Senator Bill Hagerty Believes Compelled Speech Is 'Liberty'; And Anyone Upset With Moderation Choices Should Be Able To Sue

from the we've-always-been-at-war-with-eastasia,-senator dept

Senator Bill Hagerty was just elected out of Tennessee to take over Lamar Alexander's old seat, and he's kicking off his tenure with a bang... of not just unconstitutional madness, but anti-Constitutional madness. And this from a guy who presents himself as a Constitutional originalist. But, of course, when it comes to nurturing culture wars, today's GOP apparently believes that they can throw the Constitution out the window... as long as they (1) claim they're owning the libs, and (2) pretend that they're tearing up the Constitution to save the Constitution.

In this case, Hagerty has put out a piece in the Wall Street Journal -- which will publish any anti-Section 230 screed no matter how factually challenged -- to talk about a new bill he's preparing that would force social media sites to host any and all speech by getting rid of Section 230 and making websites common carriers. Yes, Senator Hagerty is calling for compelled speech, and even more obnoxiously, he's doing it by claiming it is about "protecting liberty." The article is ridiculously entitled: Goodbye Section 230, Hello Liberty, though a more accurate title would be "Clueless Senator Wants To Take Away Internet Freedom."

Let's dig in.

For too long Americans have watched Big Tech trample on the principles of the First Amendment—free speech, freedom of thought and belief, free assembly and the open exchange of ideas. As more information is filtered through online platforms, the First Amendment is becoming a dead letter. That’s why I’m taking action to hold these corporations accountable.

So much nonsense in just one paragraph. First off, the 1st Amendment protects against government intrusions into speech, and so it's literally impossible for "Big Tech" to "trample on the principles of the First Amendment" unless they're being compelled to do so by government actors. Second, nothing "big tech" does harms "free speech, freedom of thought and belief, free assembly and the open exchange of ideas." You can still do that all over the internet. You just can't force one particular site to host your nonsense if they feel it violates their policies.

Republicans like Hagerty used to talk up the importance of private property rights, but apparently that goes out the window when Facebook decides it doesn't want Nazis and conspiracy theorists on its property any more.

Finally, "hold these corporations accountable" for what, exactly? They have every right to run their own private property the way they want to. They cannot be compelled to host speech they do not feel they wish to host.

Today, I’m introducing the 21st Century Foundation for the Right to Express and Engage in Speech Act (or the 21st Century FREE Speech Act), which would restore the Bill of Rights—rather than the whims of big companies—as the guide for what Americans can say or hear in today’s public square.

Amusingly, in searching for the actual text of this bill, I initially couldn't find anything. I could only find (1) this WSJ op-ed, and (2) Bill Hagerty promoting the bill on... Twitter and Facebook, two of the "big tech" platforms he complains are censoring his speech. Eventually I found a copy of the bill not on the government website where it should be posted, but on Scribd... yet another private social media company. I've uploaded a copy to Document Cloud for easier access.

However, for someone who has a law degree (does Vanderbilt offer refunds?), he sure seems confused about the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights protects against government intrusion of our rights -- and that includes the right not to have the government compel speech. This bill is not about "restoring the Bill of Rights" it's about violating it. Companies have always had the right to determine what speech is on their platform. It's why the NY Times won't ever publish my op-ed about how "Bill Hagerty Is A Bad Senator Who Hates The Bill of Rights."

The modern public square is dominated by ubiquitous platforms facing little meaningful competition. Instead of being accountable to consumers or voters, the companies that dominate communication today use opaque, inconsistent practices to control the information Americans get to see and discuss. As Justice Clarence Thomas noted in a recent Supreme Court opinion, common carriers—such as trains or phone networks, which are essential to everyday goings-on, connecting people and information—have historically been subject “to special regulations, including a general requirement to serve all comers” without discrimination. The same logic should apply today to Big Tech.

Each paragraph seems to stuff itself with more wrong than the previous one. First of all, if the issue is "little meaningful competition," then the answer should be to focus on increasing competition, not putting on even more regulations that would lock in today's largest players. But, of course, even the idea that they face "little meaningful competition" is laughable. As you start looking at just how many players there are in the realm of today's "public square," you've got Facebook (including Instagram and WhatsApp), YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok, Discord, Clubhouse, Medium, Substack, Imgur, Vimeo, DailyMotion and many, many more. And if none of those work for you, you can set up your own blog or your own website. Just the fact that in the past couple of years TikTok, Clubhouse, Zoom, Discord, and Substack and a bunch of others have all basically come out of nowhere and built up a huge audience certainly suggests that there remains plenty of openings for competition.

We've already responded to Clarence Thomas's bizarre unbriefed musings, but let's dig in a little deeper on this whole "common carrier" idea. The nature of common carriers is entirely different from the nature of social media. Common carriers tend to be (1) commodity style services (such that replacing one with another leads to basically the same service) that (2) transport goods/people/information from one place to another. Neither condition applies to social media. Every social media site is different from one another, and you can't just swap out one for the other. It's not a commodity style service. Indeed, since social media is about community, each site takes a different approach to try to attract the community they want. They're not offering up a utility style service. Second, they are (for the most part!) hosting content, rather than just transmitting it from one location to the other. If you're transmitting, then the arguments for common carrier regulations are stronger, but if you're hosting, it just doesn't make any sense.

Finally, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Bill Haggerty opposes net neutrality (these days, basically all Republicans do). Yet, with net neutrality (involving commodity services and data transport) there is a much stronger common carrier argument. So it's bizarre to see him suggesting this here where it does not make any sense. Indeed, in looking at the text of the actual bill, it explicitly excludes broadband providers! So, this just doubles down on how full of shit this bill is. It tries to impose common carrier obligations on those who don't meet the definition, but explicitly excludes the companies that do meet the definition and which are significantly less competitive than social media!

Unfortunately, our laws haven't kept pace with this technological reality. The statutes governing free speech and the free exchange of ideas online haven't been updated in a quarter-century. Since it was passed in 1996, Section 230 has been stretched from its original intent—the promotion of the free exchange of ideas online—into a license for companies like Facebook and Twitter to censor.

Again, the exact intent of 230, as explained multiple times by its co-authors, including Republican Chris Cox, was to encourage companies to actively moderate their websites to create family friendly communities. Hell, the bill itself was in response to the Prodigy ruling, in which a judge said that by doing any moderation, the "family friendly" Prodigy became liable for any content that was left up. Cox worried that this would fill the internet with garbage, and make it unusable by children, because websites would avoid any moderation. So, the paragraph above is just wrong historically.

In recent months, these platforms have effectively smothered newspaper stories that they found inconvenient for their loudest users’ preferred candidates.

This is not true. (1) They did not "smother" those newspaper stories, and the actions taken by the platforms got those stories much more attention. (2) The reasons those stories were stopped from sharing was due to legitimate concerns that they violated platform policies -- and had nothing to do with any "preferred candidate."

Big Tech companies have silenced mainstream American political figures, while leaving up Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s account, even as he tweets hateful things, including calls to “eliminate Israel” and discussions of how to do so. These platforms have censored and editorialized with blatant political bias—writing progressive ideology into their content policies or scrubbing dissent against Covid lockdowns off their sites. Moderate and conservative viral content is suppressed. Twitter blocked the account of the New York Post over its reporting on Hunter Biden, while Amazon removed from its streaming service an acclaimed documentary on Justice Thomas during Black History Month. Implicit in these censorship practices is an apparent belief that Big Tech has the right to shape what Americans can learn and believe—a totalitarian concept that runs contrary to U.S. values.

There's a lot of selective cherry-picking in here that ignores tons of stories on the other side. It ignores the times the platforms have bent over backwards to give online trolls and rabble rousers extra space to avoid being called out for "bias." It ignores all the times the platforms have taken down people for other policy violations. And it reframes every one of these stories to avoid explaining why the content and users in question violated long standing policies that the platforms had in place for useful reasons.

My bill would (1) abolish Section 230, (2) treat Big Tech—defined as any interactive computer service platform with more than 100 million active monthly users world-wide—like a common carrier that must provide reasonable, nondiscriminatory access to all consumers, and (3) prohibit political censorship by Big Tech.

(1) Would lock in the power of big tech by making it nearly impossible for newcomers to be able to withstand the legal liability of hosting 3rd party content -- which would directly undermine Hagerty's own claims of how the real problem is a lack of competition. (2) Would, again, lock in those big providers and guarantee that those sites become unusable as they would fill sites with spam, hate, harassment, bigotry, porn, and more. (3) Would violate the 1st Amendment.

Other than that, Senator, have you got any other stupid ideas?

In addition to not discriminating against political opinions their employees personally dislike, social-media companies should be required to provide basic consumer transparency regarding their products, given that many Americans rely on them for news and information. The 21st Century FREE Speech Act would require platforms to disclose their content management and moderation practices to users, so that consumers can understand and better manage the information they receive.

Every one of these websites already has publicly accessible user policies and releases transparency reports. But if being a website that Americans "rely on for news and information" is the characteristic here -- will this bill also require that Fox News release a transparency report regarding how it chooses which stories and which guests to put on air? Or nah?

The 21st Century FREE Speech Act would abolish Section 230 in favor of a liability protection framework that marries that section’s original intent with the practical implications of the enormous technological change that has ensued over the past 25 years. Liability protection would remain in place for third-party speech and family-friendly moderation of specifically defined obscene or lewd content, without providing limitless special protection for platforms’ own speech and viewpoint censorship. This legislation provides the liability protection necessary to spur continued innovation, without giving companies carte blanche to censor speech on political, religious, or other grounds.

Oh, I see. You're creating a policy that treats different speech differently. Which is pretty clearly not allowed under the 1st Amendment. You must have learned about it at law school.

Ultimately, the 21st Century FREE Speech Act is about promoting free speech, thought and exchange of ideas.

Compelling speech -- including abuse, hate, and harassment -- is the opposite of promoting free speech.

As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. , put it in a 1919 Supreme Court opinion concerning the censorship issue of his day, the prosecution of printers of an anti-U.S. leaflet during World War I: “The theory of our Constitution” is that “the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas” and “the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.”

And yet, your bill would kill off this market, and refuse to allow private companies to create spaces where speakers feel free to say what they want.

This freedom to think, discuss and determine one’s own beliefs is the foundation of American liberty and opportunity. Washington can’t allow Twitter and Facebook to eliminate these freedoms. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to ensure they are preserved.

And this bill does the opposite of that. We also owe our children and grandchildren not to have Congress mock the 1st Amendment with bills like yours.

As for the actual bill, it's even dumber than I expected. It limits moderation protections to a very narrow class of content, and then puts ridiculous (easily unconstitutional) limits on those. It says you can only moderate "obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, promoting self-harm, or unlawful" content. At first, I thought this meant that all spam must be allowed, but in the clarifications, the bill notes that spam can be moderated as "harassing" content... which is bizarre.

The bill also includes a ridiculous private right of action, that would allow any user to sue any website if the person is "aggrieved" by a moderation choice, and can ask a court to get an injunction, barring the moderation decision and award $500. Holy shit. Every single website would immediately shut down their comments (including ours). This is wildly unconstitutional. For all of Hagerty's high and mighty talk about the 1st Amendment, this is a massive infringement upon the 1st Amendment rights of anyone operating a website (not to mention their own private property rights).

There have been so many bad and unconstitutional attempts to change and reform 230, but this one is just completely disconnected from reality. The people of Tennessee deserve better. Elect better Senators, people.

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Filed Under: 1st amendment, bill hagerty, common carriers, compelled speech, content moderation, free speech, net neutrality, private property, section 230


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  • identicon
    coandco, 27 Apr 2021 @ 12:22pm

    Typo

    Quick grammar note -- when you said this:

    as long as they (1) claim their owning the libs, and (2) pretend that they're tearing up the Constitution to save the Constitution.

    The context suggests that you meant to say "they're owning the libs".

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 12:32pm

    It's A Public Forum

    First off, the 1st Amendment protects against government intrusions into speech, and so it's literally impossible for "Big Tech" to "trample on the principles of the First Amendment" unless they're being compelled to do so by government actors.

    It doesn't matter who does the trampling, whether it's a government agency, a school, the police, or a corporation. We value the concept of free speech in general, so when tech companies build an internet free speech zone, the corporations should be held to the same standard as government. They ought not become more powerful.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 12:32pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Glen, 27 Apr 2021 @ 12:36pm

        Re:

        Why to you continue to peddle that bullshit?

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

        • icon
          Samuel Abram (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:13pm

          Re: Re:

          Take it up with a Justice Trump appointed, Republican senators voted for, and Democratic senators voted against in unison.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:32pm

          Re: Re:

          "that bullshit" = legally binding court decisions

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 1:36am

          Re: Re:

          "Why to you continue to peddle that bullshit?"

          You mean 1A? Yeah, I can see how that is "bullshit" in the eyes of modern "conservatives" of the alt-right.

          It doesn't matter how many hoops your right-wing echo chamber tries to pull this concept through but social media today, as before, is private property. Not public.

          And the right wing going full commie while telling people that a private venue which gets too popular must be seized by the state by abolishing the 1A right of association of the platform owners...just isn't going to change that.

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          • identicon
            Glen, 28 Apr 2021 @ 6:07am

            Re: Re: Re:

            My bullshit comment is aimed at Kolby. He continues to beat a dead horse.

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 1:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The curse of the misplaced reply, one that has struck many here. As for why Koby keeps whaling away at that horse it's because reality doesn't agree with his position/argument so if he wants to keep making it bullshit is all he's got.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Apr 2021 @ 2:15am

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "My bullshit comment is aimed at Kolby. He continues to beat a dead horse."

              So i noted, belatedly.

              If all Koby did was beat a dead horse I'd feel he was less repulsive. His entire argumentation revolves around the idea that you shouldn't be allowed to set your own terms as to who gets and does not get to stay in your house or squat on your lawn.

              And there's no way he doesn't know this. His persistent attempts at undermining property rights and the right of association is because he's not just friends with the KKK and neo-nazi crowd he wants to invite into the places where saner people gather - he's one of them.

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

          • icon
            sumgai (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 2:34pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            .... alt right

            Ah, yes, the walking poster-boys for neonatal abortion, who aren't fit to be considered as even sitting the bleachers/cheap seats of right field... they're not even in the ball park, they're out in the parking lot, tailgate partying and telling each other that the losers are the ones inside the ballpark. We can thank Kelly Ann Conway for "alternate facts", which lead to "alt right", which is about as close to a correct label as one can get.

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 2:56pm

              Alt-right

              The Alt-Right was a voting bloc organized by Steve Bannon comprising of a number of online groups, including from 4Chan, the gamergaters, the manosphere, Incels and so on, essentially the sexually frustrated young white-ish male community, and while they thrived on QAnon-style accepted fictions, they were way ahead of Kelly Ann Conway.

              The Alt-Right were the ones who doubled down on voting for Trump after the Access Hollywood open mic scandal, and were the ones driven to loyalty by rightwingers owning the libs.

              They were also the recruitment fodder for the White Supremacist groups that are vying for power and organizing for the GOP in 2021. So when Marjorie Taylor Greene is talking about Jewish Space Lasers, that's totally an appeal to the Alt-Right and its descendant voting blocs.

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              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Apr 2021 @ 3:20am

                Re: Alt-right

                "So when Marjorie Taylor Greene is talking about Jewish Space Lasers, that's totally an appeal to the Alt-Right and its descendant voting blocs."

                MTG may, in fact, be one of the morons actually believing the Qanon crap. Her history before and during politics doesn't exactly conjure the image of a well-adjusted thinker.

                No, the real appeal to the alt-right was during the CPAC when the GOP tried to dogwhistle in the Trumpers with a bullhorn in the form of a golden Trump statue, and the alt-right and white power crowd with rather more silent instruments - by peppering their talking points with calls to legacy and heritage, and proclaiming them from on top of a podium shaped like a symbol recognizable to every neo-nazi in the US as the old SS symbol of racial purity. The one which US neo-nazis use in lieu of the swastika these days.

                With the democrat tent now big enough to cater to anything from outright marxism to classical 1950's-type conservative ideology it's left very few sane people for the new GOP.

                But hey, there is that block of US voters which no reasonable party wants to cater to -the 30%. The ones who applauded Cheney when he advocated torture, religious doom cultists looking to fix the "great disappointment", and the vast hordes of losers more interested in seeing the people they envy punished and dragged down rather than themselves raised.

                That's the modern GOP. Or as we might as well call it, GQP.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 11:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "We can thank Kelly Ann Conway for "alternate facts", which lead to "alt right""

              Not really. The term "alt right" was coined by Richard Spencer, a Nazi who realised that branding themselves as something other than Nazis would help them get wider traction. It spiralled well beyond him as soon as white supremacists and their sympathisers got into office, but it was definitely around before Trump's time.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Apr 2021 @ 3:54am

          Re: Re:

          Asked the clueless rando.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2021 @ 12:50pm

      Re: It's A Public Forum

      Hey Koby, if you don't like McDonald's hamburgers, then go to Burger King. Just don't ask the gov't to force McD's to make Burger King's hamburgers.

      Also, I hope you are getting payed a lot of money to be this fucking stupid.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2021 @ 5:49pm

        Re: Re: It's A Public Forum

        Also, I hope you are getting payed a lot of money to be this fucking stupid.

        Stupid labor is cheap labor. If they're dumb enough to peddle your bullshit, they're dumb enough to get cheated for it. Best of all, they're usually the sort to proudly claim that they're not being paid and are being stupid due to some independent ideological idealism.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 1:18am

        Re: Re: It's A Public Forum

        Koby's lunacy is more like he's upset that a vegan restaurant refuses to serve him prime rib, and is demanding that they throw out all their vegan customers in order to server his carnivore friends.

        Hell, some of his arguments are analogous to him demanding that Jiffy Lube serve him the steak, and he's angry and confused at all the people laughing at the suggestion. All the time when there's a perfectly good steakhouse on the other side of the street, he's just angry that there's more people getting their tyres changed than there are meat eaters at that time of day.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 1:42am

          Re: Re: Re: It's A Public Forum

          "Koby's lunacy is more like he's upset that a vegan restaurant refuses to serve him prime rib, and is demanding that they throw out all their vegan customers in order to server his carnivore friends."

          If only. Although he'd still be dead wrong he could at least try to argue that meat products are, to some degree, healthy. I'd have more sympathy if his devoted defense of his friends "right" to be allowed in was just on behalf of controversial speech. He'd still be dead wrong but I'd have sympathy.

          In this case, however, the analogy is that he wants the vegan restaurant to cater to coprophages. The "speech" he wants everyone to be forced to host isn't about taxes, wealth division, or philosophy.

          It's about whether or not the owner of a house, bar or online platform gets to evict the people standing in a corner singing "Die Fahne Hoch..." and screaming "Go back to africa, <N-word>".

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 12:54pm

      Re: It's A Public Forum

      It doesn't matter who does the trampling, whether it's a government agency, a school, the police, or a corporation.

      Uh, it very much matters. A public school, the police, and a government agency... are all the government. And the government has the power to tax and jail and actually prevent speech.

      A corporation does not. A corporation has rights over its own property and cannot be compelled to host speech it does not agree with.

      We value the concept of free speech in general

      Koby, am I allowed to come into your living room and scream at you day and night about what an ignorant fool you are?

      so when tech companies build an internet free speech zone, the corporations should be held to the same standard as government

      Let me put this in terms you might understand: if a "woke mob" comes into your local restaurant and berates customers for not being woke enough, can the restaurant owner ask them to stop bothering customers or otherwise tell them to leave?

      Yes, of course they can. And that's the same as social media companies telling you and your friends to stop being assholes and bothering others.

      And, now, Koby, I'm going to do the same: stop being an ignorant fool and continuing to repost nonsense here or I will ask you to leave and go somewhere else.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        Koby (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:23pm

        Re: Re: It's A Public Forum

        Koby, am I allowed to come into your living room and scream at you day and night about what an ignorant fool you are?

        If I were to make my living room a public forum, then yes. Social media ought to fall under common carrier law. It's the same as practically any other utility such as telephone service. It can be privately maintained behind the scenes, yet still a public good.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:27pm

          Social media ought to fall under common carrier law. It's the same as practically any other utility such as telephone service.

          Did…did you not read even one word of that comment I posted above with the words of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court saying otherwise?

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          • icon
            Samuel Abram (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:28pm

            Re:

            Let alone one appointed by Trump and hated by liberals and leftists and loved by conservatives.

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

          • identicon
            Christenson, 27 Apr 2021 @ 2:35pm

            Re: Binding Precedent!

            And...it's binding precedent, too... even if I think Kavanaugh is a problem drinker and a privileged abuser or former abuser.

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

          • identicon
            Rocky, 27 Apr 2021 @ 3:34pm

            Re: Faith-based politics

            Why should he read anything that might show him that he's wrong when he can just wallow in ignorance while whining how unfairly he and his ilk are treated when they spout lies and being assholes in general. He's emotionally invested in being right regardless of the facts, and because of that he can't see the obvious consequences of what he is arguing for.

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Apr 2021 @ 3:28am

            Re:

            "Did…did you not read even one word of that comment I posted above..."

            No. No, he did not.

            It's useless to debate Koby because he isn't here to argue in good faith. He's here to desperately try to build a case that if the bar owner tries to evict the neo-nazis the government should seize that bar and force the owner to host those neo-nazis.

            He's saying that if a private space is popular enough the government needs to declare it a public space.

            In short, he wants the constitution rewritten so 1A just says "everyone gets to speak and everyone must be forced to listen".

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

        • icon
          Samuel Abram (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's A Public Forum

          If I were to make my living room a public forum, then yes.

          Let's use a different analogy then. Should 7-11 not have the right to kick you out if you violate their "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Mask, No Service" policy?

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 4:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It's A Public Forum

            Alternatively should a church be allowed to kick someone out for coming in during services(or just whenever the building is open) and swearing at the congregation and calling them all fools(or worse, preaching a different religion)?

            It's private property that has been opened to the public where a lot of people congregate after all, and if that's all that it takes then it sure seems like they should be forced to allow someone like that to speak, and if the congregation or the ones who own the church don't like it then I'd say they'd be out of luck as it's only right that the government step in and force them to respect the 'free speech' of the one swearing at them.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 1:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's A Public Forum

              That's a reasonable analogy. Demanding that sites host Nazis and homophobes against the wishes of the community is pretty much like forcing a church to host a crowd of Satanists who keep interrupting mass with calls to the black arts. Yet, somehow, I don't think these people think of it like that, because that would require admitting that they're the Satanists in this analogy.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 3:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's A Public Forum

          "If I were to make my living room a public forum, then yes"

          So, you're OK with losing your private property rights if you invite a bunch of people back to yours after a night out? Weird, but I don't see why that applies to everyone else.

          "It's the same as practically any other utility such as telephone service."

          You would feel reall stupid after people listed the massive differences between a private platform and a utility, if you weren't so insistent on lying about them.

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        • icon
          JMT (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 5:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's A Public Forum

          "If I were to make my living room a public forum, then yes."

          At what point exactly did Twitter for example change from being a privately owned company to a public forum? Was it on a particular date? At a certain age? Number of users? The first time Dorsey carelessly let the words 'free speech' slip from his lips?

          What you're claiming is absolute legal nonsense. I could make a stronger argument that gravity goes sideways.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2021 @ 5:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's A Public Forum

          Social media ought to fall under common carrier law. It's the same as practically any other utility such as telephone service.

          Social media isn't even close to a utility. It uses a utility, that being internet service providers such as Cox, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Level 3, and so on.

          Twitter, a private company, using ISP utilities to offer their services to the public is similar to Walmart, a private company, using the local power company to offer their services to the public. If you got banned from Walmart, you could still go to Target. If you got banned from Twitter, you could still go to Facebook. The same could not be said for getting banned from your electric company.

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        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 9:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's A Public Forum

          Koby, I will note that you ignored all my comment and only responded to one point by misstating everything. You're not good at this, Koby. You look foolish.

          If I were to make my living room a public forum, then yes.

          You ignored my hypothetical about the restaurant. Is that not a "public forum"?

          And speaking of "public forums" what makes something a public forum in your book?

          Social media ought to fall under common carrier law. It's the same as practically any other utility such as telephone service. It can be privately maintained behind the scenes, yet still a public good.

          I explained in the post why social media is NOTHING like a standard utility. It is not providing a commodity service, and it is not merely transmitting something. That makes it unlike nearly every utility.

          You don't address that, you just say "nuh uh."

          That's not convincing Koby. Koby, you're talking to people who know what they're talking about, not the idiots you seem to surround yourself with.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 1:50am

          Re: Re: Re: It's A Public Forum

          "If I were to make my living room a public forum, then yes."

          It always amuses me how, when challenged on fact, the alt-right has no other recourse than to double down on being stupid.

          Koby, there is only one way for you to turn your living room into a public forum. You need to donate your house to the city, giving away all rights to it.

          Up until then what you have is your own property from which you are free to change the rules on who gets to enter and who must leave based entirely on your own judgment.

          "Social media ought to fall under common carrier law."

          No more than bars, restaurants, or coffee shops should.

          "It's the same as practically any other utility such as telephone service."

          It's not. This has been debated by legal experts for well over a century and the verdict has long come in on that score. To be a utility certain iron-cast criteria need to be fulfilled, none of which are fulfilled by a private platform merely being popular.

          If you ever do get your wish and 230 goes away be advised that the first thing which happens is that none of your friends ever gets to post another message online, anywhere. No one will take the risk of hosting you. Inconvenient for us liberals perhaps. The end of the road for you people.

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        • icon
          Bluegrass Geek (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 7:23am

          Re: Re: Re: It's A Public Forum

          If I were to make my living room a public forum, then yes.

          How the hell would you "make" your living room a public forum? You don't get to make that designation. It's a legal designation, declared by the government. Are you saying you're going to donate your living room to the government?

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 8:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It's A Public Forum

            "How the hell would you "make" your living room a public forum? You don't get to make that designation."

            Neither do Twitter or Facebook, yet that's the basis of his argument...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:31pm

      Re: It's A Public Forum

      We value the concept of free speech in general

      Who's we? And the concept of free speech outside of government non-interference is not enshrined in law, so it's powerless in this context anyway. And, even if it were, free speech isn't served by forcing private companies to host speech they don't want to host. That's the same right you have not to be compelled to say things you don't believe or want to say. You're literally advocating against free speech.

      so when tech companies build an internet free speech zone

      Which none of them have done...

      the corporations should be held to the same standard as government.

      Oh fuck no. If you want corporations to be held to the same standard as government, you're either advocating for the corporations becoming a de facto government or getting nationalized. Neither is a good idea.

      They ought not become more powerful.

      The power of the large social media companies is in the users who choose to use those platforms. You're literally trying to punish users for their free choice of using particular platforms by changing the nature of those platforms.

      You're an authoritarian trying to micromanage the exercise of free speech by the users.

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

    • icon
      Bloof (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 2:43pm

      Re: It's A Public Forum

      Feel free to quote the line in the constitution where it says that you are guaranteed the right to the largest available audience for your free speech.

      If you start yelling the n-word in a shopping mall, you will be asked to leave. If you start ranting about immigrants in the middle of a cinema, you will be asked to leave. If you start swearing at the top of your lungs in your neighbour's living room, you will be asked to leave and you know why, because being a conservative is not a magical 'get your own way' card. You are subject to the same rules of conduct as everyone else, the main difference is that in real life, they're usually unwritten but online, on moderated platforms they're laid out in black and white and conservatives have to follow them or be ejected, just the same as everyone else.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 3:00pm

      Re: It's A Public Forum

      "It doesn't matter who does the trampling, whether it's a government agency, a school, the police, or a corporation"

      One of those is governed differently according to your constitution. Guess which one?

      " We value the concept of free speech in general"

      Which includes the right to free association, the right you constantly try to remove from people you disagree with.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2021 @ 12:45pm

    Does "big tech" prevent you...

    prohibit political censorship by Big Tech.

    Let's just assume he means something other than censorship... but let's think about this a bit more...
    How exactly are any of these "Big Tech" companies preventing you from setting up a web site?
    Do they have someone watching over your shoulder preventing you from doing so?
    Are they secretly feeding you mind control drugs that prevent you from learning anything about setting up a web site?
    I'm curious... because for me, I'm the only one stopping me from putting up a web site and having a voice on the internet (well, me and money)

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

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:15pm

      Re: Does "big tech" prevent you...

      If Haggerty were referring to Amazon Web Services, he'd have a point, but as with Republicans these days, they don't know what they're up against.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2021 @ 12:45pm

    question forSenator Bill Hagerty

    When you hire a venue to deliver a speech you are creating a (temporary) public forum, so are you still allowed to eject hecklers so that you can deliver your speech and answer questions? If so, why cant social media do the same to those heckling people trying to hold a conversation on their platforms?

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

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 5:05pm

      Re: question forSenator Bill Hagerty

      More to the point, the venue can kick you out any time they want if you break their rules, your temporary public forum be damned.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2021 @ 12:47pm

    Just thought I would drop this here.... Josh Hawley promoting his new book "The Tyranny of Big Tech"

    Just 8 days until the launch of the book the Left tried to cancel and suppress! It’s all about #BigTech’s attempt to run our government and our lives - with big help from the Left. Order now!

    Being sold on Amazon, posted on Twitter, using his Apple iPhone.

    It's sad that the republican party has to appeal to the lowest common denominator of the American populous... IE the rubes who are too ignorant to think for themselves.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:00pm

      Hypocrisy of his railing against Big Tech while using Big Tech aside…

      the book the Left tried to cancel and suppress

      …what evidence could he possibly provide for this claim other than people (rightfully) calling him (among other things) an ignorant fool?

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      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:18pm

        Re:

        I'm still firm in my belief that Josh Hawley knows better and is appealing to the lowest common denominator rather than being obtuse.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:31pm

          Re: Re:

          It is probably a BrainBlender™ ad. I can only assume Hawkley has started partaking

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

          • icon
            sumgai (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 2:18pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            ..... started partaking.

            Not only has he tried it, he not only inhaled - deeply - he's now addicted to it. It being self-proclaimed fame. Of course, the public in general views it more as 'notoriety' than as fame, but that's not gonna stop him.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 4:23pm

        Re:

        I imagine that will be the majority of it, as there are no more fragile and delicate lot than the 'fuck your feelings' crowd, making telling them they're wrong only barely above physically assaulting them and trying to intimidate them into silence.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2021 @ 12:58pm

    "...restore the Bill of Rights—rather than the whims of big companies—as the guide for what Americans can say or hear in today’s public square."

    Not sure how "Big Tech" suppresses speech, but if you want to look at governments, "Big Oil", and a host of other powerful sectors (along with corporate-government collusion when that occurs), feel free to do so.

    Moderate and conservative viral content is suppressed.
    ehm.
    viral content is suppressed
    Paradoxymoron much?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:03pm

    And Anyone Upset With Moderation Choices Should Be Able To Sue

    What a lovely catch22, especially as no moderation is a moderation choice, so the only way to win is not to allow comments. Why does he not just call it the shutting down the Internet bill?

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

  • identicon
    Eric, 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:04pm

    Ughh - can't post on hagerty's website

    What the hell...Bill Hagerty is not giving me the ability to post 'Bill Hagerty is a tool' on his team hagerty website! And he calls himself a free speech proponent...

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:14pm

      Posting "Bill Hagerty is a tool"

      Yeah, once they enforce free speech on private webforums it will be the Bill Hagerty really loves Big Ned's New Discount Boner Pills! (And you will too!) messages that will really hoist him on his own petard.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:11pm

    Logic

    Cant post on Twitter.
    Time to spend millions on a lawyer for 25 words or less.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:32pm

    New Plan

    Twitter should allow every racist, bigot, toxic asshole, etc. to use their platform, but instead of sending out their tweets, it should do nothing with them. And I don’t mean shadowbanning them like Reddit does with spammers, but just when they hit that submit button, it does nothing more than clear the form and say “tweeted.”

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:44pm

    Blatant hypocrisy from a republican, must be a day ending in Y

    So it's bizarre to see him suggesting this here where it does not make any sense. Indeed, in looking at the text of the actual bill, it explicitly excludes broadband providers!

    Damn, usually they just ignore how their arguments apply much more to broadband than it does social media platforms but looks like he decided to make it explicitly clear not only that he absolutely loathes the first amendment or at the very least doesn't understand the first thing about it, but that he's also a raging hypocrite.

    Claims that online platforms are violating the first amendment and free speech, something that is wrong on both counts, and then proposes a bill that actually would violate both of them, ah fractal wrongness and open dishonestly in legal form, truly the best use of time and government resources.

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  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 2:22pm

    Because if there's one thing america needs more of, it's frivolous lawsuits by conservative karens over perceived slights.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 5:40pm

    I have an amendment to my horse-whipping lying Congress people l

    When they put out some performance art like this, that even Clarence Thomas can see is unconstitutional, they need to be punished for violating their oath to protect & defend the Constitution.

    Its sad that the nation has become more obsessed with imaginary problems while stepping over homeless people on our streets.

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

  • icon
    Griffdog (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 9:53am

    Go ahead, create a Government run free-speech site. I dare you

    If these rabble-rousing representatives of the gullible populace wish to have a site that cannot censor speech, they should create a Government web site or a twittering equivalent. Can't see any reason why that wouldn't work out splendidly for everyone. An irony would be that they'd probably want to pay a commercial service to host the site, but none would want the contract due the the illegal content, as shown recently with Parler.
    Of course, such a site isn't really needed, since there are major news outlets of every stripe that seem willing to publish any effluvium that spills from the mouths of the willfully ignorant.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 1:20pm

      'Look at the time, it's not-me-here-o-clock.'

      Any government official who tries to rag on social media for 'censoring and silencing!' should be faced with that dare just for the entertainment of watching them squirm and try desperately to change the subject because they'd never do it, as it would show inside a week how vital moderation is and how insanely stupid the idea of 'leaving up all speech that's not illegal' is in practice.

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

  • icon
    Lostinlodos (profile), 1 May 2021 @ 10:46am

    I still can’t figure out why the Left and Right can’t find a middle ground here!
    230 isn’t the problem. Abuse of moderation is.

    The issue shouldn’t be about modification of free speech intents and protections but a focus on the moderation of it.

    Rather than attack 230 these politicians should be going after the companies that abuse it.

    Republicans should focus on the the violent rhetoric that has been posted on Twitter and Facebook over the last 2 years. Put together a task group. Study the problem. And bring charges

    Repealing 230 isn’t going to solve the problem of anti-republican censorship nor the massive amount of “progressive” racism and anarchism that is much a problem today.

    Parler got tossed for the internet when a tiny group of bad actors trespassed on government property. A number of those people have been documented as anti-trump btw. Twitter should face the same thing when all the anti-police protests turn violent.

    They have a tool to hold these companies accountable with 240. Why they won’t use it… ? No idea.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 1 May 2021 @ 2:50pm

      Re:

      Rather than attack 230 these politicians should be going after the companies that abuse it.

      "Abuse it" how? Anything that tells companies how they moderate is effectively telling companies what editorial discretion they can have, and that's a blatant 1st Amendment violation.

      Given your statements here, how would you feel if the Democratically controlled Congress told Fox News that it could no longer present its news in such a fashion and had to "balance" it with Democratic talking points, claiming they had "abused" their moderation by only siding with Republican talking points? You'd find that offensive to the 1st Amendment.

      And it is. Just as much as your suggestion that Congress should step in and determine how a private company moderates.

      Repealing 230 isn’t going to solve the problem of anti-republican censorship nor the massive amount of “progressive” racism and anarchism that is much a problem today.

      Lol. Yeah, because there is no such thing as "anti-Republican censorship". And, lol, that "anarchism" is a problem today. You've just outed yourself as a delusional fool.

      Parler got tossed for the internet when a tiny group of bad actors trespassed on government property.

      First off, Parler is back. Second, it got tossed for violating policies of the companies they relied on.

      A number of those people have been documented as anti-trump btw.

      Lol. Get out of your stupidity bubble, buddy.

      Twitter should face the same thing when all the anti-police protests turn violent.

      Uh, no, because the violence isn't why Parler got booted. It's lack of a plan for moderation is. Twitter has a moderation plan. So it's not violating anyone's policies.

      They have a tool to hold these companies accountable with 240. Why they won’t use it… ? No idea.

      Wut?

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        Lostinlodos (profile), 1 May 2021 @ 4:30pm

        Re: Re:

        Sites like Twitter have allowed anti police calls to violence to stay posted. Have allowed raciest anti-white hate speech to propagate unchecked, and have openly given extremists such as those with ANTIFA a platform while cutting out any balanced retort. At least parler informed law enforcement about violent intent when it was found.

        It may surprise you to hear I don’t regularly watch Fox News. It’s to far to the right for my taste. I actually think both fox and CNN should either remove news from their name or cut out the commentary. However they don’t abuse their power. They allow Democrats to come on their shows and say their points regularly. I don’t much like the majority of their commentary but at least they present the issues.

        The rest of what you say is typical progressive news points.
        You can call it any term you want. Republicans are silenced on most of the leading social sites. Justification doesn’t change results.
        That anti-republican Antifa-types were part of the capital incursion is documented fact. Even if MANBCNN doesn’t want to cover it.

        Yes, if Twitter allows illegal calls to violence to stand on their platform they should rightly be considered an accessory.

        The twitter issues here are their own site’s TOS.
        “ Terrorism/violent extremism: You may not threaten or promote terrorism or violent extremism”
        “ Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease”
        And yet calls to violence are rarely removed. When they are the actors carry on!
        “ Burn it all down. I’m choosing violence” ? That should have the user immediately turned over to federal officials. (It wasn’t)
        “Minneapolis Will Burn If Chauvin Walks"
        Etc.
        Direct calls by left wing anarchists for violent illegal activities!

        It is not I that is stuck in a bubble.

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 1 May 2021 @ 11:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sites like Twitter have allowed anti police calls to violence to stay posted. Have allowed raciest anti-white hate speech to propagate unchecked, and have openly given extremists such as those with ANTIFA a platform while cutting out any balanced retort. At least parler informed law enforcement about violent intent when it was found.

          You're cherry picking and ignoring context. i.e., You're full of shit. Lots of people get their tweets taken down across the board, and lots of content that people think should get taken down stays up. There is NO EVIDENCE whatsoever of any ideological bias. It's just the nature of content moderation.

          If you think that Parler alerted law enforcement to more violent intent than Twitter, you're too dumb to post on my site. Go dwell in the mud.

          It may surprise you to hear I don’t regularly watch Fox News

          You didn't respond to my question.

          The rest of what you say is typical progressive news points.

          Lol, wut?

          You can call it any term you want. Republicans are silenced on most of the leading social sites.

          No, they're not.

          Yes, if Twitter allows illegal calls to violence to stand on their platform they should rightly be considered an accessory.

          That's not how the law works.

          It is not I that is stuck in a bubble.

          If you're not in a bubble, then you are just dumber than a pile of rocks. Go somewhere else. I don't want your level of ignorance polluting my site.

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            icon
            Lostinlodos (profile), 2 May 2021 @ 10:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Nice of you to simply ignore the illegal aspects of the content left up.
            I didn’t say parler made “more” reports about anything. Did you intentionally make that up or are you just parroting your usual canned reply. I pointed to actual occurrences of illegal contact being left on the platform despite them being made aware of it.

            “You didn't respond to my question”
            Your question was invalid since fox regular offers Democrats a platform.
            No, I could care less if Congress decides to pass some legislation that made fox host more left wing talking points like disproven Russian conspiracies and gender falsehoods and other such nonsense.

            I may start watching again. It would be fun to watch them destroy such fake narratives more often.
            Would be a nice break from all the crap they cover about abortion this and prayer that.

            That’s exactly how the law works. Intentionally platforming illegal content.

            I do give you credit: you actually engage in discussion. Something not common in the media anymore.

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

            • icon
              Mike Masnick (profile), 2 May 2021 @ 5:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Nice of you to simply ignore the illegal aspects of the content left up.

              That's not how any of this works.

              I didn’t say parler made “more” reports about anything. Did you intentionally make that up or are you just parroting your usual canned reply. I pointed to actual occurrences of illegal contact being left on the platform despite them being made aware of it.

              You said Parler reported illegal content as evidence that it was somehow better than Twitter. And that's just laughable.

              The issue was that Amazon had rules regarding moderation. Parler refused to meet them. Twitter does. That's it.

              Twitter removes illegal content. Parler admitted it does not.

              Your question was invalid since fox regular offers Democrats a platform.

              Lol. No, they do not. Not nearly as much as the mainstream media does regarding GOP talking points. C'mon, dude. You honestly can't be this stupid.

              No, I could care less if Congress decides to pass some legislation that made fox host more left wing talking points

              I mean, dude, you were the one who started out THIS fucking thread insisting otherwise.

              disproven Russian conspiracies and gender falsehoods and other such nonsense.

              Ah, nice. Not only are you stupid, but you're an asshole bigot too.

              I may start watching again. It would be fun to watch them destroy such fake narratives more often.

              Lol. Troll.

              That’s exactly how the law works. Intentionally platforming illegal content.

              sigh what you described is not "illegal content" and where does the "intentionally" come in?

              I do give you credit: you actually engage in discussion. Something not common in the media anymore.

              No. I'm bored and mocking you is a way to waste time. Go back to whatever hole you crawled out of.

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              • icon
                Toom1275 (profile), 2 May 2021 @ 7:17pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                On no planet in this universe are Project Veritas's claims proven and Trump's Russian collusion disproven.

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

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 2 May 2021 @ 11:02pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Indeed not. Claims that nothing was found during the Mueller investigation are just proof that the person gets their news from the right-wing misinformation cycle rather than factual sources. Which, of course, neatly dovetails into the more laughable attempts at misinformation such as the blindingly obvious lies peddled by people like PV.

                  You can't be fooled with PV's videos unless you're already so deep in the lies that you think that multiple convictions, many warrants for the arrest of Russian colluders and outright statements from Mueller to the effect of "the only reason I'm not indicting Trump is because there's no legal standard for this kind of collusion" equal "nothing".

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 May 2021 @ 8:00am

      Re:

      "I still can’t figure out why the Left and Right can’t find a middle ground here!"

      Because the left wants moderation to take place based on factual correction and against hate speech. THis, imhoi, is not conducive to free speech.

      The right - or, rather, the alt-right, also known as white supremacists, bigots and generic racists, want government to force online platforms to not to kick them out when they disturb the other patrons.

      There is no middle ground here because you can find no middle ground between venal and corrupt yet relatively sane people and a horde of deranged racists who feel they are being oppressed because other private entities keep kicking them out for screaming about <N-word>s, satanic child trafficking cannibal rings, and jewish space lasers.

      "Republicans should focus on the the violent rhetoric that has been posted on Twitter and Facebook over the last 2 years."

      Why? That violent rhetoric was written by the most hardcore of the current republican base. You really expect them to upset the only people still persistently voting for them?

      "Parler got tossed for the internet when a tiny group of bad actors trespassed on government property. A number of those people have been documented as anti-trump btw."

      You know how we can all see where you're coming from? Thousands of people beating the doors down, planting pipe bombs, beating a police officer to death and storming through the halls of government chanting about the people they want to hang isn't a "tiny group". Nor mere trespassers. The official charge being levied against the leaders in that mob is bona fide sedition.

      Judging by the rest of your comment history we might as well just call you Koby 2.0 at this point.

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

  • icon
    Lostinlodos (profile), 1 May 2021 @ 11:13am

    I still can’t figure out why the Left and Right can’t find a middle ground here!
    230 isn’t the problem. Abuse of moderation is.

    The issue shouldn’t be about modification of free speech intents and protections but a focus on the moderation of it.

    Rather than attack 230 these politicians should be going after the companies that abuse it.

    Republicans should focus on the the violent rhetoric that has been posted on Twitter and Facebook over the last 2 years. Put together a task group. Study the problem. And bring charges

    Repealing 230 isn’t going to solve the problem of anti-republican censorship nor the massive amount of “progressive” racism and anarchism that is much a problem today.

    Parler got tossed for the internet when a tiny group of bad actors trespassed on government property. A number of those people have been documented as anti-trump btw. Twitter should face the same thing when all the anti-police protests turn violent.

    They have a tool to hold these companies accountable with 240. Why they won’t use it… ? No idea.

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

  • icon
    Lostinlodos (profile), 1 May 2021 @ 11:41am

    Censorship/moderation vs filtering and the web

    The author has conveniently lumped all of the user hosted sites under the term social media.
    Sites like DailyMotion and YouTube are video sites. Scribd Is a document hosting site (with surprisingly little censorship/moderation).
    FaceBook and MySpace are microblogs.
    Twitter and Parler are messaging sites.
    Reddit and Discord are bulletin boards.
    Each has its own set of needs.

    Compuserve survived as the longest running DU/ISP by being the least restrictive. Information was tagged and placed in appropriate categories but not moderated. The top layers were family friendly but anyone Ofer 18/21 could wonder into anything they wanted with a few minutes of searching.
    AOL was as big as it was for similar reasons. They didn’t host TOS violations but allowed pass through methods. First with gopher and usenet, later the open internet.

    230 was flawed when it was created; but tossing it isn’t the answer.
    Then again the irony of censorship’s results are quite funny. Every time something starts with “for the children” we wind up here eventually. What republicans call censorship and progressives call moderation I call by its base: selective pruning based on corporate ideology.

    Both sides are correct. Moderation /IS/ censorship. In its most basic terminology. Twitter has hosted calls to violence, hate speech, and racist anti-white rhetoric. They’ve allowed their platform to be utilised during riots for coordination of the rioters.
    They should be held accountable for it.

    Turning these services into common carriers isn’t the answer. I don’t know what is but these bills and attempts are not the way to solve the underlying problem.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2021 @ 12:53pm

      Re: Censorship/moderation vs filtering and the web

      The author has conveniently lumped all of the user hosted sites under the term social media.

      For a good reason, they are sites via which people hold conversations. Also, there are similar sites with much less moderation, where things that can't be said on say YouTube can be said, i.e. BitChute.

      At a fundamental level it is the speaker who has to attract an audience, and if they cannot attract a large audience they not entitled to ride on the coattails of those who have succeeded. The right wing attack on section 230 is not a demand for freedom of speech, they have that elsewhere on the Internet, but rather a means to force their way into, and dominate other people conversations.

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

      • icon
        Lostinlodos (profile), 1 May 2021 @ 1:50pm

        Re: Re: Censorship/moderation vs filtering and the web

        I do believe we’re in agreement.

        I’m pointing out though that there are different issues between various services. YouTube does very little in the way of censorship of content (beyond porn and violence).
        Where twitter is simply deleting things YouTube has a general system of throwing up waning messages. A huge difference.
        DailyMotion has very little censorship in practice.

        But the principal form of communication is very different.
        Lumping a texting service and a video service and a document service together as a single field is a bit problematic.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2021 @ 2:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: Censorship/moderation vs filtering and the web

          Lumping a texting service and a video service and a document service together as a single field is a bit problematic.

          Not at all, as there are people and communities that use twitter, FaceBook, Instagram, dedicated fora. and YouTube depending on immediate needs. Often twitter is the notification system, pictures and short videos via Instagram, and long form responses on YouTube and/or FaceBook.

          I’m pointing out though that there are different issues between various services.

          The various companies have chosen different ways of building and maintaining a user base. I do not see that as an issue, except to those whose intent is proselytising a political or religious viewpoint. In real life, people hold different conversations with different groups pf people, and there is no reason that it should be any different online.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 2 May 2021 @ 3:17am

          Re: Re: Re: Censorship/moderation vs filtering and the web

          "YouTube does very little in the way of censorship of content (beyond porn and violence)"

          You know, if your main claim is a laughably easy to disprove lie, it doesn't reflect well on the rest of your argument. Especially since so many of the "right" are the ones whining about YouTube "censorship" to begin with.

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

          • icon
            Lostinlodos (profile), 2 May 2021 @ 10:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Censorship/moderation vs filtering and the web

            That’s because many Republicans conflate censorship and moderation. There’s a difference between flagging/hiding and flat out censoring.
            YouTube has the right idea compared to twitter’s blanket delete policy.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Lostinlodos (profile), 2 May 2021 @ 6:21pm

    “ You said Parler reported illegal content as evidence that it was somehow better than Twitter.”
    You assumed that. I pointed out a couple of examples for illegal content above. Twitter claims to remove illegal content. Parler never claimed to host illegal content intentionally.

    “ you were the one who started out THIS fucking thread insisting otherwise”
    You’re quite mistaken.

    “ bigot too”
    Why, because I accept biology declares male, female, and hermaphroditism? That doesn’t make me a bigot. I also accept modern medicine has some ability to allow a person to modify their birth gender. But if you simply wan to wear women’s or men’s clothing that doesn’t change a physical gender. That’s a choice of projection, of appearance, not biological science. I don’t care how you live your life, I have an issue with declaring a gender you’re not. I have a problem with a 50yr old man squatting next to a 10yr girl in a women’s toilet. Or a 50yr old Woman next to a 10yr old boy in the men’s toilet. I have a problem with how quickly this can be abused. With the criminal potential. It’s not bigotry, it’s concern for the real world implications of crime.

    “ sigh what you described is not "illegal content" and where does the "intentionally" come in?”
    A declaration of violent intent is grounds for arrest in most of this country. Anyone who does so should face punishment. It’s illegal. Intentional is by not removing it after it is flagged by community reporting. If you believe the comment wasn’t flagged by the community I reported one myself.

    I draw a line between the moderation of sites like YouTube, DailyMotion, MySpace, Facebook in general, and the blanket banishing from existence twitter does.
    It’s one thing to add warnings, labels, tags, flags, etc. It’s another entirely to simply remove it from existence.

    If you place a book behind the counter for only those who request it your moderating it. If you delete the book in a bonfire your censoring.
    Twitter conducts digital bonfire burning.

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 2 May 2021 @ 7:19pm

      Re:

      When the entirety of efery ine of your arguments consists of hallucinations, deliberate lies, and torturedly false analogies, why does not trigger any self-reflection into how you got so detatched from reality?

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

  • icon
    Lostinlodos (profile), 3 May 2021 @ 9:26am

    Censorship and moderation can be separated.
    Again most video platforms do this quite well pushing notices and warnings. Placing an obstacle in the way.

    Twitter has a format it COULD use but rarely does. The notice that something contradicts it’s chosen sources.
    A method that has its own issues in stopping further discussion and blocking easy reposting.

    But they prefer censorship in the form of deletion.
    Censorship stifles discussion.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 3 May 2021 @ 11:15am

      Re:

      So, why don't you people stop whining and use sources that don't "censor"?

      Oh, yeah, because right-wing sites like Parler, Gab and Stormfront censor way more heavily than the ones you complain about, yet despite that don't get anywhere near as much of an audience as the ones you do.

      "Censorship stifles discussion."

      My local bar will kick you out if you start arguing about politics too heavily. Sometimes, people don't want your idea of a discussion while having a quiet pint - and there's not a problem with the bar owner asking the disruptive clients to leave if it's clear that the rest of the clients don't want to hear it.

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

      • icon
        Lostinlodos (profile), 3 May 2021 @ 1:23pm

        Re: Re:

        I tried parler. Not my thing. Appears to have attracted only the alt right.
        I’ve heard of gab. Never tried it though. No idea what storefront is.

        On the second point though that’s just it. It’s not /only/ “the right” getting fed up with media censorship.

        There’s obviously a void when your choice is alt right or alt left. The rest of us m, the vast majority the country, are left trying to pull some level of truth out of the partisan partials.

        One would hope some platform would allow discussion. Unfortunately the largest such platform, twitter, has taken to simply banishing anything they disagree with. Well within their rights as a private entity under current laws but not neutral. And I wonder if they should be allowed to gain protections for moderation, whilst acting as an active editor.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 3 May 2021 @ 10:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I tried parler. Not my thing. Appears to have attracted only the alt right.
          I’ve heard of gab. Never tried it though. No idea what storefront is."

          Parler and Gab are among numerous services that have been set up specifically to cater to the types of people whining about being kicked off Twitter and Facebook. If you dislike them, maybe you inadvertently agree with the rest of the communities on those platforms who wanted them kicked off?

          Stormfront is the original Nazi hangout where they all used to stay before they got a brief period of time on Twitter before they became so loud and obvious that they got kicked off.

          "There’s obviously a void when your choice is alt right or alt left"

          Lucky that's not the only choice, then. In fact, the vast majority on content on platforms not focussed on politcs a la Parler is not political at all, it's the people trying to force their politics into non-political arenas that tend to get their assess canned by mainstream platforms.

          "Well within their rights as a private entity under current laws but not neutral"

          There is no legal requirements for them to be neutral, and there's a real business motivation not to be neutral. Every right-.wing agitator they placate puts off people who don't want white supremacist trolls in their movie discussions (for example).

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2021 @ 1:09pm

      Re:

      Censorship stifles discussion.

      Is that code for I want to preach at people who do not want to listen?

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

  • icon
    Lostinlodos (profile), 4 May 2021 @ 12:52am

    Stormfront Et all. Ok, I misread the one and thanks for informing on the other. Alt right is no more my thing vs alt left or progressive. I’m a bit less than informed on that’s stuff. I’m not overly fond of “web2.0” in general. So I tend to generally be less informed on who offered what.

    I have a hard time getting past people posting photos of their breakfast. ;)

    Both YouTube and Reddit, in my opinion, generally has the right approach. Warnings. Flags. Tags. Down tanking listings.
    This very site has a good implementation. Hiding text but making it still accessible.
    I simply have a problem with censorship. Period. That is the removal/deletion/destruction of ideas.
    I don’t care if it’s Antifa or the brotherhood of christ.
    If it’s not illegal tuck it’s away. Let the community down vote it. Move on.
    If it’s illegal report it to the authorities, block them, send the user a notice of why they are banned, and move on.

    According to banned Republicans twitter is less than forward on the actual reason for a ban. There /should/ be a better response than ‘I said so’.

    Censorship is a very difficult and dangerous double edged sword. They are better choices than purging.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 4 May 2021 @ 1:44am

      Re:

      "So I tend to generally be less informed"

      The answer to that is to become more informed, not to blindly repeat propaganda talking points from people desperate to regain access to the larger communities that have told them they're not welcome (as you are doing).

      I repeat - the people you didn't like seeing on Parler? Those are the people whose talking points you are blindly parroting.

      "Both YouTube and Reddit, in my opinion, generally has the right approach. Warnings. Flags. Tags. Down tanking listings."

      They also remove accounts and groups for violating their terms and conditions, especially for repeat offenders who refuse to obey the rules after being given multiple chances.

      "I simply have a problem with censorship. Period"

      Every private platform "censors", and that's not a problem unless it's mandated by the government. The question is whether or not you agree with how they choose to do so.

      "They are better choices than purging"

      Yes, and once those choices have been completely exhausted, the platform reserves the right to ban the assholes who keep causing trouble, as any private property is able to in the physical world.

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


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