Social Media

Tech Groups Sue To Stop Ron DeSantis' Assault on Online Free Speech

“The Act is so rife with fundamental infirmities that it appears to have been enacted without any regard for the Constitution,” the lawsuit reads.

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Two tech industry trade groups have filed a suit to try and block Florida's new law that forbids social media companies from deplatforming political candidates, arguing it violates the First Amendment rights of platforms.

On Monday, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law S.B. 7072, which, among other things, threatens to fine platforms like Twitter or Facebook $250,000 for each day they refuse to host comments from candidates running for office. DeSantis has loudly been decrying "censorship" from tech companies and social media platforms that he believes are targeting conservatives. He described the bill's passage as "protection against the Silicon Valley elites."

But among the many concerns about the bill is that it requires these platforms to carry speech they might find objectionable or offensive. The First Amendment, bolstered by many, many court precedents, usually prohibits the government from mandating that a private company do this. Whether we're talking about newspapers, cake-makers, or T-shirt shops, America has a lengthy history of court cases forbidding DeSantis from doing what he's attempting to do.

A lawsuit was inevitable. On Thursday, NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, two organizations that represent the interests of companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Google, teamed up to sue Florida in federal court, asking for the court to find the law unconstitutional for violating the First and 14th Amendments and to enjoin the state from enforcing the law.

"We cannot stand idly by as Florida's lawmakers push unconstitutional bills into law that bring us closer to state-run media and a state-run internet," NetChoice Vice President and General Counsel Carl Szabo noted in a prepared statement. "The First Amendment protects social media platforms' right to host and moderate content as they see fit for their business models and users."

The 70-page lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, documents the many court precedents prohibiting lawmakers from forcing private companies to carry messages—from political candidates or anybody else. The lawsuit notes what is extremely obvious—that the bill "was motivated by animus toward popular technology companies—animus specifically driven by disapproval of the companies' perceived political and other viewpoints."

Republicans like DeSantis have been attempting to bypass all these constitutional concerns by attempting to categorize social media companies as "common carriers" or virtual "town squares," meaning that such platforms merely host communications and therefore shouldn't be permitted to decide what people can talk about any more than a phone company could.

The problem with such an argument, the lawsuit notes, is that these platforms are not common carriers or town squares and are, in fact, heavily moderated, often by demands of their users and even the government itself:

The openness of the Internet is a magnet for some of the best and worst aspects of humanity, and any online service that allows users to easily upload material will find some of its users attempting to post highly offensive, dangerous, illegal, or simply unwanted content. This content may be problematic in a variety of ways, including (among other things) featuring hardcore and illegal "revenge" pornography, depictions of child sexual abuse, terrorist propaganda, efforts by foreign adversaries to foment violence and manipulate American elections, efforts to spread white supremacist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, misinformation disseminated by bot networks, fraudulent schemes, malicious efforts to spread computer viruses or steal people's personal information, spam, virulent racist or sexist attacks, death threats, attempts to encourage suicide and self-harm, efforts to sell illegal weapons and drugs, pirated material that violates intellectual property rights, and false and defamatory statements.

The law Florida passed does provide an exception for pornography or obscenity but not these other components. So if a literal Nazi ran for office in Florida, Facebook would be legally obligated to serve as a platform for this candidate's racist comments, but newspapers or television stations could not be required to do the same.

Then there's the matter that lawmakers at the very last moment carved out an exception for major companies that own theme parks, like Disney and Comcast, which both have major presences in Florida. This decision made it pretty obvious that the law's purpose is to manipulate and potentially punish certain companies Republican politicians have it in for:

This undisguised singling out of disfavored companies reflects the Act's true purpose, which its sponsors freely admitted: to target and punish popular online services for their perceived views and for certain content-moderation decisions that state officials opposed—in other words, to retaliate against these companies for exercising their First Amendment rights…

Robert Winterton, NetChoice's director of public affairs, tells Reason he's "confident" the courts will find in the tech industry's favor. Similar bills have been introduced or debated in other states and more are likely to come. Winterton says this is the biggest bill targeting social media moderation that has actually passed into law so far. If the courts agree that Florida's law is unconstitutional, perhaps some of these efforts will subside.

"Our hope is to disincentivize states from spending money pushing laws that are blatantly unconstitutional," Winterton says.

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  1. They can build their own Florida

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  2. I don’t think you understand what “free speech” means.

    1. I’m quite sure you don’t. I guess we should mandate that I get to put “fuck moonrocks” signs in Moonrock’s yard as well.

      It is free speech after all even if the law forces you to host it on your private property?

      1. If we lived in a world where we don’t force things, I agree.

        But we don’t live there. Either we protect free speech online, or everybody to the left of AOC will be banned from it.

      2. Did Moonrocks advertise his yard as a public space where all could share their thoughts, opinions, and feelings.

      3. If you host a public forum on your private property, then you don’t get to pick and chose who gets to speak

        See Pruneyard.

        If you don’t let anyone else speak, then of course no one can start turning your property into a public forum.

        And if you’re a publisher, you of course get to pick and chose what you will publish. But you’re legally responsible for everything you chose to publish

        So, pick one, and stick to it.

  3. Yes, a move that, while via questionable means, increases free speech is being sued for opposing free speech.

    We are in upside down land.

    If they are worried about carrying material that is offensive, they should look to remove 230 so that they can be treated as publishers instead of common carriers.

    1. SECTION 230 IS NOT ABOUT COMMON CARRIERS!!!

      1. It effectively is. It allowed companies to both have the liability shield that a common carrier has and to filter content. They let the cat out of the bag when they started to filter content based on their editorial viewpoint.

        1. The whole point of 230 is to say that websites are not obligated to moderate their users’ posts. It would be prohibitively expensive for a website to employ staff to review every single user post or comment to check that it’s not defamatory. Websites are allowed to set their own editorial policies but they can’t be sued because Joe Bloggs wrote something nasty about Kamala Harris or whatever. If 230 is repealed then websites would have to stop allowing user posts, or at the very least they would have more free reign to censor comments to avoid legal liability. So repealing 230 is just about the dumbest way you could try to promote free speech.

          1. But the point is that websites moderate their users posts anyway

  4. S.B. 7072 … threatens to fine platforms like Twitter or Facebook $250,000 for each day they refuse to host comments from candidates running for office.

    Meh. Those candidates can just get a baker to put their comments on a cake.

  5. Notice also how the examples they use relate to the worst things people can say, but in reality, they have no problem with people saying those things, as long as its by, and against the right people, but instead they want to ban simple things like ‘hey those election results look funny’ or ‘so what about wuhan flu starting in a lab’.

    Luckily for them the leftists that support these idiots aren’t bright enough to notice.

    1. I love how literal terrorist organizations can organize on social media but mainstream candidates in American elections can’t. Truly, this is the Freedomest of Free Speech.

      1. I didn’t think you considered the Capital rioters to be a terrorist organization.

        1. Literal terrorists did organize on Facebook, and then went off to storm the Capital while the POTUS encouraged them in real time.

          1. You didn’t properly denounce BLM which means the people who stormed the Capital did nothing wrong!!!!

        2. Literal terrorists, as in the kind that target and murder civilians, not the kind that are civilians that are targeted and murdered.

          1. ter·ror·ism
            noun
            the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

            Violently storming the Capital to prevent the certification of the election is the very definition of terrorism.

            1. So violent, in fact, that the only ones that got hurt were the protesters.

              1. The people outside were protesters. The ones who stormed the building to intimidate Congress and “Stop the Steal” were not.

                1. The ones the Capitol police invited inside?

              2. Isn’t property damage a form of violence?

                1. Isn’t property damage a form of violence?

                  And a firecracker and Fat Man are forms of explosives.

              3. “So violent, in fact, that the only ones that got hurt were the protesters.”

                Brian Sicknick (say his name!) got killed by the trumpanzees gone apeshit! While trying to defend the Gates of Zirn against barbarian hordes! (Highly likely murdered, not ABSOLUTELY proven, but what is absolute in this world?) Also read this:

                READ the below and hang your tiny brainless, power-lusting shit-head in SHAME for always taking the side of Trumpanzees, power-luster-pig!
                https://www.jpost.com/international/kill-him-with-his-own-gun-dc-cop-talks-about-the-riot-655709
                ‘Kill him with his own gun’ – DC cop talks about Capitol riot
                DC Police officer Michael Fanone: I had a choice to make: Use deadly force, which would likely result with the mob ending his life, or trying something else.

                “Pro-law-and-order” Trumpturds take the side of trumpanzees going apeshit, making cops beg for their lives! For trying to defend democracy against mobocracy! Can you slime-wads sink ANY lower?!?!

            2. So what if the 6ers are terrorists? The point is that people now consider the filtering of political speech to be “freedom of speech”. Crazytown.

              1. I’m just showing how partisans have no principles. What matters is who, not what.

              2. Freedom of speech also includes the absence of compelled speech. It means that I have a right to express my opinion, and it also means that I don’t have a right to force you to express my opinion against your will.

                1. We “compel” speech all the time. That’s how the common carrier model of governance works.

                  Look, it all comes down to filtering. By allowing filtering (censorship) in the private space, we’ve allowed supposedly neutral platform to operate with an editorial bias without accountability. And that was a specific choice that is not a logical consequence of natural rights.

                  1. “…we’ve allowed supposedly neutral platform to operate with an editorial bias without accountability.”

                    Neutral wuss-words written without accountability! Do you or do you not favor private property rights, fence-straddler?

                    So in MP Land, then, the Association of Catholic Nuns Who Garden-Tend, if it sets up a chat group for discussing their hobby, should be forced to accept pro-abortion, anti-Catholic-nuns rants, on their internet forum? What happened to private property rights, and the right to freely associate, or not associate?

                    Association of Catholic Nuns Who Garden-Tend are supposedly “neutral”, so let’s neuter them of all THEIR power (that THEY pay for), even over THEIR OWN forum!

                    1. Section 230 may not use the term “neutral”, but it does say that “moderation” must be done “in good faith”, and only an idiot would say that censoring one political viewpoint, while promoting another, is being done in good faith.

                    2. From https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200531/23325444617/hello-youve-been-referred-here-because-youre-wrong-about-section-230-communications-decency-act.shtml

                      If you said “Section 230 requires all moderation to be in “good faith” and this moderation is “biased” so you don’t get 230 protections”

                      You are, yet again, wrong. At least this time you’re using a phrase that actually is in the law. The problem is that it’s in the wrong section. Section (c)(2)(a) does say that:

                      No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected

                      However, that’s just one part of the law, and as explained earlier, nearly every Section 230 case about moderation hasn’t even used that part of the law, instead relying on Section (c)(1)’s separation of an interactive computer service from the content created by users. Second, the good faith clause is only in half of Section (c)(2). There’s also a separate section, which has no good faith limitation, that says:

                      No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of… any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material….

                      So, again, even if (c)(2) applied, most content moderation could avoid the “good faith” question by relying on that part, (c)(2)(B), which has no good faith requirement.

                      However, even if you could somehow come up with a case where the specific moderation choices were somehow crafted such that (c)(1) and (c)(2)(B) did not apply, and only (c)(2)(A) were at stake, even then, the “good faith” modifier is unlikely to matter, because a court trying to determine what constitutes “good faith” in a moderation decision is making a very subjective decision regarding expression choices, which would create massive 1st Amendment issues. So, no, the “good faith” provision is of no use to you in whatever argument you’re making.

                  2. supposedly neutral platform

                    I agree that they are not neutral. They don’t have to be neutral. They aren’t required to be neutral. They are using their property how they see fit. It is no different than you allowing or forbidding different topics of discussion on your own property. You have no obligation to be neutral, you can do whatever you want. Same deal here.

                    1. Look, the point of 230 was to allow for neutral platforms to exist and to ensure that they didn’t get hit with liability suits on account of their neutrality. But Congress was chickenshit and gave them an “objectionable” out so that all of the nasty Nazis and porn kings could get kicked off. Then these platforms turned their backs on the spirit of the neutrality and drove a Mack truck through objectionable.

                      I have no issue with non-neutral platforms doing whatever the fuck they want. But I also feel no reason to then provide them with a liability shield over their editorial decisions.

                    2. So tell me where the law says I have to be “neutral” to be protected bu Section 230? “Protected”, by the way, I might add, from BEING PUNISHED FOR THE WRITINGS OF OTHERS, fer cris-sakes!!!

                      I’ve seen many-many conservaturd posters here lusting after punishing Facebook (for example) for Facebook having “published” a defamatory post (written by a user, not Facebook, of course). Classic “Punish Party A for the Deeds of Party B, and call it justice”.

                      Conservaturds lost in the recent POTUS elections, so let’s go take it out on Facebook!

                      My boyfriend treats me badly, but I can’t bitch-slap him, ’cause his dick is bigger than mine, he might beat me up some more, so I’ll go beat the dog or the little kid(s) some more!

                      Most of us can see that this is a power-pig, punk thing to do, in domestic relations. Why can’t more of us see that it is ALWAYS wrong to “Punish Party A for the Deeds of Party B”? Any answers from ye power-pig punks?

                    3. Look, the point of 230 was to allow for neutral platforms to exist

                      It was never about being “neutral”. The word ‘neutral’ does not appear in Section 230.

                    4. It was totally about being neutral. It doesn’t have to say that in the law to be about that.

                      More specifically, it was about being a platform for user generated content. And the idea was to keep the platform safe from lawsuits based on content they couldn’t reasonably control.

                      Now they can control it…quite a lot. So either re-write or repeal 230.

                    5. More specifically, it was about being a platform for user generated content. And the idea was to keep the platform safe from lawsuits based on content they couldn’t reasonably control.

                      That’s right. And none of that is about being “neutral”. Section 230 absolutely permits a platform for censoring content based on whatever whim that they wish – so the Christian forum could ban all atheist content, and vice-versa. Nothing about being “neutral”.

                    6. The intention of “objectionable” was not “whatever they wish”. It’s specifically a “Good Samaritan” clause. It was about being a responsible steward. It was not a blank check to filter to their heart’s content. If that was true, there would be no need to state “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable”. Again, they’ve twisted “objectionable” into “whatever they wish”, which is my point. And thus 230 has lost it’s way.

                2. Good to see leftists so on board with the Company Store model when applied to the public forum.

            3. Your description more accurately describes antifa/BLM violence & terrorism (such as the attack on the White House) than it does the “so-called” insurrection…….Apparently, intellectual honesty isn’t high your list of values…..

            4. So, by that definition the founding fathers were terrorist’s, as were every group that overthrew an oppressive system by protest or force?

              And, they weren’t civilians, they were politicians – the people that the protesters, rioters, whatever makes you feel good were.

              Erdogan, Sisi, Xi, are all good because they put down the terrorist insurrections in their respective countries?

              Ever read a history book?

  6. Republicans like DeSantis have been attempting to bypass all these constitutional concerns by attempting to categorize social media companies as “common carriers” or virtual “town squares,” meaning that such platforms merely host communications and therefore shouldn’t be permitted to decide what people can talk about any more than a phone company could.

    The problem with such an argument, the lawsuit notes, is that these platforms are not common carriers or town squares and are, in fact, heavily moderated, often by demands of their users and even the government itself

    Huh? This reasoning sounds like “These platforms shouldn’t be treated like common carriers because they want to keep on censoring people with abandon, plus the government and users do it so why can’t we?”

    1. The platform are NOT common carriers. I don’t know where this meme came from, but it’s absolutely wrong. These are fully private businesses, they are not monopolies in any way, they do not operate across public frequencies or resources, etc. They meet zero of the criteria for being a common carrier.

      But Team Red is mad because Team Red lost an election so Team Red is anxious to punish someone. And “big tech” is who they want to punish because Team Red does not understand how the tech works.

      1. Don’t go confusing Trumpistas with definitions and facts. They know what they feel and you’re not going to change it.

        1. Succinct and to the point. Kudos.

          1. Not really, just snarky.

            The whole issue revolves around what is social media:

            – a private platform for private citizens to use with the private owner monitoring content

            – a global communications system used by public, private and corporate entities

            I say the latter for many reasons, which then drives us toward the common carrier realm. Once upon a time AT&T was a private company that pretty much dictated all terms as well, and these was one of the reasons they were busted up and their infra designated as common carrier. Another was the fiber cable fight.

            FB, TW, IG have no competitors, and like AT&T before simply buy up competitors and then place them under they’re rules.

            I care not for the politics, but the censorship is profound. Some tool tried to equated a nuns quilting group page to this – absurd.

            It makes me think that since the worm has turned, there are many shills out for but ideologies providing lame excuses for why it must be so.

            So here’s a question – are they simple private gossip rags with news and ads or are they communications platforms?

      2. In this case, Team Red is Karen demanding that the manager “do something” about Big Tech’s awful behavior. So they are going to continue to come up with more rules and more laws that will just wind up making everything worse.

        1. That may be true, it may get worse. But when you look at lobbying and the Corp is a human law, it’s better than having corporations get one step closer to full control of our governement.

      3. There are also a lot of people eager to punish team red for having the temerity to elect Trump.
        There really is a problem with these companies. Free speech needs to be a broadly held cultural value or the legal protections aren’t worth much. The Constitution only works if people more or less agree with it. I have no idea what should be done. I don’t want more regulation or anti-trust actions. But these companies taking it upon themselves to decide what is acceptable political discourse is rather disturbing.

        1. But these companies taking it upon themselves to decide what is acceptable political discourse is rather disturbing.

          How is it any more disturbing than you deciding what is acceptable discourse in your own home?

          If Tony came to your house and started praising the virtues of Hillary Clinton, and wouldn’t shut up about it, you would have every right to kick Tony off your property. Would that be “disturbing”? Or would that be you exercising your property rights however you saw fit, and if Tony wants to praise Hillary, he can do so with his own forum without appropriating yours?

          Quite frankly, these tech companies do permit a remarkable amount of diversity of speech on their platforms. They are by no means perfect, but for being supposedly run by a bunch of left-wing radicals, they tolerate an awful lot of non-left-wing speech on their platforms.

          1. I find it disturbing because the companies are so dominant in how people communicate and share ideas now. I am less pessimistic than some are for sure. There is still a lot of diverse political content on YouTube, for example. But they have also been censoring a lot. Including declaring things “misinformation” that have turned out to be true. And there are newer platforms that operate on explicit freedom of speech principles. So I hope that’s the answer and these new players will be competitive with the established ones. But I fear that the established players are too cozy with government and regulators at this point and will be hard to shift.

            1. The thing is, there’s no great technological barrier to allow them to operate as a neutral filter. You simply need to give users the choice…unfiltered/liberal/safe…whatever. Create a million filters. Allow them to overlap.

              The problem is forcing filters and being moderators in a space where users are generating the content. In the wild old Internet, mods were volunteers and the social order was kept in check by users. Why the new content hosts feel the need to mandate filters…I have no idea…beyond the fact that Congress has threatened them enough that it’s in their best interest.

              1. “Why the new content hosts feel the need to mandate filters…I have no idea…”

                I’ll give you a clue: Boycotts! Plain and simple, people (decent people at least, assuming we still count for diddly squat) would boycott Reason Magazine (and Reason.com) right here, if it got to be a TOTAL cesspool (I mean, more than it is already) of the WORST potty-mouthed racists, child-porn-posters, etc.! Reason.com protects THEIR own interests on THEIR own property, by reserving the right to take shit DOWN! WHAT is so horrible about THAT?

                1. Speaking of self-managed moderation…MUTED.

                  1. What, you muted your conscience when it nags you about the obvious evils and injustices of punishing “Party A” for the sins of “Party B”?

                    You muted your conscience, so that, when one of your MANY AND “MANLY” Big Bad Boyfriends abuses you, you can go right on beating your defenseless little doggy? Or your kid(s)?

                    1. It is posters, like you, that probably moved REASON to include the “Mute user” button.
                      A little self-reflection might be in order.

      4. Facebook and Google receive massive amounts of government dollars, they spend massive amounts of money in support of one party over the other, and they do the federal government’s bidding under threat of regulation and investigation. The idea that they should be treated like a “private business” exercising their free speech rights is ludicrous.

        You don’t understand any of this because you are an ignorant Republican old-timer. And it’s obvious that you like big, authoritarian government, a long-time TeamRed tradition.

        1. Facebook and Google receive massive amounts of government dollars,

          For specific contracted services, yes, I’m sure. Just like lots of other companies.

          they spend massive amounts of money in support of one party over the other,

          They lobby the government just like lots of other companies do, yes.

          and they do the federal government’s bidding under threat of regulation and investigation.

          Show this, explicitly. Otherwise, it is no different than when politicians make public statements about any company. Are we to believe that because some politicians say mean things about, say, the oil and gas industry, that the oil & gas industry should not be considered “private businesses” because some of their decisions *may have* been influenced by what some politicians said?

          The idea that they should be treated like a “private business” exercising their free speech rights is ludicrous.

          They are as private as pretty much every other big business out there.

          1. the oil and gas industry, that the oil & gas industry should not be considered “private businesses” because some of their decisions *may have* been influenced by what some politicians said?

            Correct, we should. The US government goes to many large companies, including Google, Facebook, GM, Ford, and the oil industry, and threatens/colludes with them in order to get them to do things that are politically desirable. That manifests in different ways. Often, the companies are forced to spend money they don’t want to spend (e.g., by keeping unprofitable locations open). Often, companies are paid off by government through tax breaks, subsidies, and/or regulatory exemptions. And in this case, companies are coerced into restricting free speech.

            They lobby the government just like lots of other companies do, yes.

            Google and Facebook don’t just “lobby the government”, they actively collude with it.

            They are as private as pretty much every other big business out there.

            You are quite right there. And in our current regulatory regime, our big businesses are not private, in the same way in which big businesses under fascist regimes were not private. This is both due to political and regulatory collusion and coercion, but it is also true simply as a matter of law. For example, big businesses don’t have freedom of association or freedom of speech like private individuals have.

            1. And in our current regulatory regime, our big businesses are not private, in the same way in which big businesses under fascist regimes were not private.

              So, what is your argument against nationalizing not just Big Tech, but all industry then? None of them should be treated like “private business”, based on your argument.

              1. Grocery stores, many of them, take food stamps! So Government Almighty needs to take them all over, lock, stock, and barrel!

                (Prepare for 5-hour waiting lines for bread).

                1. I know, right? If JW2 really thinks we live in a fascist state right now, then let’s drop the pretense and go full-on nationalization of everything.

                  1. If JW2 really thinks we live in a fascist state right now

                    I said big businesses are not private, in the same way in which big businesses under fascist regimes were not private, not that “we live in a fascist state”.

                    then let’s drop the pretense and go full-on nationalization of everything

                    I don’t understand what you are trying to get at. Fascist economies do not nationalize everything, they do exactly what our economy is doing and what Democrats are advocating: strict regulation of big businesses for the collective good.

                    And I agree: we should drop the pretense that we have a free market economy in the US, and Democrats should drop the pretense that they favor free markets.

                2. Grocery stores, many of them, take food stamps! So Government Almighty needs to take them all over, lock, stock, and barrel!

                  You got it backwards: government almighty is forcing businesses to comply with numerous rules as a condition of being allowed to process food stamps.

                  Likewise, government almighty is using government contracts to force companies like Google and Amazon to comply with government policies they might otherwise choose not to implement, including speech restrictions.

                  You are on the side of government almighty forcing businesses to do things. I oppose such force.

              2. So, what is your argument against nationalizing not just Big Tech, but all industry then? None of them should be treated like “private business”, based on your argument.

                To the contrary, I think they ought to be treated like private businesses.

                The problem is that the US government right now isn’t doing that; instead, it is using private businesses to implement policies that would be constitutionally prohibited if the government carried it out directly. That’s true for prisons, surveillance, and free speech, among many other areas.

                1. WHO is censoring you, crybaby? As you post here FREE of charge?

                  Hey whining crybaby… I pay (PAY! With MY money! I OWN!) for my own web site at Go-Daddy. I say some VERY sarcastic and un-politically-correct, intolerant things about cults like Scientology there (and Government Almighty as well). I am QUITE sure that a LOT of “tolerant” liberal-type folks at Google etc. would NOT be happy with the types of things I wrote! Yet, if you do a search-string “Scienfoology”, Google will take you STRAIGHT to MY web site, top hit! #1!

                  https://www.google.com/search?q=scienfoology&nfpr=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjPzZqf0dXsAhUCT6wKHez9DNwQvgUoAXoECDEQKg&biw=1920&bih=941

                  Your whining and crying is (just about ) UTTERLY without basis!

                  WHERE is your respect for property rights?! I learned to respect the property rights of others, before I was in the 1st grade! Didn’t your Momma raise you right?

                  1. WHO is censoring you, crybaby? As you post here FREE of charge?

                    Where did I say I was being censored? I’m saying that the argument that Google can claim 1A protection is bogus in light of political and economic realities.

                    Your whining and crying is (just about ) UTTERLY without basis!

                    You misunderstand, I’m not whining, I’m gloating: you are getting what you deserve. I just want you to know as the US falls apart around you that you did this to yourself.

                    1. “US falls apart” because there was TOO much respect for private property, where private property was NOT used in ANY way that clearly violated the rights of others? In what universe will tedious, long Government Almighty laws replace Section 230 for the better? Didn’t you hear that communism has FAILED, everywhere that it has been tried?

                    2. “US falls apart” because there was TOO much respect for private property

                      You’re still suffering from the delusion that the US government respects private property rights, or that the policies companies like Google adopt reflect free market choices.

                      Didn’t you hear that communism has FAILED, everywhere that it has been tried?

                      Indeed. I also know that useful idiots like you are the kind of people who bring communists to power.

                    3. Section 230 respects private property…

                      You are NOT going to get any better than this law, for LIMITING Government Almighty powers!!!

                      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200531/23325444617/hello-youve-been-referred-here-because-youre-wrong-about-section-230-communications-decency-act.shtml

                      OPEN QUESTIONS FOR ALL ENEMIES OF SECTION 230

                      The day after tomorrow, you get a jury summons. You will be asked to rule in the following case: A poster posted the following to social media: “Government Almighty LOVES US ALL, FAR more than we can EVER know!”

                      This attracted protests from liberals, who thought that they may have detected hints of sarcasm, which was hurtful, and invalidated the personhoods of a few Sensitive Souls. It ALSO attracted protests from conservatives, who were miffed that this was a PARTIAL truth only (thereby being at least partially a lie), with the REAL, full TRUTH AND ONLY THE TRUTH being, “Government Almighty of Der TrumpfenFuhrer ONLY, LOVES US ALL, FAR more than we can EVER know! Thou shalt have NO Government Almighty without Der TrumpfenFuhrer, for Our TrumpfenFuhrer is a jealous Government Almighty!”

                      Ministry of Truth, and Ministry of Hurt Baby Feelings, officials were consulted. Now there are charges!

                      QUESTIONS FOR YOU THE JUROR:

                      “Government Almighty LOVES US ALL”, true or false?

                      “Government Almighty LOVES US ALL”, hurtful sarcasm or not?

                      Will you be utterly delighted to serve on this jury? Keep in mind that OJ Simpson got an 11-month criminal trial! And a 4-month civil trial!

                    4. J W 2, if you mute him, you really, really will not miss much. Trust me.

          2. “that the oil & gas industry should not be considered “private businesses” because some of their decisions *may have* been influenced by what some politicians said?”

            So if Exxon said “We don’t want to sell gas to blacks”, you’d be OK?

      5. Common carriers are often fully private businesses, overwhelmingly not monopolies, and public resources are unnecessary for most of them. The fundamental characteristic of a common carrier in the realm of telecommunications is that they offer their services to the public at large rather than functioning as a service to a private enterprise. The terminology originates with the transportation industry so think of a bus service that sells tickets to the public versus buses owned by a corporation to transport their employees. Moreover, you have to consider the public forum rulings – if a shopping center that merely provides space to congregate is obliged to respect 1st Amendment rights, its pretty disingenuous to pretend that a system that exists entirely to provide opportunities to publicly communicate should not be held to the same standards.

        The stark reality is that what Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/whatever are claiming is no different than what redneck store owners used to claim -they have private property rights that entitle them to discriminate.

        Big Team Blue got made because they lost an election and spent four years plus trying to punish the guy who won. This is just one more example and they are going to regret trying it.

      6. “they do not operate across public frequencies or resources”

        False, halfish of the major backbones are public property.

        Secondly, the phone lines and power lines are not public property.

        Thirdly, private industry is not allowed to own water lines.

        I dont even see where youre trying to make an argument here. If somebody tapped into the water distribution network to offer water widgets, they could discriminate, because they dont own the resource that transmits the good/service? Wouldnt that make it less legal?

        The phone and power lines are private resources that the goverment doesnt allow the owners to discriminate on who they allow to utilize those resources. That seems pretty analogous to what should be done to social media if theyre going to get special protection that other media outlets dont get.

  7. “The Act is so rife with fundamental infirmities that it appears to have been enacted without any regard for the Constitution,”

    Almost got it there, buddy. Nobody gives a shit about the Constitution any more.

    1. When the answer to every problem is government, then all the Constitution does is stop things from getting done.

  8. Oh boy, this is a gem:
    “We cannot stand idly by as Florida’s lawmakers push unconstitutional bills into law that bring us closer to state-run media and a state-run internet”

    1. And when the Democrats say “jump”, Twitter, Facebook, and Google shout back “How high, your Lordships?”

      They already are state run media.

      1. But I thought Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc., were already run by left-wing radicals anyway. Why would they require Democrats to demand anything of them in order to act like censorious left-wing assholes?

        Could it be that Twitter sets its rules the way it does, not because any Democrat demanded that they do, but because they genuinely believe that is the best way to run their business?

        1. But I thought Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc., were already run by left-wing radicals anyway.

          These companies used to be run by people who generally were libertarian and free-market leaning. As they became bigger and more government aligned, that changed.

          Could it be that Twitter sets its rules the way it does, not because any Democrat demanded that they do, but because they genuinely believe that is the best way to run their business?

          It is the best way to run their business, under the conditions set by government. And now, DeSantis is setting some slightly different conditions.

          1. No, I am suggesting that IF these companies really are run by left-wing radicals, as many people continually assert, then even in the absence of any government action or even perceived threats, these companies would still behave in the same way – banning speech they didn’t like – because that is who they are. They wouldn’t need threats to act this way, this is how they would normally act anyway.

            1. No, I am suggesting that IF these companies really are run by left-wing radicals, as many people continually assert, then even in the absence of any government action or even perceived threats, these companies would still behave in the same way

              I agree with you: they would behave the same way in the absence of any government action.

              But the reason these big corporations are run by left wing radicals is government action; without government action, they would either be run by different people, or they wouldn’t be big and successful.

          2. Or maybe their bottom line works better when they don’t give fascists a platform? How about that?

            Maybe your ideas are just so out there that no one wants to be bothered to host them and the majority of society finds them not worth the bytes?

            1. I think there is half a point to these complaints – I do think these tech companies fear a government crackdown to a certain degree if they permit “hate speech” to remain up on their platforms. But it is also based on their public image – they probably don’t want to be known as “the place where the Nazis hang out”.

            2. Or maybe their bottom line works better when they don’t give fascists a platform? How about that?

              But they are giving fascists a platform, every day.

              Maybe your ideas are just so out there that no one wants to be bothered to host them

              No doubt that’s true for modern Americans, just like it was true for the socialist sh*thole I emigrated from. That’s a reflection on Americans, not on me.

            3. Yet they are making a fortune allowing fascists ranging from Hamas to BLM to Democrats to vomit their authoritarian poison every minute of the day. Don’t kid yourself anymore – you and your type are the 21st Century brown shirts.

        2. “Could it be that Twitter sets its rules the way it does, not because any Democrat demanded that they do, but because they genuinely believe that is the best way to run their business?”

          No, that is a really stupid question.

      2. And if you’re going to claim that these tech companies are “already state run media” because politicians make public statements about them, then that effectively nullifies the term. If a politician says “I think the price of gas is too high”, and then *as if by magic* the price of gas falls next week, are we now going to conclude that gas companies are now “state run”?

        If you want to argue that tech companies are operating at the direction of the government, then point to the law, rule, regulation, etc., that was duly passed by the legislature, regulatory agency, judge, etc., that mandated that behavior. If not, then you don’t have an argument.

  9. oh you know the political views of the woke tech giants when they use “white supremists”, anti-semites” and “nazis” as examples of the horror of this law. Not “communists”, “cultural marxists”, and “anti Christians”, and “racists who come in all colors”? Then again look who we are dealing with…folks that have a soft spot for marxism, the destruction of the bill of rights (except how they define the 1st amendment), attacking Americans who have beliefs in freedom and liberty.

    Sorry the tech giants act as soverign nations at war with salt of the earth real Americans…their management should be replaced, BOD removed and as common carriers follow the NAP but beyond that not moderate any content….that is called freedom.

    1. The tech giants SUPPORT anti-Semites.

  10. The law Florida passed does provide an exception for pornography or obscenity but not these other components. So if a literal Nazi ran for office in Florida, Facebook would be legally obligated to serve as a platform for this candidate’s racist comments

    Au contraire, one suspects nowadays racist comments are considered obscene.

    1. It used to be considered by the writers here that the cure for bad speech was more speech, not the suppression of the bad speech. Secondly, the paranoid search for hidden Nazis has led to ridiculous excesses as to what qualifies as Nazi adjacent speech.

    2. Why would libertarians be concerned that a Nazi had access to a platform available to Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians? Are they too far outside of normal parameters? Who gets to decide? Scott Shackford? Fuck this. Censorship is censorship and if the libertarians at Reason they are enemies of liberty.

  11. “The problem with such an argument, the lawsuit notes, is that these platforms are not common carriers or town squares . . . ”

    On the other hand, to be sure – – – – – – –
    While the Supreme Court has referenced the “vast democratic forums of the Internet,” Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844, 868 (1997), has described the internet (including social media platforms such as Twitter) as one of “the most important places (in a spatial sense) for the exchange of views,” Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730, 1735 (2017), and has analogized the internet to the “essential venues for public gatherings” of Case 1:17-cv-05205-NRB Document 72 Filed 05/23/18 Page 60 of 75 61 streets and parks, id., the lack of historical practice is dispositive, see Forbes, 523 U.S. at 678. Accordingly, we consider whether the interactive space is a designated public forum, with “governmental intent” serving as “the touchstone for determining whether a public forum has been created.” Gen. Media Commc’ns, Inc. v. Cohen, 131 F.3d 273, 279 (2d Cir. 1997). “Intent is not merely a matter of stated purpose. Indeed, it must be inferred from a number of objective factors, including: [the government’s] policy and past practice, as well as the nature of the property and its compatibility with expressive activity.” Paulsen v. County of Nassau, 925 F.2d 65, 69 (2d Cir. 1991) (citing Cornelius, 473 U.S. at 802-03). Here, these factors strongly support the conclusion that the interactive space is a designated public forum.

      1. The truth is out there . . . .

        (just don’t expect Google search to deliver it)

  12. I’m a little torn on these things because the tech companies are the second worst thing in the world and government is first. Can’t we just set them all on fire?
    But when it comes to politicians, right now if you are firmly against lockdowns, business closures and other supposed public health mandates, you’re one of the good guys whatever other goofy shit you try to pull.

    1. There’s no separation between the D party and big tech.
      Anyone who claims otherwise is just burying their heads in the sand hoping the iNazis won’t cut it off.
      But they will.

      1. There’s no separation between the D party and big tech.

        Aren’t you the one constantly quoting tweets from right-wing personalities on Twitter?

        1. the ones that aren’t banned yet.

          1. Why haven’t they been banned yet?
            I mean, is it some big secret that the people Nardz quotes day in and day out are right-wingers? Do the censors at Twitter not know?

  13. > “protection against the Silicon Valley elites.”

    Pffft, the “elites” in Silicon Valley could care less about his DeSantis and his political buttboys in Florida.

    Google exists because the prior “elite” SV search engines were a massive pile of santorum. What Google brought to the table was a massive reduction in advertisements, plus a search algorithm that actually worked. Targeted ads mean fewer ads overall. And it cut the advertisers’ expenses.

    Similar stories about Facebook and Twitter and Substack providing alternatives to blogging. No need to own or rent a server then administer it, just post your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter. Zero cost to you. Yes, targeting ads, but that means you no longer have to drum up advertisers to support your boutique blog.

    The problem DeSantis has is that he is no longer the elite himself, and that chafes him hard. He wants to be in charge of what his voters see, and he can’t do that anymore.

    As for deplatforming, those are private platforms, they can do what they want. Break their rules, get silenced for a while. Keep breaking them and you get banned. Every forum everywhere does this. Is he sad that is hero Trump got silenced for a limited time? Then his hero shouldn’t have been such a massive dick by actively encouraging an ongoing riot. Is he sad about Alex Jones getting booted? Maybe he shouldn’t have placed all his political eggs in the basket of an absolute nutter who habitually broke the social media rules he agreed to.

    1. Similar stories about Facebook and Twitter and Substack providing alternatives to blogging.

      I know, right? If Big Tech really wants to censor right-wing views, they are doing a very poor job of it by permitting Substack and all of these other outlets to pop up. Aren’t Breitbart and Daily Wire also still present on the Internet? Why yes, yes I think they are!

      Once again: For the most part, no one is banned *merely* for espousing traditional right-wing ideology. No one has been banned *merely* for arguing in favor of tax cuts or against abortion or for stronger borders. The people who have been banned, were banned because they were assholes *who also happened to be conservative*, and they were banned *for their asshole behavior*, not because of canonical conservative ideology.

      1. “Blacks are not treated unequally. Just because SOME businesses will not serve them does not mean ALL will not”

        chemjeff 1950

    2. Google exists because the prior “elite” SV search engines were a massive pile of santorum.

      That’s how Google go started, but that was just a gimmick to attract funding. Google’s main business is in advertising. Google exists today primarily because of collusion, lobbying, inertia, and political connections. On technical grounds, Google has been on a serious decline for half a dozen years now.

      As for deplatforming, those are private platforms, they can do what they want.

      That’s obviously false. In the guise of anti-discrimination laws, legislatures have imposed numerous restrictions on Google’s freedom of association and freedom of speech already. There is no reason why they can’t do the same thing for political speech.

    3. Yep. Dude could go post on Gab all day long but he knows the audience is much smaller and that irks him.

      And why is it smaller you ask? Probably because most of society finds it to be the garbage it is and doesn’t want to deal with it.

      You have all the freedom in the world to speak your mind- you have absolutely no right to someone else’s private property to do it. If you can’t manage to tailor your message to not get banned on a big platform then it’s on you, not anyone else.

      1. The service Big Tech worked together to shut down for a while? Cannot figure out why some might wonder how long it will last given that they were killed off already.

    4. How childish – the current governor of Florida and the next POTUS is “no longer elite”. Sorry, he’s just not an elitist – look up the difference when you figure out how to use a dictionary.

      Krupp was a private entity too; frankly Mark Zuckerburg is not much different than the 1930 version of Alfried Krupp – lets see where he goes over the next decade or two.

    5. “The problem DeSantis has is that he is no longer the elite himself, and that chafes him hard. He wants to be in charge of what his voters see, and he can’t do that anymore.

      As for deplatforming, those are private platforms, they can do what they want. Break their rules, get silenced for a while. Keep breaking them and you get banned. Every forum everywhere does this. Is he sad that is hero Trump got silenced for a limited time? Then his hero shouldn’t have been such a massive dick by actively encouraging an ongoing riot. Is he sad about Alex Jones getting booted? Maybe he shouldn’t have placed all his political eggs in the basket of an absolute nutter who habitually broke the social media rules he agreed to.”

      You were doing so well until here. This law seems to be ill conceived and constructed, but it is in no way DeSantis trying to control what his voters see, but wanting to stop others from controlling what people are allowed to see. Neither Trump nor the vast majority of people and organizations deplatformed broke the rules, they were suspended and banned for purely partisan political reasons, and you know it.

  14. Scott Shackford also believes it is reasonable for your phone carrier and/or internet provider to deny you service for posting items on-line that they do not agree with. Maybe your electric company will even cut off your power to your home so you cannot post items on-line they do not like.

    1. Stop giving them ideas!

      1. Too late. California already did it.

    2. Your ISP is the common carrier.
      Google is not a common carrier.

      1. Literally no difference. Why should ISP’s not get the benefits Google gets?

    3. It wasn’t all that long ago that one would be declared un-Mutual for suggesting that Covid COULD have come from the Wuhan lab that it came from.

  15. The tech companies are just hurt that someone other than them might be able to assault the 1st Amendment on social media platforms.

    1. The way you assault the 1st amendment from your basement you loser?

      1. Clueless, aren’t you?

  16. But among the many concerns about the bill is that it requires these platforms to carry speech they might find objectionable or offensive.

    So, Reason being Reason, we have to ask whether this is in fact true or whether it’s a false/selective interpretation (there’s an obvious reason why this statement is objectively untrue but we’ll get to that).

    Reading the bill:

    A social media platform may not willfully deplatform a candidate for office who is known by the social media platform to be a candidate, beginning on the date of qualification and
    ending on the date of the election or the date the candidate
    ceases to be a candidate. A social media platform must provide
    each user a method by which the user may be identified as a
    qualified candidate and which provides sufficient information to
    allow the social media platform to confirm the user’s
    qualification by reviewing the website of the Division of
    Elections or the website of the local supervisor of elections.

    (c) “Deplatform” means the action or practice by a social media platform to permanently delete or ban a user or to temporarily delete or ban a user from the social media platform for more than 14 days.

    So, they can still refuse to provide a platform to a potential candidate up front. They can still deplatform anyone they like, any time they like, for 2 weeks. What they can’t do is knowingly agree to host a candidates’ speech and then terminate the candidates’ account (for longer than two weeks). So the statement that it compels them to host speech is untrue. It compels them to do the job they agreed to do up front.

    Speaking of which, Scott’s statement is a retarded counterfactual from the get go. If the social media platforms didn’t want to host a candidate’s speech, they should say so in the TOS and moderate up front. Otherwise, the laws of physics/probability dictate that they will be hosting speech they might find objectionable.

    1. What they can’t do is knowingly agree to host a candidates’ speech and then terminate the candidates’ account (for longer than two weeks). So the statement that it compels them to host speech is untrue. It compels them to do the job they agreed to do up front.

      Right, so it’s a free pass for candidates to break all of the rules of the platform with impunity.

      1. Right, so it’s a free pass for candidates to break all of the rules of the platform with impunity.

        Wow, so when provided to you verbatim, you choose not to read it and make up the rules on your own.

    2. Otherwise, the laws of physics/probability dictate that they will be hosting speech they might find objectionable.

      Well sure, they can’t pre-emptively prevent every user from posting objectionable speech ahead of time. They can only react once they discover the speech. And they designate that speech as objectionable by moderating it and/or banning the user. Except, now in Florida, if the user is a candidate.

      1. Well sure, they can’t pre-emptively prevent every user from posting objectionable speech ahead of time.

        Yes you can. It’s called a contract. If there’s speech you can’t/won’t print, you refuse up front. Otherwise, it’s speech that you will print until it’s decided that you won’t.

        They can only react once they discover the speech.

        Do they own the platform or is it an unclaimed/undiscovered open field?

  17. This week Facebook lifted a ban on discussing whether COVID-19 might have originated in one of the Wuhan research labs, as the theory that it originated in a wet market is becoming untenable. Why in the world did such a ban exist on a forum for posting a person’s view points on just about anything? How was this offensive, or dangerous, or forbidden philosophy or any other scary categories mentioned by the tech lawyers? How is that good faith moderation under section 230?

    These platforms are setting themselves up as echo chambers for Democrats where anything that does not fit that narrative is subject to banishment.

    1. I would love to see some of those comments that were censored by Facebook for purportedly simply discussing whether the virus escaped from a lab. Because there are a LOT of theories out there about where the virus came from, some that are far more racist and sinophobic than others.

      You know how many conservatives complain that they are censored “for being a conservative”, but in reality, they were assholes *who also happened to be conservative*, and they were censored not for their conservative views, but for their *asshole behavior*? I am willing to bet that the COVID origin bans were similar in nature. That most if not all of the censored comments were along the lines of I BET THOSE FILTHY COMMUNIST CHINESE PIGS DELIBERATELY PLANTED THE VIRUS IN THE WORLD TO DESTROY AMERICA BECAUSE THEY HATE TRUMP and less about free inquiry about where the virus came from.

      1. Are you suggesting Facebook announced they were lifting a ban that did not exist?

        1. You responded to someone who doesn’t care whether he’s wrong or right, doesn’t care whether what he says has any basis in fact, and doesn’t care whether what he says has any basis in reason.

          1. I just wanted to make sure anyone reading this clearly understands the weakness of the case he is making.

            1. i have become convinced lately that these kinds of outrageously gaslighting statements are put out there to collect 50cents and more importantly … to get indexed by search engines and listed far above the buried or censored replies…
              In this way they salt the search results for google queries much like a dishonest geologist would ‘salt’ gold samples for a prospective gold mine.
              people will see and read the summary of the comment but rarely go to the site. the rebuttal will be buried – no doubt due to an ‘error of algorithm’ so that it wouldnt be seen until 10 search pages later.

        2. No. I am suggesting that perhaps some of the bans were related to more outlandish claims and conspiracies, and not simply related to free inquiry about where the virus originated.

          1. Free inquiry requires that the more outlandish claims are also inquired about. Occasionally outlandish and offensive things turn out to be true. And a lot of things that are just neutral observations get called “racist” these days.

        3. Why not? He claims INTELLIGENCE which does not exist.

      2. See- the funny thing is they cry “they’re deplaforming us!” But what they’re doing is deplatforming the malicious lying assholes. All conservatives are doing is aligning themselves with all that shit.

        They could easily distance themselves but no- they want you to know that they themselves are fully allied with those kinds of people.

        1. “See- the funny thing is they cry “they’re deplaforming us!” But what they’re doing is deplatforming the malicious lying assholes.”

          I remember when the malicious lying assholes were the ones saying that the virus may have escaped from a lab in Wuhan.

          I remember when the malicious lying assholes were the ones saying that Joe Biden has been selling influence through his son for a very long time.

          Whatever principles are at stake here, they are what they are regardless of whether you or some other progressives calls people malicious lying assholes, but the biggest lying malicious assholes on planet right now, are those who went around dismissing the possibility that covid-19 escaped from a lab and that Joe Biden is a crook out of hand–as if they were malicious, lying conspiracy theories.

          And, incidentally, if the news media and social media are acting like malicious lying assholes on big issues like that, where they won’t cover them in the news and won’t let people discuss them on social media, why should people believe them when they say the election was conducted fairly?

          1. According to Gallup, as of a few days before the election in November of 2020, 27% of Democrats, 64% of Independents, and 89% of Republicans either said they had “not very much” trust and confidence in the media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly, or they said they had “none at all”.

            https://news.gallup.com/poll/321116/americans-remain-distrustful-mass-media.aspx

            Given the revelations about how the media has behaved since the election happened, those people look like they were pretty smart not to believe what they were told.

            Do you associate gullibility with intelligence?

            I don’t.

            1. Do you associate gullibility with intelligence?

              Claimed or asserted intelligence, yes. Especially self-claimed/asserted.

          2. And, incidentally, if the news media and social media are acting like malicious lying assholes on big issues like that, where they won’t cover them in the news and won’t let people discuss them on social media, why should people believe them when they say the election was conducted fairly?

            Maybe, Ken, people have a stronger grasp of logic than you do, because that’s a faulty generalization fallacy. “If they are wrong about one thing, that means they are wrong about everything!!”

            1. except in this case they were not wrong… just outrageously mendacious.

            2. lol – you claim Ken is generalizing faulty when a filter is just that: generalization. & you have generalized multiple times on this thread alone placing all people who got banned into a single category without any facts at all as to who these people are and why they were banned.

        2. So that’s the new talking point? Where first you tell a lie about how everyone deplatformed were maliciously lying assholes even though you have no list of knowledge of who was banned and for what reasons. So you are maliciously lying by asserting something you cannot possible know.

          But the talking point goes one step further – if all those deplatformed were maliciously lying assholes, then anyone protecting them must be worthless too. Otherwise known as guilt by association.

          I guess when the ACLU were more principled and defended the Nazis, it was only because they were secretly filled with Nazis.

          Damn you’re an idiot.

      3. whereas you are just an asshole posting on Reason, pretty much without any other defining or redeeming characteristic?

      4. One person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter..it isn’t up to
        FB or Google or Twitter to decide…they offer platforms for people to communicate..basically just digital bulletin boards in the public space..they need to stand down and not censor anything unless someone’s life, liberty or property is threatened.

    2. The covid-19 origin theory was partially banned because Trump started referring to covid-19 as the “Chinese virus”, and in an election year, progressives were, thus, blaming Trump for encouraging anti-Asian violence.

      “Trump’s ‘Chinese Virus’ tweet helped lead to rise in racist anti-Asian Twitter content: Study”

      https://abcnews.go.com/Health/trumps-chinese-virus-tweet-helped-lead-rise-racist/story?

      The science is settled.

      1. Note that the people claiming that Trump’s tweets led to attacks on Asians dodge the question of when the people attacking Asians would ever have read or heard any of Trump’s tweets.

        The demographics just don’t provide for a lot of cross-pollination between the people who pay any attention to Trump and the people beating little old ladies on the streets of San Francisco.

        1. The idea that Trump shouldn’t have implied that the virus came from a Chinese lab–not even if it’s true–because some idiots might use it as an excuse to do something that’s stupid and illegal was ridiculous on its face.

          What other lies are we supposed to believe for this reason? When does it end?

  18. Premise: The Democratic party and the U.S. Government are the same thing, and the Democratic party promised to break big tech and social media companies up over tolerating “misinformation”.

    Premise: Big Tech has antitrust suits coming after them from the FTC, the Justice Department, and the states, and the author of the plan to break them up has been made a commissioner at the FTC.

    Conclusion: Big Tech doing the bidding of the Democratic party, under threat of being broken up by a one-party government over “misinformation” is a terrible example of free speech, a free press, or freedom of association.

    If Putin were doing this to a media outlet in Russia, no one would confuse forced self-censorship by rank intimidation from a one-party government with freedom of the press, editorial discretion, or freedom of association. Why is it any different when it’s Joe Biden and the progressives? It’s one thing to oppose forced association reluctantly, but there’s no reason to carry water for the progressives on this.

    I bet there are plenty of people in this thread who are sympathetic to the argument that people should be free to associate with whomever they like–even if it means they stupidly exercise those rights in horrible ways. Quite another to pretend that social media companies, the progressives, or advertisers have any principled consideration for free speech and association rights. Progressives don’t give a shit about individual rights!

    Why not take this opportunity to criticize social media, the progressives, and the advertisers for their open hostility to free speech? Why is it necessary to fault conservatives for failing to grab their ankles when the progressives, big tech, and advertisers come to screw them? If the social media companies weren’t under the progressives’ thumb, and treating conservatives like shit, would this even be an issue?

    1. “I bet there are plenty of people in this thread who are sympathetic to the argument that people should be free to associate with whomever they like–even if it means they stupidly exercise those rights in horrible ways”

      Does anyone else remember anyone at Reason making this argument in any other context over the last few years?

      I remember when Reason held an, “Everybody Draw Mohammed” contest in the name of free speech, but I can’t imagine Reason doing that today. This is the way Reason used to talk about this stuff in other contexts:

      “The Human Right to Offend – Self-censorship in the face of intimidation has another name: cowardice”.

      https://reason.com/2015/02/27/the-right-to-offend/

    2. The Democratic party and the U.S. Government are the same thing,

      Well, premise #1 is false, so there goes that entire analysis.

    3. Progressives don’t give a shit about individual rights!

      BUT WE DO. Or at least we’re supposed to. I really doubt that the Elizabeth Warrens and the Bernie Sanderses out there really give a shit about Google’s property rights. But Google really does have property rights. Who is going to stand up for them? Team Blue isn’t, and increasingly, neither is Team Red.

      That is why you are just a right-wing mouthpiece nowadays, Ken. You rant and rave about left-wingers doing bad things, but then, instead of coming to the libertarian conclusion, you come to the right-wing conclusion instead. “Well, if THEY don’t care about their rights, WHY SHOULD I????” Well, guess what, we’re libertarians, not partisan jerks. So of course we care about everyone’s rights.

      1. “Progressives don’t give a shit about individual rights!”

        Conservaturds sure do NOT give a shit about your right to have your vote counted honestly! NOT if you are suspected of wishing to vote against the one-Party “R” state!

        https://reason.com/2021/03/23/sidney-powell-says-shes-not-guilty-of-defamation-because-no-reasonable-person-would-have-believed-her-outlandish-election-conspiracy-theory/
        Sidney Powell Says She’s Not Guilty of Defamation Because ‘No Reasonable Person’ Would Have Believed Her ‘Outlandish’ Election Conspiracy Theory

        Which particular lies are you wanting to hear and believe today, conservaturds? Any and all lies that support your POWER, right?

  19. https://twitter.com/TPostMillennial/status/1398347198149152774?s=19

    Joe Biden looks at a little girl in the audience, the daughter of a veteran, and says “I love those barrettes in your hair. Man I’ll tell you what, look at her she looks like she’s 19 years old sitting there like a little lady with her legs crossed.” [Video]

    1. I was waiting for him to short out the teleprompter by drooling on it.

  20. If twitter is not a common carrier, then it should not be afforded blanket liability protection. Twitter is not a used car site with a message board, in which they’re 100% not responsible for whatever threads and posts created by online randos. That’s not their primary business. Twitter actually deals with information, and attempts to verify, amplify, or even edit it selectively, much like any conventional publisher.

    If Twitter removes one of my post because they deemed it “defamatory” or promoting violence but let others stand while seemingly saying exactly what I said, then I should be given some remedy. This is really no different than me suing a baker for not baking me a gay wedding cake after already agreeing to bake me on.

    There is nothing wrong with government “forcing” tech companies to (1) keep to their own TOS instead of enforcing it selectively and (2) create a TOS that doesn’t throw balance of power between company and consumer entirely to the company. It’s common sense. If a company mandated 20 different dress codes for their employees in a month, everyone would lose their minds there. You don’t say “oh well private company”.

    Twitter isn’t obligated to host any politician. If they do though, then all of them should be allowed to stay if they don’t violate TOS. It’s not my problem that they can’t keep track of everyone. Especially when they TRY to do that anyways.

    1. Twitter isn’t obligated to host any politician. If they do though, then all of them should be allowed to stay if they don’t violate TOS.

      So they should all have equal time then. What a terrific idea. It’s such a terrific idea we can call it a Doctrine. Maybe we should call it the Fairness Doctrine.

      1. Allowing a single user to stay on platform has nothing to do with equal time.

        Just GTFO leftist.

  21. Delete your Facebook, Twitter… accounts, you damn addicts. The only power they have over you is the power you grant them.

    1. Ridiculously naive.

      1. And yet both simple and effective..
        I have never been banned from any social media platform, nor offended by anything i red on any social media platform (including the cut and paste that passes for reporting on this site) because I have no social media accounts, ans skip through the cut and paste which is called reporting.
        I have real friends in real life, and we converse in person and by voice calls, with the occasional email or text to set up schedules.

        1. Yet your life is still impacted by social media.

          1. Of course. I am sure I am tagged in photos posted by others, and Facebook tracked from websites even though I have no account.

            1. And Facebook should be savaged, harshly, for doing that.

  22. I missed this post so I’ll repost this snippet here:

    Alternate universe:

    Social media company starts up, and its policy and terms of service clearly states:

    No niggers, kikes, fags or trannies allowed on our platform

    Reason remains absolutely silent on the subject.

    A lawmaker pops up with some tepid legislation to say you can’t do that.

    ENB storms onto the scene, referring to this as a Liberal Backlash, and the the Corporation has a Gilded Right to do “whatever it wants”– without even a single tut-tut, providing no critique over the awful nature of such a platform, protected to the end of time by section 230 in its power to “moderate” however it sees fit.

    I’m having… a hard time imagining this reverse scenario ever happening.

  23. It’s hilarious watching fat ass jeff having apoplexy and spewing more of his delirium all over.

    1. Do you recall the awesome enchanter named “Tim”, in “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail”? The one who could “summon fire without flint or tinder”? Well, you remind me of Tim… You are an enchanter who can summon persuasion without facts or logic!

      So I discussed your awesome talents with some dear personal friends on the Reason staff… Accordingly…

      Reason staff has asked me to convey the following message to you:

      Hi Fantastically Talented Author:

      Obviously, you are a silver-tongued orator, and you also know how to translate your spectacular talents to the written word! We at Reason have need for writers like you, who have near-magical persuasive powers, without having to write at great, tedious length, or resorting to boring facts and citations.

      At Reason, we pay above-market-band salaries to permanent staff, or above-market-band per-word-based fees to freelancers, at your choice. To both permanent staff, and to free-lancers, we provide excellent health, dental, and vision benefits. We also provide FREE unlimited access to nubile young groupies, although we do firmly stipulate that persuasion, not coercion, MUST be applied when taking advantage of said nubile young groupies.

      Please send your resume, and another sample of your writings, along with your salary or fee demands, to ReasonNeedsBrilliantlyPersuasiveWriters@Reason.com .

      Thank You! -Reason Staff

      1. So I discussed your awesome talents with some dear personal friends on the Reason staff… Accordingly…

        Thanks for that bit of information, associating you with Reason staff.

        At Reason, we pay above-market-band salaries

        And at Reason, we don’t want to endanger our above-market-band salaries by actually standing up for libertarian positions. Again, as expected.

        Thanks for this insight.

    2. Well someone has to actually stand up for the libertarian position on this issue, and not the reactionary right-wing position which is to use state force to punish Big Tech because they make them feel bad.

      1. Meh, most commenters here drank that fascist kool-aid a while ago. They always wanted a king- turns out they just needed it to be *their* king.

        1. Yup-yup yo, and a bottle of rum!

          Thorough proof it THAT is right HERE!

          https://www.salon.com/2021/04/11/trumps-big-lie-and-hitlers-is-this-how-americas-slide-into-totalitarianism-begins/
          Trump’s Big Lie and Hitler’s: Is this how America’s slide into totalitarianism begins?
          Oh but I know… Anything that disagrees with the conservaturd echo chamber is “Marxist”, right? No matter HOW factual it might be!

          Totalitarians want to turn GOP into GOD (Grand Old Dicktatorshit).

          1. There has to be a joke here – 3 retards post on a message board… seriously, jeff, dinners, and SQRLSY all agreeing, all stupid, all retarded leftists lying about libertarian thinking. They wouldn’t know a libertarian thought if it slapped them, forced them to cook it dinner, and stayed late for cocktails.

  24. https://twitter.com/DrKarlynB/status/1398347517008433152?s=19

    Facebook is literally telling me I’m not allowed to create content with my name.

    This definitely isn’t creepy at all. [Pic]

  25. >>Assault

    I see your twuuuuuu colors shining thwu

  26. Authoritarian, bigoted, right-wing censors are among my favorite culture war — and courtroom — casualties.

    Open wider, clingers. Your betters have even more progress to shove down your whining, compliant throats.

    1. Spam comment – first one I’ve muted…

  27. “The Act is so rife with fundamental infirmities that it appears to have been enacted without any regard for the Constitution,” the lawsuit reads.

    They are talking about the Democrats Truth commission right?
    Democrats destroying free speech good
    Republican fighting Democrats destroying free speed bad.
    Reason’s reasoning!

  28. “The Act is so rife with fundamental infirmities that it appears to have been enacted without any regard for the Constitution,” the lawsuit reads.

    They are talking about the Democrats Truth commission right?
    Democrats destroying free speech good
    Republican fighting Democrats destroying free speech bad.
    Reason’s reasoning!

  29. This one is a tough one. These companies should be allowed to do what they want, which means, that as a candidate who has an R or L next to their name, you will be subject to being silenced and deplatformed from the largest, best avenues for getting your message across. We all know these companies are leftist juggernauts, and the only way to ensure everyone gets a voice is to change the balance. The problem is, these companies changed the landscape, and control all the resources, so to communicate in this new paradigm, you must either conform to their fascistic rules, or start your own media company.

    There is no fair play in the new internet, it’s a kill or be killed environment now, and since the big tech companies figured out they can fuck anybody they want with prejudice and nobody can or will do anything, they’re going to keep doing it until a platform arises that can balance the scales. Except there is no real balance to be had. When the news was all there was, everyone tuned in, so there were opposition constituents tuned in who might hear your message, now everyone is segregated by their own little groups, and the lines are set not in sand, but barbed wire. So, good luck. Either find a way to fight back, or be prepared for all the lost liberty you will submit to by your inaction.

  30. You’re either getting your results filtered by the Great Firewall of China, or the Great Firewall of Social Justice, depending on which hemisphere you live.

    1. Just a quick example.

      I just googled: “Stormfront website”

      The first hits:

      Stormfront (website) – Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Stormfront_(website)
      Stormfront is an Internet forum, and the Web’s first major racial hate site. The site is primarily focused on propagating white nationalism, antisemitism, Holocaust …
      ‎History · ‎Early history · ‎Controversies · ‎Content

      Stormfront – ADLhttps://www.adl.org › references › hate-symbols › stor…
      Stormfront is the oldest and largest white supremacist website on the Internet. Its logo consists of a squarish Celtic Cross encircled by the phrase “White Pride …

      Stormfront.org: Oldest white supremacist site shut downhttps://www.usatoday.com › tech › news › 2017/08/28
      Aug 28, 2017 — Company revoked its domain name following complaints that it promotes hatred and is linked to dozens of murders.

      Supremacist forum may be the latest neo-Nazi site to get the …https://www.knoxnews.com › story › news › 2017/08/26
      Aug 26, 2017 — Stormfront, an international supremacist web forum, appears to have been seized by its domain host.

      Duckduckgo:

      Stormfront – White Nationalist Community
      Search domain stormfront.orghttps://www.stormfront.org/index.php
      Welcome to Stormfront. The truth is “hate” to those who hate the truth! We are a community of racial realists and idealists. Black, Hispanic, Asian and Jewish Nationalists openly support their racial interests, with American taxpayers even required to support the Jewish ethnostate of Israel.

      That was a very straightforward search. Duckduck go presented me with what I was looking for for the first hit: the stormfront website.

      Google delivered to me a set of organizations and critiques of hate groups, all from “trusted authoritative sources”.

      Google is NOT delivering you a straightforward set of results. They are filtering them to shape a narrative. That is their right. To be 100% clear (because nuance is a lost art) I am against any legislative attempt to try to undo how awful Google has become. I do, however think it’s important for people to know what it is they’re getting. And with Google, you’re getting a carefully crafted narrative built by trillionaires who are no longer in it for the money, they’re in it to make the world a better place.

      Real libertarians are going to pine for the old days of unscrupulous capitalists who were “only in it for the money” because in my estimation, the world was a better place then.

      1. Sorry, cut and paste fail, the VERY fucking first hit with google was:

        Stormfront | Southern Poverty Law Centerhttps://www.splcenter.org › extremist-files › group › sto…
        Created by former Alabama Klan boss and long-time white supremacist Don Black in 1995, Stormfront was the first major hate site on the Internet. Claiming more …

        So it’s actually worse than you thought.

  31. I recently discussed this issue with a religious fundamentalist in Florida, and he simply repeated the meme, again and again, that tech companies are “censoring” conservatives. Of course, it’s not conservatives as such that are being blocked from privately owned platforms, but conspiracy theorists, antisemites, etc.–i.e., the fourth rail of American politics, after liberals, conservatives, and libertarians.

    As a shareholder in these tech companies, I completely support their policy guidelines for posting. I would oppose having my investment money used in a manner that provides support for antisemites, QAnon, and antivaxxers. In keeping with my freedom of association, I don’t want to be in any way connected to their lunacy.

    I asked my friend whether I had the right to ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investing, putting my money towards companies that share my values, and he was curiously silent on this.

    1. https://twitter.com/naomirwolf/status/1398346978749157376?s=19

      ⁦@luigi_warren⁩ is locked out of Twitter for what he says is a perfectly accurate tweet about the tissue of vaccination ‘shedding’. [Link]

      2/ Dr Warren points out in his appeal to Twitter for banning him for vaccine ‘misinformation’, that he invented the technology on which the mRNA vaccine is based, thus he knows what he is talking about. Absurd times in which we live.

      1. Jack Dorsey is objectively an awful human being.

    2. Are they censoring narratives of the left that have no evidence? BLM allegations? SAT is racist? Covid is not from a lab? Printing money works? Keynsian economics works? I could go on and on…”Holodomor” was not a genecide? The largest lynching in America was not done to Italian Americans..it was a myth?

      If your going to censor one side..you need to censor the other as well…

  32. https://twitter.com/codeofvets/status/1398242805043109889?s=19

    I am furious with @PayPal They have restricted our account. It is absolutely ridiculous. I submitted all info/docs now we have to wait for review. Meanwhile we have veterans waiting on funds being evicted. It is unacceptable.

  33. virtual “town squares,” meaning that such platforms merely host communications and therefore shouldn’t be permitted to decide what people can talk about any more than a phone company could.

    The problem with such an argument, the lawsuit notes, is that these platforms are not common carriers or town squares and are, in fact, heavily moderated, often by demands of their users and even the government itself
    ( https://wapexclusive.com )Huh? This reasoning sounds like “These platforms shouldn’t be treated like common carriers because they want to keep on censoring people with abandon, plus the government and users do it so why can’t we?”

    1. “these platforms are not common carriers or town squares and are, in fact, heavily moderated, often by demands of their users ”

      Bzzt.

      Their “moderation” consists of censoring the Right at the behest of left wing fascists. If they were “heavily moderated”, then Iran’s religious leaders wouldn’t be able to use the site to call for genocide of Jews in Israel.

      It is clear these platforms are not in any way responsive to “their users”, since if they were they wouldn’t have deplatformed so many of them

  34. A rose by any other name is still a rose.

    Big tech wants to read sec 230 as allowing them to filter content at their whim. Fine and dandy, but that makes them publishers by any other name. Since the communications decency act distinguishes between providers and publishers, I do not see how one can read the text allowing providers to remove objectionable language so broadly as to make a provider indistinguishable from a publisher. Section 230 did not seek to protect publishers, it was intended to allow users to block offensive material while granting providers of interactive computer services protection to make good samaritan screening of offensive material without risking being treated as a publisher. Moreover such an excessively broad reading would undercut two of the findings in 230.

    (A) Findings
    (3)The Internet and other interactive computer services offer a forum for a true diversity of political discourse, unique opportunities for cultural development, and myriad avenues for intellectual activity.

    (5)Increasingly Americans are relying on interactive media for a variety of political, educational, cultural, and entertainment services.

    At some point the courts will have to define how much filtering by an ISP is in keeping with sec 230. FL is pushing for the courts to draw that line.

  35. 2-Oxa-8-azaspiro[4.5]decan-1-one hydrochloride
    https://buildingblock.bocsci.com/product/2-oxa-8-azaspiro-4-5-decan-1-one-cas-1314965-08-6-350642.html
    2-Oxa-8-azaspiro[4.5]decan-1-one hydrochloride – CAS 1314965-08-6

  36. EMSA
    https://www.lifeasible.com/custom-solutions/plant/analytical-services/gene-function-analysis/the-emsa-assay-in-plants/
    The Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay (EMSA) is a core technology used to detect the interactions between protein (complexes) and nucleic acids (1).

  37. Whether we’re talking about newspapers, cake-makers, or T-shirt shops,

    The IT giants are are not these things. A cake shop operates in a market environment. One refuses you service, there are others to compete or you can start your own. The IT giants are monopolies where there is no real competition. Also, they exist largely because of government subsidies and contracts.

    Look at it this way: supposing the electric company were to cut off the power supply to REASON. That would be OK because muh free enterprise?

    1. Right on! These “companies” exist at their size and stop competition due to their access of Federal Reserve printed money laundered through hedge funds..which also is the reason they are essentially far left haters of real America…the hedge funds run by NYC bolshevik types put their Ivy league friends, relatives, fellow travelers into the “content management” positions…these little commie from NYC mostly major in gender studies or “liberal arts” and then push their CRT/Woke marxist rules on free peoples. Its very simple..you offer a service which allows folks to post their opinions/stories…you can’t discriminate on what they post…just like I can’t discriminate on selling olive oil to customers who can pay but don’t quite meet my views on politics…look at the boards and investors of these companies…they are not liberty loving real Americans…

  38. It’s not just deplatforming candidates, they also try to control discussion in general.

    Facebook basically banned any talk of Covid 19 being possibly man made.

  39. “Tech Groups Sue To Stop Ron DeSantis’ Assault on Online Free Speech”

    Hey, look, it’s “let’s get everything backward day” at Reason.

    AYFKM?

    The only assault on online free speech is that coming from the tech companies and their deplatforming.

    So GFY

  40. This is a horrible and ineffective move. The type of people who want to be regulators in a government bureaucracy are exactly the type of people would want Desantis and his ilk dead. I supposed we can only shake our heads 15 years from now when conservatives complain about inevitable double standards from whatever agency regulates this. Civil servants political donations are a 4:1, democrat:republican spit. Big brain republican. Better give these people control over speech on the internet, surely they will be fair conservatives.

  41. The fact there are so called “Libertarians” in here actually supporting the government actively trying to interfere in the affairs of private businesses is just mind boggling.

  42. How hard would lolbertarians have shidded their pants if every lolbertarian on the ballot nationwide was spontaneously banned from every major social media platform?

  43. I recently voted in my local school board election. You had to show up in person, show and ID..when I complained with Covid why ballots were not sent to all homes I was told the risk of fraud…now this is from the authoritarian far left school district I live in …a number of new candates were running to stop the ridiculous spending in a district of declining enrollment. The usual suspects of PTA moms and Teachers were fighting to keep some business folks off the board…and they did everything they could to make voting hard…and not a fing peep from the local media…big tech and govt are just arms of the socialist democratic party…all a threat to liberty…period.

  44. ‘reason’ fails (I’m shocked, shocked) to understand that “heavily moderated” means “not a neutral platform” means “publisher” means “liable.” Again demonstrating that ‘reason’ can be rearranged to spell ‘on arse.”

  45. Lolbertarian debates 2025:

    “Wow, this FASCIST NANNY STATE CONSERVATURD is actually telling PRIVATE BANKS that they’re not ALLOWED to impose blanket bans on all purchases of weapons, ammo, and accessories. Guess you guys HATE FREEDOM and LOVE COMMUNISM.”

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