Washington Post Runs Bizarrely Ignorant Opinion Piece Claiming Florida's Content Moderation Law Is Constitutional

from the do-you-do-any-fact-checking dept

Look, I get that the Opinion sections of major newspapers want to run a variety of opinions, and thus might do less fact checking than the news parts of the paper, but it still seems just bizarre that they let any ignorant fool post absolute nonsense with no attempt at providing facts or the reasons why the underlying assumptions the opinion piece is based on are just wrong. Henry Olsen is apparently a "conservative" columnist for the Post while also being involved in some think tank that has been whining about big tech and, bizarrely, apparently suggesting that God believes Republicans should stop Twitter from having rights or something. Anyway, Olsen's column claims that critics of Florida's social media bill "are wrong" and that's it's perfectly legit for a state government to tell a company how to handle speech on their websites.

As you'll recall, Florida just signed its bad bill into law, and it's already being challenged in court, where the law is almost certain to be thrown out as unconstitutional.

Olsen, though, is sure that the bill is perfectly fine and there are no constitutional problems with it at all. After reading the headline, I expected to see some legal citations or actual, you know, factual arguments. But... that's apparently not what the Washington Post gets out of Olsen. First, Olsen insists that even though the facts don't support the idea that there's anti-conservative bias in how social media is moderated, he can cherry pick two examples -- Donald Trump and James O'Keefe -- as proof that it must be true and that something needs to be done:

The Florida law is a response to conservatives’ belief that social media companies unfairly target their limitations on speech. One can dispute how much that is actually true, but high-profile acts such as many companies’ continued ban on former president Donald Trump and the removal of Project Veritas’s James O’Keefe from Twitter provide more than enough proof to justify the reaction.

Except that doesn't deal with the reason why either one was banned. Trump was banned for using the platform to incite violence -- something that lots and lots of people (not just conservatives) have been banned for. O'Keefe was banned because Twitter claimed he was artifically amplifying his tweets. Again, lots of people have been banned for the same thing, including some of Trump's loudest critics. There is no evidence that there is bias in either of those moderation choices. Even more to the point, neither was banned for their "conservative" views. Both were banned for violating long-standing Twitter policies.

So, that's already a weak start to the article, but apparently that's the best Olsen can do. Because then he tries to dig into why there's no violation of the 1st Amendment here, and it seems to be... because Olsen doesn't think it's a big deal.

The question, then, is whether Florida’s requirements would help rather than hinder free expression of sensitive political issues, the core element the First Amendment seeks to protect.

Social media is an important, if not the most important, realm in which political debates are conducted today. As a result, access to social media is essential to any entity seeking to influence those debates. When a network denies someone access, it is significantly hampering the ability to successfully engage in political debate. That alone weighs heavily in favor of ensuring access is not unfairly or arbitrarily restricted or denied.

What? So, uh, the past two decades cable TV news has been one of the biggest influences on political debates and how they're conducted today, and I can't imagine Olsen would argue that the government should regulate that Fox News has to stop simping for Trump all the time, and would need to balance it out with some Biden love. Because that would be a very clear 1st Amendment problem.

Olsen then at least acknowledges West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, which establishes clearly that the government cannot compel speech, but then says that forcing websites to host speech isn't really compelling speech. Again... this is based on... Olsen believing it's true. Not any actual legal argument or citation:

The question of compelled speech is also unconvincing. No reasonable viewer thinks that a TV station running an ad is endorsing the views it espouses. Similarly, a social media company that posts comments identified as coming from another party is clearly not making those statements itself. Allowing others to speak is not the same as forcing a company to endorse the speech.

What? That's not how any of this works. But all of this is based on Olsen just not understanding the regulations regarding broadcast TV and radio and assuming they magically apply elsewhere. This is the kind of thing you would think a newspaper like the Washington Post would have someone on hand to pull Olsen aside and explain to him that his very premise is mistaken. But, nope, Olsen knows that there are some regulations about political advertising on TV and radio, and assumes that it's easily applied elsewhere:

The federal government has long treated companies intrinsic to mass communication differently than other firms or individuals. Television and radio stations, for example, are required to run commercials from registered candidates for public office regardless of their content. They are also required to charge candidates lower ad rates than they charge commercial purchasers. Both requirements are justified as ways to ensure wide access to the entities that publicize ideas to a mass audience. The gain for political speech thus outweighs the burden placed on the communications companies.

But the reason for those regulations and what they apply to is kind of the key here. The FCC's regulations on this apply to broadcast stations. That is it applies to stations that have a license to use public spectrum. As such -- and only because they are using the public airwaves -- then the FCC can put these requirements on them. And, as the Supreme Court has made clear, these kinds of regulations are only constitutional because they're using public spectrum, via a license from the US government.

You can't just say -- as Olsen does -- that because there are regulations on broadcast TV and radio, that there's no problem with applying similar rules to totally private systems that don't rely on public spectrum. Somewhat hilariously, this is the identical ignorant argument that people on the opposite side of the political spectrum are making to try to apply the Fairness Doctrine to Fox News. It's unconstitutional in both cases.

And it's bizarre that no one at the Washington Post thought to suggest to Olsen that if he's going to point to regulations that are only constitutional because they're on public broadcast spectrum as his proof, he'll have to explain how the government can apply them to non-public spectrum, non-licensed networks, he might want to explain how that can actually work, when the Supreme Court has made it clear it does not. Though, amusingly, if his argument did work, it would also mean that the government could force Fox News to implement the Fairness Doctrine as well (perhaps using Olsen's own silly arguments) and I imagine he'd be pretty pissed off about that.

Anyway, Olsen's free to be wrong however he likes, but one would hope that the Washington Post wouldn't want to be in the business of publishing utter garbage, even if it is in the opinion section.

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Filed Under: 1st amendment, content moderation, fcc, florida, henry olsen, public airwaves, regulations


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  • icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 9:49am

    Typical of the Washington Post.

    The Washington Post's ugly and pernicious editorial decisions are why I labeled my cover of John Philip Sousa's "The Washington Post" as "The Washington Post (is a Shitty Newspaper)".

    (In case you want to listen to the track on a streaming service such as Spotify or Apple Music or download from, say, Amazon or iTunes, I've renamed it "The Washington Post (is a Terrible Newspaper)" because I didn't want the "explicit lyrics" label, so I was discretionary (thanks Stephen T. Stone for clarifying the difference!).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 9:49am

    To Republicans, their feelings matter more than facts — which explains why they rail against “cancel culture” whenever a conservative/Republican is moderated by a social media platform or otherwise called to account for their speech. But whenever an actual example of censorship of speech shows up — especially liberal/progressive/Democrat speech — those same Republicans fall awfully silent.

    All of this crap about revoking 230/finding a way to control moderation on social media isn’t about “censorship” in the sense that Republicans want to stop censorship from happening. Their “revoke 230” claptrap and moral panic hullabaloo about “censorship” is about conservatives wanting the right to “free reach” — to be awarded a free platform and audience without anything like “consequences for their speech” or “the right of association preventing compelled speech” getting in the way.

    Some Democrats might be guilty of this thinking. But they’re doing a damned better job of hiding that fact. Republicans don’t give a fuck any more. To them, fascism seems a lot more appealing now that they’ve gotten that blood-soaked taste in their mouths.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 9:55am

      Re:

      But whenever an actual example of censorship of speech shows up — especially liberal/progressive/Democrat speech — those same Republicans fall awfully silent.

      Not merely silent, but even supportive.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 2 Jun 2021 @ 9:51am

    Take your toys and go

    I'm not sure why Henry Olsen is so upset. Don't the conservatives now have their own version of Twitter where they can spout whatever they want with no restrictions? If what they have to say is so important and what people are interested in, wouldn't it come to dominate the market? It's rather humorous that I can't even remember the name of it. Had to look it up. Parler.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:04am

      Re: Take your toys and go

      The problem is that the American right have come to believe that "the right to speak" somehow means "the right to be heard", which it just plain doesn't. There is no legislated or constitutionally granted/protected right to have your speech heard. If you start spouting off in a public place and people don't want to listen to you, they leave. There is nothing you can do to force them to return and listen to you. More to the point, if you start shouting in a private venue, like a bar, the owner/proprietor/manager can throw you out, and you have no legal recourse. They are upset because an imaginary right that they do not possess is being violated. They want guaranteed access to the masses, which their own little echo chambers don't provide.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Portent, 4 Jun 2021 @ 7:38am

        Re: Re: Take your toys and go

        "the right to be heard"

        That is actually what "freedom of the press" originally meant. It didn't mean freedom of journalists. At that time a journalist was someone who kept a journal. It meant access to the printing press. The physical means of mass communication at the time. The British government would restrict access to the printing press through various means like taxation and licensing. This practice continued in the British empire ending around the 1960s when the rules restricting The Scottish independence movements access to means of mass communication were finally done away with.

        People like you are not new. You wish to restrict access to the means of communication just like the British did.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 6 Jun 2021 @ 12:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: Take your toys and go

          There's so much wrong here it's hard to know where to start...

          The government restricting the ability to publish your own paper is comparable to private property owners having the right to choose who they will allow to speak on their property only to the extent that both involve speech, a more accurate hypothetical comparison would have been the british government telling papers at the time that they would print any letters sent to them, and they would be punished for refusing to do so, because obviously people have a right to be heard on the platform of their choice, and as far as I'm aware that wasn't a thing and it definitely has never been the case for US law since then.

          The right to speak has never included the right to a platform to speak from, even the government which is prohibited outside of very narrow exceptions from punishing or prohibiting speech has never been obligated or required to provide a platform to speak from so the idea that privately owned platforms would have that obligation is just naked self-entitlement of people who don't like the fact that actions have consequences and that when given the choice most people don't want to listen to them.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Portent, 7 Jun 2021 @ 7:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Take your toys and go

            The extent that the government has worked with Big Tech to suppress free speech, especially in 2020-2021, far exceeds anything that the British empire did to restrict access to the means of communication.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Jun 2021 @ 7:47am

          Re: Re: Re: Take your toys and go

          "That is actually what "freedom of the press" originally meant. It didn't mean freedom of journalists. At that time a journalist was someone who kept a journal. It meant access to the printing press."

          YOUR OWN printing press, yes. Even back then no one implied anyone should have access to anybody else's printing press.

          The same way you have no reasonable expectation to have unfettered access to someone else's house, bar, or social platform, on- or offline.

          "People like you are not new. You wish to restrict access to the means of communication just like the British did."

          Uh, huh. Because me refusing to lend you my phone is the equivalent of government preventing you from buying yourself a phone of your own?

          This seems to be the gist of the alt-right these days. An incessant whine that it's "unfair" people aren't giving you their stuff.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:41am

      Narcissistic self-entitlement

      They have free speech, what they want and think is their right to have is free reach in the form of massive audiences.

      They know that if people are given the choice between a platform that they run and are allowed to set the rules for and one where neither are the case the majority of people are not going to want to congregate on their platforms, so the only way they have to get the audience they think they are owed is by hijacking popular platforms and forcing their way into the conversation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 3:31am

      Re: Take your toys and go

      "Don't the conservatives now have their own version of Twitter where they can spout whatever they want with no restrictions?"

      They do, but there's a problem with that place - it's full of moronic shitwits and Qanon conspiracy fanatics.

      The thing about the alt-right is that they want a clean place where only they get to shit on the floor. The last thing they want is a dank cave where everyone else is just as gormless a fuckwit as they themselves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2021 @ 10:01am

    As a result, access to social media is essential to any entity seeking to influence those debates.

    Pre-Internet, those conversations dominantly took place in newspapers and magazines. Note however the different sides published in their magazines, even when responding to something published elsewhere.

    Also, being banned from say Twitter is not being banned from social media, as other social media outlets exists, and anybody interested in what somebodies views are can look for it where that person publishes. That is like the days of old, the conversation can be spread over several outlets.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 10:11am

      Re:

      Also, being banned from say Twitter is not being banned from social media, as other social media outlets exists, and anybody interested in what somebodies views are can look for it where that person publishes.

      Exactly. Being banned from one outlet–no matter the size–is not a ban from the internet in general. If that were the case, then Red Candle games would not be able to sell their games Detention and Devotion anywhere because they were delisted from Steam and GOG. But here they are.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rocky, 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:00am

      Re:

      Also, being banned from say Twitter is not being banned from social media, as other social media outlets exists, and anybody interested in what somebodies views are can look for it where that person publishes.

      Another takeaway from those who actually have been banned from some platforms is that it wasn't for any kind of normal political discourse.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:09am

        Re: Re:

        As is often pointed out, these people don't have a problem with the speech so much as they have a problem with the reach. They have no problem with Parler or Gab blocking speech they don't agree with, other than the fact that those platforms naturally attract smaller audiences, so they feel the need to bully more popular platforms into hosting them.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 10:53am

    "the removal of Project Veritas’s James O’Keefe from Twitter provide more than enough proof to justify the reaction."

    A guy famous for lying in order to dishonestly manipulate political races is proof of a reaction? OK, but I'm not sure the thing you meant to prove is the thing you proved..

    "O'Keefe was banned because Twitter claimed he was artifically amplifying his tweets"

    Oh, and he was banned for attacking the platform hosting him and not for the other content of his posts? OK...

    "You can't just say -- as Olsen does -- that because there are regulations on broadcast TV and radio, that there's no problem with applying similar rules to totally private systems that don't rely on public spectrum."

    Well, you can say that, but it would be hoped that more people understand the completely stupid idea of doing so.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    dan8mx (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 10:57am

    The question

    "The question of compelled speech is also unconvincing"

    Social media companies don't want to host this stuff, but the government is telling them they have to.

    I guess the "question" is: how is that not compelled speech?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:06am

      Re: The question

      "I guess the "question" is: how is that not compelled speech?"

      The answer, sadly, is that some people believe that speech they agree with should be mandatory, while speech they disagree with should be verboten. Some of these people get elected to office, where they repeat such silly notions in order to retain their position.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:02am

    Republicans embrace moronity

    It's a moron's take on the Constitution to state "I don't like X so it must be unconstitutional" since the Constitution is readily available for reading and checking.

    That matches high poll scores for "We may have to revert to violence to preserve the American Way of Life" as if "The American Way of Life" was some ideological or ethical goal that it was worth sacrificing peace, liberty, and justice for, and that would not actually be destroyed exactly by essentially engaging in civil war.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:17am

    We Know Why

    and I can't imagine Olsen would argue that the government should regulate that Fox News

    That's because Fox News is a publisher, and not a platform.

    he'll have to explain how the government can apply them to non-public spectrum, non-licensed networks

    When tech monopolies create the internet version of a public square, then the First Amendment applies. Corporations must live up to their contracts, and must provide equal service to their customers without bias. Individuals can challenge a contract dispute in court, where they can conduct discovery, and present evidence of bias, fraud, or inequity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:24am

      JFC, dude.

      I had to use two copypastas here. Why do you make me do this, Koby. Why you gotta be this ignorant.

      When tech monopolies create the internet version of a public square

      Social media services are not public fora; if you need a citation for that, look no further than a Supreme Court ruling from 2019 where Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the majority opinion:

      Under the Court’s cases, a private entity may qualify as a state actor when it exercises “powers traditionally exclusively reserved to the State.” … It is not enough that the federal, state, or local government exercised the function in the past, or still does. And it is not enough that the function serves the public good or the public interest in some way. Rather, to qualify as a traditional, exclusive public function within the meaning of our state-action precedents, the government must have traditionally and exclusively performed the function.

      The Court has stressed that “very few” functions fall into that category. … Under the Court’s cases, those functions include, for example, running elections and operating a company town. … The Court has ruled that a variety of functions do not fall into that category, including, for example: running sports associations and leagues, administering insurance payments, operating nursing homes, providing special education, representing indigent criminal defendants, resolving private disputes, and supplying electricity.

      When the government provides a forum for speech (known as a public forum), the government may be constrained by the First Amendment, meaning that the government ordinarily may not exclude speech or speakers from the forum on the basis of viewpoint, or sometimes even on the basis of content[.]

      By contrast, when a private entity provides a forum for speech, the private entity is not ordinarily constrained by the First Amendment because the private entity is not a state actor. The private entity may thus exercise editorial discretion over the speech and speakers in the forum. This Court so ruled in its 1976 decision in Hudgens v. NLRB. There, the Court held that a shopping center owner is not a state actor subject to First Amendment requirements such as the public forum doctrine[.]

      The Hudgens decision reflects a commonsense principle: Providing some kind of forum for speech is not an activity that only governmental entities have traditionally performed. Therefore, a private entity who provides a forum for speech is not transformed by that fact alone into a state actor. After all, private property owners and private lessees often open their property for speech. Grocery stores put up community bulletin boards. Comedy clubs host open mic nights. As Judge Jacobs persuasively explained, it “is not at all a near-exclusive function of the state to provide the forums for public expression, politics, information, or entertainment[”.]

      In short, merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints.

      If the rule were otherwise, all private property owners and private lessees who open their property for speech would be subject to First Amendment constraints and would lose the ability to exercise what they deem to be appropriate editorial discretion within that open forum. Private property owners and private lessees would face the unappetizing choice of allowing all comers or closing the platform altogether. “The Constitution by no means requires such an attenuated doctrine of dedication of private property to public use.” … Benjamin Franklin did not have to operate his newspaper as “a stagecoach, with seats for everyone.” … That principle still holds true. As the Court said in Hudgens, to hold that private property owners providing a forum for speech are constrained by the First Amendment would be “to create a court-made law wholly disregarding the constitutional basis on which private ownership of property rests in this country.” … The Constitution does not disable private property owners and private lessees from exercising editorial discretion over speech and speakers on their property.

      A private entity … who opens its property for speech by others is not transformed by that fact alone into a state actor.

      So…read that, learn from that, and stop getting that shit wrong, dude.

      Corporations must live up to their contracts, and must provide equal service to their customers without bias.

      Yes or no, Koby: Do you believe the government should have the legal right to compel any privately owned interactive web service into hosting legally protected speech that the owners/operators of said service don’t want to host?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:27am

      Re: We Know Why

      Is a a cafe the equivalent to a public square? If not, why should a social media site be equivalent?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:31am

        What about a privately owned gym, where conversations are certainly bound to happen?

        What about a privately owned skate park?

        What about a privately owned...okay, you get the point.

        And that point is this: Koby sincerely believes that any privately owned open-to-the-public space must be the equivalent of a public forum and therefore subject to the First Amendment (meaning that space can’t restrict speech, since it is a de facto government actor). What Koby fails to realize is a Trump-appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America already demolished that belief. Koby is simply too stubborn to admit he’s wrong…which is the surest sign of an asshole if there ever was one.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:51am

        'You can't kick me out of the club, this is THE place to chat!'

        Yeah, what people like Koby keep ignoring is that if we applied that rule equally and to physical property then there would be some magical point where privately owned property, whether a store, club or just place the public is allowed to congregate would be prohibited from enforcing it's own rules and would be forced to let anyone and everyone congregate there simply because a lot of people do so.

        The government taking control of private property 'for the good of the public', now what does that idea remind me of...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Samuel Abram (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:59am

          Re: 'You can't kick me out of the club, this is THE place to cha

          The government taking control of private property 'for the good of the public', now what does that idea remind me of...

          Agreed. It's weird seeing these right-wingers becoming these hardcore communists.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 3:54am

            Re: Re: 'You can't kick me out of the club, this is THE place to

            "Agreed. It's weird seeing these right-wingers becoming these hardcore communists."

            Not really? I mean, right-wing extremists arguing for a strong state under a fearless leader where government decides which opinions are valid or not...sounds very familiar to me. Ein Volk, Ein Reich and all that.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Samuel Abram (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 5:27am

              Re: Re: Re: 'You can't kick me out of the club, this is THE plac

              Excellent point! I keep forgetting that Fascism and Communism are really just two forms of Totalitarianism.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2021 @ 5:50am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: 'You can't kick me out of the club, this is THE

                That is why a anarchism to totalitarianism is a better way of rating politicians.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:33am

      Re: We Know Why

      That's because Fox News is a publisher, and not a platform.

      There is no such distinction under the law. And you know this because me and a dozen other people have told you that over and over and over again.

      When tech monopolies create the internet version of a public square, then the First Amendment applies.

      That's not at all how this works. I mean, maybe it's how it works in your brain, but it's not how it works in the US under the Constitution.

      Corporations must live up to their contracts

      And all their contracts say they can ban people for any reason whatsoever. So they do.

      and must provide equal service to their customers without bias.

      That is not in the law at all. You're making that up.

      Individuals can challenge a contract dispute in court, where they can conduct discovery, and present evidence of bias, fraud, or inequity.

      Again, none of that is against the law.

      Koby, you're bad at this. People have explained this to you dozens of times. And yet you keep shitting out nonsense.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        Koby (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 12:11pm

        Re: Re: We Know Why

        There is no such distinction under the law.

        At least not currently. That is why a growing number of people want to repeal and reform the law. More and more people want that distinction. More and more people want equal treatment. I understand that a lot of court cases have gone in favor of the big corporations so far. But now you're freaking out whenever someone proposes a change. Making changes to the law is the next step in the fight for equality.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Samuel Abram (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 12:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: We Know Why

          Koby, we keep telling you this again and again: Having the government distinguish between who is a "platform" and who is a "publisher" raises first amendment issues.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2021 @ 12:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: We Know Why

          The problem is that most of those calling out for equality are not seeking equality, but rather the right to attack those they hate wherever they gather, so that they can force them into silence. That is the path that leads to a one party or theocratic state. Do you really want to turn the US into state like Iran, North Korea or China?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 12:30pm

          A slight addition to my One Simple Question.

          More and more people want that distinction. More and more people want equal treatment.

          Yes or no, Koby: Do you believe the government should have the legal right to compel any privately owned interactive web service into hosting legally protected speech that the owners/operators of said service don’t want to host out of fairness to the people who espouse such speech?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 12:42pm

          You misspelled 'privileged treatment'

          More and more people want equal treatment.

          No, they/you don't, you want special treatment where the rules don't apply to you and can be ignored with impunity. It's not the platform's fault that your side violates the rules and gets shown the door more often so the fact that you lot keep getting the boot is not a sign that the treatment is unequal it's because you refuse to act in a civilized manner.

          If that's the line you're going with however 'equal treatment' would have seen Trump thrown off social media much sooner than he was, as was demonstrated when an account that merely reposted his tweets was banned in something like a day, so quick question you can ignore along with Stephen's one: Should Trump have faced equal treatment and what that would have resulted in?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 1:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: We Know Why

          At least not currently.

          Sure. But that's not what your original comment said. You made a bunch of statements as if that was the law currently.

          That is why a growing number of people want to repeal and reform the law.

          Nah. There are a bunch of people arguing over what the law should be, but the number who want to "repeal" it is small, and most of them disagree over what would happen if repeal happened.

          Besides, repealing the law would not get what you claimed above in your original comment.

          More and more people want equal treatment.

          They have equal treatment. They are on private property and as long as they follow the rules they can stay. The government cannot force a website to host content it does not want to host. That's a constitutional issue, Koby, not a simple legal change.

          I understand that a lot of court cases have gone in favor of the big corporations so far

          No, the court cases have ruled in favor of your free speech rights and mine, in saying that any website has the right to control their own space. Don't like it? Set up your own site.

          But now you're freaking out whenever someone proposes a change

          No, I'm pointing out that the Constitution doesn't allow this nonsense, and none of your disingenuous false equivalencies change that.

          Making changes to the law is the next step in the fight for equality.

          You have to change the Constitution first. And I imagine that you won't like it if we changed the 1st Amendment in a manner that would make this legal, it would also be used against all your favorite "news" sources for their "bias."

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2021 @ 1:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: We Know Why

          “At least not currently. That is why a growing number of people want to repeal and reform the law.”

          Why do you right wing nut jobs hate the 1st Amendment so much?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 2:48am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: We Know Why

            "Why do you right wing nut jobs hate the 1st Amendment so much?"

            Too many reasons to count; To whit, people fact-checking them, calling them out on their bullshit, or telling them that racists and bigots aren't welcome at the bar or table is, to them, an assault on a self-image which defines "worth" by how many other people they are allowed to look down on.

            If all a person's got is the idea that there's at least someone lower on the totem pole than them then they'll defend that idea to the death.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Rocky, 2 Jun 2021 @ 2:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: We Know Why

          More and more people want equal treatment

          Explain what you mean by "equal treatment"?

          For me it means that if I behave in a manner that's against the rules for the platform I'm using I expect that there will be repercussions and I also expect that anyone who behaved in a similar manner would face the same repercussions.

          You have so far not described or given examples of speech that has gotten people moderated or kicked off a platform in a manner that you think is unfair. Instead you are putting forth a dishonest argument not based on factual reality.

          But now you're freaking out whenever someone proposes a change.

          Nobody is freaking out, but if you think it's "freaking out" to point out sheer dishonesty, abject stupidity and pure falsehoods, well, that's just on par for people who constantly freak out because they realize that they will soon be irrelevant unless they destroy democracy and free speech to stay in power.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2021 @ 4:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: We Know Why

          More and more people want equal treatment.

          The fact that there hasn't been a 'conservative' social media network with the following of Twitter and Facebook should be a glaring red flag that you whiny pricks are just assholes.

          Notice that people are muting you? It's not a conspiracy. You're just an asshole.

          Same people not inviting you over for dinner? Thank yourself for that too, asshole.

          No one wants to interact with assholes. The sooner you get that, the sooner you can fix your behavior and not be looked at as an asshole, asshole.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 3:48am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: We Know Why

            "No one wants to interact with assholes. The sooner you get that, the sooner you can fix your behavior and not be looked at as an asshole, asshole."

            He's more of a fuckwit than an asshole, really. Koby relies on repeating an obvious and embarrassing lie again and again in the hope that it'll eventually stick. This makes him an idiot and a moron.

            To be an asshole there should really be some overt malice involved.

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            • identicon
              David, 3 Jun 2021 @ 5:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: We Know Why

              Koby relies on repeating an obvious and embarrassing lie again and again in the hope that it'll eventually stick. This makes him an idiot and a moron.

              You make that sound as if it were a bad thing rather than the central political strategem the Republican Party is currently basing its fundraising, legislating and political discourse on.

              Well ok, it can be both.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2021 @ 6:10am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: We Know Why

                A government built as a system that lies to itself is always a bad thing, as decisions made based on those lies has no relationship to real problems.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2021 @ 4:33pm

        Re: Re: We Know Why

        And all their contracts say they can ban people for any reason whatsoever. So they do.

        Including the 'conservative freeze peach bastion' frankspeech, which I'm sure is certain to relaunch again real, real soon:

        We have the right to: Terminate or suspend your access to all or part of this Website for any or no reason, including without limitation, any violation of these Terms of Use.

        Then again, self-awareness isn't a strong point with these people.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:38am

      Re: We Know Why

      Koby, if you don't end every comment of yours with the word "Excelsior!" from here on out, then by your own (mis-)definitions, you are censoring me by not allowing my speech on the platform of your publicly-shared comments.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:39am

      Re: We Know Why

      "When tech monopolies create the internet version of a public square"

      No matter how many times you repeat this, or your demand for a communist takeover of private property, that doesn't make it true.

      "Individuals can challenge a contract dispute in court, where they can conduct discovery, and present evidence of bias, fraud, or inequity."

      So, why are you people whining in random forums about it rather than bringing these cases to court. Or, you know, going to the competing places that haven't banned you, an ability you have since there's so much competition available to people who don't pretend that people only use one social network at a time?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:53am

      Re: We Know Why

      When tech monopolies create the internet version of a public square, then the First Amendment applies.

      So do you also have an inherent right to Internet access since your ability to access this 'public square' would be hindered without it? Or haven't you thought that far ahead?

      Corporations must live up to their contracts, and must provide equal service to their customers without bias.

      Read the ToS. You have an option not to be on social media.

      Individuals can challenge a contract dispute in court, where they can conduct discovery, and present evidence of bias, fraud, or inequity.

      And yet, despite how rampant it is, none of you fucktards have bothered to do it. Have you ever wondered why?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 12:54pm

        Re: Re: We Know Why

        "So do you also have an inherent right to Internet access since your ability to access this 'public square' would be hindered without it?"

        An argument that the internet itself is a "public square" that everyone has a right to access would be a lot more convincing, especially considering how much banking, employment, education, etc. relies on it nowadays. But, these same people so often argue against attempts to make it so.

        "Or haven't you thought that far ahead?"

        Of course he hasn't...

        "You have an option not to be on social media."

        Also an option to be on any number of social media sites he wants. One of the major flaws in the argument is that they always seem to pretend that a particular site is a monopoly, whereas in reality most people are on at least couple of competing sites at the same time. They will argue that Twitter, Facebook or TikTok are "monopolies", yet most people I know who haven't been kicked off for ToS violations are on at least 2 of them simultaneously.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2021 @ 1:50pm

      Re: We Know Why

      “When tech monopolies create the internet version of a public square.”

      Cool wake me up when that happens.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2021 @ 4:25pm

      Re: We Know Why

      When tech monopolies create the internet version of a public square, then the First Amendment applies.

      Frankspeech is supposed to be a public square. Yet there's this in their ToS, where they reserve the right to:

      Remove or refuse to post any user contributions for any or no reason in our sole discretion.

      Why don't you hypocritical, self-righteous douchetards start being 1st amendment friendly on your own sites instead of trying to hold everyone else to a standard you're not willing to live up to? It's certainly why some of us think you're assholes...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 4:36pm

      Re: We Know Why

      Koby Posts Predictably Ignorant Opinion Piece Claiming Florida's Content Moderation Law Is Constitutional

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      cpt kangarooski, 2 Jun 2021 @ 5:05pm

      Re: We Know Why

      Corporations must live up to their contracts

      So you're not a big believer in efficient breach? (i.e. the position that it's sensible for a party to breach if would be worse to fulfill the contract than to suffer the effects of breach)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 3:45am

      Re: We Know Why

      "When tech monopolies create the internet version of a public square, then the First Amendment applies."

      I wasn't aware government owned any social media platforms or tech monopolies. Until that happens all you've got remains a bad faith argument backed by an outrageous falsehood.

      If a bar, restaurant, mall or social media platform becomes the most popular venue in town does not make it a public space, Koby.

      And by now the only reason I can imagine that you keep pushing the view that it should be is either that you are some sort of marxist fanatic believing the laws of the old USSR need to be applied to modern america, or that you think everyone else around here is as big a moron as the people whose views you keep representing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:24am

    Social Media?

    "Social media is an important, if not the most important, realm in which political debates are conducted today. As a result, access to social media is essential to any entity seeking to influence those debates."

    But there is a problem, with a DEBATE in Media. And that is IF' there is debate. Or if someone is using it as a way to restrict others Debating your opinion.
    How many media sites have it setup so you can Post your Comments, and not let others comment back? IF you are going to debate, DEBATE.
    If you cant debate, Lock the channel.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:27am

      No one is entitled to an argument, debate, or conversation. That holds true on social media, too: No user has the right to butt into your conversation, compel you into listening to them, and compel you to debate them on their terms.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:33am

    Don't let them off the hook that easy

    Anyway, Olsen's free to be wrong however he likes, but one would hope that the Washington Post wouldn't want to be in the business of publishing utter garbage, even if it is in the opinion section.

    Unlike a social media platform where they is effectively unlimited space and moderation happens after content goes up the Post chooses what content they will and will not publish, vetting it beforehand, so if they publish something as part of their paper it is because they think that it has value and is a worthwhile use of the space. As such it is entirely fair to tie whatever they post to them, all the more so if the one writing the 'opinion' happens to work for them.

    They decided that that fractally wrong 'opinion piece' was worth space on their publication, it seems entirely reasonable to tie it to them as a result, and if they don't like it they can apply some actual standards for what they publish in the future.

    As for the dumpster fire itself bloody hell what a mess. Starting with two glaring examples of absolutely justified bans(if anything the Trump ban shows just how much it took for the platforms to get around to applying the rules to him), moving on to 'we regulate limited space on the airwaves much less than the proposed social media regulations so that's fine', simply asserting that forcing a platform to host speech isn't forcing a platform to host speech because reasons and that social media is so important that it should be a right of the first amendment to make use of it...

    One day an honest argument against 230 may be presented, but this is clearly not that day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:43am

      Re: Don't let them off the hook that easy

      "One day an honest argument against 230 may be presented, but this is clearly not that day."

      We can only hope that day will come. I, for one, can't wait for the day where I have a reasonable argument to get my teeth into as to why innocent bystanders should be held accountable for things that happened on their property without their prior knowledge, rather than the endless whining of losers who refuse to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:53am

    "The Florida law is a response to conservatives’ belief that social media companies unfairly target their limitations on speech."

    Well they also believe their savior was a white dude with blue eyes in the middle east... perhaps they should keep their beliefs to themselves until they regain contact with reality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:59am

    The mainstream press' relationship with the right reminds me of a child who believes that if they just laugh along with their bully in the schooland just hand over their lunch money each day, that they'll stop. They will never be your friend if you platform their bullsh*t, they'll just keep on pulling society further and further to the right with outright lies until it goes over the fascist cliff and people are burning down your offices.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 12:58pm

      Re:

      The "mainstream press" is often run by millionaires or corporations with a vested interest in the "right"'s narrative. There's almost certainly a reason why clickbait and fluff pieces have replaced actual journalism that's not as simple as the bottom line profit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 1:59pm

        Re: Re:

        And then the press whines that they're struggling financially and their readers are going elsewhere for their news, and it sure would be nice if the tech and social media companies would be forced to subsidize the super-duper-important press...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2021 @ 12:47pm

    I'll never understand the need for right wingers to keep insisting that a website (Twitter, Facebook, grandma's knitting blog...) must be treated as commons when in reality the Internet as commons has long since gone away being that the vast majority of host providers are privately owned and operated. In any case, it just seems like another attempt at a speech subsidy where they get to scream as loud as they want and in as many faces that they want, even though a good majority of those faces have already blocked them before being banned. I'm just waiting for these fools to claim it's illegal to block people as a private citizen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 1:05pm

      Re:

      It's very simple. The rise of social media gave them access to a large mainstream audience that would never have normally entertained their ideas, and which in return profited them greatly. When removed from those venues, it was very clear that they would never be able to build an audience of that size on their own merits, so they have to resort to demanding that the places that don't want them be forced to let them back in.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    cpt kangarooski, 2 Jun 2021 @ 4:49pm

    But the reason for those regulations and what they apply to is kind of the key here. The FCC's regulations on this apply to broadcast stations. That is it applies to stations that have a license to use public spectrum. As such -- and only because they are using the public airwaves -- then the FCC can put these requirements on them. And, as the Supreme Court has made clear, these kinds of regulations are only constitutional because they're using public spectrum, via a license from the US government.

    Yeah, they should be pushing for the right to inject packets into WiFi, Bluetooth, Cellular Internet, and other radio spectrum parts of the Internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Doug Burbidge (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:24pm

    Does the Washington Post allow user comments? It does? Excellent.

    Step 1: Register as a political candidate in Florida.
    Step 2: Emit continuous stream of hateful bile in the Washington Post comments section.
    Step 3: Profit!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 11:49pm

      Re:

      I imagine florida is going to see a lot of 'political candidates' popping up in the near future, from those doing so to show just how stupid the law is by making use of it to it's fullest to those seeing it (correctly) as a legal shield against consequences for being an asshole online.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Bloof (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 2:33am

        Re: Re:

        Laura Loomer tried and failed to run for office in Florida in the hopes of getting her twitter ban overturned so they were doing it already.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2021 @ 9:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, but under this law, running for political office means no blocking, so she would have been unblocked, or fighting through the courts to get unblocked.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 10:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          As the AC above notes that was before there was a law on the book that changed that from 'crazy legal idea' to 'actual law', so while one nutjob may have tried it already there's likely to be a lot more doing so going forward.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    restless94110 (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 7:47pm

    Bizarre

    What is bizarrely ignorant is anyone who would not be in favor of bringing tech totalitarian censorship to justice. Maybe almost as bizarrely ignorant as anyone who would write an article in favor of totalitarianism.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2021 @ 11:24pm

      Re: Bizarre

      What’s truly bizarre is commenters who can’t tell the difference between government censorship and private business practices.

      Yet here you are. Ignorant of the 1st Amendment on a free speech blog. Truely bizarre.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rocky, 4 Jun 2021 @ 4:24am

        Re: Re: Bizarre

        It's not bizarre at all. Restless is an dishonest asshole who come here on occasion to drop turds. Don't expect him to respond either, so just flag him and move on.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2021 @ 2:29am

      Re: Bizarre

      How much force are you prepared to you use to get what you want, and that is rule by a totalitarian minority?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 12:16pm

      Re: Bizarre

      So by writing comments supporting totalitarianism liwke that one, you admit you're bizarrely ignorant?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2021 @ 7:18pm

      Re: Bizarre

      Someone who kisses the footprints of Chauvin is not in any position to complain about totalitarianism.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Portent, 4 Jun 2021 @ 7:28am

    Citing any decision on government regulation of communication mediums before United States v. Southwestern Cable (1968) isn't being honest.

    The court has held the FCC broad regulatory power over all communication by WIRE or radio. How exactly does big tech communicate? ESP?

    Even if the FCC authority ended at broadcast about 11% of all internet traffic is wireless. BigTech cannot control how its content is delivered. Thats how TCP/IP works. It absolutely uses wireless communication mediums like microwave and even if it didn't it would still fall under FCC regulation as has all cable since 1968.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Portent, 4 Jun 2021 @ 7:50am

    A virtual public square is not what makes BigTech a state actor. Big Tech working with states secretary of states offices to flag and take down "missinformation." Makes Big Tech a state actor. Mark Zuckerberg having an e-mail communication with government bureaucrat Anthony Fauci, where Zuckerberg most likely (redacted for "proprietary information") offers the Facebook's algorithm to flag and take down "misinformation" makes BigTech a state actor. Its Big Tech's ever growing propensity to work with government to do that which the government cannot that makes Big Tech a state actor.

    "If the government coerces, influences, or encourages the performance of the act, it is state action" ~Rendell-Baker v. Kohn, 1982

    No in can honestly say that isn't happening today. We have Zuckerberg and Fauci on e-mail doing exactly that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Portent, 4 Jun 2021 @ 8:12am

    The legal issue is not public space etc. Its public interest. Underneth all these layers of regulatoin the most important SCOTUS case of all time is Munn v. Illinois 1876.

    "When, therefore, one devotes his property to a use in which the public has an interest, he, in effect, grants to the public an interest in that use, and must submit to be controlled by the public for the common good, to the extent of the interest he has thus created. He may withdraw his grant by discontinuing the use; but, so long as he maintains the use, he must submit to the control."

    Easily the most important two sentences every written by the SCOTUS when it comes to American law as most law is regulatory and it all sits on Munn.

    You cant argue Public Square all day but there is no question that social media is public interest and therefor subject to control by the public for the public good.

    Under Munn Florida has every right to regulate social media just as much as they do a hotel, taxi, etc.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2021 @ 6:42pm

      Re: you played yourself son

      “Citing any decision on government regulation of communication mediums before United States v. Southwestern Cable (1968) isn't being honest.”

      “The legal issue is not public space etc. Its public interest. Underneth all these layers of regulatoin the most important SCOTUS case of all time is Munn v. Illinois 1876.“

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 8:00pm

        Re: Re: you played yourself son

        Portent certainly wrote a lot of words only to admit he has zero support for his lies.

        But as they say, stupid is as stupid does.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Portent, 5 Jun 2021 @ 2:59pm

        Re: Re: you played yourself son

        Not at all you just dont get nuance. The authority of the state to enact the Communications Act of 1934 comes from Munn. The question at hand is what the act itself encompasses not the constitutional authority to pass the act. What the court ruled in US v. Southwestern Cable was the Communications Act of 1934 granted the FCC broad power over all wire and radio communication not just radio.

        US v. Southwestern Cable wasn't about constitutional authority it was a question about the scope of the act.

        Under the Communications Act of 1934 there isn't some special carve out strictly for broadcast according to US v. Southwestern Cable, what Mike is trying to suggest is false and has been false for a half century. Did it occur to anyone reading this tripe that 'hey then how does the FCC regulate cable?'

        I know that is a common misconception that we can regulate broadcast because its public airwaves but that is along the lines of other common misconceptions people have like people though the earth was flat before 1492. Sure it makes for good copy but it couldn't be more incorrect.

        The state can regulate all communication mediums because it is in the public interest. Under Munn Florida can regulate Big Tech however Florida sees fit with very few restrictions.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 3:15am

      Re:

      "...but there is no question that social media is public interest and therefor subject to control by the public for the public good...."

      Except for that pesky constitution of yours which still won't accept the type of regulation you envision here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2021 @ 7:23am

        Re: Re:

        "Except for that pesky constitution of yours which still won't accept the type of regulation you envision here."

        The Supreme Court disagrees and has for almost a century and a half. If you want to have an intellectual conversation over Munn you are more than welcome but you are just stomping your feet like a spoiled child.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 5 Jun 2021 @ 10:33am

    An actually-relevant citation - Supreme Court, 2019:

    Under the Court’s cases, a private entity may qualify as a state actor when it exercises “powers traditionally exclusively reserved to the State.” … It is not enough that the federal, state, or local government exercised the function in the past, or still does. And it is not enough that the function serves the public good or the public interest in some way. Rather, to qualify as a traditional, exclusive public function within the meaning of our state-action precedents, the government must have traditionally and exclusively performed the function.

    The Court has stressed that “very few” functions fall into that category. … Under the Court’s cases, those functions include, for example, running elections and operating a company town. … The Court has ruled that a variety of functions do not fall into that category, including, for example: running sports associations and leagues, administering insurance payments, operating nursing homes, providing special education, representing indigent criminal defendants, resolving private disputes, and supplying electricity.

    When the government provides a forum for speech (known as a public forum), the government may be constrained by the First Amendment, meaning that the government ordinarily may not exclude speech or speakers from the forum on the basis of viewpoint, or sometimes even on the basis of content[.]

    By contrast, when a private entity provides a forum for speech, the private entity is not ordinarily constrained by the First Amendment because the private entity is not a state actor. The private entity may thus exercise editorial discretion over the speech and speakers in the forum. This Court so ruled in its 1976 decision in Hudgens v. NLRB. There, the Court held that a shopping center owner is not a state actor subject to First Amendment requirements such as the public forum doctrine[.]

    The Hudgens decision reflects a commonsense principle: Providing some kind of forum for speech is not an activity that only governmental entities have traditionally performed. Therefore, a private entity who provides a forum for speech is not transformed by that fact alone into a state actor. After all, private property owners and private lessees often open their property for speech. Grocery stores put up community bulletin boards. Comedy clubs host open mic nights. As Judge Jacobs persuasively explained, it “is not at all a near-exclusive function of the state to provide the forums for public expression, politics, information, or entertainment[”.]

    In short, merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints.

    If the rule were otherwise, all private property owners and private lessees who open their property for speech would be subject to First Amendment constraints and would lose the ability to exercise what they deem to be appropriate editorial discretion within that open forum. Private property owners and private lessees would face the unappetizing choice of allowing all comers or closing the platform altogether. “The Constitution by no means requires such an attenuated doctrine of dedication of private property to public use.” … Benjamin Franklin did not have to operate his newspaper as “a stagecoach, with seats for everyone.” … That principle still holds true. As the Court said in Hudgens, to hold that private property owners providing a forum for speech are constrained by the First Amendment would be “to create a court-made law wholly disregarding the constitutional basis on which private ownership of property rests in this country.” … The Constitution does not disable private property owners and private lessees from exercising editorial discretion over speech and speakers on their property.

    A private entity … who opens its property for speech by others is not transformed by that fact alone into a state actor.

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    • identicon
      Portent, 5 Jun 2021 @ 3:12pm

      Re:

      Did you read what I wrote above. I don't believe being a public square makes Big Tech a state actor so why are you repeating an irrelevant case. What makes Big Tech a state actor is the trove of documents we now have in 2021 showing that Big Tech has, is, and will continue to work with the state. Yes Facebook can on its own take down anything it wants on its site under current law but once there is a program in place for Secretary of States offices to contact big tech to flag content for take down that action that Facebook could otherwise legally perform becomes state action and is now illegal if such action suppresses or chills rights guaranteed by the constitution.

      The government cannot use private actors to do that which it cannot not. Nor can those private actors legally take part in such a conspiracy against rights with the government. If a government actor like a secretary of states office contacts Facebook to take down a users otherwise lawful content what Facebook should have done is say no and immediately report the illegal request to the Justice Department.

      In the recently released e-mails from Fauci, if those redactions are what they appear to be an offer from Zuckerberg to use Facebooks algorithm to remove content Fauci doesn't like, I believe that both Zuckerberg and Fauci(since later e-mails show Fauci loved the offer) are guilty for violation of 18 U.S. Code § 241 - Conspiracy against rights.

      This was obviously the slippery slope risk when we in the United States and our government officials let Facebook and other Big Tech work hand in glove with the Chinees Communist Party to control and censor content in China. It was obvious at that time that it wouldn't be long before they were doing the same thing in the United States even if it was strictly illegal for them to do so.

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    Lostinlodos (profile), 5 Jun 2021 @ 4:20pm

    “ “banned for using the platform to incite violence -- something that lots …”
    Except he didn’t. No evidence exists that he incited violence.
    I was under the impression he was band for posting false information about the election results.
    What O'Keefe did was stupid. And the ban legitimate.

    That out of the way, it was an opinion editorial. It’s good to a far left paper show some semblance of balance. Though I doubt they ram this out of kindness. This is easy to rip apart and thus gives the left another talking piece for the next week.

    I do remind you that it’s up to courts to interpret the constitution.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Jun 2021 @ 4:06am

      Re:

      I do remind you that it’s up to courts to interpret the constitution.

      They have, see comment above, and their opinion allows sites to moderate as they please.

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        Lostinlodos (profile), 6 Jun 2021 @ 11:16am

        Re: Re:

        I follow. The Florida law is being challenged. When the court rules we’ll know if it’s constitutional or not.

        Again though, props to WaPo. They did something worthy of the journalism title.
        After 4 years of opinion portending to be Fact, half truths, falsehoods, and flat out lies:
        Though again I don’t doubt this was run as flame bait.

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        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 6 Jun 2021 @ 2:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          After 4 years of opinion portending to be Fact, half truths, falsehoods, and flat out lies:

          [Asserts claims found nowhere outside of the extremist-Right's disinformative projection]

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            Lostinlodos (profile), 6 Jun 2021 @ 3:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Let’s leave it at the non-existent Russian collusion, the false story of the virus coming from a food market, or Trump calling vets losers.
            At least NYT posts retractions when confronted with evidence.

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            • icon
              nasch (profile), 6 Jun 2021 @ 5:40pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Trump calling vets losers.

              Um, what?

              'In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that [WW1] cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.'

              'When McCain died, in August 2018, Trump told his senior staff, according to three sources with direct knowledge of this event, “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,” and he became furious, according to witnesses, when he saw flags lowered to half-staff. “What the f*** are we doing that for? Guy was a f-ing loser,” the president told aides.'

              'On at least two occasions since becoming president, according to three sources with direct knowledge of his views, Trump referred to former President George H. W. Bush as a “loser” for being shot down by the Japanese as a Navy pilot in World War II.'

              https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/09/trump-americans-who-died-at-war-are-losers -and-suckers/615997/

              And yes, Trump or his spokespeople denied saying many of those things, because of course they did. They have no problem lying about anything, and those things make Trump look bad. And I guess you are just going to decide to believe Trump as always, so I just wasted my time.

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                Lostinlodos (profile), 6 Jun 2021 @ 7:01pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                The first one has been debunked by multiple people who were there. Not spokespeople. People who were there. People who actually despise Trump have said it didn’t happen.

                McCain, well I share the sentiment. But that was the man, not vets.

                I don’t know the story about Bush. And I could care less.
                He did NOT call vets losers.
                The only lie is from far left media platforms like MSNBC, WaPo, and your cited Atlantic.

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                Portent, 7 Jun 2021 @ 7:21am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Jeffrey Goldberg citing anonymous sources has no credibility. The man has a history of faking stories with fake sources documented all the way back to the 2nd Iraq war. He is a hack.

                When he is caught he just accrues people of hating him because he is Jewish. Even when his critics are other Jews.

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            • icon
              Toom1275 (profile), 6 Jun 2021 @ 6:16pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And yet again you prove me correct by repeating far-right lies.

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                Lostinlodos (profile), 6 Jun 2021 @ 7:05pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Centrist truth. I don’t know what the far right print. I don’t read or watch any far right media. And there’s little to no coverage of it anywhere.

                So you just ignore that every person there including people who hate trump, who all said it didn’t happen, because the far left Democrat tied news says so? Based on an anonymous “source”?

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                  PaulT (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 12:03am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "I don’t read or watch any far right media."

                  Do you want me to quote when you stated you get most of your news from Breitbart and Murdoch propaganda rags? Or, and you now backtracking on those claims after I laughed you out of the thread for claiming that you get your news from a wide range of sources before listing them?

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                    Lostinlodos (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 12:32am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Fox News is centrist, Breitbart centre right, NYP centre right,NYT centre left.
                    I don’t engage with the alt-right nazi fucktards and do my best to stay clear of WaPo and Atlantic alt-left turds as well.

                    If you claim those source are anything other than what they are your brainwash and I can’t help you and won’t debate fact against your nonsense.

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                      Lostinlodos (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 12:33am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      You’re

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                      PaulT (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 1:26am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "Fox News is centrist"

                      Lol

                      I mean, that does help show how screwed your view of politics is, but it's not supported by verifiable reality. No wonder you've been so easily gaslighted into believing that anything outside of the far right is run by Democrats, if this is what you think the political spectrum looks like. Basic facts must seem like communist propaganda in that bubble.

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                        Lostinlodos (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 3:06am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Well let’s take a look!
                        The Atlantic, MotherJones, politico… all funded by Laurene Jobs.
                        WaPo? Bezos
                        NYT/CNN/MSNBC? Many Obama members today and quit a few left to join the Biden team.

                        Fox is not far right. And never had been. Their own “moderator” did you everything possible to tank Trump in the first debate and failed miserably.

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                          PaulT (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 4:47am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Yes, there are some publications owned by left-leaning tycoons, just as the sources you favour are virtually all owned by Rupert Murdoch. (Oh, I guess that type of control is OK - so long the propaganda is funded by the billionaire you agree with, right?)

                          But, your claim that the Democrats secretly control 90% of all media is laughable bullshit.

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                            Lostinlodos (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 10:16am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            “But, your claim that the Democrats secretly control 90% of all media is laughable bullshit.“

                            Correct. The percentage is higher. And it’s no secret. Here’s something easy to do: go to Wikipedia, enter a news company, and look click on the top 3 people there. All Democrats. Most had a political position at some point.

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                              PaulT (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 10:53pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              "Correct. The percentage is higher. "

                              I eagerly await your study proving this, as I think there's probably some idiot trying to mislead you with bad methodology.

                              "Here’s something easy to do: go to Wikipedia, enter a news company, and look click on the top 3 people there. All Democrats"

                              Oh, sorry, you're the idiot, then. I'll leave you to work out why your methodology and sample sizes are probably laughable, especially since I presume you're only looking at domestic outlets that Murdoch told you are bad, and not taking a full range of sources including international and independent sources.

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                                Lostinlodos (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 11:31pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                I don’t live internationally. I live in the United States of America
                                CNN, democrats
                                MSNBC Democrat
                                CBS democrats
                                ABC democrats
                                NBC Democrat
                                PBS, democrats
                                Fox independents (local stations) mostly democrats
                                UPN/CW Democrats

                                FoxNews Republicans
                                7.5:1

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                                  PaulT (profile), 8 Jun 2021 @ 12:01am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  "I don’t live internationally. I live in the United States of America"

                                  So, you've already created a bubble for yourself. Especially if you're taking any interest in world events, you really should be taking a wider view of situations. You'd be amazed at how differently international events are reported in different parts of the world and how that helps your understanding of how the world works.

                                  Then, why no independent outlets? Why no local outlets apart from Fox subsidiaries? Why no actual news outlets except from the usual tired list trotted out by Murdoch drones in an attempt at whataboutism whenever they're told of their chosen source's biases, as if everyone who doesn't trust Fox must be CNN/MSNBC fans?

                                  So, as I suspected - you've cherry picked a tiny sample of news outlets, and have decided that because the ones you chose have some connection to Democrats (not any evidence of actual editorial control, apparently just having someone who votes Democrat on the board is enough) that means they control all media.

                                  Pathetic.

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                                  nasch (profile), 8 Jun 2021 @ 6:56am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  But why do you care more about who owns them than about how they're reporting? The very book you said we should read about it says that news organizations are biased not towards liberal interests, but towards the rich and powerful. Isn't that what you should be railing against?

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                                    PaulT (profile), 8 Jun 2021 @ 7:23am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                    "But why do you care more about who owns them than about how they're reporting?"

                                    It's easier to wave away factual reporting if you find a random board member who disagrees with you politically than it is to address the facts - especially if the reporting is accurate. Wave away enough sources, and you don't even have to go through the pesky process of evaluating conflicting viewpoints, since you never see one.

                                    "The very book you said we should read about it says that news organizations are biased not towards liberal interests, but towards the rich and powerful. Isn't that what you should be railing against?"

                                    He's stated quite proudly that he gets his news almost exclusively from Rupert Murdoch's estate, so admitting that would be rather uncomfortable, I presume.

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                                      nasch (profile), 8 Jun 2021 @ 7:41am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                      Also, based on other comments I may also been looking at the wrong book. Presumably lostinlodos would prefer to ignore a book that doesn't claim the news media is all a liberal conspiracy.

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                                        PaulT (profile), 8 Jun 2021 @ 12:00pm

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                        "Also, based on other comments I may also been looking at the wrong book"

                                        Yes, there's two books with that title. The fact that a Breitbart fan who says he looks to Murdoch for most of his information, openly ignores 90+% of US media and 100% of non-US media is telling the rest of us we're brainwashed is fucking hilarious.

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                                          Lostinlodos (profile), 8 Jun 2021 @ 12:10pm

                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                          The New York Times isn’t Murdoch.
                                          I’ve said before: I’m open to suggestions.

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                                            PaulT (profile), 8 Jun 2021 @ 11:30pm

                                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                            "The New York Times isn’t Murdoch."

                                            No, it's just the one token thing apart from Breitbart that you've admitted to hate-reading (in a way that suggests you don't actually take any of their reporting on board) outside of your regular diet of Murdoch outlets. You've named 6 outlets to me (although you may not read The Sun, you just posted the first search result that agreed with you), and 4 of them are Murdoch rags.

                                            "I’ve said before: I’m open to suggestions."

                                            I doubt it, since you have a habit of rejecting factual reporting if you perceived that they've not following lock step in Murdoch's path. There's thousands of sources out there, many of them valuable, just do your research and avoid outlets with known track records of lying and supporting fascism (like The Sun and the Daily Mail respectively), and stop falling for the Murdoch outlets every time. I would suggest some like the Financial Time sand the Guardian, but I'm going to guess that you'll flee as soon as you spot any actual left-wing content in the opinion pages.

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                                              Lostinlodos (profile), 9 Jun 2021 @ 12:46am

                                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                              I’ll take a look at the Guardian. I know it’s a British rag. Don’t know much more. It’s a paper that comes up quit a bit, positively, from both sides.

                                              But for all the talk of independents and other papers nobody posts any.
                                              Rather than harp on my differing opinions, accept the fact we share some to and offer the alternatives.

                                              I read Decrypt daily. Covering crypto, security, and finance.
                                              T-Freak. Covering media issues and copyright.
                                              Techdirt covering technology and Lately politics.
                                              Ars, BloodyDiagusting, GoreZone, Film, 9to5 Mac, …
                                              Most of these are still independents. And most stick to covering NEWS in their topics and keep opinions, slant, and bias in the opinion sections. Ars and it’s declared agenda aside. They still have good coverage overall.
                                              So does techdirt despise the occasional slide into partisan politics.

                                              So again: if you have independent media not beholden to partisan funding and partisan editorial control: please.I’d love a print version of CSPAN. News. No commentary.
                                              Facts, no spin.

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                                                PaulT (profile), 9 Jun 2021 @ 1:20am

                                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                "But for all the talk of independents and other papers nobody posts any."

                                                They do, but you find excuses to reject them, and have decided that the mere presence of a Democrat in a non-editorial role means they're controlled by Democrats.

                                                "Most of these are still independents. And most stick to covering NEWS in their topics and keep opinions, slant, and bias in the opinion sections"

                                                Lol... the thing is the comment sections on those outlets are all full of people whining about how biased the reporting is.

                                                The fact is, all reporting has some kind of bias, deliberate or not. Some wear it on their sleeve and openly skew everything, others try to keep it to a minimum. The trick is not to demand that everything is magically neutral, as that won't happen. What you need to do is peruse a variety of sources, keeping in mind their biases.

                                                That's what I do, I take all sorts of viewpoints, and understand the individual biases of each. I don't demand something adhere to my political viewpoints, and the ones that I do reject outright are due to a history of bad journalism if not outright lies, not because I find their political slant unlike my own.

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                                                  Lostinlodos (profile), 9 Jun 2021 @ 2:13am

                                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                  So does PaulT have independent news sources or not.
                                                  “mere presence of a Democrat in a non-editorial role means they're controlled by Democrats”
                                                  That’s not what I said at all. Stop lumping me under your banners.
                                                  What I said is papers like WaPo are top to bottom partisanship propaganda.
                                                  I also made it clear that I respect the fact checking of papers like the NYT. They retract or otherwise note errors.

                                                  “ the thing is the comment sections on those outlets are all full of people whining about how biased the reporting is”
                                                  Comments are where opinions belong. CSPAN regularly gets attacked by both sides for not having opinions since they have no commentary at all.
                                                  Their call in shows are attacked by both fox and cnn for not being moderated (to any extent) beyond broadcasting regulations. And I find them some of the best in-depth discussion in our country.
                                                  On of the few places in this country where ALL parties hash it out with each other over the reported facts within their own takeaway opinion.

                                                  I wish there was more of that out there.

                                                  Again you claim I’m in a bubble for not looking at other sources but aside from two, one I’ve heard of and one I recognise the name but have never seen, and am willing to take a look at; for “all” the “many” independents your aren’t naming them.

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                                                    PaulT (profile), 9 Jun 2021 @ 5:14am

                                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                    "So does PaulT have independent news sources or not."

                                                    Define "independent". You've already announced quite loudly that you'll reject the majority of them for not passing your political purity tests. You reject so much based on random criteria that I can't know what you mean - financially independent? Politically neutral? Based on a random patch of soil that apparently spawns the only people whose perspective matters?

                                                    "That’s not what I said at all."

                                                    It's exactly what you said. You said that you'll check Wikipedia and if a Democrat is present you'll reject the source. Some of the sources you already listed have "Democrats" in non-editorial roles, or were politically active in that sphere after they left the publications.

                                                    "Comments are where opinions belong"

                                                    Yet, you favour places like the NY Post, Breitbart and Fox, where the opinion dominates the editorial. You're just butthurt because most other places don't share that particular slant of propaganda. You've have way more credibility if your objection was bias in media in general, and not just whining that there's not enough people biased in the way you want them to be - which you have outright stated.

                                                    "Again you claim I’m in a bubble"

                                                    You've stated that you're in a bubble, multiple times. When asked to back up your claims that you had a wide media diet despite your parroting of right-wing misinformation, you confirmed you get at least 60% of your news from Rupert Murdoch, and dismissed the NYT with a term only used by people deep in that misinformation bubble. You're not even willing to look at the majority of media that thinks differently, as you have stated.

                                                    Now that I've said that truly neutral media is impossible and you have to do research on your sources to understand their biases, you're demanding I do your thinking for you.

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                                                      Lostinlodos (profile), 9 Jun 2021 @ 10:53am

                                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                      Independent ownership is outside of the large media corporations. Independent politics means the entirety of the board from ownership to editors to writers aren’t revolving door partisans.

                                                      “ It's exactly what you said”
                                                      That’s also not what I said. You’ve combined separate comments to form a narrative.
                                                      I pointed out accurately that many of the current “independent” media such as Mother Jones, Atlantic (currently) etc are or have become wings of a party group for propaganda.
                                                      When asked to prove it I pointed to the ease of Wikipedia. Review ownership and editorial boards for such companies.

                                                      I favour digital news feed from NYT and Fox News. Fox is far more than the prime time opinion shows and is minimally partisan in print.
                                                      Same with NYT.

                                                      I didn’t dismiss the Times. I made it clear that unlike major media printings of the left the Times actually tends to fact check. They correct and retract.
                                                      It keeps them reliable. Fox is the same. I still think it’s unfortunate they moved to print first ask questions later. But they make corrections. That keeps them from slipping into propaganda.

                                                      “ You're not even willing to look at the majority of media that thinks differently, as you have stated.”
                                                      Not quite. The problem is opinion and review published as fact.

                                                      Here’s a hypothetical based on a multitude of actual reports.
                                                      Left: yet another young coloured person is shot by the police this weekend; sparking more peaceful protests.

                                                      Right: a criminal black man was shot following a 20 minute high speed chase. BLM burns down court house in response.

                                                      Actuality: police in New York chase a suspect in a stolen car after a home invasion. When the chase ended in a crash in a local business district the young African American male fled the accident wearing a heavy coat despite the 90 degree weather. In the conclusive foot chase fearing for their safety and that of the quite suburban community police open fire on the suspect as he continued to rummage around under his jacket during the pursuit.
                                                      Meanwhile mostly peaceful protests continue across the country while some Antifa anarchists continue to burn state and federal buildings under the guise civil rights.

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                                                        PaulT (profile), 9 Jun 2021 @ 11:43pm

                                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                        "Independent ownership is outside of the large media corporations."

                                                        Which may or may not have a damn thing to do with journalistic output. I can name some very neutral outlets that have some relationship to large media companies (in fact, you've already named a few of them as sites you visit). I can name some fiercely independent outlets that are also fiercely politically partisan.

                                                        So, what's more important to you - actual neutrality, or independent ownership? If you just want a neutral feed of news you could use something like AP or Reuters I suppose, but outside of that anyone doing actual investigative journalism is going to be accused of being partisan by their targets.

                                                        "When asked to prove it I pointed to the ease of Wikipedia."

                                                        Yes, when asked to "prove" it, you used a laughably poor methodology based on self-selected predetermined results. I'd prefer an actual study with real methodology, if you don't mind, else all you're doing is showing how easy it is for you to reject sources (based on criteria that somehow don't stop you from rejecting Murdoch's rags for equal partisanship)

                                                        "That keeps them from slipping into propaganda."

                                                        If you don't think that Fox of all things slips into propaganda, I have to assume you don't know what the word means, or that you're just OK with it as long as you agree with it.

                                                        "Here’s a hypothetical based on a multitude of actual reports."

                                                        I'd rather verifiable examples rather than your poorly constructed strawmen, thanks.

                                                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                                      icon
                                      Lostinlodos (profile), 8 Jun 2021 @ 11:12am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                      The reporting in papers like WaPo is almost exclusively through the US progressive filter. That’s why I care. The majority of what they publish on the national news level is highly slanted.
                                      And they publish first, fact check later

                                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                      • icon
                                        PaulT (profile), 8 Jun 2021 @ 11:57am

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                        "The reporting in papers like WaPo is almost exclusively through the US progressive filter"

                                        There's many that don't do that, but you chose to have all your information filtered through places that tell you to ignore them for some reason.

                                        "And they publish first, fact check later"

                                        I'll that more seriously from someone who hasn't already announced they favour such outlets.

                                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                      • identicon
                                        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2021 @ 2:37pm

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                        The reporting in papers like WaPo is almost exclusively through the US progressive filter. That’s why I care.

                                        Why, are they not allowed to hold different politiical opinion to you?

                                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                        • icon
                                          PaulT (profile), 8 Jun 2021 @ 11:33pm

                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                          In these threads, his complaint is not that news is filtered according to political belief - his problem is that not enough of it is filtered to cater to his political beliefs. Then he pretends that he has a fully rounded grasp of the political spectrum because he doomscrolls the NYT when he's not being told to think by Rupert Murdoch.

                                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                    • icon
                                      Toom1275 (profile), 9 Jun 2021 @ 12:13am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                      lostinlodos has quite handily proven the Network Propaganda book's claim that the Fox-Breitbart nexus builds a unique cultlike religious following that distrusts factual sources for no other reason than they were told to by the orthodoxy:

                                      [t]he consistent pattern that emerges from our data is that, both during the highly divisive election campaign and even more so during the first year of the Trump presidency, there is no left-right division, but rather a division between the right and the rest of the media ecosystem. The right wing of the media ecosystem behaves precisely as the echo-chamber models predict—exhibiting high insularity, susceptibility to information cascades, rumor and conspiracy theory, and drift toward more extreme versions of itself. The rest of the media ecosystem, however, operates as an interconnected network anchored by organizations, both for profit and nonprofit, that adhere to professional journalistic norms."

                                      The explanation for the anti-Clinton narratives' longevity in the news cycle, the data show, is the focus of the right-wing media ecology on the two focal media nodes of Fox News and Breitbart. At times during this period, Breitbart took the lead as an influencer from Fox News, which eventually responded by repositioning itself after Trump's nomination as a solid Trump booster.

                                      In contrast, left-wing media had no single outlet that defined orthodoxy for progressives. Instead, left-of-center outlets worked within the larger sphere of traditional media, and, because they were competing for the rest of the audience that had not committed itself to the Fox/Breitbart ecosystem, were constrained to adhere, mostly, to facts that were confirmable by traditional media institutions associated with the center-left (the New York Times and the Washington Post, say) as well as with the center-right (e.g., the Wall Street Journal). Basically, even if you were an agenda-driven left-oriented publication or online outlet, your dependence on reaching the mainstream for your audience meant that, you couldn't get away with just making stuff up, or with laundering far-left conspiracy theories from more marginal sources.

                                      Network Propaganda's data regarding the right-wing media ecosystem—that it's insular, prefers confirmation of identity and loyalty rather than self-correction, demonizes perceived opponents, and resists disconfirmation of its favored narratives—map well to social-science political-communication theorists Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph Capella's 2008 book, Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh And The Rise Of Conservative Media. In that book, Jamieson and Capella outlined how, as they put it, "these conservative media create a self-protective enclave hospitable to conservative beliefs." As a consequence, they write:

                                      "[t]his safe haven reinforces conservative values and dispositions, holds Republican candidates and leaders accountable to conservative ideals, tightens their audience's ties to the Republican Party, and distances listeners, readers, and viewers from 'liberals," in general, and Democrats, in particular. It also enwraps them in a world in which facts supportive of Democratic claims are contested and those consistent with conservative ones championed."

                                      Believing that all fact-based media are leftist lies for no other reason than he gullibly swallows the right's pure projection uncritically.

                                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2021 @ 7:36am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  That looks horribly like you want to impose your politics on everybody else, and want to get rid of opposing viewpoints. That is a very fascists idea, and yet you complain when accused of being on the far right·

                                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          That One Guy (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 9:40am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Fox is not far right. And never had been. Their own “moderator” did you everything possible to tank Trump in the first debate and failed miserably.

                          Taking that claim at face value my memory seems to be acting up so would you happen to remember how they treated him after he got into office? Would you say it was a particularly antagonistic relationship or was it closer to one where they constantly gushed about how amazing he was and excused and defended anything and everything he said and did?

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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                            icon
                            Lostinlodos (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 11:15am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            Speaking for the news shows, I wouldn’t say fish but coverage was fairly favourable. But much of the news coverage of Obama was also favourable.

                            Obviously their opinion shows in the evening were good a fawning. But many of us can tell the difference between opinion shows and news. Only the brain dead far right call tucker a news program.

                            On occasion when I cross his show he pisses me off as much as he doesn’t.

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 5:28am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "I don’t engage with the alt-right nazi fucktards..."

                      If you claim Fox News are "centrist" then that's not an exculpation you can credibly make. Tucker and Hannity may not be all of Fox News but the audience they bring is, indeed, composed to great extent of those nazi fucktards.

                      I'll assume you are simply bereft of political or historical education and bring to your attention that Reagan, Nixon and Eisenhower would today be considered "centrist" in the US. Hell, they'd be indistinguishable from centrist-right democrats. The Overton window has shifted that much.

                      "If you claim those source are anything other than what they are your educated"

                      FTFY. You need to go back to PoliSci 101 or even just a few history lessons before you embarrass yourself further by spewing alt-right talking points as if they were based in observable fact.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • icon
                        PaulT (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 6:48am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "Tucker and Hannity may not be all of Fox News but the audience they bring is, indeed, composed to great extent of those nazi fucktards."

                        In fact, Fox had to get rid of one of Carlson's regular writers and closest collaborators because he was publicly revealed to be such a person. From what I've heard of the show since, a lot of it is thinly-veiled white identity screeds with handily distorted facts, while he has claimed in court that no reasonable person would take him seriously.

                        The idea that they're "centrist" is laughable, but I take the idea that they're "news" even less seriously.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          That One Guy (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 9:27am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          while he has claimed in court that no reasonable person would take him seriously.

                          Which always makes it a downright hilarious self-own when people do. 'Your own source said in court that only fools would take what they say seriously, and here you are proving them right.'

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                            icon
                            Lostinlodos (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 11:10am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            I don’t watch either of them.
                            I just read Fox News. Those two shows are both opinion shows and I don’t go for the overblown theatre of any of those. Don’t watch late night shows for the same reason.

                            I’m not familiar with the case your presenting. Happen to have a link to the trial or the transcript?

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                            • icon
                              That One Guy (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 12:22pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              That took way longer than it should have to find, wonky memory...

                              Here's a link to the case: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/7216968/9-24-20-McDougal-v-Fox-Opinion.pdf

                              And here's the relevant part from the ruling, pages 11-12:

                              As Defendant notes, Mr. Carlson himself aims to “challenge[] political correctness and media bias.” Def. Br. at 14. This “general tenor” of the show should then inform a viewer that he is not “stating actual facts” about the topics he discusses and is instead engaging in “exaggeration” and “non-literal commentary.” Milkovich, 497 U.S. at 20-21; Levinsky’s, Inc. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 127 F.3d 122, 128 (1st Cir. 1997)). Fox persuasively argues, see Def Br. at 13-15, that given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer “arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism” about the statements he makes. 600 W. 115th Corp. v. Von Gutfeld, 80 N.Y.2d 130, 141, 603 N.E.2d 930, 936 (1992). Whether the Court frames Mr. Carlson’s statements as “exaggeration,” “non-literal commentary,” or simply bloviating for his audience, the conclusion remains the same—the statements are not actionable.

                              After reading the ruling 'only fools believe me' might have been going a bit too far, with 'only the foolish would take what I say at face value' probably a more accurate summary of the defense raised, though that doesn't really strike me as too much better.

                              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 5:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Let’s leave it at the non-existent Russian collusion"

              I suppose we'll have to acknowledge that just because Trump is 400 million dollars in the hole with a loan the Russian State Bank guaranteed at a time when his credit rating was utterly shot doesn't mean it's proven that he sold himself to Russia.

              Or that his reversals of US diplomacy outright gave Putin Syria and the Kurds. Most of the middle east, in fact. It could just be staggering ineptitude unheard of in a statesman. To be fair that's actually credible in Trump's case.

              "...the false story of the virus coming from a food market..."

              Know how I can tell you aren't fit to make any judgments about epidemiology, bro? China's wet markets have been - along with their closed-ecology farming - THE area of concern in WHO for decades. A lot of experts have predicted that to be ground zero of pandemics for a long time. And bats particularly have been on that radar for longer, being the super-spreader of choice in the wild along with migratory birds.
              Biology isn't magic. If Sars-Cov-2 escaped from a chinese lab then it did so in much the same manner lyme disease could "escape" a US one.
              My money is on the opposite; The emergence of Covid was a very unpleasant surprise to the chinese on many levels because now people are prying into their in this case ironically innocent biowarfare programs.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                icon
                Lostinlodos (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 10:49am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                The problem is China did nothing to target or support stopping the spread.
                They roped in international agencies to hide the truth from the world. Truth that Trump was actually right about.
                Now that the truth is out, people still ignore the coverup aspect. Focusing instead on other things.

                “Wet markets” exist in all countries. Including the US. Minding you the term is simply used in a derogatory manner to mean fresh food.
                A more accurate term would be ‘exotic’ fauna.
                Some people develop different taste.
                The problem isn’t the knee jerk reaction that “omg people eat bats”.
                It’s that China has inadequate monitoring of such markets.

                The fact is the world’s organisations ignored the likely source despite ever growing evidence.

                Collusion? Simple didn’t exist. It started to create a wall in reporting to hide Clinton ties to both Russia and Ukraine.
                Those are so well documented they even have multiple books.
                People on the left act like negotiations with foreign governments is something new!
                It’s mind boggling that people think Trump had some great ability to allow Russia to change a US election.

                This is very different Than your kid taking a job on the board of foreign government controlled energy company simply because your Vice President.
                Even that’s not all that bad. Just call it what it is so we can move on

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Jun 2021 @ 8:29am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "“Wet markets” exist in all countries. Including the US. Minding you the term is simply used in a derogatory manner to mean fresh food."

                  Which is why the term "chinese wet market" sees a lot of use. US wet markets - or european ones, for that matter - have a lot of restrictions placed on them which, due to cultural reasons, you just won't find in the average chinese marketplace. With food sourcing dubious the emergence of a new zoonose making the species leap to humanity has been predicted for decades. It's the same issue as their closed-ecology farmsteads which keep bringing us new versions of flu every year.

                  "The problem is China did nothing to target or support stopping the spread."

                  They actually did. Arguably more so than the US which kept right on being a super-spreader until the EU had to bar incoming US flights. This is not a hill you want to die on because you're actually standing in a ditch.
                  The actual criticism to be levied against China in this particular case is more nuanced - their initial response on suppressing the chinese doctor who tried to first get the word out about the pandemic. Once the pandemic turned out to be fact they did their best to save face by acting in exemplary fashion as recommended by epidemiologists worldwide.
                  I'll give China this much; Once they decide they can't keep a lid on a boo-boo any longer you'll find no other nation better at obviously and ostentatiously setting an example in how to fix it.

                  "The fact is the world’s organisations ignored the likely source despite ever growing evidence. "

                  Bullshit. The likely source is bats in the wild and the preponderance of all evidence indicates it made the species leap the exact same way porcine and duck virii make the leap to become a human flu every year and bovine spongiform encephalopathy turned into Creutzfeldt-Jakob. And this was always the first suspect - because that's the origin of prior versions of Sars.

                  "It’s mind boggling that people think Trump had some great ability to allow Russia to change a US election. "

                  Sure. Because his "self-funded" campaign was because Vlad gave him 400 million USD. That doesn't "impact" a US election, I'm sure.

                  "This is very different Than your kid taking a job..."

                  Are you really sure you want to discuss Hunter Biden's job when Trump handed his immediate family white house positions?
                  The difference being Joe Biden certainly didn't personally appoint his son to ANY government job, domestic or foreign. That's why Hunter Biden being elected to a board position in another country might be a bad choice by Hunter Biden but certainly doesn't reflect on Joe Biden...
                  ...whereas Trump has to own up to naked nepotism.

                  "People on the left act like negotiations with foreign governments is something new! "

                  Yeah, you know, when the "negotiation" is one of the statesman receiving a whopping bagful of cash in hand by a foreign government right before taking office then that is indeed not new. Taking a bribe is pretty old hat, I'll give you that.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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                    icon
                    Lostinlodos (profile), 8 Jun 2021 @ 11:47am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    A lab leak is now consistently considered the most likely of origins.
                    multiple employees there came down with C19 symptoms just before the virus went international. A researcher went public. And no signs of the virus were found in the meat market in the early days and weeks.
                    https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/07/politics/covid-lab-leak-theory-classified-report/index.html

                    The only reason it wasn’t followed up on is because Trump at the relational evidence and declared it likely. The more evident he got the more he found it to be actual truth.

                    The Chinese government did nothing to help. They didn’t inform world leaders of the origin or research of a deadly virus.
                    They were extremely selective in what researchers could review. They lied and covered it up for weeks when the outbreak surged.
                    If they had been forthcoming in the beginning it’s unlikely this would have turned into a global pandemic. The virus could have been studied by an international team in the early days. Travel in and out of China could have been stopped.

                    They did everything wrong every step of the way and US Democrats fought hard to bury the story and blame a local food market with zero evidence. And ignored the one story with actual evidence.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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