Lion of the Blogosphere

Gab is shut down; end of free speech

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pennsylvania-shooting-gab/gabcom-goes-offline-after-pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting-idUSKCN1N20Q5

Huge attack on freedom of speech.

This demonstrates that there’s no way to avoid the censors. Even if you create a new website, the web is controlled by a small oligopoly that can shut it down.

Only government regulation can ensure freedom of speech. Libertarians are wrong. (I’ve been saying this for a long time. Will libertarians finally realize they were wrong?)

Although there is also the problem that any website that truly offers free speech will inevitably become a disgusting cesspool of antisemitism. I think that free speech is more important.

But as things stand, it’s clear that a SWPL-SJW-elite now controls the internet. Only a tiny percentage of people are willing to go onto the “dark web” in order to read and participate in forbidden sites.

The internet, for a brief time, enabled a golden age of free speech in which anyone could get a message out, no matter how unpopular that message was with the elites. But that time is coming to an end.

* * *

I found the following comment left less than three months ago:

Many of my Twitter follows were banned or shadowbanned. So I closed my Twitter and opened up a Gab account. I was excited about this. The very first thing I saw on Gab was an antisemitic post. Then I noticed there were tons of them…to the point where Gab seems like a social network for Jew haters. I posted about this on Gab and got so much intense anger directed towards me. I haven’t gone back since, what a disappointment.

Rather prophetic.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 29, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Technology

41 Responses

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  1. Always wondered why the right doesn’t try similar deplatforming tactics against the left, going after them for every crooked toenail, tattling to as many authorities as possible, etc. They’re just not as good at social warfare as the left.

    Jason Liu

    October 29, 2018 at EDT am

    • The right doesn’t control anything, can’t deplatform anyone.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 29, 2018 at EDT am

    • https://www.weeklystandard.com/nathan-cofnas/pc-corporate-culture-is-a-plague-that-government-helps-spread

      “Did Google have a right to fire James Damore because he challenged a tenet of political correctness? Most conservatives think that private companies should be allowed to fire people for whatever reason they like. But companies themselves are under legal compulsion to enforce political correctness. What looks like private censorship is actually a form of government censorship by indirect means. Google might not have evolved such a liberal, politically correct culture—or fired Damore—if it didn’t have to protect itself from hostile-work-environment lawsuits or falling afoul of anti-discrimination laws.”

      Make laws enforcing right wing ideology that corporations have to follow. Then watch them run scared of right wing social activism just as much as they run from left wing social activism.

      chris

      October 29, 2018 at EDT am

      • That take by Cofnas on the putative legal strictures under which Google and other companies operate is incorrect. The truth is that, while the EEOC staff might unreasonably interpret it’s brief to preclude opinionizing like Damore’s, the courts have never agreed, and Google of course cannot be financially bulldozed into accepting any such unreasonable interpretation. There is little doubt that courts would back Google (or the like) if they took the side of a Damore against whining female employees. The simple fact is that the subjective emotional pain occassioned by the expression of a mere point of view has never been held to constitute “harassment” or an actionable hostile work environment.

        vipltd

        October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

    • They got James Gunn fired for some stupid tweets

      Alex

      October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

  2. “Libertarians are wrong.”

    Libertarians have better defined the category of private-for-public (PfP) use or offer entities. These are non-discriminatory. US Law is slowly adjusting to the idea. It’s a common law concept that went underground with nearly two centuries of socialist /positive law, whose racket is to distort coercively then declare freedom has failed..

    Gab is the victim of an artificial distinction that only recognizes government/government-regulated, or purely private entities. Gab tried to be non-discriminatory but was discriminated against by what is really a PfP with government encouragement. The contradiction is in socialized law, not Libertarianism. The solution is not more regulation for a regulation-created problem.

    BTW, the shooter was a libertarian-hater.

    Robert

    October 29, 2018 at EDT am

  3. I think what’s happened is that after the wild west of the early days of the internet, it’s settled down into most of our conversations being funneled through a handful of social media sites. That’s bad, but on balance, we’re still better off than the days when there were three TV networks and a handful of national newspapers that set the debate.

    Mike Street Station

    October 29, 2018 at EDT am

  4. If Democrats fail to win the House next week things are really going to go nuts.

    Richard

    October 29, 2018 at EDT am

  5. Yes, pure free speech is somewhat of an autistic concept. It needs to be lightly moderated, otherwise it’s just way too easy to ruin and sidetrack discussions. The best comment sections are lightly moderated, not just anything goes absolute free speech.

    Fact Checker

    October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

    • “The best comment sections are lightly moderated, not just anything goes absolute free speech.”

      That analogy does not work. I’m happy for Lion to moderate his blog, because there are always other blogs run by different kinds of people. But if every blogger had exactly the same views as Lion, and so did all the companies that provide platforms for bloggers, then that would obviously be a problem for everyone who did not share lion’s views.

      Free speech doesn’t need to be moderated by the state unless it breaks laws–the old fashioned kind of laws, not the new ‘causing offence’ kind. It doesn’t even make sense to close down the social media site that Bowers published his screed on. If he had taken a spray can and sprayed ‘to hell with the optics, I’m going in’ on a brick wall, would we knock down the wall and ban spray cans?

      Prolier Than Thou

      October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

      • did gab ever encourage the bowers type? or is it just that his type was banned by all other platforms?

        so the “cess-pool of anti-semitism” and whatever may just be the rejects.

        the 28th amendment

        October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

    • free speech absolutism is the universal position of those with top 10% IQs.

      the US and japan are the only countries with freedom of speech in the sense that government can’t punish speech. this is a new phenomenon and strongly suggests people the world over have become dumber.

      japan only has free speech because the US wrote the japanese constitution. the japanese, like their fellow ne asians, don’t support freedom of speech.

      libertarians define freedom as freedom from government. the idea that government intervention can increase freedom never occurs to them. if they were sincere and not ridiculous they’d refuse to drive on government roads and insist that the military be nothing but private militias even in war time.

      the 28th amendment

      October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

      • ‘libertarians define freedom as freedom from government…the idea that government intervention can increase freedom never occurs to them.’

        Libertarians are a cultural community for science and rights and reducing coercion in morals. They want to legalize their hyper-tolerant eco-communities against bigots. Making up things about them is like making up things about Jews, Blacks, or any other group. Formal Libertarian seminars of the theory of government are quite sophisticated, and I doubt you’ve attended one. Even informal libertarian writers like Rothbard make very clear freedom has nothing to do with government one way or the other, and that politically the focus is justice.

        Robert

        October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

      • I read Robert Nozick.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

      • “libertarians define freedom as freedom from government. the idea that government intervention can increase freedom never occurs to them.”

        Not true.

        ” if they were sincere and not ridiculous they’d refuse to drive on government roads and insist that the military be nothing but private militias even in war time.”

        I once heard a socialist tell a senior citizen that, since they opposed socialism, they should refuse to cash their social security checks. The senior citizen said, “Why shouldn’t I cash them? It was my money to start with!”

        destructure

        October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

      • Except that Japan got hate speech legislation in 2016.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_Speech_Act_of_2016_(Japan)

        So not the US is the only country with free speech.

        BTW, guess who pressured Japan into passing hate speech legislation.

        Jon Anderson

        October 30, 2018 at EDT am

      • I guess leftists but I think you are implying some sort of Jewish conspiracy.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 30, 2018 at EDT am

  6. I still don’t feel sorry for anyone. If you don’t want to use the Dark Web that’s your choice.

    SC

    October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

    • Who the hell knows how to use the Dark Web?I downloaded Tor so that I could search for mushroom vendors. OK, there appear to be vendors out there, so I innocently asked on one forum that I signed up to how does one go about contacting a vendor and purchasing some ‘shrooms. BANNED, ejected, thrown out, for being naive, stupid or clueless. Just too damn much bother.

      Daniel Heneghan

      October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

      • “Waaaaah! I’m too lazy to take the extra steps to use the Dark Web! I need all major corporations to cater to me specifically!!!!”

        SC

        October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

      • “Waaaaah! I’m too lazy to take the extra steps to use the Dark Web!”

        Actually, that’s a rational position to take. There are plenty of things people don’t do because it’s not worth the time or effort. Do you grow your own food and make your own clothes?

        “Waaaaah! I’m too lazy to take the extra steps to grow my own food and make my own clothes!”

        destructure

        October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

      • @destructure

        Actually, I do make some of my own clothes. I know a ton of people who do the same. Some of them make 90% of their wardrobes. There are entire online communities of people who make their own clothing as a hobby.

        SC

        October 30, 2018 at EDT am

  7. So weeks before the mid terms the tech oligopoly has shut down both Alex Jones and Gab. How the hell is this not interference in the elections?

    chris

    October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

    • ‘ How the hell is this not interference in the elections?’

      I agree. A few incidents maybe, but note also anti-Establishment lefties are getting hit en masse as well.

      I will say there is such a thing as decorum, and that’s the weak spot where a lot of groups get hit. Formal libertarian groups are supposed to always be under Robert’s Rules simplified and are generally models of politeness. As in you’re automatically kicked out for non-G behavior. Many of the ‘libertarian’ sites removed spend little time on actual libertarian tools and a lot attacking others hysterically and have been removed. They weren’t in the Libertarian loop to begin with.

      I think there should be areas for decorous discussion and others for free-for-alls. I think Gab was trying to be a free-for-all but not always clear about it. I hope they have grounds for a lawsuit.

      Robert

      October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

  8. To quote what I said on Sailer’s:

    Announcing that you’re going to kill Jews (or anyone else) is not, should not be, and has never been protected by the First Amendment.

    The problem is that the only organizations with enough resources and manpower to find and remove all or at least a nontrivial percentage of such illegal threats are the already-established, and SJW-leftist, social media companies like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. And we know these companies will abuse their reasonable power to remove (and report to authorities, if appropriate) illegal content, to also censor content they disagree with.

    The bottom line is it probably isn’t possible to create a viable (or even morally sound) “right-wing Twitter,” for that reason. Silver lining is I’m increasingly convinced that social media breeds insanity, both figuratively and literally. If we can stay saner than the left, that’s a huge advantage.

    snorlax

    October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

    • Sanity only rewards the victor…

      Socially Extinct

      October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

    • platforms aren’t liable for threats anymore than the telephone company.

      the 28th amendment

      October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

  9. Perhaps I’m a purist but until people are imprisoned, executed, or have their writings/ speech destroyed as per statute there is still free speech. Gab will get another host, just like voat and stormfront did. If their ilk is ever wiped out from all virtual platform they can go back to the good old days of private publishing.

    Anyway, even in countries with official censorship common people still get their hands on what interests them. Game of Thrones is wildly popular in Iran despite being illegal to watch.

    toomanymice

    October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

    • Not a purist, just irrelevant. Being willing to have your rights trampled underfoot in some cases means you will have your rights trampled underfoot in all cases. God knows no one else is going to get worked up on your behalf when you can’t even muster any energy to defend yourself.

      Panther of the Blogocube

      October 30, 2018 at EDT pm

  10. I have been in Gab for two years until yesterday. I occasionally had anti-Semitic curses leveled at me for defending my few Jewish friends, but the Gab interface allowed me to mute anyone I didn’t like. I already miss reading the many interesting political posts by my fellow Middle-American dissidents.
    If a small oligarchy controls the platforms behind social media, as you suggest, I would like to know their names and organizations so that can avoid them in the same way I avoided anti-Semites on Gab.

    Meier H.

    October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

  11. Oswald Spengler

    October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

  12. You overestimate the media’s influence in 2018. Trump proved their attenuation. News like this only reinforces voting, and of the voters it does influence they aren’t worth having anyways because they can’t think independently.

    Normal people don’t need such “alternative” sites when they are expressing themselves and common sense just fine privately.

    Sure, the louder, public, anti-leftists get censored, and the lockstep totalitarian agenda between academia, media, and state is obvious, but the fact the wizard’s ankles can be seen behind the curtain today means his beard will be seen in another 10 years. Pessimism is unwarranted.

    A Dilettante

    October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

    • “Normal people don’t need such “alternative” sites when they are expressing themselves and common sense just fine privately.”

      I disagree, And, as evidence, one can look at the changing public opinion on most issues. It may not have happened quickly. But there’s been a constant push from the media and institutions that has slowly moved society very far to the left. Even many of today’s “conservatives” are further to the left than most liberals were 50 years ago.

      destructure

      October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

      • True, the shift toward the left is undeniable. I see this more as a capture of public schooling and the conglomeration of academia, which is necessarily losing its stranglehold on the psyche of America as “elite” or vital for a good income, as evidenced by how many people the myth has crushed. This declining phenomenon is in tandem with the decline of the mass media. Normal people are waking up to the fact there is a whole wide world outside of what a talking head says there is.

        A Dilettante

        October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

  13. Sarah Sanders really looks like aunt Lydia. It’s a bit scary in terms of image. Even if she is very good.

    Bruno

    October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

  14. If twitter were bound by 1st amendment rules, then anti-semitic remarks would be a tiny fraction of the total. Sure, they could be searched for by anti-Semites just as could the tweets and links of any other fringe hate group, but so what? In a free marketplace of ideas these kinds of tweets would be unlikely to flourish.

    thesoftpath

    October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

  15. this may be misinterpreted as “blaming the victim”, but…

    that talking about HBD is verboten makes these terrorist attacks more likely.

    there will always be crazy people, but shutting down OPEN discussion radicalizes people.

    the 28th amendment

    October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

  16. One thing I’ve noticed is that who the anti-democracy and usually left Establishment–government, religious, etc.–dislikes will, if they let it, get ‘sheep-dipped’ with crazy commenters who are really being paid to disrupt (along with the self-motivated crazies). Hence the wild ‘I hate Jews’ stuff.So something like Gab might have a problem there.

    Though they’ve become more sophisticated and so hard to detect, a few years ago you could see that entire comment threads were the result of Red Chinese commenters from their odd language.

    The US LP used to have a comment section in the early 2000’s that I later learned was being deluged by nasty commenters paid by GOP operatives. The GOP stopped when they realized they were just making the libertarian LP site top the search ratings and bringing LP membership to new highs.

    I think there have been investigations of phony commenters bad-mouthing products of rivals as well. Back in the old days they would do the same with LTE’s (letters to editors) with ‘ringer’ letter-writers.

    Robert

    October 29, 2018 at EDT pm

  17. “Only government regulation can ensure freedom of speech”

    Removal of CDA liability protection for web companies that act as publishers (i.e. edit or block otherwise legal content) at least arguably qualifies as deregulation, and it would probably solve the free speech suppression problem. Google has a first amendment right to restrict anything it wants, but it should not be permitted to claim it’s a provider if it’s editing content.

    If it’s regulation you want, the solution is to define webhosts and, just as importantly, payment processors as public accommodations, and add political/social viewpoint to the list of prohibited forms of discrimination..

    J1

    October 30, 2018 at EDT pm

    • Precisely. This area of law has precedent with things like Tucker Max – Unmoderated content means no liability. As soon as G/FB/T started moderating they should have lost any protection under CDA 230 and they would be wiped off the planet for liability in a million cases of trafficking drugs, people, child porn, and every other crime imaginable, not to mention the civil suits for libel, etc.

      Only reason this didn’t happen was payoffs & deep pockets / deep state interest in exploiting these sites.

      The problem with Gab would still exist though. There’s actually a good amount of diversification when it comes to hosting & domain registrars, but the financial processors are a bottleneck that hold inordinate amounts of power. I am not a crypto fan in general but they serve a real market here. I don’t think a go between like Stripe, Paypal, etc should really know about or be allowed to discriminate in this way. Eventually there should be a legal requirement for anonymity in transactions to prevent meddling and leaking private information.

      Panther of the Blogocube

      October 31, 2018 at EDT am

  18. What gab was trying to do was dumb. As I’ve said, repeatedly, a wave of decentralized technologies is going to make facebook and twitter irrelevant inside 10 years. It’s already happening on the margins. A company will not replace twitter. It will be a new protocol, like email. Nobody will own or control it.

    To the extent you fixate on the immediate issue of bay area commies messing with the web you are missing the plot.

    bobbybobbob

    October 31, 2018 at EDT pm


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