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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: 4, Insightful) by JNCF on Wednesday April 27 2016, @02:30AM

    by JNCF (4317) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @02:30AM (#337713) Journal

    However, he really ought to be able to say what he wants.

    And he (mostly) can, as long as he says it himself. Twitter can say what it wants too, and it can prevent people like Trump from saying things on Twitter. For this reason, it seems really dumb that people have let Twitter (and other corporate social networks) be the gatekeepers of expression, but here we are in clusterfuck of network effects. This isn't something Trump can change, Trump is going where people are; Twitter. This isn't the first wake up call about Twitter, Twitter has a history of censorship.

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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.

    • (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).

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by jmorris on Wednesday April 27 2016, @09:20AM

    by jmorris (4844) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @09:20AM (#337852)

    Have to agree that Twitter CAN censor anything they want. What we should not allow them to get away with is refusing to admit they are doing it and more important to state the rules they censor under. Then users can decide if they want to continue to participate in such a system or help a competitor arise. I suspect the almost instant change to Twitter's stock valuation would quickly cause them to decide being an open platform is in their best interest and tell Anita and the rest of the SJW freakshow to GTFO.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27 2016, @12:34PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27 2016, @12:34PM (#337895)

      Whilst over here, we still have to suffer the jmorris freakshow.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JNCF on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:02PM

      by JNCF (4317) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:02PM (#338055) Journal

      I'm not sure where this culture is headed, but I'm worried it might be a pretty pro-censorship direction. We're all caught in our own little echo chambers on the internet, and it can sometimes be hard to tell how much our perceptions of society line up with reality. These statistics [pewresearch.org] were really sobering for me. If you were a selfish social media company looking to target millenials, post-millenials, and post-post-millenials, you might look at those shifting trends and decide that you wanted to be on the right side of history: pro-censorship.

      • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Wednesday April 27 2016, @08:42PM

        by jmorris (4844) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @08:42PM (#338135)

        I seriously doubt it. If they openly announced they were converting into a "safe space" where no right of center view would be permitted, millions of accounts close and their stock would tank when those millions suddenly found a new home. You see that is the trick, their success comes from being the only game in town and generating a network effect from that. If millions of users were forced off they wouldn't just disappear from the Internet.

        So the day SJW Converged Twitter is created from the remains of Twitter they would have the subset of SJW / SWPL kids. The competitor which would instantly appear would have the shitlords, the free speech absolutists and all of the cool people who had been driven out. Now lets run the simulation forward; none of the outcast tribe could return to SJW Twitter but any of the SWPLs could get accounts on the new system. Meaning it would quickly become THE place to be because everybody would be there while only some remained on SJW Twitter. It is the nature of the network effect and everybody in the leadership of Twitter understands that math. Twitter is all about ego, you post to the largest audience possible and controversy generates clicks, replies, reposts, etc. You can't have much controversy on SJW Twitter because a) you fear being banned and b) the other side, the folks you want to wind up to generate controversy, aren't there anymore. SJW Twitter is an echo chamber and utterly boring.