Free Speech

Conservatives Embrace Their Own 'Wokeness' With Attacks on Private Businesses

Remember when Republicans believed private businesses had a right to exercise free speech?


This week's column set out to highlight the expected Democratic attack on free speech and free enterprise. I had been following news reports that Rep. David Cicilline (D–R.I.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee, is about to introduce 10 bills that take aim at the nation's big technology companies.

For instance, the preamble to the Cicilline panel's 449-page report, released in October, complained that tech firms "that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons."

One should expect such overheated rhetoric—combined with a misunderstanding about the nature of monopolies—from one of Congress' most left-wing members. We also shouldn't feign surprise that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), the progressive icon and former presidential candidate, recently got into a snarky Twitter debate with Amazon.

"You make the tax laws @SenWarren; we just follow them," the company tweeted,  in response to her effort to close tax "loopholes." In response, the senator blasted the company's "armies of lawyers and lobbyists"—and vowed to "break up Big Tech so you're not powerful enough to heckle senators with snotty tweets."

That's an outrageous threat to use federal muscle to commandeer private companies and squelch their ability to communicate with elected officials. Warren, Cicilline, and other Democrats now call for an end to the Communications Decency Act's Section 230, which protects tech platforms such as Facebook from lawsuits over comments made by users.

I was appalled about these threats that newly empowered Democrats pose to private industry, but then I looked at what the GOP had to say. Instead of standing up for free enterprise and other long-held GOP principles, leading conservatives have been trying to outbid their progressive colleagues in making overheated attacks on "Big Tech." Given the hypocrisy here, the GOP attacks may be worse than what progressives are doing.

Last week's political news centered on Georgia, where the GOP governor signed a package of election "reforms" that some mainstream media outlets depict as "Jim Crow 2.0". Those narratives do a disservice to the African Americans that Jim Crow laws actually victimized, but the legislation—a mix of good, bad, and awful—emanates from Donald Trump's baseless allegations that election fraud robbed him of a second term.

A number of private executives, in the tech sector and old-line industries, criticized the new law. For instance, Major League Baseball responded by moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta. Atlanta-based Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola criticized the legislation. Coke's CEO, for instance, told CNBC that the law "does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia around broad access to voting, around voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity."

Republican officials, who have created a cottage industry out of blasting progressives for their cancel-culture habit of boycotting and shaming people who say and do things they don't like, went into full cancel-culture mode and railed against corporations. The former president championed a boycott of Coca-Cola in zany press releases. One GOP lawmaker introduced a bill to strip Major League Baseball of its antitrust exemption, which is the type of thing one would expect from Warren.

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.), who has never shied away from accepting corporate donations that advance his agenda, used the Georgia fracas to issue his own warnings to corporate America. "Our private sector must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex," he said, noting that, "corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order."

As I understand it, our constitutional order is based on the idea that American citizens—including corporate executives—have every right to express their opinions on political issues even if leading senators don't like the positions they take. That Constitution allows businesses to operate wherever they choose—and do so without threats from federal officials more interested in fighting culture wars than protecting our freedoms.

In other news, conservatives applauded Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who embraced the notion that feds should treat tech firms like public utilities rather than private companies. Meanwhile, two GOP members of Congress recently penned an op-ed in the Hill that sounds like something from Nanny State Democrats.

Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R–Fla.) and Bob Latta (R–Ohio) argued for more speech regulation because of online bullying. "There is bipartisan agreement that the Big Tech industry is failing to protect Americans, especially our children," they wrote. Well, if it's for the children, why should anyone complain?

The two representatives are correct in one thing. This abuse of government to micromanage private businesses and limit free speech certainly is bipartisan. Now that Republicans have embraced the same approach as Democrats, who is left to bloviate about the need for limited government, free enterprise, and personal responsibility?

This column was first published in The Orange County Register.

NEXT: Restore Pre-Pandemic Freedom, For the Children

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “R” and “D” parties… Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dee! And they both want to stick their tweedles in our tongues when we want to try to speak freely!

    1. Stupid Evil party vs Evil Stupid party.

      1. Making money online more than 15$ just by doing simple work from home. I have received $18376 last month. Its an easy and simple job to do and its sds earnings are much better than regular office job and even a little child can do this and earns money. Everybody must try this job by just use the info
        on this page…..VISIT HERE

    2. Some wag noted that Rs tell you what you can’t do and Ds tell you what you must do.

      1. Between the 2 of them, all supposedly “good” things will be mandated, and all “bad” things will be prohibited, leaving ZERO room for individual judgment and freedom!

  2. Anyone who thinks the issue on censorship and government pressure on business is actually Republicans overreaching is an unbridled idiot and has no business being published in a libertarian magazine.

    That is the dumbest of all possible dumb takes.

    We have the left using tech companies to censor Republican and conservative speakers. We even had all of the major internet companies conspiring to interfere in the presidential election last fall. You still are not allowed to mention anything about the election on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube if you are going to say anything negative about the Democrat side or anything suggesting there might have been voter irregularity. One conservative comedian and news host sent a team to physically verify addresses that voted in one contested city. They came up with a bunch of addresses that did not exist. YouTube banned the video and suspended his account. He literally physically went to the addresses and proved that they were not accurate. And YouTube said that it was disinformation about the election and banned him.

    We have banks and credit card companies and payment processing companies being pressured by prominent Democrats into refusing to process payments for conservative commenters and organizations. We even have prominent Democrats in the administration pressuring corporations into joining political campaigns that are based on a complete lie.

    We have internet companies refusing to carry content and hosting companies being pressured into dropping customers. The two major app stores for mobile devices refused to carry applications that do not censor on behalf of the Democrat Party.

    Yet the Republicans are the problem here because they dare to complain about it and threaten to do something about it if this doesn’t stop.

    This “it is the Republicans” take is either dishonest or a sign of mental illness. No rational human being could think that the real problem here is that some Republicans in some places are threatening to regulate Twitter as a public utility. Yeah, that’s the problem.

    Do you guys walk around all day with your fingers in your ears singing lalalala at the top of your lungs? 10 years ago you at least had something of an excuse as you made “slippery slope” logical fallacy dismissals of concerns. We are at the bottom of the dang slope now. That stuff doesn’t work.

    During the last election the New York Post had proof that our current president was directly involved in a payoff scheme from Chinese companies. They had emails from his son that talked about getting the money and one of the co-conspirators confirmed the emails and the story that the money was being set aside for our future president. Every single news organization and every single tech company conspired to block this information from the public.

    But the problem is…. Some Republican back-bencher saying that he wants to regulate big tech?

    Good Lord, people! Forest for the trees here. Forest for the trees.

    1. Well said. Thank you.

      To this I would add. We had a number of leftist non-profits contributing many millions of dollars directly to election boards, presumably to ‘assist’ them in their voter outreach efforts. Not enough has been done to expose the level of donations, and their impact. I find it interesting that a number of the states with controversial practices and electoral results were also the biggest recipients of that private money (i.e. Zuckerbergs non-profit for voting).

      It is not an accident that a solid majority of Americans believe the 2020 election was tainted.

    2. “an unbridled idiot and has no business being published in a libertarian magazine.”

      That would definitely be Greenhut.

      Of course, since when has Reason been a libertarian magazine?

      Not in a long time that I can remember.

      1. A thousand times this.

        Reason magazine and its writers are fully aware that Facebook and Google are quasi-government entities and not “private” companies in any meaningful way.

        To pretend that they are anything but corporatist is utterly dishonest.

        These information oligopolies didn’t achieve their position though hard work and canny business practices, but through government investment and sponsorship, either directly via In-Q-Tel, or through their proxies.

        They are now fully integrated with an American political party and their boards and upper echelons are staffed by said party’s officials and former elected representatives. They take orders from elected officials even if said orders are to the detriment of their own shareholders.
        This is literal, dictionary-definition fascist economics.

        And the word “private” is grievously misapplied to them and whoever claims that they are, is nothing but a rank propagandist. It’s a claim made by party advocates to evade the repercussions of the first amendment.

        1. “…Facebook and Google are quasi-government entities and not “private” companies in any meaningful way.”

          Pure unadulterated mooseshit from Inner Islamic Canuckistanistanistanistan! Government Almighty is a monopoly on the use of force, and Government Almighty uses tax money (or debt or inflation), rather than voluntary buyers, to finance its doings. NONE of which is true of these private companies!

          Mamma redefines terms at will; anything approaching honesty or standard uses of standard (and honest) language is beyond her!

          1. Fuck you Sqrlsy, you Democratic party shill.
            Next time try to make an argument instead of a spastic aneurism when your big “muh private company” lie is challenged.

            1. Thanks, you saved me the trouble.

          2. “Government Almighty uses tax money (or debt or inflation), rather than voluntary buyers, to finance its doings. NONE of which is true of these private companies!”

            In-Q-Tel you lying fuck.

          3. Government Almighty goons often lie and pass themselves off as someone that they are not, and Mamma the Moosefucker often lies and passes herself off as someone that she is not. Mamma the Moosefucker MUST be a Government Almighty goon!!!

            1. See, you’ve got no counter-argument so you just babble crazy shit. Government-almighty has a shill here, and it’s the clown who’s pretending that Google is a private company.

              1. Mamma logic: Words mean whatever Mamma says that they mean! Purple is fornicating and water is electricity!

                (And of course, anyone who doesn’t behave exactly as Mamma wants, is Government Almighty over-reach, and in need of being regulated (controlled) by Mamma and other right-thinking control freaks!)

                1. See, no rebuttal. Only gibberish.
                  What a fucking clown this troll is.

                  1. Then stop giving the shit-eater the attention it craves.

                2. “How to be a power pig” lessons from Mamma: Any activity I don’t like? I don’t like that tattoos drawn by the tattoo artists at the local parlor. Baldly assert (using no evidence or logic using words as defined by normal people) that the tattoo parlor is a Government Almighty function, and not a private business! The tattoo parlor (and the customer) is now subjected to me and my whims, and the whims of other voters, and politicians and regulators, to the hilt!

                  Mamma can use this tactic to tell us all what to do, on ANY topic!

                  Mamma, power piggishness does NOT lead to your Happy Place!

                  Those who worship the money-power-status variety of “success” would be well served by listening to the words of “The Boss”, AKA Bruce Springsteen… From the song “Badlands”, which is an anthem to the pursuit of TRUE happiness:

                  Poor man wanna be rich,

                  Rich man wanna be king,

                  And a king ain’t satisfied,

                  Till he rules everything!

                  Rule EVERYTHING? Really?!? Nah! Not gonna happen! So this mentality is a sure-fire guarantee for dissatisfaction, for unhappiness.

                  GIVE IT UP, for your own good, power pig!

                  1. Again, no rebuttal, just supermad angry gibberish because you know that you’re wrong and a liar.

                    1. Endless rebuttals and you call them all gibberish… Even a gibbon could call everything gibberish! YOU are the one incapable of offering sane and logical rebuttals, because you are an insane power pig!

                    2. It is impossible to refute ANYTHING that Mamma says or believes, Because She is Already Perfect in Every Way!


                      ‘1) Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

                      How does anyone teach anything to a know-it-all? How does anyone coach another person, on how to become a better person, when he or she already holds himself or herself to be perfect? What stands in the way? Narcissism, arrogance, self-righteousness, and so forth. You cannot add anything to a vessel that is already full, or full of itself.

                    3. Give me one example of a rebuttal, liar.
                      A rebuttal isn’t about calling someone names, making up asinine rhymes, gibbering about shows you’ve watched and posting links to your shitty journal.

                      It’s addressing what someone actually said, succinctly and adroitly.

                    4. It is a waste of my time to give you yet MORE rebuttals, all of which you will dismiss, because Your are Already Perfect in Every Way!

                      HOW do you ever expect to learn anything, Oh Perfect Master of All Things?

                    5. Compared to you, pretty much everyone is “Already Perfect in Every Way!”

                      Recognizing that I’m superior to you, is the least nutty thing that you’ve written today.

                    6. Mamma is Already Perfect in Every Way… When it comes to claiming to be a Christian Theology Expert, while ALSO claiming to be an Expert in Identity Theft and Lying!

                      Mamma… WHAT do you expect that You are earning for Yourself, with Your being enslaved to the Evil One?

                      If you ever come around to wanting to work on your sickness, MammaBahnFuhrer, start here: M. Scott Peck, The People of the Lie,
                      People who are evil attack others instead of facing their own failures. Peck demonstrates the havoc these “people of the lie” work in the lives of those around them.

                    7. Pretty sure the person that shills here for the party of slavery, the party of the Trail of Tears, of Jim Cow, of segregation, of Japanese internment, of housing projects, of abortion, of race quotas, of trans madness, of critical theory is the real evil one here.
                      And that’s you, Sqrlsy. Not me.

              2. Google is absolutely a private company, this is retardation, do people actually think if a company goes public (i.e. traded on the stock market) they’re not a private company anymore? the fuck, google is a private company, even if sqrlsy is batshit insane.

          4. Is glibs that boring sarcasmic?

            1. looks like he’s still getting free rent in your pea-sized brain

              1. Watching you tout yourself is embarrassing.

              2. So the answer is yes?

                1. Yes! Yes! YES! Yes, Der JesseBahnFuhrer DOES have a pea-sized brain!!!

                  (And it doesn’t even use that small pea-sized brain honestly, and probably never will).

                  1. Kill yourself.

                    1. Hey Sexless Stranger-Strangler… STOP drinking that kool-aid!!!

                      Sexless Stranger-Strangler, drinking Sexless Kool-Aid in a spiraling vortex of darkness, cannot or will not see the Light… It’s a VERY sad song! Kinda like this…

                      He’s a real Kool-Aid Man,
                      Sitting in his Kool-Aid Land,
                      Playing with his Kool-Aid Gland,
                      Has no thoughts that help the people,
                      He wants to turn them all to sheeple!
                      On the sheeple, his Master would feast,
                      Master? A disaster! Just the nastiest Beast!
                      Kool-Aid man, please listen,
                      You don’t know, what you’re missin’,
                      Kool-Aid man, better thoughts are at hand,
                      The Beast, to LEAVE, you must COMMAND!

                      A helpful book is to be found here: M. Scott Peck, Glimpses of the Devil

                      Hey Sexless Stranger-Strangler …
                      If EVERYONE who makes you look bad, by being smarter and better-looking than you, killed themselves, per your wishes, then there would be NO ONE left!
                      Who would feed you? Who’s tits would you suck at, to make a living? WHO would change your perpetually-smelly DIAPERS?!!?
                      You’d better come up with a better plan, Stan!

          5. Hitler, Mau, Stalin did not start out by posting news minders in the newsrooms that came after they gained full power.

            The newsrooms censor themselves first just like our are.

        2. An actual libertarian magazine would be strongly criticizing tech companies collusion with government- particularly democrats- in order to secure for themselves faborable terms, which also prevent the same “scrappy, underdog start ups” from upsetting the current status quo. The current status quo a small handful of billionaire tech oligarchs, who adhere to progressive politics, control the entire internet, and thus control the flow of information. A real libertarian magazine would have at least some small concern about the fact that a few companies basically own the entire internet infrastructure, and have used their ownership to ration information, and to censor information. They’re all in bed with the democrats and have interfered with political communication that was infavorable for democrats on their platforms, so they can’t hide behind the “private company” bullshit anymore.

          Their current crusade is to throw a block for the Marxist BLM activist who just went on a real estate buying spree and now owns about $3 million worth of property. It’s being flagged on Facebook AND Facebook messenger as “abusive.” It’s legitimate to criticize a public figure who’s the avowed Marxist mouthpiece for an avowed Marxist organization when she engages in capitalist ventures like buying a bunch of properties. And yet they’ll allow people on twitter to call Candace Owens a “house n****r.” Yes, corporate entities have a right to political speech, but it becomes a problems when almost all the speech outlets are owned and controlled by one political party. That’s not free speech.

          What they are doing may be technically legal based on current law, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s morally and ethically corrupt, and routinely violates individual free speech on a daily basis. The government has a small handful of duties it owes the people, and one of them is to ensure their freedom of expression.

          1. Jason Whitlock after his supporters’ ire convinced Twitter to back down and unblock his account:

            Never apologize to these satanic MFers! Never. Stand your ground. Stand on truth.”

            He then immediately retweeted his banned tweet.


            Baller move.


            JUST IN – Facebook now censors Daily Mail, the 3rd largest newspaper in the UK, after blocking links from the New York Post. Story on BLM co-founder’s multi-million dollar LA property empire by the UK publisher blocked on the platform.

          3. There uses to be a term for big corporations allowed their oligoplopolic status by the government for operating at the ruling party’s behest, havent heard it much in years.
            “Plantar Fascitis” or something like that

          4. Since the 1970s, libertarian institutions such as Reason have had a problem: They “can’t” allow their cause to be identified with either of the main political tendencies, because that detracts from their selling libertarians as “different”. So they look for whatever cockamamie excuse they can find to pronounce a pox on both their houses, even when it’s soooo clear the libertarian interest lies on one of those sides.

            Referring to “wokeness” like this on the part of “conservatives” makes a mockery of the issues.

            1. As if republicans who currently hold more majorities, are the threat to libertarianism. What a joke.

              1. ‘No majorities’. Damn squirrels.

        3. “Reason magazine and its writers are fully aware that Facebook and Google are quasi-government entities and not “private” companies in any meaningful way.”

          No, no I’m pretty sure they are private companies. Ones that hold a lot of power due to their ubiquity? Yep.

          You don’t get to just declare them “quasi-government entities”, and then hope everyone agrees because In-Q-Tel once owned a couple million dollars worth of Google stock, lol.

          1. “No, no I’m pretty sure they are private companies.”

            And you’d be laughably fucking wrong cunt.

          2. Fuck off sarcasmic

          3. then hope everyone agrees because In-Q-Tel once owned a couple million dollars worth of Google stock, lol.

            I see this is the new deflection attempt to try and mask the fact that Facebook and Google got precisely as big as they did due to CIA sponsorship.

            1. And that their management swaps back and forth between those “private sector” jobs, government staff positions, and “N”GO boards

    3. Weyland Industries is doing cutting edge bioweapons research

    4. Cheers to a great comment!

    5. Well said.

    6. Well, he did acknowledge that the Democrats are even worse. But yeah, trying a little too hard to do “both sides”.
      I don’t know what can be done about the big media/tech companies, but it is a problem. I think anti-trust action would be likely to make it worse.

    7. We’re clearly further down the slope than we were, but if you think we’re at the bottom, you’re wrong.

      1. Ok. Fair point. Fair… But depressing.

    8. “We have internet companies refusing to carry content and hosting companies being pressured into dropping customers. The two major app stores for mobile devices refused to carry applications that do not censor on behalf of the Democrat Party.”

      I will simply add that these are the same Democrats and, in many cases, the same internet companies who not very long ago supported Net Neutrality because they did not want private companies allegedly deciding what content people would be allowed to see.

      1. Net neutrality was about Netflix vs the carriers who wanted to charge the company who was accounting for up to 60% of all internet traffic.

        That is all. Everyone else was duped into thinking it was personal to them.

        It worked out though… Obama got $60 million from Netflix the minute he left office. So… Win?

        1. bazingo

        2. “Net neutrality was about Netflix vs the carriers who wanted to charge the company who was accounting for up to 60% of all internet traffic.”

          Netflix’ internet traffic was already being paid for by the customers, who were not, after all, getting their internet service for free. The carriers who had their own competing streaming services wanted to double-bill Netflix, but not themselves.

          Still a bad idea, but that’s what it was about.

    9. Thanks for being the idiot supporting this. Way to go.

      1. Clever retort.

      2. Thanks for always being an idiot. Good job!

      3. Were you always a moron, or did years as a prog make you into one?

    10. Twitter just banned James O’Keefe because he caught one of CNN’s execs blatantly admitting that they produce propaganda for ratings. It banned Jason Whitlock for pointing out that the head of BLM owns four mansions in the whitest parts of town. The ones it doesn’t get shadow-banned to nerf their signal.

      When a cabal of private businesses with global reach, collude with major media organizations, corporations, and each other to specifically block political speech that favors a single political party–the same actions these people take in places like China in support of the ruling regime, incidentally–then they are no longer are acting solely as “private businesses.” Stuff like this is precisely what anti-trust legislation was enacted to prevent.

      Time to break up the FAGMAN Tech Trust and stop accepting the arguments of their apologists at face value.

      1. How is this different from the civil rights act protections that require businesses to provide service to people regardless of inherent traits? I’m looking for the principle that will bring the two seemingly polar opposite positions into alignment.

        1. I’d say the difference is that there’s no particular evidence that Masterpiece Cake is operating in collusion with either the government, or a particular party in government. While the tech giants have revolving door staffing with the Democratic party.

          The are, for all practical purposes, different faces of the same entity, with the government doing what requires the power to coerce, and the ‘private’ companies doing what the Constitution too obviously forbids the government to do. Each defends the other.

          1. Further, MC isnt colluding with all the other cake shops to ensure gays cant get a cake anywhere.

      2. To clarify:

        The positions that businesses have 1a rights and free association, which allows them to refuse service for a gay wedding cake, and the position that twitter et al do not have the right to refuse service over misinformation, inciting a mob, whatever.

        1. How is this different from the civil rights act protections that require businesses to provide service to people regardless of inherent traits?

          I just explained it, learn to read.

        2. What is “misinformation”?

          The New York reported that the BLM founder, Patrice Kullors has purchased 4 properties worth millions of dollars. Is this misinformation? Yet, Facebook has blocked this NYP article from being shared.

          1. Misinformation is the word Dee used to describe anything he does not want people to see or hear.

      3. Okeefe is only known for lying outside of the fascist media.

        You embarrass yourself defending a charlatan like him.

        Jason Whitlock is a moron when it comes to sports and politics.

        If twitter wants to save people from reading his nonsense that’s their business.

        Of course a fascist like you thinks companies should be forced to allow nonsense like that on their platforms.

        Little pussy traitor boy

        1. That’s the best example all day of posting a falsehood in every single sentence, you hicklib faggot. Maybe your doctor will give you a months’ worth of free AZT as a reward.

          1. Better he’s given an injection of cyanide.

            1. Fuck off traitor!

              Why haven’t you been court martialed yet for treason you dirty traitor?


              1. Fuck off hicklib faggot!

                Why haven’t you been given the Full Matthew Shephed you dirty hicklib faggot?

                Hicklib faggot!

                1. Why haven’t you given your real address yet?

                  Little pussy traitor boy

                  1. 3400 Albion Street
                    Denver Colorado

                    Come by anytime, you hicklib faggot, so you can get thrown on to I-25.

                    1. Your real address.

                      That was the deal pussy

              2. I’ll do the court martial against your kind, you dumb treasonous cunt.

                1. I hate Biden, but I accept the results of election because I love America.

                  Shut the fuck up you uneducated traitor hick.

          2. What’s false?

            Okeefe doctored and lied about the ACORN video. He also had a reporter lie to try and get Wapo to publish false allegations against Roy Moore.

            Jason Whitlock: these liberal sportswriters have hijacked the culture of sports which was traditionally conservative!
            I listened to him talk about nonsense like that for an hour one day just because it was so stupid. He even took calls from inbreds like you who’d say crap like “right on I’m sick of these uppity n… I mean wokeness politics in sports! Shut up and dribble!”

            Unless youre a right wing redneck like them. Then they’re fine with politics in sports.

            Please point out what you think I have wrong?

            Why do you hate gays?

            1. Hey, a twofer of posting falsehoods in every single sentence! Two free months of AZT for the hicklib faggot.

              1. Care to point out specifically what I got wrong?

                Why do you hate gays? Did some gay guys in Denver kick your hillbilly teeth in?

                1. I already told you, you hicklib faggot, learn to read.

                  Why are you such a hicklib faggot? Did your uncle prolapse your butthole when you were five?

                  1. I don’t see where you specifically said what I have wrong?

                    Maybe because what I posted is true?

                    1. Everything you said is wrong. As usual.

                    2. No it’s true.

                      I know you fascist traitors just lie about everything that doesn’t fit your far right worldview.

                      Please feel free to prove me wrong.


                    3. You’re always wrong you dirty progtard. We’re good and you’re evil. You’re a self professed bigot, a communist, and a traitor.

                      You should commit suicide right away. A loathsome creature like you has no right to exist

    11. I like how “removing MLB’s anti-trust exemption” is presented as an anti-libertarian move. Sure, anti-trust laws shouldn’t exist in the first place, but having them exist with exemptions is plainly worse.

      Libertarianism will never get anywhere so long as it retains the need to say “both sides are equally bad!” at the expense of liberty.

      “do so without threats from federal officials more interested in fighting culture wars than protecting our freedoms” – It is the height of dishonesty to accuse the victims of left-wing attacks of “choosing to fight culture wars”. One might as well accuse Jews of choosing to fight the Nazis.

      1. Explain how having antitrust law not cover baseball is worse than having antitrust law cover everything, if the very existence of antitrust law is bad.

        1. Arguing MLB should not lose their exemption is not the same as arguing for elimination of the law they are exempted from.

          Special pleading is the term you need to learn and understand.

    12. Big tech is essentially the government at this point. Immunized from common law torts. Conspiring with elected and party officials of one party to control the levers and institutions of power in this country including preventing competitors from having access to consumers (see, e.g., Parler).

      I don’t see how seeking to undo their undeserved immunity, through different regulation, or repeal/modification of the immunity, is non-liberty seeking.

      The reality is that they are all violation Section 230’s requirement of good faith imposition of their policies/terms of service. The outcome of any analysis that they do is driven by the question of “does the his the Democrats or not.”

    13. This is outstanding, Cyto. As usual.

      There needs to be another place to go where you, Ken, and others can keep writing like this.

    14. Couldn’t pople who want greater viewpoint inclusion by Big Tech simply purchase stock shares of the company and stage a “hostile takeover,” all without government regulation or nationalization? I proposed just this in the comments on Reason’s article on Josh Hawley’s “trust-busting.”

    15. If the left already controls Big Tech, why are they trying to abolish Section 230 and break them up?

    16. Private Public Partnerships, are agents of government. Big tech and now anti-Reason are acting as agents for the government. I believe in the free market but under this pseudo-fascism we now have the deep state, military intelligence complex, lifetime bureaucrats whatever you want to call it, are controlling private companies. I should probably drop the pseudo because that is the definition of Fascism.

      The real question is why Reason is jumping on the anti-speech band wagon with the deep state?

  3. “Remember when Republicans believed private businesses had a right to exercise free speech?”

    No, I don’t remember that. There’s a big difference between speaking and giving people money. The latter is basically bribery. The former is using language to persuade.

    1. Like vote for me and I will give you stimulus money?

    2. “We’ll get you reperations for the bad thing that happened to your great-great-great-great-great-grandpa”

    3. A platform can say anything it wants, it just should not limit what others say if it wants to keep the benefits of no lawsuits for being a platform.

      I do not like the notices but woke tech weenies pulling PHD medical opinions because they disagree with the politics or more likely want to support the big state is censorship and they become agents of that government.

    Mitch McConnell Tries to Have it Both Ways on Corporate Cash

    Shorter Bitch McConnell: “Nice companies y’all own there. Sure would be a big shame if something happened to them!”

    1. It would be really awesome if something happened to you. Maybe falling into an active rock crusher.

      1. It would be awesome if you were court martialed for treason you uneducated hick


        1. I’m a patriot. You’re a prog, therefore a traitor.

  5. Maybe Republicans have finally figured out that shilling for tax cuts for companies that obviously hate their guts isn’t the best use of their political capital.

    1. I’ve championed this for a while. These fuckers who hate them still rely on them to protect them from the fiscal problems of their favored policies.

      Stop doing it. Make them suffer.

      1. Shit, if the Democrats want to pack the courts, let’s go for a 90% corporate tax rate on the Fortune 500, with the funds specifically targeted for national infrastructure and the Department of Interior.

        I’d love to see the Dems’ media shills try to argue that billions more for roads and national parks needs to be rejected.

  6. This week’s column set out to highlight the expected Democratic attack on free speech and free enterprise.

    Yet somehow it veered off into attacking Republicans for playing by the same rules the Democrats have established rather than rolling over and playing dead.

    1. Telling companies youre tired of them being involved in politics and to stop it is totally the same as working with companies to shut down the speech of others.

      1. Absolutely hilarious. Never fails that the big brains of the Reason comment section are complete idiots that will defend ANYTHING the Republicans do.

        If not for double standards you’d all have none at all. Writer gives you a lay up and you throw it out the gym and clear into the next city.

        1. Yeah, that’s not really a rebuttal, Jeffy.

          I think that post isn’t worth the full fifty-cents… maybe twenty-five.

        2. GFY

        3. I agree that you don’t understand the difference. You’re not intelligent. Asking the guy who continues to punch you in the face every day to stop or you’ll fight back isn’t the same as punching someone in the face every day as they sit quietly. You seem to equate the two.

          1. He’s both stupid AND evil.

            1. You’re stupid, evil, inbred, and a traitor

              1. Ok, in order…..

                I have a high IQ, and it is dozens of points higher than yours. So I wouldn’t pull too hard in that thread.

                Wrong, I’m neutral good. Not chaotic evil, like you.

                My genes are diverse, as I am not the product of a grandpadad ducking his granddaughter/daughter.

                You’re a traitor, I’m a patriot. No progressive is an be a patriot.

                I know you’re a moron. But that should help straighten you out. Feel free to thank me for my charity.

                1. You don’t know my IQ. I don’t know my IQ. Those tests are garbage.

                  What makes you think I’m a progressive?.

                  You’re a traitor. You support killing the majority of the voters in the country. You’ve said leftists should be killed multiple times. Biden got more votes than Trump.

                  You support Trump trying to overturn the election. You took an oath to defend the constitution.

                  YOURE A FUCKING TRAITOR.
                  I love America and traitors like you make me sick.

                  I assume you live in the south or some rural shithole. I can tell by how backwards and uneducated your posts are

                  1. Everything I said is correct. You’re clearly a treasonous prog dullard. You’re just too stupid to how how stupid you really are. A trait endemic to your kind.

                    Killing progressives will be made necessary BY progressives. It will be largely self defense, plus a lot of treason based executions.

                    Your support of Biden, the usurper, is treason onto itself. Best you commit suicide immediately.

                  2. You’re a prog. You hate America, and you betray it every moment of every day. As a soulless uncle a thing. It’s all you’re capable of.

                    Kill yourself.

                    1. “Biden, the usurper”

                      Having Trump’s dick down your throat has cut off your oxygen and made you a moron.

                      I love America. I support killing mormons because it’s self defense, but traitors like you need to be locked up for life.

                      My grandfather fought fascists like you in WW2. He must be spinning in his grave seeing we know have a huge number of home grown fascists.

                      Trump humping traitor

    2. If the Democrats are in control of the federal government and the private companies are violating the First Amendment on the federal government’s behalf, then the Republicans aren’t playing by the same rules that the Democrats have always used before.

      Using the government to protect the free speech rights of individuals from the government is not improper at all. If the Democrats are using fear of a break up to intimidate private companies into eliminating the criticism of Democrats from their platforms, then the Republicans are 100% right to fight them.

      There isn’t anything about being a private company that makes it okay to violate people’s First Amendment rights on behalf of the government, and the Democrats who control the government are openly threatening to break these companies up if they continue to tolerate the speech of the Democrats’ critics.

      1. Corporations are not censoring of their own free will, when government threatens section 230, or outright breakup of them as “monopolies” or “too big”, unless they censor harrasement, “oh, and our political opponents’ tweets are harrassing, start with censoring them”.

        This is a vile and shameful period of American history. I hope we survive it. Where’s the Supreme Court in all of this?

        1. The Boomer generation has wrecked pensions. The boomer generation has wrecked reasonable spending. Why not go for the trifect of perfect destruction by creating a fascist (nominal private ownership but with strong government control) speech control mechanism?

          You can’t die off soon enough.

        2. I’m hoping some Republican will ask the CEOs under oath whether anyone from the Democratic party directed their actions against Parler.

          I would find it extraordinary if Google, while facing an antitrust investigation from the Justice Department over abusing its app store to hurt rivals, arbitrarily deplatformed Parler from their app store without at least calling the Justice Department first and getting some kind of okay.

          It’s much more likely that either the Democratic party or the government (same thing after January 5) contacted them after the Capitol riot on January 6 and told them to kick Parler off of their app store than it is for Google to do something that would offer evidence of them using their app store in an arbitrary way.

          “WASHINGTON—The conservative-leaning social-media network Parler referred violent content from its platform to the FBI more than 50 times in the weeks before the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, the company said Thursday, following criticism that it failed to adequately police threats ahead of the deadly attack.

          Parler in December began alerting the bureau to content suggesting the possibility of violence at the Capitol as Congress met to confirm President Biden’s victory, the company wrote in a letter to the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which is investigating Parler and its role in the siege.


          Parler received messages from the FBI commending them for going above and beyond with help–long after the Capitol riot. There appears to have been more Capitol riot organizing on Twitter than on Parler. It looks like Parler was shut down by Democrats for being a forum for Republican criticism of them.

          1. Wow, I didn’t know about that last bit. It really is an ideological purge they are trying to do.

    3. The difference the Democrats are trying to coerce big tech into more censorship with threats while the Republican are trying to break up de facto agents for the left leaning government. Government protected monopolies are the biggest danger to freedom.

      Facebook and twitter can and should say what they believe but as soon as they censor one person on their platforms all outside comments and postings should be blocked or the tech companies held liable.

  7. “Now that Republicans have embraced the same approach as Democrats, who is left to bloviate about the need for limited government, free enterprise, and personal responsibility?

    —-Steven Greenhut

    The House Democrats released a detailed plan to break up Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google back in October of 2020–less than a month before the November election–and one of the primary justifications for those breakups had to do with those private companies’ tolerance of what the Democrats called “misinformation”. There are antitrust actions pending against both Facebook and Google, so it isn’t just rhetoric that these private companies fear. The Democrats now have the means to do what they will to them.

    On January 6th, when it became clear that the Democrats had taken control of the Senate, and, thus, that the U.S. government and the Democratic party were one in the same, these companies colluded to, among other things, stop hosting Parler on their servers, stop distributing Parler’s app on their app stores, and they started policing the content on their platforms, rigorously, to stop the Democrat’s critics from voicing questions about the legitimacy of the election results, as well as to stop the Democrats’ critics from organizing protests against them.

    When Big Tech companies are under imminent threat of being broken up by the Democrats, who control the federal government in its entirety, because Big Tech has tolerated “misinformation” against the Democrats, by what stretch of the imagination does capitulating to that qualify as a stand for limited government, free enterprise, and personal responsibility?

    1. Do not forget Ron Wyden’s “open letter” to Big Tech.

  8. This is terrible both sidesism even by Reasons standards.

    Capitulate to the left or youre just as bad as them. – Reason

    1. Reason Magazine:
      Global Socialist Wokester Party uber alles

      1. Kinder Gentler Statism

  9. Threatening to remove an otherwise unlawful government granted anti-trust exemption is now an “attack” on private business.

    Just don’t call Greenhut or his ilk Orwellian.

    Come out of the closet already Steve, it’s perfectly safe now to be a progressive.


      Democrats have the White House, both houses of Congress, and if they get their way, the Supreme Court for the next hundred years…and I have never seen them more violent, hateful or unhappy in all my life.

      1. The. Ore they get the more vicious they become. Rage with every breath they take.

        Perhaps they should breathe no more.

  10. I used to point out that Trump’s intention to force Big Tech to tolerate the speech of conservatives was better than the Democrats’ attempt to purge social media of conservative voices–even if neither approach were perfectly libertarian. Now that the federal government and the Democratic party are the same thing, and they’re actively threatening to break up Big Tech companies if they don’t crack down on their critics’ speech, it’s no longer necessary to choose the best from a number of imperfect options.

    The Democrats are using Big Tech as an extension of the Democratic party and that means as an extension of the federal government–that the Democratic party controls. The legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights, and by the standard of defending limited government, free enterprise, and personal responsibility from the federal government, the Republicans are absolutely right to go after the private companies that have made themselves agents of the Democratic party and are acting both in fear of and on behalf of the Democratic party and the federal government.

    When a private company violates the rights of individuals at the direction of the federal government, it is violating the Constitution, and if you aren’t aware that the private companies in question are acting under threat of an imminent breakup, you really need to educate yourself. Again, the Democratic party by way of a House committee issued the 450 page plan in November of 2020 to break up these private companies by name for tolerating “misinformation”, and the Democratic party is now synonymous with the federal government itself. Read the plan for yourself!

    It isn’t just in that document. The Democrats have publicly and repeatedly threatened Big Tech over tolerating misinformation for so long! And the Democrats and the federal government are now one in the same thing. Certainly, if the Democratic party doesn’t get rid of the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court, it will only be because they do not wish to do so. If the only reason you don’t take 100% absolute control of the government is because you’d rather not, then you have control of the government–and you can do what you want with it.

    1. “When a private company violates the rights of individuals at the direction of the federal government, it is violating the Constitution”

      Reason and our fifty-centers are deliberately ignoring this point as hard as they possibly can.

      My only point of contention is that Facebook and Google are now run by boards composed of party officials, and only reached market dominance thanks to government programs. Their not actually private companies by any stretch.

      1. Even if you concede that they are private companies, . . .

        Does Reason support the government using eminent domain for the benefit of private companies–because, after all, they’re private companies?

        When private companies violate our constitutional rights at the behest of government, that’s still unconstitutional, but even IF IF IF what the government is doing is perfectly constitutional, it’s okay to oppose what the government wants to do for other reasons.

        There are millions of things that are perfectly constitutional and should be opposed anyway. Even IF IF IF using eminent domain to benefit private parties is 100% perfectly constitutional, I think it should be opposed for being fundamentally unfair anyway.

        The question isn’t just whether it’s constitutional for the Democratic party to use private companies to shut down criticism against them. The question is whether the Democratic party is using private companies to shut down criticism against them.

        It’s okay for Republicans to oppose the Democrats using the powers of the federal government to direct private companies that way.

        1. Nope, the left can do anything it wants and we can’t fight back in kind because that involves gauche, lower class people.

          1. It is a form of soft corporatism. China also uses a lot of this type of power in making companies dependent on them so they have a symbiosis and can hide their use of government power through corporations.

            Reason is completely failing at recognizing this.

            1. They’re successfully ignoring, not failing to recognize.

          2. You can’t fight back in kind because you lack a facility with language.

            The left never attempted to murder Congress to install a dictator, so I don’t know what “in kind” you’re talking about.

            1. Steve Scalise might disagree with that.

              1. A mind is a terrible thing to waste on trash rightwing shock jocks with their hot takes.

                I’m for getting guns out the hands of all lunatics, right or left.

                1. You just want gun confiscation. As you are a prog.

                  1. Of course. You’ve proven you can’t use them responsibly. Well, haven’t you? Haven’t the blacks too? Haven’t cops for that matter?

                    Settle your differences with words, how about. Failing that, sticks. If everyone has a stick, nobody has an advantage, and fewer people get their insides turned into their outsides.

                2. A mind is a terrible thing to waste on trash rightwing shock jocks with their hot takes.

                  How would you know?

                  I’m for getting guns out the hands of all lunatics, right or left.

                  Stop lying.

            2. Neither did the right you retarded fuck.

        2. This exactly, didn’t they just have an article being critical of Clearwater AI for working with the government on facial recognition?

  11. Yep, only let the left use tactics that work. Nice principles; lose like gentlemen.

    Fuck you, Reason.

  12. CNN got Project Veritas banned from Twitter for showing that CNN is full of shit. Facebook is blocking stories about the BLM leadership’s expensive houses.

    Fuck you, Reason.

    1. “Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.”
      ― Pravin Lal

      1. Full quote:

        “As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth’s final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.”

        A fucking twenty year old video game.

        1. Every dictator knows these things. It is why these regimes, such as Venezuela, first take over means of communication. It is straight out of the authoritarian playbook. Venezuela uses broadcast licenses to control thought. American democrats use silicon valley. And it is now beyond just blocking information, but also pulling infrastructure away from those who want to form counter information centers.

          1. It’s only Republicans talking about government taking over media companies for engaging in speech they don’t like.

            Is this how fascism happens? To thunderous stupidity?

            1. See, here is what you idiots really don’t understand. Removing a government benefit is not taking them over. But you have to lie about it to keep the power.

              1. The government benefit that social media corporations aren’t liable for the speech that happens on their platforms?

                And you think removing this protection will make them MORE likely to let neo-Nazis plot the overthrow of the US government on using their resources?

                1. So much stupid in that statement.

            2. Fascism* has been here for at least 70 years. You and your fellow Democrats practically beg for it.

              *Actuall textbook definition of fascism where the means of production are privately owned but the government sets all the parameters and you forcefully suppress your opposition.

    2. Former NFL player Jason Whitlock was one of those people blocked for saying that the noted communist BLM founder had bought a house in rich, white Topeka Canyon. He talks about it in several venues, but on the Adam Carolla Show he was particularly hilarious because it is a comedy show where they could be extra off-color.

      1. Different link to the same content.

        I will note that my two attempts to link this content involve Google, Twitter and Apple. It really is difficult to avoid big tech as a gatekeeper at this moment in history.

        1. You are thinking Jason Witten. Jason Whitlock is a black sports columnist that runs counter to prevailing sports wokeism.

          1. You are correct. I heard him talking about his playing days as a lineman (at Ball State) and assumed he was talking about NFL.

          2. Both are morons.

            Whitlock’s politics are fucking absurd. He’s so goddamn dumb. e

  13. Someone should probably mention that the major author of that report I linked–the House Democrats’ plan to break up Big Tech companies by name–was Lina Khan. Lina Khan has now been nominated by Biden as commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission.

    The FTC has already brought the antitrust case against Facebook, and with the author of a report threatening to break up Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and others now being added to the FTC as commissioner, the chances of them launching further antitrust actions against the rest are extremely high. (The Justice Department is already handing the antitrust case against Google).

    The person who wrote the House Democrats’ plan to break up Facebook–because they supposedly tolerate “misinformation”, among other charges–will now be commissioner at the FTC, and will not only able to oversee the antitrust case against Facebook but also will be able to launch antitrust cases against the others she went after in her report?

    If you still think that social media and Big Tech are acting independently of government after that, you’re willfully obtuse.

    1. Don’t forget the carrot of Covid related ‘stimulus’ packages giving or not giving corporations billions of tax dollars.

      Totes just private corporations making their own decisions.

    2. Yeah, and it’s obvious this isn’t even about antitrust–it’s to further strengthen what’s in place to ensure that only a Democrat-approved agenda is promoted.

      Welcome to Venezuela/Zimbabwe.

      1. “Welcome to Venezuela/Zimbabwe.”

        But 2022 is totally going to change this…

        I wish it would, but we might want to start thinking and planning about what we’re going to do if it doesn’t.

        1. There is no reason to expect that Republicans, even if they win majorities in 2022 and the White House in 2024, will be able to roll back any of what Democrats are doing. They have never been able to do it before.

          After they fail, we’ll get more of the sort of “libertarians” who complain that because Republicans passed a $1T COVID relief bill instead of the $3T that Democrats nearly forced them to pass, Republicans are “just as bad”.

  14. Since I started with my online business, I earn $25 every 15 minutes. It sounds unbelievable but you won’t forgive yourself if you don’t check it out. Learn more about it here..



    In general, fascist governments exercised control over private property, but they did not nationalize it.[7] Scholars also noted that big business developed an increasingly close partnership with the Italian Fascist and German fascist governments. Business leaders supported the government’s political and military goals. In exchange, the government pursued economic policies that maximized the profits of its business allies.[8]

    Fascists opposed both international socialism and free-market capitalism, arguing that their views represented a third position.[21][22] They claimed to provide a realistic economic alternative that was neither laissez-faire capitalism nor communism.[23] They favored corporatism and class collaboration, believing that the existence of inequality and social hierarchy was beneficial (contrary to the views of socialists),[24][25] while also arguing that the state had a role in mediating relations between classes (contrary to the views of liberal capitalists).[26] An important aspect of fascist economies was economic dirigism,[27] meaning an economy where the government often subsidizes favorable companies and exerts strong directive influence over investment, as opposed to having a merely regulatory role. In general, fascist economies were based on private property and private initiative, but these were contingent upon service to the state.

    1. I have heard the term “confession through projection” an aweful lot over the last few years.

    2. In general, fascist economies were based on private property and private initiative, but these were contingent upon service to the state.

      Note that the “fascism is extreme right-wing” trope didn’t emerge until after World War II, when it was falsely set up as the opposite political system to communism. That fake narrative was pushed in middle-school history classes for decades, especially starting in the 1970s after the American civic consensus had been blown to smithereens by the Boomer New Left.

      Neither system was explicitly right-wing or left-wing–they were both slightly different flavors of early 20th century government authoritarianism. But kids have been getting this false dichotomy for decades and simply accepted it because history teachers can’t or won’t bother to really examine how these systems worked.

      1. Wikipedia still calls it a “far-right authoritarian ultranationalism”.

        I didn’t realize FDR was considered far-right these days.

  16. Laws against this are enforced or not enforced based on Amazon banning what the Democrats want banned.

    Amazon Tried To Coerce Ecobee Into Collecting Private User Data, the WSJ Reports

    1. This is the creepiest part of the whole fucking thing–the fact that they’re trying to set themselves up as some type of privatized NSA.

    2. Are you sure? I was recently assured by ENB that independent businesses and trade associations trying to lobby against Amazon were the REAL enemy.

  17. Well, aren’t you special? Bless your heart, Greenhut.

  18. Companies that want to expand in China are protesting laws that Dems don’t like.

    Yep, totes free market.

    Fuck you, Reason.

  19. Yes we recall that time. Back when private businesses didn’t publicly and explicitly support democrats over republicans. Since then woke companies have gone to war against conservatives. So fuck you and thanks for nothing libertarians. You and your billionaire friends decided woke was better.

    1. More consumers in China than in the US, so business chose China.

      1. And emulated their political system in the process.

  20. “You and your billionaire friends decided woke was better.”

    Not friends, friendship requires reciprocity and reciprocity can only occur between equals or near equals.

    The billionaires are their paymasters making them the the billionaires’ lackeys.


    Hunter Biden got $2,000,000 from his publisher for his new book. His book sold only 11,000 copies despite him having a nationwide media campaign. It honestly feels like a bribe or money laundering. There was never a market for this. They just wanted access & favor with Biden.

    1. Check out his art show. Another great way for ‘The Big Guy’ to use baby boy Hunter to launder money.

      From the article:

      “Hunter, who turns 51 next week, is supposedly teaming up with Manhattan art dealer Georges Berges, a dealer who has strong ties to China, according to the New York Post.”

  22. Shame on Greenhut and R Street.

    I hope this deceitful smear against Republicans (falsely accusing them of doing what Democrats have been doing at exponentially greater impact) is the last of its kind from R Street.

    Please note that Eli Lehrer created R Street nearly a decade ago (after splitting from the Heartland Institute due to its ongoing denial of climate change) as a libertarian leaning limited government free market advocacy and lobbying organization.

    Seems like Greenhut wants R Street to follow Reason in moving from libertarian to left wing.

    1. As Iowahawk wrote, only six years ago:

      1. Identify a respected institution.
      2. kill it.
      3. gut it.
      4. wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect.

      Some wag I forget, added a 5th verse to this: “And when it is stinking and crawling with maggots, convince everyone it was always this foul.”

  23. Gosh, remember when Conservatives were… conservative? The new motto of the GOP is “At least we’re not Democrats!”

    That’s the response one gets when pointing out the anti-conservative stances of modern conservatives: Well at least we aren’t those damnable liberals!

    Look at any Nolan Chart. Look at that quadrant labeled “conservative”. How many actual conservatives fit into that quadrant anymore? Modern conservatives are opposed to economic freedom, and fully embrace protectionism and cronyism and punishing businesses who don’t toe the ideological line. Neither are they for personal freedoms, such as free speech and press. Their only bright side is a move towards tolerating marijuana and gay marriage. While that is a positive, it underscores the fact that conservatism is not an ideology, but a shifting grab bag of political positions. There are no fundamental principles underlying it. It’s just a lagging indicator of the shifting working class and rural culture, in exactly the same way progressivism is a lagging indicator of the shifting elite academic culture.

    1. They are both authoritarians. Unfortunately there are few libertarians left to provide any balance. The MAGA crowd just fills a void in the hollow shell of the conservative movement.
      The progressives do the same for what used to be liberal.

      1. Self identified collectivist says what???

        1. When did I do that Thomas?

          1. Does ‘fuck off slaver’s ring a bell?

            Because it should.

            Now, fuck off slaver.

            And stop pretending you believe in individual liberty you Utilitarian collectivist.

    2. Does the Nolan Chart measure stated beliefs or enacted policies?

      Seems like you’re a whimsical metric to portray everything as a grab bag so you can give the impression of having pulled a rabbit out of your hat.

    3. “fully embrace protectionism and cronyism and punishing businesses who don’t toe the ideological line.”

      The conceit you’re trying to push is that Google and Facebook are private companies. This isn’t true. They’re quasi-governmental entities whose boards are composed largely of current and former elected officials and employees, and who achieved market dominance through government patronage and favorable regulation.

      Both liberals and conservatives have a duty to put these chimeric demons back in the box.

      1. You’d think for all the bitching done here about crony capitalism, some of these commenters would be able to recognize it when it’s staring them right in the face.

        1. If they were suppressing leftists rest assured the writers here would see the problem.

      2. I’m glad we’re all finally on the same page about nationalizing the oil industry.

        1. How the hell did you get there. The American oil industry is composed of over 600 companies. None of whom hold a government facilitated monopoly.
          How many companies dominate Facebook or Google’s market, Tony?

          You’re too stupid to be here. Have you tried arguing your points on 9gag?

          1. The oil industry is a global cartel that not only isn’t subject to a free market, but that takes in the biggest profits in history while socializing the costs of the damage to the environment.

            You deal with this by denying that burning fossil fuels harms the environment, I suspect.

            1. It’s not a cartel you moron. OPEC is a cartel, not the fucking industry.
              Globally there are tens of thousands of companies all in competition with each other. To try and make a cartel out of them would be like herding cats.

              You don’t understand how any of this works, so you make stupid fucking statements like “The oil industry is a global cartel that not only isn’t subject to a free market”, which is as close to utter gibberish as you can get.
              I don’t believe you even understand what “cartel” means, and you probably don’t understand that the OPEC cartel is a group of nations, not companies.

              1. So oil companies are subject to free-market pressures despite being protected by global cooperation to ensure their existence and stability at the continued expense of better, cheaper alternatives?

                I don’t suppose while you were nitpicking terminology you decided to start believing scientific facts were real?

                1. “So oil companies are subject to free-market pressures”

                  Yes, you fucking moron. If you are unaware that oil prices fluctuate wildly then you must live under a rock.

                  “despite being protected by global cooperation to ensure their existence and stability at the continued expense of better, cheaper alternatives?”

                  What better and cheaper alternatives?
                  It doesn’t get cheaper than digging energy out of the ground.
                  And do you honestly think that wind, solar, wave or any other sources that rely on the weather and the time of day can ever come even remotely close to providing the energy needed to power your lifestyle.
                  Only nuclear could possibly come close, and you idiots are trying to shut that down too.

                  Forget about energy policy, you don’t even understand energy itself.
                  You are so monumentally fucking ignorant about how living works. You probably don’t even know understand where meat or milk or paper comes from.

                  So don’t ever try to talk to me about “science” again, until your actual scientific knowledge gets past fifth grade.

    4. The problem of conservatism, I think, is that if there is a uniting principle it’s something like “let’s not change things too fast”. So (as many have observed) they act only as a brake on progressivism but can’t stop it. American conservatives should be somewhat libertarian because individual freedom is the traditional foundational principle of the country and what has made it so successful. But they seem mostly to have lost that and now exist mostly as the anti-Democrat party.

      1. Maybe, but that’s what happens when a corporate monopoly, Fortune 500 companies, and a political party collude to enact an agenda that about half the country won’t support.

        1. I think that has always been a problem for conservatism. Though you are right it has gotten way worse recently.
          And I’m not saying this to trash conservatism as a political orientation. In the sense I describe above I consider myself somewhat of a conservative at this point. It’s important to have that in the political discourse. Things will change, but we really need to ask what the costs are of change and not embrace change for its own sake. Trouble is, you also need some ideological grounding or you are constantly retreating.

          1. You’re not trashing it, you’re describing it accurately, it’s embodied in the very straightforward word. That’s why I frequently refer to “conservative” with quotation marks to mean the sorts of things others identify as that are not simply about keeping things the way they are (or losing as slowly as possible).

  24. Remember when conservatives didn’t fight back?

    Good times.

    1. Yep. Greenhut trying to neutralize ‘woke’ by employing it against it’s opponents is an obvious tell.

      You just feel the seething anger.

  25. All of this is to stop the exodus or bleeding from California and NY, IL. And, it works! I have relatives in California that are so brainwashed partisan Democrat that they believe the KKK was marching through the US the past few weeks and the KKK runs the country. I can’t talk to them anymore. Up to 80 percent of these states revenue come from capital gains, dividends and high earners. If these people keep moving that equals a total collapse. What better to constantly promote a road warrior white supremacist country outside of these states.

    I’m in Colorado. We used to vote down socialist bills around 70-30. Then it went 60-40. Now it’s around 56-44. A bit of a heads up for my California friends who voted down the prop 13..Independent contractor..affirmative action and expanded rent control.
    Move while you still can

    1. Don’t worry… It will follow wherever they go.

      Freaking Boise Idaho is a new hot spot, and is about to turn the state purple or blue.

      1. But I can make a fortune in mandated “green” industry stocks. The poor schmucks that lost their fossil fuel jobs, via executive orders, will just transfer to the workers paradise of the Green New Deal. It is decidedly so.

    2. In addition promote a climate collapse that pushes up stamped and approved climate stocks and industries.

  26. Libertarians generally oppose “anti-trust laws.” But they exist, and one wonders why Major League Baseball is exempt from those laws? Like most laws, it is being used selectively. Justice Reform should mean equal treatment under the law…and when it does, you’ll see laws changed because a whole lot more oxen are going to be gored.

    1. Libertarians also oppose common carrier and public accommodation rules, but they exist as well.

      This is a very thorny subject and is the kind of place where “competing virtues” come into conflict with each other.

      1. No it isn’t. Nothing is in conflict. You don’t get to have the opinion that private companies be nationalized because they engage in speech you don’t like.

        I feel like you people are having a big laugh at your own expense. This is all a joke right?

        1. You don’t get to have the opinion that private companies be nationalized because they engage in speech you don’t like.

          We do when those private media companies gained monopolistic market share thanks to government sponsorship.

          1. For all intents and purposes, these entities ARE nationalized–it’s just that they’re working in the interest of a single political party. So carping that we “don’t get to complain about it” is a bit rich when they’re already doing so in a de facto manner.

          2. Welcome to progressivism, child. May I offer you a complimentary tote bag?

            You turn a blind eye to monopolistic behavior across vast sectors of the economy, but start to see the value in socialism the moment companies… what is it? Not pollute the earth… not profit from public health pathologies… but because they engaged in speech you don’t like.

            Which do you suddenly hate more, the constitution or capitalism?

            1. Thanks for admitting that progressivism is the collusion of corporations and government to advance left-wing political agendas.

              1. Considering the inherent rightward bias of any for-profit entity, if they’re colluding for positive social ends then we’re probably doing something right.

                Does it not occur to you that the reason large companies are pushing back against Republicans might be because of something Republicans are doing and not a nefarious socialist plot. Things like using these companies’ platforms to foment rightwing revolution and passing antidemocratic laws for the sake of their own unearned power?

                It’s not left-wing to want a stable, functioning democracy.

                1. “Considering the inherent rightward bias of any for-profit entity, if they’re colluding for positive social ends then we’re probably doing something right.”

                  When people call Tony a fascist, they’re not actually resorting to hyperbole.
                  He literally just endorsed the dictionary definition:

                  1. This article is about Republicans trying to dictate to private companies which nationalistic racist militaristic antidemocratic trash they should be forced to shovel down Americans’ throats.

                    If you truly don’t see the fascism in the mirror, we’ll I’m sorry about that problem of yours you have for yourself. Try more books.

                    1. This article is about Republicans trying to dictate to private companies which nationalistic racist militaristic antidemocratic trash they should be forced to shovel down Americans’ throats.,/i>

                      No one is shoveling anything. Close your eyes or don’t click if you don’t want to read it, you dumb hicklib.

                    2. If you truly don’t see the fascism in the mirror, we’ll I’m sorry about that problem of yours you have for yourself. Try more books.

                      Once again the projection here is off the charts. Try reading books that aren’t about the adventures of teenage wizards or far-left fan fiction.

                    3. *shows Tony that he is advocating actual fascist economic policy*

                      Tony – YUR the fascist for disagreeing with it


                2. Considering the inherent rightward bias of any for-profit entity, if they’re colluding for positive social ends then we’re probably doing something right.

                  Begging the question.

                  Does it not occur to you that the reason large companies are pushing back against Republicans might be because of something Republicans are doing and not a nefarious socialist plot.

                  Well, it’s definitely not a plot, they’re openly colluding with the Democrats.

                  Things like using these companies’ platforms to foment rightwing revolution and passing antidemocratic laws for the sake of their own unearned power?

                  Stop acting like tyrants and you won’t have to worry about revolution. Stop acting like getting an ID to vote is undemocratic and you won’t have to worry about free and fair elections.

                  It’s not left-wing to want a stable, functioning democracy.

                  LOL, you ain’t kidding.

  27. I remember when republicans weren’t democrats.

  28. For instance, Major League Baseball responded by moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta.

    And to show just how devastatingly bad this legislation was, they moved the All-Star game to a state that has nearly identical election laws to what Georgia just passed. So perhaps it was more about trying to punish a purple state and reward a blue state, which is why it might make sense for that organization to lose their anti-trust exemption.

    1. And what’s notable here is that Colorado and Denver specifically started talking about lifting the restrictions on attendance and capacity limits after this happened.

      Can’t get all those dollars at LoDo bars if people can’t even go in to spend the money, much less attend the game.

  29. If you receive massive subsidies and preferential contracts from the govt., you’re an arm of the govt. for all intents and purposes…

    1. And/or, benefit from a “BAN” of a product (or an entire industry) which creates a “MANDATE” for the product (or industry) I provide or am invested in.

  30. Shockingly I can’t find one instance of the uber principled Steven Greenhut condemning any Civil Rights Acts.

    1. Purely an accidental oversight.

      1. Let’s face it Greenhut the poseur, and all the lefties infesting this thread do not even understand why what you stated is such a stinging indictment that reveals the utter hollowness of their position.

        That the government can and does trample over the right to free association is not really a problem for them, so long as the government limits such impositions to their chosen targets.

        Only when the target is one of their favored constituencies does government action becomes abhorrent.

  31. Since I started with my 0nline business, I earn $25 every 15 minutes. It sounds unbelievable but you won’t forgive yourself if you don’t check it out. Learn more about it here…………………………….


    Google deplatformed the Maricopa county audit volunteer observer application.

    The audit application was then switched to using wufoo, who also deplatformed them.

    What is big tech trying to hide?

  33. There is a LOT to break down in this article. But just a couple of passing observations:

    a bill to strip Major League Baseball of its antitrust exemption, which is the type of thing one would expect from Warren.

    I don’t have a particular dog in this fight but MLBs “antitrust exemption” is a kind of corporate welfare. Just sayin’.

    In other news, conservatives applauded Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who embraced the notion that feds should treat tech firms like public utilities rather than private companies.

    Thomas was making the very sharp observation that since the Democrats made up the rules regarding what buttons a user of Twitter could push or not push, Thomas was merely asking if perhaps we have an argument to view the tech companies as common carriers. The appeals court decision which remains the law of the land made that abundantly clear. Oh, and it was a decision that at least one Reason writer supported.

    So suck it up.

    1. How about Clarence Thomas let Congress do what the fuck it wants with respect to not nationalizing private media companies?

      1. Like getting out of the exemption granting protection racket?

      2. Your reply literally made no sense.

        1. I wish I could say the same for libertarians suddenly embracing setting the constitution on fire because someone engaged in speech they don’t like, but I’ve been calling you crypto-fascists for decades.

          1. Shorter Tony:

            Flag burning, ok
            Constitution burning, problematic

            (Don’t worry Tony, even ashes still emanate their penumbras.)

            1. Burn it. It’s a piece of shit. The problem is how you maintain the rule of law while we transition, and the really big problem is that the goddamn Nazis might be the ones to replace it.

        2. That’s because Tony is channeling his inner shriek and being willfully obtuse. All Thomas said was that the lower courts ruling means that sooner or later SCOTUS is going to be called on to decide the common carrier issue with the tech companies.

          1. Clarence Thomas thinks Christian theocracy is compatible with the first amendment.

            He is a common rightwing loon. Not a dummy, but plenty of smart people got jacked into FOX News and turned into morons. Look at his wife for God’s sake.

            The wife of a Supreme Court justice backed an insurrection against the United States. And he’s still sitting on that bench.

            1. Sure he does little buddy.

    2. The original judicial reason to not apply the antitrust statutes against baseball was that when they were enacted, the baseball clubs were known to be in collusion that way, and that Congress never discussed breaking up that arrangement, so that therefore Congress never intended it to apply to baseball — which is probably true.

      1. Because a general law failed to mentioned a specific instance it therefore does not apply is an acceptable legal principle roughly nowhere.

        What you think makes sense is more properly understood as an ass-pull.

  34. The problem is government not capitalism. Companies will simply take advantage of any leverage they can get. If we had small limited government this would not be a problem.

    Instead people want to expand a corrupt government with yet more power over business and communication.

    It is not just tech it happens in all business. This is happening now with lumber. Say I am in the lumber industry. I lobby Congress and tell them I can’t compete with Canadian lumber so slap a tariff on them. Oh, and how is that campaign finance fund going?

    Then the price skyrockets so the builders association comes along and does the same shtick to get rid of the tariff.

    The Congress critter pockets the money both ways.

  35. But sometimes there have to be exceptions to free speech, for those times when I feel like my cultural heritage is under attack.

    Mud noodlin’ and stringing up nigras is the best culture in the world! Hail Seuss! The constitution sucks, kill Congress, go Merkin culture it’s so valuable and worth destroying the constitution for!

    1. Haha. God damn dude. With the caricatures dancing around in your head, it’s no wonder you’re so angry.

      Get out more. Meet some people. You have zero grip on reality.

  36. And if you’re shocked about Republicans engaging in “cancel culture” and being generally fascist in contradiction to their stated beliefs about free enterprise, have I got news for you about the federal budget deficit.

    Republicans lie and are hypocrites. They lie. They be hypocrites. This is not new!

    Also, they waged literal war against the United States despite claiming to love the United States, right or wrong. It’s kind of a shitshow over there. Maybe you didn’t notice the death, anti-rationality, treason, and stupidity through all the corporate tax cuts.

  37. being generally fascist in contradiction to their stated beliefs about free enterprise

    I realize it’s been fashionable for decades for the left to screech “facist” as a pejorative, to the point that even Orwell made fun of them for it, but you if you think breaking up a corporate-political entity between the Democratic Party, Fortune 500 companies, and the Tech Trust is “fascism,” then I honestly hope we get a lot more of it.

    1. What are you mad about, specifically?

      Trump and his cult spread treasonous lies using these platforms that got people killed and resulted in the first non-peaceful transfer of power in American history.

      Corporations not only have liability to worry about, but the survival of the system that allows them to make money in the first place. Also, there’s a first amendment. At least until the orange fatty wipes his ass with that too on his way to installing himself as dictator, and after benefitting so incredibly much from it.

      1. Literally nothing you wrote here is accurate.

        1. Ruining the legacy of American peaceful transfers of power for the sake of Donald fucking Trump really pissed me off. This is my country you fucked with, traitor. Start consuming facts instead of rightwing lies. Make yourself useful for once.

          1. Ruining the legacy of American peaceful transfers of power for the sake of Donald fucking Trump really pissed me off

            Bullshit. You’ve always been a hysterical drama queen.

            This is my country you fucked with, traitor

            No, it’s not, you protozoa. You and your kind are hollowing it out until it cracks apart, and then you dumb faggots are going to look around at the ruins and wonder why no one stopped you.

            Remember that when you’re eating refuse from dumpsters because the delivery trucks all got hijacked on the way in to town and you can’t keep warm in the winter because the transformers have been shot out.

            Start consuming facts instead of rightwing lies. Make yourself useful for once.

            Hicklib, heal thyself.

            1. What’s hilarious is Tony doesn’t consider anything the Obama administration did “ruining the peaceful transfer of power”, but some fucktarded cosplayers and leftist not tied to the government the height of evil.

              1. He and his kind don’t even LIKE this country, and he’s laying claim to it. Fuckin’LOL.

  38. You do not get to join one side in the fight and then claim neutrality. Once you take up arms and step onto the battlefield, you become a legitimate target.
    I see nothing wrong with the GOP helping Liz Warren devastate my enemies.

    1. I think we can all agree what a travesty it is that we’re sending people who waged actual war on the United States through the normal criminal justice system.

      People call the US a violent empire. But it may be the first country in history to treat active violent insurrectionists with such kid gloves.

      1. This guy’s comments are really funny if you imagine he’s Bill from The Gift furiously chain smoking on his Florida patio, posting comments all day instead of preparing for the party.


    We are witnessing the Democrat Party’s merging of the federal administrative state (which it largely controls) with its crony capitalist corporations and its media allies together into a kind of proto-state apparatus.

    1. So clearly we must nationalize Twitter for the sole offense of engaging in free speech and self-regulation.

      1. So clearly Liberals must nationalize Twitter for the sole reason of suppressing free speech we disagree with.

        1. They seem to be doing a fine job on their own.

          It’s hilarious how you people think freedom means you always get your way all the time.

      2. So clearly Liberals must nationalize Twitter for the sole reason of suppressing free speech Liberals disagree with.

      3. You mean like the Democrat’s Congressional hearing to shut up private companies like Fox, NewsMax and OAN? Those PRIVATE COMPANIES?

        1. Private companies that are a direct threat to the survival of the United States. Alas, the first amendment will probably permit them to go on poisoning your mind and inspiring violent insurrection over trans sports and Dr. Seuss.

    2. Darren Beattie is doing the best work exposing this.

  40. Party A: Does something reasonable and innocuous
    Party B: Nazi! Racist! We are going to wreak economic havoc on you!
    Party A: Wtf? Well we’re not just going to sit back and take such illogical unreasonable BS.

    Greenhut: Party A is participating in cancel culture too.

    What. The. Actual. Fuck.

    Have never seen a better example of the overused “gaslighting”.

    1. “Party A: Does something reasonable and innocuous”

      This is doing all of the heavy lifting of your rant. What is “reasonable” and “innocuous” that you are talking about here?

      1. The Georgia voting laws, which are pretty milquetoast and in line with the majority of other states.

        1. “…which are pretty milquetoast and in line with the majority of other states.”

          Right. Colorado is more restrictive of voting than Georgia, so it was bullshit to move the MLB All-Star game to Denver from Atlanta!

          Except that this argument was the bullshit. Gov. Kemp and others tried to make this claim, and people were all over the misrepresentations in these claims immediately.

          – Georgia has 17 early voting days to Colorado’s 15!

          Except that Colorado has universal vote-by-mail, so that there simply aren’t nearly as many people that vote in person. There simply aren’t significant lines to vote in person anywhere in Colorado, so having 2 fewer days of early voting is not restrictive in practice. What are the lines to vote like in Georgia’s low-income, minority-heavy neighborhoods with its 2 extra days?

          In Colorado, every registered voter is mailed a ballot, which they should receive between 15 and 20 days before Election Day. Georgia just changed the law to make it illegal for election officials to even mail a form to request to be sent a mail ballot unless the voter asks for one. That means that a Georgia voter that wants to vote by mail needs to go online and fill out an online form to have them mail them a form for them to fill out and mail in requesting that they be sent a ballot. And it also reduced the window for them to request the form to request a mail-in ballot. (Presumably there are also locations where they can go and pick up the form to request a mail in ballot, but then where are those locations, and what are their hours?) This is about adding more hoops to jump through to get a ballot and vote and making those hoops smaller.

          The dropboxes for turning in your mail ballot is also much more restrictive. Colorado boasts that it has 1 dropbox for every 9400 active registered voters. (Presumably “active” registered voters are those that have voted at least once within some recent time frame.) Georgia, on the other hand, now has a cap on how many dropboxes a county could put out, at 1 per 100,000 active registered voters. Atlanta, for instance, will likely see the number of dropboxes drop from 94 in Nov. 2020 down to 23. And Georgia limits the dropboxes to being indoors of government buildings or early voting locations. That means that the dropboxes are only available during limited hours.

          – Colorado requires photo ID also to vote!

          This was false. Colorado requires ID when they register and when they vote in person, but it does not have to be a government-issued photo ID. In addition to the usual photo IDs that most people (but not all) carry, they also accept Medicare and Medicaid cards, college IDs, utility bills, bank statements, and paycheck stubs. No ID is required to vote by mail. The ballot is sent to their registered address and the signature is checked against the database when the ballot is received. Georgia’s photo IDs required when voting in person are limited to government-issued photo IDs (passports, driver’s licenses, government employee IDs, etc.). Voting by mail requires a DL number, SS number, or copy of an accepted state ID. First-time voters can use non-photo IDs like utility bills when they register and vote the first time, but would need the photo ID after that.

          – Colorado doesn’t let people give voters water or food either!

          All states prohibit giving voters something of value as a way of trying to influence their vote, but the prohibition applies to anything that would actually sway them. Simply giving someone water when they look thirsty is NOT an attempt to sway their vote. Trying to provide some sort of comfort to someone that might be standing in line for hours, in an effort to encourage them to stick it out and vote at all, is not a problem that needs to be fixed. It was already illegal for people wearing campaign buttons, t-shirts, hats, and all of that to do actual campaigning to people waiting to vote. If someone with no outward partisanship offers me a bottle of water while I’m waiting to vote, how does that sway me to vote for someone specific? It doesn’t. Why does this need to be a crime? Oh, and of course, if they had enough polling locations, staffed them adequately, and had them open for enough hours, then there wouldn’t be long lines and this wouldn’t be an issue.

          It is transparent that this is all meant to address the real problem that Georgia Republicans saw with Nov. 2020 – too many Democrats voted. They aren’t showing us any lists of people being prosecuted for voter fraud, they aren’t showing us stacks of fraudulent ballots. The same people (Kemp and Raffensperger) that defied Trump and declared that the election was accurate, secure, and that there was no evidence of significant fraud, are still saying that they need to implement all of this to be double sure that it stays that way. That is just not believable in the slightest.

  41. An apparent new libertarian reality – if a bunch of white supremacists pressured a private company to leave a state, we would be engaging in “cancel culture” if we tried to boycott or criticize the company. A response to cancel culture is cancel culture itself, or an emulation of such behavior.

    The republicans have problems. The American left want to revive failed socialist experiment in the name of utopian egalitarianism, which goes against everything libertarianism stand for. We can exist without pot and immigration. We won’t survive without structural foundation and upholds civil society.

    Again, Twitter and a used car site with a message board are not the same things. The former behaves exactly like a publisher and information is their business. If you make money on my content and the views it generates in any way, you cannot erase my content just because you feel like it. You cannot consent to a contract in which you have no choice and no recourse. Twitter doesn’t have to let me use their service. If they do, then certain consumer protection should be put in effect.

    1. “Again, Twitter and a used car site with a message board are not the same things. The former behaves exactly like a publisher and information is their business.”

      No, this is not true at all. All social media platforms display user-generated content. The authors and creators of content are the users of these services. The platforms do not choose which authors and creators to display or which content from those authors and creators to display. They do not edit content prior to distribution. Those are the two things that make someone a “publisher”.

      That social media platforms will moderate content after the fact is not publishing. All communities have some rights to maintain their own rules and standards for behavior. “Community standards” are the basis of legal restrictions on obscenity in the access and distribution of both published and broadcast media. They are the basis of laws prohibiting public nudity, “lewd” behavior, etc.

      What conservatives seem to want would also destroy the legal right of these platforms to moderate for bad language, “obscene” discussions about sex, and just the general rules that they would want to implement to try and make their communities nice, welcoming places for people to visit and enjoy what the platforms can do. Does anyone really think that the majority of Facebook users want to use it for political discussion?

      This is what conservatives are not understanding here. Social media platforms are about creating online communities where a broad range of interactions can take place. They are not intended primarily for information distribution. Information distribution is only one part of why people use them. The people that use these platforms will want them to maintain standards of behavior that make their communities places that the users will want to go. These platforms then need to be able to moderate the content their users post to them in order to maintain a community that the vast majority of their users would want to be a part of. If a handful of extremists, trolls, and other malcontents can’t be blocked or disciplined for poisoning those communities, then the bulk of users that don’t want that kind of atmosphere will leave, and the business will suffer.

      Both the left and the right need to take a big chill pill over social media problems. “Disinformation”, “Hate Speech”, etc., are all significant problems, but the solution is not for government to step in and pressure the companies to do something specific about it. The whole point of Section 230 was to encourage companies to moderate their platforms in whatever way that their community of users wanted them to, without then being put in a position of having to moderate everything or else get sued.

      The only thing that these platforms should have to moderate is actual illegal content. (Child porn, actual threats of violence, etc.) Basically, if there is ample evidence that content that someone objects to and brings to the company’s attention is illegal and is not protected speech, then they should have to take it down, and report it to authorities, if appropriate. Other than that, it should be entirely up to the company to decide how to handle it.

      As an example, Parler got backlash from many of its users and other right-wing types when it became known that they had reported content to the FBI in the weeks ahead of Jan. 6th. Parler pointed out in their response that threats of violence and calls to violence are not protected speech, and that they absolutely would work with authorities to identify people that used their platforms to plan and carry out violent acts and aid in collecting evidence against them. Everyone would certainly hope that they would do so if it was Islamic terrorists, right? Why should anyone with any other ideology get a break and be allowed to plan violence anonymously on the internet?

      1. If a company makes money on content I upload on their site, then we are in a business relationship. It’s that simple. Twitter is not a birthday party, it’s a business. There cannot be private contracts where one party holds all the cards. You can’t freely consent to be a slave or sign away your rights and or interests.

        If I paid Twitter $19.95 a month to have post my tweets there and they just removed my posts despite none of them violating their TOS, then it would perfectly appropriate for me to see recourse or consumer protection regulation. The fact that Twitter is free doesn’t really change anything.

        A publisher that lets everyone publish for free and then edits their content later is still a publisher. Traditional publishers have to make money on selling content, so their submission policy has to be selective. Twitter only cares about views, so they don’t care if a semi literate woke loser sprouts nonsense every day. But they’re essentially a publisher.

        Disqus does not verify, promote, edit or put disclaimers on user commentary. They generally do not recognize authorship and display someone’s opinion as coming from an “official” account. All those things are true at Twitter. It makes no sense to lump twitter and a car site with a third party commenting program into the same category.

        Twitter is a community….. that forms to share and discussion information. You’re making a distinction that serves little purpose. If I start a “America is not as racist as you think” topic at Youtube and Twitter and they remove my posts or favorite reactions as “hateful content” (this has happened) then the interests of the community are not served.

        To keep things short – Twitter can delete my posts if it’s defamatory and claim that they shouldn’t be sued for third party content. But as their consumer I should have recourse to appeal if I can show that my posts didn’t violate TOS, including lawsuits. You cannot mumble “they’re private” and sulk away. Otherwise we give birth to an unchecked oligarchy.

        1. “If a company makes money on content I upload on their site, then we are in a business relationship.”

          This doesn’t describe how Twitter works. By the way, how does Twitter make money? How does it make money off of things you post?

          Some platforms do pay users that upload content for others to view (YouTube, for instance), and so in those cases, you’d have a point. But the financial arrangements that make most social media run are between the platforms and advertisers. If they make money off of things you post, it is indirectly, as people that looked at your post then clicked on some ad that it fed those users.

          You are still missing the point. The platform doesn’t just have to appeal to people that post things, they have to appeal to the people that will view those posts and then possibly click on ads. Twitter users that never send out a single tweet are just as important to the company’s business model (in the aggregate) as people that tweet frequently and have thousands, or even millions of followers. You are only looking at one side of the platform, and not the experience of the users that actually take the actions that bring them revenue – the users clicking on ads. These companies have to evaluate how having controversial content on their platforms affects their bottom line. Does it generate more interest from users that will click on ads, or does it drive away the people that would click on ads while it attracts people that are there just for the outrage and vileness that don’t click on ads? Basically, do they make more money with policies that make their services more of a free-for-all, or by setting up community rules that restrict the trolls, extremists, and provocateurs?

          You would hobble the ability of these companies to appeal to the users that make them the most money. You aren’t arguing that they are public utilities for disseminating the political and cultural views of the people, you are arguing that this is what they should be. You seem to be saying that by creating a platform that can be used to spread information, they must then open it to anyone and everyone to say whatever they feel like saying. And that they have to do this regardless of how it might affect their business model.

          1. WE provide the content that generates views, which attracts advertisers. In case of youtube, maintaining a channel is a career for some people. So if YT just demonetizes their channel without any clear explanation, their lives would be ruined. And if they’re selective about enforcing their TOS, that should be grounds for lawsuit. YT only age restricts footage of Budd Dwyre blowing his head off. But they go after videos from Mortal Kombat games.

            I have ad block and have never seen or clicked on any ads at Twitter. Twitter makes money by selling user behavior and trends to advertisers. The advertisers will operate with that data beyond Twitter.

            Like John Stossel once said, I believe in limited government, not ZERO government. According to your (rather obtuse, with all due respect) logic, if a business switched dress codes and parking spots on their employees every week, that should be fine and dandy. Or a sandwhich shop can implement a “no shirt no service” policy 5 minutes after your order and then kick you out without.

            A Christian baker shouldn’t be forced to bake gay wedding cakes. But if he does agree to bake one, he’s bound by law and contract. Once Alex Jones is granted a platform at Twitter, then he should be treated / banned the same as left wing nutjobs.

            Otherwise, Twitter is a publisher and don’t get liability protection. They can run their business however they want, but they’re not entitled to default protection. And as I mentioned before, there is a clear difference between Twitter and commenting feature like Disqus.

            1. “WE provide the content that generates views, which attracts advertisers.”

              YOU are also using THEIR service for your own reasons.

              “I have ad block and have never seen or clicked on any ads at Twitter. Twitter makes money by selling user behavior and trends to advertisers. The advertisers will operate with that data beyond Twitter.”

              Uh, what do you do on Twitter that provides them with anything of value then? Content that your followers are consuming? You didn’t say anything about the millions of Twitter users that rarely, if ever, post anything, either. Or those that might tweet occasionally, but have hardly any followers. If they also have ad blockers up, then what does Twitter get out of it? “Data” on what, exactly? Does it help advertisers to know that the “blue and black dress, No! It’s white and gold” thing is trending? I’m not seeing how they are doing anything that is taking from users more than the value of what they are providing.

              “According to your (rather obtuse, with all due respect) logic, if a business switched dress codes and parking spots on their employees every week, that should be fine and dandy. Or a sandwhich shop can implement a “no shirt no service” policy 5 minutes after your order and then kick you out without.”

              You really missed what I was saying. I was pointing out how that has been the standard free-market purist position going back decades. I don’t believe it nearly as strongly as your side does, so it IS weird to see that tossed aside so completely just because some conservatives think Big Tech is being Big Meanies to them. Did you read my other comment below? I thought I had explained my thinking more completely there than what you seem to have taken my position to be. You keep setting up straw men to knock down and won’t address the core issues.

              Perhaps the laws surrounding the “Terms of Service” that companies issue could be strengthened and clarified to give the customer more options for when a company abuses them, but they are agreements that both sides are supposed to live up to. If a company issues ToS that says that its users have to be nice to other users, then users being a big meanies, calling other users names and generally being rude would violate those ToS and the offending users could be banned. You seem to be saying not just that companies are abusing vague ToS and picking on conservatives, but that they shouldn’t be allowed to have ToS that cover how users treat each other.

              You aren’t addressing this. Can a social media platform create community standards for user behavior or not? Or, do they have to let things be a Free Speech free-for-all where only the most obviously illegal behavior can be punished?

              “A Christian baker shouldn’t be forced to bake gay wedding cakes.”

              What about interracial marriage cakes? Or interfaith marriage cakes? The legal issues surrounding the cake baking wars were not new, which is why it is so annoying to me that it is a controversy at all. The only thing new was that it was gay people being on the receiving end of it. A baker would never get support from talking heads on even Fox News for refusing to bake a cake for an interracial couple, but if it is a gay couple, well, they are still icky enough that we can support the baker’s Freedom of Religion!

              “Once Alex Jones is granted a platform at Twitter, then he should be treated / banned the same as left wing nutjobs.”

              You can always find people that might seem as bad as Alex Jones that are still on Twitter, because millions of people use it. But are you saying that Alex Jones didn’t violate Twitter’s policies or are you saying that Twitter has to be perfectly consistent in applying its policies or else it can’t ban Alex Jones? You are kind of all over the place with your arguments.

              “And as I mentioned before, there is a clear difference between Twitter and commenting feature like Disqus.”

              What about a Kinko’s? Do they have a right to refuse to print flyers for neo-Nazi groups, or would that violate the Free Speech rights of the neo-Nazis? Wouldn’t that make Kinko’s a “publisher” if they exercise control over what they print on their machines? Also, I’ve told you: a publisher has complete control over content before it is distributed. If they don’t like the content, then it doesn’t get published. The distinctions between Twitter and Disqus that you make are far less important than this essential factor.

        2. “If I start a “America is not as racist as you think” topic at Youtube and Twitter and they remove my posts or favorite reactions as “hateful content” (this has happened) then the interests of the community are not served.”

          It is your opinion that the “interests of the community” are not served by that. The opinion that matters, though, is the opinion of the people running the company. It is their business, so they are the ones in the best position to analyze the data, get feedback from all of their users, and chart the best course of action that will maximize their revenue and profits.

          “You cannot mumble “they’re private” and sulk away.”

          It has been the argument used by so many libertarians and conservatives over the years that private businesses can do what they want, because they are private businesses. What happened to the free market mantra that the customer can simply choose not to buy from a business if it doesn’t like that business’s policies or service? Or that an employee can find a different job if they don’t like the compensation and working conditions offered by a business?

          Oh, now we see concern from the right that a business, or group of businesses, might have too much power and that customers or employees don’t really have a true choice. But when it comes to the spread of information, that just isn’t true. There are many options that people have, and any dominance that current tech companies have is very recent and likely temporary.

          Besides, complain about “gatekeepers” of information all that you want, but there have always been private gatekeepers. If I own and operate a Kinko’s, I don’t have to print 10,000 flyers for a neo-Nazi group if I don’t want to. I would be a “gatekeeper” restricting that neo-Nazi from spreading his views, but that is my right as the owner of that store. If that neo-Nazi group can’t find anyone willing to print their flyers, that would seem like a violation of Free Speech and Free Press principles to some, as it suppresses an unpopular view. But guess what, that is acceptable.

          Freedom of Speech and the Press is only a matter of government suppression because we don’t want a majority to use the force of law to suppress unpopular views. But being able to put social pressure on those with unpopular views is still a necessary part of how we build a consensus on what moral values to hold. It doesn’t seem right, but that is just how it works. Extremists that just about all of us can agree are hateful, even evil people, need to have the rest of society call them out and shun them for their evil. That is often the only thing that effectively keeps them marginalized and a tiny portion of the population.

  42. “Remember when Republicans believed private businesses had a right to exercise free speech?”

    Remember when the staff at Reason averaged IQs higher than room temperature?

  43. The Eurotrashing of American Conservativism continues, apace.

    By principles, limits on communication, and the rolling frontier America was exceptionally born and built as a de facto, if neither explicit nor perfect, libertarian nation and actual American Conservatives conserve that legacy, rather than reach back to import rank Old World trash ideas and behaviors. Trump, Trumpies, New Conservatives (aka Smart Trumps), and weak Conservatives pandering to these are Eurotrashing American Conservatism.

    “Americans were born exceptionally free from a feudal past, and hence free from an established church and an entrenched aristocracy. This made them exceptionally receptive to intellectual pluralism and exceptionally able to achieve social mobility. America had an exceptional revolution, one that did not attempt to define and deliver happiness, but one that set people free to define and pursue it as they please. Americans codified their Founding doctrines as a natural rights republic in an exceptional Constitution, one that does not say what government must do for them but what government may not do to them. And because the Founding experience was the result of, and affirmed the potency of, human agency, Americans are exceptionally impervious to bleak modern anxieties about human destinies being shaped by vast impersonal forces. America’s central government is exceptionally constructed to limit the discretion of those in power by balancing rival centers of power.” ~ George Will

    1. LOL, anyone citing that pretentious dork deserves to get mocked.

  44. It’s only a matter of time until Reason falls victim to the Big Tech-Democratic machine. It really does amaze me how the writers at Reason simply refuse to acknowledge what I’d say the vast majority of Reason readers have known for at least the last decade, if not more.

    It’s wilful ignorance at this point.

    1. “The Jews” is just so much more succinct than these word salads.

  45. Speaking of hypocrisy, it is quite entertaining to see all the otherwise quite Utilitarian writers AND commenters coming down in favor of protecting the liberty of a few tech oligarchs over the free speech interests of LITERALLY millions of people who do or could use those platforms.

    Curious how they added up the value of those two columns of people…

    1. “…the free speech interests of LITERALLY millions of people who do or could use those platforms.”

      And what about the interests of the users of these platforms to not have to see the posts from asshats that insist on trolling everything into a hate-filled, hellish landscape? These platforms are services and the users have every right to expect the businesses providing these services to maintain a community atmosphere that they find pleasing. The right-wing is only making this out to be about free speech because they are (by far) the most frequent abusers of these platforms that many, if not most, other users would like to see go away.

      I would guess that most people using YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. couldn’t give two shits about the political content that they find on these platforms. But then a post by someone talking about how they are being “cancelled” because they said something stupid pops up in their feed. They would rather just go back to watching funny videos with cats or puppies in them. But when a woman that posts a video about her cat that girlfriend got her for her birthday gets some troll ranting in the comments about how she’ll be going to hell, it is absolutely correct for the company to discipline that troll’s account. That isn’t “censorship” or violating that guy’s “rights”.

      This is all just going to show how the right has basically nothing left to offer the American political landscape other than the culture wars. The policy goals about taxes, spending, regulation, foreign policy, and all of that are just not motivating enough, apparently. They need to whip up the base by convincing them that their very way of life is under threat by those that don’t look like them, don’t worship God in the same way (or the same god, or at all), and want to take their place at the top of society.

      1. That’s an awfully long winded way to say “shut up.”

        1. JasonT20 is a child molester

          1. not certain about that but he sure is a logic and fact molester.

            1. Precisely, as I believe he’s claimed to be a teacher.

          2. “JasonT20 is a child molester”

            I flagged your comment for review. I don’t expect that to actually do anything, because I have not seen Reason do any actual moderating. Now, they don’t have to. As user-generated content, your comment does not obligate them to do so. This is true even though your comment is clearly defamatory. As DesigNate points out, I can now ignore your comment, as well.

            But I can also decide that Reason is just no longer worth my fucking time, since people like you populate its comments sections and Reason doesn’t care to do anything about it. (Just like they don’t do shit about all of the spam.) They clearly would rather appeal to people like you than foster actual constructive debate around issues.

            This is my point. Reason, as a business, has the freedom to decide whether and how to moderate its comments section, weighing how that will affect its appeal to its readers.

      2. You don’t have to read someone’s rant. No one is holding a gun to your head to read the comments here, or anywhere else.

        If you really don’t like seeing someone’s post on Twitter or Facebook YOU always have the option of blocking that person or leaving the platform. Or for assholes like KAR here, just flag and refresh.

        “…see the posts from asshats that insist on trolling everything into a hate-filled, hellish landscape”

        Oh, and you shouldn’t talk about your fellow leftist like that.

        1. “Oh, and you shouldn’t talk about your fellow leftist like that.”

          I know you are, but what am I?

          I got over using that as a retort when I was 7.

      3. Oh, BTW. You are full of shit. This isn’t about policing rudeness. This is about suppression of inconvenient messages through use of blatant double standards.

        Twitter Promotes Story Using ‘Breached’ Data To Dox Police – After Banning NY Post For ‘Hacked Material.’

        1. I didn’t say it was about “rudeness”, though a social media company can ban people from its services for being rude, if that is what they want to do. You know very well just how bad some parts of the internet get. They go way beyond simply being “rude” and people are harassed, doxxed, and swatted. People have used social media to organize their plans for violence (which even Parler notified the FBI about in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6th). People spread all kinds of bullshit, lies, false information, conspiracy nonsense, and worse. You make it seem like every instance where some company does something you don’t like against a conservative means that these companies are justifying a level of government interference with private business that libertarian ideology is supposed to be adamantly opposed to.

          You have gotten all butthurt about conservatives because that is your team. You don’t give a shit about truth.

          1. Yeah, they blocked the New York Posts story on Bidens laptop because of January 6th.

            And you think you can lecture about truth

            1. Yep. Keep bringing up those instances where they block the wrong thing or the wrong person as evidence that they need to be brought to heel by the government. And do so while ignoring all of the instances where they blocked or restricted content that should have been blocked or restricted. You still aren’t making a rational argument for how this is consistent with corporate Free Speech rights and general free market principles that libertarians and conservatives have claimed to champion.

              No comment on Parler’s cooperation and reports to the FBI of what the insurrectionists were up to? Should they have ignored that and done nothing in the name of “free speech”? Remember that whatever you want government to do about Twitter will be giving government the power to do similar things to whatever platforms conservatives will want to use.

              “And you think you can lecture about truth”

              Did I ever say that Twitter was right to block the Post’s story? I still don’t know how much of what they wrote is verified as true and how much is conspiracy theory, but I agree that they shouldn’t have done what they did. On the other hand, I can play that game, too. What do you think about Sidney Potter using the Tucker Carlson defense in her defamation case? So, she couldn’t have defamed Dominion because no reasonable person would have believed that she was trying to be factual when she accused them of rigging the election for Biden just like they did for Hugo Chavez? If you believed anything she ever said about the election, do you not feel insulted now that she says that you are basically a moron for having believed it?


    “Twitter’s featured story doxxes low-level police officers who donated small amounts to help colleagues who have garnered the ire of Black Lives Matter.” [link]

    1. Doxxed with illegally obtained material.

      But Twitter blocked the Biden laptop story because they said the info on his laptop was “hacked.”said

      even though it wasnt.

  47. I haven’t faced any such issues as of now and I am glad to be working with united airlines flying together portal.
    It seems to be fixed as it cannot continue likes this, this is really shameful to the govt.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.