In an article entitled “Stepping Up to Stop Hate Online” posted on December 22, 2020 to a website called the “Stanford Social Innovation Review,” Jonathan A. Greenblatt, the head of The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a pro-Zionist and Jewish racial advocacy group, calls on the incoming Biden administration to engage in a massive crackdown on online speech. Under the guise of protecting the rights of so-called “vulnerable” groups, Greenblatt urges the incoming Biden administration as well as congressional leaders to engage in racially and politically motivated online censorship targeting the speech of White advocates, right-wing groups and anyone else Greenblatt deems threatening to Zionist interests.
Greenblatt relies on biased “research” produced by his own ADL as well as hyperbolic claims of an epidemic of “Right Wing Violence” to bolster his case that further censorship of online spaces is desperately needed. He cites an ADL report which claims that 2019 was the sixth deadliest year for “extremist related violence” in the last 50 years, with 38 murders committed by “individuals subscribing to various far-right ideologies, including white supremacy.”
This equivocal language is used to cover for the fact that the report fails to distinguish between murders committed with political or racial intent from murders committed for any other reason. This is because many of the murders in question were done as part of prison gang activity or in the course of petty crimes, and had no racial motive whatsoever. The report also fails to put these 38 murders in context relative to the huge number of murders committed in the United States generally. The FBI estimates that there were 16,425 murders in 2019, 55.9% of which were committed by African-Americans. This represents an 11.6% increase in murders from 2010. The continual increase in violence over the years is a much more significant issue for Americans than the relatively tiny number of murders cherry-picked by the ADL for political and racial propaganda.
Additionally, given demographic research by the Institute of Family Studies showing that 12% of Americans share some views in common with “Alt-Right” White identity politics, and 6% agree with all markers of such a viewpoint–a viewpoint the ADL characterizes as extremist–this would indicate that people with such views are significantly underrepresented among murderers in the United States, precisely the opposite conclusion that Greenblatt wishes to convey. Greenblatt singles out followers of the pro-Trump “Q-Anon” movement and the Proud Boys, a patriotic protest movement, as examples of “extremism” he wants the government to suppress, despite the fact that there are no allegations of murder associated with either group, other than those committed against their members by violent anarchists.
Absent from Greenblatt’s bloodcurdling cries of extremism are any references to Black Lives Matter (BLM) or Antifa, the groups responsible for the mass-rioting that engulfed the United States for months over the spring and summer. The riots were responsible for 30 deaths as of August. Antifa members were also responsible for the deliberate murders of Patriot Prayer member Aaron Danielson and pro-Trump protester Lee Keltner. The riots and murders, combined with a propaganda assault by a supportive media establishment and pressure from powerful interest groups like Greenblatt’s own ADL, also had the effect of causing local police departments to scale back their law enforcement efforts. This scale-back, along with the actions of racially motivated prosecutors funded by Jewish billionaire George Soros resulted in a massive Black crime wave over the summer, which is sure to make the US murder rate for 2020 even worse than 2019.
Greenblatt’s Orwellian suggestions for censoring the speech of US citizens, and all users of the internet, include several recommendations for government legislation along with pressure exercised by “civil society” against social media companies and internet providers. “Civil Society” is a euphemism for big business interests and left-wing activist groups, which have social views drastically at odds with the general population. Far-left and anti-White activist groups Color of Change, Common Sense, Free Press, League of United Latin American Citizens, NAACP, National Hispanic Media Center, and Sleeping Giants are specifically mentioned as groups that make up so-called “civil society.” Discussions of race and racial issues from a pro-White point of view, criticism of politically privileged groups like BLM or the LGBT movement, and criticism of powerful Jews and Jewish lobby groups are characterized as “hate” and claimed to lead to “real harm.” Again, the only evidence offered for any of this is agenda-driven “research” conducted by Greenblatt’s own group, the ADL.
Greenblatt attempts to cover himself by making a few hypocritical references to the First Amendment and the right of US citizens to Free Speech. He falls back on a specious distinction between the right to Free Speech on “private” rather than “public” platforms. The issue of whether companies that rely on massive government subsidy and infrastructure for their very existence should have the right to deny the constitutional rights of US citizens is completely ignored. This issue is rendered moot however, when Greenblatt calls on the government to fill “Legislative Gaps” and regulate the content moderation of private platforms. In doing so, he effectively nullifies the public/private distinction and calls for subjecting US citizens to what would essentially be government censorship.
While the First Amendment protects private speech, it doesn’t require that private companies provide an unfettered platform for bigots to spread hate. Hatemongers take advantage of platforms, scaling and spreading their messages like wildfire. Some social media platforms already have clear terms of service banning hate speech, but not all platforms, including 8kun, see the need to moderate posts. This is where government can step in and require better oversight, accountability, and transparency so that social media companies are motivated to curb the overwhelming harassment, intimidation, and hate speech on their platforms.
To be clear: Everyone has a right to expression free from government regulation. But press outlets and social media aren’t public places; they’re private businesses. Both have an ethical obligation to society and a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders. No newspaper is required to publish a particular article; most newspapers have editors who safeguard against libel or hate. Moreover, access to social media platforms is a not a legal right, it is a privilege. Abuse it, and you should lose it.
Greenblatt is simply playing fast and loose with words here. If the government, or any government subsidized entity or large corporation, is empowered to “hold accountable” US citizens for things that they say online, then Free Speech is defacto abolished and the First Amendment is a dead letter. This is exactly what Greenblatt and the ADL want, though they are too afraid of American public opinion to say it openly. They prefer to use their money and power to intimidate, influence and cajole policymakers behind the scenes, while posing as a civic-minded advocacy organization in public.
Interestingly, Greenblatt finds common cause with the outgoing Trump administration and former Attorney General William Barr in calling for reform of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This act is often referred to as a “safe harbor” law, which protects online platforms from liability for things posted by their users. Greenblatt, who usually presents as a liberal, is siding with Trump and Barr in calling for reform that would “make tech companies legally accountable in certain circumstances” for content posted by users. President Trump recently staged a losing battle with Congress by vetoing a defense appropriations bill just days before the New Year in an effort to achieve Section 230 reforms. Congress overturned the veto on New Year’s Day. Conservatives have been calling for reform of Section 230 for several years based on the theory that it would cause large platforms like Facebook and Twitter to cease their discrimination against users with conservative or right-wing points of view. In reality it would simply give these platforms another tool with which to engage in censorship.
Not satisfied with destroying Free Speech on social media, Greenblatt is eager to expand his war on the First Amendment to online gaming. Some gaming platforms are already cooperating and, as with social media, Greenblatt is calling for government enforcement of speech codes created by the ADL and other far-left activist groups.
Given that online gaming platforms are the next frontier in digital social spaces (essentially becoming social media platforms), we need to better understand the influence of gaming on youth and adult players, and create more platform oversight. Some gaming platforms are beginning to step up, and ADL is currently working with the Fairplay Alliance to create common definitions of hate and harassment in games that will allow game companies to build more respectful and inclusive online gaming communities. However, we need to learn more about the extent of gaming platforms’ impact on hate and extremism, and government must include online gaming in conversations about tech reform.
Again, the only justification Greeblatt offers for such censorship is one-sided “research” conducted by the ADL, which claims that “harassment” in online gaming is some kind of serious problem. Gaming often includes course language and taunts of opposing players, something that is accepted by gamers as part of the experience and generally looked at as a feature rather than a bug. Left-wing activists and feminists, in collusion with the ADL, have been using the pretense of concern for the feelings of “marginalized gamers” as an excuse to introduce censorship and monitoring into online gaming platforms for years with mixed results. Greenblatt seems to think that the incoming Biden administration will offer him the chance to make more inroads into gaming censorship. The ADL’s real concern when it comes to gaming is the existence of spaces in which people, young White men in particular, can gather and communicate without Jewish supervision.
Greenblatt and the ADL like to piously pose as a champions of democracy and the rights of the little guy. This is a crass and insulting lie. In reality, the ADL is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in America with a long list of ultra-wealthy donors, most of whom are Jewish. They have immense power to shape policy and culture in the United States, and by extension the entire world. Greenblatt’s bombastic cries about a wave of online “hate and extremism” are merely a projection of his own feelings for White Americans. The ADL claims to fight against “targeted discrimination,” but they are its most aggressive proponents when it comes to targeting White advocates and critics of Zionism for discrimination. Far from being champions of the little guy, Greenblatt and the ADL are ruthless bullies with an anti-White, Zionist agenda and utter contempt for both democracy and the constitutional rights of Americans.