Reason Roundup

Almost No One Digs Josh Hawley's Internet Censorship Proposal, Thank Goodness

Plus: Immigration officials confirm Trump tweets about new raids, Elizabeth Warren talks sex work decriminalization, and more...

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Swift blowback against new measure to make the internet "politically neutral." New legislation proposed by freshman Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.) on Wednesday is getting roundly panned by both his Republican and Democrat colleagues. That comes in addition to the beating it's been taking from tech policy scholars, constitutional lawyers, and the general press. Meanwhile, most of the folks sticking up for Hawley's plan seem to profoundly misunderstand the current state of online speech regulation, how Hawley's plan (and similar proposals) would change it, or both.

In a nutshell, Hawley's bill would require popular internet companies to be politically "neutral"and to get certified as such every two years by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)or else face massive civil and criminal legal liability.

"This legislation is a sweetheart deal for Big Government," said Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.) in a Twitter response. "It empowers the one entity that should have no say over our speech to regulate and influence what we say online."

Joshua Wright, a former commissioner with the FTC and current law professor at George Washington University, deconstructs specific sections of the Hawley legislation in this thread. Overall, "a 'Fairness Doctrine' for the internet is a bad idea," tweeted Wright. "And the bill quite literally injects a board of bureaucrats into millions of decisions about internet content. This is central planning. Full stop."

Wright notes that "the bill asks the FTC to determine when social media platform moderation decisions are 'designed to or intend' to negatively impact a political party. Or when they have a 'disproportionate impact' on a party." But "no FTC Commissioner is expert in assessing the design or intent of algorithmic decisions over content. Much less their disproportionate impact—compared to what? The impact of some hypothetically neutral moderation?"

Hawley's bill "is wacky in a dozen little ways and in one huge way: It assumes there is such a thing as 'political neutrality' and that the FTC can define and enforce what that is," tweeted Daphne Keller, director of Stanford's Center for Internet and Society.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D–Ore.)original author of Section 230, the federal law Hawley (and authoritarians on both sides) are determined to killalso offers a good thread critiquing the bill:

Wyden also slammed Hawley for gravely misrepresenting current federal law and tech policy. It seems like Hawley's office "hasn't even read the statute he's trying to change," tweeted Wyden, who went on to explain:

Nothing in Section 230 shields companies for making illegal posts, or from violations of federal criminal law.

CDA 230 lets private companies take down inappropriate third-party posts without incurring liability. It's designed to protect companies from floods of lawsuits, the sort that kill innovation in its infancy. Republicans used to fight tooth and nail for these protections.

But these days, Trump's Republican party seems to believe that lawyers and bureaucrats should tell private companies how to make clearly private business decisions. The drive by Republicans to eliminate the autonomy of large private firms is extremely disturbing.

Disturbing might be too light a word for it; Republicans in 2019 are down-the-rabbit-hole levels of disorienting on this topic.

After fighting for freedom of association and against forcing private entrepreneurs to violate their consciences when it comes to bakers/florists/etc. and same-sex weddings, they've given up any pretense that that crusade was grounded in universal rights by failing to apply these same constitutional imperatives to businesses and speech that they don't like.

Hawley stans say it's different because Twitter and Facebook are bigger than Masterpiece Cakeshop. That's not a hook I would want to hang my religious liberty or freedom of expression on. By that logic, it's just fine to force evangelical Christian entrepreneurs to affirmatively participate in gay wedding ceremonies, bake "Happy Abortion!" cakes, provide "free" birth control to employees, and broadcast the messages of Satanists if those religious entrepreneurs create large, successful companies.

I don't know about you, but I would prefer not to condition my constitutional rights (or yours) on size and popularity.


FOLLOWUP

Immigration authorities clarified the president's Tuesday tweets warning of a new national crackdown. "The acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said on Wednesday that he would follow through with plans to send agents into communities to round up and deport undocumented families, in the Trump administration's latest attempt to deter large-scale migration of Central Americans to the southwest border," The New York Times reports. More here.


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  1. The acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said on Wednesday that he would follow through with plans to send agents into communities to round up and deport undocumented families…

    Phew. Now we know. Federal agents everywhere.

    1. Hello.

      There’s quite the concentration of commenters here.

      What a camp!

  2. Cellphones are giving the youths horns?

    It wasn’t a meteor that killed the dinosaurs. It was there smartphones.

    1. Try carrying your phone in your pocket next to your boys and see what happens after 15 years. In fact, when I bought my last phone there was a warning not to keep your phone 3” away from your balls.

      1. So, at the end of your dick?

        1. I laughed.

        2. boom roasted

  3. “Big Brother has terrible eyesight.”

    So a few wrong doors get kicked in for different reasons than usual.

  4. Latest Suicide Data Show the Depth of U.S. Mental Health Crisis

    “In 2017, 47,000 people died by suicide, and there were 1.4 million suicide attempts. U.S. suicide rates are at the highest level since World War II, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on June 20, when it released a study on the problem.”

    Some people will try to blame a certain Netflix show for this. But it’s obviously Drumpf’s fault people are so depressed they want to end their own lives.

    1. “In 2017 … there were 1.4 million suicide attempts.”

      Is that so? What counts as an “attempt”?

      1. Having to listen to Ben Shapiro, David Rubin and Jordan Peterson at school.

        Reeee!

      2. “What counts as an “attempt”?”
        A trip to the Dominican Republic?

      3. “Is that so? What counts as an “attempt”?”

        Whatever they care to call it; sort of like ‘smoking-related’ deaths.
        Smoked at one time? Got run over by a truck? ‘Smoking -related’ death.

      4. Wearing a dog costume when answering the door to a cop?

        1. Answering the door to a cop?

        2. You guys are on fire today!

      5. Miming

    2. There’s one way to solve the overpopulation problem.

      1. Wrong. We don’t have an overpopulation problem. In fact the problem is exactly the opposite — our population isn’t growing fast enough. Which is why we need more immigration.

        #ImmigrationAboveAll

  5. I’m open to decriminalization…

    THIS POLICY IDEA HASN’T BEEN FOCUS GROUPED YET!

  6. Asked @ewarren’s campaign if she agrees with @CabanForQueens on decriminalizing sex work. “I’m open to decriminalization,” she says.

    Watch NBC Nightly News tonight to see if that’s her “Big Idea”.

  7. New legislation proposed by freshman Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.) on Wednesday is getting roundly panned by both his Republican and Democrat colleagues.

    False flag. He was chosen to put that out there so that the rest of the sociopaths that make up Congress can seem like they give a shit.

    1. Not a bad theory, actually.

  8. More bad economic news.

    Shares of Olive Garden parent Darden skid after revenue miss

    With the economy this terrible, people just don’t have the money to eat at fancy restaurants anymore. Heck, some people I know have resorted to skipping dinner entirely 2 or 3 nights per week.

    #DrumpfRecession
    #KrugmanWasRight

    1. That explains why everyone is overweight.

      1. Some people are overweight because they can only afford unhealthy food.

        Regardless, I learned in college how fat-shaming is a form of systemic oppression so I try not to do it.

    2. “With the economy this terrible, people just don’t have the money to eat at fancy restaurants anymore.”

      Nothing Darden owns is “fancy”. Their other establishments are worse (Red Lobster also sucked and they sold that off years ago)

      Olive Garden is McDonald’s with theme music.

      When I worked there, our microwave won Employee of the Month repeatedly.

  9. Cellphones are giving the youths horns?

    I guess it’s time for the IFLS crowd to freak out about evolution.

  10. “It empowers the one entity that should have no say over our speech to regulate and influence what we say online.”

    of course it does – but half of the years his party will be in control, and then Yeeeee Haaawww!!!

  11. No mention of the House hearings on reparations for slavery?

    I’m confident my favorite libertarian writer Shikha Dalmia, given her passionate advocacy for racial justice issues, will soon unleash her magnum opus — “The Libertarian Case for Reparations.” It will be even better than her piece explaining why enforcing a border is morally comparable to enforcing fugitive slave laws.

    #LibertariansForReparations

      1. “GIBSMEDAT”

        There, I just saved any of our casual readers who might not be aware of this article about 10 minutes of your life.

    1. Who is going to sign the apology letter? President Beiber?

    2. You don’t understand this libertarian thing at all, do you?

      1. Depends on whether the intent is to mock libertarians of the (as perceived among many commenters) Reason/Cato/Koch variety or if it is to mock the people who are sure that Reason is just all secret progressives. I still can’t decide which is more likely.

        1. Secret?

          they love shit like this

    3. One of your better parodies. I give it an “A.”

      1. Standards around here for trolling have gone to shit.

        1. i’ll try harder.

  12. Iran shot down a U.S. drone that it said violated its airspace.

    In response the US General in charge said: “we weren’t operating in Iranian airspace that day”. Nope, not that one. The others, probably, but not last night. Bolton must be pitching a tent right now.

    1. The whiskers in his moustache become little stabby knives when he’s angry.

    2. In response the US General in charge said: “we weren’t operating in Iranian airspace that day”.

      “By way of further clarification, I myself have *never* operated in Iranian airspace.”

      1. operating in Iranian airspace

        In Air Force slang that is known as ‘peeking under the burka’.

        1. They don’t wear burkas in Iran.

          1. Some do.

            Most just wear the hijab or a headscarf, as required by law since 1979

      2. “And by ‘we’ I mean ‘my wife and I'”

    3. Perhaps Iran has taken after Facebook’s “on the fringe “ policy.

    1. Oh boy, how exciting! Gotta love how this article throws Steven Crowder in right after talking about how this organization was started in response to Charlottesville.

      If you think this initiative will only go after violent extremists, you also have to be willing to ignore the fact that the article talks about Steven Crowder in the same breath as it talks about the atrocious Charlottesville rally. They will come for you, they make no distinctions. But its okay, I’m assured by the libertarians here that this is all good! Nothing to see here.

      1. Progress uber alles.
        Both sides!
        The Right/conservatives/populists/nationalists is, theoretically or hypothetically, just as bad.

    2. Are they going to fight leftist extremism too? Calling for communism is pretty well on par with calling for race war in terms of evilness.

      1. Agreed, but somehow I doubt that anything as woke as communism will be criticized

  13. One of my few criticisms of Reason.com lately is the negative coverage of Kamala Harris. How can you dislike a politician who says this?

    Let’s call this what it is: an attempt to remake the demographics of our country by cracking down on immigrants. That this threat is coming from the President of the United States is deeply reprehensible and an affront to our values. We will fight this.

    It’s unconscionable the way the alt-right white nationalists are explicitly trying to change the demographics of this country. We open borders advocates in the progressive / libertarian alliance would never do something so cynical. Our enthusiasm for immigration is based on a sincere concern for immigrants’ lives — not on partisan electoral politics.

    #LibertariansForHarris

    1. Kamala Harris confesses, via accusation, that the Left’s goal is to remake US demographics through immigration policy.

      1. Deliberate and explicit ethno-class warfare

        1. It isn’t even class-based. Unlike yesterday’s Democrats, most progressives don’t give a shit about things like H-1Bs or outsourcing of labor anymore. Most of their agenda is driven by upper-middle class and wealthy white liberals, the only ethno-political demographic that doesn’t display in-group preference, and one has grown increasingly hostile to whites in general over the last 40-50 years as their dreams of a Maoist utopia were frustrated by their own people. Imagine not wanting to participate in a nationwide struggle session and be held responsible for things you never did. The nerve!

          These people are utopians who actually believe that when white people aren’t a minority in this country, they’ll remain untargeted for liquidation as long as they continue to tell brown people “Oh, I’m not like THOSE white folks–I defend you on the internet!”

          1. *when white people are a minority

          2. Maybe some are utopians, at least as it appears to them consciously, but the driving force is malicious.

            “Most of their agenda is driven by upper-middle class and wealthy white liberals [progressives]”

            Correct.
            The class warfare aspect comes with their disdain, loathing, and fear of the working class – particularly white working class.
            Their goals are a neo-feudalist society, in which proper respect/reverence is shown for the “lords/nobles” – specifically, of course, themselves

    2. Let’s call this what it is: an attempt to remake the demographics of our country by cracking down on immigrants

      Talk about gaslighting.

  14. Swift blowback against new measure to make the internet “politically neutral.”

    You know who else got “swift blowback?”

    1. A Modest Proposal?

    2. Gulliver?

    3. Pete Buttigieg?

  15. “Seattle campaign finance program gives voters $100 to donate”
    […]
    “On a muggy spring morning, Seattle City Council candidate Pat Murakami weaves through front yards and porches, knocking on doors in a gritty but gentrifying neighborhood.
    It’s a tradition for political hopefuls. And for Murakami, a two-time council contender, it’s her main fundraising strategy, thanks to a first-of-its-kind program allowing Seattle voters to give candidates taxpayer money to fuel their campaigns.
    “I would have been a complete non-contender without the program,” she said of her first race in 2017, when she beat six other primary candidates before losing the general election.”
    https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article231714458.html

    So this means losers like this can keep bothering people?
    I vote for ‘none of the above’; can I keep the money?

    1. Or write in your own name and pocket the money is what I was thinking.

  16. It’s been more than twenty years since a trust was established to ‘develop’ SF’s Presidio; a former military base on some of the most desirable real estate in the world. A good bit of it remains as abandoned buildings (you can tell there’s no profit motive here).
    One large section was ‘put out to bid’ last year and the final proposal was rejected just recently.

    “Presidio Trust rejects ‘do-gooder’ plans to restore Fort Scott”
    […]
    “…and to reject a proposal by a trio of developers to restore Fort Scott and its 22 buildings as a compound reserved for what they said would be “a diverse community of mission-driven organizations … addressing the most significant issues of our time.””
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Presidio-Trust-rejects-do-gooder-plans-to-14022721.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    So, did the trust gag at that collection of pablum-as-English, or was it not yet ‘blue sky’ enough?

  17. “Estimated earnings this cycle: 10.35BAT 3.40 USD”

    That’s what it says in my Brave browser. Yeah, they give me a portion of the money they get for showing me advertising–and none of my personal information is shared with anyone. At the end of the month, if present trends continue, I’ll get $3.40. I can keep the money for myself if I want, or I can give it to a content creator on YouTube (even if they’re been “demonetized”), a news outlet of my choice, or I can give it to a publication like Reason!

    Well, to be honest, I can’t give it to Reason–because although they like to talk about people using consumer choice instead of the government to police the internet, they haven’t actually signed up for the service that will let consumers do exactly that.

    This month I will have deprived Google, Facebook, Amazon, and other advertisers that abuse my data of all of the revenue they would have made by advertising to me, and with the Brave Rewards program, I could give it to Reason–if only they’d get verified.

    $3.40 a month may not sound like much, but then Reason is selling subscriptions for $14.97 a year. Somebody check my math:

    $3.40*12 = $40.80.

    $40.80 / $14.97 = 2.73, that’s almost 3 subscriptions a year!

    My little contribution isn’t about to break Facebook and Google by itself, but if a whole lot of people started participating in the program, well, that’s the way Facebook and Google got started. Imagine how different content creation might be if we went back to more of a subscriber model for media rather than one based on abusing your personal information and advertising.

    Those of you who are advocating that the government save us probably already see that world clearly. If only you could be persuaded to do for yourself as you would have the government do unto others. Want to take money away from YouTube and give it to a demonetized content creator who does gun reviews? You can do that!

    Downloading the Brave browser is free. Using something new is always a pain in the ass for the first couple of hours. It’s the fastest browser I’ve ever used. It doesn’t require you to participate in the Brave Rewards program. You can opt to see no advertising at all–and you’ll still be sticking it to Facebook and Google by depriving them of advertising revenue. If you want to get paid to see fewer ads than you usually would otherwise, however, you can choose to do that, too. You just can’t give the money you make to Reason because . . . I guess they’re too fucking lazy to get verified.

    https://publishers.basicattentiontoken.org/

    1. Its like a spam bot post but its actually real, is in decent English, is a lot longer, makes sense and is from Ken Shultz.

      I will start using this browser at home. I wonder if they have a mobile version too.

      At work, I’m out of luck. I have to use company-approved software.

    2. Damn it, Ken.
      I think you’ve sold me

    3. I’m going to check that out.

  18. Hawley stans say it’s different because Twitter and Facebook are bigger than Masterpiece Cakeshop. That’s not a hook I would want to hang my religious liberty or freedom of expression on.

    What’s left out of the whole discussion here is that political neutrality on social media wasn’t even considered to be a matter for debate until right-wingers began using it as a form of guerilla communication that led to Trump’s election. Within a few days after he won, a whole bunch of relatively well-known alt-right accounts were purged from Twitter, and the deplatforming has continued, mostly on specious reasons.

    I guarantee if Hillary had won, it would have remained a non-issue because guys like Alex Jones would still be considered harmless cranks, instead of individuals that could potentially swing national elections.

    As I’ve said before, it’s not an accident that the NYT hired Sarah Jeong as an editor. She literally wrote the book on how to justify censorship of public discourse that didn’t fit pre-approved social or political narratives. The social media companies are simply adopting that recommended approach.

    Comparing Masterpiece Cakeshop to Google or Facebook in that regard is exceptional in the extreme, even if Hawley’s methodology is dumb and the bill doesn’t have a hope in hell of passing.

    1. Well said. I don’t get how people can think there’s no issue to be discussed here.

    2. >>>a form of guerilla communication that led to Trump’s election.

      fakebook is why T won?

      1. No, it was the Russians.

        1. Specifically, the tag team victory of Trump + Jesus over Hillary + Satan

  19. Shooting down a drone down just doesn’t seem very provocative.

    I read a story once about a farmer that shot a drone down because he said it was trying to look through his daughter’s window. The guy who owned the drone wanted the farmer arrested for destroying his drone. The farmer wanted the owner of the drone arrested for peeping through his daughter’s window.

    That incident didn’t require any action by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and it doesn’t seem to me that Iran shooting down a drone requires much of their consideration either–regardless of whether it was over Iranian territory.

    You can’t have a Francis Gary Powers incident without a Francis Gary Powers.

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

    1. Not all drones are created equal.

      1. Not all drones are created equal.
        Yeah. Some are worth 180 million dollars and incorporate top secret tech. And give you much better resolution for your farmer’s daughter window pics.

      2. Some are more equal than others.

    2. don’t they have one of our drones thanks O? equally likely they shot down a replica?

      1. They didn’t shoot that one down.
        It “malfunctioned” then “crashed” in Iranian territory

  20. The Fairness Doctrine was always a terrible idea. But when it existed it at least had a vaguely cromulent excuse: The Big Three broadcast networks were government approved monopolies. The doctrine got tossed out around the same time the monopoly crumbled

    And at the time it was … get this … conservatives who were opposed to it! Because it was the Democrats, liberals, and progressives who were in charge. Now it’s a so-called “conservative” who wants it back. Reagan is rolling over in his grave to rapidly you could use him to generate electricity.

    People who still think there’s a difference between Republicans and Democrats just haven’t lived long enough yet.

    1. The fairness doctrine is stupid. Hawley’s “solution” is stupid. Most people are criticizing it, including conservatives. Doesn’t mean that there’s no issue with online censorship and the fact that most of it goes in one direction and is dictated by an algorithm designed by a small group of people in California. You can’t mention transgenderism on twitter unless you are in support of it, otherwise you can be banned under the “harassment” guidelines – just one of the many examples of big tech pushing people in one direction – making sure you can only see/engage with one view on the issue. The rules go in one direction and the majority of discussion happens on a few platforms completely controlled by private business with a particular dominate worldview. Conservatives used to have some respect for the idea of public space/square.

      1. Doesn’t mean that there’s no issue with online censorship

        WHO is saying “there’s no issue with online censorship”? That is a strawman.

        Instead, quite a lot of people are saying “the way to fight online censorship is not more censorship, but from the state”.

        1. “Power don’t come from a badge or a gun. Power comes from lying. Lying big and gettin’ the whole damn world to play along with you. Once you’ve got everybody agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain’t true, you’ve got ’em by the balls.”

        2. WHO is saying “there’s no issue with online censorship”? That is a strawman.

          Actually I’ve had several libertarians tell me that there is no issue. Specifically the words “no issue” have been used several times when I’ve called for this to be an issue that needs to be addressed. Not a strawman at all. Actually an acknowledgement of the actual non-arguments that have been presented to me on this very website. Don’t gaslight me, pedo.

      2. Of course there is an issue. But asking for more government involvement and putting some bureaucrats in charge of making the fine distinction between publishers and platforms is not going to be better.
        Youtube is not the only video service, Google isn’t the only search engine or email provider. Facebook is pointless and stupid and no one needs it, same for Twitter.
        Use different services. These companies aren’t going to last forever.

        1. How is it an issue if your solution is “this will just go away on its own”.

          As far as I can tell, that ultimately means that you believe this is not an issue. Or at least not one that needs to be addressed.

          I don’t believe we should have governments take over like Hawley would do. Simply barring platforms where politicians communicate publicly from banning individuals that have not posted illegal content would be good enough for me.

          Youtube basically is the only video content provider. Google basically is the only search engine (but not the only email provider). Google and facebook are basically the only advertiser networks. Facebook and twitter are basically the places where broadcasted political speech takes place. There are virtually no other services where your voice can be adequately heard by and engaged with by the masses. These companies are going to last for a very, very long time.

  21. Also in regards to stupid politicians and their solutions to the internet vs. markets beating them to the punch with superior solutions and consumer choice . . .

    Slack went public today.

    It isn’t billed as such, but it makes a great replacement for Facebook.

    What if there were a Facebook, where nothing was visible to the general public–only the people you invite? And what if that Facebook replacement aggressively let you integrate a bunch of programs you already use, like Dropbox, video conferencing solutions, calendars, photo sharing, etc.? And what if you could use it for free? And what if their business model wasn’t based on advertising at all–but charging for upgrades and charging companies for subscriptions?

    That’s Slack.

    I’ve got friends and family using it instead of Facebook, and they love it.

    Slack won’t let you make contact with second cousins twice removed or ex-girlfriends you haven’t seen since high school, but in my opinion, that’s more of a feature than a bug.

    I recently overheard someone complaining about a retailer showing up in her Facebook feed. Why does an unwanted retailer keep showing up in your feed? Maybe it’s because they’re the ones paying for you to use Facebook, you idiot. If you don’t like it, why don’t call up Facebook and tell them you want your money back? Oh, you don’t pay anything to use Facebook’s service? Well, what do you call it when they share all your personal information with unwanted retailers?

    Freedom of choice
    is what you got.
    Freedom from choice
    is what you want.

    1. I hope this is the direction things go. I’ve been off of Facebook for years. Sure, now I don’t know when most birthdays happen and, at first, I was missing a party here and there, but I’m a lot happier now.

      That being said, I’m also not involved in any political discussion anymore. I had a few friends reach out and say that they miss my voice on the issues every morning. I’m not even sure if my voice would conform with facebook’s approved speech guidelines anymore. I suspect I would be fine…. for now. Luckily I don’t make my living off of political speech.

      1. I’m not even sure if my voice would conform with facebook’s approved speech guidelines anymore.

        What type of speech are you referring to, that you would make, that you think would run afoul of Facebook’s policies?

        1. Sharing a Steven Crowder video.

      2. You can start a Slack page for free and invite your friends on it. This might be a great opportunity to explain why you don’t like Facebook and point to a superior alternative. I wouldn’t expect Slack to replace Facebook completely, but I expect, they will, over time, eat more and more of Facebook’s lunch. That’s how I’m using it anyway!

        1. Not a bad idea. Okay I will look into this. Thanks Ken.

      3. P.S. the Google free alternative to Android is currently in beta.

        https://e.foundation/products/

        When it goes live, consumer choice will be the real solution to that problem, too.

        I just can’t get my head around inviting the government to reorganize some of the most important industries in our economy–under the auspices of antitrust. . . . not when the they aren’t charging consumers anything to use their products (never mind overcharging) and alternatives to all their products are either emerging in the marketplace or have already established themselves.

        If people don’t know about the other options, then informing them is an entirely libertarian way to fight against central planning.

        1. Right on, Ken. Calling for more central planning to fight the culture war is not the solution. These companies are not invulnerable to market forces.

          1. But they are invulnerable to the responsibilities and liabilities of other publishers

            1. I’m not sure what you’re referring to there by liabilities, but I can’t help but wonder if the problem you’re referring to isn’t better addressed by the courts rather than by Congress or the antitrust divisions of the Justice Department and the FTC. When we ask statist politicians to solve our problems for us, we shouldn’t expect to get libertarian solutions. We’re much more likely to get libertarian solutions–where we get to make our own choices–from markets. After all, people making choices it he definition of market forces. And when I look at the complaints out there, I can clearly see markets offering us better and better options at the expense of established players.

              Rome wasn’t burned in a day.

        2. I’m open to persuasion about these topics but I need to see evidence that your libertarianism is actually working. I keep hearing from libertarians that the market will respond and punish these companies. The market will do something. But all I’m seeing is more people getting banned. I’m seeing small/moderate political commentators without the backing of big networks get taken off of youtube, twitter and facebook. Then I see them removed from MasterCard, Visa and Patreon for voicing dissent over whether men and women are different and whether we should ignore biology to support transgender people.

          Where’s the market? All the small social media start ups get bought by google and facebook. Politicians are on these platforms and use them to communicate with their constituents. If I have a fairly conservative political view and I deny transgenderism based on my views – and I get banned on twitter for it, am I not allowed to contact my representative where they are – on twitter?

          1. Because things don’t happen as quickly as we like doesn’t mean they aren’t happening. Haven’t I pointed out some newly emerging solutions in this thread?

            The Brave browser’s “Brave Rewards” program is only weeks old. People are still finding out about it. Do your part and tell your friends and family. It could easily supplant Patreon and PayPal as a way to monetize content–in addition to depriving Google and Facebook of revenue.

            Same thing with that /e/ foundation Android that’s in beta. I believe it’s scheduled to launch later this year.

            Slack went public today. You’d never heard of them a year ago. Today they have a market cap of $19.5 billion. They’re not just doing away with email. They can be and will be a big replacement for Facebook.

            Also, did you hear about Facebook’s new push for their own cryptocurrency the other day? Can’t help but notice that it seems to be a reaction to things like steem.it and d-Tube, where content creators are paid in cryptocurrency. (Incidentally, Steem and d-Tube are direct competitors with Facebook and YouTube, too.) It takes time for new technologies to emerge In fact, that’s the way the Brave Rewards program works, too.

            You know who else is challenging Google’s targeted advertising model? Here are two examples:

            1) Amazon

            It used to be that when people were shopping for something, they’d go to Google to search for the best price. I’ve read that some 50% of all product searches happen directly on sites like Amazon, now, and Amazon is eating more and more of Google’s lunch that way. Why bother advertising on Google when more and more people are searching for products on Amazon? Amazon has their own advertising engine, too! And their ability to prioritize results and show you relevant complements is just as effective as Google’s–maybe even more so for being at the point of sale.

            2) Roku

            Advertisers are spending more and more money on Roku at the expense of Google and Facebook, too. They can show you advertising based on what programs you watch among other criteria that rivals Google and Facebook.

            Notice what’s happened to the cable companies because of companies like Roku, Netflix, and all the streaming companies? The cable companies are losing millions of customers a year to streaming. Streaming is completely remaking the distribution business. It’s why WarnerMedia and AT&T and Disney are gunning like crazy to take on not just tradition cable companies like Cox, et. al, but going after satellite providers like Dish and Direct TV. In fact, Dish and Direct TV are losing a tremendous amount of money on Sling TV and Direct TV NOW–just to try to hold on to some of their subscriber base as millions more every year turn away from cable and satellite.

            Those changes seem to be happening overnight, but they were a long time in the making–who knew cable subscribers would ever have so many choices!

            Two morals of the story:

            1) Things may not happen as quickly as you’d like, but they’re happening.

            2) The ability to stick it to Google and YouTube and Facebook and Patreon and Twitter is already yours.

  22. >>>is getting roundly panned by both his Republican and Democrat colleagues

    Tony’s gonna be pissed.

  23. Can someone provide me with evidence of millions of yearly human trafficking victims because I have literally never seen any.

  24. .@HawleyMO’s bill to require government oversight of online speech will turn the federal government into Speech Police, flagrantly violating the First Amendment. This bill would force every platform to become 4chan or 8chan rather than maintain some basic level of decency

    Interesting response from Ron Wyden, who lambasted the tech giants for not doing enough to protect America from the “damage to our democracy” due to Russian meddling in the election.

  25. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/how-joe-arpaio-inspired-the-immigration-crackdown/554027/

    So let’s review.

    If a migrant comes here illegally, and is caught, that migrant is placed in the camp/detention center. Since it’s not technically “punishment” then the migrant remains in indefinite detention until his turn to see a magistrate, which may be on the order of years.

    If a migrant presents himself at a port of entry requesting asylum – you know, the way he’s supposed to do it – THAT migrant receives the exact same treatment. Placed in the same camp, subject to the same indefinite detention, for years and years.

    So, now, what is the incentive for a migrant to request asylum legally, and instead just sneak over the border?

    By treating legal asylum applicants the same as illegal immigrants, Trump has created a perverse incentive to encourage illegal immigration. Because if there are no benefits to following the legal route, why bother?

    1. All of what you say is correct, however, Trump hasn’t created this. Most of this is standard operating procedure. There was a discussion here at Reason years back in the Obama administration and it was mentioned that people wait for months or longer in “detention” while they’re vetted. If I could find the thread, I would. The only difference is that there’s a large migrant caravan which is creating the conditions similar to what Europe had. If you have a bureaucratic process of vetting people streaming over your border, you have to put them somewhere. If you overwhelm the system, then that system is going to start setting up temporary shelters and camps.

      The only option you have at that point is either let people in and don’t vet them, or turn them away to a safe third country– which should be Mexico but for some reason isn’t.

      1. The only option you have at that point is either let people in and don’t vet them

        Honestly, Shikha had the right idea – let people in, do a cursory vetting, and then give them work permits while they wait for their asylum hearings.

        Place whatever condition you want on the work permit, it is still better than housing them in camps that are prisons in all but name only.

    2. So, now, what is the incentive for a migrant to request asylum legally, and instead just sneak over the border?

      You mean aside from the fact that they can apply for asylum in any country between their home country and the US but have to come all the way here in order to cross the border illegally?

  26. Disturbing might be too light a word for it; Republicans in 2019 are down-the-rabbit-hole levels of disorienting on this topic.

    After fighting for freedom of association and against forcing private entrepreneurs to violate their consciences when it comes to bakers/florists/etc. and same-sex weddings, they’ve given up any pretense that that crusade was grounded in universal rights by failing to apply these same constitutional imperatives to businesses and speech that they don’t like.

    Wet roads cause rain. The HRC, a government commission, fined Masterpiece cakeshop and Reason equates that with the government preventing web editors from being sued.

    Every American has an unequivocal right to petition the government for redress of grievances and Reason sides with Congress when they exempt Google, Facebook, etc. from being targets of that right.

  27. It’s designed to protect companies from floods of lawsuits, the sort that kill innovation in its infancy.

    Fuck that noise. Nobody sues a broke company with a half-baked idea unless they’re dishonest in their business practices and any person or company with a decent idea, a little funding, and a modicum of contractual honesty can easily weather being sued. Every other industry did it and does it but, somehow, web *content* (not the actual carriers themselves) would be overtly susceptible.

    Jesus Christ Reason was originally on the fence and even the wrong page with NN. It’s getting to be antithetic to reason to consistently start on the wrong, anti-liberty side of the issue and be dragged, kicking and screaming, to the right one.

  28. […] legislation probably won’t pass, at least not any time soon. The passage of legislation may not even be the point. But even if […]

  29. […] legislation probably won’t pass, at least not any time soon. The passage of legislation may not even be the point. But even if […]

  30. […] a forum free of political censorship,” Hawley said when he introduced the bill last week. Since then, the notion that Section 230 has always included an implicit “deal” requiring platforms […]

  31. […] a forum free of political censorship,” Hawley said when he introduced the bill last week. Since then, the notion that Section 230 has always included an implicit “deal” requiring platforms […]

  32. […] a forum free of political censorship,” Hawley said when he introduced the bill last week. Since then, the notion that Section 230 has always included an implicit “deal” requiring platforms […]

  33. […] a forum free of political censorship,” Hawley said when he introduced the bill last week. Since then, the notion that Section 230 has always included an implicit “deal” requiring platforms take a […]

  34. […] bill was mostly panned by libertarians who fear giving a panel put together by the Federal Trade Commission the ability to fine private […]

  35. […] lawmakers expressed support for the proposal in its current form. But Hawley isn’t alone in his desire to crack down on […]

  36. […] lawmakers expressed support for the proposal in its current form. But Hawley isn’t alone in his desire to crack down on […]

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