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How do you feel about Parler being removed from the Internet?

After being dropped from their app stores by Google and Apple after the Capital protests, hosting provider Amazon announced yesterday that they will be removing free-speech site Parler from the Internet today alleging violent content.

Parler, a communication platform for many Trump supporters, had grown 10x since the US election to the 216th largest US website as of yesterday.

A Trump supporter may ask: Was this action warranted? Is there a double standard being played out for Trump and BLM/ANTIFA/Biden supporters? Do Big Tech platforms like Google, Amazon, and Apple, with a near-monopoly on online communication, have any obligation to be politically agnostic? How is their control of 99.9% of communication apps different from China's government control of communication and dissent?

Note: I personally respect both sides of the debate regarding this event. In the name of fighting what they see as injustice, it seems like both sides have members who cross the free speech line. It is also natural to see the opposite side as more threatening than ones own.

Do Big Tech play fair when it comes to policing potential online violence?

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Admin 8 Jan 9
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45 comments

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16

As many on the right like to point out (when it comes to baking cakes and holding events for those they deem as less than themselves, etc.), private companies can do whatever they please.

All these tech companies have Terms of Service "contracts" that everyone who uses their platforms agree to abide by.
No one is forced to utilize their social media platforms.
The companies get to reject anything they find that goes against their terms.

Parler is currently being used by those who are parroting lies, and encouraging violence.
If other companies don't want to carry the site, that's their prerogative.

The First Amendment is very clear about Free Speech. The government is not permitted to retaliate against any citizen who speaks against it.
Private companies are not held to the same standards.
Subsequent court cases have reiterated that fact.

Which is why people can lose their jobs if they say things or act in any way their employers find objectionable.
Most states are "At Will", and employers can basically terminate employment at any time, for any reason.

There are an awful lot of laws on the books which would have to be changed before anyone can take action against any tech company for perceived free speech violations.

I'm not saying some of those laws shouldn't be challenged, but there are no short cuts here.
What we say, what we do, it all has consequences.

In the case of Parler, if you (general you)
don't like it, too fucking bad.

KKGator Level 9 Jan 10, 2021
14

Such a fair and accurate picture you posted to preface your supposedly unbiased survey! Isn't Parler actually the site where users call for the execution of "Enemies of the People?" But now, somehow, it is the defenseless victim?

Krish55 Level 7 Jan 10, 2021
12

Better late than never. There is no "free speech line" for corporations. There is only the bottom line. So they do what they do to keep from offending their customers. So in that way... their action was very democratic. If the general public had been fine with a dictator wannabe directing a mob to overthrow an election, the corporations would not have pulled the plug.

Note: I do not personally respect both sides of the debate regarding this event. I respect only the side that is based in reality, democracy, and the rule of law. Catering to mass hysteria, and unhinged conspiracy theories is not protecting free speech - it is protecting self-destruction. Accurate perception and paranoid delusion do not deserve equal consideration. Just because both sides think they're right doesn't mean they are. The citizens have voted at the polls, and public opinion has voted in the market.

skado Level 9 Jan 10, 2021

This ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ

11

Why not ask Rupert Murdoch this question as well?
Why not ask ALL forms of Media this question since they also, by means of their forms of media, have some sort of control over what we see, hear, read, etc, etc.
Small dogs always seem to think that they are BIGGER dogs and act so, Bigger Dogs seem to think they ARE the Paramount of Dogs, that is similar to how, imo, these Media Moguls see themselves and WILL continue to do so UNLESS they ARE reined in.
Parler, imo, and based upon what I have seen, read and heard has been acting as a kind of Pro-tRump Propaganda Site/Group bent, somewhat, upon promoting Insurrection, etc, simply because it cannot encompass/embrace the truth that tRump has lost the Podium and the Election.
Ergo, I say Well Done to those who deemed Parler well and truly worthy of being given the 'boot.'

Triphid Level 8 Jan 10, 2021
11

What is the problem ?
Private company Amazon , they can chose who to host and who is aloud to operate under their name .
Apparently some companies decided to take the garbage out .
Your problem seems to be that : a) this is not garbage .
B) poor trump supporters , where will find a place to misinform , hate , conspire .

Are there any web sites that aloud killers to talk about the glory of murder , or pedophiles โ€œ 101 tips how to lure kids ?โ€ I wonder . They have rights too damn it ! Is free speech , y are not heard ???

Well . Is Fox News still alive and well ?
Is Alex Jones still in buisness ? What about All the Christian evangelicals shows and sites ?
I am sure slug can help them out ?

The irony , when tick tock was a problem ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Pralina1 Level 8 Jan 10, 2021

I am truly an agnostic on this event as I've not seen the evidence and realize that it is easy to get a find incendiary posts on a site with millions of members. I don't know how much of this move was politically motivated vs an effort to protect people. I tried to be neutral in the framing of this topic and do agree that inciting violence is dangerous.

@Admin well . I am sure big companies are not out there having as # 1 priority how to protect or inform people . Nah . Money talks . First , and always .
What ve learned in this election is that 70 plus millions of humans in this country still thinks that trump walks on water , or , he might not , but at least he serves their rest of their agenda well . Sure and no doubt , priorities here !

Point is , in my little non buisness head , do u think Amazon wants to lose money ( and other perks ) from 70 million humans without reason ? Do u think ceo woke up one day and gave a damn about humanity , violence , misinformation ? No .
Simply the right has showing their buttocks too much and their colors too much , to the point that not taking a stand or been silent or allowing them grounds to continue puts your company in the shit bucket . Identify w garbage , allowing garbage to smell in your house , makes u look like garbage too .
And I am pretty sure they took that decision not as agnostics of this topic . I am sure they have what they need to justify .
Thatโ€™s my opinion . No research done of my behalf .

@Admin How can one be "agnostic' in regards to an event or ANY event for that matter since the meaning of the word 'agnostic' differs technically from the subject to which you have applied it?
One can be either "incensed, angered, irate, annoyed, etc, etc, or even ambivalent, unperturbed, etc, etc, in regards to an event/ events but, imo, the word 'agnostic' does not, technically and grammatically either fit in nor apply in this instance.

10

This NOT a "free speech" issue. The 1st amendment protect people from being persecuted by the government for their speech. It does NOT mean others have to give you a platform for your speech. Actions have consequences... suck it up snowflakes!

Leelu Level 7 Jan 10, 2021
9

Itโ€™s not a problem. Lots of terrorists are banned from social media.

Mvtt Level 6 Jan 10, 2021
7

If those who ran the app would have handled these posts in the first place, Parler most likely would still be up and running. Take a listen to this podcast, linked below. Kara Swisher interviews the founder of Parler on January 7, who states he is not specifically aware of any posts calling for violence. Yea, right! He goes on to say the app has a jury of about 4-5 people who decide if flagged posts stay up or are taken down. My feeling as I listened to it, is this founder and owner of the app, did not really believe in restricting any kind of speech. Much like Mark Zuckerberg has done over the years.

As far as Google and Apple goes, and how they decided to drop the app, I feel it's really a case of the pot calling the kettle black, and they took an opportunity to cut out a competitor. All is fair in love and capitalism, right?

If You Were on Parler, You Saw the Mob Coming - [nytimes.com]

linxminx Level 8 Jan 10, 2021

I agree with you that Parler's CEO failed to have enough oversight of their posts and made that a differentiator. We seem to have more content safeguards here on Agnostic.

@Admin
What about your safeguards at slug.com, are the adequate to not allow the promotion of lies and hate?

@StarvingArtist Slug has more safeguards in place than Twitter/Facebook/Youtube as those sites let anyone's post go live immediately. On my sites, that has to be earned by a history of activity. That being said, one person's "lies and hate" is another person's truths and anger... it's easy for Big Tech to choose political sides (over 90% of donations from Big Tech employees went to Democrats)

@Admin
"one person's "lies and hate" is another person's truths and anger."

What a cop-out! I am not referencing ideology. I have visited over there and I have seen that you have let the lies about the election run rapid. Over 50 courts have validated the elections to have been fair with no evidence of corruption. So the evidence of your lack of action to stop giving a platform to election lies, shows you are a supporter of civil unrest without just cause.

7

There is nothing moral or humane by been a dick .
On top of that , besides if intentionally blind , itโ€™s dangerous . People died for not apparent reason .
Well , if u count as reasoning that orange asshole canโ€™t accept election results , yeah ok , I see your point .

Y the media supported BLM ? Bcz believe it or not , killing black people for nothing is not ok .
R difference here is the basics : u ( whoever ), believes that itโ€™s not ok to protest against racial crimes .
I believe is not ok to protest for the delusion that elections were stolen .
The guy that rallied all these idiots believes that is not ok for him to go to prison . Yeah , fight for his right to not go to prison , fight for his right remain the president .
Is that so hard to see ??

The companies who see it , took the garbage out . Fear that they will be associated w garbage .
At the very end , is always a place for it . I know at least few web pages that support them and give them space to be . Are we all ?

Pralina1 Level 8 Jan 10, 2021
7

You talk about free speech as if you know what it means, but you clearly don't. You can't apparently even see the difference between large companies in a democratic system and the CCP. Education has failed you.

Gareth Level 7 Jan 10, 2021
7

How is their control of 99.9% of communication apps different from China's government control of communication and dissent?

Government can make laws that apply to everyone with police or military enforcement and criminal or death penalties as their ultimate violations.

Big Tech can make policy that only applies to their users with internal enforcement and de-platforming as their ultimate penalty

7

Firstly they are private companies so they can ban whomever they want. A free press is not encumbered by a newspaper refusing your advert or refusing to print your story for whatever reasons. Just as Chick-a-fil is free to donate to anti-LGBTQ then we are free not to shop there.
Is there a double standard? Notwithstanding the previous paragraph, the nature of social media and its algorithms leads people down their own rabbit holes. If Google stops the beginning of this spiral then I welcome it. The amount of misinformation and hate speech on these sites has to be an overriding factor, also their motives. I am not sure if Antifa or BLM would meet the low standards for this kind of ban?

273kelvin Level 8 Jan 10, 2021
7

"How is their control of 99.9% of communication apps different from China's government control of communication and dissent?"

That is conflating government with private corporations -- orange/apple (no pun intended)

How is the result different?

@Admin ONE of them can put folks in jail.

6

This is a bit misleading by Admin. It was pulled due to the fact that Parler itself would not add moderation. Had Parler added fact checkers as well as term of service enforcement they wouldn't have been dropped.

redhog Level 7 Jan 10, 2021

Thank you! They broke the rules under which they had agreed.

Oh . Good to know . What a delightful and shitty surprise .
Wow !

Some of our apps have been removed from the app store without any notice or reason other than a generic "inappropriate content" message... and we have fairly strict content moderation. I've yet to see examples of what content was deemed inappropriate by Parler although I would expect some to be found with a spike of millions of new upset members. I've heard their CEO made a weak statement recently but not seen it... perhaps you can post a link to it?

@Admin in other words youre biased. Got it. We kinda knew that.

@Admin and heres your evidence. Literally took me a minute and a half to find it.

[twitter.com]

Thank u . Wow .

6

Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.

davknight Level 8 Jan 10, 2021

100% true, sad, but still 100% true.

6

RE: double standard and fairness

I saw SO many of my left leaning friends expressing extreme views being temp or perma banned from FB last year it was an almost daily event.

Similarly, my right leaning friends over the past few months.

Being a moderate and thus actively seeking people on the left and right on my FB associations, I am perhaps in the minority who can see that FB has in fact acted against the Left and the Right when they act extremely.

The problem and this is a critical point is that people on the right with only right friends will see their friends being banned and come to the incorrect conclusion that only the right is being banned.
Interestingly, this is the same conclusion that people who only had friends on the left seeing their friends get banned were saying this time last year!!!!

@Thirst2learn
If he were a communist, he wouldn't believe in income of any form.
Hence his support of UBI means he's not a communist.

@Thirst2learn you are correct, the capitalists will make dam sure the middle class pays for it

@Thirst2learn
UBI doesn't prevent capitalism.
Anything that allows capitalism cannot, by definition, be associated with a philosophy that rejects capitalism.

@Thirst2learn
Does UBI forbid capitalism?
If not, then it can't be communism which does.

@Thirst2learn
Ok. Still not communism.

6

Please describe how a private company deciding not to host another company's website after terms of service were violated is censorship again ?

How is that not simple capitalism?

There is a valid point that private companies can do whatever they want. It is a good thing that non-government groups who have 99.9% of the app market decide what is acceptable speech (beyond calls of violence)?

@Admin humanity and reality has a liberal bias .
To who should we apologize about that ?
Acceptable = no harm to others , at the very least .

@Pralina1 'reality' is two wolves and one sheep deciding on 'what's for dinner' ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

@Admin I don't won't ever use FB/twitter/WhatsApp

Like you starting Humanist/Agnostic/Slug forums, others can start their own platforms.

"decide what is acceptable speech" -- How do YOU feel about the possible changing of Section 230 ?

@Admin So I assume you are also perfectly comfortable with how a handful of media conglomerates own over 90% of all the mass media (newspapers, radio, and TV stations), which all have a pro-corporate, anti-labor, bias in favor of the ruling class and a clear hatred of any groups which are for economic equality? That kind of imbalance and monopoly are ok? Just checking.....Since they are all private companies, they can do what they want, etc. I am not ok with that status quo, but the only way it can be reformed is thru govt. regulation, which I doubt you are ok with, even tho I certainly am... We still have anti- trust laws on the books, it's just that with two corrupt, corporate-owned major parties, they never get enforced anymore....

5

are you worried about the freedom of speech of kiddie porn? If you agree that we have the right and the obligation to stop this, then this ties into terms of service for online servers.

Amazon is their web hosting service. The far right was complaining about Amazon for over four years, they are under no moral obligation to continue to provide web hosting services to Parler, just like Google and Apple is under no obligation to offer the app. This is NOT a free speech issue and for you to insinuate that it is shows that you do not understand the issue at all from a legal standpoint let alone a Constitutional standpoint.

I remember being a remote host for Q-Link and AOL way back in the 80's and 90's. I had a command that could block chat from users if they didn't follow TOS and after so many strikes they weren't allowed onto AOL anymore at all. No refunds. Those folks also attempted to say it inhibited their freedom of speech.....they didn't win anymore than you will with this.

Larimar Level 7 Jan 10, 2021
5

Hate speech and conspiracy theories should be banned.

Mofo1953 Level 8 Jan 10, 2021

If one person on a platform says such things, should the entire platform be removed? Does the level of anger/hate (e.g., of Trump) seen on Agnostic rise to a level similar to what's on conservative sites like Parler? I don't know...

@Admin "one person"....on what planet have you been vacationing?

5

Wasn't shut down because they were trading recipes, well, certain kinds of recipes.

oldFloyd Level 8 Jan 10, 2021
5

Regarding your pigeon picture above, Trumpers are actually banned from owning those because these horn-clad, fur-wearing MAGAs make enough of a shit mess themselves!

Krish55 Level 7 Jan 10, 2021
5

If you want Parler it it still available and acessable here, [parler.com] no one has taken it off the internet some sites and corporations are just not linking to it

Amazon announced that they will be turning off hosting of the site today.

John Matze the ceo of parler has announced it could leave the site unavailable for up to a week while they change servers.

4

Relieved.

RavenCT Level 9 Jan 10, 2021
4

Do Big Tech platforms like Google, Amazon, and Apple, with a near-monopoly on online communication, have any obligation to be politically agnostic?

Not under current laws they don't.
However, if instead of asking for a repeal of 230 we would ask for a a form of the Fairness Doctrine as pertains to Social Media, then maybe we'd get somewhere.

I have no idea how or what form said Doctrine would take given the interactive nature of Social Media vs. the non-interactive nature of Radio and TV upon which this defunct doctrine applied.

But if you are going to demand Equal Voice for conservatives on sites that are deemed liberal... then we also need demand Equal Voice for liberals on sites that are deemed conservative.

I think Twitter allows both liberal and conservative content. Itโ€™s violent hate speech and insurrection at play. To that is fair game regardless of ideology.

@Canndue
There is no doubt that twice as many people that identify as Dem are on twitter as those that identify as Rep as per a 2019 pew survey

[pewresearch.org]

In 2020, similar statistics were seen but with the added dimension that almost 70% of the top 10 twitter users identified as Dem.

[pewresearch.org]

There is no way to tell from these statistics however if this is because more Dems use twitter or more Reps are banned from twitter but it does stand to reason that people with a progressive mindset are more apt to embrace new technologies than those with a conservative mindset.

@TheMiddleWay I guess the point I was trying to make was there was no barrier to them.

@Canndue
I agree. No barrier to enter. The debate is if there is a barrier for them to stay. I don't "think" so but I'd love to have hard data on this.

@TheMiddleWay seems to be all about illegal activity....but of course, weโ€™re not privy to all the details

4

Not seeing a problem.

redbai Level 7 Jan 10, 2021
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