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Want to know what is on our minds? Find blog posts written here, by the City Club staff, members, and partners. Every week you can find a new edition of #FreeSpeech in the News — a collection of related stories, commentary, and opinions on free speech in the 21st century that’s making the news. You’ll also find takes on current events, past forums, and issues surrounding Northeast Ohio. Read on for all things City Club.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

#FREESPEECH in the News January 19, 2020

Bliss Davis, Content and Programming Coordinator, The City Club of Cleveland

#FREESPEECH in the News January 19, 2020

As the Citadel of Free Speech here in Cleveland, we work to protect and promote the basis of our democracy by sharing related stories, commentary, and opinions on free speech in the 21st century. Here's what's making the news – and what you should know about – in the past week.

1.) Protestors gather at State House over free speech concerns in South Carolina

A group of roughly 40 protestors gathered in the shadow of the State House on Sunday, concerned over free speech.

In the aftermath of Trump supporters storming the capitol building, large social media platforms began cracking down on pages that promote conspiracy theories about the election and the federal government. President Donald Trump’s Twitter account was among those banned in the following days.

The first amendment prevents Congress from passing laws to restrict speech or the press. It does not apply to private companies creating their own policies.

It reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

2.) Donald Trump supporters embrace Signal, Telegram and other 'free speech' apps

The popularity of encrypted messaging and "free speech" apps has soared following the deadly violence at the US Capitol and mainstream social media platforms' purge of Donald Trump and his prominent followers.

The one-term US President has lost even more influence lately, with Twitter permanently suspending his account, Facebook indefinitely banning him, and a whole host of media companies following suit with varying levels of restrictions.

ABC News has obtained data which reveals the number of people installing messaging apps (Signal and Telegram) and privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo have skyrocketed in the past week.

3) Apple CEO Tim Cook Tells ‘Fox News Sunday’: No Intersection Between Free Speech And Provoking Violence

Defending his company’s takedown of the controversial Parler app from his online store, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Fox newsman Chris Wallace today that he doesn’t believe freedom of speech and allegedly provoking violence intersect.

Apple, Google, and Amazon Services all took the Parler app offline after the protests at the US Capitol on Jan. 6. Five people died in the confrontations.

“We looked at the incitement to violence that was on there (Parler). And we don’t consider that free speech and incitement to violence has an intersection,” Cook told host Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.

Cook said all of the App Store’s services are expected to abide by the terms of service.

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