Monday, April 23, 2018

Right-wing fruit loops Diamond and Silk head to Capitol Hill to whine about the same "social-media filtering" Facebook uses against my progressive blog


Diamond and Silk, with their hero.
Two black women from North Carolina, who frequently express their undying devotion to Donald Trump online, have become a cause celebre among conservatives by claiming Facebook discriminates against their right-wing views. Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson -- professionally known as Diamond and Silk -- even are scheduled to testify Thursday before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on the subject of "social-media filtering."

Diamond and Silk are mostly a poor attempt at low-brow humor and attention-grabbing, so it's hard to figure what the judiciary committee hopes to accomplish with their testimony. But Rep. Billy Long (R-MO), a former auctioneer from my current district in Missouri, is pushing their act -- and Long never has been confused with a statesman or a policy wonk. If Billy Long is involved, you can bet the whole thing is a charade. Our guess is that Diamond and Silk's issues have everything to do with trolls and nothing to do with discrimination.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently testified before Congress in what was supposed to be a serious inquiry into the Cambridge Analytica data scandal and related issues. Billy Long helped turn it into a clown show by asking Zuckerberg about Diamond and Silk. Zuckerberg, apparently realizing that Long is what passes for "leadership" in the postmodern Republican Party, gave a serious answer, as reported at NPR:

Just days before Zuckerberg was slated to testify before key House and Senate congressional committees last week, Diamond and Silk alerted their followers on Facebook that their content was being suppressed by Zuckerberg's massive social media platform. . . .

The conservative website Drudge Report splashed it as a top story. Conservative Twitter accounts lit up with concern.

" 'BOOM' Diamond And Silk make the Drudge Report........ Don't start none, won't be none!" the partnership wrote on their Facebook page.

And then came the hearings where Zuckerberg faced Congress. . . .

"What is unsafe about two black women supporting President Donald J. Trump?" asked Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo. . . .

The CEO told lawmakers that any efforts to limit the duo's reach was an "enforcement error" on the part of the Facebook team but did not detail what Facebook had done — or why.

Diamond and Silk's main point seems to be that Facebook makes stupid decisions that result in censoring and blocking only those with right-wing views. That's a crock of barnyard excrement; I know from firsthand experience that Facebook makes the same dumb decisions against users on the left as it does against users on the right . In fact, Facebook takes progressive bloggers who write about serious subjects -- such as police brutality -- and blocks their links by deeming them "spam" and "unsafe."

I know because it's happened to me twice in the past month. The gist of Diamond and Silk's complaint, which they are taking to Capitol Hill, is that Facebook "limits the reach" of their right-wing views.. But the same "unsafe" label has been applied to my blog, Legal Schnauzer -- twice in the past month. In fact, as I write this, I'm still in "Facebook Jail" -- with my blog link blocked so that it can't be shared via links on Facebook.

Is my reach being limited? It sure as heck is -- and I'm about as far from a conservative as you can get; I wouldn't say a positive word about Donald Trump if someone tried to force me at gunpoint. Also, I'm not just a second-rate "comedy" act. I'm a journalist, with a B.J. degree from the University of Missouri and more than 35 years of professional experience -- with a daily newspaper, magazines, institutional publications, broadcasts, you name it.

Legal Schnauzer has been ranked among the top 50 law blogs in North America by Cision, a Chicago-based Web marketing and research firm. My blog, at No. 37, was the only one on the list that is truly independent -- not affiliated with any law firm, law school, legal organization, media outlet, or social-justice organization. In short, Legal Schnauzer has been ranked by a company, which deals with such issues on a daily basis, as the best blog of its kind in the United States and Canada.

Facebook's treatment of our progressive blog has been so outlandish that we recently asked (only slightly in a joking manager) if the company supports police brutality. After that post, we were out of Facebook Jail for roughly one working day, and then went right back in. We are considering a lawsuit against Facebook and the individuals attacking the blog if the problem is not corrected, pronto.

Why the question about police brutality? In September 2015, I watched deputies brutalize my wife, Carol, and break her arm during an eviction in Springfield, Missouri, which was unlawful on at least 12 grounds. I've published X-rays that show the comminuted fracture (broken in more than two places), plus photos taken about an hour after the incident that show the beginnings of severe bruising that eventually would cover Carol's left arm (plus the right arm, which was not broken but was black and purple for its full length, thanks to police-imposed violence.)

Carol Shuler's broken arm, a photo that Facebook
deemed "unsafe".
Roughly eight hours of trauma surgery was required to repair Carol's arm, and she is expected to regain, at most, 75- to 80- percent usage. It will never be the same. During the whole process, Carol faced a number of complications -- shock, blood loss, nerve damage, elevated pressures -- that could have been life threatening.

Unbelievably, Greene County prosecuting attorney Dan Patterson brought bogus "assault of a law enforcement officer" charges against Carol, an obvious "cover charge" designed to impede her pursuit of civil damages.

Issues don't come much more serious than the ones surrounding Carol's broken arm. But when I have reported on the subject, including photos of the arm just before X-rays revealed the break, Facebook has deemed my blog "unsafe" -- and my blog URL remains blocked. Diamond and Silk, with their goofy comedy routine about the most dangerous and incompetent president in our history, think they have problems with Facebook? Let's consider a timeline regarding the Legal Schnauzer case:

* 3/26/18 -- I write a post about Carol's cop-induced injuries, including photos of her broken arm;

* 4/6/18 -- After 10 days in Facebook Jail (our blog URL is blocked), we are deemed "safe" for the free world again.

* 4/9/18 -- After roughly one working day out of jail, we wind up back in jail after another post (featuring photos) about Carol's cop-induced injuries.

* 4/23/18 -- As I write this, our second stint in Facebook Jail has lasted 14 days. Combined with the earlier 10-day "jail sentence," we've had our reach limited for 24 days in less than a month.

What is happening in our case? The answer seems clear: Conservative, pro-cop trolls (many of whom probably are cops, perhaps using taxpayer-funded resources) have reported my posts to Facebook as "spam" in an effort to interfere with our reporting. The company apparently takes the word of trolls, people who intentionally abuse Facebook rules, and blocks targets without any investigation. Does that make sense? Not one lick, but that almost certainly explains our situation, and it probably explains the Diamond and Silk issue, too.

Are liberal trolls reporting Diamond and Silk as spam? I haven't seen that issue raised in news reports from across the country, but my guess is that the answer is yes.

If liberals are acting as trolls, it's wrong, and I don't support it -- even though I think Diamond and Silk's speech has about the same intellectual worth of a dried cow turd. Facebook should go about identifying the trolls and punishing THEM, instead of imposing restrictions on Diamond and Silk. Facebook should take the same action in my case.

Thousands of taxpayer dollars will be spent so that Diamond and Silk can go to Congress and whine about Facebook's discrimination against their right-wing views. In truth, the whole contretemps almost certainly has nothing to do with discrimination and everything to do with Facebook's silly policies -- and it's inability to deal with trolls, of all political colors.

Below is a video of Diamond and Silk, attacking broadcast journalist Megyn Kelly after she had the audacity to ask Donald Trump during a presidential debate about vile, rude, and sexist comments he had made about women over the years. As you can tell, Diamond and Silk have no respect for their own race or their gender.

That kind of Uncle Tomism must be a big hit among white, postmodern conservatives.




28 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are giving Diamond and Silk way too much credit by calling them a comedy act. They aren't remotely funny.

Anonymous said...

If Diamond and Silk were victims of a Facebook "enforcement error," then Facebook must be making the same error with Legal Schnauzer.

Anonymous said...

Gotta give Diamond and Silk credit. Only in America can you go so far, on so little talent.

Chuckles said...

The real test: How would the Trumpies who follow Diamond and Silk react if D&S moved in next door to them.

Anonymous said...

Libs were stupid if they've been trolling D&S. They've given them way more attention than they ever would have gotten on their "talent," which is pretty much non-existent.

Anonymous said...

Billy Long = doofus

What an embarrassment for Missouri.

Anonymous said...

Diamond and Silk didn't raise the troll issue because it takes the fun out of their "discrimination" argument.

Anonymous said...

D&S won't look so good when Trump and his goons start heading to federal prison.

Anonymous said...

If Diamond and Silk are going to be censored, it should be for stupidity, not their conservative views. Of course, it's a scientific fact that stupidity and conservatism are closely related.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you are just jealous that you haven't been invited to Congress.

legalschnauzer said...

@9:28 --

Actually, my work was introduced before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on political prosecutions in October 2017. That was based on real journalism, not a cheap shtick, and it was long before anyone had heard of Diamond and Silk.

Try educating yourself, if it' not too much effort:


https://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2007/10/legal-schnauzer-goes-to-congress.html

Remote said...

Here is the BS column someone on Billy Long's staff wrote for him on the Facebook issue. Long isn't smart enough to ask questions about Cambridge Analytica, so he drops into the gutter with D&S:

https://www.news-leader.com/story/opinion/2018/04/17/facebook-wrong-block-conservative-news/524917002/

Anonymous said...

Billy Long makes "Luv Guv" Bentley look like Winston Churchill.

Anonymous said...

The GOP excels at chasing the LCD (lowest common denominator).

Anonymous said...

IF you closely watch the Megyn Kelley video at the end of the LS post, you see that these women are just a black, female version of Trump himself. All they do is throw insults and invective at others. Their "thinking" goes no deeper than that, and neither does Trump's.

Anonymous said...

Here is some of Billy Long's "brilliance":


"There are many examples of Facebook purposefully removing conservative content, exposing the inherent biases of the company. One in particular is a video series produced by two President Trump supporting conservative biological sisters from North Carolina, Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, or better known by their professional names, Diamond and Silk. As I mentioned in the hearing, these women were unfairly censored and removed from Facebook because they were deemed as “unsafe to the community.” What did these women do wrong? Nothing. They exercised their First Amendment right and expressed their political beliefs.

"I am not arguing against Facebook’s policy for removing posts that are unsafe for the community, but this does not qualify. Social media is often used as a platform for hate speech and a recruitment tool for terrorist organizations; this type of content must absolutely be removed. However, Facebook cannot decide which viewpoints are represented on its platform.

"All individuals in the United States should be able to speak their minds freely, especially concerning their political views without thought police censoring them."

Anonymous said...

You are on target, LS. This is about trolls and Facebook's inability to develop a set of fair, sensible policies to deal with them. Has nothing to do with discrimination.

Anonymous said...

The Megyn Kelly question was right on target, especially in light of what we now know about Stormy Daniels, various playmates, pussy grabbing, hush money, etc.

Anonymous said...

Diamond and Silk will go back to being nobodies once Robert Mueller gets finished with Donnie T and his mobster gang.

Anonymous said...

When Cohen starts singing, D&S will start departing -- as will a whole bunch of other people.

Anonymous said...

Somehow, supporting D&S makes honkies feel better about the racism that helped them put Trump in office -- with a major boost from Putin, of course.

Anonymous said...

Are they going to have interpreters available when Diamond and Silk testify before Congress?

Might not be necessary since many of the GOP house members don't speak English either.

Anonymous said...

Another case of Clarence Thomas Syndrome.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I didn't think anyone could make me like Megyn Kelly, but Diamond and Silk did the trick.

Anonymous said...

"The deleted Sarah Steelman Billy Long Free Trade Interview

Sarah Steelman and Billy Long didn't want you to see this video. They quickly removed it from YouTube once word spread about just how stupid both these politicians looked on free trade. The Republican party holds both these candidates in high regard. Yet neither one of them have a clue what they are talking about."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhV77sRyX14

Anonymous said...

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/04/flashback-trump-supporters-diamond-silk-paid-7k-cut-campaign-ad-wisconsin-neo-nazi/

legalschnauzer said...

@3:08 --

Interesting story. Intrigued by the part about Diamond and Silk possibly committing perjury in their Congressional testimony today. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking about republican golf foursomes. In one foursome I tentatively have Billy Long, the disgraced former congressman Blake Farenthold and the froot loop twins Diamond and Silk.

This is tentative as this foursome of fail may exceed the GVWR of any commercially available golf carts.

I will keep you posted!