A Call for Fair News Coverage
(Minghui.org) During a press conference on November 19, Trump campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis urged journalists to report facts accurately instead of misleading the public with their own opinions.
“This is basically an opening statement so the American people can understand what the networks have been hiding and what they refuse to cover, because all of our fake news headlines are dancing around the merits of this case and are trying to delegitimize what we are doing here,” she said, “Let me be very clear that our objective is to make sure to preserve and protect election integrity.”
She reminded the journalists to cover the case based on facts. “If your fake news network is not covering this or allowing you to cover it fairly and accurately, you should ask yourself why. This is absolutely a legitimate, legal basis,” she continued, “The facts matter, the truth matters and if you are fair reporters, you will cover that fairly and appropriately and you will allow coverage... of our legal team.”
Due to its influential power, news media is often considered the fourth branch of government. In recent years, especially during the 2020 presidential election, however, few news media have fulfilled their duty to cover the widespread election fraudulence.
Censorship from Across Social Media Platforms
Freedom of speech is a basic human right, however, many have found their voices silenced by traditional news media, as well as social media platforms. The situation got worse due to coordinated efforts between Facebook, Google, and Twitter. In a U.S. Senate Judiciary hearing on November 17, Senator Josh Hawley asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about internal tools used in censorship.
More specifically, information provided by a whistleblower from Facebook showed an internal tool used by Facebook to track the activities of users across the internet that were previously believed to be private. Known as Tasks, the tool was used to improve the workflow of Facebook employees. However, Facebook employees also used it to collaborate with Google and Twitter to censor users across platforms. Another tool called Centra could track users even when they think they are anonymous.
“Under oath, Zuckerberg admits @Facebook DOES have ‘tools’ to track its users across the internet, across platforms, across accounts – all without user knowledge,” Senator Hawley wrote in a Twitter post, “I ask how many times this tool has been used domestically against Americans. Zuck won’t say.”
Actions Taken to Address Censorship
The accounts of many republican users were blocked by Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Even posts from President Trump were sometimes blocked or flagged with a warning sign. In the meantime, scandals related to Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden were totally unreported. Whenever Trump mentioned Hunter, his posts would be blocked.
Based on an Executive Order issued by the White House on May 28, the U.S. Department of Commerce has requested Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clarify Section 230 of Communications Decency Act (CDA) passed in 1996 on internet legislation related to the censorship.
In response to being blocked by major social media platforms, many Trump supporters and Trump himself have moved to other tools such as Parler.
To curb fake news and dangerous products on the market, European Commission implemented Rapid Alert System (RAS) in July. Similarly, European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE) was also established in Helsinki, Finland in 2017, to manage various threats for the European Union (EU) and NATO.
Similar situations exist in Taiwan where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been actively waging an intelligence war for decades. Such propaganda was intensified with the recent U.S.-China trade war and the development of situations in Hong Kong.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Karen Yu and others found much of the disinformation appearing on popular Taiwan social media sites to “content farms” in China. “There’s another kind of army from China, a cyber army,” Yu remarked, “Disinformation in Taiwan is a brand new social problem, so we need some innovation in our legal system.”
Several laws were passed by the legislature with measures like increased fines for spreading disinformation with more proposed in the Legislative Council, reported Taiwan Business TOPICs in an August 2019 article titled “The Battle Against Disinformation.” On November 18, National Communications Commission (NCC) announced all 7 commissioners voted to deny license renewal of the pro-CCP Cti News.
Fulfilling news media’s responsibility of being factual is important for society. “The American people deserve to know what we have uncovered,” Ellis said in the press conference on November 19, “You, the press, should cover this fairly and should know that this matters to election integrity and it matters to the future of our nation.”