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Amazon, Apple and Google Cut Off Parler (nytimes.com)
1058 points by jimmy2020 on Jan 10, 2021 | hide | past | favorite | 3676 comments



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I'm just going to come out and say something that I've had a hard self reflective time coming to the conclusion of. I don't believe in free speech without limits.

I have strongly felt that the actions taken by these companies is morally and ethically the right thing to do, for any business and that is inconsistent with believing in true free speech. My line for free speech seems to lie in speech that incites violence or speech that discriminates against people for immutable characteristics of their person, both of which I know Parler harbors in abundance. I think there are simply some ideas that are too repugnant to not rebuke.

That said I don't like how centralized we've become on these existing platforms either. Monopoly on communication means it's too easy to let that window slide on what is acceptable speech to limit.


I have not yet concluded whether I believe in free speech without limits, but I can at least say with confidence the following:

- Freedom of speech is of extremely high importance for any free society and should not be taken for granted

- Removing it in any capacity should be done with extreme care and free of any bias one way or another, with a lot of thought put into any future consequences

- Speech without a platform isn't speech at all

- Private companies' interest should have little, if any, control over the ability of the public to speak

- Just because a private company is legally allowed to do something, doesn't mean they should

- The marketability of speech (for financially or politically) should have no bearing on whether it's allowed or good

I don't know if all of this is being upheld. I think a lot of interests are at play here. I have no easy answers or even recommendations other than that everyone think about what objective barometers they really think makes speech allowable or not.

(Edit: list rendered real bad)


Not an American but here's my two cents: I know it's about the event happened few days ago, but based on what I've learned on the other side of the Earth during these years, I think overall, Censorship in any shape or form, when encouraged, will eventually develop itself to become "Government Enforced". I guess we all know how that goes.

I know the problem is complex, but I think the solution to the problem was based on basic human impulses (And very American if I'd say so myself. Sorry), because simply deplatform the app will not actually convince it's users to leave it, it does not educate those people about what's right and wrong, and it opened a huge playground for the conspiracy theorist to play around.

All around, I think deplatforming is a bad solution to this problem.

EDIT: Clarify: I'm not here to support Parler (not even a bit), and I understand the deplatforming was for the immediate issue. However, I hope those who involved in the decision making could look for a better solution that would convince people to claim down and be rational. That's all.


I think deplatforming is exactly what we need here: neonazi and white supremacists are people who are reliant on easy to use discourse-amplifying platforms. The more you make it difficult for them to gather virtually, the more you’re breaking the spell that keeps them together. Before social media, physical neonazi or white supremacy chapter had A LOT of work to do to radicalize people, and were very easy to police and keep under control. With online-based organizational tools, radicalization became easier and harder to patrol. Do you think a random Arkansas soccer mom would have ever joined anything as crazy as Q-anon conspiracy, if she had to attend Q-anon chapter in person instead of participating in an online forum while doing the laundry?


There's a contradiction in your argument. On one hand, you claim these platforms "amplify" hate speech, and on the other hand, you want to push them to other platforms.

...but it is exactly that isolation that create the bubble induced amplification of hate-speech.

If everyone was forced to exist on the same platform (as a though experiment) then hate-speech would have to co-exist with rational thinkers and their hateful ideas might not propagate much.

...but the moment you ban/deplatform/censor/etc... then they begin to form isolated groups with no counter-balance of rationality.


Have you been discussing this online with people that fervently believe the election was fraudulent? It is eerily similar to talking with someone in a cult. Any 'evidence' you present to them will be taken and 'debunked' by their fellow cult members.

There is already no counter balance.

Breaking up their platforms into smaller pieces is actually helpful and will keep them from readily finding new members on the internet.


I think this is something that largely gets ignored in all of these discussions about deplatforming, free speech, etc. There is a baked in assumption that all people are rational and will respond to well-reasoned arguments and evidence and will eventually arrive at a reasonable and evidence-based conclusion if you just bear with them and try harder. But my experience so far has not shown this to be the case.

I’ve tried to have a calm and reasonable discourse with people who believe in things like QAnon, anti-vaccination theories, the “deep state”, GMO conspiracies, among others, and I’m a single voice among however many hundreds or thousands of others they are listening to. No amount of evidence or rational argument will sway these people because they are swimming in a sea of voices reinforcing their views.

I’m not sure if deplatforming is the right solution here but I also don’t know what the alternatives are. Should we let them keep espousing and spreading patently false information that is actually causing harm to society to a large audience and hope that people just ignore it? That doesn’t seem like a good solution, either.


To be honest, rational argument and evidence doesn't exactly sway people of the opposite belief because they, too, are swimming in a sea of like voices.

Every time big tech bans or suspends a user, another supporter of Trump is born.


Every time we accept violent behavior, that behavior grows.


Agreed, now do antifa and BLM


Violent thinking exists whether or not we "accept it". By putting all the violent thinking people on their own isolated platform, we are facilitating the escalation of their thinking into coordinating actions.


The best school to become a thief is jail. Concentrating violent thinking people together will agitate the self-radicalization that occurs. How do you avoid this?


> The best school to become a thief is jail.

I think that's a US thing. Other countries seem to be genuinely more rehabilitative. Looks like 55% of the state prison population is there for violent offenses: https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie2020.html

Handling non-violent offenders away from the violent ones might be a good start.


I completely agree with this. You will find a ton of stories about nonviolent people who had to become/join violent groups in prison just to stay alive and not be abused incessantly.


You can't you just have to let it happen until they implode and you can throw them in prison but at least you've limited their recruitment.


I hear what you're saying and I don't disagree that both "sides" are susceptible to group think and a mob mentality. I consider myself fairly moderate which is why I include examples of extreme views from the left (anti-vaccination theories, GMO conspiracies, 9/11 “truthers”) in my analysis, as well. I’m not a fan of misinformation no matter what the source is and do my best to try to “lead” people away from it.

That being said, what do we do in this situation (which is a common one I see in these kinds of debates)?:

- Group A claims X.

- Person N asks Group A to provide evidence for their claim X.

- Group A cannot provide said evidence, or the evidence provided is unreliable/cannot be validated.

- Person N asks for additional evidence that the claim X made by Group A is true.

- Group A insists they are right and refuses to provide any additional evidence for claim X.

- Person N chooses to not believe Group A’s claim X due to a lack of evidence.

What’s the next step? Assuming good faith on the sides of both parties, how do you reach some sort of agreement or conclusion?

And what do we do when claim X made by Group A is one that leads to violence or other societal harms (such as an increase in death and suffering due to the spread of disease in the case of anti-vaccination theories)?

I don’t have a good answer, here. I desperately want to have rational and productive conversations with people with whom I disagree. But how do you avoid a deadlock situation like the above?


> Group A cannot provide said evidence, or the evidence provided is unreliable/cannot be validated.

Recall my post that evidence cannot sway "person N".


Agreement, and conclusion should be reached by applying procedures to which sides* agree: be it a coin tossing, asking oracle, or voting. Opposing side won't magically disappear when your side achieves power over media. What will likely happen instead they will get more reasonable motivation to wrestle this power from your hands with any means possible.

*Btw, usually there are more then two sides: it's just stale majoritarian system which leaves people just two unsatisfactory choices in US.


> to which sides* agree:

But that assumes both sides are operating in good faith - it's pretty clear in the example that A are not (as are some sides in the real world.)


The example tells about inability to reach conclusion in debates, but explicitly assumes good faith, you probably skipped the final part. And in real life as well, not a lot of people would be inclined to choose civil war instead of political/cultural one.


Giving how gullible the general public is, I think this will be a great way to stop the flow of garbage into their gullible minds. Sure the zealots and mentally unstable will find other means to communicate with each other but deplatforming Trump right now is critical to preventing another Capitol building repeat. He needs to be stalled until he has to show up in NY state for tax/real estate fraud charges. Then he will be more focused on that rather than trying to stir up more mayhem.


You are assuming that they will not ultimately form censorship resistant platforms that that will be far more dangerous than having their conversations visible to the majority.

Not only is that game of whack-a-mole unsustainable, it will lead to the creation of un-silencible platforms. ...and if they are scalable they might become the new standard.

It will be pretty sad if social media platforms are ultimately displaced by the platforms created due to their censorship.


And it's a fair assumption. If they do, those platform won't have state-like power and leverage like Facebook or Twitter, and will be way easier to patrol. The real solution would be to break down facebook and regulate gigantic internet leviathans to avoid that they become more powerful than nation states. While we work on it, this might be the best solution we have to stop easy radicalization.


Modern online communities fracture into as many sub-groups as deemed necessary by both algorithms and user preference. Moving everyone to one platform won't limit the spread of violent hate speech, or limit organized sub-groups from co-ordinating violent activity.

From a platform perspective, there isn't much difference between companies curtailing the use of their platforms to carry out violent activity and those platforms curtailing other illegal activities such as spamming or malware distribution.

We don't consider sending 1 million unsolicited emails free speech, and wouldn't consider a gang using reddit to co-ordinate free speech. Is there any difference for groups coordinating the violent overthrow of an elected democracy?


> the moment you ban/deplatform/censor/etc... then they begin to form isolated groups with no counter-balance of rationality.

(1) Rationality is not a counterbalance to implacable, violent division when there is a fundamental conflict of value. Rationality is just ruthlessly optimized maximization of one's own utility function.

(2) For those things where rationality in principal could be a counterbalance, the problem is that people (all of them) are not rational (rationality is an abstract, unattainable ideal), and the ways in which certain people are irrational can minimize the effect of what partial rationality other people in the group they are incorporated into have.

When a group tries to exclude certain ideas from general conversation, it tends to be ideas whose expression is seen as indicateling one or both of (a) irreconcilable conflict of values with values that the rest of the groups sees as table stakes, and/or (b) incorrigible and toxic-to-the-group irrationality in assessment of reality and pursuit of values, whether or not these values are compatible with the group’s values.

So, in either case, the decision is not made in a lack of awareness that isolation removes, int he abstract, rationality as a counterbalance in the conflict between the core group and the excised group, it's is made instead because of the belief that rationality does not function as such a counterbalance with the concrete group targeted for excision, and indeed that the presence of that excised group mitigates the function rationality otherwise would serve as a counterbalance to conflicts within the core group.


> ...but the moment you ban/deplatform/censor/etc... then they begin to form isolated groups with no counter-balance of rationality.

The first such group that comes to mind is Heaven's Gate, which I think illustrates the opposite:

A brief reading of Wikipedia suggests to me that key members arrived in place via media attention, even though they spent significant other effort trying to recruit members.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven's_Gate_(religious_group...


I see your point but unfortunately this is really not how platforms these days work... Even if people are on the "same platform" they get trapped in their own echo chambers because by doing so the platforms make the most amount of money.


This argument only makes sense if you act like history began in the 20th century. There was so clearly much more widespread racism and neonazism long before the mainstream internet. Also yes I do think that soccer mom would go to an in-person event if she sees some politician that appeals to her fears and biases, we've seen that all before. It doesn't mean she'll storm the US capitol building, but it does mean she can exist without Facebook.


Deplatforming is isolation and in a sense, this already happened on reddit because they could isolate their own topic ( eg. TheDonald) from other opinions ( eg. Snowflake).

I'm not sure where the sitting is, but the ones radicalizing right now don't get a counter opinion.


We all can agree situation and potential solutions are complex beyond imagination, but there is one place, one long term action that could solve most of this to some degree - proper mandatory education, based on proved science. Learn kids critical thinking, rather than raise another obedient generation who doesn't think for themselves and picks up a narrative from some place and then just sticks with it. Learning more soft skills at school (at which most teachers suck, but that's another topic), psychology, why people behave as they do, biases, how our childhood affects us all etc. I think generally our schooling systems globally need big rehaul, but for topic discussed, I can't imagine what I mention it wouldn't bring some improvement.

Teaching with current level of science as hard baseline is already a place where some western countries like US fail (ie evolution vs creationism topic).

I don't think the change I mention is in direct interest of many governments, so its more like a pipe dream and an additional burden on parents to drill this into their kids.


I would de-emphasise pop psychology, and more emphasise:

- clarity: while not everything has a right or wrong answer, but lots of things do

- robustness: it's okay for people to disagree with you, and also for you to be wrong and learn from it

- reason: avoiding the standard fallacies

- agreeing to disagree: individuals you know/interact with and your relationships with them are more important than abstract tribes you may or may not belong to


I've been saying the same, but sometimes I doubt something like that could be implemented. "Based on proven science" doesn't work for most things social.

How do you teach someone to self-analyze and understand where their problems are actually coming from? To question their own conclusions and rethink what they know?

Still, it's possible to improve the current education system, by a lot. The current "learn this, don't ask why" doesn't work, and to make it worse, parents can be just as uninformed and stubborn as their kids, so they'll come to school raising hell over their lil' precious' bad grades.


As I understand it, this is essentially what various specialties bucketed under “therapy” work to understand and practice ethically and safely. “Give all schoolchildren therapy” sounds a bit radical but I imagine there are ways to scale it that would be 100x more valuable than the typical curriculum.


> proper mandatory education, based on proved science

In the case of political discourse, that may improve the case around some 'fringe theory' concepts which add fuel to the fire, but it's not going to stop the core 'fire', which is driven by philosophy/ethics/metaphysics.

People need to be able to break the 'fourth wall' in these debates in order to question their philosophical biases, and empiricism-as-answer-to-all-problems is also a philosophical bias - eugenics was seen by many as 'scientific virtue' in the 1920s, as one obvious example


Teaching is one group of people trying to instill their ideas/understanding to others. There's always an authority to decide what should be taught, and it's power will be abused. Resorting to just proven science may limit these abuses but will leave you without social sciences/humanities altogether, because they almost never operate with properly (from scientific pov) proven things


1. Scientific and rational debate are first class citizens in online communication

2. No speech limitations should be placed on online discussions unless it deviates away from rational debate.

3. Newsfeeds are sorted by popularity AND scientific accuracy.

4. All opinions about an issue, article, or topic are categorized and mapped on a spectrum. Meta data for quick analysis: how does my opinion compare to my peers?


[flagged]


This is the most extreme hot take I’ve ever read on hacker news. You made me verbally laugh. No one should ever be “deplatformed for life”. What utter garbage.


It’s sarcasm. The poster is trying to point out that what’s being proposed is forced ideology. Re-education camps as it were.


It certainly doesn't read as sarcasm to me. But if it is, then that's good.


A bit too harsh? Surely they could be granted a second chance by sending them to be educated again.


I read GP as sarcastic.. “think critically and agree with us or de-platformed for life”


At the very least we should require that people learn the basic tenets of modern science: that war is peace, slavery is freedom and ignorance is power. That would go a long way towards curbing extremism.


ROTFL! I read your grandparent comment and said to myself "this feels just like a George Orwell dystopia"...


Well, the lefties just realized it was satire, so they memoryholed my original comment. As long as they thought I was being serious they upvoted like crazy.

I hope I still, before I'm banned, managed to demonstrate that it is nigh impossible to tell the difference between the most extreme satirical absurdly totalitarian opinion, and actual "progressive" thought these days. And now they have both chambers.


And I just I want to add,

As long as the Internet exist, ( not only the Web, but the Net ) you are only pushing these people to other places. And possibly to an invitation only sub group. They will form its circle in Telegram or other means of media. A bit slower than they first appeared. But the power of internet meant that movement is still relatively quick. And with the power of Hyperlink, news and information spread just as fast as they are in a single group.

So the platform isn't Facebook, Twitter or Youtube, It is the Internet. Or the name information super highway really describe the point better. Which sort of brings the question of regulating the internet but we wont go into that for now.

There is another point wroth mentioning. The making of decent fake news that cant be easily rebutted is far easier than the time and money required to spent for Fact Checking. Not to mention most people dont bother Fact Checking in the first place.

Having been on the other side of the fence with freedom of speech taken away, I agree with parent and grand parent;

Freedom of speech is of extremely high importance for any free society and should not be taken for granted

I think deplatforming is a bad solution to this problem.


I agree that deplatforming is a bad solution to the problem. I don't think there is an easy solution to "the problem", certainly not by tech companies. The response by tech companies is more like an emergency response to a dangerously close attempt to overthrow the government. It is an incredible show of power by the tech companies, and I am sure both political camps have taken notice regardless of their preferences in this particular case.

I think the free speech issue may be a little overblown here. I would be really concerned if cable companies stop carrying Fox News, but I get that this is a slippery slope. However, I think at the end of the slippery slope is not really the end of free speech, but rather two completely separate echo chambers each with its own mega distribution channels.


The government has been shutting down death threats and open sedition since the birth of the United States. There's a difference between free speech and saying "i'm going to go down to the capitol and put _______ head on a spike" . That's not free speech that's a threat. "Let's blow up ____________" is also a threat and not free speech. Also facebook, twitter, etc should not host such things, and they decided not to, thus this really isn't about free speech in the Constitution and no one really has ever had a right to post such things anywhere unless they have a contract that says it, and such a contract would be illegal anyway. The government didn't force AWS to remove Parler.


Not an American as well. Regarding alternative solutions, maybe people should try to soothe trump supporters in order to rid the extremists among them of grounds for committing violent crimes, and it should be done as soon as possible to avoid the impression of conceding to violence.

For example, Democrat leadership could promise to hold another election immediately after the vaccination is complete. In addition, to persuade trump supporters, they could consider getting rid of mail-in ballots, and legislating a Democratic version of voter ID law.

It's the democratic solution as well. Democracy should be about appealing to the largest possible percentage of population, and shutting up the other side is not a democratic solution to the current US crisis.


These are terrible ideas IMHO.

Republicans don't like mail-in voting because it makes it a lot easier for the entire population to vote, and they have been spending the last few decades making it a lot harder for people who are not rich white suburbanites to vote.


What we need is a blockchained using name, DOB, address, and ID. At that point, most issues go away and where you vote becomes much less important.

Neither the Democrat nor Republican establishments want that either. After all, rigging primaries or engaging in other dubious activities would be much too hard.


The changes need to still allow for anonymous voting. Nobody should face repercussions for how they vote.


And equally important, no one should be able to prove to someone else how they voted (because if they can prove it, coerced[1] voting could be a thing). "Secure voting" is a complicated beast, at the best of times.

[1] I am using "coerced" a bit loose here, I am including both "vote X, or else" as well as "if you vote X, I will give you this $SUM money". If it is by structure impossible to show that you complied, it is less likely that either will happen.


The actual votes on a block can be encrypted separately.

The chain makes the system completely and easily auditable. You can't easily game the system. Votes can be easily tallied and randomly sampled to ask voters if the votes match up.

As to repercussions, you already sign your ballots and register to vote. Because of this, there's pretty much no stopping government repercussions if they chose to take action.

Most importantly, it gets rid of all the election fraud debate.


But then someone has to decrypt the vote, and the vote has metadata about its source. You have to operate under the assumption that a gov actor would take that information and punish you if it was not the vote they wanted (however unlikely, that’s what we’re protecting against)


I am an Independent. I don’t like mail-in voting, at least as it exists today, because it opens up extraordinarily easy avenues for voting fraud. In the run up to the 2020 election, Democrats at the state level (where most election regulations are actually decided) opened the mail-in voting laws so far and wide that anyone with a pen could send in as many votes as they wanted in different names and nobody would have any proof of which were valid and which weren’t.

Note that I am not saying that widespread fraud actually occurred in this election...there was no evidence of it, in large part because the laws were setup so that there wouldn’t be. But that isn’t really the point. It could have occurred and nobody could ever prove it, short of the perpetrators themselves coming forward to admit what they did.

Unless something changes before 2024, there is no longer any point in bothering to cast your vote. When anyone can vote without having to prove that they are eligible, and can do it remotely, it renders all votes meaningless.


I generally agree with you, and would prefer we move toward in person voting on paper ballots in as many jurisdictions as possible. With easy exemptions for people with mobility impairments, etc.

However I think any pressure towards in-person voting MUST be accompanied by an expansion of rights in terms of how far polling places are from you, a national holiday where everyone gets the day off work, sizeable transportation stipends, etc. Without all of that, requiring people to vote in person is de facto disenfranchisment.

And furthermore, with regards to 2020, I disagree with you wholeheartedly. I think everyone had a right to no-contact voting this year due to COVID. It was a special set of circumstances.


I agree with you that voting needs to be as accessible as possible, as long as we have steps in place to ensure that only eligible voters are voting, and that they are only able to do so once. I don’t know how you do that with the hard push against voter ID laws, however.

With regard to 2020, the changes to the laws that occurred could have been entirely well-intentioned. They probably were. But those changes have led to the current crisis of confidence in the election results, and rightly so.


> anyone with a pen could send in as many votes as they wanted in different names and nobody would have any proof of which were valid and which weren’t.

I can't find any evidence for this. Further, at least where I live, ballots are mailed to voters and include a control number that ensures only one vote is counted for that person.


Well that’s the issue. There is a patchwork of state and local laws that determine who can vote, what (if any) requirements there are for voter registration, how deaths of registered voters are handled, etc. Even where you live, you might be surprised by how easy it might be to register to vote, and that process might be open for large amounts of fraud. It becomes a very murky issue when you allow each state to set their own rules, and then each state can allow each county flexibility within state law.

Then there is the issue of dead people that have not been removed from the voter rolls. We know for a fact that in 2020, many of these were returned, filled out, likely by family members. That alone is an issue (example: https://youtu.be/CINHx-z9cbk ).

Here is an article with an overview of some of the laws that were changed/relaxed in 2020. Generally speaking, each relaxed restriction opens up more and more avenues for fraud:

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/states-changed-rules-voting-...


Registering to vote and voting are not the same thing.

You claim fraud and offer a video as proof. The video contradicts you. In it they explicitly say, a few times, there wasn't any fraud.


The video said that votes from dead people were counted in violation of state law. Call it fraud, call it a mistake. Invalid votes were counted. I am not sure how that contradicts me. The point of this conversation is, quite simply, that the rules were changed in a way dramatically increased the possibility of fraudulent/invalid votes being counted. That makes voting pointless unless and until the rules are changed.

Further, at least in this election, voting and registering to vote were one in the same in many jurisdictions. Many states automatically sent out mail-in ballots to everyone that was registered. All that had to be done from there was to fill it out and send it in. Families of dead people sent in those ballots in many cases.

Registering to vote as someone else, or as an entirely fictional person, is absurdly easy in many jurisdictions. In California, for instance, one can skip any identity checks by simply marking two checkboxes: one indicating they have no ID, and one indicating they have no social security number [1]. Voila, you are now a registered voter. Combine this absurdity with automatically sent out mail-in ballots in many states, and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

[1] https://covr.sos.ca.gov/


A couple of states have had vote-by-mail for years, and Oregon at least has had it exclusively for decades.

The Republican Secretary of State ran an election audit in 2016 and found that, over 2+ million votes cast, around 50 or so were "fraudulent," most of those being cast by people who voted in Oregon and elsewhere.

Vote-by-mail is not problematic, if you consider the historical evidence provided by places that have been doing it for a while.


Vote-by-mail is not problematic

That is the party line, but you have no way of actually knowing that. The election audit to which you refer has no way of knowing how many votes were cast by identities that were simply invented because of the ease of registration in many states (which has now been combined with proactive sending of mail-in ballots, thanks to COVID). Sure, they can tie together people who voted in more than one state, but that isn’t the attack vector that anyone with any sense would use. Show me a good way of identifying brand new identities used to vote in states where there are easy ways to bypass ID requirements (such as California). There isn’t.


Vote-by-mail allows pressure tactics and potentially removes the privacy of voting. For example, abusive spouses can control the ballot of their victim. It also allows payments for votes, because the ballot can be checked by the payer.


Mail in voting is fine, no one has -ever- been able to prove it widespread enough to change an election (unless you live in a town of like 50 people). This has been studied over and over. Every time they check out the supposed fraudulent votes nothing pans out. It is an empty and flawed argument. The ones saying that it lends itself to being fraudulent need to prove it.


Of course nobody can prove it. The rules are setup to be so loose that there is no way to prove any fraud. As I said below, registering to vote as an entirely fictional person is absurdly easy in many jurisdictions. In California, for instance, one can skip any identity checks by simply marking two checkboxes: one indicating they have no ID, and one indicating they have no social security number [1]. Voila - in under 2 minutes, you have invented a brand new, registered California voter. Combine this absurdity with automatically sent out mail-in ballots in many states, and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

[1] https://covr.sos.ca.gov/


You're forgetting something. If someone were to check the existence of the identities, they would eventually show up as fraudulent. Here, the "proof" works by absence (which is admittedly not logically correct according to the strict classical rules).¹

Consider that an investigation (that includes said identity check), concluding with a recount happens

• mandatory by design to a random small subset of voting districts

• everytime someone reports to the voting commission an indication or outright evidence of irregularities or fraud

• everytime there is a difference between head-to-head candidates smaller than a certain percentage

If GP is right and "nothing pans out", then that means that the CA Secretary of State web site is not an effective tool to commit voting fraud.

¹ A common analogue is: "I do not believe in gods. Theists can change my mind when they bring forth evidence that measures up to the extraordinary claim. In the last couple of thousands of years, this did not happen. Thus, I will live my life as if gods do not exist."


Here, the "proof" works by absence

Absence from where? It is perfectly legal to not have an ID or social security number. Not having those things proves nothing. And nobody is going to track down everyone in the country with the same name and DOB that you selected and ask them if they are the Fred Wilson (example) that voted in California. People move all the time, so it wouldn’t be unusual if they went by the house and that person doesn’t live there.

The way that system is setup to accept voters without ID verification, there is not a way to legally disprove that the person with whatever name and DOB chosen does not exist (assuming more than 1 other person in the country shares those characteristics). Hence it would be impossible to legally prove that this invented person isn’t real.


Exceptional claims require exceptional proof. Being able to file one fake account vs 10,000 (and not get caught) to throw an election is about the level of proof you'll need and no one has ever come up with that level of proof. Until then people claiming mail fraud are just shouting into the hurricane of the rights of individuals to not be disenfranchised.


Exceptional claims require exceptional proof.

I literally just showed how shockingly easy it is for anyone to invent California voters in a matter of seconds. That’s exceptional in my opinion. I could write a script that would register 10k of those in several minutes. But the more likely scenario is that I can’t be the only one that has realized this...nobody knows how many people are doing this once or a few times.

That is the whole point of this conversation - the possibility of incredibly easy, undetectable fraud renders all votes meaningless because we simply don’t know how much occurred and there is no way to find out because the rules are so loose. Until they are changed, it completely negates any point in voting.


Utah has had no excuse mail-in voting since 2014, the 2016 presidential election in Utah was almost entirely by mail.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postal_voting_in_the_United_St...


If we held new elections every time one side didn't like the result, we wouldn't have a democracy. As Mitt Romney (Republican senator) noted, no congressional commission or other action would restore faith in the vote while the president is actively lying to his constituency.


To capitulate to them is a terrible idea. They had dozens of chances to prove in court that there was fraud, they never produced anything substantive. These people weren't convinced via proof, they simply believe whatever Trump tells them to believe. All you can do is try to contain it, you will never convince the core of his followers that he lost fairly in the election. If he were to lose another election then the violence would only get worse. We have a process, in 4 years they can vote again. When you give into a bully he will just come back for more the next time.


> - Speech without a platform isn't speech at all

Could you clarify what you mean exactly with this. In my mind people should have a right to ignore speech they don't want to hear. Furthermore, the definition of a "platform" has become very diffuse with the advent of the internet. In the before times you were either in the newspaper most people read, or maybe on one of the handful of TV channels, or you basically did not have a platform beyond the people you could physically interact with. Whereas now you can have many options which all reach different kinds and amounts of people.

I have many vague feelings but maybe I can sum them up in the following, probably unhelpful, statement: people have a right to a platform that is equivalent to standing in a town square and yelling.


It's hard to ignore Twitter and Facebook. They're mega-platforms with many uses beyond politics (business, hobbies, family, etc).

Whilst on there for non-political purposes, you can't in practice 'choose to ignore' the political speech you'd prefer to avoid, as it's made everybody an activist with a massive megaphone. Activism is shared and retweeted into your face relentlessly.

If Big Tech as a whole has decided to wage war on 'red team' ideas (or other competing ideas, such as Unity 2020, banned from Twitter), there's a risk that they could transform a bad 2-party political system into a single-party monopoly, where the voters have no power at all.

Things weren't good when old media (TV/newspapers) had all the power+influence. But at least there was some sort of balance. And if a new newspaper appeared, it couldn't be shut down entirely in <24hrs by the competition.


On the contrary, it's quite easy to ignore Twitter and Facebook. I do it all day, every day, and it takes zero effort.


And if a new newspaper appeared, it couldn't be shut down entirely in <24hrs by the competition.

It could if it had used printing presses owned by the competition. I'm assuming these old newspapers used either their own printing presses, or presses owned by independent printing shops. They used a little common sense and concluded that using printing presses owned by the NY Times was probably not a good long term strategy for a newspaper that wanted to compete against the NY Times.

All I'm saying is, use your own printing presses, and you can't be shutdown. Run your own website, on your own server and no one will kick you off their servers. Nothing's really changed here, so I don't see a free speech issue.


Buying your own servers is no use if you can't get them connected to the Internet. Next step, build your own Internet?


How do you think Amazon connects to the internet?

They have their own network, own peering agreements, etc etc etc. They didn't build the internet, they built their own "platform" by building out their own little corner of the internet. You want to be a "platform" like Amazon, but you don't want to build everything necessary for a "platform" to be a platform. That is the crux of the problem. If what you really want is simply free speech, well that's free. If all you really want is a website, well that's pretty cheap too, but maybe not free. But when you start talking about platforms, you have to pay to build the platform you want. Even a soapbox is not free, someone somewhere had to pay for it.

You're complaining that building a platform is too expensive the same way someone a hundred years ago may have complained that buying the presses is too expensive. It makes no sense. If you want to print your own paper, you need the presses.


I see your point, and this raises the question of internet being a basic universal right. I think it is and I think the ISPs should be treated as such and thus unable to pick and choose what content we are served so if Parler buys their own servers and connects then they should be fine.

I'm against the highest level of the stack so to speak having to be available to everyone such as Twitter, that would be us saying these companies are too critical to our way of life and forcing a private entity to do business with those it doesn't want to, which is not only dangerous but I believe simply not true if we foster the building of others and should be summarily changed or investigated as a new type of monopoly if we find (are finding?) that they are becoming too critical, centralizing is bad.

I am also against people not being able to connect their services at the lower level of the stack to then build out their offering on the higher level of the stack though and that's where I think we need to regulate.


People have a right to any platform they are able to create. The problem with centralized social media is that it is a monopoly with legal protections and is able to essentially exclude people from the de facto town square.


This has been the balancing act for centuries (since the printing press). The scale/speed has changed over time, but newspapers and TV stations can and have "de-platformed" people in the past.

At the end of the day, I'm a strong supporter of free speech. But, it's up to the speaker to provide their own platform. If all they can manage is a literal soapbox in the town square, so be it. There is no fundamental right for a person's speech to be easily broadcast, nor is there a right for that speech to be heard or acknowledged.

As long as Twitter, Facebook, the NYT, and the WSJ are private entities, they also have their own rights. If we really want to prevent de-platforming, the solution seems to be categorizing media companies as some sort of utility. But, I don't really know what they would look like.


Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom to force others to listen or post your recorded message. Everyone is free to speak out. Everyone is free to write letters.

Yes it sucks your audience is limited but you are correct, people have a right to any platform they are able to create.

Also monopolies and oligopolies are what happens in unregulated capitalism. If frustrates me that the many of folks today who take issue with the tech giants have been pro deregulation, pro capitalism, and screaming about how afraid we should be because a boring sleepy vanilla POTUS is going to usher in socialism and communism... WTF is your solution then? Everyone can point out problems and evoke FUD.


> people have a right to any platform they are able to create.

This argument is becoming increasingly disingenuous based on actions of just the last few days.

Didn’t Parler go ahead and do exactly what you recommended?

* cut off from Google Play and Apple Store. Most people don’t even have personal computers anymore, so their phone / IPad is the only way to access the platforms.

* Apple doesn’t allow side loading. Google makes it less and less viable and so many necessary APIs are moved out of the open Android Sdk and into the gated Play APIs.

* As if to demonstrate the absolute futility of your suggestion, AWS cut off Parler‘s servers.

* Any site need some sort of financial API. How many times have we seen companies like Stripe, GoFundMe, Visa and MasterCard, and even large banks give in to the mob.

* every other required piece of the puzzle will do the same: DNS providers, CDNs, and even the large backbone ISPs. Sorry, bigot, but we’ve decided we won’t be routing your traffic through our exchange.

* Even power companies are privatized in the US. Sorry, just go make your own power grid, right?


This argument is becoming increasingly disingenuous based on actions of just the last few days. Didn’t Parler go ahead and do exactly what you recommended?

Parler only went halfway there. They created a app/website. But, that's not an entire platform (as we see today). An entire platform in this context includes servers, fiber optic networks, routers, etc. If Parler wants to speak on the scale they envision, they can build their own infrastructure to do so. Yes, that's expensive, but it's also no different than the pre-internet era, where similar speech would be relegated to self-published fliers, because no newspaper or TV would carry the message.


'Ok, you've obtained a printing press and related supplies and are printing your own newspapers. But to distribute them, you first need to build your own road network, you're banned from our roads. And you'll need a power station, as you're about to get cut off the grid!'

Social media created a new type of platform. But people are forgetting that it also created a new and more vicious type of activism, too.


Roads and power grid are utilities managed by the government. If we want Twitter to be managed the same, we are free to do so. That may be the ultimate solution, but I'm not yet convinced.


The solution isn’t to nationalize social media, it’s to legislate that they be interoperable with other platforms. If you have an account on Facebook and Twitter you should be able to publish and read from both via an API. They can still ban people but you should be able to take your data seamlessly to another competing platform that is interoperable with a number of clients both official and independent. Utilities work because they follow common protocols, e.g. utility companies don’t require you to rewire your house and use a different voltage.


It's more about Internet infrastructure itself.

Maybe you could compare AWS to a haulage company, the equivalent of trucks distributing the newspapers. If Parler were to buy their own 'trucks' (servers), would they be able to drive freely on the 'roads' of the Internet? Or would nobody be willing to provide them a connection?


> But to distribute them, you first need to build your own road network, you're banned from our roads.

This argument is absurd and I feel in bad faith. We have public roads and you are free to travel on them to distribute your flyers. You still need permission to enter the premises of private owners though if you want to solicit or leave your property (flyer) on their property.


That's the point. Kicking Parler off AWS is not like Penguin refusing to publish your book, it's like MAN forbidding people to deliver your self-printed books in one of their vans. Well if MAN had a monopoly on delivery vans.


Didn’t Parler go ahead and do exactly what you recommended?

No, they didn't.

Parler set up a web site on AMAZON's platform, and it was subsequently shut down. If they had created their own platform with their own servers, they would still be running today.


Can you not see you’re suggesting segregation of the entire Internet?

What happens when registrars cut them off? No DNS routing for them until they build their own registrar? Will the point at which the segregated internet’s join become a DMZ guarded by both factions?

This entire app, and business, was shut down for a few bad actors. Traditionally you subpoena for info, but cancel culture stepped in again.


But that requires an ISP and DNS (which are also often censorious).


That technology is not secret, they are “free” to build their own. Like every other company that builds broadcast platforms, if they want to play, they’ve got to pay.


But Parler won't need to do this - there are plenty of hosts who aren't going to join in with the coordinated effort to silence the speech of those who aren't on the 'correct' side. Info Wars and OAN are still on the internet.


Surely, if they wanted to, they could buy cloud compute resources from a company based outside the US. Why must they be on Amazon just for access to its web services platform?


With net neutrality, they would not need to own an ISP. They might need to find a friendly place to host their servers though.


So Parlar can bifurcate and build their own ISP/DNS.


> Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom to force others to listen or post your recorded message.

I don't think anyone, from Trump to Alex Jones, is asking to be able to force people to follow them on Twitter or youtube. But they should have a right to be there, and talk to people that have chosen to follow them, that's quite a different thing.


I just mean that having some kind of platform is important to the definition of speech, since it involves communicating over some medium. I don't necessarily mean platforms as in Twitter or Facebook or what-have-you. And I would agree about the town square analogy - my concern is that it falls apart at the Internet since it's all privately owned.


“Just because private company is allowed to do something, doesn’t mean they should” - so then put that up for public debate. I think we did, Section 230 in the context of posting digital content.

It boggles mind that we are trying to keep a high ground on free speech while the rug is being yanked away from our bottoms.

+ Free Speech. Not when you have millions deluded, angry, violent and ready to use any means to incite violence, take down gov, threaten governors and are trigger happy to exercise 2nd amendment rights. I’m terrified of these people.

I get it. Free speech is important, especially when you disagree with someone. This is how society progresses. You can have the free speech still, just make sure you don’t rally up people to take up arms on bogus claims. They’ve had their free speech chances to contest in court, have peaceful debates and be civilized.

r/conservative, as much as you disagree with them, is still ok and fine. They’re respectful for the most part.


I was more sympathetic towards Parler until I saw a screenshot of a post calling journalists "soft targets" that are "fair game" and to be "stopped by any means necessary."

My understanding is that in Parler, posts are moderated by a jury of five peers. But if that jury is just as extreme as the poster advocating murdering journalists, what then?

Section 230 doesn't provide a safe harbor for criminal speech like advocating or planning violence. There has to be a second moderation channel to keep that from happening, or Parler should be liable as an accessory for violent crimes planned in the open on its platform.

I'd wash my hands of them if they're that negligent.


Was that screenshot legit or fake news? I don’t believe anything these days. If it’s legit, was the post taken down. That kind of text sounds actually illegal and against the Parler TOS


Also a screenshot doesn't mean anything. I am sure you can take millions of screenshots of people saying bad things on facebook. It doesn't mean that the platform is not moderated, just that the moderation didn't catch those specific examples. If we apply that standard, twitter and facebook must be closed immediately, no remedy.


That would be wonderful!


You should check r/ParlerWatch, plenty of screenshots without account names blurred so you can go verify yourself that the DC Capitol raid was planned months in advance and violence was in the plan. They're currently planning a round 2 and 3 for the 17th and the inauguration. From what I've seen it's not being removed. Most posts are not from unknown low follower accounts.


I don’t get how you can cry for free speech and ban anyone on the app who doesn’t follow the party line. There is no arguing or debating with these people.

I got banned from the Donald subreddit for saying the aclu does a lot of good things. It wasn’t spam. It wasn’t even controversial.


Congrats, you've discovered doublethink. As someone who values rationality, it truly is maddening to witness. But extremists don't use words like we use words.

Doublethink is more common with extremists regardless of bent, but what we are seeing is doublethink and eager consumption of propaganda, along with gaslighting the other side and accusing them of exactly the same. It is toxic and wears you down.


Banning people who are calling for blowing up the capitol and hanging various politicians from the walls of the capitol building is not banning free speech, it's banning threats and treason. There's a huge difference. No one is banning a person for cursing a politician, they're banning threats of bodily harm of journalists, public figures, etc. Parler needs to moderate that garbage and they aren't. AWS shouldn't have to host that stuff in the name of free speech.


I got banned there in 2016 when someone said the left was being hypocritical for criticizing Trump’s call to make flag burning illegal but ignoring that Clinton had authored a bill to criminalize flag burning when she was a Senator.

My offense? I looked up the bill, which did indeed criminalize some flag burning and was indeed authored by her, and posted that in a comment there, along with the official bill summary and a link to the full bill.

I got banned from /r/conservative for agreeing with Ronald Reagan and the first President Bush on some issues, favoring a market based approach over regulation. I did not point explicitly mention Reagan or Bush, and the moderators nailed me for these far left opinions!


Do you have links to any of these posts?


If everything was being planned so openly why was the security understaffed?


That is a very good question. Many people would like to know.


I miss 5-6 years ago when "fake news" wasn't a thing and that term didn't exist in the mainstream conversation.


Are you suggesting "fake news" doesn't exist? That people shouldn't be skeptical of information regardless if it comes from the mainstream media?


Perhaps OP means that the term itself is confusing and emotionally laden. It was popularized by liars baselessly accusing the mainstream media that their stories were made up.

Does "fake news" refer to news stories that are complete made up? Contain mistakes? Or that are true but that you simply don't like? Or does "fake news" refer to the act of baselessly accusing a reasonably researched story that in fact is probably accurate?


One of Trump's greatest successes has been to co-opt the term away from it's first popularized meaning: fabricated articles created (e.g. by a teenager in Macedonia) for the primary purpose of capturing views and add clicks.


Ignoring whether Trump was abusing the term "fake news" or calling out something no one has before, it's kind of amazing how that term has taken off.

I'm not in the US and people are incorporating that term in their everyday language.


Any institution small or large is capable of fake news or lying by omission. Many of the large institutions are at the will of their corporate sponsors or the political leaning of their consumers/subscribers. The bottom line is all that matters.


Actually I know I do when I say it. Mainstream news is fine if you avoid the opinion stuff. Just approach it looking for details and facts and weed out the opinion. Trump ruined "fake news" as a descriptor by claiming that all news other than news which supports him was "fake news"


Sorry, there is always fake news in the world until we have a journalism uprising and awakening.

I meant that it was exceptionally rare to call anything fake news until some evidence was provided. That trust in journalism has been systematically eroded by President Trump and his party.


Rather than calling something fake news, you could sign up for a parker account yourself and have a browser of the content present there to make your own opinion. Calling something fake news is the equivalent of acusing everyone who disagrees with you an alt right scum.


I did not call it fake news. I asked if what you saw was legit or fake news. I was expecting your answer would be “yes I looked into it” or “no I’m not sure”

I’ve just seen so many online lies I don’t trust anything any more. I am not accusing you of anything.


[flagged]


That's quite an extraordinary claim, do you have anything to back that up?


Yes, personally knowing quite a few such people. They're all on made-up "disability"


I don’t disagree with your above claim of people trying to get a rise out of others with inflammatory speech online. I have seen it too but... it sounds like the rest of your argument is very politically motivated (and anecdotal).


Parler does have the TOS that you speak of, but the Parler CEO also says that Parler is “just a neutral town square that just adheres to the law” and leaves moderation to volunteers and takes no responsibility for what’s posted.

In other words, the TOS is effectively useless.


> My understanding is that in Parler, posts are moderated by a jury of five peers. But if that jury is just as extreme as the poster advocating murdering journalists, what then?

We’ve entered new territory. When you look at analogues to this situation, Islamic radicals, mass shooters in America being mostly white men, both of the broader groups (Muslims, white Americans) can easily say those fringe actors are the 0.000001%. Even those that might support the fringe actors in the broader group would still only represent a small percentage.

The rioters in this case, if they are the fringe of the broader Republican base, visually looked significant. This is nothing like ‘oh, yeah that’s just one crazy nut’. In the broader group, the percentage that sympathizes with this fringe is high, with the most official accounting of this number being the actual 75 million Americans that voted for Trump.

We are in no way talking about a fringe imho.


The one thing that I’ve noticed on the HN convos is that space is being made for parler and those that use it, unintentionally.

It seems that not many people have been to parler, and very few links to screen shots or other evidence is available.

Unfortunately - and this really is just what usually happens - the noble arguments for free speech get converted into a shield to add respectability to parler and hate speech.

And if the trend continues, more political or even subversive content starts appearing in the sub, at just the angle to take advantage of the blind spots of forum goers.

It’s happening here, I’m seeming that dumb path finding algo for indoctrination playing out over the past three threads.


I had a conversation with a friend about this, I asked him what Parler is like and on a scale of 1-10 how extreme it was. He said it depended and that there was some perfectly normal content but that the number of clicks to get to a more radical place and thus start to see the extreme side and potentially be radicalized was much shorter than say Reddit. His supporting evidence that one of the first suggested places to follow you see when you signup is the OANN.

I'm not personally comfortable with the easy bake radicalizing from that so to speak and is what pushed me over the edge in being okay with the ban. We wouldn't tolerate a place where it was easy to breed other types of extremism why is this any different was my thought.


The sad part is that people give it the benefit of doubt when they hear this.

They’ll translate it as “it’s not that bad”.

“It’s only a few steps away from OANN”

“That means the first bunch of stuff is normal people talking about conservative talking points.”

“Sure, not a place I’d like to hang out, but I’d see why it may need protection even if I may disagree, that’s what I’m trained to do.”

Yeah no.

Parler actively removes people who bring in the “liberal” point of view.

I’ll even grant, that removal by ideology is a necessary tool for political moderation.

But that still means that parler is an echo chamber, amplifying beliefs that the “election was stolen”, “democrats will destroy the country.”


> Parler actively removes people who bring in the “liberal” point of view.

Isn’t this what is happening to conservative voices? Further do you have evidence of this?

Do you know there’s gaming and other non political content on Parler? It was born out of politics so the majority of content is still focused around it.

Why don’t you see it for yourself instead of letting your imagination run wild?

I have been on Parler, briefly to validate all the claims of constant, unabated, hate speech and found nothing of the sort. Will I continue to use it? Unlikely, but I don’t use social media. I wouldn’t call it hotbed of right wing extremists though.


So sounds exactly like Twitter then ? I feel that most of HN has never visited the fringe ultra-liberal anarchist side of Twitter. Of-course the stuff they say never comes in the news 24x7.

Basically, a lot of folks are asking: Why are we censored, when they aren't ? Why the extraordinary double standards? When someone talks about peaceful protesting and is banned for incitement for violence, why is someone calling for explicit murder allowed on Twitter (with accompanying graphical images).

Apply the rules equally, or not at all.


How many of the people attending the protest actually entered or attempted to enter the Capitol building? Out of those that did how many were actively seeking to cause trouble and how many were just following the crowd and looking around? If you look at the facts for yourself and don’t rely on other people’s opinions you’ll see more clearly.


If you pick your photos carefully, you can pretend that this was a bunch of goofs who accidentally got into the Capitol. This video was eye-opening to me: https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2021/01/09/officer-crushed-in-...


See this clearly: https://youtu.be/182JKOm1LY0

You can see the “violent few” drag and beat an officer to death. You can see and hear the surrounding mob cheer themselves on. So how many people need to witness a murder in progress before doing anything about it?


It was a pretty small entrance.


I doubt if all Americans that voted for Trump are sympathetic to the Capitol riots. Polls showed that the majority of Republicans were against them.

Yougov showed 45% support among Republicans: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-electio....

PBS/Marist poll, only 18%: https://thehill.com/homenews/news/533452-poll-18-percent-of-....


This isn’t an election or popularity contest; 18% of Republicans in favor of armed insurrection and coup is quite significant, ranging into the millions of people.


If you label it a 'coup' well of course that sounds terrible. If you believe the election was stolen, then the other side perpetrated the 'coup.'

I don't see either side making any effect towards compromise.


> If you believe the election was stolen

At this point I have to ask, what compromise do you suggest be made to these people? How do you compromise with people that were shouting "Hang Mike Pence" in front of some home-made gallows?


A compromise would have been performing a transparent audit in the disputed states, especially in counties where the counting stopped and resumed in the middle of the night.

You know, actually listen to and address their complaints instead of just saying 'you're a crazy conspiracy nut.'


There’s nothing to “audit?” They stopped and then resumed the next morning.

Believe it or not the elections law wasn’t created in October 2020; they’re a well-regulated and secure process. As evinced by no one being able to present any evidence of widespread fraudulent behavior even in states with GOP legislatures and Secretaries of State.


There's plenty to audit. Does the number of votes match the number of voters? Are there chain of custody records. Are there envelopes for the mailed ballots? Are all the mailed ballots actually registered voters, and were they actually mailed? Furthermore, what mechanism was used to ensure that voters did not double vote by voting both in person and via absentee?

There's been reports of thousands of votes not being counted or added to the transmitted counts in various jurisdictions. That means at least part of the system broke down.


No, that means the people reporting these massive numbers of votes not counted are liars.

There is ample statutory and regulatory provision in every state for processes that confirm every aspect of what you are questioning. It’s as if you know nothing about elections or election systems.


It means that the processes failed, weren't enforced, either willfully or negligently.

If someone is able to report the wrong number of total votes, it means all the controls in the process weren't followed or simply doesn't work. The burden of proof is on the people holding the election to prove it's valid. So far, 'certifying' results is a rubber stamp, there's no actual certification being done.


> A compromise would have been performing a transparent audit in the disputed states, especially in counties where the counting stopped and resumed in the middle of the night.

But it looks like this did happen? One example[1].

> You know, actually listen to and address their complaints instead of just saying 'you're a crazy conspiracy nut.'

There were attempts to address their complaints. Re ounts and audits took place. Those recounts and audits didn't change the result or uncover any further evidence of fraud. This didn't align with Trump's claims so his base dismissed it as lies. The interesting thing coming out of this is that they're now turning on the rest of the republican party who accept what their own observers are telling them.

I'd also like to point out that this was all happening while Trump was privately pressuring the Georgia secretary of state to 'find' him enough votes to win[2].

Uncovering fraud was never the motivation here, it's a cynical attempt at destroying trust in the election process in order to corrupt the result.

[1]https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-electio...

[2]https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/10/trump-call-g...


> There were attempts to address their complaints.

The complaints were not heard without first attempting to call to shame an entire group of 75mil people.

And your second source can be read a different way: “find the votes that existed that you shred”, he’s not saying make up the votes, he’s saying find the ones he believes they fraudulently shred. Part of the divide in this country is taking something like this, twisting the words to make a sensational title that’s then thrown at every moderate or conservative. Think about how much this has happened over the last 4 years.


> All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said. “Because we won the state.”

How can this ever be read as "find the votes that existed that you shred"? Especially considering that he goes on to claim he won by "hundreds of thousands" of votes. Shouldn't he be interested in uncovering that massive fraud, therefore supporting his assertions that it actually happened?

> Part of the divide in this country is taking something like this, twisting the words to make a sensational title that’s then thrown at every moderate or conservative. Think about how much this has happened over the last 4 years.

Come on, Fox News has been doing this since the 90s. They literally posted an article suggesting their base drive their trucks into protestors[1].

> Here’s a compilation of liberal protesters getting pushed out of the way by cars and trucks,” wrote the article’s author. “Study the technique; it may prove useful in the next four years.

Those poor, innocent, conservatives being attacked by the thugs in the mainstream liberal media.

Note that Fox and Trump have pushed these people so far that even Fox has lost control of them, and are now branded "traitors" for anything other than tacit support of their worst behaviour. They were literally calling to hang their own Vice President just last week.

[1] https://www.thedailybeast.com/fox-news-quietly-deletes-artic...


> How can this ever be read as "find the votes that existed that you shred"? Especially considering that he goes on to claim he won by "hundreds of thousands" of votes. Shouldn't he be interested in uncovering that massive fraud, therefore supporting his assertions that it actually happened?

Your unconscious bias against Trump is what is defining your interpretation of that exchange. A person not trying to find something wrong with everything he says will interpret it the way I did. Using your same logic, if he won by hundreds of thousands then why does 11,780 matter enough to commit a felony?

> Come on, Fox News has been doing this since the 90s. They literally posted an article suggesting their base drive their trucks into protestors[1].

And many have moved on from Fox News as a result. But the same can't be said for the left and CNN. Further, your still not tending to the divide, just jumping onto the problem and saying "me too".

> Those poor, innocent, conservatives being attacked by the thugs in the mainstream liberal media.

Great job > Here’s a compilation of liberal protesters getting pushed out of the way by cars and trucks,” wrote the article’s author. “Study the technique; it may prove useful in the next four years.

Isn't this promoting violence? Why was the author not banned from the world?

> Note that Fox and Trump have pushed these people so far that even Fox has lost control of them, and are now branded "traitors" for anything other than tacit support of their worst behaviour. They were literally calling to hang their own Vice President just last week.

Quit pointing fingers. You want to blame Fox (again with Fox) and ignore the yelling and screaming the left did over the last 4 years. You want to ignore the forced conversions (that have always historically failed). You want to ignore cancel culture. And again, the left wants to take statements and twist them to make some outlandish point. It's only going to divide us more.


> Your unconscious bias against Trump is what is defining your interpretation of that exchange. A person not trying to find something wrong with everything he says will interpret it the way I did.

You made up a quote, putting words in his mouth. I quoted the man directly. Words that he uttered in a call to a Republican Secretary of State, in the middle of an audit of signatures that the Secretary of State had ordered at Trump's request.

> Using your same logic, if he won by hundreds of thousands then why does 11,780 matter enough to commit a felony?

In an amazing coincidence, 11,780 votes just happened to be the number of he needed to win the election. I'm sure you can come up with an explanation of how he just happened to randomly choose that number out of all the other ones.

My assertion is that he did not win at all, certainly not by hundreds of thousands of votes and that he was lying, as evidenced by the fact that he expresses no interest in having those fraudulently discounted votes found and that indeed no evidence whatsoever that he won by hundreds of thousands of votes has been produced.

> And many have moved on from Fox News as a result. But the same can't be said for the left and CNN. Further, your still not tending to the divide, just jumping onto the problem and saying "me too".

They moved on from Fox news to an even more extreme platform in OAN...

> Quit pointing fingers. You want to blame Fox (again with Fox) and ignore the yelling and screaming the left did over the last 4 years.

The left did not cause Trump to reject the results of the election, whip his base into a frenzy and send them to the capitol. Aren't you supposed to be the party of personal responsibility? "You made me do this" also hasn't been considered a very good excuse since domestic abuse went out of fashion in the 60s.

> You want to ignore the forced conversions (that have always historically failed).

I absolutely agree with you that gay conversion therapy is horrendous and should be outlawed.

> You want to ignore cancel culture.

I think there are discussions to be had about cancel culture, but that's not what is being screamed about. Right now Parler is the kid in the sandbox that threw sand in everyone's eyes and then got upset that no one wanted to play with them.

> And again, the left wants to take statements and twist them to make some outlandish point. It's only going to divide us more.

Your lack of introspection is getting absurd at this point. The right made concerted attempts to portray Obama as a Muslim anti-christ who wasn't even a US citizen. One of the people attempting to throw doubt on Obama's citizenship was Trump himself. What you're annoyed about is the fact you and your friends are no longer getting away with dog-whistling in an attempt to escaping the consequences of your actions:

When asked to condemn white supremacists Trump instead said:

> "The Proud Boys? Stand back and stand by, but I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the Left…,"

To the rioters who had occupied the capitol after hours of inciteful speech by Trump and his associates: > "This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace, so go home, we love you, you’re very special."

These rioters had recently been calling for Trump's own Vice President, Mike Pence, to be hanged, they had bludgeoned an officer to death, and a woman had been killed while attempting to reach the members of congress in hiding. I'm sure that woman just wanted a nice chat with Mike Pence, or perhaps AOC. Sadly we'll never know.


This looks like a long list of opinions that not everybody will agree with.

Could you provide the exact quote for inciting the violence?


We both know this situation wasn't caused by a single direct order, but rather a concerted campaign by Trump and the people around him who have spent months instilling a sense of fear in the minds of those who attended that rally. Fear that "evil democrats" and "the left" are out to "destroy democracy" by subverting the election that he "won".

Then on the day Congress was supposed to confirm the result they organised a rally of the people they'd stirred up and spent hours telling that they needed to "fight". The closest thing to a direct order was Giuliani during that rally:

> “Over the next ten days, we get to see the machines that are crooked, the ballots that are fraudulent, and if we're wrong, we will be made fools of. But if we're right, a lot of them will go to jail.” Mr Giuliani then suddenly yelled: "Let's have trial by combat!" to lacklustre cheers from the crowd.[1]

Despite the apparently lacklustre response, Trump then went on to direct the mob towards the Capitol where we all know what happened.

[1] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-electio...


> We both know this situation wasn't caused by a single direct order

Well, we don't both know that. What you're offering is an opinion, your interpretation of things amounts to some sort of incitement. My opinion is this is a coordinated overreaction by the media to demonize a public figure. Nothing new about that, and offending someone's sensibilities isn't criminal.


> You made up a quote, putting words in his mouth. I quoted the man directly. Words that he uttered in a call to a Republican Secretary of State, in the middle of an audit of signatures that the Secretary of State had ordered at Trump's request.

What quote? I listened to the same call you posted. So which quote did I make up?

> In an amazing coincidence, 11,780 votes just happened to be the number of he needed to win the election. I'm sure you can come up with an explanation of how he just happened to randomly choose that number out of all the other ones.

OK, but the actual number of votes is irrelevant. It's still a felony requesting any fraud, not an amount over a certain threshold. So the actual number listed doesn't particularly matter, just the interpretation of the statements.

> They moved on from Fox news to an even more extreme platform in OAN...

Don't group the extremists and republicans together. Every single republican I know reads almost every news source. Most sticking to whatever news app is on their phone. So no, not OAN. Any source playing on your emotions for views should be called into question, regardless of which end of the spectrum your on. Both sides do this, the left and the right. But when it's pointed out on the left, nothing is done to stop the sensationalism.

> The left did not cause Trump to reject the results of the election, whip his base into a frenzy and send them to the capitol. Aren't you supposed to be the party of personal responsibility? "You made me do this" also hasn't been considered a very good excuse since domestic abuse went out of fashion in the 60s.

Actually this recently started with the lack of voter ID laws or enforcement, some years ago. This started the mistrust in elections, which is dangerous (and you see why now). If secure voting disenfranchises voters, then lets figure out how not to. Requiring you prove you can vote should be possible for the US given the resources we have.

> I absolutely agree with you that gay conversion therapy is horrendous and should be outlawed.

Sure! But not what I'm talking about. This type of forced conversion is the ones leaving moderates out of the discussion for fear of being canceled by the left. That's the forced conversion I'm talking about, become one of us or find a new life.

> Right now Parler is the kid in the sandbox that threw sand in everyone's eyes and then got upset that no one wanted to play with them.

How so? Have you been on Parler? Do you believe there are not examples of extremism on all platforms? Perhaps the discussion should be around some sort of regulated speech flagging engine so this sort of moderation isn't difficult? They do have a moderation team, and perhaps it's lacking. But in my brief experience with it, it's not the hate bed the left is painting it as.

> Your lack of introspection is getting absurd at this point. The right made concerted attempts to portray Obama as a Muslim anti-christ who wasn't even a US citizen. One of the people attempting to throw doubt on Obama's citizenship was Trump himself. What you're annoyed about is the fact you and your friends are no longer getting away with dog-whistling in an attempt to escaping the consequences of your actions:

Where exactly is my introspection lacking? Or what have I failed to introspect about? Are you assuming that I am a republican and applying other assumptions about my beliefs? I don't agree with that violence on Jan 6, and I don't agree that attacking where someone came from is right either. I also don't agree with the BLM / Antifa violence, which just happened again last weekend. If you want to "attack" someone, "attack" them in a formal debate. Stop the underhanded politics. Protest peacefully. Both sides.


People crying “fraud” were given ample opportunity to present evidence in court. They never did.


Re read that.


The only people being shamed post-election were those lying about the election results. Most of Trump’s voters were not in a position to lie about that.

Trump and his circle of political enablers were, and this is the result. They should be shamed and continue to be shamed until and after legal actions against them are successful.

PS this “75 million” phrasing is utter propaganda, let’s talk about 82 million people rejecting this dangerous president and him continuing to make a case that his re-election is somehow more legitimate than a Biden win.


So you’re doing this right now. The entirety of Trumps voters were lying? Anytime we want voter reform it’s disenfranchisement right? The complaints still have not been heard. If the left keeps this up they will do nothing but push the divide more.


The complaints have been heard and dismissed for lack of evidence dozens of times in courtrooms across the country.

The president and his lawyers making a claim without presenting evidence is not grounds for overturning an election, full stop. They’re the ones who are lying, fomenting insurrection, and deserve to be shamed.

The people who believe them are unfortunate.


Be more specific. There were many lawsuits dismissed for a variety of reasons. Pick one, and let's talk about that one.


Let’s talk about any courtroom case that had any admitted evidence of fraud on the order of “thousands of votes” first.


Edit: It seems an awful lot like parent hasn't reviewed any particular case, just using media talking points.


Edit: it seems an awful like parent can’t concede that fraud was not even alleged in the majority of Trump cases, and in nearly every case where it was originally alleged, the Trump team dropped the case.


How about you focus instead on securing the roster and less about widespread fraud. The system is built to be anonymous so finding evidence is not possible. The problem instead is people being on the roster when they shouldn’t. I know of 2 cases of this, one of which was in my immediate. Both instances an individual received a ballot but should not have. One of the individuals was not even a US citizen, yet they were registered to vote. Dems didn’t want voter IDs, don’t want voter reform because of “disenfranchisement”.

I’ll also add that they did this without a good enough reason too.

I know this is going to go against the media narrative about how reprehensible the riot was, and the reverence we must pay to Congress, but for the entirety of 2005-2020, Congress had record low approval ratings.

Last week we just visually saw the reality of storming congress (you may not even know it’s possible in your perceptions until you literally see it).

Well, people just saw it’s possible. Either base can find a lot more reasons to rile themselves up and go down there. So, I really don’t buy that Americans will by and large condemn the act, especially on the Republican side. Those polls are for sure under-tallied, Congress (and now particularly, a Democratic congress) is way too hated by the agitated right-wing, the once war mongering Bush nationalists, to the reimagined tea-party anti-Obama coalition, to the re-imagined anti-authoritarian Trump cohort, to the newly re-imagined ___________ (militant?).

Not a fringe my dear friends, an evolving force.


Did you feel the same way when Michael Moorcock said the same thing on Twitter about cops ? No bans for him though.


our constitution specifically protects the ability to discuss its own overthrow (although of course we also have by far the largest military and intelligence operation in the world to suppress any real threats, which last week very much was not). the framers realized that this was a key and fundamental aspect of free speech, and exactly the method by which we can foster discussions of change rather than via violence.

that is, your terror and mistrust are misplaced. let people talk, even disgustingly. let the world change (progress) in response. that's much better than bottled-up anger that explodes unpredictably and fractally.


It does I agree, but when talk changes to action (in the recent case violence) what do we do then? We've seen what happens when a minority fringe extremist group is able to take control of a country, on many occasions now. I in good conscience can't see a world where if we failed to stop it earlier I would be able to sleep with the consequences because we let them talk it out in protection of freedom of speech purism. Would it be right to let that happen and then spend years and lives having to re capture our government?

Obviously these are all hypothetical scenarios and questions, but if the mob a few days ago had any aim and organization they would have clearly seized our government and they're being whipped into a frenzy by things like Parler to try it again on the 17th so I'm told.


the federal government isn’t a building or a group of congresspeople. it’s the power we collectively cast as a populace. there was no chance those few hundred people would overthrow our government that way. the real threat is the power concentrating in fewer and fewer hands. that’s how we go from democracy to oligarchy to dictatorship. that’s the threat model. stop fearing the disorderly and the disenfranchised like the powerful want you to (effectuated via the media gaze and political rhetoric), but rather focus on how to disperse power and wealth more widely (as the framers intended) to keep that primary threat at bay.


I fear the installment of an autocrat. Whether through slow corruption from the inside in politics, through concentration of wealth or something such as the event from last week. The difference, in the event of last week, was the reality of that happening could have been hastened immensely.

I don't like our current system, but the slow decay gives us the ability to work towards the aims which you have stated on more preferable terms.


no, that's exactly the misguided fear that deflects concern from where it should be placed. last week was nothing. it was a small and relatively powerless group of people lashing out at an increasingly captive system. that we can no longer mostly elect non-millionaire presidents and congresspeople is the real threat.


It was still very much a thing. A symptom of many other even more problematic things.

The sitting president directly used its office, power, platform to try to stop a democratic process, and launch/command an attack against a different branch of the government (the legislature). Even if that attack was purely symbolic. (... though calling it symbolic while people died is not entirely right.)

A radicalized subgroup of the fanaticized Trump cult used force to thwart a democratic process they deemed fake/undemocratic. And they managed to successfully pause that process for considerable amount of time.

Especially the stark contrast between the interaction of police and Trump cultists compared to police and BLM protesters points to an other serious problem.

...

That powerless group of people includes the sitting president, a bunch of senators and representatives, and they had a very very real chance of winning the election.

That same powerless group, at least a part of it that choose to do so, managed to basically stroll into the Capitol, loot it, and go away unharmed. (They got tear gassed eventually.) And this group included an elected state representative, various police officers, veterans, lawyers, and other not exactly powerless members of society.

This is about status, which is about perception. Conservative ideology is about social order, the status quo. This 'powerless group' wants to maintain their power, despite the results of the democratic process - which is designed to measure exactly that peacefully.

This is very much a thing. It's a serious ongoing thing. It has been ongoing forever though. And it's going to go on for ... well, probably forever too, but that only means other will have to expend energy to actively push that status quo toward a more fair equilibrium (or set-point).


you're confusing groups and events to lay out a conflated narrative filled with pointed, fearful language. the protesters who occupied the capitol were relatively powerless. those are the people we, as other relatively powerless people, should not fear. the politicians (and lawyers and media) whipping up fear and frenzy based on that situation should be viewed very skeptically. those protesters had no power to overthrow our government, in this or any other conceivable action (because of the foresight of our founders as enshrined and amended in our constitution).

politicians, however, are in such a position, though even that is a relatively remote possibility. luckily trump had no chance of retaining the presidency, by force or otherwise, mostly because he's too self-absorbed, and frankly stupid, to effectively consolidate power like xi jinping or putin did.


> + Free Speech. Not when you have millions deluded, angry, violent and ready to use any means to incite violence, take down gov, threaten governors and are trigger happy to exercise 2nd amendment rights. I’m terrified of these people.

As a non American coming back from the holidaysplaying catch up on all this,

When did BLM/Antifa start liking to exercise their 2nd amendment rights by the millions? I know a lot of them were but I don't think it was anywhere more than thousands.


> Not when you have millions deluded, angry, violent and ready to use any means to incite violence, take down gov, threaten governors

That's exactly what our tyrannical Russian government says about those who don't like Putin being in power for 20+ years. Thus, they limit our rights for free speech online, prosecute for extremism, deny us rights to peacefully gather and protest.

If you Americans go down this path any further, you'll too find yourself living under the tyrannical dictatorship no better than ours.

Oh, unfortunately, unlike you, we don't have 2nd amendment rights, so actually rebelling is harder. So I suggest you clinging to your guns as strong as you can: all points that you are going to need them.


I find the whole argument that 2nd amendment rights support rebellion a bit weird. (UK speaker here.) The US government has marines, tanks, and advanced weaponry. Even the police are tooled up to the 9s, partly because of those very 2nd amendment rights. Is there any case of a citizen militia successfully using force to overthrow a modern state with a well-equipped, loyal army?


I don't know how it would play out, but it's worth noting that to overthrow someone stronger than you you don't always need a bigger gun. You need to be more willing to use your gun than they are.

The US government has nukes, but they still got their asses handed to them in Vietnam and struggled in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's true that if the feds truly want to squash an uprising they have the means to do it. But do they have the will to do it? At what cost? I can imagine a scenario where they'd be willing to use enough force to subdue unarmed citizens by not enough to subdue an armed uprising, which could escalate to civil war.

In short: there exists a scenario in which the second amendment enables the citizens to resist the government to an extent that they wouldn't be able to otherwise. Whether this is a good or bad thing is something you can decide for yourself.


The unarmed civilians were repressed over summer, sure, but the government still largely capitulated in the end.


See insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now assume half the military itself is sympathetic to the “rebels” and the government would have a difficult time containing any real insurgency.

The US government has made a lot of enemies over the decades, many of whom would be more than willing to provide modern weapons and explosives to the insurgents.

Though the US overwhelmed the Iraqi military quickly and decisively, it was a decade of constant roadside bombs, made with materials easily smuggled into the country and implemented with minimal training, that eventually wore down US morale and willingness to fight.

Finally, the US military is such a big business here, a good percentage of the population has had professional military training and combat experience.


This does not quite fit your bill of "successfully using force", but the 2014 Bundy Standoff (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundy_standoff) was an interesting example of armed citizen "militia" facing off against armed federal agents who ultimately backed down. It does not seem like a stretch to assume that a significant part of the BLM's decision calculus involved weighing the cost-benefit analysis of the gun-fight that would likely result from them trying to force the issue.

That being said, there are, of course, a bunch of other examples of armed conflicts with the government that do not turn out well for the "citizens" when the government decides to violently pursue its goals (1985 MOVE bombing, Waco, Ruby Ridge, etc). But, I guess my point with all of this is that, for better or worse, the proliferation of guns in American society certainly does have an effect on the decision matrix of the government (even if the "citizen militia" ultimately does not stand a chance against a determined government response...


> the proliferation of guns in American society certainly does have an effect on the decision matrix of the government (even if the "citizen militia" ultimately does not stand a chance against a determined government response...

This is precisely the intended effect. Sure some wahoos think they could fully overthrow the military but for most it is about changing the calculus from "tyrannical takeover of unarmed populace with minimal resistance" to "uh oh, they are fighting back". This results in much more of a cause to rally around, feed into rebel propaganda, win over military members to the "just cause" which of course tips the balance, etc.

We saw what only a few hundreds of folks could do when parts of the normal defense are strangely absent. Imagine even a 30% defection.


> Sure some wahoos think they could fully overthrow the military

If it was ever at that point, the military would not exist in its current form.

The "military" is not a monolith that would just suppress a revolt if it was that size and scope that it needed to. The Civil War in the U.S. had almost all of its Confederate soldiers come from the U.S. Army. The current leadership corps in the U.S. military is disproportionately Southern and conservative. They're not going to be going against their countrymen if it came to that, and no one is going to be nuking their own cities.


Victory in such conflicts is won not by the side that can inflict more damage to the enemy, but by the one that can withstand more suffering. That's why US were unable to defeat Vietnam or USSR was unable to defeat Afghanistan.


Fat lot of good that did when fighting uneducated and untrained rice farmers and goat herders. Morale, knowledge of territory, civilian support and a conviction that you are fighting to defend your land and people will keep the fight going longer than even the most highly trained and funded military can.


The US's inability to win in Afghanistan and Vietnam are two examples. Also you just watched tens of thousands of people gather on the Capitol and take it over without any weapons. Imagine if millions of people had arrived and they were armed. How do you imagine a militia of millions armed with weapons would fare against an army that, with all of its advanced weaponry, took years to clamp down on ISIS and still hasn't fully succeeded?


Have you heard of Vietnam or Iraq?


> deny us rights to peacefully gather and protest.

The protest wasn't the issue. Storming the capitol is the problem.

> If you Americans go down this path any further, you'll too find yourself living under the tyrannical dictatorship no better than ours.

In this case, we are trying to prevent a tyrannical dictator.

I do agree though that we are possibly entering a damned if we do, damned if we don't territory.


Portland has been storming government buildings for months. Where do you think these people got the idea from?

Andy gno and timcast IRL has been streaming news on these attacks and riots for just as many many months.

The people that did this have been ignored for a very long time and been watching government do nothing while their lives get ripped apart by a virus and a mob of people calling them racist for being white.

You people dont seem to understand you are just as bubbled as the right is.


Don't you dare equate BLM with the Right. BLM is responding to the very recent history of murder, oppression, and disenfranchisement by the police and government. It was captured repeatedly on brutal video this very year. And that's not even going back decades to the true horrors of history.

Whatever delusional "wrongs" the Right feels they've suffered from the government doesn't come close to comparing to that. In a true Godwin's Law type fashion, even attempting a comparison might be enough to end the argument.


> Don't you dare equate BLM with the Right.

I didn't. You did.

I specifically said Portland, and yes, many of the people there involved were acting under the pretense of BLM but imo it was mostly just black bloc antifa being antifa. Portland antifa groups have a known and consistent history of this behavior, they've exploited BLM to amplify their attacks and they've used the support they received for doing so to embolden their actions.

They have literally stalked and murdered trump supporters in the street, they have shot people, and they have blinded and maimed anyone that gets in their way.


That last sentence doesn't sound credible. Who's been convicted of this? Who's trials are ongoing?

Blinding and maiming anyone that gets in their way sounds like they've blinded or maimed maybe 30k people in Portland by now?


Look up Aaron Danielson and Michael Reinoehl.

There are no trials. Reinoehl was shot dead by police.

Blinding is commonly attempted with high powered lasers. They aim them at police and anyone filming after they speak code words to tell you to stop filming the crime about to take place.

They're maim anyone that refuses to bow down and say blacklives matter if confronted. It's huge bully tactics.


I'd imagine they got the idea from their anti lockdown friends who were storming legislatires before the George Floyd murder happened


Where did I say I supported people storming gov. buildings in Portland? Anyone destroying public or private property should be arrested. See how easy that is?

The whataboutisms/false equivalences from Trump supporters is annoying. I'm surprised you didn't bring up Hilary's emails, but I digress.

No one said the protest on the mall was a problem until Trump incited them to occupy the Capitol after priming the pump for months. Where are the politicians inciting the Portland protesters to insurrection?


> Where did I say I supported people storming gov. buildings in Portland?

I didn't say you did, I was simply presenting the facts and reasons these people have for their actions I don't condone or agree with them. I understand them, I've followed along on both sides of this and nobody is talking to anyone, the left is calling people racist for even questioning them and cancelling leftist media on the regular for being "alt right" whatever the hell that means.

I'm just not surprised this is the outcome. What else can you expect?

It's not whataboutism, I'm not using my example to say they have the right to do what they did, what I'm pointing out is that you can't have sustained >100 day riots in portland with the government not being allowed to intervene and expect anything fucking less than an amplified repeat.


> Andy gno and timcast IRL has been streaming news on these attacks and riots for just as many many months.

Do people really believe anything those fake news spewing idiots say?


Lots do. Tim has far too much bias for my tastes but I find it entertaining sometimes.

Andy gno is just a raw twitter feed full of riot porn. I don't think he's "fake news" and I'm glad he exists.


> That's exactly what our tyrannical Russian government says

Tyrannical governments will always find a way to abuse the legal system.

Most people would be in favour of laws against corruption, but corruption charges are one of the most common ways that autocrats use to suppress opposition.


Agreed. All dictators say this to their opposition - that they are just out to disrupt "peaceful" society. In China, "being peaced" is an internet slang that means silencing opposition by the government.


This isn't the same. I'd compare it with Putin having lost in the election and trying to prep his base to overturn the votes using lies and propaganda. ( Belgian opinion)


Umm, no. That is not comparable, because censorship is done by the winning side. The comparison you made would be valid if it was Trump who did the censorship, blocking Biden/Antifa/etc and purging them from all major news networks.


He is doing the censorship in areas where he has control, e.g. his own party: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2021/01/09/opinion...


You may mostly forget about Trump, he'll be out in a fortnight.

The problem now is your tech overlords, who have shown that they are very willing to silence and deplatform their political opponents, and who seems closely aligned with your new government. Good luck voting them out next time.


>The problem now is your tech overlords

No, it really isn't, and this fear-mongering rhetoric is extremely unhelpful. There is bi-partisan support for antitrust actions towards these companies. If trump's (former?) followers are serious about breaking up big tech, they should stop repeating trump's baseless lies about how big tech is some sort of satanic radical leftist communist conspiracy, and get it on these bi-partisan lawsuits.


This bipartisan support might evaporate overnight if they cut a deal with those currently in power, to keep them in power indefinitely by totally silencing and deplatforming their opposition, in exchange for going about unchecked. It's a win-win for both sides, so why wouldn't it happen. It certainly did happen in Russia, how is US any diffetent? Because you have honest and responsible politicians?


>Because you have honest and responsible politicians?

No it's actually the opposite -- by design, both parties are far too greedy and selfish and disorganized to do that on their own.


I might be tempted to agree with you if I didn't witness firsthand how business unifies with the one ruling party here in Russia.

Perhaps we can talk again about this in 5 years. I sincerely hope you are right, actually, but the realist in me begs to differ.


I'm interested to learn what exactly happened when businesses all fall in line with one ruling party in Russia. I can imagine the big businesses colluding with the government for some short-term gains, but a lot of the free press in the US has nothing to do with big businesses and it is impossible for me to imagine all of them falling in line with the government.

Also I don't see how pandering to the government is always a win-win situation for big businesses in the US. The tech companies have their own interests which do not always align with either political party.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that the US Constitution certainly doesn't rely on the lousy assumption that all winning politicians will be honest and all private companies will be "responsible", by some definition of responsible. It's more about leveraging self-interest to preserve a check and balance at all levels so that not a single power runs wild.


With a single party in control of all branches, doesn't your idea of preserving checks and balances go out the window? If the goal were to preserve checks and balances, we wouldn't have seen high level politicians asking people to move to Georgia solely to vote in the Senate race. We also would have taken the time to do a real full audit of every ballot. No, politicians and big corporations like power unchecked and unbalanced.


Trump still has millions of emails of people to "contact" through his campaign.

A tech platform doesn't have political opponents.

And there were no issues with voting ( there were some on a very small scale where most seem to be an attempt for Trump).


> This is how society progresses.

Well, yes. That's why holding people accountable for the consequences of their speech is considered by many countries to be the right course of action...

Not all progress is positive.

I'm not going to have the argument that people have been having for hundreds of years about where to draw the line, but I will point at this QAnon nonsense, and suggest that it highlights how malleable downtrodden people are, and how dangerous allowing it might be.


> suggest that it highlights how malleable downtrodden people are, and how dangerous allowing it might be.

This is a good point. When Trump came to power populism was in full effect. There was Bernie on one side and Trump on the other of the same populism coin. Globalism, progress, etc... have left large swaths of the population behind.

I think many of these people know that QAnon spouts nonsense, but they are desperate in their personal situations. Healthcare is bankrupting people, they can't afford to send their kids to college if they can even afford kids, and housing has become out of reach for many. Until the downtrodden are addressed, QAnon isn't going anywhere.


It's not about real financial problems. There's that too, but people in that situation don't spend days protesting, they usually work a lot or are looking for, or do something that helps them escape their problems.

QAnon, fascism, conservative ideology all have "social order" in common. QAnon of course drives it up to 11+, it's a full blown doomsday cult, with Trump being some kind of figurehead. And there's always something that threatens the status quo, their place in society. Immigrants, globalization, China, muslims, mexicans, antifa, gays, transgender frogs, liberal elites, uppity n....s.

Recommended long, but very insightful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTfhYyTuT44

Naturally facts don't matter. You mentioned globalism, which indeed displaced many people from jobs, but this has always been ongoing. A hundred years ago this change was even more drastic. But back then this wasn't "weaponized". (Then the unions came, but then they too faded as technological changes dispersed big groups of homogeneous workers.) And now modern political parties try to play on these identities. (Mostly through candidates, as they locally present themselves, and naturally try to mobilize people.)


Yes, progress is positive, it is otherwise called regress.


It's not black and white, progress for one may seem like regress for another.


You can move in a wrong direction without moving backwards. I agree progress is not the correct word here, the correct term is probably "change". Restricting Free Speech inhibits change, whether good or bad (it doesn't completely stop it either, obviously).


No, in the context of societal development, progress is usually just forwards.

There's always someone who preferred the good old days, positive is subjective, or at least, subject to certain criteria, and even then, it's often multiple generations that pass before we know one way or another.


I did not argue the subject matter, simply that progress is positive contrasted with the negative regress. Call it forwards and backwards if you like, same thing.


>Speech without a platform isn't speech at all

Then nothing's really changed. Before social media people would write letters to the editor or be interviewed on the radio or TV. Publication of said speech was always at the sole discretion of the platform holder.


Martin Luther.


Editors have publisher responsibility and are thus liable for what is being published. Twitter, facebook are enjoying the protection from the state from being responsible for what individuals say. they cant have their cake and eat it. If they want to censor they should become a publisher, which we know they wont.


It is us, the end consumer, that has the cake and is eating it.

With TV and newsprint, we had no platform at all, unless the media company shared our views or deemed our speech newsworthy. Even for innocuous speech.

With Twitter and Facebook, almost all of us have a platform that reaches potentially millions of eyeballs. That didn't exist 20 years ago - back then, we'd have to self-publish newsletters, or literally speak from a soap box in the town square.

That said, it is a balancing act, and I'm not certain where that balance point is (and it possibly moves over time too). But, the posts that have been shared from Parler were possibly illegal - they were planning armed sedition at best and a coup at worst - both of which are very much illegal and prosecutable. It wasn't just unsavory speech - it was illegal speech, that Parler itself refused to moderate.


That's a case for the police then NOT Apple or Google.

Twitter still have plenty of calls to violence that are still up. As an example this one shared by tens of thousands of people.

https://twitter.com/rezaaslan/status/1307107507131875330?s=2...

Right now you could as easily make an argument that the real danger to the democratic institutions are being lead by the big tech platforms. Either they become a publisher with responsibilities or they allow for this to happen.


> I have not yet concluded whether I believe in free speech without limits

Check out the Paradox of Tolerance, it’s very relevant to deciding on “free speech with / without limits”.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance


Alright, tolerance without limits is off the table. That is the easy part done with.

What proactive tolerances are we working with? Because the standard on A-A-G seems to be "we're only going to tolerate things we mostly agree with" - which is a faux tolerance. If they can't tolerate the speech of a sitting president then we haven't really reached the point where the paradox of tolerance is at play. That is routine intolerance. To be tolerant there has to be an element of putting up with things they genuinely disagree with.


Paradox of Tolerance is a hypocritical bullshit. If you are tolerant with exceptions, you are intolerant, period.

People who refer to it hypocritically pretend to have a higher moral ground than their opponents. In fact, they are more or less the same. Truly tolerant people should win the other side with their virtue, and yes, it insanely harder. But it's not hypocrisy.


So would you agree with a statement that "we should just be tolerant of the KKK and win them to our side with virtue", then?

Note that this isn't hyperbole for rhetorical effect, that is literally the kind of intolerance that the paradox of tolerance is based on, and seems to be what you're advocating, by extension.


Yes, I fully agree with that statement. You can't just beat the racists from KKK into submission. You can only show them that their convictions are wrong.


that's incorrect. what seems to have been proven to work is trying to limit their ability to congregate, and to recruit.


It's a hollow victory if you'll become a fascist to fight fascists.


Just a nitpick, but fascism inherently has a component about a faux nostalgia for a vague better times, ultranationalism, and so on, and simply by suppressing speech one does not became a fastics, you probably mean totalitarian.


There's at least one person I've heard of of doing this type of interaction to change the minds of KKK members— Daryl Davis. He's certainly an uncommon example though. Most people who are in stark disagreement with another's views don't seek them out as potential friends.

“Ignorance breeds fear. We fear those things we don’t understand. If we don’t put a lid on that fear and keep that fear in check, that fear in turn will breed hatred because we hate those things that frighten us.

“If we don’t keep that hatred in check, that hatred in turn will breed destruction. We want to destroy those things that we hate. Why? Because they frighten us. But guess what? They may have been harmless and we were just ignorant.”

https://lanthorn.com/61539/news/news-daryl-davis-lecture-at-...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/features/klan.ht...


Just wait until someone will come up with "Paradox of Human Rights" lol.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhRBsJYWR8Q (The Problem With Human Rights by Jonas Čeika aka. Cuck Philosophy)


Don't worry when they do, it will be used as a cheap thought killer meme all over HN, like the "Paradox of Tolerance" is being used now.


I don’t take tips about higher moral ground and virtue from anyone who thinks bullshit is a countable noun.


> Paradox of Tolerance is a hypocritical bullshit.

Quite frankly I’m finding it hard to respond.

> Truly tolerant people should win the other side with their virtue, and yes, it insanely harder.

Popper does a really good job explaining why this is not possible, and therefore tolerance without limit is not possible.

I’d prefer tolerance without limit to be the optimal strategy, but I do need some convincing that it’s possible.

Do you mind adding constructive criticism so we can work on a better mental model for tolerance and free speech?


That's easy. Tolerance, is willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs that are different from your own, although you might not agree with or approve of them [1]. People who carve themselves an exemption to not accept some behaviour or beliefs, are literally contradicting this definition. Yet, at the same time they pretend to be tolerant. There is a word for that in the English language: hypocrisy.

So, how do tolerant people fight the intolerant? Maybe, we have some similar precedents from the past. Turning the other cheek principle [2] and nonresistance movement [3] have worked out quite well for Gandhi. Educate, explain, suffer injustice, yet, stay true to your principles. That's the way to the better future for humanity.

(I'm not claiming to be a fully tolerant person myself. I'm just calling out hypocrites who pretend to be ones)

[1]: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/toleranc...

[2]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turning_the_other_cheek

[3]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonresistance


Gandhi himself says you can’t fast against a tyrant.

He also says that you can’t wake a person pretending to sleep.

I enjoy learning about the tactics used by non violent approaches - and it has shown a realistic and clever tactical approach to your political reality.

Gandhi’s approach was always about both - morals and practical tactics.

Take Mandela- he adapted Gandhi’s approach because he realized that the approach was contingent on his operating environment.

So acknowledging Gandhi means acknowledging Popper.

You can’t convince someone who is only deigning to speak to you, or worse - sees you as a chance to broadcast their poison while appearing legitimate.

Bad faith arguments are not solvable in the modern public squares.


That's great it worked for Gandhi, but I'd argue the tolerant HAVE been doing that - stretching back to MLK's marches, and yet here we are (in the US) where a violent mob stormed the capitol.

Tolerating them may be better for humanity but it takes to long for those folks to disappear from the gene pool. And, they are armed due to the 2nd Amendment, which Gandhi didn't have to deal with. Sure, guns exist around the world but they are in massive abundance in the US.


Confronting a violent mob has nothing to do with tolerance. Those applying force can be stopped, with force. Suppressing their right to speak, to communicate, to bank, to work, is quite a different matter, more suitable to real fascists many are so scared about.

And I don't even want to touch the subject or very recent far more destructive mobs which not only were not silenced, but instead were celebrated and praised for their principled position


> And, they are armed due to the 2nd Amendment, which Gandhi didn't have to deal with.

I don't think you know who Gandhi was.

If you think that tolerance doesn't work then just don't call yourself tolerant, it's quite simple. Also your remarks about the gene pool might be interpreted as a call for genocide, so I'd be careful with that.

> There is a word for that in the English language: hypocrisy.

It's not hypocrisy, it's cognitive dissonance.


> I don't think you know who Gandhi was

Half of this thread in a nutshell is loyalists who have a mediocre grasp on history.

Our government was established on founding principles that have been eroded and usurped beyond recognition. The loyalists cannot imagine that one day our elites in government - who care nothing about the people - will do something that even they think crosses a grotesque line. By that time, it will be too late. The power they've given the government in order to remove the bad orange man will not be given up without a fight.


> Half of this thread in a nutshell is loyalists who have a mediocre grasp on history.

Yes, I particularly love when people are trying to appeal to history and justify hate speech laws and Antifa to say that without them, a second Hitler could raise to power. I consider myself to be lacking in education, but damn.


Not quite, it still works to an extent. In this case it's quite clear those utilising Parler are doing so to spread their intolerant message. I'd say applying the Paradox of Tolerance is not hypocritical but more asymptotic, i.e. we will tend toward zero but never reach it.


Calm yourself as you use one of the most moderated platforms on the internet to spout off.


> - Private companies' interest should have little, if any, control over the ability of the public to speak

> - Speech without a platform isn't speech at all

These seem to me to be in conflict: if I don't have access to a particular platform (let's say, the New York Times), do I have access to freedom of speech?


And there's a ton of hypothetical situations that show the contradiction of those two points.

First, if having a platform in a specific company's garden means speech and forcing someone to shout on a street corner to only a handful of people is silencing them, then how can they provide different size platforms to me versus anyone else? Is limiting my post to the millionth spot down the list any different then making me shout on a street corner to the same number of people? If they limit the view of my posts to just a handful of people rather than the front page, I"m being just as silenced as being forced to shout on a street corner. If they provide one person a spot on their front page and not me, am I being silenced? I demand my time on the front page or top search results. Are you going to regulate how companies are permitted to design their algorithm? Would you disallow algorithms that buried certain groups?

By designing the algorithms that put some people on the front page and not others, they already have made editorial decisions and are silencing people. So my question to any of the people who are against the companies not allowing some speech, why are you not against the algorithms that already silence people?

And second, if twitter can't deny users due to the type of speech, are christian forums forced to allow themselves to be overrun by 4chan type atheists or members of another religion?

These are a couple just off the top of my head, it's easy to come up with examples that show the original posters two points are in contradiction.


Yeah for me it’s akin to being mad about being kicked out of my house if you spout off anti-Semitic things. It’s my house. My domain. My rules. You can go elsewhere and speak that garbage. Scale that idea up and you get where I’m coming down on all of this: Twitter, Facebook, AMazon, Apple etc are all for profit companies that can limit speech as they see fit and not be in violation of federal free speech guarantees.


Downvoters: care to say why?


Maybe because the lack of tolerance you're displaying is The Problem, and down voting is easier than dealing with it.

What if you're actually wrong and the other person is right? I'm sure it has happened before and will again.

How would you want to be treated if the roles were reversed?

Regardless; censoring, which is essentially what you're doing, can only push people further into their corners.


Tolerance of anti-semitism? How can that ever be right? I picked that specific hypothetical for a reason because I think the speech being “censored” here is inherently wrong, I.e it has no place in public discourse.


Tolerance of any opinion.

Much of what is now generally considered capital T true was once extremely controversial.

And censoring will always come back to chew your head off since you're hiding rather than solving the problem.


> Private companies' interest should have little, if any, control over the ability of the public to speak

This is the back door to authoritarianism. This basic premise would allow the government to reach in and force companies to associate against their will. This power will be abused.

> Speech without a platform isn't speech at all

This is utter nonsense. By this logic, speech without access to a bullhorn or an editorial board isn’t speech at all.

You have a right to speak without being prosecuted by the government. Pretending that you have a right to a Twitter account or an equivalent thereof is both silly, it’s incredibly entitled.


> This is utter nonsense.

Nah, OP has a point - even if it's easy to misinterpret. Just as you mentioned government coercion about free association, speech means that "those people" are free to start their parallel society, their own journals, newspapers, forums and whatnot.

It means that speech as a right has to include the right for the capability of building, having, and operating a platform, not a right for a guaranteed audience.


> Private companies' interest should have little, if any, control over the ability of the public to speak

This ignores that private companies are made up of people, and those people have opinions and moral compasses.

If some large number of your employees don't want to be working on a product that provides a platform for speech they believe is reprehensible, what do you do?

If you ignore them, some of them -- perhaps high value employees -- quit. Others, who maybe don't have great job mobility, stick around, but feel miserable, because their job makes them do unethical things. Not a great outcome.

Is free speech for all more important than refusing to sell to people you believe are doing something unethical with your product?

I honestly don't know the answer to that question. My gut reaction is to celebrate Parler effectively getting kicked off the internet, but I do worry that the long-term consequences of doing things like this will haunt us as a society.


The larger problem is that the office of president is out of check since 1945.

For the system to work, no one should believe this one position determines the course of the entire government, but since the 1980s you would be a fool not to.

Given the office of president is out of check and it gets to apply discretion to (in this example) how media companies will be treated both in actual law and whether cases are run, it is only a matter of time before a president builds his route to dictator. Members of whichever party puts him in will be happier for a decade at most, then it's soylent green for everyone.


I believe the slowing down of a mob online by means of deplatforming them is a good strategy, and a feature of the system, assuming you're organizing yourself to adequately counter this mob when/if they attack again.

Sure, they feel persecuted for the deplatforming but that's not really reasonable - we know there's less reason in their community than there needs to be (well it's reasoning based on a funnel of lies they've been manipulated with over decades via Fox News, Republican party, etc), but it wasn't their toy to begin with - the other big kids/adults/tech companies were just happy to let them use them, so they don't have the right to having access to the toys that aren't theirs - and it's unhealthy to make them believe they do, which is essentially coddling for purpose of trying to stop them from crying or ending their temper tantrum - but then it prevents them from developing boundaries.

This is a complex situation, it will unfold how it does, I just hope current leadership is adequate and that forces that can be mobilized if necessary are adequately trained to try to reduce the loss of life if the uprising continues - or arguably terrorist acts - due to disbelieving that the election was fair, hypocritically it would be considered fair if their choice won.


The fact that 4chan and Stormfront continue to exist is proof that no one's speech is being stifled. No one is entitled to these services. On top of this, this is also a business decision. Imagine the negative press that might come out if these platforms continue to host Parler. How many other customers might they lose as a result? Boycotts happen all the time, and why should any company stick their neck out for Parler? I guarantee no one at Apple, Google, or AWS made this decision because they felt it was "the moral thing to do."

Similarly, FOX News is under no obligation to broadcast "all opinions." There is no real distinction in this case.


> Speech without a platform isn't speech at all

One can always yell on the street corner, that's your (limited) platform.


Nowadays a "street corner" is you facebook page or your twitter.

If company grows so big that its use is so common - like a street corner - such platform should be available for all - and all should be accounted for their speech also. Platform is a platform, shouldn't policy people around - that is the job of ... police.

Do you wonder why now we have accounts blocked, but when there were people on the streets attacking policy I haven't heard of any account on facebook/twitter being blocked?

It is because platform wasn't free from politics like it should be, companies have preferences and they will block one political view and allow another - this should not be the case if the use of given platform is monopolistic (or duopolistic: twitter-facebook). If you grow you should give up some of your power, the question is at what scale it should happen.


Facebook and Twitter are commonly used, but they are not the street corner. These things didn't exist when the first amendment was written, but printing presses did. And they specifically did not write in a requirement that printers should print anything and everything. In fact, just 8 years after the first amendment was ratified they passed a federal law banning printing of "false, scandalous or malicious writing". And that was fine, because people could still yell on their street corner or write their own letters, which you will always have the right to do.


The explicit calls to specific acts of extreme violence against specific people would be chargeable as illegal incitement if shouted on a street corner.


Then you've essentially got duct* tape over your mouth while your opponents are handed free megaphones

(*duct/duck - delete as appropriate)


We need to get out of the habit of calling these situations censorship and start calling then what they really are: in kind donations. Providing a communication platform for elected officials has a knowable monetary value. There are already campaign finance laws on the books for this situation.


Nobody has an obligation to facilitate your free speech.


I would disagree in the case of platforms which are monopolies. Or in this case let's call it a triopoly because they collaborate on things like this.

Same like how public utility companies cannot shut off your power or water because they don't like you.


If anything, this is a classic example of "we're going to build our own platform, with blackjack hookers and insurrection", and seeing how far that gets you.

There's a line where continued operation becomes aiding and abetting, and it's also clear the content of that site represented a clear and present danger in the short term.

This isn't a theoretical discussion. This is a direct consequence of an attempted coup.


> If anything, this is a classic example of "we're going to build our own platform, with blackjack hookers and insurrection", and seeing how far that gets you.

You got it backwards. The Internet was build in such a way everyone could easily host their own platform. However due to companies like Amazon using questionable and monopolistic tactics the Internet is now build in such a way it's going to be very hard to go around these companies.

> This is a direct consequence of an attempted coup.

While a disgrace, riots and pillaging can hardly be called a coup. Read about the 2016 Turkish coup attempt to see what a real coup (attempt) looks like: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Turkish_coup_d%27%C3%A9ta... . Just like hard wind is not a hurricane, this wasn't a coup.


Wait.

The President of the United States has spent the past several weeks trying to get anyone and everyone to: throw our legitimate votes, conjure new illegal votes, getting the Vice President to reject electors, getting the Senate to reject electors, sharing doctored videos, telling his supporters that they need to hold traitors accountable, telling his supporters to March in the capital and show strength.

Yeah, those rioters did not effect a coup, or even come close. But it is definitely true that someone is attempting a coup.


I think you didn't read the article mentioned by the poster above. Basically to have a coup you need some kind of force and I don't mean thousands of guys with pitchforks I mean a large part of military with real soldiers that have experience and are trained to use guns.

Just because Trump is not capable of seeing that he lost doesn't mean he tried a coup, like the gp said, it is just a stronger wind, not a hurricane.


You're describing a very specific form of coup, a military coup.

But they did have some kind of force. Enough to storm the capitol. With a noose, zip ties and cries to hang people in the line of succession.

While the President agitated them and then watched on monitors.


One police officer was murdered and congress had to stop their work. Why don't you tell us where the line should be drawn. If they had murdered 100 cops would that be enough? 5 senators? The vice president?


Even outlets like CNN are back-pedalling on calling this thing a coup: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/07/us/insurrection-coup-sedi... . Besides opinion pieces (which are clearly marked as such) and some quotes CNN doen't call it a coup (anymore).

> A "coup," shorthand for "coup d'état," is broadly characterized by Merriam-Webster as a "sudden decisive exercise of force in politics," but particularly the "violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group."

Civil unrest definitely does not qualify as "sudden decisive exercise of force". Now if Trump had declared a state of emergency because of the unrest and then use the emergency laws to arrest political opponents, now that would have been a coup.


What do you call it when a bunch of idiots get brainwashed by Trump and social media echo chambers into believing the election was stolen even though republican officials and courts have clearly show there is not enough evidence to overturn a single state include Georgia that only had a 11k vote difference and those people commit murder and obstruct government work?


So somewhere between a military coup and a bloodless coup [1] is what’s being attempted by the current President.

I think we can all agree that if Trump succeeded, a large number of people would call it a coup and they would be right.

1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_revolution#


There are many bloodless coups that are also military coups [1], the possibility of using a force has almost the same power as using a force.

Revelotion != coup.

Coups is done by a small but capable force, they would need to take both Capitol and Pentagon at least (and I mean not just shoot everyone there, but persuade those in control to give it up or turn them).

How do you envision those that raided capitol could take power of US? All they could do is just sit there and wait for special forces shoot them one by one.

Coup wasn't even considered, most probably what they did is plant malicious software on laptops/servers there and I think the real threat will be seen only few months later.

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_coups_and_coup_attempt...


They built a noose, went in with zipties and were chanting "hang pence". That it was botched doesn't make it any less of a coup. And there was a clear and present threat from the services that have been closed down.

But sure, ignore all the stuff that contradicts your argument to minimise the impact of an assault on democratic institutions.


Why would you bring zip ties to pillaging? Were they prepared to fix the lectern in case it slips from their hands? Or more likely they were prepared to take hostages? The crowd was chanting their wish to hang the vice president.

You are right. It was a disgrace and a very unserious attempt, but the aim was clearly a coup.

Winds don’t have aims and goals. That crowd went there to stop the process of congress affirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. That’s what makes it a coup attempt. If only successfull and well organized coups would count what would be the meaning of the term “coup attempt”?


There's room for some nuance here. A bunch of fairly confused people with fairly confused goals, and no clear plan to achieve them, wouldn't normally count as a coup. There may have been actors who had more of a plan. It's not a 0-1 binary thing.


They were quite literally seconds away from something incredibly more serious happening.

Just because they botched the implementation doesn't lessen the intent.


> what a real coup (attempt) looks like

While I agree the physical attempt was weak. Parler was literally hyping up about killing multiple politicians ( eg. Planting the head of the VP on a tree).

Additionally, they got really far, up to the chamber where they hid. If they would have breached that chamber, the coup could have succeeded ( eg. No Pelosi/Pence/Biden/..)

I severely underestimated the talks on Parler until I saw the evidence and Amazon banned them.

As a reference, the coup on 06/01 is very similar to this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_Hall_Putsch

Also, the 50 lawsuits without any sufficient evidence to throw out legitimate votes and trying to win by in person peer pressure doesn't belong in any western democracy.

This was a coup. A failed coup is still a coup.

( Belgian )


And I disagree, platforms are not monopolies. Your public utility is a different category because they are PHYSICAL infrastructure - you can't easily compete among providers for service due to real world physical limits.

But you can make your own software stack, from the ground up if needed.

I mean this is HN, where people think dropbox is easily cloned over a weekend (it's just rsync and tftp), twitter employs 10 times as many people as needed since it really only take a few dozen, etc. And, the free market plus private corporations are part of the natural order of the world, why weren't they the 11th commandment God etched on the tablets given to Abraham?

Quit moaning on a web forum about how a non-government entity must accommodate your chat needs, and actually make your own. Or go old school and print all the crap you want to distribute. Last I checked the Constitution didn't guarantee your access to social media. Can't really say the Founding Fathers original intent was that you can hit the like button on some post hosted by a private corporation, no matter what.


Without water you die. You will be totally fine even if you no longer can post insane conspiracy theories about microchipped pedophiles who want to eat your brains on Twitter. Because you can still make a sign and stand outside city hall to protest it.


Just like you need water, you need to participate in society. For instance you need to know that there's a virus out there that experts think is quite serious, and you need to know what everyone else thinks the right response is.


You're not answering to his point, though. Anyone can know all this without posting "...insane conspiracy theories about microchipped pedophiles who want to eat your brains."


No, you can't. Someone's gotta make all that news for you to read, and they have to be able to disseminate it in a way that makes it louder than all the conspiracies, or else you will also not know the truth from the lies.

Without water you'll die. Without the facts that lady got herself killed the other day.


Your answer does not address what I wrote or OP's point.


You can watch the news and read a newspaper. You don’t need Twitter to tell you there’s a virus out there.


The first COVID news spread over wechat, while the chinese government was still claiming that there was nothing to worry about. So yes we needed twitter and its alternatives to know about it.


The news told these people they need to go fight in the middle east and ‘Defend Freedom’ because Saddam has nukes. That ship has unfortunately sailed.


Tarring all news outlets with the same brush isn't helpful here. Twitter, Facebook, HN, reddit, you name it, have all had their fair share of sending an unjustified angry mob at someone.


That's actually not true: https://www.freedomforuminstitute.org/first-amendment-center...

“the more an owner, for his advantage, opens up his property for use by the public in general, the more do his rights become circumscribed by the statutory and constitutional rights of those who use it.”


The thing is, this doesn't actually matter. This service wasn't being used to "freely assemble" (as outlined in your source), it was being used as a tool to facilitate insurrection.

This clear and present danger was obvious, and places the imperative on supporting services to question whether they want to aid and abet sedition.


The insurrection happened at the capitol building, not on Parler.


This isn't just about Parler specifically. The point is that with any of these deplatformings, it is manifestly untrue that the platforms can do whatever they want.


But do we have a responsibility to not hinder someone else's free speech? Not with regards to the current post but just thinking in lines with what you said.


Yes we do, but we do not have an obligation to facilitate it. Private forums have no obligation to publish or distribute anything they don’t want to. Their owners and operators have rights too. Free speech simply doesn’t apply. Just go and communicate somewhere else, or build your own chat service, or publish a leaflet or book, or whatever. But I have no obligation to allow you to come into my house or business and say these things.


Not quite, if you have a mono/duo/tri-poly you give up certain rights, this is how democracy works, unless you want to end up in corpo-cracy.


I don’t think it’s possible to mandatorily restrict editorialising without killing platforms. Any such restrictions would be a spammers, griefers and pornographers manifesto. Restricting editorial rights is a horrible can or worms to open.

But anyway, there are no social media monopolies. We have Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, iMessage, Discord, Signal, etc, etc, and it goes on and on. They’re also very segmented, Facebook is huge but it’s almost irrelevant to kids and young adults. New services pop up regularly because barriers to entry are incredibly low and segmentation is so high.


I have no obligation to listen to what you say, nor do I have an obligation to build you a platform to spread it.


More precisely facilitate hate speech.

For some reason the fact that Parker is a cesspit doesn’t get mentioned. Perhaps because people here rightly haven’t been to it and are being intellectually honest and not decrying something without evidence.


What do you mean by "without limits"?

Twitter and Facebook have recently gone to court because of their blatant censorship, editing, and banning or speakers for having differing opinions. They are no longer a distributed publishing houses free. They are now editors and are to be held accountable for their actions and the actions of others on their sites.

I believe that if we add one limit to the liberty of speech and we'll have thrown the baby out with the bath water.


In your opinion how should Twitter handle neonazis and fascists? How should US society handle white supremacists?


Let the people decide whether they want to support the message. If we do a good job raising our youth then they will shun hate speech and no one will join those groups. If a few powerful people can decide to hide those groups in the shadows then we won't recognize them when they emerge...which is inevitable as no society will ever be 100% free of hate.


I'm not entirely sure where neonazis come into play here on the topic of human liberties like freedom of speech. Fascists on the other hand... that's the topic isn't it? By applying an amendment to freedom of speech to prevent or force any speech is authoritarian by definition.

Just so we're clear fascism definition "Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe."

I'd prefer to speak solely on the point of human liberties. And just so we're clear, you can see the differences of civil rights and human liberties which are naturally inherent to all people. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/civil_liberties "Congress shall make no law" - This is the first Amendment of your Liberties, and regardless of the reasoning, changing them will only trade 1 evil for a worse one.

The way it is now is that all may do as they wish... with lawful consequences unless protected by the your rights and liberties. To be clear what I mean is that if you cause damages and there are victims of the "crime" then you should be held accountable. The problem we are facing today is that so many people have those their integrity as to make some people regret having rights and liberties. But it's a slippery slope, imagine on the far side of the extreme where the fed comes to your home in the middle of the night with guns and cameras in tote and force you to say something against your will. That is inherently against your liberty (freedom of speech), would you give this up because someone else said something you don't like?

In my opinion all media should be completely and totally decentralized... a bit like bitcoin. What this means is that no one should be able to control media... not even the federal institutions (especially not them). Fascists and neonazis... well they can all be ousted on decentralized networks for all I care. Every news/media/message should be accountable, but should not be controlled. If someone claims or says something that causes damages it should be accounted for, but there should be no control over it from any outside force.

In China every website, every video, every message has what can be referred to as an OID, in software these can be used as public universal identifiers and can be traced back to a source. The problem with China is that their fascist federal institution will reward and pay people to report and take down any media they don't like. That's fascism. That's the exact opposite of what America should be by our constitutional rights and our inherent liberties. However! Their tracking system is astounding and could help the people take lawful retribution on any damages caused by some created content.


I simply said neonazis because - I'm assuming - we both agree that we don't want their numbers to grow, don't want our society to conform to their racism, etc.

And since I read a lot of HN comments about how free speech needs limits to "handle nazis", and since you said no, I became interested in what's your opinion on this problem. Thanks for the fast and detailed reply!

> [definition of fascism]

Yeah, that works. Usually I just say it's a method of obtaining and maintaining power through populist ultranationalism, palingenetic rhetoric with a certain aesthetics, etc.

> To be clear what I mean is that if you cause damages and there are victims of the "crime" then you should be held accountable.

Do I correctly assume that this is very similar to the libertarian idea of using/extending tort law for as many things a possible?

> slippery slope

Um, just a nitpick, but a slippery slope argument is usually a fallacy.

So, what I'm trying to say is that we already have limits on it. And while I think continuously extending those limits - just as Hitchens's fire fire fire speech from 2006 argues [0] - is a noble goal, but also as other comments said it's Twitter's or Jack Dorsey's freedom to not be a mouthpiece of someone. Which is interestingly the same thing as your example. Just instead of the feds trying to force you to say something it's Trump trying to force/coerce/pressure Twitter to host him. (Which is basically the "free association" part of liberties.)

> [decentralized accountable media]

I wholeheartedly agree. I'm still bitter about how instead of evolving RSS, PubSubHubBub, PingBack and stuff to something more, we just got Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and Blog Fucking Spot.

Yet it's hard to deny how powerful network effects are. This sort of means every niche will have its own "natural monopoly". (For example despite all its money Google was not able to seriously contest FB, nor WhatsApp. And FB was only able to contain it and Instagram by buying them.)

Aaaand, while I very much like Signal, it's yet another centralized thing.

... and yes, I know it's hard to make a decentralized platform. Federation is hard, spam, sybil attacks, reputation accounting. Though maybe with Bitcoin Lightning (or similar) someone could put together the right microeconomics (incentives for cooperation).

[0] I like his argument about how the freedom of speech is also about having the freedom to hear other's speech. Hear criticism about oneself, and so on. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3Hg-Y7MugU


> but also as other comments said it's Twitter's or Jack Dorsey's freedom to not be a mouthpiece of someone. Which is interestingly the same thing as your example. Just instead of the feds trying to force you to say something it's Trump trying to force/coerce/pressure Twitter to host him. (Which is basically the "free association" part of liberties.)

Twitter is a publicly traded company. Its owned by the public so Jack Dorsey can't claim it as his own platform. The second he sought the benefits of public funding, it became the publics platform- democrat or republican should have equal right to it. But he's welcome to tweet his opinion if he wants to.


He's still the CEO, so he represents the company, he has the responsibility and capacity for deciding who to do business with (who to serve as a customer/user, who to allow to "enter/visit their venue").


> - Speech without a platform isn't speech at all

Free speech is the freedom to say what you like without punishment. It doesn't mean that everyone has a natural birthright to an audience, or to free, global distribution of their speech.


It's really just up to the government to nationalize the internet and popular News organizations, and provide proper equal access to all as protected by the constitution.

Nationalization is the answer you're looking for


> Just because a private company is legally allowed to do something, doesn't mean they should

You don't expect coal companies to suspend operations because of pollution and climate change. Maybe I misunderstood what you meant by "should" here. Care to clarify?


The word OP should have used it "ought" (instead of should) as in normative ethics.

It's good that the laws/government does not coerce/force companies to do business with everyone under the sun, but it doesn't mean it would be good if they (or if society) started to exercise this right all the time, because it can be very much abused, for example if some company is extremely xenophobic/racist, then in that case it's not good that that company is excluding a bunch of people. Also, if corporations drop everybody just because it's inconvenient/unprofitable, it can easily lead to abuse of market position.


I think banning things temporarily to finish Biden take presidency seems OK to me. But banning permanently means we are failing with arguments to win over people. Opposing violence permanently seems OK to me, but then a law should be made for it and not left for individual company.

Usually it is recommended that for complex and emotional content email/text communication is not good. It should be done in person. In social media complex/emotional things are being discussed in text form which causes more rift. So we need better tools video/animation/pictures to discuss things that are being discussed in social media. These better tools should be easy to use for common person to use and communicate.

It will be also good to have a tool, which for any argument gives all the assumption being made. Such a tool can also help in communicating better.

In short we need better communication tools and better laws. (minor edit and added last sentence)


> - Removing it in any capacity should be done with extreme care and free of any bias one way or another, with a lot of thought put into any future consequences

I agree with basically your whole post, but I think it should be emphasized that extreme care has been taken. Things have escalated to the point that Trump supporters violently attacked the legislative branch in order to subvert our political process. There isn’t much worse than that. Parler is being actively used as part of a system to plan, coordinate, and build support for more attacks (e.g. posts referring to journalists as soft targets).


Free speech without limits. Free speech enforced to any platform. In my opinion can be called as dictature of free speech.


> My line for free speech seems to lie in speech that incites violence

It sounds very easy when you speak in the abstract.

I could tell you a dozen examples where you can argue for both sides, and what your conclusion will be will depend on what the media says and whether or not you like the person they "persecute" and vilify.

AOC said "Are you all ready to make a ruckus? Are you all ready to fight for our rights?". "Oh no, those are fighting words, they incite violence". Would you like ban her from all platforms?

What happens to people without a party? A recent trend on the progressive left was the #ForceTheVote to ask the AOC, squad and the progressive wing of the party to withhold their vote for Nancy Pelosi's speakership in exchange for a vote on M4All (the thing they've run on, "but now is not the time"). Should they all be banned because they want to "force" the vote?

"Hold your representatives feet to the fire"? Do I want to literally do that and burn them alive? Or I want to keep them accountable?

"Heads on pikes"? Do I want to behead them, or I want them to lose their position and I want them to get fired?

What if I get frustrated at a party, and I say "the gloves are off" and decide to run against them? "Oh no, he said 'gloves are off', he wants to be beat up the congressman/congresswoman. Silence him!". What if I say, "I'm going to destroy them". Obviously, I was speaking in the political sense, but if enough people on cable say the opposite, you'll never believe me.

The point is that there are usually hundreds of ways to frame something. If you didn't hear the context, and you only see the 5 seconds soundbite, you'll believe it's justified. You also won't look into it, because "why would you protect an aggressor? the clip was clear, he/she threatened people with violence".

FYI: I brought examples from the left so that people understand that almost every person who has given an energetic speech can be framed as "violent" and in the future can be shut down (if the power dynamics change). I used American examples, as the two-party system is simpler as a multiparty system and most people are familiar with the things that happen in the US. The same would be true in other countries, though.


The fiery calls to "fight" are not the problem. It is the "this election was stolen from us", rigged election, etc. without any evidence. And what's more, saying those things after courts have shut them down and rejected them.

If you make such grave accusations without proof, you are guilty of inciting what results.

If you see smoke and yell fire in a crowded room and people are trampled trying to get out, fine.

If you yell fire in a crowded room with no evidence, and people get trampled, you are culpable. Even if you said "remain calm and peaceful" after you yelled fire.


But that's exactly what happens, for example, in Russia or Belarus. The opposition claims the election was rigged, the court dismisses these claims, and the government uses the law against inciting violence to silence and or jail the opposition. And it is nearly impossible to prove that the elections in the whole were rigged - in the best case they have a proof on a number of episodes that total in, let's say, 100k of votes, but that still doesn't prove the overall result is falsified.


Right, but in russian elections you can look for indicators of election fraud and find them by the dozen, and in the US you cannot. In russia, all of the party's officials are complicit stooges going along with the narrative that threy totally won by 92%, where as im the US even the VP is acknowledging his loss.

There are no markers or evidence of any kind. Nobody can even come up with plausible stories nevermind facts.

So should we really be making the comparison to two of the most obviously corrupt states on earth? Does that help the conversation or just muddy the waters?


The waters are already muddy. Remember that we are discussing this in the context of censoring speech, "are there plausible stories" can't be the deciding factor in that.


Right, but what I'm saying is that the grey areas in life can be resolved through examination of indicators, and "is there a plausible story" is one of them. It's stronger in some scenarios than others. For example, it's pretty much the only indicator you need to dismiss more outragerous claims like flat-earthers.

The simple question of "what would be the point" is enough to dismiss nearly all of that spectrum of conspiracy theory - wherein no reason that makes a modicum of sense can be given. "Hur dur, because control the populous" or something is generally the best that can be mustered, and asking how or why leads only to more dead ends.

Likewise, trying to come up with a story about why both his own party and the opposing party and a large number of his own base and the entirety of the opposition's base will lead to no plausible story.


I think using Russia or Belarus as examples is completely incorrect. And all this questioning has only solidified how secure elections in the US are.

Take GA for example. A large percentage of the election officials are Trump supporters. I don't know about post coup attempt, but leading up they said they would still vote for Trump again even after he started putting them in danger with his fraud nonsense.

Finally, if someone wants to 'rig' an election, the path is not directly through changing votes, it's through social engineering. That's what the Russia investigation was about in 2016, and what Trump attempted here through all the lies both leading up to and post election.


Uh, the Russia investigation had credible evidence and resulted in multiple arrests and convictions. It turned up multiple cases of collusion with russian operatives. They did not, however find enough evidence that there was an overall conspiracy to collude or that Trump had any clue what was going on in the larger scope.


I think you're replying to what you assumed matwood was going to say about the Russia investigation, rather than what matwood actually said.


> Russia investigation had credible evidence and resulted in multiple arrests and convictions

The comment I responded to mentioned elections in Russia, unrelated to Russian election interference in 2016.


And ... who knows, maybe Putin really won maybe not. After all he systematically crushes any real opposition.

The problem in Russia, the problem in all of these questions is the huge imbalance of power. Russia an Belarus is an autocracy. (Yes, it's again context, but using the word context is uselessly too broad, doesn't have explanatory power.)

So Trump claims they are persecuted, we can look at the balance of power. Oh, he's the sitting president. Well, then it's very-very-very unlikely that he's silenced, and it's more likely that he's trying to overextend his power, and he's simply facing pushback from various other social/democratic/other institutions.

When Twitter banned the SciHub account because it broke their Counterfeit policy people noted that in this case it was likely Twitter using its power too much to please Elsevier/India.


I was able to sympathise with BLM protesters because of the incidents of the past and also comparing police presence in capitol during the priest of BLM and MAGA goons. In case of MAGA goons, despites courts, a lot of which were conservative judges, and the republicans themselves not finding any evidence of election fraud which would change the result of election, they continue to try to overturn the result with force. They are acting in bad faith. The fact that more than 70 million people support this is the chilling part.


There are people that gather every year to celebrate aliens. If a fight breaks out at a ufo fair and people get hurt do we arrest everyone that said they saw a ufo? Do we take away their platform? Who decides where to draw the line?


A few of those arguments don't require evidence, since they were matters of law vs. matters of fact.

One of the arguments made was that laws passed by legislatures weren't followed, for example the deadline for mail-in ballots in PA, which was extended until 5 P.M on November 5 even though the law on the books is explicit that ballots postmarked after election day were invalid. The fact that a court upheld the view in contradiction with fairly plain language of the law caused some controversy.

The above doesn't mean "The election was stolen". It doesn't mean it would have turned out differently. But I think there is some room for debate. Even though Trump is aggrandizing the issue politicians do that all the time and aren't de-platformed for it.


The deadline for mail-in ballots was not based on delivery time, it was based on postmark time.

So there is absolutely nothing wrong with a ballot arriving after 5PM November 5th, so long as it was postmarked before the cutoff.

So the laws were followed, no contradiction, just a selective lack of understanding by a group of bad actors.


Interesting. 2/3rds of Dems believe that Russia tampered with vote tallies for Trump [0]- i.e. stole the 2016 election. Who's being held accountable there?

[0] https://today.yougov.com/topics/politics/articles-reports/20...


I get what you're trying to do here, but I don't think it really worked. The examples you provided are obviously not incitements to violence. If someone wants to twist those words to get us to believe they are, we can look at the facts on the ground: no one became violent because of those words. (Of course that's not possible when you're judging speech immediately after it's said and don't have hindsight.)

On the flip side, quite a bit of violence did occur on the 6th; the speech that got us there was pretty clearly intended to get us there.


It's a thread about an article on Parler. I'm talking about that. Was "the speech that got us there" by Parler?


> The examples you provided are obviously not incitements to violence.

They are more obviously incitements to violence than a post saying they won't be attending the inauguration.

At this point it becomes mostly about what your model of the person speaking is. If you think they are evil you will interpret their intent and communication as evil and if you think they are good you will interpret it as good.

There is no possible methodology that can be used that will end up declaring Trump's comments incitement while declaring AOC's not to be that won't end up becoming become simple partisanship.


But in reality we all know why he's not attending, and it isn't because his mom can't drive him or he didn't buy tickets.

Context is king, as always.


These examples are a joke though. No reasonable person thinks "the gloves are off" or "destroy them" coming from AOC is violent intent.

A reasonable person could reasonably interpret endlessly repeated claims that some liberal cabal is literally overthrowing the government and that America will actually die without immediate action, followed by violence that isn't condemned, mixed with blatant encouragement of violent action, with a long history of identical behavior, as violent.

Your examples might work in a vacuum where the reader has no knowledge of common english terms, any cultural context for the language, or any context about who the speaker is (though even then I think the obvious difference would be detected).


Suppose Trump had said "the gloves are off" and "destroy them" in his speech? Would that count as inciting violence or not?


I don't think "the gloves are off" can be an incitement of violence im any context at all. Even a violent one. It only means "it is time to increase the intensity of my efforts in this context". That context could be a fight or a colouring book competition. The term is origin agnostic and nothing to do with boxing.

If he said "destroy them" as people are out destroying things, yes obviously. Or if he's been ranting about stolen elections and fraud and calling for action.

If he said "fight them, in the polls | marketplace of ideas! Destroy them!" or something then obviously not.

Trying to pretend any of this is like, too ambiguous to really make a call on, is a joke. Anybody can spot the difference.


There is actually a test for incitement set out in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandenburg_v._Ohio - the standard is whether speech is likely to produce imminent lawless action.

Here, the question is whether a rational person in Trump’s position could have known that directing people to the capital and telling them illegal activity was going on inside are likely to promote specific lawless action at that destination, regardless of the specific words used or whether the type of violence is specified.

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2021/01/08/a-civilian-s-g... has a larger primer.


You may disagree, but the source and context do matter. If I say 'we should nuke the moon' people laugh and move on. If Trump says it's a completely different thing.

Trump spent years peddling lies and conspiracy theories, and getting right up to the incite violence line. His attempts to keep white nationalist on his side, by repeatedly having to be prodded to denounce them after showing some weird support is a problem. So yeah, if he said those things, it absolutely would count and may not count with someone else.


The context of the speech, the person speaking the words and the people listening to them all matter.


The mainstream media was complicit in arguing for the Iraq War, which resulted in the deaths of nearly a million people and is still ongoing in the form of the Syrian Civil War.

Are you for shutting down the New York Times, then? The violence they’ve facilitated dwarfs that of the recent events.

Edit: in case you doubt me, here’s a pretty damning article:

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/iraq...


> The mainstream media was complicit in arguing for the Iraq War

So was conservative media - why single out only the mainstream media?


I think you are missing the point of my comment. I didn’t single out the mainstream media, I used the Times as an example. The same would apply to any media source that “invited violence.”


The problem here is that private companies are doing something that only democratically legitimized state authorities should be doing, deciding what is allowed or not allowed. Otherwise we are always dependent on the good will of the companies without democratic control.


Freedom of speech means that here is no monopolistic power (such as the government) that has final say on restricting speech. However, it doesn't mean that you, as a private citizen or free-market-participant, have to aid and abet all speech that is directed at you. If someone tells me the Earth as flat, I do not have to give his ideas equal weight if I do not believe they deserve it, and I should not be compelled to help him espouse his beliefs either.


You're describing the status quo, and even that falls apart a little. There are already exemptions, like businesses being forbidden to discriminate based on "protected class", utility companies cannot refuse service to customers they do not like (as long as those customers pay), emergency rooms cannot refuse service to people they do not like, and so on.

What we have here is a small group of companies exerting quasi-monopoly power; Apple and Google controlling "apps" or Twitter and Facebook controlling "social media". Sure, they have some smaller competitors technically, just like East Germany had some smaller political parties technically.

If it was up to me, I'd change the status quo: Let FAAGT decide if they want to be publishers, no limited liability, or open platforms, limited liability but at the same time they have to agree to Freedom of Speech for all, unless it's criminal speech like incitement to violence, or some narrow additional predefined exemptions such as the option to not allow pornography or nudity or gore.

And then, if Parler fails to moderate their content again and leaves up criminal stuff, it's the job of law enforcement and courts to not only sanction the people who abused Parler to commit these crimes, but also the state to sanction Parler.


What is "FAAGT"?


I dropped the Netflix N in FAANG and added a T. Netflix is out of scope because they are an editorialized publishing platform without liability shield already. And added Twitter, which usually isn't big enough for FAANG, but in this context, by reach and influence, they deserve to be in the list. Could have been less lazy and just spelled it out. Sorry for the confusion.


I'm guessing "Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, Twitter"


You've been drinking the Kool-Aid liability is no-cure all solution, these platforms will merely cease to exist. I agree that they have quasi-monopoly powers, there are other platforms that have this though, they are now basically modern forms of Press & Media. Editorial decisions whether to publish or not and whether to self or government regulate are issues the world has experience with. The difference is in the scale and the speed at which these platforms can disseminate information. There is no clear cut solution (you'll see this if you look into press & media regulation) and society needs to decide how to move forward.


I’m not here to argue or anything, but I vaguely recall from reading from the federalist papers way back in high school that free expression without fear of reprisal was what we were going for. Is that not the goal? I feel like some really distorted arguments have flooded the internet recently, and I’m doubting my own recollection now.


In practice, the American revolution did not come about through open debate:

https://thebaffler.com/salvos/on-the-rudeness-of-mobs-pogue

'On October 25, the freemen of Essex County, New Jersey, proclaimed that anyone who adhered to the Stamp Act should be cast out of polite society, that decent people should have “no Communication with any such Person, nor speak with them on any Occasion unless it be to inform them of their Vileness.” This was not an isolated view. One writer to a Pennsylvania paper suggested, in language typical of the time, that a man paying stamp duties should be “branded with eternal infamy and reproach,” and cast out. “Let him be alone in the world—let him wish to associate with the wild beasts of some dark loathsome cave.”'


Very interesting. I think this whole debate may finally pierce many people's delusion's of grandeur.


> I vaguely recall from reading from the federalist papers way back in high school that free expression without fear of reprisal

... from government.

I will add that even with regards to the government, there are limits to free speech — falsely shouting “fire” in a crowded theater is the archetypal example.

Some people seem to think that freedom of speech is something that can be broadly forced upon private organizations, and that’s simply not true.

If folks don’t like companies that, in their opinion, unreasonably restrict speech, then I suggest they vote with their dollars, their attention, and maybe their work (e.g., via competitors).


> If folks don’t like companies that, in their opinion, unreasonably restrict speech, then I suggest they vote with their dollars, their attention, and maybe their work (via competitors).

Like Gab and Parler! Oh wait...

I generally agree private businesses shouldn’t be forced to do business with anyone they don’t want to, but we’re talking about near monopolies that in many ways wield more power than governments.

Apple and Google each have a monopoly on app distribution on their platforms. Facebook and Twitter combined effectively have a monopoly on social networks.


Well, wait and see. The free market doesn't move in 24 hours. There is moderation that is clearly a good idea, moderation that is sketchy and moderation that is overdone. I may be behind the times, but I really don't think an app in the app store is that important. They still have a web site. The AWS ban is more concerning but if they have to they can move to foreign hosting - maybe this will be the push to finally get the Europeans to build up some tech companies.

Big tech have basically declared that 30% of America is unwelcome on their platform. That is overbearing moderation that is likely to provoke a market response. I'd give it 6-12 months to see if they can hold on to a monopoly even leaving that massive slice of the market in play.


AWS isn’t anywhere close to a monopoly and has one of the most lax AUPs in the game. These services can also self-host like the olden days.

As for Apple, yes. They do have a monopoly over their app platforms. Either a more robust PWA support framework or side loading needs to be a priority on iOS. I wouldn’t consider Google as having a monopoly over app distribution as you can sideload apps on Android and Android has (from what I’ve heard) well-rounded PWA support.


Gab and Parler are free to run their own datacenters. It has nothing to do with “monopolies”, which come and go.


Then those datacentres would be deplatformed from the Internet.

At this point, their only option to survive would be to build their own new internet. And that would need power/spectrum/land or other things that could be taken away from them by determined enough activism.

Maybe they could survive for a while by moving to a decentralised P2P/blockchain system of some kind. But that could potentially be blocked at an ISP level.


> Then those datacentres would be deplatformed from the Internet.

A few years ago I heard some people say we needed net neutrality. Republicans were against it.


I didn’t mention AWS.


I think to some degree Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter being as successful they are in their verticals and also being fairly progressive is not a coincidence. They have to attract the best talent in the world, which will not only be people that come from different races, but also sexual orientations, religions, genders, and more. You take the beliefs generally being espoused on Parler and some of that is fundamentally antithetical to the progressive ideologies that even allow these companies to be leading players in their fields. Describing these companies as monopolies is unfair because most of them are simply doing work miles ahead of competitors (Apple for example). Choosing to be tolerant isn't an arbitrary choice. It's probably at the core of their success. So even if a conservative ecosystem pops up to support Parler I believe the reason it doesn't exist already is because of the lack of talent. Same reason why so many smart Jewish scientists left Nazi Germany—intolerance leaves a lot of value and talent on the table, which is what you will need to outcompete others.


> I will add that even with regards to the government, there are limits to free speech — falsely shouting “fire” in a crowded theater is the archetypal example.

Note that when this phrase was originally used, it was to justify imprisoning people who distributed flyers opposing the draft in WW1, and the supreme court later partially overturned it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shouting_fire_in_a_crowded_the...


> Some people seem to think that freedom of speech is something that can be broadly forced upon private organizations, and that’s simply not true.

Why not? Private companies must respect your rights, like your right not to be discriminated against, so why can‘t they be forced to respect your right to free speech? Just because the status quo of the legal ecosystem is not ready to handle this edge-cases doesn‘t mean it can‘t be made to do it with some adjustments.


Because your rights do not override my rights, and if I run an Internet forum, chat service, etc you can’t force me to publish or distribute material I don’t want to. We are all autonomous citizens, including people who own or run communications services.


You can’t sell food without compelled speech (nutrition labels). You can’t sell medicine without compelled speech (side effect warnings).

There’s plenty of existing examples of compelled speech. We could simply say, “you cannot run a public/large forum without allowing mostly free speech”.


Who gets to define “mostly”? Every public Internet forum censors, whether they say they do or not. Even the *chan sites filter out and delete spam, griefing, child porn, etc. They have to or they would be overwhelmed and useless. The spammers have been advocating for maximalist free speech forever.

I think the compelled speech argument is extremely weak, we have very narrowly defined and specific cases in strictly defined circumstances. This would make it the default for vast swathes of common communications and as I pointed out introduce huge problems with noise, spam and griefing.


There's a difference between you running "a" forum and controlling 99% of the internet. It's good to break up huge monopolies.


Amazon Web Services does not control 99% of the internet.


They control ~32% of cloud services (https://www.parkmycloud.com/blog/aws-vs-azure-vs-google-clou...), and I assume if Parler moved to GCP they would be also blocked. Question what would MS Azure do?

That mostly leaves Alibaba Cloud (I have no idea if it is available outside China) and "Others" - so a 43%. Not much to choose from considering that the big players have the best prices.


This may be slightly off topic... are hosting providers subject to Sec. 230 protections? That is, if they don’t make a good-faith effort to remove illegal content (i.e. incitement of violence, bonus points for elected officials) they can be legally held responsible?


I see what you mean with giving equal weight to all rights, but there are implementation differences. To not discriminate, you’re restricting an action that might be taken. That does not incur cost or new effort. To facilitate speech, you’re compelling an action to happen that someone may not want to do, especially one that doesn’t provide any benefit to them and may incur additional costs.

The right of free expression is guaranteed by the first amendment by restricting the government from infringing upon your right. It doesn’t say the government or anyone else has to give you a microphone.


What about compelling a company to respect a citizen‘s rights? Do you find that fair? Companies are already compelled to do all sorts of things for the government or customers.

In order to ban me from a platform you have to take (negative) action towards me. My content is already on that network. Compelling to respect my rights means compelling a company to not negatively act against me.


They are not compelled to do anything for general citizens. They are in some cases compelled to treat certain classes of people the same way they treat other classes. That doesn’t compel them to do something they never would do, it compels them to do the things they already do for some, for all.

Those businesses are also free to close up shop if they can’t handle it. If they are dumb enough to explicitly say they don’t want to do something for a certain legally protected class of individual solely due to their belonging to that class, then IMO they deserve to lose their shirt.


>Why not?

That would amount to involuntary servitude, which is not permitted by the 13th Amendment.

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation


>I will add that even with regards to the government, there are limits to free speech — falsely shouting “fire” in a crowded theater is the archetypal example.

Also see the Supreme Court case Brandenburg v Ohio (1969), which excluded from protection speech "directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action"


The whole "if you don't like it, vote with your dollars" angle doesn't really work when a handful of companies own, control and host 99.999% of social media. The power that these private companies wield is greater than the power of any government. They're not democratic. They are driven by the unending pursuit of growth. They have no moral compass, so their rules are in their own private interest. They dodge taxes, support populist movements to virtue signal, and they quietly collude with governments that wish to spy on their journalists and citizens so they can "disappear" them for wrongthink. Their rules are "whatever is best for us".

I don't know what the answer is, but having seen these large private companies censor rational discussion of scientific fact, this scares me.


> The whole "if you don't like it, vote with your dollars" angle doesn't really work when a handful of companies own, control and host 99.999% of social media.

"Voting with your dollars" means taking your dollars and giving them to the 0.001% that agree with you. Then this will strengthen them a little so they may become 0.0011% or whatever.

Any large social movement should be able to support a share of the economy commensurate to its size, complete with their own journalists, printing presses, leaflet distributors, radio stations, TV shows, phone factories, app stores and social media apps, or whatever communication infrastructure they want to use.

Of course that requires lots of work, but if that work is divided by the number of people involved, it becomes manageable again (after all, the whole rest of society manages just fine).

If people want to skip that work and instead rely on others to provide them with everything, they shouldn't be surprised if they don't get exactly what they want.


Well, but remember what happened when they voted with their "dollars", Parler was blocked.

This looks like a internet version of witch hunt.


Voting for Parler is not enough if you don't also vote for an app store that will offer Parler for download and a hosting provider that will allow them to use their infrastructure etc.

To use an analogy closer to the founding of the United States: if you want to publish a radical new newspaper, you need to be prepared to buy your own printing press and build up your own network of stores, because the existing printers and sellers may not want to support you.


Analogy with printing press would have been: There are just 3 printing presses and all of them are controlled by people that are democrats.

You are a republican, how do you publish your political pieces?

You have to create a 4th printing press from ground up (because people that have printing press parts are refusing to work with you).

Distribution is a more appropriate in this case.


One could argue this is not reprisal and more of "no shoes no shirt no service." These people aren't providing Parlor services for free. They are doing it as part of a mutual partnership to profit, and if they choose to no longer benfit/profit off of the business shouldn't they have the right? I mean, Apple supports many progressive initiatives like equal rights campaigns, and that is part of the brand. Shouldn't Apple be allowed to maintain that brand image? Supporting a company that is antithetical to that brand image may be a move that ultimately increases their shareholder value for all one knows.

Take Fox News as an example. They're not going to allow their platform to be used for liberal propaganda, and most likely also vet any advertisers. They aren't expected to just allow any content to be broadcast.

I guess a devil's advocate viewpoint could be that some of these services are platforms, but then again the reasons given for some of these bans aren't necessarily strictly political.


I would argue that there's no point appealing to authority since what we are going for changes with the times, but there's a fundamental difference between reprisal and aid. Say you wanted to host a website that was explaining the evils of cloud hosting, and you did this on EC2 (AWS). Amazon has every right to have in their terms clauses that disallow such content which they do not agree with. If they do host it they are doing damage to themselves, and if they do not host it they are simply not supporting an attack on cloud hosting. The act of choosing not to engage in business is not an attack in itself.


I guess, I mean that’s the tails-you-lose of it. It does feel as though somebody’s bought up all the printing presses, and in the face of scrutiny for doing so is disrupting swaths of the opposition party’s press apparatus as the incoming party takes over. I mean Amazon isn’t any ol’ business, but one with great reach facing historic threats of regulation.

It just doesn’t feel like the right thing for our republic. It feels like foul play, and I guess my recourse is at the ballot box.

I guess I think the points raised here and elsewhere about what businesses can do are specious. We still try to keep things fair.


In a few days, Parler is going to find a new hosting provider, and the networks (also private companies) will refuse to route to that hosting provider and the banks (also private companies) will close their accounts, unless they fall in line and ban Parler as well.


> and the networks (also private companies) will refuse to route to that hosting provider

There was once something called "Net Neutrality". As I recall conservatives were strongly against it.


Perhaps in theory, but in practice (in the US) freedom of speech is limited to government intrusion only, as defined by the constitution’s first amendment. There is no legal application, to private entities, of free speech.


When freedom of speech was codified as a value in the constitution, it made sense because the government is realistically the only entity that could engage in mass censorship. Nobody predicted a private company would get to that point, which is why those laws don't exist.

We must decide if that needs to change.


That's certainly untrue, at that time access to any sort of mass communication was even more controlled by a few private actors. There were not all that many major printing presses out there and a limited number of publishers would have truly controlled your only access to dissemiating information to a significant number of people besides actual in-person speech. And they certainly did choose what they were willing to publish.


>Nobody predicted a private company would get to that point

Not quite, the East India Company is a counter example.


The example of the EIC was used as an argument against the British Crown by proponents of American independence. Source: Dalrymple's The Anarchy.


The East India Company was processing (and reading) the mail of hundreds of millions of people, and freely choosing who is allowed to continue sending mail?


I’m sorry but that just isn’t true. The framing generation was worried about the tyranny of the masses, global corporations, religious authorities, and many more threats to self-governance.


That line of thinking has no historical basis in the US. In past times mass publishers, large newspapers, had every bit as much influence.


Influence yes, but they weren't able to censor communication between two private citizens. Social media is the new telephone.


I wonder what fraction of the crackpots and conspiracy theorists on twitter would have had the wherewithall to start their own newspapers, though. The barrier to mass communication is so much lower than it was in the 18th century.


Actually your portrayal is not that far off from history.

The Boston Massacre was greatly exaggerated, really only five rioters were killed and arguably the British shot them after violent provocation. Paul Revere's engraving was fiction and portrayed them as murdering the colonists in cold blood, which planted the seeds of the American Revolution.

As far as the barrier to mass communication being lower, perhaps, but mass communication was more prominent in the 18th century than you might think. Pamphlets were fairly inexpensive easily duplicated short-form propaganda, and were read aloud in taverns and churches. Communication wasn't "instant" but it was possible, and the social aspects would have made it more like Twitter and Facebook than I think we'd like to admit.


Yes, I'm aware of that. There was plenty of nonsense and propaganda printed, but I don't think it's possible to deny that twitter gives more people a bigger platform than pamphlets ever did. Otherwise why are people even using twitter instead of printing pamphlets?


> We must decide if that needs to change.

This will require either amending the constitution to strip companies of their 1A rights, OR the supreme court ruling that companies are not people and have no 1A rights. Both are tall orders in my view, with far-reaching direct and 2nd-order effects.


Not necessarily. The phone company can't cut you off for what you said on the phone.


> supreme court ruling that companies are not people

Wait, in the US companies are considered people?


I was channeling Mitt Romney ("Corporations are people, my friend"[1]). But companies, trusts, PACs, SuperPACs, country clubs, HOA's, etc are legal persons. The supreme court ruled all persons (birthed or incorporated) have free speech rights, and additionally, money is free speech[2].

1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mitt-romney-says-cor...

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckley_v._Valeo


No, but they are collections of people and as such have certain rights.


Banning someone from twitter is still not mass censorship though. The ideas can still be passed around just fine over snail mail


This is true with regards to the Constitution and the 1st amendment. That said, the US has a strong ethos around freedom of speech that goes beyond just gov't intrusion.

Is big tech within their right to censor how they see fit? Yes.

Is it antithetical to the American ethos? Probably.


One would expect american companies upholding values of its country which enabled them to prosper. None of them would exist today if free speech was not possible when they started.


I think that private entities being able to limit the speech that is performed on their property is an expression of their own free speech, and should be protected by the right that protects that speech from intrusion by the government.

I also think that us being forced to rely on private platforms for public discourse is a grave threat to democracy. There must be public forums that are strong enough to be viable and legitimate places for the majority of public political discourse to take place without relying on private institutions.


It's an "expression of their own free speech" that - thanks to Section 230 - comes without any of the restrictions or liability that would apply if it was actually their own speech. They're very much getting to have their cake and eat it here.


Then they have a baseless false expectation.


Speech in the US has always had limits, the idea that America has pushed for completely unlimited free speech is not true, and incitement and false statements of fact are some of the cornerstone cases in which speech loses its protection under the 1st Amendment[0].

Speech has never been, and will never be, completely protected without exceptions in the US.

0: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_free_speech_exce...


You are comparing the choices of an individual to those of the app distribution mechanisms which are nearly-universal.

It's true that you _can_ find Parler out of those app stores, but a significant fraction of people would not be able to do so; nor would people encounter Parler as a popular app they might consider installing.

(The web hosting is a different issue since there are a bunch of hosting options.)


>free-market-participant

We're talking about the situation in the United States, not a free market. If there were viable alternatives, nobody would care about being blocked from Twitter or Google or Facebook. The fact that these monopolies collude in their censorship campaign makes the impact that much more severe. The situation with these monopolies colluding to block an aspiring competitor is clearly an anti-trust issue.


The greatest delusion free-market proponents seem to have is that there will always be a "viable alternative" in a free market. And that there will be no monopolies.

There's literally no reason for a "viable alternative" to not appear. I mean, Parler is a "viable alternative" to Twitter, isn't it? It got kicked off AWS? Go ahead, and create your own viable alternative, there's literally nothing stopping you, just like in a "free market".


You don’t need to create your own alternative to AWS. There are a large number of cloud infrastructure and hosting providers around the world. And multiple competitors to AWS in the US alone.


Yeah, there are three large ones in US: AWS, Azure and GCP.

And considering that Google banned the app GCP is also out of the question.

BTW. You know that the largest cloud provides in the world are also the ones I mentioned above? There is only Alibaba Cloud that is outside US and all the rest are just small businesses (that might just resell what the big three is providing).

And what would be next? Let's block the "new Parler" on the DNS or routing level - build yourself a new internet?

I hate far right wing and also hate far left wing, but I will protect both right to speak.


You don't need a cloud provider to host a website, and there are cloud providers outside of AWS, Azure and GCP. Oracle, IBM, and probably still hundreds of shared hosting providers. At the end of the day you can also setup bare metal servers with your own fiber connection. It might be a little extra work/cost but to describe AWS, Azure, and GCP as the only ways to host a website is disingenuous.


1) Oracle also provides Cloud infrastructure. And Larry Ellison has hosted fundraisers for Donald Trump. Perhaps Parler should talk to Oracle.

2) Smaller providers like Digital Ocean are in fact not reselling the larger services, but you’re right that folks like Heroku are based on AWS.

3) They all have the right to speak. But private enterprises also have the right to decide for themselves if they want to do business with them. That too is a freedom of expression. It’s unclear to me why you think the far left or far rights freedom should supersede the moderates freedoms.


I think the next argument that you’re going to make is well these tech companies are monopolies and therefore the government needs to regulate them in a way that ensures they are platforms for even the extreme left and right to speak.

But they aren’t monopolies. AWS, Azure, GCP, Oracle, Digital Ocean.

Sure, there are only a handful of news networks in the US, just like there are only a handful of cloud infrastructure providers. But the first amendment doesn’t guarantee that everyone gets their own hour on the nightly news, and it doesn’t force private corporations in general to do business with all comers.

I don’t have to invite QAnon into my house, and I certainly don’t need to bake QAnon a wedding cake. And neither do AWS, Azure or Digital Ocean.


> I don’t have to invite QAnon into my house, and I certainly don’t need to bake QAnon a wedding cake. And neither do AWS, Azure or Digital Ocean.

OK, but first you don't know if it is QAnon and second, are you also allowed not to bake wedding cake for a black couple, or maybe for Jewish one?

It is your freedom, right? So where is the line you can't cross? For me it is: if you open business you have to deal with everyone, sorry. If you don't like it, don't open a business.

You just need to follow the law, if courts say that "you can't sell wedding cakes to QAnon" you follow that, but until there is such law...


It's all the way up to the banks though, Visa and Mastercard are deplatforming people too.


Only if there is collusion opposed to simultaneous independent consideration.


> The fact that these monopolies collude in their censorship campaign

Can you explain what you mean here? I wasn’t aware that tech companies worked with one another when choosing who or what to ban.


Not OP. I don't think they "collude" in the traditional sense.

But every time one of the entities takes some decision or step or action, whether censorship or otherwise, it makes it a little bit more excusable and easier for others to do it and justify it.

E.g. (hypothetical)

1. Reddit bans /r/ABC for "TOS violations".

2. It's news and many reporters report on it across various articles. Some say it's due to "repeated" "alleged" "hate speech" violations, whether true or not. Probably 50% true, who knows.

3. ABC makes its own website and has a mailing list from some mail newsletter provider X because that's just what you do when you have a site and need to keep in touch with visitors/members.

4. Activists on Twitter notice. Outrage mob starts. "@X mail provider hosting known hate-speech movement" "@X mail provider...did you know you're hosting known white supremacists?" "Everybody, please stop using @X, they're supporting white supremacists!" "@AWS please look into what @X is using your infrastructure for!" ...all citing some selective articles as legitimacy.

5. Articles get written about a "movement" to have X drop service for controversial and "alleged" hate-speech website ABC.

6. X mail provider gets pressured and eventually drops service to ABC.

At this point, X mail provider probably won't get many "legitimate", "official" and "mainstream" criticisms for effectively dropping customers (even if all the mail sent by those customers on X's platform is 100% legal and innocent). Nor can their shareholders complain about losing profit because "we can't be seen supporting racists".

The problem is that each time this sort of thing happens, it adds "partial proof" of the accusations without an actual "court-like" process that decides if it's really true or not. After a certain point, it's just accepted and then carries an aura of truth/legitimacy.

Edit. Formatting.


I’ll give you a concrete example. I used to enjoy a popular anti-Obesity subreddit. People in it were impolite, but it was never worse than old-fashioned “your momma is so fat” type of humor.

It was banned from Reddit for being “hate speech” and in fact you can no longer suggest that obesity is something to be ashamed of —- on nearly any platform! Including GitHub. (but you are allowed to mock mock cigarette smokers or meth tweakers).


Which subreddit are you referring to? Based on your description, it surely can't be /r/fatpeoplehate.


He's being purposefully disingenuous. It was banned for good reason, alongside racist subs like "CoonTown".


It literally had hate in the name.


This is a battle of the fundamental nature & limits of free speech vs. the fundamental nature & limits of private property.

Generally speaking, hate speech can be allowed free speech, but not advocacy or incitement of specific violent acts. As the platform owner, and absent additional guidance from courts or Congress, private companies have no choice but to make decisions about what can be done with their private property. No company that is not a "common carrier" is obligated to let their infrastructure be used for a specific purpose. If you don't like the choices they make, the root cause isn't with the companies, it's with the laws themselves.

There is a sort of slider here between speech & property. If you dislike companies controlling their platforms as they see fit & want the slider to move in favor of free speech, it moves against freedoms of private property.


Neither the convenience of a given format or the ignorance of an audience to format alternatives suggests there is legal or governmental interference. In short, your sadness at Google does not imply improper conduct alone.

The current generation not knowing how to communicate without social media does not imply or suggest that social media is necessary for communication. If a person believes their values and entitlements limited by private entities they find alternatives not facilitated by those private entities, as in alternatives to social media.


I'm not sure what you mean by my sadness at google. Could you elaborate?

I too agree that social media as a common medium probably does not, in itself, confer "common carrier" status on it. Even if many have been bought up by Facebook, there is still room for competitors to arise that provide alternative. This is not like ATT&T before its breakup where it was literally the only option. Heck, nothing stops someone from rolling their own stack on a local PC or local "cloud" and running their own social media service there, with mobile friendly sites that don't need an Android or Apple apps no need to rely on 3rd party cloud infrastructure. Then they would only be relying on the common-carrier ISP infrastructure that couldn't ban them for content. They aren't entitled to use the private infrastructure services or content distribution networks of other private organizations.


> only democratically legitimized state authorities should be doing, deciding what is allowed or not allowed

Woah, what?! No, this is entirely antithetical to "freedom of speech". The government should absolutely NOT be determining what is and is not allowed speech.

> Otherwise we are always dependent on the good will of the companies without democratic control

The market will decide right? Companies are made up of individuals. Their customers are as well. The past 30 years is evidence of that.


The government does determine what is and isn't allowed speech. Libel is not allowed speech. You can't yell "fire" in a crowded theatre when there is no fire. You can get in trouble inducing others to commit crimes. Etc.


Libel is not a crime, it is a tort. You may be sued by someone you defame, but no government entity or agent may imprison or fine you.


Wikipedia tells me there is such a thing as criminal libel, although it is rarely prosecuted. But that's beside the point IMO. I omitted that libel generally does not fall under criminal law because IMO the fact that the legal system can be used by private individuals to enforce libel laws makes them a government restriction on free speech.


Not in the US. Or maybe you could link a source you claim to have?

The government does not originate tort claims of libel. It is there to mediate disputes that citizens bring against each other. Because the next best thing is people committing acts of violence against each other.


Sure. Like I said, it's Wikipedia, so take it as you will: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_defamation_law

The relevant section:

"Criminal libel is rarely prosecuted but exists on the books in many states, and is constitutionally permitted in circumstances essentially identical to those where civil libel liability is constitutional."

Again, this is really beside the point IMO, as I mentioned before. I only brought it up due to being an unreconstituted pedant, unable to help myself.


> The government does determine what is and isn't allowed speech

That's as hyperbolic as my omission is glaring. Yes, there are a few very narrow exceptions made.

I would say, though, that our 1st amendment rights are stronger today than ever.


The important point is that the government has the power to make those exceptions, and exercises that power. It's the difference between absolute free speech and the messy reality we have.


But the initial point was normative, not factual. Beyond narrowly defined limits, the government ought not to be able to police speech, and being democratically elected is not a sufficient check, as John Stuart Mill pointed out long ago.


I will add to that, I believe that in order for a democracy to properly function we need free speech, truly free speech that is. Democracy is not designed to allow the morally righteous side to win power, it is designed to allow the popular majority to win power regardless of what they believe in and the morality of their beliefs. In the U.S. we have a large majority of the public that believes in one thing and another that believe in something radically different and I don’t think we should silence either of them if we want to keep the U.S. truly democratic. The argument that Parlor incites violence is irrelevant in my opinion since violence in this case is the result of free speech which ultimately serves the greater purpose of having a democracy. We should be prepared for the fact that the majority believe in something different than us, even if that something is radically different from what we believe in, and we must accept that and let their voices be heard as well. If we cannot accept what other people are saying than we cannot say the U.S. is truly a democracy since the foundation of that are free speech without limitations.


I’ve been reflecting on this lately as well. 75M people voted for Trump just two months ago, and now he’s been deplatformed from the major social media networks, and the alternate network that some of his supporters were moving to is effectively shut down for weeks/months.

I think you’re right in that the health of a democracy is closely linked to the ability of diverse voices to make themselves heard.

I don’t know what effect these moves will have but I suspect it will not have the intended one.


These guys have been brainwashed for decades by Fox News, which always claimed the "I can lie about everything because free speech" defense. This is not about diversity of opinions anymore. Their side besieged key democratic institutions such as the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Vice President, with the intention to overthrow the government and to kill democratically elected politicians.

This is not about diversity of opinions anymore. The people who did this need to be persecuted and receive lengthy jail sentences, whoever aided and abetted them needs to be sentenced, and there need to be real and actual consequences. Because if we don't do that, we only show that we are weak, and that you can storm the Capitol without any consequences. What is the lesson you think they will take from that? You think it stops here? Are they encouraged, or discouraged? If nothing happens to them, what do you think they'll do next? This isn't over.

The people who are fanning the flames need their megaphones taken from them. If whole platforms exist for the purpose of encouraging hatred and sedition, these platforms need to be banned. It's not rocket science. Fucking ban Fox News. Block Breitbart. Or drown them in lawsuits and persecute them for every lie they tell. It's either that or fascism. You choose.


I am in complete agreement that there must be consequences for the Capitol riot.

> You think it stops here? Are they encouraged, or discouraged? If nothing happens to them, what do you think they'll do next? This isn't over.

I don’t think it stops here. That’s sort of what I was getting at. Will censorship result in less violence or more violence? The assumption is that it turns the temperature down, but where is the precedent for that?

“Free Speech” - not just the technical definition but the culture of it - is a core American value. Having it suppressed so quickly and broadly may actually result in more violence.

I fear that we’re at the beginning of the American “Troubles”



This article read like a self-parody. The obsession with what words to use. The instant reach for Nazism as the point of reference (Ezra Klein invoking the "Nuremberg defence"?) The conspiracy theories about The Narrative and The Media, all so strangely similar to the nutcases on the other side. The rage at the Establishment. The foaming-at-the-mouth tone. Dave Spart lives!


I will point out that you only talk about stylistic issues and do not actually address the central point of the article, which is that language matters ("terrorist" or "freedom fighter"?) and that the discourse using these words is influenced by it.

A discussion about freedom fighters is a different one than a discussion about terrorists, even though the people involved might have committed the exact same crime (shooting a bunch of people).

As such, designating the mob as American Patriots and the event itself as a "riot" or "insurrection" instead of as a "coup" is - indeed - important and very telling.


A defining feature of this era is that language doesn’t matter, starting with "fake news" in the summer of 2016. Riot/protest, fascist, coup - these terms and more have been co-opted and reflected back at the other side. Same words, different meaning in the opposing context.


"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."


Might the simpler explanation be that liberals tend to be measured in their criticisms of conservatives and perhaps that leads to sometimes underplaying things?


In that case do you also believe that those responsible for propagating news which sparked riots and looting across the country earlier in the year should also be prosecuted? It seems like both sides have incited violence this year yet from your response it seems like you would only like one side to be punished.


> the ability of diverse voices to make themselves heard.

This is the paradox of tolerance. If you tolerant violent, discriminating voices like say, the Proud Boys, that intimidates other diverse groups from participating. Their intolerance becomes mainstream, making society less tolerant over time.


This isn't a problem, it's a feature. You seem to be in a scarcity, learned helplessness mindset: if you're worried about being dependant on companies that you don't believe or trust will govern well then the solution is simple, start your own company so you're the governor; so long as the internet as a platform stays relatively neutral you can do that. If you don't think this is an option, please explain why.


Parler is the right starting their own company in response to Twitter censoring/banning some of their discussions. Parler's current deplatforming indicates that "start your own company so you're the governor" is a borderline unrealistic point of view, since the internet and especially mobile phones are run by mega-corporations that don't support an open platform.

If we look at Parler being dependent on other companies, there are 3 dependencies that bit them in the last few days:

(A) running servers on AWS

(B) distributing Android app through Google Play Store

(C) distributing iPhone app through Apple Store

Parler could and should have avoided the dependency on AWS by hosting with a company more aligned with their views or outside of the US.

However, I cannot in good faith say "Parler should have written their own mobile OS if they want people to use their platform from their phones". I believe Android supports app installation without Google Play. It's a little inconvenient, but I think an extra minute or two of clicking around is an ok price to pay for access to unpopular speech.

However, as far as I know there's no way to have an app on iPhones without Apple's approval. This is a strong point for "even if you start your own company, you're not the governor - 45% of America's phone users can only access your service at the mercy of Apple".


It's not unrealistic. This is the point and value of having competition. If at each layer of the system they won't stand for your beliefs that violence is okay, for example, then you'll have to create the infrastructure at each layer if you meet resistance at each layer. If they're serious enough and organized enough and the rest of society isn't willing to budge, and if the "offenders" aren't willing to reason and adapt their ways to not be violent - and to have open critical thinking dialogue, if they can be un-brainwashed from Trump et al's lies and the lies perpetuated by the duopoly - both sides harmful but the treasonous Republicans (that's not all of them) who are willing to incite violence is obviously the worst of the two - then friction and physical conflict will occur. This will either turn into a civil war, where both sides will need to create the infrastructure including arms and readying defense, or if these people can be reached and government policy be put in place to break apart the duopoly, re-enact things like the Fairness Doctrine so news legally must present both sides of the story to their viewers, along with the core policy proposals of Andrew Yang - Democracy Dollars, Journalism Dollars, Ranked Choice Voting, Freedom Dividend/UBI, etc - then the quality of life of everyone will improve, stress will go down, and dialogue and conversation will become more nuanced and diverse again, not merely the echo chambers of the two narratives of the duopoly that's been captured by industrial complexes and bad actors for many decades extracting as much from society as they can, suffocating everyone slowly but surely.

If you want the convenience afforded by the technology of private companies then you will have to follow their rules; if you show that you're racist while a guest in my house, I'm going to ask you to leave and if you refuse I'm going to call the police to have you removed.

Android does allow side-loading of apps, and Apple has the ability to prevent already installed apps from working. I think ultimately this is a question of whether you want your opponents/"enemies" - those who aren't aligned with you - to have access to the same level of technology as you: is it a good idea to level the playing field or to have an advantage? Arguably it's only good if the owners/controllers of that technology are on a more right/good path than the "other."

I assume in part Parler expected or wanted this deplatforming to happen as free marketing and to rally individuals to the platform, rallying the energy of people feeling persecuted - because enough of them were openly calling for violence and moderators weren't removing those comments/users from the platforms - but they don't seem to be having that sane/reasonable conversation to calm and quell the angry mob - and any "outsider" who attempts to reason with them gets ban/blocked, so it's inevitable it will spillover into the physical world. I feel and think it's good to slow this mob down however possible, even if it angers some of them more - they were already substantial open calls for violence, so it's not like deplatforming was the cause, the cause is Trump et al's lies and propaganda to incite violence; where's Trump ingenuine call for "law and order" after the Capitol was stormed? Answer: Trump told people to go to the Capitol.


I don't think it is very likely I'll be able to build my own mobile phone to replace Apple, who have banned Parler. Network effects and natural monopolies are real things.


Competition and organizing individuals is also a real thing, arguably there are ~74 million Americans who voted for Trump - which is arguably a large enough market size to cater a product to, which is exactly what Parler has done under the guise of a "free speech" app - which it's not:

'Stop calling it a “free speech app”. Historically Parler is harsher on dissenting political views than any of their competitors. Just, ya know, against the “other side”.' - https://www.reddit.com/r/technews/comments/kts86k/comment/gi...

There's so much learned helplessness, victim mindset- and a sign of an unhealthy, non-critical thinking, more unreasonable population.


Even if Trump voters all supported the riots - the majority don't - they aren't going to buy a new mobile phone just so as to install Parler on it.


It's not an option, because of the banking, which is a gray area. It's privately owned, but it's not really a free market either. The problem is that Visa and Mastercard is blacklisting people, just because the angry mob complained on the internet. The social media is just a tip of the iceberg.


There's an entire ecosystem of decentralized money that has been invented and has been growing for the last 13 years to combat precisely this problem. The value of the units of those currencies are exploding right now, in part for this reason.

If this seems to you to be one of the deepest root causes of the problem, that people can't compete due to centralized monetary control systems, and you want to help make the world better by uprooting that critical power, you may consider digging deeper into these projects.


So to be clear - you want to allow people who are openly calling for violence to be able to transfer money freely via Bitcoin et al? This question usually gets ignored, avoided, because pro-Bitcoiners don't want to be accountable to the consequences of such system - likewise with fiat currencies and the current system you can have mechanisms like the Magnitsky Act to try to dissuade known bad actors via economic means before it reaches physical violence.

So to be more clear - you're okay with removing this layer of protection? And yes, it could be abused but then that's where actual work and getting in place an intelligent and accountable government with sound policy is the path, not taking down walls so to make it easier for bad actors to function within the system; not caring about it, concerning yourself with it, and externalizing the cost of the purposeful ignorance is a very bad idea.

"Bitcoin is almost as bs as fiat money" - Elon Musk, I look forward to Elon eventually voicing his full thoughts on this and not just his summization; he of course has to be careful due to the growing "army of HODLers" who are all financially aligned, all financially incentivized to promote Bitcoin et al to increase their value in the decentralized, global Ponzi-Pyramid. There are issues in the system, they can be course corrected by educating people on the right policies, Bitcoin et al is certainly the impetus for this to occur.


Yes, I very much do. And I want it to be recorded right out in public, on a bright, shiny public blockchain where everybody can see it, recognize them for the violent crazies they are, and dissociate from them.

If you are EXTREMELY knowledgeable and careful, you can transact with Bitcoin anonymously.

Less than 0.01% of the people who make a bunch of noise on Twitter or who stormed the Capitol are going to know how to be able to figure it out correctly.


Do you appreciate the vulnerability of the other stance? As in, do you know how absurdly lucky it is that people with a controlling stake in these payment processing companies happen to agree with you and aren't in Trump's pocket?

Imagine it were the other way around, and suddenly Twitter and Facebook just couldn't use banks anymore, or cards.

Centralized control of money is too dangerous for everyone. Whatever power exists could someday be wielded against you.

Why do you think the rioters are so afraid and angry? They were fine with Trump's making up executive powers that don't actually exist anywhere. Now they're seeing the other edge of the sword, and they're so afraid they're losing their minds.

Learn from them. Don't become like them when your view falls out of favor. Don't create a power so great your life would be ruined if your enemy came to wield it.


Indeed there are different layers and social media is just the tip, and that's a feature - and it's great because it's multiple barriers to entry; you don't want an angry mob who seeks violence to have fluidity.

Also, cash exists as a payment option - yes, it's slower than digital transactions which is also a feature to limit and slow allocation and in this case, slow the allocation to people wanting to allow open calls for violence. With enough support they could also create their own credit card company, if they can find a government who will be supportive of open calls to violence.


That's my point, the government. Banking is not a free market. So can we put this nonsense to sleep already? And since you don't seem to be too interested in the free market argument anyway, let me respond to the rest of your comment, including the other one.

I don't know if you're aware of it, but your falling empire, the almighty America, is not the only country in the world. The censorship tactics that are deployed right now on the half of the population of the country that famously has the most free speech in the world, will be used against the people in other countries too. The willingness of the corporations to work with authoritarian governments, the obvious example being China, is not exactly a secret. These people hold no moral convictions, they use slave labor for God's sake, just so you can mindlessly consume more useless crap like a new iPhone every year or God knows how many pairs of Nike shoes, as they pander to you with rainbow flags and raised fists.

People who are in the front lines against such governments, some of whom you might show "support" to regularly on your favourite social media website, are also being persecuted for the same reasons - calls for violence and terrorism. The people from my country were hailed as heroes after the WWII by the Western world. But today, in some places in the world, people who are doing the same thing and fighting for the same causes that we did are labeled as terrorists. People might belive one thing today and the complete opposite tomorrow. Which is whatever suits the people at the media industry and their employers at the time.

And the bottomline is that you yourself might find yourself on the receiving end of the things you think are so great in the near future. The following weeks are not about the left vs the right. Or antiterrorism vs terrorism. Or morality vs lack thereof. Or however you want to frame it to feel good about yourself. It's about escalation or de-escalation. The right completely lost and the left had the upperhand. But for some reason, either stupidity or on purpose, they've chose to go about it in the worst possible way. Get petty, overblow the Capitol shitshow and seek revenge on the right. You might not even agree with that framing, but this is how the right perceives it. And that means escalation. Nothing might happen because of it or everything might happen. But the point is that you've turned the victory of the left into an uncertain future, that no one knows what holds.

Sorry for getting carried away, I know this is not a place for my bullshit, but this is basically the only place where I can voice my meaningless opinions that no one cares about.


"... your falling empire, the almighty America" - I live in Canada, so technically part of America the continent, however I feel your skepticism or doubt relating to the current state of the US is a lack of understanding of the evolution process - even to the universal mechanism of yin-yang balance and cycle: yin is the state of stagnancy or being stagnant or slow moving, whereas yang is action and movement. The US has in fact been in a yin state due to regulatory capture of bad actors taking over and controlling systems, extracting value, for their own selfish reasons - and leaving less, distributing less for others. Policy wise the different complexes that have reenforced to allow this are easy to shift.

The ability for private companies to deplatform who they want is a feature, it's a failsafe against authoritarianism and tyranny - and it's not black and white, all or nothing - it's a spectrum or gradient, and it can be evolved with good core policies like those that will break apart the duopoly and reduce the power of amalgamated mainstream media; I hope you're aware of Andrew Yang and his core policy proposals which will do just that.

I'm mentally too tired to reply thoroughly to the rest of what you say, however you're right in that there is a beast on both sides of the duopoly that's integrated with mainstream media who will sensationalize - and stir up both sides however much they can for the sake of views and revenue. So I don't agree with your premise that either side had actual control of what narrative was presented, which is a problem in of itself - and one pro of social media is people like Yang who can share what they've learned and interact with others online without the gatekeeping of TV channels and newspapers, a relatively direct connection to people interest in tuning into your individual channel; 3 days ago he also stated: "For Cable News we should revive the Fairness Doctrine which the FCC had on the books until 1985 that required that you show both sides of a political issue. It was repealed by Reagan. If there was ever a time to bring it back it’s now." - the thread is here where he discusses this: https://twitter.com/JanPerry/status/1347211706162769921 - he begins by saying "There are 3 problems with our media that are fueling polarization: ..."

This is a perfectly fine place for your "bullshit" - you didn't name call, so you're all good in my books.


Is the yin-yang metaphor an intentional pun to Andrew Yang? That's clever, I like it. I'm not sure if I buy this esoteric explanation though. Right now we're back to neoliberalism and neoconservatism, assuming the sky won't fall on our heads tomorrow, so I don't see how that's any better. People got really emotional and their emotions will be once again used to grab even more power and push further policies that benefits everyone, except the people.

> The ability for private companies to deplatform who they want is a feature, it's a failsafe against authoritarianism and tyranny - and it's not black and white, all or nothing - it's a spectrum or gradient, and it can be evolved with good core policies like those that will break apart the duopoly and reduce the power of amalgamated mainstream media

If you'd listen to the right-libertarians, the conclusion they've reached is that if we would take capitalism without the government to it's full extent, it would be a very authoritarian system. They correctly predicted this tactics of deplatforming from every angle that we can see today, as a way of getting rid of undesirable people who would try to bring back the government. Ironically enough, they were wrong only in that it targeted them first, not the communists. I guess the second part addresses this, and what can I say to that, I wish I could be that optimistic.

> So I don't agree with your premise that either side had actual control of what narrative was presented, which is a problem in of itself

Sorry, I wasn't clear at all in what I meant. By "the left" and "the right" I generally meant that the people in power on the left went after Trump supporters. It's showing my own biases there I guess in portraying it as the "elites vs people", but to my defense, I'd say it was at least accurately on topic of this thread. And surely there are already more than enough people to go after the right-wingers in power, so I'm sure it's fine. But I agree with you, Reps and right-leaning media are lying to their base just as much as Dems and left-leaning media are lying to their base, if that's what you're saying.


Hehe, yin-yang just happens to play well - whether coincidence, serendipity, or faith perhaps Andrew has Yang as a last name, as his policies will certainly lead to removing friction from the system while fuelling democracy, journalism, and people's lives to have UBI $ to spend - which will immediately increase the economy by ~12% - which will lead to further innovation; and the buying power of "$1,000"/month will increase exponentially as we automat more and more things.

Biden won, that's reason enough to reignite your optimism - even if it's just a little flame. Then stimulus-survival cheques will go to many that desperately need it. Then everyone will get vaccinated for COVID and things can begin to open up again. Yang is running for NYC Mayor - though not officially announced - he's registered to run + there's a video of him doing a Mayoral run announcement video. Yang, then if it makes sense, will run again in 2024 - "instead of that single $2,000 stimulus cheque - how much would it have helped if you got $1,000 every month?" Etc.

"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." - Yup, though how much is perpetuated purposefully by Democrats vs. the narratives that mainstream media (or whoever else has influence on what they say) is unknown - but it happens. It's why social media is good because it allows people like Andrew Yang to have a voice - someone very articulate, very understanding of the problems, and has figured out the solutions which he's able to clearly explain. We need many more Andrew Yangs.


> Otherwise we are always dependent on the good will of the companies without democratic control.

Yes, but that’s already true without this action, which doesn’t make them any more or less democratically controlled. A more democratic way of deciding clear limits on free speech would be great, but the absence of one doesn’t mean the platforms should sit on their hands and do nothing while the world burns.


This is where it gets interesting - are you suggesting private companies shouldn’t be allowed to set terms of service(s)?

Would it be acceptable for the state to pass laws that severely limits private entities to do so?

There’s lot to think about here. Free speech is good and all, but is it not really about free speech in relation to the state? i.e you’ll not be thrown in jail or persecuted for saying things.

Btw, if you follow policy just a bit bellow the surface you’ll soon find that “we are always dependent on the good will of the companies without democratic control” since ways back.


Landlords and employers are already very restricted in what can be in their terms, so there is certainly precedent for it.


Yes, there are many laws dictating various businesses.

This is why it is interesting - it’s a question about regulation. State and law “interfering” with private company interests.

I like regulations on big companies in general, but this one would end up with weird effects, I reckon.


This is a straw man argument. We’re not discussing whether a private company should be allowed to have a TOS or control their TOS. We are discussing if a privately owned public communication platform used by the majority of a population should be able to control speech. Also at stake is if a large corporation should be able to have TOS that are anti competitive. (I.E. have TOS that in effect stifle competition)


The president could for example call to a press conference.

The internet is still rather open - parler could start a web site or give out a magazine.

The possible venues of free speech are numerous.


What?

They're just deciding they don't want to host their content on their servers. Which makes sense because some of their content is illegal. Amazon wouldn't host a message board for pedos eithers.


They are not. They are decided what is published on their platform and what not. Who can publish on their platform and who not. All limited to their respective platform. The term "allowed" in its generality can only refer to legal action, and that is reserved to the state. And I am sure there will be plenty of legal aftermath to the recent events too.

Having said that, it is indeed disturbing how large the actual power of those big companies is. As a society, we have to consider how this should be handled going forward.


Private companies have always done this. If you keep picking fights in a bar, you will be thrown out and banned. (In most places, anyway.)

If you keep plotting insurrection, violent murder, and the overthrow of democracy, you will also be banned. As you should be. Because if you aren't banned, any form of support - whether it's delivering pizza or web services - has the potential to make you an accessory.

Most TOS are pretty clear about the "no criminal acts" part. The baffling thing isn't why those rules exist, it's why right wing extremists particularly seem to believe the rules shouldn't apply to them.


> The problem here is that private companies are doing something that only democratically legitimized state authorities should be doing, deciding what is allowed or not allowed.

So that I understand: on what grounds are such companies deciding what's allowed or not allowed for all people? As best as I can tell, they're deciding what's allowed or not allowed on their own platforms.

And a point I've made elsewhere but I'll repeat here: Parler might've exposed itself to FOSTA/SESTA by insisting on not moderating, and as such, while AAPL/AMZN/GOOG deplatformed Parler with violence as cause, it's also somewhat likely that gaining awareness of the lack of FOSTA/SESTA compliance may have forced their hand. (I'll invite an attorney to keep me honest here - I'm not one.)

I keep pointing this out because, of course, FOSTA/SESTA were passed in the last few years.


A private company is not a government. They should be allowed to make any lawful decision you or I disagree with.


By definition, a company is allowed to make a decision iff it is lawful.


actually, according to rand paul, they are doing what private companies should be doing and not what democratically legitimized state authorities should be doing.

As I understand him, private companies should decide for themselves who they serve and if we think they are behaving immorally, convince our circle not to give them business. It's not the government's job to say who they can and cannot serve.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/rand-...

    PAUL: I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains, and I’m all in favor of that.

    INTERVIEWER: But?

    PAUL: You had to ask me the "but." I don't like the idea of telling private business owners — I abhor racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant — but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership. But I absolutely think there should be no discrimination in anything that gets any public funding, and that’s most of what I think the Civil Rights Act was about in my mind. 

    INTERVIEWER: But under your philosophy, it would be okay for Dr. King not to be served at the counter at Woolworth’s?

    PAUL: I would not go to that Woolworths, and I would stand up in my community and say that it is abhorrent, um, but, the hard part — and this is the hard part about believing in freedom — is, if you believe in the First Amendment, for example — you have to, for example, most good defenders of the First Amendment will believe in abhorrent groups standing up and saying awful things and uh, we're here at the bastion of newspaperdom, I'm sure you believe in the First Amendment so you understand that people can say bad things.It’s the same way with other behaviors. In a free society, we will tolerate boorish people, who have abhorrent behavior, but if we're civilized people, we publicly criticize that, and don't belong to those groups, or don't associate with those people.


It's worth remembering that this principle was upheld by the Supreme Court a little over two years ago, in the case of a baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/04/us/politics/supreme-court...

In this case, it was decided that the baker has a right to refuse service if they have a moral objection to the service they're being asked to provide. The same principle applies to Amazon, though one can certainly see how the scale and scope of Amazon's services and their centrality to the online economy makes things a bit more complicated.


If the companies do not do it themselves, the state will eventually start doing it. If they go too far, the state will eventually ban them from doing that.

Just the system working as intended I think?


Governments usually move slow and sometimes (most of the time) they can't react in time and they are after-the-fact legislations. It's NOT OK for companies to sit back and not attempt to stop that behavior. By doing nothing but continuing to do business with them they are essentially approving that behavior. Here's a tweet[1] with some screenshots of some of the type of conversations that are happening on Parler.

[1] https://twitter.com/BethLynch2020/status/1347987417052172306...


Communities have ostracized the fringe since the dawn of time. Further, I would argue that we specifically don’t want governments to be the arbiters of speech.


Publishers have always had discretion over what they publish or distribute. That has not changed.


> The problem here is that private companies are doing something that only democratically legitimized state authorities should be doing

Companies are obligated to make the most possible money for their shareholders. Otherwise their shareholders withdraw investments and invest elsewhere. Deplatforming is a legal money making strategy (it might succeed or it might fail but the goal is to make money). To add more data, in Nov 2020 7 MM more “potential customers” voted for Biden compared to Trump. Additionally, the “potential customers” that voted for Biden were predominantly younger i.e. more time to purchase good and services from company X. It seems clear to me deplatforming is a medium-term and long-term financial numbers game.

> Otherwise we are always dependent on the good will of the companies without democratic control.

The way I see this is:

Historically we thought free market economics only applied to the monetary aspect of socio-economics. “deplatforming”/“cancel culture” seems to be the free market “solution” to social issues. It is basically the “popular vote” weighted by capital, forcing social change by ostracism/“excommunication” (specifically limiting their ability to scale their speech, without excommunicating them from society - “soft excommunication”?).

Historically social issues were dictated by the church through “hard excommunication” fast and effective, but not fair to minorities. Since then we’ve tried to use a version of “one person one vote” and required government regulation, and moved very slow (for many reasons, one of them being a disproportionate voting power to low population states). Perhaps we are now witnessing the efficiency of the free market to solve social issues?

Which is an interesting/ironic result, given historic Republican policy about free markets.

P.S. FWIW, I’d be happy with more regulation in this area, even though the free market “solution” is in my favor. I hope we can soon live in a world that uses “one person one vote” for all societal decisions, that strategy seems most fair to me. However, whatever your politics might be, please understand: A true “one person one vote” does also mean that both the Senate and the Electoral College need to be rectified.


>My line for free speech seems to lie in speech that incites violence or speech that discriminates against people for immutable characteristics of their person, both of which I know Parler harbors in abundance.

How do you feel about #killallmen on Twitter?


Twitter is already very judicious when it comes to any use of the word 'kill' nowadays=s, or anything that could be violent. Just requires a report.


A quick search on twitter shows that not to be true.


I don't know whether to laugh or cry at what you said. "Just requires a report".

Okay here is a challenge for you. I'll give you links from 2016 - 2019. Try getting them removed. I have been reporting them for months now and Twitter hasn't acted. Twitter sucks at this. It only removes Right Wing content. But maybe Twitter will be willing to take your report seriously instead of mine. So here is the list:

2016 post: https://twitter.com/lil_cmb/status/765737247781949444?s=19

2018 post: https://twitter.com/DutchessOfDork/status/100553860903276953...

2018 post: https://twitter.com/MadamePete/status/1017462143279681541?s=...

2019 post: https://twitter.com/jcmithnoy/status/1085855272793366529?s=1...

The ex-PM of Malaysia literally tweeted that Muslims have a right to kill millions of French people for massacres of the past. On Twitter. I am sure nothing of what Trump tweeted matches this racist hate. Yet Trump was banned while the ex-PM of Malaysia deleted his tweet by himself without any repercussions from Twitter. Read more about it here: https://twitter.com/AskAnshul/status/1347803217405509632

When it comes to Social Media I have a huge list of things that these companies have done wrong. And it just keeps growing. So when you say "Just requires a report" I feel like laughing at your innocence. I have a list of Instagram accounts that spew anti-Hindu content daily. Have reported them multiple times already. Facebook doesn't remove them. I don't even want to link to them because it is that bad!


> Twitter sucks at this. It only removes Right Wing content.

https://twitter.com/cecilyy15/status/410145078670536704?s=20

https://twitter.com/cjevans64/status/333093612520865792?s=20

https://twitter.com/dlwest4/status/387428416753917952?s=20

https://twitter.com/_dresslr/status/455476238334033920?s=20

There are literally pages more.

What you mean is Twitter doesn't prioritize your singular reports on low engagement tweets from years ago.

If they had more engagement they could have more reports.

But keep martyring yourself, it results in amusing justifications like thinking there wouldn't be racist people who had clamored for the assassination of the first black president of the United States :)

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Also your bringing up that PM is a great example too!

Twitter has bent over backwards for politically influential individuals. Twitter was under the impression nothing Trump could do would get his account banned while president, they even said as much!

It took 5 deaths at the Capitol during an attempted attack on Congress as a direct result of his actions for them throw in the towel.

I mean the man threatened nuclear war over Twitter and Twitter didn't bat an eyelid. Compared to that a poorly worded comment about genocide seems about par?


> What you mean is Twitter doesn't prioritize reports on low engagement tweets.

It is funny you can find these low engagement tweets not a big deal while the threat report that Amazon sent to Parler literally contained a low engagement post too. It wasn't a verified handle that posted that violence induced post. Yet Parler was kicked off of Amazon while you are here providing justifications for Twitter. How does that make you feel?

These are the low engagement Parler posts. Can you extend the same justification you gave for Twitter to Parler too?

1. https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2021-01/10/4...

2. https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2021-01/10/1...

3. https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2021-01/10/1...


Wait you're telling me that platform with *330 Million* monthly active users has more problems moderating low engagement content than the platform with 4 million MAUs?

Say it ain't so!

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And also what are you even trying to say, that the reason why Parler was banned was those images?

Haha, no. It was because of the ratio of that kind of content to all the content.

Turns out if your only differentiator is you allow X that your competitor doesn't allow, you get a ton of X.

Whether it's porn, hate speech, illegal products, you name it.

You're inviting yourself to become a haven for X.

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Also please confirm: You said Twitter only removes Right Wing content"

Do you stand by such a statement? Because further discourse with you from me will rely on speaking within the realm of reality.

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Reply to both comments since now I'm rate limited:

Two comments back to back showing a tendency to read things in the most convenient way...

Those images, literally just those images, are not why Parler was banned. Your argument literally relies on the fact!

Otherwise those images exist for Twitter and they'd be kicked off!

It was those images PLUS context, and you argue the context is they're right leaning, and I argue the context is they refused to censor hate speech and ended up being a haven for it

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I literally gave you the reason right there! You allow X, other place doesn't, you'll be swamped with X.

Call it game theory, call it human nature, call it whatever you want, that's how it's worked on the internet since time immemorial, I don't get why Parler was supposed different


> And also what are you even trying to say, that the reason why Parler was banned was those images?

And now that I have shown you that Amazon did use those low engagement Parler posts as reason to boot Parler (their email mentions "98 examples"), will it use the same yardstick to boot Twitter out of AWS for the thousands of low engagement violent tweets that is littered across Twitter? If you have a convincing answer for it I'll be glad to engage with you further. I say so because Twitter is hosted on AWS (https://www.techradar.com/in/news/twitter-signs-up-aws-for-i...)

If Amazon cannot kick Twitter out then I say that Big Tech is hypocritical and ideologically biased. Or that Twitter is a big paying customer and Amazon wouldn't want to mess with the relationship it has with Twitter. You pick what is the excuse going to be.

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Replying to your posts as edits because of rate limits *shrugs*

> It was those images PLUS context, and you argue the context is they're right leaning, and I argue the context is they refused to censor hate speech and ended up being a haven for it

Censor hate speech in low engagement content? Isn't that the very reason you gave for why Twitter is not removing those hate speech filled posts? Because they are surprise, surprise low engagement posts.

So why bother? Why is Amazon going out of its way to remove Parler from AWS for low engagement posts? It is not like some high profile user with a large following asked for people to commit violence right? I am literally using your own justification for Parler too. Why is your justification for Twitter okay while not okay for Parler?

If Amazon had evidence of high engagement posts spreading violence in Parler it would have attached those images. Not images from low engagement posts. This just goes to show that Big Tech just doesn't want Parler in there. That is all there is to it. It is an ideological battle. Else the same filth you find in right wing Parler you find in Twitter, Facebook and the rest of social media. There is literally no difference between any of these social platforms.


> Censor hate speech in low engagement content? Isn't that the very reason you gave for why Twitter is not removing those hate speech filled posts? Because they are surprise, surprise low engagement posts.

Nope. You see you tacked on your own little part that changes the meaning in a HUGE way.

Parler eschewed censorship period.

You're slowly inching towards getting this

No matter how much engagement a post had, how much vitriol someone spewed, literally the first page is promising there is no deplatforming a user for their speech.

So when your differentiator is you don't censor at all, you become a lightning rod for things like hate speech!

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I mean seriously this applies to ANYTHING: imagine a burger place called "WcDonalds"

We have an 1:1 equivalent to menu to McDonalds.

But we're lesser known, long term prospects are unknown.

Despite that we aim to be functionally equivalent to McDonalds with one small twist...

We allow drug use in our restaurants.

Let's say it's a state that decriminalized drugs, we allow you to toke up in line, as you eat, we're saying its your right.

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Who do you think ends up going to our WcDonalds?

If someone claims WcDonalds locations are just full of drug users, are you going to go "you have no proof of that!!!!"? Isn't it common sense that's the outcome?

That's Parler and Twitter. The biggest draw to Parler is that you have free speech regardless of engagement, where Twitter is limited speech. Anything that doesn't fit in the Twitter limited speech, including hate speech and racism, is going to be attracted to Parler.

And in Twitter when you see it you can report it and there's a reason for it to be removed! Even if it fails for old low enagament posts!

But on Parler, by design, that content will not be removed. No matter how big it gets, how many reports it has, by design, the user won't be deplatformed.

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Also seriously I want you to clarify if you actually think Twitter only deletes Right Wing comments, it's a pretty off the wall claim that harms the weight of any further discussion


I read your long winding post and it still is unable to address my points. You are just beating around the bush with all sorts of analogies.

It's funny to see how the left wing was crying over censorship in Parler now suddenly says that Parler was banned because it wasn't censoring anything. Isn't this what leftists were saying just a year back:

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200627/23551144803/as-pr...

Here is another quote from Amazon's email which talks about Parler removing violent posts:

"You remove some violent content when contacted by us or others, but not always with urgency."

This is Amazon crying about Parler removing violent posts but "not always with urgency". What the actual fuck? Why should Parler do anything with "urgency" just because Amazon asked for it? Is Amazon the US Government? I have been reporting accounts and tweets for months on Twitter and it hasn't yet been removed. But Amazon is greater than you, me and everyone else. If it asks something you better deliver immediately or else you'll be booted from their platform.

But they are doing nothing about the low engagement violent tweets on Twitter which is hosted on AWS infrastructure. I haven't seen a bigger bunch of hypocrites in my life!

Amazon doesn't realise it but it has given so much ammunition for Parler to sue in a court case. They literally have admitted in the email that Parler is removing violent posts but not with the same urgency that it wants. Well news flash: no social media platform in the World removes any post with urgency. I sometimes get notifications for reports I had submitted months ago with "Sorry we did not find it violating our policies and it cannot be taken down". On posts that are literally violent.

Unless you have used the garbage reporting system that these social media companies have in place and experienced it first hand you don't have any right to talk about Parler and its efficacy in removing illegal content.


Beating around what bush?! I've literally addressed, line by line, every single point you made.

The analogy is there to aid your understanding, but if you want to block your ears and go "lalalala left wingerr lalalalala" I guess it won't help right? I told you to stop ascribing your political leanings to me, nothing I've said is partisan. It's lazy attempts to distract from actual discourse.

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You chose one point to explode which isn't even related to the topic at hand and still won't answer if you actually think "Twitter only removes Right Wing content" which is what started this whole thing!

And you just spent an entire comment complaining about Parler's removals... you want to be embarrassed real quick?

My points about Parler... come from Parler!

Here's their exact words:

> We prefer to leave decisions about what is seen and who is heard to each individual. _In no case will Parler decide what will content be removed or filtered, or whose account will be removed, on the basis of the opinion expressed within the content at issue._

You say

>you don't have any right to talk about Parler and its efficacy in removing illegal content

Another weasel! Hate speech is not illegal! At least not in the US!

My comment repeatedly says Parler allows hate speech yet amusingly you're trying to distract with all sorts of talk about Amazon when _the literal community guidelines_ are bragging that you won't be banned for any opinion... which includes hate speech!

Stop doing this. Stop trying to throw up a smoke screen by building up strawman after straw man.

I won't answer you anymore until you answer two questions:

1. Does Parler allow hate speech (with the reminder that it is not illegal in their jurisdiction)

2. Do you believe Twitter only deletes Right Wing content.

Answer thise questions, not with another unrelated question or diatribe which I'll easily dismantle. Just yes or no, or you'll have shown who's really beating around the bush


Just wanted to chime in and say I thought your argument was reasonable. After you sent those counterexamples of conservative tweets that Twitter hadn’t deleted, I think the other commenter stopped engaging meaningfully. Sorry you had to suffer through this.


My answer was not whether Twitter did delete all conservative tweets or not. My answer was to this statement by the original commenter:

> Twitter is already very judicious when it comes to any use of the word 'kill' nowadays=s, or anything that could be violent. Just requires a report.

Which is not true. Even those counterexamples of conservative tweets being violent and Twitter not removing them proves my point itself. That no matter how much you report Twitter won't remove violent posts. It doesn't matter if the tweet is from left or right. Which is the entire premise of Amazon booting Parler from using AWS. That Parler isn't removing such low engagement violent tweets (and cites 98 examples in their email). While Amazon signed a deal with Twitter renewing their cloud contract inspite of Twitter not removing thousands of low engagement violent tweets (be it on the left or the right). This is hypocritical.

However, whenever Twitter has censored it has censored right wing accounts. Name one prominent left wing account that Twitter has banned. Can you name even one? I'll wait.


> Name one prominent left wing account that Twitter has banned. Can you name even one?

What sort of post truth world are you living in?

1. I looked up a list of Twitter suspensions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter_suspensions

2. I found this after scrolling just a short while: https://www.dailydot.com/debug/smash-racism-dc-twitter-ban-t...

Provide one example of a prominent “left wing account” that ought to have been banned because they doxxed someone or made violent threats that wasn’t banned. I’ll wait. Did Bernie Sanders tweet that we should hang Mike Pence?

I don’t consider myself a left winger. Name a prominent mainstream conservative (in the vein of say Bush) that ought to have been banned that wasn’t. I’ll wait.

I can’t name a single mainstream libertarian, paleoconservative, neoconservative, kooky rationalist, or anarcho-primitivist who has been banned, and that’s simply because the Cato Institute and Less Wrong don’t go around saying we should execute politicians by firing squad. If that’s the only kind of intellectual contribution you have to make to society, I think you need to take a long hard look at your priorities.


Are you kidding me? Who TF is @SmashRacismDC? I looked them up and they had only 800+ followers on Instagram. This is in no way, shape or form a prominent left wing account.

> Provide one example of a prominent “left wing account” that ought to have been banned because they doxxed someone or made violent threats that wasn’t banned. I’ll wait. Did Bernie Sanders tweet that we should hang Mike Pence?

I'll give you plenty. How about this? Kathy Griffin. 2.1 million followers. She posted a photo of her holding a decapitated head of the President of USA: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4556566/Kathy-Griff...

That is a direct threat of assassination towards the sitting President of the United States. Whether you like him or hate him you do not get to threaten a sitting President with decapitation.

But what did Twitter do? Read it in Kathy Griffin's own words: https://twitter.com/kathygriffin/status/1348355262155878404

Quoting her verbatim: "All I had to do was delete the post". That is all that these hate inciting leftist handles get on Twitter. A slap on the wrists. All that was required for her to do is issue a fake apology and then delete her tweet. But then she posts tweets gloating about how she could get away so easily. Utterly shameful!

Did Twitter not ban Steve Bannon for calling for beheading of Dr Fauci (and rightly so)? I support the ban on Steve Bannon. But when Twitter can ban Steve Bannon and it lets go of Kathy Griffin that is when I have a problem. This is clearly selective enforcement of policy. Because it is ideological. Twitter is known to employ people who are left wing leaning and do not have tolerance for right wingers. Jack Dorsey admitted it himself. So it is obvious that their ideological beliefs have percolated through to even moderating content. That is fine if that is what they want their platform to be. No issues with that. But when they start taking a moral high ground and dictating to Parler on what is right and what is wrong I call them bloody hypocrites. Because that is what they have also been doing themselves! They are no saints.

Also, let us not forget what Twitter was. Twitter was a platform that enabled ISIS propaganda to spread unchecked for 2 years - from 2013 to 2015 until finally it deleted all terror material from the site after intense public pressure. And during those 2 years they enabled ISIS to recruit sympathizers from across the World. Twitter even got sued in 2016 for the same : https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/14/widow-ame...

Quoting from the article:

"Tamara Fields, a Florida woman whose husband Lloyd died in the 9 November attack, accused Twitter of having knowingly let the militant Islamist group use its network to spread propaganda, raise money and attract recruits. She said the San Francisco-based company had until recently given Isis an “unfettered” ability to maintain official Twitter accounts.

“Without Twitter, the explosive growth of Isis over the last few years into the most-feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible,” says the complaint filed on Wednesday in the federal court in Oakland, California.

Fields says that at the time of her husband’s death, Isis had an estimated 70,000 Twitter accounts, posting 90 tweets per minute."

Was Twitter ever held accountable for this? Never. It will never be held accountable. Because rules on facilitating hate speech and terror networks only apply to Parler. Not to Twitter, Facebook and Google. These platforms are above the Law and above everyone else. You and me included.

> I don’t consider myself a left winger. Name a prominent mainstream conservative (in the vein of say Bush) that ought to have been banned that wasn’t. I’ll wait.

There isn't any left. Those who ought to have been banned have been banned along with those who did nothing egregious. It was a proper purge. Either you are with the Establishment and Big Tech or you are purged. As simple as that. So now the only thing left is to ask Twitter when it is going to take action on prominent left wing accounts that violated its policies but Twitter gave them a free pass.

> I can’t name a single mainstream libertarian, paleoconservative, neoconservative, kooky rationalist, or anarcho-primitivist who has been banned, and that’s simply because the Cato Institute and Less Wrong don’t go around saying we should execute politicians by firing squad.

Because you have your eyes and ears closed. Maybe you should take a good look at the photo Kathy Griffin posted. You don't need anyone to say they will "execute politicians by firing squad" when they themselves hold the decapitated head of the sitting President of the United States.

> If that’s the only kind of intellectual contribution you have to make to society, I think you need to take a long hard look at your priorities.

Calling out hypocrisy has nothing to do with intellectual contributions to society. Both can co-exist. Just because you are incapable of calling out hypocrisy doesn't mean I shouldn't. I'll do what I feel I should do with my life and you can do what you feel with your life. Thankfully I am not a Citizen of USA else I'll be shunned/shamed/cancelled/boycotted/banned or worse killed for my beliefs or my skin color. You are happy being in a Big Tech dominated, censored internet, with an invisible social ranking system which can boot you out based on the political flavour of the day... then that is your choice. Remember that what is popular today will not be 20 years from now. Politics change, people change. You may in the future be at the receiving end of such a digital purge too because a Party of your opposing belief might come to power. Why? Because the red line has been crossed when it comes to censorship. A precedent has been set. Now it can be used for the right reasons or misused for the wrong reasons. Knowing how humans think I am leaning safely towards the latter.


> > I don’t consider myself a left winger. Name a prominent mainstream conservative (in the vein of say Bush) that ought to have been banned that wasn’t. I’ll wait.

> There isn't any left. Those who ought to have been banned have been banned along with those who did nothing egregious. It was a proper purge.

Lol ok, “there isn’t [sic] any left.”

Perhaps as an American I’m not familiar with what passes for conservatism in your country. But if your definition of conservatives excludes George Bush, Lindsey Graham, David Koch, Ron Paul, etc., then sure, all conservatives have been banned from Twitter!

I’m a gun-owning Christian non-Democrat living in the downtown of a big city. Having a pearl-clutching violence-endorsing non-American tell me I should worry about BLM and the Democrats “purging” people with my beliefs is surreal. If Bush is a liberal to you guys then I guess I’m as liberal as can be.

I’m out.


> George Bush, Lindsey Graham, David Koch, Ron Paul, etc., then sure, all conservatives have been banned from Twitter!

Do I feel they are truly conservatives? Nope. Not at all. At least not in the what conservatism means.

> violence-endorsing non-American

When did I endorse violence? Are you out of your mind? I literally said that I would want to see the insurrectionists thrown behind bars for what they did. Point to the part where you found me endorsing violence or take back your words.

My take on the insurrection and what should be done to those who desecrated the US Capitol: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25729582

> I should worry about BLM and the Democrats “purging” people with my beliefs is surreal

I never once mentioned BLM or Democrats purging conservatives. I accused the leftist lobby in Big Tech doing the purge because of how tied they are to their ideology. Whether BLM/Democrats had a role in it I don't know. So I won't even drag them into this. You want to extrapolate to include BLM and Democrats that is your headache not mine.

> If Bush is a liberal to you guys then I guess I’m as liberal as can be.

Bush was an opportunist. An establishment war hawk. A Conservative only by name but a Statist in every sense of the word. Bush was anything but for limited Government. These are the people you resonate with? People who bombed other countries ruthlessly based on a hunch that there are "weapons of mass destruction" (ex: Iraq and Afghanistan)? And you have the gumption to say I endorse violence? Look into a mirror and you'll see the person who endorses violence stare back at you.

And since you mentioned "Cato Institute" in one of the posts above, let me link an article that succinctly explains why Bush is not a conservative: https://www.cato.org/blog/bush-was-not-conservative


lol @ someone claiming to promote limited government in America putting the Cato Institute in scare quotes

Listen buddy, if none of George Bush, Lindsey Graham, David Koch, Ron Paul, or the Cato Institute represent “true conservatives” to you, then I’m glad the notion of conservatism wherever you’re from is not one shared by my fellow Americans. Have a good day and please don’t come here.


That diatribe at the end shows where your mind has been this whole time.

Just going to point out that Kathy Griffin was suspended on Twitter and lost her job.

I guess that part didn't fit your narrative...


Suspended on Twitter? More like locked out for 5 minutes until she removed her tweet. She is doing perfectly fine with her 2.1 million followers right here: https://twitter.com/kathygriffin?s=09

I can't find Steve Bannon's Twitter account anywhere. Now why is that so? Can you find it for me?

Unless you are talking about a different Kathy Griffin she hasn't been suspended.

As far as losing her job is concerned that is not something I was even bothered about. Since when did discussion on Big Tech censorship turn into resultant unemployment because of stupidity?

I don't mind those terrorists who invaded the Capitol be tried and thrown behind bars let alone be put in no fly lists or be removed from their jobs. Insurrection has to have consequences. I just don't want Big Tech's ideological censorship. Because this emboldens Big Tech to do more ideological censorship not less. Let the law take its course. Let the insurrectionists face real life consequences for their treason including but not limited to loss of job, putting on no fly lists and even prison time. It doesn't require Big Tech censorship to achieve those consequences. Or apply the rules to everyone in the same way. If you are going to ban Steve Bannon for beheading statements then ban Kathy Griffin for holding a decapitated head of the President. As simple as that.

If the Big Tech companies can't do it then I'll call them hypocrites. Then they have no moral standing when it comes to Parler. What is the difference between Parler and them? Nothing at all.

Notice how you completely skipped the part where I mentioned how Twitter enabled ISIS to operate with impunity for 2 years and only focused on my last paragraph? Yeah that shows where your mind is.


You realize the account in question for Bannon had also gotten away with temporary suspension in the past right?

It's almost like you didn't realize suspensions default to being temporary... it's newsworthy to be permanently suspended, and it only happens with a heavy pattern of rule breaking, once or twice didn't do it...

You don't even know what a Twitter suspension is and yet you're going after this.

-

Also I skipped the part about Isis because:

a) Twitter literally spent years fighting Daesh on their platform and you're cluelessly trying to paint them as being in bed with them or something...

b) If I had followed every lazy diversion you dropped in that diatribe I'd need to start billing you here.


> You realize the account in question for Bannon had also gotten away with temporary suspension in the past right?

Nope. I never heard of Bannon's Twitter account being temporarily suspended in the past. Can't find any source for it. It can't be possible because this account was created post-pandemic (aka 2020). If you can point me to any source which confirms what you say I'll be willing to change my stance that Twitter did give him a "chance" first. If you are talking about Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos account being banned then that is not the same as Bannon's account (called War Room: Pandemic - Suspended account here: http://twitter.com/WarRoomPandemic).

The best part is that Bannon did not even put the video on Twitter but instead put it on Facebook. But still got suspended by Twitter. Whereas Kathy Griffin posted the photo and video of the photoshoot on Twitter and got a rap on her knuckles.

a) Twitter literally spent years fighting Daesh on their platform and you're cluelessly trying to paint them as being in bed with them or something...

Yeah that is why they were sued for it right? Maybe you can tell the widow of the man who died because of an ISIS attack this logical reasoning. Let us see if she will be convinced with your reasoning.

That lawsuit was thrown out. You know why? Because of Section 230. Which surprisingly only applies to Big Tech. Not to small tech like Parler.

trying to paint them as being in bed with them or something...

Isn't that what was done to Parler? Using the users posts to ban Parler from all platforms. By trying to paint them as being in bed with them or something. Section 230 was turned into a joke when it came to Parler. What is the use of Section 230 if a platform can be censored and banned nevertheless?

https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/latest-news/usa-judg...

"A US judge...tossed out a lawsuit accusing Twitter of abetting terrorism by allowing Islamic State propaganda to be broadcast using the messaging platform. District Court Judge William Orrick granted a motion by Twitter to dismiss the case, reasoning that providing a platform for speech is within the law and that the company did not create the content. The Communications Decency Act protects online platforms from being held responsible for what users post."


C'mon man, even the freaking site for the account has references to past supensions: https://pandemic.warroom.org/2020/04/13/twitter-suspends-war...

Be better.


Your really want me to expose you don't you? How convenient of you to not link to the Parler Guidelines that you quote out of. What was the reason not to link? You thought I am a dummy who can't look up the Parler Guidelines and not see for myself and just accept your arguments at face value?

> Here's their exact words:

> We prefer to leave decisions about what is seen and who is heard to each individual. _In no case will Parler decide what will content be removed or filtered, or whose account will be removed, on the basis of the opinion expressed within the content at issue._

Right. And as usual you conveniently skipped the part that comes after this in the "Principles" section which is what any leftist liberal would do. This again busts your propaganda about Parler allowing violence, hate speech on their platform as being mentioned in their policy. Lie by selectively quoting guidelines. You can play this game all you want but it won't work in a Court of Law nor will it work with me. All Parler has to do now is sue Amazon for lying in their email that Parler doesn't have a policy on tackling hate speech.

> My comment repeatedly says Parler allows hate speech

Bullcrap. I'll disprove your nonsense by quoting straight out of the Parler Guidelines:

"Parler will not knowingly allow itself to be used as a tool for crime, civil torts, or other unlawful acts. We will remove reported member content that a reasonable and objective observer would believe constitutes or evidences such activity. We may also remove the accounts of members who use our platform in this way.

Sometimes the law properly requires us to exclude content from our platform once it is reported to us or to our Community Jury—content we would make it a priority to exclude anyway. Obvious examples include: child sexual abuse material, content posted by or on behalf of terrorist organizations, intellectual property theft.

However, even when the law may not require us to flag or remove reported content, or to ban a member, we will nonetheless do so when we deem it necessary to prevent our services from being used by someone in the commission of a crime or civil tort—particularly when these are likely to interfere with our mission of providing a welcoming, nonpartisan Public Square. Examples include criminal solicitation, fraud, and nuisance."

In case you did not know the meaning, "civil torts" encompasses hate speech and much much more.

LINK TO THE PARLER GUIDELINES (because you were scared to link it in the first place): https://legal.parler.com/documents/guidelines.pdf

----

> Stop doing this. Stop trying to throw up a smoke screen by building up strawman after straw man.

I am not. You are. You just embarrassed yourself by selectively quoting from the guidelines. Stop lying to just prove a point. By not linking to the Guidelines you made it amply clear what your intent is.

----

> I won't answer you anymore until you answer two questions:

You won't be able to answer after you read this comment anyways. I did not want to embarrass you but you are repeatedly asking for it so I'll gladly oblige.

----

> Answer thise questions, not with another unrelated question or diatribe which I'll easily dismantle.

You couldn't dismantle anything. On the contrary I dismantled your lie that Parler doesn't have a hate speech policy in place.

> Just yes or no, or you'll have shown who's really beating around the bush

> 1. Does Parler allow hate speech (with the reminder that it is not illegal in their jurisdiction)

NO. I just disproved it quoting straight from their guidelines. They even have guidelines on how to report illegal and hate content here: https://legal.parler.com/documents/Parler-Community-Jury.pdf

> 2. Do you believe Twitter only deletes Right Wing content.

YES. Left wingers are left untouched. The only time the left wing was up in arms against Twitter was when their bot/fake/pseudonym-based accounts were deleted and they trended #StopTheLeftPurge. No prominent left winger was banned. No account of any prominent left winger who called for assassination of Trump was banned. Most prominent left wingers were left alone with just a rap on their knuckle after they posted incendiary tweets (some of them were even anti-semetic). And those who posted anti-semetic tweets were Congressmen/women. Not some lunatic with zero followers and with low engagement tweets. If a prominent Right wing account had posted something similar they would have gotten an insta-ban. That ex-PM of Malaysia literally called for genocide of millions of French. Was his account banned? Nope. After that there have been multiple terror attacks in France. If Trump's speech can be linked to US Capitol violence then why can't the ex-PM of Malaysia's tweet be linked to the series of terror attacks that put France on the edge? See the dichotomy?

Do you have evidence of any prominent Left wing personality being banned from Twitter? I can give you examples of hundreds of prominent Right wing personalities purged from Twitter. Name one prominent left wing personality who was banned from Twitter. I'll wait.

----

Now instead of arguing with me if you had just bothered to look this up yourself you would have gotten to the truth. But nope. You want to waste your time and my time going around in circles and posting ridiculous analogies. And even worse you are unable to comprehend anything in full. Be it the article which I linked of Amazon falsely accusing Parler or the Parler Guidelines themselves. This is because you are more interested in proving me wrong than trying to understand the subject matter at hand. In the process you are just exposing yourself completely.

I have answered all your questions without beating around the bush or posting stupid analogies. After this point I won't give any further replies as the discussion is devolving into an argument over who is right and who is wrong rather than the pressing issue of Big Tech dominance (Which is what I am concerned about and which you seem to not care about - which is fine as well. To each his own).


> That ex-PM of Malaysia literally called for genocide of millions of French.

That's inaccurate. What he "literally" wrote was: “Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past.”

I read his whole quote. He's a nutjob but accusing him of calling for genocide is inaccurate. Also, perhaps France should consider saying sorry for testing nuclear weapons in the South Pacific and maybe relinquishing its occupied islands and terrorities like French Guyana back to the indigenous people that deserve independence. It is 2021, not 1821 anymore.


This is so sad. It's like you've left rational calm thought at the door.

You keep saying typical left winger this, typical left winger that, without saying anything useful at all.

The less words I spend on you the better.

-

https://legal.parler.com/documents/guidelines.pdf

These legal guidelines allow hate speech. Period.

You brought up the Principles but refused to clarify where they ban hate speech, did you read them?

Because they don't ban hate speech or racism...

One is anti-illegal activity (hate speech is not covered here)

One is anti-spam. Hate speech is not covered here.

I didn't make up any quotes, I didn't omit anything that supported your point, if anything the principles I omitted solidify my point...

They have principles as an addendum.

Those are a chance to clarify that while they are pro-free speech by default they reserve certain rights. And yet they refused to call out legal things like racism and hate speech...

You're literally making my case for me.

-

And on the Twitter front, you just admitted it right? Twitter removes left wing content, you linked it yourself. Case closed.

You haven't meaningfully replied for several comments, so I don't mind if you save your breath after your replies being dismantled over and over again.


"You brought up the Principles but refused to clarify where they ban hate speech, did you read them?"

OMG did you even bother to read what I wrote? I literally mentioned that "civil torts" encompasses "hate speech". Maybe you should Google what "civil torts" means.

Quoting verbatim from the Guidelines: "Parler will not knowingly allow itself to be used as a tool for crime, civil torts, or other unlawful acts"

DEFINITION of a "tort": A tort, in common law jurisdiction, is a civil wrong (other than breach of contract) that causes a claimant to suffer loss or harm, resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act. It can include intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, financial losses, injuries, invasion of privacy, and many other things.

In fact a "civil tort" is more accurate term than "hate speech". It is more broader than all the specific hate combating policies that social media companies have in place. There is a complete paper on how torts can be used to combat "hate speech": https://scholarship.law.uc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1...

> You haven't meaningfully replied for several comments, so I don't mind if you save your breath after your replies being dismantled over and over again.

I have meaningfully replied. You don't have the patience to read what I wrote causing me to repeat myself ad nauseam. You can start your learning process by understanding what "civil tort" means. Then come back here once you learnt the definition.

> And on the Twitter front, you just admitted it right? Twitter removes left wing content, you linked it yourself. Case closed.

Linked what myself? Twitter hasn't closed prominent left wing accounts. I am still waiting for you to provide one. All the accounts that it has closed are bots/fake and some fringe accounts with hundred followers or so. The day Twitter bans Kathy Griffin I'll say Twitter is not biased. Else they are hypocrites. As simple as that.

----

Replying here because of rate limits:

> Because Parler's guidelines are saying since it's not tortious they wouldn't deplatform the user!

That is a very bad reading of what Parler's guidelines state. They are simply saying that they won't be used as a tool for civil tort. In other words, they won't subject themselves to anything that can constitute a civil tort. They aren't going to be the judge/jury to say whether a statement is deeply hateful or harmless hate. They just won't be a party to any of it (doesn't matter if the statement is harmless hate or deeply hateful). It doesn't matter if a US Court Judge rules finally that the statement was defamatory or not. That is for the Court to decide not Parler. Parler won't even entertain something it feels will cause Civil Tort. How is it decided? Parler has Guidelines for that too. They have a Community Jury setup (site is obviously down so I am linking to a Cached version: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:1oI4Ww...)

From their guidelines (again linking to the Cached version: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:oNJnp_...):

"However, even when the law may not require us to flag or remove reported content, or to ban a member, we will nonetheless do so when we deem it necessary to prevent our services from being used by someone in the commission of a crime or civil tort—particularly when these are likely to interfere with our mission of providing a welcoming, nonpartisan Public Square."

They clarify it even further that even if the law doesn't require them to remove reported content/ban a member they will do it if they feel it interferes with the mission of providing a welcoming, nonpartisan Public Square. Please tell me how hate speech is "welcoming" and "nonpartisan" in any way, shape or form.

> I mean in your mind I guess it's ok to make a comment that just states the word nig*r over and over because it's not tortious right?

If Parler feels this is amounts to Civil Tort they will remove it. Now they won't obviously check which jurisdiction the user messaged from, which court will take up the case and how will it be decided. That is not in the scope of what Parler can do. Parler also doesn't have resources to go through all that to decide whether a statement constitutes a case for Civil Tort or not. Parler is just going to assume that yes this amounts to Civil Tort and just remove the offending content. Simple as that. Now obviously they won't do it immediately. Just like Twitter won't remove a Tweet immediately if you call someone a nig*r (especially if the person is being creative with how he writes it). I have seen Tweets that contain abuse/hate speech and it stays up for months. It is impossible to moderate every single tweet or parley. Even when reported it takes time. But to expect perfection from a 4 million user site while a 330 million users site is still suffering from moderation issues is a bit too much.


You just demonstrated that you didn't read (or understand?) the paper and once again made my point for me, so thanks:

The article is saying is that in the process of hate speech someone could commit something like defamation...

Parler says they won't be a tool for tortious conduct right?

_The literal article you linked is explaining how some courts have found calling someone a nig**r is not defamation_

And more importantly... if no specific person or action against a group was mentioned then the entire article doesn't even apply!

There are _so many deeply hateful things one can say without exposing themselves to a tort_

I mean in your mind I guess it's ok to make a comment that just states the word nig**r over and over because it's not tortious right?

Because Parler's guidelines are saying since it's not tortious they wouldn't deplatform the user!


Your reply edit implies you don't know what tortious means...

I said: > I mean in your mind I guess it's ok to make a comment that just states the word nig**r over and over because it's not tortious right?

You reply: > If Parler feels this is amounts to Civil Tort they will remove it.

I literally explained how it is not tortious. Regardless of jurisdiction. It's not defamation. It's not tortious. It's not a civil tort.

So you're admitting Parler won't remove a comment that's just "nig**r" repeated over and over according to their guidelines.

Thanks for making my point again.*


> And also what are you even trying to say, that the reason why Parler was banned was those images?

Yes I am saying these are the images for which Parler was banned. Maybe you should do your research before you happen to accuse me of saying things I never said. These images were provided by Amazon to Parler as a justification to remove Parler from AWS. These images were not taken by me or provided by me.

The article which covers these images:

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/johnpaczkowski/amazon-p...

> Haha, no. It was because of the ratio of that kind of content to all the content.

No evidence to back up your claim here. Again, this is the sort of stupid left wing bubble that makes up most left wingers. Unless you can say exactly how much of the content was violent on Parler your guess is as good as mine. I just showed the GP evidence on how Twitter doesn't remove hate speech on its platform much the same as Parler. That is about it. I can dig thousands of tweets for you which show hate speech. I am not going to waste my time doing it. If Amazon can use the above images as justification to remove Parler then Twitter being online is hypocritical.


It's funny that you ascribed a political slant to me.

Go back and read every comment I've made as if I'm a 65 year old white man with greying hair who's voted Republican every year except this one because I didn't approve of Trump's handling of Coronavirus.

Does anything change? Do my comments ring any less true?

As I explained above, you also don't believe just those images that got them banned, it's the context they exist in that matters, that's literally what the next line says!

And of course I explained exactly why I can confidently say Parler's ratio of hate speech would be higher... because their differentiator is literally not moderating hate speech since it counts as free speech.


> because their differentiator is literally not moderating hate speech since it counts as free speech.

False. Have already shown with evidence that they were indeed moderating hate speech and did indeed have it clearly, unambiguously defined in their guidelines. No matter how much you try to twist it the facts are staring back in your face. That guidelines do exist.

There is literally no differentiator between Twitter and Parler. Both take their own sweet time to moderate violent content/hate speech. Yet Amazon finds Parler not moderating "with urgency" a requirement to terminate business with Parler while renewing cloud contracts with Twitter for the same damn thing. I haven't seen a bigger hypocritical bunch.

And what will this lead to? Fragmentation and balkanization of the internet.


> Have already shown with evidence that they were indeed moderating hate speech and did indeed have it clearly, unambiguously defined in their guidelines.

You have not done this. Parler allows hate speech.

Parler literally takes it as a principle that they only "censor" illegal content and span jurisdiction. That excludes hate speech.

Hate speech is not illegal in Parler and Twitter's jurisdiction for the hundredth time.

That's why they were banned.


> Parler allows hate speech.

Parler literally says it doesn't allow itself to be used for "civil tort". I can't argue with you if you refuse to even acknowledge the legal terminology used here.

Anyways I'll leave this link for you to learn more about how Civil torts are used to combat hate speech: https://scholarship.law.uc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1...


How do you feel about “it’s a joke” being used as an excuse for rape jokes?


Its at the discrediting of platform owners what they allow on their platform. That’s it. Different platform owners will draw different lines, and that’s fine, they should have the freedom to do so.


I searched this and it looks like it was already explained over this 6 years ago?: https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2014/03/a-twitte...

I searched that and the top result was a tweet insulting anyone who even says it.

-

Overall that looks like a pretty hyperbolic statement rather than a credible threat.

Whereas "kill Mike Pence" after a group storms the Capitol building sounds a lot less hyperbolic.


Let the time speaking by itself. Parler will end up in court.

Why ? Because for years, Trump's administration (I don't recall but maybe Obama's also) is fighting against "Fake News", forcing platforms to do fact checking "or else".

A new platform emerging, promoting its lack of control over that will irremediably leads to huge abuses and scandals. It's just a matter of time.

A massive scandal over a year, a closure over two or three tops.


This does seem like the obvious outcome. We just witnessed the self-initiated shutdown of Voat, which was different in concept but similar in intention. Maybe they saw the writing on the wall?


Our world is just fundamentally different from the one where absolute freedom of speech could be guaranteed.

Look at Ted Kaczynski, a terrorist with some very strange ideas. Although he had freedom of speech, he had no means to get his ideas out in front of more people. He had to resort to extreme measures, like a bombing campaign to blackmail newspapers into printing his manifesto.

If he was active today, he’d just post it on YouTube and gather millions of views. If YouTube gets squeamish about the violence, move to Parler.

It was easy to guarantee freedom of speech to everyone when people like Ted no means of actually broadcasting their ideas without being gatekeeped by newspaper editors.

Our world is different now. It saddens me to say this but maybe our principles have to adapt too.


Kaszynski could have published a book. If none of the major publishers would have carried it, be could find an alternative publisher, or even self-publish. If it weren't sold in stores, it could have been photocopied. Remember that samizdat existed in the Soviet Union without requiring terrorism to publish.

No, he wanted eyeballs, and the best way to get those was to mail bombs. He wanted to terrify people into listening to him. His ideas weren't palatable on their own so he took a shortcut paid in human lives.


> He had to resort to extreme measures, like a bombing campaign to blackmail newspapers into printing his manifesto.

I remember this. The things people will believe :) The idea that the two premiere newspapers carried in full, with great fanfare, the manifesto because of a few letter bombs is laughable.

("We don't negotiate with terrorists" was oddly a running theme back then, but no one ever accused the American public of being incapable of tolerationg gross cognitive dissonance. We're exceptionally good at it.)

The manifesto articulates a principalist position against technology that ultimately suggests complete deindustrialization as "solution" to unchecked integration of technology in human societies. This absurd non-solution, delivered via a "madman", is the precise reason it was broadcast to a bewildered world.


> Look at Ted Kaczynski, a terrorist with some very strange ideas. Although he had freedom of speech, he had no means to get his ideas out in front of more people. He had to resort to extreme measures

So like, Ted Kaczynski was basically victim and world owned him millions of views? And when Ted Kaczynski cant get those millions of views, he "has to resort" to killing people?

And if Ted Kaczynski had youtube channel and the channel would be ignored, would he still be entitled to kill people to get more views?


Violence should always be a last resort. The idea is to give people other options so they never feel the need to go there.

What are you proposing?


The violence was his only option to be know by many people. Wanting to be know by many people is not valid use of violence. That is what I propose. If you cant convince people to follow you in your community and then enlarge it like any other political operatives in the same period did, then you accept that you failed to find followers.

Bombing is not valid option. I am saying that Ted Kaczynski had no option other then violence complete nonsense.


This reply is incoherent. Uttering "X is invalid" doesn't do anything about X. I encourage you to consider more effective solutions.


1.) Imprison Ted Kaczynski forever.

2.) When people like you try to frame his bombing as result of "not having other options", point out that such reasoning is illogical and entitled.


How do you propose we bring his victims back to life?

You're a dangerous idiot with garbage ideas.


Well at teh end of the day the guy was right if anything you are not making your case properly, we live in a cyberpunk dystopia and maybe maybe if more people though like him, instead of licking Jeff Bezzos boot, then we would not have people mpeeing in bottles to make him and the technocrats richer by the second. They werent strange ideas, they are a crude reality that we have seen deployed ever since.


There was never world where absolute freedom of speech could be guaranteed. Hell, it used to the christian right that was one pushing censorship.


Free speech is so invaluable that it is insane to squander for such an inconsequential event. It has the ability to save millions. It could cost us a lot before this would even be a real discussion.


Inconsequential event? This is the aftermath of an attempted coup on our democracy. I would like to know what is consequential in your book.


No 'attempted coup' is inconsequential, but if you want to compare these events to coups and their attempts historically, go right ahead[0].

Looking down that staggeringly long list, I can say with some confidence that this was one of the more inconsequential attempts historically.

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_coups_and_coup_attempt...


If the mob that invaded the Capitol building had managed to get to the senators and representatives before they were evacuated, what do you think the mob would have done to them? I think its clear that a substantial number of them would have been murdered.

From here in Europe it looked like an improvised coup attempt. Not a coup as in taking over the country, but a coup as in decapitating part of the government.


A coup means taking over the country. Decapitating part of the government is assassination. /pedantry


> A coup means taking over the country. Decapitating part of the government is assassination. /pedantry

"Definition of coup d'état

: a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics

especially : the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group"

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coup%20d'%C3%A9ta...

I'm not sure pedantry contributes much in the circumstances.


Riiiight... "IF" So you mean, like IF there wasn't a gargantuan 'security' apparatus in place just waiting to nip anything like that that was even remotely a _serious_ threat in the bud? (yawn..your ridiculous) hypotheticals don't work.


Free speech refers to government censorship. There is no requirement of anyone or any company to listen to your free speech, or to host it.


Right now this is true. But I think you are slightly misunderstanding the situation. The real question is, should society allow major communications networks used by the majority of a population (private or public) to censor speech.

This is the question for this generation. The laws and constitution can be changed to reflect the will of the majority.

So stop arguing about what the law says now and look at the bigger picture. What should the law say.


> Free speech refers to government censorship.

No, free speech refers to free speech. Government censorship is one thing that can prevent speech being free, but not the only one.

Or put another way, there is a legal concept of "freedom of speech", rooted in the First Amendment in the US, and there is a somewhat separate moral concept, which can be both narrower and broader than the legal one. There is some pretty widespread disagreement on the exact boundaries of the moral concep.

The legal concept did not create the moral concept. The reason there is a First Amendment is that the value of free speech already existed, and was codified, in one limited domain, in the Constitution.

And I am quite sure that if the moral concept becomes too narrow, with overwhelming support for speech restrictions in the population in general, the legal concept will follow, via the amendment process... Which makes it a priority, for me, to push back on attempts to narrow the moral concept absent great need.

Or to put it another way: There is no legal requirement for a non-government entity to allow various speech in the US. But in many cases I would argue there is a moral requirement, even if they disagree with the content of the speech. Obviously, being a moral requirement, there is a line the entity needs to decide on for itself after which it will no longer support said speech.


Do the tendrils not intertwine?

Manufacturing Consent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuwmWnphqII


The 1st Amendment prohibits government censorship. Free Speech is a larger concept than just the 1st Amendment. It's the ability to speak things that society would prefer not to be spoken. No one needs to listen to it, but if the only place you can speak it is where no one can hear you, is it even really speech?


On top of that, the United States has never had "free speech without limits." Or any rights without limits. A core tenet of at least one political ideology in the United States is the idea that one's rights only extend as far as another's unharmed state of existence. i.e. https://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/10/15/liberty-fist-nose/

Such limitations in the case of the first amendment are pretty well captured here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_free_speech_exce...

Credible threats of violence and incitement register with exceptionally strong precedent. Fighting words and threatening the President-Elect of the United States are two such categories of unprotected speech with, again, exceptionally strong precedent.

Anyone claiming their freedom of speech is being violated in this scenario by pushing fighting words and specific threats may be failing to understand:

1. that such freedoms don't extend as protection from being barred by private property and enterprise, and

2. that even if they did, their words are exempt... again, with strong law and case law.

I do agree that there's value in exploring registering social media and communications platforms as utilities. I don't yet know the implications of such.

And on another note (and borrowing from an earlier comment of mine), I do wonder how many of the Parler removals that have taken place used Wednesday as the justification but in reality were done for FOSTA/SESTA cover, which ironically is a law passed within the last few years.