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Regulating Online Platforms: By Whom, and for Whom? (medium.com)
59 points by benbreen 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 15 comments

The slippery slope that people don't anticipate, is when government makes rules that allow them to silence people for "good" reasons. As soon as you allow that then you end freedom of expression.

Example: Administration A makes anti-hate speech laws 10 years later Administration B comes along, nobody likes them, they complain about it. Gets slapped with "hate speech" has to prove a negative that their speech isn't hate, from jail.....

Power corrupts that's why we try to limit the power of government, or any orginization, because government and corporations are made of people and people are fallible and greedy etc

The only thing you can do is simply allow pure freedom of expression, good or bad. Any given individual simply listens to what they want to listen to and ignores what they don't. That is the only practical way forward.

I don't know why you're being down voted. You make a solid point, eloquently put.

If you claim to support "freedom of speech, but . . ." then you don't support freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech but... not shouting "fire" in a crowded theater.

Do I not support freedom of speech?

If you want to punish people purely for the speech, without regard to the consequences, then no, you do not support freedom of speech. If someone shouts "Fire!" in a crowded theater and is ignored, it's not an issue. If someone causes people to be harmed by starting a stampede in a crowded theater, whether through yelling or pulling the fire alarm, it is the harm that they are responsible for.

Compare this with the censorship imposed by many governments. Blasphemy, a pure speech act, is a victimless crime. Anyone who supports laws against it does not support free speech.

That precedent was overturned by SCOTUS over forty years ago. It is no longer legally relevant, but I suppose it's useful as a speech control dogwhistle.


Please. It is pretty clear that this is not freedom of expression, but merely malicious trolling. And just because there are edge cases doesn't mean that reasonable laws can't be defined.

Obviously (but apparently not so obvious): Explicit threats of physical violence are not freedom of speech.

And that's the line.

A: Not "Free speech": I am going to kill you.

B: "Free Speech": I hope that you die.

A is an explicit threat.

B is merely offensive and an expression of ill will.

These are so bloody irrelevant. People need to take this more seriously.

Is this speech:

Investigative reporter finds major issue with all major news outlets in a country

Reports it on social media

All news channels ignore it, they instead cover other material and bury it


People create incendiary whatsapp messages

they are refined and designed to be absorbed immediately by people

People form mobs and kill women and men over 50 times in separate incidents because they believe the targets are "child abductors".


There are riots.

People start spreading false information

Enemy Nation states intervene and spike the narrative.

The riots turn into a coup.


The internet is evolving the way people deal with speech itself.

The old lines in the sand are for people who remember them. But the vast majority of people just dont know, dont care.

The truly malicious are using speech to cause harm at scale we have not seen before.

They have a way to now target human systems that could not be harmed, and which have no native protections that can deal with this problem at the rate/scales of today.

Case in point- Fake news and propaganda. And by fake news, the original meaning - IE random people in Romania creating websites which look like news sites to farm clicks and make money.

Those fake news sites are a perfectly legitimate exercise of free speech.

Did they lie? Is it an issue if someone lies?


My point is simply this - the old rules are going to end, pretty damn fucking quick.

Governments are not going to sit around letting a Cambridge Analytica scenario unfold, or a Brexit unfold ever again.

This means that they will ALL look to becoming China lite variants very soon.

Speech = thought = ideas - which are now being put to the test with industrialized propaganda.

You dont need to drop leaflets over enemy lines when you can advertize through facebook. Or send whatsapp messages via sleeper cells.

You dont need to indoctrinate only those people who come to your centers, you can polarize swathes of people - and the Internet and content generators will HELP you, because outrage = engagement.


The writing is written boldly on the wall.

To be honest I don't know what point you are trying make other than governments don't like people to think for themselves.

The gist of your point is that when people hear ideas (that you imply they shouldn't hear) then they can make decisions that you or the government doesn't want.

My point: Let me hear things and I'll make my own decisions using my brain.

Your point?: People are dumb and what they hear should be curated so they can decide "good" things and not "bad" things. I guess you or the govt gets to decide what's good and bad, and which ideas are "weaponized" or not.

can you give ANY other example besides this tired trope? Because I'm pretty sure you don't support free speech.

Campaign contributions by foreign entities.

Exactly. Freedom of speech is not just the freedom TO speak, its also the freedom to think.

As an early millennial, I'm astounded to see this distinction is being lost on the current generation. One regimes hate speech becomes the next administrations purge list.

This is an old argument - its been the vanguard for speech and anti regulation since the first webforums were made and the first hackers got together and discussed the "old world".

But today regulation IS coming. And many of those old beards will be on the side of regulation - because there are huge issues with the way the internet is currently working out.

Famous quote (The Man in the Arena) from a speech given by Teddy Roosevelt in Paris, France in April 1910:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Another relevant quote from Teddy from 'Controlling the Trusts', Washington D.C., Dec. 1901:

Corporations engaged in interstate commerce should be regulated if they are found to exercise a license working to the public injury. It should be as much the aim of those who seek for social- betterment to rid the business world of crimes of cunning as to rid the entire body politic of crimes of violence. Great corporations exist only because they are created and safeguarded by our institutions; and it is therefore our right and our duty to see that they work in harmony with these institutions.

that's why we need Blockchain

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