There’s so much inane blathering about free speech on the internet that it’s easy to sometimes forget that it can be a real concern. Here’s one such example. link to ‘The U.S. Government Wants To Control Online Speech to “Protect Kids” | Electronic Frontier Foundation’
I get that it’s straightforward language that everyone will get, but I think “uncensored” is the wrong word here. Content moderation is not (necessarily) censorship, and content moderation is good and helpful for tools like generative AI. link to ‘ChatGPT users drop for the first time as people turn to uncensored chatbots | Ars Technica’
Free speech is genuinely important, but it’s hard to take the ideal seriously when its advocates twist it to mean something specific and self-serving.
link to ‘Elon Musk Is Taking Aim at Journalists. I’m One of Them.’
I mean, I’m willing to wait a bit and see what Twitter and Musk have to say about this, but this sure doesn’t seem like the approach that a free speech absolutist would take.
link to ‘Elon Musk starts banning critical journalists from Twitter - The Verge’
How does such an already bad story get so much worse over the course of a single day?
link to ‘Elon’s Promise Not To Ban Account Tracking His Jet Didn’t Last Very Long At All; Also Bans Guy’s Personal Account | Techdirt’
I haven’t been following Ken White as much as I used to, but this reminds me why I appreciate his perspective. This is someone who knows what free speech is and advocates for it, not someone who uses it as a buzzword justification for reprehensible behavior, à la Musk.
link to ‘Goodbye, Twitter - by Ken White - The Popehat Report’
They’re so obvious as to almost not be worth pointing out, but two points: First, this is why making verification a paid feature is dumb; and second, penalizing parody because your business model is dumb is not what free speech absolutism looks like.
link to ‘Elon Musk’s first Twitter moderation change calls for permanent bans on impersonators - The Verge’
Choosing not to do business with someone isn’t an assault on free speech—it’s the very definition of the marketplace of ideas.
link to ‘Elon Musk tries to distract from Twitter layoffs by claiming advertisers are fleeing the platform - The Verge’
Interesting read here from Masnick. I’m not familiar with everything he writes about here, but I always appreciate his perspective.
link to ‘Elon Musk’s First Move Is To Fire The Person Most Responsible For Twitter’s Strong Free Speech Stance | Techdirt’
We need to do more work to divorce free speech from content moderation. The world without content moderation would be a much worse world, and we don’t want to live in it. Sure, social media platforms are too powerful, but this is not the answer.
link to ‘Texas has teed up a Supreme Court fight for the future of the internet - The Verge’
Here’s the EFF pointing out that “free speech” on these platforms means something very particular rather than a broad, deep commitment to legally-protected expression.
link to ‘Self-Proclaimed Free Speech Platforms Are Censoring Nude Content. Here’s Why You Should Care | Electronic Frontier Foundation’
It’s funny how conditional the GOP’s concerns about free speech are. That’s not to say that free speech isn’t a complicated topic to be weighed in conjunction with other concerns—it absolutely is. But if a party wants to use a simplistic view of free speech as a rallying cry, stunts like this show how just how simplistic that view is.
link to ‘Arizona Makes It Illegal To Record Cops From Less Than Eight Feet Away | Techdirt’
This is a peak example of what performative concerns about “free speech” boil down to.
link to ‘Trump’s ‘Free Speech’ Social Network, Truth Social, Is Banning People For Truthing The Truth About January 6 Hearings | Techdirt’
Content moderation is a good thing, and ‘free speech’ should not be our primary concern when it comes to social media platforms.
link to ‘Racist and Violent Ideas Jump From Web’s Fringes to Mainstream Sites - The New York Times’
Last week, I was interviewed by a reporter at WEKU about social media and content moderation in the context of the horrific recent shooting in Buffalo, and I was pleased to see the interview appear on the WEKU website this morning.
I wish that the headline didn’t frame this as a question of “free speech”—and that I’d perhaps been more forceful in emphasizing that these really aren’t questions of free speech so much as content moderation.
The quotes in here underline how often ‘free speech’ is used to mean ‘problematic right-wing talking points.’
link to ‘Trump says he won’t leave Truth Social, despite Musk’s Twitter takeover - The Verge’
EFF cares about and actually understands free speech and content moderation, so their voice is especially important today.
link to ‘Twitter Has a New Owner. Here’s What He Should Do. | Electronic Frontier Foundation’
I have only been reading Techdirt for a short amount of time, but I increasingly appreciate Masnick’s perspectives on issues like this.
link to ‘Elon Musk Demonstrates How Little He Understands About Content Moderation | Techdirt’
Really appreciate Masnick’s perspective here—especially the point that EVERYONE believes in content moderation even if there are disagreements on how to do it. It’s irresponsible for so many (on the right) to describe moderation as censorship.
link to ‘Why Moderating Content Actually Does More To Support The Principles Of Free Speech | Techdirt’
Very uncomfortable with this. Tweet wasn’t great, but not sure if it’s criminal. I’m sympathetic to the idea that we underpolice social media, but this is a fantastic example of why so many (including me) are worried about attempts to police it more.
link to ‘Twitter user sentenced to 150 hours of community service in UK for posting ‘offensive’ tweet - The Verge’
Glad to see reporting on Rumble, but disappointed to see uncritical repeating of claims about “free speech,” “neutrality,” and “censorship.” There are no neutral platforms, and content moderation is the real key idea here.
link to ‘Rumble, the Right’s Go-To Video Site, Has Much Bigger Ambitions - The New York Times’
I have been waiting for days to see what Techdirt would have to say on this, and it doesn’t disappoint.
link to ‘The ‘Culture Of Free Speech’ Includes Criticism Of Others’ Speech; Get Over It | Techdirt’
This is the sort of thing that Gab will decry if they’re serious and consistent about their supposed pro-free speech, anti-deplatformization stand. My bet, though, is that Torba writes a blog post in the next week arguing that porn isn’t free speech and good on banks for cracking down on OnlyFans.
link to ‘OnlyFans Says It Is Banning Sexually Explicit Content - The New York Times’