[Stewart Baker] What I learned when Linkedin suppressed my post

[The lack of transparency is what makes suppression work.] I’ve been warning for years about how social media suppresses views that aren’t popular in Silicon Valley. Until recently, though, I hadn’t found myself on the receiving end of its power.

Let’s start with the Hunter Biden laptop story.

I know. You’re probably already scoffing. Certainly my mostly liberal (and even some conservative) friends are convinced the whole thing is bogus, of interest only to denizens of the Trump fever swamp.  They remember that the laptop was never verified, that it was widely suspected of being a product of Russian hacking and disinformation, and even if true, that it was simply a wallow in Hunter Biden’s many personal failings that told us nothing about his father’s fitness for office.

Most of those widespread views are wrong. They are contradicted by a long and detailed story in the UK’s Daily Mail. The “Russian disinformation” claim never stood up to much scrutiny, consisting as it did mainly of assertions that faking a laptop was the kind of thing the Russians would do. Now, however, the Daily Mail has validated the laptop and its contents, both obtaining a former FBI agent’s forensic judgment and conducting a detailed examination of the laptop’s contents. The sheer volume of material makes it highly unlikely that the laptop itself was a fabrication. There are 103,000 text messages, including many intimate (and heart-breaking) father-son exchanges, 154,000 emails, and over 2,000 photos, including numerous nude or sexual pictures of Biden and others. (That leaves open the possibility that someone, perhaps even Russian intelligence, might have added a few fake documents to the real ones – a possibility that would seem to call for detailed examination of the laptop’s contents, something no mainstream media outlet has deigned to conduct.)

As for its relevance to President Biden’s fitness, earlier reporting disclosed correspondence suggesting that Hunter’s unsavory businesses exploited or even benefited his father. And the Daily Mail claims that Hunter was getting some form of Secret Service protection long after the agency claimed to have ended its work for the Biden family. Maybe these stories will fall apart on examination, but there can be little doubt that they deserve investigation. And little doubt that such an investigation could have influenced the 2020 election campaign, when the laptop first surfaced.

What the laptop story got was the opposite of examination. Relying on the unsupported “Russian hacking” conspiracy theory, Twitter blocked the New York Post article. Indeed it blocked the New York Post’s Twitter account for weeks because the Post refused to retract its original tweet about the story. Facebook also limited distribution of the story. The threat was clear enough. Even an established media outlet could lose reach and ad revenue if it reported on the story.  And the threat worked; no mainstream publication followed up on the Post article, except for a New York Times article that put the knife in by reporting on controversy over the story’s publication in the Post newsroom. When the story came up during the Presidential debates, candidate Biden was able to dismiss it unchallenged as “a Russian plan [and] a bunch of garbage.”

To my mind, this treatment of the Biden laptop story tells us a lot about the role that Silicon Valley intends to play in future elections. Companies like Twitter were so fearful of a second Trump victory that they seized on a dubious hacking claim to suppress the story. That act of censorship may well have changed the outcome of the election. So when the Daily Mail showed that the hacking excuse for suppressing the story was specious, I posted a link to the Daily Mail story on Twitter and Linkedin, with this introduction:

“The social media giants that won’t let you say the 2020 election was rigged are the people who did their best to rig it: Hunter Biden laptop was genuine and scandalous—Daily Mail”

Linkedin (but not Twitter) decided that I couldn’t say that.

….

I hadn’t been bullied by such a clueless authoritarian since high school. So instead of moving on to some less fraught topic I doubled down, posting five variants of my original post. The idea was to see exactly what it was about my original post that triggered Linkedin’s antibodies. I began by simply posting “The straight news version: The Hunter Biden laptop was genuine and scandalous, according to the Daily Mail.” Then I added a link to the Daily Mail story. Then I added commentary: “Social media suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop story in the middle of the 2020 election campaign. Now we know that the story they suppressed was true.” In the fifth post, I was more pointed: “Social media won’t let you talk about election interference in 2020. Maybe that’s because it was social media that interfered in the election by suppressing a true story that would have hurt Joe Biden.” And, finally, I reposted the original, which said the same thing as the fifth, but talked about “rigging” rather than “interfering with” the election.

I thought there was a real possibility that Linkedin would deplatform me for the same reason the vice principal used to discipline me in high school – my palpable lack of respect for authority. But it was a risk I was willing to take in the name of science – trying to figure out exactly what triggered Linkedin’s content suppression machinery. To cut to the chase, Linkedin left up all of my posts except the one that repeated the original post. That came down, and I again was warned about Linkedin’s professional standards.

….

Source: [Stewart Baker] What I learned when Linkedin suppressed my post

I Won’t Be Silenced by the Left

In a recent radio interview on the Joe Pags Show, I explained why I wasn’t concerned by the Trump supporters who came to Washington on Jan. 6 to protest peacefully. Thousands of protesters—no one knows the actual number—marched to the Capitol. Only about 800 people illegally entered the Capitol. Still fewer engaged in violent acts. I condemned those lawbreakers at the time and continue to do so. But I feel compelled to push back as Democrats and their media allies try to equate the two groups by implying that all present were “armed insurrectionists” determined to overthrow the government.

I told Joe Pags the truth: I honestly never felt threatened on Jan. 6. But, I added, I might have been worried if Donald Trump had won and the violent leftists who burned Kenosha, Wis., and Minneapolis last summer had come to Washington. Here’s exactly what I said: “Now, had the tables been turned—Joe, this could get me in trouble—had the tables been turned, and President Trump won the election, and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned.”

….

Leftists who want to memory hole last summer’s political violence immediately started lecturing me that the 2020 protests were mostly peaceful. Apparently they’ve forgotten that, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, 570 leftist protests became riots last year. Twenty-five people lost their lives and 700 law enforcement officers were injured. Braying about “peaceful protests” offers no comfort to those victims or the other innocent Americans whose homes, businesses and property were destroyed. The same people fail to see the damage they do by pushing a narrative designed to portray the 74 million Americans who voted for Mr. Trump as potential domestic terrorists or armed insurrectionists.

….

Their politics, together with their taste for violence—so different from the Trump supporters I know personally or the Trump rallies we all saw carried out peacefully—should concern us. There’s a reason why the boarded-up windows in the downtowns of major cities came down soon after Joe Biden won the election: Nobody was worried what Trump supporters would do if their guy lost; they were worried about what Biden supporters would do if their guy didn’t win.

Source: I Won’t Be Silenced by the Left

Our Biggest Liar? Joe Biden

The fact that this storm of false accusations and cover-ups obscures is that no presidential candidate – no president ever – has been so brazen and malicious at telling political lies as Joe Biden. Before an audience of 70 or 80 million viewers of the final presidential debate, for example, Biden accused Trump of being a mass murderer, of killing hundreds of thousands of coronavirus patients because he “did nothing” to fight the virus. Vote for me, Biden appealed to his audience, because if elected, I will rescue you from the clutches of a villain who doesn’t have a “plan” and doesn’t care how many innocent people die. As president I will change that. I have a “plan.”

This was Biden’s opening salvo in the presidential debate – the “one thing” he wanted voters to remember and take to heart. It was also a monstrous lie. Biden had no plan that would affect the course of the pandemic. He conceded this after the election when one of the first announcements he made as president was: “There is nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.” No apologies to Trump. No apologies to the people he deceived into voting for him. No apologies at all.

Source: Our Biggest Liar? Joe Biden

Gaslighting Last Summer’s Riots and the Law Enforcement Response

Last week, Jo e Biden stated that if the rioters at the Capitol last week had been associated with Black Lives Matters, they would have been treated much more harshly . I heard a segment on NPR this morning with the same theme. The implication is that right-wing and white rioters get treated with kid gloves, while left-wing and minority rioters–and even peaceful protesters–face violent crackdowns.

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The Capitol Police were woefully understaffed and under-prepared for last Wednesday’s riot. The reasons for that need to be thoroughly investigated. But the notion that right-wing mostly white rioters get special treatment while BLM-associated lawless behavior attracts violent, harsh, crackdown is at odds with what actually happened last summer.

Source: Gaslighting Last Summer’s Riots and the Law Enforcement Response

Yes, It Was a Stolen Election: You’d have to be blind not to see it As Americans continue to watch the 2020 election co…

Yes, It Was a Stolen Election: You’d have to be blind not to see it As Americans continue to watch the 2020 election controversy unfold, the very same publications that spent years lying about President Trump’s “Russia collusion” are once again telling us what we are dutifully supposed to believe.

Source (Front Page Magazine): Yes, It Was a Stolen Election: You’d have to be blind not to see it As Americans continue to watch the 2020 election co…

Why I will not accept Joe Biden as president — Lord Buckbeak

Cites a piece by Newt Gingrich

Unwillingness to accept election result grows out of a level of outrage unlike anything previously experienced By Newt Gingrich – – Monday, December 21, 2020 – for The Washington Times A smart friend of mine who is a moderate liberal asked why I was not recognizing Joe Biden’s victory. The friend made the case that […]

Why I will not accept Joe Biden as president — Lord Buckbeak

The Contradictions and Conceptual Errors of Jill Biden’s Garbage Dissertation

Walk with me through the vapid pages of her 20,000-word piece of litter-box lining.

Source: The Contradictions and Conceptual Errors of Jill Biden’s Garbage Dissertation

Jill Biden’s embarrassing 2006 dissertation, which I mocked here and extensively quoted here, is essentially a weakly argued 20,000-word op-ed that offers zero hard evidence for her policy proposals, which are that Delaware Tech (her employer at the time) should beef up its Wellness Center, add a student center, and offer lots of counseling and mentorship to students in order to increase retention rates, which she says were about two-thirds at her institution, about par for community colleges.

Everything is based on anecdotes or soft data, such as the results of insipid surveys she sent out asking Delaware Tech students whether they agreed with her ideas. Surprise! Students would like a student center to be built. But so what? Wouldn’t students say yes to any proposed amenity? Students would likely say yes to a new screening room, tennis court, or fro-yo lounge, but that doesn’t mean these would be wise uses of the institution’s money. How much would a student center cost? Biden doesn’t say. Would the benefit be worth the cost? Biden is silent on the question. Even if a student center were worth the cost, would some other potential use of that money be even more worthwhile? The question never crosses Biden’s mind. Biden simply proceeds from the assumption that the world is a place of unlimited resources for things she wants. Whatever additional time, money, and effort are required will magically appear. This is not a scholarly approach.

….

Biden’s paper doesn’t even compare her meager findings about her own community college to what happens at other community colleges, because that would have meant more effort than she was willing to make, which was questioning a few people in her immediate vicinity, leafing through a few secondary sources, and typing out long strings of nugatory prose. Her paper is dressed-up barstool chitchat, not academic work. She is certainly entitled, as insecure people in possession of doctorates tend to do, to ask to be addressed as “doctor,” but the polite response should be: Sorry, I reserve that honorific for medical doctors. A somewhat less polite response would be: You’re not even an academic, you teach remedial English to community-college students, and your dissertation is kindling.

Biden Should Beware of Nemesis

Joe Biden will be our next president. But he will face Nemesis in a way that few other presidents have ever encountered the cruel Greek god. Biden’s hubris and that of the media/Democratic Party fusion almost guarantee such divine retribution.

Once the last of the other Democratic primary candidates dropped out and Biden was nominated, all prior negative media stories about his apparent cognitive decline and his family’s financial entanglements disappeared. From April 2020 on, a virtual news blackout surrounded Biden. His rare interviews were scripted. Biden communiques were teleprompted. Press conferences were either nonexistent or revolved around his favorite milkshake or his socks.

Mentions of Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China and Ukraine were taboo. It was sinful to reference reports of a Hunter Biden email allegedly detailing a 10 percent distribution of such revenue to the “Big Guy” — presumably Joe Biden.

Unlike Donald Trump, Joe Biden never really campaigned. After the primaries, he outsourced his fall 2020 campaign to subordinates and pet journalists to attack Trump.

….

A President Biden cannot avoid the press forever. He will soon face unscripted meetings with foreign leaders. He will have to meet dozens of movers and shakers each week. Is he or the nation prepared for the consequences of his return to normality after nearly a year of media fawning and forced isolation?

….

Given the Democrats’ Faustian bargain with their leftmost faction, destructive rumors about Biden’s faculties or his family’s financial escapades will more likely come from his own party’s left wing, eager for a Harris presidency, rather than from the Republican opposition.

Biden will enter office with an ethical cloud hanging over his head — one that could have been vetted and adjudicated rather than blacked out for most of 2020. His son, brother and perhaps family associates may talk if faced with FBI and IRS probes, if not a special counsel investigation.

It will not help Biden that to defeat Trump, many of our institutions were deformed. Special counsels usually never receive a blank check — 22 months and $32 million — to assemble a team of partisans to investigate a new president on mostly hearsay evidence and an opposition-concocted dossier.

But that precedent ended with the ill-conceived Robert Muller investigation. By spring, Biden could have done to him what was done to Trump — and what Biden himself so frequently cheered on.

Nor do we impeach presidents often, especially knowing that the Senate will acquit them when there is no alleged crime as outlined in the Constitution. That bar is also gone. Should the Republicans hold the Senate and take the House in 2022, they could do what the Democrats did in 2020. But if they were to impeach Biden as a possible beneficiary of his family’s foreign influence-peddling, a Republican-controlled Senate might not so easily acquit him.

Biden variously called Trump supporters “ugly folk” and “chumps.” He compared the president to Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi propagandist. Biden smeared Trump by referring to him as the nation’s first racist president.

Half the nation will take some time to forget all that. The repair of warped protocols will take longer, given that the left forgot the ancient Thucydidean warning to us not to destroy the very institutions whose protections one day we may need.

Biden should hope that a rogue FBI does not conduct freelance investigations of him the way it did to Trump. Let Biden pray there is not a partisan medical community to diagnose him as impaired and suited for 25th Amendment removal, as was the case with Trump.

Biden should hope that if Republicans hold the Senate in January, they do not mimic the Democratic habit of voting against nearly every Trump nominee. If they were to do that as a majority party in both chambers of Congress, Biden would have trouble confirming even a single judge.

So let us celebrate Biden’s call to unity.

But Biden should hope that the opposition will not do to him and his party what the Democrats did so bitterly to Trump.

Source: Biden Should Beware of Nemesis