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Free speech has never been about having free unrestricted access to private platforms. The bandwidth of private platforms for media has always been limited, be it broadcast TV bandwidth, or the the editorial policy of news papers and their disproportionate audience sizes (sucking up all the oxygen and providing a huge megaphone). Fringe views rarely even got airings a few decades ago, and it wasn't until cable TV gave us 500 channels, did the lower scarcity of outlets bring out more diversity.

Alex Jones, for example, can run his own video hosting site if he wants. He's rich and could surely hire someone to build a site one on of the cloud providers, it's getting cheaper everyday. A big chunk of the HN audience could probably build it in a few weeks sprint on AWS on the cheap.

The whole point of the internet is that anyone can run a server on it. He is not entitled to publish from YouTube. And in fact, the argument that he has a right to be heard on there is only strengthening Google's monopoly and centralizing the internet by arguing almost the only way to host video, and exposing him to risk of deplatforming.

If you were a regular writer for say, the New York Times, or Readers Digest, or the Wall Street Journal, and had a huge audience, you had the same risk of sudden deprioritizing and deplatforming if the editor decided you were toxic. You don't have a right to free speech and free audience on private media platforms.

And let's be frank, what the tech companies are doing is responding to the public pressure, because the vast majority of people object to the content that's being deplatformed, and their advertisers object to advertising on platforms where most of the customers object to the content being associated with the product. A small percentage of angry political zealots on the extremes of both political wings are turning themselves into "victims".

The internet and web is the real public square here, the real printing press, NOT YouTube, Facebook, et al. And just like decades ago, if you found yourself unpopular and couldn't get your fringe magazine distributed on the shelves of major book stores, you'd self publish and self distribute to build your audience.

We need to get back to the way the internet used to be anyway. More people need to run their own websites.




I can't agree enough with you. Everything you say makes sense for a private company.

What also makes sense for a private company and, in this case, a publishing company is that they are liable for what they publish.

That means that people can take action in the justice system if they think a contract was broken or any sort of harm was made.

Unfortunately, that is not the case with these platforms. You can't take action against them because they are not categorized as publishers, but as platforms instead which do not make them liable for things that they would otherwise be.

Make Google, Facebook and other "platforms" into publishers and this problem is solved.




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