On September 12, 2018 the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) posted an article in its official website, Twitter Ads Rejects Tweets for “Hateful Content.”
The CIS article noted:
Yesterday Twitter rejected four Center for Immigration Studies tweets for use in the Center’s Twitter Ads campaign, alleging hateful content. (Several others were approved.) All four tweets use the statutory phrases “illegal alien” or “criminal alien,” and all of the tweets referenced law enforcement, either at the border or in the interior. One of the tweets contained a powerful Daily Caller video showing illegal aliens in camouflage carrying large backpacks across the border unimpeded.
Two days later, on September 14th The Daily Caller posted a report updating the situation: Twitter Allows Center For Immigration Studies To Promote Tweets About Illegal Aliens That Were Previously Rejected.
Twitter apparently reversed its decision when Mark Krikorian, the Director of CIS, appeared on Fox News to discuss the issue.
Here is an excerpt from The Daily Caller article:
The four tweets that could not get promoted, but are still on Twitter, contained the terms “alien,” “illegal alien” or “criminal alien” along with reference to law enforcement, according to a statement from CIS Wednesday.
A promoted tweet is a normal tweet bought by advertisers that can have a greater outreach on people, according to Twitter’s website.
“After two days of media coverage and no response to our question on what caused the denial, Twitter has approved the tweets,” CIS Director of Communications Marguerite Telford told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Turns out media coverage transforms tweets with ‘hateful content’ into acceptable tweets. But what if the story is not covered by The Daily Caller and Fox News? Present social media policies promote inconsistent, secret filtering policies that can and do block what is often just one side of important public debates.”
CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Wednesday to discuss the promotion ban along with what the organization did to find out why its tweets were considered as hateful.
“We looked at them and they all had ‘illegal alien’ or ‘criminal alien’ in them,” Krikorian told Carlson. “And so we said, ‘That must be it.’ What we did is sent them a nice note, and said, ‘Please let us know specifically what’s hateful about this because other ones weren’t that you did accept money for.’”
While it is important to note that Twitter reversed its decision, there is no cause for joy but consternation that this happened at all.
Twitter is a widely used means of communication. It has become a virtual town square and its managers have total control over who gets to stand on the “soapbox.”
As Twitter notes, A promoted tweet is a normal tweet bought by advertisers that can have a greater outreach on people.
In other words, promoting a tweet is the equivalent of providing a megaphone to the person or advertiser to reach more people. Consequently, denying the speaker the use of that megaphone muffles the message.
Americans have foolishly come to blame the widespread censorship of language as examples of “Political Correctness.” This is a dangerous notion. Political Correctness (PC) was originally sold to Americans as a way of being polite by not using insulting or humiliating language.
However, this has now morphed into a means of thought control through the control of language.
Humans think with words. When you eliminate words, you eliminate the thoughts that the words represent. All that is required is that a term, such as “alien” be branded “hate speech” by an unknown arbiter of language, and it is scrubbed from the vernacular.
There is absolutely nothing fair or compassionate about this.
Last year I wrote an article about how this now threatens the very foundation of our nation, Language Wars: The Road to Tyranny Is Paved with Language Censorship.
Across the United States “Safe Spaces” have been created on college campuses that stifle free speech and debate. My degree was in Communications Arts and Sciences. I participated in debates in high school and college and had I not become a federal agent, I had given serious consideration to teaching debate on the college level.
Debate is a celebration of the First Amendment that creates a sort of free market for ideas, a form of intellectual capitalism, where the participants bring their ideas to the marketplace of public opinion where all sides can express their thoughts freely.
Through this process the ideas that have greater merit are likely to advance.
It is easier to promote bad ideas when there are no alternatives. Hence, we have “Safe Spaces” that are anything but “safe.”
Twitter is not alone in this totalitarian method of stifling free speech.
The Associated Press (AP) has issued a Style Book to not only guide writers in consistent use of punctuation and footnoting, but in purportedly acceptable language. “Illegal alien” is not deemed acceptable for AP and, as they advertise on their website, their Style Book can be found in boardrooms, classrooms and newsrooms across America.
Control of language, coupled with extreme surveillance of its citizens that included the installation of telescreens (television monitoring devices) in the citizens’ homes that broadcast a constant barrage of programming from the omnipresent “Big Brother” created the ultimate police state in Orwell’s 1984.
Today our cell phones and other devices that apparently eavesdrop on us, are far more intrusive than Orwell could have envisioned.
A detailed explanation of Newspeak is found in the following excerpt from the Appendix to Orwell’s novel, under the title , The Principles of Newspeak. While admittedly a bit lengthy, it provides a clear explanation and warning as to just how dangerous and insidious Newspeak and other such censorship is:
The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc (English Socialist Party) but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought — that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc — should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meanings whatever. To give a single example. The word free still existed in Newspeak, but it could only be used in such statements as ‘This dog is free from lice’ or ‘This field is free from weeds’. It could not be used in its old sense of ‘politically free’ or ‘intellectually free’ since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed even as concepts, and were therefore of necessity nameless.
Quite apart from the suppression of definitely heretical words, reduction of vocabulary was regarded as an end in itself, and no word that could be dispensed with was allowed to survive. Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum.
Two years ago I wrote an analysis of the origins of eliminating the term “Alien” from discussions about immigration in my article, Jimmy Carter: Originator of the Orwellian Term “Undocumented Immigrant.”
Not only did Carter alter the language used by immigration enforcement agents, he even ordered INS agents not to arrest illegal aliens during the Census in the population centers with the greatest number of illegal aliens. Those areas tended to vote for Democratic candidates and would gain more seats in the House of Representatives and hence, more votes in the Electoral College by getting more illegal aliens counted. He illegally harnessed immigration to skew the electorate by obstructing immigration law enforcement.
Most Americans don’t realize that the term DREAM Act is actually an acronym (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act). The supposed hate word “Alien” became palatable when it could be linked to The American Dream. This is sheer hypocrisy, but then this Orwellian use of language is not about ethics, but about thought control. There is certainly nothing ethical about that!
The Immigration and Nationality Act, defines the term “Alien” as “Any person, not a citizen or national of the United States.” There is no insult in that term or its definition, only clarity.
Rebels who stage a coup d’etat generally first seize the means of communication to control the flow of information. Knowledge is power, and to strip the citizenry of its power, its access to information must be tightly controlled though censorship.
Between fake news and the implementation of control over language by the social media, America stands at the precipice of the loss of our freedoms and our way of life.
The Fourth Amendment has been gutted in the name of national security, even as the “War on Terror” that justified many of these measures, does not include secure borders or effective immigration law enforcement mandated by the 9/11 Commission.
In fact, the Left now seeks to abolish all immigration law enforcement to ostensibly protect the immigrants, leaving the U.S. vulnerable.
The question that must be asked is, are we more at risk at the hands of terrorists or at the hands of the Ministry of Truth?
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EDITORS NOTE: This column first appeared on FrontPage Magazine.