HB20: Social Media Censorship and the Supreme Court

by Dennis Crouch

Texas HB20 treats social media platforms as common carriers, especially those with very large number of users and market dominance.  For its purposes, the law focuses on platforms with more than 50 million US monthly users and has a number of disclosure requirements. But, the heart of the new law is its prohibition on “censorship.”

CENSORSHIP PROHIBITED. (a) A social media platform may not censor a user, a user’s expression, or a user’s ability to receive the expression of another person based on: (1) the viewpoint of the user or another person; (2) the viewpoint represented in the user’s expression or another person’s expression; or (3) a user’s geographic location in this state or any part of this state.

“Censor” means to block, ban, remove, deplatform, demonetize, de-boost, restrict, deny equal access or visibility to, or otherwise discriminate against expression.

HB 20.  The rule has a few exceptions. Censorship appears OK if done to protect intellectual property rights; based upon a request from “an organization with the purpose of preventing the sexual exploitation of children and protecting survivors of sexual abuse from ongoing harassment” or if user expression “directly incites criminal activity or “consists of specific threats of violence targeted against a person or group because of their race, color, disability, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, sex, or status as a peace officer or judge.”  The law creates a private right of action for a censored user and also authorizes the state Attorney General to bring action.

The new law was passed by the Republican dominated Texas House and Senate and signed by Gov. Abbott back in 2021.  But, before the law became effective a Federal District Court entered a preliminary injunction against its enforcement.  Ordinarily, appeals are only proper after final judgment. One exception though is that a district court’s decision regarding a preliminary injunction is ordinarily immediately appealable.  And so the state of Texas has appealed the Preliminary Injunction to the 5th Circuit.

The news over the past two weeks: On May 9, the 5th Circuit heard oral arguments and two days later issued a 1-sentence decision staying the preliminary injunction pending appeal (as the State requested).  Here, the judges have not issued their final decision on whether the preliminary injunction was proper, but the stay suggests that their final decision will also favor Texas since a key element of relief here is likelihood of success on the merits.  Those opposing the law have filed an emergency request with the US Supreme Court to reinstate the preliminary injunction during the appeal.  Justice Alito is assigned to the Fifth Circuit region and so is set to decide the emergency petition–however, the full court could choose to weigh-in.  Briefing in the SCOTUS case from Texas is due on May 18.

So to be clear, the decisions thus far have all focused on preliminary relief — whether the law can be enforced while the trial & appeal is ongoing.

In prior cases, the Court has treated social media has an important avenue for speech. In Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730 (2017), for instance, the court found that prohibiting prior sex offenders from all social media violated those individuals speech rights since social media is the “modern public square.” Id.  Here though, it is the social media platforms seeking the right to discriminate freely against viewpoints.”  Texas presents the argument that social media platforms are  not speaking through their editorial role, but rather are taking technological actions to present the speech of others.  Of course, publishing and dissemination of speech are also protected by the First Amendment, and those opposed to the law present this as an open-and-shut case.

From the moment users access a social media platform, everything they see is subject to editorial discretion by the platform in  accordance with the platforms’ unique policies. Platforms dynamically create curated combinations of user-submitted expression, the platforms’ own expression, and advertisements. This editorial process involves prioritizing, arranging, and recommending content according to what users would like to see, how users would like to see it, and what content reflects (what the platform believes to be) accurate or interesting information.

SCT Brief.

 

117 thoughts on “HB20: Social Media Censorship and the Supreme Court

  1. 10

    The “Town Square doctrine”. Apparently that’s a real thing that white supremacists and their glibertarian enablers seem really obsessed with all of a sudden.

    LOL

    1. 10.1

      Your one-bucketing is noted.

      Odd and discordant with the Rule of Law – but noted.

  2. 9

    This law is necessary to protect the Constitutional guarantee that social media platforms will not abridge freedom of speech.

  3. 8

    If the information superhighway is publicly funded, where are the public squares? They must be found….

  4. 7

    The good news is if you get banned from Twitter or FB for re-posting Faux News white power dominionist propaganda you can always just post it here. Freedom!

  5. 6

    Not only is HB20 a clear violation of the 1st amendment (and no, there is no public square doctrine, or at least any comparable doctrine that would apply in this situation*), it is impossible to comply with while also complying with obligations social media companies have of other jurisdictions (it doesn’t help that HB20’s author is a well known i diot).

    *Twitter has many competitors that people who do not like Twitter’s 1st amendment protected moderation decisions. Go use them. (I know why you don’t use them, and its not about free speech)

    1. 6.1

      (I know why you don’t use them, and its not about free speech)

      Can you explicate?

      (and no, there is no public square doctrine, or at least any comparable doctrine that would apply in this situation*)

      You appear to be making the same error as Wt – the demand for NO competition is not what the public square doctrine derives to.

      1. 6.1.1

        Can you explicate?

        Its because people feel entitled to an audience. They can go on Gab or Truth Social or one of the myriad of other conservative alternatives to spew what ever stuff they want under the banner of free speech. They don’t because (a) less moderated platforms are a nightmare, (b) there isn’t an audience, and (c) they can’t “own the libs” on platforms that the libs are not on.

        public square doctrine

        The public square doctrine does not apply to Twitter. It is not a public square (rather, it is a private shopping mall). The only nuance that is needed is when politicians use twitter to communicate with constituents.

        1. 6.1.1.1

          Thank you for explicating – I was Count Filtered out yesterday.

          I think it LESS that people feel entitled to an audience (but I do recognize the aspect you allude to), and MORE that people simply want a sense of equity as to viewpoints being equally ranked.

          Mind you (and Wt misses this as well), the traditional “Fire in a Theatre” aspects ARE taken into consideration.

          As to public square doctrine – you are assuming the conclusion that has yet to be reached. At a certain point – and it need not rise to the level that both you and Wt presume (NO other path), the forum can indeed become a public forum – and the point you allude to is indeed one indicator (AN indicator – not dispositive in and of itself). That point being used as a public forum by elected officials to their constituents.

      2. 6.1.2

        You appear to be making the same error as Wt – the demand for NO competition is not what the public square doctrine derives to.
        You seem to be making the error of conflating private with public. No matter how hard you squint, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram et al., are all private companies. You are attempting to redefine what is a public square and what is not.

        I recommend that you read the Amicus Brief by Christopher Cox (linked to above) who is a former Republican Representative in the House and who co-authored Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. He lays out the issues and the errors in HB20 quite nicely. One of the things that caught my eye was how HB20 essentially prohibits platforms from moderating content at all. I’ll let his words do the talking:

        If a platform bans racist viewpoints, for example, it is subject to penalties. HB20 allows a platform to “censor” user content that invidiously targets race but only if such hate speech “directly incites criminal activity or consists of specific threats of violence.” That narrow exception denies platforms their First Amendment right to exclude lawful-but-awful speech from their sites.
        Under HB20, not only must a platform host offensive content, it must give it the same prominence it gives all other content. In §143A.001(1), HB20 defines “censor” to include denying “equal access or visibility.” With billions of posts without any kind of curation, a platform would quickly descend into chaos.
        Inherent in organizing material is that some must come before others, even when content is randomly sorted. Content shown first and content shown last do not have “equal visibility,” especially in the long line that constitutes any user’s feed. Sorting is impossible to avoid. Because HB20 gives Texas the power to enforce this unworkable “equal visibility” yardstick, platforms’ work to arrange the volumes of content they host would be second-guessed by Texas officials, who easily could abuse their authority to influence the platforms’ content moderation policies.

        1. 6.1.2.1

          Texas officials abusing their authority to promote dominionism, white supremacy and undermine Federal power (as long as Dems are in charge)? I’m shocked. Shocked!

        2. 6.1.2.2

          and sure enough – i have ALREADY hit a count filter….

          Your comment is awaiting moderation.

          May 19, 2022 at 8:16 am

          You seem to be making the error of conflating private with public

          Not at all – your view is simply too harsh and does not comport with public forum. It is you that conflates “private” and “public” as singular words and not as the compound phrase actually entails.

          I am not doing any redefining at all.

          Thank you for the suggestion of reading Cox’s amicus – that is certainly one (informed) viewpoint, so I will read it openly (and allow my position to change).

          That being said – make no mistake that he is advocating – and is not to be presumed to be a neutral observer.

          by the by – I typically review comments ‘bottom up,’ but am reading top-down today, so if I become Count-Filtered out prior to responding to all the threads, please bear with me.

        3. 6.1.2.3

          In his advocacy, Cox may have overplayed his hand:

          For this [Section 230] protection to apply, the platform must not be “responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development” of the content at issue. §230(f)(3). When a platform even partially plays that creative or developmental role, §230 does not protect the platform from liability.

          Shadow banning and selective advancement of particular points of view is most certainly within the meaning of “development.”

          There may well be more (lots more), but his advocacy — no matter how strident — is not what you may think it to be.

          1. 6.1.2.3.1

            … and I would politely note that unequal application of posted rules would also fall into the “lose the 230 protection” arena.

  6. 5

    The First Amendment prohibits the government from making laws abridging freedom of speech.

    A government passes a law abridging the freedom of corporate citizens to abridge the freedom of their users/customers to say things or behave in ways that they do not wish to host on their platforms.

    Citizens opposed to the law take legal action to abridge the power of the government to abridge the freedom of corporate citizens to abridge the freedom of their users/customers to say things or behave in ways that they do not wish to host on their platforms.

    Surely this can’t be all about forcing Twitter to reinstate Trump?

    What fun! You Americans are a source of endless entertainment.

    1. 5.1

      Circuses, but the bread may be rationed.

  7. 4

    What has happened is that corporations have become so large that they can exert censorship power without fear of loss of market share. At least that was how it was. Plus, the government used soft power in the form of anti-trust suits to enforce censorship.

    In 20 years people will look back at this period as the attempt by the far left to take over the government with totalitarian rule. Biden will be seen as a dupe to the Marxists. Trump will be seen as a smart man with mainly good policies that went mad and tried to overthrow the government.

    I hope it all ends well. Can you imagine the like of Schumer or Mayorkas censoring all social media? 1984. The examples are so many now. Hunter’s laptop is typical of about 100 lies told by the Ds.

    In my opinion, the most important thing is a forum where ideas can be vetted and all get our say. There will grow out of these reliable news sources that will discount the left and right extremists. The legacy media will have to stop lying 24×7 or as I heard it say for the NY Times, “All the News that Fits our Narrative.”

    Anyway…back to work. Yay freedom!

    1. 4.1

      The fastest way to change the US is to go after large corporations so they have to compete again. Corporations that have to be competitive don’t do all these nasty things.

    2. 4.2

      In 20 years people will look back at this period… [and] Trump will be seen as a smart man with mainly good policies…

      Somehow, this seems unlikely to me. Desperately, emphatically unlikely.

      1. 4.2.1

        I guess that the right question here in response to “will be seen as a smart man…” is “who will see him that way?” I am sure that some will write histories with that take-away, but it will be far from a consensus view.

        1. 4.2.1.1

          Are you a part of that dwindling 25% that approves of the job Biden is doing?

          It IS that bad that his Holy Crassness OMB is going to be remembered more favorably than you can imagine.

          1. 4.2.1.1.1

            Isn’t it interesting how defending Trump always involves changing the subject?

            1. 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Pres. Trump’s great talent (and it is possible that this will have been the straw that breaks our nation’s back) lay in the discovery that the solution to corruption and scandal is more corruption and scandal. The news media always want a new and fresh scandal, so if you just give them a new one, they will cheerfully move on from the last one before it properly sinks into the public consciousness. By endlessly repeating this trick, Trump was able to run across the surface of the water, where an ordinary politician would have sunk under the weight of the scandals and corruption.

              Changing the subject is the great talent of Pres. Trump and his defenders/fans. I do not see that this constant subject-changing did any good for our nation, but it was endlessly useful to the cabal of misfit toys that made up the Trump campaign and later the Trump administration.

            2. 4.2.1.1.1.2

              As you are responding to me, NS II, I will point out that if you think that I am defending Trump, you are part of the problem.

              The Musk meme about “sprinting Left” saw another meme in many of the conversations. That other meme was someone in the middle making a comment that the Left did not like. The Left pushing this central figure down and exclaiming that this central figure was “Far Right.”

              Your comment here exemplifies this.

              1. 4.2.1.1.1.2.1

                If you are claiming that you changed the subject for a reason other than defending Trump, I will add disingenuous to your list of characteristics.

                1. Again – YOU are part of the problem if you think my response is “defending Trump.”

                  Stop pushing the guy in the middle down and screaming that he is “Far Right.”

                  (and here’s a hint: that YOU do this and then want to add a 1984ISM of calling me disingenuous changes nothing about your action)

      2. 4.2.2

        I disagree – and one has but to look at the Pence-Harris debate to see that without the T histrionics, and letting the polices more or less speak for themselves, the “R” side trounced the “D” side.

    3. 4.3

      Is “legacy media” similar to “legacy Americans”?

    4. 4.4

      “What has happened is that corporations have become so large that they can exert censorship power without fear of loss of market share. ”

      Which is why the party behind HB20 fought so hard for net neutrality, right?

      1. 4.4.1

        Ben, I am for net neutrality. Pro-choice. Social programs–but not socialism where government mucks with markets. I am a classic liberal D and have been for many decades. The D party has slide so far to the left that they are Marxists. Obama’s censorship speech was a disgrace to the Constitution and illustrates that he is at heart a totalitarian.

        1. 4.4.1.1

          Night Writer — you have been (one-bucketed) AS a member of the Far Right here.

          And not just by Malcolm.

        2. 4.4.1.2

          Alright. My point was more that we have a forum, and it is the Internet as a whole. It is much more important to worry about things like net neutrality or payment processor neutrality than what can be put up on specific site.

          Though as a side note, your statement reminds me of Elon’s image regarding political shifts. It still seems to me any moderate liberal who only mentions the shift of the left… probably wasn’t a moderate liberal to begin with.

          1. 4.4.1.2.1

            [A]ny moderate liberal who only mentions the shift of the left… probably wasn’t a moderate liberal to begin with.

            Bingo

            1. 4.4.1.2.1.1

              I’ll say it again Greg. If you spend some time figuring out a few issues in depth and looking at how the legacy media covers the issues, then you might be able to realize that you have lost your ability to think rationally.

              The legacy media/far left Ds are like a cult.

              1. 4.4.1.2.1.1.1

                A cult…?

                Sure – but the leaders of such are like a….

                … wait for it …

                Theocracy

          2. 4.4.1.2.2

            Wow – you really missed the point of Musk’s meme.

            You could not be more off.

          3. 4.4.1.2.3

            >payment processor neutrality

            A seriously underrated problem already, imho. An up-and-coming issue may be DNS system neutrality.

        3. 4.4.1.3

          Night Wiper: “I am a classic liberal D and have been for many decades.”

          LOL

          You might have been the most liberal guy at the diner where your daughter serves the sausage to your Air Force reject buddies but that’s not the same thing.

          Please give us all a break, gramps. You’re a deluded consumer of far rightwing b s who can’t help himself.

      2. 4.4.2

        Ha!

        1. 4.4.2.1

          Ha (!) yourself.

          You know the European countries are at their heart capitalistic in that they want competitive markets and opportunity. They separate social programs to help people from socialism where markets are interfered with. The real problem is that the average American is just so ignorant about pretty much everything that it is impossible to have an intelligent conversation anymore.

          1. 4.4.2.1.1

            “Lived experiences” and “feelings” are more important than facts and actual cognition — per the commandments of the Liberal Left.

          2. 4.4.2.1.2

            You know the European countries are at their heart capitalistic in that they want competitive markets and opportunity. They separate social programs to help people from socialism where markets are interfered with.

            Ah yes, which of us doesn’t remember the post-war british single payer system which takes care of only immigrants while the average britain shops on the open market. Or the French maternity leave laws, which command a minimum of 34 weeks off if you have socialist twins, but no time whatsoever for capitalist twins, with half time for mixed nationalities. Or the german labor laws, which require a maximum 8 hour workday, at least 24 vacation days a year, and full paid sick leave for up to six weeks for those recovering from communism while I believe every natural German citizen must do a 3 month rotation in a BMW factory for nominal intern pay to “stoke their capitalistic heart.” (sauerkrautenspielheisen I believe it’s called)

            All famously laissez faire marketplaces.

      3. 4.4.3

        With the benefit of hindsight, net neutrality had it exactly backwards. The entities it targeted – the ISPs — have been the least problematic; the abuses have come from the entities it privledged — edge content providers. Worse, given things like 5G and Starlink, its provisions would have aged worse than the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984.

        1. 4.4.3.1

          The net neutrality debate was tedious because it was premised on answering the wrong question. Net neutrality matters if you have ISPs offering services in a single-price-unlimited-data price plan. In such a circumstance, you have to ask who bears the loss when consumers use more data than can be supplied at the price paid: (1) the content providers who induced that data demand; or (2) the service providers over whose networks the data flowed. If one insists on asking this question, then I suppose that the answer should be #2.

          The better question to ask, however, is why should all-you-can-eat data plans exist. If you just charge consumers for their actual data consumption (just as one does for gas, electricity, etc), then the whole problem goes away. Also, terrorist-radicalizing YouTube habits become much more expensive. All to the good.

    5. 4.5

      exert censorship power without fear of loss of market share.

      Exerting censorship power enhances their market share. People have freedom of association too, and the kind of people being banned are not the kind of people that most patrons would view as enhancing their online experience. People cheer when the aggressively loud drunk is tossed from the bar. The people complaining right now are either aggressively loud drunks themselves (and they see their toss coming) or they’re friends with the aggressively loud drunks.

      Corporations generally don’t behave irrationally. When two groups of people become intolerable to each other the corporation is going to side with the people that make them the most money. Republicans are being deplatformed because they constantly set up them-or-me fights against immigrants or minorities or women or LGBTQ and because those groups are simply more popular (and largely more valuable patrons) than republicans are, which shouldn’t be surprising as they far more populous than republicans.

      Alito (and the rest of the court) is mega-first amendment, so I’d expect the court to reinstate the stay, but could you imagine if they didn’t and all the major internet forums pulled out of Texas to avoid the regulation? Inside of a week this guy wouldn’t be able to get elected dog catcher.

      In 20 years people will look back at this period as the attempt by the far left to take over the government with totalitarian rule.

      Only one side has attempted a coup in the past couple of years, and it wasn’t the left.

      Trump will be seen as a smart man with mainly good policies

      haha, I doubt it.

      that went mad and tried to overthrow the government.

      Kinda burying the lead there, right? I mean that’s not going to be the second sentence of his obituary, it’s going to be the first.

      The legacy media will have to stop lying 24×7 or as I heard it say for the NY Times, “All the News that Fits our Narrative.”

      It must be rough thinking the entire world is out to get you.

      1. 4.5.1

        RandomGuy, I don’t agree. The FB, Twitter, and so forth were run by far left CEOs/founders and they made an alliance with the Ds.

        Seriously Random I guarantee you that if you spend some time and learn about what has happened to the legacy media since 2016 by reading books and listening to lectures that you will see it my way.
        This is about freedom and our Constitution. These people are Marxists and totalitarians. Just look at some of the stories that they have lied about and tried to control (lab leak, Hunter’s laptop, and 100 other news stories. Listen to Australian news about the lab leak as Australia is currently being punished by China because they are demanding that a fair investigation be conducted). And no that doesn’t mean Fox is good.

        1. 4.5.1.1

          The FB, Twitter, and so forth were run by far left CEOs/founders and they made an alliance with the Ds.

          What’s your point? Rupert Murdoch owns a bunch of local news stations and newspapers and he’s a republican. Fox News is still the number one news organization for the conservative part of the country. That doesn’t mean he’s attempting to engage in totalitarian rule.

          This is about freedom and our Constitution.

          The constitution is not against censorship. The constitution is against government censorship. The whole point of a marketplace of ideas is that inferior ideas will be shouted down by private people while superior ones are raised up. Again, nobody questions that the owner of a bar can order anyone out of their bar purely because they don’t like them and don’t want them to be part of their clientele. The only problem is that now the bar is much bigger and the people who are disliked and getting tossed out happen to have legislative power and more vindictiveness than integrity.

          Just look at some of the stories that they have lied about and tried to control (lab leak, Hunter’s laptop, and 100 other news stories.

          My facebook feed right now has a friend of mine who is asking for herbal remedies rather than vaccinations she can give her newborn. The MyPillow guy has said that Trump will be reinstated as president on half a dozen occassions because of irrefutable proof of voter fraud. People were literally taking a horse anti-parasitic to treat Covid. I’ll take my legacy media over that kind of “intelligence” any day of the week.

          I don’t happen to think that Hunter’s laptop is news, but to the extent that it might have been you might want to look at who might have been taking up all the news minutes at the time it would have been useful to your agenda. We literally had the president trying to shake down the country of ukraine for political gain while his unqualified daughter was taking official acts on behalf of the united states and you’re wondering why an allegation that biden may have helped his son didn’t get the amount of play that satisfies you?

          Listen to Australian news about the lab leak as Australia is currently being punished by China because they are demanding that a fair investigation be conducted).

          I don’t think it was a lab leak and that’s pretty critical because, you know, facts kinda matter in reporting. But let’s assume that it was a lab leak. So what? Lets assume the entire US reporting apparatus is – I don’t know what conspiracy you’re going for – in the pocket of China? Okay. I don’t know how they’re both in the pocket of china and the totalitarian left simultaneously but okay. Point to all of the european and asian and austrailian (I guess) reporters with hard evidence (as opposed to allegation) and explain to me why this alleged american coverup of this alleged lab leak matters to me?

          I think that trump made this a chinese intentional leak thing, so the political right has a vested interest in seeing as much of that “proven” as possible. I know fauci has some tenuous ties to funding that Rand Paul mistakes as being gain of function research, and the right doesn’t like Fauci because he oversees a CDC that told people they should wear masks when they didn’t want to wear masks. So I see an interest in discrediting an enemy there. And I don’t much think that this matters to me so much as it matters to riling up conservatives, but I’m gonna give you a chance to convince me – Explain to me why I care that this was a lab leak rather than an organic outbreak.

          1. 4.5.1.1.1

            Random, you don’t understand my positions.

            And, yes, the censorship by Twitter and FB is unconstitutional as it is being facilitated by the federal government as I stated above. So it is government action.

            1. 4.5.1.1.1.1

              And actually what academics, who aren’t Marxists, are saying is that what is driving this Random is an attempt to make money. The explanation for why the NY Times went from a venerated newspaper to trash is that they have created a cult like following and feed into their delusions so they will subscribe.

              And—guess what? You can track the lack of reliability of the NY Times to their financial troubles and their need to get subscribers.

              Just one example. Anyway….no use talking to this lot. I get the feeling that you will make zero effort to read about some of these things.

              1. 4.5.1.1.1.1.1

                And—guess what? You can track the lack of reliability of the NY Times to their financial troubles and their need to get subscribers.

                So to be clear – legacy media in the US is unreliable because they are in financial trouble. But legacy media in other parts of the world (such as Austrailia) who face the same threat from the internet ARE reliable. But new, internet-based media with no public financial disclosure (and perhaps not even a business model) are reliable.

                1. reliability and financial status are just not related.

                  Night Writer’s push in this direction is not to be taken so (and if taken thus, would be incorrect).

            2. 4.5.1.1.1.2

              And, yes, the censorship by Twitter and FB is unconstitutional as it is being facilitated by the federal government as I stated above.
              Facilitated by the federal government? This needs an explanation.

              1. 4.5.1.1.1.2.1

                >Facilitated by the federal government? This needs an explanation.

                By soft power. First, the federal government has been telling Twitter and FB what is the “truth” and what are harmful lies. There are reliable stories on this. Second, the federal government has been threatening to pull Section 230 and to file anti-trust suits against Twitter and FB.

                That is what makes it government action.

            3. 4.5.1.1.1.3

              And, yes, the censorship by Twitter and FB is unconstitutional as it is being facilitated by the federal government as I stated above. So it is government action.

              And what’s the facilitation? That there’s an alliance with the Democrats? It’s subject to regulation because it has a favored political party?

              What is the thing that is being done that makes Twitter subject to content based regulation? What should Twitter stop doing to avoid being subject to the regulation?

        2. 4.5.1.2

          P.S. If you have concerns about unbridled big business in general – as opposed to just particular sectors that happen to be upsetting you right now – you don’t have much of a horse to bet on in american politics, but your closest bet is (and here’s where you shudder) Bernie Sanders.

          He’s not my guy, but I am surprised by the number of people who actually agree with him without knowing they agree with him.

      2. 4.5.2

        “Exerting censorship power enhances their market share”

        I think this is (unfortunately) correct, which is why I’m so eager for Musk to acquire Twitter and test the hypothesis for us.

        1. 4.5.2.1

          I think this is (unfortunately) correct,

          This implies you think private censorship is bad. But you both practice and benefit from private censorship every day. The places you go and the people you go with you do specifically to avoid people and things you find distasteful. You self segregate into communities, you avoid your in-laws until thanksgiving, and you gate your social events by socioeconomic status and education.

          In fact, the only reason feeds like Twitter and Facebook have any users at all is because their algorithms specifically are designed to reinforce your associations. If your feeds actually presented a random assortment of the actual postings of the day you’d quit those companies in a minute.

          That is what the algorithms are, btw – censorship. It’s under the much more desirable branding of “context” but the algorithms filter out content the user won’t like, and that is censorship.

          which is why I’m so eager for Musk to acquire Twitter and test the hypothesis for us.

          Musk explicitly said he’d keep algorithms. He said he’d publish them, but that won’t mean anything to you, as you lack the data to properly interpret them. Don’t confuse deplatforming unvaluable or negative value patrons (largely the complaint of the right, currently) with ending censorship. Nobody – including Musk – is proposing to end censorship.

          1. 4.5.2.1.1

            Expanding “censorship” to include curation waters down the word to worthlessness. Does anyone else here really use this term so broadly?

            What I think is bad is the segment of population that cannot be content with compartmentalizing themselves from their undesirables, but want those people off the platform entirely.

            I think Musk may run from that test, but if he does run I’ll accept it as confirmation that the market, unfortunately, demands deplatforming certain people.

            1. 4.5.2.1.1.1

              Expanding “censorship” to include curation waters down the word to worthlessness. Does anyone else here really use this term so broadly?

              I am fine with maintaining a distinction between “curation” and “censorship,” but I am puzzled by the contention that what Twitter has been doing so far is—by your lights—more on the “censorship” side of the line than the “curation.” What precise differences in Twitter’s course of action so far would—in your estimation—be necessary to put them back on the “curation” side of the line?

            2. 4.5.2.1.1.2

              Expanding “censorship” to include curation waters down the word to worthlessness. Does anyone else here really use this term so broadly?

              When there is an insurmountable amount of content to consume, good curation IS censorship. There is no distinction between something that does not exist and something that you cannot find. That’s why most people think Instagram stories get deleted after 24hrs when they’re just universally delisted. But I do agree that the algorithms are not fully successful (probably because they are not fully intended) to completely censor.

              But fine, if you’re telling me you would have no problem with Twitter allowing people to type into a box but never publishing the tweet to a third party, I guess we’re both happy. You’re outside of the Texas law, though.

              What I think is bad is the segment of population that cannot be content with compartmentalizing themselves from their undesirables, but want those people off the platform entirely.

              I mean, clearly spoken by someone who has never had a group utilize a platform to organize a resistance to their basic human dignity, right? Ask the african american community in Buffalo if they feel that compartimentalization of white nationalism leads to successful outcomes, or if the sandy hook parents were well-served by alex jones merely being compartimentalized. Do you think Facebook likes that it carried a ton of insurrectionist speech in the lead up to Jan 6? They’re not allowed to apply their own morality to the situation?

              the market, unfortunately, demands deplatforming certain people.

              Setting aside that its unamerican to have the private sector treat all ideas equally – “The market” is not the appropriate term, as there are plenty of other options for these people to communicate. There’s even other internet-based social networks for these people to communicate. They simply don’t have unlimited access to choose whatever network they wish, irrespective of what the other monetized patrons of those websites want.

              When your business model relies upon delivering advertising to users, any users which drive users away from your network are bad for business. It doesn’t mean they are bad for EVERY network. It means they are bad for the network that you have cultivated. There are certainly other networks which could monetize these users, and therefore can cater to them. “The market” functions properly with respect to these people, just as people who have fringe tastes in food get less restaurants to cater to their desires. Having lesser options for inferior ideas in the marketplace of ideas is not a bug, it’s a feature. Nobody expects Penthouse and Shakespeare to sit the same shelf, but you’re surprised MyPillow has to make his false election claims off Twitter?

              1. 4.5.2.1.1.2.1

                “ What I think is bad is the segment of population that cannot be content with compartmentalizing themselves from their undesirables, but want those people off the platform entirely.”

                Boo hoo hoo! Those mean people can’t just block the white supremacists they have to ban them too!

                So unfair! Sad.

                Spoken like a true white bro, Benny Boy.

                1. Malcolm BEING racy ist…

                  like a true white bro

                  You have NO CLUE (nor does anyone) if Benny Boy is white, black, yellow or purple.

                  Your comment ONLY indicates that you are engaging in the very thing that you project onto someone else.

                  Dr. Lindsay has captioned this: The Iron Rule of Woke Projection.

                  I doubt that he is familiar with you, as if he were, he would have likely opted for my already well entrenched phrase: “Accuse Others Of That Which Malcolm Does (or is).

                  and a side note to those discussing forum editorial control, the acronym
                  A
                  O
                  O
                  T
                  W
                  M
                  D
                  was placed in a George Carlin filter list — mind explaining why exactly THAT would be?

                  And just checking: link to patentlyo.com

                  (yep STILL there — as if THAT meets the ‘rules’ eh?)

      3. 4.5.3

        Corporations generally don’t behave irrationally

        Except when they do.

        Maybe you missed some of the leaked internal footage from the likes of Disney and Twitter – but then again, Random, what you are perhaps best known for is your penchant for confirmation bias. You see ONLY the side that reinforces your belief system.

        Coup?
        One side being authoritarian?
        Hunter laptop not important?
        NY Times NOT a propaganda rag?

        You have zero credibility being such a Sheeple.

        1. 4.5.3.1

          Coup?

          I mean I guess I’ll just do the big lie:

          There was unquestionably an attempted coup, and it’s not in factual dispute and it’s all well known.

          Trump’s team asserted that there were MILLIONS of illegal votes over multiple states as part of a vast conspiracy to steal the election from him, that they had proof of it, and that Trump was legally elected. They filed over thirty court cases. They produced scant evidence and MULTIPLE courts made clear that even if what they claimed to have was true it still could not logically result in a trump win. They won none of their cases. In no state was there any plausible set of facts that trump actually received more votes. Several of the lawyers who argued those cases were suspended or disbarred because of their actions. There was NO credibility to any of it. Further, later analysis EVEN BY REPUBLICAN PARTISANS such as in Arizona found insignificant discrepancies to even approach a Trump win, let alone a systemic conspiracy. This is all well-documented, played out on television, and is part of the legal record in courthouses across seven states. You can read the legal decisions today if you wish.

          While the Trump team was lying in the media and in court they coordinated and organized, against state law, alternate slates of republican electors in states where the republican party was in control despite none of those ever tallying Trump having more votes than Biden. In states where republicans were not in control, they sought to have the republican congressional delegation object to the counting because of the fraudulent court cases. Not a single one of the states with the second slate of electors ever actually created a count where Trump had more votes than Biden (let alone certified that count). These fake electors were also reported on at the time, and are currently the subject of civil and criminal suits ongoing today. Trump was actually recorded pressuring the Georgia Secretary of State to play his part in this scheme. You can listen to it. So now we’re at baseless, unproven allegations not even plausibly creating a count to justify a second slate of electors.

          The Trump team then recruited vice president pence, representatives and senators to use the fake slate based upon their intentional lie in order to show that neither slate of electors could be counted, bringing the total for Biden below 270 and making trump the majority electoral vote getter. The communications are documented and the actions of the representatives were broadcast on live tv. John Eastman – Trump’s attorney – explicitly wrote a memo which HE confirmed, which is in the public record and well reported upon. The memo explicitly details the attempt to maneuver into a situation where Pence could assert that nobody reached 270 and use the fact that the function of the VP during the count has never been tested in court to trigger the Supreme Court finding this to be a political question that would allow Republicans to assert that Trump should remain. Don Jr. sent texts to republican donors asserting that team trump was in control of all of the relevant avenues for the election of the president.

          The goal was to bring the total below 270, which would kick the question to a 1-state 1-vote tally, and republicans controlled a majority of the congressional delegations, which would allow Trump to be reelected, based on the fake electors from the lie. This was explicitly stated in communications by Don Jr. and John Eastman. Apparently, the only reason that a constitutional crisis did not actually occur is because Dan Quayle – a republican – convinced Pence he could not actually achieve unilateral power to not-count the electoral votes. But even if Pence was wrong about the legal theory, (unlikely) the factual situation to trigger it could only be reached by piling illegal action upon lie to subvert the will of the voters in no less than six states. Trump’s team knew this, Trump’s team took part in making this happen, Trump himself knew, and Trump himself took part in making this happen.

          Every part of this scheme is well documented and in full public view. It’s already been determined multiple times that the lawyers involved knew or should have known that they could not prove what they were contending. The line from that lie to the false electors is clear. The motivation for generating the false electors is explicitly stated in memo form. Conservatives, including Trump himself and his inner circle, unquestionably lied as part of a series of steps to attempt to keep trump in power when he had no constitutional basis to remain. That is an attempted coup.

          Polls state that 53% of republicans believe that trump actually won the 2020 election. There is no way to explain that other than mass delusion brought about by lying media dissemination in an echo chamber. These people are delusional.

          1. 4.5.3.1.1

            When anon challenges your credibility, you know you are on the right track.

            1. 4.5.3.1.1.1

              Perhaps a George Carlin filter then…

              Your comment is awaiting moderation.

              May 19, 2022 at 8:34 am

              Another count filter….

              Your comment is awaiting moderation.

              May 19, 2022 at 8:34 am

              so like you NS II – @ssume the conclusion that you want (there is nothing “right” about the track you observe).

              There is a far cry from my observing how Random has wrec ked his own credibility with ANY notion that it is I that is challenging his credibility.

              But you be you and identify with that like-minded bubb1e of “right track.”

              1. 4.5.3.1.1.1.1

                Q.E.D.

                1. But just not how you think — as is typical of my sm ack d0wns of you.

                  Thanks for proving my point.

                  Again.

          2. 4.5.3.1.2

            Well-written and absolutely true but we would not to press the latter point lest we appear “biased” against the sort of people who do little more than just make stuff up and repeat it or who resort to empty subject-changing nonsense.

            1. 4.5.3.1.2.1

              lol – that you “agree” makes it NEITHER “well-written” nor “absolutely true,” Malcolm.

              You seem to have a real issue understanding this.

          3. 4.5.3.1.3

            You exhibit plain error in equating ANY sense of “The Big Lie” with an actual coup.

            It just does not reach the legal definition.

            I “get” that it fits the Liberal Left narrative that you have lapped up – and that your propensity for confirmation bias has long ago cemented that in place (no matter the results of the
            f
            a
            i
            l
            e
            d
            impeachment proceedings ON that point.

            But you don’t even see those facts, do you?

          4. 4.5.3.1.4

            Besides the many publicly available unrefuted legal decisions, attorney sanctions, and other facts RG lists above at 4.5.3.1 re the massive continuing presidential election election lies, there are publicly available admissions by major involved attorneys and extremist media election lies perpetrators, in several pending defamation suits, of lack of any credible election-changing-fraud evidence. It is amazing to me that any attorney would apparently have no other source of significant public information on actual legal proceedings than mere blogs by extremists of any ilk on mere “social media” platforms. I use none.
            That is all I intend to say on this topic here. I hope we can return to using this blog for learning something useful about actual patent law.

    6. 4.6

      “Trump will be seen as a smart man with mainly good policies.” – In a comment section often beaming with oblivious commentary, this one shines the brighest.

      1. 4.6.1

        Not as much as you think — some cannot separate their emotions from the underlying policies — that is indeed a bug and not a feature.

        As I noted, this was plainly evident in the VP debate, in which ‘stone face’ Pence smashed Harris.

        But hey, choosing to imbibe in the OMB-TDS is a choice you are free to make.

        1. 4.6.1.1

          “Not as much as you think”

          Don’t be deceived! There is even more oblivious stuff and Billy is typing it up right now.

    7. 4.7

      Twitter has a lot of competitors with more libertarian moderation. Go use them and increase their market share. Simple solution.

      1. 4.7.1

        So why all the fuss from the more Left Liberals when Musk made his move?

        1. 4.7.1.1

          If Musk ever actually does end up purchasing Twitter instead of in a lengthy lawsuit in Delaware chancery court, I suggest they migrate to other platforms.

    8. 4.8

      a smart white man with mainly good white policies

    9. 4.9

      “Trump will be seen as a smart man”

      I grew up in the NYC Metro area during Trump’s “rise” as a NYC real estate developer. His reputation was far from that of being a smart man. He was thought of as a putz, an ego in search of whatever success he imagined was due to his “genius” and his alone, and his business failures were far more spectacular than his limited successes. You can blame his losing his home state, and home city on NYC being “librul” but NY State has had its shares of GOP governors and NYC its share of GOP mayors (remember Rudy Guiliani?). No, he lost his home state and his home city because they knew Trump for the ignorant, screw-up he was, is, and will continue to be.
      He had the benefit of his Apprentice propaganda to support the image of him being a business success but, again, the people who knew him also knew what a Potemkin Village that was.

      1. 4.9.1

        I entirely see your view of the man being a putz and an ego.

        ALL THE MORE blame then on both sides of the aisle for not only not listening to the American Public in getting him elected, but ALSO continuing the same B$ politics as usual in perpetrating the decisiveness that STILL mars the political landscape.

        It is FAR WORSE for those perpetrating the politics than it is to either BE Trump or supporting Trump.

        And for the record – I did not vote for Trump – and do not support his lunacy. BUT there be far worse lunacy afoot.

  8. 3

    Indeed, free speech is a barometer. When momentum builds in favor of censorship, it suggests that enough well-monied interests are behind it, otherwise they wouldn’t even bother trying. It seems to suggest a future, where free speech is viewed as damaging to those harbouring nefarious desires. i.e., with full censorship, atrocities cannot be freely shared, should they begin to occur.

    1. 3.1

      The Ludlow Massacre comes to mind…..

    2. 3.2

      There is a simple metric:

      Government telling you what you can and cannot post: censorship

      Private entity telling you what you can and cannot post on their platform: not censorship

      (I say this knowing that it is actually not conservatives that are the most affected by these moderation practices)

      1. 3.2.1

        (I say this knowing that it is actually not conservatives that are the most affected by these moderation practices)

        This you know, eh?

        By the by – your simple metric is just not that simple – for a host of reasons. Section 230, Public Square (whether you acknowledge its legal aspects or not), Time/Place/Manner…

        1. 3.2.1.1

          Yes, I do know that. If you knew anything about moderation, you would know that too.

          By the by – your simple metric is just not that simple – for a host of reasons. Section 230, Public Square (whether you acknowledge its legal aspects or not), Time/Place/Manner…

          It is abundantly clear by your relies in this thread that you actually don’t know much about 1st amendment jurisprudence. Rather, you have a conception of 1st amendment jurisprudence that you wish where true.

          1. 3.2.1.1.1

            Yes, I do know that. If you knew anything about moderation, you would know that too.

            I know more about moderation than you – and that is why I questioned “that you know.”

            How is then, “that you know?”

            It is abundantly clear by your relies in this thread that you actually don’t know much about 1st amendment jurisprudence

            Quite the opposite, actually. Thanks for playing.

            1. 3.2.1.1.1.1

              I know more about moderation than you – and that is why I questioned “that you know.”

              There has been no evidence provided in this thread that you know anything about moderation.

              I know because I am part of a community that faces the wrath of moderation on social media way more than conservatives.

              Quite the opposite, actually. Thanks for playing.

              There has been no evidence provided in this thread that you know much about 1st amendment jurisprudence.

              1. 3.2.1.1.1.1.1

                Climb down from your peak of Mount S — you wouldn’t recognize “evidence” if it smacked you in the face.

              2. 3.2.1.1.1.1.2

                wtf…

                Your comment is awaiting moderation.

                May 19, 2022 at 8:44 am

                I know because I am part of a community that faces the wrath of moderation on social media way more than conservatives.

                Your personal feelings are not facts.

  9. 2

    Florida passed a law today that says protesting in public streets adjacent to private homes is a now a 2nd degree misdemeanor.

    After Texas SB8, it’s quaint to think that the facial Constitutionality of any new law means much of anything if the American Taliban desires otherwise. Property rights pale in the glory what the almighty wants, as communicated to its preferred political party.

    Between the 5th Circuit & the USSC, it’s a new theocratic age. Get used to it.

    1. 2.1

      Suppressing public speech, requiring companies to host speech that they disagree with, and punishing companies for disagreeing with your policies. One would expect this from Putin’s Russia — not the United States of America.

      1. 2.1.1

        Your first point is a matter of “conflict” with the second — expressly in view of the Town Square doctrine.

        Wt – you may not be understanding the nuances of the issues here.

        1. 2.1.1.1

          Wt – you may not be understanding the nuances of the issues here.
          There is no misunderstanding on my part. I am well aware of the long-standing and well-recognized differences between public speech and private speech.

          If Dennis wants to suppress my speech that is his right as I’m on his property. It wouldn’t be the first time and likely not the last. Whether he has 50 million US monthly users or 500 monthly users shouldn’t make one bit of difference. If people don’t like what Dennis is publishing (or suppressing in the comments), they are free to visit (and comment within) the other IP blogs.

          There are no “nuances of the issues here.” Rather, there are those who are offended that their speech is being filtered out in certain private forums and they don’t like it so they have attempted to argue a “Public Forum” doctrine in the courts for the purpose of forcing these private forums to host their speech.

          1. 2.1.1.1.1

            So I can see that you reject the Town Square doctrine.

            We will have to agree to disagree (especially considering that the Town Square is augmented with protection under Section 230, and the notion that the government may not achieve through a private actor what they themselves may not do directly).

            As to what Prof. Crouch does here – we may also have to agree to disagree, but perhaps on different terms, as I have always noted that I abide (fully) by the posted terms — of which posting has ‘conveniently’ become conspicuously absent, as well as the rules were simply not uniformly applied.

            Also note that “host their speech” is a bit of an overstatement, as conditions of what speech (in the purported Public Square) was allowed was NOT without limits.

            1. 2.1.1.1.1.1

              So I can see that you reject the Town Square doctrine.

              What’s the town square doctrine? I’ve never heard of it. There’s a public forum doctrine, but that applies to public spaces and quasi-public features by grant of monopoly.

              The government can’t come in and regulate what a newspaper says, even if its the only newspaper in town and even if its the de facto only way the town communicates.

              Texas doesn’t own “the internet” and even if it did it doesn’t purport to regulate the internet qua internet. Its only regulating some particular private websites. There’s no manner in which the public forum doctrine could apply. I assume in absence of that there’s a new fangled “town square” doctrine that allows the party of limited government to co-opt private property by saying that popular private stuff ends up being public?

              Nothing is stopping Texas from making its own web forum – well, except its inability to hold down a functioning electric grid. I’m sure it would have wonderfully exciting content that would attract everyone want to come join it. I know I am always interested in reading the deep thoughts of the people who elected and reelected Ted Cruz.

              1. 2.1.1.1.1.1.1

                You should check that out again (hint: company towns do NOT get to have total free reign).

            2. 2.1.1.1.1.2

              So I can see that you reject the Town Square doctrine.
              Did I make it so painfully obvious? I hope so. You are, of course, welcome to try to convince me that the Town Square doctrine (actually, I believe its more common name is the Public Square doctrine) has some value in our First Amendment jurisprudence — that’s if Dennis chooses to permit it.

              Again, my position is that it is his right to permit (or not) such a conversation. I didn’t walk into a Town Square or Public Square. Rather, I walked into Dennis’ house, and it his prerogative as to what I get to talk about and who he associates with. The fact that he allows speech doesn’t mean he gives up those rights. Moreover, in my mind, no magical number (e.g., 50 million US monthly users) transforms his house into a public square. For if the magical number is now set at 50 million US monthly users nothing prevents it from being set at 5 monthly users.

              “I’m sorry Mr. Anon, we’ve been told that there are 5 people meeting in your house today. As you know, there is a law that requires that speech inside your home, err … I mean public forum …, cannot be discriminated against. For that reason, we need to station a monitor inside your home to ensure this happens. I’m sure that you’ll agree that this is necessary to protect everyone’s free speech.

              Pretty out there hypothetical, huh? Then again, I would have never imagined the day when certain prominent members of the party of Reagan would fall over themselves to justify Russia’s aggression against its neighbors. Just yesterday, a vote was held to advance a $40 billion Ukraine aid package to help in its fight against Russia. The vote was 81-11. Those 11 were from the same party — the party that Reagan rescued. The world truly has turned upside down.

              of which posting has ‘conveniently’ become conspicuously absent, as well as the rules were simply not uniformly applied.
              I’m not happy about some of these rules either. However, I have a choice to take my speech elsewhere. I also have the option to create my own forum and choose who I want to associate with. My house, my rules. Dennis’ house, his rules. If Facebook, Twitter, and Google were the only forums in the land, and the government forced everyone to use those forums, then you might have an argument. However, those are not the facts. Gab, Parler, Gettr, Truth Social all exist. In fact, I was able to access each of these sites in the last 5 minutes.

              Also note that “host their speech” is a bit of an overstatement, as conditions of what speech (in the purported Public Square) was allowed was NOT without limits
              ‘Their house, their rules.’ Personally, I like that better than ‘your house, my rules.’

              1. 2.1.1.1.1.2.1

                You are, of course, welcome to try to convince me that the Town Square doctrine (actually, I believe its more common name is the Public Square doctrine) has some value in our First Amendment jurisprudence — that’s if Dennis chooses to permit it.

                You want to make the case that Public Square doctrine does NOT have some value in our First Amendment jurisprudence?

                LOL – this is NOT a case that I need to make. This exists quite independent of me.

                As to THIS forum, maybe stick with the position that I have actually made – your wanting to beat up a strawman does not fit.

                For if the magical number is now set at 50 million US monthly users nothing prevents it from being set at 5 monthly users.

                Ok – can accept this – what is your point? That our legislature is powerless to set time/manner/place laws?

                Have you ever taken a FA law class?

                when certain prominent members of the party of Reagan would fall over themselves to justify Russia’s aggression against its neighbors

                Whataboutism much? This is another non-sequitor position, and you attempt to shame one side without actually viewing the reasons why yet another aid package may be disagreed with. This position of yours is a tangent and really does not help your view on the point of this thread.

                I do give you some credit though, as you do (eventually) get to a salient point. “If Facebook, Twitter, and Google were the only forums in the land, and the government forced everyone to use those forums, then you might have an argument

                Your view of WHEN a Public Square doctrine may be in order is a fair one to discuss. You want an absolute position, one in which there is NO option AND the Government is forcing the channel.

                But that is just too extreme a view of the Public Square doctrine, as such a situation would
                F
                A
                I
                L
                even before any such Public Square doctrine could be put on the table.

                Additionally, your novice nature of FA law is again exhibited with “‘Their house, their rules.’ Personally, I like that better than ‘your house, my rules.’” as a rebuttal to the noted exceptions in the law.

                May I suggest that you think about the nature of FA law prior to your next swing? You are not seeing the ball as it crosses the plate.

                1. Ok – can accept this – what is your point? That our legislature is powerless to set time/manner/place laws?

                  Laws that only restrict some speakers (Twitter) but not others (Parler) are not viewpoint neutral, cannot be considered time place manner restrictions, and trigger strict scrutiny, see Citizen’s United. Democrats tried to amend the Texas law to lower it to 25m users and it was denied because that would have subjected Parler to the restrictions. It is not a time place manner restriction. And even if it was set at 1 monthly user such that it applied to everyone, that still wouldn’t be a tpm restriction as it does not apply for a limited duration. TPM restrictions are transient limitations on communal resources. You can’t escape strict scrutiny by simply calling it a time-based restriction that applies for an indefinite period.

                2. Please Pardon Potential rePeat…

                  Your comment is awaiting moderation.

                  May 18, 2022 at 10:23 am

                  Transient…?

                  That is not how tpm works.

              2. 2.1.1.1.1.2.2

                I also notice that you were perfectly fine with marty’s use of “theocratic” yet MISSED on my use.

                That’s a double strike for you.

          2. 2.1.1.1.2

            WT – On this I agree with you. Let the consumers decide. What I would also like to see though, is that if any company proports to be content neutral (making public statements to that effect) yet is actually not (by having a “truth” squad or rating posts a false etc.) then this should be an SEC violation.

      2. 2.1.2

        Is it suppression of public speech to have to apply for a permit and pay money to be able to hold a protest in a public park in DC?

        Regarding protesting outside of someone’s house, I know in my small town and community if you wanted to hold any gathering in any public place (park/street), you would need a permit. Second, those gathering in front of houses were obstructing traffic. Third, additional municipal resources were deployed to be in front of the houses to make sure the protest stayed in the public areas. Who paid for those additional resources? Finally, if they were chanting, then they probably violated a noise ordinance too.

        The permit process accounts for all these variables and weighs the pros and cons of the right of one group to use the public area against the other groups who also want to use the area. I think we lose sight of these logistics when people say we have a carte blanche right to protest in public places.

        1. 2.1.2.1

          There are issues beyond permitting alone as well — laws already exist in regards to intimidation (and that is more than intimidation by physical force) of judicial officers.

          Is it DISinformation for the Main Stream Media to not cover this accurately?

          Should we ask the Orwellian Ministry of Truth recently enacted by Biden under the Department of Homeland Security?

          Oh wait…

    2. 2.2

      You are aware that attempts to intimidate the judiciary was already a (non-theocratic) law, eh?

      Or maybe – just maybe – you are still unaware of the theocracy of the Liberal Left, as Neo-Liberal Post-Marxist philosophies have in fact reached theocratic levels.

      Authoritarianism on either side of the political spectrum is B A D.

      Funny thing is, it is the Left Authoritarianism that is most dangerous in today’s USA.

      1. 2.2.1

        You are aware that attempts to intimidate the judiciary was already a (non-theocratic) law, eh?
        There is a difference between intimidation (by threats of force/violence) and speech. If a peaceful (i.e., nonviolent) protest can be conflated with ‘intimidation’ of the judiciary, a template has been created for a loophole with which to suppress any speech that someone (in power) doesn’t like.

        1. 2.2.1.1

          There is a difference between intimidation (by threats of force/violence) and speech.

          Yes – I did not say otherwise – but the federal law on judicial intimidation ALSO includes non-violent intimidation.

          The “template for a loophole” ALREADY exists – and so exists OUTSIDE of any so-called “theocratic” position. This is EXPRESSLY related to the officers of the judicial process and does not reach your overbroad statement of “someone (in power) doesn’t like.

          Two misses in a row for you – swing more carefully.

        1. 2.2.2.1

          Left authoritarianism (at a theocratic level):

          Let’s work with some definitions, shall we.

          Authoritarianism: “In government, authoritarianism denotes any political system that concentrates power in the hands of a leader or a small elite that is not constitutionally responsible to the body of the people.”

          Theocratic: “relating to or denoting a system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god”

          The article refers to a single engineer at Twitter engineer being secretly recorded by an undercover Project Veritas agent. This engineer complains that “Some of my colleagues are like super left, left, left, left, left.” He also claims that twitter is “censoring the right.”

          So we have one disgruntled employee whose rant is being secretly recorded. Can you perhaps explain why you labeled this authoritarianism or theocratic? Twitter is not the government. Moreover, Twitter is not basing their actions in the name of God.

          What I have discovered from listening to both sides (personally, I don’t like listening to either side) in this country is that both sides are working with an entirely different set of facts. We, as a country, cannot get become less divided if our perception of the facts wildly differs. However, it is characterizations such as yours (e.g., “Left authoritarianism (at a theocratic level)”) that lead to this wildly-divergent view of the facts. It is irresponsible and leads to the division that we see today.

          If you want to call Twitter a private company that moderates their content and in doing so filters out comments that violate their term of service, then that is entirety accurate. However, to call Twitter the work of left authoritarianism at a theocratic level, you are engaging in something akin to Orwell’s Newspeak.

          1. 2.2.2.1.1

            What I have discovered from listening to both sides (personally, I don’t like listening to either side) in this country is that both sides are working with an entirely different set of facts. We, as a country, cannot get become less divided if our perception of the facts wildly differs.

            Agree completely.

            However, it is characterizations such as yours (e.g., “Left authoritarianism (at a theocratic level)”) that lead to this wildly-divergent view of the facts. It is irresponsible and leads to the division that we see today.

            Disagree completely.

            It is NOT merely “one disgruntled employee.”
            It is FAR MORE than that.
            It is not even JUST Biden and his* administration – you really do need to educate yourself on the rampant Neo-Liberalism and Post-Marxist ideologies of those SPRINTING Left.

            you are engaging in something akin to Orwell’s Newspeak.

            LOL – not at all – and YOUR suggestion itself is so very 1984. Tell me again (or maybe the first time that you might be noticing this), which administration has set up a Ministry of Truth under the Department of Homeland Security (for those “Existential Threats of anyone not agreeing with the prevailing party’s narrative — in a VERY MUCH Malcolm ‘one-bucket’ manner)?

            link to wsj.com

          2. 2.2.2.1.2

            Pardon Potential rePeat due to Count Filter…

            Your comment is awaiting moderation.

            May 18, 2022 at 8:59 am

            What I have discovered from listening to both sides (personally, I don’t like listening to either side) in this country is that both sides are working with an entirely different set of facts. We, as a country, cannot get become less divided if our perception of the facts wildly differs.

            Agree completely.

            However, it is characterizations such as yours (e.g., “Left authoritarianism (at a theocratic level)”) that lead to this wildly-divergent view of the facts. It is irresponsible and leads to the division that we see today.”**

            Disagree completely.

            It is NOT merely “one disgruntled employee.”
            It is FAR MORE than that.
            It is not even JUST Biden and his* administration – you really do need to educate yourself on the rampant Neo-Liberalism and Post-Marxist ideologies of those SPRINTING Left.

            you are engaging in something akin to Orwell’s Newspeak.

            LOL – not at all – and YOUR suggestion itself is so very 1984. Tell me again (or maybe the first time that you might be noticing this), which administration has set up a Ministry of Truth under the Department of Homeland Security (for those “Existential Threats of anyone not agreeing with the prevailing party’s narrative — in a VERY MUCH Malcolm ‘one-bucket’ manner)?

            http s://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-establishes-a-ministry-of-*one*ruth-d*one*sinformation-governance-board-partisan-11651432312

            [NOTE] – it appears that there is a George Carlin filter blocking the link. To activate the link, exchange the “ones” and put the “t/s” back in “*one*ruth and the “i’s” back in d*one*sinformation – then remove the space after http:]

            **ADDED** – your lack of understanding of the theocratic nature of the Far Left does not make such a situation any less so. You want to claim that this is “my view” and further that my view is distorted.

            Neither of these assertions of yours are true. I have several times now indicated an expert in this area, and provided that this expert’s view is in fact historically sound and cemented in facts.

            Maybe you should actually listen to some of Dr. Lindsay’s teachings before making accusations.

          3. 2.2.2.1.3

            As noted above – your wanting “definitions” for me, and yet applauding marty is a double miss.

            This is just not your day – nor your subject.

    3. 2.3

      Florida passed a law today that says protesting in public streets adjacent to private homes is a now a 2nd degree misdemeanor.

      After Texas SB8, it’s quaint to think that the facial Constitutionality of any new law means much of anything if the American Taliban desires otherwise.

      First amendment jurisprudence has always included the acceptability of time/place/manner restrictions. The idea that your right of free speech does not reach so far as to entitle you to inconvenience the ordinary neighbors of a public figure is not a blow to free speech, but a perfectly ordinary part of the doctrine as it has traditionally existed.

      As for the TX social media law, that is a different story. If the Court were to decide that there can be a violation of one’s first amendment rights without any predicate government action, that really would be a sea-change in constitutional law. I am skeptical that we will see such a sea-change. I predict that the Court is going to set aside the CA5’s order here.

  10. 1

    There is MORE THAN A LITTLE Motte and Bailey going on here.

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