August 7, 2018 7:14 pm at 7:14 pm #1570490
Alex Jones was banned Monday from YouTube, Facebook, iTunes, Spotify. What if the same happened to YWN how would you react, your thoughts and comments are very much appreciated.August 7, 2018 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #1570577
Jones, who I never listened too, appears to be a loony bin. But being a loony bin is not illegal. Big Tech, which is run by liberals, has decided to censure those they disagree with. Which is, as private corporations, their legal right. But it should be called out for what it is. They do not shut down and delete the liberal loonies and liars. Of which their are very many on their platforms.August 7, 2018 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm #1570581
He himself is clearly a meshugganeh and a piece of lying garbage. However, the second these tech companies start banning people for political viewpoints, everyone is in trouble.August 7, 2018 8:10 pm at 8:10 pm #1570583
NOYB, what would you say if they banned Holocaust deniers?August 7, 2018 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #1570596
@DaasYochid To that I say the same thing. I think they are despicable, but we shouldn’t ban people for saying things we don’t like, even really disgusting, horrible things we don’t like. That being said, all private companies can ban whoever they want, and I recognize that. I am just saying they shouldn’t ACTUALLY do it, not that they shouldn’t be ALLOWED. I think people should only be banned if they are encouraging violence.August 8, 2018 8:13 am at 8:13 am #1570673
I actually love Alex Jones. Often, InfoWars was the only media telling the truth.August 8, 2018 8:15 am at 8:15 am #1570629
these companies should shouldn’t be allowed to do whatever they desire ,since they have become more than companies ,They’re essentially monopolies and virtually utilities who work hand in had with the Government,August 8, 2018 8:15 am at 8:15 am #1570630
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”August 8, 2018 8:17 am at 8:17 am #1570632
Joseph if u never listened to Alex Jones y would u call him a Looney. I happen to have watched a lot of his stuff. I don’t agree with a lot that he says but he is no crazier than anybody else in the media. Also they banned his channel info wars which has a lot of material which is basically liberals making fools of themselves.August 8, 2018 8:45 am at 8:45 am #1570639
I agree. Rav Kook, in fact, says on this in one of his letters “אי-אפשר לצמצם”. Some wanted to ban ספר יחזקאל and שיר השירים. In Europe מורה נבוחים was burned and all of the Ramchal’s books were put in cherem. Many other of our books were censored.
The question regarding social media is whether or not they are public forums. Courts have already decided (see, for example, Davison v. Loudoun County Board of Supervisors et al, E.D. Va. 2017) that public officials may not block people from their accounts for writing comments they don’t like. The big question is whether the managements of the media outlets can. Of course, Congress might be able to step and compel them under the Interstate Commerce clause or be bludgeoned by loss of immunity for posts as Ted Cruz has stated (see his essay “Facebook has been censoring or suppressing conservative speech for years” ).August 8, 2018 9:48 am at 9:48 am #1570737
Ben Sira was banned,as were some othersAugust 8, 2018 9:48 am at 9:48 am #1570738
The problem with absolute free speech is that spammers can absolutely ruin a platform.August 8, 2018 2:03 pm at 2:03 pm #1570795
Social media are NOT public utilities and don’t operate with FCC authorization on public airwaves. Fox News has repeatedly banned political ads denigrating the Trumpkopf because their listeners would be offended (although they cite to some weird “advertising standards”. We deregulated the media long ago and thats why Twitter may decide NOT to take down some of the Trumpkopf’s more racist and misogynistic comments while others will refuse to carry the messages. Drudge normally carries some really werid stuff along with some great breaking news items. Alex Jones can start his own social media platform and I’m sure there will be plenty of white supremacists, tin-foil hat types and other fringe elements who will gladly listen. For many of us, we can get our fill of conspiracy theories from the usual trollers here in the CR.August 8, 2018 2:04 pm at 2:04 pm #1570911
It, the Gemara quotes him in several places (for example, Baba Batra 98b). Some say that Rabbi Akiva’s statement only applies to those who are kovea itim. Others say it only applies to those who consider them kodesh.
RY, no one says that free speech is absolute. That would lead to much greater problems than ruining a platform. Thus, for example, libel and slander are actionable, there is the “clear and present danger” rule, etc.August 8, 2018 7:49 pm at 7:49 pm #1571100
Those are different because they are not specific to social media. You can go on the street and constantly repeat the words “I earned five million dollars this year working from home” but you should not be allowed to do that online.August 9, 2018 12:56 am at 12:56 am #1571175
Interesting when the Left fought for Internet freedom a couple years ago
against the gov’t corporate nexus it was succesful.
But now that it is a nut for other side ,this is correct and properAugust 9, 2018 4:30 am at 4:30 am #1571277
I think people should only be banned if they are encouraging violence.
I believe Alex Jones has been accused of indirectly encouraging violence.August 9, 2018 8:27 am at 8:27 am #1571350
That is a dangerous slippery slope. Is supporting Capital Punishment
“encouraging violence.” ?Or wishing to nuke Iran? North Korea?or saying “crush the other NFL team”?August 9, 2018 8:27 am at 8:27 am #1571349
actually, Facebook etc do NOT have a right to ban Jones and Infowar. Congress granted them protection from libel suits precisely because they agreed not to censor. If someone uses AT&T to send out false robocalls, AT&T cannot be sued because they do not exercise editorial control over content. Social media gets the same exemption as long as long as they remain a conduit. Once they start exercising editorial control (censorship) they leave themselves open to lawsuitsAugust 9, 2018 8:51 am at 8:51 am #1571371
DY, how so?
AJ, at present the law in the US does not state that (in Israel it is different regarding terrorist posts). Social media sites are now totally immune for suits based on third-party posts with the exception of Federal criminal liability and intellectual property suits (Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996). Thus a suit against them by victims of terrorists (Cohen et. al vs. Facebook) was dismissed. This was the whole point of Sen Cruz’ essay. The law can be amended.August 9, 2018 8:55 am at 8:55 am #1571373
Avi, a Sandy Hook victim’s parents were allegedly threatened by a follower and had to move.August 9, 2018 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm #1571448
Avi, a Sandy Hook victim’s parents were allegedly threatened by a follower and had to move.
Alleged and follower are the key words!
A follower of alex is not alex or infowars. Besides , your saying its alleged.
Should we arrest peleg roshey yeshivos because of thier followers who are gangsters?August 9, 2018 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm #1571535
DY &Takes, the leaders of the Peleg explicitly incite their followers. An analogous situation would if c”v someone who habitually agrees with DY would allegedly threaten someone. Clarence Brandenburg said much worse things but was cleared by SCOTUS (Brandenburg v. Ohio 395 U.S. 444 (1969)).August 9, 2018 2:08 pm at 2:08 pm #1571536
Avi, all it takes is a judge who finds that since the social media company is no longer a mere conduit, the law doesn’t protect them anymoreAugust 10, 2018 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #1572032
He is enciting people with his conspiracy theories. It is similar like yelling fire in a crowded theater causing riots which harms individuals.August 10, 2018 8:08 pm at 8:08 pm #1572093
I dont hear anyone complaining about nuchum rosenberg being bannedAugust 11, 2018 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm #1572116
DY &Takes, the leaders of the Peleg explicitly incite their followers
Well then why aren’t the leaders being banned?August 11, 2018 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm #1572095
AJ, putting something in the law that is not there would be a new high in judicial activism. I doubt very much if the conservatives Trump has appointed would go anywhere near that far.
Laskern, in that case, anyone who criticizes anyone is guilty of incitement. You should make aliya and join a leftist movement the way you wave that bloody shirt. However, I definitely do not suggest that you give up your day job.August 12, 2018 12:37 am at 12:37 am #1572185
Takes, by whom? If you are asking why they were not arrested or why they were not put in cherem as I am not the spokesman of either the police or any rav nor am I privy to their internal discussions I do not know.August 12, 2018 1:26 am at 1:26 am #1572253
Peleg is on social media?August 12, 2018 8:29 am at 8:29 am #1572315
#The_REAL_PelegAugust 12, 2018 7:02 pm at 7:02 pm #1572590
YWN is totally free to post news stories the editorial staff believe are of interest to their readership and exclude stories that may be offensive or inconsistent with the role of a frum site. It does not claim to be a “neutral” forum nor are they under any obligation to provide a venue for contrarian perspective. The Mods in the CR operate in accordance with certain editorial guidelines and may (and often do) exclude postings inconsistent with those guidelines. While social media sites may claim to be “politically neutral”, they are totally free to set their own guidelines and enforce them as they see fit. Likewise, if someone wanted to sue YWN or any other website for “skewing its coverage” they can do so but as others have posted, they would face a very high legal hurdle. If the “alt right” wants its own social media site, they can certainly establish one to compete with FB, Twitter, etc.August 12, 2018 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm #1572656
Does “What if the same happened to YWN?” mean “What if YWN blocked Alex Jones?” or “What if YWN was blocked from Facebook and Youtube?”?August 13, 2018 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm #1572971
What if YWN was blocked from Facebook and Youtube?
It could happen. A lot of people consider certain Torah precepts to be “hate speech”.August 13, 2018 6:47 pm at 6:47 pm #1573026
There is a common recited but totally false narrative that net neutrality means neutral with respect to access to content and/or social media have some obligation to carry all perspectives like the public airwaves were once required by the FCC under the Fairness doctrine prior to elections. Net neutrality only means not throttling down (aka slowing) the SPEED of access via broadband to certain websites to assure that some users and sites don’t “hog” available bandwidth. The FCC eliminated that Obama era rule although Congress is considering restoring it. There are no longer any federal/FCC rules governing how much time (if any) public airwaves must devote to a particular editorial position although hate speech etc. could be a basis to revoke a channel’s license. Cable channels have ZERO oversight of their editorial content as anyone who has tuned in to Fox News or MSNBC during the evening hours will attest. As you may have notice, Fox no longer even bothers to use its “fair and balance” slogan anymore, although some of their daytime newscasters (e.g. Shep Smith) make a pretense of covering both sides of an issue fairly.October 5, 2018 3:00 pm at 3:00 pm #1599577
As has been pointed out many times, to companies like FB, Google and Twitter, which provide services for “free”, we are the product.
I am something of an economic libertarian but the threat the tech titans are deploying against liberty itself is concerning.
At the very least, they deserve to no longer be considered mere pipelines if they are going to edit what political content is allowed to flow and are instead required to function as publishers with their inherent legal liabilities.
Applying a reasonable law equally seems like a concept even fringe
libertarians would not have a problem with.October 5, 2018 3:02 pm at 3:02 pm #1599578
As one libertarian put it—with admirable, if frightful clarity—“We’re an economy with a country, not a country with an economy.” Most Americans—thank God—don’t see it that way. They understand that politics supersedes economics, and for a reason. Politics properly understood must be concerned with the comprehensive good, which means with the highest good. There are limits to what politics can do, both practically and—yes—morally in interfering with the market. But indifference is not an option for a civilization that wants to survive.
The modern tech information monopoly is a threat to self-government in at least three ways. First its aforementioned consolidation of monopoly power, which the techies are using to guarantee the outcome they want and to suppress dissent. It’s working. How much does anyone wanna bet that many will come back with “Well, this is all inevitable anyway.” Whose interests does that argument serve? Which is perhaps one reason they push it so incessantly that people now reflexively repeat it, even people who really ought to know better.
Second, and related, is the way that social media digitizes pitchforked mobs. Aristocrats used to have to fear the masses; now they enable, weaponize, and deploy them. Imagine if the Marquis St. Evrémonde could have utilized, rather than having to flee, the Paris mob. The grandees of Professorville and Sand Hill Road and Outer Broadway can and routinely do use social justice warriors to their advantage. Come to that, hundreds of thousands of whom, like modern Red Guards, don’t have to be mobilized or even paid. They seek to stifle dissent and destroy lives and careers for the sheer joy of it.
Third and most important, tech-as-time-sucking-frivolity is infantilizing and enstupefying society—corroding the reason-based public discourse without which no republic can exist. Libertarians cannot see that, not because I am wrong and tech is actually good, but because libertarianism and degraded “conservatism” have no philosophic or moral framework for judging good from bad or right from wrong. To them, these categories do not exist except at the very lowest level. Little else but outright theft and the (non-consensual) infliction of bodily harm are condemnable.
But all the dynamism and innovation that silicon valley and their choir praise only emerge from a bedrock of republican virtue. This is the core truth that libertarians seem unable to appreciate. Silicon Valley is undermining that virtue—with its products, with its tightening grip on power, and with its attempt to reengineer society, the economy, and human life. When and if that virtue is finally gone, it will be an open question whether anything like the high-tech nirvana that so profess to admire can be sustained. If not, well . . .
If it can, it won’t be in a political environment that is republican, much less conservative or libertarian. And we know who will be in charge.October 5, 2018 6:52 pm at 6:52 pm #1599633
We are neither an economy with a country nor vice versa. We are individuals living in a society that has an economy and also has government. True libertarians don’t necessarily share any beliefs with each other besides for the belief that the government is best off sticking to its core responsibilities rather than growing large and being an active presence in everyone’s lives. Many of them don’t take issue with any of the things the government does, they just think it should be left to the private sector.October 6, 2018 8:14 pm at 8:14 pm #1599647
Silicon Valley’s products are only that. Products. They are only tools. How they are used is up to the user. As the NRA has always pointed out, guns don’t kill people. People kill people (this is also the halacha – a person who shoots an arrow cannot escape liability by claiming that it is the arrow’s fault). Conservatives (and if you would be even a bit familiar with Edmund Burke and Russell Kirk you would not contend that conservatives have “no philosophic or moral framework for judging good from bad or right from wrong” should get moving and jump on the bandwagon. Unfortunately, so far only the Alt-Right crowd understands this and they are just as bad as the Left radicals.
As fi libertarians, IMHO they are simply way before their time. In the messianic age when all will desire to do Hashem’s will (see Rambam at the end of Hilchot Melachim) there will be no need for government coercion (and BTW, libertarians are split between anarcho-capitalists, who think that insurance companies can take over all of government’s protective functions, and minarchists, who favor in the “night watchman state”). Even today, the extent to which government is needed depends on the extent to which a people is, in John Adams’ word, religious and moral. The Netziv also alludes to this in his commentary on the mitzva to appoint a king.October 6, 2018 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm #1599718
Time, you are guilty of plagiarism. You lifted your “as one libertarian put it” statement from Michael Anton’s Rejoinder: Dear Avengers of the Free Market . . .</em? in the blog Law and Liberty without citing him. If your post was part of an academic work you could have been kicked out. Not only that
“Most cases of plagiarism are considered misdemeanors, punishable by fines of anywhere between $100 and $50,000 — and up to one year in jail. Plagiarism can also be considered a felony under certain state and federal laws. For example, if a plagiarist copies and earns more than $2,500 from copyrighted material, he or she may face up to $250,000 in fines and up to ten years in jail.” (From plagiarism.org)October 7, 2018 2:05 am at 2:05 am #1599796
should’ve put my post in quotes
iirc am personally not a libertarian of any stripeOctober 7, 2018 2:05 am at 2:05 am #1599797
Was it a critique of full bodied conservatism or rather degraded conservatism?October 7, 2018 2:06 am at 2:06 am #1599801
Excuse my shoddiness, it was right before ShabbosOctober 7, 2018 7:50 am at 7:50 am #1599909
What is “degraded conservatism” as opposed to “full-bodied conservatism”?October 7, 2018 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #1600251
It’s not censorship. Censorship is from the government.
Apple, Twitter, etc. are private companies and don’t need to host him against their wishes.October 7, 2018 8:16 pm at 8:16 pm #1600270
It is censorship.
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