Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

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jacob
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by jacob »

Campitor wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:03 pm
We could buy printing presses and try to publish our own work but we’re still denied the wide dissemination of our ideas.
This is where I disagree. I say that people have a right to speak (and not be hassled by the government for speaking) but that does not imply that people have a right to be widely heard. This means the people who own the "megaphones" are free to regulate who gets to use them. Don't agree? Build your own megaphone and work to make it bigger. People do not have a right to free ride on other people's megaphones. Or to put it in old-school terms: You have the right to publish a book, but you don't have the right to get it into every book store. Or to start earlier, you have the right to write a book, but you don't have the right to force someone else to mass-print it.

This implies that I definitely favor the old mass media style "gate keeper" role. Incidentally, since what I mean by "gate keeper" apparently wasn't obvious, I meant serving as a filter of certain ethical standards. To elaborate, in order to publish in a science magazine, the author has to abide the scientific code of conduct; in order to publish in a newspaper, the person has to abide the journalistic standards; and so on... This avoids bad actors free-riding on the goodwill that the gate keeper has otherwise established.

(Part of the problem here is, as I described above, is that a lot of the goodwill up from a history of following these codes has been capitalized/monetized. E.g. news organizations have admitted "opinion" pieces to such a degree that many people can no longer tell the difference between an opinion host and a news host ... all the while the news outlet continuing to pretend that it's a news outlet rather than a propaganda outlet for a certain opinion... resulting in many functionally incapable of differentiating between facts and opinion in general or putting the latter above the former. Ditto web2.0 sociopaths capitalizing on the overall helpful friendly and truthful environment of expectations that the web1.0 nerds built up.)

This does not mean I could not see companies or organizations going into the business of lending their megaphone to everybody with no exception. The *chans, Parler, ... and other "free speech"-sites have famously or notoriously profiled themselves on that. However, the market also shows that there's relatively little demand for their services. In other words that particular free-for-all megaphone will be a relatively small one. IOW, it'll be a soap box in the town square rather than an appearance on national TV. FWIW, I also remember the existence of publishers willing to publish what most other publishers wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. These publishers were obscure but because of the first amendment they did exist.

In short: Just because something becomes popular does not mean it becomes public!

Campitor
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by Campitor »

jacob wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:51 pm
This is where I disagree. I say that people have a right to speak (and not be hassled by the government for speaking) but that does not imply that people have a right to be widely heard. This means the people who own the "megaphones" are free to regulate who gets to use them. Don't agree? Build your own megaphone and work to make it bigger.
I agree with your statement 100%. However my concern is also in regards to getting access to the components to build a megaphone when the technocrats control the manufacturing and distribution of these components and subsequently being denied the use of that megaphone under any circumstances or being restricted in using that megaphone in public spaces where everyone else has the “right” to do so. At what point does “just make your own” become an actual impediment? How far down the supply chain would I have to go to be able to express myself and reach a sizable audience? At what point does it become reductio ad absurdum?

jacob
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by jacob »

I actually had a paragraph on that but I took it out since I hadn't really considered the full depth of that rabbit hole. I think it's easiest to start with giving everybody the right to have an IP number so they can connect the the internet (as opposed to having to make up their own network). WLOG this could extended to the right to have a domain name.

However, there are some behaviors or information that humanity has more or less universally outlawed (e.g. human trafficking, WMDs, ...) The question is whether such sites should have a right to exist on the public web or on the darknet or at all. That is the beginning of the rabbit hole and involves more skills in lawyering than I have. Also this quickly gets murky/splits into grey zones. For example, the next step after getting a domain name would be finding a hosting company lest you have to supply your own server. This is definitely a level where some of the more deplorable sites already find themselves limited in terms of who will provide them with "components".

Campitor
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by Campitor »

@jacob

I consider human trafficking and WMD legitimate areas to censor since human trafficking is non consensual and illegal. And WMD technology has extreme consequences therefore safeguards to that information is highly desirable. We’re probably more in agreement in regards to internet decorum and censorship than not.

My concerns for censorship would be allayed for example if I knew persons like you would be put in charge of it. But people like you are not those who gravitate toward being internet censors or drafters of policies regarding online censorship. There aren’t many scientists or ethicists manning the suppression switches. There are certain truths that must be allowed in order to prevent a greater harm despite how much it might ruffle the feathers of the general public. Teaching evolution was censored at one point in school for example.

Loner
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by Loner »

jacob wrote: The *chans, Parler, ... and other "free speech"-sites have famously or notoriously profiled themselves on that. However, the market also shows that there's relatively little demand for their services.
It is not so much that there is no demand. It is that the value of a network depends on its number of users. Who'd want to go to a town square that's empty? The big social media platforms have this function (virtual town square) much more that that of "publisher" like a traditional media, or even this forum, and for this reason should not have the right to censor speech (except for the usual incitment to violence, etc.). Regular media are a different stories.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I think the big social media platforms are more like privately owned shopping malls than public squares. In fact, that’s why I only use them about as often as I visit a shopping mall.

I also agree with Jacob that creating or even hosting your own website on the Public Square which is the overall internet/www is not much more technologically challenging than printing up pamphlets or posters in your basement in 1959. I mean, I’ve done it, and I’m not very competent and/or internally motivated by high level of grouchiness.

Campitor
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by Campitor »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:18 am
I also agree with Jacob that creating or even hosting your own website on the Public Square which is the overall internet/www is not much more technologically challenging than printing up pamphlets or posters in your basement in 1959. I mean, I’ve done it, and I’m not very competent and/or internally motivated by high level of grouchiness.
Agreed but it's not exactly apples to oranges. The way big tech behaves it would be akin to you opening a store in a mall and the mall builds access ramps to all stores except yours while putting up signs that block the views to your storefront; and the signs contain negative advertisement about your store.

I'm willing to give big tech a pass on censorship if they're willing to forego their section 230 protections. They are acting more like publishers than distributors and should be treated as such.

https://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/immuni ... ecency-act:
Under standard common-law principles, a person who publishes a defamatory statement by another bears the same liability for the statement as if he or she had initially created it. Thus, a book publisher or a newspaper publisher can be held liable for anything that appears within its pages. The theory behind this "publisher" liability is that a publisher has the knowledge, opportunity, and ability to exercise editorial control over the content of its publications.
Once twitter started posting counter facts on users' posts, it crossed the line from being a distributor to a content editor in my humble opinion. Either ban/lock the post or the poster but once a content distributor starts tacking on nuance or counter claims on a user's original post, then they've crossed into editorial control which means section 230 protections should be removed.

Loner
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by Loner »

The overall internet/www is nothing like a public square. Maybe it's the whole town, to take the analogy perhaps a bit too far. If you go to an actual town square or a park, you can readily communicate, just like that, in the same way you'd do on social media. You cannot do that in "the overall internet", which is not even a place but just wires connecting devices. The square has no barrier to entry. You just need to be there. It cannot be censored. I think social media should be thought of similarly. The opposite (censorship, "fact-checking", etc.) is not only dangerous, but it is already failing (see the dubious fact checking on Biden's crime bill, for example, but there are more instances: https://greenwald.substack.com/p/instag ... t-checking ).

Thinking of those big platforms as publishers who can/should edit the content is nonsense. A newspaper has a limited number of articles which are (in theory, but lemme tell you it is very different in practice) carefully reviewed by a sentient, accountable being with a judgement. Twitter cannot and will never do that given that, according to Google, users publish 200 billion tweets a year. And if you're not happy with whatever is published in a newspaper, you can write to them, and they might publish your criticism in the "Letters to the Editor" section, or might amend the initial article, or publish your letter as an op-ed. In other words, you have a recourse, a method of appeal. With Facebook, you have none. I can't see that this isn't more worrying for more people.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Uganda bans social media ahead of presidential election

I suppose the Ugandans can just build their own internet.

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