Many of the people taking shots at Facebook and other social media giants’ control of the “narrative” don’t want anything resembling free speech or a free press, they simply want to exercise their own control over those companies. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
The push for speech control escalates. There is now a concentration of stories concerning social media companies and their role in shaping political thought.
We are nine months from a pivotal presidential election in the U.S. and the push is on to ensure that the outcome goes the way those in power want it to.
Three times in as many weeks billionaire busybody George Soros has attacked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, demanding he be removed because he is working to re-elect Donald Trump.
This seems like an absurdity. But it isn’t. It’s all part of the game plan.
Create a controversy that isn’t real to seed a narrative that there’s a problem in need of a solution. Facebook has been the center of this controversy to inflame passions on both sides of the political aisle to ensure the desired outcome.
They want regulation of all social media companies to create unscalable barriers to entry for new ones while curtailing free speech on the existing ones.
Warren Buffet would call that a moat. I call it tyranny.
Enter Attorney General William Barr.
He weighed in recently that we need to have a conversation about Facebook et.al. in relation to their Section 230 immunity under the Communications Decency Act.
Section 230 grants immunity to companies like Facebook and Google from prosecution for content hosted on their services as they argue they are not publishers but rather just pass-through entities or platforms of user-generated content.
Now, it’s pretty clear for the past few years the social media companies have been acting with open editorial bias to deplatform undesirables. They rewrite broadly defined terms of services and EULAs (End-User Licence Agreements) which they use to justify controlling what content they are willing to host.
And that’s where the Section 230 immunity comes into play. The big tech companies want to have it both ways, be a neutral platform legally but self-define ‘neutrality’ in such a way that benefits them politically, economically and socially while insulating themselves from breaching contracts with their customers.
What’s clear from Barr’s comments he’s approaching this from a law enforcement perspective.
“We are concerned that internet services, under the guise of Section 230, can not only block access to law enforcement — even when officials have secured a court-authorized warrant — but also prevent victims from civil recovery,” Barr said. “Giving broad immunity to platforms that purposefully blind themselves — and law enforcers — to illegal conduct on their services does not create incentives to make the online world safer for children.”
And this clearly doesn’t address the real issue. That’s your sign there’s something wrong here.
Both political parties are unhappy with the current situation and that should be your red flag that a great stitch-up is in progress. Because the end goal here is government oversight that has bipartisan support.
That support has to be manufactured from both sides. The left wants protection from ‘fake news’ and ‘Russian meddling’ while the right wants a level playing field to air ideas in the public square.
Didn’t you all notice how both of these things became issues right after the wrong person won the 2016 presidential election and the British people made the wrong decision about EU Membership?
I’m sure you noticed the blatant bias exhibited by Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit and the rest of these protected platforms and wondered why they were allowed to act so egregiously with seemingly no recourse?
The big tech companies don’t want more government oversight, they simply want to continue to have their have their editorial take and enforce it too while taking your money and suppressing your voice.
Government intervention is not the solution here. In fact, it is the goal of the entire exercise.
I don’t want the government coming in and further defining the rules by which Facebook can deplatform everyone who tells inconvenient truths.
Because that’s all government does. And then it empowers a bureaucracy to enforce those rules.
I don’t need a Ministry of Truth to protect me from the bad people. I know where the bad people are and, in your heart, so do you.
So the question isn’t whether Barr should strip these companies of their Section 230 immunity. Of course he should if they exhibit any kind of editorial behavior.
But, in typical Swamp fashion, Barr isn’t concerned about that. He’s concerned with using Facebook to track down criminals; the implication being drug runners, murderers, etc.
That’s a sop to law and order conservatives to get their support politically.
But the real criminals are in the bowels of the compliance departments and algorithm factories of these social media companies pushing the bounds of indecency by trying to protect us from fake news to control the flow of information.
They’ve already done a great deal of this, altering search algorithms to ensure only approved news sources show up in the results.
We know they are all working in cahoots with the intelligence agencies here in the U.S. but no one will admit it publicly. The EU and China are more honest about their tyrannical impulses using their anti-democratic structure to create rules which they force onto these multi-national companies.
Now Twitter is testing new flagging abilities for verified accounts to act as community censors, creating the illusion of a user-controlled public space. It’ll only be for those that get blue check marks. And that’s a system clearly gamed to reflect a particular ideological bias as no one who dissents from the approved globalist message gets one of those anymore.
So, only journalists from official news outlets will have this ability to fact-check in real time the pronouncements of important influencers.
If you don’t think this is simply a means by which to make it seem fair to suppress the king of Twitter, Donald Trump, then you clearly haven’t had your morning coffee.
For a couple of years now I’ve been warning you that the elites are desperate to regain control over what I call The Wire. What is The Wire?
The Wire is simply a metaphor for the transmission of information. The Wire takes many forms. And if you aren’t sure whether something is The Wire just ask if you have control over it or not.
The Internet? The Wire.
Electricity? The Wire
Roads? The Wire.
Media? The Wire.
Money? The Wire.
In short, The Wire is the main conduit through which we communicate with each other. Money? Really? Yes, really. What are prices if not information about what we are willing to part with your money in exchange for?
Without The Wire modern society fails. So, government can’t shut it down but neither can it allow unrenstrained access to it.
Electricity, commerce, communications, everything, goes over The Wire.
Control of The Wire is everything. Soros is desperately trying to hold onto control over the social media companies he’s invested so heavily in to influence their influence.
And it’s clear we’ve entered the next phase of regaining control over it.
The solution to the Section 230 Immunity issue for these companies is to remove it and open them up to civil liabilities for their inconsistent enforcement of their own policies.
Because once you do that they have no protection under commercial contract law.
Those users that use these platforms for commercial purposes are materially harmed by the ever-changing rules of these platforms.
They entered into an agreement with YouTube or Facebook in good faith expectation of a certain level of service.
Facebook’s business is built on the implicit guarantee of that service. In turn, Facebook was built on the backs of those using the platform.
Unilaterally taking away that access without compensation simply because Facebook said so is a perversion of contract law. Why should Facebook be allowed to do that? Why hasn’t this clear inequity between parties to a contract been addressed by the courts?
And that’s what we should be addressing here.
And I’m not just talking about Facebook here. Remember when the social network Gab had its internet access revoked by GoDaddy? How does GoDaddy escape paying damages for unilaterally denying service?
There is clear opportunity for them to be sued into submission by the millions of users whose businesses and reputations have been destroyed due to arbitrary enforcement of company rules.
At the end of the day these companies create and use as excuses broad powers which have almost no precedent in contract law. Their EULAs are contracts the user signs which grants them no rights or guarantees of service in any way. They can be abrogated, updated and changed to suit the company’s whim with no redress for the breach of contract from the other party.
This is outrageous, unacceptable and flies in the face of hundreds of years of contract law.
And they should be challenged in court and thrown out as illegal Contracts of Adhesion. This is settled contract law.
If Facebook wants to ban Alex Jones from their platform fine. I have zero problem with that. If they want to act as a private business which is protected under the First Amendment’s protection of Freedom of Association, great!
I’m all for re-establishing that in this society.
Let’s open up that can of worms.
It would finally be an honest conversation. Because we are rapidly approaching the moment of reverse racism, whereby Facebook doesn’t want to host racist or sexist content.
And I’m fine with that. But I’m also fine then with restaurants not serving black people or people baking wedding cakes for gay couples.
Freedom OF association is also Freedom FROM association, folks.
The shit-libs and the oligarchs want it both ways. They want you to be forced to associate with others on their terms but deny you a place in society because you disagree with them.
That is, in a word, tyrannical.
So, in a just world, Facebook owes Alex Jones millions for lost revenue and damages to Jones’ business as well as, one could argue, a portion of Facebook’s revenue it generated during the time it hosted Jones’ content which brought the company users, revenue and market share.
Multiply that lawsuit by ten for the number of platforms Alex Jones has been banned from. Then multiply that number by the millions for everyone else these platforms have materially harmed.
And then we’ll see what the market cap of the NASDAQ 100 would truly be.
And that’s one way we should fight this, not by empowering more bureaucrats to police everyone’s speech on Twitter, but to sue Twitter for non-fulfillment of obligations under the reasonable expectation of service they are to provide as a party to a legal contract.
This is what I wanted to hear William Barr was focusing on in working on. But that is exactly what will not happen.
The other is to develop technology which resists the centralizing power of these companies to control our speech, democratizing it at the incentive level, through projects like Brave and other blockchain-based systems, which empower the user, not the platform to decide which content has value and which doesn’t.
Beware the deplatforming of Facebook, it’s just another brick in the wall.