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Tag: twitter ban

Twitter To Trump: You Are Banned Forever, No Matter What

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Twitter executive Ned Segal on Wednesday said that even if Donald Trump ran for election in the future and was elected to the presidency, he would not be given back his Twitter account.

"When you're removed from the platform you're removed from the platform, whether you're a commentator, you're a CFO, or you are a former or current public official," Segal told CNBC.

Pressed to explain how the policy applies to Trump's specific case, Segal said, "He was removed when he was president and there'd be no difference for anybody who's a public official once they've been removed from the service."

Trump was permanently removed from Twitter in January. The service cited his support and praise of the rioters who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, noting that inciting violence violates Twitter's terms.

From the Feb. 10 edition of CNBC's "Squawk Box":

BECKY QUICK, CNBC: One more question for you, President Trump was banned, former President Trump was banned, if he came back, ran for office again and was elected president, would you allow him back on the platform?
NED SEGAL: So the way our policies work, when you're removed from the platform you're removed from the platform, whether you're a commentator, you're a CFO, or you are a former or current public official.
And so, remember, our policies are designed to make sure that people are not inciting violence, and if anybody does that, we have to remove them from the service and our policies don't allow people to come back.
QUICK: So no?
SEGAL: He was removed when he was president and there'd be no difference for anybody who's a public official once they've been removed from the service.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Trump Sought Ownership Deal With Parler While Still President

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

While in office, former Donald Trump repeatedly profited off of both the presidency and his businesses. So it isn't really surprising that Trump tried to profit off of the far-right Twitter-copycat Parler too. Spoiler alert: It didn't work.

"The Trump Organization negotiated on behalf of then-president Donald Trump to make Parler his primary social network, but it had a condition: an ownership stake in return for joining," a recent Buzzfeed News report reveals. The talks reportedly began last summer and resumed after Trump lost the 2020 election.

Parler offered the Trump Organization a 40% stake in the company for Trump to join, with the idea that it would eventually challenge both Twitter and Facebook if Trump promised to post his content there four hours before posting it anywhere else. At a June 2020 meeting at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Floria, Parler's now-former CEO John Matze and shareholders Dan Bongino and Jeffrey Wernick met with Trump's former campaign manager, accused grifter and spouse abuser Brad Parscale, as well as Trump campaign lawyer Alex Cannon.

Here's the deal's details:

"Upon completion of that deal, half of that stake would have been given immediately to the Trump Organization, while the other half would have been doled out in tranches over the 24-month period of the agreement.... Parler also asked that Trump link back to Parler when posting to other social media sites or emailing his supporters, and to allow the company to use his email lists to promote its platform. In addition, Parler wanted Trump to make introductions to any potential investors or advertisers."

Surprisingly, "the White House counsel's office soon put a stop to the talks, one person with knowledge of the discussions said, ruling that such a deal while Trump was president would violate ethics rules," Buzzfeed reports.

Then, talks completely disintegrated after the attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. After the attempted coup, Amazon, Apple, and Google all booted Parler from their services because the social network had become a hotbed for right-wingers threatening violence and insurrection.

Parler has remained offline ever since. This week, Matze was booted as its CEO by the company's board and was also stripped of his severance and equity in the company. Matze claims he was booted because he wanted the so-called "free speech" network to introduce content moderation and ban accounts associated with far-right extremists, although the company has said his claim is inaccurate.

In addition to hosting far-right conspiracy theorists and bigots, Parler has also had trouble with child pornography being posted on its network, though the company refutes this as well.

The Trump family and Trump Organization, run by his sons, have both repeatedly made international business deals that benefitted from Trump's standing as president, according to Vox, CBS News, Politico, The Los Angeles Times and other publications.

#EndorseThis: With Millions Watching, Republicans Whine About Being 'Silenced'

Republican politicians incessantly claim that they are being silenced by the "radical left-wing media." But how can you be silenced when you're regularly speaking to millions upon millions of viewers on the most viewed news channel in America, Fox News?

Like a lot of things right-wingers say, it makes no sense. And The Washington Post isn't letting them get away with such obvious lies and fabrications.

You may be surprised how funny this brisk debunking is. Enjoy!

With millions watching, Republicans claim they are being silenced

WATCH: MyPillow Guy Visits Newsmax To Talk ‘Cancel Culture’ — And Gets His Lies Canceled

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Looks like Mike Lindell is at the end of his bedsheet.

Newsmax—which not that long ago would have eagerly touted a conspiracy theory about a race of Jewish-funded reptilian overlords stealing the election from Donald Trump (assuming the network could have somehow dug up a stock photo of George Soros posing with an iguana)—is now apparently scared shitless about potentially being sued by Dominion Election Systems. As well it should be.

Yesterday the network invited MyPillow guy Mike Lindell on air to talk about cancel culture, but we didn't get to hear much of what he had to say about that because anchor Bob Sellers spent most of the segment loudly reading cover-your-ass disclaimers over Lindell's conspiratorial blather.

After Lindell claimed he had "100 percent proof" that the election was stolen by Dominion election machines, Sellers shut him down … but Lindell just kept talking.

It was HIIII-larious:


After Sellers reads a detailed disclaimer noting that Newsmax has been unable to verify any of Lindell's claims about Dominion Voting Systems allegedly stealing the election, Lindell claims Twitter shut him down because he's "revealing all the evidence on Friday of all the election fraud with these machines."

At that point, Sellers begs his producers to "get out of here, please."

And then, because I hadn't laughed quite hard enough yet to literally piss myself, Sellers gets up and FUCKING LEAVES!

I'm thinking now might be a great time to start a new politics podcast, because I can almost guarantee you'd be able to book Mike Lindell. And I doubt there'd be any time limit. You could call it MyPodcast and make him your first guest—and then just sit back and watch the fireworks fizzle!

And as long as you have $1.3 billion burning a hole in your back pocket, well, it should all go swimmingly, now shouldn't it?

MyPillow Guy Mulls Run For Minnesota Governor-- Gets Banned From Twitter

Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow and a notorious right-wing misinformer, is reportedly considering a bid for governor of Minnesota, according to Axios. Per separate reports from multiple news organizations, the extremist pillow salesman was also permanently banned from Twitter.

According to the Axios report, Lindell has made no final decisions on his potential gubernatorial run, as he continues focusing all of his attention on "proving his [baseless] claims of election fraud." He will make no final decision until he resolves these "issues," because "why would anybody want to run if they had the same machines with the election fraud?" Lindell said.

So far-reaching is Lindell's smear campaign that Dominion Voting Systems -- falsely accused of rigging the election by the far-right -- included his name in a defamation lawsuit filed on Monday against Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Lindell has not been sued by Dominion yet, but the company has "not ruled anybody out," according to a lawyer representing the firm.

The report came on the same day that Lindell was permanently banned from Twitter -- as many far-right misinformers have been following the deadly MAGA attacks on the Capitol building. A Twitter spokesperson told multiple news organizations, including NPR and CNN, that Lindell's account was removed "due to repeated violations of our Civil Integrity Policy."

An increasing number of major retailers -- including Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl's-- have dropped Lindell's MyPillow products due to backlash that the company's CEO has faced for amplifying Trump's bogus election fraud claims, and his potential role in inciting the violent Capitol riots. He also was caught discussing "martial law" with former President Trump before the end of his term, according to the Washington Post.

Though Lindell's chances of becoming the next governor of Minnesota seem slim, Axios reported that "name recognition and his ties to Trump could give him an edge among GOP voters." This had led to fear amongst top Republican officials who, according to Axios, "think having the unpredictable pillow salesman at the top of the ticket would spell disaster for their efforts to win statewide in 2022."

Right-Wingers Insist They’re The Victims Of Trump Insurrection

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

In the days since a mob of Trump supporters waged an attack on the U.S. Capitol, I've been thinking a lot about the week in October 2018 when a supporter of President Donald Trump was caught mailing explosives to prominent Democrats and a right-wing gunman slaughtered 11 people at a Pennsylvania synagogue. Specifically, I've been thinking about Trump's reactions to the events, which were arguably inspired by his own rhetoric.

Trump opened his remarks during the 2018 Young Black Leadership Summit event at the White House with an update on the bombing story, which had dominated the news that week: An arrest had been made.

"These terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country," he told the crowd, describing an actual attempt to murder his political rivals. But within minutes and without a trace of self-awareness, Trump asked the crowd, "Who gets attacked more than me?"

"I can do the greatest thing for our country, and on the networks and on different things, it will show bad," he sulked. At another point during his speech, he attacked "globalists" ("They like the globe. I like the globe too.") and grumbled that a White House announcement the day before "didn't get the kind of coverage it should have" because it was "competing with this story that took place," referring to the bombs being sent to Democrats.

That speech will forever stand out as not just a summation of the Trump presidency, but of the conservative movement and its victimhood complex, in general.

The man arrested for sending those bombs was Cesar Sayoc, a hardcore Trump supporter who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The day after Trump's speech, a white nationalist named Robert Bowers murdered 11 people in a shooting spree at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Bowers' attack was driven by a belief that a migrant caravan was being secretly funded by billionaire George Soros. This was a popular narrative in right-wing media that continued on in the weeks following the attack.

Trump Holds A PIty Party

Trump's response to the synagogue shooting, like his response to Sayoc's bombing spree, omitted details about the motivations behind the attack. Rather than criticizing the absurd narrative that helped drive the attack, Trump instead condemned hate in a general sense before suggesting that the victims of the massacre should have protected themselves.

Even as the mob tore through the Capitol, Trump continued to position himself as the actual victim. Sure, five people died, members of Congress were terrorized, and the rioters chanted, "Hang Mike Pence," but Trump couldn't help but throw himself a pity party.

"Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!" tweeted Trump, continuing to push the lies that he was the true winner of the election and that Pence had betrayed him by refusing to single-handedly overturn the results.

Even in his tweet urging people to go home, he justified what had happened by portraying his supporters as the real victims, writing, "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!"

The insurrection was hardly spontaneous. While it's no surprise that fringe social media sites like Gab, Parler, and the pro-Trump Reddit clone were filled with calls for violence ahead of the January 6 certification of the Electoral College votes, mainstream platforms like Twitter and Facebook were also unwitting staging grounds for the violent uprising.

Although Twitter and Facebook have long had rules against inciting violence and have each pledged to crack down on accounts which support the QAnon conspiracy theory, enforcement has been spotty. That changed after the 6th. Trump, whose lies about the election being stolen from him have helped fuel the right-wing rage, has had his account banned or suspended by virtually every social media platform so as not to incite additional attacks. But these well-deserved bans simply gave the right another opportunity to play the victim.

As thousands of other accounts were suspended in the wake of the Capitol attack, conservatives working in media and government focused on what's really important: their follower counts.

Twitter explained what was happening in a statement to NBC News:

"The accounts have been suspended in line with our policy on Coordinated Harmful Activity," a Twitter spokesperson told NBC News. "We've been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content."

Being suspended for violating a social media platform's rules is not evidence of bias, but even if it was, it takes a really outsized sense of victimhood to respond to a violent insurrection whipped up as the result of a blatant lie about the election results by turning yourself into the real victim -- even more so when many of the people complaining about their lost followers were the same people who promoted the lie in the first place.

TheBlaze's Glenn Beck appeared on the January 12 episode of Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight, where he argued that social media platforms taking steps to avoid being places where terrorist attacks are planned is just like what the Nazis did in the 1930s.

"You can't have freedom of speech if you can't have -- if you can't express yourself in a meaningful place," he said. "This is -- this is like the Germans with the Jews behind the wall. They would put them in the ghetto. Well, this is the digital ghetto. 'You can talk all you want. Jews, you do whatever you want behind the wall.'"

And Beck wasn't the only right-wing media figure to make this obscene comparison of Trump supporters to victims of Nazi persecution:

Embracing The (False) Role Of Victim

Every mean-spirited thing conservatives do seems to come from a place of self-victimization or, at the very least, is often justified by self-victimization. And in the case of the Capitol attack, these narratives of conservative victimhood were building for two months following Trump's electoral defeat, as right-wing media figures worked overtime to falsely claim that he had really won the election which Democrats were trying to steal through overwhelming fraud.

In a December interview with Charlie Kirk, right-wing radio host Eric Metaxas said he needed "to fight to the death, to the last drop of blood" to overturn the election, an explicit endorsement of violence. Rather than admit that it was an election that Trump lost, Metaxas and Kirk both agreed that Trump was the rightful winner and that the election was stolen from him. Metaxas compared Biden's win to "stealing the heart and soul of America. It's like holding a rusty knife to the throat of Lady Liberty."

Metaxas couldn't just come out and say that Trump should remain in power despite losing the election. Instead, he framed his proposition as simply trying to right a wrong that was done to him and to the country.

Acts of bullying, whether taking the form of verbal abuse, physical altercations, or just a general disregard for others, are framed in conservative victimhood narratives as justifiable responses to imagined attacks from their political enemies. Metaxas justified his bloodlust by portraying any actions he may have to take as being retaliation for an election that was stolen. Conservatives regularly fight to oppress and curtail the rights of already marginalized groups under the guise of defending themselves in the culture war. Anything can be justified in the fight to "stand up to woke America," as the school newspaper of the far-right Hillsdale College framed legislation and court decisions targeting transgender people.

No matter the subject, the message of right-wing media to conservatives is always the same: You are the real victim here. And when you are the victim, you can justify just about anything -- even inciting a terrorist attack.

Trump And Allies Enraged As Social Media Ban Expands

Steve Cortes, a senior adviser with Donald Trump's election campaign, took to Twitter to complain that Trump and his "movement" were being censored by "Big Tech" as a number of social media platforms suspended the accounts of the White House occupant and his supporters after Wednesday's deadly attack on the Capitol.

"I'm on Bannon's War Room soon discussing Big Tech/Big Brother suppressing the speech of the president and our movement - including Michelle Obama's shameful call for a permanent de-platforming," tweeted Cortes.

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