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Topic:  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?

Topic:  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
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L.C.
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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/6/2021 5:29:42 PM 
It doesn't seem that we drastically disagree, so I'll keep this short. First, yes, research was shared via Twitter, but other people had their accounts locked for spreading information related to the lab leak. Zero Hedge, a right wing site conspiracy site, was one:
https://www.independentsentinel.com/zerohedge-suspended-f... /

Perhaps some posters flew under the radar, while others didn't. Perhaps some was science based information, while others was gossip. Perhaps some were abusive while others were polite. I really don't know why some posts got through, and others led to account suspensions.

As another bit of personal evidence, during last year, I found that I would watch youtube videos about the pandemic, and if they mentioned Vitamin D, HCQ, or the lab leak theory, it was inevitable they would vanish.

Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame wrote:
...
I'm honestly not sure what to say about this. What you're describing sounds like an organization trying very hard to monitor content about a global pandemic during a time in which information about said pandemic was in constant flux. And eventually getting to the right place.
...

Eventually, yet some of posts that were deleted were purely science, and backed by research studies. In particular, I learned a lot from the videos by MedCram. MedCram normally makes videos targeted to medical students, to aid them in their studies, but for the pandemic, made videos of general appeal that were very science based, yet,about ten of his videos were deleted. They did later re-appear, but I had an image of some high school graduate deciding that a medical lecturer didn't know what he was talking about.

In the end we agree where it matters. We both recognize that the current system has flaws, and dangers, and is imperfect, but neither of us has a solution. I would also agree that it could have been a lot worse than it was.

Edit - I would add that one thing that I found particularly offensive about Youtube (google) removing the MedCram videos was that, no only was the doctor a medical lecturer, he also was, between making videos, treating Covid patients in an ICU. Thus, he had actual hands on experience, in addition to theoretical knowledge, and I seriously doubt that the person who was making decisions to take down his videos had either.

Another curious thing I personally saw was that, very, very early on, a guy named Chris Martenson posted a youtube video that posited that the virus had escaped from a lab. The next day, his Wikipedia profile vanished. Apparently, if he was going to promote "conspiracy theories", he didn't exist. It's a strange world we live in.

Last Edited: 6/7/2021 12:48:52 PM by L.C.


“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” ― Epictetus

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OhioCatFan
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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/7/2021 11:36:40 PM 
+1 on L.C.'a post above. I will only add that the solution to speech you don't like or think is wrong is more speech, not less. As that great Supreme Court Justice -- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. -- said in his famous dissent in Abrams vs. U.S.:

"[The] best test of truth is the power of [a] thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, . . . This at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment. Every year if not every day we have to wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge. While that experiment is part of our system I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe . . ."

Or, in another case, Holmes said:

"The history of intellectual growth and discovery clearly demonstrates the need for unfettered freedom, the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable. To curtail free expression strikes twice at intellectual freedom, for whoever deprives another of the right to state unpopular views necessarily also deprives others of the right to listen to those views.”

Or, as former justice William O. Douglas once said:

"Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us."

Or, finally, here's quote from former justice Hugo Black:

"I do not believe that it can be too often repeated that the freedoms of speech, press, petition and assembly guaranteed by the First Amendment must be accorded to the ideas we hate or sooner or later they will be denied to the ideas we cherish. The first banning of an association because it advocates hated ideas -- whether that association be called a political party or not -- marks a fateful moment in the history of a free country."

You get the point . . . freedom of speech is the very first freedom enumerated in the Bill of Rights. It is vital to our survival as a society. It is a bedrock concept upon which we have staked our all, as another jurist once said.
And, this freedom of speech is in peril now, not in the same context as those in the cases from which these quotes come, but nevertheless the threats are as serious, as L.C. so aptly pointed out.

The solutions are not easy, and they require that we think clearly and creatively. I'm confident that in the long run we will figure out a way to provide greater freedom of expression in this digital age.


"It is better to be an optimist and be proven a fool than to be a pessimist and be proven right."

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Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame
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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/8/2021 11:01:51 AM 
OhioCatFan wrote:

"[The] best test of truth is the power of [a] thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, . . . This at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment. Every year if not every day we have to wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge. While that experiment is part of our system I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe . . ."

Or, in another case, Holmes said:

"The history of intellectual growth and discovery clearly demonstrates the need for unfettered freedom, the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable. To curtail free expression strikes twice at intellectual freedom, for whoever deprives another of the right to state unpopular views necessarily also deprives others of the right to listen to those views.”

Or, as former justice William O. Douglas once said:

"Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us."

Or, finally, here's quote from former justice Hugo Black:

"I do not believe that it can be too often repeated that the freedoms of speech, press, petition and assembly guaranteed by the First Amendment must be accorded to the ideas we hate or sooner or later they will be denied to the ideas we cherish. The first banning of an association because it advocates hated ideas -- whether that association be called a political party or not -- marks a fateful moment in the history of a free country."

You get the point . . . freedom of speech is the very first freedom enumerated in the Bill of Rights. It is vital to our survival as a society. It is a bedrock concept upon which we have staked our all, as another jurist once said.
And, this freedom of speech is in peril now, not in the same context as those in the cases from which these quotes come, but nevertheless the threats are as serious, as L.C. so aptly pointed out.

The solutions are not easy, and they require that we think clearly and creatively. I'm confident that in the long run we will figure out a way to provide greater freedom of expression in this digital age.


I don't disagree with anything stated here. I do, however, think that a big swath of Americans seem to have begun to too narrowly view free speech in the context only of social media platforms. This is, I think, largely because they see views that align with their own challenged on those platforms. It feels directly applicable and personal.

And I think it's a real, but very complicated issue that bears thought.

However, in my mind, a private company like YouTube making decisions about what they will or will not host on their product is not the most immediate threat to free speech we're currently facing, and the focus on the platforms often comes from people who line up to support politicians responsible for much more direct threats.

For example:

Five different Republican legislators have proposed legislation that would use the power of the state to restrict which ideas can be taught in schools: https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/lawmakers-push-t...

Another example of the state influencing the discussion of ideas: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/09/trump-devos-d...

This is becoming more and more common as politics becomes nothing but a culture war in the United States. I find the specter of the state involving itself in such things to be far more disturbing than a private company making business decisions about its product.



Last Edited: 6/8/2021 11:16:30 AM by Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame

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OhioCatFan
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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/8/2021 2:40:07 PM 
BLSS, a problem with some of these examples is that we are talking about the power of the state against the power of the state. In other words, we have certain parts of the state-run school system trying to mandate certain curriculum choices and then another part of the state — the legislature— mandating that it not be taught. At least the legislature is popularly elected and has to answer to the people at some point, which is not true of state school boards in most states. Though the article you reference talks in terms of local decisions, the real concern is statewide mandating of this curriculum, which I agree is not conducive to educating the next generation. Slavery must be taught. It has properly been called our nation's original sin. However, this curriculum inaccurately portrays our country as having been founded with slavery as the bedrock of society and as its cornerstone, which would be an accurate description of the CSA not the USA.

See: https://www.newsmax.com/us/robert-woodson-1776-project-16... /

A WSJ article by the same Mr. Woodson that goes into more depth on his opposition to the NYT’s proposed 1619 Project curriculum:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-the-left-hijacked-civil-...

Last Edited: 6/8/2021 3:31:39 PM by OhioCatFan


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Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame
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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/8/2021 5:39:10 PM 
OhioCatFan wrote:
BLSS, a problem with some of these examples is that we are talking about the power of the state against the power of the state.


This is not my understanding. Curriculums are set at the district level who are granted the right to make educational decisions for their schools, as they relate to both curriculums and teaching methodology.

Historically courts have rejected attempts at the state level to restrict what can and can be taught. This goes back to states in the 20s trying to make the teaching of foreign languages illegal, and to the 60s most famously, when certain states tried to make the teaching of evolution illegal. More recently, in 2017 courts found an Arizona law banning ethnic studies to be unconstitutional.

That doesn't support the notion that this is 'the power of the state against the power of the state.' In fact, it's the power of the state trying to impose rules on what can be taught at a district level, which courts have (luckily) never held up to be valid.

OhioCatFan wrote:

In other words, we have certain parts of the state-run school system trying to mandate certain curriculum choices and then another part of the state — the legislature— mandating that it not be taught.


We have the legislature trying to mandate curriculum choices, which are traditionally (and upheld by courts to be) district level decisions.

Two posts ago you were quoting Oliver Wendell Holmes saying "The history of intellectual growth and discovery clearly demonstrates the need for unfettered freedom, the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable."

It now feels an awful lot like you're hedging about whether it's okay to ban school districts challenging the traditional narrative of US history.

OhioCatFan wrote:

However, this curriculum inaccurately portrays our country as having been founded with slavery as the bedrock of society and as its cornerstone, which would be an accurate description of the CSA not the USA.


Can you cite this assertion?

OhioCatFan wrote:

See: https://www.newsmax.com/us/robert-woodson-1776-project-16... /


I'm not sure what to do with this link. It's a 200 word long article that does not analyze the history at all, and provides no specifics about the 1619 project.

OhioCatFan wrote:

A WSJ article by the same Mr. Woodson that goes into more depth on his opposition to the NYT’s proposed 1619 Project curriculum:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-the-left-hijacked-civil-...


Likewise, "1619" doesn't appear in this article a single time. Nor does the word "curriculum." How does that article read as an opposition to the 1619 Project Curriculum, given that the 1619 Project Curriculum is not discussed?

Truthfully, I don't even know what's IN the 1619 Curriculum. My vague understanding is that it seeks to reframe the black experience in America as central to the achievement of American ideals, and asks students to be more critical in their examination of the role of slavery. At a high level, nothing about that seems worth banning.

More to the point though, the 1619 Project is just one recent example of the state looking to silence speech. There are many.

When Major League Baseball spoke out about voter suppression laws in Georgia and moved the All Star game -- their right as a private organization -- three senators tried to use state powers to punish them: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/republicans-want-yank-ba... /


Delta spoke out against the same law. Republican lawmakers attempted to repeal a tax break as punishment: https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/01/politics/georgia-voting-la...

If you can interpret those action as anything but a violation of First Amendment Jurisprudence, I'm all ears: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/commercial_speech

85 new anti-protest bills were proposed nationwide in 2021. The most extreme make it a third degree felony to be present at a protest where violence occurs, even if the individual is not involved in any violence themselves.

All of that is on top of the push too repeal section 230, which would be the single most damaging assault on free speech in the 21st century.

As I said, there's a lot to worry about related to assaults on free speech. YouTube's content moderation policies don't rise to the top of my list.

Last Edited: 6/8/2021 7:54:05 PM by Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame

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OhioCatFan
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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/8/2021 8:32:55 PM 
BLSS: Just a quick update. I did, indeed, paste in the wrong WSJ article by Mr. Woodson. Here's the one I meant to paste: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-1619-project-hurts-black...


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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/8/2021 9:28:22 PM 
BLSS:

In my mind the major issue related to Facebook and Twitter and Section 230 revolves around the paradox that 230 relieves them of liability for any statements that anyone places on their service, but instead of becoming an open forum for all ideas they routinely block ideas, opinion and facts they don't agree with. So, do they really deserve the protection that 230 gives them, or should they be liable for libel just as a newspaper would be?

Now, as the SC justice quotes I posted earlier would indicate, I really don't like the concept of libel laws. I'm a First Amendment absolutist, as were Justices Black and Douglas, and Holmes might be considered in the category also -- or at least pretty close. However, if we are going to have them, then they should be applied with an even hand, and if FB and Twitter are acting like a newspaper and making content decisions then they should be treated like one.

I should point out that First Amendment absolutism has always been a minority position among SC justices, but it's the one that I have the greatest philosophical agreement with.

What I really want is a level playing field where we can have robust exchange of ideas without fear of restriction of free speech, short of Holmes "clear and present danger" test. But, I don't know how to get there from here, so I'm advocating what seems doable and what would at least get us a little way toward that ideal.

Here's a column that talks a little about this issue. While I don't agree with every point made, I do agree with the general thrust of what Michael Barone says in this article: https://tinyurl.com/57p9ebzx

Personal Note: Michael Barone is not a person that I like to quote as general rule, but in this case I thought he made a good point, though the article is somewhat poorly written and even less well proofread. The reason that I don't particularly like Barone is related to the following episode: He was once hired by FNC as an election analyst, and in that capacity he lost credibility with me when he tried to explain on election night why there were so many Republican votes in southern Ohio. At that point they were showing a map with all the counties red (except for the Athens County) in a large swath of southern Ohio. He then opines that this was due to the "Copperhead history" of the area. I've done extensive research on the voting pattern in SEO during the Civil War Era, and this is distinctly not true. You can see the actual facts in electoral voting maps that I put together on a website I maintain for my ancestor's Civl War regiment here:

https://78ohio.org/1860-presidential-election /

https://78ohio.org/1863-gubernatorial-race /

https://78ohio.org/1864-presidential-election /

Last Edited: 6/8/2021 10:56:02 PM by OhioCatFan


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Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame
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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/9/2021 7:36:23 AM 
OhioCatFan wrote:
BLSS:
In my mind the major issue related to Facebook and Twitter and Section 230 revolves around the paradox that 230 relieves them of liability for any statements that anyone places on their service, but instead of becoming an open forum for all ideas they routinely block ideas, opinion and facts they don't agree with. So, do they really deserve the protection that 230 gives them, or should they be liable for libel just as a newspaper would be?


An important point to get out of the way first: the internet, and social media platforms, are the most open forum for the mass dissemination of ideas that has ever existed, by a multiple that's staggering. I'm not sure that point's even debatable, so when I read things like "instead of becoming an open forum for all ideas" it's difficult not to feel like the problem here is being framed incorrectly. I just don't see how it can be debated that ideas, controversial and otherwise, are now spread daily at a volume that dwarfs the entire combined output of human history prior. It's a massive, massive scale, and the content moderation that occurs is largely around the margins. The reality is that the volume and scale makes censoring speech at a rate that actually moves the needle virtually impossible. To put some numbers on it, Google's indexed slightly less than 4% of the internet. Google is also the single largest source of information in the history of mankind. That means there 24 Googles worth of information unindexed, available to whoever wants to read them.

As I mentioned a couple of times prior, every platform in question -- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit -- are simply media platforms, all of which derive every meaningful cent of revenue from advertising. Just like network tv, radio, and media platforms of the past. These platforms answer to their advertisers. If Walmart tells Facebook they're going to stop advertising on Facebook, because they don't want their brand associated with the proliferation of a certain subset of controversial content, what you're proposing gives a private company (Facebook) no control over what they deem best for their business.

To me, that's very problematic.

I also think you're missing a key point about section 230. It's specifically designed to provide protection for platforms from liability for third party content. That is, content they didn't create, and that was created by their users. A newspaper isn't analogous, because there's no such thing as 'user geberated' content published in newspapers, and in fact, there's no content published in newspapers that isn't edited and reviewed.

The moment you repeal 230, and Facebook is liable when the next group of incels plots a shooting, what do you think Facebook is gonna do? Roll the dice? No. There going to shut down every group that might be even remotely problematic legally, and police content extremely closely. You will, in essence, have turned them into a newspaper -- at least legally -- and they'll police content appropriately.

The reality of the 230 debate is that the support on the Right, like everything on the Right these days, is just culture war whining and the end result of years of complaining about being oppressed. It's just convenient packaging for their grievances and insistence that elites (like Silicon Valley) don't take them seriously.

And on the Left, the support is due to the same big government paternalism that's spawned terrible policy after terrible policy and the misguided notion that you can stamp out racism and homophobia through deplatforming.

Both sides are equally misguided, and the fact that two disparate groups of people naive enough to believe either of those things are in agreement about repealing 230 should throw off about 600 red flags for any rational person who has been playing any attention at all.

OhioCatFan wrote:

and if FB and Twitter are acting like a newspaper and making content decisions then they should be treated like one.


They're not doing this. But they will if you force them to. Do you think there's an editorial team at Twitter that thought "you know what story we should run with? That there's a global cabal of cannibal pedophiles that eat babies in a DC Pizza Parlor"? Of course not.

And to the extent that they've started shutting down the spread of that sort of misinformation, it's because it's led to actual, real-world violence, and the moment their advertisers start thinking of them as a place that the worst representation of America mobilizes, they'll pull their spend to make sure Dial Soap doesn't accidentally sponsor a live feed of a mass shooting.

Would I prefer a completely un-moderated platform? Probably. But I also understand that Twitter is a private business, and because I believe in the rights of private companies, I'm ultimately content to let them run their business as they see fit.


OhioCatFan wrote:

Here's a column that talks a little about this issue. While I don't agree with every point made, I do agree with the general thrust of what Michael Barone says in this article: https://tinyurl.com/57p9ebzx


I think Conservatives are letting their grievances turn them into unwitting stooges in what could be the single biggest blow to free speech in the history of the country. As I pointed out, legislators are already using the power of the state to limit speech in very problematic ways and coservatives happily look the other way. Now, the push to repeal 230 will force the platforms responsible for the largest flow of free thought in the history of mankind to police that content even more closely. You disagree with Facebook's content moderation policies? Cool. You're now advocating for them to scale them by 1000x.

And all because conservatives no longer stand for anything at all beyond wanting to punish elites who disagree with them. Call it free speech all you want, but the impact will not be freer speech. The repeal for Conservatives -- as articulated by Michael Barone and supported by you -- is solely about punishing Facebook et al. Just like the repeal of Delta's tax cuts. And the challenge to MLB's anti-trust exemption. That they're packaging this as being about 'free speech' doesn't actually make it so.

Last Edited: 6/9/2021 7:43:08 AM by Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame

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OhioCatFan
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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/9/2021 9:28:05 AM 
Don’t have time for a response to all your points now, but let me quickly point out that user content in a newspaper is called the letters-to-the-editor section. Virtually every readership survey shows it’s one of the most read sections. Papers have been successfully sued for libel for this user content, and as a result try to screen letters for potentially libelous content. Of course, after Times vs. Sullivan they don’t have to worry too much about statements readers make about politicians and other public figures.


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Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame
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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/9/2021 10:15:58 AM 
OhioCatFan wrote:
Don’t have time for a response to all your points now, but let me quickly point out that user content in a newspaper is called the letters-to-the-editor section. Virtually every readership survey shows it’s one of the most read sections. Papers have been successfully sued for libel for this user content, and as a result try to screen letters for potentially libelous content. Of course, after Times vs. Sullivan they don’t have to worry too much about statements readers make about politicians and other public figures.


The letters are literally written to an editor.

That editor is deciding which letters are published.

This is not at all analogous to Facebook or YouTube's user-generated content. Not trying to put to fine a point on it, but I'm really not sure how somebody can make a good faith argument that Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube's "editorial process" is anything like that of a newspaper.

Not only is the scale wildly different, but the order of operations is completely opposite. Editors choose which letters to publish before they're published. Content's instantly posted to Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, et al instantly, and only comes up for review if there are complaints filed by users.

If anything, this point just supports my argument as to how a repeal of section 230 will hinder speech. You want Facebook to be treated like a newspaper specifically because you're unhappy with the editorial choices they currently make. Newspapers edit everything. So the only logical conclusion is more editorial choices from Facebook, which you disagree with.

Truthfully, I'm having trouble following the logical strain of the argument conservatives are making about 230. It very much feels like it just boils down to a punishment, just like the cases with MLB and Delta.

What's the philosophical underpinning as it relates to free speech? I am not seeing how a repeal of 230 increases free speech.

To the contrary, it places restrictions on platforms that by and large are used to voice opinions freely and widely, and does so only because of political axe grinding. I've already provided links -- ignored here -- of examples of conservative politicians using legislative power to punish private companies who speak out publicly about conservative policy. The conservative support of a repeal of 230 seems like more of that to me, and remain unconvinced that this has anything to do with free speech when nobody can present a logical view of how it does anything to further the aim of free speech. It's a punishment for Facebook's attempts to moderate content, collateral damage be damned.



Last Edited: 6/9/2021 10:24:35 AM by Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame

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OhioCatFan
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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/9/2021 2:07:32 PM 
Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame wrote:


Not only is the scale wildly different, but the order of operations is completely opposite. Editors choose which letters to publish before they're published. Content's instantly posted to Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, et al instantly, and only comes up for review if there are complaints filed by users.



Not true, they don't wait for user complaints. FB and others have algorithms that look for things they don't like -- recent example supporting the Wuhan Lab theory, which they claimed was false news -- but now, after the election, they decide that it's OK to discuss this previously deemed right-wing, nut-job conspiracy theory. When their system detects "objectionable content" then they either delete it or make it viewable by less people. This is very insidious and dishonest, as they claim an objectivity that they don't, indeed, have. IMHO, the only things that they should use their algorithms to detect are incitements to immediate violence -- the Holmes clear and present danger test.


Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame wrote:


If anything, this point just supports my argument as to how a repeal of section 230 will hinder speech. You want Facebook to be treated like a newspaper specifically because you're unhappy with the editorial choices they currently make. Newspapers edit everything. So the only logical conclusion is more editorial choices from Facebook, which you disagree with.



This is an interest argument, I'll grant that. I'll give it some thought. But at first brush I don't think it wins the day.

Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame wrote:
To the contrary, it places restrictions on platforms that by and large are used to voice opinions freely and widely, and does so only because of political axe grinding. . . .


That's the point . . . it's not "freely and widely." They cut out what they don't like or make it less available to their general subscriber base.


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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/9/2021 2:23:03 PM 
BLSS: Another example of a wrong-headed decision by FB to remove discussion of a topic. This was on the use of hydroxchloroquine for early COVID-19. Blocked because the left went crazy simple because Trump said he had a hunch it might be effective. This boneheaded move probably cost tens of thousands of lives in the US alone. This link deals with the situation in France to a large extent:

https://wearechange.org/facebook-oversight-reverses-hydro... /


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Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame
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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/10/2021 10:32:37 AM 
To be honest, OCF, I think all of your responses here really just support my central thesis, which is that the push from the right to repeal 230 isn't about a principled stance on free speech at all, but is rather about using the legislature to punish a private company for poor content moderation decisions.

I provided numerous, recent examples of legislatures doing just that. Notably, none of your responses addressed those examples. Each was an obvious case of a legislator using the power of the state to punish a private company for speech. To articulate your own support of the repeal of section 230, you only cited examples of Facebook making poor content moderation choices.

That's fine. Reasonable people can disagree about whether 230 should apply to platforms.

But I struggle to follow even the basic logic of how you feel that's consistent with free speech absolutism. That your contributions to this thread began with quotes by Oliver Wendell Holmes about the criticality of free speech to the American experiment, and have concluded with a tacit support of retaliatory legislative policy as means of punishing the speech of private organizations only serves to illustrate very clearly the huge gap between theory and practice that's opened up in conservative American politics.

You're advocating for greater state control over private companies, through the repeal of legislation that would -- by its very definition -- require Facebook and others to exert more control over content generated by their users. And you're doing so in a political environment in which their are several explicitly stated examples of legislators from the party you support using legislation to punish constitutionally protected speech. Notably, Facebook's content moderation decisions would almost certainly also be constitutionally protected as a private company who has every right to determine what does or doesn't belong on their platform.

I'm trying really hard, but just can't see how you're reaching the conclusion that you're an advocate of free speech here. All I've seen is a call for more restriction, as a direct response to a private company making business decisions you disagree with. That 'speech' is Facebook's business certainly makes this more complicated, but it doesn't change the fundamental protections around speech that they're provided by the Constitution.

The 'absolutist' response here -- if one agrees with the supreme courts interpretations about speech and corporations -- is to acknowledge that absolutism around free speech leads to imperfect outcomes very frequently. This is one of those imperfect outcomes. If every imperfect outcome as it relates to free speech leads to a call for legislative change, free speech is going to be irreparably damaged sooner rather than later. That may be inevitable. Personally, I just want to make sure I'm not tricked into leading the charge.

Last Edited: 6/10/2021 11:12:43 AM by Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame

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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/10/2021 11:06:52 PM 
BLSS:

I think our fundamental disagreement here is that I see FB, Twitter and Google (and maybe a few others) as having such a large segment of the modern marketplace of ideas that their actions at stifling speech they disagree with has severe societal consequences. You see this as a trifling matter that has little to no major impact on the national dialogue. I wish that was true, but I don't think it is.

My ideal would be to have a million or more folks play the role of the pamphleteers of the Colonial Era and have their wares equally available to all citizens to weigh in their own mental calculus. But, alas, if I start a website that proclaims some philosophical or political position that goes counter to the current trend of thought or goes against the ascending woke culture, Google will make sure searches for my ideas will be on page 15 of the hit list, while those that adhere to the current orthodoxy will fill the first ten pages. Twitter will either ban me or put a brake on how widely my posts will be disseminated. FB book will do likewise with the algorithms previously discussed. This is not a level playing field.

Let me end with a quote from another of my heroes in the arena of free speech, John Milton:

"Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?"

The problem is that for the reasons cited we do not have that "free and open encounter." We do not have a level playing field.

Perhaps anti-trust legislation against these behemoths of the internet would be another approach that could be tried. I would support any move that would increase the diversity of thought that the average citizen could avail him or herself of while perusing online information and the news of the day. Maybe, just maybe, we need another trust-busting TR to emerge on the national stage.

Last Edited: 6/10/2021 11:12:01 PM by OhioCatFan


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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/11/2021 7:55:00 AM 
OhioCatFan wrote:
BLSS:

I think our fundamental disagreement here is that I see FB, Twitter and Google (and maybe a few others) as having such a large segment of the modern marketplace of ideas that their actions at stifling speech they disagree with has severe societal consequences. You see this as a trifling matter that has little to no major impact on the national dialogue. I wish that was true, but I don't think it is.


I do not see this as a trifling matter. As I stated multiple times, these platforms wield enormous power, and have been, in the aggregate, very bad for human communication.

Nothing about that means I think this is a trifling matter.

OhioCatFan wrote:


My ideal would be to have a million or more folks play the role of the pamphleteers of the Colonial Era and have their wares equally available to all citizens to weigh in their own mental calculus. But, alas, if I start a website that proclaims some philosophical or political position that goes counter to the current trend of thought or goes against the ascending woke culture, Google will make sure searches for my ideas will be on page 15 of the hit list, while those that adhere to the current orthodoxy will fill the first ten pages. Twitter will either ban me or put a brake on how widely my posts will be disseminated. FB book will do likewise with the algorithms previously discussed. This is not a level playing field.


Provide evidence for these assertions. I think these are very easy things to think and say. They are much harder to prove, given the huge complexity and vast number of factors that go into these algorithms.

I think you are vastly oversimplifying to suit your narrative.


OhioCatFan wrote:


Let me end with a quote from another of my heroes in the arena of free speech, John Milton:

"Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?"

The problem is that for the reasons cited we do not have that "free and open encounter." We do not have a level playing field.


We're just going around in circles. Sadly, I suspect your perspective will win in the end. That's certainly the way the political winds are blowing.

It's going to be a bad thing for free speech. That you haven't even attempted to make an argument otherwise, and continue only to present ways in which you view Facebook et al. to be imbalanced, makes that even more clear. The First Amendment doesn't guarantee that speech be amplified by private companies.

Inviting the government to start regulating more speech is such a hilariously bad idea, that I'm truly baffled by the number of people I see lining up to invite them to do it.

I've provided example after example of legislators using the power of the state to attack the first amendment. You are empowering them to do more of that.

I think this will end up being a colossal mistake.

That the people advocating so strongly for that mistake think they're advancing free speech is truly baffling. Truly.

OhioCatFan wrote:

Perhaps anti-trust legislation against these behemoths of the internet would be another approach that could be tried. I would support any move that would increase the diversity of thought that the average citizen could avail him or herself of while perusing online information and the news of the day. Maybe, just maybe, we need another trust-busting TR to emerge on the national stage.


Perhaps more government is the right approach. I tend to disagree.

The sense of grievance and dogged insistence of Americans of all stripes that they're victims of oppression in one form or another -- whether that's the overly woke folks who see racism in everything, or whether it's a conservative boomer who thinks the thought police are stifling his views on immigration -- is going to be the death of the American experiment. That grievance is currently fueling a push to severely weaken the first amendment. It's truly, truly sad.

That it's all wrapped in a flag and coupled with patriotic proclamations about American ideals just underscores how deeply lost we are.

Last Edited: 6/11/2021 7:57:55 AM by Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame

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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/11/2021 10:08:33 AM 
BLSS:

You wanted evidence of the lack of level playing field. Here are but a few of many, many examples that could be cited:

https://theintercept.com/2020/10/15/facebook-and-twitter-... /

https://nypost.com/article/social-media-censorship-conser... /

https://freedomwire.com/facebook-conservative-censorship /

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/08/facebook_cen...

On that first link, the meat of the story for the present discussion is in the last third of the article.

And interesting these links did not show up on a Google search, at least in the first several pages. However, using a Duck-Duck-Go search (with exactly the same search terms) they were all on the first page.

I agree that we are going around in circles and, therefore, I will start to curtail my contributions to this thread going forward.

I will end on this point of agreement:

Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame wrote:

The sense of grievance and dogged insistence of Americans of all stripes that they're victims of oppression in one form or another -- whether that's the overly woke folks who see racism in everything, or whether it's a conservative boomer who thinks the thought police are stifling his views on immigration -- is going to be the death of the American experiment. That grievance is currently fueling a push to severely weaken the first amendment. It's truly, truly sad.


While I would word this differently, I do agree with what I see as the general thrust of your statement -- the emphasis on grievance and "victimhood" in our current cultural climate is self-defeating and threat to democracy. We have become a society of wimps.


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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/12/2021 9:34:24 AM 
OhioCatFan wrote:
BLSS:
You wanted evidence of the lack of level playing field.


I wasn't asking for evidence of a lack of a level playing field, exactly. I was asking for evidence that supports the following overly broad statement:

OhioCatFan wrote:

But, alas, if I start a website that proclaims some philosophical or political position that goes counter to the current trend of thought or goes against the ascending woke culture, Google will make sure searches for my ideas will be on page 15 of the hit list, while those that adhere to the current orthodoxy will fill the first ten pages. Twitter will either ban me or put a brake on how widely my posts will be disseminated. FB book will do likewise with the algorithms previously discussed.


You're implying something much deeper and far reaching than the examples you provide support. You're making a sweeping claim, and suggesting that that sweeping claim applies very broadly to any "philosophical or political position that goes counter to the current trend of thought". But you're not providing evidence that supports anything that broad, and instead are simply pointing to examples where Google, Facebook, and Twitter made public decisions based on their stated content moderation policies to remove certain content.

That's much, much different than what you're implying in the above quote.


OhioCatFan wrote:

Here are but a few of many, many examples that could be cited:

https://theintercept.com/2020/10/15/facebook-and-twitter-... /


This was an extremely controversial, poorly sourced story. The journalisst at the Post assigned the story, refused to put their name on the byline, because they didn't trust the conclusions reached. Of the two journalists who appeared on the byline, one wasn't aware she'd be included. It was a story arranged by a political operative (Rudy Guiliani) with a long, recent history of providing factual inaccuracies. How the laptop came to be in Guiliani's possession is a very strange sequence of events, that strains credibility, and to-date the validity of the emails in the story has only been confirmed by TheDailyMail. The emails were provided to the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. Both concluded that they provided no evidence of the claims made by the Post. Neither were able to verify their authenticity.

Facebook and Google chose to moderate that content and remove it from their private platforms. Do I agree with the choice? No. Frankly, I think allowing the world to see how corrupt and manipulative politicians have become, and the manner in which they manipulate friendly media sources is important.

But I'm unsure how this is relevant to your above quote. It was a decision made about an isolated piece of content. You're implying an algorithm level bias that consistently suppresses conservative views. The article you cited makes very clear that human action had to be taken to stop the algortithm from spreading this story.

That alone disproves your assertions about the algorithm. If their algorithm already suppresses conservative opinions, why bother moderate that content?

OhioCatFan wrote:

https://nypost.com/article/social-media-censorship-conser... /


This article begins with Instagram's explanation of the community guidelines violated. This woman posted a lewd photo of a stranger. It got reported. Her account was suspended. They publish their guidelines here: https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/477434105621119

It's very straight forward. Why did her photo get removed, while another didnt? Because she has 300,000 followers and a much broader reach, and therefore the post received complaints which then flagged it to Instagram's content moderation team. Of the two accounts the Post cites as having posted the picture, one's since been suspended, and other has a 170 follows and the photo has 6 likes. In other words, nobody saw it.

OhioCatFan wrote:

https://freedomwire.com/facebook-conservative-censorship /


Unfortunately, there's just no longer any way to trust James O'Keefe. He has been caught manipulating his reporting far too many times to be considered a legitimate source.

If conservatives were more self-aware, they'd realize that idiots like James O'Keefe and their continued support of him contribute to a media environment that's impossible to trust and monitor, and that leads to the very sort of content moderation they abhor.

James O'Keefe is not your friend. You wouldn't be able to justify his actions if we examined them critically for 10 minutes. Here's an example of blatant lying from O'Keefe. There are literally dozens. https://time.com/4547193/hillary-clinton-foreign-money /

And even if that article you linked is 100% factually accurate, it still doesn't support your over-arching argument, and only shows that individuals working at Facebook have (stupid) personal opinions, but does not actually show any support for your claims about the algorithm.

What James O'Keefe's uncovered is that there are liberals at Facebook. What a scoop. I guess they should only be able to hire from the sliver of the population without political views?

OhioCatFan wrote:

And interesting these links did not show up on a Google search, at least in the first several pages. However, using a Duck-Duck-Go search (with exactly the same search terms) they were all on the first page.


What were the search terms and why are DuckDuckGo's results right and why are Google's wrong? Without being able to demonstrate that, you're not actually addressing your core thesis.

All you're doing here is pointing out what we already know: that a private company is making content decisions that you disagree with. Oddly, you're a proponent of legislation that will force them to make more of them. The major problem I find in your examples is that they're permeated by a deep sense of the very grievance we both think's bad for the country. The articles feel much more invested in making conservatives angry than they do in an attempt at an objective analysis of the cases in question. The articles are full of feelings, but short on facts.

This NYU study digs into actual data, as opposed to anecdotes. It also provides suggestions for various parties involved. I think it's a pretty balanced deep dive into this issue, and is certainly more helpful to the conversation than a first person article by a conservative who had a post removed from Facebook: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b6df958f8370af321...




Last Edited: 6/12/2021 9:41:39 AM by Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame

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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/14/2021 11:04:31 AM 
Just a quick little addendum here. I have a Google phone, and in the course of this conversation googled and clicked on articles related to the search team "Facebook censoring conservative" and a few other similar terms.

Thinking this, and other conservative publications are of interest to me, I'm now getting very regular push notifications to my phone from conservative sites. Most notably, something called the Independent Sentinel.

I've gotten updates about how Trump will be reinstated as President in August, that the Covid Lab Leak was a bioweapon purposefully released by the Chinese military, and that "Michigan Isn't Over! More Big Abnormalities Found."

Isn't this the exact sort of viewpoint you're stating that Google suppresses? They're actually amplifying it to me very aggressively after a few Google searches.
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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/14/2021 11:40:49 PM 
Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame wrote:
Just a quick little addendum here. I have a Google phone, and in the course of this conversation googled and clicked on articles related to the search team "Facebook censoring conservative" and a few other similar terms.

Thinking this, and other conservative publications are of interest to me, I'm now getting very regular push notifications to my phone from conservative sites. Most notably, something called the Independent Sentinel.

I've gotten updates about how Trump will be reinstated as President in August, that the Covid Lab Leak was a bioweapon purposefully released by the Chinese military, and that "Michigan Isn't Over! More Big Abnormalities Found."

Isn't this the exact sort of viewpoint you're stating that Google suppresses? They're actually amplifying it to me very aggressively after a few Google searches.


All I can say is that you seem to live in a different world than I do and that many others do. I remember your description in responding to rpbobcat about how wonderful things were in NYC as you described an almost an idyllic scene of your experiences in Manhattan in terms of entertainment and dining. Meanwhile rpbobcat painted a much different description of what life was really like in NYC. In this case I trusted rpbobcat's observation.

Now, you describe a situation where after just a few searches you are getting all sorts of conservative push notices. This is absolutely amazing. I have many experiences to the contrary -- not just the one that I cited earlier. I have to constantly take actions to stop from being overwhelmed by leftist push notices, advertisements, news feeds on my iPhone and in my browsers, etc. And, I do multiple searches for conservative ideas on a regular basis, and I don't get the kinds of continuing ripple effect that you are describing. Maybe the infamous algorithms I've discussed earlier have categorized you as a liberal and, therefore, you are fed this additional information on the theory that you are looking at them to discredit them; whereas, I'm being classified differently. Or, perhaps, you are just live in a different world than rpbobcat and I -- sort of a parallel universe of some sort. ;-)

Last Edited: 6/14/2021 11:53:26 PM by OhioCatFan


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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/15/2021 9:10:29 AM 
OhioCatFan wrote:


All I can say is that you seem to live in a different world than I do and that many others do. I remember your description in responding to rpbobcat about how wonderful things were in NYC as you described an almost an idyllic scene of your experiences in Manhattan in terms of entertainment and dining. Meanwhile rpbobcat painted a much different description of what life was really like in NYC. In this case I trusted rpbobcat's observation.


Interesting choice of words. It's quite apt here. Why? Because I do actually live in the world rpbobcat was discussing, and rpbobcat acknowledged he himself hasn't actually been to New York recently.

Nothing biased about trusting a third-hand "observation" over a first-hand one.

It will never cease to amaze me the lengths so many Americans go to be afraid of their fellow citizens. Is it really that hard to believe that New York isn't currently a crime ridden hellscape? That outdoor dining in the world's financial capital is nice?

You're welcome to visit anytime. Seriously. I'll take you around, buy you a drink or two. I think it would be really interesting for you to experience the city first-hand, even though you trust the "observations" rpbobcat made that were, by his own acknowledgement, not actually observed, but heard second hand.


OhioCatFan wrote:

Now, you describe a situation where after just a few searches you are getting all sorts of conservative push notices. This is absolutely amazing.


You think that Google has no interest in clicks and that their algorithm isn't just designed to feed people what Google thinks they want? These algorithms are, by and large, feedback loops. That you are so perplexed by this basic truth about how the internet determines which content to put in front of users doesn't evoke much confidence in your overall argument here. You're trying to make a very serious accusation about Google, and are failing Algorithms 101.

Here's a screenshot that shows 16 push notifications a day from the Independent Sentinel: https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/stleiYMhRGyq4WROu8Re

Welcome to the completely different world I live in.

OhioCatFan wrote:

I have many experiences to the contrary -- not just the one that I cited earlier. I have to constantly take actions to stop from being overwhelmed by leftist push notices, advertisements, news feeds on my iPhone and in my browsers, etc. And, I do multiple searches for conservative ideas on a regular basis, and I don't get the kinds of continuing ripple effect that you are describing. Maybe the infamous algorithms I've discussed earlier have categorized you as a liberal and, therefore, you are fed this additional information on the theory that you are looking at them to discredit them; whereas, I'm being classified differently. Or, perhaps, you are just live in a different world than rpbobcat and I -- sort of a parallel universe of some sort. ;-)



Yes, maybe we're living in alternate universes.

Or maybe the algorithm Google engineers have worked on for 20 years that's designed to optimize clicks across a billion users and the largest data set in human history's complicated and you and rpbobcat just haven't quite cracked it yet.

Given how little understanding you've shown about it to date, I know where I'm putting my money.

Last Edited: 6/15/2021 9:28:23 AM by Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame

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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/15/2021 12:57:50 PM 
Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame wrote:


Interesting choice of words. It's quite apt here. Why? Because I do actually live in the world rpbobcat was discussing, and rpbobcat acknowledged he himself hasn't actually been to New York recently.

Nothing biased about trusting a third-hand "observation" over a first-hand one.

It will never cease to amaze me the lengths so many Americans go to be afraid of their fellow citizens. Is it really that hard to believe that New York isn't currently a crime ridden hellscape? That outdoor dining in the world's financial capital is nice?

You're welcome to visit anytime. Seriously. I'll take you around, buy you a drink or two. I think it would be really interesting for you to experience the city first-hand, even though you trust the "observations" rpbobcat made that were, by his own acknowledgement, not actually observed, but heard second hand.




I wish you would post exactly what part of Manhattan you're referring to.
That,or as I posted before,send me a pair of the "rose colored glasses" you must be wearing.


1.My wife and I used to go to the City every other week or so.
Right now,there's no reason to.

I think I posted ,that its so bad,local police officers are being advised
to take their off duty weapon, if they go into the city.

By the way,that's what I was told by several officers I know.

2.My cousin works for the City.
He said "stay away from anywhere near midtown,especially after dark".
They've adjusted his hours so he can be in before morning rush hour and out
before evening rush hour.

If he has to visit any site in the City,he has permission to park on that property.
If he needs to take the subway,its in pairs only.

3.Lisa Banes gets hit by an E scooter they estimate was going over 30 at Amsterdam and 64.The guy ran a red light and din't slow down,let alone stop, after he hit her.
She died overnight.

4.When it happened they had an interview with an NYC police officer.
The police officer said they can't even chase the maniacs.
He said that when they tried,they speed up ant try to hit people.

5.Right after Banes got hit,a NY state senator did a press conference saying how the same thing almost happened to him.

6.Last week former police commissioner Bill Braten was on the radio.
He was saying how dangerous the city,especially midtown,is.
He said its getting worse not better.

7.The girlfriend of WOR's morning show host (Mike Reidel) was in Times Square yesterday.
She said all you see are drug dealers,addicts and very aggressive pan handlers.

As Reidel said "these people won't be going to see Phantom".

Consensus of people they interviewed on the radio seems to be that the City will layoff "taking out the trash" (their words) until Broadway is closer to opening.

8.There were so many problems in Washington Square Park that the City put in a 10:00 weekend curfew.
After a couple of weeks the city caved.
Last weekend it went back to 12:00.
Didn't matter.
Still had a riot with several people injured,including stabbed.

Yet DiBlazio said "no big deal".




Last Edited: 6/15/2021 1:09:19 PM by rpbobcat

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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/15/2021 1:45:01 PM 
rpbobcat wrote:

I wish you would post exactly what part of Manhattan you're referring to.
That,or as I posted before,send me a pair of the "rose colored glasses" you must be wearing.


In our prior conversation, I did so. I was in midtown. I'm in midtown right now. I'm actually almost certainly on the worst block of midtown, where a hotel's been converted to a homeless shelter, and a bodega was recently shut down for selling heroin. My office is 4 doors down from that, I'm here 3 days a week.

And despite the above, it's still not that bad.

rpbobcat wrote:

1.My wife and I used to go to the City every other week or so.
Right now,there's no reason to.


Translated, this means you haven't been to New York.

rpbobcat wrote:

I think I posted ,that its so bad,local police officers are being advised
to take their off duty weapon, if they go into the city.

By the way,that's what I was told by several officers I know.



Do police forces have any incentive to exaggerate the risks posed by crime? Is there, in fact, documented evidence of many large police forces doing just that? Were there just massive, nationwide protests calling for police forces to be defunded? I wonder if there's any political incentive to insist that crime's terrible and people are in grave danger?

No, definitely not. You're probably right, I should buy a gun before I go get that afterwork negroni at a michelin starred restaurant down the block.

rpbobcat wrote:

2.My cousin works for the City.
He said "stay away from anywhere near midtown,especially after dark".
They've adjusted his hours so he can be in before morning rush hour and out
before evening rush hour.

If he has to visit any site in the City,he has permission to park on that property.
If he needs to take the subway,its in pairs only.


I am, currently, sitting in midtown. I often work late. I was here until 10pm a couple of days ago.

I have taken none of those precautions, and have not seen a hint that it would be necessary.

In fact, I'm sitting on the block referenced here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-city-police-target-...

In other words, I'm in the epicenter of the problem you consider to be so bad that I should be armed, and I just ate lunch at an outdoor table on said block.

It's really just not that bad.


rpbobcat wrote:

3.Lisa Banes gets hit by an E scooter they estimate was going over 30 at Amsterdam and 64.The guy ran a red light and din't slow down,let alone stop, after he hit her.
She died overnight.


That's sad. Beyond that, what's your point? That somebody was speeding?

rpbobcat wrote:

4.When it happened they had an interview with an NYC police officer.
The police officer said they can't even chase the maniacs.
He said that when they tried,they speed up ant try to hit people.


Can you share the data on e-scooter deaths in Manhattan and why I'm supposed to care a ton about this? People commit crimes all the time. Why does this particular instance represent the fact that the city I live in is a hellscape?

rpbobcat wrote:


6.Last week former police commissioner Bill Braten was on the radio.
He was saying how dangerous the city,especially midtown,is.
He said its getting worse not better.


Cool. I think the cause of this is artificial. Covid resulted in homeless populations being moved into midtown hotels, and the problems associated with those populations are now concentrated in a particular area, causing a spike in crimes, which conservatives are now seizing on to push a narrative about the lawlessness of big cities and scare the elderly about crime, which they do anytime there's a Democrat running the country.

It's a predictable playbook, and the increase in crime will drop in the next couple of weeks now that the hotel program for homeless is reaching its conclusion with Covid restrictions being removed.

And to be very clear, I am literally experiencing this multiple times a week. And I assure you it's not nearly as bad as any of the sources you're listening to insist it is.


rpbobcat wrote:

8.There were so many problems in Washington Square Park that the City put in a 10:00 weekend curfew.
After a couple of weeks the city caved.
Last weekend it went back to 12:00.
Didn't matter.
Still had a riot with several people injured,including stabbed.

Yet DiBlazio said "no big deal".


Respectfully, I've seen these things first hand, with my own two eyes. I've experienced it. Why should I prioritize your third-hand perception, which is dripping in very obvious politics?

The same offer applies for you that I made to OCF. Come on over to Manhattan some night. We'll grab drinks. It's just not nearly as scary as you seem convinced it is, even in the worst of it.

An eyesore? Sure. Worse than it was a year ago when it was the safest big city in the country? Sure.

But we're talking about 150 midtown robberies in a month, in an area in which 4 million people visit daily. Do the math on that and then lecture me some more about how much danger I'm in and how I'm wearing rose colored glasses.

This spike is a self-inflicted blip in a city that is simultaneously the largest and one of the safest cities in the country, and everything you're falling prey to is just politics. It's a police force angry after a summer of protests calling for their defunding, seizing on this as a political tool to insist on their own essentialness. I'll even acknowledge that it's good politics.

But it's still just politics, and that's why when two dudes who mainline Fox News try and tell me what's going on where I live, despite neither having seen it themselves, it has no resonance whatsoever. Because your view's just typical political fear-mongering, and mine's backed by common sense and data.

I see the problem you're talking about just about every day. I see the cause; I see the effect. I can literally look out of the window right now at the very thing you're hearing about second-hand and third-hand. Sorry if I put more value in that than what you're hearing from your cousin.

Last Edited: 6/15/2021 3:11:12 PM by Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame

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rpbobcat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/15/2021 3:16:24 PM 
A couple of questions from your above post:

You say you're looking out your window right now.
Where exactly is that ?

As far as my cousin, he's been working for NYC for over 15 years and said its the worst he's ever seen it.
How long have you been living/working in Manhattan?


As far as first hand observations:

I've been going to the City by myself since Lindsey was Mayor.

Still remember going to see my first Broadway show "solo" ("Hair").

My wife and I spent every Saturday night the Summer of 1988 seeing Godspell at Lamb's Theater.

NYC had its ups and downs.
The worst I remember seeing it was when Dinkins was Mayor.

The best was under Giuliani and Bloomberg.

The most surreal was midtown the second week after 9/11.
It was so quiet and you could still smell was the smoke coming from the towers.
Had the honor of spending that Saturday night watching "Blast" with
first responders.

NYC was starting to quickly go downhill under Di Blazio.

The last time we were in Manhattan was Christmas Season, 2019.
Went to see the store windows.

There was already a big problem with homeless and panhandlers in the Port Authority and the areas around there.

Also, the squeegee men and hookers were back at the entrance to the Lincoln
Tunnel.

Doesn't seem to have gotten any better.









Last Edited: 6/15/2021 3:29:47 PM by rpbobcat

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Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame
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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/15/2021 3:39:57 PM 
rpbobcat wrote:
A couple of questions from your above post:

You say you're looking out your window right now.
Where exactly is that ?


29th and 7th, across the street from a Doubletree that's temporarily been converted into a homeless shelter, is 300 yards from the "Penn Station Drug Market" the WSJ alluded to, and as I mentioned earlier, right next to a bodega that was shut down for selling heroin a few weeks back.

This block's the worst one I've seen in midtown. It's like San Francisco.

rpbobcat wrote:

As far as my cousin, he's been working for NYC for over 15 years and said its the worst he's ever seen it.
How long have you been living/working in Manhattan?


Since 2005.



rpbobcat wrote:

I've been going to the City by myself since Lindsey was Mayor.


I don't really care, honestly. We're talking about a specific moment in time (now) in which you a) have a very certain opinion, while b) having no firsthand experience.

rpbobcat wrote:

The best was under Giuliani and Bloomberg.

NYC was starting to quickly go downhill under Di Blazio.


I'm not even a fan of DeBlasio, but hard to see this as anything but confirmation bias. Under DeBlasio violent crime, property crime, murder, robberies, burglaries, thefts, grand larceny, and auto thefts all reached their lowest ever rates in New York City since the 50s.

https://www.npr.org/2017/12/30/574800001/how-crime-rates-...

The murder rate jumped in 2020 to 447. That spike means there were fewer murders in 2020 than in all but two of the years Bloomberg served. That spike also is half as many as the worst year under Guiliani. In other words, DeBlasio's worst year crime-wise, which corresponded with a black swan pandemic event that drove crime up nationally, was still better than every year under Guiliani and all but two years under Bloomberg. And you're sitting here, wistful about the good ol' days of Guiliani and Bloomberg, afraid to visit without a gun. All because the crime rate's almost as bad as it was under Bloomberg and Guiliani. Sound logic.

Here's a good rundown: https://www.factcheck.org/2020/07/giulianis-misleading-at... /

The increase in murders and violent crime's been seen nationwide. The murder rate increased by 24.7%; NYC's rate is only a 19.2% increase, below the national rate.

Here's a breakdown from Vox of three potential causes:

Quote:

1) The Covid-19 pandemic: The coronavirus caused massive disruptions in American life, from the economy to education to entertainment. With all this change in human behavior, there’s a good chance that people changed something in their day-to-day lives that led to more violent crimes, shootings, and murders. Experts don’t necessarily know what that something might be yet.

There are some plausible explanations that fit into the preexisting evidence. For example, isolation and idleness tend to be big concerns for criminologists: When people, especially teenage boys and young men, lack the right social connections and have a lot of free time on their hands, they’re more likely to get into trouble — spending time when they’d be at work or school on gang or other illicit activity, possibly to make ends meet or to socialize. As the pandemic shut down much of day-to-day life, including schools and some sectors of work, those circumstances were more likely in 2020, and may have led to more violence.

Separately, a lot of programs that could help build social cohesion and combat violent crime and murder, including police and other parts of government but also civilian-led initiatives, shut down for at least parts of the year as a result of the pandemic. That, too, could have led to more violence.

2) The protests over policing: After the police killing of George Floyd, America was rocked by months of protests over police brutality. Initial rioting at some protests led to a brief spike in nonresidential burglaries in late May, but that quickly subsided and doesn’t explain the increase in violent crime; instead, experts cite breakdowns in police-community relations.

Those breakdowns could impact violent crime in two ways. Maybe police, afraid of coming under criticism through the next viral video or acting in protest of the demonstrations, pulled back on proactive practices that suppress crime. Or maybe much of the public lost trust in the police, refusing to cooperate with them — making it harder for police to lock up offenders who go on to commit more crimes, and also possibly leading to more “street justice,” as more people distrust the legal system to stop wrongdoers and instead take matters into their own hands. Or a mix of both could have played a role.


3) More guns, more gun violence: In 2020, Americans bought a record number of guns, likely in response to the chaos and fears that engulfed the year. The research is consistent on this point: More guns lead to more gun violence. One study linked the increase in gun purchases through May 2020 to more such violence. With so many guns around, they’re just more likely to be used in violence — their expanded presence makes it more likely that arguments or fights escalate out of control, that thieves can steal firearms to use them in other crimes, or that people can simply purchase more of the weapons with explicitly ill intent.


I don't know the answer. But I do know that your rationale, that Republican mayors are good and DeBlasio is bad, is overly simplistic and doesn't align with the hard data.

Last Edited: 6/16/2021 10:34:12 AM by Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame

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Kevin Finnegan
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  Message Not Read  RE: Which states acted on a timely basis?
   Posted: 6/16/2021 9:52:42 AM 
OhioCatFan wrote:

All I can say is that you seem to live in a different world than I do and that many others do. I remember your description in responding to rpbobcat about how wonderful things were in NYC as you described an almost an idyllic scene of your experiences in Manhattan in terms of entertainment and dining. Meanwhile rpbobcat painted a much different description of what life was really like in NYC. In this case I trusted rpbobcat's observation.



I'm an outside observer, but this quote is telling of both this conversation and the way debates/discussions now go in this country. It's alarming that OCF readily admits that he is more likely to believe the observations of a third-party individual who has heard anecdotes because they fit within his own personal political viewpoints than someone with first-hand experience. The only rationale really is that one fits OCF's preconceived beliefs and another doesn't. This shows how shut off people are to hearing differing opinions and close off their views from the start.

This is evident throughout this discussion. I think any outside reader of the last couple of pages with no skin in the game would see that while BLSOS has been providing a detailed explanation of a nuanced law, OCF has dug his heels in where he hears his party is at and is contradicting himself. He's arguing as a defender of free speech, but doesn't realize that he is now fighting against it. He's driven to anecdotal stories (either through biased bloggers or through rp's gossip) rather than facts and figures.

I do believe this is where our country is going in discourse. More honestly, it's where we already are. I believe OCF to be a highly educated individual, but it's evident here that he's established viewpoints and is unable to waver in them. If it doesn't fit within his political spectrum, it won't penetrate. He's not abnormal in this sense; far from it. It's just that his unwillingness to accept viewpoints different from his own is on full display in writing. Never more so was that apparent than in this quote above.
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