Tag Archive for: free speech

Federal Government Targeted Dissenting News Organizations & Got Them Censored on Social Media

They claimed to be going after “misinformation.” Of course. Do you think that the notorious fascist regimes of the past did anything other than claim that their censorship was protecting the public from “lies”?

Enemies list? Fed-backed censorship machine targeted 20 news sites

by Greg Piper, Just the News, October 1, 2022:

The private consortium that reported election “misinformation” to tech platforms during the 2020 election season, in “consultation” with federal agencies, targeted several news organizations in its dragnet.

Websites for Just the News, New York Post, Fox News, Washington Examiner, Washington Times, Epoch Times and Breitbart were identified among the 20 “most prominent domains across election integrity incidents” that were cited in tweets flagged by the Election Integrity Partnership and its collaborators.

The Washington Post, New York Times and CNN also appeared on the list, though the consortium’s after-action report emphasizes most of the mainstream media reports “were referenced as fact-checks” that played a “corrective role” against “misleading narratives.”

The report also identified the 21 “most prominent repeat spreaders [of misinformation] on Twitter,” all of them politically classified as “right.” Actor James Woods led that group, followed by The Gateway Pundit blog, Donald Trump Jr. and President Trump himself. The report emphasized 15 were verified by Twitter.

The Stanford Internet Observatory, University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, think tank Atlantic Council, and social media analytics firm Graphika claimed their consortium had a 35% success rate getting flagged content removed, throttled or labeled.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the State Department, and liberal groups such as the Democratic National Committee, also flagged purported misinformation through the consortium.

“No news organization should be subjected to an enemies/censorship list for reporting newsworthy facts” Just the News Editor in Chief John Solomon said in a statement. “It’s even more egregious that this censorship machinery was prodded, aided and sanctioned by the federal government.”

Individuals and organizations named on the lists told Just the News they put no stock in the designations.

“Gateway Pundit is reviewing its legal options,” General Counsel John Burns wrote in an email, calling the “fascist, public-private partnership … a very simple nexus or entwinement case, with deep Supreme Court precedent.”

“How is this any different from what happens in Communist Party-controlled China?” publisher Jim Hoft said. “The scary thing is, the EIP is only a single office within the greater government-wide Ministry of Truth.”

“We noticed a massive drop off on and around the 2020 elections. It got really bad after [Jan. 6, 2021],” paired with apparent “increased leftwing bot activity,” Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk wrote in a text message.

“Compared to my engagement on every other platform, there’s no question that this new revelation fits with our lived experience on Twitter,” he said. “That tax payer dollars are being spent to censor half the country is a travesty and whoever is behind this must be held accountable.”

“The definition of ‘disinformation’ is now any reported facts that go against the world view of the political establishment,” Breitbart News Editor in Chief Alexander Marlow wrote in an email.

The consortium “relies on innuendo and insinuation to imply we are not trustworthy and thus should be censored” rather than accusing Breitbart “of publishing inaccurate stories,” he said. The company is being targeted for “having a massively powerful platform that leads the political conversation every single day.”

“We’re in the middle of what I would call the ‘Great Suppression,’” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told Just the News. He was suspended by Twitter for several months for comments on hydroxychloroquine.

“Censorship is a civil rights issue,” he wrote in a text message. “Not only do we have the right to speak, but we have the right to petition the government and be free from retaliation.”

“This is the destruction of American liberty right before our eyes,” conservative activist Pamela Geller wrote in an email. She called it “more than just campaign rhetoric … This is a fascist regime aiming to criminalize political dissent.”

Human Events senior editor Jack Posobiec said “the crooked scumbags that run the regime target me so often” because they are “terrified” of him.

“We are not going to stop fighting for freedom until their entire edifice [is] torn down,” he vowed….

AUTHOR

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$30K a year, and my kid can’t tell the difference between a boy and a girl

Parents must hold their local school systems accountable for what is taught to their children.


Everything has a price.

Like every American family, our family runs a constant cost/benefit analysis on our lives. There are the small decisions: is it worth the time to drive to Target for the cheaper diapers? Or should I just get the pricier ones at the grocery store? And there are the bigger ones: like, should I live in the suburbs and pay lower taxes but more for car expenses and gas? Or flip that decision?

For our family, one of the toughest decisions was where to send our kids to school. We could send them across the street to the poorly performing public school for free. They’d meet a wide variety of kids and learn some valuable self-advocacy skills, but they would not be academically challenged. For $30k, I could send them to the nearby private school, where they’d benefit from engaged teachers, kids, and families. We’d have to drop the music lessons and fancy trips, but hey — I don’t like Disneyland anyway.

So, with some scholarships, sacrifices, and family assistance, we made the choice to send our kids to a fancy private school. The benefits have been great: warm, caring, patient teachers; outstanding academics; beautiful buildings; even a pretty good lunch. But there’s been a hidden cost, beyond the incredibly painful tuition bills: my kids can’t tell the difference between a boy and a girl.

This seems shocking, I know. How can a concept so obvious, so instinctual that nearly every 2-year-old on the planet can master it, be an idea that my very expensively-educated children don’t understand?

Simple-minded educators

Because some teachers don’t understand it. Because some administrators don’t understand it. And this is where I have to remind myself of something true: half the world is dumber than average.

I know this sounds incredibly snobby. I know this sounds judgmental and awful, but this is true. And this fact helps me take a breath, find some compassion, and slow down.

These teachers are good people. They are kind. They like kids, and want the best for children. They believe that education can make the world a better place. And additionally, they were hired for their people skills: they are empathetic, good communicators, patient, and open-minded. Those are exactly the skills my tuition dollars are paying for.

But these teachers are not well-trained critical thinkers. They were not hired for their ability to analyse complex research studies, nor to follow the various paths of different complex scenarios. They are not philosophers, ethicists, or religious scholars. They are not lawyers or developmental psychologists. They are not endocrinologists or pediatricians. They are experts at connecting to kids and explaining the types of K-12 content that kids should learn. Thank god for teachers and their talents and skills. Our society needs them. But they are not the experts here. They are just trying to do their jobs.

So when faced with the concept of “gender identity” — the idea that “people have an innate feeling of being female or male,” the typical teacher will say “Sure — that makes sense. I’m female, I know it. That’s not a controversial idea.”

When faced with the diagnostic definition of “gender dysphoria”, the idea that “some people have great distress with their biological sex, and wish they were the opposite sex,” these teachers say, “Sure — I know about Jazz Jennings and Caitlyn Jenner. That’s a real thing.”

When faced with the fact of “Disorders of Sexual Development” (formerly known as Intersex conditions), the scientifically observed and natural phenomena of various biological sexual characteristics and markers, teachers say, “Yep — I learned about that once.”

And when urged to consider the negative impacts of the difficulty of being an outlier, and the impacts of social isolation and/or ostracism, the teachers say, “Not on my watch. My cousin was gay and poorly treated. I won’t let any of my kids be bullied or left out.”

So when teachers combine all these ideas and impressions and blend them into their natural “be nice” personalities and “open-minded” natures, they are primed to become believers and advocates of transgender ideology. If Johnny likes skirts and thinks he’s really a girl inside, who are we to judge? We really can’t blame the teachers. They were born this way.

So our society has laid yet another burden of expectation on teachers. They must educate kids, they must socialise kids, they must address and resolve the emotional and behavioural dysfunctions of these kids. And now they must be responsible for nurturing, protecting, and advocating for the “internal feeling of being female or male” for a kid, otherwise they’ll be held responsible for the kid’s ostracism.

This is nuts. These teachers don’t stand a chance.

To the top

So we can’t fight the teachers. We’ve got to get the administrators and school boards to stop, listen, and think. These people were hired to be critical thinkers, to balance different opinions, to consider the different consequences of different choices. They still aren’t likely to read the studies or think through the ethical or philosophical consequences of different complex scenarios, but they are primed to consider one thing above all: legal threats.

Right now, principals and school boards are hiding behind the guidelines that WPATH (an activist-led organisation), the American Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals have created. These organisations have good intentions, but they are also human and flawed (and remember — half their members are below average). Even the ACLU seems to have lost its mind on this topic.

I suggest American parents adopt the “Maya Forstater Approach.” This strategy, based on the case in England, relies on fundamental and constitutional American legal rights: free speech and free religion. I don’t care if you haven’t been to church ever. This is what you say to your school board:

“For scientific, religious, and social reasons, I do not believe that you can change your sex, and I do not want my children to be taught “gender identity”, the belief that you have a gendered soul, and that your gender soul feelings trump your biology. How is your school protecting my family’s religious beliefs and our right to be free from compelled speech?”

Ask your school’s principal this question every Fall. Send it as a statement to your kids’ teachers every fall. Tell them to inform you of any lesson on gender identity before it happens so that your children can have a substitute lesson. Ask them what their policy on requesting pronouns is, so that your child does not feel compelled to use certain speech. Ask them how they balance different opinions on this topic in the community.

I can guarantee you they do not see this as a religious issue, but as a social justice issue. Say the magic words “freedom of religion/freedom from religion” and “freedom of speech” and see if that works. We’ve got a long history of protecting underdogs in this country, and right now the culture glorifies the status of victim. Use this knowledge wisely.

And here’s the thing: this is going to cost you. Be ready. Do the cost/benefit analysis. Whether your kids are getting a free public education or an expensive private one, when you ruffle the feathers of the principal, the winds blow. Then again, if you remain silent, your kid may not understand that sex never changes. Be prepared. Everything has a cost.

This article has been republished from Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans (PITT).

BY

Anonymous author

In exceptional circumstances, MercatorNet allows contributors to publish articles anonymously. Sometimes the author’s privacy or safety might be at risk. More by Anonymous author.

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EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Psychologist Explains the Unhealthy Incentives Behind ‘Cancel Culture’

Jonathan Haidt, author of ‘The Righteous Mind,’ says one of the marks of an open and civil society is that individuals are not afraid to share opinions.


If there was a video documenting every second of my life, you can bet it would contain some pretty stupid comments I’ve made over the years. I would also probably be reminded of some opinions I no longer believe. If you’re being honest with yourself, yours likely would be equally cringe.

The things we have said in the past may not have been outrageously offensive, but we have all made comments, or held opinions, we later regret. We are, after all, inherently flawed creatures.

But imagine if one instance of poor judgment or one “fringe” opinion stuck with you forever. This is the problem our society is now facing with the prevalence of cancel culture.

In 2016, then-high school freshman Mimi Groves posted a video to Snapchat in which she used a racial slur. The video later circulated around her school, though it wasn’t met with controversy at the time.

Fellow classmate Jimmy Galligan hadn’t seen the footage until last year when the two were seniors—four years after it first made the rounds at Heritage High School. By this time, Groves had moved on to focus on her role as varsity cheer captain with big dreams of attending the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a school known for its nationally ranked cheer squad.

For Groves, summer 2020 had been a time of celebration as she found out she had been accepted to the university’s cheer team. But her joy was short-lived when the death of George Floyd rightly outraged the nation, sparking a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Like many teens, Groves used her social media platforms to urge people to protest, donate, and sign petitions in support of ending police brutality. It was then that her unfortunate video came back to haunt her.

“You have the audacity to post this, after saying the N-word,” one commenter, unknown to the teen, posted on her Instagram.

That’s when her phone began ringing nonstop.

Galligan had held onto the video made four years earlier and had chosen to celebrate Groves’ admission to UT by blasting the footage to every major social media platform.

As the video began going viral, public outrage ensued, calling for the university to rescind her acceptance.

Capitulating to the mob, UT removed her from their cheer team, a decision that resulted in Groves withdrawing from the school because of what she perceived as pressure from the school’s admissions office.

Make no mistake, making racial slurs of any kind is demeaning and inappropriate behavior. But is one comment made four years prior enough to ruin the future of a teen who hadn’t even entered adulthood yet?

The court of public opinion said yes, without giving Groves any chance at redemption.

Groves’ story is just one of many.

Cancel culture has become more widespread over the last several years than anyone could have imagined. When I penned this article on the topic two years ago, I had no idea the problem would escalate to the level it has reached today.

But cancel culture isn’t reserved only for those who have made distasteful comments in the past.

Today, those espousing any opinion that goes against “woke” rhetoric are ridiculed online, fired from their jobs, and some are banned from using popular social media platforms altogether.

One University of North Carolina Wilmington professor, Mike Adams, even took his own life after tweets construed as offensive pushed him into early retirement after years of service to the institution.

Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind and co-author of The Coddling of the American Mindhas been an outspoken critic of the cancel culture phenomenon for some time.

“Part of a call-out culture is you get credit based on what someone else said if you ‘call it out,'” he said in a 2018 interview.

This virtue signaling, which is really just a means of proving to society how “good” and “moral” your views are, is only half of the equation, however. Cancel culture is also about personal destruction, which is obvious in Groves’ situation, since Galligan didn’t use this ammunition against her until the time was ripe for maximum harm.

“It(cancel culture) has reached a level of personal vindictiveness, where people go out of their way to find ways the things other people say could be construed as insensitive,” Haidt said.

Slurs and inappropriate comments aside, cancel culture has made people scared to share their opinions lest they be condemned for thinking “incorrectly” about any given issue.

We now live in an era where people are constantly looking over their shoulders, or computer screens, worried that whatever opinion they post might make them victims of cancel culture.

There is no opportunity to change one’s mind, nor is there room to defend opinions you genuinely believe. And this is a huge problem for any civil society.

Haidt spoke of the importance of protecting open dialogue so that we may live in a society filled with varying opinions from which to choose.

“One of the most important [aspects] is that people are not afraid to share their opinions – they’re not afraid that they’re going to be shamed socially for disagreeing with the dominant opinion,” Haidt said.

The odds are high that your opinions about certain issues will change over time. However, some may not, and you shouldn’t live in fear that your beliefs will be met with social condemnation and isolation.

We are no longer given the room to share our opinions today because we are no longer able to disagree with each other respectfully.

You’re not always going to agree with everything other people say — not your professors, your classmates, or your parents. In fact, you might even find that your own views change as you learn new things and grow as a person and adult.

But having the freedom to consider all opinions and decide what you genuinely believe is vital to the human experience and civil discourse.

There is a market of choice in all things, from what clothes you wear, products you buy, and what ideas you subscribe to.

When you go shopping, you might not like the first outfit you try. You might not even like the second or third. But trying on different looks, or opinions, allows you to think for yourself and figure out what it is you want, or believe.

To be truly open-minded, you must be able to consider all opinions, instead of condemning any thought contrary to your own. The free exchange of ideas pushes individuals to share unique ideas and allows for opinions to evolve.

Dissent is what makes democracy strong. Our Constitution has outlasted so many others because the Founders disagreed and debated with each other until they crafted a document that fostered “a more perfect union” than had ever been seen before. We would be wise not to forget the example they set.

Put simply, shaming others doesn’t work. It’s purely punitive, and self-aggrandizing. It also rarely changes a person’s mind and often further radicalizes their beliefs, widening the divide already growing in our country.

To foster a world where ideas can be freely expressed, Pacific Legal Foundation will be hosting an event this Friday featuring Haidt that will examine the many ways free speech serves as a central tenet of innovation, community, and civil society, and how we can preserve and protect this fundamental value that makes our society so extraordinary.

Without the ability to speak freely and consider all opinions, civil discourse cannot occur. In its absence, society as we know it will cease to exist and the divides between us will continue to grow.

AUTHOR

Brittany Hunter

Brittany is a writer for the Pacific Legal Foundation. She is a co-host of “The Way The World Works,” a Tuttle Twins podcast for families.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

AG Who Tried to Sic FBI on Parents Speaking Out at School Board Meetings Warns of ‘Threat to Democracy’

If it hadn’t been obvious before, it’s long since become a basic reality that those shouting loudest about “threats to democracy” are the threat.

Attorney General Merrick Garland warned about threats to democracy in the U.S. and abroad in a commencement speech at Harvard University on Sunday.

“Threats to democracy in the U.S. and abroad” is a convenient way to connect external and internal opposition, and thus use counterintelligence and other tools meant to be deployed against foreign adversaries against Republicans.

We know this is true because this is what Obama/Biden has done. And we’re not just talking Trump Russiagate.

Not all that long ago, AG Garland sicced the FBI on parents speaking out at school board meetings. And that was the second draft. This was the first draft.

Early demands from the National School Boards Association to the White House included calling for the deployment of the Army National Guard and the military police to monitor school board meetings, according to an early draft letter the organization’s independent review released Friday.

I can’t think of a more basic community level form of democracy than school boards.

But here’s AG Garland going on about “threats to democracy”.

Garland, who is a Harvard alumnus, pointed to efforts to undermine the right to vote, violence against particular groups of people, the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and the Russian invasion of Ukraine abroad as the “many ways in which democracy is under threat.”

There we go. Conflate Russia with the Capitol riot with state voting regulations, treat them all as a military/intel threat that must be crushed. And that’s how you end up with the Biden admin flirting with the idea of sending the National Guard to school board meetings.

Threats to democracy? Look in the mirror.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

DHS: ‘Domestic violent extremists’ are ‘infiltrating’ the abortion debate

What would we do without the Department of Homeland Security? Those intrepid defenders of our liberties are showing these days how richly they deserve our taxpayer billions, as DHS officials, ever on the watch, warned on Monday that “domestic violent extremists” are “infiltrating” the national debate over abortion, with nefarious plans to “incite violence amongst their supporters.”

Now, I must admit, I’m not as sharp as the all the knives in the drawer over at the DHS, and I don’t have my finger on the pulse of threats to “our democracy,” which Leftists are constantly telling us is in imminent peril from people who believe in the U.S. Constitution and the basic goodness of the American experiment. So I hope that Alejandro Mayorkas and his henchmen, that is, colleagues, at the DHS will forgive me for not realizing that domestic violent extremists have only recently infiltrated the abortion debate. I had the crazy idea that domestic violent extremists had actually infiltrated the abortion debate decades ago; in fact, I thought they had been there from the very beginning. After all, there are people out there who think that those who dismember babies in the womb are performing a decent and righteous act; if that’s not domestic violent extremism, what is?

But that is, of course, not the kind of domestic violent extremism that the DHS has in mind. To be sure, our intrepid defenders didn’t specify exactly what kind of domestic violent extremism they did have in mind. ABC News reported that the DHS official who disclosed this warning “did not specify which side, if any, the extremists were taking.” However, it’s not hard to figure out which side the DHS has in mind. The FBI, as well as DHS officials, have quite frequently repeated the claim that “white supremacists” are the most formidable “domestic extremist” threat that the nation faces today.

This is an administration that has likened parents who have protested at school board meetings against Communist indoctrination and transgender propaganda in public schools to terrorists, while not saying a thing about genuine Antifa violence and thuggery, so when the DHS warns that “domestic violent extremists” are infiltrating the abortion debate, it’s absolutely certain that the people they are tarring with this label are pro-lifers. And while there have been a handful of pro-lifers who were violent in the past, it’s far more likely that DHS is equating dissenting words with violence.

Why do I say that? Because it has happened to me. Last year, the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), an organization created by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube to police terrorism on the Internet, bizarrely designated my organization Jihad Watch a “violent extremist” group, despite the fact that pretty much all we do is type and report on jihad activity in the U.S. and around the world. In response to a letter from my attorney demanding a retraction, the GIFCT refused to back down. Those who designated Jihad Watch as a “violent extremist” group explained that we reported on violent activity — terrorist bombings, murders, etc. — and that this in some way “dehumanized” Muslims.

How we did this was left unexplained; it would have been impossible to explain, as it was absurd on its face. If reporting news that puts some group in a bad light is “dehumanizing,” the GIFCT and DHS should go after the establishment media for “dehumanizing” Trump and his supporters. The response to my attorney’s letter was essentially the increasingly common Leftist argument that speech that dissents from its party line is violence, and hence must be shut down.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, fresh from defending his sinister and Orwellian new Disinformation Governance Board, promises that his department is right on top of this alleged “domestic violent extremist” threat: “Over the past year, we in the Department of Homeland Security have improved and strengthened our approach to combating this dynamic, evolving threat.”

How reassuring. Meanwhile, Leftist pro-abortion ideologues have been demonstrating at the homes of the Supreme Court Justices who are likely to vote to overturn Roe v. Wade in a naked attempt to intimidate them into changing their vote. Despite the fact that it is a felony to demonstrate at private homes, the Biden administration has applauded these protests. The government is presently in the hands of thugs who believe that bullying and frightening people into submission is an acceptable political tactic. Can the DHS, in such an environment, spare even a few agents to try to head off any possible Leftist violence regarding a possible overturning of Roe? After all, Leftists are much, much more likely to be violent than pro-lifers. This is true both historically and recently and is indicated by the nature of what they’re so avidly defending.

AUTHOR

Robert Spencer

Senior Fellow.

EDITORS NOTE: This Center for Security Policy column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Princeton President Conspires to Fire Tenured Prof Who Defended Free Speech

Joshua Katz, a respected linguist at Princeton, is not being fired because of an alleged relationship in 2006, but because he criticized woke abuses in 2020.

At Quilette, Katz had courageously condemned efforts to silence free speech and eliminate academic freedom.

“Independence of thought is considered the hallmark of academia, but everyone deserves it. In the United States, thank heavens, freedom to think for oneself is still a right, not a privilege,” he concluded.

In typical fashion, the radical leftists whom he had criticized in a restrained, civil and respectful fashion, unleashed the full fury of cancel culture and set out to destroy him.

What followed was Lavrentiy Beria’s “Show Me the Man and I’ll Show You the Crime.”

Since none of the false claims that Katz was in any way a racist or had engaged in hate speech, could go beyond impotent fuming they had to find something else.

And all this witch hunt came up was this…

Princeton University’s president has recommended that the school’s board of trustees fire a tenured classics professor, concluding he didn’t cooperate fully in a sexual-misconduct investigation, according to a copy of his letter to the board’s chair reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Salem witch trial judges would be embarrassed by this.

The report said that in 2018, Dr. Katz didn’t fully cooperate with investigators examining a consensual sexual relationship he had with an undergraduate student beginning in 2006, after her junior year, and continuing until her graduation. The student declined to participate in the investigation at that time.

We know exactly why Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber wants Katz fired. He told us so himself in an op-ed in 2020, deeming his speech “irresponsible and offensive.”

“Our policies, however, protect Katz’s freedom to say what he did, just as they protected the Black Justice League’s. He can be answered but not censored or sanctioned,” Eisgruber claimed.

Now he grubbily seeks to bypass those policies.

“Show Me the Man and I’ll Show You the Crime.”

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

SCHOEN: Americans Are Sounding The Alarm Over Big Tech

Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition — which can be summed up as the world’s wealthiest person buying one of the most powerful social media and news platforms — underscores one of the big problems with Big Tech.

In the absence of modernized anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws, Big Tech companies in the U.S. have amassed far too much economic and political control over society, and especially over the news and publishing industries.

The power at Big Tech companies  with respect to their management of sites like Facebook News and Google News – is held by a few individuals who are often times more motivated by a desire to turn profits and promote their own ideology or world view, rather than by a genuine desire to guarantee a free and diverse press.

Due to Big Tech’s market manipulation in the news and publishing industries, thousands of local and smaller news operators — including many conservative publications — have been forced to shutter their doors in recent years.

This forsakes the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and thus, is a threat to our democracy.

Importantly, new survey research shows that the American public recognizes this threat, and wants their elected officials to act on it.

New polling by Schoen Cooperman Research — conducted among a representative sample of U.S. adults and commissioned by News Media Alliance — reveals widespread concern surrounding Big Tech’s power and manipulative practices, as well as strong support for reforms to rein in these monopolies.

Notably, strong majorities of Americans are concerned about the economic and political power of Big Tech companies (74%) and are supportive of increased government regulations on Big Tech companies in order to curb their economic and political power (63%).

With respect to news and publishing specifically, nearly 4-in-5 Americans are concerned that Big Tech companies have too much power over these industries (79%) and manipulate these industries for their own gain (78%).

To that end, three-in-four Americans agree that “Big Tech’s monopoly over the news and publishing industries is a threat to the free press and unfair to publishers, especially to small and local outlets.” (76%)

In addition to being broadly concerned about this problem, Americans are supportive of Congress taking action to restore fairness, balance, and freedom to the press.

Respondents were asked about a specific piece of legislation proposed in Congress known as the Journalism, Competition, and Preservation Act (JCPA). The JCPA would provide a legal basis for news publishers to negotiate fair terms for use of their content by Big Tech companies — and thus, would demonstrably curb the economic and political power of these companies.

Remarkably, 7-in-10 Americans support Congress passing the JCPA (70%) and believe it is important for Congress to pass the JCPA (64%) after reading a brief description of the bill. And by a four-to-one margin, U.S. adults would be more likely, rather than less likely, to back a candidate for Congress who supported the JCPA.

In my experience as a professional pollster who has worked in opinion research for over four decades, it is rare for an issue or piece of legislation to garner this level of public support.

Our findings present a clear call-to-action to Congress, and elected officials in both parties now have a mandate from the public to rein in Big Tech by pursuing the JCPA or similar reforms.

Moreover, the very survival of American democracy is contingent on our leaders safeguarding free speech and ensuring a fair economy.

Congress must fulfill its duty by passing legislation like the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act into law.

AUTHOR

DOUGLAS SCHOEN

Contributor. Douglas E. Schoen is a Democratic pollster and strategist. He is the author of “The Political Fix: Changing the Game of American Democracy, From the Grass Roots to the White House.” The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Dartmouth Bills College Republicans $3,600 For Security After Forcing Antifa Critic Andy Nog’s Event Online

There just isn’t any doubt about what is happening here. Dartmouth is trying to destroy the College Republicans and crush dissent. It’s what Leftists do, and virtually all of America’s major colleges and universities are controlled by the Left today.

Dartmouth bills College Republicans $3,600 for security after forcing live Andy Ngo event online

by Greg Piper, Just the News, April 21, 2022:

An Ivy League school is demanding after-the-fact security fees from its College Republicans chapter for an event the administration banned in person, threatening the club’s ability to continue hosting events, its president told Just the News.

Dartmouth College ordered the CRs to move the Jan. 20 event with Portland-based Antifa chronicler Andy Ngo online just hours before it was scheduled to start, citing “credible threats” the administration received from law enforcement.

Hanover Police, however, said it didn’t ask Dartmouth to shut down the Ngo event, which it was prepared to secure, and wasn’t told why Dartmouth moved it online.

Event security fees on campus have emerged as a high-profile flashpoint in recent years, usually with right-leaning student clubs accusing administrators of caving to the heckler’s veto by sticking them with unreasonable estimates and bills for speakers perceived as controversial.

Ohio approved legislation in 2020 to ban public universities from basing security fees on the anticipated reaction to a speaker. But an appeals court dismissed a lawsuit against the University of Minnesota after it revised a policy used to move conservative pundit Ben Shapiro to a smaller, less convenient venue than progressive speakers received.

Dartmouth CRs President Chloe Ezzo learned the club had been stuck with a $3,600 bill from the Ngo event, and was thus not in “good standing,” when she applied for funding for its Wednesday night event with James O’Keefe, the conservative firebrand who founded Project Veritas.

The Dartmouth Anarchists, an anonymous group that previously threatened to disrupt the Ngo event, publicly accused the CRs of announcing the O’Keefe event “at the last minute” to avoid scrutiny but didn’t directly threaten to disrupt it.

In a phone call hours before the O’Keefe event, Ezzo described a maddening bureaucratic process that involved three requests for funding from the 18-member Council on Student Organizations, whose rules are “very vague and selectively enforced.”

The council didn’t mention the outstanding security bill until the second request, and one member suggested a prohibited alumni fundraiser to pay the debt, according to Ezzo. It rejected her third request for a token $450 to cover just security, meaning the Department of Safety and Security may stick them with another bill of unknown amount.

“We might come out of this event with four grand of debt” and risk the college freezing its account, Ezzo said. “I feel like we’re set up to fail.”

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Elon Musk Becomes Largest Shareholder Of Twitter

Tesla CEO Elon Musk bought a 9.2% stake in Twitter Inc., according to an SEC filing posted Monday.

Musk purchased roughly 73.5 million shares, making him the largest shareholder, The Associated Press reported Monday, citing the filing.

Musk has questioned whether Twitter “rigorously adheres to” the principle of “free speech.” Musk posted a poll on Twitter and 70.4% of respondents said Twitter does not.

“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?” Musk then tweeted.

Musk also said he was “giving serious thought” to creating a new platform with “free speech.”

The investment is considered passive, according to the AP.

Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities said in a client note Monday that the passive stake is likely “just the start of a broader [conversation] with the Twitter board/management that could ultimately lead to an active stake and a potential more aggressive ownership role of Twitter,” according to the AP.

Twitter shares spiked more than 20% following the announcement.

AUTHOR

BRIANNA LYMAN

Reporter.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Twitter blocks Babylon Bee for naming Rachel Levine its ‘Man of the Year’

“Truth is not hate speech,” says the Babylon Bee’s Seth Dillon. Gee, where have I heard that before? We used to say it all the time in defense of our work against jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women. The social media giants’ war against the freedom of speech today is based on actions against “Islamophobes” in years past.

Twitter suspends Babylon Bee for naming Rachel Levine ‘Man of the Year’

by Ariel Zilber, New York Post, March 21, 2022:

Twitter locked the account of a right-leaning parody site, The Babylon Bee, after it awarded Rachel Levine, the transgender Biden administration official, the title of “man of the year.”

The Babylon Bee story was a reaction to USA Today’s naming of Levine, who is US assistant secretary for health for the US Department of Health and Human Services, as one of its “women of the year” last week.

Twitter says it will restore the account, which has more than 1.3 million followers, if the Bee deletes the tweet, but Dillon says he has no intention of doing so.

“We’re not deleting anything,” Dillon tweeted from his personal account. “Truth is not hate speech. If the cost of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, then so be it.”…

Twitter cited its policy on “hateful conduct,” which states: “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”…

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, Joe Rogan, and the Left’s Cancel Culture Double Standard

My latest in PJ Media:

Everyone knows the double standard is in place. It is taken for granted so much that people barely remark upon it anymore. When someone who dissents from the Leftist agenda offends Leftist sensibilities, his or her career is ruined for good. Remember Roseanne Barr, Tim Allen, and a host of others. Now the Left has Joe Rogan in its sights for daring to dissent from COVID orthodoxy and has suddenly discovered that years ago, he used a racial slur. Spotify has removed over a hundred of his podcasts, and the end is not in sight. But if someone who is reliably Leftist says something that offends the self-appointed guardians of acceptable opinion, the punishment is slight at best, as we have just seen with Whoopi Goldberg’s two-week suspension for Holocaust denial (which doesn’t really bother the hard Left, but they have to keep up some semblance of an attachment to truth and basic decency). And if the offending speaker is a member of a group with enough victimhood privilege, he or she won’t be punished at all, as the career of Mehdi Hasan indicates.

Mehdi Hasan is a hate-filled far-Left MSNBC host who espouses fashionable Big Lies such as the claim that “white supremacy is now a key ideology of the Republican Party” and “the far-right domestic terror threat is more dangerous than even Al Qaeda after 9/11.” During the Whoopi Goldberg controversy, remarks that Hasan made in 2009 resurfaced, leading many to question why Hasan’s star has consistently risen in the Leftist media, despite his manifest hatred and contempt for non-Muslims.

Hasan, a Shi’ite, said of the early Sunni caliph Yazid: “All of these ulama unanimously agree that at the very minimum if Yazid was not a Kaffir [unbeliever] — then at the very minimum he was a fasiq, a transgressor, a breaker of Islamic laws, a corrupt individual, a tyrant, a killer, a drunkard, a dog lover, a music lover, a homosexual, a pedophile, a sexual deviant, someone who slept with his own mother.”

Now, the Left has no problem with corrupt individuals such as Hunter and Joe Biden if they’re on the right side of the political divide. Tyrannical themselves, Leftists have no problem with tyrants, either. Killers? Depends on who is being killed. Drunkard? Dog lovers? Music lovers? Come on, man! Homosexuals, pedophiles, and sexual deviants? Are we talking about the staff of CNN now?

Anyway, Hasan then broadened his targets to include atheists: “In this respect the Koran describes the atheist as cattle. As cattle of those who grow the crops and do not stop and wonder about this world.” The Qur’an does indeed say: “Already we have created many of the jinn and mankind for Gehenna, having hearts with which they do not understand, and having eyes with which they do not see, and having ears with which they do not hear. They are like cattle, no, they are worse. These are the neglectful.” (7:179)

There is more. Read the rest here.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Facebook allowed photos of beheadings from ISIS and the Taliban to be tagged as ‘insightful’ and ‘engaging’

Facebook was only interested in shutting down the speech of dissenters from the Leftist agenda, not Islamic jihadis.

Facebook allowed photos of beheadings and violent hate speech from ISIS and the Taliban to be tagged as ‘insightful’ and ‘engaging’ – despite claims to crack down on extremists, report reveals

by Jonathan Chadwick, MailOnline, December 21, 2021:

Facebook allowed photos of beheadings and violent hate speech from ISIS and the Taliban to be tagged as ‘insightful’ and ‘engaging’, a new report reveals.

Extremists have turned to the social media platform as a weapon ‘to promote their hate-filled agenda and rally supporters’ on hundreds of groups, according to the review of activity between April and December this year.

These groups have sprouted up across the platform over the last 18 months and vary in size from a few hundred to tens of thousands of members, the review found.

One pro-Taliban group created in spring this year and had grown to 107,000 members before it was deleted, the review, published by Politico, claims.

Overall, extremist content is ‘routinely getting through the net’, despite claims from Meta – the company that owns Facebook – that it’s cracking down on extremists.

‘We do not allow individuals or organisations involved in organised crime, including those designated by the US government as specially designated narcotics trafficking kingpins (SDNTKs); hate; or terrorism, including entities designated by the US government as foreign terrorist organisations (FTOs) or specially designated global terrorists (SDGTs), to have a presence on the platform. We also don’t allow other people to represent these entities.

‘We do not allow leaders or prominent members of these organisations to have a presence on the platform, symbols that represent them to be used on the platform or content that praises them or their acts. In addition, we remove any coordination of substantive support for these individuals and organisations.’

The groups were discovered by Moustafa Ayad, an executive director at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a think tank that tracks online extremism….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Facebook Finally Admits It: Its ‘Fact Checks’ Are Just Opinion

Now the Left’s entire “fact check” deception is exposed. My latest in FrontPage:

For years now, Facebook and the other social media giants have been acting as the guardians of acceptable opinion, banning even the president of the United States for stating views they decided had to be forcibly suppressed. But now, facing a serious legal challenge to their massive censorship of dissidents from the Leftist agenda and ongoing infringement of the freedom of speech, Facebook has finally admitted what its foes have contended from the beginning: its “fact checks” are not really factual at all, but are simply opinion. On the basis of that opinion, innumerable truthful voices have been silenced; lovers of freedom can only hope that this startling admission is the beginning of the end of the social media giants’ hegemony.

Reclaim The Net reported Saturday that “John Stossel, a libertarian journalist and author, filed a lawsuit against Facebook, claiming the platform defamed him through a ‘fact check’ label. Facebook added a ‘misleading’ label on a video he posted.”

This labeling of Stossel had a powerful effect: he was “censored on Facebook and his work was undermined by the ‘fact check’ that he alleged was defaming his character by falsely accusing him of lying.”

Faced with a legal challenge from Stossel, Facebook’s lawyers were cornered into making the damaging admission about its “fact check” labels: “The labels themselves are neither false nor defamatory; to the contrary, they constitute protected opinion.” This is a sleazy tactic, given Facebook’s current power over the public discourse. Reclaim The Net noted that “Facebook wants the ability to allow fact checkers to accuse their users of lying and censor and ban users based on those ‘fact checks,’ but not to have any liability for accusing those users of lying.”

Facebook has done immense damage to a great many more people than just Stossel with these “opinions.” Numerous sites that report on news that the Left doesn’t want you to know have been and/or continue to be shadowbanned or have been removed from Facebook altogether.

Of course, it’s not just Facebook, either. This is by now a tried-and-true tactic of the Left. For years the obscenely wealthy and fantastically corrupt Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has operated in the same way, smearing and defaming foes of the Left’s agenda as “extremists” and equating them with neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen. As a target of this myself, I have several times inquired with lawyers about whether I could sue the SPLC for defamation and am always told the same thing: it’s just their opinion, it’s protected speech, you would have to prove actual malice, and so on.

The problem with this is that the SPLC’s “opinion,” like that of Facebook, is taken as sober, objective fact by numerous organizations and institutions, many of which use the SPLC’s spurious and defamatory “hate group list” to determine whom they will do business with and whom they will shun. Amazon, for example, has a special service for 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, but those that have been smeared by the SPLC, even if they have been neither accused nor convicted of any wrongdoing and are still charities recognized by the U.S. Treasury Department, are excluded from participation. And Amazon is by no means the only corporation to operate this way.

Now that Facebook has made this admission, it has thereby cast doubt upon the Left’s entire “fact check” operation. For Leftists, “fact checking” is just another means to discredit and destroy their political opponents, not a means to get to the truth of the matter at all. But Facebook’s admission will, unfortunately, not likely change anything: the evil conglomerate will continue to infringe upon the freedom of speech and police opinions, allowing only those of the far-Left to be disseminated freely.

To solve this problem will require a president who understands the threat to the freedom of speech that Facebook and the other social media giants pose, and who has the will, the power, and the support to act decisively. If the United States is to survive as a free republic, Facebook, Twitter, Google and all the rest will have to be broken up, the way AT&T was long ago. Otherwise, these sinister oligarchies will continue to strangle and silence dissenting voices, until finally there is no one left at all to speak out as they implement their authoritarian agenda in full.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Hamas-linked CAIR accuses College Democrats of America of ‘Islamophobia’

Democrats supporting Israel’s self-defense against the “Palestinian” jihad? That isn’t allowed. Hamas-linked CAIR is ensuring that the miscreants get back in line, and pronto. Independent thought? Pshaw! That’s only for “right-wingers.”

Muslim advocacy group accuses College Democrats of ‘Islamophobia

by Sean Salai, Washington Times, November 12, 2021:

A Muslim advocacy group is accusing the College Democrats of America of “Islamophobia” for harassing one of their officers on social media over pro-Palestinian comments she made online as a child.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) this week called in a letter for the Democratic Party-affiliated group to open an “independent investigation” with the intent of disciplining or expelling the unnamed members who “repeatedly harassed” Rollins College senior Nourhan Mesbah on social media when she ran successfully for national vice president in August.

The harassment includes the members’ “liking” a social media comment that read in part: “Boot this jihadist out, no room for racist totalitarianism,” CAIR says.

In the letter sent this week to College Democrats President Jalen Miller, CAIR’s national deputy director Edward Mitchell also accuses the CDA members of “weaponizing” an “anti-Muslim” political ad against Ms. Mesbah over the pro-Palestinian comment she said she regretted making online as a 13-year-old.

“Anti-Muslim bigotry is not unique to any particular party, and no party is immune to it,” Mr. Mitchell told The Washington Times on Friday.

“The perception is that only the Republicans have a problem with Muslims, but the truth is that you find Islamaphobia [sic] on the Democratic side, too,” he added.

Ms. Mesbah declined to discuss the incident, which erupted after the ad featuring her childhood comment prompted fellow College Democrats to accuse her of antisemitism and push for her censure.

The letter includes testimony from several Muslim members of the organization, including College Democrats Muslim Caucus Chair Tyrese Rice, who complained on Ms. Mesbah’s behalf about the “bigoted and imbalanced implications of the organization” at both the state and national levels.

“There was a lack of Muslim representation and an underlying stigma against discussion [of] related topics and concepts,” Mr. Rice said about the College Democrats when he first joined them.

Another comment in the letter from an anonymous student says CDA perpetuates a culture of hostility toward “Palestinian liberation” and silences Muslim students who speak up about it.

“By creating a space to allow Muslim members to be called ‘jihadist[s]’ among other names, we have abandoned our progressive ideals,” the student writes.

The College Democrats have not responded to Mr. Mitchell’s letter, and their spokesman did not respond Friday to telephone and email requests for comment.

Reached Friday afternoon, a spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee declined to comment on the dispute….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

National School Boards Association Asks President Biden to Label Its Critics ‘Domestic Terrorists’

Note that “a person yelling ‘a Nazi salute in protest to masking requirements’ is not a Nazi, as the NSBA is trying to imply. He is calling the school board Nazis. Meanwhile, the fascist clowns of the NSBA would almost certainly object most strenuously to any honest exposition of the motivating ideology behind an actual form of terrorism, that is, Islamic jihad terrorism.

School boards group asks Biden to consider labeling opponents ‘domestic terrorists

by Dave Huber, College Fix, September 30, 2021 (thanks to Henry):

The National School Boards Association has asked President Biden to look into slapping a “domestic terrorist” label on “angry” parents and community members who speak their minds at board meetings.

“America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat,” the group says in its letter to the president. “[As] acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

The NSBA wants the Gun-Free School Zones Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights statute, and the Conspiracy Against Rights statute all invoked to help prevent alleged threats, Education Week reports.

The Departments of Education, Homeland Security, and Justice are requested to participate in a review, along with the FBI.

On Sept. 22, the NSBA, along with AASA, the School Superintendents Association, issued a joint statement condemning “online and in-person threats, abuse and harassment.” AASA President Daniel Domenech said that while his group respected the right of free speech, “We cannot—and will not—tolerate aggression, intimidation, threats and violence toward superintendents, board members and educators.”

But some of the instances cited by the NSBA in its letter appear to be free speech, to say nothing of “terrorism.” For example, the group cites a person yelling “a Nazi salute in protest to masking requirements,” while another’s actions “prompted [a] board to call a recess because of opposition to critical race theory.”…

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.