Trump ban signals tipping point for social media platforms

 
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I can only think that acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack has not been following the activities of Donald Trump’s supporters on Twitter and its new competitor, Parler.

How else could he argue it was wrong to prevent the President from tweeting implications the US election was rigged?

I had been following the tweets and Parleys closely, and it was frightening.


Trump supporters storm the Capitol in Washington. CREDIT:AP

Trump’s tweet saying he would not attend Biden’s inauguration was interpreted by his followers as encouragement for further violent action.

Within seconds there were plans for lynching of specific politicians and journalists, and schemes for firearms to be taken to Washington later this week. The FBI has now confirmed that violence is still being planned.

Twitter’s decision was therefore a response to a continuing civic emergency. I find it hard to see how any responsible player could have behaved differently.

Would McCormack advocate for Twitter to allow the planning of other kinds of terrorism – such as Islamic terrorism? Surely not.


Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN

But to defend Twitter’s decision on this occasion is not to say social media companies are blameless.

We should be urgently concerned about their immense power to both amplify and restrict speech. And we should have been tackling these issues years ago.

In the Philippines, to give just one example, hundreds of inauthentic accounts on Facebook, linked to the murderous regime of President Rodrigo Duterte, have for years been used to spread disinformation and threats of violence.

Facebook began to act against this during the 2019 mid-term elections, but as eminent journalist Maria Ressa has put it, the misinformation, like a drug injected into a vein, was already coursing through the political system. Facebook’s action was too little, too late.

Now it is happening again – but this time in the US – hence gaining world attention.

It is abundantly clear that the digital platforms must drop the pretence that they are not a kind of publisher/broadcaster, and therefore partly responsible for what is carried on their platforms.

If they cannot self-regulate, then they must be regulated, and co-operate with that effort.

Every new media technology has disrupted power and created issues of how we regulate speech. The printing press was part of the religious reformation. The Pope was not a fan when the Bible was translated and published for anyone to read.

For most of the time since, freedom of the press has belonged to those who have a printing press – or a broadcasting licence.
The key innovation of our own times is that for the first time in human history, anyone with an internet connection can publish to the world within minutes of deciding to do so.

This has already changed just about everything in politics and society.

It is at least the historical equivalent of the printing press. There is lots to celebrate, including the ability of people previously excluded from public life to make themselves heard.

But so far, we have not come up with a way of thinking through the issues and implications.


The digital platforms have rejected the idea that they more than technology companies.CREDIT:GETTY IMAGES

The digital platforms have rejected the idea that they more than technology companies, and should therefore take on some of the responsibilities that go with freedom to publish.

This denial of responsibility is no longer tenable.

Through the algorithms that govern our feeds, social media companies curate information and decide what we see. They amplify some players and mute others. But how they do so is neither consistent nor transparent.

Source: https://www.theage.com.au/national/trump-ban-signals-tipping-point-for-social-media-platforms-20210112-p56tjp.html

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Outside of the Trump Issues (and great show on NINE last night) the idea of social media now controlling what we read and the news we consume is a very very worrying development.  Censoring free speech also with the closing of parler not a good step.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Outside of the Trump Issues (and great show on NINE last night) the idea of social media now controlling what we read and the news we consume is a very very worrying development.  Censoring free speech also with the closing of parler not a good step.
bevans
Free speech is only against the US government if you're a citizen. Private companies can choose to do what they please as long as its not about the persons race, gender or sexuality.

There is no "free speech" in this country, it is only implied.

The most interesting part about the Parler removal is Amazon used Parlers TOS as an example of why they should be removed since they wern't adhearing to it. Apple removed it from the App store since they didnt even attempt to give  any response to better moderation. There are things that are being said on Parler that are breaking US law, let alone any TOS of Apple, Amazon or Google.


But the best part is, Trump wanted to remove Section 230. If you know anything about the law, this would have made ANY social media platform liable for what was written on there in the US...... which would have made the removal of these people off the platform almost happen immediately since they'd all of a sudden be a liablity to the platform.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Would people please get rid of the idea that Trump being banned by Twitter and others is somehow preventing free speech. The idea is complete nonsense. You can go and stand in the street and say whatever you like providing it doesn't break any laws. That is freedom of speech.
No part of the media has any obligation whatsoever to report on what you said, or to allow you access to do so.Their refusal to report you is their choice.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I see I have a disagreement; OK, nothing wrong with a difference of opinion; now let's have your reasons for disagreeing. What do you think "free speech" means?
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Apparently we didn't have free speech before Twitter
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Maybe we're heading towards the scenario of parallel social media/internet platforms?
i.e 'mainstream leftist' Twitter and 'conservative' Gab for example...

Echo-chambers really.
  Madjikthise Deputy Commissioner

Just channel surfing and some of them now saying they're losing free speech... on national tv... viewable to literally millions of people.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Outside of the Trump Issues (and great show on NINE last night) the idea of social media now controlling what we read and the news we consume is a very very worrying development.  Censoring free speech also with the closing of parler not a good step.
bevans

I could start a personal rant on how social media (all media really) have been censoring our content for a long time now.  Part of the issue is Facebook and Google are adept at building racial, gender, religious and political profiles on people, then tailoring what they see accordingly.  Not just the advertising results of a google search are dependant on what it thinks you want to find.  The news google puts into a search depends on what stories it thinks you want to see (hence genuinely balanced reporting doesn't get show to anyone).

That aside, there are (and have always been) limits on free speech, even under the US 1st amendment.  Incitement is clearly not protected, and I don't think there could be a clearer example than Trump's behaviour.  I dare say he'll personally get away with it, but there is no way Twitter nor any other social media platform could seriously pretend they were not aiding and abetting treasonous activity if they continues hosting his utterances.

As I understand it, a lot of the content posted by @realDonaldTrump (and most of it post the election) was in breach of Twitter's rules, and was only left up because he was President of the USA in the interests of free political speech.  With hindsight, I think it would have been better (perhaps not for shareholders) had they applied the same rules for everyone to @realDonandTrump from the beginning, and certainly post election.

This brings me to Railpage, and @don_dunstan's posts.  

There are limits on what can be posted on Railpage[url=@][/url] and most online forums, both legal and T&Cs.  We don't allow snuff movies, violent sexual imagery or hate speech, as they are a real danger to people.  In my view, the posts by the account @don_dunstan are well into holocaust denial territory.  That is not an "interesting" academic debate, it's hate speech that puts real people in danger.

It's one thing to be sceptical of scientific discoveries or present "alternate facts" as to how many people attended an inauguration.  But it's quite another for the result of an election to be considered an opinion of equal value, and the violent suppression of elected representatives an exercise in free speech.  

I like Railpage because it's not an echo chamber, but unfortunately there have to be limits.  In my view a lot of @don_dunstan's posts are seditious, and (if he were American) treasonous.  But IMHO that alone does not justify moderation.

What is of concern to me is there are politicians in Australia pandering to views expressed by Don and their fellow travellers, that election results can be disputed like any other "fact" as just political opinion, and they seem to want to normalise violent repression of genuinely elected government.

I think the postings of @don_dunstan are not just seditious, they are genuinely dangerous, and pose a real existential threat to all of us.

If I were in @Bevan's position, I'd be tightening up the rules of Railpage with that in mind.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Jeez; Don had better rally his supporters. Oh, hang on; that could be a problem.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Jeez; Don had better rally his supporters. Oh, hang on; that could be a problem.
Valvegear
Phonebox comes to mind
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

Would people please get rid of the idea that Trump being banned by Twitter and others is somehow preventing free speech. The idea is complete nonsense. You can go and stand in the street and say whatever you like providing it doesn't break any laws. That is freedom of speech.
No part of the media has any obligation whatsoever to report on what you said, or to allow you access to do so.Their refusal to report you is their choice.
Valvegear


People also need to realise that 'freedom of speech' does not come with 'freedom from consequences' of that speech.

Cheers,

Matt
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Trump is not banned from communicating to the world as all he has to do is walk into the White House press room and stand at the lectern with the big white presidential badge. The press will record everything he says from that particular lectern.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Guy walks into a Mosque in NZ shooting people live streaming on FB and after FB limits love streaming and no one thinks twice or comments about loss of Free speech calling for accountability by social media platforms.

POTUS incites a riot and uprising against the legally elected US govt and people and gets banned from social media and people are now concerned about loss of Free speech?
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Guy walks into a Mosque in NZ shooting people live streaming on FB and after FB limits love streaming and no one thinks twice or comments about loss of Free speech calling for accountability by social media platforms.

POTUS incites a riot and uprising against the legally elected US govt and people and gets banned from social media and people are now concerned about loss of Free speech?
RTT_Rules
You got it in one there mate.
  DCook Chief Train Controller

Location: The standard state
Guy walks into a Mosque in NZ shooting people live streaming on FB and after FB limits love streaming and no one thinks twice or comments about loss of Free speech calling for accountability by social media platforms.

POTUS incites a riot and uprising against the legally elected US govt and people and gets banned from social media and people are now concerned about loss of Free speech?
RTT_Rules
And Facebook learnt nothing from that.

About 18 months later, a 33 year old American man livestreamed his suicide by gunshot to several hundred people. Facebook did not remove it until several months later.

That video ended up going viral on Tik Tok, Twitter, reddit, youtube. You name it, there were videos of the suicide on it.

Nobody attacked facebook for not taking it down (to my knowledge), yet when a PRESIDENT plans and promotes a riot that is domestic terrorism and leaves 5 people dead, people go on about the lack of free speech and there being too much censorship.

What a world
  4BJ Chief Commissioner

Location: Backside almost trackside at Hawthorn near Mitcham
Twitter has permanently suspended Trump's account.  Why did it take four years?

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