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Alex Jones Banned From Facebook, Youtube & ITunes

 
burt
 
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burt
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09 August 2018 20:17
 
icehorse - 09 August 2018 06:12 PM
burt - 09 August 2018 05:20 PM
icehorse - 09 August 2018 03:22 PM
burt - 09 August 2018 03:15 PM
mapadofu - 09 August 2018 03:09 PM

So we need some laws or regulations that specify how/when you cross between being treated as private, to being treated as a public entity.

I unaware of this even being an idea in the law.  Despite the fact that few if any of are lawyers, as citizens we’re going to have to sort this stuff out.

It seems that the real issue is how to deal with fake news, and I don’t mean MSM but rather the torrent of false statements posted on social media and spread through such folk as Jones. Some stuff can be disregarded as typical political speech, where the only limits are things like good taste (suitably interpreted). But other fake news has the potential to create public damage, as for example, in the anti-vaxx propaganda that is directly linked to things like measles outbreaks, yet falls under free speech, even in countries like Canada that have hate speech laws.

again, very slippery. I agree that some “fake news” can do real damage. That said, Oligarchs could decide that criticizing oligarchs should be outlawed. Censorship is an extremely dangerous idea, especially in times like these. I fall back on the idea that sunlight is the only way to go.

Sunlight works well for vampires, but there are those types who get serious burns because they don’t understand the need for sunscreen. (Said he who spent a couple of summers as a lifeguard on California beaches.) Or, to be more literal, we’re agreed there so long as one can trust that the audience is well educated.

Bingo! Without a discriminating audience we’re really in trouble.

We’re in trouble.

 
Celal
 
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Celal
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10 August 2018 13:18
 
Quadrewple - 08 August 2018 11:34 PM

1.  If anyone can explain what Alex Jones has done that any mainstream media network hasn’t also been guilty of, I would feel much better about this.

2.  Any label you want to put on Alex Jones is a label that can and will be used in the future to stop people from saying anything the tech giants don’t want you to hear.  In the future, they won’t have to wait until said person gets as famous as Alex Jones.

3.  His side of the story now only exists on other peoples’ channels and among the people who already knew him.

4.  This event represents a test - a chance for people to demonstrate where they are on the ideological spectrum.  Would you deny Alex Jones a platform in the Information Age, if YOU had the power to do so?  Why or why not?

Given not so serious responses to your thoughtful OP, I’ll take a shot at it.

I know almost nothing of Alex Jones except that he was involved 911 Inside Job conspiracy theory. That colored my view of him and since then I read nothing or watched nothing from him. That is not to say everything he says must be untrue or not worth listening. I chose not to.

To your point, there are many celebrities on the left who also are associated with the 911 Conspiracy theory and are embraced by the main stream media. So I suspect, lack of appeal of Alex Jones is his politics not conspiracy theories for the Tech Companies.

If a tech company like APPLE pulls his podcast for what it deems to be “Hate Speech”  then that is where I draw the line.  What is hate speech anyway?  Presumably it is speech you don’t like. But the term “hate speech” is not a legal one, at least not according to the Supreme Court. It can be demeaning to you or me on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability or any other garden variety hateful speech ... still it is protected in public arena.

We don’t have to like the speech. But the discomfort we may feel is far more preferable to allowing Tech companies to “decide” what is hate or what is allowable speech.  For example, the recent addition of Sarah Jeong to NYT editorial board highlighted some of her tweets against “white people” and “white women”.  They were permitted. However, when (to prove a point)  Candice Owens, a conservative black woman, copied Sarah Jeong’s tweets verbatim and replaced “white” with “blacks” , she was banned.  That is why these companies should not be in the business of regulating public thought. Otherwise, they themselves will be open to be regulated by the Government.

Because Government through the Constitution must protect the freedom to express the thought that we hate. That is true free speech. Why would another poster like Burt need protection when he expresses loving thoughts about me, praises me, talks about me admiringly? He needs the protection when he does the opposite. I would support his right to do so.

 
Skipshot
 
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Skipshot
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10 August 2018 13:54
 

Just to be clear, Celal, the constitutional freedom is speech is a contract between the government and an individual, not between individuals.  Apple is under no obligation to provide a platform for anyone to say anything, which is why they have a Terms of Service contract.  It is is the same on the Sam Harris forum, we are allowed here only at Sam’s pleasure and expense, and he may pull the plug on us any time he wants for whatever reason he wants, or no reason, and we have no recourse.

 
Celal
 
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Celal
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10 August 2018 14:37
 

Sam’s forum   doesn’t have the profile of the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Apple etc to be of consequence.  I understand your point but you are not following mine.

The government has over the years increased its regulation, hence control of media through acts like “Fairness Doctrine”, “Communications Decency Act ” , etc.  If these media powerhouses become obvious fronts to the one or the other ideological parties, they too can become subject to whims of the current administration controls and regulations. Remember Trump’s threat to withhold NBC’s broadcast license for perceived unfair coverage of him… He does have the power to appoint FCC commissioners.

Before you react to that. Calm down. I would seriously disagree with that as much as I agree that he is treated unfairly.

For social media to try and regulate speech or what is fake is a slippery slope we should not pursue. Besides fake news is nothing new. It has been around for centuries. Remember the “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” -  one of the more successful fake news.  Instead of squashing speech, opening it up even more is the best solution in the long run.

My favorite example of censorship should not be permitted is the book written by Ayatollah Khomeini. In the 1970s, the Shah of Iran banned his book and the book took on legendary praises, reviews and Khomeini’s stature even rose in the eyes of the Iranians.  My Iranian friends tell me had they been able to read the book they would have seen what a lunatic he was and the book(Tahrirolvasyleh) was what they would have considered unacceptable content, including sex with animals and children.

So you might say Iranian Censorship brought Khomeini which gave way to Islamic Fundamentalism, and in turn to spread around the World and to violence, terrorism, etc.

There are unforeseen consequences to censorship.

 
Quadrewple
 
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10 August 2018 22:48
 
Nhoj Morley - 09 August 2018 01:47 AM

I don’t know what a ‘quadrewple’ is but it sounds like something I should feel sorry for. So let’s grant the point that private companies are acting on public pressures and if the public changed its mind, so would the groveling corpos.

We can assume that public pressure was a factor, but it was quite clearly an executive decision.  It’s not like there were protests in the streets, or the social media equivalent.  Anyone who wanted Infowars banned could’ve just hit the Unsubscribe/Unfollow/Block button…..and not been an overbearing cunt about it.

But this raises another question, shouldn’t Facebook/Google be able to ban ANYONE for ANY reason?  So why isn’t it that ANY business can refuse service to ANYONE for ANY reason?  I know what the laws are, I’m looking at this philosophically….

Nhoj Morley - 09 August 2018 01:47 AM

For decades now, I have lobbied for the Truth in Deception Act which sets Federal standards for deceptive practices, requires clear labelimg of deceptive content and sets ever-decreasing standards for percentage of falsehoods and other on-air pollutants.

Given details, I would probably disagree with that law, but I respect the fact that you’re at least advocating some type of principle being put forward.  Again, I don’t know exactly what Infowars has engaged in that CNN, Fox, etc haven’t also done, and on a larger scale.

If that “Truth in Deception Act” ever gets written out it will either be draconian and kill free speech or be so vague that its enforcement is at the whim of whoever the judge is.  I don’t see any other way it could work, but again you haven’t given details.

Isn’t this pretty much the modern equivalent of being banned by all the railroad companies in 1900?

icehorse - 09 August 2018 01:33 PM

On the one hand, you cannot be forced to invite someone to your private party.
On the other hand, FB and twitter and such - IMO - ought to be viewed now, as a part of the commons.


While I personally am fairly libertarian and conservative, I can’t see how the logic others use to justify public roads, public schools, is any different from the logic used to justify making social media “public goods.”

Why do we all have to pay for roads?  Because we all presumably have a vested interest in having a functioning road system that everyone has access to.  In the same way we all presumably have a vested interest in having an Information Age marketplace of ideas that everyone else has access to.

In the Information Age, you need never cross paths with an Infowars if you simply make the choice not to.  We ban certain people from driving because of the danger they cause to others.  How can something which you can completely insulate yourself from FOR FREE without restricting your own options be something which need be banned?

I’m not interested in whether or not social media companies have the RIGHT to do this to Infowars.  I’m interested in whether or not the people justifying it (mostly the left it seems) are hypocrites and anti-free speech.  Lots of people will talk about the RIGHT for social media companies to do this, but the justifying of it is where things get really tricky, because then you have to consider the future implications of what you’re actually advocating.

Skipshot - 10 August 2018 01:54 PM

Just to be clear, Celal, the constitutional freedom is speech is a contract between the government and an individual, not between individuals.  Apple is under no obligation to provide a platform for anyone to say anything, which is why they have a Terms of Service contract.  It is is the same on the Sam Harris forum, we are allowed here only at Sam’s pleasure and expense, and he may pull the plug on us any time he wants for whatever reason he wants, or no reason, and we have no recourse.

I actually like this set of rules for a business.  So let’s establish these rules across the board…..as a business, you choose who enters your establishment, you choose who you serve, you can refuse service for ANY reason. 

I am not a fan of the regulatory/publicized path - I only bring it up because it seems like the obvious thing to do if you’re on the left, since all the same arguments which apply to public roads and public schools apply to mass social media.  If the left is going to strategically stay silent here because they are ideologically opposed to Alex Jones, that’s what I have a big problem with.  The idea that someone would want someone like Alex Jones banned instead of just simply not following his work is so utterly despicable, pathetic, disgusting, and childish.  The less we feed those traits in society, the better.

 
 
mapadofu
 
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11 August 2018 06:41
 

https://journalism.ku.edu/cherry-picked-professor-studies-how-first-amendment-applies-private-companies-regulate-online-speech

Summary of KU professor’s analysis (no warranty of merchantability or suitability for an purpose expressed or implied).  His solution is case-by-case: individuals would have to sue the private entity to demonstrate that the entity is, for legal purposes, a public space.


Some ideas that are relevant for justifying excluding content would be:  “fighting words” incitement, (probably) conspiracy to commit a crime, fraud.  Y’all can fight about which of these apply to Jones.

I haven’t been able to relocate the article I read on it, but as I understand it there was a dust up about bars banning bikers gangs’ “colors”.  The analysis was that it was valid because the was a reasonable business purpose (reduced fighting) to the restriction. So maybe you he idea of arbitrary restrictions should be thrown out, but business case justification would work.  As far as I can tell this would be worked out on a case by case manner.

 
Skipshot
 
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11 August 2018 07:06
 

The Supreme Court ruled that a baker in Colorado May exclude gays on the basis of a religious belief, and the right is cool with that, so Apple should try using that excuse against Jones.

The argument that “size matters” is feeble.  Again, the point of the constitution is that free speech is protected between the government and an individual, not between individuals.  To protect the speech between individuals, Congress needs to write a law, and so far no law forcing Apple to give Jones a platform has been written.

 
icehorse
 
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11 August 2018 08:05
 
Skipshot - 11 August 2018 07:06 AM

The Supreme Court ruled that a baker in Colorado May exclude gays on the basis of a religious belief, and the right is cool with that, so Apple should try using that excuse against Jones.

The argument that “size matters” is feeble.  Again, the point of the constitution is that free speech is protected between the government and an individual, not between individuals.  To protect the speech between individuals, Congress needs to write a law, and so far no law forcing Apple to give Jones a platform has been written.

Can you say more about your “size matters is feeble” claim? I suspect I disagree with you, but I’m not 100% sure what you mean.

 
 
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11 August 2018 10:06
 
icehorse - 11 August 2018 08:05 AM
Skipshot - 11 August 2018 07:06 AM

The Supreme Court ruled that a baker in Colorado May exclude gays on the basis of a religious belief, and the right is cool with that, so Apple should try using that excuse against Jones.

The argument that “size matters” is feeble.  Again, the point of the constitution is that free speech is protected between the government and an individual, not between individuals.  To protect the speech between individuals, Congress needs to write a law, and so far no law forcing Apple to give Jones a platform has been written.

Can you say more about your “size matters is feeble” claim? I suspect I disagree with you, but I’m not 100% sure what you mean.

The claim that a private company which has a large share of a market must be regulated by the government is the problem.  I agree that essential services such as water and power are better under regulation, but social media does not qualify as essential.  Also, since when is it part of conservative ideology that the government should have the power to tell business how to run their business?

 
burt
 
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11 August 2018 10:15
 
Skipshot - 11 August 2018 10:06 AM
icehorse - 11 August 2018 08:05 AM
Skipshot - 11 August 2018 07:06 AM

The Supreme Court ruled that a baker in Colorado May exclude gays on the basis of a religious belief, and the right is cool with that, so Apple should try using that excuse against Jones.

The argument that “size matters” is feeble.  Again, the point of the constitution is that free speech is protected between the government and an individual, not between individuals.  To protect the speech between individuals, Congress needs to write a law, and so far no law forcing Apple to give Jones a platform has been written.

Can you say more about your “size matters is feeble” claim? I suspect I disagree with you, but I’m not 100% sure what you mean.

The claim that a private company which has a large share of a market must be regulated by the government is the problem.  I agree that essential services such as water and power are better under regulation, but social media does not qualify as essential.  Also, since when is it part of conservative ideology that the government should have the power to tell business how to run their business?

Easy answer to the last question, when it gets in the way of their beliefs and/or agenda.

 
icehorse
 
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11 August 2018 10:24
 
Skipshot - 11 August 2018 10:06 AM
icehorse - 11 August 2018 08:05 AM
Skipshot - 11 August 2018 07:06 AM

The Supreme Court ruled that a baker in Colorado May exclude gays on the basis of a religious belief, and the right is cool with that, so Apple should try using that excuse against Jones.

The argument that “size matters” is feeble.  Again, the point of the constitution is that free speech is protected between the government and an individual, not between individuals.  To protect the speech between individuals, Congress needs to write a law, and so far no law forcing Apple to give Jones a platform has been written.

Can you say more about your “size matters is feeble” claim? I suspect I disagree with you, but I’m not 100% sure what you mean.

The claim that a private company which has a large share of a market must be regulated by the government is the problem.  I agree that essential services such as water and power are better under regulation, but social media does not qualify as essential.  Also, since when is it part of conservative ideology that the government should have the power to tell business how to run their business?

I think of myself as a centrist. I’m not knee-jerkedly opposed to new government initiatives and I’m not knee-jerkedly aligned with every new idea for a larger government that comes down the line. Conceptually, these social media giants seem like a new form of monopoly. And like it or not, social media has extended the communications commons. I’m not making legal claims here, I’m saying that conceptually these companies probably ought to fall under FCC rules or some such.

If we don’t make this happen, then a few people, e.g. Zuckerberg, can - in practice - decide what we hear and what we don’t. Not good.

 
 
icehorse
 
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11 August 2018 10:28
 
burt - 11 August 2018 10:15 AM
Skipshot - 11 August 2018 10:06 AM
icehorse - 11 August 2018 08:05 AM
Skipshot - 11 August 2018 07:06 AM

The Supreme Court ruled that a baker in Colorado May exclude gays on the basis of a religious belief, and the right is cool with that, so Apple should try using that excuse against Jones.

The argument that “size matters” is feeble.  Again, the point of the constitution is that free speech is protected between the government and an individual, not between individuals.  To protect the speech between individuals, Congress needs to write a law, and so far no law forcing Apple to give Jones a platform has been written.

Can you say more about your “size matters is feeble” claim? I suspect I disagree with you, but I’m not 100% sure what you mean.

The claim that a private company which has a large share of a market must be regulated by the government is the problem.  I agree that essential services such as water and power are better under regulation, but social media does not qualify as essential.  Also, since when is it part of conservative ideology that the government should have the power to tell business how to run their business?

Easy answer to the last question, when it gets in the way of their beliefs and/or agenda.

I’m curious to know how broadly you’re using the term “agenda” here? For example would “supporting the Constitution” count as an agenda?

 
 
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11 August 2018 10:52
 
icehorse - 11 August 2018 10:24 AM
Skipshot - 11 August 2018 10:06 AM
icehorse - 11 August 2018 08:05 AM
Skipshot - 11 August 2018 07:06 AM

The Supreme Court ruled that a baker in Colorado May exclude gays on the basis of a religious belief, and the right is cool with that, so Apple should try using that excuse against Jones.

The argument that “size matters” is feeble.  Again, the point of the constitution is that free speech is protected between the government and an individual, not between individuals.  To protect the speech between individuals, Congress needs to write a law, and so far no law forcing Apple to give Jones a platform has been written.

Can you say more about your “size matters is feeble” claim? I suspect I disagree with you, but I’m not 100% sure what you mean.

The claim that a private company which has a large share of a market must be regulated by the government is the problem.  I agree that essential services such as water and power are better under regulation, but social media does not qualify as essential.  Also, since when is it part of conservative ideology that the government should have the power to tell business how to run their business?

I think of myself as a centrist. I’m not knee-jerkedly opposed to new government initiatives and I’m not knee-jerkedly aligned with every new idea for a larger government that comes down the line. Conceptually, these social media giants seem like a new form of monopoly. And like it or not, social media has extended the communications commons. I’m not making legal claims here, I’m saying that conceptually these companies probably ought to fall under FCC rules or some such.

If we don’t make this happen, then a few people, e.g. Zuckerberg, can - in practice - decide what we hear and what we don’t. Not good.

Then start another social media platform for your preferred ideology.  Complaining that the competition is too strong and you don’t like the political agenda of the monopoly is fine, but saying the FCC should get involved because someone got kicked off because he was acting like BroMo is trampling in the business which built the platform.

 
icehorse
 
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11 August 2018 11:06
 
Skipshot - 11 August 2018 10:52 AM
icehorse - 11 August 2018 10:24 AM
Skipshot - 11 August 2018 10:06 AM
icehorse - 11 August 2018 08:05 AM
Skipshot - 11 August 2018 07:06 AM

The Supreme Court ruled that a baker in Colorado May exclude gays on the basis of a religious belief, and the right is cool with that, so Apple should try using that excuse against Jones.

The argument that “size matters” is feeble.  Again, the point of the constitution is that free speech is protected between the government and an individual, not between individuals.  To protect the speech between individuals, Congress needs to write a law, and so far no law forcing Apple to give Jones a platform has been written.

Can you say more about your “size matters is feeble” claim? I suspect I disagree with you, but I’m not 100% sure what you mean.

The claim that a private company which has a large share of a market must be regulated by the government is the problem.  I agree that essential services such as water and power are better under regulation, but social media does not qualify as essential.  Also, since when is it part of conservative ideology that the government should have the power to tell business how to run their business?

I think of myself as a centrist. I’m not knee-jerkedly opposed to new government initiatives and I’m not knee-jerkedly aligned with every new idea for a larger government that comes down the line. Conceptually, these social media giants seem like a new form of monopoly. And like it or not, social media has extended the communications commons. I’m not making legal claims here, I’m saying that conceptually these companies probably ought to fall under FCC rules or some such.

If we don’t make this happen, then a few people, e.g. Zuckerberg, can - in practice - decide what we hear and what we don’t. Not good.

Then start another social media platform for your preferred ideology.  Complaining that the competition is too strong and you don’t like the political agenda of the monopoly is fine, but saying the FCC should get involved because someone got kicked off because he was acting like BroMo is trampling in the business which built the platform.

I’m not lining up behind a particular political agenda unless you count trying to defend the spirit of the Constitution as an “agenda”. IMO the poor Zuckerbergs of the world have to accept that their success cannot survive in an isolated bubble. They have become a part of the ecosystem and it’s fair for us to demand that they operate in the spirit of the country that nourished them. I don’t see how this is different than any other of a host of regulations that businesses have to work within.

What’s great about social media is that it’s pretty darned representative of what the people want. While much of what’s popular on social media these days saddens me, it’s at least useful data. If an assh*t like Jones is popular, at least that fact is out in the open and we can combat it.

 

 
 
Celal
 
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Celal
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11 August 2018 11:15
 

Make no mistake. This is what Skip is arguing in defense of.  Mark Zuckerberg book barbecue!

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