White House Asks FCC to Not Give Social Media Sites Immunity if Sites Have Biased Censorship

A White House draft order called Protecting Americans from Online Censorship asks the FCC to restrict the government’s view of the good-faith provision. Under the draft proposal, the FCC will be asked to find that social media sites do not qualify for the good-faith immunity if they remove or suppress content without notifying the user who posted the material, or if the decision is proven to be evidence of anticompetitive, unfair or deceptive practices.

This executive order could see the FCC and FTC significantly narrow the protections for internet companies under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Under the current law, internet companies are not liable for most of the content that their users or other third parties post on their platforms. Tech platforms also qualify for broad legal immunity when they take down objectionable content, at least when they are acting “in good faith.”

The White House says it received more than 15,000 complaints about censorship by the technology platforms. The order also includes an offer to share the complaints with the Federal Trade Commission.

The Federal Trade Commission would be required to open a public complaint docket and coordinate with the Federal Communications Commission on investigations of how technology companies curate their platforms — and whether that curation is politically agnostic.

Under the proposed rule, any company whose monthly user base includes more than one-eighth of the U.S. population would be subject to oversight by the regulatory agencies. A roster of companies subject to the new scrutiny would include Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, Snap and Pinterest.

SOURCES- White House, CNN, Tech Crunch
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

108 thoughts on “White House Asks FCC to Not Give Social Media Sites Immunity if Sites Have Biased Censorship”

  1. The question I have about the FB Ad above is this a legitimate group or just some nameless outsiders trying to stir up trouble like what happened in 2016? If that was the case then refusing to help them perpetuate their so called women’s group is a really good idea, otherwise FB might be acting kind of crazy.

    I’m not familiar with Gab but look at it this way. If you have some content that no legitimate newspaper would have found fit to publish in a letter to the editor then why should IT company’s support a site dedicated to such content?

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  2. B.PINES: Section 230 only covers protections for “Interactive Computer Services” from being sued over what a user within their network posts. That’s what that section covers….

    Was just responding to Pines’ characterization. No need to be pedantic, what protections 230 offers and who it offers it to, in my estimation, falls under its purpose.

    U: Second, it would be fairly easy to moderate according to the listed criteria in good faith. That is, neutrally with respect to politics.

    It is easy, that’s why they moderate in good faith. Unsupported delusions to the contrary does not alter that reality.

    Do you really prefer to have all content be moderated fully on Facebook?

    I’ve never had a FB account, i have no desire to congregate on a site for dilettantes and narcissists.

    The loony tunes brigade has been crying over 230 for some years now, my point, lets shut them up by getting get rid of it, the world will not end.

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  3. If the program had been defensible, why didn’t they defend it?

    Why would trump’s justice department defend the latest bogeyman of the loony tunes crowd?

    You make apologies for every despicable act of vile people and label them just ~”good folks with a different opinion”.

    Civilized people will never accept the attempts to normalize the machinations of the irrational, the inept, the wicked and the vile, as well as all those that aid and abet them.

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  4. In April 2014, Four Oaks Bank settled with the Department of Justice for engaging in the types of activities that Operation Choke Point is intended to stop…

    On March 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a civil and

    criminal settlement with CommerceWest Bank, located in Irvine, California for its role in facilitating a third party processor’s millions of dollars worth of unauthorized debits from consumer bank accounts.

    The Justice Department has committed to ending a controversial Obama-era program that discourages banks from doing business with a

    range of companies, from payday lenders to gun retailers.

    The move hands a big victory to Republican lawmakers who charged that the initiative — dubbed “Operation Choke Point” — was hurting legitimate businesses. In a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd referred to the program as “a misguided

    initiative.” Under President Barack Obama, the department said the effort was intended to root out fraud by banks and payment processors and to cut off the banking system from wrongdoing by merchants.

    Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress, blasted the letter as “a massive giveaway to predatory payday lenders and other

    shady financial scam-artists”

    Operation Choke Point has been incredibly effective at cracking down on the flow of money to fraudulent merchants that violate the law and target vulnerable consumers,” Frisch said in a statement

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  5. Members have also expressed concern that financial institutions were declining basic banking services, such as deposit accounts and loans, to entire categories of merchants that had been associated with high-risk activities. Members asserted that the FDIC and DOJ were using a “high-risk list” of merchant categories that was published in an informational article contained in the FDIC’s summer 2011 edition of the Supervisory Insights Journal, together with certain FDIC supervisory guidance, to target institutions for increased scrutiny.The FDIC has defined higher-risk activities as those that have been understood by industry and financial regulators as being subject to complex or varying legal and regulatory environments (such as activities that may be legal only in certain states); being prohibited for certain consumers (such as minors); being subject to varying state and federal licensing and reporting regimes; or tending to display a higher incidence of consumer complaints, returns, or chargebacks. In the context of this audit, merchants associated with high-risk or higher-risk activities include (among others) payday lenders, pawnbrokers, firearms and ammunition manufacturers and retailers, and tobacco retailers.

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  6. The assertion of greater risk of fraud and money laundering was pretext, and clearly so. Look at the list: Everything from actual crimes like Ponzi schemes, to the sale of perfectly legal products like tobacco and ammunition.

    There’s no basis for thinking ammunition sales are a hotbed of fraud and money laundering, and no evidence was given that this was so. This wasn’t a list of sketchy industries, it was a list of things the administration didn’t like.

    If the program had been defensible, why didn’t they defend it? Instead of first denying that it existed, and then ending it when its existence could no longer be denied? There’s no question here, they were just covertly abusing regulatory authority to hurt a grab bag of industries the administration didn’t like. And it was NOT a spontaneous action by the financial services industry, it was coerced.

    But the point here:

    You’re cool with abusing power to hurt people you don’t like. As I said, you demonstrate why the left keeps building gulags and pyramids of skulls when it ends up in unchallenged power. You likely would, too.

    Because you can’t accept that people who disagree with you are anything more than targets to destroy.

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  7. Did it ever crossed your mind to look into the reason why it was pulled?

    Correct me if I’m wrong, your preferred source of stories stated the innocuous event occurred and then went on to assert their unsupported belief why a conspiracy was behind it. It fits your world view so why would you question their “analysis”.

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  8. Yeah, the mask comes off: You think you’re entitled to expel from all the benefits of civilization anyone who disagrees with you.

    No, i think everyone has a right, if they so choose and within whatever private domains they control, to not associate personally or professionally with anyone who perpetrate vile and despicable acts in this world. Civilization is comprised of numerous private domains and much smaller public ones, individuals cannot exercise the same control in public domains.

    I don’t invite people who engage in scumbaggery to my dinner parties, what is happening at large is no different.

    From wiki: (first heard of them from u)

    Gab reported in a December 2018 filing that removal from PayPal and Stripe following the 2018 Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting had caused a 90% drop in its subscription revenue.

    I wouldn’t characterize the vile actions of despicable people as just a matter of “different opinions”.

    You failed to notice your article on Operation Choke Point is in the opinion section. Standard practice, point to some innocuous event and make wild unsupported claims about it.

    From wiki

    Operation Choke Point was a 2013 initiative of the United States Department of Justice, which investigated banks in the United States and the business they did with firearm dealers, payday lenders, and other companies believed to be at higher risk for fraud and money laundering

    There is no law protecting banks when they aid and abet or turn a blind eye financial fraud.

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  9. Look, I wouldn’t see censorship by some online platforms as a problem, if it weren’t for the fact that they won’t allow other platforms to opt out. If Gab hadn’t been pushed into the dark net by a conspiracy among IT and financial services companies, you might have a point.

    But it was, for the ‘sin’ of not censoring what Twitter would censor.

    “If the current crop of conservatives are having an issue with this self censorship then they need to tone down their message so it doesn’t offend the majority of Americans.”

    Yeah, nope. The left pretends that what they want to censor offends everyone of good will, but FB censored this ad just this week. Is any sane person offended by this ad?

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  10. Yeah, the mask comes off: You think you’re entitled to expel from all the benefits of civilization anyone who disagrees with you. And if they did manage to recreate civilization from first principles, you wouldn’t leave them alone, you’d go after them. Because you can’t tolerate the idea that other people have different opinions.

    You’re demonstrating why the left keeps building gulags and pyramids of skulls.

    “Multiple financial institutions got the idea to cut off gun stores about the same time because of mounting public and shareholder pressure.”

    No, they got it because regulators threatened them with abusive regulatory action if they didn’t do so. Don’t demand that people pretend that this wasn’t exposed. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/obamas-operation-choke-point-finally-unmasked

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  11. And the mask comes off.

    You mean you finally see reality?
    No one wants to be associated with or do business with despicable people and the despicable things they get up to. Normal people don’t want despicable people reflecting badly on themselves and more importantly, they don’t want any negative associations hurting their income.

    Multiple financial institutions got the idea to cut off gun stores about the same time because of mounting public and shareholder pressure. What business in their right mind thinks it a good idea to be seen profiting in a trade culpable for 1.5million death in 50 years, only the most depraved. The mountain of corpses is getting higher everyday, it’s hard to not notice, unless you’re trained to see conspiracies in place of inconvenient realities.

    Today I’m wiser and more cynical. When multiple corporations “deplatform” the same guy in the space of a few days, I realize that it wasn’t spontaneous, it was coordinated

    You believe without evidence because you have faith, i don’t. The next time that happens, ask yourself, “what scumbaggery did that guy perpetrate to make all those companies not want to be associated with him“, then try and find the answer.

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  12. “No companies coordinate actions to shut anyone down.”

    Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. There are multiple examples of this happening to, for instance, Gab.

    Back when multiple MSM outlets would settle on the same take on an issue within hours of each other, often using the exact same phrasing, I thought, “Like minds think alike”, and dismissed it as some sort of flocking behavior. Then the news broke about Journolist: They actually HAD been coordinating behind the scenes.

    When multiple financial institutions got the idea to cut off gun stores about the same time, I thought it was a fad among left-wing managers. Then the news broke about Operation Choke Point, and I learned that it had been covertly ordered by the government.

    Today I’m wiser and more cynical. When multiple corporations “deplatform” the same guy in the space of a few days, I realize that it wasn’t spontaneous, it was coordinated.

    “The benefits of civilization are reserve for the civilized, lunatic right-wingers will have to pretend or replicate the entire civilizational stack from near first principals.”

    And the mask comes off.

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  13. 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.

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  14. It’s not censorship, not even a little, besides, companies ban behavior(scumbaggery) on their property, not beliefs. It would be absurd if I came on to your property and shout obscenities at you, but you cant tell me to leave because that would be censorship.

    No companies coordinate actions to shut anyone down. There is no law, no moral imperative, that compels a person to associate with, aid and abet, financially facilitate or profit from those that engage in scumbaggery.

    Any entity can engage in censorship if they dictate what others may say, and enforce that dictate.

    But no non-govt entity can and does that, they can only do that on their own property, and that wouldn’t qualify as censorship. You cant force people to hang out with or do business with those irrational, inept, wicked and vile individuals who cant control themselves.

    The benefits of civilization are reserve for the civilized, lunatic right-wingers will have to pretend or replicate the entire civilizational stack from near first principals.

    Shadow government? Please tell me you’re not referring to the likes of Facebook, a website for dilettantes and narcissists to convince their pretend friends that their mundane lives is actually awesome.

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  15. When somebody decides they’re going to run a platform that lets people say what they want, and multiple companies coordinate their actions to shut it down, that’s censorship taking place.

    It might not strictly be a violation of the 1st amendment, but it IS censorship. No, “censorship” does NOT pertain only to government action. Any entity can engage in censorship if they dictate what others may say, and enforce that dictate.

    What we’re seeing now is a group of ideologically aligned corporations, in different industries, getting together to effectively perpetrate evils that normally only government would be able to commit. They’re starting to take on the character of a shadow government, effectively ruling even when nominally out of power.

    Thus bypassing the protection of both elections and the Constitution.

    We care about these evils not because they’re done by government, but because they’re evils. Don’t make excuses for evils only government usually commits, just because somebody outside the government has found a way to commit them where government won’t.

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  16. Obviously the is some speech that just annoys people and that’s legal.Obviously there is also some speech in the the grey zone, that some people think is hate speech and some people don’t. That has to be given a pass. But that doesn’t include things like advocating violence even if people try to hide it pretending it’s a joke.

    Frankly, I see any self censorship on the part of companies as a tolerable flaw in our system, that is as long as it’s not the government driving that censorship. The conservatives in the past were famous for boycotting Media companies that they saw as promoting nudity or sex…. If the current crop of conservatives are having an issue with this self censorship then they need to tone down their message so it doesn’t offend the majority of Americans. That’s correct, they are a vocal minority that offend many and it’s on them to figure out how to deal with it.

    You are in essence complaining about websites like 8Chan getting shut down (temporarily) but they are some of the most offensive sites on the Internet so what do you expect to happen?

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  17. No one is censoring speech, private persons are under obligations to accommodate the machinations of wicked people. Why so many who label themselves “right-wing”‘ hate the fact others have rights. If you put up a website on the internet, you get to set the terms under which others get to use it. It’s hopeless and pointless as long as you continue to accept as fact the unsupported assertions on every loon blog on the internet.

    Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    “Freedom of speech means freedom from interference, suppression or punitive action by the government—and nothing else. It does not mean the right to demand the financial support or the material means to express your views at the expense of other men who may not wish to support you. Freedom of speech includes the freedom not to agree, not to listen and not to support one’s own antagonists. 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. Private citizens cannot use physical force or coercion; they cannot censor or suppress anyone’s views or publications. Only the government can do so. And censorship is a concept that pertains only to governmental action.”

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  18. On the contrary, unless we protect “hate speech”, (Which, constitutionally, isn’t a thing in the US anyway.) free speech is dead.

    From what I’ve seen, the whole concept appears to have been created by the left just to have an excuse to censor speech that they dislike. Application has followed accordingly.

    “and the second, though allowed, simply should not be done by decent people.”; And the left defines decency as agreement with itself, too.

    What we’re seeing currently is that the left isn’t even content with censoring the platforms it has achieved control over, it is attempting to leverage dominance in IT companies and influence over fearful financial services companies to shut down, hard, any platform it doesn’t control.

    A world where the left controls any speech which is technically capable of being monitored is a scary prospect indeed, but it’s what they’re working towards, and making disturbing progress in achieving.

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  19. The notion of protecting real hate speech is a bit dubious. You can’t cry out “fire!” in a crowed theater because people get hurt or killed so why should blatant attempts to egg on people to do violence to others not be treated the same way? There has to be a line somewhere between that and political speech. Also, there is a difference between hate speech and hurtful speech in that first should not be allowed and the second, though allowed, simply should not be done by decent people. Maybe if those with Conservative views stopped being so downright nasty to those they differed with, there wouldn’t be a desire to censor them.

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  20. Good, the moment internet companies impose their judgement of decency on any content posted on their sites, their are engaging in curation of content and publishing, and are thus liable for anything published.

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  21. Shurat HaDin hs already proven that Hamas, ISIS, and UNRWA Employees have used Facebook during the 2014 Gaza War and the 2015 Knife Infafata to glorify terror attacks [Join Hamas and get 72 Virgins when you die.].

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  22. Don’t forget how Zuckerberg – a rich white guy – shut down Diamond and Silk, two black women who happened to be Trump supporters. Something about them promoting “unsafe” content. It was pure B.S. and the only reason it got reversed is because Zuckerberg was called out on it.

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  23. The answer is the soap box – Pandora’s box – according to big Nanny state socialist.

    D Drake’s post show a great example of one who does not want a battle of ideas and such conversation needs to be shut down before it causes all sorts of problems.

    I’m all for giving free speech to all sides and let people figure it out for themselves. Those on the left though see this as allowing for “hate speech”, a convenient way for them to shut down opposing viewpoints.

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  24. As one who follows conservative thought on the web, that is not how it often works for conservatives. They just get banned, or more often shadow banned. If you are a lefty this should still greatly concern you as giant corporations are censoring political speech to match their agenda.

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  25. First of, we are not discussing the overarching purpose of section 230, but the clause that limits who gets to be protected under it and who doesn’t get its protection. Not the same thing.

    Second, it would be fairly easy to moderate according to the listed criteria in good faith. That is, neutrally with respect to politics. Do you really prefer to have all content be moderated fully on Facebook? Would that be a better world for you?

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  26. Well, the phrases are not that bad, but the logic structure of the writing… Jumping from one theme to another without any logical connection…. I’m not sure.

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  27. I think we agree. And, I actually think that Facebook should treat Shurat HaDin fairly. Being censored on account of promoting violence should be done with respect to criteria such as specificity of violence description, how realistic the promotion is (i.e. can it be carried out), how gruesome is the promoted violence and so on, but *not* the according the ideology of the sender.

    I.e., if the Red Cross would advocate to dismember Bashar al-Assad in order to save children from gas attacks, then Facebook should clamp down on this just as hard as they are going after Shurat HaDin.

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  28. Since I called this in 1982:

    https://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2702791&cid=39217853

    …and suggested a solution that doesn’t require government intervention beyond the unambiguous distinction between “common carrier” and “publication”, perhaps people will be willing to listen before the namby-pamby beating around the bush about the 1st Amendment triggers a hot civil war from the current cold civil war.

    Don’t hold your breath. Prepare.

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  29. Yes. That is exactly the point.

    Oh, not Hillary Clinton, that would be silly. The big names in politics don’t do grubby stuff like that. Not themselves.

    But various groups that have “the right politics” are able to put up ads/posts/tweets etc inciting violence without having them taken down.

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  30. Read my reply to Brett, just above. I’ll paste the same quote from John Bergmayer in an article he wrote last May on the site PublicKnowledge.org that explains the basic understandings of Section 320.

    “In light of current debates over the role of major online platforms, one of the most important and basic things to understand about Section 230 is that it authorizes platforms to exercise editorial discretion with respect to third-party content without losing the benefit of the law, and that this includes promoting a political, moral, or social viewpoint. (Even one you don’t like.) This is what the plain text, the legislative history, and the leading cases all say. A pro-Trump messageboard is still covered by Section 230 if it deletes all anti-Trump posts, and if Twitter or Facebook chose tomorrow to ban all conservatives, or all socialists, Section 230 would still apply. Whether this is good policy or good politics is a different discussion. But this is the law.”

    I’m looking at this section without any political agendas, and you should as well.

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  31. You are correct about the purpose of section 230.

    Without 230, FB could be held liable for a user making libelous claims against someone. If someone used the Armslist platform to find a gun to buy and then killed people with it, nothing would stop a lawsuit from holding it liable for the crime.

    Without 230, full moderation of all content will be required. Everyone should support the repeal of 230.

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  32. No mental block, I’m just not interpreting this law through a political agendas lens. Once you take away that lens you will see the totality of the law, and the section, and subsections that explains it.

    Also, I’m not a lawyer, and don’t pretend to understand the intricacies of trying to interpret laws of this nature in court.

    The law seems pretty clear cut though like I said before. It seems recently, people of a certain political leaning are trying to misconstrue Section 320 for their own political benefit.

    Here’s a quote from John Bergmayer in an article he wrote last May on the site PublicKnowledge.org that explains the basic understandings of Section 230.

    “In light of current debates over the role of major online platforms, one of the most important and basic things to understand about Section 230 is that it authorizes platforms to exercise editorial discretion with respect to third-party content without losing the benefit of the law, and that this includes promoting a political, moral, or social viewpoint. (Even one you don’t like.) This is what the plain text, the legislative history, and the leading cases all say. A pro-Trump messageboard is still covered by Section 230 if it deletes all anti-Trump posts, and if Twitter or Facebook chose tomorrow to ban all conservatives, or all socialists, Section 230 would still apply. Whether this is good policy or good politics is a different discussion. But this is the law.”

    Pretty clear cut, don’t you see Brett?

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  33. There is a catch-all frase “or otherwise objectionable” which can be used to motivate any sensorship.

    You are mistaken, censorship is a concept that pertains only to governmental action. There is no legal standing where an individual can claim such a violation by another person.

    “Freedom of speech means freedom from interference, suppression or punitive action by the government—and nothing else. It does not mean the right to demand the financial support or the material means to express your views at the expense of other men who may not wish to support you. Freedom of speech includes the freedom not to agree, not to listen and not to support one’s own antagonists. 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. Private citizens cannot use physical force or coercion; they cannot censor or suppress anyone’s views or publications. Only the government can do so. And censorship is a concept that pertains only to governmental action.”

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  34. Fortunately, we have a very good criminal justice system and I have every confidence they will continue to deal with all violent degenerates in an expedient manner.

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  35. They always send an email, the receiving user’s error is more likely because a sending failure is more unlikely.

    No AI system i’m aware of is 100%, so it’s possible and even likely some are telling the truth. A human reviewer is the final arbiter if they file a dispute.

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  36. Well, yes, ultimately I think we need to return the internet to its roots as a radically decentralized system, rather than routing almost all traffic through a few hubs, and then hoping like hell that the people running the hubs won’t abuse their position.

    But in the mean time we need to come down like a ton of bricks on this business of cutting off anybody who tries to start a new hub from basic IT and financial services. That’s not ordinary business, that’s civil war by other means.

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  37. It’s a standard principle of law that, when you provide a list of things, and then add a catch-all phrase like “or otherwise objectionable”, anything brought in under the catch-all has to be of the same nature as the items in the list.

    So including that phrase didn’t actually license them to moderate on any basis whatsoever.

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  38. I think Operation Choke Point accelerated it; It gave the embedded leftists an excuse to start, and now they’re on a roll.

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  39. I really think that this legislation is weak. There is a catch-all frase “or otherwise objectionable” which can be used to motivate any sensorship. Saying the transmen are really women is objectionable, saying that women are different from men is objectionable…. You get the drift.

    The first amendment of the constitution makes no such provisions of what speech is permissible and is thus much stronger. I think that section 230 should require platform providers to not sensor at all, otherwise they should be considered publishers. Such a law would be much easier to enforce and there would be less lee way of how to interpret it.

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  40. Don’t forget how the democrats in the Senate treated Brett Kavanaugh.. That probably had something to do with GOP retaining the Senate…

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  41. Only if they applied one of the permissible rules unfairly. Say, if it can be shown that Hillary Clinton was posting ads to incite killing people just as Shurat HaDin has done, but that the ads of Hillary Clinton were left up, then Shurat HaDin would have a case. If, however, Facebook can show that they consistently refuse all ads to incite violence regardless of political affiliation, then Shurat HaDin would not have a case against them.

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  42. You are quite right, Brett. Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Patreon, Facebook, Twitter, Google and even internet providers. They all take part of deplatforming.

    It’s like most of the important infrastructure is part of the left side of the argument…

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  43. No Bruiser, that is not my opinion. You do not understand the issue. Of course, you are perfectly in your right to disagree, but it would sure make it more interesting if you would grasp the basic issue.

    I’ll give it another stab here. A phone company such as Verizon cannot – by law – be sued if your ex calls and threatens to cut your balls of, since they do not sensor telephone calls. The ex can be arrested or sued, but not Verizon. I.e., they are a platform provider and not a publisher. They are like the air that transmits the sound of someone making a threat..

    If your ex would publish her threats in a book, then you would have the option to sue the publishing company as well. They do “moderation”, i.e. they select what to publish in their books. If they let your ex threaten you in the book, then they are also responsible for the threat. I.e. they are publishers.

    According to the law, a platform provider can only be considered a platform provider and not a publisher if they either do not moderate at all, or moderate on only a very limited set of criteria that Bret has listed several times. And, according to the law, this moderation has to be *good faith* which means that they cannot apply a standard of filtering, say, violence for one political party and a different standard for another political party. The reason is that political affiliation is *not* one of the acceptable criteria listed in the text of the law.

    Do you understand now?

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  44. Well, he certainly is not to quick on the uptake on this issue. The question is, is this due to him not wanting to understand or is this due to a lack of mental faculty?

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  45. Yes and that is why ANTIFA should be banned and all of those media outlets that constantly yell racists. The ones who are trying to whip up racial violence.

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  46. Oh, I absolutely agree that something needs to be done.

    My point is that you need to think long and hard about what to do in order to build an environment that is both fair and has staying power over multiple changes of government.

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  47. Brett, you’re making the mistake of misconstruing section 230 for your own political benefit. Section 230 only covers protections for “Interactive Computer Services” from being sued over what a user within their network posts. That’s what that section covers. Social Media networks can ban anyone they want no matter who it is. They are “Private” businesses. As I said before political leanings are not protected statuses. So you can interpret that section how ever you want, I don’t care, but when 1st amendment rights of an individual or a business get challenged, you’re not going to win the case by falsely interpreting a section of the law versus the 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. Unless the courts have been bought, then sure, you’ll win 🙂

    To think that you support the restriction of free speech rights upon a corporation really strikes me to be profoundly un-American. I believe the only reason you care is because you’re views and values are represented on those platforms in the frequency that “other” values and views are, and you feel sad 🙁

    You’re at a disadvantage Brett, and you’re picking a hill to die on that is not honorable. I get it though, it makes sense. I remember replying to your new civil war stance, and that how “your” side would win because of blah, blah, blah. I remember you, and that I can tell right off the bat who has never been in war, and been in the line of fire. You’re a coward Brett, and a loser. Deal with it.

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  48. If it’s a choice between stopping enforcement of obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable standards or no 230, i would go with no 230.

    I think AI is good enough for Internet companies to assume full moderation of all content random people posts to their websites. There should be zero tolerance in civilized society for the machinations of the irrational, the inept, the wicked and the vile.

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  49. I think it was actually mostly due to McConnell refusing to allow votes on the conservative legislation the House was sending his way. So for 2 years, despite having both houses of Congress and the White house, nothing was accomplished. It really demoralized the right.

    A lot of the Republican Senators were RINOS, and if they’d had to vote on those bills, would have voted against them, and ended up primaried at the next election. So McConnell protected them at the cost of the GOP’s House majority. It would have cost them the Senate, too, if there hadn’t been such a disproportion of Democratic Senators up for reelection.

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  50. I don’t think it’s difficult. It just isn’t what they always do, and they don’t respond well to people pointing out that, “No, I actually didn’t violate that rule.”

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  51. “Their first suit against Google was tossed because people(corporations) cannot sensor people.”

    But, they can violate their own terms of service and contractual obligations.

    And, by violating the explicit terms of Section 230, they can lose it’s protection. That’s all I really advocate: Force them to make the choice the law actually presented them with: To be a passive conduit, or be treated as a publisher.

    Right now, they’re demanding to have it both ways.

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  52. You mean like Gab? So you can have your hosting company kick you off, your ISP terminate service, DNS servers stop resolving your url, financial services stop processing your payments?

    You can’t bypass the deplatforming movement that easily, too much of the economy is in on it.

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  53. As I keep pointing out, the restriction in question is right there in the law: They only get protected by Section 230 in so far as their moderation is in good faith. Once they start moderating to accomplish political censorship, instead, they’ve sacrificed their protection.

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  54. It is, in a sense. In the sense that the left views all dissent from its views as “hate speech”, so to protect speech the left wants to censor will, unavoidably, be characterized as “protecting hate speech”.

    But also in the sense that any proper respect for freedom of speech WOULD protect “hate speech”. Speech isn’t free at all, if we’re only free to say what somebody, somewhere, approves of.

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  55. So why did your side get wiped in 2018? Was it direct collusion with China or is it that the US is getting. fed up with Trumpism and the GOP ignoring what Americans want? Or was 2018 also a rounding error?

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  56. I’ll try and track down the reason behind those 50 or more vids being demonetized. It’s been a while since i last visited Prager’s channel, I simply assumed your previous post

    …This is why, for instance, YouTube wants to block a PragerU video, they don’t say, “We find your politics objectionable”. They make a fraudulent claim that the video is violent or pornographic, instead…

    was a hypothetical scenario to support your main point and not a reference to some real event.

    Their first suit against Google was tossed because people(corporations) cannot sensor people.

    People tend to forget what freedom of speech means.

    “Freedom of speech means freedom from interference, suppression or punitive action by the government—and nothing else. It does not mean the right to demand the financial support or the material means to express your views at the expense of other men who may not wish to support you. Freedom of speech includes the freedom not to agree, not to listen and not to support one’s own antagonists. 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. Private citizens cannot use physical force or coercion; they cannot censor or suppress anyone’s views or publications. Only the government can do so. And censorship is a concept that pertains only to governmental action.”

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  57. Just like the current immigration laws that need to be enforced, or just like the current gun laws that need to be enforced that the prior administrations had been blowing off… You can believe that if you want Brett, but from my perspective, that’s not what they’re trying to do. It seems to me, that one side that’s currently in power is seeing their die-hard supporters get banned because of various reasons. Whether they be intentionally malicious, or just a honest mistake by violating certain terms on each platform. The current administration is using this as a guise to try and implement restrictions on free speech when it’s against their own. All of the social media platforms I mentioned above aren’t government owned entities, and thus have many protections under the first amendment of the United States Constitution. Now if political leanings were a protected status, then maybe there would be a case, but there’s no protections for spewing hate, bigotry, alt-right conspiracy theories, all in the good ole name of “Conservatism”. I’m sorry but there’s not!

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  58. The cynic in me thinks that this might be an attempt to protect on-line hate speech. Of course, Donny would never do that! (end sarcasm mode.)

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  59. Why do you think it’s so difficult for a bot to send an email containing the rule set that tripped some threshold as it turns off your account.

    Ex: A notice from twitter, I edited out the urls so this post isn’t banned by this comment system spam filters.

    From: Twitter Support To: Milo Yiannopoulos 

    Case# 35943414: Account Suspension

    Hello, 

    Your account has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter Rules (…) specifically our rules prohibiting participating in or inciting targeted abuse of individuals. Given that you have previously received repeated warnings for similar violations, your account will not be restored. 

    Twitter 

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  60. Unless the companies can defend themselves from frivolous lawsuits using new terms and conditions, internet abuse will further devolve and further divide our nation with tribalism and partisanship. The founders would be horrified to see this.

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  61. “go create you’re own social media company, and make your own rules that are more inline with your particular political leanings.”

    Bingo. Stop whining, get off your fat arses and create platforms with governance more to your liking. BTW, the idea the billionaire capitalist kleptocrats like Zuckerberg and are left-wing is laughable. Any real lefty will want to tax these oligarchs back to millionaire status.

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  62. You have misunderstood the issue completely. Not a syllable is correct. You do not understand the difference between a platform provider and a publisher and thus cannot contribute meaningfully to this discussion. Read Brett Bellmores explanations below to get some understanding.

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  63. “If this administration thinks they can crate laws via executive order, they are sorely mistaken.”

    The administration isn’t proposing to create any law. They’re proposing to enforce a part of the law prior administrations had been blowing off.

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  64. They weren’t entirely banned. They were demonetized, and some of their videos were put on a restricted status as though they were porn, so that anybody who had a content filter active wouldn’t see them.

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  65. No, that’s true, they don’t have to provide you a spot on their soap box. OTOH, the government doesn’t have to provide the soap box owner an exemption from generally applicable laws.

    The government has offered to shield content carriers from liability for that content that others created, so long as they abide by certain rules. If they don’t want to so abide, that’s their decision.

    They just don’t get the shield, then.

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  66. ” but you will get a notice letting you know which rule you broke”

    Yeah, you’re dreaming, that isn’t how it works in real life.

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  67. Exactly right. The most hilarious of these examples is when conservative sitizens get banned for advising former New York times reporters to “learn to code”. Of course this is a toungue in the cheek reference to the frequent advice to unemployed mid westerners to “learn to code” by the coastal “inteligentia”

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  68. No one owes you a spot on their soapbox.

    Google isn’t the government, violators are free to post their content elsewhere to show the world it’s free of obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable content, but that’s not usually the case.

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  69. If the violation is serious enough a ban will be immediate, but you will get a notice letting you know which rule you broke and what you need to do to get reactivated. The bots are very efficient and apply the rules across the board.

    It’s their website so they get to make the rules under which you are allowed to use it.

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  70. @D Drake
    Have you seen a video by Prager U? I have, and none of the videos are pornographic or violent. They are, however, clearly conservative and sometimes outspokenly christian. They even go as far as to claim that there are biological differences between men and women (ghasp!). You don’t have to agree with this political direction, but for the sake of making the discussion more intelligent, could you please stop pretending that banning PragerU is about pornography/violence? You know, intellectual honesty and all that..?

    And just to nip any accusation in the bud. No, I have not seen all PragerU videos, but it would be very unlikely that a christian conservative organization would push porn or violence, so I don’t really have to see all the videos to know that the motivation of porn/violence to remove their videos is a ridiculous pretence.

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  71. Sorry Brett, you misunderstand. I did not claim that the FCC would ban Steven Crowder, but that zealots at FCC might *deem* banning Steven Crowder and none of the left wing advocates (such as the Young Turks, for instance) as unbiased. A leftist zealot at the FCC might say that Steven Crowder is (objectively) hate but that the Young Turks (objectively) is not.

    So, in the eyes of the zealot, Facebook would have acted “neutrally” by the principle of “we do not publish hate”. And, since Facebook would have applied their judgement “neutrally”, they would still retain their status as platform provider and not a publisher. And, if this would be the policy implementation of the FCC, i.e. that all right wing content is *objectively* hateful, but none of the left wing content, then Facebook/Twitter/Google could continue to (effectively) sensor right wing content.

    If, however, Facebook/Twitter/Google would loose their platform status and be pushed into the publisher category by – as they do today – applying vastly different standards to right wing and left wing content, then they would have to fight on a steady stream of law suits. And this would cost them money and open up for neutral platform providers… In the best of worlds….

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  72. First of all the this is a first amendment issue, and will be struck down in courts if tested. Pretty clear cut, and simple. If this administration thinks they can crate laws via executive order, they are sorely mistaken.

    All of you thinking this is a win for “Your” side, then you really need to go read 1984, and realize this is a huge step toward a dystopian future where the government is controlling speech.

    Quick fix for this is that if you don’t like Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, etc. supposed bias even through I don’t think it exists, go create you’re own social media company, and make your own rules that are more inline with your particular political leanings.

    Pretty simple yeah? This is a free country. So instead of trying to curb free speech laws for social media corporations (which this is where it will start, but not end), go and become a entrepreneur and live your “American Dream”.

    By the way, this is all just a distraction to divide and conquer. The people that own this country don’t give a fuck about any of you, and just throw you some read meat ever so often to make you look the other way, while “they” the owners of this fucking place take all the money, and all the power. Remember the owners of this club, which you and I aren’t a part of, don’t give a flying fuck about any of us, no matter which side politically we’re on.

    “The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.” – George Carlin

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  73. You’re stupid or you’re lying (or both).

    Mitch McConnell just had his Twitter suspended w/o warning for posting a video of Antifa making THREATS AGAINST HIM AND HIS FAMILY. That’s just one recent example.

    Not to mention Youtube, FB, Instagram, etc. all have purposely vague TOSs regarding “hate speech”, so they can nuke anyone they don’t like (while leaving ISIS, Antifa, etc. up and running).

    You are a despicable POS.

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  74. And yet by banning their video you make it impossible for people to see if they are lying or telling the truth. Thus converting those who could be brought around to your way of seeing things to your rivals side.

    I thought sunlight was the best disinfectant?

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  75. Dude would you get off of the Russia thing! Seriously you people have become like Luca Maza was when the word Jews was mentioned. He went all like Nazi immediately every time.

    Lets ignore the now massive amounts of evidence (including their own words and documents) that show that google and twitter are trying to influence the world views of the nation for the left. Lets ignore people who work at or used to work at these places who are saying it.

    Jesus, its like all you people can do is sit down and get told what to thing. But this would require critical thinking and understanding your world view isn’t the only one.

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  76. Yes because when the left uses government, corporate and social power and outrage to harass, threaten, and outright BEAT people into silence and obedience they have proven themselves to be Masters of Authoritarianism and Fascism.

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  77. Many of the people being banned are making jokes or just posting things like learn to code or things like that.

    Lets also ignore the people on the left LITERALLY calling for the murders of normal people, posting where they live or calling for violence (all of these stated bannable offenses-which leftist aren’t banned for). Things that are also against the law if I remember correctly.

    Your either ignorant or a fanatic.

    Consider this, The great power of Democracy is that it effectively makes revolution standardized. People get to Voice their own complaints. And change the government without war.

    Now…take away that voice what does that leave people with?

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  78. What? You realize thousands of people have been banned off of twitter, Youtube, and others with little to no reason or warning?

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  79. They make a fraudulent claim that the video is violent or pornographic

    Anyone can claim, without evidence, their obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable video was banned because someone found their politics objectionable.

    Fortunately, such people’s content always speaks for itself, they’re usually not known for their sophistication and rationality.

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  80. Fortunately, offenders are warned several times before their objectionable content is removed or they’re banned for repeat violations.

    Isn’t it wonderful all peoples(corporations included) have rights.

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  81. Oh, come on, that’s not the “big” threat. That’s the Democrats’ excuse for losing in 2016, that’s all. Russian media interventions are a rounding error in American politics.

    The BIG threat is actually China, but the Democrats will never acknowledge that, because China sort of likes them, or at least thinks it can work with them. Which is a pretty damning thing to say, but, given how much strategic technology we’ve deliberately transferred to them during Democratic administrations, it’s understandable.

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  82. I think you misunderstand the application here; This wouldn’t be the FCC banning anybody.

    Section 230 shields companies from civil liability for carrying objectionable content generated by others so long as they engage in good faith moderation. If the conclusion is just that a company like FB isn’t engaging in good faith moderation, they don’t get banned. They’re just not protected from civil lawsuits anymore.

    And predictably get sued into oblivion, but that’s not the government doing that, it’s private citizens.

    Steven Crowder isn’t subject to Section 230, because he isn’t a platform, he’s a content provider. He’s never been protected by 230, because it only protects companies carrying other people’s content, not actual content providers.

    The worst Trump can do here is to put FB on an equal footing with Crowder, by taking away their shield.

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  83. The problem with saying this, is that it assumes that President Williamson would CARE what the Trump administration had done. That administration is going to do what they want, regardless of any precedent.

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  84. He has the law on his side:

    “2)Civil liability
    No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—(A)any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected;”

    By providing that list in italics, the law provides an understanding of what “or otherwise objectionable” means. It must be something of the same nature as the listed items.

    Companies like FB know this; This is why, for instance, YouTube wants to block a PragerU video, they don’t say, “We find your politics objectionable”. They make a fraudulent claim that the video is violent or pornographic, instead, to maintain at least a pretense to be operating within the terms of 230.

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  85. As with all such “judgement call” type laws, it will fail if it relies on the people making the judgement being on your side.

    Because guaranteed within a decade or so the person making the judgement is going to be on the other side.

    Trump sets a precedent? Well remember that before you know it President Marianne Williamson will be calling the shots. If she implements something, remember that fairly soon it’ll be President Alex Jones wielding that power.

    The only approach that has staying power is to have some sort of objective decision making process that is difficult to warp towards one side or the other, incorporate it into a permanent body or structure within the government structure and make it seem fair enough that the other party doesn’t immediately set out to destroy it. If it lasts a couple of changes of government it becomes permanent.

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  86. Only one problem with this executive order. Are the people in the FCC also left-wing zealots? If so, they will deem banning Steven Crowder and the likes “unbiased” and the order will have no real effect.

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  87. This is good. Youtube, Google, Facebook and Twitter are all taking steps to ensure that the “anomaly” of the 2016 election is not repeated so we know they are biased. Even mainstream conservatives are being banned, demonitized and shadow banned. And sure, as a private company you are allowed to be biased, but then you are no longer just an infrastructure provider but a publisher. A publisher can be sued for the content on their platform…

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  88. That’s good. A first step to control the leftist bias of big tech corporations, and a strong signal against censorship. And when I read some comments here, it seems strongly needed, since all the left-bias tropes are present such as russian collusion, fascist, racist, etc. It is long overdue to have some regulatory oversight over big tech.

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  89. Just when the big threat is Russian subversion using social media to promote discord, the White House’s big concern is stopping social media from “censoring” anything. They are pretty open about their coordination with Putin.

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  90. So if the GOP under trump is looking to ensure the fascist government and their supporters are not removed from social medial when they are degrading and abusing some relative minority how long until all social media becomes a version of britbart – and goes out of business – also how will this apply to social media not based in the US

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