President Donald Trump has talked very tough about putting corporate tech giants who are at war with free speech in their place with frequent messages calling out Amazon, Google, Facebook and Twitter for their anti-American business practices.
So sorry to hear the news about Jeff Bozo being taken down by a competitor whose reporting, I understand, is far more accurate than the reporting in his lobbyist newspaper, the Amazon Washington Post. Hopefully the paper will soon be placed in better & more responsible hands!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2019
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2017
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
But Trump hasn’t followed up that rhetoric with concrete action, even as his supporters are thrown off various platforms for terms of service violations that are not enforced in an even-handed manner. There is one Presidential hopeful in 2020 who is ready to take serious action to solve this problem, and it is Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Pocahontas has become a laughingstock of sorts after faking Indian heritage to gain affirmative action benefits throughout her life, but her proposal to take down the tech giants is as deadly serious as the Plains Indians were at Little Big Horn.
“I want a government that makes sure everybody — even the biggest and most powerful companies in America — plays by the rules,” Ms. Warren said according to a New York Times report. “To do that, we need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor.”
“To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies,” she added.
Warren’s proposal would call for regulators to “unwind tech mergers that illegally undermine competition” and this would apply retroactively to major firms. It could rollback Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram, Google’s acquisition of Waze, and Amazon’s take over of Whole Foods. Entities like Amazon Marketplace and AmazonBasics would be split into separate companies as well.
Her proposal would also create legislation that would disallow social media platforms that allow a marketplace for commerce from profiting in that same marketplace. This would ideally end certain conflicts of interest to stop total corporate dominance of these monopoly platforms. While not specifically addressing free speech protections for dissidents, Warren is offering an ambitious proposal that would do a great deal to put the clamps on Big Brother.
While Warren is working to put the tech giants in their place, President Trump is wooing them at summits and boasting that he will help import more cheap labor to funnel even more cash into their operation.
Trump cannot let Pocahontas of all people get ahead of him on this key issue, and he must propose bold action. When devising the reforms, Trump would be wise to rely on the wisdom of his own son. Donald Trump Jr. showed in a recent interview with Tucker Carlson of FOX News that he is very well-versed on the issue of tech censorship.
What to do about Big Tech will be one of the top issues for voters in 2020. By serving the corporate elite, Trump will send voters into the coffers of Pocahontas and other liberals who at least propose concrete solutions to fend off the Orwellian nightmare rather than offering just rhetoric.
YOUR NEW MASTER: Twitter’s Head of Conversational Safety, a “Young, Queer Asian-American Businesswoman,” is “Rethinking” the Concept of User Safety
Do you trust someone like her to make Twitter “a safer place”?
The media company Protocol, a sister site of Politico, recently published an article about Twitter’s new “head of product for conversational safety,” Christine Su. It claims that Su, a “young, queer Asian-American businesswoman,” is revolutionizing what “user safety” on social media means.
Twitter hired Su around six months ago to be in charge of “what might be the most difficult task on Twitter,” despite having no apparent experience in politics, programming, and media relations. But Twitter seems to like her for her “creative” and “somewhat radical new ideas” about user safety.
“As a queer woman of color who is an Asian American in tech in rural America, that experience is a very intersectional one. I’ve had plenty of experiences moving through spaces where I wanted more safety,” Su said.
Protocol writes that Su’s vision incorporates “transformative and procedural justice.” Transformative justice ostensibly refers to a non-retributive form of repairing harm done to someone and preventing it from happening again; procedural justice to enacting a set of rules that “make harm rarer in the first place.”
This all sounds nice and dandy—but beware. So-called transformative and procedural justice will not benefit you, but will crush you. Anything that’s perceived as “harmful” against “women and people from marginalized groups” can and will be used to censor you. Christine Su may reassuringly claim that “the point is not to make the entire world a safe space,” but she’s open about the fact that she will help give the Coalition of the Fringes more control over what people are allowed to do and say on Twitter.
Examples from the article:
- Creating an audio hangout feature called “Spaces,” which will allow users to determine who is allowed to participate, as well as who can speak and when. (Note that it’s being tested on “women and marginalized groups of people” first.)
- Potentially doubling down on functions that “encourage people to read content before reposting it.” (Which is exclusively done to censor or limit the reach of conservative and other right-wing content.)
- Building tools that “create private pathways for apologies, forgiveness and deescalation.” (The finer details are still a work in progress according to Su.)
- Defining what a “meaningful conversation” is. (Would people like Su think that anything right-wingers say or believe belongs in a “meaningful conversation”? Let’s just say I wouldn’t bet money on it…)
You know full well that a company like Facebook would shortly follow suit. After all, it’s not just Twitter that Su is “revolutionizing,” but the concept of social media itself. Figure out where all this is heading.
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