Companies Censoring Speech

In the wake of the rioting in Charlottesville, several companies have taken steps to end their relationships with certain websites that promote white supremacy. Go Daddy, and then Google, stopped providing domain registration services to the Daily Stormer site when it mocked a woman who’d been murdered by one of the white supremacists. In the lead-up to the rally, AirBnB cancelled reservations for people using the service to attend. Many have applauded these moves, and many others are now condemning the seeming lone holdout, Cloudflare.

But the people who vocally praise the phenomenon are also often those who take anti-corporate positions, who fight for things like Net Neutrality, who want regulation over Google and Facebook to prevent them from exercising just this kind of discretion. If you don’t think that companies should be the arbiters of acceptable speech, if you don’t think they should have the right to censor what gets said or choose what events are acceptable to attend, you should be wary of their exercise of exactly those powers here. You may agree with this censorship, but it is still censorship, it is still private companies attempting to use their market dominance to punish speech and assembly that they don’t like.

I think there is a case to be made that companies should be able to censor the speech that takes place on their platforms, particularly in a market like Domain Registrars, which is strongly competitive and there are plenty of alternatives if one company refuses to work with you. But I don’t think you can have it both ways. Either companies get to look at what you’re using their products for, decide whether or not they like it, and boot you from them if they don’t, or they don’t. It’s inconsistent to say that they should have that power when you agree with their decisions, but not when you don’t.

Why are you upset with liberal companies helping along the liberal agenda to kill free speech and assembly? I thought you to be a liberal.

At any rate this is the United States of Corporate America, not of the people for the people.

That is censorship. Yes.

When it comes to communication and trade, it should be a matter of law, not a matter of private company preference. A precedent has been set by the telephone industry. Image that Bell Telephone, or any of the others, decides that you are not saying what their corporate board members like to hear so they disable your current and future use of telephone service.

To disable one’s communication ability relative to the general populace, is to oppress “free expression” and a direct violation of the spirit of the US Constitution. Of course, the Internet is not entirely US owned. In communist China such oppression is already in place and has been for some time. Such is their policy regarding ALL activities. Socialism prefers for the governing elite to have such power and authority to oppress any who disagree with their preference. Anything defined as a “free democracy” cannot allow such oppression without entirely undermining the Magna Carta and all “free society” efforts, including any actual democracy.

And although I haven’t looked into it yet, it is starting to sound like another false-flag, staged event so as to establish such excessively oppressive power, much like 9/11 and the Patriot Act.

Obfuscation and Extortion.

I am a liberal, and it’s my belief in liberal principles that motivates my observation. Whereever we come down on corporations having the authority to censor speech on their platforms, that needs to be applied uniformly. It is illiberal to demand that censorship for some speech, and decry it for others. Liberalism requires a consistent rule of law based on reason.

I think the case of telephone companies or ISPs could be different, because those companies are quasi-governmental. Their monopoly power is protected by regulation, and competitors are locked out. Where the government creates a situation where single companies effectively dominate a market, such that consumers have no choice but to use them, I think it’s reasonable to treat those companies as arms of the state and to restrict them as we restrict the state.

But as I point out, for registrars that isn’t the case, and consumers are protected from abuse by the option to go to another registrar. If there were dozens of phone companies to choose from, companies could compete on claims about who they do and don’t censor. Some would take strong free-speech positions, others would promise to censor Republicans, others would promise to censor bad words, etc. Consumers would have a meaningful choice about what censorship policies they preferred, just as they do in their own homes and social circles. Without government-granted monopoly power, the threat is significantly less.

On reason… :laughing:

that some positions seem to be inconsistent or even be
in contradiction does seem evident but if thought about, does make sense…

let me flesh this out…I make no secret at all that I am anti-corporation…
I think they are one of the banes of existence… but if you understand my
position then you will understand why I think so and why at times,
I have even defended them…

it goes to the heart of my philosophy, that money is the root of all evil…
this has been a guiding principle of mine for decades…

I have stated many times that I believe we are in a century of
Nihilism because of this insatiable drive for profits has negated
the values that make us human… love and charity and hope
and justice, among other values, go by the wayside in our pursuit
of wealth and profit… this negation is properly called Nihilism…
nihilism is the negation of the values that make us human
and the drive for profit does negate, doesn’t allow for, values
that make us human and I keep this idea front and center in my thinking…

so a company that does follow this formula of negating values,
I despise and I hate but if a company puts human values before
money and profit, I will praise…

I will praise those companies who censor racist and violent
speech because those companies have, for whatever reason, put human
values above money and profit…if a company participates in values
you approve of, you can praise it and offer support, but if a company
participates in values you don’t approve of, pursues values like putting
profit and money over workers, you can disapprove of it, you can
knocked it… it is not about the company and it actions, but about
those entities that act in a way that support your values…

so I am a huge supporter of free speech, but even free speech has its
limits and we must engage in finding those limits and act in light of
of those limits…so it is about the values I uphold and how a company
either works to support those values or works to deny those values,
that is important…


Peter Kropotkin- “If a liberal corporation censors people that’s ok.”

Destroying a nation is actually pretty easy. Just put irrational people in positions of authority.

K: people like 45 is in charge and he is as destroying the nation quite easily…
he is as irrational as they come…


K: and missing my point… but you are really, really good at missing the point…
congrats on your finely tuned ability to miss the point…


But should companies have that power? I agree that it’s fully consistent to criticize or praise a company based on its actions, but it is very often not limited to mere praise and blame. For example, Net Neutrality seeks to deprive companies of exactly the rights that GoDaddy, AirBnB, and Google exercised here. Under Net Neutrality, it would be illegal for Comcast to decide not to serve traffic from the Daily Stormer. Is that kind of regulation a good idea?

As for the profit motive, I am apparently somewhat more cynical than you. If you look at the backlash that Cloudflare is facing for refusing to terminate services to WS websites, it seems pretty clear that removing these sites from their platforms made economic sense for the companies that did. Cloudflare is very likely to lose more money in cancelled subscriptions from customers who see them as providing cover for racists, than they will earn from keeping Daily Stormer as a client. Perhaps it’s a happy accident that human decency and business rationale aligned for the other companies, but I would be willing to be that the business considerations, the profit motive, is what controlled the decision.

K: I have no illusion that companies, first and foremost, put profits first, I am not that Naïve
to think otherwise, but we can support those who from time to time, understand
that there is more to life then profits…now SHOULD those companies have
the right to limit or to censor speech? that is a discussion that is still in the mix…
I work for a rather large company and we are very limited in our ability
to speak freely, we, I deal with customers every single day and I have to
be limited in what I say but with that said, I can only really be fired for stealing
or insubordination (that is because of my length of years, 10 and a union) but
company wide, they can limit what I say to a customer… and it is all in the name of
profits…so we have two different aspects of free speech, one from the employee’s
and one like the companies you mentioned in limiting free speech with net neutrality…
and companies will often have two separate idea’s about free speech, one with employees
and one with media and other considerations…now I have made it very clear I support
free speech, but what if I was forced, forced to carry hate and violence content
in my message to my customers… to keep my job, I must recite vile anti-gay, anti-Semite,
anti-women messages to my customers…would I do so? no, I would quit first…
I would fight this corporate message as long as I could because it is wrong…
but to keep my job, I must… and the company would not be punished for firing me
because I refused to partake in this particular example of free speech.

this whole area of free speech in the corporate world is quite complex and has
many, many different moving parts… employees, and the company message and
via things like net neutrality with companies… you really don’t have one such
aspect going on, you have several and that is in part what is complicating
our understanding of this entire aspect of free speech and the corporation…

so we have to be very clear about what we are talking about and in what
circumstance… net neutrality is just one aspect of free speech and the corporation…


Peter, you do not support free speech if you believe that speech in itself is the cause of violence.

What I just said to Peter goes for all the liberal leftists.

K: think about it… a message, a public message is meant to
encourage action… action of some type… what is the message of
the white national terrorist? hate the … be it the jew, blacks, women,
others not of our type… the neo-Nazi message is one of hate and violence
and racism and the message wants action that is of hate, violence and racism…

what is the message of the left? we promote love and tolerance and acceptance…
we don’t advocate hate or violence or racism against people…but that
means if we are faced with a message of hate and violence and racism, we
should just accept and tolerate that message? a message that damages our society
and damages our democracy…no, we want to protect our society, our government,
our democracy… and so we act… I am personally opposed to violence… I don’t believe
that violence can end violence… only peace and love can end violence and hate and racism…

but if one reacts to a message of hate and violence and racism with hate and violence,
I must admit I can understand the reaction but I don’t believe the answer to a message
of hate and violence and racism can be or should be answered with hate or violence…

one day, the wind and the sun were having an argument about who is stronger…
and the wind seeing a man walking down a path, said this to the sun…
whoever is stronger can get that man walking down the path with his jacket,
to take his jacket off… the winner can get the man to take off his jacket and is
the strongest… the sun agreed and allowed the wind first crack at the man…
so the wind began to blow and blow and blow even harder at the man walking
down the path… the harder the wind blew, the tighter the man held on
to his jacket… after a while, the wind gave up and then the sun made his
attempt to get the man to take off his jacket… all the sun did was warm up
the earth around the man, not by much, but enough and soon the man took
off his jacket and the sun declared victory… it is not enough to blow and blow
to win the contest, sometimes it just takes a little warmth to win the victory…

a message of hate and violence and racism will lose to a message of love
and peace because the message of love and peace is not as violent or as hateful
as the message of hate and violence and racism, but it is a softer message that
is more about who we are and what needs to happen…


First Peter, in your message here you have to be honest in considering the fact that all white nationalists are NOT KKK, Neo-Nazis, or violent terrorists. That’s first. Some white Americans are worried that the white race is being shamed and persecuted just for being white, the removal of our countries disliked history, its symbols and statues being removed to erase/rewrite history is also not honest. The white nationalist are trying to preserve the history of our country WITHOUT agreeing that it was a good idea to harm Africans, to enslave any people, and our history should be left in tact, so that was reason for the Alt-right rally, to protest the removal of America’s history. KKK and Neo-nazi members joined the white nationalists to protest the removal of all traces of the Confederacy, but their platforms of beliefs are radically extreme from simple white nationalists and should not be lumped together as the liberal media has done.

Second, what did the white nationalist’s say in particular? What was their message. Leave out the KKK and Neo-nazi’s messages.

I believe you are making a distinction that doesn’t exist…
trying to break out one aspect of the message being white nationalist
and the neo-nazi’s and kkk being another another aspect…

the message being the same from all of them…
to protest taking down a statue was part of the message
of hate and violence and racism, a message of white nationalist
and neo-Nazi and KKK, being the same message if you understand
what the statue of Robert lee meant…

it isn’t the same as a statue of Washington because Washington
fought for the creation of the country, he was a slave owner
but you have to remember, you can’t criticize someone for being in a
different time period as you and thus having different standards then you as
Washington did…
but, but Lee fought AGAINST the U.S, in defense of slavery when
became clear that slavery was an evil… by his time, enough people
had said that slavery was evil, a sin against man and god…
lee choose to ignore that message, whereas in Washington time,
there was no such recognition that slavery was evil, no one said it
in Washington’s time…NO ONE and so we can’t condemn
Washington for his belief in his societies beliefs…
whereas we can condemn Lee because enough people had condemn
slavery and we can condemn Lee for fighting for slavery against
the U.S…AGAINST the U.S…

REPEAT that a few times to understand it, Lee fought AGAINST
the U.S in favor of slavery…
so to stand with a statue of LEE is to stand for fighting against
the U.S in favor of slavery… so anyone who stood for the statue
did stand against the U.S… and should be condemned…


Propaganda BS.

#-o I should have had a V-8 (rather than read Peter’s nonsense)!

K: is the fact that Robert Lee fought for the south really Propaganda?
then you are far more confused then I can help you with…
I would recommend professional help for anyone who thinks that
Robert Lee fighting for the south and slavery is “PROPAGANDA”

it is a fact… and no amount of denial will allow you to think that
Lee fighting for the south and slavery is Propaganda…