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Prefer to stay private.

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
In Reply To
Late Great Donald Blake 

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,511
Subj: Re: An argument I'm having about free speech on the Thor board.
Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2022 at 08:11:22 am EST (Viewed 272 times)
Reply Subj: An argument I'm having about free speech on the Thor board.
Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2022 at 01:26:14 pm EST (Viewed 409 times)

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It's going way out of the bounds of the Thor board, but I thought it would was still and interesting discussion and definitely worth having...

This is Norvell's last response, and I'll reply below.  It's worth noting most o his confusion here is thinking I'm a conservative and doesn't realize I AM on his left.  Anyway, the point isn't to try and dunk on him, but to illustrate the various freedom of speech positions here.

    LGDB: Well one, you're thinking of the 1st Amendment. The freedom of speech as a concept is a more basic philosophical precept, and I hate to tell you actually predates our Constitution.

So who enforces your freedom of speech? God?

    Secondly, classically more entities than just the State have historically abridged the freedom of speech, namely the church and the private sector, i.e. businesses and corporations.

You don't have any right to use the platform of a private business if you violate the terms of use, period. It's a privilege.

    This idea that somehow it's appropriate for us to outsource the abridgment of our rights to private companies, and especially liberals are okay with this, I think is probably not a good thing.

The increasing corporate control of America is a function of right-leaning policy, and statement of intent (not my opinion).

    Thirdly, I DO think Trump should be held to the same standard as everyone else. My point is Trump shouldn't be kicked of social media, because I see know reason why anyone should be kicked off of social media, unless they violate those exceptions that are pretty well observed at this point; direct threats of violence or force, fire in a crowded room, and so on. You could argue the latter is the case, but that's for a court to decide.

Incorrect. There is no applicable legal case that could be brought against Twitter, thus its not for a court to decide. In fact, the courts would overwhelmingly side with Twitter, hence why Trump hasn't brought one.

    Not some unaccountable billionaire. [b]Social media shouldn't be controlled by private companies who are only accountable to themselves and their stockholder, especially if they're going to monopolize the space.

So you're advocating for regulations of free speech and strict regulation of capitalism. You do realize that's what you're doing, right? If not, I got news for you.

    I'm not a Trump supporter, my position isn't informed by some interest or exceptional feeling (one way for another) for the ex president. It's informed by not wanted public discourse itself to be controlled by an oligarchy, instead of a democratic process of some kind.

So, again, you're advocating for more of a far-left (even further than me) approach to private companies. It actually seems like you're advocating for outright government control (the only thing accountable to a democratic process). Welcome, comrade!

    Fourthly, this is not to be confused with small associations like let's say this message board. The reason it's a problem with that kind of moderation on entities like Twitter and Facebook has everything to do with their monopolization of the PUBLIC.

It's public discourse on a private platform. Of course Twitter or Facebook have a right to control it. Just as someone else can start another platform and do the same thing (e.g. ban users, which the so-called free-speech right-wing platforms have already done).

    It doesn't matter that these companies exist as privately owned enterprises.

Um, yeah it does, since its foundational to what we're discussing.

    The fact that they have that much control of the market share means they have the capacity to control the lionshare of what's allowed to be said on line.

A much stronger case could be made against other sectors of the economy, such as energy production or health care.

    And it's an atrocious idea to cede this level of power and influence to any private nondemocratic entity much less a for profit company.

Well, I'm not necessarily disagreeing, but your making a purely ideological point that does not exist in American reality (or most other nation's).

    It would be like if one company owned 90% of the newspapers in the company and then decided what was allowed to be published.

Even that strained analogy has to be terribly skewed so that competing news papers cannot be created by virtue of the conditions of the argument.

    That's all together different than a small private group of people on a chat room or a message board, who want to decide how best to moderate their own group.

I have never visited a discussion forum that was run as a democracy. Ever.

    The veritable agora of political discourse isn't something private entities should have control over. The various fan club message board of the world can police themselves however they like.

Ultimately there is regulation about the content of these forums, either by the overseeing platform or even the Internet Service Provider.

    Fifthly, I didn't personally ban you from the Community Board and as moderators go I'm pretty lenient.

Ironically, I was banned for bickering, IIRC.

    But that doesn't mean I think for a moment Youtube, Twitter, or Facebook should have a comparable kind of moderation.

So privately owned platforms shouldn't have terms of service or content moderation. That seems diametrically opposed to your view that there should be strict regulation of the economy and the private sector (perhaps even moreso than my ideology would allow). Your ideological position has not been fully thought through.

    Sixthly, I don't think THIS moderator want us to have this discussion here.

Thankfully you've opened the window to this discussion, thus inviting me to respond. You're welcome to not respond in turn.

Well, there are two parts of the conversation.

First is the legal, or more specifically constitutional question.

Some people think that is a social media company kicks you off, it is First Amendment violation.  These people are stupid.  If one is reading this, I am sorry to be blunt, but I am sick of pretending adults should not be embarrassed for thinking this.

Private companies have the right to do this.  Don't believe me?

Try going to a bar and calling the waitress a "dumb ****" and then claim First Amendment rights when they throw  you out.  Go to a TV station and demand a TV show, because of your First Amendment rights.

The government forcing someone to print, publish, or broadcast something is also a First Amendment violation.  The people who want the government to step in and force it are the ones really against the First Amendment.

To, hopefully th vast majority, of people who know that, I apologize.  But regardless of political affiliation, we all aware of the pains of having to spell out the basics for people who don't get it, and might wander in.

For we adults, the question is, does having the right, make it right?  The real question here is about the social concept of Free Speech, and the contract that defines it.

I, like most people, find NAMBLA extremely gross (had to pick an extreme), but as long as they only talk and do not practice they have the right.

However, if someone told them not to discuss it in their restaurant or cut off all ties for it, no one would think it was wrong.

If someone did the same because someone was just a Republican or Democrat, most Americans would agree the person telling teh person to leave was the asshole.

Think of it as the invisible hand of the free market of ideas.

To answer this, look at the roughly one year ago Twitter bans in the conservative sphere.  I believe there are three tiers, and they are an example of most of the issues.

1) Donald Trump himself.  Donald Trump agreed to the TOS, and violated them.  However, does that mean the punishment was fair.

For stuff like doxing or direct threats, I absolutely believe ti should be a zero tolerance policy. However, I don't think he did that.

He definitely deserved to be suspended, but as far as I know, and I could be wrong, this was an unprecedented jump in punishment.  If that was the case, and did not give warning of the change or apply it evenly, they are in teh wrong.

2) They actual people who plotted crimes or some type of act that society deems wrong.  This is important, because we are becoming an increasingly extreme country, and I am sadly expecting more form both sides.

And to be clear... I am referring only to those who perpetually discussing illegal activity, not just extreme takes or opinions.

This is the one most people agree with, and I only partially do.  I agree there is a moral high ground and justification. But there is another element.

Is it a good idea to have any group that might be plotting something or discussing something be kicked out of a place they can be watched, so they can scatter someplace else?

There is a whole complicated element about whether that is an invasion of privacy, since it walks a complicated line... because it was literally published for the world to see, but is that enough.  And quite frankly I don;t want to get into it right now, and I am not sure I have the answer off hand.

3)  The mass suspension or deletion of seemingly conservative pages.  While I do think it is hilarious that Rand Paul whined about his dad getting blocked, despite the two spending their whole political careers defending the rights of businesses to do what ever... this was wrong.

HOWEVER, I don't think it was just to censor conservatives as many think.  Yes, many pages had this problem that were seemingly very innocent, but many people who had done more stayed.

It seems to me they panicked, and did this poorly.  Blocking, though maybe not deleting, many just because they liked something not disturbing, but by somebody who did do something. 

So, while not an attempt to censor, and most were just temporarily blocked r suspended, with full abilities... still wrong.

So there you have it kids, anyone who thinks it was a violation of their rights is just wrong.  However, anyone who is against the actions, I am more or less on your side.  If I ever ad a Twitter or Facebook account, I would even join you in a boycott... another form of speech!

And remember kids, most Terms of Service are vague by design, and not for your benefit.

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