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Should Facebook Ban Holocaust Deniers and Professional Trolls?: Podcast

Reason's Robby Soave and Mike Riggs debate whether Mark Zuckerberg's should de-platform haters such as Alex Jones and Infowars to improve the user experience.

In a recent interview on the Recode podcast, Mark Zuckerberg defended his decision to allow Holocaust deniers and professional trolls such as InfoWar's Alex Jones to keep using Facebook. Noting his Jewish heritage, Zuckerberg said

What we will do is we'll say, "Okay, you have your page, and if you're not trying to organize harm against someone, or attacking someone, then you can put up that content on your page, even if people might disagree with it or find it offensive."

He also said that Facebook doesn't " have a responsibility to make it widely distributed in News Feed," meaning that the platform would limit the reach of postings its administrators found offensive.

This isn't a question about First Amendment rights or government censorship. Facebook is a private company and can set the rules however it wants. But what's the better policy from a libertarian perspective, one that simultaneously champions free expression, calls out bullshit when it sees it, and is mindful that you might alienate your best customers by letting a few idiots foul your place of business?

In the latest Reason Podcast, Reason's Robby Soave thinks Zuck has made the right call and defends Facebook's policy. He's written that

Policing hate on a very large scale is quite difficult given the frequently subjective nature of offense; we risk de-platforming legitimate viewpoints that are unpopular but deserve to be heard; and ultimately, silencing hate is not the same thing as squelching it.

Mike Riggs takes a very different point of view. He argues that by allowing obviously false and controversial material to be posted, Facebook is degrading the experience for the 99.9 percent of its users who aren't trolls. The failure to chuck out such material may explain why Facebook is suffering a decline in daily users in the United States and Canada, its most profitable region.

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  • Brian||

    No. Don't ban anyone on facebook for anything.

    It's a public service to show everyone just how batshit crazy some people are.

    That's stuff people need to know:

    Yes, there are people running around believing that the holocaust never happened, the world is flat, 911 was an inside job, the moon landings were faked, etc. You need to know that and take that into account anytime some says "54% of the people want to do X". Just remember: a 4% democracy bonus could be wiped out by 15-20% of the people being batshit crazy.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Yeah, we need to know who is delusional enough to think that vaccinations are dangerous and cow farts contribute to hurricanes.

  • Oli||

    I just started at Shoprite with an entry salary of $100/h, pleb.

  • CE||

    the holocaust never happened, the world is flat, 911 was an inside job, the moon landings were faked,

    One of these things is not like the others....

  • Devastator||

    It's not a public service, it's a private company that sells your information for a profit. It has no duty to put up Nazi propaganda and Russian swill. Use that ban hammer Zuck. Fuck the Russians and white supremacists.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    You do realize Reason is just a bit further down the left's hit list, don't you?

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Why would they be? They're peddling leftist propaganda with an ultrathin coating of libertarian buzzwords at this point.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Reason advocates for lower taxes and school choice. That's enough to justify damaging a guy's tires in the eyes of my most progressive neighbors.

  • Sevo||

    The local rag had an editorial regarding this exact question this morning.
    There are some low-watt bulbs on the editorial staff and one of them came out firmly in favor of banning holocaust deniers, 'cause bad!

  • DajjaI||

    It's impossible to police for holocaust denial. The reason is that these days the accusation has spread well beyond whether exactly 6M Jews died during WW II or precisely how they died. The issue now is the complicity of the Zionists in collaborating with the Nazis and assassinating liberal, prosperous Jews who resisted, thereby weakening Jewish civil society and causing their destruction. A friend is actually currently suspended on twitter for pointing out some inconvenient facts about how the IBF operates (Israel BTK Forces), and they offer no means of appeal (responding only with a robotic form letter reply). The point is, censorship tools are always weaponized against lovers of peace and prosperity like me. There is no way to prevent this, unless of course *you* run the job, but you can't live forever. (No that is not a threat, just pointing out that censors have a history of being quite murderous.)

  • MasterThief||

    I don't think most people know this. In general, I don't think the public at large is well informed on anything that doesn't fit the leftist narrative. The beliefs of people who represent the alt-right and neo-nazis is one example. When I looked into holocaust denial, I found that it's more of a debate on some specific and astounding claims written into our history books. While there are those who outright deny the holocaust as a "Jewish hoax" the majority of deniers are arguing the numbers and demographics of those held and killed in concentration camps. Another somewhat relevant aspect is that we are taught that the murder of Jews, Poles, and Gypsies was the intent of concentration camps whereas there is a claim to be made that they may have initially been held as political prisoners or prisoners of war.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Remember that Socialists want to distance themselves from Nazis, since Nazis were Socialists.

    Nazis killed millions of people and nearly 6 million Jews.

    If you can sow enough contempt for actual history, then you can control the narrative.

    The current narrative is that Socialism is fucking awesome and everything else is a lie.

    Also to note is that Communists in the USSR killed more people, including millions of Russians, than the Nazis did. Communists are Socialists taken to the end point where the state controls everything.

    Socialists never want to address their political alliances with the crimes of Communism.

  • perlchpr||

    Communists in Russia killed more people than the Nazis did.

    Communists in China etc, etc.

    But, they took longer to do it, and they each controlled a much larger area.

    So the deaths per year per capita were much lower.

    Also, Nazis are extra bad because their politics explicitly called for the extermination of the Jews. Commies weren't explicitly calling for anyone in particular's death, all those deaths just sort of happened by accident.

    Yes, I have had people actually use these arguments as to why Nazis are worse than Commies, and that, in fact, even bringing up Commies means you actually support Nazis.

    To be frank, I don't have much respect for those people any more.

  • perlchpr||

    The most I'll generally allow from these arguments is that the Commies aren't any worse than the Nazis, mostly because if you're grading a government on a 0 - 100 scale, you can't get any lower than a 0.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    I think the racism that motivated Nazi's to commit genocide made them particularly vile in the eyes of American historians. Divisions based on race are a major part of America's history, and America got to write the narrative after World War II, because we emerged from the war relatively unharmed. Russia was our ally in World War II. We looked the other way when it came to Russia. We didn't pay much attention to China's killings, because Americans did not feel like fighting in Vietnam to save Asians.

    Even events in more recent history, like Iraq killing Kurds under Saddam Hussein, or the slaughter of over 3,000 Romanians in 1989, or Iran's oppression of the Bi'hai worshipers didn't make the American papers. The situation in Bosnia was ethnic cleansing on European soil, hence the demand to stop it with NATO forces so that we proved we would not allow another Holocaust to happen.

  • SIV||

    Nazis were racists who almost exclusively killed other white people. They were allied with Asians and persons of African-descent served in their military

  • Azathoth!!||

    ^this^

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Tru dat, Dajjal. FB's censors are from the Atlantic Council, a "think tank" dedicated to selling the rationale for NATO, i.e., world hegemony.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Why do people seem to forget it was the nazis that were burning books. Can only guess how they would have handled the internet.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Just like what the Socialists (Nazis are Socialists) are trying to do to the internet now.

    Ban free speech, regulate the internet into something that doesn't benefit everyone, and force internet companies to violate civil rights.

  • Devastator||

    Nazis weren't socialists, they were fascists and nazis.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    NAZI is an acronym in German for National Socialist German Worker's Party.

    You really are stupid, aren't you?

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Nazis .... were ... nazis.

    Wow. Just ... WOW.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Wait -- is this the same Mike Riggs who writes so well here? And he wants to censor fake news? I don't care if the censors are private entities or government, it's still someone else putting themselves on a pedestal as better than me, knowing what I am capable of discerning, centralizing ideological control.

    No thank you!

    I detest anti-racism laws almost as I detest racism laws. I want the racists and haters out in the open. I want them to put up signs "No Irish or dogs" so I can laugh at them, sneer at them, walk in and try on a zillion shoes and then pretend to be shocked at discovering their racism and leave a mess.

    No no no. Fuck off, slaver. I do not want anyone deciding what I should know about. I want to know about the racists and homophobes and hoplophobes. I don't want these termites hidden away, I want them exposed to the world, visible in their ugliness, odoriferous for miles around, rasping shrill voices audible to all their neighbors, so the public can bankrupt them.

    I want these bigots to know how much the public hates them. I want their friends and family to know how awful they are. I want their social hatred to be socially known in all its glory, for everyone they meet to spit on their shoes, for strangers to sneer and laugh and point and ridicule. And all that requires they make public spectacles of themselves, and for others to let them make public spectacles of themselves.

    Get the drift? Fuck off, slaver.

  • DajjaI||

    Yup. At the risk of being banned again by Reason, I agree completely. The irony about this controversy is that Zuck actually gave us tools to fight hate across the world from the comfort and safety of our living rooms. It's like nothing in all of history, we can be superheroes, and instead we spit in his face. It's preposterously hypocritical. If you really care about educating the 'ignorant masses' then here's your chance. But the truth is, people don't care about that. Why? Because they nurse the fantasy of being the censor - each one believing that the other never thought of it. It's the same as the socialist delusion, which is that you can rise to power in a contest of expressing compassion for the masses while pretending to be uninterested in power. But they are all playing the same game. Yes they are really that stupid and delusional.

  • MasterThief||

    This is sad that Robby is the seeming voice of reason in this Reason debate. He has argued for free speech, but routinely hedges that by denouncing the content of speech from anyone on the right or with a non-pc view regarding race or sex.
    I have no interest into listening to any podcast but would have read through a transcript. What argument did Riggs make to validate shutting down this method of expression for certain views of which he disapproves? Facebook is social media. The point of it is that most of what a person sees on it is posted by individuals or groups with whom he/she is mutually connected. The ads and other bullshit that pops up on everyone's timeline is chosen/approved by facebook. I'd be happier without the latter stuff. FB and Zuckerberg are more than welcome to control what shows up from the latter category, but they are certainly snuffing expression when they do so for the posts of individuals. Just because it is a private company silencing speech doesn't mean it shouldn't be viewed as a step on a slippery slope away from free speech. This is especially so when the government can essentially outsource these restrictions to private companies through indirect means.
    FB can do what they want with their platform, but the big picture here for me is that if they are restricting speech we should be against it.

  • Cy||

    "This is especially so when the government can essentially outsource these restrictions to private companies through indirect means."

    This is why I believe any large corporation should essentially be forced to observe the bills of rights when dealing with any citizen. Otherwise, you get what we have today, where Libertarians claim corporations are private and privileged. So then the government just strong arms or bribes the corporation into violating peoples rights.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    We could force the government to leave corporations alone.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    How about we start by repealing their limited liability?

  • damikesc||

    ait -- is this the same Mike Riggs who writes so well here? And he wants to censor fake news?

    That Reason associates with him speaks quite well of their Libertarian bona fides.

    And, it is always amusing to note that the only names that Reason felt should be tossed, based on the title's subheading, were from the Right. They, apparently, cannot name Progressive liars or "haters".

  • Devastator||

    Yawn. Facebook is a private business, they can do whatever the fuck they want to do with their private platform. It's not a Nazi playground.

  • prolefeed||

    If Zuckerberg wants to turn Facebook into a lefty echo chamber, I'm sure someone else will try to take away their market share of people who find censorship appalling. It's his bidness, he can fuck it up.

  • Hunthjof||

    Correct. What Facebook does on it's own in response to customer feedback or their own moral standards is irrelevant. They are a private entity who have all rights to set standards of conduct for their users as they wish. The issue I have is political leaders are telling Facebook, Youtube Twitter etc to do it or they will institute regulations that force Social Media sites to do it in addition to other things. So that leads people to ask are they doing it based off customer demands or moral standards or are they doing it cause the government is making threats? The first doesn't bother me at all the second does.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    I encourage everyone to watch this two minute clip about The Handmaid's Tale and how it's especially relevant now as Drumpf attempts to turn this country into a theocratic dictatorship.

    Here's the part of our #TrumpShow documentary about "The Handmaid's Tale." Show creator Bruce Miller says "I would be very happy if my show became irrelevant as quickly as possible..."

    I realize the stereotype of commenters on a libertarian website is that most are probably white cismales with average or above average net worths. So there might be some temptation to say "I didn't vote for Trump, but I'm not buying the idea that he's well on his way to establishing a theocracy." However, you must understand that you're speaking from a position of privilege. In fact, Orange Hitler's America really is that scary for marginalized groups like ciswomen, transmen, nonbinary people, undocumented immigrants, and black and brown bodies.

    And if Kavanaugh gets confirmed? Things will get even worse!

    #Resist
    #StopKavanaugh

  • perlchpr||

    See, this is what Rev. Kirkland could be, if his author would only try a little harder.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    He is a sad troll. Innovative in concept, static drudgery in execution. One hot idea, then his brain shut down. Reminds me of a neighbor who lives off his father's music royalties, dependent on 50 year old ideas, devoid of any more.

  • Nardz||

    Kkklinger just isnt very intelligent.

    OBL, on the other hand, is a damn artist

  • Vernon Depner||

    "A neighbor"? No, you stole that from "About A Boy".

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    No, I really do have a neighbor living off his dead father's music royalties.

  • Vernon Depner||

    More suffering caused by "intellectual property".

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    #StillWithHim
    #InternsToo
    #StopCaveating

  • MoreFreedom||

    Reading your post, I wonder if your point is to just give an example of a ridiculous post, such as a claim of Trump establishing a theocracy, and referring to "The Handmaid's Tale": a dystopia where all sorts of woman's rights have been stripped. Trump's done nothing of the sort, and your post isn't "especially relevant now" as you claim. Either you are being sarcastic (which seems unlikely), or you're just suffering from a bad case of TDS.

    The closest thing he has done, is simply quit forcing taxpayers (many who are pro-life which I am not, and who believe they are being forced to support murder) to fund abortions for NGOs operating outside the US. And while he's said he's appointing conservative judges, he's stated if Roe vs. Wade were overturned, it would go back to the states where abortions would still be available to any woman who lived in or traveled to them. And this also assumes the SCOTUS justices would choose to be originalists who choose to ignore precedents for an issue for which there is no right answer. Eliminating government funding of something, isn't stripping any rights from anyone. In fact, it restores rights to taxpayers, including women taxpayers.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    FYI: OBL is a parady troll account.

  • Devastator||

    Trump feeds off his low info voters. Xenophobia, isolationism, nationalism, religiosity. They dream of the 50s when blacks, women, and minorities knew their place. Sure some people agree with his tax cuts and cutting back on some regulation, but those are basically the only good things that he's done.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    You left out detente with N Korea, and withdrawal (or at least refusal to escalate) from Syria, as well as his monkey-wrenching NATO, peace overtures with Russia, recommending a return to a gold standard, appointing Neil Gorsuch, and making the left/Deep State completely lose their shit.

    I'll trade all of that for a stupid wall. (Tariffs, on the other hand ....)

  • Vernon Depner||

    Hundreds of millions of women in Islamic countries are already living "The Handmaid's Tale". Completely voluntarily, of course.

  • sharmota4zeb||

  • Devastator||

    A lot of Trump's core group fof supporters think that The Handmaid's Tale is an optimal situation for women.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Look on the bright side. Ireland voted to legalize abortion this year. Yes, abortions were illegal in Ireland until recently, but you would only know about that if you saw the video of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denouncing Ireland for it's abortion prohibition. Oh wait, that's right, she didn't bother to tackle that issue when she was secretary of state. Well, at least New Jersey eliminated compulsory education laws so that kids wont face this progressive distopia.

  • CE||

    Except the only place the stuff in that show actually happened in the real world is in Iran.

  • CE||

    Except Trump isn't even a right wing Republican, he's a pro-business Democrat pandering to rednecks.

  • Devastator||

    He's right wing in that he supports rescinding women's rights, being xenophobic, and isolationism over trade.

  • El Oso||

    Do I look like I give a damn? Let's stick with important subjects, like food...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The biggest problems with censorship are what constitutes the banned wording and who polices it.

    Freedom of speech is cheaper and better for everyone, even people who have bad things said about them. With freedom of speech, they can respond to the allegations.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "What we will do is we'll say, "Okay, you have your page, and if you're not trying to organize harm against someone, or attacking someone, then you can put up that content on your page, even if people might disagree with it or find it offensive.""

    And if you're Antifa, they're ok with you organizing harm, too. I tested it: Found an Antifa page explicitly advocating going out and attacking people, and reported it. FB got back to me a week later, said they didn't see anything objectionable about it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Zuckerberg and his Lefty employees know that if they came right out and said that only Lefty politics are okay, then millions of users would close their accounts.

    I just got a notice from Amazon alerting me to changes with regard to weapons. The policy is vague and will surely be used to ban any items like holsters, etc.

    Dear Seller,
    Starting August 21, 2018, Amazon will review Explosives, Weapons, and Related Items listings to confirm compliance with the Amazon Policy. To ensure your products remain available for sale, please review any detail pages that fall under this category and ensure that they are compliant prior to August 21, 2018. You might need to make updates to the detail pages if they are not compliant with the Amazon Policy. You can find the requirements in the Explosives, Weapons, and Related Items Help page:

    In particular, please be aware of the following prohibited listings:
    • Assault weapon parts or accessories or products marketed as assault weapon parts or accessories, including reference to various assault weapon models.
    If you do not sell Explosives, Weapons, and Related Items, you may disregard this message.
    Thank you for selling on Amazon.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its a private company so whatever, but why would a company that is so successful at making it easy to buy things from home single out parts or accessories or language "reference to various assault weapon models"?

    Amazon is bending to SJWs desires.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    What's sad about this is it reduces their utility to their customers. They gained their reputation by selling anything and everything that was legal. I think I read they are responsible now for 49% of retail sales, which sounds a bit hard to believe, but regardless of the exact percentage, they are the first place I go to for almost everything, even if only to see what is available and what the reviews say about reliability and utility.

    The minute they start rejecting products for social justice reasons is the minute they start losing that go-to reputation.

    Same with google -- used to be able to rely on them for finding anything and everything. Then they started getting sniffy with the SJW cause, artificially lowering stuff they didn't like. Used to be, when I didn't know who someone was or what some cause was, I could rely on them to find out. Now they are unreliable.

    Youtube too. Twitter, reddit, all of them open doors for new competitors. It won;t be instantaneous, but I bet within ten years all of them will have lost serious market share to new companies with no agenda.

    And those EU fines? Outrageous, I suppose, also stupid as all fuck, but they lost me as a defender. Once upon a time I might have written letters to various EU bureaucracies. Now, no.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I agree with your sentiment.

    South Dakota v. Wayfair was half the nails in the coffin for Amazon anyway. Shipping is just getting too expensive for Amazon to offer it at the purchase price point they do and they recently raised the Amazon Prime price.

    Now add in SJWs controlling what is and is not sold on Amazon, add many more nails.

    I purchased a bunch of bump stocks and have sold most of them on Amazon before this ban will take effect.

  • perlchpr||

    49% of online retail sales. So it's not quite as astonishing of a statistic.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Thanks, that does make more sense.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    49% of ONLINE sales. Still, that's a chunk o' change.

  • Longtobefree||

    Being a private company should mean it is privately owned. In fact, Amazon is a publicly traded company, and subject to many regulations.
    Public or private, they cannot make up any rule they choose. They are subject to non-discrimination laws, and the constitution. They do not have a particular 'market' they sell to, such as shoes, or appliances, or hardware, so they may have an issue if someone with a huge bank account, or a really good pro bono lawyer, sues them for discrimination against the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. By the time the case gets to the Supreme Court, Donny shoudl have his boy confirmed. It would be interesting.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Seems like the whole question is off.

    Why are we arguing about what some private party should do under the guise of free speech, when that debate is outside the purview of libertarianism?

    Why is it any of my business with whom Mike Riggs, Robby Soave, or Mark Zuckerberg chooses to associate?

    There's this thing called freedom of association, maybe you've heard about it.

    Libertarians may understand that condemning someone's behavior and wanting the government to get involved are two different things, but most people don't. In fact, the government has been screaming for months at Zuckerberg to do something about "fake news" like Alex Jones, et. al. These push for government involvement is not speculative, and it's based on the assumption that whom other people associate with is somehow my business.

    It isn't.

    The question isn't with whom Robby thinks Zuckerberg should or shouldn't associate. The only libertarian question that matters here is whether Ken Shultz wants to associate with Zuckerberg.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Ummm, just as you are free to voice your opinion, so are Ronny and Riggs. It seems strange for someone to defend opinion-publishing by slamming opinion-publishing.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Assume congress were arguing that Scarecrow's ISP should be doing something to stop his interaction with deplorables.

    Would you think it appropriate for Mike Riggs and Robby Soave to argue over the question of whether Scarecrow Repair & Chippering should be allowed to converse with deplorables?

    Note, they're not both arguing in the affirmative. One of them is saying that the answer is "no".

    Our right to make choices for ourselves (like whom we associate with) do not depend on the outcome of a popularity contest, and debating them as if they were should be deeply offensive to libertarians.

    The First Amendment starts with, "Congress shall make no law . . . ". Those rights have no business being subject to public debate. Meanwhile, the idea that someone would effectively argue against respecting them in the name of libertarianism is nauseating--and with congress calling for Facebook to do something about "fake news", that's effectively what's happening here.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Ken that is half-way down the slippery slope.

    The 1st Amendment prohibits laws being passed not discussion of the underlying issues.

    Ideally, you want people to immediately know why censorship is bad and that we should never even try and pass censorship laws. How do people instinctively go to that if people never discuss it.

    Its like Communism. I never want Communism in the USA but I will happily discuss Communism and persuade people of all the bad stuff and that there is nothing on the good side.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The 1st Amendment prohibits laws being passed not discussion of the underlying issues."

    You don't seem to grok that this discussion is happening against a backdrop of politicians demanding that Facebook do something about fake news, hate speech, etc.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I fully understand what the Lefty politicians are wanting, Ken.

    I just refuse to never discuss why the censorship they are demanding is bad. How are kids supposed to learn what you and I know if we never openly discuss that there are assholes trying to censor speech and print all the time?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It is perfectly fine to voice your opinion under Libertarianism about private transactions you agree with or dont.

    Public shaming is perfectly acceptable form of public persuasion. If it is acceptable for SJWs to push FB into kicking persons off FB, then its acceptable to shame Facebook into not succumbing to SJWs.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Ken, you're just not going to find a bunch of Libertarians who agree that freedom of association means that nobody can question that association or discuss it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I didn't say that.

    In reality, the government is pressuring Facebook to do something about "fake news".

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "Why are we arguing about what some private party should do under the guise of free speech, when that debate is outside the purview of libertarianism?
    Why is it any of my business with whom Mike Riggs, Robby Soave, or Mark Zuckerberg chooses to associate?
    There's this thing called freedom of association, maybe you've heard about it."

    The government has not made a law forcing FB to do shit.

    Are politicians like Pelosi threatening FB to "do something or they will"? Yes. Zuckerbuerg and FB has plenty of money to sue Pelosi for that threat.

    FB does not want to fight. They want to toe the line with keeping conservative old people who would cancel accounts immediately if FB was publicly seen as censoring people and the SJWs. Many of the SJWs are young and dont use FB anyway. Facebook is trying to make a group of non-users happy. I guess because most FB employees are Lefties and because they hope to lure young people back to FB.

    Technically young people use Instagram which is owned by FB. Its likely that young people are too stupid to know this fact.

  • Ken Shultz||

    When they're done discussing the pluses and minuses of Zuckerberg's association rights, maybe they can move on to another perfectly appropriate topic--like the pluses and minuses of reinstituting slavery--is that an appropriate conversation for libertarians?

    I'll start off the conversation right now. To anyone and everyone who wants to talk about the pluses and minuses of violating my rights as if that were an appropriate topic, fuck you.

    Everything else is academic. I suppose we can debate the ups and downs of violating my rights in an academic way, but even then, the whole discussion needs to happen under the umbrella of "fuck you"--and there really shouldn't be any libertarians arguing that the benefits of violating my rights exceed the downsides, right?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I guess we can count Ken out of a discussion as to why censorship is bad then so young people can learn why its bad.

    I support gun rights 100%. No restrictions at all. I also have no problem discussing why some people want to ban guns and why we should all support gun rights.

    Otherwise, young people just feel like your telling them what to do and what to say. Libertarians persuade through discussing the superior position of the issue.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You've really lost perspective here. Maybe it's because you can't imagine yourself in Zuckerberg's postion?

    What if they were having a debate over whether to violated loveconstitution1789's Second Amendment rights.

    And let's say Robby is arguing for violating your rights in the name of libertarianism.

    The best response to that is not to have an intellectual debate about why violating your rights doesn't really pass his utilitarian test. After all, I'd support your Second Amendment rights on libertarian grounds--even IF IF IF respecting them were legitimately bad for society!

    No, the best response to someone arguing to violate your rights--on libertarian grounds--is "fuck you".

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I get your position Ken.

    You dont even want to discuss ending the 2nd Amendment (based on your 2A example). You just want to say to anyone who brings it up, Fuck you!

    I would probably ask why they want to attack my right to defend myself and some other questions to see why they are saying what they are saying.

    I would probably give a background of the natural right to defend oneself and whip out my pocket Constitution to read the 2A. I would try and persuade them that defense via gun is something that I will never give up and why.

    If they are receptive to hearing my perspective then hopefully they dont attack guns rights anymore. If they say that they will never stop trying to ban guns, then I would probably say "fuck you and I will see you on the battlefield".

  • Azathoth!!||

    I think Ken is saying that any 'debate' on such matters needs to start with pointing out that these folks don't actually get a say in how one expresses oneself, who one associates with, how one defends oneself and just the fact that they think they DO, and that this should be accepted is so incredibly wrong right from the start.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Ken, I vote your post as best. Freedom of speech refers to "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press". It's a restriction on government, not private parties. And trying to force a private company to pick sides regarding what's allowed, is using the power of association. Which we are free to do.

    The part of the article with which I disagree is: "The failure to chuck out such material may explain why Facebook is suffering a decline in daily users in the United States and Canada"

    Facebook is suffering a decline, has far more to do with the fact that Facebook has essentially become a spying organization for governments (or political marketing business if you prefer). Which brings to mind the fact that politicians are praising Zuckerberg for telling them what people are saying and doing, (also with the political parties getting mad at Facebook for selling data to the other party) while politicians want Assange to go to jail for providing us information about what governments and politicians are doing. Assange is our friend, while governments are using Facebook to find citizens to harass for opposing them.

  • CE||

    Has become a spying organization for governments? Facebook was always a tool for fools to self-publish their own CIA case files.

  • Longtobefree||

    "There's this thing called freedom of association, maybe you've heard about it."

    Not since the sixties when the government said that it is racism, and you can't do it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Because a government violates our rights doesn't mean those rights don't exist.

  • GILMORE™||

    "de-platform haters"

    I think Riggs and Soave would be closer to their own subjects of expertise if they debated whether Reason should ban Hihn

  • perlchpr||

    Hinh can't be a "hater". Software doesn't have emotions.

  • GILMORE™||

    Someone wrote that software, and they're an asshole.

    Mary and Tulpa and Mike H. are the dominant users of this website in the last few years, and they have ruined it.

    ignoring that has come at great cost to Reason.com

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Reason just wants web traffic and they are not going to hire Libertarian writers to attract Libertarians.

    I laugh every time Reason begs for donations.

    If Reason wrote Libertarian articles for a week straight, I might consider it. Until then, I refuse to give money to LINOs who just give that money to Hillary.

  • DiegoF||

    True but if it is that simple why has the flow of commenters (admittedly a trickle, but that is big by our standards) been back toward this site (which has only gotten worse in the interim) from one with a vastly superior quality of conversation, almost from its inception?

    Glibs is slightly overmodded (especially since not prominent enough to outsiders to attract real trolls); this site is significantly undermodded. The libertarian subreddit (which isn't very good anyway) is very prominent to outsiders and is essentially not modded at all as a matter of ideological principle; the upshot is that at times it becomes dominated by (rather boring) trolls and brigaders--who are probably just bored and know it's one of the only subs of any readership where they can get away with it. Other political subs of any prominence are just circle jerks and echo chambers. (Of course Reddit is a format that encourages childishness and discourages profundity, but there are plenty of academic, other interest, and very obscure subs that have great discussions.)

    Anyway, point is it ain't easy finding that balance. I haven't seen many sites achieve it, and those that have are just probably mostly lucky.

  • GILMORE™||

    why has the flow of commenters (admittedly a trickle, but that is big by our standards) been back toward this site

    i see no evidence of that, and i was making no comparison to Glibs at all
    (imo they're not even comparable, because this place generates content and has funding; that's just a chatroom)

    just saying this place went to shit, and its stayed there, partly due to their editorial direction since KMW took over, and partly due to their shitty comment-management approach

    *i think 'unmoderated' has been one of the boons of the site fwiw, and there was much discussion about this back and the day; but, in typical libertarian minarchist form, there is an argument for "Some" moderation being inevitable and necessary to prevent anarchy allowing the worst elements to become the norm.

    allowing ppl like hihn et al to shit the place up is one of many errors.

  • DiegoF||

    i was making no comparison to Glibs at all

    No of course not; I was not suggesting you were. I was. Since you comment on both sites I figured I could use it as an example. I actually talked about Reddit more than both combined.

    (imo they're not even comparable, because this place generates content and has funding; that's just a chatroom)

    Oi, Glibs has content! It's low volume, as would be expected given its small and all-volunteer staff, but it's quite good. (I recommend anyone here give it a look.) There was actually a very small dustup about a year ago where a mod thought someone had made a little joke about the content and was not happy.

    Nonetheless your topic of discussion from square one was specifically the message board aspect of this website, rather than its content quality (however much that may have itself affected the decline of the comment section, or constituted decline for its own sake, that was not at all the topic of your remark; the sociology of the comment section and its moderation was) so in the relevant respect the two are completely comparable!

  • DiegoF||

    ...Ah well. One thing I will say on behalf of the distinction between a commercial content source with comment section, and an amateur one or pure message board, is that I have never seen the former--no matter what comment management system they use, outside or in-house--maintain any staff that communicates with users about the comment section. Even where it is heavily modded, the mods do not really respond to contact.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I heard that Glibs banned John. If you can't handle John, you got serious problems.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    From a "source"?

  • GILMORE™||

    i don't think its a question of "not handling"

    he called Jesse (one of the moderators running the site) a 'degenerate' for being gay. they didn't kin to that, so they gave him the boot.

    i don't have a problem w/ that. its their call. its also not like i couldn't predict what he says about everything already.

    there were many others not-banned, but told to fuck off because they were boring cunts. which i also don't have a problem with.

    this is how free association works: people decide who they find interesting, and who they don't, and cluster in self-selecting groups, and set some basic, bare-minimum standards.

    they reserve the right to refuse certain customers. that's their prerogative.

    which is perfectly in keeping with my above-point, fwiw.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    One of those things is not like the others.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Lumping me in with Mary and Hihn, who actually attempt to make the forum unusable, is just wrong. I don't even post here that much. My challenging and thought provoking takes on things must have caused some serious butthurt.

  • GILMORE™||

    you're not that interesting.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    On the contrary, I find myself very interesting.

  • perlchpr||

    Someone wrote that software, and they're an asshole.

    Oh, the product of hatred? Absolutely.

    I have no idea for what purpose, beyond pure perversity, that someone wrote the "Michael Hihn" bot. All I know is it probably didn't take them very long.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    There's something too that. All Hihn does is plaster comments section with as much rancorous nonsense as possible, twisting anything and everything into a horrible mess. His objective is to disrupt discussion and expression, and prevent speech. Scrolling down a comments section he has befouled is an arduous and boring process that is offputting to genuine posters. He is cleverly trying to undermine the 1A rights of others using his own. Not very libertarian.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hihn is the Heckler's Veto spokesman.

  • perlchpr||

    Scrolling down a comments section he has befouled is an arduous and boring process that is offputting to genuine posters.

    Oh my god, this. Especially when it has gone after a 300 comment thread, and replied to each comment.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    If you can't handle Hihn on this message board, you might not be ready for a libertarian society. I just scroll past his comments, as I do for some other verbose commenters. I may joke about him, but he doesn't really bother me.

  • Echospinner||

    Randi Zuckerberg, his sister has made a statement about this issue. She is very active in the Jewish community.

    She seems to be saying that if you want to make Holocaust denial a crime then go ahead and do that.

    I am Jewish, my wife is the child of Holocaust survivors. Her father originally from Poland was sent to Auschwitz, her mother was Romanian, she hid and escaped. Her father was shot in the leg trying to escape and was rescued by British soldiers.

    I would not make it a crime. You just drive the haters underground.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    In the USA, it would unconstitutional to make Holocaust denial a crime.

    Its a thought crime.

    Denying any history is a mistake. Its a mistake that humans love to make. Human history is fill of horror. Human history is also full of great deeds and kindness.

    To purposely ignore the good and bad of history is a fools errand and you will inevitably be doomed to relive past horrors.

  • Echospinner||

    Better to encounter an enemy you can see than one you cannot.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I would agree.

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  • Echospinner||

    I do not wish to misrepresent my position.

    I want to destroy the anti Semitic racist assholes. Make their lives miserable. I do not give a shit about their "rights". All they want is to take away mine.

    The rest is tactics.

    I do not know if Zuckerberg has made the right choices. Nobody can predict consequences. I think by exposing evil he has given some advantage. Yet he cannot allow the media empire he created to become Der Sturmer. He should talk with his sister.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    As a non-jew myself, I want to protect everyone's rights to say what they want and protect those that cannot protect themselves.

    I have been to Nazi camps in Europe and am a student of history. I will never let historical truth be twisted so it can happen again.

    I give young people shit about being stupid but how they use their brains is up to them. If they see a bunch of true Nazi hate and understand how that relates to Nazis being Socialists, they can decide for themselves to remain vigilant against the Socialists of all persuasions.

    There is also a line in which talking is done and you have to defend yourself. If I lived in Nazi Europe, I would have never gone to the trains voluntarily. There would be as many dead Nazis as I could kill before they killed me.

  • Longtobefree||

    Exactly; wrap your arms around them and gaze into their eyes as they realize the knife has slipped in.

  • mysmartstuffs||

    >Her father originally from Poland was sent to Auschwitz, her mother was Romanian, she hid and escaped. Her father was shot in the leg trying to escape and was rescued by British soldiers.

    So, did anybody actually die? The claim is about killing 6M, not sent, not hid, not shot in the leg, not escaped, and not rescued.

  • Echospinner||

    No, history has never been as well documented. The Holocaust is a historical fact.

    I will make a claim. You are an asshole.

    See the difference?

  • BigT||

    Oh right. No one died. It was all a big joke. Right.

    Maybe you missed the photos of skeletal survivors and huge stacks of corpses.

  • Eddy||

    Why is it so important what Facebook does? Why are we talking as if it's some kind of public utility? Is that what it's becoming?

    They can ban whom they please, and if they ban too many people, someone will set up a rival platform. If they just ban the flat-earthers and holocaust denials, then a nice platform for flat-earthers and holocaust deniers will get set up.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Not discussing why censorship is bad is a mistake. Even with private companies censoring speech or print.

    Freedom isn't free and you have to fight the forces of tyranny constantly.

  • Eddy||

    If I were running a platform allowing some (not all) public participation, I'd only invite the Holocaust deniers if I had access to some experts and survivors willing to debate the deniers - with basic expertise and debating skills, they should be able to show *reasonable* people the wrongness of Holocaust denial.

    But as far as opening a free platform to deniers, why? A private platform (unless it consents to be a proxy for the government) isn't setting precedents for government censorship or telling weird people not to use other platforms.

  • Eddy||

    Yet the whole debate is fairly artificial since Zuckerdude seems to be trying to work as some kind of partner with government in suppressing "fake news" (aka news inconvenient to the government) and in return getting favorable treatment from the government at the expense of competitors. In this context "holocaust deniers" is a proxy for "people who criticize the government or its policies."

  • damikesc||

    After the recent judicial shenanigans over Trump's Twitter account, social media being a public utility seems to be on the horizon.

    If Trump cannot block people on Twitter, how can a pol block somebody on Facebook? And if communication via Twitter is, according to one judge, constitutionally required, limiting it violates rights.

  • Eddy||

    Making Facetwitter into public utilities would seem to entail restricting the competition. I'd draw the line before that happens.

    Whatever some judge says, I'd think Donald Trump, as a Twitter user, can have the prerogatives of a Twitter user, including blocking people.

    But if the judge is right, I'd limit that decision to the specific circumstance of an elected official giving access to himself through any private account - the politician could be prevented from banning people, but the platform itself would retain that discretion so long as it's acting voluntarily and not at the politician's behest.

  • Dan S.||

    Is Alex Jones a "professional troll"? He has some unusual opinions, but he keeps them on his own pages, as far as I know, unless invited to express them elsewhere. And there is certainly nothing wrong with "controversial" material as such, why does Mike Riggs group it with the "obviously false"?

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    I thought he just hooked gullible people with batshit clickbait then gave them the hard sell on his snake oil supplements.

  • DiegoF||

    Snake oil you can take your chances with but if anyone is reading I strongly recommend you avoid his frog oil supplements; I think they're contaminated. He is a total cutie though, I have been noticing recently, so I can see why people might be seduced into buying his products.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I tried some of his frog oil, and my frogs still turned gay.

  • Trollificus||

    No shit. My frogs used it for lube. DISGUSTING!

  • DiegoF||

    I doubt those are his sincere opinions; I think I remember reading that someone (wife or staff or something) was deposed and said he said he didn't believe what he was saying and was just an entertainer.

    Anyway he did troll the Young Turks at the Republican convention that one time. It was hilarious.

  • Vernon Depner||

    The same is true of Michael Savage. He's actually a Jewish botanist from The Bronx who made a career of writing books on health through nutrition. He created the Michael Savage character when he developed an interest in stand-up comedy. That turned into his first radio gig when he sent a recording of a routine in which he played a talk show host to a local radio station program director.

  • CE||

    Yeah, if the government really were hiding proof of UFOs, or doing even more really dastardly things, somehow I think Alex Jones would be one of the few people talking about it on the air.

  • SIV||

    Deplatform progressive social justice cosmotarian cucks!

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    The last time SIV deplatformed someone is when he took those stripper shoes off his favorite hen.

  • ||

    if you want people to find other outlets for their expression other than discussion, then go ahead. the blood which always ensues from censorship will be partly on your hands

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Many of these people have ill-informed views and a misguided understanding of history, bit some make some salient points about how focus was shifted away from Soviet atrocities by the Soviets and their useful idiots by focusing almost exclusively on Nazi atrocities. The initial figures for death tolls were revised a few times by actual historians once a clearer picture was gained. Basically outright denying the holocaust is stupid, but by shutting down anyone who has questions about it, it looks like it's just about protecting a narrative. It's much better to engage the "deniers" and discuss the shortcomings of their "research".

  • MarkLastname||

    What I find troubling is the curious lack of outrage over denial of atrocities in general when committed communist regimes. Noam Chomsky's defense of Khmer Rouge comes to mind. Most Russians today still deny the holodomor. You'd think denial of any hemochromatosis de for clearly ideological reasons would be vexing.

  • sarcasmic||

    Facebook is a private company. They can do whatever they want. I won't notice. If people don't like it they can leave like I did.

  • SIV||

    Unlike poor Disney, which is totally controlled by Mike Cernovich.

  • DiegoF||

    Did this podcast discuss that fetid cunt Randi Zuckerberg and the alarming lack of public pushback against her vile opinions, and what that means for the future of America?

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Perhaps "fetid cunt" is a bit severe. "Useful idiot" with a "do something!" reflex works for me. The latest advocate for censorship in the name of political correctness. She's probably quite nice in person, but I disagree with her on the censorship issue. I did think of a pretty good (non-political) Zuckerberg meme earlier but I don't use social media (unless the Reason forums count), and I have other important things to do like type this post.

  • DiegoF||

    You are right; that was not very nice. I'm sure she's a lovely woman; and, after all, I know I have friends with repugnant political beliefs who are also lovely people. I think I am just extremely alarmed at the erosion of belief in freedom of speech in this country, especially in the mainstream, and its future. People like this are public enemy number one in my book, the single biggest threat to our future, however decent they may otherwise be.

    I hope at least she has the integrity, if fighting Holocaust denial is her passion, to focus on where it and the general threat of erosion of support for the Jews is really coming from, rather than siding with her social class and pointing to the Right. The progs are using Jews, and indeed fooling a bulk of dumb ones, in part to further their agenda and in part to cover up for their own creeping admittance of anti-Semitism into respectability.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    At the end of her statement, she said:

    Rather than rally against technology, let's recognize that this hate exists, that it's not going anywhere, and use our anger as a rallying cry to call for legislation to make Holocaust denial a crime, while supporting the organizations, leaders, and institutions working tirelessly on behalf of six million Jews and their families around the world so that we never, ever forget.

    WTF! You are correct, DiegoF. Most of the left-wing Jews I know suddenly discovered that Antisemitism exists in America a couple months before the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton tried to make it a campaign issue. Their response to the Crown Heights riot was to fight bias against African-Americans. Their response to the 2015 attacks in Paris, including an attack on a kosher supper market, was more interfaith dialogue. Their response to the Romans ransacking Jerusalem was to discontinue the observation of Tish B'Av. But now there is a push to censor speech in the name of fighting Holocaust denial in right-wing circles.

  • Azathoth!!||

    It is permitted to demonize Holocaust Denial because the perpetrators of the Holocaust have been successfully assigned to the right.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Mike Riggs takes a very different point of view. He argues that by allowing obviously false and controversial material to be posted, Facebook is degrading the experience for the 99.9 percent of its users who aren't trolls.

    Beware the day when your ideas are labeled "obviously false and controversial," moron.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Hell, the past few days Reason has treated disbelief in Russian election interference as "obviously false and controversial".

  • perlchpr||

    Among quite a few people, "libertarianism" is considered rather controversial.

  • Trollificus||

    Would you say the experience of the 99.9% is degraded by 00.1? That's a pretty small number to be basing any actions on, much less the action of diminishing free speech. And as far as trusting FB or Zuckerberg with determining what "fake news" to ban, will they continue to let people "prove" the male/female wage gap by mere assertion, in the face of facts that contraindicate its' existence? There are LOTS of counterfactual parts of the proggie narrative that you KNOW will not be banned.

    No. No. And no. You don't let government start down a path that increases its power using the "obvious" cases, the "everybody knows x" cases. Because once they get going, that path is not only downhill, but it's very slippery.

    And protestations like "But I only meant the Holocaust deniers and Moon Landing Hoaxers!" should get people punched in the face.

  • Vernon Depner||

    I'm not seeing Holocaust deniers and racists in my newsfeed, so I wouldn't even know they were on Facebook except through news coverage like this story. They're not "degrading" my Facebook experience at all. Am I just weird or is this problem being overblown?

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Yes, it is overblown. But holocaust denier bans are likely the camel toe under the tent.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Stop it with that camel toe talk! You're making me Randi!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "You Americans and your sexual innuendo."
    -Hot Asian chick in the movie The Interview

  • DiegoF||

  • loveconstitution1789||

    A....no.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Remind me to tell you the story about when I went camping with Hillary Clinton and we ran out of toilet paper.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Holocaust deniers might go to Jewish groups on Facebook to start fights. I remember Arabs flooding the old Yahoo Jewish chatroom. A third wanted friends and interfaith dialogue, a third wanted dates, and a third wanted fights.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    This isn't a question about First Amendment rights or government censorship. Facebook is a private company and can set the rules however it wants.

    Three private companies (Alphabet, Facebook, and Twitter) can essentially ban any viewpoint, person, or group from communicating with a mass audience.

    The libertarian dogma that "private companies can do whatever they want" is adapted for a past age when a private company did not have the capability to make it impossible for a citizen to exercise constitutional rights. The founders could not have foreseen the media and communications consolidation that exists today.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Careful now. Apparently they also could not have foreseen "full semiautomatics".

    Anyway it's a bit more nuanced, but those three have in effect become a sort of virtual nation state themselves. I choose not to be a citizen, but if I did, I'd have my concerns.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    There is no constitutional bar to regulating FB, Twitter, and Alphabet. Their entire business is interstate and international commerce. So it's not the constitution that needs to be reinterpreted, it's our philosophy.

    Personally I would support forcing any communications company with majority market share to fall under FCC regulations as if it were a broadcaster.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    The 1A is a constitutional bar to regulating private speech. Don't go there.

    You are on track with regulating commerce. It would be better, however, to regulate corporate size and market share than to have government monitoring content for any reason whatever. Publishing is an industry where government should be particularly zealous about fostering diversity, variety, and large numbers of participants under separate management. Those should be public policy goals in themselves, without regard to market factors or monopoly considerations.

  • Sevo||

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Vernon Depner||

    With the cronyism, regulatory capture, and large government expenditures with contracting corporations we have today, there is also substantial blurring of the line between "private" companies and government. If a company could not exist without government favoritism or government contracts, or if it acts as a sock puppet for government, is it really a "private" company not required to respect our Constitutional rights?

  • Modus Pwnens||

    That's a good point too. Certainly FB and Alphabet have been very solicitous in complying with the EU's censorious speech regulations. When dealing with only three market players, it's also possible for the US government to obtain with back-room handshake deals the speech restrictions that it cannot enact on its own.

    I guess my point is.... even without govt attachment, they can act in a borderline coercive manner.

  • perlchpr||

    OK, so, I do understand the point you're trying to make. I certainly grasp that Google, FB, and Twitter are very large, and that many people use their services.

    But how am I censoring you, in a world where bullhorns are freely sold, by refusing to let you use my bullhorn?

    Even if I have 50 bullhorns, and typically hand them out to anyone who asks for one, the act of refusing to lend you one is not censorship. It's refusing to amplify your message.

    None of which is to say that I think the Facebook should engage in that sort of behaviour. But I would be extremely leery of using government force to order them to provide a platform for specific individuals.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    But how am I censoring you, in a world where bullhorns are freely sold, by refusing to let you use my bullhorn?

    You're assuming that I am perfectly free to buy a bullhorn from someone else. However in this case, all the bullhorns in the world are owned by three people. If all three refuse to even sell me a bullhorn, my freedom of speech is pretty useless, isn't it?

    Even libertarians recognize that you have to compromise with reality sometimes, even at the expense of violating dogma. If a ship wrecks in the ocean just off the shoreline, the property owner cannot lawfully use force to forbid the survivors from coming onshore, despite the fact that libertarian dogma says that they are trespassing.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    It costs about $50 per year to get your own domain and self-publish your views.

  • perlchpr||

    However in this case, all the bullhorns in the world are owned by three people.

    Except, that's just not true. Like, at all.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    "The founders could not have foreseen..."

    and here is the universal beginning for a justification to take away someone's liberty

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Whose liberty am I supposedly arguing to take away? Facebook's? It's a creature of government like any corporation, and thus is legitimate to regulate in the public interest.

  • Sevo||

    Modus Pwnens|7.22.18 @ 12:19AM|#
    "It's a creature of government like any corporation"
    You're full of shit.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    And for those who say that FB will lose business to some new startup company which doesn't censor unpopular opinions: The startup will have 0 users at the start, while FB has hundreds of millions. Which network would a business want to advertise on? Which network would you want to join to share things with your real life friends and family?

    Very few people care about allowing unpopular opinions, far too few to overcome those FB advantages. They're called "unpopular" for a reason. So market forces are simply not going to solve this problem.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Government forces are not going to solve this imaginary problem, rather it would create real problems.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    He also said that Facebook doesn't " have a responsibility to make it widely distributed in News Feed," meaning that the platform would limit the reach of postings its administrators found offensive.

    They don't have a responsibility to "make" it widely distributed, but that is not what he's talking about. He's talking about altering the natural and expected behavior of the news feed (that it depends on how many times items have been shared) so that certain viewpoints can't spread.

    Interesting that Reason frames the sides of the debate as being "FB should ban speech I don't like" and "FB should 'only' limit the reach of speech I don't like." I doubt a caterpillar could squeeze through that Overton window.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    The thing is, they're not just exercising freedom of the press. They actually have substantial protection from the law based on the theory that they're not making editorial decisions. If somebody uses FB to communicate as part of a criminal conspiracy, FB is off the hook, because they don't have editorial control over the content. They just have to be willing to take illegal content down if it's pointed out to them, they're not obligated to go out and look for it.

    It's something like your phone provider isn't on the hook if you use the phone as part of a crime, because they're not actively policing what you can say on the phone. If they started cutting off calls they didn't like, they'd be on the hook if somebody used a phone in commission of a crime; The courts would legitimately ask, "And why didn't you find somebody plotting a kidnapping objectionable?"

    In other words, if FB is going to actively look for content they don't like, and take it down, the whole premise of their not being responsible for the content of those communications collapses.

    They're benefiting from a fraud right now: They get treatment based on being a passive conduit, but are starting to pick and chose what content they're willing to carry. I don't think this can go on too much longer, it's just becoming too conspicuous that they'll shut you down for expressing conservative views, but don't mind Antifa planning assaults.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Exactly Brett.

    FB is actively searching out information and deleting some while retaining other.

    If the information they are choosing to retain is a Lefty FB meeting spot to coordinate violance, then FB should be held liable.

    As you say, they cannot claim that FB is just an innocent location for all sorts of speech and they dont know whats on there.

  • ||

    If the question is should Facebook be allowed to censor its own content, then yes it should be allowed to. If on the other hand if government wishes to censor anything on Facebook then hell no! In a world without snowflakes and butt hurt masses then people would be normal and be able to take offense and then move the hell on.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Except Facebook wants to censor the same content the government does, and has the power to do so with negligible consequences.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    The question isn't whether they should be allowed to censor "its own content", the question is why they should be allowed to censor it, and then claim they're not responsible for the content they chose not to censor.

    They're having it both ways: Controlling what can be posted on FB, and claiming they're not responsible for what's posted on FB.

  • ||

    Brett Bellmore,
    I completely agree with you, which is why I don't use Facebook.

  • ||

    Brett Bellmore,
    I completely agree with you, which is why I don't use Facebook.

  • Longtobefree||

    Disclosure: I do not have, and have never had, any 'social media' account(s) whatsoever.

    Consider all the discussion above in light of the possibility Facebook bans holocaust supporters. What then?
    Good or evil?
    What if the Koch brothers buy a controlling interest in Facebook and bans left wing speech as hate speech?
    Good or evil?

  • DiegoF||

    What if the Koch brothers buy a controlling interest in Facebook and bans left wing speech as hate speech?

    Or bans libertarian speech as hate speech. Oh! Oh! No I di-int!

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Neither. Bad, not evil. Because Facebook sold would remain too large. It's too large now. It will be too large if it gets sold in one piece to anyone. It should be government policy to break Facebook up—break it up into quite a few pieces—like hundreds of pieces. There ought to be as many Facebook shards as there used to be major-city daily newspapers. Do that, and nobody has to worry anymore about one-sided private editing. Then take on Google and Twitter. After that, Amazon.

  • perlchpr||

    How, exactly, do you foresee that working?

    Which citizens will you forbid at gunpoint to make Facebook2 accounts, too keep it from getting "too large"?

  • Modus Pwnens||

    You don't have to forbid anybody from making accounts. You divide up the user base and let the users switch to a different shard if they find it more appealing. I know it's hard for libertarians to get behind the idea of market competition these days, but try.

  • Sevo||

    Modus Pwnens|7.22.18 @ 12:09AM|#
    "You don't have to forbid anybody from making accounts. You divide up the user base and let the users switch to a different shard if they find it more appealing. I know it's hard for libertarians to get behind the idea of market competition these days, but try."

    I know it's hard for fucking lefty ignoramuses to make sense, but try.

  • perlchpr||

    So... after everyone then migrates to one shard, how do you plan on keeping things actually broken up?

  • ||

    This.

  • MarkLastname||

    While we're at it, let's go back the golden ages when everyone sewed their own clothes and churned their own butter. Ah the good old days,

    Jesus fucking Christ, think for a second.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Facebook wasn't around 10 years ago. Do you honestly think it will be a powerful force 10 years from now? Nobody will develop something better?

  • sarcasmic||

    We must stop AOL from taking over the Internet!

    Nobody will ever replace Yahoo! Chat!

    Everyone has a My Space page!

    Yeah, nothing ever changes.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    AOL was never a dominant force on the Internet. It was a separate walled-garden network. By the time it started giving Internet access to its users, other ISPs were already well-established and AOL was entering its decline.

    Chat and social media were in their infancy when Yahoo and Myspace dominated... neither was nearly as big as Twitter and FB are.

  • Sevo||

    Modus Pwnens|7.22.18 @ 12:05AM|#
    "AOL was never a dominant force on the Internet. It was a separate walled-garden network. By the time it started giving Internet access to its users, other ISPs were already well-established and AOL was entering its decline."

    You're full of shit.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Every time a grandma posts pics of her grandkid on Facebook, she ensures that Facebook looses a potential future customer.

  • CE||

    Yahoo destroyed themselves.

    They used to have the best News, Sports, Finance and email on the Internet. Now most of those are unusable.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Actually FB has been publicly available for over 12 years.

    Even were your facts right, your argument makes no sense anyway; you seem to be assuming that no company can remain dominant for more than 20 years.

  • Trollificus||

    People seem unaware of how very short a step it is from "ban Holocaust deniers!" to "ban 'Our strength is in our diversity' deniers!".

  • Juice||

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Needless to say, he's a dead man if Ecuador turns him over, or he'll disappear into a hole so deep and dark that he may as well be dead.

    I'm surprised that it took as long as it did for them to successfully pressure Ecuador. The most evil people in the west know what he knows and need to silence him at all costs.

  • Echospinner||

    Did he run out of bitcoins?

  • lap83||

    Serious question: what's the difference between a professional troll and an amateur troll and how would FB determine that?

  • lap83||

    Part of the reason I quit the site was because it seemed to turn every one of my friends and family members into trolls, it was a perpetual headache. If FB banned all of the trolls would there be anyone left?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    "Troll" now means "someone who expresses opinions I don't like."

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Troll is somethin* that does not contribute to a forum discussion.

    They harass, annoy, and generally try and disrupt friendly forum activity.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Such as, by accusing someone of "trolling".

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Do the Women of the Wall fit anyone's definition of a troll?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Opinions you dont like are not trolling.

    Even Reason kicks off spammers who just reply to the forum with advertisements.

    Trolls are spammers who reply to a forum with comments designed to use a Heckler's Veto.
    In Internet slang, a troll (/troʊl, trɒl/) is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses and normalizing tangential discussion whether for the troll's amusement or a specific gain. -wikipedia

    Singling out part time Trolls can be difficult but someone like Hihn is clearly what people call a Troll.

  • Flinch||

    For the SJW, the "opinions I don't like" sure fits the bill regarding trolls. If anyone ever paid attention to some of what Bezmenov had to say, it was the USSR that put the 'social justice' into SJW. Do any of them know of their status as useful idiots? Doubtful.

  • jdgalt1||

    The important part of the Facebook controversy is one that Reason still refuses to address, and that is the fact that Facebook is a near-monopoly, made worse by control of upstream services such as domain name registration by people just as eager to shut up their opponents as Fuckerberg is.

    This is a serious problem, mostly caused by overregulation of tech used in the Internet. And Obama's transfer of ICANN to UN/ITU control has made the problem worse.

    There ought to be at least dozens, preferably hundreds of competitors to Facebook and to all these services, so that every group can freely share its views with its followers. Fights over control of one provider, such as Facebook, merely show that too little competition exists now. Find services you like and subscribe to them, and make them pay.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    FB seems like a monopoly but its not. The evidence is that FB had to buy Instagram because young people are fleeing FB in droves. Young people are on Instagram but many of them are moving off that platform too. FB wilprobably buy the next big social media website.

    That is FB's model, along with retaining as many current FB users as possible, and keeping in the good graces of the US Gov by providing metadata.

    Some day FB will not be able to buy every new social media website that is popular and will have real financial problems.

  • CE||

    A near monopoly on what? I live my life just fine never having had a Facebook account.

  • Sevo||

    jdgalt1|7.22.18 @ 10:58AM|#
    "...a near-monopoly,..."!!!!!

    IOWs, not a monopoly.
    Fuck off.

  • Flinch||

    So, Zuckerberg is ok with holocaust deniers but diamond & silk get their page taken down? This is one confused, conflicted man operating without a compass, and incapable of flying straight. This is the same guy who let Obama map the entire social network, then complained that Trump did even a fraction of that. Would an engineer in Detroit complain that the "wrong people" were driving their cars? His system worked as designed, but the guy is either too half baked to be running a company, or is cut from the same cloth as the industrialists that helped Hitler rise to power. What an asshole.

  • Cory Crockett||

    Absolutely not. As a Christian-libertarian, I believe that those who are ignorant enough to believe that the Holocaust was, maybe some conspiratorial-idea concocted by bleeding-heart Jews, should be granted the right to shout it from every rooftop. Additionally, may history be the sole resounding-opposition to such a proclamation.

  • CE||

    One man's professional troll is another man's truth-teller.

    If you ban all the people who question authority for dubious reasons, no one will be able to question authority when we need them to.

  • wreckinball||

    No
    Reason is just a shit show
    Robby Soave is not a libertarian

  • jotilubar5656||

  • Azathoth!!||

    They're creating a culture of acceptable censorship.

    They want it to replace the knee-jerk genuflection to free speech that has been destroying their efforts.

    And they use the commitment to free speech as a weapon.

    "They're private entities, they can let anyone who wants use their platform." And we can't help but say yes--because it IS their platform. They're using our beliefs against us.

    For example the use of 'they' in this post will be taken, by some of us, as an over-collectivization, as an insinuation of conspiracy and we will grouse about the wrongness of this.

    Even though we're talking about people whose base ideology IS collectivism, who tend toward uniformity of thought as a primary goal--a goal they openly champion.

    And this will happen because WE see collectivism as bad and we extend the courtesy of thinking others agree EVEN WHEN THEY OPENLY TELL US THEY DON"T.

    We say it's wrong to collectivize the collectivists--and so they can collectivize right in front of us and we defend their individual right to do so

    To do what though? Strip US of OUR individual rights. All of them.

  • Empress Trudy||

    No probably not. But then again, Facebook doesn't see itself as either a company or a public space. It sees itself as a quasi government by proxy that has the power of life and death over people's livelihoods much like the police or the courts. So either let everyone in or stop having any rules at all. If they want to be an actual common carrier then regulate them like one.

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