May 4, 2019

"When you strike at a king, you must kill him," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, famously.

I think Emerson was talking to Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., and Holmes was attacking Plato, hence the riposte. The physical attack was metaphorical. Holmes and Emerson were jousting in the world of words, and Emerson got off a bon mot for the ages.

I'm talking about that this morning because James Woods got kicked off Twitter:
James Woods, one of the few conservative stars in Hollywood, has been locked out of his Twitter account for over a week now for “abusive behavior,” once again demonstrating the double standard the tech giant holds when it comes to enforcing rules.

Twitter suspended Woods for a tweet that read, “‘If you try to kill the King, you best not miss’ #HangThemAll,” according to his girlfriend Sara Miller....

The tweet was apparently in reference to the Mueller report, which found no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. The quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson and has been used in various forms in movies and TV shows like The Wire....
"You best not miss" is the form of words used on "The Wire" (video here), and on "The Wire" the physical attack is not metaphorical, but with a real gun with bullets. But Woods was using the physical attack metaphorically. The idea — which deserves to be expressed — is — I think — that there was a coup attempt on Trump and it didn't work, therefore those who attempted it are in desperate trouble.

This isn't a true threat, just rough political discourse. It's not much like Emerson, because Emerson was speaking in a context where it was clear that only ideas were at stake. Holmes couldn't physically threaten the long-dead Plato. I think it's also clear that Woods was talking about political power and legal troubles, though the legal troubles are bad enough that they could lead to a physical impact on a human being — that is, a prison term. But there is a problem with Twitter's clipped language and vast dissemination. Among the thousands or millions of readers of a post like "If you try to kill the King, you best not miss’ #HangThemAll" are confused, paranoid, angry people who might hear a message to go out and kill somebody.

I'm checking the #HangThemAll at Twitter, and I see this:

Yes, and that's the problem. Twitter needs to apply its standard from a neutral viewpoint.

95 comments:

etbass said...

Something Barr needs to do is kick the anti-trust division of DOJ in the derrière. We need these mega giant firms like Face book, Twitter and Google, who hold so much power, to be broken down so they can have meaningful competition.

etbass said...

They have congress paid off so there is no outcry from that quarter.

Heartless Aztec said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RNB said...

Did anyone ever do a Photoshop of Kathy Griffith holding up her own bloodied head? 'Cause that's essentially what she did.

Drago said...

"Yes, and that's the problem. Twitter needs to apply its standard from a neutral viewpoint."

That's an adorably quaint sentiment with zero probability of occurring and in fact this is all simply a test run for 2020 where any and all conservatives will be pushed off these platforms in time fror a dem/LLR win and return of dems to power.

All these "mistakes" run in one ditection only, thus, they are not mistakes. They represent policy.

exhelodrvr1 said...

They know they can't be neutral, because if they are, politically they will lose bigly! The fact is that the country is inherently moderate/conservative, NOT moderate/liberal, like the media and academia want us to believe. So they have to skew the education and news significantly left, to combat that.

Heartless Aztec said...

Time for the President to channel his inner Teddy Roosevelt in that unique Queensian way he has.

tim in vermont said...

What would be the point of controlling Twitter if you were restricted to a neutral viewpoint?

I could support “Net Neutrality” if it were applied to Google, Twitter, FB, etc. Except it would be enforced just like election law. You know, using the FEC to ban a film critical of Democrats and yet Hollywood can make movies like “Vice” all day long.

Ann Althouse said...

@etbass

No. That's a cure worse than the disease. It would vault Twitter into the position of victim of government suppression, and it would take years and blunt the immediacy and fervor of the public outcry that is happening right now.

The proper approach is to directly criticize and pressure Twitter to uphold free speech values.

tim in vermont said...

I wouldn’t go so far as to say the probability is “zero,” but infinitely unlikely is pretty much true.

tim in vermont said...

he proper approach is to directly criticize and pressure Twitter to uphold free speech values.

They don’t care about free speech. You have to believe what they say because they are what they say they are.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin said...

The proper approach is to directly criticize and pressure Twitter to uphold free speech values.

Freedom of the 21st century press!

Time to remind people that's the printing press, not a small number of carefully-chosen people with press passes.

tim in vermont said...

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1124447302544965634

Just words, so far.

n.n said...

Didn't Twitter influence the viability of a competing platform?

#TwitterBitterBigot #HateLovesAbortion

dbp said...

Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube are for all intents, monopolies. I don't think they should be broken-up but they should be regulated in something like the way utilities are governed. The water company, cable, gas, etc. cannot refuse to provide services to any customer who pays.

I would recommend the FTC or the FCC monitor and fine these companies if they fail to uphold a neutral standard--they can set whatever standard they want, but it must be viewpoint neutral.

David Begley said...

This censoring and boycotting stuff has got to stop.

grackle said...

Yes, and that's the problem. Twitter needs to apply its standard from a neutral viewpoint.

I’m not sure the villains that run Twitter (or Facebook) would actually be able to intellectually comprehend what a “neutral viewpoint” would be. From the top down they’ve all been brainwashed by mindless Lefty professors rampant in our institutions of higher education. But dream on, dear hostess.

dbp said...

I would go further:

You could circumvent utilities. You can have a water-well installed, you could install an electric generator or put in solar with battery back-up, you could switch from gas to propane and have it delivered. And yet, if utilities tried to ban people for their political views, the government would come down on them like a sledge hammer.

Even a famous millionaire like James Woods can't circumvent Twitter or Facebook. 1. They have a network, everybody is already over there and so even if he created a new platform, nobody would know about it or find it. 2. You can't copy a platform because the first movers have IP estates which prevent replication of their concept.

tim in vermont said...

Chris Hayes is claiming on Twitter that companies were sandbagging during the Obama years because they didn’t want Obama to get credit for a good economy.

Isn’t that the kind of stuff that should get somebody banned under their own rules? If we can force them somehow to live by their own rules, they will be neutered soon enough. It’s hard though when they are in such complete control of the press.

Clayton Hennesey said...

Once the Supreme Court determines that under CDA 230 all of these clearly editorializing oligopolies are really nothing more than a few more ordinary publishers with yummy-deep pockets this historical house of cards will finally collapse.

Black Bellamy said...

Twitter is a miasmatic vortex of shit, and has succeeded in turning 50% of the blogosphere into a sad version of Kramer's "take on marriage" routine. How was your day? Well Jack Dorsey censored me, how was your day?



tim in vermont said...

Rachael Maddow claimed that Putin was running the country through Donald Trump.

Eleanor said...

Did the censors at Twitter not recognize what Woods wrote was a reference to Emerson? I mean Emerson is a dead white guy, and maybe he's been pushed out of the curriculum for the kids who make decisions at places like Twitter, Facebook, and Google. It's not just statues that are being torn down.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The head of twitter is a radical leftist.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Twitter totalitarians sit and watch and wait for anyone not properly leftwing to say something out of line.

That's what radial totalitarian speech police do.

madAsHell said...

Doesn't Net Neutrality become a factor here as well??

Asking for a friend.

John henry said...

Gab.com
Mastodon.com

Twitter alternatives


Myspace.com
Orkut.com

Facebook alternatives


Vimeo.com

YouTube alternative

Duckduckgo.com
Bing.com

Alternatives to Google

John Henry

tim in vermont said...

Net Neutrality was about giving these guys a way to keep pumping more and more content through networks they didn’t build for their personal profit and denying the networks recourse. It’s like one day they realized that they have built their unimaginable wealth on an infrastructure they didn’t own or control.

Look at how YouTube keeps pumping the videos at you. Netflix does the same. The ads keep flowing through, video ads, eating up network bandwidth.

So they dialed up Obama and told him “You remember that I said that one day, and that day may never come, I may come to you for a favor..."

Gahrie said...

The proper approach is to directly criticize and pressure Twitter to uphold free speech values.

How? Twitter has banned you, Facebook has probably banned you and the legacy MSM will ignore you if you are on the Right. So where do you criticize and how do you pressure?

tim in vermont said...

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...
Twitter totalitarians sit and watch and wait for anyone not properly leftwing to say something out of line.

That's what radial totalitarian speech police do


There was a thing where half of East Germany was spying on the other half. There is a deep pool of volunteers for that job among the ironically named, ironically to the point of sarcastically named ‘liberals.'

Temujin said...

Twitter just needs to go away. I've managed to live without it or Facebook for years. I'm still here.

Google? That's another problem entirely.

tim in vermont said...

So where do you criticize and how do you pressure?

Easy, just never say anything publicly that they disagree with, then you can say anything you want! Eazy peezy!

tim in vermont said...

Just kidding about the Godfather quote, they never said “and that day may never come."

rhhardin said...

I don't see how twitter isn't a publisher who can be sued for libel, once they put in viewpoint selection.

No longer a bulletin board exemption.

John henry said...

I wonder how many of the complainers about Google here still use it as their primary search engine?

If you are using it, you have no right, none whatsoever, to complain about anything it does.

I stopped using Google for search about 20 years ago when I realized it was not my friend. I found Privatlee worked every bit as well. A few years ago it got funky and stopped working well so I switched to DuckDuckGo and Bing.

They work every bit as well as Google for search.

I don't even have Google as an alternative search engine having removed it completely from my devices. About once a month I will try Google cause I can't find something on DDG/Bing.

Every once in a while I will find what I am looking for. Most of the time if I can't find it with DDG/Bing, I can't find it with Google either.

Don't complain about Google and then use it.

Plenty of alternatives to GMail too. Free ones but, you should really pay $10/month and get your own domain and emails. Godaddy or Wix will give you 10-20 email addresses, enough for the whole family, at yourname.com for that.

Email lists are far better than Facebook anyway and are private with no advertising.

It ain't rocket science folks. If you don't like these services, don't complain about them, just don't use them.

If you use them, STFU.

John Henry

rhhardin said...

When you argue with a social media censor, you're arguing with a teenager.

hawkeyedjb said...

Twitter does have standards, and it adheres to them pretty well, with one exception. Twitter is a lefty platform, designed and operated to keep conservatives out of its discussions. The big exception is president Trump. But you know there is a Twitter censor assigned to monitor Trump's every word, and the Twitterati are just itching, itching for the day they can ban him for violating their "standards."

Michael K said...

The only thing I have not found Duck DuckGo to do is maps. It always defaults to Googler maps.

Not much politics in maps, though.

I use Gmail for junk mail.

Michael K said...

I have always thought that quote was from "The Prince" and I see Jonah Goldberg invited quotes one time.

1- The oldest variation that I know of comes from Alessandro Farnese, Duke

of Parma and Piacenza (1545–1592), attributed with saying, “He who draws his

sword against the prince needs to throw away his scabbard.”

Matt Sablan said...

The idea Twitter adheres to its standards in an even hansws way is laughable. I've seen threats against people go unmoderated while "learn to code" led to mass bannings.

Matt Sablan said...

By the way. Lets just call people Far Right and let the neutral arbiters suddenly deplatform them even though they're saying the same things they did when they were in the left's good graces.

mockturtle said...

Metaphorical speech is lost on the credentialed, but remarkably uneducated, mediaswine today. Never mind that several of Hollywood's brightest stars have called explicitly for Trump's assassination.

rhhardin said...

Killing represents change, in literature.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and that's the problem. Twitter needs to apply its standard from a neutral viewpoint.

Oh goodness gracious, you think so?

No. That's a cure worse than the disease. It would vault Twitter into the position of victim of government suppression...

Oh, no doubt the libs (and their clueless fellow travelers the conservatards and libertardians) would increase the volume of their support for de-platforming wrongthink to deafening levels if these censoring mega-corps were subjected to anti-trust scrutiny. (And they sure won't get banned for it!)

But why do you think that "directly criticizing and pressuring Twitter" is going to be more effective than subjecting them to the legitimate anti-trust actions that force them to do more than give lip-service to respecting free speech? (I see no evidence that it is effective at all, let alone more effective.)

...and it would take years and blunt the immediacy and fervor of the public outcry that is happening right now.

Oh, is their some public outrage out there that is forcing Twitter (or Facebook or Google) to respect "viewpoint neutrality"?

The proper approach is to directly criticize and pressure Twitter to uphold free speech values.

As long as most people share your quaint views about the kind of world we actually live in, Twitter, Google, etc. don't have to give a shit about free speech. And they don't.

I will happily admit to having been wrong about this if we *don't* see them them ramping up the censorship and de-platforming now through 2020, with the enthusiastic help of the financial services industry. But I don't think that's the way to bet. Enjoying our freedom to directly criticize and pressure Twitter via mimeographed sheets stuffed under windshield wipers is the less improbable scenario.

Anonymous said...

I know you're a fan, but you shouldn't front page that image without giving readers an opt out...

Ugly, ugly, ugly.
Consumption should be optional.
(You went looking for it. We didn't.)

John henry said...

Andrew Breitbart famously said: "Fuck you. War"

Instagram and others just banned a bunch of conservatives and made a big public noise about it.

One of the banned "conservatives" is Louis Farrakan.

Anyone posting videos of the banned folks is likely to be banned as well, according to Instagram.

Rapper Snoop Dogg: fuck you. War.

Snoop has 32 million followers. Yesterday he made an impassioned plea for each and every one to post Farrakan videos. He said to do it as an act of outrage.

I suspect there will be millions of Farrakan videos posted.

It will be interesting to see what Instagram does.

John Henry

John henry said...

Here is something weird :

When I typed I "Fuck you." in the previous comment, the only word suggestion my Android phone gave me was "War"

Breitbart lives!

John Henry

Skookum John said...

Not much politics in maps, though.

There is in the Middle East and a few other places overseas.

And the time is not far off when any gas station owner who flies a Trump flag or expresses unpopular opinions on social media will see his business disappeared from Google, maps and all.

Fernandinande said...

Twitter needs to apply its standard from a neutral viewpoint.

No they don't.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

grackle said...

I’m not sure the villains that run Twitter (or Facebook) would actually be able to intellectually comprehend what a “neutral viewpoint” would be. From the top down they’ve all been brainwashed by mindless Lefty professors rampant in our institutions of higher education. But dream on, dear hostess.

Watch the Joe Rogan podcast with Tim Pool, Jack Dorsey and Vijaya Gadde. It's patently obvious that Dorsey and Gadde have never considered anything but their side of an argument and are shocked when Rogan sides with Pool on a few things.

Video here.

Fen said...

The proper approach is to directly criticize and pressure Twitter to uphold free speech values.

Snort.

You are working under the assumption that Twitter mods are the flip side of your coin.

Do you honestly think they give a rat's ass about free speech?

They are nothing like you. They will pervert anything in service to their cause.

They will not stop until they are dead.

But go ahead, do a post critical of Twitter. I bet Amazon gives you a call.

Kevin said...

As seen on Twitter (for now):

In the 20th Century people’s books were burned for their ideas in the West.

In the 21st Century people’s accounts are being banned on Social Media for their ideas in the West.

Just saying.

traditionalguy said...

Twitter is the enemy of the people. But what they are doing is an irritation compared with the CIA’s continuous assassination attempts on the President of the People. But God willing, it should all be over 6 years from now . And perfect sheep Pence will never have ascended to destroy it all.

Yancey Ward said...

"The proper approach is to directly criticize and pressure Twitter to uphold free speech values."

A noble sentiment, Ms. Althouse. Which platforms allow us to criticize and pressure Twitter? Which ones will we be able to rely on a year and half from now?

William said...

We all have a double standard, but some double standards are more blatant than others. It does seem to me that the censors on the left, at least in this present moment, are far more exacting, pervasive and judgmental than those on the right.

Yancey Ward said...

This is increasingly analogous to all the newsprint paper companies conspiring to not sell newsprint paper to a particular newspaper.

Google, tomorrow, using the exact same reasoning as Twitter, could ban you, Ms. Althouse- your entire site runs using their software. They already actively destroy conservative sites through their control of ad revenue. Amazon could close down your portal business on the same basis Twitter used to ban Woods, and have done so for other people.

Yancey Ward said...

Legally, rhhardin is correct here:

"I don't see how twitter isn't a publisher who can be sued for libel, once they put in viewpoint selection.

No longer a bulletin board exemption."


Exactly right. If you are going to editorialize by censoring, you are now responsible for what the users publish. I think conservative organizations should start suing for libel on multiple fronts- there is definitely a lot of material to use for this.

Wince said...

The San Franciscans who designed the Grateful Dead logo must have seen the future of their congressional delegation 54 years later.

Two skull-based logos that hold up include the red, white and blue lightning bolt and the rose... The Rose was the artistic work of Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley. The duality of virgin floral beauty and the cult of death was of a piece with the message of a band known for saying, "a friend of the devil is a friend of mine."

In 1965, Mouse travelled to San Francisco, California with a group of art school friends... Mouse and Kelley also worked together as lead artists at Mouse Studios and The Monster Company - producing album cover art for the bands Journey and Grateful Dead.

Yancey Ward said...

"When I typed I "Fuck you." in the previous comment, the only word suggestion my Android phone gave me was "War"

Breitbart lives!"


Not really. Your phone remembers how you usually finish the phrase.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Trump looks better in that picture than she does! She looks like a tranny from Mauthausen.

Fen said...

It's a simple equation.

One side is willing to do anything, including violence, to quell free speech.

The other is not.

Do we really need to open a history book to know how this plays out?


"I think conservative organizations should start suing for libel on multiple fronts- there is definitely a lot of material to use for this."

Not this hill. Might set a bad precedent. ;)

Drago said...

Althouse, perhaps THIS is the hill upon which you should fight to the bitter end.

If you were to choose to do that, how might you go about it? Would you seek a bigger multi-media platform from which to fight?

If so, there would be no shortage of shows and other website/blogs that would have you.

Needless to say, if you were to cross that Rubicon there would be no coming back.

Ever.

It is a new "Time For Choosing".

Fen said...

"The proper approach is to directly criticize and pressure Twitter to uphold free speech values."

I often wonder if people say things like this just to feel pretty. "Look at me! I'm so principled and dignified". It costs them nothing, they preen and good Americans are silenced.

eddie willers said...

"Will no one rid me of this meddlesome tweet?"

buwaya said...

Just one aspect of where all your institutions are.
Twitter is no different from your F1000, most NGOs, all your government bureaucracies.
All corrupt, all ideologically directed, all run by the same caste with the same ideas and closely linked interests.

And all of them conspire against threats to them, which are dissidents represebting the other American caste.

You aren't going to fix this without removing a few millions of your leadership caste.

Yes it is an apocalyptic vision.

Yancey Ward said...

I am not quite as apocalyptic as buwaya, but here is a thing I think the Dorsey's and Zuckerbergs of the world need to understand- when broadly silence political speech, it leads to the censors getting assassinated. Censors paint targets on their backs, but they don't fully understand this the way politicians do.

walter said...

But..but..Jack Dorsey is such a soft spoken man. He will calmly tell you they're not perfect, but they are always working to improve things.

Jim at said...

Hanging's too good for 'em.

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...
@etbass

No. That's a cure worse than the disease. It would vault Twitter into the position of victim of government suppression, and it would take years and blunt the immediacy and fervor of the public outcry that is happening right now.

The proper approach is to directly criticize and pressure Twitter to uphold free speech values.


The problem with Twitter, Facebook and Google isn't that they have single monopolies. It is that they are abusively anti-competitive.

Google is constantly copying start-up API's and releasing free versions putting numerous companies out of business.

Google makes the Chrome web browser and releases a huge number of tools and apps like Pandora which magically fail on the Edge or Firefox browsers.

Facebook bought Instagram and basically copied snap-chat and is using their reach of the Facebook platform to drive snap-chat out of business.

Google needs to be broken up into at least a dozen different companies. Search Engine and Browser and Android need to be separated at a minimum.

Gospace said...

IMHO, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other company that hosts a "universal platform" they want everyone to use should be prohibited from censoring- period. The owners of such are perfectly free to monitor any content, including content on the"private" or "secret" groups, and inform proper authorities of any suspected unlawful content. As a user, I am perfectly able to block any other user. I'm not forced to interact with anyone. But unless a way can be engineered so that let's say, I can post on MeWe and my Facebook friends can seamlessly see it- there's only room for one platform occupying any particular ecological niche of the internet. It's like phone service, once there was Ma Bell, with a scattering of small local telcos for local service. One of them provides my DSL.... Long distance was Bell. Then- competition in long distance. SBS, which I signed up for. But they all had to integrate seamlessly with Ma Bell and local telcos. Then cell service- which had to integrate seamlessly with copper wire. And now no one talks anyway. They text. But until there's seamless access from one social platform to another, there's only room for one. And they shouldn't be able to censor any more than the phone companies.

Sebastian said...

@Althouse & Angle:

"The proper approach is to directly criticize and pressure Twitter to uphold free speech values.

As long as most people share your quaint views about the kind of world we actually live in, Twitter, Google, etc. don't have to give a shit about free speech. And they don't."

This.

By now, Althouse is well aware of prog misbehavior. Many of her deplorable commentators have given their cynical take. Yet we keep getting this old-liberal it's-so-sad, we-must-pressure handwringing. Would would it take for Althouse to acknowledge that we are up against forces that despise her quaint views, that aim to destroy the culture she values? That, therefore, the "proper approach" is bound to fail?

rehajm said...

The asymmetry is what's outrageous.

walter said...

Social media litigation is a hot legal battleground

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

Facebook is obviously racist. Their banning has a disparate impact.

rcocean said...

Conservatives should be outraged and going after Twitter. But of course they aren't because they zero team spirit. So, they get picked off, one by one.

rcocean said...

I thought the "strike the king" was from Shakespeare or some old timey writer like Marlowe. Amazing it was from Emerson. I've constantly tried to read Emerson and constantly fail. I couldn't even get through "The Portable Emerson". Whatever he's selling, I'm not buying.

narciso said...

I thought it was of older provenance as well:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6989757/How-Facebook-allowing-anti-Christian-extremists-peddle-hate-despite-crackdown.html

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

"The proper approach is to directly criticize and pressure Twitter to uphold free speech values.
please bring your most elegant flatware to the gunfight

Big Mike said...

Yes, and that's the problem. Twitter needs to apply its standard from a neutral viewpoint.

No, Althouse. The REAL problem is that the people from Twitter believe that they already are applying their standards from a value neutral viewpoint.

Big Mike said...

...Until you fix that, you have no way to fix anything.

Yancey Ward said...

Sebastian asked:

"What would it take for Althouse to acknowledge that we are up against forces that despise her quaint views, that aim to destroy the culture she values? That, therefore, the "proper approach" is bound to fail?"

I think she will eventually find herself on the receiving end of the censorship. At some point, given her trajectory, she is going to find herself in the same position as Camille Paglia, to give a recent example. At that point, Althouse will get a notice from Amazon or Google that her site is not longer able to benefit from ads or kickbacks from purchases. It is only a matter of time.

walter said...

Media and Tech Censorship Exposed (James O’Keefe Pt 1)

Rick Caird said...

One ask to ask: "What are these community standards. Who set them up. Who exactly enforces them, Why is there no appeal. Why is there no explanation. Why do these idiots have such a poor education they have no idea or recent history and English literature."

rcocean said...

The obvious solution is to ban discrimination based on political beliefs. We already do that with Religion.

John henry said...

Blogger dbp said...

Even a famous millionaire like James Woods can't circumvent Twitter or Facebook. 1. They have a network, everybody is already over there and so even if he created a new platform, nobody would know about it or find it.

That is true but one needs to be pro-active about it.

Tim Pool, who moderated the Rogan/Dorsey conversation, does a 10 minute daily YouTube show. I listen the the audio, podcast, version, most days.

Tim has had problems with YouTube demonetizing some of his videos and he has to self-censor to keep from getting banned altogether. I talked recently about how he felt scared to even discuss the PewDiePie subscribe story for fear of pissing off YouTube.

He has a shadow channel at a site called minds.com and mentions at the start of each podcast that fans should follow him there too in case he does get banned.

What Woods, SnoopDog, Presient Trump and everyone else on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so on need to be doing is setting up shadow sites on other platforms and encouraging followers to sign up as well. They need to be announcing publicly and often "Hey, if I disappear from Twitter (et al) you can find me at minds.com/timcast" (or JWood etc)

That way, when they do get banned, their followers can move with them.

I DO NOT want to see the government do anything to any of these platforms. I do not see any anti-trust issue. I see stupid people who continue to use these platforms with no plan of what they will do if they fall foul and get banned.

There are alternatives. Use them. And, before you get banned, tell everyone you are using them and where to find you.

I would not mind seeing President Trump set up an account on Mastodon or Gab and cross post everything he posts on Twitter to them.

I would not mind seeing President Trump reminding people about Bing, DDG, Orkut, Myspace, Vimeo and all the other alternative channels.

He could put a serious hurting on them by making Bing the official govt search engine. Brave, Dragon, Firefox or another browser the official govt browser.

Official in the sense that all govt govt computers use these instead of Google and Chrome.

No Anti-Trust actions needed.

John Henry

John henry said...

Scott Adams on his podcast yesterday had an interesting thought. Suppose China set up a Twitter lookalike and promised no censorship at all at least for IP addresses in the US.

That might compete well with Twitter especially if they could get some of these folks with megamillions of followers to move there.

Would that fall afoul of US election laws?

After listening, I recalled that there already is a Chinese Twitter called Weibo https://weibo.cn/pub/

I just went and had a look and, alas, it is all in Chinese.

John Henry

John henry said...

I signed up for Mastodon a couple years ago when it came online and, other than poking around for an hour or so, never did anything with it.

Thomas Wictor, and a couple of other folks at quodverum.com have taken to using it after having been banned from Twitter and I've been following some of their discussions on it. https://social.quodverum.com/web/getting-started

Seems much like Twitter (I don't use Twitter hardly at all)

One of the neat things about Mastodon is that it is not a single network like Twitter or Gab. Rather it is a series of individual, independent, servers linked together. You can get thrown off one server and it does not affect access to any other server.

Someone more network savvy than me can probably explain it better. I just like the idea of non-centralized, but still federated, control.

John Henry

John henry said...

Blogger Yancey Ward said...

This is increasingly analogous to all the newsprint paper companies conspiring to not sell newsprint paper to a particular newspaper.

That actually happened in the US during WWII. The govt couldn't censor newspapers, though they sure did try. That pesky 1st Amendment kept getting in the way.

So they came up with the idea of rationing newsprint. Print stories we like and you can have all you want.

Print stories we don't like and you might have problems getting paper. "Sorry about the rationing and the shortages. There's a war on, dontcha know."

Not just newspapers but books and magazines as well.

I don't think it is a good analogy though, Yancey. If the bandwidth itself were being rationed, by the govt, it would be close.

John Henry

John henry said...

Blogger Achilles said...

Google needs to be broken up into at least a dozen different companies. Search Engine and Browser and Android need to be separated at a minimum.

So Achilles, do you use Google for search?

Try Bing or Duck Duck Go

Achilles, do you use the Chrome browser? If you REALLY like Chrome, Comodo Dragon works exactly the same except that it does not tell Google what you are up to. https://www.comodo.com

I mainly use FireFox which I migrated to originally from Netscape. I do use Dragon when programming productivity monitors that I sell. But the only reason for that is that the monitor's PDF files don't print right from Firefox.

Otherwise I use FireFox about 95% of the time.

I've tried Brave and it is OK but still needs some work.

Also Opera, Dolphin, Explorer, Edge and some others. I keep coming back to Firefox.

John Henry

John henry said...

A legal question for the lawyers here:

Use of Twitter, Facebook and the other platforms we are discussing is free to the end user.

If Twitter mistreats me, say by banning, do I have any standing to take legal action since I am not a "customer" in the legal sense of not having paid anything of value?

John Henry

MikeR said...

The original quote (paraphrased from Italian, of course) is by Machiavelli.

Gospace said...

John henry said...
A legal question for the lawyers here:

Use of Twitter, Facebook and the other platforms we are discussing is free to the end user.

If Twitter mistreats me, say by banning, do I have any standing to take legal action since I am not a "customer" in the legal sense of not having paid anything of value?


You're not the customer in any sense- you're the product, and you're providing yourself for free. I have no idea how Twitter makes money. Facebook sells advertising.

Hey Skipper said...

I am not a lawyer ... so, with that out of the way:

1. Declare Farcebook, Twatter, et al are public accomodations; therefore,

2. They are prohibited from censoring legal speech (as defined by SCOTUS precedents).

(I use Safari and DuckDuckGo)

sdharms said...

"twitter needs to apply its standard from a neutral viewpoint" C'mon Ann. Do you really think this is about applying a standard?