James O'Keefe and Project Veritas are at it again! They have blown open another hole in the seemingly never ending saga of censorship in regards to social media.
But, as usual, there's really more to this story that we can dive into than just the Veritas report, though we are including the full report video from YouTube below.
It's all about social media... The right of free-enterprise companies to make their own rules and regulations, censorship, monopolies, and what the FCC's plan are to deal with this whole cluster.
First Let's start with the latest hot topic which is the new Veritas video report that features a former employee turned whistle-blower. She has produced evidence of political biased regarding the censorship of certain sites. This isn't a new issue, but yet another new story in a long string of these types of stories, especially between Facebook and Twitter.
First, if you like, let's watch the full video report here...
Project Veritas has pointed out some very scary but ongoing issues when it comes to social media. Everyone in Congress wants stuff like ISIS Terrorists off the platform, but at the same time, who gets to make the decision about what is allowed and what is not?
Who gets to make the decision about what content is allowed?
Well, it's not as simple as one might think. Is it ever? But, that's why I'm here to help you make sense of it all.
Companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, are private corporations that are allowed to make decisions for themselves. They provide you with a user agreement, that understandably few read, but it outlines what their policies are. These are contractual agreements entered into by two consenting parties.
It's like a microcosm of our federal government in a way. Look at how the Judiciary has changed the way they "rule" to suit their political agenda. Some say that the Constitution is a living, breathing document that changes with the times. What they really mean is that, they can change it whenever they want, instead of going through the well defined process of adding amendments to change it.
Others, redefine words. They literally change the definition of words to mean something else. It sounds crazy, I know, but there is a lot of that going on and it's been effective for them. But, that's for a different discussion. (For more on the Constitution and the judiciary, check out our Resources tab in the main menu and click on KrisAnne Hall's link)
Companies like Facebook are allowed, by law, to set their policies. Just like any other business is allowed to refuse service to anyone, well it's supposed to be anyone. Except that these companies have a contract you have signed to use their services.
The exceptions are limited, however. Keep in mind that Constitutionally, we all have freedoms, but one freedom can't trample another.
Whether Constitutional or not, precedent and law certainly says that there's limitations to the right of refusal, but an in-depth discussion on that is for another story. The short version is that you can not discriminate against serving someone based on race, creed, color, religion, or gender.
This becomes interesting in the world of information, access, the internet, and politics.
Our Founding Fathers certainly never envisioned the internet and social media, but they did give us the first amendment, which guarantees our right to speak freely. In a world where that speech is governed by social media, to a large extent, you would think that the first amendment would prevail. I'm not making a judgement on that yet.
Companies, or Corporations, in the eyes of the law, are individuals. As a person using their services, you have entered into a contractual agreement with that person, or corporation, and have agreed to those terms. You have effectively waived your first amendments rights by signing their user agreement, which is a contract.
There is no provision in law, that I know of, that says that you can not be discriminated against based on your politics. But should there be? We could begin to "create" a long list of things you can't discriminate against. But, this would also place undo burdens on the businesses to maintain those long list of rights.
But, that's not the end of this confusion. One right can't trump another. Does the right of a corporation to refuse service, backed by a contract you agreed to, trump the right of freedom of speech?
The courts may have an opinion, but in a world where no legislature is going to allow terrorists to have a platform, all out first amendment won't prevail there. So, it must grant these corporations, or someone, some latitude to make those decisions.
Therein lies the problem. Now, we are talking about who gets to determine the extent of our first amendment rights. Is it the corporations, or is it Congress. You've probably heard of the Net Neutrality issue, and on the surface it can sound good. Fairness for all across the board, especially to the downtrodden, like conservatives, who have been squashed.
It's a wolf in sheep's clothing. You are giving over your free speech to the control of some other authority to regulate. You can not do that! EVER! If you do, there's going to be a few people that sit in some regulatory space in Washington, D.C., somewhere, determining the control of what the entire country is allowed to say today, and tomorrow. A horrible idea.
Do you see now, how getting away from the constitution causes problems? Again, one must realize that the founders never envisioned our enemies having such a platform to spread their hate for us, and their desire to destroy us, so easily. Back then it took weeks for information to travel around the few colonies, much less the world. Now, there's a global reach in seconds! I'm not advocating for controls, just giving you the point.
In opposition to that; While the country is in complete disarray over the thought that Russia bought $300k worth of ads on Facebook and may have swayed a Presidential election, we are allowing a few people at Facebook and Twitter headquarters, in some remote location to decide the content that may sway an election.
From the Veritas video, and many other previous examples, we see that there is a strong political bias. Many of these people are not only political leftist, but in fact, activists. They understand that social media, and the internet, won the election for Donald Trump.
They know this because the mainstream media sources were nearly 100% negative. In light of that, supporters took to the internet and social media to get out the information to counter the MSM.
Since the first day after the election, internet companies, and social media platforms, have been conniving, tirelessly, to curtail the influence of conservative voices on these platforms. Accounts have been shutdown, and even access, in it's entirety, has been revoked from some users, simply because of political purposes, in the form or fashion of what "they" consider "hate speech".
This is because, like activist judges, they are redefining words. They get to set the standards for what "Hate Speech" means. In a world where everyone is offended, that can be virtually anything, as well as a daily, constantly moving, target!
So, is the only hope to allow Congress to define these terms for us? Can they write a law protecting the free speech for political purposes that will trump a businesses right to refuse service? Personally, I don't like either of these options.
Enter the FCC...
In a recent article by Gizmodo, they discuss the FCC and the formation of a new Anti-Trust Task Force aimed at big-tech. This is one of those reports that has flown under the radar of our tabloid news agencies that we call main stream.
I do think that it is ironic that at the same time Veritas is putting out their new video, this article surfaces.
Let me try to explain how I think this task force can help our quandary, and preserve our other rights. As usual, it will require a bit of backstory to understand.
One of the big reasons that we are in this mess, is the size of these massive internet and media corporations. The federal government has really let us down here by allowing this. That's because the federal government likes the idea of giant media and internet companies running the world. It's good because these companies provide jobs and revenue for the government in a stable, and predictable way.
What it's not good for is free and fair trade, the exchange of ideas, and anyone else wanting to start a company to compete with them. So, essentially and practically, they own the market, though not technically. Maybe you see where I'm going now.
There are other smaller social media platforms, but they can't get traction. Most people haven't even heard of them. The integration, into our society, of companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube is frankly, astounding! If you are in business, you better have these social accounts to drive your business. It's a must have! That is also where the problem is.
"Must haves", and companies "too big to fail", are dominating the market and driving other competitors under before they even get started. Look at Amazon. It is so big that it may eventually put under the other massive, but brick-front, Walmart. Mom-and-Pop shops all over the country are closing their doors, especially in small towns because of just these two.
Some of you may still be wondering what these companies have to do with social media. I'll explain. These media giant's are pushing out competitors and keeping them from gaining any sort of traction. If they are innovative enough, then they are just bought up by the giants and integrated into their platforms, or spun off, like Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.
That's not an environment that allows for free and fair competition. These companies should have never become that big to begin with. But, the FCC may be looking to change all that. It's a major under taking. One that needs to be done, but it will also have consequences. I'm not going to get into all of those.
I just want to discuss why it is important. People, and the government, allow companies like Amazon and Walmart to exist because it offers inexpensive products, and services, to people. But, that is simply because of their size. A company the size of these two can negotiate a much better bulk price on the goods and services being offered.
They can make deals that no mom-and-pop shop could ever imagine getting. This means that these companies can offer lower prices, while still getting the same profit margin. Product to product, you are going to buy the cheaper one typically. Hence, the mom-and-pop shop goes out of business because of lack of sales and profit margins.
Amazon may threaten Walmart simply because they don't have the overhead of the real-estate, and storefront, that Walmart has. I think you get where I'm at with this.
This applies to any and all businesses across the country. It most certainly should apply to all these media giants, not just social media. A lot of people don't want to mess with these big companies because they fear that it will stifle the innovation they create with their massive amounts of money.
Or, they fear the short-term consequences of such a decision while approaching yet another election. You see, we live in a short-term world. Another reason why no other President has dealt with Nork Korea. Just push it onto the next guy so my administration won't feel the pain. But, I digress.
What is being stifled is the innovation of everyone else. Having come so far down this road, it will cause some short-term pain to correct. But, it will unleash the creativity that allowed the personal computer to be created on a man's garage.
It will provide choices and options for people on realistically level playing fields. Facebook, for instance, will be forced to have an more moderate political policy if they begin to lose massive amounts of people to other social sites.
This sort of competition, created by breaking up monopolies, is imperative to free speech, but also a benefit to the country via innovation and choice.
It's a real option that will help preserve the freedoms of corporations to choose who they conduct business with, and how, but allow ample choices for those who wish to do business elsewhere.
It will preserve the first amendment by allowing other platforms to realistically compete and thrive in today's information age, forcing companies to have more moderate policies.
No freedoms must be trumped or compromised in order to make this happen. We don't need SCOTUS to render an opinion regarding free speech and social media. We don't need Congress, or anyone else, to dictate to us what is free speech!
Resist the temptation to go the easy route, even when it sounds right. Always look to the Constitution for an answer first. Support the FCC enforcing our monopoly laws, and we won't have a mere 3 media companies controlling our tv sets, our internet, and our access to free speech!
Competition "self-reduces" self-imposed corporate regulations, it has to, in order to survive in a competitive environment. It reduces cost by allowing free and fair competition. It increases innovation. And, it preserves everyone's rights under the Constitution and the law.
Defamation of Character
In order for these groups to ban you, they must first classify you. If you are being "branded" as "hateful" or using "hate speech", then you most certainly have a defamation case.
This is one way to fight back and there are those who have won large settlements to keep things out of the news. This is hard for the "little guy" though. The needed resources escape most YouTubers and other independent journalist.
Is it time for a class-action suit? Conservatives have always been bad about this, but lawsuits need to be a tool that is on the table. We just need someone willing to do it, and NOT take a "settlement" which comes with non-disclosure agreements.
This needs to be litigated in court so that evidence can be subpoenaed and made public to the people in order to expose this intolerance for opposing political views!
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