Saturday, December 03, 2022

Hollywood For Ugly People Continues Its War On Free Speech

jonathanturley |  The real question is why the political, business, and media establishment is ramping up this campaign. The answer is power. With President Biden and Democratic senators supporting investigations, the message could not be clearer: proceed at your own peril. That message was brought home by Politico’s Sam Stein when he warned Musk that it is “[a]lways risky to attack members of congress. Especially risky with Dems assured of Senate power.”

For years, Democratic politicians and their allies have exercised an enormous degree of control over political discourse through allies in the media and social media.

The problem is that censorship only works if it is complete. If there are alternative sources for information, free speech is like water . . . it finds a way out. That is why Democratic members pressured cable carriers to drop Fox News, the most popular cable news network on television. (For the record, I appear as a Fox News legal analyst). Having an echo chamber on every other news channel means little if alternative views or stories are just a click away.

The same is true for print media. With the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and a few other newspapers, the effort to kill stories like the Hunter Biden laptop could not be completely successful. The truth found a way out and now the same outlets that peddled the false “Russian disinformation” claim are admitting that the laptop is authentic.

The threat is an even greater on social media, the area of greatest success for those seeking to control political discourse. If Musk carries through on his pledge, the public will have a free speech alternative and they are already speaking loudly by signing up with the company in record numbers. Despite a creepy Facebook advertising campaign to convince the public to embrace censorship, it has not worked.

The public is not buying. They are buying Free Twitter.

So, the only way to regain control is to prevent people from getting the app or threaten to force Twitter into insolvency. The problem is Musk, an eccentric billionaire who is not easy to intimidate.

Musk now stands against a massive alliance of governments, corporations, celebrities, and politicians. He has only the public and free speech on his side.

He needs to use both.

Musk cannot remain on defense and just take political and economic hits. The campaign is growing because the risk is growing for these various interests.

The way to end this is simple: release everything related to the company’s massive censorship operation. This is an effort to force Musk not only to resume censorship but to protect the censors. So, open the files. Allow the public to see not just communications on censorship (including subjects beyond Hunter Biden) but how Twitter may have used verification, throttling, algorithms, or other methods to control speech. The company does not have to release codes or potentially damaging information to reveal the back channel communications, deliberations, and targeting choices.

By embracing total transparency, Musk can force Apple and other companies to face the ugly realities of censorship. The anti-free speech alliance has declared total war on Twitter. It is time for Twitter to get into this fight and realize that free speech is not just its guiding principle but its greatest weapon.

When Musk threatened to restore free speech protections, Hillary Clinton and others went public to “Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war.”

So be it.

The Musk purchase has forced people to pick sides in this fight for free speech. However, Musk can leave the dogs at home and just unleash the truth.

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I have a weird feeling about Mitch McConnell stepping down today pic.twitter.com/GSYhH6G2ll — Mike Benz (@MikeBenzCyber) February 29, 2024