Most of us have long ago said that we believe that Facebook and Twitter (and other Social Media platforms) have the “right” to ban whomever they please, because, “it’s not a First Amendment issue.” In fact, even Trump’s legal team seems to agree with this position.
But solely for the purpose of careful consideration of the ENTIRE issue, let us consider a few things that haven’t gotten much discussion, at least as far as I can find.
Now, again, let us be clear, the Platforms themselves are not the government. I believe that we all agree that given that circumstance, they are free to allow or disallow participation as they see fit. So, banning Alex Jones or Louis Farrakhan or shadow banning Devin’s Cow might be a bad business plan and result in customer blowback, but it is allowable. Whether or not they should do it is another matter.
But… let us consider some things here:
USC §47 section 230 is a law, passed by Congress which exempts Social Media and Web Sites from being held liable for the end user comments (speech).
Two leading Congress Members* (and One Cow**) have recently publically declared that if the platforms will not eliminate speech which they find objectionable they will push for the Congress to pass a law which will repeal section 230 of USC §47, thus removing the exemption for Facebook, Twitter, and other web platforms which allow users to participate in the form of comments and/or posts, and making them responsible for the potential fallout from such comments and/or posts.
Did you hear what I said? Congress shall pass a law which causes the free speech of commenter’s to be “chilled” by punishing the platforms which allow it for whatever the commenters may say or presumably do.
How is that NOT a 1st Amendment issue?
WARNING: Adult Language Show – if you are offended by bad words, DO NOT listen to this episode of The Dave Bowman Show
So… fair warning. There is a great deal of adult (read that as “sailor”) language in this episode. I mean, it’s not gratuitous or anything, it’s just necessary to illustrate a point or two. If that offends you, well… to paraphrase George Carlin, there are two buttons on your MP3 player. Use them and keep your complaints to yourself.
It’s been a stressful week. Some days it’s had to concentrate on the issues we talk about because life intervenes. but… we were able to make the best arrangements we could yesterday and will finalize them today. So hopefully things will be a little calmer over the next few weeks.
I’m fascinated by the mentality behind censorship. It doesn’t really matter who is doing it, I always find myself wondering why they feel the need to make other people shut up? I get the control aspect of it. at the root of it all is, of course, controlling people by controlling what they can and cannot say. And, if Orwell is to be believed, what they even think. Or at least admit that they think.
So when Mark Zuckerberg sits in front of Congress and “asks” to be regulated, I get that he doesn’t get it. At the end of the day, why would he?
But when so-called “Leaders” agree with him, we are left to ponder where the whole thing went wrong. When the very people who have sworn to uphold and defend our rights don’t, with what options are we left?
Sixty-six years ago, a man died.
“Big deal,” you say. Lots of people died this day sixty-six years ago. In fact, thousands of people died that day. But only one death inspired both sheer terror and great rejoicing. And it started an entire industry of undoing what he had spent his seventy-four years doing. Which was mostly killing other people.
Also, a look at a practical application of why Gamble v US matters beyond the Paul Manafort is about to unfold in front of our very eyes…
And following up on the last show, the problem with Facebook and Social Media, in general, is that it is a binary set, a black or white solution. And as an old friend used to insist to me, the world is made up of infinite shades of gray. In the world of Social Media, though, it’s either Like or Dislike.