Saturday, August 10, 2019

Big Orange Takes Over, Con't

And just like that, the war between Twitter and Mitch McConnell's social media team is over with a resounding and total victory for the Senate GOP leader.

After a Twitter blackout that lasted nearly two full days, Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign account is back on the web.

The account, @Team_Mitch, reintroduced itself to the world just after 12:30 p.m. Friday with a GIF of the Senate majority leader's face fittingly imposed over Tim Robbins' face after his character breaks out of prison (spoiler alert) at the end of "The Shawshank Redemption."

Representatives from several Republican campaigns, including President Donald Trump and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, had said they would suspend spending on Twitter advertising until McConnell's campaign account was back up.

McConnell's campaign account was locked Wednesday after it shared a video from Monday of an obscenity-laced protest outside the senator's home in Louisville. That video made a reference to a hypothetical McConnell voodoo doll, which the person behind the camera suggested should be stabbed in the heart.

So Twitter's rules simply don't apply to Republicans anymore, and they will never cross Trump or his brood again, lest they lose millions in GOP ad revenue.  All congressional Republicans know they have free reign on Twitter now to post whatever they want, a status no longer reserved just for Donald Trump.

So no, Twitter will never stand up to Trump, and it will never stand up to white supremacist Republicans, and now Trump has his excuse for his new executive order regulating social media.  New information indicates Trump will be classifying social media as digital communications under the FCC.

The White House is contemplating issuing an executive order that would widen its attack on the operations of social media companies.

The White House has prepared an executive order called “Protecting Americans From Online Censorship” that would give the Federal Communications Commission oversight of how Facebook, Twitter and other tech companies monitor and manage their social networks, according to a CNN report.

Under the order, which has not yet been announced and could be revised, the FCC would be tasked with developing new regulations that would determine when and how social media companies filter posts, videos, or articles on their platforms.

The draft order also calls for the Federal Trade Commission to take those new policies into account when investigating or filing lawsuits against technology companies, according to the CNN report.

Social media censorship has been a perennial talking point for President Donald Trump and his administration. In May, the White House set up a tip linefor people to provide evidence of social media censorship and a systemic bias against conservative media.

In the executive order, the White House says it received more than 15,000 complaints about censorship from the technology platforms. The order also includes an offer to share the complaints with the Federal Trade Commission.

As part of the order, the Federal Trade Commission would be required to open a public complaint docket and coordinate with the Federal Communications Commission on investigations of how technology companies curate their platforms — and whether that curation is politically agnostic.

Under the proposed rule, any company whose monthly user base includes more than one-eighth of the U.S. population would be subject to oversight by the regulatory agencies. A roster of companies subject to the new scrutiny would include, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, Snap and Pinterest .

At issue is how broadly or narrowly companies are protected under the Communications Decency Act, which was part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Social media companies use the Act to shield against liability for the posts, videos, or articles that are uploaded from individual users or third parties.

Putting social media under the Trump FCC and Commissioner Ajit Pai will assure that it will be 100% weaponized against Democrats, and that social media will become the online arm of the GOP.

But what about the Roberts Court?

Well, who knows?  After Hobby Lobby, anything goes.  And after complaining for years about social media censorship, Republicans are about to turn the FCC into the internet speech police so that they can suppress dissent.

Dissent will not be tolerated online, citizen.

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