Alexander Hall is a staff writer for MRC TechWatch
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Only a few days after BuzzFeed thought better of endangering his life by revealing his private information, Huffington Post appears ready to do it themselves.The pro-Trump YouTuber, who goes by the online name CarpeDonktum, revealed that Huffington Post is considering releasing his personal information. This has dire implications as many public internet personalities on both sides receive death threats and harassment.
Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) roasted Google’s representative at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. The hearing, “Google and Censorship through Search Engines,” featured numerous heavy hitters from both sides of the political aisle bludgeoning the platform. When Google’s Vice President of Public Policy Karan Bhatia said that censoring conservatives would be inconsistent with Google’s values, Hawley quipped “Except for when you do it in China, right?”
The pro-Trump YouTuber who goes by the name CarpeDonktum revealed that Buzzfeed is considering releasing his personal information. Shortly after noon July 15, he announced as a “friendly heads up” that Buzzfeed “is currently in the midst of a moral dilemma about whether or not they should Dox me and my family.” Many of his comical videos have been retweeted by president Trump himself.
Key Republican leaders have called for action from the FTC, accusing Big Tech companies of threatening democracy. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri put Big Tech companies on notice by pressing the Federal Trade Commission via a July 15 open letter to investigate them for hacking American democracy. "They control the ads we see, the news we read, and the information we digest," they wrote. "And they actively censor some content and amplify other content based on algorithms and intentional decisions that are completely nontransparent."
Liberal media outlets hysterically condemned free speech defenders as “extremists” and “conspiracy theory peddlers” commenting on the White House Social Media Summit. At least six major news outlets ran with the same narrative — from CNN to NBC to The Washington Post. CNN Business headlined its article: “Trump invites right-wing extremists to White House 'social media summit,” smearing the event as an opportunity for “legitimizing fringe political allies.”
A prolific American psychologist, journalist, and author will soon unleash a report that he claims will bring down Google.
Dr. Robert Epstein announced July 10 that he will soon publish “the most important article I've ever written, currently entitled, ‘Cutting #Google Down to Size.’” He added further that “it explains how to end Google's worldwide monopoly on search - the source of Google's limitless power to control humanity - permanently. Stay tuned.”
The Thursday Social Media Summit at the White House will rally supporters of free speech. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who plans to attend the summit, has commented that he is “concerned there are people who work at the major technology platforms who want to put their thumb on the scale.” “All we want is a fair fight,” said Gaetz. “I guess in a sense if highlighting experiences and instances of bias will result in fewer moderations that present as bias, all the better.”
BlazeTV pundit Deneen Borelli called out Facebook’s CEO for destroying her video career via censorship. Internet personalities depend upon viewers and clicks so that their videos generate ad revenue, just like how TV shows depend viewers seeing advertisements. In her July 9 video she announced “my employment at Blaze TV depended on generating advertising revenue from my ‘Here’s the Deal’ videos distributed on Facebook.”
Twitter takes safety very seriously for all its users, both real and … fictional. Vice reporter Luke Taylor wrote in his July 8 tongue-in-cheek tell-all that he was de-platformed for acting nutty. In his article, “I Was Banned From Twitter for Threatening to Kill Mr. Peanut,” he was very forthcoming about how this was not the first, second, or even third time he had threatened the cartoon Planter’s peanuts mascot.
Free speech defenders rally to launch new civil rights org after attacks from rioters and corporations. Trial lawyer and RNC Commiteewoman Harmeet Dhillon announced the launch of a non-profit called Publius Lex on July 5 via Twitter. The group will help fight legal battles for Americans “whose civil rights have been violated by corporations, individuals, and/or governments,” she said.
French lawmakers rejected the American concept of freedom of speech on July 4 by voting for a “hate speech” ban online. The lower house of French parliament pushed a massive internet regulation bill, which if approved, would launch a 24-hour deadline for Big Tech to remove all posts flagged as “hate speech.” Search engines like Google would be forced to stop linking to the controversial content as well.
The platform that rapidly bans people for tweeting “learn to code” took its sweet time removing legitimate death threats. Egyptian actor Hesham Mansour, with an 800,000 following on Twitter, tweeted some hateful and dangerous rhetoric in late June 2019. From conspiracy theories that “the Jews” use sorcerous powers to “[steal] all the positive energy” and manipulate the space-time continuum, to causing all terrorism, depression, and darkness itself, Mansour ascribes to all forms of anti-semitic beliefs.
Hate preacher Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam organization’s pages were deplatformed from Facebook on May 2 during its purge of “hate speech.” While most remain banished, Facebook strangely has allowed one dedicated to Farrakhan and “Black Supremacy” to return from the grave.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg doesn’t even pretend to be neutral. She donated $1 million to Planned Parenthood’s abortion advocacy to aid ‘marginalized,’ ‘women of color.’ HuffPost quoted Sandberg in a June 28 article, where she said “I think this is a very urgent moment where the rights and the choices and the basic health of the most vulnerable women — the women who have been marginalized, often women of color — are at stake.” She boasted that Planned Parenthood will “fight back in the courts, in Congress, in the state houses, in the streets, for women’s health and rights.”
Twitter is launching a new program to flag tweets as offensive. And it’s No.1 target appears to be President Donald Trump. The company announced via its blog June 27 that it will mark the tweets of politicians who break its rules, effective immediately. he firm has decided “there are certain cases where it may be in the public’s interest to have access to certain Tweets, even if they would otherwise be in violation of our rules.” The blog did not mention Trump’s name once, but even The Washington Post speculated the move has “stark implications” for his account.
Democratic leaders have not only accused social media of enabling misinformation, but speculated Big Tech companies profit from it. Politicians on both sides of the aisle raked social media over the coals at a June 26 hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee. Representatives from Google, Facebook, and Twitter testified over how social media companies handle misinformation, terror content, and “deepfake” videos.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) warned Big Tech companies and his Democratic counterparts Wednesday that free speech is a fundamental value, and losing it will “tear us apart.” Crenshaw was commenting during the June 26 hearing (viewable at 1:33:20) before the House Homeland Security Committee. Representatives from Google, Facebook, and Twitter testified over how social media companies handle terror-related content as well as misinformation and hate speech.
When the U.S.-based crowdfunding website GoFundMe booted Australian athlete Israel Folau, critics had no idea it would be the best thing they could do for him. Folau is a popular national figure both as an athlete and an outspoken Christian. He was fired from his profession and deplatformed when he used GoFundMe to rally funds for a legal case to take his job back. Christian Australians however, have rallied around him in a huge way.
An Antifa-related activist group called “All Out DC” has been putting up posters with the personal information of Fox News host Tucker Carlson, as well as other free speech figures, in an effort to “Block the Alt-Right.” The group’s poster announced an upcoming rally on July 6 along with Carlson’s face and personal information. The caption labeled him as a “racist with a huge following and platform” who “uses it to promote racist dogwhistles.”
XBox has video game smack-talk in its crosshairs. In an interview with Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo, Xbox head Phil Spencer proclaimed that “Xbox Live is not a free speech platform.” He added that “It is not a place where anybody can come and say anything.” Spencer explained that his team is “working to ensure it’s a safe and inclusive environment.”