EDITORIAL: put the phone down; resume your voice | Opinion

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The former Colorado barman Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, warned the Colorado conservatives of a growing threat on Friday: the censorship imposed by the big technology companies that monitor the results of Internet searches and social media platforms average.

He argues that the progressives who own and control social media companies are determined to defeat his father and other conservatives in 2020. Towards that end, he says, the companies silence the center-right voices and promote the other side with a generous distribution.

The president's eldest son spoke thousands at the Western Conservative Summit at the Colorado Convention Center on Friday night, which took place all day Friday and Saturday. His remarks on censorship came a day after his father led the "Presidential Social Media Summit" at the White House to discuss the high-tech censorship of his supporters and other conservatives.

Trump spoke as the latest in the Friday lineup of well-known speakers – including Christians, Muslims, Jews and others – who discussed threats to religious freedom and freedom of expression globally and nationally.

Trump said he "has some of the Trump gene," which makes him a social media commentator.

"It's called Tourettes of the thumbs," he joked, referring to a neurological disorder that causes repetitive and involuntary verbosity and body movements. In recent years, he said, his experience on a variety of social media platforms has changed. He no longer feels free to communicate without interference.

"I'm looking at my Instagram platform about two years ago and I said" it's strange. I had about 75 million impressions in a given month, "Trump explained.

Suddenly, "I had zero new followers. Even robots alone … it's a statistical impossibility, right?" Trump said. "So I went from 15 a week, to 12 a week, to 10 a week. I'm just looking at some sort of shrinkage, and I can finally get down to zero."

While Trump travels the country to talk, supporters always say they are unable to follow him on social media.

"I told the boys," I had to follow you six times this week because every time I go to check I am not following you anymore, but I am following an account on the left that I have never tried to follow. " to call it, "said Trump. "Thousands have started to contact me."

Conservatives tell him that social media giants de-platform them by demonetizing their videos, blocking followers, turning off "thumbs-up" and "love" features on Facebook and Twitter that allow friends and followers to show support for ideas.

"Do you know what you never heard?" Trump asked. "You've never heard of it from the other side."

Trump recounted the details of Instagram censoring him for disputing the claim of actor Jussie Smollett that two white supremacists in MAGA hats attacked him. The forces of the order later accused Smollett of having devised the crime of hatred and of presenting a false police report.

"I was one of the first to say, & # 39; if it's true, block those guys and throw away the key. & # 39; But it seemed a little weird," Trump said. "It was literally the coldest night of the year in Chicago. A very wealthy activist actor decided to go and take Subway at 2 am … Two white boys wearing MAGA hats were walking through downtown Chicago randomly carrying a noose and a bleach … I started saying it online. I'm asking simple questions and I'm starting to get myself killed for it. "

Trump said Instagram canceled his posts and wrote in writing that he violated their community standards.

"I wasn't even a politician," Trump said. "I said it sounds rather strange, and we should go all the way. None of this added to me. But I had the courage to question it. So, my post was removed."

He re-released, explaining how Instagram censored him. This led to a flurry of followers who contacted him with similar stories.

Before and after Trump's speech on Friday, summit participants shared censorship stories from all the major social media platforms. We heard Twitter, Facebook and Instagram delete messages and entire accounts that oppose abortion, Trump's support, religious freedom, the electoral college, gun rights and other conservative causes.

Skeptics understandably want evidence, not just anecdotal stories. Representative David Cicilline, D-R.I., Responded to the White House summit with a statement that called for "empirical data" to support the claims of anti-conservative censorship.

The data would be useful but may not be possible. It would require accounting for social interactions that no longer exist: information is destroyed, so no one can see it.

Furthermore, trying a politically motivated censorship would probably not stop it. Private companies, unlike governments, have the right to censor content. Magazines, newspapers, bookstores, radio and TV stations often reject more content than those who accept for publication, distribution or transmission. When users post on social media, they put their content at the mercy of whoever controls the platforms. We can all hope that the pressure of public opinion encourages fair and just behavior, but we cannot count on it.

Corporations control only the words we give them. Consumers worried about electronic censorship should become less dependent on social media giants.

Visualize the abatement of smartphones and reconnect to the old way, with real conversations in cafes, churches, bars, restaurants and all the assortments of old-style social gatherings. Communities based on authentic interpersonal relationships, not on extravagant and impersonal electronic exchanges, would be a force with which no society could come to terms.

The Gazette editorial staff

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