Platform or Publisher?
The Tech Giants Must Be Reined In

Silicon Valley usurped the role of traditional news media, without assuming any accompanying social responsibilities.

Published on: November 27, 2017
Diane Francis, the author of ten books, and is faculty at Singularity University. She is Editor-at-Large at National Post.
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  • FriendlyGoat

    Conservatives did not think much of all this “techie-feely” social media until they found out that these are the most gigantic amplifiers in the world with reverb echo chambers from which they can literally yell lies at the United States citizens. Ain’t corporations great?

    • Tom

      Which differentiates them from the liberals who took over television news…how, exactly?

    • Dale Fayda

      You’re just bitter old loser.

    • QET

      You are correct, FG, but what that proves is that, generally speaking, conservatives are biased toward non-regulation and regulate only after compelling evidence of deleterious behavior, whereas progressives regulate first and then construct the “evidence” to justify it afterward.

      • FriendlyGoat

        And that’s why the progressive approach is better. We ought to have enough sense to “see certain deleterious behavior a-coming” and avoid it in the first place—–rather than suffer catastrophes before admitting that we are suffering catastrophes. For instance, we pass laws against shoplifting because we know it will occur. Then the stores put up cameras to catch it. Then they put up signs which say “Shoplifting is against the Law. We have Cameras. We prosecute. Don’t Do It.”

        This is supposed to be what we do for financial regulation of corporations, labor law, zoning, FCC matters, environment, health care, safety and everywhere else one group of people is slam-dunk guaranteed to take advantage of others if no one has enough sense to prevent it.

        • QET

          The “we” whose sense ought to be enough is always a small cadre of people whom I wouldn’t credit with the intelligence necessary to clean up the dog droppings from my yard.

          But this is the same old dilemma. Some law, some rules, are necessary. I am not an anarchist, and I’m not even a true minarchist though I incline that way. There is no institution, properly so-called, that can ever prevent the logic of rule-making from driving forward to its endpoint of total regulation in all things, although the Constitutional order designed by the Founders has proved the most effective such institution in all of history and has staved off for 230 years our descent into the kind of surreal, Venezuela-like polity that we are now entering. Only a commitment by a social super-majority to the principle of freedom from overmuch State “guidance” on which this nation was founded and has risen to global dominance can stay the proud waves of regulation, and the undoing, denouncing and destruction of that commitment has been the work of all progressives at all times, everywhere. By the time progressives understand their colossal mistake, it will be far too late for all of us.

          • Everett Brunson

            I agree fully. However I have yet to come across a progressive that understands the mistake in the first place. They tend to think that the failures of the system are due to a lack of commitment rather than realizing the falsity of the collective over-mind in the first place.

          • Clinton

            Absolutely. Witness the progressives’ cultish worship of the train wreck that is marxism. Despite the
            unbroken string of ghastly failures and human misery extending from Russia up to Venezuela, we
            still have leftists who can look one in the eye and say in all seriousness that marxism works– “it just
            hasn’t been implemented correctly”. The subtext being, of course, that it is today’s progressives
            who have all the talents and superiority needed to make the manifestly unworkable somehow workable.

            It’s a strange hubris that makes a progressive today think that they are superior to their leftist fore-
            bearers, that they are the chosen ones who will polish the turd that is leftism and usher in a golden
            age rather than just another failed, repressive regime as did their predecessors. And its exactly that
            sort of hubris that’s behind the claim that “rigorous supervision” of social media discourse by
            some government mandarins wouldn’t inevitably end up as Big Brother watching and listening
            for wrongthink.

          • Everett Brunson

            Hey Clinton. It is easy to understand when today’s progressives (mostly college kids) only have a baseline of understanding based entirely on what the Profs have told them. They have no real life experiences to go by.
            So it is very easy to re-write progressive/socialist/marxist history with each succeeding generation. “The older regime wasn’t committed enough” or “The American Imperialist dogs undermined the ‘great’ effort”.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Somehow I have become accustomed to wiring that does not burn the house down, canned green beans that do not kill me, doctors who really went to med school, banks that do not collapse with my money gone, insurance companies which actually can pay a claim if one occurs, public schools which accept all of the children who happen to exist, hospitals which do not turn sick people away, commercial buildings with occupancy limits, traffic lights for “your turn or my turn?”, utilities that do not refuse to connect me,
            well water not containing gasoline, commercial airplanes which are actually inspected on a schedule, courts which decide my case same way they decided your case, air that is not full of chemical fumes——and “you know”, a few hundred other details of actual life.

            Arguing against “total regulation” in the abstract (with no room for obvious examples to the contrary) may pass your practicality test, but not mine. Somebody once told me I should “get real” and I have been trying the rest of my life to do it.

          • Anthony

            To one of your points (regulation), a reply hear because it’s your latest:

            “…John Adams held out the hope that America would be a ‘Republic of Virtue,’ a nation in which the baser tendencies of humankind could be tempered by the higher ideals of virtue, benevolence, and duty. But after the Revolution, he realized that neither the people nor their leadership could be trusted as guardians of the republic. Elites were driven by ambition, the masses were driven by their appetites, all were guided by self-interest, and none possessed the virtue for self-rule. As Adams put it in a letter to Jefferson in 1781, ‘I have been long settled in my opinion, that neither Philosophy, nor Religion, nor Morality, nor Wisdom, nor Intellect, will govern Nations or Parties, against their Vanity, Pride, Resentment or Revenge, or their Avarice or Ambition. Nothing but Force and Power and Strength can restrain them! In the Federalist, Alexander Hamilton echoed the point. ‘Why has government been instituted at all?’ he asked. Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.” (James D. Hunter)

          • Angel Martin

            “Elites were driven by ambition, the masses were driven by their appetites, all were guided by self-interest, and none possessed the virtue for self-rule. ”

            You just recently clued into this?

          • Anthony

            Read the essay and leave relevant comment!

          • Psalms13626

            I thought the comment was relevant. Perhaps you need to be less smug and more accepting of the fact that there are many people smarter than you.

          • Anthony

            Irrepressible emigre go back to Bloomberg View where your hands are both full and revealed!

          • Psalms13626

            I know Anthony. It sucks to know that an immigrant is better at his second language than you are at your first. Do you have anything other than personal attacks? Of course not. You have nothing but a pathetic ad hominem attack against everyone who doesn’t worship at the altar of Anthony. No wonder Comrade FG is the only one who even bothers with you here. And me. I like making fun of pompous a$$holes like you. Must be my immigrant upbringing in Brooklyn, NY.

          • Angel Martin

            “Irrepressible emigre go back to…”

            Gracious !

            I thought immigrants represented diversity and were automatically better than native born…

            Now I am really confused.

            I’m an “immigrant” (age one) from England to Canada. Does that mean I’m “irrepressible” ?

          • Anthony

            Martin, just this once: look up both irrepressible and emigre (hopefully you’re find relevance). And, you may find an answer to your question in Joshua Knobe’s In Search of the True Self; now give it a rest!

          • Psalms13626

            How dare you, a dirty peon, try to engage with the august deity known as Anthony? Don’t you know better? Anthony will tell you what is relevant and what is not!!!

          • Anthony

            The irrepressible emigre – with an obtuse axe to grind; studentz gave a heads up but alas to no avail! No reply JR as I only tagged because you referenced….

          • Psalms13626

            Oh Anthony, how it must rankle you to have an immigrant continuously get the best of you. So what do you do? You cowardly run away while farting out ad hominems. How pathetic, but at the same time, how you.

          • FriendlyGoat

            QET maintains above that there is no “we” who he trusts to clean up dog droppings. I guess he thinks (with Adams) that there is a “they” who are better choices to impose “Force and Power and Strength” on our behalf?

          • Anthony

            Waxing and waning clarifies for some perhaps. But whether we or they, Federalist No 10 gives evidences (and Happy Thanksgiving – belated).

          • FriendlyGoat

            And Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

          • Everett Brunson

            I would have thought you would differentiate between regulatory agencies with over sight having to do with goods and services and the call for regulatory action over those that involve speech and thought–the free expression of ideas. The examples you cited–code enforcement, Medical Boards, banking regulation, state insurance boards, and the like are all state and not federal agencies. Too, all are subject to inspection themselves by state oversight agencies. If I do not like the way they operate in Texas, I can always move to another state.

            The subject at hand is the establishment of regulation at the federal level regarding who can say what, and in what manner, and under what aegis. A different animal and a much different dilemma. I look askance anytime anyone advocates for greater control over speech.

            And if “We ought to have enough sense to “see certain deleterious behavior a-coming” and avoid it in the first place—–. . .” were true we would not be suffering the disaster brought by Johnson’s Great Society programs–just to name one. Claiming the superiority of progressive foresight belies the disasters wrought by the alphabet soup of social programs that have done little other than holding the downtrodden down even longer.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Your profile says you retired as an education administrator. From private schools, I presume? I mean, from where else do people come out swinging against logic? FDIC is federal. Worker safety is federal. Consumer product safety is federal. Aviation is federal. Environmental protection is federal. Non-discrimination is federal. Labor law is federal. FCC is federal.

            As for free speech, a fairness doctrine imposed upon corporations is needed in the age of amplification in order for truth to bubble up to the surface. Our Founders would have told us so had they been alive to witness what happened to speech after electricity was applied in the 20th and 21st centuries. They would not have been satisfied with the competition of ideas being reduced to a competition for the loudest noise.

          • Everett Brunson

            You mixed state and federal regulators–each of the industries I listed come under state regulations as well. And again, you cite agencies that concern products in the physical realm and not the realm of speech and thought. Plus, all the agencies you cite come under law–state or federal; meaning there is a process for redress. One look at how speech considered contrary to governmental policy in counties such as France, Sweden, and soon enough, Canada demonstrates the folly of letting ANYONE in the government have power over speech. A miss-spoken word can land one in jail. Is that what you are really advocating?

            As to my teaching and administrative history, it was in the public schools system. Though I attended private schools at the elementary level and found them superior to the public system.

            As to the regulation of speech your last sentence is nonsense. In the age of pamphlets, the one with the greatest readership created the greatest noise–so your comparison has no meaning in any sense–as the Founders did not differentiate between noise, truth, or anything else. Instead they saw the danger when speech is regulated by governmental entities.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Yeah, yeah, and I’m to believe a “Great Society” hater who spent middle age in the public sector on really dandy government benefits and who is now or will soon be going on DB pension plus Social Security plus Medicare? Look, Everett, the “tone” here is not in harmony, okay?

            As for free speech, we have a president who questions why certain media have “a license”. Don’t blame me for having concerns about the safety of free speech. I have the real ones.

          • Everett Brunson

            You must have missed something when you read my bio. My last ten years before entering education was owning my own consulting business. Anything I set aside for retirement was done by me and not some corporate pension plan. As to Social Security, as educators in Texas do not pay into the social security system I only qualified for 1/2 of the normal benefit–a bit less than $600 per month. So I’m not exactly getting rich on government expense.

            Throughout this thread I have challenged you on your ideas. I did not attack your educational background, your means of income, nor did I ascribe anything to the type of person you might be based upon your comments. You have done all three.

            If you cannot refute the argument, then say so. Retreating to personal attack is a sign of intellectual weakness.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I reasonably expect educators, law enforcement and clergy to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth—–at all times.
            Admittedly, I am now mostly disappointed with the political direction of too many in LE and virtually everyone in conservative church. Pardon me for still looking to the educators or ex-educators for “fair and balanced”.

            You’re telling me that you’re not in the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and will not be participating in Medicare?

            I don’t know you. All I know is that you jumped in here to spin right-wing talking points upon me—–and you have the self-disclosed appearance of being somebody who should know better. Dang!
            What happened to the good old days of teachers one could count on for a factual take on life?

          • Everett Brunson

            I do participate in TRS but am not yet on Medicare. But what does that have to do with anything you’ve said? You try to muddy the waters by confusing being the recipient of a state or federally issued retirement check with some duty to agree to infringements on liberty in some lock-step fashion.

            Again you attack the man and not the idea. Weak on your part. That you advocate government restriction on speech is most telling–but even then I did not refer to you as left-winged. As for jumping in–what?, you have some kind of ownership interest here I was unaware of? Typical.

            Do come back when you have an idea or even a half-baked thought. I will listen and respond.

          • Psalms13626

            Comrade FriendlyGoat is here to yell at anyone who is not in lock-step with his obsession with giving the State power over individual. You seem to be against that, therefore he is your implacable enemy. My bet is that he is going to block you soon.

          • Everett Brunson

            Both you and DX4 have it right. I don’t mind as it was getting troublesome trying to stay on subject rather than fighting off the personal attacks. The funny thing is that I am arguing for NOT regulating an industry that has demonstrated a strong bias against conservative thought while he champions more regulation, more censorship. It must be driving those old Berkeley Free Speech Radicals crazy to think that their ideological descendants are calling for more regulation of speech and thought. We live in a topsy-turvy world.

          • FriendlyGoat

            You’ll like Medicare when you reach it. Even if you only pay in the premiums to B, D, and supplement (or a Medicare Advantage Plan) and don’t draw any claims, there is something really special about knowing that a “Great Society” once cared enough to try to find you some health protection for old age. Maybe you’ll get some peace of mind in that (if you don’t screw around and ask your government to kill it for you.)

            As I told you before, I have reasonable expectations for the kind of talk thrown at me by people who are old enough, experienced enough in real life to exhibit balance. Your tone from the beginning here didn’t meet them. Still doesn’t.

          • Anthony

            theweek.com/articles/739947/only-taxes-save-american-democracy

          • FriendlyGoat

            Although I do not subscribe to 100% taxation in any scenario whatsoever, I do understand completely what each dilution of the tax code means (or meant) in the reduction of ordinary citizens’ power and influence on life and government. I was “there” for the tax changes from 1978 forward through the eighties and saw how they could worsen the attitudes of even good people. We are now living with the political “attitude” further deteriorated after the Bush tax cuts of 2001/03—–which have produced Trumpism, This new round of tax cuts will produce a society from which society has no chance to even talk about “fairness” ever again. This stuff is a progression succinctly described by your author here:

            “At any rate, that’s the basic formula. Reactionary money puts reactionary politicians in power, where they cut taxes, deregulate industry, smash unions, rig elections through district-boundary cheating and disenfranching minorities, and install reactionary judges who dream up goofy arguments to tear up any legal restrictions on political spending — thus creating even greater concentrations of wealth and income. In comparison to this tsunami of money, the actual preferences of the American citizenry fade to an ever-shrinking whisper.”

            We have been living this for 40 years, and the future trajectory is “worse, not better”.
            Like climate change, the tipping point was in our past while we weren’t looking.

          • Anthony

            Liberal Democracy is what you’re writing about FG. And, yes, we have been experiencing a corroding for some time – the actions in the beginning don’t seem remarkable but over time they wither or becloud countervailing propositions. Then, the arrangement becomes to be normalized. The cumulative effects (and any serious person knows you’re not for 100%) over the years make what you reference from 1978 forward become no longer small measures (if they really ever were small) impacting marginally the socio/political body; but, indeed, cultural and political change measurably impacting the average citizen.

            By the way, I found your piece @ Fukuyama’s quite responsive.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Thanks.

          • Anthony

            A pleasure.

          • Anthony
          • FriendlyGoat

            Thanks. For the time being, it appears our approach will be 51-49, seasoned with aggressive tweeting.

          • Anthony

            51-49! Key point of MLI piece: “this cannot be a party line issue.” Also, GOP may have lost credibility on being “fiscal responsibility advocates” – and you’re welcome.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Yes, I know 51-49 violates the gist of your link—-and all common sense. But we cannot imagine that anything else is happening, can we? The concrete is being poured, and the nature of concrete is that it sets quite hard in a few hours.

          • Anthony

            Yeah, it looks to be potentially set in the metaphorical concrete. Still. it really is amazing how little attention has been paid to both its intention and long-term effects. So, we’ll see what legislation looks like after House/Senate reconciliation. The Public, The Public, The public.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I’m guessing that the reconciliation of the two bills is going to be very, very, very fast. It might take place by making both bills worse in order to combine them and please the worst crazies in both houses. The “public” is to be no more involved than the Dems in the Congress, unfortunately. There is nothing to stop this but finding three GOP senators in the patriot column—-and we didn’t. America in “monarchical mode” appears to be solidifying.

          • Anthony

            The public, The Democrats, and The Republicans are involved rather they comprehend (understand) it or not. The two Bills are similar and will definitely be reconciled quickly (in my opinion) to avoid risk of damaging this rushed opportunity to cut taxes and get a Presidential signature on GOP’s beloved tax cuts – we’ll see how it plays among general U.S. populace going forward.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, “going forward”, there will be great celebration by the ownership class, a great deal of screaming by the pundits, and a great deal of powerlessness down below. Once done, I do not see any undoing. That’s what they know too about the magic of a rush job. It’s not like even a Dem Wave in 2018 Congressional elections (were one to occur) would change a thing in a passed tax bill.

          • Anthony

            No, I think statesmanship (or at least compromise for country’s long-term health), at level you infer, began to fray with the Gingrich ascension in House and the transfer of some of its tactics and partisans to the Senate – of course the rescission of the Fairness Doctrine and the evolvement of a hard right-wing ecosystem also helps to explain your lament. Nevertheless as an optimist, I trust Millennials, Gen Xers, and those born since 2000 will acquire the commonsense and civic inclination to mitigate dynamic referenced. All may not be lost, my friend, but there is arduous work ahead.

          • FriendlyGoat

            From the “old curmudgeon” department, I would not wish to be one of those born in these later generations. There is always hope, of course, but these kids are in a stew we can barely understand, let alone expect them to. At the moment, what they hear and will hear in the future is at considerable risk of being very manipulated fakery. There has always been propaganda in all nations, of course. But today, the tools for doing it are off the charts. When the voices are legion, the sources are innumerable and opaque, the imitations are virtually indistinguishable from the genuine, where do you go to “know anything for sure”?

          • Anthony

            The “old curmudgeon” makes an excellent and revelatory point: they certainly have a handful (and some may say, are up against it) but stewardship by adult’s capable is one way FG. Yet you’re quite right, unforeseen and unfortunate outcomes of increased demand for productivity and some semblance of material success will certainly make their journey more anxious. The social environment they encounter is no doubt different from that experienced by Boomers and their parents. Still, the custodians presiding must (must) be made more conscious of what (who) comes after and world (country) they leave. Truth cannot be turned upside down nor made relative (fake). Where it really matters, you know that – stay in the fight while you can.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, I’m old, but neither sick nor dead. There is this irrelevancy problem, though,…….

          • Anthony

            No irrelevancy (stay involved at what ever level commensurate). I’m quick to tell friends (and inquirers) getting “old” ain’t no fun and that’s in full acknowledgement of the alternative. So, keep on doing what you’re doing with uplifting results!

          • FriendlyGoat

            Honestly, the worst part of getting old for us so far has been the political stuff. Of course we know that physical limitations will accrue, but this emotional stuff takes a toll on the general state of hopefulness—-which can affect the physical. It’s hard for me to stomach after all these years that so much of religion turned Trumpie. It’s really hard to argue about “doing the right thing” on issues when the guy who says “Hey, that’s only for losers” has captured the majority of Church.

          • Anthony

            FG, your faith is important to you as well as Christianity. That’s has to see you through (you know humans do human things). Happiness is a homemade article: as you know, the way to enjoy anything in life is to know you can get along without it.

            “There are times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the services of their country; but he that stands if ‘now’, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” (Thomas Paine)

          • FriendlyGoat

            There are actually a lot of people more likely than me to mark a survey box “yes” for “Faith is important to me”. As we get older and realize that there are several variations of Judaism, several variations of Islam and a long list of Christian “denominations” with the latter increasingly privatized as independent churches and ministries (some “mega”), I find myself asking whether we are losing the battle for all this religion to make us better.

            We may have too many trying to “stand” now for a set of inculcated doctrines which amount to competition and strife, such that if you walk in and just say “I would like to know truth and tell truth. I would like for people who need forgiveness to get it. I would like for people to feel secure enough in their souls to see outgoing kindness as the first option”—–they call you crazy, or at least maybe “more suited to some other church”.

            This stuff is supposed to be simple——priceless for the simplicity and the fruit. We thought (I thought anyway) in the mid-twentieth century we might be getting there with religious excesses behind us in clueless history. Well, in later life, it’s frustrating to notice that isn’t the case. Zionism is bigger than ever. Islam has, in many places, gone back to the seventh century. Christianity elects Putin and Trump in Russia and America.
            The Catholics got a spiritual pope and a lot of them don’t like him at all. We are having a lot of “good grief” moments. The folks most likely to “mark that box” don’t seem very concerned and I wonder why on earth not.

          • Anthony

            I was told a long time ago that translating dead knowledge into living wisdom is also an important function of education – the ability to think and act. Your reply brought that advice to mind:

            Religion has both a basis and an importance – we humans tend to misapply its transcendent grounding (by whatever name we shroud it with). The battle you referenced waxes and wanes – but for me the immanence is important. In the large array of things for which the word religion is used, only some are organized and institutionalized forms of human conduct and belief (and involve communities so constituted that an individual is either a member of it or an outsider to it).

            Moreover, trying to stand for anything is hard; standing on principle in a secular environment is even harder; adhering to faith/covenant in a world of competing valuations is challenging even for the most ascetic inclined. So, yeah, it’s tough – yet what are you going to do? Throw up your hands.

            When humans are involved it’s never simple. Too often fear rules over our lives – fear masquerades in countless forms and under many names: doubt, indecision, alarm, timidity, anxiety, etc. In dress clothes fear becomes Terror, Horror, Shock, Consternation. Simplicity just won’t do (for many). When we open our lives to fear we admit a force that will not soon or gracefully depart. A comrade (friend) that helps is faith. Faith is real. Faith assumes the various shapes and names you mentioned above (last paragraph). The good grief moments result from attempting to square the alliance (faith) with the Almighty that enables one to meet the contrary ways of the world with its absence in practice. But, yes, simplicity ought to obtain.

          • Anthony

            Mann and Ornstein (a great deal of screaming by the pundits) in less than 24 hrs. demonstrate your point as well as sing (write ) to the choir: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/02/opinion/sunday/republicans-broke-congress-politics.html?action=click&pgtype=homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-

          • FriendlyGoat

            I blame two things. 1) The series of tax cuts already done, which have resulted in a magnet toward the love of money in extreme proportions, and 2) The deterioration of religion in a “back to the WRONG basics” sort of way.

            Tom Brokaw’s “greatest generation” which endured the Depression and the “we’re all in it” nature of WWII produced an understanding of collectivism and progressivism which is now under assault. On a single subject, for instance, the owners of stocks after tax cuts told workers that “your defined-benefit pensions are too expensive and we’re going to get rid of them” even in EXTREME bull markets. Then church comes along and says “if you still agitate for unions DB pensions, you’re on the side of baby killers”. Toss in a few decades of Judge Judy and the Simpsons (for utter confusion) and guess what? Voters are crazy.

          • Anthony

            Mann and Ornstein echoed your sentiments in 2006 and were virtually ostracized from regular media access and D.C.

          • FriendlyGoat

            And then there was a 2008 crisis.

          • D4x

            Psalms13626 beat me to it: FG blocked me for using the word ‘snowflake’, not even in reference to him. This is his first thread where someone other than Anthony or Pait replied to him.
            Gives real goats a bad name 🙂

  • Tom

    “Silicon Valley usurped the role of traditional news media, without assuming any accompanying social responsibilities.”

    Shorter article: How dare the peasants!

    • Fat_Man

      I thought the media’s responsibilities were to blow wet kisses to the Democrat party and smear conservatives. Are the Silicon Valley guys any different?

      • Tom

        I suspect that the author believes that to be the case, at any rate, and is rather upset that the Silicon Valley folks didn’t put their thumbs on the scales as much as she wanted.

        • Fat_Man

          Tell that to the poor Google Engineer who used neuroscience to discuss the number of women in the tech industry. I assume that once Google figures out who I am and what I think, I will be removed from the internet and deprived of my ration card.

          • Tom

            What, you think I agree with her?

          • Fat_Man

            No.

        • Jim__L

          Ever read Google News? The headlines themselves scream out bias, conservative voices are basically absent, and if you search something like “religion”, atheism comes shining through, even on holidays.

          The thumbs are on the scales, all right.

          • D4x

            As you may know, I’ve started posting on specific ‘news’ stories, showing search results for google all, then google news, to demonstrate the bias in their algorithms, in addition to the ‘echo’ effect. Example below.

            Today, I did that with ‘Ivanka Trump’, to see the news coverage of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 in Hyderabad, India. It only took India’s English language media three hours, between my first search at 11:00 AM EST, and second search at 2:00 PM EST, to break through google’s biased algorithms, and bury the USA media biased reports and ‘distractions’. I think POTUS should outsource his Tweets to India – they know how to tag!

            My example from Nov. 25-26, 2017, posted as a reply to David Goldman, hoping he would read it and realize this IS a problem, at https://pjmedia.com/spengler/prince-mohammed-bin-sultan-exactly-right-iran-new-hitler/:
            “PJM’s resident foreign policy expert, Rick Moran, posting today at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/11/trump_tells_erdogan_us_will_stop_arming_kurdish_rebels.html
            did not do his homework, instead took a Chicago Tribune report based on an
            Associated Press headline that substituted what Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said
            was said by POTUS Trump in his phone call with Turkey’s Pres. Erdogan, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017.
            FAKE SPIN as ‘news’.”

            Alas, that biased AP report has now spread to every foreign policy expert, using it as ‘proof’ that POTUS is ‘clueless’ about Syria, ‘betraying’ the Kurds. Aaron David Miller using it to trash Trump at USA Today

          • Everett Brunson

            I refer to him as Rick Moron. And also by me Ron Radosh is referred to as the Radish. Both men come armed with palpable bias and a lack of ethical standards to promote their anti-Trump agendas.

          • D4x

            Yes, but Moran is an Editor at PJM, and writes all the foreign policy ‘news’ there, and now at American Thinker, which has more readers. Radosh is an occasional opinion. PJM has descended into clickbait.
            There is NO alternative serious news website in America that gets past google news algorithms.
            That is why I read foreign news since September. Picked up a bad habit in early childhood – reading the newspaper 🙂

          • Everett Brunson

            I’ve noticed the differences at PJM and also TAI–though TAI is still a good place for hard discussion. I’ve also started reading American Greatness but find there are long spaces between new articles.

  • AnonymoussSoldier

    MSM lied about WMDs in Iraq. There are other examples of MSM incompetence. But that’s the only one in need mentioning. Besides, you can’t rein in social media. FB and Twitter already have competitors on the clearnet. Sites that censor less, like MINDS and GAB and Bitchute, have grown rapidly in 2016 and 2017 precisely because of FB and Twitter censorship, as well as MSM bias and incompetence. This all says nothing of the darknet forums and news sites (which were about 100% more accurate in 2016 in my experience).

    • Unelected Leader

      Very true! I’ve been very pleased to see how MINDS has grown in particular. Once some of the bigger name youtubers endorsed it then it really started taking off. So nice to get access to all opinions and true news normally censored or minimized by the MSM to help their favorite horse.

  • Joe Eagar

    Hysterical much?

  • QET

    I emphatically disagree with the last paragraph. In my youth it was television that was blamed for the nation’s ills. The “rigorous supervision” insisted on then by Ms. Francis’ predecessors was justified primarily by the argument that the physics of broadcast transmission required allocation of frequencies by the State, that the EM spectrum was therefore somehow a natural resource that must be administered as a public trust by the federal bureaucracy and that therefore such bureaucracy could impose all of its own ideas about how the networks ought to behave as conditions to the granting of the licenses. In an era when the federal government was run by conservatives, such rigorous supervision” gave us the Hays Code and such delights as marital bedrooms showing only twin beds (e.g., I Love Lucy) because to even suggest that married couples shared a single bed was viewed by the Rigorous Supervisors as too dangerous to the nation’s moral health. In progressive eras, it gave us such wonders as the Fairness Doctrine.

    The plain fact is that “rigorous supervision” by the State produces more harm than good. A century of such “rigorous supervision” has turned the US citizenry into a herd of dependent, ignorant children. We have always had the ability to turn off our radios, televisions and computers. No one must read Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Sufficient evidence of the tech media giants’ Goebbels-like propaganda activity is plain for all to see; that they choose not to is no argument for “supervising” them. I emphatically deny both the right and the competence of Ms. Francis or anyone else on this Earth to supervise my understanding of anything. I may be wrong sometimes (nah, who am I kidding, I’m never wrong :-)), but that is the price everyone else must pay for my agreement to refrain from “rigorously supervising” them to prevent their being wrong.

    • Jim__L

      ” I emphatically deny both the right and the competence of Ms. Francis
      or anyone else on this Earth to supervise my understanding of anything.”

      Sapere aude!

      • QET

        Precisely!

  • Everett Brunson

    After a meteoric rise on an un-level playing field, America’s social media sector is a global problem that must be solved. It must be supervised. Rigorously.

    Who watches the watcher? I am never comfortable when the call for more regulation is made by anyone as it is always a move away from personal responsibility towards collective responsibility. The thing that worries me the most is the growing ignorance of the historical record. Anyone aware of Yellow Journalism is not surprised that internet platforms are built upon a foundation of maximizing profit through persuasion of the masses. Though I feel the tech giants are incorrect in their assumption that profits reside by kowtowing only to the sensibilities of the progressive left, I am not surprised they feel the way they do–echo chambers being what they are.

    The greater danger, to me, is the thought that a regulatory body embodies the necessary fix. After 20 years in public education I have come to know the dangers of group-think and shared responsibility–common core comes to mind. The better alternative is to throw the whole thing wide open. Dismantling the Obama era Net Neutrality is a good start.

    • D4x

      Diane Francis’ mission is to sustain 100 years of Woodrow Wilson’s legacy, which seems to be TAI’s mission since the Oct. 18, 2017 relaunch. This essay seeks to keep Wilson’s Scientific Progressive Administrative State relevant, “the wisdom of
      science and benevolence of expert administrators”,

      […] A chief feature of the administrative
      state is its relentless centralization, but with a reciprocal effect: Its mandates, regulations, distorting funding mechanisms, and elitist professionalism have corrupted our political culture all the way back down to local government. […]
      How Woodrow Wilson Planted the Seeds of the Administrative State Steven F. Hayward / February 27, 2017 /
      http://dailysignal.com/2017/02/27/how-woodrow-wilson-planted-the-seeds-of-the-administrative-state/ [I just read this – quick search for ‘Wilson Scientific Progressive Statism’, because I am watching the TAI relaunch in horror and shock.]

      Francis’ essay is a deceptive distraction. All she had to do was read this instead

      How Facebook Ate the News Why Harvard commencement speaker Mark Zuckerberg is America’s Public Enemy No. 1
      By Lee Smith|June 21, 2017 10:00 PM
      […]Facebook, on the other hand, never had to worry about either end of the transmission chain—it doesn’t have to pay to create content, and it has no legal responsibility to provide reliable information. Why?
      Because, as Mark Zuckerberg could have told the Harvard graduating class of 2017, that’s the law. You can look it up:
      Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act stipulates that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

      Section 230 was originally known as the Cox-Wyden Amendment—named after Chris Cox, a Republican
      congressman from California, and then Democratic representative, now Sen. Ron Wyden from Oregon. The concern of these two digitally-hip legislators was that if websites were sued every time someone had a problem with a given piece of
      content, like kiddie porn, America’s Great Internet Adventure of the ’90s would come to a grinding halt.

      The language of Cox-Wyden that describes the policy of the United States—“to promote the continued development of the internet and other interactive computer services and other interactive media,” etc.—was
      appropriately optimistic about the future. However, it failed to imagine a future beyond the days of dial-up internet connections in which a mega-website like Facebook would eat all the media.[…]

      Zuckerberg’s company is not just a publisher, but the most important media organization in the world—and Section 230 gives Facebook and Google a tremendous built-in advantage over traditional media companies by sheltering them from liability.
      It’s a good bet that Zuckerberg spends millions every month on lawyers ensuring that every word of Section 230 stays exactly as
      it is. Amending Section 230 will at least stop the massive transfer of wealth that has gone from traditional journalism to Facebook over the last decade. Without legislative action to repair the mistakes that Congress made in the 1990s, real journalism today doesn’t stand a chance.

      p.s. Everett: My sincere apologies for failing to reply to you several times. Truly appreciate your comments.
      My daily cognitive dissonance triggers fighting back online, at the expense of real life, sleep, health…
      This week is when I stop trying to fight the deception online, try to catch up with a lost year.

      • Everett Brunson

        No worries. I enjoy following you and am filled with wonder at the time you have earmarked in the search for truth. Are you saying you plan to cut back on your mission as slayer of lies and deception? If so, you will be missed.

        Though I quoted it above to ვეფხისტყაოსანი, I found this paragraph particularly troubling:

        Europeans have been upset about America’s social media companies for years, and are increasingly taking action. In September, Germany passed a law requiring social media to remove hate speech or images immediately or face fines of up to €50 million. Britain told Facebook and the others that they must censor terrorist information. Spain intends to make Google and other social media to pay royalties to traditional media for republication of their content. Courts in Australia and Canada have ruled that Google must scrub statements that are defamatory globally or face official repercussions.

        Who thinks like this? Who considers this a good thing?

        • Tom

          People who intend to see to it that THEIR viewpoints are the only ones represented.

        • D4x

          In answer to your question, I think Spain has a good idea “to make Google and other social media to pay royalties to traditional media for republication of their content.”; Britain most likely has well-defined specs on “terrorist information”; and I sure want someone to delete the hateful images that trolls post on FLOTUS’ Twitter & Instagram accounts, but “defamation” IS a slippery slope, considering what Egypt’s former President Morsi considered blasphemous.

          I am reading today’s transcript below, and fairly certain more than a few of the 600 Wilsonians in the audience had multiple thoughts of ‘blasphemy’, as Sec Tillerson invoked Theodore Roosevelt, which builds on the TeamTrump theme of TR, still ignored by the pundits until now?

          https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2017/11/276002.htm
          “The U.S. and Europe: Strengthening Western Alliances” Remarks
          Rex W. Tillerson Secretary of State
          Jane Harman, President and CEO of the Wilson Center
          The Wilson Center
          Washington, DC
          November 28, 2017
          MS HARMAN: Good morning. I’m Jane Harman, president and CEO of the Wilson Center.[…]and there is clear evidence of Russia meddling in democratic elections in the U.S. and Europe, just to name a few of the issues on your plate[…]many here applaud the fact that you have an unusual resume for a Secretary of State. Educated as an engineer, your journey over four decades to become CEO of the world’s sixth and most – the world’s sixth-most valuable company is nothing less than astonishing. But hey, you were an Eagle Scout[…]

          SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, good morning, and thank you, Jane, for that very kind introduction, and also thanks to the Wilson Center for this opportunity to address you today.

          The Wilson Center has made many important contributions to public policy over the years, and therefore it’s a very fitting venue for our discussion today on Europe, considering that 100 years ago this year the United States entered World War I under the leadership of President Wilson. While we tend to associate Wilson with spearheading America’s first major involvement in European affairs, I think it’s worth remembering that our commitment to Europe was earlier championed by a predecessor of his, Theodore Roosevelt.

          When Roosevelt died in 1919, just as Wilson was striving for peace in Europe, European leaders joined the American people in an outpouring of grief and praise. British Prime Minister David Lloyd George remembered him as an “inspiring figure far beyond the country’s shores.” Another British politician said he had been “the greatest of all Americans in a moment of dire stress.” And a French senator said he had been “the apostle of the cause of right on the other side of the Atlantic.”

          President Roosevelt was beloved in Europe because of his vigorous commitment to the continent in the years before and during World War I. While President Wilson steadfastly adhered to a neutrality policy, Roosevelt felt a responsibility to come to Europe’s defense. It was reported he even once asked President Wilson for permission to personally lead an Army division into Europe, and he had even written to a British army officer, saying, “If we had done what we ought to have done after the sinking of the Lusitania, I and my four boys would now be in the Army getting ready to serve with you in Flanders.”

          What motivated Theodore Roosevelt’s rejection of neutrality and an ardent commitment to the defense of Europe?

          We can see the answer in something Roosevelt told the U.S. Congress in 1904, and I quote, “A great free people owes it to itself and to all mankind not to sink into helplessness before the powers of evil.” Roosevelt knew that the defense of freedom demanded action from free nations, confident in their strength and protective of their sovereignty.

          Roosevelt also knew that the United States and Europe, then as we are now, are bound by shared principles. Our nations live according to a self-evident truth on which Western civilization is built: Liberty, equality, and human dignity. These foundational principles are protected by the construct of our institutions dedicated to the rule of law, separation of powers, and representative government.

          Our principles are also protected from external threats by our collective determination, action, and sacrifice in the face of security challenges. World War I was the first great test in the 20th century of whether the United States would pay the high cost of liberty. Theodore Roosevelt never participated in that war, but he did pay that high cost: His son Quentin, a fighter pilot, was killed in the skies over France.

          In past decades, our way of life – and by extension, our core Western principles – have been tested by the totalitarian threat of Nazism, by Soviet power and its communist ideology, by ethnic and sectarian conflicts, and by internal political pressures. Together, the U.S. and Europe have passed these tests, but we know that the United States and Europe are again tested today and we will be tested again.

          Under President Trump, the United States remains committed to our enduring relationship with Europe. Our security commitments to European allies are ironclad.

          If we are to sustain the shared security commitments that ensure stability in the region, the Trump administration views it as necessary for our allies to be strong, sovereign, prosperous, and committed to the defense of shared Western ideals. Over the past 10 months, we have embarked on a new strategic policy that bolsters European and American security: namely, a recommitment to Europe in the wake of the failed “Russia reset;” […]

          These remarks are delicious, and I still want to see Ivanka’s custom gown from India’s Neeta Lulla, which hopefully gave the editors of Vogue and Vanity Fair a nuclear stroke.
          TR sent his fashionista daughter Alice on an official diplomatic visit to Japan, with then AG WH Taft, during the Russo-Japanese War.
          see you again, elsewhere.

          • Everett Brunson

            I stepped away from the computer to watch Richard Widmark and Henry Fonda in Warlock. I saw it years and years ago and wasn’t old enough to appreciate the nuances between Fonda and Anthony Quinn. Repressed homosexuality on the part of Quinn’s character? Who would have thunk it in a 1959 western? Anyway–a great flick by many standards.

            Thanks for your excerpts from the Tillerson speech. I am pleased he gave Wilson such short shrift and devoted most of his address to TR. As always you are right on point.

            I pulled up images of Neeta Lulla’s gowns and they are gorgeous. Is this the Ivanka gown you are referring to? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3aed415631fdfdaaca511733ca75f9d8e372afb03513a175b11ee97ec391c3f2.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f446392c4fa30b6bc200e5208193d88fff510970064923c3abd9b02e790f69a2.jpg

          • D4x

            Ivanka wore Turkish-English designer Erdem’s ‘Geneva cutout pleated jacquard midi dress’ for the GES2017 day-conference events, and her meeting with India’s Minister of External Affairs (Foreign Minister) Sushma Shwaraj (they might rethink ‘External Affairs’ as a title)

            https://twitter.com/MEAIndia/status/935450068588494848..
            That was in my comment this morning at Liz Sheld’s Daily Hot Mic, which I started using most days since she started noting POTUS’ schedule – when it was confusing during the Asia trip because she was listing events that had already happened.
            https://pjmedia.com/blog/liveblogevent/tuesdays-hot-mic-34/entry-217881/comments/ Almost no one notices, but GES2017 IS news.
            The designer details are from UK Daily Mail’s Femail Fashion Finder.
            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5124803/Ivanka-charms-attendees-woman-focused-tech-summit.html Princess Kate sells, so the FFF is a very popular feature. I enjoy being able to see the textile weaves, and how fast the item sells at what is online shopping for near-couture. You can see the details used by online stores:
            https://www.shopstyle.com/g/women/erdem/geneva-cutout-pleated-jacquard-midi-dress-green Italy has sustained centuries-old textile specialty manufacturing, which is why Italy is the third biggest exporter of clothing, after China and Japan. No good reason why the USA textile and apparel industries had to disappear – just failure to move up the value-added chain.

            The press was not allowed into the dinner, but perhaps tomorrow’s Daily Mail will have a photo – too big a story for them to not have a paparazzi in every possible location. This is the sketch from the https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d9668b3a2a3618eb3090724993090f35d7c46b64c8d8301361f7b9bc0423016f.jpg Economic Times’ report: GES 2017: Ace designer Neeta Lulla designs ensemble for Ivanka Trump By IANS | Nov 28, 2017, 01.42 PM IST
            […] Describing the ensemble she has planned for Ivanka Trump,
            Lulla said in a statement: “As stylish and elegant as Ms. Trump is, her
            ensemble too will be intricate and exquisite. We are honoured to present an exclusive bespoke collectable inspired from the Vrindavan Symphony which is our tribute to the celebrated Radha-Krishna fable.” “It has a motif of the traditional musical instrument sitar, which has its roots… in classical music… and is inspired by the
            Vrindavan Gardens where the impeccable portrayal of the divine romance was performed as ‘Raas Leela’. We have created a signature ensemble using the traditional sari restyled into an elegant gown. “Dawned in ivory and golden silk threads, this gown has
            a ‘sitar’ on the trail made of finely woven silk from the historic city of
            Varanasi,” she added. […] https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/ges-2017-ace-designer-neeta-lulla-designs-ensemble-for-ivanka-trump/printarticle/61832361.cms
            Other sources – Neeta Lulla has designed for many Bollywood films, and a Bollywood musical staged in Abu Dhabi, UAE, which has a Bollyland amusement park – millions of Indian expats in the GCC.

            I have no knowledge of these cultural inspirations, despite my first encounter with India: Richard Brooks’ 9-hour stage play of The Mahabharata at Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1986 was the most powerful theatrical experience ever; His shorter film was in 2016:
            https://www.bam.org/theater/2016/battlefield Started studying India’s incredibly complex history in 2003. Sought out the MetMuseum’s 2010 “Epic India: Scenes from the Ramayana” when everyone else was https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2010/epic-india
            in line for Picasso, and no one really knew where the gallery was, except to say ‘look for the staircase with the roof from a Jain temple’ on the 2-1/2 floor’ in the Asia wing, beyond the China galleries. So many epics, religions, conquests.

            Back to Sec. Tillerson – he gets less articulate after prepared speech, but covered so many points, and still had to respond to the ‘restructure, gutting’ critique, which he did more than just fine – eleven days after Heather Nauert did same at the DPB – that is why Harman sounds a bit shell-shocked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0p9PeT3Xmc MS HARMAN: So time is up. I was going to ask you what you want your legacy to be, but listening to you, I don’t know that that question can be answered yet. You’re all over the world, you’re focused deeply on the tough questions. You’re headed to Europe next week. You have to come back and answer all the other questions we couldn’t ask today. [MINUTE: 51:00] (Laughter.) Was that a yes?

            SECRETARY TILLERSON: Yes, I’ll be back. (Laughter.)

            MS HARMAN: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. (Applause.)

  • Angel Martin

    I support anything negative that anyone wants to do to Silicon Valley: regulation; anti-Trust; tax their stock options; end state and local tax deduction; end mortgage interest deduction on mansions… whatever.

    These douchebags brag how they want to “disrupt” everyone else’s economic arrangements and ability to make a living.

    I long for the day that someone “disrupts” Silicon Valley”. Hopefully all the douchebags will be banished and the Santa Clara valley will go back to orchards and canneries.

  • ვეფხისტყაოსანი

    I like numbers, so let’s dig in, shall we?

    Francis views with alarm, perfumed handkerchief no doubt pressed to her fevered brow, the following:

    “Facebook admitted that 126 million of their users may have seen content produced and circulated anonymously by Russian operatives.”

    Note that she does not say “American users” nor that the content was actually read. Moreover, there are 2.1 billion Facebook users, so the Russians managed a market penetration of 6%. Given that US Facebook accounts number 214 million, they may have reached as many as 13 million — many of whom are not old enough to vote and many of whom don’t vote. Oooohhh — scary!

    “Twitter admitted to working with 2,752 Russian accounts, and that 36,000 Russian bots tweeted 1.4 million times during the election.”

    There are 974 million twitter accounts; the Russian make up a whopping 0.0003% of them. (Terrifying!) There are about 200 billion tweets per year; even if we divide that by two, the Russian bot tweets make up 0.0007% of the total. (My God! She’s right! Something must be done!)

    “Google testified that 1,108 videos with 43 hours of content related to the Russian effort were uploaded on YouTube”

    There are over half a billion hours of content on YouTube. The Russians have commandeered 0.000008% of the total!!!! Oh, noes!

    “and that Russians placed $4,700 worth of search and display ads on its network.”

    That’s out of a mere $9,000,000,000 in total annual revenue. Clearly, YouTube executives are in thrall to the Russians.

    So, now that you know the awful truth, I hope you’re as terrified as Francis intends you to be and are willing — nay, eager — to turn complete control of the Internet over to her and her cronies.

    • Everett Brunson

      Thanks for the numbers. I always look askance at those who cry “there oughta’ be a law” as they rarely consider the consequences. Too, I find it especially frightening that she praises:

      Europeans have been upset about America’s social media companies for years, and are increasingly taking action. In September, Germany passed a law requiring social media to remove hate speech or images immediately or face fines of up to €50 million. Britain told Facebook and the others that they must censor terrorist information. Spain intends to make Google and other social media to pay royalties to traditional media for republication of their content. Courts in Australia and Canada have ruled that Google must scrub statements that are defamatory globally or face official repercussions.

      as something to be desired rather than decried.

  • Psalms13626

    Diane Francis thinks social media must be supervised. Rigorously. And by whom, might we ask? Well, by people like Diane Francis of course. What are going to be standards of this regulation? Whatever Diane Francis thinks is good for the peons.
    No thanks. I trust myself more than I do some busybody just aching to tell somebody how to live and what to read.

  • TheDarkHelmet

    Get lost, Ms. Francis. The legacy media are no more accountable, honest, fair or socially useful than the new tech giants. They never have been. Anybody with a pulse should know by now that they can’t uncritically believe what they see on TV, read in papers or see on their Facebook page. And anybody with a pulse knows we can’t trust the government to regulate the media into some mythical objective, reliable gatekeeper of information. Bureaucrats and politicians are just as likely to lie to us as clickbait web scamsters, broadcast talking heads and virtue-signaling celebrity spokesmodels.

  • Stephen

    The author and those ratifying the First Amendment spoke of speech not “speech”. Telling.

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