First, we have to consider whether the response of the government on this matter is appropriate given the risk. There is undoubtedly risk that the internet can be used by pedophiles to groom children. However, the number of cases of this being reported and successfully prosecuted on is trivially small. Some would say that this means the government should still act, but when we look at various programmes that are enacted to respond to the potential for criminal behaviour, we must consider the impact to society vs the level of threat.
This time, the topic was on the content filtering practices of Facebook, Twitter and Google. Back in May there was actually a whole one day conference in Washington DC on this topic. The Judiciary Committee would have been a lot better served attending that than holding this hearing.
Indeed, a thorough analysis of the data back in March by Nieman Labs and Newswhip found that conservative-leaning sites get much, much, much more engagement on Facebook than liberal-leaning sites.
But, never let facts get in the way of a narrative. Since that seems to be the way many hyperpartisan sites at either end of the spectrum deal with these things, Congress is helping out. The only bit of sanity, perhaps bizarrely, came from Rep.
Ted Lieu, who reminded everyone of the importance of free markets, free speech and the fact that private platforms get to decide how they manage their own services. His comments come at about 2 hours and 10 minutes into the video: The only thing worse than an Alex Jones video is the government trying to tell Google He then went on to ask questions "so the American public understands what a dumb hearing this is.
Specifically he asked the companies if they were private companies aiming to maximize profits for shareholders. He followed up with this: I noticed all of you talked about your own internal rules.
You all get to come up with your own rules.
But not because government tells you what to do. Or because government says you have to rule this way or that way. And the whole notion that somehow we should be interfering with these platforms from a legislative, governmental point of view is an anathema to the First Amendment. Instead, there was a ton of pure nonsense spewed from the Republicans at the hearing.
Steve King, who has made quite a name for himself saying and repeating bigoted nonsense. Starting at about an hour and five minutes in the video, King seemed particularly concerned about traffic to Gateway Pundit, a site famous for trafficking in utter nonsense. Could you render an explanation to that?
How the hell is it of any concern to Congress whatsoever the traffic a single site gets? And, as we were just discussing recently, traffic to lots of news sites from Facebook has dropped massively as Facebook has de-prioritized news.
Perhaps because Gateway Pundit publishes the kind of nonsense King supports and Slate points out that King is a bigot? To protect news sites from having Congress play favorites? A Democrat is praising the free market, profits and free speech, and a Republican is advocating for limiting free speech and in favor of turning some of the most successful US companies into public utilities?
What is even going on here? Around an hour and 18 minutes, we get our old friend Rep. Louis Gohmert, who has a fairly long and extensive history of making the dumbest statements possible concerning technology issues.
And he lived down to his usual reputation in this hearing as well.There’s a difference between trying to negotiate on T-bills, which is ridiculous and unworkable, and prosecuting women who get abortions/encouraging reprisals against innocent civilians/censoring communications/using the courts to beat down your opponents, most of which have been hugely effective tactics for establishing political control at one point or other.
Radio legend Michael Savage revealed to his audience Friday that ‘very important people,’ have approached him to run against Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). After being taken down twice by Blogger within a single week, we got the message: It’s Time To Go.
Gates of Vienna has moved to a new address. Every year, FIRE chooses the 10 worst colleges for free speech — and unfortunately, this year left us with plenty of options. Internet censorship is the control or suppression of what can be accessed, published, or viewed on the Internet enacted by regulators, or on their own initiative.
Individuals and organizations may engage in self-censorship for moral, religious, or business reasons, to conform to societal norms, due to intimidation, or out of fear of legal or other consequences.
The right-wing scramble to lie about Beverly Young Nelson. Breitbart and Fox News seize an opportunity to dishonestly undermine the sexual assault reports against Roy Moore.