Laura Loomer and Gruters Press Conference Speech Tallahassee, Florida

January 27, 2020

 

Background: Florida Senator Joe Gruters is introducing legislation that allows Floridians to sue social media companies that ban or suppress accounts due to political or religious speech.

 

Thank you Senator Gruters for inviting me to speak at the Florida State Capital today to tell my story. 

 

My name is Laura Loomer, and I am the most banned, censored woman in the world. I am 26 years old, I’m a conservative investigative journalist, a Florida resident, and a Florida business owner.

 

You might be thinking to yourself: how exactly is Laura Loomer the most censored person? How did she get banned

on every social media site?

 

By telling the truth. By posting facts. By speaking up in America where we supposedly have free speech.

 

But this story isn’t about me. It’s about every American. What has happened to me can and will happen to all of you, and as it’s said, how goes Florida goes the nation, which is why Senator Joe Gruters’s proposed legislation is so important.

 

As a nation, this is about how we, together as Republicans and Democrats, must always fight back to protect our First Amendment Right.

 

With the Internet Age and now with Social Media, we’ve crossed thresholds in communication regarding the way in which we interact, influence and inform each other.

 

This is not the first time technology has changed our society and it’s not the first time that laws have struggled to keep up with changing technologies.

 

From the invention of Movable Type, to radio, to television, the Internet, and now with Social Media, human interaction is in constant flux, and, as always, there are people who want to control the flow of information. There are people who want to control what we see, how we see it, and when we see it. If you control those three things, you can control the masses. You can control the world.

 

Two hundred and fifty years ago, the British Crown struggled to control Revolutionary Printers.

 

The printers who drove our independence from England were not large corporations or media outlets. In most cases, they were entrepreneurs working alone.

 

Today we would call many of them Independent Journalists.

 

One of those entrepreneurs was Isaiah Thomas.

 

Thomas created the Massachusetts Spy, which was published with the motto, “Open to all parties, but influenced by none.”

 

Let me repeat that motto because I’ll come back to it later: “Open to all parties, but influenced by none.”

 

Thomas’ publication would be an early version of social media where influential voices submitted their opinions on the issues of the day.

 

But, like me, Thomas faced significant opposition.

 

British troops at the direction of the King organized mobs to protest outside his print shop and put together hostile parties to silence Thomas.

 

Thomas escaped with his life and his printing presses and continued to defy the King with his work to support General

George Washington and the American Patriots.

 

The dialog created by the printers of the Revolutionary War was inflammatory, it definitely violated the community standards of the time, and I guarantee that many feelings were hurt by the words contained in those pamphlets. 

 

But the American Colonists were wise enough to form their own opinions with the information provided by those independent journalists.

 

The King’s attempts to suppress independent thoughts and views failed.

 

Knowing what we know today, America would be a totally different nation without the printers of the Revolution.

 

Today, circumstances are eerily similar.

 

History is repeating itself with a battle of ideas in which Independent Journalists and even families around a dinner table – representing diverse views – are fighting to disseminate their thoughts to a community eager for information and connectivity.

 

Yet today, rather than allowing peaceful discourse to take place, a group of young billionaires who are acting like kings, try to control what we say, what we hear, what we see and most importantly, what we believe.

 

I’m taking about billionaires Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, and Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google.

 

Rather than trusting average working Americans to gather knowledge and form their own opinions, these three technology-focused men actively work to control information for their own self interests.

 

And as controlling monopolies, they’re literally reshaping society based upon what type of speech generates the most clicks for their advertisers and aligns with their own personal political views.

 

They use the excuse that public debate and discussion is “dangerous” – but only if your political views are suppressing their profits, their personal views or the special interests of their allies.

 

Senator Gruters’ legislation is a wakeup call to Florida and the nation, as what’s really dangerous is allowing three billionaires in Silicon Valley to define what political and religious thoughts and ideas are appropriate.

 

And as the most banned woman in the world, while the damage and trauma has been significant, I’m not here to tell you about the real harm that has been done to my career and my reputation at the hands of Facebook, Twitter and other big tech companies. I’m here to warn you so that it doesn’t happen to you, or any other Floridian or American.

 

I was permanently banned by every single major social media company for posting a tweet in which I called Ilhan Omar “anti-Jewish”, a now widely known fact that spurred a Democrat Congressional resolution regarding anti-Semitism. Twitter said my tweet was “hate speech”, and within minutes of being banned, millions of people were inundated with news reports about how I was banned for “hateful content”. Big tech social media sites are defamation machines.

 

Tech Giants use “hate speech” as a term and reason to ban individuals who they disagree with.  In reality, there’s no such thing as “hate speech.”  There are certainly hate crimes and always have been throughout human history.  But hate speech is a new, manufactured term that is designed to silence conservatives and political dissidents. “Hate speech” is a term used to disenfranchise a group of people and it’s the quickest way to make someone a social outcast.

 

The frivolous use of terms like “Hate speech” by these companies and their executives are now having serious and actual dangerous effects on the lives of Floridians, myself included.

 

When Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm was expected to make land fall in Palm Beach, Florida near Mar-a-Lago several months ago, liberals cheered on social media with the hope that it would wipe out the Winter White House and the Trump family.  Is that hate speech?

 

When Louis Farrakhan called Jews “termites” and called for their extermination on Twitter, was that hate speech?  According to Twitter, it was not.

 

When members of Antifa openly call for the killing of the President of the United States, is that hate speech?  Again, according to Twitter, it is not.

 

In May, 2019, Facebook labeled me a “dangerous individual”, they designated me as a terrorist, and permanently banned me from both Facebook and Instagram. In response, I filed a defamation lawsuit against Facebook in Florida. The day I filed my lawsuit, Facebook changed their terms of service and said it was ok for its nearly 2 billion users to incite “high severity violence” and post “death threats” against those labeled “dangerous” by Facebook.

 

Was it hate speech when Facebook created these new rules that promote violence against me and other “dangerous individuals”? I guess it’s not because that’s their rule. Who gave Facebook the authority to designate private citizens “dangerous” and “terrorists”?

 

As Florida lawmakers, you have to propose legislation as Senator Gruters recently did if you want to designate a group as a terrorist organization. Why does Facebook think they have legislative authority to make violent blanket statements that have permanent, harmful repercussions on an individual’s reputation and their ability to make a living for the rest of their lives?

 

Clearly we are now at a point in time where these social media companies feel they have more power than people like you…elected officials and lawmakers.

 

That is what you call tyranny, and it’s why our founding fathers created the Constitution. The First Amendment was created to protect Americans from the tyrannical actions of the British Kings who are now resurrecting themselves in the form of tech executives.

 

I’m here today as a walking, living, breathing example to educate you about the harm that’s being done to society, and will continue to take place if we don’t end social media bias dead in its tracks.

 

Today, the Tech Giants are actively working to influence the 2020 elections in favor of the Democrats.

In 2024, as Mark, Jack, and Sundar get older and want a few more tax cuts, they could very well switch their rules and algorithms to favor Republicans.

 

Beyond politics, as Mark, Jack, and Sundar reinvest their billions into crypto currency, health care, and Artificial Intelligence, their current capability to ban speech will easily become the ability to ban an individual from society.

 

That should be a frightening thought but it’s something I’ve experienced for years.  I’m banned not just by social media companies, but I’m banned by financial institutions. Last year, Chase bank shut down my online access to my bank account, along with the bank accounts of several other high profile conservatives. I was also banned by PayPal, which accounted for nearly 90% of my income. Shortly after, I was also banned by Venmo and GoFundMe.

 

This is what you call financial blacklisting, and it is happening to many conservative Americans. Today it’s me, but tomorrow it could be you if you post an opinion the tech tyrants disagree with.

 

I can’t even use Uber to get a ride to the hospital – because I’m banned for my views, and I’m also not able to order a sandwich on Uber Eats because of my opinions.

 

How many other Floridians have been pushed to the fringes of society because of a single tweet or post on Facebook?

On Thursday, Pablo Lima, a police officer in Bay Harbor Florida was suspended by the Bay Harbor Islands police force for simply liking a political Facebook post on his wife’s Facebook page. Lima’s wife is Annabelle Lima-Taub, a Jewish Commissioner in Hallendale Beach, FL. Last year, her employment and political position were threatened after several Leftist activist groups lobbied to have her fired over a non-violent political Facebook post in which she criticized Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for her associations with terrorist groups. The post was denounced as “hate speech”, but Lima-Taub remained unapologetic, arguing that Tlaib’s support for the BDS movement suggested Tlaib is in favor of Hamas and Hezbollah.

 

This is a political opinion. A political opinion Lima-Taub’s husband Pablo “liked” on Facebook and is now facing a professional suspension for. This is a man, a public servant who has dedicated his life to serving his community, and now it’s all in jeopardy over a completely legal Facebook post.

 

Are we not allowed to have political opinions anymore here in America?

 

 As an officer, Lima puts his life on the line everyday as a public servant in Florida, protecting and serving his community….but he’s not allowed to “like” a social media post?

 

The extreme to which Americans and Florida residents and families are being targeted on social media for their political speech is un-American, and it should scare all of you that you can live your life as an honest person, as a person who cares for others and abides by the law, and at the same time you could be fired, silenced, deemed “dangerous”, and be excommunicated from society and the digital public square for simply posting political speech on social media, or just “liking” a political post as both officer Lima and his wife, Annabelle, did.

 

As I did. And as millions of other Americans have, and will continue to do.

 

How many Floridians can’t get live access to public service announcements and hurricane evacuation routes because they’ve been kicked off of Twitter and Facebook?

 

In 10 years, how many Floridians banned on social media will be denied home loans, health insurance, or a bank account due to the Chinese-style social credit scores that are being developed and implemented here in America by the Tech Giants?

 

Senator Gruters’ bill stops this nightmare scenario before it has a chance to expand, and it gives tech billionaires Mark, Jack, and Sundar the ability to reconsider their stances and consider following the lead of Isaiah Thomas and his motto, “Open to all parties, but influenced by none.”

 

I urge all Florida politicians and lawmakers to look beyond partisan politics when considering this legislation. 

Floridians must be protected from the whims and uninformed perspectives of three power hungry Silicon Valley billionaires.

 

Together, we can and will Stop The Bias.

 

Thank you Senator Gruters.

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