Trump Vows To Protect Conservatives From Pretend Social Media Censorship
Conservatives want to be oppressed. Or, rather, for everyone to think they are being oppressed and to then give them what they see as the impunity and moral upper hand that comes along with being an oppressed group of people. They want it very, very badly and think it is very unfair that all the people they have oppressed have this privilege and they do not. This morning, Trump took to Twitter to vow to protect them from the worst kind of oppression of all -- imaginary social media censorship!
This tweetstorm comes only a few weeks after Alex Jones asked Trump to help him fight the war on the "censorship" of conservatives in social media.
This is all very fascinating coming from someone who once called for a senate investigation into unflattering stories about him in the news, after news of Rex Tillerson calling him a moron surfaced.
Not to mention someone who has repeatedly advocated for "opening up the libel laws" when the only conceivable way to do that would be to do something to overturn or nullify the landmark free speech case New York Times v Sullivan. Ironically, this is the very decision that would have protected Donald Trump when he claimed Obama wasn't born here if he had been sued, and the case that protects Alex Jones when he makes all of his absurd claims.
Let's be very clear here. People like Alex Jones are not getting banned from social media because they are tweeting about political conservatism. They are not even getting banned because they are racist or sexist or because they believe in completely absurd conspiracy theories. They are getting banned for inciting and encouraging violence and harassment, which is a violation of the terms and conditions of those sites, regardless of what one's political stance is. Do conservatives deserve an exception from these policies? Do they deserve... special rights?
Because the thing of it is, people on the left regularly have their accounts banned as well -- I regularly get friend requests from the alt-accounts of people I know who have been suspended for calling out racism and sexism on Facebook.
What this comes down to, ultimately, is their cherished free market, which is supposed to solve all of the problems with it's magic invisible hands. There is a conservative social media site, with much looser terms and conditions than Twitter or Facebook -- it is called Gab. They are all free to take their business over there if they so choose, and yet somehow most of them do not. The reason they don't is because other social media platforms provide them access to the rest of us, and Gab does not. We're not going to go over there because "Hey, there are more Nazis here!" is not a product the rest of us want.
Anything Donald Trump would want to do to force social media sites to change their terms and conditions to accommodate conservatives who wish to advocate for violence would be a free speech issue in and of itself. There is not, actually, anything constitutional he could do to accomplish this. Then again, he probably doesn't care.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse