A summit between White House officials, President Donald Trump, and some of the major social media platforms was a long time coming, but it finally happened on Thursday after more than a year’s worth of complaints by conservative media, voices, and news outlets that they were being systematically silenced online.
Nearly a year ago, after reading about complains that news and media organizations supportive of him were being shadow banned and censored, POTUS turned his sights on the social media giants (on Twitter, ironically) to call them out and warn them that action was coming if they didn’t change their habits.
“Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media,” he wrote.
“In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD,” he continued. “Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out.”
“Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good,” he added. “They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”
This week, the president made good on that pledge after the social media giants refused to heed the warning.
During the meeting, which was derided by all the usual Left-wing “establishment” media entities as little more than a gathering of “right-wing” figures, the president made clear, “We’re not going to be silenced.
As The Gateway Pundit reported, POTUS said that his administration will begin exploring regulatory options to big tech’s bans, shadow bans, and censorship.
“Today, I am directing my administration to explore all regulatory and legislative solutions to protect free speech and the free speech rights of all Americans,” POTUS Trump announced. “We hope to see transparency, more accountability, and more freedom.”
The president was clear in that he believes all Americans should be able to fully enjoy their constitutionally recognized and protected right to speak and express themselves freely — including critics of his administration and the Alt-Left. Trump said it doesn’t matter “what side” people are on, they have a right to express themselves and to put their voices into the public sphere.
“Big tech must not censor the voices of the American people,” he added.
In 2016, before the tech giants began altering their search, publication, and distribution algorithms, conservative speakers were dominant on social media, likely helping propel the president to victory. But by the 2018 elections, based on several studies and investigative reporting, the tech giants had begun — in concert — campaigns to silence conservative, pro-Trump voices, led by the behemoths Facebook and Twitter.
The companies are taking advantage of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which “provides immunity from liability for providers and users of an interactive computer service who publish information published by others,” the Minc Legal Resource Center noted.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation added that “Section 230 says that ‘No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.’”
But, argue opponents, when Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, and other platforms begin censoring content they find politically objectionable, that makes them publishers, and they therefore should lose their immunity to face legal consequences for those acts of censorship, especially if they have taken money from users they are censoring.
The president’s summit may already be having a positive effect on conservative and independent publishers. For instance, The Western Journal, whose Facebook traffic had been reduced significantly, suddenly found its traffic returning to normal levels a day before the summit — after months of battling with the platform to get it restored.
There is a long way to go, however, to ensure that all conservative and indy publishers’ traffic from their subscribers and followers returns to normal. The president has at least gotten the ball rolling, and well ahead of the 2020 elections.
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