Facebook Censorship Timeline
Talking about free speech and State Actor Doctrine
We have gone through the Facebook discovery. FB is a surrogate for the government and is suppressing views that conflict with the chosen narrative. This behavior disables a free society. We would still think the earth is flat if the authorities had their way. Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions explains how paradigms shift upending prior human understanding. It is hubris for human beings to shut down discourse.
STATE ACTOR DOCTRINE
The First Amendment protects free speech by limiting state action not private entities.
But private entities are state actors subject to the First Amendment if government compels, acts jointly with, or substantially encourages a private entity to suppress speech.
FB documents show the Biden Administration compelled, acted jointly with, and/or substantially encouraged social media platforms to suppress speech they considered Covid-19 “misinformation.”
The Biden Administrations actions are an “end run around the First Amendment” and “censorship by proxy.”
Government censorship disables our society’s ability to freely exchange information to assess and respond to challenges and emergencies.
2/18/21 – Facebook emails to Robert Flaherty (Deputy Assistant to President/White House Director of Digital Strategy) and Clarke Humphrey (White House Covid-19 Response Team Digital Director) a proposal to help mitigate vaccination hesitancy and requests meeting.
2/23/21 – Meeting occurs, follow-up email from Facebook discusses effort to curb vaccine hesitancy and that Facebook is looking forward to continuing partnership.
2/24/21 – Flaherty emails to Facebook asking if they could give him a sense of misinformation that might be falling outside of Facebook’s removal policy.
3/1/21 – Meeting between Facebook and Andrew Slavitt (White House Senior Covid-19 Advisor), Flaherty and Humphrey. Follow-up email discusses accelerating progress on combatting vaccine misinformation and de-amplifying content that could contribute to vaccine hesitancy.
5/5/21 – Jen Psaki (White House Press Secretary) states that it is the President’s view that social media platforms are responsible to stop amplifying Covid-19 vaccine misinformation.
5/15/21 – Carol Crawford (CDC Chief of Digital Media Branch of Division of Public Affairs) commences regular meetings with Facebook and others called Covid BOLO (Be On the LookOut) Misinformation Meetings at which specific postings are flagged by the government.
7/15/21 – Psaki states that some steps have been taken by social media platforms but much more needs to be done and they can’t wait any longer. She states that the Administration has been flagging problematic posts and has proposed a robust enforcement strategy. She states further that the Administration regularly engages with the platforms and that they know the government’s asks.
7/15/21 – Facebook states to media that it has partnered with government authorities to take aggressive action against Covid-19 misinformation.
7/16/21 – Biden states regarding the social media platforms policies regarding Covid-19 misinformation that “They’re killing people.”
7/20/21 – Psaki states that White House is assessing whether social media platforms are legally responsible for Covid-19 misinformation and that they should be held accountable. She states further that WH is examining how misinformation fits into liability protections granted by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. (Threat).
8/18/21 – CNN reports that Facebook censors 12 specific disfavored speakers accused by Psaki of spreading health misinformation.
We are actively seeking to frame these arguments in a compelling way in court and in the media. Please respond with your ideas in the comments. We have to stop the White Coat Killers. (Testing this frame).
The TNI was set up in (2019) to protect audiences and users from disinformation, particularly around moments of jeopardy, such as elections. The TNI complements existing programmes partners have in place.
*The partners within the TNI are: AP, AFP; BBC, CBC/Radio-Canada, European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Facebook, Financial Times, First Draft, Google/YouTube, The Hindu, Microsoft, Reuters, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Twitter, and The Washington Post.
The TNI is already working together to tackle to spread of harmful coronavirus disinformation and previously has had success running a rapid alert system during the UK 2019 General Election, Myanmar and Taiwan 2020 General Elections and the US Presidential Election.
TNI also announces plans to engage with ‘Project Origin’ verification technology which will tag content in order to identify when it has been manipulated. And it has done that. (July 2020)
Speaking about Project Origin, Eric Horvitz, Chief Scientific Officer for Microsoft, says: “We’ve forged a close relationship with the BBC and other partners on Project Origin, aimed at methods and standards for end-to-end authentication of news and information.
“We’re enthusiastic about Project Origin and the potential for it to help publishers and technology companies deliver people greater assurance that the content they’re consuming is authentic.
• The World Health Organization hosted a meeting at Facebook's Menlo Park campus , early 2020, with some of the largest tech companies to discuss how to tamp down on misinformation about the coronavirus. see here;
Well, FB is still actively censoring. I posted a meme yesterday making fun of the fact that Pfizer never said the shots would stop infection, and within a minute, I got a popup saying it was "misinformation".