Opinion: Where Does The Latest Social Media Purge Leave The State Of Social Discourse?
Opinion: Where Does The Latest Social Media Purge Leave The State Of Social Discourse? by Elizabeth Vos – DisObedient Media
Disobedient Media previously reported the tightening stranglehold of censorship across social media. Unfortunately, events that have taken place since the publication of this writer’s opinion that Julian Assange was the first domino to fall in a series of increasingly draconian censorship measures have far exceeded even this author’s worst expectations.
The crackdown has seen the involvement of organizations that have a documented history of pay to play behaviorand are backed by groups including the Chinese Communist Party in collaboration with Western establishment organizations including NATO. In this way, renewed drives for censorship represent a strange new cooperation between transatlantic internationalist groups and China, as the former reacted negatively to the rise of populist and nationalist movements in the West which have disrupted their control.
Before we discuss the details of the latest social media purge, though, we ask: Is the unabashed, coordinated censorship of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms an illegal affront to freedom of speech?
In the case of Twitter, at least, we do appear to have an affirmative answer to the question. As CNBC reported earlier this year, a Federal judge ruled that Donald Trump could not legally block Twitter users. The judgment in effect defined the platform as a “public forum” which may be regulated by government to defend First Amendment-protected free speech. CNBC wrote:
Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said in her ruling that Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution by preventing certain Americans from viewing his tweets on @realDonaldTrump.The social media platform, Buchwald said, is a “designated public forum” from which Trump cannot exclude individual plaintiffs. She rejected an argument by the Justice Department that the president had a right to block Twitter followers because of his “associational freedoms.” [Emphasis added]
Buchwald’s ruling states in part: “Our inquiry into whether the speech at issue is protected by the First Amendment is straightforward. The individual plaintiffs seek to engage in political speech, Stip. 46-52, and such “speech on matters of public concern” “fall within the core of First Amendment protection,” Engquist v. Ore. Dep’t of Agric., 553 U.S. 591, 600… We readily conclude the speech in which individual plaintiffs seek to engage is protected speech.”