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Facebook's role in Capitol protest larger than previously thought (washingtonpost.com)
142 points by cronix 6 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 183 comments

I'm starting to think hacker news needs a temporary ban on these capital riot articles. They do nothing but devolve into flame wars filled with emotional responses. They seem to attract the most hostile commenters

I come to HN for fairly civil conversation on difficult topics. If we can't do it here, I honestly don't know where else I can do that.

I agree that it's become a flame war, and IMO part of the issue is that at times people promote (up/down) vote based on agreement, and at other times people vote based on promoting a good conversation.

I really want to see two voting mechanisms, an I agree woot, and another button that indicates is a well constructed argument that I think deserves conversation and views because it will promote healthy conversation. I'm not convinced people would use these appropriately, maybe they sit behind a "vote" count or you only get 5 votes a day or something, IDK.

We've gamified agreement on these platforms, and I see things swing based on who shows up. I've seen my votes swing wildly based on what I'm interpreting as someone of a particular ideology come through.

Either way we need to gamify conversation and not agreement, I don't know how to do that, but I think HN would be a great place to experiment with that idea.

Yeah that might contribute (idk if it's the only thing contributing to the way these discussions go) , an idea I had was that you can downvote by spending your upvote generated points.

Note that this is just one of the ideas implemented in Slashcode, which for all its faults was and still is probably the most sophisticated discussion forum software on the internet.

I agree it's not the only thing contributing, but this would be a great place to experiment with those kinds of changes.

Exactly. People brigade from elsewhere too.

I'm 29 and have a question for those older than me. Until about 10 years ago, I dont remember ever hearing anyone arguing that we should limit free speech. I remember being told that the only limit was that you couldnt tell "fire" in a movie theater unless there really was a fire. This was a common refrain. I remember people talking about how free speech was what made America different. Everyone on both sides of the political aisle was proud of the first amendment.

However, I was pretty young and my memory may be wrong. Has the discourse always been this way, or has it changed significantly in the past 10 years? If it changed, when did this start? After 9/11? After Trump?

The current discourse is crazy to me. We have to remember that free speech is literally the FIRST amendment. Our founding fathers thought that basically nothing was more important than this. So we should err on the side of caution. It's east to restrict freedom and almost impossible to win it back. Although if you want to go a little bit further, they also would have had, as individuals, a higher tolerance for violence in the event that people wanted to "petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Anyway, just curious to hear other people's opinions on when the importance of free speech started to diminish in our collective mind.

It changed with the rise of social media. The first thing to note is that moral policing is impotent without coordination between like-minded individuals. Pre-social media, the religious right was the single most coordinated effort at policing and shaping culture. Naturally, the kinds of things they were interested in ran counter to progressive movements. It followed that the standard response from those on the left was to defend an expanded notion of free speech. In the 2000's, the religious influence in this country waned and the rise of social media created new ways to organize like minded individuals. Progressives found that they had the loudest voice and now free speech is less valuable to them than being able to shape society as they see fit. It's the ebb and flow of social power.

If you mean talk about if/how FB, Twitter etc should control speech on their platform, that has always been going on, and has nothing to do with the first amendment (Congress shall pass no law)

I assume most internet geeks think technological restrictions are mostly futile (the internet routes around censorship), BTW.

Just ses how the RIAA played whack a mole from Napster onwards, then government played the same for DeCss, then the MPAA with torrents, and nowadays the government with deepweb markets.

It's just a losing game that ends up affecting innocent people (like DRM in games) but theres just no way to win

"Falsely yelling fire in a theater" theory was a judge's analogy for protesting the Vietnam War.

The US passed the Alien and Sedition Acts centuries ago.

These debates are age-old.

Also, the First Amendment is less important than all the Articles of the Constitution, including the ones about the Electoral college. So by your theory (which is invalid because order of Amendment has nothing to do with relative importance, and you are a horrible person if you think free speech is more important than banning race-based slavery) peotectingt the Electoral College is more important than Free Speech

I remember that you couldn't have nudity or profanity on TV. You couldn't say certain things on the radio. If you wanted to publish something particularly inflammatory and demeaning, the only outlet was to find some fringe press or do it yourself, because it would simply be unacceptable anywhere else.

Free speech just means the government isn't going to prosecute you for saying something. That's it. Free speech doesn't mean Random House must publish your manifesto to all things awful. It also doesn't mean a private company is obligated to publish your derogatory tweet. Or for a company to host your website chock full of hateful language.

> The current discourse is crazy to me. We have to remember that free speech is literally the FIRST amendment.

Here's the first amendment:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

"Congress shall not abridge the freedom of speech."

It doesn't say "freedom of speech is a mechanism that leads to truth", it doesn't say "freedom of speech means you have to let someone come into your house and speak at you", it doesn't say "freedom of speech means, if you build a social media platform, you have to let fascists use it to spread disinformation with a rapidity and accuracy of targeting that founding fathers could never possibly have conceived of". It just says "Congress shall not abridge the freedom of speech."

In the age of social media, we have seen the truly perverse impacts that viral spread of lies can have, like in Myanmar where months of anti-Rohingya propaganda on Facebook lead to the genocide of the Rohingya [0]. Another perverse impact is the fostering of echo chambers where participants could freely share conspiracy theories and convince themselves of truly crazy things, like that Hillary Clinton ran a cabal of pedophiles that worked out of the basement of Comet Pizza, or that tens of thousands of election workers across many states executed a perfect rigging of the US election. In the past, people susceptible to fringe beliefs would struggle to find likeminded people and would have been too embarrassed to freely exercise speech, but per Facebook's own research: "64% of all extremist group joins are due to our recommendation tools” and that most of the activity came from the platform’s “Groups You Should Join” and “Discover” algorithms. [1][2]. Free speech was unleashed in a way never possible before.

Last Wednesday, the elected Representatives and Senators of my country were in the process of certifying the results of my country's election, but they were violently interrupted by people who believe a set of lies that they've heard and read hundreds of times. Since this insurrection attempt, we've found a lot of footage indicating these people were looking to kill the Vice President and the Speaker of the House, the #2 and #3 people in the Presidential line of succession.

I don't know why people think the 1st amendment means private companies, who aren't Congress at all, should have to make the fruits of their labor accessible to terrorists, or why that's a good thing. But a lot of people here seem to consider that to be an article of faith. I truly have no idea why.

[0] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/technology/myanmar-facebo...

[1] https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-knows-it-encourages-di...

[2] https://www.wired.com/story/opinion-platforms-must-pay-for-t...

I think the confusion stems from the fact that most people speak through or on private property—both digital and physical.

But they're taught in school that there is a general "freedom of speech" which doesn't really exist. This sentiment is echoed in mass American media to adults.

There's very little "public" speech in a legal sense. The most populated speech structures are privately owned. Censorship is built into those structures. America, as a whole, does not have "free speech" except for property owners. Unless you're on public property, behaving lawfully, such as in court, or "speaking truth" next to the post office, etc. etc. you don't have free speech.

So, when people hold a good portion of their discourse through private structures, those structures seem public. The host companies seem like governments through terms of services. They see the first amendment as applying there by default.

There is plenty of public speech. You are free to start your own version of AWS and host whatever you'd like on it. You are free to stand on a street corner and start reading out loud from Mein Kampf if you'd like. You are even allowed to march the streets waving a nazi or confederate flag. Private people and companies, on the other hand, are under no obligation to help further your speech.

Awesome. Now we have established that Big Tech and social media are against free speech, we can all move on.

They aren’t against free speech, they are irrelevant to the discussion. Is a bartender kicking out a rowdy patron against free speech?

That wasn’t my point. Your point is that there is a bar that kicks out patrons. Noted. So some people will avoid that bar. Why pretend that it’s open to all.

Clearly it’s only open to those who fit the bartender’s definition of acceptable conduct.

HST: Sensible people would opine that if the bartender doesn’t have want non bartender approved behaviour, he should clearly paste the instructions and definition of what’s acceptable and what’s not. Also: not serve alcohol or substances that encourage unruly behaviour.

In the current scenario, anything pro-trump is not acceptable. Done. We have established that. Case closed.

Conclusion: Big Tech is against free speech.

We need a baseline understanding of the rules of the game. Why are they acting coy about it? Why not state it and move on?

>anything pro-trump is not acceptable.

Only if you define pro-trump speech as solely hateful language against other groups or calls to violence. That's all that's been banned. You can go tweet "I really like Trump's policy positions" all you want and you won't get banned. But when you start spewing hate speech or calling people to violence then don't be surprised you've been kicked out of the bar. I can't believe this nuance is missed on this forum.

> I can't believe this nuance is missed on this forum.

That’s because everything you said falls under ‘free speech’.

Incitement requires proof. Free speech isn’t illegal.

That’s why pro lifers outside abortion clinics can call visitors to the clinic, ‘baby-killers who deserve to die’ and ACLU will protect their right to free speech.

They can only be charged if they ACT.

What we are seeing is cognitive dissonance because only a few months ago during peak covid, the same platforms ALLOWED incitement and continued to condone violence as said incitement lead to buildings being burned, properties destroyed and lives lost. And no legal action was taken.

What current discourse ? The impeachment, and a lot of the current discourse is that Mr Trump did basically yell fire in a crowded theater (he told his supporters to march to the Capitol).

This is a post where the parent has already taken a very strong position/view, and is thinly veiling it in the form of a question (and not veiled very well either).

Is there a way to report these types of posts? Or better yet, to have HN remove all this incessant political commentary.

Perhaps I'll take the time to finally work on that custom Chrome extension project I've been meaning to tackle..

When are Google and Apple going to remove Facebook from their app stores?

Not soon enough

That’s not a good enough reason to deplatform facebook or parler, to that matter.

The summer riots were freely advertised on all social media apps and WaPo. How is that not incitement of violence.

What’s happening is an unprecedented attack on free speech in disguise of silencing “insurrection”.

Because WaPo weren't encouraging people to go and "riot".

The police already have the power to deal with things like that, the vast majority of it was people protesting.

> Because WaPo weren't encouraging people to go and "riot".

Maybe WaPo wasn't (although I doubt it). Other media certainly were: https://twitter.com/slate/status/1268415955937513473?lang=en

Or will we keep justifying direct justifications of violence, while ignoring the calls to peace spoken and written by Trump.

Honestly, I'm done at this point. I hope people like you keep saying what you're saying. You'll just convince more people, just like y'all have convinced me.

EDIT: more justifications of violence:


Here's vice interviewing a man who just shot a trump supporter and killed him. They did this after he had done so, but before he was turned over to police. Harboring a criminal is illegal: https://www.vice.com/en/article/v7g8vb/man-linked-to-killing...

EDIT: and just like I thought, from the downvotes, people actually agree with the direct calls to violence issued by these mainstream outlets that led to over 30 deaths this summr]er, and $2billion in damages, mainly to small businesses all over america. The lack of moral convictions on this forum is pathetic.

Did Trump ever call on anyone to riot?

Did Henry II call on anyone to kill Thomas Becket?


They went straight from his rally to Capitol hill. Ultimately his MO is edging very close to unacceptable and saying the right things to the right people to please his ego.

IMO he should've been banned from Twitter on the spot after he retweeted a video of a gut shouting white power at a bunch of black people


> I'm so done. If I cannot live in a country where a politician, of any background, cannot call on their supporters to protest

Calling on your supporters to protest is fine. Calling on your supporters to protest, with a pattern of all the protests becoming violent is less fine. At some point you become complicit in not enforcing the value of peace strongly enough. And when trump rewards violent people, and celebrates them, and encourages them, and then things turn violent, people see through the indirection.

And I'll note that the left doesn't have a pattern of a leader whose calls for protest reliably all turn violent. People protest outside Mitch mcconnell's house weekly, and they've never been violent. They don't give him peace, but they are peaceful. That's what democratic politicians encourage, and what they show they value, and so that's what happens.

> Unlike all the politicians I mentioned above, the moment Trump heard about the violent breakins,

Reports from wh sources indicate that he had to be forced to include statements like "stay peaceful" and "go home" in his tweets.

> all the protests becoming violent is less fine

Wich all protests are you referring to? IIRC most Trump rallies were overwhelmingly peaceful until now...

> Wich all protests are you referring to? IIRC most Trump rallies were overwhelmingly peaceful until now...

Rallies != protests. IN cases where the president has asked his supporters to confront other groups, be it the media, other politicians, etc. there is reliably violence.

But they called the rallies (the completely peaceful ones) dangerous white supremacist meetings. I am a brown man. They are none of those things. The hyperbole is astounding.

I don't believe I've seen the characterization of Trump's rallies as, specifically "dangerous white supremacist meetings". I have seen the characterzation of many of trump's followers as white supremacists though.

Can you cite an example (and preferably multiple, since you said "they") of the former, that his rallies are "dangerous white supremacist meetings", and not simply the latter?

If not, I think it's you who is engaging in hyperbole.

(I'll also note the difference in tone between Trump's address today from the Oval Office and his prior statements. Today, for the first time, he didn't speak out of both sides of his mouth when discussing violence from his supporters. He unequivocally denounced violence. The difference between "Stand back and stand by" and "Violence and vandalism have no place in our country and no place in our movement...no true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence" is obvious. If his statements had been, from the beginning, that clear and unequivocal he would have faced far less criticism. I mean he clearly would have faced some, Biden faced criticism for repeated unequivocal denouncement of violence[0], from people to his right and left. I expect trump would have faced the same. But we probably wouldn't have had last Wednesday, and Trump probably wouldn't be facing down a second impeachment, nor enough upset Republican Senators that he might actually get convicted).

[0]: https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-biden-condemn-v...

> I will do like my parents did and emigrate.

Where to? Nearly every country in the western world is far less absolutist when it comes to freedom of speech. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you'd find them far more socialist than you'd like too.

> I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you'd find them far more socialist than you'd like too.

I doubt it. I'm not a free market absolutist, and am really happy DoJ is going after monopolies.

Those people over the summer were't protesting for Kamala Harris or Biden, dude. Try again. Like, they aren't even comparable. Trump told these people to gather, on a lie, and fed them nonsense.

Bringing up BLM as a counterpoint to these terrorists is the weakest argument I've heard in a long time. Whataboutism to the max. Pathetic. There is exactly 0 connection to the two events, yet you people seem to keep bringing it up to distract from the right-wing terrorism you seem to support.

Also, the looters during BLM were not connected to the message - they were thugs looking to take advantage. Not the same of last week. But, you must have known that, right? Since it's pretty basic knowledge. Ignorance is bliss, I guess, right?

Hah, you've lost perspective mate..

Trump and friends talked about being defrauded ("stolen election!") for an hour, and then said "So we are going to--we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we are going to the Capitol, and we are going to try and give--the Democrats are hopeless, they are never voting for anything, not even one vote but we are going to try--give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don't need any of our help, we're try--going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let's walk down Pennsylvania Avenue." (and then he took a limo back home to the White House), does that not sound like "let's intimidate them!"? And considering his audience, he must've known that they're ready for violence.

As grandparent post said, Trump never asks anyone directly to avoid breaking the law (he did something similar with Comey, and on the "find me 11780 votes!" phone call).

But well, you seem to have lost perspective...

None of that is illegal

"Stand back and stand by" as spoken to a pseudo white-nationalist group.

> Did Trump ever call on anyone to riot?

Did he explicitly say “Go riot!”, or “Go forth and <enumeration of elements of some crime>.” Probably not.

Did he say things which had the intent and effect of inciting riot and insurrection? I think the answer is pretty clearly yes.

I think there are a few problems with this theory.

First, what Trump actually told the protestors on the 6th was to go peacefully. His plain language has been analyzed by qualified legal scholars and they conclude it does not meet the very high threshold of “fighting words”. [1]

Second, as we can clearly see, the attacks on the capital were planned well in advance of Trump’s speech and therefore could not have been incited by that speech in the first place.

Third, the violent protesters had already started breaching the capital while Trump was still speaking a mile away.

So I think there are important facts on the ground that do not support the allegation that Trump’s speech on the 6th incited a spontaneous mob.

I think you could argue that denial of the election result and false claims of election fraud — over many weeks and by many people including Trump — led in part to certain people to plan for violence on the 6th.

The people that planned and executed the violence should be charged with crimes and face a jury of their peers.

My understanding is that the laws against inciteful speech require the speech to result in imminent lawless action. If I listen to a podcast on Monday and decide to violently protest next week, the podcast would not be illegal speech.

[1] - https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2021/01/11/democr...

> First, what Trump actually told the protestors on the 6th was to go peacefully. His plain language has been analyzed by qualified legal scholars and they conclude it does not meet the very high threshold of “fighting words”.

None of the major tests of whether speech is protected apply to the decontextualized plain language of the utterance in isolation, and the “fighting words” test is particularly non-germane here in any case, since it is a test that specifically relates to provocation of an audience hostile to one’s ideas, so you'd have to be either grossly incompetent or intensely dishonest to measure something suggested to be incitement of a friendly crowd to violence against a common enemy against it.

> Second, as we can clearly see, the attacks on the capital were planned well in advance of Trump’s speech and therefore could not have been incited by that speech in the first place.

That's...not how incitement works. It is not the case that once a a breach of the peace has been planned, encouragement immediately proximate to the planned breach to steal the nerves of either those who were in on the plan, or to fire up other susceptible persons in the area to join in, is no longer incitement. That's nonsense.

The only relevance that the prior planning has to incitement is that, if Trump knew about that planning, assessment of intent and reasonably forseeable effect of his words would have to be made in light of that knowledge.

> Third, the violent protesters had already started breaching the capital while Trump was still speaking a mile away.

Again, that's not how incitement works. The fact that a riot or other ongoing breach of the peace has begun doesn't make further immediate encouragement not incitement.

As with the last point, this is only relevant at all to the extent that, if Trump knew of it, assessment of his intent and the reasonably forseeable consequences of his action must be made with that knowledge in mind.

> The people that planned and executed the violence should be charged with crimes and face a jury of their peers.

Sure. That's not exclusive of accountability for incitement, whether by Trump or others.

> So I think there are important facts on the ground that do not support the allegation that Trump’s speech on the 6th incited a spontaneous mob.

No one made the allegation that Trump incited a spontaneous mob.

Yes, Trump’s speech clearly does not fall under “fighting words” which leaves only the even harder test (from Brandenburg) of speech that “is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

> Saying things that foreseeably move some audience members to act illegally isn’t enough,” notes Eugene Volokh, a First Amendment specialist at UCLA Law School. “Speaking recklessly isn’t enough. The Court was well aware that speech supporting many movements — left, right, or otherwise — that merely moves the majority to political action may also lead a minority of the movement to rioting or worse. It deliberately created a speech-protective test that was very hard to satisfy.” [1]

If someone is already causing a pre-planned disturbance a mile away while you are speaking, it’s impossible to argue that the words were an incitement to imminent lawless action in that case. I’m not sure how you get around the fact that an imminent cause-effect relationship is a necessary component of this form of unprotected speech.

If the question is whether a political speech falls into the unprotected category of incitement to imminent lawless action, it’s highly probative to that specific charge if the lawless action was pre-planned and already occurring when you spoke.

An additional necessary element for incitement is intent. You would have to prove that Trump intended for his supporters to try to actually carry out a riot on that day, despite his calls for them to be peaceful, and how much he stood to lose (did lose) if (when) they were not.

To throw another question into the mix, if someone makes a rousing speech which rallies up a crowd, and then after the crowd takes a mile long walk they encounter an existing volatile situation like an ongoing riot, I’d be pretty surprised if the earlier speech can suddenly become illegal unprotected speech based on some true incitement to violence which happens later.

I certainly have never heard of any such case of speech that “got the ball rolling” but didn’t actually directly instruct a person or crowd to commit a specific illegal act.

[1] - https://reason.com/volokh/2021/01/07/incitement-ordinary-spe...

> If someone is already causing a pre-planned disturbance a mile away while you are speaking, it’s impossible to argue that the words were an incitement to imminent lawless action in that case.

Its not if people hearing your words join in the disturbance. (There’s other ways it could, as well.) Again, the fact that a disturbance is under way does not make it impossible for someone to commit incitement with regard to that disturbance. Repeating the same false claim doesn’t make it any less false.

> First, what Trump actually told the protestors on the 6th was to go peacefully. His plain language has been analyzed by qualified legal scholars and they conclude it does not meet the very high threshold of “fighting words”. [1]

1. Language doesn't have to be illegal for it to break Twitter's TOS.

2. Language requires context. When Michael Corleone says "I don't want anything to happen to him while my mother's alive" everyone listening to those words understand exactly what they mean - that his brother's a few weeks away from ending up with a bullet in his head.

The context in this case has been weeks of crying from the rooftops about how the deep state is stealing the election from you, and that your boys should go to Capitol and do something about it. Meanwhile, your lawyer is shouting about how it's time for 'Trial by combat.'

I think it’s totally clear that in the court of public opinion Trump is guilty of inciting the riot.

In the context of a court of law, if we’re speaking about the actual limits of free speech in America, I think Trump’s speech does not meet the threshold.

So I’m not trying to make a political point, but I think there’s an interesting legal discussion to really understand that just because violence happens after a speech, or in this case concomitant to a speech, there’s still a very high bar - very direct language that has to be used for that person to be guilty of incitement in a court of law.

I completely agree it’s totally up to Twitter to decide to ban Trump from their platform. They likely don’t even have to give you a specific reason under their ToS. I wasn’t speaking about the Twitter ban in this case.

Lastly, I’d agree completely that context matters. Interestingly, the context of Giuliani’s “trial by combat” statement was discussing some hypothetical investigation that was supposed to happen over the next 10 days that they were going to “stake their reputation” on;


Again, this is a kind of statement that politicians make all the time, and is not illegal.

By that metric, I can point to many statements by many democrats, including the incoming Vice President, that 'directly incited' violence. This is a ridiculous standard. The double think is insane.

> By that metric, I can point to many statements by many democrats, including the incoming Vice President, that ‘directly incited’ violence.

I don’t think you can, but, so what?

> This is a ridiculous standard.

It’s basically (stated informally, sure) the legal standard.


Calling all cops ‘racists’ indiscriminately and promoting an image of police as violent trigger-happy thugs who kill innocent black people is exactly what set the stage for violence.

The aim of propaganda is to elicit an emotional reaction. WaPo and other media did a great job at inciting violent reaction, riots that lasted for months, fed primarily by the media and amplified by facebook and Twitter.

Statistically US police to seem to be trigger-happy thugs compared to just about anywhere else in the West.

Asking for an end to qualified immunity isn't indicting all police officers.

I find the ACAB movement unhelpful, to be clear.

Does your definition of the West include Latin America? Because law enforcement in Latin America kill far, far more people than law enforcement in the US.

In the US (pop 330M), law enforcement kills about 1000 people per year (about 34 people per 10M pop per year). [0]

In Honduras (pop 9.1M), law enforcement kills about 40 people per 10M pop per year [1]

In the Dominican Republic (pop 10.7M), law enforcement kills about 130 people per 10M pop per year [1]

In Brazil (pop 210M), law enforcement kills about 275 people per 10M pop per year [1]

In Jamaica (pop 2.9M), law enforcement kills about 470 people per 10M pop per year [1]

In Nicaragua (pop 6.2M), law enforcement kills about 530 people per 10M pop per year [1]

In El Salvador (pop 6.4M), law enforcement kills about 950 people per 10M pop per year [1]

In Venezuela (pop 29M), law enforcement kills about 1830 people per 10M pop per year [1]

[0] https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/investigations/polic...

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_killings_by_law_enforc...

> Does your definition of the West include Latin America?

Wikipedia's does not.[1]

Also from the info you provided, it seems like US police are only 20% less violent than Honduran police. This is despite Honduras having the 5th highest murder rate in the world - which presumably means Honduran police deal with violent criminals far more often than American police.[2] That's pretty wild!

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_world

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intention...

> Does your definition of the West include Latin America?


In that case, you're comparing the US, a country with extremely lax gun control laws and the resulting greatly increased threat to police safety, to countries with far more stringent gun control. I'm a homicide researcher in Chicago. There were over 4000 shootings and nearly 800 homicides in my city last year, and I've seen footage from a lot of them, including a lot of completely justified police shootings. Calling officers "trigger-happy thugs" ignores the reality of policing in a country where the frequency of encountering someone carrying a firearm is so high.

That being said, somehow the Newark Police Department(in Newark, New Jersey's biggest city, and about 50 homicides per year) went all of 2020 without any of any officers firing a single shot (outside of training and firearm qualification contexts, I assume) [0].

[0] https://bronx.news12.com/newark-police-no-officer-fired-a-si...

How did correctly indicating that us police are unusually violent set the stage for an attack, by various groups, including police officers, on elected officials and the capitol?

Yes! Thank you! And now the same politicians and reporters who said that are pretending to care for the police hurt in this riot and talking about how important law enforcement is.

Forgive me for believing that law enforcement protecting family businesses is 1000x more important than law enforcement protecting politicians.

EDIT: love the downvotes from people who believe torching family businesses, often immigrant ones, is cool! I'm telling you guys keep downvoting. You really look like the good guys.

What is wrong with you? Literally nobody is saying that.

Holding police accountable is something we should all get behind. Whatever it is you think the "other side" supports sounds like something you picked up from Breitbart. Get real man.

I agree we should hold police accountable, which is why I voted for whatever the BLM protestors asked for in my city of Portland. When they protested, I supported them. When they harassed mayor wheeler, I supported them.

When they started destroying local businesses, I didn't support them. I posted once on my next door to please let's all remain peaceful and stop the destruction of local small businesses, and was met with immediate condemnations of being racist. I got so many hate messages, despite being brown myself, that I eventually left next door, out of fear of doxxing.

When BLM then went and tagged Pelosi and McConnell's homes, I cheered them on. I don't mind seeing people harass politicians. I just don't want them destroying private citizen's stuff, or killing them when they defend it.

And I don't read Breitbart. I read Mother Jones and the New Yorker, and sometimes I read Breitbart when left wing people get outraged by their articles.

By "insurrection" you mean an actual deliberate years-long effort to replace everyone in positions of power with those loyal to you, repeatedly calling into doubt the outcome of a fair election, manipulating people into attacking your opposition, while preventing appropriate security measures then leaving them helpless for 4 hours when under assault.

Do you really need the quotes?

Facebook should be receiving some of the same scrutiny parler did. Improve moderation or get out

Unlike Parler, Facebook hosts its own metal. Beyond that it even owns its own domain registrar, CDN, and CA authority. There's no feasible way to deplatform it. (A good thing IMO, I just wish that same rock solid resistance to censorship was available to everybody.)

Probably doesn't feel like a good thing when you're hiding under your bed, hoping the angry mob will tire of searching, and move on with their machetes to the next village.

Which of the mobs?

Any of them. When you're hiding under your bed, it doesn't matter which mob it is.

He could be referring to how Facebook was used in the Rohingya genocide, which they admitted to over two years ago:


It was a made-up example. I suppose I combined the Rohingyan and Rwandan genocides. FB had nothing to do with the latter, of course.

Unless Zuckerburg has a time machine I'd have to agree with you.

Would be pretty easy for Apple and Google to remove them from stores

Is it not integrated into their mobile OSs?

Not to mention its use for SSO.

> Is it not integrated into their mobile OSs?

No? Some Android phones ship with it pre-installed, but that's it.

If they don't moderate better, I'm sure Apple would love to use that as an excuse to remove FB from its stores. If Apple thought they could get away with it, they would. And they probably could get away with it if FB provided them with a solid enough pretext.

FB is probably praying that the Inauguration goes off without a hitch, or that's the deathnell for the light content moderation regime of FB.

I’ve reported so many comments that are clearly TOS breaking (such as ones saying it’s ok to be violent against politicians who failed us (or even ones saying one of them should be shot)), but they say they “don’t violate their community standards”. It’s garbage. And when you “appeal”, they say “no, we looked at it again, and it’s still ok”. I’ve given up on hoping FB moderation improves. They need to be smacked down hard. What good is “community standards” if they’re not enforced?

Instagram, interestingly, it a lot more heavy handed (still not great though). Joan Cornella[0], who makes surrealist(?) comic strips, has posted on his IG story about his posts being removed for “violence” or whatever.

[0]: https://instagram.com/sirjoancornella

Probably more luck on reporting pictures with nipples.

Nope. Facebook (including Instagram) are huge sales drivers for Apple. Millions of customers buy new devices every year primarily to use those social networks. Apple isn't stupid enough to cut that off just because a tiny minority of people are upset about some fringe Facebook posts.

You're misunderstanding. Apple doesn't care about FB driving sales, people would by Apple devices FB or no FB. Apple doesn't care about Pro-Trump loonies. (Or rather, they only care that the Pro-Trump loonies give them a pretext.)

What they care about is the opportunity shift more content from the control of large competitors, to content that is centered and dependent on their devices.

I'll give you a for instance, have you ever wondered why they are so hesitant to allow other providers to link in to their messaging games tech? They're slowly moving into these more social networking type areas, and very few consumers are even noticing. For consumers they just think, "Hey! look what my iphone does now!"

If you think Apple needs the money FB generates for them more than they want the money they can generate for themselves, you're fooling yourself.

In short, with Apple, it's not about social good, it's about money. They don't care about your cause, nor your enemy's. They care about gaining greater control over more and more revenue streams. If they can use social good to justify that revenue grab, all the better. Anti trust law is what keeps Apple in line, not their FB partnership.

No that's not how it works. Apple will never give up the hardware sales driven by billions of Facebook users worldwide. Apple will bend over backwards and make exceptions to their rules in order to keep Facebook, at least until users switch to different social network.

As I said, if you believe FB drives Apple sales, you're misguided. Apple is not your friend, and they are certainly no friend of FB. (FB is not your friend either, but that's a separate issue.)

If FB was shut down tomorrow, people would still go to their Apple stores the day after. That's just reality.

ISPs can ban it on the consumer end.

for science, we did this at work by blocking facebook at the firewall. the employee's started murmoring about facebook being down, until someone smart enough tried it out on their BYOD. eventually, the mob got large enough and vocal enough that it was forced to be reverted. we wanted to see if productivity would increase with lack of access. however, it actually went down as people stopped working completely to start complaining about the jack booted IT decisions.

Apple and Google can remove it from their app stores. The content peddled on Facebook is vile and, as this article points out, dangerous.

Maybe Intel and AMD could be pressured into not selling them CPUs. You aren’t censorship resistant until you can fab your own chips.

While I get that you’re joking, couldn’t Facebook exist for literally decades at their current scale (or near it if stuff breaks) just on the metal they already own?

Or on used chips!

Apple and Google could effectively de-platform them in a day.

could they? their .com site would still work. their .onion site would still work. sure, people would bitch about not having native app any more, but unless Apple/Googs rolled an OS update to block specific .com traffic, then people could still access it via website.

Apple and Google are already facing antitrust action. Politically they can't afford to make an enemy of Facebook right now.

It is.

Here Biden talks about revoking Section 230 because it shields FB from liability for the stuff that it helps spread: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/01/17/opinion/joe-b...

> [Zuckerberg] knows better. And you know, from my perspective, I’ve been in the view that not only should we be worrying about the concentration of power, we should be worried about the lack of privacy and them being exempt, which you’re not exempt. [The Times] can’t write something you know to be false and be exempt from being sued. But he can. The idea that it’s a tech company is that Section 230 should be revoked, immediately should be revoked, number one. For Zuckerberg and other platforms.

More discussion about the difference between the Democrat and Republican objections to 230 - but that they both have some - is here https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/how-joe-... among other places.

Facebook invented Trump. Twitter was his big broadcast medium, but the “movement” was born there.

Bernie was similar but didn’t have the appeal to the dumb and old.

Yeah Bernie took the young and dumb crowd.

They don’t vote!

Why are we letting Twitter off the hook when it was literally his biggest megaphone? Is it because Twitter is popular with liberals?

Without saying anything at all about what is and is not appropriate censorship policy there is a significant difference between facebook and twitter.

Twitter is all in public. I don't need a twitter account to be able to read posts from any twitter account. [1][2]

Facebook is private. Given I have no account I can't see any posts on facebook at all. Facebook can target the mentally unstable with incendiary, racist, sexist, violent and awful content /in/ /secret/. Whether by ads or through groups or similar. You have no idea what privately broadcasted communication is happening there at all. You probably have no idea of the nature of something as simple as political advertisements targeting those of a different political persuasion. None at all. It's dark to all of us.

These are two quite different ways of broadcasting. You may wish to regulate communication on both or one but not the other or neither. Unless it's neither you favour it seems unlikely that the same regulation and enforcement is appropriate for each of these things.

[1] Locked accounts on twitter don't appear to be a significantly used thing. Will obviously update that opinion in the light of better information, eg if it turns out that violent groups coordinate and recruit using locked twitter accounts. I don't believe much like that to be happening at the moment.

[2] Without anything more than a browser you can read for example, Glenn Greenwald's latest twitter post at time of writing. https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1349514741358669824 Then agree, disagree, decide if he's a russian spy or a principled journalist focused on social justice, brilliant or a moron, or just right or wrong on just this one thing or you may decline to form a view. It's not secret. It's not communication happening behind your back that you don't know exists. (This particular post is also obviously not incitement to violence).

Nah, it’s a broadcast medium, not a community. Twitter is awful too, just for different reasons.

Huh, the stupid was there before Candidate Trump (before that, he was just some fuckwit from New York hanging out with Epstein), remember Palin and the Tea Party? And the birthers who could never be satisfied with any kind of certificate?

Although, Palin came along in 2008. Twitter got popular in 2007 and Facebook opened to the public in 2006, the iPhone was introduced in 2007 and with it the always-connected world. I guess social media did accelerate the destruction of civilization..

You mean a site that enables event coordination and sharing as well as private conservative groups might be culpable alongside a site that has neither of those things? Color me shocked.

This Democrats vs Republicans story can go down to some low-level stuff. Some of the people "won" in recent decades. They typically live in city, having higher income, enjoying good life and the new technologies. And they have the view points that the others have never had.

Let's say, people in cities are more willing to use EV car. People in small city / rural area are less motivated because of weaker infrastructure. This is unfair to ask the people in small city to make this change if they are not provided enough help :-/

I am afraid people in two sides are getting more divided and more extreme. Don't forget based on the vote count, it is still a 50:50 but not 90:10 fight.

Seems at least a little unfair. I don't blame the paper company if someone writes a letter i find repungent.

Facebook is more analogous to the publisher or distributor, though.

I don't particularly blame mail carriers either. I blame the people who sent the mail.

On the other hand, if the mail carrier looked at the content of the message and through some algorithm decided that everyone on your street might want to see it (or more accurately, that if everyone on your street saw it, it might boost their advertising revenue) and put it in every mailbox they could, I think they would shoulder some blame.

I was thinking of 'distributor' in the sense of supplier. Even so, I think a postal service has some obligation. Let's say someone were to send me a poorly camouflaged mail-bomb. I wouldn't expect my postal worker to just toss it on my front porch with an 'eh, not my problem!'

I feel like the real issue is that the President of the United States was giving them marching orders. The platform that they happened to use is secondary.

How? (Not a trolling question)

Edit for clarity: How did the president give marching orders?

I'm going to assume you are serious, so there was a really good bestof on Reddit that explained the way Trump communicates very well.


If you expect me to read anything from r/politics with any level of seriousness...but aside from that...

Okay, he lied a lot (A LOT!), and ultimately turned up the temperature in the room, but at no time did he say "go invade the capitol". In fact in the last speech right before the event he mentioned that "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard." The key word being peacefully. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he's been voted out. But let's tell the truth.

I mean, that's like saying: "C'mon he lit a match. Matches can't burn down houses, that's crazy talk. Look how small that fire is!"

Okay, but let's set a consistent standard then: all the rioting and looting over the summer should be blamed on politicians who didn't condemn them and in actuality pushed protesting over COVID lock downs and the shooting of Steve Scalise is the fault of Bernie Sanders. All of which of course is insane and should not happen.

I don't remember Dem politicians lying for years about how the police had children locked up in pizza shops (Republicans get to own this now that they ran and had elected a full-on QAnon congresswoman, Marjorie Taylor Greene), how much police hate America, how much the police are stealing from you, how much the police want to destroy America, how the police are un-American, how the police are socialists trying to turn America into Venezuela. And then suggesting they take a stroll to downtown Seattle. You know, for some peaceful protest.

Frankly if they had, I'd agree with you wholeheartedly. I've watched a ton of Fox over the last few years, and what the Republicans and also very explicitly Donald Trump are saying, is genuinely terrifying.

I wish the Democrats would speak out about how 0.7% of America is in prison right now - the world's leading jailer per capita, how the long-term recidivism rate is over 80%, about civil asset forfeiture turning small-town cops into literal highway robbers to fund their departments, about how private prison contracts have minimum occupancy clauses, about how socioeconomic dysfunction leads minorities to interact with police 7X as much as white folks. How police shoot 10X as many people per capita in America as in Canada. They didn't say a thing early on. If anything, some of this anger towards the police came from Democrats not saying what they need to early on. Not doing what they need to early on.

From that perspective, I do believe Democrats share some of the blame.


And from the same speech "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard."

He also said:

"You don't concede when there's theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore."

"We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn't happen."

"If you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore"

He can try to play it both ways, but the truth is that he added fuel to the fire he's been feeding for months.

Spoken like a true mob boss. Imply violence, hostile takeovers, gaslight the entire nation about the election being stolen and no longer having a "real America" left if they lose and then sprinkle a dash of truth to fall back when the s** hits the fan.

I'm exhausted of trumpers trying to defend an American traitor and downplay his actions.

These are games they're great at playing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P55t6eryY3g

It's an amazing way to build a resilient, decentralized organization with no clear leader and plausible deniability. It also makes it great at attracting and indoctrinating members. Win!

The downside is that your pawns may not succeed in executing your coup even when you've taken out all the roadblocks for them due to lack of organization and focus.

Phew. For now.

In any case, the US will continue to abdicate its throne and cede global power and influence to China as it has done for the last 10 years. The country that used to provide stability to the world has nearly half its population ready to condone a civil war. It's time to learn Mandarin.

Turns out both democracy and Leninism have the same Achilles heel: the assumption of good faith and vulnerability to internal hostile actors.


I mean if we're going to cherry pick statements then this is going nowhere.

It's not cherry picking. Trump has been tirelessly emphasizing the same things in the months since the election.

If you don't mind reading something in the liberal media, the Wall Street Journal had an article "Trump and His Allies Set the Stage for Riot Well Before January 6" that might shed some light [1].

[1] https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-and-his-allies-set-the-st...

Wait, the WSJ is 'liberal' media now? I thought they were as bejowled-old-conservative as you could get.

Depending on which branch of conservatism you subscribe to, it very well may be. I’ve seen many conservatives heavily imply (or outright say) that even Fox is untrustworthy now that they dared say something negative about Trump. And even before that, Fox, RT, Breitbart, etc. were the “go to” conservative outlets. Never WSJ. Of course, my experience may not be yours.

I get the impression that `tzs is being sarcastic with that adjective.


If he actually said anything directly calling for violence CNN and MSNBC would have had that clip on repeat for the last week.

Parler got destroyed and fb gets what? A slap on the wrist

Facebook self-hosts and answers only to themselves. Parler could have done the same if they wanted to host questionable content

Facebook wasn't removed from apple and google play stores.

The majority of Facebook users are not trying to use it to undermine an election result or throw over a government. That's the difference.

Maybe not the majority, but what about total raw numbers of users? Parler was tiny compared to FB. If only 0.01% of FB users were trying to undermine/overthrow the election that's probably a lot more people than the total on Parler.

Does Facebook moderate posts explicitly inciting violence?

Nope. I’ve reported many of them and they say the posts don’t violate their “community standards”.

Parler had about 10 million users. You just painted 5+ million of them, which would be the majority of users you eluded to, with a very wide brush. Do you really believe that?

More Facebook users than Parler call for violent and government overthrowing.

That's true, but Apple & Google can remove or decide not to remove any app for any reason. I don't think their decision to remove parler and leave Facebook is really all that surprising. Parler could have avoided destruction by being web-first and self hosted. They should have recognized the hostile (unfair) environment they were operating in

I have my problems with Facebook, but Parler didn't even TRY to keep violence inciting content away. Their solution at the very end was to hope some people would volunteer. That's simply not enough. Facebook doesn't do ENOUGH, but you can at least tell they're trying.

I don't really think they are in the same category.

Correct. FB is far more dangerous than Parler ever was.

No shit. It wasn't some broken, barely adopted start up that created this mess. It was the largest social platform in the world where this insanity spread for years. Break up GAFA with antitrust laws.

Social media companies created a mess -> break up Apple and Amazon? What?


A confounding variable better explains the simultaneous action of tech companies in this situation--the confounding variable being a violent insurrection. This is just more conspiracy theory nonsense. People reacting simultaneously to an emergency doesn't mean there's a conspiracy, it's what people do when there's an emergency. If you want to make an argument of conspiracy, particularly in this case where simultaneous action is expected, then you should present actual evidence of conspiracy.

That’s about employment poaching. Not conspiring to deplatform conservatives. Mainly because they’re not conspiring; just jumping on the band wagon after Twitter did started.

That also ignores that they’re not banning conservatives, but conservatives spouting things that violate the TOS (such as saying what happened at Congress was justified because it’s “our tax dollars”).

They didn't ban the dictators and warlords who preach genocidal rhetoric every day. They didn't ban the constant death threats from teenagers against each other and random celebrities they felt like canceling that week. They didn't ban the people who coordinated to loot a drug store in my neighborhood even though I reported them. They didn't ban rioters in Chicago who live streamed torching businesses. They didn't ban people who were literally convicted of murder.

But they sure got together fast to put up billboards in destroyed neighborhoods bragging about how they helped elevate protests. And they sure were proud of coordinating against right wing wackos in DC.

TOS are never enforced consistently and GAFA is a neoliberal technocratic echo chamber that feigns social progressivism in order to coordinate anti-labor, anti-speech actions.

We've banned this account for using HN primarily for political battle. That's not what this site is for and it destroys what it is for, so we have to be proactive about this.

If you don't want to be banned, you're welcome to email hn@ycombinator.com and give us reason to believe that you'll follow the rules in the future. They're here: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html.

Why would you leave Twitter out?

Frankly, its time the coastal populations to start moving in-land and working remotely....amazing a what a small population shift could do for our politics

Not just population. Shifting economic activity to the interior would be incredibly beneficial.

Perhaps after moving, those people would realize that the people in-land are happier and have better run societies? :shrug:

The most peaceful "insurrection" in history and Parler is the sacrificial lamb, because they're conservative and therefore an easy target. Twitter, Parler's direct competitor, gets away with de-platforming major figures like the President, though they keep the account of the head of Iran, a state that is at this moment on the verge of creating an atomic bomb with the stated purpose of annihilating one of our closest allies.

Apple and Google, with control over 99% of the app industry, ganged up and eliminated the Parler app. When a tiny number of companies collude to destroy the competition, it is known as a "trust", children. And colluding to destroy a company is known as "racketeering".

The Biden Administration is hiring several people from these companies: Jessica Hertz of Facebook and Emily Horne of Twitter.

It is highly unlikely he will turn around now and push the Justice Dept. to go after these companies. He's glad they banned Trump; it benefited him. Now he has to pay them back, if he knows what's good for him.

The important fact that this community is lost on, is the fact that it doesn't really matter what Facebook, Google or Twitter are actually responsible for.

The fact that Silicon Valley overwhelmingly supports the Democratic Party - at North Korean Levels of popular support (search twitter on the fec.gov [1]) - and the Democratic Party is now responsible for regulating Silicon Valley makes it chilling when the demands for censorship by the Democratic Party are followed.

The Democrats have the power now and they will use it to suppress any opinion they disagree with.

[1] https://www.fec.gov/introduction-campaign-finance/how-to-res...

It's too bad that Republicans can't change their platform at all to become more popular so that Democrats have competition.

Republicans have a duty to their nation to provide a counter balance of power and they cannot use dogmatism as an excuse for staying put.

The Electoral College and Senate are the worst thing for the Republican party and the country because it makes "radicalize a minority of the population" a viable strategy compared to "offer something to everyone."

I'm in the camp that the Republicans are toast. The people in power today will never give it up. Especially with such power.

Would you please stop using HN primarily for political battle? That is the line at which we ban accounts, because it destroys what this site is supposed to be for, namely curious conversation on topics of intellectual interest.

If you wouldn't mind reviewing https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and sticking to the rules when posting here, we'd be grateful.

> I’m in the camp that the Republicans are toast. The people in power today will never give it up.

The people in power today in the Federal government are the Republicans, with the exception of the House of Representatives.

Except for the Senate run-off and of course the White House, the Republicans actually were quite successful in the 2020 election; they took back 9-10 seats in the House, flipped one Senate seat, and won many state and local elections.

It may be that the people in power will make it harder in the future for the opposition party to win, but at a grassroots level there is still substantial traction for a moderate/conservative party.

“there is still substantial traction for a moderate/conservative party” which the Republican Party has actively been moving away from since Newt Gingrich intensified the obstructionist power politics that both parties are on rails about.

Trump foreign policy was to stay out of armed conflict and that's about as moderate a policy as you can get.

Which is an atypical position for a member of his party, nor does it contradict the rhetorical and political hardening that had taken place since the 90’s.

Aren't the Republicans in power today? Who else can they blame for losing it, but themselves?

They knew who Trump was all along [1], but they stuck by him nevertheless. There are bound to be consequences for that kind of poor judgment.

1: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/lindsey-graham-nominate-tr...

There's less of a media monoculture today than there was in an 80s and 90s, when the Republican perception of media persecution and bias really started to accelerate.

Basically all of the resulting right-wing media empires that were built still exist!

I'm unsympathetic to the "we need a right-wing social network where our death threats don't have to get moderated" argument, so let's see if a few more attempts that are in more good faith get blocked by Apple before I care too much there...

The problem with how far these big chunks of their voter base have gone into extremism is that it really undermines their complaints about being treated unfairly. If I'd predicted even a year ago that people would get shot storming the capital over unsubstantiated claims of fraud that Trump himself had stirred for the better part of a year I'd have been mocked even by "moderate" Republicans as having "trump derangment syndrome" and told I was being unfair to Trump by assuming he would act so badly... and yet here we are. At some point we have to start dealing with Trump, and his base, for who they actually are now, not just in idealistic terms of "Repubs and Dems are the same, just on opposite sides."

Republicans won an election and almost won this last one, they aren’t really that impopular, or at least not impopular enough to pretend they don’t exist

The current situation can accurately be described as minority rule. Republican voters are greatly over-represented at every level of government. They get more state representatives and senators per voter than average; more representatives and senators in DC; more presidents; more judge appointments.

In practice that means everyone else - voters who don’t vote republicans - are getting screwed out of fair representation.

And the trend is only accelerating because each incremental increase in power is leveraged to entrench minority rule. For example:

- Conservative supreme court suspended the Voting Rights Act, freeing states to deploy previously illegal voter suppression tactics against Black voters.

- Senate majority leveraged to pack federal courts with partisan judges, making it harder to challenge voter suppression in court.

- State legislature majorities leveraged to deploy extreme gerrymandering, further entrenching unrepresentative seats in the US house of representatives.

- State legislature majorities leveraged to weaken voter protection laws, and lower the requirements for transparency in campaign financing. This in turn entrenches an electoral advantage in both state and federal elections (which are run by states).

- Leverage state executive power to further weaken voter suppression. A recent example of this is the 2018 gubernatorial election in Georgia, where the Republican secretary of state was also a candidate, and purged record numbers of voters from the rolls in majority democrat districts; warned the public about a “suspected hacking attempt by the democratic party” on the official government website; oversaw record numbers of voters turned away in democratic districts; etc.

In summary, the data shows that Republicans are simply not popular enough to justify their current hold of power. They owe their victories to a systematic strategy of minority rule, which is inherently anti-democratic.

And yet, the top 10 posts on Facebook yesterday:

1. Franklin Graham 2. Dan Bongino 3. Fox News 4. Ben Shapiro 5. Dan Bongino 6. Ben Shapiro 7. Dan Bongino 8. TWICE 9. The New York Times 10. Ben Shapiro

Source: https://twitter.com/facebookstop10/status/134939331795225395...

If FB was overwhelmingly left leaning, why are almost all of its most popular posts from right wing outlets?

You’re extrapolating a lot here. Silicon Valley employees support Democrats, therefore any censorship Silicon Valley firms do is at the orders of the Democratic Party? Show the evidence of that.

Ignoring what the (largely powerless) ground level employees of the tech giants do, the chief execs of these companies lobby both Democrats and Republicans. No matter who is in power, money talks. I suspect that’s why even though there’s a huge amount of evidence that folks like Ben Shapiro have violated FB rules for gaming the feed there has been no action taken. FB has spent the last four years courting Republicans, now they’ll court Democrats.

That’s the real problem but it’s certainly easier to pretend it’s a party-specific problem that would solved if only the other people were in charge.

> The Democrats have the power now and they will use it to suppress any opinion they disagree with.

Quite the hyperbole without any evidence. Where is the evidence that they have demanded for censorship? Or have done so in the past where a democrat has censored a social media website? Absolutely none.

Countless Democrats directly called for censorship, even before the alleged incitement. [1]

[1] https://www.theverge.com/2020/11/4/21549859/twitter-suspend-...

Just one account, for Donald Trump. That's it. That too because of the hateful content that was being posted.

Have they called out for censorship of things that were critical of them? No? Did they have a committee to investigate that?

Did they meet for dinners with Facebook executives? Oh wait, the Republicans were the one that did that.

There's overwhelming support in an irrational loyalty to a person or brand sense and then there's overwhelming support in the most people would choose a mediocre meal over eating poo sense.

The latter doesn't seem to be a problem and also looks to be the case here.

I think big tech is heading for a rough, dark time, once trump is out and vaccines are widely available I think a large majority of folks will not be glued to their screens consuming media. I know for myself I plan on taking a huge break from news. Expect netflix use to drop like a rock, along with amazon usage, people will be excited to go into stores again. Facebook is looking at antitrust issues regardless of what happens, (FTC, every state is suing it). Also I think you will have investors cycle money out of that sector, especially if the economy picks up and Biden/the Fed decide to raise rates.

Partisan support for certain industries and business interests is not new. Are you also up in arms that extractive/energy industries lean Republican?

That’s a bold claim. Care to provide evidence to support it?

The evidence is hosted on Parler. Oh, wait.

I'm exhausted of these conspiracy theories of "the other side doesn't like me", and offering absolutely zero proof/evidence of their claims. "Somebody did something I don't agree with, so there must be a hidden agenda." The problem is that anyone that believes in these conspiracies will absolutely not listen to counter-evidence. To them, it is all just part of the cover up. I'm not saying give up trying to counter them, but it is absolutely tiring.

Edit: Hit submit too soon


middleclick - Your original comment was fairly clearly against HN guidelines for posting. Your comment about votes is also against their guidelines (I feel for you I've broken this from time to time myself).

If you'd commented on the substance of the person's argument instead of attacking them personally based on ideology, I think your comment would have done much better. You could have even presented evidence from the persons twitter feed on this topic and used that to further clarify their opinion and how you felt their opinion in more context was wrong.

this is HN - contrarians don't need to love Trump to love complaining and arguing

"The Democrats have the power now and they will use it to suppress any opinion they disagree with" - that's quite a leap. Isn't it Trump and the republicans who want to repel Section 230 so that all websites are forced to moderate content? Let's not forget foxnews - the most watched cable news in the United States. It has been spewing republican propaganda since 1996, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

Democrats want to repeal Section 230 for the opposite reason as the Republicans, e.g. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/01/17/opinion/joe-b... where Biden directly calls for this.

Not that that helps the original poster's point. The Democrats have been mad at FB and Twitter for much longer than the Republicans have!

The thing is the websites are not moderate fairly thus editorial decisions are made. "Hang Mike Pence" is allowed to trend on Twitter but "1984" is not allowed to tend on Twitter. Facebook & Twitter stream violent acts & allow violent rhetoric from certain political groups but not others.

Fox News has been moving left & was the first network to call Arizona for Biden very early as a suppression tactic. Conservatives are moving to Newsmax, OAN, & independent journalist outfits.

> Fox News has been moving left & was the first network to call Arizona for Biden very early as a suppression tactic.

This is nonsensical. How is a call after after voting has ended a "suppression tactic"?

The talking point you're probably looking for is "polls were skewed intentionally as a suppression tactic" but even that's not so compelling given 2012's miss in most of the late polling in favor of Romney.

> How is a call after after voting has ended a "suppression tactic"?

The call was before voting had ended. Does it make sense to you now?

> The talking point you're probably looking for is "polls were skewed intentionally as a suppression tactic"

Given widespread distrust of pollsters, I'm not sure effective polls are at suppression. Biased polling are effective at propping up certain media narratives.

> The call was before voting had ended

No, it wasn’t. AZ polls closed at 7pm local time, Fox’s call was ~11:20pm EDT, which is 20 minutes after any polling locations in the Navajo Nation (which uses daylight time) closed, and 80 minutes after those in the rest of the state closed.

This should be worryingly obvious, with former Democratic Party staffers filling FAANG ranks, e.g. Andy Stone who is now Facebook’s policy communications manager:


And former FAANG execs filling the Biden transition team, e.g. Zaid Zaid, Christopher Upperman, Rachel Lieber, Deon Scott:



>The fact that Silicon Valley overwhelmingly supports the Democratic Party - at North Korean Levels

Silicon Valley overwhelmingly supports Democratic politicians. But Silicon Valley is also one of the most welcoming ears for the kinds of reforms that would upend the current party system, to wit proportional representation and non-plurality voting. That's a pretty big asterisk: nobody in North Korea can get away with promoting reforms that would destroy the party system!

It's also worth noting that the reason that Silicon Valley appears to, by their silence, always support the status quo, is because the tech companies know you hate them. Having the motto "Don't be evil" implies an understood risk of being evil. FANGMOAT knows that if they support any dramatic reform, there is a severe risk of a backlash effect that reduces support for that reform.

As such, the idea that tech companies serve as a power projection mechanism for the Democratic Party is in my opinion a coincidence of temporarily aligned motives and not a true ideological alliance. Tech company employees support the Democrats for a variety of reasons, but, in particular, many become pro-immigrant by meeting a few of them and most understand that climate science is not a conspiracy.

could knowing they are hated be a chicken or egg problem, maybe they are hated because they know what they are doing is supporting entrenched interests while pretending to be virtuous.

No, tech companies aren't disliked for their politics. That's like saying they're disliked for their style of dress (suits were as much a symbol of the detached elite as hoodies are today!). It's their money and their influence on the wider culture by way of spending. It's practically guaranteed to create resentment regardless of what the preferences are simply because it is inevitably a force being exerted on people's lives.

Then of course there are the actual harmful effects of social media on human beings as distinguished from supposed communist infiltration. That generates plenty of resentment as well.

Then there's the fact that in many cases tech companies make products that are ultimately used by employers to track and control their employees ("business intelligence") and which serve as opaque arbiters of things like paychecks, time clocks and tax forms. This isn't Google, of course, but tech companies serve as a mascot for the digital revolution at large, hence the mythology surrounding Bill Gates. Many if not most of the annoyances of computerization get blamed on the tech industry, fairly or not.

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