Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Throwing Trump off Twitter and shutting down Parler using corporate monopoly power, driving the loons underground; out of sight is out of mind, but they're still there, angrier than ever. 

Deutsche Welle 

Iran: Facebook deletes Press TV page Iran's state media Press TV wrote on Twitter that Facebook has deleted its main page "without any warning or explanation."
2018, Guardian: Is Facebook a publisher? In public it says no, but in court it says yes 
Facebook has long had the same public response when questioned about its disruption of the news industry: it is a tech platform, not a publisher or a media company. 

But in a small courtroom in California’s Redwood City on Monday, attorneys for the social media company presented a different message from the one executives have made to Congress, in interviews and in speeches: Facebook, they repeatedly argued, is a publisher, and a company that makes editorial decisions, which are protected by the first amendment. 

The contradictory claim is Facebook’s latest tactic against a high-profile lawsuit, exposing a growing tension for the Silicon Valley corporation, which has long presented itself as neutral platform that does not have traditional journalistic responsibilities.

If algorithms control what you see, then platforms become editors. Like the defense offered by the makers of the Jon Ronson spambot,  "It's not us, it's the bot", doesn't cut it.

Ronson's breathy passivity is annoying in any context; here it becomes almost unbearable. But it's hard to say who in the video is more passive aggressive.

Free speech for fascists doesn't mean that a monopolistic media source with no risk of liability should have the right to funnel fascist opinion to those who want it.  

But this is not a question of scale.
In court filings late Tuesday, Amazon said it flagged dozens of pieces of violent content to the social media app starting in November. The company argued that Parler violated its contract with Amazon’s cloud computing unit, Amazon Web Services, when it failed to remove the content and that AWS suspended Parler’s account “as a last resort.”

“This case is not about suppressing speech or stifling viewpoints,” Amazon wrote in its response to Parler. “It is not about conspiracy to restrain trade. Instead, this case is about Parler’s demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of AWS content that threatens public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens.”

Threats, incitement, and conspiracy are covered by law. Fascists force the hand of the state, and then they'll blame the state.

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