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Updated: Aug 22, 2021

Donald Trump, citizen, no longer President, may have escaped impeachment by the US Congress over the weekend but many of us can take heart from the fact that at least seven Republican Senators, 'people's State representatives', deserted him.

They were prepared to lose their livelihoods, following statements prior to the Capitol vote by Trump's son, Eric, that the GOP won't support their preselection in future: 'Any senator or any congressman [on this side] that does not fight tomorrow, their political career is over'. A couple of the Senators are retiring at the end of their terms, in any case.

All power to these 'Stoic Seven' for the moral stance they finally took, facing the truth in a way that Republican Congressmen/women and Senators had been evading for 4 years a universal truth that you have to stand up to any bully trying to overturn democracy to establish his own kingdom based on the sweat of the common people.

The United States is in a much stronger position today to clear a pathway for a more humane and equitable society than it was last week — and especially last year.

Remember our small but persistent voice on this SSOA blog when we called for Twitter to shut down his lies, back in early May 2020? Trumping Trump Can't Twitter ban him?, we asked. 'Not an easy task, you might say. But the owners of what is a global business, nothing more, can easily make the honest decision that Trump is using the service to disseminate falsehood, and take him off Twitter. No reason why not.'

But it turned out to be quite an easy task, after all. Late that month, for the first time, Twitter started putting warnings on several of Trump's tweets. The social media site began by highlighting two of his tweets that falsely claimed mail-in ballots would lead to widespread voter fraud in the elections; it appended messages to his tweets warning of misinformation and unverified claims.

Six months later, two days before the November 4 election, Twitter called out Trump's lies, labelling them with the explanation: 'Some or all of the content shared in this tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.'

Then, just five weeks ago on January 8 this year, two days after Trump's final incitement of his supporters to take over the Capitol, Twitter took the welcome step of banning Trump entirely, when it announced:

'After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.'

Now, four days ago, Twitter’s chief financial officer, Ned Segal, has told CNBC when asked whether Trump’s tweeting privileges can be restored if he ever returns to power: 'The way our policies work, when you’re removed from the platform, you’re removed from the platform.

'Remember, our policies are designed to make sure that people are not inciting violence, and if anybody does that, we have to remove them from the service and our policies don’t allow people to come back,' was his definitive message.

Seems like Trump's terminology, 'fake news', has come back to bite him — thanks to the stoic reporting by reputable journalists on reputable news media outlets, rather than ratings-chasing commentators who make it up as they go along in a lying President's wake.

All power to those news media, including social media, committed to exposing the real ‘fake news’, i.e. self-interested lies for political and financial ends.

Copyright C V Williams. Twitter logo. Research - The Independent, UK; CNBC; The Guardian.

MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics

Respect for truth and the public’s right to information are fundamental principles of journalism. Journalists search, disclose, record, question, entertain, comment and remember. They inform citizens and animate democracy. They scrutinise power, but also exercise it, and should be responsible and accountable.

MEAA members engaged in journalism commit themselves to:

Honesty Fairness Independence Respect for the rights of others

Journalists will educate themselves about ethics and apply the following standards:

  1. Report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts. Do not suppress relevant available facts, or give distorting emphasis. Do your utmost to give a fair opportunity for reply.

  2. Do not place unnecessary emphasis on personal characteristics, including race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, sexual orientation, family relationships, religious belief, or physical or intellectual disability.

  3. Aim to attribute information to its source. Where a source seeks anonymity, do not agree without first considering the source’s motives and any alternative attributable source. Where confidences are accepted, respect them in all circumstances.

  4. Do not allow personal interest, or any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit, to undermine your accuracy, fairness or independence.

  5. Disclose conflicts of interest that affect, or could be seen to affect, the accuracy, fairness or independence of your journalism. Do not improperly use a journalistic position for personal gain.

  6. Do not allow advertising or other commercial considerations to undermine accuracy, fairness or independence.

  7. Do your utmost to ensure disclosure of any direct or indirect payment made for interviews, pictures, information or stories.

  8. Use fair, responsible and honest means to obtain material. Identify yourself and your employer before obtaining any interview for publication or broadcast. Never exploit a person’s vulnerability or ignorance of media practice.

  9. Present pictures and sound which are true and accurate. Any manipulation likely to mislead should be disclosed.

  10. Do not plagiarise.

  11. Respect private grief and personal privacy. Journalists have the right to resist compulsion to intrude.

  12. Do your utmost to achieve fair correction of errors.

Guidance Clause: Basic values often need interpretation and sometimes come into conflict. Ethical journalism requires conscientious decision-making in context. Only substantial advancement of the public interest or risk of substantial harm to people allows any standard to be overridden.

This SSOA writers' blog is made possible by grant assistance from the City of Sydney.



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