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A Facebook Oversight Board member said that free speech is not “an absolute” right and should be weighed against “other human rights” when determining if content should be censored by the tech giant.

Board member Helle Thorning Schmidt, who is also a former Danish Prime Minister, said Thursday that “free speech is not an absolute human right.”

“It has to be balanced with other human rights,” she said.

“Free speech is not an absolute human right,” says Helle Thorning Schmidt, member of Facebook’s Oversight Board and former PM of Denmark. “It has to be balanced with other human rights.”

How does that translate to content moderation? It must strike a balance, find a middle. pic.twitter.com/E5reaQ2bnk— POLITICOEurope (@POLITICOEurope) July 15, 2021

The Facebook Oversight Board, which consists of 20 members from around the world, was created last year to help corporate executives to distance themselves from decisions considered to be politically.

The board previously recommended that Facebook continue its ban placed the account of former President Donald Trump, which was initially imposed following the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

Although US courts have found the right to free speech isn’t absolute, the US has strong legal and cultural support for the free distribution of information. Other countries have starkly different standards, some even mandating digital censorship.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution bars the government from “abridging the freedom of speech.” However, private companies are not bound by that provision. 

Facebook and other tech companies are also protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which guarantees they will not be held liable for users’ posts while allowing them to restrict content deemed “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.”

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Last week, Trump filed a lawsuit against Facebook, alleging that it censored content at the direction of government officials within the Democratic Party. Because of this, he argues that the First Amendment should apply to the social media platform’s content moderating because the company would then be a “government actor.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday at a press briefing that the Biden administration has been “flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation” about the coronavirus and vaccines.

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Absolute Interference

Democrats resentfully okays McCarthy’s five picks for Jan. 6 inquiry

McCarthy’s five picks have various backgrounds and strengths, but all are members he can trust.

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House Democrats are begrudgingly accepting Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s picks to join the select panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attacks — a list that includes a couple of their leading antagonists.

The Democrat-led committee is set to hold its first hearing Tuesday, setting up what could be the first of many partisan brawls over the circumstances behind the violent insurrection.

The GOP leader has picked Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), chair of the Republican Study Committee, to be the party’s leader on the select panel. Banks is set to serve alongside Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee; Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, top Republican on the House Administration Committee; as well as Reps. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) and Troy Nehls (R-Texas).

Three out of the five Republican appointees voted to challenge certification of former President Donald Trump’s election loss. But as much as that fact may infuriate House Democrats’ base, the lawmakers themselves appear resigned to moving ahead and have little appetite to contest McCarthy’s choices — over which Speaker Nancy Pelosi technically wields veto power.

As some Democrats see it, enough House Republicans voted against certifying the election results that McCarthy was likely to name at least one select committee member who backed Trump’s election challenge. Two-thirds of the roughly 200-member House Republican conference voted on Jan. 6 to object to President Joe Biden’s win.

“Just based on the math, so many of them voted against certifying the election, that you know, [McCarthy would] be hard-pressed” to go another route, said Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), who was appointed by Pelosi to the select committee.

Even Democrats who admitted they were angry about McCarthy’s picks were prepared to accept the outcome.

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Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), one of the last lawmakers to leave the House floor during the insurrection, reserved his strongest criticism for the GOP leader.

“This is McCarthy basically saying he didn’t give a shit,” McGovern said, adding that, “I’m not OK” with having members like Jordan on the committee. “But what can I do about it?”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), another Pelosi-tapped select committee member, said the panel would impose “serious parliamentary order” in an effort to tamp down disruption, adding he hoped the Republican members “take their responsibilities seriously.”

McCarthy’s five picks have various backgrounds and strengths, but all are members he can trust.

Republicans see Banks as the GOP foil to the committee chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.): both have a reputation for being measured, level-headed, and able to stay on message. Still, the select panel will be a test for Banks, who is assuming the leadership role of overseeing a high-profile inquiry for the first time.

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Capitol breach

McCarthy picks five Trump loyalist for the Jan. 6 inquiry

Ms. Pelosi still must agree to the five Republicans Mr. McCarthy has selected.

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WASHINGTON — Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, has chosen a pair of former President Donald J. Trump’s staunchest and most combative allies to be among his five picks to sit on the special House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, signaling he is approaching the inquiry as a partisan battle.

Mr. McCarthy and Republicans had opposed the creation of the select committee, which is to scrutinize the mob violence that delayed Congress’s formal adoption of President Biden’s victory. The 13-member panel, created on a party-line vote, will have seven Democrats and six Republicans, after Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and a harsh critic of Mr. Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, as one of her eight members.

The committee, which is led by Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, is scheduled to have its first meeting July 27 to hear from members of the Capitol Police and District of Columbia police force who fought off the mob. Among them are Harry Dunn, Aquilino Gonell, a sergeant, Michael Fanone, who has lobbied Republicans to support an investigation, and Daniel Hodges, who was crushed in a door during the rampage.

Some of them have been outspoken about the trauma they experienced that day, but Officer Hodges has called it an honor.

“If it wasn’t my job, I would have done that for free,” he told NBC News shortly after the assault. “It was absolutely my pleasure to crush a white nationalist insurrection.”

Ms. Pelosi still must agree to the five Republicans Mr. McCarthy has selected. If he gets his way, they will be:

Mr. Banks, the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, will be the ranking member of the panel. He recently led several House Republicans on a trip to join Mr. Trump at an event at the southwestern border.

He voted against certifying electoral votes for Mr. Biden on Jan. 6 and against creating an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the attack.

In a statement on Tuesday, he said Ms. Pelosi had created the panel “solely to malign conservatives and to justify the left’s authoritarian agenda.”

“I will not allow this committee to be turned into a forum for condemning millions of Americans because of their political beliefs,” he added.

A founding member of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, Mr. Jordan led the effort to discredit the Russia investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and was one of the former president’s most strident defenders during his first impeachment. Just before leaving office, Mr. Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Mr. Jordan also voted against certifying electoral votes for Mr. Biden on Jan. 6 and against creating an independent bipartisan commission.

On Tuesday, he branded the select committee “impeachment Round 3,” telling Newsmax, “This is to go after President Trump.”

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Mr. Davis is the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, where he has studied Capitol security failures, and he is known as a pragmatist.

He did not join his party’s effort to invalidate electoral votes for Mr. Biden on Jan. 6, and he was one of only 35 Republicans who voted to create an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the attack.

He told the Illinois newspaper Herald & Review in January that the Capitol breach was the “second-most terrifying moment” he had experienced as a member of Congress after a shooting on a baseball field in 2017.

“It’s tragic we’ve gotten to this point in the country that people feel they can commit acts of violence because they’re inspired by politics,” he said.

Mr. Armstrong is a former criminal defense lawyer who earned praise from Mr. Trump for his defense during the former president’s first impeachment trial.

He did not object to electoral votes for Mr. Biden on Jan. 6, but he voted against the creation of an independent bipartisan inquiry.

Mr. Armstrong, who was in the House balcony during the attack, has condemned conspiracy theories about the riot and praised the Capitol Police for their response.

A former sheriff, Mr. Nehls was among the lawmakers who assisted the Capitol Police in barricading the door to the House floor during the Jan. 6 attack. Hours later, he joined most Republicans in voting against counting electoral votes for Mr. Biden. He also opposed forming an independent bipartisan commission.

“I was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Capitol police barricading entrance to our sacred House chamber, while trying to calm the situation talking to protestors,” Mr. Nehls wrote on Twitter on Jan. 6. “What I’m witnessing is a disgrace. We’re better than this. Violence is NEVER the answer. Law and order!”

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Candace Owens

Candace Owens slams left for pinning rising violence on White supremacy: ‘It’s so painfully dishonest’

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‘Why are they being so painfully and obviously dishonest?’

Biden’s DOJ blaming inner-city violence on White supremacy proves that the left is not interested in the truth, but craves power, “Candace” host Candace Owens told “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Owens: They don’t want to tell people the truth, right? You brought up father absence. Of course, that’s a truth that would really hit home about how we need to get these families together. They’re not interested in the truth. They’re interested in power. In order to maintain power, the masses cannot know the truth…

It’s so painfully dishonest and you wonder why are they saying this? We know that Black-on-Black crime is a huge issue. We know that something near 95% of Black homicides are committed by other Black people. These are all things that we should be talking about and trying to get to the bottom of. Is that something to do with poverty? Yea, perhaps. Does it have anything to do with White supremacy? No, I don’t think when a gang member, a Black gang member kills another Black gang member, they phone each other up and say, ‘Well, we have to do this because of White supremacy.’ That’s definitely not what’s driving that. But the more interesting question to ask ourselves is, why is the Biden administration doing this? Why are they being so painfully and obviously dishonest? Are they not expecting people to call them out?

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