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Trump Blasts Big Tech and Takes No Responsibility For Inciting Deadly U.S. Capitol Insurrection

Jericho Casper

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Photo of Donald Trump on January 12, 2021, from Voice of America

January 12, 2021 — President Donald Trump on Tuesday reacted to the content moderation practices that digital platforms exercised since the events of January 6 – including banning him from Twitter — before departing Andrews Joint Base in Prince George’s County, Maryland, onboard Air Force One.

The President called the tech giants’ responses to the violent actions of pro-Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol “a horrible thing” and a “catastrophic mistake” that will be “very bad for our country.” He further criticized the platforms, calling them politically “divisive.”

See “Special Broadband Breakfast Live Online Town Hall on Section 230 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

“I think that big tech is doing a horrible thing for our country and to our country.  And I believe it’s going to be a catastrophic mistake for them,” Trump said. “They’re dividing and divisive, and they’re showing something that I’ve been predicting for a long time…. And that’s leading others to do the same thing, and it causes a lot of problems and a lot of danger. Big mistake. They shouldn’t be doing it.  But there’s always a counter move when they do that. I’ve never seen such anger as I see right now, and that’s a terrible thing. Terrible thing.”

In the past week, digital platforms have acted more directly against particular political viewpoints, including those expressing the false viewpoint that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Often, the viewpoint that tech platforms can moderate or ban particular perspectives in framed in the context of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields the platforms for liability from comments by third parties.

Twitter permanently banned Trump on Friday evening. On Thursday, Facebook banned him until at least after the inauguration on January 20, 2021. Amazon on Saturday night banned the conservative-leaning social media platform Parler from selling on its AWS web services. AWS generally exercises extremely limited moderation practices.

Trump defended his actions in inciting the mob insurrection

Yet, in the president’s comments made Tuesday morning, he defended his speech inciting a mob that later stormed Congress. He took no responsibility for the breach of the Capitol, which left at least five dead and injured scored of Capitol Hill police officers. In his remarks at Andrews, he did say, “you have to always avoid violence.”

Addressing his responsibility for the mob violence on January 6, Trump instead said that “people” supported his language.

“People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” said Trump.

“We have tremendous support,” Trump continued. “They’ve analyzed my speech and words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody, to the T, thought it was totally appropriate.”

Trump went on to talk about how important it is to avoid violence. There has been a noticeable uptick in hate crimes since Trump’s election in 2016.

Trump further deflected questions by talking about unrelated protests against police violence that occurred over the summer in Portland, Seattle, and elsewhere. He said they were a “real problem.”

Courts

Supreme Court Declares Trump First Amendment Case Moot, But Legal Issues For Social Media Coming

Benjamin Kahn

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on

Photo of Justice Clarence Thomas in April 2017 by Preston Keres in the public domain

January 12, 2021 — President Donald Trump on Tuesday reacted to the content moderation practices that digital platforms exercised since the events of January 6 – including banning him from Twitter — before departing Andrews Joint Base in Prince George’s County, Maryland, onboard Air Force One.

The President called the tech giants’ responses to the violent actions of pro-Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol “a horrible thing” and a “catastrophic mistake” that will be “very bad for our country.” He further criticized the platforms, calling them politically “divisive.”

See “Special Broadband Breakfast Live Online Town Hall on Section 230 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

“I think that big tech is doing a horrible thing for our country and to our country.  And I believe it’s going to be a catastrophic mistake for them,” Trump said. “They’re dividing and divisive, and they’re showing something that I’ve been predicting for a long time…. And that’s leading others to do the same thing, and it causes a lot of problems and a lot of danger. Big mistake. They shouldn’t be doing it.  But there’s always a counter move when they do that. I’ve never seen such anger as I see right now, and that’s a terrible thing. Terrible thing.”

In the past week, digital platforms have acted more directly against particular political viewpoints, including those expressing the false viewpoint that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Often, the viewpoint that tech platforms can moderate or ban particular perspectives in framed in the context of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields the platforms for liability from comments by third parties.

Twitter permanently banned Trump on Friday evening. On Thursday, Facebook banned him until at least after the inauguration on January 20, 2021. Amazon on Saturday night banned the conservative-leaning social media platform Parler from selling on its AWS web services. AWS generally exercises extremely limited moderation practices.

Trump defended his actions in inciting the mob insurrection

Yet, in the president’s comments made Tuesday morning, he defended his speech inciting a mob that later stormed Congress. He took no responsibility for the breach of the Capitol, which left at least five dead and injured scored of Capitol Hill police officers. In his remarks at Andrews, he did say, “you have to always avoid violence.”

Addressing his responsibility for the mob violence on January 6, Trump instead said that “people” supported his language.

“People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” said Trump.

“We have tremendous support,” Trump continued. “They’ve analyzed my speech and words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody, to the T, thought it was totally appropriate.”

Trump went on to talk about how important it is to avoid violence. There has been a noticeable uptick in hate crimes since Trump’s election in 2016.

Trump further deflected questions by talking about unrelated protests against police violence that occurred over the summer in Portland, Seattle, and elsewhere. He said they were a “real problem.”

Continue Reading

Section 230

Sen. Mike Lee Promotes Bills Valuing Federal Spectrum, Requiring Content Moderation Disclosures

Tim White

Published

on

Screenshot of Mike Lee taken from Silicon Slopes event

January 12, 2021 — President Donald Trump on Tuesday reacted to the content moderation practices that digital platforms exercised since the events of January 6 – including banning him from Twitter — before departing Andrews Joint Base in Prince George’s County, Maryland, onboard Air Force One.

The President called the tech giants’ responses to the violent actions of pro-Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol “a horrible thing” and a “catastrophic mistake” that will be “very bad for our country.” He further criticized the platforms, calling them politically “divisive.”

See “Special Broadband Breakfast Live Online Town Hall on Section 230 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

“I think that big tech is doing a horrible thing for our country and to our country.  And I believe it’s going to be a catastrophic mistake for them,” Trump said. “They’re dividing and divisive, and they’re showing something that I’ve been predicting for a long time…. And that’s leading others to do the same thing, and it causes a lot of problems and a lot of danger. Big mistake. They shouldn’t be doing it.  But there’s always a counter move when they do that. I’ve never seen such anger as I see right now, and that’s a terrible thing. Terrible thing.”

In the past week, digital platforms have acted more directly against particular political viewpoints, including those expressing the false viewpoint that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Often, the viewpoint that tech platforms can moderate or ban particular perspectives in framed in the context of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields the platforms for liability from comments by third parties.

Twitter permanently banned Trump on Friday evening. On Thursday, Facebook banned him until at least after the inauguration on January 20, 2021. Amazon on Saturday night banned the conservative-leaning social media platform Parler from selling on its AWS web services. AWS generally exercises extremely limited moderation practices.

Trump defended his actions in inciting the mob insurrection

Yet, in the president’s comments made Tuesday morning, he defended his speech inciting a mob that later stormed Congress. He took no responsibility for the breach of the Capitol, which left at least five dead and injured scored of Capitol Hill police officers. In his remarks at Andrews, he did say, “you have to always avoid violence.”

Addressing his responsibility for the mob violence on January 6, Trump instead said that “people” supported his language.

“People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” said Trump.

“We have tremendous support,” Trump continued. “They’ve analyzed my speech and words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody, to the T, thought it was totally appropriate.”

Trump went on to talk about how important it is to avoid violence. There has been a noticeable uptick in hate crimes since Trump’s election in 2016.

Trump further deflected questions by talking about unrelated protests against police violence that occurred over the summer in Portland, Seattle, and elsewhere. He said they were a “real problem.”

Continue Reading

Section 230

Pressed by Congress, Big Tech Defends Itself and Offers Few Solutions After Capitol Riot

Tim White

Published

on

Photo of Google CEO Sundar Pichai from a December 2018 hearing before the House Judiciary Committee by Drew Clark

January 12, 2021 — President Donald Trump on Tuesday reacted to the content moderation practices that digital platforms exercised since the events of January 6 – including banning him from Twitter — before departing Andrews Joint Base in Prince George’s County, Maryland, onboard Air Force One.

The President called the tech giants’ responses to the violent actions of pro-Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol “a horrible thing” and a “catastrophic mistake” that will be “very bad for our country.” He further criticized the platforms, calling them politically “divisive.”

See “Special Broadband Breakfast Live Online Town Hall on Section 230 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

“I think that big tech is doing a horrible thing for our country and to our country.  And I believe it’s going to be a catastrophic mistake for them,” Trump said. “They’re dividing and divisive, and they’re showing something that I’ve been predicting for a long time…. And that’s leading others to do the same thing, and it causes a lot of problems and a lot of danger. Big mistake. They shouldn’t be doing it.  But there’s always a counter move when they do that. I’ve never seen such anger as I see right now, and that’s a terrible thing. Terrible thing.”

In the past week, digital platforms have acted more directly against particular political viewpoints, including those expressing the false viewpoint that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Often, the viewpoint that tech platforms can moderate or ban particular perspectives in framed in the context of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields the platforms for liability from comments by third parties.

Twitter permanently banned Trump on Friday evening. On Thursday, Facebook banned him until at least after the inauguration on January 20, 2021. Amazon on Saturday night banned the conservative-leaning social media platform Parler from selling on its AWS web services. AWS generally exercises extremely limited moderation practices.

Trump defended his actions in inciting the mob insurrection

Yet, in the president’s comments made Tuesday morning, he defended his speech inciting a mob that later stormed Congress. He took no responsibility for the breach of the Capitol, which left at least five dead and injured scored of Capitol Hill police officers. In his remarks at Andrews, he did say, “you have to always avoid violence.”

Addressing his responsibility for the mob violence on January 6, Trump instead said that “people” supported his language.

“People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” said Trump.

“We have tremendous support,” Trump continued. “They’ve analyzed my speech and words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody, to the T, thought it was totally appropriate.”

Trump went on to talk about how important it is to avoid violence. There has been a noticeable uptick in hate crimes since Trump’s election in 2016.

Trump further deflected questions by talking about unrelated protests against police violence that occurred over the summer in Portland, Seattle, and elsewhere. He said they were a “real problem.”

Continue Reading

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