"well now on CNN! and we gained 17000 followers in less than 30 minutes. Thank you CBP/Trump"
I just learnt about the Streisand Effect this afternoon -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect
It's just as true from the opposite point of view. If you're a customer, client, or user, and your complaint or comment is suppressed, 99% of the time you do nothing or it goes nowhere.
Once in a long while, something blows up but it's not the rule.
Customers or clients are individuals who're bereft of the social connections that'd provide solidarity and encourage them to follow-up on their complaints unlike that provided by a larger audience. Furthermore , clients are just tired of dealing with what is often BS from the customer-care dept. As they try to suppress the complaint and therefore prefer to take the easier route which is often to just switch their services.
Furthermore, I'm not even considering perseverant personalities who burn brighter when someone tries to suppress the bonfire by blowing at it.
Am I misreading Streisand effect? Trying to prevent a fact from becoming well known causes it to become well known. The general message "Trump does bad things" is not a secret.
fewer people will do this if they see that there are real consequences to dissent.
I guess if you truly believe the government was "just asking questions" or honestly investigating a crime without the underlying motive of hushing a pesky critic, then it wouldn't be an example of the Streisand effect.
https://twitter.com/Lesdoggg/status/463074782205190144 https://twitter.com/Lesdoggg/status/440339119239991296 https://twitter.com/Lesdoggg/status/504060745026637825 https://twitter.com/Lesdoggg/status/169001733417213952
Your neighbor is Milo. Your printing press is Twitter.
Everyone is mutually addressable in meatspace. If you're in the same space, and someone else talks, you have no choice but to hear it or leave the premises (note that here, the people who don't like the speech must vacate, not the people speaking unpopular things). There's a great equalizing power in that.
In ye olden tyme, you could walk up to your neighbor and give him a copy of your paper. He could throw it away or refuse to talk to you, but there was no [legal] way to totally disappear/silence you.
As for corporations, if they didn't like you, all they could do is print their own counter-arguments. Now the corporate entity can effectively disappear you and cut you off not only from the larger world, but your personal social graph.
This is particularly insidious when it comes to the practice of shadowbanning (and I'm speaking in general -- not trying to start a debate as to whether Twitter engages in this or not).
And if they did agree to print your diatribe against the President of the day under an anonymous byline, they sure as hell would have claimed the right to not release your name to the government.
Newspapers were hawked by criers in the street, or sold at stands directly adjacent to competing newspapers, or delivered to your doorstep where the other guy could place his competing paper right next to it. All the conduct was in the real, person-to-person world where every physically able person has the same access.
That access is completely non-existent in cyberspace; the user pulls only what he wishes to receive. In the physical world, the user receives pushes from everything in his environment.
Twitter is not a publication, but a piece of telecom infrastructure. People do not go to Twitter to see what Twitter thinks. They go to Twitter because they believe Twitter will successfully carry the communication from the people they trust and want to listen to.
Is it equally OK for the phone company to kick you off and take your phone number because they didn't like what you said through "their" telephone infrastructure? What about your ISP kicking you off because they don't like what you're posting over "their" pipes? If you don't like it, you can go to another company, or heck, even start your own, right?
Not only were newspapers publications with a monolithic, easily attributable point of view, but newspapers did not have circulation that reached into the billions either (and if one newspaper did get that large, they'd have been broken up in antitrust).
Now, companies can alter or silence someone else's speech, and remove the entire audience, because ironically, the audience no longer needs to go into the real, physical world that exists behind the keyboard to find out what's happening. They implicitly trust these platforms to present the information they request.
There are many big differences between cyberspace and physical space. We've made a lot of short-sighted policy by pretending there's a 1:1 mapping. Let's not keep that habit up.
And why is it that Twitter has to carry that regulatory burden? At what point does a company/website become telecom infrastructure?
One of the issues with ISPs and other utilities is that they have been given local monopoly in exchange for regulation, so I would not say they are similar to Twitter. This is also why your statement "you can go to another company, or heck, even start your own, right?" is supposed to cut.
You're also not giving very much credit to the audience you speak of. The audience has always had to ensure their own information sources are good.
I'm not really proposing any specific regulation. While it is telecom infrastructure, I'm not suggesting they must be subject to exactly the same regulations as hard-line providers, and there are reasons to craft a different class of rules for them.
The point is that just saying "they're a private company, they can alter things and silence customers however they want" shouldn't work anymore.
>And why is it that Twitter has to carry that regulatory burden?
Because they're a massive communication platform that people depend on to accurately represent conversations. Why should Comcast or AT&T have to carry regulatory burden? Same reasons.
>At what point does a company/website become telecom infrastructure?
Whenever they act a carrier or intermediary in conversations not intended to go directly to/from them. If you're talking to someone else through something and trusting it to carry your communication, it's a telecommunication device.
Of course, there can be limits on when/where any potential restrictions should become effective.
>One of the issues with ISPs and other utilities is that they have been given local monopoly in exchange for regulation, so I would not say they are similar to Twitter. This is also why your statement "you can go to another company, or heck, even start your own, right?" is supposed to cut.
Whether the monopoly is imposed by fiat or occurs organically, it should still be recognized and addressed as a monopoly.
>You're also not giving very much credit to the audience you speak of. The audience has always had to ensure their own information sources are good.
Yes, but in the past, it was not really possible to shut everything else out. There was an opportunity for competitors to get their attention in the physical world where everyone in the same vicinity shares equal access. You couldn't get outside information whilst remaining cloistered up inside your house; you at least had to go to the doorstep or mailbox, where people could leave their own publications.
In cyberspace, you have a blank window until you explicitly request some content. There is no opportunity to present anything that the user doesn't explicitly pull, and then the user is pulling that data from platforms entirely under the control of a very small handful of corporations.
When at least 90% of people are getting their data from the same sources, it's reasonable for some controls to be in place.
This isn't new; until the early 00s, we had rules that prevented a single corporation from controlling too many media outlets in a specific market. Until the late 80s, we had the Fairness Doctrine to ensure that controversial public issues were presented fairly.
If those controls were needed to help control broadcasters whose range was 50 miles, how is it absurd to suggest similar things apply to Twitter/Facebook whose range is infinite and whose user base reaches into the billions, an appreciable percentage of all humanity?
For some reason, it seems like most people interpreted this the other way around.
You're free to move on to another platform to "express" yourself if you feel the need to. There is no shortage of sites dedicated to reprehensible content. A whole World Wide Web full of them! If you don't find one you can even start your own! You've never been able to go to someone else's property to express yourself in ways they don't agree with. They would throw you out. Nobody is forced to host unwanted guests.
IRL everyone censors themselves. I don't say what I think of my in-laws in front of them, I smile and nod and limit my exposure to them to a few hours less than once a year to keep face. Later I go to a friend's house to bitch about them. This is how a functional society works.
The idea you ever had some sort of right to use a private platform to broadcast any random garbage that comes to your head at the time is just absurd. We never put a cultural value on random mouth diarrhea. We are polite in some company and sometimes say controversial things in other company. That's a cultural value.
Having non-mainstream discussion in non-mainstream places and business restricting activity that's bad for their bottom line and/or interests is not an insult to culture, it's normal social interactions.
Personally I like moderation/censorship and it's even necessary for a functional community, otherwise all forums would degrade to the lowest common denominator, spam, memes, and shitposts, given enough time.
However, as a general argument, things that are cultural values include 1) trusting people to recognize the few who say stupid things by the virtue of those things being stupid and wrong things to say, and 2) in the public sphere of life the disputes are to be resolved with discussion. Words either fought with words, or ignored for their sheer stupidity, not by removing the words from the arena. (And Twitter is big enough that it counts as a "public sphere". It resembles more a public park where people can yell at each other than a newspaper.)
In general, it is about respect: that one respects their fellow humans to believe that there's enough civilization in left in humans that the civilization will prevail if one acts civilized. And these values can be furthered only be leading by example, because you can't make people into some mold, you can only make them realize who they can be.
Now, of course the line between free speech and speech that can't be allowed constantly muddy: one is not allowed to yell "fire" in a crowded theater, one is not allowed incite people to commit crimes. But the culture where people are allowed to say stupid and wrong things is necessary for a liberal democracy, and it does not hinge only on what kind of censorship government enforces. Why, history has plenty of examples where the government only quietly nods in the background when the private individuals enforce the censorship.
But this is a tangent to the main topic. From what I read, in this particular case Twitter is for once doing the right thing by fighting this order. It might look like somewhat hypocrite in the process of doing so, but that does not matter: While it's bad for the culture if Twitter shuts people down because that kind of thing slowly erodes cultural values of free speech, it's by a magnitude worse if the government does it as that could not only erode but crush those values into pieces.
Popular speech has never needed protection, true moral courage is in defending the right of people to say what one considers vile.
I agree it's within Twitter's rights to censor the data flowing through their own platform, it's fairly impossible to argue otherwise. That said, I think speech should absolutely be protected, even for racist dickheads. Otherwise, who decides what's "right" and what's "wrong?" Some government committee? A handful of corporations? What happens when your opinions are suddenly unpopular? Whoops, should have defended (or at the very least accepted) the idea of free speech for all people and ideas.
A grocery store owner might not want anyone to stand in their store screaming epithets about black people, or ranting about Trump, or Clinton, or whatever. That doesn't mean the store owner believes these things should be blocked, just that they should be done somewhere else.
I remember seeing people collecting signatures at the mall when I was a teenager. The mall always posted a professionally printed sign saying, essentially, "these people have a right to do this, but we don't agree with them and we ask you to ignore them."
Nobody is denying them that right. You don't have a right to a twitter account. If someone won't allow you to post on their website, you're free to post it on your own website. That's free speech.
And? I don't have a stake in the integrity of twitter or any other private business. If I don't like the product, I don't use it, same as any other business. Frankly, my default assumption regarding any business is that its integrity only goes as far as it affects the bottom line, and that has proven to be true with pretty much every business I've encountered. None of this has anything to do with free speech.
See, this is what I'm talking about. I said I see no moral value in racists harassing people. And make no mistake, the topic we were discussing is exactly that. Racists harassing someone on a private company's platform. And now you're trying to make it like I want the 1st Amendment repealed. Despite the fact that Twitter is not bound by the 1st Amendment, nor have I called for anyone to be jailed.
"Just because something has no cultural value doesn't stop someone, in this country, from having the right to say it."
No, but that thing being harassment, which the event in question absolutely was, does stop you from having a right to say it.
"We can say great things, boring things, vile things, agreeable things, dissenting things and it's all protected. You remove protection for one, and you risk losing all of it."
I do not agree in the slightest. I'm pretty sure Twitter can not allow hate speech and harassment on their private platform, and free speech would be absolutely fine. There would be no chilling effect whatsoever.
"That said, I think speech should absolutely be protected, even for racist dickheads."
And I believe they have absolutely no right to harass another user, which is what we're talking about.
"Otherwise, who decides what's "right" and what's "wrong?""
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that advocating for the genocide of an entire people falls very squarely within the "wrong" category, with absolutely no risk of any slippery slope.
"What happens when your opinions are suddenly unpopular?"
I don't call for the genocide of an entire people, and I don't make racist remarks. I'll be fine.
"Whoops, should have defended (or at the very least accepted) the idea of free speech for all people and ideas."
Yeah, no. I'm still never going to defend or accept the idea that harassment should be tolerated.
Some sad news for the social justice crowd... these types of internet harassment problems are simply not that important to enough people, and do not cause enough harm for laws like this to be enacted or even seriously considered on a federal or state level. Corporations like twitter can do as they wish, and will be scrutinized for censorship by all Americans who value their first amendment right.
Who...surprise...are the majority! The united states has made its military so strong and has armed itself to incredible levels of overkill just to protect these rights from foreign powers who disagree. That's not just coincidence. The people who founded this country, as well as the ones who now live here clearly want and value those rights and freedoms. So much so, they are willing to die in massive numbers for them. That's almost the opposite of genocide.
There is no 'legal' action. There is Twitter's right as a private entity to enforce its property rights. I can't tell what's causing this irrationality and whataboutism.
I also have to admit, I don't know exactly what happened with Yiannopolis' account (seemingly removed for violating TOS, although the alt-right seems to cry "censorship!!").
I think after reading your response, while I share your views on a lot of things, I still think things like racial cleansing should be protected speech, slippery slope or not. I think the people who subscribe to these ideas are vile people, but I do think they have the right to express their ideas, whether or not I want to hear it.
Both the alt-right Milo crowd and I agree on that. I also think that Twitter has the legal and moral right to say whatever they want to publish on their own privately owned site. However, the people who most cry about the "censorship" of Milo disagree here. They grudgingly admit the legal right exists, but believe there is no moral right to control what I publish. By giving you an account, they hold that that right has been taken away, and that ethically, you can prevent me from exercising my right to speak as I want on my own site. How am I the restrictive one here?
The distinction between telecom infrastructure and Twitter/FB/Google is becoming less and less clear by the year.
It's more like GoDaddy or NameCheap refusing to host stormfront.
"get the fuck outta here a white boy is best dj wtf?"
"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!!"
None of the tweets were photoshopped.
Leslie Jones is racist, period. She is worse than Milo, but she is allowed to stay on twitter.
She even boosts about it:
"You guys are giving him to much energy. I was done the day I blocked him & got his ass banned. Been done and moved on. He has no space here!"
So stop with 'use a credible source' when these are pulled from her twitter account. There is no need for a credible source.
Even breitebart links directly to her tweets.
If a smoker tells you smoking is bad, is he wrong?
One of the oldest tricks when somebody does something you dont like is to point out what an awful hypocrite they are, even when its only tangetial, or unrelated entirely.
This is generally because there is some historical precedent showing that if you don't have such laws, some groups of people will treat other groups of people as less-than-human. Additionally, society believes that it is in the general best interest if such treatment is minimized.
You may disagree with what counts as discriminatory or which classes should be protected, but I hope this at least makes some general sense.
Anti-discrimination laws are built on a history of groups being excluded from access to housing, loans, schooling, contracts, etc. I don't think it is hard to see that depriving certain groups of access to the instruments of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness causes material harm.
Both sides agree that political speech is too censored. Agreeing is good - it gives us common ground where we can make progress instead of fighting forever.
Unless you're more interested in the act of fighting than making progress.
They complied with some 60% of them, finding the others invalid (and, notably, not being proven wrong in that regard).
It's shocking to me that agents of the government so regularly abuse the trust placed in them to make illegitimate requests of these corporations.
Also funny I have to clarify that I'm a "minority" or I'll be attacked as a racist xenomorph mysoginist accountant bioslug edgelord.
Let's not paint this as Twitter defending civil liberties.
lol. This is the internet. People should really not judge differently based on the claimed position of the poster because of how easy it is to lie.
- official statemen: "no no no"
- "here is the data" (behind closed doors)
Hopefully a lot more visibly, this time.
You could make the same argument about media in general. A newspaper runs the stories that make money and ignores the stories that don't. A TV station runs the programmes that make money and ignores the ones that don't.
Should a programme or journalist cause more trouble than they're worth, they will get axed. And/or their stories no longer accepted by the newspaper/TV network.
Further should be trust people like twitter to keep our secrets when we could trust software platforms where nobody holds the key to giving our identities to a man in a suit that will do his best to ruin us.
Surely it can be inferred that the question of whether a platform has an agenda is relevant to whether they can be trusted.
There are many people who supported trump who strongly dislike him, especially when it comes to racism, but found key aspects of Hilary's platform unacceptable and didn't see another choice.
It's quite possible to be bothered by both sides.
I'm genuinely curious, by what logic did you come to this conclusion?
Not to mention, Twitter is a business. Their business depends on having users. If too many of their users leave the platform because they are constantly being assaulted by white supremacist drivel or being harassed by other users, then they're in trouble (kinda like they are now)
Meta: I'm _so_ twitchy about this stuff. I'm sorry if that's lead me to read your posts less charitably than I should :(
Yes, it's Twitter's platform, and so entirely their choice whose speech happens there.
> Not a fan of Twitter, but
It's not like you're taking a controversial stance here. In fact, you're taking the same one as the article and the rest of our echo chamber.
I don't unconditionally hate Twitter either, but I don't try to get a cookie for it.
I mean, haven't you noticed people do it IRL? "Look none of us like ____, but we gotta admit, ___! Amirite? Amirite?"
EDIT: Basically, what stagbeetle said, but you just say it all the time whether or not it's true.
Opinions for, by those against their topic, are usually valued higher than those for, by those in favor of their topic. It's more likely to be grounded in reality.
> Disclosure: I usually hold the opposite viewpoint
> of the one that I just expressed.
In fact, one reason people might make these caveats is an attempt to ward off those people who seem to think every issue is an absolute dichotomy, and respond on the basis of that fallacy. I can't say that it is a very effective tactic.
It would only be meaningless to put similar language on every post because you would presumably be lying. Is the distinction there not obvious?
Not a fan of X, but <something good about X>
Don't mean to be rude but <something actually rude>
I'm not saying X is right but <something right about X>
This is internal noise that the writer spills out. There's no need to write these things.
Here's the kicker: I think it will rain tomorrow. The I think is unnecessary, you're saying it because you're thinking.
Similarly, all of the phrases you mentiom carry information about how the comment should be interpreted.
Not a fan of X: I'm generally biased against X, so my opinion they did well here carries extra inferential weight.
Don't mean to be rude: I don't know how to say this politely and request that you "iron man" the question or statement. There are arguments about if you truly need to say such things, but I'm generally on the side that rudeness is better than censorship.
I'm not claiming X is right: I explicitly disclaim a typical inference one would draw from making an argument that something about X is correct.
What you see as "noise" are inclusions of internal probabilistic weights, parse requests, other meta-comments, etc.
Just like the original statement: "Not a fan of twitter, but..." might be seen as a side-note and unimportant to the main point, but it certainly adds information.
I mean, it's not like people want to risk being fired from their job just because they posted something in some random forum, but that is exactly what could happen in some quarters.
While HN tends to have really smart people voicing opinions, there are also people with knee-jerk reactions for whom anything that does not fit their view of the world require an immediate inquisition.
(Note how I started my last paragraph. I did not have to do that because it's obvious, but I have to because some people would then flame over the second sentence alone).
Just search for the term, "hate speech" and you'll see this pervasive cancer trying to erode the very fabric of our free society.
If anyone uses the term hate speech unironically, I'd like you to take a long walk off a short pier.
There's no "free speech" relevance when you act like an asshole, and people call you on it. It just means that you're being treated like an asshole should be treated.
One is entitled to say what they want. One is not entitled to a platform to say it on, nor are they entitled to not have consequences of saying those things.
So Trump is like Erdoğan, but not as clever or as likely to succeed maybe?
Made from the same fascist fabric as the worst of the, causing society to develop the necessary anti-bodies and fight back, but weak enough to not do too much damage.
Or maybe one of those childhood diseases you fight off and develop immunity against, but leaves with with permanent scaring.
Bobby Jindal, Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie all looked like somewhat reasonable choices at one point, until they had to go through the primaries and came out the other end as twisted, raving loonies. Nikki Haley looks fine now but there's no reason to think she'd fare any better.
Accuse journalist that they lie and take legal actions. Even if the journalists are right.
James Hetfield of Metallica said it best before he left the bay area "They talk about how diverse they are, and things like that, and it's fine if you're diverse like them."
No, but only because "social justice warrior" is a blanket perjorative for leftists, feminists, liberals, and anyone else right-wing antisocial types find annoying, not an actual ideology that people identify with, like nazism or white supremacy.
You can't suppress "social justice warriors" any more than you can suppress "cucks" or "landwhales."
No. While those terms are sometimes used by the left as general insults, they also describe actual movements, political ideologies and identifiable ideas.
However, "social justice warriors" don't actually exist, and the only equivalency that can be drawn between the views of one and the other, in the relevant context of free speech and censorship, is a false one.
But one term is to you, a blanket pejorative used by anti-social types, and the other is not?
I didn't mention "alt-right" and neither did the comment I replied to. Maybe you're reading something into my words that isn't there?
So you can't just say "This is speech, therefore it must be free speech." Advocating genocide and harassing people in minority groups are different in a very salient way from saying mean things about a politician.
If US govt. wanted to get at a Nazi / alt-right account in the same way, it would have been just as much of a problem.
Nope, First Amendment does not protect hate speech.
Exhibit A: "in 1977 a federal court upheld the right of neo-Nazis to goose-step right through the town of Skokie, Illinois, which had a disproportionately large number of Holocaust survivors as residents."
WP article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/201...
That said, there absolutely are types of speech that the First Amendment doesn't cover:
>>In this country there is no right to speak fighting words—those words without social value, directed to a specific individual, that would provoke a reasonable member of the group about whom the words are spoken. For example, a person cannot utter a racial or ethnic epithet to another if those words are likely to cause the listener to react violently.
See https://www.popehat.com/2015/05/19/how-to-spot-and-critique-... and search for "Trope seven".
In particular, application of "fighting words" pretty much requires that the speaker and listener were in close physical proximity, such that a fight could actually occur. Not really relevant to twitter, for the most part.
And that’s why it works. And HN’s denizens are implicitly and often explicitly in favour of this.
HN stands for speech that is generally more free than, say, I would tolerate on a message board. But it’s not an absolute by any means.
Free speech is a great global idea: Somewhere on the internet, somebody ought to be allowed to rave about how the Negro is using rape to effect the genocide of White America. But free speech is not a great local idea: That raving doesn’t belong everywhere on the Internet.
Most people understand the distinction.
A lot of people here would probably read the "Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal" story from the 1980s, and complain about all the sexism.