Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has announced a podcast where he and his co-host will discuss the latest updates on the Senate impeachment trial. Sen. Cruz tweeted the announcement of his new podcast Verdict on Jan. 22. He explained that it will feature himself and political commentator Michael J. Knowles discussing “the latest from the @realDonaldTrump #ImpeachmentTrial and more as soon as I leave the Senate floor… .”
One Big Tech company has embraced the opportunity to cash in on the impeachment proceedings. From breath freshening “Impeachmints” and “National Embarassmints” to anti-Trump scented candles and shirts, Amazon appears to be making money from hatred of the current president.
Two conservative outlets have complained that their livestreams of the Senate impeachment trial have been taken down—for no apparent reason. Judicial Watch’s president, Tom Fitton, noted that the organization’s livestream of the impeachment trial was halted mid-stream. YouTube claimed that the stream was “violating ‘community standards,’” according to Fitton’s Jan. 21 tweet. While the stream still remains on Judicial Watch’s feed, it was not allowed to continue.
Twitter has booted conservatives and liberals for citing facts, but it goes out of its way to bring back blatant anti-Semitism. Reclaim The Net observed that Rev. Louis Farrakhan, the controversial leader of the Nation of Islam, was today “temporarily kicked off of Twitter.” He was also “temporarily restricted” from Twitter from Jan. 3 up until mid-January when his account was completely booted on Jan. 18. Shortly thereafter, however, his account was reinstated, and a Twitter spokesperson reportedly told Reclaim The Net that “The account was caught by our spam filter in error and has been reinstated.”
Facebook has taken some free speech stances that drew heavy criticism from fellow Big Tech companies, liberal commentators, and now the Democratic primary frontrunner. Former vice-president Joe Biden told The New York Times editorial board “that Section 230 should be revoked, immediately” for Big Tech companies. The Times called that provision “pretty foundational” to the internet. Biden spoke with The Times editorial board as it tried to determine which candidate to endorse as an organization. In the 80-minute discussion, Biden hammered Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and threatened to repeal the legislation that was intended to protect free speech on the internet.
If it wasn’t scary enough being monitored by random strangers, a former Microsoft contractor reportedly claimed some private calls could have been accessed by the Chinese government! An anonymous former Microsoft contractor came forward and alleged that Microsoft’s grading program to transcribe and vet users’ audio “ran for years with no security measures.” The audio was sourced both from Skype conversations and Cortana, Microsoft’s voice assistant equivalent of Apple’s Siri. The anonymous contractor also explained how working in any territory ruled by the Chinese regime is hazardous in itself, stating that “Living in China, working in China, you’re already compromised with nearly everything."
Reddit’s leadership has declared war on “bad actors who are trying to manipulate Reddit.” In a Thursday post to the Reddit Security subforum titled “Updates to Our Policy Around Impersonation,” Reddit representative u/LastBluejay, verified by the platform as a “Reddit admin, speaking officially,” made upcoming policy changes known. “Impersonation,” while noted as “one of the rarest report classes we receive,” will be watched closely in the coming year.
Even Facebook admits the 2016 Trump campaign benefited from the platform. But the liberal media tries to interpret the use of a tool as something sinister. State-funded PBS thinks both President Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin worked to use social media against the Democrats.
One of the internet’s foremost tech journalists blasted the owner of Fox News and The Wall Street Journal as the “largest menace to the modern world.” Recode co-founder and New York Times contributor Kara Swisher wrote in a tweet on Jan. 8, 2020, “If you had to pick one person who has been the largest menace in the modern world, spreading hate and disinformation that has disastrous results everywhere he goes, Rupert Murdoch or, as I like to call him, Uncle Satan, would top the list.”
Leading journalists and editors around the world have some advice for social media companies: there needs to be more censorship. In a 2020 report released by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 233 people from 32 countries, including the United States, complained about misinformation in tech and where it stands in relation to journalism.
Twitter chose to feature the rant of a food CEO blaming President Trump for Canadian deaths from a downed jetliner in Iran, while ignoring how that CEO’s own company was reportedly linked to the deaths of more than 20 of his fellow Canadians. The Twitter Moments section highlighted Maple Leaf Foods CEO Michael McCain sharing “his personal opinions on the US government's action against Iran.” Twitter Moments added that “McCain says he is ‘livid’ and in ‘mourning’ after a colleague's wife and son were killed in the crossfire.” He was referring to how a Ukraine International Airlines jet that was downed over Iran. The Iranian military “acknowledged early on Saturday that it had launched the missiles that brought down” the jetliner ”killing all 176 people on board.” Many of the passengers killed on the flight“were Canadians,” Twitter Moments noted in the tweet.
Only Hollywood can so fantastically misunderstand a free speech policy and protest its existence. Actor Mark Hamill (Star Wars) announced on Twitter that he was deleting his Facebook account in order to take a stand against the policies that the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended.