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Why Trump's Social Media Executive Order Is Troubling, Bizarre, and Dangerous

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/31/why-trumps-social-media-executive-order-troubling-bizarre-and-dangerous

Emily, Your NGO was one of the places where I first read about GATS and its still one of the only places in the US where there is content about it. Today GATS is like an unseen hand fustrating all progessive change and choking off democracy. And discussion of it is being censored everywhere. Why? Without knowedge of it we’re walking into a trap in November, do you understand why?

GATS has been there for a long time. here is a backgrounder you published on it in 2005. Its a one way “agreement to privatize everything” that nobody would ever in a million years have voted for. It locks in the worst kinds of policy. It blocks Medicare for All and threatens to privatize Medicare and Social Security.


For example, GATS blocks expansion of Medicare because it has to be part of Social security to exist, this is written right on the cover of the Annex on Financial Services.

Read Patricia Arnold’s paper for you on financial services, which explains this complicated problem. Basically Medicare is only allowed to exist because its part of our statutory system of social security and its subject to rigid GATS rules. When I try to explain this online, I get censored. Which leads me to have the strong feeling we’re being led into a trap because the DS-503 dispute in the WTO is a ticking time bomb aimed at the entire world’s middle class. Discussing that is often censored too. We have to discuss these things to fix them. I am asking for your help to make these things better known so a national discussion can occur before we wake up one day and have ther ug pulled out from underneath millions of working people in this country, because they suddenly are vewed as too expensive to remain in their jobs. If we lose the quotas thats what wil happen, on a large scale. These are all very concrete, important, economic issues, that are being censored online by techniques like information gerrymandering, limiting peoples voices to only being seen by small groups of people. If we are going to have a discussion about internet censorship, lets have it about the things that matter the most to people and how adult conversations of them are being snuffed out with disinformation which is as often as not coming from the good guys, its repeated over and over again because people dont know the truth. Thats probably because the truth is disturbing. All of what ishappening now has an explanation we would figure out quickly if we knew this udnderlying scheme to lower wages and undermine workers was there and had been there for more than 25 years gradually noving forward. Without that info, we dont have a chance. Your own Lori Wallach is literally one of the only people in this country who understands the implications of the GATS, those implications extend to a different kind of financiall service, health insurance too. Its not even that unlikely that after the death of your former intern, Nick Skala that I may have been the only person who has really been following this.May I have your attention, I am trying to raise an alarm, something is going on and it needs to be brought out into the open or we’re going to pay a huge price and people will blame progressives in retospect for not warning us when we really should have.

What I am saying is its not all about Trump or even mostly about Trump, this “services liberalization” massive job outsourcing, service stealing, education and healthcare privatizing, scheme, which could potentially decimate the middle class globally (thats its clear intent) has been moving forward for decades methodically and its going to lead us into a trap where we lose most of our good jobs and buying our way out will become impossibly too expensive. Facing this collossal con game requires we face the dark side of the Democratic Party as well as that of the gOPs they are two sides of the same coin.

Both so bad that discussion of the things in the usual way is incredibly censored due to people not understanding the most basic things about GATS. - Did Bernie Sanders explain it? NO. That in retrospect seems to have been a YUUUGE mistake.

It prevented an easy victory for him, was and totally a mistake because the stakes are huge, and the country needs to unite against the corrupt politicians who are actually colluding to divide us. Thats obvious to me.

Yes, Trump is an actor and a wannabe fascist, even a real one, but he’s not the only one. We live under inverted totalitarianism and the individuals are not the reason its that way, they come and go. We have to recognize what fascism really is, its setting up a set of conditions likely to lead to genociidal failures to protect the sick and weak, its also setting up trade agreements designed to create those conditions under autopilot, which is what (the existing) and the pending TISA seems to do. Both parties and many other neoliberals all around the world are doing that and understanding it is needed to understand the censorship, because its what they are hiding and its a THE theft of the whole future world. tThey amount to a cult. That much does come across from your pubs, if you read the right ones, we’re fighting an extremist cult thats stealing democracy. But there are Democrats in that cult as well as Republicans.

The key to understanding it is the so caolled governmental authority exclusion. I have a section in the Glossary on my web site, ~http://policyspace.xyz on it. Its hard to explain. You dont explain it at public citizen, but you should.

Its a red flag for genocide in the current era, whith jobs vanishing away. We need to have the courage to cut to the inner truths. The COVID-19 issue illustrates many of them. We have to be strong and true to the country’s future. we do that by explaining this thing, which is the reason they are trying to divide and conquer us. the WHO has the right idea with their technology and patent pool. That is totally what TRIPS exist to fight against. GATS is the same thing, except for services. Its already killed a million poor Americans by denying them healthcare- on principle. Thats because of the WTO. They need to know that. these are the issues that get censored that must not be. If we are picking a place to draw the line THAT must be it.

the important issues.

The corrupt democrats think that they can’t win without censoring their political opponents.
Yet, the fake news is going to carry Joe over the finish line.

The president’s ego is likely the least of his worries or ours at this point. The big commercial broadcast outlets have fallen in line distorting the protest picture, and Trump is trying to fast-forward the effort to bring the Internet into ruling-class control.

Lots of people are out of work. It would not be a bad time to hit the streets, for those in position and condition to do so, though I’d be careful. And it would not be a bad time for someone to be talking to people out there about a rent strike as well, while there are a few renters together. Whatever else happens, we are almost certain to need that.

That cop was a pretty convincing felon. There appears (informally) to be a lot of support for this among a lot of people who usually reflexively criticize protest.

Maybe once more everyone has this backwards?

Right now there is a liability shield so social media can’t be sued for false information someone posts on their site. The idea is that they are just platforms, like the telephone company or like a copy center with self service machines. We don’t hold liable the telephone company or a copy center if someone uses them to slander or commit libel. So social media platforms have this shield.

But if they act instead like a publisher or a newspaper and exercise editorial control, that is, they choose what messages they’ll publish and what they won’t, then they should be liable to civil lawsuits for slander and libel just like publishers or newspapers.

The ‘regulation’ that Trump is talking about is removing the shield IF a social media platform ceases being a neutral platform but promotes some speech and limits others, especially political speech.

The truth is that more and more social media is doing this, what many of us on the Left see as pure censorship. The first targets were egregious right-wing voices, but what got missed with Alex Jones being removed from social media platforms was how many Leftist and anti-war Libertarian sites were also censored.

Check out Jimmy Dore on this.


-add an ‘h’ at the start-

There has been some talk of an option for these companies to not actually censor outside of the normal terms of service (e.g., you can’t directly threaten anyone - I’m not sure if any of Trumps tweets has been deemed in violation that way), but when discovering a claim deemed to be a falsehood, there would be a link to some more information. Setting aside the efficacy of such a move or the bias of most fact checking organizations that would likely be linked to, do you think that method puts them in the same jeopardy in terms of regulation changes?

Once they become editors in any manner they should be able to be sued like any newspaper or publisher. A neutral platform needs to be neutral.

Imagine if the telephone company had folk who’d come into our calls to tell the person we’re talking to that what we’re saying is inaccurate.

Either a social media organization is a neutral platform and only the user is liable for actions in civil court or they aren’t.

By the way, your caveat about the biases of fact checkers shows the inherent problem with the solution of linking to more information.

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