Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

1a) You don't have to impede speech to be violating the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has ruled consistently that anonymity is protected under the First Amendment. https://www.eff.org/issues/anonymity

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.




On 2) parent is not equating the goverment's position on this case to Twitter's positions on Milo. He is equating Twitter's position on this case to Twitter's position on Milo's case, and noting that there is indeed a double-standard. Twitter's message seems to be: Speech must be free - but only if that speech is for left-wing causes.


Milo was not banned for "free speech". He was banned because he was harassing people, which he very much was doing. If you want to say Twitter was banning people solely for their beliefs, find a better example.

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.


> He was banned because he was harassing people

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.


His account was suspended many times. It wasn't just banned out of nowhere.

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?


> It wasn't just banned out of nowhere

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.


> 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.


> This is the exact point I'm trying to make

My original point simply points out Milo was not banned for personally harassing anyone, nothing else.


Then what are you trying to discuss?


>> He was banned because he was harassing people

> No he wasn't. Twitter claimed he incited other people to harass LJ.


Milo wasn't harassing anybody, except by the broadest and most over-sensitive possible interpretation of the already diluted word 'harassment'. Milo himself never did anything to anybody other than toss out singular, one-off quips about people. But people like to hold those with many followers responsible for what their followers say. While it's emotionally tempting to do so, it's also stupid, unworkable, and ultimately always serves as the go-to excuse to ban someone with the wrong views.


Twitter can ban anyone for anything they want.


And anyone can point out their hypocrisy.


It isn't hypocritical to choose who you want on your platform. Twitter has no obligation to be some neutral platform. They have never claimed this and have never tried to do this.


At Twitter's scale, they do have an obligation to be a neutral platform. They own the modern digital "town square". Things have changed since the old days.

Businesses have obligations beyond just barely staying within the law. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's ethical.


A very astute observation, sir! And what a novel line of reasoning, I might add.


To my knowledge, no account was ever banned for critizing the Obama administration.


Several people were taken by the police for social/twitter threats against the (then Obama) President and such -- of the kind that we see 100 per day against Trump.


Do you have a reference for that? I highly doubt the rate of twitter threat investigations has changed between administrations.


Threatening POTUS is always an offence, and those law enforcement investigations have been happening for years under all presidents, under both parties.




Applications are open for YC Winter 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: