Category: Tech

Come Back, Pizzagate!

All is forgiven.

When Bill Gates and his wife Melinda announced their upcoming divorce last Monday, they had already been negotiating the split for more than a year. Bill Gates’ meetings with the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who mysteriously died in prison while facing sex trafficking charges in 2019, feature prominently in the divorce, sources said.

“Congress … has given digital platforms ‘immunity from certain types of suits’ … but it has not imposed corresponding responsibilities”

Justice Clarence Thomas is a national treasure.

@JackPosobiec: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas finds social media companies do not have First Amendment right to ban protected speech and that Section 230 is unconstitutional

Much like with a communications utility, this concentration gives some digital platforms enormous control over speech. When a user does not already know exactly where to find something on the Internet—and users rarely do— Google is the gatekeeper between that user and the speech of others 90% of the time. It can suppress content by deindexing or downlisting a search result or by steering users away from certain content by manually altering autocomplete results. Grind, Schechner, McMillan, & West, How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 15, 2019. Facebook and Twitter can greatly narrow a person’s information flow through similar means. And, as the distributor of the clear majority of e-books and about half of all physical books, 4 Amazon can impose cataclysmic consequences on authors by, among other things, blocking a listing.
 
It changes nothing that these platforms are not the sole means for distributing speech or information. A person always could choose to avoid the toll bridge or train and instead swim the Charles River or hike the Oregon Trail. But in assessing whether a company exercises substantial market power, what matters is whether the alternatives are comparable. For many of today’s digital platforms, nothing is.

File is here, starting on Page 8..

If It Works Why Would They Stop?

There’s zero overlap between the responses from Dems and Reps. This indicates they weren’t offered the same items to choose from but each got an ideologically-framed plate of items. Put differently, we see which topics are triggering and persuasive, not necessarily which matter.

Indeed

First They Came For Milo

The business model switched from a free exchange of ideas to a protection racket so fast we never even noticed.

h/t

Social Disease

Finally, they do something right.

After blocking links to all news content in Australia, Facebook has reportedly “friended” the country again by coming back to the negotiating table, at least according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison. That doesn’t mean that Mark Zuckerberg has dropped his objections to Austrailia’s pending legislation that would force the social media giant to pay for links to Australian news content, however. Neither side seems to be backing down at this point. Australia may not be in this battle alone, though. We’re learning this weekend that Canada is drafting a similar measure and basically daring Facebook to impose a blackout on them as well.

But read it all.

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