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Twitter’s New Rules Lead to Fears of Meme Ban

“Synthetic and manipulated media” to be targeted.

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Twitter’s announcement that it will begin a crackdown on “synthetic and manipulated media” has led to fears that political memes could be censored in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.

On Monday, Twitter said that it was “working on a new policy to address synthetic and manipulated media on Twitter.”

According to the Big Tech giant, “synthetic and manipulated media” is “media that’s been significantly altered or created in a way that changes the original meaning/purpose, or makes it seem like certain events took place that didn’t actually happen.”

Many pointed out that this description could easily describe memes and other satirical media that is intended to humorous but not necessarily factually accurate.

“The majority of responses back to Twitter Safety’s post was that the move was expected and grounded in hurt feelings of Democrats to put controls on Republicans before the 2020 Presidential election,” writes Kari Donovan.

If Twitter does start to ramp up censorship of memes, it wouldn’t be the first Big Tech outfit to do so.

Earlier this year, Instagram announced it would use “52 global “fact checking partners” to censor “false photos and memes on its platform,” according to Poynter.

Last year, Facebook also announced it was developing a new AI algorithm that can detect and ban “offensive” memes.

Back in September, the Pentagon declared war on memes as DARPA launched a new program to fight “polarizing viral content” before it spreads.

A study undertaken by researchers at University College London found that the most effective memes in the run up to the 2016 presidential election largely originated in two places – the subreddit r/the_donald – a forum devoted to boosting President Donald Trump, and 4chan’s politically incorrect /pol forum.

A VICE write-up of the study acknowledges that the most “effectively spread” memes originated on r/the_donald and /pol.

The Donald subreddit was subsequently placed in quarantine and 4chan has been repeatedly blamed as a radicalizing outpost for mass shooters and right-wing extremists.

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GoFundMe Shuts Down Fundraiser For Parents Who Were Attacked Over Their Opposition to Critical Race Theory

No explanation given.

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GoFundMe has shut down a fundraiser for a group of parents in a Virginia school district who were attacked and doxxed by a mob for opposing the teaching of critical race theory.

The parents were targeted after a group of teachers, parents, and school district board members of the Loudoun County School Board, labeling themselves ‘Anti-Racist Parents’, started a campaign to “expose these people publicly.”

They compiled a list of parents who dared to disagree with the school’s “anti-racism” indoctrination drive which taught students that America is inherently racist and that social engineering was necessary to remove these biases.

“To achieve their goal, a member of the group proposed infiltrating their opponents groups and even using hackers. The sheriff’s office launched an investigation into the matter,” reports Reclaim the Net.

Scott Mineo, the head of the group called Parents Against Critical Theory (PACT), led the fightback against the indoctrination by setting up a GoFundMe to raise money for the cause.

However, after a member of the anti-racism indoctrination group and school board member Charlotte McConnell, called on the mob to report the fundraiser, it was swiftly suspended.

GoFundMe gave no explanation as to what policies the fundraiser had violated, only saying that it had engaged in “prohibited conduct.”

“[The district] pissed off a lot of people that were very supportive and this was a grave mistake on their part,” Mineo told The Free Beacon.

“At the end of the day, it further underscores the level of deception they are engaged in. Otherwise, why shut them down?”

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Harvard Poll: Two Thirds Of Americans See Cancel Culture As Direct Threat To Freedom

More than half fear they could be fired from their jobs if they express their real opinions

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Steve Watson

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A Harvard Caps-Harris Poll has revealed that over two thirds of Americans believe a “growing cancel culture” is a direct threat to their freedom.

While 36% said they don’t believe there is a threat, a whopping 64% said that the phenomenon is having a detrimental effect on society.

Over half of those surveyed, 54%, also noted that they fear they could be fired from their jobs if they express their real opinions on matters.

Mark Penn, the director of the survey, told The Hill “It is a chilling finding that most people in the country now are afraid they would be fired if they expressed their real views on social media.”

“The public generally gives negative ratings to social media companies and sees the movement as more about censorship rather than trying to correct wrongs. It is growing as a national issue,” Penn added. 

Getting into specifics, the poll found that 36% believe cancel culture is a “big problem,” while 32% said it is a “moderate problem”, and a further 20% said it’s a “small problem.”

Only 13% said there is no problem with cancel culture.

Cancel culture is having a real world impact beyond social media.

recent study by leading education focused think tank Civitas found that free speech at the world’s leading universities is being eroded at an alarming rate owing to the phenomenon.

The study found that within the past three years, more than 68% of universities in the UK have seen free speech severely restricted, with academics unable to meaningfully discuss the nuances of issues such as race and gender.

It is now an everyday occurrence, even at distinguished universities such as Cambridge, to see ridiculous one sided ‘discussions’ led by panels of activists who all agree on one subject, such as Winston Churchill being worse than Hitler, while speakers who disagree, or just have an opinion that isn’t robustly ‘woke’ are prevented from appearing.

In response, a pair of new UK government initiatives will see universities in the UK fined if colleges or student bodies attempt to shut down free speech on campuses.

A recent national poll found that half of Britons agree that freedom of speech is under direct threat from cancel culture, with only 12% feeling that they can speak more freely than five years ago.

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New York Times Horrified That Alex Jones Can Still Be Found Via Google Podcasts

Claims Google is engaging in “tolerance of hate speech and other extremist content”

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Steve Watson

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Not content with extensive blacklisting of Infowars and Alex Jones on social media, multimedia and banking platforms, the New York Times complained Thursday that Jones can still be found on Google podcasts, and immediately called for more censorship.

Describing Google’s podcast platform as a “buffet of hate,” the NYT compared Infowars to ‘pro-Nazi’ groups and whined that the purge of information it disagrees with hasn’t been extensive enough.

The Times wrote that Google’s app “stands alone among major platforms in its tolerance of hate speech and other extremist content.”

However, the Google app doesn’t even host the audio, it merely acts in the same way as its search engine does. Still, the NYT wants all evidence of Jones’ existence eradicated completely.

The article quotes a Harvard Cyberlaw director Jessica Fjeld, who states “It seems like [Google has] made a decision to embrace an audience that wants more offensive content rather than constrain that content for the sake of safety and respect.”

“Google is perfectly well aware of how to moderate content if it cares to,” Fjeld added, suggesting that the company is allowing Jones to stay on the platform.

This latest call for censorship comes in the wake of a public funded NPR article calling for Infowars’ total destruction and removal from establishment commerce platforms:

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