General Question

crazyguy's avatar

Is the First Amendment history now?

Asked by crazyguy (1943points) 1 week ago

Just consider what has happened in the last few days:

1. Twitter bans Trump for ever.
2. Parler gets shut down by concerted actions of Amazon, Apple and Google.
3. Simon and Schuster drops their book contract with Josh Hawley.

There are many more instances.

The First Amendment reads as follows:

“The First Amendment states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Can you explain how the above actions are consistent with the First Amendment? If not, should we consider the first amendment dead?

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116 Answers

Zaku's avatar

No.

Private companies have nothing to do with government censorship. Publishers having the right to publish or not publish something is part of the First Amendment, too.

Read what you just wrote: ”CONGRESS shall make no LAW”, not Twitter shall ban no tweets.

zenvelo's avatar

So you are saying that Twitter, Simon and Schuster, Amazon, Apple, and Google are Congress?

You are ignoring the part of the 1st Amendment that speaks to Freedom of the Press; the owner of the Press controls what is said via the Press, not some insurrectionist who tried to shit on the Constitution.

The First Amendment is alive and well, despite Trump’s attempt at getting rid of it. It is. Trump that waned to over turn libel protections for authors. It is Trump that has tried to silence the media, it is Trump that has kicked reporters out of press briefings because they challenged his illegal actions and his constant lies.

@crazyguy you are bordering on sedition in that you make up false narratives to suit your treasonous leader.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Going to agree with the above posters social media twitter and such are private companies and banned him from inciting any more possible violence, The Don Father is not silent he can hold a press conference at the snap of his fingers.
I know he is your hero but he is a spoiled rich kid that is hurt that he didn’t win the election and even tried to over throw your Government and you still look at him as he is the victim.

Demosthenes's avatar

Not a first amendment issue. Not unless Twitter is defined as a public space. Not unless publishers are government-owned. You can’t have it both ways. There can’t be “small government” and also the government telling companies they have to host certain websites or telling publishers they can’t drop a client they want to drop. That doesn’t mean I much trust corporations either and I think there is something to be said for a “digital public space” given how important the internet is for speech. But these are private entities making decisions they are free to make. If we don’t like it, then we need to change the law.

gorillapaws's avatar

The radical right wing are being punched in the face by hypercapitalism and their worship of “job creators.”

In their rush to deify CEOs and cheer on mergers/acquisitions/oligopolies (or at the very least elect representatives to do it on their behalf) they’ve now painted themselves into a corner where there’s nowhere for them to exercise their freedom of speech to express their treasonous opinions except screaming into the void or standing on a soapbox in the town’s square.

Maybe the lesson here for conservatives is that “Big Corporations” are even worse than “Big Government.” At least big government has rules it has to follow and is accountable to the people and the constitution. Private companies can do whatever the hell they want and public companies are only accountable to their shareholders and the SEC rules. So to directly answer your question: no the First Amendment only means the Government can’t limit your speech—corporations are under no such obligations.

I fully support platforms with policies for censoring speech that calls for violence/hate. That said, I have seen how the lack of diversity in our corporate media has been abused in the past to mislead the public. I could see these same companies shutting down peaceful movements like BDS against Israel due to their human rights and international law violations, for political/business reasons (falsely labeling participants as anti-Semites).

Darth_Algar's avatar

Only if you don’t understand the 1st Amendment (and clearly you don’t).

stanleybmanly's avatar

RUBBISH! Any claim you might have on common sense is “history now.” The amendment neither begins nor states “twitter shall make no law…” This is OBVIOUS right off the bat. Moreover, Trump remains free to lie his ass off without penalty. He just has no right to compel others to provide him a platform. In fact, you conservative dumbbells miss the point that the AMENDMENT ITSELF prohibits the government from forcing twitter to disseminate right wing claptrap. You can say what you want, but you cannot force me to print, repeat or amplify it. Just as surely as Trump is entitled to act the fool, Twitter is just as free to refuse to participate.

YARNLADY's avatar

I haven’t seen any mention of congress making a law respecting any of those things. Where is your evidence?

stanleybmanly's avatar

The amendment in question is a great boon to conservatives because it protects through implication THE RIGHT TO BE STUPID. Thank God it avails the rest of us the opportunity to ridicule them appropriately on their tireless abuse of THAT “right”.

hello321's avatar

@crazyguy – I’d love to hear your response to @gorillapaws’ comment above. How does a capitalist deal with living in a world of their own making?

Maybe you can ask Elon Musk to create a new platform. (“Teslabook”?)

ragingloli's avatar

The 1st Amendment does not apply to private companies. Never has.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp6pQQMNeMs
So the answer is no.

Now, if you want to argue that they have gotten so big, and their platforms, services and infrastructure have gotten so omnipresent, that they should be considered public spaces, that the 1st Amendment should apply to them, then by all means, do so.
You could talk about all the possible solutions, like nationalising Amazon, Facebook, or Twitter.
Talk about amending the constitution to deprive private companies, of a certain size perhaps, of their own 1st amendment to freedom of speech, by dictating what can and can not be posted on their services, if their services and infrastructure constitute the main avenue by which people publicly communicate their ideas.
I would probably even support either course of action.
Then you would also have to consider that these companies are multi-national entities, that are subject to the laws of every country they operate in.
For example, Holocaust Denial and glorification of Nazism is a crime in Germany. Would you punish Twitter for deleting content that is legal in the colonies, but illegal in those Germany?

canidmajor's avatar

Hahahahahaha, for someone who wants to keep us informed, you seem to have kind of missed stuff. Did you miss 6th grade civics class?

stanleybmanly's avatar

He wasn’t taught here

LostInParadise's avatar

The First Amendment is alive and well. All the cases you cited are examples of the First Amendment being exercised. Freedom of speech is also freedom not to say things that are contrary to what you believe.

I can, however, see a case being made for breaking up Twitter and Facebook, because of their media dominance. You probably would oppose that because of your belief that the government should not interfere with free enterprise.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m sure there will be arguing over it, but when the speech is treasonous and inciting terrorism it’s going to be taken down, it should have been a long time ago.

I think maybe one could argue the social platforms are public in the same way a restaurant is public and can’t discriminate, but the restaurant can still throw someone out for disorderly conduct and endangering other patrons, and that’s where I put QAnon and any WS group. It’s not really a speech issue, it’s an endangerment issue, anarchy, terrorism, sedition, I mean we are seeing it all. Not to mention an issue of the mental health of our citizens.

As companies get larger they become like governments. They have a lot of power, and so they have a responsibility that comes with that. That’s what a lot of conservatives don’t seem to get, it’s not government bad, private company good, both have good and bad that need to be watched and controlled.

The US was able to be idealistic about free speech for most of its life, but now with cable news, satellite radio, and with the internet, hate speech can move in a way that has never been seen before, and it finally is coming to a head where it has to be addressed. We can still speak out against the government, that hasn’t changed.

There might be an over correction happening now, but that’s because it went too far. That’s what happens, I don’t know why people get surprised. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The answer to that is people need to be good, moral, act with integrity, golden rule, it’s really not that hard.

elbanditoroso's avatar

First amendment applies to government, not private corporations like Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Your hyperbole is bullshit.

LuckyGuy's avatar

No. It is not dead.
One cannot yell “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater.

Jaxk's avatar

I agree with most on here in that it’s not the first amendment that is at risk here. Nonetheless, there are laws to govern what has been happening. You can’t refuse service based on skin color, hair color, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Also when they moved to shut down Parlor, that is anti-competitive. Basically forcing everyone to use Twitter and killing the competition. We’re moving into dangerous waters here and the law of unexpected consequences, will jump up and bite us. If you can shut off service to one group, you can shut off service to any group.And once this train gets up a head of steam, it’s almost impossible to stop.

Kropotkin's avatar

Though you’re completely misreading and misapplying the First Amendment, there is an argument to be made for legally enforcing the rights of speech, assembly and association to the whole of society.

Your problem is that that would entail regulation of the private sector. It would be an “infringement on property rights”.

I’m an anti-capitalist and a socialist, so I’ve no qualms about making businesses do things that owners and bosses might not want to do: e.g. Christians couples must make gay wedding cakes.

It’s just funny to me when pro-capitalists and the typical opponents of regulations and standards on private businesses, suddenly come out with special pleading when something happens that they don’t like.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Nope.

But what you can do is to is to deny those businesses and platforms your business if you disagree with their actions/ politics.
That’s what most conservatives are doing. It’s almost always about the money, just ask the NFL.

kritiper's avatar

Hell, no! If anything, it’s being modified for modern times. Remember that there are (and have to be) exceptions for every rule.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Jaxk “Also when they moved to shut down Parlor, that is anti-competitive. ”

Amazon doesn’t own Parlor. What they did does limit competition for Twitter, but Amazon is perfectly within their rights to do so because it’s not benefiting them. Neither Twitter nor Amazon are accountable to anyone but their shareholders’ financial interests. This is the small government corporatocracy utopia the right winger extremists have been fantasizing about.

Jaxk's avatar

@gorillapaws – That’s not true. When companies conspire to shut down competition that is a monopoly. I think you misinterpret what conservatives want. competition is the heart and soul of capitalism. When you kill competition, you kill capitalism. That is certainly not what I want. That is what socialism is all about. Small government does not mean no government and less regulation does not mean no regulation. You can’t argue these things in absolutes.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Jaxk Amazon doesn’t compete with Parler. Is there evidence that Twitter colluded with Amazon to shut down Paleton? I seem to recall a lot of right wingers supporting mergers of big companies, and giving them special tax breaks as “job creators,” including Amazon.

hello321's avatar

@gorillapaws – I think you mean Parler, not Paleton.

@gorillapaws: “I seem to recall a lot of right wingers supporting mergers of big companies, and giving them special tax breaks as “job creators,” including Amazon.”

Your recollection is correct. It’s patently absurd for @Jaxk to even pretend that “conservatives” want to encourage competition. The right’s entire project is an exercise in doing the opposite.

gorillapaws's avatar

@hello321 Yes, fixed.thank you.

Demosthenes's avatar

Is there evidence that Twitter colluded with Amazon

Haven’t seen it yet. But Parler would have to prove that if they hoped to win an antitrust lawsuit.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Jaxk MeWe is where many are going, I hear.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Jaxk this is in no way a conspiracy to shut down Parler, even if that is the result. Neither is it restraint of trade or in any way collusion to promote a monopoly on speech. Parler is suing Amazon, but they will lose. They will lose because Amazon, Twitter et al have the most powerful defense possible. These entities merely refuse to market a DEFECTIVE AND HAZARDOUS PRODUCT. Parler FORCED these corporations to eliminate Parler from from their “inventories” for the same reasons you cannot purchase Plutonium from a hardware store. These corporations understand that they are compelled to dump these seditious morons from their “billboards”. Apparently the demand for “alternate” truth is so pervasive that there must be a fortune to be realized in catering to these idiots. Why can’t they erect their own billboards and capture all that revenue for themselves and their “movement”?

ragingloli's avatar

If instead of being a conservative platform, Parler was run by Islamists, and was used by ISIS and its operatives to plan and execute a terrorist attack, and if given a last chance by the companies that host it to implement a content moderation system, their offer was to have a volunteer moderator staff consisting of radical islamists, there would be no condemnation of it being shut down as a result.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ragingloli Actually Al-Jazeera America failed due to never gaining a foothold in the market in America. Most Americans never knew it even existed.

Most Americans are already hooked on the platforms they find most comfortable and despite all the ‘see you on MeWe/ Parler’, most conservatives are still on Twitter and FB posting away about politics. I’m not sure if they’re failing to put two and two together, but supporting the platform you despise as biased doesn’t make much sense.

And I agree, in your hypothetical, it would most definately be shut down by government agencies.

crazyguy's avatar

@Zaku Agreed. However, whether you know about McCarthyism first-hand, or like me, from news reports, I am sure you see the similarities.

For those not familiar with it, McCarthyism was a vociferous campaign against alleged communists in the US government and other institutions carried out under Senator Joseph McCarthy in the period 1950–54. Many of the accused were blacklisted or lost their jobs, although most did not in fact belong to the Communist Party.

crazyguy's avatar

@zenvelo I am not saying that at all. What I am saying is that contrary opinion can be silenced in non-governmental ways with or without government support. You may have heard of McCarthyism. In case you have not, it refers to a dark period in US history. It was “a vociferous campaign against alleged communists in the US government and other institutions carried out under Senator Joseph McCarthy in the period 1950–54. Many of the accused were blacklisted or lost their jobs, although most did not in fact belong to the Communist Party.” Do you not see any similarities between what is transpiring right now and the 1950–54 period?

In fact your final sentence ”@crazyguy you are bordering on sedition in that you make up false narratives to suit your treasonous leader.” is bordering on suppression of my first amendment right!

@SQUEEKY2 In my background material, I provided just three instances of possible threats to the First Amendment. Only incident #1 related directly to Trump. The other two were directed against perceived supporters of a certain point of view. In my opinion even Trump is entitled to express his opinion _consistent with the rules.

@Demosthenes I agree that private companies can do what they please. However, there is a very fine line between encouragement of a certain type of corporate behavior and staying neutral. I think we have crossed the fine line.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws There are several words/terms in your post that smack of your hypocrisy. For instance, Labeling people as “the radical right wing”, their opinions as “treasonous”, you are inviting comparisons to the “radical left wing” and their “treasonous” ideas.

You also make my point by saying: “there’s nowhere for them to exercise their freedom of speech to express their treasonous opinions except screaming into the void or standing on a soapbox in the town’s square.”

What you don’t mention is that they no longer have freedom of speech because the Left has taken it away.

It is one thing for platforms to have “policies for censoring speech that calls for violence/hate.” It is quite another to ban speech, period.

Even though I am not familiar with BDS, I think your final point essentially supports what I am saying.

crazyguy's avatar

@hello321 You got your wish – see above. I think your reference to Tesla on this thread smacks of sour grapes.

hello321's avatar

@crazyguy – How is it possible that your 868-character response failed to even respond to @gorillapaws (and everyone else’s) point?

hello321's avatar

@crazyguy: “What you don’t mention is that they no longer have freedom of speech because the Left has taken it away.”

You mean capitalism took it away, right?

Please follow the plot and respond when someone destroys your entire premise.

zenvelo's avatar

@crazyguy Once again, you make false equivalences. False Equivalence should be your screen name.

There is a huge difference between what social media companies are doing in 2021 and what some companies like film studios did in the 1950s. In the Fifties, McCarthy spread lies, that people were scared to contradict.

In 2021, media companies are doing their best to stop lies from being spread. Trumps access to twitter should have been curtailed four years ago because he always lies. The man tells so many lies, no one believes a word out of his mouth except his acolytes.

gorillapaws's avatar

@crazyguy A gang of terrorists ransacked the Capitol in an attempt to violently overthrow the results of a democratic election. At least one of the fuckers brought in a fucking Confederate flag into the place (think hard about what that represents). It’s a complete betrayal of democracy and of the country.

@crazyguy “What you don’t mention is that they no longer have freedom of speech because the Left has taken it away.”

Wrong. Anyone can say what they want. Open your door, step outside and say “Joe Biden is a piece of garbage.” The government isn’t allowed to arrest you for that like in some other countries. THAT is your freedom of speech. The “Left” hasn’t changed that. You still have that right and every person on the “Left” would defend your right to say shit we disagree with (except for inciting violence, yelling fire in a theatre, displaying child pornography, etc.).

Platforms are private companies. They pay for the servers and bandwidth. They can do whatever the fuck they want. They could ban everyone from using the word “turquoise” if they wanted to. Or prohibit people from discussing the planet Saturn and its moons, or mentioning anything political, or promoting misinformation (based on what THEY decide is misinformation) or whatever the hell they want. It’s their computers, their code, their electricity, they get to decide how they want to let people use it.

And here’s where we come to the part that maybe we agree. We now have such a concentration of power, controlled by a handful of CEOs, due primarily to allowing them to get too big and giving them too many advantages—and let’s be honest, Republicans (and plenty of corporate Democrats too) have long championed a laissez-faire approach to capitalism, which is how we got here. This means that we are at the mercy of these unelected people’s whims. I don’t like this situation. While I agree with Twitter and Amazon’s decisions in this case (they are under no obligation to allow people to use their computers to promote violence—and might even be civilly liable if they didn’t stop it), I don’t like that there are few alternatives, because I know that this could easily be weaponized against the left in the future.

Zaku's avatar

@crazyguy Actually I don’t see a connection between Trump getting banned from some social media web sites for lying and inciting violence and insurrection, and McCarthyism black lists of thousands of citizens for supposedly being communists. (Nor do I see either being about censorship or the First Amendment.) What connection do you see?

crazyguy's avatar

@ragingloli My beef is with any attempts to silence the voices that disagree with what is becoming the mainstream idea. The idea appears to be: “Biden and the Democrats are good. ANY OTHER OPINION IS BY DEFINITION bad”.

Like I said to @Demosthenes. “there is a very fine line between encouragement of a certain type of corporate behavior and staying neutral. I think we have crossed the fine line.”

@LostInParadise Free enterprise means that if one company chooses one course of action, others may or may not step into the void and capture market share. When that fails to happen, do we really have free enterprise?

I would be all for breaking up any company on antitrust violations. You think Biden and company may try that?

@JLeslie For every one of you who found Trump’s speech “treasonous and inciting terrorism”, I can find one or more people who would disagree with your characterization. That is the nature of free speech. If Trump did incite the riot, he should be tried in a court of law. If, because of his station, that is impossible, at the very least Congress should conduct a thorough investigation, not prejudge the ‘crime’, and move to a dead-on-arrival second impeachment.

I agree with “There might be an over correction happening now”.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s important to understand this thing for what it actually is. The nonsense that these corporations conspire to close down Parler ignores the fact that the bullshit spinning from these dimwits crashes the gates of the “FIRE” in the crowded theater test. These corporations can be held legally culpable if they knowingly supply the megaphones facilitating (for example) the conspiracy to ransack the Capitol. If I allow you to post flyers telling people how, why and when to rob the bank across the street, I would be a fool not to expect retribution for my participation in the crime.

crazyguy's avatar

@LuckyGuy Perhaps Trump was yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Were Parler and Josh Hawley also yelling “Fire!”?

@Jaxk The reason I think the First Amendment is under attack is because an attempt is being made (actually it started a year or two ago) to stifle voices on the Right. I still think so. I agree with all your other points.

@Kropotkin Thanks for stating your political beliefs. I am a Free Enterprise guy through and through and abhor government interference after the fact. I think it is fair for government to define the playing field as it deems fair, but, once the game starts, any and all changes require buy-in from society at large. Some changes may hurt particular companies; but if the changes are deemed necessary by a majority of voters, they should be made. I do not advocate government interference in the conduct of Twitter, Google, Facebook and Amazon; as long as it satisfies legal requirements. Keep in mind that social platforms are not ‘free’ to carry all content. They are required by Congress to police all posts and remove egregious ones. I accept that level of government interference for the good of society.

However, look at what is going on now. All opinions that do not agree with the mainstream mantra are being forced out. Senator Hawley’s objection to the election result is a good example. Just like objections to Trump’s election by Reps Sheila Jackson, Pramila Jayapal and Maxine Waters, Senator Hawley raised what he considered was a legitimate challenge to the election. However, the reaction he got was so different! You might say Simon and Schuster is a private company and did what they perceived was in their best interest; that is exactly how McCarthyism started.

hello321's avatar

@crazyguy – You still haven’t explained how any of this has anything to do with government and isn’t just a result of your free-market capitalism. You can say that you don’t like what corporations are doing right now. But you support the system that is resulting in what you now hate. Welcome to the club, skippy.

Now explain why the shit you’re still a capitalist.

stanleybmanly's avatar

That is NOT how McCarthyism started or why it proceeded as it did. And as plain as the nose on your face, the objections of Waters, Jackson, etc acquired not one bit more traction than those of Hawley. And the proof is in the simple fact that the fool for all his warts was permitted to persist as President a full 3 years without censure or the impeachment he so richly deserved.

zenvelo's avatar

This is what Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ high school teacher said about her claim of First Amendment rights being hampered:

“You were a student at Little Rock Central High when I taught AP Government there, but you didn’t take the advanced class. If you had, maybe you would better understand the First Amendment and the difference between limits on government and freedoms for private individuals.

I’ve taught Sunday School too. You didn’t learn those lessons either.”

stanleybmanly's avatar

It isn’t the first amendment, but logic and all that formerly passed for basic good sense which is under viscous and relentless attack from those previously endowed with just enough sense to be ashamed of their ignorance. That flimsy barrier has now been eradicated, and said ignorance is now demanded as proof of conservative certification. We
are now treated to lectures on the first amendment from people who after reading said document cannot tell you the difference between the Bill of Rights and a potted plant. Some tinplated twopenny whippersnapper reads the Bazooka bubblegum comic version of the McCarthy purges and has the effrontery to pass his 2 bit huckster ass off as so masterful of the topic that he is entitled to draw parallels between McCarthy and Twitter. It is so exasperating and preposterous a shuck as to boggle belief. I mean this line surpasses mere insult to what I have learned from people I trust and admire. This is straight up out and out deliberate and brazen distortion of fact.

Kropotkin's avatar

@crazyguy I think the argument is is that indulging conspiracism with regard to the election result is fomenting a moral panic and inciting people to violent insurrection at this point.

It’s beyond a freedom of speech issue, because it’s dangerous and creating a major security threat.

A few weeks ago this wasn’t yet so apparent, but since the Capitol riot and the many demonstrations since at State capitols, there’s a sudden clamour to put a lid on things and to repudiate anyone still indulging the conspiracy theory. Even many Republicans are now distancing themselves from and condeming Trump and anyone still expressing views that deligitimize the election results.

I appreciate that for those who think the stolen election conspiracy is true (it isn’t) and think there’s good evidence for it (there’s none), will feel differently about what’s going on, and probably view it as further evience of the machinations of the ‘deep state’, and how it’s “leftists” (it isn’t) suppressing free speech and “cancelling” people for their “legitimate concerns”.

None of this analogous in any way to McCarthyism, by the way.

stanleybmanly's avatar

As if that will stop the bullshit.

crazyguy's avatar

@KNOWITALL Agreed. Sadly there is a tremendous majority of Democrats in the US. In the world as a whole, there is a preponderance of have-nots over haves. A majority of have-nots are looking for handouts; therefore, they are Democrats. So a boycott or just a conscious avoidance by the few does not have much impact on the bottom line.

That is the calculation performed by Twitter, Google, Amazon and Simon&Schuster.

Your link to the stock market declines of FB and TWTR on Monday is illuminating. I am glad they both continued their decline today. However, their calculation was that if they took no action, the declines would have been more precipitous.

@gorillapaws True, Amazon does not own Parler. It is their absolute right to do whatever they perceive is in their shareholders’ best interest.

Based on what you believe of right winger extremists, they should be absolutely agog over medical care. Look at the advantages it offers for a monopoly: No transparency, no haggling over the secret prices, captive customer base, third party payments. Then look at who wants to bring about market-oriented reforms in medical care.

@hello321 Just look at Obamacare. And the lack of market-oriented reforms in it. The misnamed Affordable Care Act does nothing at all to make medical care affordable; it just makes somebody else (HINT: it starts with G) responsible for the payments.

@Demosthenes Is it “collusion” when one airline floats a price increase proposal? Depending on how much of the competition increases prices to match, the proposal is either withdrawn – or put into practice.

@ragingloli That is an interesting scenario. I would object to shutting it down. But I would have no issues with the FBI and CIA closely monitoring it. If nothing else, we may get early warning of planned attacks.

hello321's avatar

^ What? Did you just concede?

hello321's avatar

I’m getting the feeling @crazyguy doesn’t really know what capitalism is.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy Have you seen the speech in full? What about what Giuliani said about getting ready for combat. EVERYONE knows these people have guns and have been writing about revolution and rising up for months. It is completely irresponsible at minimum for a leader to encourage them let alone incite them.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m still waiting for the evidence that congress passed a law respecting…. etc…. etc

crazyguy's avatar

@zenvelo Getting personal, are we?

I agree that the similarities between McCarthyism and what is happening now are minor. However, please keep in mind that a lot of people believed McCarthy’s lies then, and a lot of people believe the lies being spread by Big tech and the Democrats now. I realize that one man’s lie is the absolute truth to somebody else. That is the reason to not interfere with free speech.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws In your own words: “there’s nowhere for them to exercise their freedom of speech to express their treasonous opinions except screaming into the void or standing on a soapbox in the town’s square.” If that is not taking away somebody’s First Amendment right, I do not know what is. Sure you will not get arrested for saying something pro-Trump; however, we’ll make sure that very few people can hear you.

I absolutely respect the right of private businesses to decide how they run their businesses, subject to our laws. The laws have to be uniform, and uniformly applied. They cannot be modified to hurt foes, and benefit allies. Any violation of the laws has to be punished whether it helps the government or not.

Parler was shut down, not by the government but by Big Tech (Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter). However, much of the planning for the Capitol takeover was conducted on Facebook, Youtube (owned by Google) and Twitter. Don’t take my word for it – one of your own, Glenn Greenwald, said it. See
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9131977/Parler-squeezed-Trump-seeks-new-online-megaphone.html

As for breaking up Big Tech, why do you think the top beneficiary of their political donations in 2020 was Joe Biden? See

https://observer.com/2020/11/big-tech-2020-presidential-election-donation-breakdown-ranking/

crazyguy's avatar

@zenvelo The difference between Big Government and Big Tech gets hazy at times. When Big Tech can take out healthy competition (Parler) while looking good to the Democrats, who loses?

crazyguy's avatar

@Kropotkin Senator McCarthy operated not as an agent of the government but as a Senate Committee Chairperson. He held hearings on various alleged Communists in Government, and the innuendo was sufficient in many cases to cost people their jobs and companies to close down. A close parallel is Parler, which may be forced to close down permanently because of actions by Big Tech. The facts, as expressed by a Left-leaning journalist, Glenn Greenwald, indicate that Facebook and Youtube were just as guilty. However, they have contributed so heavily to Biden’s campaign that they will probably get a pass.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Big tech backed Biden for the same reason as the rest of us. They backed him simply because of the 2–he’s the SANE one. And for the umpteenth time—big government and Joe McCarthy are not big tech and google. You have the right to be stupid. You have the right to spread lies. You do not have the right to insist that I provide you with pencil and paper or provide you the wall on which you intend to scribble your. “stupidity”, thereby exercising your right to be stupid. And once again, any attempt to coerce me into participation in your exercise of stupidity is a glaring violation of my right to ignore your silly ass on insisting that you may confiscate use of MY property in the furtherance of YOUR STUPIDITY. Do you get it yet?

stanleybmanly's avatar

And even if mine is the only wall on which you can scribble, you are stuck attempting to prove the inability of constructing “a wall of your own”, thereby assuming the risk of being sued or prosecuted out of existence—a risk with which your stupid ass is more than eager to saddle me. But there’s your remedy. Build your own wall, and be sure to insist that Mexico pays for it! And where is your fellow idiot these days? Have recent events worked the 2 of you to exhaustion? Are you now relegated to working in shifts?

hello321's avatar

@hello321: “I’m getting the feeling @crazyguy doesn’t really know what capitalism is.”

Confirmed. He does not.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Here’s a fact that shows the First Amendment is not dead.

Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444, 1969, was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court interpreting the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Court held that the government cannot punish inflammatory speech unless that speech is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action”.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie I have not, and I do not intend to, I did not hear Giuliani speak. He is a private citizen subject to prosecution. Is he being prosecuted? If not, surely that speaks volumes!

crazyguy's avatar

@LuckyGuy The First Amendment was not dead when Senator McCarthy was planting his poison. It did not stop him then and it will not stop Big Tech now.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy So you haven’t listened to what Trump said, and you are only hearing what your news channels are saying and showing. When people only listen to CNN do you care about their opinion? Do you think they have truly listened to all the information and made an independent opinion?

Giuliani speaks for Trump, and Trump did nothing to discount what Giuliani said to the same crowd, rather he reinforced it.

crazyguy's avatar

I return to my question. Has Giuliani been charged with a criminal offense? Last time I checked, incitement to riot is a criminal offense.

jca2's avatar

Criminal charges may be happening soon, as details emerge and specifics come out. Just because someone hasn’t been charged as of yet doesn’t mean that they’re off the hook.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie I’ll answer my own question. No charges have been filed yet. In an interview with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, the Washington DC Attorney General, Karl Racine, said:
“We still have more investigation to do, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to work zealously and fully and let the facts lead to where they naturally go.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

@crazyguy No, but he is being investigated by the Barr and will have to defend himself successfully if he wants to continue to practice law there. The only incendiery words I can find is his usage of ‘trial by combat’, in the context of the DC situation.

My question is that if Guiliani is punished, why isn’t Maxine Waters? I guess inciting violence is okay when it’s for a different ideology, but I don’t think it’s supposed to work that way in our legal system. A criminal act is a criminal act isn’t it?

stanleybmanly's avatar

So Maxine Waters and Kamala Harris are conservative counterweights to the team of Giuliani and Trump? I almost feel sorry for poor conservatives as I watch the news these days. You want to know what really cheers me up? To turn on Fox and watch Hannity, Ingraham or Dobbs stlll prattling on about the demon left coming to get you and your grandkids. I just sit grinning at the idea that those clowns believed they could hitch their collective wagons to that flagrantly open idiot and all would end well. And the 3 of them, each of them in their turn, exactly in the fashion of our crazy guy reminding us of the “great achievements” of our criminal bozo. “blah blah..one of our greatest Presidents….blah blah kept the country safe…blah blah skillfully tackled covid…blah blah ruthlessly mauled and slandered by Satan’s handmaiden (Pelosi) blah blah. The wife doesn’t want me watching. She thinks its cruel and that I’m going to hurt myself laughing.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy You haven’t watched what either of them said. Why does it matters what you think if it’s based on nothing?

@stanleybmanly Maxine Waters was wrong. Why can’t we just agree on that and move forward. Agreeing Waters was wrong doesn’t make what Trump did ok.

hello321's avatar

Maxine Waters was right.

Zaku's avatar

Here’s some updated relevant context. Threats Amazon filed as examples of extremist speech on Parler are below. All redactions and censoring of words appears in the original court filing.

“Fry’em up. The whole fkn crew. #pelosi #aoc #thesquad #soros #gates #chuckschumer #hrc #obama #adamschiff #blm #antifa we are coming for you and you will know it.”
“#JackDorsey… you will die a bloody death alongside Mark Suckerturd [Zuckerberg].... It has been decided and plans are being put in place. Remember the photographs inside your home while you slept? Yes, that close. You will die a sudden death!”
“We are going to fight in a civil War on Jan.20th, Form MILITIAS now and acquire targets.”
“On January 20th we need to start systematicly [sic] assassinating [sic] #liberal leaders, liberal activists, #blm leaders and supporters, members of the #nba #nfl #mlb #nhl #mainstreammedia anchors and correspondents and #antifa. I already have a news worthy event planned.”
“Shoot the police that protect these shitbag senators right in the head then make the senator grovel a bit before capping they ass.”
“After the firing squads are done with the politicians the teachers are next.”
“Death to @zuckerberg @realjeffbezos @jackdorsey @pichai.”
“White people need to ignite their racial identity and rain down suffering and death like a hurricane upon zionists.”
“Put a target on these motherless trash [Antifa] they aren’t human taking one out would be like stepping on a roach no different.”
“We need to act like our forefathers did Kill [Black and Jewish people] all Leave no victims or survivors.”
“We are coming with our list we know where you live we know who you are and we are coming for you and it starts on the 6th civil war… Lol if you will think it’s a joke… Enjoy your last few days you have.”
“This bitch [Stacey Abrams] will be good target practice for our beginners.”
“This cu** [United States Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao] should be… hung for betraying their country.”
“Hang this mofo [Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger] today.”
“HANG THAt N***** ASAP”
Source:https://gizmodo.com/amazon-court-filing-includes-chilling-death-threats-pub-1846048394

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Zaku Exactly, websites like this one and parler, often give people the illusion they cannot or will not be held accountable for nasty posts. Not a smart game to play for either side of the aisle.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

We have our problems north of the border, but they pale compared to you guys south of the border.
How can Biden even begin to hope to try and unite the country with shit like that.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 He can be the cooler. Take it all down a notch and start with Congress.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@KNOWITALL I hope he can, but the right has become so batshit crazy with The Don Father in charge.

LostInParadise's avatar

Political contributions are considered as a form of free speech, and several companies are exercising that right by withholding contributions to those who voted against Biden’s confirmation. Link

KNOWITALL's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 I personally don’t think it’s all been one-sided. I’ll leave it at that.

One thing you may never understand but is a truth, Republicans obey the chain of command in most instances. Biden should be a strong leader for both parties, he won and has the power to unite us or allow this partisanship to continue to tear us apart. His Congress should respect the people enough to recognize that, too.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I hope you are right.^^

KNOWITALL's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 It won’t matter if the Democrats continue the war on Reps now that Trump is out of the picture. It’s up to them now whether we heal or go to war.

gorillapaws's avatar

@KNOWITALL “It won’t matter if the Democrats continue the war on Reps now that Trump is out of the picture. It’s up to them now whether we heal or go to war.”

Really interesting framing: Basically what you’re saying is if the majority doesn’t do what the minority wants, we’re going to commit violent to try to get our way? Do you have any idea how fucked up and anti-democratic that is?

ragingloli's avatar

For healing to begin, the tumor must first be cut out.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@gorillapaws That’s not at all what I was saying. I’m saying the Democrats won the election, Trump is out soon, and now the ball is in their court to either be unifying or not. I think Joe wants to be, he says he does, but I’m not sure he can corral the Democrats into a coherent plan. If he starts with Congress, it should work.

stanleybmanly's avatar

For those sane conservatives remaining, what exactly did you expect from a deranged psychopath, other than the certainty that every lunatic in the country would feel emboldened to act out their delusions without fear of restraint? The king of the lunatics has given them sanction. Meantime, the great leader exits his bunker to bestow his “medal of freedom” on a cracker too dumb to understand the insult of it all. I swear both Kafka & Lewis Carroll would gape with disbelief.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@stanley I knew it would pop off but I didn’t realize both sides would be out in the streets. One maybe, not both.
Like I said, my people work and have families, we don’t have time to fight a losing battle.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@stanley Always.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Here’s a short segment for you. I’ll let you decide if this is protected speech.

“Trump supporters chanting ‘HANG MIKE PENCE’ at the Capitol Building pic.twitter.com/iMSOl4u3tg
— Dallas (@59dallas) January 6, 2021”

Dutchess_III's avatar

1st amendment simply means you can say whatever you want about the government without fear of retribution from said government.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@LuckyGuy Just as protected as Peter Fonda’s wanting to put 12 year old Barron in a cage with pedophiles.
We don’t have to keep doing this back and forth, both parties have been abominable. No high roads to be found, unfortunately.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If he really said that he’s sick.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III He did and he apologized after widespread condemnation.

And for context, he wanted Melania and Trump empathizing with the immigrant children at the border. I don’t for one second think he meant it the way it came out. :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good. And he had a good point. They wouldn’t want their kid in a cage.

crazyguy's avatar

@jca2 In other words, details and specifics are required for a criminal charge, but not for impeachment of a sitting President?

@Zaku That makes chilling reading. What Trump was accused of by Jack Dorsey before banning him is tame by comparison. It seems these white supremacists do not need any incitement.

crazyguy's avatar

@KNOWITALL @gorillapaws knows exactly what you meant, but twisted your words anyway into a vicious implication. He must have you mixed up with me!

Only Biden can act as the Great Unifier. He is off to a rotten start, by not criticizing impeachment!

crazyguy's avatar

@ragingloli By cutting a tumor on one side, you risk having a second ‘tumor’ cut out!

crazyguy's avatar

@LuckyGuy No, that speech is not protected. How about justifying looting as a form of ‘reparations’? See
https://nypost.com/2020/08/13/blm-organizer-who-called-looting-reparations-doubles-down/

ragingloli's avatar

This is how Germany began the “healing process” after the war:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_trials

crazyguy's avatar

@Dutchess_III True. The First Amendment does, indeed, say what you describe. However, when government does not defend the First Amendment rights of a segment of society against corporations, the First Amendment is violated.

crazyguy's avatar

@Dutchess_III True. The First Amendment does, indeed, say what you describe. However, when government does not defend the First Amendment rights of a segment of society against corporations, the First Amendment is violated.

When you start wishing harm on a 12-year old because his last name happens to be Trump, you are descending into the gutter.

hello321's avatar

@crazycomrade: “However, when government does not defend the First Amendment rights of a segment of society against corporations, the First Amendment is violated.”

stanleybmanly's avatar

But it is crystal clear that corporations ARE NOT violating the rights of magaheads, simply through refusing to facilitate such crap as destruction of the government. The corporation may (and will) be held responsible. Magaheads (much like yourself) can hide behind the defense of “too dumb to know better”. Corporations employ the talent which deprives of them of any such pretense.

Dutchess_III's avatar

However, when government does not defend the First Amendment rights of a segment of society against corporations, the First Amendment is violated.” What are you referring to?

hello321's avatar

^ We’re witnessing @crazyguy go anti-capitalist in real time.

crazyguy's avatar

@Dutchess_III When Twitter issues a ‘permanent’ ban on a person, that borders on suppression of the person’s First Amendment rights. When Simon&Schuster cancels a contract with Josh Hawley, that is a violation of Hawley’s First Amendment rights.

More examples from today:

1. Calls for Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley to resign. For the offense of doing what Democrats did in 2017!

2. Calls for ‘deprogramming’ of Republicans, since all 75 million of Trump supporter are a CULT!

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Response moderated
stanleybmanly's avatar

You clearly do not know what you are talking about. Whatever country YOU live in, if you allow our homegrown idiots to convince you that the Constitution guarantees Hawley a book contract, there is no hope for you. Think about the absurdity of that for a second. Does that REALLY make any sense? And you pass yourself off as an engineer? You do understand that what you assert is tantamount to an open confession that you have no concept of the purpose or meaning of the amendment, even after you reprint it word for word. That is an extraordinary feat of embarrassment.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@crazyguy…do you think Fluther has the right to ban people who repeatedly violate the site’s terms of service?

Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy “When Twitter issues a ‘permanent’ ban on a person, that borders on suppression of the person’s First Amendment rights.”

No, it isn’t.

“When Simon&Schuster cancels a contract with Josh Hawley, that is a violation of Hawley’s First Amendment rights.”

And this sure as fuck is not.

Repeatedly in this thread you have demonstrated that you have no understanding of the 1st Amendment.

hello321's avatar

^ @crazyguy is slowly coming to realize that his beloved economic system isn’t compatible with democracy. He’s showing huge progress above when he explicitly wants the government to save him from private power. I give him a few weeks and he’ll be advocating for workers controlling the means of production.

Strauss's avatar

@crazyguy _ an attempt is being made…to stifle voices on the Right._

Right wing conservative voices are in no danger of being stiflled‐-not in the past couple years, and certainly not in the past 40 years. What we have witnessed over the past two years or so is an editorial attempt by certain platforms to warn readers when certain information presented as facts is either disputed or is outright wrong.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Of course both the fascists and cognitively deranged are entitled to speak their mind. The fact that they are still recognized for what they are by the society at large is not as these wing nuts claim, “proof of mainstream bias”. Rather, as this question most certainly shows us, the internet has allowed any piece of screwball nonsense to be paraded around as “legitimate” before its natural and time honored goal-the fertile ears of the ignorant unwashed. Those formerly restrained through shame and embarrassment from exhibiting their disorders aloud, are now emboldened through the internet to recognize the scope of their numbers—thus expanding the very real possibility of achieving the ultimate obscenity which has always been the threat of politics—the achievement of insanity as the “norm”. Like Trump himself, THIS QUESTION is every bit the reflection of the process at work. Pay attention. And see it for what it is.

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