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Twitter Bans Trump, Parler Sues Amazon, Congressional Democrats Question Big ISPs

Jericho Casper

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January 11, 2021 — On Friday, Twitter permanently banned President Donald Trump from the platform, citing the “risk of further incitement of violence” should he be allowed to continue to use the service.

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said in a statement on Friday.

The ban comes after the president incited a mob that broke into the US Capitol building, disrupting Congress’ certification of Joe Biden as the President Elect. Twitter initially put a 12-hour ban on Trump’s account for “repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy” after he posted messages repeating lies that the election was stolen.

“Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks,” Twitter said in its Friday blog.

Advocacy groups have been calling for action to be taken for months  

Many tech advocacy groups have spoken out in support of Twitter’s actions.

“Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend Donald Trump is a victory for racial-justice advocates who have long condemned his continued abuse of the platform,” said Free Press co-CEO and Change the Terms co-founder Jessica González. “Today’s news, while a day late and a dollar short, is welcome. I urge other social-media companies to follow suit immediately.”

“From the launch of his presidential campaign when he defamed Mexicans as rapists, criminals and drug dealers, to the desperate last gasps of his presidency as he has egged on white supremacists to commit violence and insurrection, Trump had used his Twitter account to incite violence, lie about the election outcome, encourage racists and spread conspiracy theories. He did not deserve a platform on Twitter, or on any other social or traditional media,” she added.

“Private companies taking action against bad actors that misuse their services to incite violence have a First Amendment right to do so – even when the bad actor engaged in misconduct is the President of the United States,” said Computer & Communication Industry Association President Matt Schruers.

“Congress wisely encouraged these actions to safeguard the trust and safety of users and the public at large through Section 230 in the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which enables digital services to address dangerous or problematic content and behavior without risk that they will be sued for doing so,” said Schruers.

Parler sues Amazon after tech giant kicks site off its servers

The social media platform Parler has sued Amazon after the tech giant abruptly ended web-hosting services to the company, effectively halting its operations.

Parler describes itself as a free speech platform, and its founders have proclaimed that the service engages in minimal moderation and will not fact-check posts. They have also said they will allow posts that have been removed or flagged as misinformation on other social media networks such as Twitter.

The conservative social network founded in 2018 exploded in popularity among supporters of President Trump after the November U.S. election.

In a complaint filed Monday in Seattle federal court, Parler alleged that Amazon Web Services kicked the company off its cloud servers for political and anti-competitive reasons.

“AWS’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus. It is also apparently designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter,” reads Parler’s complaint.

Amazon said Saturday that it would cut off Parler because it wasn’t confident in its ability to sufficiently police content on its platform that incites violence. The company said while it would no longer provide web services to Parler after Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time, it would preserve the platform’s data and help it migrate to different servers.

The situation with Parler shows the growing breadth of efforts by big technology companies to restrict content they label as dangerous after last week’s mob attack on the U.S. Capitol. Amazon had said in a letter to Parler over the weekend that it had seen a steady increase in violent content on the site and said Parler’s efforts to remove it were inadequate.

Energy and Commerce Committee questions ISPs commitment to consumers

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle, and Representative Jerry McNerney sent letters today to nine internet service providers questioning their commitment to consumers, as many ISPs continue to raise prices and impose data caps, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the last ten months, internet service became even more essential as many Americans were forced to transition to remote work and online school. Broadband networks seem to have largely withstood these massive shifts in usage,” wrote Pallone, Doyle and McNerney. “Unfortunately, what cannot be overlooked or underestimated is the extent to which families without home internet service, particularly those with school-aged children at home, have been left out and left behind.”

The lawmakers explained that after Energy and Commerce Committee members wrote to these same companies in March to express how crucial it was that families have reliable, affordable broadband during this historic time. Since then some of those companies have raised prices and imposed or expanded data caps on consumers.

“This is an egregious action at a time when households and small businesses across the country need high-speed, reliable broadband more than ever but are struggling to make ends meet,” they wrote.

Broadband Roundup

New Rules Against Chinese Products, Telegram and Violence, Trump’s Overlooked Impact on Tech

Samuel Triginelli

Published

on

Photo of Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore used with permission

January 11, 2021 — On Friday, Twitter permanently banned President Donald Trump from the platform, citing the “risk of further incitement of violence” should he be allowed to continue to use the service.

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said in a statement on Friday.

The ban comes after the president incited a mob that broke into the US Capitol building, disrupting Congress’ certification of Joe Biden as the President Elect. Twitter initially put a 12-hour ban on Trump’s account for “repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy” after he posted messages repeating lies that the election was stolen.

“Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks,” Twitter said in its Friday blog.

Advocacy groups have been calling for action to be taken for months  

Many tech advocacy groups have spoken out in support of Twitter’s actions.

“Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend Donald Trump is a victory for racial-justice advocates who have long condemned his continued abuse of the platform,” said Free Press co-CEO and Change the Terms co-founder Jessica González. “Today’s news, while a day late and a dollar short, is welcome. I urge other social-media companies to follow suit immediately.”

“From the launch of his presidential campaign when he defamed Mexicans as rapists, criminals and drug dealers, to the desperate last gasps of his presidency as he has egged on white supremacists to commit violence and insurrection, Trump had used his Twitter account to incite violence, lie about the election outcome, encourage racists and spread conspiracy theories. He did not deserve a platform on Twitter, or on any other social or traditional media,” she added.

“Private companies taking action against bad actors that misuse their services to incite violence have a First Amendment right to do so – even when the bad actor engaged in misconduct is the President of the United States,” said Computer & Communication Industry Association President Matt Schruers.

“Congress wisely encouraged these actions to safeguard the trust and safety of users and the public at large through Section 230 in the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which enables digital services to address dangerous or problematic content and behavior without risk that they will be sued for doing so,” said Schruers.

Parler sues Amazon after tech giant kicks site off its servers

The social media platform Parler has sued Amazon after the tech giant abruptly ended web-hosting services to the company, effectively halting its operations.

Parler describes itself as a free speech platform, and its founders have proclaimed that the service engages in minimal moderation and will not fact-check posts. They have also said they will allow posts that have been removed or flagged as misinformation on other social media networks such as Twitter.

The conservative social network founded in 2018 exploded in popularity among supporters of President Trump after the November U.S. election.

In a complaint filed Monday in Seattle federal court, Parler alleged that Amazon Web Services kicked the company off its cloud servers for political and anti-competitive reasons.

“AWS’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus. It is also apparently designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter,” reads Parler’s complaint.

Amazon said Saturday that it would cut off Parler because it wasn’t confident in its ability to sufficiently police content on its platform that incites violence. The company said while it would no longer provide web services to Parler after Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time, it would preserve the platform’s data and help it migrate to different servers.

The situation with Parler shows the growing breadth of efforts by big technology companies to restrict content they label as dangerous after last week’s mob attack on the U.S. Capitol. Amazon had said in a letter to Parler over the weekend that it had seen a steady increase in violent content on the site and said Parler’s efforts to remove it were inadequate.

Energy and Commerce Committee questions ISPs commitment to consumers

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle, and Representative Jerry McNerney sent letters today to nine internet service providers questioning their commitment to consumers, as many ISPs continue to raise prices and impose data caps, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the last ten months, internet service became even more essential as many Americans were forced to transition to remote work and online school. Broadband networks seem to have largely withstood these massive shifts in usage,” wrote Pallone, Doyle and McNerney. “Unfortunately, what cannot be overlooked or underestimated is the extent to which families without home internet service, particularly those with school-aged children at home, have been left out and left behind.”

The lawmakers explained that after Energy and Commerce Committee members wrote to these same companies in March to express how crucial it was that families have reliable, affordable broadband during this historic time. Since then some of those companies have raised prices and imposed or expanded data caps on consumers.

“This is an egregious action at a time when households and small businesses across the country need high-speed, reliable broadband more than ever but are struggling to make ends meet,” they wrote.

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Broadband Roundup

Democrats Want Biden to Drop Net Neutrality Suit Against States, AT&T and Digital Divide, Cornell’s Broadband Program

Tim White

Published

on

Photo of Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., keynoting at a Broadband Breakfast Club event

January 11, 2021 — On Friday, Twitter permanently banned President Donald Trump from the platform, citing the “risk of further incitement of violence” should he be allowed to continue to use the service.

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said in a statement on Friday.

The ban comes after the president incited a mob that broke into the US Capitol building, disrupting Congress’ certification of Joe Biden as the President Elect. Twitter initially put a 12-hour ban on Trump’s account for “repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy” after he posted messages repeating lies that the election was stolen.

“Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks,” Twitter said in its Friday blog.

Advocacy groups have been calling for action to be taken for months  

Many tech advocacy groups have spoken out in support of Twitter’s actions.

“Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend Donald Trump is a victory for racial-justice advocates who have long condemned his continued abuse of the platform,” said Free Press co-CEO and Change the Terms co-founder Jessica González. “Today’s news, while a day late and a dollar short, is welcome. I urge other social-media companies to follow suit immediately.”

“From the launch of his presidential campaign when he defamed Mexicans as rapists, criminals and drug dealers, to the desperate last gasps of his presidency as he has egged on white supremacists to commit violence and insurrection, Trump had used his Twitter account to incite violence, lie about the election outcome, encourage racists and spread conspiracy theories. He did not deserve a platform on Twitter, or on any other social or traditional media,” she added.

“Private companies taking action against bad actors that misuse their services to incite violence have a First Amendment right to do so – even when the bad actor engaged in misconduct is the President of the United States,” said Computer & Communication Industry Association President Matt Schruers.

“Congress wisely encouraged these actions to safeguard the trust and safety of users and the public at large through Section 230 in the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which enables digital services to address dangerous or problematic content and behavior without risk that they will be sued for doing so,” said Schruers.

Parler sues Amazon after tech giant kicks site off its servers

The social media platform Parler has sued Amazon after the tech giant abruptly ended web-hosting services to the company, effectively halting its operations.

Parler describes itself as a free speech platform, and its founders have proclaimed that the service engages in minimal moderation and will not fact-check posts. They have also said they will allow posts that have been removed or flagged as misinformation on other social media networks such as Twitter.

The conservative social network founded in 2018 exploded in popularity among supporters of President Trump after the November U.S. election.

In a complaint filed Monday in Seattle federal court, Parler alleged that Amazon Web Services kicked the company off its cloud servers for political and anti-competitive reasons.

“AWS’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus. It is also apparently designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter,” reads Parler’s complaint.

Amazon said Saturday that it would cut off Parler because it wasn’t confident in its ability to sufficiently police content on its platform that incites violence. The company said while it would no longer provide web services to Parler after Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time, it would preserve the platform’s data and help it migrate to different servers.

The situation with Parler shows the growing breadth of efforts by big technology companies to restrict content they label as dangerous after last week’s mob attack on the U.S. Capitol. Amazon had said in a letter to Parler over the weekend that it had seen a steady increase in violent content on the site and said Parler’s efforts to remove it were inadequate.

Energy and Commerce Committee questions ISPs commitment to consumers

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle, and Representative Jerry McNerney sent letters today to nine internet service providers questioning their commitment to consumers, as many ISPs continue to raise prices and impose data caps, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the last ten months, internet service became even more essential as many Americans were forced to transition to remote work and online school. Broadband networks seem to have largely withstood these massive shifts in usage,” wrote Pallone, Doyle and McNerney. “Unfortunately, what cannot be overlooked or underestimated is the extent to which families without home internet service, particularly those with school-aged children at home, have been left out and left behind.”

The lawmakers explained that after Energy and Commerce Committee members wrote to these same companies in March to express how crucial it was that families have reliable, affordable broadband during this historic time. Since then some of those companies have raised prices and imposed or expanded data caps on consumers.

“This is an egregious action at a time when households and small businesses across the country need high-speed, reliable broadband more than ever but are struggling to make ends meet,” they wrote.

Continue Reading

Broadband Roundup

President Donald Trump Impeached Twice, AI’s Role in COVID-19 Mutations, 5G and Health Care

Samuel Triginelli

Published

on

January 11, 2021 — On Friday, Twitter permanently banned President Donald Trump from the platform, citing the “risk of further incitement of violence” should he be allowed to continue to use the service.

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said in a statement on Friday.

The ban comes after the president incited a mob that broke into the US Capitol building, disrupting Congress’ certification of Joe Biden as the President Elect. Twitter initially put a 12-hour ban on Trump’s account for “repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy” after he posted messages repeating lies that the election was stolen.

“Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks,” Twitter said in its Friday blog.

Advocacy groups have been calling for action to be taken for months  

Many tech advocacy groups have spoken out in support of Twitter’s actions.

“Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend Donald Trump is a victory for racial-justice advocates who have long condemned his continued abuse of the platform,” said Free Press co-CEO and Change the Terms co-founder Jessica González. “Today’s news, while a day late and a dollar short, is welcome. I urge other social-media companies to follow suit immediately.”

“From the launch of his presidential campaign when he defamed Mexicans as rapists, criminals and drug dealers, to the desperate last gasps of his presidency as he has egged on white supremacists to commit violence and insurrection, Trump had used his Twitter account to incite violence, lie about the election outcome, encourage racists and spread conspiracy theories. He did not deserve a platform on Twitter, or on any other social or traditional media,” she added.

“Private companies taking action against bad actors that misuse their services to incite violence have a First Amendment right to do so – even when the bad actor engaged in misconduct is the President of the United States,” said Computer & Communication Industry Association President Matt Schruers.

“Congress wisely encouraged these actions to safeguard the trust and safety of users and the public at large through Section 230 in the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which enables digital services to address dangerous or problematic content and behavior without risk that they will be sued for doing so,” said Schruers.

Parler sues Amazon after tech giant kicks site off its servers

The social media platform Parler has sued Amazon after the tech giant abruptly ended web-hosting services to the company, effectively halting its operations.

Parler describes itself as a free speech platform, and its founders have proclaimed that the service engages in minimal moderation and will not fact-check posts. They have also said they will allow posts that have been removed or flagged as misinformation on other social media networks such as Twitter.

The conservative social network founded in 2018 exploded in popularity among supporters of President Trump after the November U.S. election.

In a complaint filed Monday in Seattle federal court, Parler alleged that Amazon Web Services kicked the company off its cloud servers for political and anti-competitive reasons.

“AWS’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus. It is also apparently designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter,” reads Parler’s complaint.

Amazon said Saturday that it would cut off Parler because it wasn’t confident in its ability to sufficiently police content on its platform that incites violence. The company said while it would no longer provide web services to Parler after Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time, it would preserve the platform’s data and help it migrate to different servers.

The situation with Parler shows the growing breadth of efforts by big technology companies to restrict content they label as dangerous after last week’s mob attack on the U.S. Capitol. Amazon had said in a letter to Parler over the weekend that it had seen a steady increase in violent content on the site and said Parler’s efforts to remove it were inadequate.

Energy and Commerce Committee questions ISPs commitment to consumers

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle, and Representative Jerry McNerney sent letters today to nine internet service providers questioning their commitment to consumers, as many ISPs continue to raise prices and impose data caps, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the last ten months, internet service became even more essential as many Americans were forced to transition to remote work and online school. Broadband networks seem to have largely withstood these massive shifts in usage,” wrote Pallone, Doyle and McNerney. “Unfortunately, what cannot be overlooked or underestimated is the extent to which families without home internet service, particularly those with school-aged children at home, have been left out and left behind.”

The lawmakers explained that after Energy and Commerce Committee members wrote to these same companies in March to express how crucial it was that families have reliable, affordable broadband during this historic time. Since then some of those companies have raised prices and imposed or expanded data caps on consumers.

“This is an egregious action at a time when households and small businesses across the country need high-speed, reliable broadband more than ever but are struggling to make ends meet,” they wrote.

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