What do you think of the BigTech Crackdown

Nev_Dull

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I'm a bit confused by all the fuss and the reaction of the companies like Amazon, Goooooogle and Apple. Isn't Parler just a social media platform? They aren't accountable for the content the members post, which it seams, is what those companies are trying to do. It seems like Parler might have a good case against those companies for holding their business hostage.
 

mysiteguy

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I am dead against what Amazon has done
Its not as if people would say that Parler hosts bad contect so I'll look and see who is hosting Parler and stop using their services
Its like your telco, they cannot be blamed if you are a drug dealer and use their phone system to arrange drug deals!
I think that all of my members are law abiding citizens

I'm dead set against sites that give safe harbor for people calling for the literal rape and death of others.
 

mysiteguy

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So should all the big webhosts and cloud services collude and not host a company like Parler which was becoming a major opposition to Twitter and Youtube?

There's a huge difference between jumping on a bandwagon and colluding.
 
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DigNap15

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I'm dead set against sites that give safe harbor for people calling for the literal rape and death of others.
I have a general forum (quite busy in a smal country)
We have free speech rules
But do not allow hate speech or threats of violence - we dont get many (any)
But they would soon be reported!
Parler was given the reputation of being a haven for right wing extremists!
 

Deathstarr

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Free speech is one thing but it’s outside the laws when you threat bodily harm. Calling names even slurs are with in the law as I understand but I am not a lawyer and did not participate in it nor will I ever. I have always had an open mind but lean on the conservative side of things.

I enjoyed Parler but it’s because of who was on their and who I followed. I’m sure Twitter could be the same but Twitter is a tool I use for business and Parler was some where I went to relax and talk. I had a personal account and would discuss without the haters chiming in on my stuff.

I would watch it because how it plays out could drop down to all online communities. Just like godaddy kicking ar15 offline for a day because of the content in which they have. Not illegal, not hate speech but wanted to be involved. Godaddy gave no warning, just removed the dns in which serviced the forum.
I understand Parker called themself the free speech network and it’s their own to run and maintain they could always purchase their own servers but they want an ad free network so idk we will prob never see Parler again.
 

JQP

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Some general replies to this thread:

All web hosts have rules; read yours. Amazon was probably within their rights to throw Parler out. It doesn't matter if they hadn't enforced them up until they did, just like a cop can let you speed for 20 miles before he pulls you over. If Parler broke the rules they broke the rules. I don't know anything about the AR15 situation, so no comment.

Having rules is also a First Amendment right (i.e. the government can't dictate a site's content). And just FYI, yelling "fire" in a crowded theater is protected speech, but it is really dumb and you might be held civilly liable if someone gets trampled. Technicality.

Hate speech is legal, death threats and incitement aren't.

Section 230 doesn't even mention "publishers" or "platforms" and it protects the little guys as much as it protects Facebook, Twitter and yes, Parler. Sites are under no obligation to delete or not delete content they object to but we are protected from legal obligation if we don't. It doesn't protect us from our hosting companies if we violate their rules. And sites can delete any content they damn well please, whether or not it violates any laws or rules, without violating anybody's rights or losing 230's protections. People might call you a jerk but that's also your right.

I'd think that forum administrators would already know most of the above.
 

Oh!

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Some general replies to this thread:

All web hosts have rules; read yours. Amazon was probably within their rights to throw Parler out. It doesn't matter if they hadn't enforced them up until they did, just like a cop can let you speed for 20 miles before he pulls you over. If Parler broke the rules they broke the rules. I don't know anything about the AR15 situation, so no comment.

Having rules is also a First Amendment right (i.e. the government can't dictate a site's content). And just FYI, yelling "fire" in a crowded theater is protected speech, but it is really dumb and you might be held civilly liable if someone gets trampled. Technicality.

Hate speech is legal, death threats and incitement aren't.

Section 230 doesn't even mention "publishers" or "platforms" and it protects the little guys as much as it protects Facebook, Twitter and yes, Parler. Sites are under no obligation to delete or not delete content they object to but we are protected from legal obligation if we don't. It doesn't protect us from our hosting companies if we violate their rules. And sites can delete any content they damn well please, whether or not it violates any laws or rules, without violating anybody's rights or losing 230's protections. People might call you a jerk but that's also your right.

I'd think that forum administrators would already know most of the above.
I think Section 230 has it about right. And I have already posted as much in this thread and others at TAZ. 230 provides us all with protections to moderate as we deem fit, generally free to choose to remove or leave up content we deem appropriate. This is our freedom of expression in action: choosing what content we wish to allow at the forum/blog/platform we own and operate.
So, should Amazon be forced to host websites and content from companies which they do not wish to be involved? Should you be forced to accept members who post content you (or your other members) find objectionable at your forum?
I never received a reply to the above. But the again, my question was more rhetorical in nature, as I assume none of us would wish to end up in the situation where either we must moderate content so closely that operating a discussion space becomes impractical (or even useless for that matter). Or, conversely, we must allow all manner of content which we find reprehensible or abhorrent at the website we own and operate.

Parler is a victim of its (lack of) moderation policies and resulting notoriety. It is not a victim of censorship. Just as Parler can choose its own content policies (who can join, what content is acceptable, and with whom they do business), so can Amazon and others. And until someone can explain to me why some companies should be forced to do business with companies and users which fail to adhere to their (reasonable) Acceptable Use Policies, but that they, themselves, should be exempt and free to ban members and remove content as they deem fit at the forums they operate, I will politely point out that their position is inconsistent and hypocritical.

These are, actually, quite complicated matters. So I'll disagree with you, JQP, on this one point: It is not that surprising (to me) that most forum operators have not considered these matters very deeply. After all, the topic under discussion is unlikely to impact their operations. Though, if it should, and they live or have their business registered in the US, they might be very thankful indeed for Section 230 and the protections it affords them.
 
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Deathstarr

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Apparently, they had threads talking about doxxing, showing up at people's homes and killing them along with their families, and killing political leaders.
They were back up on ar15-backup.com within hours and moved.
 

mysiteguy

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They were back up on ar15-backup.com within hours and moved.

This dodges the point being made about their content.

These sites create their own self-fulfilling prophecies. They scream and shout about others wanting to censor them, become extreme about it and other things, then do the very things that guarantee they'll be shut down. They fail to see it's not conservatism that gets them shut down, it's threats of violence or other behaviors that infringe on the life, liberty, or property of others.

It's a safe bet the overwhelming majority of the people on that forum and others de-platformed would be the first to cheer if a site focusing on Islam made the same type of threats was de-platformed.
 
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JQP

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Parler is a victim of its (lack of) moderation policies and resulting notoriety. It is not a victim of censorship. Just as Parler can choose its own content policies (who can join, what content is acceptable, and with whom they do business), so can Amazon and others.
I've been saying for 20 years or so that sites without rules are destined to die. Whether it's because of hosting, advertisers, lack of new signups or hurt feelings, it's been demonstrated too many times to deny.

And until someone can explain to me why some companies should be forced to do business with companies and users which fail to adhere to their (reasonable) Acceptable Use Policies, but that they, themselves, should be exempt and free to ban members and remove content as they deem fit at the forums they operate, I will politely point out that their position is inconsistent and hypocritical.
Yeah, that argument is so wrong it just makes me want to scream. It isn't Conservative, Liberal or Libertarian - or it's all of the above all at the same time, I can't really tell. My brain can't process that many contradictions all at once. More than anything else, it's just selfish. "I can do what I want, other people can't."
These are, actually, quite complicated matters. So I'll disagree with you, @JQP, on this one point: It is not that surprising (to me) that most forum operators have not considered these matters very deeply. After all, the topic under discussion is unlikely to impact their operations. Though, if it should, and they live or have their business registered in the US, they might be very thankful indeed for Section 230 and the protections it affords them.
Interesting. I guess it depends on your site's content but I've usually gotten one or two cease-and-desist type emails a year (written by people masquerading as their lawyers lol) where somebody's accused a high school coach of having an affair with a student or embezzling money or some such. I always try to delete those but I'm glad to have the protection when I miss one.
 

Nev_Dull

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I never received a reply to the above.
I thought I offered one. If your Section 230 says the platform is not responsible for the content of the members, then yes, Amazon et al, should have to continue to host a company like Parler, unless that company breaches the agreement in some way. They can't (or shouldn't ) penalize the client for hosting "bad" content if the law says they aren't responsible for it. On the other hand, the hosting company has an obligation to honour the hosting agreement. Any terms of the contract regarding content are pointless, as the client company is simply a platform.

This may reflect my misunderstanding of the law. Perhaps Section 230 has provisions to allow application of the law only under certain circumstances, or to have it waived depending on how much money a company generates.
 

Oh!

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I thought I offered one. If your Section 230 says the platform is not responsible for the content of the members, then yes, Amazon et al, should have to continue to host a company like Parler, unless that company breaches the agreement in some way. They can't (or shouldn't ) penalize the client for hosting "bad" content if the law says they aren't responsible for it. On the other hand, the hosting company has an obligation to honour the hosting agreement. Any terms of the contract regarding content are pointless, as the client company is simply a platform.

This may reflect my misunderstanding of the law. Perhaps Section 230 has provisions to allow application of the law only under certain circumstances, or to have it waived depending on how much money a company generates.
But as already explained, this dispute between Amazon and Parler has been going on since November. Besides, these companies always include some kind of catchall for unanticipated or difficult to define occurrences.

And, you have still missed the point. You expect Amazon to host content they find antithetical to their values (or their bottom line - it really does not matter which) - but I ask you, would you be happy being forced to accept members which did not obey your community rules or you (or your other members) just found generally objectionable? Would you risk (for example) 50% of your membership leaving because you tolerate one member who is, objectively, obnoxious?

It should also be remembered that these were not minor content problems with Parler.
 

JQP

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Besides, these companies always include some kind of catchall for unanticipated or difficult to define occurrences.
I've never looked at AWS's TOS but my host has a long page of things it doesn't allow, and one entry that says something like "anything illegal." Pretty sure that would cover allowing death threats.

Aside: Didn't Parler kind of famously delete some post a couple weeks ago? But they refused to delete the stuff on Amazon's list? That's kinda nuts, don't you think?
 

Oh!

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I've never looked at AWS's TOS but my host has a long page of things it doesn't allow, and one entry that says something like "anything illegal." Pretty sure that would cover allowing death threats.

Aside: Didn't Parler kind of famously delete some post a couple weeks ago? But they refused to delete the stuff on Amazon's list? That's kinda nuts, don't you think?
From what I have read on the Wikipedia page, Parler has a narrower tolerance to the kinds of content it will allow compared with Facebook and Twitter. Odd for a platform supposedly formed because the likes of Facebook and Twitter failed to support their constitutional rights.

I don't know anything about specific content at Parler. Just bits I've read at Wikipedia and some bits of articles.
 

DigNap15

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So whats next, they may say we won't allow any sites that mentions guns, or nazi history, or religion
Its coming, so we all need to be aware
Does the power company disconnect drug dealers? or rapists?
Where will it end?
 

Oh!

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So whats next, they may say we won't allow any sites that mentions guns, or nazi history, or religion
Its coming, so we all need to be aware
Does the power company disconnect drug dealers? or rapists?
Where will it end?
I do actually understand and appreciate your concerns. However, the alternative is for Government to dictate to individual businesses (and individual forum owners for that matter) what content they must allow. Do you allow Nazi propaganda at your forum? Should you be forced into doing this?

If an individual is a societal pariah because of something notorious they did and they joined your forum, would you let them stay, even as your loyal members left in droves in protest? What if an individual or group of individuals used your forum to organize serious crimes, would you not bother moderating the content and let them stay? What if they wished to use your forum to advertise and distribute an app to aid them in their crimes, would that be OK with you? If not, why should Amazon and Google be forced into these things? Assuming there is no collusion going on (blacklisting - which is usually illegal), this is just market forces - something I suspect you generally favor.

There are exceptions of course: protected groups should not be forced off platforms purely for who they are. But there is the world of difference between targeting groups because of their ethnicity, gender, etc., and cutting business ties with individuals or groups organizing to commit crimes and threaten violence. Unless you and your forum engage in such things, there is no threat to you. There is no 'creep' going on. Business have always been free to behave this way - businesses can cut ties with other businesses and individuals who will likely damage their brand. Where such actions have occurred through collusion and/or have been discriminatory against groups (because of their essential birth characteristics), most countries have created legal protections. But you are in effect proposing that criminals and ideas should be protected classes too. I know that's not what you are actually proposing, but that's the end result of your line of reasoning. There is the world of difference between no one wishing to do business with a pariah, and being discriminatory or curtailing freedom of expression.
 

Nev_Dull

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And, you have still missed the point. You expect Amazon to host content they find antithetical to their values (or their bottom line - it really does not matter which) - but I ask you, would you be happy being forced to accept members which did not obey your community rules or you (or your other members) just found generally objectionable? Would you risk (for example) 50% of your membership leaving because you tolerate one member who is, objectively, obnoxious?
Apples and oranges. Amazon isn't hosting content. They are providing hosting space to a company that runs a platform with user-generated content.

I think there's a bit of hypocrisy going on here. You cannot argue that Section 230 is vital to protect us from being held responsible for any bad content on our sites, then turn around and say "I don't like the content on Parler. They ought to be held responsible for the bad content on their site." The law should either protect all equally or be repealed. Further, if there is content on the site that is contrary to the law, then surely that is something for the authorities to deal with, not a hosting company.

Just to reiterate my position. I don't agree with the concept of Section 230. Social media sites, blogs, forums should be responsible for their content. In fact the moment you moderate any post or create rules about what users can or can't post, you assume editorial control over the content. You are the de facto publisher.
 

DigNap15

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I wish I had a list of the channels that Youtube has demonised or removed over the last 5 years.
Many of them were history type channels that may have mentioned "nazis' whilst discussing WWII
 
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