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posted by martyb on Wednesday April 27 2016, @01:56AM   Printer-friendly
from the is-a-Trump-tweet-called-a-Treet? dept.

You were warned. Now it begins.

Since the implementation of Twitter's new algorithmic timeline back in February of this year, conservatives, libertarians and anti-establishment dissidents alike have been waiting for the social media platform to interfere in the current U.S. election cycle. Now it seems that there is clear evidence of Twitter censoring the current Republican front-runner, Donald Trump.

A tweet sent from Trump's account at 3:04 PM EDT yesterday is not visible from his timeline, even when showing "Tweets and replies." That message included a video wherein Trump declared that "the establishment and special interests are absolutely killing our country."At the time of this writing, the tweet is still publicly accessible via a direct link and thus has not been deleted either by Twitter or by someone operating on the Trump account.

This archive.is link has a copy of the timeline taken before this article was published which clearly shows the tweet not appearing where it should be — between a tweet sent at 12:10 PM EDT and one sent at 3:27 PM EDT; it is possible that the tweet may be reintroduced to the timeline in order to hide the manipulation.

Today it's one Trump tweet, tomorrow it will be you.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by physicsmajor on Wednesday April 27 2016, @04:55AM

    by physicsmajor (1471) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @04:55AM (#337783)

    I would argue that for common communication platforms, once they reach a certain level of penetration - this would apply to Facebook and Twitter for sure - it would be appropriate to require a certain limiting of their "personal freedoms" (that is, if you buy the load of bullshit that corps are persons or have any rights whatsoever) because allowing them to "express" themselves in this way will result in chilling effects and terrifying consequences for public discourse.

    And I'm saying that as a Libertarian. This isn't a free market, and while people theoretically could go elsewhere they have tremendous inertia resulting in a de facto monopoly going on for the purposes of large-scale public discourse. This is the slipperiest of slopes.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by legont on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:16AM

    by legont (4179) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:16AM (#337789)

    Yes, twitter, google, facebook, even apple are in fact utilities and have to be regulated as such. That twitter censorship is no less offending than say electric company cutting power to Trump. I personally prefer an environment where companies with such influence could not rise to begin with, but if they do exist, they should be regulated. I'd say they should be regulated to the point where it is more profitable to voluntarily break up.

    --
    "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:50AM

      by JNCF (4317) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:50AM (#337803) Journal

      Why Apple? I think I'm missing something. Your other two examples are social media sites, where number of views could be seen as a "utility" that the government is somehow gauranteeing. But this analogy would break down for Apple, right? Are you actually drawing a different comparison?

      • (Score: 2) by legont on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:25AM

        by legont (4179) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:25AM (#337818)

        Well, apple has no business to prohibit porn apps, for example. Application nowadays is more important than any speech ever was. It's similar to if a loudspeaker manufacturer would limit it's use based on their "values" - probably possible to implement already.
        If apple were a little shop with business oriented toward women with children, it would be fine for them to do such a censorship, but not once they are such a commonly used "utility". They have no right to brainwash customers.

        --
        "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
        • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:09PM

          by JNCF (4317) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:09PM (#338033) Journal

          Ah, I see the comparison when you bring up the app store. That's what I was missing.

    • (Score: 2) by FakeBeldin on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:57AM

      by FakeBeldin (3360) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:57AM (#337806) Journal

      Want those companies treated as part of government, under government oversight?
      Vote for someone who will buy the, for the government.

      Really, you're arguing here that if a company is too successful, its reigns should be handed to the government.
      If you are a USA'ian, that is the weirdest thing I'll encounter the whole day.
      Mind you, while I write this it's snowing in the morning here. It normally doesn't snow here in March anymore, let alone end of April.
      So you've already cleared a pretty high bar.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by legont on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:32AM

        by legont (4179) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:32AM (#337819)

        Like I said, I prefer they would be broken up. Anti-monopoly laws is a good start.
        Besides, there is not much value in big corporations anyway. They don't innovate, but buy innovations. They don't create jobs, but destroy them after buying little companies. They influence politics under the table. If they die it is a disaster for many. And so on. You know the score.
        It would make sense to make them easier to die; similar to too big to fail banks policy.

        --
        "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
        • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:43PM

          by JNCF (4317) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:43PM (#338077) Journal

          They don't innovate, but buy innovations.

          I'm super opposed to large centralised organizations in general, but would be hard pressed to argue they don't innovate. Big corporations definitely fund research and development. Did you know Bell Labs funded the creation of C, and made it free because they were legally barred from entering that market?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28 2016, @12:48AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28 2016, @12:48AM (#338225)

            They rarely innovate.

          • (Score: 2) by legont on Thursday April 28 2016, @03:33AM

            by legont (4179) on Thursday April 28 2016, @03:33AM (#338257)

            Yes I do know about Bell Labs and C and Unix. In fact I have some rather close relationship to that corner, but look where Bell Labs ended up. It was pretty much broken and most folks went to work on Wall Street. Other big boys learned the lesson.
            If you want some home grown theory, there is a fundamental reason why big companies rarely innovate. Big companies need inflationary environment for their businesses to prosper, while innovation is by nature deflationary.
            What would be good for community is socialising big old tech while giving a free capitalist ride to the small and new. I would give new businesses an exemption from copyright, patents, trademark and all that crap. If somebody can make a better iphone in a garage, let her do it without any limitations. Apple, if it is still good, should leverage their expertise an size - that's and advantage enough.

            --
            "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
            • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Thursday April 28 2016, @04:33AM

              by JNCF (4317) on Thursday April 28 2016, @04:33AM (#338276) Journal

              But while Bell existed, it did fund a diverse assortment of innovations. Big businesses do innovate, even if you could show that small businesses innovate more efficiently or something.

              while innovation is by nature deflationary.

              What do you mean by this? Do you mean, perhaps, that innovation reduces consumption in the long run by replacing old models with new, more efficient ones? I'm having trouble coming up with another meaning, but I suspect there is one.

              I would give new businesses an exemption from copyright, patents, trademark and all that crap.

              I'm surprised to hear that you support the existance of copyright, patents, trademark and all that crap. You seem mostly reasonable.

              • (Score: 2) by legont on Thursday April 28 2016, @08:00PM

                by legont (4179) on Thursday April 28 2016, @08:00PM (#338609)

                Any innovation by nature reduces costs of a good (lets leave alone totally new things - new markets - for a sec) causing deflation. Therefore a company runs a huge risk somebody else will use it to undercut their current production where large capital is invested. Hence any large entity fights any innovation and innovate only when it is absolutely obvious that somebody else will. They also press authorities for inflationary policies. Then inflation triggers unnecessary consumption producing even more profits and environment and health damage.

                As per patents and so on, we need them to protect little shops that innovate from companies that have more power and production capacity. Basically what I am for is discriminatory laws. Currently laws favour big money; they should favour little money.

                --
                "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Capt. Obvious on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:37AM

      by Capt. Obvious (6089) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:37AM (#337822)

      It's probably in Twitter's best interest to be forced not to censor by the government. It's a way to not have to do more work (censoring), not have blowback from censoring from subsets of the population, and deal with people who want to censor (the government won't let us, sad-face) easily.

      • (Score: 2) by legont on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:52AM

        by legont (4179) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:52AM (#337826)

        Yes, I would agree with that. In the end, they are killing themselves when they - corporations - are free to do whatever. The fundamental issue is they are sociopathic "persons". Humans went through the same stage and were regulated through morals.

        --
        "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
  • (Score: 3, Touché) by JNCF on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:44AM

    by JNCF (4317) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:44AM (#337798) Journal

    How would you feel if an individual person owned a communication platform that had a similar level of penetration? Not that such a thing is realistic, but would that change the situation for you?

    If so, at what threshold of popularity does somebody lose the right to ban Donald Trump from commenting on their personal blog?

    You're definitely correct about the horrible effects of corporate censorship. I don't support this crazy system at all, but I don't think that having the government make more speech-rules is the solution; this is the slipperiest of slopes. I'm more in favor of fire and pitchforks.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:53AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:53AM (#337805)

      I don't want the government involved either, but I don't think your "fire and pitchforks" solution will work; most people care about convenience above all else and have few principles.

    • (Score: 2) by legont on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:42AM

      by legont (4179) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:42AM (#337825)

      I agree with you that we need less laws - much less - but it is a separate issue. While we are where we are, corporations should be regulated to a big pain in their buts. Besides, The Collapse of Complex Societies [wikipedia.org] would make your pitchfork dream more plausible.

      --
      "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
      • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:30PM

        by JNCF (4317) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:30PM (#338041) Journal

        ...are you arguing that increasing bureaucracy is a way to bring society closer to collapse?

        I've read books that reference Joseph Tainter before, but never read him directly. I hadn't previously considered this little nugget from the wikipedia article you linked:

        And, in his final chapters, Tainter discusses why modern societies may not be able to choose to collapse: because surrounding them are other complex societies which will in some way absorb a collapsed region or prevent a general collapse; the Mayan and Chaocan regions had no powerful complex neighbors and so could collapse for centuries or millennia, as could the Western Roman Empire - but the Eastern Roman Empire, bordered as it was by the Parthian/Sassanid Empire, did not have the option of devolving into simpler smaller entities.

        That's an interesting thought.

        I don't really think this society is on the verge of collapse and/or revolution, but I'm obviously wrong about plenty of things.

        • (Score: 2) by legont on Thursday April 28 2016, @04:01AM

          by legont (4179) on Thursday April 28 2016, @04:01AM (#338264)

          The way it is currently going, I think it will collapse. The only way out there is an exponential growth, which is not sustainable unless one really believes in singularity.
          Anyway, I believe that the sooner something rotten collapses the easier it is for everybody. Let's leave alone the whole society for now. In the case of a corporation, a reasonable policy would be to actively try to crash it just to see if it is already rotten enough. Regulations, especially permanently changing type, is a good way to achieve that.
          At the same time new small business should be helped and left alone. Perhaps it will kill the corporation.

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27 2016, @01:19PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27 2016, @01:19PM (#337921)

    (that is, if you buy the load of bullshit that corps are persons or have any rights whatsoever

    IDK your jurisdiction, but in the ones I'm familiar with there's pretty a obvious reason why limited liability companies are legally considered persons (hint: it's in the name).