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Free Minds & Free Markets

D.C. Unfriends Silicon Valley

Social media execs did themselves no favors by becoming so closely identified with the Democratic Party.

Joanna AndreassonJoanna AndreassonSocial media execs did themselves no favors by becoming so closely identified with the Democratic Party and, more broadly, the elite progressive left. Now the industry's politically charmed existence, in which it enjoyed deregulatory Republicans as allies, has come to an abrupt end.

This politicization is a recent phenomenon. When tech companies were manufacturing hardware—transistors, integrated circuits, PCs—or selling shrink-wrapped software, their executives' political preferences didn't matter. A static RAM chip can't deplatform dissenters, and neither can Microsoft Word. But on the post-1990s internet, fortunes are made by creating public platforms. The news articles, search results, and even posts from friends that you see are selected for you by algorithms using inscrutable machine learning techniques. This process, which involves judging whether sources are legitimate, deciding what groups will be muzzled, and wrestling with epistemological questions about truth in headlines, is necessarily politically charged.

Tech firms could choose to create neutral platforms—for instance, by allowing users to say whatever they like as long as it's legal. They could turn responsibility for making those judgment calls over to third parties, allowing users to choose between competing services. They could make it clear that libertarians and conservatives are valued employees. At the very least, their executives could refrain from ostracizing supporters of the rival political party.

Instead, we've been treated to a series of news reports about then–Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt's intimate relationship with the Clinton campaign (with details helpfully filled in by WikiLeaks), including a photo of Schmidt wearing a "staff" badge at the victory party that turned out not to be one. Other Clinton endorsements included the co-founders or CEOs of Airbnb, Netflix, Dropbox, Tumblr, Zynga, Yelp, 23andMe, and Salesforce.

Yet when then–Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced he was hosting a fundraiser for Trump, a backlash from irate Democrats forced him to cancel it. After Oculus founder Palmer Luckey was fingered as a possible Trump supporter, he got the boot from Facebook (which had previously acquired Oculus for $2 billion). Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted in September that nonliberals "don't feel safe to express their opinions at the company," around the same time the social network moved against both Alex Jones and Emmy Award–winning conservative actor James Woods.

The country has been watching. No fewer than 72 percent of Americans believe it is somewhat or very likely that social media companies "censor political viewpoints they find objectionable," according to Pew Research Center. That rises to 85 percent among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

Given all that, it should come as no surprise that GOP politicians increasingly seem to want to puncture Silicon Valley's liberal bubble. House Judiciary members have threatened to target Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube if they continue to promote liberal news sites over conservative ones. Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, recently warned of tech giants' "influence over our economy and society." Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen lent her signature to a statement saying the administration may "pursue technological, enforcement, legislative, or other measures" to bypass encryption. Then there's the Department of Justice's newfound enthusiasm for antitrust challenges to social media firms.

Democrats, still smarting over what they view as Facebook's role in the 2016 election, are not defending the free market either. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, co-author of a key section of federal law immunizing internet companies from liability for what their users post, now wants to revise that provision. "Were Twitter to lose the protections I wrote into law, within 24 hours its potential liabilities would be many multiples of its assets and its stock would be worthless," the Democrat wrote. Now that's a threat.

All of this comes as such awful ideas as a legal ban on private Facebook groups are bubbling up in Europe. Had Silicon Valley's billionaires remained focused on users instead of partisan politicking, they could have asked the White House for help fending off the worst proposals abroad and at home. Doing so now will be far more difficult—and they have mostly themselves to blame.

Photo Credit: drante/iStock

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  • Inigo Montoya||

    Two thoughts: if you are business executive, especially ina for-profit company, it's wise to keep your political opinions mostly private. Especially in an era when people care far too much about which Bozo is in charge, why run the risk of alienating half of your customer base?

    Second thought: These 50th anniversary designs from Johanna Andreasson are great! I've been admiring the retro typeface and colors. Nicely done!

  • Brett Bellmore||

    The problem is they reached a tipping point where there were enough leftists in management that everybody who wasn't a leftist got purged. After that, with nobody who disagrees, even the most stupidly extreme forms of action start to seem reasonable, due to lack of internal push-back.

    There's nobody in management now who's inclined to see political bias as a problem anymore, because they've all got the same bias.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Exactly, the explicit threats made to James Damore by his colleagues are an example of what is tolerated at the company. Wrongthink will be eradicated.

  • Trollificus||

    HIs fairly reasonable assessment of Google's diversity and equity programs was deemed unacceptably harmful to the environment of the company, while ugly internal comments like "I not only could not work with him, I would actively try to sabotage any of his efforts I could." were excused as "free expression". In my mind the latter comment comes from someone who should be an EX-employee very soon.

    It also demonstrates a failure, or abandonment of, rational thought. I certainly never believed pomo "critical theory" could damage college students so powerfully and quickly, but here we are.

  • damikesc||

    That Dorsey ADMITS that non-progs feel unable to speak up at his company is one of the most damning indictments of a corporate culture I've ever seen.

  • KevinP||

    Class Action Complaint against Google for Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

    Actual quotes:

    George Sadlier ("Sadlier"), a Director, sent out a mass email condemning James' essay as "repulsive and intellectually dishonest" and promising an HR investigation into Damore. Damore received a late-night email from Alex Hidalgo, an engineer at Google in Sadlier's organization: "You're a misogynist and a terrible person. I will keep hounding you until one of us is fired. F*** you."

    Adam Fletcher ("Fletcher"), L6 SRE Manager stated in reference to conservatives as "hostile voices," "I will never, ever hire/transfer you onto my team. Ever. I don't care if you are perfect fit or technically excellent or whatever. I will actively not work with you, even to the point where your team or product is impacted by this decision. I'll communicate why to your manager if it comes up."

    Kim Burchett ("Burchett"), L7 SWE Manager, proposed creating an online companywide blacklist of political conservatives inside Google.

    Another manager, Collin Winter, posted threats directed at a Google employee as a result of raising concerns of harassment and discrimination to Urs Holzle. Winter stated: "I keep a written blacklist of people whom I will never allow on or near my team, based on how they view and treat their coworkers. That blacklist got a little longer today."
  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anti-Trust is a great way to get these companies to respect their fiduciary duty to their stockholders.

    These Lefties that are using corporations to push Lefty agendas always forget about their Corporate Charters and contractual obligations to the Public and their stockholders.

    If I held stock at one of these companies and lost a cent after their Lefty publicity schemes backfires, I would sue their asses.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Should the election go well, maybe we can get Cruz to start a new version of the McCarthy hearings so we can destroy these leftist subversives. They are likely guilty of a variety of federal crimes. A new AG will help a lot too.

  • vek||

    Seriously. These people need to be getting sued left and right by people. They have arguably broken a lot of laws. They violate their own TOSs. They've discriminated against employees. They have made in kind political contributions that went un reported. They're not living up to their fiduciary duties. On and on.

    Given that these tools have billions and billions of dollars... I don't see why more greedy conservative lawyers aren't chomping at the bit to sue the shit out of them. If I was a lawyer I'd probably go after them on some of these issues.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    I truly wish my favorite youtube channels would up sticks and get on a new platform because I am not too fond of giving my clicks and viewings to a Google platform after reading those back when they came out. It's pretty disgusting that politics has become so completely nasty and reductive. The progressive agenda to make the personal the political is destroying society. Good faith and cooperation are being eaten away by highly partisan, ignorant hatred.

  • vek||

    Keep posting that they should throw their stuff up on Bitchute or other alternatives! Some of them may do it eventually.

  • CE||

    I don't care if you are perfect fit or technically excellent or whatever. I will actively not work with you, even to the point where your team or product is impacted by this decision. I'll communicate why to your manager if it comes up.

    At which point the second manager should report the first manager to upper management, for trying to sabotage the company.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    I guess I have an outsider's perspective, but I think it also stems from black and white thinking. If an executive who's a Democrat actually believes Republicans are Hitler, of course you don't want any of them in the office. But a lack of critical thinking skills or even a sense of proportion is problematic for someone like that. You'd think people at that level would have a better sense of what really matters to a business and what doesn't.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    The problem is they reached a tipping point where there were enough leftists in management that everybody who wasn't a leftist got purged.

    True, but tell me something: how is that any different than what has been going on here at Reason over the last eight to ten years? Welchie Boy is now hiring people from Bob Menendez' staff!

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You're right. Why didn't Matt Welch hire some of those talented and gifted writers from Breitbart.com or IHateLiberals.com?

  • damikesc||

    Because there is no middle ground from "Bob Menendez' staff" and "Ihateliberals.com"?

    They're right next to each other on a political continuum.

  • JesseAz||

    At least Jeff has forgone his attention at psuedo intellectual discourse. Finally embracing the partisan ignorance he loves.

  • JesseAz||

    Attempts*. Autocorrect is weird sometimes.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    You always have the power to reread and self-edit.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    At least the Breitbart people are reasonable. Little Lefty, quit trying to draw false equivalence between the right and the evil on the left.

  • vek||

    Shit, even Milo is a more libertarian writer than half the Reason staff is anymore! He's not very libertarian on many issues, but he's faaar better than them on other issues. Almost certainly better than anybody who has associated with a Democratic politician in the last 20-30 years.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    It's not any different at all. It's exactly the same phenomenon.

    Once you let in the progs, they set out to take your organization over from within. Unless they're opposed, eventually they succeed. Robert Conquest identified and described the phenomenon decades ago.

    That "liberalitarian" alliance a few years back was just stupidly suicidal.

  • Ride 'Em||

    Correct BB. It is what happened at outdoor organizations like the Sierra Club or the World WildlifeFederation both of which initially had hunters on the boards. Now, both organizations just want to allow only themselves enjoy the outdoors and outlaw hunters and fishermen. They both lost me as a member and supporter.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If you are a business executive, especially in a for-profit company, it's wise to keep your political opinions mostly private."

    If you're a business owner who's made a fortune, it behooves you to buy yourself a left-wing media outlet to insulate yourself from criticism. See Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos among other examples. Not only does that help prevent the people who work for you from criticizing you, but it also discourages people who might want to work for you someday from going after you. Meanwhile, if the more prominent danger is politicians and political interests on the left coming after you because you're wealthy, those are the people you want to buy off with favorable coverage. If people on the right won't come after you just because you're wealthy, why bother trying to assuage them?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hey Ken have you seen the leak for Amazon HQ2 this weekend?

    Supposedly the #1 pick is Virginia right near Ronald Reagan airport.

    Then the media back tracked that NYC and Dallas were still in the top picks.

    I figured ATL would be the top pick because the South is growing like crazy or Texas because its central USA and both have relatively low taxation and regulation. That and Bezos might want to quietly distance his company from the Lefty nutjobs in Seattle by making HQ2 the only HQ and close down HQ1.

    NYC and near D.C. would be total power plays to be close to the elite power structure. I wonder how the propagandists would spin these locations as good for Amazon as a company.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, I'd think Austin would make a ton of sense from a purely pragmatic standpoint.

    DC also makes a ton of sense--if you think about a different kind of pragmatism. As Amazon continues to strangle the rest of the economy, becomes a media powerhouse, and seeks to leverage its dominance with regulation, of course, DC is where the action is.

  • Cy||

    DFW is already a major hub for most logistics networks. The airports, taxes and room to grow are very attractive too. I just wish we had mountains or oceans... It's pretty boring from a outdoor/fun perspective.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The outdoor similarity to Washington State and major transportation hub points are why I thought ATL would be the place. Its not centrally located in the USA but ATL airport is the busiest airport in the World and capable of handling massive UPS, USPS, FedEx, and Amazon delivery packaging needs.

    D.C. makes sense if your corporate cronies need to visit government bureaucrats a lot.

  • Ride 'Em||

    I was hoping for it to be built in Maryland. The deal they offered would have put a strain on Maryland's resources with not enough to pay for them. Although my assumption is that Amazon will put the HQ2 in a red state and then move a bunch of progressives there.

  • vek||

    As somebody who lives in Seattle... If only that asshole had had this idea 10 years ago! Seattle was a proggie city back then, but it really wasn't THAT bad. But because we've had a ton of people coming here, 99% of whom were crazy leftists, it's pushed it over the cliff.

    I personally think they're going to go for one of their southern/low tax areas. It just makes sense for soooo many reasons. They MAY choose Austin, because it's known as being prog friendly. But most of the other cities are center left anyway, just in a sea of Red. Any of them would work fine, because Amazon is big enough where they can import their own workers no problem, not relying on local hiring or having a big tech scene in place.

    The Reason DC area makes no sense is because it doesn't offer any of the cost of living/better taxes things... And they don't REALLY need HQ2 to be there just to lobby. They already have a modest office there. If they need to double that to lobby, fine. But there's no need to incur extra costs for 50,000 people NOT involved in lobbying just to do that.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    I'm old enough to remember when the mainstream media criticized Silicon Valley for not being involved enough in electoral politics and lobbying. That was circa 1990.

    Then Clinton got elected, and the FTC and Justice went after Microsoft on anti-trust in 1993. That's when tech became political.

    The Democrats posed a much greater threat to Silicon Valley, so it was natural to align with them. Democrats had already established their bona fides with Hollywood when it came to protecting intellectual property rights, so there was nothing to fear on that very important front. Democrats were also quite protective of the tax shelters enjoyed by their venture capital and hedge fund backers, so nothing to fear there either. Clinton was not a Marxist loon, and he was famously interested in campaign donations.

  • CE||

    I'm old enough to remember when Silicon Valley made silicon, and was run by libertarians.....

  • John's broseph||

    Tech companies spitting in the face of the party sympathetic to less regulation will be a business case study in 20 years. They will now face a steady stream of calls for anti trust investigations, and calls to make them liable for what's published on their platform.

    The politization of business in general is an odd phenomenon. Delta coming out against the state of Georgia, dicks/REI coming out against guns. It's really a window into the world of the upperclass.

  • damikesc||

    It is sheer idiocy.

    As far as the liability demands, when one decides to eschew their protections, they should forfeit said protections.

  • Trollificus||

    I think the protections they are at risk of forgoing are the Section 230 ones that protect them as a "neutral platform", like a television set for people's expressions, and therefore not responsible for them. When they start "cherry picking", or "moderating" or "curating" the content on their sites, they become a publisher, and those Section 230 protections that Wyden refers to are moot.

    It's a very valid threat. And since we've seen the proggies can NOT control themselves when in possession of any power, on that may need to be brought down. Hard.

  • damikesc||

    I do not get why libertarians have such issues with anti-trust laws. Few things are less capitalistic or less pro-free market than a monopoly.

    Large corporations are no more free market than the Politburo.

  • CLM1227||

    I think, like Open borders vs welfare state, that the underlying assumption of a world with no cronyism or regulations interferes with the realities of monopolies in our world.

    In the non-theoretical world, politicians pander to the wealthiest for large donations to fund campaigns and power-hungry execs weaponize regulations to stymie competition.

    If the government is anti-trust, then it disincentives murdering your competition through business destroying regulation that competitors can't afford.

    If all the little places stay functional, no one is breaking up your business at the point of a gun.

  • CLM1227||

    I think, like Open borders vs welfare state, that the underlying assumption of a world with no cronyism or regulations interferes with the realities of monopolies in our world.

    In the non-theoretical world, politicians pander to the wealthiest for large donations to fund campaigns and power-hungry execs weaponize regulations to stymie competition.

    If the government is anti-trust, then it disincentives murdering your competition through business destroying regulation that competitors can't afford.

    If all the little places stay functional, no one is breaking up your business at the point of a gun.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    I think it's yet to be proven whether a monopoly can form in a true free market.

    I believe all the examples of near monopolies in the last 50 years can be traced to governmental meddling in the market either in the form of purchasing, perking, or regulating.

    Even the so called monopolies have not lasted very long as monopolies in recent years.

  • JesseAz||

    Libertarians don't have a huge problem with anti trust in general. The issue is when it is misapplied. Monopolies are fine as long as they aren't engaging in means to limit competition.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Exactly JesseAz.

    A company that becomes a monopoly because of bad business decisions of its competition is perfectly okay.

    A company stepping out of a free market environment to use government to prevent competition deserves to have their Corporate Charter enforced by government.

  • damikesc||

    I'd argue Google hits that mark. And pretty consistently. Them basically owning online ads is a massive, massive problem.

    I'd also argue ALL social media should be liable for every single word put on their service.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    That's funny. All the conservatives on here taught me that businessmen only care about profits, and that Mackey's conscious capitalism is total bullshit.

  • John||

    Small businessmen only care about profits because they usually have no choice but to do so. Big corporations often care about things that have nothing to do with profits. There is a sense in a big corporation that it will always be there and it is okay for top managers to indulge in things that have nothing to do with profits. Big corporations insulate their top managers from immediate consiquences of their decisions in a way that small businesses do not. This allows executives to rationalize their private quests for meaning and such as being "what is best for the company".

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Publicly held corporations corporations with diverse investor bases tend to be focused on profits. Their investor base is too diverse for them to get into political / social fights that don't directly impact their bottom line.

    It's the closely held corporations with a single individual investor or a small group of individual investors who have actual or effective majority control that tend to become political.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I think high profile Social media companies just think they are immune to their Lefty schemes backfiring and destroying their companies.

    Sears and ToysRus going under have pretty clear economic factors with some bad leadership decisions mixed in.

    Facebook going under will never be attributed to Zuckerberg's political schemes backfiring.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It's too bad that when Facebook finally flames out that Zuck will still be dynastically wealthy. If anyone deserves to live in an alley and eat of trash cans, it's him. Maybe a new Aag can find a reason to lock his ass up.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Even the owners of small businesses care about business results other than profit. Sure, profit is essential to survival, but I've had experience with small business owners who were happy to sacrifice profits to other objectives like hiring an idiot nephew, keeping a inept and expensive supplier because she was a friend, buying and operating corporate aircraft for prestige, etc., as well as various charitable donations.

  • Fancylad||

    Oh? Who?

  • Sevo||

    "That's funny. All the conservatives on here taught me that businessmen only care about profits, and that Mackey's conscious capitalism is total bullshit."

    Equally funny: All the lefty imbeciles here taught me that lefties care about people instead of power. Really!

  • JesseAz||

    Who is saying this? Yes, profit is a motivation for the board per laws regarding shareholder interests. But there is also maintainability if a viable company that is also an interest. Social justice pursuits are idiotic and often again shareholder interests.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    They are concerned about profits. They're taking their profits in the form of political influence, rather than money.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    +1

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Did Reason skip right over the Don Lemon calling white men terrorists on CNN thing last week? He is a very racist person.

  • Longtobefree||

    But that's different.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Yeah, but I didn't know where to post it so here it is. I wanted to squeeze some lemon puns out of the commentariat.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Unless of course you were being /sarc and were pointing it out as another example of institutional politicisation yada yada. In which case I still want my lemon puns.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Perhaps Don Lemon was being sarcastic. Is he known to have acid wit?

  • 68W58||

    He is somewhat tart.

  • damikesc||

    He is somewhat re-tart-ed.

    Thanks. Will be here all week. Tip your waitress.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    But he didn't say that. He said that the biggest terror threat comes from radicals on the right who happen to be mostly white men. He didn't accuse all white men of being terrorists.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    "The biggest terror threat in this country is white men... there is no travel ban on them."

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    "the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them."

    "There is no 'white guy ban.' So what do we do about that?"

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    It's also complete and total bullshit, considering that blacks commit about ten or eleven times the amount of violent crime as whites on a per capita basis.

    But since they mostly terrorize their own neighborhoods, that's quite alright with their white liberal overseers.

  • damikesc||

    It's also complete and total bullshit, considering that blacks commit about ten or eleven times the amount of violent crime as whites on a per capita basis.

    Well, Don is the token black in his neighborhood, so it's no threat to him.

  • vek||

    Hey now, don't leave Hispanics out of this! They're still about 5 times more likely to murder people than whites on a per capita basis, and that ain't chopped liver! Although MS-13 is rather keen on chopping peoples livers with machetes...

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    That's right. He's saying that the biggest threat due to terrorism today comes from white men. He's not accusing all white men of being terrorists.

  • Sarah Palin's Buttplug||

    And Lemon is correct (in the US at least). Right wing terrorism perpetuated by angry white men has become the primary terrorism threat. Last weekend the MAGA bomber and the Anti-Semitic Pittsburgh shooter are prime examples.

  • Sevo||

    Total number of turd's posts which are not lies:
    Zero.

  • JesseAz||

    So you're ignoring the numerous examples from the left which far outnumber the two incidents you point to? Attempted stabbing, multiple assaults, fake ricin attacks, real ricin attacks, doxxing of senators home addresses, arson, shooting of GOP offices, vandalism... But you keep pointing to those two, he latter of which was even anti trump and anti GOP.

    By the way, read the new York times story where they admit to not publishing anti semetic attacks in NYC because it cant be tied to groups on the right.

    And futhermore... He two biggest terrorist hits the last few years we're done by Muslims; Boston bombing, pulse nightclub, California offices shootout. But keep pushing that narrative.

  • KevinP||

    Slate: Mass Shooters Aren't Disproportionately White
    http://www.slate.com/articles/.....phics.html

  • vek||

    I remember reading that when it came out... Surprising that Slate would publish such a thing!

    But ZOMG, Asians and Blacks are overrepresented in mass shootings!!! Who woulda thunk with all the media hysteria blaming it ALL on white men exclusively? Especially Asians. LOL

  • Azathoth!!||

    And he's wrong.

    The media has defined the largest source of domestic terror out of the mix.

    It is the single biggest terror related killer of Americans there is. It kills more each year than 9/11.

    The terrorist groups are nationwide. They openly publish threats an what they'll do if anyone tries to stop them

    And yet we rarely, if ever hear about it.

    Why?

    Because the people who face it's worst wrath are minorities. People who only matter at election time--or when a Democrat needs a club/scapegoat/distraction.

    And because the terror is so ingrained now that the people see it as part of who they are. They live with a level of constant terror and don't even see it anymore--but they keep their mouths shut. They allow the terrorists to prey upon them--lest worse happen.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Are you referring to the cops.

  • Azathoth!!||

    No.

    You are a sad one, aren't you?

  • vek||

    Come on man, the Bloods, MS-13, and other such organizations are just peace loving fraternal societies! Sure they have to bust some caps off in peoples asses from time to time to protect their territory, but it's all in good fun!

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Potato potato, contrariannastyjeff. He is absolutely wrong and the point is not quibbling over semantics to try and legitimize your cynical, smug argument, it's that he is not held to the same standards as more conservative commentators. His words are rooted in collectivist ideology and conflate skin color with religious beliefs. Isn't that what those nasty people who disagree with you do? Those nasty right wing extremists who dare to question when a TV news host suggests that "the biggest a terror threat comes from white men"? If you want to get into a semantic argument to avoid the outright stupidity of that statement, you will notice I did not say all white men in my original comment, and consciously did so. He is speaking from a position of being highly invested in identity politics. In your infinite, cynical, and callous arrogance you have assumed that I do not understand the preoccupation with white identity to be just another form of identity politics, and it's convenient for you or buttplug to conflate me with those "rednecks". What most people call a redneck, he ain't nothin' but a workin' man. He makes his livin' by the sweat off his brow and the calluses on his hands.

    Don Lemon is very, very, very wrong, both factually, and to make the issue of "who's the biggest terrorists" just another partisan wedge. You hate that when the nasty conservatives do it, so why is it absolutely fine and definitely correct when progressives do it?

  • vek||

    How 'bout that per capita basis thing bro?

    I'm too lazy to Google, but IIRC Muslim Americans (of all ethnicities) are something like 10,000 times more likely to commit terrorist acts than any other group... So how about them apples?

    NO SHIT that white people "should" commit more of any and all crimes in a country that is mostly white people! The funny thing is WE DON'T. Blacks commit ~50% of murders, Hispanics ~35%, leaving a mere ~15% of murders for whites, Asians, and everybody else to commit every year.

    Facts are tough, I know... But you can't expect facts to jive with what you want them to be all the time buddy.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Silly chemjeff. When a white man commits murder, it's just a sick and depraved individual. When an illegal immigrant commits murder, he's representative of the whole class of millions. When a muslim commits murder, he speaks for the moral character of a billion people!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Poor CMB does not see thru Lefty propaganda that hides Nazis from being the Socialists that they were/are and lumps any action to put America first as racist, bigoted, and xenophobic.

    Yeah, keep peddling your lefty bullshit.

    What's your address so I can send you a bag of dicks?

  • Sarah Palin's Buttplug||

    How was the Trump rally in Macon, you little disphit?

    Was there a Klan rally later?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    His mom didn't let him go, because he was too busy posting on Reason and didn't clean his room.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its a Trump rally, so no KKK.

    The KKK are Lefties, so they are the Democrats.

  • damikesc||

    And that is why Dems spent so long trying to mask their problems.

    The Civil War wasn't a war between North and South. It was between Republicans and Democrats. Northers Democrats wanted peace with the Confederacy and to keep slavery as it was.

    Jim Crow wasn't an American problem. It impacted Democrats EXCLUSIVELY. Republican states did not enact those laws.

    The Klan was the domestic terrorism wing of the Democrat Party. They never were Republicans. Most of the current KKK members are fogies who are STILL Democrat. David Duke is known because he is one of the few who says he is not a Democrat.

    Democrats know that conservatives will defend America against unfair slander, so they simply take ALL of their negatives and blame it on America, not Democrats. And Republicans spent YEARS fighting this.

    Quit it. Admit the problems. Hell, even point out that Democrats killed the entire 40 acres and a mule policy that Republicans were seeking to enact.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I am really glad to hear black groups discussing leaving the Democratic Party to start a new party because of the racist origins of the Democratic Party. I never really heard people openly discuss that before. Some are scared because leaving a majority party means losing all their influence.

    The black folks that dont want to be corrupt left for the GOP, to vote independent, be Libertarians or whatever.

    My neighbors, who happen to be black, with a Trump sign would make Tony's head explode.

  • damikesc||

    I am really glad to hear black groups discussing leaving the Democratic Party to start a new party because of the racist origins of the Democratic Party. I never really heard people openly discuss that before. Some are scared because leaving a majority party means losing all their influence.

    Small problem --- blacks switched from Republican to Democrat during the height of Jim Crow. The meager financial benefits the Dem leadership offered combined with the Republican inability to actually protect them made their decision an easy one. Sad, but easy.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    And that's Don Lemon's larger point, yes. Which is something that you'd think anti-collectivist libertarians could actually find some agreement with. It's not right to collectivize an entire group of people based on the actions of a few people, regardless if that group is composed of white men or Muslims or undocumented immigrants.

  • Don Glover||

    If one chooses to identify as a certain religion, they are expressing a belief in at least some of it's ideas. Can I be predjudiced against Mormons? Should I assume nothing about Mormons? If so, why label them, why do they label themselves?

    How is that like race?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You *can* be prejudiced against anyone you like. Go right ahead. But don't be surprised if others judge you for your actions and beliefs.

    And it's frankly due to bigotry on all sides that people take superficial characteristics, such as skin color or religious affiliation, and use that to cast judgment on the entire class of people.

    If I identify as Mormon, does that necessarily mean that I endorse everything that the LDS leaders decree? Or does it mean that I am more "culturally" Mormon, and I have disagreements with what LDS leaders preach? Or does it mean that I am more "hardcore" Mormon, and I disagree with LDS leaders because I don't think they go far enough? Just the "Mormon" label reveals none of this about the individual.

  • Sevo||

    chemjeff radical individualist|11.5.18 @ 9:51AM|#
    "And it's frankly due to bigotry on all sides that people take superficial characteristics, such as skin color or religious affiliation, and use that to cast judgment on the entire class of people."

    Yes, being born a certain race is exactly like choosing to believe something.
    Is it any wonder that lefties are laughingstocks?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Most people don't choose their religion, dumdum.

  • vek||

    Here's the thing Jeff:

    There are still things called statistics.

    And the problem is that statistics are actually VERY useful for figuring things out on the large scale. You should never assume anything about any individual when you meet them... But when one is talking about moving 10,000,000 people around from one nation to another, they're ON THE WHOLE going to have statistical averages that come into play.

    The thing is, these things matter. That Muslims are literally thousands of times more likely per capita to commit terrorist acts is not a trivial matter if one is discussing allowing in many millions of Muslims into your country. Likewise with Hispanic immigration. Hispanic crime rates are far higher than those for all groups in the US other than blacks. This is a fact. Not to mention they're poor, net negative tax payers, etc.

    So the INDIVIDUALISTIC thing to do, would be to sort such people and only allow in those that are likely to not have problems. Otherwise, you could just ban them entirely and let in nothing but unproblematic groups like Indians, Chinese, etc.

    Statistics don't help you judge individuals, but one is a fool to ignore them when one is talking about statistical level issues.

  • John||

    No. When an illegal alien commits murder it is a failure of the government to have kept him out of the country in the first place.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    "When a lunatic shoots up a preschool, it is a failure of the government to have kept the guns out of his hands in the first place."

    Or, we could place the blame where it belongs - on the individual committing the action.

  • Azathoth!!||

    No. When an illegal alien commits murder it is a failure of the government to have kept him out of the country in the first place.

    Maintaining the borders is a responsibility of the government that is written into the Constitution.

    "When a lunatic shoots up a preschool, it is a failure of the government to have kept the guns out of his hands in the first place."

    Taking arms from the hands of the populace is not.

    Divining who will commit crimes in the future is not.

  • JesseAz||

    Jeff is really bad are intellectual arguments.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "Maintaining the borders is a responsibility of the government that is written into the Constitution."

    Odd then that the US had completely open boarders with zero entry restrictions (no even health) from 1789 until 1875 (when the first entry restrictions were passed, barring prostitutes and convicts).

  • loveconstitution1789||

    US Constitution, Article I, Section 9.
    The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.

    The US did NOT have open borders, ever.

    The USA had very relaxed border restrictions at various times since 1776.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Can you really expect to be taken seriously when you can't understand that allowing open boarding is completely different from maintaining the borders?

    Or, ignoring my use of your misspelling to give you an additional spanking, how one can have no disqualifying restrictions while still having a controlled border.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    tell me again what the total welfare and safety net spending of the US government was during that time.

  • vek||

    That's one of the main points people refuse to accept... Circumstances change. There was ZERO chance back in those days of having 10s of millions of people come from wildly disparate cultures. And even if they had, there were no transfer payments, welfare, etc. The US in those days was wealthier than most other countries on earth... But not by factors of 10-20 fold like we are today.

    The incentive has changed, in that we're more better-er than a lot of places in relative terms than we were then, AND technology has made it more feasible for people from these poor places to move here easily.

    Some policies are universal and should never be changed... Freedom of speech for instance. But some policies need to adjust for the times. Immigration is one of them. No 1st world nation can survive as a 1st world nation with open borders. PERIOD. So if you want to maintain a 1st world nation, you need to restrict who is coming in.

  • Don Glover||

    Wait...white is a race, that makes it racist. Illegal immigrant has no racial component, not a race. Mulsim is a religion/ideology not a race.

    One of these things is a product of birth that should not be prejudged, the other two are not. I can judge people on their actions and beliefs, can't I?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Silly chemjeff. When a white man commits murder, it's just a sick and depraved individual. When an illegal immigrant commits murder, he's representative of the whole class of millions. When a muslim commits murder, he speaks for the moral character of a billion people!

    Clearly you slept during history class in school, AND during every newscast and media presentation 50 years.

    ALL white men are guilty of slavery.
    ALL white men are guilty of genocide.
    ALL white men are guilty of exploiting everyone everywhere.

    ONLY white men are serial killers
    ONLY white men are spree killers
    ONLY white men go on shooting rampages.

    Because everyone else has had their guilt washed away with the blood of their victims

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    I'm disappointed in you, CMB. Way to reduce my argument to some kind of reactionary partisan shit. Lemon is factually wrong, opinion or no, and I am disagreeing with both his assertion, and his decision to cynically use "who is the biggest terrorist?!?!!!" as a partisan wedge.

  • Sarah Palin's Buttplug||

    He didn't accuse all white men of being terrorists.

    Lemon done went and triggered them redneck snowflakes.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    And here come Little Lefty to be the Don Lemon apologist.

    How expected.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Reason skips over a bunch of stuff.

    Lefty Propagandists usually do.

  • Fancylad||

    "It's okay when we do it™"

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Have you been listening to Wilkow? He suggested they print that on bright blue t-shirts.

  • Jerryskids||

    Had Silicon Valley's billionaires remained focused on users instead of partisan politicking, they could have asked the White House for help fending off the worst proposals abroad and at home. Doing so now will be far more difficult—and they have mostly themselves to blame.

    You mean like Bill Gates when Microsoft had a miniscule presence on K Street until the Justice Department had a friendly conversation with him about what a nice business he had there and what a shame it would be if something bad were to happen to it? I'm not so sure that Big Tech and Big Government have an incestuous relationship so much as a hostage situation going on.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    That's a fair point, Microsoft DID get in trouble by thinking they could avoid politics altogether.

    The modern tech giants are making a different mistake, they're getting in trouble by picking a side, instead of being on friendly terms with both sides.

  • damikesc||

    Indeed. Younger conservatives actively want to see those fuckers nailed to the wall.

  • vek||

    The best part about it all is that big Fortune 500 companies have been playing the game forever... Just donate about the same amount of ransom money every year to both sides! WIN!

    Yet the idiots in Silicon Valley are too dumb to do that. Now they find themselves pissing off half of the country, and I suspect it's going to bite them in the ass hard sooner or later.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You mean the Clinton DOJ was thuggish and threatening. The HELL you say!

  • Cy||

    Promoting forced equality, socialism and communism are threats of violence. It's ironic that they censor people for threatening individuals or special groups, but if someone wants to cheer on 'top men' pointing their guns and deciding picking who gets to keep their own money, well, that's A OK!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    More reasons to cleanse our country of progressivism. We can't be free as long as it remains.

  • Sarah Palin's Buttplug||

    Democrats helped their case with Silicon Valley by promoting an Open Internet - which the GOP opposes. Somehow this fact is missed by the editorial.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The Democrats promoted a regulatory capture scheme that would give Silicon Valley an advantage in negotiating traffic pricing against the ISPs. That is, letting them get out from paying for the strain they put on the provider networks.

  • Sevo||

    Sarah Palin's Buttplug|11.5.18 @ 9:12AM|#
    "Democrats helped their case with Silicon Valley by promoting an Open Internet"

    You misspelled Price Fixing, you slimy lying piece of shit.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    What they promoted and what was implemented are pretty far apart. Comcast helped get it passed by making sure they had several high profile gaffes. They wanted it passed because once the regulations were in place - their position as an ISP would be unassailable by startups since the regulatory hurdles would be impossible to cross for a small company just starting out.

    As Mickey Rat points out, the rest of the big corporations wanted it because they too wanted to maintain their highly favored position. Incumbents love draconian regulation. It cements that status quo.

    The democrats really do love their easy to panic constituents. Their 40% of the lemmings seem increasingly hysterical.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This trend will have blowback just all the other stupid Lefty plans.

    Watch FB, Google, AirBnB, 23andMe, Yelp, etc be replaced by companies that keep their political machinations to themselves.

  • Libertarianitis||

    Who's this Freer guy and why are we concerned about his future?

  • Libertarianitis||

    Wrong article. Joke lost.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    We appreciate the effort.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Made me think of Matt Frewer aka Max Headroom. Remember that? Will it return? Alumni for a Frewer Feature.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Live by Big Government, die by Big Government. Lefties just can't seem to grasp that politicians are not in it for the "cause", they're in it for themselves. "You today, me tomorrow" is a rule made of a ferrous metal.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    I like steel rules. You absolutely have to look after your tools if you don't want them to go rusty.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Magneto approves.

  • Ken Shultz||

    At the heart of a lot of this is the assumption that media is, in fact, effective in its attempts to persuade on political issues. I'd like to see some statistics on that.

    In 2016, we saw the media, the Democrats, the establishment Republicans in the primaries, the Tea Party Republicans, pretty much everybody who could influence us through media throw everything at Trump but the kitchen sink--and he won anyway.

    Disney's new princess movie tanked at the box office this weekend despite their best marketing efforts, and they're pretty good at marketing princess movies.

    So, pardon me for questioning this most basic assumption. Just because the progressives imagine that the rest of the world patterns their own political opinions on what they're being spoon-fed by elitists doesn't make it so. I'm not convinced it was that way before social media, and with social media, it's even harder to get a coherent message across. People just seem to keep thinking whatever they want to anyway.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Altering one's product to please SJWs is a huge loser. Non progtards see through this and stay away in droves, and progtards don't actually buy the product anyway. They just cry a lot.

  • vek||

    I don't think the power of the media CONTROLS ALL!!!!! But I think one would have to be insane to not think it sways things some, and tilts the discussion.

    Just think of all of the mind controlled zombie idiots you have met in your life who clearly know NOTHING about anything that wasn't being pushed by the mainstream media. I know countless people like this. Never thought about anything on their own in their whole lives, just went with what was fed to them. Hell, my last girlfriend went from being a probably center left Democrat of 30 years ago type person... To almost a full on SJW in the last couple years. That was 110% because of the media. No matter what kind of sense I tried to talk into her, she just feelzed all the logic away, and went with the "programming" she was getting from the MSM.

    This surely describes many, many, many millions of people.

    Which always interests me. If the left is THIS week with EVERYTHING pushing their views... Can you imagine how they would collapse with even just balanced reporting? Or GOD FORBID, a conservative or libertarian tilted media??? It would be INSANE how weak their position would be.

  • DajjaI||

    Don't blame Silicon Valley billionaires. The fact is, they fought restrictions valiantly. It wasn't just politicians, but users like us who demanded, "Social media needs to do more to stop hate speech!" Now I know you didn't say that. But you were silent when others said it. (Other than on here.) The fact that I am still on Facebook despite repeated attempts to permanently ban me is proof that they are trying to hold the line against this assault. But the pressure will only increase after the midterms. Many groups are attacking free speech, such as the ADL, SPLC, the Holocaust museums, and various publications, many of whom have already shut down their own comment sections leaving all the power in Facebook's hands.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I tend to agree that the reason why Facebook et al. are the way they are isn't due to some top-down progressive diktat being forced onto the users. It is because they are providing the service that the users more or less want.

  • vek||

    If that's SOLELY their reason... Then why do they completely NOT CARE about the other 50% of their users???

    It would be one thing if 90% of people were in favor of policy XYZ... But that's clearly not the case. So what it is is that they have a roughly 50/50 split in what their users want, and they're picking the side THEY prefer, instead of simply walking the middle path.

  • damikesc||

    It wasn't just politicians, but users like us who demanded, "Social media needs to do more to stop hate speech!"

    That is no more true than the belief that voters support campaign finance reform.

    Most do not give two shits about the topic. A small, very vocal minority is OBSESSED, though.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The ones obsessed with it, are only so for control.

    Who gets to control.

  • Cy||

    Ummm no. When someone has that much control over what people can and cannot see, it doesn't take them long before they can't resist "doing good." Team Blue, and a good portion of Team Red are all about control. It was inevitable.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The Democrats are still sore that there are ways to get political news and opinion that is not filtered through editorial gatekeepers on their side.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    That is a large part of it, and something that "journalists" who still want to be employed in 5, 10 years time have decided to ignore.

    HAIL ANTS.

  • loki||

    " After Oculus founder Palmer Luckey was fingered as a possible Trump supporter, he got the boot from Facebook."

    Kinky

  • Ama-Gi Anarchist||

    The Proggie fuckchops have no one to blame but themselves. These kinds of hysterical purges never go well and always take on a life of their own. Pretty soon, not just blowback from the side getting fucked (anyone NOT out in far-left loony land) will grow to affect them, but they will continue down the path of eating their own. Its time these social media platforms were reminded they have always had a gigantic Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads. Maybe the time is coming to cut that cord and let the chips fall where they may....

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    I think I saw the The Proggie Fuckchops open for The Alan Parsons Project in '83.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    We should them prosecute who ever is left out of them. We might have a real,chance of removing this kind of leftism from the tech industry.

  • TommyInIdaho||

    "regon Sen. Ron Wyden, co-author of a key section of federal law immunizing internet companies from liability for what their users post, now wants to revise that provision. "Were Twitter to lose the protections I wrote into law, within 24 hours its potential liabilities would be many multiples of its assets and its stock would be worthless," the Democrat wrote. Now that's a threat."

    The protections were based on the beneficiaries providing a neutral platform which would run as openly as, say, the comments section of Reason articles. "Silicon Valley" reneged on the deal.

    The real choke-points of monopolization come with hosting and payment processing. As Dave Cullen pointed out in a great rant on Friday, you can't compete if you can't get someone to host your service or monetize activity,

    https://youtu.be/PnG87Omyxk4

  • Mr. JD||

    The grand irony of the Left's expanding of its echo chamber is that it's having a very unintended consequence:

    Everyone who disagrees with the Left is inundated with the Left's most extreme messaging.

    And they hate it. And they become motivated to oppose the Left.

  • vek||

    As I've said before, I don't think we need to go anti-trust, or regulation happy right now... Because I am a libertarian, and loathe such things on principle.

    That said, I wouldn't rule out doing anything in the future. If these guys keep going all in on pushing leftist crap... There may be a point where it must be stopped. Libertarians lose site of the fact that SOMETIMES shit gets real. It's all fine and well to discuss principled positions about this, that, and the other during a peaceful and prosperous time... But when the shit is hitting the fan... When it's life or death... Do or die... Sometimes taking the high ground will literally get you killed.

    The founding fathers violated a bunch of principles they themselves made illegal during the revolution. Lincoln (I hate that bastard) did a metric fuck ton of horrible things during the civil war. We did things that would be unthinkable in peace time during WWII to keep the arms supplies flowing.

    But at the end of the day, all of those things enabled a WIN. The left has played dirty pool since forever, and half the reason conservatives and libertarians have gotten their asses handed to them is by being more principled. If nothing else Trump showed that taking the high road isn't always the way to win. We MAY get to the point where we have to throw a few principles under the bus TEMPORARILY in order to save civilization. Which is fine. Once order is restored you can always bring back the proper way of doing things.

  • DaveT1000||

    There's an element of both cause and effect in the trend that I'll mention, but I think it's worth noting that almost all of these companies are headquartered in the Bay Area, and that both California statewide races and the greater Bay Area have become far more uniformly Democratic Party-voting over the past 2 or 3 decades.

    The former trend is of course well-known.

    As for actual "Silicon Valley", both Santa Clara and San Mateo counties were never Republican strongholds, but as recently as the 1988 Presidential election each of them was in the range of low to mid-50%'s Democratic candidate vs. mid to high 40%'s Republican candidate. That margin gradually grew to the point where by the two Obama elections each of those two counties was about 70% or more Democratic-voting in those presidential elections. Combine that trend with the "Silicon Valley" tech industry increasingly being integrated with even more uniformly D-voting San Francisco: both companies moving there and workers living there and commuting south. Basically, you've got areas that are pretty much a Democratic-party monoculture in terms of who wins election to any office, with a norm of just "that's who wins elections and how pretty much everyone votes".

  • DaveT1000||

    I don't think that's the only issue, as I think that there are also other big contributing factors. You've got relatively young companies that have hired a lot of young people from a relatively small group of elite universities that often have a similar political monoculture (in an era of "speech codes", etc.)

    It almost certainly exacerbates the situation that so many of these companies have grandiose and all-encompassing "change the world" goals as their stated reason for existence rather than a relatively simple and straightforward "provide a quality service or product for our users" mindset. On the latter point, I would argue that there might be a greater appreciation that "a business is just a business" when it's something like selling products or software to businesses/consumers in exchange for direct payment rather than ad-supported services like Google, Facebook, or Twitter where there's an intentional and probably somewhat necessary degree of separation between product design functions and ad sales. But, on some level, it may make the former forget that what they're doing is trying to run an actual business and not some sort of mission to better humanity.

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