Over the transom

An email from the social-media site Gab.com:

Gab.com operates on one rule: if political speech is legal in the United States, that speech is allowed on Gab.com.

Companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, Netflix, Patreon, Square, and Stripe disagree with this proposition, and believe not only that it is morally correct to dictate to Internet users what opinions we are and are not allowed to hold, but that it is morally correct to deplatform any company that disagrees with the California consensus, and actively suppress opinions, as well as the people who express them, where their users’ beliefs don’t accord with corporate interests.

As a result, Netflix now pulls comedy shows that offend Saudi monarchs, Twitter removes content of journalists and human rights activists in Pakistan, and Patreon kicks off conservatives and libertarians in the United States.

There’s no mention of Facebook, which may be because everyone knows Facebook is a gun for hire, or because FB is overwhelmingly populated by bots.

That said, the one person I support via Patreon will continue to collect her minuscule stipend from me; I figure she needs the money more than I need to make some ephemeral political point.


  1. fillyjonk »

    3 February 2019 · 1:05 pm

    I get that there are a few companies that do things sufficiently heinous (in a person’s mind) that that person wouldn’t want to support them with their dollars, but I suspect if we demanded some form of intellectual purity/”right thinking” of every place we did business with, we’d be eating the potatoes we had to grow ourselves while wearing the tunic we had to weave ourselves (from wool or linen we raised), and if we had time for entertainment, it would wind up being watching the fire in our woodstove…

  2. McGehee »

    3 February 2019 · 1:31 pm

    But I heard Avery the stovemaker once used a word that somebody thought sounded like a bad word, back when he was in 3rd grade. THROW OUT THAT STOVE!!

  3. hollyh »

    4 February 2019 · 8:21 am

    Agreed. This is too much of a “nanny state”. But…about free speech, one should consider the extremes. It’s not OK to yell “FIRE” in a crowded room. Should it be OK to spread provocative lies, such as the one about Hillary running a human-trafficking ring out of a pizza parlor? I assert that it’s not, and social media should be required to at least try to stop that sort of thing. Opinions are one thing. False facts are another. Especially when the falsehoods can be spread at viral speed by the ‘bots. That is not a fair playing field,

    This is what’s REALLY scary: technology is about to enable video photo-shopping. To the point that you can see someone saying in his/her own words, something that in fact they did not. We definitely need to get counter-technology up and running for that one, or we will be in huge trouble.

  4. CGHill »

    4 February 2019 · 6:09 pm

    “False facts” is a contradiction in terms; if they’re false, they’re not facts.

    The problem with getting social media to play Truth Squad is that under existing law, they’d actually have to assume responsibility for content, a prospect that scares them. This is why Twitter outsourced the job to a collection of nogoodniks who stand about a yard and a half on the wrong side of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    Ultimately, what we need is some calibration for our Bullshit Detectors.

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