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Freedom of Speech is Dead!

“Free speech is dead and controlled by leftist overlords.” Thus the shrill voice of Donald Trump Jr. informed those who were prepared to listen to him. I know, I know you are saying why would anybody listen to a junior Donald Trump? It’s akin to listening to a fence post although the latter serves a very real and important function that cannot be attributed to the former.

There is no legal responsibility for any privately-owned platform to host anybody. Indeed there is a strong argument that social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have a duty of care to ensure that what they allow on their platforms – dare I say what they publish – should be moderated to standards generally accepted within our community.

Trump senior has used Twitter constantly for four years to peddle his misinformation and lies and so far he has been able to get away with it. But when he uses a privately owned social media platforms to whip up hatred, perpetuating unfounded claims of a stolen election with no supporting evidence, that’s another matter entirely.

In weighing up the rights and wrongs of shutting down Trump’s Twitter feed I thought of how it was before these platforms were created. In those days, if we had something to say we would write to out local newspaper and take our chances on being published. If you live in Queensland as I do, you would write to a News Corporation publication as there are no others.

But should you want to write a critique of an article by Andrew Bolt for lack of balance or Miranda Devine for lack of objectivity or accuracy that would immediately go into the bin at News Corporation offices.

So, freedom of speech it seems to me is very much in the eye of the beholder. Rupert is evidently very much in favour of Donald Trump’s rights to speak freely and without censure. The memo it seems went out to his editors, print and online, that he was aghast that the leader of the free world should be so arbitrarily shut down by Twitter and Facebook. Sky-after-Dark went off like the proverbial ‘frog in a sock’ to support Donald’s right to his constitutionally guaranteed freedom to speak his mind. But they seem to forget that we probably all agree with the right of the president to speak on matters of global and national importance but that doesn’t include the right to incite violence or to tell lies.

If he wants to communicate with the world he merely has to call a  press conference with the White House press pack in attendance and it would – at least for the next ten days – be considered by all the major networks for national and global coverage, but he would be questioned: and that’s as it should be.

In my view Twitter and Facebook have every right, indeed a duty to ensure that their platforms are suitably moderated – just a pity they didn’t think about it earlier. 

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59 comments

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  1. Roswell

    Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom to incite violence.

  2. DrakeN

    You can say what you like, but not expect others to forward it for you, nor for others to either not listen or to retort.
    As Terence writes, private corporations, companies and/or individuals have no implied duty to publish your words.
    It’s a ‘free market’ – except when it interferes with political manipulation, it seems.

  3. Kerri

    Today’s news showed a confused Josh Frydenberg, ( with that constant frown surely he must be confused?) commenting on the obstruction of the orange moron’s freedom of speech by quoting Voltaire! (Incorrectly)
    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” actually written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall in her book ‘Friends of Voltaire’.
    Poor Joshie must be confused? Because as we all know if you say you question the citizenship of his mother, you are an anti-semite!!
    Selective “freedom of speech” clearly?

  4. Karen Kyle

    Agree….absolutely.
    A pity our acting PM is talking the same rubbish as Trump fans re Trump’s right to lie and incite violence.

  5. Roswell

    So true, Karen. And it’s a worry.

  6. Phil Pryor

    History suggests, bluntly and very rudely, that we might be far better off to kill off the effing liars, aggressive turds, misfits, filth and swindling swine as soon as it is obvious to enough of the normal folk that this is necessary. Free speech is a vague concept abused by cheats, crooks, liars, fascist swine and Trumpites. Decent people, organisations, even corporations, can do what they effing well like to shut up the filth emanating from those who aggressively think they can do to all of us what they effing well like. Why allow cheats, liars, robbers murderers a false start for their exploitation? The death of Trump at birth (in lieu of retrospective abortion) would still be great news, knowing what we now know. (we don’t) Nothing is more abused than freedom for the extremists who want all. Perverts.

  7. Carole

    Josh is a simpleton, I can think of no better word to describe him. He is one of those people who has never learned to think for himself, making him the perfect mouthpiece for that other insufferable individual, Scotty from Marketing. Josh would make the ideal ventriloquist’s dummy. He personifies the saying, « better to stay silent and be thought a fool, rather than speak and confirm it »

  8. Consume Less

    Well said Terence. The hypocrisy from some of our dumbest politicians is hardly surprising (unfortunately)

  9. Anke SKrandies

    Freedom of Speech and yet Assange languishes?

  10. mark delmege

    enough with the censorship, already

  11. Marcia

    mark:
    Orwellian world ’84
    freedom of speech such a boor,
    tweets I don’t like let’s burn’em,
    the fakebook account let’s term’em.

    Get with the program before it’s too late
    freedom of thought gets checked at the gate.
    Take up the chant of the babies,
    no right to free speech, no maybes,
    unless it agrees with twitter and me,
    let’s dumb’em down quickly, savy?

    Mark Suckerberg crica 2021?

  12. mark delmege

    Terence, NYT r u serious? These pretenders are part of the problem.

  13. Marcia

    Why Twitter banned Trump?
    https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/suspension.html

    On January 8, 2021, President Donald J. Trump Tweeted:

    “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
    Shortly thereafter, the President Tweeted:
    “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

    This was deemed to be a ‘glorification of violence’, so the ban.

    I don’t see it, unless the words ‘GIANT VOICE’ scares Suckerberg and cohort out of their nappies.
    Talk about a protected paranoid controlling species who can’t think for themselves, Tech Giants with fragile egos.
    And no, I don’t follow Trump.

  14. wam

    the platforms are companies with shareholders and have no right to anything more than ‘these views are not necessarily those of the management’ and send them to the police, as incitement is an offence.
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/373
    ps
    Perhaps brandis was prophetic with his people have the right to be bigots????

  15. Terence Mills

    Brandis was right but his comments weren’t helpful.

    What the social media sites are grappling with at the moment is trying to avoid being lumped in with newspapers and classed as ‘publishers’. As a publisher of inflammatory or defamatory material they can be sued just as newspapers are (ask the Tele about that).

    The reason why social media platforms have thus far been so lax in their moderation of what appears on their sites is that they insist that they are merely a platform and have no control over what is posted. This appears to be changing as Twitter and Facebook cancel more accounts – that’s a good thing and it would be even better if we were to classify them as publishers.

  16. mark delmege

    I dont see a fun font ….’Twitter and Facebook cancel more accounts – that’s a good thing’ – Terence Mills, what are you some sort of petty fascist? Maybe you’d also like the phone system more rigorously bugged to weed out unpleasant phone calls.

  17. Ban Chen

    mark, some are calling it a clusterfuk of self-reflection, Twitter rebranding itself as wait for it – Twitler. Great work, an honest name change. But as Twitler is controlled by Silicon valley neo-fascists answering to their bosses in China, do we need them anyway?

  18. mark delmege

    China? these same silicon valley outfits that are close to the establishment and therefore the Dems and of course the US intel community but China, you are kidding me, right? of course you are.

  19. Ban Chen

    mark, the Democrats, Deep State, Silicon Valley, MSM and the CCP, yep, same hellish mindset.
    One could probably throw in the mix a good chunk of Republicans too.
    Hard to believe but the more I look at the more it sounds true.
    ‘Lt. General Thomas McInerney Reveals What Happened to the Nancy Pelosi LapTop’
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9UqVginqZ8

    We got owned because we were too trusting of the POS in positions of power.

  20. mark delmege

    I did watch it Ban Chen. I dont buy his line but its a good story.

  21. Ban Chen

    mark, yes, what is true these days? If it was 100% correct it would have been already removed from YouTube. Time will tell.

  22. Michael Taylor

    Terence, our apologies that your post has been devalued by a couple of idiots.

  23. mark delmege

    Would you like me to remind you how Bidens mob in Ukraine trained up fascists to fire bomb, attack and kill security forces in Kiev and take over the Parliament. How snipers killed people on both sides including cops to create the circumstances for an American backed coup? Its just one of many similar op’s run by the new guys in the white house in their past stints on the levers. Its not just that the Democrats are as bad as the Republicans when it comes to foreign policy but their supporters are no less partisan, rude or violent than those they criticise with all the passion of the ‘faithful’. As you can see from the FB linked video I posted Democrats and their fellow travellers have been spruiking the violence for years and I dont recall anyone here running articles about how the internet or other outlets should be censoring such content. So enough already with the confected outrage. The NYT never told the truth about Ukraine (or foreign policy matters in general) and twitter and Fb have shut down shed loads of of news and comment sites and individuals who dont follow the company line. Censorship is a very slippery slope – best avoided.

  24. Terence Mills

    mark delmege

    Maybe you’d also like the phone system more rigorously bugged to weed out unpleasant phone calls.

    Now there’s a thought : I believe Alexander Downer is on the board of just such a company………

    In our household we rely on a landline while at home and a smart-phone when out and about. We are in a mobile blackspot which remains the source of wonderment and incredulity to Rosalyn at the [misnamed] Telstra help-desk in Manila.

    My point is that over the landline we receive an average of three scam calls a week, usually telling us they are the tax office and to pay up our delinquency quick-fast or else and they helpfully ask for our credit card details so that the problem can be overcome. Or there is the man who claims to be with the NBN and asks us to sit in front of our computer and he will direct us own how to improve our connectivity. Or there is the man who tells us we are being hacked and he will assist us, just give over our credit card number and all will be well.

    We know at least one old lady who was drawn into giving her credit card details and then had a call from her credit card company saying that there were unusual transactions on her account : they stopped the payments and she didn’t lose any money – she has since gone into care at the insistence of her family.

    So, yes it has exercised my mind to find a way of stopping these scam artists, ideally by tracing their calls and apprehending them, wherever they may be.

    We won’t have any problems for a while as our landlines in this area are out due, we think, to heavy rain getting into the ancient copper wiring – Rosalyn at the Telstra Philippines help-desk is astonished and bewildered but very empathetic, as always.

    So at the present we rely on the smart-phone which, if I need to I can just get a few bars from the top of a ladder provided it’s not raining.

    Take Care

  25. Terence Mills

    Michael Taylor

    No apology necessary.

  26. Michael Taylor

    ‘Devalued’ was the wrong word. Your post has lost no value at all.

    My apologies for that, too.

  27. Kronomex

    Mark, hear that sound? It’s reality knocking at your door to remind you that living in a fantasy world of conspiracy theories is bad for your health and wellbeing. You come across as almost being delusional sometimes.

  28. Henry Rodrigues

    Kronomex…… regards M Delmege, ‘delusional’ is a charitable description, more like a bunch of rats running amok in the attic. But he seems to be in like company, with Ban Chen.

  29. mark delmege

    you two sound like democrat supporters who read the nyt and watch the abc and think you know what goes on in the world..

  30. Kronomex

    You seem to have proved my point Mark. That’s childish.

  31. mark delmege

    What conspiracy is that Kron? The fact that the western media (conspired to) ignore(d) or hide from their readers the reality of the US backed coup in Ukraine or that agencies of the USofA trained up fascists to break police lines – or that snipers (probably Georgian) were used to create confusion. And of course they (the western ‘liberal’ media) did their best to again hide ignore or deny the role of the Biden family in post coup corruptions.
    Or was it that both Fbook and twitter have been conspiring to censor alternative news sites and people for yonks.

  32. Kronomex

    Mark, where’s your evidence to back up your opinion and that is all it is unless you can prove otherwise! Until then you are just a fart in a cyclone.To quote a line from a Three Stooges short: “Every time you think you weaken the nation.” You can take however you want.

  33. mark delmege

    My opinion on WHAT Kro? What is it that you dont understand.

  34. Michael Taylor

    What is it that you dont understand.

    Your every word.

  35. Kronomex

    Now sit down Mark, this may strain your brain (such as it is) a bit.

    “My opinion on WHAT Kro?”

    mark delmegeJanuary 14, 2021 at 5:19 pm
    mark delmegeJanuary 14, 2021 at 3:33 am
    mark delmegeJanuary 13, 2021 at 11:25 am

    Those are all personal opinions (“a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.”) and hearsay and if you can’t provide evidence to prove otherwise that’s all they will remain. Plainly and simply: put up or shut up.

  36. mark delmege

    So what you are saying is that not only are you rude and ignorant but you are too f’n lazy to do your own research. See you next tuesday.

  37. Michael Taylor

    mark, get off of my website.

    You don’t like us, and we don’t like you.

    It appears that a lot of people don’t like you. I keep a very close watch on the traffic to this site and when you’re here you keep people away. You’re bad for business. I don’t work my arse off for you.

    Now leave, please. Peacefully and quietly.

  38. Kronomex

    “So what you are saying is that not only are you rude and ignorant but you are too f’n lazy to do your own research. See you next tuesday.”

    Ah, the typical reply of someone who has nothing but hearsay and unfounded opinions and can’t back any of them up. When pressed throws a childish tantrum, swears and runs away. It is incumbent upon YOU as the person making the comments and statements to provide evidence to back up said comments and statements if asked. Using “…to do your own research.” is a weakness only compounded by sulking and petulance.

    And…

  39. Kronomex

    Talking about The Donald, I can’t wait to see what Jon Oliver and Bill Maher will have to say when their 2021 seasons start. Now I’m off to watch episode 5 of History of swear Words hosted by Nicholas Cage. Have a good night.

  40. mark delmege

    well done Michael, I hope you are proud of yourself and your scaly mates. I’m a little surprised that the idea of the USofA running a coup in Ukraine is even controversial. There is no shortage of well documented well respected articles out there.
    Yeah I’m a little sick of being told to fuck off on here by people like you who dont know how to argue and resort to name calling and abuse when you cant get your way.

  41. Jlue

    Millions of Americans believe the election was stolen. That is a horrific loss, but NOTHING compared to the loss of freedom we experience when our representatives in a Constitutional Republic calls making a statement that “We won in a landslide” a “high crime” and impeachable offense…That is precisely what happened. Read the Articles of Impeachment.
    https://jlue.wordpress.com/2021/01/17/impeachment-claims-accurate-or-inaccurate/

  42. mark delmege

    Everything I said above is confirmed in this article published since. coup nazis etc. I will accept apologies but I doubt anyone will have the decency.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/56191.htm
    Will the Senate Confirm Coup Plotter Victoria Nuland?

  43. Kronomex

    Mark, you just can’t stop putting what can easily be considered as conspiracy/pseudo science sites like Information Clearing House up can you and expect us to take what they say at face value. Apology not forthcoming.

    https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/information-clearing-house/

  44. Michael Taylor

    Yeah I’m a little sick of being told to fuck off on here by people like you who dont know how to argue and resort to name calling and abuse when you cant get your way.

    I’ve never told you to fuck off.

    Until now.

    Fuck off.

  45. calculus witherspoon.

    Funny just browsing this conspiracy stuff, this time re Bill Gates last night.

    I guess Gates is not a lot more loveable than all his ilk, but in the end I’d have to agree that the Q anon stuff is a bit far fetched but just plausible enough to be checked out.

    It didn’t save Trump, so I can’t be the only one remaining sceptic when the guy lost by six million votes..

  46. mark delmege

    I ‘ll take being expelled from the Biden appreciation society as a compliment, thank you and goodbye.

  47. Matters Not

    Can’t, and therefore didn’t vote in the US election. but if I were so entitled then it would be a vote against Trump (and therefore for Biden because that’s the only effective resulting option.) So it might be seen as the least worst option.

    But still somewhat better than those who refuse to vote because no candidate reaches certain lofty (and perhaps unattainable) standards. Such refusals are effectively allowing the other to make choices for you.

    mark delmege – Grow up!

  48. Kronomex

    mark delmegeJanuary 19, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    I ‘ll take being expelled from the Biden appreciation society as a compliment, thank you and goodbye.

    Petulant child!

  49. Michael Taylor

    In my humble opinion Biden is going to make a huge difference to the mess that is the USA. He takes the pandemic seriously, he takes climate change seriously, and his $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package will be a huge boost to the economy. I’ve yet to chew over his foreign policies so I can’t comment nay or yay.

    And he’s taking over from a tool who said he’s the best president since Lincoln.

  50. Michael Taylor

    Kronomex, your comment was tangled up due to an extra ‘a’ in your email address. All fixed.

  51. calculus witherspoon.

    Mark Delmege,

    no one is under any illusions about the USA and its leaders. The US features a lot around here because of its potential and the amount of potential it squanders and the harm it can do it the American mentality goes negative rather than positive..

    It catches cold, the world sneezes. Its fans think it perfect, but it is a mug battler just like the rest of us.

    Biden is in because the alternative was even worse, that is all there is to it. MN, Same with Morrison. Despite what swathes of the country “think” (if it’s the word) just now, I would have done with him as Statesiders have done with Donald Trump.

    You wouldn’t rate some of these populist leaders as any BETTER than their centrist opponents, surely? Perhaps you do. You may be right, you may be wrong.

    Personally I’d question your judgement if you answered a certain way to the question and it is true we would not miss each other.

  52. Michael Taylor

    Uta, that was written by Ron Paul.

  53. Matters Not

    And it was a regurgitation of an article written some 4 days earlier. Not that the point isn’t well made but at that level those with such ‘expertise’ are reasonably scarce and besides they aren’t the ones driving the policy bus, just doing the hard yards.

  54. Uta Hannemann

    Well, Michael, if there is some truth in what Ron Paul says about American Foreign Policy, would you not like to know whether their Foreign Policy is to be continued more or less unchanged, or to what extend it might be changed under Biden? I say, going to war in foreign countries we really can do without.

    Ron Paul writes, that we have “a unique opportunity, informed by history, to denounce the warmongers and push for a peaceful and non-interventionist foreign policy.”

    I wonder, is there such a unique opportunity now? What do you think? Or do we need to have wars just to show how powerful we are? And why can we not be honest about it and admit that we support warmongers? And if we do not want to support them, why not say so? To say we cannot make up our minds about it, is not good enough.

    By the way, I belong to the ‘mob’ that was peacefully demonstrating against the Iraq war! Yes, Howard said, we were ‘the mob’.

    Maybe we feel, if we don’t have these wars, we cannot continue to have our ‘good’ lives. Maybe we just hope, we can cling to our good lives a bit longer despite climate change, nuclear threats and pandemics and the ever increasing imbalance between rich and poor. I wished we had more leaders who genuinely want to work for peace among all people!

  55. Michael Taylor

    Uta, for you info I’ve never liked American foreign policy. My opinion is unlikely to change, but as I said earlier I’m not in a position to comment on what Biden has planned (as at this stage I don’t know) and nor am I going to speculate.

    But I will say this: America only cares about one country. There’s.

  56. Michael Taylor

    In case you’re wondering why I’m so interested in what Biden does for America it’s because I have hundreds of relatives who live there, plus a number of friends. As an aside, my mother wanted us to emigrate to the US so she could be closer to family. I also have hundreds of relatives in the Middle East, where my mother’s family originally come from.

    One thing I’m hoping on, really, really hoping is that Biden’s action on climate change might put a bit of pressure on Morrison to do more. Of course, it’s unlikely, but I’m hopeful nonetheless.

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