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Re: Freedom of Speech?.. [Re: imlost] #150267 01/31/21 09:44 PM
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Az4x4 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by imlost
.........John Stuart Mill in On Liberty, ..suggests that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."..

No one I know would argue with that statement. It's an excellent embodiment of the Police Officer's motto that I continue to live by, "To Protect and To Serve."


The voyage of discovery that truly matters is not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.
Re: Freedom of Speech?.. [Re: Az4x4] #150271 02/01/21 01:53 AM
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Twitter reinstated Mike Davis, the founder and president of the 'Internet Accountability Project' (IAP), this past Thursday following a short lived suspension of the anti-Big-Tech activist for publishing a post in which he called for prosecution of those who engage in political terrorism.

Davis tweeted on Wednesday, “Federal, state, and local law enforcement must *never* tolerate *any* political violence. Prosecute *all* of them - not just based upon their political views. … Lock ’em up.

Following his post Twitter suspended Davis. The company reinstated his account the following day based on severe online backlash. Twitter's 'explanation' was that Davis’s suspension happened because the company’s 'spam filter mistakenly flagged his post for removal'..

We have systems that find and remove multiple automated spam accounts in bulk, and yours was flagged as spam by mistake,” the company wrote.

Twitter’s 'explanation' was put forward after public outcry reached the ears of Twitter's boss. Davis' 'suspension' is part of an increasing trend of one-sided censorship that reached new heights following the Capitol riot, as the nation’s all-powerful tech-overlords demonstrated their 'unchecked power over the digital public square', exploiting the crisis for their own ends as they pursue their ongoing purge of any and ultimately all conservative voices and viewpoints.

Conservative Twitter users with large followings report staggering drops in follower counts, Two weeks ago Twitter 'explained' these drops in follower counts on the company removing accounts their 'spam filter' flagged as being associated with 'conservative conspiracies' (which is to say 'conservative viewpoints'). Twitter removed 70,000 of these accounts by Jan. 13, and the removal rate was not slowing at that time.

Make no mistake," said Davis in his Thursday statement, "Twitter targeted me for my work to hold Big-Tech accountable and defend conservatives from being censored.. Twitter only backtracked when members of the media, grassroots activists and conservatives in Congress pushed back. Twitter’s excuse that my suspension was only a mistake is laughable. This ‘mistake’ only ever happens to one side (conservatives).”


The voyage of discovery that truly matters is not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.
Re: Freedom of Speech?.. [Re: Az4x4] #150272 02/01/21 04:25 PM
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George - Thanks for the updates. Nothing really surprising in what's going on either. Two incompatible ideologies going head to head like a soccer match. May the best team win and I think they will. Americans don't like their freedoms being removed. Or supporting platforms and businesses that act (per customer perspective) in ways that go against the constitution. Mike Lindell's products were removed from Bed, Bath & Beyond and also Kohls just for him being a Trump supporter. I won't support those businesses. Many others are doing the same thing. It's our choice as customers to use our wallets where we are comfortable. MLK taught us passive resistance.

As for BIG tech censorship, they won't win this one. Other new and better open platforms are on the way. The user base BIG tech is disenfranchising, is creating an entirely new demand elsewhere. Smart business people will serve this market with products that meet customer expectations. The profit motive is clearly there too. The migration has already begun for many and will continue to pickup speed. I look forward to a better internet where informed consumers are the best customers. America is a resilient nation. There are a lot of talented, hard working people here that are very aware of what's going on with the MSM, BIG tech, government and the current administration. Let's keep the lines of communication open as our nation works through some tough times.


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Re: Freedom of Speech?.. [Re: Az4x4] #150273 02/01/21 05:09 PM
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We all still have freedom of speech as witnessed by the "spirited" discussion here. We are a diverse nation with many points of view and opinions, which I think is a good thing. How boring would it be if we all looked, acted, and sounded alike with exactly the same opinion.
As a government they have to take into account all of those many many opinions and let them be heard, so we have freedom of speech, which is good, as it lets government know what the masses are thinking.
As a private company 'big tech' or any other private enterprise can, and has the right to censure whatever they want.
I will assume most of us are old enough to remember when almost every store had a sign that stated "we have the right to reserve service to anyone".
Yes big tech holds a lot of power, but only because so many are using their services. They still have the right to refuse service ! They ARE NOT infringing on our free speech! We can still write a letter or stand on a soapbox on the corner if we want people to hear our opinion.
THERE! My opinion!

Re: Freedom of Speech?.. [Re: Az4x4] #150277 02/01/21 09:16 PM
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Social media's uneven content moderation policies have generated increasing calls for meaningful reform. Twitter, Facebook, and other major platforms are presently deleting posts and deplatforming mainly conservative accounts. Former President Trump was deplatformed for 'questioning election results' and 'fueling passions that led to violence.' As this assault on free speech continues leftists criticize these same platforms for moving too slowly to silence opposing conservative voices.

Accusations of ideological and political bias are flash points in this debate. Conservatives decry a double standard in content moderation, pointing to a lack of similar action against Leftists who spent four years not only questioning the legitimacy of Trump’s election, but also encouraging and inciting violence and destruction during the Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests that they defended as legitimate, leaving millions of dollars in destruction and multiple dozens dead in their wake.

Heated debate about decisions that have been made and the consequences they've imposed on all of us results in large measure from content moderation policies adopted by social media platforms in response to political pressure from the radical left, as it seeks to silence opposing conservative voices and views.

Social media platforms are now loudly condemned by multiple millions of conservative voices nation wide, while leftists demand an increase in the tempo of "canceling" anyone and everyone who thinks differently than they do.

This political heat, noise and confusion stems from universal complaints from the right and left alike, that social media content moderation policies are too vague, arbitrary, and ever-changing. As social media seeks to suit the whims and will of powerful special interest groups applying relentless pressure, these platforms are caught in a minefield square in the middle of 'no-mans land' between two opposing political ideologies.

Republicans are beginning to join Democrats in calls for government regulation of social media, and for employing antitrust laws in dealing with what many on both sides of the conflict see as overly powerful tech-lords taking it upon themselves to dictate the ideas and beliefs that can or can't put forward in the 'public marketplace of ideas' that social media has become.

These platforms are moving down a steep, perilous, slippery no-win path in this no-mans land minefield they find themselves mired in.

Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg, in October 2019 stated: “..Increasingly, we’re seeing people try to define more speech as dangerous, while no longer trusting their fellow citizens to decide what to believe for themselves. .. [T]his is more dangerous for democracy … than almost any speech,..

Social media platforms that desire a safe way out of the social and political minefield they find themselves mired in should take a step back and adopt a content moderation standard that rests on clearly defined TOS policies based on time honored constitutionally established principles of freedom of thought and expression.

Addressing concerns about political bias, and favoring freedom of expression (as Zukerberg defined it in 2019) over heavy handed censorship designed to silence conservative views, will 'level the playing field' and 'defuse the anti-personnel mines' at the same time.

These changes are needed if the turf war that has resulted from current one sided moderation policies is to come to an end and the more 'unified' America that President Biden says he wants to see starts to take shape.

The First Amendment’s strict prohibition against viewpoint discrimination provides the standard we need in our online public forums. Given that the First Amendment does not directly govern private social media companies, nevertheless its inspired principles have infused life into the long running debate over free expression in America, and they must be adhered to in our public forums today if we are truly interested in unity.

First Amendment principles are buttressed by a well-developed body of constitutional law on viewpoint discrimination, and should be applied to online social media content moderation in America today. Viewpoint discrimination is particularly offensive to the First Amendment and is subject to a massive degree of constitutional scrutiny. Supreme Court precedent tells us: When the government targets particular views taken by speakers on a given subject, [it is] an egregious form of content discrimination. The government must abstain from regulating speech when the specific motivating ideology or the opinion or perspective of the speaker is the rationale for the restriction.

If social media were to adopt this constitutional prohibition against "viewpoint bias", these platforms would remove the target from their backs, placing it squarely on America's First Amendment guarantees, which on today's battleground of ideas and viewpoints would be a welcomed and productive ceasefire for everyone involved..


The voyage of discovery that truly matters is not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.
Re: Freedom of Speech?.. [Re: Az4x4] #150288 02/02/21 03:09 AM
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"Why is it necessary to draw attention to the sexuality of other people, whether they are homosexual, transgender or heterosexual?" They draw that attention to themselves. And in no way do they have the right to "protection" from people expressing their opinion of them, as long as it is not a direct threat. I will express my opinion about anything/anyone I want. The First Amendment gives me the right to do so, whether they like it or not. I also have the right to disagree with anyone I want.


The above is my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
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Re: Freedom of Speech?.. [Re: imlost] #150304 02/02/21 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by imlost
..Why is it necessary to draw attention to the sexuality of other people, whether they are homosexual, transgender or heterosexual?......?..

Good question. As we're all aware, President Biden issued an executive order declaring that “gender identity should not be a bar to military service.” Men and women have long been serving in the military, so in reality gender has never been the issue. What Biden means is that “transgender” people - those of a recognized biological sex who self-identify as being the opposite sex - must be allowed to serve as their preferred self-identified sex.

Biden's order says, “All Americans who are qualified to serve in the Armed Forces … should be able to serve.” This of course begs the question: Who exactly is 'qualified to serve'?

Biden's action reversed Trump administration policy. Trump policy in turn reversed Obama policy. Congress itself has never legislated regarding this issue. Obama's policy allowing self-identified 'transgender' people to serve in the military as the opposite sex wasn't adopted until President Obama was almost out of office.

Throughout American history until 2016 - including the first seven and a half years of Obama’s eight-year presidency - people who self-identified as transgender were excluded from military service on grounds of mental or physical health.

Biden claims his executive order was based on “..a meticulous, comprehensive study” issued in 2016 that concluded that allowing “transgender individuals to serve” would have “a minimal impact on military readiness and healthcare costs.” The “nonpartisan federally funded research center” that published this study was the RAND Corporation.

Biden said, “the previous [Trump] administration relied on a review that resulted in a policy that set unnecessary barriers to military service.” Biden failed to explain that the previous "review” was conducted by the Department of Defense. These findings were published in the department's March 2018 “Report and Recommendations.”

Comparing the RAND study that Biden referenced in his policy change with the Pentagon report that Trump relied on puts the issue in perspective.

To begin with, the RAND study was based on speculation. It was released about the time Obama's short lived policy opening doors to 'transgenders' in the military was announced. Prior to that time transgender people had not been permitted to serve in the U.S. military, so RAND could only make 'best guess' speculative projections based on experiences in the private sector and other countries.

On the other hand the Pentagon report that Trump relied on provided actual data based on the 20 months (give or take) of in practice experience with 'transgender' people in the military, between the time Obama's policy took effect and when the Pentagon's “Report and Recommendations” were issued. This one to one comparison brings to light some important contrasts.

The RAND Corporation 'study' estimated “there are between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender personnel serving” on active duty. The Pentagon, however, reported that between October 2015 and October 2017, there were only “994 active duty Service members diagnosed with 'gender dysphoria'.”'

What becomes obvious is that the RAND study 'overestimated' the number of transgender service members in their study. Not everyone who self-identifies as transgender is diagnosed with “gender dysphoria,” a condition that implies subjective distress over one’s “gender incongruity.” Such a diagnosis was required of any service member seeking "gender transition” treatment, including surgery, under Obama's policy.

To compound the error, RAND underestimated the number of transgender service members who they speculated would seek specialized medical care. They estimated a maximum of 129 service members annually would use “transition-related health care.” Yet the Pentagon reported they had approved “424 treatment plans” in less than two years.

RAND estimated that 140 current members of the military would seek “hormone therapy”, and 130 would seek “gender transition-related surgeries.” Actual treatment plans for transgender military personnel show numbers 250% higher than the RAND estimates.

The reason RAND concluded that allowing transgender military service would have “minimal impact” on readiness and costs is because so few active service members identify as transgender, not because transgender people are equally fit to serve in the military.

The Pentagon study reveals that “medical costs for Service members with gender dysphoria have increased nearly three times — or 300 percent — compared to Service members without gender dysphoria.” The study also revealed that transgender personnel are “eight times more likely to attempt suicide” and “nine times more likely to have mental health encounters.”.

Lots more if needed, but these comparisons provide the sort of factual context that's often missing in politicized issues such as this.

If you'd like to comment on any of the above data, as it relates to the question you asked, I'll gladly listen. If all you're interested in is shouting 'Wrong' while 'complaining about descenting viewpoints', I'm not interested, at all..


The voyage of discovery that truly matters is not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.
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