Freedom of Speech - State of Texas vs. Facebook/Twitter

Texas going after Big Tech

The two women behind the speaker look like they’re being held prisoner.
Are they there willingly? lol

Seriously, though - If the law succeeds and Facebook and Twitter go bankrupt because they are liable for not censoring groups planning outright violence - it would be a blessing for the planet.
Facebook, twitter, etc now have two a few choices:

  • Allow Trump and other Conservative groups to plan, support and coordinate violent illegal activities like Jan 6 and be liable to lawsuits from the victims of such events. Also be the subject of law enforcement investigations for providing a haven for such illegal activities
  • Challenge the law and have a good chance of it being overthrown
  • Close up shop and take their profits and bail, or reduce their business model such as Craigslist did the last time Texas passed this kind of law.

Interesting side note is that the Left would also like to see Zuckerberg and Facebook fail. He is far more an asset of the right than the left.

Yeah, I think we would find a lot of bipartisan support for better regulating these corporations and platforms. Especially the ones that turn its users into products.

I simply insist we don’t allow them to use “public commons” as an argument for doing so, because that is a bait-and-switch :slight_smile:

Since Facebook, Twitter, Google, and TikTok are our “public commons”, should we look at nationalizing them, or regulating much more closely like utilities in order to protect and lead for greater good?

I mean, if you like Marxism, yeah - Nationalize everything and call everything a utility.
It’s interesting how appealing a completely Marxist idea is to you, and how completely Republicans embrace Marxism and abandon any values they thought they ever had in the wink of an eye.

It seems you assume I would prefer nationalization of our de facto public common’s platforms. That’s not the case Mr. Bennett.

I really don’t think we need to rehash this too much, but Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok are not the “public commons”, because they are privately owned corporations. These are incompatible ideas. Public highways are part of the commons, because they are built and maintained by public taxes, and therefore belong to all of us. The McDonalds at the side of the highway is not public commons, because it is privately owned. Just because it’s the most popular destination, doesn’t make it “public commons”.

The internet is the highway, and should be classified as a utility, with all net neutrality protections. Facebook is one of many destinations on the highway. Sure, it’s like Starbucks, it’s nearly ubiquitous and exists on just about every corner and every exit. But that doesn’t make it publicly owned and maintained.

If we feel that they or any other corporation is effectively acting as a monopoly, then we can break them up, just as we did with Ma Bell back in the day. But without sneaking in the neoliberal idea that all public utilities and services must be privatized, which is precisely what the “Facebook is public commons!” frame is doing.

Again, Alex Jones is entitled to find an ISP that will host his content. He is entitled to his own website, his own little shop on the side of the highway. But he is not entitled to using someone else’s platform to amplify his voice.

So no, we should not nationalize Facebook, as that would only stifle innovation and prevent the next, better Facebook from eventually emerging. But we should absolutely classify the internet itself as a public utility.

So let’s do something about Big Tech’s corrosive effect on our society and our shared reality. But not by using the bait-and-switch of the “public commons” argument.

Stop splitting hairs and just admit you have deep seated Marxist tendencies. You want either regulation like with utilities or nationalization. Pohtayto, Pohtahto. Marxism, Communism Socialism.

You like to paint paint everyone else but yourself with such a wide brush. Now you want to spit hairs on the the fine shades between your versions of Marxism? :joy:

Youre “in the biz” so have a deeper appreciation for systematic implications of “public commons”.
Perhaps removing Article 230 protections would be sufficient?

We dealt with this issue way back in the early days of the internet.

You just can’t have an Integral discussion forum if, for example, Corey is liable to be extradited and executed in Saudi Arabia because I post witchcraft to his website and his website has allowed this to happen.

Are you against an adaptive, evolving system of governing, regulating? Or is it ok to “update” our laws?

You specifically said “removing Article 230”, not updating or evolving.
If you think Section 230 should be adjusted or adapted rather than removed, present me with specifics and then I can see if it makes sense. I have no problem with Section 230 because I don’t mind Capitalism. I’m not sure what kind of Marxist legislation you would want to enact, so you have to present me with the details first.

I think it’s a great idea to to update our laws - the first one at the top of the list would be requiring all Presidents, Senators and Representatives to be audited by at least two external public accounting firms before taking and also after leaving office, and be required to submit any irregularities to the appropriate authorities.

Annual audits are required of every publicly traded company and are general practice in most private companies so there’s no reason why the people making our nations laws should not be subject to an external audit at least once.

Not specific to State of Texas but seems to be the best thread for the materials.
Don’t know if folks are following the US Senate hearings on Facebook, but this round does seem to have a bit more teeth than previous hearings.