2020/05/29

Trump v Twitter

Trump Public Interest

If you've been paying attention to American politics over the past four years, a couple of observations are inescapable. The first is that Trump is more showman than politician. He likes throwing grenades and then barging into the room to leverage the chaos. This approach usually involves a lot of big, blustery talk that later gets walked back or forgotten.

The second observation is that the people who run the Death Cult establishment aren't all that bright.

Over the past few days, a confluence of these two factors has brought the longstanding tech censorship crisis to a head. It all started when Trump won the 2016 election despite Silicon Valley's best efforts. Big Tech has spent the past four years mowing down counterculture accounts like wheat.

The small-souled bugmen in San Francisco and Seattle may not be as smart as they think, but they do understand social media's crucial role in Trump's 2016 victory. If their respective actions are any indication, they understand it better than him.

Hence why Trump has been monitoring the situation for a year, during which many of the people who got him elected have been banished from the internet. For all intents and purposes, it looked like Big Tech would be allowed to continue meddling with the 2020 election and get away with it. All the bugmen had to do was run out the clock.

That's when one social media firm's Death Cult fanaticism got the better of them. As it happened, the first tech firm to crack was also the worst possible one to wig out from the enemy's perspective. Trump's penchant for Twitter is universally known. He practically governs the country through it. Jack Dorsey has resisted the urge to mess with Trump's account because he knows it might actually bestir the President to act.

Then, on Tuesday, Twitter attached a fact check disclaimer to one of Trump's tweets about mail-in ballots. Trump responded with characteristic bombast, threatening to heavily regulate Big Social or shut them down.

That was music to many on the Right who live under constant threat of tech exile. Many tempered their hopes with reminders of the rather large discrepancy between promises and delivery on Trump's part.

Dissidents' hopes rose again when the White House confirmed that the President would be signing an executive order to combat tech censorship. Dissidents were once again cautiously optimistic.

And this time, their optimism paid off. Last night, Trump did indeed sign an executive order cracking down on Big Tech censorship.

There's no question this is a big win for right-wingers persecuted on social media. However, it's important to keep expectations in line with reality. The President is the chief executive, not a one-man legislature, so his power to intervene here is limited.

That said, Trump's order hits a lot of the right notes. He specifically mentions Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. That's the provision that limits social networks' liability for content posted on their sites. Without Section 230, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram would be open to legal action for spreading libel and abetting crimes, just like television networks and newspaper publishers.

While Trump can't strip Big Tech's Section 230 protections himself, his EO does call on the DOJ to draft legislation that would significantly narrow them. Such a bill would have to make it through Congress, though, which is unlikely under current circumstances.

In the meantime, Trump has ordered Executive Branch agencies to reconsider their business dealings with Big Social, including cutting back on ad spending and asking the FTC slap Twitter and its ilk with regulatory action for politically motivated censorship.

An industry not run by raving fanatics would take an order like that as a sharp warning to clean up their act. But since this is the Death Cult's in-house inquisition we're talking about, they responded like this:

Mister Anti-bully Jack retweeted

That's Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey retweeting the warning placed on Trump's tweet about the Minneapolis riots. That goes beyond doubling down to strapping on a suicide vest.

Trump fired back first thing this morning:

Trump Twitter regulated

Perhaps the President's vanity will prevail where his supporters' pleas failed. At the very least, we're in for a good show.

Having felt the sting of Twitter's censorship myself, I know the daunting odds facing counterculture artists trying to make a living from their art. We couldn't do it without the support of stalwart readers like you. Back Combat Frame XSeed: S now!

Combat Frame XSeed: S - Brian Niemeier

10 comments:

  1. Ties in with my Death Cult Watch. Now they're playing games with "censorship". Watch as one pretends that not giving money to people who hate you (in this case, Naughty Dog) is censorship: https://archive.is/Mbzxt

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  2. Athletic and WhitesplosiveMay 29, 2020 at 12:35 PM

    Trump actually trying to do something his base has wanted him to for years? Two tales of high strangeness in only a few days, Brian you spoil us!

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    1. Thanks, but it's not like I control the news cycle.

      If I did, you'd notice.

      Delete
  3. How many True Conservatives (TM) claiming that the only way to save conservatism is to let businesses who exclusively censor conservatives get common carrier immunity?

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  4. I've seen plenty of lolbertarians claim that. You would think that government no longer interfering with a big business and opening things up for lawsuits would actually be a libertarian position, but I guess it's not.

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    1. Everyone I've seen catching the vapors over Trump's EO is either a Death Cultist livid at the prospect of the heretic hunts being curtailed, or a Libertarian.

      The Cultists' motives are unambiguous. The Libertarians are laboring under twin unexamined dogmas: 1) Government is a monolith. 2) Legitimate use of government is equivalent to governmental abuse.

      Delete
  5. Brian

    A twitterati remarked there's another law Trump can use and a specific article. It's art 740 of the 1934 Communication act.
    This articles gives broad powers to executive when there's an national emergency. Which is the case now.

    xavier

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  6. It will be very interesting to see what goes on from here on out.

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    1. Agreed. And how other countries such as Canada, Europe and Australia will respond to Big tech as well

      xavier

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