Liberals Seem Rather Upset About This “free speech” Thing On Twitter

There is a reason the headline says “free speech” not “Free Speech”, and it’s about the only thing correct in this unhinged Slate article by Special Snowflake Kate Klonick

Early last week, Twitter announced that it would be using new tools to curb hate speech and harassment on its site. The news came on the heels of atell-all report on BuzzFeed that chronicled how 10 years of dogmatic commitment to “free speech” combined with persistent mismanagement led to the popular social media app becoming “a honeypot for assholes.” Twitter’s former head of news, Vivian Schiller, told BuzzFeed, “The whole ‘free speech wing of the free speech party’ thing — that’s not a slogan, that’s deeply, deeply embedded in the DNA of the company.” That ethos made it all the more difficult to regulate abuse on the site.

But absent from discussion is a more fundamental question: Should we be using the notion of “free speech” to understand online speech at all?

As a general matter, it’s important not to confuse the First Amendment with the broader notion of free speech. Free speech policy is about the First Amendment kind of like how Cheez Whiz is about dairy products: They are related, but fundamentally different. The First Amendment protects “free speech” by saying that the government cannot (with certain important exceptions) prevent you from speaking. But private individuals or corporations, like Twitter, are not covered by the First Amendment and can curate or even censor speech without violating the law. In fact, some have argued that a platform’s right to keep up and take down what’s posted there is its own free speech right. Others have pointed out that not policing for abuse has a chilling effect on speech.

Typically, liberals will tell us that if we don’t like what’s on TV, then change the channel. Don’t like the movie? Don’t go. Of course, when they do not like what’s on talk radio, which is dominated by Conservatives, then it needs to be restricted. Twitter and other social media? Forget blocking and muting, anything that might upset the littler darlings must be shut down. Even though they are engaged typically in political discussions. They just don’t like to have anyone argue back.

Sure, it can get nasty. Ignore them. Mute them. Block them.

One of the main forces governing speech online is the same thing that governs Walter’s speech in his local diner: societal norms. Norms are customary standards for behavior that are shared in a community. They can be self-enforced by a person’s desire to fit in with the group and conform, and they can also be externally enforced by the group when an individual violates the norm. Speaking at a lower volume in a public place is one kind of norm and shaming a person who yells loudly is a way that norm is enforced.

Which is a hoot, considering liberals are working overtime to destroy societal norms, such as allowing confused boys in the girls room, for one.

You know that this is all about shutting down opposing voices. Of course, liberals should be careful what they wish for: they just might get it.

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22 Responses to “Liberals Seem Rather Upset About This “free speech” Thing On Twitter”

  1. john says:

    twitter is a for profit corporation and can do what it damn well pleases, just like Daily Caller or World Net Daily
    Teach you really do seem to be obsessed over that whole boys room/girls room thing
    Maybe you don’t remember but girls have always been more tolerant and sympathetic of gays than boys have been

  2. Hoagie says:

    twitter is a for profit corporation and can do what it damn well pleases

    Really? Can it discriminate by refusing ads from blacks?

  3. john says:

    well certainly it can refuse to take ANY ads it deems against its rules Hoagie. How do YOU feel about that ? Should private corporations be able to do as they wish as in the free market ?
    And latest poll from Monmouth says that even in NC only 36% approve of that silly bathroom bill HB2 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/north-carolina-bathroom-bill_us_57bde436e4b085c1ff26fa04?section=&
    Teach is always blaming the liberals for the self inflicted wounds of conservatism

  4. john says:

    Can Breitbart refuse ads from NAZIS?

  5. john says:

    Of course conservatives should be careful of what they wish for (HB2); they just might get it

  6. twitter is a for profit corporation and can do what it damn well pleases, just like Daily Caller or World Net Daily

    Or Fox News, which liberals have been having conniption fits over for almost 20 years and want shut down. Just like Rush, Hannity, etc.

  7. Jeffery says:

    As a private company twitter can control the tweetering twits.

    Hoagie: As much as it bothers you, discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin is not allowed. Douchebags and asshats are not protected classes even if the perpetrators are Black.

  8. Jeffery says:

    Stop your whining.

    Wishing that the likes of Rush, Sean and Glenn would shut up is not violating their free speech rights.

    The 1st Amendment doesn’t immunize douchebags against criticism.

  9. Dana says:

    Jeffrey wrote:

    Hoagie: As much as it bothers you, discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin is not allowed

    As much as Jeffrey would like to control people’s thoughts, he can’t. The government simply declared businesses to be ‘public accommodations,’ and passed anti-discrimination laws, but discrimination occurs, because people simply cannot be controlled. Some of our most ‘liberal’ cities — New York, Boston, Milwaukee — are also our most segregated, because black Americans do not choose to live amongst white Americans. Jeffrey will say that I have that exactly backwards, but it isn’t whites protesting ‘gentrification,’ the trend of whites to move back into the inner cities and start fixing up run-down houses.

  10. Jeffery says:

    So Blacks being “redlined” into urban neighborhoods relates to twitter kicking off vile tweeters how?

  11. drowningpuppies says:

    #SickHillary is trending huge on Twitter.

  12. Dana says:

    How are blacks being “redlined” into urban neighborhoods? Have you ever considered the possibility that blacks don’t seem all that eager to look for houses in the suburbs?

    I’ve already told you that we bought our retirement property in Kentucky, in a poor county. Land and housing are cheap there, the costs of living are low. For lower-income blacks, Estill County ought to seem like a Mecca, but, for some reason, the demographics indicate that less than 2% of the county population is black. Nothing is keeping them out but their own choices!

    I’m guessing that even you have heard of black students on college campuses requesting “safe spaces,” with no whites allowed. It ain’t us wicked white folks making these demands!

  13. Zachriel says:

    Hoagie: Can it discriminate by refusing ads from blacks?

    Not if the basis is race.

    Hoagie: Can Breitbart refuse ads from NAZIS?

    Yes. Political affiliation is not a protected class.

  14. Hoagie says:

    Hoagie: As much as it bothers you, discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin is not allowed.

    Why on earth would you think it bothers me? Are you some kind of racist other than Anglophobe?

    Wishing that the likes of Rush, Sean and Glenn would shut up is not violating their free speech rights.
    The 1st Amendment doesn’t immunize douchebags against criticism.

    I don’t think they are talking criticism. I think they’re talking censorship. Revealingly, you use the words “shut up”. Is just hearing another opinion a personal attack at your little leftist bubble? Wow, your mind is sealed closed.

    Hillary! Say it loud, say it proud. Cause we love us some corruption.

    http://www.wnd.com/files/2016/08/Access-Hill-NRD-600.jpg

  15. Liam Thomas says:

    YO ZACH

    with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hurling another log on an already raging fire with a vow to release “significant” Clinton documents.

    Has the Clinton hit squad found where Julian is hiding? Have they figured out a way to silence him?

    I know…I know he was a hero when he reveal rubbish on the right but now?

    I surmise that Julian Will end up in a fiery crash or better yet Committ suicide and his documents will somehow end up missing.

    If I was him I would hire the Russian Military to protect him until after the Election cause I can guarantee the Clinton foundation is spending a fortune trying to find this guy and those Documents.

    Right? You know….they give you details right?

  16. Friday morning links

    Did this teen pregnancy prevention program have the opposite effect? Only 29% of Families on Track to Reach Their College Savings Goal 5 Ways Get That Shitty Self Doubt Out of Your Life No Proof That People Are Born Gay or Transgender So what? Ma

  17. fiftyville says:

    Boy, good thing that Twitter is not in the cake-baking business.

  18. Hoagie says:

    Nothing poses a greater threat to the Republic then those damn cake-baking gay denying Christian radicals. If the leftist law dictates you to be submitted to involuntary servitude for the benefit of a chosen minority you damn well better knuckle under or armed EPA, OSHA and NTSB officials will escort you to prison as they fine your business out of existence. Die Christian sind unser Ungluck!

  19. Tina Rose says:

    John

    HB2 is fine just as it is. The City of Charlotte started the whole thing by mandating that ALL businesses allow transgender individuals to use the restroom they chose, regardless of how they present, or even if they are truly transgender, as all it takes is a declaration of the same. Note that it didn’t allow for businesses to choose. It mandated that they MUST.

    Well thank you very much, but I do not need that kind of “help” from the City of Charlotte or from do-gooders like you. I’ve worked long and hard to cultivate a life where I know where I can go and am welcomed as a woman, and where I can’t. And now it’s harder, because everyone’s radar is up, searching for one such as myself, who would just like to make her way and be left alone. I’m a big girl. I can take care of myself. Don’t help me so much. It’s easier that way.

  20. Jeffery says:

    Criticism is not censorship. Calling a liar a liar is not censorship. Calling a racist comment a racist comment is not censorship.

    Of course twitter has the right to censor what is said on the platform they control. Within reason a school board has the right to censor what a teacher says in class – would you be upset if the school board stopped a teacher from telling bawdy tales to middle schoolers? A business has the right to censor the outputs of their employees.

  21. Jeffery says:

    I don’t think they are talking criticism. I think they’re talking censorship. Revealingly, you use the words “shut up”. Is just hearing another opinion a personal attack at your little leftist bubble? Wow, your mind is sealed closed.

    Twitter can regulate/censor what is twitted on their platform. End of argument. Just as conservabloggers can block and delete intelligent liberal comments.

    The observation by individuals that the world would be better off without Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity is not censorship.

  22. Zachriel says:

    Hoagie: If the leftist law dictates you to be submitted to involuntary servitude for the benefit of a chosen minority you damn well better knuckle under

    That’s what George Wallace said when federal laws were passed that required white-owned businesses to serve blacks.

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