Government urges parents to limit their children’s social media use to TWO hours at a time

Kids should then take “exercise breaks”. The move comes amid growing alarm at a generation hooked on social media.

Campaigners are likely to demand the crackdown – to be unveiled by Dame Sally Davies next Thursday – goes even further.

Research earlier this week found under-fives spend four hours and 16 minutes a day glued to screens – including online, ,gamingand TV.

Seven in ten of those aged 12 to 15 took smartphones to bed.

And a fifth of children aged 8-12 are on social media – despite supposed bans on under-13s. The new guidelines revealed by James Forsyth in today’s Sun follow an official request from Health Secretary Matt Hancock

The Tory high-flyer last weekend demanded social media giants remove suicide and self-harm material from their sites after the father of a 14-year old teenager blamed Instagram for her death.

Ian Russell said Molly – who committed suicide two years ago – had been looking at social media content about depression, self-harm and suicide.

In a blistering letter to web firms, Mr Hancock said: “It is time for internet and social media providers to step up and purge this content once and for all.”

He added: “Let me be clear, we will introduce new legislation where needed.”

Ofcom earlier this week claimed so many children were glued to YouTube that they had given up other activities such as drawing or going out on their scooters.

Some youngsters said they went out less – because of it was “too much effort” when they could just hook up online.

Researchers warned while many kids go online to watch harmless videos they end up watching unsuitable content by accident.

The guidelines will pile pressure on web giants to introduce a cut-off for under-18s

Education Secretary Damian Hinds last November urged parents to lead by example and drag themselves away from smartphones and tablets.

US academics last summer said children learn smartphone habits from their parents – and it was important adults learn to “unplug”.

The Chief Medical Officer’s view is guidance rather than regulation. Sources compared it to official advice such as “eat your five a day” on vegetables.

The advice will say that kids shouldn’t spend no more than two hours at a time on social media – and that they should do exercise before going back on again.

But insiders said the political argument will be whether the social media companies self-regulate – such as logging out under 18s once they’ve been on for two hours.


Coinbase Bans Conservative Social Media Network Gab — Again

For the second time in less than a year, popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has banned conservative-leaning social media network Gab and founder and CEO Andrew Torba from transacting on its platform, joining a long list of companies – including Medium, Joyent, GoDaddy, PayPal and Stripe – that have cut ties with the social network, according to CoinSpice.

Gab announced the ban in a series of tweets, and used the decision as a reason to advocate for decentralized exchanges.

The ban is reportedly a delayed reaction to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, which happened more than two months ago, and was also the pretext for the widespread banning of Gab, with organizations like PayPal accusing Gab of offering safe harbor to White Nationalists and Nazis. Gab has generated quite a bit of controversy despite having fewer than 1 million users.

Gab’s account was arbitrarily banned by Coinbase back in June, though access was swiftly reinstated.

As CS points out, the banning of Gab by a prominent crypto exchange poses an interesting conundrum for the crypto community, which counts many devoted libertarians among its ranks.

For crypto enthusiasts, quite a few of whom count themselves as libertarian-ish or fellow travelers, Gab poses an interesting problem. Must a site necessarily endorse views it helps to spread? Can supremacists and so-called “hate” speech be banned when a platform exists as a place to speak freely? Co-founder Andrew Torba has insisted his personal worldview is not necessarily reflected in Gab users, and bad speech, objectionable speech is best counteracted with more and better speech, not less.

It remains to be seen whether the backlash will be enough to get Coinbase to reverse the ban for a second time.


Gohmert Introduces Bill to Remove Liability Protections For Biased Social Media Companies

Texas congressman Louie Gohmert has introduced a bill to remove social media companies’ “special legal protections” if they behave like biased publishers rather than neutral platforms.

From, “Gohmert Introduces Bill That Removes Liability Protections for Social Media Companies That Use Algorithms to Hide, Promote, or Filter User Content”:

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) released the following statement regarding the introduction his bill, H.R.7363, that amends section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934:

“Social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google are now among the largest and most powerful companies in the world. More and more people are turning to a social media platform for news than ever before, arguably making these companies more powerful than traditional media outlets. Yet, social media companies enjoy special legal protections under Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934, protections not shared by other media. Instead of acting like the neutral platforms they claim to be in order obtain their immunity, these companies have turned Section 230 into a license to potentially defraud and defame with impunity.”

“Representatives of social media companies have testified in Congressional hearings that they do not discriminate against or filter out conservative voices on their platforms. But for all their reassurances, the disturbing trend continues unabated. Employees from some of these companies have communicated their disgust for conservatives and discussed ways to use social media platforms and algorithms to silence and prevent income to conservatives.”

“In one hearing, one of the internet social media executives indicated a desire to be treated like Fox News. Fox News does not have their immunity and this bill will fulfill that unwitting request. Since there still appears to be no sincere effort to stop this disconcerting behavior, it is time for social media companies to be liable for any biased and unethical impropriety of their employees as any other media company. If these companies want to continue to act like a biased medium and publish their own agendas to the detriment of others, they need to be held accountable.”


Gun Buyers to Submit Social Media Passwords, Search History Under Bill

Prospective New York gun buyers could be required to undergo a review of their internet search history and social media activity by providing necessary passwords under newly-drafted legislation, according to reports.

The bill, written by Brooklyn borough President Eric Adams and state Senator Kevin Parker, would empower officials and judges to review up to three years of internet activity of those applying for, or renewing, pistol permits in New York.

“Posts from the past three years on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat would be reviewed for language containing slurs, racial/gender bias, threats and terrorism,” reports Rochester First. “One year of search history on Google/Yahoo/Bing would also be reviewed.”

Some are raising concerns about the bill, and the subjective nature with which it could be enforced.

“The judge who grants or denies a permit has fairly broad digression under New York State law. And it has to have a rational basis. So they can’t say they don’t like your gender or your race,” attorney Sheldon Boyce told WIVB. “For example, religious practice — are we going to deny permits because a person goes to church or goes to a mosque?”

“In the case of Heller vs District of Columbia in 2008, the US Supreme Court held that the possession of a handgun in the home is a fundamental constitutional right so anything that infringes upon that right is subject to challenge.”

WIVB reports that the only social media accounts expressly listed in the bill are Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram.


How Social Media Is Becoming an Arm of the State

Say the wrong things and you might get kicked off of your favorite social media platform.

Tech titans Apple, Facebook, and YouTube have wiped out talk-show host Alex Jones’s social media presence on the Internet. But the social media crusades weren’t over.

Facebook recently took down popular pages like Liberty Memes and hundreds of other prominent libertarian-leaning pages . In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, social media network Gab was on the receiving end of suspensions from payment processors like PayPal and Stripe and cloud hosting company Joyent. Although these companies did not provide clear explanations for their dissociation with Gab, the media had afield day when they learned that the synagogue shooter, Robert Bowers, had an account with the social media network.

Should libertarians fear social media de-platforming? Or is this a case of private actors exercising their legitimate property rights by excluding those they wish to no longer do business with?

The Blurring Lines of the Public & Private Sector

Since the question of de-platforming has popped up, some conservatives have proposed state-based solutions to solve this problem. In a role reversal, conservative commentator Ann Coulter suggested that the government passanti-discrimination laws to prevent social media platforms from de-platforming conservatives. Ideological consistency is a lot to ask for from seasoned veterans of Conservative Inc these days.

Nevertheless, Coulter expanded on why the 1st Amendment protections must be extended to social media:

We need to apply the First Amendment to social media companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Google, because it is a public square, and there is precedent for that and it’s gotta be done, because this is really terrifying, and talk about chilling speech when they’re just throwing people off right and left.

Although private entities are within their rights to decide with whom they do business, libertarians should not completely dismiss concerns about social media censorship. The first question we must ask: How separate from the State are these social media giants in the first place?

This is the 21st century after all; a point where the United States has embraced over a century’s worth of government encroachments. Every nook and cranny of society— from the food we eat to thesporting events we watch,—has seen State interference.

When we look closely, Americans nominally own their private property, but this comes with a gigantic asterisk. Governments at all levels can regulate, micro-manage, and in extreme cases, expropriate property if the right political winds are blowing.

In an article from a few months ago, Justin Raimondo added some nuanceto the de-platforming discussion. Even with the purge of Alex Jones, control freak politicians were still not satisfied. Raimondo explains the deeper implications of social media purges:

All this wasn’t good enough for Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), who demanded to know if the plan was to only take down “one web site.” No doubt he has a whole list of sites he’d like to take down. Even more ominously, it was revealed that a direct threat had been made to these companies by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia), who sent out a memo listing all the ways the government could crack down on Big Data if they refuse to go along with cleansing the internet of “divisive” material.

Raimondo also points out how the knee-jerk response to label all company actions as “private” overlooks some damning details:

So much for the “ libertarian ” argument that these companies and the platforms they run are “private,” and not connected in any way to the governmental Leviathan. This is the kneejerk response of outlets like Reason magazine, but it’s simply not a valid position to take. The Communications Decency Act immunizes these companies against any torts that may arise from activities conducted on their platforms: they can’t be sued or prosecuted for defamation, libel, or indeed for any criminal activity that is generated by these Internet domains.

Although no laws emerged from Senator Chris Murphy’s threats, the very act of social media giants kowtowing to political demands, tell us one thing: We’re living in an extortion-based political economy. You can keep your property, provided that you cave in to our political demands. If you fail to comply, hate speech laws will be shoved down your throat.

The rabbit hole of government-private sector collusion goes even deeper. Facebook has been working with the Atlantic Council, a think tank funded by the U.S. government and other foreign governments, to fight “foreign interference” during the 2018 election season. Despite Silicon Valley’slibertarian leanings during its rise to prominence, it has frequently partnered with government institutions like themilitary-industrial complex.

In sum, Silicon Valley is allured by the prospect of state privilege and has worked to cultivate it like every other crony entity in the U.S.

Bad Culture Precedes Bad Politics

Unfortunately, Silicon Valley’s obsession of PC thought policing is a symptom of our present-day culture. Once a country that championed free expression at all levels of society, the U.S. is seeing its culture of free expression slowly wither away. Author Nassim Taleb explains in his book Skin in the Game how free speech threats need not always originate from the State:

Effectively, there is no democracy without such an unconditional symmetry in the rights to express yourself and the gravest threat is the slippery slope in the attempts to limit speech on grounds that some of it may hurt some people’s feelings. Such restrictions do not necessarily come from the state itself, rather from the forceful establishment of an intellectual monoculture by an overactive thought police in the media and cultural life.


China Social Credit Score To Go Nationwide by 2020

As Infowars predicted, China is poised to judge all 1.3 billion of its citizens by 2021 based on their behavior with a credit program that personalizes ratings for each one, according to reports.

According to the Bejing government’s website, the capital city will be rewarding and punishing its 22 million citizens by the end of 2020, and those who score poorly will be unable to participate in everyday life.

The social credit program will use a combination of facial recognition technology, mobile phone numbers, government IDs, and immersive surveillance systems to determine which citizen is exhibiting “pro-social” behavior.

“The Beijing project will improve blacklist systems so that those deemed untrustworthy will be ‘unable to move even a single step,’” Bloomberg reported Wednesday. “Those with better so-called social credit will get ‘green channel’ benefits while those who violate laws will find life more difficult.”

Infowars has been warning of this authoritarian program for years.

In 2014, we reported that Big Tech giants like Facebook were cooperating with China’s Communist government to begin building the system.

And in 2015, we reported that the so-called “Sesame Credit” social score program is operated by Chinese companies Alibaba and Tencent, who control the country’s social media.

China’s program is a test model for the rest of the planet, and it’s already here.

This is why Big Tech wants Infowars banned: we’ve warned that this was coming years before the mainstream media started covering it.


Social Security Benefits Have Lost One-Third of Their Purchasing Power Since 2000

The latest survey from the Senior Citizens League (SCL) revealed that Social Security, the welfare program originally designed to help workers in their old age, is instead slowly impoverishing them:

Over the past 18 years, Social Security benefits have lost 34 percent of their buying power, according to the findings of this study.

Many of the goods and services purchased by typical retirees increased several times faster than annual Social Security cost of living adjustments (COLAs) from January 2000 through January 2018.

As The New American recently pointed out, for three out of every five of the more than 60 million Americans receiving Social Security, that monthly check represents half or more of their total monthly income. Because many have not planned for the future, or been able to, by the time workers start receiving their benefits, four out of 10 will be living at or near the poverty level.

There have been previous attempts to “adjust” the purchasing power of those checks including using cost-of-living-adjustments or COLAs. For 2019 those 62 million Social Security recipients will see their checks increase by 2.8 percent.

But since 2000 those COLAs have fallen far behind the real costs of living by those over 65. Said the SCL: “Since 2000, COLAs have increased Social Security benefits a total of just 46 percent, while typical senior expenses grew more than twice as quickly — 96.3 percent.” For example, a homeowner heating his or her home with heating oil has taken a terrible beating. In January 2000 he or she would have paid $575 to fill a 500-gallon tank, while Social Security was paying an average of $845 a month. But fast forward to 2018: filling that tank now costs more than $1,600 while Social Security paid an average of $1,200. That’s a shift in costs that moves that homeowner from a “plus” $275 a month (after paying for heat) to a “minus” $400 a month — a negative shift of nearly $700 a month.

Read more


Dem 2020 Candidate Wants Chinese-Style ‘Social Credit’ System For America

You’re going to love our new Democrat overlords (and if you don’t you’ll be blocked from the financial system)!

From The Daily Caller:

New York entrepreneur and Democratic 2020 candidate Andrew Yang wants to implement a system in which a government-run mobile app rewards Americans with “digital social credits” (DSCs) for good behavior.

Americans would receive DSCs under Yang’s system for things such as “participating in a town fair,” “fixing a neighbor’s appliance” or “tutoring a student,” his presidential campaign website explains.

“As individuals rack up DSCs, they would have both a permanent balance they’ve earned over their lifetime and a current balance. They could cash the points in for experiences, purchases with participating vendors, support for causes, and transfer points to others for special occasions,” Yang states on his website. “As their permanent balance gets higher, they might qualify for various perks like throwing a pitch at a local ballgame, an audience with their local Congressperson or meeting their state’s most civic-minded athlete or celebrity.”

“The most socially detached would be the most likely to ignore all of this,” he added. “But many people love rewards and feeling valued.”

Yang’s social credit plan bears some similarities to the social credit systemimplemented by China’s authoritarian government.

Every citizen in China is assigned a social credit score that determines whether they can buy plane or train tickets.

Unlike the Chinese system, Yang’s plan does not include using digital social credit for punitive measures.

That’s how it starts. You can add in punishments with a few lines of code at any time.

Campaign chair Matt Shinners emphasized in an email to The Daily Caller News Foundation that Yang’s system lacks the coercive element featured in China’s social credit system:

My understanding of the Chinese system (which is admittedly limited) is that it’s more of a rating that’s externally imposed based on a number of non-opt-in factors, almost like a credit rating, and collates information captured from public surveillance, economic and social media activity, etc… to create a ‘score’ that would then, possibly, be used to ‘blacklist’ people from certain activities. Under my understanding, the Chinese system is more of a score/rating than a system of credits.

Andrew’s platform calls for a system that’s much more akin to time banking, or to points that people earn on their credit cards. There’s no general monitoring of individual activity, and no scraping of social media sites to see what people are up to. Instead, activities such as volunteering or helping your neighbors would earn you credits that could then be traded with others for receiving similar help. For example, I spend 4 hours/week coaching a hockey team in my community, and I use the credits I earn to have a local electrician (who possibly has a kid on the team) help me install a garage door opener. There would also be backing by the federal government for conversion to currency (that would be taxed), or traded in for “fun” activities (such as getting to attend a bill signing).

Yang, a lifetime New Yorker, faces an uphill battle in a crowded Democratic primary.

Though he hasn’t received much media attention, Yang’s campaign is actually in its ninth month. The candidate is currently on a national tour he labeled the “Humanity First Tour.”



Kanye West Quits Social Media Amid Criticism for Pro-Trump Remarks

The rap star has been facing severe criticism over his political views, which he’s expressed by wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat and addressing Trump’s supporters.

West shut down his Twitter and Instagram on Sunday after he took a stand for Trump on America’s long-running comedy skit show Saturday Night Live, where he gave a pro-Trump speech and a series of tweets in which he discussed abolishing the 13th Amendment, The Hill reported.

“Black man in America, supposed to keep what you’re feeling inside right now,” West said. “All those Democrats. You know, it’s like the plan they did, uh, to take their fathers out the home and promote welfare. Does anybody know about that? That’s a Democratic plan.”

West also said that SNL producers urged him not to wear the MAGA hat at the show, saying that they “bullied me backstage. They said, ‘Don’t go out there with that hat on.’”

“We need to have dialogue, not a diatribe,” West said, claiming that 90% of the news media, the TV industry, rappers, and musicians are liberal and pro-Democratic and “It’s easy to make it seem like it’s so, so, so one-sided.”

One SNL cast member, Pete Davidson, slammed the rapper over his speech, claiming it was “one of the worst, most awkward things I’ve ever seen here.”West also wrote on Twitter that he believes that the 13th Amendment is slavery in disguise and it should be abolished. “We will no longer outsource to other countries. We build factories here in America and create jobs. We will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons as we abolish the 13th amendment. Message sent with love,” he wrote. The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery in 1865 and granted enslaved African-Americans their freedom.

President Trump reportedly supported West. According to COS media, West was invited to the White House to meet with Trump on Thursday, October 11. The rapper told Hot 97 morning host Ebro that he would like to bring Colin Kaepernick with him to meet with Trump and “open dialogue” between them and asked Ebro to help to arrange the call, yet the host declined to assist with that.


Journalist Unpersoned By Chicom Social Score, No Travel, No Property

A Chinese journalist who allegedly exposed government corruption has been banned from traveling by train or airplane and has had his social media accounts with millions of subscribers suspended.

Chinese journalist Liu Hua lives in a jaw-droppingly Orwellian society where “bad driving, smoking in non-smoking zones, buying too many video games and posting fake news online” can affect your social score negatively, according to Business Insider.

The communist country’s social credit rating, set to be “fully operational” in 2020, will track all 1.4 billion citizens and assign them each an ever-changing score, ranging from 0 to 800, that factors into their everyday lives.

For example, Hua is one of an estimated 10 million Chinese citizens with a bad rating after he was arrested and jailed for accusing high-level officials of corruption and for publishing details of misconduct by authorities on his popular website.

Hua has been banned from traveling via airplane or train and has had his social media accounts with millions of followers suspended.

The Globe and Mail reports Hua “has been barred from buying property, taking out a loan or traveling on the country’s top-tier trains.”

While no Americans have had their travel restricted or been banned from buying property yet, many conservative commentators have been victims of social media censorship in 2018.

With companies like Facebook now giving users scores and asking for user bank records, it’s not far-fetched to warn of a similar system being rolled out in America.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has met with the czar of China’s internet censorship system and other propaganda chiefs on numerous occasions and is working with the oppressive regime to suppress the Chinese people.

Also, Google, who kicked Alex Jones and Infowars off YouTube, is currently working with China to develop a censored search engine the government can fully control.

Like Hua, Alex Jones and Infowars have been nearly wiped off the internet by big tech and social media sites in an increasingly authoritarian free-speech crackdown.

It’s possible that one day Google could use the Chinese model in the United States, for example, to block pro-Trump material as it is well known the company has a left-leaning bias.

Watch top Google executives writhe in agony after receiving news of Trump’s election in 2016:

Hopefully, action will be taken soon as President Trump has voiced his concerns about internet freedom, saying, “Social Media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices. Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won’t let that happen.”