Social Media

Big Tech, Watchdog Groups, and Law Enforcement Join Forces To Purge Extremists

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube will expand their use of a central database that compiles extremist content for coordinated de-platforming.

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Two recent tech stories—both appearing in Reuters—should make civil libertarians wary for the future: Social media sites and tech companies are partnering with watchdog groups and law enforcement to share information about so-called extremists using their platforms.

PayPal, for instance, will work with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to identify hate groups that use the platform to raise funds. Recall that the company previously denied accused rioters facing charges relating to the January 6 Capitol attack the ability to solicit donations for their defenses: It would seem that PayPal's plan is to facilitate even fewer of these transactions. This is potentially concerning since the ADL defines hateful content in the broadest possible terms.

Meanwhile, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other sites will be expanding their use of a centralized database that compiles extremist content for the purposes of coordinated de-platforming. At present, the sites collude to take down content that promotes Islamic terrorism—ISIS and the Taliban, for instance—but in the future, it could be deployed against right-wing extremism as well.

"As the database expands, the risks of mistaken takedown only increase," said Emma Llanso, director of Free Expression at the Center for Democracy & Technology.

In both of these cases, information may eventually be shared with law enforcement.

Users of tech platforms obviously don't enjoy full free speech and due process protections, since private corporations are not bound to follow the Constitution. But to the extent that federal authorities are encouraging these changes—more coordinated takedowns, the collection of data, and an overly broad definition of what counts as extremist—we have the right to speak out against government encroachment.

This week, I am guest-hosting The Hill's YouTube show, Rising, and talked about these issues:

NEXT: Australia Is the Canary in the Coal Mine of Eroding Liberty

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  1. This is terrific news. Hopefully soon we’ll get to the point where alt-right white nationalists (meaning anyone who disagrees with the Koch / Reason open borders agenda) are effectively banned from the entire Internet.

    #LibertariansForTheADL

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    2. Not just that. This proves that the market works like a charm in cooperating to get rid of riffraff (and possibly Frank N Furter too). We are nearing the point where we can reduce government to being solely the enforcement arm of billionaires.

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    3. The goal was always ending mean tweets. And Reason was and is super in favor of that!

      Their “libertarian” paradise is coming soon enough!

    4. Remember when Reason was against things like SESTA/FOSTA because such a public/private partnership to prosecute people reeks of fascism? Good times.

  2. Speaking of getting punished for online content, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas fired his director of their national library and removed him from the library’s board of directors for complaining on Facebook about the death of an activist in Palestinian Authority hands.

  3. …we have the right to speak out against government encroachment.

    Technically we have the right to speak out against private sector censorship as well, but the point is correct. Governments don’t value speech rights – quite the opposite – and will seek out any avenue to curb them. So Americans have to stay vigilant and vocal in pushing back against the state and its private sector lackeys, especially in favor of speech we find disagreeable.

  4. First, they came for the rightwing fascists… and we lived happily ever after.

    1. Nope because you’re next, lard ass

      1. Literally “All the Jews in pre-war Germany lived happily ever after.”

        1. No, the commies killed them with their pogroms.

        2. ” lived happily ever after.” BOTH of them lived happily ? Amazing.

          And they obviously spawned the repugs that are (trying to ) ruining our country now. Trying to ruin it: but they will SOON be history – terrible history, but history nevertheless. And in my lifetime as an embarrassed old white male who hates them all.

    2. Then they kept broadening the definition of “Right Wing Fascists” until nobody was left.
      Because that is how it always works.
      Plus, leftism is trendy now, but it will not always be so. If you establish a precedent like this, you might not like it when it is implemented by the other side.

  5. RS: I guess next year’s Reason contribution will have to be in Bitcoin, cash or gold…. which one do you want?

  6. Any word on BLM or Antifa getting locked out? or do those checks come right from the government these days

    1. I would ask these people how you can have extremes on only one side.

    2. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ANTIFA!.
      Except in Nazi, white repugs

  7. Extremist = anyone not on team blue

    1. At present, the sites collude to take down content that promotes Islamic terrorism—ISIS and the Taliban, for instance—but in the future, it could be deployed against right-wing extremism as well.

      “Right-wing extremism” meaning “speech that might not help democrats get elected”.

    2. ^Truth of a lefty established Nazi-Government.

  8. Social media sites and tech companies are partnering with watchdog groups and law enforcement to share information about so-called extremists using their so-called platforms.

  9. So how long before this place gets shut down?

    1. When they drop the comments section and nobody comes here anymore.

      1. I only come to Reason for the comments.
        They could get rid of the articles entirely.
        Block the comments and I will be gone.

        1. doc,

          worst. haiku. ever.

          1. Comments section good
            Articles not important
            If it goes I go.

            My Fauci haikus are better, but there you go.

        2. Really OT to docduracoat:

          In regards to an old mil spec, but actually blued 1911A1 that’s lost a lot of its original finish. No collector value whatsoever. Can both the slide and frame be fully duracoated without friction issues at the rails? Any advice on pre-treating? Asking for a friend of course.

          1. Film thickness can vary substantially with application technique, so much depends on the actual tolerances of your (friend’s) pistol.

            Is this going to be a DIY project? Because if so I would suggest masking off the critical mating surfaces.

            1. Oh, and double ditto for barrel lock-up/mating surfaces. A tight slide is one thing, but not going into battery would really suck.

            2. Definitely DIY, was planning on just degreasing then spraying with duracoat kit with frame and slide hanging from coat hangers. Didn’t consider taping up mating surfaces, that’s good advice.

              It’s mostly years of holster wear, most of small parts have been replaced and have good, modern coatings, and are good to go. Will try taping the critical surfaces and go for it. Thinking if it doesn’t turn out ok, may get it bead blasted then professionally cerakoted. Great pistol, lots of sentimental value. Thanks for advice.

  10. According to NY Times columnist Kate Benner anyone who voted for Trump must be “purged” as an extremist. The definition of extremist seems somewhat broad, but perhaps is fit for purpose.

    1. Kate Brenner. Sounds like an All American girl doesn’t it? Turns out that young “Katie” is actually Chinese, born and raised there. Went to college in the US before she moved back to China. Her first job in journalism was working for the Chinese Communist propaganda outlet Beijing Review which is owned by the CCP and in 2020 was designated by the US State Department as a “foreign mission” of China. She then took a job with Bloomberg and covered technology, but in almost no time she was hired by the New York Times. And now she reports on DOJ issues. It is beyond reprehensible that a Chinese propagandist is allowed to use social media to demand Trump supporters be purged.

      1. Behold the “newspaper of record.”

        What are the odds that it is the CCP paying the NYT to print her stuff?

  11. “It’S nOt ReAl FaScIsM!”

  12. What’s an “extremist”? Someone who thinks the government should mostly leave us the fuck alone?

    1. Apparently.

  13. who decides what extreme is I hear some people think just thinking differently is extreme and provokes violence

    1. “some people people think . . . ”

      They don’t think: they certainly don’t how to as they demonstrate every day / hour / minute: they are so obviously incapable of doing so, they are laughable . . .

  14. That’s all a bunch of [GOOD IDEAS] and those guys are a bunch of [PUBLIC BENEFACTORS].

  15. Ah we said it, got laughed down, and now it’s come to pass.

    Enjoy your freedom while you can.

  16. Big Tech, Watchdog Groups, and Law Enforcement Join Forces To Purge Extremists
    Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube will expand their use of a central database that compiles extremist content for coordinated de-platforming.

    Join Forces, you say?

    1. 1. There’s no coordination between government and big tech. Private Korporashuns.
      2. Well, ok, there might be some coordination, but it’s not as bad as you think.
      3. Ok, there is full-on coordination, but it’s a good thing.

      1. 4. Free will is irrelevant.

        That’s the whole point of authoritarians everywhere. Rahm Emmanuel simply went public with the method of getting there when he forgot to self-censor and admitted to the mindset that one should ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’.

        “Coordination” = control

      2. Continuing the analogy:
        Congress: You’re an unruly slut that needs discipline.
        Facebook: As long as you pull my hair and smack my ass.
        Reason: Hawt!
        *discovers (obvious fact?) that, behind closed doors, she’s taking all comers in all orifices as many as will fit at a time*
        Reason: That’s not good for business.
        Commentors: That’s not good for anybody.

  17. but in the future, it could be deployed against right-wing extremism as well.

    Maybe, and only in the future. Not right now.

    1. Tomorrow. THEY ARE HISTORY tomorrow because they are anti-American and deserve to be gone: the Nazis lost before and will be ELIMINATED HERE ASAP.
      Maybe by noon? Certainly hope so, and will contribute to making that happen without limit…

  18. Users of tech platforms obviously don’t enjoy full free speech and due process protections, since private corporations are not bound to follow the Constitution. But to the extent that federal authorities are encouraging these changes—more coordinated takedowns, the collection of data, and an overly broad definition of what counts as extremist—we have the right to speak out against government encroachment.

    You can say it… they’re government ac… acto… actors… Acting as agents of the state. I know it’s hard to come to terms with. But we can say it out loud and not be ashamed.

  19. Are we still going with the PRIVATE COMPANY!!11! spiel?

    1. They’re free to do whatever the Harris administration tells them to do.

  20. Hey, at least we have a Bill of Rights, unlike Australia!

  21. Oh hey it’s just like Ron Paul told us would happen!

    1. Ron Paul ? Edmund Burke and Charles Dicken’s beat him to the punch:

      In Thermidor of the Year Two , The Committee of Public Safety decided to ” expand their use of a central database that compiles extremist content for coordinated de-platforming.” and sent thousands of French extremists up the stairs to the Guillotine, and deplatformed their heads.

      Plus ca change…

  22. Crony Socialism strikes AGAIN!

    There is no such thing as Liberty and Justice in a nation ruled by Nazi’s (def; National Socialists).

    1. Obviously you have no idea what Socialist means: White male Extremists don’t get to define that term; especially idiots like you.

      1. Lefties games — redefining words to mean exactly opposite from what they’ve meant all along; with a dash of racism added.

        It’s a Boy; No it’s a Girl; No it’s a Girl who has a penis, etc, etc, etc…
        It’s like arguing with a 2-year old. Arguing just for the sake of arguing.

  23. “Extremism’ is a word deliberately chosen for its vagueness and used by intellectual slobs who are too desperate, sneaky or lazy to say exactly what they mean. Its only purpose is to deliberately try to confuse the difference between people who are extremely good (usually because of devotion to their principles) with people who are extremely bad. The sleazeballs who use this supposedly scary, yet undefined word are not only trying to smear people of conviction and integrity, but they’re also trying to divert attention away from the fact that they are obviously not people of principle themselves.” ~ Rick Gaber

    1. Finally a true, rational comment about THEM !

      1. lol…. Bobgeezer, “White male Extremists”…
        The Projection is amazing!!

  24. Official Truth (Greenhut): “There’s no connection between social media and the government. Anyone who suggest that there is must be stifled or banned.”

    Today’s Official Truth (Soave): “OF COURSE social media and the government are working together to protect you!”

    1. ^Excellent Point; Well made.

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