The Flopping Of Trump's Blog Proves That It's Not Free Speech He's Upset About; But Free Reach

from the it's-the-audience dept

A week ago, we wrote about Trump’s new blog, which was designed to look vaguely tweet-like, noting that this proved that he never needed Twitter or Facebook to speak freely. He’s always been able to speak on his own website. NBC News has an interesting story now, suggesting that the blog just isn’t getting that much attention.

A week since the unveiling, social media data suggests things are not going well.

The ex-president?s blog has drawn a considerably smaller audience than his once-powerful social media accounts, according to engagement data compiled with BuzzSumo, a social media analytics company. The data offers a hint that while Trump remains a political force, his online footprint is still dependent on returning to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The Desk of Donald J. Trump is limited ? users can?t comment or engage with the actual posts beyond sharing them to other platforms, an action few people do, according to the data.

Some have been using this to argue that Twitter and Facebook’s bans on the former president were attacks on his “free speech.” But it actually demonstrates something different — and important. Everyone complaining about the removal of Trump’s account are not actually mad about the “free speech” part of it. They’re really mad about the “free reach.” (Hat tip to Renee DiResta for making this point years ago).

Being kicked off these platforms by the platforms (as opposed to, say, the government) is not an attack on your ability to speak. There are lots of places to do that. It is, instead, an attack on having easy access to an audience on those platforms. And, as far as I can tell, there is no right to having as large an audience as possible. Thus, in the same sense that I can’t demand a million followers on any of these platforms, the former president similarly can’t demand that they supply him with the audience of their users.

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Comments on “The Flopping Of Trump's Blog Proves That It's Not Free Speech He's Upset About; But Free Reach”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

That’s part of it but I suspect a bigger part is that while he still has the GOP by the balls he no longer has direct and personal political power, which means that those that were only ‘following’ him to keep track of what heinous thing he was saying/doing/planning next no longer have reason to, leaving him stuck only with his cultists.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"But if he happens to be in the same room as me I might listen to a story or two of his, quarterheartedly."

Two or three times maybe. By the 5th time around he starts railing about that time when the Satanic Cabal of Libtard Space Lizard floated him on board one of their UFO’s to shove a rectal probe up his ass…you may not be in the mood to hear it any more.
Or when you’re with your friends, s.o. or hot date and he looks you up to share with you his newest revelations on the goings-on in the dank basement of Killarys Pizza Parlor or on the throne of the Dark Lord, the Kenyan Muslim.

You’ll end up avoiding him.

Metaphorically speaking what the GOP currently wants is to make sure the place he holes up in will be the same place you go to to meet your friends and no matter how much he rants, the proprietor can’t kick him out.

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Koby (profile) says:

We Knew It Was Just Political

Just as importantly, the people that subscribed to his feed were doing so voluntarily. The big tech censors don’t want certain people to speak, but they also don’t want people to listen. They seek to deny network usage based upon political affiliation; freedom of speech means little without access. This is why it’s so important to repeal section 230, and subject social media to common carrier utility rules.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

subject social media to common carrier utility rules

For what purpose? Social media provides zero societal necessities. I can not think of a single reason why it should be a common carrier.

Please explain what part of social media is required to function in today’s world that would force it to become a common carriere.

I can get by without FB, Twitter, etc, but I would find it very difficult to get by without electricity, or a phone line, or any other utility.

And where is it written that social media is required to provide an audience for everybody. My twitter account does not have 5 millions followers, to whom should I complain?

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Koby (profile) says:

Re: Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

And where is it written that social media is required to provide an audience for everybody.

That’s why many of us want section 230 reform. We want to write it down. If you build the digital version of a public square, and folks can voluntarily subscribe, then the platform shouldn’t be censored. The voluntary communication should be unquestionably allowed.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

The public square is the Internet, and twitter et al. are clubs accessed via that square. You can set up you own club off that square, or find a club that accepts what you want to say. However what you keep demanding is an ability to hijack the clubs, regardless of the wishes of the owner and complaints of the patrons..

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Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: We've had this conversation before.

Feel free to get the state to make an actual public square on the internet. But you’re going to find you need moderation in a hurry.

Unless you really like penis pills, Nigerian princes and discussions of your vehicle’s extended warranty.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

We tried this with USENET, which still works.

AOL had a near-monopoly on internet speech in the mid-1990s, had very restrictive speech policies, and lost market share, as did Yahoo!, MySpace!, and many other companies that were permissive as they grew before clamping down and raising the drawbridge.

What saves free speech in the long run is the desire to bill ourselves as having a "free, open discussion." Even if no one suspects censorship, discussions which omit relevant ideas will quickly lose steam, and some company hungry for users will cater to that market.

If Twitter is banning people that’s just a sign that it’s the beginning of the end for Twitter, whose stock is down about 38 percent during Trump’s banning. AOL lost even more. The free market actually works for free speech. The internet has done its job.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"USENET was moderated. Many ISPs filtered out the .binaries."

More like USENET itself wasn’t moderated but depending on your ISP or the newsgroups you used to access USENET you’d receive your feed pre-filtered. And this was often the more popular option.

So you could argue that even for USENET the market demanded moderation. Because no one wanted to have to wade through megabytes of goat porn fan fiction just to get to alt.rutabagas.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

For those (somehow) unfamiliar with John Smith’s rhetoric, his purpose in bringing up Usenet in these discussions is twofold. One, it’s based on the idea that Usenet provides him with information that he uses to populate his allegedly valuable mailing lists. Two, his belief is that "Usenet existed while Section 230 didn’t, therefore Section 230 needs to die".

John Smith claiming that the free market works is not the result of some epiphany. It’s part of a carefully crafted angle that he consistently tries to shoehorn into everything. Just wait a few more posts before he starts whining about Rose McGowan again.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

"One, it’s based on the idea that Usenet provides him with information that he uses to populate his allegedly valuable mailing lists."

I somehow had an inkling we’d see the resurrection of Baghdad Bob’s old line of "But mah mailing list! Pirates done stole it! Mah preciousss!"

"Two, his belief is that "Usenet existed while Section 230 didn’t, therefore Section 230 needs to die"."

Which is weird because…Usenet still exists and the only difference is that social media platforms have become far more populat than usenet under section 230. I mean, I can see him making that argument. I just can’t, as usual, see any functional logic in it.

"John Smith claiming that the free market works is not the result of some epiphany. It’s part of a carefully crafted angle that he consistently tries to shoehorn into everything."

Except when the topic actually is about the free market at which point he always goes full commie. It’s as if his understanding of the "free market" comes out of Karl Marx’s definition of intermediate communist state.

"Just wait a few more posts before he starts whining about Rose McGowan again."

…or how Hansmeier and Steele, these stalwart "heroes" of the late, "great" copyright troll outfit Prenda got a raw deal in court, just because they practiced fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, perjury, obstruction of justice and contempt…

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Which is weird because…Usenet still exists and the only difference is that social media platforms have become far more populat than usenet under section 230. I mean, I can see him making that argument. I just can’t, as usual, see any functional logic in it.

It’s not that weird when you consider why he’s proposing it. John’s thought process is "If Usenet existed before Section 230, Usenet doesn’t need Section 230, and therefore Section 230 can be killed off. Platforms dependent on Section 230 wouldn’t matter because then we’d all go back to Usenet."

No, it’s not a good argument, but grasping at straws is the basis of John Smith’s school of argumentation.

…or how Hansmeier and Steele, these stalwart "heroes" of the late, "great" copyright troll outfit Prenda got a raw deal in court, just because they practiced fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, perjury, obstruction of justice and contempt…

To be fair, he eventually gave up on that by late 2013 when it turned out that Prenda was absolutely getting their ass handed to them. You can read up on Prenda articles on that era for a laugh at John Smith’s "horse with no name" phase. Naw, these days John Smith’s modus operandi is how women need to be protected via sketchy revenge porn laws, because according to John Smith all women are whores who sleep their way to the top…

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

"Platforms dependent on Section 230 wouldn’t matter because then we’d all go back to Usenet."

Which, of course, wouldn’t be such a problem if USENET remotely resembled how people use the modern internet, or the demographics of the audience who use it. Once you start to consider the vast differences between the audiences and the fact that the internet is as vital and as baked into mainstream culture as the telephone was in the 1960s, if not more so, and there’s now a generation who can’t remember a time before it, then it becomes a much more difficult proposition. Which is why so many of us are opposed to letting a loudmouthed minority of bigots control the narrative.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

" If you build the digital version of a public square, and folks can voluntarily subscribe, then the platform shouldn’t be censored"

That’s a good argument for making ISPs common carriers, not platforms.

Are you going to start with an actual argument based in reality that has something to do with your klan buddies being allowed to violently force themselves into communities that have told them to GTFO? Because, as ever, that’s what you’re demanding.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 We Knew It Was Just Political

It’s called "the internet", and everyone is free to build their own soapbox in it.

I’d argue you could make a case the network backbone under common carrier regulation is indeed a form of public square. The private addresses in it, not so much.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 'No regulations for them! All the regulations for you!'

It would be a whole lot easier to believe that the politicians railing against social media for ‘controlling speech!’ and ‘abusing their monopoly positions!’ were doing so in good faith if more than a few of them hadn’t looked the other way if not actively supported the gutting of any regulations that internet access providers were bound by.

As it stands it’s the equivalent of the square itself being privately owned but the local politicians seeing nothing wrong in the owner deciding who gets to use it and at what prices, but the individual businesses on it that are also privately owned being told that they aren’t allowed to show people the door because that would be unfair and infringe people’s rights to free speech.

I’d agree that if anything deserves to have common carrier regulations it would be internet access providers long before the individual platforms on the internet deserve that status, but for some strange reason that never seems to come up in the ranting about how if you can’t access a particular platform to speak on you can’t speak at all.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

Please explain what part of social media is required to function in today’s world that would force it to become a common carriere.

Considering some countries in the world demand social media user credentials prior to entry, I’d say there’s quite a bit that should make them common carriers. There are also some businesses that won’t even look at an application without social media references. For some people FB is the cheapest means they have to communicate with others. Should they be required to pay to say what they want to family members without fear of censorship? I’ve personally had a class in high school where we were guaranteed a failing grade if we didn’t have a known social media account linked to the class’s feed. Want more?

I can get by without FB, Twitter, etc, but I would find it very difficult to get by without electricity, or a phone line, or any other utility.

Thanks for dating yourself. Unfortunately for you, there are many people, mostly of younger generations but there are a few boomers as well, that use FB, Twitter, etc. as their primary means of communication with others. If we were to go back a few centuries, we’d find that the concept of "common carrier" had a very different meaning than it does today. Why shouldn’t society be able to expand or change the definition over time? Why should only industries you approve of be considered essential services?

And where is it written that social media is required to provide an audience for everybody.

Where is it written that you should be entitled to electrical service? Or telephone service? Or Education for children? Or Fire / Police / EMS service? Or Social Security / Medicaid? (That’s a fun one!) Or any other utility? Society can change it’s entitlements if it wants to. Complaining that you don’t use it and therefore it shouldn’t be up for discussion isn’t a valid argument.

My twitter account does not have 5 millions followers, to whom should I complain?

Well that might have something to do with you purportedly not using it….. Also, according to this site 5 "millions" followers shouldn’t be able to reach you, unless what you say is on their approved list. A fact which might also explain your lack of followers…… Intentional interference.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

In order to access FB or Twitter or any social media, one needs a smartphone or computer with internet access. You mean to tell me, that there are no other ways to communicate using a smartphone or computer other than social media? How about facetime? Or text messages? Phone calls? Skype? Or any other free communication platforms that are available online? You do realize that the Internet provides an infinite number of means to communicate?

There is no requirement that says any business needs to accept you as a customer, outside of essential utilities such as water and electric. Go into Walmart and start yelling racial slurs and see how quickly you are removed from their property. Go into any restaurant wearing nothing but your underwear, and see how quickly you are asked to leave.

Business have rules that must be followed in order to be a customer in good standing. Any they have every right to kick you out of their establishment, online or otherwise.

As to essential utilities, yes, power / gas / water companies are required to provide you service as long as you maintain good standing w.r.t paying your bills. And even then, most locales have regulations that will not allow these utilities to disconnect your service for non payment, such as the gas company during winter.

And if you think that FB, or social media in general is as essential as electricity / gas / water, I will ask you to perform one simple task. Turn off your electricity, gas and water, and try to cook yourself a meal using social media.

If you feel that you can’t survive as human in today’s society with social media, then you, really have a problem. As to a requirement for certain activities, job interviews, etc., that should not be a problem if you are a decent person doing normal things on social media. If you are a Nazi, anti-semite, anti-LGBQT+, racists, misogynist, or are just a normal everyday asshole that gets you banned from social social media, then the problem is you and not the social media company.

And as per dating myself, you are right, I am an old guy who first got my facebook account in college when it was a requirement to have a .edu address, and I was an adult when I went back to college. So, I have been using FB for much longer than the average person, and you want to know something really revealing, I have never once been kicked off or suspended. You want to know why? Because I am a decent normal person and generally don’t act like a fucking asshole online.

So basically, your entire premise is that social media should be forced by law to accept everybody that wants to join, and the users who act like assholes on a regular basis should still be allowed to use their service, even though they ruin the experience for all the other normal people.

And as to my followers on social media, I use FB and Twitter regularly, and I still don’t have 5 million followers. But you know what, I have read the 1st amendment 1000s of times in the last number of years, but nowhere is it written that I am guaranteed an audience on somebody’s private property.

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sumgai (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

Jeebus, AC, I don’t know where to begin….

OK, from the top:

Considering some countries in the world demand social media user credentials prior to entry, I’d say there’s quite a bit that should make them common carriers.

You don’t need to enter that country, simple as that. Required for your job? Get your employer to either obtain an exemption, or else send someone else.

There are also some businesses that won’t even look at an application without social media references.

The odds are that there’s another business just down the street that won’t have such a restriction. But more to the point, if the Internet and/or social media should be classified as a common carrier, then let’s put the shoe on the other foot – why should I have to prove that I have electricity or running water at my home, just to get a job?

For some people FB is the cheapest means they have to communicate with others.

Those would be people who ignored what their ISP said about a free email account being included with their service. FB might not charge you for sending messages, at least not money, but they sure get their money’s worth out of your communications, trust me on that one.

For some people FB is the cheapest means they have to communicate with others.

Do I really need to point you to the above response?

I’ve personally had a class in high school where we were guaranteed a failing grade if we didn’t have a known social media account linked to the class’s feed.

Well now we’re getting somewhere. At least I am. What you suffered in high school was a lack of exposure to the law. Absolutely nowhere, at no time, has any law every been passed, nor a court case upheld the notion that a student (underage or otherwise) lose any rights guaranteed to the citizens of this country. You do NOT have to have a social media account in order to attend school, nor to gain the advantages of state-mandated schooling. Next time you hear "no account = no passing grads", tell them to go pinch a loaf and fall back in it.

I can get by without FB, Twitter, etc,

Thanks for dating yourself.

That’s not dating one’s self, that’s just good common sense. I’ve been online longer that you’ve been drawing breath, and I’m still getting along just fine with people all over the world. Whether friends, business associates, transportation facilities, or what-have-you, no one I need/want to deal with requires me to have a social media account. And yet they all still respect me for the person I am, not some shabby straw-man with a keyboard and a screen. (OK, OK, businesses only respect me for the money I spend with them, I’m sorrry.)

Unfortunately…. there are many people…. that use FB, Twitter, etc. as their primary means of communication with others.

Well, it would be unfortunate that I have to watch my fellow man suffer the consequences of their own stupidity, but that is their prerogative. Still and all, using FB is certainly not the only way to communicate, nor is it required for communication in any sense of the word. See (yet again) my response above.

If we were to go back a few centuries, we’d find that the concept of "common carrier" had a very different meaning than it does today.

Nope. The concept is well defined, and you’re correct, it does go back almost 200 years – the railroads. But as we’re applying it to the internet and social media today, we’re comparing it to the most recent example, our regulated electricity, water, sewer and possibly garbage collection utilities. Your idea of "changes over time" doesn’t hold water because it’s still a matter of government regulation over an otherwise monopolistic realm.

Why should only industries you approve of be considered essential services?

Oops, we’re getting personal here. It’s not my approval, it’s society’s approval with which you disagree. I didn’t get a choice, but I’m living with society’s choices just fine. Should the majority of society choose to elect to regulate the internet for some reason, I’d have to go along with it, regardless of my personal likes or dislikes.

And where is it written that social media is required to provide an audience for everybody.

Where is it written that you should be entitled to electrical service? Or telephone service? Or Education for children? Or Fire / Police / EMS service?

All of those are written into my State’s Constitution. In fact, I’m required by that very same piece of paper to attend school until I’m 16 years of age. Education is funded by taxes laid upon society in general, apportioned in some manner between the citizenry and businesses. The other utilities are required to be presented to me, but I’m not required to take them. And if I do want/take them, then I need to meet additional conditions, such as paying for what I use out of my own pocket.

Or Social Security / Medicaid? (That’s a fun one!)

No fun at all, it’s required by law. In fact, because I’m subject to these "societal benefits", I happen to know that I’m not required to take advantage of them, but I certainly can choose to do so.

Complaining that you don’t use it and therefore it shouldn’t be up for discussion isn’t a valid argument.

Where the Hell did that come from? I mean, left field bleachers isn’t even close to a valid location.

Your last paragraph contains statements of fact for which no logical argument can be presented.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Considering some countries in the world demand social media user credentials prior to entry, I’d say there’s quite a bit that should make them common carriers.

Nope. Nobody needs social media for anything.

You can start a blog if you want to share your thoughts with the world. You can use email if you want to keep in touch with people. You can keep sites bookmarked if you want to keep up with the latest news in whatever interest floats your boat (including boating). Whatever you think you need Twitter or Facebook for, you don’t.

Should they be required to pay to say what they want to family members without fear of censorship?

I’m pretty sure that’s what paid services such as “cellphone service” are for.

Thanks for dating yourself.

…fucking what

there are many people, mostly of younger generations but there are a few boomers as well, that use FB, Twitter, etc. as their primary means of communication with others

Question: If Twitter or Facebook decided tomorrow to shut down all their services without warning, what — if anything — would give the United States federal government any right to prevent that? Remember that Twitter and Facebook are privately owned corporations that don’t run public utilities.

Why shouldn’t society be able to expand or change the definition over time?

Ain’t no problem with that per se. But you want to turn an inessential communications platform into a public utility because you’re butthurt about said platform banning bigots who happen to hold conservative views. Your reasons aren’t rooted in clarity of language or purpose — it’s rooted in spite.

Why should only industries you approve of be considered essential services?

Because anyone on this godforsaken dirtball can live their entire lives without ever once using social media. Facebook isn’t essential for living. Neither is Twitter.

Society can change it’s entitlements if it wants to.

For what reason should the government be able to force speech onto privately owned platforms? Please not that I’ve a long copypasta concerning the idea of public fora and private property waiting in the wings, so you may want to answer this question with something other than “because I want it that way” or the equivalent thereof.

according to this site 5 "millions" followers shouldn’t be able to reach you

Flag on the play: gross mischaracterization. 15 yard penalty, repeat the down.

If Trump wants 5 million followers to reach him, he can open his own social media service and let them all follow him there. Old 45 isn’t entitled to “free reach” — i.e., to have someone else give him an audience (or access to one). Nobody is entitled to that, no matter how much you might wish it otherwise.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

To what political affiliation does "big tech" seek to deny "network usage"? And even if they did, why can they not?

Do you miss the old days when everyone else had very few avenues in which to speak, and your ilk were as loud as ever they still are? So they should be even louder now, since other people are now speaking and heard?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

In those days people could build a grass-roots audience in actual public squares.

If Trump ran a CONTEST, with say a $1,000 prize, I bet his audience would swell.

While SPEECH should be free, the only acceptable way to prevent "censorship" from these big sites is to BUY ADVERTISING. Any efforts to regulate "big tech" should stop the second the sponsorship stops flowing.

Trump’s not censored, he’s cheap.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

"In those days people could build a grass-roots audience in actual public squares."

…and they still can.

I know you people only have arguments that depend on denying actual documented reality, but you should realise that people who understand the real world aren’t going to fall for it.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

"Trump’s not censored, he’s broke."

FTFY.

Trump’s 400 million dollars in the hole to Deutsche Bank, guaranteed by the Russian State Bank. So much for his "self-funded campaign". Putin must not have believed his luck that a few kind words and a mere 400 million gained him a US president willing to give him Syria and the Kurds.

I’m still thinking the main part as to why he’s still in politics, aside from catering to his ego-trip of being important is because the very second he stops trying to be useful to Vladimir there will be creditors at the door and he’s no longer in a position to cut and run as he always used to.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: And which 'politics' would those be by chance? Be specific

Conservative: I have been censored for my conservative views
Me: Holy shit! You were censored for wanting lower taxes?
Con: LOL no…no not those views
Me: So…deregulation?
Con: Haha no not those views either
Me: Which views, exactly?
Con: Oh, you know the ones

(All credit to Twitter user @ndrew_lawrence.)

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: And which 'politics' would those be by chance? Be specific

Con: My views that it shouldn’t matter what I say, if people want to listen to me, they should be able to do so.
That One Guy: Oh, that one! Well of course that would be censored. I disagree with it!
Me: He who forbids, will one day find himself forbidden.

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Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: And which 'politics' would those be by chance? Be specif

You can listen to Donald Trump. He has his own web site where he tweets out stuff.
You can also listen to Alex Jones, who still has InfoWars.

How are those two monstrous assholes "censored" (your words, not mine) if I can still go to their web sites and access their bilious rants?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

My views that it shouldn’t matter what I say, if people want to listen to me, they should be able to do so.

For what reason should they have the right to force Twitter into giving them a bullhorn? Switch out Twitter with Mastodon, Parler, Gab, Techdirt, etc. and the question remains the same.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: And which 'politics' would those be by chance? Be specif

Please be considerate to your fellow posters and make sure to clean up any excess straw after constructing your strawman. In case you haven’t noticed people can listen to Trump, that’s what the article is about, they just don’t care to which rather guts the ‘Trump has been silenced!’ claim and exposes it as nothing more than ‘Trump’s not allowed to use someone else’s private property to speak from against their wishes and that’s not fair’.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: And which 'politics' would those be by chance? Be specif

"Con: My views that it shouldn’t matter what I say, if people want to listen to me, they should be able to do so."

They can. They just can’t co-opt the property of people who don’t want to associate them to do so.

Why do your arguments always revert to demands for communist takeover of the private property of your political opponents – and why do you think anyone else will fall for it?

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: And which 'politics' would those be by chance? Be specif

I’ve long believed that. Unfortunately I’ve come to respect that property rights get in the way of speech rights.
After reading 230 completely and listening to rebuttals to specific passages I pointed out: Repealing 230 won’t change that.

It’s a matter of balancing.

I’ve come to the conclusion that The solution is a public platform for politicians that guarantees freedom of complete access and freedom from all censorship. And that that platform should be extended to all registered candidates.
And that that platform should be directly accessible to any and all citizens of this country. Free from charge. As a website: as a television broadcast, and as a mandatory cable channel.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 And which 'politics' would those be by chance? Be sp

If that’s your solution then you’re not likely to find many people objecting, as the objections are based upon those that think they are owed the ability to speak on the property of others, which not only is not part of the first amendment despite some seeming to wish really hard that it was but would be a hefty violation of it.

The thing is though politicians can already do most of that. They can already set up their own sites, they can already get on tv by simply setting up an interview, and though I don’t watch tv I imagine cable has more than a few channels for politics already which could serve just fine, so I’m not really seeing what problem you’re trying to solve here that actually is a problem.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 And which 'politics' would those be by chance? B

Right now the things you described above depend on private platforms. In order to remove the private property issues I suggest creating a federal site and media platform with total guaranteed access for all in the government m, or have gone through the proper price to run to become part of the government.

This would do two things. First it would allow direct speech to the public by any member of the government.
And secondly would allow for archival.

Trump’s use of twitter and than ban has created a bit of a problem with archival. The President’s public communication is supposed to be recorded by the National Archive. Twitter isn’t interested.
Such a situation could not happen on a government platform.

Fox doesn’t not have to host Democrats, nor CNN have to host Republicans.

It would allow national addresses to be made without political commentary. Equally without pulling away from a live address.

I single place for government to conduct it’s public communication without third-party-partisanship and without censorship.

A direct communication from the official to the public without interpretation by others.

CSPAN is the closest we have at the moment with three stations but it is privately owned AND not nationally broadcast. Now is carrying mandated. Some services don’t offer all three channels.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 And which 'politics' would those be by chanc

"This would do two things. First it would allow direct speech to the public by any member of the government.
And secondly would allow for archival"

So… two things that already happen…

"Trump’s use of twitter and than ban has created a bit of a problem with archival."

Trump’s misuse of Twitter. That was on Trump, not Twitter, and I don’t see any evidence that Twitter have blocked anything relating to archiving, only that they couldn’t continue giving his free stuff.

"Such a situation could not happen on a government platform."

Trump had access to many different government platforms to use, he simply refused to use them.

Your arguments here with the evidence you provided are not that the government needs to do something, it’s that Trump was incompetent. I won’t argue with you there, though I suspect that’s not what you intended to argue.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 And which 'politics' would those be by chance? Be sp

The solution is a public platform for politicians that guarantees freedom of complete access and freedom from all censorship.

Any politician or political party can and do set up their own sites. They can allow and moderate comments on those sites as they wish. Indeed anybody can set up their own site on the Internet and run it as they want. A conversation does not have to be threaded on a single site. However complete freedom from moderation is a guaranteed disaster, and significantly reduces or eliminates the usefulness of a site; see USENET and 8kun for example. Trying to enable conversations directly between people with opposing viewpoints usually end up with a few participants engaging in a screaming match and everybody else moving on to places where they can associate with people of similar, or at least not antagonistic viewpoints.

Stripped to their basics, the arguments for section 230 reform come down to wanting sites to cure the problems of society by controlling what people can say, or a demand that anybody can force their way into any conversation to push their usually bigoted, racist or misogynistic viewpoint.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Repealing 230 won’t change that.

Then you don’t understand the consequences of repealing 230.

230 will allow the most baseless lawsuits to go forward against platforms both big and small. The big ones — “Big Tech”, as it were — would survive because they have legal teams and shitloads of money. The small ones would die the death of a thousand cuts. The only possible ways of avoiding that fate are undermoderation (can’t be sued for not having the knowledge that shit’s on your platform), overmoderation (can’t be sued if you don’t let the shit on your platform), or complete shutdown of third-party submissions (can’t be sued if you don’t give people a platform).

Show me the balance between what we have now and the fates described above, and I’ll tell you the same thing I will keep telling you when you bring this up: A repeal of 230 will only benefit massive corporations.

The solution is a public platform for politicians that guarantees freedom of complete access and freedom from all censorship.

Congratulations, you’ve created 8chan.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Some proposals would make sites responsible for user posts whether they moderate or not, and for contentious posts, ensure that they can be sued whether they leave the post up, or take it down. Even big tech is likely to cash out, rather than enrich lawyers. The only safe option will be to become a real publisher, and that is select and publish some of the submissions received.

The likes of wired would survive, by killing the comments section, but how many simultaneous cases in different courts can even the likes of FaceBook support? Offend a political party and that could be every court where a prosecutor that supports the party can start a case. The attack on Craigslist says it could happen.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

How do you conflate that post with still calling for repeal?
Did I not say I’ve been persuaded to change my mind?

For more than your “fates” concerns which could easily be solved by a law or amendment stating ‘no entity shall be held liable for any other entities’ actions. Something I think we need in this court happy country anyway. But that’s a different topic I won’t discuss under this heading.

It’s the property rights that makes me reconsider my stand.

“ Congratulations, you’ve created 8chan.”
Wow; nice to see how you view each and every politician. Do you really believe the government is incapable of communication without private corporations to dictate rules?

Or did you somehow conflate my interest for sitting and potential politicians to have free, uncensored, and open access to the public as also calling for a commentary option?
I thought I was quite clear I’m seeking a direct from the source platform for government, to the people.
If you don’t like what they say write a letter, or take to twitter or gab or whatever. Or cast a vote against them.
A site for them to communicate with us, not you or I with them.

At the moment there is no way for any member of any governmental body to communicate directly with the citizens of this country without utilising private companies. Not every one has the internet, even today. A platform that would cover the internet, radio, and tv, and print that could, reasonably, reach every American.

Are you against direct access to the people, or did you somehow read something into my comment that wasn’t there.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

no entity shall be held liable for any other entities’ actions

We have such a law right now: Section 230.

Do you really believe the government is incapable of communication without private corporations to dictate rules?

Stop committing yourself to misunderstanding me.

If the government were to open an online public forum, it could not — by law — moderate any speech but that which has been declared unlawful (e.g., true threats of violence, CSAM). The most obscene, most objectionable, most outlandish speech possible could be posted without the government able to do anything in response aside from shutting down the forum. And since 8chan/8kun basically does that anyway, all the government would be doing is making its own version of that site.

Or did you somehow conflate my interest for sitting and potential politicians to have free, uncensored, and open access to the public as also calling for a commentary option? … A site for them to communicate with us, not you or I with them.

That’s called “starting a blog”. In case you haven’t noticed, that’s what Trump did. Hasn’t worked out well for him…

At the moment there is no way for any member of any governmental body to communicate directly with the citizens of this country without utilising private companies.

So what? As long as people follow the TOS of any site they don’t own, they’ll be fine.

A platform that would cover the internet, radio, and tv, and print that could, reasonably, reach every American.

Good fucking luck with making one of those that isn’t prohibitively expensive and time-consuming!

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

At the moment there is no way for any member of any governmental body to communicate directly with the citizens of this country without utilising private companies.

And there never were, as paper, printing and distribution, use of billboards, or use of radio or television also involved the use of private companies. Those are still available, and the Internet has added the possibility of social media and blogs etc.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“Stop committing yourself to misunderstanding me.”
You compared a government run content publishing service for members of government agencies with 8chan.
It’s kind of hard to misunderstand “ Congratulations, you’ve created 8chan.”

The premise put forth was they can book on news shows. That still puts them under the control of those platforms.
Trump creating a blog is no different than any other contact site. Most senators, representatives, etc have that. Some beholden to a platform. Some privately run.

That’s not the same as creating a government platform.

And with the current spending going on for “infrastructure” and all the other things tossed into such bills, I’m sure it can be argued for such a platform to be funded.

It would eliminate any political concern for agains 230 if the government had its own platform for official communication to the people.

The big attack on 230 is coming from private companies removing content of sitting officials. A platform run by the government for the government would eliminate that issue.

It would likely reduce the drive for repealing 230.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

"The big attack on 230 is coming from private companies removing content of sitting officials"

No, section 230 is what allows them to do that. Their actions are in support of section 230.

The attack on section 230 is from people like you who believe that the rules of someone’s house shouldn’t apply if you agree with the abuser politically.

"A platform run by the government for the government would eliminate that issue."

No, it wouldn’t. It actually means that such a platform will be far less useful since they would be prevented from moderating the platform based on political speech, and QAnon Trump cult trolls would roam free, destroying any useful discussion.

"It would likely reduce the drive for repealing 230."

No, it wouldn’t because the whiny children who are demanding that they be allowed back on to private property whose owners don’t want them are not satisfied with alternatives, as you and others have shown. You won’t be happy until everyone is forced to put up with against their will.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: And which 'politics' would those be by chance? Be specif

"Con: My views that it shouldn’t matter what I say, if people want to listen to me, they should be able to do so."

But that’s not your argument. That’s our argument. Everyone can already speak, and everyone can already listen. Stormfront, last I looked, is still in business.

"Con: My views that it shouldn’t matter what I say, if I want people to listen to me, they should be forced to do so."

^THIS is your argument. Your beef is that most people choose to go to the private sites where they don’t have to hear repulsive people speaking. And so you want to barge into someone elses living room because that’s where all the cool kids are.

That’s beyond pathetic.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: And which 'politics' would those be by chance? Be specific

Yeah like thinking biological males shouldn’t compete in girls’ sports.

The problem with moderation is that moderators will inevitably abuse their power.

I still say give everyone an IRS page on which they can post whatever they want as long as their taxes are current. It can become known as the "free speech zone."

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: And which 'politics' would those be by chance? Be specif

The problem with moderation is that moderators will inevitably abuse their power.

And cars can and have been used to commit crimes, that doesn’t mean you ban cars. That moderation can be abused does not mean it will be in every case, there is still plenty of good moderation that keep sites from being overrun by spam and other ‘problematic’ content that would make for a miserable if not outright traumatic experience if users had to deal with it themselves.

I still say give everyone an IRS page on which they can post whatever they want as long as their taxes are current. It can become known as the "free speech zone."

Well, it might start being called the ‘free speech zone’ but I guarantee inside a very short time period it would garner much less flattering names.

Personally I’d love to see the government step up and create a ‘free speech’ platform where anyone can post any legal content of their choice and moderation outside of those limits was banned thanks to the first amendment, as it would show in a matter of day if not hours just how vital moderation is and why those calling for platforms being forced to host all ‘legal’ speech are in practice calling for every platform to become utterly unusable cesspits filled with spam and abhorrent content.

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Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Maybe we need it as a digital memoral.

I’m reminded of an explanation of Ramadan, so that Muslims remember what it’s like to be famished and can empathize with those with food insecurity.

Similarly Hustler magazine served to remind us that whatever we were saying / drawing / posting, someone else was saying something raunchier, and their freedom of expression was upheld as well.

A public spam pit would serve to remind everyone why we have moderators, even when large social media sites continuously make controversial and often bad moderation decisions due to system complexities we’ve yet to reconcile.

Though for now, one only needs to go to 4chan/b and /pol and can get a good glimpse of what is public discourse on the conservative side. And numerous subreddits monitor the worst of Parler, GAB, TheDonald and so on.

The conservative madhouse is not only not being silenced, but is actively being monitored to see just how mad they are today.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 And which 'politics' would those be by chance? B

Moderators can swing elections or pick winners and losers in business

That is not an effect of moderation, that is a larger societal problem where too many people do not have the ability to think for themselves nor do they have strong critical thinking skills.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 And which 'politics' would those be by chance? B

Ignoring for the moment that moderation does not equal censorship and conflating the two merely weakens any impact that claims of ‘censorship’ might have pretty sure if you run someone over you’ve ended their ability to engage in any sort of speech, but if that’s your objection then I can easily use different examples like open communication, whether news or simply someone standing in a park holding a rally to convince people to vote a particular way.

A news show can far more easily and more effectively swing elections and/or public discourse than a moderator, and depending on how they present things they can have a definite impact on ‘winners and losers’ when it comes to business and yet for all that they are still allowed to speak, choosing what to say and how they say it. A person with enough people listening to them can likewise do the same, choosing what to say and how they say it and as a result shifting public discourse and potentially even elections depending on how many people are listening to them, yet again they are allowed to do so.

Talking can swing elections and public discourse yet it is still allowed even when the speakers might not have squeaky clean motivations, so even ignoring for the moment the massive good that can come from moderation like allowing platforms to not be overrun by spammers and various flavors of assholes, and ignoring that you’re likely giving way more credit to moderators in how much they can influence things I’m still left wondering what the core problem is and what alternative you think would be better.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

but they also don’t want people to listen

What’s stopping people from listening now, apart from shitty web design?

He could always move to frankspeech. That’s supposed to support billions upon billions of users once they figure out how to stop the looped video.

But I guess it’s easier to blame big tech and social media sites for trump’s and crackhead’s failures…they’ve got to deflect since they spent so much of their sucker’s money for garbage sites that have a mid-90’s, ‘optimized for IE4’ look to them.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

What’s stopping people from listening now, apart from shitty web design?

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe all of the assholes who want to be the Internet PC police? Or how about all of those upstream service providers who are so thin skinned that they think the words of other people on sites run by other people who use their services are somehow their own words coming straight out of their mouth. Or all of the idiots who having read that last sentence will go "HA! Got the troll!" and immediately claim that the act of using an imageboard is justification for default censorship.

He could always move to frankspeech. That’s supposed to support billions upon billions of users once they figure out how to stop the looped video.

Assuming that their upstream DNS or web hosting provider doesn’t decide to censor the site for their butthurt.

But I guess it’s easier to blame big tech and social media sites for trump’s and crackhead’s failures…

Funny, those who cry the loudest when accusing others tend to be themselves guilty of the same accusation….

they’ve got to deflect since they spent so much of their sucker’s money for garbage sites that have a mid-90’s, ‘optimized for IE4’ look to them.

Since when did a site’s design become a censurable offense?

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Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe all of the assholes who want to be the Internet PC police? Or how about all of those upstream service providers who are so thin skinned that they think the words of other people on sites run by other people who use their services are somehow their own words coming straight out of their mouth.

DID YOU NOT MISS WHAT HAPPENED ON JANUARY 6TH?!?!?!? That wasn’t just a disagreement, that was fucking terrorist. FOH.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe all of the assholes who want to be the Internet PC police?

I don’t like Breitbart. I think we’d all be better off if it were shut down. But if someone wants to read it, that’s out of my control.

Or how about all of those upstream service providers who are so thin skinned that they think the words of other people on sites run by other people who use their services are somehow their own words coming straight out of their mouth.

…fucking what

Assuming that their upstream DNS or web hosting provider doesn’t decide to censor the site for their butthurt.

While we can question whether such decisions go too far vis-á-vis moderation, for now, those service providers have the right to decide what speech (and persons) they will and won’t associate with. Yes or no: Do you believe the government should have the right to make AWS host, say, Stormfront?

those who cry the loudest when accusing others tend to be themselves guilty of the same accusation

Trump repeatedly accused Democratic voters of committing voter fraud. Turns out, one of his voters committed voter fraud.

Now, what were you saying about accusations and confessions, again?

Since when did a site’s design become a censurable offense?

The design of Trump’s microblog isn’t “censurable” (whatever the fuck you think that means in this context). But it is laughable, mockable, pitiable, and — if you take the stats mentioned in the article at face value — doing nothing to keep his supporters enthralled.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

Boy, you seem triggered…did my comments hurt your feelings, snowflake?

Or how about all of those upstream service providers who are so thin skinned that they think the words of other people on sites run by other people who use their services are somehow their own words coming straight out of their mouth.

So how are they blocking access to trump or frankspeech or infowars? You’d think if that was such a tremendous problem, I wouldn’t be able to go to their sites and mock them for their content.

Assuming that their upstream DNS or web hosting provider doesn’t decide to censor the site for their butthurt.

Oh, but the pillow moron built his own using his own servers. That’s pretty fucking comical in and of itself. Their problem isn’t really DNS, is it? It’s the lack of forethought to register for all of those similar domain-names so people don’t get directed to sites that make fun of them.

Funny, those who cry the loudest when accusing others tend to be themselves guilty of the same accusation….

Yeah, real funny that. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘boy you fucking morons really lack self-awareness’?

Since when did a site’s design become a censurable offense?

It isn’t. And the fact that I have that opinion is because (wait for it, skippy, wait for it!!!) it’s not censored. Perhaps they should consider that something that looks like an eight-grader set up as a reason why they have so little traffic.

That’s what I would do. Then again, I’m not an shit-flinging idiot who’s getting fleeced by web developers for creating entry level garbage.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 We Knew It Was Just Political

So how are they blocking access to trump or frankspeech or infowars? You’d think if that was such a tremendous problem, I wouldn’t be able to go to their sites and mock them for their content.

As a number of people have noted for people constantly complaining about being ‘silenced’ they sure are loud.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe all of the assholes who want to be the Internet PC police?

They are physically stopping people from going to Trump’s site or listening to him whenever he makes an appearance? Holy cow that’s some power right there.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

"Maybe all of the assholes who want to be the Internet PC police? "

That would be the smooth brained right-wing cultists who want to remove private property rights from people who told them they’re not welcome on their property.

Everyone else is saying you’re free to use any property owned. by people who do want you. Facebook and Twitter don’t control what happens outside of their property, no matter what the people who want to force them to host them against their will tell you.

"Assuming that their upstream DNS or web hosting provider doesn’t decide to censor the site for their butthurt."

Maybe you should associate with service that do want you then? You have literally thousands of options.

"Since when did a site’s design become a censurable offense?"

Never, but you don’t get to design something that nobody would want to visit then whine that the government needs to revoke private property rights to give you a free audience when nobody wants to use it.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

freedom of speech means little without access

Next you’ll tell us free speech means nothing if people don’t want to visit the site he created.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Absolutely, why if I can’t preach the good word of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in the local church(where everyone is) on sundays then it’s no different than not being able to speak at all, and their refusal to let me have access to all those people is a direct infringement on my freedom of speech!

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

An idiot that can’t determine the difference between censorship of a specific place and widespread default censorship will only make mistakes when talking about free speech.

Even more so when they use fucking religion as an example…. Do I really need to pull out all of the examples of religion being actively suppressed and censored by local authorities throughout history? Or the extent that said authorities were willing to go to in pursuit of that goal? If so, you need to go back to middle school. At the very least someone should fine your world history teacher for being an utter failure.

Here’s a better question for you considering you consider that a person’s personal property allows them to censor people anywhere in the world: Why should Apple allow Conservatives, aka the people you disagree with, to use Apple products at all? Surely given enough use of them Apple could determine a person’s Conservative views and assign a rating to them. Then Apple could brick the device if the rating goes too high. After all, according to that EULA for iOS you are just a licensee, not an owner. Why should Apple allow Conservative views on their platform? Or Google? Or Microsoft? Or AMD? Or Intel? What? If the entire IT industry blacklisted Conservatives, Conservatives could just go make their own IT industry that blacklisted Progressives. Of course liberals would need their own IT industry too… And Socialists…. And…..

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

An idiot that can’t determine the difference between censorship of a specific place and widespread default censorship will only make mistakes when talking about free speech.

A person who can’t understand the difference between moderation, discretion, and censorship will make more mistakes. COPYPASTA TIME:

Moderation is a platform/service owner or operator saying “we don’t do that here”. Personal discretion is an individual telling themselves “I won’t do that here”. Editorial discretion is an editor saying “we won’t print that here”, either to themselves or to a writer. Censorship is someone saying “you won’t do that anywhere” alongside threats or actions meant to suppress speech. Which one of those happened when Twitter gave Donald Trump the boot?

Why should Apple allow Conservatives, aka the people you disagree with, to use Apple products at all?

Because they’re people. For as much as I disagree with conservative views — moderate to extreme — people who hold such views deserve a spot in the public sphere as much as anyone else. That includes being able to buy products in marketplaces, digital and physical alike.

But what that doesn’t include is the right to force Twitter into hosting speech it doesn’t want to host. The right of free speech ends where Twitter’s right to free association begins.

Why should Apple allow Conservative views on their platform?

Because they like money? Also, which views, exactly?

If the entire IT industry blacklisted Conservatives

…fucking what

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Which one of those happened when Twitter gave Donald Trump the boot?

Censorship. You won’t say that, and we are taking action not just to ensure we won’t let anyone willing to listen to you do so, but that you can’t say anything else, that we would permit otherwise, either.

Default full censorship. Not hard to figure that out. It was the entire fucking point of his ban. So much so that it was advertised as a feature of the ban on national television. Also, it wasn’t just Twitter either. You had the entire set of major social media platforms making similar decisions.

Imagine if they did that to a progressive or better yet a corporate democrat president? I bet there wouldn’t have been a single whisper out of the major media outlets over it. With conservatives decrying anyone against it as unAmerican.

But what that doesn’t include is the right to force Twitter into hosting speech it doesn’t want to host. The right of free speech ends where Twitter’s right to free association begins.

So answer the question then: Does Apple have to be "forced" into hosting views on it’s devices that it, presumably, doesn’t want to host? Does Apple have to be "forced" to process speech that it, presumably, doesn’t want to process?

"Hosted" is a nebulous term. At what point does a "hosted" application on an OS runtime become "the speech" of it’s creator? Does it’s creator have a say in what data it will and will not process based solely on their agreement with the user’s personal views? Is it justifiable to deny processing based on that?

Because they like money? Also, which views, exactly?

  1. Money paved the road to hell, and is the direct cause of countless deaths, illnesses, and ecological damage the world over. Don’t assume profits will always align with personal freedoms.
  2. It doesn’t matter which views. Given enough time, any and all of them could be banned. Not because of some gotcha, but because of the fact that any view point can switch between acceptable and unacceptable given enough time. Case in point: Although it’s unacceptable today, slavery was once acceptable and even defended in courts around the world. Hell even the Conservative views, that you are trying to force out of me to derail the conversation, are still very much unacceptable around the world but are becoming acceptable within certain undesirable groups. The context isn’t important, it’s the action of blocking it that is.

…fucking what

That is an over exaggeration of your position. The argument "Well they can just go elsewhere." makes sense when it’s only one building or one site. The argument makes far less sense when you apply it to the entire world / the Internet in general. Scope is a thing when talking about the effects of censorship. As the bigger the scope the greater the chance that someone covered by that censorship will be a willing audience for the speaker. At which point, you don’t have freedom of speech if the two cannot communicate because of the censorship.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

Censorship.

nope

You won’t say that, and we are taking action not just to ensure we won’t let anyone willing to listen to you do so, but that you can’t say anything else, that we would permit otherwise, either.

And when, pray tell, did Twitter’s ability to moderate speech on Twitter extend to social interaction networks outside of Twitter, to ISPs, and to meatspace itself vis-á-vis the media?

(Trick question. It didn’t.)

It was the entire fucking point of his ban. So much so that it was advertised as a feature of the ban on national television.

The same “national television” on which Donald Trump can still be heard to this day if he so wishes?

it wasn’t just Twitter either. You had the entire set of major social media platforms making similar decisions.

So what.

Imagine if they did that to a progressive or better yet a corporate democrat president?

I’d wonder what he did to violate the TOS…like, y’know, Trump did.

Does Apple have to be "forced" into hosting views on it’s devices that it, presumably, doesn’t want to host?

Once someone owns an iPhone or an iPad, it’s theirs, not Apple’s. Apple can’t be “forced” to host a person’s views on devices that said person already owns.

Money paved the road to hell, and is the direct cause of countless deaths, illnesses, and ecological damage the world over.

So is Christianity. What’s your point.

It doesn’t matter which views.

Ah, so I know the ones already, then…

any view point can switch between acceptable and unacceptable given enough time

And any social interaction network is free to decide what it believes is “acceptable” speech. Again: What’s your point.

even the Conservative views, that you are trying to force out of me to derail the conversation, are still very much unacceptable around the world but are becoming acceptable within certain undesirable groups

That you associate those views with conservatism says more about conservatism than it does about the services that don’t want to host such views.

The context isn’t important, it’s the action of blocking it that is.

Context is always important. That you’re not willing to state the views you believe are being blocked unfairly — that you’re trying to divorce the act of blocking from the context of what is being blocked — says a lot about you…and none of it is good.

The argument "Well they can just go elsewhere." makes sense when it’s only one building or one site. The argument makes far less sense when you apply it to the entire world / the Internet in general.

Twitter is one site/service. So is Facebook. That millions of people make use of those services every day doesn’t make them the entirety of the Internet.

Scope is a thing when talking about the effects of censorship.

And if someone were being censored here, you might have a point. But Donald Trump can literally call a press conference tomorrow and have plenty of news outlets ready to put his voice and face on TV. He wasn’t censored. He was told he violated the terms of service and shown the door — which isn’t censorship. It can’t be censorship unless you believe a bar owner showing belligerent assholes the door for yelling racial slurs in the bar is also censorship.

you don’t have freedom of speech if the two cannot communicate because of the censorship

You aren’t owed a right to communicate with someone on Facebook. If you were, nobody could block you on Facebook.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

And when, pray tell, did Twitter’s ability to moderate speech on Twitter extend to social interaction networks outside of Twitter, to ISPs, and to meatspace itself vis-á-vis the media?

Hmm… looks like someone needs a lesson on cause and effect:

Twitter’s decision prevented sites that link to it’s feeds from being able to see Trump’s comments or interact with him (networks outside of Twitter). ISPs can’t transfer data that is HTTP 403’d. (to ISPs) The entire point of the ban was, again, to forbid communication between Trump and his supporters. (meatspace itself) An act overwhelmingly cheered on by, most of the media. With Conservative media outlets correctly calling fowl over silencing a key means of communication they had with the then current president who, again, often used said social media platforms as the primary means to interact with his supporters. (vis-á-vis the media)

(Trick question. It didn’t.)

Said like every authoritarian denying reality to suit their narrative ever.

The same “national television” on which Donald Trump can still be heard to this day if he so wishes?

Sure. One way communication, vetted because of editors, and only if he’s willing to pay for it. Very different means of "communication" do not equal replacements for each other. But that’s just you being disingenuous again.

I’d wonder what he did to violate the TOS…like, y’know, Trump did.

So any company has the right to take away your freedoms as a citizen of the USA? Good to know you agree with that, because chances are they’ll be happy to take as many as they can. eyeroll

Once someone owns an iPhone or an iPad, it’s theirs, not Apple’s. Apple can’t be “forced” to host a person’s views on devices that said person already owns.

Then you’ve misread that ToS, and EULA that you hold with such high regard. I’m certain Apple would gladly point that out if you took them to court over who they think actually owns those iDevices. Particularly over copyright / jailbreaking / repairs / DRM / the signature that they bless their will on the OS with.

Of course, you still didn’t answer the question.

So is Christianity. What’s your point.

Don’t assume money will always result in a favorable outcome. Which you implied in your response to my question.

What’s your point.

Read it again and maybe you’ll find it. Of course you won’t if you continue to discard it out of hand. You won’t even try to consider that others may have differing versions of "acceptable" points of conversation that shouldn’t be banned in a country that purportedly believes in the freedom of speech. All of your arguments can be boiled down to "I disagree with it. If I disagree with it, I should be able to ban it regardless of who is communicating with whom." Which means you don’t support freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is to allow all arguments for the sake of debate. That implies all statements as well. Banning Trump was an affront to freedom of speech because the entire point was to prevent him from communicating with his supporters. An act that as this article points out was very successful, and an egregious act that should give everyone that cares about freedom of speech pause. For fear of such tactics being used against them by less saintly regimes in the future.

That you associate those views with conservatism says more about conservatism than it does about the services that don’t want to host such views.

So only the correct views can be spoken and debated? Gee, I wonder what views will be chosen by the Ministry of Truth?

Twitter is one site/service. So is Facebook. That millions of people make use of those services every day doesn’t make them the entirety of the Internet.

Earth is one planet. Care to find another one if you "get evicted from the island"?

We’re talking about policy here, it effects the entire internet and it’s future. Trying to downplay that because you hate Trump and his policies (again, I do too.) is dangerous.

Context is always important. That you’re not willing to state the views you believe are being blocked unfairly — that you’re trying to divorce the act of blocking from the context of what is being blocked — says a lot about you…and none of it is good.

Funny given you won’t acknowledge the reason why I said nothing: To let the reader fill in the blank with whatever they dislike so the statement is more relevant to them.

Personally, I disagree with Trump in this regard. But such is the plight of those who try to defend rights, they always wind up defending scoundrels.

You aren’t owed a right to communicate with someone on Facebook. If you were, nobody could block you on Facebook.

Again, there is a difference between Facebook itself blocking someone from posting, and you blocking someone on Facebook. Then again, this is pointless, as you can’t understand the difference between a 1 to Many relationship and a 1 to 1 relationship.

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Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Imagine if they did that to a progressive or better yet a corporate democrat president? I bet there wouldn’t have been a single whisper out of the major media outlets over it. With conservatives decrying anyone against it as unAmerican.

Al Gore and John Kerry are corporate Democrats who lost elections. Yet none of them incited mobs who stormed the capitol threatening to kill legislators who were certifying elections also certified by the courts (including justices Trump appointed), state legislators, and state attorneys general (including GOP ones). Al Gore conceded when he lost Bush v. Gore, which-may I remind you-was actually a close election unlike all the battleground states Trump lost. As for Kerry, he conceded almost immediately. There were definitely irregularities in Ohio, and Barbara Boxer did indeed object to the certification of the election (not unlike Hawley and Cruz not certifying Biden’s win), but it was bloodless, and that’s not something Trump can claim when we transitioned to Biden.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"Al Gore and John Kerry are corporate Democrats who lost elections."

More to the point – Gore only lost to due a really suspicious Florida race overseen by his opponent’s brother and won the popular vote, while Kerry’s opposition was mostly down to outright lies about his military service.

Their supporters had way more to riot about than the supporters of the failed con artist who lost by 8 million votes after killing half a million of his constituents, yet here we are.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

An idiot that can’t determine the difference between censorship of a specific place and widespread default censorship will only make mistakes when talking about free speech.

Yeah, and an idiot who thinks he’s being censored, but in reality is an asshole no one wants to listen to because of that might think that way.

Don’t mistake being kicked off the island means you’re being censored. You’re just assholes. The sooner you people realize it, the sooner you’ll be able to get over your bitching and complaining.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

freedom of speech means little without access.

Why should the existence of the Internet grant you any more access to an audience than what you has before it became popular? It is up to you to attract an audience, and failure to do so is not an excuse to force yourself in where you are not welcome.

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Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

The big tech censors don’t want certain people to speak

Who exactly do they not want to let speak. Come on, Koby, be specific, and before you answer, note that nearly every high profile Republican remains on social media. There are a few who have been removed, but in every case for breaking the rules of the site. There is not a single shred of evidence that any platform "doesn’t want certain people to speak."

That’s just you acting like a whiny snowflake victim.

They seek to deny network usage based upon political affiliation;

Name ONE person banned for their "political affiliation." I still see Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Mike Pence, Chris Christie, Marjorie Greene and tons of other high profile Republicans on both Twitter and Facebook. No one is being banned for their political affiliation, Koby.

Stop lying.

freedom of speech means little without access

They have access. Anyone can access Trump’s page. What ignorant people like you are demanding are TWITTER’S USERS. But they’re not yours.

This is why it’s so important to repeal section 230, and subject social media to common carrier utility rules.

This is ignorant nonsense. Repealing 230 would mean MORE bans because the idiots you have been brainwashed by would create massive liability with their lies and defamation.

And common carrier rules do not and cannot apply to social media because they don’t mean any definition of a common carrier. And if they did, it would destroy those platforms value immediately.

Stop being such a whiny victim, Koby. I thought your whole schtick was about not being a victim, and believing in freedom.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: We Knew It Was Just Political

*"and subject social media to common carrier utility rules."

Because Bars, Restaurants, shopping malls and social media platforms are so very much like water and electricity? /s

No, seriously, Koby. We all know very well by now why you can’t carry a single argument against 230 without stacking it on top of a bunch of lies. If you had your way the bar owner wouldn’t be able to toss out the nazis calling out ethnic slurs and disturbing the other patrons.

And of course that’s exactly what you’re after here. To make sure no one can have a social circle online without the Proud Boys spamming it asunder with bigotry and racism.

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Max says:

"And, as far as I can tell, there is no right to having as large an audience as possible"

Only because we’re still living in the digital stone age. There absolutely should be. Not a guaranteed audience – nobody has that; but a guaranteed potential audience, the chance to speak somewhere people are, instead of the middle of the forest where absolutely nobody else ever is.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Uhh, no? If a bar or club becomes the social gathering place of an area that would not strip them of the right and ability to show the door to someone for being a disruptive jackass, the same applies to digital platforms. That a particular piece of private property may be more popular than another piece does not give anyone a right to it, they are there or not there at the owner’s discretion, with only a narrow set of exceptions.

As for ‘where the people are‘ no-one’s stopping people from flocking to Trump’s new cesspit, if people actually wanted to listen to him his site would be where people would be congregating so if that’s not the case that would seem to say plenty about just how popular he really is outside of his cult.

Tanner Andrews (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

if people actually wanted to listen to him his site would be where people would be congregating

This assumes that his site provides a place for congregation, as opposed to a sort of microblog for one cheetoh. And a pretty poor sort of blog it is, with very little ability to interact. Essentially you can sign up for e-mail or you can send money.

A normal place for congregation is one where people can interact. I fault the people who implemented the wimpy website, but frankly would not expect Mr. Trump to be able to do even what is there.

Fortunately, people need not listen to him. He has nothing new or interesting to say. The inability to congregate at his web site is therefore little loss.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Essentially you can sign up for e-mail or you can send money.

How very Trump, you can listen to him and/or you can give him money, but when it comes to someone else potentially speaking it’s not even an option.

Personally I hope that an area for his cultists to chime in and praise their Dear Leader is implemented down the line, as it will be funny to see both how quickly they start violating the TOS and how quickly the excuses for why that’s totally okay starts flying and/or why it’s totally different and justified when he enforces his site’s TOS even though it’s nothing less than horrid censorship when other platforms do it.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Thank you, based PhraseExpress.

Damn, man, y’all must want me to use all my copypastas today.

[ahem]

The First Amendment protects your rights to speak freely and associate with whomever you want. It doesn’t give you the right to make others listen. It doesn’t give you the right to make others give you access to an audience. And it doesn’t give you the right to make a personal soapbox out of private property you don’t own. Nobody is entitled to a platform or an audience at the expense of someone else.

That One Guy (profile) says:

'... eh, not wor

Imagine that, when people have to make some effort to listen to him and it’s not so important to do so because he’s not the gorram president only a relatively small number of people choose to do so, I wonder what ever could that mean?

While I suppose it’s possible that the numbers might grow as more of his cult learn about his cesspit this did provide one very nice rebuttal in that it showcases that if he or his cultists keep insisting that he deserves back on civilized social media platforms it will not be because he can’t speak but because he/they think he’s owed an audience of a certain size, and he’s mad that he can’t use someone else’s property to get it.

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Anonymous Coward says:

freedom of speech means little without access.

Um, we have a word for people who want guaranteed access. They’re called "spammers." We have a word for people who want guaranteed access to an inwilling, antagonistic, or uninterested audience. They’re called "offensive spammers" (in polite company: elsewhere that already-redundant phrase would be prefaced by a sequence of the most offensive pejoratives in the speaker’s vocabulary.)

What we don’t have, alas, is an instant death penalty for spammers. Just utter the words "not enough people WANT to listen to me, and I don’t care what they want, or who else is inconvenienced by enabling me to offend their desires", and you deserve a bullet to the liver (brain and heart probably not being vital organs.)

You want access that nobody will give you for free? Tough. Nobody owes you access, in ANY non-iniquitous and non-inequitable world. Someone will probably sell you access–if you’re willing to pay for what you want–but, of course, most religious systems with a moral code would consign them to negative repurcussions.

If I thought anyone here cared, I’d say what I really thought….

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Um, we have a word for people who want guaranteed access. They’re called "spammers." We have a word for people who want guaranteed access to an inwilling, antagonistic, or uninterested audience.

Funny, you seem to assume that everyone in existence is inwilling, antagonistic, or uninterested in what others have to say. Tell me, do you stand up at Trump rallies and do everything you can to shout down and disrupt the proceedings because of your personal tastes?
That’s what you are doing to the entire Internet. You assume that the entire internet doesn’t want to allow certain people to speak.

Before I get hit with "say who they are" as if names are important here, Trump. Of course just saying the name is grounds for hating and disregarding everything that comes out of my mouth. Not that I’ve ever agreed with Trump or his policies, but I’m sure Mike will be around to claim authoritatively otherwise in a moment. I put certain people in italics because it’s a relative term to the person applying it. I’m sure Mike would put Trump in that list, just as much as a Conservative would put Biden in that list. The implication is the same however: Certain people regardless of who they may be, or what views they may have, should not be allowed to speak because the entire universe is inwilling, antagonistic, or uninterested in what they have to say. Or at the very least, there is a sole objector in the room that is inwilling, antagonistic, or uninterested and therefore the speech is forbidden so as to not offend the overly sensitive.

There is a difference between not wanting to listen to someone trying to talk to you, and not wanting to overhear someone trying to talk to others. You have the right to refuse the former, but forbidding the latter is interfering with the rights of others. Banning speech on an open forum is the latter. Especially when your ban targets them (their social media account) and their willing audience (their followers) that you refuse to acknowledge.

What we don’t have, alas, is an instant death penalty for spammers. Just utter the words "not enough people WANT to listen to me, and I don’t care what they want, or who else is inconvenienced by enabling me to offend their desires", and you deserve a bullet to the liver (brain and heart probably not being vital organs.)

So, for the crime of offending your personal tastes, you desire the right to execute others?

Hmm…. Where have I heard that bullshit before?….. Seems like it’s the motto of White Supremacists.

Not sure why you’re so keen on banning them, given you have so much in common with them.

If I thought anyone here cared, I’d say what I really thought….

Well, you should be careful about that. I hear there are some sites out there that will ban you for that kind of talk….

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

you seem to assume that everyone in existence is inwilling, antagonistic, or uninterested in what others have to say

I guarantee that out of the 7 billion people in this world, only a handful give a flying rat’s ass about what I have to say. Not everyone gives a fuck about what Lady Gaga says, either.

You assume that the entire internet doesn’t want to allow certain people to speak.

LOLno. Certain segments of the Internet doesn’t want certain speech shitting things up.

Before I get hit with "say who they are" as if names are important here, Trump.

A large amount of people not wanting to hear Trump lie, lie, and lie again — all in service of the creeping fascism within the GOP — is not the same as “everyone” wanting Trump off the Internet, nor does it justify actually kicking him off the Internet entirely. He has every right to start his shitty little blog and say what he wants, and my wanting him to fuck off forever doesn’t deprive him of that right.

There is a difference between not wanting to listen to someone trying to talk to you, and not wanting to overhear someone trying to talk to others.

Not…really? If there is one, it’s negigible at best.

forbidding the latter is interfering with the rights of others

When did Twitter interfere with the right of Donald Trump to speak freely? Because from where I sit, Trump can still speak freely.

Banning speech on an open forum

That’s two. One more and you get the Kavanaugh copypasta.

for the crime of offending your personal tastes, you desire the right to execute others?

You’ve never heard of hyperbole, have you, Squidward?

I hear there are some sites out there that will ban you for that kind of talk

What kind of talk are you referring to? Be specific.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Funny, you seem to assume that everyone in existence is inwilling, antagonistic, or uninterested in what others have to say.

Not everyone in existence, Mr. Strawman Factory, just a lot of people are uninterested in the things some people say, and more to the point, some platforms think some speakers are outright harmful either to society or their bottom line, or both. And those platforms have their own rights. Your nonexistent right to be on their platform doesn’t override those.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Pretty sure Trump doesn’t need Twitter to be heard. Nor does anyone else, for that matter.

Also, Trump didn’t get banned by Twitter because he was espousing Conservative values. He got banned because Twitter determined he was inciting violence. And you know what? It’s Twitter’s house. If they want to kick someone out of it, they can.

There is a difference between not wanting to listen to someone trying to talk to you, and not wanting to overhear someone trying to talk to others.

If someone is in a public place, for example a restaurant or a grocery store, quietly inciting violence among their little group, they’re not likely to be noticed by the site owners, and probably won’t be kicked out. However, if the site owners do become aware of what they’re talking about, they absolutely have the right to kick them out. It’s not a question of "not wanting to overhear." It’s the right of a property owner to say "You’re horrible. Get out of my house."

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"He got banned because Twitter determined he was inciting violence"

He got banned because he spent years spouting lies and misinformation up to and including the lies that inspired a murderous mob to try and overthrow a legal election. Then, he was given constant chances to change up until the point where they decided that people actually dying in riots and from preventable diseases was worse for their business than letting Trump continue to rile up his cult. Before and after which he’s had free access to numerous national and international platforms to speak whenever he wants, including his own.

If people want to complain about effective censorship and actual bias against Republicans, Trump is probably the worst example.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I’m actually of the opinion that the only thing that resulted in him finally getting the boot was him losing the election and with it direct political power, and that if he had won he’d still be on all the social media platforms even with everything he’d done(the insurrection would need to be shifted to some other election, perhaps a state one but even then).

They had so many chances and reasons to show him the door before that point(it’s not like he only started downplaying a deadly disease in the last few weeks of his presidency, or only started trying to undermine the election at that point either), that it only occurred when he was on his way out leaves me thinking that it was only because he was about to be replaced that they finally felt they could pull that trigger.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I’m actually of the opinion that the only thing that resulted in him finally getting the boot was him losing the election and with it direct political power, and that if he had won he’d still be on all the social media platforms even with everything he’d done(the insurrection would need to be shifted to some other election, perhaps a state one but even then).

I seem to recall Twitter actually having stated at one point not long after the election that if Trump wasn’t POTUS, they’d have banned him for all the TOS violations. So, I’m inclined to agree with you.

Hugo S Cunningham (profile) says:

Trump? Good riddance! But "reach" may be 1st Amendment "press"

I am glad Trump is muted, because he is a rebel who attempted to overturn Constitutional government between 2020/November 3 and 2021/January 6.

Access to Twitter is not an issue of First Amendment free "speech."

But the drafters of the First Amendment recognized, that equally important as free "speech," was the means to disseminate said speech to a mass national audience, i.e. "the press." Due to robust competition, there was no reason in the 1800s and 1900s to give speakers compulsory access to particular media outlets. (On the contrary, such compulsory access, by diluting a medium’s message, would violate the First Amendment’s "free press".)

But, to the extent new media giants become effective monopolies, they may deserve regulation as "public utilities" available to all. (On the other hand, US public discourse has never been flooded with so much lying and lunacy since the days of Adams vs. Hamilton vs. Jefferson. Censorship by private monopolies might be the least bad option after all.)

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Trump? Good riddance! But "reach" may be 1st Amendment "pr

AFAIK, back when the constitution was written, the press meant a printing press. So all freedom of the press meant that the government could not tell press owners, who were also often created and printed their own newspapers, what to print, or stop anyone from owning and operating a printing press. That is if nobody else would publish your words, you could publish them at your own expense.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

to the extent new media giants become effective monopolies, they may deserve regulation as "public utilities"

Being large ≠ being a monopoly

Twitter and Facebook compete with each other as much as they compete with YouTube, Mastodon instances, Discord, Skype, 4chan, 8chan, Gab, Parler, and any other service you could consider a communications/social media service. That Twitter and Facebook dominate do not make them a monopoly over all those over services — or each other.

But since you want to play the “public utility” card here…well, you all but asked for this copypasta.

[ahem]

Social media services are not public fora; if you need a citation for that, look no further than a Supreme Court ruling from 2019 where Justice Brett Kavanaugh(!) wrote the majority opinion:

Under the Court’s cases, a private entity may qualify as a state actor when it exercises “powers traditionally exclusively reserved to the State.” … It is not enough that the federal, state, or local government exercised the function in the past, or still does. And it is not enough that the function serves the public good or the public interest in some way. Rather, to qualify as a traditional, exclusive public function within the meaning of our state-action precedents, the government must have traditionally and exclusively performed the function.

The Court has stressed that “very few” functions fall into that category. … Under the Court’s cases, those functions include, for example, running elections and operating a company town. … The Court has ruled that a variety of functions do not fall into that category, including, for example: running sports associations and leagues, administering insurance payments, operating nursing homes, providing special education, representing indigent criminal defendants, resolving private disputes, and supplying electricity.

When the government provides a forum for speech (known as a public forum), the government may be constrained by the First Amendment, meaning that the government ordinarily may not exclude speech or speakers from the forum on the basis of viewpoint, or sometimes even on the basis of content[.]

By contrast, when a private entity provides a forum for speech, the private entity is not ordinarily constrained by the First Amendment because the private entity is not a state actor. The private entity may thus exercise editorial discretion over the speech and speakers in the forum. This Court so ruled in its 1976 decision in Hudgens v. NLRB. There, the Court held that a shopping center owner is not a state actor subject to First Amendment requirements such as the public forum doctrine[.]

The Hudgens decision reflects a commonsense principle: Providing some kind of forum for speech is not an activity that only governmental entities have traditionally performed. Therefore, a private entity who provides a forum for speech is not transformed by that fact alone into a state actor. After all, private property owners and private lessees often open their property for speech. Grocery stores put up community bulletin boards. Comedy clubs host open mic nights. As Judge Jacobs persuasively explained, it “is not at all a near-exclusive function of the state to provide the forums for public expression, politics, information, or entertainment[”.]

In short, merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints.

If the rule were otherwise, all private property owners and private lessees who open their property for speech would be subject to First Amendment constraints and would lose the ability to exercise what they deem to be appropriate editorial discretion within that open forum. Private property owners and private lessees would face the unappetizing choice of allowing all comers or closing the platform altogether. “The Constitution by no means requires such an attenuated doctrine of dedication of private property to public use.” … Benjamin Franklin did not have to operate his newspaper as “a stagecoach, with seats for everyone.” … That principle still holds true. As the Court said in Hudgens, to hold that private property owners providing a forum for speech are constrained by the First Amendment would be “to create a court-made law wholly disregarding the constitutional basis on which private ownership of property rests in this country.” … The Constitution does not disable private property owners and private lessees from exercising editorial discretion over speech and speakers on their property.

A private entity … who opens its property for speech by others is not transformed by that fact alone into a state actor.

(And that is the last time I plan to post that copypasta…this week.)

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Trump? Good riddance! But "reach" may be 1st Amendment "pr

Your argument seems to be shooting itself in the back, as if access to a platform to speak to a wide selection of people was so vital then it would have been written in that access to the newspapers of the time was part of the first amendment, yet by your own admission that would be a direction violation of the right.

The fact that the ‘newspapers’ in this example are digital now doesn’t really chance that, the right to speak does not and never has carried with it the right to a platform to speak from, and especially not a right to a platform of your choice whether the owner wants you there or not.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Trump? Good riddance! But "reach" may be 1st Amendment

To use the parlance of the previous era of news – you can write a letter to the editor any time you want. You just can’t force them to print it. If they don’t do so, it’s not a violation of your rights if your personally printed zine doesn’t get the same circulation as the NYT.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Trump? Good riddance! But "reach" may be 1st Amendment "pr

"But, to the extent new media giants become effective monopolies"

Such monopolies don’t really exist, unless you ignore the realities of the marketplace (for example, most people use multiple social media platforms at the same time) or redefine the terms to become so restrictive as to be meaningless.

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Tanner Andrews (profile) says:

Re: Trump? Good riddance! But "reach" may be 1st Amendment "pr

to the extent new media giants become effective monopolies, they may deserve regulation

I cannot bring myself to believe that any of the new media giants are effective monopolies. Twitter has Parler competing with it, I believe there are other social media entities, and they also face some sort of competition for their users’ time and attention.

And regulation seems counterintuitive under the First Amendment. Twitter’s message of disfavoring traitors who wage war, bringing revolt to the seat of government, would be diluted if they were required to also host the speech of the traitor. The Supreme Court has upheld such a right to control the associative messages. See Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian & Bi-sexual Organization of Boston, 515 U.S. 557 (1995).

Anonymous Coward says:

Couldn’t Trump just get a burner phone and post anonymously? If he just wants his IDEAS out he can get them out.

The one legal angle people could use is the Knight case, saying Twitter can’t block replies to "official" accounts (but could block all other chat etc.). They’d have to be on a par with AT&T or the Post Office for that to happen, also Comcast and Verizon don’t generally care about speech and treat themselves as a common carrier.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Couldn’t Trump just get a burner phone and post anonymously? If he just wants his IDEAS out he can get them out.

The fact that this doesn’t happen is basically why John Smith’s constant, persistent claim of "burner phones dealing reputational damage" is a terrible argument to make and frankly he should be ashamed of making it in the first place.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Right, it would be impossible for a terminally ill person to Google-bomb a bunch of <insert deserving target here> on his or her way out. Heck if they’re terminally ill, even a "life" sentence is no deterrent, not the same for some script-kiddie eh?

Section 230 enables that.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The James Wood case is already a thing, in which James Wood pursued someone who made perceived insults about him. The court ruled in favor of Wood, especially since the pursued target passed away.

So… no, even the "gotcha!" case you came up with in your fevered wet dreams not only isn’t common reality, it’s not even the threat you want people to believe it is.

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Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Trump's access to the soapbox

Trump doesn’t need a burner phone, just an official platform where it’s relatively plausible something it claims Trump said actually was said by him.

But an account used to echo Trump’s statments on Twitter was shut down for serving as an ad hoc Twitter account.

But if Trump wantsnto express an idea rather than an assertion of his authority, it is very easy for anyone to say something anonymously.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Trump's access to the soapbox

So they aren’t just banning Trump, but anyone who mentions him?

Too Soviet for my taste.

If "hate speech" cannot be defined when it comes to government censorship, it can’t be defined privately, either.

The Knight ruling is intriguing because Trump, as a citizen, is being blocked from participating in public debates. A court could easily rule that Twitter cannot ban this speech even if it can ban other speech.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Stop putting up strawmen; you’ll start a fire.

So they aren’t just banning Trump, but anyone who mentions him?

Re-read the key sentence of the post to which you replied: “[A]n account used to echo Trump’s statments on Twitter was shut down for serving as an ad hoc Twitter account[.]”

The key word there is “echo”. The account wasn’t merely mentioning Trump — it was being used as a route-around for Old 45 to circumvent his ban.

And FYI: When he was still on Twitter, an account designed to parrot his tweets verbatim was suspended multiple times while Trump himself remained untouched.

If "hate speech" cannot be defined when it comes to government censorship, it can’t be defined privately, either.

The government can’t define “hate speech” partially because of the First Amendment. But individual people aren’t bound by those restrictions. You can define “hate speech” however the fuck you want; so can the admins of a service like Twitter.

Trump, as a citizen, is being blocked from participating in public debates

This would be true only under two conditions:

  1. He has a right to free reach — i.e., a spot on Twitter.
  2. A Twitter ban infringes on his right to free speech.

What sucks for your “argument”: Neither condition is true.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Trump's access to the soapbox

If "hate speech" cannot be defined when it comes to government censorship, it can’t be defined privately, either.

Why not? You’re just making up shit, and you’re well aware of it.

The Knight ruling is intriguing because Trump, as a citizen, is being blocked from participating in public debates.

Yeah, and I think as a society, we’re better off for it. It’s not like the guy has anything of value to add. I mean, have you really ever come across someone more full of shit than Trump? He promises everything and delivers nothing. Just ask the folks sitting in jail still waiting for him to pardon them.

That asshole would stab any one of you in the back, if he had the opportunity. Why don’t you let him fight his own battles and quit being a sucker? If you guys aren’t convinced it was a scam after everything that’s happened, it just proves what I’ve thought all along – Trump supporters are stupid stupid people.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Trump's access to the soapbox

because Trump, as a citizen, is being blocked from participating in public debates.

As Trump can get his words out via his own site, he is not being blocked from public debate. What you keep on demanding is a right to force your speech into others, and that is not part of public debate but rather a long step towards the re-education camps.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Couldn’t Trump just get a burner phone and post anonymously?"

He could, but that wouldn’t stop Twitter from banning his account as soon as they realised it was him, and he likely wouldn’t be able to get a sufficient audience without telling people who he was.

A better option would be to just use the platforms that want him, or simply stop being such a dangerous asshole getting people killed on a regular basis, so that Twitter would decide he’s not going to keep violating their terms of service..

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Also not helping his case for reinstatement on the major social media platforms is implementing a function on his site that allows people to cross-post his content over there, as such a blatant attempt to bypass his bans is not really helping the case that he is at all sorry for what he’s done and will follow the rules if they’re stupid enough to let him back on.

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Bloof (profile) says:

Losing the retweet was the worst day of Donald Trump’s life. People are no longer subjected to racist uncles signal boosting his every word with the click of a button, they no longer have to worry about being ruled by 3am toilet tweet, now the only people who see his decrees from his gold plated porcelain throne are people who want to go to even the most minimal level of effort there aren’t that many.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If the Trump cult didn’t exist, it would be a sadly amusing form of entertainment to see his descent into whining about competent leadership, with his pathetic attempts at reactionary ego boosting being stripped away and the country returning to some semblance of normality as the damage he did is slowly repaired.

Unfortunately, given that 72 million people apparently looked at the COVID body count, the loss of respect on the international stage, the economic collapse and the reveal of how little support the average American gets in times of crisis and said "we’ll have more of that, please", it’s best that he’s not given a free megaphone. I’m happy with him gatecrashing weddings at Mar A Lago to rant incoherently, if only because I suspect that anyone still paying him for such a venue probably deserves to have their day ruined.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

New platform

“And there never were”
And yet, there should be. Now is as good a time as any. When media companies have dug trenches and declared sides now more than ever, we need direct access for information from those in the government.

“No, it wouldn’t, but you keep thinking it would. Your naïve optimism is kind of adorable.”
I find your lack of faith in humanity very very concerning.
Maybe you should talk to an expert. It’s not healthy to wonder around thinking every one is out to get you.

The 230 assault took off, more than ever, and gained public notice, when “social” media companies blocked communication of a sitting President. An unfathomable thought prior to it happening.

That that could happen, and now his public history being at stake. Are signs that the country needs a platform for politicians to speak to the masses.
Free from censorship by private organisations of any leaning.

I don’t understand how anyone could consider the words of politicians being recorded permanently could be a cause to fight against.
No more fox or MSNBCNN misquoting people. No more out-of-context reports. It is true or false. Period. Permanent record.
Want to fact check a statement? Go to government.gov. Read the statement.
Sounds good to me!

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: New platform

“Hallucinates facts not in evidence”
Trump’s account on twitter was suspended when he was President.

“That’s that we already have today. "Problem" solved.”
Free from what those who agree with the actions call “moderator” and those who disagree with call censorship.
Only a non-private governmental platform could supply such a situation for censorship-free communication.

And save it. If I’ve been blocked from reading it is censored.

Why the pile on here. I’ve seen many statements that this 230 thing is about the right of privet property.

I suggest an alternative that doesn’t infringe PPR. What logical reason does anyone have for bating federal employees from communication with the people outside of the left/right media bubble?

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re: New platform

Trump’s account on twitter was suspended when he was President.

So what, it was the least he deserved. Personally, if I have had any sway with Twitter, I would have banned is ass the first moment he broke the TOS.

An unfathomable thought prior to it happening.

No, presidents have been denied access to media before.

And save it. If I’ve been blocked from reading it is censored.

Is it? So for example, if someone uses a paid blogging-service and doesn’t pay the bills, have they been censored when the owner of the service disables their blog?

Now extend this to any kind of lapse towards the owner of the property and the TOS. If you think it’s censorship because the words of some asshole was moderated because they can’t follow simple rules, it says that you think the word of an asshole is more important than the ability for others to freely associate and control their own property.

Why the pile on here. I’ve seen many statements that this 230 thing is about the right of privet property.

And this tells me that you don’t understand what is being said.

I suggest an alternative that doesn’t infringe PPR. What logical reason does anyone have for bating federal employees from communication with the people outside of the left/right media bubble?

There is only one media bubble, the right-wing one which is constantly pushing out lies to the gullible but useful idiots. Federal employees have federal sites to communicate with people, they can ask to use social media but they aren’t entitled to use them.

And so far, no social media company have actually blocked any federal employee that doesn’t lie and make shit up which means they can communicate with the public freely.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 New platform

"Trump’s account on twitter was suspended when he was President.

So what, it was the least he deserved. Personally, if I have had any sway with Twitter, I would have banned is ass the first moment he broke the TOS."

Also, Trump was suspended when he was in the "lame duck" part of his presidency. He has been voted out by a massive margin in the popular vote, all the relevant races had been certified, his claims of fraud had been kicked out of over 60 courtrooms for lack of evidence, and the final attempt to overthrow the legislative process had failed.

He was "president" only due to the technicality that the confirmed loser waits until January 20th before his replacement is sworn in. The period of time where he was "president" while not being allowed on Twitter was the period of time during which any competent administration would be deep into the process of peacefully transitioning power to the new administration. Which, he notably refused to do.

None of this is a problem, unless you believe that presidents should not be accountable for their actions or that government figures should be able to seize any private property they feel is valuable to them against the wishes of the property owner. Both of which are far more problematic than whether or not Twitter got tired of putting up with Trump’s shit before he was kicked out of his position like the public requested.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Trump’s account on twitter was suspended when he was President.

Show me the law that says Twitter is obligated to host the speech of any person, never mind the sitting president of the United States.

If I’ve been blocked from reading it is censored.

I’m sure someone has archived the Twitter account of Donald Trump if you’re eager to read it. But I won’t find that for you.

What logical reason does anyone have for bating federal employees from communication with the people outside of the left/right media bubble?

I have none. But a federal employee who wants to reach out to others while on private property must play by the rules set by the owner of said property. Twitter doesn’t have to host their speech. Neither does Facebook, YouTube, Soundcloud, Mastodon, Gab, Parler, or even fucking 4chan.

Any federal employee unhappy with that can buy their own property and say whatever they want. That’s how life works.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 STS

You’re not paying attention. are you. I said property rights are the reason I have changed my opinion on repealing.
“Free from what those who agree with the actions call “moderator” and those who disagree with call censorship.
Only a [b]non-private governmental platform[b] could supply such a situation for censorship-free communication.”
Emphasis added.
How is that paragraph misconstrued to say I’m supporting forcing a private company to host speech it doesn’t want to?
Such a platform would eliminate private property concerns.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 New platform

The argument would have better chances if people called it what it is!
We’ve been through the this on other 230 posts here

*Censor

VERB
examine (a book, movie, etc.) officially and suppress unacceptable parts of it.
"my mail was being censored”*
~Bing definitions

With that in mind, and further understanding of other conflicts in rights, it can be seen that it is not the act of censorship that is the problem but where one does so.
By taking it out of the internet context it quickly becomes clear that forced speech isn’t acceptable. One would not expect to find The Satanic Bible or Setian Edda at the christian book store.
When that structure is moved back to the internet such censorship becomes clearly constitutional regardless of what anyone may think of the content being censored.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

You said you had changed your mind about Section 230, but then you wrote this…

By taking it out of the internet context it quickly becomes clear that forced speech isn’t acceptable. One would not expect to find The Satanic Bible or Setian Edda at the christian book store.

When that structure is moved back to the internet such censorship becomes clearly constitutional regardless of what anyone may think of the content being censored.

…which sounds a hell of a lot like a complaint about “censorship” (read: moderation) of speech on private property. If a bookstore can legally refuse to stock The Satanic Bible, for what reason should the law deny Twitter the right to legally refuse hosting speech from a third party?

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I’ll always complain about censorship. It’s evil.

But based on property rights it appears to me to be constitutional.
As such I withdraw any complaint about it, regarding 230. And since my only complaint….
Some minor disagreement on what good faith has to do with that perspective.

I believe it’s difficult for many of freedom of all speech people, like myself, to separate such platforms into what they are, private companies. Not public forums.
We get hung up on the act of censorship so tightly we ignore the private property aspect of it, as I did.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5

Moderation doesn’t involve the violation of civil rights. Censorship does.

Moderation is when Twitter kicks out someone who violated its TOS even if they used legally protected speech. Censorship is when the government acts to silence the legally protected speech of a critic.

The First Amendment doesn’t give anyone — including you — the right to a platform or an audience at the expense of someone else. Twitter doesn’t have the power to violate your rights, and whatever it can do vis-á-vis moderation doesn’t violate your rights. Twitter can’t censor you. Stop thinking it can.

Every time you refer to moderation as censorship, you weaken the word “censorship”. You make it cover more and more actions that don’t violate civil rights because those actions hurt your feelings. When you do finally come across an actual instance of censorship, all that time you spent crying “wolf” (i.e., “censorship”) will bite you on the ass because people will refuse to believe you’re referring to actual censorship.

Your ignorance before may have been accidental. After this point, it will be intentional. Think about that before you post again.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

"The First Amendment doesn’t give anyone — including you — the right to a platform or an audience at the expense of someone else."
I just said that.
‘But based on property rights it appears to me to be constitutional.’

"Twitter can’t censor you"
As soon as they delete a comment it’s been censored. Which I now agree is legal under the understanding of private property rights.

"every time you refer to moderation as censorship, you weaken the word"
"Your ignorance before may have been accidental. After this point, it will be intentional. Think about that before you post again."
"suppress unacceptable parts"

I simply don’t narrow my viewpoint to a tiny little aspect of inability to access something.
See definitions.
Kind of self explanatory. Twitter removes-by-moderation content they consider unacceptable.

I’m not ignorant. I have a broader view of what it means to censor. One more closely aligned with the definition.

Censor: VERB:
Examine (a book, movie, etc.) officially and suppress unacceptable parts of it.
"my mail was being censored”

~Bing definitions

"also : to suppress or delete as objectionable"
~merriam-webster
a fit to what twitter does. exactly

"to ban or cut portions of (a publication, film, letter, etc)"
~ thefreedictionary

"to remove anything offensive from books, movies, etc."
~ cambridge

Not liking my broad interpretation doesn’t make it incorrect.
None of those definitions mandate it be a government agency. None state exceptions in terminology for private property. It is what it is.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

As soon as they delete a comment it’s been censored.

No, you have been moderated, and you are free to post that comment on other platforms, including your own blog. A platform deleting a post does not have have power to take any action should you post it elsewhere.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7

The more you keep stepping up with bullshit, the more commenters like I will keep smacking you down. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

As soon as they delete a comment it’s been censored.

No, it’s been deleted from Twitter. The same person who made that comment can post the same comment on another website — including a website they own. Twitter can’t censor anyone.

suppress unacceptable parts

Your definition of “censorship” is unacceptable and untenable. I did not, however, try to suppress your speech. I asked you to think about going forward with that definition — one borne of ignorance, intentional or accidental — before posting again. You didn’t heed my advice, it seems.

I’m not ignorant. I have a broader view of what it means to censor.

A homeowner kicks out someone who yells obscenities. A bar owner kicking out someone who does a Nazi salute. Neither property owner has prevented anyone from speaking their mind, though — they’ve only told the offending parties to go speak their mind elsewhere.

  • If you believe those acts aren’t censorship, by all means: Explain the difference between those acts and Twitter moderating the speech of a third party who has no right to use Twitter.
  • If you believe those acts are censorship, by all means: Tell me exactly which civil rights were violated by the property owners.

Not liking my broad interpretation doesn’t make it incorrect.

Having a broad interpretation makes possible the classification of any attempt at moderation as “censorship”. By watering down the definition of the term to include acts that don’t violate any civil rights, you cheapen the term and make taking your claims of “censorship” all the harder to believe.

Your definition must also lead to the idea that (what you think of as) “censorship” must be stopped at all costs. That cost, under your logic, seems to include the freedom of association guaranteed by the First Amendment. For what reason should the law force Twitter to host third-party speech its owners don’t want to host?

None of those definitions mandate it be a government agency.

Censorship can be carried out by people who aren’t government employees, sure. But that typically involves either the use of government resources (e.g., lawsuits) or threats/acts of violence (e.g., “print this and I’ll kill you”). Someone saying “we don’t do that here” and kicking you out if you do “that” again isn’t censorship — it’s someone telling you that you fucked up and you’re not welcome in that space any more.

You don’t have a right to use the property of others as your personal soapbox. Nobody does. And so long as the owner of that property isn’t trying to shut you up everywhere else, their kicking you out or telling you to shut the fuck up isn’t censorship. You can still believe it is, if you want. But before you say you still believe in that definition, ask yourself this: What actions would that belief justify?

If the answer involves actions that would violate the civil rights of another — like, say, trying to compel the hosting of speech — you have bigger problems than my shittalking.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

By watering down the definition of the term to include acts that don’t violate any civil rights, you cheapen the term

Except he’s not the one doing that. You saw the definitions he quoted, right? The idea that censorship can be performed by someone other than government is a mainstream one, no matter how much you may disagree with it.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9

The idea that censorship can be performed by someone other than government is a mainstream one

And I’m not here to disagree with that. But for someone not in government to censor another person, they must employ either government resources (e.g., the courts) or use threats/acts of violence. Telling someone to fuck off doesn’t censor that person, no matter how much that person (or anyone else) might believe otherwise.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

But for someone not in government to censor another person, they must employ either government resources (e.g., the courts) or use threats/acts of violence.

By some definitions, perhaps, but not all. "to suppress or delete as objectionable." Twitter finds a tweet objectionable and deletes it. By that definition, that is censorship. No government, no threats, and no violence.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11

Twitter finds a tweet objectionable and deletes it. By that definition, that is censorship.

No, it isn’t — because the person whose tweet Twitter deleted can still repost the tweet verbatim outside of Twitter.

Even if I were to grant that Twitter deleting a tweet is censorship (and I don’t), it would only be censorship on Twitter. That’s the problem with such a permissive definition of “censorship”: It can apply to situations that feel like censorship but aren’t.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Re:

the interpretation of that definition is far too permissive in what qualifies as censorship.

What do you mean, interpretation of that definition? Do you interpret it in some way that makes Twitter deleting a tweet not fit the definition? If so, how? It’s only six words, after all, there doesn’t seem all that much room for interpretation unless you have an unusual definition for "suppress", "delete", or "objectionable".

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:15

Do you interpret it in some way that makes Twitter deleting a tweet not fit the definition?

I interpret “censorship” in a way that led me to craft this copypasta:

Moderation is a platform/service owner or operator saying “we don’t do that here”. Personal discretion is an individual telling themselves “I won’t do that here”. Editorial discretion is an editor saying “we won’t print that here”, either to themselves or to a writer. Censorship is someone saying “you won’t do that anywhere” alongside threats or actions meant to suppress speech.

It serves a simplified-yet-accurate portrayal of my beliefs about what equals censorship. To see the more drawn-out version, please read the two articles Techdirt let me write on the matter — which you can read by clicking on my profile.

Oh, and in re: the word “suppress” — that generally implies someone has prevented the speech in question from being either published or republished anywhere. Twitter deleting tweets does neither.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17

Definitions aren’t the real issue. Interpretations of them are.

When a definition of “censorship” includes the word “suppress” (or “suppression”), ask yourself: What speech does Twitter suppress — i.e., “prevent the dissemination of” — when a moderator deletes a tweet that violates the TOS?

  • If you say “none”, your interpretation of “suppress” covers only censorship. Good show.
  • If you say “the speech in the tweet”, your interpretation of “suppress” covers both moderation and censorship, which ultimately treats the two acts as the same. That’s no good.

An alt-right chud who has a tweet defending Old 45’s Big Lie deleted by a moderator can still post the same speech elsewhere. Twitter can only censor/suppress speech if it can control whether that chud can repost their tweet elsewhere. Twitter can’t do that; you know that for a fact. To say otherwise — to treat censorship and moderation as one and the same — is to advance a dishonest argument. I cannot, and will not, do that.

Yelling “censorship” about anything that only feels like censorship ends up cheapening the word. (When everything is censorship, nothing is.) To avoid that issue, I define/interpret “censorship” to cover actual attempts to suppress speech and leave out acts that amount to being told “we don’t do that here”. I can’t refer to something that only “feels like” censorship as “censorship” — I have to look at the totality of the circumstances surrounding the act. If someone can still speak their mind after being told to fuck off from private property that they don’t own, that isn’t censorship. I would change my mind on that if someone could offer an argument capable of making me change my mind. To date, no one has done so.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:18 Re:

Suppress OR DELETE. My example was of Twitter removing – one might even say deleting – a tweet.

If someone can still speak their mind after being told to f*** off from private property that they don’t own, that isn’t censorship.

At the risk of a broken record impression, that is true by your definition, and not true by others.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:19

Suppress OR DELETE

Deletion is moderation in my Twitter/alt-right chud example. One company deleting speech from its platform doesn’t delete it everywhere.

Your argument expects me to side with the belief of “moderation is censorship”, and since censorship is bad, we must therefore stop censorship by Twitter. But by that logic, the only way to stop censorship — i.e., moderation — by Twitter is to compel the hosting of speech. Not only does that conclusion violate the First Amendment, it violates my own morals and ethics. I have no right to force anyone into hosting my speech; neither does anyone else. I cannot, and will never, agree with or support any argument that says otherwise.

Moderation isn’t censorship. You want me to believe otherwise? You’ll have to come up with a better argument than “nuh-uh to your uh-huh”.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:23

Okay, lemme break this down for you:

Your argument expects me to side with the belief of “moderation is censorship”, and since censorship is bad, we must therefore stop censorship by Twitter.

You and Lodos seem to agree that the definition of “censorship” should be expansive enough to include moderation. I’m pretty sure you don’t see censorship as a good thing. If you view moderation as “censorship” (regardless of who does it) and you believe censorship is a bad thing (which I would hope you do!), the only logical conclusion to draw from those two ideas is that you believe “censorship” on Twitter is bad. Anyone who thinks censorship is bad generally wants to prevent/stop censorship — ergo, if you believe “censorship” on Twitter is bad, you likely want to prevent/stop Twitter from “censoring” people.

If my logic is flawed, so be it. But I’m working with what you and Lodos gave me; if my argument on this point is flawed, your logic being anything close to flawless is…unlikely.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:24 Re:

“Your argument expects me to side with the belief of “moderation is censorship”, and since censorship is bad, we must therefore stop censorship by Twitter.”

Ah, you’re making one key mistake in this.
Censorship bad. Twitter censoring bad. Twitter censoring is legal.

Twitter censoring legal. Oh well.
All I can do is point out the many bad things that can happen with censorship. My point is to point out the situation Vila, and have people think for themselves. Not for their politics.
Not that it is likely but what if Twitter was purchased by a Republican company and started selectively “moderating” anything Biden posts the Republican Party disagrees with?
Being legal doesn’t make it good.

Tumblr is a prime example. There’s enough people posting face palms over takedowns of bathing suits, bras without the people in them, etc.
When suggestion becomes a base you reached a point of stupidity!

Twitter isn’t there; yet! But they already selectively enforce their rules. That’s a major concern for those worried about censorship.
From censoring based on “community moderation” to censoring to corral and dictate. A thin line that is dangerous to cross.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:25 Re:

Twitter censoring legal. Oh well. All I can do is point out the many bad things that can happen with censorship.

You keep calling moderation censorship, where in reality is is a means of building a community. Remove it a and you get USENET, where groups keep moving to new subgroups to lose the trolls for a bit, or 8Kun, domination by trolls who then want to go to moderated sites to find people to troll.

Beside which, if you keep on referring to moderation as censorship, you make it easy for politicians to destroy the net by making moderation decisions.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:26 Re:

UseNet (and today USENET) doesn’t exist today as it did at it’s height.
What is left of it is either public education servers (as it started out), or private commercial file sharing sites.

The generic onramps with cross location searching, form pulling, and multi-source compiled listings are dead.

However outside of the educational servers (and including a few of them) UseNet was rather uncensored, yet still worked quite well. Software allowed for true flagging from the 80s and users were able to show or hide posts based on those flags.

Moderation was conducted without censorship via many ramps. And many communities moderated internally not by censoring (deletion) but by moving out of context, disruptive, or out right “bad” comments to the proper place or the sandbox. In many cases using a shadow link and including a reason for the move.

There is the line I draw between censorship (based on the prevailing academic definitions) and moderation without censorship.
Hiding, moving, flagging, walking, are all forms of moderation that do not censor the item of issue. There’s also deletion. Deletion falls under censorship by the prevailing academic definition.

The commercial USENET services? I’ve only ever used one once. In the mid 2000s. I can’t make any comment on how they work since nothing actually worked in the service I tried. I obviously wasn’t the only one with issues even getting in since the service is dead now.

The problem with (some? All?) the “Chan” sites is they do no gardening at all.
Illegal materials should be removed as per law. Problematic posts can be moved, or flagged and hidden from immediate view. All of which is non-censoring-moderation.

I will note that an argument could be made that even moving is censorship. could!
Even I’m not that all or nothing. So we’ll ignore moving the cacti from column A to column B for the point of legitimate discussion.

I’m not suggesting twitter should leave everything up and alone and ignored. At no point did I EVER make that statement.
There are many ways to ‘properly’ moderate that do not involve the destruction of the data. Twitter chooses the most destructive method, which happens to be included in the definition of censorship.

Bi vary yuz defare.
Be wary of danger.
Be it “this content has been flagged by the community as:” or “by the moderator as:”

Potentially: defamatory, misleading, inaccurate, disruptive, off topic, adult, pornography, spam, advertising, disturbing, unsettling, etc etc
Or simply “this content was removed for violating (locality) law” the poster may file a counter notice if they believe this to be in error.”

I again state that moderation is not an easy task. Unless you’re moderating a blind group-think site or a utopia. Or one that chose censorship. zap zap zap. Poof gone. Sure makes it easy. But not right.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:27

Moderation was conducted without censorship via many ramps. And many communities moderated internally not by censoring (deletion) but by moving out of context, disruptive, or out right “bad” comments to the proper place or the sandbox. In many cases using a shadow link and including a reason for the move.

And many others moderated by deleting bullshit they didn’t want to host, not even in a sandbox. That wasn’t censorship. It was moderation — the intentional curation of a community via proper consequences for violating the rules of that community. The people whose posts were deleted could repost their speech somewhere else; no suppression of speech ever occured in such situations.

Deletion falls under censorship by the prevailing academic definition.

And the interpretation of that definition should be narrowed to exclude deletion-as-moderation because moderation isn’t censorship. Unless Twitter is actively trying to keep a banned (ex-)user from posting somewhere else, Twitter isn’t trying to censor anyone when it bans people for violating the TOS. Unless Twitter has actively prevented someone from posting somewhere else, it has never censored anyone by preventing them from posting on Twitter. Moderation isn’t censorship.

I’m not suggesting twitter should leave everything up and alone and ignored. At no point did I EVER make that statement.

Your arguments present two ideas: censorship is bad, and moderation is censorship. For what reason would you want to stop censorship in all its forms except one?

Also, let me draw your attention to a comment you avoided addressing directly:

Beside which, if you keep on referring to moderation as censorship, you make it easy for politicians to destroy the net by making moderation decisions.

I have One Simple Question for you now. Yes or no, Lodos: Do you believe the government should have an absolute and irrefutable legal right to prevent any privately owned interactive web service from deleting legally protected speech that the owners/operators of said service don’t want to host?

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:28 Re:

UseNet/USENET
Funny, wasn’t UseNet being used to show a lack of moderation above?
I was pointing out that consolidation access programs had a tendency to allow moderation that didn’t result in deletion. (Some ISPs fought hard to block things but with net to UseNet software, ip-2-ip programs, and direct dial software: it rarely blocked access completely.

“ Your arguments present two ideas: censorship is bad, and moderation is censorship”
Not quite. I argue that censorship is bad, and that deletion is censorship. Deletion being one form of moderation used by social media sites (and others).

That’s a small, but vitally important difference
I only consider moderation censorious when it’s deletionary.

“ do you believe…”
I’ll separate this from the current post.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:25

Censorship bad. Twitter censoring bad. Twitter censoring is legal.

Legality is irrelevant. Logically, if you believe censorship is bad, and you believe censorship must be stopped, you must therefore believe even “legal ‘censorship’ ” (i.e., moderation) must be stopped. I can safely assume the first two propositions are correct. For what reason is the third incorrect? (“Property rights” is not an answer.)

Not that it is likely but what if Twitter was purchased by a Republican company and started selectively “moderating” anything Biden posts the Republican Party disagrees with?

People would likely stop using Twitter — or at least use it less — as they search for a less nakedly partisan alternative. (And hey, all the Parler and Gab assholes could finally have Twitter back.) I already left Twitter and have an account on a Mastodon instance, so it wouldn’t really bother me…except for having to keep track of which artists I follow would be leaving and where they’d be going.

they already selectively enforce their rules

Show me a moderation team that doesn’t.

From censoring based on “community moderation” to censoring to corral and dictate.

And if Twitter, Tumblr, etc. were able to “corral and dictate” on their own, you might have a point. But they can’t, so you don’t.

Now, if you want to talk about how payment processors and credit card companies use their immense power to help put the kibosh on adult content? That is either censorship or aiding censorship; it’s a damned important topic, too. But Tumblr choosing not to host porn, regardless of the reasons why? That shit ain’t censorship. Neither is Twitter deleting posts that support Old 45’s Big Lie.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:24 Re:

You and Lodos seem to agree that the definition of “censorship” should be expansive enough to include moderation.

No. I am not promoting any particular definition of censorship. I am just trying to get you to understand that there are other definitions than the one you use, and content moderation fits some of those definitions. I did not expect that to be such a difficult task, but here we are.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:25

there are other definitions than the one you use, and content moderation fits some of those definitions

I don’t support any definition (or interpretation thereof) of “censorship” that classifies moderation as censorship.

I do, however, apologize for putting words in your mouth that didn’t first come from it. I don’t like it when people do it to me, and I should be more careful about doing it to others. My bad; will do my best to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:26 Re:

I don’t support any definition (or interpretation thereof) of “censorship” that classifies moderation as censorship.

I know you don’t, but you do see that there are dictionaries that have such definitions in them, right?

I do, however, apologize for putting words in your mouth that didn’t first come from it.

Thanks.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:27

there are dictionaries that have such definitions in them, right?

Two things.

  1. Don’t use that “right?” rhetorical gimmick on me; I’m well aware of it and I don’t like it.
  2. The definitions of “censorship” that I have seen mention acts that can be part of moderation, but they don’t explicitly mention moderation — and yes, I’d prefer to split hairs so I don’t equate moderation with censorship and thus sound like I’m against moderation/in favor of the compelled hosting of speech.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:28 Re:

I know this response isn’t directed at me but I have to say: I’m so totally confused ????
There really is a systemic “right?” movement? If that’s actually the case (non-political sources please) a may well and truly cut off all my limited modern web use.
I want no part of any platform that turned legitimate questions into flame bait.
I kind of like it in my disconnected web 0.995 hole. Appears safe to me!
At least people say what they mean and mean what they say: the majority of the time.
Makes me even MORE nostalgic for the good old days when people said FU instead of I thumb my nose.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:29

Asking for confirmation of agreement is not a rhetorical gimmick.

As far as I’m concerned, it is. The trick to that gimmick lies in asking me to agree with a conclusion that I don’t share so you can have the upper hand in an argument. (Your aimed-below-the-belt snipe about “keyword matching” isn’t helping your case in that regard.)

I know how bullshit that trick is. That’s why I don’t use that gimmick outside of the rare case of passive-aggressive sarcastic bullshitting. I mean, that is the best use for that kind of rhetorical trickery, right~?

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:30 Re:

The trick to that gimmick lies in asking me to agree with a conclusion that I don’t share so you can have the upper hand in an argument.

No, I was inviting you to state whether you agree or not. Nothing more. The argument is over as far as I’m concerned.

(Your aimed-below-the-belt snipe about “keyword matching” isn’t helping your case in that regard.)

Your response indicates that it was correct. You can choose to look at the context of the conversation and determine what was meant by it, or just see "right?" and assume bad faith. You chose the latter, and are continuing to do so.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:31

You can choose to look at the context of the conversation and determine what was meant by it, or just see "right?" and assume bad faith.

Or — and stick with me, because I know this might shock you~ — I can do both. I don’t appreciate that rhetorical gimmick, but I can route around it if the argument before it is sound. Yours wasn’t, which is why I called out your use of the gimmick: You wanted me to agree with you on a point of argument I couldn’t agree with, and using “right?” would make me seem unreasonable no matter how minor my disagreement. (“He can’t even agree to this? He must be out of his mind!”)

You wanna suckerpunch Koby or Brainy with that shit? Go right the hell ahead. But come to me with that shit and I will always be “unreasonable”.

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nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:32 Re:

You wanted me to agree with you

See, you’re still doing it. All you had to say to my question was "no, I don’t agree with that." But you didn’t even try doing that, you just skipped straight to "rhetorical gimmick." And despite me trying to assure you repeatedly (I’ve lost count of how many times) that it was a genuine question, you’re still insisting that it wasn’t, and that I was laying some kind of trap for you.

make me seem unreasonable no matter how minor my disagreement.

Only if your disagreement was unreasonable. Next time consider assuming good faith instead of bad. Just a suggestion. I’m out.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:20 Re:

“ we must therefore stop censorship by Twitter. But by that logic, the only way to stop censorship — i.e., moderation — by Twitter is to compel the hosting of speech”
Ah, I see the confusion directed at us. I can’t speak for nasch:
I’ve changed my opinion, based on property rights.
I currently understand and believe that a private location can censor as it wants. And again I agree removing 230 doesn’t change the private property aspect.

Again my issue is my distaste for censorship. Being legal doesn’t make it any more palatable. It simply makes it legal.

I question using RationalWiki as a “reliable” source just as I would question using conservapedia as one. Both were set up with an intended slant to the text. Unlike Wikipedia, which claims and at least attempts some course towards neutrality, both these two site were ideologically intended to present the perception of a viewpoint.
I’ll concede a win for you though. A large organisation has a narrower definition in place.
But it is just that. Reducing the definition. Narrowing it.

My concern is what happens when people accept removing, hiding, moderating, etc… as an acceptable daily occurrence. A worthy one.
On how an intention can turn into a problem, one need only view the fall of Tumbler. First “extreme porn”. Then porn. Then erotica. Then nudity. Then suggestion. Then…
It’s a single case on a single topic but a well documented one.
Drawing the line between “moderation” and censorship is very difficult when the moderation is deletion.
For two reasons. First because the evidence has been removed.
And second because the removal is based on what a single entity states. This isn’t a concern for me on what is legal. But what is done.

Censorship is a cliff with an outledge to stand on. One that is constantly being eroded away. At the bottom of the cliff are millions of good intentions swords for the masses to die on.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:21

my issue is my distaste for censorship. Being legal doesn’t make it any more palatable. It simply makes it legal.

Do you stand against censorship? If so, what makes “legal” censorship any more acceptable than illegal censorship — and for what reason will you not stand against both?

That is the logical issue I take with broader interpretations of censorship such as the one you hold: Ethically and morally, one cannot say they stand against censorship and still support the idea that some forms of “censorship” (e.g., moderation, editorial discretion) are acceptable.

Reducing the definition. Narrowing it.

As we should. Again: When everything is censorship, nothing is. Expanding the definition cheapens the word and eventually downplays the situations it accurately describes. To consider both a belligerent asshole getting booted from a local bar and a thin-skinned Congressman trying to silence an anonymous critic as censorship cheapens the censorial situation (the Congressman’s attempt at suppression) by conflating it with a less serious non-censorial situation (the asshole getting Jazzy Jeff’d out of a bar).

My concern is what happens when people accept removing, hiding, moderating, etc… as an acceptable daily occurrence. A worthy one.

Do you want other websites to resemble 4chan (/b/ in particular) or 8kun? Do you want Twitter to become a cesspool of spam, racism, queerphobia, and other forms of bigotry where only the worst content lives because everyone else didn’t want to deal with the “Worst People” Problem? Because that’s what happens when moderation — i.e., curating a community — doesn’t happen on a daily basis.

Moderation doesn’t censor. It gives a community a chance to thrive without its worst elements and outside agitators shitting up the place. But under your logic, moderation is censorship — and under the idea that censorship is bad, moderation is also bad, so preventing those “worst people” from speaking their mind on a platform is bad. Yes or no: Is that the position you really want to take?

Drawing the line between “moderation” and censorship is very difficult when the moderation is deletion.

No, it isn’t. Moderation is about the intentional curation of a community. Censorship is about stopping someone from speaking their mind. Moderation doesn’t — can’t — censor.

But deletion can become censorship when the deletion is done to hide a message (often political) and someone attempts to prevent the republishing of that message. That is bullshit, and I stand against it. But I don’t consider that moderation.

As for the Tumblr example: I consider that a rather heavy-handed form of editorial discretion. Tumblr is legally allowed to choose what speech it will and won’t host, after all.

Censorship is a cliff with an outledge to stand on. One that is constantly being eroded away. At the bottom of the cliff are millions of good intentions swords for the masses to die on.

You know what else has “good intentions” behind it? Defining moderation as “censorship” and standing against both. At the bottom of that cliff is compelled speech and the erosion of free association rights. How willing are you to say the government should compel Tumblr to host porn because Tumblr choosing not to host porn is “censorship”? Because up to now, it seems like you’d be going in that logical direction if not for your sudden turnaround concerning property rights.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:21 Re:

"My concern is what happens when people accept removing, hiding, moderating, etc… as an acceptable daily occurrence"

It’s been a daily occurrence since Gutenberg. The only difference today is that the moderation happens after publication instead of before, since there’s no need to have an editor approve things before publication. So, you either need to argue that platforms are forced to approve things before publication, or that they be prevented from moderating afterwards. Neither of which is a positive compared to the current situation.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

Again I, personally, am using the definition as posted above. Multiple, very similar, agreeing, definitions. From multiple sources including ones any logical person would call reliable.
Being censored by Twitter doesn’t mean being censored everywhere. Twitter censoring a person on twitter is twitter censoring a person on twitter.
If a Republican asks for an interview on CNN and are refused they have been censored by cnn.
If a Democrat asks for an interview on Fox and is refused they have been censored by fox.

Equally if fox posts an op/Ed and then removes it that op Ed is censored by fox. Take it elsewhere.

Going back to films; a film cut to make an R rating has been censored. A film cut in the UK for an 18 rating has been censored. That film in whole can still be found uncensored elsewhere.

Wikipedia sums this up quite nicely
“Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information. This may be done on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient."[2][3][4] Censorship can be conducted by governments,[5] private institutions, and other controlling bodies” the board of twitter sets its TOS, making the the controlling body.

Censorship doesn’t have to cross boundaries. Be it private property boundaries or political (meaning borders).
It doesn’t have to be gone everywhere to be gone anywhere, somewhere.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13

Being censored by Twitter doesn’t mean being censored everywhere. Twitter censoring a person on twitter is twitter censoring a person on twitter.

No, it isn’t. Twitter moderating speech isn’t censorship because censorship implies a violation of civil rights — either an inability to express a message or an inability to repeat an already-expressed message after it has been suppressed. Twitter banning some douchecanoe who whines about the existence of trans people hasn’t censored said douchecanoe — after all, someone getting banned from property they don’t own over speech the owners don’t want said on their property doesn’t violate anyone’s civil rights. The douchecanoe can sail on over to Parler and say the same damn thing.

If a Republican asks for an interview on CNN and are refused they have been censored by cnn. If a Democrat asks for an interview on Fox and is refused they have been censored by fox.

No, they haven’t. They’ve been refused a spot on those networks. They don’t have an absolute right to a spot on those networks any more than they have a right to a spot on Twitter. And they can still get their message out by going to the press or posting on social media or whatever else is at their disposal.

Equally if fox posts an op/Ed and then removes it that op Ed is censored by fox.

I’d consider that editorial discretion instead of censorship. Then again…

Take it elsewhere.

…if Fox prevented that from happening, the act would be censorship.

a film cut to make an R rating has been censored

If the film was published as an R-rated film, it wasn’t censored — it was editorial discretion from the studio/director. It might feel like censorship, but I wouldn’t consider that so.

That film in whole can still be found uncensored elsewhere.

If it can’t, it wasn’t censored.

And before you think to bring up “TV cuts”: That, too, is editorial discretion — albeit on behalf of Standards and Practices departments.

Censorship doesn’t have to cross boundaries. Be it private property boundaries or political (meaning borders).

But it does, generally, have to infringe upon civil rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Someone who uses multiple outlets to claim they were “silenced” by one platform hasn’t been denied their right to speak freely. They can’t credibly claim to be censored.

It doesn’t have to be gone everywhere to be gone anywhere, somewhere.

A person isn’t censored if, out of 100 places their words are published, one of those places removes that speech. That person can still find a different place to post that speech or build their own platform to post that speech.

You continue to interpret “censorship” in a way that turns virtually anything you feel is censorship into censorship. I mean, you’ve literally said that a bar owner tossing a Nazi out of said bar is “censorship”. Can you imagine how that bar owner would feel if you called them a “censor” — a suppressor of speech? Can you even think about how ridiculous you would sound in defending, however inadvertently, a Nazi’s non-existent right to sieg heil in a bar that doesn’t want to associate with Nazis?

Ask yourself whether holding on to this belief you have — this interpretation of “censorship” — will do you more good than harm. If you answer “yes it will”, you have problems that I can’t solve for you.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Re:

"If the film was published as an R-rated film, it wasn’t censored — it was editorial discretion from the studio/director. It might feel like censorship, but I wouldn’t consider that so."

Also, in the US, there’s nothing to stop the film being shown unrated at festival or other screenings, being released digitally or physically uncut, etc. It just means that the version the mainstream multiplex chains will accept is cut for their needs. That’s a business decision, not censorship, and you have to be truly ignorant not to understand the massive role that the business had in assembling the final cut of a movie.

Meanwhile, as someone who has experienced actual censorship, I can only laugh at his weak will. If your idea of censorship is that you have to wait for the uncut Blu Ray of a movie because AMC wanted a version they could play to a room of teenagers, you have no idea what it entails.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 definitions or dictionaries are wrong

“Censorship “
Now it’s on you to prove your belief.
Point to a single reliable source that defines censorship with … “implies a violation of civil rights!”
The facts not in evidence tag fits nicely here. For sure.

It is well and truly now shown it is you, that have the narrower view of censorship. One so small as to be country specific.
The bill of rights only applies in America. English isn’t even a North American sourced language!
The foundational source for the word “censor” as a verb is from Gothen. Itself a derogatory term for the act of Roman Censors separating people by class as to rights.
Though the Latin term for the position of a censor is borrowed from early pre-Sicilian culture. Sensa literally means decide. The Greeks began using it four “count following the second sack of Osl. Or Athens.
By the early mid Millennium it had become a form of sort in most post-Hebrew-Aramaic languages. The Middle Ages clearly defined all verb variants as removing unholy materials from all locals. Public or private.
To box such an ancient and archaic concept into the view of the United States over the last 250 years is quite a limited world view.

This site doesn’t support the extended Unicode coding for me to take it back pre-Latin. I tried previewing but it just show squares.
If you want to ignore the history of a word, of origin over 2400 years ago, fine. I can’t change it that you accept CNNs 2020 definition.
You’re in a bubble as to what words mean.

“Bingo. So, removing section 230 won’t do anything to stop it. ”
Congratulations. You can copy paste what I said. Repeal won’t solve that.

“I do find it interesting how this conversation has changed from this guy across threads, though.”
That’s because an intelligent person chose to point directly to a few things I was not considering.
Without forcing partisan language reform into the discussion.

Or did you miss the whole 1st grade level retraction?
My change of opinion was acceptance of the property based rights in law, to accept the constitutionality of allowing selective censorship by private companies.

No amount of partisan clamouring is going to modify a long internationally accepted definition outside of of the tiny group that accepts such a narrow view. One printed in both online and physical dictionaries the world over.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:15

Point to a single reliable source that defines censorship with … “implies a violation of civil rights!”

Per RationalWiki: “Censorship usually refers to a state’s engaging in activities designed to suppress certain information or ideas. … More generally, the term is also used any time people in positions of power try to prevent facts or ideas embarrassing to them from coming to light. This can be done by editorial boards of periodicals and journals, by restricting what their writers can actually research or write about, or by restricting and censoring what they do write, preventing it from being published. … This type of censorship is not (and probably should not be) illegal; to force a journal or web site to promote ideas the owners and editors find anathema would be a violation of free speech. Actual censorship, however, is usually done much more maliciously, and threats (financial, legal, or physical) can be made to prevent something going to publication.”

I’m loathe to agree fully with all of that — it’s a fine, fine line between editorial discretion and censorship — but you asked and I obliged, so there you go.

It is well and truly now shown it is you, that have the narrower view of censorship. One so small as to be country specific.

No, it isn’t. What I believe is censorship applies to situations around the world; my “expertise” and focus on the matter lies within the U.S. because I live there. To wit: A government shutdown of access to the Internet in a non-U.S. country is as much censorship as it would be if the U.S. government (tried to) shut down Internet access.

You’re in a bubble as to what words mean.

Even if I am, at least I’m not referring to acts that aren’t censoring anyone as “censorship” — like, for example, a bar owner kicking out an unruly patron.

My change of opinion was acceptance of the property based rights in law

You’re missing the forest for the trees, then. Property rights are tangential to, but don’t override the importance of, the right of free association. You’ve accepted an argument based on one but seemingly refused to acknowledge the other.

A church can choose to associate (or not) with a preacher who professes God’s love — or hatred — for queer people. A bar can choose to associate (or not) with people who denounce — or promote — fascism. And if you and I are standing in an open field not owned by anyone, I can decide to walk away from you if I don’t like what you say — or stick around and listen if I do. In all three examples, property rights are irrelevant; what matters is the right to choose the association one wants with those people and their speech. The First Amendment guarantees that right to all Americans. To deny that right is to force association — to make others listen, to force others into hosting/publishing speech, to override property rights.

Any argument in favor of repealing 230 must first overcome one specific hurdle: “Will this fuck up the freedoms of speech and association?” Property rights are tangential to the argument, but they aren’t the whole argument.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 New platform

The argument would have better chances if people called it what it is!
We’ve been through the this on other 230 posts here

*Censor

VERB
examine (a book, movie, etc.) officially and suppress unacceptable parts of it.
"my mail was being censored”*
~Bing definitions

With that in mind, and further understanding of other conflicts in rights, it can be seen that it is not the act of censorship that is the problem but where one does so.
By taking it out of the internet context it quickly becomes clear that forced speech isn’t acceptable. One would not expect to find The Satanic Bible or Setian Edda at the christian book store.
When that structure is moved back to the internet such censorship becomes clearly constitutional regardless of what anyone may think of the content being censored.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: New platform

"The 230 assault took off, more than ever, and gained public notice, when “social” media companies blocked communication of a sitting President"

Except, they really didn’t. He was kicked off a couple of weeks early from a handful of services after people died at the insurrection he inspired, but it was only just before he stopped being a sitting president anyway. He still had dozens of ways to communicate if he so wished, it’s just that even he realised it was time to stop lying about his loss.

You people spent a lot of time whining about his lies being fact checked, though.

"An unfathomable thought prior to it happening."

No, the unfathomable thing would be that a president would refuse to use the government apparatus supplied to him to communicate with the public, then not only misused the private property he co-opted but did so in order to amplify hatred and misinformation that led to many unnecessary deaths of his own citizens.

The owner of the private property he was using having a say in what he could do while being a guest there is the least concerning thing in that scenario.

"Want to fact check a statement? Go to government.gov. Read the statement."

So… your idea of fact checking corrupt government officials is to read their official explanation as to why they’re not lying? You think this is better than having a functional fourth estate?

"Sounds good to me!"

Actually, your track record here is pretty good. If you like it, it’s a sign that either you’re misrepresenting the facts, or that it’s something really bad for people on speaking terms with reality.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: New platform

now more than ever, we need direct access for information from those in the government.

That is available for those who want it via personal blogs, party web sites, and government agency websites etc. Also, most politicians manage not to break the terms of service of the social media platforms and continue to use them. Why should any private platform be forced to support outright fascist, racist, anti lgbtq speech, especially when many of those speakers launch direct attacks on their targets on social media platforms?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

I find your lack of faith in humanity very very concerning.

Forgive me if my faith in humanity is more than a little broken. As of late, humanity hasn’t exactly done a lot to earn that faith. I mean, the people who voted for Trump in 2020 didn’t think his first (and hopefully last) term was a dealbreaker.

“social” media companies blocked communication of a sitting President

Yes, they did — on the services those companies own and operate. They can’t moderate speech outside of those services. And by the same token, they aren’t (and shouldn’t be) obligated to carry anyone’s speech. A president and a trash collector have the exact same right to “free reach”: None.

I don’t understand how anyone could consider the words of politicians being recorded permanently could be a cause to fight against.

That’s why we have the National Archives. That’s why we have C-SPAN. That’s why we have any number of ways for government officials to contact the media — “mainstream” or not — and speak their minds.

If the government wants to give politicians a way to host blogs on government property, great. But it’s not required for a politician’s voice to be heard…and it’s not going to be cheap to set up, say, over 500 individual websites for the entirety of Congress. Or to upkeep them such that they’re “reset” when someone leaves a seat and loses access to that site. Or to keep the security for those sites up-to-date so they can’t be hacked.

You seem to want it done badly enough, though. So maybe heed the words of Thanos: “Fine…I’ll do it myself.”

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"Forgive me if my faith in humanity is more than a little broken"

It’s funny, isn’t it? Four years of incompetent leadership that left hundreds of thousands dead, yet despite that a shambling horde of 72 million people voting for more, then turning against democracy itself when Trump fed them a lie about the election result.

Yet, the thing that causes him doubt in humanity is people saying that Trump shouldn’t be given a free platform to do more of the same.

"That’s why we have C-SPAN. That’s why we have any number of ways for government officials to contact the media"

Including, these people should be reminded, an official government Twitter account created expressly for the purpose of the president to communicate and which had been used by his predecessor without issue.

The problem wasn’t the availability of access, it was the mindset of the idiot they voted for, and creating more platforms won’t help if they vote for another incompetent con artist.

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nasch (profile) says:

Re: New platform

An unfathomable thought prior to it happening.

It wasn’t, though. People had been discussing it for months.

Are signs that the country needs a platform for politicians to speak to the masses.

Politicians are already free to post whatever they want on their web sites. They each have their own page on house.gov or senate.gov, and they’re free to set up campaign web sites as well. So the problem you’re trying to address has already been solved.

I don’t understand how anyone could consider the words of politicians being recorded permanently could be a cause to fight against.

That’s because that isn’t what anyone is fighting against.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

On archiving: according to MSN: “ A spokesperson for the Archives confirmed to the Post that it and the tech giant are “still exploring the best way” to preserve Trump’s tweets.”

Granted it was equally unheard unprecedented for a US President to use a private media account for official business
Again, a government platform would solve this.

That the government is relying on personal or party blogs is still problematic. And private.
The government should self host.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Again, a government platform would solve this.

How does that stop a government official or the president from using their private accounts for government business. In the case of the president that would require action by congress, something his own party were refusing to do.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"On archiving: according to MSN: “ A spokesperson for the Archives confirmed to the Post that it and the tech giant are “still exploring the best way” to preserve Trump’s tweets.”"

Yes, because Trump insisted on using a private account for which no direct archiving procedure had been implemented, it takes time to agree on the correct procedure. If Trump had used the existing @POTUS account on Twitter or the numerous other communication methods available to him instead of co-opting his pre-existing private account, this would not be an issue.

That quote does not mean it won’t happen, just that it’s yet another mess that needs to be cleared up due to people not following established procedures.

"That the government is relying on personal or party blogs is still problematic. And private"

Yes, they shouldn’t be doing that. Making up another random platform which the public might not bother using anyway would not help, if all that happens is another incompetent egotist decides the rules are too good for him to follow.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Granted it was equally unheard unprecedented for a US President to use a private media account for official business
Again, a government platform would solve this.”
Point accepted.
I don’t believe the President should be using it he POTUS handle either.
Twitter should not be the sole or first source of any member of government.
It’s now clear to me now, the problem is not private companies censoring: it’s the government using private services for government communication.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Twitter should not be the sole or first source of any member of government."

It should not. Creating another alternative won’t make a blind bit of difference if you vote in another incompetent con artist who chooses to do that again, though.

"it’s the government using private services for government communication."

Bingo. So, removing section 230 won’t do anything to stop it. Removing the property rights of private platforms won’t stop it. Creating more platforms under the government won’t stop it. The issue is the people you vote for.

Here’s hoping everyone realises that and you continue to vote for competent professionals instead of incompetent grifters. Let see how this goes…

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

“ If you believe those acts aren’t censorship, by all means: Explain the difference between those acts and Twitter moderating the speech of a third party who has no right to use Twitter.
If you believe those acts are censorship, by all means: Tell me exactly which civil rights were violated by the property owners.”

all three cases are acts of censorship.
And perfectly legal based on rights of private property.

You appear to believe I’m still calling twitter’s actions a violation of constitutionally protected free speech. I am not.

Your definition must also lead to the idea that (what you think of as) “censorship” must be stopped at all costs.

Ideally, but it’s not constitutionally possible to force that. It violates property rights.

“For what reason should the law force Twitter to host third-party speech its owners don’t want to host?”

It should not; which is why I said my view on 230 was in error, multiple times, above.
A less me-right-you-wrong post reply on another 230 article on this site pointing out the property issues without attacking the terminology, with a bit of pressing, convinced me to reconsider that stance.

I see I have to spell it out much more plainly since you appear to think I still believe twitter is doing something in violation of the constitution or law.

I was inaccurate in my assessment of the situation based on a combination of politically charged reporting by competing sides, and my ignorance to the reality of twitter’s private stance in the context of its existence.
I renounce my prior opinion that twitter’s actions were in violation of constitutionally protected freedom of speech and recognise that a private company has the right to censor and that twitter is such a private company.

I may not like it. But it’s constitutional. And thereby legal.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

You appear to believe I’m still calling twitter’s actions a violation of constitutionally protected free speech. I am not.

By referring to moderation as “censorship”, that is exactly what you’re doing. Moderation doesn’t violate civil rights. Censorship does.

Ideally, but it’s not constitutionally possible to force that. It violates property rights.

No, it violates the freedom of association. (Property rights are a tangential concern, though.)

a private company has the right to censor

No, it doesn’t. No private entity has a clear-cut inalienable right to prevent anyone — including the gotdamned president of the United States — from expressing themselves. That would be a violation of the First Amendment and censorship.

A private entity has a right, however, to choose which persons and speech it will associate with. And on property owned by that entity, that right remains theirs no matter how much other people might wish otherwise. That choice is not censorship.

Twitter can moderate speech on Twitter. That moderation doesn’t prevent anyone from speaking their minds on platforms outside of Twitter — or in meatspace. It also doesn’t violate any civil rights. While you may feel that such decisions are censorship, they aren’t. Feel free to explain how Twitter can censor someone who can provide an example of the “I have been silenced” fallacy…if you think you still can.

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Lostinlodos (profile) says:

“ Someone saying “we don’t do that here””
Good read. And:
Makes me realise I’m probably coming across more argumentative than I actually intend to.

Recognising that twitter is actually not an open public platform, I was looking for ways to keep this from ever being an issue going forward.
For starters something needs to be put in place so members of the government are not using private platforms for government business. Including official comments to the public.

Figuring out what was Trump the President from Trump the person was difficult enough for those of us who weren’t blindly following, rather agreeing more with than against.
That is Trumps fault, to be clear. But it shouldn’t happen again.
We also have members of both the Senate and House, both Parties, using personal “social media” for both ‘the person’ and ‘the office’ reasons. Elected or appointed, twitter shouldn’t be the first place official messages are posted.

Right now the federal government has departments spread across hundreds of .gov sites. Many with little to no traffic. The majority the population doesn’t know exists without scrolling to the second or third page of a net search.

Those who have the need, or even want, for direct access to the public should have a single official site to do so at.
Be it the President, a Senator, or the head of the Department of Overpriced Toilet Plungers. A platform where the citizens can go, type in a Name, Office, position, and pull up a listing of official postings.
A place where what is posted is permanent and free from censorship (including moderation) for anything posted of official intent. Where it can be recorded permanently and directly via the LoC/NA.

Where what you see is what you get, free from editing or commentary. A simple source for the public. Rather than taking down comments it serves as a permanent source of evidence. What is posted is posted.
Being permanent it would be impossible to state something did or did not get posted as the evidence is right there. Date and time stamped.

Expanding that to broadcast and radio would all for the permanent record of government, recorded/posted/streamed to the site in real-time time, of what each and every member of branch says.

A single easy to access site of everything on the internet.
Combined with national radio and television broadcasting on government stations.

CSPAN, which I mentioned first, is hampered by not being on broadcast, and by being privately operated.

Along with this platform we would then have full, and recorded, coverage of each department. The Senate, the House, and the SCOTUS. As CSPAN tries to do.
Every commission, every committee. The full recorded of every act.

The definition of national security needs to be redefined and narrowed. And Congress must be barred from “closed sessions” other than for national security.
Elected officials are completely, uncompromisingly, beholden or o the populace that elects them. Their activities are and must be, public.

Doable? Yes. Feasible? Absolutely. Will it happen? Not any time soon.
The older generations in government see it as a cash machine for personal gains. The result of that has attracted activists to both parties who are far outside the mainstream.
The dive cable “news” stations are all deeply entrenched to a political party line. All stuffed with people who’s only goal is maintaining their position or advancing. By any means necessary.

Republicans don’t trust CNN/MSNBC. Democrats don’t trust Fox/OAN.
It’s growing hard to find anything on any cable “news” station that doesn’t have some slant. Furthered by the fact those who watch don’t see any slant, or approve of it.

It’s a one for the government to talk directly to the people on a government service. Free from any manipulation. Be that private tos or commentary.
Again: a place where it is or is not.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

For starters something needs to be put in place so members of the government are not using private platforms for government business. Including official comments to the public.

That is what .gov websites are for.

Right now the federal government has departments spread across hundreds of .gov sites. Many with little to no traffic. The majority the population doesn’t know exists without scrolling to the second or third page of a net search.

So what? They exist. That they’re not heavily trafficked is more a PR problem than a “I wish this thing existed” problem.

Those who have the need, or even want, for direct access to the public should have a single official site to do so at.

And how do existing .gov websites prevent this from happening? Keep in mind that “because social media” is not a valid answer.

A place where what is posted is permanent and free from censorship (including moderation) for anything posted of official intent. Where it can be recorded permanently and directly via the LoC/NA.

Moderation isn’t censorship. Otherwise: Good idea. So what’s stopping .gov websites from doing this right now?

Free from any manipulation.

Had you used “manipulation” instead of “censorship”, you wouldn’t have to keep defending an overly broad, overly permissive, and largely bullshit interpretation of the meaning of “censorship” that turns things that aren’t censorship into censorship.

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