American Conservative laments market concentration and private property as bad for free expression


And the downside? There’s a downside right?




I don’t think he has correctly identified the novelty at work(as noted, being able to say things people disapprove of has always had an element of risk; and to do so in a way that finds an audience has often been tricky); but I think he might be getting spooked by a side effect of the consolidation and network effects and economies of scale:

It has ever been the case that the locally influential have been stepping on those within their domain who displeased them; but if your experience is as a member in good standing of the local Right Thinking Pillars Of The Community And Chamber Of Commerce that all seems quite natural.

Here, though, thanks to extraordinary network effects and economies of scale it’s possible for (not at all hypothetically in this case) some punk tech kids in San Francisco to tell Mr. Peter Van Buren that he’s a negative value undesirable who ain’t gonna microblog in this town again.

A lot of these “OMG the internet ate my free speech” situations seem to involve an interest group that would have commanded at least a modicum of deference, if not hegemony, in their local sphere being just shocked and horrified that nobody has ever actually encouraged the undesirables to talk now that; relative to Google or Apple’s interests, their entire local sphere is small enough to be dismissed as an undesirable underclass if they are so inclined.

Shockingly enough, just like local nobility meeting the concept of absolute monarchy, or sheriff Cletus learning that the FBI is building a civil rights case, it’s exactly the people who enjoyed the most local influence who are horrified that a bigger fish is swimming around.

(edit: just in case this isn’t clear: this is not to endorse the exercise of even more hegemonic power by the bigger fish; or to posit that it will necessarily be more pleasant about doing so than the local strongmen were; merely to note that people who have long been at the mercy of their locality’s concentrations of power aren’t going to be terribly surprised by the ‘powerful squish people who annoy them’ outcome; while people at least at the middle of the local heap are more likely to be surprised by what being on the pointy end of a power differential feels like; and/or by the discovery that the entire area dominated by their norms is neither large enough nor normal enough to avoid being dismissed as a bunch of deviants who aren’t even worth enough to deserve cynical, mercenary pandering.)


Twitter has lighter moderation than 4chan.

I’m not really sure what the positive is in that.


It would help if we abandoned the dangerous “marketplace of ideas” metaphor. Treating our national (or international) dialogue (polylogue?) as a marketplace opens it to exactly that mercenary invasion. And even in the absence of such an invasion, the currency of such a marketplace isn’t ideas, it’s attention. And so the loudest, not the best, idea is the one that will win out.


Based on this and the fact that I’ve never heard of TV ads for Facebook, I’m wondering if it was one of their PR “apology” commercials that they rolled out after the negative response to Fuckerberg’s Senate testimony.


They apparently call it being “de-platformed”. Back in my day we called it “my local paper not publishing my letter to the editor” or “my local radio station not allowing me to jump on the mic and rant.” Kids these days, bunch of snowflakes.


They’re equivocating two separate things. Antifa have long used de-platforming as a tactic to limit the reach of fascists, and while some younger antifa don’t approach the tactic with all that much nuance (old man yells at cloud!), silencing conservatives is not something that actually happens. The non-fascist right are using the narrative of de-platforming to position themselves as victims of a conspiracy that, apparently, includes the MSM, the Clintons, and their long time supporters (?) the anti-capitalist left.


As this was UK it was unlikely to be a response to Senate stuff. It clearly had ‘rehabilitative PR’ nuances, and UK issues (e.g. Cambridge Analytica, etc.) might also have led to similar PR attempts here. It did also have some sort of ‘when this thing works it’s good’ line’. If I could find it online I’d get a link so we could examine the script and see if it is the same as any US ad, with local accent narrators. Later, maybe.


The script of this one is very similar (if not the same one) but I can’t recall if the one I saw had a UK or US accented narrator. Interesting where they lay the blame for what went wrong.


Can’t be asked to find out; but this is proof that FB is in trouble. Good.


Interesting. We gave up cable a decade or more ago, along with magazines and newspapers, because we couldn’t afford them, then didn’t miss them. None of my children use FB.


Exactly. The internet IS the public space. The internet is the sidewalk where you protest the mall if you will. YouTube and other sites are the businesses that one may travel the sidewalk to visit and anyone and everyone can setup a shop next door.
The problem is audience size. Its sounding like we are now choosing to equate popular with monopolistic which in my view is ridiculous. Youtube has no monopoly on video hosting. It’s simply done enough work to become a very popular place for people to have their video hosted. Calling it a monopoly would be like calling the most popular entertainment venue in your local town a monopoly by arguing that though many other entertainment venues exist, this one is a monopoly because very few people visit those other venues.


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