Here we go again. At a time when more people get their news on social media, and with the midterm elections less than three months away, Twitter announced that it will be the platform’s official fact-checker, and will ultimately decide what you may or may not read.
It’s an obvious counter to the red wave that’s expected to hand control of the House — and possibly the Senate — to the Republican Party.
Twitter Safety announced Thursday that “Starting today, we’ll begin enforcing the Civic Integrity Policy in context of the US 2022 midterms.”
They continued, “This means we’ll take action against misleading claims about the voting process, misleading content intended to intimidate or dissuade people from participating in the election, or misleading claims that may undermine public confidence in elections outcomes.”
Twitter indicated that it has been doing this with respect to foreign elections for at least four years.
“As a key part of the Twitter Rules, since 2018, our Civic Integrity Policy has helped people find credible information during elections and other civic processes — including in the Philippines, Kenya, Australia, Brazil, and India — just this year, they reported in a section of its rules called “Our approach to the 2022 US midterms.”
In truth, Twitter isn’t supposed to have any role in any election. It’s a social media site. That’s all. Nonetheless, without making any formal announcement or rule change, Twitter did precisely the same thing in 2020.
It prevented the New York Post from publishing its bombshell reports of Hunter Biden’s “Laptop From Hell,” that drew then-candidate Joe Biden into an international influence-peddling scheme that reportedly enriched everyone in the Biden family.
After Twitter placed a gag on the Post story, mainstream media reported that the story amounted to (what else?) Russian disinformation. In reality it was Twitter and mainstream media that were misleading the public with outright lies.
The New York Post, incidentally, is America’s oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton — three years before his death in a duel with Aaron Burr.
Significantly, Twitter didn’t have a “Civic Integrity Policy” in 2016, when Donald Trump won a presidential election that all the smart money said was Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s, suggesting that was what prompted Twitter’s decision to put its finger on the scale.
Twitter’s announcement carries added significance given the importance digital media — including social media — plays on the dissemination of news.
Last year a Pew Research poll found that 86% of Americans “get news from a smartphone, computer or tablet ‘often’ or ‘sometimes,’ including 60% who say they do so often.”
In addition, “roughly half (52%) of Americans say they prefer a digital platform — whether it is a news website (26%), search (12%), social media (11%) or podcasts (3%).”
In an effort to keep everyone’s feet planted firmly on the ground and their head above all the spin, hype, and outright lies promoted by mainstream and social media, a Twitter user who goes by the handle “Patriot USA” posted a thread that listed many of the things we can believe that the media has reported as false. The list includes:
“We are in a recession, January 6 wasn't an insurrection, COVID didn’t originate in a wet market, Jussie Smollett wasn’t the victim of a hate crime, [Justice Brett] Kavanaugh wasn't a gang rapist, Biden didn’t get 81mm votes, men can't get pregnant, Hunters laptop isn’t Russian disinformation. Systematic racism no longer exist in America unless it's fabricated. Hillary Clinton was given the answers to the debate and payed no penalty. Trump never said to drink Clorox or disinfectant, yet unhealthy media took the opportunity to mislead their following rather [than] educate them to the science he spoke of. To this day Bigfoot has more eyewitnesses and credibility than Christine Blasey Fords allegations. Biden has not had one accomplishment of value for all Americans in 48 years of public service. January 6th is a nothing burger. Formally known as the Russia collusion nothing burger. Repackaged as the Ukraine call and impeachment nothing burger.”
She concluded, “Yet the media still willfully and deliberately manipulates and controls those who don't understand basic civics and the Constitution.”
Benjamin Franklin once observed that "whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”
To have any hope at all of retaining our republic and holding onto our freedoms, we have to first recognize and insist that no one has the right to stifle the free exchange of ideas.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to Newsmax. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.