Written By: Anton Sawyer
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As a fan of the first amendment (which coincidentally, covers the speech I don't like as well), I have to say that not only is the recent Twitter ban against former President Donald Trump an attempt to stifle free speech, but also incredibly dangerous to the United States as a whole.
Before I scare you off, if you are familiar with this site, you know that I strive to look through all the crap and clutter to get to the potential outcomes of any given situation. As much as it leaves me crestfallen at the ease upon which people will believe his outright lies, there are many layers to this croquembouche that I'm going to investigate.
The most apparent slab of contention is in the fact that in essence, they are trying to stifle free speech. Yes, Trump's tweets have been nothing short of lugubrious when you know the facts.
But as we have seen, there are tens of millions of people who hang on his every word.
This sentiment is the one that I have had the most moral conflict over; do we stifle free speech in an attempt at safety (much like we did with the NSA and their illegal surveillance program and privacy rights violations after September 11th), or allow the lowest-information of people to be swayed into a total cacophony of deceit?
With all of the laws about speech and its restrictions—i.e. yelling "fire" in a movie theater or the like—as long as we live by this agreed "rule book," or until we have a Constitutional Convention to bring this rule book up to date for the 21st century, this is what we've agreed to.
Yet Twitter is a private company with its own privacy rules. They are allowed to modify their business practices as needed to remain competitive in the world. If they want to ban someone, it's entirely their right. As much as we can argue the philosophical ranting above about whether their rules are shattering this beloved American institution of free speech, there is one huge issue that I think most people are missing the point: warnings and danger signs.
Though entirely different in its scope and execution, we certainly need to look at the events in Washington D.C. (along with other plots for "true patriots" to descend on every capitol in the country) as a terrorist event much in the same way we looked at 9/11.
Let me put it this way: when a large organized group of people comes together to enact violence on a sovereign nation in an attempt to completely disrupt their governmental institutions all in the name of what someone knows is "right" ... tell me which one describes 9/11 and which one describes Washington?
It's this thought that truly puts me at odds with the Twitter ban ... the millions of Americans who will no longer have access to see such plots that may be coming their way.
In a report by Forbes magazine, the FBI knew for weeks that there was a Proud Boys network coming together to attack the nation's capitol like the petulant children they are when they didn't get their way. This was all because of the tracking they'd done on Parler and Twitter. FBI began suspicions in early December 2020. On the 15th, they raided the El Paso, Texas, home of Michael Reyes, a 49-year-old whose remarks on social media sites had become increasingly violent. He'd been using his account to address the Proud Boys. Since then, a close eye has been kept on Parler and Twitter activities that could result in another national tragedy.
Both the FBI, and anyone reading Twitter and paying attention, knew that the cloud of white supremacy was going to infiltrate the most sacred of American institutions.
They had gotten the heads-up, but it still happened anyway and people died.
Imagine if there was no Twitter to warn the average residents of D.C. this was coming?
Not all FBI reports make it to the general public, but tweets do. Imagine for a second, you live in a capitol city and you saw the Proud Boys planning an event on Twitter. Even if it was marked that the information may be inaccurate, it still gives you a chance to prepare. To avoid certain areas. Now with the Twitter ban, unless you sign up for Parler, you will have no advanced warning.
Another example of not "being in the know;"
With reports that former President Donald Trump is planning to issue around 100 pardons before he's ousted, this is going to create a dichotomy. On one hand, news outlets will pick up and report who was pardoned and the reasons why. This means that the average news follower will have some idea of what's going on. With Parler becoming increasingly separatist—they will ban anyone who even sniffs of liberal—it's going to be more difficult for that same average American to know what may be lurking in the shadows.
We know Parler has been used as a catalyst for action in extremely violent ways, but that's the point: we know. If we do not allow Trump and his ilk to warn all walks of life in this country—mostly so those same people can properly prepare—then it is going to blind-side millions.
Of course, to keep up as much confusion as humanly possible to muddy the waters of news headlines, Parler has been trying to present itself as the victim of an organization that is known for its wild prejudices: Amazon.
Earlier in 2021, Amazon suspended the web-hosting service for Parler. On January 13th, 2020, Amazon had to justify this action to a judge. Amazon executives cited threats by Parler users to delivery drivers and staff at the e-commerce giant—as well as concern that Parler failed to police violent content both before and after the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol. On the flip side ...
John Matze Jr., the CEO of Parler LLC, claimed he's gone into hiding after receiving death threats from Amazon on January 16th. “Many Parler employees are suffering harassment and hostility, fear for their safety and that of their families, and in some cases have fled their home state to escape persecution,” Matze’s lawyer said. Matze had to “go into hiding with his family after receiving death threats and invasive personal security breaches.” Using the same logic as it pertains to Twitter: if you really feel that the cheese grater you ordered is going to be used against you as a weapon when your delivery guy comes to your door, you might want to look at a different delivery company.
I don't think Twitter will lift the ban.
I know that they have firmly entrenched themselves on the side that would rather not have lies and misinformation confuse the average person and lead to further divisions. I totally understand that. But because of this ban, now we have to go undercover to see what is happening.
Like my previous article warning about how we MUST learn from those on the wrong side of history, preventing large-scale access to the insanity from these hate groups through social media is going to allow it a level of subterfuge that will be dangerous towards the masses. Unless the FBI is planning on opening their mouths a lot more, it's going to be a lot more difficult to plan for an insurrection.
Unfortunately, with the current state of the US and its elevated levels of violence, another insurrection is only going to be a matter of time.
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