Silicon Valley – -(AmmoLand.com)- A recent series of bans by Facebook and Twitter is bringing the question of censorship by the giant technology companies from Silicon Valley to the fore. This is not a minor issue – how this shakes out will decide whether or not Second Amendment supporters can even make an argument for our rights online.
To understand how social media had been prior to the 2016 election, take a typical commentary from Ammoland. Second Amendment supporters could post a link to it, and it would give their friends and family a chance to get the facts on a given issue involving the Second Amendment. In essence, social media had become a way to bypass the biases of major media outlets like NBC (including MSNBC), ABC, CBS, CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.
Well, we know what happened in 2016: Trump pulled off the biggest upset in a presidential race since 1948. Since then Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube – among other social network companies – have begun to cater to the demands of anti-Second Amendment extremists. They meddled with search results to improve the rankings of arguments against law-abiding firearms owners. Effective voices began to be shadow-banned – their tweets and posts were rendered far less accessible to their followers. Videos and posts were “demonetized,” meaning that they couldn’t be used to generate revenue.
At the same time, payment companies like PayPal and Stripe began to make their own moves against Second Amendment supporters. Want to buy a firearm? You can’t use those services. PayPal also aligned with the anti-hunting Humane Society of the United States. Second Amendment-friendly processing companies like GunPal and PistolPay have not gained any transaction. McMillan Merchant Solutions, created in the wake of Bank of America’s political decision to drop McMillan as a customer, seems like a decent option to fill the gap.
Now, that discussion of the effects of corporate gun control might be seen as a useless diversion, but it is really part of the answer in dealing with Silicon Valley censorship. Second Amendment supporters need to develop or find alternative social media. This is a bit of a long-term project, admittedly. Facebook took eight years to dominate when it bought Instagram and WhatsApp. Gab and Parler are holding themselves out as free-speech social networks, but it will take time and major users (like President Trump) making the switch for them to even compete with Facebook and Twitter.
In the short and medium term, though, there are some other options. One is to push for vigorous enforcement of Section 230. If Facebook and Twitter decide to act like publishers, then they can be treated like publishers. This means that due to their decision to favor certain viewpoints, rather than act as an honest broker, they can be held as liable as a conventional publisher for defamatory posts. There are other tools available as well, including possibly the anti-trust laws.
In a real sense, the censorship by Silicon Valley – and the fact that anti-Second Amendment extremists are pushing for that censorship – is a sign that Second Amendment supporters are winning the argument. That doesn’t mean we should be complacent, but should instead fight harder to make sure our message gets out.
On a side note: AmmoLand News has more readers than the NRA has members; grow that reach by subscribing to their email list. If every AmmoLand News reader added two more people to that daily email list we can crush the so called main stream media infulence with our own message.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.
I checked with Ammoland and got a list of words that will flag posts for moderation. Obviously how they are used, in some cases, will make a difference, some words are merely inexcusable. That said, here are words that will raise a flag: [url= [/url] thx sex byob nude loan debt poze bdsm soma visa hotel paxil anime naked poker coolhu cialis incest casino dating payday rental ambien holdem adipex booker youtube myspace advicer flowers finance freenet -online shemale meridia cumshot trading adderall gambling roulette top-site mortgage pharmacy dutyfree ownsthis duty-free insurance ringtones blackjack hair-loss bllogspot baccarrat thorcarlson jrcreations credit… Read more »
As an alternative to Twatter, give QuodVerum a try: social.quodverum.com QuodVerum is an Open Forum designed to promote the freest exchange of ideas, in the American tradition. We do not find words nor ideas offensive, and strongly believe that any attempt to portray words as violence is, in itself a violence against words. However, there are a few limits that in order to maintain civility we feel compelled to establish, and those have to do with the sometimes subtle but generally quite discernible line between words and action, to wit: Calls to violence of any kind, the overthrow of the… Read more »
They have proven time after time that they can block and suspend whom ever they want, when ever they want and there is almost NOTHING you can do about it. Too many Republicans sticking up for Facebook’s right to do so. Same “Republicans”, who vote with the Left no doubt. Same Republicans who almost never YELL FOUL!!
Who needs to get facefucked (facebook) or twattered (twitter) these days anyhow? Millennials? Go with GAB always GAB free with no left wing nut censorship. FB and Twat’r can eat a dirty diarrhea filled anal cavity before I will ever sign up for either of those. And #DarkFuckerberg belongs in jail.
The moderation showed up again on my last post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeah, my posts get moderated constantly and I have no idea why. Very funny to have an article about censorship when this site contantly blocks about half of my posts with nothing nutty or inflammatory in them.
I asked around and your posts are getting through, although sometimes it takes time for them to show up. Have you tried clearing your cache and reloading the page to see if they were there after a couple of hours? There is a list of words that will get the comment looked at, flags in other words. It would be hard to post them so people can avoid them…for obvious reasons.
Dave in Fairfax; I took your advise and went to Ammolands websight to see if I could figure out what I might have said or posted. I thought I had figured it out , but I still getting moderated,so I just sit back and read what other people have to say, I feel that I am being singled out for trying to pass on my thoughts but in a way I am being censored, so I now sit on the side reading other peoples comments!!!!!!!!!
I thank Ammoland for not posting my comment on Doug McDougall’s posting. It was far from appropriate. Censorship can happen on any platform but that’s just my silly opinion.
Sometimes we all hit SEND when we should go take a walk around the block. I try to act like a grown-up, but now and then something pushes my buttons and I regret what I did a moment before. At least you recognize what you did was inappropriate and are less likely to do it again. We should all try to do that, AND take that walk beforehand.
I definitely agree with that. Emotions can run high when talking about loss of both First & Second Amendment. Great advice…take a walk around the block.
If you choose to join Facebook, use Twitter or Google, then it’s your choice to participate in a Private Owned business and they decide what you can and can’t publish. They are NOT government owned or controlled and if you don’t like what they do, no one forced you to participate and you are free to leave or not join or continue to bitch about them, but you don’t have a Constitutional right to make them comply with your hurt feelings.
There’s the center of the issue. If they CHOOSE then they are no longer platforms but PUBLISHERS. They are currently being regulated very loosely as platforms.
They are publicly traded companies and should have to conform to every other law that everyone else does.
if a company can be held liable for choosing not to bake a cake for a gay couple, then these companies should be held liable for the same discriminatory practices.
FUCK FAKEBOOK,TWEEKER,&ALL THE ANTI AMERICAN TRAITORS.THEY ARE COMMIE,MARXIST,ANTI CONSTITUTIONSLISTS.CAN’T WAIT TIL THE PURGE!
Dude, switch to decaf.
Exactly. The 1st amendment only applies to government entities, your right to free speech is NOT a universal right.
Well, I suppose the question is whether a lack of a law makes it legal for publicly traded companies to violate our rights. Also, are they truly public when they are publicly traded? They are under the guidelines of the FCC, SEC, and likely hundreds of other agencies around the world. Would there not be a single regulation or standard on the books, either from a domestic or foreign regulatory agency?
It’s illegal to discriminate based on someone’s religion or creed when it comes to hiring practice. I suppose one could form a religion that makes guns their god. Why not? We have major religions that believe earth worms are deceased family members and cows are sacred spirits. I suppose we could also argue that we are under employment with Facebook since they receive money in exchange for our work or actions through ads, this they cannot discriminate based on our creed.
The First Amendment applies in all circumstances, regardless of whether government or private.
You need to do some research. You are wrong.
The BoR was intended to restrain only the Federal Government. After the War of Northern Aggression the North twisted the law to make it apply to the individual states as well. It does NOT apply to individuals or privately owned corporations. That is a popular misconception.
@Casey, Ahhh, no. Sorry, brother.
There is a pro-liberty, pro-gun, free speech social media site already, dedicated to keeping Leftists/commies and other undesirables out, a digital gated community of sorts. It’s https://www.FreeZoxee.com and it is BETTER than Fascistbook or Twitter.
Will, How about listing some invite code for AmmoLand News readers so they can join easy?
I’m still trying to figure out how to get the code. It’s the one part of the site/system that seems a little buggy right now, or maybe I’m doing something wrong. I’ll post again when I get it.
Also there is https://firearmsfriendly.com/
Sounds like a cool place, but am I the only one that sees the irony in a “pro-liberty”, “ free speech social media site” that is “dedicated to keeping [insert group] out”? Just seems odd to tout free speech and dedication to excluding specific groups in the same sentence.
I’m as tired of the Leftist narrative as anyone, but using the same tactics to manipulate the narrative in our favor seems counterproductive when it’s those very tactics we criticize.
@Healthy, What tactics would you suggest?
I suppose I’m guilty of one of my biggest pet-peeves – criticizing without contributing. Thank you for calling me on that. This sounds idealistic and naive, but if a group is to be pro-free speech, I don’t believe it should be unwelcome to someone simply because their POV differs from yours. Discussions must remain respectful to be productive. Whether this can be self-policed or accomplished by fair moderation, respect is a necessity. Frankly, I find that this is hard to accomplish (although this place seems pretty darn good) and so I generally abstain and try to focus my efforts on… Read more »
My guess is that it’s restricted to keep the trolls out. You’ve probably noticed that only the Left employs trolls to disrupt forums that they disagree with. We’ve been under attack here for quite some time.
Twitter won’t allow me to sign up..
Something went wrong try again later..
No problem with any other site just Free Zoxee.. and you can’t join Zoxee until you join Twitter..
Why ? Go through Twitter?
Oh seriously stop bitching. I live in wacky California. I have no problem buying a gun. I buy ammo I go shoot I have fun I have it sitting in ready case it’s needed. And that’s anti-gun screwed up California. so what if I can’t go down the street with a hanging up my hip so everybody knows I have it. So what if I can’t buy a gun that’s sole intent is to be modified to the point that is better suited for light military use.
just stop with the sky is falling they’re coming for your guns.
Karl, if this problem did not exist, i assure you this article would not have been written .
You did read the article, right? It was about the 1st, not 2nd, Amendment. The reference to the actions taken against 2A supporters was a peripheral issue. The main point was the censorship. As for your comments about OC and “sole intent”, they are ill-thought out, unless you believe that a right must be concealed to be practiced. Which, oddly enough, is the point of the article. Free speech is only to be allowed by the Right if it is done in private, is the stand of the people running the social media organizations. I can’t believe that you truly… Read more »
I think Carl buys guns and ammo on the video games. It’s called “wacky California” for a reason, he just hasn’t figured that part out yet.
Carl drank the kool-aid.
Carl, here’s where your logic, and therefor your argument, fall apart when it comes to rights; “So what if I can’t…”. So what if you can’t freely speak without government suppression? So what if you can’t practice the religion of your choice? So what if you can’t bring your grievances against the government? So what if you and your friends can’t gather in public places? So what if you can’t be protected against illegal searches and seizures of your property?
See how that could be a problem?
@Blackswan magret, Give your rights away, individually, if you like. Don’t unchain government at the expense of the rest of your countrymen. You need to attend Constitutional Kindergarten.
Carl it’s people like your self who put up with their anti gun bullshit… we don’t all want hug cap black rifles but if we choose that we don’t want them telling us any different. So live in your high tax commie shit hole.. play with your 10 round capacity firearms and let the rest of us free Americans bitch about the assholes that have you shooting single barrel shotguns!
And you get your online ammo orders without needing an FFL? Lucky you! And how many AR-15s do you have?
This article demonstrates EXACTLY why Ammoland has people commenting on it that disagree with the Pro-2A view without censorship. Ammoland acts as a PUBLISHER, not just as a forum. The only censorship done is because of violations of the terms of commenting, not because of viewpoint. It takes time for moderation, if that is considered, complaints of being censored might be less common. The link to the policy is at:
You are simply lying. Many of the people being censored have NOT violated the terms of agreement. Many times the censorship is based only on the number of people who complained about the post(s) and the bias of the people working at the companies in evaluating the complaints. Alex Jones is an excellent example. Repeatedly he has won in court against the allegations falsely made against him. A new round of litigation is starting over his banning due to false charges. Turns out that the past allegations were all lies and the current ones will most likely turn out to… Read more »
Vernon, I’m going to assume that you didn’t read what I wrote because you were upset. I don’t appreciate being called a liar. Try re-reading my statement and realize that I was talking about here, on Ammoland. I posted a link that obviously applied to Ammoland. I was NOT talking about FB or any of the others that pretend that they are NOT publishers. THAT was the point made in the article about the differing legal requirements for forums and publishers. I assume that this FB site is yours, I’d expect more thought from an AF SSgt. https://www.facebook.com/vernon.kuhns.5 Man up… Read more »
I totally agree. Im a dealer and depend heavily on social media and payment outlets and have been discriminated against by facebook even after they approved us to sell on facebook, but because there are booby people in the world that boo hoo they block us for 30 days at a time ALL THE TIME, and try to make a complaint…..they NEVER address your complaint. I even wrote a letter to the NRA and Mr suckerburg himself and got no reply. Very frustrating when it affects my income and being able to take care of my family. Maybe if it… Read more »
I think we need to push conservative congress critters to ban the censorship of speech regarding God given rights. It’s time to treat social media as utilities that DO NOT OWN the speech of its users. The social media giants are essentially a privatized run around to stop freedom of speech. Social media should no more hamper speech than the town square where any nut can get on a soap box and yell to the world their views. This needs to be stopped. Hate is a horrible thing, but it needs the light of day. Let the haters speak so… Read more »
actually social media sites our business and by your using them you agree to their terms and policies which is that they own everything on their site. That includes every picture you post and every word you type.
However Karl were it not for us the social media Giants woul not be what they are today, clever how they sell to the young mind….. communicate…..that’s the carrott that wins the hearts and minds of the foolish. BTW, Not all media sites are foolish, but the greater majority are.
That’s all fine and dandy – EXCEPT that they have repeatedly violated said terms of service, and flat out refuse to give examples when banning people. Sure it’s their ball and bat (and field, and stadium and lights and town) and we can go elsewhere – except those that monitize then have to find some other way to get money since Paypal won’t let them get it, and even some sites have had trouble getting a web hosting provider to even be able to put their own website up. No, it’s way bigger than “free market business” because, bluntly, it… Read more »
Doesn’t their terms also bind them to be equitable in their treatment?? Where in the terms does it say they can ban or censor you for activity you have not performed??
1st amendment covers companies policies ,policies are not LAW the bill of right is. Policies will never and should never trump Law private they made themselbes public.
I dont believe they should be considered a private company if they are publicly traded or have more than 15 employees.
@Blackswan magret, So you freely admit that social media is a business. By your own admission, Congress has the power and authority to regulate the crap out of social media purveyors.
Want our enemies want most is to assume upon themselves the power to regulate and tax the free market internet into submission to their will. Pushing for government to “do something” is exactly what they want. Just a few decades ago we had ABC, CBS and NBC, along with a few major magazines and newspapers and that was about it. They all marched in lockstep in deciding what was – and what was not – “news”, and how and if it was reported. Those are the days you hear so much longing for a return to from establishment media types,… Read more »
Bitchute or brighteon for videos. Duckduckgo or goodgopher instead of google. The options are many. All it takes is for the people of the gun to quit feeding their enemies. That’s it.
Vote with your clicks(and your money) and take your business elsewhere. Let the tech fools dry up on the vine and blow away in the wind, like CNN and MSNBC and the rest of the dinosaur media are doing. The options are there. All we need to do is use them.