Free Speech Tuesday: Regulating Internet “Tyranny”

by Dennis Crouch

July 4, 1776, the “united States of America” met and declared independence from Britain and its King who had worked to establish “an absolute Tyranny” over the thirteen colonies.  Ever since, in the American mindset, tyranny demands revolution. “[W]henever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”

My Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley grabs hold of this rhetoric in his new book – Tyranny of Big Tech.  Although Hawley’s publishing contract has been publicly cancelled, I’m sure he’ll find a way to publish it — even if it means he receives less money.  Hawley is way-off the mark.  As a person-in-power, he should have taken care to avoid revolutionary rhetoric for what is really a regulatory issue.  He unfortunately raised tensions, raised them again, and then again.

BUT, the power of big tech is real. This week, Trump’s soap-box (twitter account) was been removed; Stripe stopped processing his donations; Parler was removed from major app stores (Google + Apple) and its web host denied (Amazon AWS) until the company complies with moderation policies. Parler says it won’t comply.  You could imagine the owners of the internet backbone (Tier-1 ISPs) and as direct-to-customer-providers blocking communications from these services as well.  This is the most public flexing of US internet might, but lower-key actions have been going on for years — especially toward traditional vices such as sex-workers, pornography, gambling, and marijuana sales.  You could imagine next-level ramping up of tensions with pro-Trump shipping companies refusing to deliver for these companies.  Ahh, but the legality of all of this may depend upon regulatory controls on speech and on common carriers.

Hawley has been calling these recent actions a violation of free speech rights.  That is obviously wrong when it comes to First Amendment protections. The First Amendment does not require private companies publish Donald Trump’s speech or provide internet service Parler.  That said, for years liberals have been calling for network neutrality regulations that would go a long way toward this end.

Free speech law does not begin-and-end with the U.S. Constitution.  Rather, our internet has been structured as a reaction to common law principles later adapted by Congress.  Those rules and regulations can change, and likely will change over the next four years.

For now though, I’m just looking for our democracy to survive the next 9 days. Good luck everyone!

= = = =

 

154 thoughts on “Free Speech Tuesday: Regulating Internet “Tyranny”

  1. 15

    Law school was a while back but I remember a case where the Supreme Court found that a shopping mall back in the 1970s was deemed something like a common Carrier, so that it had to allow speakers in the mall even if they were objectionable. The malls were private property, but became a public forum, where free speech ruled. Social media is the modern version of those malls.

    Imagine if Ma Bell said you cannot use the phone because we don’t like what you have to say.

    1. 15.1

      Really good comment SVG.

      And it definitely goes to common conspiracies and the fact that only a few companies control the market.

      Also, it goes to the fact that these same companies are giving money in far greater amounts to Ds than Rs.

      1. 15.1.1

        Maybe we should revisit Citizens United and disallow ALL juristic “speech” (of the money variety) to ALL Congress folks…

      2. 15.1.2

        Thanks, Night,

        I did a little research and found the case: Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins, 100 S.Ct. 2035 (1980), But See Lloyd Corporation, Ltd. v. Tanner, 92 S.Ct. 2219 (1972)

  2. 14

    I stand corrected. But it’s tough for me to follow the logic that a platform is public and subject to the 1A for Trump but not subject to the 1A for anybody else, not even other public officials who announce and discuss policy positions on Twitter.

    1. 14.1

      Who are the other public officials that you are referring to?

      1. 14.1.1

        Do you really need a specific other public official to grasp the point here, NSII?

        We have an immediate case that Trump tried to make his forum NOT to be a public forum (for selective editing) and that very same judicially-decreed public forum was treated as NOT being a public forum (for selective editing — just not by Trump).

        There is a very clear dichotomy here.

        And it makes a good Litmus test to see who has the ability to put their emotions in check and apply objective critical thinking on the underlying legal issues.

      2. 14.1.2

        Hi Non Seq. Thanks for respectful exchange.
        I was speaking hypothetically, but Twitter has in fact suspended or banned other public officials from its platform, e.g. PA State Sen. Doug Mastriano.

        1. 14.1.2.1

          He will not show enough respect and return to engage on the merits.

          Sorry Brad.

  3. 13

    After watching The Social Dilemma on Netflix, I immediately jettisoned my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts, made DuckDuckGo my default search engine, switched to FireFox from Chrome, and moved to MeWe and Gab. One way to stand up to Big Tech is to take your ball and go home. Once ad revenue drops, concessions will be made. Big Tech values money over political ideology.

    1. 13.1

      We’ve got all the community you need right here at Patently-O.

    2. 13.2

      What about signal?

  4. 12

    True, the Constitution and the First Amendment provides protection against Government restrictions of free speech. However, Congress enabled Big tech by giving them immunity from lawsuits. Since Congress enabled them, Facebook, Twitter, and the such are now State-Actors and should be required to go through due-process proceedings before removing speech from their platforms. Amazon’s removal of Parlar is likely not only a breach of contract, but a violation of free speech as a state actor as well.

    This is supported by case law. Under Norwood v. Harrison (1973), the Supreme Court ruled that inducing a private person to accomplish what the Government is constitutionally forbidden from doing, is a violation of the Constitution. Section 230 provides that inducement and enables censorship without fear of liability. There are other cases that also support this argument.

    Even without a state actor argument, there is also a strong argument that the Internet has become the new public sidewalk. It is a public bulletin board. Hence, due process must be observed when removing speech from Facebook, Twitter, or the Amazon cloud.

    1. 12.1

      Since Congress enabled them, Facebook, Twitter, and the such are now State-Actors and should be required to go through…

      Yeaah – no.

      Being a State actor is not the necessary conclusion reached by any type of mere ‘enabling.’

      There are different avenues (for example, being determined to NOT have the 230 protection because of active shaping of content).

      The 230 section is NOT permitted for the example that you want to put in play (cens 0r ship IS shaping of content and places you not as a mere platform, but as an editor).

      I do like your train of thought on the ‘new’ public forum (although, the traditional analogy is ‘town square’ as opposed to ‘public sidewalk,’ or ‘public bulletin board’).

      Also, as noted – the Parler situation pushes into additional areas, as an effective denial of service attack – especially as it can be shown that OTHER platforms may well have been much more major carriers of the very type of interactions being used as an excuse to shun Parler. Unequal treatment is a critical sign of something going wrong.

      Interestingly, Although we are approaching a full year point since Malcolm Mooney’s precipitous drop in posting volume, THIS FORUM ‘tested out’ some of the same concepts in play at a much smaller version. Without getting too ‘meta,’ positions such as when does shaping of content and the uneven application of any cens 0r ship or other-named ‘editorial policies’ are clear indicators of what is REALLY going on.

      1. 12.1.1

        Snowflake, so this latest nonsense you spout is because . . . you desire to have your ass handed to you? Again?

        1. 12.1.1.1

          Hi Shifty. Changing your meme/tell a bit?

          Maybe like engage on the merits if you want to discuss something (and possibly learn).

          Of course, we both know that in your retired state, that you just don’t have the capacity for that, eh? (I’m pretty sure that your capacity prior to retiring was pretty limited as well).

          1. 12.1.1.1.1

            “[E]ngage on the merits.”

            Sure, Snowflake.

            Snowflake says: “Without getting too ‘meta,’ positions such as when does shaping of content and the uneven application of any cens 0r ship or other-named ‘editorial policies’ are clear indicators of what is REALLY going on.”

            Explain in a way that your nonsense is not nonsense.

            Off course, you will do that, because everybody knows you’re so all about “engaging on the merits.”

            Get your ass handed to you much?

            Now change the subject as if nobody notices.

            [what a maroon]

            1. 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Explain in a way that your nonsense is not nonsense.

              Do you really think that THAT is engaging on the merits?

              What exactly did you do at the Office before you retired?

              1. 12.1.1.1.1.1.1

                Ok, Snowflake. What is “REALLY going on.”

                1. We don’t think “non sequitur” means what you think it means, Snowflake.

                  You alleged you knew what is REALLY going on in comment 12.1 in this very thread.

                  You have established yet again that you are, indeed, an incredibly sloppy reader, writer, and thinker.

                  [and what a maroon]

                2. Who is We?

                  You are dropping back to ACME plans that have never worked for you.

                  IF you want to comment on 12.1, then you should place your comment in response to comment 12.1 and not in response to 12.1.1.1.1.1.

                  And THEN try to make it like someone else’s fault when your ILL-PLACE comment is noted as being a non sequitur to the comment that you ACTUALLY responded to.

                  What did you do at the Office before retiring?

                  As to the rest of your post, meh, that’s just you projecting again.
                  Y
                  A
                  W
                  N

            2. 12.1.1.1.1.2

              …and your new meme/tell of something “handed” is sooo train-wrecky.

      2. 12.1.2

        “Yeaah – no.”

        Maybe you should post replies that aren’t dripping with emotion. (Sniff)

        1. 12.1.2.1

          Bu
          tt
          sore much?

          Try reading more than just the first line to recognize that one can post with emotive language AND substantive points.

          And please stop channeling Malcolm Mooney.

      3. 12.1.3

        “Being a State actor is not the necessary conclusion reached by any type of mere ‘enabling.’”

        I apologize for not going into the details of an argument as my intent was not to provide a scholarly analysis. The word “enablement” was merely a short.

        However, I stand by my statement. There is a very strong argument that social media giants are state actors those platforms have become de facto public forums such that any censure of speech must require due process.

        Here is a good discussion of the issues:
        “https://open.mitchellhamline.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1017&context=policypractice”

        I also believe the recent editorial in the WSJ provides the high-level arguments that need to be taken seriously:

        link to wsj.com

        If you do not have a subscription, this opinion can also be found here:

        link to foxnews.com

        Silicone Valley Girl’s comment under this post relating to Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins (1980) is also spot on.

        Facebook and gang have been provided immunity from litigation. That is the carrot. That carrot allows them to post content by others without fear of liability that a third party may find objectionable.

        If Big Tech is allowed to censure content that the Government would not be able to censure, then we have given Big Tech too much power. We have provided them with a carrot, but no stick. That cannot be right. Either take away the carrot, so that they are liable, or require due process.

        1. 12.1.3.1

          Thanks, but, “The word “enablement” was merely a short.” was LESS the point and “state actor” was MORE the point.

          I will follow up on your additional inputs (and thanks for adding), but the initial interaction should be more driven on the error of the notion of the private entity being a state actor — hat is both just not so, and not needed to be so to implicate the other positions such as invoking a “public forum” position.

          1. 12.1.3.1.1

            Ok, I see the state actor angle that you are aiming for, and while I (still) disagree with the terminology (as being a bit imprecise), I do grant that the terminology is as you are using it, and I withdraw my objections here.

      4. 12.1.4

        Ok, Snowflake, now we are at 12.1 per your instructions because you are five years old.

        What is “REALLY going on.” ?

        Prove to everybody that you are past being an incredibly sloppy reader, writer, and thinker.

        Or not. [we predict still a maroon]

        1. 12.1.4.1

          What is really going on is the setting of a desired narrative.

          What would you think to be going on with an unequal application of rules?

          How would you explain non-objective application of what should be objective?

  5. 11

    Ok, so it this a pre-publication book review – or just a review of the title of the book?

    As an old internet hand and keen observer over the decades we must recognize some basic facts and history here.

    1. These ‘network effect’ (“NE”) companies are natural monopolies – once they get the high ground (not the moral high ground mind you, but critical mass) everything and anything in rolled down upon the upstarts.

    2. The NE’s understood this early and by any means – actually some very anti-competitive illegal stuff they either put the competition out of business or if that didn’t work, they wrote the check for the purchase. Think eBay v. PayPal – the PayPal wars or google v adsense. Google v Expedia (the bleed out strategy).

    3. Eric Schmidt – was a ‘wisened’ old hand as the general of the ‘desktop wars’ Microsoft v. Novell (WWI) and made sure that DOJ/FTC was kept complacent while he consolidated the online advertising marketplace and others consolidated there respective categories. In all the years, there has never been ‘merger’ that was disapproved. And in this second (WWII) coming won the desktop war with google as the dominant start page.

    4. Very clever lawyers & DC lobby.

    4.a The poor little ‘infant’ companies got Section 230 and the state sales tax federally pre-empted, special shipping rates, etc. Don’t forget that sales tax abatement – that was huge.

    4.b eBay establishes the novel tort of ‘computer trespass’ bans scrapers and dis-intermediating technology. Keeping the NE.

    4.c eBay v. MercExchange – And all the NE amicus henchmen sets impossible bar for injunctive relief. Keeping the NE.

    4.d Technology harvesting – serial infringement by facebook et al., adopting infringing improvements and tech so fast that competition is effectively killed in the cradle – e.g., before any better, faster, cheaper solution can get traction. Of if they do – go to plan B – just buy them out. Snapchat, instagram, WhatsApp, etc. In any event, the NE must be maintained.

    4. e Very clever market power leverage in creating selective ‘open source’ projects putting legal ‘damages’ for patent & somewhat copyright infringement into a quandary see for example Android and certain cloud storage acceleration technology. Keeping the NE and also carefully tethering monetization to these so called open source deployments.

    4.f The 1000’s of ways in which access to the markets and low cost capital is deployed to maintain the paramount NE.

    4.g Colluding with unwritten anti-poaching rules – to artificially suppress STEM wages – and competition.

    With this in mind, having twitter /facebook ban the President opened the obvious opportunity for Parlor et al, to gain him and his millions of followers. Ergo, the ban was at great risk of disrupting the NE and allowing competition to gain traction and even perhaps reaching the critical user # flash point of having it’s own NE. And that, could in fact trigger the reverse bleed out of twitter – an intolerable risk to the twitter NE. Ergo, the collusion with AWS in the termination of competition was necessary to make the potential of NE disruption a reasonable albeit still calculated risk. Throwing the big boy NE weight around to terminate legal representation etc etc was all standard fair for these very raptorial NE companies. They didn’t get to the top of NE heap by anything less, it’s in their corporate DNA so to speak, so you (the general public) are just seeing on display, conduct that those in the NE wars have seen very often. And one would expect those skilled in the art of IP and competition laws to see this with clarity. All that said, GAB appears to be navigating the window of opportunity & the predators very well and could very well get to the paramount NE flash point (adding a million users a day?). Parlor is road kill IMHO w/o a PI with the next ~100 hours, building on AWS was a fatal outsourcing of what should have been a core competency (but it’s easy to see why AWS was chosen), and suing AWS in Seattle DC instead of Texas where at least a remote chance of the PI relief exists, probably another fatal decision.

    1. 11.1

      I’m expecting a lot of lawsuits being filed over the next few months.

      1. 11.1.1

        Parler’s lawsuit against AWS is flopping out the gate.

          1. 11.1.1.1.1

            Oh, I am so offended by all that dangerous talk on Twitter.

            Someone ought to shut that down.

      2. 11.1.2

        For Parlor, IMHO, it’s going to be running on sour grapes, i.e., difficult “but for” or contract damages after the fact. Unless a PI (TRO) is granted – which should have already issued if it was going to – GAB because it’s on it’s own rails – will win the user flight window and possibly grab the brass ring of NE. The Courts are scared. And cancel culture is real. Just saying.

    2. 11.2

      You forgot the Joe Rogan effect…

    3. 11.3

      iwasthere: very good comments.

      1. 11.3.1

        Thanks. I know the NE boys via the hard “road” scholarship.

        1. 11.3.1.1

          Is “NE boys” equivalent to Efficient Infringers who would rather compete on non-innovation principles (like established size and existing market power)?

          1. 11.3.1.1.1

            Yes, of course. When you have market power of the NE – patents, copyrights, etc. and the old school potential of injunctive relief – well that is something that just must be stopped, it’s so annoying (they can always stroke the check – because the patent owner “hold out” is a Lemley fiction. Scalia (RIP) was eyes wide open on that bogus argument). A decision was made by the NE (perhaps an expensive short term solution, but in the long run perhaps cheaper solution to maintaining the NE – probably informed by Schmidt), evidenced by the 100s of millions to lobby the senate 98-2? and create that abomination of the privy court the PTAB via the AIA. That masterful astroturf – ‘bad patents’ the system is broken – ‘expert’ and newspaper opinion page campaigns. Building the choir. Manipulating public opinion (where has we see that of recent vintage?). Winning over SCOTUS – patents are the red headed step child of the Constitution, the PTO is feckless – everybody say so, so do something, Ok – KSR, Alice, eBay, etc., etc.

            Look, i’m not a hater of the NE, but I do rather speak directly to the issues, which to the uninformed makes me sound harsh.

            One of the most clever legal and market power maneuvers ever was the leverage of the google ad (NE) monopoly and the ‘open source’ project of Android, and the Java “clone” interface. There were a ton of cell phone patents in the way of android, but by making it open source, you win over the “information must be free useful tools”, but at the same time expand your ad monopoly the NE by leveraging and tethering. Masterful play in PR, IP, public sentiments, etc. Masterful. Give the devil his due.

            But once again, I counsel this patently-o community of professional IP and competition lawyers – to see the world as it really is – and see the power of big money, the market power of the NE for it’s real free speech impacts, the ability to manipulate public opinion (all the way to SCOTUS) and the anti-competitive practices they deploy to maintain the NE.

            For example, I don’t hate on Lemley in his ‘digital commons’ spin (it’s profoundly CCP), but I do dislike, well not dislike, but IMHO disappointed by the IP profession in the lack of critical thinking (legal training?) by some on this forum – to swallow the spin and the just barf it back out. More is expected of a profession. If you’re getting paid for your koolaid (CCP) advocacy – to be sure part and parcel of the astroturf – well whatever. I suggest you read “the practicing stoic” so you can at least sharpen your arguments.

            1. 11.3.1.1.1.1

              Wow – a very sincere ‘thank you’ for that response.

        2. 11.3.1.2

          Comment caught in count filter…

  6. 10

    “I’m just looking for our democracy to survive the next 9 days.”
    Maybe this is just a peeve of mine but can we as lawyers not also use the inaccurate cliche “our democracy” when mentioning the Constitution? James Madison made it clear in Federalist No. 10 that a republic is preferable to any pure or direct democracy. In some local small governments in the US, citizens can vote directly on laws but at the federal level this is nonexistent. If we want to say “protect our democracy and republic” that is more accurate, but to only mention “democracy” is inaccurately repeating a cliche that continues to be used by laymen and the media.

    1. 10.1

      Pete – To call the US a “republic” without more is also very problematic because a republic allows for autocratic leaders and other leaders who are neither elected nor appointed by elected representatives.

      1. 10.1.1

        Wasn’t the Senate originally appointed by the State legislatures? Ergo an elected house and an appointed senate?

      2. 10.1.2

        Dennis-
        Sorry for distracting from the well made points in your post.
        It is true that it is also not a pure republic.
        Constitutional republic or representative democracy seem like better narrow terms rather than overly broad “democracy” or “republic.”
        There is a growing part of the population who would prefer a direct democracy but then you run into potential problems involving tyranny of majority, etc.

        1. 10.1.2.2

          We already see the tyranny of the majority.

          Is anyone really surprised?

          Anyone?

          1. 10.1.2.2.1

            … also, one can look at recent writings wanting to eliminate the electoral college (and the propensity of those writers to adhere to certain political philosophies).

    2. 10.2

      More accurately, we have a Constitutional democracy, which is violated by any attempted subversion of what is required by that Constitution. That Constitution also spells out the only two ways it can be validly changed.

      If you want to see examples of what a direct democracy in a nation state is like, Athens provides some well documented
      examples.

      1. 10.2.1

        which is violated by any attempted subversion of what is required by that Constitution.

        Does your any include the power grab by the Supreme Court to re-write patent law that has been designated — by the Constitution — to be within the sole domain of the Legislative Branch?

        1. 10.2.1.1

          Yes, Congress gets to write patent law [like the nearly unanimous Congressional enactment of the AIA patent law changes], but no, the Supreme Court gets to interpret those laws.

          1. 10.2.1.1.1

            I would put to you in all seriousness that the Court’s jurisprudence on eligibility is NOT “interpretation” by any stretch of the imagination.

            The history of the Act of 1952 is quite clear in the stri pping from the Supreme Court the attempted experiment of setting the definition of “invention” by Common Law evolution was nixed.

  7. 9

    “That is obviously wrong . . . .”

    One thing I learned in my first years of practice after leaving law school was to remove the word “obviously” from my vocabulary when speaking of legal conclusions. I agree that there are regulatory changes coming.

    1. 9.2

      Two reasons I disagree that your conclusion is “obvious:”
      (1) The Second Circuit recently held that Twitter is a public forum subject to the First Amendment. Thus the First Amendment required that Trump allow hostile persons to “follow” and engage with him on that platform. Knight First Amendment Inst. at Columbia Univ. v. Trump, 928 F.3d 226 (2d Cir. 2019).
      (2) In Marsh v. Alabama, 326 U.S. 501 (1946), the Supreme Court held that a private mining company which owned a town and its streets could not prohibit a Jehovah’s Witness from distributing religious material on its streets.

      1. 9.2.2

        “The Second Circuit recently held that Twitter is a public forum subject to the First Amendment.”

        This is incorrect. The 2nd Circuit held that Trump’s Twitter account was a public forum.

        “The Account was intentionally opened for public discussion when the President, upon assuming office, repeatedly used the Account as an official vehicle for governance and made its interactive features accessible to the public without limitation. We hold that this conduct created a public forum.”

        1. 9.2.2.1

          First Amendment jurisprudence is a total mess! Worse than personal jurisdiction.

        2. 9.2.2.2

          Soooo….

          Is it still considered a public forum (given that a private actor has such power over it)?

          Does that make it more or less reprehensible that a private actor has such power over the President’s public forum?

          Or is there some super secret wink wink meaning to “public forum” that changes on the whims of Cancel culture?

      2. 9.2.3

        Thanks for the mining town case. Very apt analogy.

  8. 8

    People (including myself) have complained about the power of big tech, but there is one point that hasn’t appeared in the (mostly civil) conversation here. There are a large number of social media platforms that have all banned Trump and violent rhetoric for at least the next few weeks. According to an article in axios (link below), the following platforms have banned Trump: Reddit, Twitch, Shopify, Twitter, Google, YouTube, FaceBook, Instagram, SnapChat, TikTok, Apple, Discord, Pinterest, Amazon AWS, Stripe, Okta, and Twillio. This list is two days old, so it’s likely to be longer. Even taking into account the interrelationship between several of these different platforms, wouldn’t the existence of so many different platforms suggest there is competition in the marketplace? Based on antitrust law, of which I am not an expert, wouldn’t the existence of so many different platforms refute the idea that one company or platform controls the market?

    link to axios.com

    1. 8.1

      I see your point on the multiplicity of platforms (as platforms).

      However, the Parler story shifts the discussion somewhat from merely a multiplicity.

    2. 8.2

      There is something new and strange going on.

      I think the problem is probably that we need something like the FCC for the internet.

  9. 7

    I would like to donate to a fund that supports Parler and was hoping I could find something on this website.

    Most of my retired Air Force friends are in “total Support”, as are many from the other military branches.

    We’ve seen enough of this Pro-Communist activity.

    Tom I’ve already joined your group, why not, everything else has gone wrong!

  10. 6

    I think there two core issues. One is that these companies are so huge that they often make it practically impossible to compete with them. The second one is that the government has many regulations that aid these companies and have aided them grow so large. Not least of which is section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. It doesn’t make sense to say that you aren’t responsible for the content on your site but that you can monitor it and edit it for what content you want.

    My guess is the fallout of this is going to be severe. We are moving to two worlds where Rs use one set of tools/stores and the Ds use another set of tools/stores. Recently, where I live, a group started only ordering from restaurants that are D owned. They investigate the owners and if they find a donation to the R party, they boycott the restaurant. For real.

    1. 6.1

      When you think about it in terms of broadcast communications such as radio and TV, then you realize that the problem is that there is no government control over the content to keep things tame or within reason. And now we have these tech companies with political affiliation putting their fingers on the scale on which political party they like.

      I think there is a good argument to break-up every large tech company now or pass new laws to make it illegal for Amazon and the like to turn away customers based on content. Maybe modify section 230 to add a section that it does not apply to corporations that exclude people based on political affiliation, race, religion, and so forth.

      The fact is that the things the Ds said about BLM riots was worse than what Trump said. And the fact is that I live close to where BLM riots happened and there is no doubt that it was a physical threat that either the Ds were going to be elected or they were going to burn down our city. The looted several stores that I regularly go to and burned one down. They even threated to raid the area where my home is. As in there was a plan to come and attack homes in my area and loot the stores.

      The Ds encouraged this disgraceful treasonous conduct. And I am a D, but would prefer a third-party form.

      1. 6.1.1

        And be clear my neighbors and I had a sleepless night where we sat there with guns at the ready. This was Harris/Pelosi/etc.’s fault. They did that.

        1. 6.1.1.1

          I completely condemn what happened at the Capitol, but I was not sorry to hear that AOC, Schumer, Pelosi, and so forth got feel the terror that my family and I felt that night. Maybe they will learn from it and be more circumspect before they encourage the sacking of our cities.

          1. 6.1.1.1.1

            Chicago?

        2. 6.1.1.2

          It wasn’t the police who did the brutality who are responsible? It wasn’t the police the rioted almost nightly that were responsible? I will say that is is it is the fault of legislators to the extent that they did not work quickly to right systematic injustices and to reign in the police.

          1. 6.1.1.2.1

            This is a sick statement that captures the left’s position. That the injustices in the system justify the politicians encouraging violence and that the violence is justified.

            That is by definition an insurrection exactly what Trump is accused of encouraging.

            To my mind, both the Ds and the Rs are horrendously bad and both the D party and the R party have gone so far off the rails that I am hoping another party will be formed.

            Maybe the rational pacifists.

            1. 6.1.1.2.1.1

              This is a sick statement that captures the left’s position. That the injustices in the system justify the politicians encouraging violence and that the violence is justified.

              That is by definition an insurrection exactly what Trump is accused of encouraging.

              To my mind, both the Ds and the Rs are horrendously bad and both the D party and the R party have gone so far off the rails that I am hoping another party will be formed.

              As with your patent thinking, you’re incapable of nuanced thought and it leads to ridiculous outcomes.

              In one situation there was documented proof that people were being violently attacked by people under color of law. The further context of that situation was that there HAD been attempts to solve the situation through more peaceable means, AND THEN the vast majority of the demonstrations were peaceful until police instigated action.

              In the other situation there was no proof of bad action because there was no bad action, and the side lying about it said months beforehand that they would lie about it. This side was given every attempt to solve the situation through peaceable means, AND THEN they instigated action because they explicitly posted that they were going there to instigate action.

              They are night and day different, and only share a commonality inasmuch as both had things get broken and vandalized during it. Beyond that, righteousness in the face of proof of longstanding discrimination is justified, and intentionally trying to kick up dirt so that you can muddy the waters about violence you already intended to do is not.

              1. 6.1.1.2.1.1.1

                Nice spin.

                You make a huge mistake though.

                No one’s side of violence is justified, coupled with the fact that every conservative side has denounced the recent violence.

                Maybe put down the Liberal Left K00l-aid.

                1. No one’s side of violence is justified,

                  That’s neither legally nor morally true. Self-defense is always justified, and Due Process is always required.

                  One set of people have been systematically denied their due process and bodily integrity and have been unfairly killed for decades. The vast majority of their protests were peaceful, and yet the vast majority of those protestors were both attacked and arrested. Those people have first amendment rights that were violated by an aggressive police force. The criminals who rioted were largely chased after and arrests were attempted if not completed.

                  Another set of people have no actual complaints other than they lost a free and fair election and possibly that the ethnicity of the country in trending in a manner they don’t like. They suffered no due process or bodily integrity violations. Nobody harmed or attacked those protestors (the ones who didn’t enter a restricted area) and in fact no police were even on hand with respect to them and none of them were arrested, so they have no first amendment issues. (Notice how they’re not even a subject of debate?) Nobody even really attacked the CRIMINALS, because the vast majority were escorted out rather than arrested despite the fact they were identifiable, in custody, and had attempted to kill someone.

                  Trump got his due process, which is more than men who get shot while running away because they fired a taser, or who are choked to death for selling loose cigarettes got. In short, to the extent that one side is resorting to “violence” (inasmuch as you can call standing to block a highway, and consequently having heavily armed people attack you for not moving “your” violence) they have at least some cognizable harm to several protected rights that they aren’t being given a process to otherwise satisfy. The criminals that largely engaged in property damage with them were chased and prosecuted. The other group of protestors had NOTHING happen to them, and the criminals with them attacked a seat of federal power and killed a guy cause they had a sad, and then got *escorted off the premises*. They did so after having multiple chances at due process in court.

                  coupled with the fact that every conservative side has denounced the recent violence.

                  This is a joke right? Cruz and Hawley and a hundred representatives went ahead with complaints that have no legal basis and were designed to rile these people up. Trump said today that his speech was “totally appropriate.” Guliani has a video on his twitter that it was Antifa responsible. The RNC applauded Trump when he called them. Redstate has articles entitled “Opinion: Just what were you expecting?” (and please check all their comment sections on anything even remotely related to this). I suppose McConnel, Pence and Graham said some things, which would mean more if they hadn’t backed trumpism for the past four years. Other than perhaps Romney, I can’t think of anyone on the right who hasn’t either accepted these people or actively stoked them.

                  Think of how deluded one has to be – Where only a tiny fraction of conservative elected officials come out and say Biden is the winner, do not contradict the president when he says the election was fraudulent, do not punish the president when he meddles with the states certifying their votes (even when he calls Georgia *19* times and audio of him asking them to find votes is leaked) and stand by when the president invites “patriots” to come to DC and has his personal lawyer give them a speech saying there should be trial by combat before he tells them to march on the capitol, someone can still be convinced that they “denounced” the violence.

                  My friend, they BUILT the violence. It didn’t rise on its own, it was planned, planted and watered with nurturing care. When your elected officials won’t say the other guy won and won’t contradict lies that the election was stolen, and won’t shout down calls for patriots to fight to stop the steal, they invite violence. When they invent ridiculous legal arguments and state that the only reason those arguments don’t prevail is because of corruption or cowardly judges, they invite violence. “I really denounce all these sharks showing up” says the conservative chumming the waters.

                2. You need to go back a bit and check the history Random.

                  This is simply not the one-sided (all on the Right) that you are in delusion of portraying.

                  Plus, you misconstrue violence with the false insertion of self-defense.

                  You don’t like l1es of the Right? Drop l1es of the Left (if you can).

                3. The denouncing of the violence is entirely separate from your insertion of other Right political steps.

                  Again, stop your own falsities.

                4. Every conservative side has denounced the recent violence? That is only because it failed. Nobody praises a failed coup attempt. After every failed coup attempt, the members of the junta denounce the violence. The junta only praises the violence when it works, and all the seditionists become patriots.

                5. RandomGuy,

                  Your are advocating for criminality. Social injustice is terrible but it doesn’t justify violence against random people and random destruction of property.

                  That is why you have become insane and the left has become insane.

                  There mechanisms that our society has to fight injustices like voting. You don’t have the right to come into my home and steal things and hurt me and my family because society in the abstract is not fair to you.

                  What is actually happening is like mental illness. What is happening is frustration and striking out. The winners to this are the politicians as in a rational world we would focus on policies and whether the politicians actually did what they say. That is how you get real change.

                6. that is only because it failed

                  That is quite obviously false. Note that I said every conservative. There are (of course) extremists that do condone violence – whether or not ‘successful.’

                  On BOTH sides.

                  Put the K00l-aid down.

      2. 6.1.2

        To say that inciting the killing of multiple police officers at the capital is less than you being afraid of the big bad black man as you sleep in your bed clutching your gun, just shows how one sided you are. What exactly did Nancy and Chuck do? Trump ordered an attach. Trump is the Nazi movement in the US. Create propaganda and tell people he will save you by revolting against the government – unacceptable, and if you are not enraged, your part of the problem.

        1. 6.1.2.1

          Hi Sheeple. That authoritarianism that you don’t see while you are so busy pointing to the Right is there courtesy of the Left.

          1. 6.1.2.1.1

            Brainstorming—

            FU. The stores I go to were burned and looted. Many people were injured. There was a website that was organizing attacks on neighborhoods and mine was targeted.

            And, in terms of scale, the BLM riots caused 10s of billions of dollars in damage, killed many people, and has created profound changes in that people are moving out of the city.

            The attack on the Capitol was done by a few hundred crazy people. The only real effect that will have is the further erosion of our freedoms as laws will be passed in the name of not letting it happen again.

            Use what is on your shoulders to think.

            And, again and again, it is about policies. Look at what happened. Biden has been elected with essentially no promises of any doing anything in particular.

            1. 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Although with that said, I will say that white nationalism is a major problem that Trump has stoked.

              It is sad. And I don’t think the answer is to respond with h a t e, but respond with education and enforcing the rule of law.

              Anyone looking back at this in 10 years is going to say that the Ds encouraging violence and looting at the BLM riots was as much a cause of the Capitol storming as Trump.

              1. 6.1.2.1.1.1.1

                … but why would anyone burn down their own Reichstag building….?

    2. 6.2

      ” It doesn’t make sense to say that you aren’t responsible for the content on your site but that you can monitor it and edit it for what content you want.”

      Bingo.

      Had SCOTUS and their gleeful CAFC henchmen not unconstitutionally created and weaponized “abstract” to cripple internet / computer innovators, we’d today have any number of viable competitors to these Big Tech behemoths.

      But without patent protection, these tiny competitors haven’t stood — and will never stand — a chance.

      SCOTUS and the CAFC bear great responsibility for what Big Tech has wrought on America . . . and indeed on the entire World.

      The Big Oil of yesteryear? Pales in comparison to the Big Tech of today.

      Shame on you SCOTUS and CAFC.

      Shame. On. You.

      Congress could fix this with mere strokes of their pens by restoring patent eligibility to all areas of innovation.

    3. 6.3

      Removing section 230 would make competition more difficult because the big guys can afford the nuisance suits that would follow, start ups could not. Parler, for example, would not have survived this long without section 230. It was basically one big defamation generator.

      1. 6.3.1

        It is LESS about universally removing Section 230 protection, and more about those exercising content control LOSING Section 230 protection.

    4. 6.4

      It doesn’t make sense to say that you aren’t responsible for the content on your site but that you can monitor it and edit it for what content you want.

      This conflates two ideas. First, a person is responsible for what they post on a site. If they defame you, you can sue them. Second, Twitter is liable to the extent that they edit or label any post. If they mark a post and you feel it is defamatory, you can sue Twitter for their content.

      Twitter has a 1st amendment right to moderate. They cannot be forced to host any content they do not wish to associate with. In this respect, section 230 is merely a procedural tool that allows them to get cases dismissed early that they would later win anyway.

      Moderation at scale is hard. They make choices that often don’t agree with. Trust me, there is a lot more content they I wish they would take care of. This doesn’t mean they are liable for their choices.

      Ultimately, an unmoderated online forum could not survive. It would eventually devolve into a toxic dump only certain users would be happy with. The vast majority of users would leave. This was always going to be a limiting principle of Parler, a reason why it was never going to be a billion dollar company.

      1. 6.4.1

        You have no idea what you are talking about. It is so ridiculous that I am not going to take the time to go through what a copyright or libel lawsuit would look like and why 230 prevents them from being filed against Twitter.

        And why Twitter editing for content they want negates the purpose of 230. 230 was passed under the assumption that the content was too vast for policing the content and to provide the safeguards so that neutral town squares could be created.

        The fact is that if Trump is silenced then under objective rules Pelosi and many others should have been silenced for their role in the violence in the BLM riots.

        1. 6.4.1.1

          +1

        2. 6.4.1.2

          Section 230 does not apply to copyright infringement. For that, there is the separate notice-and-takedown provisions of the DMCA.

          1. 6.4.1.2.1

            Thanks Anonymous with a picture.

  11. 5

    Hawley is way-off the mark. As a person-in-power, he should have taken care to avoid revolutionary rhetoric for what is really a regulatory issue. He unfortunately raised tensions, raised them again, and then again.

    BUT, the power of big tech is real.

    Exactly right. I shed no tears for Hawley. He deserves the scorn he is receiving. Nevertheless, none of us should be glad to see Amazon’s power here. There is absolutely no reason to expect that Amazon will never abuse the power that it had just shown itself to possess. Sen. Warren’s calls to break up big tech monopolies looks ever more wise and prescient in recent days.

    Meanwhile, Hawley is a clown and a villain. His colleagues should expel him from their ranks. His constituents should throw him out in four years time. Regrettably, I am not optimistic about either of those outcomes.

    1. 5.1

      Amazon has competitors in this space that are more than capable of hosting this content. They likely don’t want to, which is their (and Amazon’s) right.

      1. 5.1.1

        Sure. I do not disagree. More organizations (including those on the left) would do well to migrate their operations over to some of those competitors. Just because Amazon is shivving a genuine villain this time, do not imagine that they will never do the same to an organization that you admire.

        1. 5.1.1.1

          I am under no illusion that a product I like couldn’t be shivved at any time. I am also under no illusion to the ultimate reason for this choice. Amazon had to make a judgement call: would they take more of a hit from not hosting the service or would they take more of a hit for hosting the service? They obviously choose that the not hosting would be the better option.

    2. 5.2

      I dont understand the urge to break up big tech in response to these events. AWS is already not a monopoly. Stripe is not a monopoly. Google/Apple hold an app store duopoly which is likely beneficial to consumers. Why shouldn’t we just regulate these services in such a way that everyone gets access? The typical answer regarding such regulation (“Republicans would never allow it”) happens not to apply in this instance!

      1. 5.2.1

        Fair comment Ben.

    3. 5.3

      There is absolutely no reason to expect that Amazon will never abuse the power that it had just shown itself to possess. Sen. Warren’s calls to break up big tech monopolies looks ever more wise and prescient in recent days.

      I mean, there absolutely is, inasmuch as Amazon is a publicly traded company and therefore has to do what makes money. You’ll notice Twitter just decided to silence Trump, but Trump didn’t suddenly get bad over the past three months, he just lost a reelection. As any conservative will jump to tell you nowadays, Twitter still hosts way worse people in foreign countries than Trump. The difference, of course, is that Trump was losing the ability to be financially beneficial. Big tech can absolutely be counted on to support big tech, which is why they could only do what they did to Parler to Parler. If they tried to do the same thing to the New York Times, they would be impotent, because that couldn’t possibly make them money.

      Free speech people need to take a chill pill. The average American’s ability to disseminate thought has improved massively since say 1995, and if people who engage in the type of speech that everyone agrees is unprotected (calls to violence, lawlessness, sedition, etc) are limited to pre-95 methods of dissemination, there is nothing unconstitutional or even unAmerican about it. Even beyond that, it has always been the case that when you own a printing press, you get to say what gets printed. Its like the last 20 years people invented some idealized notion of what freedom of speech is and are now in a collective high that it has always been that way. Well we have not always been at war with Eastasia, and the state doesn’t get to commandeer private channels of communication just because they got really effective. To the exact opposite – the same complaint you have against big tech now equally applied to someone who owned a printing press then, and its precisely the LACK of regulation of the printing press that makes America even remotely exceptional today.

      Nobody is stopping any local, state or federal government from setting up the same infrastructure Amazon has if you want a government-assured channel of discourse.

      1. 5.3.1

        You miss the point and your analogies fall far short.

        Further, this is less about “controlling the printing press” and noticing that when printing presses were (as you put it) ‘uncontrolled,’ there was a serious plurality of printing presses and no single (politically connected) printing press that could shut down any other printing press at its whim.

        You accuse others of missing nuance when you yourself are absolutely c1ueless.

        1. 5.3.1.1

          and no single (politically connected) printing press that could shut down any other printing press at its whim.

          Who are you talking about? The IANA? Because there are multiple domain name registrars (hint: GoDaddy has to advertise because they aren’t a monopoly), there are dozens of ISPs, and there are hundreds if not thousands each of message boards, instant messengers, content sharing services, etc. And to the extent they charge at all, they all take dollars. Facebook can’t kick you off of even all social networks, let alone all message board feeds, instant messengers, and chat rooms (which is all Facebook is). Ditto twitter and amazon. Greg focuses on Amazon, but Amazon’s platform-as-a-service is nothing more than mass-scale rental of computer infrastructure that anyone of any political stripe can buy on the open market. That’s how little Amazon can dictate whether Parler can stay online. I suppose it’s true that when Apple and Google work in concert they control the phone market, but that’s not even all mobile internet devices let alone all internet devices. Could you imagine if Fish and Richardson dropped a client that was acting like a jerk and you all went ballistic because now they had to shop for legal services elsewhere and it was singlehandedly going to destroy the republic?

          Which is to say nothing of the fact that the marketplace of ideas functioned just fine before America Online came along and believe it or not, phones, faxes, televisions, text messages, books, radios, pamphlets and street corners still exist and nobody suggests big tech can knock you off those.

          Call me when someone gets banned from “The Internet” – that might at least be an interesting concern (and quite the technological feat). But *this* is being elevated to a constitutional/political philosophy concern when its nothing more than being one step removed from Netflix deciding to no longer carry The Office so now you have to contract with Peacock instead if you want to hear what inane thoughts come from a dangerously incompetent leader. And in that way, haven’t we all been victims of gross 2021 censorship already? Oh the humanity.

          Seriously though, you could buy a server for less than a thousand dollars and talk to your friends all you want. If you want to let more friends talk it’s simply a matter of passing the hat to get more people buying more and better servers (if only the internet had developed some sort of subscription methodology…). Terribly sorry Parler, that you can still speak however you want. You guys need to chill. It’s a bunch of white men being told they can’t do absolutely whatever they want without any repercussions; and I’m sure that’s tangentially scary because you’re probably white men too, but *of course* they’re going to make a mountain out of a molehill. This ain’t anything.

          1. 5.3.1.1.1

            What are you talking about?

            You dive into false equivalencies and still miss the point here.

          2. 5.3.1.1.2

            Reply caught in count filter…

          3. 5.3.1.1.3

            “Bunch of white men”

            WOW – your LeftISM privilege is showing.

  12. 4

    Hawley is way-off the mark. As a person-in-power, he should have taken care to avoid revolutionary rhetoric for what is really a regulatory issue. He unfortunately raised tensions, raised them again, and then again.

    cf:

    BUT, the power of big tech is real.

    Maybe the emotional and value judgment should be separated (a bit more) from the objective statements.

    it is NOT as if items that are ‘merely’ regulatory cannot be revolutionary.

    In fact, OUR history very much says the opposite of your statement.

  13. 3

    Your words are hurting people Dennis.

    1. 3.1

      That was tongue-in-cheek. Your post is actually helpful.

      Serious comment: the regulatory issue and cronyism have to some extent blurred the line between public and private. Competition is stifled because there are so many government imposed barriers to entry, thus the entrenched incumbents do not have to worry about losing customers. A free market doesn’t really exist.

      1. 3.1.1

        That’s an antitrust issue, and, finally, we just saw some action in that regard recently.

  14. 2

    Dennis, you must be pleased that he is not a graduate of YOUR law school. Well known former Missouri Republican Sen. John Danforth said that “supporting Sen. Josh Hawley’s 2018 campaign was “the worst mistake I ever made in my life. ..” That was after Senator Hawley still insisted on the Senate Floor, right after the mob attack, that the state-certified electoral votes count should stop, and that the Senate [not the Supreme Court] should rule on the PA [not U.S.] Constitutionality of the PA [not U.S.] statute on mail-in votes.]
    If the Senate making PA Constitutional decisions sounds logical, or consistent with “states rights,” one must have slept though American Government in High School. It is inexcusable for an attorney. Moves for disbarment seem likely, as is already happening in NY re Rudi G’s incitement of violence and his bizarre federal court lawsuits so baseless that they were almost immediately thrown out of court. He is already facing one or two business defamation civil suits by the voting machine company he has widely slandered.

    1. 2.1

      Josh Hawley as well as his spouse Erin Hawley were both law professors at Mizzou and my colleagues there. Josh left prior to being awarded tenure, but Erin remained and was a tenured professor.

      1. 2.1.1

        Cancel her!!!! She has wrong-think! Just kidding. Hey Dennis, as a member of the academic class, what do you think of that Princeton fellow demanding that Princeton revoke Cruz’s undergrad diploma?

  15. 1

    You live by the free market, you die by the free market. Put differently, this is what losing in the marketplace of ideas looks like.

    1. 1.1

      Winning* in the marketplace of ideas should not grant the winner the right to then close that marketplace of ideas. And it most certainly should not grant the dominant marketplace (TwittGoogFaceAmaz) the right to preclude other “marketplaces of ideas” (Parler) from remaining open.

      *if winning in the marketplace of ideas is what happened here…

      1. 1.1.1

        Anti-discrimination laws don’t protect “idea” discrimination. However, even if idea discrimination was prohibited, it wouldn’t protect Parler.

        1. 1.1.1.1

          Yet again, NSII, your choice of when you jump on, and what you jump in with, is simply bizarr0.

      2. 1.1.2

        “Winning* in the marketplace of ideas should not grant the winner the right to then close that marketplace of ideas.”

        The marketplace of ideas is not closed. The CEO of Parler posted on that site on Saturday that “…we have many competing for our business…” (verbatim quote).

        Nothing Twitter, Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. have done is precluding Parler from remaining open.

        But keep beating those strawmen. The MAGAt rube Trumpanzees will keep cheering you on.

        1. 1.1.2.1

          Put your emotions in check long enough to recognize that real issues are in play.

          Here’s an idea that might help you: pretend that the “R” and the “D” labels have been switched.

          1. 1.1.2.1.1

            “Here’s an idea that might help you: pretend that the ‘R’ and the ‘D’ labels have been switched.”

            Huh? Are you suggesting that I consider what my “emotions” would be if Democrat office holders were kicked off social media?

            Well, when Democrat office holders start spouting racist nonsense, lies about non-existent election fraud, and calls for insurrection that get them kicked off social media I’m pretty sure my emotions will be fine. I’m not expecting any of that though.

            1. 1.1.2.1.1.1

              LOL – no, that is clearly not what I stated.

              Again – look more critically for the legal positions and do not rest so much in your emotions (or the Left dogma speaking points).

              1. 1.1.2.1.1.1.1

                What are the “real issues that are in play”? Drumpf and all the other racist fascists who’ve had their social media accounts violated the TOS. No issues that I can see.

                1. Lol – of course you see no issues — you see through the tint of your emotions.

                  Try an objective tint.

                  Or better yet, flip the script of the “R” and the “D.”

        2. 1.1.2.2

          CEO of Parler said yesterday (Monday) that when he went to those who were competing for their business, that each of them said they were no longer interested.

          Parler’s law firm(!) also fired them.

          “Every vendor, from text message services to email providers to our lawyers, all ditched us too, on the same day,” Parler CEO John Matze said in an interview with Fox News…..

          1. 1.1.2.2.1

            “CEO of Parler said yesterday (Monday) that when he went to those who were competing for their business, that each of them said they were no longer interested.”

            Boohoo.

            “Parler’s law firm(!) also fired them.”

            Cry more.

            1. 1.1.2.2.1.1

              Technically speaking AAA JJ, MORE is expected (commanded?) from a lawyer than a mere contract for representation, it is a profession after all, with a special privilege of trust in society. A lawyer is not just another another vendor of services. One such feature is a duty of loyalty and objective (disinterested) advice. It’s old school, I get that, and not much in favor by big law these days, but it is a pledge, that nonetheless, every lawyer should take to heart. Some people have it, some rationalize it away, and everybody pays lip service to it (it’s typically on the bar exam), until the moment of . . . well? . . . truth –> putting your clients interests before your personal (economic) interests.

              1. 1.1.2.2.1.1.1

                Pardon potential (re)post – due to count filter…

                Plus one

                Million

    2. 1.2

      There are allegations of breach of contract.

      1. 1.2.1

        Which will fail.

        1. 1.2.1.1

          Put your Malcolm Mooney (sniff) away. Clearly, any actual breach of contract case would be very dependent on details not present, and your ‘edict’ reflects mere emotion.

          1. 1.2.1.1.1

            Seen plenty of analyses of Parler’s complaint and Amazon’s response and the consensus is: Parler’s complaint is weak AF and will fail. No “details not present” gonna change that.

            1. 1.2.1.1.1.1

              You then might want to include that in your reply in order to avoid the Malcolm Sniff resemblance – especially since you are so prone to post in emotion.

              1. 1.2.1.1.1.1.1

                No emotions involved. No idea where you get such silly notions. The Parler suit against Amazon is garbage. Has no chance of success. That’s the rational conclusion any sane, thinking person would arrive at.

                1. Lol – those silly notions are self-evident in your posts.

                  Do you really need a lesson in reading or use of emotive words?

                  (Perhaps you do – if you really believe that your posts are not dripping in emotion) — yet another Malcolm-like characteristic. Look at what the dark side is doing to you.

                2. “Do you really need a lesson in reading or use of emotive words?”

                  According to you, my post that Parler’s suit “Which will fail” is “dripping in emotion.”

                  Perhaps it’s you who needs a lesson in reading.

                3. Oh, I don’t know about that. If ever there were a foreseeable contract damages case – building your platform on AWS (I don’t how well you know AWS but it’s every elaborate geolocating servers, load routers, etc. meaning it’s specifically designed to host something like Parlor) – and then AWS terminating your business – well ? I’m sure somewhere in the 99 pages of boiler plate AWS will claim some contract provision on foreseeable damages, but will it hold up? In front of a jury – with all the other AWS marketing – build it here? Meh, it’s not as cut and dry as you might surmise.

                4. Lol / your “your reading” missed the plural of my statement.
                  (Hint: posts when it ends in an “s” indicates plural or more than one)

                  Maybe you didn’t see that, being blinded by emotion…

                5. “Meh, it’s not as cut and dry as you might surmise.”

                  You’re probably right. It’s actually more cut and dry as I surmise.

      2. 1.2.2

        Of course, but no law firm is obligated to keep on representing a client in a civil case who’s conduct they do not approve of and which could cause them to lose other clients. Nor is it at all likely that Amazon’s attorneys ever agreed to a service contract with Parler in perpetuity no matter what they did.

        [BTW I think the Sup. Ct. should decide the question of whether or not major social media internetworks should be treated a “common carriers” or not.]

        1. 1.2.2.1

          who’s conduct they do not approve of and which could cause them to lose other clients.

          With no change in client behavior from an initial engagement, I would suggest that you check again your ethical duties to the client Paul.

          I am pretty sure that “because Cancel Culture has spoken out” is not a waiver of that ethical duty.

          And I would hope that you as an attorney (and every attorney) recognize why.

          Hint: think of Sir Thomas More.

          1. 1.2.2.1.1

            Which one of the model rules is the lawfirm breaking?

            1. 1.2.2.1.1.1

              If Sir Thomas More caved, do you think that he would have broken any model rule?

              1. 1.2.2.1.1.1.1

                As much as I love English history, you’re going to have to narrow the example from Sir More’s life that we are discussing. I don’t want to misunderstand your point.

                1. There is a single direct point — representing the Devil.

                  I have made reference to this point numerous times — even providing clips to the old movie.

                  Stop pretending that you don’t understand the reference — you’ve been around long enough.

            2. 1.2.2.1.1.2

              Clever lawyers will of course present arguments on either side of the issue insofar as the letter of the rules go.

              But for a law firm to abandon the client just as it faces this existential threat, with a number of complicated legal issues, stinks of extreme cowardice and moral failing.

              I hope “But we didn’t break any of the Model Rules” helps them rest easy…..

              1. 1.2.2.1.1.2.1

                “But for a law firm to abandon the client just as it faces this existential threat, with a number of complicated legal issues, stinks of extreme cowardice and moral failing.”

                Or it points to courage to actually follow the tenets of the profession. Refusing to file meritless lawsuits for a client simply because you can bill them for it is hardly “extreme cowardice and moral failing.”

                1. Sure, refusing to file a meritless lawsuit is admirable — but that is not at point here.

                  Move the goalposts back.

                  (or are you trying to fill Malcolm’s shoes?)

          2. 1.2.2.1.2

            Indeed. Anon, Indeed.

            1. 1.2.2.1.2.1

              … and yet, the naysayers, seeing “anon posted” jump to the opposite view (and are wrong yet again)…

              1. 1.2.2.1.2.1.1

                I guess some folks here have not been paying attention to the well documented news that major law firms initially involved in Trump election legal challenges promptly filed and were granted motions to withdraw from such lawsuits and refused further legal representation as soon as they found out what was really going on with Rudi G. and his lawyer cohorts.
                Or, they are confusing legal representations in criminal cases with that in civil cases.

                1. You guess incorrectly.

                  That is just not the issue at hand (as noted above).

                  Please move the goalposts back, thank you.

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