When The Problem Isn't Twitter But President Trump

from the solving-the-right-problem dept

President Trump is not happy with Twitter. But a lot of other people were already unhappy with Twitter. As his tweets have grown more abusive by the day, and the non-insane public has naturally grown more outraged by them, there has been an increase in calls for Twitter to delete his tweets, if not his account outright. But what’s worse is the increase in calls that sound just like what Trump now demands: that Section 230 must be changed if Twitter is unwilling to take those steps. Both are bad ideas, however, for separate, although related, reasons.

The basic problem is that there is no easy answer for what to do with Trump’s tweets, also for many reasons. One fundamental reason is that content moderation is essentially an impossible task. As we’ve discussed many, many times before, it is extremely difficult for any platform to establish an editorial policy that will accurately catch 100% of the posts that everyone agrees are awful and no posts that are fine. And part of the reason for that difficulty is that there is no editorial policy that everyone will ever be able to agree on. It’s unlikely that one could be drawn up that even most people would agree on, yet platforms regularly attempt to give it their best shot anyway. But even then, with some sort of policy in place, it is still extremely difficult, if not impossible, to quickly and accurately ascertain whether any particular social media post amidst the enormous deluge of social media posts being made every minute, truly runs afoul of it. As we have said umpteen times, content moderation at scale is hard. Plenty is likely to go wrong for even the most well-intentioned and well-resourced platform.

Furthermore, Trump is no ordinary tweeter whose tweets may run afoul of Twitter’s moderation policies. Trump happens to be the President of the United States, which is a fact that is going to strain any content moderation policy primarily set up to deal with the tweets by people who are not the President of the United States. It is possible, of course, to decide to treat him like any other tweeter, and many have called for Twitter to do exactly that. But it’s not clear that doing so would be a good idea. For better or for worse, his tweets are the tweets of the American Head of State and inherently newsworthy. While one could argue that they should be suppressed because their impact is so prone to being so destructive, it would not be a costless decision. While having the President of the United States tweeting awful things does cause harm, not knowing that the President of the United States is trying to tweet awful things presents its own harm. This is the person we have occupying the highest political office in the land. It would not do the voting public much good if they could not know who he is and what he is trying to do.

The arguments for suppressing his tweets largely are based on the idea that taking away his power to tweet would take away his power to do harm. But the problem is that his power comes from his office, not from Twitter. Taking Twitter away from him doesn’t ultimately defang him. It just defangs the public’s ability to know what is being done by him in their name.

Twitter’s recent decision to add contextualization to his tweets might present a middle ground, although it is unlikely to be a panacea. It puts Twitter in the position of having to make more explicit editorial decisions, which, as discussed above, is an exercise that is difficult to do in a way that will satisfy everyone. It also may not be sustainable: how many tweets will need this treatment? And how many public officials will similarly require it? Still, it certainly seems like a reasonable tack for Twitter to try ? one that tries to mitigate the costs of Trump’s unfettered tweeting without inflicting the costs that would result from their suppression.

Which leads to why Section 230 is so important, and why it is a bad idea to call for changing it in response to Trump. Because Section 230 is what gives Twitter the freedom to try to figure out the best way to handle the situation. There are no easy answers, just best guesses, but were it not for Section 230 Twitter would not be able to give it the best shot it can to get it right. Instead it would be pressured to take certain actions, regardless of whether those actions were remotely in the public interest. Without Section 230 platforms like Twitter will only be able to make decisions in their own interest, and that won’t help them try to meet the public call to do more.

Changing Section 230 also won’t solve anything, because the problem isn’t with Twitter at all. The problem is that the President of the United States is of such poisoned character that he uses his time in office to spread corrosive garbage. The problem is that the President of the United States is using his power to menace citizens. The problem is that the President of the United States is using his role as the chief executive of the country to dissolve confidence in our laws and democratic norms.

The problem is that the President of the United States is doing all these things, and would be doing all these things, regardless of whether he was on Twitter. But what would change if there were no Twitter is our ability to know that this is what he is doing. It is no idle slogan to say that democracy dies in the darkness; it is an essential truth. And it’s why we need to hold fast to our laws that enable the transparency we need to be able to know when our leaders are up to no good if we are to have any hope of keeping them in check.

Because that’s the problem we’re having right now. Not that Twitter isn’t keeping Trump in check, but that nothing else is. That’s the problem that we need to fix. And killing Twitter, or the laws that enable it to exist, will not help us get there. It will only make it much, much harder to bring about that needed change.

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Comments on “When The Problem Isn't Twitter But President Trump”

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Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Speech, free, but what if lies?

"The problem is that the President of the United States is of such poisoned character that he uses his time in office to spread corrosive garbage."

While I think Trump spending time on corrosive garbage to be a boon (it keeps him from doing other horrible things) the fact that all of our politicians are co-opted to some degree or another by some faction or another is a big problem. Blaming the platform(s) is the politicians way of deflecting the issue(s) away from themselves.

It’s the lies, the deception, the I have problems with. People tell me that we can control their speech, each election cycle. But the propaganda machine runs for the entire election cycle that drills those, and other, lies into the electorates heads creating the ‘believablity’ the politicians (and their co-opters) so desire.

So what happens when platform(s) adds to their TOS that they do not accept lying, and when lies are provable the posts will be deleted, and that that rule applies to all users, no matter what position or entity or power the liar holds. Then applies that rule evenly, around the world. There might be some economic downfall, initially, but I think in the long rung integrity might win out, even economically.

Yeah, that will seriously piss some people off. I would think that the heads of state in Thailand and Turkey would lead the list of those angered by such policies, and might even get the platform(s) banned in their country. No matter how much he cries, that is not an option for any politician in the US, not even the President.

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Paul B says:

Re: Speech, free, but what if lies?

Your lie is my state sanctioned truth. On top of this if (normally) the President of the United States says, "We discovered the cure for cancer" people tend to take him as an authority.

This gets even more strange when you can redefine words because your the leader of some dictatorship.

Not sure banning outright lies would do much good, and I can spout more lies faster then you can fact check me.

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Thad (profile) says:

Re: Speech, free, but what if lies?

So what happens when platform(s) adds to their TOS that they do not accept lying, and when lies are provable the posts will be deleted, and that that rule applies to all users, no matter what position or entity or power the liar holds.

Sure sounds easy, doesn’t it?

But even fact-checkers sometimes disagree on what’s true and what isn’t.

Who gets to be a fact-checker? If there’s more than one, what do you do when they don’t all agree? What if they agree a statement is false, but it’s not clear that it was a lie — the person could have misspoken? If someone repeats a conspiracy theory, is that a lie? What if they sincerely believe it? Not all false statements are intentional lies.

There are massive implementation issues with defining and assessing lies.

And that’s before we get into the obvious political and economic pressures involved.

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Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Speech, free, but what if lies?

Good point. In the end however whether someone believes (for example) drinking bleach will kill the coronavirus (which is true) it will also probably kill the drinker (also true) and reasonable people can differentiate between whether the statement is a lie or just substantially false or harmful. Then the TOS would need to make those points.

As you point out, who is to be the decider of lie, false, harmful is filled with potential for ideology to creep in, and that in some instances the reality might take some time to be discovered. That doesn’t mean we should let things go. There is a degree of blatancy that is impervious to some statements while others might need some time and research to unravel, which in some cases will still contain a certain amount of subjectivity.

Just because perfection is difficult or even impossible does not mean we should not try to make things better.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Speech, free, but what if lies?

It can get complicated as there are many ways to lie and not everyone will agree. For example, some think lies of omission are ok while others believe white lies are completely acceptable. And then is it a lie if only a part of it is not correct or does the entire thing have to be bogus? I’m sure the mad marauders would have a filed day with it.

danderbandit (profile) says:

Re: "We're going to loosen the libel laws"

This is a situation where I think this might actually be a good idea. Political speech is supposedly exempt from Libel/Slander laws (or am I wrong about that?) but if you remove that exemption that might remove all of the smear campaigns. Tho I’m sure there is some unintended consequences I haven’t thought of. I would like to see Scarborough sue Trump. Or MSNBC, but I doubt their corporate overlords at Comcast would go for it. Being accused of murder with no basis sounds like libel to me and should be easily provable.

I think when Twitter said ‘check the facts’ and linked to CNN, that was just throwing red meat at the Orange One. They should’ve linked to a neutral site for the facts check. I haven’t heard Snopes being labeled for either side and a lot of people would respect their take on an issue. Snopes needs money and Twitter has gobs of it. Seems like a win-win.

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nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: "We're going to loosen the libel laws"

Political speech is supposedly exempt from Libel/Slander laws (or am I wrong about that?)

Political speech enjoys the highest level of first amendment protection, but I’ve never heard of it being exempt from defamation.

if you remove that exemption that might remove all of the smear campaigns.

The bar for defamation against a public figure is quite high. Negative campaigning is in no danger of going extinct.

I haven’t heard Snopes being labeled for either side and a lot of people would respect their take on an issue.

Trump would not accept anyone fact checking him (see his recent attacks on Fox News for not being pro-Trump enough), and therefore neither would his most adamant supporters.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 "We're going to loosen the libel laws"

But Trump and his minions do have an opinion there so…

I get what you’re saying, but my point is that if you’re looking to convince, satisfy, or placate Trump and his minions, you will fail. You could point to Breitbart as a fact check of Trump, and if they contradict what Trump is saying, to Trump and his followers Breitbart is now in on the liberal mainstream media conspiracy to bring Trump down.

That is not to say that picking a relatively neutral and fact based source is not a great idea – it is. It just won’t help with swaying that crowd.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 "We're going to loosen the libel laws"

"But Trump and his minions do have an opinion there so.."

They will always have an opinion, one that’s usually wrong when checked against verifiable facts. Remember, these are people who are moving to OANN and other hard-right propaganda outlets because they have decided that Fox is too "liberal" for them. Trump threw a tantrum during his visit to the UK because Fox wasn’t available there (it went out of business due to extremely low ratings) and was accidentally exposed to neutral commentary.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: "We're going to loosen the libel laws"

This is a situation where I think this might actually be a good idea. Political speech is supposedly exempt from Libel/Slander laws (or am I wrong about that?)

You’re wrong about that.

It is a high bar, but not exempt.

There is a separately thing, in that the President can get out of any such defamation lawsuit if the Attorney General "certifies" his statements as part of his official duties as President. Which this AG would do in a second.

Tho I’m sure there is some unintended consequences I haven’t thought of. I would like to see Scarborough sue Trump. Or MSNBC, but I doubt their corporate overlords at Comcast would go for it. Being accused of murder with no basis sounds like libel to me and should be easily provable.

He’d lose. Badly. Not just because of the fact that Trump can get the case dumped if the AG certifies his statements, but because Trump’s comments are not defamatory on multiple grounds. First, he didn’t directly accuse Joe of murder. He asked questions. And, yes, that implies stuff, but it makes a difference in defamation cases. Second, the standard is whether or not the average person (not anyone, not just Trump fans) would take the tweets to be a truthful statement of fact. And… we already have cases on the books where courts have said that because Trump engages in extreme rhetoric on his Twitter account, you can’t take his tweets seriously, so… no defamation.

Also, MSNBC can’t sue. They weren’t defamed.

No offense, but you should perhaps study how defamation works a little bit more. 🙂

I think when Twitter said ‘check the facts’ and linked to CNN, that was just throwing red meat at the Orange One. They should’ve linked to a neutral site for the facts check. I haven’t heard Snopes being labeled for either side and a lot of people would respect their take on an issue. Snopes needs money and Twitter has gobs of it. Seems like a win-win.

Then you don’t spend any time in right wing/conservative circles. They insist that Snopes is Marxist leftist trash.

wereisjessicahyde (profile) says:

Free speach is getting silly.

Mike just bare with me..

What if a mental President starts telling people to kill thier first born kids for the sake of country, and a few nutters actually do it. Is that Free Speech?

What if he carries on and tells people to bomb a mall on Twitter? And the whole of Texas starts bombing malls. When should free speech end?

The President isn’t a normal person. What he says, or types on Twitter are not normal words.

If you have a nutcase causing damage to your country surely he should be shut down?

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Rocky says:

Re: Free speach is getting silly.

If you have a nutcase causing damage to your country surely he should be shut down?

And that responsibility lies where? It’s certainly not twitter’s responsibility to shut him down, that’s what the impeachment-process is for. But that hinges on a bunch of senators actually caring about where the country is headed and not just their own power.

The only thing twitter can do is stop the spewing of garbage in the short-term until he finds another platform to carry his words.

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Paul B says:

Re: Re: Free speach is getting silly.

Seattle Times and several networks in the Seattle area stopped broadcasting the president live due to this very topic after people started drinking household cleaners.

While the president is immune to charges for things he does in the office of the president, he’s getting really close to "telling people to do something dangerous that might get them killed under the color of law" which is, if not a crime, at least a damm good reason to start ignoring his ass.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Free speach is getting silly.

While the president is immune to charges for things he does in the office of the president,

That is a problem that needs to be solved, stat.

he’s getting really close to "telling people to do something dangerous that might get them killed under the color of law" which is, if not a crime, at least a damm good reason to start ignoring his ass.

That’s another problem to be solved. The next administration needs to make these a priority instead of handing powers to Trump that they want for themselves.

JMT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Free speach is getting silly.

"While the president is immune to charges for things he does in the office of the president…"

That’s not at all true. There’s a policy (not a law) not to bring charges against a sitting president, but once out of office there is nothing protecting him or her from being prosecuted for any illegal actions during that term. Whether or not anyone will have the gumption to actually do that is a different question.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Free speach is getting silly.

I’ll ask my usual question – why are you guys incapable of defending the current guy’s actions? You do surely realise that no matter which whataboutism you throw, that doesn’t change the abject failure of Trump’s decisions?

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Free speach is getting silly.

My main takeaway from this whole situation is that Trump is used to being able to silence critics and fill his circle with yes men who will not tell him the real bad news until the day it’s unavoidable, at which point he stiffs contractors and files bankruptcy to avoid personal responsibility for his actions.

He’s now faced with a situation where he is directly, personally responsible for some terrible consequences, it’s dawning on him that there’s no way to avoid it, and it terrifies him.

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Bloof (profile) says:

Re: Re: Free speach is getting silly.

Damn that Obama! Bush left him a booming economy, banking and automotive industries going from strength to strength, tax revenue that hadn’t been slashed by idiotic lopsided tax cuts to benefit republican donorz and zero massively expensive, unwinnable wars… Oh wait.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Free speach is getting silly.

"Obama doubled the national debt, but no one seems to give a shit about that."

1) Congress has the check book
2) Obama "inherited" the economic disaster left by W & gang, used mechanisms in place to orchestrate recovery and effectively lead the country out of a recession. But yeah, let’s view our efforts relative the resources that it took to get us out of that mess because money is all that matters.
3) Have a look
Don’t Blame Obama For Doubling The Federal Debt
4) Bullshit is what’s for breakfast

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Free speach is getting silly.

How’s the national debt doing under Trump, dumbass?

And while we’re at it:

  • Where’s the check from Mexico for the big beautiful wall?
  • Why isn’t Hillary locked up?
  • Where’s my super dooper Trumpcare?
  • How’s our 401k’s doing these days?
  • What”s the unemployment numbers looking like today?
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Free speach is getting silly.

Triple is an exaggeration. However, he has not only greatly increased it, but also ballooned the deficit, which is even more troubling. Especially when you consider that Trump inherited a very strong economy with few outstanding unrecorded debts, while Obama inherited a recession with 2 wars off the books. That’s even without taking into account the current situation – the reliable figures I can see stated $3 trillion added to the debt with a deficit of $1 trillion – and those figures are from before the pandemic.

https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-national-debt-increase-3-trillion-first-three-years-presidency-1483660

According to the following "live" figures, debt is now $25.6 trillion, though I’d rather wait until we have confirmed reliable figures before making a real determination of how much Trump has added. I have no doubt that by election day, he will added more in a single term than Obama did in 2 terms.

https://www.usdebtclock.org/

Yet, strangely, the people who were "economically anxious" during the Obama years went immediately silent after Trump’s inauguration.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Free speach is getting silly.

"Obama doubled the national debt, but no one seems to give a shit about that."

Would that have anything to do with the wars GWB started and which cost 2 billion US dollar/day?

Or did it have anything to do with the bailout packages also started by GWB and Obama had to keep on doing or watch the economy tank?

There are times when that "But Obama" rallying cry gets real old, particularly so when there are plenty of things to criticize Obama for but you guys all cherrypick the ones which Obama *inherited from the previous, republican administration.

Man, having the black man in the white house sure did a number on you people.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Free speach is getting silly.

"What if a mental President starts telling people to kill thier first born kids for the sake of country, and a few nutters actually do it. Is that Free Speech?"

Normally, yes…except for the court case which states that POTUS communications are actually governmental irrespective of the platform he brings them through.

So you could argue that everyone will have themselves a political field day while dissecting the value of an official government communication which said "Go on, kill your kids. You know you want to. Signed, Uncle Sam".

"What if he carries on and tells people to bomb a mall on Twitter? And the whole of Texas starts bombing malls. When should free speech end?"

It doesn’t. Twitter, however, may choose to moderate and block him if that’s what he starts pushing out, because in both case he certainly violated their Terms Of Service.

"The President isn’t a normal person. What he says, or types on Twitter are not normal words."

Concur completely.

"If you have a nutcase causing damage to your country surely he should be shut down?"

Yes.
And the legal mechanic for doing so is impeachment followed by an election.

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Thad (profile) says:

Re: Re: Free speach is getting silly.

It doesn’t.

I think telling people to bomb a mall very well could qualify as a First Amendment exception, depending on how it’s framed. But there’s a question of enforcement. Trump’s DoJ isn’t going to investigate him. We’d most likely be looking at a civil suit — though for it to be successful, it would have to be directed at the United States, not Twitter (and probably not Trump as an individual).

Thad (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Not Article 25, my booboo:

…it takes 2/3 of both houses of Congress to remove a president under the 25th Amendment. It’s a higher standard than impeachment.

If Congress didn’t have the votes to remove Trump from office under the impeachment process, then it certainly doesn’t have the votes to remove him under 25A.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Not Article 25, my booboo:

The 25th requires action from congress. I responded to what I thought was a claim that the prez can be removed solely by the VP & cabinet.
Perhaps it was implied that subsequent congressional approval is required – I didn’t think so at the time.

Hugo:
"The Vice President can remove him with the concurrence of the Cabinet."

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Not Article 25, my booboo:

I responded to what I thought was a claim that the prez can be removed solely by the VP & cabinet.

That is correct, it requires no action from Congress:

"Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President."

Thad (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Not Article 25, my booboo:

If he contests the removal

which he would

then the VP would need the backing of 2/3 of both houses of Congress, something he would be likely to get in the case of a genuinely lunatic President.

I guess that depends on what you mean by "genuinely lunatic President".

I think we already have one of those, and he has demonstrably not been removed from office by the VP or the Senate.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Not Article 25, my booboo:

Trump would have to screw up real bad before the republican parts of congress would agree that he had to go. I’m pretty sure, going by current republican rhetoric, that most of them would rather see the US burn to the ground before allowing the democrats a victory of any kind.

Thad (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Not Article 25, my booboo:

They’ll turn on him as soon as he’s no longer useful to them, just like they did with Bush. Whether the same thing happens with him that did with Bush — he gets a second term, they take a drubbing in the midterms, and he becomes a liability going into the next election — or he loses reelection in November, they’ll insist they never liked him in the first place and he was never a real Republican.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Uhm…

U.S. Constitution – Amendment 25 – Presidential Disability and Succession

  1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
  2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
  3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
  4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

While Article 25 exists, the politics involved are massively complex. Given the number of boneheaded to batshit crazy things expounded by the current Chief Executive ample opportunity for implementation has already occurred, yet we see no action in this regard, and while I might think it appropriate I seriously doubt those in a position to act would think it a politically savvy move.

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ryuugami says:

Re: Re:

I’m just fascinated by how quickly and decisively he can act when it’s something he cares about.

Fact-check his tweet? There’s an executive order a couple of days later.

Largest pandemic in a hundred years, that could kill millions of people he’s supposed to protect? Eh, whatever. Get back to him in a couple of months, and he may pretend to do something. Or he may tell you to inject bleach.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s all about priorities. Pandemic? Meh, he doesn’t care about that as long as the stock market is OK. His first real actions there were to try and stem the death of the Dow, not Americans. But, Twitter correctly calling him a liar? That’s his own ego, damn it, and he’s been known to launch multi-decade grudges against anyone who said something bad about him.

tz1 (profile) says:

Do you agree...

With Kathy Griffin that suggested he be killed by an air embolism in a Tweet and doubled down?

Realize that Trump won, you lost. Maybe if you attempted to understand WHY instead of quintupling down we could have a rational conversation instead of you and TD (Trump Deranged) spreading far more toxic vitriol than Trump does. Trump is only one man. You have the people at CNN, MSNBC, comics, Hollywood throwing far more AT Trump than he throws back. You should call out that hate if you don’t think hate is proper.

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tz1 (profile) says:

Do you agree...

With Kathy Griffin that suggested he be killed by an air embolism in a Tweet and doubled down?

Realize that Trump won, you lost. Maybe if you attempted to understand WHY instead of quintupling down we could have a rational conversation instead of you and TD (Trump Deranged) spreading far more toxic vitriol than Trump does. Trump is only one man. You have the people at CNN, MSNBC, comics, Hollywood throwing far more AT Trump than he throws back. You should call out that hate if you don’t think hate is proper.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Do you agree...

Nobody here is suggesting that Trump be killed. Well, except you through inference.

We all know Trump won the electorate and became president. Nobody is denying that. And we all know why: He said the things that half the country had been thinking for years but were too afraid to speak up. And now we all know that half the country are bigots, you included.

Your claim that authors and commenters here "spread far more toxic vitriol than Trump does" is absolutely laughable. Trump is a one-man wrecking crew who has somehow managed to divide this nation right down the middle. There are family members who won’t speak to other family members because of Trump. He attacks anyone and everyone and almost everything that falls out of his mouth is a lie. He’s corrupt to the bone. And I really hope we don’t have to try to survive another 4 years with him because the last 4 haven’t gone so well.

The real "Trump Derangement Syndrome" is your behavior. You would probably fellate Trump if given the opportunity. You are so deranged that you worship one of the worst humans ever to take the spotlight. It’s pretty clear that you’re not quite smart enough to realize how not-smart you are. Just like half the country.

If you imagine someone of average intelligence, ponder that that dictates that half the country is dumber than that. Thanks to Trump the whole world now knows which half that is (hint: it’s not the people who didn’t vote for Trump).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Do you agree...

While I don’t disagree with most of what you said…

There are family members who won’t speak to other family members because of Trump.

I do want to point out that baring cases where Trump personally knows the family (or gave orders/directions directly in regards to those people): If a divisive issue/public figure was all it took to divide that/those relationship(s), then they either were not really that close in the beginning, or held views so different that lots of other issues could have caused the fall out.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Do you agree...

"Maybe if you attempted to understand WHY"

He won because the popular vote was ignored in favour of the electoral college, which while that’s how the system works, meant that the guy most did not vote for was placed in office.

"You have the people at CNN, MSNBC, comics, Hollywood throwing far more AT Trump than he throws back"

I’m willing to believe you were all for it when Fox et al., were throwing shit at Obama twice as hard as that. The difference was that Obama acted like an adult in response, rather than the toddler tantrums we see every day right now as it dawns on Trump that he can’t escape the failure of his administration.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Do you agree...

Trump is only one man

Wow, you mean to say that people in public office and positions get a lot of criticism, possibly including expressed desires that those people ought not to exist in positions of abusable power?

Mind fucking blown, who could ever have seen that coming?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Do you agree...

"Mind fucking blown, who could ever have seen that coming?"

That should have received my "funny" vote.

And then I remembered that to the people who vote for guys like Trump the idea that anyone should argue with a sitting president is blasphemy and high treason.

If "the emperor’s new clothes" was an american fairy tale the little boy who spoke the truth would have been shot by the outraged half of the audience.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"Unless the sitting president is a Democrat (and especially a Black man)."

True enough. For all the vitriol they poured on Bill Clinton at least they forgot him completely once GWB was in office.

But they’ll keep screaming in falsetto hysterics about Obama, usually while blaming him for something the guy inherited from GWB, and never forget to add a few slings and arrows for Hillary.

Women and black people. As president of the united states? The Very Fine People are upset.

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techflaws (profile) says:

Re: Do you agree...

Do you agree…with Kathy Griffin that suggested he be killed by
an air embolism in a Tweet and doubled down?

Asked the guy who had no problem electing an assclown who suggested "the second amendment people" could do something about it should Hillary Clinton become president and pick her judges but did so himself the first chance he got. Classy.

Anonymous Coward says:

You should call out that hate if you don’t think hate is proper.

The solution to lies is speaking the truth. But the solution to hate speech is not more hate speech, it’s less. Who is Kathy Griffit? Who CARES who Kathy Griffit is? or what she says? Let oblivion take the hate speech, and do whatever you can do to speed the process.

So it fills the talk radio programming. Don’t listen to talk radio. So it fills the TV political commentary. Don’t watch. So it fills Twitter. Don’t read. It’s not like there’s nothing informative or entertaining you could find on the intertubes instead.

Not only will your life be longer by whatever time wasn’t wasted sponging up hate speech. It’ll be happier.

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Koby (profile) says:

The Problem Is Bias

Changing Section 230 also won’t solve anything, because the problem isn’t with Twitter at all. The problem is that the President of the United States is of such poisoned character that he uses his time in office to spread corrosive garbage. The problem is that the President of the United States is using his power to menace citizens. The problem is that the President of the United States is using his role as the chief executive of the country to dissolve confidence in our laws and democratic norms.

What goes overlooked is that people on the other side of the political spectrum are equally, if not more poisonous than him. Some are even issuing death threats.

https://variety.com/2020/biz/news/kathy-griffin-trump-tweet-syringe-controversy-backlash-1234617006/

But people like Kathy Griffin will not be banned from social media. If Trump is banned, and others are not, Middle America will have no choice but to be forced to conclude that it is because of political bias. It is possible to complain about the things that you don’t like about Trump. That’s fine. But until you begin arguing for the same set of rules for everyone, a large portion of the electorate will fear this new form of corporate censorship, and cling to Trump as the last hope and savior.

On the other hand, eliminating platform political bias will eliminate the calls to do away with section 230.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: One more time for the hard of reading

BIAS IN SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT ILLEGAL

Even if it exists, Twitter, et. al., have as much right to govern what appears on their walls as you do at home.

Again,

BIAS IN SOCIAL MEDIA MODERATION IS NOT ILLEGAL

It’s not illegal in newspapers or other news outlets either. Get over yourself.

Koby (profile) says:

Re: Re: One more time for the hard of reading

BIAS IN SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT ILLEGAL

This is exactly how Trump takes advantage of the situation: just because something is legal to do, does not mean that it isn’t a morally ugly position to take. Supporting a corporation’s ability to create a open speech platform, and then censor those with whom you disagree is a morally ugly position. You can support this position, but it makes Trump very popular.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Supporting a corporation’s ability to create a open speech platform, and then censor those with whom you disagree is a morally ugly position.

No, it isn’t. Just because a platform allows just about anyone to post doesn’t mean they are obligated to host anything or everything that is posted, and there is nothing ‘morally ugly’ about being perfectly fine with them setting rules and then giving the boot to those that violate those rules.

You might as well get upset when a bar/club hosts an open mic night and decides to give the boot to someone who uses it to play wildly racist music, throws out sexist remarks at the customers or otherwise starts harassing everyone around them because it’s open mic damnit, how dare they censor someone who said something by telling them to leave just because the customers, staff and/or owner don’t like it?!

You can support this position, but it makes Trump very popular.

With the gullible and the foolish who don’t understand or like the fact that actions have consequences, and that just because they can speak doesn’t mean anyone has to give them a platform to speak from, oh how terrible…

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: One more time for the hard of reading

" Supporting a corporation’s ability to create a open speech platform, and then censor those with whom you disagree is a morally ugly position"

No, insisting that the free speech rights of a platform should be removed and the ability to care for their customers removed, so that people who would be kicked out of any physical venue for their behaviour can roam free, is a morally ugly position. Stop whining about people having rights, and instead wonder why you associate with so many people whose actions are so offensive to normal thinking people.

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nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: One more time for the hard of reading

Supporting a corporation’s ability to create a open speech platform, and then censor those with whom you disagree is a morally ugly position.

I don’t know if it was intentional, but you misstated the position in a subtle but important manner. I support anyone’s ability to create an open speech platform, and then censor those with whom they disagree. Because I support free speech, including the freedom to moderate speech on a venue one is in control of. It has nothing to do with whether I agree with the speech being deleted, or not.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: 'So, Fox, about that glaring bias of yours...'

On the other hand, eliminating platform political bias will eliminate the calls to do away with section 230.

No, no it won’t, and you make it really hard to take you seriously by positing such an absurd claim. Grind the first amendment into the dust and force platforms to host all speech so long as the speaker claims that it’s political(followed soon by countless other ‘protected exceptions’) and the calls to gut 230 will remain, if not grow even louder as people continue to whine that platforms dare moderate how they don’t like them to/moderate at all.

On the other hand once you’ve set the precedent I would certainly look forward to the lawsuits going after the newspapers and tv stations who were foolish enough to champion such a terrible position due to how utterly non-neutral they are, with the goal to force them to present all sides as equally valid as well, like it or not. The schadenfreude from watching the tool that they wanted to use against their enemies used against them would be every so delightful, as would listening to their complaints about how it’s not fair to demand that they not be allowed bias in what they present, that’s their free speech damnit!

Koby (profile) says:

Re: Re: 'So, Fox, about that glaring bias of yours...'

Grind the first amendment into the dust and force platforms to host all speech so long as the speaker claims that it’s political(followed soon by countless other ‘protected exceptions’)

The same predictions were made with regard to Brandenburg v Ohio. A group as vile as the Klu Klux Klan gained the right to hold public rallies. But the first amendment was not ground to dust, and everything was okay.

and the calls to gut 230 will remain, if not grow even louder as people continue to whine that platforms dare moderate how they don’t like them to/moderate at all.

This makes no logical sense. The calls to gut section 230 are directly because there is a bias in moderation. No bias = no complaint. Citizens who are satisfied do not demand changes to the law.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: 'So, Fox, about that glaring bias of yours...'

The same predictions were made with regard to Brandenburg v Ohio. A group as vile as the Klu Klux Klan gained the right to hold public rallies. But the first amendment was not ground to dust, and everything was okay.

If you can’t tell the difference between ‘you are allowed to use public property to hold rallies’ and ‘private platforms are required to host your speech, even if they don’t like it’ I really don’t know what to tell you.

This makes no logical sense. The calls to gut section 230 are directly because there is a bias in moderation.

[Citation needed]. There are certainly a lot of people claiming bias, but so far the evidence at any scale(or at all really) has been rather lacking.

Koby (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 'So, Fox, about that glaring bias of yours...'

[Citation needed]. There are certainly a lot of people claiming bias, but so far the evidence at any scale(or at all really) has been rather lacking.

https://quillette.com/2019/02/12/it-isnt-your-imagination-twitter-treats-conservatives-more-harshly-than-liberals/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/11/18/conservatives-accuse-twitter-of-liberal-bias/94037802/

https://www.vox.com/2018/9/14/17857622/twitter-liberal-employees-conservative-trump-politics

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jan/16/twitter-political-bias-seen-project-veritas-video/

But if you are looking for some kind of massive study, I don’t think any social media companies have opened their sites for outside inspection. This is why most of us prefer things such as open and transparent government. Until that changes, the complaints shall accumulate, and will be the primary source of evidence.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 'So, Fox, about that glaring bias of yours...'

This is why most of us prefer things such as open and transparent government

Is that what all the examples of Trump firing competent people to handle the coronavirus are adding up to? Transparent government?

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:3 'So, Fox, about that glaring bias of yours...'

Your first link somehow fails to take into consideration what was said to get banned.

The second link actually touches upon why perhaps conservatives feel they are moderated more often: But conservatives say they see public shows of support for liberals and their causes, such as gay rights and racial justice. If your belief is that some people have less rights than you do, perhaps that means you express yourself in a manner that actually goes against the TOS? Perhaps ponder why a conservative belief that in practice means less rights for others is frowned upon and perhaps moderated when expressed in no uncertain terms.

The third link, see above.

The fourth link, you do know that the video was edited to leave out key contexts, right? It’s like leaving out the word "hypothetically" while asking "have you stopped beating your wife yet?".

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 'So, Fox, about that glaring bias of yours..

"Perhaps ponder why a conservative belief that in practice means less rights for others is frowned upon and perhaps moderated when expressed in no uncertain terms."

This is actually what in the long term may cost US conservatives their place in the US political landscape as decisively as southern slaveholders lost theirs by making the oppression of others a central pillar of their ideology.

There’s a world of difference between saying "Uh, I’m a heterosexual and comfortable with that" and saying "I’m a heterosexual and unless everyone else is as well I’m not comfortable".

One of those statements means your values are those of a bigot rather than merely a conservative. But if US conservatives today feel they share the ideology of the third reich when it comes to undesirables then they need to take the next step and simply admit that their beliefs are, in fact, those of racists and bigots.

At that point I think we can agree that there’s a bias against them.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 'So, Fox, about that glaring bias of yours...'

"This is why most of us prefer things such as open and transparent government."

Most of WHOM?

Certainly not Trump and his adherents. Not the KKK and neo-nazis whining about how their "conservative" views are being suppressed. Not actual conservatives who have very consistently been on the side of hanging whistleblowers high and assuming government is always right, even when it’s wrong.

Have you gone and become a bleeding-heart liberal to say these things, Koby?

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

assuming government is always right, even when it’s wrong

Republicans generally don’t believe that. They believe the government is almost always wrong, corporations are always right, most public services and public lands should be privatized for the good of the nation(’s wealthiest citizens), and the Supreme Court should always defer to a bunch of dead men when ruling on constitutional matters. Remember that Ronald Reagan apparently intended this quote to be a joke but Republicans latched onto it as if he was sincere about it:

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

I mean, why else would Republicans spend their time in office trying to make sure the government doesn’t work? (Other than to say “reëlect me and I’ll get things working again”, that is.)

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"Republicans generally don’t believe that."

Really? I mean i know what they keep saying but the fact is that every republican administration after Reagan has done their damnedest to expand and inflate government power and manpower.

GWB’s little wars against Iraq and Afghanistan ended up costing the US public purse as much money as any dozen presidential terms before him. Trump hasn’t exactly been a "savings" guy except in the way that he axed a number of essential services the US would very much have liked to be up and running at the beginning of the current pandemic.

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”"

I can’t even begin to describe how screwed-up a public sector must be before those words start making ANY kind of sense.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: 'So, Fox, about that glaring bias of yours...'

"The calls to gut section 230 are directly because there is a bias in moderation. No bias = no complaint."

Wrong on both counts.

First of all, the calls to gut section 230 stem almost entirely from people who have a vested interest in forcing every online platform owner to allow their platform to become an open and unregulated sewer. The "bias" being complained about is one where private entities have simply said "Hate speech, bigotry, and the worst types of factually obvious disinformation is not welcome." and who enforce that rule on their own property.

It’s pretty telling that the bigots getting the boot feel justified to complain that "being heterosexual" is discriminated against when they insist that being allowed to spew bigoted opinion is part and parcel of their sexuality and gender identity.

And "No bias" in this case would mean dropping moderation altogether – that would, instantly, turn Twitter (and any other platform currently in use) into 8chan. I’m pretty sure "complaints" would be forthcoming.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: 'So, Fox, about that glaring bias of yours...'

The same predictions were made with regard to Brandenburg v Ohio. A group as vile as the Klu Klux Klan gained the right to hold public rallies.

If you think this is somehow relevant, perhaps you should ask yourself where they were allowed to hold those rallies.

Was it in a publicly owned space?

Or was a privately owned space forced to allow them to hold a rally there?

Tanner Andrews (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: 'So, Fox, about that glaring bias of yours...'

Brandenburg v Ohio [395 U.S. 444 (1969)]. A group as vile as the Klu Klux Klan gained the right to hold public rallies

Actually, they always had that right. So long as the rally is held on property whose owner consents, and in states like NJ, PA, or MS, that may include state or municipal property, the rally is fine.

What Brandenburg said was that you could teach and spread your bigotry, so long as there was no clear and present danger that it would result in illegal action.

What was not at issue there was holding a cross-burning on property of a non-consenting owner. That used to be very common, the KKK would burn crosses on properties of uppity persons of darker complexion in order to put them in fear of violence.

This remains illegal, though in some states it may not be prosecuted. And in Lake County, just across the river from here, there may no longer be county funds available to pay for the fuel. I exaggerate slightly.

The result is not that different on social media platforms, as a comparison shows. The McCall family may host cross-burnings on its farm, and that is fine, even if other people forbid such on their farms. Likewise, social media platforms may choose whether to host those who might conduct virtual cross-burnings. Neither of these decisions is subject to government review.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 'So, Fox, about that glaring bias of yours...'

"What was not at issue there was holding a cross-burning on property of a non-consenting owner. That used to be very common, the KKK would burn crosses on properties of uppity persons of darker complexion in order to put them in fear of violence."

Bringing that into todays online perspective, is THAT is what the Very Fine People are after? Fishing for the good old days when they could go show the uppity n___er a flaming cross?

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Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: The Problem Is Bias

What goes overlooked is that people on the other side of the political spectrum are equally, if not more poisonous than him

Kathy Griffin does not have the power to imprison, command an army, sign laws, or drop nuclear bombs.

Kinda different, doncha think?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The Problem Is Bias

Kathy Griffin does not have the power to imprison, command an army, sign laws, or drop nuclear bombs.

Kinda different, doncha think?

But people like Adam Schiff has quite a bit of power, and he spewed lies for years about having direct evidence that Trump and Putin worked hand in glove to change votes in the 2016 election. When the transcripts of the testimony Schiff compiled while questioning witnesses were released, we all saw how much of a lying sack of shit Schiff was (and is).

But his blatantly-false tweets aren’t to be fact-checked or even glanced at suspiciously because you agree with their politics.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

and he spewed lies for years about having direct evidence that Trump and Putin worked hand in glove to change votes in the 2016 election. When the transcripts of the testimony Schiff compiled while questioning witnesses were released, we all saw how much of a lying sack of shit Schiff was (and is).

And your proof is where?

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

he spewed lies for years about having direct evidence that Trump and Putin worked hand in glove to change votes in the 2016 election

[citation needed]

And it needs to be exactly what you say it is: Adam Schiff saying — not implying or inferring, but outright saying in a way that can‘t be misinterpreted or misconstrued — that he had direct evidence of Trump and Putin working together to rig the 2016 presidential election.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Well, to be fair it’s pretty clear that Putin did a lot of work to get Trump elected. As did Trump of course. The only thing they’re lacking is evidence that the two of them actively cooperated.

So far all we’ve got in that regard is Trump giving Putin complimentary hand jobs every time he was on camera and being asked about Russia. Hell, russian standup comedians with Putin in the audience were using "Trump brown-nosing Putin" as part of their most popular material. It’s one of the very few times I’ve seen Putin actually smiling on camera – while watching the show with a smug, not-so-subtle grin.

I’m not surprised Schiff was convinced he’d find actual evidence. It’s hard to watch someone so obviously pandering to another nations statesman and NOT come to the conclusion he’s working the crowd for that statesman in exchange for something.

Then again this is Trump we’re talking about. As much as I dislike the term "Donald being donald" we’re still talking about the guy who went to North Korea and buttered Kim Jong-Un up like a sandwich. And then returned asking "Why can’t WE have military parades? I want to stand there looking statesmanslike while armies march past…". That was apparently his main takeaway from his visit in NK.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"The only thing they’re lacking is evidence that the two of them actively cooperated."

…and the lack of that evidence should be even scarier. Which is worse – someone within the country actively working to install themselves as a proxy for another, or a foreign power installing someone who can work for them without knowing it?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

"…or a foreign power installing someone who can work for them without knowing it?"

Well, it’s not the first time Putin has sock-puppeted a US president. To be fair manipulating western politics used to be Putin’s job back when he was with the KGB’s fifth directorate.

The first time around was when he publicly opposed GWB’s invasion in Iraq – then, when the US invaded Iraq looking for terrorists with absolutely no evidence of such at hand, Putin marched the Red Army into a few of the breakaway satellite republics of the old soviet union – "looking for chechnyan terrorists". No one in the west who mattered could even stand up and condemn it while they were still looking at the Iraqi shit-show.

When it comes to Trump…again, to be fair, all Putin had to do was make him feel important and Trump would pull somersaults backward to make him happy. To Trump people like Putin and Kim Jong-Un look like the winners in life he’d love to be.

What is truly scary here isn’t the possible collusion but the fact that americans went to the polls and elected themselves a guy with a 40 year history of being a narcissistic malicious douchebag and fraud artist whose only merit was to con his joint venture partners just a tad faster than the collapse of the venture could hit and whose personality was best expressed in his frequent forays against black men, women, and the way he turned his bad days into good ones by firing people at random.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

And it needs to be exactly what you say it is: Adam Schiff saying — not implying or inferring, but outright saying in a way that can‘t be misinterpreted or misconstrued — that he had direct evidence of Trump and Putin working together to rig the 2016 presidential election.

From Adam Schiff’s Twitter account:

July 16, 2017: "Don Jr.’s emails are about as clear evidence as you could find of intent by the Trump campaign to collude with the Russians:"

December 19, 2017: "With the president continuing to claim that the investigations have produced no evidence of collusion, it is worth examining the public record after nine months of work. Reality diverges sharply from Mr. Trump’s vehement denials."

March 17, 2018: "Mr. President, the Committee reached no such conclusion — only Republicans. In fact, we did find evidence of collusion, despite GOP members being more interested in protecting you than learning the truth. When accusing others of lying, best not to misrepresent facts yourself."

April 27, 2018: "Mr. President, to conclude there is “no evidence” of collusion, you must ignore Russia’s extensive efforts to help your campaign, the litany of communications between Russia & your campaign, & the massive effort to conceal these contacts."

April 27, 2018: "Throughout the investigation, Committee Republicans chose not to seriously investigate — or even see, when in plain sight — evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia."

July 26, 2018: "If allegation Trump ok’d June 9 meeting is true, it means he not only publicly appealed to Russia for help, but privately approved receiving it. As forecast to Papadopoulos, that help would come in the release of Clinton emails. The conspiracy case may have just gotten stronger."

July 30, 2018: "In light of reports that Trump allegedly knew of and approved meeting with Russians, Giuliani is now arguing collusion is not a crime. True, but conspiracy is. Still, does this mean the President’s mantra will change from “no collusion, no collusion” to “no crime, no crime”?"

August 1, 2018: "The Russian collusion with the Trump Campaign may very well have been one of the most successful in history. Still, it seems a strange thing to brag about."

August 31, 2018: "Russian intelligence agencies helped Trump win so only fitting that one of their own should attend his inauguration. As if this were not enough, a GOP lobbyist helped the Russian intel operative illegally buy tickets. Chalk up another Trump-Russia conviction in the witch hunt."

And when questioned by Schiff about any evidence of collusion, here’s a few responses:

James Clapper: “I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting/conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election. That’s not to say that there weren’t concerns about the evidence we were seeing, anecdotal evidence. … But I do not recall any instance where I had direct evidence.”

Susan Rice: "I don’t recall intelligence that I would consider evidence to that effect that I saw…conspiracy prior to my departure."

When asked about collusion, Rice replied: “Same answer.”

Don’t let facts get in the way of your feelings…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Imagine I went to the police and said, "Rocky has unnatural relations with children."

Of course, you’ll complain that I called you a pedophile.

I can then respond, "I never said he was a pedophile!"

But the implication still stands.

Even Stone responded, "Per your citations, I concede the point."

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

The premise was that there where direct evidence that Trump and Putin worked together which isn’t supported by the quotes supplied. If Stone want to concede the point, that’s his choice but as far as I’m concerned there is no direct evidence to support your claim.

If you think I’m wrong, could you then tell me which quote above explicitly says Trump worked together with Putin?

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

If Trump and Putin worked together to get Trump elected it’s not collusion any longer – it’s something much worse.

Trump certainly knew what was going on, but that doesn’t mean he worked together with Putin which was the claim. I’m still waiting for someone to point to a quote from Schiff where he claims just that.

If people want to be sloppy and attribute specific things that actually never happened to someone they don’t like, isn’t that a bit like lying? Which makes me wonder what else they may be sloppy about…

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

I’m still waiting for someone to point to a quote from Schiff where he claims just that.

You don’t find this satisfactory?

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200527/08275544581/when-problem-isnt-twitter-president-trump.shtml#c1175

That looks to me like a bunch of times Schiff claimed there is evidence that Trump worked with Putin to swing the election. I’m not really sure how you can read that come to any other conclusion, so maybe you just didn’t see it.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

I’m afraid that’s not good enough, because my question was which specific quote says that Trump worked directly with Putin?

In my world, directly in this context means that Trump and Putin had regular contact where they talked about and planned Trumps ascension to president which the above quotes doesn’t support.

Now, if the claim was that Trump and Putin was responsible for elevating Trump to president, that’s something different.

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JasonC (profile) says:

There's no problem with banning him

His tweets have violated their ToS hundreds of times over the last 3 years. Anyone else would be banned, so treat him the same.

At the same time, inform the US Government that any other account used to violate their ToS repeatedly, whether "official" or otherwise, will also be terminated.

Fuck him.

Koby (profile) says:

Re: There's no problem with banning him

His tweets have violated their ToS hundreds of times over the last 3 years. Anyone else would be banned, so treat him the same.

Ohhh but they don’t. Issuing death threats against Trump is apparently not a bannable offense. One set of rules for me, and another set of rules for thee.

https://variety.com/2020/biz/news/kathy-griffin-trump-tweet-syringe-controversy-backlash-1234617006/

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JasonC (profile) says:

Re: Re: There's no problem with banning him

Unsurprisingly, you are not as familiar with the law as you think. That is not a death threat – it is not even a criminal threat, as it doesn’t meet the criteria for that.

Another Trumper ignorant of the law: details at 9.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: There's no problem with banning him

"Another Trumper ignorant of the law: details at 9."

Also, that’s the thing he whines about, yet some of the right-wingers whose "free speech" is being removed are actively trying to get people killed, and he thinks it’s unfair that they were banned for that.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: There's no problem with banning him

" Issuing death threats against Trump is apparently not a bannable offense."

At least try not use an obvious lie to make your case, Koby.

Wishing someone would come down with something fatal is tacky, offensive, and may be bannable. But it’s an opinion which has been protected in courts MANY times.

Wishing the same against a group of people connotated as a minority tends to outright violate Terms of Services and therefore is usually bannable.

Unless Kathy has the power to curse someone to death or call down divine retribution it isn’t a threat.

So if you first use false equivalence and turn opinion and ill-wishes into a direct death threat you’ll have a point. Otherwise not.
The difference, incidentally, is that an actual death threat issued against POTUS in a public forum is likely to result in a visit from the secret service followed by the possibility of incarceration.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: There's no problem with banning him

I don’t get the "difficulty" with banning Trump from Twitter either. If their policy is to ban people who spread misinformation, and Twitter’s conclusion here seems to be that what Trump said is indeed misinformation, then it’s not difficult to ban him. They have procedures in place to do just that.

Oh, but now I see … it’s a strategic problem for Twitter, not a tech problem.

Big Tech doesn’t want Trump reelected. If Twitter bans him, they’re aware it’ll only increase the votes he’ll get.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: There's no problem with banning him

"I don’t get the "difficulty" with banning Trump from Twitter either"

Money. His idiocy drives extra traffic and thus revenue.

"If Twitter bans him, they’re aware it’ll only increase the votes he’ll get."

There’s also that. Trump would immediately play up some kind of liberal conspiracy if he were held responsible for his actions, and his base is dumb enough to believe him.

But, that’s not a reflection of Twitter being in the wrong…

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

Re: Re:

Because it’s all he has. The actual examples of objectionable, bannable speech on the "left" are so few and far between he has to repeat the one example he thinks he’s found, not understanding that "but Mom they do it too!" is not a defense of the people banned for far worse behaviour.

Waitman (profile) says:

Fact checking

It’s not such a bad thing I suppose. If I post something untrue I’d like to know about it. I don’t understand why anyone would want to be responsible for spreading incorrect information.

However, there are issues. For example a friend posted a photo of a statue and wrote that the statue was his cousin. It was flagged as untrue. The issue was that it was satire. Of course the statue was not his cousin.

Probably a good solution for the pres would be to use something other than twitter, like Zap or Mastodon. That way he can feel more comfortable about expressing himself without being crushed by the iron fist of censorship.

Waitman (profile) says:

Fact checking

It’s not such a bad thing I suppose. If I post something untrue I’d like to know about it. I don’t understand why anyone would want to be responsible for spreading incorrect information.

However, there are issues. For example a friend posted a photo of a statue and wrote that the statue was his cousin. It was flagged as untrue. The issue was that it was satire. Of course the statue was not his cousin.

Probably a good solution for the pres would be to use something other than twitter, like Zap or Mastodon. That way he can feel more comfortable about expressing himself without being crushed by the iron fist of censorship.

David says:

My double take

Trump happens to be the President of the United States, which is a fact that is going to strain any content moderation policy primarily set up to deal with the tweets by people who are not the President of the United States.

I actually autocompleted that to "Trump happens to be the President of the United States, which is a fact that is going to strain credulity." before having to strain my attention span by parsing the more elaborate completion.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"These executive orders coming out of the Trump whitehouse are far from addressing emergencies."

What are you talking about. A public forum started fact-checking Trump’s tweets!

For Trump this IS an emergency, because he isn’t used to his fibs coming with a "Please take ad notam that the contents of this message may be hyperbole, infactual, inflammatory, or just outright bullshit" comment attached.

David says:

Re: Re:

I thought the purpose of bypassing congressional authority via an executive order was to enact emergency powers for a fast and expeditious response to a national threat. These executive orders coming out of the Trump whitehouse are far from addressing emergencies.

But you have to admit that they are a national threat.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Well, I agree the problem started when people who don’t like being encountered with opinions with which they disagree and facts that make them uncomfortable demanded Big Tech suppress those thoughts …

… but Twitter and other Big Tech are also to blame for giving in to these Orwellian extortionists.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Well, I agree the problem started when people who don’t like being encountered with opinions with which they disagree and facts that make them uncomfortable demanded Big Tech suppress those thoughts …… but Twitter and other Big Tech are also to blame for giving in to these Orwellian extortionists.

Which facts and thoughts are you referring to that Twitter and others ought not to have moderated? I have a guess, but maybe you could clarify.

Reasonable Coward says:

Treat privileged Twitter accounts differently

Content moderation at scale is considerably less impossible if the scale is greatly reduced, and in this case the scale can be narrowed to: the Twitter accounts of prominent individuals who, by virtue of the newsworthiness of their tweets, have been granted some level of immunity against tweet deletion or account suspension, yet who have repeated committed offenses that would otherwise merit such sanctions.

So Twitter users like Donald Trump who have skated many violations because of their position could be placed in a probationary mode:

  • Tweets are delayed pending moderation (tweets with a matter of urgency will be expedited)

  • Tweets which would otherwise result in sanctions for a regular user would show up in the feed as something like "Click here to read this tweet, which violates Twitter’s rules." So such rule-breaking tweets would not be immediately visible on the feed.

  • Such offensive tweets would also be un-retweetable.

Tweets which contain false information that is deeply damaging, such as Trumps tweets about mail-in balloting and election fraud, might be treated in a similar fashion.

The prominent Twitter user would need to have a period of good behavior before the probationary period ends and his/her tweets go live again.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Treat privileged Twitter accounts differently

Sorta like in Russia where important ($$$) people are issued flashing blue lights to put on the top of their vehicles so that they can disobey all traffic laws with impunity.

Sweet, but I wonder what one has to give up in order to get these wise guy perks.

Anonymous Coward says:

To say that every tweet by the president is newsworthy is to imply that the president ordering a ham sandwich affects pork futures.

I saw articles today saying "Trump is going to sign an executive order involving social media". They didn’t say what the order was going to contain, what laws Trump was going to invoke, nor how any such order would pass the First Amendment sniff test. Just "OMG, the fool’s going to do <something>!"

It’s not news yet. Wake me up when you’ve actually got some vegetables in your stone soup.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Trump’s directive chiefly seeks to embolden federal regulators to rethink a portion of law known as Section 230, according to the two people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a document that could still evolve and has not been officially signed by the president. That law spares tech companies from being held liable for the comments, videos and other content posted by users on their platforms.

The order would prompt federal officials to open a proceeding to reconsider the scope of the law, the people familiar with the document said. A change could mean potentially dramatic free-speech implications and wide-ranging consequences for a broad swath of companies reliant on doing business on the Internet.

The order would also seek to channel complaints about political bias to the Federal Trade Commission, which would be encouraged to probe whether tech companies’ content-moderation policies are in keeping with their pledges of neutrality. It would also require federal agencies to review their spending on social media advertising, according to the people familiar with the White House’s thinking.

(Source)

Anonymous Coward says:

Journalism vs. Reporting

Doesn’t it seem that messages, even from an impeached president, using a system designed for semi-literate adolescents would be categorized as opinion, not news ? Messages from the White House/Office of the Presidency could be news, poop-tweets are not.
That seems to be a sign that news is no longer journalism, which would have that obvious distinction. An interesting poop-tweet would inspire a White House inquiry and the non-response would be noted, probably in the opinion section.
It’s difficult to sift through the layers of ridiculous reported commentary in the news to find facts and official responses – since they require some effort and work they seem to be ignored.

Anonymous Coward says:

Journalism vs. Reporting

Doesn’t it seem that messages, even from an impeached president, using a system designed for semi-literate adolescents would be categorized as opinion, not news ? Messages from the White House/Office of the Presidency could be news, poop-tweets are not.
That seems to be a sign that news is no longer journalism, which would have that obvious distinction. An interesting poop-tweet would inspire a White House inquiry and the non-response would be noted, probably in the opinion section.
It’s difficult to sift through the layers of ridiculous reported commentary in the news to find facts and official responses – since they require some effort and work they seem to be ignored.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Journalism vs. Reporting

Oh, absolutely. After all, it’s not as if Trump ever uses his Twitter accout to announce official White House policy or attack political opponents. Oh, wait.

Did it ever strike you as noteworthy that this president prefers to use "a system designed for semi-literate adolescents" (a characterization I agree with, incidentally) as his primary means of communication? I know we’ve had 3-1/2 years of this crap, but that’s not normal for the nominal leader of the free world.

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

Contridiction much?

a. Wants to be able to so say anything he wants on Twitter.
b. Want Twitter to be held liable for anything he says there.

Wouldn’t that leave Twitter’s only choices to ban him or shut down?

And want a deal like this too. I’d like to do anything I want, but have someone else pay the consequences.

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

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

Re: Re:

I have an observation myself – those who use the term TDS seriously are getting their news from outlets that lie to them about how badly Trump is running your country. Some of you were screaming about every decision Obama made, yet remain silent when Trump does something vastly worse for you.

The other observation is that you can never actually defend Trump’s actions, you only whine about others stating their opinion.

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