I don't see any grounds on which godaddy could reasonably claim policy jurisdiction over objectionable content they do not actively host themselves. To me, this seems like a conservative phone company bricking users phones because they've been used to watch porn. If the hosted content is illegal, they should be reported to authorities. If it is not, godaddy should act like the transparent utility service that it is and not intervene.
Am I wrong in my line of thinking?
The analogy you make, a phone company, doesn't really work. Because of their natural monopoly status, phone companies are obliged to provide common carrier status: they can't arbitrarily interfere between two network users. The ISP equivalent is of course net neutrality, which also doesn't apply here, because domain registration is not a natural monopoly.
Actually, ICANN. But it's still a single entity at the top. And IIRC they don't register names by themselves.
Registrars are not a monopoly, though. I've read that in theory, you can even become one for yourself: https://www.thesitewizard.com/domain/register-with-icann-san...
Even if they were, would that matter?
Civil Rights Act of 1964:
> All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.
GoDaddy is not a restaurant, hotel, or any other "public accommodation" business as defined by law.
AFAIK, GoDaddy could also discriminate against Jewish customers (which is a protected class) all day long and not be in violation of federal U.S. law
Such lawsuits have been attempted, but AFAIK without success.
A site that offers games to download can be very accessible but the games themselves might not be and don't have to be; not every product a store sells has to be usable by every potential customer. That's not a reason to not make the site accessible; e.g. a disabled parent should be able to download a game for their non-disabled child.
GoDaddy is a big corporation employing an army of lawyers who can't be happy about the potential liability of enabling risky services like Gab.
When Gab is inevitably sued for negligence or whatever else is coming, they'll just poof and be gone, and the big fish with deep pockets like GoDaddy don't want to be left holding the bag.
- GoDaddy isn't a transparent utility service, it's a for-profit business
- You seem to think GoDaddy needs a reasonable claim on their jurisdiction... customers agree to their TOS, which usually is very much in the provider's favour and allows the provider to do anything they want without requiring justification.
Your example scenario should be something more like "The customer is using their phone to organise a terrorist attack on American soil, should the telco brick the phone", because that is a much closer analogy to the present situation.
>godaddy should act like the transparent utility service that it is
Look, found the false assumption!
“Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.”
^^^ (guess the right-wing nutjob being quoted)
I say all this, because I believe both that a) yes, these private companies should be able to do what they want WRT who they associate with and b) online is the new "public space" for voices to be heard, which is currently only occupied by private companies. If you believe private companies shouldn't be able to buy up all the public land, then I think you would support something like this. The internet is the new public land, but it is theoretically infinite, and for some reason it's only occupied and controlled by private companies.
This is diametrically opposed to the First Amendment’s intent. Nobody is entitled to spout garbage. Or associate with those who do. What we are entitled to is protection from the government in respect of the garbage we spout. (And, protection from the government for assembling, or choosing not to assemble, with those who spout what we believe to be garbage.)
With the implication being that only the government can legally stop you while you're in a public space. If there are no public spaces, what does it matter if the government can't legally touch you, if a private entity legally can? We have to ensure publicly-owned spaces exist for free speech to exist.
Its meaning is closer to the opposite than to this.
> If there are no public spaces
The public space is deeper and more easily-accessible than ever before. Nazis aren’t having trouble distributing their message—Gab will find another registrar. Society, on the other hand, is having difficulty responding. The threat from the latter eclipses the former.
The internet is not a public space. But the argument I'm making is that part if it should be. The Nazis have only been online with hosting and registrars through the blind eyes of the private company gatekeepers. Actions like what is happening to Gab, while morally and logically defensible ("they're nazis and its private companies"), are proving that these spaces are not public, and owned entirely by private entities with their own rules. Rules that may be in your favor today, but not tomorrow.
The internet is a vast resource, and we can all see it's where public discussion actually takes place. Companies can and should run their parts of it. But there should also be a part delegated to citizens and protected by the principles we claim to want to uphold.
No, it wasn't.
The assumption at the time was _money_ was the only barrier to distribution. Much like the reasoning behind Citizen's United (as much as I loathe that decision).
And the problem here isn't really the OP, but the fact I find it scary people are happy with the idea that they are comfortable with Visa/Mastercard/Amex being able to deplatform _anyone_ on the internet in the US.
And before you claim that is hyperbole keep in mind:
A) They've cut other companies ability to process credit cards for speech-related reasons.
B) Any registrar or hosting company would cease to exist if they did this. The only real exceptions are Amazon & Google who could realistically defend themselves due to size. And given both are willing to de-platform the same types of people the credit card companies will, it has been a non-issue to date.
So yeah, I'm not comfortable with that. It isn't that I'm a fan of Nazis and Racists. Its this constant attack on free speech isn't "just" about Nazis and Racists. Its about words on the internet that offend people.
I'd much prefer a situation where first amendment protections were built into financial processing, domains, etc.
I think that the government has a duty to provide the existence of town halls/squares where people are free to gather and talk and collaborate and even be ignored or ridiculed for what they say.
I think that providing, at the bare minimum, Internet access and domain registration, might be the 21st century version of this.
I don't hold this position strongly. I haven't thought this through a whole lot.
I think the government should firmly stay out of hosting. If they become a dominant player, then government interference will become a major threat to free speech. And if they don't, then in practice the only people who can't find hosting anywhere will be the worst of the worst, so it will be a government-sponsored 4chan. I have no interest in using my tax dollars to pay to distribute content, as here, from murderous anti-Semites.
Freedom of speech just means that the government won't stop you talking. It doesn't mean the government has an obligation to build you a free megaphone.
Also, this XKCD: https://www.xkcd.com/1357/
Gab would be SOL and lose the ability to meaningfully exist on the internet. Why are private companies the gatekeepers to being able to express yourself online, all of a sudden?
Domain registration that is immune to knee-jerk responses like GoDaddy's would be nice. I am reminded of the time that GoDaddy revoked that "fake" Stripe EV cert (https://stripe.ian.sh/) because of media reporting, even though it was acceptable under the CABF EV guidelines. In other words, arbitrary.
Take the physical wires. They only exist spread everywhere because the government forced people to accept them and allowed companies to run wires over or under public land. At that point, the companies not benefiting from those wires are no longer fully private institutes.
I'm not saying I agree exactly with the OP's solution, but domain registration in many ways has the characteristics of a public utility, and I share their concern about it being subject to arbitrary value judgements.
I have never been free to put child pornography or guides on how to make bombs anywhere I liked.
One of the great things about the Internet, up until recent times, has been the relative neutrality of the infrastructure. No matter who you were, it was fairly easy to set up shop as long as your content was not super illegal. In general, you could count on having your host back you up unless you were incredibly controversial, and it was out of the question that a mainstream US provider would drop your .com name! A US-hosted .com was a "gold standard" you could count on.
The first indication that things were changing was the DMCA. But for all its faults, at least it has a process. This new political "anything goes" trend is going to be awful for anyone not already in the Fortune 500. But I guess that's the point, isn't it?
The useful idiots standing by these actions are going to be shocked, SHOCKED when the political winds shift and their favorite site is suddenly forced off the net by tech oligarchs. Do you really think this won't get turned against left-leaning/anti-war sites the moment we get into a large-scale conflict again? But I guess that's the point, too, isn't it!!
I'm appalled that anyone on the left who remembers the GWB "with us or against us" era of politics would support this kind of politicization of our infrastructure. The left would NEVER have been able to elect Obama without being able to organize on a free and open Internet!
This kind of action is killing what little remains of the open Internet! And all for a petty, temporary victory over a fringe political group! What are you throwing away???
>This new political "anything goes" trend is going to be awful for anyone not already in the Fortune 500. But I guess that's the point, isn't it?
Yes of course. Welcome to Capitalism.
When the system starts to break down from the inevitable inequality it causes, capitalists turn to fascism to maintain control. It happened in the Weimar Republic, and it's happening again now. We're seeing business news outlets openly talking about the "investment opportunities" in Brazil as a result of the election of an overt fascist.
>And all for a petty, temporary victory over a fringe political group!
The left celebrates this, not because the control is good, but because the threat of fascism has become so overt that this is the best we can hope for right now.
A prime example is rotten.com. They faced plenty of C&Ds and government lawsuits, but it looks like they weren't forced into self-hosting until 2014 based on some quick research. Rotten was 1000x worse than Infowars, Gab, or even 4chan, but it was a protest site of sorts and an important free speech canary. (It's dead now, obviously.)
Can you give some examples of leftist sites being booted from their hosts in the 2000s? Maybe I'm not aware of them. WSWS, for instance, seems to be hosted by Godaddy currently, and that's about as left as you can get. Wikileaks is an example of an (IMHO) non-partisan site that has faced troubles, but that's because they actively leaked classified intel about ongoing conflicts. Cyptome faced some government pushback in the 2000s for leaking less controversial material, but they were hosted with Network Solutions in 2012, and now with Web.com.
A few hippies or blue-haired university students are no threat to any ones lives. (Near-)fascists taking over countries is. As usual, people take action not because of some principle, but because a problem got so bad it cannot be ignored anymore. And as usual, it might already be too late...
Cool. How does the "real" left feel about speech these days?
>The left celebrates this, not because the control is good, but because the threat of fascism has become so overt that this is the best we can hope for right now.
Oh. It's a special case because things are so bad _right now_. The same justification as in every instance of abridging speech we later come to regret.
Despite disliking the anti-Semitic speech hosted on sites like gab, silencing them this way puts a bad taste in my mouth.
Yes, their speech is hateful. Yes, these are private entities that are well within their rights to refuse service.
But that’s not the point.
At the moment, a majority agrees this type of speech is unacceptable. But what’s next? Maybe next time it’s speaking against google or anything, for that matter.
The famous saying “first they came for the X..., then the Y..., who was left to speak for me?” Is appropriate here. I don’t condone hate speech, but just words aren’t hurting others. Until that speech becomes action or highly encourages action, it is just words.
Additionally, if the majority destroys the gathering place of the minority, they’ll just go to ground. Burying themselves deeper, re-enforcing their conspiracy theories, and polarizing them more. Our actions will be the catalyst to their radicalization.
We need to think, long and hard, before jumping on this bandwagon.
There are loads of racist and bigoted opinions on Facebook and Twitter, but Gab takes that to another level. The people being banned from Twitter aren’t saying things like black people have lower IQs, they’re saying they’re animals that shouldn’t exist in this country, etc. That’s not the same.
If the content was so terrible on this site, why only remove it now? Why was it tolerated for so long?
Acting against gab now, seems to be more of a show than reality. All these companies are attempting to show their disdain for this behavior. But they allowed it before. And I’m sure they allow many other sources of hate to persist on their services.
Twitter allows David Duke on their platform, but he’s careful not to post the kind of things you’ll find on Gab. Twitter allows everyday racism and white supremacist speech. They do not allow you to talk about culling millions from this country violently. The difference is that Gab does and won’t remove it.
I think we should be equally careful in how we combat ideologies that lead people to and even encourage violence. Where were all of the free-speech slippery slope people when YouTube and other groups were banding together to combat ISIS recruitment on their platforms?
But doesn't Twitter have many people saying horrible things? If gab is letting people talk about murdering people and not taking action, I'm fine with it - but is that the case?
I get the drive. Circa 1994-2000, I was involved in bianca.com, the first web-based chat site and run with a strident free-speech ethos. Especially early on, the web was a pretty staid academic place, so a site where you could talk about anything was hugely novel.
It turns out that if you let people talk about anything but most other sites have certain restrictions, then your site will become known for what other sites don't accept. In 1994, that was porn. The founders didn't really set out to have site about sex, but by 1997, that's the category we won our Webby in. None of us were really exciting about running a sex site, so eventually we turned our attentions elsewhere.
These days the problem isn't porn; there's plenty of room for that on the internet. For places like Gab and 4chan, what they get is the world's worst people, the ones kicked off Twitter and Facebook. According to a study this year, Gab has much more hate speech than Twitter (although less than 4chan).  Given its history  it is not shocking at all that one of their ardent racists went out and killed a bunch of people. After the way Elliot Rodger was radicalized online,  nobody should be surprised that online hate turns into real-world violence.
It's a careful balancing act every site owner and moderator has to consider because if you're not careful the core concept of a site can quickly change and fill in the gaps your rules or moderation leaves. I've experienced this a few times personally and is why I'm always wary when people complain about censorship when they're banned or kicked off of a platform.
This isn't a 'it turns out that' - that's just Gab's narrative. It's a site that was built by actual bigots to provide a platform for other bigots. It's a substantial category error to equate them to any actual, principled free-speech efforts.
I think their intent was as stated: to create a Twitter competitor that a lot of people used for a lot of things. Yes, they they intended to be a home for bigots. But it was never a tenable business as a place that was only a home for bigots. I just don't think they understood how their differentiator would inevitably become their whole brand.
I am sure there are a lot of people who are intellectually for free speech. I'm also sure there are a lot of people who by disposition favor the dominance of certain groups that they belong to (e.g., white men). There are plenty of people in both groups, even though the position is intellectually incoherent in that maintaining dominance always involves silencing the dominated. But because they haven't done any sort of hard self-examination, they don't realize the two are in conflict.
So far it's plausible to me that Torba is that intersection, the not-very-sharp freezepeech crowd that only does anything about freedom of speech when they feel somebody like them gets yelled at. Twitter's staff was full of the "free speech wing of the free speech party" types early on, and Twitter's evolution here was a slow concession to reality.
It's surely possible that Torba in private was a goose-stepper from the get-go, and that the free speech thing was a consciously adopted cover. But if I were to bet, it'd be that he just wasn't particularly smart, and that he really believed that he could have a Twitter competitor on the basis of "freedom!", fighting those darned liberals and their hatred of free speech. Then both he and the platform gradually self-radicalized because he identified with his platform and his platform's distinguishing characteristic snowballed.
The guy identified as a lifelong "conservative Republican Christian", a segment low on self-examination and high on the ability to believe contradictory things. Around his booting from YC, he wrote, "Take your morally superior, elitist, virtue signaling bullshit and shove it. I call it like I see it, and I helped meme a President into office, cucks." For me, that puts him near the broad end of the radicalization funnel that Bellingcat described.  So I read Gab's progress more as the inevitable unfolding of Torba's unchecked biases, and less about an initial conscious intent to cover up explicit beliefs.
Meanwhile, the current story for the genesis of Gab does not make sense. In the Gab mythology, Gab was created as a haven for ideas Twitter determined to be too dangerous for its platform. But Twitter happily plays host to conspiracy theory, Islamophobia, homophobia, misogyny, and racism. In fact, major figures in each of those buckets of hateful thought --- from the QAnon conspiracy to Pamela Gellar and Ann Coulter to Roosh V to Richard Spencer. It's not a happenstance that these people are on Twitter; they're there because Twitter does not have a policy forbidding bigotry.
What Twitter does have is a policy against harassment and violence. But, guess what? So, ostensibly, does Gab.
What deliberate purpose then does Gab serve, other than to monetize bigotry? Gab is not Bianca's Smut Shack and Torba is not a Bianca Troll.
Do you have particular evidence he's not a conservative or a Christian? He claimed to be both, and I haven't seen anything to think he wouldn't have met CPAC's or the Moral Majority's definitions of those terms when he claimed that.
Twitter had gradually been turning down the dial on awfulness for years. Many conservatives believe that liberal social media companies are biased against them, and many ardent free-speech types believe the platforms are far too fussy. I'm sure you and I agree that Twitter's hateful conduct policy  (which bans such things as "inciting fear about a protected category" and "repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone") and their enforcement of it don't go far enough. But non-insane people could also fear that a policy like that could be misapplied given how much it depends on judgment. And they might reasonably be concerned how much further the policy tightening could go.
So again, I think the claimed purpose of Gab, could well be, in a sufficiently confused mind, the actual initial intent. A large part of the US right is no stranger to outright doublethink, after all.
And thanks, but I'm aware that Gab isn't Bianca's.
I think you're wrong in attributing any kind of good faith to Gab's message about being free speech. It's white supremacist twitter, both in intent and outcome. But we don't have to keep litigating the point.
With evidence, I'd certainly believe Torba was a cryptofascist from the get-go. There are plenty of them out there "hiding their power". But I haven't seen that evidence yet, and the way his COO, Sanduja, stuck with him from founding through a few months ago, makes me think that Torba wasn't a fourteen-words type when he started.
That said, I don't think "good faith" is what I'm describing here. Right-wing doublethink requires strong compartmentalization and a refusal to reconcile one's positions and actions. If someone ardently believes in and espouses a free speech message, but only happens to put in work when it advantages white men, are they truly free speech advocates? I'd say no. Are they lying? Also no. For me "good faith" would require sufficient self-examination that they could detect and self-correct when espoused principles contradict behavior.
So it's possible to me that Torba believed in the free-speech message sufficiently to a) espouse and promote it effectively, and b) attract other people who were entirely sincere about it. But if that's the case, I also believe he was on the path of self-radicalization when he started it, and has only gone further down that road.
I don't see why one would think that when the evidence against is so clear. The ACLU defends Nazis in court and being a Nazi is not their whole brand. Gab's brand is what it is because they both host Nazis and sound like Nazis.
well for one, it makes it a slightly nicer place for the victims of that hate speech.
Gab is only viewed special case because the founder stupidly marketed it as a "free speech absolutist" sort of place.
The bigger issue I see is if when these communities become echo chambers which I think is far more toxic. Now if Gab was removing speech that was against hate speech then I think that is a major issue. I see this issue happening more on Reddit where you have community that basically have rules like "if you don't agree with xyz then you will be banned immediately." So the whole thing is an echo chamber in itself.
Also the truth is, these hate speech people aren't going to just disappear. They will persist and continue. The only solution is to counter those people, in dialogue, and keep on them about why they're wrong etc.
Gab is the same but Twitter.
But for all their bitching, they are still active on both in large numbers. Both platforms really only engage in token bans.
Even today, when the front page (unusually busy! during most of the day, there were at least six (6) stories circulating on "popular stories") is primarily about "save Gab", you are only ever one click away from fever-swamp racism; virtually everyone who comments there is a white nationalist. I've been screen-shotting Gab for months (I have weird hobbies) and one of the accounts I thought was a bot (Gab was overrun by bots, presumably to boost its traffic numbers and dilute the neo-Nazism) --- it posted garish landscape photos like clockwork every day --- also turned out to be a white nationalist. Seriously, even the inspirational landscape account is a Nazi on Gab.
But don't take the site's word for it. Listen to the site itself:
People have been screenshotting Gab.ai tweets for a year (they deleted the worst of them after yesterday's tragedy). It's not like there's any uncertainty about what they are.
Now, it is true that you can make a coherent argument for leaving sites like Gab and Stormfront alone; "more speech is antidote for bad speech", etc. But what you can't do is try to argue that Gab is just Twitter, and is being singled out unfairly. That's not what's happening. Even if Stormfront added a record review section and started doing in-depths on the new Kurt Vile album, we'd still all understand what Stormfront was. But fewer people know what Gab is, so it's a little bit more confusing.
InfoWars itself would moderate its posters.
A coherent one, but maybe also a wrong one. We've heard a lot less in the news about various de-platformed people. When was the last time Milo was in the news? https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/bjbp9d/do-social-...
I'm just saying: make whatever argument about de-platforming you want, and I won't feel much need to interject. But claim Gab and Twitter are comparable and I have a problem, because that is (a) not true and (b) exactly what Gab wants normies to believe.
what you can't do is try to argue that Gab is just Twitter
it actively courts white supremacists
Did you look at the linked tweets?
actively courting white supremacists
Anyone who denies that it is anti-Semitic is obviously arguing in bad faith.
Let's tie it back to the original argument. It is basically argued that unlike Twitter, it's justified to deplatform Gab because their 465,000 users are "virtually everyone" white nationalists, white supremacists, and/or anti-semites (the terms are used interchangeably), and that this state of affairs is due to Gab "actively courting white supremacists".
Does Gab actively court white supremacists to join their platform? Maybe! The poster claims that he screenshots Gab as a hobby, so it should be easy to provide an example of this.
Words have meanings. "White supremacy", "White nationalism", and "anti-semitism" are not synonyms.
There are very specific claims in the original argument. "Actively courts white supremacists" is a higher standard than "holds or expresses white supremacist opinions", and this claim is central to the argument justifying deplatforming Gab.
I'm commenting under my real name, in good faith.
There's a bit in Winnie-the-Pooh in which Pooh goes home to get a jar of honey to use as bait in a Heffalump trap.
"It had HUNNY written on it, but, just to make sure, he took off the paper cover and looked at it, and it looked just like honey. “But you never can tell,” said Pooh. “I remember my uncle saying once that he had seen cheese just this colour.” So he put his tongue in, and took a large lick. “Yes,” he said, “it is. no doubt about that. And honey, I should say, right down to the bottom of the jar. Unless, of course,” he said, “somebody put cheese in at the bottom just for a joke. Perhaps I had better go a little further... just in case... in case Heffalumps don't like cheese... same as me... Ah!” And he gave a deep sigh. “I was right. It is honey, right the way down.”"
Five year olds can easily tell this is supposed to be amusing and not a description of Pooh's good-faith effort to establish the precise contents of the jar.
I have to admit, up until now I never thought I'd see anyone seriously try the "Arabs are Semites too!" argument, which is in all other circumstances a parody of message board concern trolling.
It's actually a Heffalump.
I've chosen to avoid putting labels on people based on twitter-length blurbs [...] haven't seen the full on full on overt, racist, 'final solution' type of Nazism
You know who else was not super-overt about the 'final solution' part of their Nazism? The Nazis.
Would it also be reasonable for browsers also black list the website in question "because they don't want to be associated with those things"?
Like imagine if there were four browsers but only one could be used to access Gab.ai. And people who don't like antisemitism knew that and began threatening to boycott that browser and encourage others to do the same. It would be totally reasonable for that browser to remove support for Gab.ai at that point.
One is far more benign and is simply an unopinionated tool. The other has a huge power and daya asymmetry can do anything at any time, subject only to the reputational and competition constraints. And the competition needs to build everything from scratch instead of just forking.
Guess which one always wins in the end :)
As time goes on, the Atlas Shrugged argument of “but who will want to build the next thing if you limit their upside with taxes and regulations?” will be less and less relevant. I’d like to see a society where instead of John Galts we have collaborative snowballs like Wikipedia and Science where everyone adds a tiny bit without chilling effects of intellectual property lawsuits. But how will people eat? UBI.
If GoDaddy won't handle their domain name, I'm sure some registrar in Russia would glady give them gab.ru
A business doesn't have to keep doing business with a customer, they are free to cut them off.
Besides, godaddy is a private company. It is not obligated to give rights of freedom of speech to anyone.
The Colorado cake case is a weird and bad example, because it came down to people wanting him to commission art (most of that Supreme Court case was about whether or not the cake was an artistic expression, protected by the first 1st amendment). Interestingly that cake shop no longer does custom cakes, so technically they do have to sell to everyone now.
There is another Supreme Court case coming up which will address speech and platforms. This is going to be big. I wrote about this last year and I think it's really relevant today:
You might not say anything now, because you might hate Gab and think it's hate speech, but just wait for them to come to a platform you don't think is wrong, but goes against the current mindset of what people think is right.
There are too few providers and they are way too big. If AWS, DigitalOcean, Vultr, Dreamhost, etc. all deny you a platform, where are you going to go? Are you now going to pay out the ass for platforms that cater to Adult Website hosting?
So few people even visit websites anymore either, unless they're linked via Facebook/Twitter, which are both deleting things they don't agree with enmass!
Furthermore, this just pushes people more into these outlying platforms, further polarizing them to deal exclusively with ostracised people and opinions. It literally gives them more validity by censoring them (versus ignoring them)!
If the shooter had posted on Facebook instead of Gab, we wouldn't demand Facebook go down would we?
I think there are really serious implications to all of this, and many of them are not good.
2) Not sure why you bring up the utility argument. It's basically equivalent to traditional newspapers where if I write some incendiary letter to the editor I am not guaranteed that any of them will post it.
What exactly did they do to piss everyone off?
This weekend a dude shot up a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Guess what social network he'd been hanging out on making lots of posts about killing Jews?
Many other social media sites also suffer from massive amounts of hate speech as well.
It's hard to argue with people that are not even wrong. For example, some hold beliefs like "Women are subhuman and only exist to serve men and were created for that purpose."
How do you even argue against something like that?
They can go and get another registrar, and if they need another payment provider, they can always set up one themselves, or start taking bitcoin.
Does that actually work?
It doesn't help that simple imaginary solutions that probably blame some scape goat are easy to sell compared to complicated trade-offs that marginally reduce systemic issues our society has.
The US political system practically allowing only two parties doesn't help, since it makes it easy to disregard everyone not with your team instead of having to engage with a large set of different opinions.
But you quite often see people post something like "thanks for saving me from being an alt-righter" in the community of for example twitch-streamer Destiny. He did engage alt right youtubers in discussions, but recently scaled that back somewhat... apparently having a right wing mob hate you is a real thread to your livelihood as well. He says he has still no idea why he got his permanent twitter ban... so yeah, I'd love someone to look into that...
Anyway, we are talking about the marketplace of ideas. As with any marketplace, you need marketing to sell the good (idea). Guess what kind of ideas are worth paying for? Probably the kind that will benefit those with lots of capital. And for that reason do real lefties think capitalism will eventually always end in fascism once disillusioned people demand change and only a communist revolution can save us.
I always disregarded that as stupid, but the last few years make it more and more difficult...
Well, guess what, it doesn't happen.
Surely it should be seen as a benefit for other websites that they have sequestered themselves off on their own domain?
These are people who think it’s okay so shout in the streets, “death to the Jews!” Because they of course are not actually killing anyone. They don’t accept responsibility for their vocal protest encouraging someone who was already harbouring murderous thoughts to actually commit murder. They don’t accept that actions spring from ideas and ideas spring from words. They don’t accept that in a world where people aren’t actively blaming Jews for the world’s problems, the nascent anti-Semite will take no action because they are insufficiently motivated to take any action.
So in the talking in theatres analogy, the worst harm is that someone else doesn’t get to enjoy the movie. In real life the worst harm is that someone is encouraged to commit genocide.
To illustrate the issue, consider that one can be suspended or even banned from Twitter simply for stating (rightly or wrongly) that there are two genders. But Sarah Jeong-style tweets are considered perfectly fine, even though they are hateful and racist in many ways. I think these examples illustrate that what is at stake here is much more than just the ability of mass murderers to spew hatred.
To make your analogy stronger, you would have to imagine a world in which theaters had become the standard place to talk and engage in discourse amongst tens of millions of people simultaneously.
You can see this phenomenon in Indian right wing Twitter accounts, the talk is like: Don't I have freedom of speech? Why don't people listen to what I say? Why am I being deprived of audience?
And like you said many people have a hard time coming to terms when faced with fact that 'freedom of speech' only gives you the freedom to talk, as such no immunity is provided for the consequences of the speech. This leads to all sorts of crazy situations, for example: Many people give like hate inciting speech to create a riot, and almost act like they indulged in a great tradition of democracy.
On the very long term, things like 'freedom of speech', only make sense when they become a force for good. Another common abuse is comedians, cartoonists etc, in full conscious creating mischief and expect people to just happily put up with it.
Note: I'm trying to be factual here, but know that Pittsburgh is my home town and I have a lot of feelings about this.
In seriousness, isn't it federated like PeerTube? In that case, you'd likely only allow people to link to your network if you trust them, and each network would be responsible for vetting its users. If a particular network becomes a cesspool, you just remove them from your network instead of having to completely overhaul the entire system.
You look up who boner.lol's admin is and they are posting the exact same kind of stuff people are reporting their users for, and rabidly defending users who're being called out on other instances for doing this. So you shrug, and silence the whole instance. Now nobody on boner.lol can talk to anyone on your instance.
But what about @firstname.lastname@example.org? @niceguy has a lot of friends on your instance, and wasn't doing any of the stuff that got boner.lol silenced. They just thought 'boner.lol' sounded funny. They want to talk to their friends, so they make a new account elsewhere - maybe on your instance if registration is open, maybe elsewhere. Eventually they pretty much move operations to their new account because they just can't talk to anyone they want to with their boner.lol account.
This continues for a while. Maybe you toot something about how you silenced boner.lol and some of the other instance admins you're friendly with decide to preemptively silence boner.lol as well. Other admins silence it after their own direct experience with it. Maybe it gets added to one of the lists of Instances You Might Wanna Silence If You Want Things To Be Chill. Eventually the only other instances that don't silence boner.lol are ones that allow the same kind of behavior that got them silenced on your instance. And the admin of boner.lol now has a userbase consisting of nothing but the kind of people who enjoy pissing each other off. Which sure doesn't sound like a very rewarding thing to run, financially or emotionally.
There is at least one instance I could name which has run down this path, and is no more.
This is a proxy battle for "Big Tech is Liberal and Liberals are trying to shut down Conservative speech", is it? Or am I wrong? If it is, why don't Conservatives just create their own tech stuff? Like what is fundamentally stopping people from being heard if the government isn't the one stopping them? Is it currently too hard to create another registrar so we're stuck with the ones we have?
That's literally what Gab is.
> Is it currently too hard to create another registrar so we're stuck with the ones we have?
Sort of. In theory it's possible , but it's hard enough almost no one does it.
Not even Twitter has their own registrar (which it why they went down during the DynDNS attack).
So right or wrong, hate or not, illegal or not, there's ultimately a corporation somewhere deciding if you get a domain name to point at your content.
I guess there's also an ISP and all of that also involved.
I wonder how much this changes or should change if the Internet was to be considered a fundamental right. Mentally rambling now. Anyway, thanks for the link.
You can host your own services, but better hope your colo doesn't decide you're more trouble than you're worth. Build out your own datacenter, but hope your ISP(s) don't decide you're more trouble than you're worth. Build out your own ISP, but hope anyone wants to peer with you.
And that's just on the transit side. We've a growing history of piracy sites having their access to the DNS infrastructure curtailed, and porn sites finding the only payment processors who'll touch them charge above and beyond for the 'privilege'.
It becomes difficult to ignore that members of society do depend on the rest of society.
Payment processors are just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine not being able to take out your rent money because the banks have "deplatformed" you! That's where we're headed.
It's going to turn really nasty when the political enemy du jour shifts away from Literal Nazis and back to anti-government critics, environmentalists, and the like.
 It is worth noting that GoDaddy does not equate to "those in power". A business has every right to deny service on whatever grounds they choose (even for no reason).
> That's literally what Gab is.
You're doing "conservatives" a disservice if you claim that anything with a conservative bent would have to end up as the racist cesspool Gab is, and where Gab constantly makes crazy statements themselves (FFS, https://twitter.com/Popehat/status/1056266704148262912 )
No one wants to be associated with Gab because it's clear to anyone that it's a garbage fire of a website. It's similar to what happened with Stormfront.
Gab and their ilk are giant targets for lawsuits for negligence and who knows whatever else, and no one wants to the deeper pockets further up the food chain
The risk/reward of associating with products like Gab has gotten very negative
"Researching my book, I looked into what actually happened in the Weimar Republic. I found that, contrary to what most people think, Weimar Germany did have hate-speech laws, and they were applied quite frequently. The assertion that Nazi propaganda played a significant role in mobilizing anti-Jewish sentiment is, of course, irrefutable. But to claim that the Holocaust could have been prevented if only anti-Semitic speech and Nazi propaganda had been banned has little basis in reality. Leading Nazis such as Joseph Goebbels, Theodor Fritsch, and Julius Streicher were all prosecuted for anti-Semitic speech. Streicher served two prison sentences. Rather than deterring the Nazis and countering anti-Semitism, the many court cases served as effective public-relations machinery, affording Streicher the kind of attention he would never have found in a climate of a free and open debate. In the years from 1923 to 1933, Der Stürmer [Streicher's newspaper] was either confiscated or editors taken to court on no fewer than thirty-six occasions. The more charges Streicher faced, the greater became the admiration of his supporters. The courts became an important platform for Streicher's campaign against the Jews. In the words of a present-day civil-rights campaigner, pre-Hitler Germany had laws very much like the anti-hate laws of today, and they were enforced with some vigor. As history so painfully testifies, this type of legislation proved ineffectual on the one occasion when there was a real argument for it."
Hell, Hitler himself was convicted of high treason, but only got a slap on the wrist because the judge and jury were basically on his side.
The only thing strong or soft speech policing contributes to is the further erosion of our civil liberties.
edit: immediate downvoting with no response. Really? So isn't there abhorrent content divulgated by Twitter/Facebook/YouTube/etc? Are any of their domains threatened by it?
Any of the downvoters, feel free to engage in discussion.
And when threatened, they've done so:
Again, seems to me we're holding to different standards.
How do you know he was mentally ill? Lot of non-mentally ill people commit crimes. Were all the Nazis mentally ill? Was Hitler mentally ill?
2) Godaddy is apolitical. They are merely trying to distance themselves from the actions of the Gab site like everyone else is.
These groups of large tech companies are acting as puritans and social engineers in concert are worrying. The same companies complaining about other countries forcing them to censor and going above and beyond censoring at home.
Edit: 10 years ago, nobody with any sense would have supported this. People valued free speech. The anti-free speech brigading is rather shocking, especially on a site like hacker news.
"The United States Supreme Court held (5–4) on January 21, 2010, that the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for communications by nonprofit corporations, for-profit corporations, labor unions, and other associations".
We should just admit that businesses censor one way or another - whether suppressing speech (removal of tweets), or extreme bias in information dissemination (looking at you, Fox News).
To those of us who want to see bad websites go away, this doesn't sound like a terrible thing.
> 10 years ago, nobody with any sense would have supported this.
Ten years ago, antisemites were a lot quieter.