Would-Be Congressman Wants A Law Forcing Social Media Platforms To Keep All His Alt-Right Buddies Online


Wisconsin businessman Paul Nehlen is running for the other Paul’s (Ryan) House seat in next year’s midterm elections, and we can only hope this man is never allowed to operate law-making apparati at a federal level. He has big ideas for the nation — most of them sounding exactly like President Trump’s big ideas: A wall! Paid for by Mexico! Killing off Obamacare! Making abortions illegal! Bulk, untargeted deregulation!

Nehlen also has big ideas about the First Amendment. Big ideas and a toddler-like grasp on tricky terms like “censorship.” Nehlen hates (HATES!) government regulation but feels the government should step in and, under the color of law, prevent internet companies from monitoring their platforms as they see fit.

The highly-problematic Nehlen wants Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. to stop kicking like-minded people off their platforms. It’s undeniable Twitter has been deleting accounts held by far-right persons more often than those veering widely to the left. Some feel Facebook and Google have been doing the same thing, but the complaints of unfair moderation are loudest on Twitter. Nehlen is one of those complaining. But if he gets elected to Congress, he’ll be able to do actual damage.

This is Nehlen’s grand idea for turning Twitter etc. into alt-right-friendly platforms: heavy-handed regulation. He introduces it by borrowing words from none other than net neutrality-killer Ajit Pai. Why? Because Ajit Pai’s anti-regulatory efforts are somehow aligned with Nehlen’s plan for regulation of internet services. The following is from his press release [delivered via tweeted images rather than a PDF, because wtf. {makeshift PDF version}]:

“We need a federal law prohibiting censorship of lawful speech on major social media platforms,” Nehlen asserts. “It is well-known that Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube discriminate against the right-wing, as evidenced by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s recent comments. While widely heralded for those comments, they rang hollow with no suggested solution. This law is that solution. It will extend Americans’ First Amendment free speech protections onto social media platforms.”

The Nehlen goes on to create his own definition of censorship, just so he can try to get the government into the business of running social media companies.

“This law will not interfere with the features or functionality, so market forces will remain in play. The problem is their censorship of lawful speech. Hypocritically, the same companies that support net neutrality also want to censor your speech.”

Moderation isn’t censorship, but whatever. Also: it’s a bit rich to call companies hypocritical when you’re the one running on a platform that includes heavy deregulation. Much like those “free speech, but” people on the left who think the US should criminalize “hate speech,” some people on the alt-right think the government should take a hands-off approach to private corporations but somehow still feel the government should get involved when platform moderation efforts target them and their colleagues.

It takes a new definition of censorship to get the government involved in the, um, “extending” of free speech rights. Nehlen’s law would fine companies $500,000 “per instance of wrongful censorship” — putting the government in the position of “equalizing” free speech by making moderation decisions for private companies.

The new definition of censorship would include suspensions, bans, shadowbans, throttling, memory-holing, trending topic manipulation, demonetization… basically any effort platforms undertake to moderate users and their postings. Notably, only four platforms would be affected by this legislation: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit. Every other platform is free to do all of these things without fear of repercussion. Nothing makes a bad law “better” than inconsistency of both the internal and external varieties. This legislation doesn’t even attempt to align itself with the Constitution, much less any logical reading of the term “censorship.”

And guess which agency would be handling this internet regulation? That’s right: the FCC — the same entity whose boss just said he’s profoundly opposed to regulating internet service providers.

The whole shitty idea closes with Paul Nehlen, possible white nationalist and Roy Moore supporter, bashing his party for failing to introduce suicidal legislation that would do terrible things to both social media platforms and free speech.

“The GOP’s voters are being systematically censored off the primary channels of public communication by left-wing tech giants, and [Paul] Ryan — indeed, the entire GOP Congress — has sat utterly mute for years and allowed it to happen.”

This is the point where I would generally say something flippant like “this guy’s actually suggested a border wall with remote-control machine guns to stop immigration so there’s no chance in hell he’s getting elected” but I said a lot of flippant things about our current president while he was still on the campaign trail and… well, there’s an electoral college map out there that shows exactly how these things that will never happen sometimes happen. There’s an audience out there eating up this rhetoric — one that finds zero inconsistency in arguing for wholesale deregulation while demanding the government step in and smack around companies for doing things they don’t like.

Let’s make something perfectly clear: terrible, inconsistent moderation efforts are not censorship. They feel like censorship to those hit by them, but it’s a wholly subjective view that’s not backed by any statutory definition or the Constitution itself. You add the government to the mix — like Nehlen proposes — and you have actual censorship, in a form that prevents companies that provide platforms for speech from handling their own moderation efforts without government interference. This will do harm to First Amendment-protected speech, not “extend” free speech protections to the internet, as Nehlen claims it will. You tell any platform the government is going to hit it with half-million-per-violation fines for “censorship,” and you can bet they’ll find any reason at all to prevent new accounts from signing up, and rewrite their policies so end users bear all costs of this government intervention. Telling people speech will be “freer” when it’s controlled by men with guns is not just stupid, it’s dangerous.

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Comments on “Would-Be Congressman Wants A Law Forcing Social Media Platforms To Keep All His Alt-Right Buddies Online”

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Steerpike (profile) says:

Moderation often involved ‘censorship.’ But it isn’t illegal censorship, unless done by the government. That is taking a broad view of the term ‘censorship.’ I think that’s in line with the ACLU statement on the term.

Also, the EFF and one of their partners has a report on ‘censorship’ in social media, which basically deals with content moderation on social media platforms.

So, though it may seem a minor point, I don’t think it is correct to say this isn’t censorship, but it is correct to say it isn’t illegal censorship, and to point out that not all censorship is inherently bad.

Sayonara Felicia-San (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Well that’s why we elect people to pass laws. This would officially make it censorship for all you narrow-cast minds which cannot think outside the confines of language and law.

Fact is, we don’t have a good term for the concept of censorship outside of the legal system, so many people use the closest term to the concept of removing or stopping certain ideas or speech.

An Onymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

But this could be fun! For example, Breitbart could no longer hide my comments or kick me out of their comments! Think of the entertaining days ahead for political trolls of all flavors, effectively ruining the comments sections of every web site on the planet and assimilating competing twitter hashtags.

… yeah, this is a terrible idea.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“BECAUSE your site”

My site?

“Unfortunately I long since forgot what email address I used for the account.”

That’s Techdirt’s fault? It seems then, that at the very least, you weren’t interested in any of the follow ups to your posts since you don’t know where they were emailed to, and thus not really interested in an honest conversation.

I’ll assume the rest of your idiotic crap is as honest and accurate as those two statements, and will remember that next time I see you.

Anonymous Coward says:

We have a sliding scale where an ever expanding line of thought is labeled ‘alt-right’ and frequently ‘curated’ from the internet. That has frequently fallen on my comments critical of the Democrat leader in the handling of 2016 process, both in terms of issues I find important that as a registered Dem voter I wanted added to the platform, and in terms of what I’m convinced was illegal fraudulent efforts to manipulate the vote.

The alt-right label has become an ambiguous term to cudgel everything that does not look like the talking point of the day. That’s as problematic as ‘punch a Nazi’ being used to pepper spray elderly veterans and women in the US.

NaBUru38 (profile) says:

“We need a federal law prohibiting censorship of lawful speech on major social media platforms”

I thought that Republicans supported internet websites from banning any kind of content by violent Islamists. Oh, wait, that’s not lawful speech.

So websites can be punished for both not banning unlawful speech, and for banning lawful speech.

Therefore, website moderators must be very cautious to distinguish lawful and unlawful speech.

It’s not too hard, is it? Saying that Trump is a *bleeping* president, Islam is a *bleeping* religion, Nazis are *bleep*, Jews are a *bleeping* people, con communism is a *bleeping* idea.

How could anyone get confused between them?

Anonymous Coward says:

This is the reason for the March through the institutions

This is the reason the left marched through institutions to take control of them.

I work at a university, and if I were asked my political affiliation, I would refuse to answer. Because if I answered that I’m a Republican, my position would disappear.

Sure Twitter can make whatever terms they like, but when they are dominant in their industry and limit the speech on their platform of one political group, I don’t feel very comforted by, “well, its wrong that they sensor, but they’re private so….”

The feeling of being cowed into silence because your position is deemed “un-acceptable” by the oh so tolerant left is not good. Yes, neo-nazis are bad, but some of us conservatives are just arguing for lowering taxes, and are getting met with “killers, murders!!” for god damn TAX policy.

I am sick to death of the left, and their god damned star chambers.

Keep calling us Republicans evil vile scum, and keep holding down our ability to respond. That’ll turn out really nice. If you don’t like getting Trump because you refused to hear or see what we wanted to say, you’re not going to like what comes next.

Cdaragorn (profile) says:

Re: This is the reason for the March through the institutions

No one said that we like what these platforms are doing. That’s not the point at all.

The problem always comes down to the fact that in order for ANYONE ANYWHERE to have any chance at having the freedom to speak, we must allow all private parties to enjoy both the freedom to speak and the freedom to choose whether or not to listen. In that world, these platforms cannot maintain their dominance if they stop listening to speech that most people consider important. If most people do not consider your speech important that certainly entails its own problems, but also means that the platform choosing to reject your speech really doesn’t change anything.

It also means that you can still get your speech out there no matter what any other private parties say. You cannot censor one party without censoring all parties. The freedom to speak is very much an all or nothing rule: you either have it or you don’t.

Ryunosuke (profile) says:

Re: Re: This is the reason for the March through the institutions

I think it’s more of “We are not going to facilitate speech that may very well lead to violence and/or death. As for the whole Right/Left leanings, you don’t exactly hear about the extreme Left making full on Borg statements. In fact, I will start using phrases such as “You WILL be assimilated” and “Resistance is Futile” Each time someone makes a statement for mass deportations, walls, or general exclusions of ethnicities.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: This is the reason for the March through the institutions

As for the whole Right/Left leanings, you don’t exactly
> hear about the extreme Left making full on Borg
> statements.

Then you’re not paying attention, because the leftist nutjobs on Twitter are every bit as hateful and vile and repulsive as the nutjobs on the right, but they’re rarely met with suspension or bans or account cancellations. Cushing is correct when he notes that Twitter’s bias really isn’t up for debate anymore. It’s pretty much an undeniable fact at this point.

However, that’s no reason to toss out 200+ years of 1st Amendment jurisprudence and put the government in charge of regulating speech.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: This is the reason for the March through the institutions

we must allow all private parties to enjoy both the freedom to speak and the freedom to choose whether or not to listen

A very important point, but when it comes to forum style communication, how does a platform go about minimizing off topic or vitriolic rantings so that the adults on the forum can have a conversation. Even here on Techdirt we run into this issue, someone makes some comment which is either senseless or dogmatic and even if flagged and minimized the threads often go off on tangents as other try to explain where the logic is missing, which also leads to ad-hominem or personalized vitriol that is so far out of whack, if for nothing else, the parties arguing actually don’t know each other that well and don’t know when to quit or back down.

Then there is this:

U.S. Constitution – Amendment 1

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 grievance

That first part…Congress shall make no law…, just how does the wanna be congressman intend to get around that caveat? USSC has said that (right or wrong) that corporations are people too.


Re: Re: Re: This is the reason for the March through the institutions

What caveat? The only “caveat” you have there is that the government can’t abridge free speech. This is usually used as an excuse by certain people to completely ignore free speech in any non-government context.

Not sure how banning corporate censorship constitutes abridging free speech.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 This is the reason for the March through the institutions

Not sure how banning corporate censorship constitutes abridging free speech.

Part of free speech is the freedom not to provide a platform for speech. You can’t force me to allow someone to put a sign on my front lawn; neither can you force a corporation to allow people to use its platform (aside from protected classes).

Now, if you want to argue that corporations should not have free speech rights, I think that’s a reasonable argument to make. But the Supreme Court has ruled that they do, and there’s not really much we can do about that at this point.

Grimview (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 This is the reason for the March through the institutions

Everyone is technically in a “protected class”. However the corporations are using the activist a lobbyist by giving them favoritism on their platforms. A strategy started when Comcast made its top lobbyist a “Chief Diversity Officer.” In order to control the activist all a corporation needs to due is threaten to cut its funding.

.” Brand Recognition, when people “are triggered by either a visual or verbal cue.” Brand Identity “is assembled by the brand <product> Owner, it reflects how the owner wants the consumer to perceive the brand.” Simon Pont states on social media “we wear our physical brands like badges, to help define us.” If identity is a brand, then can the brand be controlled?
What if Branded segregation is about controlling your own kind though isolated groupthink bubbles? “Women helping women” MLM Pyramid scams lower defenses with food, children & sisterhood support. Many champion the scam because of perceived ‘buy in’ benefits but only a few people get beneficial positions.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: This is the reason for the March through the institutions

At this point they’re conflating everyone that is right of the far left with the alt-right.Including classical liberals (center left) like Sargon of Akkad who was banned from twitter for no other reason than going against the progressive socialist narrative which basically consists of a bunch of white supremacists with a guilt complex.

Given the history of the world, it absolutely astonishes me how the far left has managed to combine Fascism with Communism given the fact that they’re conflating the success of western nations with white supremacy thus ALL NATIONS should downgrade to the lowest common denominator for the the sake of ‘equality’…Which consists of, Oh I don’t know, stoning women to death like in ALL Islamic theocratic nations (https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fff_1446725833) including Saudi Arabia which ALSO perpetuates, to this day, mass enslavement of millions (mostly from India these days: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2387094/Kingdom-slaves-Indian-workers-Saudi-Arabia-lift-lid-horrors-faced-expats.html) …Everyone else is allowed to keep their hegemonic societies, like Japan or anyone who’s non-white, while they themselves are pushing for a hegemonic culture based on the philosophies of authoritarian branches of Marxism which seeks radical change through violent revolution.

Communism (international socialism) and Fascism (national Socialism) are two sides of the same Marxist coin.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: This is the reason for the March through the institutions

Have you ever thought that the single common denominator to all of your problems is you? Maybe try that instead of blaming all those “others.” And before you threaten random people on the internet with nebulous “consequences” remember the people you hate soooo much have guns too.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: This is the reason for the March through the institutions

I don’t feel very comforted by, “well, its wrong that they sensor, but they’re private so….”

The law isn’t about making you comfortable. It’s about guaranteeing citizens the freedom to speak or not speak as they see fit without government intervention. The people who own and run Twitter have the same free speech rights as anyone else, and the government is prohibited from forcing them to publish speech they don’t like.

I’m conservative and I hate that Twitter is so biased in its enforcement of its rules, but I can’t defend the free speech rights of private property owners only when it’s convenient for me or I’d be a hypocrite.

It is their property, after all. It’s their service, developed at their expense, their equipment, their servers, and their bandwidth.

Like your dad always said, “As long as you’re in my house, you live by my rules.”


Re: Re: This is the reason for the March through the institutions

So you want total freedom for corporations then? You don’t want them to be forced to be like the government when it comes to civil liberties?

So you’re fine with Jim Crow laws then. Laws that prevent discrimination violate freedom of assembly.

Those laws exist because business can be as abusive as government and that’s a problem. The same principle can be applied to either situation.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: This is the reason for the March through the institutions

Nazis are not a protected class.

Do you not understand the difference between telling someone he’s not allowed in your place of business because of the color of his skin, and telling someone he has to leave your business because he’s shouting racist slogans? Because those things are pretty different.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: This is the reason for the March through the institutions

So you want total freedom for corporations then?
> You don’t want them to be forced to be like the
> government when it comes to civil liberties?

Yes. People who run and own businesses are citizens just like anyone else and have the same right to speak or not speak free from government interference as anyone else.

> So you’re fine with Jim Crow laws then.

Oh, FFS. Seriously?

Anonymous Coward says:

As the internet ages, it comes to grips with government censorship and control. I supported net neutrality, and the repeal of the Open Internet Order by the FCC emboldens private ISPs and content providers to remove content arbitrarily. Are those who frantically scream “big bad Nazis” okay with the concept of viewpoint-based censorship? Consider that these social media networks frequently, and often, act on behalf of governments when processing data retrieval and content removal orders.

“Give a man a mask, and he will show his true face.”

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Now there’s an idea. (BTW, calling it Twits would be up for a trademark post here on Techdirt). But, start two web services that behave similarly to Twitter, one called Lefties and the other called Righties, the everyone could have their own ‘safe’ space to spew and rant whatever they want. (For whatever values of left and/or right one might give either side on any given day and/or wherever they might wind up on a sliding scale spectrum with no end points or actual definitions of any point described by that spectrum, and taking into consideration that everyone else’s definition of any point on that spectrum will be, by definition, different)

Of course then no one would be having a conversation with anyone that disagrees with them, so no minds will ever be changed via reason or logic or solid arguments. The lefties would listen to people who agree with them, and the righties would listen to people who agree with them, and the people in the middle would be blessed with hearing neither. Maybe we need three, with the third one called middlers. Naming any service after a party name would be useless, as they change their minds and reverse positions more often than…well often.

For myself, an apolitical person (I vote my mind with respect to the promises made, which I don’t actually respect as there is no current way to enforce those promises), tend to reason and logic and while I would willingly listen to either the left or the right for reasoned, logical discourse, I would not be interested in listening to the rantings of invested, dogmatic, single minded members of either strata who won’t or don’t listen to anything other than their story line.

I was considering marking this with a /s, but some of it is in fact serious.

JMT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"Sorry but how is ensuring our constitutional rights are upheld on social media platforms with millions of users a form of fascism?"

It’s not a form of fascism, but neither is it a thing at all. You have zero constitutional rights to force a privately owned platform to host your content. If you’re going to demand your rights are upheld you’d better learn what they actually are first.

Stosh says:

No new laws needed

As they say a good prosecutor can indite a ham sandwich. If the platforms “moderate” during an election it could be considered an “in-kind contribution” to a party or candidate. Then you can get into the morass of monopoly law and how it might be applied. No, I didn’t write the stupid, poorly worded laws, just pointing out a few that might be applied.

GristleMissile (profile) says:

Hmmm, from your final paragraph it feels like you’re one of those assholes that constantly proclaims free speech is defined by the first amendment instead of recognized by it.

Here’s a refresher: Free speech is a human right. It is not GRANTED by the government or the constitution. It is merely recognised. People have the right to free speech no matter where they live and no matter what their government espouses.

Heavy handed moderation of the sort practised by Reddit (especially), Twitter, Google et al very much IS censorship. Even if not necessarily in any isolated case it absolutely is when you look at the pattern of what gets censored.

You can make an argument that they’re free to censor what they please, as part of their freedom of speech and freedom of association, however, that doesn’t magically make it not censorship.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Censorship only applies to the government. Private parties choosing to not allow speech on their platforms isn’t censorship. For example, I don’t have to allow you to say whatever you want in my house. I can kick you out for saying ‘hello’. When you’re in my house you abide by my rules or get kicked out.

What the First Ammendment is talking about is the GOVERNMENT interfering with people’s speech. Which is what Paul wants.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“What justifies forcing a baker to bake a care for a gay couple versus banning someone from twitter for their ideological believes?”

Because sexuality is a protected class along with gender, race, etc. Being a hateful bigot is not a protected class.

Twitter would equally be in trouble for banning people from using their service due to their sexuality. They’re free to ban whichever person they wish for having scummy behaviour.

Sayonara Felicia-San (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

You can’t possibly, with any degree of intellectual honesty, say that the moderation practices of such sites as twitter and reddit have been objectively and equally enforced across the political spectrum.

It’s absurd to even discuss, and this articles title already pre-supposes that everything the author doesn’t like fits into the bucket of the senators ‘alt-right buddies’

It’s sad, but inevitable, as the next generation leave universities which have indoctrinated their students with the idea that free speech can only be tolerated as long as it doesn’t hurt other people’s feelings.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

“the moderation practices of such sites as twitter and reddit have been objectively and equally enforced across the political spectrum.”

I don’t really know, as I’ve certainly never seen any objective analysis of such things, only the ranting of people who feel they have been unjustly censored for saying outrageous things.

Do you have a link to such a study, or only the whining of people you happen to agree with? Anecdotes aren’t data, sorry, I need objective facts and trustworthy analysis, not rage posting.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“It’s the whole “protected class” thing I have a problem with; the game changes very quickly depending on who is winning.”

I don’t think it does, but it depends on what your understanding of “protected class” is. For example, if you think it means that gays cannot be discriminated against but straight people can, you have misunderstood the concept. As bigotry is a matter of opinion rather than an immutable state of being, it’s not protected, but some people will argue that.

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Censorship only applies to the government. Private parties choosing to not allow speech on their platforms isn’t censorship.


It’s true that the only kind of censorship which the Constitution prohibits is censorship by the government.

But it is not true that only actions by the government can legitimately be called "censorship".

The only definition of censorship which I’ve ever found which does not strike me either as being too narrow or as being too broad is one simple sentence:

"An attempt to prevent some particular audience from being exposed to some particular information."

Parents frequently censor what books, TV shows, et cetera, their children have access to.

Many publications censor "foul language", BLEEPing it out or replacing it with punctuation marks or what-have you.

Writers – and speakers more in general – frequently censor themselves, in order to avoid the consequences of negative public reaction to what they might otherwise say. (Certainly I do that; if you knew some of my views, you might consider me an utterly reprehensible human being.)

Websites frequently censor what their posters say, whether those posters are people who write articles for the site or anonymous commenters who leave potentially turd-like nuggets in available discussion fora.

Individuals sometimes censor their own access to some media (e.g. certain Websites), because they know that what they would encounter there would cause them undue stress to no good result.

All of these things are censorship (though the last one is arguably borderline at best). The key is that as long as none of these actions are undertaken at government mandate, or for fear of governmental reaction if the action is not taken, they are not government censorship – and, thus, not prohibited censorship.

Sayonara Felicia-San (profile) says:

Re: Re: A name for this

Readers. The above comment is a perfect example of the comical ignorance of the modern progressive movement.

The Fairness Doctrine:

The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses both to present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was—in the Commission’s view—honest, equitable, and balanced.

It was a policy which originated from progressives who wanted to control talk radio shows from being 100% right wing circle jerks, an irony lost on this poster.

While Ironic and entertaining, this is the type of uneducated dumbass is exactly the type who allowed Obama to campaign on Single Payer and not call him on it when we ended up with RomneyCare.

Anonymous Coward says:

I hope Paul Nehlen wins. If I could vote for him from my home state, I would. Social Media should NOT be kicking Republican supporters off social media for the simple fact that it’s nothing more than an attempt to ban anyone who supports any Republican from using their platform.

There should be a federal law aimed at banning these social media networks from restricting particular users from using their networks.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Area man defends what he imagines the Constitution to be

From The Onion
Spurred by an administration he believes to be guilty of numerous transgressions, self-described American patriot Kyle Mortensen, 47, is a vehement defender of ideas he seems to think are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and principles that brave men have fought and died for solely in his head.
“Our very way of life is under siege,” said Mortensen, whose understanding of the Constitution derives not from a close reading of the document but from talk-show pundits, books by television personalities, and the limitless expanse of his own colorful imagination. “It’s time for true Americans to stand up and protect the values that make us who we are.”
According to Mortensen—an otherwise mild-mannered husband, father, and small-business owner—the most serious threat to his fanciful version of the 222-year-old Constitution is the attempt by far-left “traitors” to strip it of its religious

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

So technically Shai LaBeouf should be banned on both facebook and twitter…Oh wait, he’s a far left ideologue so it’s okay if he’s a violent racist POS:


This isn’t moderation, it’s marxist-like silencing of your ideological opponents. And if anyone is guilty of using the hecklers veto, it’s the far left which they continuously utilize as a tactic for silencing others on college campuses all across the nation whenever conservatives or libertarians invite a speaker.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Can you point to the posts he’s made on Twitter that have had racist content? If not, then there’s no problem in them hosting the non-racist content, no matter what people on YouTube are saying (I’m not clicking the link, but the results on that kind of video search will usually be people whining about the guy rather than things he’s said). Unless Twitter are actually hosting objectionable content on his account, there’s no hypocrisy.

Oh, and I’d agree with you that LeBeouf is an idiot and rather obnoxious, but it’s telling that you try to idiotically pretend that everyone on one “side” have to agree with him rather than accept that some people will find him as bad as the Nazis being kicked off Twitter.

Sorry, ignorantly spouting buzzwords does not make your argument any better. Try thinking and addressing real opinions.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Twitter are not kicking Republicans off: they’re kicking
> racists and Nazis off

That’s simply not true. Hundreds of people who are not “Nazis”, but just conservative commentators have been demonetized or had their accounts suspended by Twitter.

These people are not “Nazis”. They’re merely disagreeing with the Left on issues like income inequality, illegal immigration, abortion, tax policy, etc. And because of that, they get ‘reported’ as offensive by leftists and Twitter blindly suspends them. On the other hand, you can report a leftist asshole who’s making actual death threats all day long and Twitter will tell you his comments “have been reviewed and found not to violate community standards”.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“just conservative commentators have been demonetized or had their accounts suspended by Twitter.”

“On the other hand, you can report a leftist asshole who’s making actual death threats all day long”

Can you give examples? I’m not accusing you of anything, but my experience with people making these sort of claims is that they’re either liars or getting their news from liars.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Peruse the Twitter feed of Dana Loesch, a conservative female commentator and 2nd Amendment advocate. The stream of vile filth that she receives on a daily basis from supposedly ‘tolerant and sensitive’ progressives.

Loesch actually had to leave her home in Dallas and relocate her family while the police investigated a credible threat of violence to her and her family by someone on Twitter. But Twitter didn’t suspend the guy’s account, let alone ban him.

Then there’s Blaire White, a trans woman who runs a YouTube channel where she often expresses her conservative views that run counter to the Left’s positions on transgender issues and sexuality. YouTube has demonetized her entire channel merely for being conservative and Twitter has suspended her several times for “abusive tweets”, which consisted of her merely re-tweeting the threats and abuse she was getting from other people on the Left. They didn’t suspend the people sending her the abuse. But they did suspend White for re-tweeting the abuse to draw attention to it and shame Twitter for doing nothing about it.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Strange how it took you several weeks to respond, yet you didn’t provide a single link, let alone actual evidence of what you claimed.

“Peruse the Twitter feed of “

I’d rather not. I do actually try to keep out of politics on Twitter as the format doesn’t lend itself to adult discussion, and I’m certainly not going to waste time looking for the example of what you claim that you should be able to link to directly if they exist.

Why not link to the examples of your claims directly, rather than tell me to read a random Twitter feed looking for something that was said on an unspecified date? You’ll excuse me if this looks suspicious.

“But Twitter didn’t suspend the guy’s account, let alone ban him.”

Which guy? This is the problem – there tend to be a lot of stories about people supposedly doing this, but never any evidence. It wouldn’t be unusual for certain types to invent a conflict to deflect from a problem from their own “team”, if they’re dumb enough to play politics that way.

If this is such a notable example, it should be possible to link to the guy’s name and Twitter feed at least, if not the threats themselves (since, as you claim, they weren’t removed). Refusing to do this makes me think they might not exist, and I’m not going to waste time looking if you can’t even be bothered to name the villain in your story.

“YouTube has demonetized her entire channel merely for being conservative”

Citation needed, especially on the “merely for being conservative” part. I’m sure she’s claimed that, but often there’s much more to it when you start looking into the evidence – which is why I ask for evidence.

“Twitter has suspended her several times for “abusive tweets”, which consisted of her merely re-tweeting”

Citation needed. Though, Twitter has been known to do that to people on “the left” too, as well as completely apolitical subjects, so stop feeling victimised if that’s your problem.

“But they did suspend White for re-tweeting the abuse to draw attention to it and shame Twitter for doing nothing about it”

Citation needed.

This is part of the problem. In response to me asking for evidence for your claims, you’ve provided zero evidence, and simply made more unsubstantiated claims. No, I won’t do your research for you. If these things are happening as you claim, you should at least be able to link to your own evidence for it. If you haven’t seen these things first hand, I’d also do the research for my own curiosity if I were you too, just in case the news source you’ve been blindly agreeing with has been misleading you.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

You are being censored if and only if the government is
> stopping you from using all means of spreading your
> message.

The government doesn’t have stop every method of speech to censor. It only has to hit one.

If the government denies my right to speak in a public park because it doesn’t like my message, it’s censoring me even though the government hasn’t stopped me from writing a letter to the newspaper or prohibited me from going on TV or using the internet to speak.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Okay, so if freedom of speech only applies to the government, then I have every right to physically assault if you open your mouth and say something that offends me?

Apparently, most of the far left thinks that if terrorist groups like BLM, Antifa, and BAMN are actively rioting and assualting people.

How about this?

You don’t have the right to assault people nor silence them in anyway, but you do have the right to walk away LIKE A DECENT HUMAN BEING!


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You know, i keep getting comments likke yours that don’t actually challenge what I’ve said but are either direct attacks at my character, as opposed to my argument, or snide remarks…

Do you people actually think that we people read your replies to comments such as mine that they’re cheering for you?

Or are so completely subverted that you can’t even see past the ideological vail.

Ever since the Wall Street protests, this anti-capitalism movement has pushed our youth into dangerous waters that have gone way beyound what any of us that originally supported it were hopping for. I used to support all of it until the narrative was taken over by the extremists and now identity politics dominates the west.

Yes, corny capitalism sucks, but so does communism and fascism but only one hasn’t burned millions of jews nor starved 100s of millions to death…guess which one that is?

Seriously people, wake the fuck up!

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Social Media should NOT be kicking Republican supporters
> off social media for the simple fact that it’s nothing
> more than an attempt to ban anyone who supports any
> Republican from using their platform.

Note the last two words in your statement: “their platform”. It’s theirs. They own it. They paid to develop it. They pay to run it. They get to make the rules. Not you. You have no right to their private property, any more than I can demand a right to come into your house, stand in your bedroom and read Shakespeare aloud to you at 3:00 AM.

The same way you have the right to kick a Democrat out of your house for saying leftist stuff you don’t agree with, Twitter has a right to kick conservatives off their platform if they want.

Is it a sound business decision? Who know? I personally don’t think so, but I don’t own Twitter, so I don’t have a say in it.

That One Guy (profile) says:

'You have a right to speak. You do not have a right to force others to listen or assist.'

Oh lovely, there’s one of them running for office now…

Someone should point him to the XKCD comic, you know the one, as he seems to have missed out on some basic stuff regarding free speech.

Free speech does not mean that a private company is barred from engaging in moderation and/or deciding who they do and do not want to use their platforms. Just because you have a right to speak does not mean that you have a right to force others to listen, and/or provide a platform for you to speak from.

Anonymous Coward says:

TD and their double standards.

“Moderation isn’t censorship, but whatever.”

So you actively support and defend communists (who are just as evil if not more evil than fascists) but actively support the censorship and deplatforming of those you consider your ideological enemies?

Take Shia Labeouf as an example who was caught on camera being extremely racist to a black cop and doxxing alleged nazis who stole his flag, excuse me, ‘art’ on Twitter and generating a lynch mob despite the fact that law enforcement dropped the case…pfft! I suppose if you’re a leftist ideologue on far left media platforms it pre-exonerates you from any ‘moderation’ let alone getting banned or suspended.



Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I’m a classical liberal so no, you’re preconceived notions about me are false.

But it’s abundantly clear that the FAR left has been over-run by cultural marxists, like yourself, who think conflating those you disagree with racist, sexist, nazis is an argument.

News flash, you’re just proving that you’re a pseudo-intellectual who can’t argue your way out of a wet paper bag.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

TD is just being retarded ideologues…again.

We’re no where near being anything like China but we’re well on the path if these marxist morons keep this sh*t up. Like, I am 100% positive that TD would support China-like censorship if it worked in their ideological favor.

They’ve made it abundantly clearly over the past couple years, as they’ve become more and more radicalized, that they’ve abandoned liberalism and have fully embarrassed cultural marxism.

Anonymous Coward says:

Sorry, you can't have your cake and eat it too

It has long been recognized that the editorial decisions of publishers are protected by the First Amendment (see CBS v. DNC and Miami Herald v Tornillo). In the online space, this right extends to edge platforms (to do otherwise would yield absurdities for those that publish both online and in traditional media) and is further bolstered by its explicit statutory enshrinement in 47 USC 230(c).

So, Paul Nehlen, how do you think you’re protecting the free speech rights of some by infringing upon the free speech rights of others? The First Amendment does not work that way…


Re: Sorry, you can't have your cake and eat it too

Social Media is not a newspaper. They don’t have editors. They don’t have employees. They have user generated content.

This is an important distinction. People tried to claim “free speech” over forbidden words at the CDC. They forgot that the people at the CDC work for someone else. Those people get to make the editorial decisions.

Lack of “editing” is also important as it sets the threshold for safe harbor protections.

Anonymous Coward says:

On the one hand, this is very unlikely to go anywhere as it is both politically toxic (sort of the reverse of “for the children,” anyone supporting this will be flagged with “for the nazis”) and also illegal anyway.

On the other hand, this would basically eliminate the net neutrality problem. Violations of net neutrality would clearly run afoul of this law. It would also get rid of all the “Facebook/Twitter/whatever supported the terrorists, lets sue them” people, as it would now be illegal to remove said terrorists.

All in all, I’d be somewhat likely to support this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

He was never banned from the mall and there’s zero evidence that he ever sexually assaulted any of the alleged victims…BUt of course, the far left ideologues jump out of the wood work and will do anything to overthrow an election because, ‘the ends justify the means’.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Nope. The kind of right-winger who whines endlessly about “the left” only favour rights for the type of people they like. They’re all for censorship and abuse if someone whose views or nature differs from them tries to exercise their rights.

There are good, honest conservatives. They’re not the ones who spout idiotic buzzwords. Those types are usually ignorant hypocrites.

Sayonara Felicia-San (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

If Roy Moore was proven to be a pedophile, you wouldn’t anyone defending him.

It’s only because there is a high degree of doubt as to the credibility of many of the accusations against him.

As a matter of fact, the only pedophile, who publicly and openly supports pedophilia, that I am aware of works at Salon:


I think something which both sides won’t admit, but equally despise is hypocrisy. So from your point of view, that’s what you see, but from their point of view, they don’t think the accusations are credible.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“If Roy Moore was proven to be a pedophile, you wouldn’t anyone defending him. “

Calm down, you’re forgetting how to type complete sentences. But, define “proven”. There’s a huge amount of evidence that he was, at the very least, an extremely creepy guy with a predilection for much younger girls and a history of stalking and abusing them. The best defences offered seemed not to be “he never did such things”, but “it was normal back then for 30 year old to be trying to date 14 year old girls”.

The weight of evidence seems clear, and there was no time for a proper court investigation. I’ll be happy to retract if the accusers are shown to be lying, but not even Moore’s defenders seemed to be saying they were all wrong, only that their accusations weren’t so serious.

“As a matter of fact, the only pedophile, who publicly and openly supports pedophilia, that I am aware of works at Salon:”

So? I don’t read that rag either. Have at them, it doesn’t absolve Moore of his guilt.

“I think something which both sides won’t admit”

There’s more than one “side”. You’re an idiot if you think there’s only 2 possible opinions here. Stop being an angry moron, and learn peoples’ actual opinions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

BUt of course, the far left ideologues jump out of the wood work and will do anything to overthrow an election because, ‘the ends justify the means’.

When the argument for voting for him is "look at Mary & Joseph" or "during that time it was great to have an older man take interest in a teenager" the "means" you’re referring to is the pathetic excuses being made for him. My apologies that the education in Alabama is so shitty to think those excuses would fly. But then again, we can’t all be inbred.

Even his god told him to fuck off. Otherwise the results would’ve been different, amirite?

Fucking christians can’t talk about "god’s will" then whine like a bitch when god’s will doesn’t give you what you want. Amirite? Am I?

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: I doesn't have to be, but it's often used to censor...

censorship is the suppression of speech. Preventing or restricting it. Someone like reddit doesn’t have the power to do that.

They can control how people use the service they created and run obviously, but they have no power over other services, they have no power to prevent or restrict people from speaking outside their service, creating their own services, etc, etc.

Similarly a store can throw you out for protesting inside their store, but they can’t prevent you from protesting elsewhere.

Sayonara Felicia-San (profile) says:

Government Stepping In And Abolishing Comment Censorship

Is Censorship?

Sorry the premises of your article doesn’t meet even the simplest requirements of an argument…logical consistency.

Government can’t stop people from being racist, but it does stop people from acting racist as much as it can, hence the Civil Rights Act.

So there is nothing wrong with Government attempting to stop large web sites, which should be considered virtual public gathering spaces, from silencing those it disagrees with. I fully support this effort.

I would revise the bill to say that web sites meeting certain standards of web traffic, caught moderating out political speech they disagree with, will be penalized for each infraction.

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