Social Media

Obama, Merkel Blame Social Media For Being Politically Disruptive

Merkel suggests finding the right kinds of policies that would control that.

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White House

At a joint press conference in Berlin earlier today, President Obama and Germany Chancellor Angela Markel blamed the internet and digitizationon making a "clash of cultures" more direct and instilling uncertainty in people about their identities and economic security.

Merkel suggested the internet and digitization would have to be regulated like the printing press or industrialization in order to limit its disruptive effects. "It led to enormous transformational processes within individual societies," Merkel noted. "It took a while until societies learned how to find the right kind of policies to contain this and to manage and steer this," Merkel said.

The printing press was easily the most disruptive technology in the history of Western civilization. Since its invention in the 1440s and subsequent widespread use, the ability to mass produce printed material has helped foment social and political revolutions around the world. The printing press created the opportunity for communication on a scale never seen before. It helped populations around the world to self-radicalize—it's hard to imagine how the American revolution could have been sustained without a printing press and the ability that provided for colonists to share stories about imperial outrage and to convince each other of the necessity of revolution through pamphlets like Thomas Paine's Common Sense.

When pro-slavery mobs wanted to shut down the work of the abolitionist Rev. Elijah Lovejoy, they destroyed his printing press, not once, not twice, but three times. The fourth time, he was killed trying to defend his newest printing press. The printing press helped movements like abolitionism to build a community organized around them. On a larger scale, printing presses, helped in the process of nation-formation, by making it possible to build imagined communities through the use of national newspapers, literature, and so on, as posited by Benedict Anderson in Imagined Communities. The printing press helped people build connections over vast distances of space, and time, fundamentally altering the pace of change in the world.

It's not difficult to see similar forces unleashed by the internet, allowing people separated by long distances to find common cause with each other and build imagined communities of their own. In the aftermath of the presidential election, this gets called a "bubble." But the imagined ideological communities we build are only the most prominent now. I'd argue the rapid progress on gay rights was probably helped along by the internet making it easier for people to learn that they are not alone and better work for change. The same kind of imagined community-building is also happening across the political spectrum.

The desire by the political class to control these processes is frightening but, as Merkel admitted, not new. Since the invention of the printing press, governments of all sorts have sought to control its use and influence. The first newspaper in the American colonies, for example, Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, was shut down by the British imperial government less than a week after its first issue. After that, the British demanded newspaper publishers receive government permits. This was one of the reasons the framers of the Constitution included freedom of the press in the Bill of Rights. And yet even some of the people involved in drafting the Constitution, like John Adams, ended up pursuing policies when in power that stymied the freedom of speech. This year, both major party presidential nominees, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, called for shutting down portions of the internet to stop militant radicals from communicating with each other.

Obama noted in the press conference, before Merkel's call for more speech regulation, that freedom of speech was one of the principles that, if they were maintained, would help ensure that "over the long term progress will continue." Yet contemporary governments show little understanding of this, participating in the erosion of free speech rights and other mechanisms Obama mentioned, like checks and balances, that ensure "progress." Merkel, for her part, decried the "simplistic solutions" offered by populist politicians, saying they had "unfriendly policies." Obama decried simplistic slogans and soundbites and snippets people get on social media, yet is no stranger to them.

"If we can't discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems," Obama said, offering little in the way of self-reflection on his role in these trends. "If people, whether they are conservative or liberal, left or right, are unwilling to compromise and engage in the democratic process, and are taking absolutist views, and demonizing opponents, then democracy will break down."

"My most important advice is to understand whether the foundations of a healthy democracy and how we have to engage in citizenship continuously, not just when something upsets us, not just when there's an election, or when an issue pops up for a few weeks, it's hard work," Obama continued, saying he had hope in political and social activism by young people.

NEXT: 5 Reasons America Should be Happy to See James Clapper Leave His Post

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  1. “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

    1. Then applying more of the same when that doesn’t work.

  2. Fuck em, free speech is just an obstacle for them.

    1. Exactly. It’s not the disruptive effects of people telling political lies that worries them so much. It’s the disruptive effect of telling the truth. Their grasp on the public is slipping because the media’s grasp on us is too.

      We could call for more honesty from the media and more skepticism about the claims being pushed or the motivations that push them. That would avoid the power vacuum that “fake news” is slipping in to fill. But the honest tack isn’t the one politicians like. Fuck ’em if they have to lie in the bed they made, then. No sympathy or quarter given.

  3. “blamed the internet and digitizationon ”

    Whew! I am glad I got that posted before Ed fixed it.

    WTF is digitizationon? Is that for chronic digitizers? “Hi, I am Bear and I am a digitizer”

    1. I too used to have a problem with chronically flipping people off. I really hit rock bottom. I was so out of control that, at one point, I was even flipping off right in front of my own kids. Then I joined digitizationon. It’s been 12 yrs. since I spent 20 min. flipping someone off.

    2. What is it about fuckwit posters who stupidly draw attention to obvious typos?

      You’re not cool or interesting or witty for seeing it like the rest of us, no matter the dumb snarky crap you append to your stupid observation in order to justify it.

      1. Ah, another sock from the Well of Tears. Go cry some more.

        1. Dammit, bacon!! You just do NOT get it: We’re intruding on his fun!

          It’s fuckwits all the way down.

          1. “It’s fuckwits all the way down”

            No one cares about your sex life.

            1. “No one cares about your sex life.”

              Asswipe seems to.

              1. Is asswipe the boy you keep in your basement?

                1. “Is asswipe the boy you keep in your basement?”

                  Now asswipe wants a new home.

                  1. So move.

            2. And when are you going to start being funny?

              1. Lay off Sevo Mike, he’s old and knows it.

                1. I was talking to you asswipe

                  1. Lol Thanks for the clarification Mike.

            3. No one cares about your sex life.

              Even if I make you my bitch?

              *you mentioned fuckwits. I guess this is all on you.

              1. “Even if I make you my bitch?

                *you mentioned fuckwits. I guess this is all on you”

                Jesus Christ you’re bad at this.

                1. Thanks! Does that mean you aren’t taking me up on my offer?

                  1. Of being a fuckwit?

                    That’s your admission about yourself guy, not on me.

                    “Dammit, bacon!! You just do NOT get it: We’re intruding on his fun!

                    It’s fuckwits all the way down.”

                    Sorry, bitch, you said it. That you were a, fuckwit. Totally made me your bitch admitting was right.

                    ? .

                    Ahahahahahahhaahahahahahaah you fucking clown wasn’t you thought you made someone your bitch clown haahhahahahahahaahahahaha

                    1. Ahahahahahhahha clown ass fuckwit ahahahahaahahhaha youre terrible at this ahahahahaahahahjaj

                    2. Ahahahahahahhaahahahahahaah you fucking clown wasn’t you thought you made someone your bitch clown haahhahahahahahaahahahaha

                      No wonder he got so worked up over a grammar critique!

                      I was beginning to enjoy his rant, but, now, I just feel sorry for the little guy.

                    3. You mean the little guy’s little guy?

                      Fawke me!

        2. Whose sock do we think this one is?

          Whoever it is, I wish they’d go back to crying over Her loss. Those are more delectable tears than these tears-of-impotent-pettiness.

      2. You must be new here. Here is a quarter. Go buy yourself a sense of humor.

        1. Say or do something funny.

          1. “Say or do something funny.”

            Post something that suggests you’re older than, oh, 6 or 7, asswipe.

            1. Knowing you, I realize “old” is one of your prejudices.

              Tell us more about your shitty town, loser.

              1. “Tell us more about your shitty town, loser.”

                Asswipe would like to get out of the basement.

                1. So, let him? He’s your boy.

                  1. “So, let him? He’s your boy.”

                    Mom won’t let asswipe out.

                    1. Sing happy birthday please, you’re clearly stroking out.

            2. I demand to see his REAL birth certificate!!!

        2. You must be new here. Here is a quarter. Go buy yourself a sense of humor.

          /Looks up from Humor Vending Machine after several minutes of trying, ruefully notes it is Canadian quarter.

      3. You seem a bit upset, Mary.

        1. What, no stupid fucking “swiss masters”?

          No stupid fucking narrowed gaze?

          No wonder you losers can always be found here day or night, real people can’t stand you.

          1. “No stupid fucking narrowed gaze?”

            Plenty of stupid from asswipe.

            1. Why do you keep narrating your posts ?

              1. “Why do you keep narrating your posts ?”

                Asswipe is confused.

                1. Your confusion isn’t my problem.

                  1. “Your confusion isn’t my problem.”

                    Asswipe admits to bigger problems than confusion.

                    1. Your family life isn’t my problem.

          2. Fuck! He’s onto us. Guys, put on your human skins now!

            1. That doesn’t even make sense as an insult.

              1. “That doesn’t even make sense as an insult.”

                Don’t have to asswipe; you’re doing just fine on your own.

                1. I am.

                  Cry more now.

                2. “Sevo|11.17.16 @ 4:09PM|#

                  “That doesn’t even make sense as an insult.”

                  Don’t have to”

                  Sevo’s posting style, summarized.

                  1. “Sevo’s posting style, summarized.”

                    Asswipe looks good in green.

                    1. Jesus, you’re still alive?

              2. Don’t try to understand lizard people humor.

                1. I thought we were crab people?

        2. Switzy, do your (((Swiss Overlords))) have any insight into WTF is going on in India right now with the currency confiscation?

          1. Someone referenced the Indian currency debacle last night. It’s kind of hard to believe that they could be that incredibly stupid. They’re grinding their economy to halt on purpose.

            1. Maybe Shikla could comment.

      4. Shut up clown|11.17.16 @ 3:55PM|#
        “What is it about fuckwit posters who stupidly draw attention to obvious typos?

        Sorta like the asswipes who gripe about them, asswipe?

        1. You mean like you just did?

          Tell us more about San Fran you provincial fucking corpse.

          1. “Tell us more about San Fran you provincial fucking corpse.”

            Now asswipe is jealous.

            1. Ooh this my fick
              All the boys stamp your fick like this

              Few times I’ve been around that track
              So it’s not just gonna happen like that
              ‘Cause I ain’t no holla fickboi
              I ain’t no holla fickboi

              This my fick, this my fick

              1. I love Gwen Stefani. There. I said it. *faps like Amsoc right before election night results

              2. I’m glad I’m living in your head rent free.

                Now, say somethig stupid to pretend I’m not.

                Ficking you in your mind.

      5. It’s not just a typo. He’s got the phrasing inverted. They weren’t blaming digitization on social disruption. They were blaming disruption on digitization &c.

        1. “It’s not just a typo. He’s got the phrasing inverted.”

          Which is still, just a typo, and not what douchebag who thinks he’s, funny for noticing was commenting on.

          Fick off now.

          1. Relax, go take a midol.

          2. Balko?

      6. You’re not cool or interesting or witty for seeing it like the rest of us, no matter the dumb snarky crap you append to your stupid observation in order to justify it.

        You do realize that the laws of economics still apply, right? *huffs on monocle, hands it to orphan for wiping* If the forum is filled with mendacious bitching, finding a lighthearted comment about a typo is like finding a diamond in a mountain of horseshit. Cut out the shit(flinging) and fill the forums with modestly amusing jabs about typos or even more valuable treasure and we all get to swim around in our commentary wealth like Scrooge McDuck.

        Otherwise, *repositions clean monocle* fuck off slaver.

      7. Shut the fuck up, clown.

  4. Remember, democracy is the most important virtue of government.

    Except when it’s not.

  5. Fascists gonna fasc.

    1. They are gonna wear ski clothes?

      1. Depends. Does Hugo Boss have a ski line?

        1. OK, so they are gonna wear Depends and Hugo Boss ski clothes. Sounds like a party.

          1. I don’t trust Germans in adult diapers.

            1. Those are just called “Germans.”

              1. You laugh but you’d be amazed how much time you save by not having to take trips to WC all the way back at the lodge.

  6. Obama decried simplistic slogans and soundbites and snippets people get on social media,

    You mean like “We are the change we’ve been waiting for?”

    1. Like “elections have consequences”

    2. *drops mic

      1. [picks up mic]

        So we got a new troll. You guys seen this? You heard about this?

        1. It’s not that new of a troll. It pops up from time to time, usually (though not always) angry because its spergie mind can’t handle nasty women like ENB or KMW having manly writing responsibilities. It sticks around a single thread for an afternoon, claiming that responding to its increasingly strident and eventually all-caps nonsense means you’re letting it win.

          It’s not even as interesting as amsoc, which is really sad.

          1. Oh god… It sounds like Mary got her Internet access back.

            1. It called SugarFree a “fickboi” the other day. That’s the sum total of its contribution to human society.

            2. Swapping Reset and Power labels on the PC (Gateway 2000, AMD K6) would only work for so long.

    3. Stronger Together.

      1. That should have been the Johnson Weld slogan.

        1. No, it was Bongers Forever

      2. Stronger together….why is that so familiar?

      3. Stranger together.

  7. I think there are plenty of leaders and ex-leaders in the Middle East who would love to work on a solution with them. Maybe they cold get a conference call going with China and Russia for ideas.

  8. I think there are plenty of leaders and ex-leaders in the Middle East who would love to work on a solution with them. Maybe they cold get a conference call going with China and Russia for ideas.

    1. Bring in some squirrelz too?

  9. Merkel suggested the internet and digitization would have to be regulated like the printing press or industrialization in order to limit its disruptive effects

    You know who else wanted to regulate communications?

    1. The Stasi who used to employ Frau Merkel.

      1. Damn…done already.

        OK, we need another one, this one is finished!

        1. OK, we need another one, this one is finished!

          You know who else wanted to be politically disruptive?

            1. Damn, this one is finished. You know who else wanted to manage and steer this?

              1. Travis Bickle?

          1. Stauffenberg?

          2. Bernie Sanders?

      2. You can take Merkel out of East Germany, but you can’t take the East Germany out of Merkel.

    2. Rihanna?

    3. Employers with strict Internet usage policies?

  10. “…would have to be regulated like the printing press…”

    NOPE.

    also:

    “…the right kind of policies to contain this and to manage and steer this,”

    It’s a bit rich for the woman whose open-door policy has hastened the EU’s demise to be talking about the “right kind of policies”

  11. it’s hard to imagine how the American revolution could have been sustained without a printing press and the ability that provided for colonists to share stories about imperial outrage and to convince each other of the necessity of revolution through pamphlets like Thomas Paine’s Common Sense

    Oh believe me, they understand that perfectly.

    1. The lesson was not lost on the monarchs of the world.

  12. RE: Obama, Merkel Blame Social Media For Being Politically Disruptive
    Merkel suggests finding the right kinds of policies that would control that.

    Yeah, there’s nothing like The State controlling the flow of information to show the world what a free country you have.

    1. Can he write that in a blog?

  13. “It took a while until societies learned how to find the right kind of policies to contain this and to manage and steer this,” Merkel said.

    So the German leader learned two valuable lessons from the evils of the Nazis:

    1) It is not only wrong to kill people just because of their religion or ethnicity, but that Germany should actively encourage people to come whose entire value system is antithetical to the Western liberal (in the classical sense) tradition, and
    2) government still needs to control information

    Way to go Angela.

    1. That’s one of those litmus tests quotes for me. If you don’t find it truly bloodcurdling, I really wish we could live in different countries.

    2. Four more years!

      I mean, WWIII ain’t gonna start itself.

    3. +1 Leni Riefenstahl

    4. I just finished my first Mark Steyn book, written because he was being sued before a cangaroo not-court for writing stuff.

      In it he points out that Weimar Republic had anti-hate speech provisions, which were enforced.

      1. Clearly they didn’t have enough of them.

  14. These fucks were champing at the bit to regulate the shit out of speech and now that’s slipping through their fingers. Thank fucking God Clinton didn’t win.

    1. This cant be said enough

  15. Damn, someone beat me to FUCK OFF SLAVERS.

    1. Cannot be said enough.

      Fuck off, slavers!

      1. And Slavers, fuck off.

  16. DIAF, Frau Merkel. You are destroying Europe. For what, some pent of sense of collective guilt? How many rapes, assaults, and societal disruption will quell your guilt issues? What exact numerical average (you’re a numbers gal, being a STEMster) can you live with and still look at yourself in the mirror?

    Sigmund Fraud would look at your psych profile & HX and just have a field day with it.

    1. I don’t understand Merkel’s worldview on this. Has anyone written anything on her that fully explains her unrepentant drive to Islamize Germany?

      1. In Europe, they can’t, Lee. I know from direct experience and communication that most of the EU, GER in particular has, in medical facilities, an “unofficial” hands off policy for any suspected perpetrator of sexual violence in particular (read: vag and anal rape), and assault (including finger fucking) and hooliganism in general, who happens to fit particular racial and ethnic demographies, are basically swept under the rug and treated entirely as medical situations, and maybe as civil matters at best. Anything potentially criminal is not be suggested or referenced at all.

        This is from UK and GER docs with whom I have personally spoken, who have been on loan to UKR, and through Skype. These people are legit, and not flakes or axe-grinders. People who initially supported “Diversity Goals”, and are now horrified (real horror, not “ZOMG Donald Troomp SNEEZED!) of what has come to pass.

        1. That’s a recipe for serious violence. If the German government doesn’t recognize that and continues to suppress the reports, eventually the native populace will turn on them and disregard any authority they had.

          You only have the consent of the people until you don’t.

        2. Well it is pretty damn horrific. The libertarians who regard this migration as something other than a government instigated and directed program are kidding themselves and destroying their credibility in societies that are feeling the effects of being rapidly colonized.

          1. I’d like to point out that as one of the Open Borders Fanatics I completely agree with the above statement and have condemned it.

            I have no problem with a guy moving someplace new, and starting to earn an honest living. I don’t think he should be prevented from making the move because people are afraid he’ll end up on welfare. But what Merkel is doing is encouraging the immigration by offering them generous welfare benefits. Moreover she is sabotaging assimilation – which depends on open above-board interactions between newcomers and the people already living there. Hiding rapes and denying they are occuring prevents people from taking steps to defend themselves and teaching the immigrants the social norms of their new locales. Refusing to prosecute crimes encourages those crimes to become the new norm.

            If they had publicized Rotterham; if they had actively pursued the criminals with a mind to apprehending and prosecuting them; if they had tried them and jailed them; if they had deported them; if they had made examples of them; it would have sent a very strong message to the ‘refugees’ that that sort of behavior wasn’t going to be tolerated. It also would have strengthened the hand of leaders among the ‘refugees’ who think that sort of behavior is wrong and unacceptable.

            Instead, the German government acted as accessories after the fact in helping the criminals escape.

            1. O crud! I meant Cologne, not Rotterham.

            2. I have no problem with a guy moving someplace new, and starting to earn an honest living. I don’t think he should be prevented from making the move because people are afraid he’ll end up on welfare.

              This is more than that. Only 13% of migrants of the most recent wave have found employment. Over 90% do not speak the language and 65% of them are illiterate in their own native language. 80% of them have no marketable job qualifications for the German labor market.

              I other words, this is not what natural migration looks like. This migration would not be possible without welfare and government policy making it happen, it’s an unnatural movement of people. In an advanced economy like Germany, the sort of immigrant labor that would benefit them is not of the ditch-digger variety, which is basically all these migrants can offer.

              But what Merkel is doing is encouraging the immigration by offering them generous welfare benefits. Moreover she is sabotaging assimilation – which depends on open above-board interactions between newcomers and the people already living there.

              Exactly, and as I mentioned above, assimilation is a hard enough task already and her policies are downright destined to prevent assimilation from taking place, even if it were possible to assimilate literally millions of unskilled and uneducated people moving into Germany in the span of a few short years in the first place.

            3. I favor open borders too, but this isn’t a vacuum. There are other factors at play, namely government policy that perverts incentives. But also worth considering, before sneering at the objectors as troglodyte nativists, is that rightly or wrongly people want to protect their communities in addition to their own individual person or property boundary. Rightly or wrongly, people want their communities to remain “theirs”, not to be overrun by cultural outsiders whose interests directly conflict with their own and that of their own children. Moreover for the fact that living in a democracy oriented society means, rightly or wrongly, that people have some skin in the game in terms of who moves into their communities and who votes within their electorates. Right or wrong, people have valid reasons to oppose this government directed migration and I don’t blame them one bit. No more than I blame the third world societies for opposing mass immigration into their own societies, a concept that people in those societies are absolutely unafraid to call colonialism.

        3. That is sad but unsurprising. And utterly infuriating. Thank God, the US still has an armed populace. That kind of shit could not go on here not because the ruling and media class here wouldn’t allow it if it could but because they know allowing such a situation would get a lot Muslims killed.

        4. They sound like white racists, and should be replaced with more diverse doctors from abroad!

        5. Europe is fucked.

          And ding-a-lings like Obama and unhappy chick over there are part of the problem.

        6. “People who initially supported “Diversity Goals”, and are now horrified…”

          “When they see the reality of their world of equality and social justice they won’t like it very much.” – Bezmenov

        7. The euros, and Hermans especially, are basically afraid of themselves. A lot of them think even enforcing their laws among foreigners is a slippery slope to fascism and a new holocaust.

          Ibegore the migrants started showing up on masse this cultural self loathing wasn’t a huge issue because Germans are an orderly, law abiding people in general (the stereotype isn’t baseless) so heavy handed law enforcement wasn’t that necessary.

          Now people are streaming in who don’t have the cultural imperative to follow German laws, and the Germans largely don’t know what to do. They want the foreigners to follow the rules, but they’re too afraid of themselves to make them. That’s kinda how I understand it from my limited experience with Germany. Which I should mention is one of my favorite countries on earth. Germans are among the nicest people in the world, even nicer than Canadians. It’s a shame to see this happen to their country.

          1. “Was it over when the Hermans bombed Pearl Harbor?”

            1. Sorry, I meant to say “Fritzes.”

          2. The Arabs, Kurds and Turks who’ve been living in Germany for serval decades now don’t have much respect for German laws or culture either. Which is why police-free enclaves ruled by family clans and Islamic judges have existed for ages now.

            The newcomers are merely bolder than the current residents.

          3. The Germans have basically been programmed to have such aversion to even the slightest hint of nationalism that they can’t even defend themselves from a true threat. It’s left them defenseless against people that want to abuse them. But remember how that story ends… “I was cured, all right!”

            Also, apparently it predicted Trump’s rise, so there’s that.

    2. Sigmund Fraud would look at your psych profile & HX and just have a field day with it.

      Was that intentional? Because my sister once said that unintentionally. My reaction was: Wow, a MetaFreudian slip.

      1. Isn’t it a Fraudian slip?

        1. That too, I use that one all the time, Sparky, IRL. Once I explained it to my wife (she still doesn’t quite get it because of the phonics), she giggled for a good while. She hates psychiatrists, given the Soviet Unions extensive use of them, though she finds brain chemistry and behaviour absolutely fascinating.

      2. Was that intentional?

        I have been saying, “Sigmund Fraud,” since PGY 2 in med school. It’s 100% purposeful. You want a truly visionary psychiatrist or two? I give you Alfred Adler, and the great Carl Jung.

        1. Carl Jung was kinda wacky, but after he described the writings of Hegel as resembling the ramblings of a schizophrenic I couldn’t not like him. Fuck Hegel.

  17. “If we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems,” Obama said

    +1 Julia and Pajama Boy

  18. “unfriendly policies.”

    Ach! Nein! Anything but that!!!!

  19. While getting to know her, I asked my last girlfriend: what do you consider to be the most important invention? Took her no more than five seconds of thought before she replied, “the printing press.” One of the good ones…

    1. What about sliced bread?

      1. The first bread slicer was a converted printing press. True story.

    2. Reading glasses are another good one. Before them, good scientists would start to lose their ability to independently read/write just when they were getting to their productive years.

      1. Good one. It’s crazy when you think how many times it could have happened, that the state of the art just nearly reached the point where smallpox, or whatever, would be cured, but the knowledge was lost because an epidemic came and wiped out the population to the point where nobody had time to care about such high-minded things, being preoccupied with finding enough food just to stay alive. So there’s potentially this sort of sawtooth pattern that happens with advancement, where society is constantly tripping over nature until a quantum leap occurs, and the sawtooth baseline jumps up to a higher plateau.

    3. Not libertarian enough. Should be some form of firearm.

    4. If she said “condoms” that’s how you really know she’s a keeper.

  20. Yo, fuck Angela Merkel.

    Krayewski, there’s a typo in paragraph one where you spell her name “Markel.”

    1. Not even with Crusty’s dick, hoss.

    2. Yeah, it’s spelled Block Yo Insane Angelfish Mackerel.

  21. I like how every idea out of the left can be linked to fascism, but no it’s Trump we need to be worried about!

  22. It’s a terrible idea, although the thought of never having to see stupid shit like the “safety pin” meme makes it tempting.

    That, of course, is how they suck people into buying such a scheme. People shortsightedly think of all the “bad” speech such a regime would quash, without giving a thought to what could happen if somebody other than their favorite Dear Leader gets his hands on the Delete button.

  23. So, the enlightened ones are crying about free speech when it doesn’t work out for them. Boo hoo. Knowledge is not only power, it drives our race to be better than we were.

    1. “Our race…”
      Alt-righter! We’ve got an alt-righter here!

  24. Show your true colors you fascist fucks. Makes Trump look better all the time.

  25. Obama, Merkel Blame Social Media For Being Politically Disruptive
    Merkel suggests finding the right kinds of policies that would control that.

    Of course she does. “I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.”

  26. *posts MSPaint drawing of jack-off motion*

    *gets 400 likes*

      1. 402 now.

        Only room for one more like, before it goes missing

  27. Obama continued, saying he had hope in political and social activism by young people.

    YES! What we really need is more political activism by young people who are too pig ignorant to know even what they are advocating. Please, more activists blocking highways and killing people trying to get to the hospital. Please more activists behaving like brownshirts at political rallies, please more “activists” burning and looting businesses.

  28. The desire by the political class to control these processes is frightening but, as Merkel admitted, not new.

    She is German, after all.

    1. Does she think of herself as “not of the political class”?

    2. Maybe her point is that this time they know just exactly how to do it. Practice makes perfect and all that.

  29. Fuck off. The both of you.

  30. Man, has Greenwald ever been catching some choice shit

    Glenn Greenwald
    Sarah Harrison is both brilliant & brave. In NYT, she responds to criticisms of @WikiLeaks; critics should read:

    Marie Ramsey
    Easy to interfere when you don’t suffer the consequences. Huh, Glenn?

    Glenn Greenwald ?
    Why, exactly, do you say that I “don’t suffer the consequences”? Please be specific and clear.

    Marie Ramsey
    Have you returned to live in the states then, or are planning to?

    Glenn Greenwald
    I’m in the US constantly, my work is there, my family and life-long friends are there, I pay taxes there, US affects whole world.

    Marie Ramsey
    You’re white you’re male, all that travel sounds like you have 2 nickels to rub together; don’t HAVE be here.Pain’s peripheral

    Glenn Greenwald
    Yeah, I’m a Jewish LGBT in a same-sex inter-racial marriage. Please lecture me some more on what discrimination is like.

    Marie Ramsey
    Try being female in this patriarchal & fucked up world.

    Glenn Greenwald Verified account
    ?Yes, I don’t go around minimizing the discrimination and oppression others face. You should try doing the same.

    1. Meee-yow

      exposing corruption in govt is Anti-Woman, it seems

    2. The nerve of upper class liberal white women is quite astounding. I am not big fan of Greenwald but I can’t imagine lecturing him about what it is like walking in his shoes. Only a western white woman would have the presumption to do something like that. Yet, it is everyone else but them who is privileged.

      1. At least he genuinely hates the US Government and US foreign policy, like Chomsky. He’s consistent in that.

    3. Never thought I’d say this, but the last 8 years have earned Greenwald my grudging respect. I still disagree with much of what he says, but he seems to be a rare thing, a sincere journalist who has some actual principles.

    4. Wow, I was wondering how long it would be before Greenwald was told to stand over the ‘X’ on the trapdoor where Cindy Sheehan and Julian Assange were told to stand.

    5. There’s more:

      Marie Ramsey ?@Scairp114 2h2 hours ago
      @ggreenwald Allow me moral high ground today, in some yrs & after Medicare, SS is privatized I’m gonna die from neglect destitute old woman!

      Mona Holland ?@MonaHol 54m54 minutes ago
      @Scairp114 I am a woman, on SS & living in U.S., & @ggreenwald’s former law partner. And agree w/ pretty much his whole take here.

      Marie Ramsey ?@Scairp114 10m10 minutes ago
      @MonaHol @ggreenwald Says more about you than it does about me. Y’all.

      Mona Holland ?@MonaHol 5m5 minutes ago
      @Scairp114 Don’t see your point. ur attack on @ggreenwald is baseless. &, he doesn’t think in terms that he is “somebody” others “nobody”

      Marie Ramsey ?@Scairp114 1m1 minute ago
      @MonaHol Wtf do you care what I say to him? I know, difficult to defend oneself from the indefensible but he’s a big boy so BUGGER OFF

      Hope she’s married.

      1. Well, ain’t she just a peach.

      2. I find it very remarkable who often leftists are utterly uncompassionate or respectful towards others in person. They seem to feel that voting for candidates who spend tax money on charity grants them a mantle of virtue and that that virtue entitles them to be absolute bastards towards anyone who arouses less than happy emotions in their minds.

        1. I’m honestly still trying to figure out what Hillary Clinton’s appeal to the left was. You take modern Hillary Clinton, rewind the clock to 1972, and she’s Richard Nixon. But they act like she’s Eleanor Roosevelt.

          1. She was the right sex, and the right color: female, and blue.

            Besides, who else, really, did they have? They’d already put their eggs in that deplorable basket a long, long time ago. It was Her Turn?.

          2. She had a vagina. Full stop.

            I had a couple of conversations with people close to me who supported her. They had a bunch of reasons for supporting her: some were the fact she wasn’t a republican; some were based on her accomplishments; some were based on the fact that they remembered the Clintons fondly; and then they loved the fact she was a woman.

            But… if you set aside the anti-Republican rationale (which any democrat would fill), redacted the accomplishments that weren’t really accomplishments at all (or were policy failures treated like accomplishments (cough, cough Libya!), what remained were two sexist ideas.

            1) That Hillary Clinton would be guided by Bill Clinton.
            2) That Hillary Clinton was a woman and we needed a woman (any woman!) in the white house.

            So basically two contradictory sexist ideas.

        2. They are not compassionate because judging by the only person they really know — themselves — they can conceive of no reason for others to show compassion to them. It’s just projection. They feel that they’re no good, and assume nobody else is, either. They know they’d never do any good unless forced, and assume nobody else will, either. They know they are impotent and powerless, except to the degree that they can bring others down, and to the degree that they can convince people that the good they’re able to force others into doing, can be attributed not to those who actually do it, but to themselves.

      3. Marie Ramsey ?@Scairp114 2h2 hours ago
        @ggreenwald Allow me moral high ground today, in some yrs & after Medicare, SS is privatized I’m gonna die from neglect destitute old woman!

        A boy can dream can’t he?

    6. Textbook example of goalpost-shifting!

    7. I get the impression that this Marie Ramsey woman is profoundly stupid but makes up for it by being insufferably smug.

  31. the abolitionist Rev. Elijah Lovejoy

    holy shit he’s a real person?

  32. Two authoritarian assholes explain they tell us what to think. I see.

    Can we just put a noose on either end of a rope and hang them both at the same time?

    1. You can’t be more against people and freedom in what they just spewed.

      Seriously. They can go fuck themselves.

      1. That’s right, and there was never a time when Obama didn’t say things like this. That is why I get so angry when idiots excuse their vote for him with ‘post racial america’ kind of crap. Bullshit, this guy is a hard core leftist authoritarian from way back and it was always obvious. I have also heard the ‘republicans needed to be punished’ crap. Yeah? So punish the republicans and leave the rest of us alone.

        Tyrants don’t come to power by trampling over their enemies and crushing everyone with an iron fist. They come to power with honey on their lips and the thunderous applause of the people.

  33. It would be nice if everyone, including Reason commenters would take a moment to realize that the state, nor its politicians are on your side, no matter what party they’re from.

    1. I keep saying this, but everyone in my social circle says I’m crazy!

      1. Could be that, could be your collection of singing potatoes. We’ll never know.

    2. Albert Jay Nock fleshed out your idea back in 1935 with Our Enemy the State. It’s available on Amazon in several formats.

      1. I don’t read the articles, you think I’m going to read a whole book?

  34. she is an insane bitch if she thinks that shit will fly here. maybe the rest of the whole godsdamned world. but not here.

    1. It’s like her world view came from behind the Iron Curtain. Fuck her and anyone else who is against freedom.

  35. “Dear Mr. President, there are too many fake news sites these days. Please eliminate three. P.S.: I am not a crackpot.”

  36. Obama, Merkel Blame Free Speech For Being Politically Disruptive

    FTFY

    1. Nice try, except that hate speech isn’t free speech.

  37. And of course Germany already has intrusive speech laws, the government has partnered with a left-wing radical organisation run by ex-Stasi agent to censor social media and every website owner is fully liable for any content his users post.
    Clearly this “internet” thing is a dangerous frontier that must be regulated even further.

  38. So judgmental about curating. One man’s Great Firewall is just another man’s People’s Liberation Proxy.

  39. oh boy, coming down from that week-long schadenfreude bender has been tough for me. now i’m reaching for actual 1A violations for a quick dirty fix..

    Rutgers has a “professor who teaches a course on politicizing Beyonce” whatever that means.

    he’s a leftist with a hardon for gun control. he tweeted about the 2A, somebody complained it was threatening, then the police showed up and forcibly took him for a psych eval. obviously his 1A was chilled so it sucks but dammit the schadenfreude high is just so good. gonna kick tomorrow.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..weets.html

  40. Fucking Krauts.

  41. Alright. I am now also officially terrified and frightened by Trump’s electoral victory.

    Not frightened and terrified by Trump, mind you … but by the insane Democrat/liberal/left wing response to it. Now we have a multi-government effort to force Facebook to “control” so-called “false news” and “disruptive” communication.

  42. And be grateful, you peons, for the fair and balanced reporting you get from the traditional outlets.

  43. I like Obama. I really do. I think he’s charismatic, intelligent, funny and a good father.

    I will not be lectured about what constitutes propaganda, nor warned of veiled threats to democracy without specificity.

    Obama, as a prior Constitutional Law professor, ignored and even utilized mass surveillance of citizens. His administration prosecuted more whistleblowers than anyone else. He unilaterally skirted the Constitution to extrajudicially execute more people via drones than anyone else in history.

    He may be a nice person, but his policies cannot withstand scrutiny past his likability in far too many areas. The Constitution acts as a floor for protection of the citizens. These fools in power act like it’s noble to get as close to the dirt as you can. How I hope their consciences are torn as a result.

    1. I think he’s a narcissistic, divisive prick with a hatred for Western civilization and Moriarty’s gift for seeming to be nowhere near the criminal schemes he supports. And all that other stuff. YMMV.

    2. Good father, maybe.

      I really don’t get the adulation people have for him as a person. He seems like an arrogant, thin-skinned narcissist who likes to scold people who don’t agree with him.

  44. Few things to be more afraid of than wealthy, powerful people, people who control others’ lives, calling for limits to free speech so they can more effectively and efficiently exert even more control over people’s lives. Be afraid; be very afraid.

  45. It is one thing to read/listen to openly sensationalistic and/or satirical news sources; in fact, they have always been with us, so the rational discernment of the reader/listener is required; however, it is far yet another thing to have those sites labeled and reputed to be “reliable mainstream,” when, in fact, they are purveyors of corporate/government propaganda with the intent to condition one to a particular state of thought.

    1. Well said.

  46. Vaht kould possibly go vrong?

  47. Not just the “disruptiveness” (ahem, educational potential) of the printing press, but also combined with putting the ancient language of the Bible into the vernacular. That was such a supposed major disruption that it became illegal to translate the Bible and people were burned at the stake for it. 🙁

    As usual it was about “containment” and “management” and “steering” people, except not using those mostly-pc words.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1019734/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RubxnoTeL_M

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