(JD Heyes) A concept first introduced by communications giant AT&T — calls for Congress to pass an “Internet Bill of Rights” (IBOR) — is gaining new converts as well as traction since it was first reported by Infowars in January.
by JD Heyes, March 14th, 2018
“Initially, the concept met resistance among those suspicious that AT&T is a corporate giant that may have a profit or undisclosed agenda behind proposing and advocating the concept,” Infowars’ Jerome Corsi wrote earlier this week.
However, that “resistance largely melted away after” after an “intelligence agent known as QAnon” began to post on the deep-web board “8chan” that President Donald J. Trump was strongly supporting the idea, “resulting from his displeasure that Internet giant edge providers, including Google/YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, have intensified efforts to censor conservatives and libertarians off social media channels on the Internet,” Corsi continued.
It makes perfect sense that Trump and his administration would be concerned about the growing censorship of voices supportive of him by the social media giants. Everyone involved in modern political campaigns knows and understands that online access via social media is vital to spreading a candidate’s message.
Of course, the social media behemoths understand this as well; don’t think for a second that their censorship of pro-Trump voices and media isn’t also being done with the 2018 and 2020 elections in mind.
In a post on March 8, Corsi reported, AQnon appeared to credit Infowars for reporting on AT&T’s IBOR concept, noting: “You pushed the IBOR and immediately POTUS began to comment/take action re: social media.” (Related: Reuters descends into “journo-terrorism” with fear tactics targeting The Gateway Pundit.)
Corsi noted further:
In two additional posts the following day, QAnon followed up, leaving no doubt that the giant Internet edge providers will be “100 percent regulated,” with President Trump having reached a policy decision that First Amendment free speech rights must be honored by social media on the Internet, even if that result causes some platforms to collapse, with shareholders divesting stock in what could constitute a historic sell-off.
A subsequent post by AQnon made it clear that the bill of rights concept for the Internet has “nothing to do with AT&T,” while insisting that Trump’s support comes from his own conclusion that the tech social media giants “must be regulated to prevent censorship and narrative push.”
Regarding sell-offs, it’s already taking place. Last fall Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, sold off 73 percent of his shares in the company, though the Trump supporter remains on Facebook’s board.
Also, as CNBC reported in January, Facebook’s top executives sold more than $4 billion of the company’s stock last year, “more than twice the amount of execs at other largest U.S. tech firms.”
In January, AT&T noted in a blog post on the company’s website that federal “rules for the Internet have been debated for nearly as long as the Internet has existed, even before a professor coined the term ‘net neutrality’ 15 years ago.”
“AT&T is committed to an open internet. We don’t block websites. We don’t censor online content. And we don’t throttle, discriminate, or degrade network performance based on content. Period,” the company said while advocating for congressional action.
“But the commitment of one company is not enough. Congressional action is needed to establish an ‘Internet Bill of Rights’ that applies to all internet companies and guarantees neutrality, transparency, openness, non-discrimination and privacy protection for all internet users,” said the post by company chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson.
While it’s understandable that some may be suspicious of AT&T’s motivations, what seems clear is that censorship of content deemed ‘fake’ or somehow less valid because of its point of view by social media sites is flat-out wrong, no matter how you look at it.
And it may be that the president himself is getting fed up with it.
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