40 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2022
    1. “It was 2017, I would say, when Twitter started really cracking down on bots in a way that they hadn’t before — taking down a lot of bad bots, but also taking down a lot of good bots too. There was an appeals process [but] it was very laborious, and it just became very difficult to maintain stuff. And then they also changed all their API’s, which are the programmatic interface for how a bot talks to Twitter. So they changed those without really any warning, and everything broke.

      Just like chilling action by political actors, social media corporations can use changes in policy and APIs to stifle and chill speech online.

      This doesn't mean that there aren't bad actors building bots to actively cause harm, but there is a class of potentially helpful and useful bots (tools) that can make a social space better or more interesting.

      How does one regulate this sort of speech? Perhaps the answer is simply not to algorithmically amplify these bots and their speech over that of humans.

      More and more I think that the answer is to make online social interactions more like in person interactions. Too much social media is giving an even bigger bullhorn to the crazy preacher on the corner of Main Street who was shouting at the crowds that simply ignored them. Social media has made it easier for us to shout them back down, and in doing so, we're only making them heard by more. We need a negative feedback mechanism to dampen these effects the same way they would have happened online.

  2. Mar 2022
    1. This is what free societies converging on an idea looks like.

      Or political pressure being applied to every company (from people, not the government). Suspending business in Russia costs less than the repetitional hit of continuing there.

      Though arguable that's the same as a "free convergence on an idea" -- since such pressure only exists when many people agree on something.

  3. Jan 2022
    1. We’re not a place—it’s very difficult to come to Xbox Live and say, ‘Okay, I want to go create a political party on the platform’. You could kind of twist the tools and try to get there, but it’s just not set up for general-purpose conversations or community.

      My Xbox 360 display picture is a Libertarian Party one created by the Xbox team for a past election cycle. They had them for GOP and Dem as well.

      There are also a few groups centered around politics for coordinating gameplay together premised on a common interest - so it seems that to that extent he doesn't know his own system?

      I don't know that Xbox as a social platform would be favorable for "creating a political party" whatever that means. Government's control what political parties are created - they only allow the ones they approve of to exist anyway.

  4. Dec 2021
    1. we should not support the institutionalizing of the right to be intolerant. If Eich thinks that same-sex marriage is against his beliefs, that’s fine, even if you (as I) disagree with him. But, by making a commitment to impress that belief upon others, he created a situation where his freedom of expression trampled the freedoms and rights of others. If Eich disagrees with same-sex marriage on religious grounds, that’s also his First Amendment right. But unless there’s a law requiring religious institutions to officially support same-sex marriages, his right to practice a religion is not infringed upon by their legality. And, again, I stress the critical difference between disagreeing with something and campaigning to write that disagreement into law.
  5. Oct 2021
    1. Facebook could shift the burden of proof toward people and communities to demonstrate that they’re good actors—and treat reach as a privilege, not a right.

      Nice to see someone else essentially saying something along the lines that "free speech" is not the same as "free reach".

      Traditional journalism has always had thousands of gatekeepers who filtered and weighed who got the privilege of reach. Now anyone with an angry, vile, or upsetting message can get it for free. This is one of the worst parts of what Facebook allows.

  6. Aug 2021
    1. The First Amendment precludes lawmakers from forcing platforms to take down many kinds of dangerous user speech, including medical and political misinformation.

      Compare social media with the newspaper business from this perspective.

      People joined social media not knowing the end effects, but now don't have a choice of platform after-the-fact. Social platforms accelerate the disinformation using algorithms.

      Because there is choice amongst newspapers, people can easily move and if they'd subscribed to a racist fringe newspaper, they could easily end their subscription and go somewhere else. This is patently not the case for any social media. There's a high hidden personal cost for connectivity that isn't taken into account. The government needs to regulate this and not the speech portion.

      Social media should be considered a common carrier and considered as such. It was an easier and more logical process in the telephone, electricity and other areas to force this as the cost of implementation for them was magnitudes of order higher. The data formats and storage for social should be standardized (potentially even in three or more formats) and that should be the common carrier imposed. Would this properly skirt the First Amendment issues?

  7. Jul 2021
    1. The point of a pluralistic society, however, isn’t to find a single, absolute, dogmatic ideal. It is rather to discover ways of coexisting productively, despite and perhaps even in celebration of our differences.

      Very good point. Should look for plurality in ideals.

  8. Jun 2021
  9. May 2021
    1. Offense, insult, and hurt feelings are not particularly important

      Not only is it not important, you do not have the right to be offended.

      See here (Salman Rushdie), here (John Cleese), here (Jordan Petersen), here (Stephen Fry), and...well, you get the point.

  10. Apr 2021
  11. Mar 2021
    1. One person writing a tweet would still qualify for free-speech protections—but a million bot accounts pretending to be real people and distorting debate in the public square would not.

      Do bots have or deserve the right to not only free speech, but free reach?

    1. restrictions on free speech

      Restrictions of free speech on the internet occur in the US and are not limited to the examples provided here. Have you encountered, experienced or read about restrictions on internet based speech lately? Examples

    1. Lori Morimoto, a fandom academic who was involved in the earlier discussion, didn’t mince words about the inherent hypocrisy of the controversy around STWW. “The discussions of the fic were absolutely riddled with people saying they wished you could block and/or ban certain users and fics on AO3 altogether because this is obnoxious,” she wrote to me in an email, “and nowhere (that I can see) is there anyone chiming in to say, ‘BUT FREE SPEECH!!!’” Morimoto continued: But when people suggest the same thing based on racist works and users, suddenly everything is about freedom of speech and how banning is bad. When it’s about racism, every apologist under the sun puts in an appearance to fight for our rights to be racist assholes, but if it’s about making the reading experience less enjoyable (which is basically what this is — it’s obnoxious, but not particularly harmful except to other works’ ability to be seen), then suddenly our overwhelming concern with free speech seems to just disappear in a poof of nothingness.

      This is an interesting example of people papering around allowing racism in favor of free speech.

  12. Feb 2021
  13. Oct 2020
    1. Many of the book’s essayists defend freedom of expression over freedom from obscenity. Says Rabbi Arthur Lelyveld (father of Joseph, who would become executive editor of The New York Times): “Freedom of expression, if it is to be meaningful at all, must include freedom for ‘that which we loathe,’ for it is obvious that it is no great virtue and presents no great difficulty for one to accord freedom to what we approve or to that to which we are indifferent.” I hear too few voices today defending speech of which they disapprove.

      I might take issue with this statement and possibly a piece of Jarvis' argument here. I agree that it's moral panic that there could be such a thing as "too much speech" because humans have a hard limit for how much they can individually consume.

      The issue I see is that while anyone can say almost anything, the problem becomes when a handful of monopolistic players like Facebook or YouTube can use algorithms to programattically entice people to click on and consume fringe content in mass quantities and that subtly, but assuredly nudges the populace and electorate in an unnatural direction. Most of the history of human society and interaction has long tended toward a centralizing consensus in which we can manage to cohere. The large scale effects of algorithmic-based companies putting a heavy hand on the scales are sure to create unintended consequences and they're able to do it at scales that the Johnson and Nixon administrations only wish they had access to.

      If we look at as an analogy to the evolution of weaponry, I might suggest we've just passed the border of single shot handguns and into the era of machine guns. What is society to do when the next evolution occurs into the era of social media atomic weapons?

    1. Refusing advertising is refusing to privilege moneyed speech. The increasing equation of money with speech—that is, those with the most money can be the loudest and most persistent voices in contemporary media—is denied when advertising is refused.
  14. Jun 2020
    1. Just as journalists should be able to write about anything they want, comedians should be able to do the same and tell jokes about anything they please

      where's the line though? every output generates a feedback loop with the hivemind, turning into input to ourselves with our cracking, overwhelmed, filters

      it's unrealistic to wish everyone to see jokes are jokes, to rely on journalists to generate unbiased facts, and politicians as self serving leeches, err that's my bias speaking

  15. May 2020
  16. Jan 2020
    1. McCarthy next asks: “Who selects what is to be recorded or transmitted to others, since not everything can be recorded?” But now, everything can be recorded and transmitted. That is the new fear: too much speech.
  17. Oct 2018
    1. "I am really pleased to see different sites deciding not to privilege aggressors' speech over their targets'," Phillips said. "That tends to be the default position in so many online 'free speech' debates which suggest that if you restrict aggressors' speech, you're doing a disservice to America—a position that doesn't take into account the fact that antagonistic speech infringes on the speech of those who are silenced by that kind of abuse."
    1. Literary association PEN America has filed a lawsuit against Trump for using government power to harass the press.

  18. Sep 2018
    1. For the longest time, we thought that as speech became more democratized, democracy itself would flourish. As more and more people could broadcast their words and opinions, there would be an ever-fiercer battle of ideas—with truth emerging as the winner, stronger from the fight. But in 2018, it is increasingly clear that more speech can in fact threaten democracy. The glut of information we now face, made possible by digital tools and social media platforms, can bury what is true, greatly elevate and amplify misinformation and distract from what is important.
  19. Aug 2018
  20. Apr 2018
  21. Mar 2018
    1. Last month at Portland State University, when biologist Heather Heying made the point that women and men are biologically different, protesters in the audience screamed and excoriated her and tried to damage the sound system before they were removed. “We should not listen to fascism. Nazis are not welcome in civil society,” a protester scowled.

      The belief that sexism is at the root of fascism, although well founded, causes hyperactivists to censor scientists.

  22. Feb 2018
    1. “These are unprecedented, brazen acts of censorship by a corporate monopoly that controls a primary channel of public communication,” said Nehlen, who’s running against Ryan in the GOP congressional primaries in Wisconsin. “It has severely compromised the integrity of our election processes, and Congress needs to hold public hearings and conduct a full investigation into these matters without delay.”

      This language is ripe for studying.

  23. Nov 2017
    1. “free” as in “free and unfettered markets”
    2. Everyone has a right to free speech, but in practice many individuals have very little access to free speech. When we try to address this on platforms, by clamping down on things like harassment or bots, it’s portrayed as “curtailing” free speech, in the same way that making the rich pay more tax or follow regulations is seen by conservatives as “curtailing” economic opportunity.

  24. Oct 2017
    1. The abuse is the free speech issue. Kicking Nazis off of Twitter reduces the platform of a small number of people who are using that platform to terrify and silence others. Leaving them on suppresses, in all meaningful terms, the voices of entire classes of female intellectuals, people of color, and any other subgroup the mob decides to turn it spotlight towards when that subgroup gets a little too uppity.

  25. Aug 2017
    1. The request from the DOJ demands that DreamHost hand over 1.3 million visitor IP addresses — in addition to contact information, email content, and photos of thousands of people — in an effort to determine who simply visited the website. (Our customer has also been notified of the pending warrant on the account.)

      That information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment. That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind.

  26. Jun 2017
    1. CINNA. I am not Cinna the conspirator. FOURTH CITIZEN. It is no matter, his name’s Cinna; pluck but his name out of his heart, and turn him going.

      In this act, mistaken identity is used to break tension. Apart from the obvious comedic relief this scene adds to the ever mounting tension and drama in the play, this scene also indicates the disintegration of society and the lack of social restraints of the general public after Caesar’s death.

      In this scene, the plebeians initially surround Cinna the poet after confusing him with Cinna the conspirator. Even when Cinna repeatedly tells them “I am not Cinna the conspirator”, the citizens, in their bloodthirsty rampage, still decide to kill him, stating that “It is no matter, his name’s Cinna”. This degradation of social standards and the crumbling of the social foundations of Ancient Rome bolster the image of the plebeians as ‘sheep’ to be swayed and controlled by the ruling classes, and solidifies their position in the play.

      It is also no coincidence that Shakespeare made Cinna a poet. In the citizens’ interrogation of Cinna, Cinna not only speaks for himself, but as a poet and as a projection of those in scholarly fields and free speech as a whole. With this, Shakespeare compels the audience to question whom poets and those who provide information to the public are accountable to, and whether free speech is more important than a stable and safe society.

  27. May 2017
    1. The FCC is investigating Stephen Colbert for a line he delivered during his monologue, addressing Donald Trump: "The only thing your mouth is good at is being Vladimir Putin's c--k holster."

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaHwlSTqA7s

  28. Mar 2017
    1. Rather than lend legitimacy to this event, we respectfully request you stand up for a campus that is intellectually open and culturally diverse, but one that does not fall prey to the designs of external organizations who peddle partisan propaganda in the guise of “public scholarship.”
  29. Jul 2016
    1. “the free software movement does this.” And again, I have to say: not quite. 

      True. But some of us are saying something slightly different. The free software movement shares some of those principles and those go back to a rather specific idea about personal/individual agency.

  30. Sep 2014
    1. Amicus brief in Anthony Douglas Elonis v. United States, including a long section describing the origins and history of hip hop, calling for the court to take serious caution when ruling on the actual or real intent to harm communicated (or not) by potentially hyperbolic lyrics and braggadocio.

    2. What level of knowledge of rap and understanding of its complicated conventions is a defendant-speaker to assume, in advance of communication, that a hypothetically reasonable person possesses in order to properly understand a rap message? Because the answer is anything but clear and because a speaker’s First Amendment rights should not hang on what amounts to guesswork about an audience’s hypothetically reasonable knowledge of a complex artistic and political genre of expression, the actual subjective intent of the defendant-speaker must be considered in both the First Amendment and statutory true threats analyses.