This month, Twitter has been releasing company documents called the TwitterFiles. There is a lot of information revealed in these documents, but I want to focus on the main Takeaways you don’t want to miss.
Truth Social: https://truthsocial.com/@FinanceWolves
China Corruption Statistics
Before I get into the TwitterFiles, I want to give them some context, because I see the discussion around the TwitterFiles essentially about Freedom of Speech. I do not think people realize the importance of Freedom of Speech, because it impacts your money. One thing I have said many times is “You can’t have free markets without freedom.” Freedom is one of the main features that makes capitalism work. The idea behind capitalism is that if you leave any free community alone, people will make the best economic decisions for themselves. This is the invisible hand of economics that Adam Smith talks about in the Wealth of Nations. When you look at human history, this explains why Western nations have dominated the global economy. Freedom is good for business.
This is in contrast with Tyranny. People might ask, “Why can’t you have an economy like China, where one person controls everything?” One person cannot outcompete a society where people are free. One example of this is that China has a long history of bribery and corruption. When one government official controls decision making, people resort to bribery to get things done. But this ends up being a hidden tax on society, and does not result in the best economic decisions. Scholars have identified that there is a clear relationship between corruption and low economic growth. A 2018 report from the United Nations estimated that corruption cost the world economy at least $2.6T or 5% of the global GDP.
Here is a chart that shows Gross National Income per capita compared against the level of perceived corruption. You can see the difference between the US and China. So, when we talk about Freedom of Speech, it is important to realize that this is a piece of technology that has enabled our economic success and needs to be protected.
Twitter for many years has been the center of the debate on how we communicate through social media. Since Elon Musk has purchased Twitter, he has released the TwitterFiles which provides evidence of what most people already thought: that Twitter was using their power to censor people. This is the list from December.
TwitterFiles1: Hunter Biden Laptop
TwitterFiles2: Shadow banning
TwitterFiles3-5: Banning Donald Trump
TwitterFIles6: Collusion with FBI and DHS
The worst of these has been the latest one, where it shows the FBI targeting American citizens for censorship based on their political beliefs, a clear violation of the first amendment.
What I think is more important than the details of the documents, is that the TwitterFiles show how one person can control US society. The process goes like this:
- Freedom of Speech generates information
- Information impacts people’s actions
- People’s actions affect the direction of society
Whoever is the leader of Twitter has the ability to censor ideas, and this changes what happens in America. The CEO of Twitter was previously Jack Dorsey, and now it is Elon Musk.
Whether you are Republican or Democrat, you should be furious about this. Jack Dorsey silenced so many people, banning them and destroying their livelihoods. Then he lied to the public about what he was doing. Now Elon Musk is banning people. Is he censoring Democrats? We do not know. That is the point. He could be doing anything, because there are no rules in place that provide protection for people. This is wrong. No one person should control free speech in America whether it is Jack Dorsey or Elon Musk.
We should be taking this as a historic moment and make sure censorship never happens again. We need to acknowledge these three key takeaways:
- The public square now exists on the internet, controlled by private companies
- Private companies are abusing their power and people are getting hurt
- Freedom of Speech is important and needs to be protected
There are people that say that private companies should be able to do whatever they want. This is a little bit of a silly statement. All businesses have regulations they have to follow. And those regulations are usually in place because companies were abusing their power. For instance, companies cannot pollute or they cannot overwork their people. The TwitterFiles clearly show a situation where social media companies are abusing their power and people are getting hurt. It is not just Twitter. Facebook, YouTube, Google search, Amazon, are all shadow banning and manipulating their algorithms. They are controlling speech, and they do not tell us about it. If social media companies were like newspapers, they could print whatever opinion they wanted. But they specifically claim they are not publishers, and then still censor based on an opinion. When speech is your product, you should not be able to censor.
Part of the problem is the law is not clearly defined. Social Media is governed by Section 230.
“No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.”
This was written to give social media companies the ability to remove porn and violent posts. Everyone agrees that is a good thing. No one has a problem with keeping porn off Twitter. The issue with this law is the phrase “otherwise objectionable.” This wording has been defined in the courts as meaning the social media companies can define anything as “otherwise objectionable.” They can then take down any speech they want and not violate someone’s freedom of speech. This is the whole problem. The phrase “otherwise objectionable” needs to be defined in law in a way that protects freedom of speech.
I think there is a few specific ways this could be implemented that should be bi-partisan and easy for congress.
- Pass a Digital Bill of Rights
- Ban Federal Agencies from colluding to censor American citizens
- Require companies to tell people if they are shadow banned in any way and specifically identify the problematic content and provide specific reasons for the ban
- Require companies to provide responsive customer service to resolve bans
- Allow a public due process for citizens to fight unjust bans
- Stop companies from shadow banning politicians
- Revise Section 230
One other thing. Section 230 does not apply to the FBI. The FBI cannot use private companies and Section 230 as a way to censor Americans. If the FBI has suspicions about somebody, they are supposed to go through due process in the public court system. Not attack people in secret. This is every American’s right, and it was put in the Constitution to keep the government from abusing it’s citizens.
Personally, I found the TwitterFiles to be shocking and revealing. I hope that our society can move quickly to make sure we protect our Freedom of Speech.
Leave a comment down below letting me know what you think!
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Neither Zach De Gregorio or Wolves and Finance shall be liable for any damages related to information in this video. It is recommended you contact a CPA in your area for business advice.