Section 230

Is the Great Deplatforming of 2021 an Assault on Free Speech?

No, says Techdirt's Mike Masnick, but it is cause for expanding Section 230 and building a more decentralized internet.

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Following last week's attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, Twitter permanently banned President Donald Trump from its platform, and Facebook and YouTube suspended his accounts. 

Meanwhile, Parler, which markets itself as a more open alternative to Twitter, was removed from the Apple and Google app stores, and Amazon Web Services booted the company from its cloud computing platform. 

Is the "Great Deplatforming of 2021" a genuine threat to free speech? Or, should we "think of Twitter as a Christian bakery and Trump as a gay wedding cake," as one user of the platform quipped, meaning that nobody should be able to force a private company to do business with someone it disagrees with?

Enter Mike Masnick, the 46-year-old entrepreneur and analyst behind the influential website Techdirt and the digital think tank, the Copia Institute. While others are constantly talking about how to restrict and regulate the internet and tech giants to conform to one ideological vision or another, Masnick champions protocols and practices that he thinks would lead to a more decentralized internet and culture, including expanding Section 230 immunity, the use of encryption, and tools that give end users, rather than political and commercial commissars, more power to control what we say and see online.

Nick Gillespie spoke to Masnick about what current debates over social media get woefully wrong, how free speech is simultaneously empowered and imperiled by politicians here and abroad, and why a more decentralized internet is not just possible but preferable to what we have now.

Narration and interview by Nick Gillespie. Edited by Regan Taylor and John Osterhoudt. Graphics by Lex Villena.

Photo: Ivy Ceballo/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Gage Skidmore/Flickr/Creative Commons; Dennis Yang/Flickr/Creative Commons; Internet Education Foundation/Flickr/Creative Commons

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  1. Somebody rejected my post! MOAR POWAH to Government Almighty!

    /sarc

    1. Yes, we already knew you were sarc.

      1. Man, Jesse is right. Flag and refresh really *is* the right answer for Squirrel.

        1. That’s not me homie, I just point out that it is sarcasmic.

          1. Hunh. Brain fart, I guess. Whoever, then, is correct that flagging Squirrel and refreshing the page really cleans up the comments section.

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        2. Been doing it for months

        3. I have been a vocal advocate of the ‘Flag. Refresh.’ campaign for a while now. After months of abuse about religion and threats to me and my family, getting sane people to quit acknowledging the existence of the deranged shitposters has become a bit of a quest to me.

          1. Wise. But they crave attention. They will resort to other means of getting ti.

            1. getting it

          2. Yeah, what *was* that dude’s psychosis, anyway. I mean, I’ve known some people who were, uh, less than fans of the LDS church, but nothing like that.

            1. It’s just Sqrlsy being a pure asshole instead of trying to be be funny.

              1. “Making comments that Momma cannot refute” = “being an asshole”!

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    2. Always on top of his game of being the greatest dipshit in the building. LOL I just laughed in reality about you thinking about that 😀 I imagined you with a dipshit badge and all, up straight in the sunshine, wearing a suit and havinga proper stick up that squirrel rectum. 😀

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        1. His “Tim” spam used to take up pages… but since the spam flag cures spam, the problem is solved.

          1. Man, I recall his Tim parabola. He’s repeating himself. Really a DNA based spam bot. Also, John Cleese is unfortunately not in his right mind anymore when it comes to politics.

            1. He never was. He just lined up with the libertarians when his material getting slagged, but it was purely for his own convenience rather than any ideological leanings.

              He just another self-important narcissistic thespian who thinks he’s smarter than the plebs…
              I still love the guy though.

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    3. Every other post by SQRLSY & Tony is grow Government Almighty!
      Both of you are partisan trolls WORSE than the one’s you despise so much. Perhaps a little introspection is in order?

      But I agree; Keep the GOV away from the PRESS!!!!

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  2. We need a way to speak more clearly about the division between a legal assault on Free Speech and a normative degradation of Free Speech. It firmly represents the latter, and the latter precedes the former.

    1. This is the case.

    2. Free speech isn’t limited to the government, it is an ideal everyone should strive for. If FB et al want to create an echo chamber they should say so.

      1. But they’re busy pretending to be neutral while overtly influencing political outcomes.

        1. You mean political outcomes such as NOT allowing trumpanzees to destroy democracy? Cry me a river, dictatorshit-worshipper!

          1. You just admitted. Were you Jack Dorsey, there would be legal consequences to what you just posted.

            You will fail though. Again, despite massive media support democrats had massive trouble making it to the 50/50 we have now. And with Biden in charge, America is gonna become more awake.

            Then we will see who’s gonna cry rivers, you pathetic squirrelpanzee. 😉

          2. If you don’t get it, I will explain:

            By saying “such as NOT allowing” you completely admitted to targeted manipulation and changing outcomes. I guess you could be called a traitor for that.

      1. Often it means that your parents are more interested in “quiet” than in “justice.”

      2. Oh look a chicken-pecking lefty-comic. I should’ve known better. The only POINT the left seems capable of is chicken-pecking. How did your kind evolve from logical humans into chicken-heads?

      3. I wonder if Randall Munroe will feel quite the same way when his web host, credit card company and his bank punts him for making a cartoon that some fat pink-haired white woman told them was offensive to transgender unicorns.
        He can sit and ponder it in the dark as his electrical company cuts of his power for being a bigot.

        What Randall and Chipper pretend not to understand, is that when political parties tell private companies they’re in bed with to punish their political opponents, it’s still actually the government.
        Paypal and Patreon don’t yank your account because it makes for a more profitable bottom line. They do it because of political patronage.

    3. It already is clear by distinguishing between free speech and the 1st Amendment. The problem is that people don’t want the discussion to be clear. They want to claim something isn’t a free speech issue (which the idiots will believe and parrot without understanding) and then apply the 1st amendment restrictions to justify themselves.

    4. Except when one IS the other, as the case of the democrat party colluding with BigTech to rid social media of conservative speech, and rid the internet of a social media platform that wouldn’t tow their line.

  3. Yes, of course it is. Or perhaps you might call it a symptom of people not valuing free speech.
    Whatever it is, unless the culture values free speech, legal protections of free speech aren’t worth much.

    1. Whoever writes the headlines needs to actually read the articles. The article doesn’t deny that the de-platforming is a blow to free speech, it just says we shouldn’t grant the government powers to fix it. I agree.

      If the government WERE interested in fixing this, they would pull back the regulations that make small startups unable to access capital, thus forcing them to turn to these big tech giants.

      1. You don’t need to grant the government more powers to fix it. Remove the liability protections and allow users to sue for contractual violations.

        The main problem with 230 is it has been stretched so far by SF judges as to cover contractual issues such as seen in the Meagan Murphy lawsuit.

        Also allow for suing of unjust business practices and unconscionable contracts. In no other industry do we let one party arbitrarily change terms of services like this. Even basic regulatory changes require advanced notice and allow people ease of switching services. SV does neither, as seen by the 30 hours given to Parler and the fact that user create databases are not given to the customer to switch to a different social media company.

        1. Hey JesseBahnFuhrer… No matter HOW many times you tell your “Big Lie”, it is NOT true! You’re part of the mob, aren’t you? For a small fee, you tell small businesses that you will “protect” them… From you and your mob! Refute the below, ye greedy authoritarian who wants to shit all over the concept of private property!

          Look, I’ll make it pretty simple for simpletons. A prime argument of enemies of Section 230 is, since the government does such a HUGE favor for owners of web sites, by PROTECTING web site owners from being sued (in the courts of Government Almighty) as a “publisher”, then this is an unfair treatment of web site owners! Who SHOULD (lacking “unfair” section 230 provisions) be able to get SUED for the writings of OTHER PEOPLE! And punished by Government Almighty, for disobeying any and all decrees from Government Almighty’s courts, after getting sued!

          In a nutshell: Government Almighty should be able to boss around your uses of your web site, because, after all, Government Almighty is “protecting” you… From Government Almighty!!!

          Wow, just THINK of what we could do with this logic! Government Almighty is “protecting” you from getting sued in matters concerning who you chose to date or marry… In matters concerning what line of work you chose… What you eat and drink… What you read… What you think… Therefore, Government Almighty should be able to boss you around on ALL of these matters, and more! The only limits are the imaginations and power-lusts of politicians!

          “…allow users to sue for contractual violations.”

          Horseshit! LOOK at the contract up top right here at Reason.com! WHERE can there be ANY violation, when they say THIS: “We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time.” I bet this catch-ALL boilerplate-type-stuff is used a LOT! It is THEIR web site, greedy pig! So they call the shots! Full stop!

          1. ^^^DANGER: Stupidity radiation levels overhead require hazmat suit. ^^^

          2. Spamflag for spambots.

            When Sqrlsy stops spamming, I’ll stop flagging.

            1. Whoa! PhD Computer Scientist here has figured out how to move the mouse-cursor, and click on the flag icon! Congratulations, Stable Genius Junior! Maybe You could write Your NEXT Computer Science PhD thesis on HOW You do that? And thread-clutter-post it EVERY FUCKIN’ TIME that you see a post that you disagree with? And expect all the OTHER marching morons to THANK you profusely?

              Well now… Have You and any of the other marching morons ever heard of “The Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf’?” Has it ever occurred to You, that the moderators will immediately ignore You and Yours? Now, when the time comes that Reason.com gets hacked, and some hacker posts a child-porn link to video of YOUR kid or relative’s kids… Or YOU abusing YOUR kid, or “doxes” You and Your SSN, real name, home address, and photo… OR, they post the IP address and WIP security key, access codes, etc., to the self-destruct mechanism in your battery-driven “IP of All Things” electronic dildo… And You (“The Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf’”) will FLAG the post that unveils all such things… You will be IGNORED, asshole!

              You ever think of THAT, asshole who cried wolf? I, for one, will NOT flag it when they “dox” you!!! Learn your lessons by SUFFERING, ye who will NOT learn otherwise!

              1. For everyone, a TL;DR on the above post by quirrel:

                “I am a butthurt, borderline psychotic manchild that is hugely dependent on internet attention and self glorification for what I think are very very smart comments”.

                Does that work for you, squirrelpansy? 😀

                1. Wow, what literary talent and rapier wit! Let’s see if I can match or exceed it, with some OTHER brilliantly smart comments that I have created just now!

                  Fuck off, spaz!
                  You eat shit, you said so yourself!
                  You’re a racist Hitler-lover!
                  Take your meds!
                  That’s so retarded!
                  You’re a Marxist!
                  Your feet stink and you don’t love Trump!
                  Your source is leftist, so it must be false!
                  Trump rules and leftists drool!
                  You are SOOO icky-poo!
                  But Goo-Goo-Gah-Gah!

                  Wow, I am now 11 times as smart and original as you are!

                  1. See your weakness is in letting everyone know you value smart and witty. People see you are not though. They signal that to you, and your butthurt swells more and more because of that.

                    Why do I need to be original with a squirrelpanzee, can you tell me? People also see your inflationary use of words like racist and nazi, and then their attentions drops.

                    You know the only reason you don’t get permanent pushback from every direction is because people don’t wanna waste too much of their time on you, yes? 😀

                    1. Just flag him. He’s cancer and he’s spamming deliberately.

            2. Gods, this is brilliant. The comments are almost readable again.

      2. Here’s the bottom line. The social networks just deplatformed the President of the United States. Now, that’s an awful lot of power to have, and pretty much nobody is comfortable leaving that kind of power in private hands to be arbitrarily wielded in the public space.

        Government is going to have a hand in making the rules and setting the standards, no matter how much the libertarians scream about it.

        1. “The social networks just deplatformed the President of the United States.”

          Its called “poly-centrism”, Nemo. Not ALL powers to the POTUS! The POTUS does NOT own everything, nor even the social media! You one-party-“R”-party folks REALLY lust badly after a dictatorshit, don’t you? Communism by another name; the POTUS rules and owns all, right?

          1. He didn’t say a word about the potus having sole power. But deplatforming him like that is alarming everyone, even moderate democrats. Huge mask drop. Will backfire, sorry about that.

            1. POTUS was not deplatformed. The @POTUS account on Twitter is still active. Donald Trump lost his personal platform, which is a reasonable response to his TOS violations.

                1. They’ve never ever said what those violent posts contain. When they don’t give examples you know that they’re peddling bullshit.

                  Amazon did this on the orders of the DNC, because America is now economically fascist in the literal sense.

                  1. “They’ve never ever said what those violent posts contain. ”

                    Lying again like usual, lying, evil-bitch-Momma! Import from the link is right below:

                    Amazon included some examples of that content in exhibits filed alongside its lawsuit, which include death threats against members of Congress, tech company executives like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, as well as U.S. Capitol Police, among other groups. In some Parler posts, users made threats to “burn down Amazon delivery trucks” and Apple stores, as well as “seize Amazon’s servers.”

                    “We should peacefully assemble outside all these tech tyrants homes and businesses, then peacefully protest and peacefully loot and burn them,” one Parler post read, according to the court filing.

            2. “But deplatforming him like that is alarming everyone…” No, it isn’t! Not those of us who respect property rights MORE that “respecting authority”, whether it be Der TrumpfenFuhrer or Der BidenFuhrer!

              Parler violated ToS with Amazon… Amazon gets to precisely define their ToS, NOT You, power pig! Not mobs of trumpanzees either! Parler had posted violent threats right and left… And supported a coup by wild trumpanzees gone apeshit! That doesn’t conform with Amazon’s values… Which are for Amazon to define! Does it conform with YOURS, authoritarian? (Trumpanzees gone apeshit is backfiring RIGHT NOW, malodorously ideologically blinded fool!)

              1. You sound angry. But I am not an authoritarian. Thank you for including “Der BidenFuhrer” at least. Btw, Führer requires an ü. Otherwise you just look like a pseudo-culturally open something of a person.

                But with how the one-sided social media and regular media is getting out of hand, I am actually discovering a spot in my views that may require more regulation. Because Trump did not exactly violate Twitters ToS more than before, also a fallacy of yours. Twitter was being pseudo-consistent with their ToS because it was convenient now. But it was a mistake, and will backfire.

                If we repeal 230, maybe the private censorship will have to go both ways at least? This is one of the ideas that you sow in the public mind by banning a potus. By banning him you banned the potus in office, of course. The official potus account that is still open is beside the point here. I think Trump should have stopped and said years ago that he will transition smoothly, that was, of course, overdue. But Twitter is doing something that a moderate majority thinks is wrong. You are rather extreme is my guess, that’s why this causes you dissonance. Not because you’re dumb or something. Honestly, nobody in here is dumb as in low iq I think. When we call someone stupid, most of the time we mean idiologically blindfolded. Oh well, I’m departing from the mentally ill projection games for today and going for a walk. Without a mask, of course.

                Point stands. Even with one-sided media support, dems barely made it. Gives me hope. Moderates will win over dividers. Are you a divider? Your accuser rhetoric looks like it.

        2. Bottom line for me: I am not comfortable with ANYONE having that level of power. And JesseAZ’s assurances notwithstanding, the government getting involved means the government will have this power. I would rather have things status quo, than to have a Democrat controlled Executive and Legislative branch attempt to remedy this. Why do you think Twitter, Amazon, Facebook, et al waited to do this until Jan 6? Because they know they can get away with it. They did EXACTLY what the Democrats wanted, and if the Democrats write any law, it will to deliver more of that.

          Even if there were some sort of Conservative influence on any legislation I would *still* not trust it. It took less than a decade for the Democrats to weaponize GOP-written aspects of the Patriot Act- FISA courts, secret surveillance, agreements with third party countries- to establish chilling surveillance powers over their political rivals. Now we give them the power to regulate speech? No.

          On the other hand, if this power remains in the hands of the Private Sector, at least we have some reasonable chance that competitors will depose these private tyrants. Especially if there is a concerted attack on capital formation regulations. At the least, Democrats have been open to this (the Obama administration signed a law making it easier to crowdsource equity capital).

            1. Cripes Overt, you got a thumbs up from Sqrlsy.

              Do you need some Ipecac? You’ll feel better if you throw up at least once.

          1. On the other hand, if this power remains in the hands of the Private Sector, at least we have some reasonable chance that competitors will depose these private tyrants.

            Tell that to Parler.

            ,

            1. Parler can PAY with their OWN money, to host their bullshit! I pay for hosting MY own brilliant writings! They can, too!

              Hey whining crybaby… I pay (PAY! With MY money! I OWN, when I pay!) for my own web site at Go-Daddy. I say some VERY sarcastic and un-politically-correct, intolerant things about cults like Scientology there (and Government Almighty as well). I am QUITE sure that a LOT of “tolerant” liberal-type folks at Google etc. would NOT be happy with the types of things I wrote! Yet, if you do a search-string “Scienfoology”, Google will take you STRAIGHT to MY web site, top hit! #1!

              https://www.google.com/search?q=scienfoology&nfpr=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjPzZqf0dXsAhUCT6wKHez9DNwQvgUoAXoECDEQKg&biw=1920&bih=941

              Your whining and crying is (just about ) UTTERLY without basis!

              WHERE is your respect for property rights?! I learned to respect the property rights of others, before I was in the 1st grade! Didn’t your Momma raise you right?

              1. A good rule of thumb is that whenever Sqrlsy exceeds three lines, he’s spamming.

                1. ‘Cause Momma runs out of brain cells VERY quickly!

            2. I don’t deny this happened to Parler. I agree that right now, these private Tech Oligarchs have too much power. If the choice is between asking a Democrat Government (or honestly any government) solve this, or hoping for another private entity to pull out an inside straight and depose those Oligarchs? I go with the latter. For 10 Years, Yahoo was unstoppable. Until they weren’t. Blockbuster was the giant that owned distribution of movies, until they were defeated. You could never compete with the big car manufacturers. You couldn’t take on Boeing and Lockheed.

              All these big companies have risen and fallen over decades. And during their peaks, consumers complained about their market power just as they complain today about Twitter and Amazon. Nobody saw Netflix destroying Blockbuster until it had happened.

              I would much rather hope for some competitor to arise than to give one ounce of government power.

              1. Go Overt go! I must say, overtly (as well as covertly when Government Almighty might be listening in), that Overt MIGHT avert the dictatotshit, if’n only we would listen to Overt! Overtly or covertly, or both, suit yerselves! Just LISTEN!

              2. These guys are government now though, Overt.
                Blockbuster never had 400+ members of their management swap back and forth between working in the offices of elected Democratic officials and company HQ, like Facebook.
                Try and find a Google manager who never did paid work for a Democratic campaign. There aren’t any.

                What there needs to be is some sort of way to prevent the corporatism that’s going on. Because it’s the corporatism, elected officials directing companies actions, that’s killing free speech.

        3. “Government is going to have a hand in making the rules and setting the standards”
          What makes you think Government Politicians DIDN’T ALREADY have a hand in “rules and setting the standards”?????????????????????????????

          https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-google-facebook-would-not-exist-without-government-funding

          Don’t EXPAND the PROBLEM!!!!!

  4. You had the constitution which specifically guarantees free speech.

    You had logic which demonstrates how free speech is required for any democracy.

    You had a Supreme Court ruling that said we carry our rights with us onto private property.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/326/501

    “ The more an owner, for his advantage, opens up his property for use by the public in general, the more do his rights become circumscribed by the statutory and constitutional rights of those who use it.”

    You had to be hit on the head with a censored president and you still don’t recognize that we carry our rights into private property.

    Duh.

    1. You had the constitution which specifically guarantees free speech.

      “Congress shall pass no law…abridging the freedom of speech”

      It’ s a restriction on government, not an obligation on private parties.

      Try Section 1 of the Sherman Act, since Twitter, Amazon, Google and Facebook acted as a cartel.

      1. Read the link. It seems to suggest that SCOTUS disagreed with that at a certain level of public access.

      2. Respecting all human rights are everyone’s obligation.

        1. Said the stormfag.

          1. What does that make you?

            1. A NOT-a-power-pig, maybe? Are you familiar with the concept?

              1. A cancel culture name caller without an argument.

                That says more about you and has no effect on me.

                1. https://reason.com/2020/03/01/the-truth-could-set-them-free/#comment-8149148
                  Sane people with a grip on reality don’t deny history, as history is defined by a vast, vast majority of historians, with (in cases like this) boat-loads of evidence. No, historians and history aren’t perfect… Nothing (or hardly anything) is. But your denial of overwhelming consensus history shows some pretty severe paranoia… Everyone is out to “get you” and to trick you, right?
                  I am doing a service to readers who aren’t familiar with your paranoia… Let all new (or newer) readers beware, much of what Rob Misek has to say, needs to be examined carefully!

                  The Earth is actually flat, and the center of the Universe.
                  A secret cabal of Jewish bankers is diabolically manipulating the world towards world-wide communism.
                  Space aliens secretly comprise 10% of Earthings, and are twisting us and them towards the day when they will enslave and eat us all!
                  The Earth is hollow, with a vast array of large, powerful beings living underneath us.
                  Being part of a TINY-TINY elite of humans who know the “secret truth” is the other element of your serious whack… Paranoia, and “special elite knowledge”… The later is evidence of mania, of egomania… Some serious self-examination on your part, would be in order!

                  You can show Rob Misek an endless parade of well-documented history books about the holocaust, interviews with a few survivors, and video of walking tours of holocaust museums and preserved genocide sites (gas chambers etc), photos of starved corpses stacked cordwood-style…
                  And Rob Misek will “summarize” for you, saying,
                  “OK, sure, I’ve heard that before! Ha!…
                  ‘Mustache Man Bad’ hyped propaganda!”
                  #Mustache_Man_Bad

                  1. You’re oblivious that you proved my point.

                    1. You’re oblivious to the obvious fact that you live on your planet, almost entirely alone, with VERY few fellow deluded Hitler-worshippers!

        2. >>Respecting all human rights are everyone’s obligation.

          rich.

          1. Are you suggesting that inalienable human rights are a joke?

      3. “When we balance the Constitutional rights of owners of property against those of the people to enjoy freedom of press and religion, as we must here, we remain mindful of the fact that the latter occupy a preferred position.”

      4. “Try Section 1 of the Sherman Act, since Twitter, Amazon, Google and Facebook acted as a cartel.”

        This is a better way to view it.

        1. Nothing there supersedes human rights.

    2. Do you also support the phone companies, text messaging and email services monitoring your communications and cutting you off when you run afoul of the private or government interests who pay them to control the narrative?

      1. If course you do.

        You’d bend over, abdicate whatever right your masters say, just so you could keep unimportantly nattering to nobody in particular.

      2. Just like Uncle Sam needs you to sign your meaningless life away to fight in some oligarchs war for financial dominance, fascism needs cancel culture useful idiots to advocate censorship and silencing dissent in the population. Affix the fascist image of your choice pointing at you.

        Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

  5. I am bemused by those “conservatives” and “libertarians” who want to do away with Section 230 because they think that’s what causing removed posts and deplatforming.

    1. Before the serve squirrels messed up my post, let me continue…

      What a grand and intoxicating innocence. How could you be so naive?

      Putting the government in charge of what speech can or cannot be allowed on the internet would NOT result in more speech on the internet. but LESS speech! If it become impossible to moderate every post then no posts will be allowed. Every post will be gated by same sites the Right is complaining about exercising some moderation.

      And what is this shit about claiming free speech means that government should regulate the speech of others?

      Again, what a grand and intoxicating innocence. How could you be so naive?

      1. I believe the appropriate expression is “cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

        1. I too remembered when the internet died because net neutrality didn’t pass.

          Why are all of you such histrionic babies?

          1. Net neutrality was gonna GROW Government Almighty, ideo-illogical idiot! WHY are You such a histrionic baby whenever you don’t get to recruit Your Government Almighty to be Your pussy-grabber?

          2. The only histrionic babies are you and your fellow Trump worshipers who would kill the internet if it meant getting petty revenge against your hate being censored by private parties.

            1. At that scale with that kind of influence they are somewhat quasi-private. Refer to my posts as to why what they are doing is wrong, even though they can’t be legally punished. I think we agree about the latter though, from your posts I think you understand private censorship is bad and immoral for a free democracy. I will not accuse you of saying otherwise, because I often see you say stuff like: “show me one post where I supported xyz”, so I am not assuming you support private censorship just because you get a kick out of bullying Trump supporters.

            2. I must add that I think private censorship and tipping razor margin elections in favor of one side is dangerous and needs to be opposed.

            3. You know it’s not just people spewing hate getting the arbitrary ban hammers right?

      2. “How could you be so naive?”

        Yes, this! If only I can capture Government Almighty to be on MY side, I can abuse others forever, to MY supposed interests!

        And will those opponents of mine EVER think of pussy-grabbing me right back, using Government Almighty, or other abuse methods? Nah! Never! Because I am SOOOO much superior to those mere little shit-weasels!

        THIS is the perpetual delusion of the hopelessly self-deluded! I don’t know if they will EVER listen to the simple idea that other social, intelligent beings see us for our bullshit! Probably in every galaxy ever! Karma, bitches!

        1. ^^^ CAUTION: MASSIVE IDIOT MELTDOWN OVERHEAD. ^^^

          1. ^^^ CAUTION: MASSIVE IDEOLOGICAL WILLFUL BLINDNESS OVERHEAD. ^^^

            Refute it, power pig! If it is NOT true, then WHY aren’t You yet the Uber-Being Micro-Managing Lord of All and Everything, in Your Own Sole-Ownershit Dictatorshit?

            1. Butthurt now, dipshit? 😀

            2. Everybody has, millions of times, retard.
              What’s the point anymore. You don’t read shit and you don’t even reply like a human on the odd time that you do.

              Spambots get spamflags.

              1. When MOMMA gets to be the Uber-Being Micro-Managing Lordess and Lardess of All and Everything, in HER Own Sole-Ownershit Dictatorshit, THEN everything will be Perfect Forever and Ever, Amen, RIGHT, Momma? That’s what YOU have told us, millions of times!

                Do You have ANY evidence that it is TRUE, other than what the Amphibian Men have told You?

                1. Spambots get spamflagged.

            3. You think I’m bothering to have a conversation with a DNA based spam bot like you, or what? 😀 😀 😀

      3. You keep on pretending that people want everything in 230 turfed, but you know that’s not true.
        It’s a dishonest argument.

        The problem is that the social media giants are making editorial decisions and acting like publishers, while claiming immunity from a publishers liability under 230.
        This was not the original intent and 230 has turned into a giant special protection regulation that let’s them escape all their obligations as publishers while giving them all the rights of a utility.

        This is what the people who have a problem with 230 as it stands are saying.
        It’s not just unlibertarian, it’s antilibertarian.

        And be honest. The only reason you, and WK, and sarcasmic think that’s fine, is because right now they’re attacking your hated “other”. One day, probably very soon, they’ll have you under the boot too, and you won’t be quite so happy.

        1. They will have them under the boot for sure, if this continues. Again, despite massive media influence, Democrats barely made it this year. That’s why they were so frustrated and scared on Nov 4th. You can’t undo the existence of 150 million people.

    2. I’m amused that you are not intelligent enough to understand your opponents actual arguments.

    3. Section 230 doesn’t apply anymore as they are acting as publishers

      1. I hear this a LOT: Either you’re a publisher, or an impartial conduit of posts; you can NOT be both! Well, this is an authoritarian power-pig stance, no matter if you persuade 51% or 97% of your fellow authoritarians, or not! NO inflexible law of physics, chemistry, or yada-yada prohibits Section 230 to straddle the middle!

        Let me draw an analogy to this black-and-white empty-headedness: Because I (and 51% of the voters) say that your teeth bacteria are either utterly evil, or are pure-white good and have souls, you must either: ‘1) Nuke your mouth once a day with ionizing radiation, or ‘2) you may brush your teeth, but if you do, you MUST find a good home for EVERY bacteria that you put out on the streets!

        Colgate MUST decide, are they ruthless killers of ALL mouth bacteria, or are they enablers of goodness and kindness for good, soul-bearing bacteria! They may NOT straddle the middle, as enablers of free-will choices of the consumers, because I, and 51% or more of the voters, have said so!

        Alternately, it can NOT, and dare NOT, be both a dessert topping, AND a floor wax… Because I said so!

        Power-pig authoritarians all of ye!

        1. ^^^DANGER: Nuclear levels of squirrelpanzee meltdown radiation overhead. WEAR HAZMAT SUIT. ^^^

        2. Also, in analogy to the way you are trying to paint the dems as moderators or advocates of progress (if I’m getting this right): Conservatives may slow progress but also prevent radical left change that would be way too much. Like Bernie Sanders. At least we are that sane to reject him. Repubs have their place in a democracy. I mean, do you understand that? It’s hard to decipher the intention of your post, I must admit that.

          And a strong blue trifecta is certainly not what will bring about slow change and self-moderation. Right now, the trifecta is still purple enough.

          1. Should be more purple though. It’s only enough if God, uhm, Manchin wants it to be.

        3. Spambot gets spamflagged

      2. publishers don’t get “free speech”?

        1. Sure, but they can be sued for what they publish, whereas twitter et al cannot be sued for what they “publish”.

    4. No, they think that 230 lets corporations censor conservative speech, while allowing left wing speech

      They think if corporations are going to be biased on one direction, they might as well have to censor everything.

      1. As much as I don’t like saying it; That’s how many RINO’S get born.

  6. This private company fallacy is bullshit. Again, censorship is bad for a free society, and the alternative to a “private” platform would be a “public”, government-controlled one. Censorship doesn’t have that much to do with private/public, but with filtering opinions and people over others.

    Censorship is a threat to a free society, no matter if it happens in private or public. The only difference is that in private it can’t be directly legally punished. It still needs to be condemned by a free society. And I will oppose all censorship lovers here.

    Also interesting: leftists – who like regulation – suddenly argue in favor of free enterprise when it benefits their political cause because the industrial behemoths are on their side. If the over-regulators were honest, they would argue that PRIVATE COMPANIES should not have the overt power to significantly influence PUBLIC ELECTIONS.

    1. As tlappsaid yesterday:
      “Section 230 is obsolete. They are protected from what is posted yet they have blocked NY Post, individuals and now Parler at will. They are publishers beyond a shadow of a doubt.”

      Cue Sqrls squealing about private companies. Even though the dishonest fuck knows full well that when a company conspires with a political party to enact a political agenda, they’re no longer in anyway “private”.

      1. Yup. And as I said, they probably have tipped the razor thin margins in certain elections in favor of democrats. If it’s a margin of like .5% or the ridiculous 49.79% instead of 50 that Perdue got in the first place, then we have to assume they did it, assuming they have any influence at all. That is really dangerous.

      2. Hell, the “private company” thing may not even be the relevant standing case law and precedent. The case Misek linked to above seems like it might actually be *really* applicable here.

    2. I mean, you could just as well argue conservatives get all flip floppy now that their preferred platform was taken off and they want govt to do something about it.

      And no- it’s not private company bullshit. It’s the core of libertarian ideals to respect private property.

      You still have free speech. Go down to your street corner and yell all you want. You have ZERO rights to use someone else’s property to spout your bullshit.

      If you feel so offended, start up your own parler site with your own servers. It really isn’t *that* hard (hence why the pirate bay people say it’s embarrassing how bad parler IT is) and no one can “censor” you then.

      1. Fascist apologia… there’s really nothing else to describe what your saying.

        You know that they’re making editorial decisions as publishers, while working under the instructions of a political party to carry out a political agenda.
        They’re no longer acting as private entities, but publishers for a political party.
        That’s dictionary fascism.

        1. Doesn’t matter, their servers, their property, they can do as they please. I don’t have to like it, but I do have to be consistent in how I apply my principles of liberty. If you think the government should force someone to host your content, you’re the tyrant. You can believe in private property rights and free speech without them being mutually exclusive. You don’t have a right to come into my home and kvetch like a retard, I would physically remove you, and I see no difference here; those servers and code are their private property.

          If you force, through the government, the use of someone’s printing press, you would be violating their rights, and you’re certainly no libertarian. I shouldn’t be forced to let you use anything of mine if I don’t want to, just like the baker in colorado should never be forced to bake a cake.

          1. “Doesn’t matter, their servers, their property, they can do as they please.”

            Not if they’re disenfranchising customers acting solely on the orders of a government entity. There is no actual benefit to Apple or Amazon here, the benefit is purely the Democratic party’s. This really is a first amendment violation because ultimately it is elected officials who are directing this action.

            As others have said Section 1 of the Sherman Act also seems to apply here.

      2. Industrial behemoths act as political helpers of one party. They are not acting as private, profit oriented entities anymore. Again, censorship doesn’t have anything to do with private/public, and needs to be condemned even though not directly punishable in private. Censorship apologists like you need to be called out as well, even though I can’t throw you in jail for that.

        Parler has tried to be the parler you ask me to start. See what the industry does to them? You will fail though. Even with the massive leftist media support, democrats couldn’t make it past almost even 50/50 splits. People are more aware than ever of this bullshit. Thanks to Donald J. Trump. Say anything else you want about him, including being incompetent (though certainly not dumb). Honesty is on the rise in this country. And the woke left… is not.

  7. Is the Great Deplatforming of 2021 an Assault on Free Speech?
    No, lets expand Section 230 and build yUr oWn iNtErnEt

    Sasuga, Reason.

    1. There was an option for citizens to actually build their own ‘internet’ through RF hop technology. (like WiFi – hop) house to house. So far the infrastructure hasn’t been assaulted but if Gov gets censorship POWER it’s very likely to attack the infrastructure.

      1. TOR can probably kiss it’s ass goodbye too.

        I can hardly wait to see how sarc and White Knight will try to explain away that one.

  8. If you don’t believe in the hard election fraud, look at the razor thin margin between Ossoff and Perdue.

    Do you think that maybe that thin margin would have had a different color, without the massive, one-sided support/influence by social media, search engines etc.?

    If the elections are “rigged”, then this is how it’s done. That can only be achieved in a very split country like this one, sure. Does that make it acceptable?

    1. As Demonizing behavior as it is; It’s still the Citizens *right* to be sheeple of mindless babble.

  9. If you want to split the population into factions that never speak to each other, this is a good start. Already conservatives are better able to identify liberal policy positions and to explain why liberals hold those positions – the liberal media makes that almost inevitable. Liberals don’t understand conservatives and make up straw man explanations for what they think conservatives do – most wouldn’t be caught dead watching Fox News, so make up stories about they imagine goes on there.
    Expect much more of this in the next decade.

    1. People would watch and read conservative slants if that’s what they were- slants. No one honestly is going to tell you MSNBC and others aren’t biased. But what Fox News (and good god- OANN and Newsmax) do is beyond slant- it’s pure fiction or glossing over stories entirely.

      Studies have shown Fox News viewers were LESS educated than those who didn’t seek out news at all. They don’t even claim to be news- they claim to be an entertainment company.

      The problem is partly liberal closemindedness- the bulk of it is pure BS on the conservative side. I mean, who was arguing against the TCJA that added 2 TRILLION to the debt? No sane conservative would’ve ever accepted that BS without massive spending cuts.

      Let’s not act like this is some “both sides” or liberal issue- it’s not. It’s vastly outstripped by pure falsehoods being spouted as truth on the right. Look at “stop the steal” and all that bs to begin with. 60+ court cases with 0 victories still can’t convince people that nothing is amiss- even when it’s Republican leadership at the state levels saying it’s all valid.

      1. I should say “no on honest” is going to tell you MSNBC and the others aren’t biased.

      2. I’ve never watched Fox news in my life, I’m not even sure that you can get it up here…
        But, when you have CNN and the NYT and TwitterJack all behaving like the DNC’s very own version of Der Stürmer, and that’s cool with you; then you have some guts to be screaming about people watching Fox.

      3. Fox News is a Bushie subsidiary and incontrastable to CNN & MSNBC

      4. But what Fox News (and good god- OANN and Newsmax) do is beyond slant- it’s pure fiction or glossing over stories entirely.

        Which again does not distinguish from the left media as the “Kavanaugh ran a rape ring” and “Hunter Biden isn’t corrupt” stories showed.

        The truth is the left is far advanced on fantasy news. Not only do they claim more than 1 in 4 women on campus are sexually assaulted during a 4 year term they created a sex inquisition based on their fantasies. Similarly they claimed to believe half of all personal bankruptcies in America were due to medical bills and used it to pass a massively wasteful bill which accomplished none of its stated goals including reducing personal bankruptcy.

        They don’t just create fake news they use it to support damaging legislations.

        1. Wait, is the claim 1 in 4 women are assaulted during their college term? I thought it was 1 in 4 during their lives, which seemed significantly more likely. Possibly still inflated, but at least not insane.

          1. Yes, during 4 years on campus.

      5. Studies have shown

        This is a dead giveaway that the author is full of shit and has no idea what s/he is talking about.

        1. Studies have shown that freedom is good, and slavery is bad.

          I guess I’m totally full of shit now? WuzYoungOnceToo ready to enslave us all now?

          1. Here’s a surprise…
            Sqrlsy’s apparently a little to uneducated to understand the concept of weasel words and tergiversating.

      6. Damn you’re an idiot. And arrogant to boot. Dangerous combo moron.

  10. I posted this yesterday, but it’s applicable here too.

    Without a doubt, Tulsi Gabbard joins Rand Paul as the last somewhat libertarian elected officials.

    Tulsi Gabbard Pulls Back the Curtain on Why Congress Won’t Act Against Big Tech

    “What this comes down to is, section 230 gives them this legal immunity because the idea is that they are just this neutral platform, kind of like a town square,” said Gabbard.

    “This is distinct and different from somebody like the New York Times, for example, or any major media platform that does not have legal immunity because they are publishers, and they do pick and choose what news stories they publish, what letters do the editor’s ar printed, what kind of op-eds are put on their platform, and they make those decisions knowing they are legally liable.”

    Gabbard noted that these platforms are now acting as publishers as they are now making editorial decisions while maintaining a legal immunity under section 230.

    Gabbard then discussed her recent legislation that would reform section 230, which would remove the broad protections provided by the law and make things a bit more precise in what Silicon Valley giants can get away with.

    It seems like a pretty obvious move so why hasn’t it been done yet? Gabbard lets us in on a little Capitol Hill secret.

    “The real question we should all be asking is ‘why hasn’t it been fixed yet?’” said Gabbard.

    Gabbard notes that despite all the committee hearings and big talk, nothing has been done. So why?

    “It goes to money,” said Gabbard.

    “I’ve seen it happen,” she continued. “Google will have a bit reception and members of congress will go and pick up their checks. Facebook will have a big reception and they’ll go and ‘hey, where’s my check?’”

    It’s an Occam’s razor situation where the simplest answer is usually the right one. As Gabbard reveals, the reason no one is acting on big tech is that the companies are inviting our elected members of congress into their very deep pockets.

    This is a massive abuse of power on several levels and if our elected officials can’t resist the temptation of extra money in their pockets, then they need to be removed.”

    https://redstate.com/brandon_morse/2021/01/12/tulsi-gabbard-reveals-why-congress-wont-act-against-big-tech-n308619#

    1. Tulsi Gabbard is a Democrat, you know, Momma. If you and Tulsi Gabbard get to tear down Section 230… However good-looking Tulsi Gabbard may yea verily be, and the disgustingly obtrusive image of Your moose-fucking may disgust my guts to the point of puking… All that means VERY little! Who payed how much money to whom? Ask me if I give a shit! Go right ahead! I care when SMUG SUPERIOR ASSHOLES TAKE AWAY MY FREEDOMS!!! And THAT is gonna happen if Section 230 is torn down! By anyone or everyone! Tulsi Gabbard is a “sensitive” Democrat, so she WILL add provisions, when tearing down Section 230, to prevent conservaturd asshole moose-fuckers like YOU, from hurting ANYONE’s baby feelings! GOOD LUCK getting Her to protect YOUR conservaturd views! Purple, green, or yellow, if you tear down Section 230, WITHOUT some similar, simple Government-Almighty-powers-limiting law, then I must PAY for YOUR punishment boner, with MY freedom of speech! And FUCK YOU UP YOUR BLOODY SELF-RIGHTEOUS ASSHOLE for that!

      1. Ugh.. I didn’t read most of that nonsense, but something about hating Tulsi and fucking her bloody asshole.
        Thank goodness for the spam button so that I don’t have to read Sqrlsy’s rape fantasy again.

        1. Should we report that as a threat against Tulsi to the police? I’m not sure how serious he is.

          1. Nope, lest you become like WK.

    2. … And to think that because NYT didn’t have “immunity” they are the champions of this “free speech” you’re after…

      Let it GO!

  11. Also, I have to add that social media very likely made the difference between 49.79% and 50% for Perdue in the first GA Senate election. We are talking about 0.21% here, Social media likely delivered that, if we assume they have any influence at all.

    And if they don’t have any influence, why would they censor anyone then? Why would they delete anyone’s posts then?

  12. We have a right to free speech.
    We do not have a right that keeps bullies from rushing into the hall and shoving us off the stage.

    You don’t like it? Go spend a gazillion dollars to set up an alternative, and still find out you don’t exist without the permission of the fascists.

    Of course, on the other hand – – – –
    It is not actually censorship, it is just a conspiracy to violate constitutional rights, and no one cares about that any more.

    1. There is no Constitutional Right to use other peoples property for your speech!

      1. We carry all our constitutional rights with us everywhere we go, especially on private property where they are most threatened.

        This has already been settled in the Supreme Court.

        Suck it up princess.

  13. When social media companies say they work with law enforcement, when politicians threaten to actually enforce antitrust provisions if social media doesn’t do what they want, and social media counts on govt protection in the form of sec 230, then private activities become government activities. Courts have already ruled the state cannot bypass restrictions by ‘encouraging’ private enterprises to do the job for them.

    Fuck off, Reason.

    1. Cry more snowflake.

      1. Aww, is someone butthurt because theyve been called a snowflake a little too often? 😀 You won’t cease to be a snowflake just because you project it.

        1. raspberrydinners Jeff’s too fat to be a snowflake.

          Call him “snowball”.

  14. Yes it is an assault on free speech. Stop doing this.

  15. If the government can give every person in the US $600, then they sure could give every person in the US 600 free IPv6 addresses. (There’s more than a million of them for every person on Earth.) Then everyone who wanted could put a server online, and enjoy the same Section 230 rights that Big Tech gets.

    1. You want a government-subsidized free speech platform for every individual in this country? Thoughts like this are why I am still reading these comments. Not sure if I can agree, but it sounds very interesting and I will keep it in mind.

      1. Twitter and Facebook made it big on the teat of subsidies, why not everyone else.

    2. Gotta think the consequences through I mean

  16. So here is a question. When did free speech become a part of telephone conversations. You can say anything you want to anyone on teh other end who is willing to listen. If the phone companies are not allowed, as far as I know, to stop people from using phones to say what they want. how do we get the internet to where they can’t silence anyone for any reason.

    1. Phone Companies are allowed to stop communication; they just chose not to for any reason than not paying the phone bill. Instead of turning this into a Gov-Gods must save us; It should be a human lesson on keeping VALUE away from Power-Mad Socialists.

      1. You support the phone companies listening to your conversations and cutting you off if you disparage the great leader?

        1. If it is disclosed as such before contract without hidden agenda then yes. There may be a contract-violation-case that could be made to a judiciary; but not legislatively. And certainly NOT at the national level. People should not be able to thwart property rights on a willy-nilly ‘claim’ of self-entitlement to………

          I support not having ‘the great leader’. I support encouraging people to CREATE supply instead of DICTATE demand.

          So long as the infrastructure isn’t compromised of which should be established by more LOCAL governing lessons will be learned NOT to trust *that* retailer and it will self-correct by going out of business. There have been plenty of examples to confirm this already. Remember when Yahoo was a ‘threat’ or when MySpace was a ‘threat’ or when Microsoft was in congress endlessly. Was the CORRECT solution to Govern-tize Microsoft? Android came along a blew them out of the water and mostly because Microsoft wasn’t ‘governtized’.

        2. Too Summarize all that; The only entity that can monopolize stupid is Gov-Guns.

          1. “ If it is disclosed as such before contract without hidden agenda then yes.”

            There’s no hidden agenda in communist China, thanks to the kind of collusion between government and business that you advocate, that’s the only choice you get.

      2. That’s not accurate. Phone companies are regulated by the FCC as common carriers. Greatly simplifying and summarizing, that imposes an obligation to provide service on a non-discriminatory basis to any customer willing to pay what they charge.

  17. >>by a pro-Trump mob

    nope.

    1. Of 30,000 people having what? 100 of them at most become unarmed pushy aggressive is a far shot at calling it a unified ‘mob’….

      There’s far bigger ‘mobs’ inside that building than the one’s outside working on getting in.

  18. They should all just start coordinating through their most hated websites’ comment section, force them to shut it down in the name of safety for everyone.

  19. Reason’s libertarians for censorship are now worried about censorship.WOW! What next they will start worrying about impeachments with no evidence, and no due process? Well there was evidence, how people felt, a bit subjective but good enough for Reason libertarians for Biden. Really which party is the bigger threat to democracy? The one that runs fake political impeachment, the one that wants to take your kids away, the one that wants to put you in “re-education camps” the one that wants to censor you, the one that wants to end the 2nd amendment to protect you, one that challenged an election just like Barbara Boxer did in 2001 or Nancy Pelosi did in 2006?

  20. It is absurd that a purportedly libertarian website says that deplatforming is not a threat to free speech. How could it NOT be?
    What if the phone company prevented you from using the phone in 1960, would that be a threat to free speech? This is fucking Idiocracy 500 years before the movie predicted it.

    1. Except the Gov didn’t TAKE OVER the phone company; They sliced and diced and it worked out great. GOV is NOT the solution!

  21. No.

    You have a right to speak, not to be published.

    Now go outside and yell at the trees.

    1. That’s Disturbing the Peace citizen.

    2. If you run a business which is open for the general public, you are obliged to respect ALL their human rights.

      This has already been settled in the Supreme Court.

      Suck it up princess.

  22. Both REASON and NEWSMAX have really open and easy to post comments platforms. That in itself promotes freedom of speech. The only thing one gains from PARLER is maybe a few more people will see your opinion. But that does not mean you are influencing others; they may not take you seriously.

    Before social media, we could write a letter to the editor, we could shout on street corners; you could go door-to-door like Jehovah’s Witnesses, or leave publications on the street like The Watchtower. One church in Seal Beach has a preacher right by the outdoor showers. During the time it takes to rinse off your feet, you have a chance to be saved. Can’t beat that.

    We can still do all these things, plus post comments online.

    The issue with PARLER is not free speech so much as equal protection under the law. If the things PARLER posters were saying that caused the site to be de-hosted are still allowed on other platforms, then it is more of an equal protection issue.

    1. When you are told “you can’t speak here” because of your content, it is a free speech issue.

      The fact that there may be somewhere else you can go is irrelevant.

      We carry our rights with us wherever we are.

  23. If you run a business which is open for the general public, you are obliged to respect ALL their human rights.
    https://jazzpackagess.blogspot.com/2019/09/Mobilink-Jazz-Internet-Packages.html

  24. Deplatforming has become only in the know now because some people of reputation got penalized. But it’s existed for a long time and many people were dragged into that even did not have to do much with the policies or not more than just expressing their thoughts over some apparent issues where the nation was divided. We are going to see see redundant policies and where the freedom of speech stays in 2021 or even after that.

Please to post comments