For All Of Trump's Complaints About Social Media 'Censorship', The White House Itself Moderates Content Similarly To Social Media Sites

from the oh,-look-at-that dept

As you may have heard, a couple weeks ago, President Trump hosted what he called a "social media summit," where he brought in various Trump-supporting social media people, and where they all got to whine about the completely made up concept of anti-conservative censorship on social media sites (and, because I know the same three of you are going to show up in the comments and scream your heads off that I'm being blind to such censorship: you have yet to show any actual evidence to support your claims -- and, no, a few anecdotes of trolls, assholes, revisionists and propagandists being blocked does not actually prove your point). Trump gave a long speech at that event, most of which made literally no sense. However, he seemed pretty damn sure that social media sites are censoring conservatives.

But we run out of here… Shadow-banned, a hundred percent. You look at what’s going on. You know, I could go… The blocking, just the basic blocking of what we want to get out. The fact that they don’t let them join. They don’t. There was…. There’s no doubt in my mind that I should have millions and millions…

I have millions of people, so many people I wouldn’t believe it. But I know that we’ve been blocked. People come up to me, and they say, “Sir, I can’t, I can’t get you. I can’t follow you. They make it impossible.” These are people that are really good at what they do. They say they make it absolutely impossible. And you know we can’t have it. We’re not going to let it happen.

Josh, we’re not going to let it happen. And you know, if they did it on both sides, if it were done to the other side, to the other group… And I’m representing everybody. I do, I represent everybody. I fully understand liberal. I fully understand Democrat. We want to get along. We want to make sure that everybody loves each other, if that’s possible. And maybe, I really believe it is.

Also, during the talk, he briefly admitted that he understands why sites have kicked off some of these people before then going back to saying it's unfair:

Of course, as Charles Duan notes at the Washington Examiner, if the White House is really upset about social media platforms kicking people off, it might want to check its own house first. Because on the "We The People" petition site, the White House itself appears to take a surprisingly similar approach to that of the big social media companies.

Or consider We the People again. Surprisingly, the White House petition site has a stringent content moderation policy, prohibiting petitions for commercial endorsements, obscenity, profanity, and “degrading slurs.”

And, from there, he notes that this policy might actually violate the 1st Amendment, given that it is a government site, and the government cannot engage in viewpoint discrimination. Indeed, after last month's Supreme Court ruling that said that it was viewpoint discrimination for the US Patent and Trademark Office to reject trademarks on "immoral and scandalous" marks, following a similar ruling from two years ago barring the rejection of "disparaging" remarks, it's difficult to see how banning petitions that have "degrading slurs" would actually pass Constitutional muster.

But, really, that's an aside to the larger point, which is that in practice the Trump administration appears to be more willing to kick bigots and racists off its own platform than the Obama administration was.

How that policy has been applied is even more concerning. In 2017, a white nationalist group alleged that the We the People content moderator had removed the group’s petition on college funding. I have no love for white nationalists, but kicking them off a White House petition page is plainly viewpoint-based censorship. Ironically, the group noted that the Obama administration had allowed the same petition, so it was the Trump White House that was censoring far-right views.

That links takes you to a white nationalist page whining about the "We The People Moderator" (seriously) rejecting a petition to "defund anti-white colleges that censor criticism of white genocide."

In other words, Trump's own White House is doing exactly the kind of moderation that Trump's own White House is attacking Silicon Valley companies for.

Duan's article makes a further point: if Trump and the White House (or Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley) are really so concerned about the lack of social media sites "respecting" the First Amendment (which they, as private companies, are not bound by), there is literally nothing stopping the White House or Congress from setting up their own sites that would be bound by the First Amendment, as a government project.

Yet if Trump, Cruz, and others want a politically neutral, unbiased platform, there’s a simple solution: They should make one. Call it “freespeech.gov” and guarantee that all ideologies will be treated equally.

[....]

Perhaps counterintuitively, a public social media service actually fits right in to the government’s traditional role. In the real world, traditional public forums include streets, parks, and town halls — all government-run property. Such venues are perfect for political neutrality because the First Amendment demands it. Officials can restrict the time, place, and manner of speech on public grounds, but they cannot discriminate among viewpoints. The village park of Skokie, Illinois, must be as open to neo-Nazis as anyone else.

A freespeech.gov platform would be a virtual public square, so the First Amendment itself would prohibit anti-conservative or other bias. Contrast this to Republicans’ currently favored approach of legislating political neutrality on platforms. Private platforms are emphatically not public forums, as the Supreme Court has explained, and worse yet, this neutrality legislation might be an unconstitutional compelled-speech mandate.

Little stands in the way of building freespeech.gov. The government has its digital consultancies 18F and the U.S. Digital Service to produce the technology. It has already created the “We the People” White House petitions website, a virtual public square where hundreds of thousands of users call for everything from deporting Justin Bieber to building a Death Star. A freespeech.gov site would likely be popular as well — after all, what teenager could resist sharing dank memes under a .gov URL?

This is a valid point all around. If Trump, Hawley and Cruz insist that there needs to be a social media platform that is "neutral," the only place they actually have the Constitutional authority to make that happen is on a site set up by the government itself.

And then, as it appears the Trump administration (and the President himself) recognize, they might finally "understand" why these sites kick people off.

So, the next time you see any government official whining on about private companies not hosting all speech, there's a simple response: the government has the power (and even the skills) to do it itself. The only reason not to, of course, is if this is all stupid political grandstanding and an attempt to "work the refs" into getting social media sites to leave up harassers, abusers, trolls, and propagandists who just happen to be supporting the President and his allies.

Filed Under: 1st amendment, anti-conservative bias, content moderation, donald trump, free speech, trolls


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  • icon
    Thad (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 10:54am

    But what else would you expect from a left-wing rag like *checks notes* the Washington Examiner?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 11:20am

    A Reminder:

    “Anti-conservative bias” in social media moderation is a myth. To claim it as a fact, one must prove two notions are true:

    1. Punishment of conservatives happens only because of their political beliefs.

    2. That punishment creates a pattern of unequal, politically motivated actions which exclusively target “right-wingers” but leave “left-wingers” alone.

    To anyone who wants to try: I wish you the best of luck. You will need it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 11:47am

      Re: A Reminder:

      Wouldn't that take having robust, static, inviolable definitions for conservative, liberal, progressive, right wing, far right wing, left wing, far left wing, and the various flavors of moderate, with hard lines between each nuance?

      That is where the luck is needed, especially when people self identify to 'their' version of whichever nuance they claim while others point and laugh and claim that 'they' are in fact some other nuance, if not the complete opposite.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 11:49am

        Exactly my point. 😁

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Thad (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 12:02pm

        Re: Re: A Reminder:

        If you consider "nazi" to be a synonym for "conservative", then there is clear evidence of a bias against conservatives.

        A lot of self-described conservatives do seem to believe those two words are synonymous.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          ECA (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 12:05pm

          Re: Re: Re: A Reminder:

          There is a problem here..
          Conservative with Corp Favoritism...ISNT conservative.(IMO)
          Its as if the Repub's are passing the buck to Corps to do THEIR(Gov) JOB..

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2019 @ 1:42pm

          Re: Re: Re: A Reminder:

          That's weird given that it's also known as "National Socialism".

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            James Burkhardt (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 1:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: A Reminder:

            yeah, the Nazi's intentionally used the National Socialism moniker to help foment populist support, but much like Lenin/Stalin's communist party, and the Later Korean and Chinese Communist parties, generally failed implemented the economic systems their names called for. Both, in fact, moved toward government control of the means of production and economy - a form of facisim - which neither socialist or communist economic theory supports.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              ECA (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 1:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Reminder:

              Wow,
              Someone understands..

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2019 @ 2:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Reminder:

              Both, in fact, moved toward government control of the means of production and economy - a form of facisim - which neither socialist or communist economic theory supports.

              ...nor conservative economic theory.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2019 @ 2:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: A Reminder:

            And the totalitarian hereditary dictatorship of North Korea calls itself the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea." And a bunch of hateful, selfish, greedy warmongers call themselves Christians, despite Christ's teachings requiring the abandonment of all of those traits. Sometimes people lie about their ideals to make themselves more popular. It's sad, but true.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 23 Jul 2019 @ 5:05am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Reminder:

              Confirmed correct. It's almost as if wearing sheep's clothing makes you look less wolf-y, or something.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              ECA (profile), 24 Jul 2019 @ 2:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Reminder:

              Christ wasnt in the bible until the 1500's...
              Or didi you know that already??

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2019 @ 6:59am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Reminder:

                I have a feeling that I'm missing at least one level of irony here, because I don't understand the point you're trying to make.

                At the risk of explaining the joke, do you mind elaborating?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                TFG, 25 Jul 2019 @ 7:10am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Reminder:

                Sorry, what? The oldest extant copy of the bible has been dated to the 4th century. The text is in Greek, to be sure, but the individual currently referred as Jesus Christ is certainly within the text. I do not understand the basis of your assertion.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2019 @ 11:11am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Reminder:

                  As I mention above, I'm pretty sure they're trying to be ironic, but I'm missing the point of the irony.

                  Maybe the point they're trying to make is that the humanist values Christ preached didn't actually start getting practiced on a societal level until the Reformation, and even then not very well (heck, even now not very well). Or maybe it's a dig specifically directed at the Protestants themselves, for discarding whatever good ideas the Catholics did have in favour of twisting their "sole scriptura" to mean whatever they wanted it to.

                  Or maybe I'm just reading too much into it, and they really do believe, against all historical evidence, that Christianity didn't exist, in any form, until the Reformation. Who knows. Whatever point they were trying to get across, they clearly failed at doing so.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 12:03pm

      Re: A Reminder:

      Everything everywhere..
      And yes, I would Love both sides to Have a statement of what they are going/willing to Do.. Define themselves.
      We vote thinking this side is this/this/this..and end up with the Same crap as before..
      Out of the last 10 presidents, Most have been republicans.. strange isnt it.

      Consider that years ago, the Fed and state were the highest employers.. But for some reason an idea popped up that the Gov. was/is to big. I would love to know where. For all the services provided, we are now down to a level that Even the 3 agencies responsible for our for, from processing to your table can only inspect about 8%.. and ASK the corps to get a 3rd party to do it, and send in the paper work. how many food poisonings in the last years??
      The restrictions for citizen protection laws have Dumped into the landfill..
      Banks have more rights then God.. Major corps keep buying up all the little companies..
      Pharma...I dont need to say anything.

      The Laws governing Capitalism have been Dumped.. NOW we get to see what happens. I dont wanna see it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jul 2019 @ 6:45pm

      Re: A Reminder:

      Antifa is mostly left alone on Social Media (and they engage in actual violence) while the Proud Boys have been kicked off.

      Jack Dorsey himself was confronted with the fact that Twitter punishes people for "misgendering" people, which is something that the Right doesn't believe in.

      There you go, proved both points for you.

      Oh, and Google employees have come out and said that their company is biased against Conservatives, Jack Dorsey (twitter) has stated Conservative Employees hide their opinions...

      Even Vice/Vox (forget which one exactly) has stated that there's a bias against Conservatives.

      Hmm... It's ALMOST like you and everyone else here are being intentionally ignorant or something.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2019 @ 11:20am

    What I expect coming from a leftist Tech site. Even your own BIAS is right there in front of everyone.

    Youtube is right in your face with banning the right, while the left in which they agree with and all their hate continue to be on the service. Apple is the same. It's once reason why the BitChute app is not allowed in Apple's store. Because they won't just ban whoever Apple wants banned.

    This site is just another left-wing, mainstream media site throwing out a lot of fake news. Because this article is complete B.S.

    By the way it wasn't just people on Trump's side at that summit meeting. Just more fake news, LIES. It's just getting old.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 11:23am

      Well, someone’s upset that their favorite White nationalist can’t post on YouTube any more.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 12:09pm

        Re:

        Funny part..
        Its not the Conservative bitching..
        Its the ignorant.
        Those who dont know how to say things without Blaming others, and NOT themselves. Those willing to Be Blatant Abusers of language. Those that Cant Show reasoning of why they Think the way they do..

        Any critical thinker can look at it and say, WOW, that a great fantasy novel..and throw it away..

        Neither SIDE is listening any more, and we have a bunch of 60-90 year olds up there...30-40 years in Congress?? WOW..GO RETIRE IDIOTS, you are past your prime.. you cant even Add phone numbers to your smart phone..

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2019 @ 11:34am

      Re:

      Did you happen to even read the article? Especially the part about how private companies are not bound by the first amendment. Surprised you say it is complete BS though. Trump's speech is part of the article are the article both agrees and disagrees with pieces of his speech. Also, it isn't surprising that most tech companies are left leaning. Most of them are in Cities or states that are left leaning.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2019 @ 1:14pm

        Re: Re:

        Yes, the 1st amendment is applicable to the government only and not the people.

        Corporations are not left leaning, not sure from where this silly idea originates.

        Over the past fifty some years, the Overton Window has been pulled to right so far that many things Reagan did would now be considered lefty libral commie stuff. What used to be right wing is now called neocon and what used to be left no longer exists. But let's make all sorts of assumptions based solely upon some nebulous word for which no one can agree upon a common definition.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 23 Jul 2019 @ 6:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          what used to be left no longer exists.

          There are prominent national politicians calling for single payer universal health care and free college education, so I don't think that's true any more.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2019 @ 7:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You dont think?

            "There are prominent national politicians calling for single payer universal health care and free college education"
            How is this representative of what used to be called "the left"?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 11:39am

      Re:

      What I expect coming from a leftist Tech site. Even your own BIAS is right there in front of everyone.

      We get accused of being "right wing" half the time and "leftist" the other half. It almost seems like those labels really just mean "someone I disagree with when I have no facts or arguments on my side.

      I'm not left wing. I'm not right wing. I'm a person who thinks for myself.

      Youtube is right in your face with banning the right, while the left in which they agree with and all their hate continue to be on the service.

      Assertions require evidence. You have anecdotes. And nearly all of the anecdotes are platforms banning people for being assholes. If you claim that's "banning the right" well, then you're self-identifying with being an asshole. Odd choice, but you do you.

      It's once reason why the BitChute app is not allowed in Apple's store. Because they won't just ban whoever Apple wants banned.

      You have proof that Apple is banning conservatives for being conservative? Or are you just making up shit?

      This site is just another left-wing, mainstream media site throwing out a lot of fake news. Because this article is complete B.S.

      What is "B.S." in this article? Do you not agree that the Trump White House is also banning white nationalists like the social media sites are?

      By the way it wasn't just people on Trump's side at that summit meeting. Just more fake news, LIES. It's just getting old.

      LOL.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 11:59am

        Re: Re:

        Just a comment: there's no problem in leaning towards left wing/right wing/anarchist/communist/whatever ideals. Even if you were 'leftist' (and Marx is possibly laughing over this idea) it would make no difference. For all the "oh, so much prejudice against us poor far-right folks" the US has a long history of falsehoods and persecution against the left just because the establishment didn't like the left during the cold war.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 12:15pm

        Re: Re:

        Can I suggest...
        Its not What they say..
        Its HOW they say it..
        Waving flags, blaming others, Finding Fault and not a solution..

        The USA gov used to do allot of jobs in this nation...but for some odd reason, they have been sent to Corporations...
        The Gov had middle to low paid jobs all over...and now you have the Same,but Pay a CEO and all the Top earners, HUGE salaries.. Which Now costs us Double/triple what the Gov. Taxed us for..

        Its the idea of WHO gets our money, and for what purpose. and Why are we still at war?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Floyd A. Nalogy, 22 Jul 2019 @ 2:14pm

        Re: Re: MM: you censor conservatives right in plain sight HERE!

        We get accused of being "right wing" half the time and "leftist" the other half.

        Baloney. Oh, you're a neo-liberal, and indistinguishable from Rush Limbaugh in most, that's true...

        But show ONCE you've been accused -- by anyone clearly not your own astro-turfing -- of "right wing" bias. You are essentially LEFTIST, period.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Floyd A. Nalogy, 22 Jul 2019 @ 2:16pm

        Re: Re: MM: you censor conservatives right in plain sight HERE!

        This repeats my complaint of your CENSORING "system" as seen above. -- It only works on "conservative" and dissent, NEVER on fanboys.

        Masnick actually (for once, partially) answered me here:

        https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180130/22212639127/we-need-to-shine-light-private-online-c ensorship.shtml#c380

        You should of course read that first.

        Instead of a Commenting Guidelines page easily found, we're all supposed to read EVERY comment in every prior topic? How are new users to know this?

        "The rest we leave up to the community to handle via the voting system."

        But what I ask is how does that "system" work! It's no answer to say "system"!

        Now that after years of my asking Masnick has stated a few points, in characteristic way his "answer" only raise even more questions!

        But first note that the SOLE source for answers is the entity in question, with NO way to check. I know for sure from experience that cannot rely on Techdirt's self-interest to be truthful.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          TFG, 22 Jul 2019 @ 2:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: MM: Nobody is actually censored

          The system works as such:

          I click the flag, which is a vote to hide your comment. If enough other people click the flag, your comment gets hidden, but anyone can click through the warning to see it. Very simple.

          Of course, you've been told this multiple times before. By me, even. So I expect you'll ignore it and then rant and rave about this again later.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2019 @ 5:26am

          Re: Re: Re: MM: you censor conservatives right in plain sight HE

          How are new users to know this?

          Oh, I don't know...maybe the "Click here to show it" sentence next to the hidden comment?

          Consider, just for a moment, that not everyone is as fuck-all retarded as you.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 23 Jul 2019 @ 4:05pm

            While you'll get no argument against Blue being mindnumbingly stupid, please try to refrain from using the word 'retarded' to refer to them. Not only should that sort of insult be avoided in general, but people with mental issues have it bad enough already without being lumped in with that idiot.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Floyd A. Nalogy, 22 Jul 2019 @ 2:21pm

        Re: Re: MM: you censor conservatives right in plain sight HERE!

        [Back after that browser session was poisoned.]

        Masnick states that Techdirt has ceded control to this "community". Goes with prior opinion of the forms contract with HTML input field: it's a PUBLIC site, then.

        Is not "hiding", which observably here only disadvantages dissent, on the slippery slope to viewpoint discrimination and censoring?

        To have any input means allowing Techdirt / Google to run javascript, so THERE'S A PRICE TO PAY.

        To EVEN SEE the hidden comments means allowing Techdirt / Google to run javascript, so THERE'S A PRICE TO PAY.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2019 @ 3:48pm

          Re: Re: Re: MM: you filter spam right in plain sight HERE!

          Answer the question, coward.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 4:34pm

          How does Techdirt transform from a privately-owned blog to a government-owned blog via the presence of an HTML input field?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2019 @ 10:48pm

            Re:

            I personally find it funnier that when it comes to SOPA and Prenda, Techdirt is a "nobody site that nobody reads".

            But point out how Trump is an asshole and suddenly it's mainstream media...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Floyd A. Nalogy, 22 Jul 2019 @ 2:21pm

        Re: Re: MM: you censor conservatives right in plain sight HERE!

        How many clicks are required to "hide" comments out of how many readers?

        How is this a "voting" system since there's no evident counter to it? -- Do the "insightful" or "funny" buttons offset "report"? -- Certainly not after the hiding is triggered, so evidently it's one-sided "voting", rather Soviet again.

        How do readers who do NOT click have any effect on the system so they don't have to waste time to see the "hidden" comments?

        Isn't this disadvanting viewpoints by "hiding" an offense to "free speech", besides the practical effort and time of clicking?

        What does "report" on the button imply? Is there any difference in that between offensive and simply don't want to see the viewpoint?

        And you let this "system" potentially discriminate against viewpoints with NO administrative control?

        Are there any administrative controls in Techdirt's software that allow:
        1) hiding comments in same manner as the alleged "community"?
        2) blocking IP addresses?
        3) blocking specific browser sessions even temporarily?

        Have / Are those administrative controls ever used?

        How many persons have administrative control, even partial, over Techdirt?

        Without numbers stated, this "system" may be only one fanboy, then. -- And surely an administrator, because I'm again getting browser sessions poisoned after making one comment. -- In my theory, the random delays mentioned show that an "administrator" hasn't yet taken action.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 11:45am

      Re:

      So in summary everybody (with different opinions but who are not complete morons) except idiots that think alike these "conservatives/right wingers" and build their own service don't want the racist, bigoted and overall disgusting speech from said "conservatives". But the problem, somehow is the leftist bias or whatever. Talk about oversized egos.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bloof (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 11:51am

      Re:

      I love how any news outlet that the alt right disagree with becomes 'the mainstream media', no matter how small, no matter how niche. 'Reality disagrees with me and anything that reminds me of that is part of some cabal.'

      Also love how youtube is censoring the right, while bombarding people with recommendations for garbage like Dave Rubin, Joe Rogan and Prager U whenever they watch anything even slightly related to politics or current affairs. Truly they are the masters of censorship.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Gary (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 12:04pm

        Re: Re:

        I love how any news outlet that the alt right disagree with becomes 'the mainstream media', no matter how small, no matter how niche. 'Reality disagrees with me and anything that reminds me of that is part of some cabal.'

        I just die laughing everytime someone complains about the "mainstream" media as if being "mainstream" somehow means "fringe."

        "CNN, NBC, The Times, The Post, and everyone but InfoWars is conspiring together because they don't want to tell the TRUTH about Pizzagate."

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      wereisjessicahyde (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 12:16pm

      Re:

      Lots of accusations but as usual no evidence.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2019 @ 12:46pm

      Re: your tears are quite sweet though

      So what you’re saying is those grapes are extremely sour.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 9:54pm

      Re:

      What you expect? To be reported for your asinine bullshit.

      clicks report

      You're welcome.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2019 @ 5:18am

      Re:

      Youtube is right in your face with banning the right, while the left in which they agree with and all their hate continue to be on the service.

      One wonders why you don't just boycott them, given your strongly worded moral objection. Or are conservative boycotts limited to burning/destroying things you've already paid for?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2019 @ 7:32am

      Re:

      The only thing that’s old is your crying boy lol

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 22 Jul 2019 @ 11:24am

    So?

    "Hypocrisy" stopped being a word in Washington D.C. a long time ago.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2019 @ 1:21pm

      Re: So?

      I think they changed the definition of the word hypocrite to be more like the word honest or genuine. Sort of like how they changed the word literally to mean figuratively.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 12:45pm

    Love the ideas..

    Lets see..
    Why aint they made their OWN SITE...and asked that the Communications(FCC) not kick them off line..
    For abusive language, Inconstant comments, Blaming anyone except themselves, being Corp stooges..

    I dont mind a good debate, but BOTH sides must listen, and after awhile (even my mother said) YOU have to fix it, YOU have to learn more, YOU need a better education... DONT blame others for what you DIDNT DO..

    Our nation has changed abit, backwards..If you cant find a job, USE THE NET, find another place to live that HAS YOUR JOB.. Head to the Farming areas, TONS of jobs for those wishing to LEARN...Companies arnt looking for HIGHLY skilled, they want low paid workers and train them in 1 day..
    But the Corps have taken allot of the jobs over, NOT ALL...
    Dairies require you to work for them 6-12 months before you can be a Milker and get $15 per hour, and work for 2-3 dairies..they want to see if you will stay.
    Where are the Unions helping people get jobs, and training?? NOT many are left..and we are breaking them up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    radix (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 1:05pm

    the First Amendment (which they, as private companies, are not bound by)

    I understand what you're saying, but I think this is the wrong way to frame it. The First Amendment absolutely applies to private companies, just in the other direction than the pro-regulation crowd is wanting. (The difference is between "bound by" and "applies to," but I think it's important to hammer home the fact that support of private moderation is a protection of the 1A rather than a violation.)

    The freedom that companies enjoy to speak their own minds have resulted in the Citizens United case that the right has traditionally defended vigorously. It takes some Olympic-level mental gymnastics to try to have it both ways.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2019 @ 1:26pm

      Re:

      I think you would benefit from reading the bill of rights. I have provided a link for your convenience. If you choose to not read it, do not expect any civility when you make additional incorrect statements.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights

      The operative portion of interest is as follows:
      "Congress shall make no law ..."

      Perhaps there is/are court proceedings you would like to present in support of your claim? I do not recall any that affect the 1st as you so claim, but yeah - lets hear it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        radix (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 2:12pm

        Re: Re:

        I think you're misunderstanding what I (attempted to) say. Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I should have been (it happens often, unfortunately).

        Let me re-phrase: Private companies are not "bound by" the first amendment in the same way government is. This is indisputable.

        The downside to phrasing it this way is that people will selectively read this to understand that companies and the first amendment have nothing to do with one another, when in actuality, companies are protected by the first amendment in the same way citizens are. "Congress shall make no law", indeed. The pro-regulation people are calling for exactly such an unconstitutional law. By disconnecting companies and the 1A protections they enjoy, it makes this hypocrisy less clear.

        I think it's important to reinforce the message that people who are whining the loudest about "censorship" are the very same people who are proposing the censorship of corporate speech!

        Hopefully that was more clear? This is why I don't write professionally. :)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2019 @ 3:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh I see ... corporations are people my friend.

          I agree that government is not allowed to infringe upon what business says, unless said business is being untruthful. It used to be that lying in your advertisements was frowned upon, not so much anymore I guess.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Gary (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 7:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes, Radix is quite correct. I'm really unsure what the Blue AC's point is. The 1st amendment protects business and people because businesses are made up of people, and businesses are not the government.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2019 @ 7:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It was this:
              "The First Amendment absolutely applies to private companies,"

              It was, incorrectly, read as saying that a business has to publish unwanted input from everyone because of their 1st amendment rights. The intent of said misinterpreted quote was that a business also has certain 1st amendment rights. It is still uncertain whether this includes all the same rights as individuals. For example, can businesses demand their employees attend political rallies and chant along?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 1:52pm

      Re:

      "the First Amendment (which they, as private companies, are not bound by)"

      I like this thought..and when they ASKED that a corp be treated as human, I LOVED the idea.. but dont forget what LLC does..

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Floyd A. Nalogy, 22 Jul 2019 @ 2:26pm

    Key point: "Moderation" is not equal to BIAS.

    The complaint of conservatives, as seen above, is that what masnicks call "moderation" is actually it's their one-sided BIAS to suppress all opposition to corporatism.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TFG, 22 Jul 2019 @ 2:32pm

      Re: Key point: "Moderation" is not equal to BIAS.

      BTW, I just want to thank you for always using some new punnish name. It makes it very easy to see that it's you, and act accordingly.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2019 @ 3:53pm

      Re: Key point: The truth will set you free

      Why are you still here when you promised to leave forever? Just admit you lied bro.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 4:37pm

      If social media moderation exists to suppress all opposition to corporatism, how come I can find plenty of “SILENCE BRAND” memes on Twitter?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2019 @ 8:28pm

      Re:

      Naw, what you idiots get flagged for is posts that say you'd like to shoot AOC.

      Nice going, jackass!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2019 @ 7:10am

      Re: Key point: "Moderation" is not equal to BIAS.

      If only conservatives had a majority in both houses of congress and an executive branch that did something rather than just complain like a little bitch. Then maybe, you'd get some change.

      But I guess it's easier to just sit and complain rather than actually put in work, amirite?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 22 Jul 2019 @ 4:29pm

    Never give your enemies ammo to use against you

    The only reason not to, of course, is if this is all stupid political grandstanding and an attempt to "work the refs" into getting social media sites to leave up harassers, abusers, trolls, and propagandists who just happen to be supporting the President and his allies.

    Oh not the only reason(though that is definitely one of them), there's also the fact that doing so would require them to engage in some actual work, and more importantly such a site would quickly be absolutely overrun by repulsive, disgusting people and content, such that they would either quickly be funding a cesspit with taxpayer money and showing everyone what they are demanding that private companies be required to host, nicely highlighting the fatal flaw in their argument, or pulling the plug on the site entirely, which would do the same.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2019 @ 2:44am

      Re: Never give your enemies ammo to use against you

      And the best bit is that if they did use tax payer's money to create freespeech.gov and it did turn into a cesspit (very likely) they COULD NOT TAKE IT DOWN. Thus, tax payer's money permanently being used to publish vile speech.

      This is why it will never be done. Which is a pity, because much would be clarified by the endeavour.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 23 Jul 2019 @ 4:02am

        Re: Re: Never give your enemies ammo to use against you

        Oh I imagine they could shutter the thing entirely('just because the government is currently providing a platform to speak from does not mean they have to continue to do so' would probably be how it would work), what they couldn't do would be to engage in any basically form of moderation against legal content, such that any content, no matter how deplorable, would be allowed so long as it was legal.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bobob, 22 Jul 2019 @ 10:42pm

    Just in case no one has noticed, "constitutional rights" are part of the same alternate reality that got trump elected, except that the belief that law enforcement and the judial system follow anything in the constitution has been sold to a larger segment of the public for a longer time. Try telling a cop that the constitution is the basis of our legal system and which him or her scoff.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Zof (profile), 23 Jul 2019 @ 6:22am

    One Wonders Who This Story Is For?

    This is one of those fun stories that starts out demanding you believe a lie. That social networking isn't biased, when we ALL KNOW DAMN WELL IT IS. Come on. Nobody here is stupid enough to believe the lie the story starts with.

    So ask yourself: Who is the story for then? This childish affirmation of media reality being dictate for us?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2019 @ 7:09am

      Re: One Wonders Who This Story Is For?

      This childish affirmation of media reality being dictate for us?

      As opposed to the childish media reality that you choose to believe because it allows you to play the victim?

      Face it - you're victims because you choose to be. It's easier claiming impotentce and complaining rather than doing something, amirite?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 23 Jul 2019 @ 7:09am

      Re: One Wonders Who This Story Is For?

      That social networking isn't biased, when we ALL KNOW **** WELL IT IS.

      You have proof then?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2019 @ 7:30am

      Re: One Wonders Who This Story Is For?

      Gee, people are biased.
      And people post their bias on social media.
      This is astounding information!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Jul 2019 @ 8:37am

      Any lawyer will tell you that knowing something and being able to prove it are two different things. Until you can offer proof that Twitter, Facebook, and other large social interaction networks are moderating their platforms in furtherance of a specific sociopolitical agenda, your “knowledge” is worthless.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 23 Jul 2019 @ 9:03am

      Re: One Wonders Who This Story Is For?

      when we ALL KNOW DAMN WELL IT IS

      Did it not occur to you that not everyone shares your inhalant abuse habits?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2019 @ 1:15pm

      Re: Zof, not even once

      Why you still here bro?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 23 Jul 2019 @ 7:28am

    I'm sure Trump will explain every senseless thing he says during his term in his forthcoming memoir, "Call Me Adolf" (although it will be just as devoid of sense as one can imagine).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    MO'B, 23 Jul 2019 @ 7:54am

    Tilting at windmills

    [Back after that browser session was poisoned.]

    Thanks for this, it's my favorite "crazy person" thing you say on a regular basis.
    Remember, when tilting at windmills, tilt to the LEFT ;-P

    Mike, can you share the magic code that you must have that lets you can "poison a browser session" remotely and on demand like this? This is a great idea, and I think you could fix any financial concerns Techdirt might have by sharing this feature!
    Just a thought.....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jul 2019 @ 6:49pm

    BTW, Mike, you used Fascism wrong

    Fascism is the use of businesses to push the "common good" in lieu of government forcing their opinions onto people, though the government supports it.

    Hmm, that sounds familiar, why does it sound familiar?

    And, BTW, at this point, if you think there's no anti-conservative bias on big tech, you're being both ignorant and a moron.

    People from Google, Facebook AND Twitter, INCLUDING CEOs, one of whom is Jack Dorsey himself, have stated that there's a bias against Conservatives. There's DATA from the people who have come out against big tech.

    Of course, I don't expect this comment to ever get posted, for some reason you guys keep moderating my comments and don't post them for a long time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TFG, 26 Jul 2019 @ 6:26am

      Re: BTW, Mike, you used Fascism wrong

      Okay, let's define Fascism:

      "1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

      2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control"

      Well, looks like your definition of businesses pushing something is ... incorrect? Fascism is about centralized state power, nation/race first - or just straight up authoritarianism. A corporation can certainly be fascist, but fascism is not limited to business actions. Please try again.

      And, BTW, at this point, if you think there's anti-conservative bias on big tech, you apparently equate Conservative with White Supremacy and general asshole behavior.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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