Conservative Catfight

Episode 357 of the Cyberlaw Podcast

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NEXT: Classes #23: Second Amendment I and Leaseholds I

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  1. I know Justice Thomas read the Comments here, about these tech giants being utilities to be regulated as such, and not as common carriers. The electric company is not allowed to turn off power to its political adversaries.

    I hope he reads this. Seize the assets of these tech companies in civil forfeiture for the billions of federal crimes committed on their platforms. They have committed their own millions of fraud crimes by inflating viewerships to advertisers.

    1. know Justice Thomas read the Comments here,

      I’m sure he is especially enthralled by yours.

      1. A good idea will spread, no matter what, or where it is hidden.

        1. “A good idea will spread, no matter what, or where it is hidden.”

          The internet has proven that bad ideas based on bullshit will also spread, so what is your point?

          1. It’s like the old joke about two hikers: A bear starts chasing them, and one of them pauses to tighten his shoelaces. The other says, “What good is that going to do you? You can’t outrun a bear!”

            “I only have to outrun you.”

            The lie only needs an advantage over the truth, and hobbling the truth is enough for it to lose the race.

            1. It’s like the old joke about two hikers: A bear starts chasing them, and one of them pauses to tighten his shoelaces. The other says, “What good is that going to do you? You can’t outrun a bear!”

              “I only have to outrun you.”

              Uh, this version of the situation doesn’t come out right. The guy that “pauses” to tighten his shoelaces would get caught by the bear long before he finished adjusting his shoes. If I was hiking with someone that didn’t care about my well-being and that would actually think about how to let me get attacked by the bear so that he could get away, then I likely wouldn’t have cared much about him either. Certainly not enough to have stopped to ask him why he was being so stupid to stop and bend down to mess with his shoelaces while being chased by a bear. I would simply have taken my own advantage of his stupidity and kept running.

            2. “The lie only needs an advantage over the truth, and hobbling the truth is enough for it to lose the race.”

              The biggest advantage a lie has over the truth is when the listener wants to believe the lie rather than the truth. Motivated reasoning is a far bigger problem for the spread of misinformation in this country than any “deplatforming” or similar things that the right is currently complaining about. If people would apply as much skepticism to things that line up with their worldview as those that don’t, misinformation would be far less of an issue.

              1. Motivated reasoning is kind of orthogonal to deplatforming; People engaging in deplatforming are as prone to it as people being deplatformed.

                That’s kind of my point: These aren’t tools for suppressing “disinformation”, “lies”, or what have you. They’re just tools for suppressing dissent. Nothing more.

                1. “That’s kind of my point: These aren’t tools for suppressing “disinformation”, “lies”, or what have you. They’re just tools for suppressing dissent. Nothing more.”

                  If you disagree about whether a particular person was lying or spreading disinformation, then that can be addressed on a case by case basis. But what you said is simply trying to destroy any distinction between someone expressing a different view (“dissent”) from someone lying or spreading lies.

                  People can disagree about whether something is true, and they can argue about the validity of evidence, that is fair. But both in terms of a person’s rights against government action and as a general principle for private interactions, free speech does not give a person a right to say something false and have that false speech distributed to other people through a private platform. It is not “suppressing dissent” for a platform to refuse to allow people to post things that are false. Like the rest of the conservative side on this issue, you are really only worrying about the fact that conservatives are overwhelmingly the ones getting hit by this. You see it as an attack on conservatism. But this is all happening because the right-wing media and political apparatus has spent the last few decades degrading the idea that there is objective truth surrounding politics and social issues. At least, they want their followers and other voters to reject anyone that would try and hold them accountable for being truthful. They want a world where they get to believe “alternative facts” when everyone else says something is true that they don’t want to believe or says something is false that they do want to believe.

                  I mean, you can’t see Sidney Powell’s legal filings using the Tucker Carlson defense against the defamation lawsuit against her and think that conservatives, as a group, care about objective truth anymore. No reasonable person would have thought she was trying to be factual when she was saying that Dominion and Smartmatic were engaged in a conspiracy with long-dead Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez and Chinese communists to switch Trump votes to Biden votes in the 2020 election. It is utterly absurd that people on your side are buying into this kind of thing, and then complain when companies won’t let people spread this garbage. If you want to go all whataboutism and talk about leftist or Democrats lying, then do so after you’ve explained why the right-wing media and GOP are tolerating and some even parroting this kind of conspiracy-theory nonsense.

  2. Give the left the greatest compliment — declare their constitutional interpretation system the “winner.”

    It is past time to start making things up too.

    Screw it — that nationwide abortion ban lies right there in the equal-protection clause! Time to bring the hammer down.

    1. an abortion ban would be “interesting” — and force a lot of people to answer some tough questions they aren’t answering now…

      1. Like what? Which questions?

        1. Constitutionality of a national injunction for one.

      2. “an abortion ban would be “interesting” — and force a lot of people to answer some tough questions they aren’t answering now…”

        I think the penalties in any abortion ban would force a lot of anti-abortion activists to answer some tough questions that they aren’t answering now. In abortion restrictions some states have been proposing or passing in recent years, that have yet to reach SCOTUS, I don’t see any penalty for the women that get an abortion. And penalties for the doctors performing the abortions top out at a few years. How does this square with the concept that abortion is equivalent to murder? The “hitman” gets no more than a fine and 5 years, while the person that contracted the “hit” isn’t even charged with a crime?

        Also, maternal mortality rates in the U.S. are substantially higher than in other wealthy countries, especially for Black women. Overall, maternal mortality in the U.S. was 17.4 per 100,000 pregnancies in 2018, representing 688 maternal deaths. This put the U.S. last among industrialized countries. (From this Commonwealth Fund report issued last December.)

        688 deaths out of the whole country doesn’t seem like much, but what odds does this rate represent? 17.4 per 100,000 pregnancies is equivalent to odds of about 1 in 6000. That makes me wonder, in what other circumstances is a person legally required to take a 1 in 6000 risk of dying in order to potentially save the life of another person? Given that we don’t even legally require organ donation from someone’s brain-dead body in order to save another person’s life, it seems like an odd position to take that a woman would be required to risk her life for something that isn’t a person with thoughts, feelings, dreams, or even a name yet.

        1. First, we calculate maternal mortality differently from most of the world — we include *any* death of the mother in the 365 days after childbirth, most countries only count death in the delivery room.

          I do wish we kept the statistics both ways so as to address the issue you raise — childbirth in the US is actually safer that in most countries particularly if you aren’t a drug addict — the other risk factor.

          As to your larger question, Derek Chauvin and the 8th Amendment is going to SCOTUS — I’m convinced he’s guilty of *something* but I don’t think it is murder, not if he was actually trained to do what he did. It’s gonna be a tough call even without the rioters.

          1. “First, we calculate maternal mortality differently from most of the world — we include *any* death of the mother in the 365 days after childbirth, most countries only count death in the delivery room.”

            Are you sure of that? Why don’t you show me where you got this idea. Besides, that report I linked shows how they define maternal mortality and it doesn’t match up with what you said.

            “…but I don’t think it is murder, not if he was actually trained to do what he did.”

            If you’ve been paying even fairly minimal attention to the trial testimony, you’d know that multiple people with his department have said that what he did was NOT something he was trained to do.

            And this is a pretty big non sequitur anyway.

          2. I do wish we kept the statistics both ways so as to address the issue you raise.

            We do keep statistics both ways. The rate JasonT20 reports is the rate according to WHO standards.

            See the third item on the FAQ list here.

            CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics’ National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) reports the national maternal mortality rate: the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. A maternal death is defined as a death while pregnant or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes. This definition and timeframe are consistent with that used by the World Health Organization for reporting on maternal mortality rates.

            The one-year period is used by a separate reporting system- the Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System, whose home page is at the link above.

          3. Chauvin should have Narcaned Floyd. That is a failure of training, not a crime. No one is saying, fix that. The incident is being used to push the Hate America Democrat billionaire agenda. The BLM Commies are employees of Soros.

  3. All PC is case. Start taking back the country by crushing the lawyer profession enemy. It is pure evil. Its betrayal of our nation is in rent seeking, for money.

  4. Practically everyone including most of the most probusiness conservatives have accepted tons of regulation far more extreme than the proposed curbs toward Big Tech’s influence. Especially when it comes to what effectively is a double cartel consisting not just tech but the financial sector. Why is everybody acting like this and only this is the one bridge too far?

    1. Am I the only one who finds this chilling?
      https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/the-mostly-hidden-work-that-helped-bring-down-these-white-lives-matter-protests/ar-BB1fB97l

      If the Civil Rights movement were happening today, it could have been silenced. Dr. King deplatformed, etc

      Stuff like this shouldn’t be able to happen.

      1. If the Civil Rights movement were happening today, it could have been silenced. Dr. King deplatformed, etc

        Are you serious?

        1. Why wouldn’t he be serious? We’re taking about means of censorship that are agnostic to ideology, they’ll equally serve anybody in power. They don’t suppress lies, they suppress dissent.

          You may like it, because the people wielding the ban hammer are your allies, so it falls upon your enemies, but the ban hammer isn’t Mojolnir, it doesn’t care if you’re worthy to wield it, anybody who picks it up can use it, against anybody they dislike.

          If the Civil Rights movement were happening today, one presumes, the people in power would be opposed to it. Otherwise, why would the Civil Rights movement be happening?

          So, yeah, if the Civil Rights movement were happening today, all these instruments being used today to beat down dissent would be turned against it.

          1. “We’re taking about means of censorship that are agnostic to ideology…”

            You’ve made a category error. It’s not censorship at all, anymore than a restaurant that did not want to serve black people was censoring black people. The good news for all of us is that the internet has provided the means of all people, including those discriminated against generally, to spread their message to the entire world, endlessly and effortlessly. Attempts to suppress technology that allows the spread of information is a far greater risk to free speech than Red State banning liberal users from commenting, or Facebook deleting references to election fraud.

            1. It’s not government censorship, but it absolutely IS “censorship”.

              1. Ok fine. It’s unobjectionable “censorship”, the kind you exercise when you don’t let strangers post messages on your lawn.

                You can’t have property rights–they make no sense–if private parties can be compelled to allow other people to speak on or through their properties. When a baker says they don’t want to write “Congratulations on your marriage Gary and Alex!” do you think that person is engaged in “censorship”?

              2. I would argue that it is quasi-governmental. These big tech companies work for and with our government all the time. As an example, Democrats recently asked Google (who controls almost all search) to change algorithms to crack down on ‘insurrectionists’.

                1. I mean, Breitbart probably won’t let you post child porn (unless you’re in the Matt Gaetz fan forum, maybe) since that’s against the law, but that doesn’t make them agents of the government.

                  1. Right, and as long as a few disfavored sites oppose the censorship, the fact that it’s being done by companies that have revolving door staffing with the government doesn’t mean anything.

                    1. Brett,

                      Uh, which media companies had revolving door staffing with the Trump administration? I’ll give you a hint: it wasn’t CNN, MSNBC, Twitter, etc.

        2. Totally serious.

          What do you think _NYt v Sullivan_ was about?

          King’s platform consisted largely of church (and synagogue) attendance and newspaper readership — communication now shifted to social media. And if he could have been silenced, he would have been — he was assassinated, after all…

          1. “What do you think _NYt v Sullivan_ was about?”

            Uh, what is it you think NYT v. Sullivan was about…?

      2. Not half as chilling as this: The Dox Everybody Who Signed the Newsom Recall Petition If They Don’t Unsign Real Quick Act of 2021

        It gives Newsom access to the names and addresses of everybody on the recall petition, and gives everybody who signed 45 days to unsign.

        And, yeah, there are some penalties for revealing all that information, but, really, who’d want to rely on it not leaking anonymously?

      3. There were not, and never are going to be, white lives matter protests, that are not set up by glowie feds.

    2. It’s always been a lie that conservatives were anti-regulation. It happened to be the case that their pet issues (state rights) confronted broadening federal power, leading some conservatives towards anti-regulation at the federal level. But that’s never been the case at the state level.

      Texas is a one-party state with conservatives in every statewide office, and control of both houses of the Legislature. State government is extremely statist and regulatory.

      1. True, but the important thing is that the evils of government are contained to as localized a jurisdiction as possible, and that people are making a genuine choice through genuine self-government which is only possible on a smaller scale, whether those choices and policies are good or bad.

        1. This is gobbledeegook. Self-government is possible at the state or federal level. And it doesn’t do any good to have “evils of government” “contained to as localized a jurisdiction as possible” if all the local jurisdictions are engaged in the evils. A federal response to evil local governments over-regulating is preferable. The 14th Amendment is a form of anti-regulation. Also if the regulations interfere with the ability of people to make “a genuine choice” it is no longer the case that allowing the state-level regulation improves self-government.

          If it is important that regulation happen at the local level that’s a confession that the conservative movement has never been about anti-regulation.

          Separate from that, there are many instances where regulation at the local level is worse than a standardized, federal regulation. Commerce, for instance. It doesn’t make any sense to have a national policy favoring freedom of contract through, say, arbitration, if California can pass laws that say private parties cannot arbitrate. Relatedly, the UCC is not some evil conspiracy to nationalize the sale of goods. Rather it’s just a recognition that if you have 50 different rules, it makes commerce interstate screamingly difficult.

          1. Self-government is possible at the individual level. Everything else that gets called “self-government” is actually each other government.

            “If it is important that regulation happen at the local level that’s a confession that the conservative movement has never been about anti-regulation.”

            Federalist system. States are constitutionally allowed to do things the federal government isn’t.

            1. All government is some people using force against other people. It is necessary, in my view, but it’s supposed to be used for good.

              The thing about “self-government” and the size and territory of the jurisdiction, is that you, yes you, have a voice in your local government. In many cases you have a voice in your state government, even. You can go there and talk to them and actually make a difference, believe it or not, by employing reason and logic and other elements of persuasion. With a big government like our federal government, that’s just not true. Even our elected legislators can barely influence the federal government. The 2-party dichotomy becomes much like an entertainment sideshow or a pro wrestling event. And as more and more power accrues to the federal government, this state of affairs actually poisons all state and local levels of government and impairs what little self-government remained there.

              1. “In many cases you have a voice in your state government, even. You can go there and talk to them and actually make a difference, believe it or not, by employing reason and logic and other elements of persuasion. With a big government like our federal government, that’s just not true.”

                No one who has spent any time around state government and federal governments would say this. At least in the big states, it’s just not true.

                1. That’s why I said in many cases. The biggest states are, naturally, more like the federal government.

            2. Federalist system. States are constitutionally allowed to do things the federal government isn’t.

              Quick switch from normative to positive.

              1. Unless you’re rejecting the rule of law, they’re one and the same here.

            3. “Federalist system. States are constitutionally allowed to do things the federal government isn’t.”

              A state being allowed to do something is not an argument for why they should do that something. There are anti-regulatory arguments against the EPA that have nothing to do with federalism. Some regulations are just bad ideas.

              It is not the case that (1) everything good is constitutional (2) everything bad is unconstitutional (3) everything constitutional is good or (4) everything unconstitutional is bad.

              1. No, but states being constitutionally allowed to do something IS a reason why, if it’s going to be done at all, it should be done by states.

                1. God I don’t even know what you’re trying to say. There are things the Constitution permits the feds and states to do. There are things the Constitution permits only the feds or only the states to do. Whether any of those decisions are good ideas, or not, has nothing to do with what the fucking Constitution says.

                  You don’t think that just because the constitution allows the federal government to do X, then it’s a good idea for the federal government to do so? Or that the states shouldn’t be allowed to do so? Wouldn’t the answer to that question depend on what X is?

                  1. ” There are things the Constitution permits the feds and states to do. ”

                    Not according to this:

                    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

                    1. The 11th Amendment does not apply to “things the Constitution permits the feds or states to do” since that would be a “power[] … delegated to the United States by the Constitution”. As an example, the Constitution provides taxing powers to the feds, and does not remove that power from the states.

                    2. That’s the 10th; The 11th gives states limited immunity to lawsuits.

                      But I will give you that one, as a rare example of something both states and the federal government can do.

            4. “Federalist system. States are constitutionally allowed to do things the federal government isn’t.”

              And the states are constitutionally banned from doing some things that the federal government is allowed to do. And for some things, all levels of government are banned from doing them.

          2. Spoken like a true imperialist, big centralized government supporter. But only for the good reasons and in the appropriate instances, right? That always works out well.

            This does get taken to extremes. We’ll have women’s rights in Afghanistan, if we spill enough blood and spend enough trillions of dollars. Or so the thinking goes. You’ll have liberty forced upon you at gunpoint.

            I agree, of course, that local governments do bad things. And those with a minority view in the local government can be outvoted and policies will be against their will. The good thing about tolerating this arrangement is that you are free to move elsewhere and find a locale that better suits you. Alternatively, to remedy the bad things done by a local government, you can come in guns blazing with a larger overbearing government and forcibly correct those errors. At least in the short term. The problem is, the larger government does not thereafter cede the powers it acquired “for good,” and promptly turns those powers to whatever other ends it pleases. And in the process, you’ve lost that previous option of moving to different self-governing locales, as they’ve now been swallowed up in the super-jurisdiction.

            I’m not saying that I’m absolutely opposed to all forms of larger government overriding smaller government, just that I’m skeptical of it as a general matter. As were the founders of these (originally plural and not singular) United States. That’s why they created a government structure reflecting this philosophy, which structure has now been discarded.

            The 14th amendment, for example, which was never ratified constitutionally by the States, may have been intended as a form of anti-regulation, but it’s now used for judges to legislate. The UCC? C’mon man. That’s not a federal law, it’s a model for 50 different state laws.

            I already said your previous comment was true, so I’m not going to argue about whether “conservatism” is just all “about” “anti-regulation.” Certainly, conservatism leans heavily against regulation, purely as a relative matter compared to leftism or what is called liberalism today. But I suppose “libertarianism” is a distinct thing for a reason.

            1. “The UCC? C’mon man. That’s not a federal law, it’s a model for 50 different state laws.”

              Such a strange objection when you just got done talking about these United States. If the states agree to do something collectively, you have no objection. But of course that’s what federal legislation is, too, but whatever.

              “Certainly, conservatism leans heavily against regulation…”

              This is just not true. Every conservative state leans heavily into regulation.

              1. The states didn’t agree to do anything collectively with the UCC. The states have all acted individually, at differing times, to adopt their own versions of commercial laws based on the UCC, with variations as to the particular provisions adopted.

                Federal legislation is also not remotely an instance of states agreeing to do something collectively.

                Conservativism is only against “regulation” as a relative matter, relative to leftism.

                1. Conservatives are against leftism, these days. That’s it.

                  Federal regs, state regs, they’re fine with all of it, so long as it owns the libs.

                  1. Trump completed the most deregulation of any president in modern times, as I understand it. So the point you are trying to make is asinine.

                    Very few people hold to some absolutist anarchist position, or an absolutist communist/statist position. It’s all relative. Relative to the status quo. Relative to other major political parties, constituencies, and ideological groups. You understand this, but you’re pretending not to.

                    1. Trump used the power of the Federal government to target individual cities for Federal wrath. That is unprecedented, and goes against all your dumbass pre-Civil War ideals about the Fed-State relationship. But you don’t care. Because he owns the libs.

                      Hear anyone talking about the actual regulatory burden going down? No? That’s what happens when you reduce the number randomly like a dumbass and don’t look at the system. But you don’t care, because number going down owns the libs.

                      Dude also used the power of the Presidency to threaten companies who didn’t do what he wanted, including the media. But they are libs, so using Federal pressure on them is fine.

                      Also record subsidies to farmers, ridiculous tariffs, ballooning federal regs when it comes to red tape on entitlements and immigration. (and the resources required to implement them).

                      Also the wall boondogle.

                      You’re a tool.

                    2. Interesting. So the political left is for smaller government and less regulation compared to the right now? Is this why you’re on the left, because you favor smaller government and less regulation? I want to hear more.

                      Remember when you argued vociferously that the FDA didn’t approve HCQ as a COVID treatment, because emergency use authorization isn’t approval? I assume you’re having a big fit arguing the same thing about the vaccines now right?

                2. I would add that the UCC is therefore a great example of states being able to make their own laws and experiment with different approaches, and then largely converging on what makes sense in certain areas.

        2. the important thing is that the evils of government are contained to as localized a jurisdiction as possible,

          This is BS.

          We’ve seen any number of situations where conservative state legislatures have foisted their will on more liberal cities, interfering with local ordinances they didn’t like, and so on.

          Conservatives value decentralized government only if it is decentralized to the level they control.

      2. You neglect the competing waves of populism and progressiveism which extend beyond party lines. Teddy Roosevelt versus Calvin Coolidge.

        1. You got that from Vickers, Work in Essex County, Page 98, right?

  5. Who loots a Dollar Store as they are doing in Brooklyn Center, MN?

    1. Adult-sized children who know that there will be no personal consequences for their actions.

      1. Of course, I have trouble with anyone — let alone a purportedly trained officer — mistaking a handgun for a taser.

        Unless she is wandering around town with a black weapon, there is a safety on a gun that she has to turn off for it to fire. She didn’t notice that???

        1. We’re supposed to take it seriously in the same way we’re supposed to take seriously the idea that cops aren’t on notice that they aren’t supposed to be committing crimes against people.

          1. I don’t think that the other two officers expected her to send a live round in that close to them — she endangered them.

            1. I’m open to the idea that it wasn’t deliberate, but some ‘accidents’ are things you’re under enough obligation to be careful about that, “I only did it by accident!” isn’t much of an excuse. Maybe gets you from murder to manslaughter. It doesn’t get you to innocent.

        2. Well, there is a safety on at least some Tasers as well (see pg 8), but I would have hoped there were other design (or placement) differences that would make it more obvious what you are holding.

          Unfortunately, it seems like this confusion isn’t that uncommon – I found several other cases from the past decade where the same thing (supposedly) happened.

  6. Can you imagine how much the left would be screaming bloody murder if six big giant corporations that don’t pay tax were controlling speech which they would agreeable? We wouldn’t hear the end about how corporations shouldn’t run our democracy and how bad it was for freedom of speech. It would be a feature on the front of every MSM article and lead off every night about how America was being run by the CEO’s and not its elected representatives. And that would just be the beginning….

    1. Jimmy, we’ve been there before — back then it was “trusts” instead of “corporations” but this is a classic political cartoon from 1889, and there are others. https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B07C89QJDJ/reasonmagazinea-20/

    2. So, the theory is if some big companies were “controlling speech” that we’d see the largest media companies in the country doing big stories about this speech control and the messages that are being “censored”?

      Hopefully now that I’ve written that down you realize how dumb it sounds.

      1. The media has almost always tilted to the left post-WWII. It would remain so even if Big Tech were to the right. And of course the leftist media would try to trash any rightward Big Tech presence. (Now that I wrote it down your response does seem as dumb as it sounds).

        1. It’s not the tilt that’s the problem. It’s that it’s gone from tilt to nearly exclusively left, complete with collusion to eliminate the exceptions.

          1. You say this as if right-wing media doesn’t exist or isn’t as popular with right-leaning voters as it is. It seems likely to me that one reason for the further leftward tilt of the “mainstream” media is that conservatives started abandoning it in favor of their own echo chambers. That left them free to focus on the left leaning audience that they had remaining.

            If conservatives really wanted truly “fair and balanced” news media sources, they haven’t demonstrated that with their actual choices of media.

            1. There IS right-wing media. It’s just that it’s the rare exception.

              You’ve got FOX, which is more centrist than conservative, and you’ve got OAN, and that’s about it. The left has pretty much everything else.

              1. It’s not likely that you’ll come back to this, but I just saw this now. And, wow. That’s a lot of effort to make it seem like conservatives have nowhere to get their message out or find like-minded content. You forgot Newsmax, National Review, The Federalist, Breitbart, The WSJ (opinion side), all of the radio shows (satellite and broadcast), and more. If you really look up how many people consume the obvious right and right-leaning outlets versus CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, NY Times, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, Time Magazine, etc., do you really expect to find that conservative outlets really have that much smaller circulation/viewers/listeners?

                The other thing, of course, is that it is just your opinion that the left-leaning outlets are outrageously left, while Fox News is “more centrist than conservative”. (I end up having to watch Fox occasionally at my mother’s house. Other than Chris Wallace and a couple other news anchors, who are the centrists there?) Of course some of them are outrageously left, while others would be described by many liberals as “more centrist” than liberal.

                And this all misses my point anyway. People of all political views should NOT be seeking outlets that simply match what they already think. Are the few of us that comment here that aren’t libertarian or conservative the only ones that ever challenge what you say or think? If so, then that would be really, really sad.

    3. And just like that, after megacorporations influenced the election* of 2020 to the detriment of Trump, the liberal sturm and drang about evil corporations after Citizens United influencing politics, well, it just went away.

      1. Now corporations are being called on to “save” democracy by pulling out of GA for…..reasons….. They are the hero not the villain these days.

      2. That is entirely between the inasne bullshit conservatives want to spout and the corporations who don’t want to have to publish it, leave everyone else out of it.

  7. The mp3 link given cuts out at round 28 minutes. It does not play to the end (52 minutes).

      1. My mistake, apparently fixed between I downloaded half an hour ago and a few minutes ago

  8. I fully understand the view that restricting the social media giants is a deviation from Republican antiregulatory orthodoxy. However – that only makes sense if EVERYONE is playing the same game on the same ballfield.

    It’s simply not fair to impose this on some but not others. I’m also appalled at the power these tech giants have, however if we don’t want to regulate them – so be it. So then let’s drop regulation from all free enterprise. You don’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding? You shouldn’t have to. You don’t want Jews/Christians/Muslims in your grocery store, keep them out. After all, they can always go somewhere else, right? At least that’s what supporters of these social media bans say.

    1. Yeah, well, those things are different because…

      [waiting for talking points]

    2. People deny service to others based on their beliefs all the time. Private parties should be free to discriminate on the basis of religious beliefs. It’s weird that this country gives special protections to those beliefs, as opposed to any other (like, “Hey I’m a Communist, therefore you must serve me food” or “I think men should be allowed to bang children, give me some legal advice”).

    3. “You don’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding? You shouldn’t have to.”

      The conservative grievance machine is really fascinating. You know the Supreme Court already decided that bakers don’t have to make cakes for gay weddings, right? You can let this one go.

      1. Masterpiece Cakeshop is still in court on this exact issue, almost 10 years later, because SCOTUS actually punted on the issue. It merely declared that the state commission had expressed forbidden religious bias in the case.

        1. No they’re not. Some other person filed a different complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, WHICH REJECTED THE COMPLAINT. Now that person is suing under a private right of action, but no judge or jury or government administrator has ruled against Masterpiece.

  9. “But my view that we should not let five or six Silicon Valley owners take over our national dialogue. . . . ”

    Fox News, some Churches/Pope/religious leaders, CNN, Harvard, Trump, Elon Musk, would like a word with you.

    1. That is quite the list of opposition. So basically nothing.

  10. “David sees a trend for conservative jurists to embrace limits on Big Social’s authority to suppress speech.”

    The “authority” that social media relies on to suppress speech on its platforms is the First Amendment, private property generally, etc. Nobody has ever been “muzzled” by twitter. If you want to publish your speech on the internet for the world to see, you don’t need twitter, facebook, tik tok, etc. You can just post it.

    1. The issue is, Facebook, Twitter, and Google/YouTube represent a virtual monopoly on posting items like this.

      If you want it to be seen, given their virtual monopoly, you use these platforms.

      It’s akin to AT&T’s old monopoly over the telephone service. Sure, if you want to talk to someone, you can do it in person. You don’t NEED to use the phone. But if you want to do it in a quick, effective manner, you use the phone. And if AT&T says “we don’t want you to” then you’re SOL.

      Recently YouTube has been “censoring” speech by conservatives that asks questions about the COVID. Because it doesn’t follow the “CDC guidelines”. What next? Only officially approved government speech is allowed? Anything that the government doesn’t consent to is eliminated?

      1. On top of being these being a virtual monopoly on digital speech, they collude with one another to enforce the same dogma.

        1. Next you’re going to tell me that the different churches collude with one another to enforce dogma. Or that the Federalist Societies do the same. What will we do in a world in which people are free to share and spread ideas with another, to the exclusion of ideas they don’t like?

          1. How are churches and society groups a like comparison in any way? I see no parallel and don’t see your point.

            1. Because churches and society groups, like private companies, are made up of human beings.

      2. “The issue is, Facebook, Twitter, and Google/YouTube represent a virtual monopoly on posting items like this.”

        The issue is a lie. Facebook, Twitter, and Google/Youtube have no monopoly power at all. To the extent they do have monopoly power, it won’t be over “posting” but rather over the things they sell (advertising). (But none of them have monopoly power over advertising, either.)

        Monopoly doesn’t even make sense in the context of “posting”. What it means to be a monopolist is to have enough control over the supply of something that they can extract premiums by decreasing supply. Posting on the internet is not a thing that has a “supply”. Anyone in the world can post on the internet. You just did it minutes ago, without relying on Facebook, Google, or Twitter. You can create a website, cheap, efficiently, etc. The fact that many people post on Facebook is of no moment; people were publishing their thoughts to the world long before Facebook, Google, or Twitter existed, and if they all died tomorrow, you could still publish things for the entire world.

        You’ve confessed to this. The issue is not “posting items” it is “want . . . to be seen”. But note that this is you claiming an entitlement to be heard by others. On what side of the censorship spectrum is your desire? If I don’t want your message in my home, you’re right “to be seen” is contingent on you interfering with my property rights.

        “But if you want to do it in a quick, effective manner, you use the phone. And if AT&T says “we don’t want you to” then you’re SOL.”

        Right, because the phone companies were a hyper regulated industry. Which is what you’re trying to make Google and Facebook. The solution to Google and Facebook is increasing competition, not regulating them into another AT&T.

        “What next?”

        Heaven forbid a private company decide what kind of speech it wants on its own platforms. YouTube is not the “government”. Do you think Conservapedia should be allowed to exist, or not? What about Breitbart?

      3. If you want it to be seen, given their virtual monopoly, you use these platforms.

        If that were true I wouldn’t still be seeing Trump and Alex Jones.

      4. “The issue is, Facebook, Twitter, and Google/YouTube represent a virtual monopoly on posting items like this.”

        So you’re not including Reddit, Tik Tok, Tumblr, WhatsUp, WeChat, Messenger, etc.

        Doesn’t sound like a monopoly to me.

        Also, how is this any different than back in the day when there were only newspapers then radio then TV (ante-cable)?

        If anything, newspapers and broadcast TV had almost absolute control over content in their individual market areas.

        The internets is wide open and anyone can post/say anything, anytime- just not anywhere (Facebook, etc.).

        Stop whining and get with the program.

        1. Grocery store is wide open. Gay couple could have baked their own cake anytime they wanted. Stop whining.

        2. In 2020, Google controled more than 90% of the English language search market, with Microsoft second at about 3%. Not one of the remaining 50 “top search engines” had a share above 1%. Note that this is after Microsoft has spent 10 years and $10 billion pushing Bing.
          Worldwide, it’s Google at 75%, Baidu at 15%, and Microsoft at 5%, with the entire rest of the world making of that last 5%.

          Microsoft controls 75% of the DNS lookup share, with Amazon #2 at 15% and Google #3 at 6%. NSONE was #4 with 5%, and the other 100+ providers supplied the rest.

          YoutTube provides about 75% of the English video market, with Vimeo pulling in 20% at #2.

          Online Hosting is dominated by just a few players, too: Of the top 1,000,000 websites, Amazon hosts 34%, Cloudflare hosts 33%, Google hosts 13%, Microsoft hosts 7%, and the remaining hundreds of thousands of hosting providers split the last 15%.
          Haha, just kidding – GoDaddy actually controls almost all the smaller websites, 6% of all sites worldwide (slightly more the Amazon). If you count by hits, rather than just “sites using”, Amazon, Cloudflare, Google, and Microsoft are the market.

          Advertising? Google controls about 85% of the English language online advertising market, with Microsoft coming in second at about 10%.

          When you get to specific services, Twitter is the #1 microblogging site, with more than 60% of US market share, and 70% of the US population using it.
          General “social network” sites consist of Facebook at 50% market share, Twitter at 10%, and Reddit at 8%. The next highest is Instagram (owned by Facebook) at 3%.
          Discord is one of the big “alternative” sites – with less than 1% market share.

          Basically, if Google, Microsoft, and Amazon decide not to provide you with services, you don’t exist on the web. You can’t advertise, you can’t show up in search results, you can’t even have a DNS entry! If CloudFlare dumps you too, you won’t even be able to get protected hosting.
          Even at its biggest, Standard Oil never controlled more than 85% of the market, and when they were broken up, they only had 60% market share.

          A very few Big Tech companies control the English language internet to all but the most tech-savvy users. You may not call that a “monopoly” but it certainly is a small group of companies that exert near total control over the online market – and that has been using it in anti-consumer fashions.

          1. and Google (android) and Apple basically control 100% of phone apps.

          2. “When you get to specific services, Twitter is the #1 microblogging site”

            lol. What is Honda’s market share in the market of selling Hondas? GMAFB.

            If Google, Microsoft, and Amazon decide not to provide you with services, there are a thousand simple ways for you to post your messages online.

            What specific “anti-consumer fashions” are you talking about? How much are you paying for your google searches? Are you even a fucking “customer” of Google?

            1. What you actually reveal is that you don’t even know what players there are in the market. Of course, that’s not really surprising – Twitter is so dominant, you’ve probably forgotten about the attempted competitors:
              Gab and Parler should be familiar to you, but do you remember Mastadon? Plurk? Posterous? Heelo? Posteezy? Hell, what about Google Buzz? Even Google couldn’t compete with Twitter.

              The basic fact is that No, if the few big players refuse to service you, you can’t have an online presence. If you can’t get hosting, you need to make your own – and that’s prohibitively expensive and difficult. Do you know what it takes to set up multiple redundant data centers with backbone connections?
              If you can’t get a DNS, you’ll never get visitors – do you even know how to reach a website without using DNS? How much of the public do you think can do it?

              You ignored almost the entirety of my post to harp on something you didn’t understand, but the fact is simple and clear: Putting something online requires the support of one of the Big Tech corporations. When those companies decide to censor something, it might as well not exist because you can’t find it, you can’t get to it, and it was probably removed from the host anyway, even if it wasn’t DDoS’d or hacked.

              1. “Gab and Parler should be familiar to you, but do you remember Mastadon? Plurk? Posterous? Heelo? Posteezy? Hell, what about Google Buzz? Even Google couldn’t compete with Twitter.”

                The fact that there have been failed platforms does not mean Twitter has a monopoly. The existence of Gab and Parler is sufficient to show you are wrong. But there are many other alternatives than Gab or Parler for “microblogging”. You can post on 4chan. You can host a website (that anyone in the world can read). Tumblr. WhatsApp. Reddit. Instagram. Baidu. Sina Weibo. LinkedIn. Myspace is still alive. You can post your comments in threads on Reason.com, like this one.

                Again, like people upthread, you’ve confessed what this is really about. It is not about the ability to speak to the world. It is about “presence”. That is, you think people are entitled to be heard rather than just speak. But my right not to hear you on my property is at least as powerful as your right to speak.

                “Do you know what it takes to set up multiple redundant data centers with backbone connections?”

                I know what it takes to get a web host service, and it isn’t prohibitively expensive. There may be people with speech so unattractive (like Stormfront, for example) that they can’t even find a web host. But what’s your solution? Do you think Reason.com should be required to post Stormfront’s content? Do you think Twitter should be required to? Do you think they should be allowed to put signs in your yard?

                Why in the world do you think any person is entitled to “visitors”? Why do you think you are entitled to be heard on Twitter, or anywhere else? You don’t have the right to speak on other peoples’ platforms.

      5. “The issue is, Facebook, Twitter, and Google/YouTube represent a virtual monopoly on posting items like this.”

        No they don’t. As evidence: this whole discussion.

        1. Which is hosted by Amazon, if you didn’t know. So Reason, too, is subject to disappearing if Amazon feels like it.

          1. Yes, that is how private property works. What alternative did you have in mind? That Amazon is mandated by state or federal law to host everyone?

          2. Amazon hosting this site seems pretty irrelevant to Facebook, Twitter and Google/YouTube having a monopoly on anything.

            But sure, if you want to redefine the “monopoly” to include every tech company, you’re right that tech companies collectively have a monopoly on tech, just like once you expand your list of car monopolists to include not only Ford, GM and Chrysler, but also VW, Toyota, Hyundai and Tesla, the car companies have a monopoly on making cars too.

    2. “Nobody has ever been “muzzled” by twitter”

      Banned, shadow banned and censored for speech not non-conforming speech. Is that better for you?

      I guess theoretically people that don’t share this ideology could build separate but equal services.

      1. If they could get banks to handle the financial transactions, anyway.

        1. So, the theory here has now moved to breaking up big tech to regulating the banks?

          1. Nationalize them as utilities. It’s the small government way!

            1. Obama’s Operation Choke Point would like a word with you.

              1. Whattaboutism would like you to maybe stick to the subject at hand.

                1. Crying whattaboutism is the last refuge of those who can’t respond logically with a sound argument about a contradiction.

                  1. Whattaboutism does not point out a contradiction.

                    Brett being dumb is independent of a Clinton policy you’re still butthurt about.

        2. Are you a fucking communist? Is that what’s happening here?

      2. I’ve had my comments deleted from this website. Do you think Volokh Conspiracy “muzzled” me? You’re just mangling the english language. If someone else says you can’t post on their platform, that’s not them “muzzling” you.

        If Twitter bans me from posting on Twitter, I can still send messages, to the entire world, effortlessly, for free, all from my sofa.

        1. You, NToJ, the world would be better off with, if you’d be silent. But, you’re not the president, and if you can’t tell the difference, then you have a very inflated sense of your own importance.

          1. Wait, so now the theory is if the President of the United States of America can’t post on Twitter, he’s “muzzled”? Like literally the most famous person in the world, with the most access to essentially every form of media–this person somehow can’t get their message out if a company with a couple hundred active users worldwide won’t let them post short text messages on their platform?

          2. I guess the WSJ is muzzling the President if it never allows him to write an Op-Ed on its pages.

            It’s difficult to imagine a person who would be less affected by a Twitter ban than the bully-pulpit holding POTUS, but great, you’ve found the most ridiculous example to support whatever fucked up point you think you’re making here.

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