Free Speech

Nat'l Ass'n of Realtors Bans "Harassing Speech" or "Hate Speech"—Anywhere, Any Time—by Members

|

The policy is here:

REALTORS® must not use harassing speech, hate speech, epithets, or slurs based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

The Realtors are a private organization, so this isn't a First Amendment violation, just as blacklisting of supposedly "un-American" employees in the 1950s wasn't a First Amendment violation. But it strikes me as potentially quite dangerous, especially given that National Association of Realtors membership appears to be quite important professionally to real estate agents; apparently,

in many parts of the country, NAR membership is required to gain access to the Multiple Listing Service, a searchable online database that sorts available real estate properties by parameters such as square footage, acreage, architectural style and much more. "If I were to lose access to that it would potentially devastate my ability to perform my career duties," a Realtor commented on NAR's Facebook page.

One way of thinking about this would be to ask what we'd think of this policy:

REALTORS® must not use speech supportive of unlawful violence, arson, or destruction of property, whether targeting political leaders, police officers, businesses, political organizations, or others.

Would we think that it's good that private professional organizations are suppressing such speech, on the theory that such speech codes can help give people confidence that the professionals they're dealing with support law and order? Or would we think that, even if most calls for unlawful violence are improper, there shouldn't be professional blacklists of people based on their ideological views?

This is especially so because what one group has done, other groups in other fields will be likely to feel pressured to do as well—and of course we've seen how broad and ill-defined the label "hate speech" has become. John Murawski (RealClearInvestigations) has more:

The sweeping prohibition applies to association members 24/7, covering all communication, private and professional, written and spoken, online and off. Punishment could top out at a maximum fine of $15,000 and expulsion from the organization.

NEXT: The First Amendment Doesn't Protect Trump Against Impeachment for his Role in Inciting the Assault on the Capitol

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. Sasha assures us that this is totes American and a VERY good thing.

    1. I think a mandatory loyalty pledge to the United States and the Black Lives Matter movement would also help unite the country and cure it of its historical racism.

      1. Yes, and in 15 years, “Kill the ******s” will become socially acceptable. And one of us doesn’t consider acceptable.

    2. Really. Why does Prof. Volokh harangue his readers with this stuff? Why doesn’t he poll his own faculty colleagues, the fellow Conspirators, or his own family members? Most of them–especially the latter two groups–would be totally on board with this.

      1. Most of what he does is lather the bigoted, uneducated, shambling right-wing rubes. He has become quite good at it. Perhaps, in the clingerverse, that is perceived as something of which to be proud.

      2. Most conservatives would be fine with the proposition that private groups get to decide who can be associated with them. It’s the modern, capital-C Conservatives who want to force other people to accept whatever they want to do with no consequences of their chosen acts.
        I want to say racist things but then other people can’t call me racist for doing so.
        It is a movement that doesn’t so much have guiding principles, except for “whatever those librul people over there are for, we’re agin it.”

        1. Giving people the power to destroy your career that you spent a lifetime to build because they disagree with something you said on Twitter.

          What could go wrong?

          We shouldn’t be concerned about entities that control professions, like the National Association of Realtors, doing this, right?

          Look, if consequences for free speech are fine, then why isn’t it fine for the government to create consequences? In Communist China, you could say, they just have “consequences” for speaking.

          There is a practical matter you are totally missing. A person isn’t really free to speak if there are powerful people who can crush them for doing so.

          1. “Giving people the power to destroy your career that you spent a lifetime to build because they disagree with something you said on Twitter.”

            Solution: Don’t give people that power.

            “We shouldn’t be concerned about entities that control professions, like the National Association of Realtors, doing this, right?”

            Should we start with your foolish assertion that the National Association of Realtors controls professions?

            “There is a practical matter you are totally missing. A person isn’t really free to speak if there are powerful people who can crush them for doing so.”

            This is an unfortunate side effect of living in a capitalist society. I you publicly complain about your employer, they have the option to stop being your employer. This is unfortunately true even when your speaking up is to the public benefit, say if you were pointing out that the pipelines your oil-company employer was planning were likely to leak oil into the watershed.

    3. So if I say God is a fairy tale since I an atheist and know evolution supersedes Genisis, is that forbidden? or that sex is determined at birth by chromosomes? Maybe not sexuality but certainly sex is

      1. Your adherence to science is wonderful, if you take note that there are more than two options that people can fall into. If it’s just cover so you can belittle anyone who’s different from what you think they should be, that’s not so wonderful.

  2. Just short of gestures, facial expressions and micro-aggression accusations based on landscaping and home decor.

  3. I like to remind people that the 1960s came after the 1950s, and that there was a significant backlash to the Anti-Americanism of the 1950s, with the end result being that society was more tolerant of Anti-Americanism than it had been before they started.

    History repeats itself and ten years from now, we are going to have a whole lot more hate speech than when these folk started.

    1. Facebook has already taken affirmative action to ban anti-Black hate speech on their platform. Anti-white hate speech has been de-prioritized, just like the CDC has de-prioritized older, whiter Americans from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. I’m glad that our major social media corporations and federal bureaucracies are moving toward more race-equitable policies and procedures. Also, Trump was banned from Twitter! Yeah! Victory!

      1. “Trump was banned from Twitter! Yeah! Victory!”

        If he wanted to keep using Twitter’s computer equipment, all he had to do was follow the rules set by the owner of that equipment. He made his choice.

  4. I’m curious about the implications of legal, private actions to restrict speech. Suppose that every single private organization in the US imposed thought-crime rules on their members. Other than public jobs, would anyone with wrongthink be able to live in an area where the organization’s thought rules make the individual a thought criminal? Logically, such a society would lead to segregation and secession as individuals would become incapable of participating in society and future generations of thought criminals would need to flee their places of origin. Does 1A prevent such a society from forming? Are there any legal remedies to prevent degeneration to this degree? I would argue it’s a moot point because a culture that wants to be this way would mean America and free speech died long before that point, but I do find it interesting as a thought experiment because I do not know how to address legally permissible attacks on free speech.

    1. awildspeaking, the difference is that the disaffected and excluded always retain the possibility of creating new private organizations that don’t exclude them. The state is different because its power to control the populace is limited only by its own rules, and because it can prevent the creation of alternate governments. There is cause to apply the same restrictions to private organizations if they enjoy a legally enforceable monopoly and a similar scope of influence.

      1. NAR is different to the extent that it acts as a cartel, for example through restricting access to MLS described in Prof. Volokh’s post.

        1. Yes, and what this stuff is going to provoke is a re-evaluation of the anti-trust laws. A needed reevaluation.

          1. No, it isn’t, because the Democrats are in charge now, and they approve of this.

            1. No, it isn’t because with Democrats in charge now, there is once again a focus on doing the job right (whatever the job is). So, no, there won’t be any re-evaluation of anti-trust laws because NAR isn’t a trust, so there’s nothing an anti-trust law can do to them.

      2. On the same day Trump is permanently banned by all big tech, Google also deletes Parler from its app store.

        It’s not just Trump, but every single social media user who has a following and whose opinions the whiny liberal fascists find threatening. They purge followers, “reduce distribution,” shadow ban, etc. Like this random person I just found https://twitter.com/ZubyMusic

        1. Near as I can tell, their justification for removing Parler is that it was used to coordinate the Capitol Hill riot.

          Color me surprised that Facebook and Twitter were not removed after being used to coordinate Antifa and BLM riots all summer long.

          1. Too big to fail strikes again

            1. Too allied, you mean.

          2. False equivalence is a kind of equivalence, I guess.

            1. False equivalence is a kind of equivalence, I guess.

              You’re right, they’re not equal at all. The BLM/antifa riots resulted in far more deaths (something like 25 or so, including at least one cold-blooded murder) and property destruction than what occurred in D.C.

        2. As I understand it, Apple did this…

          1. Apple gave Parler 24 hours to comply, or be banned. Google banned Parler until they comply.

            1. This is why apps are the devil’s work. Permission from some remote 3rd party company to use a service? Why would anyone configure their service to require that? Just so that you can have reduced user control?

              Web based all the way.

              1. Waaa! no fair! the big tech companies won’t let us use their infrastructure the way we want to! (stomps feet)

        3. If you’re anti-Google, why are you using Google’s systems to make yours work (and reach your audience?)
          I thought you guys claimed to be the party of self-responsibility.

    2. “I’m curious about the implications of legal, private actions to restrict speech. Suppose that every single private organization in the US imposed thought-crime rules on their members.”

      You mean like happened in the 1950’s, to anyone who dared to suggest that Communism seemed like it might have some value? (it was good enough for the early Christian church, after all).

      Or look at what happens to any modern-day person who finds themself a convicted sex-criminal, which can happen to people who haven’t committed any actual criminal sex.

  5. This is a slippery slope to nuclear destruction.

  6. Private organizations are vulnerable to pressure from government as well. Notice AOC just demanded that Apple and Google pull Parler from their platforms. They appear to be complying.

    1. AOC is a jew puppet, c’mon, give it up. She is the mouthpiece for something already planned, Apple and Google controlled by jews….anything to control the goy’s ability to dissent from a jewish agenda is the essence of today’s government…..2A will fix.

      1. AOC is a Latina queen! Also, everyone posting here is a Jew too.

      2. I believe she’s actually Puerto Rican and nominally Catholic.

        1. y’know, Jewish.

      3. I really wish people would stop using this form to air their crap about Jews or autistics or whatever.

        1. Pavel is clearly a parody commenter, as is the Rabbi. Honestly, with all the mock racism and the personal insults, this comment section isn’t really worth the time anymore. When was the last time there was a really good, substantive discussion?

          1. Why can’t all the people who would prefer to believe in a huge conspiracy over the possibility that they lost an election just come together and discuss their issues like rational people?

    2. It sounds like Google and Apple are demanding that Parler moderate third party posts. So section 230 doesn’t enable free speech, it just passes along censorship authority to private entities.

      So we have to allow defamation and get no benefit. Interesting.

      1. ” it just passes along censorship authority to private entities.”

        Private entities have always had censorship authority. That’s why you so rarely find pro-union articles in the company newsletter.

        Think of this as an opportunity. there’s a potential market for idiots who want their application choices to include partisan idiocy. Build the Backward Store and scoop up all those app users who don’t find that Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store are serving their needs! Be the next iteration of Rupert Murdoch, who saw that there was a market for people who wanted biased news and built an operation to serve that market.

  7. You want a civil war?

    This is how you get a civil war.

    The left has decided that anyone who is not a leftist is unfit for civil society. Polarizing much?

    1. The only way to stop them is to storm the Capitol!

      You go first

    2. The jews are begging for the goy to start killing each other, then they will take complete control…..jew on!!!

      1. Looks like we got another schizo who took too many redpills on the anime imageboards.

      2. I have never heard a goyim use the word, goy.

        1. You must not get around much in some circles.
          I have an Italian friend that uses Yiddish words all the time, but he’s not alone.

    3. They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind…

      Hosea 8:7

      Also, Bomber Harris in WWII

      1. One day he cast his net, and all he caught in his net was mud.

        Alexander Pushkin

    4. You have to be civil to be part of civil society.

    5. “The left has decided that anyone who is not a leftist is unfit for civil society. Polarizing much?”

      Sounds like someone’s mad that the leftists are swiping tools from the right’s armory.

  8. I seriously doubt that this is a serious problem….The realtor wants to make the sale, why would they say anything that impacts that?

    1. What about a sale to a racist?

    2. Look up the word “redlining”.

  9. Look for the jew in the Realtor association…..realtors are not smart enough to come up with this on their own. Realtors are a national racketeering operation under the guise of sales. No reason there needs to be a ‘national’ organization to rig the housing market, just a jewish invention, like the regulated practice of ‘law’ This is a jewish game to inject the unconstitutional into a Christian society to pave the way to jail those who will not support ISRAEL….hate dat!!!

    Easy way to deal with it is to boycott Israel and Realtors!!! Hit them in the wallet, they are jews, damage to their wallets will shut them up, they love money the most!!!!

    1. Pavel: Shabbat Shalom….and GFY.

      Am Chai Yisrael!

    2. Hi, Pavel. Do you have a spare bedroom? The Biden administration will force you to house a Jew there. You will do so after signing a consent decree written by Artie.

      1. Who would sign a petition to Eugene to host a debate between Pavel and Artie? Each must submit an analysis of their mitochondrial DNA prior to the encounter.

  10. The real estate business strikes me as stuck in the pre-computer era in some ways, like the taxi business was. I know you can search online, but you are still expected to pay commission to a pair of humans who don’t do half of what they used to.

    1. They never really did that much.

    2. When we were house hunting, the only thing the realtor ever did for us was get us in the door, so we could check out the houses WE found.

      1. You most likely found the houses YOU found because of the efforts of a Realtor to market it. They’re primarily seller’s agents. They do things like verify that the potential buyers actually can produce funds at closing. When both buyer and seller are represented, the seller pays both.

        1. Never did that much for me as either a buyer or seller. I found the properties listed for sale and paid a commission. Everything else was handled by the title company or a lawyer.

  11. Just hit the REALTORS with an anti trust suit, racketeering, then let the marketplace decide if they want to deal with the Jewish agenda in the housing market.

    1. When they countersue, and you lose, anyone laughing is a Jew.

  12. @ Eugene,
    Your family is from the Soviet Union. How do you think this will play out? Obviously, the government can’t coerce people into public affirmations or restrict their ability to speak their minds but how does a society operate when the private sector limits speech? I suppose this limitation of what is publicly acceptable has always existed in society but recently, the window of acceptable views has narrowed. Is there anyway to reverse this trend or are we destined to be quiet before our corporate masters and their technocratic supporters?

    1. Did people comply with Heil Hitler because the law required it, or social pressure? Did companies go along because the law required it, or social pressure? Did companies go along out of fear law changes would crush their business, like changing or removing section 230?

      It is the monster mass movements to fear.

    2. RabbiHarveyWeinstein — The public’s vulnerability to mass private censorship is a relatively new thing in the world. It comes as a result of mass media consolidation on the internet, to the point of near monopoly.

      Absent that, you might still see small local efforts along the same lines, but not many, and not for long. They would be ineffectual and short-lived, because they would be easily circumvented by users and contributors switching among many competitors. It is a practical inability to choose and switch freely which makes the result of private publishing policy akin to government censorship in its effects.

      All of that happened because Section 230 laid the groundwork for monopolistic publishing business models on the internet. For publishers, newly licensed publishing-without-editing abruptly disconnected the advantages of more ad sales from the disadvantages of proportionately increasing editorial costs. From there, networking effects took over, and a race for niche-based publishing monopolies ensued.

      Dominant players tended to be among the earliest to exploit any business-model-defined niche. Would-be competitors were out of luck, unless they could invent a new business-model-defined niche of their own, and dominate it in turn.

      To turn back, only two alternatives are available. One is to try to manage problems ad hoc, with actual government censorship of private publishers after they become monopolistic. That would be a cure worse than the disease. Nevertheless, a political firestorm is building to implement censorship as a policy patch. Doing it would be a catastrophe for press freedom.

      By far the better alternative is to recognize that however well-meaning Section 230 was—as an attempt to promote speech freedom on the internet—it has had baleful practical consequences. In practice, Section 230 stifled publishing diversity and profusion, while encouraging a host of other ills.

      Diversity and profusion among private publishers is the only known safe harbor against government censorship. Public policy to promote diversity and profusion in publishing is the wise choice to keep publishing free of censorship, whether by unaccountable private monopolists, or by actual government censors. Return to diversity and profusion among private publishers should now become the public policy priority.

      Before that can happen politically, internet enthusiasts will have to give up utopian hopes that Section 230 kindled among them. The vision of a publishing sector accessible world-wide, at no cost, and empowered to let anyone with a keyboard say anything at all, without constraints, has proved hopelessly impractical.

      To understand why, consider one key difference which distinguishes the post-Section 230 internet publishing world from the legacy publishing world which preceded it—the difference in effect between publishing without prior private editing, and publishing subject to prior private editing.

      In the former instance, every defamation must be published first, and do its full damage, before any victim can even beg for correction, let alone seek redress. Instances of defamation abound, becoming so numerous that hopes of seeking recompense for victims become impractical. However politically repugnant, acceptance of defamation as inevitable becomes a new legal norm. Political backlash ensues, featuring demands for government censorship. That is what the nation has experienced in fact, and it is a process which continues to accelerate.

      Contrast that outcome with the latter instance above, where private editing prior to publication prevents before they happen the vast majority of would-be defamations. The public benefit of that far exceeds the benefit available from court judgments compensating victims, but those remain practical too. That is what the nation has given up.

      To understand that difference in terms of Section 230, think of it more generally—as the difference between liability for only publishing contributors, versus liability shared jointly by publishers and their contributors—imposing that separation has been the effectual method of Section 230. Thus, the Section 230 regime is the former—a regime of publishing without reading, made newly available because publishers exempt from liability need not fear consequences. The legacy publishing world is the latter, a regime where practical requirements to read before publishing were driven by self-interest of publishers to avoid their own share of liability for defamation.

      Note how that way of thinking dramatically increases insight into the effects Section 230 has actually delivered. Defamation, as important a topic as it is, ceases to be the sole focus, or even the most important focus. Publishing without reading does not merely license defamation, but encourages also proliferation of every other kind of publishing vice: financial frauds; scurrilous personal attacks by spouses embittered after failed marriages; Nigerian scams; childish attacks on middle-school classmates with disabilities; weaponized speech against disfavored minorities; lies about election management and outcomes; victimization schemes targeting mentally infirm elders—all those and many more abound when there are no editors at work to prevent them.

      Thus, for many years, the nation relied—largely without realizing it—on the law of defamation to deliver benefits not directly related to defamation issues at all. Defamation law’s practical requirement for reading before publishing—a requirement imposed by making publishers share liability with contributors—provided occasion to screen published content for all those other kinds of public injuries, and to prevent them too, before they happened. A general summary is that private editing made that possible, because it became, de facto, a means to encourage vigorously among publishers an opportunity to compete on the basis of content quality.

      Section 230 swept all that away. By separating publisher liability from contributor liability, Section 230 enabled publishing without reading as a practical business model—which in fact became the now-dominant business model in publishing.

      A further baleful side-effect has been the loss of a huge chunk of the nation’s news gathering capacity. Newspapers (and responsible broadcast media as well), which perforce must increase editorial costs or forego business growth, have responded to Section 230’s policy changes as if they were market dictates—dictates to cut editorial-side costs as near to zero as possible. The nation’s news supply has withered accordingly.

      Section 230 has proved highly consequential. Alas, consequences now disclosed by practical experience have included a bit of good, overwhelmed by a shocking list of unexpected negatives. Those demonstrate that the aspirations behind Section 230 were indeed utopian, and cannot be realized without unacceptable costs.

      Only one public policy response is reasonable. Cut the losses. Concede the utopian character of the ambitions behind Section 230. Go back to the previous requirement that all publishers must share defamation liability with their contributors, and thus must read everything before publishing it. Rely on that to increase diversity and profusion among internet publishers, by putting start-ups on a more favorable business basis compared to entrenched would-be monopolists. Stanch the political threat to impose government censorship on private publishers.

      Repeal Section 230.

      1. Lathrop might be the only commenter here dumber than Brett. He really does not grasp that he is advocating to repeal a law that prevents government censorship to prevent calls for repealing a law preventing government censorship, all for the purpose of increasing government censorship.

        1. He does insist on demonstrating over and over that he does not understand the law he wants to overturn.

          1. That having been said, I was overreacting. Lathrop is only really dumb on this one issue. And there are lots of people here dumber than him. I mean: Dr. Ed.

        2. Nieporent, as I have told you before, my purpose is not government censorship. It is restoration of private editing prior to publication. I have made that clear.

          You continue trying to distort my meaning, which I know I have explained adequately for your understanding. You do that not because there is anything in my meaning close to your description of it, but because your own take on private editing is bizarre.

          Do you know of any other lawyer who would argue to a judge what you do not hesitate to insist here—that it is actually government censorship to use private editing to avoid civil liability for defamation? I doubt even you would try that in court.

          On the larger point, several years ago I began predicting that Section 230 would bring on increasing political pressure for actual government censorship of internet publishing. That prediction was scoffed at by you and others. Look around. It came true. That pressure will only increase further.

          James Pollock, I understand Section 230 as well as you do. But I also have an advantage you lack. I have varied and successful experience in the news publishing business.

          It is not enough to understand only what the law says. To understand what the law means in practice, you have to understand what the law purports to govern. I do understand that, and you do not. In the case of Section 230, what the law means in practice turns out to be notably at odds with what it says, and very far indeed from expectations its authors and supporters cherished for it. Those actually utopian expectations continue to be insisted upon as articles of faith by almost every supporter of Section 230, but they can never be realized.

          The law’s authors did not understand what they were trying to govern, and they made a mess. I have described in a bit of detail the features of that mess, and aspects of the law which contributed to them.

          Neither you nor Nieporent apparently trust yourselves to engage with that part of my discussion. Which is why you have nothing to say about specifics. That is probably wise of you. But it is foolish of you to continue to insist on Section 230 as an indispensable boon to publishing. Evidence to the contrary is accumulating much too fast for that. Especially troubling is ever-growing pressure—from across the political spectrum—for government censorship of internet publishing. Your advocacy would bring that on. My advocacy is against it.

          If you do not understand that, perhaps it would be constructive to engage in a more detailed discussion of the particulars. I am still trying to find the simplest way to describe this inherently complicated topic. Trying to explain it to you two might be good practice.

          1. Nieporent, as I have told you before, my purpose is not government censorship. It is restoration of private editing prior to publication. I have made that clear.

            And I have made clear to you — repeatedly — that whatever your “purpose” (primarily, full employment for editors) the mechanism you want to use to accomplish this purpose is for the government to threaten service providers with massive fines if they fail to do it!

            Do you know of any other lawyer who would argue to a judge what you do not hesitate to insist here—that it is actually government censorship to use private editing to avoid civil liability for defamation? I doubt even you would try that in court.

            Once again: that’s NYT v. Sullivan and its progeny.

            On the larger point, several years ago I began predicting that Section 230 would bring on increasing political pressure for actual government censorship of internet publishing. That prediction was scoffed at by you and others. Look around. It came true. That pressure will only increase further.

            No, it did not come true. It was resoundingly refuted.

            James Pollock, I understand Section 230 as well as you do. But I also have an advantage you lack. I have varied and successful experience in the news publishing business.

            That’s a disadvantage, because you understand neither the law nor the technology. (§ 230 is not even primarily about the “news publishing business.”)

            My advocacy is against it.

            You want to repeal 230 so that the government can censor. Period.

            1. I know you are a lawyer, Nieporent. So I am baffled to read you insisting that a civil trial for libel is a system, “. . . for the government to threaten service providers with massive fines . . .”

              Same preface as above. NYT v. Sulllivan says private editing is government censorship? Can you cite where it says that?

              The rest is just crap not worth a response.

              1. I know you are a lawyer, Nieporent. So I am baffled to read you insisting that a civil trial for libel is a system, “. . . for the government to threaten service providers with massive fines . . .”

                When a court says to someone, “You must pay $4.3 million dollars because you published this,” what do you think that is?

                Same preface as above. NYT v. Sulllivan says private editing is government censorship? Can you cite where it says that?

                Sigh. Read again what you wrote, and what I wrote. I’ll help. These are your words; I’ll boldface the relevant part:

                “Do you know of any other lawyer who would argue to a judge what you do not hesitate to insist here—that it is actually government censorship to use private editing to avoid civil liability for defamation? I doubt even you would try that in court.”

                It’s not the existence of private editing that is government censorship. It is the coercion by the government to force someone to edit that constitutes the government censorship.

                That is what happened in NYT v. Sullivan. The NYT was fined $500,000 — the equivalent of $4.3 million today — by the state of Alabama for publishing an ad criticizing a man named L.B. Sullivan. Herbert Wechsler — who I assure you was a quite eminent lawyer and legal scholar — “tried that in court,” where “that” means making the argument that this conduct offended the First Amendment. The Supreme Court of the United States agreed.

                1. For the record, this has happened several times before. Lathrop spews his inane nonsense about § 230; I call it inane; he dares me to explain how; I do; he disappears from the thread.

          2. “James Pollock, I understand Section 230 as well as you do.”

            If this were true, it would be evident in your fevered ramblings on the subject, which it is not.

            What does show is a monomania based on misapprehension of what section 230 does, and what it was drafted to do.

            1. Pollock, are you helpless to be substantive?

      2. “The public’s vulnerability to mass private censorship is a relatively new thing in the world. It comes as a result of mass media consolidation on the internet, to the point of near monopoly. ”

        To people who lack knowledge of history, it’s new.

        1. James Pollock, you know of a time in American history pre-1996 when private editors had power to deny to particular 1A protected content any chance of publication, anywhere in the nation? Tell me about it. How did they so comprehensively rig the market, when there were so many editors and publishers who had to be in on it?

          Private editors are arguably able to do that now, because publishing is far more consolidated. I think that argument can be exaggerated, but it is much closer to being true than before. Many people fear big electronic publishers will do that, and have achieved sufficient concentration to discriminate against disfavored politics in the process. Some folks assert that events this week show that ability in action.

          Or are you just trying to make the non-point that prior to the internet, incompetent writing, bad reporting, or nonsensical opinion had a harder time finding a willing publisher? If so, sure, but it isn’t an argument which belongs in a discussion of censorship.

          Why don’t you try to engage some of the specific points I mentioned above?

  13. According to libs its fine and dandy if you’re essentially as oppressed and censored as you would be under the worst Stalinist regime as long as the government offloads the work on to the private sector. Despite the fact that they would scream bloody murder at the slightest infringement of the things they care about under the same mechanisms.

    At least the Left is enthusiastically capitalist about something!

    1. If you don’t like their speech, speak up on your own.

      If you don’t like your speech being banned from a platform, make your own platform.

      If you don’t like your platform being banned, um, fuck your feelings?

      I seriously wonder how they think this will end.

      1. Start your own platform lolz.

        *proceeds to ddos and launch hack attacks said platform and conspire with higher level service providers to deplatform the platform. And conspire with basic financial service monopolies to cut off any remaining lifelines.*

        1. Start you own platform, and make it resilient to DDOS and “hack attacks”. Back it with enough capital to overcome attempts to “deplatform the platform”… all those higher-level service providers are operating in a capitalist society so if they’re making enough money from you, nobody is going to successfully conspire you out of business.

          Or, create a shoddy, undercapitalized product and whine that all the problems are coming because “the Left” hates you so very much.

      2. Parker did this and Google and Apple have now banned them.
        This is not gonna end well.

        1. These totalitarian assholes are convinced that it’ll end with the rest of us accepting their warped ideology. Maybe. Maybe not…

        2. “Parker did this and Google and Apple have now banned them.”

          This is only a problem if their “service” is dependent on Google and Apple. Hint: software doesn’t have to come from the Play store to run on Android, nor does it need to come from the Apple Store to run on MacOS. Hint: before MS bought them, Hotmail built a system entirely free of Microsoft products.

      3. Make your own infrastructure, payment processing, internet, …

        1. Nah. just keep whining about how the dirty libs are keeping you down and oppressing your freedom. Because they won’t let you use their stuff in ways they didn’t give you permission for. The bastards.

  14. Well if we can get back to the subject of the post,

    I would think it is reasonable if the Realtor organization prohibited this speech when it was accompanied by the name of the author and his/her affiliation with the group. A member of an organization should not have the right to imply his/her opinions are those of the organization.

    But if a person who just posts as an individual and does not identify as a member of an organization should be able to say whatever they want without the organization/employer having any say in the matter.

    1. What the Realtor group is doing is limiting membership to people who agree with the other members of the group. This is no more a problem when Realtors do it than it is when BPOE does it. I imagine the professional association of tobacco products manufacturing, whatever their name is, didn’t want anyone who said smoking was bad for people’s health in the long-term to be a member.

    2. This sounds promising in theory, but especially in a personality-driven business, you can’t really divide an individual into “public” and “private.”

      E.g., if a NAR member advocates discrimination in housing or uses racial epithets in public, people are surely going to know that person in a NAR member and this creates issues for the organization and decreases confidence the member won’t engage in illegal discrimination at work.

  15. If you can’t a job because of your opinions, and perhaps if you can’t a job in an industry, that strikes me as going too far. On the other hand, not being able to tweet? That’s fine with me.

    1. What about not being able to make blog comments?

      1. I’m OK with that too, particularly because there will be some platform that will permit you to do so.

        1. I guess we could all go back to yelling at the TV.

          1. Go back? You’re obviously not an Eagles fan.

            1. There were an unusual amount of Eagles fans in the NYC area. To them specifically: Try winning more games than you lose, then you don’t have to count on the Eagles to get you into the playoffs. To all the other Eagles fans. Look back with fondness on the Super Bowl run your boys had (and with a backup QB!) because they can’t take that away from you, not even Nate Sudfeld can do that.

    2. What happens when you aren’t allowed to create a competitor to Twits, unless you comply with the policies that the oligopolists demand?

      These companies will keep imposing blacklists and choking off opposing ideologies farther and farther back in the supply chain.

      1. Attack the hosts to kick social media companies off, where only the largest have their own servers.

        Failing that, scare advertisers away.

        Failing that, scare banks away.

        These are the same people in New York who tried to coerce banks into dropling gun manufacturers by suggesting “they need to watch their reputation” if they want state work, and that lowers their reputation.

        I don’t know what’s next after banks, but there won’t be much to talk about at that point without fear of being fired by your private employer. They’ve adopted their enemies from the 1970s who likened defense of speech to support for that speech.

        1. Zero tolerance for neo-Marxist PC. Cancel them all.

        2. Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you’re always afraid. Step outta line, the man come and take you away…
          –Buffalo Springfield

          It’s almost like Obama was right, back when he said “you didn’t build that!”
          Build your own platform, using entirely technology that is yours, instead of trying to use pieces that belong to other people, if you want a platform that doesn’t have to listen to what other people think about your message.
          It worked out pretty well for Rupert Murdoch. But then again, he put money down on the table to make it happen, he didn’t just whine about how the mainstream media wouldn’t run wackadoodle right-wing opinion content.

    3. “If you can’t a job because of your opinions, and perhaps if you can’t a job in an industry, that strikes me as going too far.”

      Not a problem, since most real-estate agents aren’t Realtors, as the ads run by the Realtors association will point out for you.

  16. I can live without both Twitter and Facebook. I do wonder if either Twitter or Facebook can operate without energy and if the employees of either can operate without food or water. And I do wonder if either Twitter or Facebook can operate — can even be relevant — without the underlying technologies upon which they reply.

    In both Star Trek and Star Trek The Next Generation, there is an episode which essentially deals with “Ugly, Ugly, Giant Bags of Mostly Water” and concludes with “War over” (see, for example, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAlqp0_a0tE ). Today’s television doesn’t offer many morality plays of the sort Roddenberry conceived: the “Wagon Train To The Stars” doesn’t ride off into the sunset (starset?) of may modern TV episodes. But that doesn’t mean that it _shouldn’t_.

    President Grant — one of the “Shitheads of Shiloh” (along with Sherman) — once commented that one of his battlefield opponents could have won had that opponent ruthless attacked when the enemy was weakest. Grant commented that he appreciated a second chance to see the virtues of the opponent who spared his life (an opportunity Yamamoto never had). My point is that Sun Tzu is technically, but not morally, correct: the greatest leaders realize that draining the swamp will cause swamp monsters to writhe, that even monsters — the Pelosis, Schumers, Hitlers, and Stalins of the world — have a right to live, and that allowing monsters to live has a cost.

  17. 1. While neither policy appears to be a first amendment violation, I wonder if blocking non-members’ access to some listings amounts to restraint of trade.

    2. The second policy sounds fairer than the first, if only because we’ve frequently seen the people charged with enforcing such policies define mainstream Republican views as “hate” or “racism.” But either one could turn out to be very biased if only certain people (such as officers of the organization) have the power to enforce it on members. So if such a policy is going to exist at all, let’s go whole hog and give any member the right to enforce it on another.

    1. ” I wonder if blocking non-members’ access to some listings amounts to restraint of trade.”

      Sure. All trade secrets law runs contrary to restraint-of-trade law.

      “2. The second policy sounds fairer than the first, if only because we’ve frequently seen the people charged with enforcing such policies define mainstream Republican views as ‘hate’ or ‘racism.'”

      That’s the curse of living in objective reality. Things are what they are, and not what we might wish them to be.

  18. Will this Association engage Prof. Volokh to advise them on how to impose viewpoint-based censorship?

    Asking for Artie Ray Lee Wayne Jim-Bob Kirkland, whom Prof. Volokh banned for making fun of conservatives at the Volokh Conspiracy.

    Hypocritical faux libertarians are among my favorite culture war casualties.

    1. Or the Eugene that was very disappointed when universities declined to punish free speech shouting down individuals those same universities had invited to speak.

  19. To literals “hate speech,” means anything critical of a pet group. They consider it “hate speech” to say that you don’t think it’s healthy or normal to shoot off in another man’s tuchis.

    1. And yet you exist, and likely participate in that which you complain about.

      Accept who you are already and stop the self-loathing.

    2. “To literals “hate speech,” means anything critical of a pet group.”

      that’s literally incorrect, most likely because of a typo.

  20. PC is case. The problem, it is denial of reality. If you deny reality, you get poor. There will be a self correction. Coerced PC caused the real estate crash of 2008. Federal lawyers forced banks to give mortgages to unqualified minorities, under threat of losing their charters.

    1. The majority of foreclosed borrowers were non hispanic white.

    2. ” The problem, it is denial of reality. […] Coerced PC caused the real estate crash of 2008. Federal lawyers forced banks to give mortgages to unqualified minorities”

      What caused the real estate crash of 2008 was the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. One the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act passed, banks no longer directly faced consequences from writing bad loans, whereas some people reaped substantial rewards from writing lots and lots of loans. given an incentive to write lots of loans and no disincentive against making bad loans, a lot of bad loans got made.

  21. Realtors charge 6% to sell a house. Internet firms crga 1%. They are not long to bankruptcy.

    1. Back in the 1960’s it was 10%-20%.

    2. Realtors charge whatever their customers are willing to pay, just like all the other capitalist business transactions in all the other sectors of the economy.

  22. Would we think that it’s good that private professional organizations are suppressing such speech, on the theory that such speech codes can help give people confidence that the professionals they’re dealing with support law and order? Or would we think that, even if most calls for unlawful violence are improper, there shouldn’t be professional blacklists of people based on their ideological views?

    Ideological views? As in, racist ideology? That’s it? This is advocacy to protect from effectual restraint racist “ideology” in the real estate industry? Before we object, can we at least get a view of how this, “ideology,” works in practice, maybe some insight into its axioms and reasoning?

    Remember, this isn’t really about privately held views. Those we have always had—in some times, and at many places, such views predominated. For too long, and for too many, holding those views quietly was a practical condition of real estate practice.

    What moved these calls for restraint is something new—a practical end to the ability to rely on that corrupt decorum. The result, thanks to the internet, you now get universal access by any racist real estate people to world-wide cost-free publishing for their professionally disastrous “ideology.” Doesn’t that word over-dignify what is going on? Is it wise to do that? Why?

    1. Ideological views, with a tendentious cover of declaring anything you disagree with “racist”. You can literally get accused of racism for opposing racial discrimination.

      1. A: “2 + 2 = 4”
        B: “You’re a racist!”
        (B wins the argument.)

      2. You can also get called a “leftist” for speaking up in favor of private property rights, such as those that belong to Twitter. It’s lazy habit to label anything you don’t like with the same label, no matter who you are or what you don’t like.

    2. “Remember, this isn’t really about privately held views. Those we have always had—in some times, and at many places, such views predominated. For too long, and for too many, holding those views quietly was a practical condition of real estate practice.”

      No, it’s about publicly-expressed views.

  23. In Arkansas you must be a Realtor, a member of this association in order to be a licensed real estate agent.

  24. The MLS is crucial to my career, a realtor said.

    No longer true. My email is flooded with listings from Movoto, Redfin, Zillow. No one cares about the MLS. I have never called about an MLS listing. I have about proprties on those orher platforms.

    I am not a realtor, but I would support repeated litigation against Democrat biased real estate license boards. Try to pierce their personal immunities, to reach personal assets. To deter.

    1. It’s a left wing idea from the 1970s, to claim private organizations are so powerful they are functionally public and so the First Amendment can be forced on them.

      Parades tangled with this, and there was a SC case that claimed protesters had the right to protest inside the malls, which are still private property, because they have functionally become the modern town squares.

      I think something like this floated around two years back with respect to seizing the media giants who also streamed, to declare them “common carriers” for essentially this reason, to stop them from hindering speech they didn’t like, namely, other streaming companies.

      I don’t think that’s right. But those coercing twitter and facebook to censor lest 230 get changed do.

      1. In California the protesters won and strip malls can’t ban non-customers from their parking lots. I would be happy if Apple and Google couldn’t ban people they don’t like from being invited into my phone.

        1. ” I would be happy if Apple and Google couldn’t ban people they don’t like from being invited into my phone.”

          So, you’re happy, then?

      2. “Parades tangled with this, and there was a SC case that claimed protesters had the right to protest inside the malls, which are still private property, because they have functionally become the modern town squares.”

        In states with initiative lawmaking, petitioning is allowed in the malls for the same reason, and although they can’t collect rent from the petitioners, they can limit them the same way they limit actual tenants. (so, no preventing people from accessing other tenants)

    2. Anyone can access the listings through Realtor.com which is essentially a marketing site for listing agents.

  25. The path to stopping the out of control oligarchs is civil fofeiture. Mandamus it. I may buy an ad soon to get standing.

    1. What’s the path to stopping Internet idiots such as yourself? Pointing out the stupidity doesn’t do it, can you suggest something that would?

  26. According to Wikipedia there are many MLSes. It’s a generic term. I’m assuming the NAR has their own and that’s the one they would be barred from.

    1. Most are local and controlled by the State Associations. Only a few location are covered by more than one.

  27. May itself be viewed as discriminatory against religion and could run into trouble in areas that prohibit political discrimination.

  28. How about the Fair Housing Act?

  29. how could be this happen to realtors

  30. Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is not a unified, national database. There are hundreds of MLS’, most, but not all, owned by Realtors. No one is forced to be a Realtor, and many agents make a comfortable living without being a member of that organization. I’m not sure about the details of this ban, and there may be aspects of it that need to be modified, but I don’t see a problem with a private organization seeking to protect its [money-making] image by setting guidelines.

  31. A better solution is to Alinsky NAR – make them live up to their own set of rules. Using the word marriage to describe two same sex people that are united is hate speech for Christians. Claimin there are an infinite number of genders is hate speech for bioligists.

    1. ” Using the word marriage to describe two same sex people that are united is hate speech for Christians.”

      Not to the ones who follow Jesus.

      “Claimin there are an infinite number of genders is hate speech for bioligists.”

      Which might be one of the reasons nobody does this, although the fact that it’s stupid is (hopefully) a bigger part of it.

  32. Due to pressures from ideological front groups, many corporations and so-called professional associations have adopted various social justice policies that sound good to the public, but in most instances will never be enforced. In fact, in many instances, efforts at enforcement will only be taken in response to media pressure or for ulterior motives. Given the long history of realtors trying to curtail competition among themselves by collectively establishing commission rates and engaging in group boycotts of rate discounters, it seems likely that sooner or later the NAR will try to use this non-discrimination rule as a pretext to crush one or more of these discounting competitors.

    1. “Due to pressures from ideological front groups, many corporations and so-called professional associations have adopted various social justice policies that sound good to the public”

      You mean like the Texas laws that make it a crime to suggest that there might be a good reason why someone might choose to avoid eating beef?

  33. Dennis Prager called out these NAR clowns on his show yesterday (Friday 8 January 2021). People with a deep understanding of the real estate industry must figure out the best way to push back. Maybe something like a mass boycott of any real estate agent calling himself or herself a “realtor”?

    1. Oh, noes! The idiots might be getting organized?

  34. It is not just traditional right wing speech that is threatened by policies such as this.

    I can easily see pointed observations concerning religious dogmas (such as that Christians ground their religion in a human sacrifice and worship a self-avowed mass murderer of innocent children) being declared harassment or hate speech, when they are just the simple truth.

    1. Some of them are still a mite miffed about having their ritual cannibalism criticized.

      1. If you’re referring to the Catholics’ wafers not just symbolizing, but being, the flesh of Christ, I don’t believe that they really believe this, their own protestations notwithstanding.

        But Catholics, and Christians generally, *do* believe in the infallible morality of their God, despite the fact that He (among other things) killed huge numbers of entirely innocent children in the final plague of Exodus, and then bragged about it. This bespeaks a moral sense which is, at the least, very seriously flawed.

        1. If you really want to poke into Exodus, recall that when Moses went to Pharaoh, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart so he’d have an excuse to unleash the Plagues upon the Egyptians.
          Then, later on, when the Romans came a-calling, He let them conquer all of Israel, with no plagues dispatched. For the Christians, it gets even worse because Jesus let the Romans execute him (and later, them) without smiting a damn one of them!

  35. The idea that the “state action doctrine” ought to protect the censorship decisions of people who control practical monopolies on very important conduits of communication is pernicious.

    The point of Freedom of Speech is that people should feel free to speak their mind. I guess some people are very excited to have found a loophole. Are we are supposed to pretend that we live in a free society if people become afraid to speak because of so-called “private” retaliation?

    I am not buying it. If you actually care about people ACTUALLY rather than merely theoretically having freedom of speech, you shouldn’t buy it either.

    1. “The idea that the “state action doctrine” ought to protect the censorship decisions of people who control practical monopolies on very important conduits of communication is pernicious.”

      I guess you either think private property is private or you don’t. You’ve just come out in favor of state control of media.

      1. James Pollock — Looks like you don’t understand how Section 230 created Welker’s advocacy for government censorship, but at least you noticed it happening. Maybe there is hope for you.

        1. As always, you don’t comprehend legal issues relating to the first amendment. That comment of yours is Bellmore-level misunderstanding. Welker is advocating against censorship. (Against private property also, as James Pollock notes.)

          1. More generally, as always, anything even remotely related to Section 230 causes Mr. Lathrop to COMPLETELY lose capability for rational thinking.
            I find it wiser to skip those comments, as they are not often coherent and jumping down the rabbit hole just isn’t a good idea.

  36. My take is that this is a complex issue that will frustrate our desire for an easy, pat answer.

    As discussed, private organizations are free to set membership on any basis they desire. I’d add that professional codes of conduct for professional organizations are nothing new and not inherently troubling to me.

    However, When a professional organization becomes a defacto requirement for entry in a field, the situation becomes a bit more complex. We do not want people barred from an industry for wrong think, even if I agree they are wrong.

    This would also touch on issues of fair housing policies, which the organization has a legitimate interest in signaling they abide by. (Though this one is admittedly a step removed)

    I would tend to chalk this up to the de facto monopoly NAR has and would propose free market solutions such as using listing services not limited to realtors, or creating an alternate professional organization to challenge the monopoly. It’s easy to individually do the first, but would take a bit of doing to accomplish the second.

Please to post comments