Time To Confront The Tyranny Of Social Media Censorship

Opinion By Larry Keane

Canada: Up to Five Years in Prison For a Social Media Post?
Time To Confront The Tyranny Of Social Media Censorship

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)-  It’s time the little bluebirds of Twitter come home to roost. While we’re at it, clean out the henhouse of Facebook, Instagram, Google, and the other plucky tech giants.

The Trump administration is laying the groundwork to fence them all in for their blatant discrimination. It’s about time. Where’s the “hell-yes” emoji?

Under consideration is the creation of a White House commission to explore allegations of anticonservative bias by social media businesses. Interestingly, it’s coming from the most prolific Twitter user to occupy the White House. It’s also not the first time President Donald Trump’s torched social media platforms, according to The Hill, which reported the president tweeted in 2019 the tech giants engage in, “tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by certain companies. We will not let them get away with it much longer.”

Vice President Mike Pence told Breitbart, “Well, the president has made it very clear that we are not going to tolerate censorship on the Internet and social media against conservatives. We’re just not going to tolerate it.”

The pressure is building. News broke last year that the Justice Department was investigating unspecified online platforms to consider concerns raised about “search, social media and some retail services online.” Independently, 47 state attorneys general are probing Facebook for antitrust violations.

The firearm and ammunition industry [including AmmoLand News] has more than a few instances of documented antigun bias by social media companies.

There’s a love-hate relationship with the social media platforms. They’ve become so ubiquitous that it’s nearly impossible to reach customers without them. NSSF has argued they’ve become the virtual public square, where people from every walk of life can not only see pictures and videos of friends and family but express ideas, debate topics and participate in civic discourse. That is, of course, if they’re allowed.

Community Standards

Jessica Keffer, the marketing manager for the Sportsman’s Shop in East Earl, Pa., went on Fox and Friends to describe the discrimination her business faced from Facebook. She was booted for advertising on Facebook over American flags. Keffer’s ad wasn’t about gun sales, but with her attempt to boost an “Honor the Flag” promotion. The ad was approved and then rejected.

The reason given was, “It’s because you have a link to your website on your page which does sell firearms. That’s also against our policies I’m afraid.”

The ad had nothing to do with selling guns and while the Sportsman’s Shop sells guns, all sales are completed in a face-to-face transaction, and with a background check, in accordance with federal and state laws.

Keffer was pointed to Facebook’s Prohibited Content section, a part of the social media giants Ad Policies. “Ads must not promote the sale or use of weapons, ammunition, or explosives,” one of the subsections reads. But Keffer’s ad was about flags, not guns. The Daily Caller dug deeper and Facebook told them since the page links back to the shop’s website, which advertises guns, they canned the ad.

Google It

It wasn’t just Mark Zuckerburg’s baby. Tech giant Google assigns a “Family Status” to every product in the Google Shopping function. In 2012, Google moved firearm-related content to the same “non-family safe” category as adult content. The bias didn’t end there.

Google discriminated against Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a conservation organization that is dedicated to putting millions of acres into perpetual trusts and conservation lands and restoring wild elk populations across America. RMEF wanted to promote an eight-minute video about the benefits of hunting to conservation. Google labeled it “animal cruelty.”

It didn’t get turned around until U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) sent a letter to Google’s CEO demanding answers.

Youtube Censorship Nazi's Terminate Brownells' Video Account
Youtube Censorship Nazi's Terminate Brownells' Video Account

It wasn’t the first time, either. Google owns YouTube, which shut down Brownells’ channel without warming in 2018. Brownells’ 69,000 subscribers, and the company, were left in the dark. Brownells issued a social media call-to-arms and their customers responded and YouTube restored the channel.  The whole dustup was for supposed “violating YouTube Community Guidelines.” Even founder of Ars Techica and former Wired editor Jon Stokes scratching his head. He’s plugged into all things in the tech world and he couldn’t make the connection to any community standard that would have possibly posed a hazard.

Stokes tweeted, “I gotta say something else about this. Brownells is like the stodgiest, old-schoolest, non-tactical, non- ‘assault rifle’, old-hunting-guy brand in the gun world. When your platform has summarily executed Brownells, you’ve just gone too far.”

Infringing Rights

These tech giants, for years, have been infringing First Amendment rights to quash Second Amendment rights. Buying and selling guns is a constitutionally-protected right. A three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said as much in their ruling on Teixeira vs. Alameda County that reads “the right to purchase and sell firearms is part and parcel of the historically recognized right to keep and bear arms.”

Social media corporations have been suppressing the firearm industry, gun ownership, firearm safety, and anything that could be related to guns in the name of “community standards” and what they determine to be in the best interests of Americans. That right doesn’t belong to virtual overlords. That free exchange of ideas belongs to the people.

It’s time the bluebirds came home to roost.



National Shooting Sports FoundationAbout The National Shooting Sports Foundation

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 10,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. www.nssf.org

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GAMtns
GAMtns
1 month ago

Lawsuits. We need to develop our own media.

Grim
Grim
1 month ago

Fact checking is what all of us should be doing. How is fact checking “censorship”? Trump spews nonsensical BS daily. If you buy his BS, you are sheep! He is a politician like all politicians.

Grim
Grim
1 month ago
Reply to  Grim

Not sure what your point is. Who is Saul Alinski and what is his manuscript?

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Grim

, Rules for Radicles by Saul Alinski. Alinski was a Weatherman domestic terrorist that escaped prosecution.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Grim

@Grim, So called fact checking is censorship when they don’t really fact check, but rather just declare the thing untrue then use that as a basis to shut down the account. FB and Twitter constantly lie about conservative comments and delete the comment so that conservatives don’t get to participate in the debate. Trump is not a politician, nor is he like all politicians. Trump is a developer. Developers are known to be “difficult persons”, but they get things done. Nor is Trump smooth and polished like real politicians. When China moves from the bloodless phase of war against America… Read more »

KDude
KDude
1 month ago

That’s too bad. We’ve seen it before already. Alleged, God Fearing self described Conservative Republicans rooting for a guy who said he could shoot a guy down in broad daylight on Fifth Avenue and still win the election. Look, I heard it too. And I still voted for him. Because he said he planned to protect and defend our 2nd Amendment. He does win. And he starts in with his own extra Constitutional bans, calling for congress to send him a bill revoking our 2nd Amendment for everyone under the age of twenty one. He has called for red flag… Read more »

Finnky
Finnky
1 month ago
Reply to  KDude

@KDude – You forgot his threats to “send in the National Guard” as law enforcement in Minneapolis if riots continue. Any gun owners who doubt they would ever face US Military enforcing unconstitutional laws – take note of how easily Trump proposes ignoring Posse Comitatus. If he is allowed to even entertain using National Guard to put down riots, later presidents will be enabled to deploy the entire spectrum of US Military against civilians who dare protest against gun regulations. Abhorrent as the violence and destruction associated with these riots and protests are they are local problems and should be… Read more »

Grim
Grim
1 month ago
Reply to  KDude

Trump is off the tracks, get him back on or we will be stuck with Biden.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Grim

, I am sure that if you would writ a polite and instructive letter to the POTUS, he would get back on track.

Deplorable Bill
Deplorable Bill
1 month ago

ABOUT FRIKEN TIME. This will go a loooooooong way in draining the swamp. I do believe in free speech but what you tube and others have been doing and getting away with for years is censorship. Those who have done this or simply let it happen or financed it should be arrested, jailed without bond because of flight risk, tried and it found guilty, they should be imprisoned and severely fined. They have truly furthered a literal communist plot to overthrow America. You can clearly see this type of evil is communist nations like China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran etc.… Read more »

pureamericana
pureamericana
1 month ago

What we have been witness to over past 4 years is a far left radical news media that prints or reports live on airwaves total lies, slander and fabricated evidence they swear to. They seldom retract or do so silently and never broadcast. It is obvious the hard core members and plain Communist inside the (D) party want the erasing of at least 4 of the original 10 RIGHTS. We are in for a battle for a long time in this country to get these bellicose demands,threats and sedition minded ideology resolved. As we saw under the previous #44 President,… Read more »

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago

Dear President Trump I would appreciate it if you would add Craigslist to the companies that you are going to have reviewed for political bias. They have so much left hate with profanity and bad things that they write about you and republicans that they let stand on their web site while deleting republican views and not letting them post. Out here in Oregone it is so bad that I cannot get anything posted at all on the Oregon Coast, Portland, Eugene, Salem, Corvallis, Bend rants and raves. It is deleted by what I refer to as the 1st Amendment… Read more »

Tin Man
Tin Man
1 month ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

Yes. Craigslist needs to be scrutinized as well for illegal censorship.

Grim
Grim
1 month ago
Reply to  Tin Man

What is illegal? They own the site, just like FB, Twitter and all social media online. Get a grip and stay away from these Orwellian operations.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Grim

, FB and Twitter were given special exceptions to the Federal Communications Act, but they were supposed to remain neutral. But they are no longer neutral, that is the illegal part.

Justista
Justista
1 month ago

Just last week I responded to a post by someone spewing misinformation. I quoted current CDC stats and did so in a polite, non threatening post only to find my post removed with out reason and the one with false, deliberately scary stats left up. You all surely see it. It’s about time someone did something about the unfair bias My thoughts on it are, that even NAZIS and other lunatics should have a voice. It’s how they expose themselves for what they are. I don’t need a referee telling me NAZIS or Brownell’s need censoring to protect me. Most… Read more »

JPM
JPM
1 month ago

Now if we only can get a handle on the broadcast and print media and make them accountable for their abuses of the 1st Amendment at the same level we’re held accountable if we violate/abuse the 2nd Amendment.

badlands
badlands
1 month ago

Yet every conservative news site on the planet tells us “find us on FB and Twitter”.

save2A
save2A
1 month ago

They don’t just pick on the big guys. I’m just a bedbound man with severe injuries from an accident and have been spending time swallowing as much factual information I can find about people who want to cause damage to my country. I have had my computer infected, at one time when I was on the phone with my servers’ security, he told me that on that particular morning my modem had been pinged 406,402 times. ME? Yes, at that time I was being hit by 300+ IP addresses from over 80 countries. That was several years ago. I had… Read more »

chocopot
chocopot
1 month ago

The fact is that this situation goes WAY beyond unfairness and censorship. The social media companies are now actively engaged in trying to impact the election process. That should be criminal, if it is not already, and it needs to be stopped immediately.

Grim
Grim
1 month ago
Reply to  chocopot

Just like Hitler and Stalin did!

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Grim

, Just like Hitler and Stalin did what?