If You're Reporting On Trump's Supposed Plans For 'Anti-Conservative Bias' Panel, Shouldn't You Mention The 1st Amendment?

from the just-saying dept

Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that “President Trump is considering establishing a panel to review complaints of anti-conservative bias on social media.” That story is likely behind a paywall, though Fox News (natch) reposted most of it and lots of tech news sites wrote up their own versions of the report.

The basis is exactly what you think it is. A bunch of Trump supporters have been falsely insisting that social media companies are unfairly “biased” against conservatives. There is exactly zero evidence to date to support this. There are a few anecdotes of whiny assholes, who violated terms of service, losing service, and a few anecdotes of just not very good content moderation (though, those seem to fall pretty broadly across the political spectrum). There is no indication that any of the moderation activity is unfairly targeting conservatives or even that there is any “bias” at all. I’m sure some people will rush to the comments here with one of two reactions: they will either call me “blind” and complain that I’m simply not looking around (though they will present no actual evidence) or they will cite a few meaningless anecdotes, ignoring that a few anecdotes on platforms that have to make literally millions of moderation choices, is not evidence of bias.

But, more importantly: the government can’t do anything even if they were biased. And this is where all of the reporting I’ve seen so far falls down. Most clearly, the government simply cannot force platforms to moderate in a certain way. That would violate the 1st Amendment. So even if a panel is formed, it couldn’t actually do anything to change things, beyond just being an annoying pest. But, it seems like the media should be making this clear. Any panel cannot force internet companies to treat political viewpoints in some different manner. That’s a blatant 1st Amendment problem.

Separately, even the formation of the panel may very well present a 1st Amendment problem on its own, because it is clearly the government using its will to try to pressure private companies into treating certain political viewpoints differently. Remember what Judge Posner wrote in Dart v. Backpage, in which he dinged a sheriff, Thomas Dart, for merely sending a letter that was vaguely threatening to the free speech rights of an internet platform: ” Some public officials doubtless disapprove of bars, or pets and therefore pet supplies, or yard sales, or lawyers,… or men dating men or women dating women?but… it would be a clear abuse of power for public officials to try to eliminate them not by expressing an opinion but by threatening … third parties, with legal or other coercive governmental action.”

Just because government officials are upset with 1st Amendment protected speech choices of the companies, that does not mean they can do something that is obviously a threat of coercive action.

Anyone — including the Wall Street Journal — reporting on this stuff owes it to their readers to make that clear. Tragically, so far none of the reports I’ve seen have done so.

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Comments on “If You're Reporting On Trump's Supposed Plans For 'Anti-Conservative Bias' Panel, Shouldn't You Mention The 1st Amendment?”

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173 Comments
David says:

Re: Re:

Uh, perhaps you haven’t got the memo, but the Trump administration does not consider itself bound by the Constitution. They are still arguing in court that Trump should not be legally accountable if he chooses to shoot someone on 5th Avenue. And so far, the Supreme Court has not gotten itself to say the government should be accountable to any court for anything.

Which essentially ends the Bill of Rights.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: late to the game

Trump is late to the game — anybody remember the FCC "Fairness Doctrine" ?

(which existed from 1949 to 2011, in various forms)

FCC required private radio and television broadcasters to present ‘fair and balanced’ coverage of controversial issues transmitted to their communities, including by devoting ‘equal airtime’ to opposing points of view.

The 1st Amendment proved no obstacle to this long term Federal intervention.

The FCC does not quite yet control ISP’s as regulated utilities, but many people are very eager for that to happen.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: late to the game

The FCC does not quite yet control ISP’s as regulated utilities, but many people are very eager for that to happen.

And what has that got to do with social media? Despite what many think, social media is not a utility, but rather competing services reached over a utility. You suggestion makes as much sense as saying phone company regulation can control people conversations.

ECA (profile) says:

Big #1.

Lets look at this abit strangely..
Lets gather all the reports of bias, Stack them in a pile, and Never note that they Dont list the names. They make it seem as if its 1 BIG location doing it all the time, and has done it Many times.

And there are things the gov. CAN DO.. Like charging them TAXES. After they dropped all the Corp taxes, and those for the rich, they need money from somewhere..

Iv said before..
Let the internet Become an independent country.. Let it pay for its USE of the lines as usual..
Talk to it, debate with it..DONT get into a hissy fit.. And think those responsible For the internet, Cant fight back.
They are just like the other corps. There is very little difference. They do everything they can to make money.. They can BUY our gov. the way it is now, considering how CHEAP they sell their soles for, it shouldnt cost them more then a few million Dollars..

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crade (profile) says:

All these checks and balances are just breaking down. The more the administration cheats and gets rid of any honest refs, the easier cheating gets.

Being a clear violation only means something if they want to let it mean something.
The First amendment only holds as much water as the politically charged supreme court decides to give it.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Short-term clickbait ignoring long-term losses

Any group celebrating this should be reminded that if one company can be forced to be politically neutral others can as well, including theirs or others they agree with.

Somehow I get the feeling that for all their whining about ‘unfair treatment of conservatives’ Fox would be less than happy if a few years down the line someone put together a government panel about how insanely biased they are against non-conservatives, with the goal of ‘persuading’ them to provide ‘equal treatment’ or else.

On a more lighthearted, grossly hypocritical note I can’t help but find it more than a little funny that the ‘free market, small government’ side is the one complaining that the free market apparently doesn’t care for them and companies are responding appropriately. I guess companies are only supposed to be allowed to do what they want when it doesn’t impact bigots.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Short-term clickbait ignoring long-term losses

Any group celebrating this should be reminded that if one company can be forced to be politically neutral others can as well, including theirs or others they agree with.

Clearly you haven’t been paying attention:

  1. They have replaced multiple federal judges, and appointed two to the supreme court. Openly bragging about their intent of using their judicial appointees to shape policy for generations to come.
  2. They have neutered the authority of regulatory agencies, and replaced many of their heads with corrupt self-serving interests.
  3. They have successfully convinced around 45% of the population that all forms of news that disagree with their current viewpoints are illegitimate.
  4. They have successfully convinced around 45% of the population that their society’s ills come from their political rivals’ policies.
  5. They have successfully convinced around 45% of the population that their individual desires outweigh any and all responsibility that their freedoms demand of them, and that anyone who would attempt to enforce the consequences of abdicating that responsibility is a tyrant out to get them.
  6. They have widened the gap of income inequality, and destroyed large swaths of the government’s revenue stream by changing the laws to take less from those with the most, and more from those with the least.
  7. They have gutted social programs.
  8. They have all but denounced our international allies. Even gone as far as to deny humanitarian aid to an ally at war against a common enemy because they wanted personal political favors. Then went further and said that not only were such actions a justifiable thing to do, but that they should repeat those actions more often.
  9. They have allowed a global pandemic to run rampant through out the country, told the country it was on it’s own in finding relief, used favoritism to decide who got the little relief they did provide, denied relief to those who wouldn’t kiss their ring, are trying to shield their donors from legal challenges over unsafe conditions, and refused to take any responsibility for their actions. (Guess they started doing those inhumane actions more often.)
  10. They have stated repeatedly to the public that they are above the law.
  11. They have openly encouraged overthrowing the elected governments of multiple states run by their political opponents.
  12. They have repeatedly ignored court orders to sign the paperwork forgiving the loans for students who were victims of institutional fraud.

There’s plenty more to list here of course, but it’s pointless to continue. As every single logical fallacy in the book will be used against the list by them as "justification" for why they shouldn’t have to change their behavior.

Long story short: They aren’t worried about their assumed powers being used against them. They are well beyond the need to keep favor with other political groups in their minds. The danger that represents is monumental. The fact you think otherwise is far worse.

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Koby (profile) says:

There is no indication that any of the moderation activity is unfairly targeting conservatives or even that there is any "bias" at all.

Generally, if a conservative voice is censored for supposedly violating terms of service, it is then readily noted that those same terms of service are violated by a number of liberal voices with no action taken. This is the bias, and the method through which social media transforms from a platform to a publisher: all viewpoints are initially presented, but only the ones that they agree with remain uncensored and published.

But, more importantly: the government can’t do anything even if they were biased.

If social media companies were to claim 1st amendment, which I think they should do, then it would be to admit a bias, which runs contrary to the goal of influencing viewers. Moreover, it would stake out a legal position that they are a publisher, and not a platform.

So even if a panel is formed, it couldn’t actually do anything to change things, beyond just being an annoying pest.

It would serve a valuable public interest to voters that the things you see on social media are not organic, but a deliberate attempt by company bigwigs to influence public opinion. Changing public perception to be aware of corporate meddling and shenanigans is why many of us peruse Techdirt.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Correct. It’s all a matter of opinion, and spun in whatever direction either side of the political platform’s narrative happens to be going at the time. This site, however subtle, included.

"You guys all live in your own little bubbles, but have NO EVIDENCE."

Again, subjective. Unless twitter actually says "we are taking this down because we don’t like this particular political view", it will always be subjective. You will always be able to explain it away or conclude that it was taken down because of "reasons".

Full disclosure; I don’t subscribe to the left or the right. I think both sides are a cancer on our society. We are flailing around trying to determine who is censoring whom… forest for the tree’s.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Unless twitter actually says "we are taking this down because we don’t like this particular political view", it will always be subjective.

Until math steps in, at the scale that Twitter operates at moderation is largely automated. Bias will show in the disproportionate actions taken against millions of accounts, instead of the hundred handfuls we are seeing now.

I don’t subscribe to the left or the right. I think both sides are a cancer on our society. We are flailing around trying to determine who is censoring whom… forest for the tree’s.

This both-sidesism is a very lazy. This is about people pushing for internet speech to be destroyed because a few loud racists they liked were banned from one of many competing social media companies.

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Koby (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Please point out where in Section 230, or in any jurisprudence surrounding both 230 and the First Amendment, the law makes a distinction of “platform” and “publisher” vis-á-vis interactive computer services.

I dont think that it does, and I believe court cases thus far have also failed to do so. But that is the complaint: editors can essentially publish their viewpoint, while hiding behind section 230 to claim that they are merely a provider of the service. Yet, indeed, the service providers are going beyond merely providing the service, and into the realm of publishing by using the censorship strategy. And this is why some people want to reform 230.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

No, some people want to reform 230 because they believe (wrongly) that any social media company that shows even a hint of perceived bias towards conservatives must be made to act “neutral” towards conservatives, with no thought put into the consequences of legally enforced “neutrality” towards speech on social media platforms.

If this supposed bias occurs on Twitter because conservatives use racial slurs more often than liberals/progressives, the issue isn’t with Twitter — it’s with the conservatives opting to use those slurs.

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Koby (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

with no thought put into the consequences of legally enforced “neutrality” towards speech on social media platforms.

Oh, I think that they HAVE put a lot of thought into it. Another poster down below says it best, "When a commercial platform de facto replaces the public forum, then either free speech must be enforced on that forum or free speech dies."

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

Oh, I think that they HAVE put a lot of thought into it.

No, they haven’t. They haven’t thought about what would happen to Twitter if it couldn’t moderate any legally protected speech.

Because White supremacist propaganda is protected speech. So is anti–queer rights rhetoric, including support for “conversion ‘therapy’ ”. And so is every other kind of bigoted speech. Spam is legally protected, too, y’know.

So imagine all that legally protected speech running roughshod all over Twitter. People can’t escape it without leaving Twitter because Twitter can’t legally stop people from posting that speech. Black people would have to deal with their notifications being full of White supremacists saying racial slurs; queer people, the same, but with anti-queer rhetoric. Historically marginalized people would get so fed up with that level of bullshit that they’d quit the service, thus depriving them of a popular communications method and scattering them all to a bunch of much smaller services. In the end, Twitter would eventually become another 4chan — a worthless shitpit of vileness that no decent human being would ever want to visit, much less use as a communication service.

Opponents of 230 haven’t thought about those kinds of consequences. I know this because if they did, they’d have arguments in favor of why the law should allow those consequences to happen — and from what I’ve read, they don’t.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

"Opponents of 230 haven’t thought about those kinds of consequences."

Oh, I’m sure many of them have. If 230 goes away so does online forum interactivity – because public forums won’t exist.
And that is a great benefit when the recognized republican philosophy is to keep as much of the citizenry out of the political debate as possible.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

The federal government long ago decided to disregard the ‘freedom of association’ portion of the Constitution.

Brick and mortar businesses are told they have no choice in whom they fire or hire, serve or not serve, permit on or ban from their property.

Why should anyone be surprised that in 2020, people expect there be no exception for a business simply because their property exists only digitally?

Either give everyone their full freedom of association back, or expect people to object to this hypocrisy. (The former is the preferred solution.)

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

If it wouldn’t be so incredibly damaging I’d almost say give the people trying to kill/’reform’ 230 what they claim they want, because no matter which side you’re talking to neither would be happy with the results.

Those that are complaining that platforms are removing too much would have their stuff removed even more, if they were allowed to post at all, as platforms became vastly more careful about what they allowed and would pull anything that even might be problematic, while those that were complaining that platforms weren’t removing enough would find themselves facing the same issue, as their stuff was removed for the same reason.

It’s a strange war indeed when achieving ‘victory’ would only compound the problems that caused the ‘war’ in the first place, such that only in defeat can one of the sides ‘win’.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Things would also slow way down, considering any company that DID allow user posts would have to have a human manually review each and every post before it was released to the website, so submit your comment today and it may show up in a week or so (when the topic is no longer relevant)…

Good times are coming…

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Generally, if a conservative voice is censored for supposedly violating terms of service, it is then readily noted that those same terms of service are violated by a number of liberal voices with no action taken"

That’s often claimed, but those claiming it always go silent when citations are requested…

"If social media companies were to claim 1st amendment, which I think they should do, then it would be to admit a bias, which runs contrary to the goal of influencing viewers."

Their goal is to make money. They’re biased toward the needs of their advertisers, who will pull out if your neo-Nazi videos stay up or your false information about the pandemic that ends up with dead people surrounds their ads..

"Moreover, it would stake out a legal position that they are a publisher, and not a platform."

Which, as you’ve been told many, many times, is meaningless for this issue.

"Changing public perception to be aware of corporate meddling and shenanigans is why many of us peruse Techdirt."

Yet, you seem incapable of understanding what’s said here. Strange…

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

"Generally, if a conservative voice is censored for supposedly violating terms of service, it is then readily noted that those same terms of service are violated by a number of liberal voices with no action taken"

Yeah, that’s not the problem.

It’s that terms of service are written in such a way that liberal opinions are permitted and conservative opinions are anathema.

Conservatives and liberals have opposing positions. One would not expect them to say the same things; so one wouldn’t expect them to violate terms of service the same way.

PEOPLE WHO CANNOT SEE WILL BE ESCORTED OFF THE PREMISES

  • Mr. A: "Hey, there used to be tons of blind people in here. Where did they all go? You’re not kicking them out, are you?
  • Mr. B: "Oh no, of course not. We only kick out people who can’t see."
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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Generally, if a conservative voice is censored for supposedly violating terms of service, it is then readily noted that those same terms of service are violated by a number of liberal voices with no action taken."

No, Koby. No matter how much you personally feel it is the same when a conservative deigns to discuss his/her views of "n_ggers, women and queers" as when a liberal tries to debate equal opportunity, It really isn’t.

Nor is it a "bias against heterosexuals" when someone gets tossed out of a forum for discussing how "unnatural" the LGBTQ-movement is.

The main issue "conservatives" appear to have is that when they show up in a forum to discuss their religious beliefs about why they should Hate The Other or why <insert demonstrable falsehood here> is the main reason to vote for <whoever> they are shown the door. That is not a "left-leaning bias" unless you want to make the claim that factual reality is leftist.

"If social media companies were to claim 1st amendment, which I think they should do, then it would be to admit a bias…"

False assumption. You claim your part of the 1st amendment simply by opening your mouth. It does not by necessity follow that you opening your mouth will be followed by an attempt to influence.

"…that the things you see on social media are not organic, but a deliberate attempt by company bigwigs to influence public opinion."

By astroturfers and assorted trolls, yes. The ToS on most forums are posted at the door.
Whining about how Google is being mean because they won’t let you hold a serious discussion about the benefits of Jim Crow or how all mexicans are rapists aren’t credible complaints.

Now if conservatives were sensible they’d stop trying to borrow the victim cards of the KKK and the neo-nazis. At that point of course your narrative of being persecuted sort of falls apart in your hands.
Nevertheless a loss I’d advocate they should take rather than voluntarily grouping themselves with the "ausländer raus"-brigade.

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crade (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Or anti Islamofascism bias or anti anarchy bias. It just makes no sense to be forced to pretend all political viewpoints are equally valid and makes no sense to pick any particular ones and force people to pretend those are equally valid either. Just because those happen to be the politics of the day doesn’t mean a balance between them has any sort of special meaning whatsoever.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes.

Don’t like it? Don’t read it.

If Twitter decides it doesn’t like being a de facto public square, they’re free to take the platform private and only allow those they wish to hear from be able to join and post.

And as much as you don’t like anyone with a slightly differing opinion from yours having free speech rights, they still do. The response should be more speech, not censorship.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Okay, let’s take a new tack and see how you handle it.

As a hypothetical, say you start a Mastodon instance that anyone can join. One of the rules of your Terms of Service says “you can’t use racial slurs”. You make it clear that violating the TOS will result in a ban.

Your instance chugs along for a good three months; you get a couple hundred users or so — nothing too big for two or three mods to handle — and you’ve federated with instances that share your instance’s rules and such. Your userbase enjoys a smaller, nicer, even kinder social media experience. But at the end of that third month, a Supreme Court ruling comes down: The government can legally regulate speech on social media platforms. (Don’t get into the logic of that, just roll with me.)

One week after that ruling, a government agent contacts you. The agent says “you can’t ban racial slurs on your platform” and gives you a court order saying as much. You have a week to either comply with the court order or voluntarily shut down your instance. The government will shut down your instance if you refuse to comply or shut it down yourself.

Of the following three options (which are your only viable options), would you…

  1. comply with the legal court order and allow racial slurs (and thus racist propaganda) on your instance despite not wanting to do that,
  2. shut down your instance immediately and without warning to keep from hosting that speech at the cost of all your users losing access to their accounts (and the data held within), or
  3. wait until the government shuts it down for you out of actual, factual, honest-to-God “brass balls” principle?
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crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Basically people are trying to talk outside, some asshole keeps yelling nazi propoganda or whatever so you move into a bar. The bar owner doesn’t let people yell nazi propoganda in his bar so it’s perfect and lots of people go there to talk.. Then the government decides it isn’t fair to the nazi’s to be left out of the discussion and forces the bar owner to let nazis yell their propoganda in her bar and the people go somewhere else and the bar closes down

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Yes, when you boil it down this is all the same as a pub owner saying "you’re barred" and forcing you to drink elsewhere. It doesn’t matter they you really like that pub, it’s where all your friends go and it’s the biggest in town, your ass remains barred and you should have thought about not breaking the rules instead of doing whatever it was that got you kicked out.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: You have the right to speak, not a platform to speak from

And as much as you don’t like anyone with a slightly differing opinion from yours having free speech rights, they still do.

As I noted below, free speech does not include the right to a platform to speak from. No-one’s free speech is being violated when social media tells them ‘not on our platform’, and in the spirit of your own comment, ‘Don’t like it? Find another platform.’

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

they’re free to take the platform private and only allow those they wish to hear from be able to join and post.

That is literally how Twitter operates. They are a private company, they only allow those who have requested to be on their platform and have explicitly agreed to Twitter’s terms. If someone breaks that agreement they have their permission to post revoked.

Your arrogance and ignorance is baffling.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"And as much as you don’t like anyone with a slightly differing opinion from yours having free speech rights, they still do. "

…and the people who own the platform also have free speech rights, including the right to free association. Stop whining like a baby and go somewhere you’re actually welcome.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"If Twitter decides it doesn’t like being a de facto public square, they’re free to take the platform private and only allow those they wish to hear from be able to join and post."

You mean if Starbucks and Taco Bell don’t like being a de facto public square then they should force their customers to shut the fsck up inside their premises or demand membership before allowing people entry?

Here’s news for you – Twitter IS a PRIVATE platform. They tell you flat-out which terms apply to your participation in their premises. If you violate them you will be shown the door.

You are basically arguing that if enough people feel like it you will be forced to let them host conventions inside your own living room. And that is a VERY ODD position for a "conservative" to assume. Not so much for bigots, extremists and neo-nazis of course, and I keep wondering why conservatives keep trying to stand and be counted with those Very Fine People.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Yes, as long as they don’t violate some law telling them they can’t. Also, you cheapen civil rights by claiming that someone refused service because they’re black and being refused because you’re a hateful disruptive asshole are the same thing.

Sorry, but being an asshole is not currently a protected class, so Twitter can kick out all the assholes it wants. If you feel discriminated against, start asking why you seem to have all the assholes on your side.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: 'You can't kick me out, this is THE spot to socialize.'

‘Lots of people congregate there’ does not make a place or platform ‘the public forum’, and even if it did that would still not mean that the owner(unless it’s the government) magically loses the ability to kick people out. Following that line of thought, if a town had a privately owned popular club or business that a majority of those in the town used to meet up at a certain point they would lose the ability to give the boot to those that violate any rules they may have, which I imagine most people would consider just kinda absurd.

Just because you may have free speech does not mean non-government individuals, groups or companies are obligated to provide you a platform to speak from.

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MathFox says:

Re: Re:

Newspapers have been privately owned for decades and if you didn’t like the slant of the local paper, you were free to start your own.
Nowadays you don’t even have to take a mortgage on your house to start your own opinion-blog.

But don’t expect others to publish your garbage for free. If you pay for the publication you can set the rules, if you want a freebee, live with the rules that the funder sets.

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crade (profile) says:

Re: Re:

free speech survives just fine as long as long as support for the commercial platform is optional. It can only survive as the "defacto public forum" as long as people continue to voluntarily support it. The actual public forums that don’t need to be confiscated from anyone haven’t gone anywhere. People are free to voice their support or dissent for it either by using it, not using it, replacing it with their own better platform, shouting about it on the sidewalk, using any number of other methods etc. Just because became platform hardly means it’s mandatory. Sure you want to use it because it’s popular so you can "reach the most people", but free speech just isn’t a right to reach the most people possible with your message.

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xyzzy (profile) says:

Why have an 'Anti-Conservative Bias' Panel

I really doubt this new panel has anything to do with actually changing the behavior of targeted platforms. My take is this is a cynical political move to try to persuade potential voters, already right of center, to assume that if such a panel exists it must be with just cause, "No Smoke Without Fire" sentiment rules the day.

I think the hoped for consequence is that perfectly reasonable, even persuasive speech, will be further relegated to "outside my echo chamber" thus reducing the chances of any erosion of support for this President, and of course his lackeys in Congress.

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Bloof (profile) says:

Hey, remember the Voter fraud panel, where they hired all the loudest supporters of voting restrictions, people who went in wanting any excuse to kick as many people off the voter rolls and still couldn’t produce any evidence fraud was a widespread thing? Remember how they refuse to release any of their findings because it’s so damaging to their narrative? It’s going to be that for another conservative bugbear, with the same outcome because facts don’t care about conservative feelings.

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Bloof (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Kris Kobach (Thoroughly discredited voter fraud witchfinder general). J. Christian Adams (Voter ID law advocate), Hans von Spakovsky (Dubyah recess appointment to the FEC who weaponised the system to disenfranchise voters, also pushed to try and stop any democrats being appointed to the panel at all), Connie Lawson (Secretary of state that defended indiana’s illegal voter purges)… The panel was stacked against democrats in terms of numbers of representatives and power, still didn’t find what they wanted to find. They disbanded rather than share information with democratic members after a court ordered them to do so.

They created the legion of doom and STILL couldn’t get the result they wanted.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Careful there, Bloof. By actually providing the citation he asked for you are discriminating and repressing him.

Stop being biased against the Very Fine Man who only wants his right to stand on another person’s private property and shout about how the n__gers all need to go back to the plantation, the women all need to get back to the kitchen where they belong, and the queers should all get strung up as the unholy abominations they are.

Every time we tell him that’s not nice and will he please get lost from our living rooms and forums we are being absolutely horrible people. Think of the poor nazis, Bloof. Whatever did they do for us to ostracize them like this?

/s Because the sad part is that this appears to be exactly how the "alt-right" thinks.

tz1 (profile) says:

Obama's Operation Chokepoint could be a good model.

Simply make any bank refuse to deal with these corporations and de-list them like Obama did with Gun manufacturers and gun stores as well as payday lenders.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/05/24/operation-choke-point/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/norbertmichel/2018/11/05/newly-unsealed-documents-show-top-fdic-officials-running-operation-choke-point/#483a137c1191

I might otherwise try to convince you that there is bias, but you will call everything anecdotal, but I doublt you could list three left/socialist blue-checks who have been banned from Twitter. Anti-Fa can and has made terrorist threats worse than anything on the right and they are still there. Sarah Jeong posted extremely racist tweets, and when someone did a text replace:

https://www.thewrap.com/twitter-apologizes-to-candace-owens-after-account-lockout-looks-like-we-made-an-error/

It should be very easy to conduct the experiment. Create two accounts, post identical tweets except for the race/sex/orientation/etc. and see which ones get banned or locked. If there is no bias, then both or neither will be banned or locked.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

tz1 (profile) says:

Obama's Operation Chokepoint could be a good model.

Simply make any bank refuse to deal with these corporations and de-list them like Obama did with Gun manufacturers and gun stores as well as payday lenders.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/05/24/operation-choke-point/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/norbertmichel/2018/11/05/newly-unsealed-documents-show-top-fdic-officials-running-operation-choke-point/#483a137c1191

I might otherwise try to convince you that there is bias, but you will call everything anecdotal, but I doublt you could list three left/socialist blue-checks who have been banned from Twitter. Anti-Fa can and has made terrorist threats worse than anything on the right and they are still there. Sarah Jeong posted extremely racist tweets, and when someone did a text replace:

https://www.thewrap.com/twitter-apologizes-to-candace-owens-after-account-lockout-looks-like-we-made-an-error/

It should be very easy to conduct the experiment. Create two accounts, post identical tweets except for the race/sex/orientation/etc. and see which ones get banned or locked. If there is no bias, then both or neither will be banned or locked.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Obama's Operation Chokepoint could be a good model.

Operation Chokepoint certainly seems bad from those sources, but also seems completely disconnected from the topic at hand, so I’m now sure what point you were trying to make by bringing it up.

As for the one about Candace Owens, not only is it a single point of reference and thus incapable of showing trends of bias at all, it also shows that it was not the political leanings of the tweeter that got them moderated, but rather the racist and hateful content that tripped the moderation action. To further support this, Twitter reviewed the case and reversed the action. Your source is supporting the opposite of what you claim it is.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Obama's Operation Chokepoint could be a good model.

Anti-Fa can and has made terrorist threats worse than anything on the right and they are still there.

Oh come on. They’re just gung-ho about their 2A rights. And I’ve found that there’s nothing more comical to watch than right-wing 2A nutjobs lose their shit when the other guys show up with guns.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Toom1275 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Obama's Operation Chokepoint could be a good model.

Since 9/11, right-wing extremist terror attacks has had a higher body count than any other motivation, and three times as many attacks as Islamists.

From 2009 to 2018, 73% of extremist attack fatalities in the US came from the extremist Right

In 2018, every extremist killing in the US was right-wing.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Obama's Operation Chokepoint could be a good mod

"…right-wing extremist terror attacks has had a higher body count than any other motivation, and three times as many attacks as Islamists."

Nah. Those are just "isolated murders". And the odd "Freedom Fighter" driven mad by the persistent democrat narrative that bigotry and racism is somehow bad.

After all, as any of these Very Fine People will tell you, white people can’t be terrorists.

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