First Amendment

Trump's Class Action Lawsuit Against Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube Is an Absurd Farce

It will fail, and fail badly.


Former President Trump has filed class action lawsuits against Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube alleging that the social media companies violated his free speech rights. His argument is completely absurd and will be laughed out of court.

The three lawsuits assert that the above-mentioned social media companies are so large and powerful that they constitute de facto "state actors." Thus, the decision to expel Trump and some of his supporters from their platforms is government censorship.

"As such, defendant is constrained by the First Amendment right to free speech in the censorship decisions it makes regarding its Users," writes Trump's attorneys in each of the suits.

This is obviously wrong. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are not state actors. It was Trump filling the role of state actor at the time of the social media bans. The First Amendment does not compel private entities to hand the government a megaphone; it constrains the government from requiring private entities to engage, or not engage, in speech. As NetChoice's Steve DelBianco points out, "The First Amendment is designed to protect the media from the President, not the other way around."

Yet the lawsuits rest entirely on this backward reading of the First Amendment. "Defendants' callous disregard of its Users' constitutional rights is no better exemplified than in the matter currently before the Court," write Trump's attorneys. Users of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube do not possess constitutional rights that protect them from actions taken by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Their constitutional rights protect them from the government—from people who occupy positions like the one Trump formerly held. If, while still in office, Trump had responded to his social media ban by issuing an executive order demanding that Facebook and Twitter reinstate him, the tech companies could have sued him on First Amendment grounds.

To the extent the lawsuits assemble any kind of argument, they attempt to make the case that Section 230—the federal statute that shields online media platforms from liability—is unconstitutional. The lawsuits advance no argument for why that would be the case, nor is there any reason to think a court will agree. (Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who thinks the Court has misinterpreted Section 230 and given tech companies too much protection, is very much an outlier on this matter.) But even if one of these lawsuits somehow resulted in Section 230's demise—and again, it won't—this still would not obligate any social media company to let Trump back on its platform. If anything, a world without Section 230 would be a world in which social media companies are even more skittish about provocative right-wing speech.

Congress could tinker with Section 230, and bureaucrats at the Federal Trade Commission could chip away at Big Tech's autonomy (likely to the detriment of free speech online), But Trump's lawsuit is going absolutely nowhere.

NEXT: Andrew Cuomo Declares a Gun Violence 'Disaster Emergency' and Signs a Bill That Invites Lawsuits Against Firearm Suppliers

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    1. Section 230 should be to block only unlawful posts and extreme violence period!

      1. It isn’t Section 230 that gave Twitter and Facebook the right not to host Trump’s speech; it was the First Amendment.

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        1. I’ll take things that shouldn’t have to be explained to “Libertarians” for $200, Alex.

          1. So your belief is FB isn’t a company that is beholden to regulations and the contracts they put forth as a ToS.

            1a has nothing to do with 230. If you truly believed that then 230 is superfluous.

          2. That’s relevant to this comment section how?

        2. The Meagan Murphy lawsuit was not dismissed under 1a grounds you retarded fuck. It was dismissed on 230 protections covering contracts per the SV judge. Her suit was about being kicked off.

          Can you try to learn anything before posting a simpleton statement in contradiction to actual rulings?

        3. Was that the same first amendment that caused the Supreme Court to declare Trump’s twitter feed a public forum?

          You’re such a dishonest hack.

        4. Your correct , however it was 230 that gave them protections from getting sued over unlawful , and by definition discriminatory practices , that allowed them to commit these same crimes against the people with malice and intent that they knew they could not be held accountable for. They do not under 230 get to decide truth, opinion or intent.

    2. Like everything else that Trump does, this is just another grifter scheme to squeeze dollars out of suckers.

  1. “The idea that it’s a tech company is that Section 230 should be revoked, immediately should be revoked, number one. For Zuckerberg and other platforms. It should be revoked because it is not merely an internet company. It is propagating falsehoods they know to be false.” — Joe Biden

  2. “Defendant Facebook has increasingly engaged in impermissible censorship resulting from threatened legislative action, a misguided reliance upon Section 230 of the Communications Act , 47 U.S.C. § 230, and willful participation in joint activity with federal actors. Defendant Facebook’s status thus rises beyond that of a private company to that of a state actor. As such, Defendant is constrained by the First Amendment right to free speech in the censorship decisions it makes regarding its Users.”

    So, looking at it, it appears the argument is that Facebook is not actually acting on its own initiative, but under coercion from, and enabled by, the government, and thus has become, for 1st amendment purposes, a state actor.

    This isn’t a facially stupid argument, I was prepared for the lawsuit to be much stupider than this.

    They might fail to establish the truth of these claims, but if they can establish them, they’ve got something like a case.

    1. So muxh od the criticism of Trump is for what he Might have done

      1. Agreed. He’s a knucklehead, but deliberately going out of one’s way to assign malice or interpret his often goofy or scattered statements as racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-immigrant, transphobic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic is dishonest and likely unhealthy. And immature.

    2. Thanks for that. Yes, if they can prove this connection, then I’d say he has a case.

      1. Not sure if they can prove it, but there’s definitely some evidence of it.

        1. There is clear evidence that government(s) have colluded with social media in some cases in regards to banning users’ content, I don’t know about this one. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did, however.

          1. What is the difference between “collusion” and “freedom of association” in this context?

            1. It’s collusion if a government official applies influence to get speech banned. Is this not obvious to you?

              1. So what is the difference, between “a government official applies influence to get speech banned”, and “a government official requests that Facebook take a particular action”? Is every request by a government official to anyone ‘collusion’ and therefore wrong? What is the dividing line here?

                1. Yes if the government, or one of its employees, initiates it, it’s wrong.

                  Now please drown your kids and jump off a bridge.

                  1. “Now please drown your kids and jump off a bridge.”

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

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

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

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

                    1. It’s extremely, extremely embarrassing when you try to do Agile Cyborg, sarcasmic. I mean even more extremely embarrassing than the retarded copypasta bullshit you post on a daily basis. Just stop.

                    2. I’m not embarrassed 0.0000001%, so I don’t give a shit!

                      Anti-life, pro-death, pro-suicide Evil-One worshipers should be embarrassed! So should the assholes who defend them! What do you assholes think that you’re earning for yourselves, with your Evil One worship?

                    3. Aww I clowned your buddy and you ran to defend him. How cute.

                      Now take your meds and have your afternoon poop.

                    4. Hey Dizzled-Fizzled-Dizzy-Ditz-EVIL-Headed Evil One Junior …

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

                    5. I dunno. I find his rants madly brilliant.

                    6. Thank you Mike L.!

                      Check out sometime when you have some time to spare… I had been aware of “anti-social punishment” for some time, and did not realize that the academic literature more-so uses “do-gooder derogation” instead. It is a VERY interesting aspect of apparently instinctual human behavior!

                2. Normally I’d say you can’t be this stupid but you prove it daily.

                3. So what is the difference, between “a government official applies influence to get speech banned”, and “a government official requests that Facebook take a particular action”? Is every request by a government official to anyone ‘collusion’ and therefore wrong?

                  Yes, because any sex between a powerful man and a subservient woman is rape.

                  All jokes aside, I’m assuming there is some reasonable standard that the courts might apply. If it can be proven that a lawmaker, or group of lawmakers send communications to Facebook, and ala Dianne Feinstein said, “Start cleaning up your website, or we will do it for you” then I’m assuming there’s some kind of legal definition of coercion there.

                  The problem with facebook and other social media platforms is, as one commenter said, they’re asking the government to slap their ass and pull their hair, so I’m not sure how much coercion is really necessary here. Zuckerberg has made it abundantly clear that he very much wants to be regulated, that he wants section 230 to be tweaked or removed altogether, so that leaves us asking “can you rape the willing”?

                  1. All jokes aside, I’m assuming there is some reasonable standard that the courts might apply. If it can be proven that a lawmaker, or group of lawmakers send communications to Facebook, and ala Dianne Feinstein said, “Start cleaning up your website, or we will do it for you” then I’m assuming there’s some kind of legal definition of coercion there.

                    Well I would advocate that whatever legal standard is invoked, it ought to be a very strict one. Speech alone cannot expropriate property. (Unless we *really* want to go down the ‘speech is violence’ path.) In my mind anyway, genuine coercion must be accompanied by a tangible action. In the case of government, it would be some type of official act of the government – a rule, regulation, law, etc. But just words alone don’t cut it. That is just speechifying and bloviating.

                    1. That is just speechifying and bloviating.

                      Didn’t you support impeaching Trump based on “speechifying and bloviating”? Why yes you sure did!

                      Hey, didn’t you also support a court blocking Trump’s reversal of Obama’s DACA executive order on the grounds of his “speechifying and bloviating”? Why yes you sure did!

                      It’s almost like you’re a pig ignorant mindless sack of shit who just regurgitates idiotic shit you find at Democratic Underground for a few cents per post.

                    2. So dishonest. You won’t even entertain what many of us see clear as day. How many examples of a Democrat congressman chastising a social media executive for allowing speech they don’t like, just to have that speech banned on social media shortly after? How many times does a social media company need to ban actual fucking drs/scientists because they disagreed with the official government position? How many people need to have, at different times, work for both the Democrat Party and social media companies?

                      You want evidence that doesn’t exist, because they’re smart enough not to let that evidence exist. But keep reflexively defending lefties with Dee, then crying about being called a lefty.

                    3. Right, so you expect me to buy into a conspiracy theory.

                4. What is the point of the distinction? With one govt officials threaten a private actors to take action they cannot take without violating the Constitution and in the second they ask for the same action to be taken for them.

                  Perhaps with some pre-existing rules (like laws) for clarity on permissible requests and action taken aboveboard the second could at least appear to have some legitimacy.

                  1. Because not every request that a government official might make is some menacing veiled threat. Sometimes, a request is just a request. So I’m asking for clarity on the distinction between a mere request and a menacing veiled threat.

                    1. There is none when it comes from the government. That’s why government contracts (or government funded contracts via grants) come with all kinds of strings attached compared to private ones. That’s why colleges that are taxpayer (government) funded have different requirements and expectations than private ones.

                      You’re really fucking dumb to try turning this into a semantic argument. But that’s all you can do when you get proven wrong multiple times in your first few posts.

    3. Decent claim now that multiple examples of back channels to democrats and government officials in California to Facebook censors have been released.

    4. There is another lawsuit where they’re coordinating with Cali Democrat officials on what to censor (though that may be Twitter only), well the official’s chosen consultants. They are explicitly organs of the DNC at this point and little fascists like Robby will continue to defend their actions all the way to the gulag.

      1. Yes I’ve seen multiple instances of Democrats having “special access” to teams of censors.

    5. If the test for whether a person, organization, or company is truly a private actor for 1A purposes is whether they are coerced and/or enabled by governments, I wonder how many private actors would remain.

    6. On January 6, 2021, Joe Biden’s transition team had already hired several people who had very recently worked for Google Facebook and Twitter.

      As incoming government employees, they acted on behalf of the government to influence social media to target Trump.

      The fact that the bans continued after the inauguration is proof of the companies’ work for the government.

      This is definitely a 1A issue.

      Also, being publicly traded companies that are partly owned by municipal pension funds, it’s clear they’re beholden to government employees.

      1. This shares were purchased on a public stock exchange at a market price, no?

    7. apparently there is documentation that in California at least fakebook was working hand in hand with the California democrat state representatives about what to be censored. If this doesn’t make them a government entity then it is at least a donation in kind to the democrats that needs to be declared

  3. As soon as I saw the title, I knew it was Robby.

    1. Of course, the commies at unreason want to destroy America so they are always the force of evil. Even when unreason sides with a good cause, unreason motivations are pure evil.

      The fact that corporations are public trusts and created by legislatures and therefore are not necessarily protected from lawsuits, is another thing unreason hates.

      Tear down historical markers and statues…check
      Imprison Jan 6 protesters…check
      Be okay with election fraud…check
      unreason supporting KKK and segregation…check
      unreason supporting the Party of slavery…check
      unreason supporting Commies in China…check
      unreason undermining US law…check

      but unreason’s Commie buddies in big tech cannot possibly be subjected to lawsuits or regulated like all other companies are.

      1. “Tear down historical markers and statues…check”
        Confederate statues should be torn down. They’re monuments to slavery and about as anti-liberty as it gets.

        “Imprison Jan 6 protesters…check”
        You’re right in a way on this one. The Jan 6th terrorists should not have been imprisoned. Every one of them should have been shot the minute they got through the doors.

        “Be okay with election fraud…check”
        Show me the election fraud. Show me rock-solid, irrefutable evidence of fraud that you could present in court and not be imprisoned for filing a false affidavit.

        1. 1789 owes you thanks for your affadavit in support of his case.

        2. This is crazy! We are our fellow countrymen! We shouldn’t be at each other’s throats like this.

          Everyone will get along much better when traitorcs like Lc1789, Mark Thrust, Nardz, and Jesse are locked up for treason.

          1. Traitorcs sounds like a treasonous narc.


          2. Poor unreason staffers and their commie dreams.

            Civil war 2.0 started by democrats (again) and they know whats coming for them, so they call the American patriots “traitors”. They lie and everyone knows it.

            I for one laugh at how we have no BLM or antifa commie in my part of georgia.

            1. Because you only have racist inbred whites in your rural shithole part of Georgia.

              You live in the anus of America.

              The reason staff doesn’t care what you backwards rubes think.

          3. Are you gonna go hunt them down, sarcasmic, or just pussy out like a pathetic little bitch and try to invite them to a concert to fuck you again?

        3. Poor unreason staffers.

          Shooting Americans trying to enter a public building during the constitutionally mandated counting of EC votes? Yup Lefties are the enemy of America and they wont like how this Civil War 2.0, that democrats started, will end for them.

          Every state has election fraud. Ask abrams. She claimed election fraud in 2018. I personally submitted nearly 100 challenges to voters who moved out of georgia but were still on the voter registration rolls. 10 of those people had Peachtree listed as their city. There is no city of Peachtree in Georgia. Those people broke Georgia law by purposely lying on their voter registration forms.

        4. ‘Every one of them should have been shot the minute they got through the doors.’ If this is the standard, you don’t get to back out of it later.

          1. I bet he’d have loved it if they shot all the feminist hairy bushers that crashed the Kavanagh hearings.

  4. “Trump’s Class Action Lawsuit Against Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube Is an Absurd Farce

    It’s based on a Supreme Court ruling in April that overturned a lower court when it ruled that Trump had violated the rights of his Twitter followers by banning them, and its based on common law understandings of common carriers. Common carriers are typically required to serve the general public without discrimination in exchange for some liability protections for doing so and in exchange tolerating their monopoly status. These arguments are not absurd, and considering their grounding in a recent Supreme Court case, they may be certified as class actions.

    Meanwhile, the primary goal of these class action lawsuits may not be to make Facebook, Google, and Twitter pay off the plaintiffs but to serve as a vehicle for Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign. I didn’t expect Trump to win the primaries, much less the election, in 2016, but through the magic of goading journalists to denounce him for taking popular positions, he was able to win both without spending much of his own fortune. If you want to see Trump reelected, write more articles like this. It’s almost like you’re volunteering to work for the Trump campaign!

    Who knew that associating his candidacy in 2024 with contempt for Big Tech in the minds of Republican primary voters could be so easy?

    1. “Justice Thomas sends a message on social media regulation”

      —-Brookings Institution, April 9, 2021

    2. It’s based on a Supreme Court ruling in April that overturned a lower court when it ruled that Trump had violated the rights of his Twitter followers by banning them, and its based on common law understandings of common carriers.

      A “reasonable” imposition, according to some Reason staff members.

    3. It’s based on a Supreme Court ruling in April that overturned a lower court when it ruled that Trump had violated the rights of his Twitter followers by banning them, and its based on common law understandings of common carriers.

      FYI, if this ruling is used as a basis, and Trump wins this lawsuit (which I have my doubts) I will laugh uncontrollably.

      1. He has one vote on the Supreme Court already, and the logic in his suit may be reflected in upcoming court decisions–if and when the FTC tries to break up Amazon or Facebook or if and when the Justice Department tries to break up Google, etc.

        If the FTC pushed a breakup of Facebook through the courts with a consent decree on the basis that Facebook is a monopoly, it will not be absurd for Trump’s class action lawsuit to make some claims about common law and monopolies and common carrier.

    4. Two social media companies directly competing with each other does not constitute a “common carrier”.

      Common carriers in the past were government granted monopolies. Like Bell Telephone, or regional power utilities. Hell, not even Cable Companies got that status, and they were government granted regional monopolies. The usual excuse is that without government then natural monopolies could form, therefore government must create monopolies.

      1. It’s especially hard for Trump to argue he was excluded by common carriers when it is a matter of public record that he launched his own social media site earlier this year. If Facebook and Twitter are common carriers, he owns a company that is a common carrier, too.

          1. Common carrier doesn’t require a complete monopoly dumbass. See every fucking phone company.

            1. Dee’s not very bright.

        1. Wow, you’re really going at it on this one. Did they bump you to a dollar from fifty cents recently?

      2. Actually, earlier this month, not really earlier this year.

        1. Here’s a grammar tip for you: “earlier this month” is a more specific subset of “earlier this year”, in the same way that “prepend” is a more specific subset of “append”. There are a variety of basic English classes you could take for free at places like OpenCourseware or even Udemy.

          1. Dee’s not that bright.

          2. Whatever, Tulpa. You’ve been saving this little grammar lesson up for me. Sorry, but pretending is not appending at all.

            1. Prepending. Thanks, iPhone.

      3. “Two social media companies directly competing with each other does not constitute a “common carrier”.


        Three to five companies colluding to deny a social media presence to 98% or more of the social media users out there may not be a single company controlling 100% of the market, but collusion is about what happens when firms that should be rivals start working together. They’re restricting access to the market, and antitrust actions may be an appropriate remedy in those cases even if it isn’t just one company.

        The stronger objection, in my opinion, is that their monopoly status, in the case of social media, doesn’t result in increased prices for consumers–so it’s not the government’s business because the service is free. They are, effectively, taking everyone at the same price–which is nothing, right?

        I’m not sure charging monopoly rents is necessarily the only thing that gives rise to the common carrier obligations by monopolies. It may just be the barriers to entry into the market that makes those common carrier obligations arise. If the railroad is giving free service to everyone that it lets on its tracks (at the same price), that may not justify depriving some people of the right to use trains at all to move their goods out of town–because they’re Republicans.

        “Common carriers in the past were government granted monopolies. Like Bell Telephone, or regional power utilities. Hell, not even Cable Companies got that status, and they were government granted regional monopolies. The usual excuse is that without government then natural monopolies could form, therefore government must create monopolies


        How will the progressives running the FTC argue to the courts or the Supreme Court that breaking Facebook up is necessary because of their monopolistic behavior, out of one side of their mouths, and then claim that common carrier obligations don’t arise from that monopolistic behavior–out of the other side of their mouths?

        And then they’ll need to explain to the Court how common carriers can also be partisans when it comes to enforcing speech codes. Do you have an explanation for that, or do your objections stop with the observation that internet era monopolies aren’t natural monopolies? That’s the general principle here–monopolistic behavior gives rise to common carrier obligations.

        I’m here to tell you that what the FTC and the Justice Department are trying to do is reach consent decrees with companies like Facebook and Google–which is the goal of pretty much every antitrust action. The FTC and the Justice Department will negotiate acceptable consent decrees with Facebook and Google to not break them up or only break them up to a certain extent under certain conditions–and Lina Khan’s published arguments say Facebook needs to be regulated on the basis of their tolerance for “misinformation”.

        Because those consent decrees and the speech codes they’re based on haven’t been ironed out and blessed by a judge yet, doesn’t mean they won’t be by the time Trump’s class action suit makes it to the Supreme Court–and when those consent decrees go into effect, we may see them become officially regulated monopolies by the time Trump’s case makes it to the Supreme Court. And then you’ll have an interesting argument to make about why common carrier obligations don’t arise from that.

        1. So when Trump and his campaign manager and his son in law all ask Russia for help, collectively, individually, on live tv, that is not collusion. But when social media companies come to a common conclusion that donald trump, who attempted to overthrow the constitutional government of the united states might be bad for business and in clear violation of user terms, that is collusion.

          Just making sure I understand your definition of “collusion”. Not the dictionary one, to be sure.

          1. You don’t realize trump said things like “maybe Russia can send us her emails” just to trigger morons like you lmao!

            And remember, assange has always denied the emails came from Russia, but you still believe that too. Because you’re a moron.

            1. One of the symptoms of TDS is the destruction of your sense of humor.

              I don’t consider Trump a great comic, but some of his jokes hit hard, and I think that the poor sufferers of TDS experience these jokes like being tazed by their masters if they laugh.

          2. You still are top 5 on this site for TDS.

            Keep the Russian collusion belief alive. Lol.

            1. It is in black and white across thousands of pages.

              Oh and I watched Trump ask the ruskies live on tv for help. Who to trust, my lying eyes or the empty hollow ones of a cultist?

              1. I am endlessly amazing that Trump ripping Hillary a second cloaca for allowing Russia to access secure information by storing classified data on a private, barely protected system has been construed by the left into Trump asking the Russians for help.

          3. So when Trump and his campaign manager and his son in law all ask Russia for help

            Rachel Maddow came into the comments.

            1. Rachel Madcow came from this comment and oh gods now I really need the brain bleach.

          4. What a moron.

            Trump was making a point, and very effectively: That Hillary’s email security was so bad that our strategic foes undoubtedly had the emails she’d wiped her server to deny to her own government.

            It was such a trenchant point that the Democrats immediately needed a stupid talking point to distract everybody. You have just dutifully repeated it.

            1. Such a powerful point that the Russians went ahead and delivered on his request for help. What an amazing fable!!

              1. You do realize trump said that AFTER many of the emails were already leaked by wiki leaks, and assange has denied they came from Russia all along, don’t you?

                Oh, no you don’t. Because you’re an absolute moron pretending he served like it brings legitimacy to your idiocy.

          5. Why are we talking about Trump colluding with the Russians in a discussion about collusion in terms of antitrust?

            I believe that’s stupid in the technical sense by way of the equivocation.


            If that’s actually amphiboly, someone correct me please.

            Suffice it to say that the kind of collusion Trump was (falsely) accused of with the Russians is not the same kind of collusion that is supposedly addressed by antitrust, and just because the same word is used to describe both things doesn’t make them directly comparable.

            Because Trump was accused of collusion with the Russians, three to five companies controlling access to 98% of the market shouldn’t be subjected to antitrust law for collusion? That doesn’t make any sense.

            1. Just trying to understand your two different standards for “collusion” and when and why they apply to what.

              1. Do you understand the difference between stealing a base and stealing a car?

                Because it’s inappropriate for the government to get involved in a case of base stealing in a baseball game but perfectly appropriate for the government to get involved in a case of someone stealing your car.

                And understanding why doesn’t require any effort. If you don’t understand the difference between two different kinds of stealing or two different kinds of collusion, it’s probably because you don’t want to understand.

          6. The difference, cytotoxic, is that what you’re describing never actually happened, it was just a really stupid article you read at DailyKos.

            Since we’re on the topic though, was it collusion when Joe Biden went on television and bragged that he had threatened to withhold a billion dollars worth of grants and loan guarantees to the Ukraine in exchange for getting a prosecutor fired who was investigating the state-owned energy company on whose board his son was sitting and collection hundreds of thousands of dollars per month despite having no education or experience in the energy sector?

            1. Unless you have signed affidavits from everyone involved that they broke the law, Jeffy doesn’t want to hear it.

              1. This was one remarkably stupid example of water carrying by PBS.

                The emails Trump was talking about were from the private server that Hillary had wiped. If the Russians didn’t already have them, it was too late to get them.

                Sure, it’s possible that somebody in Russian intelligence would think it hilarious to be particularly clumsy in reading emails from her new account shortly after Trump’s joke. But the certainly weren’t trying to oblige him.

      4. Who to trust…. brandybuck… or professor volokhs analysis…. hmm.

      5. Ma Bell was broken up 40 years ago and all of the baby bells are still considered “common carriers” even though they directly compete against each other, you unbelievably stupid sack of shit.

    5. Facebook is not a common carrier. It’s an information service somewhere between a newspaper and a telephone company. People in government are so incompetent that despite years of trying to stuff social media into either the telephone box or the newspaper box, it doesn’t fit into either. The status quo works well for social media and last thing anybody needs is government coming in to screw it up.

      1. If it’s closer to a phone company, it’s a common carrier. Way to look dumb Tony.

      2. Here. An entire discussion on common carrier so you dont keep repeating this shit. F
        Includes the esteemed prof volokh.

        1. Or look at the link about Clarence Thomas’ remarks.

          Right or wrong, Trump appears to have at least one Supreme Court justice on his side. Right or wrong, four more justices, and he wins.

          And what he’s suing for isn’t to change the law. He wants to be reinstated, and he wants all the other people who’ve been excluded from social media to be reinstated, too.

          P.S. He also wants an issue for his Trump 2024 election campaign.

      3. It’s an information service somewhere between a newspaper and a telephone company,

        Much closer to the former than the latter.

    6. But Fruit Sushi says it’s a farce! A *farce*, I tell you!

  5. Don’t worry, Facebook is on the case…

    Facebook is testing a popup in the US asking users if a friend is an ‘extremist’ – IT Pro – News

    1. I would report all Lefties as “extremists”. Starting with Zuckerberg

    2. My buddy got a notice saying “you’ve may have been exposed to extremist content.”

      He thought it was hilarious.

      1. You don’t have any friends, sarcasmic. Everyone in your life hates your guts and will celebrate when you die. Most notably the daughter who you raped.

        1. I like sarcasmic, so there.

  6. Social media ‘moderators’ silence progressive voices at least as much as conservative opinions.

    Like many other people, I’ve grown weary of general social media’s physical (and often identity) disconnect, through which the ugliest of comments can be and too often are made without consequence for the aggressor. What I find indispensable about social media in general, however, is that it has enabled far greater information freedom than that allowed by what had been a rigidly gatekept news and information virtual monopoly held by the pre-2000 electronic and print mainstream news-media.

    Besides the Black Lives Matter and George Floyd protests, I seriously doubt that Greta Thunberg’s pre-pandemic formidable climate change movement, for example, would’ve been able to regularly form on such a congruently colossal scale if not in large part for the widely accessible posting and messaging systems of Facebook.

    While I don’t know his opinion of social media, in an interview with the online National Observer (posted Feb.12, 2019) Noam Chomsky noted that while the mainstream news-media does publish stories about man-made global warming, “It’s as if … there’s a kind of a tunnel vision — the science reporters are occasionally saying ‘look, this is a catastrophe,’ but then the regular [non-environmental pro-fossil fuel] coverage simply disregards it.”

    1. While I don’t know his opinion of social media, in an interview with the online National Observer (posted Feb.12, 2019) Noam Chomsky noted that while the mainstream news-media does publish stories about man-made global warming, “It’s as if … there’s a kind of a tunnel vision — the science reporters are occasionally saying ‘look, this is a catastrophe,’ but then the regular [non-environmental pro-fossil fuel] coverage simply disregards it.”

      Noam Chomsky is wrong. It’s pretty much all mainstream news talks about. The problem is, no one is willing (least of all the journalists who live in relative luxury) aren’t willing to make the sacrifices they themselves say need to be made, so it never gets past the “it’s a catastrophe” phase. And if Noam thinks his beloved “working class” (a group I suspect he knows little about) are going to get on board with the sacrifices, he’s sorely mistaken.

      1. Noam Chomsky is a bizarre, over educated fool come,Evelyn disconnected from reality. I doubt he even knows many normal people.

        1. At least he isn’t an inbred, backwards traitor in shithole Spokane!

          He’s an academic in shithole Tucson.

          Spokane isn’t as bad, but it still sucks. It’s filled with traitors like you.

          1. You couldn’t find Spokane on a labeled map, sarcasmic.

        2. Chomsky is a commie. Everything he does politically is to further communism.

    2. ‘Social media ‘moderators’ silence progressive voices at least as much as conservative opinions.’ Citation lacking.

  7. Users of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube do not possess constitutional rights that protect them from actions taken by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Their constitutional rights protect them from the government

    So if a cop wants to search your house without a warrant, all he has to do is ask your neighbor to conduct the search and the Constitution is satisfied? Hey, the Constitution only prevents the government from doing shit, it doesn’t prevent private actors from doing shit at the behest of the government, right? You do know that these companies have admitted they developed their moderation policies in consultation with various groups and that one of the groups they consulted with was the government?

    1. It will be interesting to see what turns up in discovery. That might just be the whole point of Trump’s lawsuit, to get a look at what’s under the rock.

    2. You do know that these companies have admitted they developed their moderation policies in consultation with various groups and that one of the groups they consulted with was the government?

      Yes. That’s right. In *consultation*. Not a direct order. Not some government edict. It’s a little creepy. But it’s not the same as the government forcing Facebook to do something.

      1. It doesn’t matter once they use taxpayer funding or resources they are (or should be) subject to the same laws as all other publicly funded entities. Ie no discrimination, banning, censoring for constitutionally protected rights or speech.

        1. once they use taxpayer funding or resources they are (or should be) subject to the same laws as all other publicly funded entities.

          So everyone that received a stimulus check (taxpayer funding) must now be bound by the First Amendment and isn’t allowed to censor people even on their own property?

          1. Good analogy, cytotoxic. Because individuals are subject to public accommodations and non-discrimination law just like businesses are.

        2. Everyone who drives on a public road is now subject to the same rules as a publicly funded institution?

          1. Everyone on the public road is subject to the same rules as everyone else on the public road.

            Everyone in a publicly funded institution is (or should be) subject to the same rules as every other publicly funded institution.

            Not very hard you fucking moron.

      2. Here jeff doesn’t understand collusion.

        Yes. The entity in charge if regulating you asks you to do something. You believe there is no risk at declining to listen. It is the definition of compulsory action. It is the same as in regards to comandeering of the states.

        1. He understands collusion just fine. For example, ask him if Trump passing tariffs to protect domestic production was “collusion” or not.

          1. Oh, and then ask him if medical doctors who work in hospitals that receive Medicare/Medicaid funding should be able to decline to perform abortions.

        2. “It is the same as in regards to comandeering (sic, commandeering) of the states.”

          Says the right-wingnut-Marxist who wants to nationalize Facebook, Google, etc.

          1. Marxism is right-wing now. Get control of your drinking sarcasmic, holy fuck.

            1. Der JesseBahnFuhrer has a LOOOOONG history as a right-wing Marxist, with ZERO respect for the property rights of private owners of web sites, yes! Are you a right-wing Marxist also? All Hail the Collective Hive, right, right-wing Comrade?

              1. Remember kids, literal self-described Marxists pushing racial hatred are not real Marxists, because Marxism is actually a right-wing ideology.

                You’re a pathetic sack of shit sarcasmic. Of course being a stupid, lying piece of shit is a pretty minor character flaw compared to raping your daughter.

                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 .

                  Thank You! -Reason Staff

                  1. Look, just because Hihn up and died doesn’t mean somebody had to inherit his mantle. It’s OK if the post of village idiot is left vacant.

                    1. Before he lost his shit, and when he wasn’t being a shrieking asshat, Hihn was a a decent commenter. Better than the paid trolls and statist goatfuckers who seem come to ‘own the conservatives’ these days.

                    2. Hi Deeply Wounded One,

                      I really, REALLY feel for ya, bro or bro-ess!

                      To make up for my CLEARLY egregious offenses against you, I am willing to sing you a long-dong-song; a sing-along song:

                      Cootchy-cootchy-cooo, Buckaroo!
                      Don’t be sad and blue, Buckaroo!
                      Sweet Little Thang, say “Goo-goo-gah-hah”;
                      CAN ye, PLEASE, for Mama-Dadda-Ba-Ba?
                      Put on a Happy-Baby smile, for a LITTLE while!
                      Fend OFF my tears-of-the-Great-Crocodile!

                      (If’n it ain’t enough, if ye will give me yer address… Did yer Mamma teach you that item yet? … Then I will PERSONALLY drive over to Your Happy House, and deliver a consolation warmed-up ba-ba to ya!)

                      Now, I have NO “deep pockets” and I hate to bring this up, for fear of too-deeply “tapping” the pockets of…

                      But… IF by any chance, my generous offer is NOT enough to assuage your DEEPLY offended feelings… And maybe you are seriously contemplating some SERIOUSLY destructive vengeance, such as Holding Your Breath till such time as the Very World Itself implodes… Then I Truly Beseech Ye, don’t DO that! Not quite yet! First, send an email to… I have written a draft for YE:


                      Reason! SQRLSY One has HURT MEEE, Deeply! SQRLSY One has offered to sing ME some stupid, hurtful sing-along, ding-a-dong song, and to bring ME a warmed-up ba-ba, but it is NOT enough to make even the TINIEST dent in MY DEEPLY Hurt Feelings!

                      Accordingly (with the writing-assistance of MY attorney), please be advised that the hurtful statements of SQRLSY One has caused ME to require, for MY “medically required” recovery:

                      ’20 hours of self-esteem therapy

                      ’32 hours of crystal-healing therapy

                      ’34 hours of aromatherapy

                      ’15 hours of therapy-therapy

                      ’17 hours of Government-Almighty-Loves-MEEE-therapy

                      ‘As-yet-to-be-determined XYZ hours of Repairing MY Hurt Baby Feelings Therapy!

                      That comes up to around-about $137,538.27! So PAY UP, or else!

                      Yours Truly,
                      A Truly and Deeply Hurt, Long-Suffering VICTIM!!!

        3. Trump is also looking to have courts lift the corporate veil of protection.

          Trump knows first hand that Lefties are liars and into all sorts of corrupt stuff. All you need to do is shine some sunlight on them and their corporations.

          Remember Lefties thought Trump was one of them, so Lefties talked about all their misdeeds around him for decades.

          Its a win-win-win for Trump and he knows it. Trump wins if the companies continue to ban him because Lefty government officials pressured them. Trump wins if the lawsuit discovery proceeds.

      3. Scene: Chemjeff is leaving his small business after a long day of work gets into his car on a dark, rainy night in a lonely parking lot. He shakes off the droplets from his raincoat, sticks the key in the ignition when he’s startled by a man in a dark raincoat and fedora clearing his throat from the back seat.

        Chemjeff: Jesus, you scared the shit out of me… wh… what are you doing in my car? Who are you?

        Mysterious man: I’m from Senator Schumer’s office *lights cigarette, a faint orange glow is cast upon mysterious man’s sinister stare* I’d like to talk to you about how you’re running your business.

        *Mysterious man throws an envelope into the front seat*

        Mysterious man: The details of what Mr. Schumer would like from you are in there. You have a week to respond, and we expect the response to be… favorable.

        Chemjeff: *unable to speak, swallows*

        Mysterious man: Don’t worry, we don’t need a response right now. We’ll be in touch.

        *Mysterious man exits the vehicle and disappears into the night.

        Chemjeff, shaken, looks at the envelope, reaches for it, but decides to wait until he gets home to open it. Chemjeff starts the car and drives home in silence. After parking his car in the driveway, he walks into his simple, suburban home.

        Chemjeff’s Wife: *yelling from the kitchen* You’re a little late tonight!

        Chemjeff: Yeah, I had a consultation with someone from Senator Schumer’s office tonight.

        1. Well, that’s one way to look at it.

          Another way to look at it is:

          “Hi, this is Mrs. Wiggins from Senator Cruz’s office. I’m calling to set up an appointment to discuss the Widget Subsidy bill. The Senator would like as much information about the production numbers for your company’s widgets. It will really strengthen our case. Will 3pm on Thursday work?”

          Would you view THAT as some menacing veiled threat? That if you don’t respond, that he’s going to retaliate against your company?

          What do you think government bureaucrats do all day? Walk around in trenchcoats and fedoras terrorizing people?

      4. So his analogy holds and cops asking random people to search houses they don’t have warrants for is just fine in your world. Even better if they give the random individuals complete immunity for their actions (230). That you blithely accept this as OK shows just how little you care about the rights of others.

        1. Okay, here’s a different idea.

          Let’s make it illegal for cops or Senators to speak on the job. After all we wouldn’t want anyone to misinterpret their words as some threat. So if they aren’t allowed to speak, then they can’t issue threats and terrorize people! Sound good?

          1. Hyperbole, non sequiters, strawman, and shit posting all in one!

            I love how you melt down after being proven an idiot, again.

            Please drown your kids and then find a tall building and jump. If your fat lazy ass can make it up the steps.

            1. Oh good, now you’ve gone full Nardz. Another person to safely mute.

  8. His argument is completely absurd and will be laughed out of court.

    You might be surprised at some of the absurdities that don’t get laughed out of court. There are numerous lawsuits involving the question of whether or not women have penises, for example.

  9. Triggered still after all this time.

    Anyway private companies, nothing to see here, move along, that’s the new liberaltarian mantra.

  10. Why do I imagine Robby saying that headline with a nervous laugh?

    1. Funny, I was picturing him with his hands over his ears rocking back and forth in his chair.

    2. Commies like Robbie had their short window to make America fall apart. It didnt happen. Even after America entered a state and city tyranny not seen since FDR rounded up Japanese-Americans in WWII, Georgia had no mask mandate or lockdown. Now nearly every state has returned to normal. Except the farthest Left controlled states like NY and CA.

      Commies like Robbie got his Civil War 2.0. Its not going to go well for Democrats just like Civil War 1.0 didnt.

      1. I don’t Robby is a full on commie. I just think he’s weak and squishy, and really needs the beltway crowd he travel in to like him more than he needs to be good at his job. So we get this soft headed, virtue signaling TDS.

        1. You have Traitor syndrome.

          1. And you lost custody of your kids because you raped your daughter, sarcasmic.

            1. Not Sarc

              1. It’s Tulpa. Can figure it out in a comment or two. After that click mute. Then all you see is grey leaches dangling from your comments.

                1. You’ve outed yourself on this sock at least 10 times, kiddie fucker.

                  Still not Tulpa btw, but I appreciate not only your projection, but also your utter autistic inability to differentiate different people based on linguistics. Must be what makes you such a proficient computer programmer and netsec professional lmfao.

      2. You need professional help.

        1. You’re a self-confessed homeless drug addict and alcoholic who lost custody of your kids in the divorce for which you refuse to take any responsibility because you were fucking your underage daughter. Worry about your own professional help.

    3. Because you’re a delusional cultist, or at least a very misinformed consumer of right wing media that caters to your many biases.

      1. Lol. To think you tried for a full weekend to seem fairly neutral. And now back to pure leftist narratives.

        Youre a biden cultist defending the shit currently happening.

        1. Different operator.

        2. “Neutral” to you is something in close agreement with your basic-bitch consumer of breitbart and federalist driven views. If I happen to align with those, then goody. That does not mean that the acceptance of a traitorous conman who is still attempting to overthrow the constitutional republic of the united states is “neutral” or that I am “neutral”.

          So fuck off, traitor-loving cultist. The positions you all twist yourselves into just because a fat guy with a similar but shittier resume than Paris Hilton told you to are pathetic.

          1. ‘Is still attempting to overthrow the constitutional republic of the united states,’ evidence completely missing to support this. One would think he would have done so while in office, rather than continue with the ridiculous assertions based on ridiculous in-group biases.

      2. Tell me again how the Mueller report conclusively proved Trump colluded with Russia, cytotoxic. It’s almost as much fun as when we get to discuss your stories career in special ops… in Call of Duty.

        1. I’ve been vetted several times, fuck-o.

          If you have honor and some cash, come at me at

          Otherwise, shut your suck hole.

          1. I’ve been vetted several times, fuck-o.

            No, you haven’t. You insisted that we contact a veteran’s group and ask them to verify you based on… your screen name. Which you’ve accidentally outed at least a dozen times.

            Oh also I went ahead and sent you an email to the fake account you posted and it bounced back immediately. Lmfao. Just like the last time you pussied out like a little faggot bitch when I offered to fly to any location of your choosing and engage you in any level of combat up to and including lethal means. Imagine what a pathetic faggot piece of shit you’d have to be to not only lie about a fake military service record you never had, but then pussy out on even a fistfight and post a fake fucking email address. You really are a pathetic sack of shit, cytotoxic.

          2. Oh also, what would I have needed cash for if you had actually posted a valid email address? Do you think I’m gonna fork over some skrilla for access to your boipussy or something, cytotoxic? I wouldn’t even bother using the blood and foam pouring out of your mouth after I knocked your skull of your neck to jerk off with, let alone subscribe to your onlyfans you pathetic faggot.

  11. So what is the general principle here? All a Congresscritter has to do is ask a company to take some action, and suddenly that company is now bound by the Constitution as if it were part of the government itself? “Oh, but Congress didn’t just ask nicely, they threatened legal action!” But they do this sort of shit all the time. Every single bill or proposal is a threat of legal action against someone or some institution. Surely merely *proposing* a bill cannot be enough to effectively nationalize a company, can it? This entire line of argumentation is absurd. The only way that Team Trump could have a case here is if there was some official government action, law, regulation, etc., which required Facebook to do something that was problematic. Senators bloviating is not the same as an official regulation.

    1. No trump has a case here if he can prove Facebook has received public (taxpayer funded) money, assistance, guidance, or support. Or if he can prove they colluded with other companies. Which I’d think would be easy to do with Twitter and YouTube (Google owned) adopting the same exact policies regarding banning numerous topics, like anything trump said, covid came from the lab, ivermectin works, hydroxy chloroquine works, masks don’t work, etc etc

    2. “This entire line of argumentation is absurd.”
      Do a search: “Were the Hollywood Black Lists unconstitutional”. Don’t worry. I’ll wait.

      I think you would find a large number of people- people you often agree with- arguing that in fact the black lists were an example of the government illegally coercing people and businesses into infringing on certain peoples’ speech and freedom of association. We aren’t talking about “government threatening to make something illegal”. We are talking about “The government threatening to inflict major financial harm upon your company for associating with the ‘wrong’ people.”

      Now, was a constitutional line crossed in the case of Trump or McCarthy? I don’t know. That would require a close reading of the particulars of each case to identify the point where “lines were crossed”. But this reasoning is *not* absurd. And calling it so is merely an attempt to cut off debate before anyone looks closely at the particulars.

      As a libertarian, I have come to view the McCarthy hearings as (at best) an awful example of government overstepping its bounds or (at worst) an example of the government enacting in a huge stifling of speech (speech which I abhor, all the same). It strikes me as very odd that you and other self professed libertarians don’t see the exact same troubles in what the government is doing right now.

      1. What has not been proven or shown here: that the management of Twitter or Facebook, often criticized by conservatives for being liberals, would not have come to the decision to ban Trump on their own with no government coercion influencing them.

        1. So you don’t know. And they had many years to ban him and didn’t. Why not?

        2. 6 multinational corporations banning the same person within minutes of each other on the same day and also colluding with major banks, financial institutions, web infrastructure companies, and internet service providers to get them blacklisted outside of the platforms they control is a mere coincidence, you see.

          1. It makes perfect sense from the viewpoint of tech comapanies. Ever heard of if/then statements?

            For instance, “If Facebook bans Trump, twitter will ban Trump because we don’t want to become the ‘trump platform’.”

            1. Odd. You’d think that companies in such fierce market competition with each other that totally aren’t an oligopoly might actually want to have someone on their platform who attracts massive amounts of attention and has millions of followers who both love and hate him. I guess it’s a good thing you spent all your time in special ops training instead of business school lmfao.

              1. Not every business decision is about the bottom line.

            2. Cascading social media reactions based on sociopolitical viewpoints have little to do with logical if/then gates. If/then can be applied to nearly any conditional situation, had nothing to do with Trump specifically. The platforms wanted to drop Trump, they apparently felt bold now that he was at the end of his term, and could gin up the excuse that it was for public safety or National Security or some other complete bs. The long and short of it is, he wasn’t their preferred candidate, he didn’t voice their views, and they wanted his voice silent. This is the heart of many civil libertarians’ arguments against the often pooh-poohed viewpoint discrimination on social media -if it can happen to a sitting US president, it can and likely will happen to anyone. Which is not to say there are not less nuanced, more emotional, less reasonable arguments that are popular.

          2. No collusion has been shown. As far as we know, it was independent decision making arriving at the same conclusion.

          3. Also, you are lumping together several disparate actions as if they were the same. Dropping Parler from AWS, for example, is different action from suspending Trump’s account, is a different action than not allowing stories considered fake news or violence promoting.

        3. “What has not been proven or shown here:”

          Oh, so *now* we have gotten down to haggling about price? Fantastic. You all have come a long way from “this shit is absurd.” So good on you.

          1. Please cite where I ever said anything like “this shit is absurd.”

      2. There’s a qualitative difference here between HUAC and what is going on here with Facebook: in the case of HUAC, they actually threw people in jail.

        1. “There’s a qualitative difference here between HUAC and what is going on here with Facebook:”

          Did you intentionally use “qualitative” here? Because that essentially concedes my point- that the fundamental constitutionality of the McCarthy era came down to qualitative judgements of the particulars of the case. These are inherently subjective terms. That is opposed to quantitative judgements, which are measurable quantities.

          But I get the sense that you actually meant quantitative- that there is a measurable difference between the two cases (Trump vs HUAC). If it is merely that “people went to jail” I think you need to provide a little more clarity on what you mean. To my knowledge (and I may be wrong), the only people who went to jail during this era were, 1) people actually doing illegal stuff (like accepting kickbacks) and 2) people who refused a legal subpoena from congress.

          Neither of those strikes me as a compelling bright line. If Zuckerberg refused a subpoena from congress, he too could spend time in jail. The fact that he ultimately went before congress doesn’t mean he wasn’t coerced. (Indeed, the fact that congress sent people to jail for failing to appear in the past tells us that the THREAT of a subpoena is coercive in and of itself.) And if someone is afraid of going to jail for something that is currently illegal, then that basically tells us they are afraid of some government action.

          Of course, I’d be happy to explore these issues more with you. But that means backing off your claim of this being an “absurd” argument. Are you doing that?

          1. It’s very instructive to consider the Joseph McCarthy witch-hunt here, from a political-party perspective. Joseph McCarthy = “R” Party. The whole witch-hunt can be laid fair and square on “R” Party, pretty much.

            Trump’s trying to sue these companies in blatant violation of Section 230 laws… As if “Important politicians and ex-politicians” have special property rights to private property that they do not own… This, too, can be laid fair and square on “R” Party, pretty much. It in no way reflects “rule of law, and not of men”.

            Just sayin’…

            1. “It’s very instructive to consider the Joseph McCarthy witch-hunt here, from a political-party perspective. Joseph McCarthy = “R” Party. The whole witch-hunt can be laid fair and square on “R” Party, pretty much.”

              Is it really instructive? The only reason I find it instructive is that for some reason it seems to tell me how certain individuals will come down on either side of the example. As expected, both you and Chemjeff came down on the side of the issue that was most harmful of someone with an R behind their name.

              Both are cases of a government employee hauling private businesses and businessmen in front of congress to answer for associating with “bad actors”. In the case of McCarthy it was Commies. In the case of Facebook, it was “fake news” peddlers.

              In both cases there actually was a threat of real harm if this speech was allowed by the platforms. Commies really were plotting to infiltrate and destroy the United States democratic system. And obviously, if half of the country is led astray by conspiracy theories and doctored photos, it will impose a major burden on our ability to operate. And in both cases, we had the government insisting that private businesses had at least a moral, if not a legal responsibility to limit this harm.

              The only really instructive thing here is seeing who the real libertarians are. There are those willing to discuss this in detail, and then there are those who claim OBVIOUSLY that the other team’s argument is absurd.

              1. “In both cases there actually was a threat of real harm if this speech was allowed by the platforms.”

                You do not trust people to learn who are liars, and who are not? The real individual-freedom-loving response to lies (other than the usual slander-libel exceptions, which IMHO should be used sparingly) is corrective speech, not government coercion. In the case of Hollywood and communism, yes, I understand that commies had infiltrated the government. Hollywood not-equal government! If the bulk of USA population learned that Hollywood lied endlessly about socialism and communism, that would have opened up a market for more honest movies. Actors and actresses do NOT control government!

                Now here in the more-modern era, property-rights-disrespecting power-grabbers want to take over web sites that do not belong them… In the name, apparently sometimes, of “the people can’t be trusted to tell the difference between truth and lies.” So now we will trust THE GOVERNMENT to tell truth from lies, instead!

                I for one don’t trust government for that at ALL! Prime case in point, ex-POTUS Trump and his Big Lie!

                Trump’s Big Lie and Hitler’s: Is this how America’s slide into totalitarianism begins?

          2. The fact that he ultimately went before congress doesn’t mean he wasn’t coerced.

            THAT’S not the issue here. Yes a subpoena is a coercive legal tool to compel someone to appear, whether it’s Zuckerberg or Dalton Trumbo. The question is whether simple speechifying by Congress constitutes “coercion” against someone.

            If Chuck Schumer woke up tomorrow and said “That Overt guy, he better shape up his act or he will find himself in real trouble”, would *that speech alone* constitute coercion against you?

            I would argue no – that coercion has to carry with it some tangible ACTION that demonstrates an intent to COMPEL someone to perform some action *that the person otherwise wouldn’t perform of his/her own free will*.

            So if Chuck Schumer said the above, and you thought “hey he’s right, I really do need to clean up my act” and start acting according to Chuck Schumer’s wishes because he *PERSUADED* you to change, then that’s not coercion, that’s persuasion.

            But if Chuck Schumer said the above, and you thought “no, screw him, I’m going to live my life the way I’m currently doing”, but Chuck Schumer didn’t perform any action to try to COMPEL you to change your behavior, then that’s not coercion either, because there is no accompanying action on his part.

            In the case of HUAC, it was compulsion plain and simple, since the blacklisted individuals (mostly) had no intention of changing their behavior and were not interested in being persuaded to drop Communism.

            In the case of Facebook, however, it is much more vague. How much of Zuckerberg’s actions can be explained by being persuaded that ‘fake news’ really is a problem on his platform and should be dealt with?

            Your analogy is not as absurd as I originally thought, I will grant you that. But what I am really pushing back against is this type of idea that all Congresscritters have to do is to give a speech on something and consequently they have coerced or compelled everyone around them to do something. Simply stating “If you don’t eat broccoli, there will be consequences” cannot be reasonably assumed to be “coercion” against everyone to eat broccoli. There has to be some associated action.

            1. If you used a more middle of the road member of Congress, your point would be better made, perhaps. Any time Schumer makes a statement like this, it is likely a threat of action unless his desires are met.

    3. So you’re also good with it when, for example, Nancy Pelosi proposes punitive legislation against credit card companies causing their stock price to plummet, then has her husband purchase thousands of shares in those companies, before publicly killing the bill and enjoying double digit appreciation on the equities her husband just purchased? After all, it’s not like they actually DID anything. They just suggested it!

  12. Social media companies moderate posts and ban users so often that I think they can no longer claim that they are merely platforms.

    1. They don’t claim that. When have they claimed that?

      1. Zuckerberg himself testified in Congress they should change the law to benefit large monopolies like Facebook and stifle competition. He doesn’t need to claim it’s a platform anymore, he wants to be the one fucking over the little guy and benefiting from the government’s largess.

        Don’t defend corrupt trillion dollar companies run by amoral billionaires.

      2. They don’t claim that. When have they claimed that?

        There was that one time when they claimed it in public fucking court filings you retarded sack of shit.

        1. You know, it IS possible to be both a publisher AND a forum-provider… Like Reason right here! They publish articles AND allow us to post! And anti-Section-230 power pigs want to effectively take that AWAY from them! There will go our forum; Reason can’t afford armies of lawyers!

          1. Yup that’s what I would do. Just publish the articles like a lot of blogs do.

        2. “Publisher”, “platform”, two words that start with the letter ‘p’. That does not make them interchangeable.

        3. “Social media companies moderate posts and ban users so often that I think they can no longer claim that they are merely platforms.”

          As evidence, you posted an article about one company, Facebook, claiming to be a publisher, not platform.

          1. If they’re a publisher then THEY ARE OPEN TO LAWSUITS FOR LIBLE, SLANDER, DAMAGES, Etc.

            And trump is thus justified in suing them.

            1. So then, Dizzled thinks that Trump is above the law… Section 230 in this case.

              Power pigs defend THEIR favorite power pigs! What a surprise! More news at 11:00!

  13. Brief reminder that this is the same publication that published, on this very day, a story defending conscripting medical doctors to perform abortions and gender reassignment surgeries against their will.

    It’s too bad doctors only have the actual first amendment on their side instead of that very special “first amendment of the internet” that supersedes all other rights and immunities.

    1. There is no way to do that. There are only a handful of surgeons who can perform gender reassignment surgery. The others simply do not list it in their hospital privileges. Same for abortions. If you do not do that procedure you just don’t check that box on your list. Even medical abortions. If you are not familiar with those drugs and the risks and complications that is all you have to say.

      Even something like breast implants. Say you do those and a male requests them. You object to men getting breast implants. All you have to say is that you have no experience in male breast implants and refer the patient to someone who does if you know of one.

      The law addresses a problem that does not exist. It is just political posturing.

  14. Facebook et al may be private companies, but they’re private companies working as censorship arms of the Democratic party.

    In the past year, these tech companies prevented the sharing of the NYP’s Hunter Biden story, banned the sitting President of the United States, prevented people from questioning COVID’s origins/the election on their platforms, etc. He’ll, not just two or three weeks ago, there was an article on Reason bemoaning YT’s decision to delete one of Reason’s videos. All of these actions demonstrably benefited one party.

    GFY Robby.

    1. Yeah, they have the Democrats controlled Justice Department and the the Democrats controlled FTC suing to break them up because they tolerate “misinformation” on their platforms. And we’re supposed to pretend that had nothing to do with why Trump was deplatformed, why Parler was deplatformed, etc., etc.?

      They must think we’re stupid.

      The Democrats are acting like Putin. He forces media outlets to self-censor, too–and no one at Reason pretends that’s a great example of Russian media exercising their association and property rights. The same thing is happening in the U.S. for the same reasons. Libertarians of the future will look back at this era and think of it like the Red Scare.

      Does Reason staff think of blacklisting writers, directors, and actors during the Red Scare as an excellent example of the studios exercising their association and property rights?

  15. I don’t have FB so unlike Robbie and many of the posters, I don’t have a dog in the fight.

    FB should be able to moderate or ban users on ideology. That freedom should be extended to all private businesses. If you don’t like it, don’t use their service.

    1. Yeah the problem is that no other private companies are afforded that privilege, and Reason enthusiastically supports withholding that privilege from bakers, florists, and photographers, and just as enthusiastically supports granting that privilege exclusively to social media companies and no one else. Bad laws do not become good because they are non-uniformly applied to benefit one industry over another.

      1. Other companies are absolutely afforded privileges like this. If I and a buddy plan a crime in a restaurant, the restaurant isn’t held accountable for the resulting crime. And that restaurant can reserve the right to serve whomever they choose. There are some marginal cases- most specifically about discriminating against protected classes- but in general, common law has held that a private company is not held liable for what a non-employee does on their premises.

      2. “Reason enthusiastically supports withholding that privilege from bakers, florists, and photographers”


      3. “…Reason enthusiastically supports withholding that privilege from bakers, florists, and photographers…”

        Citation please!

    2. Yeah, but then trump came along and demanded they drop every last one of their principles. This is just one more.

      1. Literally nothing you said actually forms a complete thought, and doesn’t have even a tangential connection to the post you replied to. Are you having a stroke, cytotoxic?

  16. I just bought a brand new BMW after having made $6375 this past one month and just over 12k last 4 week. This is the best and most financially rewarding job I’ve ever had. I actually started this few Weeks ago and almost immediately started to bring home minimum 74BUCKS p/h… Read More

  17. How far have we fallen exactly? This lawsuit will determine if the judiciary, ergo the country, is salvageable! The judicial branch of government creates the culture and a corrupted judiciary reaps a lawless, broken society.

  18. Liberal Constitutional scholar and Civil Rights lawyer Alan Dershowitz disagrees with Reason. I respect his opinion a lot more than anyone at Reason. The lawsuit is not designed to get money, but to get the court to finally deal with a real problem.

  19. “…Is an Absurd Farce”

    But then, what isn’t, nowadays?

  20. I see Soave has taken the mantle of Weigel in being perpetually wrong in favor of Team Blue.

  21. Serious question: when is Reason going to propose something to actually handle this issue rather than rely on the market, which is *not* delivering what people want in this case?

    1. Serious question: when is Reason going to propose something to actually handle this issue rather than rely on the market, which is *not* delivering what people want in this case?

    2. How are you determining “what people want” in this case?

    3. It is not what people want? Facebook stock price is up 35% in the past 6 months. It is not what some people want but the company is doing very well anyway.

  22. Robby says
    “It will fail, and fail badly.”

    Except it already succeeded in getting Robby to write this nonsense.

  23. Well Robby Soave — It was done at the ORDER of Democratic Politicians. I’d say the term “State Actors” fits the actual narrative just about head-on. I’ll be curious as to which ‘law’ charges are pressed with being the real violation was done by Politicians ignoring the people’s law and their sworn oath of office.

    They should be up for impeachment charges and kicked from office if the federal government had any integrity left in it. Maybe the charge will eventually grow into that.

  24. Provisions against Conspiracies to Deprive Citizens of Rights (18 U.S.C. § 241)
    No persons shall have the right to deprive or even conspire to deprive another person of his/her rights. 18 U.S.C. § 241 prohibits all kinds of interferences with the rights of an individual that has been secured by the individual through the United States Constitution or through any other laws of the United States.

    By virtue of 18 U.S.C. § 241, it is a federal crime for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any state, territory, commonwealth, possession, or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

    Free speech is a civil right. If employees of Facebook, Twitter or Youtube (two or more people) have conspired to deprive Trump of his free speech rights, then this statute could apply.

    1. He still has the right to free speech. That does not compel any person or entity to publish it.

      If that were true they would never be able to ban anyone or remove content.

      1. Yet in the *real* scope of the situation. Democratic ‘Congress’ Politicians *DID* conspire to Deprive many Citizens of their Rights..

        Congress shall make no law ….. or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

        Thanks to the decades of increasingly turning the USA into a Nazi-Nation; it no longer requires a ‘law’ to be enforced. It just takes Gov-God threats to sick their Nazi Regime on them.

        Speaking of “out of control” — that is what this nations national government is and everyone knows it. They sworn an oath of office to OBEY the U.S. Constitution yet they continuously and compulsively throw it’s Supreme Law over them to the wind.

        Today; We have a militia called the “Oath Keepers” deemed a threat to the U.S. Nazi Government. The “Oath Keepers”!!!!

  25. The bogus lawsuit has already done everything it needs to.

    It generates publicity

    It generates fundraising so like everything else it won’t cost Trump a dime.

    It feeds into the stolen election and unfair media narrative.

    When the court throws it out it will feed into the rigged courts narrative

    It puts pressure on Congress to repeal 230

    It throws a punch at the hated big tech CEOs.

    It is a classic Trump move and one he has used often.

  26. Section 230 may not be unconstitutional but no longer applies to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. When they choose to editorially control content and even inject content, they are no longer just “a platform”.

  27. Ya Know,

    I, personally, was optimistic for Trump in this regard. I guess, like always, his emotions did the majority of the talking (something that, from my experience, Republicans could bottle, sell & put Coca-Cola in the ground).

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