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posted by janrinok on Tuesday September 14, @01:23PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the double-standard dept.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/09/leaked-documents-reveal-the-special-rules-facebook-uses-for-5-8m-vips/

Facebook had a problem on its hands. People were making posts that got caught in the company's automated moderation system or were taken down by its human moderators. The problem wasn't that the moderators, human or otherwise, were wrong to take down the posts. No, the problem was that the people behind the posts were famous or noteworthy, and the company didn't want a PR mess on its hands.

So Facebook came up with a program called XCheck, or cross check, which in many instances became a de facto whitelist. Over the years, XCheck has allowed celebrities, politicians, athletes, activists, journalists, and even the owners of "animal influencers" like "Doug the Pug" to post whatever they want, with few to no consequences for violating the company's rules.

"For a select few members of our community, we are not enforcing our policies and standards," reads an internal Facebook report published as part of a Wall Street Journal investigation. "Unlike the rest of our community, these people can violate our standards without any consequences."

"Few" must be a relative term at Facebook, as at least 5.8 million people were enrolled in the program as of last year, many of them with significant followings. That means a large number of influential people are allowed to post largely unchecked on Facebook and Instagram.


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  • (Score: 1) by HammeredGlass on Tuesday September 14, @01:29PM (2 children)

    by HammeredGlass (12241) on Tuesday September 14, @01:29PM (#1177681)

    5.8 million specials / 2.89 billion plebs+ = 0.2%

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Freeman on Tuesday September 14, @01:49PM (1 child)

      by Freeman (732) on Tuesday September 14, @01:49PM (#1177689) Journal

      I thought, surely that's a way overblown number of users to be basing the 5.8M special users against. Apparently, I was wrong.

      https://www.omnicoreagency.com/Facebook-statistics/ [omnicoreagency.com]

      Total Number of Monthly Active Users:
      2.85 billion (source)
      Last updated: 28/06/21

      Total Number of Mobile Active Users:
      2.75 billion (source)
      Last updated: 28/06/21

      Total Number of Desktop Active Users:
      1.7% of all Facebook users (source)
      Last updated: 28/06/21

      Total number of Mobile Daily Active Users:
      1.59 billion (source)
      Last updated: 28/06/21

      Total Number of Daily Active Users:
      1.88 billion (source)
      Last updated: 28/06/21

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population [wikipedia.org]

      the world population is the total number of humans currently living, and was estimated to have reached 7,800,000,000 people as of March 2020.

      Facebook has 1/2 the world's population as users? I guess I just didn't realize the extent to which they were ingrained into the lives of people.

      --
      Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
      • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:46PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:46PM (#1177774)

        >> Facebook has 1/2 the world's population as users?

        Take their numbers with a grain of salt... my dog has ten accounts.

  • (Score: 2) by GlennC on Tuesday September 14, @01:39PM (11 children)

    by GlennC (3656) on Tuesday September 14, @01:39PM (#1177683)

    But some are more equal than others.

    Who here is surprised by this?

    Anyone?

    --
    Sorry folks...the world is bigger and more varied than you want it to be. Deal with it.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday September 14, @03:09PM (8 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday September 14, @03:09PM (#1177710) Journal

      He who owns the server makes the rules. If you are surprised by this then you don't understand how servers, private property or capitalism work.

      Now if we want to start talking about something actionable, like anti-trust violations, then we might be able to have a conversation!

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by HiThere on Tuesday September 14, @03:52PM (2 children)

        by HiThere (866) on Tuesday September 14, @03:52PM (#1177737) Journal

        Even anti-trust might be difficult. What's the market? How do you define it? How are they excluding competitors?

        Yes, because of network effects they *are* a monopoly (though probably not a trust), but I'm not sure the laws as written cover this exact case. You'd probably need to depend on something like "We're going to withdraw your immunity against suits based on libel that you ""print"", but which were posted by someone else."

        --
        Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
      • (Score: 0, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @03:52PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @03:52PM (#1177738)

        It's pretty clear from this that they shouldn't have section 230 protections when they're not being neutral about the content. They're publishing the material rather than just passing on the content that the creators are making.

        As for antitrust, absolutely, part of the issue is that a handful of sites have virtually all of the accounts leading to a sort of internet death penalty if you get blocked from them. Not to mention that the 1st amendment needs to be extended to reflect the fact that these are the new town square and that your ability to get a message out depends on having access to these sites. None of the major sites would even exist without government funded infrastructure and government money in their early stages. Sure, you can still get a message out, but not anywhere near as quickly or as broadly as posting to one of the major social media platforms.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday September 14, @04:17PM (3 children)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday September 14, @04:17PM (#1177750) Journal

          It's pretty clear from this that they shouldn't have section 230 protections when they're not being neutral about the content.

          It's pretty from this that you don't know what section 230 says.

          47 U.S. Code § 230 - Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material [cornell.edu]

          (1)Treatment of publisher or speaker
          No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

          (2)Civil liability
          No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—
          (A)any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or
          (B)any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph (1).[1]

          It says absolutely nothing about requiring neutrality, allows removal of anything subjectively objectionable, and even specifically ALLOWS removal of speech that would be constitutionally protected if the government were involved..

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:57PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:57PM (#1177778)

            Did you actually read what you posted? The protection doesn't apply if they're not acting in good faith, and it's rather clear that they're not acting in good faith if they have a long list of people that are allowed to violate the ToS with respect to their content. It's supposed to be there to protect them from being sued for content that they couldn't pre-screen or weren't aware of being on their platform, not because they are choosing who is and isn't allowed to violate their guidelines.

            You're an idiot if you think that making a good faith attempt to remove the material allows them to keep extensive lists of people allowed extra leeway. That's not good faith, that's a cynical act and they should be stripped of any protections they get from this section.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:38PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:38PM (#1177787)

              You could make a similar argument if a service allowed paying customers to be exempt from content oversight. It is a business model, and we don't have to agree with their practices.

              I detest facebook, but it is clear you are reacting from a "persecuted conservative" standpoint that quite frankly is a bunch of whingey hokum. The stats are clear, FB massively hosts and distributes rightwing content.

              Would you like the worst gun offenders to be used as examples to justify stripping away 2A rights? Or would you prefer a more targeted approach that addressed the problems instead of nuking rights from orbit? If you could make a legal case against FB for having this list of users that get a free pass, well I'd be all for it! Punishing sites like this one by allowing legal reprisals for user comments is a bad idea.

            • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @12:44AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @12:44AM (#1177908)

              "Good faith"

              You use that word. I do not think it means what you think that it means.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday September 14, @08:36PM

      Scanreads the article ... blah-blah-blah ... Facebook ... something scuzzy ... blah-blah-blah ...

      Nah, surprise level very low.
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @12:48AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @12:48AM (#1177910)

      Youtube does a similar thing. Independent media channels get hosed by Youtube's algoirthms, but corporate media outlets (which lied us into the Iraq War and typically only talk about war when it's to shame presidents for wanting to get us out of them) aren't subject to the same rules or algorithms, allowing content that would be demonetized or hidden for smaller channels to be monetized and suggested by the algorithms.

      Many corporations want the Internet to be little more than cable TV 2.0.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @01:43PM (28 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @01:43PM (#1177687)

    Power and centralisation, of both ecnomics and technology, are moving our society away from the rule of a common law.
    We are moving towards what I call "a rule of unlaw", a world of -- sometimes codified -- double standards.
    There are insiders, who enjoy better access, protections, privileges, and then there are outsiders whose rights, access, freedoms, employment, etc are ultimately subject to veto on the whims of connected insiders.

    All of this is increasingly justified under the notion of privatisation: Websites, banks, etc are owned by private corporations who may do as they please. Including, now, literally writing their own laws to discriminate for and against whomsoever they please, even as they voraciously swallow up what remains of the public sphere.

    No law, no court ruling, no legislature, and no democratic process lies behind the "unlaws" like this XCheck (an no doubt dozens of other such private codes among tech and financial companies). They exist, and increasingly govern populations, by fiat. There are no appeals, no accountability, in many cases of such "rules" nothing is even written down! This isn't order, it's chaos!

    We are allowing unchecked financial and monopoly power to walk us down a dark road towards a lawless, corrupt, and caste based society. No amount of technological progress will be enough to undo the damage of casting us all back to the dark ages. Zuckerberg & Big Tech Co. are legal biker gangs dressed up in hoodies and a smile.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @02:06PM (13 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @02:06PM (#1177692)

      redundant.

      all societies have class structures, never in human history have laws or rules applied to all equally.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @03:54PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @03:54PM (#1177740)

        This is true, but generally things have been moving towards less centralization of control more towards democratic processes. Obviously, you do get backsliding in some areas, but the overall motion has been towards freedom and some form of democratic leadership. The troubling bit here is how willing people are to give up hard fought rights just because they can get cat videos and images of their relatives easily.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by garfiejas on Tuesday September 14, @04:05PM (8 children)

        by garfiejas (2072) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 14, @04:05PM (#1177747)

        Not quite sure thats right - we (the royal we) forced one king to write the rights down https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta [wikipedia.org] and his successors to write it down again every now and again over 800 years ago and when that didn't work executed another King https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_I_of_England [wikipedia.org] to prove that the law indeed applies to everyone...

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:25PM (5 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:25PM (#1177764)

          Quite right.

          It also shows that we cannot trust profit-making entities to self regulate. Given the choice they will take profit, i.e. they are corrupt. The government, paid for and elected by We The People, is the only known mechanism for short-circuiting corruption. Anyone wanting to let the market decide is advocating for corruption, as plain as day.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:21PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:21PM (#1177783)

            That doesn't follow as stated.

            We may not be able to trust anyone (whether profit-making or simply government departments) to self-regulate, but that's in line with the idea of power corrupting, and absolute power corrupting absolutely. Anyone wanting to let the government decide is advocating for corruption as surely as if they were advocating for individual market participants to decide unilaterally. There is a known solution, but it involves auditing and review - something for which government organs and bureaucrats are known to have a horror.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:31PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:31PM (#1178027)

              The feedback mechanism is "paid for and elected by We The People". This strips away the profit-motive for corruption and introduces a competitive component to expose eachothers' bullshit. Show me a better solution - your "audit" idea is just a subset of these 2 things, i.e. what prevents auditors from being corrupt?

          • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday September 14, @08:39PM (1 child)

            > Given the choice they will take profit, i.e. they are corrupt.

            The tecnical term in the field of economics is "efficient" or "successful".
            --
            I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:33PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:33PM (#1178028)

              Yes, and if it's more efficient to bulldoze your house or put a pipeline through your property, they will do that.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:41AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:41AM (#1177948)

            I don't know that their behavior necessarily confers corruption, in fact it could be purported that they're diligently performing the duties ascribed to them and thus paying their debt to society; it's the excision of moral culpability, the lack of skin in the game, the insulated existence, and the willing delusion, and most of all their position in the upkeep of the bureaucratic machinery that creates the air of putrescense. The reality of it is, they're oriented, morally and intellectually, to exploit the system and directed to do so. Regulation is actually really, ultimately kind of circular, the whole system of governance that acts as the undergirding for the support of undue private property is ultomately what defines all of civilizations ailments. These guys just happen to be the highly visible scapegoats at the end of the levers, and they're really just doing their jobs, and like anyone they want a quiet day at the office.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:01AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:01AM (#1177942)

          Uh, that was the nobility grabbing rights for themselves. Where were the peasants given equal rights?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:37PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:37PM (#1178030)

            An ongoing process - see, e.g., history.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @05:05PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @05:05PM (#1178046)

        Well, no. But it depends on how you define society, as well. Look up the term "egalitarian", plenty of people have and continue to live under those systems. Have they put shit on the moon? No. Have they committed genocide, cast millions into the bloody tides of combat, manufactured weapons capable of manifesting extinction level events, created oppressive caste systems based on lineage and luck while falsely narrating that it's "hard work" that creates it, have they divided the population to the point where human discussion is made difficult? No, they haven't. Are they perfect? No, they aren't. Are they human? I'd say far more so than any "developed nation".

        It's likely you don't even know your neighbors.
        "Peter Freuchen spent time living with the Inuit of Greenland over 100 years ago ... happily hunting walruses, whales, seals, even polar bears. One day, after he’d been on an unsuccessful expedition, he met another hunter dropping off several hundred pounds of meat outside his hut. Freuchen thanked the hunter profusely but the man snapped back: “Up in our country we are human! And since we are human we help each other. We don’t like to hear anybody say thanks for that. What I get today you may get tomorrow.”"

        from that same exchange:

        "By gifts one makes slaves, and by whips one makes dogs."

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @08:28PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @08:28PM (#1178095)

          fuck you race traitor or jew.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, @12:55AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, @12:55AM (#1178161)

            How is it you've come to the conclusion I have any interest in race whatever? Is it my unwillingness to lick clean the boot of my oppressor? I operate under the certitude that they certainly have no interest in my welfare, and history evinces of this time and time again on a timeline to that spans to time immemorial. It's simply by circumstance that today it's "whites". Tomorrow it may just as easily be Chinese. Nor am I beholden to any religious affiliations, and I certainly, by that virtue, don't represent their interests. I want the hierarchies which any select group may leverage destroyed, that we might once again act with the true virtues that mankind was once vested.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @03:01PM (13 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @03:01PM (#1177707)

      There are laws that explicitly have double standards. Two name two obvious ones

      The PDT rule (you have to have 25K or more to be able to pattern day trade all you want). It favors those with money.

      The SEC won't let you invest in Peerstreet unless you meet some ridiculous financial requirements. Again, this favors those with money.

      One set of laws for the rich and another set of laws for the poor.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @03:02PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @03:02PM (#1177708)

        (and before you go on about how these laws are intended to 'protect' the poor, the government is perfectly fine with the poor gambling all their money away).

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @03:15PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @03:15PM (#1177713)

        err ... to name two obvious ones *

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @03:59PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @03:59PM (#1177744)

        The PDT exists to protect smaller investors that might not have the money to cover their trades. Remember, it still takes time for trades to actually be finalized, so if you're trading repeatedly across a given day, the funds haven't cleared, so the $25k is there to help reduce the likelihood of you not having the money to cover things if they go wrong.

        A smaller investor just does not have time to engage in PDT and definitely shouldn't unless that's their main job and with less than $25k, it's definitely not their job.

        I'm not familiar with peerstreet, but I would point out that the big boys mainly benefit from being allowed to front run stock orders and that doesn't really help small traders out much as they'd have to be doing a lot of trading in order to benefit from those small sums of money. It's only really a problem because the big boys are doing it so much and so often that those fractions of a dollar, or even cent, add up over time. For smaller investors a fintech which allows you to put money in and get it automatically balanced and rebalanced as appropriate based on allocation of stocks and bonds, both foreign and domestic, is far more than what they'd need, or have time to manage in many cases.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @04:24PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @04:24PM (#1177752)

          "The PDT exists to protect smaller investors that might not have the money to cover their trades"

          No, because when you buy a stock and sell it the trade is covered by the sale.

          The PDT rule does not exist in other countries and there is no problem. The brokers just keep track of everything and make the necessary exchanges.

          This is just an arbitrary rule the SEC imposes on the brokers. Otherwise the brokers can (and in other countries do) figure it out.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:49PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:49PM (#1177775)

            But, that's not the case, the money isn't back until the trade has cleared, usually a few days later and definitely not before the end of the day. It takes time for the funds to actually move between different banking institutions to make that happen. You're owed the money when you sell, and you owe the money when you buy, but that doesn't magically happen immediately. It takes several days for the bankers to get the money transfer to complete the transaction.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:06PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:06PM (#1177781)

              I understand what you're saying but the banks can keep track of who is owed what until the exchanges are finalized and it's not a problem. They do it with accounts over 25K and the U.S. is one of the only, if not the only (I'm sure if you tried hard enough you can find some other country) country that has the PDT rule and this is never a problem in other countries. It was also never a problem in the U.S. before the SEC passed the PDT rule.

              • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:11PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:11PM (#1177782)

                Also I don't believe the PDT rule applies to crypto (ie: on Robinhood). The banks/brokers figure it out.

                It's just an arbitrary rule the SEC imposes on banks/brokers for no good reason. It's oppressive and needs to be abolished.

                Also, yes, I have more than 25K in one of my accounts. I don't want to fund every single brokerage account with 25K just to trade freely. I shouldn't have to. In other countries they don't have to. Abolish the PDT rule.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:29PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:29PM (#1177765)

        > There are laws that explicitly have double standards.

        Then VOTE for someone else. The laws are made by those we elect so ultimately we decide the laws. This results in a compromise, not a perfect set. Better than any other option known.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:40PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:40PM (#1177771)

          Part of this discussion is to inform people that our current regulators are passing bad laws and we should either get them to change the laws or vote them out.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:41PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:41PM (#1178033)

            Well my reading of your post was that the existence of an unfair law is proof that the current system needs to be changed. Perhaps I misunderstood? There is no perfect set of laws, just like there is no perfect organism. As long as we have the back-and-forth of feedback then we are doing as best as one can, IMHO. Tearing it all down... for what? Something better? Show me.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @08:42PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @08:42PM (#1178098)

              No, just that the law needs to be changed. I am just pointing out which laws need to be changed. Making more people aware of a bad law is the first step towards getting it changed.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @09:07PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @09:07PM (#1178107)

              Well my reading of your post suggests that we shouldn't discuss bad laws whatsoever.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @09:09PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @09:09PM (#1178108)

                (We should just shut up and accept them).

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday September 14, @02:05PM (21 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 14, @02:05PM (#1177691) Homepage Journal

    these people can violate our standards without any consequences.

    That's known as 'freedom of expression'. I don't recognize any "right" that Facebook might have to control any narrative. The only things they should target for moderation, are unlawful posts, such as discussions of asassinations, gay bashing, racism, planning crimes, and the like.

    How did we even get here? Oh yeah, I remember.

    Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

    Zuck: Just ask.

    Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

    [Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?

    Zuck: People just submitted it.

    Zuck: I don't know why.

    Zuck: They "trust me"

    Zuck: Dumb fucks.

    --
    alles in Ordnung
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by digitalaudiorock on Tuesday September 14, @02:16PM (1 child)

      by digitalaudiorock (688) on Tuesday September 14, @02:16PM (#1177694)

      That's known as 'freedom of expression'. I don't recognize any "right" that Facebook might have to control any narrative. The only things they should target for moderation, are unlawful posts, such as discussions of asassinations, gay bashing, racism, planning crimes, and the like.

      I see you still believe in those "free markets" right up until they do something that you don't like I see. This is getting absurd. As has been pointed out to you at least 1,000 times here, no private company is required to give you a platform. Can you go into a restaurant and carry around a protest sign without getting kicked out? If course not, because free speech is protected in public places. But you knew that already. Give us a fucking break.

      • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @12:56AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @12:56AM (#1177913)

        I see you still believe in those "free markets" right up until they do something that you don't like I see.

        And a lot of people on the left say they don't trust corporations or the "free market" but then turn around and become hardcore free marketeers when it comes to corporate censorship, despite often being targets of said censorship. There's plenty of hypocrisy to go around.

        I'm on the left and I want to regulate these companies into oblivion. No oligarchs can be trusted.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @02:32PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @02:32PM (#1177700)

      "Gay bashing" and "racism" aren't unlawful.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday September 14, @03:11PM (3 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday September 14, @03:11PM (#1177711) Journal

      How about they can do anything they want with the property they own so long is it violates no laws?

      Boy, you sure do throw out all that high falutin' freedom stuff at the drop of a hat!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @04:03PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @04:03PM (#1177746)

        The issue is that when I've been on sites like that, it's devolved rather quickly due to Gabe's GIFT. I'd start out on a new site and things seemed great, then a bunch of morons would come and screw things up, but because the admins were more idealistic in not banning anything other than the most egregious behaviors, the site would go down the crapper rather quickly.

        I prefer a lighter touch to modding, but if you want a decent SNR on the site and for people to actually come back regularly, some moderation is needed.

        The real issue is that high profile figures are allowed to violate the rules that apply to everybody else. I wouldn't have had an issue if Twitter had banned President Trump years earlier for his violations of their ToS, but waiting so long and then doing it seems to be a bit of a strange choice. He'd been violating the rules for years and suddenly he went too far? BS, they just didn't want to keep dealing with the calls for regulation and thought it might put that off until the future when people were less angry about it.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:34PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:34PM (#1177766)

          > if you want a decent SNR on the site and for people to actually come back regularly, some moderation is needed

          So you are saying, there's a profit-motive to decrease the SNR on sites that do not have moderation...? I've seen it happen. Google groups used to have a neat web-based portal to usenet groups, which lasted about 5 years until spam completely destroyed it. At least there's Facebook and Twitter, right?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:51PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:51PM (#1177795)

            Imho, there's a range, but at a certain point, it's not worth the effort. Part of why these sites exist is that email became a pain to use due to spam and a lack of effective way to communicate with groups. Email was relatively universal, and still is, but much of what people did with it has migrated to platforms that could remove some of the junk.

            Sifting through some crap to get to the gems isn't a problem, but when it's 98% crap that you don't want, you're probably going to move on or cease using it.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by DannyB on Tuesday September 14, @03:17PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 14, @03:17PM (#1177715) Journal

      "Unlike the rest of our community, these people can violate our standards without any consequences."

      Zuckerberg: Violate me Mr. Trump, yes, violate me! Please! More, more! I won't resist.

      --
      Biden needs to mandate an official static TCP port for running 'finger' with TLS 1.3.
    • (Score: 1, Troll) by tangomargarine on Tuesday September 14, @04:10PM (7 children)

      by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday September 14, @04:10PM (#1177748)

      The only things they should target for moderation, are unlawful posts, such as discussions of assassinations, gay bashing, racism, planning crimes, and the like.

      Some of these things are not like the others...since when is saying mean things about gays and blacks illegal?

      Your list of examples sort of directly contradicts the point you were making.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday September 14, @04:19PM (6 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 14, @04:19PM (#1177751) Homepage Journal

        It becomes very much illegal when a couple carloads of teens and twenty-somethings get together on Facebook to discuss kicking the shit out of someone because they are gay. Or black. Or Jewish. Or whatever. "Gay bashing" never was about sitting around and chewing the fat.

        --
        alles in Ordnung
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tangomargarine on Tuesday September 14, @06:05PM (3 children)

          by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday September 14, @06:05PM (#1177780)

          So call it "incitement to violence" instead of "racism", if that's what you mean.

          I'm not sure I'm convinced "gay bashing" colloquially still means "finding a gay person to physically assault." "Bashing" is more likely to be used in the "verbally denigrate" meaning these days IMO.

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:26PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:26PM (#1177784)

            Ask someone who's been gaybashed.

            But if you want a comprehensible answer, wait until the swelling has receded and cuts healed over so that they can move their face again properly.

            ... or so I've been told. By people who may have been gaybashed. Allegedly.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @09:21PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @09:21PM (#1177863)

              We call that "assault".

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:46PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:46PM (#1178035)

                What do we call invading the Capital building and calling for the Vice President to be hanged? Tourists.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:18AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:18AM (#1177923)

          Or whatever.

          Whatabout trannies?

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @08:34PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @08:34PM (#1178097)

          Niggers, fags and kikes can get the fuck out of White countries.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:09AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:09AM (#1177918)

      Woah, you're calling for homophobic hate speech to be removed from Failbook?

      What happened to the "ligbutts?"

      Or are the "ligbutts" ok now?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:55AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:55AM (#1177940)

        Spelling matters. Liqbutts. And calling someone a liqbutt is not on the level of planning violence against the liqbutt. I realize the distinction may whoosh right over your head, but the law prohibits violence, it does not prohibit speech that you don't like.

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:32AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:32AM (#1177960)

          Oh, you want to be able to use homophobic slurs, but you believe that slurs do not constitute hate speech. However, you are against hate speech against the liqbutts.

          Well that's at least progress, for an inferior being like a cis+het male.

          • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Saturday September 18, @06:32AM

            by tangomargarine (667) on Saturday September 18, @06:32AM (#1179111)

            Oh, you want to be able to use homophobic slurs, but you believe that slurs do not constitute hate speech. However, you are against hate speech against the liqbutts.

            The entire idea of "hate speech"--that doesn't explicitly involve incitement of violence--being illegal is rather dumb. Which is why it isn't a thing in the U.S.

            "Inexplicably vestiges of sanity remain"

            --
            "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @02:45PM (20 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @02:45PM (#1177704)

    We're just in favor of censorship in general? I'm just trying to keep up.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday September 14, @03:22PM (19 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday September 14, @03:22PM (#1177719) Journal

      The federal government should have no say in what Facebook chooses to publish or chooses NOT to publish.

      That, and only that, is what the 1st Amendment protects.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @03:30PM (12 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @03:30PM (#1177725)

        Thanks for the clarification. So we're in favor of Facebook having different rules for different people. Good to know.

        • (Score: 5, Touché) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday September 14, @03:41PM (8 children)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday September 14, @03:41PM (#1177731) Journal

          I am opposed to Facebooks policies which is why I don't use their service. Y'know, that capitalism stuff you're always going on about....

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:38PM (6 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:38PM (#1177769)

            You aren't that big a deterrent from them doing the wrong thing that you think you are.

            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:45PM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @06:45PM (#1177789)

              Your brain isn't as big as you think it is.

              /rant Rightwingers really don't understand freedom, they internalized some sound bites and turned off their brains so Fox could program them as needed. As DM or someone else said above conservatives drop their freedom ideals as soon as something negatively affects themselves.

              No one here likes FB, and I bet every user here wishes their servers would spontaneously combust, but most rational people realize FB is a private entity that can do what it likes within the law. If we violate the freedom of FB it is a short trip to curtailing the rights of everyone.

              • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:14PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:14PM (#1177970)

                Nitpick. Right-wingers don't believe in freedom. Anything they say about wanting "freedom" is a lie. It's bullshit to lure you in, bullshit to disarm you, bullshit to confuse you, bullshit to make you question the evidence of your eyes and think that maybe the neo-Sturmabteilung just has some kind of ammosexual fetish, when they fully intend to seize political power for the creation of a fascist presidential dictatorship.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:57PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:57PM (#1177992)

                First they came for Facebook, and I said nothing, for I wasn't a sleazy privacy invading corperation

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @03:18PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @03:18PM (#1178010)

                  That's the capitalist era for you.

                  You can go for regulation, but that only increases barriers to entry. What all of it translates to is integration with the military-industrial complex. If you cared about freedom, this is not a road you want to go down over a *free* internet service.

                  By the time we're done regulating internet speech "platforms," you'll be forcing me to host content on my personal web server from the Wolverine Watchmen on the basis that my $20 linode constitutes as "platform." Doubly so if I federate with the Fediverse. Probably you'll also want me to take down Marxist links and content too on the basis that it's anti-woman pro-rape "hate speech" or some shit.

                  The Democratic Party does it almost the same as the Republican Party. The Democratic Party has its misogynerd narrative. The Republican Party has its fascist decadence narrative.

            • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday September 14, @09:27PM

              Not so - they absolutely can't do the wrong thing to him.
              --
              I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
            • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Tuesday September 14, @10:19PM

              by Opportunist (5545) on Tuesday September 14, @10:19PM (#1177878)

              I can't change the world.

              Only myself.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:25AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:25AM (#1177926)

            Boycotts are useless when it comes to the mass collection of data. Facebook has shadow profiles of people who don't allow themselves to be abused by their disservice. Someone you know just has to give Facebook some of your information, or tag you in a photo so they have your facial recognition data and can recognize you in the future.

            People are focusing on the wrong thing when it comes to companies like Facebook and Google. The real threat is that they aid the totalitarian mass surveillance state. We should have privacy laws so strict that this entire business model collapses. Boycotts are not enough.

        • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday September 14, @03:48PM (1 child)

          by Freeman (732) on Tuesday September 14, @03:48PM (#1177736) Journal

          'eh, in favor of is a mite strong. Support the right of Facebook to shoot themselves in the foot, definitely. Really, I'm not much in the favor of Facebook/Instagram/TikTok/MySpace/Etc, but the people have spoken and they want more gossip. The things that people freely share on the internet are disturbing. Not just talking about "disturbing" things, but birthdays, family photos, schedules and more. It's like someone looked at a Social Engineering guide and said, wow, we should provide hackers thieves all this stuff, so they can wreak our lives.

          --
          Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:37PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:37PM (#1177767)

            Not strong at all. YES 100% is the only answer.

            Facebook can host whatever they like on their server. The fact you are getting all in a tizzy about it is just free advertising for Facebook. Oooh is Facebook too permissive, or is it too lax, let's have years of debate about it keeping it nice and exciting. Click click click. The answer is yes, move on.

        • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Tuesday September 14, @10:16PM

          by Opportunist (5545) on Tuesday September 14, @10:16PM (#1177877)

          Sure. I just wonder why the dumb fucks stay on this cesspool.

      • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Tuesday September 14, @04:01PM (3 children)

        by HiThere (866) on Tuesday September 14, @04:01PM (#1177745) Journal

        OTOH, it also shouldn't shield them for liability for libel.

        If it should shield them from liability for libel, they it should also regulate them. Either way is reasonable. Half-measures aren't.

        Now as a practical matter...perhaps there should be limits on their liability and also limits on what they're allowed to publish. That kind of "half-measure" could, in principle, also be reasonable. But it's hard to have the correct balance. And yes, truth should be a defense against libel and slander.

        FWIW, I can't come up with a "right and proper" set of balances. Any solutions that occur to me quickly seem to have really undesirable costs.

        --
        Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:39PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:39PM (#1177770)

          Simple test - who profits from hosting the content? Then they are responsible for taking the loss. Unless we socialize losses... do we? (yes)

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:05AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @01:05AM (#1177916)

          Except that you were only able to write that as a result of Section 230.

          Any "balance" , other than the one we have, would outlaw discussion sites. Either they'd be outlawed directly, or their existence would expose the site operator to such liability that the best you could get would be a newspaper-style "letters to the editor" section.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, @08:07PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, @08:07PM (#1178389)

            You know, that seems like a good way to go for many platforms actually! Which is why you don't see comment sections on as many articles these day. Definitely want to keep 230, but curation and real journalism is what will make a news platform special.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @08:37PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @08:37PM (#1177851)

        But we've got a lot of politicians (R and D) doing the "You've got a nice server there, shame if something happened to it" routine while flicking a lighter these days. The pretense that they have no say in the decision is pretty thin.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:09AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @02:09AM (#1177945)

        So, about those NSLs...

  • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @02:57PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @02:57PM (#1177706)

    So, the platform is private, so the owners get to do what they want?

    Well, it is not completely private for two reasons:
        1) It is widely used and so a major part of public discourse.
        2) It gets public support in terms of limited liability for what happens there.

    This choice is definitely good for profits. What about the public good?
    Is there any evidence if these select few provide especially useful wisdom, or are they just squeaky wheels?

    Being a nutcase seems correlated to squeaky.
    If so, then this would not be a great way to choose influencers.
    We seem to have an especially bad selection these days.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday September 14, @03:17PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday September 14, @03:17PM (#1177714) Journal

      So, the platform is private, so the owners get to do what they want?

      Yeah, pretty much. It's their server they can do what they want so long as it's not illegal.

      It is widely used and so a major part of public discourse.

      Popularity isn't relevant to any internet laws that I'm aware of.

      It gets public support in terms of limited liability for what happens there.

      There are laws that pertain to ALL website operators and they follow them. That's not support, those are the laws of the land.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday September 14, @03:21PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 14, @03:21PM (#1177717) Journal

      These platforms are the product of capitalism.

      Either they are privately held, in which case, they really can host what they want.

      Or, they are publicly tiraded, and they are doing whatever they think is best for their investors.

      --
      Biden needs to mandate an official static TCP port for running 'finger' with TLS 1.3.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:41PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @05:41PM (#1177772)

      Yes. Next question. Move on, son.

  • (Score: 2) by MIRV888 on Tuesday September 14, @07:21PM (2 children)

    by MIRV888 (11376) on Tuesday September 14, @07:21PM (#1177811)

    I was late to the party, and I left early.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:50PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @04:50PM (#1178037)

      And now it's just us loosers talking to eachother at the end of the thread :(

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @06:49PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, @06:49PM (#1178072)

        Do some squats, tighten that shit up!

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