In a mass censorship movement from politicians and internet companies, all sorts of measures have been adopted to silence Donald Trump, his supporters, and anyone else with right leaning views. Here are just a few of the most notable actions.
Shopify, the Canada-based tech company
that makes popular software tools to help merchants run online stores, shuttered the Trump Organization's TrumpStore.com on Thursday morning, as well as the e-commerce portion of the president's election website.
So one less place to buy MAGA hats
Facebook cancels Trump and also the #WalkAway campaign
Facebook on Thursday said it will block President Trump on its platforms at least until the end of his term on Jan. 20, as the mainstream online world moved forcefully to limit the president after years of inaction.
Facebook has also banned the #WalkAway Campaign -- a popular grassroots movement that encourages people to walk away from the divisive tenets endorsed and mandated by the Democratic Party of today.
The far-reaching ban has impacted the campaign's main Facebook group (which had over 500,000 followers), its main Facebook page (which had over 182,000 followers), and every member of the #WalkAway Campaign team, including its founder Brandon Straka.
Twitter cancels the US President, his close associates, and other right leaning voices
After permanently cancelling the account of the USA President, Twitter
moved on to cancelling Trumps associates.
Twitter on Friday removed the accounts of Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell and other high-profile supporters of Trump who promoted the conspiracy theory that the elites from the Democratic Party coordinate with
the media, big tech and large corporations to override democratic processes.
Twitter also removed the account of Ron Watkins, the administrator of the website 8kun, which was formerly named 8chan and hosts posts from Q, the false digital prophet at
the heart of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
YouTube cancels the US Presidents channels for 7 days
YouTube has temporarily blocked Donald
Trump from uploading a video from his Texas speech on Tuesday where he said he was at zero risk of 25th amendment removal and warned Democrats be careful what you wish for.
Comment: Angela Merkel denounces censorship by social media companies
11th January 2021. From the FT
Angela Merkel, German chancellor, has sharply criticised Twitter's decision to ban US president Donald Trump, calling it a
problematic breach of the fundamental right to free speech.
Merkel said through her spokesman that the US government should follow Germany's lead in adopting laws that restrict online incitement, rather than leaving it up to platforms such as Twitter
and Facebook to make up their own rules.
Australia's acting prime minister, Michael McCormack, has accused Twitter of censorship for permanently suspending Trump's account for the risk of further incitement of violence, and he attempted to draw comparisons between the riots and last year's Black Lives Matter protests against racial injustice.
US moralist institutions, including the government, have found that a great way to censor people is to control their financial access.
The best example is Operation Chokepoint , a Department of Justice (DOJ) effort that put pressure on the
banking system to cut off financial access for politically disfavored industries, such as sex work or porn production.
Under the Obama administration, regulators such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Office of the Comptroller
of the Currency (OCC) issued threatening letters to financial institutions that processed payments for industries such as payday lenders, gun and ammunition firms, and cryptocurrency companies. The message was clear: cut back on business with these
industries, or else. Banks got the hint, and affected firms found it harder and harder to find banking partners.
Bullying banks into doing the government's dirty work was a quick and easy way to get the job done. Even better: it was an extralegal
method to get rid of businesses the feds didn't like too much anyway. But of course, if something works, then why not extend it to ever more pet peeves.
For example, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed his Department of Financial Services to issue
Operation Chokepoint-style warning letters to financial institutions which provided services to the National Rifle Association. Climate change activists have turned similar tactics towards banks who process payments for oil and gas companies .
help may now be coming from some unexpected quarters: the OCC, which less than a decade ago had led the charge with Operation Chokepoint. Under the leadership of acting director Brian Brooks, the OCC has proposed a rule change that would make
government-supported financial suppression much harder legally.
The Dodd-Frank Act was a sweeping financial reform that, among many other things , authorized the OCC to ensure that nationally chartered banks provide fair access to financial
services, and fair treatment of customers. The intention was that minority customers be evaluated for creditworthiness on her or her own individual merits rather than the attributes of their broader group. In other words, a creditworthy individual
shouldn't be punished because they belong to some group that is considered high risk in the aggregate.
The OCC would like to apply this thinking to industries through the proposed Fair Access to Financial Services rule. The largest banks in the
country--those with more than $100 billion in assets--would be prohibited from red-lining politically disfavored industries just as they are prohibited from red-lining politically oppressed populations. Rather, a gun manufacturer or pornography company
or payday lender must be evaluated on the terms of their individual creditworthiness.
The rule does not require that all large banks must do business with all, say, fossil fuel companies, just like banks are not required to extend credit to every
single member of a protected class who applies for a loan. Rather, it is a nondiscrimination requirement. Large banks will not be allowed to cut off financial access for disfavored industries just because the government or some other powerful group leans
on them to do so.
The US Commerce Department has halted a ban on TikTok that was due to come into effect on Thursday night. The order would have prevented the app from being downloaded in the US.
The Commerce Department delayed the ban pending further legal
developments, citing a Philadelphia court ruling from September where three prominent TikTokers had argued the app should be allowed to operate in America.
In September, TikTok's Chinese owner, ByteDance announced a deal with Walmart and Oracle to
shift TikTok's US assets into a new entity called TikTok Global.
Donald Trump tentatively supported the deal. However on Tuesday TikTok said it had had no feedback from the US government in two months. Both Trump, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,
have repeatedly said that the data of US users could be passed on to the Chinese government,
US Representative Greg Steube has just introduced yet another legislative proposal aimed at internet censorship via ending Section 230 protections, and his CASE-IT Act has the distinction of attempting to define adult content in explicit and broad terms.
This adds to a long list of censorship proposals:
The House version of the EARN IT Act, introduced by Representative Sylvia Garcia and notorious anti-sex work crusader Ann Wagner, one of the intellectual authors of FOSTA-SESTA
The "Don't Push My Buttons" Act, introduced by Senator
The "See Something Say Something" Act, introduced by Senators Joe Manchin and John Cornyn
A highly unusual "draft legislation recommendation" by William Barr's Department of Justice
"Online Content Policy Modernization" Act (S.4632) introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham
The "Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity" Act, introduced by Senators Roger Wicker, Graham and Marsha Blackburn
The PACT Act,
introduced by Senators John Thune and Brian Schatz
Trump's unprecedented "Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship"