Patterico's Pontifications

5/28/2020

Trump Admits His First Amendment Violation

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:00 pm



Donald Trump today admitted the First Amendment violation I accused him of yesterday. He explicitly tied his executive order (discussed here by Dana) to his displeasure with the speech of Twitter in fact-checking his tweets:

Government action in retaliation for upsetting political speech. That is core First Amendment activity and a blatant constitutional violation.

Meanwhile, Bill Barr is up there acting like an idiotic conservative Twitter troll.

I explained this in a comment yesterday but it’s worth repeating in a post. Can Twitter be accountable for any defamation that appears in their fact checks? Sure. Does the fact that they edit Trump’s tweets to include a link to a fact check mean that they are now a “publisher” for all purposes, subject to lawsuits by Trump or any Twitter user because their “status” as a “publisher” has gone poof? No. This appears to be the wet dream of “conservatives” eager to regulate speech they don’t like as long as it appears on a social media platform, but it’s no more legally accurate than any other wet dream they might have.

I know you see this everywhere — and now Bill Barr is saying it (which ought to be a clue that it’s dishonest) — but don’t take my word for it. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a useful page with some guidelines that might help educate you on the topic:

Can my commenters sue me for editing or deleting their comments on my blog?

Generally no, if you are not the government. Section 230 protect a blog host from liability for “any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.” This would include editing or deleting posts you consider objectionable, even if those posts would be protected by the First Amendment against government censorship.

Sweet, I can edit the comments on my blog to change the meaning and make commenters I don’t like seem like crazed defamers.

Not so fast. As noted above, Section 230 protects actions taken in good faith, and you may be liable for new information you create. The ability to edit comments is strongly protected, but you should not abuse that power.

Dana also linked this piece by Eugene Volokh, a First Amendment expert, saying the same thing:

Under current law, Twitter, Facebook, and the like are immune as platforms, regardless of whether they edit (including in a politicized way). Like it or not, but this was a deliberate decision by Congress. You might prefer an “if you restrict your users’ speech, you become liable for the speech you allow” model. Indeed, that was the model accepted by the court in Stratton Oakmont. But Congress rejected this model, and that rejection stands so long as § 230 remains in its current form.

If my blog were subject to the rules the social media haters envision in their wet dreams, nobody would be allowed to comment here. Fortunately, my blog is subject to the actual Section 230 rules and not the ones “conservatives” wish Section 230 to be. (By the way, Joe Biden has the same antipathy towards Section 230. Turns out politicians of all stripes dislike free speech that might criticize them.)

Section 230 trutherism is rampant on these here Interwebs. Don’t be a part of the problem spreading it. Be a part of the solution in combating the misinformation. If you’re going around saying “what Twitter is doing is making it a publisher which means it loses its immunity” you are spreading a falsehood and you need to stop.

Even — especially, actually — if you’re Bill Barr.

78 Responses to “Trump Admits His First Amendment Violation”

  1. Hi!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Good evening, Patterico.

    I’m mildly curious about the reactions of the pro-Trump blogs (just mildly, not enough to go to their sites). Will they throw themselves on the bonfire of orange vanities?

    nk (1d9030)

  3. Here’s Volokh’s update, the final paragraph:

    But in any event, the enforcement mechanism for such alleged misconduct by service providers would have to be a lawsuit for wrongful blocking or removal of posts, based on the limited legal theories that prohibit such blocking or removal. It would not be a surrender of the service provider’s legal immunity for defamation, invasion of privacy, and the like based on posts that it didn’t remove.

    Twitter didn’t censor or change his tweet, just called out his lie with a warning label, and now Trump is sky-screaming mad that someone had the audacity to call his lie for what it was. And now Barr is there to backstop Trump’s tantrum.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  4. I think this is just another tactic Trump is using to gin up a sense of victimization within his base, and get them feeling angry and resentful. IOW, prepping them for the election. He has to do something since he can’t hold rallies, so I suspect he’ll be pulling a number of these stunts as long as rallies are not an option. To Trump, the First Amendment is little more than a pesky hurdle to find a way around or over. He will be the victim, dammit, and no virus or First Amendment is going to keep him from rallying his peeps and reminding them that this is why they need to vote for him – because he stands for “fairness”.

    Dana (0feb77)

  5. I would add that Trump’s use of the word “fairness” in his tweet last night, was not an accident. this is how he is framing the fight ahead. This reinforces to his followers that they are being victimized (and so his Trump), and that without him fighting for them, they won’t have anyone to do that for them.

    His tweet:

    This will be a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS!

    Dana (0feb77)

  6. STEWART BAKER @ THE VOLOKH CONSPIRACY

    What’s interesting and useful in the order’s focus on content derogation is that it addresses precisely the claim that anticonservative bias isn’t real. For it is aimed at bringing speech suppression decisions into the light, where we can all evaluate them.

    In fact, that’s pretty much all it’s aimed at. The order really only has two and a half substantive provisions, and they’re all designed to increase the transparency of takedown decisions.

    The first provision tells NTIA (the executive branch’s liaison to the FCC) to suggest a rulemaking to the FCC. The purpose of the rule is to spell out what it means for the tech giants to carry out their takedown policies “in good faith.” The order makes clear the President’s view that takedowns are not “taken in good faith if they are “deceptive, pretextual, or inconsistent with a provider’s terms of service” or if they are “the result of inadequate notice, the product of unreasoned explanation, or [undertaken] without a meaningful opportunity to be heard.” This is not a Fairness Doctrine for the internet; it doesn’t mandate that social media show balance in their moderation policies. It is closer to a Due Process Clause for the platforms. They may not announce a neutral rule and then apply it pretextually. And the platforms can’t ignore the speech interests of their users by refusing to give users even notice and an opportunity to be heard when their speech is suppressed.

    The second substantive provision is similar. It asks the FTC, which has a century of practice disciplining the deceptive and unfair practices of private companies, to examine social media takedown decisions through that lens. The FTC is encouraged (as an independent agency it can’t be told) to determine whether entities relying on section 230 “restrict speech in ways that do not align with those entities’ public representations about those practices.”…

    …That’s it. The order calls on social media platforms to explain their speech suppression policies and then to apply them honestly. It asks them to provide notice, a fair hearing, and an explanation to users who think they’ve been treated unfairly or worse by particular moderators….

    …We need, in short, to know more about when and how and why the big platforms decide to suppress our speech.

    This executive order is a good first step toward finding out.

    https://reason.com/2020/05/28/first-thoughts-on-the-section-230-executive-order/

    BuDuh (db47df)

  7. We need, in short, to know more about when and how and why the big platforms decide to suppress our speech.

    Three thoughts on that…

    1. Not if it involves the federal government,

    2. Why?, and

    3. The “big platforms” never suppressed my speech one time.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  8. Personally, I find that if I don’t approve of someone’s business practices, I frequent a different business.

    Nic (896fdf)

  9. “The order calls on social media platforms to explain their speech suppression policies and then to apply them honestly. It asks them to provide notice, a fair hearing, and an explanation to users who think they’ve been treated unfairly or worse by particular moderators”

    Can’t wait until Patterico has to have a hearing before he bans a troll.

    The EO is absurd.

    Davethulhu (b6790a)

  10. All it asks them to do is a thing that the government can’t ask them to do.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  11. I think we should worry about it when Mexico pays for the Wall.

    nk (1d9030)

  12. The final ‘grafs of French:

    Section 230 plainly permits companies to restrict access to content it deems “objectionable” without becoming a publisher. That’s the law. Trump’s executive order can’t override it—nor can his rules drafted by his executive agencies. He can, however, can create a tremendous legal mess and spawn an avalanche of lawsuits.
    State interference with the speech policies of private corporations is a direct threat to civil liberties. Americans should be able to construct online communities that reflect the culture and ethos of the company’s founders and leaders. While I may argue for policies that better reflect my own values, ultimately I defer to the individuals who built the platform. Their culture and their rules are their decision.
    The contrary view is sometimes rooted in a staggering sense of entitlement—a declaration that I somehow have a right to use a platform I did not create under the terms that I wish. And when it comes to social media companies, I’m asserting that alleged “right” without even paying for the service.
    Since the conflict between Trump and “Big Tech” has officially moved beyond bluster and into legal action, let me close with a modest proposal. Social media companies have coddled Trump long enough. Twitter especially has granted him far more leeway than it grants any other user. If Twitter applied the same rules that it applies to other users, he would have been forced to delete multiple tweets or face the suspension of his account.
    Faced with Trump’s relentless stream of abuse and misinformation, Twitter chose perhaps the worst possible option—applying unique fact-checks to the president that almost certainly won’t be applied to other leading public figures. In other words, it continued to single him out.
    Stop.
    Trump is massing the power of the executive branch of government in a direct attack on American liberty. American citizens who build and operate their own companies should draw the line in the sand. Twitter (and every other social media company) should not only challenge unconstitutional regulations, it should tell Trump his special privileges are over.
    To them, he shouldn’t be President Trump. Instead, he should be Donald Trump, and Donald Trump has to comply with the terms of service. Dancing around the bully hasn’t placated the bully, and the bully is using a platform that’s not his to harm innocent people—like the family of Joe Scarborough’s former aide, Lori Klausutis. It’s time that the president relearn what it means to be a citizen, and citizens play by the rules.

    I get where French is coming from, but I’d still rather see a presidential tweet with a warning label than have it deleted altogether. This may be singling out the president, but no other citizen is subject to the Presidential Records Act. Everything Trump says or writes is part of the presidential record.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  13. I think this is just another tactic Trump is using to gin up a sense of victimization within his base, and get them feeling angry and resentful.

    Bingo.

    Trump has no interest or aptitude for governing.

    Manipulating his cultists and making them salivate, Pavlov-style, when he rings the bell is the only thing he’s good at.

    They want us to believe they came up with this internet Night and Fog order on the spur of the moment. It wouldn’t surprise me if they planned this, and Trump’s recent meltdowns were designed to push the bounds of decorum until public revulsion created a pretext for him to wipe his fat orange @ss with the constitution.

    Dave (1bb933)

  14. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1266231100780744704

    Trump’s late night tweet saying

    ….These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!

    has been moderated by twitter as “glorifying violence.”

    This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible. Learn more

    You can still read it, but it’s a clear effort by twitter to dismiss Trump’s EO.

    Dustin (d59cff)

  15. Not to be snitty, but I don’t see how this is a First Amendment violation in fact, although I certainly agree it is one in spirit. The first amendment expressly states that “Congress shall make no law…” and an executive order is not an act of congress. If I’m Jack Dorsey, I’d just soldier on as if nothing has changed. Because from the standpoint of statutory law, it hasn’t.

    Gryph (08c844)

  16. Lets use the 1st to finish this issue.

    mg (8cbc69)

  17. Not to be snitty, but I don’t see how this is a First Amendment violation in fact, although I certainly agree it is one in spirit. The first amendment expressly states that “Congress shall make no law…” and an executive order is not an act of congress. If I’m Jack Dorsey, I’d just soldier on as if nothing has changed. Because from the standpoint of statutory law, it hasn’t.

    Gryph (08c844) — 5/29/2020 @ 2:07 am

    Good question that I hope is not harshly responded to.

    After the civil war, several amendments to the constitution were passed including the 14th amendment, which has an Equal Protection Clause that incorporates the basic civil rights listed in the bill of rights to the states, and also in many other ways. Further, even without the equal protection clause, free speech is a fundamental right of the people. But this idea that ‘congress shall’ is a limitation on who the bill of rights controls is simply not the case (and possibly never was). It means all governments subject to the supremacy clause shall not infringe on this or that.

    So read the first amendment differently. It’s not a license for anyone but congress to screw with freedom of speech. It’s merely a recognition that free speech cannot be infringed upon. Even without the first amendment, you should still supposedly have this right to free speech.

    Of course free speech can be infringed upon if there’s a really good reason. Fraudulent statements, threats and fighting words, false alarm. But there’s a test. So even the absolute nature of the right is not real.

    In my opinion, the bill of rights was drafted poorly, as a result of negotiation, and only really works when interpreted in good faith by good people.

    Dustin (d59cff)

  18. I think Gryph meant that this is no law at all, since the President ain’t got no authority to make no law, only Congress has, so invoking the First Amendment is not even necessary; and if he didn’t mean that, that’s what he should have meant; and I am of the same opinion, that this is no law at all but a spit bubble from mental case, and it ain’t gonna have any effect, nowhere, nohow, except possibly as evidence when Trump’s family applies to have him put under conservatorship.

    nk (1d9030)

  19. Amazingly, I agree with nk. Trump can do executive orders, Twitter can ignore it and let the courts deal with it. What I think this is, is a signal to congress to change section 230. Twitter and Facebook can also be dealt with under antitrust laws. Their ability to censor can be forced to be made transparent and as unbiased as possible as part of an anti-trust consent decree.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  20. Nobody’s going to get worked up over this because most of social media has been so obnoxiously liberal, the response will be ‘Well, you wanted to be partisan, enjoy the party.’

    Capsaicin Addict (041266)

  21. This executive order is more bluster for the base. As outrageous as it is illegal. But he loves it.

    And last night’s antagonizing of the Minneapolis mayor in the midst of a riot is more of the same. Who could have ever predicted it? Gun-toting white nationalists in Lansing and race riots elsewhere. Stoking those fires.

    And that’s just his first term.

    noel (4d3313)

  22. meanwhile twitter is feeding the riots, i guess social distancing is out now, well im sure they stayed six feet apart when they burned the police station down,

    narciso (7404b5)

  23. What makes you think that the “good faith” line offers you any defense at all? Twitter just censored Trumps ‘you loot, we shoot’ tweet for ‘glorifying violence’, requiring a click-through to see it. In the middle of a very obvious national emergency! Arguably slanderous at best, seditious and traitorous at worst.

    Plainly they consider themselves arbiters of public knowledge and public opinion, and should be treated with the same contempt that they treat people who call their support lines.

    Looter Shooter (ea066b)

  24. The statement

    If you’re going around saying “what Twitter is doing is making it a publisher which means it loses its immunity” you are spreading a falsehood and you need to stop.

    doesn’t seem consistent with

    Not so fast. As noted above, Section 230 protects actions taken in good faith, and you may be liable for new information you create. The ability to edit comments is strongly protected, but you should not abuse that power.

    when the charge is Twitter is not acting in good faith. Whether Twitter is acting in good faith is an issue of fact open to debate. Whether Twitter is taking actions consistent with “publisher” as related to 230 is also open to debate. How 230 should be applied to Twitter is a valid question. Whether 230 should exist at all or in this form is just as valid.

    This appears to be the wet dream of “conservatives” eager to regulate speech they don’t like as long as it appears on a social media platform, but it’s no more legally accurate than any other wet dream they might have.

    A large part of the underlying debate here relates to the wet dreams of a much larger group of people than conservatives. The NeverTrumpers are committed to this because Twitter is letting Trump use the platform and it’s been an effective tool for him. The Left is committed to this because they’ve got all sorts of things they want to censor and they’ve got the CCP to think about.

    frosty (f27e97)

  25. Executive orders may not be the same as Congressional legislation but his interpretation of existing law matters because he is the chief law enforcement officer. If he says Section 230 means X then it means X while he is President, and anything he does to enforce it is government action.

    DRJ (15874d)

  26. meanwhile at least one party, surgisphere, was caught falsifying data in the lancet study,

    narciso (7404b5)

  27. #25. Until the courts say he can’t. You should know better.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  28. too inflammatory, apparently

    https://twitter.com/AndyNgo%2Fstatus%2F1265860082408943616

    narciso (7404b5)

  29. demolition day wasn’t supposed to be a documentary, 15 years early

    https://www.breitbart.com/crime/2020/05/28/minneapolis-mayor-to-rioters-please-practice-social-distancing-wear-masks/

    narciso (7404b5)

  30. Flyover redneck trash products of incestuous matings between dogs and pigs can say “you loot, we shoot”, what else are they capable of saying anyway? (Besides “Pass the jug, Eb!”) The President of the United States should not, it is deranged on every level.

    nk (1d9030)

  31. There seems to be a misunderstanding about the mechanics of the EO that’s spread across too many comments to effectively quote.

    There is already a law, § 230, that was made by Congress. There is no new law. If action is taken against Twitter it will be done within the context of existing laws. The EO, and its constitutionality, won’t be the primary issue.

    The Constitution gives the Executive branch latitude to interpret laws and the Judicial branch usually defers to this interpretation. This is the issue around Chevron deference or the Chevron doctrine.

    I need to reread the EO more carefully so I could get this wrong but it is more accurate to interpret the EO as saying that the Executive branch will now interpret § 230 differently.

    At best this is akin to the Vader/Lando debate. The deal (how § 230 will be interpreted by Executive branch agencies) is being altered, pray it isn’t altered any further.

    BTW; If you’ve really got a bug in your bonnet about this sort of deal changing can we talk about the 2nd and the ATF?

    frosty (f27e97)

  32. Interesting.

    I see someone arguing for anti-trust law application to hurt social media…how I can’t imagine.

    I see some fool saying that Twatter is seditious and/or traitorous for telling a truth about Duh Donald’s stupid tweet…how I don’t know.

    And all over a couple of businesses that nobody is compelled to use even once, but the Orange Idiot seems unable to live without.

    It’s all so strange…

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  33. yeah Trump is lying and attacking the First Amendment. sure. How is Twitter’s First Amendment rights being affected? How is Trump preventing Twitter from saying anything? How is Twitter a “Publisher” and therefore a member of the “Press”?

    They aren’t. They’re a SUPPOSEDLY neutral media platform. But anyway, all of this is IRRELEVANT. The law is IRRELEVANT. Past court cases are IRRELEVANT. Twitter will go Judge shopping and find Trump hating leftist who will Rule against Trump – just like the Obama/Clinton Judges ALWAYS do. It will then go to the Appeals, where it will be a 50/50 proposition, and depend solely on how many of the 3 Judges are liberals. Since they will rule against Trump. Then it MAY go to the SCOTUS.

    Why waste time will all the legal mubmo-jumbo, when its ALL POltics by other means?

    rcocean (846d30)

  34. RC, it’s too early in the day to be drunk.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  35. frosty at 24 tells us:

    Whether Twitter is acting in good faith is an issue of fact open to debate. Whether Twitter is taking actions consistent with “publisher” as related to 230 is also open to debate. How 230 should be applied to Twitter is a valid question. Whether 230 should exist at all or in this form is just as valid.

    The infamous section of 230 states:

    No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of … any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected

    The words “otherwise objectionable” cover a lot of ground. Twitter may consider Trump and his posts objectionable. “Good faith” does not, in this context, require government measured fairness, and specifically does not mandate that the computer service use constitutional standards.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  36. Twitter touched the toddler’s toy.

    nk (1d9030)

  37. “Flyover redneck trash products of incestuous matings between dogs and pigs can say “you loot, we shoot”, what else are they capable of saying anyway? (Besides “Pass the jug, Eb!”) The President of the United States should not, it is deranged on every level.”

    Shooting looters and rioters is absolutely the default position in America’s history of governance and the world, the fact that you’re claiming that leaders shouldn’t give their blessings to actions taken to restore public order in this way is simply proof that you are (and probably always were) as deranged and corrupt a leftist as any other Communist, and all that ‘conservatism’ talk was just a pose for the gullible.

    Looter Shooter (13f42c)

  38. Shooting looters and rioters is absolutely the default position in America’s history of governance

    Nobody who slanders America that way could be anything other than a Russian stooge, and the rest of your comment is bullsh!t. Go back to sniffing Putin’s panties!

    The default position in America’s governance is “government of the people, by the people, for the people” “deriving its just powers from the consent of the government”, troll-bot!

    nk (1d9030)

  39. Appalled (1a17de) — 5/29/2020 @ 7:06 am

    The words “otherwise objectionable” cover a lot of ground.

    It doesn’t create a hole so big that good faith becomes meaningless or subject to charges of “falsehood” which was my original point.

    “Good faith” does not, in this context, require government measured fairness, and specifically does not mandate that the computer service use constitutional standards.

    At its core 230 is about immunity from liability. Reworking how this immunity is applied, or whether it’s applied at all, is a perfectly valid political debate. There was a time before 230. Were government mandates applied to private corporations? Yes, this has been going on for a while. After 230 was created were government mandates applied to private corporations? Yes. Section 230 applies to a fairly limited area. It’s not some holy writ protecting all things.

    frosty (f27e97)

  40. “Go back to sniffing Putin’s panties!”

    I see nk is into his ‘I was only PRETENDING to be r*tarded’ phase

    Looter Shooter (c1d270)

  41. “deriving its just powers from the consent of the government

    LOL!

    Simple typo, Freudian slip or nk’s usual evil genius?

    We report, you decide…

    Dave (1bb933)

  42. Shooting looters and rioters is absolutely the default position in America’s history of governance and the world, the fact that you’re claiming that leaders shouldn’t give their blessings to actions taken to restore public order in this way is simply proof…yada, yada, yada.

    Shooting looters and rioters is an option. A POTUS publicly shooting off (figuratively) his stupid mouth encouraging it is obscene. It enhances The Thug In The Oval Office’s rep as a racist who luuuuves him some police violence.

    It is the action of a moron. As we all expect.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  43. All three, Mr. Dave. The people are supposed to be the government. Let those who have understanding understand.

    nk (1d9030)

  44. now you have to hand it to these wombats, for seeing the garner example, and saying hold my lutefish,

    narciso (7404b5)

  45. I saw the video, narciso. What those cops did defines “depraved indifference”. It defines “depravity”.

    nk (1d9030)

  46. “Gun-toting white nationalists in Lansing“

    Pretty lame description but those citizens obeyed the law, hurt no person or property, made their point and went home. Judging by past gatherings I’ll bet they didn’t even litter.

    Here’s some more gun-toters acting legally:

    Ezra Levant Maple leaf
    @ezralevant

    Lawful black firearms owners standing guard outside their businesses.

    https://twitter.com/ezralevant/status/1266131437436231681?s=20
    _

    harkin (9c4571)

  47. it nearly approaches the mcduffie standard of brutal incompetence, why miami burned in 1980,

    narciso (7404b5)

  48. “Pretty lame description but those citizens obeyed the law, hurt no person or property, made their point and went home. Judging by past gatherings I’ll bet they didn’t even litter.”

    The initial Floyd protests were peaceful, and were met with tear gas. If you don’t see a difference in how the police responded, I don’t know what to say.

    Davethulhu (b6790a)

  49. “ The initial Floyd protests were peaceful, and were met with tear gas. If you don’t see a difference in how the police responded, I don’t know what to say.”

    Police fire tear gas, burn down the city.

    Got it.
    _

    Here’s MSNBC applying your logic:

    Daily Caller
    @DailyCaller

    MSNBC reporter says “I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly.”

    As a building burns in the background…

    https://twitter.com/DandamanThereal/status/1266224234738733056?s=20
    _

    harkin (9c4571)

  50. Police fire tear gas, burn down the city.

    Stupid. False.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  51. “Police fire tear gas, burn down the city.”

    Why are you compelled to be this dishonest? This was not the argument you were making.

    Davethulhu (b6790a)

  52. “I saw the video, narciso. What those cops did defines “depraved indifference”. It defines “depravity”.”

    nk implicitly saying that any abuse justifies burning the city down, which is about the position I’d expect from some aggrieved conspiracy theorist out of power who doesn’t care how many laws are broken or innocents dead in the collateral damage for him to get it back. Tell me another joke about the ‘Rule of Law’, bozo!

    “The people are supposed to be the government.”

    Some people are capable of self-government. Some people are capable only of filling quotas, checking boxes, and causing mayhem on command. When those capable of self-government seek advantage over their fellow citizens by padding their voting and welfare numbers with permanent dependents, criminals, immigrants, and slaves, well, let’s just say they deserve to have their cities burned down at random by their own intentionally misguided children, to say nothing of their deserved reputational damage and civil and criminal penalties. Calling their thralls ‘citizens just like you and me!’ when no such comparison exists is a common tactic of slave masters and should always be pushed back on by people of good will.

    But the governing authority should still step in once the limits of local authority are demonstrated (hilariously and continually in Minnesota’s case, since they actually elected Ilhan Omar and Keith Elison to positions of power.) And allowing any city government to transgress upon fundamental second Amendment rights is, of course, not allowed. After all, those states and localities with strong 2nd amendment protections tend to lack both the deadly riots and the habitually sociopathic police!

    Shooty Looty (77312e)

  53. “After all, those states and localities with strong 2nd amendment protections tend to lack both the deadly riots and the habitually sociopathic police!”

    All police are habitually sociopathic.

    Davethulhu (b6790a)

  54. squid habitual black booster,quelle surprise, it is curious this happened in one of the most locked down bergs in the country,

    narciso (7404b5)

  55. “ Why are you compelled to be this dishonest?”

    also:

    “All police are habitually sociopathic.
    _

    Every dang one of em!

    harkin (9c4571)

  56. ah pikachu ‘now it’s a party’

    narciso (7404b5)

  57. All police are habitually sociopathic.

    The case for keeping section 230 just got weaker.

    beer ‘n pretzels (7d3bfd)

  58. “Every dang one of em!”

    Keep pushing those goalposts.

    Davethulhu (b6790a)

  59. “The case for keeping section 230 just got weaker.”

    Yes, “the police” should absolutely sue patterico for allowing my comment to remain.

    Davethulhu (b6790a)

  60. One of the more insane aspects of the Minneapolis riots is where people in other cities are cheering them on via Twitter, Instagram etc. I saw a few where they were actually advising which businesses to target (apparently unaware or at least uncaring as to the jobs those businesses supplied to the community).

    Over 60 people died in the Rodney King riots without an interwebs cheering section, oh well I’m sure their families realize it was all worth it to shove it to the man.
    _

    harkin (9c4571)

  61. “After all, those states and localities with strong 2nd amendment protections tend to lack both the deadly riots and the habitually sociopathic police!”

    Only if you are uneducated and have no ability to learn things. Or are just making things up.

    Like in Oklahoma maybe? Oh, Tulsa race massacre. Well, besides that one.
    Like in Texas, with the Moody Park riots.
    Like in Florida, with the Miami riots.
    Like in Florida, with the St. Petersburg riots.
    Like in Ohio, with the Cincinnati riots.
    Like in Missouri, with the Ferguson riots.
    Like in North Carolina, with the Charlotte riots.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  62. CNN crew released from police custody after they were arrested live on air in Minneapolis
    A CNN crew was arrested while giving a live television report Friday morning in Minneapolis — and then released about an hour later — as the crew covered ongoing protests over the death in police custody of George Floyd.

    State police detained CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez, his producer and his photojournalist shortly after 5 a.m. CT (6 a.m. ET) as Jimenez was reporting live from a street south of downtown, near where a police precinct building was earlier set ablaze.
    …..
    Police told the crew they were being detained because they were told to move and didn’t, one member of the CNN crew relayed to the network.

    Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz told CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker that he deeply apologizes for what happened and would work to have the crew released.
    ….
    The Minneapolis State Patrol said this about the incident:

    “In the course of clearing the streets and restoring order at Lake Street and Snelling Avenue, four people were arrested by State Patrol troopers, including three members of a CNN crew. The three were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.”

    CNN disputed the state police characterization in a statement on Twitter.

    “This is not accurate — our CNN crew identified themselves, on live television, immediately as journalists. We thank Minnesota @GovTimWalz for his swift action this morning to aid in the release of our crew.”

    CNN’s Josh Campbell, who also was in the area but not standing with the on-air crew, said he, too, was approached by police, but was allowed to remain.

    “I identified myself … they said, ‘OK, you’re permitted to be in the area,'” recounted Campbell, who is white. “I was treated much differently than (Jimenez) was.”

    Jimenez is black and Latino. Kirkos is white, and Mendez is Hispanic.
    …….

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  63. frosty:

    Certainly the breadth and nature of the 230 exemption from liability is a matter of discussion and debate. The Democrats have raised it in the past, because they want to restrict hate speech, climate speech, and political speech.

    Changes, though, need to be through legislation. It seems unlikely the EO approach will be sustained in the Courts.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  64. One of the more insane aspects of the Minneapolis riots is where the usual suspects come out to tut-tut the rioters, but seem to have no concern for the fact that 4 cops murdered someone in front of a crowd and while being recorded and still haven’t been charged.

    Davethulhu (b6790a)

  65. @62: Your section 230 comprehension seems to match your insights into cop psychology.

    https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/0f5347ae-2fcb-414e-887a-29116054186e

    beer ‘n pretzels (7d3bfd)

  66. “Your section 230 comprehension seems to match your insights into cop psychology.”

    Why are you so mad about my comment?

    Davethulhu (b6790a)

  67. Cruz calls for criminal investigation of Twitter
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), in a letter Friday to the Justice and Treasury departments, is calling for a criminal investigation of Twitter over allegations the company is violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.
    …..
    Twitter allows Iranian leaders to maintain accounts on its service, and Cruz is asking Attorney General Bill Barr and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to probe whether that violates U.S. sanctions prohibiting American companies from providing goods or services to the country’s top officials.

    “I believe that the primary goal of (the International Emergency Economic Powers Act) and sanctions law should be to change the behavior of designated individuals and regimes, not American companies,” Cruz wrote.”But when a company willfully and openly violates the law after receiving formal notice that it is unlawfully supporting designated individuals, the federal government should take action.”

    Twitter has said it’s in the public interest to have political figures’ speech on its platform, even if some find that speech objectionable.
    …….

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  68. ah josh campbell comey’s coffee fetcher, who presided over the capture of dangerous criminal mr neutron, I mean roger stone,

    narciso (7404b5)

  69. Trump says right-wing voices are being censored. The data says something else
    President Donald Trump has angrily complained this week about social media companies, repeatedly accusing them of censoring conservative voices and going as far as to sign an executive order Thursday seeking to limit their power.

    But data from Facebook, the world’s largest social media company, pours cold water on the assertion that conservative voices are being silenced.

    In fact, according to CrowdTangle, a data-analytics firm owned by Facebook, content from conservative news organizations dominates Facebook and often outperforms content from straightforward news organizations.
    …..
    Over the last month, the top performing news organization in the US was Fox News, a conservative network which largely echoes the Trump White House’s messaging.

    Fox News captured 13% of all interactions among US news organizations with more than 29 million likes, comments, and shares, according to CrowdTangle.

    The second top-performing page belonged to Breitbart, a right-wing website that is largely supportive of the President and has close ties to the White House. Its Facebook page accounted for 9% of the total US media interactions over the last month with more than 20 million likes, comments, and shares.
    ……
    Ben Shapiro, the prominent conservative news personality, generated more than 25 million interactions over the past month on his page, accounting for 29% of the total share from US political media on Facebook, according to CrowdTangle.
    ……

    The second top US political media page belonged to Breitbart, with 23% of total interactions.

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  70. @19 Their ability to censor is transparent. It’s in the TOS, which they are also allowed to change if they want to in order to disallow things they used to allow and sometimes sites suddenly crack down on some particular area because they’ve gotten a lot of complaints. This is a Common Internet Thing.

    It’s their place of business and they are allowing you to write on their walls (for free in this case). If they want to erase the stuff you wrote? Well, it’s their wall.

    Nic (896fdf)

  71. The Verge has a nice takedown.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  72. Laura Ingraham to Black Americans: Trump Understands Police Violence Because of Russia Probe
    Fox News host Laura Ingraham attempted to explain to African-Americans on Thursday night that President Donald Trump can empathize with inequality and police brutality due to his “own experience” with federal investigators during the Russia probe.
    …..
    “And to our African-American fellow citizens, I say this: Given his own experience with an out-of-control FBI and unfair investigation, given all the work on criminal justice reform, President Trump knows how poisonous and out-of-control law enforcement process can be,” Ingraham proudly declared, concluding her mini-monologue.

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  73. Until the courts say he can’t. You should know better.

    Help me understand your point. My point is that government action can be a First Amendment violation even if the law is valid.

    DRJ (15874d)

  74. The guy who bilked $20 million dollars from Trump University “students” is the same dude who wants to shoot looters? So…. pass off a counterfeit $20 bill (with or without your knowledge) and you are executed by the police without a trial. But steal millions from students and you get to serve out your sentence in the Oval Office.

    noel (4d3313)

  75. Jonah’s title and subhead tell the story:

    The Twitter Debate Is Stuck on Stupid
    The president is using his free speech on Twitter to claim that Twitter is denying him free speech.

    And this.

    On Thursday, the president signed an executive order that could punish social media platforms by removing the legal protections that spare them from being responsible for what users say on them. In other words, if you defame someone on Twitter, Twitter could be sued, too.
    Again, this is all so stupid.
    The president is using his free speech on Twitter to claim that Twitter is denying him free speech. Trump claims that adding that link to his tweet is a form of censorship, which it isn’t, given that the tweet still stands and a link providing more information isn’t in the same ZIP code as censorship.
    Moreover, Twitter isn’t a government entity, so in a legal sense it can’t commit censorship. The First Amendment binds what the government can do, not private companies. Trump’s executive order comes far closer to censorship because it would effectively kill platforms dedicated (albeit imperfectly) to free expression.

    Paul Montagu (e7d63b)

  76. Appalled (1a17de) — 5/29/2020 @ 9:01 am

    Changes, though, need to be through legislation. It seems unlikely the EO approach will be sustained in the Courts.

    I don’t have a strong opinion either way on 230 or on how it should be changed. However, and I’m not trying to nitpick words, I’m not seeing this as a change to 230. It looks like a change to 230 is enforced.

    There are currently companies in the publisher category under 230. Does that represent a 1st amendment violation? No one really seems to be making that argument.

    As far as the courts go, you may be right but everyone seems to have whistled by my reference to the ATF and the 2nd. That history doesn’t give me any confidence that the courts will invalidate an EO on constitutional grounds. If this was such a slam dunk why doesn’t Twitter jump into federal court for an injunction against the EO? I love to see them try to prevent:

    To advance the policy described in subsection (a) of this section, all executive departments and agencies should ensure that their application of section 230(c) properly reflects the narrow purpose of the section and take all appropriate actions in this regard.

    I’m having a little fun with you because I think you, and you aren’t alone, are looking at the wrong end of the horse. There’s nothing technically wrong with the EO. I’m generally against legislation by EO but instructing federal departments to narrowly interpret 230 isn’t the wholesale government by authoritarian decree that it’s being made out as. I know it’s being read as this narrowing of the definition will unleash the dogs of war but I just don’t see it.

    frosty (f27e97)

  77. Paul Montagu (e7d63b) — 5/29/2020 @ 10:56 am

    I’ve been assured by other commentators here that there is no such thing as free speech. It’s a figment of feelz.

    Moreover, Twitter isn’t a government entity, so in a legal sense it can’t commit censorship.

    If this is true then

    The president is using his free speech on Twitter

    can’t also be true since no one has any free speech rights on Twitter.

    The more correct way to say this is:

    The president is using the contract rights granted to him by the Twitter TOS

    And the government can certainly control the contract rights between private entities.

    frosty (f27e97)


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