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Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Social Media and Stifling Free Speech

Cartoon by the great Dario Castillejos from Oaxaca, Mexico

I wrote a syndicated newspaper column yesterday. Here it is.

While the mainstream media is rightfully focused on the second impeachment of President Trump and the assault on the Capitol, right wing media is obsessed with “Freedom of Speech.”

Right wing outlets are calling for action against the “censorship” of conservatives by big, liberal, tech companies after Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites banned President Trump, taking away his preferred megaphone. The radical social media platform Parler was shut down after Amazon refused to continue hosting the site.

I run a newspaper syndicate for editorial cartoons and columns. Half of America’s daily, paid-circulation newspapers subscribe to my service, which features about 75 political cartoonists and ten columnists. Sometimes I choose to “kill” a cartoon or column that I think is inappropriate, which often leads to an angry response from the creator about censorship and First Amendment rights. I always remind them that I have First Amendment rights too, and I can choose to syndicate whatever I want.

I also hear from cartoonists whom I don’t syndicate, demanding to be on my Web site as some kind of entitlement, claiming that I’m violating their rights by refusing to allow their voice to be heard. I also hear from cartoonists in nations with no press freedom about how their government censors their cartoons; they claim this is “just the same as in America” because there are editors here who kill cartoons, too.

Cartoonists don’t seem to understand that our First Amendment rights of free speech and a free press are protections only against censorship by the government, and they don’t give cartoonists a right to be reprinted in any publication or a right to avoid editors. Cartoonists don’t have the right to be syndicated, or to be reprinted in newspapers, and no one has the First Amendment right to force Twitter or Facebook to post their rants.

If I syndicate anything that violates the rights of third parties, I can be sued. Potential liability encourages people to act responsibly. President Trump wants to strike back at social media companies by repealing “Section 230,” which generally protects these companies from liability for third party content, treating the social media sites more like telephone companies that aren’t held responsible for what people say on their telephones.

Defenders of Section 230 argue that big tech can’t be expected to police the billions of posts on their sites. This is nonsense.

Social media sites may not be liable for user posts that libel or incite violence, but they are liable for copyright infringement, and there are millions of posts that violate copyrights, especially involving cartoons. Congress imposed rules on big tech in the “Digital Millennium Copyright Act” (DMCA) that created a procedure for copyright holders to demand that a hosting company remove infringing content within a short time period, and if they don’t, the hosting company can be sued.

As a cartoonist and syndicate guy, I’ve filed hundreds of these “DMCA notices,” and in every case the hosting company has followed the procedure properly and responded to take down the content before their deadline. Some people complain about abuses of the DMCA system, but the system works, and it proves that tech companies can comply with millions of demands from injured third parties.

Why should tech companies have liability protections for some kinds of third party content (libel or incitement to violence) and not for others (copyright infringement)? Big tech can and should be liable for any harm they do.

The Section 230 protections for big social media companies should be repealed. But that’s not really what conservatives want, because removing these protections will make the tech companies act even more responsibly, prompting them to remove even more voices from the far right.

Calls to repeal Section 230 have been diminishing as conservatives begin to see this irony, replaced by calls for big tech monopolies to be broken up, replaced by condemnations of “censorship,” and replaced by demands for “Free Speech” that use the same goofy logic I hear from cartoonists.


Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, still needs you!  Journalism is threatened with the pandemic that has shuttered newspaper advertisers. Some pundits predict that a large percentage of newspapers won’t survive the pandemic economic slump, and as newspapers sink, so do editorial cartoonists who depend on newspapers, and along with them, our Cagle.com site, that our small, sinking syndicate largely supports, along with our fans.

The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!

 

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Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Trump has COVID

Late last night we got the news that President Trump and First Lady Melania have tested positive for Coronavirus. Social media exploded with sarcasm and righteous indignation because of the president’s history of refusing to wear a mask, his super spreader, maskless rallies and his many statements diminishing the importance of the pandemic. The cartoons started coming in this morning – here is mine.

 

Here’s another one inspired by the laughter on social media, from our Dutch cartoonist, Jos Collignon.

This one is from David Fitzsimmons.

 

Here’s one from Bob Englehart.

 

And Dave Granlund.

 

This one is from Jeff Koterba.

 

Our conservative, Trump supporting cartoonist, Gary McCoy, almost never draws president Trump; this morning he made an exception.


Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, still needs you!  Journalism is threatened with the pandemic that has shuttered newspaper advertisers. Some pundits predict that a large percentage of newspapers won’t survive the pandemic economic slump, and as newspapers sink, so do editorial cartoonists who depend on newspapers, and along with them, our Cagle.com site, that our small, sinking syndicate largely supports, along with our fans.

The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!


Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Twitter Distraction

President Trump isn’t doing well in the polls. As the virus gets worse, Trump has silenced his coronavirus task force and has been looking for distractions to move the news away from harping on his virus failures as the death count passed 100,000.

Trump’s latest distraction has been Twitter, which finally bowed to criticism and put an innocuous link to more information, next to a tweet where Trump lied about voter fraud. This is raw meat for Trump’s base that doesn’t like those rich, liberal, San Francisco social media companies. Trump’s Executive Order against Twitter is inconsequential, but his deception lured the media and lots of the cartoonists into taking Trump’s bait, drawing non-coronavirus cartoons about Trump vs Twitter as the death toll passed a milestone. Here’s my cartoon.


Please forward this email to your friends – tell them our Cagle.com email newsletters are FREE and FUN! They can join the newsletter list at Cagle.com/subscribe.


 


Daryl Cagle

Here are a selection of five Trump vs Twitter cartoons drawn today and yesterday …


John Darkow


Kevin Siers


Dave Granlund


Bart van Leeuwen


This cartoon is by Stephane Peray, who draws as “Stephff” in Thailand (internationally, cartoonists prefer to use only one name, like Cher, Madonna, Lassie or Flipper). Stephff is a long time contributor to our little syndicate; he used to have a thriving freelance business drawing cartoons for newspapers around the world. Now Stephff has given up editorial cartooning because all of his papers have dropped his cartoons as a cost cutting measure. I was actually surprised to see that Stephff uploaded this new one today, just for us. The newly accelerated decline of newspapers, and by extension, editorial cartoons, is a grim, worldwide phenomenon. Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, and our editorial cartoonists need your support to stave off the death of our art form.

 Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons go extinct!


Don’t miss my other Coronavirus posts:
School and COVID-19
Broken Quarantine
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through May 23rd, 2020
Hydroxychloroquine
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through May 16th, 2020
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Pandemic through May 4th
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week through May 2nd, 2020
Best of the Grim Reaper, Part 1
Best of the Grim Reaper, Part 2
Dr Fauci PART 2
Dr Fauci PART 1
Trump and Disinfectant PART 2
Trump and Disinfectant PART 1
Most popular Cartoons of the Week through 4/26/20, (all coronavirus)
Forgotten Biden – Part 2
Forgotten Biden – Part 1
Most popular Cartoons of the Week through 4/18/20, (all coronavirus)
Blame China! Part Three
Blame China! Part Two

Blame China! Part One
Most popular Cartoons of the Week, through 4/11/20 (all coronavirus)
Planet COVID-19, Part 4

Planet COVID-19, Part 3
Planet COVID-19, Part 2
Planet COVID-19, Part 1
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week, 4/4/20 (all coronavirus)
Toilet Paper Part Two
Toilet Paper Part One
Trump and the Easter Bunny
The Most Popular Cartoons of the Week, 3/29/20 (all coronavirus)
Tsunami Coming
Pandemics Compared
See, Hear Speak No Virus
The Best Coronavirus Sports Cartoons
New Coronavirus Favorites
The Most Popular Coronavirus Cartoons (as of May 4th, 2020)
My Corona Virus Cartoons
Corona Virus Quarantine Blues in China

Categories
Blog Syndicate

Welcome Whamond

I’m delighted to welcome a new cartoonist to Cagle.com and our syndication package. Dave Whamond is a brilliant gag cartoonist and children’s book illustrator; he draws the syndicated panel Reality Check and has won a boatload of NCS “Silver Reuben” Awards.

Welcome aboard, Dave! Go kick some cartoon butt!

 

Categories
Blog Syndicate

Twitter Poop

President Trump suffers from his impulsive Tweeting. Earlier this week he was accusing President Obama of wire-tapping his phones in a series of tweets that blew back to bite him.

A number of cartoonists have drawn the twitter bird flying over and pooping on Trump. I thought a giant Twitter bird would be funny, because it would poop more. And trump is one of those rare characters tho is recognizable even with his face covered in bird poop.

I didn’t live-stream this drawing, but I colored it, along with the last cartoon, in the video below. Come watch!

Categories
Blog

Hebdo Miscellany

Yes, it has been more than a week since I have drawn a new cartoon. There’s too much on my plate, sorry; I’m trying to keep up. Here are some recent miscellaneous items.

My cartoonist-journalist daughter, Susie, posted this excellent column about Facebook and other tech companies and their hypocritical “support” for cartoonists and press freedom issues.

I just read that the national cartoon museum in Belgium cancelled their Charlie Hebdo tribute exhibit at the last minute, after it had already been installed and before it was open to the public, because of security concerns. That is sad.

StJustMuseumCharlieHebdo
This is the current view of the front entry of the cartoon museum in St Just le Martel, France, where they are currently installing our Charlie Hebdo cartoons exhibit.

 

DarylGroup
From left to right, Gerard Vandenbroucke, convention president, Georges Wolinski, who was murdered at the Charlie Hebdo offices, cartoonist “Aurel” who won the cow the year before me, and me. Happier times only last October

Want to read my Charlie Hebdo column in French? Here it is.

My business phone call voice mails go to a voice recognition line where I get an email of the phone message in text. I thought I would share this one that just came in, for a taste of what my typical phone calls are like …

“Hi my name is XXX XXXXX. I’m not sure how far you guys go your political cartoons but here’s a couple of ideas present Obama sitting on the toilet reading the Koran with the US Constitution roll of toilet paper. President Obama on the golf course with a bunch of crucified Chris’s son-of-fair-fairway(?) in the stadium quote the Bible says just play through the only Christians or grant(?) a baby close to the dj(?) and he walking out the door is away-but(?) I had a busy going you-recipe(?) and have a little Obama has-members-because(?) because he’s leaving. So just some food for thought food for thought. Thanks.”

CocoCartoon
My French cartoonist friend, Coco, posted this cartoon to social media. She was injured in the Charlie Hebdo attack.

An update on our hacker attacks, they are continuing, but we have Cagle.com up and relatively stable. Every so often we’re still going down, or we have some odd tech problem that crops up, we appreciate your patience.

Below is a cartoon I drew a while ago that has found new life in social media recently, with the incessant drum banging from Fox News over terrorism recently. With the economy in good shape I expect that fear mongering over terrorism and ISIS will dominate the upcoming Republican presidential primary fight.

 

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Cartoons

Smart ass Watch

153721 600 Smart ass Watch cartoons