The organization I lead, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, is suing to stop Facebook’s censorship of conservative voices; but as our case moves through the courts, that censorship is more virulent than ever. I recently received this email:
Firstly I want to say thank you so much for all your hard work and honest reporting, I am a big fan.
Over the last few weeks, I have been having problems leaving comments on many of my other pages. In the beginning, I just thought it was me and maybe my computer was freezing. Now I know this is not the case. A lot of members have now been posting on many different pages on which they too are having problems leaving comments. This intentional technical issue is hurting our post reach as many members frustrated by not being allowed to comment just give up. Just this morning on another page I admin called “I hate Justin Trudeau” a member posted that she was having the same issue. In just over an hour over 50 other members have said they are experiencing the same problems. We are being censored … both pages and now our members. This is only happening on anti-Trudeau sites and this is really happening.
Now you can’t even criticize leftist political figures? This has to stop, and our lawsuit means to stop it. We are challenging Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides immunity from lawsuits to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, thereby permitting these social-media giants to engage in government-sanctioned censorship and discriminatory business practices free from legal challenge.
In order for us to sue Facebook (which is our intent), we first need to knock out this federal immunity statute. Our lawsuit is therefore against the federal government. We knock out the immunity, and then we can sue Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
In response, the Justice Department simply tried to dodge the issue, saying we were suing the wrong entity. But we aren’t: As everyone knows, the only reason social media can discriminate against us the way they do is because of the immunity granted by the federal government.
The DOJ also argued that there was no constitutional violation because the harm caused (the censorship) was by a private actor (social media). That is generally true, but the Supreme Court has declared that the government is responsible when it enacts laws that change the legal relationship between two groups, including the selective withdrawal from one group of legal protections against private acts, regardless of whether the private acts can be attributed to the government – and that is precisely the situation here.
We will pursue this to the Supreme Court if we have to. This issue is too important.
For years I have documented the outrageous bias of Facebook’s speech policies. These are notoriously one-sided – those who oppose jihad terror, support Israel and stand against the most brutal and extreme ideology on the face of the earth (Shariah) have been systematically blocked and banned. Just last June, Facebook took down my page and blocked me after a devout Muslim opened fire on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Facebook said they took down my page because of their rule against “hateful, obscene, or threatening” content.
But it is not hateful, obscene, or threatening to oppose jihad terror such as we saw in Orlando and in so many other places. Truth is not hateful or obscene. What is hateful, obscene and threatening is that Facebook is moving to silence everyone who speaks honestly about the motivating ideology behind such attacks. To get at Facebook and the other social media giants, we have to challenge the government statute first.
The left needs to handicap and shut down the opposition because its positions do not stand up to refutation and cogent analysis. That’s why the “liberals” are working hard to shut down free speech. Liberal, indeed. But we will continue to fight them every step of the way.
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