Sunday, April 17, 2022

"Cheap Speech" again. Rick Hasen is an idiot.

As the 2020 election season came to its dramatic end, and as Trump refused to concede, Facebook temporarily tweaked its algorithm—the set of rules Facebook’s computers use to determine the content that users receive. [p. 8]

There is no doubt that the rise of the Internet and social media has had many free speech benefits. We worry much less about media consolidation and scarcity of information than we did when there were just three main broadcast television networks and a handful of local newspapers in each area. Today, readers and viewers receive information from vastly more, and more diverse, sources. [p. 31]

The advertising money that once supported newspapers is now flowing to digital media platforms, mostly Facebook and Google. [p.32] 

There are many problems with Thomas’s analysis. To begin with, as Eric Goldman has pointed out, the platforms are not neutral carriers such as telephone companies. They curate content all the time, as when they remove hate speech or pornography or when they promote certain content over others. And the platforms are hardly natural monopolies—Twitter and Facebook compete with one another or others—the usual defense of common carrier regulation. [p. 125]

There's plenty more. 
The first quote in context is even more damning.
As the 2020 election season came to its dramatic end, and as Trump refused to concede, Facebook temporarily tweaked its algorithm—the set of rules Facebook’s computers use to determine the content that users receive. Rather than show users just the stuff they wanted to see as driven by their data profile and what they had already clicked on—potentially including unreliable content from right-wing Breitbart or left-wing Occupy Democrats—the company favored more reputable sources such as CNN, the New York Times, and NPR. But this “calmer, less divisive Facebook,” as the New York Times called it, was short-lived, temporarily employing an algorithm designed only for the “break [the] glass” moment when Trump and others fundamentally challenged the election’s integrity on social media. Facebook soon restored its original algorithm, feeding up falsehoods and bile.”

If they determine the content, "platforms" are publishers. If they control the advertising market, they're monopolies. Eliminate the algorithms. Preserve freedom of speech. Preserve freedom of inquiry. I've said it all before.

I grew up reading The NY Times. When I looked at the paper I saw the decisions of the editors, made for and in the name of a subset of the American public. It was the "paper of record". All the News That's Fit to Print, is a statement of authority. When I go to the library and look through a catalogue I see the record of the decisions of a wider subset and a wider authority. It would bother me if the library catalogue were ordered 'just for me', a subset of one. That's now the model of news and information for the majority, and it's seen as normal. And the liberal technocratic response to the new yellow press is to see it as more confirmation of their own status. 

The powerful need to feel morally superior, to defend against the crude, the vulgar, the bitter, inarticulate and poor, all "outsiders" and wrong by definition.
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Just for fun, and the timing was right. Milanovic on misinformation and the falsification of history in the "reputable sources" of the MSM

Because many people never got to the second tweet, I have to repeat my point. Here is an example, among many, how an *entirely* false narrative, propagated by MSMs, has taken hold in the West re. the 1990s in Russia. 
The author I quote below never seem to have consulted

any data: on GDP decline >> the US depression, on deaths of despair, on the largest decline in life expectancy in peacetime ever, on huge inequality, on homicides and suicides, on wage arrears up to a year for many workers, on stealing of govt pensions by private sector banking,

on skyrocketing poverty, on the bombing of MPs who impeached Yeltsin, on oligarch-inspired street battles, on the destruction of entire economic sectors. This just dd not exist.

[Link: A New Era of Containment?]

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