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DDoS-Guard to forfeit internet space occupied by Parler (krebsonsecurity.com)
183 points by todsacerdoti 43 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 300 comments



This targeting of the infrastructure layer is leaving a really bad taste in mouth.

I agree with the EFFs conclusion for most part here. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/01/beyond-platforms-priva...

Like sure this DDOS provider may not have enough of a presence in belize anymore to hold those IPs, but it's an IP block, probably more than just Parler is using them. Also tons of companies open shell offices for domain names and IPs. Heck there are even services that will provide just that for you. So it's pretty common, so this seems like pretty selective enforcement.


This doesn't look like targeting of Parler; it looks instead like Parler further raised the notoriety of DDoS-Guard, who was improperly claiming IPv4 space from LACNIC.


Yes, according to the article the complaint was lodged before Parler moved to DDoS-Guard.


And it was due to hosting well known terrorist organizations was my understanding.


Wouldn’t Parler just be able to setup reverse proxies to conceal the true location of their hosting? All they would need is about 15 proxies throughout the world and then they could reverse proxy their network obviously latency would suffer. I find the witch hunt a little ridiculous and kind of disturbing since Google/aws/fb are basically choosing to destroy a company in front of the world.


Are you responding to the wrong comment? I do that every once in awhile. The whole point of my comment is that this isn't part of an effort to take Parler down.


> This targeting of the infrastructure layer is leaving a really bad taste in mouth.

The complained raised to LACNIC was a real one and once they investigated, it was no longer in relation to the content, but to their policies.

You may be in disagreement with that policy, but I personally believe it does make sense. There's a big shortage of IPV4, so it does makes sense that if you find out that they aren't used in your region, that you takes them out. Imagine how you would feel to be in the LACNIC region struggling to get a few IP to find out that Russian company got thousands of them from your region...

The strange thing though, is that they don't mentions anything about the actual infrastructure. Do they have the IP but used them in others regions? Or the mere fact that they weren't used locally was the issue? If I was LACNIC, I would have just required them to use local infrastructure, which I'm sure DDOS-Guard can do.


There might be a selective enforcement issue here?

If it turns out that lots of the IP address space is doled out based on semi-fraudulent claims like this (assuming that Guilmette's claim is correct that DDos-Guard doesn't really have a physical Latin American presence), but the only cases where the corresponding NIC takes action is when someone complains for content-motivated reasons, then... that's biased selective enforcement.

In principle, it would be like police enforcing certain traffic laws (say, about changing lanes or making a turn without signaling) much more strictly against black people than against white people.

And selective enforcement at the infrastructure level is much more serious than it happening at the edge level (see https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190712/14400642581/failu... for why this distinction is important).


I wonder if this is more of a case where a NIC will only take action if someone is motivated enough to do this level of research. So maybe less selective enforcement and more selective researcher attention?


Probably, yeah. This sort of fraud is pretty common. Sometimes it's caught when the IP space is used to send spam or host obviously illegal content (spam landing pages, botnet C&C, CP, drugs, etc), sometimes it's caught in other ways, like when a shady DDoS protection outfit uses it to host a high-profile web site.


> a shady DDoS protection outfit

Shady because they're Russians? Or shady because they're using a shell-company to achieve their goals?


Shady because of the customers they are serving, it sounds like.


Yeah. This doesn't seem to have to potential to go as badly wrong as a lot of other high-profile examples of selective enforcement. The fact that events can play out this way and seem exceptional (ie. happening only due to political motive) pretty much implies that IPv4 addresses are not really scarce yet and remain cheap enough that hardly anyone bothers to root out this kind of misbehavior. Which also means it should be easy to acquire replacement IP addresses from a more appropriate registrar.


The potential is only lower until people figure out that looking for irregularities in people's IP address allocation is a great way to deplatform people you don't like. I'd say that grace period is just about over.


That's assuming that using fraudulently acquired IP allocations is a normal and common occurrence. It is not. This is very distinctly abnormal.


I’m not trying to be argumentative but I don’t really see this as a net loss. In fact, I think it’s a positive for everyone. Fraudulently obtained IPs are bad for the overall health of the internet. It’s also bad for engineers - I don’t see how or even why you would want to build a resilient, high availability application on a fraudulently obtained IP. If anything, this will encourage clients to ask questions when they’re negotiating cloud hosting services and hell, we might even see contracts evolve to provide better protections for cloud users.


Fair enough. That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.


In companies such as these there is an absolute mountain of abuse to dig through, so as a researcher it is pretty normal to have all sorts of different reasons to devote more or less attention to a subject. Very routine things will see less scrutiny, whereas very objectionable things (think child porn, organisations responsible for bombings, ethnofascist rings, etc) will see a little more.

I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing, it's more or less inevitable so the focus should be to have the "very objectionable things" actually confined to a set that is sort of agreed upon.


>In principle, it would be like police enforcing certain traffic laws (say, about changing lanes or making a turn without signaling) much more strictly against black people than against white people.

This is easily reconciled if you distinguish between the public officials doing the selective enforcing, and private citizens selectively deciding who to do research on. Let's say 20% of waiters at a restaurant under-report their tips to the IRS. It would be objectionable if the IRS decided to target one guy in particular because the agent had a grudge on him, but it's far less objectionable if the IRS acted on an anonymous report that the guy was evading taxes. If anything, it would be more objectionable if the IRS didn't act, and said "well 20% of waiters are evaders as well, so it would be unfair to investigate that guy because we don't investigate the rest".


> This is easily reconciled if you distinguish between the public officials doing the selective enforcing, and private citizens selectively deciding who to do research on.

So you're fine with private employers who do criminal background checks on black applicants but not white applicants? Or a third party entity that does background checks on all black people (and only black people) and then submits the results to employers whenever they apply for a job?


Being black is a protected class. Being an asshole is not.


> Being black is a protected class. Being an asshole is not.

So you're fine with employers doing criminal background checks against Democrats but not Republicans? Or just investigating which one you are and then making the hiring decision directly based on it?

We're talking about the principle, not the law. The law can be changed. What constitutes a "protected class" isn't in the constitution.


“Being an asshole” (and having and expressing opinions more broadly) is a protected class too, but the protections are weaker; it’s only government actors who are directly bound by such protections.


Glad you called it for what it is.

The fact is that LACNIC, AFRINIC, etc. are actually contractually bound to investigate allegations like these and to follow up on them, no matter where they come from. They're doing the job they are supposed to. To bring racial qualities into a contractual dispute, ouch GP.


It's actually an irrelevant point, because we're talking about entities in a foreign country where US law on what constitutes a protected class doesn't apply.

If a racist organization in South Africa started doing compliance checks on only black-owned businesses world-wide and providing the results to vendors, would you have companies everywhere discontinue doing business with black-owned businesses because they're "contractually bound to investigate allegations like these and to follow up on them, no matter where they come from"?


There is a step further to take, in this example, as the public regulator can decide whether or not to accept that they selectively enforce based on the bias in the tips they receive.

In the real example at hand, as long as the US government is happy with the de facto regulatory behavior of private individuals and organizations, they can maintain the status quo, perhaps at some cost of effort.

If this leads to justice at a low political and financial cost, then it is not necessarily a problem that defaults are selectively maintained, of course.


Attacking the capitol building got LOTS of attention by a lot of people. It was an extremely conspicuous, highly publicized crime. So yeah, folks are looking into the people involved, and their associates. Much of enforcement relies on the public to notice and report wrongdoing.


What about taking over neighbors burning government buildings and setting up your own government?


If you don't like the government, you make your own, no? How is it a crime? It's a suggested action.


> If you don't like the government, you make your own, no? How is it a crime?

Because the Insurrection Act of 1807 [1] says it is.

Less bluntly, the point of democracy is to give people peaceful means by which to affect their government. Storming the Capitol is not a peaceful mean.

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insurrection_Act_of_1807


The problem is that, in their heads, they were denied those peaceful means, so they think they're justified in resorting to violence as a last resort.

Their premise might be completely ridiculous, but the logic that follows is sound.

Then again, that line of thinking means the blame shifts from those doing the assaulting to those fabricating the accusations that justify it, which happens to be mostly users of precisely those platforms that got deleted.


If you get defrauded, blackmailed, whathaveyou, into committing a crime, it's still on your head. Yes, the fraudster bears some responsibility, but it's not like the folks who stormed the capitol had guns to their heads. They knowingly, willfully, deliberately, with pre-planning, broke the damned law.

Ironic how the folks involved are all "law and order" when it comes to most matters of policing but now that they're facing charges of sedition it's all "wait is it actually a crime if I believe that my righteous cause justifies violence?"


>but the only cases where the corresponding NIC takes action is when someone complains for content-motivated reasons

Can you name some examples of this where someone was fraudulently claiming IPs, but corresponding NICs refused to take action when provided evidence like in this case?


> the only cases where the corresponding NIC takes action is when someone complains for content-motivated reasons, then... that's biased selective enforcement.

I guess they just can't police 100% of their space, it just too big. Thus yeah it does make sense to only act once you get complains.

The fact that this time it was content-motivated change nothing to how it's enforced.

> In principle, it would be like police enforcing certain traffic laws (say, about changing lanes or making a turn without signaling) much more strictly against black people than against white people.

What? How? It more like the police answering to complains, which happens to be much more frequent against black people because of racism. Which definitely is the case right now. The solution would be to not answer to complains? Not really...

There was a complains raised, it was investigated, and they were found to be infringing on the policy. There was no selective enforcement.


I don't get it. Do people not read the article first ?

There's no "deplatforming" happening here. DDoS-Guard is using IPs from Belize (a country in latin america) using a shell company there. That's against the contactual obligations. So the Latin America IP association (lacnic) is simply reclaiming the fraudulently assigned IPs.

Some of these IPs were used by Parler.

Please read the article first ....


From the community guidelines:

> Please don't comment on whether someone read an article. "Did you even read the article? It mentions that" can be shortened to "The article mentions that."


Deleted - i was wrong


Your sarcasm detector is broken. Here's some context: https://krebsonsecurity.com/tag/ipv4leasing/


simply reclaiming the fraudulently assigned IPs.

I hope the island of Tuvalu reclaims all those .tv domains then, not to mention .io.


Tuvalu uses that domain as a significant source of income (Tuvalu is really really small) it is quite likely those domains are legally bought


> Tuvalu uses that domain as a significant source of income (Tuvalu is really really small) it is quite likely those domains are legally bought

Whilst true, it depends on a circular argument that the domain name registrant has a significant business presence in Tuvalu by virtue of paying for the domain, thus being entitled to a regional registration in the country in the first place (you could substitute Tuvalu by Tokelau and a bunch of others which make selling the domain to non-local entities, see it nicely visualized here [0]).

It used to really raise some hackles at ICANN and InterNic back in the day, but nowadays, after the gTLD floodgates have been opened - no one really cares anymore about the old regional rules.

[0] https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/nominet-prod/wp-content/u...


I always thought that those rules were at the discretion of the domain administrators. Are they actually externally imposed from ICANN or something else?

I know that my country (at least nominally) requires that its TDL is only used by citizens, residents or bussiness with "significant presence"; but that should be a choice each country makes.


It is not the case for most country-specific TLD's that you need to have a significant presence in those countries to get such a TLD. If anything, that is the exception.


That's current view on things, which has shifted quite a bit over the decades.

Pre-ICANN, back in in 1994 when Postel wrote RFC 1591 [0], there were only 5 domains used for global use (.com, .net, .org, .edu, .int), two special US-only domains (.gov, .mil) and the rest were ccTLDs. InterNic has been the primary registry these days, and it also operated the gTLDs of .com, .net, .edu directly, so it had commercial interest for the country-code delegations to stay local - this perceived conflict was one of the reasons why ICANN was eventually formed to take over the general oversight, and the first topic it had to tackle - before even being properly funded! - was the emergence of some countries that did sell their ccTLDs to other parties, especially as WIPO had some words to say in 'concern' over the bidding war around .tv and insisted that ccTLDs that operate as "open" should apply the same global rules as gTLDs [1] and some purchasers in the simlar sales proved "not to have local community support" and/or "not operated [ccTLD] in public interest" [2]

Even after the ICANN was formed, in the transition period the some of the MOU documents ccTLD registrar sent to ICANN used to contain a phrase which was clearly copied from an earlier era (phrase bears a little differences in spelling, but always using something like "meet the needs of the Local Internet Community"):

   [ccTLD manager] supports the concept of industry self regulation in the internet and therefore is also supportive of ICANN as the organization that performs the IANA function and consequently assures that this concept can work for benefit of all Internet stakeholders. At the same time to preserve this concept we believe that the policy and structure of the [ccTLD], *as any ccTLD, should be operated at a local level, to meet the needs of the Local Internet Community* within the framework of the relevant local laws. 
Check out e.g. UK exchange of letters from 2006 [3] for an example.

That being said - all of the above is only a bit of historical interest, as by now it is accepted that it is ok to operate ccTLD which accepts registrations from anywhere should your country wish it, as long as global rules are adhered to (to prevent stuff like "cocacola.cx") and there has been some clarification on the policies to make custom gTLDs a possibility.

[0] https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1591

[1] https://www.wipo.int/amc/en/processes/process1/report/finalr...

[2] https://archive.icann.org/en/cctlds/gac-statements-concernin...

[3] https://www.icann.org/en/about/agreements/cctlds/uk/nominet-...


But, this is about IP addresses, not domain names...


Well the issue with IP addressed is used to de-platform them.

Lots of rules are broken all the time and no one cares. Suddenly when people want to get rid of someone, rules are selectively enforced.


Except that's not the case here. It's not a "Parler" thing. It's a DDos-Guard. Parler happened to use one of the IPs ALLOCATED for them by DDos-Guard. Also, according to the article, DDos-Guard already gave them another IP.

So no, it's not a Parler thing.


Except that is the case here. Parler is getting censored by attacking anyone who has any part in keeping them online, like DDoS-Guard.

The message is clear: help them and we're coming for you. The result: they have a lot of trouble getting online.

> The pending disruption for DDoS-Guard and Parler comes compliments of Ron Guilmette, a researcher who has made it something of a personal mission to de-platform conspiracy theorist and far-right groups.


> The pending disruption for DDoS-Guard and Parler comes compliments of Ron Guilmette, a researcher who has made it something of a personal mission to de-platform conspiracy theorist and far-right groups.

While this may solve immediate problems (such as the planning of unlawful or otherwise socially harmful events), we should consider the long-term impacts of de-platforming. Does censorship, even if justified, fuel anger and distrust, potentially increasing social conflict in the long-term?

Is it possible to bring fringe groups back into the fold of peaceful civil discourse, or are we simply throwing up our hands and declaring that some percentage of the population must always have their speech regulated? (I suppose this question applies for both social groups and for individuals.)


> Does censorship, even if justified, fuel anger and distrust

Anger and distrust are sparked, stoked and fueled far more by personalities in media and politics who actively promote them than by de-platforming.

> Is it possible to bring fringe groups back into the fold of peaceful civil discourse

People organizing and advocating violence are not fringe groups. The paradox of tolerance applies here: You can't extend tolerance to those who advocate for intolerance without destroying tolerance in the process.


> The paradox of tolerance applies here: You can't extend tolerance to those who advocate for intolerance without destroying tolerance in the process.

I don't understand how this is a paradox. You can't extend tolerance to people who commit arson and murder, or e.g. refuse to hire black people because they're black.

You can let people say whatever they want, because then you can refute their arguments and refuse to implement their proposals.


> You can let people say whatever they want

Indeed, you can let them say whatever they want. But that doesn't mean that anyone else should or should not. It's not like there aren't companies and service providers willing to host the content.

> refuse to implement their proposals

There are real practical limits to free speech.

A "proposal" that is an incitement to organized violence is of the same kind as yelling "fire" in a crowded theater.

That is fundamentally different than a proposal to eliminate the estate tax, provide a universal basic income, or organizing to peacefully protest using civil disobedience.


> But that doesn't mean that anyone else should or should not. It's not like there aren't companies and service providers willing to host the content.

Isn't the service currently down?

> yelling "fire" in a crowded theater.

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/its-tim...

> A "proposal" that is an incitement to organized violence

But then you need not worry about what some website or service is doing because that is illegal and the police can arrest them for it.

Basically, a call to violence isn't information, it's action, like ordering a hit. The prohibited act is really the order, i.e. participation in a conspiracy to commit an act of violence, and the communication is only the evidence of it.

Compare mob boss who says "whack that guy" and goes to jail for it vs. news reporter who reports that mob boss ordered a hit, unintentionally informing a hit man who wasn't aware of the order. News reporter doesn't go to jail for that because their intent was only to communicate information, not enable the act of violence, even though they conveyed the same information and it had the same result.


> Isn't the service currently down?

They are working on getting it up and running under a Russian ISP, DDos-Guard.

https://www.cnet.com/news/parler-website-is-back-online-in-l...

If sites like Gab and its ilk can figure it out, so cab Parler.

> > yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. > https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/its-tim...

From that article:

"[In Brandenburg v. Ohio] the Court held that inflammatory speech--and even speech advocating violence by members of the Ku Klux Klan--is protected under the First Amendment, unless the speech "is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action"."

> But then you need not worry about what some website or service is doing because that is illegal and the police can arrest them for it.

You don't need to worry, but the website is well within their rights to worry about what people are posting to their site and take action to limit that if they see fit.


> They are working on getting it up and running under a Russian ISP, DDos-Guard.

The article this discussion is attached to is called "DDoS-Guard to forfeit internet space occupied by Parler".

> If sites like Gab and its ilk can figure it out, so cab Parler.

Parler was bigger than Gab. It remains to be seen whether the scale presents an issue.

> "[In Brandenburg v. Ohio] the Court held that inflammatory speech--and even speech advocating violence by members of the Ku Klux Klan--is protected under the First Amendment, unless the speech "is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action"."

But that isn't the case where the phrase "fire in a crowded theater" came from and that quote doesn't even appear to cover the phrase itself, since a panic is potentially dangerous but not illegal.

Here's some more on why the phrase should be discontinued:

https://www.popehat.com/2012/09/19/three-generations-of-a-ha...

Bottom line, it's too vague to mean anything because all it implies is that unprotected speech exists without specifying any meaningful boundaries for it, so people regularly quote it in support of arbitrary overreach.

> You don't need to worry, but the website is well within their rights to worry about what people are posting to their site and take action to limit that if they see fit.

But we were talking about tolerance.


> But we were talking about tolerance.

Tolerance for incitement to violence? I don't personally support tolerance of that, which is my right, and what I personally feel is better to avoid the spread of toxic cultures like found on Parler. Tolerance of diverse and non violence-provoking political opinions, including those I disagree with? That is something I totally support.

Parler clearly does tolerate incitement to violence, which is their right. Good for them for exercising it, but nobody has to support them, nor should anyone be prevented from supporting them. Likewise, if there are consequences (commericial or legal) for tolerating incitement to violence, Parler owns those too.

You are also free to tolerate it and provide services to support those who do.


> Tolerance for incitement to violence?

That's the thing which is illegal because it isn't speech. It isn't information, it's action. See above.

> Parler clearly does, which is their right.

No, they don't. It violates their policy and they removed all that was reported to them.


> That's the thing which is illegal because it isn't speech. It isn't information, it's action. See above.

It's a distinction without a difference. I don't want to host violence provoking content. I don't think others should either. You think they should, and you have your reasons. Everyone (and every organization) can make up their own minds.

Clearly, we disagree about which approach is better for society, and happily we do so cordially, which is just the sort of conversation we need more of.

> No, they don't. It violates their policy and they removed all that was reported to them.

That's false, and that it is false was upheld by the Federal judge today. Quoting https://www.cbsnews.com/news/amazon-parler-violent-content-w...

"This case is not about suppressing speech or stifling viewpoints," Amazon's lawyers stated in a court filing. "Instead, this case is about Parler's demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of Amazon Web Services ('AWS') content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture and assassination of named public officials and private citizens."

"Parler's refusal to moderate content resulted in a "steady increase" in violent content on the network, breaching Amazon's terms of service, AWS contended.""


> It's a distinction without a difference. I don't want to host violence provoking content. I don't think others should either. You think they should, and you have your reasons.

Still no. Nobody wants to be hosting it. The question is what happens when perfect moderation is impossible, which it is.

> That's false, and that it is false was upheld by the Federal judge today.

You're quoting Amazon's lawyers, not the judge.

Wanting to do something hard and being less than 100% successful is not the same thing as not wanting or trying to do it.


Yeah well just refute the arguments for the people who think democrats, hollywood, and the (((globalists))) and kidnapping and killing children to drink their blood, thatll convince them


Here's a pretty good start:

https://www.thestreet.com/phildavis/news/a-game-designers-an...

Show them the method of operation of the theory building so they can recognize it and stop participating in it.


People dont like to think they are being tricked, and will actively reject truth if it contradicts what they already believe.

Doing something like this can be great, but it takes time and effort, meanwhile acts of terrorism are being committed now.

Most qanoners dont really believe it, and if separated from their echo chambers, will deradicalize themselves


> Most qanoners dont really believe it

Not only that, for many of them it's just fun - in exactly the same way that some people find supermarket tabloids entertaining. The audience for these conspiracies is quite similar (probably overlaps) with the audience of the National Enquirer.


You should reach eichmann in jerusulem, most people who follow movements like these are just conformists like eichmann, they usually cant be convinced otherwise because they dont really believe anything at all

I know a qanoner in real life, and when i talked to him about it he denied easily provable facts, shifted goalposts, assumed i made arguments i didnt make, and now has taken to literally yelling over me so he cant hear the words im saying


> People dont like to think they are being tricked, and will actively reject truth if it contradicts what they already believe.

I never liked that study because people always read it like that.

When people receive new information, they try to make it consistent with what they already believe by making the smallest possible change to the existing belief system to make them consistent.

That could be as simple as just not believing you.

This can strengthen their belief in the existing thing because they just evaluated it against some potentially conflicting new information without rejecting it.

Just not believing you doesn't work for an article like that because it's reasoning rather than facts. They have to find a hole in the logic if they want to keep their existing beliefs. So they'll come up with something like, maybe that's how it works for other conspiracy theories, but this one is real so it doesn't apply.

But now the logic is in their head, so the next time the conspiracy theory has to be reframed to match a changing reality, they notice that what's happening is consistent with the logic. It makes them doubt.

And the more information and reasoning they're exposed to which is inconsistent with the conspiracy theory, the more they doubt. It just like how the Big Lie works, but in reverse. You expose them to truth and logic over and over until they can no longer make the conspiracy theory consistent with it.

> Doing something like this can be great, but it takes time and effort, meanwhile acts of terrorism are being committed now.

"Acts of terrorism" aren't speech so as soon as they go there they go to jail. I mean they were planning it openly on Facebook, it was kind of a discredit to law enforcement that they weren't arrested for the conspiracy to begin with.

> Most qanoners dont really believe it, and if separated from their echo chambers, will deradicalize themselves

But that's why we need free speech, right? To avoid echo chambers.

Even if private censorship is allowed, that doesn't make it a good idea if it causes people to leave for some Voat-like cesspool where they won't encounter ordinary people anymore.


> Even if private censorship is allowed, that doesn't make it a good idea if it causes people to leave for some Voat-like cesspool where they won't encounter ordinary people anymore.

Absent access to "ordinary people" to recruit to violent causes, the inhabitants of such a "cesspool" will likely bore of their own conversation.

If, as you state, any of them are engaged in illegal provocation to violence, they will be easier to find there, since they lack the shield generated by the noise of "ordinary" conversation.

Besides, nobody is going to "helped" away from violent provocation by casually interacting with them social media. The only thing that can help such people is real in-person and trusted interaction, like at church, with a community help group, or with a therapist.

At best social media can be used to identify candidates to be offered an off-ramp from the road they are on, but that needs to be done by people who do de-radicalization as a full time job or mission, not casual social media acquaintances. Very few people are dedicated to that kind of work today.


> Absent access to "ordinary people" to recruit to violent causes, the inhabitants of such a "cesspool" will likely bore of their own conversation.

So then there is nothing at all to fear from Parler and all of the efforts to keep it offline are misguided?

> If, as you state, any of them are engaged in illegal provocation to violence, they will be easier to find there, since they lack the shield generated by the noise of "ordinary" conversation.

Even in a garbage fire like Voat, the vast majority of posts aren't illegal. You need the ordinary people there because they're the ones willing to report violence to the police when they see it.

> Besides, nobody is going to "helped" away from violent provocation by interacting with them social media. The only thing that can help such people are real in-person and community interaction, like at church

Something something COVID.


"So then there is nothing at all to fear from Parler and all of the efforts to keep it offline are misguided?"

If you fear Parler being online, you are being tricked by the media.


Thats assuming they engage with the logic at all, which is an assumption you cant make

> "Acts of terrorism" aren't speech so as soon as they go there they go to jail.

preventing terrorism is generally considered better than just arresting people after it happened

> But that's why we need free speech, right? To avoid echo chambers.

Unless you are suggesting we ban all moderation, no echo chambers form due to selecting information sources you only agree with and information sources pandering

> Even if private censorship is allowed, that doesn't make it a good idea if it causes people to leave for some Voat-like cesspool where they won't encounter ordinary people anymore.

censorship at least gets rid of the non true believers, the reason stuff like qanon spread so quickly is because they used sites like facebook and twitter and didnt stay in cesspools like 8chan, we cant get everyone but most is better than none


> Thats assuming they engage with the logic at all, which is an assumption you cant make

Even people with psychological conditions have the capacity to modify their behavior.

> preventing terrorism is generally considered better than just arresting people after it happened

That premise came out of 9/11 when the terrorists didn't care if they died. In ordinary cases such as these you don't need a precrime unit because catching them after the fact provides a deterrent that prevents them from doing it to begin with.

But also, the police already do that. They send under cover officers into extremist groups and get warrants to conduct surveillance on individuals suspected of plotting violence. Then they get arrested for the plotting violence, not for speech.

> Unless you are suggesting we ban all moderation, no echo chambers form due to selecting information sources you only agree with and information sources pandering

The largest sites could exclude only that which is illegal.

> censorship at least gets rid of the non true believers

Until you actually implement it and end up censoring a bunch of stuff which is true, preventing some other lie from being corrected. And then people find out about that happening and lose faith in the censors, start looking for "alternative" media that doesn't do that, and get sucked back into conspiracy theory land.

> the reason stuff like qanon spread so quickly is because they used sites like facebook

The reason it spread so quickly is that Facebook promoted it, because their algorithms reward controversy.

And that's the real problem. If you carry on promoting "engagement" there will just be some new conspiracy theory, which you don't even notice until there are already a million people sucked into it and somebody gets killed. Stop doing that and there is nothing to censor.


Paradox of Tolerance is a hypocrisy. If you are shutting down someone's ability to communicate because you don't like what they are saying, you are not tolerant.


> you don't like what they are saying

This is incorrect.

Not tolerating intolerance is objective.

Sad so many people can't wrap their head around this incredibly simple paradox.


Tolerance is a willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs that are different from your own, although you might not agree with or approve of them. [1]

If you don't tolerate "intolerance", you are intolerant, it's as simple as that. And if you make yourself a clause to exclude some beliefs from acceptance and still deem yourself tolerant, you are a hypocrite.

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


Tolerance isn't a binary state, but a sliding scale.


Which is exactly what makes the "Paradox of Tolerance" hypocritical - you are more or less arbitrarily deciding who you can be intolerant towards.


It's not arbitrary, and to imply otherwise is not arguing in good faith.


The paradox is a real thing. The subtle problem is the paradox is often invoked by people who believe 'tolerance' means accepting things that they either agree or have no quarrel with. A very weak form of tolerance.

I suspect actually tolerant people wouldn't be invoking the paradox.


These fringe groups are always going to be looking for things to get upset about. What we have to be careful with is lumping 40% of the country in with these groups and pushing the divide further. We can't make generalizations and say that anyone who downloaded Parler to see what a right wing platform was like is a white supremacist any more than we can say anyone who downloads Reddit to hear a left wing perspective is only there for /r/fatpeoplehate.

There are very few ideas that can be invented and spread by a media personality without that idea already having a foothold. Unless you truly believe that 40% of the voting population are dumb mindless automatons. It's pretty condescending to anyone who considers themselves center right to be generalized like that.

Due to the realities of the two party system most people are going to "fall in line" with the party that is closest to their fundamental principles. For center right this means small government, lower taxes, merit based incentives, law enforcement, etc. You're asking a lot to ask a conservative to switch sides when the other side is so far from these fundamentals.

The same goes for republicans trying to convert democrats. Hard line ssues such as anti-abortion and "taxation is theft" are too much for center left people to handle. They're going to fall in line with whatever the Democrats are into at the time in order to make sure their fundamentals are upheld.

Trump was a symptom. The seeds were already planted. Once that weed began to grow it was inconceivable to the left and center left that anyone who called themselves human could look past the rhetoric and the character defects in order to support their deeper fundamental principles. The left began to see these people as less than human and showed their opinion with every newsreel, tweet, and post. It was, understandably, their moral duty. The only choice for someone on the right is to abandon their principles or dig deeper. He can't be THAT bad right? The conservatives are locked in and the other side isn't offering any olive branches to non-humans.

Both sides are then locked in a moral dilemma and the media is just fanning the flames. And then to top it all off during the reelection cycle we're forced to isolate and have our window to the world altered by bias confirming algorithms. There's no hope for unification under those conditions.

So many differences can be overcome by two people sitting face to face and seeing each other as two humans with different ideas experiencing the exact same stimuli. I just hope we can get back there some day.


> Is it possible to bring fringe groups back into the fold of peaceful civil discourse

It's not really "fringe" groups that are the issue here; it's "extreme" groups - no-one is calling for the flat earthers to be deplatformed, for example.

> Does censorship, even if justified, fuel anger and distrust

Probably but I'd guess only among the people who are already inclined that way already.

> the population must always have their speech regulated

If you put "some of" after "have", it's the situation we already have.


I believe deplatforming of flat earthers is already happening. Anyone who holds that position is not allowed on television and not allowed to run national tv ads and wouldn't be allowed to teach.


Here's Mark Sargent (King of Flat Earth) on reasonably high profile UK TV show less than a year ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wClJlarfyhE


This isn't censorship, and saying that it is censorship is a bad-faith tell or a sign of naivete. Furthermore, these people are already angry and distrustful, so how much of a movement's psychoses should the commercial world be forced to accomodate?

Fringe groups have options they've always had: colo and common-carrier lines into their own server/racks/datacenter. Only thing missing is talent, which is nobody's problem but theirs.


I must be naieve because I don't think I'm bad faith here. I don't know if it's the right thing to do or not, I haven't made up my mind and may not.

Please elaborate why you think this is not censorship and the distinction. What do you think this is? These are not leading questions they're genuine because I don't understand your point the way you're assuming I do.


GP is under the (incorrect) impression that censorship is only possible if enacted by a government entity. That’s blatantly and provably false, but nevertheless comes up in many discussions of censorship.


Yeah, it's three different things.

The First Amendment to the US Constitution applies to the government.

Free speech is the principle that suppressing allegedly false information is more dangerous than not suppressing it because if the information is actually false you can refute it but if the information is actually true then it allows powerful actors to suppress atrocities and lie with impunity.

Censorship is the suppression or prohibition of speech. Private censorship is not a violation of the First Amendment but it's still censorship.


That stretches the meaning of the word beyond anything useful though. Is it censorship if The NY Times doesn’t publish your letter to the editor? Is it censorship if I kick you out of my party when you get drunk and start yelling racist slurs? You could take a maximalist view and say yes, those are censorship, but I doubt you would find many people that would say you shouldn’t do those things.


Censorship is the suppression or prohibition of speech. If the NY Times doesn't publish your letter to the editor but you can post it on Facebook and have a reasonably proportionate number of people able to read it in practice, it's not being effectively suppressed. If neither they nor anyone else with a similar reach will carry it, that's censorship.

It has nothing to do with who does it and everything to do with whether the idea is being suppressed in practice.


> That stretches the meaning of the word beyond anything useful though.

No - it’s literally the definition of the word censorship: “suppression or prohibition of speech”. It really sounds like you’re trying hard to redefine the word to mean what you want to say, but maybe you should just pick a different word?


If that's the definition you want to use, I doubt you could find anybody that is seriously against all censorship. Then it just comes back to where you want to draw the lines.


Where do you draw the line between censorship (as you define it) and editorial policy?


This isn’t my definition, it’s the literal dictionary definition.


It is truly amazing that so many people do not understand that free speech is a principle that exists beyond, and in fact existed before, the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution.


Free speech is a concept that exists outside of the US.

Free speech is about being able to express ideas and these can be supressed by private entities, communities or a number of non-government entities like a church.


If you want to call something self-censorship then do so, but it's not capital-C Censorship. Hopefully you understand the distinction. :P


Tone it down. It’s semantics, not logic.


The distinction is between a publisher deciding what content they want to publish and an outside party enforcing a standard.

Should TV Guide have to publish porn because I want it to?


Too soon to say on this current round. But it's generally considered to have been an effective strategy in dealing with Isis and Al Qaeda. But that was a combined campaign to eliminate recruitment by de-platforming, and eliminate existing membership militarily.

It's possible de-platforming these domestic groups will just further radicalize the existing members. But it should inhibit their growth.


There’s good data to show that deplatforming did wonders for Reddit in reducing the amount of hate speech and harassment that flowed across their platform. Similarly, deplatforming 8chan has done wonders in reducing the amount of mass murderers they inspire.

I think a dispassionate analysis would dispel the idea that it’s not effective, and most such arguments are fueled more by emotion than objective facts.


Milo was wiped off the map of public consciousness, which is good evidence for the effectiveness of deplatforming in itself.


Every time I open reddit there's harassment and hate speech right on the front page.

It's just happening against people the reddit admins hate and "good hatred" doesn't count.


These groups are already generating social conflict. De-platforming ISIS from Twitter and YouTube worked to stop their massive growth of new members through propaganda. There is no reason to believe it won’t also work on American right-wing terrorist and Christian terrorists.

“Capitol Hill Attack Video Shows Rioters Pray With Lifted Hands After Violating Senate Chamber”

https://faithfullymagazine.com/capitol-hill-attack-video-pra...

“How QAnon uses religion to lure unsuspecting Christians”

https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/15/us/qanon-religion-churches/in...

“How White Evangelical Christians Fused With Trump Extremism”

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/11/us/how-white-evangelical-...

Edit: Changed “American right-wing and Christian terrorists” to “American right-wing terrorists and Christian terrorists” to remove the ambiguity on whether I mean “American right-wing” as an adjective or a noun (I meant it as an adjective to the noun terrorist.)


False equivalence. Look, I know where you're coming from. But 99% of ISIS members would be tried and convicted of terrorism because of hard evidence showing intent to kill. 99% of right-wing people are not going to be convicted of terrorism. Sure, there are some that are making serious threats and have shown intent to follow up on said threats, but believing in conspiracy theories and weird cults isn't a crime.

I'm open to hearing evidence otherwise.


> 99% of ISIS members would be tried and convicted of terrorism because of hard evidence showing intent to kill. 99% of right-wing people are not going to be convicted of terrorism

ISIS being a foreign terrorist group, the U.S. can criminalise membership. Extremists being a domestic group, mere association can’t be criminalised [EDIT: is difficult to criminalise]. Only individual actions can be criminally pursued.

Other than that legal distinction, the two groups (right-wing extremists, not all right wing Americans, and bona fide ISIS members, not everyone in ISIS-occupied territory) are comparable. They spread their misinformation similarly. And could be expected to be similarly curtailed by deplatforming.


> ISIS being a foreign terrorist group, the U.S. can criminalise membership. Extremists being a domestic group, mere association can’t be criminalised. Only individual actions can be criminally pursued.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse suggested RICO’ing the militia groups today. The members could be criminally liable even if individual actions can’t be proven (similar to how the mob was taken down.)

https://mobile.twitter.com/SenWhitehouse/status/135238211274...


I never said the entire right-wing is terrorists. The militia groups and q-anon recruit right-wing Christians to extremist causes in the same way ISIS recruited right-wing Muslims to extremist causes. In both cases, they use propaganda and recruitment tactics to radicalize a segment of these groups. They even target the same demographic of disillusioned or aimless young to middle-aged men.

The radicalized militias like oathkeepers, 3%ers, vanguard, proud boys, etc are serious threats.


>These groups are already generating social conflict. De-platforming ISIS from Twitter and YouTube worked to stop their massive growth of new members through propaganda. There is no reason to believe it won’t also work on American right-wing and Christian terrorists.

If I am following this correctly. The American right-wing(republicans) is equivalent to a terrorist organization that beheads people amongst other war crimes.

If I may make a recommendation. Don't treat half your country as if they are terrorists.


You did read it wrong. “American right-wing” was an adjective on the noun “terrorist.” You interpreted “American right-wing” as a noun. I updated the language.


And BLM & ANTIFA use Facebook and Twitter? We banning those?

It’s insane to say “because “terrorists” use Twitter, let’s shutdown Twitter” instead we remove them from the platform.

Parlor was working with the FBI and was kicking people off their platform breaking their terms.

It makes no sense what’s currently happening.


I’m looking through the @blklivesmatter Twitter account and I don’t see any calls to violence. Can you point me to one?

https://mobile.twitter.com/Blklivesmatter


Twitter just removed a bunch of Antifa, after the last few days of violence, and twitter was not deplatformed.

https://twitter.com/MrAndyNgo/status/1352399672594345985


[flagged]


There is no law that requires MSNBC, Fox News, or Twitter, to be fair and balanced, and frankly I doubt one could be written that would pass first amendment scrutiny.


> Is it possible to bring fringe groups back into the fold of peaceful civil discourse [...]?

I'd say yes, but not by shifting the whole movement away from extremism, but by slowly siphoning individuals out of those groups until only a small minority of crazy extremists is left.

The best counter to a massive disinformation campaign is information on the same massive scale. Sadly, it often seems easier to just silence lies instead of charging straight at it.


[flagged]


>The blame lay solely at the hands of left leaning entities. [...] This has been a coordinated effort to deplatform political opponents.

How many entities did they end up deplatforming? The outgoing president, and a few right-wing forums? Meanwhile all the republican congressman and PACs are untouched. If they really want to shut down the opposition, they seem to be doing a pretty bad job.


Or they are doing an amazing job.


I don't think it is wise because whoever is in power will change fringe groups who need to be censored. Today it's the far right, during wwii it was anyone from Japan tomorrow it could be blm or women with tails. The one thing we know is it will change.

What's important is to being as open as possible and having open structures.

All of these are education problems not free speech problems. Speech is a signal not something to be repressed


To people who complain about deplatforming Parler, how would you feel about de-platforming a forum to recruit members for ISIS, or the Taliban?

To me, Parler has equivalencies

- AWS linked to calls for violence that were made on Parler

- The platform was actively suppressing non-conservative viewpoints

I would recommend looking at r/ParlerWatch on Reddit


+1. I must admit I find it a bit rich that people are raising free speech issues around this situation. I find myself wondering where these people were in 2014 when all the major social media platforms systematically removed ISIS accounts and content from their systems. I don't recall anyone lamenting that move and the chilling effects it had on free speech. In fact, iirc the response was quite the opposite.


Is it possible to use a more extreme generalization than ISIS?

On one hand you had ISIS posting beheading videos. On the other you had grandmas posting selfies in the rotunda.

Yeah, there are some nutters out there. But to claim that everyone caught up in the tech purges is somehow equivalent to ISIS seems a bit rich from my perspective. Even if you accept that some of these people are genuine domestic terrorists, reasonable people should be able to distinguish between rogue elements and ISIS, an organized terror state.

This is a bit like the claim that everyone who entered the Capitol Building was a terrorist. These are wide generalizations that only serve to confirm partisan biases. For me the use of these fallacious comparisons is illustrative of the problem at hand, toxic divisiveness.


It’s called reductio ad absurdum.

Absolute free speech would have to include ISIS, a group that would (and has) killed people for what they say.

If you admit that absolute free speech leads to illogical and impractical consequences, then the only remaining question is where to draw the line.

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


I'll agree that the comparison to ISIS is absurd.


You seem to be missing the point.

Reductio ad absurdum is a rhetorical tool, not a logical fallacy. It's goal is to show that your argument is absurd, because the absurd statement follows from the argument you are making.


I'm well aware of what reductio ad absurdism is. I don't agree that it is relevant to the point I am making in regards to the parent comment. If anything, I'm rejecting the absolutism you seem to perceive by distinguishing between what I see as two very different things.

>I find myself wondering where these people were in 2014 when all the major social media platforms systematically removed ISIS accounts...

Perhaps these people didn't object for the reasons I described above. ISIS is nothing like the Capitol Hill demonstrators.


But don’t the same free speech issues apply to both? From a free speech perspective, how are they different?


> Is it possible to use a more extreme generalization than ISIS?

Sitting in New York, nutters who came within yards of hanging the Vice President, Speaker of the House and potentially several Senators are a far more clear and present danger than mullahs in the Middle East.


Bah, there's so much partisan hyperbole that I have a hard time believing that Pence or Pelosi were in danger of being lynched. This fits perfectly within the narrative I've described above. Take the most extreme rhetoric and generalize it to mean an entire population of people you disagree with.

Furthermore, if we accept the narrative of the WoT and that there was a legitimate threat to politicians, there's still a wide swath of difference between the two. ISIS is a real threat endangering, killing, maiming and torturing an entire region. They carried out indiscriminate attacks on civilians across the world. A few nutters threatening to lynch some politicians isn't that.

Conflating the two ideas is an example of how toxic rhetoric has become. Yeah, you can turn on MSNBC, CNN or even the BBC right now for validation of those narratives. You could also turn to those same media outlets for justification for the war in Iraq or crackdowns on civil liberties during that same period. The new war on domestic terrorism (read dissent from establishment politics) is similarly worth a critical look. Especially if grandmas with thermoses are to be lumped in with dangerous extremists.


Since law enforcement is investigating, the judicial system should be able to determine whether people were intending to actually kidnap and kill members of Congress and the Vice President. If you are willing to wait for verdicts, you will find out. Right now it certainly appears that way.


I think we can agree on that.

Successfully prosecuting rogue actors for plotting to use violence against politicians isn't the same as establishing equivalence with ISIS. Nor does it allow one to generalize about the content of the entire group of protesters.

There were some protesters who expelled rogue actors while accusing them of being "antifa agitators". It wouldn't be fair to cherry pick the worst actions of the group and generalize. The comparison to ISIS is an extra leap that I hope needs no further elaboration.


Why are you defending those trumpists that stormed the capitol?

Sure, we could argue that "terrorist" is the wrong word to use here, but if we used another word, such as "criminals", I would guess that you would still make pretty much the same argument.

And talking about "toxic divisiveness" while defending people trying to overthrow an election? Are you even listening to yourself?


Disagreeing with the excesses of partisan hyperbole is not the same as defending Trump, his policies or the actions of his supporters. I hope you can appreciate the distinction.

I notice many comments will start with, "Although I dislike Trump..."

The fact that comments need to begin with such a disclaimer is illustrative of the atmosphere we find ourselves in. A comment should stand on its own. Disclaimers shouldn't be necessary.


I appreciate your answer, but I still consider it "defending".

Yes, the atmosphere we find ourselves in is horrible. But I would argue that the "post-truth" strategy used by trump & friends is the main reason for this.

When it is so common to be intelectually dishonest, those disclaimers are needed, and with how easy it is to misunderstand people on the internet, I think that those disclaimers are something positive, people really should add "/s" when being sarcastic as an example.

How would you suggest one should handle dishonest liars on the internet? Personally I think that one should call them out on their lies, but everytime that is done, someone, (in this case, you), come along and call it "partisan hyperbole"...


By example, you'll note that I haven't called the comparison to ISIS dishonest. I could go in that direction, but instead I'd call it inaccurate. I've no way of reading the mind of the poster, so instead of burdening them with my presumptions of dishonesty, I try (and sometimes fail) to engage with good faith.

From this point it isn't hard to understand how high emotions seem to be running. It isn't uncommon for otherwise rational people to project irrational ideas onto a discussion. This is especially common when emotions are running high. The tribal instinct seems to be one of our most base emotions.

The distinction is that I don't presume malice. Instead, as trite as it may sound, I try to work from a place of compassion.

Simply blaming the other side (RE: Trump & Friends) appears to be part of the problem here. The anti-Trump partisans appear just as emotionally irrational in my view.

Perhaps I am privileged in that I don't identify with either side, or approve of their policies. I will say that it is hard not to have sympathy when I see someone irrationally attacked.

The mob mentality is palatable. I think it was George Carlin who made a famous observation about the intelligence of the 'average' person, then concluded that half of the people are somewhere below that.


I'm not from america, and I really don't agree with the politics of either american party.

But as someone who values democracy, I have to be honest about there being a huge difference between the two american paries, especially since trump. (But arguably since nixon).

Sure, I agree that there are lots of emotions everywhere, and people are attacking trump & followers for both valid and invalid reasons, but using the invalid ones to smooth over the valid ones is in my mind (atleast) as bad as the irrational attacks.

To go back to an earlier post in this comment chain, this is the reason why I think that starting a post with "I dislike trump, but.." is a good thing, so that one can criticize the irrational attacks without smoothing over the rational ones.

Also, I don't think intelligence has much to do with this, but rather:

https://thereader.mitpress.mit.edu/how-cognitive-bias-can-ex...


My somewhat heterodox political views and the criticisms they inform would be tangential at best. I don't agree that I'm smoothing over anything here. That said, I don't think it would be any less rational for someone to support Trump than support Biden. Assuming that all Trump supporters are somehow more irrational than others, that we could filter posts for rationality based upon proximity to Trump is troublesome.

People don't have to be less intelligent to be victims of media manipulations. Carlin, the American comedian was being glib.

I'm something of a news junkie. I observe the drama in the same way others might watch a daytime serial. From this view, I have to admire the craftsmanship that goes into spinning and developing media narratives, the way they expertly play upon the heart-strings of the masses. Often times the viewers are all too willing to indulge their outrage. Putting aside the concept of intelligence entirely, the masses who have little time or curiosity to observe the news in-depth, are poorly matched against the master propagandists. They've had decades to hone their craft.

As you say, you're concerned about the status of democracy in the US. Yet here comes the new narrative of domestic terrorism, buoyed by the same fears expressed in this thread. The masses are outraged. The image of Trump as a Hitler-like figure has been burned into their minds by repeated invocations of Godwin's law. After repeating this ad nauseam, Biden now proclaims that Trump is like Goebbels,

“You say the lie long enough, keep repeating it, repeating it, repeating it, it becomes common knowledge”

Even I have been called a Nazi for challenging what I see as irrational. Posters here have insisted that I check my privilege in regards to race. All of this without knowing my identity, race or experiences.

While I share your concern about civil society devolving, I see it as coming as a reaction to Trumpism. The intolerance is easy to see from where I stand, and I'm no fan of Trump. The comparison to ISIS is part and parcel of this intolerance. I find it somewhat ironic that you appeal to valuing democracy (I read that as civil society) while indulging the assumptions and fears I've outlined above.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/26/joe-biden-trump-jos... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brgZSzmAA3c https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnA-ghhW_WI


supporting trump is only less rational if one values democracy.

I know that you are never ever supposed to compare someone with nazis, and if you do, you automatically lose. But isn't there a point where someone can act like a nazi to the degree that it becomes dishonest to not call them a nazi?

When trump repeatedly lies about the election being stolen, is it really that far-fetched to make that comparison?

I can fully understand that you dislike that people on the internet compare trump supporters to isis supporters, but using that to make the both sides are the same argument is really farfetched.

America has some serious problems, and it's democracy is really flawed, but it is still a democracy. If you want to mend the country you can't have half the country living in an alternate reality. Truth isn't something you can compromize away just to avoid being "partisan".

Since you used the words watch and viewers in relation to news, I can recomend:

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


Even Godwin allowed for that exception to his rule. The problem I see is when you drill down to the source on these comparisons, there's no there there. Like anything else in the media, the facts are highly distorted to fit partisan ends. Transcripts of his statements contrast starkly with widespread misconceptions about what was said. When I've challenged partisans on these discrepancies they'll claim, "Yes, but we know what he _really_ meant"

From that point, you can't argue using evidence. Widespread delusions are more powerful... 'Truth' or at least the will to perceive and the perception of it has become highly partisan.

In regards to censorious intolerance, both sides are not the same. We are supposed to value democracy, (tyranny of the masses?) yet we can't trust individuals to consume or digest information without hand-holding from partisan fact checkers. If we are concerned about democracy, this should be problematic. These are themes of technocracy, not democracy.

It isn't important to me to establish equivalence. That's not what I am working towards here. I'm attempting illustrate what I see as mass hysteria, widely held delusions. The Hitler comparisons, a common form of hyperbole are part of that.


I saw many calls for violence by the left on twitter and even worse on reddit. "Punch a nazi" applied to anyone with any hint of right leanings, "Smash starbucks", even calls for killing republican politicians. etc

And there was definitely suppression of non-liberal viewpoints on many sites.

I don't agree with most conservative views, but I am not so tribal and blind to irony that I think it's ok to apply different standards to one side vs another. "But they are different!" - says the blindly loyal team player.


None of this is happening because someone posted “punch a lib”.

Your argument is extremely disingenuous. You can read through AWS’s complaint against Parler and see some of the shocking content they refused to moderate.


What is "this" you refer to when you say "None of this is happening"?


The left.


I would consider myself part of "the left". It's not an illusion or gross generalization. The entire US political system is explicitly separated into "the left" and "the right", similar to most other democracies.


> To people who complain about deplatforming Parler, how would you feel about de-platforming a forum to recruit members for ISIS, or the Taliban?

That completely depends.

1. If the stated goal of the platform is onboarding for terrorist organizations, then that's a completely different situation.

2. If the platform is open, but known to be used as a main recruiting platform for such an organization, then I also don't think it should be shut down.


I don't think suppression of thoughts based on regional majority opinion is a net good or a reliable method of dealing with extremism, violence, or people we just don't like. Not only does what's acceptable vary by region but each region is unlikely to agree with itself from 100 years ago. That's not a knock on popular opinion it's just a knock on using it to decide what's acceptable to discuss as it's clearly not consistent. Some say violence is the separator except there seems to be plenty of acceptance of "good violence" whenever it's not the minority opinion doing it so again it doesn't seem like a consistent way to decide what's good to discuss.

I hold the opinion that the only successful way to navigate to stability is education, open discourse, and constant discourse. The more in society that ignore other thoughts because they are convinced they are unequivocally correct on what's right or wrong (minority or majority) the more unstable society is going to be as they are driven to view everyone who thinks differently as the problem instead of searching for better answers.


ISIS literally commited a genocide.


It's kind of like trying to shutdown all muslim media after 911 because some terrorist will be using it to inspire.


If I’m understanding this correctly, this has nothing to do with deplatforming or freedom of speech. Although motivated by self interest, someone found DDoS-guard’s dirty laundry and aired it to LACNIC.


While the underlying issue is legitimate (whether or not DDoS-Guard has enough physical presence in Belize), this is undeniably targeted selective enforcement with the intent to deplatform.


Can you explain more about how it is undeniable? I understand if we said it’s targeted reporting but I fail to see any evidence of targeted enforcement (as in if any high profile non-DDoS guard company would get the same treatment if someone reported the same issue).


Ok you're right. We would need more data points to determine whether the enforcement was selective or not.


Not sure I get what you are saying, per article -

> The pending disruption for DDoS-Guard and Parler comes compliments of Ron Guilmette, a researcher who has made it something of a personal mission to de-platform conspiracy theorist and far-right groups.

By finding things someone or a company has done to deplatforming them, it's not deplatforming when they get deplatforming if?

Maybe try reading "The Dictator's Handbook", it might cover what your asking.


It is still target reporting. Not targeting enforcement. Deplatforming would be LACNIC terminating the addresses strictly because they host some sort of content. Terminating addresses because they lied on their contract is another story. Ron Guilmette targeting DDoS-Guard is true but that is still not deplatforming.


This is like saying profiling is ok, as long as a citizen reports "suspicious" behavior to the police. Because then the police wouldn't be the ones doing the profiling.


You seem to be reading lines of code rather than understand what the application does.

Someone used the mechanisms within LACNIC to deplatform.

> Deplatforming would be LACNIC terminating the addresses

No one is saying LACNIC deplatformed anyone, it was Ron Guilmette.

I guess it's up to you how you want to interpret reality.

Like I suggest read the book. It gets good reviews in it's own right even if you don't think the processes in the book would apply here.


Unfortunately it didn't draw any attention when I submitted it here, but I found this Twitter analysis of the impact of deplatforming ISIS quite interesting.

https://twitter.com/AmarAmarasingam/status/13481478677399756...


That's is interesting. Makes me wonder what will happen now that this is happening to a much broader group of people. The migrations and reactions will be larger than we have seen in the past. It feels almost like we are seeing the slow creation of internet slums. An expansion to the legitimate dark web?


> The pending disruption for DDoS-Guard and Parler comes compliments of Ron Guilmette, a researcher who has made it something of a personal mission to de-platform conspiracy theorist and far-right groups.

If only we applied this same type of pressure and energy to politicians who enrich themselves at public expense or drawing down from our endless (but very profitable) wars.

Our ruling class does an excellent job keeping us fighting against each other so we don't focus on them.


This sounds like it is highlighting an issue with IPv4 that has always been there.

I think this is going to lead to a faster restructuring of internet routing, I was going to say “antifragility” but am I correct in that this term has also been co-opted by specifically far-right extremist groups who also think these attacks make them naturally select into more resilient forces


What kind of restructuring of internet routing would alleviate this issue?


Switching to IPv6.


These goings-on make me very aware of the fact that I'm still not settled on the matter of free speech. I used to be very pro-free-speech, but on the other hand, I'm anti-fascism, and I don't know what's worse: Giving fascists a platform to spew hate, or set a precedent for potentially limiting my own speech down the line?

It's nowhere near clear-cut, and I'd like to hear some opinions on this.


Bear in mind that there was never anything on Parler that wasn't on Twitter or Facebook.

Cory Doctorow:

https://pluralistic.net/2021/01/09/the-old-crow-is-getting-s...

> It's reasonable to say that Parler should use a mix of automated tools and human judgment to block unlawful speech and/or hate speech - but it's NOT the reason that Appl/Goog have removed it. Both companies have made it clear in their public communications that Parler must install an effective hate-speech filter to qualify for inclusion in their stores.

> I hope we can all agree that "effective hate-speech filter" is a nonexistent technology, and that therefore none of the existing services whose apps appear in either app store have such a technology in place.


Sure, but, as I like to say, "defaults matter", and having to search long and hard to find the unpalatable content you want is much different than someone serving it to you on a plate.


Let's review what happened with Parler.

It started off as a small irrelevant site, as they all do.

Twitter and Facebook then started labeling content on their site with "fact check" labels. This is naturally fraught with scandal because doing this at scale involves a lot of mistake making and then you can find arbitrarily many examples of them authoritatively declaring something as false or "disputed" when it wasn't. There was a strong perception on the right that these tags were being attached to things on a partisan basis.

A number of people didn't like this and started looking to alternatives, so Parler started gaining users.

Then those jackasses stormed the capitol. Note that this was planned, openly, predominantly on Facebook.

The response is Something Must Be Done, so there is a mass banning of accounts, including the then-President of the United States. Doing this was even more controversial, there were questions about whether all of them deserved it, and a lot of people -- the vast majority them people who hadn't been banned -- started moving to Parler in protest. They hit ten million users.

This was now a moral panic because Parler is owned by right-leaning people instead of left-leaning people and the whole deplatforming system is based on the targets not having anywhere to go. So then regardless of who they really are, they now have to be demonized in order to justify their destruction, because they're getting too popular. Note that popularity and extremism are anti-correlated because extremists are by definition at the fringe, so the more people you have, the more diluted the extremists get. The logic was backwards if the real problem was what they claimed.

But people find a list of malicious posts on Parler to paint the entire site as that. These exist everywhere so of course they found them. Made all the easier by the fact that they were undergoing rapid growth and at that specific moment in time their moderation system was overwhelmed. Also, point to moderation features designed to promote stability and exclude extremism by limiting what new users can do and claim that they do the opposite under the unproven assumption that the site is already dominated by extremists and the same features would then be excluding non-extremists.

I'm sure 80% of Parler is crap, because 80% of everything is crap. But then how are we distinguishing it from Twitter? None of the evidence used to "prove" that they weren't moderating when they claimed to be couldn't be used to prove the same thing of their competitors. It's an isolated demand for rigor.


If fascism is defined as the merger of corporation and state, does a dominant political party allying with major corporations to suppress a political opponent not ring alarm bells for fascism?


> If fascism is defined as the merger of corporation and state

It's not. And it would be silly if it were, since corporations are exercises of state power ab initio; there is nothing separate to merge.


Benito Mussolini, the inventor of fascism, described his ideology as the merger of corporate and state power. He occasionally referred to it as "corporatism."


Corporatism as a political ideal, and the sense of “corporate power” relevant to it, is a concept much older than fascism (and broader; most historical supporters of corporatism weren't anything like fascists) and not related to corporations except that the words descend from the latin word for body.


In high school, I got involved in a Shadowrun campaign that dealt with these ideas. We were young but focused on the idea that corporations and politicians need to be better to avoid this kind of stuff.

Parler didn’t run a particularly good service. Some of their technical decisions are baffling and/or painful. Consequently, it was easy to remove them view.

Donald Trump made it way too easy to de-platform him. Hell, if he would have used his Twitter account to spread facts and science, it would have been much harder. But over the last six weeks, his account went from vaguely funny to deeply concerning.


Fascism is when racism becomes state policy. Nearly always accompanied by a violent dictator.

The US narrowly avoided devolving into a permanent fascist state. Now people who at least support human rights and democracy are in power.


> The US narrowly avoided devolving into a permanent fascist state.

This is a huge exaggeration. As looney as things got in early January, I am still certain the FBI or if necessary US military would have removed Trump from office if he refused to leave office or attempted to declare martial law. They are sworn to defend the constitution, not the sitting President.

America is not truly defined by its right-or-left fringe elements, despite the clickbait you see on the web and in the 24/7 TV news cycle. 90% of Americans don’t spew vitriol on Twitter or hate the political opposition. Most people get along. But old-fashioned democracy, compromise and pragmatic centrism doesn’t get clicks or sell ads.


I sincerely wonder if your comments here are all inflammatory and accelerationist because you are attempting to satirize the weak arguments of so-called anti-facists.


Free speech means that the government cannot interfere with your speech (with certain exceptions). It's an essential right to any free democracy.

But it absolutely does not mean that other people have to like you, listen to you, sell goods to you, or allow you to use their platform.


It also means government can't encourage or incentivize a unconstitutional action or violation on its behalf, which includes waiving private party liability. (Which is the real, misunderstood issue with Sec 230.) This includes arrangements with no formal or even informal agreement.

Imagine a law waiving criminal and civil liability for lynch mobs, and then government claiming due process isn't violated because it isn't a "government" action, and due process doesn't apply to individuals.


My understanding is that section 230 doesn’t waive liability, it assigns liability to the content creator rather than publisher, and only for civil, not criminal cases. You believe this is unconstitutional? Is there discussion of this you can point me to?


>In the 1946 case of Marsh v. Alabama, the court ruled that the First and 14th Amendments can apply to private parties. In this case, a "company town" was not allowed to preclude free speech on its sidewalks. Justice Hugo Black wrote, "When we balance the constitutional rights of owners of property against those of the people to enjoy freedom of press and religion, as we must here, we remain mindful of the fact that the latter occupy a preferred position. As we have stated before, the right to exercise the liberties safeguarded by the First Amendment 'lies at the foundation of free government by free men.' " In essence, private property had become the "public square," and must be governed accordingly.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/06/22/big_te...


It seems that some people's problem with § 230 is that it permits a publisher to filter content without also risking liability for the content.

"Get rid of § 230" is a backwards way to solve the problem that they have. They don't actually want publishers to be liable for the content on their sites (which would, if anything, lead to greatly increased censorship and filtering). They want to STOP companies from censoring what the companies deem misinformation or otherwise offensive content.

In other words, they want the law to be "if you control a channel for speech, you are not permitted to censor or filter out what you view as misinformation, incitements to violence, or otherwise offensive content."

Again, this has no support in the free speech rights of the first amendment. In fact, it could be viewed as contrary to free speech, since the government would be forcing people and corporations to carry content on their websites that those people or corporations do not agree with and/or find offensive.


By promoting or demoting, or removing content (without some form of due process) the platform expresses an opinion, making it the act of a publisher, which should be an act they are liable for.

>would be forcing people and corporations to carry content on their websites that those people or corporations do not agree with

If you choose to build/host a public square, you must provide equal opportunity and access to it. Limiting access thereafter would involve police for criminal acts, or court / restraining orders for civil. Both are performed by govt, within the government's constitutional limits. Due process.

If you want to control content and be a publisher, then fine, but now we're talking about assumed liability for content, and an entirely different relationship with content creators. Just as the owners of a private venue are responsible for the actions of entertainers they might hire.


Except for when governments pressure private companies to do those things that they can't do directly. Pretty sure there's a law against that but I can't remember the name.


Yeah, the only “free speech” Parler allows for that Facebook/Twitter don’t is racist bigotry + insurrectionist content, so I’m pretty much entirely on the side of “wipe them off the web”


Is that content authentic, or is it made by good old provocateurs?


I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to say here. Are you intending to insinuate that much of the most objectionable content on Parler has been posted by users who are trying to get Parler in trouble with the end goal of reducing the amount of content of that nature that is online?

Because that sounds like an overly-complex theory, and doesn't explain any content on Parler that was posted more than two weeks ago, when the idea of getting Parler off the Internet actually became plausible.


>Are you intending to insinuate that much of the most objectionable content on Parler has been posted by users who are trying to get Parler in trouble with the end goal of reducing the amount of content of that nature that is online?

Correct The Record used this exact technique to get posts, pages, and groups banned across Facebook and Reddit during the 2016 election: https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-clinton-digital-troll...

The campaign has been given credit by Sanders loyalists, however, for all manner of things that it has had nothing to do with, including posting pornography on pro-Sanders Facebook pages which resulted in them being temporarily taken down. (The pages went down as a result of a Facebook software glitch).

This "glitch" dismissal given in the article is open to scrutiny when WikiLeaks showed us DKIM-verified messages indicating collaboration between Hillary campaign manager John Podesta and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg: http://www.departmentofmemes.com/news/wikileaks-proves-zucke...


wouldn't something along the lines of categorical imperative work here?

I.e. "if that speech became actions would you want those actions to be universally accepted [where you live]" or even just "applicable to everyone indiscriminately including you and your family"?

In that case "line up the firing squads" "Pence goes first" is a clear-cut scenario.

Parler absolutely endorsed and supported all that and how anyone can defend them at this point is frankly baffling. Unless all those people are ok taking Pence's place in front of the firing squads? Even if they are then it is not sustainable to have that as a universal law because at some point we will run out of people to make firing squads of (they will all be shot).


The Capitol riots are an interesting example of this dichotomy. On one hand, the riots were planned on hate filled platforms. On the other, those same platforms seem to have been a treasure trove of evidence for prosecutors.

It’s incredibly complicated and I have no idea what side I’m on now either. Hell, I don’t even know whether we can call this a win or a loss for free speech.


> On the other, those same platforms seem to have been a treasure trove of evidence for prosecutors.

It should be pretty obvious that this is merely a mitigating factor, and could never outweigh the initial damage done.


History says that you’re likely correct. But I’m going to be optimistic and hope that genuine good comes out of all of this. If this shows US military/police that they have a problem with extremists in their ranks, it might turn out to be a very good thing for the country. Again, you’re likely right and I’m likely naive. It’s not like that’s a new thing and nobody has learned it in the last century...


People are saying that questioning an election result is instigating violence and even terrorism.

If you ever want to question an election result in the future you should be worried sick.


If you only allowed the speech you didn’t have a problem with, then you wouldn’t need the concept of free speech.

On the other hand I hate all fascists too and they are violent terrorists so there is no point in pondering philosophy for their sake.


> If you only allowed the speech you didn’t have a problem with, then you wouldn’t need the concept of free speech.

Setting the threshold for "problem" at intent to cause physical harm to others seems a pretty low barrier?

Any barking is ok, but swift actions should be taken immediately after the very first bite.

Stepping away from calls to murder people for a moment. You can deny climate change all you want but once you put your words into actions that destroy planet your speech can now be treated as actions.


> If you only allowed the speech you didn’t have a problem with, then you wouldn’t need the concept of free speech.

Well that's exactly the question: Is free speech more societally useful than disallowing the kinds of speech I disagree with?


Yes free speech is useful but not for fascists and their allies. Fascist speech is never okay.

The philosophers of the enlightenment didn’t foresee that freedom of speech would be exploited by racists for the purposes of promoting hate in a tolerant society. Freedom of speech is an outdated concept.


Freedom of speech is freedom.


> X is fascist and terrorist Sounds like a good excuse the real fascists would use. Yesterday in that balcony there where a number of world-class terrorists and psychopats received with fanfares. One bombed Irak, the other bombed Lybia, the other bombed Syria, etc.


Maybe but at least they support democracy and they aren’t racist. Two party system isn’t ideal.


[flagged]


[flagged]


From the community guidelines:

> When disagreeing, please reply to the argument instead of calling names. "That is idiotic; 1 + 1 is 2, not 3" can be shortened to "1 + 1 is 2, not 3."

Among other pertinent points.


That was a reply to the argument.


It sounds more like an ad hominem jab to me. Was there any response to the substance of my comment?


Let me break it down for you: Welcoming dissent so it can be refuted does not work with far-right people, because they cannot be debated or convinced otherwise.


Not letting others speak IS fascism.


Can I put up some "TRUMP LOST DEAL WITH IT"[1] signs on your front lawn? No? Then you're being a facist because you're not letting me speak.

[1] or if you're on the other side of the ideological spectrum, a "ABORTION IS MURDER" sign with pictures of bloody fetuses.


Can't you? If not, then your laws suck.


I'm not talking about my lawn, I'm talking about your lawn.


Give me money so I can quit my job and write full time. No? You fucking fascist.

Rupert Murdoch won't put Chomsky on prime-time Fox News? Fucking fascist.

Won't force Geology students to listen to flat earthers? Fucking fascist!


My opinion is that you just described Twitter way more than you described Parler, but the narrative is dead set on convincing you otherwise.


The thing with antifa (the “anti fascists”) is that their techniques are indistinguishable from fascism: If you say one thing out of line publicly, they hound you for the rest of your life.

Like deplatforming, the goal is to deprive people of their right to speech. That’s fundamentally anti-democracy.

Its sad that Antifa became the thing they hate; if the big internet providers follow suit, it’ll be a disaster.


> The thing with antifa (the “anti fascists”) is that their techniques are indistinguishable from fascism: If you say one thing out of line publicly, they hound you for the rest of your life.

I see no evidence of that being true in any substantive way. I’d be surprised if there aren't some people somewhere who fit that description and identify with the antifascist movement, which is a big, diverse, decentralized movement. But I don't see it happening in any significant degree.

> Like deplatforming, the goal is to deprive people of their right to speech.

No, it's to get other people to exercise their right to free speech to not amplify harmful voices.


Here’s a description of the history of Antifa from the Anti-Defamation League. Note that Antifa is an specific group of self-identifying people, not just everyone that’s against fascism. They have a flag. They’ve been around since the 80’s. Some are violent, some just harass.

This is according to the anti-defamation league. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has also condemned Antifa in the past:

https://www.adl.org/antifa

The people you are describing probably are more closely aligned, ideologically with SPLC and ADL (unless they spend their evenings doxing neo-nazis, and shopping for equipment for their next violent counterprotest).

I have been donating to and referring people to non-violent anti-fascist groups for years. That’s very different than supporting militant extremists.

(Trump designated Antifa a terrorist organization, and I refuse to use that word to describe them.)

> No, it’s to get other people to exercise their right to free speech to not amplify harmful voices.

So, compelling speech is better than silencing people? Where will it end? Surely the criteria isn’t Republican vs. Democrat. Lets go with “supports violence”

Violent far left militants definitely exist, and are “harmful”. Shall we silence them? The ADL and SPLC condemn them, but are also clearly sympathetic. Shall we silence them too?

If not, perhaps we should stop them from supporting harmful protests. Antifa could use this map to physically attack lawful groups on the right:

https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map

Perhaps it should be taken down, at least? I donated money to help create the map. Should I be put on a list and prevented from getting a job?


I love when people say this, while on the left we are having debates about if we place too much of an emphasis on deradicalizing and rehabilitating the far right


Not all heroes wear capes. They just make phone calls.


[flagged]



What's your point?


Parler isn't a bastion of free speech. They make the same "we don't want to be associated with certain users" decision that FB and Twitter do, often in the exact same ways. They just don't ban or limit far-right conspiracy.


So should we also cancel sites like Twitter that don't ban far-left conspiracy?


You can cancel them if you want. Whoever heeds your call to cancel Twitter will stop using Twitter. If Twitter bought some LACNIC IP space but didn't have a DC or office there, I'd support revoking those IPs as well since it'd be fraud.


Straight up, I believe this is the only comment who understands the situation.


If those far-left conspiracists are using the platform to coordinate terrorist attacks, absolutely.


@judge2020 I'm aware Parler is a subpar platform (compared to Gab for example). But this de-platforming BS needs to stop. It's pathetic.


So someone with ARPANET in their handle is ok with abuse of NICs and IP space?


Two wrongs don't make a right.


Deplatforming is a freedom of association issue.


> Deplatforming is a freedom of association issue.

Its a freedom of speech issue: The right to choose what speech one will expend one’s resources promoting.


Or fear of the mob. We will be using DDoS-Guard going forward to show support for those with a spine.


Dunno that sounds vaguely like virtue signaling to me. Also, I'm personally not a big fan of a russian company MITMing my company's traffic.


Being a man of principal is not virtue signalling.


Ah yes, when you're doing it's "being a man of principal", when they do it it's "virtue signaling". I fail to see how this is any different than chinese people buying huawei in droves to "show support" for huawei/china/meng wanzhou.


@gruez who is "they"?


The other side, people who you don't agree with.


That’s quite a strawman you’re boxing with.


Dangerous speech isn't free.


Then again, harmless speech never needed protecting in the first place.


I'm well aware of what speech is and is not legal under US law. Parler's TOS are inline with US law.


Being lawful doesn't magically make it not-dangerous. And being lawful doesn't mean a private entity can't revoke service.


So is choosing not to do business with them.


Sidebar: Good on Krebs for nurturing his own comments section.


this is vigilante justice.

Is it a good idea for Facebook, amazon and random researchers on the web to hand out internet death sentences (as judge, jury and executioner)? without even any kind of due process?

this is setting a potentially dangerous precedent going forward.

having the FBI take the site down would be one thing but having FB or amazon or other sites do it without any kind of due process just seems wrong. what if they make a mistake? what if they don't do without biases?


How is what the researcher did vigilante justice? The researcher found fraud, and then reported it to the appropriate authorities who investigated further acted on it. It would be vigilantism if he had gone outside of the proper channels to try to “solve” it himself, say, by hacking servers or something - but that’s not what happened.


These guys are sawing off the branch they are sitting on - a few weeks ago they were defending net neutrality and went postal on any attempt to silence inconvenient voices. Now, they don't even want to listen to their former idols Snowden and Assange.


Who is “these guys”? I’m not sure what you are referring to here.


All the advocates of censorship and deplatforming.


> However, none of the company’s employees are listed as based in Belize, and DDoS-Guard makes no mention of the Latin American region in its map of global operations.

This is the first time I have seen Belize referred to as a Latin American country; although I just checked its demographics and a little more than half of its population speaks Spanish.


Everything sound of the Rio Grande is Latin America.


Its one thing for amazon to not want to do business with them. I am fine with that, nobody should have to provide hosting to people they dont like (as ling as its consistent with any cintract signed). However this feels like a bridge too far to me, and leaves a bad taste.


Ron Guilmette sounds like a real freedom fighter. Good for him. People should not abuse LACNIC


[flagged]


> “It appeared to me that it was more probable than not that they got these 8,000+ IPv4 addresses by simply creating an arguably fraudulent shell company in Belize and then going cap in hand to LACNIC, claiming that they had a real presence in the Latin & South American region, and then asking for 8,000+ IPv4 addresses,” he said. “So I reported my suspicions to the LACNIC authorities in early November, and as I have only just recently learned, the LACNIC authorities followed up diligently on my report and, it seems, verified my suspicions.”

> In a detailed report released today (PDF), AFRNIC said its investigation revealed more than 2.3 million IPv4 addresses were “without any lawful authority, misappropriated from AFRINIC’s pool of resources and attributed to organizations without any justification.”

I'm not sure this qualifies as a "legal product". Seems to be lacking legality.


[flagged]


Your link with the by line "unmask antifa" has rather little credibility (Edit: your guy is editor of The Post Millenial - "Follow Us On Parler"). For good or ill, "antifa" is a just a label for a wide variety of groups that aim to fight "fascists" in the streets. These range from random leftists to the somewhat unhinged, who indeed get regularly banned for overt calls to violence. Which is to say there are no "top Antifa accounts". Twitter bans all sorts of people regularly for all sorts of things.


"antifa" is as vague as "anonymous"


This whole argument is wildly misunderstanding the problem. Andy Ngo frames this as a black & white issue - when by all reasonable measures, it is not.

It’s not all free speech or none. I don’t see Andy protesting that it is a crime to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater when there isn’t one. I also don’t see Andy protesting when that teenage girl was sent to prison for verbally abusing her boyfriend and verbally encouraging him to commit suicide - which he eventually did. Where are his protests? Where are the guardians of free speech here?

The thing is, there is speech for the purpose of communicating, speech for the purpose of convincing, and speech for the purpose of manipulating. The first two categories are always protected and should be under most conditions. The last has heavy restrictions. You are not allowed to use the platform someone else built to manipulate the audience they built if they do not want you to. Period.

Trumps endless lies aren’t speech. They are a blatant attempt at manipulation with a reckless disregard for the truth. That needs to be restricted urgently. We’ve seen too many minds manipulated by this category of non-speech.

That’s also the entire problem with the “conservatives” - especially under Trump. They abused platforms to manipulate people into following them because they didn’t actually have persuasive points. They abandoned their commitments to fidelity, fiscal responsibility, and morality. All they had were lies that they repeated until they became undistinguishable from the truth.

This isn’t about speech. It never was. It is about manipulation and one particular political segment trying to use our core values against us.

Stop trying to muddy the waters. This whole argument is a straw man.

Stop trying to pretend this was ever about speech.


I mean Twitter just removed Trump after the capitol riot and rest assured we're all asking why he got to stay up for the last 4 years too.

I don't think it's about being in the opposite political party. Facebook's users are more conservative than liberal. Twitter is constant screaming of all political affiliations. YouTube is famous for being the place where our relatives fall down the right-wing conspiracy rabbit hole. The thing that paints a target on your back is your platform being a landing pad for the people banned from other social networks and basically nothing else. I don't care how conservative you are Goat was a cesspool. And it wasn't because the people on it were conservative but because it was where people too vulgar for Reddit went. /r/popular might bleed dark blue but Reddit hosts plenty of active conservative communities that aren't /r/TD.

The argument "we have law enforcement are courts for that" is disingenuous as best unless you want the gov't to start employing hundreds of thousands of internet cops tied into the moderation tools of every platform. Without platform moderation there are literally zero practical consequences for online death threats, harassment, hate speech. It just doesn't happen. There is no one to call. Your local police won't take you seriously and have zero power to do anything even if they did. In spirit I actually agree with you but saying "throw it to the legal system" without any plan to make it work just feels like you don't actually want any moderation and know that this would accomplish that.


With 11-31K followers these aren't "top" antifa accounts. Ngo is just taking advantage of the demonization of anti-fascism to continue to create the image of an other that can be despised.

https://thebasebk.org/about/ https://www.revolutionaryabolition.org/about/ https://www.ramnyc.org/ https://jewishworker.org/about/

These are obviously left wing groups, but they seem to advocate a lot more than being just the anti- to fascism.


Twitter or most other social media platforms do not have a problem with conservatives (or "the opposite political party" as you put it). Was deplatforming anyone but blatant white supremacists even a conversation before 2017?

Most mainstream conservatives operate accounts on Twitter without an issue and a fair amount of libertarian and conservative-identifying individuals have used Twitter for years without being banned for their views. Framing this as a problem with political viewpoints doesn't do much besides serve a false narrative.

If you read Twitter's rationale for banning Donald Trump it didn't have much to do with his viewpoint. It had everything to do with implying and promoting violent acts. Putting deplatforming in terms of "censorship of political views" is a seductive argument but it falls apart when you recognize the content of those viewpoints have less to do with a matter of policy opinion and more to do with an unhinged ideology based around waging civil war against your opponents.


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