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Is Big Tech being 1984'd?

Discussion in 'Randomination' started by LutonSpurs, 10 Jan 2021.

  1. Kandi1977

    Kandi1977 Andy Thompson

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    You have a right to express your political views, but that does not mean that you can say whatever the fudge you want. And millions of people have been killed and arrested just for their thoughs, or simply not "obeing" to the state view, without ever expressing any opposing view.
     
  2. SpurMeUp

    SpurMeUp Tom Huddlestone

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    I think you're possibly oversimplifying. This is not black or white. Firstly, you don't have a say in what I or anyone else writes and posts; with the expception of GutterBoy (hope he's doing ok). You are not a traditional 'publisher' then. Twitter provides a platform but has a code of conduct - or community guidelines. Should they sanction Trump if he breaches their code of conduct? If they are consistent, why not?
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2021
  3. ricky2tricky4city

    ricky2tricky4city Paul Robinson

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    scaramanga likes this.
  4. scaramanga

    scaramanga Ralph Coates Staff Member

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    That's not the legal case.

    I am a publisher. I have the right and the obligation to edit and/or censor what's posted on here. I am liable for anything posted here that I don't. That's not my opinion, that's settled law in most countries.

    Twitter is also a publisher as it censors and edits content it doesn't like. Both Twitter and Facebook have been to court a number of times in the last few years to claim they are not a publisher - that they are simply a street square, into which people can bring their soapbox and loudhailer.

    Problem is, if you put security guards at all of the entrances to the square and forcibly remove those with opinions you don't like, you're no longer just a vehicle - you're editorialising and that makes you a publisher.
     
  5. Baleforce

    Baleforce Bert Bliss

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    Seems like a rather wide brush. Could equally count for law enforcement cracking down on hate speech.
     
  6. braineclipse

    braineclipse Barry Daines

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    You have a right to say most of the things you'd want, not up to and including inciting violence.

    You do not have the right to an audience or a platform. Me not getting a book or article published doesn't infringe on my freedom of speech.

    You do not have a right to say what you want without consequences or people telling you you're wrong, a damned fool or worse.

    Social media gets somewhat murky ethically, but personally I see this as a step in the right direction.
     
    DTA, Kandi1977 and Baleforce like this.
  7. braineclipse

    braineclipse Barry Daines

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    Yes and no on the gay wedding cake.

    The way I understand it, sexual orientation is a protected class, political views are not. So a non right wing activist supreme court could have told the cakeshop to do one and twitter could still ban the soon to be twice impeached grifter.
     
    LutonSpurs likes this.
  8. scaramanga

    scaramanga Ralph Coates Staff Member

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    Which is why pretty much everyone is being treated as a publisher.
     
  9. P.D.

    P.D. Chris Armstrong

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    I think as a private company they can do whatever they like but they need to apply things consistently, the thread linked in the opening post shows that there's thousands of death threats made each day and probably thousands of racist comments as well - shouldn't all those people be banned. I can see that someone with 80m followers is however quite different from someone with 100 followers posting similar things.

    The other risk is that you drive all the nuttahs onto another platform which only posts and discusses more and more of the same and that's all they see - at least on mainstream platforms posts can be given warnings, you can easily access other information. If people leave and read QANON stufff 24/7 elsewhere then that could pose serious danger in the future.
     
  10. parklane1

    parklane1 David Ginola

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    I don't know how to use the like button.
     
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  11. braineclipse

    braineclipse Barry Daines

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    Law is far from my strong point, but isn't there a difference here between social media (including this place) and traditional publishing?

    If you delete something you're fine. Would a newspaper be similarly fine publishing something and then deleting or publishing a retraction? I thought with editorial responsibility they have a different responsibility to anything published?

    Also you can ban anyone, delete anything. You could ban me for being annoying or having too many views you disagree with. Twitter can do the same. Though luckily none of you do. You could say that dogwhistles with nazi undertones aren't allowed, so could twitter.

    I think where the big social media companies can be rightly criticised is with lacking consistency. They took down loads of ISIS stuff, rightly so, but dragged their heals on that at first and more domestic terrorism much longer (imo).

    It's a difficult balance to find, perhaps an impossible one. I'm seeing progress with the recent developments at least.
     
  12. scaramanga

    scaramanga Ralph Coates Staff Member

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    If anything, traditional publishers have more leeway. They only tend to publish in a single country and don't have to follow as many differing rule sets as online publishers.

    There is a bit of wiggle room in the initial posting of content in the sense that I don't control what gets posted and as long as I can prove I have a robust moderation method then any short delay is acceptable. But that acceptance tends to wane the more a person or group posts that is against the law.

    It's still a section of law that most lawmakers are struggling to properly tie down but the clear intent and movement of laws over the last 10 years is to treat both the same (at least in the UK and the EU).
     
  13. thfcsteff

    thfcsteff Gary Stevens Staff Member

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    I am genuinely not sure if you don't understand or are being obstreperous. Twitter, FB, Amazon, etc, removed Trump and Parler from their platforms because they violated free speech laws already in place. Here. Given that you used wikipedia, allow me to do the same. As if to further support their position and throw your argument under the bus, said-platforms had actually been neglecting their duties by definition to ban him from their platforms under the rules of free speech for the past few years. I'll be interested to see if anyone sues them for not having done this earlier i.e. for giving him a pass up until last week!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_free_speech_exceptions
     
  14. thfcsteff

    thfcsteff Gary Stevens Staff Member

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    Intent. Not actualized yet. Certainly not in the US.
     
  15. scaramanga

    scaramanga Ralph Coates Staff Member

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    I'm not sure I've explained my position here particularly well.

    Twitter has the right to ban whoever they want and I support them in that. What they have done every time they have been in court for not removing content or not removing it quickly enough, is claim they are not responsible for their content. By banning Trump they are showing that the are responsible for their content as they are choosing what can and cannot be published.
     
    LutonSpurs likes this.
  16. scaramanga

    scaramanga Ralph Coates Staff Member

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    It doesn't really matter what happens in the US as Twitter is published to the UK and the EU as well. They have to abide by the law here just as much as in the US.
     
  17. thfcsteff

    thfcsteff Gary Stevens Staff Member

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    Sigh. He has violated the exceptions to free speech in the US as agreed by the US Supreme Court. It shows they are finally adhering to these rules, ones that should've seen him banned years ago.
     
  18. scaramanga

    scaramanga Ralph Coates Staff Member

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    They were censoring his tweets long before he broke any laws (in terms of what he tweeted).
     
  19. braineclipse

    braineclipse Barry Daines

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    Does it?

    Assuming they're getting away with not being responsible for it in courts.

    Would their choice to ban Trump have any impact on how the courts see their responsibility? Hey, you banned this guy (which you have the right to do), so now you must also ban all these other people because banning that one guy means you've taken responsibility for all of it.

    Doesn't quite stack up in my mind.
     
  20. scaramanga

    scaramanga Ralph Coates Staff Member

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    I don't think banning is the issue, the consoring before banning is. Social media sites have been taken to court for not reacting quickly enough and not removing content when they should have done. Their argument was always that they were not responsible for the content as they were merely a vehicle.

    Choosing to fact check and censor material (no matter how right it is to do so) shows that they voluntarily make themselves responsible for their content when it suits them.
     

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