The social media, Twitter, has at times, at their own discretion removed this paper’s representatives from their site. So, we’ll come clean and inform our readers that this editorial will be calling for Twitter to be treated as any other news source, our own included, and to be held liable for any false information provided by their subscribers who are, to all intents and purposes, reporters, who use its site as their communication source. If we publish untruths, lies or falsities in our publication, we are subject to painful, expensive lawsuits. We live within the written and unwritten laws of liable and slander. Twitter does not. It has had the chutzpah to determine itself just what constitutes dangerous information on its pages. They will judge what is appropriate and what is not.
As an example they recently announced that coronavirus related information that creates what the company considers “widespread panic” will be banned from the platform. Many people, even some of their customers, are outraged charging that Twitters’ action is problematic given the platform’s unwillingness to deny the World Health Organization and China from distributing false virus related misinformation. In other words, they pick and choose from among groups, nations or individuals, just who are liars. “Twitter can pursue a political agenda” and ban those who claim that the virus’ origin in a Wuhan lab, said Rachel Bovard, senior adviser at the Internet Accountability Project, before citing a Washington Post report noting that the State Department warned the virus might have come from a lab in Wuhan, China. This sudden policy change occurred after Chinese officials distributed misinformation related to the virus on its platform, claiming that the U.S. Army somehow introduced this virus into China. No push back on China nor against the World health Organization that repeated an earlier claim from China that coronavirus was not contagious to humans.
Does their ban on communication that feeds “widespread panic” also include political talk for instance that places the blame for the latest riots that are reducing our major cities to rubble, on the likes of Black Lives Matter and Antifa, groups that are hostile to President Trump? Will they become political agents for their favored Progressive voices? Do the Progressive leaders of Twitter, such as its leader, Jack Dorsey, have plans to ban pro-Conservative voices just before the upcoming national elections? The power of such social media groups including Facebook, WhatsApp, Google and Instagram to pool their resources to manipulate political thought and discourse leading to the election of their chosen political candidates, including the president is downright scary. We are calling for our political leaders to qualify these platforms as news groups and establish the requirements that they abide by the same laws of liable, slander and defamation that the rest of the news industry must adhere to.