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Free Minds & Free Markets

Don't Look to the State to Keep Social Media Companies From Imposing Ideological Conformity

Facebook, Google, and Twitter may be smug and presumptuous, but we can go elsewhere.

DADO RUVIC/REUTERS/NewscomDADO RUVIC/REUTERS/NewscomMany giant tech companies that were among the biggest supporters of so-called net neutrality have increasingly turned out to be enthusiastic suppressors of content when left to their own devices. But don't look for help to government agencies for help—not unless you want to empower authorities in a long and well-documented effort to muzzle officially disapproved speech. Instead, people who want to speak freely should actively seek out alternatives that let them do just that.

Google-owned YouTube recently prohibited users from uploading firearms-related videos that, among other things, offer "instructions on manufacturing a firearm, ammunition, high capacity magazine, homemade silencers/suppressors, or certain firearms accessories such as those listed above." Little, if any of that is inherently illegal—certainly no more so than many other activities, such as picking locks or altering and ID, both of which feature on the video-sharing service. But firearms are controversial in the wake of the Parkland shooting and the subsequent surge in political activity by opponents of self-defense rights. That is, YouTube is banning videos because of the ideas they represent.

This wouldn't be the first time, of course. YouTube has implemented a policy against "hate speech"—a grab-bag category that includes vile stuff, such as explicit racism, but which is so amorphous that it can easily encompass anything that raises a moderator's hackles. "There is a fine line between what is and what is not considered to be hate speech," YouTube acknowledges, and the company ended up apologizing after newly hired staff pulled the plug on right-wing videos and whole accounts that didn't violate anything other than somebody's sense of propriety.

Ditching "hate speech" became a popular goal for tech companies last summer, after lethal political violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. To that end, Twitter—which once described itself as "the free speech wing of the free speech party"—implemented a creepy Trust and Safety Council to "ensure that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter." Inevitably, that resulted in a purge of not just open bigots, but also people with edgy politics or trollish behavior.

Facebook, which warns that speech that "attacks people based on their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or disease is not allowed" ran into its own trouble trying to parse among vigorous debate, run-of-the-mill meanness, and forbidden hate speech. ProPublica reviewed more than 900 posts alleged to violate such content rules and found that Facebook's "content reviewers often make different calls on items with similar content, and don't always abide by the company's complex guidelines." In response, the social media giant noted the difficulty in distinguishing between hateful and heated in "content that may be controversial and at times even distasteful" but which "does not cross the line into hate speech."

Such subjectivity means that people moderating speech must necessarily bring their own judgment to the project—including biases that can go unchallenged in an industry that has a growing reputation for being ideologically monolithic. Earlier this year, the Lincoln Network, a "community of tech professionals devoted to building alliance of liberty and technology," released a survey of Silicon Valley tech workers. "Survey respondents, regardless of their own ideological views, overwhelmingly characterized their workplaces as liberal or very liberal."

Gizmodo reported in 2016 that "Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network's influential 'trending' news section." There's no indication that this was official policy—rather, it was the consequence of workers marinating in the shared set of preconceived notions of "a small group of young journalists, primarily educated at Ivy League or private East Coast universities."

Where official policy does come in is tech companies openly collaborating with governments to censor speech.

Last week, former Google manager William Echikson wrote that his old employer has shifted from efforts in favor of free speech to trying "to convince authorities in Europe and elsewhere that the internet giant is serious about cracking down on illegal content. The more takedowns it can show, the better." He added that out of eagerness to comply with increasingly draconian directives to suppress unpleasant and inconvenient messages, "legal content is being censored."

Germany introduced a new Internet censorship law last year which requires cooperation from social media companies, and France and the UK are also tightening their online efforts against "hate speech."

Picking up on our own President Trump's insistence that hostile media outlets should be punished for spreading "fake news," Malaysia plans prison terms for spreading "fake news" as defined by government officials.

And online publishers across the United States are busy shutting down sexually related online forums and even personals out of fear of the legal penalties against "sex trafficking" in the FOSTA bill.

That's a big reason why we shouldn't look to governments for solutions to the problem of social media companies imposing ideological conformity. It's annoying when a social media site sidelines your politically incorrect post or boots you for an off-color joke. But when government agencies exercise muzzling power, they impose fines and jail time.

Governments may not target speech for the same reasons as tech-industry smugsters, but they do so vigorously, and with nastier tools.

Social media users who seek unhampered discussion need to support alternatives to the current complacent giants, and to encourage the creation of alternatives. Some gun enthusiasts now post videos to Pornhub (so extremely NSFW)—a one-stop-shopping opportunity that's apparently working well as of today. And Full30 is a shooting-specific video host intended to fill the role that YouTube doesn't want.

MeWe and Minds.com are just two of the hopefuls competing for Facebook refugees. Gab offers an almost seamless transition from Twitter, tempered by the fact that actual Nazis landed there first after being booted from other platforms. But if the current user base is a tad more repulsive than that of the competition, the management's free-speech advocacy enhances the place's potential—and an influx of regular people would address many concerns.

That's true of all alternatives to the established tech giants. These giants grew to their current size by offering what people wanted. If the politically charged speech suppression they now peddle is not what the public is looking for, people should vote with their patronage by shifting to the competition.

Photo Credit: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS/Newscom

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  • sarcasmic||

    Can Google still track you if you're not logged in when you do your searches?

  • Ken Shultz||

    There are cookies, your IP address, as well as other things they can use to track you.

    Try DuckDuck Go.

    The data Google uses to track you gives you better search results customized for you, but DuckDuck Go still gets me what I'm looking for 90% of the time.

    Half the time I used to use Google's search just to resolve my bad spelling, and DuckDuck Go does that just as well.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    There is no privacy on the Internet, Ken.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That's like saying there's no privacy in your home--because theoretically anyone could snoop there given the motive, technology, budget, etc.

    The fact is that DuckDuck Go doesn't sell your web search data.

    The fact is that using a VPN gives you more privacy than you would have otherwise.

    The fact is that using a VPN in concert with a encrypted email service based in Switzerland, using PGP and forcing it all through Tor and an OS that hides your IP address from your own applications gives you even more privacy.

    Absolute 100% assurance of privacy doesn't exist anywhere online or in the real world.

    You can take steps to make your privacy about as high as you want it to be--online or elsewhere.

    If you're trying to suggest that because there is no 100% absolute assurance of privacy online then there isn't any privacy at all, then you're off your rocker.

    If you're trying to suggest that using DuckDuck Go isn't one step you can take to increase your privacy, then you're just plain wrong.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You're a lying sack of shit.

  • Quixote||

    And he should certainly be made to pay for that. Hopefully we can soon prevail on Facebook to crack down on all of the "free speech" rubbish that's being used to spread offensive accusations damaging to distinguished members of the community. For a model they can look to New York, where prosecutors have gone after some of this junk with great success. See the documentation of our nation's leading criminal "satire" case at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • tzx4||

    Don't forget tracker blockers! Mine shows 12 trackers right on this webpage, including three from Google and one from FB.
    I have them blocked. :P

  • FreeRadical||

    I used to be a software developer at an internet advertising and data analysis firm. If you are home, they can reliably get your name, adress, and phone number only from your IP address. They get this from publicly available information.

    That's where DuckDuck Go is good. It has a built in "VPN" mode that routes your traffic through servers outside your ISPs. This makes your IP adress not tracible to you.

  • KevinP||

    MeWe seems like just another Social Justice Warrior outfit now headquartered in the Bay Area. Read and decide for yourself:

    http://blog.mewe.com/facebook-.....-president

    http://blog.mewe.com/greatest-threat-republic/

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    This goes back to my contention that there are two forces pulling on Facebook and the other establishment social media companies. Those that feel that their editorial control is tilted towards a Social Justice end, and those that feel that they're not woke enough, and they're too negligent and free with their content delivery. When someone says "I hate Facebook", there seems to be about equal chance they hate them either because they're too sickeningly woke, or because they're not woke enough.

  • Sevo||

    "Big Sister is watching you: Facebook legally manipulates how we vote"
    [...]
    "I call this permitted online manipulation "Big Sister." Big Brother is public sector. Big Sister is private sector (and very private about it). She doesn't watch you like Big Brother. She watches you at home, listening attentively online, and then tells you what you want to hear in the voice you're most attracted to. The Public Enemy No. 1 of democracy is this perfectly legal invisible hand at the disposal of dishonest politicians to manipulate the way people vote.
    [...]© 2018 Mark Dixon
    Mark Dixon founded and runs boutique mergers and acquisitions advisory firm The1.com and was a co-founder of BreakingViews.com. His articles have been published on politics, society and finance. He also produces art under the pseudonym Mr. Twist."
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/o
    penforum/article/Big-Sister-is-watching
    -you-Facebook-is-12795240.php

    Assumption #1: Collecting data for advertising is more dangerous than doing the same by the people who hold the guns.
    Assumption #2: Voters are so easily swayed that gathering data something, something, something; presto people like Trump
    Assumption #3: The very same people who are elected by these easily-swayed voters can make laws keeping idiots like themselves from being elected.
    Mr. Twist ought to stick with his finger painting

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Mr. Twist should do a series of works about his misunderstanding of the "invisible hand" metaphor, because that's apparently a deep and inexhaustible subject.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    "Invisible Hand" was my nickname on the subway.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Isn't it when you jerk off while blind off of absinthe?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    True story: i got slanted on absinthe once, fell down the stairs buck-ass naked, and broke a toe.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    My absinthe experience is a little different. I saw auras around all the trees and saw all of nature as alive, pulsing with energy.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Link

    Have to say, has anyone bothered to define what's an appropriate reason for a voter to be swayed? Beyond the fact that the supposed propaganda we've seen is lame, there is an underlying assumption that there is something immoral about someone being swayed by them. What's the correct way to be swayed?

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    If you vote correctly, you've been convinced by the facts. If you vote incorrectly, you've been swayed by the propaganda.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Have to say, has anyone bothered to define what's an appropriate reason for a voter to be swayed?

    To convince the voter to cast a vote for a Democrat.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Big Sister sounds hot.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Someone who has both should see if they can get Alexa and Siri into a fight.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Voters are so easily swayed that gathering data something, something, something; presto people like Trump

    Step 1: Collect data
    Step 2: ???
    Step 3: Trump

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    "'Facebook, Google, and Twitter may be smug and presumptuous, but we can go elsewhere."'

    You can until your site is bought by Google.

  • damikesc||

    And good luck being able to support it as Google owns most of the entire online advertising industry.

    Why Reason is so OK with monopolies is odd. It's not like monopolies are preferable to government entities. Both infringe of people as a general rule.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Off the cuff, the only way to not have monopolies is to restrict folk's Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association.

    So if you're a hard-liner on those topics, then you kind of have to accept that yeah, monopolies can and probably will happen.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Off the cuff, the only way to not have monopolies is to restrict folk's Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association.

    No it's not.

  • EscherEnigma||

    You're restricting what agreements, deals, buy-outs, mergers and so-on that a company can and can't do. How is that not a restriction on their Freedom of Speech and Association?

  • damikesc||

    You're restricting what agreements, deals, buy-outs, mergers and so-on that a company can and can't do. How is that not a restriction on their Freedom of Speech and Association?

    Deals are still required to follow the law. Google should have been blocked from buying YouTube, for example. And Facebook and Google should be forced to sell off their advertising business as the idea of 2 companies owning 99% of the ENTIRE online advertising industry is rather appalling for the concept of free speech on the public arena.

  • EscherEnigma||

    @damikesc†
    To be clear, are you agreeing or disagreeing with me?

    Because you claimed my statement is a "laughable assertion" and then, unprompted, came up with several examples where, in order to break-up/stop monopolies, the government should have limited folk's Freedoms of Speech and Association.
    ________
    †Can't remember at which depth it stops indenting, so including tags to keep my responses clear.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Facebook and Google being made to sell of their advertising business doesn't make sense. That's literally their business model.

  • Sevo||

    "Deals are still required to follow the law. Google should have been blocked from buying YouTube, for example."

    Who the fuck are YOU to tell us who should own what?
    Who appointed you the dictator of business?
    Fuck off, slaver.

  • tzx4||

    ENTIRE online advertising industry?
    ENTIRE online surveillance advertising industry. There fixed it.

  • Sevo||

    tzx4|4.2.18 @ 9:00PM|#
    "ENTIRE online advertising industry?
    ENTIRE online surveillance advertising industry. There fixed it."

    Aw, tzx, are you looking for your safe space from those who you choose to hand your personal information?
    The NSA doesn't ask, putz.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Maybe I misunderstood you. My point was that monopolies won't survive and last when people are left to choose without a regulatory framework. It doesn't require any state-imposed limitations on restriction of freedom of speech and association.

  • damikesc||

    Off the cuff, the only way to not have monopolies is to restrict folk's Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association.

    That is an outright laughable assertion.

  • FreeRadical||

    Google owns a lot of advertising , but not "most". There are many avenues of online advertising. There are many different agencies that place ads in web pages, mobile apps, and social media.

    Google perhaps owns most of the internet search market. But even there there are still alternatives. Like DuckDuck Go mentioned above.

    Monopolies do not exist in nature. They are like an asymptote that is never reached. The only long term and damaging monopolies that have existed are those backed up by government.

  • Sevo||

    "Monopolies do not exist in nature. They are like an asymptote that is never reached. The only long term and damaging monopolies that have existed are those backed up by government."

    In all of the reading I've done, there seems to have been one (1) non-government mandated monopoly: Alcoa.
    It was temporary, as I recall, simply built on a refining technique which was a closely-held secret. Regardless, the gov't broke it up and prices immediately jumped.

  • FreeRadical||

    Jumped? Up? That's funny if true. I'll have to look at the Alcoa situation. Even when entities seem to be approaching the monopoly asymptote, the long term stability is not there. How long does a totally dominate position have to last to be called a monopoly?

  • shawn_dude||

    For starters, I think your framing is too narrow. "Totally" dominant is not required here. An effective monopoly only needs to be "dominant enough" to set prices, agendas, consumer expectations, etc. Further, you can be a local or regional monopoly; one doesn't need to be an Alcoa to be a monopoly. If the local resources only allow for one owner of that resource, then you're a "monopoly."

    I think I know what is being implied by being a "monopoly asymptote" but I don't think that necessarily says anything useful. I think it's more useful to look at how monopolies (or even just very large players in a given market) behave. Do they pick up anti-consumer traits in setting price or other parameters? Or do they act like a company in a competitive market? Are there sufficient barriers to entry and demand to maintain the monopoly? Or will new actors enter the market or demand shift to other goods?

  • Sevo||

    "An effective monopoly only needs to be "dominant enough" to set prices, agendas, consumer expectations, etc"
    Sorry, if you are to claim "monopoly", it must be a monopoly; consumers have no other choice. Words have meanings, and lefty twits dopn't get to make up new ones at their pleasure.

    "Or do they act like a company in a competitive market? Are there sufficient barriers to entry and demand to maintain the monopoly? Or will new actors enter the market or demand shift to other goods?"
    Other than gov't supported monopolies, none have ever been able to prevent new competition.

  • shawn_dude||

    You have a very narrow view of these things. A monopoly only needs control of the market. They don't have to be the only player, just dominant enough to control the whole market and maintain their position. You recognize that the reality isn't quite the same as the black-and-white definition when you state "Other than gov't supported monopolies, none have ever been able to prevent new competition." A successful monopolistic position in the real world doesn't require that your company be the only supplier, just that it be sufficiently dominant to even set the terms for any bit players as well.

    Sure, none have even been able to prevent competition...*eventually.* But they have some pretty great runs while people innovate around the barriers to entry or entirely disrupt the market. Taxi monopolies are a good example here with Lyft and Uber eventually destroying the market rather than trying to compete with it. (And it was a government supported monopoly to boot.)

    Having said that, very large firms can douse politicians in cash to ensure that their monopoly is government supported. You don't necessarily get government support before you become a monopoly. (Though, in fairness, you might have been thinking about telecoms, ISPs, power, and other utilities which are government-created monopolies.)

  • Sevo||

    shawn_dude|4.2.18 @ 6:55PM|#
    "You have a very narrow view of these things."

    No, I choose not to bullshit.

  • Sevo||

    "Jumped? Up? That's funny if true. I'll have to look at the Alcoa situation."
    My memory was wrong.
    Aluminum prices had been dropping under Alcoa, but the ruling was made in 1944; Al prices were fixed during the war
    ("The Mind of the Market", Shermer, ppg 31-33)

  • ||

    Alcoa is a perfect example, and your comment is an excellent observation of the fact that government intervention against perceived monopolies inevitably leads to higher prices.

    There are so many people who hate Ayn Rand that few bother ro read even her collaborative efforts anymore. In Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal, she presented works by Alan Greenspan that exposed how the government screwed consumers in the case of Alcoa, and how the government created the real monopolistic robber barons (railroads in the west) while casting unwarranted aspersions on those like Vanderbilt, who had to fight corrupt politicians every step of the way.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I believe a few years ago Google finally dropped for a bit from the majority of all internet search. They're still the plurality, but they have weakened a bit in years. They are still a powerhouse though.

  • Sevo||

    "Why Reason is so OK with monopolies is odd"

    The strawman is down for the count!

  • shawn_dude||

    "Why Reason is so OK with monopolies is odd. It's not like monopolies are preferable to government entities."

    Reason is a libertarian magazine. Libertarians are just fine with natural monopolies. If you're a monopoly, you earned it, so you get to keep it. They don't like government created monopolies like utility companies.

  • FreeRadical||

    Please give an example of a natural monopoly that produced the bad effects for which you seem to think government interference is warranted.

  • shawn_dude||

    I see no reason to provide examples of your strawman. You are welcome to ask a question that relates to what I actually said, however.

  • FreeRadical||

    Oh what a pussy reply. You're the one arguing against my "narrow" framing. I'm genuinely interested as to what examples you can provide.

  • Sevo||

    shawn_dude|4.2.18 @ 6:56PM|#
    "I see no reason to provide examples of your strawman. You are welcome to ask a question that relates to what I actually said, however"

    You've been called on bullshit, and no one is fooled, bullshitter.

  • Douchebag McEvil||

    "tempered by the fact that actual Nazis landed there first after being booted from other platforms."

    So Gab is apparently ok with any kind of speech. I'm not sure why that would be tempered by the presence of Nazis. I mean, I know why in certain circles it would be a problem, but those aren't Libertarian circles soooo?

  • Douchebag McEvil||

    Also, off topic, can I say I have had it with the practice of splitting humanity into groups based on irrelevant surface traits.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Shit, dude. What are you, some kind of individualist?

  • ||

    "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

    Martin Luther King, Jr.
    https://www.brainyquote.com/ quotes/martin_luther_king_jr_115056

    Sone of the very same people who stood up to police and soldiers to support the ideas promoted by King 50 years ago now repudiate this statement with every tweet and comnent.

    I need to do some research to see if his widow and children have done so yet.

  • shawn_dude||

    The internet runs on hypocrisy. It's fuel.

  • damikesc||

    Libertarians should APPLAUD sites that allow Nazis to speak.

    Because if Nazis are banned from speaking, it simply shows that they will ban other unpopular views. And, well, Libertarianism polls poorly, as a rule.

    If Nazis are allowed, then I'd be allowed also.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Eh, not really true. I've been banned from Stormfront so many times.

  • damikesc||

    Not sites run by Nazis.

    Or run by Progs.

    ...which, really, are the same thing anyway. Twitter is run by Nazis the Progs like.

  • shawn_dude||

    Wait... so Twitter is anti-Jew and looking for the "final solution?" Or is this just some pointless hyperbole because calling people Nazis is bad, sorta like calling them "fag?"

  • tzx4||

    Socialist, Fascist, Communist, Marxist, and other terms have lost all meaning in a culture that is ignorant of political science, and is eagerly looking for smear words to prevail in debates that have nothing to do with reason and logic, rather on scoring hurt, discredit, and hate points against those we disagree with.

  • Sevo||

    "Socialist, Fascist, Communist, Marxist, and other terms have lost all meaning in a culture that is ignorant of political science,"

    In all four of those labels, the intent is to 'socialize' benefits, so you're forgive most of the folks here if they are not particularly interested in the details which really reflect little difference.
    Yes, they are all "socialist" in practice and all lead to direct control over the live if individuals, and 3 of the four are notorious for the tendency toward mass murder.
    Now, what has political science to say to that?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    They didn't want you stealing their Nazi women. You wouldn't like them anyway, BUCS. Their pubic hair is shaved into little Hitler moustaches.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    They probably just realized I was fucking with them. Stormfront is great for asking innocent questions and watching them dissolve trying to argue against themselves. They do not bear well under any level of scrutiny.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Fuck you for making me realize that i'm kinda into that, Chipper.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think that's just a Brazilian. Which really changes my interpretation of The Boys From Brazil.

  • shawn_dude||

    I applaud the fact that Nazis can form their own social sites on the internet despite how much I am repulsed by Nazis. I also think it is perfectly fine to ban Nazis on sites because they are privately owned and should be able to ban whatever they like within the limits of the law.

    Having said that, I'd never, ever create an account on a site that explicitly welcomes and is known for a population of Nazis. I don't want to be associated with extremists; it does nothing positive for my own life.

    It's interesting how the end of Net Neutrality could be bad both for myself and Nazis. Comcast, being a monopoly in my area, gets to decide how much internet I'm allowed to consume and which parts I'm allowed to see.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The opposition to parties like the National Front in France has to rely on criticizing things that were said 20 years ago by people who are no longer associated with the party. I think that accounts for a big chunk of their popularity. If it weren't for France's hate speech laws, laws criminalizing holocaust denial, etc., the National Front would be discrediting itself with its own speech on a regular basis.

    Nothing discredits the Nazis like giving them a microphone and letting them say whatever they want. So long as the Nazis are free to speak in this country, I doubt we'll ever see a party in the U.S. enjoy the popularity the National Front has in France. Yes, give the Nazis a microphone, and please put them on TV, too--so we can all marvel at the stupid, evil shit they say.

  • mtrueman||

    "Yes, give the Nazis a microphone, and please put them on TV, too--so we can all marvel at the stupid, evil shit they say."

    It's Nazis organizing we anti-fascists should be worrying about. It's efforts to disrupt their ability to organize that have results, like the disruption of their rally in Charlottesville a couple of years back. Nazis, anti-semites, klansmen, anti-muslims, alt-rightists, white supremists, nationalists, slavers etc haven't been able to mount anything comparable since. They are cowards and it's important to show this to the world.

  • damikesc||

    Antifa is no better. Literally.

  • shawn_dude||

    "Antifa is no better. Literally."

    This is literally an asinine statement.

    AntiFacists aren't marching in the streets in favor of enthnic cleansing or breaking up the US into "entho states" to bring back the glory days of apartheid. The fascists are marching to take away civil rights of everyone they don't like. AntiFa, for all their negative traits, is merely there to stop the fascists.

    AntiFa's methods leave a lot to be desired, true. But they literally aren't as bad as Nazis, neo-nazis, and other fascists.

  • Sevo||

    shawn_dude|4.2.18 @ 4:23PM|#
    "AntiFacists aren't marching in the streets in favor of enthnic cleansing or breaking up the US into "entho states" to bring back the glory days of apartheid. The fascists are marching to take away civil rights of everyone they don't like. AntiFa, for all their negative traits, is merely there to stop the fascists."

    No, they are not. They are there to use violence to enforce their views. You are a fucking idiot.

  • shawn_dude||

    You mean like the Allies in WWII who fought the Nazis? They used violence to enforce their views as well.

    The use of violence to enforce views is what the US military exists to do. So unless you think that is always a bad thing, maybe I'm not the idiot in this conversation.

  • Sevo||

    shawn_dude|4.2.18 @ 7:00PM|#
    "You mean like the Allies in WWII who fought the Nazis? They used violence to enforce their views as well."
    Are you really trying to gain a rep as a slimy POS who is incapable of honest engagement? You're doing pretty well so far.
    Hint: The Allies in WWII were defending against aggression.

    "The use of violence to enforce views is what the US military exists to do."
    Your stupidity is noted.
    Fuck off.

  • shawn_dude||

    You mean like the Allies in WWII who fought the Nazis? They used violence to enforce their views as well.

    The use of violence to enforce views is what the US military exists to do. So unless you think that is always a bad thing, maybe I'm not the idiot in this conversation.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|4.2.18 @ 2:31PM|#
    "It's Nazis organizing we anti-fascists should be worrying about."

    So on top of being one of the dumbest shits to post here, you're an antifa thug?
    What a scumbag.

  • shawn_dude||

    So if you are against fascism you must be an "antifa thug?"

    Can a person be anti-fascist and not a thug?

    Or are you a pro-Nazi thug?

  • Sevo||

    shawn_dude|4.2.18 @ 4:25PM|#
    So are you really trying to be an asshole, asshole?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    You don't want to, but can't help yourself. Let go, Mikey, and embrace your desires.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Godamnit, this is Red Tony, isn't it.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    You also announced it in the other thread.

  • Douchebag McEvil||

    Ok, but you're not spending time around anyone by using an app.

    Do you...even know what Gab is?

  • shawn_dude||

    Yeah... Gab is the app that the general public understands to be a place for Nazis and other extremists. Regardless of whether or not that is true, if you give someone a Gab contact, they might think this of you. It might even be true, or true enough, in the end. If enough people avoid it such that it only attracts the the people banned elsewhere, it'll be majority extremist and a de facto place for "Nazis."

  • Ken Shultz||

    This article at WSJ about Signal and Telegram makes me wonder . . .

    Facebook Data Scandal Raises Another Question: Can There Be Too Much Privacy?

    Are encrypted messaging apps like Telegram and Signal safeguarding your data, or a threat to society?

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/fa.....1522584000

    . . . if the government starts regulating privacy, it probably won't be just about preventing Facebook from selling your healthcare data (or whatever). It'll probably also be about requiring the disclosure of data by other companies that are trying to protect it from the government.

    There are VPNs that don't keep server logs--so that if they get a subpoena, there's nothing to give. There are new email protocols (see Lavabit) that leave nothing on the server for the provider to hand over to the government and leave the encryption completely on the client side.

    I could see them making it illegal to not keep server logs or to use certain services that don't comply with whatever regulation. These VPNs have U.S. based servers to be near the consuners who connect to them.

    And I'm unpersuaded that the impossibility of enforcing that kind of policy effectively would prevent the government from pursuing it. After all, if the drug war has taught us anything, it's that there is no policy so expensive, futile, and destructive that the government won't continue it for decades.

  • shawn_dude||

    Doesn't even have to be the government. With the death of Net Neutrality, your ISP could decide to ban VPN connections so that it can snoop on your packets and charge you extra to connect to different things on the internet.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    In response, the social media giant noted the difficulty in distinguishing between hateful and heated in "content that may be controversial and at times even distasteful" but which "does not cross the line into hate speech."

    It's almost as if hate speech was maddeningly subjective, difficult to define and impossible to quantify.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Nah, hate speech is easy. You know it when you hear/read it.

  • sarcasmic||

    Hate speech is easy to define. Progressives have good intentions, so anything said that disagrees with them must be born of bad intentions. Of hatred. There is no other explanation. That means that any and all disagreement with the leftist collective is hate speech.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Where official policy does come in is tech companies openly collaborating with governments to censor speech.

    Zuckerberg seems himself as a member of those elite governments. He's essentially an outsourced NGO to the whims of people like Angela Merkel.

  • damikesc||

    Inevitably, that resulted in a purge of not just open bigots, but also people with edgy politics or trollish behavior.

    You misspelled "conservative" there. Progressive "edgy political views" and "trolls" don't seem to have many problems.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Private companies should be able to set their own terms of use. PERIOD!

    Principles.

  • damikesc||

    That ship sailed and those same companies applaud that.

    The only way to change things is to insure everybody suffers under it.

  • Curly4||

    Don't Look to the state to keep social media companies from imposing ideological conformity because the states that would do that are also the states that have the same ideological conformity ideas.

  • shawn_dude||

    Translation:

    Don't look to government to keep private companies from setting their own rules for their businesses and assets.

    ===

    Seriously, you can't say that and also be in favor of cake bakers denying service to same-sex couples. (...and remain ideologically consistent, at least.)

  • Sevo||

    shawn_dude|4.2.18 @ 4:35PM|#
    "Translation:
    Don't look to government to keep private companies from setting their own rules for their businesses and assets.
    ==
    Seriously, you can't say that and also be in favor of cake bakers denying service to same-sex couples. (...and remain ideologically consistent, at least.)"

    WTF is that supposed to mean?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Last week, former Google manager William Echikson wrote that his old employer has shifted from efforts in favor of free speech to trying "to convince authorities in Europe and elsewhere that the internet giant is serious about cracking down on illegal content. The more takedowns it can show, the better." He added that out of eagerness to comply with increasingly draconian directives to suppress unpleasant and inconvenient messages, "legal content is being censored."

    This is yet more evidence that as so-called "new media" companies become established, they adopt an old-media model. What is youtube? It's this network that has shows on it, and the executive team at Youtube (Google) can cancel, fire or de-monetize anyone that offends them or the advertisers. I'm not sure I can quite pinpoint where I've seen this kind of business model before... but it'll come to mind I'm sure.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Hitler?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    If right-wingers wish to continue to marginalize themselves by creating and choosing their own versions of Twitter, Facebook, etc., be my guest. Anything that moves stale thinking to the fringe is fine by me. A conservative Facebook or Twitter should work out just as well as the conservative AARP, the conservative ACLU, the conservative dating sites, etc.

  • Douchebag McEvil||

    He's soooooo old and out of touch

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    A conservative Facebook or Twitter should work out just as well as the conservative AARP, the conservative ACLU, the conservative dating sites, etc.

    How can a social media platform that focuses on unqualified free speech be "ideological"?

  • damikesc||

    The Left no longer pretends to care about free speech.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    By allowing unqualified free speech it's allowing hate speech. And by allowing hate speech it must at least implicitly agree with the content of that speech, or else it wouldn't allow it. That makes any such site deserving of a bike lock to the head.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    And by allowing hate speech it must at least implicitly agree with the content of that speech, or else it wouldn't allow it.

    So when the ACLU defended the Illinois Nazis, they were implicitly in agreement with their message?

    Or wait, you're trolling me.

    Ok, bravo.

  • FreeRadical||

    In Arthur's crabbed thinking, the mere fact that a platform allows conservative content makes it a "conservative" platform. If all the conservatives were to finally flee from Twitter, I doubt he would call it a liberal platform.

  • shawn_dude||

    "How can a social media platform that focuses on unqualified free speech be "ideological"?"

    Interesting question but has nothing to do with the Rev's comment. At least as I understand it, he's rejoicing the marginalization of the far right on little-used sites as a great way to make the mainstream more pleasant for the majority.

    But to answer your own question: easy. I give you, by example: Reason.com. Unqualified* free speech and very openly ideological. It is, after all, a libertarian site.

    Or are you saying that "free speech" by definition cannot be ideological speech?

    * the speech is not entirely unqualified as there are laws against certain forms of threatening speech, etc. Also, "unqualified free speech" itself can be part of specific ideologies. Naziism, ironically, doesn't tolerate unqualified free speech.

  • Sevo||

    Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|4.2.18 @ 1:33PM|#
    "If right-wingers wish to continue to marginalize themselves by creating and choosing their own versions of Twitter, Facebook, etc., be my guest. Anything that moves stale thinking to the fringe is fine by me."
    You're doing a pretty good job already.

    "A conservative Facebook or Twitter should work out just as well as the conservative AARP, the conservative ACLU, the conservative dating sites, etc."
    Or maybe a conservative TV network? Conservative talk radio?
    Your bubble is both strong and stupid. You are simply stupid.

  • tzx4||

    This is the Right Wing dream, let the corporations and the ultra rich have as much freedom as is possible. If Google, YouTube or Facebook kick you off because they disagree with your ideology, that is their right. Go found your own online video or social network.
    I'm torn, what recourse do the people have against plutocrats monopolies if not a democratically elected government "Of the People, by the Peopl,e and for the People"?

  • Sevo||

    tzx4|4.2.18 @ 8:54PM|#
    "I'm torn, what recourse do the people have against plutocrats monopolies if not a democratically elected government "Of the People, by the Peopl,e and for the People"?"

    Uh, spend your money somewhere else? Is that hard?

  • Priscilla King||

    Conservative-friendly social sites have been formed. Nothing happened. Few conservatives chat online and those who were willing to chat wanted to advertise businesses, books, religions, etc. Freedom Connector was a great idea but nothing ever happened there.

    Seems site owners don't need to worry...if you just set up a social/blog/chat/picture site, you'll get a majority-left-leaning crowd; in the same way that, if you just sell lipstick, you'll get a majority-female customer base.

    (Young people, it is up to YOU to change this! :-D )

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