"Trump isolated as Twitter cuts him off and some GOP rebel"

Plus other fascists and fascist enablers getting punted left and right from social media and app stores. 2021 isn’t all bad after all. Let’s see where it goes from here.

93 Comments on “Huh”

  1. This feels like… the middle of something and not an end. I am very curious where this goes.

  2. Also: Google has already thrown Parler out of the Play Store, and Apple is threatening to do likewise with their App Store. Things are looking up. For a moment, anyway.

  3. Plus Michael Flynn and others.

    Parler has been banned from the Google Play Store and Apple has given them 24 hours before removing them from its App Store.

    This is a quote from the letter that Buzzfeed says they obtained:

    Your CEO was quoted recently saying “But I don’t feel responsible for any of this and neither should the platform, considering we’re a neutral town square that just adheres to the law.” We want to be clear that Parler is in fact responsible for all the user generated content present on your service and for ensuring that this content meets App Store requirements for the safety and protection of our users. We won’t distribute apps that present dangerous and harmful content.

    Seems like a good start.

  4. What you are seeing is essentially what happened in Germany after WWII. The people of the US have now finally realized that facilitating and allowing Fascism to fester is something that we cannot afford to happen in the future.

  5. Thus endeth the Twitler presidency.
    Good news that he can’t incite for the 20th easily.

  6. Let me state first of all, that I think this is long past due. However…

    The way they’ve handled this for the last 4 years, and up to today comes off feeling very arbitrary and chickenshit. For 4 years they let him spout outright bullshit on a daily basis w/o any repercussions at all. Even on Wed, they had the opportunity to say “that’s it, you’re done here” and could have pulled the plug then. But instead they let him come back, post 2 comparatively milquetoast posts today, and THOSE are what got his bloviating ass banned?!?

    Maybe if Jack and Zuck had grown a spine 4 years ago Wednesday could have been avoided. As I said it’s long past due. But the way it was ultimately done comes off feeling utterly arbitrary instead of actually policing the platform. It feels more a case of “well he won’t have enough time to try and retaliate, so now we’ll do what we should have done long ago, and we’ll make up some thin rationalization to back it up”

  7. Oh, interesting! I’d rather have seen fascism and nonsense cut off from a big chunk of their air supply while much more embryonic, and it shouldn’t have taken something like this for so many mainstream companies to realize where things were headed. But boiling the frog, etc.

  8. Freedom of speech has to be MORE than just the FIRST amendment of the federal constitution. It is a fundamental, founding value of America itself.

    We should enable free speech and celebrate it beyond simply making it illegal for the government to censor things.

    Everyone going “YAY! Ban everyone we disagree with!” disgusts me.

    If you don’t want to read Parler or Gab then … just don’t install those apps or read it.

    What’s next, trying to kick them off the Internet? Go after Cloudflare, their datacenter providers, their ISP, their domain name service?

    I think we’re pretty lucky that Cloudflare believes in freedom of speech. And so far domain name providers have refused to give in to pressure. And what happened to them when Twitter twits tried to get “’ taken away? They were ignored. And nothing bad happened. Because they’re twits with no actual power.

  9. Zan Lynx:

    “We should enable free speech and celebrate it beyond simply making it illegal for the government to censor things”

    Lol, no, we shouldn’t. That’s actually a really stupid idea. I’m not obliged to allow anyone to post here and if the government were to suggest I were required to, I’d turn off the comments entirely. You should be aware that my comment policy specifically says that commenters here have absolutely no free speech rights, and that I am free to edit and/or delete comments as I will. If you don’t like it, don’t post.

    That said, your “Don’t like Gab? Don’t go there” comment misses the mark. Parler and Gab entered into service agreements, and if in the opinion of their carriers they violated them, they can be yanked. That’s the essence of a free market. If Parler or Gab (or anyone) doesn’t want to conform to the contractual requirements of the services that carry them, then they are welcome to fund their own servers and connection to the network. That is, indeed, the very essence of what it means to have one’s own printing press in this digital age.

    Otherwise, they have to follow their contractual obligations and the agreements they signed on for when choosing of their own free will to work with these private companies.

  10. Standing on a soapbox in the town square ranting is one thing.

    Gathering a crowd with pitchforks and torches and pointing them at a public building or a neighborhood is a different thing.

  11. I have to agree with @Kent Bunn. I am pleased, but they could have, and should have, done this years ago. People have been thrown off these platforms for far less. And I don’t buy the “but he’s the President” b.s. The President isn’t above the law — allowing him to violate their policies with impunity was yet another way The Idiot was shown that he was above the law.

  12. I was flummoxed that they would ban based on two such mild-seeming (in comparison!) messages, but Rachel Maddow walked through the explanation. (Others may have; hers is the one I’ve just seen.) They used the example of those two messages to document, for example, that the second one (“I won’t be at the inauguration”) is actively being taken as a signal to launch violence against the inauguration. Which is … certainly something.

    Do they seem to have been chickenshit collaborators until this week? Yes. But I do appreciate the documented reason for the long, long, long overdue shutdown.

  13. It looks like Apple and Google may be caving to the threat of the Trump/McConnell bill that aims to repeal Section 230. That would seem to require every social platform to examine every message to ensure it’s complete pablum. It was considered a “poison pill” for the $2,000 stimulus act, that no one sane would actually go for. You might think on that.

  14. Yes yes, refusing to carry a platform explicitly used to foment and aide insurrection is tots the same as complete pablum.

  15. I don’t know who first said it, but it is cruel for Twitter to kick Trump off since it is the only way for Don Jr to have any contact with his father

  16. Earlier today, my comment about Twitter banning Trump and his co-conspirators, unindicted or otherwise, was “Well, he’s free to rant on Parler or git on Gab.” (Heh – that didn’t age well :-)

    He’s free to go install blogging software on a server at some bulletproof spamvertising site in Russia.

    (And of course Parler talks about how it’s the REAL uncensored platform, but it throws liberals off the site when they say things that hurt the RWNJ snowflakes’ feelings, and Trump’s “Repeal Section 230” would get that wretched hive of scum and villainy sued into oblivion no matter how deep Rebekah Mercer’s pockets are.)

    Interesting times. We’ll see if he pardons his kids and himself before he gets impeached.

  17. I’ve spent all afternoon tearing up and laughing–at the memes, at the whack-a-mole. While it’s pathetic that it took this long, now that it’s happening I’m going to savor it for all that it’s worth. I’ve been incredibly anxious and scared and bloody apoplectic the last two days–for what did happen, for what almost happened, for what might still happen if what’s being organized on Parler comes to pass. This is a fantastic fucking break.

  18. I’m still worried that Trump isn’t done. I mean, Hitler failed to pull off a coup in 1923, and his failure didn’t stop him. I hope, and sometimes let myself believe, that Trump can’t come back from this, though. Depriving him and his White Supremacist ilk a platform goes a long way towards making me feel secure. ‘

  19. What’s a little fun is that he’s been flitting from account to account, which all keep getting knocked out by Twitter as he posts. @POTUS, @TeamTrump, @GaryCody, @thedonalddotwin …

  20. It says more about Twitter than anything. They allowed it for years just like they allow every two bit dictator on their platform to spew vile lies and garbage. I used to call Twitter the sewer of the internet but honestly at least a sewer is useful. Twitter has no purpose and no use except minting coin for amoral billionaires.

  21. Didn’t take long for the “just because they disagree with you” argument to slither out of the pit. Did it?

    There are just some things about which disagreement is problematic, even dangerous.

    Isn’t that what what the right said when BLM took to the streets to protest lynching’s?

    Weren’t BLM and their supporters the “real racists” for pointing at race as one of the major causes of police brutality?

    Is consequence fre speech another one of those “whites only” things?

    Anyone conflating free speech with consequence free speech and advocating for the latter ought to keep that same energy the next time a fragile white supremacist right winger pivots from their own objectively terrible conduct to drag black candidates for their association with black liberation proponents.

  22. @John George, Americans (excluding those carcinogenic humanoids that stormed DC on Wednesday) must remain eternally vigilant. This week might have been the beginning of the end of Trump, but we must brace for the possibility that this could have been the end of the beginning.

    He still has the support of GOP legislators, and there are 70 million+ that he has turned into his personal death cult. They’ve sundered themselves from reality, and they’re marinating their minds in right wing TV news, hate radio and far-right memeage. They’re armed, they’re dangerous and their fascism is undeniable. They are exhibiting Umberto Eco’s observation of ur-fascists yearning for a heroic death.

    In the 2020 election, it showed that there are about 81 million of us whose brains weren’t eaten. It is we who must carry this country and nurse it back to health. We run the gamut from far left to conservative, so we have the ideas and demographic and ideological diversity to be able to think through and solve our problems. Like we’ve had. We don’t really need the consultation or labor of the remaining 74 million. They can watch us make America greater again from their cold, damp fever swamps as they gag on their moral methane watching life progress without them.

  23. It’s definitely good that Twitter, FB, etc. have kicked Trump and various other right-wingers off their platforms, finally. I have many fears, however; fear that there will be continued armed attacks, fear for Biden, Harris, and their families; fear for us about this all works out.

  24. From an outsider looking in who grew up in a country where rugby is the true religion and our view on politics is mainly apathy, I truely don’t understand how what I perceive as centre is in the USA so far left.
    I don’t understand why having affordable healthcare is seen as such a bad thing.
    No one should have to bankrupt themselves for healthcare.

    What is wrong with a certain amount of predominantly white American males that make them think they are owed a fairytale life that never actually existed outside of movies.
    Why the hell do you they think they are damn special, that they need to join a “secret club” and that they would ever be the saver?
    Grow the fuck up and put on your big boy pants.
    No one seems to hate themselves deep down more than a Trumper.

    I wonder what the hell is wrong with peoples critical thinking skills that they believe what they find from an anonymous internet source is more real that what they see, hear and read everywhere else.

  25. I f you never punish anyone this is where you get.
    I don’t think you are anywhere near the point of Germany post WW2.

    For Christ sake the USA has school building named after Wernher von Braun.
    A terrible man who was an actual card carrying member of the Nazi party who used forced slave labour and didn’t get punished and was instead praised and lauded because he was useful for future plans.

    Germany wiped him from existence.

    The thing that would harm Trump the most would be to take the NZ Terrorist route, never give him the attention he so desperately craves.

    No media coverage of his or his families coming and goings or tantrums.
    Blank him out of existence.

  26. Seems the English language is more nuanced than I ever thought…

    When a baker, florist or venue refuses to serve lgbt ppl celebrating their love, it’s called freedom of religion.
    When a publishing house or social média refuse to provide service to people who promote violence, hatred or sedition, it’s called violation of the freedom of speech.

    This unabashed use of the 1984 Newspeak is not new, but I had never realised its far reaching influence until this week, seeing all those « nice », everyday people waiting on those stairs like they were at a fair, streaming videos of their day out « reclaiming THEIR house for THEIR president ». Those lawyers, doctors, nurses, truck drivers, elected state representatives, CEOs, running the gamut between looking completely high or seeming very rational in their demand for vote audit (except for that small, inconsequential detail that… audit has taken place. Multiple times. Were you distracted maybe?). Proud of themselves, sharing on social media, giving their name on national television.

    Then there are those who proudly chased Lindsay Graham in the airport. It seems freedom of speech includes publicly harassing those who take actions you disagree with. What is scary is that it shows Wednesday was not a one off, it may be the start of the new normal for them. And the lack of consequence they face for their acts reinforces them.

    It’s admirable to want to start a healing process. But you have to remember a fundamental principle in mental health: first steps to start healing is admitting you are ill in the first place, and be willing to heal. Does not seem like they are there yet…

  27. But it’s all about simple disagreement and the left’s inability to tolerate it. Riiiight.


    Agreed 100 percent.
    They’ve been raised on a steady diet of”exceptional and inherently superior white male” fantasies; so far as that lot are concerned, anyone who even looks like they’re going to yank back that platter needs to be neutralized.

    Just check out how quick they are to pounce on anyone and everyone on the right who dares utter a single word against their food source which, in this case, is Trump.

    These shitbags were full to bursting with their own hype because Trump has spent the last four to five years serving up heaping plates of ” you’re whiteness entitles you to do and say whatever you want to whom and whatever you please, and this goes double for those with penises.”

    The folks in the clips linked above are a pack of livid and terrified predators bent on maintaining their death grip on the platter at all costs.

    They are figures emblematic of what the American right has become, rabid, frightened and determined to seize control of their country from those to whom their bigotted families, friends and communities have told and told them it could and should never belong.

    The fear of and frustration with wokeness is rooted in that same need to maintain the grip.

    For them, being called out for behaving like a common RSHD (racist, sexist, homophobic dipshit) and not being granted the right to decide whether or not they were behaving as such is a threat to the tribe and its food source.

    The overlap between these kinds of people and the ones who object to universal healthcare shouldn’t be ignored.

  28. Did the Founding Fathers consider lying, spreading sedition, abusing, fomenting racism and aggression, and slandering everyone a person dislikes freedom of speech. When it’s done innumerable times for years on end, can this be normalcy just because of repetition?

    If the Founders had known Donald “Con Man” Trump, duels would have shortened his career considerably. Smearing someone and their family was often fatal back then. If only it . . . never mind.

  29. I’m curious how supportive of free speech Zan Lynx is when it’s a drunk shouting outside his bedroom window at 3am…

    He’s probably the one doing the shouting.

    In German.

    After combing his hair over his eyebrow and waving his arms around manically….

  30. Zan Lynch::”Everyone going “YAY! Ban everyone we disagree with!” disgusts me”

    If your disgust erection lasts more than four hours, seek immediate medical attention.

  31. Kent Bunn is 100% right. I’ve been saying the same thing for years. Throw him off Twitter and his Presidency is over. But, sadly, they wait until it is actually over to do it, as Zuckerberg and the rest are suddenly “concerned” about the damage he’s done. No, they are worried about saving their own asses and fortunes. It is not totally different from Republicans like Murkowski who are suddenly “shocked, I tell you” and can’t allow Trump to be President for One. More. Day. after four years of enabling him. Elaine Chao and Betsy DeVos? Are you f#cking me? Just go away.

  32. The fascists over at faux nuuz are leading with half a dozen stories about how poor picked on trump got booted from twitter. The first picture they have from the riot is a seditionist with his feet up on pelosis desk. No pics of violence anywhere.

    They are the propaganda arm of seditionists.

  33. Maryland has about 500 national guard in DC until after the inauguration. Thats not enough. They’re gonna need a full division.

  34. I really don’t understand the knee jerk reaction that this is somehow about banning people for disagreeing. Because I disagree with people all the time! That’s a thing that’s going to happen, because people come from such a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives and areas of expertise. Sometimes I learn from them; sometimes they learn from me; sometimes there’s something we’ve both overlooked. At any rate, nothing obligates me to agree with anything that anyone says. My job requires a good deal of mutual criticism, albeit respectful, because our work needs to be very thorough and cautious for us to get anywhere. Besides, no one’s attitudes are fixed. The opposite is the case, well beyond what we tend to realize consciously. So if I disagree with someone, how I respond really depends on who’s saying it and what they’ve led me to consider that is new. I might choose to say nothing, I might choose to think about it for a while, I might speak up and offer another piece of the puzzle if I think one is being overlooked, etc.

    Extreme measures such as deplatforming are called for when it is obvious that interpersonal harm is being incited. The “you’re interfering with free speech” argument makes little sense to me. If the speech in question is seriously infringing on select other people’s ability to share their own perspectives, then the bigger problem is that those other people are having their free speech restricted. Isn’t this just basic “paradox of tolerance” stuff? Karl Popper wrote about it decades ago. If we make too much room for intolerance, it eats tolerance, and then wide-scale humanitarian tragedies occur.

    @Longjohn: Agreed. I’ve been thinking about what would be necessary for healing, and yeah, I think deprogramming millions of people from decades of that would need to occur. Because it was intentional and started with Nixon. I haven’t yet seen Jen Senko’s 2015 documentary “The Brainwashing of My Dad,” but it is coming to mind.

  35. Regarding the larger block of Trump voters, one of my friends had reported that their neighbor had vowed to keep their giant Trump flag up until his reelection, even if it took until 2024. Thursday morning? Gone. One could wish they learn faster, but some of them do learn, and we’re all going to keep sharing a country.

  36. I think it’s the same ole “tolerate my intolerance or you’re intolerant” argument all dressed up in hurt and outrage.

    And it’s a disingenuous one, too, because the people who pitch it know damn well that their being criticized, ostracized in and/or removed from a discourse community is about more than their political opponents’ not wanting disagreement.

    I find it hilarious that any right winger would take such a position when, as we type, republicans who dare to stand against sedition and seditionists are being branded by right wingers as disloyal and subsequently threatened, stalked and mobbed at airports.

    Democrats who criticize or tune out offensive and hateful right-wing speech and social media providers who enforce their TOS are accused of hypocrisy and silencing, respectively.

    Congressional hearings get called because republicans are all “waaaaaaaa!” over conservatives being “targeted” for spewing lies and other objectively terrible garbage on Facebook and Twitter.

    Parlor exists, in large part, as a “safe space” for bigots and other shitbags who want to spew their toxic crap with impunity.

    All that, and republicans who condemn or dare to opt out of an un-American attempt to seize power for a lawfully dismissed president are threatened with primaries and marked for death.

    So terrified were they that they had to whisper their congrats to Biden lest they be set upon and eaten by their own.

    Acknowledging reality in public was and is still considered an act of courage.

    Romney was literally applauded for imploring republicans to tell the truth.

    Bottom line, the right looks especially dumb pushing the “just because we don’t share your views” defense right now; it was a bad faith argument before, but at this moment, it’s a cue to all thinking people to stop listening to anything they have to say about “free speech.”

    In so many ways, Trump is Charles Manson with a New York accent and access to the nuclear codes.

    He speaks. They jump.

    Talk about party discipline!

    At any rate, by all accounts, this is not over; many Trumpists have promised more violence if Biden’s election was certified.

    We need to be very worried.

    On another note, where are all the democrats and independents who called for “healing” after the election?

    Still think it’s on the injured party to forgive and forget in the name of national unity?

    Still think it’s on us to “educate” these folks and integrate them into society?

    Tell y’all what, you go right ahead.

    Good luck and have fun.

  37. Banning Trump from Facebook and Twitter does not infringe on his right to express himself freely. It just cuts off his ability to invade someone’s social media 24/7

    And let’s really point this out, social media is exactly what it says it means, it’s never been an official news channel. A President should really only make statements on official news channels, ideally with trained journalists to ask questions on how to interpret these statements. Sending out ambiguous short sound bites at all hours of the day and night is not a sign of considered leadership.

    I’m hoping Trump has his passport confiscated, just in case Brazil beckons.

  38. Twitter did this because their platform was being used to rile people up for even crazier shit on Inauguration Day. Since these people will just migrate elsewhere, it’s not clear whether this is really going to prevent violence or is just CYA on Twitter’s part.

  39. just different: Will this prevent violence? I don’t know–might be too late for that. Is this just CYA on Twitter’s part? Maybe, but you know what? I’m kind of okay with that. If the social media companies want limited liability for what their users post (and they do, and I think, maybe, they probably need it, though I admit to relative ignorance on the greater implications of the subject), then I’d argue that they have to take responsibility for policing their own sites to a greater degree than they have been. Taking down the account of a man who has manifestly been using it to incite riots sounds like just about the least they could do, at this point; if they are doing it to protect themselves, well, hey, that’s the way most profit-oriented business work! Fine by me.

    Now whether Twitter et al.’s actions this week will have any long-term impact, I don’t know. Wait and see, I suppose.

  40. I need to note from the distant land of New Zealand that less than 50,000 of Trump’s 70 million voters descended on Washington DC. So only a very small percentage of Trump’s supporters are prepared to commit violence in the capital. Indeed is it possible that the 70 million aren’t Trump supporters but rather people who will vote Republican regardless of who is running for president? People who will not vote for a Democrat not matter what. Imagine the outcome if Trump really had 70 million brainwashed, and a million of them had been at the capital on the 6th …

  41. 5 years to late, but I guess it’s literally the least they could do.

    He’s the President, it’s not like he can’t hold a news conference or send out press releases, that’s how it worked in the Before Times.

    The concerned hand-wrinigng from Little Marco Rubio and the discount store Goblin King Rafael Cruz is beyond pathetic.

  42. @Alex Heatley: Only a small percentage showed up, but nearly half of Republicans actively support what happened on Wednesday. Those people are ripe for the next demagogue.

  43. Alex, the gains that Republicans made in local elections suggest that quite a few people who normally vote Republican didn’t do so for the presidency. It is possible (and has happened quite a bit) for people to vote all over the place on actual ballots regardless of their personal affiliation. One of the reasons the local Republican state officials have defended the validity of this election so hard is that they don’t want to give up local gains for the blowhard in the Capitol who doesn’t care about their careers. A lot of people can and did vote Republican down the ballot until they got to the president and said nope.

    As to why there is a disconnect between the people who showed up and the people who were brainwashed into voting, I give you one word: religion. There are lots of people in America who are convinced that voting Republican is the only way to be Christian (I’m related to many of them; fun times) and haven’t quite reconciled with the idea that the current Republican Party is literally the antithesis of What Would Jesus Do. So they’d be appalled at storming the Capitol, but equally appalled at the idea that they should vote Democratic. That’s how you go to hell, in their books anyway. Not sure this week has changed any of that.

  44. Let’s bear in mind that for all the fretting about shutting down Parler and Gab because we don’t like them, that’s not what happened. Google Play and the Apple App Store just won’t allow them in their stores. They are still free to have their websites, and distribute their apps there. Less convenient for them, but, hey, don’t they think they’re smarter than us?

    Every right is limited. Your free speech doesn’t entitle you to use other people’s property to distribute it, and you can’t force anyone to listen. Especially if you’re inciting and planning actual crimes.

  45. As a side note – Meanwhile, he’s still murdering Americans. Over 4,000 yesterday. Going to take a while to address that. (Someone may want to object that they’re not all his fault, on the other hand this leaves out all the ones he sent to two months of intensive care and its sequelae, so I’ll count that as rounding error.)

  46. This is a 1st Amendment problem precisely because this is being carried out by private entities not bound by it. Outsourcing censorship in order to get around the 1st Amendment is not a cause for celebration. The fact that you’re pleased that people with whom you disagree are being silenced and deplatformed is an indication of how wrong this is.

  47. Cutting off Trump’s social media oxygen is an important first step; however he still needs to banned from ever
    holding office again. If wikipedia is to be trusted on impeachment/trial/conviction, he can still be tried & convicted even after the 20th. If convicted, ban from ever holding office again only requires a simple majority vote.

  48. Hyman Rosen:

    “This is a 1st Amendment problem precisely because this is being carried out by private entities not bound by it”

    Lol. It’s an upside down world! Black is white! Cats are dogs!

    Also, no, you’re wrong.

    Meanwhile, Trump has promised to create his own media empire! And then as God is his witness, no one will ever censor him again! Which is to say, he intends to exercise his constitutional right to create his own press free of governmental censure and the petty tyrannies of other companies’ user agreements, thereby proving the remedy exists without governmental intervention or interference. What a heartwarming story of the power of the free press!

    Also, indeed, I’m delighted a bunch of racists and fascists are being deplatformed all over the place. It should have happened sooner. Although I’m sure Trump’s new media empire will give them all a platform to be racist and fascist on again, for as long as it lasts, which probably won’t be that long, because Trump has never found a business he can’t run into the ground.

  49. I feel that for every year of my life up until about 2000 this country was getting just a tiny bit smarter every year. Since then it’s been getting dumber real fast.

    I feel bad for the world we are leaving our kids.

  50. This is a 1st Amendment problem precisely because this is being carried out by private entities not bound by it.

    Strong candidate for dumbest comment of 2021, only nine days in. Well done.

  51. It would be a First Amendment problem if the government were using private entities as puppets or forcing them to act on behalf of the state – say, if the federal government threatened shut down Twitter unless it agreed to beam state propaganda to all users. Private entities deciding to moderate or expel users for its own reasons is not a First Amendment problem, regardless of how arbitrary, spineless, late, or self-serving those reasons are.

    But really, the freeze peach crowd knows that. It’s not that they are too dumb to read what the First Amendment says. It’s that they believe they have a moral right to demand an audience, and that it is immoral “censorship” for anyone to decline to provide them with a platform on demand. They’re the faux-constitution-scholar version of This Is More Of A Comment Guy.

  52. Sigh.

    The “just because they disagree with you” argument slithers forth once more.

    Folks decrying Trump’s very belated muzzling ought to consider how they would feel about members of BLM, feminist or lgbtqia organizations being banned from a platform for ginning up enthusiasm and finalizing plans for an attack on the RNC.

    Suppose Trump and his family were on the hit list.

    Suppose there’d been plans to neutralize one of Trump’s SCOTUS nominees before they could be confirmed an become a danger to abortion and citil rights.

    Remember how outraged you were when a bunch of angry women dared to confront senaters for ignoring Kavanaugh’s misdeeds?

    If they’d stormed the capital intent on murdering said senaters, and if Kamala Harris or AOC had spent years inciting that violence, there’d be cries of outrage from all conservative corners about social media being a privilege that unhinged partisans shouldn’t abuse.

    If you deny this, you are lying.

    Trumpists would be burning up some RSHD’s site with celebratory posts upon celebratory posts about SJW criminals being a threat to national security.

    This isn’t about some jerk spewing sexist crap about feminism and male imitation; we’re talking about a powerful and influential man using social media to work his band of bitter, status anxiousand incurious supporters into a murderous frenzy because his daddy has been laughing at him from beyond the grave ever since Biden trounced him.

    And no one who attributes votes for Bush to national intelligence should be flinging around accusations of stupidity, particularly if they’ve spent the last12 years gleefully and blindly gobbling up birtherism and other toxic Trumpist fare.

    Anyone who thinks Trump has been any kind of victim ought to be evaluating their own intellectual capacity.

    As for the chiiiiiiiiildren, fear not; Biden plans to dismantle Trump’s concentration camps so that children, even those who “aren’t from Idaho,” won’t die in cages because they had the bad luck to be born in “shit hole countries.”

    Personally, I fear for the offspring of anyone who thinks an armed insurrection is the thing to do when someone they “disagree with” wins an election. Just sayin.

  53. “fascists and fascist enablers getting punted left and right from social media and app stores”

    I’d say they’re mostly getting punted right.

  54. I’m just trying to parse the grammar of the headline at the top of this post. Is “rebel” a noun and the “some GOP rebel” is another person besides Trump who is being cut off by Twitter? Or is “rebel” a verb, in which case “GOP” must be a plural noun meaning “members of the GOP”? It really feels like there’s a word missing there, even if it’s only “GOPers” for “GOP”.

  55. I do wonder if the people whose comments I don’t allow to reach the public thread realize that I’m doing them a favor by not letting others see their damn foolishness for themselves. I suspect not.

  56. Thanks for your posts over the last week, John. I have been in a sad, sad place,.and you have helped. I also recommend Amber Ruffin. She’s delightful even on so grim a subject as the end of our democracy.

    I still feel this is the beginning of the end. T**** is a symptom.

    I have heard some people expressing regret, or even horror, at recent events. A sense of things having gone too far. Welcome to my world, 50 months too damn late. Who didn’t see this coming in November 2016?

  57. John:

    I hope you’re right about it starting to get smarter again. Fyi, I’m a largely conservative guy, who likes to think he thinks for himself. I found this site because I’m a huge fan of your fiction. My personal hero is Daryl Davis, and I am always curious about learning the viewpoints of people who disagree with me, while relating mine.

    My personal rule for my own internet behavior is that I try to talk to and about people as if they were with me in person, and I owe them a debt of respect. I do that because I spent a lot of time not doing that and was not particularly proud of myself as a result. More to the point it never resulted in anything positive for me or anyone I engaged with.

    I have a theory that social media rewards behaviors that are antisocial and generally discouraged in the real world. Sometimes and especially with the lockdowns and social restrictions people end up getting more fulfillment out of their social media than their real life interactions. Their social media self than manifests in the real world with generally poor results.

    You mentioned that you are doing people favors by not allowing their posts to see the light of day. Based on my experience here and elsewhere I am absolutely positive that this true,

    As a guest on your website, my question is do you think it is a good idea for me to engage in political debate and discussion representing viewpoints which may be viewed dimly by yourself and other folks here? I’m a fairly progressive, mainstream, conservative,

    I ask because I tried once or twice in the past here with mixed results in terms of adding to the environment (I say mixed because I sure enjoyed having my ass handed to me by Ctein. I’m not sure what he got out of it.)

    Some places are places where like minds like to meet and others are places that enjoy debate. Some are both, but only to a degree. I would be ashamed if I engaged representing my views and had to be malletted or caused genuine distress in your community.

    Anyway, thank you for all the cool books!

  58. Dear Just,

    Heh, I don’t even remember the conversation. Was it that noteworthy?

    With few exceptions, I don’t remember who I’ve disagreed with or has disagreed with me.

    I’m sorry I proved so memorable.

    pax Ctein

  59. Just sayin’:

    The answer is always: post and find out. If I think you’ve gone over the line, you’ll know. Unless you hear otherwise from me, however, a deleted post doesn’t mean you can’t comment again. This is all covered in the comment policy.

  60. @Brown Robin Yes, some of us could see that the future was going to be unpleasant. My family members who could left the country. My sister has dual citizenship (US/Australian) Not a Chinese curse, but it could be a curse: “May you live in interesting times” was mentioned among family members.
    Too much false information has been widely disseminated on social media platforms. As mentioned previously, many people don’t recognize the “social” aspect. I hope / believe that there are still enough US citizens who will stand up and help bring respect, dignity, and equality to all of our people. It will be difficult.
    I live in one city where a solution hasn’t yet been found – Portland, Oregon. How do we stop the violence, break-ins, and looting perpetrated by a small faction of people? How do you stop other groups from infiltrating BLM peaceful demonstrations and then resorting to violence and theft?

  61. I believe that Amazon Web Services has kicked Parler off of its servers. Jeff Bezos has morals; who knew?

  62. @Brown Robin:

    My feelings, exactly.

    I’ve watched riots, school shootings and terrorist attacks unfold and still wasn’t prepared for what happened last week.

    I’ve watched these very same people storm capitals, plot to murder governors, advocate for lynching, praise eugenics and actively participate in genocide by covid, yet I was still shocked that they would attempt to overthrow this government.

    And remember how “hysterical” we all were for looking forward and seeing dark things?

    We were a bunch of “chicken littles” who were throwing a tantrum because Trump won.

    Serious concerns about this very thing were met with dismissive and derailing “just because he’s not a traditional polititian,” “just because moderate dems, independents and Trump supporters don’t share your woke views” arguments.

    They wanted to make the conversation about sore losers, “moon bat” progressives’ and SJWs’ irrational desires and fears instead of the real and present dangers of a Trump presidency.

    People from marginalized groups were “playing the victim card” and/or whining because people who simply “disagreed with them” took the white house and senate.

    Angry white folks threatening violence were just patriots expressing “independent thought” and exercising their first amendment right to own the libs.

    The ones who meant what they said and proved it were extremists, not at all to be confused with the good, “fine” and tolerent folks who made up the majority of Trump supporters.

    Now, certain folks are shocked!, horrified! and outraged! by the attempted murder of American democracy.

    The seditionists Trump and his enablers have been courting are no true Scotsmen.

    Antifa must have been involved, because Trumpists aren’t violent.

    Republicans have and continue to make their careers pandering to terrified and disgruntled white people, validating their fears and feeding on their tribalism.

    The brown people are taking your jobs and are going to outnumber you in a few decades.

    The ones not taking your jobs want to sit at home all day and feed their bastard children on your dine.

    Democrats are lizard people who worship the devil and eat babies.

    Rapacious black and brown men are going to flood your neighborhoods and snatch your daughters from their beds.

    Democrats want to turn America into Cuba!

    I hate to drag Disney into this, but I can’t help but note the similarities between the current mess and fuckery unfolding in this scene.

  63. Ctein:

    We interacted twice. Once was about epidemiology, and I was doing really well until you snuck up behind me and hit me over the head with some facts I had been unaware of. Then I gushed over Saturn Run. We were talkign about a study in England. The other time was vaguely political. I don’t quite remember it that well, other than the distinct impression that someone was patiently taking me to school.

    I have posted very little, and have not been particularly consistent with the Name field. (I just put something in, later deleted cookies and forgot what I called myself. I’m sure that’s why you don’t recall me.

  64. Dear Just,

    Soooo many COVID conversations this year… I can’t even search my archives! If you’re okay, I’m okay.

    The Saturn Run reference should jog my very large ego’s memory (you can choose which noun those adjectives are modifying), but it’s not. Sad for me {grin}.

    I recall several somewhat bizarre study results out of Oxford this year. They seem to have been marching to a, ummmm, different drummer. I’ve taken them off of my “give these people serious attention” list.

    Anyways…. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    pax / Ctein

  65. John:


    The banning of Trump from Twitter and FB is problematic from a free speech and censorship standpoint because these companies are monoliths that control the technological gateways of communication for billions. While Trump has alternatives, most others don’t. Republicans/conservatives have been sensitive to the concept that the companies’ rules are opaque and applied inconsistently and to their detriment. Now, alternative services are also being attacked or removed from app stores.

    The ACLU wrote a letter yesterday suggesting concern over fair implementation of clear rules and they are hardly a conservative bastion.

    The FCC was created to regulate the airwaves which were considered a public trust, because it was inherently dangerous to have a few companies having total control over the content people could see. Right now we we have far fewer companies with far greater control, and they enjoy a grey area between being simple platforms, and being content providers with the benefits of both and the responsibilities of neither.

    So, yes it seems to be a big free speech and censorship issue.

    It’s also a bad idea to ban Trump because Trump did this to himself by exercising his free speech. The left didn’t do this to him. He did it to himself. I think the reason Trump lost is largely due to the very large domain of ill advised and false things he has said, a lot of them on social media. Why silence that? Silencing Trump can only help Trump. Don’t you think a lot of his supporters wished they could have taken his Twitter away?
    Now there is an air of legitimacy to his complaints of persecution.

    I also just believe that the answer to bad speech is good speech not less speech.

  66. @Just sayin’
    First, thumbs up for being a guy “who likes to think he thinks for himself”. The intelligent person is always in doubt, the stupid never. (Or however the saying goes.)

    Re: answer to bad speech
    The problem is, the bad speech is infectious – and it tends to fester inside an empty head, causing a rot that no amount of good speech is getting out, because the good speech cannot invade anymore.

    It is a dangerous field, no doubt. But I think that in the US “free speech” is taken to an unhealthy extreme.
    Be aware, though, I’m from Austria (no kangaroos, the country next to germany – we supplied the madman, they made him world-famous*). So my approach to “free speech” is vastly different. Hereabouts you can get into trouble if you “salute with your right arm extended”.
    Maybe a bit too drastic, but on the other hand, what reason is there to do so anyway?
    Anyhow – I don’t really see any good reason why it should be allowed to spout that junk in public. I don’t much care what you do at home (as long as everyone involved consents, of course). But why give people with that mindset a public forum?

    Also, as XKCD said: “If the best argument you can bring is that it’s not literally illegal to say so, isn’t that a poor argument?” (paraphrasing from memory).

    (Also also, since this is the internet, a disclaimer regarding the * above:
    That line is a throwaway joke. As in, look at it, chuckle, throw it. I’m not serious about it, since it could have been the other way around just as easily. We can see – especially nowadays – how easy it can be to rile people up. Otherwise normal, good, people can become the monsters from out nightmares, probably without even realizing it (making it even more terrifying)).

    Final also: I’m sure there’s better ways to prevent that rot than trying to suppress it. Ideally no supression would be necessary because no one would take it up.
    But unless (or maybe until) we reach that point, we still have to do something. Bailing water out of a leaking boat doesn’t make the hole go away, but it may prevent you from drowning.

  67. I also just believe that the answer to bad speech is good speech not less speech.

    This is a good general principal, but it is not actually true. There have always been limits to free speech and the answer to bad speech is not merely more speech.

    The cure for libel, slander and defamation of character is not more speech or good speech, but a big fat monetary award.

    Similarly, revelation of secrets (commercial or security) is met with by penalties.

    Most relevantly, the incitement to violence has never been allowable under First Amendment jurisprudence (and probably under First Amendment philosophy in general). The remedy to something that is not allowable under the First Amendment certainly allows for something like loss of access and privileges to things that are both public and private.

  68. rejutka:

    Thanks for the nice reply. If I may paraphrase your stance, I think it’s “Yes. Free speech is all kinds of awesome, but we really don’t to hear actual literal Nazis explain why they want another shot at a final solution, not to mention the ever present risk that totally free speech runs the risk of producing another Creed album. As a reasonable man surely you can agree this is not a good outcome.”

    I hope that’s fair.

    My answer would be that i thought the same way and have been surprised to learn that I am wrong. One of my proudest moments as an American was in the late 90s. The actual Ku Klux Klan wanted to hold a parade in Gettysburg near where I live. Their permit was denied, and they then claimed they were being unfairly discriminated against. Next thing you know, and you cant make this up, the ACLU agrees. Just because they are odious racists doesn’t mean they don’t have rights. The ACLU gets the Klan their parade permit (one has to imagine that getting their permit that way must have stung just a little.) My brother was a reporter for a local paper at the time and had to cover it. He was nervous and asked me to go with him, and I was curious, so I did.

    It was one of the best things I ever did. There were about 40 Klansman and maybe 40 neonazis doing their little parade and speech. There was about 10,000 counter protesters. The KKK and neonazis, were clearly sad, pathetic, unhealthy looking losers who deserved pity. They were so pathetic, that all, and I mean all of the counter protesters were smiling. Everybody actually got quiet and let them do their speeches, and it was like everybody was giggling because they were so incredibly stupid. You kind of felt sorry for them.

    Im not making this up, it really happened this way. I was so proud of my country in this moment. I remember thinking that these guys were doing the world a service by trotting out their stupidity. There should be a law that they have to do so every year. Schoolchildren should be made to go and watch them do it. Put this out there in the light of day and let everyone see how stupid it is, and be reminded that what these words and ideas really are.

    Well, it’s not like that anymore. I don’t know if it’s because people started taking white supremacy seriously again, and then white supremacy got serious, or vice versa. I do believe that airing this stuff out, can heal it (or at least reveal the obviousness of its idiocy.) Locking it away seems to give it power and make it fester.

    I searched for the name of the guy and I couldnt find it. About two years ago Joe Rogan hosted a rapper and black activist on his podcast. He argued passionately against deplatforming racists, neonazis etc. He said these people were hurting and had problems and that they needed to be heard, that you cant turn your back on them because their rhetoric was a sign of their pain and problems. Plus, he said. If these guys want to tell you what they are up to and planning you’d have to be stupid not to let them.

    I was awestruck by that.

    Finally. The Creed thing is a joke but it’s not a joke. I don’t trust anybody to determine what is and is not acceptable speech. There is a lot of historical precedent that censorship in all its forms tends to morph pretty quickly from things that we all agree are best not said to things that those with power dont like.

    We are already starting to see this happen in this country. An arm of woke culture has a tendency towards defining some things reasonable people may disagree about as racist. The race thing is thrown very casually. Take the current narrative that the protestors at the capital were treated with Kidd gloves because they were white.

    Well, the police response for rally/protest was planned by DCs mayor Muriel Bowser (who is unlikely to be a white supremacist.). She modeled the response after the protests this summer. In fact, an unarmed woman was shot dead by the police at the capital.

    To the best of my knowledge not a single protester was shot and killed by the police during the protests this summer in spite of the fact that in some instances during the several months of protests and riots there were times when the police were literally under armed siege. I may be wrong about this last, but police shootings were pretty much front in center in the news at the time, and I think I would have remembered.

    How can one just trot out an accusation of racism like that?

  69. Just sayin’:

    “I don’t trust anybody to determine what is and is not acceptable speech.”

    In the case of this particular site, however, you don’t get a vote. I am the final and indeed only arbiter, as, again, is made clear in the site’s comment policy. Whether you trust me is immaterial. I didn’t ask you, or anyone else, and also I don’t care what anyone else thinks about it.

    Likewise, there are lots of other places where it’s immaterial whether you trust, or anyone else trusts, the person who is the arbiter of acceptable speech within that place — they are allowed to make the rules as to what is acceptable and what is not, and either you accept that fact, or you don’t (in which case you should leave that place or at the very least not be surprised if and when you are banned from it).

  70. John:

    I see now that I appear to have left a giant hole in my argument. Thank you for pointing it out. I will try to address it. In the case of you and this site, I would say that you differ from Twitter and Facebook in that you do not represent a public trust, i.e. the primary gateway to communication with a couple of billion people.

    You also differ in a much more important way. You straight out make it clear that this is your proprietary territory and that No one has any free speech rights besides those you may choose to grant or revoke as you see fit. You own the content. This is really important because that puts the responsibility for this site where it belongs. On you.

    I believe that creates a liability. If you were to knowingly allow people to use this site to plan and commit crimes, you could be held a party to those crimes. I think that’s true, but I’m not a lawyer.

    Facebook and Twitter put themselves out there as platforms, like the phone company. If two people talk to each other on the phone to commit a crime The phone company has no liability for the content of their conversation.

    At the same time Facebook and Twitter are content providers, who edit and can emphasize or deemphasize content, like a magazine. A magazine is responsible for its content and can be held liable.

    There is a fundamental problem with Facebook and Twitter trying to have the privileges of both of those forms with the responsibilities of neither,

    The phone company is a utility in the public trust. They cant just cancel my service because they don’t like what I say on the phone. They have to have rules, and they need to show that they have followed those rules impartially in order to deny service. If they fail to do so they incur liability. That’s the responsibility in being a platform.

    As for the rest of the hole you’ve pointed out, I acknowledge that free speech does not give me the right to shoot my mouth off on private property, and that I have no expectation of free speech on private property. This is part of why I asked before i started posting this kind of stuff here. I really only want to be here if I am adding value. I don’t want to be just “allowed” or “tolerated.” If i am not contributing to the greater good, in your opinion, i want to desist. I want people to read what i say, and agree or disagree still think “I’m glad he showed up.”

    What I am arguing though is that social media is still so new that we as a society have not yet really figured out what it is and how to deal with it.

    You have to my appearances taken the stance that it is just private property, like this site. I.E. like it or leave. I hope that’s an accurate read on your stance, and I apologize if it is not, and would accept any correction.

    I’ve argued there are some important differences. The public trust aspect, like broadcasters (who are regulated), the utility aspect, the nearly monopolistic gateway to the technology that connects billions that they represent, the weird platform/content provider duality they seek to maintain.

    I think this makes them really different than this site, or your house, or private property. They are in fact (actually in my opinion) private companies working within the public domain. This gives them responsibilities , the same way banks, insurance, companies, electric utilities etc etc have.

    Since the public domain that they are working in is speech, than free speech in the public sense becomes relevant to their actions.

    Thank you for bringing that up and allowing me to clarify. And, very sincerely, thank you for allowing me to post here on your website.

  71. John:

    And to be extra super duper clear, perhaps unnecessarily:

    I do not trust anybody to determine what is and is not acceptable speech in what I would call the “public domain.” That’s the clarification i should have stated originally. My bad.

    When i am in someone’s house Ineed to be a good guest and hold my tongue if what I am saying is not welcome. Or, I may leave. Or, my host can throw me out. I am not in the public domain. I have no free speech.

    I agree. That’s as it should be. I hope I am being a good guest.

  72. Gwangung:

    I missed your response earlier. I agree that free speech within the public domain is not absolute. You bring up important exceptions and clarifications which I have neglected. I think the reason i did so was because i instinctively thought that it went without saying that free speech was not and should not be absolute, and that its exercise carried responsibilities and liability.

    Of course, nobody knows me, and its wrong that I assume that everybody thinks that I acknowledge those societal limitations when I say “free speech” without overtly saying so. Without my addressing it, one might assume that i was a libertarian free speech absolutist. I am not. I acknowledge the normal limits etc. My failure to make this clear is my fault.

    Thanks for helping me clarify.

  73. @Just Saying:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but your defense of the double standard that was applied to white seditionists comes down to the black mayor’s decision to lighten security for the Trump protest and the belief that white protesters were less violent than the antiracist protesters were.

    I hope I’ve misread you.

    In any event, my questions are, last summer, did the mayor direct the capital police and national guard to wield tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful BLM protesters, and would BLM protesters have been gently escorted from the government building they’d just breached?

    Were the low barricades and other soft security measures the work of the mayor?

    Would black and antiracist protesters have been let into the capital as the seditionists were?

    Would black protesters have been permitted to stand around once the curfew went into effect?

    You speak of not trusting people to determine the constitutive criteria for “acceptable speech.”

    That’s understandable.

    I, for one, don’t really trust folks on lower difficulty settings to decide what constitutes racist behavior, especially those who employ false equivalencies, ignore patterns of racist behavior and rely on biologically essentialist “facts” about the African American community in order to justify less extreme but just as harmful forms of racism.

  74. I think what I’m getting at is….what are the appropriate remedies to violations of regulations? If all consequences are in the intellectual realm, then remedies are appropriately intellectual; i.e., more speech.

    But if consequences are in the real world, then I think it’s appropriate that remedies get rooted in the real world. Defamation of character has real world effects, so remedies are real-world based.

    The jurisprudence is that immediate real world consequences like imminent calls to violence can justify restrictions on speech. I think we are in that space with the specific example of Trump and Twitter; the least restrictive action all around, the one that does the least damage to all, is to look at the Twitter ban seriously. This is not a theoretical, philosophical discussion; it’s more pragmatic, real world based. Repeated violations of Terms of Service that have led to violence and death are quite serious matters; the first amendment has bowed to those demands in the past and can justifiably be asked to bow to them now.

  75. Just sayin: “I’m a fairly progressive, mainstream, conservative,”

    You may be “moderate”, but you cant be progressive and conservative at the same time.

    “I also just believe that the answer to bad speech is good speech not less speech.”

    Yeah, no. You know why that march of KKK and Nazis you went to in the 1990’s was so pathetic? It was because groups like SPLC went after the KKK in the 80’s with lawsuits and drove them nearly bankrupt. The KKK used to fund their violence by robbing banks and other illegal acitivities. Lawsuits cut into this money and made them relatively broke.

    The problem is that now with widespread internet, hate groups can easily spread their word and raise money, and they are more powerful now than they have been in years. Now, when the KKK marches, it looks like Charlottesville, with HUNDREDS in attendence from almost every state. They killed a woman. And the bigots behind Charlottesville were some of the people driving the Jan 6 assault on the capitol, where THOUSANDS were in attendance. They killed a COP. And there have been protests since then in support of the seditionists.

    And seriously, if you had any real-world experience dealing with bigots, you’d know, they don’t change. A bigot is a bigot for life. Oh sure, there’s the rare black swan who converts and tries to help others convert, but 99% of them will always be bigots. You’re not going to change that. All you can do is take away their power, their money, their platform, their channels, so that they can’t actually ACT on their bigotry and kill people.

    MLK didn’t CONVERT bigots. He just took away their segregated bussing. He took away their voting roadblocks for blacks. But the bigots were still there. Free speech didn’t convert them. MLK took away a bunch of their power. And they murdered him for it.

    So, no, more speech isn’t the answer to hate speech. Taking the power from hate is the answer to hate speech. And that means going after every single asshole who stormed the Capitol. get them fired. Press charges if at all possible. It means going after every single asshole politician who incited that mob. Charge them. Impeach them. Whatever it takes.

    Free speech does not change a bigot’s mind, it lets them advertise, organize, and raise funds. Deplatforming them wont stop them, but it will make it just a tad more difficult for them, and that’s a good thing.

  76. Part of the problem is for the believers, they truly believe that it’s lies being told, and that the peaceful conservative demonstrations were infiltrated by blm, who were the actual perpetrators of the violence.

    That’s what you get down to when you point out that by attacking the “Capitol” while the joint session was attempting to carry out their constitutionally obligated duties, they were making war on the government, and that’s the one crime defined in the constitution: Treason. They just then jump to it being planted liberals. They also believe that somehow Biden is going to somehow be so much worse than any president in history and destroy the country within weeks.

    There’s no fixing that kind of thinking that I can come up with.

  77. I love this place, especially during events such as this. Unfortunately I’ve eaten way too much Smartfood White Cheddar Popcorn and need to go on a bit of a diet.