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Posts Tagged ‘Google

A Message from the owner of Twitter

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That’s not hyperbole. From the active suppression of right-wing customers on multiple issues (but especially trans-news), to the FBI’s involvement with “Russiagate” starting in 2016 to their coverup of the Hunter Biden story in 2020, and now to the suppression of debate on C-19, it turns out that every suspicious claim made about what Twitter was doing to people’s free speech, was true.

In keeping with the policy of a blog being about analysis rather than news, I’ve ignored these stories because they’re still developing – including the interactions between Twitter and the US government, where the latter has clearly used the former to control public information in what looks to me like clear breaches of the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution. The so-called “Twitter files” have also initially launched on Twitter itself and its structure makes lengthy reports difficult to follow, although I can see why Musk would insist the release start there so as to boost viewer and user numbers, which seems to have worked.

But I feel comfortable ignoring it for the moment since the good old MSM has also – because it doesn’t put them in a good light either. Their responses have been to variously ignore the actual facts revealed in the so-called “Twitter files”, cling to any story they can find about how Twitter (and Musk) will soon fail, or pretend that “everybody already knew all this anyway, so it’s not a story.” Over at the Powerline blog they have a good example of this using one of their blogger’s local papers, the Minnesota Star Tribune: note that it’s almost all repeats of press service reports anyway.

It’s also becoming obvious from the Twitter revelations that the same stuff was already being pulled at other social media and Web businesses like Facebook, Google, and Apple, which have much larger footprints than Twitter, plus a host of smaller ones like Reddit and Pinterest (which is a photography site!!)

The group-think exhibited by all this, between the organs of the State, the MSM and now the Big Tech companies, does not demonstrate a healthy democratic society but an increasingly frightening one that fits the description provided in 1991 by the Peruvian Nobel laureate writer, Mario Vargas Llosa, live on Mexican television when he called Mexico “the perfect dictatorship.” That interview actually had a political impact, in that the Institutional Revolutionary Party finally lost power in 2000 after 71 years.

Will the Twitter revelations have a similar impact on The Establishment in the USA, and across the West? Not judging by this piece of video from Britain, where a solo anti-abortion woman was arrested for silently praying across the street from an abortion clinic.

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Written by Tom Hunter

December 28, 2022 at 8:25 am

Housecleaning

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Elon Musk just decided to bring the worst people on the internet back to Twitter. (The Verge)

Oh noes. How terrible.

You can click on the link if you wish but I assure you it’s just more of the same screaming that you’ve been hearing for weeks now from the MSM and the sites that their like-minded comrades still control. People like the … creature at the bottom of this post, where it has been placed because it’s Sunday morning.

First, let’s take a look at people who weren’t banned from Twitter under the previous management:

  • Chinese genocide apologists
  • Hitler-worshiping Hindu nationalists
  • Iran’s terrorist leadership
  • Antifa goons actively planning assaults
  • Pedophiles
  • People illegally distributing puberty blockers to children (who were also pedophiles, strange coincidence there)
  • People running mass-reporting schemes (who were – yes – also pedophiles)

People who were banned from Twitter previously:

  • The New York Post for news stories inconvenient to Democrats
  • James Lindsay and the Babylon Bee for accurately identifying an adult male
  • Nick Rekieta for being the victim of a mass-reporting scheme
  • Libs of TikTok (off/on since she only ever showed what insane Leftists were posting themselves on TikTok).
  • Trump for being Trump

And it’s only with those people being reinstated that the news media, which is all MSM and Social Media together and who are intensely pro-censorship, is getting itself worked up about.

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NOW HEAR THIS! NOW HEAR THIS!

Please ensure you have digested your breakfast and finished your coffee before looking at the following photo of an ex-Twitter “worker”.

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Written by Tom Hunter

November 27, 2022 at 9:32 am

Fortify your election with SBF Bucks

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Or Zuck Bucks, as they were called after the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, poured $400 million into getting Joe Biden elected in 2020.

Sam Bankman-Fried Bucks just doesn’t roll off the tongue in the same way, even though he’s been revealed as yet another Democrat Party mega-donor, the largest individual donor to the party outside of Nazi-collaborator George Soros for the just completed Mid-Term elections, the money having been used by the Democrats for “get-out-the-vote” and various ballot-harvesting mechanics.

SPF pumped $10 million into Biden’s campaign in 2020 and then $40 million for the just-completed Mid-Terms, where they were used in the same way as in 2020.

In fact it never was just Zuckerberg or SBF. Take a look at this chart of Big Tech employee donations by political party in the USA and then not be surprised that the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Google (among others) have been acting as censors for the Democrat Party in recent years.

SBF won’t be back given the catastrophic bankruptcy of his ponzi crypto-currency scheme of FTC and Alameda Research (which requires a post all its own) and Zuckerberg’s fortune has collapsed by $100 billion thanks to his company Meta not being the Neuromancer extension of Facebook that he’d hoped for. Of course that still leaves him with $40 billion or so, but perhaps he’ll be forced to pay less attention to elections for a while.

You may recall that great TIME magazine story about how the 2020 election was “fortified”:

There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs. Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans. The pact was formalized in a terse, little-noticed joint statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO published on Election Day. Both sides would come to see it as a sort of implicit bargain–inspired by the summer’s massive, sometimes destructive racial-justice protests–in which the forces of labor came together with the forces of capital to keep the peace and oppose Trump’s assault on democracy.

So the word went out: stand down.

But Zuckerberg’s role was much simpler, because the methods used with Zuckerberg’s $400 million were pretty simple:

The Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL – whose three founders are former co-workers at the Democrat-aligning New Organizing Institute) and The Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR – whose founder was formerly a director of the leftwing People For the American Way) passed a staggering $419.5 million of Zuckerberg’s money into local government elections offices, and it came with strings attached. Every CTCL and CEIR grant spelled out in great detail the conditions under which the grant money was to be used.

The CTCL had been a small outfit founded in 2012 with its yearly revenues from contributions and grants had maxed out one year at $2.84 million

Conditions? More like processes that this vast sum was poured into:

  • Self-described “vote navigators” in Wisconsin to “assist voters, potentially at their front doors, to answer questions, assist in ballot curing … and witness absentee ballot signatures,” Philadelphia got $10 million to hire new city employees (fresh from local activist groups) to go door to door delivering ballots. Since they worked for the election office, everything was “legal.” They bought radio advertising on Spanish and urban radio stations; “vote by mail, no need for any witnesses anymore!”
  • The promotion of universal mail-in voting through suspending election laws, extending deadlines that favoured mail-in over in-person voting, greatly expanding opportunities for “ballot curing,” expensive bulk mailings, and other lavish “community outreach” programs that were directed by private activists.

Especially in swing states, the rules were thrown out in the name of an emergency. In Nevada, the state rushed to all of the mail-in ballots being sent automatically, even though the Public Interest Legal Foundation had documented tens of thousands of dead registrants, vacant lots and commercial addresses on the voter rolls. Other states suspended their laws: Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico, Colorado, Minnesota, Arizona, North Carolina, and more. In Virginia, the law said that mail ballots had to come in by election day or three days after election day, but only if they were postmarked by election day. Virginia state election officials ignored the law and issued rules to accept late ballots without any postmark. They called it “fair.”

  • Unmonitored private dropboxes (which created major chain of custody issues) and opportunities for novel forms of “mail-in ballot electioneering,” which allowed for numerous questionable post-election-day ballots to be submitted. as well as providing another way to help ballot harvesting.
  • Temporary staffing and poll workers, which supported the infiltration of election offices by paid Democratic Party activists, coordinated through a complex web of Democrat-leaning non-profit organisations, social media platforms, and social media election influencers.

More detail on all this here. CTCL and CEIR are registered 501(c)(3) corporations that can be created for elections but which are supposed to be non-partisan.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.

Does the following look like non-partisan spending?

Of the 26 grants CTCL provided to cities and counties in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia that were $1 million or larger, 25 went to areas Biden won in 2020. 

What are the odds that the Biden IRS will be investigating CTCL and CEIR?

As another article put it about those Zuck Bucks: They converted election offices in key jurisdictions with deep reservoirs of Biden votes into Formula One turnout-machines.

The 2020 election was not stolen. It was purchased.

Begun, the Twitter Wars have

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The Twitter wars are actually just heating up, as it is becoming apparent that the Left regarded it as “their” platform in pushing Lefty talking points (propaganda).

Actually it’s been apparent for a long time, but in the past any criticisms of them by the Right were met with their cynical smirks of “It’s a private company and can do what it wants – isn’t that what the Right have always said?”

But with Elon Musk now in charge of a privately-owned Twitter the Left have dropped that mask and come right out in the open in their demands for government censorship to replace the censorship they’d been applying behind the scenes via the hive-mind of Twitter employees who were ideologically-like-minded to the Left – or even more so.

But all of these companies are, in fact, monopolies, and thus exist in a precarious legal state — presently tolerated, but open to government harassment and persecution any time they do not follow the government’s commands.

As proof of that, Democrats are now demanding that the Federal Trade Commission investigate Elon Musk for “undermining Twitter.” By which they mean — they want him investigated for abandoning the censorship scheme they demanded the old regime imposed.

“In recent weeks, Twitter’s new Chief Executive Officer, Elon Musk, has taken alarming steps that have undermined the integrity and safety of the platform, and announced new features despite clear warnings those changes would be abused for fraud, scams, and dangerous impersonation,” the lawmakers said in a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan

Dangerous impersonation? Of who? Oh right….

Senator Ed Markey went so far as to participate in a hoax in which he colluded with a Washington Post reported so that that Post reporter would pay for blue tick status and then impersonate him (Ed Markey).

And then, having contrived this case of impersonation, Ed Markey screamed about it and demanded the FTC investigate Musk for permitting the impersonation.

It seems only fair that Twitter ban Markey from the platform for engaging in this fraud. 🙂 After all, that’s what’s going to happen to other “accounts” pulling similar – if vastly more amusing – stunts. Musk won’t of course, having brought back the Babylon Bee…

and Trump, or at least his account. Musk also understands the game being played here by the Administrative State and their six ways from Sunday of getting back at you.

Aside from the censorship fight there is also another interesting Twitter battle going on inside the company as thousands have found themselves out of a job – for the very good reason that they were useless drones. This Twitter thread explains what he’s doing, which is Whaling and Culling:

First, the “Whaling”: It’s a common refrain that you’ve probably heard at some point or another “10% of people do 90% of the work.” That’s what that tight 2 week deadline for Twitter Blue was for; he was perfectly aware that it was an unrealistic time frame. It was a test.

Hence, Elon was looking for the whales at the company. The heavy hitting, actually producing and hard people who have been there for a while. When the whales don’t have to carry dead weight, they perform like the equivalent of 10 people.

There are larger questions being raised here given the layoffs of more thousands of workers at Facebook and Amazon (can Google be far behind?), and those questions are addressed in this article, The Email Caste’s Last Stand, by Malcom Kyeyune:

The abrupt firing of thousands of employees solicited a new wave of outrage from Musk’s haters. But even if you remove him from the equation, Twitter couldn’t have gone much longer without massive layoffs. The same thing is happening across Silicon Valley. Last week, the online-payments company Stripe announced it would cut 14 percent of its workforce, as did the rideshare giant Lyft; Facebook parent company Meta looks poised to do the same. Like Wile E. Coyote, tech companies ran off the cliff long ago; only now is economic gravity starting to assert itself.

The article makes the point that when venture capital funding seemed to be unlimited, it not only encouraged all these Big Tech startups and established players to hire useless people, it basically developed a class of people not unlike the French aristocracy just prior to the 1789 revolution:

The problem was that France now had a large class of impoverished nobles, for which some sort of exclusive jobs program was absolutely necessary. They didn’t have diversified business interests like the court nobility at Versailles; all they had was their noble privilege, and if the French state abolished the last areas where that privilege meant something, they would truly be lost.

A similar dynamic is operative in America today. The people who worked “on climate” at Twitter, now being given the ax by the perfidious Elon Musk, are openly complaining that they won’t be able to find jobs anywhere else in this economy. They are, of course, right to worry.

Which is why reforms of things like the French Army went nowhere and why “reforming” Twitter and other companies to actually make money will require firing lots of these useless eaters.

However, the article goes even further in pushing this question out into the society beyond the world of Big Tech. You can see the connection between this and the increasing debates about things like UBI (Universal Basic Income), including – here in NZ – debates about WFF and the whole raft of tax credits and income supplements that now constitute what used to be called “social welfare”. I recommend the excellent series of posts on this subject at Kiwiblog by one “PaulL”, Effective Marginal Tax Rates, which goes into some detail about the changes that might be made to shift people from welfare to work.

Kyeyune raises the larger question of what “work” may actually mean nowadays, particularly for our class of credentialed (but not educated) drones:

In my own country, Sweden, the state picks up a lot of the slack. Here, small municipalities hire dozens or hundreds of communicators, consultants, and other plainly nonproductive personnel, and attempts to do something about it run into a very simple question: Where else are these people supposed to work? Who else would hire them? Though few will say it openly, the city of Uppsala’s nearly 100 communicators have nothing to do with communication, and everything to do with preserving social stability. It is, in essence, just part of a massive jobs program.

When I look at the thousands of people that the Labour government has hired into its myriad government departments, ministries, quangos, commissions, etc, I have to think that’s what’s also happening here in NZ. And like Twitter and those other tech firms, the question is how much longer can we afford to hire such people?

“To understand events around the world today, one must think in terms of the class struggle.”

But the New Class isn’t limited to communist countries, really. Around the world in the postwar era, power was taken up by unelected professional and managerial elites. To understand what’s going on with President Donald Trump and his opposition, and in other countries as diverse as France, Hungary, Italy and Brazil, it’s important to realize that the post-World War II institutional arrangements of the Western democracies are being renegotiated, and that those democracies’ professional and managerial elites don’t like that very much, because they have done very well under those arrangements. And, like all elites who are doing very well, they don’t want that to change.

In My Time of Dying

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From beauty to horror. Rumour has it that 82-year old Nancy Pelosi is not going to step aside as Democrat House leader even if they lose control of the House.

She’s probably inspired by the election of Senator Fetterman. Electing two vegetables in succession probably means Nancy can stay even as a corpse

Sure, you’ll never embarrass a Democrat by pointing at them and charging them with hypocrisy and double standards – but as Ron DeSantis knows, even if they don’t care, others will

Just a reminder that simply because the Democrats didn’t do as badly as expected that doesn’t mean that the knives won’t be out for Biden as 2024 approaches. Taylor Lorenz is a truly horrible POS “journalist” with her doxxing and crybully tactics, but to see that toxicity turned on Biden is not unenjoyable.

Further fallout from the Branch Covidian revolution as the backlash continues to calls for a “Pandemic Amnesty”

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Written by Tom Hunter

November 16, 2022 at 11:03 am

Freedom of GoogleTwit

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The on-again, off-again takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk now appears to be … on again.

Time will tell whether this is just more gamesmanship between the two sides as Twitter took Musk to court to try and enforce the sale to him that the Board of Directors had approved. Hardly surprising given that Twitter’s stock had fallen well below Musk’s offering price of $54.20, largely on the back of his subsequent claims that much of the traffic on Twitter came from “Twitter bots“.

But I can’t see that agreeing to make the court case go away would help Musk if he really doesn’t want to buy the company. The case would simply return if he backed out again.

So, we can look forward to the return of Leftie meltdowns, as described so well here by PJW, as they find that they no longer have the power to censor their enemies via their Twitter employee mates.

Reporter Ben Collins (NBC):

For those of you asking: Yes, I do think this site can and will change pretty dramatically if Musk gets full control over it. No, there is no immediate replacement. If it gets done early enough, based on the people he’s aligned with, yes, it could actually affect midterms.”

Think about that Freudian slip. The loss of control over political speech means a loss of control over this year’s US midterm elections. That’s what he thinks, but of course he has no concern that Twitter (and other social media companies) have long been “aligned” with Democrats and the Biden Administration.

However, this is barely scratching the surface of the problem, as we find with Google:

Issues & Insights (I&I) is a terrific conservative website whose writers came from the editorial board of Investors Business Daily. I&I writes smart content that goes after the left, often mercilessly…One of the key contributors to I&I is cartoonist Michael Ramirez. Even if you don’t know his name, chances are you’ve seen his cartoons. They’re perceptive, thought-provoking, gut-busting, and solidly conservative.

Actually he trends Libertarian, which is why he took numerous shots at Trump on tariffs and the like. That was apparently not good enough for Google, who began to demonetise them:

Google’s AdSense network – which is used by some 3.5 million websites to generate revenue – defines “shocking content” as content that:

  • contains gruesome, graphic, or disgusting accounts or imagery.
  • depicts acts of violence.
  • contains a significant amount of or prominently features obscene or profane language.

We appealed this ruling with Google and were denied. No explanation was offered, of course. And there’s no possible way to know what would constitute a “fix” that would satisfy Google.

I can’t think of any Ramirez cartoon that has ever had such content – although showing California as an airliner plunging to its fiery doom might be argued as such? In any case Google also went after I&I themselves for a poll examining what registered voters think about President Biden’s mental acuity. Google labeled the piece “dangerous and derogatory.” As I&I concluded this may be going far beyond mere Leftist prejudice:

As we noted in this space recently, we’re not sure anymore if it’s just leftists at Google who are making these decisions, or if the company is working in concert with the Biden administration.

Perhaps I&I will launch a lawsuit against Google and join the group that’s heading toward SCOTUS with a clash on Section. 230? And on that note I bring up this comment from that post from regular MT_Tinman:

You appear to be arguing that the large on-line outfits’ owners should be, in some circumstances, denied their rights and benefits as owners.

While the internet and on-line interaction, still in it’s infancy, has developed an undoubted left-wing bias it is up to the right to create and nurture a competing space, not to force the current lot to donate part of theirs to the cause.

Free speech must be defined by the first word even if, until it matures, those of us on the right hate it.

This is very much the Libertarian argument and up until about five years ago I would have agreed with it. But no more:

Meanwhile, very popular, and conservative, and therefore dangerous YouTuber Nick Rekieta was subject to a mass-flagging campaign by leftwing censors — ring-led by the powertripping nasty transsexual cult-leader “Keffals” — and the censorious platform YouTube [owned by Google] permanently banned his channel.

The cult filed lots of ethics complaints with the Minnesota Bar Association, trying to get him disbarred, and then subsequently mass-flagged his YouTube channel.

But hey let’s just wait for the Free Market to Work Its Magic on a MONOPOLIST with competitors of anything like its size. I’m sure that the competition from businesses with less than 1% of YouTube’s reach will really exert market discipline on it and compel it to change its ways.

Exactly. Nobody is going to turn up and buy Google for a trillion dollars. The Private Sector will not save us that way, and as far as creating “a competing space” we saw what happened with the Twitter alternative, Parler, which both Google and Apple killed by simply refusing to sell it on their massive and far-reaching online sites.

We on the Right are often attacked by the Left for “worshipping” the “Free Market”, and they have a point when we the “free” turns into “monopolist”. Over a century ago it was a GOP President, Teddy Roosevelt, who used the so-called “Trust-busting” laws to break up giant American business monopolies like Standard Oil.

I’m well aware of the arguments that Standard Oil actually did a lot of good, that it enabled Rockefeller to “obsess over improving efficiency and cutting costs through economies of scale and vertical integration”, thereby reducing the costs of fuel and making lives better for everyone. And I can see that the same arguments can be applied to his 21st century business descendents. In fact that article explicitly does so in the case of Google.

But the world created by Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple is not the same because their monopolies are in the world of information, which leads to and controls almost everything else, including the government which may be the only source of power left standing aside from them – and because the Network Effects of connecting people with this information provides them with a monopoly that cannot be reduced by technological innovation, which is one of the keys to a free market.

Time to go full Teddy Roosevelt on these people.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 14, 2022 at 5:39 pm

Stochastic terrorism and S. 230

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You haven’t heard the term Stochastic terrorism?

You will soon enough. It’s becoming a thing among the US Left.

Stochastic refers to a modeling approach using random probability distribution to try and make predictions based on massive amounts of seemingly random data. It’s always been very much a thing in my IT world, particularly with financial markets, but as computer power has increased it’s being used in all sorts of areas.

Including now to predict the likelihood of terrorism being spawned out of massive amounts of online speech. The theory is that although you might not be able to link any particular incident of terrorism to what is said in online platforms, including Social Media sites, you can make a stochastic prediction; with enough speech pushing certain ideas you can predict a certain number of terrorist incidents based on those ideas.

Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.

Therefore it’s entirely logical and Scientific to shut down such speech.

Not just Islamist speech of course, but Right-Wing speech – the sort of thing that leads to events like the January 6 riots in the US Capitol. The link above is to the good old hardline Lefty site The Daily Kos. Here’s more, this time from Australia and dealing with C-19 “conspiracy theories” (at least the ones that have not been proven correct – yet).

You can see how once again The ScienceTM blends so beautifully with Left-Wing desires for control in so many different areas, Amazing how often that happens. And of course it fits with the already long-standing claim that’s been made for years by Leftists, especially with regard to attacks on Muslims, which did have an effect on the likes of David Farrar in the wake of the Christchurch mass shooting, where he tightened up on free speech a lot on Kiwiblog. Clearly he accepted the Left’s argument against him. This didn’t stop Russell Brown from referring to DPF as a “piece of shit” anyway.

So what does this have to do with S.230? Well Section 230 is a part of the United States Communications Decency Act and it was an amendment made in 1996 to help the fledging providers of the World Wide Web get started without getting destroyed by lawsuits about the content they carried:

No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

Which makes sense. Nobody ever went after telephone or telegraph companies with lawsuits just because spies and terrorists had used them to organise their activities – although those companies were and are expected to cooperate with the State where legally criminal actions are being investigated.

But since the advent of Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a host of others in the 2000’s, the problems with S.230 have started to mount as those platforms have started acting like media publishers by censoring the content they carry, using the claim that this is perfectly acceptable private sector behaviour based around their terms of service.

Which is still a good argument – and certainly accepted by many Right-Wingers and Libertarians because Private Sector and CapitalismTM. But it’s becoming harder to sustain in the face of obviously ideological and politically partisan behaviour from these “providers”, where Right-speech gets canned while its mirror-image Left-speech remains up and running. The ongoing fight between Twitter and Libs of Tick Tok (another social media platform) – who do nothing more than link to insane Tik Tok videos put up by US Liberals – is a classic example, with bans and unbans plus threats of legal action from LOTT.

It should be noted that this type of thinking and efforts are now pushing beyond free speech and extending to other human activities on online platforms like the financial transactions site PayPal, fund-raising sites like GoFundMe, or even more traditional places like Visa, which is being pressured by gun-control activists to stop gun owners from using Visa to pay for their stuff.

Meantime, the S.230 protection argument has also started to crack in the face of admitted connections between the US government and the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter as the former attempts to suppress speech it doesn’t approve of – which makes the latter agents of the US government and potentially liable under the 1st Amendment.

And it looks like that’s about to happen, courtesy of a recent court case where the Fifth Circuit Court upheld a Texas anti-censorship law specifically aimed at Big Tech Monopolists (Professor Margot Cleveland explains the decision in detail at The Federalist). Basically the court had two conflicting legal precedents involved; Miami Herald and Pruneyard Shopping Center.

In Miami Herald, the Supreme Court held that a Florida statute that required newspapers to grant political candidates the right to equal space to reply to criticism violated the First Amendment rights of the publisher. In reaching this conclusion, the Supreme Court stressed that the newspapers’ decisions concerning the size, content, and treatment of public issues and public officials involved editorial control and judgment protected from state interference by the First Amendment.

The Big Tech Monopolists argued that they’re like newspapers – publishers, not platforms – and therefore cannot be required to air views that conflict with their own editorial position. Of course you should note that this is in explicit contradiction with the idea of being a “platform” for the purposes of S.230.

Conversely, in PruneYard Shopping Ctr. v. Robins, the Supreme Court held that the state could require privately owned shopping centers to allow individuals to distribute political literature without violating the mall owners’ First Amendment rights. In upholding California’s mandate, the high court reasoned that PruneYard did not involve the concerns present in Miami Herald, namely forced speech through the state telling a newspaper what to print.

According to the Supreme Court’s reasoning in PruneYard, allowing access to the mall did not affect the property owner’s speech: The owners were neither forced to communicate a message nor prevented from engaging in their own speech.

So in that case the state can actually require someone maintaining a large public space where people congregate in large groups – to permit people to engage in political messaging.

You think monopoly social media platforms with 50 million+ users count as large public spaces?

And obviously, such Big Tech monopolies are not injured in their ability to get their monopoly message out if TrumpFanboi360 is allowed to say “Hunter Biden is a crackhead whore who sucks Chinese dick for money, plus 10% for ‘The Big Guy'”

The Fifth Circuit’s decision seems pretty solid on those grounds, but this will be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Which is where the other side of the coin comes into play, the Stochastic Terrorism side – and this time with real terrorism:

The Supreme Court said Monday it would take up a case that could fundamentally change the way Google and other tech companies are governed by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects them from lawsuits over content created by users.

In 2015, Nohemi Gonzalez, a 23-year-old U.S. citizen studying abroad in France, was murdered by ISIS terrorists who fired into a crowded bistro in Paris. Her family filed suit against Google, arguing that YouTube, which Google owns, aided and abetted the ISIS terrorists by allowing and promoting ISIS material on the platform with algorithms that helped to recruit ISIS radicals.

Uh Oh! This is a case where S.230 should apply as it was originally intended, immunity.

But it’s possible that SCOTUS will over-affirm that point, and wind up granting these monopolies the power they claim they have, which is an unrestricted right to censor – whether in good faith or bad – without any liability whatsoever, and to make what are clearly publisher decisions, including about what stories to elevate and which to suppress and what headlines they themselves write with total immunity afforded to no other publisher in the world.

And of course the argument that “the algorithms must be changed to stop speech that ’causes harm” is the leftist censor mafia’s entire argument, and that is the central legal claim of this case. If the family pressing the lawsuit wins on its theory that the tech companies are at fault for not tweaking their “algorithms” to suppress “harmful content,” then all the tech companies will say that their censorship of “anti-trans“, “anti-gay“, “anti-woman“, “anti-minority“, “anti-Muslim“, “anti-Covid-19 measures”, “anti-Carbon Zero”, and anti-anything-they-don’t-like-content – is no longer just their choice but required by the Supreme Court.

It’ll be interesting to see if both of these cases are pulled together by SCOTUS, given their overlapping demands and timing. A good outcome might be for the Court to affirm that S.230 immunizes platforms against harms caused by the writings of third parties – but then adds dicta (advisories not directly related to the case or necessary to the ruling) that such immunity is available only to platforms when behaving as platforms, and only when they are acting in good faith, and using acts like the Texas anti-censorship law to support all that.

See also this article, published after my post, and note:

When it comes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, consider the preambulatory language in statutory subsection (a)(3): “The Internet and other interactive computer services offer a forum for a true diversity of political discourse, unique opportunities for cultural development, and myriad avenues for intellectual activity.” 

The inclusion of the “whether or not such material is constitutionally protected” language is also unconstitutional, and the federal courts should hold as much. “It is axiomatic,” the Supreme Court said in 1973’s Norwood v. Harrison, that the government “may not induce, encourage or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.” 

Written by Tom Hunter

October 4, 2022 at 11:18 am

Tempora mutantur popularis

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Watching this graph can be a bit mesmerising.

Just one of the aspects that surprised me was how long AOL (America On Line) was on top when you consider the overwhelming power of Google in this landscape for the last decade (it doesn’t even appear on this chart until April 2001). I can’t recall using AOL even once, though I likely did.

The rise of Facebook in 2008 is amazing to see.

In 1993, there were fewer than 200 websites available on the World Wide Web. Fast forward to 2022, and that figure has grown to 2 billion.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 3, 2022 at 6:55 am

Social Media and its Standards

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There’s an increasing focus being brought to bear on the connections between the US Administration and social media giants like Facebook and Twitter (with search giant Google likely in the mix as well).

But this sort of partisanship is not new, with the most egregious along with burying the Hunter Biden story in 2020 to help get Joe Elected. It’s actually worse than the “Fact Checking” industry that works with Facebook and company.

The thing is that this partisanship is merely an outgrowth of the progressive ideology that drives these outfits nowadays and shows in non-political cases:

As reported by The Daily Wire, Twitter in March 2021 moved to dismiss a child pornography lawsuit by claiming protection under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 is a section of Title 47 of the U.S. Code enacted as part of the Communications Decency Act, which generally provides immunity for website platforms with respect to third-party content.

As noted by Daily Wire, the victim, named “John Doe,” said the company refused to remove pornographic images and videos of him and another teen because the platform “didn’t find a violation of our policies.”

As reported in early 2021, in another lawsuit against Twitter, a young boy who was solicited and recruited for sex trafficking alleged that he was also forced to endure his own sexual abuse content on Twitter, even after attempts were made to remove the objectionable content.

That’s quite a different approach to the one they take to political and ideological causes they oppose; those they’re more than happy to remove from their platforms, citing how hosting might hurt them, or simply saying that it’s their right as a private company.

Then there was the case of YouTuber Shane Dawson – who boasted more than 20 million followers –

.. booted from the platform in 2020 after old videos surfaced in which he made racial slurs, portrayed racial stereotypes, and told jokes about pedophilia. In 2019, an audio snippet from his 2015 podcast Shane and Friends also emerged online, in which he joked about sexually abusing his cat.

After all of the above (and worse), Dawson triumphantly returned to YouTube in October 2021 after predicting he would, 16 months after being unceremoniously shown the door.

All of that filth led journalist Lara Logan – a woman who knows something about sexual assault – to say earlier this year that she’d had enough, even if it would hurt her journalist outreach to readers.

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs convened on Wednesday to hear from current and former social media executives. The hearing was called to address the impact of social media on homeland security consistent with Biden administration talking points — you know, “white supremacist, conspiracy related, and anti-government violence’” That is a quote from committee chairman Gary Peters’s opening statement.

After watching this I’d say that Section 230 is headed for the scrapheap if the GOP win the Presidency, Senate and House in 2024 – and that’s assuming Facebook doesn’t start getting hit with 1st Amendment lawsuits on the now established basis that they’re acting as agents of the US Government.

Of course the old MSM are still at it with ever-lowering standards, with ABC News pushing its gun control agenda by interviewing the recently released John Hinckley Jr on the subject. Yes, you should know that name because he’s the guy who tried to assassinate President Reagan in 1981, while also leaving another person with brain damage, confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, plus Secret Service agents suffering life-long gun shot injuries as well:

As a thought experiment, imagine if Fox News brought on someone who tried to assassinate Barack Obama so they could talk about how pro-life they now are. How do you think the press would react to that? The answer is that they’d lose their ever-loving minds, not only freaking out that the would-be assassin was given a platform, but they’d also use it as proof that the pro-life movement is poisoned.

Remember, this is the same liberal press that wants to expel anyone who has come within 50 feet of Donald Trump from polite society. But if you try to kill a GOP president, then you can get an interview with ABC News and talk about the wonders of gun control.

Good to know that it’s not just viewers, listeners and readers that are giving the MSM the boot but other corporations as well.

Two further bits of recent news on this topic.

First, the Fifth Circuit Court has upheld a Texas law that says that any social media platform with over 50 million subscribers may not indulge in censorship people outside of some narrowly defined limits. So no more bullshit about claiming that you’ve “violated the terms of the contract” with the likes of Facebook. The law as stymied by an injunction from a lower court but Circuit court booted that and got stuck into the self-contradiction that lies at the heart of section 230:

Section 230 undercuts both of the Platforms’ arguments for holding that their censorship of users is protected speech. Recall that they rely on two key arguments: first, they suggest the user-submitted content they host is their speech; and second, they argue they are publishers akin to a newspaper. Section 230, however, instructs courts not to treat the Platforms as “the publisher or speaker” of the user-submitted content they host. Id. § 230(c)(1). And those are the exact two categories the Platforms invoke to support their First Amendment argument. So if § 230(c)(1) is constitutional, how can a court recognize the Platforms as First-Amendment-protected speakers or publishers of the content they host?

I’m sure this is headed for the Supreme Court with appeals, but at this stage I’d say it’s a race to see whether Congress or the Court kills section 230 first.

Second is this, PayPal, Venmo, and Google Cut off Group Fighting to Protect Children From Groomers:

Gays Against Groomers are “a coalition of gays against the sexualization, indoctrination, and medicalization of children,” as they describe themselves in their Twitter profile. Now, one would think that most Americans would be supportive of fighting against the sexualization and indoctrination of children.

But fighting against such things now appears to be against the liberal narrative.

The group announced that they had been banned from Venmo and Paypal because they supposedly violated their user agreements. This can largely cut them off from the ability to financially operate.

You can watch one of the founders of Gays Against Groomers being interviewed here by Tucker Carlson (and boy I’ll bet that burns a lot of the Left).

Freudian slip

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If Elon Musk’s purchase of 9.2% of Twitter caused Leftie heads to explode, his bid to buy the whole thing has resulted in a complete meltdown over the last week.

The following is a classic example of this because, even though the delivery is calm on the surface, the message is apocalyptic and tells you exactly what these people think they’re already doing to the public.

These responses are over the top not just because they smack of End Days thinking but also because, even with control of Twitter, Musk would be in no position to do anything about the censorship practiced by the rest of the Social Media universe, especially Google/Youtube and Facebook, where pulling advertisements to demonetise people and shadow-banning are at least as powerful weapons on the censorship front as what Twitter has.

The usual MSM hypocrisy is a hoot as well, as shown by these screen captures of the responses from Business Insider and Robert Reich (Secretary of Labour in Bill Clinton’s first term), writing for the Washington Post.

But the Musk-Twitter controversy is an insight into the MSM because a lot of journalists, perhaps all of them, rely on the platform for news and guidelines on the narrative they need to stick to, as well as putting their own stuff out there.

Hence the meltdown in the MSM over this, which is captured here by another journalist’s response.

Greenwald is as Left as it comes and he spent much of the last twenty years fighting what he saw as the GW Bush/Obama administration’s control or influence of the MSM narrative with regard to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Most of the Left were on his side because he was ripping the war mongering neo-conservatives that backed both administrations, although it was telling that many became uncomfortable when he moved straight on to Obama from Bush using the same criticisms because he felt little or nothing had changed.

Now he’s in even more hot water with “his” ideological side, despite the fact that he’s being entirely consistent in his criticism of the MSM, and now Social Media.

Even with the world of Twitter itself, as this article pointed out before Musk pulled the trigger, there are a number of big roadblocks in returning it to being the free speech platform it was a decade ago, and we know they exist because they are what changed it. The article details four steps and shows how they worked before and could work again – possibly destroying Musk in the process.

  1. Blame the platform for its users.
  2. Coordinated pressure campaigns
  3. Exodus of the Bluechecks
  4. Deplatforming

He’d have to fire most of the staff and rebuild from scratch, and I’m not sure that’s possible. Even the remaining staff could still pull stunts behind the scenes with the algorithms that throttle down the re-tweets of “disinformation”.

Also the Babylon Bee stings Twitter with this…. Nice to see Alphabet (You Tube) haven’t followed Twitter in banning Babylon Bee. Yet. My fave part with the Rorschach test:

Mandy: “Nazis…. Nazis…. Nazis….. Oh, I know that one. It’s the Indian symbol for peace. Namaste”

Written by Tom Hunter

April 18, 2022 at 11:18 am