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After Censoring Trump, Twitter Lets China Call Genocide Targets ‘Emancipated’

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Twitter banned President Donald Trump for 12 hours, and Facebook banned him indefinitely. This decision was surely not made lightly by the social media platforms, but they clearly felt they had no choice after the president’s supporters, following his persistent baseless claims that the election had been stolen, rioted, stormed and ransacked the US Capitol as Congress was set to ratify Joe Biden as the next president.

The decision, and previous ones like it, to either remove or “clarify” Trump’s posts, opens a can of worms. Now, Twitter is going to have to make millions of censorship decisions.

Right now, this tweet from the Chinese Embassy has been up for more than five hours:

Not only has this tweet not been removed, there’s no disclaimer pledging that these claims have been disputed. Here is what the Associated Press wrote last June about what experts told them was “demographic genocide” of Uighur Muslim women in the Xinjiang region:

The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands, the interviews and data show. Even while the use of IUDs and sterilization has fallen nationwide, it is rising sharply in Xinjiang. The population control measures are backed by mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment for failure to comply. Having too many children is a major reason people are sent to detention camps, the AP found, with the parents of three or more ripped away from their families unless they can pay huge fines. Police raid homes, terrifying parents as they search for hidden children.

Nothing says emancipation like concentration camps, forced abortions, sterilization, and having parents and children separated for ransom by the state.

The freedom of speech guaranteed to Americans by the First Amendment does not apply to private businesses like Twitter and Facebook, who can allow or censor whatever they want. However, now that they have made the conscious decisions to be censors, they are going to have millions of judgment calls on their hands. Most won’t be as easy as this one from China, which you’d have to expect will ultimately get taken down just by virtue of how heinous and obvious it is.

There’s a really tricky line between “freedom to” and “freedom from” that I don’t envy these tech platforms, with their distribution firehoses, having to grapple with. My philosophy on life is that people should have freedom to do whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t encroach on anybody else’s freedom from behavior that tyrannizes their own liberty. For example, I presume everyone reading this would agree that the platforms should not allow child pornography.

What constitutes unacceptable hate speech or inciting of violence is a lot trickier. I don’t have any easy answers for Twitter and Facebook (and Reddit and Snapchat and Parler and on and on), but I lean on the side of having it play out in the open.

In the long run, I predict that pushing uglier content more and more to the dark web — places like 4chan, and private or semi-private message boards and group threads — will make violent uprisings more difficult to predict and address. Shifting radicalization opportunities underground is, in my opinion, a greater threat to our collective freedoms from violence.

In the meantime, now that Twitter and Facebook have turned a spotlight on this issue with censorship of President Trump, they are a) going to be more susceptible to arguments that Section 230, which indemnifies them from liability arising from the actions of their users because they are not classified as publishers, should be repealed, and b) going to have to hire armies of censors to keep up with maintaining any sort of order about what is and isn’t a violation of their rules. Tonight’s tweet from the Chinese Embassy is a poster child for the mess they will perpetually have to enforce given their censorship guidelines.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.

30 Comments

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  1. Twitter along with Facebook, Google, You Tube, Yahoo and BLM, are equivalent to the NBA and its SJW players……all are trash and hasn’t earned or deserve our respect. Each and every one are Anti-American, pro-Communism.

  2. Ryan, EAD if you thing everything you don’t agree with is baseless, which you clearly stated in your opening paragraph. As for TWTR. they are either a platform, or a publisher, but not both. Now since this is Clay’s platform, he can edit, ban, or whatever he wants, but you still just don’t get it.

  3. I call BS on this whole FB, Twitter etc are private companies crap. If you are protected from lawsuits by the government, which is a sort of quasi sovereign immunity, then you become a quasi government entity, sort of like a public utility and are no longer just a simple private company

    • Wonder if Ryan heard about Lunchpail Joe showering with his young niece back in the day…prolly not…too busy with sports to think about shit like the kids on D-Day did. You’re laughing at us, Ryan…thinking we’re all just assholes…you’ll find out the hard way raising a family in the brave new world.

    • Ryan, you are definitely living in a different reality. Unfortunately, the people that are pouring your Kool Aid have no real interest in truth, only power. And you are seeing that power grow rapidly. If the “230” issue ever makes it to a vote, pay attention to who votes for Big Tech to be exempt. Hopefully, you will then re-examine your decades-old idea that Democrats are the people really care about us.

    • Anyone who states there is no evidence of voter fraud and claims are baseless is not interested in truth. I have to give a friend of mine great credit. He’s a diehard liberal and hates Trump, but after the November election said “there’s no way Biden gets more votes than Obama”. The fix was in from all sides of the spectrum. Facebook, Twitter. and Google played a huge part with their suppression of the NY Post story on Hunter Biden along with major donations to the Dems.

  4. Ryan, wake up. They aren’t “baseless claims” of voter fraud — there are hundreds of signed affidavits alleging fraud. Even without that, election law was changed in multiple swing states outside of the constitutional process (the state legislatures). Facebook/Twitter/other big tech are huge Democrat donors, and more than that, they’re complicit in the activities of the Chinese Communist Party — so of course they have an obligation to block President Trump. You may not like his style or some of his policies, but the behavior of these big tech institutions is hypocritical at best, and totalitarian at worst. They are a direct threat to the survival of our republic.

  5. Fellow OutKick readers, comrades, if I may call you that, I think we are all missing an important point here. None of us, including Ryan, can pass judgement on the leftists who are happily passing along news of China’s genocide. I am sure there is a very good reason for it. There must be. Just like there must be a good reason why president elect Biden blatantly lied and told us BLM protesters would have been shot at a large protest(even though we watched BLM protesters riot all summer long. And even though armed black panther members once took over the California State Capitol with none being shot. And even though armed black panthers from Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Louisville gathered together in a huge march carrying AR-15s in protest of Breonna Taylor this summer with none being shot)

    But here is what I am getting at: The twenty-something milionaires in the NBA know everything. They know all about History. They know all about Castro (and the hundreds of thousands of political prisoners Castro didn’t have). They know all about Stalin (and the millions Stalin didn’t murder). They know everything about everything. They have learned a lot from bouncing a ball up and down a court. So what I am getting at, is that we should reserve judgement on this story of genocide until the twenty something millionaires educate us on this matter.

    (Sarcasm doesn’t always come through in typed words. Hopefully I laid it on thick enough. The NBA players and their deal with China is sickening)

  6. At some point some of y’all are gonna have to figure out that you can’t just work with those who agree with you 100%. Someone who agrees with you 48% is a whole lot closer to voting your way than someone who agrees with you 2%. Entire elections swing on 20k votes here, 20k votes there. Build a bridge to reasonable people who agree with you some, like Ryan here, choose to agree on the most important stuff and you can get things done. Or, hurl insults at anyone who disagrees with you a little bit, and lose over and over again.

    • Good advice for all. The left should take heed of this because once conservatives who have jobs, families, and a life start to drive 7 hours to protest in DC it is going to end up bad (much worse than Jan 6) if the left keeps doubling down on their bullshit.

  7. God, Cryin’, stop trying to sort out complex issues. On the most basic level, there is no such thing as hate speech. Speech that needs to be categorized is inherently not “free” because people have to establish rules, which are arbitrary and ever-changing. Clay and Travis should place a word count maximum on your articles. It’s truly painful watching you struggle.

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