"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." If we believe in the free America, this should be what we should all fight for, if we want to keep America for the reason it became great in the first place.
We're talking about the same Twitter that shut down Milo Yiannopolis' account because Twitter didn't like what he was saying?
1.) The government has made no request to impede upon the speech of the account owner, nor has the gov asked to shut it down the account. The gov asked for the account holder identity because they suspect (with reason) that someone is impersonating a federal agent through the account.
2.) Twitter invoked "free speech" to deny a reasonable request from the government. Right or not, I am mocking Twitter for acting like "champion of free speech" on one hand and then shutting down what they deem as "hate speech" (which the ACLU explicitly protects as free speech) on the other hand. Twitter can reinstate Milo's account at any time, yet they don't.
3.) We have just as much evidence to believe that the account holder is a fake federal employee as we do to believe they are real.
1b) Additionally, "impersonating a federal agent" is a flimsy reason to violate the First Amendment, especially when the only harm they're causing is making the government look bad. Typically "impersonating a federal agent" is used as a charge when the suspect has committed another crime while impersonating someone. The only crime here is making Trump look bad.
2) Get out of here with your false equivalency bs. Equating the government making a (likely) unconstitutional request to reveal the identity of a critic's Twitter account to Milo getting banned from Twitter for harassment is stupid. Hate speech is protected from the government, not from Twitter trying to create a safe platform for its users.
3) I thought everyone was innocent until proven guilty? The government has the burden of proof here, not some rando on Twitter.
Additionally, protecting your speech from the government is not the same as giving you a platform on which to speak. Twitter protected their users under the Obama administration as well, they were not one of the tech companies that shared data with the NSA according to the Snowden leaks.
No he wasn't. Twitter claimed he incited other people to harass LJ.
You are also correct that, very often, the freedoms granted to Americans concern the ability of government, specifically, to impede; Hence it is correct that twitter would act differently when the government involves itself.
Twitter hasn't released information surrounding the ban. Just a brief, very general, statement. Makes sense to me they don't want to spread news that could be considered libel/slander.
If they say "Milo did this, this is why he was banned" now it's open to opinion. "Did this" is an opinion, and now suddenly Twitter says an individual did something.
Twitter gains nothing by clarifying (in the eyes of their lawyers) so they didn't. Why get sued over this?
This doesn't have much to do with my point - The final ban was based on LJ.
If you're going to take the "Descartes's Demon" defence, it works both ways:
We don't know if twitter banned Milo for other reasons, but we also don't know if "He was banned because he was harassing people" by the same measure.
This is the exact point I'm trying to make. It doesn't matter why he was banned, Twitter can ban anyone.
As long as they didn't ban him because he was a part of a protected group, it's kosher.
My original point simply points out Milo was not banned for
personally harassing anyone, nothing else.
> No he wasn't. Twitter claimed he incited other people to harass LJ.
Businesses have obligations beyond just barely staying within the law. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's ethical.
That doesn't really sound like they politely asked for it.
No one's making the argument that twitter is some bastion of free speech, but it seems reasonable to respect them for not complying to government strongarm tactics to criminalize their own users. The law is well on twitter's side on this one.
Comparing this to selectively banning trolls from their own business is just a false equivalence.
How is it impolite? It's a legal request. Legal requests are always objective and to the point. You should argue objective facts and not whine because "its not polite enough"
>No one's making the argument that twitter is some bastion of free speech, but it seems reasonable to respect them for not complying to government strongarm tactics to criminalize their own users. The law is well on twitter's side on this one.
The government has not criminalizing anything. The account is deriving its authority from the fact that owner claims to be federal agent. The law is not on twitter's side. If the government suspects the impersonating of a federal agent they have the right to investigate.
If you say "Trust me I'm a federal agent." the government can ask for your identity. If someone says "trust me I'm a cop" you have the right to ask for their name and badge number.
The difference is that the account is claiming to be a federal agent. If the account were for example just an anonymous reporter who did not claim to be employed by the government, the government could not force twitter to reveal the identity.
>Comparing this to selectively banning trolls from their own business is just a false equivalence.
Twitter is explicitly citing "free speech" as their reason for denying a federal investigation.
It's not a request if you're threatening legal consequences, is it?
I'm not "whining that it's not polite enough", it's clearly not a request at all but instead a strongarm tactic by an overreaching government agency.
> Twitter is explicitly citing "free speech" as their reason for denying a federal investigation.
Free speech != businesses can't censor whatever the hell they want from their own user created content. It's surprising to me how often people don't understand this. The comparison is absolutely a false equivalence in this case.
> If you stand up say "Trust me I'm a federal agent." the government can ask for your identity. If someone says "trust me I'm a cop" you have the right to ask for their name and badge number.
Yes, if you're doing something illegal - speaking out against government policy is not, hence Twitter's free speech argument.
Free speech isn't just a quirky law to restrain the government. It's a social virtue which should all try to uphold, everywhere, because it makes our society better.
Free speech is comparable to honesty in this way, as a generalized social virtue.
The law against government censorship is to the principle of free speech as the law against perjury is to the principle of honesty.
Honesty and free speech are universal principles; violating them is often legal but generally not ethical.
This becomes more and more important as our public squares are increasingly moved on to online private platforms. Soon enough almost all communication will be digital, and the corporations will have more censoring power than the government does. At that time, it'll be pretty regretful that all these people have been upholding businesses' "rights" to silence anyone they please for any reason.
That said, as someone who has ran online businesses, I still don't agree with you that it's some universal principal that businesses should be held to. I've dealt with trolls of the same ilk as Milo Yiannopoulos, and you know what? When I think about how things went, it would have sucked up a hell of a lot less resources and time of myself, the business, and my other customers if I had simply censored them immediately.
I'm saying that free speech is more than a law.
Perhaps you're referring to the first amendment, but I'm making the point that you can't limit this discussion to the first amendment.
And businesses should be held to universal principles, above and beyond the law. We should demand businesses' decisions be ethical, not simply legal.
The concept of freedom of speech is that pure speech is free from government-imposed consequences, but that private parties can and do choose what expressed ideas to support, oppose, reward, and punish. That's the fundamental concept of the marketplace of ideas.
The idea of freedom of speech is not that speech should be free of all consequences.
Now because businesses (especially those that are creations of government, like any that operate as juridical entities distinct from the constituent natural persons) are creatures of government and/or often depend on exercise of government powers, there is an argument for limiting the consequences that they can impose for speech in certain cases, especially when they are in monopolistic roles, and even more especially when that is in regard to key communications media, because those are in effect acts of government by other means.
Free speech requires more than merely the government allowing it; if the underlying society does not permit it to be exercised, it is effectively defeated.
"Free Speech" in the context of the first amendment deals specifically with the role of government.
Equally obviously, I am referring to the bigger picture. If the government is restrained, but society ostracizes, freedom of speech is effectively useless. The law is the minimum, not the optimum.
Could you cite the law you're thinking of? Simply claiming to be a federal agent to set the context for a discussion is very different from claiming to be one and then acting under the authority of that pretended identity.
> Any claimant or representative of a claimant who knowingly and willfully makes a false statement or representation for the purpose of obtaining a benefit or payment under this chapter shall be guilty of a felony...
The threshold of "obtaining a benefit" or "obtained thing of value" is pretty low. Is a massive Twitter following a benefit? Is positive press coverage or access a benefit or valuable?
Alternatively, this person is a federal employee and they've been actively working against their boss and employer (aka POTUS).
Either way, the outcome isn't good for them.
> The threshold of "obtaining a benefit" or "obtained thing of value" is pretty low. Is a massive Twitter following a benefit? Is positive press coverage or access a benefit or valuable?
Absolutely ridiculous. If you want to play these sorts of word games, though, I might point out that this person is not pretending (or not) "to be an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof". They are not pretending (or not) to act under any authority. Anyone can post whatever they like on Twitter (at Twitter's discretion and according to their TOS).
In other words, it would be illegal to flash a fake badge at someone and then tell them you'll take them to jail if they don't follow you on Twitter, but that's not what this is.
> Alternatively, this person is a federal employee and they've been actively working against their boss and employer (aka POTUS).
On their own time and using their own device(s), presumably. Is this illegal?
> On their own time and using their own device(s), presumably. Is this illegal?
Since they're discussing official matters, it's probably illegal. Federal employees are always covered by rules concerning their engagement with the press and public communications.
Just like if you spoke on behalf of your company and/or leaked internal information, they could definitely sue you and potentially get you arrested (depending on the details). When your employer are the Feds, they can usually skip the "sue you" step.
> Not the views of DHS or USCIS
Whether or not that's always been there, I think it's probably always been true for this account. It's somebody saying "I work at <agency>, and here are some opinions and publicly available information". So really all they're guilty of is being publicly negative about their employer. That's not illegal for employees of corporations, and I'd be really surprised if it was illegal for employees of the government (but I haven't looked into it).
Of course, corporations and the government might like to fire employees who do this, and they'd be within their rights to do so (I think, in general) but if said employees are anonymous then they don't know who to fire, and if speaking freely is perfectly legal then they have no grounds to compel Twitter (or whoever) to unmask the account.
And it doesn't take sharing classified information to get in trouble. Pointing someone to public information validates them as accurate - including whatever conjecture included - and counts.
I spent time in the intelligence community. Your opinion and my opinion don't matter.. only the law, the agreements in place, and the tenacity of those who choose to enforce them and to what degree.
These are the only things I'm interested in. My personal opinions aside, I'm genuinely curious whether the government has a legitimate legal leg to stand on here. The reason I'm still replying is that none of those you've suggested have been terribly convincing.
Whether anonymous political speech by someone claiming to be an employee of the federal government but not acting in an official capacity is or is not a violation of the Hatch Act or any other applicable law (dubious) or any agreement they may have signed as a condition of employment is one question. Whether the fact that this individual has claimed anonymously to be a federal employee can compel Twitter to release their personal details on the basis of an assumption that either or both of the aforementioned factors (laws, agreements) will apply to them is another question entirely. While they're anonymous, how would you know which agreement they signed, if any? How would you know whether they are actually a federal employee?
"Tenacity" aside, this seems like the most plausible theory yet, but still a stretch. But I am not a lawyer.
edit: this update is relevant: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/04/07...
Not when you're claiming authority as a federal agent.
It's not the same as making a "fake steve jobs" twitter account where everybody knows you're not really steve jobs. They actually claim to be subversive workers within the agency.
First, let's dispel the absurdity that "ICE official with a critical Twitter account" == "impersonate a law enforcement officer/agency".
There's no impersonation. Everybody knows that @ALT_* is not an official channel. The entire account namespace was created specifically as a protest mechanism.
Government's claims regarding IMPERSONATION are baseless as a pure and simple matter of fact.
> They actually claim to be subversive workers within the agency.
Could the federal government have cause to fire these employees for their political speech? Perhaps.
Should we, the people, grant the government have right to infringe upon private company's property rights in order to settle petty shop politics? NO.
Government can be as petty an employer as it wants. But this ISN'T impersonation, and we SHOULDN'T sacrifice OUR liberties and property rights for the sake of fucking petty shop politics.
If law enforcement wants to track down and fire people who disagree with the chief executive, they're free to waste my tax dollars doing so. But unless they can show substantive evidence of ACTUAL impersonation, they can conduct their witch hunt without barging into our homes and offices.
I wasn't familiar with this account previously, but I'm not seeing any reason to suspect impersonation of a federal agent. What exactly are you citing here?
And neither will I be for making this post.
A circumstance where a single entity controls the conversations of billions is unparalleled, and our practices need to be re-evaluated.
Also, it did not cite a single source backing up your claims. Can you try to be a bit more specific?
To pretend there isn't a clear bias by Twitter is just being disingenuous. I say this as someone who very left on most issues, its quite depressing seeing everything descend into authoritarianism.
Dude, have you been on Twitter? This happens constantly and accounts aren't banned.
Everything is going great.
If you want a platform of alt-right trolls go on the_donald or 4chan.
I honestly don't care all that much about Twitter. If Twitter wants to run their website into the ground by pandering to a vocal minority, that's their business (I've never liked Twitter anyway and preferred GNU Social et al). It's just a bit frustrating when people go full Orwell and suddenly redefine "harassment" to mean "disagreement" and various other definition changes.
> If you want a platform of alt-right trolls go on the_donald or 4chan.
Ah yes, I don't like a certain group of liberals because they act in an authoritarian way and therefore I'm part of the "alt-right". That makes perfect sense.
It's tough. So, at the end of the day, Twitter doesn't want certain content on their platform. Milo was determined to be that content. Twitter didn't say he was harassing people, they were extremely vague about it.
> Ah yes, I don't like a certain group of liberals because they act in an authoritarian way and therefore I'm part of the "alt-right". That makes perfect sense.
I didn't say you were part of the alt-right: just that if you want the kind of stuff that Milo was spewing those are the places for it, not Twitter (by their own decision.)
> GNU Social
It's not like if it has "GNU" in the title it's instantly a completely-free platform.
For you to say this, you have clearly never been on Twitter.
I appreciate your even-mindedness. Question: do you honestly not see leftism as naturally decaying into authoritarianism?
The American right loves its military industrial complex, its police crackdowns, its bank bailouts, its manifest destiny, and so on. These are not left wing institutions in creed or membership. You could ask the same question: do you not see rightism (ingroup loyalty, moral purity, respect for authority) as naturally decaying into authoritarianism?
It is weird, in a way, yes. I think, though, that when you think from each side's point of view, it makes sense that that's the case.
> The American right loves its military industrial complex, its police crackdowns, its bank bailouts, its manifest destiny, and so on. These are not left wing institutions in creed or membership.
I think you are painting with too broad a brush. There is far more nuance in what is considered "the American right" than you imply. Five minutes on the Internet and you can find people who are obviously considered "on the right" who don't agree with any of those things.
> You could ask the same question: do you not see rightism (ingroup loyalty, moral purity, respect for authority) as naturally decaying into authoritarianism?
I would ask you to more clearly define rightism, because those three things are just as prevalent on the left, if not moreso.
Respect for authority is _by definition_ authoritarian and is completely separate from the left-right axis. As for loyalty and moral purity those seem more like talking points than actual political views.
Twitter's only statement is that some of Milo's followers behaved badly. If they followed this rule consistently they'd ban a lot of popular left leaning accounts to.
Instead, left-leaning accounts that directly violate the Terms of Service by doxxing others (Shanley publishing Milo's cell phone number) and advocate for violence (various self-styled 'antifa' accounts) remain up.
Yes, legally you have no right to free speech on a non-government platform. But as a Twitter user - and a left leaning person - I'd rather not have my platform dictate who I can and can't listen to.
> Other people's behavior has absolutely nothing to do with Milo being banned for his behavior.
Indeed, it simply calls into question why Twitter seems to ignore the Terms of Service for some users while apply it to other users for the actions of their followers.
Or, he was, and the ToS raised as public justification.
Richard Spencer is still on Twitter, despite being an actual, self identified Nazi.
1. There's a huge difference between shutting down an account and compromising identity.
2. Having Twitter ban you is a COMPLETELY different scale than having the Feds coming after you because you mocked the President.
What Twitter did to Milo may have been shitty, but it wouldn't particularly invoke fear. What the Feds are doing here is terrifying.
That's not true. The us government is asking for the account holders identities (no shut down request) because the government suspects that the account owners are civilians (or possibly foreign actors) posing as federal employees. The account derives it's authority by saying that it is run by employees of a federal agency. It's a serious federal crime to impersonate a federal employee. The government has not asked to shut down the account.
I suspect the government will make a decision after they know the identities, but there is just enough evidence to assume the account holder is faking their authority as there is to believe its real.
> (possibly foreign actors) posing as federal employees
> impersonate a federal employee
Just one look at the twitter account in question makes it clear this entire line of reasoning is absurd. Can't wait to hear more ham-fisted nonsense like this in the weeks to come.
Spreading propaganda is not criminal. Many days I wish it were, but it is not.
You have to proceed to ACTION before something becomes criminal. So, if that account shared confidential information, now the feds can probably go get a subpoena and crack the identity.
Unless they have a subpoena, this is a fishing expedition for the purposes of intimidating others.
The only case I know where police impersonation is legal is if those involved recognize the imposter is not a real police officer, and the imposter is not trying to deceive those involved into thinking he/she is. That is some very clear criteria of both intent and results which is part of the "rarely criminal" cases where without it it is criminal.
Looks like the worst they've done is made some screenshots https://twitter.com/ALT_uscis/status/833455581734326272 which don't look obviously wrong.
This is not the same as pulling over someone and pretending you're a cop. Context matters.
Context matter, which is why intent and result are part of the equation. If people are being fooled into thinking someone is a police, and someone had the intent to fool others (maybe with the intention to create false association), then that is likely fully enough to get a person charged with impersonating a police officer.
The same is certain to be true for high-ranking members of his administration. The same is true for, I'm sure, quite a lot of members of Congress. My list of fake Supreme Court justices on Twitter unfortunately is down to just the fake Scalia who tweets from beyond the grave, since the other former members apparently went inactive or dropped off the service.
And it's not just the current government, either -- there's a Richard Nixon impersonator on Twitter who's been known to do some pretty biting commentary on current affairs.
And many of those accounts "spread political propaganda", if by that you mean "express and advocate for views contrary to those of the actual people the accounts impersonate".
Would you advocate that they all be rounded up for their vicious, heinous, nation-threatening crimes? Also, when did expressing a political opinion become a federal crime?
> There is no indication that the White House was aware of the summons, which was signed by a Florida-based supervisor who works in an office that investigates employee corruption, misconduct and mismanagement. The supervisor could not be reached for comment.
So while this supervisor might be serving as a catspaw of the administration (who can say at this point?), this article (and the related discussion) seems to be using it to stir up controversy about Trump, whose only known involvement at present is as one of the subjects `ALT_uscis` tweets about.
If, instead, you believe mocking and criticizing someone is inciting people to harass, do you think all popular accounts that mock and criticize others should be removed from twitter"?
Any references for your DM theory?
How did Twitter verify this?
Second, his account was suspended many times. Repeatedly. Eventually they banned him.
Then why not reveal this?
There's nothing to gain, and a lot to lose by doing so. It's kinda lose-lose for Twitter, but few people seriously care about Milo getting banned.
> it's not a good idea to talk bad
talking bad vs providing evidence of intent to incite harassment.
> but few people seriously care about Milo getting banned
Hmm, perhaps in your own bubble
When Twitter's defense against the government's request is because of the ideal of free speech, not the First Amendment but the ideal that it is based on that predates the First Amendment, then it is worth pointing out the double standard in Twitter's own behavior not upholding that ideal.
That said, Twitter having a double standard does not invalidate their argument. From a purely logical perspective, an argument does not depend upon who says it or why they say it. But rarely are people interacting on that purely logical level, and so Twitter's double standard does allow us to both poke fun at Twitter and to call into question their actual reasoning as potentially being different than their stated reasoning.
There's no double standard though. This is like saying: "how can a newspaper say they're in favor of free speech if they're not willing to publish any story that's submitted to them?"
Twitter can support free speech by advocating for their right to control their platform, and for other people to have the right to create their own platforms and put content on it. The government using strong-arm tactics to unmask critics is a threat to free speech through any medium.
The US is asking for the identities, because they suspect someone is impersonating a federal agent. The government has made NO REQUEST to shut down the account.
I wanted to downvote you but did not because I suppose this is an important question to ask and it adds to the discussion. However, the way you frame the question, the feigned incredulity, almost makes me reconsider. Unless you truly mean you're unable to spot the difference between the two (in which case I don't need to hear about it).
Nope! We're talking about the same Twitter that shut down Milo Yiannopolis' account because he openly encouraged people to harass an actress (Leslie Jones), including sharing fake screenshots making it look like she tweeted a bunch of offensive stuff, because she was in a movie he didn't like (Ghostbusters).
some animals are more equal than others?
My impression is that Twitter leans towards letting minor offenses slide and punishing only the most egregious. I'm not saying I agree with that policy, but it is consistent.
So, unless you think that losing your temper at someone who repeatedly calls a black person an ape is morally equivalent to leading an extended harassment campaign against someone and fraudulently attributing statements to them because they were in a movie you didn't like, you've got no grounds at all to say that Milo was only banned for his politics.
May I suggest, as a matter of tactics, that you pick some less thoroughly reprehensible martyrs next time? Surely there's someone who's been banned from Twitter who didn't obviously deserve it.
I researched Milo for a while, after seeing his initial interview with David Rubin, where he explained some of the politics behind Gamergate. Although his own politics is quite contrary to mine, I agree with him that there is a regressive left that would rather shutdown conversations than debate. They have a blatant disregard of facts and data, exactly what they accuse conservatives of doing, but they feel they are uniquely justified by noble motives which is misguided at best. I would agree with Milo on that being a nonsensical approach, and should be admonished by any true liberal who supports free speech and the exchange of ideas. Twitter effectively held Milo accountable for the actions of other people who were simply on the same side of the argument, that being that the new Ghostbusters was a terrible movie, on a pretty weak premise of his inciting harassment, but as far as I can tell from his quotes, all he was guilty of in that context was being downright nasty in his criticism of Leslie Jones' appearance and her illiteracy (as her spelling and grammar is atrocious), at the same time as stating his sexual proclivity towards African American men. But perhaps I missed some of his quotes, as I didn't follow the original conversation and have only found quotes of him in various articles, so please enlighten me with specific quotes if I'm mistaken.
Milo wasn't doing the racist jabs, no. shitgoose said that Leslie Jones was just as bad as Milo because she also tried to sic her fanbase on someone (Whitebecky1776). I was pointing out that Whitebecky1776 provoked Jones with repeated racial slurs, whereas Jones provoked Milo by being in a movie he didn't like; perhaps Jones should have received some sort of disciplinary action, but the situations aren't really equivalent.
I got the Whitebecky1776 stuff from http://www.irontroll.com/2016/07/milos-friend-whitebecky1776..., and the stuff about Milo sharing fake Twitter screenshots from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/07.... Note also that Milo had been repeatedly warned for violating Twitter's rules before this incident; he can hardly claim that Jones got more second chances than he did.
...Do you think the "get her" tweet you posted above was directed at Milo? You may be confused.
By continuing their Milo ban on twitter, they lose the ability to wave the "free speech" banner.
And the TOS term he broke was actively inciting others to personally harass Leslie Jones.
Here you go, the list is not comprehensive:
As for inciting others to personally harass someone, Leslie Jones herself is very guilty of that, even moreso than Milo. Nowhere did Milo say (as far as I remember) something like "go and harass her", while she did exactly that to someone https://twitter.com/Lesdoggg/status/755218642674020352
EDIT: I don't understand the downvotes, can someone explain why? Those are links directly to her twitter, primary source. Nothing is made up by me. Just because it goes against your opinion?
For reference, source text from https://twitter.com/Lesdoggg/status/755218642674020352
"Replying to @PetriJonathan @whitebecky1776
bitch I want to tell you about your self but I'm gonna let everybody else do it I'm gonna retweet your hate!! Get her!!"
Inarguably inciting harassment.
The last couple of years have been a disaster in terms of brigading and willful ignorance of evidence that does not fit the narrative of the commentator. Rational views are easily drowned out online, becoming a signal vs noise issue.
I see this on a daily basis, on all aspects of the politial spectrum. Bigger issue than fake news in my opinion.
> get the fuck outta here a white boy is best dj wtf?
> wait a minute is solomon sitting by a white women…#imgonnafuckhimup
> actively posting racist tweets.
trivia: credited to E.B. Hall, neatly summing up Voltaire's thoughts, so often gets misattributed to the latter.
Your police forces robs your citizenry in broad daylight with the support of your judiciary.
What kind of country did you think you were living in?
I was definitely not commenting on Twitter's action on this order, though I am glad that they're fighting for free speech. That doesn't mean I agree with all of Twitter's past decisions, and I don't know enough about Milo Yiannopolis's case to express a strong opinion about where I stand on the issue.
As with a lot of things in life, I think there's a huge gray area in this spectrum of freedom vs security debate, but I hope that we can all agree that being prosecuted for criticizing the government is past the gray area, as is citing freedom of speech as the justification to tweeting out a bomb threat. (I would put harassment that incites fear in others in this category, but whether to penalize those who encourage harassment or just those who actually do the harassment seems to be a matter to debate about.) And this particular case seems to be in the former bucket; even though there may be some parts of the law that allows the government to order the identity of the account, making use of that is abusing its power with bad implications.
Someone in the thread pointed out that the white house may not have known anything about the order (~10th paragraph in the article), and the article might be part of the fear-mongering happening on the leftist news. While I hope that that is the case, I think we should all still be vigilant to these signs of threats to freedom and our rights. I did not grow up in a dictatorship so I can only guess at how it starts; I don't think it happens overnight, I think it's a gradual process of taking away our freedom, spreading only their version of the news as truth, then more and more until we are that boiling frog in the pot that did not see it coming. But we can be vigilant and fight each time anything like this happens, as Twitter is doing now by fighting and publicizing this case.
In this case:
> The account is claimed to be the work of at least one federal immigration employee...
> ...the account describes itself as "immigration resistance."
Are government officials resisting their own roles covered by the same sentiment?
Lets face it, Trump has no end of critics; there is a reason this one is being targeted, so general "free speech" discussions are missing the target here.
It think its unfair to call this "criticizers of the government" there are thousands of such accounts. This account is undermining immigration actions that people elected this govt for.
Because they did one they should do the other? what?
Like using the IRS to target conservatives?
Then Congressional Republicans turned it into a successful fake news witch hunt against Obama saying he was abusing his power by targeting conservatives.
Read wikipedia for a mostly objective account https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRS_targeting_controversy
Over the two years between April 2010 and April 2012, the IRS essentially placed on hold the processing of applications for 501(c)(4) tax-exemption status received from organizations with "Tea Party", "patriots", or "9/12" in their names.
While [Inspector General J. Russell George] had many sources confirming the use of "Tea Party" and related criteria described in the report, including employee interviews and e-mails, he found no indication in any of those other materials that "Progressives" was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention. The letter further stated that out of the 20 groups applying for tax-exempt status whose names contained "progress" or "progressive", 6 had been chosen for more scrutiny as compared to all of the 292 groups applying for tax-exempt status whose names contained "tea party", "patriot", or "9/12".
You don't actually believe that, do you? Wikipedia is so left-leaning it virtually capsizes.
Are you implying that everything on Wikipedia is correct?
> I'd love to hear it if so.
This implies that you've never read anything negative about Wikipedia. I feel like, if that's the case, you must either have avoided such information, or have just gotten Internet access for the first time. If you would honestly love to hear it, then you could have already found it by using Google.
Please avoid sea-lioning.
Edit: I didn't know what sea-lioning was, so I just looked it up. Asking for sources when someone makes a broad claim doesn't seem to fit the definition.
> So your implication that you can find this "by using Google" immediately makes me think that you haven't actually seen any yourself, but are parroting opinions you've read. I haven't seen any objective analyses of Wikipedia's bias myself, but this isn't something I look for information on, and I suspect they exist somewhere.
Fascinating: you make an unwarranted assumption about me, then accuse me of parroting, and then admit that you yourself have neglected to even attempt the most basic search. You seem to be accusing me of what you have convicted yourself of.
I perceive two definitions of sea-lioning, one of which is attempting to provoke by making demands for sources which meet arbitrary standards. It's typically followed by moving the goalposts until the respondent gives up, after which the sea-lion asserts victory. In other words, it's a form of trolling, not of serious discussion. Given the nature of the argument (whether Wikipedia is biased is necessarily subjective), and the arbitrary standard ("sourced information"), I conclude that it's sea-lioning. You're free to disagree.
I really do understand the annoyance of finding and citing sources for things that you're pretty sure are true based on accumulated experience, but don't have any handy links for - we all have that problem, it's exhausting - but it doesn't mean you can just state your opinions as fact and expect to not be called out on sourcing them. I find the pattern of "go look it up yourself" that you used especially off-putting - you made the claim, you aren't willing to put the work in to cite sources, but you expect me to?
I'm not making a claim one way or another about wikipedia's bias. It isn't a topic that interests me enough to go research it. I only hopped into the thread because you triggered my pet peeve of "here's a claim, now you look it up!". But obviously that is always stupid to do. Edit: that is, hopping into threads you have no investment in is stupid to do.
I'm sorry I accused you of parroting, I couldn't think of a better word.
If your beef with me truly boils down to, "You didn't prepend the words 'I think' to your claim," then I would have to agree that this has been a waste of time. Just because someone uses the word "is" doesn't mean they intend their statement as a fact. This isn't an academic journal, it's the Internet Argument Clinic.
(I really wish the other guy had answered my question of whether he thinks everything on Wikipedia is correct. That's the real issue at stake.)
I would add my anecdotal observations that, whenever I have looked at the edit history and talk pages for anything remotely political, the non-left views are virtually shouted down and literally edited out ad nauseam. The editors by-and-large seem to have a strong left-leaning ideology.
The right has privileges the left doesn't have, too. Unfortunately things aren't fair.
Group 1: I would rather deal with harassment and hate speech than risk erroneously silencing someone I need to hear.
Group 2: I would rather risk silencing someone who's voice ought to be heard than allow someone use speech to hurt another person with harassment or hate.
Group 1 isn't trying to promote hate speech or harassment, they're just worried about the potentially malicious intentions of those that want to decide what speech falls under those banners.
Group 2 isn't trying to silence opinions they disagree with, they're just worried that people are getting better at subtly codifying their hate speech in a way that gives them plausible deniability to out-groups but is obviously hateful to the in-group.
I think the important takeaway is that neither 'side' is evil and despite the fact that it causes heated arguments one should maintain respect for those they disagree with.
At one end of the continuum is an individual hanging up the phone when they decide they've heard enough from whoever called them. I think most of us would agree that this doesn't violate the principles of free speech, even if the caller was expressing valid ideas.
At the other end of the continuum is a government imprisoning someone for their speech. I think most of us would agree that this violates the principles (and laws) of free speech, except in certain circumstances (e.g. falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre).
But there are cases in the middle of the continuum where things aren't so clear. If I run a small blog with occasional guest writers, a lot of us would probably agree that I can choose at will which content I publish without violating the principles of free speech.
But what if my blog has millions of viewers? What if it has become more of a "news site" or "forum" than a "blog?" What if it's the largest such site in the world, and the only one with significant market share? Perhaps then many of us would accuse me of violating the principles of free speech, since I have significant power to "silence" certain people or ideas.
I understand libertarianism in many social contexts (e.g. "People who aren't straight are not hurting anyone by not being straight, so there should not be any draconian laws against people for not being straight"), but I can't wrap my head around libertarianism in the context of all these "free-speech" arguments. I feel like I'm missing something, which would make a lot of sense considering how little I have read about libertarianism
Many libertarians believe that if not for government interference, monopolies wouldn't form in the free market. Those people are right in some cases (e.g. payment processing) and wrong in others (e.g. roads). But the dogmatic position asserts that it's true in all cases, and then no corporation would have sufficient coercive power so you only have to worry about the government.
If you take the practical approach and accept that there are always going to be some private monopolies and oligopolies, or even the pragmatic approach that they actually exist today and we have to deal with them today even if the wonder of the free market will eliminate them in the future, then we have to hold sufficiently coercive corporations to the same standards as governments. And at the same time try as hard as we can to destroy their coercive power, so that we can stop needing to do that.
Really, what I'm saying is that there are two ends of the continuum that look pretty obvious and which I suspect the vast majority of people would agree with, but within the continuum things get less clear are offer more room for disagreement.
I definitely agree that it's not black and white, especially as you delve into the corner cases.
Perhaps I misread this, but it sounded an awful lot like "are you on the libertarian team?"
> except in certain circumstances (e.g. falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre).
Considering it originates from suppression of wartime dissent
The problem with almost all of the exceptions on freedom of speech is that they're all meant to be just that, exceptions in the most extreme of cases, and none of them are without controversy and tons of reinterpretation. Handwaving them away with the simplistic "falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater" does not do any of them justice.
To me, having terrible people silenced in your community seems far better of a "drawback" than having marginalized people harassed in your community.
Group 1: I would rather others deal with harassment and hate speech than risk erroneously silencing someone I need to hear.
I honestly think that Group 1 is more often, "I'm fine with the others being harassed, so I'm going to pretend we're talking about criticism or something like that instead of harassment."
I disagree. While group 2 may not intend evil, they are attempting to control others' speech. By their own standard, effect matters, not intent. To exercise control over others against their will is evil. Therefore they are evil.
Their sole principle is that the ends justify the means, which is the equivalent of might-makes-right. By that priniciple, whoever happens to be in power will get away with whatever they want. In other words, opportunistic authoritarianism rather than the rule of law.
There's more complexity here than you're acknowledging.
Why is this more worrying? Seems less worrying to me if by harassment/attack you mean purely verbal online gabber.
One has people starting mobs against each other while the other has people thinking actions taken against demagogues is of the same vein as government suppression of dissent.
You're more afraid of mobs of people shit talking you than the government arresting you for your opinions if they don't agree with them?
As a private company, Twitter is under no obligation to provide anyone with a forum and their terms of service (https://twitter.com/tos and https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311) very clearly exclude that kind of behaviour:
> Harassment: You may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others.
> Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.
1. Called her an ape, echoing a long history of racist comparisons: https://twitter.com/Lesdoggg/status/755182965060169728
2. Examples at http://www.vox.com/2016/7/20/12226070/milo-yiannopoulus-twit...
Not to defend Milo here (it certainly sounds like he deserved to be banned for harassment), but the tweet in this screenshot doesn't seem to be him? It's from "evyarb9000", and from a quick Google search, Milo's username was "Nero". (He must have grabbed that handle pretty early on...)
ISIS is coherent, effective and well-organised. twitter.com/MADBLACKTWINK/
> We need aspirational role models. We need fantasy. We need the unattainable. We need something to strive for. Fuck feminism.
> Michelle's a tranny, not a queen. Drag queens are fierce, fabulous, ballsy, hilarious & brave. Trannies are insane.
> Liberals: the problem with putting Muslims at the top of your victimhood hierarchy is that THEY WANT TO KILL EVERYONE ELSE ON THE LIST
> Muslims are like the common cold and leftists are like Aids. It's easy to fight off a cold... unless you have Aids. pic.twitter.com/S9amPR1YVa
Everyone, gov. employees included, have first amendment rights. However they do not have the right to have their own agenda in their role as a government worker. That flies in the face of the core principle of the constitutional election of legislative and executive officers.
(If you want an example of twitter being inconsistent, just compare the suspension of Glenn Reynolds - instapundit - for tweeting "Run. Them. Down." in response to rioters on I277 and the lack of action on the multiple and explicit death threats the are tweeted regularly.)
Civil servants swear an oath to defend the constitution, not the political interests of whoever happens to be in office currently. Anyone who doesn't want to live in a banana republic should strongly support that.
I doubt there's a legal basis for saying that these "alt_X" accounts are functioning in the role of a federal worker. They're obviously not advocating the official government position -- that's the whole point of them. They clearly state they aren't reflective of the views of the agency they're referencing. You'd effectively be arguing that no government employee could ever, in any capacity, express an opinion related to the function of their agency.
This is a ridiculous statement. Who isn't a third party in an investigation, other than the investigated and the investigators? Bank records, third party statements, etc. This is one of those statements to save for posterity.
What disturbs me even more, is how the media is able to shape the narrative that this is about president Trump's hurt feelings, and has nothing to do with anything else.
Like the whole Muslim ban story [that was really a list of countries numerating all the death sentence destinations to Americans].
Or kind of like the narrative that Assad likes to gas random civilians whenever the US peaks in its interest in having an intervention over there.
Even though none of this makes sense, people just don't look any further into what really is going on, and happily degenerate into the narrative.
But the real irony here, is that the people at the top, that made and control your side, aren't really on your side... They just want division (and sides) - so you lose even when you think you are winning.
However, about ten paragraphs in they mention:
> There is no indication that the White House was aware of the summons, which was signed by a Florida-based supervisor who works in an office that investigates employee corruption, misconduct and mismanagement. The supervisor could not be reached for comment."
So all we know at the moment is that some manager, somewhere in Florida, is looking into `ALT_uscis`.
And yet, the article mentions Trump multiple times (including in the headline) before that, giving the impression that Trump is pursuing legal action that would seem to compromise freedom of speech.
It's not unreasonable to infer that the journalists taking this angle on the story have an axe to grind.
Either way, I took a brief look at the `ALT_uscis` account and didn't see any tweets alluding to malfeasance or obstructive action in their official capacity, so I'm inclined to agree that this is government overreach.
You're right, not handing over user info of somebody who opposes the president is a lot like not banning users who actively post racist, hateful bullshit.