After being dropped from their app stores by Google and Apple after the Capital protests, hosting provider Amazon announced yesterday that they will be removing free-speech site Parler from the Internet today alleging violent content.
Parler, a communication platform for many Trump supporters, had grown 10x since the US election to the 216th largest US website as of yesterday.
A Trump supporter may ask: Was this action warranted? Is there a double standard being played out for Trump and BLM/ANTIFA/Biden supporters? Do Big Tech platforms like Google, Amazon, and Apple, with a near-monopoly on online communication, have any obligation to be politically agnostic? How is their control of 99.9% of communication apps different from China's government control of communication and dissent?
Note: I personally respect both sides of the debate regarding this event. In the name of fighting what they see as injustice, it seems like both sides have members who cross the free speech line. It is also natural to see the opposite side as more threatening than ones own.
As many on the right like to point out (when it comes to baking cakes and holding events for those they deem as less than themselves, etc.), private companies can do whatever they please.
All these tech companies have Terms of Service "contracts" that everyone who uses their platforms agree to abide by.
No one is forced to utilize their social media platforms.
The companies get to reject anything they find that goes against their terms.
Parler is currently being used by those who are parroting lies, and encouraging violence.
If other companies don't want to carry the site, that's their prerogative.
The First Amendment is very clear about Free Speech. The government is not permitted to retaliate against any citizen who speaks against it.
Private companies are not held to the same standards.
Subsequent court cases have reiterated that fact.
Which is why people can lose their jobs if they say things or act in any way their employers find objectionable.
Most states are "At Will", and employers can basically terminate employment at any time, for any reason.
There are an awful lot of laws on the books which would have to be changed before anyone can take action against any tech company for perceived free speech violations.
I'm not saying some of those laws shouldn't be challenged, but there are no short cuts here.
What we say, what we do, it all has consequences.
In the case of Parler, if you (general you)
don't like it, too fucking bad.
Better late than never. There is no "free speech line" for corporations. There is only the bottom line. So they do what they do to keep from offending their customers. So in that way... their action was very democratic. If the general public had been fine with a dictator wannabe directing a mob to overthrow an election, the corporations would not have pulled the plug.
Note: I do not personally respect both sides of the debate regarding this event. I respect only the side that is based in reality, democracy, and the rule of law. Catering to mass hysteria, and unhinged conspiracy theories is not protecting free speech - it is protecting self-destruction. Accurate perception and paranoid delusion do not deserve equal consideration. Just because both sides think they're right doesn't mean they are. The citizens have voted at the polls, and public opinion has voted in the market.
Why not ask Rupert Murdoch this question as well?
Why not ask ALL forms of Media this question since they also, by means of their forms of media, have some sort of control over what we see, hear, read, etc, etc.
Small dogs always seem to think that they are BIGGER dogs and act so, Bigger Dogs seem to think they ARE the Paramount of Dogs, that is similar to how, imo, these Media Moguls see themselves and WILL continue to do so UNLESS they ARE reined in.
Parler, imo, and based upon what I have seen, read and heard has been acting as a kind of Pro-tRump Propaganda Site/Group bent, somewhat, upon promoting Insurrection, etc, simply because it cannot encompass/embrace the truth that tRump has lost the Podium and the Election.
Ergo, I say Well Done to those who deemed Parler well and truly worthy of being given the 'boot.'
What is the problem ?
Private company Amazon , they can chose who to host and who is aloud to operate under their name .
Apparently some companies decided to take the garbage out .
Your problem seems to be that : a) this is not garbage .
B) poor trump supporters , where will find a place to misinform , hate , conspire .
Are there any web sites that aloud killers to talk about the glory of murder , or pedophiles “ 101 tips how to lure kids ?” I wonder . They have rights too damn it ! Is free speech , y are not heard ???
Well . Is Fox News still alive and well ?
Is Alex Jones still in buisness ? What about All the Christian evangelicals shows and sites ?
I am sure slug can help them out ?
The irony , when tick tock was a problem
If those who ran the app would have handled these posts in the first place, Parler most likely would still be up and running. Take a listen to this podcast, linked below. Kara Swisher interviews the founder of Parler on January 7, who states he is not specifically aware of any posts calling for violence. Yea, right! He goes on to say the app has a jury of about 4-5 people who decide if flagged posts stay up or are taken down. My feeling as I listened to it, is this founder and owner of the app, did not really believe in restricting any kind of speech. Much like Mark Zuckerberg has done over the years.
As far as Google and Apple goes, and how they decided to drop the app, I feel it's really a case of the pot calling the kettle black, and they took an opportunity to cut out a competitor. All is fair in love and capitalism, right?
If You Were on Parler, You Saw the Mob Coming - [nytimes.com]
There is nothing moral or humane by been a dick .
On top of that , besides if intentionally blind , it’s dangerous . People died for not apparent reason .
Well , if u count as reasoning that orange asshole can’t accept election results , yeah ok , I see your point .
Y the media supported BLM ? Bcz believe it or not , killing black people for nothing is not ok .
R difference here is the basics : u ( whoever ), believes that it’s not ok to protest against racial crimes .
I believe is not ok to protest for the delusion that elections were stolen .
The guy that rallied all these idiots believes that is not ok for him to go to prison . Yeah , fight for his right to not go to prison , fight for his right remain the president .
Is that so hard to see ??
The companies who see it , took the garbage out . Fear that they will be associated w garbage .
At the very end , is always a place for it . I know at least few web pages that support them and give them space to be . Are we all ?
How is their control of 99.9% of communication apps different from China's government control of communication and dissent?
Government can make laws that apply to everyone with police or military enforcement and criminal or death penalties as their ultimate violations.
Big Tech can make policy that only applies to their users with internal enforcement and de-platforming as their ultimate penalty
Firstly they are private companies so they can ban whomever they want. A free press is not encumbered by a newspaper refusing your advert or refusing to print your story for whatever reasons. Just as Chick-a-fil is free to donate to anti-LGBTQ then we are free not to shop there.
Is there a double standard? Notwithstanding the previous paragraph, the nature of social media and its algorithms leads people down their own rabbit holes. If Google stops the beginning of this spiral then I welcome it. The amount of misinformation and hate speech on these sites has to be an overriding factor, also their motives. I am not sure if Antifa or BLM would meet the low standards for this kind of ban?
RE: double standard and fairness
I saw SO many of my left leaning friends expressing extreme views being temp or perma banned from FB last year it was an almost daily event.
Similarly, my right leaning friends over the past few months.
Being a moderate and thus actively seeking people on the left and right on my FB associations, I am perhaps in the minority who can see that FB has in fact acted against the Left and the Right when they act extremely.
The problem and this is a critical point is that people on the right with only right friends will see their friends being banned and come to the incorrect conclusion that only the right is being banned.
Interestingly, this is the same conclusion that people who only had friends on the left seeing their friends get banned were saying this time last year!!!!
are you worried about the freedom of speech of kiddie porn? If you agree that we have the right and the obligation to stop this, then this ties into terms of service for online servers.
Amazon is their web hosting service. The far right was complaining about Amazon for over four years, they are under no moral obligation to continue to provide web hosting services to Parler, just like Google and Apple is under no obligation to offer the app. This is NOT a free speech issue and for you to insinuate that it is shows that you do not understand the issue at all from a legal standpoint let alone a Constitutional standpoint.
I remember being a remote host for Q-Link and AOL way back in the 80's and 90's. I had a command that could block chat from users if they didn't follow TOS and after so many strikes they weren't allowed onto AOL anymore at all. No refunds. Those folks also attempted to say it inhibited their freedom of speech.....they didn't win anymore than you will with this.
Do Big Tech platforms like Google, Amazon, and Apple, with a near-monopoly on online communication, have any obligation to be politically agnostic?
Not under current laws they don't.
However, if instead of asking for a repeal of 230 we would ask for a a form of the Fairness Doctrine as pertains to Social Media, then maybe we'd get somewhere.
I have no idea how or what form said Doctrine would take given the interactive nature of Social Media vs. the non-interactive nature of Radio and TV upon which this defunct doctrine applied.
But if you are going to demand Equal Voice for conservatives on sites that are deemed liberal... then we also need demand Equal Voice for liberals on sites that are deemed conservative.