve tends to be, on average, ideologically a little bit more conservative than our employee base,” Zuckerberg said during one such forum on June 18, according to a report this week from The Verge. “Maybe ‘a little’ is an understatement. … If we want to actually do a good job of serving people, [we have to take] into account that there are different views on different things, and that if someone disagrees with a view, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re hateful or have bad intent.”

      https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/26/facebook-conservatives-2020-421146

  3. Sounds like the Donald is still getting legal advice from the Rudy. Apparently neither has read, or can read, the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. It plainly states, in small comprehensible words, that “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…” It does not say the “private companies shall not abridge the freedom of speech.” Facebook, Twitter, et al have every right to establish the standards that users must abide by to post comments on their platforms. When joining those platforms, users cannot proceed to post comments until after the click the “read-and-agree” terms of service. I predict no court will find merit in this frivolous lawsuit, but that plenty of the Donald’s cult following will throw him their money with nary a thought.

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