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Sen J Hawley introduces’Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act

Posted by  $  Dobrien 1 month ago to Legislation
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With Section 230, tech companies get a sweetheart deal that no other industry enjoys: complete exemption from traditional publisher liability in exchange for providing a forum free of political censorship,” said Senator Hawley. “Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, big tech has failed to hold up its end of the bargain.

“There’s a growing list of evidence that shows big tech companies making editorial decisions to censor viewpoints they disagree with. Even worse, the entire process is shrouded in secrecy because these companies refuse to make their protocols public. This legislation simply states that if the tech giants want to keep their government-granted immunity, they must bring transparency and accountability to their editorial processes and prove that they don’t discriminate.”
SOURCE URL: https://www.hawley.senate.gov/senator-hawley-introduces-legislation-amend-section-230-immunity-big-tech-companies


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    Posted by  $  blarman 1 month ago
    To me, private companies should maintain a right to either act as an open platform and not be held liable for the content OR act as an edited content board and be open to liability claims for their content. Right now, they're trying to both edit the content AND claim immunity from liability claims. That's the part that doesn't sit well with me.
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    • -1
      Posted by ewv 1 month ago
      The companies do not "edit content". They do not allow content that is contrary to guidelines. When content violates the guidelines it is removed, not edited. That is not an excuse to sue them. One can argue that there may or may not be too much limitation on liability, but that is not a freedom of speech issue and is unrelated to the desires of populist demagogues to control the companies by limiting their freedom of speech. They are trying to bludgeon companies into submission by threatening controls and law suits. Making companies legally liable for what others write would force the companies to remove more content to protect themselves.
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    • -2
      Posted by PeterSmith 1 month ago
      Edited content boards are still not liable for what gets posted on them. That will not make them publishers.
      In any case, it doesn't matter.
      You don't get to decide what these businesses are because you disagree with them politically and want to punish them for this using the state.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 1 month ago
    I don't approve of government-created monopolies (such as public utilities); neither do I see why the owners of companies don't have the same First Amendment rights as anyone else. A private-enterprise newspaper has the right to decide what opinions it will and will not publish, doesn't it? So why shouldn't the same thing apply to companies on the Internet?
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    • Posted by  $  blarman 1 month ago
      See my comment above. With any Right comes a responsibility not to misuse it. And your right to express your own opinion doesn't extend to suppressing it in others.
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      • Posted by Lucky 1 month ago
        Yes this has poetic appeal, (4 votes). but it is wrong.
        Rights do not have limitations like that.
        Rights are not subject to opinions on responsibility not to misuse.

        P owns a forum. Q wants to put up ideas. P says, not on my forum.
        If Q brings in government then this is an attack on the rights of P.
        Q can go to another forum or start his own.
        Now, if the regressives, leftists, conservatives etc get a regulator to protect Q by forcing P to allow Q's ideas, subject to no-hate-speech and blah-blah, you may be satisfied.
        You will have opened a barrel of snakes.

        Here it is:
        "A right does not include the material implementation of that right by other men; it includes only the freedom to earn that implementation by one's own effort" Ayn Rand
        Translation into this context-
        Q has a right to free speech. (Even when wrong and irresponsible).
        Q has no right to force P to put those ideas on P's website. (P - the same)
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        • Posted by  $  jbrenner 4 weeks, 1 day ago
          The error in your argument is that P has paid the regressives to get regulators to protect P, the owner of such a forum. When P can use a government to effectively eliminate its competition, one does not have the proper "freedom to earn that implementation by one's own effort" that Ayn Rand discusses.
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          • Posted by Lucky 4 weeks, 1 day ago
            Good point. Such protection of them is bad for the property rights of others who may want to get in.
            Too many contributors here allow their distaste of big tech to advocate for more regulations. This would only strengthen the existing players and make it even harder for newcomers.
            Existing bigtechs would welcome more restrictions, they can cope, actually it will make life easier for them. Anyone who thinks that regulators would control the existing corporates and be fair, is naive.
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            • Posted by  $  jbrenner 4 weeks, 1 day ago
              In fact, big techs are pushing for more restrictions to create an even bigger barrier to entry for competitors.

              The Internet is one of the few positive outcomes from the Stadlers of the world. That is one of the most challenging issues regarding the platform vs. publisher question. Yes, Google, Twitter, and Facebook are platforms, but their dependence on the Internet platform that resulted from DOD research makes it hard for the Googles of the world to create barriers to entry without further government intervention on their behalf, some of which they have already bought.
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              • Posted by PeterSmith 4 weeks, 1 day ago
                Tech companies are under assault from government.
                An assault led by conservatives, as it has been every since Orren Hatch took Microsoft away from Bill Gates in order to start shaking down the tech sector.
                Tech companies are just trying to get in front of it.
                None of this situation is the fault of the tech companies.
                It is almost entirely the fault of the conservative movement.
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        • Posted by ewv 1 month ago
          This is the same Blarman who demanded that his religious dogmas be taken seriously and respected just because he says them. The rights of private property and freedom of thought do require a "responsibility" to provide him with a platform for his oppressive dogmas and obnoxious demands.
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          • Posted by Lucky 4 weeks, 1 day ago
            Blarman- a mix like all here. He comes up with some good stuff, sometimes.
            What is important is that platform owners can provide or not according to their whims. They have no obligation to be fair, balanced, or responsible.
            Limits? Calling someone a 'pig' is permissible tho' deplorable, stating the name of an agent of your government who works in a dangerous nation is not as that info is property of the government.

            What is also permissible is for other websites, of the type of-
            Consumer reports, Product Review, Choice, Which, etc to allow comments that 'DoNoEvil' is hypocritical, biased, unfair, erratic and de-registers users without process.
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    • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 1 month ago
      They claim not to be publishers but they act like a publisher.
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      • -1
        Posted by ewv 1 month ago
        They do not act like a publisher. They provide a platform for unlimited volume with no editing or prior constraints on anyone who follows the guidelines. Those who deliberately and repeatedly violate the guidelines are not allowed to continue. Your dislike for their guidelines does not permit you to impose punitive government controls under your anti-private property oppressive statism.
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  • Posted by  $  exceller 1 month ago
    "Sen. Hawley’s legislation removes the immunity big tech companies receive under Section 230 unless they submit to an external audit that proves by clear and convincing evidence that their algorithms and content-removal practices are politically neutral. Sen. Hawley’s legislation does not apply to small and medium-sized tech companies."

    High time for it to happen. My prediction it never will. These companies contribute huge sums to Congress and it'll probably never be approved.

    Laws that protect citizens never are.
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    • Posted by  $  allosaur 1 month ago
      Big money (for a reelection campaign donation) big time talks.
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      • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 month ago
        Except for one thing: many of those politicians are going to realize that they are likely to lose elections if neither they nor their followers, down to the lowliest layperson, can get their message across.

        Big Tech made their mistake by being one-sided in their equivalent of censorship. Google, for instance, has been a globalist company since its founding. That TGIF video, from the Friday after the Election of 2016, said it all: the election of President Trump was "a kick in the gut."

        WTH good is election campaign money when, as soon as you try to spend that money on advertising, your very donor restricts you and your followers in your and their messaging?

        They are the targets! Senator Hawley knows this. And it's up to at least half of us to tell our own Representatives and Senators. And the President.

        Who, I believe, already knows. Hence his "tool" for reporting Big Tech bias.

        That "bias tool" is now closed. The President seems to feel that he has Big Tech dead-to-rights from the responses he got.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 1 month ago
    The google crowd gets a deal no one else gets...you are either a platform or a publisher...you can't have the best of both worlds...special treatment has got to go.

    Not to mention that by doing what they are doing has an adverse effect upon our knowledge of the issues, the content of character of the candidates and ultimately...our elections.
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    • -1
      Posted by ewv 1 month ago
      Not being liable for what others say is not a "special treatment deal". Your dislike of what you call "an adverse effect" on what you call your "knowledge" is not an excuse for your statist controls.
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  • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 month ago in reply to this comment.
    An excellent answer to the question--again, to paraphrase another famous performer:

    Will the real!

    Ellsworth Monckton Toohey!

    Please!

    Stand up!
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    • -1
      Posted by ewv 1 month ago
      This is a disgusting statement. Ayn Rand did not support crackpot conspiracy theories.
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      • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 month ago
        I remember her talking about fighting ideas, not fighting men. But that does not stop men from conspiring together. When evil men lose in the marketplace of ideas, they then turn to force.

        The only adversary worthy of the name in Atlas Shrugged was Floyd Ferris. And the adversary definitely worthy of the name in The Fountainhead was Ellsworth Monckton Toohey. Either man would be right at home in the higher echelons of Google, Facebook, Twitter, or Spotify.

        I repeat: I had believed that no person remains in Galt's Gulch by faking reality in any manner whatever. And that includes ignoring it.
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        • Posted by  $  exceller 1 month ago
          "The only adversary worthy of the name in Atlas Shrugged was Floyd Ferris. And the adversary definitely worthy of the name in The Fountainhead was Ellsworth Monckton Toohey. Either man would be right at home in the higher echelons of Google, Facebook, Twitter, or Spotify."

          Definitely.

          Both characters were defined to the most basic details by AR.

          Knowing it makes you shudder as you look at Dem "leadership".
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          • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 month ago
            I see what you mean. Though it's difficult to put a public face to either one. I sometimes think Nancy Pelosi would be EMT as a woman.

            Though the real leaders of the Democratic Party today are three freshwomen! AOC, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. The Triumfeminae. For if they were guys, I'd call them Trium-virs.
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            • Posted by  $  exceller 1 month ago
              The three are the most radical ones, but I would not call them leaders.

              At least not in the visible sense. The party would never admit that b/c it would be suicidal.

              Deep down, they take cues from these three, and justify their radicalism by smokescreening like Pelosi tried with Omar (thinking that people were fool enough to buy her "Omar does not understand English" crap).

              I think the Dem leadership still has its existential instinct to defeat these three if it comes to their own positions.
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              • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 month ago
                I think those three know this. That's why AOC airily hinted that she might challenge the minimum age for the Presidency.
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                • Posted by  $  Solver 1 month ago
                  I have no problem someone freezing her for say 20 or more years so she’ll be eligible.
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                  • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 month ago
                    She's not quite as young as that. In fact she'll be eligible in 2024.
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                    • Posted by  $  Solver 1 month ago
                      So? In 20 or more years this globalist postmodern based quest for unreasoning tribalism should be over.

                      Imagine how she would be looked at then?
                      She’d be like a little child in a candy factory full of candy she’s never seen before. She’d be herself.
                      :)
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                      • Posted by ewv 4 weeks, 1 day ago
                        There is no end in sight for the trend towards increasing collectivism and statism and no reason to think it will be over in any sense in 20 years. Pelosi is the least of it; she's simply riding a wave.
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                        • Posted by  $  Solver 4 weeks, 1 day ago
                          Never said it would. But before 20+ years I suspect that their current ploy will burn out and fail spectacularly. But since that also wasn’t real socialism, the intellectuals will come up with some new ploy plotting to get it right.

                          Also, this was about AOC.
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          • Posted by ewv 4 weeks, 1 day ago
            Toohey and Ferris were philosophical archetypes who, despite the problems, are not equivalent to the leaders in Google and other very successful technology companies. Branding Google as Ellsworth Toohey precludes understanding the problem and does not justify a new layer of government control over private businesses.
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            • Posted by  $  jbrenner 4 weeks, 1 day ago
              You are right, but not in the way that you think. The leaders in Google and other successful technology companies share Toohey's and Ferris' behaviors, but have the financial power of Midas Mulligan and are therefore even more dangerous to us than even Toohey or Ferris.
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              • Posted by PeterSmith 4 weeks, 1 day ago
                "You are right, but not in the way that you think. The leaders in Google and other successful technology companies share Toohey's and Ferris' behaviors"
                It's those attacking the tech industry that share the behaviors of the Toohey's and Ferris'.
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                • Posted by  $  jbrenner 4 weeks, 1 day ago
                  Some of those attacking the tech industry are indeed like Toohey and Ferris, and others have a legitimate desire for removing a governmental carve out that Google, Facebook, and Twitter are using to their full advantage.
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                  • Posted by PeterSmith 4 weeks, 1 day ago
                    Google and Facebook are not using any government anything for their advantage.
                    This is a myth concocted up by conservatives to justify their leftist assault on free speech and property rights.
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        • Posted by PeterSmith 4 weeks, 1 day ago
          "When evil men lose in the marketplace of ideas, they then turn to force."
          This is a perfect description of today's conservatives, as they turn to government in order to attack the rights of tech companies, because they've lost the battle of ideas.
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          • Posted by  $  4 weeks, 1 day ago
            Your comment would be laughable if it wasn’t so stupid.
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            • Posted by PeterSmith 4 weeks, 1 day ago
              Not on an Objectivist forum it wouldn't be.
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              • Posted by  $  4 weeks ago
                Conservatives for example want the border controlled to keep out human trafficking, diseases , drugs , criminals and looters. Conservatives idea is to create a barrier and have a vetting system .
                Your liberals want sanctuary cities. Go to hell.
                Conservatives want free speech/ you and your liberals want PC speech. Go to hell.
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                • -1
                  Posted by PeterSmith 4 weeks ago
                  I'm not a "liberal" by which you mean "progressive," I'm an Objectivist.
                  Conservatives are religious and nationalist collectivists.
                  They are basically the left of the early 20th century.
                  Conservatives want PC speech just like their secular counterparts in the progressive movement.
                  You guys are two sides of the same coin.
                  You have no business on an Objectivist blog.
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        • -4
          Posted by ewv 1 month ago
          Your crackpot "one world government" conspiracy theories are not reality and do not justify your advocacy of statism. Atlas Shrugged was not about competing conspiracies. You missed the whole point as you wrap yourself in stolen slogans. Your vague memory of her "talking about fighting ideas" is not a substitute for content as you ignore principles advocate statist controls for your populist collectivism. Ayn Rand identified the ideas she was fighting and explained why, and explicitly rejected the "evil man" theory of history, exemplified at the time by the religious conservative John Birch Society conspiracy theories.
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  • Posted by  $  Solver 1 month ago
    Don’t you know...
    It’s been said again and again...
    Companies don’t censor people, don’t censor ideas, don’t censor viewpoints!
    So everyone who says they can or do is wrong!
    /s
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    • Posted by  $  mminnick 1 month ago
      You are correct. Governments censor not companies. that being said communications companies limit access to their services based on "Rules and Standards" they set on their customers. These rules and standards limit what may be said and by whom it may be said. If a government does the same thing it is engaging in CENSORSHIP of it's people. When a company does it, it is engaging in a business practice set by its owners and stockholders and is subject to the whim of the stockholders and the government regulators.
      The results is frequently indistinguishable from censorship but it is not truly such.
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      • Posted by Lucky 1 month ago
        Yes but what is happening is not at the whim of owners,stockholders nor of government regulators.
        It seems to be the exercise of bias at executive level contrary to high flown statements- "do no evil", "stop hate speech", and meaningless supposed contracts with users.
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        • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 month ago
          The more reason to do what Senator Hawley seeks to do: give those of us on the receiving end, standing to sue. Which standing the government withdrew from us. Senator Hawley wants to rectify that fact.
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          • Posted by  $  1 month ago
            Exactly no immunity from the govt if you participate in biased censorship.
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            • -2
              Posted by ewv 1 month ago
              They are not "participating in biased censorship".
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              • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 month ago
                They are, however, availing themselves of a special privilege. They are abusing a barrier to entry from the government.

                We deal here with several companies abusing some kind of privilege to halt the spread of messages friendly to liberty. What, if not this measure, would you suggest?
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                • Posted by PeterSmith 1 month ago
                  They are not availing themselves of any special privileged.
                  You will never be able to sue tech companies for things they are not liable for.
                  This is the same for every business.
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                  • -1
                    Posted by ewv 1 month ago
                    Unfortunately what people are "liable for" is determined by law, not reason, and both individuals and companies are harassed and sued improperly all the time. By increasing this power to abuse through changes in the law, the populists will destroy the tech companies and all the benefits they have brought to us.
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                • -2
                  Posted by ewv 1 month ago
                  The companies do not have a "special privilege" with any government "barrier to entry". The high tech industry has been spectacularly successful because of lack of government interference.

                  They are not halting the spread of messages friendly to liberty. They have removed some conservative material containing outrageous accusations and conspiracy theories which have nothing to do with advocacy of principles of political liberty. Ironically it is all openly discussed on the internet using the same platforms falsely accused of "censorship".

                  Much of the observable "bias" in enforcing "guidelines" is a direct result of the current state of the dominant culture and education by the intellectuals. That is not solved by screaming for government controls and open-ended harassment by lawyers -- on top of the same populist conservative collectivists echoing century-old progressive "monopoly" demagoguery against "corporations".

                  The populist conservative demagogues doing that have the least understanding of the source of the problem and how their own collectivist statism is making the problem much worse.

                  Elsewhe re on this same page:https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...
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                  • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 month ago
                    I would encourage you to take another look at the content involved.

                    1. It goes further than Alex Jones. It goes to absolutely everything that opposes an agenda of one-world government.

                    2. Alex Jones just might be correct in some of the suspicions he entertains.

                    And what do you call that "exemption" they have, except a special privilege.

                    Now I ask you again: how do you solve the problem? How do you make sure that an alternative platform can displace Facebook and Google if they're going to continue with their bias, and the vagueries of their guidelines?

                    And before you ask for evidence, here is a source:

                    https://www.conservativenewsandviews....
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                    • -4
                      Posted by ewv 1 month ago
                      A proscription on being sued for something someone else does is not a "privilege". That confusion is bad enough; trying to demagogue it into a "standing to sue" in order to punish someone for not giving you what you want is worse. Your link to the paranoid conspiracy that Google steers search results to antisemitism and a "globalist goal of one-world government" is not "evidence" of anything but ignorance and emotionalism.

                      This isn't about a "one-world government" conspiracy and Alex Jones' hysterically sensationalist "suspicions". Please try to discuss the issue in rational terms, related at least in some way to principles and to Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged, not their opposite. Rotely 'downvoting' posts that you do not read or understand is non-responsive and not what this forum is for.
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                      • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 month ago
                        All right, here's an Ayn Rand-style theory for you:

                        Among the most prominent financiers in the world today, if not the most prominent financier in the world today, is a dead ringer for Ellsworth Monckton Toohey. I refer here to George Soros.

                        Did he not run a conspiracy?

                        Just because Atlas Shrugged projected no worthy adversaries for John Galt, on the order of Howard Roark's adversaries, does not mean that no such adversaries exist in real life.

                        The United Nations is the vehicle for one-world government. Remember who put that together? Alger Hiss. And look again at the United Nations Charter, and its "Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

                        Now have a look at what Alex Jones is charging. He charges that certain persons are carrying out false-flag pseudo-operations at "gun-free zones" with a view to convincing the people to turning in their privately owned firearms and not tolerating any who retain them.

                        And for sounding the alarm, he gets de-platformed.

                        And he is only the first.
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                      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 4 weeks, 1 day ago
                        Some conspiracy "theories" are actually true. Google pushed the Obama administration into the Arab Spring for instance. While I am not a friend of Muslim theocracies or dictatorships, the situation in North Africa is definitely worse than it was before the Google-initiated Arab Spring.
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      • Posted by  $  exceller 1 month ago
        Exactly right.

        It is a matter of semantics what it is called, the result is the same.

        We see daily that flake companies stop advertising on FOX b/c they are incensed at what Tucker said.

        What is it if not censorship? They are using monetary means to clam him up.
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      • -2
        Posted by ewv 1 month ago
        It can't be both "indistinguishable from censorship" and not "truly censorship". Freedom of speech means the right to not support or be associated with views you don't approve of, whether or not it is "whim" -- which in this case it mostly is not. It has nothing to do with censorship and is clearly "distinguishable" from it.
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        • Posted by  $  mminnick 1 month ago
          If a company limits your ability to speak your mind you may choose a different company to handle your comments or opinions. If the Government limits your ability to state your opinion it will apply regardless of where you try to get it transmitted. one is a private companies policy the other is law . there is a difference in who is limiting your speech.
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          • Posted by  $  exceller 1 month ago
            "If a company limits your ability to speak your mind you may choose a different company to handle your comments or opinions."

            In theory, yes.

            However, given the extremely biased position of the MSM, and the largest social networks such as FB, Google, etc., plus the brainwashing on campuses, plus the ever radicalized PC culture pervading everything in daily life, that statement lost validity.

            Even traditionally conservative outlets such as FOX and WSJ are so much to the left that was unimaginable two decades ago.

            Besides, the government relies on laws that enable it to censor. Laws that are very closely resemble the agenda of the left.
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            • Posted by ewv 4 weeks, 1 day ago
              The internet remains unusually free, not just "in theory". The trends in the culture threatening it are not solved by ignoring the intellectual causes and lashing out with populist demands for more government controls and harassment of industry while smearing it as "censorship".
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          • -2
            Posted by ewv 1 month ago
            Not being able to use someone else's property is not the same kind of "limitation" as a government order preventing you from using your own property or agreeing with someone else to use theirs. They are not "indistinguishable".

            Government power to censor usually does mean you can't say something anywhere, but not always. A censor may prevent you from using some kind of outlets, but not other, less public ones. Even military censorship of letters to home can't stop all verbal communication.

            But that is mostly a matter of inefficiency and the impossibility of complete totalitarianism without killing everyone. The premise of the power of censorship implies the trend towards totalitarianism. No private business can do that with its own property rights. The moral premise of private property is the opposite of statism and censorship, and so are the results.
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  • Posted by term2 1 month ago
    Let the free market punish the big companies that censor by making room for those that don’t.
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    • Posted by ewv 1 month ago
      The companies are not "censoring". They can't stop the free market you appeal to.
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      • Posted by term2 1 month ago
        To the extent they interfere with what people post, I can that censoring
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        • Posted by  $  4 weeks, 1 day ago
          They delete videos from producers , they demonitize without explaination , they takedown sites. Using AI algorithms finding key words that they consider hate speech examples would be anything that has to do with human trafficking, pizzagate or sex slavery( NXIVM ) oh yeah all were found guilty in the sex slavery trial. Not news worthy in the MSM and censored by google (you know do good... motto).
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        • Posted by ewv 1 month ago
          "Interfering" with what others do with your property is not censorship. Censorship can only by imposed by force, i.e., in this context government.
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          • Posted by term2 4 weeks, 1 day ago
            Well... they claim you can post on their site but they take off what they want. I hope people only post to sites that don’t censor

            Imagine if amazon selectively just trashed certain orders that you placed as a result of some some PC algorithm. So u wait for the product to arrive and it never does.
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  • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 month ago in reply to this comment.
    Ah, but I have that dollar sign by my name, which says I'm a Producer. That's going to make it a trifle difficult for you to get rid of me. As if it were that easy as it was, considering that you stand almost alone in giving a pass to Google, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, et al.
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    • Posted by PeterSmith 4 weeks, 1 day ago
      He's not alone, but he does seem to be one of the only ones who knows what he is talking about here.
      I'm not familiar with what you being a "producer" here signifies, but this is advertised as an Objectivist forum, which means the stuff ewv is posting should not even be controversial.
      It's the most basic stuff.
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    • Posted by ewv 1 month ago
      You can't buy truth and your snotty comments don't help. No one here is "giving a pass" to Google, which you would know if you read and comprehended what I and others have written about them in the posts you rotely 'downvote' in your emotional crusade for populist statism. You are no "producer" in your posts and paying for a membership in lieu of valuable content contribution gives you no intellectual privilege. Obnoxious paid members violating the guidelines here in the past have been removed, but not often enough. It's a matter of what the owners care to tolerate, which is not "censorship".
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  • -1
    Posted by PeterSmith 1 month ago
    "With Section 230, tech companies get a sweetheart deal that no other industry enjoys: complete exemption from traditional publisher liability in exchange for providing a forum free of political censorship"
    No they don't because they are not publishers.
    Tech companies cannot be sued for things they are not liable for.
    Those leading this Marxist assault on the rights of tech companies are themselves the censorious leftists.
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    • Posted by  $  1 month ago
      When they edit or delete content they are acting as publisher.
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      • Posted by ewv 1 month ago
        They do not "edit" content and are not "publishers". Except for guidelines on what is not permitted at all, those who write and post decide for themselves what will appear. No one edits it.

        Some of the guidelines, such as denying lurid pornography, are uncontroversial because most users don't want to have to see that. The problems arise because they are trying to prevent other kinds of material deemed personally "offensive", which in turn depends on ideological biases they don't know they have because of the state of the culture and their education. Inside Google and the others is a cultural zoo that will not be reformed by punitive government action.

        https://thefederalist.com/2018/05/03/...

        https://thefederalist.com/2018/01/10/...

        When they decided to eliminate what they call "hate speech" they necessarily got into a briar patch of impossible, subjective standards. Once such subjectivism is in place it doesn't take much for particular employees to exacerbate the problem with all kinds of personal agendas.

        The "fake news" controversy erupted when organized, deliberately false material began to be systematically inserted for political propaganda in the name of news. This came to a head with the Russian disinformation campaign. Once they tried to block that, their own political biases began to obstruct much more.

        They don't know what their own biases are, but they do know they have a genuine problem under the pressure to stop the exploitation of their platforms for all kinds of purposes ranging from deliberately false political propaganda posing as news, to terrorists advocating crime, to (ironically) violations of personal privacy.

        The big danger from these companies now is that they are trying to protect themselves from how they deal with these problems by calling for government "guidelines" telling them what to do so as to not be responsible for it. That is mixed in with their own conformist, politically correct ideology in the name of anti "hate speech" and similar slogans.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...

        https://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rig...

        This has resulted in Facebook, Google, and some of the others now actively lobbying for government censorship -- not (yet) full totalitarianism, but they want government power like current European-Canadian censorship banning certain thoughts or motives, applied as "guidelines" to the internet in the name of being anti "extremist".

        Populist conservatives demanding their own government action does not help. They want to punish companies in a maze of contradictions that are the opposite of individualism and freedom and will only lead to more government controls and pressure group warfare that individualism will not win.

        In particular, the demands like Hawley's for law suit harassment making companies legally liable for what others publish on the their platforms will only lead to less freedom on the internet as property owners cut back further on what they allow in order to protect themselves. It will do nothing to resolve the underlying, cultural problems of increasing collectivism and statism that are the cause of all of it. http://tracinskiletter.com/2018/12/22...
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        • Posted by PeterSmith 1 month ago
          This should be pinned as required reading on the issue.

          Great post ewv.
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          • Posted by ewv 1 month ago
            And yet the hit and run anti Ayn Rand populists incapable of discussion are rotely 'downvoting' anything here that rejects them. They are clearly contrary to the purpose of this forum and should not be here.
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            • Posted by  $  1 month ago
              The minute you and Peter Smith hit this post you both down voted all comments .
              CAN YOU SAY PROJECTION. It is a trait of the narcissistic liberals.
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              • Posted by ewv 4 weeks, 1 day ago
                Your assertion is false. More conspiracy speculation.

                "Voting" is intended to be part of the forum; rote emotional 'downvoting' of people as a means of personalized attack is not. This is supposed to be a forum for Ayn Rand's philosophy of reason and individualism, with rational discussion, not emotional populist crusades contradicting it.

                There are no "narcissistic liberals" here. That is personal name-calling in a strawman false alternative.
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              • Posted by PeterSmith 4 weeks, 1 day ago
                Posts from you and many others here SHOULD be down voted on an Objectivist forum.

                But it's posts from ewv and myself, along with any others explaining basic things from an actual Objectivist point of view, that even manage to go negative.
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    • -2
      Posted by ewv 1 month ago
      Sen. Hawley's rhetoric about "censorship", "sweetheart deals", and the rest is anti-private property, anti-business demagoguery. He and the rest of these collectivist populists are clearly threatening punitive controls and abusive law suits any way they can because they know that controlling them direclty in the name of the First Amendment is unconstitutional.
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  • -1
    Posted by bsmith51 1 month ago
    Internet censorship cannot be a problem because the internet companies are private. Nothing to see here, folks. But I might be demagoguing the issue.
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    • -2
      Posted by PeterSmith 1 month ago
      Nope, you are completely correct.
      It's really that simple.

      It says a lot about the appalling state of the conservative movement that they don't get this and through sheer ignorance are the ones behaving like the censorious leftists they claim to be opposing.
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    • -2
      Posted by ewv 1 month ago
      "Internet censorship" is not a freedom of speech problem because private actions are not censorship. Yes you are still demagoguing and so is the Senator. Snide sarcasm while advocating punitive government controls is not rational discussion of some very real problems.
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