MSM panics, free speech a threat to democracy

Twitter deal imminent, Musk to remove guardrails

Remember when the press championed free speech as necessary to democracy?

That was a long time ago, they really only like speech they control.

This is going to be fun.

36 thoughts on “MSM panics, free speech a threat to democracy

  1. It will be interesting. It might well be that Musk doesn’t want a GAB or Truth Social and uses discretion. Or he could turn Twitter into another extremist platform and lose his audience.

    Italian satellites beware. I predict there will be conspiracies touted that make such looney stories seem tame. Welcome back the 800 pound loser sitting in his bed with Cheetos and a laptop.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Musk has promised an end to bias and transparency on the process algorithms.

      In other words, free speech.

      That involves us being skeptical of that speech, and applying some critical thinking, but that is better than a bunch of silicon valley nerds deciding what we can read.


      1. Considering the millions who believe the Big Lie, including Italian satellites, and yet don’t question why down ballot victories favored Republicans, I would say critical thinking is in short supply.

        Liked by 3 people

          1. “Of course, TDS is ample evidence that critical thinking lapses are not one sided.”

            I guess by TDS you are referring to those of us who see Trump as the low-life criminal con man, incompetent, and Russian stooge that he has always been. So, I take it that you are accusing me of lacking “critical thinking” skills. And, by implication, that you possess such skill in abundance. Funny, since you are on the wrong side of just about every issue where a little bit of critical thinking – or even following available evidence – would set you straight.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “Blindness to Trump’s successes if every bit as uncritical as blindness to his faults.”

            Lame. His “successes” are mostly failures in my book. That does not mean I cannot see them. The opposite in fact.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Enjoy your “fun” as lying liars and Russians amp up the destruction of our civil society and the Rule of Law.

    I think you are really confused about what is the “press” and what is not. Twitter is not the “press” free or otherwise. If Elon Musk thinks removing the guard rails on what shows up on Twitter is going to be good for business then he can do so. The government is enjoined from curbing free speech and has no choice but to hope for the decency and patriotism of those who control such forums. If Musk has no such decency nor patriotism, maybe the market will reject his services.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. No, I have not.

          What I have said is that if they are to be protected from liability by section 230, then they cannot filter based on bias.

          If they filter death threats or obscenity or commercial fraud, that is ok, but if they filter in such a way that one side of any controversy is favored, they should lose that protection.

          If you start with content that expresses all points of view and just pass it on then it is a platform for speech, but if you selectively filter that content so that one side is favored, then it is no longer a platform, it is an latered content.


          1. Don, let’s think about this. If you want to yank liability since social media doesn’t print what you want or agree with, the you can bet that the most controversial topics will be whether butter or margarine is better for baking.

            The first story about vaccines causing your genitals to fall off would be a lawsuit. Or Trump denouncing Pence while gangs are hunting for him.

            Right wing social media sites censor too. Even Truth Social has a policy that you can’t attack Trump. But you don’t complain about that.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I want to yank liability protection for excluding speech you agree with too.

            If private platforms are to have protection from liability they must not be biased. Either way. Their filtering process to exclude porn, threats and such must be transparent and unbiased. Otherwise. they do not merit protection.

            A platform that filters speech in a partisan manner is providing its own choice of content and should be laible.


          3. I don’t mind if they remove anything or everything. Social media as a source of information is really lame. Do you believe anything they say other than “here is my vacation”?

            Why would you for that matter?

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Most of my twitter feed is virologists, immunologists and climatologists. But I follow a few political pundits and aggregators like “Libs of TikTok”

            Twitter is what you make it.


      1. “ The press hates that.”

        Correction, you hate the press.

        Fact checking will probably increase until Twitter becomes another siloed right wing site for mutual grievance whining.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. So, unless it excludes content you disagree with the conservative side will prevail? You have that little confidence in your point of view that it must be protected from challenge?


          1. “So, unless it excludes content you disagree with the conservative side will prevail? ”

            There is ZERO worry that the “conservative side” will prevail unless by that you mean “alternative facts”, baseless slanders, hate-speech, fear-mongering, and sedition. There is a very real danger that those kinds of things will prevail in an un-curated environment. That is why Trump and his Russian bosses push them. The reason for that fear is summarized by Brandolini’s Law.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. So, you don’t want to do the work to refute content you disagree with, you want to censor disagreement ahead of time.

            The problem is that the bullshit is largely coming from your side. Do you have any idea how much effort is required to refute the climate bullshit coming from the AP alone?


          3. “The problem is that the bullshit is largely coming from your side.”

            Complete nonsense. Everyone knows that reality has a liberal bias. Because it does. We do not buttress our opinions with “alternative facts.” Our leaders do not promote themselves with constant name-calling and slanders. We don’t chant “Lock him up” at our rallies. We don’t search out extremists and publicize their idiocy to a fare-the-well.

            As for your refuting the AP – not too delusional. Or was that one of your jokes?

            Liked by 1 person

  3. So far as I know, it’s still illegal to yell “FIRE” in a crowded theater and it’s still illegal to incite people to commit crimes. If Musk starts hosting people who, for example, say Mitch McConnell has a “death wish,” or Pence deserves to die, he may find himself liable for the actions those statements inspire.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Musk says that purchasing Twitter is “an acceleration to creating X, the everything app.” Depending on what he means by X, questions about free speech/liberty will deepen profoundly.

    Notice that an “everything app” creates a single point of social surveillance and thereby (potentially) social control.


  5. “Of course Twitter is not the press. It is the town square, where all can speak.
    The press hates that”

    I remember seeing quite a few Letters to the Editor, published in the Virginian Pilot (aka the press), from someone named Don Tabor. Seems to me all can speak in the press… even you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, they print maybe one letter of every 5 I send them, and then only after they edit out supporting data.

      In the last one they printed, they edited out the exact results of climate model runs and replaced vague generalities. “0.0009 to 0.024 degrees C” with “a little”


  6. Well gee, Don, if they published any more of your letters, they’d have to start paying you as a columnist. I don’t send in nearly as many letters as you, but so far, they’ve published every one. Also, the editors have to occasionally cut an author’s writings down for brevity. Even staff reporters get their text cut when space requires.

    And, when the editors fail to make the proper cuts, sometimes the printers do it for them. My favorite edit-by-a-printer happened way back in the 60s, when I worked for the Ledger Star. There was a Spring fashion show and the editor of the Women’s Page wrote her headline: “Models Wear Pussy Willows On Their Hips.” The line was too long to fit the allotted space, so the printer called her office to get a rewrite. Unfortunately, she had gone home for the day when he called. So the printer took it upon himself to make the line fit. He removed the word “Willows.”

    So far as I can tell, the only writings that never get cut are obituaries. Some of those things take up more space than the war in Ukraine.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I understand the need for brevity, but replacing “0.009 to 0.0324 degrees C” with “a little bit” doesn’t save that much space and it greatly changes the meaning. When you’re talking about a claim of 3C, then a little bit could be 1C, 0.3C, 0.03C just as easily as 0.009C, a span of several orders of magnitude. That means the editor either knows the difference and is minimizing the impact or he is innumerate.


  7. The market provides.

    There is a new alternative to Twitter for people who want a pollution-free public affairs forum to get involved with.

    Here is a new welcoming message from its founder. . .

    “Hi everyone, I am the Founder of Tribel. Unlike Elon Musk, I promise you all that Tribel will ALWAYS take an active role to ban all Nazis, white supremacists, and bigots on this social network. A warm welcome to all of our new users who are migrating over from Twitter — welcome to your new home!”


    1. So, go hide in your bubble if contrary opinions frighten you so,

      I want the Nazis and the Commies to be able to state their cases and then be defeated in the marketplace of ideas.


      1. “So, go hide in your bubble if contrary opinions frighten you so”

        Frightened is hardly the word. Disgusted would be more like it. But, I know how you love to couch your responses in the form of an insult.

        You are very, very naive if you think there is a “marketplace of ideas” on social media that will eliminate the garbage in the fullness of time. There isn’t. It is more like advertising impressions. The fewer opportunities for the “Nazis, white supremacists, and bigots” have to spread their filth and lies the better.


          1. “So, censor those you disagree with.”

            Censorship? Because I prefer a forum that moderates out Nazis, Bigots, Russian bots, and Lying Liars. I don’t want to have to wade through their filth, hate speech and LIES.

            “Conservatives” like to pretend it is their anachronistic and extremist opinions that are the reason that they get moderated. That is a self-serving delusion. Opinions are one thing. Lies are another. For example, it was Trump’s dangerous LIES that finally got him removed from Twitter. Call that censorship if that floats your boat. I call it being responsible.


  8. I found it hypocritical for left wing mass media to claim that free speech might affect the midterm elections. Well suppression of free speech would too and MSM has been getting away with it for far too long.


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