President Obama: “The First Amendment Does Not Apply to … Facebook and Twitter”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to President Obama, there should be more government censorship of social media and internet search, to prevent the spread of “toxic information”, like climate skeptics and the opinions of people who don’t trust Dr. Fauci. But expressing the opinion that Russia rigged the 2016 election is completely fine.

APRIL 21, 2022

‘Regulation has to be part of the answer’ to combating online disinformation, Barack Obama said at Stanford event

Former U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a keynote address about how information is created and consumed, and the threat that disinformation poses to democracy.

BY MELISSA DE WITTE, TAYLOR KUBOTA, AND KER THAN

This story was updated on Thursday, April 21, at 6:51 p.m. PT

During a speech at Stanford University on Thursday, former U.S. President Barack Obama presented his audience with a stark choice: “Do we allow our democracy to wither, or do we make it better?”

Former U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a keynote address about how information is created and consumed, and the threat that disinformation poses to democracy.

Over the course of an hour-long address, Obama outlined the threats that disinformation online, including deepfake technology powered by AI, poses to democracy as well as ways he thought the problems might be addressed in the United States and abroad.

“This is an opportunity, it’s a chance that we should welcome for governments to take on a big important problem and prove that democracy and innovation can coexist,” Obama said.

Read more: https://news.stanford.edu/2022/04/21/disinformation-weakening-democracy-barack-obama-said/

The full video – Obama’s speech starts at around 9:13.

From the video;

“One of the biggest reasons for democracies weakening, is the profound change in how we communicate”

“20 years ago, the pillars of web search were comprehensiveness, relevance, speed. But with the rise of social media, and the need to better understand people’s online behaviour, in order to sell more advertising, companies wanted to collect more data, more companies optimised for personalisation, engagement and speed. And unfortunately it turns out that inflammatory polarising content attracts and engages. Other features of these platforms have compounded the problem, for example the way content looks on your phone, as well as the veil of anonymity that platforms provide their users, a lot of times can make it impossible to tell the difference between say a peer reviewed article by Dr. Anthony Fauci, and a miracle cure being pitched by a huckster. And meanwhile sophisticated actors, from political consultants to commercial interests to intelligence arms of foreign powers, can game platform algorithms, or artificially boost the reach of deception, or harmful messages.

Now, its true, tech companies and social media platforms are not the only distributors of toxic information, promise me, ah I promise, I’ve spent a lot of time in Washington, right? In fact, some of the most outrageous content on the web, originates from traditional media.

Take Covid. The fact that scientists developed safe, effective vaccines in record time is an unbelievable achievement. And yet, despite the fact we’ve now essentially clinically tested the vaccine on billions of people worldwide, around one in five Americans is still willing to put themselves at risk, and put their families at risk, rather than get vaccinated. People are dying, because of misinformation.

I already mentioned the 2020 Presidential Election. President Trump’s own attorney general has said the justice department uncovered no evidence of widespread evidence. A review of the ballots in Arizona’s largest county, the results of which were endorsed by some pretty courageous Republicans, because many of them harassed, and received death threats, actually found more votes for President Biden and fewer votes for President Trump. And yet, today, as we speak, a majority of Republicans still insist that President Biden’s victory was not legitimate. That’s a lot of people.

People like Putin, and Steve Bannon for that matter, understand its not necessary for people to believe disinformation in order to weaken democratic institutions. You just have to flood a country’s public square with enough raw sewage, you just have to raise enough questions, spread enough dirt, plant enough conspiracy theorising, that citizens no longer know what to believe.

Once they lose trust in their leaders, in mainstream media, in political institutions, in each other, in the possibility of truth, the game’s won. And as Putin discovered leading up to the 2016 election, our own social media platforms are well designed to support such a mission, such a project.”

— lots of nonsense about Russia meddling in the 2016 election —

No-one in my administration was surprised that Russia was attempting to meddle in our election, they’ve been doing that for years, or that it was using social media in their efforts. Before the election I directed to intelligence officials to expose those efforts to the press and to the public. What does still nag at me though, was my failure to fully appreciate at the time, just how susceptible we had become, to lies and conspiracy theories. Despite having spent years being a target of disinformation myself.

Putin didn’t do that. He didn’t have to. We did it to ourselves.

So where do we go from here? If we do nothing, I’m convinced the trends we’ve that we’re seeing will get worse. New technology is already challenging how we regulate the currency, how we keep consumers safe from fraud, and with the emergence of AI, disinformation will grow more sophisticated. I’ve already seen demonstrations of deep fake technology, which shows what looks like me, on a screen, saying stuff I didn’t say.

Fortunately I am convinced it is possible to preserve the transformative power and promise of the open internet, while at least mitigating the worst of its harms. And I believe those of you in the tech community, soon to be in the tech community, not just its corporate leaders, but employees at every level, have to be part of the solution.

The essence of this place, what put Silicon Valley on the map, is a spirit of innovation. Its what led to the globally integrated internet, all its remarkable applications. What we’ve now learned is, the product has some design flaws. There are some bugs in the software.

We don’t have to just leave it like that. Through the same spirit of innovation, we can make it better.

So I want to make some general suggestions, for what that work might look like.

We aren’t going to get rid of all offensive or inflammatory content on the web. We’d be wrong to try. Freedom of speech is at the heart of every Democratic society. In America those protections are enshrined in the first amendment in our constitution. There’s a reason it came first. I’m pretty close to a first amendment absolutist. I’m pretty sure that in most instances, the answer to bad speech is good speech. I believe that the free, robust, sometimes antagonistic exchange of ideas produces better outcomes and a healthier society. No democratic government can or should do what China for example is doing, simply telling people what they can or cannot say or publish, while trying to control what others say about their country abroad. And I don’t have a lot of confidence that any single individual or organisation, private or public, should be charged or do a good job determining who gets to hear what.

That said, the first amendment is a check on the power of the state. It doesn’t apply to private companies, like Facebook or Twitter, any more than it applies to editorial decisions made by the New York Times or Fox News. Never has. Social media companies already make choices about what is or is not allowed on their platforms, and how that content appears, both explicitly through content moderations, or implicitly through algorithms.

When I’m going to evaluate any proposal touching on social media and the internet, is whether it strengthens or weakens the prospects for a healthy inclusive democracy. Whether it encourages robust debate, and respect for our differences. Whether it reinforces rule of law, and self governance. Whether it helps us make collective decisions based on the best available information. And whether it recognises the rights, the freedoms and dignity of all of our citizens. Whatever changes contribute to that vision, I’m for. Whatever erodes that vision, I’m against.

Just so you know.

Alright, with that as my starting point I believe we have to address, not just the supply of toxic information, but also the demand for it. On the supply side, tech platforms need to accept that they play a unique role in how we as a people and people around the world are consuming information, and that their decisions have an impact on every aspect of society.

With that power comes accountability. And in democracies like ours at least, the need for some democratic oversight.

For years social media companies have resisted that kind of accountability. They’re not unique in that regard, every private corporation wants to do anything it wants. So the social media platforms call themselves neutral platforms, with no editorial role in what their users saw. They insisted that the content people see on social media has no impact on their beliefs or behaviour, even though their business models and their profits are based on telling advertisers the exact opposite.

An interesting study came out recently, and this is just one study, so take it with a grain of salt, but the researchers paid a large group of regular Fox News watchers to watch CNN for a month. And these were not swing voters, these were hard core hand on knee Carlson fans, right there. And the researchers found, that at the end of the month, peoples views on certain issues, like whether voting by mail should be allowed, or whether electing Joe Biden would lead to more violence against police, on some of these issues, their views had changed by 5, 8, 10 points. These people didn’t suddenly turn into liberals. I’m sure they still don’t like me. But at the margins, they had reshaped their perspectives in meaningful ways. Studies like this show our opinions aren’t fixed, and that means our divisions aren’t fixed either, if we can agree on some common baseline of facts, and can agree on some common baseline of how we sort out our disagreements.

The divisions which exist in this country aren’t going away anytime soon, but the information we get, the stories we tell ourselves, as Lincoln said, can encourage the better angels of our nature. They can also encourage the worst. And a healthy democracy depends on our better angels being encouraged.

So, as citizens, we have to take it upon ourselves, to become better consumers of news, looking at sources, thinking before we share, and teaching our kids to become critical thinkers who know how to evaluate sources, and separate opinion from fact. In fact a number of school districts are working to train kids in this kind of online media literacy, not around any particular idealogical perspective, but just, how to check a source. Does this person who is typing in his mother’s basement in his underwear, seem a credible authority on climate change? That is something we should all want to support. Part of this project is also going to include finding creative ways to reinvigorate quality journalism, including local journalism.

Source: The Youtube Video Above

Obama spent the first part of his speech lamenting the old days, when everyone got their “facts” from the same small set of networks.

The most fascinating part of Obama’s speech for me, is how he seems to believe people should blindly defer to authority. Trust Fauci’s words because he is an authority, not because his words make sense. Don’t listen to the guy in his mother’s basement in his underwear, because he’s not someone like Fauci. Give your faith to President Biden, because he is the President.

In fact the entire speech in my opinion was a lament about how the hold of old authorities has been weakened, and how new authorities must be established – like his plan for ensuring school kids are trained in rigidly conformist methods of news evaluation, which would likely lead to them all reaching very similar conclusions.

I never blindly accept the words of someone just because I think they are an authority. I expect their words to make sense. My trust in their words has to be earned, and once that trust is broken, good luck getting it back.

As the Royal Society used to believe, nullius in verba. Take nobody’s word for it. In God we Trust, everyone else has to provide evidence.

The society Obama describes would still pay lip service to freedom of speech – all those opinions would still be out there somewhere. But the goal appears to be to rigidly exclude and isolate people with non mainstream views, to prevent them from linking with others who think like them, to hide them away, by actively censoring non mainstream views from the town square of social media and internet search. Climate skeptics would be free to write their opinions on web pages – but nobody would ever find their website through a web search, and people who tried to share climate skeptic articles would be censored by social media.

We have already had a taste of this kind of anti-freedom censorship – Facebook’s backflip on whether it would allow Covid lab leak theories to be discussed by users. One minute the theory was banned from the social media town square, the next minute Fauci softened his viewpoint, and Facebook took this as a cue to allow users to discuss the lab leak theory.

Imagine Facebook’s Covid lab leak censorship absurdity extended to every facet of your online life, and you get an idea of how horrible Obama’s locked down information society would be.

I don’t know if Covid leaked from a lab, maybe we will never know – but it is outrageous that people were restricted from discussing such an obvious possibility, until Fauci signalled discussion of the lab leak theory was now acceptable.

Science, more than any other field, would be damaged by such censorship. Science experiences its most rapid advances when an upstart challenges and overturns the beliefs of the many – when a newcomer proves someone like Fauci is wrong. But that upstart has to be heard, before they can challenge the beliefs of the powerful.

I’m not suggesting every upstart or challenge to established scientific theory should succeed. There are many more ways to be wrong than right, most crackpots are just crackpots.

But my heart goes out to people like Barry Marshall, the hero doctor who overturned an entire field of medicine, by putting his own life at risk to prove they were wrong. Barry endured years of exclusion and dismissal from medical authorities and his peers, until his desperate act finally drew attention, and overcame the medical community’s reluctance to review his evidence based challenge to their beliefs.

Medical authorities thought Barry Marshall was a crackpot, until he up and won a Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking work. A policy which excludes crackpots on the word of establishment leaders would also exclude people like Barry Marshall. To exclude such people from the town square because their opinion contradicts establishment viewpoints would be to exclude the possibility of a better tomorrow.

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April 22, 2022 10:03 am

Democracy and censorship ?? Or the one, or the other, but booth ?
No way at all.

n.n
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 22, 2022 10:10 am

The democratic/dictatorial duality and censorship go hand in hand.

Bryan A
Reply to  n.n
April 22, 2022 10:41 am

Atlas is about to Shrug

TonyG
Reply to  Bryan A
April 22, 2022 11:10 am

I wish he would hurry up and do it.

Robertvd
Reply to  n.n
April 23, 2022 1:48 am

If you can print all it needs to buy/corrupt the system.

George Daddis
Reply to  n.n
April 24, 2022 7:39 am

In the last few years, those on the Left clearly assume that “democracy” refers to the endurance of the Democrat Party specifically, and its socialist aims in general.
Anything that is counter to their interests (insuring voting integrity for example) is “Destroying Democracy”.

Mollie Ball’s TIME article in Jan 2021 described the “cabal” (her word) of politicians, union leaders, MSM, far left radical activists et al whose purpose was the defeat of Donald Trump as “saving democracy”.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 22, 2022 12:13 pm

So true, and it is alarming how many people are pushing the idea of censorship of all but the official version of “truth” and explain it as defending democracy. George Orwell wrote an alarming book about these people.

MartinM
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
April 22, 2022 1:29 pm

It seems many think that was a how-to book.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  MartinM
April 22, 2022 2:29 pm

No martin Saul Alinski’s Rules For Radicals is their paybook.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
April 22, 2022 2:35 pm

Playbook—old age. Come to think of it— it is their paybook as Jason Mattera penned in his NYT’s Bestseller “CRAPITALISM” Liberals Who Make Millions Swiping Your Tax Dollars—–building Eco-Trinkets and laundering money to their campaign coffers.

marlene
Reply to  MartinM
April 22, 2022 3:46 pm

Yes, as to how a democrat becomes a socialist and destroys society for his/her own benefit.

marlene
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
April 22, 2022 3:49 pm

“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” – William J. Casey, CIA Director (1981)

Robertvd
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
April 23, 2022 1:55 am

No this is how democracy works it corrupts the system. It makes theft by those in power legal. If theft is legal there can be no free society. Direct Taxation = Slavery.

MarkW
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 22, 2022 12:34 pm

Leftists have never believed that you have a right to disagree with them.

Reply to  MarkW
April 22, 2022 1:31 pm

Real leftists have no idea what real democracy is, so simple

Last edited 2 months ago by Krishna Gans
Robertvd
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 23, 2022 1:57 am

Leftists know exactly how real democracy works.

Willem post
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 22, 2022 1:45 pm

Obama has been the most-damaging President to the US, and US society, and US culture, because he was an early proponent of wokeness, when few people knew what it meant, and its damaging implications.

Trump being President interrupted their woke plans for four years, so he had to be removed, by hook and by crook, including a stolen election

Biden tried to rekindle Obama’s wokeness, such as with the disaster of Open Borders to change US demographics, and with a $2.2 TRILLION BBB, to have the federal government in dominant hands of Dem/Progs forever, but was stymied by two Democrats.

Matt Kiro
Reply to  Willem post
April 22, 2022 4:51 pm

Obama was more successful because his administration did everything more subtly. The current Biden one has tried to throw everything down the America’s throat at once and the damage is too obvious to everyone

Willem post
Reply to  Matt Kiro
April 22, 2022 7:00 pm

The subtlety of a very clever seller of snake oil in lambs clothing, led to the present wokeness, CRT, etc.

All that was hatched by Obama, interrupted for four years by Trump, then “implemented” by grossly inept people, such as the snakes, led by the Schumer and Pelosi cliques.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 22, 2022 2:27 pm

Krishna:
We live in a Representative Constitutional Republic not a Democracy.

Duker
Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
April 23, 2022 12:31 am

That’s what the founders decided, a representative democracy.

Dena
Reply to  Duker
April 23, 2022 6:03 pm

Remember the line “and to the Republic for which it stands”? I must have said that line thousands of times and it was only relatively recently that I truly understood what it meant. A Republic isn’t a democracy and the founders feared what would happen if we had a democracy. Of the long lasting governments, a Republic lasts longer than a democracy. Look up the Roman Republic. That is what our government is modeled after.

Fred Middleton
Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
April 25, 2022 3:02 am

As is well known, democracy allows 51 wolves asking 49 sheep ‘what’s for dinner’? ‘Our democracy’ is a misused concept by academia/media and ignorant politician. Citizens only follow the baited hook

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 22, 2022 3:09 pm

One must understand that a democrat defines democracy not as ‘everyone votes’, ‘majority rules’, or anything our founding fathers would recognize as a form of democracy. To a democrat today, democracy means ‘total authoritarian rule by democrats’. Trump wasn’t destroying ‘democracy’, he was destroying ‘total authoritarian democrat rule’.

Duker
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
April 23, 2022 12:34 am

What nonsense . The civil war happened because the slave states wouldn’t accept a national democracy they wanted it tilted so that blacks were counted for representation purposes but then denied that vote

Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
April 23, 2022 1:41 am

The US way in policies, democrates and republ., is a different one then here in Germany that can’t be compared.

Robertvd
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 23, 2022 1:46 am

Democracy = mob rule. That’s why the US was not created as a Democracy. The Founding Fathers know how toxic it is for a free society.In a centrally controlled economy (Central Banks printing machine) it is deadly because there can only be one truth. Democracy = censorship.

whiten
Reply to  Robertvd
April 23, 2022 5:05 am

We the People.

Ooops, USA not a democracy.!!! How fascinating!
The very foundation of Liberty and democracy in modern times.

No wonder that USA Constitution these days is treated as a mob-rule, init!
No wonder why the First and Second and Third Amendment of the USA Constitution so much under attack these days.

In any kinda of Constitutional Republic, as a main rule, a Legislature’s verdict, or a Legislature’s given stand by verdict, can be nullified, void or fully permanently dismissed only and solely by a verdict (another, second one) of/by the same Legislature. (regardless of any one considering a Constitutional Republic as democratic or not)

The USA Constitution, like no any other before or after, clearly provides via rights and obligation, the power of the People to remove from power and authority any governing and ruling institution that clearly infringes and brakes (such) foundational holding principles of their Constitutional Republic…
even as by means of a direct move.

cheers

Fred Middleton
Reply to  whiten
April 25, 2022 3:06 am

TV is the dark side. Intentionally?

Bill
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 23, 2022 11:20 pm

Democracy and censorship? I believe it’s called a “mob”.

John Garrett
April 22, 2022 10:08 am

(NPR) Suggestions for managing climate grief and anxiety this Earth Day
By Nell Clark
https://www.npr.org/live-updates/earth-day-sustainability-04-22-2022#suggestions-for-managing-climate-grief-and-anxiety-this-earth-day
________________________________________________________
My reply:

You have an anxiety disorder. 

It can be treated by a resort to an examination of the woefully weak evidence purporting to underlie the “Catastrophic/dangerous, CO2-driven anthropogenic global warming/climate change” CONJECTURE.

Failing that, since you are likely innumerate and scientifically illiterate, there are drugs that can be prescribed that may help to alleviate the anxiety disorder that has led you to confuse pseudoscience with actual science.

Above all— don’t pay the slightest bit of attention to anything NPR has to say about climate. NPR is dedicated to misinforming its audience and the public. It is propaganda.

Robert of Texas
Reply to  John Garrett
April 22, 2022 10:58 am

I’m gonna CHANNEL my anxieties… right to my favorite bottle of scotch. As soon as 9:00 P.M. gets here. Meanwhile, I’ll survive. Yawn.

InterestedBystander
Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 22, 2022 11:22 am

Why wait until 9:00 pm. It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.

Fraizer
Reply to  InterestedBystander
April 22, 2022 6:00 pm

Besides, you can’t drink all day if you don’t start first thing in the morning.

Matt Kiro
Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 22, 2022 4:52 pm

Any recommendations? Im always looking to try a new scotch

Fraizer
Reply to  Matt Kiro
April 22, 2022 6:02 pm

Macallen 12

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  John Garrett
April 22, 2022 11:09 am

My suggestion for them is, stop scaring people with climate doom lies.

marlene
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 3:57 pm

Is “Climate Change” science or pseudoscience?
“Popper’s examples of pseudoscience included Marx’s theory of history. He observed on page 35 of his famous book, that “A Marxist could not open a newspaper without finding on every page, confirming evidence” for the theory. Freud’s theories were the same; every clinical case confirmed his ideas. A hypothesis that is not refutable by any conceivable event is not scientific.”

Andy Espersen
April 22, 2022 10:10 am

It is saddening that even Obama doesn’t get what freedom of speech really means.

Reply to  Andy Espersen
April 22, 2022 10:12 am

He knows, else he couldn’t spread his BS

Meab
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 22, 2022 12:24 pm

It’s just precious that Obama, winner of the 2013 Lie of the Year Award, is lecturing us on disinformation.

andy in epsom
Reply to  Andy Espersen
April 22, 2022 10:14 am

OBUMMER does understand that is why he wants to stop it !

GuyFromBerlin
Reply to  Andy Espersen
April 22, 2022 10:33 am

[annnnnnd that’s an automatic ban-cr]

Last edited 2 months ago by GuyFromBerlin
Robert of Texas
Reply to  Andy Espersen
April 22, 2022 10:59 am

He is a typical socialist – they want to control the message.

InterestedBystander
Reply to  Andy Espersen
April 22, 2022 11:25 am

Whatever he accuses his enemies of is exactly what he has in mind for the rest of us. He’s still accusing the Trump campaign of conspiring with the Russians to steal the election in 2016 while it was his FBI and DOJ that were conspiring with Russian operatives and Hillary’s campaign to trip Trump up. Russian hookers peeing on a bed Obama slept in. Really! That’s the best you can do?

Last edited 2 months ago by InterestedBystander
H.R.
Reply to  InterestedBystander
April 22, 2022 4:45 pm

That’s the origin of Yellow Stream Media. It combines the Pee-pee Papers with Yellow Journalism. It wasn’t long after that someone came up with ‘urinalists’** of the YSM.

Steve from Colorado, over on The Conservative Treehouse came up with YSM. I can’t recall who came up with urinalists, but it’s a natural follow on.


**Also spelled jurinalists when pronounced with a Swedish accent.

Derg
Reply to  Andy Espersen
April 22, 2022 1:57 pm

Obama is a tool. Power lies within intelligence agencies. If you get out of line they will show you some disinformation.

marlene
Reply to  Andy Espersen
April 22, 2022 3:59 pm

If he did, he’s be Trump. And we wouldn’t be discussing climate change as though it was a thing.

David Kamakaris
April 22, 2022 10:10 am

Hey Obamao. The 80s are calling. They want their foreign policy back.

Tom Halla
April 22, 2022 10:12 am

Arguably, Facebook, Twitter, and Google are acting in fear of, or solidarity with, elected Democrats in setting their “moderation” policies. Outsourced or vigilante censorship is still censorship.
That is not getting into their status under Section 230, which does not give them the responsibility of ordinary publishers.

Insufficiently Sensitive
April 22, 2022 10:15 am

That Obama feller is almost as smart as Josef Stalin was about bamboozling the public into uncritical beliefs of political blather by Great Leaders. But they’re like broken radios, which transmit but can’t receive. Obama wants, and Stalin wanted, a Public which only receives its information from Authorized Sources.

Washington, Jefferson, Madison were unafraid of a fully endowed Public which could both transmit and receive. By comparison with them, the wannabe Glorious Leader Obama shrinks to the size of a microbe.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Insufficiently Sensitive
April 22, 2022 10:51 am

Perhaps he should be reminded of the great revolutionary lawyer Maximilien Robespierre who lost his head along the way. France has never been the same since.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Insufficiently Sensitive
April 22, 2022 11:23 am

To paraphrase Mencken, they just want to scare the public to death and then tell them they alone have the solution to their problems and the means to save them (with the means paid for by the same frightened public).

Last edited 2 months ago by Harry Passfield
Mike McHenry
April 22, 2022 10:16 am

This is really cheeky given that just about everything Biden and the democrats have said about climate change is a lie.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Mike McHenry
April 22, 2022 11:28 am

Par for the course – when you think what they did for democracy in the stolen election.

MarkW
Reply to  Mike McHenry
April 22, 2022 12:37 pm

Why be so restrictive?
Just about everything Biden and the Democrats have said about anything is a lie.

Derg
Reply to  MarkW
April 22, 2022 1:58 pm

This ^

Rud Istvan
April 22, 2022 10:22 am

Obama never was the sharpest knife in the drawer. This speech full of contradictions is just more evidence of his dullness.

Looks like Musk now has the wherewithal to go fix Twitter based on his newest SEC filing. And in other breaking news today, Trump’s Truth Social is migrating to Rumble’s existing cloud platform, which immediately solves Nunes backmoffice scale up problem. Poor Obumer. He loses his desired ability to censor what he doesn’t like.

John Garrett
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 22, 2022 10:27 am

“A demagogue is one who knowingly tells untruths to those he believes to be morons.”
-H. L. Mencken

HotScot
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 23, 2022 12:26 pm

An amusing thought occurred to me. Were it ever proven that Obama wasn’t born in the US, would that then make Elon Musk a potential Presidential candidate?

Doonman
April 22, 2022 10:23 am

The remedy for false speech is more speech.

Censorship has never protected anyone.

These are obvious truths.

People who claim otherwise are not your friends.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Doonman
April 22, 2022 11:12 am

Also, speech is literally thought manifested into a form others can perceive. In fact, most thoughts are inner dialogs – speech basically. To control speech is to control thought. So the next time someone says they want to regulate (control) speech (thought), ask yourself why.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Doonman
April 22, 2022 2:25 pm

True, Doonman, and this is why decades of dumbing down in schools is practiced. Fortunately a smart minority have brains too strong for this procedure (USSR collapsed in large part because of a tiny minority of dissidents). Indeed, the chief weakness of this totalitarian strategy is you selectively and progressively dumb down those who want to be teachers.

Al Fields
Reply to  Doonman
April 22, 2022 2:58 pm

Completely agree. That is why one of the “tools” they use most prolifically is not engage the dissenting party on the alleged grounds that they are not worth engaging. This kills the debate and opens the way to the censorship imposed by those who can censor. They can’t refute the arguments of the “dissenters” so they act as if those arguments don’t exist…

Last edited 2 months ago by Al Fields
HotScot
Reply to  Doonman
April 23, 2022 12:27 pm

Joe Biden can’t stop talking. It sure hasn’t done anyone any good.

Len Werner
April 22, 2022 10:27 am

Internet has for most people become a de facto, default, library. Imagine a library in which government exercised a right to censor books, where politicians and bureaucrats–and students–decided what books you could or could not read. Did a country ever try this?–if so, where did it lead?–what could go wrong? It is always worth noting just who proposes these ideas. And–don’t blame me if the following quote is uncomfortable, I didn’t make any of this up; simply studying history in an effort to not have to repeat it. Doesn’t seem to be working, does it.

Eighty-five years ago, fires fueled with literature labeled “un-German” by the Nazi regime burned across the country. Many students enthusiastically joined in the act at the time.

“This was a prelude only. Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.” The words that German poet Heinrich Heine wrote in his tragedy Almansor some 100 years earlier, would, under the Nazis, become a tragic reality.”

https://www.dw.com/en/when-books-were-burned-in-germany/a-43725960

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Len Werner
April 22, 2022 2:36 pm

It’s somewhat like the way Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and “1984” have become recipe books for the totalitarians.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Len Werner
April 22, 2022 2:52 pm

Just how many maths books has the Florida government banned recently? And how many other books have republicans banned from being taught to students? It seems like the republicans in the USA are fully on board with censorship and book banning.

DonM
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 22, 2022 3:29 pm

Izaak,

you can send your kids to stay with me for a few weeks. it would be good for them … expose them to new ideas and such.

what do you think?

Mr.
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 22, 2022 3:54 pm

Not banning books Izaak.
Just removing age-inappropriate materials from government operated classrooms.

(e.g. content that explains / depicts to 8 year old children how to masturbate. Parents weren’t consulted on the introduction of these materials. Teachers are in no way qualified to educate / guide such young children in sexual activities. “Hey, teachers – leave them kids alone”)

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Mr.
April 22, 2022 4:30 pm

And the maths books being banned? Care to explain those? Or multiple other books banned because of fears about “critical race theory” despite the books having nothing to do with the same and the people involved not being able to explain what CRT actually is? Again it is the republicans across the country who are actively banning books and restricting what can be taught at schools and universities while complaining loudly about censorship.

Mr.
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 22, 2022 5:00 pm

Examples?

TonyG
Reply to  Mr.
April 22, 2022 5:31 pm

Notice how Izaak totally ignores your point about the inappropriate content?

HotScot
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 23, 2022 12:32 pm

CRT? Anti white, racist beliefs. Can you explain it otherwise?

HotScot
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 23, 2022 12:36 pm

The prominent hand of Black Power rather says it all.

Critical_race_theory_book_display.jpg
b.nice
Reply to  Mr.
April 23, 2022 3:19 am

Obviously, Izaak want the youngsters to be groomed in gender malpractice.. !

He also wants to bring the kids up to be racists.

That is what CRT is all about….. defining peoples actions by race.

What children should be taught is that the colour and race are irrelevant to basically everything.. That is just shouldn’t matter.

ie the very opposite of critical race theory, which seeks to demonise certain races for one aspect or another.

Len Werner
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 22, 2022 6:42 pm

I made nor intended no partisan statement Izaak; I’m not even American. But to me there is a major difference between removing books from inappropriate-age classroom-children exposure and outright banning. I don’t believe that any books you refer to are outright banned; outside of the classroom they are still available to anyone. There is a difference between that and banning everyone from reading them.

What Barack Obama is proposing, in all it’s flowery language, is too similar to events in history to leave me comfortable. Do you embrace partisanship to the extent that you would accept Obama’s concept because it is ‘on the right side of politics’?

My response is that I completed my 10 years of university on 3 degrees many years ago; Obama (and Trudeau, I’m Canadian) can leave everything up to me to decide whether it is truth or not. I do not respect his authority, or anyone else’s, to decide for me and neither should you. And that for anyone to do so is a dangerous road to go down; such a concept was on the right side of politics (at least) once, but it ended up very much on the wrong side of history.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Len Werner
April 22, 2022 11:33 pm

Len,
What exactly do you think President Obama is proposing? Your comment about deciding what to believe sounds like Obama’s plan:

“So, as citizens, we have to take it upon ourselves, to become better consumers of news, looking at sources, thinking before we share, and teaching our kids to become critical thinkers who know how to evaluate sources, and separate opinion from fact. In fact a number of school districts are working to train kids in this kind of online media literacy, not around any particular idealogical perspective, but just, how to check a source”

and that plan for better educated kids appears to be the only concrete proposal in his speech. Elsewhere he states that he is pretty much a free
speech absolutist and says that he doesn’t want government censorship. He also states correctly that the first amendment only applies to the government and not private corporations.

Obama also points out that already social media companies make decisions about what material they allow on their platform and which posts to promote via their algorithms. Suggesting that they should be more open about what they are doing seems sensible now matter what side of the fence you are on.

Len Werner
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 23, 2022 11:37 am

You shouldn’t be downvoted for that post Izaak, it is correct and perfectly reasonable and I appreciate your reasoned comments. What Obama says however, and what he does (like keeping your medical plan for example) often end up being two different things. The statement of needing to prepare young people to be critical thinkers and what state-controlled education is turning out seem opposite.

He is making a point about lending government support to a private social platform that controls what you and I see; others have discussed the factors around the liabilities of being a publisher or not. I don’t want to see that happen; all the information should be free to everyone whether they like it or not, and any time I see an entity used for presentation of information applying a form of censorship I ignore them and go elsewhere. The analogy would be encountering a sign on the door of a library stating that ‘only publications approved by our self-appointed library board for you to see are available here’.

In any event this should not have descended into a partisan argument, which was what I was objecting to; it has, or should have, nothing to do with political partisanship. The discussion should all be about censorship of information. My original point was that having the state get involved with deciding what information is truth and what is fiction has been tried before, and the mindset of those being allowed to make such decisions has a burden of human nature that comes with it, as described by Heinrich Heine and enacted by the Nazi regime in Germany–not to mention the Catholic Church during the Inquisition period, and witch-burners in Medieval Europe and the KKK in the US. No state or private platform of information should make any steps toward going down that path, and Obama’s discussion had a lot to do with control of information.

An excellent example of state control of information by the way is demonstrated by the Pfizer documents. The state (CDC) keeping this information from citizens, then once being forced to release it said it would take over 75 years, then wanting to only release it with redactions–I do not get the implication, especially after reading the documents after they were released, that government is remotely close to being honest enough to be given any right over control of information. The private corporation, once involved with the public as Pfizer is, should not have that right of control either.

The only one who should make any decision of whether information is ‘toxic’ or not is the free and informed citizen, and we just have to accept we are not a uni-opinion species and that each of us has the responsibility to become informed. The change from listening to everyone’s opinion, and the present displays of intolerance determined by individual of group-collective disagreement, has all happened in my lifetime, despite the path it leads to seeming so obvious in history.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Len Werner
April 23, 2022 4:59 pm

Len,
you write that “The analogy would be encountering a sign on the door of a library stating that ‘only publications approved by our self-appointed library board for you to see are available here’.”

yet that is what every library (other than copyright libraries) do. No library has enough space for every book and so the librarians decide which books to stock and which ones not to buy. My local library is constantly selling old books to make room for new ones. So whether you like it or not the “self-appointed library board” is deciding what books you can read at your local library.

The same is true of Twitter and other social media sites. The only thing that makes them worthwhile is their censorship and moderation policies. Imagine if you will that the only way of accessing Twitter was via the raw feed and you got every single tweet posted in real time (6000 per second) whether or not it was in your language, posted by someone you knew etc. Pretty soon you would stop using it as would almost everyone else and it would be useless.

There has to be some censorship of tweets to make the platform useful. The same is true of sites like Facebook. Even google has to have an algorithm for ranking webpages in order for people to use it. Imagine a search engine that simply returned sites in alphabetical order? Or one in date order? Would anybody use it? So given the overwhelming about of stuff available online there has to censorship and editorial decisions made by someone to render the whole thing manageable. The question is then who should we empower to do that? I for one wouldn’t trust TikTok not to censor anti-China posts and am very suspicious about the editorial decisions it makes.

Len Werner
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 24, 2022 9:52 am

Again those are valid points Izaak. But there is a big difference between a library removing old books that nobody has read for years (and in my defence I had university libraries in mind, not village public libraries) due to limited space, and government encouraging Facebook and Twitter to deplatform Dr. Robert Malone because they don’t happen to like his opinions on mRNA vaccines. That action I think we’d both agree borders on criminal; it certainly is detestable and unjustified.

Also, relative to a public library, the capacity for digital information storage is practically infinite and will apparently stay so due to regular advances in technology and dropping cost of storage media.

HotScot
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 23, 2022 1:17 pm

“So, as citizens, we have to take it upon ourselves, to become better consumers of news, looking at sources, thinking before we share, and teaching our kids to become critical thinkers who know how to evaluate sources, and separate opinion from fact. In fact a number of school districts are working to train kids in this kind of online media literacy, not around any particular idealogical[sic] perspective, but just, how to check a source”

Why is that a schools job?

A bit like sex education. The left are utterly obsessed about the subject, which hasn’t done a damn thing for the poorest members of our societies because they continue to breed like rabbits, mixing and matching parents.

We send kids to school to learn the 3 R’s. Secondary school should offer sciences, languages and the classics, history and geography, all designed as a foundation for further education.

They are tough to learn, but they sort the wheat from the chaff even before approaching the grounds of a university.

So what does CRT and sex education offer our children facing a lifetime of hard graft to achieve what many of us have achieved?

Laughably, whilst the left believe these subjects are critical to our children’s futures, most kids leave school not knowing what a savings or current (checking) account is, how a credit card works, or what a mortgage is.

Obama mentions “critical thinking” as though this is something new and a response to the media. In reality it’s a product of studying the classics. Just learning the English language instils in one the ability to discern contradictions and forces one to ask questions of context.

And were ‘checking a source’ as easy as he maintains, WUWT wouldn’t be populated by people with different, informed opinions.

He also states correctly that the first amendment only applies to the government and not private corporations.

Obama also points out that already social media companies make decisions about what material they allow on their platform and which posts to promote via their algorithms.

And you don’t recognise the contradictions between these two statements?

not around any particular idealogical[sic] perspective

That’s a joke and we know it, with children being taught about climate change as though it’s settled science.

How can this Bozo lecture others on critical thinking when it’s literally eliminated from the curriculum?

Big Al
April 22, 2022 10:28 am

Barry’s time is coming. And husband Big Mike.

Obama say wear your mask.jpg
Derg
Reply to  Big Al
April 22, 2022 1:58 pm

Masks save lives 😉

Frank from NoVA
April 22, 2022 10:29 am

I can’t stomach reading or hearing anything by BO. But if this hypocrite wants to effectively trash any semblance of ‘accommodation’ from the sphere of public discourse in favor of a consistent defense of individual property rights, I’m with him.

AndyHce
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
April 22, 2022 12:33 pm

In what way did you come to a conclusion that he offers a defense of individual property rights?

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  AndyHce
April 22, 2022 1:57 pm

‘That said, the first amendment is a check on the power of the state. It doesn’t apply to private companies, like Facebook or Twitter,’

Just calling him out on his hypocrisy. Per the quotation, he’s A-OK with property rights when a large firm decides not to accommodate (censors) individuals with whom he disagrees. Compare and contrast with his many violations of property rights during his administration.

whiten
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
April 23, 2022 7:43 am

The First Amendment is a non discriminatory check and enforcement, and it applies to any person and entity operating within the USA… regardless of authority, sex, gender, race, or any other special status.

A public space, either privately owned or not, is full subject to the First Amendment.
Government or Private ownership and ruling, or whatever else in between, as far as in clear public at large interest, happen to be indiscriminately fully subject to the First Amendment.

Is no any where in that First Amendment, (or any where else in the USA Constitution) either implied or hinted that some happen to be more equal than others… by the virtue of their wealth or political or intellectual power,

What applies to Joe, equally applies to Moe, regardless.

cheers

Derg
Reply to  AndyHce
April 22, 2022 1:59 pm

Re-read Andy

April 22, 2022 10:31 am

The Great Obomba has spoken…let it be written…let it be done. Does the Great Obomba admire the control Putin and Xi Jinping have over speech?

Matthew Schilling
April 22, 2022 10:38 am

Like a fine steak rotting over time, and a slice of quality bread molding away, our constitutional republic is disintegrating because of the multiplication of corrosive bits resident within.

Kimmo
April 22, 2022 10:39 am

Can not stand this man! Apparently it was so much better when news was easier to control with just tv and print media. A free internet is such a challenge for tyrants like Obama

Ben Vorlich
April 22, 2022 10:40 am

Hell is full of good meanings, but heaven is full of good works. This is not a good work,

What happened to
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.
Evelyn Beatrice Hall

Robert of Texas
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
April 22, 2022 11:02 am

What happened to…”

Evelyn got Censored, then Canceled.

Doonman
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
April 22, 2022 11:25 am

Evelyn wasn’t woke. Woke people recognize the danger bad thoughts have and want to suppress them for your safety. There is no other reason as hurt feelings are fatal as we all know.

Michael in Dublin
April 22, 2022 10:45 am

I would love to get rid of the worst toxic material that is coming from politicians and their activist supporters. Please let me know where I can sign up for this. I will even work for free on the censor board that decides what is toxic and what is not.

Earthling2
April 22, 2022 10:56 am

Speaking of Barry Soetoro (a.k.a. Barack Hussein Obama) otherwise known as The Kenyan, Happy 152nd Birthday Vladimir Lenin, April 22. Also known as ‘Earth Day’ in worship of Vladimir Lenin and the Marxist/Leninist global warming/climate change propaganda.

Obama is the classic Marxist that wormed his way into Western civilization. Too bad he hadn’t been a patriotic American, and never will be truly patriotic when he set back America light years with his socialist apology for America.

Glenn Bottoms
Reply to  Earthling2
April 22, 2022 12:06 pm

Hitler’s birthday is April 20. Those who think fascism is right wing won’t understand.

Derg
Reply to  Glenn Bottoms
April 22, 2022 2:00 pm

This in spades ^

Fred Middleton
Reply to  Glenn Bottoms
April 25, 2022 3:25 am

1962 First year of lessor learning, a fill class – academia/gov’ment requirement, man instructor claimed Fascism was a radical right concept of the United States Constitution. Looking left and right in this lecture hall, open mouths catching flies. Well, except those 3 students sitting in the front row.

Robert of Texas
April 22, 2022 10:56 am

A “platform” does not censor. A “publisher” can be sued. You are either one or the other.

I wonder how Obama thinks the censorship could possibly ever be fair or factual? Another really deep thinker brough to you by Harvard, school of wokism.

commieBob
April 22, 2022 11:01 am

Jonathan Haidt has written an excellent article for The Atlantic.

The social media are a pox on society. They hand outsized power to the most aggressive brain dead juvenile delinquents who intimidate anyone with nuanced and thoughtful ideas into silence.

The net result is that society is getting really stupid.

Haidt makes some interesting suggestions. My favorite is this: Instead of letting someone retweet something a zillion times with the click of a button, force them to copy and paste. That little bit of friction would prevent a huge amount of crap from going viral, and nobody’s speech rights are impinged.

Last edited 2 months ago by commieBob
Derg
Reply to  commieBob
April 22, 2022 2:02 pm

How do you really know something goes “viral” or isn’t orchestrated?

H. D. Hoese
April 22, 2022 11:03 am

“… a lot of times can make it impossible to tell the difference between say a peer reviewed article by Dr. Anthony Fauci, and a miracle cure being pitched by a huckster.”
I just had someone admit that his multi-authored paper (not climate) introduction was boilerplate. This needs to be part of peer-review questions right next to ‘event attribution.’ Peer reviewed verbosity is on a rampage. I would add some websites like one I just searched unsuccessfully.

Verbose–“…containing more words than necessary.”
Rampage–“…to rush wildly about.”

Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
Reply to  H. D. Hoese
April 22, 2022 1:22 pm

So, in other words, Fauci is no different from the huckster?

b.nice
Reply to  Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
April 22, 2022 2:52 pm

Fauci IS the huckster. !

Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 11:04 am

No one tries to shut up people who are lying.
It is the opposite.
Liars desperately need to shut up people who are telling the truth and thus exposing the lairs for what they are.
The pattern is always the same regarding something else: The left always accuses those who oppose them of doing exactly what they are doing themselves.
It is at times obvious, but when it is not, just reverse every word they say, and you will know the truth.

Last edited 2 months ago by Nicholas McGinley
AndyHce
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 12:40 pm

People do lie viciously and others can be hurt by this. Actions are brought in court against such conduct every day.

Derg
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 22, 2022 2:03 pm

Biden is give him a run for his money as worst President

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Derg
April 22, 2022 5:57 pm

Biden is definitely worse than Obama.

If a person were intent on destroying the United States, he would do what Biden is doing now.

Biden needs to be impeached and removed from Office as soon as possible, for the sake of the nation.

Elle Webber
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 22, 2022 7:08 pm

If Biden is impeached, Harris becomes president.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Elle Webber
April 23, 2022 4:20 am

She couldn’t be any worse than Biden. A Biden impeachment might keep her subdued and a majority Republican Congress, one necessary to impeach Biden, would be able to stifle anything Harris proposed to do. And if Harris is derelict in her duty, like Biden is in his, and no doubt she will be, then she should be impeached, too. Then the Republican Speaker of the House will become president.

It’s time to play a little political hardball on the part of the Republcians. The Democrats have been doing it for years and are about to destroy our country as a result, and it’s time Republican fought back hard enough to win the ideological battle, legally, and they can do it if they have enough of the majority in Congress, and if they do, they should use their political power to save this nation from the radical Democrat socialists.

For the Nation’s sake. For the sake of our personal freedoms which the radical Democrats want to take away from us.

The Republicans should take the legitimate legal political steps necessary to preserve our Republic, if they have a majority big enough. Then the only question will be do the Republicans have the will to go against the Leftwing Media, which will be howling with fury at the attack on socialism, and go ahead and do what needs to be done: Oust the radical Democrats from power as soon as possible?

HotScot
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 23, 2022 1:38 pm

Whilst he can do a lot of harm, Biden won’t destroy America in four years.

What he has done, however, is horrify much of his core voters. We had something similar in 2019 in the UK when the raging communist Jeremy Corbyn did so much harm to the Labour party the Conservatives led by Boris Johnson consigned them to a backwater for the next 20 years. Even labour politicians were publicly lamenting this.

How times can change though. Boris is as hell bent on his environmental path as Biden is and is similarly damaging the country. His fall in polling numbers is almost as catastrophic as Biden’s.

That twenty years has now been whittled down to a matter of months as Conservative MP’s are now calling for his resignation.

Biden is damaging the Democrat party, make no mistake. If he continues on his current path, come 2024 he may as well just hand over his Presidency to the Republican candidate and save the public the agony of an election.

J Mac
April 22, 2022 11:07 am

Shall we listen to Barack Husein Obama’s version of disinformation? Should it be censored?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  J Mac
April 22, 2022 6:00 pm

We should not censor Obama’s disinformation. We have the freedom to ignore his remarks. Let him spout all the disinformation he wants. If we stopped him from doing so, he would never say another word because everything Obama says is disinformation.

TonyG
April 22, 2022 11:09 am

“no evidence of widespread evidence”

???

Matthew Schilling
April 22, 2022 11:27 am

A problem for the Leftists is they never got around to actually repealing the Fourth Amendment (4A). It is still available, though currently dormant. Thankfully, by ignoring it, the Left hasn’t ruined it (yet). They’ve tried to pretend it is moot, a dead letter. But, unlike the 3rd amendment, 4A has not become obsolete and irrelevant. The opposite is true – 4A has never been more vital. We just haven’t called anybody on it, yet. It’s brimming with potential energy that needs to go kinetic.

4A is quite different than 1A. It is written in the affirmative, not merely as a prohibition of what government cannot do. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated” is so clear even an obtuse Leftist should be able to understand it.

Yes, 4A gets around to prohibiting some governmental activities, but those are just the logical consequence of the opening salvo. Big Tech may not be violating our 1A rights, but they are trampling all over our 4A rights. If someone broke into my home and rifled through my diary and checkbook, they would be violating my 4A rights – whether they were an agent of the government, or not. Just because local ordinances would most likely be employed against that person does not mean 4A couldn’t be applied.

In modern parlance, 4A makes the United States a safe place for privacy. It is grossly “unreasonable” to suggest we have to join a monastery or become Amish to escape from the clear glass fishbowl we’ve been tossed into without our consent.

It is grossly “unreasonable” that massive multinational corporations suck up every last scrap of data about me, run that purloined info through sophisticated algorithms on super computers, and then sell the info and analysis to total strangers. We are not RFID’d packets whisking about inside a massive GovCorp warehouse! At least, we ought not to be.

4A is the axe to lay to the root of the redwood tree of pervasive surveillance and deep pondering that assaults us 24/7/365. It simply doesn’t matter that relentless invasion is so pervasive or profitable. It is unconstitutional.

4A ought to be the basis of the biggest class action lawsuit in history and/or the most consequential Cease and Desist Order ever issued.

Last edited 2 months ago by Matthew Schilling
Eric C Meyers
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
April 22, 2022 12:05 pm

Copied and pasted with credit to Mathew Schilling

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  Eric C Meyers
April 22, 2022 1:59 pm

Thanks!

Eric C Meyers
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
April 23, 2022 12:58 pm

I think it’s important to consider, like Elon Musk says it’s important to carefully consider how to regulate digital super AI before it’s omniscient. That’s the rub: before, which is now.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  Eric C Meyers
April 24, 2022 5:28 am

If we consider the moment AI becomes omniscient as midnight, then it is now maybe only ten minutes prior to the when the three hands on our clock will be raised together in surrender.

AndyHce
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
April 22, 2022 12:53 pm

While I markedly disapprove, and fear, the great loss of privacy, it isn’t quite so clear cut. They don’t go into you home and riffle through your checkbook. You use your personal information to ends you believe beneficial to you. They refuse to do business with you unless you consent that they take ownership of the information you impart.

It doesn’t have to be that way but that is the arrangement that greatly benefits them so, unless you can get a very sizeable majority to engage in a campaign of refusing to do business with them under those conditions, they will continue to set the terms of the interaction.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  AndyHce
April 22, 2022 1:59 pm

Our God-given rights are inalienable. Part of the purpose of government is to superintend and intervene when silly people work against their own rights. “I see they tried to sell themselves into slavery, but that’s not allowed. Sorry. Contract null and void!”

AndyHce
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
April 22, 2022 3:00 pm

But it has always been legitimate to sell yourself into slavery under the US constitution and the law thereof. The courts have explicitly observed that it is so. It happens every day. Generally one can revoke the contract for going forward but the debt already obtained still applies

AndyHce
Reply to  AndyHce
April 22, 2022 3:13 pm

Part of the purpose of government is to superintend and intervene when silly people work against their own rights

This reminds me of a discussion where I worked when the Federal regulations to require a common bumper height on all automobiles and light trucks was being proposed. This was a proposal brought forth from and for the benefit if insurance companies. At that time different bumper heights and types went with many different automobile styles and truck utilization designs.

One fellow was adamantly in favor of that regulation, and possibly many others.

“When I go to buy a car, all I can see is whether or not I like the styling. It is the governments duty to make sure I don’t buy a car that will end up costing me a lot of extra money.”

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  AndyHce
April 23, 2022 5:11 am

No, an American cannot sell themselves into slavery. There’s this thing called the 13th Amendment. It was written awhile back, right after a little kerfuffle occurred between some of the states. You might want to look it up.

AndyHce
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
April 26, 2022 12:57 am

You are simply wrong. Did you miss the “involuntary” part? Even under that there are limitations. Don’t forget about chain gangs and any other type of prison labor. These days your ‘contract’ can often be sold to a private company that might pay you 13 cents an hour if you are lucky. You don’t get to choose under those circumstances.

You are free to join any cult, commune, or other organization that puts strict limitations on you and your (frequently forfeited) property. You can agree to work the cotton fields 12 hours a day, to forgo any outside communication, and any other restrictions the organization may impose, all for enrollment in the organizational culture and minimal room and board. You can then engender greater debt to the organization for every violation of rules and their culture that you make. In those cases you can legally end the contract but you can’t just walk away from any debt or obligations that you agreed to if the organization can cogently argue that they fulfilled their part of the bargain.

It is possible to describe many other types of bondage that are essentially slavery of varying degrees. These can include bondage to government agencies.

Last edited 2 months ago by AndyHce
Matthew Schilling
Reply to  AndyHce
April 26, 2022 10:30 am

You are literally the only person who thinks joining a cult is the same as selling yourself into slavery. It is literally impossible to communicate with someone who has his own personal “definitions” for words.

You can’t even understand the plain meaning of the 13th Amendment yet you’re going to hold forth on the 4th? Now that right there is funny, I don’t care who you are!

Please keep digging, Andy. Just because you don’t mean to be a comedian doesn’t mean you aren’t very funny!

Last edited 2 months ago by Matthew Schilling
Matthew Schilling
Reply to  AndyHce
April 23, 2022 5:05 am

They absolutely DO come into our homes and rifle through everything! One or two smartphones, AKA “NSA Listening Devices”; a couple laptops; a couple “smart” TV’s; a Ring doorbell; home security system; an Alexa. We couldn’t be more thoroughly stalked if we lived in an ant farm on NSA property.

AndyHce
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
April 26, 2022 1:00 am

How many of those options do you choose to participate in? You might not like all parts of the bargain but virtually none of it would exist in your life if you didn’t choose to invite it in.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  AndyHce
April 26, 2022 10:26 am

What good is it to not have a smart phone when standing in the midst of multiple people with smartphones? Virtually no place that involves society (as opposed to being alone deep in a forest) is free of several cameras. As for homes, every transmitter is a receiver. Every. single. one. That would include a “smart” TV – doubly so if it doesn’t merely employ rabbit ears antenna.

It is unreasonable, therefore unconstitutional, to require individuals to join a monastery or move to an Amish community to regain their 4A rights. It is unreasonable, and therefore unconstitutional, to require people to travel back in time to the 19th century to get back under the protection of 4A. It is unreasonable, and therefore unconstitutional, to assert 4A expired halfway through the 20th century, so forget about it!

A vital Fourth Amendment and Surveillance Capitalism are mutually exclusive. Therefore, surveillance capitalism is unconstitutional, whatever the fallout is for Facebook’s stock price. Because surveillance capitalism is unconstitutional, Google must be shorn of its search engine, with its algorithms laid bare and placed in the public domain. Further, the unholy, fascistic marriage of Big Tech and the Deep State is grossly unconstitutional. Jail time is required. Former heads of three-lettered government agencies who have walked down a short hall to sit in front of MSM cameras need to be dragged out and locked up.

Americans are being held hostage in a massive GovCorp warehouse, all darted and tagged for monitoring purposes. This crime against humanity dwarfs what the Communist Chinese have done to the Uighurs. The hostages must be set free – all of them, even obtuse tools who don’t realize they’re in a warehouse. The tags must be tossed into barrels of acid. Then the warehouse must be burned to the ground.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
April 22, 2022 1:39 pm

The Constitution is an agreement between the People and their Government. Originally, only the Federal Government. With the 14th amendment, the first 10 started to be applied to the States as well. Except as provided for in various civil rights acts, Constitutional guarantees do not apply between private actors. So, if someone were to break into your home and rifle through your private papers and copy/abscond with them, you can lodge a complaint of burglary against them with your local police, but you cannot lodge a 4A complaint against them.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
April 22, 2022 1:55 pm

I completely disagree. The Constitution is NOT an agreement with the Federal government, since it gives birth to that government. It is an agreement among ourselves and among the states.

I believe it is obtuse to not see the right to privacy is explicitly declared, then applied in the context of the Constitution. Since the rights are God-given, they are not discovered by the Bill of Rights, just enumerated and applied to our relationship with government.

I say part of the problem with 4A atrophying is because we don’t use 4A against a non-government jerk who breaks in.

Last edited 2 months ago by Matthew Schilling
AndyHce
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
April 22, 2022 3:39 pm

Going back to the early days after the ratification of the Constitution, people were trying to apply the Constitutional guarantees and the Bill of Rights to contractual matters.
“Well yes, I did get that benefit out of the deal but my having to … violates my Constitutional rights.”

The courts were quite explicit in pointing out that natural or Constitutional rights are completely different things from contractual obligations. I suppose that is a major reason attorneys are so often consulted before signing on some dotted line.

Government is considered to have some legitimate powers over individuals; most certainly governments have overwhelming force powers over individuals. Inalienable and/or Constitutional rights are presumed to protect individuals against those powers in various specific ways by declaring limits to that government power. Some things are also declared illegal in contracts but those stem from legislative enactments, not Constitutional limitations.

It is certainly true that the creep (sometimes rush) of additional control over people has been going on for most of this country’s history but so has the extension of contracts between government and individuals, overriding individual rights. Today most people are born, live, and die under contractual obligations they never understand and are often unaware that anything else is possible.

DonM
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
April 22, 2022 3:45 pm

It is likely that the courts will not let you.

“How a Constitutional Rights Violation Case Works
Elements for Establishing a Claim
United States law allows an individual who believes that his or her constitutional rights have been violated to bring a civil action against the government to recover the damages sustained as a result of that violation. Specifically, 42 USC §1983 “provides a cause of action for the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws by any person acting under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory.”  Gomez v Toledo, 446 US 635, 638 (1980)(internal quotations omitted).

In Gomez, the United States Supreme Court determined that only two elements must be pled to properly assert a cause of action under 42 USC §1983. First, the Plaintiff must specifically identify the constitutional right of which he or she was deprived. Id. at 640. Second, the Plaintiff must assert that “the person who deprived him of that federal right acted under color of state or territorial law.” Id.

In other words, the individual who deprived the Plaintiff of the right must have been acting for or on behalf of a governmental entity at the time the right was denied. However, an agent of the government who is abusing his position or the power conferred upon him is still acting under the “color of law” and is thus subject to §1983 actions.

Monroe v Pape, 365 US 167, 172 (1960). There is no constitutional violation if the individual who denied the Plaintiff’s right as a private citizen unless that individual was working in conjunction with a governmental entity.”

Last edited 2 months ago by DonM
Matthew Schilling
Reply to  DonM
April 22, 2022 6:55 pm

So we will need SCOTUS to rule properly, that the Bill of Rights lists… rights. What a revolutionary thought! After all, It’s not the Bill of Government Proscriptions.

Or, we need we the People assembled in Congress to declare the rights as innate to people. They limit government but emanate from us, just as a lamp shines on items in a room – the light is a property of the lamp, not of the items it illuminates.

It’s problematic that the courts assume ownership of the constitution. It was a travesty a couple years ago when SCOTUS sat in judgment of the second amendment! They came within a couple votes of gutting it. I said at the time that would a trigger to activate it.

Last edited 2 months ago by Matthew Schilling
Matthew Schilling
Reply to  DonM
April 24, 2022 1:34 pm

Bad SCOTUS decisions don’t make good precedent, e.g., Dred Scott v Sanford.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
April 23, 2022 2:09 pm

Disagree all you like, but you completely misunderstand the purpose of the Constitution. The Constitution regulates the relationship between the people and the Federal (and sometimes, State) government, and enumerates responsibilities and powers. It is most definitely NOT a document regulating the relationships between and among private individuals.

whiten
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
April 23, 2022 4:26 pm

D. J. Hawkins

How about that any one in the territory of USA, regardless of creed or status, is subject to be sued and be hold libel for slander and defamation against that document, in a court of law!
How about it?
What do you think?

Last edited 2 months ago by whiten
D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  whiten
April 26, 2022 8:20 am

I can find no evidence for such a law or regulation. Searching for “defame”, “defamation”, “libel”, or “slander” in the Constitution and its amendments returns no results. Can you provide references?

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
April 23, 2022 4:58 pm

Your condescension must make you a big hit at parties! So, I COMPLETELY misunderstand the purpose of the Constitution?!?

The Fourth Amendment declares in plain English that the people have a right to be secure in their person, papers and effects from unreasonable searches. It does NOT say “BUT ONLY FROM GOVERNMENT! This right only applies to government. Do NOT try to use this amendment at home!”

As I wrote earlier, the first 10 amendments are called the Bill of RIGHTS, not the Bill of Government Restrictions.

While people often make the specious “argument” that 1A doesn’t apply to powerful agents of GovCorp, they at least have an excuse for that foolishness – 1A is written as a prohibition against Congress passing laws of certain types. Yet, if Congress can’t pass a law in certain areas, it follows the rest of government can’t throw elbows around in those areas either. So, the reach of the amendment was very quickly extended beyond the only branch of government mentioned in it. In fact, it is an historical fact that the text of 1A has been extended to other entities not specifically mentioned by it.

Why, even groomer bullies in state-sponsored madrassas (public school teachers) are held to be limited by the text of 1A! The Fed gov’t, and its courts in particular, have spent a couple centuries inexorably expanding the reach of the amendments to the Constitution. Still not so clever people immediately snap into action whenever anyone dares to say the first amendment ought to ensure the free speech of American citizens in America. “Of course, you can ride in the front of the bus. Just don’t say anything!”

One could almost say I’m trying to swim in the same general flow of the last two and a half centuries, by expanding the reach of the Fourth Amendment. Not really. I’m asserting the plain text means what it says. It has been formally enshrined in our founding, governing document that the people have a right to be secure in their persons, papers and effects from unreasonable searches. Not from government searches; not from unreasonable government searches, but from unreasonable searches.

It is patently, painfully obvious that powerful agents of GovCorp relentlessly and thoroughly – and therefore unreasonably, render our persons, papers, and effects utterly insecure – open to full exposure to complete strangers. Ants in clear plastic ant farms have more privacy than we do! Such ants spend vast portions of each and every day free from even a single gaze, yet we are pinned down by a continuous, unblinking stare. As I mentioned above, we are no better than RFID’d packets in a massive GovCorp warehouse – where the lights never go out and the security shifts never go unfilled.

If only it had been recorded somewhere or suggested by someone with authority to back up the suggestion that we ought not to be treated in such a nightmarish manner! Oh, that’s right! It has been. And it wasn’t a suggestion.

The problem for people lacking in understanding is, 4A eventually gets around to prohibiting specific government actions. That’s where they often develop legal vertigo. But the second half of the amendment’s text is merely a corollary to the actual proposition made by the amendment. (In case you don’t recognize that word, a corollary is a follow-on clause, arising from and dependent on the primary text that precedes it.)

There isn’t even a hint of limitation on the primary clause of 4A. The concluding clause is merely a logical application of the opening, governing clause, written in the context of the overarching document.

You’ll likely completely misunderstand this reply. But others are bound to get it. So, I’m going to go ahead and post it here.

Last edited 2 months ago by Matthew Schilling
AndyHce
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
April 26, 2022 1:20 am

If it isn’t an agent of government, it is trespass, breaking and entering, burglary, and other such crimes and misdemeanors, not a Constitutional matter. If you install Alexa, or an internet connection to a smart TV, you voluntarily give up privacy rights.

You may be too ignorant to realize the ramifications of what you are doing but then, did you read all 50,000 (500,000?) pages of the Social Security regulations before requesting a number and thereby pledging your labor (your most and possibly only real possession) as collateral for the public debt? It doesn’t matter if you understood or not, only if the information was potentially available to you. You made the agreement, you suffer the results.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  AndyHce
April 26, 2022 9:57 am

Aww.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
April 26, 2022 8:31 am

If you want condescension, here you go: My comment was meant as an outright smackdown on your ignorance. There, is that better? Nothing in your reply alters your display of ignorance.

Here is the full text of the Fourth Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Notice the reference to “warrants” and “oaths”? Where would one private person go to get a warrant to be served on another private person to search or seize their property, as a private citizen and not the result of a court proceeding? They couldn’t. Again, if someone grabs your stuff, it’s robbery or burglary it’s a police matter, and you don’t get any 4th amendment relief.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
April 26, 2022 9:57 am

Poor thing, you failed to notice the word “and”, as in “AND no warrants shall arise…” “And”, as “in addition to”, and “also”. It doesn’t mean “by which we mean” or “We said all that only because”.

You also failed to notice there is an enumeration of related, yet independent concepts here, just as there is in the First Amendment. Now, even you probably understand 1A doesn’t diminish the protection of religion by mentioning the press. The potency of 1A wasn’t diluted by listing several areas in which it applies. Its potency is the same in each area. Similarly, making reference to warrants and oaths does not cancel or limit the right of the people to be secure in their persons, house, papers, and effects. Rather, BECAUSE the people have an innate right to privacy, gubmint must be darn ready to explain precisely what they need and why they need it. (Poor thing, please feel free to take a break if you’re getting a headache.)

Also, O Obtuse One, I didn’t list people GRABBING my stuff, but rifling through it – taking notes, writing down personal info, etc. (And then comparing those notes with other stalking strangers) A person doing that can cause much more harm to me than the guy who TAKES my wallet, shoves the cash from it into his pocket, and then throws the wallet away. A wallet and the cash can be replaced, but privacy lost is privacy ruined, ended.

Again, I’m not replying for you in particular. I’d rather rake in the wind. I’d rather explain brain surgery to someone who’s already had a frontal lobotomy. But this a public forum (almost like a place where free speech ought to be encouraged. Almost) Others will think on what I’m saying and realize the Founders intended privacy to be of paramount importance, because it is a foundation stone to individual liberty. And we’ve proven them right by letting contemptible people excise that right so that the natural consequences could play out.

It’s not just because of our lack of a southern border that America has devolved from a walled garden into a trampled field. It is also because both the spirit and letter of the Fourth Amendment has been gutted and razed. But none of this has come upon us because we were stupid, suicidal children who willed it so. These evils were slipped on us while we slept.

The most consequential things that have happened in America for an entire generation occurred without a vote of the people or a referendum from them. Almost all of it was directly opposed to the clear will of the people! A cabal of grifters, haters, and criminally insane idiots have systemically destroyed American society – simply because we paid no attention to them as they thrashed about. The bulls wreaked havoc in our china shop while we were away.

But another irritant of modernity is the gaggle of obtuse tools who make grandiose statements like, “The first amendment doesn’t apply to Twitter because the Founders never intended for people to have free speech in a public forum”. It’s the same dearth of intellect and logic that lets its victim opine the 2nd Amendment really only applies to muskets. Now we see it here: “Just because 4A says people have a right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects doesn’t mean people have a right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects! It only means warrants and stuff! That flowery opening clause was just to get the word count up; it was never meant to convey anything useful”.

Last edited 2 months ago by Matthew Schilling
2hotel9
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
April 22, 2022 1:46 pm

With your permission I would like to email this to a few people, Mr. Schilling.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  2hotel9
April 22, 2022 1:57 pm

Feel free and thank you!

Tom.1
April 22, 2022 11:46 am

I think the response of most readers here is fairly predictable (especially considering the messenger). My first reaction is that regulating internet media is a slippery slope to be avoided. However, we have to remember that not all speech is protected (can’t yell fire in a crowded theater, fighting words conspiracy laws, libel, etc). We already have the social media companies censoring things, but they are private companies which should not be required to accept content that they disagree with. No one is required to read Facebook or post content there. Just leave them alone. Since about 1990 we have had a proliferation of new sources of news and information on radio, TV, and the internet. This seems to have facilitated a kind of Balkanization of political views, at least in the US. Now, a lot of people form their opinion about things as much by who is for or against something as opposed to evaluating everything on its merits. Unfortunately, there is no way to teach people to think critically about any number of issues. Of course, this very issue is highly political. The people who want more regulation of speech (and just about everything else) are liberals. I don’t like that. Conservatives are less inclined to do this (except when it suits them).

commieBob
Reply to  Tom.1
April 22, 2022 12:21 pm

There is a lot of opinion that the social media should be common carriers. In other words, they should not be able to discriminate against customers just because they don’t like their opinions.

Tom.1
Reply to  commieBob
April 22, 2022 1:36 pm

I guess that already applies to the “pipes”, but how do you do that with content providers? Tricky problem for sure.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  commieBob
April 22, 2022 1:41 pm

This is a very important discussion that most people don’t seem to want to have.

AndyHce
Reply to  Tom.1
April 22, 2022 1:02 pm

I just read an article about a spreading problem in Texas, attributed solely to ‘conservative’ factions. The claim is that cliques are investigating public libraries and making largish lists of books that they believe should not be presented to people (maybe children will see/read them, etc.) and conservative political forces (e.g. local judges, council members, etc.) are leaning on libraries to get books removed and/or put into restrictive circulation catagories.

Of course, since this was an article written by a journalist, one should not lightly give faith that it is in whole, or even part, true. However, this would not be the first time something of the sort has happened.

Derg
Reply to  AndyHce
April 22, 2022 2:06 pm

No kidding the left loves to ban speech

AndyHce
Reply to  Derg
April 26, 2022 1:22 am

All named parties were “right wing conservatives”, not on the left.

Doc Chuck
Reply to  AndyHce
April 22, 2022 4:17 pm

Andy, I suppose we could all fight any tendency to discriminate against what damages ourselves or others by simply permitting abusive conduct, drugs, and corrupting influences for our own use and in our encounters with one another; under the fast emerging controlling consideration that any restriction signals some inequitable favoritism given all the options before us. But of course that is just where we’ll be left when we fail to embrace every trustworthy revealed guiding light for our walk through an enveloping darkness.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  AndyHce
April 23, 2022 2:15 pm

If there is a feeling in any jurisdiction that those acting on behalf of the public are failing to be mindful of its wishes, there is no reason members of the public can’t organize to make their wishes known. Suppose what is reported is exactly true. What is the issue? If the library receives public funds, the public is entiteled to an opinion on how they should be spent. Even if such an opinion is, in the eyes of others, wrong-headed.

AndyHce
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
April 26, 2022 1:28 am

Obviously it is only some fraction of the public that wants any particular restriction. Those that don’t want to know always have the option not to read. What they really want is for you not to know. This is no different than any other censorship. Some one with some power is deciding what you or others will be allowed to become aware of. The climate activists who suppress debate and/or airing of contrary information are doing nothing the least bit different.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  AndyHce
April 26, 2022 8:37 am

So, you’re suggesting that if some folks wanted to keep Hustler magazine out of the public library they are just a bunch of knuckle-dragging censors?

The people who pay the piper get to call the tune. Libraries have limited funds, they perforce “censor” what is available because they can’t buy every book and periodical in existence. If a community doesn’t want to spend their money for a particular purpose, I don’t see a problem. I may not agree with their choice, but it should be their choice.

Matt Kiro
Reply to  Tom.1
April 22, 2022 5:00 pm

You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater, but they seem to yell “Climate Crisis! ” for every storm or flood or forest fire that appears.

TonyG
Reply to  Tom.1
April 22, 2022 5:16 pm

“However, we have to remember that not all speech is protected (can’t yell fire in a crowded theater,”

Not quite the case: https://www.whalenlawoffice.com/legal-mythbusting-series-yelling-fire-in-a-crowded-theater/

they are private companies which should not be required to accept content that they disagree with

Not if they ALSO enjoy the benefit of Section 230 common carrier exemptions. By your reasoning, the phone company should also be free to censor content they disagree with. And you email service. They’re all private companies, after all, right?

As long as they have section 230 protection, then no censorship should be applied. If they want to give that up, then by all means, censor away.

April 22, 2022 11:59 am

According to President Obama, there should be more government censorship of social media and internet search, to prevent the spread of “toxic information”…

And who decides what is toxic?
A roomful of radicalised millenial activists?
Got it

RoodLichtVoorGroen
Reply to  Phil Salmon
April 22, 2022 12:09 pm

The poison will call the antidote a poison.

Joe Civis
Reply to  Phil Salmon
April 22, 2022 1:52 pm

though it wasn’t widely publicized, obama while president removed the prohibition on the US government from using propaganda on US citizens in the US. interesting in the projection sense that he is complaining about “mis/disinformation” used on people when he legalized its use on US citizens within the US.

Fred Middleton
Reply to  Joe Civis
April 25, 2022 4:02 am

“It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion”. Propaganda by government and Joe Goebbels. Without a single shot being fired, a revolution is nearly lost that has allowed Free Press to challenge management.

Dave Fair
April 22, 2022 12:07 pm

Authoritarians just gotta control you by any means at hand.

Andy Pattullo
April 22, 2022 12:10 pm

So funny that Obama puts himself forward as being a thought leader on how to distinguish misinformation from truth. Is that because he spent his political career specializing in misinformation and propaganda like most professional politicians? Most of what he says about vaccines is wrong based on true scientific observations. Anthony Fauci is a traitor to the scientific process. There are many good reasons for people to be skeptical and to decide to avoid the experimental mRNA vaccines given what we know so far, and the fact most people are at minimal risk for serious consequences from CoVID. The idea people should blindly follow the advice of authorities without question is unscientific and also very dangerous in terms of ultimately destroying the credibility of those same authorities once they are again proved wrong.

n.n
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
April 22, 2022 2:50 pm

Setting aside planned parent/hood Choices and facilities in Michigan, New York, etc., the mortality rate attributed to Covid-19, 20, 21, and 22, far exceeded expectations based on outcomes observed in European cohorts of the same age, sex, and comorbidities, with early, effective, affordable, safe treatments.

The non-sterilizing “vaccines” with progressive effects in the immediate term, and more that will not be known for years, perhaps a decade or more. Natural immunity has proven to be both more robust and durable over the same period, with less victims and collateral damage.

Luke
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
April 22, 2022 7:13 pm

There’s no around it. I’m sorry Republicans, but you HAVE to go there. The first black (no black ancestors brought over on a ship) President of the United States was a DISASTER. Nothing about it was a positive. By the way, Trump WON after Obuma. You don’t have to lose. You just have to quit worrying about offending slow suburban wine moms.

Gary Pearse
April 22, 2022 12:23 pm

“…and the threat that disinformation poses to democracy.”

This is precisely the reason information from the broadest range of sources has to be permitted.

The ‘need’ for a speech like Obama’s is a huge ‘tell’. It is this. Despite ‘his side’ having control of most of the world’s media, most of the financial resources, almost every academic institution K-PhD, UN and other NGOs, scholarly publishers … etc., they still are foiled by the comparatively very small dissident voice.

Why is this? One big reason is, when one ‘side’ has, say, 90% support, the huge participation encourages people to put out low quality, high volume chaff that dilutes any possible, more thoughtful ‘take’ that their community might have. Why be thoughtful or risk your position in debate with a dissident when the majority is basically in the bag. Canned thought, like “talking points” for ordinary and intelligent laymen alike are immediately obvious, with the same links and verbiage. A thousand people brandishing the same memorized talking points are no match for one thoughtful, logical dissident who has familiarized himself with the subject at hand and his adversaries’ arguments.

Gerald Machnee
April 22, 2022 12:26 pm

So the students and staff had to listen to an hour of misinformation from someone who did the same when he was “president”.
Is this the same person who was ‘resident” of 57 states?

Stephen Skinner
April 22, 2022 12:28 pm

“One of Obama’s great gifts is the ability to say things that are absolutely absurd and make them sound not only plausible, but inspiring.” – T. Sowell

DHR
April 22, 2022 12:32 pm

Now that is a dangerous man!

Anon
April 22, 2022 12:40 pm

Hi Eric,

Great post!

“The most fascinating part of Obama’s speech for me, is how he seems to believe people should blindly defer to authority.”



Given that, you might find this interesting. For me, it was one of those things that I can never forget after reading it:

They Thought They Were Free
The Germans, 1933-45 ~ Milton Mayer

But Then It Was Too Late

“What no one seemed to notice,” said a colleague of mine, a philologist, “was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. 

“What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.”

“This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.”

“It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your ‘little men,’ your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you. Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to.”

“Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?”

https://press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928.html

And here is an article that mirrors that today:

The Great Acquiescence

“Not in my lifetime have Americans, purporting to be thoughtful, intelligent people, been so wide-eyed, so stupefied as those who are pretending to lead them and to inform them by seeking to bury them in ignorance.”

https://consortiumnews.com/2022/04/16/patrick-lawrence-the-great-acquiescence-glory-to-ukraine/

Obama is just reassuring people of their natural proclivity: “Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?And with that, none of the details matter, about anything.

Last edited 2 months ago by Anon
D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Anon
April 22, 2022 1:45 pm

If I could give this 100 up votes, I would.

TonyG
Reply to  Anon
April 22, 2022 5:21 pm

What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security.”

That is disturbingly close to what we see today.

Ossqss
April 22, 2022 12:44 pm

Disinformation?

“If you like your Heathcare plan, you can keep your Healthcare plan. Period”

President Obama: ‘I am sorry’ – YouTube

Last edited 2 months ago by Ossqss
Derg
Reply to  Ossqss
April 22, 2022 2:07 pm

Never forget the don’t cross this line in the sand along with Benghazi was started by an internet video 😉

George Daddis
April 22, 2022 12:57 pm

BHO’s OPINION does not make a theory a FACT. Nor does the fact that it supports his social and political narratives make it TRUE.

BHO has the audacity to conflate respected scientists like Judith Curry (GeoTech), Richard Lindzen (MIT), William Happer et al with snake oil salesmen.

If we were to put up FALSE claims about catastrophic dangers of CO2 emissions by supposed “scientists” (Michael Mann, Phil Jones et al) most politicians (John Kerry) or anyone in the MSM against the claims of the former group, my money will be on the skeptics in the timeframe the “alarmists” are proposing..

And skepticism is one of the bedrocks of true science.

The idea that democracy is improved with government condoned censorship is right out of 1984.

Last edited 2 months ago by George Daddis
Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
April 22, 2022 1:07 pm

…clinically tested the vaccine on billions of people worldwide…

I thought the clinical testing takes place in a clinic before the product is imposed on billions of people. I guess I was wrong.

yirgach
Reply to  Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
April 24, 2022 1:05 pm

You should be proud to be part of the largest global clinical trial ever!
And even though we’re all part of the Control Group, at least I know that I got the placebo…
/sarc

Gordon A. Dressler
April 22, 2022 1:40 pm

And here, all along, I was taught that it was the job of the US Supreme Court—and NOT that of the President or an ex-President—to (ultimately) establish how the US Constitution, particularly its First Amendment, was to be interpreted and applied across the United States and its territories.

Obama . . . you got any free time in your retirement to read up on the Constitution, paying particular attention the “separation of powers” enumerated therein???

One can only wonder what the Stanford “scholars” in Constitutional law may have thought about Barack’s keynote address.

Last edited 2 months ago by Gordon A. Dressler
AndyHce
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
April 22, 2022 3:59 pm

The courts have, time and again, explicitly stated that they act under the assumption that any action the legislature takes is allowed, no matter it is unconstitutional on its face. This seems to also be the case in regard to the Executive.

If they can find a way to address an action brought against a legislative enactment that does not consider the Constitution, they will (And they usually can. The Supreme Court will often refuse to hear cases on some particular complaint, often enough for years, until they have one that allows them to rule in favor of the government, closing out all other considerations).

When the argument is between different sectors of government, such as between the Executive and the Legislature, hearings and rulings will often come with tornado speeds but the cries of individuals are only infrequently heard.

drednicolson
Reply to  AndyHce
April 22, 2022 5:03 pm

Government is a priori lawful by virtue of being what makes the laws. No government is going to outlaw itself.

But laws don’t determine what is right and wrong, only what is legal.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  drednicolson
April 22, 2022 7:02 pm

“No government is going to outlaw itself.”

Really?

Well, the US Government “outlawed itself” (outlawed actions that the Government itself has previously said were legal, and had acted in accordance with) in the cases of:

— allowing slavery (13th Amendment to the Constitution)

— banning voting based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude (15th Amendment to the Constitution)

— preventing women from voting (19th Amendment to the Constitution)

— allowing the manufacture, sale and transport of alcoholic beverages (18th Amendment to the Constitution)

— preventing the manufacture, sale and transport of alcoholic beverages, as established by the 18th Amendment (21st Amendment to the Constitution)

— allowing collection of a poll tax for elections of federal officials (24th Amendment to the Constitution

The foresight of the “Founding Fathers” that brought forth the US Constitution, with recognition of the need and inclusion of the mechanism for Governmental self-correction over time, is just amazing!

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  AndyHce
April 22, 2022 6:28 pm

Well, what you assert does NOT seem to be the case with U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, who just this past Monday struck down the federal mask mandate for airplanes and other modes of public transportation Monday, citing that the CDC (an agency of the Executive branch) had exceeded its authority and failed to follow proper rulemaking procedures.

Whether or not the US Supreme court decides to hear an appeal on this ruling, and how they may vote on a final decision, remains to be seen.

But clearly, the Judicial branch is not just kowtowing to the Executive branch.

AndyHce
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
April 26, 2022 2:00 am

I fail to see what Constitutional restriction was addressed or where there was any conflict between rights of persons and government restrictions thereon, brought into consideration. The fact that there have been many rullings against agency regulations based on the agency exceeding authority of the legislation that created it has, for the most part, nothing to do with individual rights or Constitutional protections. Try to keep the narative straight.

Fred Middleton
Reply to  AndyHce
April 25, 2022 4:14 am

SCOTUS – nowhere is the Court given “judicial review” authority. The Court created its own authority in 1803. COS – Should have been called, Convention of States. Maybe 6 times since the signing of the Constitution.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Fred Middleton
April 25, 2022 11:37 am

You stated: “SCOTUS – nowhere is the Court given “judicial review” authority.”

US Constitution, Article III. – The Judicial Branch, Section 1 – Judicial powers:
“The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”

No further response is necessary.

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
April 22, 2022 4:30 pm

And here, all along, I was taught that it was the job of the US Supreme Court…”
So you have to be on the USSC to have a view on the First Amendment? I’ve heard plenty hear expressing views.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 22, 2022 7:16 pm

Your comment presents a non-sequitur, but I’ll reply nonetheless.

Some “express views”, others advance propaganda toward dismissing Constitutional rights . . . methinks Barry is properly characterized as more of the latter and less of the former.

More simply put: anyone can express a “view” on anything but that does not mean he/she is correct, factually or ethically.

jeffery p
April 22, 2022 1:46 pm

The progressives control the legacy media. It’s already censored. But the progressives don’t control what is published online. They have to censor that.

Independent
April 22, 2022 1:52 pm

He’s just upset Biden has taken over his “worst.president.ever” title.

jeffery p
April 22, 2022 1:55 pm

I wonder if the Obamas involvement with Netflix and the progressive crap Barry and Michelle produce for the streamer has anything to do with Netflix’s drop in subscribers?

Netflix has too much programming that appeals to the far-left. Why would anybody else watch it?

Tom.1
April 22, 2022 2:02 pm

The supreme irony here is Obama’s own party’s promotion of the Steele Dossier and all the fake news coverage that evolved from it.

n.n
Reply to  Tom.1
April 22, 2022 3:00 pm

And cover-ups of Obama’s world war Spring series from Tripoli, forward, catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform, progressive prices and affordability, funding and operation of illicit biolabs through shared/shifted responsibility, and, of course, the misinformation and disinformation spread and brayed by officials, peer-reviewed publications, mainstream news, and Democrat politicians to steer the vote.

Editor
April 22, 2022 2:17 pm

Obama makes one small mistake, and all of the errors in his speech derive from that.

He says: “I’m pretty sure that in most instances, the answer to bad speech is good speech.”.

The correct notion is that in all instances, the answer to bad speech is good speech.

If he wants an end to misinformation, all he has to do is to argue the case. It can take a long time for the misinformation to be overcome, and by the time that has been achieved there will be a lot of new misinformation, but the extremely valuable outcome that Obama has missed is that during the dialogue process society will have become a bit more robust – a bit more capable of recognising misinformation for themselves. And that is what makes a strong democracy.

That is how America became a strong democracy, and hopefully – if Obama’s authoritarian nonsense can be overcome – it is how America will remain a strong democracy. Difficult it may be, but we must not try to prevent Obama from speaking, we must keep arguing the case.

“If we all think alike, no one is thinking.”
— Benjamin Franklin
(Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, and a drafter and signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. He must be turning in his grave over the likes of Barack Obama and their relentless attack on the American freedoms which he and others set up so well all those years ago.)

”If you don’t do your own thinking, others will do the thinking for you – it’s called fascism”
— Jacque Fresco

“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”
— H. L. Mencken

“It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.”
— Voltaire

n.n
Reply to  Mike Jonas
April 22, 2022 2:54 pm

<i>“If we all think alike, no one is thinking.”</i>

Yes, no color blocs, no color quotas, no affirmative discrimination, no mortal gods and goddesses pronouncing their religions (i.e. behavioral protocols) and articles of faith. Therein exists diversity of individuals, minority of one, the human state,

drednicolson
Reply to  Mike Jonas
April 22, 2022 5:08 pm

Any call to restrict speech is an attack on your agency as an individual to think for yourself, and an insult to your intelligence and ability to weigh all sides. Respond accordingly.

April 22, 2022 2:26 pm

Obama is confusing the rights of a company with the rights of government.

The first applies to government. Government mandated regulation of speach is prohibited.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  ferdberple
April 22, 2022 3:17 pm

Obama said

“That said, the first amendment is a check on the power of the state. It doesn’t apply to private companies, like Facebook or Twitter, any more than it applies to editorial decisions made by the New York Times or Fox News. Never has. Social media companies already make choices about what is or is not allowed on their platforms, and how that content appears, both explicitly through content moderations, or implicitly through algorithms.”

As an Australian with no dog in this race it’s fascinating to watch right wing people on this forum justify their political stance with faulty, biased arguments. In a broader sense it helps identify those with balanced objective views over those who wear their biases on their sleeve.

drednicolson
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
April 22, 2022 5:11 pm

There are arguments which are faulty, biased, and right. There are arguments which are balanced, dispassionate, and wrong.

AndyHce
Reply to  drednicolson
April 26, 2022 2:09 am

emotionally right

Tom Abbott
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
April 22, 2022 6:13 pm

“As an Australian with no dog in this race it’s fascinating to watch right wing people on this forum justify their political stance with faulty, biased arguments.”

Such as?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 23, 2022 4:32 am

You don’t have an answer?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 24, 2022 3:46 am

So you just make a bold political assertion but have no evidence to back up your assertion.

This is similar to alarmist climate change science where the alarmists make bold assertions about CO2, but have not a shred of evidence to back up their claims.

The way to deal with political hacks and alarmist climate change hacks is to require them to provide evidence of their claims. You never hear from them again when you do that because they don’t have any evidence.

Winning the argument against lefties/fanatics is easy.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 24, 2022 12:19 pm

Such as the example given. Obama wasn’t confused, he quite clearly stated the position.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
April 25, 2022 4:43 am

I’m afraid you haven’t clearly stated any example, otherwise I would not have had to ask you for an example.

When you go attacking “right wingers” you ought to know what you are talking about, otherwise your ignorance of the subject will be pointed out in public.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 25, 2022 1:40 pm

Your own rant ending with “Winning the argument against lefties/fanatics is easy” also is a good example of a faulty argument born from your defense of your right wing stanse. How is my post left wing or fanatical?

AndyHce
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
April 26, 2022 2:13 am

I don’t much like Obama either but the part of his speech saying that the 1st Amendment doesn’t apply to private parties is correct — unless there is applicable law that says otherwise due to special considerations.

Do you believe you are bound to allow objectionable activities to take place in your home just because those activities might be allowed in public places?

Last edited 2 months ago by AndyHce
yirgach
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
April 24, 2022 2:39 pm

“That said, the first amendment is a check on the power of the state. It doesn’t apply to private companies, like Facebook or Twitter, any more than it applies to editorial decisions made by the New York Times or Fox News. Never has.”

The quote above is an outright blatant lie by former President Obama.
The reason being is something known as Section 230.

Section 230 absolves social media platforms from just being carriers of opinion to being responsible for what is published on their platforms, like the New York Times or Fox News. Aka liable to lawsuits. This exemption is a BIG DEAL and is NOT to be questioned becuase of the BIG MONEY involved in FB, Google, Twitter, etc.

If they dare to regulate what is allowed on their websites, then they become responsible for the content as publishers.

Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.

AndyHce
Reply to  ferdberple
April 26, 2022 2:07 am

I think the term is ‘powers of government’, not ‘rights of government’. Regardless of statements to the contrary from time to time, governments function on powers, not rights.

aussiecol
April 22, 2022 2:47 pm

I believe in free speech, but you have to listen to what I say.

drednicolson
Reply to  aussiecol
April 22, 2022 5:11 pm

Speak freely. Now.

marlene
April 22, 2022 3:25 pm

This “flood of lies” comes from the mouth of a man with a Pinnochio nose, who insults us with impotence to make us believe he gives a damn about us, or our freedom, or welfare, and especially about the truth. When in fact, it’s all about destroying us as humans and turning us into wards of the State. Obama and Soros, together again. Pathetic – and evil.

April 22, 2022 4:10 pm

“President Obama: “The First Amendment Does Not Apply to … Facebook and Twitter””
And of course it doesn’t. The Amendment says
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”

It applies to Congress, not to Facebook or Twitter. Or to Fox, or Breitbart. Or even to WUWT. They are free to convey speech that they like, and not to convey speech that they do not like. And they do.

Independent
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 22, 2022 5:34 pm

What about when they work hand in glove with the government, Nick? The White House head liar Psaki already admitted they work closely with Facebook to censor their critics that way, which is transparently unconstitutional (and actually correctly described as fascist).

AndyHce
Reply to  Independent
April 26, 2022 2:20 am

It may be reprehensible, even evil, but it is not a 1st Amendment issue. Government power is not being used. The influence of certain (perhaps morally deficient) individuals, who just happen to hold government positions, is being used to promote biased political ends.

Independent
Reply to  AndyHce
April 26, 2022 6:33 am

Not true. Per the example in my post, they are having a private company do the dirty work for them. That is illegal. Otherwise, the government could circumvent constitutional protections very easily. The courts have ruled that way too.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Independent
April 26, 2022 11:17 am

It would only be illegal if government made a law to enforce it. It’s a dark grey area if the government were to offer financial incentives. But there is nothing to say individuals in government shouldn’t suggest policy. They can’t enforce it.

I think a lot of people confuse the first amendment with civil liability considerations. Anyone at any time can bring civil action against a private company but Section 230 protection applies.

The way I understand that working is that either WUWT or its author could be sued for slander if an article was slanderous. But WUWT couldn’t be sued if a poster posted a slanderous comment. The poster could be sued though. And WordPress can’t be sued for anything WUWT does and neither can WUWT’s internet provider.

Independent
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
April 26, 2022 11:34 am
TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Independent
April 26, 2022 1:37 pm

Fair call. “Intimidation” still isn’t enforcement but it was a court decision.

TonyG
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 22, 2022 5:37 pm

They are free to convey speech that they like, and not to convey speech that they do not like.

Does the same apply to your phone carrier?

Fox, Bretbart, and WUWT don’t have Section 230 protection.

Why is it so difficult to understand the distinction?

Reply to  TonyG
April 22, 2022 6:35 pm

WUWT don’t have Section 230 protection”
WUWT certainly does. But this has nothing to do with the first amendment. It is about civil liability,

whiten
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 24, 2022 4:27 am

Nick Stokes

Therefor abridging the freedom of speech is unconstitutional.

Therefor Obama can be sued for slander and defamation of the First Amendment in consideration of the freedom of speech at least.

According to first amendment, as it stands, even Congress, or the Legislature, can not mess around with freedom of speech.
First Amendment prohibits it.

You see, Obama is not just simply expressing an opinion or having an argument there, with his slanderous defamation speech there… and yet the First Amendment secures the right of free speech even in such cases.

The recognition of freedom of speech by the First Amendment, especially in the actual way it does, makes and renders abridging of that freedom, the censorship and any other act against that freedom as unconstitutional, within the USA territory.
First Amendment categorically prohibits censorship… and also very clearly prohibits beyond any doubt abridging the freedom of speech.

If Congress can not, no one else can… no need to list any other institutions, departments entities, either private or public.

Nick, poor education leads to more and more unnecessary legislation… the fact.
That is not a sign of a healthy, society.
You see Nick,The First Amendment does not forbid or considers unconstitutional (further) legislation acts of/from Legislature against the abridging of freedom of speech or against censorship.

cheers

AndyHce
Reply to  whiten
April 26, 2022 2:24 am

not even Congress, or the Legislature but (mostly) only the legislature or the executive. Tell your daughter’s boyfriend that “I will have no such talk in my home, Shut up or get out” is not a 1st Amendment issue or suppression of any right..

April 22, 2022 4:19 pm

There’s seems to be growing evidence that Obama acted criminally by standing for president and was never a legitimate holder of the office. If I were him, I’d be quiet.

jeffery P
Reply to  Mike Haseler (aka Scottish Sceptic)
April 23, 2022 4:50 am

Oh? I see/hear/read accusations and assertions, but what evidence? I’m from Missouri. Show me.

I’m not a defender pr apologist for Obama. Just show me more proof.

effinayright
April 22, 2022 4:26 pm

What hogwash. When the government orders, nudges or quietly muscles private entities to do its bidding, and the entity complies, willingly or not, the latter arguably become “state actors” and thus subject to the 1st Amendment.

This is especially so when the government has carved exceptions to libel and slander laws to prevent anyone from suing Facebook or Twitter.

So you can bet that someone in the Biden admin has sidled up to Facebook and quietly purred: “Nice little thing you got going for you here….we’d hate to see anything happen to it.”

Come November, when the radicals are swept away in a Red Tsunami, things will change. Facebook and Twitter will lose their protections, and the much-abused Times v. Sullivan case will be consigned to the Round File of History.

Not Chicken Little
April 22, 2022 4:35 pm

Well, certainly I would for once agree with The Chosen One, there’s not much to choose between Dr. Fauci and a miracle cure pitched by a huckster…

Gunga Din
April 22, 2022 5:12 pm

Jenner, Pasteur are two considered to be “hucksters” at the time that quickly came to mind.

AndyHce
Reply to  Gunga Din
April 26, 2022 2:27 am

Was there ever massive evidence of fraud and deceit on the part of Jenner and Pasteur?

Insufficiently Sensitive
April 22, 2022 5:44 pm

Dear Master Obama is doing his best to become the al-Ghazali of the 21st Century. Who, by the time he died in 1058, managed by launching massive anti-scientific groupthink to put an end to 300 years of discoveries by free-thinking inquirers into the ways of the universe, its mathematics, astronomy, hydraulics, medicine, sociology and so on.

This he did by the Obamatactics of forbidding wrongthink which even hinted at contravening the mandatory religious faith (or nowadays, progressive diktat) of the savants in the minarets of the middle East and central Asia.

Don’t let Obama get away with such arrogant transgressions of the US Constitution.

April 22, 2022 7:29 pm

By granting legal immunity, Section 230 makes Social Media companies into “quasi-government actors”. That makes them subject to the First Amendment and responsible to uphold it.
“No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider” (47 U.S.C. § 230). In other words, online intermediaries that host or republish speech are protected against a range of laws that might otherwise be used to hold them legally responsible for what others say and do.”
https://www.eff.org/issues/cda230

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  David L. Hagen
April 23, 2022 2:27 pm

I don’t believe your conclusion follows from the facts. As stated, they hold immunity from action by nominally injured parties for what any entity disseminates using their platform. The true issue is that once they control the content, in any manner, they now take on the role of publisher. Now they have opened themselves to action because they have voluntarily surrendered 230 protection.

Last edited 2 months ago by D. J. Hawkins
AndyHce
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
April 26, 2022 2:34 am

That might open them to liable or slander charges brought by offended individuals. That is completely different than holding them responsible for abridging rights.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  AndyHce
April 26, 2022 8:39 am

I can see that point. It’s all very messy, at the least.

AndyHce
Reply to  David L. Hagen
April 26, 2022 2:31 am

I admit my ignorance. Is there some explicit part of that provision that restricts private entities to Federal government limitations or is this just what you wish were the case?

April 22, 2022 8:04 pm

The First Amendment does indeed only restrict government from infringing free speech, and does not restrict employers and private companies from infringing free speech. I remember at least one case of a regular WUWT article writer favoring employer restrictions on employee speech and off-the-job behavior, especially when the employee was James Hansen and the employer was the Bush II Administration. Conservatives have historically favored employers being able to regulate off-the-job behavior and speech by employees, and conservatives have historically been in favor of free speech including telling lies when that’s done by conservative news sources. The conservative-favored SCOTUS ruling that is referred to by mentioning Citizens United gives corporations the same free speech rights as persons, and I have seen a lot of saying the word “personhood” in discussions about that. Conservatives have historically been in favor of news sources only publishing news that news sources consider “fit to print”, as exemplified by their favoring of the Reagan administration ending the Fairness Doctrine.

jeffery P
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
April 23, 2022 11:32 am

You are remarkably ill-informed. There was never anything *fair* about the scrapped Fairness Doctrine. It stiffled free speech rather than advance it. Ending it enabled more free speech, especially alternative opinions you like to call *lies.*

You completely misrepresent the Citizens United opinion and what it means. You also forget it applies to unions as well. Citizens United is a not-for-profit corporation, not a multinational conglomerate. The CU opinion affirms our constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Altogether, you have a problem with free speech, it seems.

jeffery P
Reply to  jeffery P
April 23, 2022 11:34 am

I wonder if you still believe Russia stole the 2016 election, Donald?

Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
April 24, 2022 6:57 pm

Then why are privately owned telephone companies Thousand of them, transportation companies (Bus, Air, Train,), millions of them and Wire services [like the defunct Western Union Telegram] required by law to allow any user, allow free speech in its broadest terms, not deny use of the service you provide publicly because you have a different opinion, as long as you are doing nothing illegal – and Free Speech is LEGAL.

If a baker has to bake a cake for anyone that walks in the door so does a message service company have to provide their service to any one using their service in a legal fashion. Expressing your Facts, opinion, true or false, is LEGAL FREE SPEECH, however,, Posting or transferring Child Porn on a “Private” owners message service is ILLEGAL. PERIOD.

Last edited 2 months ago by usurbrain
AndyHce
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
April 26, 2022 2:39 am

Individuals and persons are not the same thing. The term persons may encompass individuals but the term individual does no include organizations such as corporations, trusts, school boards, etc. etc. which are legally ‘persons’ in regard to a humongous body of law.

andy
April 22, 2022 8:11 pm

They made a Fox News group watch CNN for a while, fair enough.
But did they also make hard core CNNutters watch Fox News ?
As usual the left only swings it one way to get the results they like to hear

Malcolm Chapman
Reply to  andy
April 23, 2022 9:38 am

Yes indeed, that seemed like the rather obvious experiment to try. We can be reasonably sure that CNN viewers would be at least as open to media recalibration as Fox viewers. We all are, up to a point. The weird and frightening thing is that there seems to be no-one in the vast US campus of media studies that might regard this as a useful and balanced experiment to try. I have spent a lifetime in tertiary education watching the establishment coalesce around something like ‘team CNN’, or ‘team BBC’. Here in the UK we have the BBC, dedicated to impartiality, and slavishly partial. The BBC is unable to see itself, incapable of self-criticism.

Physics will win in the end, of course, but we are wasting so much time and money on the way.

James H
April 22, 2022 10:02 pm

I probably won’t watch the video, but in that still shot he looks quite terrified at the possibility of losing control of the narrative on social media. He came out from behind the curtain to try to counter this bid from Elon, and has had to resort to having his retired intelligence community get involved as well. This should show how important it is to their “democracy” – if they can’t control the flow of information, they may be totally run out of power.

Alba
April 23, 2022 3:23 am

“When I’m going to evaluate any proposal touching on social media and the internet, is whether it strengthens or weakens the prospects for a healthy inclusive democracy. Whether it encourages robust debate, and respect for our differences. Whether it reinforces rule of law, and self governance. Whether it helps us make collective decisions based on the best available information. And whether it recognises the rights, the freedoms and dignity of all of our citizens. Whatever changes contribute to that vision, I’m for. Whatever erodes that vision, I’m against.”
The part missed out went like this:
“And I and my pals on the left of politics will be the only ones allowed to evaluate such things as whether a proposal encourages robust debate and respect for our differences. That way only left-leaning people will be able to influence society and only left-leaning people will get elected to office. That’s the kind of democracy we like.”

Alba
April 23, 2022 3:37 am

Obama: “I’m a very superior person. I can always separate facts from opinions. I can always separate reliable sources from unreliable sources. I can always spot fake news a mile away. But there are, unfortunately, a lot of dumb idiots out there who don’t share my superior intellectual gifts. So I am going to perform a public service. I am going to exercise my superior intellectual gifts to isolate the facts from the opinions, the reliable sources from the unreliable sources and having done that, nobody will be bothered by the opinions and the unreliable sources; they will just be excluded. So here’s my proposal for a Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment.”
If Dr Goebbels was still around they would probably get on very well together.

observa
April 23, 2022 6:33 am

The EU takes the hint from Obama-
EU agrees rules to force big tech to rein in illegal content or face huge fines (msn.com)
They will define the illegal content and hate speech and if it aint woke big tech will be broke.

TallDave
April 23, 2022 6:47 am

lol what a shamelessly lying tyrant

Whether it encourages robust debate

the second any platform allows free speech he doesn’t like he will do everything in his power to shut it down

not robust enough, he’ll say

Obama brought Democrats into the Age Of Beltway Narcissism, in which they simply assume anyone who disagrees with their narrow left-wing consensus is ipso facto irrational and therefore deserving of no protections of liberty

law is a causeway to their friends, a cudgel to their enemies

this is how hundreds of Jan 6 protesters rot in jail after two of their number were killed without justification, and likely several more from delayed medical treatment, but George Floyd is a hero and cops are the enemy and oil companies are evil and how can anyone possibly disagree?

he can’t even entertain the idea his opponents’ claims might be legitimate or in good faith, his world just doesn’t work that way

Last edited 2 months ago by TallDave
Trying to Play Nice
April 23, 2022 7:59 am

Was anybody still awake when Obozo finished?

Dusty
April 23, 2022 11:22 am

Elon should take that to heart after he buys and privatizes Twitter by shutting down all progressive accounts so we won’t have read/watch all that misinformation.

Weeeee!

wadelightly
April 23, 2022 2:04 pm

How ironic that one of the most prolific distributors of “disinformation” lecture us on the benefits of controlling “disinformation”.

Old.George
April 23, 2022 4:21 pm

The internet and its platforms have become part of the public square.

observa
April 23, 2022 11:35 pm
niceguy
April 24, 2022 12:59 pm

impossible to tell the difference between say a peer reviewed article by Dr. Anthony Fauci, and a miracle cure being pitched by a huckster

He is onto something.

April 24, 2022 5:49 pm

The Big Tech, by extensive lobbying (and bribing through campaign donations) of politicians got a special rule from the FCC to “hold them harmless” if someone posted something illegal on their servers. They claimed that they did not have the resources to remove all of the “illegal” stuff that could be placed on their servers. Problem is, that FREE SPEACH is NOT ILLEGAL in the USA. PERIOD. Twitter, FB, Google, etc. may be “Private Companies,” However, they have become defacto “Common Carriers.” Typical Common Carriers are telephone companies, wire services and transportation. Common carriers can not, under penalty of law, prevent you from using their service. PERIOD. They must let you talk on their phone system, ride on their bus/train/plane, send a telegram etc. They can not refuse to send a telegram or transfer what you say on the phone just because they do not like it. PERIOD
You may ask “why do you say they have become “Common Carriers?” Because hundreds of thousands if not millions of people, just in the US have used FB, Twitter, Google Messages, YouTube, WhattsApp, InstantGram, WeChat, TikTok Telegram, SnapChat [and who knows how many more] to deliver an emergency message either intentionally or without realizing it that has summoned the Police, Fire, Medical, etc. and saved their life. There are even more that use these big tech companies as their sole source of communication with their family, friends and even social workers and visiting nurses. I Have no Idea if “Zoom Sex” [or similar] have been but even that is actually no different than the old “Phone sex” that I have heard stories about why back in the 1960’s while in the military service. I have never heard of a case where husband and wife or two consenting lovers were prosecuted for “Phone Sex.” In Fact they still have “Pay to Play” phone numbers to this date and the FCC has done nothing to get rid of them.
All of this begs the question of how can the companies claim “WE are a private company and WE can ban FREE SPEECH. PERIOD.” ? ? ?
That is not the intent of the special rule. The special rule says they can not be sued if I, You, the FCC, FBI, KGB, CIA finds something on their servers that is NOT ILLEGAL that the finder does not like. FREE Speech is not illegal. [in the US Today] That is not an excuse to block anyone, Trump included, because they do not want you posting your ART, Opinion, Fact, Fiction, Lie, Truth, whatever, and remove it and you from their server. A good lawyer could OWN them if they had blocked someone, that person tried to use there service to send an urgent emergency, life saving, message, the only means possible for them to send a message was their service, and they could not get through. All the got was a message “YOU HAVE BEEN BANNED!”

Last edited 2 months ago by usurbrain
huls
April 25, 2022 11:20 am

Einstein said when Hitler commissioned a pamphlet called 100 Scientists Against Einstein: “If I were wrong, one would have been enough.”

Obama thinks science is dogma once consensus is reached. Of course only when it is lefty liberal socialist people-hate consensus.

Such great delivery, such meager content.

Michael S. Kelly