Juice and Squeeze

In Wednesday’s WSJ Letters Tirien Steinbach, Stanford Law School’s Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, sought to defend her own behavior in the disruption that prevented an invited guest from speaking at all.

She insisted on asking a key question:

We have to…ask ourselves: Is the juice worth the squeeze?

Steinbach blew up her own case with that question, which she also put to the invited guest speaker as she participated in her school’s censorship and cancelation of his speaking.

Not Too Circular….

During last Wednesday’s House Committee on Oversight and Accountability hearing regarding the Federal government’s collusion with social media, social media powdered wigs were asked whether they had used disappearing message apps to talk with government officials.

Twitter’s ex-Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gaddee’s response:

Not to the best of my records.

Which, of course, her records would not indicate, her messages with government officials (like another “witness” in front of the committee, then-FBI General Counsel James Baker) having disappeared via those apps.

Incidentally, Baker, in front of the Committee in his role as ex-Twitter Deputy General Counsel, claimed I don’t recall whether he had used disappearing message apps.

In Which I Disagree with the Congresswoman

Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R, SC) has come out in opposition of the move to bar Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D, MN) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

I think we have to be very careful about what we are as a constitutional republic. I am not a fan of Ilhan Omar. She’s an anti-Semite. She’s a bigot. She’s a racist. She’s a socialist. But that doesn’t mean that we cancel people in this country. Republicans don’t stand for cancel culture. And that’s essentially what this is.


Facebook Collusion?

According to the latest installment of Email Revelations, Facebooki.e., Mark Zuckerberg, since he owns an outright majority of the voting shares of his Facebook (and its reincarnation, Meta)—responded to pressure from the White House (which can only mean President Joe Biden (D), since he’s the White House guy in charge) rather meekly (IMNSHO).

Facebook told an official at the Biden White House in March 2021 that the Big Tech company took action against the “virality” of “often-true content” regarding the COVID-19 vaccines, in addition to suppressed misinformation about the shots.

Zuckerberg, via his (identity redacted) staffer:

Go Figure

The Republican-led House of Representatives is setting up a select committee to investigate Biden administration pressure on and collusion with (yes, both) Big Tech to suppress or outright censor speech of which Biden-ites disapproved, a suppression/censorship that primarily affected Republicans and Conservatives.

President Joe Biden (D) demurs.

“House Republicans continue to focus on launching partisan political stunts,” said spokesman Ian Sams, “instead of joining the president to tackle the issues the American people care about most like inflation.”

Yet when the Progressive-Democratic Party Congressmen “investigated” the Trump administration and former President Donald Trump (R) himself throughout his four years in office, that was all on the up-and-up.

More Censorship

Meta, the owner of Facebook, is expanding its censorship practice.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, said Monday that they will be taking down posts that support the raids of Brazilian government buildings by supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro.

And it was preplanned:

“In advance of the election, we designated Brazil as a temporary high-risk location and have been removing content calling for people to take up arms or forcibly invade Congress, the Presidential palace and other federal buildings,” a spokesperson for Meta said in a statement reported by Reuters.
“We are also designating this as a violating event, which means we will remove content that supports or praises these actions,” the statement continued. “We are actively following the situation and will continue removing content that violates our policies.

Show Me the Logs

One of the latest Twitter Files batch demonstrated that Old Twitter and the FBI colluded to suppress FBI-disparaged information and that the FBI paid Old Twitter’s costs in the doing to the tune of more than $3.4 million dollars. The Twitter File release carried, among other things, email exchanges between FBI worthies and then-Twitter functionaries talking about the exchanges and the payment for the quid pro quo.

Of course the FBI, in its best wide-eyed innocent Dondi impression, denies any such kind of interaction.

Some Thoughts

Donald Trump Jr has posted some ideas for maintaining/protecting the freedom of speech of us American citizens that his father, former President Donald Trump (R) has for 2024. He’s on the right track….

I have some thoughts on some of them.

Regarding Section 230: Social media—Twitter, Facebook, Alphabet—have made themselves into the public square, and with their collusion with the Federal government to censor speech, they’ve made themselves arms of that same Federal government. That’s two ways, each of which alone is determinative, in which social media have demonstrated their lack of need and forfeited their “right” to protection under Section 230.

Government-Tech Censorship?

In his op-ed concerning social media censorship, Philip Hamburger, Columbia Law School Maurice & Hilda Friedman Professor of Law, had this:

Amid growing revelations about government involvement in social-media censorship, it’s no longer enough to talk simply about tech censorship. The problem should be understood as gov-tech censorship.

He’s on the right track, but he doesn’t take it far enough, even as he writes this:

The Biden White House has threatened tech companies and federal agencies have pressed them to censor disfavored opinions and users.

That’s the nub of the matter. It’s not gov-tech censorship; it’s Government-directed tech censorship. Nothing less.

How to Save Twitter and Democracy

Mark Weinstein, founder of Twitter-competitor MeWe, wrote a Sunday Wall Street Journal op-ed on this subject; he suggested a number of “fixes” that Twitter owner Elon Musk should implement to save Twitter—and Weinstein’s conception of “democracy.” These are:

…immediately create an advertiser content-preference system. Allow advertisers to select the tenor and topical content that their ads are associated with….

Only if Twitter users can have access to the system and to which advertisers sign up for which censorship. That way, we can block the ads from Woke or otherwise too thin-skinned advertisers. They will have demonstrated that their products are too fragile for actual usefulness.