About Freedom of Speech Issues in America  and Social Media:  Have You Been Shadowbanned, Yet?

With the midterm elections here in the U.S.A., right around the corner, the conversation if I can use that term about freedom of speech issues in America and social media needs to continue:

On September 5, 2018, in his testimony before Congress on whether Twitter shadow bans or is otherwise prejudiced against conservatives, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said,

“…Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules. We believe strongly in being impartial and we strive to enforce our rules impartially. We do not shadow ban anyone based on political ideology. In fact, from a simple business perspective and to serve the public conversation, Twitter is incentivized to keep all voices on the platform.” (Source: Jack Dorsey’s testimony).

What an ideal! Anything short of it, well that would be at a minimum, the height of bullying, right?

Photo by Geralt/Pixabay

I mean this is social media, not tabloid TV where talk show hosts angrily kick out their Republican conservative guests whose political opinions the hosts reject. Never apologizing. Perhaps in the hopes of further ingratiating themselves with their peanut gallery.

Neither is social media a restaurant or a bar where Republican conservative customers get kicked out because the owner(s) or the worker(s) don’t approve of its customers’ “political ideology.”

And sometimes, the disgruntled are customers who attack other customers just because of their “Make America Great Again” hats.

Do you wonder what kind of degeneration this is …?

On a side note, if anyone is going to discriminate a customer on the basis of political ideology, (not to be confused with religious faith) personally, I’ll rather spend my hard-earned $$$ elsewhere.

That will also avoid the question of; what did you put in my food? But, then, this is just my opinion.

Aren’t you glad social media is none of these…?

I prefer to think of social media as a platform that is available to you and me…

Where we can as adults have civilized discussions, without the one-ups, without the superiority complexes, without threats, intimidation or extortion.

Photo by Geralt/Pixabay

I realize that there is a lot of garbage out there, but you can always just press the mute or block button, if you are serious about civility.

And when someone is nasty to you or says something foolish or ignorant…often it really doesn’t merit a response, no need to waste your time with foolish contentions and arguments.

Until recently, I had never heard the term “shadowban” and when I first heard it, honestly I didn’t know what it was…

According to Wikipedia, shadow banning “…also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting…” is simply when your content/comment is either blocked or partially blocked from the online community.

Ever wondered if you have been “shadow banned”?

Imagine, you’re walking through a crowd of people, you get the feeling something is not kosher… You try to ask the stranger walking along side of you, can you hear anything? But the stranger completely ignores you, can’t see you or hear you, you’re not there even though you think you are, you’ve been shadow banned.

And if you think that perhaps you were really kicked out because of your Conservative opinion aah ugh, you just might be right…

Free speech is fundamental in the United States of America… Yet, nowhere else in the world is free speech so abused…

End of the Summer Sale
Is that absurd!? What am I talking about? Yup, it’s true… consider;

Only in the USA can someone who claims to be an American and lives in the country desecrate and destroy the American flag with impunity and still receive protection from the courts.

Yes, they desecrate the same flag that covers the coffins of our fallen heroes who gave their all, fighting for the safety and protection of our allies, including the safety and protection of the very individuals that disrespect and desecrate our Stars and Stripes.

Only in the USA can an individual abuse, disrespect, mock and make criminal effigies of our duly elected President with impunity and without repercussions because they hate.

And then they accuse our President of being “racist,” because he won!

These antics in other parts of the world? Won’t get away with it, not unscathed.

Then, there is cyberstalking, online bullying, threats, hacking, ad hominens, cussing these too are offensive forms of speech that should not be entitled to freedom of speech protections.

In fact, a lot of this speech is freely thrown around without censorship, without shadow banning, unless you’re a conservative.

In this context, “censorship,” or “shadow banning,” I dare to say, is a bit more palatable.

But, never ever should censorship or shadow banning be applied to crush Opinion or Commentary, dissenting or otherwise.

False and manufactured accusations can be damaging. Their purpose is to impose a narrative, gain control and destroy.  As much as I prefer to have this type of speech censored completely, in fact this type of speech doesn’t need to be censored and shadow banned.

Why?  Because there are already laws to deal with false and/or manufactured accusations.

Now no one is perfect and we don’t live in a perfect world. But, like “Pinky and the Brain,” someone or someones are always trying to get power to conquer the world!

It’s truly laughable… in light of the temporariness of human existence.

I mean, there will be eternity, when it will be a perfect world. A world where the Bible states:

“the infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:8.

Photo by SarahRichterArt/Pixabay

That will be a reality some day, until then social media platforms are not and should not be in the business of censoring speech or shadow banning anyone…(unless of course with the few exceptions already mentioned).

Especially when that speech happens and is outside of the social media platform…

As was the case with Alex Jones who was banned from Twitter on September 6, 2018, for jokingly telling CNN reporter Oliver Darcy what he thought about his eyes, when they both attended Twitter’s hearing before the Senate. (Source: https://nws.mx/2D2zkJW).  And then posting that video.

Maybe,  Alex Jones was a bit immature and less than flattering with his joke, but certainly nothing so prejudicial or egregious to warrant a permanent ban from Twitter – depriving his millions of followers from his content.

And its interesting to note that there is some history between Oliver Darcy and Alex Jones, i.e., Darcy had previously lobbied to get Alex Jones banned from Facebook. See, https://usamericanflag.com/so-what-is-it-with-the-freedm-of-speech-issues-in-america-and-social-media-what-gives

To be fair, whenever you hear the name Alex Jones in the media, the label “conspiracy theorist,” seems to always follow…(and who and what started calling him that anyway?)

Certainly, this label seems to be much more damaging to Alex Jones, than Alex Jones’ flippant remark about Oliver Darcy’s eyes.

It’s probably easier to label someone a “conspiracy theorist” first, so that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, at least in a critic’s own mind.

I was pleased when on September 5, 2018, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey said that, “Twitter … do[es] not shadow ban anyone based on political ideology.” Id. And there is some evidence to suggest that Twitter resisted the
pressure to banning Alex Jones.

I think, Twitter understands that banning and shadow banning is part of the war on freedom of speech and is equally harmful if not more so, then any comment or statement a publisher or user posts in the exercise of freedom of speech.

Photo by Kropekk/Pixabay

For these reasons, social media platforms do not and should not feel entitled to “censor,” “’permanently ban,’” or “shadowban,” anyone’s content or speech, irrespective of whether it’s based on political ideology or not…

And why is it that for the most part, it’s the American conservative opinion that gets shafted all the time?  That
is, the voices of those who are politically incorrect because of their Christian faith, their love of country, their patriotism, unity, civility, respect.

So I wonder how can the statement that “Twitter doesn’t shadow ban” be reconciled with the fact that…

On or about September 7, 2018, – Benghazi hero and survivor Kris “Tanto” Paronto’s account was suspended pending the forced deletion of a tweet wherein he merely corrected an Obama supporter, telling him
that Obama did not kill UBL and that the real hero was actually a military hero. Kris also corrected Barack Obama for “calling the Benghazi attacks a conspiracy theory.” (Source: Ammoland.com)

Then on or about September 21, 2018, actor James Woods was locked out of his profile on account of a meme he tweeted back on July 20th, 2018 (Source: Washington Post).  So the question remains, when did Twitter determine that the meme was suddenly in violation of its rules?

The chasm that exists between Twitter’s idealic statement and the permanent ban or shadow banning of Alex Jones/ InfoWars, Benghazi hero “Tanto,” Paronto, Actor James Woods and a host of others, is wide and real.

Photo by Photo-Company/Pixabay

And yet, how is it that voices openly antagonizing and espousing anti-freedom of speech rhetoric remain unfazed enjoying unbridled free speech liberties, denied others?

In summary:

The September 5, 2018, hearing was to get an answer from Twitter on whether it shadow bans and/or is biased against conservative opinions. But, looking at the whole picture and the anger and bitterness from the Democrats because they lost the 2016 elections – with the midterms right around the corner – you wonder what was the point of
that hearing?

Is there an “overcorrection” to shut down and silence conservative voices?  Maybe its just the midterm election jitters that have some people on edge.

I’m hoping that for the immediate future, the host of all those that have been shadow banned including Alex Jones will be invited back and allowed to continue to freely exercise their freedom of speech.  Kris “T” Paronto and James Stewart have thankfully already been reinstated.

Most importantly, I wish the shutdown of conservative voices stops. Otherwise, what is the point of having our honorable men and women in the military fighting to protect and preserve the freedoms of others, while we as Americans in our own country are being censored and shadow banned for our opinions, commentary and dissenting speech by social media?

Thank you for reading this post. Please exercise your freedom of speech while you still can and leave a comment below.

6 thoughts on “About Freedom of Speech Issues in America and Social Media: Have You Been Shadowbanned, Yet?

  1. Hi Christie,
    Interesting post. I have not been banned or shadow banned. At least not yet, and not that I know of. Haha. 🙂
    I can certainly agree with you on freedom of speech.


  2. This is a very interesting topic. I’ve never heard of shadow banning before. Freedom of speech, the most fundamental of rights is being attacked on all fronts. I may not agree with what everyone says, but I agree you have a right to say it.

  3. Very controversial subject, I’ve never heard this expression shadow banning. There again, I live in the United Kingdom and american English is different. If we speak to someone and they ignore us, don’t hear us or understand us, we’ve been “blanked”. We move on and try someone else.
    Great read, Thank’s.

  4. Interesting post. I’m not familiar with shadow banning. I’m just now starting to use Twitter. Thanks for this post. Issues were brought to my attention that I wasn’t aware of.

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