Twitter’s ‘ban’ on political ads has a gaping, legacy media-shaped loophole

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Trying to stay ahead of spurious allegations of enabling ‘Russian meddling’ into US elections, Twitter has outlawed all political advertising – but left an exemption most US legacy media, though partisan, will easily sail through.

“Twitter globally prohibits the promotion of political content. We have made this decision based on our belief that political message reach should be earned, not bought,” the company announced Friday, sharing the details of its ad ban.

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Elaborating on the decision in a thread, Twitter’s head of legal, policy and Trust & Safety Vijaya Gadde effectively admitted that the ban was driven by concerns over digital advertising “driving political outcomes” – even though the effects of micro-targeted ads “are not yet fully understood.”

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The ban is scheduled to go into effect on November 22. In addition to banning candidates, parties, and affiliated groups like political action committees (PACs) from advertising, Twitter is also ruling out ads that are about influencing votes, parties, ballot initiatives or elections. “Cause-based ads” will be allowed with certain restrictions, but again not when coming from candidates, parties or politicians.

If this sounds convoluted, banning both people and content, that’s because it is. However, the policy has a sizeable exemption for “news publishers” who can run ads referencing “political content and/or prohibited advertisers,” so long as there is no advocacy for or against.

To qualify, a publication’s website must have “a minimum of 200,000 monthly unique visitors in the US,” the ability to contact its editors and reporters online, have a searchable archive, and not be a user-generated platform or aggregator. Nor can the publication be dedicated to advocating on a single issue.

These parameters clearly skew the playing field in favor of US legacy media – despite its open partisanship over the past several years. Not only have the legacy media and Democrats blamed the social media for enabling the election of President Donald Trump, they have also led the charge in pressuring Twitter, Facebook and others to “deplatform” any alternative voices they might find unsavory.

As voice after voice gets purged from social media, still think there’s no censorship?

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Most recently, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) actually demanded Twitter suspend Trump’s account as part of her pitch for the 2020 presidential nomination – so far, without effect.

In August, Twitter rolled out a ban on ads from “state-controlled news media entities,” using a convoluted definition that also carves out exemptions for well-established legacy outlets in the West.

(Full disclosure: Twitter banned RT ads long before that, without explanation or process, following the initial 2017 congressional hearings into social media platforms, and the revelation that it proposed a multi-million dollar deal to RT during the 2016 election, which was declined.)

The vast majority – about 86 percent – of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising, with data licensing and other sources accounting for the rest. The company turned an annual profit for the first time in 2018, five years after going public.

CNN SUPERVISOR WISHES FOR TRUMP’S DEATH: “HOPEFULLY SOON”

CNN Supervisor Wishes For Trump's Death: "Hopefully Soon"

Revealing comments caught on tape.

  – OCTOBER 17, 2019

A CNN supervisor was caught on tape wishing for President Donald Trump’s death, commenting that it will happen “hopefully soon.”

The footage was released by Project Veritas as part of their ongoing exposé of the network thanked to leaked recordings from an insider.

In the clip, CNN Field Production Supervisor Gerald Cisnette is discussing CNN’s obsession with covering Trump all the time, remarking, “This is a story that’s not gonna go away.”

“The only way this will go away is when he dies. Hopefully soon,” says Cisnette while laughing.

“Remember when the entire media freaked out of a meme? Here is a CNN wishing for the death of President Trump,” commented Mike Cernovich.

O’Keefe later cited evidence that Twitter was attempting to hide the video by labeling it “sensitive material.”

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Earlier today, O’Keefe also released footage of several CNN staffers complaining that the network used to cover real news and is now nothing more than a partisan mouthpiece.

CENSORSHIP: TWITTER ANNOUNCES NEW RESTRICTIONS FOR WORLD LEADERS

Censorship: Twitter Announces New Restrictions For World Leaders

Big Tech moving to block Trump’s reach to public as election season heats up

  – OCTOBER 15, 2019

In a move surely meant to muzzle President Trump, Twitter has announced new rules for the accounts of world leaders, making clear that certain content will result in “enforcement action,” according to a press release.

“There continues to be meaningful public conversation about how we think about Tweets from world leaders on our service,” Twitter stated Tuesday. “We welcome the conversation and want to share more context on our principles and process for reviewing reported Tweets from these accounts.

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“When it comes to the actions of world leaders on Twitter, we recognize that this is largely new ground and unprecedented. We understand the desire for our decisions to be “yes/no” binaries, but it’s not that simple. The actions we take and policies we develop will set precedent around online speech and we owe it to the people we serve to be deliberate and considered in what we do.”

“Our mission is to provide a forum that enables people to be informed and to engage their leaders directly. We also have a responsibility to the people who use Twitter to better explain why we make the decisions we make, which we will do here.”

Twitter then lays out their “Enforcement scenarios” that would limit a world leader’s account or the ability of users to share their posts.

“The below areas will result in enforcement action for any account on our service (without consideration of the potential public interest value in allowing the Tweet to remain visible behind a notice):”

– Promotion of terrorism;

– Clear and direct threats of violence against an individual (context matters: as noted above, direct interactions with fellow public figures and/or commentary on political and foreign policy issues would likely not result in enforcement);

– Posting private information, such as a home address or non-public personal phone number;

– Posting or sharing intimate photos or videos of someone that were produced or distributed without their consent;

– Engaging in behaviors relating to child sexual exploitation; and

– Encouraging or promoting self-harm.

“In other cases involving a world leader, we will err on the side of leaving the content up if there is a clear public interest in doing so.”

Notably, if Twitter believes a world leader violated these policies, the company will freeze other users’ ability interact with that leader’s post.

“We haven’t used this notice yet, but when we do, you will not be able to like, reply, share, or Retweet the Tweet in question,” Twitter stated. “You will still be able to express your opinion with Retweet with Comment.”

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Though Twitter made a similar announcement back in June, these new restrictions are far more severe than simply “down-ranking” a post.

Democrats will likely pressure Twitter relentlessly to enforce these limitations on Trump because they’re triggered by everything he says or tweets.

2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris already demanded that Twitter outright remove Trump’s account earlier this month because he could “harm” people with his words.

Other Democrats also called for Twitter to remove Trump’s account, including former DNC Deputy Chairman Keith Ellison and Rep. Jackie Speier (Calif.).

Regardless of what Democrats try to do, Twitter has clearly decided it will serve as the gatekeeper for what information you can and cannot disseminate from your elected leaders.

 

CNN EMPLOYEE CONFESSES THAT MSM IGNORES SHOOTINGS IN ‘MINORITY COMMUNITIES’

CNN Employee Confesses That MSM Ignores Shootings In 'Minority Communities'

Chicago shootings completely dismissed while crimes committed by white people get wall-to-wall coverage

OCT 14, 2019

A CNN employee was caught in undercover video by Project Veritas admitting that the network doesn’t cover shootings in “minority communities” the way they would in a white area because it doesn’t get good ratings.

“I think that shootings in poorer areas or, um, minority communities don’t get as much coverage as if they were to happen in a white area,” Christian Sierra told insider Cary Poarch on hidden camera.

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“Let’s say in Princeton, a white kid gets shot at Princeton University,” Sierra said. “He gets killed. We’re going to get coverage on that because ‘Oh my God, we have to put the little precious white boy.’”

But if minorities are shot in Newark, New Jersey, “nobody cares. Maybe unless, unless it happens in Cory Booker’s neighborhood,” he added.

The video clip, which hasn’t yet been publicly released, was shared with meme maker Carpe Donktum AKA Logan Cook by Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe on Monday.

Donktum was suspended by Twitter just minutes after posting the exclusive clip.

“@CarpeDonktum’s account has been SUSPENDED,” O’Keefe tweeted. “I spoke with Logan Cook, who I shared an exclusive CNN clip with — and his account was suspended immediately upon posting one of the clips where Christian Sierra of CNN DISCUSSING COVERAGE OF SHOOTINGS…”

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As of this writing, Twitter has lifted Donktum’s suspension, and the video in question is now available.

As we’ve reported, mainstream media – including CNN – provide very little coverage of violence in urban centers like Chicago or Baltimore, which are plagued with record shootings, but they’re quick to push fake hate crimes stories nationwide before confirming basic facts for ratings.

https://assets.infowarsmedia.com/videos/2892eae3-88b9-4f26-a56a-ac8252cd3238.mov

https://assets.infowarsmedia.com/videos/2892eae3-88b9-4f26-a56a-ac8252cd3238.mov

 

AND THEN THEY CAME FOR JOE ROGAN

And Then They Came for Joe Rogan

Cancel culture catches up with podcast megastar

  – OCTOBER 7, 2019

YouTube has set its sights on prolific podcaster Joe Rogan, targeting him for demonetization like so many other controversial content creators before him.

Last week, one of Rogan’s interviews was flagged after a “human review” reported the video for allegedly containing “harmful or dangerous acts.”

Alex Jones has seen this before, and he’s warning Rogan they won’t stop with just one video.

TWITTER REMOVES VIRAL BIDEN MEME POSTED BY TRUMP

Twitter Removes Viral Biden Meme Posted by Trump

Nickelback-themed video showed Biden & son meeting with Ukraine gas exec.

  – OCTOBER 3, 2019

Twitter removed a viral meme posted by President Trump which highlighted Joe Biden’s duplicity on his son’s business dealings in response to a claim by the copyright owner.

The meme showed Biden denying that he had ever spoken to his son Hunter about the latter’s overseas business dealings.

The clip then cuts to a Nickelback video with the lyrics, “Look at this photograph, every time I do it makes me laugh.”

A photograph of Biden, his son Hunter, and a man identified as a “Ukraine gas exec” on a golf course together appears on screen with hearts drawn around their heads.

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The meme was removed by Twitter this morning in response to a request from the copyright owner.

Warner Media Group owns the rights to Nickelback’s music and it is likely they who asked Twitter to take it down.

The copyright claim is completely without merit as the meme is clearly transformative and therefore fair use.

This clearly seems like a political move to prevent more people from seeing the meme and uncovering Biden’s duplicity.

An alternate version appears below.

 

Nine US states launch probe into whether Facebook broke antitrust rules

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Several state attorneys general united forces to investigate if the social media giant Facebook violated antitrust laws, hurting its users in the process.

The prosecutors will check whether Facebook “stifled competition and put users at risk,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James who is leading the probe.

Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers.

The attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia are also taking part in the probe.

In recent years Facebook has greatly expanded its business ventures, acquiring Instagram and WhatsApp Messenger which unlike their parent company are growing fast.

Facebook allows massive data leaks with no rules in US to prevent it – expert to Boom Bust

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Meanwhile the social media behemoth is facing a litany of accusations for violating users’ privacy and misusing their data. In July, the Justice Department (DoJ) launched a probe into whether the big tech firms are complying with antitrust laws. The officials did not explicitly call out Mark Zuckerberg’s company but hinted that they will be going after the major players.

Congress also started an investigation into Facebook and other IT giants. The House Judiciary Committee head, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), voiced concern that “a handful” of companies have taken control over the vast sectors of online commerce and communications. The issue even came up in the 2020 presidential race with Democratic nomination hopefuls, like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, arguing that Facebook is too powerful and needs to be “broken up.”

Facebook, of course, denies it violated any antitrust rules, and said it is eager to work with lawmakers to come up with regulations to “protect” users.

REPORT: Tech Elite Building ‘Social Credit’ System Masters of The Universe to Track Everything You Do Zuckerscore: Points Control Your Freedom?

Screen Shot 2019-08-26 at 2.56.25 PM

By Allum Bokhari

Fast Company has caught on to what Breitbart News has been highlighting for some time: that the Big Tech Masters of the Universe are developing systems to monitor and regulate personal behavior that closely resemble China’s totalitarian “social credit” system.

The “social credit” system assigns all Chinese citizens a “social credit score.” A citizen’s score drops if he engages in a range of disfavored activities, ranging from littering to supporting political dissidents.

Citizens whose score drops low enough can find themselves subject to strict punishment, including bans from the use of public transport, exclusion from top jobs, and prohibitions on their children attending top-rated schools.

This may sound alien and Orwellian, but as Fast Company notes, Silicon Valley is bringing a version of this grim reality to America.

Via Fast Company:

Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about China’s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.

The articles goes on to note a range of ways in which western citizens are being systematically rated, and in some cases excluded, by corporate America. These include insurance companies scanning the social media feeds of applicants, an app called “PatronScan,” that logs the face and name of troublesome bar and restaurant clientele, and the growing tendency of services like Airbnb, Uber, and WhatsApp to ban users for arbitrary reasons.

The comparison to China’s social credit system is similar to the one this reporter made on Breitbart News Daily in June:

In China, they have what’s called a “social credit system” — in which, if you engage in behavior that the regime doesn’t like, they’ll assign you a score, and when it drops below a certain point, they’ll exclude you from certain basic services, like transportation, they might not let your kids go to good schools — all sorts of basic services, they’ll cut you off from.

We have a corporate version of this already evolving. So if you don’t do the things that Facebook approves of, they’re going to cut you off from their platform, which is now essential for maintaining a social network, building a business, running for office. We rely on Facebook and other social media platforms for so many things. Uber and Lyft will also ban you now — they’ve started to ban people for political viewpoints, so you think China is the only one that’s going to cut you off from transportation for having the wrong opinions — well, Western corporations are now doing that, too. Airbnb, Amazon, they’re all doing it.

One other comparison from the Fast Company article deserves note — the Chinese communist government’s partnership with tech platforms like Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. Far from aiding dissidents, Chinese social media companies like Weibo and WeChat aid and abet the government in the persecution of its citizens.

That too, has eerie parallels with the West, where social media platforms have become a means of extra-judicial censorship for politicians. Because America has the First Amendment, politicians can’t pass laws suppressing speech or punishing dissidents against the established order — but they can, and frequently do, bully tech companies into doing their dirty work for them.

 

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