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  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: censorship, , r/The_Donald,   

    Is Reddit’s quarantine of r/The_Donald censorship? 

    Is Reddit's quarantine of r/The_Donald censorship?

    For those of you who may not know, Reddit is a website that calls itself ‘the front page of the internet.’ It’s essentially a repository of message boards that discuss just about every subject imaginable broken down into what they call subreddits. For example, if you were to be a pro-wrestling fan then the subreddit called SquaredCircle is said to be the premier place to discuss sports entertainment with other fans on the internet. However, as with most internet communities, with the good comes the bad.

    Reddit is also home to the largest group of supporters of President Trump. Their subreddit is known as ‘The_Donald’ and is said to be the largest subreddit on the site. This past Wednesday The_Donald was quarantined by Reddit. This means it was effectively suspended by the site. How long it will remain offline is unclear. The reason it was reportedly taken offline was that a number of the group’s members threatened violence against police.

    Some users had apparently encouraged violence against law enforcement, angry that officials in Oregon were trying to bring back GOP state senators who fled the state to avoid voting on a climate-change bill.

    This is not the first time that Reddit has had to quarantine or outright ban some of their more tasteless or controversial subreddits.

    Since President Trump was elected there has been a theory among conservatives that social media outlets have been actively censoring conservative speech and ideas. Is this another instance of conservatives allegedly being silenced? To put it bluntly, no. First off, Reddit is a privately owned company and is free to choose what language it considers objectionable. Secondly, Reddit is not a branch of the government so your First Amendment Rights are not being violated. You are free to go to any other website that may tolerate such kind of speech. Lastly, even under the First Amendment, threats are not a form of protected speech. You may have heard the phrase ‘yelling fire in a crowded theater’. It’s a lot like that.

    So maybe if the r/The_Donald’s members could have better behaved they wouldn’t have had these problems.

     
  • Geebo 10:07 am on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alexey Navalny, censorship, , , Roskomnadzor,   

    Facebook yields to Russian internet police 

    Facebook yields to Russian internet police

    In America, if someone had video of a Presidential cabinet member taking bribes from a top business magnate, that story would not only be all over the news but it would be the trending topic on social media and Facebook wouldn’t lift a finger to stop it. Now if that happened in Russia? Not so much.

    Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny claims to have a video that was posted to Instagram that shows Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko on the yacht of a Russian oligarch where bribes were said to have allegedly taken place. Not only did the Russian courts rule that the video violated Prikhodko’s right to privacy but the Russian ‘media watchdog group’ Roskomnadzor ordered Facebook owned Instagram to remove two more posts in relation to the matter. Facebook was more than happy to oblige.

    An Instagram representative released the following statement to CNBC

    “When governments believe that something on the internet violates their laws, they may contact companies and ask us to restrict access to that content. We review such requests carefully in light of local laws and where appropriate, we make it unavailable in the relevant country or territory.”

    “We are transparent about any content restrictions we make for government requests with local law in our Transparency Report.”

    What they don’t seem to be transparent about is when a post is removed due to political motivations.

    While such a politically motivated move of this magnitude has not yet happened in the US, could one be that far behind, and would Facebook be so willing to comply if it did?

     
  • Geebo 10:37 am on January 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: censorship, , Philippines, Rappler, Rodrigo Duterte   

    Is Facebook complicit in helping oppressive regimes silence their critics? 

    Is Facebook complicit in helping oppressive regimes silence their critics?

    If you’re not familiar with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, he is a controversial figure to say the least. During his campaign for the Presidency, Duterte was refereed to by American media as the Donald Trump of the Philippines for his boisterous ways and outspoken manner, however, Duterte has long since surpassed President Trump in terms of controversy.

    After taking office, President Duerete declared a war on drugs in the Philippines and has allegedly used it as an excuse to order the police executions of thousands of so-called offenders. No arrests, no trials, only death. He has been harshly criticized not only on the world stage for alleged human rights abuses but by some media outlets in the Philippines as well. Considering the Philippines has a history of journalists being assassinated, this is a pretty big deal.

    One of these outlets is known as Rappler and they have been critical of President Duterte’s treatment of the people being executed by police. Instead of using any kind of violent force against them, Duterte’s administration is accused of allegedly using a campaign of misinformation against Rappler which led to government taking away Rappler’s license.

    And where was this misinformation campaign waged? On Facebook of course. Considering Facebook has an office in Manila and has partnered with the Duterte administration on a high-speed internet project this really should come as no shock.

    Sadly, this is just another example of how much power Facebook wields in the geopolitical stage. Facebook has the potential to literally topple regimes or silence the opposition to such oppressors with just a few clicks of a mouse or swipe of a touchscreen. Should one company hold this much power on such a global scale?

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on August 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: censorship, , , , , Tom Scocca   

    Gawker writer: Censorship is for sale 

    Gawker writer: Censorship is for sale

    True censorship can only come from the government since it’s the First Amendment that guarantees a free press. However, Gawker writer Tom Scocca makes the case that a free press is threatened by those who can afford to have the press bent to their will.

    In his post entitled ‘Gawker Was Murdered by Gaslight’, Mr. Scocca makes the point that only one person killed Gawker and the man holding the smoking gun is none other than Peter Thiel. Scocca makes great points about Thiel’s personally financed vendetta against Gawker, especially with the infamous Hulk Hogan lawsuit. He points out that without Thiel’s backing the Hogan lawsuit was without merit since federal courts ruled that the publishing of excerpts from Hogan’s sex tape was considered newsworthy and therefore protected speech. It’s also pointed out that media outlets have insurance policies for such lawsuits and Mr. Scocca not only points out that the New York Post settled out of court for publishing pictures of two men they thought were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings, but also that in previous instances Gawker never had to pay anything close to a million dollars for any such mistakes prior to Mr. Thiel’s revenge by proxy campaign.

    According to Gawker, Thiel just kept throwing money at more lawsuits for anyone who perceived that they may have been wronged by Gawker. He basically bankrupted Gawker in a war of attrition by outspending them all because Gawker outed Thiel as gay, which as salacious as that may sound was also considered newsworthy therefore also protected. After the $140 million judgement was ordered against Gawker they were immediately denied any kind of appeal in court. That sounds a lot like Peter Thiel’s money speaking for the court and since the court is part of the government maybe Gawker’s death is true censorship after all.

    Peter Thiel should not be mistaken as some kind of privacy champion. Instead he should be seen as the public face of a number of entitled billionaires who are buying favorable press and financially crushing any dissension.

     
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