Internet

Robby Soave: Today's Bipartisan Tech Panic Is Yesteryear's Freakout Over Video Games

The Reason senior editor argues that attempts to break up tech giants and rein in social media are based on flawed arguments.

|

Everywhere you turn these days, big tech companies are under fire. Instagram's supposedly addictive and negative effects on teenage girls have lawmakers comparing its parent company Facebook to Big Tobacco.

Conservatives like Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and Gov. Gregg Abbott (R-Texas) have signed controversial legislation banning social media platforms from suspending or moderating the accounts of political candidates. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas has suggested private businesses like Twitter and YouTube should be classified as common carriers, subject to strict regulation by the federal government.

Liberal legislators in Colorado have proposed creating a "digital communications commission" that would have the power to change how platforms do business in the name of fighting "hate speech" and "misinformation." Lawmakers in at least 38 states have introduced over 100 laws in the past couple of years to regulate online speech and related issues.

In his new book Tech Panic, Reason Senior Editor Robby Soave says such attacks are nothing more than modern-day witch hunts whose main accusations fall apart under even mild scrutiny. They are contemporary versions of past freakouts over video games, rock music, and comic books. "We shouldn't fear Facebook or the future," writes Soave. The actual threat, he says, comes not from private companies but from politicians, woke mobs, social conservatives, and activists whose real goal is to limit speech they don't like.

NEXT: Why We Can't Get Anywhere on Immigration

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Robby carrying the water again for war criminal Biden. No mention in the article of the current administration pressuring big tech to ban accounts of users posting dissenting information. The drops a both sides.
    We need a mute feature for authors.

    1. Nick is the second best Reason has on this topic. No exaggeration.

      1. And all the others are tied for first?

        1. If you were looking for a way to earn some extra income every week… Look no more!!!! Here is a great opportunity for everyone to make $95/per hour by working in your free time on your computer from home… I’ve been doing this for 6 months now and last month i’ve earned my first five-figure paycheck ever!!!! Learn more about it on following link… WorkJoin1

          1. Nicole was always the worst…

              1. Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening…XY And i get surly a check of $12600 what’s awesome is I m working from home so I get more time with my kids.

                Try it, you won’t regret it!……………READ MORE

      2. ●▬▬▬▬PART TIME JOBS▬▬▬▬▬●I am making $165 an hour working from home. i was greatly surprised at the same time as my neighbour advised me she changed into averaging $ninety five however I see the way it works now. I experience masses freedom now that i’m my non-public boss. that is what I do……
        ↓↓↓↓COPY THIS SITE↓↓↓↓HERE► http://Www.Amazon.Com

    2. Just another example of the Golden Mean fallacy.

      1. These are 2 pay checks $78367 and $87367. that i received in last 2 months. I am very happy that i can make thousands in my part time and now i am enjoying my life.DCq Everybody can do this and earn lots of dollars from home in very short time period. Your Success is one step away Click Below Webpage…..

        Just visit this website now………… VISIT HERE

    3. We need a mute feature for authors.

      We have a sound bar for Peter Theil

    4. Seriously paycheck of $19632 and all i was doing is to copy and paste work online. this homeii work makes me able to generate more cash daily easily. simple to do work and regular income from this are just superb. Here what i am doing.

      Try now……………… Visit Here

    5. Actually, there is: It’s the backward button on the keyboard or the stop button on the podcast/video. And for real muting, just close the browser and shut the device down.

  2. The most significant event of January 6 was not the Capitol riot. It was the results of the Georgia runoff elections making the Democratic party and the federal government one in the same thing. The big freak out over social media is largely a function of the Democrats’ ability to control what can and can’t be said on social media through the lever of antitrust. In October of 2020, the House Democrats released a plan to break up every major social media company, and on January 6, they gained the means to do so with the two wins in Georgia.

    The Democratic party flexed their muscles after January 6 by chasing Parler out of the app stores and off of Amazon’s servers. The Democratic party flexed their muscles by having a sitting president kicked off of social media and silenced. I have no doubt but that some average Americans, who freak out over “misinformation” on social media, are reacting like it’s moral panic. The Democratic party, however, promised to break up Facebook via antitrust citing the lack of competition as a cause of “misinformation” as a justification–back in October of 2020–and the rest of us are freaking out about their absolute control.

    The real basis of the freak out is realizing that all of social media is beholden to the Democratic party, and for some of the people who were freaked out by the Democratic party flexing their muscles, like that, it wasn’t about the moral panic aspect at all. Have you seen this report about what may have launched Emperor Xi’s war against Chinese technology companies? He was reportedly “freaked out” by the fact that the American social media companies could kick the President of the United States off of social media and silence him.

    “At internal meetings, some of them say, Mr. Xi has talked about the need to differentiate China’s economic system. Western capitalism, in his view, focuses too heavily on the single-minded pursuit of profit and individual wealth, while letting big companies grow too powerful, leading to inequality, social injustice and other threats to social stability.

    Early this year, when Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. took down former U.S. President Donald Trump’s accounts, Mr. Xi saw yet another sign America’s economic system was flawed—it let big business dictate what a political leader should do or say—officials familiar with his views said.”

    —-Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2021

    “Xi Jinping Aims to Rein In Chinese Capitalism, Hew to Mao’s Socialist Vision”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/xi-jinping-aims-to-rein-in-chinese-capitalism-hew-to-maos-socialist-vision-11632150725

    Yes, Emperor Xi is also launching a war against video games, restricting the times that children can play them, etc. However, the way the Democrats/federal government treated Trump on social media appears to have “freaked him out” to the point that he’s launched a war against consumer technology companies in China. Senior bureaucrats are being forced to publicly criticize themselves, a la the Cultural Revolution, for letting Chinese companies try to go public on Wall Street. That isn’t about a moral panic. That’s an emperor like reaction to the way social media, the press, and the Democratic party turned against the President of the United States.

    1. “It was the results of the Georgia runoff elections making the Democratic party and the federal government one in the same thing.”

      And a big influence on the Georgia runoffs swaying in the Blue direction were Trump’s dream team of Lin Wood, Sidney Powell, Rudy Guiliani, and The Pillow Guy working hard to convince Trump’s Georgia base that their votes weren’t going to count, anyway, because the Democrats had the election rigged.

      1. Cite? Show me the proof that it was the Dream Team that pitched Georgia- who had already gone to Biden- to the Dems.

      2. For the benefit of the thread, arguing with Mike is arguing with someone who will never take responsibility for what he says. In fact, within days he will be acting as if he never said these things in the first place. He is a completely disingenuous adversary and you would do better arguing with the main character from Memento.

        https://reason.com/2021/09/09/california-is-set-to-outlaw-unannounced-condom-removal/#comment-9091773

        That is Mike insisting that he “would never look to Rolling Stone” for news, after spreading their bogus ivermectin story only days earlier. Consider that: He didn’t apologize. He didn’t even try to ignore his mistake. He brazenly tried to dunk on Rolling Stone to make himself look like an arbiter of truth.

        The pathological narcissism required to disrespect the truth and readers so heavily should make him ashamed. It won’t though, so I advise others in the thread to avoid engaging with someone that argues in such bad faith.

        1. I don’t understand why you haven’t muted him.

          1. I said it at the top. FOr the benefit of the thread.

            He regularly tries to sucker people into what they think will be a decent conversation, but is just dissembling and lying. Since he actively denies what he said last week, he will always bring up the same points again and again, without any acknowledgement that they were proven wrong- or even worse he will do a 180 and act smug as he says the opposite of what he was saying a week before.

            I get that this place can have a toxic atmosphere, and I have muted many people who do that. But one of the reasons it gets so toxic is that people like Mike act like they are going to have a genuine discussion and then frustrate everyone with this bait and switch.

      3. That’s a lie of course, and a complete obfuscation of the facts. It is obvious that Team Blue has the unconditional support of corporate media and Big Tech, as well as many other powerful groups. As such, it never really mattered what Trump or anyone associated with Trump said or did. In fact, they propagated the opposite of most everything they said (and meant). The recipe was always the same, the narrative was always the same, everything went according to the plan to the very last minute. The Biden family’s corruption case exploded right before the election, and the powers that be did everything in their power to shield Biden and the Ds. It worked out just fine, unlike in 2016 when they underestimated their opponent to the point where they didn’t really bothered to lie.

    2. You continue to avoid addressing this factor, because it doesn’t fit your current narrative:

      Conservatives have long criticized social media companies for having liberal management and employees. If that is so, then how do you know that they didn’t take the actions they did voluntarily, without considering any possible Democratic Party coercion?

      If so, they did so exercising their First Amendment right of free speech. Which places you in the position of arguing against free speech.

      1. Just, you know, checking your logic.

        1. Since you presented zero facts just supposition, logic doesn’t apply here. Anyway you’re such a far left piece of shit why should anyone care what you think asshole.

        2. Just so you know, we don’t give a crap because you shit post.

        3. Oops, you missed a spot!! There’s still some of Jack Dorsey’s cum on your chin!

          1. He wears it like a badge.

            1. The white badge of porridge

        4. You didnt present logic. You presented false rationalization.

          Volokh presented cases where courts have ruled companies acting in concurrence with companies to censor people, it falls under 1a.

          We get it. You like censorship.

          1. Concurrence with government*

        5. Just, you know, checking your logic; Porsche volunteering to build tanks for the Nazis wasn’t fascism because he volunteered?

      2. Anytime someone suggest that a view, action or tactic is only used by one party they have a pretty good chance of being wrong.

        I’ve had discussions where people argued that government officials shouldn’t be able to do A,B & C then argue in favor of officials do just that. When pressed their responses are along the lines of “that’s different, my guy isn’t “

        1. Yeah… This is definitely a both sides moment… So nobody should do anything. Well, other than shut up and comply.

        2. If Trump had won re-election and was strong arming the social media companies, Ken would be on these very same pages saying why that was wrong and how short sighted it was. Because he’s principled.

          1. This. Ken has argued several times that Section 230 is a good thing because it prevents people from nuisance-lawsuiting companies out of business. That Mike doesn’t acknowledge this is yet another example of how disingenuous he is.

            1. Then we see the guy suing Facebook for claiming the laptop info he released was “hacked” being sicced with an anti-SLAPP lawsuit (laughable as it was) to force him to pay for Facebook’s legal fees.

              Fuck them.

            2. While he is wrong on that one (imho), he is indeed principled, and one of the brightest one around here.

      3. Conservatives have long criticized social media companies for having liberal management and employees. If that is so, then how do you know that they didn’t take the actions they did voluntarily, without considering any possible Democratic Party coercion?

        Here, Mike inadvertently posits that the tech companies provided the DNC with in-kind political contributions.

        1. Where do you think his paycheck comes from?

      4. If that is so, then how do you know that they didn’t take the actions they did voluntarily, without considering any possible Democratic Party coercion?

        Per the Greenwald deep dive into the Hunter Biden Laptop chronology, Greenwald does a painstakingly detailed breakdown of the who’s who of how that story was censored, how everything about the contents of the laptop have now been independently verified, and how (to your point) the Democratic party machine has captured so many of our tech and media institutions.

        At 13:17 of the video, he explains the chronology of Facebook’s public announcement that it would algorithmically limit the spread of the now-verified story. In particular, Facebook’s communication director, Andy Stone’s public comments on the matter, and dismissive attitude about a legitimate journalistic story that was unfavorable to a president three weeks away from the whitehouse.

        Any Stone is a “proud alum” of the House Majority PAC, former employee of Barbara Boxer, DCCC (a democratic group whose primary role is to make sure Democrats take and keep majority positions within the house) Re McNerney, a Democratic congress member.

        Stone publicly tweeted that the NYPost story would be subject to fact-checking by Facebook’s “fact checking” partners and the story would be limited until that happened.

        Facebook’s Stone never sent that story to be factchecked, and has refused to respond to questions about what their third-party fact checkers found– again, because it was never submitted in the first place.

        But you keep believing that Facebook and Twitter are just libertarian cowboys a’sellin’ ya widgets and a’chasin’ yer dollar, only appealing to the self interest of their customers.

        I say again, the smarmy used-car salesman in the Leisure suit is far more trustworthy than the scum and villainy that run the tech companies, because I know what the car salesman wants from me.

        1. to be clear, Facebook’s Communication Director is a lifelong Democratic Party Operative. These aren’t just happy accidents and coincidences. We are merely watching institutional capture in real time.

          1. Yes, but Ken’s argument is that Facebook is being coerced into censoring Republicans.

            What if they are already sympathetic to Democrats — then they have, by their right of free speech, the right to censor Republicans.

            That is the logical point that Ken, who prides himself on how logical he is, refuses to address.

            1. If that were the case, why the need for the coercion?
              What if the people of Iraq really were going to cast 99.9% of the votes for Saddam Hussein without the coercion?

            2. You can’t really be this dense.

              1. Disagree. I think neutron stars should look to him on being more dense.

            3. “What if they are already sympathetic to Democrats — then they have, by their right of free speech, the right to censor Republicans.”

              If, for the sake of argument, Facebook wasn’t threatened and coerced by the Federal Government to censor, but instead their leadership was changed out for Party Operatives, then it is the definition of Fascism.

              I am not being Hyperbolic. This is not invoking Godwin’s law. Communism was the nationalization of companies. Fascism was allowing companies to remain private, but appointing party operatives as the leaders. This is literally the definition of Fascism.

              So Mike may very well have a point here that American courts have a blind spot for Fascism. But it is a fleeting point. And if he weren’t such a disingenuous lefty, he would actually be very concerned about it. But he will give it a pass because the results conform to his preferences. And since he can’t square principles with his preferences, he will continue to play these games where he acts center of the road but only attacks people who criticize the left.

          2. Additionally, both Psaki and Joe Biden himself have confirmed that the Biden administration is flagging posts and accounts for Facebook to censor.

            https://www.newsweek.com/biden-administrations-admission-theyre-flagging-content-facebook-sparks-furor-1610257

            It should be noted that asking people to prove the obvious is a classic shit-posting tactic.

            “Shitposts are intentionally designed to derail discussions or cause the biggest reaction with the least effort. Sometimes they are made as part of a coordinated flame war to make the site unusable by its regular visitors.[6]”

            —-Shitposting on Wikipedia

            She is unworthy of our responses. There’s a mute button for people like her.

            1. They are playing hackey psaki with free speech.

            2. Got it. Ken thinks using logic is shit posting.

              1. That’s not remotely what he said.
                It never fails to astonish me how low you will go, you utterly dishonest weasel.

                1. Dee has poor cawgnitive skills.

              2. For the benefit of the thread, arguing with Mike is arguing with someone who will never take responsibility for what he says. In fact, within days he will be acting as if he never said these things in the first place. He is a completely disingenuous adversary and you would do better arguing with the main character from Memento.

                https://reason.com/2021/09/09/california-is-set-to-outlaw-unannounced-condom-removal/#comment-9091773

                That is Mike insisting that he “would never look to Rolling Stone” for news, after spreading their bogus ivermectin story only days earlier. Consider that: He didn’t apologize. He didn’t even try to ignore his mistake. He brazenly tried to dunk on Rolling Stone to make himself look like an arbiter of truth.

                The pathological narcissism required to disrespect the truth and readers so heavily should make him ashamed. It won’t though, so I advise others in the thread to avoid engaging with someone that argues in such bad faith.

                1. PLEASE CHECK FO UNITED STATES PEOPLE
                  I have earned $ 18394 last month by W0rking Online from home. I am a full time college student and just doing this Job in my part time for maximum 2 hrs a day using my laptop. This Job is just awesome and regular earning from this easy home Job is much times better than other regular 9 to 5 office Jobs. I suggest you all to join this right now and start earning easily by just follow details on the given WebSite…….Visit HERE

        2. You just made my argument for me. Andy Stone didn’t have to be coerced by the Democratic Party, because he was already sympathetic to the Democratic Party.

          I never said that social media companies are libertarian, I said they have constitutional rights of free speech.

          1. No he didn’t. How the hell did you manage to pull it that self-affirming conclusion out of that?

            1. Mike does not post in good faith. Mike tries so hard to be the “emotional argument” version of Ken.

              1. While pretending it’s logical.

                1. And sealioning whenever Ken ignores him.

          2. Do then Facebook made an illegal campaign donation to the Democratic nominee?

      5. With no “chilling affect” whatsoever from antitrust threats, possible criminal prosecution, or big contracts for your private space transport company or your data hosting services if you comply?

        1. If, say, Twitter was already sympathetic to the Democratic Party, then it’s hard to say the coercion has any effect or was necessary. They may be simply choosing to exercise their right of free speech when they, say, pull the plug on Trump.

          1. Dee jumps to cawnclusions.

            1. “If, say,…then it’s hard to say…They may be simply…when they, say, pull the plug on Trump.”

              That’s how Dee logics.

          2. Are they providing info to the FEC on their litany on in-kind donations to the DNC?

        2. Lina Khan’s report on how the Democrats plan to break up Facebook (among others) lists the following as a reason to break up Facebook:

          “In the absence of competition, Facebook’s quality has deteriorated over time, resulting in worse privacy protections for its users and a dramatic rise in misinformation on its platform”.

          —-Lina Khan, et. al., October 2020

          Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law

          https://judiciary.house.gov/uploadedfiles/competition_in_digital_markets.pdf

          Biden made her the chair of the FTC, which is suing to break up Facebook. How stupid would Facebook need to ignore that?

          1. In fact, Facebook has publicly pressed the issue that Lina Khan should recuse herself from being involved with any decisions regarding Facebook because of her earlier writings about breaking them up.

            “WASHINGTON, July 14 (Reuters) – Facebook (FB.O) on Wednesday asked for the recusal of Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan from the FTC’s antitrust case against the company, a step that could imperil the agency’s lawsuit against it.

            A prominent critic of Big Tech who was sworn in as FTC chair in June, Khan previously worked for the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, which issued a report in October that spelled out what it said was anti-competitive conduct by Amazon (AMZN.O), Apple (AAPL.O), Facebook and Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL.O).

            “Chair Khan has consistently made well-documented statements about Facebook and antitrust matters that would lead any reasonable observer to conclude that she has prejudged the Facebook antitrust case brought by the FTC,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

            —-Reuters

            “Facebook seeks U.S. FTC Chair Lina Khan’s recusal in antitrust case”

            https://reason.com/2021/07/15/covid-19-vaccines-misinformation-jen-psaki-white-house-biden/#comments

            To pretend Facebook isn’t concerned about being broken up into three companies (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp) after Lina Khan, who wrote the Democrats’ paper detailing how and why to break them up, was appointed to be chair of the FTC, which is suing them, would be ignorant. To pretend Facebook isn’t worried about being broken up after they publicly fought to keep Lina Khan off of their case goes beyond that into willfully delusional.

            Progressives are really stupid.

            They don’t use facts and logic because they can’t use facts and logic. Part of that is because facts and logic won’t support what they want to do. Part of it is because so many of them are incapable of being factual and rational–they couldn’t do it on a dare. Sometimes, we need to just face the fact that progressives aren’t very smart. Earlier today, I was listing journalists on the left who use facts and logic–and are othered by the progressives for it, with Hitchens, Greenwald, and Gessen being examples. Progressives simply can’t abide facts and logic like that.

            The Op-Ed people at The New York Times lose their jobs because the progressives who read their paper can’t abide facts and logic–especially if they aren’t coming from people they consider sufficiently progressive. The editor of The New York Review of Books lost his job because he printed a story that expressed ideas that progressives didn’t like. Greenwald and others find themselves at Substack because the readership of progressive publications are too offended by facts and logic to abide them.

            At some point, we need to honestly consider the possibility that we’re dealing with really stupid people when we’re talking about progressives. Maybe the reason they believe so many stupid things and insist that people prove obvious things to them is because they’re extremely limited in terms of their intellectual capacity. Thinking they’re well informed because they believe the right people is certainly evidence of stupidity, and stupid people aren’t especially uncommon. Half the country is of below average intelligence, and should it surprise anyone if a lot of those below average people are conformist progressives, who obsess about social media and misinformation because they’re so stupid, they believe everything they see on TV?

            1. Functionally it will have little practical difference in company policy outcomes… the individual companies will still be in a state of fascist capture with democrat operatives on the board of each.

      6. Theyve openly admitted to working with multiple democratic controlled governments idiot.

      7. “If that is so, then how do you know that they didn’t take the actions they did voluntarily, without considering any possible Democratic Party coercion?”

        Because both Biden and Psaki told us they were giving them orders to do so Dee.

    3. It’s interesting that one of the reasons these companies have so little competition is due to the regulatory and political burdens of running these operations.

      1. The Democratic party’s definition of misinformation is whatever they want it to be at the moment.

        “The group who names MSNBC as their main news source is far more likely than the Fox News group to answer correctly that the coronavirus originated in nature rather than a laboratory and that it will take a year or more for a vaccine to become available. On both questions, the portion in the CNN group to answer correctly falls between the MSNBC and Fox News numbers.”

        “Cable TV and COVID-19: How Americans perceive the outbreak and view media coverage differ by main news source”

        —-Pew Research, April 1, 2020

        The interesting thing about that survey is that in April 1, 2020, the truth according to Facebook, Twitter, and the Democratic party was that the coronavirus couldn’t have escaped from a laboratory and a vaccine wouldn’t become available in less than a year. Anyone who believed otherwise was, supposedly, either a conspiracy theorist or a victim of Donald Trump’s misinformation.

        Since then, of course, we’ve come to learn that the coronavirus may very well have escaped from a lab, and the vaccines became available in less than a year per Operation Warp Speed. If anyone was a purveyor of misinformation, it was MSNBC. Facebook trying to suppress this “misinformation” was actually suppressing the truth. In retrospect, that study by Pew demonstrates the exact opposite of what it claims.

        There was no group more uninformed than the people who believed what they saw on MSNBC.

        1. And a polling company shouldn’t say that one group of respondents “answered correctly” when the truth isn’t yet known.

          1. But the truth was known at the time. Then it changed. That’s how science works! As we get new information, we change our understanding of the truth.

            1. The truth doesn’t change.

            2. Truth doesn’t change you fucking idiot.

              1. It’s Liarson, guys.

                That’s the problem with parodying the fifty-centers like Mike Laursen around here. They are actually more ludicrous and dishonest than most parodists can conceive and we just assume that it’s them.

                1. He is getting top good at parodying Mike. Scary really.

                2. Damn it, caught me again.

            3. The fact that “the truth” can change at any time is an excellent reason why “misinformation” shouldn’t be suppressed–because it could turn out to be the truth. I remember when “the truth” was that Saddam Hussein was evading weapons inspections with mobile WMD labs. I remember when the idea that the federal government was tracking our phone calls was a crazy conspiracy theory. Nothing is true because anyone says so, and nothing is false because anyone says so.

              Ideas are true or false based on the evidence and the logic that does or doesn’t support them, and we never know what new data may become available tomorrow–or whether it will completely debunk everything we think we know today. It’s the fundamental problem of science, and it isn’t solved by someone in authority telling what is or isn’t true. In fact, there’s a whole fallacy named for that kind of idiotic thinking, and if the Biden administration is living by that fallacy, we should all laugh at them.

              1. There you go trying to discuss the worth of ideas strictly on truth.

                Then you turn around and claim you’re in charge of what logic is. I’ve got your number, admit it.

            4. “But the truth was known at the time. Then it changed.”

              Which means it WAS NOT the fucking truth. Historical facts “that change” aren’t facts.

              Good lord you’re an imbecile.

        2. The Democratic party’s definition of misinformation is whatever they want it to be at the moment.

          This cannot be stated enough. The Washington Post, in response to the Hunter Biden story, mysteriously updated their newspaper’s ‘hacked material’ policy allowing them to not report on the story, when it has been a long-time position of the journalism business that if true, real and verified information is brought to light, the source of the material is… immaterial. The only thing that matters is:

          Is the information factual and verifiable?
          Is it in the public interest to report it.

          here’s the New York Times reporter David Barstow on the NYT podcast being VERY EMPHATICALLY CLEAR that journalism DOES NOT CARE where or how the information came to them, but only if it is factual. David Barstow then goes on to essentially RECANT his entire thesis in the wake of the Biden laptop story.

          1. Just in case Barstow’s mendaciousness isn’t clear, Barstow was the NYT Journalist that claimed that what had been learned after the 2016 election is that journalism must treat all information critical of Biden as if it were a Russian disinformation campaign, EVEN IF THE LEAKED MATERIAL IS FACTUAL. That the ONLY thing that matters is the source and the motivations of the source.

            Barstow is a lying hack who is a discredit to his profession.

            All of that makes his NYT podcast sermon more infuriating, with his slow, measured monotone about the importance of getting the “Truth to the public”. Fuck him and everyone who looks like him.

            1. I used to wonder how these journalists slept at night, but now I realize that it’s on a big pile of money.
              Everyone is grifting nowadays.

      2. “It’s interesting that one of the reasons these companies have so little competition . . . “

        Incidentally, the primary author of that report, that promised to break up Facebook because of their toleration of misinformation, was Lina Khan, who Biden has now appointed to be chair of the FTC–that’s suing to break up Facebook on antitrust grounds.

        We’re not just talking hypotheticals. This is actually happening.

      3. Of course. Big companies love regulation.

        1. And white Mike loves big government. And collusive government.

          1. White Mike loves big government entering into him. From both sides.

            1. Something something a bird on a spit.

        2. Finally. You’re starting to get it. Yes, big companies love regulation. It’s how they kill any competition in it’s cradle.

    4. Xi’s in deep shit for other reasons. Take a gander at the Chinese government selling off some of (20% for some commodities) their strategic reserves of various industrial metals and oil. https://www.reuters.com/article/china-metals-reserves-auctions/update-2-china-to-auction-150000-t-of-metal-from-state-reserves-on-sept-1

      I see that they need to try and drop oil prices, but dumping metals? This is not normal behavior, and I’m not giving the benefit of the doubt to otherwise unprecedented sell-offs. Maybe they’re REALLY cash-strapped for buttressing Evergrande’s impeding collapse? It’s weird. Right now, I don’t like weird on this scale.

      Again, the problem isn’t that a bunch of Chinese investors are going to lose their asses; the problem is, what crazy shit is China going to do to stop it, and what effect is 350 billion USD going to shit, going to do in our economy?

      1. More recent oil selloff news here: https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/9/9/china-sells-oil-reserves-to-lower-prices-in-unprecedented-move

        Yeah, last two weeks, but unprecedented is unprecedented. I don’t care what this does to WTI or Brent prices; I care what this means for the desperation or not of China’s leadership cadre.

      2. They intentionally burst their real estate bubble, and they’re getting ready to make all the consumers who bought homes that were never constructed whole.

        The worst case scenario is that this means they no longer buy our treasuries. If they dump or stop buying our treasuries, our interest rates are going way up.

        1. Good thing there are no plans for DC to borrow anymore money.

      3. Hmm. This is complete speculation on my part, based on nothing but rumors, but is this an indication of a small win for Davos over CCP?

  3. Fuck you Sevo! Did I do that correctly Reason?

    1. Fuck Joe Biden is correct.

  4. Remember when the freakout over video games, resulted in Oxford virologists being banned for discussing factors that turned out to be true?

    Remember when the freakout over video games barred hundreds of millions from speculating on the origins of the worst pandemic in a century?

    And remember when a coordinated freakout over video games censored a newspaper for reporting a legitimate story containing evidence demonstrating a running presidential candidate was involved in significant graft?

    Remember how after allowing the American people to speculate about Republican election fraud for four years, a freakout over video games banned the American people from speculating about Democrat election fraud?

    Remember how a coordinated freakout over video games pulled a sitting American president off the air because they didn’t like the things he said?

    Remember how a powerful political party used a freakout over video games to silence dissent and evade accusations of assfucking the first amendment?

    1. I don’t remember any of that.

      1. But Ken, the freakout over video games was exactly same-same as conservative tech panic. It must’ve happened.

        1. And it’s odd that some of the biggest people freaking out were Lieberman and Hillary Clinton.

      2. Time to report to your new re-education class Ken.

    2. Remember when the government passed good Samaritan protections for video games that censored blocked and screened offensive material?

  5. When big tech colludes with government and does its wishes, you have a reason to be fearful. Given the proto fasicsts who run the government, you should not want social media and big tech in its current form to even associate with federal goons. But billionaires need money and trillion dollar companies are undervalued, right?

  6. No it isn’t.

    It is a battle to decide whether we will have freedom of speech, or if we will have Soviet style Pravda propaganda.

    $250k in Facebook ads was enough for every left leaning pundit to proclaim the 2016 election as stolen. How many hundreds of millions was 2020’s censorship and promotion worth?

    And right now? Try having a conversation on any public venue about research into Covid that does not fit the current party line. Even if that data and research is from the CDC… People are being silenced, left right and sideways.

    This is not trivial. This is not panic over first person shooters, or misogynistic rap lyrics.

    We are currently having a policy debate about vaccine boosters, vaccines for kids and vaccine mandates. There is a lot of relevant research. There is more than one valid interpretation.

    But you are not allowed to have a voice. The Biden administration and the lobbyists for the vaccine manufacturers and the teachers unions are going to decide without other input.

    If you have a YouTube channel with millions of subscribers, you cannot have the head of the team that worked on nasopharyngeal receptor for covid concentrations in children come on to discuss the relevance of his research. You will be taken down. You cannot talk about relative risk calculations for 10 year old kids. That is “dangerous misinformation”, even if your field is study is pharmaceutical risk/reward calculations.

    You cannot have a free society in this environment.

    This is not America. We have a system founded on free discourse.

    Pretending that ‘both sides” are the same because they both mention taking action against tech companies is a dishonest argument.

    One side threatens tech companies if they do not silence their enemies.

    The other side threatens tech companies if they send their enemies.

    The libertarian dog in this fight is clear. It isnt close.

    Sure, it would be best if the answer were “neither”. But it isn’t. One side is successfully silencing their political enemies. Preaching that everyone should just ignore it and let them silence their enemies is really, really stupid.

    1. Very well said Cyto. That deserves a kudos.

      1. His posts usually do.

        One of about five guys I like reading, and that keep me coming back to this tottering zombie of a site.

  7. Liberal legislators in Colorado have proposed creating a “digital communications commission” that would have the power to change how platforms do business in the name of fighting “hate speech” and “misinformation.”

    They need to be worrying a lot more how high the cost of living has gotten there, thanks to the tech influx the last 10 years.

    1. “digital communications commission”

      Same as The Ministry of Truth?

      1. Yeah. Colorado’s digital communications commission is going to protect digital communications and free speech the way Colorado’s civil rights commission protected civil rights and free speech. The comparison to the videogame panic is abject bullshit.

    2. What’re all y’all’s (LOL) property tax rates? High costs of living, and property taxation being one of those, might be considered the bug’s that’s a feature, to those in Denver.

      Seems that way after Rick Perry prostituted the urban areas of Texas to get every dissatisfied Coastal company to relocate itself and its workers here.

    3. Seems odd that Colorado does all mail voting and suddenly becomes an incredibly blue state.

      Gotta be coincidence.

  8. “Conservatives… have signed controversial legislation banning social media platforms from suspending or moderating the accounts of political candidates.”

    In what universe is stopping companies from banning opposition candidates’ access to the public square deemed “controversial”?

    Would it be “controversial” if China or Russia or Iran was “allowing” private companies to ban opposition candidates (with no secret pressure or theats, we promise)? Or a sign of tyrannical interference in elections?

    1. Yes, but that’s different because when they’re over there and opposing their establishment we call them dissidents, but when they’re over here and opposing our establishment we call them traitors.

      Why can’t you understand this? It’s so simple.

    2. All the people that will vilify your post are willfully ignoring the out in the open pressure. I’m sure they view behind closed doors pressure as a conspiracy theory.

  9. With all due respect.
    Mortal Kombat never actively attempted to influence elections.
    Night Trap never overtly silenced the president of the United States when speaking on political messages.
    The Console Wars never had a body count, unlike the 20-30 that the BLM riots had.

    Whether you think Trump was right or wrong, just think about that.
    The comparison is not apt.

    1. He was on deadline!!! Have you no compassion, Sir!? Have you no shame?

      It is a remarkable stupid comparison, even for Reason’s Mr. Goodhair.

    2. Hi Ben!

      I left you a LATE comment a while ago. I bet you missed it (?).

      Imported below for your reading pleasure! From https://reason.com/2021/09/20/brickbat-womens-work-2/#comment-9114397

      Ben of Houston
      September.20.2021 at 9:41 am

      I have to agree. In all of my sewage licensing exams, I saw maybe a dozen women among hundreds of men. At least Darebin is being consistent in their sexism

      Utkonos

      That’s for shit, man!

      SQRLSY One

      So Ben of Houston, I see you must be heavily into the sewage business.

      I read once where Dave Barry was once greatly honored in getting a sewage treatment center named after himself! Really!

      https://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/dave-barry/article1932455.html
      N.D.’S new Barry building takes your breath away

      Is there any chance that you could do that for me? I would be GREATLY honored to have a sewage plant named the “SQRLSY One Sewage Treatment Center”!

      I’d be too chickenshit to show up in person, for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, truth be told. I’m afraid that “Nardz” here on these pages, would find out my real ID, and he’d come by here at night, and fire-bomb my house, or something. Maybe I could send an effigy-robot (remote controlled) to represent myself at the ribbon-cutting thingee, while still maintaining my anonymity?

      I was thinking, it would also by nice for me to take a ceremonial dump to “christen” the sewage treatment center. I’m not sure how to do that robotically; do you have any ideas?

      SQRLSY One

      PS, I just re-read “…” (same link as above)… The original Dave Barry humor column about this. It really is a hoot; y’all should read it!

      1. Every post of yours jeffsarcsqrlsyredneck is a sewage pit, so you would do well there.

      2. Of course a post about feces would catch sarcasmiSqrls interest like a dinner bell.

      3. Nardz or Sevo would definitely show up to kill you.

        1. Boohoo mean girls always picking on poor sarcasmic.

  10. I blame all the failures in my life on the destructive influence of drug-themed music:
    The green, green grass of home
    Tea for two
    Smoke gets in your eyes
    and all the others – – – – – –

    1. My life was empty forever on a down
      Until you took me showed me around
      My life is free now my life is clear
      I love you sweet leaf though you can’t hear

      Cue ridiculous Geezer and Iommi playing…

      1. Lol, when I saw Gen. Milley casually lying about the intelligence they received that justified the massacre of those Afghan children and their father all I could think about was War Pigs. That and Fairys wear boots.

        1. “You gotta believe me!”

          No wonder it came to mind when listening to the Pentagon try to justify this killing.

  11. “We shouldn’t fear Facebook or the future,” writes Soave. The actual threat, he says, comes not from private companies but from politicians, woke mobs, social conservatives, and activists whose real goal is to limit speech they don’t like.

    Yes, and they are using Google, Facebook, and Twitter to do it.

    Robby Soave: Today’s Bipartisan Tech Panic Is Yesteryear’s Freakout Over Video Games

    Given what greedy ignorant a–holes Soave’s generation has turned out to be, perhaps a lot of yesterday’s fears were justified.

    1. Yes, and they are using Google, Facebook, and Twitter to do it.

      Yeah, this is the clear distinction between social media abuse and the video game panic. There was nobody calling for videogames censor on behalf of the government; to get special protections for blocking offensive material or users. No faction of government calling for games with a political agenda to be pulled while similar games be allowed one way or the other. The videogame industry was pretty united against the government, all of the government. There were no ads from Sega or Blizzard calling for more stringent video game regulation the way there are Facebook ads calling for more stringent internet regulation.

      It’s a very Orwellian, revisionist take on the videogame panic.

      1. Also, space was not around for that one.

        Nick was though. He should know better.

    2. Maybe every generation before us was correct–the next generation is degenerative.

      This most recent generation just jumped the shark.

      1. Maybe every generation before us was correct–the next generation is degenerative.

        That kind of opinion is held by pampered middle class families, and they are correct… for their own offspring.

        What sets apart upwardly mobile from downwardly mobile nations is not that pampered middle class families hold that opinion, but the size and power of that pampered middle class.

  12. Acting as if this is some moral panic is ludicrous. We have evidence now that the Biden admin colludes with big tech social media. We know they have had outsized influences over elections. They are not on your side promoting freedom of speech, they are ending it.

    Not recognizing this is fatal to a constitutional republic. Much like not recognizing that open borders is politically and cultural fatal as well. Hopefully you understand now why no libertarian is getting elected to national office.

  13. The end of every day is the perfect time to let your imagination run wild and declare yourself to that special someone. A simple goodnight message can bring a smile, but a very passionate and romantic phrase is even better!
    https://bit.ly/2Wmynso

  14. I disagree with Robby’s premise, but goddamn that hair!

    1. ♩ Shining, gleaming,
      Streaming, flaxen, waxen ♫

    2. Tony thinks his eyes are “smoldering”

  15. It is interesting that all the Big Tech heads of censorship all seem to be democratic party operatives or the “usual” suspects in terms of background.

    The simple fact is these companies offer a digital bulletin board and while they can decide what customers to allow to use it (their content) based on political views they can’t if it results in disparate impact of any group as defined by the CRA of 1964. If a disproportionate % of say catholics are censored…or asians or latins or whites…sorry its discrimination. After all the CRA of 1964 is gospel to liberals.

  16. ●▬▬▬▬PART TIME JOBS▬▬▬▬▬●I am making $165 an hour working from home. i was greatly surprised at the same time as my neighbour advised me she changed into averaging $ninety five however I see the way it works now. I experience masses freedom now that i’m my non-public boss. that is what I do……
    ↓↓↓↓COPY THIS SITE↓↓↓↓HERE►JOE BIDDEN GIFT

  17. This is really strange comparison because one involved trying to ban certain video games while this is about fighting back against big tech censoring speech it doesn’t like.

    Which is it? Free speech is good or bad? Why are “offensive” video games good, but “offensive” speech is bad

    It’s worse, since most of the speech being banned is simply political speech that the left (who run the tech companies) doesn’t like.

  18. Interesting twist…..

    There actually is a videogame connection here. But it isn’t the moral panic about violent video games and Jack Thomoson.

    No, the connection is the feminist attempt to force video game makers to make video games in their own image. The connection is…. Gamergate and Anita Sarkeesian.

    There are multiple parallels. An attempt to use the media to alter public opinion. An attempt to silence dissenting voices. And a (successful) attempt to flip the narrative and frame the pushback as the aggression. (see Wikipedia… Gamer gate is defined as an online harassment campaign against women)

    And it is not just a parallel track that defines the connection…. The same players and tactics are involved. Anita Darker down was among the original dividers of truth hired by Facebook to determine which posts are objectionable in their far-left Ministry of Truth.

    That was the direct antecedent to today’s organized and pervasive political censorship regime.

    1. And once again, reason is playing “both sides” to avoid running afoul of the woke mob.

      These are the same people. Not similar, not ideologically leaning the same way, but in large measure the identical people. They have succeeded in winning the right to stop you from speaking at Facebook. And Twitter. And YouTube. And in having your search results “deprioritized” or hidden on the largest search engine on earth.

      And they have also succeeded in blocking their enemies from using banks and payment processors. And internet server hosting companies. One internet service providers. And storage companies….

      And from selling their rival applications in the only two viable mobile app stores.

      And they control what is said about the situation. As we saw in the last presidential election, they control the media so thoroughly that they were able to completely block all coverage of a bombshell story from the New York Post that revealed that one of the candidates for president was involved in a scheme to collect payments from Chinese companies.. Presumably direct payoffs in the millions. On TV only Fox dared talk about it.

      So where are you going to hear about “both sides” of the tech censorship debate? Parlor is a racist hates group app that was used to plan the Jan 6 insurrection. Just ask CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, the NYT, AP, WaPo…. They all agree, despite proof that this is not the case.

      Why is it that Reason can manage to gin up some angst over the targeting of Backpage.com by a conglomeration of left wing politicians and the media (who still report that Back page was involved in trafficking of underage girls despite repeated testimonials from the FBI about their extensive cooperation), yet Reason actively argues that the silencing of the political views of 40% of this country is no problem at all?

      1. “On TV only Fox dared talk about it. ”

        Fox is not a Chinese company. Its owner, Rupert Murdoch, is Australian.

    2. Also… How the neck did Google autocorrect Sarkeesian to Darker Down?

  19. This is a stupid, pathetic, and servile take.

  20. I don’t know about comic books (their reach and influence is not wide enough), but rock music and video games have indisputably made our culture coarser. That doesn’t require one to dislike them — I grew up in the culture so love rock music, while I pretty much detest video games. But there is no reason to consider either of them innocuous.

    1. You tube has some prayers to protect you from the satanic influence of rock music.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqs681iIwDM&t=534s

  21. PLEASE CHECK FO UNITED STATES PEOPLE
    I have earned $ 18394 last month by W0rking Online from home. I am a full time college student and just doing this Job in my part time for maximum 2 hrs a day using my laptop. This Job is just awesome and regular earning from this easy home Job is much times better than other regular 9 to 5 office Jobs. I suggest you all to join this right now and start earning easily by just follow details on the given WebSite…….Details.HERE

  22. That’s very good. I want to forward this news,,,
    NTN Bearing

Please to post comments