Presidential candidate Donald Trump makes a pledge to ensure free speech online and has a plan to ban censorship on lawful online speech. Here’s the plan: (Full announcement transcription below)
- Sign an executive order that bans any federal department or agency from colluding from any organization, business, or person to censor, limit, categorize, or impede lawful speech
- Ban federal money from being used to label domestic speech as mis– or disinformation
- Begin the process of identifying and firing every federal bureaucrat who has engaged in domestic censorship directly or indirectly
- Order the Department of Justice to investigate all parties involved in online censorship and prosecute all crimes identified
- Call to action for House Republicans to immediately send an order against destroying evidence of censorship to the Biden administration, the Biden campaign, and every Silicon Valley tech giant
- Upon inauguration, ask Congress to send a bill stating digital platforms should only qualify for immunity protection under Section 230 if they meet high standards of neutrality, transparency, fairness and non-discrimination
- Immediately stop federal funding to non-profits and academic programs that are discovered to have engaged in censorship activities or election interferences in the past
- Enact new laws laying out clear criminal penalties for federal bureaucrats who partner with private entities
- Require a seven-year period before any former federal employee is allowed to take a job at a company possessing vast quantities of US user data to confront the problem of infiltration of former deep-staters and intelligence officials in major platforms
- Require users of big online platforms should be informed when they have their content or accounts removed, throttled, shadow-banned, or otherwise restricted no matter what name they use and have the right to a specific explanation to the reason why, and the right to a timely appeal
- All users over the age of 18 should have the right to opt out of content moderation and curation, and receive an un-manipulated stream of information if they’d like
On Wednesday, December 14th Trump announced on Truth Social that a huge announcement will be made on Thursday. As the news spread, many users on multiple social media platforms, including Twitter, were waiting anxiously for his next post. Many expected an official announcement on his choice for vice president, some even guessed he would choose Elon Musk as his runner up. Others hoped for his return to Twitter.
Trump’s first announcement premiering his own brand of NFTs (non-fundable tokens), Donald Trump Digital Card Collection, disappointed many users, including some Trump supporters. The illuminating graphics depicting Trump with superpowers served their purpose as attention-grabbing artwork.
Just two hours after his initial post went viral and became the buzz of social media, Trump released his pledge to combat the censorship of lawful speech.
“If we don’t have free speech, then we just don’t have a free country. It’s as simple as that if this most fundamental right is allowed to perish, then the rest of our rights and liberties will topple, just like dominoes one by one they’ll go down. That’s why today I’m announcing my plan to shatter the left-wing censorship regime, and to reclaim the right to free speech for all Americans. And reclaim is a very important word in this case because they’ve taken it away. In recent weeks, bombshell reports have confirmed that a sinister group of deep-state bureaucrats, Silicon Valley tyrants, left-wing activists and depraved corporate news media have been conspiring to manipulate and silence the American people. They have collaborated to suppress vital information on everything from elections to public health. The censorship cartel must be dismantled and destroyed and it must happen immediately. And here’s my plan. First, within hours of my inauguration, I will sign an executive order banning any federal department or agency from colluding from any organization, business, or person to censor, limit, categorize, or impede the lawful speech of American citizens. I will then ban federal money from being used to label domestic speech as mis– or disinformation and I will begin the process of identifying and firing every federal bureaucrat who has engaged in domestic censorship directly or indirectly whether they are the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health, Human Services, the FBI, the DOJ. No matter who they are. Second, I will order the Department of Justice to investigate all parties involved in the new online censorship regime, which is absolutely destructive and terrible, and to aggressively prosecute any and all crimes identified. These include possible violation of federal civil rights law, campaign finance laws, federal election law, securities law, and anti-trust laws that highjacked and a host of other potential criminal, civil, regulatory, and constitutional offenses. To assist in these efforts, I am urging House Republicans to immediately send preservation letters. We have to do this right now to the Biden administration, the Biden campaign and every Silicon Valley tech giant ordering them not to destroy evidence of censorship. Third, upon my inauguration as president, I will ask congress to send a bill on my desk revising Section 230 to get big online platforms out of censorship business. From now on digital platforms should only qualify for immunity protection under Section 230, if they meet high standards of neutrality, transparency, fairness and non-discrimination. We should require these platforms to increase their efforts to take down unlawful content such as child exploitation, and promoting terrorism while dramatically curtailing their power to arbitrarily restrict lawful speech. Fourth, we need to break up the entire toxic censorship industry that has arisen under the false guise of tackling so called mis– and disinformation. The federal government should immediately stop funding non-profits and academic programs that support this authoritarian project. If any US University is discovered to have engaged in censorship activities or election interferences in the past, such as flagging social media content for removal or blacklisting, those Universities should lose federal research dollars and federal loan support for a period of 5 years and maybe more. We should also enact new laws laying out clear criminal penalties for federal bureaucrats who partner with private entities to do an end run around the constitution and deprive Americans of their First, Fourth, and Fifth amendment rights. In other words deprive them of their vote and once you lose those elections and cone you use your borders like we have, you no longer have a country. Furthermore, to confront the problems of major platforms being infiltrated by legions of former deep-staters and intelligence officials, there should be a seven-year calling off period before any employee of the FBI, CIA, NSA, DNI, DHS, or DOJ is allowed to take a job at a company possessing vast quantities of US user data. Fifth, the time has come for Congress to pass a digital bill of rights. This should include a right to digital due process. In other words, government officials should need a court order to take down online content, not send information requests such as the FBI was sending to Twitter. Furthermore, when users of big online platforms have their content or accounts removed, throttled, shadow-banned, or otherwise restricted no matter what name they used, they should be informed that it is happening, the right to a specific explanation to the reason why, and the right to a timely appeal. In addition all users over the age of 18 should have the right to opt out of content moderation and curation entirely and receive an un-manipulated stream of information if they so choose. The fight for free speech is a matter of victory or death for America and for they survival of western civilization itself. When I’m president this whole rotten system of censorship and information control will be ripped out of the system at large. There won’t be anything left. By restoring free-speech we will begin to reclaim our democracy and save our nation. Thank you and God bless America.” –@realDonaldTrump, Truth Social
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