OPINION – In a series of tweets, President Trump on Tuesday threatened to veto the 2021 defense bill under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) unless Congress removes legal protections in federal law Section 230 to allow Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites to be held legally liable for the way they police their platforms. While this would put on hold $1 trillion in defense spending for next year, it’s a battle worth fighting.
Section 230, which is a liability shielding gift from the U.S. to “Big Tech” (the only companies in America that have it – corporate welfare!), is a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity. Our Country can never be safe & secure if we allow it to stand…..
Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill when sent to the very beautiful Resolute desk. Take back America NOW. Thank you!
…..Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill when sent to the very beautiful Resolute desk. Take back America NOW. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2020
(Side note — Big media’s new Orwellian tactic to discredit stories they don’t like is to claim — without proof — that they are ‘unproven’ — all the while ignoring all proof.)
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, told Fox News earlier that he was outraged by Twitter’s handling of the New York Post article but will also demand that Dorsey explain “example after example after example of anti-conservative, anti-Republican bias.”
The most recent examples include Twitter banning and removing the New York Post’s stories on Hunter Biden’s laptop and his links to China from its platform, and even blocking any tweets referencing the stories. Happening on the eve of the U.S. presidential elections, some critics, including U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Blackburn, called this “election interference.”
Responding to the wave of criticism over its handling of the story, CEO Jack Dorsey admitted that it was “wrong” to block access to the story. Unfortunately, he added, “Straight blocking of URLs was wrong, and we updated our policy and enforcement to fix.” This can only mean Twitter will instead use other, less blatant, tactics to censor conservatives, which include subjectively “fact-checking” and “labeling” posts to discredit stories.
According to AP, Facebook used a similar approach to limit the distribution of the New York Post story, saying it was “reducing” the story’s distribution on its platform while waiting for third-party fact-checkers to verify it, something it regularly does with material that’s not banned outright from its service.
The media will also try to convince us that Big Tech censorship isn’t a national defense issue and should not be tied to the defense bill, but extraneous issues are regularly tied to all sorts of bills, including defense authorizations. And in fact, Big Tech censorship definitely has a national security aspect.
As I noted in an earlier piece on how Big Tech censorship harms homeland security, I explained how:
America’s Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan had his Twitter account locked by anonymous, unelected tech weenies at Twitter. The crime? Allegedly violating the platform’s rules governing ‘hateful conduct’ after the commissioner attempted to tweet about the security benefits created by the border wall.
I added that:
After loud protests, Twitter reversed its block on Morgan. But to make the initial censorship more egregious, Twitter still refuses to block “hateful conduct” posts from Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei calling for the destruction of Israel.
I personally was censored by LinkedIn within 21 hours of posting my article on a U.S. Senate report confirming links between Hunter Biden and China and Russia.
Both the Hunter Biden story and the Border Patrol Chief’s example have direct national security implications. Big Tech censorship directly impacts the ability of Americans to be informed of critical national defense topics and freely engage in the national security debate.
Big Tech censorship is a national security issue, and Trump is right to play hardball and demand an end to Section 230 legal protections for Big Tech as part of the NDAA and 2021 Defense Bill.