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Is free speech dead?

After being dropped from their app stores by Google and Apple without notice just days after the Capital protests, hosting provider Amazon announced yesterday that they will be removing free-speech site Parler from the Internet today citing posts that are alleged to contain violent content. As no examples where given, it is unclear if that content was any different than incendiary posts found on Twitter and Facebook during the BLM protests this summer.

Parler, a home for thousands of refugees who have been de-personed from Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, had grown 10x since the US election to the 216th largest US website as of yesterday. While Parler hopes to be able to move to another hosting provider in the next week or so, it remains to be seen if that will be enough to keep the site available. It is possible that activists will also target domain name registrars, banks, and other services required to maintain a high-traffic website.

A Trump supporter might ask: Was this action warranted? Is there a double standard being played out for Trump and BLM/ANTIFA/Biden supporters? Do Big Tech platforms like Google, Amazon, and Apple, with a near-monopoly on online communication, have any obligation to be politically agnostic? Where does this lead?

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Do Trump supporters and those who value the 1st Amendment have viable alternatives to Big Tech?

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Admin 8 Jan 10
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25

There are many alternative social media options, but none are on par with Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, and none that are mixed in some way with Amazon and Google. Big tech not only dominates the playing field, it's becoming more apparent that they dominate the rule book as well.

Now, I'm perfectly ok with Twitter running their site however they see fit. I'm not ok with the competition getting squashed under the guise of the protection of public safety. This may or may not be what happened, but Parler getting the plug pulled so quickly as well as in unison between Apple and Android was quite a stunning display as to the amount of power these companies have.

It makes me wonder what will happen if our government takes this attack on the Capitol as the ultimate "justification" to control all of online activities and communications. Big tech already leans left, if this happens, I don't see any viable online communication options left for those who support Trump.

I've seen two different responses to this:

  1. Trump is instigating violence and him and his enablers need to not be allowed a platform in order to preserve public safety.
  2. Big tech has overplayed their hand, and this is an overreaction that will only cause more extremism within the pro Trump movement.

Personally, I don't think Trump is as much of the cause of the extremism as the Democratic representatives that won't treat Trump supporters with the same delicacy they treated the months on end of BLM protesters. I'm not saying violence is justified. I'm saying it will most likely get worse if silencing dissenters is the only option they continually choose to take.

12

We value the First Amendment (@TheMiddleWay), but you are right it isn't a 1st Amendment issue because it is not government that doing the purging. Now, if the government told those platforms that unless they get the extremists off their site the site will be punished, then despite being private, they are defacto controlled by government and that would make it a 1st Amendment issue - but that is not what is happening.

So, there are alternatives but all social media rely on the network effect and the alternatives at this point do not have the benefit. But I've been on all social media since close to their inception and saw them when they were small. I'm a heavy internet user and have been online since before the web (I got online in 1987, had my own website since 1996).

I do believe Google has monopoly power in a couple of segments. But you can still use the internet without it. I equate the current state as a company that comes out for BLM and tells Trump supporters they are deplorable - lots of people will boycott the company but it doesn't care (enough) to change. People can go find substitutes but there is a reason they didn't prior to the dustup, they preferred the company's products.

So, I ignore the 'incitements', I ignore the purges, and I don't engage in the handwringing. All that said, it is clear that political ideology has become the most divisive thing in our society today - far outstripping racism.

I've been online about as long. And a favorite question of mine is do you remember MySpace, or Friendster, or Compuserve, or BBS?
Because all in their time were accused of the same.
And all are all but defunct.

Well said.

@TheMiddleWay I started on BBS' in 1984. Boards in CT, VA, GA and a bunch in Chicago. I was pretty well known in the Chicago BBS community and socially amongst the membership of three large boards (50+ lines). I was not on MySpace or Compuserve but was aware of them - busy elsewhere. I was a beta tester for Quicken and an invited user for the initial rollout of Google email and Twitter. We had a #1 website in search via Yahoo and then when Google pulled out of Yahoo we were #1 for 6 years on Google Search (for our law firm regionally). I did all the SEO.

9

it's hilarious this is the number one conservative grievance and talking point, more important than anything else to the right is the ability to howl on the Internet - and the total PRETENCE that

( a ) the LEFT owns the internet

( b ) only the RIGHT suffers from bans etc.

totally whipped up by dog-brained pundits like steven crowder etc, and you all fall for it and think it's "1984" etc - it's so funny how utterly entitled you are with your desire to spread your QAnon nonsense.

edit: trump is being banned as he's a danger : and it's bad for business. that's all the companies care about is making a profit, and being seen to be bad impacts that. it's capitalism entirely.

bastion Level 7 Jan 10, 2021

Your opinion is worthless. You lie, you fail to recognize that this election was stolen, you deny the facts, you SOB have been harassing Trump for 4 years, you along with Clinton, Schummer and Steel are all fascist thugs. The MSM are no longer instruments of speech they are political parties in disguise. This is the NAZI in you. We beat you in 1940 and we will beat you again so watch your back because we are working to fix this. Free speech is where democracy BEGINS but you think it's your tool to abuse.
NO!

Trump is what? To you socialists who either can’t get out of bed in the morning to get to work or who are afraid the gravy train will end sometime soon are hilarious! Really? Jobs. Making a living. Those concepts might be alien to you but for most adults that is how they, dare I write it? Get ahead!

@bastion
Oh shut up, you fucking moron.

You and the rest of your little goon squad should pool your IQs. Then you could be a single idiot.

@Edgework ... I'm not in a banning mood today as it's understandable that people are on edge recently. Please consider this when others push our comment guidelines. One of my biggest fears recently is a growing level of contempt people have to those with different opinions. it's the #1 precursor to divorce and violence 😟

@Admin
I've been banned elsewhere. Might as well go for the trifecta. My tolerance for organized lies has reached zero. Do what you have to do.

@Rick-A All opinions are worthless. Fact prevails even if not believed. The trouble with ignoring fact is it will catch up with you in the end. It is best to pursue the facts so you will be better prepared when they poke their head up.

Hey bastion, you might be right about that and I am surprised to hear about it. Are you able to provide some names that this is happened to? This is a genuine question as I am interested.

Also, do you or any other person here know any statistics on the percentages around who has been banned particularly around left or right political opinions?

I wish these companies published this kind of stuff

I got a chuckle out of your, how did you put it, hair-brained comment. Twitter is a leftist echo-chamber with some very inflammatory and violent comments which paints them as hypocrits but that's my opinion. Twitter along with the lamestream media financially benefitted from Trump's controversy and YouTube has long been google's money-pit with or without Trump. They made their choices and have just opened the door wider for other capitalist competitors. Your howling along with your elevated sense of entitlement which you liberally castigate others for is noted along with your pretensious attitude that your opinion is somehow elevated above those of others is amusing and poor form

@Pand0ro What are the facts you are referring to?

@Admin I have to agree with Admin, WE have to be civil with each other!!! Yes, I know I have had a few moment myself and I will apologize to anyone I have offended, here and now!!!
The inventors of the sites being discussed, ALL leaned LEFT before they created their sites!!!
THEIR belief system has made THEM all rich beyond anyone's dreams!!!
Why would WE expect THEM to change their business profile?????
Eliminating competition is how THEY got to the TOP!!!

@Rick-A All facts. Everything that is real. Not "alternative" facts which are not facts. Anything that is true, not what people claim as true, not what they believe is true, but is demonstrable, provable and replicable by independent observers. Every thing that is real. Everybody is misled at times because truth is often difficult to determine, goes against how we would like things to be and can be disappointing to us. Fantasy can be comfortable and satisfying but does us no good when reality intrudes its head.

@Pand0ro To buddy, I do not need a lecture on the definition of truth. I can read for myself, and Dictionary.com is free and easy to use. How about elevating this conversation to a point of maturity and actually providing the "case in point" that you seem unable to articulate.

No, the 'left' doesn't own the internet. Jewish oligarchs and globalist-capitalists own the internet.

How are they the 'left'? Leftism is about socialism and equality, not about super-capitalist oligarch power. Why did Jews and capitalist oligarchy change 'leftism' from support of workers and those who have less into a celebration of homos? Because homos are vain and narcissistic and serve Wall Street, Hollywood, and the Deep State. Washington DC is teeming with homos working for CIA that carries out imperialism around the world.

Also, Jews are not 'leftist'. They only pretend to be. They are ultra-tribal supremacists who demand that all Americans support the apartheid state of Israel and more Wars for Israel. Jews are about Jews getting richer and richer. They only pretend to be 'leftist' to cover up their tribal-supremacism.

@Rick-A You seem to have missed the point.

@Rick-A lmao

@Pand0ro definitely agree with you. I argue with family and friends with facts because of all the derangement, lies, fraud etc we have seen in 4 years from the witch in the chair. She has created the hate, fed the hate and the MSM have been paid to drive to the extreme left, now to cover up and control.
Christians and Conservatives have to stand up and speak up. We are no longer the quiet polite ones. It is happening in Australia, we are so small in comparison to you in the US but the same is happening. We don’t have a witch in the chair but we have 3 left aligned states who lie, are supported by China and are preening themselves as they plump up their feathers

7

Private corporations are protected by law and over the years have been able to shed more and more regulations. Private corporations are going to pursue what is most profitable. If leaning left is more profitable that is the way they will lean. It is just a matter of economics and an indicator of who has the most influence. Fair or not corporations will follow the money. It should prompt the right to ask what are we doing or not doing that gives the left more power? Are you for or against the government regulating corporations.

Pand0ro Level 7 Jan 10, 2021
  • "Private corporations are going to pursue what is most profitable. If leaning left is more profitable that is the way they will lean. It is just a matter of economics and an indicator of who has the most influence."

This is what I'm having a hard time trying to discern. Is this a case of private corporations purely looking out for their bottom line, (in which case, they are free to run their sites however they want, even if I don't agree with it), or is this foreshadowing into greater governmental control over online activities, including stricter regulations akin to what we currently see on big tech social media sites.

I'm having a hard time separating the two because big tech has been at court numerous times over the years. While Republican representatives were making their cases of unfair censorship, Democratic representatives were making their cases that there isn't enough censorship. I don't want governmental control on either side.

There is also the issue of the monopolies. (Which I would like to see broken up) Big tech dominates and as much as they don't want to be broken up, I don't think our government wants them broken up either. The flow of online information is a powerful tool to have, and currently it's in the Democrats favor. If the monopolies can be broken up, and more alternative social media sites are able to thrive under less restrictions, that also still leaves the possibility of the government taking control of them as well under the guise of public safety.

I may just be getting ahead of myself, and my perception could be skewed, though. I'm really unsure. Any thoughts?

@saramarylop3z This is clearly a violation of antitrust, civil rights, the RICO statute. There should be a racketeering investigation on all the people that coordinated this attack on not only a company but on all of those like us, like me, like you, Maria,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo.

I think these companies actions were due to political ideology. There was no love loss with Trump but twitter had to take it ones step further. When Parler had the teremnity to allow those to join that they differed with politically, ideologically, supprted Trump so tgey were guilty as those who vreacged the Capital google, apple and amazon decided Parler had to be punished by them. The hell with the law cause they're 'big tech'. If its about violent posts on the platforms there would gave been just as many susbensions/bannings of those politically left but that doesn't appear to have occurred.

If they think they're going to have any legal consequences associated with their actions they may back off, put Parler's app back up, re'instate host services and may lift bans and suspensions. Historically Facebook has broken the law before (cambridge analytica) and been fined billions of dollars so why not these three?

They don't want their section 230 protection taken away and they've watched Congress bumbling around doing nothing so they may expect nothing to be done but I think they went too far this time. All four of these companies need to be held to the law and if needed broken up.

@saramarylop3z Follow the money. Legislators get the lion share of their money from the wealthy and corporations. There are always rumblings of how corporations need to be held in check yet over the past 30 years have gotten pretty much their own way. Companies only political ideology is and always has been the bottom line and whatever political action that enhances it will be taken.

@dd54 You're talking of government regulation of corporations?

@Pand0ro I'm talking about enforcing laws not government control.

@dd54 What laws could be enforced to stop corporations from acting on what gets them the greatest profit?

6

The issue is not one of creating a website and having servers, more of how do you connect uses with the platform. As Apple and Google own the operating systems used by 90% of the planet for phones, end users have no control and have self-subjected to these tech giants. An alternate operating system(s) must be created to run the phones and break free.

5

Twitter has benefitted greatly by POTUS 80+million followers, FB too. The next few days will be interesting for their stock. I dumped FB today and Twitter yesterday. Have a call with my broker tomorrow. Hopefully they screwed themselves but I’m not too hopeful. 🤷♀️

5

Social censorship, it’s like the government, it’s just covert

5

As far as I'm concerned, privately owned entities should be able to do as they please with their intellectual properties. If I disagree with a particular platform's policy(s), then I am always free to move on to another site. In reality no one is keeping me silenced, I'm still able to speak freely minus any fear of going to prison over such. When IDW.Community launched their mobile app for Android, Google didn't want to publish the app at first, and at this point I've not much doubt SLUG will eventually run into the same issue, in which at that point guess we will have to access SLUG via a web browser.

Its the arbitrariness of the platform's application of their policies which we both know is the bone of contention. There decisions have led to people moving to competitor platforms. As I said below Trump controversy was a boon to a struugling twitter and a dying lamestream media and YouTube is google's money pit. Its time to say adios and move on.

For anyone interested, this is a decent site, and Minds is working on content creators being able to monetize their efforts-
[minds.com]

Would you be open to reclassifying social media as public utilities, and subjecting them to special oversight, like airlines or power companies?

@GeeMac No, even as they offer a service to the public would still not remove the fact they are a private entity, and not sure more laws would even work.

5

Not dead, but taking heavy casualties.

Are there alternatives? Sure, but it's not easy taking on an oligopoly.

5

Dying not dead, the left will keep playing wack-a-mole until they face serious consequences.

Also the right needs to raise its game, not putting up with " I know its biased but I'm paying for it because......"

The game will have to be played more strategically, not just tactically, and especially not in spasms of ill-chosen actions that can be turned around against us.

5

Free speech has been dead for a while. The first Amendment does two things in regards speech -- it recognizes an unalienable right to it, and prohibits the government, the only organization truly powerful enough at the time of the authoring, from restricting it. Now, and even in recent times, there are many organizations powerful enough and inescapable enough, to restrict speech. We can't speak our honest minds for fear of "consequences". Oh, they can't put us in jail for it like Government can, but short of that they can absolutely destroy us, and without any reasonable recourse or avenue of redress.

Global corporations not the citixens now dictate to governments

4

Free speech was always something of immense value and fragility, an ideal worth fighting for but also needing nurture and protection. The internet is not the vehicle or protector of free speech, no more than the printing press, or the illuminated manuscripts or the incantations of priests. Youll never find true democracy or reasoning on the internet its a technology in the service of Babylon.

N0DD Level 7 Jan 11, 2021
4

Not yet, but on life support. Viable alternatives to the censorious platforms will be developed.

Minds is another decent platform-
[minds.com]

4

Two years ago I saw censoring coming and started to collect links to alternative platforms and websites where the people and organizations that I follow fled to. I started to look less at facebook and hardly make a remark on that platform. I wait and see here everybody goes and follow them, Ramzpaul brought me to Slug. This will automatically create some sort of anti globalist dark web.

Corjova Level 6 Jan 10, 2021
4

Politics and cancel culture aside, we need to look at alternatives for open source social media platforms and others that aren't besides Twitter, FB (WhatsApp) and YouTube. If people look into these sites or already have with any of them we can communicate the pros and cons with eachother.

[techblog.thcb.in]
open-source-alternative-social-media-
platforms/

[socialx.network]

[hackerzzz.com]

[itsfoss.com]

[alternativeto.net]

We may all have to download TOR to commumicate without the nSa tracking.

dd54 Level 8 Jan 10, 2021

Interesting. Thanks for the info. 🙂

@Naomi in my book its not about politics but about set this Nation apart as the symbol of freedom and liberty. That said, we now find ourselves in the position of locating a website to freely communicate. There are options for now.

4

Freedom is not just about what you want, it is about making sure others views are also protected. such that your views will be protected too

day500 Level 3 Jan 10, 2021
4

These people can't even manage security, their products have become less efficient and usable overtime and people think they should be making decisions about the future course of history?

wolfhnd Level 7 Jan 10, 2021
4

Yes we have Slug, Brighteon, and Parlor (on browser), but without a close to equal mix of the two sides, it's not much more than an echo chamber.

It's unfortunately that almost every community has become an echo chamber.

@Admin It's no surprize. Polarization and divisiveness works like that. Some call Ad Hom and personal attacks, "debate" and often ignore the actual problem and concentrate on trying to undermine the oppositions position instead of strengthening their own with facts.

@maxmaccc Ad hom, personal attacks, trolling, venting, ranting... It's probably a hobby for many to come on social media to do those things because they can't do them in the real world. Lol

4

I saw SO many of my left leaning friends expressing extreme views being temp or perma banned from FB last year it was an almost daily event.

Similarly, my right leaning friends over the past few months.

Being a moderate and thus actively seeking people on the left and right on my FB associations, I am perhaps in the minority who can see that FB has in fact acted against the Left and the Right when they act extremely.

The problem and this is a critical point is that people on the right with only right friends will see their friends being banned and come to the incorrect conclusion that only the right is being banned.
Interestingly, this is the same conclusion that people who only had friends on the left seeing their friends get banned were saying this time last year!!!!

I didn't know this. I've been off Facebook for 5 years, and only had a Twitter account for a little over 1 year before deactivating it the other day. Even when I was online in the past, I only did so between friends and family, and wasn't involved in politics.

It is very easy to fall into the narrow vision of what's happening on the right at this moment, considering I lean right and I voted for Trump. However, big tech control is a concern for many people on both sides, and I've heard from even one of my very anti Trump family members that they didn't agree with Parler getting pulled off the app store.

I may not agree with everything on the left, but I like to at least try and I don't want the only left and right echo chambers be the only option. I have a hard enough time navigating left and right media to get a better understanding. This is seriously crazy.

@saramarylop3z
As an aside, I HATE HATE HATE twitter. I find it exemplifies and encourages the basest form of discourse and not to put singular blame on it, but I do feel it's played a MAJOR role in the lack of discussion in america in exchange for 140 character soundbites and the thrill of the "retweet"

#Twitter4Twits
#TwitterIsToxic

@TheMiddleWay That was my conclusion as well lol that's why I said bye bye.

@TheMiddleWay yes I absolutely agree with your points around Twitter. I remember reading somewhere about a study that looked into short form platforms and how the small character limit actually create an atmosphere that they described as toxic and often lead to misunderstandings and the polarization of opinions as opposed to more longer forms of discussion.

I think with some of the big tech social media platforms, the double standard or at least perceived double standard around how some posts and accounts are flagged or deleted, and the lack of transparency around some decisions has also contributed to a feeling of censorship.

YouTube is the other big platform where the removal of posts or users or demonetizing and the lack of consistency on how this has been applied has sometimes created an toxic atmosphere and the perception of bias towards some points of view.

My answer to this is more competition around these platforms to break up these Monopolies.

I have left n right friends, I am also in groups with left and right.

I see both posting absolute BS

But those being fact checked by FB are mainly on the right at a ratio of I would say 50 to 1.

The exception I would say is the recent catchup with anti-vaxxers who are now being fact checked, they are mainly soft-left midddle class females.

The thing is its centre right that are also being banned like Stefan Moleneux.

@CookieMonster
The problem is there is no way to tell if this ratio is due to a bias on the part of FB or because the right posts more posts that require fact checks. Either narrative would fit the data.

Birds of a feather.

@TheMiddleWay

ok how many mainstream leftwingers have been publicly cancelled for attacking rightwing "red lines"?

How many times have you been mobbed for stating centerist left opinions?

How many "hate laws" protect right minorities?
There is a massive bias and you have a massive blind spot..

4

Free Speech ends when YOU let it end. There is, and will continue to be, a way to communicate on the web. American Patriots are not the idiots, the Libtards that believe they can silence them are. We have a voice, we will continue to use that voice. Take one platform down, we will raise another one! Take that one down and we will build another, and another. Suck it liberals! We are here, we are loud, and we are strong, and most importantly YOU can't stop us!

Is your goal to silence the libtards?

@Pand0ro she didn't say that. Read her post. She wants equal protect of free speech.

@Pand0ro no the Libtards will eventually silence themselves.

4

Is free speech dead?

Strictly speaking no given that the guarantee of free speech is freedom from government interference, not freedom from citizen or private sector interference.

Does it matter that Google and Apple have a 99.9% monopoly on communication app access? How is that different from China's government monopoly on communication access?

This is true, strictly legally speaking. but it is false in concept. May others use coercive power against one to stifle speech? No, that's a violation of a basic human right. We have allowed it, until now, because we didn't see it as an inescapable threat they way government coercion was in the past. Today it is. The First Amendment needs amending, to expand protections for our basic right of free expression. The right to think to believe,, to speak, to gather, to use technical means to spread, things that others disagree with, no matter how wrong or bad others might think it is.

@Admin
When it comes to 1A and freedom of speech, it matters not one whit.
If you want to talk monopoly, then that is valid.
But invoking 1A is a strawman to appeal to constitutionally minded conservatives.

@Augur2748

May others use coercive power against one to stifle speech? No, that's a violation of a basic human right.

Not in the USA. As long as I'm not slandering or libeling you or threatening you with physical harm, I can use any and all means at my disposal to shut down a voice that I disagree with should I choose to.

@Admin

Since, the Google/Apple monopoly would not be possible without the tacit approval of government, I believe Benito Mussolini’s definition of fascism as “the merging of the state and the corporation” is applicable. He also said a more accurate word would be “corporatism.”

@WorldSigh
Except the current government (or at least the Republican half) explicitly disapproves of Google and Apple and hence said definition cannot apply.

@TheMiddleWay

Really? Why hasn’t Section 230 been repealed or modified? Oh, that’s right, Trump tried and Congress killed it. I guess you are correct. It’s mainly the Democrats that are fascists. Thank you for clearing that up.

@WorldSigh
Repealing section 230 would destroy social media wholesale which is not what anyone one either sides wants.

@TheMiddleWay

I agree; however, I said: "Why hasn’t Section 230 been repealed or modified?"

@WorldSigh
That is my reason: because repeal and proposed modifications would throw the baby out with the bathwater.

@TheMiddleWay Legally, in accordance with US law, I agree. I'm saying it's still wrong, a violation of a basic human right, and the legal system needs to be changed to reflect that.

@Admin wow what an interesting question I've never really thought of it like that before, wow going to have to think about that.

"Does it matter that Google and Apple have a 99.9% monopoly on communication app access? How is that different from China's government monopoly on communication access?"

@TheMiddleWay

Yes, it would be a shame if only censorship of legally prohibited speech was permitted.
How would Silicon Valley’s far left ideologues enforce their preferred political/cultural narratives?
Bbbut, not agreeing with us is hate speech!

@WorldSigh
No. It would be ashame that by making Social Media sites responsible for what is posted on their sites said Social Media sites fold because of the legal liability they incurred OR that Social Media would be completely whitewashed of any and all controversial content, such as politics, for fear of incurring legal liability.

This is what I mean by a repeal or modification of section 230 would have the effect of killing or sterilizing social media to the point of irrelevance.

@TheMiddleWay

If only censorship of federally prohibited unlawful speech was permitted, it would be business as usual, minus the political/cultural interference by lefty technocrats. They would still have protection under the rest of 230. Isn’t it odd that such a simple solution to systemic censorship of conservatives was not implemented...

@WorldSigh
But then that would be the government determining what can and cannot be said on the net and would be a 1A violation.

So as simple as it seems, you can't have the government dictate that if you censor other speech than what it wants you get penalized without violating 1A and we cannot violate 1A

@TheMiddleWay

Child porn, uttering threats, blackmail, human trafficking, etc., are already illegal. This is not a 1A violation. Anything, outside of these sort of illegal activities would be covered by 1A and be safe from corrupt lefty oligarchs. Of course, there is that pesky loss of arbitrary censorship on the part of Silicon Valley, again...

@WorldSigh
Inciting violence is also illegal and that's what the presidents Twitter ban and the dropping of the platforms by Google and Apple are based upon.

So they are already doing exact what you propose in acting against illegal speech.

But the point that I'm making is that if the government says that I do not have the option to not hear what you want to say, then that is the government interfering with my free speech right.

The first amendment is not only about not preventing you from saying what you want to say but also about not preventing me from not wanting to hear it.

@TheMiddleWay The legal definition of incitement is much narrower that you seem to understand. Have you looked into this? I recommend doing so. Nothing the president said or did meets the incitement standard, only the arbitrary rhetorical one his enemies want to hoist him with.

@Augur2748

Nothing the president said or did meets the incitement standard,

Perhaps not for a criminal charge.
But a criminal charge is not a pre-requisite for individuals to perceive his words thusly and act on them... as the Capitol Assault invaders did or as Google, Apple, and others did.

I believe Jake Angeli, the now infamus horned hat guy, said that he felt that Trump wanted him to do this.
If more of the arrested people say this, it's pretty good evidence that his words did in fact have the effect to incite the riot.

As well, 15 minutes after they invaded, Trump tweeted "stay peaceful" but not "leave the capitol"... and then an hour later that "to leave but that he loves them".

That he expressed love for the capitol assaulters is, to me, indicative that he did not disapprove of the assault... especially after he said at the previous speech that they should "march up to the capitol" and "fight like hell" followed by Rudy saying that it would be "Trial by combat".

Enough for criminal charges?
Maybe not.
Enough for some people, including his own people, to believe that he incited violence.
Absolutely.

@Augur2748
And while not directly related to the Capitol Assault, this meme makes the case that it's hard to promote the claim that he never incited anyone to violence.

@TheMiddleWay Not in the USA. As long as I'm not slandering or libeling you or threatening you with physical harm, I can use any and all means at my disposal to shut down a voice that I disagree with should I choose to.

Are you sure about that?

@theinterlooper
Pretty sure.

Heckler's veto refers to restrictions on speech inciting hostile reactions [1]

[1] [mtsu.edu]

which is in line with what I said

or threatening you with physical harm

@TheMiddleWay But you see, we are talking about criminal actions -- the ones one might impeach a president for or impose a first-amendment standard censure for. Otherwise, it's just some third person's opinion that what one person said incited yet another. That's no better than mind-reading, twice over.

@Augur2748
I conceded above that it might not be enough for a criminal charge.
And we are talking about the actions of Google, Apple, and Amazon.
Not the justification for congress in trying to impeach him.
That's a whole other can of worms. 😛

@TheMiddleWay

Are you inferring that Trump incited violence on Parler? Is that why Parler is under attack? You do realize that the President was not a member of Parler, during or prior to, the DC circus?

If Twitter is so keen on "acting against illegal speech’, why did Tim Pool recently point out that he is regularly doxed and receives dozens of death threats every week with zero action taken by Twitter? This is routine treatment for many on the right as I can attest from personal experience. Evidently, Twitter is only concerned with incitement to violence and blatant death threats when they are made by those of a particular political stripe! This may be why there is a high number of conservatives on sites such as Slug, and why so many of us object to the aggressive promotion of censorship here by certain members...

Please, show me where the First Amendment guarantees your right to, umm... "The first amendment is not only about not preventing you from saying what you want to say but also about not preventing me from not wanting to hear it."?

Here is the text. Perhaps, you should read it?

First Amendment

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

It says "freedom of speech". That is the freedom to speak. I don’t see anything about "not preventing me from not wanting to hear it."? Of course, you are completely free to block an individual, or go to a different page. Sadly, that simple, civilized, libertarian solution would preclude the arbitrary censorship of opposing opinions and the alienation from the square of public discourse of over 70,000,000 legal American voters by big tech oligarchs and ideologues wouldn’t it? That would be a real shame.

@WorldSigh

Are you inferring that Trump incited violence on Parler? Is that why Parler is under attack? You do realize that the President was not a member of Parler, during or prior to, the DC circus?

I don't infer. I never infer. I speak plainly and directly. If I never said that Trump insighted violence on parler then I never meant that Trump Inside of violence on parler.
And no that is not the reason why parlers under attack.
The reason is because people incited violence on that platform and that platform was unable to moderate it effectively, regardless of Trump's direct involvement in it.

@TheMiddleWay

If incitement to violence is the motivation behind the coordinated attack on Parler, why is no action ever taken against the far more egregious offences that occur daily on Twitter? I guess you missed this part of my previous post? I know, reading the First Amendment can be quite distracting...

"If Twitter (Amazon/Google/Facebook) is so keen on "acting against illegal speech’, why did Tim Pool recently point out that he is regularly doxed and receives dozens of death threats every week with zero action taken by Twitter? This is routine treatment for many on the right as I can attest from personal experience. Evidently, Twitter is only concerned with incitement to violence and blatant death threats when they are made by those of a particular political stripe!"

@WorldSigh
The first amendment has no play here since the government is not at play.

And parlor or Twitter are not responsible for outside death threats that a person may get for the speech on their platforms.. They are only responsible for the speech that is made, and allowed to remain, on their platform. Thus if Tim Poole can prove that his Twitter account is filled with death threat from others and Twitter makes no effort to remove them, then you have a case. Otherwise you don't

@WorldSigh

It says "freedom of speech". That is the freedom to speak. I don’t see anything about "not preventing me from not wanting to hear it."?

Two scotus cases...

  • Janus v. American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees,

  • Wooley v maynard

... both affirm that freedom of speech is also freedom of silence.

@TheMiddleWay

Yes, freedom to remain silent, not to silence others.

@WorldSigh
The government is silencing nobody.
And as a private entity I have every right to silence you within my own home, within my own private business.

@TheMiddleWay

You brought up the First Amendment, not me:

"The first amendment is not only about not preventing you from saying what you want to say but also about not preventing me from not wanting to hear it."

Incidentally, by gifting twitter and company with exemption under Section 230 while still allowing them to censor legal speech for ideological reasons, the government is enabling the abrogation of citizen’s free speech.

@TheMiddleWay

Perhaps, you are not understanding my posts? I will try this a third time. The threats, of physical violence, doxing, and death experienced daily by Tim Pool and numerous others on Twitter ARE MADE ON TWITTER. In Tim Pool’s case, he has complained many times. Twitter did nothing! They still do nothing! Unless, of course the threats are made against one of the protected classes...

The attacks on Parler are hypocritical garbage!

@TheMiddleWay

So, bakeries should not be forced to decorate cakes for homosexual weddings?

@WorldSigh
You are correct, my bringing up the first amendment in regards to the private sector was a mistake. yet that only strengthens the point that neither the private sector nor the government can force me to hear or promote a message I don't believe in

@WorldSigh

In Tim Pool’s case, he has complained many times. Twitter did nothing!

If I'm not mistaken, Tim Poole is the guy that makes videos. Has he made a video where he presents his multiple complaints and Twitter's non-response?

After all, given the messaging and political ideology behind his videos, it is in his best interests for him to promote the notion that Twitter does nothing. But if he can't present any evidence for it, then we can't just take his word for it.

@WorldSigh
I'm glad you brought up the Christian bakeries because that is an excellent example. I fully support the decision that a Christian bakery should not be forced to create cakes that promote a messaging that they disagree with.

The same way that I fully support companies not wanting to promote messaging, such as election fraud or covid denial that they disagree with.

In this and many other cases, the private sector is fully within their rights to not promote messaging they personally deem harmful, wrong, or just don't want to promote it for whatever reason.... and this includes facebook, Twitter, Christian baker's, etc.

4

In regards Parler, this is too good a business opportunity for the tech giants as well as an ideological one, to crush a possible rival. In ordinary times, this would be seen as the anti-competitive move that it is and opposed on those grounds. But, now we have a crisis, a heavily pushed narrative that it's so bad these steps are warranted, and here we are.

Never let a crisis go to waste...

@Admin true but the next crisis may take a bite out of them.

@dd54 The reaction overseas is somewhat interesting. Many in other countries are wondering why American corporations have the power to censor heads of state.

@Augur2748 especially when they don't censor the speech of other Nation's heads of state. Go figure.

@dd54 Even if we don't (or politically can't) move to limit or break them up, other countries will. In addition, the ad revenue and profitability of these social media companies comes at the expense of local print/broadcasting media. Many countries were already upset at that.

@Augur2748 even the dems were backing anti-trust so jopefully they'll support breaking them up. Twitter wavy doing well before Trump and with out the Trump magnet all they can do is talk about crt/social justice but they will lose a lot of traffic. youTube is losing money already and will lose raffic as well. It works be interesting to see their global traffic stats post-Trump era.

4

We have viable alternatives, but they require more work from the users, and that means only a small group of people will ever use them.

Keybase has the right idea, but they're becoming, if not have not already become, untrustworthy because of who bought them.

There is twister, a distributed twitter replacement.

There are various facebook replacements based on mastodon. Gab is another replacement for facebook, but it's not even open source, but then neither is slug ...

Twistor sounds very interesting. Thanks for the reference.

3

Even if there are alternative social sites, they will just be labeled, defined, and touted as place for a bunch of kooks and haters.

For example, one YouTuber I follow had to start cross-posting to BitChute, Odysee, and more because his videos were being removed by YouTube. When looking up BitChute online, a Wikipedia page popped up and defined, "BitChute is a video hosting service known for accommodating far-right individuals and conspiracy theorists, and for hosting hateful material."

Basically, the rest is just libelous labeling against the platform and users as a whole.

@Starlight In all fairness, the alternatives are filled with "a bunch of kooks and haters". That's simple logic. The fringe is expelled from mainstream media, so alt-media is filed with fringe.

It takes the determination of mainstream free speech advocates to use alt-media to defeat that perception. The more "normies" who use alt-media, the less fringe it will be populated with by proportion.

3

I feel IDW is a viable alternative for civil discussion.

You and I both on that.

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