At a recent town hall meeting stop during her campaign to be the next governor of Georgia, liberal politician Stacy Abrams asserted that six week old human beings do not have a heartbeat.
“There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks. It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman’s body.”Democrat candidate for governor of Georgia, Stacy Abrams.
The following is a clip of Abram’s statement during a campaign stop on Wednesday.
Of course, the statement is a lie. The heart actually begins to form at the third week of pregnancy, as shown in amazing detail by the remarkable National Geographic Documentary.
Disinformation Patrol to the Rescue
Shortly after the clip started spreading like wildfire on social media, Twitter jumped in to try to editorialize Ms. Abrams’ comments and provide backing to the unscientific assertion by posting the following explanation in its Trending Politics section, a section curated by Twitter itself.
The Washington Post also jumped into the fray with “fact-checker” Glenn Kessler arguing that “fetal heartbeat” is a “misnomer” and that the proper term should be “electrical activity generated by the embryo.”
Twitter is the 21st Century’s Western Union
Besides showing the absurd lengths to which anti-life politicians must go to deny the humanity of the preborn child, this case also points to the perilous state of free speech in a world dominated by Big Tech companies that believe themselves to be above the law.
In the recent case of Netchoice vs. Paxton, Big Tech sued to invalidate a Texas law that essentially mandated that companies like Twitter be treated like common carriers. Being treated as a common carrier means that although the companies are private actors, and therefore not subject to the same rules prohibiting discrimination that the government is subject to, these companies can still be prevented from discriminating against legitimate users as a public policy matter. The public policy reason is that their platforms are so ubiquitous as to be considered essential public forums for debate and allowing them to squelch freedom of speech would essentially squelch the most important modern avenue for the most zealously protected constitutional form of speech: political speech.
Here, it appears Big Tech has tried to have its cake and eat it too by, on the one hand, arguing that Sec. 230 protects them from being sued. In order to qualify for Sec. 230 protection they have to maintain that they are not publishers and are therefore not responsible for the content on their platforms. At the same time, in the Netchoice case they argue that they can censor content (disproportionately conservative) because they say the companies have a 1st amendment right to host whatever speech they want since it is a private company. So which one is it? Are they legally censoring content, and for all intents and purposes, are publishers not protected by Sec. 230, or are they mere forums of opinion that do not engage in censorhip?
Any conservative who has been around since the Trump presidency, or who is pro-life, or pro-second amendment, or anti-gender ideology or anti-CRT knows the answer to that question. Twitter, and Facebook, and Youtube, and Google Search are unquestionably publishers who exercise broad editorial control over the content they publish and how people can access it.
As an analogy, the court in Netchoice pointed to the history of Western Union, which dominated telegram communications, and until they were reined in, attempted to control the content of the telegrams that was sent over their wires.
The telegraph was the first communications industry subjected to common carrier laws in the United States. Invented in 1838, the telegraph revolutionized how people engaged with the media and communicated with each other over the next half century. But by the end of the nineteenth century, legislators grew “concern[ed] about the possibility that the private entities that controlled this amazing new technology would use that power to manipulate the flow of information to the public when doing so served their economic or political self-interest.” These fears proved well-founded. For example, Western Union, the largest telegraph company, sometimes refused to carry messages from journalists that competed with its ally, the Associated Press or charged them exorbitant rates. And the Associated Press in turn denied its valuable news digests to newspapers that criticized Western Union. See ibid. Western Union also discriminated against certain political speech, like strike-related telegraphs. See id. at 2322. And it was widely believed that Western Union and the Associated Press “influenc[ed] the reporting of political elections in an effort to promote the election of candidates their directors favored.” Ibid.; see, e.g., The Blaine Men Bluffing, N.Y. Times, Nov. 6, 1884, at 5 (accusing them of trying to influence the close presidential election of 1884 by misreporting and delaying the transmission of election returns). In response, States enacted common carrier laws to limit discrimination in the transmission of telegraph messages. Netchoice v. Paxton
As shown by Twitter’s attempt to cover for Stacy Abrams, it is clear that, just like Western Union before it, Twitter is attempting to use the editorial promotions and censorship to favor their preferred viewpoints, in Twitter’s case the pro-abortion and politically pro-Democrat side.
Will the Supreme Court take up this case or Congress act to limit Big Tech? Or will they wait until the stranglehold of Big Tech on the first amendment turns the United States into a woke hell?
Time will tell. For now, we can only thank Stacy Abrams for making this very real collusion between the left, Big Tech and the media to assault American freedom so absolutely clear.