President Donald Trump accused Twitter Thursday of “discriminatory and illegal practice,” vowing in a tweet to “look into” the matter.
Twitter shares added roughly a percent to the stock’s premarket losses immediately following the accusation.
Trump called out a practice commonly called “shadow banning” in which Twitter limits visibility in search results for particular accounts. Trump, following a Vice report about the practice, claimed the company is limiting the reach of “prominent Republicans.”
You'd better put #Facebook in that inquiry as well. #socialmedia falls under the definition of a COMPANY TOWN. Marsh vs Alabama https://t.co/P5gYgrxBEx
says it all! Neither #Facebook nor #Twitter are allowed to inhibit legal #FreeSpeech
Time to throw their directors in PRISON
— overpasses4America (@o4america) July 26, 2018
#Facebook & #Twitter are #LeftistPropaganda outlets as they currently stand. Board of Directors deserve prison for blatant violations of right enshrined in the #Constitution
Look up Marsh v Alabama! You will see they are not allowed to inhibit legal free speech!
— overpasses4America (@o4america) July 26, 2018
The Vice story claims Republicans such as party chair Ronna McDaniel and Donald Trump Jr.’s spokesperson were among those being de-emphasized in search results.
A spokesperson for Twitter declined to comment on Trump’s tweet but told CNBC: “As we have said before, we do not ‘shadowban.’ We are aware that some accounts are not automatically populating in our search box, and shipping a change to address this. The profiles, Tweets and discussions about these accounts do appear when you search for them. To be clear, our behavioral ranking doesn’t make judgments based on political views or the substance of Tweets.”
Twitter saw similar claims of conservative censorship in the fall, after suspending several alt-right accounts in an effort to reduce hate speech and threats of violence on the site, but not banning even more threatening and violent leftists.
Republican lawmakers have also repeatedly accused Facebook of silencing conservative voices, holding several congressional hearings to address the matter in which representatives for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube denied any political bias.
Recently, a California judge has ruled that social media giant Twitter can be sued for falsely advertising free speech.
Facebook and other social media companies should take note, as the precedent has been made, and judges love precedents, it saves them making a tough decision.
As Bloomberg reports, the judge said that Twitter’s policy of banning users “at any time, for any reason or for no reason” may constitute an “unconscionable contract” for a company which advertises free speech.
The judge rejected Twitter’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit from Jared Taylor, who was banned by the platform in December last year, according to Breitbart. Taylor, a self-described “white activist” may proceed with his lawsuit against Twitter because the social media company falsely advertises free speech, yet bans users for “any or no reason.”
The judge also ruled that Twitter could be sued on the basis of misleading its users, due to the platform’s promise not to ban accounts on the basis of viewpoint or political affiliation, which is frequently violated.
“This ruling has massive implications for the platform going forward,” said Noah Peters, Jared Taylor’s lawyer. “this is the first time that a social media company’s argument that it can censor user speech has been rejected by a court.”
Taylor describes himself as a “race realist” and has defended white separatism, claiming that races are “not equal”, but his attorney says this trial is not about his client’s particular views, and that’s a correct assessment. The trial is about Twitter’s disallowance of free speech although they use that term to advertise the social media platform.
“Our lawsuit is not about whether Taylor is right or wrong,” Peters said in February. “It’s about whether Twitter and other technology companies have the right to ban individuals from using their services based on their perceived viewpoints and affiliations.”
By now, it should be well understood that the terms “hate facts” and “hate speech” are nothing more than buzzwords used by the left as an excuse to suppress the speech of those with which they disagree. This is becoming more and more apparent as we devolve quickly toward a fully totalitarian system too.
Breitbart reported that the most high-profile individual to be banned on this basis was Islam critic Tommy Robinson, who received a permanent ban from Twitter after he posted statistics showing that Muslims are vastly overrepresented in child grooming gangs in the UK. Robinson is now taking Twitter to court to prove that “facts are now treated as hate.” –Breitbart.
It appears Mark Zuckerberg should up the pay to his army of attorneys, because if this decision is any indication, lawsuits will be coming like an angry mob with torches and pitchforks to set things right.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
July 26th, 2018