While Republicans complain about social media censoring “conservatives,” progressives may be silenced to little outrage. Yesterday, Twitter account @TheBradBlog was suspended for this Tweet reporting serious election integrity problems in Georgia:
39 days until Election Day and the *entire* state of Georgia does not have a single working database for *any* of the 159 counties where @GaSecofState *forced* EVERY one of them to use a new, untested, 100% unverifiable touchscreen voting system. Just unfuckingbelievable. https://t.co/ZKoD05eXsQ— Brad Friedman (@TheBradBlog) September 26, 2020
The Tweet was posted September 26 but the account was not suspended until October 8, twenty five days before the 2020 election — just when those planning to vote need this kind of information the most to make sure they vote in a way that will be counted.
Brad Friedman says he was suspended for twelve hours and his account will be restored if he deletes the Tweet, or he may appeal. Friedman chose to appeal because information in the Tweet is true. He does not know when or if his account will be reinstated.
October 12, 2020, UPDATE: After days went by with no word, Brad Friedman deleted the Tweet in question. The Twitter account has been reinstated.
Friedman says the Tweet is true in his blog post entitled “I’ve Been Suspended by Twitter for 100% Accurate Tweet About Error Discovered in GA’s New Touchscreen Vote Systems“:
My tweet is informed by evidence included in an emergency motion filed by the Coalition, after discovering an error acknowledged by the Sec. of State in every one of the new touchscreen Ballot Marking Devices. The programming error, as the SOS office now acknowledges, would result in U.S. Senate candidates not showing up on the touchscreens for some voters while they are voting.
In the emergency federal court filing, a screenshot of the notice sent to elections officials in all 159 counties in the state by Chris Harvey of the GA Sec. of State’s office, instructs those officials to halt all pre-election testing of the new systems due to “an error in the November database which will require every county to get a new database for the November 3, 2020 election.”
The article links to relevant documents and court papers in the case. Friedman goes on to complain about social media censorship:
This is just one of the reasons why I’ve never been comfortable with social media outlets banning or removing posts, even when they are posts from Rightwingers that are clearly wrong and dangerous. They probably should be removed. But I don’t like the idea of a very powerful private corporation deciding what is true or not. Especially if they are so easily duped into believing that a tweet featuring well-supported reportage features “misleading” or “false information about voting”.
BRAD FRIEDMAN AND THE BRAD CAST
Brad Friedman is a long-time independent progressive journalist. Friedman and Desi Doyan host a daily hour-long audio program on 18 terrestrial radio stations and all over the internet. He has worked with many famous alternative reporters and commentators, appeared on major television and cable networks, interviewed elected representatives, political figures, and others of note. Although he covers all kinds of news, Friedman is best known for his coverage of election issues. (Here is his 2005 audio report on the anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act with Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, and others.)