When a Social Media Quarantine is Less About Appearance and More About Silencing Those That You Disagree With.
There is plenty of hate speech online. And depending on how much of a snowflake you are, there’s possibly hate speech EVERYWHERE you look. The line between hate speech, (or inflammatory speech as the government refers to it), and calls to violence or incitement of violence can easily be blurred, depending on how much of a victim mentality you have or how weak you perceive yourself to be.
However, there is a legal precedent, referred to as The Brandenburg test to determine whether speech is actually a call to violence and whether the government can restrict, limit or charge someone with a crime, based on that certain speech.
In the Supreme Court case, Brandenburg v. Ohio, [395 US 444 (1969)], which was a case against a KKK leader who gave a colorful speech to his Klansmen; the test was created to determine if there was actual incitement to violence. The SCOTUS determined that the KKK leader, Brandenburg, did not “incite or produce imminent lawless action” and therefore, Ohio law violated Brandenburg’s right to freedom of speech.
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The Brandenburg test is a two-part test and must satisfy both elements to determine if speech is advocating the use of force or crime. The elements are:
- The speech is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action;” AND,
- The speech is “likely to incite or produce such action.”
Unfortunately, those that live in the gated communities of Silicon Valley and surrounding areas feel that they know better than the law of the nation and SCOTUS, and as such, create their own rambling array of rules that are unevenly applied, to further a hidden but obvious agenda.
Calls to violence (Advocacy of Illegal Action) in the eyes of those that run the various social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, et al, are loosely determined by whichever matrix of “rules” these sites wish to employ on any given day. The rules are NOT transparent, NOT unchanging, and definitely NOT levied evenly, depending on their target. Commonly referred to as, “Rules for Thee, But Not for Me”, these rules are most often wielded as a weapon to silence dissenters, rather than to make a site an enjoyable place to visit.
Sorry. No data so far.
That brings us to the subject of this article, Reddit’s obvious “black eye” shining brightly to their SJW and virtue-signaling advertisers, is the subreddit /r/The_Donald. Which I will shorten to T_D as The_Donald regulars refer to it.
Subs as users call them are Subreddits which are analogous to “rooms” or “channels” of thought, based on specific topics of conversation. These topics are widely varied, which contributes to Reddit’s popularity. Mods (moderators) of these subs enforce rules, which are also widely varied, but all subs must follow the basic decorum of Reddit. Break the rules of Reddit, and a sub will be quarantined or banned.
One of the last bastions of “free conservative speech” on Reddit, T_D is now under quarantine.
The implications for quarantine on Reddit are: When a person goes to the sub, a banner shows up stating,
“Most recently, the violations have included threats of violence against police and public officials.” – We’ll get back to this part later
Quarantined subs also do not show up on “the front (home) page” when a user goes to the top level of Reddit, and they do not show up, in the aggregator sub /r/all. Finally, when someone does a search on Reddit, results from quarantined subs do not show up. Theoretically, search engines will also stop indexing these subs. Obviously you can see the implications to stifle free speech that are involved with a quarantine.
I would like to make a quick interjection about “free speech” here. Boy, are the leftists [that hate everything about the Constitutional Amendments] quick to adhere to and point out that the 1st Amendment, ONLY protects people against the government, ie Congress, from limiting and interfering with speech.
These people are NOT patriots or friends of the people, in any fashion. Any true patriot knows that FREE SPEECH, is one of the tenets that America was built upon. It transcends the 1st Amendment and is pervasive throughout the entirety of the country, and it means LITERALLY, YOU ARE FREE TO SPEAK YOUR MIND. PERIOD. Not a DAMN THING TO DO WITH THE GOVERNMENT. However, the leftists will say, But… but… but… the 1st only talks about government.
NO. We are NOT TALKING ABOUT THE 1ST AMENDMENT WHEN WE SAY FREE SPEECH. It is a God given right as a citizen of the U.S., to be able to say what you want when you want. The obvious caveat, you cannot break laws with your speech, and beyond that, if you are not breaking a law, you have the right to say what you like.
So, while anyone would agree that threats of violence against police and public officials, is a bad thing… that isn’t what happened in this case. The comments made by actual users of T_D, were along the lines of: “none of this gets fixed without people picking up rifles” and “[I have] no problems shooting a cop trying to strip rights from Citizens.” That is free speech.
And this is why I dedicated the first few paragraphs to the concept of the “Brandenburg test”. As you can see, these comments failed the test. No “imminent lawless action” was called upon. In addition, these comments were not likely to cause such action.
Further, the more egregious comments were made by accounts that were obviously just created, had no “posting history”, and whose only comments, were inflammatory. One might say, these accounts were created for the sole purpose, of putting a target on the back of T_D.
It obviously worked as evidenced by the quarantine and this statement from the Admins of Reddit:
Over the last few months, we have observed repeated rule-breaking behavior in your community and an over-reliance on Reddit admins to manage users and remove posts that violate our content policy, including content that encourages or incites violence. Most recently, we have observed this behavior in the form of encouragement of violence towards police officers and public officials in Oregon. This is not only in violation of our site-wide policies, but also your own community rules (rule #9). You can find violating content that we removed in your mod logs.
As we have discussed in the past, and as detailed in our content policy and moderator guidelines, we expect you to enforce against rule-breaking content. You’ve made progress over the last year, but we continue to observe and take action on a disproportionate amount of rule-breaking behavior in this community. We recognize that you do remove posts that are reported, but we are troubled that violent content more often goes unreported, and worse, is upvoted.
The assertion that T_D was calling for violence against LEOs (Law Enforcement Officers), is extremely laughable. As a bastion of free conservative speech, T_D has a disproportionately high number of LEOs AS MEMBERS, compared to the rest of Reddit. LEOs are held in very high regard by T_D, an antithesis to the BLM (Black Lives Matters) rhetoric seen throughout the rest of Reddit. LEOs are their friends and no member of T_D would directly call for violence specifically against LEOs.
That brings us to the hypocrisy of this quarantine. At any given time, on dozens of subs throughout Reddit, you can find ACTUAL CALLS TO VIOLENCE, which WOULD satisfy both requirements of the “Brandenburg test”.
/r/WorldNews has actual calls to violence against the POTUS, which needs no test. /r/pol has constant violent rhetoric against conservatives. And /r/chapotraphouse, finally received a quarantine after numerous violent comments and users from T_D reporting them en masse. WorldNews and pol will probably never see a quarantine, even though comments in those subs get reported to Admins and the mods of those subs, DAILY. This is because they are moneymakers for Reddit, through ads and the site-specific “Gold” and “Silver” (internet points that people buy with real money) that users can gift each other.
In case anyone wonders, when violent comments against Trump come up, T_D users report them to the Secret Service. The Secret Service has probably visited quite a few basements in the past several years.
A common sentiment on Reddit is, no sub comes back from quarantine. (Anecdotes exist, but they are just anecdotes) Once quarantined, a ‘full ban’ is inevitable. This is where the sub is just shut down, and ceases to exist. A complete deletion of everything that was ever posted there.
Many people feel that allowing T_D to stay, albeit, quarantined, corrals the “evil conservatives”, “racists” and “white nationalists” nee, “white supremacists”, in one place, so they do not “infect” the rest of Reddit. And if they are fully banned, all of the racists will then spill over into the rest of Reddit with their “toxic and hate filled messages.”
Anyone with high school level Civics history education (from decades ago, I am sure it has changed in this “Clown World” timeline) knows that this is simply leftist projection. The Democrats were and still are, the racists. Constantly referring to everyone’s color, background, and ethnicity is extremely racist. Conservatives do not care what color a person is, as long as they are a patriot and support the country.
Democrats were and are slave owners, happily keeping people tied to government handouts and unable to make a living wage. Lincoln, the first Republican POTUS, freed the slaves from the Democrats. Democrats formed the KKK. Democrats voted against the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery. Democrats voted against the 14th Amendment giving citizenship to blacks. Democrats voted against the 15th Amendment allowing blacks to vote. Inconvenient truths for a party that NEEDS black and Hispanic votes to win elections.
These truths about the Democrats are the types of thoughts, comments, messages and memes that Reddit tries to quash by forcing quarantine on T_D with fake claims of threats of violence. T_D is one of the few places on the whole of the internet, where you can get unfiltered news. Where truthful facts of history prevail. Furthermore, it is where the truly tolerant citizens of the United States and worldwide supporters of freedom reside. The users of T_D aren’t just U.S. Citizens, there are people from across the globe that envy the freedoms of Americans and come to enjoy the freedom of thought it provides. Everyone that is open to dissenting viewpoints is welcome to join. That is why Reddit makes it difficult to even FIND the sub anymore.
It is very likely that T_D will not see the light of day again on Reddit. At least not until POTUS Donald J. Trump is reelected on November 3rd, 2020. This is the REAL reason T_D is quarantined. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, the MSM, and leftists everywhere insist that one tiny sub on Reddit, and the website, 4chan.org, swayed the opinion of the Electoral College. The Electoral College whose average age of 58. Which is exactly the same as the average age of the visitors to T_D and 4chan. That was sarcasm, if too subtle.
It is not Russian troll bots, but real life people, patriotic citizens spreading truth, that are the enemy of the racist, elitist Democrats. And silicon valley and the MSM are trying everything in their power to silence the truth, so they can get one of their own, back into the White House to enact their insane, divisive policies that will lead to the destruction of everything that has made this country great.
T_D recently reached their 30-day ‘reevaluation’ of their quarantine where they could beg and plead to be let back into the unrestricted view of Reddit. This is the ridiculous reply from the Reddit Admins:
Thank you for your willingness to engage in the quarantine appeal process. We have examined your submission and evaluated your specific points.
We acknowledge the changes you have made to your automod rules and your mod team and practices.
However, as we noted in our July 10 message, while these steps are helpful, it is important for you to craft a more proactive plan and consistently communicate it to your subscribers.
While we noted your sticky posts, they have not been consistent. Indeed, for the majority of the past 30 days of quarantine, your subscribers would not have seen any messaging from you about expected behavioral reforms. In contrast, other subreddits that have received warnings from us have chosen to leave sticky posts up for weeks, months, or permanently, inserted messaging into the sidebar, or configured automod comments on every post reminding users of rules and expectations.
Furthermore, during the time when we would have expected you as mods to be setting the tone for behavior change in your community, we’ve seen you do the opposite with the posts that you have chosen to sticky, rather than using that space to communicate behavioral expectations. This indicates to us a lack of sincere effort toward community reform.
Even more seriously, we’ve seen continued rule violations on the part of your community, including posts in just the past few days wherein your subscribers were coordinating a disinformation campaign impersonating DNC materials
It is obvious that T_D will NEVER be unquarantined before the 2020 Election Day. And it is likely, as everyone says, a ban will be forthcoming since the Admins are just making stuff up now. “Impersonating DNC Materials” is a page out of the crooked playbook of the Leftists. The left cannot meme, and they obviously have no idea what parody is. Parody is protected speech. And absolutely nobody is impersonating anyone in an official capacity.
Perhaps though, it is for the better, if T_D is banned. For species, change and response to environmental pressures is good for survival, and for an entity to persevere. Some say the mods of T_D have been infiltrated by leftist ROLCON’s (Role play as Conservatives) put into place by the admins of Reddit to control the truth spoken in the sub. Maybe in leaving Reddit, these ROLCON mods will also go away.
Current mods of the sub supposedly ban for reasons such as “concern trolling”, or, “this sub is only for discussing the POTUS”. Yet these are just in-built excuses for the ROLCONs to control the narrative and wield their power against dissenters and people that might be speaking TOO MUCH TRUTH.
This is evidenced by the fact that the sub is constantly replete with posts about Epstein, whom everyone on the right says is NOT connected to Trump. Guns, which once again, are not Trump. LGBTQRSUVWXYZ+ agenda, Abortions, Mass Shootings, Hillary and Bill Clinton Conspiracies, Leftist tweets, Hollyweird actors and actresses behaving badly, BabylonBee posts, the Women’s World Cup co-captain, Globalism, Hong Kong, the U.S. economy, Obama, Immigration, New Zealand gun buyback, etc, etc. None of these are ABOUT TRUMP / POTUS 45, yet they are constantly posted and not removed.
But if you bring up something like Qanon, all the comments supporting Qanon QUICKLY disappear, while all of the negative comments against Qanon, calling it a LARP, etc and denouncing Q, stay visible.
In fact, there used to be a separate Qanon sub on Reddit and it was banned. A definition of Live Action Role-playing (LARP) is to act out in real life, characters of a fantasy world. There is plenty of fantasy subs on Reddit, so then, why is Qanon, “the LARP” not allowed? Surely it poses no threat? There are no rules against it. However, posts and comments about the topic are systematically removed.
Maybe a full-on ban is for the better. Perhaps, if T_D leaves Reddit, then the hidden, behind the scenes censorship will leave as well. A greater sharing of the truth and reality of the political process in the United States will prevail once again. Until then, shadow bans and shadowy figures will rule over T_D and it will be just like the rest of the world, where certain figures hide important elements from the general masses, to create a controlled narrative.
More First Amendment News:
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- ORWELLIAN: How Apple and Google obliterated the First Amendment with the mobile web
- Las Vegas: Watch the 1st Amendment Die as Journalist Arrested at Press Conference for Not Being Mainstream
- U.S. tech giants are waging a war against free speech
About the Author:
DarkStar (obvious pseudonym) has been an active humanitarian for the past decade, running a charity dedicated to helping the mentally challenged overcome life obstacles.
DarkStar left the corporate digital world working for Google and Chicago Tribune to seek more philanthropic pursuits, after becoming tired of helping the “elites” become richer while people were suffering.
With a degree in Computer Engineering and a background in Physics, DarkStar created and patented an Artificial Intelligence to take the place of mental health professionals and services, to help the mentally ill navigate their daily life.
An avid inventor, DarkStar hopes someday to connect with a similarly minded Angel Investor to create a company that can expand to help many more people around the world.
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