Photo via Illinois Gun Owners Together Facebook Page (Pre-ban, at least).
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Zuck strikes again. On Sunday, Facebook deleted the very popular “Illinois Gun Owners Together – IGOT” private Facebook group. And with the appeal is stretching into the fourth day, it looks like IGOT won’t be back.

We have watched as Facebook has shadow-banned conservative content in earnest following President Trump’s election. Now, Zuckerberg’s minions have moved to simply ban it on the platform altogether. And gun rights activism certainly fits that bill.

Image via the (former?) IGOT Facebook page.

Over the last eight-plus years, the IGOT group had grown slowly and steadily to 8100 members, including a lot of younger gun owners.

What’s more, IGOT has grown far beyond the Internet. They organize outings such as the fun shoots (see picture at top) at the Buffalo Range near Ottawa for members to socialize, share some good food and have a great time.

In Springfield they have grown their influence at the Land of Lincoln’s state capitol complex, too. The group’s members regularly lobby their elected officials, submit witness slips and keep their friends and relatives on Facebook up to date on gun legislation and gun rights issues.

What’s more, at the past two Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day events, hundreds of IGOT members proved impossible to miss (or dismiss) in their IGOT shirts.

More recently, IGOT helped publicize State Senator Julie Morrison’s comments about confiscating America’s favorite rifle, the AR-15 and other modern sporting rifles from Illinois residents. Obviously Morrison’s comments went over poorly with Prairie State gun owners. And Morrison took a lot of heat on social media in the immediate aftermath. And IGOT proudly helped facilitate that.

Then Senator Morrison posted this on Facebook:

Clearly Senator Julie Morrison has no more respect for the First Amendment than she does for the Second. In just a week since her screed was publicized, it has received 1600+ comments.  Few of them supported Morrison’s threat to suppress constituents’ free speech rights.

Now, just as a state senator is feeling the heat that IGOT, in part, brought down upon her, suddenly the group gets hit with the ban hammer by Facebook central command. Coincidence, no doubt.

Anyway, Facebook told John Coyne of IGOT’s leadership that three things would have to happen to bring the group back. They should change their cover photo, change the group’s description and address the posts that supposedly violate Facebook’s “community standards.”

Good luck identifying those in a group with thousands of posts every day.

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  1. Big tech is fast becoming big brother…they present a uniform leftist perspective that permeates the platforms they host. Their protestations of neutrality are purely self-serving and utterly disingenuous. It’s time to take these corporate propaganda platforms apart for the common good.

    • AT&T got hit in the early ’80s with Antitrust action by the Fed Gov and was broken up. Then Microsoft got hit in the ’90s. It’s time to change the classification of Alphabet (Google, Youtube) and Facebook to “public utilities” and stop this. I’m all for libertarian free markets and hands-off governing, but when a senior exec at Googlez openly admits that they’re engaging in election 2020 tampering, it’s time to enforce the law.

      • “I’m all for free markets and hands-off government, but when a private company does something I don’t like, the government MUST STEP IN!” – I Haz A Question, basically

        • Therefore, by your reasoning, monopolies should be allowed to exist? There should be zero rules or regulations? Correct?

        • “Therefore, by your reasoning, monopolies should be allowed to exist?”

          The definition of “monopoly” is not so defined as you might hope. Taking Standard Oil as the prime example, it was true that SO tried to corner the entire industry, preventing anyone else from entering. Now go way forward: Apple and Microsoft.

          Apple was threatened because the company produced hardware and software that were intertwined. Even the idea that Apple machines would not run any non-Apple software did not prevent other companies from making software for DOS machines. Yet, anti-trust charges were lodged against Apple, despite the array of otherhardware builders at the time. Essentially, Apple had a monopoly on Apple products.

          For Microsoft, it was Internet Explorer. Microsoft originally dismissed the internet as a “fad”, not worth the investment. After a bit, Gates decided Microsoft need to dominate the browser market (thus the internet). IE was embedded in Windows, much like Apple earlier embedded their software apps. However, all the other browsers existent at the time could run on Windows (I had three different ones loaded at the time). Microsoft, like Apple, had a monopoly on Microsoft products, but not a monopoly on the entire PC hardware and software market (not withstanding Gates’ brilliant user license).

          Monopoly is becoming the replacement term for “dominance”. It’s not that alternate products and services are non-existent due to complete vertical control by a corporation, but that smaller companies are less likely to become “dominate”. As if there is some sort of cosmic equilibrium violated, somehow, somewhy, government must intrude to make things “fair”.

          Worked for a company that was the nearly sole distributor of certain products. We had $1.5b annual revenue, and a presence in China. There was another, much smaller ($250m) competitor for our service. After hearing for months that this smaller company was an existential threat, I recommended we adopt a Microsoft tactic, and buy the competitor. Executive management was convinced that such a thing was illegal (it wasn’t), or that we were so strong, the smaller competitor would just dry up. As it happened, four years later, the competitor bough our company. The owner of the competitor started buying our stock, funded a huge upgrade in its systems, sold our stock (collapsing it), and ultimately beat us at our own game. So much for “dominance” preventing entry into a market.

        • It’s more than that. What we are seeing is industries with extremely high barriers to entry that are dominated by three or four major companies starting to try and blacklist the political right, for example the major credit card companies, major banks, major infrastructural points of the Internet, etc…it is not a simple matter of just start your own company and try to compete in an otherwise free market. When you try to start an alternative company and then find that the major infrastructure companies that provide the ability to start said company also blacklist conservatives, and that to start a competitor with any of those companies is virtually impossible, there’s a problem.

          I agree though that any governmental intervention on this needs to be done carefully.

  2. If the Republicans had any balls they’d introduce legislation to remove any and all exemptions to the law the big lib social media outlets now enjoy. This is a full on war of censorship. Fascist Libs in social media, banking and commerce, academia, and politics are actively driving voices and thoughts with which they disagree out of the public sphere. This is exactly the way the Bolsheviks took power.

    • Republicans are no more sincere than the Democrats. They’re strawmen whose job it is to slowly allow our rights to erode. They exist to keep real opposition from forming just like the NRA.

        • No, of course the house won’t pass it. Which is worse for them.

          You ban and block people at the last minute, so they have no time to work around. Work-arounds got faster, so, that FaceSpace ban was early. Plus, responding made the D party tip their hand.

          Meanwhile, anybody can bang up a stand-alone forum n etc. with national reach and their own brand. The tech is actually white boxed — has been for years. LARPers n the S C A used to coordinate weeks-long, multi-state events, n campaigns coordinated over years, back when communication was hard.

          The Ill people organized protests, n had t shirts. They’ll coordinate in their own n discover that they didn’t need FaceTwit.

    • Better, decree that the internet is a utility and a public forum and that all providers must respect free speech, and classify all social media and search engines 1as providers. Or as pwrserge said, define them as a common carrier.

  3. When I was a kid I used to listen to these adults all around me in the 1970s. Wishing that the post office could be privatized and the government would be out of delivering your mail. The Libertarians the conservative Republicans all said that the private sector would be much better at ensuring your Communications are sent and delivered.

    Well the private-sector sector is taking over delivery of our Communications and packages.

    So how is that working out for us now with the private sector responsible for receiving processing and delivering our private Communications????

    It’s still a federal crime if you “F” with someone else’s mail. Not so much with a private-sector delivery system is it???

    • And you want the Socialist Govt to regulate your communications?

      Be careful what you wish for. Like Shitbamacare.

      • I want them held accountable when they deny service based on a political position. I want them treated as a common carrier open to lawsuits instead of hiding behind section 230 protections.

        • Already happens with Australia Post. Myself and others have had issues with correspondence going to and from NSW Firearms Registry going “missing”. Not everything, but when official paperwork then needs statutory declarations signed by justices of the peace to assert correspondence was not received, it is an awkward situation that is causing unnecessary delays.

          Just as well the Firearms Registry is moving to an online service which is more convenient, quicker, and more reliable.

    • Privatization only works if you have a choice. You can change your cable and phone company. It used to only be AT&T. Who are facebook’s competitors?

      • Social media needs to be treated like a utility. Social media only works as intended if someone is on the same platform. It doesn’t help if you have one phone service and can’t call anybody who uses another.

      • In much of the country you can’t change your cable company, or your internet company, because local jurisdictions contract with specific companies. This is one reason that both cable and internet in the U.S. lag seriously behind Europe: they have wide-open competition and we have government monopolies.
        Last time I looked at choosing an internet provider, I found five local options — but looking at the fine print, ti turned out that there were just two, because three of those options were fully owned by one or the other big outfit. For cable, there’s not even that much choice.

        • That isn’t true. Some local municipalities sign contracts, but citizens are always given the option to opt-out.

      • Facebook messenger definitely should be. Is a conference call a private communication? How is that different from posting material marked as “friends only”? If Facebook is a platform, they should be treated no differently than your phone company.

        • Messenger isn’t posting. IGOT had a page that people posted to the group on. The ability to post to large audiences is what this is about, no?

    • Privatizing a government service is just smoke screen to provide less service at higher cost. The postal service is “private” in that it cannot set rates, set delivery schedules, establish wages and benefits, avoid money-losing demands of customers. The feds set up the postal service to lose money on service, and make it up through volume.

      When government dictates every activity of your company, and sets prices, you no longer are a private company. Should congress dictate that the non-postal delivery services operate under the same rules of the postal service, and then compete on losing less fast, FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc would abandon delivery, and find a new line of business.

      • Please tell me how ComEd has none of those abilities. Regulating Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as something akin to utilities can be as simple as legally barring them from removing content or users without a clear violation of the law with massive punitive damages if they remove content anyway. Boom. Problem solved. Facebook et all are still private companies, but they loose the ability to unduly influence public discussion.

        • Government control is government control. Interesting how non-liberals are all about regulation when it favors, but against when the table tilts the other way.

          If government can dictate that a communications company must be completely blind as to content, that same government can constrain a communications company from acting against the public interest by ordering that company to block any content the government determines would upset the public interest.

          BTW, government can order ConEd to supply free, or at cost” backup electric power to solar and wind powered electric distribution systems.

        • “…can be as simple as legally barring them from removing content or users without a clear violation of the law with massive punitive damages if they remove content anyway.”

          At first blush, I *really* like the idea. Let’s play a ‘What if?’ game for a moment –

          We waved the magic wand and it is now law. How could that law be turned around and used against us? How could it backfire and bite us in the ass?

    • Dunno what you’re going on about, my experiences with FedEx and UPS have been pretty good.

      If you want to talk about how the private sector media companies have been trying to shape public opinion from day one, let’s do that, but it might not be the discussion you’re expecting.

    • What a terrible example… …comparing thriving free-market entities Like DHL and FedEx to the grossly mismanaged US mail.
      It’s a sinking boat, trying to plug its holes with our money while other delivery companies turn a profit.

    • Well, what’s not a crime, Federal or otherwise, is for the feds to take an image if everything that passes through the mail, including the written side of post cards. And keep it all indefinitely. And they do. (As they say, look it up…)

      There are also any number of exceptions to the security of what’s in your mail in transit.

      That’s not counting any focused programs or investigations. Bugging Dr. King’s hotel rooms was just one element of surveillance, disinformation, and harrassment directed at him during the civil rights movement.

      Perhaps he was as dirty as the recent publicity claims. But if true, we know that because he had no privacy from the Central Scrutinizer. We do know he had no access, by law, to any number of services n facilities.

      So, yeah, govt run services are never leveraged for or against one group or another.

      Or maybe people are not angels, however they are organized, n we should maybe design our systems n institutions, hopes n expectations, based on that.

      Like “allowing” personal arms…

  4. Facebook, Google & Youtube need to be broken up into smaller entities that no longer have God like power to wield against their political enemies.

    • “Facebook, Google & Youtube need to be broken up into smaller entities…”

      Be careful what you wish for. That potentially could make the problem worse, dealing with multiple baby rattlesnakes instead of one giant rattlesnake.

      Don’t forget – Whoever will be running them, they are guaranteed to be controlled by dedicated Leftists…

      • No Geoff, it is not a “guarantee” they will be run by leftist. What IS guaranteed is the current status quo of Facebook, Google, Twitter & Youtube is run by leftist.

        Watch on YouTube Project Veritas just released new report on Google and on how they are censoring everything conservative to prevent “another Donald Trump”.

        …oh wait! You can’t watch it there because YouTube effing censored it hours after being posted!

        However, in a direct refute to your “guarantee” is the google exective Jen Gennai the head of “Responsible Innovation” on undercover video saying that If Elizabeth Warren breaks them up, they will be less able to stop, because of diminished resources, “a Trump” from taking office.

        Watch the full video here..

    • The tech isn’t that hard any more. Maybe break them up, maybe not. But do work around them.

      The magic of their scale toward monopoly is ad revenue, supported by large numbers n broad profiles. Non-ad revenue, where blind scale is less advantage is the ticket.

      If only there were some ubiquitous connection tech, that worked by name, n served up content of your choosing…

  5. Have read plenty of comments, here and there, that the government should break-up “big tech”. Such a move, under existing federal law, would probably put the government in charge of regulating speech. One other consideration, when the government broke up Standard Oil, Rockefeller was the major stockholder in all the new companies; became many times more wealthy than before the break-up.

    What to do? Truly is “a puzzlement”.

    • I don’t think it is a puzzle. Simply remove the immunity these company’s enjoy for being a supposed neutral platform and allow them to be sued. There are plenty of groups these company’s have caused harm to that could band together for a class action suit. Any government intervention beyond that is too much.

      • Treat them as a utility and prohibit them from denying service for any action or position that doesn’t break the law.

      • “Simply remove the immunity these company’s enjoy for being a supposed neutral platform and allow them to be sued.”

        Might not that become a worse can of worms? If I were running one of those sites without “immunity”, I would certainly ban everything with which I disagreed for fear of being sued for offending someone. My terms and conditions would insulate me from charges of bias because not being a neutral host, I would be allowed to strangle speech as I pleased, allowing no alternative voices (newspapers are not required by law to print anything favorable to a political enemy).

        Zuckerberg did not ask congress to regulate him because he can’t help himself. He did it to increase his power and control, with government backing.

        • That’s why they need to be regulated like a public utility. ComEd is still a private business, but the way in which they operate that business is required to be completely neutral by law.

        • “That’s why they need to be regulated like a public utility. ComEd is still a private business”

          More like a contracted payment processor. ConEd is controlled by government, and must get permission to make changes of any sort.

        • Or you could take the approach of actually being a neutral platform that doesn’t try to police public or individual opinions, in which case people wouldn’t be suing you. Either way would be a hell of a lot better than what we have right now.

        • “Or you could take the approach of actually being a neutral platform that doesn’t try to police public or individual opinions, in which case people wouldn’t be suing you.”

          You mean not being sued for facilitating hate speech? Doing nothing to stop terrorist communications? Providing a platform for extremist groups of non liberal ideology?

        • “You mean not being sued for facilitating hate speech? Doing nothing to stop terrorist communications?”

          The answer to speech you find abhorrent is more free speech.

          Terrorist communications are a conspiracy to commit lethal felony acts…

        • “Terrorist communications are a conspiracy to commit lethal felony acts…”

          Exactly what I am talking about. How difficult is it for congress to declare other forms of speech to be illegal, and not permitted on government controlled communication utilities?

          The proper response to government intrusion/control is not intrusion/control we like.

        • Sam, that a bullshit argument and you know it’s a bullshit argument. Making it illegal for publicly accessible platforms to censor legal speech or deny access does not magically make them the ministry of truth. Government censorship has a much bigger hurdle called the 1st amendment. If a government ignores that hurdle, these platforms being “muh’ private companies” won’t slow them down in the least and you know it.

        • You missed the point….government involvement rarely works to the advantage of individual liberty. Asking government to step into the free speech arena is most dangerous, and disruptive. More government is not the cure for bad government.

          If we think government would ever be an honest broker regarding free speech, we deserve what happens next. Once government implements “neutrality”, government decides what is “neutral”. Somehow, saying, “The tree of liberty needs to be watered with the blood of tyrants…” will be considered protected under “neutrality”. Just as “net neutrality” does not mean freedom, but government regulation.

        • Again Sam, bullshit argument. The world is not black and white, it’s an endless range of grays.

          A simple statute that legally prevents any service with over 1 million users from denying service or removing content without a clear violation of the law is the least intrusive way to deal with the issue. Social media are the phone companies of the 21st century. It makes no sense to allow them free reign to censor as even “muh’ free market” would just lead to balkanization.

        • Why 1 million? Why not 5 million? Why not 10,000?

          What you are seeing is arbitrary rules (which government loves). Why not “…a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.” ? (P.Noonan 1988)

        • It’s a matter of scale and ability. The point of the CDA was to protect such sites when they were small and could be sued out of existence by more established providers. A million is an arbitrary number, but it’s solid enough to avoid private networks while including all social media platform providers.

        • It is the “arbitrary” that is troubling. Your reasons sound fine, but why not 1.5 million. You note that a smaller number might engulf small blogs and web sites, but why should they be exempt? If “neutrality” is the goal, what is the justification for allowing any content curation, by anyone? Given a public communications spectrum, why should any one be allowed to determine which content will/will not be allowed. What is to prevent government from declaring that websites and blogs are a public accommodation, using bandwidth owned by the public, thus no one can deny service?

          Given the proclivity of congress to pass vague laws, relying on bureaucrats to decide what’s what, and which is which, “neutrality” becomes a squishy concept.

        • Neutrality isn’t the goal. The goal is to support the free and open exchange of information and prevent a technocratic dystopia.

        • “The goal is to support the free and open exchange of information and prevent a technocratic dystopia.”

          Does that not require utter neutrality regrading content? Notice that the anti-liberty mafia already declared that the 1st amendment only protects legitimate speech. Illegitimate speech is anything that criticizes someone to the point they feel unsafe. Conservative ideas are radical, extremist, privileged, hurtful, dangerous and equivalent to physical attack.

          Free and open exchange of ideas is permitted only for people who tolerate and promote the abandonment of historical norms of society. Even expecting people to be on time to a job or class is racist, therefore not legitimate, or at worst, hate speech.

          The only usable dictate from government regarding prohibition of interference of communication would be to declare that no speech can be prohibited, for any reason, at any time, under any circumstance. Government is in the hands of the bureaucracy and the SJW crowd. How likely is it that a law regarding online communications will prohibit all interference with transmission of ideas? Are we not already seeing the idea of a social credit score being developed for our nation (copied from China)?

        • There’s a difference between neutrality (which requires a judgement call) and non-interference, which does not.

          At the end of the day, you’re not arguing against anything actually proposed. You’re arguing about unintended consequences, which is ironic given that the worst case scenario is no worse than what we have now.

        • “There’s a difference between neutrality (which requires a judgement call) and non-interference, which does not.”

          Isn’t “neutrality” the stance of taking no notice of belligerents? Having no judgement regarding the belligerents? I would think non-interference is the result of “neutrality”.

          However, I will acknowledge that in posing my concerns, “neutrality” and non-interference are identical.

      • “I don’t think it is a puzzle. Simply remove the immunity these company’s enjoy for being a supposed neutral platform and allow them to be sued.”

        Problem with that is, that’s exactly what they want to do to gun companies, remove their relative immunity to being sued, just because they manufacture legal guns…

        • Apples and oranges. One produces a product, the other provides a communications service. Do you think it would be reasonable to allow a phone company to censor what is said over their lines or to deny service to their ideological enemies?

    • Squawking for government to take over private businesses is a very leftist idea… very socialist. I’m surprised that more POTG don’t realize it and reject it.

      Now, those that grew up in a commie shithole, I can understand. They just can’t help themselves in making the same mistakes as their fore bearers. They don’t know any better and can’t help themselves. One can see them supporting genocide for political beliefs, want whole peoples rounded up, and government’s snout where it doesn’t belong. You can take the boy out of communism but you can’t take the communism out of the boy.

      Countdown to “Sorry kiddo…” and a bunch of bullshit. lol

      • Yes… let’s all bow to our overlords from the British East India Company. After all, they, technically aren’t “government”… This is why we call you libertardians what we do. In the real world, the government serves a useful function and counterbalance to completely unaccountable private interests. Demanding that communications companies uphold the ideas of free speech that allowed them to exist in the first place is not communism.

        • “In the real academic world, the government serves a useful function and counterbalance to completely unaccountable private interests. ”

          In the “real world”, government always devolves to suppression of liberty (not to mention freedom), suppression of the people. If we, the non-liberals, non-statists, non-authoritarian, cannot generate the wherewithal to counter large corporations, then we have the government, the society we deserve.

          With the 14th amendment, government stopped being the servant of the people, and became the singular force in society. If we must have government “save” us, we are among the most sadly positioned of peoples. The innovations of communications and technology did not come via the largess and self-sacrifice of government. Once government begins to regulate, innovation dries up. Read the history of radio under the telecommunications laws of 1934. Innovation was stifled for decades.

        • Ok Sam, let me know when you figure out a way to take on a corporation with revenues larger than most nation states. In the real world we need to balance dynamic forces against each other, not stomp down on one and give the other free reign. Right now, Silicon Valley has powers over society that would have given Stalin a hardon visible from orbit.

        • We agree that “big tech” has inordinate power. Still…

          The same government that wants to control speech and private firearms possession is not going to be saintly about controlling communications systems in benign manner. How do we recover from inordinate power of the biggest gorilla in any arena? As I noted earlier, there is a reason Zuckerberg went to congress begging to be regulated…and that reason was not altruism.

          If non-liberal people and businesses cannot find a viable path to competition against “social media”, then the majority rules as it will (just as the republic was founded). If there are no creative, innovative, entrepreneurs and funding “angels” who are “on our side”, then we have failed to properly sell our themes. Not seeing how the very government that is hostile to our themes can be trusted to protect us from predatory capitalism from the left.

          I see the silent hand of the market at play here…we do not represent a significant financial element, so the money goes where the market is more likely to return robust profits.

        • “Sorry kiddo…” You don’t know fuck-all about liberty; as evidenced by your many posts and rants here promoting the same leftist garbage from you roots. I don’t blame you too much… You don’t know any better and can’t help yourself. You are obviously a product of your environment. Your solution to most things is more government and violating people’s rights.

        • Ok… I hate to keep arguing with people who clearly have no fucking idea how social media is different from Mom and Pop’s Bagel shop.

          Let me simple it up for you.


          Having “competing” communications platforms doesn’t solve the problem. It just leads to balkanization. Balkanization is bad, m’kay? Saying “well since AT&T kicked me off of their service, I’ll just switch to Verizon and not be able to call anybody on AT&T” is RETARDED.

          Also, limited restrictions on the authoritarian impulses of big tech is NOT the same thing as nationalization. For crying out fucking loud. Only the most retarded of libertardians would deny that there are certain fields where limited government interference is appropriate. Hey, he’s a wacky idea, how comfortable would you be with me running “Crazy Serge’s Open Pit Uranium Mines and Power Generation” with zero government oversight? One of my plants melts down, sure I can get sued, but tens of thousands if not millions of people will still be DEAD. The free and open exchange of ideas is no less vital an issue.

          What are people actually proposing?

          – Remove section 230 protections from any platform with demonstrable political bias in their content filtering.
          – Making it illegal for platforms above a certain size to remove legal content or deny service.

          That’s IT. This is the free speech equivalent of making it illegal to dump nuclear waste in the middle of the Great Lakes.

          Would you be ok with your phone company having a political bias in who you are and are not allowed to call? How about them listening in and filtering your conversations?

          What’s the lesser evil here? Because right now, “muh’ free market” is doing jack shit and as in my “multiple phone network” example above, it would be less than useless even if it wasn’t.

        • I agree more with pwrserge, but have a question I’ll get to in a bit. My thoughts though are that given that these companies influence politics so much now and are not just companies providing a service where they decide their own content but are rather platforms for many types of content, they need to be restricted in terms of their censoring once beyond a certain size IMO. The issue is that these types of companies heavily influence the general public at large. Really I think free speech needs to be moved from being just a government issue to something that is also applied to the private sector.

          We limit how much private companies can force people to work, and require minimum standards for safe working conditions, and how much pollution the companies can put out, and so forth. None of this is communism. The reason is because health and safety of people are very important. We also do not allow companies to discriminate based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc…well free speech is just as important IMO.

          Now yes, there are tons of examples of how government regulations only make things worse, create new problems without fixing the original problems, knock out small businesses and aid big business to dominate, etc…but there are also loads of examples of regulations doing good, and thus how and how much to regulate different industries is an art and a science really that constantly deserves discussion and debate.

          With free speech and these big companies, I see it similarly. Right now, there needs to be some regulations on them to limit their restrictions of speech they do not like. If in thirty years, the situation changes where it is clear that such regulation is no longer needed and even is hamstringing things, then it can be undone, same as we did with the Fairness Act.

          Now some might want to compare with the 24/7 cable news networks and say, “These are companies that have large influence on the public as well. So why not make it where once a particular news network gets to a certain size audience, it should be subjected to regulations requiring fairness because of the influence it has?” The difference though is that requiring fairness is different than requiring no censorship.

          If left-wing content outnumbers right-wing content on social media sites and this is just the natural way of things, then that is fine. Requiring the tech giants to make sure there is an equal number of left and right-wing content would be wrong. Rather, the issue here is just making it where the tech giants, once beyond a certain size, simply cannot restrict content based on speech except in very limited applications (same as with the government).

          Remember, the 1st Amendment originally didn’t even apply to most of the government, just the federal government. Hence why it starts with, “Congress shall make no law.” Doesn’t say anything about the states or local governments. That didn’t come about until the 20th century via incorporation.

      • “This is why we call you libertardians what we do.”

        Idiot. I’m not a libertarian.

        You gonna end up crying for sympathy again in comments? ROTFLMAO

        You are a friggin’ clown.

        • … and you’re a fucking retard who doesn’t understand how free societies depend on the free and open exchange of ideas.

  6. Member when the Internet was about the free exchange of ideas rather than a lefty plutocracy? Those were good times. Now it’s all billboard marketing and training NPC’s to be docile consumers.

    • It’s far worse than that, they have effectively declared unrestricted war on roughly 50 percent of the US population, because they aren’t thinking their ‘politically correct’ thoughts…

      • And they got caught on camera doing it thanks to Project Veritas. If we don’t cut them off at the knees now, they will eventually control all public discourse worth mentioning.

    • And proving why I stay off social media. I have better things to do with my time.

      Unfortunately lacking a social media account will deny me entry to the US because they access the account (in violation of the provider’s terms of service) to see if I’ve had bad thoughts.

  7. Question; How does big tech have the ability to stop free speech?
    Answer: By the willing participation of it’s users.
    Q; How does big tech make money?
    A; By selling your “private” information to third party users, i.e. advertisers that target you.
    Q; How can we stop this?
    A; Quit using their product.
    See how easy that was?
    They do need to be broken up as monopolies, but this won’t happen. The only thing we, the people, can do is stop giving them access to our data. This cuts off the money.

    • These companies (facebook, amazon, google, still mine the data outside of their own sites. Facebook and Google both have analytics programs built into most of the websites you use and they sell that data as well. Heck, TTAG is running Google Analytics unless you block it and Facebook Connect is always running on most sites unless you block it. Amazon has analytics on TTAG too.

      This is just the nature of the internet and how web advertising works.

      If you want to hurt these companies you can’t just quit using the platforms you have to actively go after the things they do on sites outside their own control via advertising controls. The unfortunate sideeffect of that is that you’re also hurting the sites you like, like TTAG. However, done enough it will start to force a change in practices from the big guys.

      You can block all of their analytics and only allow certain other analytics. Done in large enough numbers this is going to pressure websites to favor analytics (which you’ll never get rid of BTW, put that out of your head now) that are NOT controlled by companies you don’t like. Sure, they’ll still collect and sell the data but they’re not Facebook or Google. Now FB and Google will have to compete by changing their practices.

        • You don’t have to ply me with alcohol. Just download Ghostery and AdBlock+ extensions for your browser, install them and restart the browser. Both are free and only take seconds to download and install.

          Their icons will appear in your upper right corner (with most browsers) as a blue ghost and a red stop sign that says ABP. Click each one and tell it what you want to allow and disallow. Be aware that if you tell it to block something like WordPress your comment section on TTAG and other WordPress sites will disappear. You can either tell it not to block that script (WordPress) or you can “whitelist” or “trust” the website. Personally I just run them on everything but allow WordPress so I get TTAG without the trackers, analytics or ads but still get the comment section. There’s a similar option for websites using Disqus.

          Go to certain websites, like say, Breitbart, and you’ll be shocked how much shit these apps block. Like 100+.

        • What strych9 said. Also consider the noscript extension.

          Run an alternative browser. Those extensions are for firefox. Brave browser is coming along.

          Set to clear private data on exit — its a checkbox in prefs.

          This is all free, takes seconds, n makes u worth way less to them.

    • Bailed on Hatebook two years ago and never looked back. Outlived its usefulness for me, they can soak their collective heads in butter and ram ’em up a dead cow’s ass. is that hate speech?

  8. Facebook, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, cough wheeze, ha ha ha ha ha, ha ha , believe it or not you can live without Facebook, , , ,Fck Facebook.

    • Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are the 21st century equivalent of the public square. In order for social media to work, everyone has to be on the same platform (just as phone companies wouldn’t be of much use if a AT&T customer couldn’t call a Verizon customer.) Treat them as utilities that are not allowed to deny service for anything that is not a violation of the law and open them up to massive fines and punitive damages if they do it anyway. Problem solve. No government control.

        • “I don’t use the public square, either.”

          Have you noticed TTAG doesn’t ban the antis like ‘Vlad’?

          Pretty much anything goes in the ‘public square’ of TTAG’s comment section…

        • RidgeRunner says: I don’t use the public square, either.

          Mmmm… you just did.

          You must have fallen off that ridge one to many times, bumped your head.

  9. “…including a lot of younger gun owners.”

    There’s your problem.

    Solution: Move to the Chans and Reddit or start your own site/blog where you control the platform and can’t be “deplatformed”. Get your shit together with advertising and other support you have the potential to offer a lot more to people, again, without the threat that some overlord like Facebook is going to fuck you for holding/expressing opinions that they don’t like.

    • Reddit is becoming infected as well.

      Disqus has been known to ban users from Reddit that they find objectionable.

  10. Throughout history the M.O. of the left has been to shut down dissident — or in America’s case — free speech! Those who vote for Democrats enable the attack on the 1st amendment as well as the 2nd amendment and — as a result – our freedoms!

  11. It would be great if there was just a way to create a competitor to Facebook that the majority of Conservatives, Libertarians & Gun Owners could support. The problem is that it takes a lot of money, time and expertise; particularly since we would need it to come to fruition almost overnight – it wouldn’t have the luxury of slowly evolving to a functional product.

    I know, it’s a pipe-dream.

    But the same is true with Google. Google is certainly not gun-friendly or pro-Conservative, yet there actually ARE alternatives that I’ve been playing with that don’t track or “customize” your search results. Some examples are: : looks like it’s a close alternative BUT it’s Russia based, so privacy might be an issue.

    There are more and I’m sure I’ll find one that my business and I can live with to stop using Google. I’m not so sure it’ll be that easy with an alternative to Facebook!

    • Consumer boycotts of mega corps don’t work. Sorry kiddo, Goolag couldn’t care less if 1% of its user base goes somewhere else, they’ll take the loss in exchange for being able to play social engineer. The only solution is to prohibit public square platforms from censoring content and instituting massive punitive damages if they do so anyway.

  12. I think we simply need a Carrington Event.

    I know, I know, I just typed that using digital electronics, but still, think about it. Modern Leftism would perish in the blink of an eye. I mean so would civilization but hey you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette.

    • Not quite in the blink of an eye, but close enough.

      When millions of Leftists come pouring out of the dark, cold cities expecting someone to feed them is when it gets *ugly*…

  13. If YOU folks CAN’T see it yet….It’s “Authoritarianism and Hard Paternalism, Yo!”
    The definition of tyranny! It’s already happening around you…Act fast to help take back YOUR Government! That ill. Senator. is a prime example of “Authoritarianism and Hard Paternalism”! I’m surprised noone has called her out in droves! Her attitude speaks volumes!

  14. Saw that smarmy prick on cnbc today. He acts like he’s in the same league as bezos, eliason, jobs and others. He’s not.
    He’ll lose control.of FB at some point and drift away.

  15. Well, if nothing else everyone that’s on Facebook should just look at setting up a page over on if Big Tech is going to trying and censor us from the normie internet then we’ll just have to colonize alt-tech.

    • Which doesn’t help the core problem of Balkanization that will inevitably lead to civil war. The simple solution is to make it illegal to censor on or deny access to a publicly accessible platforms with massive punitive damages for every infraction.

      Social media only works if it is a means of communication. How well would phones work if each company prevented you from contacting clients on other providers?

      • Well I don’t disagree with you. In fact there’s already a law in place that should apply by the name of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Specially section 230. That law mandates that a service provider must be either a publisher of a platform. This is a legal protection for the service provider so that they can’t be held legally liable for anything published on their website. But the counter to that is that under 230 that provider can’t exert complete editorial control over all content. And that’s something that all all social networks have been doing years with impunity. Although it only really became an issue when these their power in violation of 230 to exert political influence.

        • Sadly, section 230 applies to all websites, not just platforms. That’s why we need to modernize the CDA. A good start would be a blanket prohibition on removing legal content or users from platforms with over 1 million unique users.

    • Now that NRA-TV is dead, I don’t see why there couldn’t be a pro-2nd amendment start-up to take it’s place.

      They could acquire NRA’s broadcast license, whether it was held by them or Ack-Mac, and with the backing of gun manufacturer’s and related suppliers, the programing could be about guns and 2nd amendment-related news, etc. It could showcase new models of firearms, gun tests, and anything promoting firearm and hunting safety.

      It would require being able to rent space on a satellite, plus the necessary transmission equipment and a permanent studio from which to broadcast. But there are gun-friendly people who already do podcasts, so with the right connections, surely this could be achieved.

      In the beginning, broadcast time would probably be very minimal, but as more sponsors came on board, with revenue increasing, times could be expanded. And, since it would be pro-guns, and hunting, without any scum trying to censor or mislead the public with falsehoods and lies, we would have a venue to get the truth out that the various forms of media normally tries to distort or suppress.

      Wishful thinking ??? Maybe….but anything is possible if enough people make a concerted effort on a project. We certainly NEED something like this to counter all the distortions that the anti’s constantly spew, and we need it like- yesterday.

      • “Wishful thinking ??? ”


        “Maybe….but anything is possible if enough people make a concerted effort on a project.”


        Getting the government to step in and protect us is the best option.

    • I’ve not bothered trying it yet but supposedly is a decent Facebook alternative. That said thought I have expect to see the smear merchants in the MSM to do what they did with Gab.AI and start slandering it as nothing but a haven of white supremacists.

  16. Until we kill the 230 exemption for the tech companies, this will not stop. Soon as it does and the multi-billion dollars worth of lawsuits pour into silicon valley, they will become a platform again.

  17. Well Boch I was just on fakebook commenting that GSL had lots of help from NRA ILA. Doofus said it was ALL YOU. IGOT(I was not a member) just needs to regroup. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!

  18. One thing that should be done is to declare that individuals own their data. Facebook makes money by tracking their users every move on the internet and selling that data. Even if you have never been a Facebook user they are still tracking you, they just might not know exactly who you are unless they do about 5 seconds of work.

    Google does the same thing. They even scan all of your email. They track everywhere you go if you have an Android phone or use Google Maps. Even worse many schools are using Google Classroom. Does anybody on here doubt that Google is mining that for data too?

    Google and Apple are also tracking all your health information. They know how active you are. If you have an Apple Watch or something similar they have even more data. Do you think they aren’t selling this to health insurers or large companies? Do you think a large company with the resources to buy this data will hire you if one of these companies figures out you have an expensive health problem?

    I’m not even going to talk about all the morons who use Alexa or Nest and have these companies listening to everything they say 24/7 in their own homes.

    It would be pretty easy to declare that these companies can’t buy or sell your information without your express permission. I’m not talking about some 20 page user agreement that you can’t opt out of either. Or having your Android/iPhone be be a useless brick if you don’t agree to everything.

    Facebook makes something like $35 a year for every subscriber by essentially spying on everything you do. Google probably makes even more. They should not have the right to collect all of this information.

    • That’s a separate problem. What we need right now is a hard ban on platform censorship of any kind with massive punitive damages for violations.

    • Biff, you are correct. Amazingly the E.U. is years ahead of the U.S. on this. They put some real teeth into the fines if Big Tech continues selling your data without permission.

      • The thing is, you likely gave them that permission when you signed up for that service. It’s right there in all that fine print you have to click ‘Agree’ on to use that service…

        • Correct Jeff, however the E.U. correctly labels that “agreement” as…forced consent.

          Agree to these terms unconditionally or you are unable to use the phone you just paid $500 dollars for is not a mutual agreement.

          However, despite a clear path forward, feckless politicians here do nothing, other than to take big techs “campaign” contributions.

  19. RidgeRunner says: I don’t use the public square, either.

    Mmmm, you just did.

    You must have fallen off that ridge one to many times, bumped your head.

  20. I think that arguments over their carrier status will likely be carried out in the judiciary rather than via legislation.

    That said I was talking to another local gun owner that said mewe I think it was. I’m in IL so I’m active there.

    Not too much nice to say about Buffalo though after getting reamed by an RSO there who was chamber checking my rifle while pointing it at the junk of another RSO.

  21. Being on Facebook is like being in a feces throwing contest.

    Even if you “win” you’re still covered in filth.

  22. Devils advocate – These are private entities therefore they are not beholden to the laws which the government has not passed and do not exist. So as of now they can legally do whatever they please on the sites which they own, which includes deleting post, groups and anything they do not like.

    Funny thing though, the overall sentiment has and always will be for a smaller government among ourselves, but now I see the same people wanting smaller government to have that government place laws on entities acting within the law that they do not agree with. Besides being totally hypocritical, it’s a slippery slope path. Under what illusion are the ones pushing for this that do not realize the democrats will then use the same tactics when they control the government. News flash, we don’t live in a vacuum and advantages we see are definitely being seen by the other side and will be use for nefarious purposes.

    • So are phone companies. That doesn’t mean that the phone company can control what is said over their lines or deny people service for what they say.

    • @gump

      It’s like you just woke up and ignored the 100 plus posts above (the one’s that refute pretty much everything you said).

      • I could care less what the prior comments say on this particular topic, these points need to be drilled in due to the amount of hypocritical and simpleton thoughts that permeate into these forums. The comments above for new laws and the guvmint dealing with this issue illustrate that to a T. It’s the reason we haven’t already won this battle.

    • “Besides being totally hypocritical, it’s a slippery slope path. Under what illusion are the ones pushing for this that do not realize the democrats will then use the same tactics when they control the government.”

      This has become the most fallacious argument, that the leftist will “do it to”. News flash, EVERY time a norm, standard, agreement, or protocol is breached it is the left.

      Remove the senate filibusterer for judicial nominees, OK …Pack the Supreme Court, have at it… Add more (leftist) states to the union, why not…Call a sitting President treasonous for political gain, just did it… Abolish the Electoral College, on it boss.

      They don’t need you to do it first, they have declared war and as they see it, you are evil, and therefore, all is fair in war.

    • Then they can give up the pretense that they’re not publishers.. and the protection from the libel laws that goes with it.

  23. In a world where some guy can make a stand-alone knitting interest site that reaches the whole world, for decades … other interests can host themselves, I think.

    If you want to “social” on FaceTwit, go ahead … n maybe keep the other stuff on yr own “platform.” When they start banning external links or reference to competing services, that’s restraint of trade. Already laws about that. Our E U friends are particularly sensitive to that one. (I’m fine with encouraging fratricide among the knuckleheads. It’s a two-fer.)

    This is why “net neutrality” was such a horrendous idea. Sure, “neutrality” is good, but who decides what’s neutral? Just another, less obvious handle for throttling what they don’t like. (When they didn’t get “neutrality” built into the pipes, they had to get their censorship a couple layers up where people can see – discuss.)

    • Social media is, in concept, no different than a phone system. It doesn’t serve the public interest if there is a censored phone system and an uncensored phone system that can’t talk to each other.

      I know this is a difficult concept for people born before the abacus was invented, but social media is no less a communications platform than your phone or mail box.

      How would you feel if your phone company cut your line because you said a naughty word? What about your mail service refusing to deliver mail you sent because they opened it up and found that they don’t agree with the content?

      Social media must be regulated like any other communications system. They should not be allowed to censor AT ALL or deny service for arbitrary reasons.

      • I was not crystal clear. I’m not entirely sure “social media” is like the phone system; perhaps more like a (?bunch of?) clique-laden conference calls, with some obnoxious hall monitors running around.

        Technically, the strong analogy to the phone system is the underlying internet transport technologies: the name referencing n decoding (site names), content routing, and handshake protocols. More or less everything wrangled by the IETF, defined by their RFC — request for comment — collection. This is why particular grabs grounded in the UN were so problematic, to use a term I’ve heard the young whipper-snappers use.

        The person to person activity on top of net fabric is more like a party line, or conference call: you can dial anyone you want, they don’t have to include you in on their conversations.

        Our tech overlords are muddying this up, by playing phone company and snotty clique-call host. (See also, The Zuck’s announced foray into financial transactions. One of the great strangenesses of the broad financial system is the relatively standard protocols, and semi-open access. Zuck’s notion is, in contrast, completely closed and proprietary. )

        Also, they’re playing hall monoitor. If the connections are common carriers, like roads, and intrinsically take all comers, like roads, it seems like that’s the utility part.

        Public good:
        I’d like to hear the reasoning. Not sure I buy that as stated.

      • “How would you feel if your phone company cut your line because you said a naughty word?”

        Right now, government cannot monitor vocal conversation in real time, or even archived. Social media depends on written communication, and there are millions of editors monitoring all of it, continuously. As far at telephone conversation being “free and open”, time is not on our side.

        Since it is politicians who will write the laws of “free and open” social media conversation, it is politicians who must be persuaded to write laws favorable to us. If we have not influenced said politicians to date, where is the lever to do so in the future? We are all guilty of being narrow issue voters. Give me my first and second most wanted law, and I will accept a crap sandwich with it.

        • Which is why we must have simple and clear rules about what can and cannot be done.

          Catch a user breaking the law? Sure, you can kick them off, but then they can sue you to prove contrary.

          But that should be about it.

          Right now, social media services are hiding behind the phone company model of “we can’t be held responsible for what people say over the phone” while also wielding powers that would have made the KGB and Stazi cream their pants in excitement. I don’t want ANY entity to have that sort of power. Unfortunately, social media is here to stay as the dominant form of public discourse for the 21st century. That’s not going to change. What does need to change is that we need to pit the government and these corporations against each other to make sure that neither gets decisive control over said public discourse.

        • “What does need to change is that we need to pit the government and these corporations against each other ”

          Trick is how to do that without letting government determine winners and losers through regulation. We cannot ignore that the political calculus is not in our favor.

        • I fail to see how setting a common standard for what communications platform companies can’t do would constitute that.

          It’s very simple.

          Remove CDA protections from all platform companies.
          Reinstate CDA protections only for those companies that agree to take a hands off approach to content. aka Prove a crime, or don’t touch it. Touch it, can’t prove a crime, put it back and pay massive punitive damages.

          It’s not rocket science and is no more “picking winners and losers” than not allowing me to run my own open pit Uranium mine and dump the resulting waste into the Great Lakes.

        • You can’t treat big tech as a utility under only one provision. The entirety of the utility law applies. The internet and other technical innovations would have led to stopping the internet (and other communications) at 1200 baud. Government squelches, it does not prosper technological development. Government cannot be surgical in its application of regulations and controls.

          Yes, it is about unintended consequences, which always damage champions of liberty and freedom much more than the authoritarians. Once implemented, and leading to greater ruin for our cause, there is no, “OK, never mind.”

        • We love us some government intervention when it favors, not so much the other way round. Laws are ephemeral things, lasting only until the next election.

          In fantasy stories, good people (us), pass good laws that bad people (them) cannot overturn or subvert. In fantasy stories, we (good people) have a majority of society agreeing with us, ensuring bad people (them) obey good laws and cannot pass more bad laws. In the real world, we hope we (good people) can convince enough bad people (them) to pass good laws that protect us (good people) from the stranglehold of government and the same bad people we depend upon to pass good laws.

          Government in this country was not supposed to rule over everyday public interactions. Regulating individual lives was to be left to the people, and the states. This hybrid monster we now have can only be relied upon to grow bigger and more hostile to individual liberty. If we the people cannot convince a majority of society of our correctness, then we pay the price set out in the founding documents.

          If you want to see first-hand the government in action serving we the people, visit with patients at V.A. hospitals. Watch and listen to staff. You will see how government views people who have earned service. We who have earned nothing will fare no better with more government regulation.

          Thus, here we are…unable to agree that somehow changing federal law will peal back oppression by the privileged. Unintended consequences of “favorable” laws is of great consequence; tamper with great caution.

        • Sam, that’s a libertardian infomercial, not an argument. Please address the point of how specifically telling media platforms that they can’t remove content or deny service barring a criminal act would be a bad thing.

        • “criminal act”

          That, right there.

          Who determines what is “criminal”, and when? There ya’ go.

        • Simple, the existing American penal code. It’s not rocket science. We already have the 1st amendment to protect from abuses on that front. Try harder.

        • “Try harder.”

          Not “trying” anything. Just cautioning about depending on government. You think it a good idea, and I do not. There we stand. It was worth the conversation.

        • Sam, the question is not if it’s a “good idea”. The question is what other viable option do we have? Because, as I explained, the “free market” solution will only make the underlying balkanization problem worse.

        • “the “free market” solution will only make the underlying balkanization problem worse.”

          A curious thought, since the nation was founded on the idea of balkanization (separate independent states joined for limited common benefit).

          We saw balkanization in the early days of the PC advent. Several manufacturers tried to dominate the market with a tightly would vertical supply of hardware and software (including cables and connectors). Eventually, most of the PC makers settled on standards that made their products more desirable in a balkanized marketplace. Disparate manufacturers found value in playing nice with other equipment in order to obtain and retain customers. Don’t lose faith in the ability of people to adapt and adopt.

        • You’ve clearly never been to the Balkans… Balkanization is not about different groups agreeing to disagree. Balkanization is about different and adjacent groups living with mortal hatred of anything unlike them and looking for the slightest ideological justification to start machinegunning people into ditches.

        • Yes, I understand the Balkans. Was using it to depict disparate groups with specific agendas in opposition to everyone else (as in the early PC days), yet understanding eventually that they are powerless without allies. Of the different blogs I find on the internet, I haven’t run across too many that refuse entree’ to people not official members of the club.

          Fact remains, the electronic infrastructure and advances we see today were not energized by a benign government assisting out of charity. Too many attempts have been made by government to throttle emerging “voices” that are not friendly to government reins. Thinking the nuclear power industry is the poster child for government assistance.

  24. Also, I’m so old I recall the notional ISO 7-layer model for network systems, which while never implemented directly despite the originators’ fever dreams, remains a wonderful analysis framework.

    Even intros to the underlying internet protocols often use these 7 layers to explain. And the various self-promoting “smart city” initiatives’ “architectures” all converge toward the same 7 layers. (They’re not hard to find. Every one has a PR web site, about how they’re the one with more future in it.)

    It’s like they got something right with that model. Maybe it’s a way in to understanding what’s going on with social media.

    They all grope toward tracking the old 7 layers, although they d

    Even the internet protocols are routinely mapped to those 7 layers for explanation, though they each

  25. Guess State Senator Julie Morrison must have slept through eighth grade history class when they covered what happened to King Georgie’s people when they contemplated arms confiscation some years ago. Learn from history or be doomed to relive it.

  26. “Social media and comment boards and such are great for short little fat fucks who don’t command much respect”

    Hey ! Hey ! Just a freakin’ minute.

    I never posted my picture on social media. How did you know?

  27. After many the comments given its seems the “small government” republicans and the “no government” Libertarians are very comfortable allowing multi billion dollar companies to pick and choose what communications they will allow you to send. These Libertarians and Republicans are very comfortable having communications edited by these companies without the knowledge or permission by the sender.

    I already knew the republicans were questionable when it comes to supporting individual Liberty. But the Libertarians are just like the Republicans. They support the concept of the “company town”. Now it seems they support the idea of a “company nation”.

    It’s not a government that has “its boot on your neck”. It’s a multibillion dollar company choking you out. And they are ok with it.

    It seems they have not heard of the terms, “Industrial Wars” or “Coal Mine Wars”.
    If the atheist (whatever political party) thinks that people who harmed no one will not violently react when their livelihood is destroyed by a private company you are a fool.

    • “After many the comments given its seems the “small government” republicans and the “no government” Libertarians are very comfortable allowing multi billion dollar companies to pick and choose what communications they will allow you to send.”

      Acknowledging/cautioning that more government is not the answer to bad government, or even bad commercial activity is very different from being “comfortable” with bad government/commercial activity. It is not governmet’s job to make things fair. That is up to the people themselves. Just as it would be unacceptable to demand the Wendy’s carry McDonald’s items, so it is unacceptable to declare that a private business owes it to us to do as we please, as we demand.

      Big tech does not infringe on your right to free speech. Big tech legitimately declares that if you want to use their services, you follow their rules. Demanding government step in and force business to operate in certain ways, despite doing nothing illegal, is something every citizen should oppose.

      It is hard to build alternatives to Google, etc., but why is it government’s job to make things easy? Having government take responsibility for our lack of interest, energy, determination, and effort sounds like what? Who?

      It is too hard to pay back student loans; government it’s your responsibility. It is too hard to build alternative social media networks; government you must take property from communications companies. There is an old Russia parable that covers this.

      No. I do not like what Silicon Valley is doing; it is abusive and dangerous. Am I willing to gather the resources to build an alternative? No. The problem is mine, not government’s.

      How is it we decry the use of government by our political opponents, but want to use government for ourselves? If more government is the answer to our difficulties, we are lost.

      • Before we became a “civilized nation” private companies employed their own heavily armed armies of men. These PRIVATE ARMIES were the enforcement arm of the privately owned company. Cattle company, railroad, steel, mining, etc. Even the government would send in a militia force if things go out of hand.

        When competition is eliminated the consumer suffers. We use to use guns to solve our problems in the country. Now we use lawyers. Guns cost a lot less than lawyers do. But some people can only afford guns. Because a private company destroyed their livelihood. And that private company can afford lawyers.

        I’m not supporting violence. I’m saying I understand why the violence comes. And I know that the violence will come. Because history shows it always does when the stronger bully the weak.
        The atheists live in a vacuum. A utopian world.

        Here is a test.

        Do atheists (whatever party) support homosexuals forcing a christian bakery to bake a gay wedding cake?

        I know the gays can go across the street and Find another bakery to fill their order.
        Can a gun business do the same thing when they are refused service from all the banks in the country? No shipping services from companies who don’t like them? Or no communications using private electronic communication companies?

        We can certainly go back to a racially segregated society where you only served the ones you liked. But back then a black person could get guns including Machine Guns through the mail. If no one wanted to serve them in a gun store.

        But conservatives and Libertarians both said the Post Office was out of the date and should be replaced by the private sector. They NEVER SAID the private company could refuse service to people.

        That is a lie of omission.

        • It’s a slightly more fundamental question than that.

          Our society depends on the free and public exchange of ideas. When said exchange is impossible violence inevitably follows.

          Like it or not, social media is the number one method of public discussion in the 21st century. Unfortunately, one side of the spectrum now has a stranglehold on those platforms and is using said stranglehold to shut down anything they don’t agree with. It doesn’t matter that it’s their company, it doesn’t matter that they have every right to do it. What matters is that their actions are going to lead to a civil war when one half of the country feels they have no other recourse. Minimal government intervention to balance the scales is the best of available options. “muh’ free market” won’t work simply because it doesn’t solve the underlying problem. Having “conservative” social media and “liberal” social media doesn’t solve the problem that the two sides get shoved into echo chambers that drift further and further apart.

          Claiming that all government intervention is, by default, bad government intervention is simple religious zealotry. Whatever actual religion they believe, all libertarians are part of a cult that takes the government being “bad” as a point of dogma.

        • “But conservatives and Libertarians both said the Post Office was out of the date and should be replaced by the private sector. ”

          Well, not all of us. I thought the idea of “privatizing” the post office was absurd. The whole thing was a budget gimmick to remove a loss leader from the federal budget. However, it would be fun to find that every government agency had to make money in order to survive as an agency.

        • Pwrserge
          I’m starting to believe the Libertarians really do not in fact believe in a free exchange of ideas in the public square. Now that the Public Square has become an electronic one. They are becoming very European like in their Dogma. It seems to be their “religion.”

        • Sam I am
          I believe at one time it was part of libertarian party platform to privatize the post office.

        • “Sam I am
          I believe at one time it was part of libertarian party platform to privatize the post office.”

          Not being a libertarian (current iteration – which is actually libertine), I wouldn’t know. (I support strong drug laws, and strong drug law enforcement).

          When it comes to privatizing government functions, one must be very careful to ensure the potential replacement is contracted to perform all the elements of the function being privatized. For instance, FedEx can move mail and packages much more efficiently than the post office. However….FedEx charges more, and does not serve certain markets. Nor does FedEx transport exotic things like bee hives.

          Privatizing the post office while sticking it with government controls and burdens (and a 636 member board of directors) was/is nonsensical. FedEx can adjust its pricing in an afternoon. The postal service must wait months for approval from congress.


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