Social media platforms, established by the tech-savvy who seem to drift unerringly far left, have been claiming two stakes, and changing their stance whenever it suits them! I’ve written on this topic before because this type of discrimination has happened to me before, and has been perpetrated on conservative voices for many years.
The Platform vs. Publisher argument is the single biggest First Amendment issue of our day. Equate it with book burning by the NAZI party in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. If the “intellectually superior and empowered moral majority” doesn’t like what you have to say, they just destroy your publications. Today they call it “cancel culture”.
Firms like Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter all have content review teams that pass judgement on posts and content, sometimes with real people, sometimes with automated artificial intelligence bots that flag key words and phrases. This review process can simply remove your statements, your posts from publication because they don’t agree with what you have said.
While that’s a problem, an assault on the First Amendment and Freedom of Speech, it is not the worst part of the issue.
Platform vs. Publisher
The worst part of the issue is what is called the “Platform vs. Publisher” argument. These social media companies have positioned themselves to take issue with and remove statements, claims, or commentary with which they do not agree. That’s censorship. And while they freely and often wield this power, decidedly in one political direction (at the right) rather than in balanced fashion, they will also claim that they “bear no liability to what is published” because they are simply a publishing platform and they are not responsible for publishing the content in question.
Either you are responsible for content on your site and platform because you reserve the right to edit content, or you bear no responsibility because as the platform you have no control over what gets published there.
Which is it? You can’t stand in both places at once!
They have their bread buttered on both sides while imposing themselves on people’s First Amendment rights. How did they get to embrace such lecherous behavior? They have taken their businesses across the globe and have embraced the restrictions on the public from other types of governments. That echos here in the US as they impose other countries lesser human rights values upon Americans regardless of our Bill of Rights and First Amendment. Our elected officials who represent our wishes and protect our rights have been asleep at the wheel!
I think that if they are going to operate their business here in the US, they must adhere to our law, all our law, including our Constitution and our Bill of Rights; or pack your puke and dump it on someone else’s shoes.
Inalienable… not so much!
This type of behavior is today deep set in the Silicon Valley big tech companies as many require that end users agree to a company’s EULA (end user license agreement) which indemnifies the company of liability or other responsibility for which reparations might later be sought. What the companies have been instituting for decades is that they can suspend your rights as long as you agree to their terms. So, inalienable rights… not so much!
It sheds light on the ignorance and untimely preparedness of most of our elected officials in that this has been happening for decades and nobody has brought up the fact that Inalienable Rights cannot be removed from an individual; they are granted by the person’s creator. Now whether you believe that creator is God, Gaia, or their Mother and Father is immaterial. Our founding documents recognize each US citizen as having rights which cannot be removed from them!
So how is asking a US citizen to suspend their rights by agreeing to the terms of a EULA, rights which cannot be removed from them according to US law, not a breach of US law, in fact the supreme law of our land?
The New Public Utilities
These social media companies operate like public utilities today. Their platforms are where many people stay in touch with friends, family, current events, and where they have come to expect that they can express their opinion and their voice can be heard.
Can you imagine paying for phone service today, expecting to dial and speak to anyone on an important topic, and simply having your call disconnected because the carrier deemed your connection to that person invalid, or the keywords which were flagged in your conversation as “dangerous” or “misleading” according to their ambiguous and high-minded standards.
It happens every day…
Candace Owens, brought to public notoriety by her “Red Pill Black” story and journey, has recently set out to take Facebook to court on the basis of these issues. You can see her video synopsis of her announcement HERE.
My Recent Do-Si-Do with Twitter
You might find it entertaining that on Twitter’s platform, you “promote” a previous tweet or post to ad status by paying for expanded reach or showing the content of your tweet to a broader audience. I find it oddly inconsistent that the ad was flagged by Twitter as not meeting their standards, but the tweet on which it was based ran for a solid week, and I retweeted, sometimes several times a day, and that tweet was never flagged! Interesting…
This morning I got the idea that since there was no activity on this tweet during the week I was retweeting it, that Twitter likely “shadow-banned” it, meaning it looks fine and active to me, but Twitter just never sends it out to anyone, regardless of what I try to do with it. How would you like being ignored by those to whom you were speaking. To simply be disregarded because what you had to say, what you represented, your views were deemed to be insignificant. Nice, huh? Except…
They took my money.
What follows below are transcripts and screenshots of my most recent bout with Twitter, who canceled an ad for which they charged me, but then took down. When I inquired as to why the ad was taken down, they hit me with a “document dump”, a list of links that are designed to dissuade you from looking through the utter mess and finding an answer so you can address the issue. When pressed for a specific problem that can be addressed, they issues further ambiguity. They bank on the fact that you’ll tire of their neglect and disinterest and simply go away and leave them to collect further billions.
If you can use it to add fuel to your own case as a case study in just how unjust people are being treated by these multi-billion dollar fascists, please do. If you you need to follow up with me, I’m not difficult to contact or to find.
Follow on Twitter and feel free to help.
Your camaraderie would be very much appreciated!
TWITTER TRANSCRIPTS FOLLOW:
THE FIRST EMAIL RESPONSE FROM TWITTER:
Thank you for writing in. We see you have a question about a tweet rejected for policy.
When advertisers on Twitter choose to promote their content with Twitter Ads, their content becomes subject to an approval process. The approval process is designed to support the quality and safety of the Twitter Ads platform. This process helps Twitter check that advertisers are complying with our advertising policies, which are available at twitter.com/adspolicy.
When a tweet is disapproved, it is no longer able to participate in the Twitter Ads program. Tweets can be disapproved if they are found to violate the Twitter Ads Policies.
Some common reasons our Users have this issue are:
URLs in the tweet are non-functional or feature a landing page that interferes with easy user access.
Campaigns that include targeting to ineligible regions. If any ineligible regions are included in the campaign targeting, then the campaign will be paused until those regions are removed.
Please review any notifications you received and the relevant policy pages. You can review the Twitter Ads policies and Terms of Service at the following links:
Prohibited Content policies
Restricted Content policies
If your content has been changed or updated please reply to this email and we will carry out a new review for you.
Please be aware that we cannot offer custom support to all queries.
Twitter Ads Support
MY FIRST INQUIRY FOR SPECIFIC ISSUES TO ADDRESS:
In response to your email describing why my ad was “rejected for policy”, your system or employee listed the following suggestions as to why, without specifying a reason.
I have checked the suggestions listed and have found nothing in the extensive list which was suggested I review myself.
I checked the link to my storefront BEFORE I ran the ad, it worked fine. I checked the link after Twitter took my ad down, it still works fine. I see no reason why the linked site would pose any accessibility issues. If your employee noted specific issues, I would like to know what those accessibility issues are so that I can address them.
When I set up the ad, there was no interface where I could set up a region via the mobile app. The region, if it was set at all, was set automatically by TWITTER, to which I had no input. It took my credit card information and launched, no demographic, no region info, nothing.
I also looked at my ad in connection to the content policies referred to in the response email. There is no indication of any of the following in the ad:
Adult Sexual Content
Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia
Illegal Products and Services
Malware and Software Downloads
Prohibited Content for Minors
Tobacco and Tobacco Accessories
Unauthorized Ticket Sales
Unacceptable Business Practices
Weapons and Weapon Accessories
Health and Pharmaceutical Products and Services
While I work in the financial services sector, this ad had nothing to do with the financial services sector. This is an ad for clothing; tee shirts in particular.
I also tweeted this content before I ran the ad. If there was a problem with the ad, there should have been a problem with the tweet; but there’s no problem flagged on the tweet. I retweeted that same tweet… no issues. This appears to be significantly inconsistent.
If there is a problem, I deserve to know what that problem is, specifically, without ambiguity, especially since I have paid for an ad that has produced no tangible benefits.
Seems highly irregular that the tweet is fine, but promoting that very same tweet, after Twitter charged me for the privilege, to a wider audience somehow is not. I note, and it is not acceptable for no specified reason in particular.
Also, if Twitter is going to review my ad to meet it’s arbitrary guidelines, it should do so BEFORE it takes my money and not AFTER.
I would appreciate a definitive answer as to why my ad was rejected so that I have the opportunity to address the SPECIFIC issue and can run another ad that won’t be arbitrarily subjected to someone’s personal judgement. Without a accurate description of the problem, I cannot fix the issue which only one side of this communication seems to understand; if even THAT side of the issue is aware to any degree.
I will otherwise assume that I am being discriminated against for some undisclosed reason and will seek satisfactory resolution of this issue though other means.
Thank you ever so kindly.
THE TWITTER ADS SUPPORT REPLY:
Thank you for contacting Twitter Ads Support.
Our team reviewed your content and confirmed that it violates our Political Content policy.
Some examples of content that violate this policy include, but are not limited to:
referencing a candidate for election, a political party, or an election
appeals for votes
appeals for financial support
If you make any changes or if you remove the violating content, please respond and we will re-review your account.
You can learn more about this policy here.
Twitter Ads Support
MY SECOND RESPONSE:
Thank you, your explanation is no more specific as to the problem with the ad than your first communication…
I asked for a specific set of issues to address so that I can operate within your ambiguous guidelines and advertise my business. The four issues you did list do not apply… I find them woefully off target. Allow me to educate you on your lack of reading comprehension:
What you seem to refer to as an election candidate is the present tense active form of a verb. The statement to which I assume you refer, since you cannot be bothered to be specific, refers to two general forms of governmental ideologies, not a specific candidate.
There are no appeals for votes, but an appeal for conversation, and in a civil manner of discourse besides.
There is no appeal for financial support, the ad is for a valid business where one party exchanges goods, apparel in the form of t-shirts mostly, in exchange for legal tender. That’s called commerce, likely interstate commerce, with which Twitter seems happy to interfere.
There is also no specific legislative issue referred to that could come up for vote. Again, Twitter refers to some ambiguous issue but fails to specify.
And, because Twitter and its staff isn’t dodging the issue enough, includes the language, “Some examples of content that violate this policy include, but are not limited to:” I asked for specifics so that I could change what needed to be changed and operate within Twitter guidelines. Your service staff, or bot, has not expressed specifically what issues I am to address to my satisfaction.
I find your answer unacceptable, discriminatory as with no shortage of words continues to lack any form of specificity which I requested, and highly offensive in that you’ll take my money, upfront, and then treat a paying customer with this level of disrespect and disregard.
I find I am wholly unsatisfied with your answer, your customer service, and your address of this issue which pertains to a service for which I have every reason to believe Twitter charged me approximately $18.00 USD.
I will seek to resolve this issue by other means, considering Twitter cannot seem to communicate directly and in a forthright and fair manner with its paying customers. Please don’t contact me again, I find it offensive to have business dealings with such disrespectful and dishonorable people.
@David Pandone on Twitter
LETTER TO SENATORS AND CONGRESSMAN:
CC: Congressman David Schweikert (R-AZ), Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ), Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
[Congressman & Senators]
I forward the following information to you to document the details of a specific instance where a constituent within your district or state, myself, is discriminated against, for as yet, reasons that the offending business will not specify despite direct requests for the same.
At this time where economic hardship hits many Americans as well as health concerns, to have multi-billion dollar multi-national corporations continue to mistreat citizens who are seeking to enact commerce with them in good faith in order to enable advertising for trade is egregiously unacceptable bordering on abusive.
THE LARGER ISSUE AT HAND:
The social media companies are the present day communication utilities. They not only enjoy the privilege of claiming protection as an “independent platform” for which they cannot be held libel for content published, but also as a “publisher who reserves the right to control and edit content” in accordance to their internally conceived, arbitrary, and highly ambiguous rules. They operate routinely as if you paid your phone bill and the phone company simply chose not to connect you because they don’t like your views or whom you chose to call. It is very wrong on several levels.
So, which is it? They should not be legally permitted to butter both sides of that bread depending on which suits them at the time. They run rough-shod over the first Amendment and what, might I be so bold to ask, are our elected officials doing to champion the rights of the people which nobody has the right to curtail; these are inalienable.
How much interstate commerce is being interfered with at this difficult economic time? My business advertising is being discriminated against, affecting tax revenues as well as my ability to earn a living in difficult economic times.
The fact that our nation’s lawmakers have not yet addressed this issue is unacceptable. I neither have the legal prowess to take on a multi-national corporation nor do I have the funds to hire the ongoing help of an attorney to assist.
I do, however, have a Congressman which should be expanding the ability of the citizens within his district to work, provide their own living, and pay their taxes. My Senators for Arizona should be uniquely interested in the fact that both transactions for paid advertising revenue and potential sales to clients for my online store both within and outside of Arizona are stifled if not outright obstructed. I note that this issue has come to the attention of President Trump and he seems to have strong opinions on the general state of this issue as well.
Copies of this communication will be posted in public forums where those concerned can be tagged and the public can review the original issue and the answers I receive from parties concerned.
I look forward to hearing from my Congressman and the Senators for the State of Arizona sometime soon.
OVERVIEW OF TWITTER ISSUE 5-16-2020
Transcripts available on demand; attachment not available
I bought and paid for an ad on Twitter (as records indicate) and then Twitter suspended my ad claiming it was “rejected for policy” violations. The original tweet which I promoted as an ad was not flagged for content, and I retweeted the same post and that instance was not flagged for content either. Oddly inconsistent that the ad for which I paid was not acceptable, yet the tweet which preceeded it was not called to task.
I wrote to Twitter Ad Support to inquire as to the specifics of the infraction, which they would not provide, even after specifically requesting delineation of the problem so that I could address it and continue with my ad campaign. They dodged this issue twice. Since they cannot delineate the problem, I feel I am being discriminated against on some unknown grounds.
I can make the transcripts of the interaction available, as well as screenshots of the specific tweet in question. You have my permission to review my Twitter posts if desired as @David_Pandone.