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10/30/2018 2:47 am  #31


Re: Liberty and regulation

I lost my original reply, so I will be even more concise. Your point is simplistic at best. You're relying on a false and/or a very rigid idea of mainstream. Firstly, in many areas in which conservative opinions have been targeted by social media companies, the conservative or non-left-liberal positions are not obviously less mainstream than left-liberal ones. In America, for example, public opinion is roughly  split between the pro-life and pro-choice, and the same is true , at the very least, on immigration and quite a few areas. And it's not even as if these platforms leave moderate progressives alone and target both conservatives (and more extreme elements on the right) alongside more extreme left-wing voices. More radical leftists seem to be looked on indulgently. Farrakhan is an example, but so are Planned Parenthood and other such hardline pro-choice groups. The American public is surely somewhere around the centre on these issues, yet more hardline leftists seem to largely escape the sights of these sites. It's true that in certain quarters of the media, business, and establishment, progressivism is taken for granted, and you could argue that these platforms take this as public opinion. But that just proves my point. To take a particular ideological and cultural bubble as representative of the whole nation, or whole of the West, shows the ideological blinkers of these companies.

Also, even if the opinions are, or were, less mainstream, I don't think that is a great point. You don't have to be free speech absolutist to believe speech, especially on political, cultural, social, or philosophical/religious matters should be free in most circumstances. The idea that standard pro-life or committed but respectful anti-immigration arguments, for example, should actually be banned is quite an extreme vision of ideological conformity, which would show these companies have very little respect for freedom of expression. I don't think they'd want to actually embrace such a position publicly, at least not at this time (hence they leave it vague what their hate speech, etc., provisions mean). And, of course, again, the  fact this targeting isn't down in an ideologically even way - left-wing views thar certainly aren't popular (at least yet) are in no such danger - just compounds the lack of credibility in forming such a defence of Facebook, Twitter, et al.

 

10/30/2018 4:15 am  #32


Re: Liberty and regulation

Jeremy Taylor wrote:

I lost my original reply, so I will be even more concise. Your point is simplistic at best. You're relying on a false and/or a very rigid idea of mainstream. Firstly, in many areas in which conservative opinions have been targeted by social media companies, the conservative or non-left-liberal positions are not obviously less mainstream than left-liberal ones.

Instead of calling my point simplistic and false, why not acknowledge that I am keeping to the obvious? Your argument falls apart because it attempts to combat the obvious with something much less obvious. Even worse, your claims have blatantly obvious counterexamples based on what you earlier linked to and what I already refuted.

For example, you approvingly linked to an ostensibly conservative (better: anti-liberal) columnist who cited Trump as a conservative voice. At the same time, hopefully you have heard Trump's consistent message where he denounces mainstream media as fake news. Do you deny that he has been beating it all the time during election campaign and as president?

To me the issue is very obvious: When you keep denouncing the mainstream and rejecting basically all journalism, then you are positioning yourself as FRINGE. So the question for the columnist becomes: Should fringe voices be given fair and equal treatment in the mainstream?[1] Add to this the fact that Trump actually does not represent any conservative value whatsoever, so the columnist is wrong in presenting Trump as a conservative voice, and that Trump's voice is actually not suppressed in media nor on Twitter, so the columnist ends up obviously mistaken on all counts and all claims.

To counter these obvious points with something less obvious will get you nowhere.

[1] For the sake of completeness, let's point out that Trump is not actually fringe: The president's post is as mainstream and as establishment as it gets, so his pretensions to be anything else are rhetorical nonsense and inappropriate to his post. The complete picture is, however, not obvious to common public. To the common public it's obvious that Trump is accepted among self-proclaimed conservative activists and that he consistently positions himself as anti-mainstream, therefore conservatives are not mainstream - obviously.

Last edited by seigneur (10/30/2018 4:37 am)

 

10/30/2018 4:37 am  #33


Re: Liberty and regulation

I have no idea how that is a response to what I said. It boggles the mind. What do Trump's comments on the media (which I personally believe are silly and over-the-top) have to do with my points in anything but the most absurdly tangential way? I suppose one could mention that some left-liberals do treat Trump and his supporters as fringe, despite the fact he is president, but I don't know if social media platforms do this. Obviously, Twitter doesn't ban him. But Trump is the president. Of course, they wouldn't take action against him. That part of your post also proves nothing about my general point.

None of the sources I referenced was primarily about Trump's conservative or his views on the media, nor was any example I brought up in my posts.

And my post, like this part of a conversation, was about social media platforms. Theb point about columnists including fringe voices doesn't make sense in context: we're talking about Twitter et al. targetting conservatives and conservative positions. These platforms are journalistic outlets. As noted above, the idea what is not mainstream can be unproblematically banned or marginalised, isn't much of a defence of these platforms.

 

10/30/2018 4:47 am  #34


Re: Liberty and regulation

The idea that the mainstream media and journalism is balanced is way above and beyond me. 

http://www.unz.com/pgottfried/charlottesville-after-a-year-as-an-outsider-i-think-the-alt-right-far-from-finished/

Your example of the terrorism incited by alt-right media is something along the lines of regulating and setting precedent for behaviours which may constitute to inciting violence. I don't agree with this at all, at the same time all states have the power to do this--but no state can do this without taking off moral culpability from the individuals who do perform this themselves. 

It isn't odd to hear arguments of the sort "my actions are ultimately the responsibility of the ones who state x," although that is categorically different when someone calls for violence and incivility, this is not what alt-right leaders seem to do. On the other hand, consider the women who have been attacked for being pro-life, and assaulted, although the law in Canada has dealt with them---mainstream media has remained largely silent. So your analysis of there being balance in mainstream media is just not reflective of reality.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/im-a-pro-life-woman.-this-man-just-round-kicked-me-in-public-for-my-beliefs

https://globalnews.ca/news/4602617/woman-arrested-abortion-protest-ryerson/

Even the Charlottesville event is almost never covered with any sense of fairness;https://vdare.com/articles/the-system-repudiated-city-s-own-report-confirms-charlottesville-police-politicians-conspired-to-suppress-unite-the-right-rally
It's true that this is an unpopular opinion among sociologists and mainstream media---but that hardly comes as a surprise.

     Thread Starter
 

10/30/2018 4:49 am  #35


Re: Liberty and regulation

Jeremy Taylor wrote:

I have no idea how that is a response to what I said. It boggles the mind. What do Trump's comments on the media (which I personally believe are silly and over-the-top) have to do with my points in anything but the most absurdly tangential way.

So when you linked to that silly columnist, it was only in the most absurdly tangential way? Okay.

Jeremy Taylor wrote:

None of the sources I referenced was primarily about Trump's conservative or his views on the media, nor was any example I brought up in my posts.

Maybe not primarily, but it was up front as a given that must be accepted before getting any further. Unfortunately it's a premise I do not accept, so I dismiss also everything that follows from it and rests on it.

Jeremy Taylor wrote:

And my post, like this part of a conversation, was about social media platforms. Theb point about columnists including fringe voices doesn't make sense in context: we're talking about Twitter et al. targetting conservatives and conservative positions. These platforms are journalistic outlets. As noted above, the idea what is not mainstream can be unproblematically banned or marginalised, isn't much of a defence of these platforms.

Can we agree on one/a few of the following? Those platforms, insofar as they are journalistic outlets, do what mainstream has always done to fringe. Those platforms, insofar as they are business entities, do what business entities have always done.

This is not a defence of the platforms, but explanation of how they operate. If a maker of wedding cakes is within his rights to refuse an order to make a gay wedding cake, then does a similar right not extend to paid advertisements?

 

10/30/2018 4:53 am  #36


Re: Liberty and regulation

seigneur wrote:

Can we agree on one/a few of the following? Those platforms, insofar as they are journalistic outlets, do what mainstream has always done to fringe. Those platforms, insofar as they are business entities, do what business entities have always done.

This is not a defence of the platforms, but explanation of how they operate. If a maker of wedding cakes is within his rights to refuse an order to make a gay wedding cake, then does a similar right not extend to paid advertisements?

That's the whole reason to start a thread like this.

seigneur wrote:

Mainstream journalism and academia are as good as it gets in terms of fair and balanced. The world does not deserve any better.

https://areomagazine.com/2018/10/02/academic-grievance-studies-and-the-corruption-of-scholarship/

I do not know what leads you to think that, looking at all the discourse about the geopolitics of the US, there is never honest level-headed debate concerning the matters of Russia, Middle-east, etc. There's a constant demonizing of any foot being removed from the doorstep of Russia. I have to browse through five to six different news channels to get a contrived assessment of what's going on.

Last edited by Dennis (10/30/2018 4:58 am)

     Thread Starter
 

10/30/2018 5:13 am  #37


Re: Liberty and regulation

Seigneur,

Actually much of what that author says about her own experience of dubious algorithms has little to do with the sentence you are fixated on. You yourself seem to admit that it wasn't primarily what the article was about. So how you could have the gall to talk about me linking to it in a tangential way (of course, I actually do, given your track record) I have no idea.

Social media companies aren't journalistic outlets. Facebook is not CNN. Twitter isn't the NYT. They're platforms for letting people interact with each other. You haven't shown the conservative viewpoints in question are fringe, but that doesn't matter. Your current argument (you shift a lot) is silly. They aren't news outlets. If a conservative Facebook group is set up or a pro-life organisation has a Twitter page, these aren't reliant, or shouldn't be, on some editorial policy. You're basically conceding the point - that these aren't the open platforms they pretend to be, but have a very particular (i.e., ideological) editorial policy. On businesses, we've been through this, but there's no business necessity for a business like these to have an ideological bias. Besides, these platforms aren't like normal businesses, given their huge place and influence over how people communicate, so there's nothing wrong with conservatives being worried about their bias or even considering regulation.

 

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