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Old 08-13-2018, 04:34 PM
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Freedom of speech with respect to social media outlets

Recently, several media outlets decided, together, to ban Infowars on their sites. There was a thread about this in fact. I heard some from several of my (actual) conservative friends and relatives this past weekend so I thought it might be an interesting discussion. Basically, the claim is that social media sites shouldn't be able to censor broad based political (or I guess conspiracy) viewpoints, that it's a slippery slope to allow them to do so. I'm not seeing it, to be honest...the 1st Amendment doesn't seem to come into this question, since it's not the government (the US Government that is) who is censoring speech. This lead to a bit of a tangent in the conversation saying that one of the big reasons this is happening is that the EU has threatened (or has enacted...I honestly didn't look it up) measures to fine social media outlets up to 500k Euros per 'fake news' incident released. So, in a way, this IS a form of governmental censorship I suppose.

What I'd like to do is to put the discussion into a broader context. Obviously, Infowars is not going to be a very sympathetic victim around here. But if we look generically at this, should these companies be able to ban things as they will? What sorts of checks and balances are on them, outside of simple market forces? Should there BE any other checks on them besides market forces? Should we, as a society allow corporations to control the message based on those market forces, and if so, where will that end? I guess wrt the tangent, what about other governments using coercion to force companies to comply with them? Sure, the EU is usually considered a good actor, but China uses similar tactics to try and force media companies to comply with their censorship and even to give them data about the users of their systems and their data. To me, that IS a slippery slope, though not sure what can be done about it outside of market forces...assuming the users of those media outlets even know that this is going on.

Anyway, thoughts? I don't want this to be just about Inforwars...I want this to be a more generic discussion of the broader implications. Especially since I really dislike Alex Jones myself and find it very easy to say, yeah, ban his ass. But I almost think that I'm wrong about that in the broader context and shouldn't allow my personal animus and feelings to get in the way of something that might be a mistake to just go along with. The whole 'first they came for the Jews and I did nothing...' thing...
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:41 PM
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If the market share of those companies becomes large enough and they are abusing that market share then it might be time to split those companies up.

But, we live in a country where a powerless baker is sanctioned by the state for refusing to provide custom content. Maybe the state could start fining these tech companies proportional to their market power?
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:50 PM
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Freedom of speech with respect to social media outlets

Simply put, there is none. Start your own social media outlet if you feel underappreciated.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:53 PM
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Simply put, there is none. Start your own social media outlet if you feel underappreciated.
Start your own bakery wouldnít have been met with such dismissiveness now would it?
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:56 PM
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What I'd like to do is to put the discussion into a broader context. Obviously, Infowars is not going to be a very sympathetic victim around here. But if we look generically at this, should these companies be able to ban things as they will? What sorts of checks and balances are on them, outside of simple market forces? Should there BE any other checks on them besides market forces? Should we, as a society allow corporations to control the message based on those market forces, and if so, where will that end? I guess wrt the tangent, what about other governments using coercion to force companies to comply with them? Sure, the EU is usually considered a good actor, but China uses similar tactics to try and force media companies to comply with their censorship and even to give them data about the users of their systems and their data. To me, that IS a slippery slope, though not sure what can be done about it outside of market forces...assuming the users of those media outlets even know that this is going on.
But what exactly can be done? These social media companies will likely bend to major governments (like the EU or China) if they feel financial pressure. And one can argue that if the US mandates they don't ban these viewpoints you run into issues where you are putting these companies between a rock and a hard place AND may then run into Constitutional issues regarding freedom of association (unless you make political beliefs a protected class, which would open up an entirely different can of worms).
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:03 PM
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Start your own bakery wouldnít have been met with such dismissiveness now would it?
Well, if you start your own social media outlet as a business and refuse to deal with gay customers (or black customers, or female customers) just because they are gay/black/female, then the analogy might be relevant.

Since that's not the issue, your analogy is useless.
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:26 PM
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It is a First Amendment issue, and exactly the same principles apply to Facebook as to Masterpiece Cakes. Both get to decide what messages they'll allow on their platform, and for the government to take away that decision would be an infringement of free speech. Neither is allowed to discriminate against protected classes, for reasons that arise from other parts of the Constitution.
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:25 PM
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Maybe there's an underlying question that maybe Americans are reluctant as a group to contemplate. Namely, should social media be declared public utilities, and their activities start to be regulated on that basis rather than the way they are now. (The whole shebang, Facebook broken up like Ma Bell, etc etc)
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:50 PM
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It is a First Amendment issue, and exactly the same principles apply to Facebook as to Masterpiece Cakes. Both get to decide what messages they'll allow on their platform, and for the government to take away that decision would be an infringement of free speech. Neither is allowed to discriminate against protected classes, for reasons that arise from other parts of the Constitution.
My recollection of that cake thing is that the people who were arguing for the 'bigotry is great' side were relying on the argument that the cakes held different messages only because gay people were using them, and not because of the physical structure of the actual cakes themselves. This requires a tortured definition/application of the term 'speech', and makes the whole argument really hard to sell to people not pre-inclined to buy into that sort of bullshit.

The social media situation doesn't require such a tortured approach - the racists are quite literally putting content on the site's pages themselves, requiring the site to hold the actual words in question on their servers and pass them along to others. The issue is the attributes of the content, not the attributes of the customer, except in that the customers have the attribute of having broken site rules.

I do not consider the situations analogous.
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:10 PM
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First, I don't know why conservatives want to associate with crazy pants Jones at all. He's not conservative, he's a conspiracy nutter. I mean, seriously, why are they embracing him? It's so weird.

Second, since he traffics in lies and hate, I don't buy any sort of slippery slope argument. This guy is causing parents whose kids were murdered to be harassed. I mean, jeez, banning this guy doesn't imply any sort of slippery slope.

Finally, to address the OP, since it's a piece of cake (ha!) to set up a website and serve up content, I don't see what the issue is at all. Maybe he can get Fox News to give him a section, or conservapedia, or one of the many, many conspiracy sites. The internet is so big and open that there are many, many outlets anyone can use. If he starts telling he people to start following his myspace page, I'm sure they'd go for it.
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:11 PM
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I agree with Chronos's post #7.

But in the interests of advancing a different view, consider the case arising in California: Pruneyard Shopping Mall v. Robins. In Pruneyard, the US Supreme Court reaffirmed that state constitutions could allow broader First Amendment protections than the federal constitution does. They thus rejected the arguments offered by the mall's owners, who had refused to let high school students distribute distribute pamphlets and collect petition signatures against Zionism.

The students had won a victory at the California Supreme Court, which had decided that although federal First Amendment law indeed permitted the mall owners to forbid this activity, the California STATE constitution's protection were more robust, and that soliciting at a shopping mall for signatures for a petition to the government is an activity protected by the California Constitution.

The mall owners asked the US Supreme Court to find that either the federal Constitution overrode the California constitution is this regard, or, if not, that the state's action amounted to a "taking," under the federal constitution -- basically, that if the state makes laws that take away private property rights, the property owner must be compensated.

The Supreme Court of the United States declined both invitations.

So I offer this thought: should Twitter / Facebook / etc be subject to a California-mall- type statute that forces them to extend First Amendment protections, under the same general "good public policy" reasoning that the Pruneyard decision rests upon in California?
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:23 PM
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The students had won a victory at the California Supreme Court, which had decided that although federal First Amendment law indeed permitted the mall owners to forbid this activity, the California STATE constitution's protection were more robust, and that soliciting at a shopping mall for signatures for a petition to the government is an activity protected by the California Constitution.
This seems strange to me. I'm not a lawyer, so I ask you if you could possibly explain in laymen's terms how they came up with this result? What is it about the California Constitution that forces a private business to allow petitioners to gather signatures there?
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:25 PM
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...
So I offer this thought: should Twitter / Facebook / etc be subject to a California-mall- type statute that forces them to extend First Amendment protections, under the same general "good public policy" reasoning that the Pruneyard decision rests upon in California?
Let's assume it does, for a moment. Does that mean that Facebook must allow any speech* on their platforms? Or, only protected classes? I assume the California kids were using a freedom of religion argument.

It seems like a big step to say that any social network must allow all types of speech, even speech it finds repellent. That does seem like an illegal taking if Facebook were forced to host hate speech, racist speech, Nazis, and so on.

Would a newspaper have to run any op-ed or any advertisement? Seems unlikely.

*not including obscene speech, incitement to riot, or other already banned speech
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:46 PM
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(The whole shebang, Facebook broken up like Ma Bell, etc etc)
Broken up into what exactly?
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:21 PM
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Freedom of Speech does not mean that anyone owes you a forum, not even the government. What it means that the US government cannot stop a forum from giving you space if it wants to, BUT it cannot force the forum to do so if it doesn't want to. Those are two entirely different things, and there's no slippery slope between them.

Let's say the forum is the editorial page of The Washington Post. The US government cannot tell the Post whose letters it can, or cannot print on the editorial page. The gov't cannot say that a letter is inflammatory, and should not be printed. It cannot ask how much house her husooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp pppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp pppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp pppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp pppppppppppppppp
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:30 PM
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Sorry about that. Cat stepped on the keyboard, and hit submit. I went back and fixed it, but missed the window. Mods, could you just end the post with "should not be printed"? I've lost track of what my whole point was.

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Old 08-13-2018, 08:39 PM
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Cats have freedom of expression rights too!
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:42 PM
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This seems strange to me. I'm not a lawyer, so I ask you if you could possibly explain in laymen's terms how they came up with this result? What is it about the California Constitution that forces a private business to allow petitioners to gather signatures there?


I've not read that case, but I'm familiar with the argument in similar contexts. It's that malls and other enclosed spaces, although privately owned, are the modern agora. A government can therefore pass a law to say that the property owner's rights give way to individuals who are peacefully on the property for political activities. It's a statutory restriction on the property right.
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:54 PM
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A statutory restriction on property rights to further the goal of free expression, particularly political expression.

It's an example of the state saying that as between property and freedom of expression, freedom of expression in the modern agora is more important.
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:58 PM
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Broken up into what exactly?
Into its component parts (separate corporation runs the data collection than runs the chat platform)? Regional entities? Whatever US courts would decide would be a suitable way to gut its monopoly.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:01 PM
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What monopoly? It's not like Ma Bell - you want a telephone, you have to get it from Ma Bell. There were no other service providers.

I'm busy right now posting on an alternative social media outlet. It's called the SDMB. Facebook does not have a monopoly.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:03 PM
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First, I don't know why conservatives want to associate with crazy pants Jones at all. He's not conservative, he's a conspiracy nutter. I mean, seriously, why are they embracing him? It's so weird.
It's politics at its most tribal:

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

"Obama and Clinton are my enemies."

"Jones is continually attacking my enemies."

"Therefore Jones is my friend and I must defend him."

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Old 08-13-2018, 10:04 PM
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I'm not familiar with the California constitution, but I'll take it as a given that there's some provision there that requires a business owner to allow people to exercise speech on their property. But that's still not analogous to Facebook. If a shopping mall allows people to pass out pamphlets, the mall has no involvement with the speakers. If they simply take no action at all, the pamphlets will still be handed out. But Facebook does take an active part in distributing messages shared on their platform. They store the information on their servers, and transmit it over their bandwidth. That makes it, in at least some sense, Facebook's speech, and so Facebook's rights apply.

Nor do I think it would be appropriate to treat social media platforms as public utilities. The existing utilities have special status because material barriers to entry give them natural monopolies: To start a new water or gas company, you'd need to run pipes all over the city, and for a new phone or electric company, you'd need to run wires all over the city. To the extent that there's a monopoly that needs to be busted, or at least more strictly regulated, it's the ISPs. Which are often, in fact, the same phone company monopoly that the government should have broken up, but never meaningfully did (Ohio Bell was just as much of a monopoly, for an Ohioan, as Mama Bell ever was).
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:07 PM
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I'm not familiar with the California constitution, but I'll take it as a given that there's some provision there that requires a business owner to allow people to exercise speech on their property. But that's still not analogous to Facebook. If a shopping mall allows people to pass out pamphlets, the mall has no involvement with the speakers. If they simply take no action at all, the pamphlets will still be handed out. But Facebook does take an active part in distributing messages shared on their platform. They store the information on their servers, and transmit it over their bandwidth. That makes it, in at least some sense, Facebook's speech, and so Facebook's rights apply.

Nor do I think it would be appropriate to treat social media platforms as public utilities. The existing utilities have special status because material barriers to entry give them natural monopolies: To start a new water or gas company, you'd need to run pipes all over the city, and for a new phone or electric company, you'd need to run wires all over the city. To the extent that there's a monopoly that needs to be busted, or at least more strictly regulated, it's the ISPs. Which are often, in fact, the same phone company monopoly that the government should have broken up, but never meaningfully did (Ohio Bell was just as much of a monopoly, for an Ohioan, as Mama Bell ever was).
Same could have been said about Microsoft. Yet that didnít stop the government from anti-trust actions. At some point companies get far too much power and then the state steps in.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:12 AM
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Same could have been said about Microsoft. Yet that didnít stop the government from anti-trust actions. At some point companies get far too much power and then the state steps in.
My gut feeling is that Facebook has far too much power right now. My proposals for dealing with that are probably beyond idiotic.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:21 AM
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Into its component parts (separate corporation runs the data collection than runs the chat platform)? Regional entities? Whatever US courts would decide would be a suitable way to gut its monopoly.
Regional entities? While it made a modicum of sense to break up Ma Bell regionally, since it was a conglomeration of regional companies to start with, it makes NO sense wrt to an internet company.

How would Facebook be broken up regionally? Illinois Facebook, Cincinnati Facebook, New York New England Facebook, Pacific Facebook, etc.?
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:25 AM
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Sorry about that. Cat stepped on the keyboard, and hit submit. I went back and fixed it, but missed the window. Mods, could you just end the post with "should not be printed"? I've lost track of what my whole point was.
I solved this problem by installing a simple cat-trap on my desk. Here is a pic - https://imgur.com/Lj7Q7Su
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:36 AM
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Regional entities? While it made a modicum of sense to break up Ma Bell regionally, since it was a conglomeration of regional companies to start with, it makes NO sense wrt to an internet company.

How would Facebook be broken up regionally? Illinois Facebook, Cincinnati Facebook, New York New England Facebook, Pacific Facebook, etc.?
See my very recent post. But since we're here... How would YOU propose to gut Facebook's dominance, assuming that YOU believed it needed to be done?
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:02 AM
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If I understand the story correctly, Infowars was banned due to violation of the terms of the sites. And in fact continued violation.
Now I'm sure I can think of some other online messaging site which can ban people for similar infractions. Give me time...
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:42 AM
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Newspapers and broadcasters routinely decide what reports to publish and which not. If any social media outlet applies any sort of moderation or rules of conduct they are a publisher and no longer a neutral platform like a phone system, and are therefore entitled to apply their own editorial criteria for publishing and not publishing. There's nothing that says any medium has to publish whatever anyone else wants to use them to publish. Freedom of speech doesn't mean you're entitled to require someone else to give you a megaphone.
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:30 AM
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Alex Jones is a terrible starting point for this discussion, because for all intents and purposes, these websites can trivially point out where he broke their rules in egregious ways. It's like talking about free speech on the basis of a guy who led a lynch mob - there is, in fact, a line, and he's definitely on the other side of it. If you're worried about being censored like Alex Jones, here's my advice: don't run a 5-year-long harassment campaign centered on the parents of a grade school murder victim. Past a certain point, you cannot excuse speech as a political opinion.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:23 AM
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Alex Jones is a terrible starting point for this discussion, because for all intents and purposes, these websites can trivially point out where he broke their rules in egregious ways. It's like talking about free speech on the basis of a guy who led a lynch mob - there is, in fact, a line, and he's definitely on the other side of it. If you're worried about being censored like Alex Jones, here's my advice: don't run a 5-year-long harassment campaign centered on the parents of a grade school murder victim. Past a certain point, you cannot excuse speech as a political opinion.
Perhaps re-read the OP. It's not about Infowars OR Alex Jones. It was merely an example to get the discussion going.

However, several posters have mentioned that the reason Infowars was banned was for rules violations. Now THAT would put this into a whole other category. I wasn't aware that this was the reason given, though I recall that one of the social media sites, Twitter IIRC didn't follow suit and ban Infowars, saying that he hadn't violated any of their rules. If this is just a one off, where the companies in question are basically just enforcing the rules that are or were on their books, then I'd say that wrt Infowars they don't have a leg to stand on.

But the broader question is more interesting, which is why I deliberately said this wasn't about Infowars.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:29 AM
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Yeah, I'll have something to say on that when I'm off my phone. I think seeing sites like facebook as public utilities isn't crazy, put it that way. I just don't have a good outline of what that would actually look like.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:44 AM
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See my very recent post. But since we're here... How would YOU propose to gut Facebook's dominance, assuming that YOU believed it needed to be done?
I don't believe it needs to be done.

No one NEEDS to use Facebook. Hardly anyone in my family does. Two of my cousins' wives use it to share pictures of the kids/nieces/nephews because they live more than 1,000 miles apart, but that's about it.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:59 AM
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I'm having a bit of trouble with the OP's premise. Why would someone who is an actual conservative be in favor of the government intervening to force a privately held company to provide services to someone? The question here could be paraphrased, "Should we, as a society allow corporations to control how they sell their own products, and if so, where will that end?"

Proposing a governmental takeover of large corporations (or doing so in all but name via micromanagement of such through draconian regulation) is antithetical to what I would consider to be conservative political viewpoint.

Someone who is tribal and considers Jones to be part of their tribe I could see proposing this. Someone who thinks that government should take an active role in reining in corporations more generally could make such an argument. But an actual conservative? This seems more like a CINO.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:10 AM
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I'm having a bit of trouble with the OP's premise. Why would someone who is an actual conservative be in favor of the government intervening to force a privately held company to provide services to someone? The question here could be paraphrased, "Should we, as a society allow corporations to control how they sell their own products, and if so, where will that end?"

Proposing a governmental takeover of large corporations (or doing so in all but name via micromanagement of such through draconian regulation) is antithetical to what I would consider to be conservative political viewpoint.

Someone who is tribal and considers Jones to be part of their tribe I could see proposing this. Someone who thinks that government should take an active role in reining in corporations more generally could make such an argument. But an actual conservative? This seems more like a CINO.
Well, a couple of things. First off, I'm not a conservative...I'm just perceived to be one on this board. I consider myself a moderate, swinging left on some issues and right on others. I don't consider Alex Jones OR Infowars as 'part of my tribe' either. I also didn't propose the government do anything...I ASKED what 'dopers thought. As for the question of the government taking over, it would depend on if this is, indeed a 1st Amendment question (which in my OP I said I don't really see). Lastly, I don't have a real issue with the government taking an active role in regulating corporations...happens all the time. Devil and details and all that, but in principle I don't have an issue.

From a conservatives viewpoint (a REAL conservatives) I would be a CINO, as a lot of the really hot button issues for conservatives these days seem to revolve around abortion and gay marriage...and I'm definitely not a conservatives on any of that dippy social conservative stuff.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:16 AM
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I'm having a bit of trouble with the OP's premise. Why would someone who is an actual conservative be in favor of the government intervening to force a privately held company to provide services to someone?
Because these companies seem to be doing things that conservatives don't like.
  #38  
Old 08-14-2018, 10:40 AM
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Because these companies seem to be doing things that conservatives don't like.
Bingo.

Facebook banning Infowars was a business decision, not a cultural one. They simply decided that whatever financial benefit they were gaining from carrying Infowars' content wasn't worth the potential revenue losses from the negative blowback.

Conservatives love to talk about keeping government out of business until a business does something they don't like.
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:27 AM
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It is a First Amendment issue, and exactly the same principles apply to Facebook as to Masterpiece Cakes. Both get to decide what messages they'll allow on their platform, and for the government to take away that decision would be an infringement of free speech. Neither is allowed to discriminate against protected classes, for reasons that arise from other parts of the Constitution.
I am not sure I see the link between these two.

I do not think the couple wanting the cake asked for any message to be written on the cake. They just wanted a cake. To me that is a product and not speech. For example it would be akin to going to RayBan sunglasses website and designing a custom pair of sunglasses and RayBan saying they do not sell to gay people...sorry but feel free to buy a pair already made (assuming they somehow knew the person buying it was gay).
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Akaj View Post
Bingo.

Facebook banning Infowars was a business decision, not a cultural one. They simply decided that whatever financial benefit they were gaining from carrying Infowars' content wasn't worth the potential revenue losses from the negative blowback.

Conservatives love to talk about keeping government out of business until a business does something they don't like.
Which is based on culture. The culture of boycotting and protesting companies that donít meet an ideological purity test.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:24 PM
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Which is based on culture. The culture of boycotting and protesting companies that donít meet an ideological purity test.
Aren't boycotting and protesting companies you don't like a time-honored tradition representing the true spirit of Capitalism, America, and Apple Pie?
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:27 PM
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Newspapers and broadcasters routinely decide what reports to publish and which not. If any social media outlet applies any sort of moderation or rules of conduct they are a publisher and no longer a neutral platform like a phone system, and are therefore entitled to apply their own editorial criteria for publishing and not publishing. There's nothing that says any medium has to publish whatever anyone else wants to use them to publish. Freedom of speech doesn't mean you're entitled to require someone else to give you a megaphone.
Well put. This is where I am at right now. Companies have their own code of conduct for their employees and that probably extends to their products and services as well, and they are within their rights to ban any person or content not aligned with their values, as long as that person or content is not from a protected class, as I understand.

The bakery would fall under the same rules, except that maybe gay people are a protected class and cannot be discriminated against, so I am not sure that is a good equivalent to Facebook ditching content it finds objectionable.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:29 PM
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I think the idea of 'private companies should be able to refuse service to anyone they want and let the market sort it out, including boycotts' is more a libertarian idea - certainly not a liberal one.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:37 PM
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Aren't boycotting and protesting companies you don't like a time-honored tradition representing the true spirit of Capitalism, America, and Apple Pie?
Absolutely, and I enthusiastically support the idea of people who support Jones and Infowars boycotting Facebook, Amazon, the internet, public streets, and solid foods. However the idea that the government should step in on behalf of their irate feelings is an entirely separate matter.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:41 PM
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Which is based on culture. The culture of boycotting and protesting companies that donít meet an ideological purity test.
That's not a "culture." But yes, a business has to weigh the potential of such events to hurt its revenue, along with factors like advertiser sensitivity and individuals simply deciding they don't want to use a platform that carries content that sickens them. It has nothing to do with ideological purity and everything to do with free market capitalism.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:43 PM
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Absolutely, and I enthusiastically support the idea of people who support Jones and Infowars boycotting Facebook, Amazon, the internet, public streets, and solid foods. However the idea that the government should step in on behalf of their irate feelings is an entirely separate matter.
I agree. But others seem to think that boycotting a company you don't like is some sort of travesty that should be outlawed or something.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:49 PM
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IANAL but IIRC yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater is not protected free speech; in fact it is illegal if there is no fire. Is there any moral difference between Jones' obnoxious lies and yelling "Fire"? My question is whether Jones should be charged with felony or misdemeanor. If YouTube et al had NOT taken him down, could they be charged with abetting a crime?

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Originally Posted by RitterSport View Post
First, I don't know why conservatives want to associate with crazy pants Jones at all. He's not conservative, he's a conspiracy nutter. I mean, seriously, why are they embracing him? It's so weird.
I'm not sure what "conservative" even means in post-rational America, but Jones is a top sidekick to, and encouraged publicist for, the GOP chief:

Quote:
... Jones [] "formed a bond" with Donald Trump, after the presidential candidate appeared on The Alex Jones Show, claiming that Jones had an "amazing reputation".... Trump called him on the day after the election to thank him for his help in the campaign.... it has been claimed Jones communicates with the President through aides, something which Chief of Staff John Kelly had reportedly tried to block. In June 2017, journalist and commentator Bill Moyers wrote that Trump and Jones explicitly "operate as a tag team".
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:58 PM
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I heard some from several of my (actual) conservative friends and relatives this past weekend so I thought it might be an interesting discussion. Basically, the claim is that social media sites shouldn't be able to censor broad based political (or I guess conspiracy) viewpoints, that it's a slippery slope to allow them to do so.
Getting back to the OP (and away from Infowars) ... I wonder what these conservative friends would say if you substituted "the NFL" for "social media sites" in the above claim.
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:12 PM
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Getting back to the OP (and away from Infowars) ... I wonder what these conservative friends would say if you substituted "the NFL" for "social media sites" in the above claim.
"That's COMPLETELY different because of reasons!"
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:15 PM
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Getting back to the OP (and away from Infowars) ... I wonder what these conservative friends would say if you substituted "the NFL" for "social media sites" in the above claim.
Heh. Yeah, I know exactly what they would say....'that's not the same thing!'. I have no idea why this NFL thingy has them so riled, but they are seriously riled about it. To the point several refuse to watch any professional sports again (or so they claim...I bet they will still come to my Superbowl party, which is all about the cigars, snacks and tequila and light on the game).

That's the thing about a lot of this. It's got a lot to do with who's gore is being oxed. I don't have a gore in the fight wrt Inforwars being banned...well, that's probably not true. I think they SHOULD be banned, but I can see how some place like YouTube could be accused of bias since there are a lot of nutty woo type CT channels out there, and there are also a lot of right wing-centric channels that I often have friends sending me videos from (there are a lot of left wing-centric ones that other friends send me videos from as well).

If this was a one off banning, then I don't think a case can be made that this is companies stifling a certain message (political or woo/CT), nor do I see any 1st Amendment implications. Basically, if you don't like it, vote with your pocketbook is my take, i.e. allow market forces to decide if it's a good decision by the leadership of those companies. I think the implication (made by some of my conservative friends and relatives) that this is politically motivated to influence the upcoming elections because the Dems are slipping is not facts based and gets more into the realm of Infowars CT stuff. But I still think that exploring the implications of companies being coerced by governments to stifle speech in a broader sense, or to spin history or events (and here I'm thinking of the CCP and their efforts to change the narrative of things like Tienanmen both inside and outside of China, or changing the narrative about Taiwan, etc etc) is important to think through. Personally, I don't see this as a case for that happening, but I think it DOES happen.
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