Elon Musk’s First Move Is To Fire The Person Most Responsible For Twitter’s Strong Free Speech Stance

from the not-a-great-start dept

Last night, Elon Musk closed his on-again, off-again, on-again deal to buy Twitter, and his very first order of business was to fire a bunch of top executives. This was not necessarily unexpected. When new owners come in, they will often clean house, and the text messages revealed as part of the lawsuit while Musk was trying to get out of the deal made it clear that Musk could not stand CEO Parag Agrawal. So it seemed obvious that Agrawal would be gone immediately, but Musk also fired (at least) the other top executives who know how the company works: CFO Ned Segal, head of legal and policy Vijaya Gadde, and General Counsel Sean Edgett. That’s not a great sign for an orderly transition, as those are the executives who understood Twitter’s business the best.

And while it’s no surprise that he fired Gadde (he had criticized her in an extremely misleading way back in April, leading to a barrage of harassment that he did nothing to stop), it still should be noted that this is a huge loss for free speech. I said as much on Twitter last night, and had hordes of people calling me every name you can imagine, but this is a point worth defending, even if (especially if?) clueless people want to attack me for it. I just ask that if the premise of this post makes you mad, at least read all the details, and respond to the actual points — not whatever simplistic narrative you think is true.

Gadde did more for free speech on the internet than almost anyone else I can think of. It is difficult to overstate how important she has been in protecting free speech over the past decade. This post will only brush the surface of some of what she’s done.

But first, let’s respond to the main criticism I received for pointing this out. Lots of people insist that she was “chief censor” and that she “banned the sitting President” or that she “interfered in the election by blocking the Hunter Biden story!” and other such claims. Someone even told me she “banned half the US.” All of these complaints misunderstand the nature of free speech, and how it actually works.

First, it should be noted that of all the mainstream social media platforms out there, Twitter was by far the most permissive and the most resistant to rules that would shut down accounts. It had a significantly lighter touch on moderation than Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok. Some of this predated her role at the company, but once she took over legal, she continued to make sure the company was far more open to user speech than nearly every other platform (and that even includes the various MAGA platforms that pretend to be about free speech but are quick to ban critics).

On top of that, she made sure that when content moderation did happen, it was based on a set of principles and policies. You can disagree with where she came down on those policies (and I often did!) but she and others at the company worked hard to make sure that they weren’t making decisions in an arbitrary fashion, but based on a policy. Indeed, this is where the whole Hunter Biden laptop story went wrong. As we’ve written a bunch of times, links to the NY Post story were blocked because of a belief that the story violated Twitter’s “hacked materials” policy. That policy had been in place for a while before the laptop story came out, and in fact we had criticized that policy specifically because it seemed clear that it could interfere with journalism in the public interest (and that had happened when Twitter banned an account for linking to leaked law enforcement documents — i.e., info that was embarrassing to cops, who tend to be more right wing than left wing, countering the narrative that Twitter only blocks pro-right wing info). Twitter eventually changed that policy, which was the right call. But, again, it shows that the company had a policy and enforced it against content that favored different political viewpoints. Indeed, not enforcing the same policy against the NY Post would have been an example of Twitter giving more leeway to conservatives than liberals.

Gadde also spent a lot of time trying to think through ways to make the site welcoming for more users without banning or shutting down accounts. She recognized that every decision had serious tradeoffs. If you allow too much abuse, harassment, and rule breaking, then that can actually work against speech by driving it away, and causing people to stay silent (you know, what the “cancel culture” crowd claims is “self-censorship”); but there’s also value in diverse viewpoints and a wide variety of opinions. She tended to default more towards allowing more speech than less, but knew that a free-for-all on a single site did not actually lead to more overall speech (which is why the few “free-for-all” sites are not very large).

This is part of the reason Twitter kept on experimenting with new methods of handling trust & safety that were less restrictive than banning people entirely. It was among the first, for example, to introduce fact checks and “more information” boxes. Ridiculously, tons of people claimed that those information boxes were censorship, when they were actually a perfect example of the “more speech” approach that Twitter tried to default to in most cases, allowing the company to leave up more speech.

And, contrary to widespread belief, Twitter wasn’t in the business of “banning conservatives.” They were mostly focused on stopping jerks from harassing people. Multiple studies have showed that there’s no evidence that Twitter’s enforcement was actually biased against conservatives. It was biased against people being jerks and creating real-world harm.

That takes us to the eventual Presidential ban, which many of Trump’s fans insist is evidence of bias. But, the reality is that Twitter bent over backwards to leave Trump on the platform despite years of him violating its rules. The company really did everything to keep him on the platform (including the aforementioned fact checking bits, adding more speech) and only took this action after actual violence had broken out, and the company reasonably worried that Trump was agitating for more such violence. It was never about speech, but about not being complicit in encouraging violence. As we noted, and has proven true, Trump has never had any problem getting whatever message he wants out there. But that doesn’t mean that any individual private company needs to help him.

Indeed, this is the key point that I’ve been making for years, and that many people have trouble with: the ability of websites to moderate as they see fit, to create their own rules, and build their own communities (which can include taking enforcement action against those who break the rules) is actually essential for free speech online. Because, without it, websites wouldn’t be willing to host any third party speech at all. There would be many, many fewer places online where you could speak if websites couldn’t craft their own rules.

For all the talk of “the new public square,” as we’ve noted in the past, it’s the internet itself that is the new public square, and there are tons of different communities forming in that public square, each with their own rules. And it’s that diversity that enables so much speech online. Different places where different people can speak, and where there are different rules and norms and accepted behavior. It’s not all just one free for all, because that would just be pure noise and no signal. Twitter has been one key piece of all that. And much of that is because of Gadde’s leadership on these very issues.

And that’s not even getting to the ways in which Twitter has been a strong and true defender of actual free speech around the globe. First off, unlike Facebook and many, many other social media companies, Twitter from the beginning did not try to enforce any kind of “real names” policy, and not only allowed, but often encouraged people to use aliases and remain anonymous. This has been incredibly important in setting up Twitter as a tool for free speech, in that anonymity has enabled whistleblowers and critics to be able to express themselves without fear of direct reprisal.

But, even more importantly, unlike almost any other internet company I can think of, Twitter has embraced the fact that anonymity is protected by the 1st Amendment to fight in court over and over and over again against attempts to reveal anonymous users’ identity. It would even step into cases where it was not a party, and where most other companies would not just stand aside but simply cough up subpoenaed or government-requested data. Indeed, from early on Twitter was known to stand up against government demands for data back when most internet companies were happy to hand it over.

When it comes to pushing back against governments and their attempts to crack down on speech, Twitter’s record is undeniably stronger than just about any other company. When all the other big internet companies settled with the federal government regarding keeping secret how often it was demanding info on their users, Twitter filed and fought a First Amendment lawsuit to be able to reveal as much information as they could.

That’s supporting free speech, and much of that was driven by Gadde and her leadership.

And, that wasn’t just in the US. Twitter was among the most vocal companies pushing back on foreign governments and their demands for information or their demands to censor people. Just as one example, in India, the government demanded that Twitter remove users critical of the government, and Twitter fought back, even as the government threatened to jail Twitter employees. And when India passed a law to give the government more control over internet censorship, Twitter sued the Indian government. In fact, this lawsuit was something that Elon Musk complained about, suggesting that he’s way more willing to go along with government demands. Indeed, Musk also praised the EU’s new Digital Services Act, which is a highly censorial bill that demands all sorts of content takedowns and other censorial actions. Twitter, under Gadde’s leadership, was one of the most vocal companies in calling out how the Digital Services Act could harm speech online.

Even as we speak, one of the biggest free speech cases facing the Supreme Court this term has Twitter as a party. But Musk just fired the company’s two top legal executives who were responsible for filing the cert petition to get the Supreme Court to hear the case. I have no idea what that means, but I fear a potential shift in legal strategy.

There are many more examples, some public, many that are not public at all. But I can think of no other internet executive who has done as much for actual free speech online than Vijaya Gadde. Some people have said that whoever else Musk puts in place could just continue what she’s done, and I hope that’s the case. But, again, as hopefully some of this thread has highlighted, there has been no one at any other internet company who has been willing to do as much as she has done on these issues, so replacing her with anyone else is likely to be a downgrade. I would have said the exact same thing even if Musk hadn’t taken over and she’d left the company while it was still run by the old regime. Gadde leaving Twitter is a loss for free speech — and that seems especially true given Musk’s other comments about anonymity, about the case against India, and about the DSA.

No matter what narrative you believe, Twitter has been by far the biggest defender of free speech online over the past decade, doing way more than much larger companies, and much of that was driven by Gadde’s commitment to free speech. The firing is a loss for Twitter. It’s a loss for Musk. And it’s a loss for free speech for all of us.

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Comments on “Elon Musk’s First Move Is To Fire The Person Most Responsible For Twitter’s Strong Free Speech Stance”

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306 Comments
David says:

Re:

sounds to me that he’s no different to everyone else in positions of wealth and power; promise everything and deliver on none of it!

People not in positions of wealth and power also do not deliver, obviously.

So essentially he is like everyone, period. More a statement about the human condition than anything else.

sabroni says:

Re: Re: People not in positions of wealth and power also do not deliver, obviously.

What a load of bollocks. The people who do the real work, drive trucks, clean streets, make food etc. These people deliver consistently every fucking day.
You think you’ve done a clever gotcha but you haven’t got a fucking clue what real work is.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3

A hardcore copyright maximalist supporting the rights of the proletariat?

The sheer audacity of that hypocrisy…

And yes, I do know how hard the blue-collar and unskilled worker work. They also happen to be some of the MOST abused groups, work-wise. Tradeskills notwithstanding. And I know enough to know you’re lying through your teeth, maximalist.

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philbert says:

"Hacked Materials" False Claim

The gist of your argument supporting the NYPost censorship is that Twitter was just carrying out its policy with no bias. In fact, choosing to not censor the NYPost That’s nonsense, because the policy was a ban on hacked materials.

And nothing in the NYPost story came from hacked content. There was NEVER any evidence anything in the NYPost story came from hacked content.

So Gadde decided to censor a legitimate story from an established newspaper using a policy that didn’t even apply. Then she had anyone who even linked to the story censored. That’s the opposite of a free speech champion.

And again, I can’t stress this enough. This was NOT a example of Twitter just enforcing its existing policy, because the policy they claimed to be following didn’t apply in any way. It’s a nonsense argument based on a false premise.

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Strawb (profile) says:

Re:

And nothing in the NYPost story came from hacked content. There was NEVER any evidence anything in the NYPost story came from hacked content.

The emails that started the story came from a laptop that wasn’t the property of the person who supplied them. As an across-the-board moderation decision, disallowing the spread of potentially hacked material made sense at the time.

So Gadde decided to censor a legitimate story from an established newspaper using a policy that didn’t even apply.

Says you.

Then she had anyone who even linked to the story censored. That’s the opposite of a free speech champion.

Did Twitter’s banning the story stop it from being spread elsewhere? No. Therefore it’s not a free speech issue.

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Hunter's Crackpipe says:

Re: Re: Nonsense

The first crackhead forgot he turned in the laptop for repair. Again, he abandoned it. That’s not hacking. You’d think you would know that.

It is 100% a free speech issue. The woman had zero respect for the truth because it hurt her candidate.

Communists do sht like this. Not Americans.

Then again, so many democrats are post-closet communist these days, it is difficult to tell the difference between a ChiCom and a DNC “operative.”

Hunter’s corruption in China and Ukraine is front page news says the world. Clearly more so now that we know Joey Feebles lied about not being involved in his crackhead son’s business deals.

After all, Hunter Biden himself proved that Joey Feebles takes a 10% cut.

Your comment reads more like interference for your cult than anything else.

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:

The first crackhead forgot he turned in the laptop for repair. Again, he abandoned it. That’s not hacking. You’d think you would know that.

And you suck at understanding timelines, your whole argument hinges on information that wasn’t available at the time. Guess why no one at NYPost dared to put their name on the article? Because they ran with the story before they actually knew if the laptop was 100% legit, or anyone else for that matter.

But if you want to play stupid, go ahead, because no one will stop you from making an ass out of yourself.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:3

I’m sure Gadde had access to the laptop and a forensic analysis of it at the time the decision was made. You are just like the rest of the idiots who believe in prescience or just straight up is too stupid to understand what actually happened. Nobody gives a fuck if it was abandoned or not, because that isn’t what its all about.

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Chozen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

HC: “The first crackhead forgot he turned in the laptop for repair. Again, he abandoned it. That’s not hacking. You’d think you would know that.”

You: ” your whole argument hinges on information that wasn’t available at the time”

Me: ‘Yes it was available at the time and anyone with a JD knows the law.’

You: “Nobody gives a fuck if it was abandoned or not”

Pathetic, absolutely fucking pathetic, you are a worthless person and you know it.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:5

Me: ‘Yes it was available at the time and anyone with a JD knows the law.’

No, it wasn’t available at the time because even NYP wasn’t sure the laptop and its content was legit. How the fuck can then a 3rd party who hasn’t even seen the laptop or verified the information know what NYP published wasn’t from a hack?

Pathetic, absolutely fucking pathetic, you are a worthless person and you know it.

I know a lot of things. For example, I know that you are a scared shitless of being wrong and appearing weak – it’s the basis for your monumental stupidity.

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Chozen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

“I know a lot of things. For example, I know that you are a scared shitless of being wrong and appearing weak – it’s the basis for your monumental stupidity.”

I admit all the time when I’m wrong just told some AC that year I fuck up the thread feature all the time.

I am aware that your style of debate if you want to call it that is to catch a person in an error once and then pretend that you don’t have to listen to a thing they say from there on out.

You are a fucking coward and an evil piece of shit.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:7

I am aware that your style of debate if you want to call it that is to catch a person in an error once and then pretend that you don’t have to listen to a thing they say from there on out.

You keep doubling down on your errors even in the face of facts, you keep repeating your faulty legal theories and call actual lawyers (who post here anonymously) idiots when they point out you are wrong.

You have used ex post facto reasoning to make arguments that company A or person X are wrong/stupid/guilty or whatever for an action, and when I point that out you double down as if those parties where prescient.

This amply proves that you are incapable of admitting you are wrong. Admitting to fucking up the thread-feature only shows that you are actually human – because everyone fucks up the thread-feature on occasion, but that has zero relevance at all to your arguments that diverge from factual reality.

You are a fucking coward and an evil piece of shit.

Pfft..

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Chozen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8

“You have used ex post facto reasoning to make arguments that company A or person X are wrong/stupid/guilty or whatever for an action, and when I point that out you double down as if those parties where prescient.”

This site is called TechDirt with its primary authors being an MBA and a theater major. Its actaully taken me months to fully grasp just how stupid you mother fuckers are and how corrupt Mike is.

Mike writes an insane piece defending Vijaya Gadde as a defender of free speech. Within days it comes out that Vijaya Gadde is on a secret DHS committee suggesting that the DHS needs to shape the “information ecosystem” third-party information-sharing nonprofits as a “clearing house for information to avoid the appearance of government propaganda.” Mike just happens to own an information-sharing nonprofit. What a coincidence.

You do the math and form you own opinion of Mike.

LostInLoDOS (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

Nobody gives a fuck if it was abandoned or not, because that isn’t what its all about.

That is exactly what this was about.
A lawyer supported the blocking of a user based on a claim of hacking. A claim no legitimate lawyer would make.

When you can’t tell the difference between accessing abandoned property and hacking at her level every decision becomes questionable.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:5

That is exactly what this was about.

No, only idiots think that. What matters is what Twitter knew, nothing else.

The fact is, the Post didn’t share the emails or the laptop with anyone for quite a while. Now tell me dullard/liar, how the fuck could anyone at Twitter know that the information didn’t come from a hack the same day the Post published the article? Were they mindreaders? Prescient? Undetectable ninja-hackers?

Seriously, you are getting stupider as time passes by. I don’t know what you consume, but I recommend you stop.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

“And nothing in the NYPost story came from hacked content. There was NEVER any evidence anything in the NYPost story came from hacked content.”

There was strong implications at the time, nothing NYP published outside of Twitter was ever affected, and all they had to do to have their Twitter privileges reinstated was to remove that one story.

I’m not sure what the problem is here.

“Then she had anyone who even linked to the story censored.”

No, she had anyone sharing one specific link remove that link until it was confirmed to be within the standards of the platform. No censorship took place.

“It’s a nonsense argument based on a false premise.”

Meanwhile, I can name numerous right-leaning platforms that not only block posts, but delete threads and ban accounts entirely, yet I never see those complained about with the same verve as I so about a temporary block on a single post where all access was reinstated as soon as the request was honoured. I wonder why that is?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

There was NEVER any evidence anything in the NYPost story came from hacked content.

Welp, when you claim to have a hard drive that belongs to someone, hang on to it and don’t preserve it forensically, then turn it over to Rudy Giuliani for ‘analysis,’ your chain of custody practices have made every single bit of data on that thing suspect.

You can’t blame anyone for that other than the blind as a bat computer repair guy, and ‘cybersecurity czar’ Giuliani, who despite that claim to fame, seems to know jack shit about computer forensics.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“then turn it over to Rudy Giuliani for ‘analysis,’ ”

That was where it went from silly to comical. The whole story made zero sense at all, but you “just happen” to hand it over to one candidate’s lawyer during an election cycle? Please…

Even if there was evidence on there about something relating to Biden’s actions while he was in office (even their claims suggest he wasn’t at the time), and even if mere nepotism was a good counter against Trump’s conduct regarding his own kids during term in office (which it really, really wasn’t), the simple method by which it was made public suggests it has less factual data than the last Twilight novel.

Hey, the right-wing outrage machine got to make a terrible movie about it starring a woman who got herself fired from real jobs, so that’s something.

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Chozen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Crackhead

“The whole story made zero sense at all”

I remember the last time you made this stupid argument becasue you are a stupid person.

A crackhead got high. A crackhead broke his laptop while he was high. Crackhead sobered up and took the broken laptop to the computer repair shop. Crackhead went home got high and forgot all about it.

It makes perfect sense when you remember Hunter Biden is a crakchead you fucking moron.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

Even if he was, so what? Unless I missed something, the claimed events happened when his father wasn’t an elected official, and there’s no reason why having a messed up kid should reflect more on a person’s career than his own actions.

Especially when compared to Trump, whose kid seems to be high as hell every time he posts a video, whose daughter and son-in-law were posted to vital positions in government they were woefully unqualified for, etc.

I’ll entertain issues here with 3 simply requirements – Joe had something to do with providing the drugs, he gave Hunter a position in government while he was there, or there was some blackmail involved to cause him to change a decision based on his son’s condition. Until then, it’s such a laughably obvious fiction, as with the supposed voter fraud, that it’s not worth the effort. I just hope sane people vote.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

“Crackhead sobered up and took the broken laptop to the computer repair shop. ”

….on the other side of the country, to a legally blind guy who couldn’t verify it was actually him. Who then just decided to give it to Rudy, and nobody else has been able to verify had the claimed information on it. Which is not really admissible because the chain of evidence has been broken. Which has basically zero to do with his father’s official position, unless you want to start talking about claims of nepotism, in which can any Trumper would do well to steer clear even if it’s true.

“It makes perfect sense when you remember Hunter Biden is a crakchead you fucking moron.”

So is Mike Lindell, yet you guys seem to take him at his word.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Welp, when you claim to have a hard drive that belongs to someone, hang on to it and don’t preserve it forensically, then turn it over to Rudy Giuliani for ‘analysis,’ your chain of custody practices have made every single bit of data on that thing suspect.

And then when the actual computer forensic scientists say the whole drive is forensically compromised to the point where ANYTHING pulled from the drive is assumed to have passed through more people than your average coin…

Scott Edwards (profile) says:

Re: not sure why this was flagged

I’m not sure why this was flagged – philbert wasn’t being abusive in any way. While I understand a case can be made that censoring this story fell within the guidelines of Twitter, what is being missed is the potential impact on the election of the most powerful man on the planet. I actually like Biden, but there is some pretty damning stuff on that laptop – and it’s looks like at least some of it has turned out to be legit.

It would’ve been one thing if it was just some blogger posting this but NYPost is not The National Enquirer — as much as some leftists would like it to be considered such.

We will never now, but this story could’ve changed an election.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

We will never now, but this story could’ve changed an election.

The story that got massively more attention due to Twitter applying it’s rules against hacked material to remove the link to it, and that anyone could still read at the source if they cared enough to do so? That one?

To the extent it might have ‘changed an election’ Twitter’s actions almost certainly increased the odds of that happening and the amount it influenced things, not decreased.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Yep. Try going to a Trumper site and say something opposed to their narrative. You’ll find you’re not able to log in very quickly, and the evidence of your dissent removed. Especially if all you’re doing is linking to the primary source they’re lying about.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

“Try going to Techdirt and saying anything the Sillycon Valley wokesters here don’t like.”

I notice that your ridiculous comment hasn’t been been hidden a day later, and certainly not deleted.

That seems rather different to my experience, where posts providing scientific evidence or daring to state that a certain ex-president is a con artist who has been convicted of, and being investigated/prosecuted for, various actions get immediately deleted and the previous posts by that user get deleted on right-leaning platforms.

Maybe if you guys spent more time addressing actual facts and less time coming up with “hilarious” kindergarten nicknames, you’d notice these things.

Anon says:

Of Course...

The problem with “content moderation” is that it is necessary. An unregulated, totally anonymous system would be replete with not only completely false and trolling misinformation, and harassment, but also things like revenge porn and child pornography. There is a very basic level of content control that every platform needs to do if it does not want to basically drive away rational users.

I think Elon will quickly find it’s not as simple as he thinks. (Like Full Self Drive, the problem of controlling the crazies is more complicated than you think).

My problem with Twitter is more about their algorithms. I realized after a few weeks of reading twitter once or twice a day – I would read the political stories, maybe like or comment from time to time. The more I read Trumpard stuff (pro or con), the more it pushed political polarized tweets at me to the exclusion of other stuff. Slowly, posts about science fiction, computers and digital imaging, 3D printing, Tesla, SpaceX – faded away. Fewer posts, fewer read, vicious downward spiral. It was all the posts, sometimes rational, between MAGA and sane people. Now I have to actively search for topics I should be getting because I follow them. I make a point of not opening threads on the topic very often.

This is the failing of social media. It thinks you like a subject and it starts to hit you with the firehose of stupidity around that topic. No wonder so many people have already swirled around the social sites and spiraled down the drain into irrationality.

The algorithms have no incentive to correct this, because all they do is feed you more of what you just looked at. They’re as mindlessly persistently stupid as the internet ads that follow me for weeks telling me about the thing I already bought.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Indeed. The ultimate problem is that these people want all the advantages of a mainstream site, but none of the people and ideas they encounter on a site that’s actually mainstream.

That’s not an algorithm problem. Thats an “I’m actually a minority but don’t want to believe it because the people I know abuse minorities” problem.

Anonymous Coward says:

Some of the criticism from conservative voices is the blocking posts containing an ideological viewpoint. For example, people getting blocked for stating that sex is a binary reality. The bans are backed by stating the posts contain harmful comments. Without going into the specifics of this topic, it does point to the platform holding an ideological viewpoint that many may not believe. 1. That sex is binary, and 2. that stating this fact is considered harmful to others, and 3. that conservatives more often hold these beliefs.

It is totally fine for Twitter to consider these topics taboo, but at the same time they should also acknowledge that there are certain topics that are not to be discussed while acknowledging that they believe people can be harmed by the speech of others.

The issue resolves around Twitter not being completely clear about what it considered “appropriate” speech. Just as Twitter banned posts that used the word “groomer”, it should also a list of what is also against policy. Not being clear of text constitutes “harm” leads to conspiracy theories and criticism of unfair bias.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Just as Twitter banned posts that used the word “groomer”, it should also a list of what is also against policy. Not being clear of text constitutes “harm” leads to conspiracy theories and criticism of unfair bias.

You’d think that’d be all good, but then you’d have rules-lawyering assholes looking for all the loopholes to exploit. Things only get worse from there. In re: moderation, a little vagueness is a good thing because it allows for adaptation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I actually disagree with the vagueness thing, as it’ll let the fucks in power abuse the vagueness to get rid of those they do not like. It’s a very common thing in more authoritarian states to have extremely vague legislation so that they punish the maximum amount of people when they want to.

But even I can see the good in a little vagueness: if a rules-lawyering jerk comes to argue HOW they didn’t break the rules as stated, congrats, you just outplayed yourself. That vagueness is a great moderation tool for weeding out the persistent assholes. Especially when paired with a vigilant mod team who knows their community.

(It also goes without saying that this is not something that’s easily scaled and there’s always false positives.)

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

it’ll let the fucks in power abuse the vagueness to get rid of those they do not like

So what? As long as we’re talking about a privately owned social media service like Twitter or Truth Social, who they want on their property is their decision to make.

That vagueness is a great moderation tool for weeding out the persistent assholes. Especially when paired with a vigilant mod team who knows their community.

That’s my whole point: Rules with a little vagueness in them can let mods adapt their approach to moderation without having to constantly close loopholes in the rules to counter rules-lawyering dipshits.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

“Rules with a little vagueness in them can let mods adapt their approach to moderation without having to constantly close loopholes in the rules to counter rules-lawyering dipshits.”

If you simply ban anti-semitic slurs but allow the anti-semites to remain, you end up with people trying to be clever with the use of parentheses to say the same things without triggering a specific rule. If you just say that you don’t allow anti-semites, they complain louder, but most people are OK with that.

If a person finds that they don’t have so many “conservative” people to talk to after the anti-semites get removed, and the room fills with people who now have nothing to fear, then that’s on him to examine why that is.

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Chozen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Hire Security or Call The Cops

No, you either hire licensed security or call the cops. The way it generally works is there are 1 or 2 licensed security running a team of bouncers. If it gets to the point the person needs to be physically removed the bouncer goes to the licensed security and the licensed security removes the person. Pretty simple straight forward process. You don’t get this because you are a fucking idiot.

I started bouncing as part of my college line coaches security team first job was Blues Traveler. He was the one with the license and would put hands on the person who needed to be removed.

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Chozen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10

“I seem to remember you threatening to rape one of the regulars here, you lying shitbag.”

Like I said you are autistic. When I said ‘Mike is about to get fucked with a Texas sized dick, in reference to the texas social media law, you and the rest of the spectrum kiddies here took it literally even though it was a reference to a George Carlin joke.

You are not normal. You have autism. Please I understand you are disabled but your perception is not reality and shouldn’t be forced on the rest of us who do not have your condition.

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Chozen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8

‘So, 1A doesn’t exist then.’

Where in the 1st Amendment does it say ‘refuse service based on view point’?

Mike and the idiots in big tech are trying to create a right that does not exist in the 1st Amendment or anywhere else.

If that dipshit Mike’s legal opinion where correct most all of the civil rights statutes would be void. That is how fucking stupid Mike’s argument is.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:3

You’d be surprised how vague contracts can actually be. That you, with your myopic view of things, aren’t aware of this isn’t surprising.

If you actually want to expand your limited horizon, why don’t you go and look up the language used in many morals clauses for example. Just to give you a real example of what to expect:
Licensee understands that at all times during the term of this Agreement, Licensee shall conduct itself at all times with due regard to the public conventions and morals, and to refrain from any behavior that may be objectionable to Licensor

Very specific, isn’t it?

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Tanner Andrews (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: clear statement of the benefits

I actually disagree with the vagueness thing, as it’ll let the fucks in power abuse the vagueness to get rid of those they do not like.

That is the benefit. In my living room, the rule is ``do not be a jerk”. Prettty vague, but it gives me flexibility to get rid of the guy who gets drunk and starts spouting off as to how people should root for the Yankees even though I have no specific rule as to baseball.

The same rule lets me get rid of the historian claiming that Richard Nixon was mis-understood. It also gets rid of the corporatist telling me how I should appreciate the smell of partly-burnt diesel oil. The salesman trying to tell my friend’s mother about his line of vacuum sweepers is also gone under the same rule.

Remember, it is my living room. That means my rules are the ones that matter. When you dislike them and find them too vague, well, fortunately there is Parler to allow for your freedom of speech.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Authoritarian states are not your house, fortunately. They are a lot less welcoming about polite criticism than you would be, and if I were acting out of line, I would take my lumps and leave.

And assholes usually out themselves far quicker with a bit of vagueness in the rules.

I have never disagreed with 1A, the right of associaltion and property laws, and at least understand the concept of personal responsibility. Unfortunately, not all of us live in the US and Europe and have extremely different attitudes about the vagueness of the law.

But it would appear that Musk would go to bat for the authoritarians, considering his recent actions and associations, and I’m 100% sure he’d do their bidding and be a very nice state censor.

This means he’ll let India have unprecented access to Twitter’s databanks. He will promote pro-Chinese propaganda and delete tweets that have valid criticisms of the PRC because, you know, he wants to fucking exploit the big Chinese market and supply chain. He’ll give Putin the keys to Twitter and let Russian nonsense run amok. Hell, he’ll probably let NFTs steal legitimate accounts. And that’s just the beginning. All legal under Musk because he’s one of them.

Sorry if it’s a jumbled mess, but as much as I would enjoy seeing Musk have the mother of all meltdowns upon him realizing defending free speech is real fucking hard and thankless, his authoritian proclivities and him sucking up to dictators is worrying.

I repeat, I understand enough of free speech and expression that, despite any theatrics I might pull upon getting disciplined for my mistakes, I will not contest my bans and will at least leave quietly, because unlike the white supremacists and brownshirts braying to get back on, I fucked up, I own my fuckups, and I will take the L and fuck off. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences, and more people ought to know this.

Anon Anon Anon says:

Re: Re: Re:3

“Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences, and more people ought to know this.”

Well, that’s a favorite cliche, but it’s clearly not true if you think about it for a few seconds. Free speech by definition protects you from particular consequences. Being thrown in jail by the state, most notably. If that “consequence” isn’t off the table, there is not free speech, by definition. One could add, free speech should preclude being assaulted or killed by a non-state actor. This is why the Charlie Hebdo massacre is rightly considered a free speech issue, even though there was no state censorship involved.

What’s at issue in fights over social media is, first, to what extent is there free speech on the internet overall. Is the coordinated action of private actors meting out “consequences” so totalizing that it is, in effect, indistinguishable from state censorship? I think given the small number of social media companies, the coordination of particular rules like very broad “hate speech” bans, and the jawboning of governments in social media content regulation, that there is in effect an online censorship regime that goes way beyond the “You can ban speech you don’t like from your living room” rule.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4

What’s at issue in fights over social media is, first, to what extent is there free speech on the internet overall.

Depends on where you live. In most of the world, it’s limited by the rights your government thinks you deserve. In certain totalitarian states, you have none at all, unless you become one of the brownshirts, and even then, that’s temporary.

Is the coordinated action of private actors meting out “consequences” so totalizing that it is, in effect, indistinguishable from state censorship?

We have not reached the cyberpunk stage, asshole. We don’t have corps hiring mercenaries to off the competition or critics.

I think given the small number of social media companies, the coordination of particular rules like very broad “hate speech” bans, and the jawboning of governments in social media content regulation, that there is in effect an online censorship regime that goes way beyond the “You can ban speech you don’t like from your living room” rule.

So corps can’t exercise their rights to associate, then. Good to know. Get the fuck out.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

Free speech by definition protects you from particular consequences.

But it doesn’t protect you from all negative consequences, especially the social kind. Freeze Peach assholes believe they should be protected from such consequences⁠—that they should be heard without interruption or mockery, and that they should be heard by everyone even if some people don’t want to listen.

What’s at issue in fights over social media is, first, to what extent is there free speech on the internet overall.

That has nothing to do with social media services and everything to do with governments. Twitter can’t stop you from posting on Facebook or Mastodon or Truth Social, after all.

Is the coordinated action of private actors meting out “consequences” so totalizing that it is, in effect, indistinguishable from state censorship?

You first have to prove that such coördinated action happens. Then you have to prove that it happens to such a degree that a given person is effectively shut off from the entire Internet. Being able to reach a potential audience of hundreds instead of millions is not censorship because nobody has the right to an audience⁠—or to make someone else give them one.

the coordination of particular rules like very broad “hate speech” bans

Individual services make those rules because they’d like to not have their services turn into 4chan-esque cesspools. That their rules may share similar language is not so much “coördination” as it is “boilerplate language”.

there is in effect an online censorship regime that goes way beyond the “You can ban speech you don’t like from your living room” rule

Copy! Pasta! Tiiiiiime!

You don’t have a right to an audience. You don’t have a right to use someone else’s private property as your own personal soapbox. And you don’t have a right to force anyone into either becoming your audience or helping you publish/distribute your speech. Having any or all of those things is a privilege. Nobody owes you such privileges; losing them doesn’t keep you from speaking your mind.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5

You first have to prove that such coördinated action happens. Then you have to prove that it happens to such a degree that a given person is effectively shut off from the entire Internet.

Someone in there I’d add an entry about proving that there wasn’t a very good reason that a bunch of companies decided to give a particular person/group the boot at the same time, as a good enough ‘why’ would more than make up for a ‘what’ even if it could be proven.

If someone outed themselves as a holocaust denying white supremacist on national tv for example it would make perfect sense for a bunch of platforms to suddenly want nothing to do with them(even as others drooled over them), leading to the appearance of coordination even if it didn’t actually exist and was instead just a natural consequences of the users words and actions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6

Or, to put it simply…

If one gets booted out of Facebook and Twitter, and again on the “conservative social media web”, and there’s evidence of that one person getting booted off at least several privately-maintained email discussion lists and was the reason for certaain rules on certain Usenet/University bulletin boards…

I can’t guantaree it, but maybe, just maybe, that individual IS all the coordination those various actors need to kick that one individual off? Getting the boot isn’t a simple process, either, moderation-wise.

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יונתן פֿאליק , عطا الله عفلق (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Astounding Legal and Tech Ignorance of White Racist Dummy Stephen T. Stone

Stephen T. Stone’s cluelessness and stupidity is truly awesome even among TechDirt’s white racist nitwits.

You don’t have a right to an audience. You don’t have a right to use someone else’s private property as your own personal soapbox. And you don’t have a right to force anyone into either becoming your audience or helping you publish/distribute your speech. Having any or all of those things is a privilege. Nobody owes you such privileges; losing them doesn’t keep you from speaking your mind.

Stephen T. Stone understands no element of either US Constitutional, statutory, or common law.

Only a tech nitwit denies that a social medium platform is a common carrier.

The public has a right to non-discriminatory common carriage. If a private company creates an open forum in the government-designated public forum of the Internet, every member of the public has a right to an audience in the forum. A social medium platform has to provide message common carriage to every member of the public.

Of all the vile and despicable racists on TechDirt, Stephen T. Stone is the most despicable in his racist and disgusting desire to deprive large sections of the public of their Constitutional rights.

TechDirt white racist dummies are the Internet equivalent of the white racist thugs of Ax Handle Saturday.

Stephen T. Stone combines the worst of white racist stupidity and ignorance with the thinking of Julius Streicher.

During the early days of telegraphy, many argued for telegraph exceptionalism just as many today argue for Internet exceptionalism.

In two early cases, Parks v. Alta Cal. Tel. Co., 13 Cal. 422 (1859), and Mac Andrew v. The Electric Co., 17 C. B. (Eng.) 3 (1855), they were held to be common carriers; but in other early cases the courts, when they considered the nature and power of electricity, thought it so strange, wonderful and incomprehensible, that no ordinary human care or skill could possibly suffice to control it perfectly, and, deeming it therefore unjust to hold telegraph companies bound by the strict rules which govern common carriers, sought out reasons for making a distinction between these new carriers of thought and the old carriers of merchandise.

See Benjamin F. Rex, “Liability of Telegraph Companies for Fraud, Accident, Delay and Mistakes in the Transmission and Delivery of Messages,” The American Law Register, May, 1884, Vol. 32, No. 5, New Series Volume 23 (May, 1884), p. 282. By 1869 practically everyone conceded that an 1869 telegraph company was a common carrier just as a 2022 social medium platform is a common carrier today.

No one, who advocated telegraph exceptionalism, showed the malignant mentality that Stephen T. Stone and the rest of the depraved TechDirt white racist dummies evince.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

“For example, people getting blocked for stating that sex is a binary reality.”

yes, people might get banned for stating something that’s not actually true.

“1. That sex is binary”

Sex and gender are not the same thing, and even if it were hermaphrodites and intersex individuals exist even if it’s inconvenient to simple people.

“conservatives more often hold these beliefs”

The fact that certain political beliefs often adhere to false scientific ideas does not mean that it’s political to challenge those false ideas.

“Not being clear of text constitutes “harm” leads to conspiracy theories and criticism of unfair bias.”

The problem is, if you supply a list of words, people try to get around those lists. That’s why parentheses are used by anti-semites, they were told that outright hatred wasn’t allowed but worked out that punctuation was OK, so they adjusted. Not allowing someone to react because the new hate wasn’t on a pre-defined list will not lead to good results.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

“falsely banned”

Are you going to Stan for the accounts banned from Truth and Gettr as well? Or just the ones you agree with?

“When journalists and satire accounts are taken down, we can rest assured that the ban motives are political.”

Only in Koby world is journalism and satire equal. The problem with the current world is that you can read The Onion, and it’s indistinguishable from your actual political candidates. Outlets most famous for lying are treated as if they practiced journalism.

Matt36553 (profile) says:

One criticism of Vijaya Gadde and Twitter is the apparent inability or unwillingness to remove child exploit material from the platform. This has been extensively documented by the twitter user https://twitter.com/elizableu

If the problem is as big as people believe, then Elon and his team have a lot of very important work to do to clean up the platform.

https://www.opindia.com/2022/10/censor-chief-vijaya-gadde-is-fired-how-twitter-refused-to-take-down-child-porn/

https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/twitter-declined-to-remove-sex-video-exploiting-minors-according-to-lawsuit-supported-by-powerful-watchdog/article_a14b22ae-23d5-11ed-946f-9f5c1b4bd54e.html

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

“They kept a lid on free speech for far too long”

I have a feeling that a lot of people are going to abandon the site once they see what you people consider to be “free speech”. Then you’ll whine that there’s no money to be made from bullying and hatred compared to tolerance, as usual.

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Anonymous Coward says:

A few things this gets wrong.

More speech is not freer speech. If a platform censors certain opinions because it believes that it will retain more users that way, it is operating against the principles of free speech, not for them.

The platform should not interfere with its users. Offering facts, or text boxes, or warnings implicitly denigrates those postings and imposes the platform’s own opinions. They platform is a place for people to talk with each other, not to receive enforced truths from above.

Moderating for decorum is not the same as censoring opinions, and supposed harm caused when people see opinions with which they disagree is never a reason to violate the principles of free speech. It is possible to both prevent Twitter from becoming an unbridled hellscape and to allow opinions on all sides of gender ideology, religious ideology, and political ideology.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

If a platform censors certain opinions because it believes that it will retain more users that way, it is operating against the principles of free speech, not for them.

Yes or no: If Twitter bans transphobes because it believes having fewer transphobes on the platform will enable more queer people (and trans people in particular) to speak without fear of being harassed into silence, does that qualify as operating in favor of free speech?

Offering facts, or text boxes, or warnings implicitly denigrates those postings and imposes the platform’s own opinions.

Yes or no: If Twitter is a privately owned platform (and it is), does a Twitter employee have the right to post speech that adds context to third-party speech?

Moderating for decorum is not the same as censoring opinions, and supposed harm caused when people see opinions with which they disagree is never a reason to violate the principles of free speech.

Yes or no: Are racial slurs, anti-queer propaganda, and blatant bigotry “opinions” that Twitter should be forced by law to host?

Christenson says:

Re: Re: Binary Choices

The choices you are offering are faced by all websites with a sufficiently large number of people posting material, and they distill down to whether the site wants to keep normal people or not.

It turns out harrassment, of course, is a net negative for “free speech”, and certain opinions are associated with harrassers and, well, jerks.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

I see you want a hecklers charter, whereby you can shout down anybody who you disagree with. That is not free speech, that is the right for the loudest and most obnoxious people to dominate society. Look to Iran and Afghanistan if you want to see where that type of society goes.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Offering facts, or text boxes, or warnings implicitly denigrates those postings and imposes the platform’s own opinions.

And Twitter bans people who (often explicitly!) denigrate other people’s existences, never mind opinions. Your own words rebut you:

supposed harm caused when people see opinions with which they disagree is never a reason to violate the principles of free speech.

That applies just as easily to the “supposed harm when [Twitter users] see [Twitter’s opinions] with which they disagree”. Why should Twitter not be allowed to have its own speech? Why should these supposed pri ciples of free speech be allowed to ban Twitter from speaking on Twitter’s private property? You used the word “never”, but does free speech mean to you that Twitter shouldn’t be allowed to say “This post is misleading” nor “This post is full of jerks” but Twitter users should be allowed to say “LGBTQ people are groomers” and “Systemic racism doesn’t exist”? It’s not necessary for a service such as a “platform” to be isolated from the opinions of its maintainers. Fact checks and warnings allow both the opinions of the platform’s maintainers and the opinions of the censured (not censored) Twitter users to stand, allowing Twitter users to read both sets of opinions and decide which ones they agree with. And when Twitter bans people from speaking on Twitter’s property, then the banned users have options: find a platform which tolerates them, make their platform or personal websites, seek national attention in newspapers and news channels (as Trump does), write a book, etc.

They [sic] platform is a place for people to talk with each other, not to receive enforced truths from above.

You’re forgetting that plenty of people on Twitter aren’t looking for a place to “talk with each other”, but instead to harass minorities and privileged people who support (or pretend to support) minorities. And you say that Twitter users “receive enforced truths from above”, but ignore that people who doubt Twitter’s truths can “do their own research” by finding information from other sources.

It is possible to both prevent Twitter from becoming an unbridled hellscape and to allow opinions on all sides of gender ideology, religious ideology, and political ideology.

Says someone who likely never has had to manage a website which hosts third-party opinions. Some opinions (such as “LGBTQ people generally are groomers) are inherently harmful and contribute to the somewhat bridled “hellscape” which already exists on Twitter. If Twitter wants to moderate “for decorum”, then certain opinions which are charged with subtle violent underpinnings” have to be banned. Some opinions (for example, “teaching factual history in schools is the same as teaching critical race theory” and “trans women are more likely to sexually assault cis women [than to be themselves sexually harassed by cis men]”) are harmful because they go against both reality and empathy.

Twitter is not a platform for “free speech”. Twitter should be allowed to decide which people to tolerate on Twitter’s own property. The internet as a whole is the platform for free speech. Twitter supports free speech on the internet by defending websites’ (not just Twitter’s) First Amendment right to moderate.

Anon Anon Anon says:

Re: Re:

“Twitter is not a platform for “free speech”. Twitter should be allowed to decide which people to tolerate on Twitter’s own property. The internet as a whole is the platform for free speech”

And, in practice, social media platforms are near-monopolies who effectively collude on banning certain kinds of speech, with a bias toward broadly defining large categories of unfashionable opinions as “hate speech”. Worse, the US government puts direct pressure on social media companies to have certain ‘moderation’ policies in place, effectively making an end-run around the First Amendment. The term for that is ‘jawboning’.

I’d feel differently if the internet was still a wide-open space where if you don’t like the content policies of a platform, you just go out and make your own. But that’s not the way the internet works now. Say you decide to go completely rouge, ala Kiwi Farms. Its only a matter of time before “watchdog” groups get your site removed from the backbone of the internet, or unable to receive protection from malicious attacks.

What we have now is a system of privatized censorship that’s at least as bad as many governmental censorship regimes. And I think it’s meaningful to discuss censorship not just in terms of government vs private sector, but in its totalizing effect. If a private entity has the power to effect a ban to the point where nobody can find that piece of information, that’s absolutely censorship, and it’s a mere technicality that it’s not a government doing it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

And, in practice, social media platforms are near-monopolies who effectively collude on banning certain kinds of speech,

I did not know that 4chan, 8kun, Parler, Truth Social, Daily Stormer, Infowars, Bitchute are moderated in the same was as Twitter and Facebook. That is there is an outlet for most kinds f speech the Internet. What most people claiming rights to the big platforms are rally about is an ability to directly attack those they oppose and/or peddle conspiracy conspiracy theories to a wide audience that does not want to listen.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: 'I don't get it, everyone says I'm an asshole... They must be colluding.'

And, in practice, social media platforms are near-monopolies who effectively collude on banning certain kinds of speech, with a bias toward broadly defining large categories of unfashionable opinions as “hate speech”.

Which ‘unfashionable opinions’ would those be, and as always when it comes to this question please, be specific

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Say you decide to go completely rouge, ala Kiwi Farms. Its only a matter of time before “watchdog” groups get your site removed from the backbone of the internet, or unable to receive protection from malicious attacks.

You say that like KF wasn’t itself a vector for malicious attacks of actual people since its days as the CWC Wiki.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’d feel differently if the internet was still a wide-open space where if you don’t like the content policies of a platform, you just go out and make your own. But that’s not the way the internet works now. Say you decide to go completely rouge, ala Kiwi Farms. Its only a matter of time before “watchdog” groups get your site removed from the backbone of the internet, or unable to receive protection from malicious attacks.

You have to be particularly stupid to use KF as an example to prop up your argument.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Jesus, you’re a special brand of disingenious stupid.

Twitter, so far, has not been pressured to actively censor ANYTHING a country’s government considers offensive, outside of fact checking and actually tries to preseve American government Twitter accounts and keep them on the platform. Facebook has received MONEY from CONSERVATIVE SOURCES to keep VACCINE DISINFORMATION, HOLOCAUST DENIAL AND TERRORISM PROMOTION up. Gab, Parler and a whole slew of white power garbage social media places exist.

Oh, and The Fine Young Capitalists hacked themselves. And using a place that originally started as a mocker of a particularly awful example of autistic people isn’t earning your disingenious white power arguments any fans.

It’s not enough for you that Trump managed to stoke a failed insurrection on Twitter and that Facebook is more than happy to cater to the Republicans. It’s not enoigh that you get to peddle your poison without any comeuppance.

You and your brownshits want us all to either bow down before Trump and Whitey or die in front of you.

And to that, I say, FUCK YOU.

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Chozen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

“Twitter, so far, has not been pressured to actively censor ANYTHING a country’s government considers offensive”

“Last Friday Mr. Berenson published conversations from an internal Twitter Slack channel. Referring to an April 2021 meeting with White House officials, one Twitter employee noted that the meeting overall was “pretty good,” but added that the White House “had one really tough question about why Alex Berenson hasn’t been kicked off from the platform.”” ~ WSJ 8/17/22

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Chozen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Bantam Books v. Sullivan (1963)

Bantam Books v. Sullivan (1963) exact same thing. The government just suggesting that the book stores should not sell these books.

Why do fucktards like you always make arguments that have already been found void by the SCOTUS? You are the most ignorant group of dipshits on the internet.

Every argument is a rehash of defeated segregationist arguments form the Civil Rights Era.

You are pure evil. The fact that all your arguments are the same arguments made by segregationists over a half a century ago is prima fascia evidence that you are evil people.

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Chozen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan 1963

Exactly Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan 1963 a local Rhode Island government commission was sending letters to local book stores telling them that the commission found certain books they were selling were “objectionable.” (there is that magic word again). The court found this to be a first amendment violation.

There is no difference in what the government is doing here with BigTech.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“in practice, social media platforms are near-monopolies”

I’m always fascinated by this weak claim. Most people I know are on at least 3 platforms, which seems to go against the concept of a monopoly. Shouldn’t you be more angry about the relative lack of competition that the average person has about how they access the internet, some having literally ISP monopolies, as opposed to completely optional entertainment services having similar rules as to what constitutes abuse?

“Say you decide to go completely rouge, ala Kiwi Farms. Its only a matter of time before “watchdog” groups get your site removed from the backbone of the internet, or unable to receive protection from malicious attacks”

The fact that they went rogue, as you say, is the reason they had problems. Hate and abuse can be very bad for business, and KF were hardly a big fish. If Cloudflare says “we’re ending a contract because people who pay us more are threatening to leave”, that’s the free market if they decide to ditch KF instead. If protection from malicious attacks is important, there’s still options, they just can’t use an easy service to do it for them if they attract problems that threaten their own business.

“What we have now is a system of privatized censorship that’s at least as bad as many governmental censorship regimes”

I’d love to hear an convincing reason why this is. I’ve never heard one, but I’m always ope to one that doesn’t boil down to “the government and social media both try to prevent me from attacking gay people”.

“If a private entity has the power to effect a ban to the point where nobody can find that piece of information, that’s absolutely censorship”

Name a piece of information that you can’t find due to censorship. I guarantee that either I’ll a) find it for you using a tool other than the one you were banned from or b) it didn’t actually exist and you’ve been fooled into thinking that not finding it means it was repressed and not a lie.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

“If a platform censors certain opinions because it believes that it will retain more users that way, it is operating against the principles of free speech”

No, it’s exercising its own free speech rights. If you go into a restaurant and shout racial abuse, they can and should kick you out, instead of being forced to put up with you while other paying customers leave.

“They platform is a place for people to talk with each other”

Which is cool in a utopia. In the real world, they have to moderate when people disagree or cause a scene. Just as in the real world, people may be asked to leave if they’re causing the experience for other patrons to be reduced.

“t is possible to both prevent Twitter from becoming an unbridled hellscape and to allow opinions on all sides of gender ideology, religious ideology, and political ideology.”

Whatever you’re smoking, it’s either too much or not enough. If one person believes the other person should die, and should be bullied into doing that, one of them need to be asked to leave – and it’s not wrong just because you agree with the bully.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

More speech is not freer speech. If a platform censors certain opinions because it believes that it will retain more users that way, it is operating against the principles of free speech, not for them.

Only if they are in bed with government officials AND do their bidding. Besides, modern white supremacists do very well in censoring alternate viewpoints on THEIR sites.

Reminder: one tool of censorship is the spreading of fear, mis/disinformation and doubt, and the conservatives and their ideological footsoldiers use this ALL THE TIME.

The platform should not interfere with its users.

Oh, so if I want to talk about tabletop RPGs and the like, I have to tolerate pro-Russian shills, China’s Internet troll army, white supremacists, pedophiles, and the FBI/CIA monitoring the place for these fucks? Because that’s what will happen. It happened to moot and 4chan, it happened to a place I used to frequent (an IRC server), and it definitely happened to Reddit and Twitter.

You fuckers want what I just described to happen.

Moderating for decorum is not the same as censoring opinions, and supposed harm caused when people see opinions with which they disagree is never a reason to violate the principles of free speech.

So you’re in favor of total information control then. Please stop being a Murdoch simp, he’s the asshole who successfully BOUGHT legislation in Australia. He’s no defender of free speech, he’s a defender of total information control.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Again.

Oh, so if I want to talk about tabletop RPGs and the like, I have to tolerate pro-Russian shills, China’s Internet troll army, white supremacists, pedophiles, and the FBI/CIA monitoring the place for these fucks?

I do not want to be associated with these groups. Yes, even the FBI/CIA. How hard is it to understand that?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

A few things your comment gets wrong.

If a platform censors certain opinions because it believes that it will retain more users that way, it is operating against the principles of free speech, not for them.

Free speech principles do not bind a private platform – free speech principles restrict the state as the state has the monopoly on violence/police powers. The state can punish a person for their speech by killing or jailing them, that’s why the free speech principles were developed to ensure that the people with the power to direct the state must not be allowed to decide what is said. A private company does not have such powers. Anyone who wants to say something they don’t like can go to another platform (including an actual government platform with free speech protections).

If a platform is too powerful so it feels like it’s not possible to go to another platform, then it’s a anti-trust issue – not a free speech issue.

The platform should not interfere with its users. Offering facts, or text boxes, or warnings implicitly denigrates those postings and imposes the platform’s own opinions. They platform is a place for people to talk with each other, not to receive enforced truths from above.

No, it’s like this – someone starts a jazz club. They rent a property, fix up the lighting, advertises and organizes open mics in all corners of the venue. Then a group of ska musicians show up at one of the open mics, then a classical orchestra, then a mime troupe. They might be really bad and they might drown out the jazz artists at the remaining mics. They might be really good and complement the jazz vibe.

It doesn’t matter how good they are. Are you really saying that the owner of the jazz club can’t tell them that “we really wanted to have a jazz club and I must ask you to play jazz or leave”. That they have to pay rent, heating, cleaning services for a jazz club that no longer has anyone who likes jazz showing up because it’s just ska and mimes?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

A few things your comment gets wrong.

If a platform censors certain opinions because it believes that it will retain more users that way, it is operating against the principles of free speech, not for them.

Free speech principles do not bind a private platform – free speech principles restrict the state as the state has the monopoly on violence/police powers. The state can punish a person for their speech by killing or jailing them, that’s why the free speech principles were developed to ensure that the people with the power to direct the state must not be allowed to decide what is said. A private company does not have such powers. Anyone who wants to say something they don’t like can go to another platform (including an actual government platform with free speech protections).

If a platform is too powerful so it feels like it’s not possible to go to another platform, then it’s a anti-trust issue – not a free speech issue.

The platform should not interfere with its users. Offering facts, or text boxes, or warnings implicitly denigrates those postings and imposes the platform’s own opinions. They platform is a place for people to talk with each other, not to receive enforced truths from above.

No, it’s like this – someone starts a jazz club. They rent a property, fix up the lighting, advertises and organizes open mics in all corners of the venue. Then a group of ska musicians show up at one of the open mics, then a classical orchestra, then a mime troupe. They might be really bad and they might drown out the jazz artists at the remaining mics. They might be really good and complement the jazz vibe.

It doesn’t matter how good they are. Are you really saying that the owner of the jazz club can’t tell them that “we really wanted to have a jazz club and I must ask you to play jazz or leave”. That they have to pay rent, heating, cleaning services for a jazz club that no longer has anyone who likes jazz showing up because it’s just ska groups and mimes?

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Matt36553 (profile) says:

Twitter may not ban conservatives but it does ban speech it deems harmful to others and speech is often associated with conservative viewpoints (see above topic on sex)

IMO a free speech advocate does not believe topics and words cause “harm” to others.

Otherwise you are just advocating for free speech while practicing viewpoint bias. You can’t do both.

That bias is ok if you are honest about it.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Twitter may not ban conservatives but it does ban speech it deems harmful to others and speech is often associated with conservative viewpoints

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.)

Point is: If you’re going to claim that certain kinds of speech are being banned and that speech is closely associated with conservatives, the problem isn’t with the platform⁠—it’s with the conservatives who associate that speech with their sociopolitical ideology.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You are stating that the conservative ideology is the problem and not the platform.

I propose that regardless of the ideology if the platform is banning topics based on an ideology (libertarian, progressive, liberal, conservative, etc), then they should be upfront about it.

I have no problem with Twitter being ideologically focused and banning whatever content they want. Just be honest about it and don’t pretend that it is not happening.

Iamcuriousblue says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Something specific

I got booted from Twitter for “hate speech” because I said it was bad that people were calling podcaster Kmele Foster a “house nigger”. The people who were calling him that name did not get the banhammer. It seems obvious to me that I was criticizing a form of hate speech. But those who enforce Twitter’s rules clearly think that “hate speech” means defending the ‘wrong’ people.

I’d say that’s an example of extreme poltical bias on Twitter’s part, which if they’re going to have, they can at least own. Now I realize that’s probably not official Twitter policy, but it’s their effective policy considering this is what their utterly biased “Trust and Safety” team enforce.

I have no idea whether the Musk takeover will change this, but if the turds who enforce rules this way are kicked to the curb, the world will be a slightly better place for it.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

… You used a racial slur, there and here, and you were surprised that you got the hammer for that?

That’s just moderation at scale on their side and poor decision making on your side, not ‘political bias’, as when a platform has to deal with millions of posts on a regular basis(daily for sure, wouldn’t surprise me if it was hourly) by necessity that’s going to involve some automation that can’t take context into account and therefore isn’t going to be able to differentiate someone using a word/phrase in a harassing manner versus someone using it to criticize them.

If the other people were also using the full phrase then they should have faced consequences as well, did you report their post(s) or just respond to it/them, because if someone reported your post or it got caught by the filter but it missed theirs then that would explain why only one of you got the boot with no ‘political bias’ needed.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“if the platform is banning topics based on an ideology (libertarian, progressive, liberal, conservative, etc), then they should be upfront about it”

I thought they were. They stated when people were being banned for spreading disinformation about diseases. They stated when it was due to homophobic, racial or anti-semitic abuse. They even gave people various chances to correct themselves, with timeouts or fact checking instead of outright bans.

If only one “team” is doing those things, the problem isn’t that only they are facing consequences for such actions, it’s that only they are doing it in the first place.

If, however, you’re being banned for “conservative ideology” like fair tax law and military spending, there’s room to talk and I’ll agree that you shouldn’t be restricted. If your “conservative ideology” involved racism, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia and you’re complaining that you’re banned from places where the subjects of your abuse congregate, that’s your problem.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re:

If I run a platform that has a ‘no racism, sexism, or harassment of any kind’ policy and one group tends to violate it more than others the problem is not my policy.

IMO a free speech advocate does not believe topics and words cause “harm” to others.

As the meme goes, ‘tell me you’re straight, white and probably male without telling me you’re straight, white and probably male’.

If you want to know whether or not certain topics and words can cause harm maybe ask non-whites, women, and/or anyone not straight as an arrow about that(or hell, check some history books), the response might surprise you.

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Matt36553 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I hope to think that everyone has agency over their own lives, that today non-whites, women, etc are not fragile creatures that need to be protected by a benevolent entity, from the uncomfortable thoughts of random people on the Internet.

That is what free speech is all about. To hear ideas from all walks of life. You can agree with them, ignore them, internalize them, disagree, or not. Ultimately it is how you respond that matters.

I hope that people would be empowered enough to see themselves not as victims or offended at every tweet, and to take back their agency. To live their own lives, not simply reacting to the dregs of society. Or have the self-awareness to walk away, to turn offline.

As the saying goes, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. A naive child saying, perhaps.

In the end I think that Musk should shut down Twitter, wipe the servers, and walk away. Do the world a favor, he can afford it. Or should we continue with pseudo white saviorism and protect the traditionally marginalized from dangerous ideas on the Internet? Too much hyperbole?

But as you say, I am just a straight white male so what does my opinion matter.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Ah yes, that’s the problem with racists, sexists, and bigots of all stripes denigrating people and calling their humanity and worth as a person into question, their targets just need to get thicker skin and/or keep constantly moving elsewhere to a place where they don’t have to deal with harassment from the asshole brigade.

But as you say, I am just a straight white male so what does my opinion matter.

Oh being straight white and male isn’t what gives your opinion on the subject so little value, there are plenty of people that fall into all three of those categories who are capable of empathy towards others, no what gives your opinion on the matter so little value and weight is how casually you would dismiss the discrimination and harassment your idea would foist upon so many others, how quick you are to just tell individuals and groups that when someone is harassing and bringing into question their value as a person they just need to suck it up and deal with it because the asshole’s right to sling slurs and worse their way is of more value than their right to have a place where their dignity and value as a person isn’t constantly being challenged and attacked.

That, not your sex, not your race, not even your sexual orientation is what makes your opinion on the matter so lacking in merit or worth.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I hope to think that everyone has agency over their own lives, that today non-whites, women, etc are not fragile creatures that need to be protected by a benevolent entity, from the uncomfortable thoughts of random people on the Internet.

Kinda hard to exercise agency if the majority race wants to fucking deny their right to speak up and associate and own property. Oh, and reproductive rights if you’re a woman.

That is what free speech is all about. To hear ideas from all walks of life. You can agree with them, ignore them, internalize them, disagree, or not. Ultimately it is how you respond that matters.

And if the response of the majority race is to deny the minority race to respond, is THAT free speech? Because that IS what you want, for minorities and women to shut the fuck up and get abused and/or die. If that is what you desire don’t be surprised if the only response you get is violent overthrow.

I hope that people would be empowered enough to see themselves not as victims or offended at every tweet, and to take back their agency. To live their own lives, not simply reacting to the dregs of society. Or have the self-awareness to walk away, to turn offline.

Back to being oppressed IRL? To having to fear DYING because some NeoNazi fuckshit said they weren’t allowed to abort their unborn child even though carrying that child to term has a good chance of killing them? Dealing with said dregs IRL because THEY’RE IN POWER AND WANT TO KILL YOU?

Shut up and take your oppression is NOT an answer. Fuck you.

As the saying goes, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. A naive child saying, perhaps.

Jan 6 happened, fuckshit. Words don’t physically hurt, but do so much worse to humans. And ENABLE violence.

Or should we continue with pseudo white saviorism and protect the traditionally marginalized from dangerous ideas on the Internet? Too much hyperbole?

As much as I hate white saviorism, your implied answer would be to let America be run by NeoNazis.

But as you say, I am just a straight white male so what does my opinion matter.

We got plenty of white people here who seem to understand how not to be a seditious, treasonous NeoNazi. You clearly aren’t.

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Matt36553 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Why does what I write elicit such a visceral negative reaction from you. Do you ever stop to ask why a random person on the internet angers you so by their words?

Also I was wondering when the Nazi and Jan 6 references would enter this thread. Thank you for finally satisfying my curiosity. Time to sign off for today and enjoy the great outdoors. I suggest you do the same.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

Why does what I write elicit such a visceral negative reaction from you.

Because all your “we should make sure every opinion is heard” bullshit is borderline apologia for bigotry. Ask a queer person whether they need to hear anti-queer opinions and rhetoric every day. Their answer might change your mind real fucking quick.

A platform like Twitter will want to retain as many users as possible. Twitter letting the service become another 4chan-style shitpit will scare off people who don’t want to deal with seeing TRASH speech in their mentions every day. I’d wager that you have more in common with those TRASH people than you want to think if you can’t see how that outcome is a bad thing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4

2013 4chan is about as far as I can tolerate for shitpits.

4chan was always shit, yes, but at least in 2013 we didn’t need to fear the white supremacists breaking containment and Hal Turner was simply a funny thing (yes, in hindsight, not a nice thing to do to someone regardless of what they either believed in or were trained to do) instead of FBI actually do this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3

Because I LIVE IN THE FUCKING REALITY YOU WANT.

A reality where having a different opinion from the majority fucks you up so bad due to how one was raised.

A reality where valid criticismis straight up squelched and ignored, avenues to change the law legally shuttered and far worse.

A reality where white supremacy leaks into the government and the pople suck it up because it’s “good for the nation”.

A reality where the ONLY way to change anything involves a violent overthrow of the current regime and a TON of treason.

This is what YOU want. Me going out to touch grass isn’t going to change that.

You deserve to die for simply saying that sort of totalitarian garbage and implying far worse. Violently.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9

I do not react nicely to being told that all I have to do to stop getting “persecuted” is to either ignore said oppression or to become the oppressor.

Especially when there are laws where I live that legitimize SLAPP and total information control, as well as low-key CCP shilling.

Maybe you have cooler nerves than I do, but I don’t. And I don’t believe in not commenting when it cuts super close to my heart. To not speak up when such bullshit is being spewed is akin to supporting said bullshit.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10

I do not react nicely to being told that all I have to do to stop getting “persecuted” is to either ignore said oppression or to become the oppressor.

I didn’t say those things and I’ll thank you to stop shoving words down my throat that didn’t first come from it.

You can fight back any way you want. But morally and ethically, I believe violence should be a last resort, especially if we’re talking about murder. Unprovoked, nakedly political violence will only turn its victims into martyrs. If the only way you can think to fight back against sociopolitical persecution is violence and murder, your problem isn’t with me saying “you sound like a violent dick”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11

…admittedly, that was more in response to the jerk that dismissed everything I said than you. That bit was not aimed at you.

But here in Singapore, where the courts can’t be used to change existing legislation (and that’s only because people actually tried, and failed, to get the white-worshipping shitdicks in power to legitimize the status of the LGBT+ community through the courts until said white worshipping shitdicks finaly “gave in” and repealed that law, if only to close off that legal loophole), legal forms of protest are officially banned save for one tiny, heavily monitored spot within walking distance of the police, and the “opposition” that get voted in are even more spineless than your average Democrat…

Where all forms of criticism is SLAPPed down in the courts, companies being threatened with being booted out if they support certain causes while letting “rogue agents” harass game devs making a mediocre game becuase of certain themes, and the state given free reign to break the law while everyone else has to play by what is essentially Calvinball rules…

Maybe America has a tiny planck unit of hope as long as you keep the Dems in power. But in Singapore, the ONLY private recourse is to emigrate, or haye yourself to death for not being the majority. I’d prefer if I could better my environment legally.

And again, I do not react kindly to assholes (not you) who dismiss my entire argent with “lmao go touch grass your concerns have no merit”. This is how the majority shuts down criticism in Singapore, and legit turns me into a “treasonous, murderous asshole”.

I do NOT take anyone (not you) whose response is to dismiss me straight up, and tell me to hang myself by my own bootstraps. Again, I did not put words into your mouth, and I apologize if I did by accident.

It’s not you I’m angry with. It’s with these NeoNazi assholes who imported THEIR culture wars and Christian Domionism bullshit into my country, their funders, enablers and defenders.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:12

Christians to the lions! Shame them into submission!

Oh, but only right-wing trolls trying to catfish as LGBTQ+ people would ever say things like that. No sexual minorities would ever harbor any violent desires, they just don’t exist!

I guess by Stephen’s metrics, you don’t exist either.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:13

Wrong on the historical account.

It was largely the Christians who were doing the heckling and demanding to be crucufied, at least for one time period during the Roman Empire.

And again, wrong on the observational part. While technically possible, it’s highly unlikely. I have yet to see any LGBT+ people screaming “it’s time to murder the cishets” in the mainstream places.

Meanwhile, white supremacists and TERFs do it all the time.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13

only right-wing trolls trying to catfish as LGBTQ+ people would ever say things like that

I don’t doubt that a lot of queer people have some fantasies about beating the shit out of anti-queer dickbags. But they’re not going around saying shit like “death to all cishets” or whatever⁠—at least not in public, anyway. Every time I see someone make a post here that implies such a position, it comes off as a right-wing dickbag trying to stir up anti-queer sentiment by posting what they think an “extreme leftist” queer person might sound like. If you think I’m being unfair, that’s your problem. Solve it yourself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:15

You know what actual, SOVIET-BACKED leftists did?

Robbed banks. Infiltrated and took over religious organizations. Committed fraud. Did actual domestic terrorism, with help from the Soviet Union’s Latin American lackeys.

Guess which fucking side is doing all of that now? Certainly not modern Democrats, and not the LGBT+ community, at least from my experiences.

And the Soviet Union is no more. And Putin seems to prefer convincing Republicans to commit high treason and paying for disinfo campaigns than to train agent provacateurs.

But hey, keep on believing Richard Carrier and the Jesus Mythers. We all know where THAT leads to. Back into the arms of white supremacists.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Victim blaming gets a poor response, go figure

When your ‘suggestion’ is the equivalent of telling a black man to just ignore the people loudly pining to his face for the ‘good old days’ when non-whites knew their place, the women to just shrug off the crowd denigrating and insulting her for thinking she has worth outside of making food or popping out babies, the gay person to stop getting so uppity about the people vocally telling everyone near about how anyone not purely heterosexual is subhuman filth that don’t deserve the same rights as real people, and you can’t figure out why someone might be upset by that?

That’s a ‘you’ problem.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

“Twitter may not ban conservatives but it does ban speech it deems harmful to others and speech is often associated with conservative viewpoints (see above topic on sex)”

So, the question is not why twitter bans people, but why conservatives are so commonly associated with negative ideas.

If you and your peers keep getting kicked out for agreeing with Nazis, the question is why you agree with Nazis, not why people who agree with Nazis keep being asked to leave Twitter.

Tanner Andrews (profile) says:

Re: injurious speech

IMO a free speech advocate does not believe topics and words cause “harm” to others.

Your opinion is inadequately informed. Most of the rest of us will agree that speech can be injrious. A few examples, if you will:

  • sailing times of troop ships
  • ``red-tail” airplane assignments
  • false accusations of crime
  • reports, truthful or otherwise, of unchastity
  • accusations of homosexuality when seeking security clearance
  • unauthorized release of ``intimate” photos

I make no claim that this list is exhaustive.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Outing someone as non-heterosexual in a community and/or country where that could be a social if not actual death sentence.

Giving dangerous if not deadly-wrong ‘medical’ advice that leads to people ignoring actual cures, going with bogus ones, or both.

Those are two that could ruin if not end lives that popped to mind as soon as I read your comment, I’m sure others could come up with many more with minimal effort.

Anonymous Coward says:

If a platform censors certain opinions because it believes that it will retain more users that way, it is operating against the principles of free speech, not for them.

Yes or no: If Twitter bans transphobes because it believes having fewer transphobes on the platform will enable more queer people (and trans people in particular) to speak without fear of being harassed into silence, does that qualify as operating in favor of free speech?

The problem is not rational debate with free speech, the problem is free sewage. With anonymity and lack of censorship comes a torrent of online crap – hate, deliberate trolling, irrational attacks, targeted attacks and doxxing, etc. If there was a way to shut this down mechanically without removing (quasi)rational debate over topics, everyone would be doing it.

There isn’t. “Bad” content requires human eyes – is more like pornography, as the saying goes “I can’t give a specific definition, but I know it when I see it.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

With anonymity and lack of censorship comes a torrent of online crap – hate, deliberate trolling, irrational attacks, targeted attacks and doxxing, etc.

If we’re talking about 4chan…

Well, it’s true a lot of harassment did come out of there. Not all of it was aimed at guilty targets.

But I’ve got more examples of named people with actual reputations doxxing, harassing, swatting, and so on. Derek Smart comes to mind for his lifelong harassment of Star Citizen and everyone involved, down to actually harassing people who were discussing the legal issues of Cloud Interactive Games versus Crytek and not involved in the game itself…

And that’s just one example.

And the Republicans basically let Donald Trump do whatever he wants, despite the ethical failings of that man and his very open racism, sexism, and hatred for anyone who criticizes him.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“If we’re talking about 4chan”

That’s the point here. The complaints about Twitter are usually about far-right types being blocked from direct harassment and abuse. If those restrictions are lifted, Twitter won’t be different from 4chan. Or, maybe 8kun – which started off as a place where the people who thought that 4chan was too restrictive went to (and was involved in several mass shootings)

“Not all of it was aimed at guilty targets”

Those things are bad no matter the perceived guilt of the target, but there’s no doubt that certain populations are more at risk than others. Alex Jones’s recent losses are due to innocent people being attacked due to false claims he spread. Letting his type have a larger platform will lead to no good thing. In between those people getting back on Twitter and decent people abandoning it, a lot of innocent people will be harmed.

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LostInLoDOS (profile) says:

Let’s be a bit more realistic! A corporate CFO is going to get in the way of a private company.

And the legal team almost always gets shown the door after the pub/priv transition. Replaced with the private owner’s personal choice of representation.

“in an extremely misleading”

The story was truthful, so regardless of the reason, his comment was accurate.

Any anyone who he doesn’t like gets shown the way out. That’s the way it works.

“You can disagree with where she came down on those policies”

Musk sir does. Fastest way to change policies is to dump the person who makes them.
Keep in mind she was a sure empty seat to begin with. It’s extremely rare for a private company to hang on to the former public operation legal team.

And clearly she had no business being on the legal team given the claim why the laptop story was banned.
No moral lawyer in the country would pretend property abandoned for an extended amount of time was not now the claim of the holder. That whole “9/10ths” thing.
And no lawyer worth a dollar is going to argue you can’t access something you own.

Every tech and electronics store in the country offered some level of lost or missing password recovery.

“actual violence had broken out”

Violence committed by other individuals. Violence not called for by the president himself.
What minimal violence there was (compared to the last few year’s of protests by all affiliations) was committed by a bunch of self aggrandising fools. Not the president.

“not being complicit in encouraging violence”

Anyone, republican or democrat or other, who somehow invented a call for violence out of the president’s posts is themselves to blame for what they imagined.

“did not try to enforce any kind of “real names” policy, and not only allowed”

… fraud, abuse, and intentional harm under the name others

The principle fact is she chose the wrong approach to the Post laptop story.
No competent lawyer would have considered the laptop situation a case of hacking.
If you can make a mistake on such an obvious case, your ability as a lawyer is extremely suspect.
No matter how much good you may have done.

LostInLoDOS (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Has nothing to do with trump.

Some people still believe in personal responsibility. The only person responsible for someone’s actions is the person who commits the actions.

In reality this is much the same as those of us north or west of the middle that keep looking for something to hold up about that dark presence that ran against trump in 16. You don’t like him and can’t find actual issues so you use causation.

Ignoring that trump asked first for the national guard presence and was sensed, the. Further asked for enhanced policing presence and was denied…?
Yes he could have done more to condemn the those who broke the law. Both during and after the rally and protest.

But he is not the cause of other people’s actions.

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:3

Re Musk’s comment on the moderation decision:

The story was truthful, so regardless of the reason, his comment was accurate.

No, it wasn’t – because just like what you have done, the comment was made after the fact where he criticizes a decision that was made when there was no information available about the veracity of the laptop plus the fact that it is against the TOS to publish or link to hacked material which was the primary reason for the decision.

And clearly she had no business being on the legal team given the claim why the laptop story was banned.

See above, or do you believe that some people and companies should be exempt from rules on a service they don’t own?

And property abandoned for an extended amount of time was not now the claim of the holder. That whole “9/10ths” thing. And no lawyer worth a dollar is going to argue you can’t access something you own.

And a lawyer will caution you against publishing or using personal and confidential information/communications without knowing the veracity of it, if at all. That the NYP published the material was a calculated risk from their side because if it turned out that the material was fabricated they could have been on the hook for millions in damages.

Violence committed by other individuals. Violence not called for by the president himself.

So he didn’t say Fight like hell? From the context of his speech it certainly sounds like he was egging on his followers to attack the capitol.

Anyone, republican or democrat or other, who somehow invented a call for violence out of the president’s posts is themselves to blame for what they imagined.

And here you are again, defending the indefensible.

The principle fact is she chose the wrong approach to the Post laptop story. No competent lawyer would have considered the laptop situation a case of hacking. If you can make a mistake on such an obvious case, your ability as a lawyer is extremely suspect. No matter how much good you may have done.

Perhaps you think people possess prescience so they always can have the correct and complete information available before making a decision? Using information that came to light after the fact to criticize someone’s decision you disagree with can only have two reasons, being a deluded idiot or a lying asshole.

So, which one are you? The deluded idiot who believes in prescience or the lying asshole who’ll consistently lie to defend the indefensible?

LostInLoDOS (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

No, it wasn’t … to publish or link to hacked material

The laptop was abandoned property c and well stated as such. This the legal right of access falls to the possessor.
This is the key fact. They made no claim in the lock about the quality or truthfulness of the material.
They made one of the most asinine decisions in the history of journalism to claim long ago abandoned property access is “hacking”.

or do you believe that some people and companies should be exempt from rules on a service they don’t own?

See above. The claim was “hacking”. No legitimate lawyer would sit for a case like this claiming hacking.

fabricated they could have been on the hook for millions in damages.

For what. The one likely on the hook, in the event it was inaccurate, would be the names supplier of the materials.

Fight like hell?

Sounds to me, a rational person, to be like every other political rallying cry. A quick look at wikiquotes shows a whole lot of “fight like hell” comments.
Especially in context where he made references and stated multiple times to be lawful, peaceful….

And here you are again, defending the indefensible.

There has not been a single example shown of the president calling for violence. Not a single one.

Perhaps you think people possess prescience so they always can have the correct and complete information available before making a decision

No legitimate lawyer would have considered the materials hacked based on the timeline stated.

Further, twitter is not liable for user content!

Making the ban either a personal choice of those I charge or stupidity.
Which is it.

Because you continue to look for ghosts between the lines and invent things not said. Yet I present facts.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7

…holy goddamn shit, you really don’t understand how radicalization via extremist rhetoric works. JFC, and I thought you were just a Trump dickrider.

Look, I’mma dump an updated copypasta on your lap⁠—one I made specifically for you, I should note!⁠—and if you can’t understand how radicalization works after reading it, I don’t think you ever will.

[ahem]

The following are quotes from Donald Trump himself; they come from his speech on the 6th of January, just before the insurrection:

Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about. And to use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with: We will stop the steal.

We will not let them silence your voices. We’re not going to let it happen, I’m not going to let it happen.

We’re gathered together in the heart of our nation’s capital for one very, very basic and simple reason: To save our democracy.

You’re stronger, you’re smarter, you’ve got more going than anybody. And they try and demean everybody having to do with us. And you’re the real people, you’re the people that built this nation. You’re not the people that tore down our nation.

Republicans are, Republicans are constantly fighting like a boxer with his hands tied behind his back. It’s like a boxer. And we want to be so nice. We want to be so respectful of everybody, including bad people. And we’re going to have to fight much harder.

[Y]ou’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated.

We will not be intimidated into accepting the hoaxes and the lies that we’ve been forced to believe.

You will have an illegitimate president. That’s what you’ll have. And we can’t let that happen.

The radical left knows exactly what they’re doing. They’re ruthless and it’s time that somebody did something about it.

The Republicans have to get tougher. You’re not going to have a Republican Party if you don’t get tougher. They want to play so straight. They want to play so, sir, yes, the United States. The Constitution doesn’t allow me to send them back to the States. Well, I say, yes it does, because the Constitution says you have to protect our country and you have to protect our Constitution, and you can’t vote on fraud. And fraud breaks up everything, doesn’t it? When you catch somebody in a fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different rules.

We must stop the steal and then we must ensure that such outrageous election fraud never happens again, can never be allowed to happen again.

The Democrats are hopeless — they never vote for anything. Not even one vote. But we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help. We’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.

Now, I’m sure you want to mention all the times he brought up marching peacefully and whatnot. Don’t bother; I’ve skimmed enough of the transcript to know those parts exist. Instead, I want you to read each of those quotes, and notice some of the verbs/verbal phrases he uses: “stop”, “save”, “fight”, “take back”, “get tougher”, “show strength”, “protect”. Then look at the overall gist of those quotes: “we’re fighting to stop the steal”, “we have to get tougher on the fraudsters”, “we’re here to save democracy”, “we need to do something about this”.

He isn’t explicitly calling for violence, no. But between his planting the idea that his “patriots” must stop the steal by showing strength and doing “something” about the Democrats/“weak Republicans” to save the country, his talking for months about how the election would be fraudulent only if he lost, and his continual(ly rebuked) efforts to overturn an election he lost both electorally and popularly, those quotes⁠—his words⁠—become a form of his mob boss–esque stochastic terrorism. He didn’t need to directly call for violence; all he needed to do is make his wishes known and let his followers do the rest.

And yes, his followers will do the rest precisely because they’ve already been radicalized by right-wing news sources and pundits. Conservative voters are, more often than not, trapped in a media bubble that tells them outlandish and often contradictory lies about…well, everything and everyone, really. No Democrat goes undemonized; no Republican goes unglorified. Trans people are freaks of nature who are going to destroy society. Critical Race Theory is both a laughable theory and a danger to the educational system. Stay in the bubble long enough without reading, seeing, or hearing anything that opposes what’s said in the bubble and you’ll drift further to the right. That is the space where anti-Semitism, open racism, and the most dangerous conspiracy theories live⁠—and without any sort of guardrails against the lies and the extreme rhetoric, those who are continually exposed to it come to believe the lies are the truth and actual facts are a “liberal plot”. Hell, once they believe in a Big Lie⁠—like, say, the 2020 election being stolen⁠—the smaller lies become much easier to believe…which is exactly what conservative pundits and GOP politicians alike want out of their audience. I mean, look at what these other people said at the same event those Trump quotes came from (emphasis mine):

Over the next 10 days, we get to see the machines that are crooked, the ballots that are fraudulent, and if we’re wrong, we will be made fools of. But if we’re right, a lot of them will go to jail. Let’s have trial by combat. [Rudy Giuliani]

This has been a year in which they have invaded our freedom of speech, our freedom of religion, our freedom to move, our freedom to live. I’ll be darned if they’re going to take away our free and fair vote. And we’re going to fight to the very end to make sure that doesn’t happen. [Rudy Giuliani]

These guys better fight for Trump. Because if they’re not, guess what? I’m going to be in your backyard in a couple of months! [Donald Trump Jr.]

But let’s be clear, regardless of today’s outcome, the 2022 and 2024 elections are right around the corner, and America does not need and cannot stand, cannot tolerate any more weakling, cowering, wimpy Republican congressmen and senators who covet the power and the prestige the swamp has to offer, while groveling at the feet and the knees of the special interest group masters. As such, today is important in another way, today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass. [Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL)]

Americans will stand up for themselves and protect their rights, and they will demand that the politicians that we elect will uphold those rights, or we will go after them. [Katrina Pierson]

He has more fight in him than every other one combined, and they need to stand up and we need to march on the Capitol today. And we need to stand up for this country and stand up for what’s right. [Eric Trump]

There is a significant portion of our party that says we should just sit idly by and sit on our hands. They have no backbone. [Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC)]

Take a bunch of people who have already been manipulated by right-wing media and Donald Trump into believing the election would be/was stolen, and put them together in one place. Tell that crowd that the literal last line of defense against the stolen election⁠—the last defense of American democracy itself!⁠—is a Vice President who has already sworn himself to the duty of his office (i.e., to confirm Joe Biden as the President-elect) against the wishes of the president of the United States. Gin the crowd up further by referring to them as true patriots, telling them to toughen up and show strength, and implying that they alone can save American democracy from its left-wing enemies⁠—all by using rhetoric that invokes images and thoughts of violence. What do you get as a result of all that?

You get an insurrection.

LostInLoDOS (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8

What do you get as a result of all that?

A large and boisterous protest. Where the vast majority, the 99%, did nothing wrong.
And a few dozen crazies who broke into the Capitol

despite all the right-wing propaganda; one real thing did happen in 2020.

Democracy was subverted in some states. Any state that modified election practice without the state legislature is in violation of law and subverted our democratic process. Just because you like the results doesn’t meant the criminal acts didn’t take place.

You may be correct that the few dozen Jan 6 law breakers were republicans (may, some were reported as members of the Patriot Party etc). But they had a right to protest. And their protest wasn’t without reason.

We should all, regardless of party, condemn those who broke the law on Jan 6th. As well as those who broke election law. You talk of insurrection it there are also legitimate complaints on seditious actions at the state level.

Alas, Trump has not once called for violence. Others have. But not the president. Your hatred is driving you to blame someone for crimes they did not commit.

LostInLoDOS (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10

That systemic fraud created a false result? No.

That changes were made by governors, not legislators? Absolutely. It’s well documented that it happened.
For some in this country, we care about Maintaining the integrity of the process. An executive has no business changing election process.

There’s a major difference between republicans and their fantasies of fraud, and the reality of criminal acts committed at the state level.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:15

Oh look, Nixon broke more than the law to get his Presidency, then tried to spy on his damn opponents, and then got PARDONED by Jimmy Carter for the latter.

I guess it IS okay to trample on the law, and extend an already unpopular war as long as you’re the President. And by extension, governors, Senators, intelligence folk and Republican supporters like yourself while we have to be beyond perfect to even STAND in the same place as you.

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Chozen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:16

Did you piece together your history from bubble gum wrappers lol.

What Nixon did was cover up Watergate. He had no foreknowledge. Today its largely agreed that Watergate was a CIA operation and Liddy was the dupe. Tim Hougan’s “Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA ” has been largley confirmed over the years through declasification. Liddy thought he was the ring leader introducing Howard Hunt to James McCord but it was first alleged by Hougan and later confirmed by multiple declassifications that Hunt and McCord has known each other and worked with each other for years since at least the Bay of Pigs. Liddy wasnt the ringleader he was the dupe. The DNC was coming hard after the CIA and the CIA wanted to know what the DNC had. Hunt and McCord thought using the Nixon administration to spy on the DNC was a great idea.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:15

What part of protecting the election process has anything [to] do with Trump?

For starters, you’re espousing the kind of bullshit that Trump and his asskissers say about the 2020 election either right before or right after they claim it was rigged.

You seem to have forgotten that said election happened in the middle of a pandemic where hundreds of thousands of people had already lost their lives. If the rules were changed in certain states, they were changed to accomodate people who literally didn’t want to risk their lives only so they could vote. Whether such changes were legal was/is a matter for the courts. Whether they were morally correct probably depends on whether you think Trump did the right thing in re: his administration’s shit-ass response to COVID.

Point is, you’re still grousing and complaining about the 2020 election⁠—just like Trump and his fellow fascists are still doing, partially to lay some groundwork for the potential annihilation of American democracy in 2024. That you can’t see that is your problem. Everyone else here (except our troll brigade because duh) has been able to tell that you’re someone who is all but ready to support Donald Trump a third time.

And if you try to deny it, I’ve got four letters for ya: lmao

LostInLoDOS (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:16

I see. You truly are willing to ignore any law that doesn’t work in your favour.

Pandemic or no pandemic: you can not break the law. Just because the, typically liberal, media doesn’t want to cover it doesn’t mean there aren’t many non-Republicans swinging back about the process!!

There are multiple state and federal cases filed by libertarians working their way through the system.
Such as ballot access, requiring a digital confirmation (with signature) post vote, and an immediate halt to all governor-implemented covid variations.

Because here a reality check!
A) Rs we’re and are right, the mail is less than reliable.
B) the vast majority of republicans voted in person.
C) the majority mail votes outside of cities/city states, we’re republican.

Mail in voting didn’t change the results. In fact, Biden would win by a larger margin of EC votes if all the illegal mail in ballots were discarded. The Republican vote would go down in most rural states and remain the same in most large city states. You may shift Georgia or Pensilvania but they also loose much of the rural vote in total.

It’s not about the 2020 winner for independents. And there are state level never trump republicans looking at this as well.
It’s about maintaining the democratic premise of our republic. About not creating state level dictatorships that ignore the whole of the people.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17

You truly are willing to ignore any law that doesn’t work in your favour.

Not…really? I mean, if the law was broken, there’s not much that can be done about it now since the election is over and the results were validated and shit. Change the rules back, I guess, but other than that…what the hell do you want people to do, call for a new 2020 election? Because that’s some Trumpian bullshit right there, son.

Rs we’re and are right, the mail is less than reliable.

And yet, it didn’t lead to either massive numbers of dropped votes or an amount of voter fraud that is even remotely significant. Imagine that~.

the vast majority of republicans voted in person

A hell of a lot of Republican voters also spent months wailing about mask mandates and calling COVID-19 a hoax⁠—based in part on the radicalizing rhetoric of the right-wing mediasphere, including that of Dear Leader himself⁠—so of course they risked getting COVID to vote in person. That said: So what? You say that like the overwhelming majority of Democrats voted by mail.

the majority mail votes outside of cities/city states, we’re republican

You wanna pick out which word in that sentence seems like a huge Freudian slip, or should I?

Mail in voting didn’t change the results.

No one’s saying it did. But it did help a lot of people vote in a situation where those people didn’t want to risk their health for the sake of voting. Yes or no: Should those people have been forced to risk their life for the sake of voting?

It’s about maintaining the democratic premise of our republic.

Then maybe start shittalking the party that is full of people who deny the results of the 2020 election and refuse to say whether they’ll accept midterm election results if that result is a loss. Maybe start looking at the party with the modus operandi of “own the libs at all costs”. Maybe start figuring out which party doesn’t have any ideas for governance beyond “let’s give conservative Christians everything they want”.

If you want to maintain American democracy, you can start with questioning your unceasing loyalty to Donald Trump⁠—and the political party he leads⁠—because if anyone is wholly dedicated to tearing down democracy for the sake of helping himself and his allies hoard all the power and wealth forever, it sure as shit ain’t Joe Biden.

LostInLoDOS (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:18

Change the rules back

Exactly. AND hold those criminals to the exacting letter of the law.
Trump (barely) lost the election. Every way you slice it.
For us it’s not about trump. It’s about making sure it NEVER happens again.

. Imagine that~.

Fraud is a Republican topic. The rest of us not following party lock step orders are worried about consistency. As in making sure ballots arrive far before election day. Making sure people are aware that mail is not guaranteed to be 3-5 days on travel. Making sure people understand what they are doing completely.
AND
Making sure any expansion of mail in voting is done legally, by actual law! Not by criminal governorship.

OVID to vote in person. That said: So what? You say that like the overwhelming majority of Democrats voted by mail.

So:
.point was 90-some percent of republican votes were counted. Tossing technically-illegal mail ballots wouldn’t have changed the outcome.

seems like a huge Freudian slip

? None.
Cities, or city controlled states such as IL, NY, CA, ….

Should those people have been forced to risk their life for the sake of voting?

The states should have had legislative processes to change the laws. Otherwise, yes. No single life is worth destroying the democratic process

Then maybe start shittalking the party that is full of people who deny the results of the 2020 election

As in my regular comments that denying the results is stupidity?

unceasing loyalty to Donald Trump

I’ve demonstrated no loyalty and have none. I treat him the same as any person in the country (sans one).

it sure as shit ain’t Joe Biden.

Joe Biden is so far beyond mental loss that he’s rather much truly lame and a pointless parrot of what’s on the prompter.

But I have yet to see a single piece of evidence of criminal actions regarding power/governance, when it comes to trump.
Trump has no real chance in 24.
Much like this November, I’m almost guaranteed to vote libertarian in 2024. This is the first chance in nearly 150 years for a total change in politics and parties.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:19

AND hold those criminals to the exacting letter of the law.

For what⁠—making voting easier for people who didn’t want to/couldn’t risk catching COVID so they could vote? Yeah, real fuckin’ Crime of the Century™ there, dude. 🙄

Fraud is a Republican topic.

And you’re repeating the kind of bullshit that Republicans do when they talk about how mail-in voting somehow increased voter fraud. It provably did no such thing in 2020, and it hasn’t done that in states where expanded mail-in voting was a norm before 2020.

90-some percent of republican votes were counted. Tossing technically-illegal mail ballots wouldn’t have changed the outcome.

You say that as if Republican votes were the only mail-in votes tossed out. For someone who claims not to fall in lockstep with the GOP party line, you sure do seem willing to repeat their rhetoric and demonize Democrats like they do.

No single life is worth destroying the democratic process

Wow. You really are a Republican. Only they would be callous enough to suggest, even if only by implication, that the immunocompromised should have been forced to risk their health/lives for the sake of casting a vote.

As in my regular comments that denying the results is stupidity?

And yet, you’ve also said that you’d support Donald Trump, who denied both the result of his second presidential campaign denied and the popular vote count of his first (electorally successful!) campaign. Maybe rethink your potential support for an election denier who would gladly open the doors for American fascism if he were to win a second term as POTUS, ’kay?

I’ve demonstrated no loyalty and have none.

Except for the fact that you’ve repeatedly mentioned how you voted for him twice⁠—even after knowing how shitty of a person and a POTUS he was⁠—and would have no issue with voting for him a third time if the Dems put up “the wrong candidate”. To wit:

Joe Biden is so far beyond mental loss that he’s rather much truly lame and a pointless parrot of what’s on the prompter.

You’d probably vote for Trump in 2024 if Biden were to run again, if only because you’d prefer the elderly dipshit who wants American fascism over the elderly dipshit who prefers needledicked centrism.

I have yet to see a single piece of evidence of criminal actions regarding power/governance, when it comes to trump.

Criminal, maybe not, but certainly unethical and immoral. Has Joe Biden given Hunter a cushy job in the White House? Has Joe Biden come close to committing the number and/or degree of atrocities that Trump did while in office? Has Joe Biden said he won’t accept an election loss?

Trump has no real chance in 24.

I’d love to have your level of naïve optimism, but you need to remember a few things:

  1. Millions of people still want to vote for Trump.
  2. The GOP is moving to control, or is already in control of, election processes in numerous states.
  3. Numerous GOP candidates, including some who hold office right now, believe the 2020 presidential elections were somehow stolen.
  4. Numerous GOP candidates, including some who hold office right now, have openly referred to themselves as Christian nationalists⁠—i.e., people who want to force conservative Christian beliefs onto everyone.
  5. The right-wing mediasphere is more than willing to prop up lies about the elections, Democrats, and anything else they think will help get the GOP elected to offices around the country.
  6. The people most pushing to ban books from libraries, control what schools can teach about subjects like slavery, and clamp down on “woke ideologies” are conservatives⁠—voters, activists, and officeholders alike.

If you can look at all that and not see how the GOP, its voter base, and its current de facto leader would be willing to abandon or even destroy American democracy for the sake of power, you’re the one with the problem. Then again, by your own admission, you don’t understand concepts like subtext, stochastic terrorism, and political radicalization, so…yeah…

This is the first chance in nearly 150 years for a total change in politics and parties.

Again: I’d love to have your level of naïve optimism.

LostInLoDOS (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:20

For what⁠

For violating voting law.
It’s more than just the mail. It’s the polling locations that were closed. Baring people from easily voting in person.
It’s the fax that governors became kings of the state and illegally bypassed the legislature.

And you’re repeating the kind of bullshit that Republicans do when they talk about how mail-in voting somehow increased voter fraud.

Where did I say it it increased fraud. What I did say was many states failed to follow the legal method of allowing mail in voting expansion.

You say that as if Republican votes were the only mail-in votes tossed out

You totally skipped the paragraph didn’t you. “Tossing technically-illegal mail ballots wouldn’t have changed the outcome.”
Meaning even if they DIDN’T count undated, retro dated, or late ballots, the results would not have changed. •you sure do seem willing to repeat their rhetoric•
Yet I’m doing just the opposite. I’m calling bill on the idea that mail in voting changed anything.

the immunocompromised should have been forced to risk their health/lives for the sake of casting a vote.

They already had a well implemented method to cote by mail.

And yet, you’ve also said that you’d support Donald Trump,

I said I did, in the past.

repeatedly mentioned how you voted for him twice⁠—even after knowing how shitty of a person and a POTUS he was

Yep. I voted first to make sure a psychopath bytch didn’t take office. I voted again for “the devil you know” and opposed a man with such severe dementia he couldn’t keep family members straight. Memory and cognitive issues nearly nobody denies today.

You’d probably vote for Trump in 2024

You’re entitled to your opinion. Personally I’m hopping those like you are very few. As we have a real chance in 24 for a third party win. The Republican Party is split. The democrat party is in pieces.

Has Joe Biden given Hunter a cushy job in the White House?

The president has the right to post anyone he chooses and trusts. Nearly every president posted family.
Obama’s wife sure had a busy position. The bush family? Clinton? The president posts people they trust. Including family.

If you can look at all that and not see how the GOP, its voter base

Maybe. But the republicans have not won on Republican votes alone in a very long time. They need the independent vote. They don’t have it for 24 if the election were today.
Of all the smaller parties the libertarian groups are the largest. Finding conservative christians in that group is like finding a coin in the ocean.

The biggest thing keeping the Lib groups on the right has been the extreme, and often flat out useless, firearms regulations of democrats.
But none of us want christian nationalism nor blanket ignorance in law enforcement.
Trump doesn’t have the votes!

Find a lib who voted for Clinton. They don’t exist. But he didn’t have the votes against Biden despite Biden’s many health issues. He surely won’t have them against a competent candidate.

But if a central placed third runs neither party has has a majority.
The libertarian platform combines the most important aspects of the main base from both parties.
Reduced foreign involvement, reduced foreign investment. A smaller more localised military.
Libertarians are some of the most passionate environmentalists. Supporting renewable energy and recycling projects. Competent and properly introduced green infrastructure.
Protection of all carriers by eliminating concealed carry and moving to licensed open carry.
Reducing the number of hand guns and raising the restrictions and requirements for buying and using them.
Most of all, in today’s economy, a reasonable restructuring of tax code. Such as eliminating deductions, which closes loopholes. Raising the taxable minimum income to over 50,000. Reducing individual tax rates and raising corporate taxes.
Protecting the social security system by banning any use of funds for other projects. Increasing the employer input for large companies, and lowering the age of receipt back to 55. With no restrictions.
National healthcare with a paid optout option. Term limits for congress. Redirection of funds from international investment and aid to American projects and social support.

Oh, and major and complete immigration reform. That makes many in both parties happy. For the Reps; A secure border system. Monitored not by a solid wall but by a combination of wall and open space monitored 24/7 by technology. Immediate deportation of illegal crossers and criminals.
For the Dems; An independent court system in each border state (north and south) to handle immigration, visitation, and migration. Increasing the speed of all above as well as asylum seeker processing.

The party has a very good chance in 24. To take the large amount of doubters in both parties and make a win out of them.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:21

It’s the polling locations that were closed. Baring people from easily voting in person. It’s the fax that governors became kings of the state and illegally bypassed the legislature.

And I’m sure you mean that as much for Republican-controlled states as you do for Democrat-controlled states~.

What I did say was many states failed to follow the legal method of allowing mail in voting expansion.

And that’s the kind of rhetoric that leads to claiming without evidence that an election was rigged. I don’t know how else to tell you that if the rules were changed outside of the legal methods, it was done specifically because we were in the middle of a pandemic where hundreds of thousands of people had already died. You say one person’s life isn’t worth destroying democracy. Do you believe democracy is worth forcing someone to risk their health and their life for the sake of casting a vote?

opposed a man with such severe dementia he couldn’t keep family members straight

As opposed to a man who looked directly into a solar eclipse, holds a glass of water like a child, and⁠—oh yeah, this might seem important⁠—knowingly tried to turn the United States into a fascist theocratic autocracy? Dude, I don’t like Biden either, but he is far, far, far, far, far less dangerous to the U.S. than Donald “maybe injecting bleach into people can kill COVID” Trump.

we have a real chance in 24 for a third party win

No. No, we do not. No third party candidate is ever going to win a presidential election in the U.S. until the Electoral College is abolished and the election is done by ranked choice voting. At best, a third party candidate will play spoiler to one of the two candidates who have the only realistic chance of winning. The only way a third party candidate could stand a chance is if that candidate is Donald daughterfucking Trump, and the only way he becomes a third party candidate is if DeSantis manages to win the GOP primary.

Nearly every president posted family.

How many of them were put in positions that had high-level security clearances?

Obama’s wife sure had a busy position.

She was the First Lady, you disingenuous asshole. She wasn’t fucking appointed to that job.

the republicans have not won on Republican votes alone in a very long time.

Yeah, and that’s the reason they’ve ramped up their fascist and anti-democratic rhetoric: They want independent voters scared that the Democrats could destroy this country. Keeping conservative-leaning voters in a state of perpetual fear and panic is how the right-wing mediasphere works.

Look at how the debate about transgender rights went from bathroom bills to barring even adult trans people from receiving gender-affirming healthcare. Look at how conservative Christians keep whining about how they’re being persecuted despite Christians literally holding more political power in this country than all other religious groups combined. Look at how Tucker Carlson keeps going on and on and on about the “Great Replacement” of white people. When people get sucked into a media bubble that says all this shit without any other perspectives around to challenge those ideas, those people get radicalized. And that’s when they start seeking out more extreme shit⁠—the stuff even Fox News is too afraid to openly say out of fear of losing (more) advertisers.

And now that they control elections in a fair number of states, the GOP and their media allies can grouse about needing to “protect election integrity” and accusing their political rivals of cheating and taking measures to prevent that “cheating”⁠—all as a means to disenfranchise voters, gerrymander districts, and otherwise make sure elections in those states will always favor Republicans.

If you think that isn’t a setup for 2024⁠—for Republicans to finish the job that Trump and his followers started on the 6th of January 2021⁠—you’re more naïve than I thought. Or maybe you’re hoping the leopards won’t eat your face if you play nicely with them. (The leopards will eat your face no matter what.)

But none of us want christian nationalism nor blanket ignorance in law enforcement.

And yet, you voted for Trump.

But if a central placed third runs neither party has has a majority.

I can again assure you that, under our current systems, no third party candidate in a U.S. presidential election will ever be anything more than a spoiler at best.

The party has a very good chance in 24.

The only way it has any kind of chance of being anything more than the laughingstock of the 2024 election is if it manages to snare Trump as its candidate. Otherwise, only a relative handful of voters will vote for a Libertarian Party candidate. In the world of U.S. presidential politics, the message to the Libertarian Party is simple: “You’ve got no chance in Hell.”

LostInLoDOS (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:22

And I’m sure you mean that as much …

Yes. The the closing of locations on the day of or shortly before without notice greatly hindered those attempting to vote as they always have.

if the rules were changed outside of the legal methods

It wasn’t legal. Period. Spanish Flu had a far more devastating effect on our country. Yet nobody broke the law.

Do you believe democracy is worth forcing someone to risk their health and their life for the sake of casting a vote?

People wishing to vote by mail only needed to request to do so. I do believe pandemic constitutes a valid reason.

Donald “maybe injecting bleach into people can kill COVID” Trump.

Are you brainwashed or stupid. I have to ask since no logical person would come close to thinking that from watching what was actually said, in context.

No third party candidate is ever going to win a presidential election in the U.S. until the Electoral College is abolished

Bloody hell. You’re so stuck in political talking points you have no clue.
The problem isn’t the EC, it’s faithless electors. Three time a tertiary candidate won.

How many of them were put in positions that had high-level security clearances?

That would require more research than I am willing for a topic I don’t care about. It doesn’t matter, it’s a presidential right of authority.

She wasn’t fucking appointed to that job.

But she was the head of multiple groups during her tenure

Keeping conservative-leaning voter

Yet the rhetoric doesn’t work on the majority of independents. Few in totality of whom are christian.

And that’s my point. The independent vote makes up roughly 20 percent year-to-year.
Most of which want nothing to do with either primary concern. The theocracy of the republicans or the reactionary nanny-state of the democrats.

And yet, you voted for Trump.

Who at first had a centrist platform and did little in 4 years on moving the country out of the centre.
Of what he did, none of it gave religiosity any real boost.

I can again assure you that, under our current systems

Really, as it has happened? in times where the primary parties ate themselves!

Be it their own platform or as a party invader, independents have won the presidency.
I remind you the democrats were the pro-slavery pro-segregation party. You know, the whole southern white Dixie thing?

We are at a point of party war. You may have no faith. And that makes you part of the problem. But a whole crop of qualified leaders are pushing their way to the top. With no chain to the big 2. Some from within the Dem party, some outside of the two parties. Trump will NOT win a second term. He doesn’t have enough votes.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:23

Of what he did, none of it gave religiosity any real boost.

Of all the bullshit you said in your post, this is the biggest load of it.

Under Trump, the IRS backed off of even thinking about enforcing the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits all non-profits⁠—including churches⁠—from endorsing political candidates. Who took advantage of that? Conservative Christians did⁠—because they were always itching to tell their flocks who to vote for but couldn’t without risking an investigation from the IRS.

The tilt of the Supreme Court went hard right under Trump, who placed three conservative justices on the bench, the first of which was there only because of hypocrisy from the same Republicans who shoved through the third in an election year⁠—something they once said was bullshit. All three of those justices voted in favor of dismantling Roe v. Wade⁠—a longtime conservative Christian goal going back to the days when they first got in bed with the GOP. (And that’s not even getting into the bullshit decision about the coach that prayed at the 50-yard line, which was filled with lies about the coach actually did to justify a ruling that helped break down the wall between church and state that much more.)

Conservative Christians became emboldened by Trump’s harsh rhetoric⁠—and they, in turn, began to more openly use harsh rhetoric against queer people. The past few years has seen everything from trans people being demonized as sex offenders for existing to one specific hate preacher literally burning books that included queer-friendly ones. That kind of hatred has spread so much that in this year alone, childrens’ hospitals that treat(ed) trans kids received bomb threats, books by/about queer people were challenged for inclusion on (or outright yanked from) library shelves, and a donut shop being firebombed for having the audacity to host a drag event.

Maybe the amount of religious people in this country is dropping. (Last I checked, “nones” has been on a steady rise compared to other groups.) But the power, real or perceived, and the fervor of the conservative Christian coalition has only grown in the years since Donald Trump announced his candidacy. They won’t stop at trans people, either: Every queer person, every non-Christian, everyone they perceive as a threat to their power and status⁠—all of them are targets for being suppressed and marginalized.

Hell, look at Georgia: An actual goddamn preacher is running to keep his Senate seat against a former football player who fathered children, paid for abortions in secret, and threatened his partner with violence. Conservative Christians are on the side of the violent adulterer rather than the preacher because the preacher isn’t conservative and they see the violent adulterer as a useful idiot that’ll help conservatives regain control of Congress.

You think Trump didn’t help conservative Christians? My dude, he practically laid out the welcome mat for a conservative Christian theocracy because they helped him win the White House. If the GOP wins control of Congress in 2022 and even further entrenches their power in 2024, you can rest assured that they will do everything they can to enforce conservative Christian beliefs on everyone.

…oh, and the Libertarian Party still doesn’t stand a chance of winning the presidency in 2024. Every presidential election in our lifetimes has only ever had two viable candidates⁠—and that won’t change unless Trump loses the GOP primary and goes independent, which I don’t see happening. Your vote will be wasted on a third-party candidate; you can either vote for the party that isn’t trying to demolish American democracy from the inside out⁠—even if it has to be a hold-your-nose vote like my votes for Clinton and Biden were⁠—or you can be the good man who does nothing while evil triumphs around you. Make your choice now; it won’t be irrelevant in two years.

LostInLoDOS (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:24

All three of those justices voted in favor of dismantling

Congress had decades to make it a lawful reality and did not. Blame congress, not a court that believes in the basic beginnings of our constitution, the right of the state absent federal law.

As for the rest: I’m sorry you have no faith in our republic. Maybe you’re blinded by the intentional ignoring of the party realities on the likes of fox and cnn.

The democrats are going to split. It’s a fact. If not in 24 then by 28. Too many of the 80s klick still have power. Another run by a member of the Carter faction will break the party. And if you think the whole of millennials are lockstep with progressives you have quite the surprise coming
The republicans are already broken. You have the trump party, the christians, and the conservative non-christians.

And (almost) none of the independents would vote for either principle right now.

When neither party can hold 20% of the population there’s a good chance for a challenger. They only need to swing some 10% of the population to snag the EC. Our parents and grand parents had seen just that.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:25

Blame congress, not a court that believes in the basic beginnings of our constitution

I’ll blame Congress for not enshrining abortion rights into law and the three Trump justices for voting in favor of dismantling voting rights, even after at least one of whom promised that they would respect existing precedent on the matter.

I’m sorry you have no faith in our republic.

How can I? Republicans have convinced millions of people that the 2020 election was, at best, stolen by Democrats. (The leader of the Oath Keepers testified today that he considered the entire election unconstitutional, by the way, so…hey, great company you’re keeping in that regard.) Every time Republicans lose an election, they consider it a crime because they see Republican rule as the default and Democrat victories as only ever having been won through cheating or sneaky tricks. They have used disenfranchisement and gerrymandering and the Southern Strategy to such great effect that had the election come down to the one-state-one-vote situation in the House of Representatives, Trump would’ve won because Republicans controlled more states despite holding fewer seats. Hell, the Electoral College itself is a gift to the GOP because it places a hell of a lot of electoral power in Southern states (of which the GOP controls a great damn many).

If I don’t have faith in the republic, it’s because I have no faith in the Republican Party to step back from the ledge of fascism on which they stand. They’re more than happy to destroy confidence in American democracy so they can keep all the power they’ve accumulated (and gain even more). When Trump won in 2016, people complained about it, but Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and other left-wing groups didn’t say shit to encourage a fucking insurrection. I can’t say the same for right-wingers when Trump lost in 2020. And I’d wager things are going to get much, much worse in the next two years⁠—especially after several Republicans made light of the violent attack on Paul Pelosi without any real pushback from conservative voters or the right-wing mediasphere.

The democrats are going to split.

No, they’re not. They might have disagreements about whether to be slightly right-of-center or perfectly on-center, but the party is not going to suddenly be split by The Squad or some other leftist candidate/group within the party.

The republicans are already broken. You have the trump party, the christians, and the conservative non-christians.

For that matter, the Republicans aren’t going to split, either. All the moderates are getting out (or being voted out) of office as the Trumpist wing of the party takes over everything. Trump owns that party now; anyone who doesn’t get in line with him can expect to lose primaries and be called a RINO over and over. Conservative Christians are, by and large, falling behind Trump as God’s Chosen One⁠—if only because they seem him as a useful idiot, especially the ones who think he can help them further the “get all the Jews back to Israel” plan to kickstart the Rapture. As for conservative non-Christians: They’re not nearly large enough as an intra-party demographic to have the kind of power as the Christians.

And (almost) none of the independents would vote for either principle right now.

“Right now” is not “two years from now”, and I’d bet serious money that the overwhelming majority of independent voters will vote for one of the two major candidates in 2024. (I’m a registered independent and I already plan to vote Democrat because third party votes are a waste and voting for the GOP would be like voting for fascism.)

When neither party can hold 20% of the population there’s a good chance for a challenger.

No. No, there is not. In my lifetime, no third-party presidential candidate has ever finished higher than third place…

They only need to swing some 10% of the population to snag the EC.

…and that includes Ross Perot in 1992, who won 19% of the votes cast in that election but didn’t get even one electoral vote to show for it. In 2020, the Libertarian candidate won just a shade over 1% of the overall vote⁠—barely a blip on the radar.

I told you once and I’ll tell you again: No third-party candidate has a chance of winning a U.S. presidential election until the Electoral College is done away with and the election is done with ranked choice voting. That holds especially true in this, the Trump Era of American politics. You can hate that fact all you want, but you can’t change it just by hoping really, really, really, really hard that maybe people will vote third-party instead of casting a vote to either protect or destroy American democracy.

I’d like to hope you won’t be the good man who does nothing while evil triumphs around you…but I can’t. You’re already starting down the road of “it’s a republic, not a democracy”. I wouldn’t be surprised if you start regurgitating Oath Keepers rhetoric sooner or later⁠.

LostInLoDOS (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:26

enshrining abortion rights into law

See, I disagree with both dems and reps here. The very foundation of our union is the rights of individual states outside of the constitution and constitutional laws. Like all other rights added Post constitutional convention; it must be codified in federal law, as a passed and signed bill or an amendment.

There are many things to determine moving forward about 2020.
It’s clear that there was no systemic result changing fraud.
But it’s also clear serious constitutional issues were discovered.

It doesn’t matter if you agree with the reasoning or are too brainwashed to even care, or both.
Fact, states made unconstitutional changes to the election process.
As I’ve said before: I do not believe the results are invalid.
In the presence of criminal acts by some state governments, the election is quite likely correctly called unconstitutional. However the results are clearly the same end as if correct. or incalculable this far past.

What needs, needed, to be done is what the dems in Congress refuse and refused to do. Those who violated the constitution (who quite literally on paper could be tried for treason) should be prosecuted, convicted, and punished, for their criminal acts.
Such usurpation of the heart of our republic must never happen again.

The EC has always been there as a method to protect the minority from absolute rule. It was created say one to guarantee that large cities didn’t place themselves above the whole. Because even our founding fathers knew what works in the city doesn’t work on the farm. That manufacturing and agriculture require different approaches.

A quick reality is federal minimum wage. $20 helps those in California and New York where tax-based inflation has driven prices higher quicker than the landmass norm.
$20 is far beyond the scale of need in much of the country though where acreage housing is under $50,000 and fuel is $2 and a loaf of bread is a quarter.

No, they’re not. They might have disagreements …

You’re blind then. Or fail to watch factual video such as CSPAN vs commentary on cable news. Things in both parties are FAR beyond disagreement. The Cold War Carter elite of the Dem party are neither wanted nor respected by those younger than them. Yet the hold the money.
The squad, is now a good chunk of the party, the neo-progressives. And the socialist lean make another good percentage. The most likely 24/28 situation is a split between the old guard and the new generation pairing up.
Would I vote for the NP-Sc? Depends on who runs. Social stability is a cornerstone for a libertarian belief system. The population must start equal and be left to their own devices from there.

But there’s three distinct republican factions too. The Cold War hawks, the neo conservatives, and the christian nationalists.
The latter two both appear to have gone all in on trump and maga.

Leading to a potential for 4 ‘main’ candidates.
A good chance in my view for a populist big social small government libertarian to take enough votes to tie or win. Exactly what has happened in previous situations like we have today.

In my lifetime, no third-party presidential candidate has ever finished higher than third place

And in your lifetime the parties haven’t been as disruptively split.

Electoral College is done away with and the election is done with ranked choice voting

And doing so guarantees that <10% of the population footprint decimates >90% of the country. The problem with 1:1 is two conjoined issues.
90+ percent live on Apx 10% of the land. 90+ percent depend on those outside of the cities, yet have no understanding or care about how such living works.
A few quick examples?
A large chunk of those outside the citie spheres still hunt for actual consumption. Depend on rifles for protection from apex predators capable of hurting or killing humans.
Any idea how long it would take to harvest 25 acres of corn and wheat with an electric tractor?

wouldn’t be surprised if you start regurgitating Oath Keepers rhetoric sooner or later⁠.

Given that I’d not even heard of them before reading a comment (from you I believe) about them on tech dirt… I’m not one who goes with the flow.
From what little I have read since, there’s a divide between stated goal and implementation.
And while some of the goals I believe are reasonable, their methods are disgusting. Such as criminal trespass on the nation’s capital.

I truly hope the parties decide, as I expect will happen in the near future. Maybe then we could get a voice that doesn’t fall into extremes one way or another.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:27

Fact, states made unconstitutional changes to the election process. As I’ve said before: I do not believe the results are invalid.

I’m pretty sure you can’t hold those two beliefs at the same time: If the election processes in certain states were unconstitutional as a matter of law, how can the results of those processes be legally valid?

Also, I would like to remind you once again that if the processes were changed, they were changed to make sure the government didn’t force the immunocompromised into risking their health for the sake of voting. That you seem adamantly opposed to some states opening up avenues of voting to protect the public health in a time of national crisis⁠—and open to making people risk their lives for the sake of voting⁠—is…uh, well, it doesn’t speak well of you.

the results are clearly the same end as if correct

That’s impossible. You can’t know how many people would’ve refused to vote⁠—refused to risk their lives to vote!⁠—without the changed processes in place to make voting less risky. The outcome could’ve been different based on those numbers. Like I said: You can’t believe the election processes were unconstitutional and still think the results are valid because those changes absolutely affected election turnout.

Those who violated the constitution (who quite literally on paper could be tried for treason) should be prosecuted, convicted, and punished, for their criminal acts

Yeah, because there’s a message Dems would want to send: “We’re gonna jail these people who thought well enough of their constituents to make voting safer for everyone during a pandemic.”

Like, okay, dude, I get it⁠—you’re upset that the state didn’t force you to risk your life for the sake of voting. But how about showing a little compassion for once and understand that those who didn’t want to do that⁠—regardless of who they voted for⁠—maybe don’t see a huge issue to be “solved” by tossing people in jail for it? I’m fine with changing the processes back to what they were prior to 2020 (assuming legislatures haven’t already approved the changes post-2020), but thinking that shit is tantamount to “treason” doesn’t make any goddamn sense. They didn’t try to destroy American democracy⁠—they tried to make it safer for people to participate in American democracy. Your zeal to punish someone⁠—anyone!⁠—for what happened in 2020 is…disturbing, to say the least.

The EC has always been there as a method to protect the minority from absolute rule.

And now it’s doing nothing to protect the U.S. from minority rule. Donald Trump lost the popular vote against Hillary Clinton and still won the election because of the Electoral College. Oh, and while it’s not EC-related, don’t forget about how gerrymandering allows Republicans to win a minority of votes but a majority of seats in state legislatures.

tax-based inflation

If the government wants to stop inflation, it can tax the everloving fuck out of rich people and corporations. Record profits are unpaid wages, after all, and the only people who benefit from those profits are the executives who get millions of dollars for doing far less work (or even for leaving their position!) than the lowest-paid employees who make those rich fuckers even more rich.

Things in both parties are FAR beyond disagreement.

And when push comes to shove, the power brokers in both parties can and will make sure a majority within their parties will toe the party line.

The squad, is now a good chunk of the party

No. No, they are not. They might seem that way because of the amount of press they get and the number of followers they have on social media, but they are far from being anywhere close to “a good chunk of the party”.

And the socialist lean make another good percentage.

No. No, they do not. The overwhelming majority of Democrats would absolutely identify as capitalists because that’s what they are: barely centrist capitalists who have a vested interest⁠—which is their wealth and political power⁠—in maintaining the political status quo. The party can occasionally be pushed leftward, but it never sticks because the Dems, by and large, are also too spineless to push more progressive/left-wing policies.

A good chance in my view for a populist big social small government libertarian to take enough votes to tie or win. Exactly what has happened in previous situations like we have today.

Well, they’re not going to do that by running as a Libertarian or an independent. Again: In my lifetime, only one third-party candidate has ever garnered close to 20% of the popular vote in a presidential election, and that still wasn’t enough to win a single electoral vote. If the type of candidate you think can win wants to win, they’re going to have to run Democrat because they won’t reach even second place as a third party and the Republicans are going to run either Trump or DeSantis.

doing so guarantees that <10% of the population footprint decimates >90% of the country

And the EC giving the GOP a distinct advantage by default⁠—that’s better?

Also: Hey, guess what? People vote; land doesn’t. I’m all for putting in guardrails to protect people from majority rule⁠—which is why we have Congress⁠—but at some point, you will realize that minority rule is just as dangerous. When you do, I hope you realize which political party has exploited minority rule for years, if not decades⁠—and start voting for the candidates with the only viable chance of defeating that party. (ProTip: Outside of rare, often hyper-localized circumstances, it’s ain’t the Libertarian candidate.)

Maybe then we could get a voice that doesn’t fall into extremes one way or another.

Like Joe Biden? I mean, say what you will about him being a centrist needledick who was voted into office just to get Trump out⁠—I know I have!⁠—but nothing he’s said while POTUS has ever fallen into the kind of extremist bullshit that your Dear Leader said when he was POTUS. I mean, Trump literally incited a riot against American democracy after refusing (even today!) to accept the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Have you heard Joe Biden telling Democrat voters to not accept an election loss in 2022 or 2024? Have you heard him⁠—or any other Democrat, for that matter⁠—denying the results of an election in advance, as Trump himself did twice?

Imagine thinking Joe Biden⁠—of all people, Joe fucking Biden!⁠—is an “extreme voice”. Imagine being that fucking deluded. But I guess that’s what Trumpism does to you.

LostInLoDOS (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:28

I’m pretty sure you can’t hold those two beliefs at the same time

Ultimately the people voted and the votes were counted. There is nothing illegal or unconstitutional about the votes themselves.

Also, I would like to remind you once again

That the changes were unconstitutional. Period. You can car on with the propaganda about ‘for the people’ all you want. The states that made the changes outside of proper methodology had some of the most liberal voting procedures in the country. Everyone ranting to vote by mail could already do so in every case.

Willingness to ignore the federal constitution is a far worse look than wanting states to hold a proper emergency session and use the proper process to change state laws. Where the changes were, in every case, not necessary for any voter wanting to vote absentee.

That’s impossible. You can’t know how many people would’ve refused to vote

None. Every state with changes laws already had easy access absentee voting. Most without cause. Those with, pandemic is a good case for voting by mail.

Your zeal to punish someone⁠

The law is the law. More than that, the constitution is the ultimate of regulation.

don’t forget about how gerrymandering

No person with any understanding of the system makes claims like that honestly. Both parties redistrict every chance the can.

If the government

Poverty tax is a well documented reality I won’t go into here. But as long as cities continue to tax the lowest tax bracket in the locale they perpetuate the tax-creep of cost. You miss the point, Dems in power don’t want to tax the top 25% because they are part of it. They don’t want to tax the top 1% because they depend on that for campaign funding. They, by ignorance or intention, create the economic enslavement they claim to be against. It’s the only aspect of critical race that’s even remotely true. Rich white Democrats are directly responsible for the ever increasing poverty of racial minorities.

And when push comes to shove, the power brokers in both parties can and will make sure a majority within their parties will toe the party line.

Your faith in two useless power heads is, amusing.

No. No, they are not

According to multiple polls and surveys, social welfare and environmental concern makes up the top concern for more than 70% of the party.
If you think either of those camps is going to budge on budget for the other your delusional.

but it never sticks because

The Carter Dems are still in power. For now. All of whom are in the top tax bracket.

ProTip

The party system has a changeover Apx every 30-50 years. 1830s, 1880s, 1930s, 1960s, mid 90s.
We’re due for one. Be it an independent on a main ticket (Sanders, Trump) or a third party win.
Trump has split the Republican Party.
Sanders has upended the status ranks of the Dems.

Like Joe Biden?

So far Biden has:
Thrown immigration law out the window
Tied the economy to foreign environmental demands
Restarted the Cold War
Given away trillions in wasted tax funds
Tanked the value of the US dollar.
Not a great run. Biden is a puppet of the Carter regime. The real American Fascists. The rich get richer. Middle America gets poorer. And the poor get dead.
And everyone not involved in politics is completely dependent on the next government handout.

LostInLoDOS (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:30

I find it interesting how fast you walk away when countered with facts.

‘But trump’ doesn’t fit with me.

The country is no longer divided But essentially quartered.
24 is likely to give us a Carter/Clinton Dem, a neo-progressive, a Republican (in name only) and trump.
Making a great platform for a libertarian centrist to take enough votes to win.

This is exactly what happened to the democrat-republicans.
Neither primary party has a strong base today.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9

We should all, regardless of party, condemn those who broke the law on Jan 6th.

Except you don’t really focus on that, do you? The bulk of your response on that has been focused on the 99% that didn’t break the law.

Having to be dragged kicking and screaming, into actually condemning those who broke the law, is not actually condemning those who broke the law. Your reaction is more akin to a child throwing a tantrum because he got caught committing a misdeed.