Twitter vs. Parler

On June 24th, Devin Nunes’ defamation case against Twitter, for the insults he received on that site at the hands of “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow,” was dismissed. Devin Nunes sought to hold Twitter to account as the “content provider” in this case, despite the fact that existing laws dictate that an online social platform is not a content provider where members post data, unless they are party to that information’s creation. The court also found that the allegation that conservatives (here on out, note “conservatives” are not actually conservatives, but what’s left of the GOP that uses the label) or any other class of people were treated differently by Twitter was without basis.

Having lost his case, Nunes began anew a campaign to encourage his followers to leave twitter and join the competing site Parler. Not only did Nunes undertake this encouragement of conservatives to exit the platform, so did many GOP politicians and talking heads starting on June 25th.

Now, I cannot say this concerted effort was a planned event. I cannot say it was anything more than sheer coincidence, or a cattle line, “Me too!” follow. I can say the Trump Campaign weighed in on the same day, the 24th, about moving to alternate social platforms; specifically Parler. So there’s that.

It is clear, the leaders of the GOP insanity are desperate to maintain their sway over the cult at any cost. The news is getting worse, the facts more difficult to avoid, and the eventuality on the horizon has become impossible to avert. Donald Trump will lose the election…by a lot. Therefore, it has become very important to maintain control of the message, and Parler promises less oversight or fiddling in “conservative” affairs. The GOP Hippocratic oath has come into play: “Do harm to protect your personal interests.” It’s every man for himself. The whole “don’t wear masks, it’s a liberal ploy,” just isn’t panning out on Twitter.

To Parler we go!!!

Nevermind the absurdly competing notions of seeking to hold a social platform to account for content, and simultaneously tout the virtues of a social platform that promises to not censor content. Wait, we’re supposed to lament the lack of accountability and also champion the lack of accountability? Yes.

I can tell you with certainty, as is, there will never be a noteworthy presence of liberals on Parler. For the most part, it is exactly what groups other than conservatives, trolls, and conspiracy theorists DO NOT want in a social platform.

On paper, Parler is not all that different from Twitter. Conceptually, it’s the same thing. You have to lift up the hood to see the differences, aside from the cosmetic. The real-life experience on Parler is, you can get away with a lot more inflammatory language then you could on Twitter (F-bombs, smack-talking, trolling, and utter nonsense ’til the cows come home) Update-I got banned. Parler is not about free speech, as noted here.

I could go over each individual difference in the User agreement and TOS, because it is true, there are differences to be found. This is not an exact and entirely complete list.

What is prohibited:

First, let me say, there is no legal power or immunity an online platform can grant you in the face of the law. There is no legal protection in what is allowed and what isn’t on a social platform. Therefore, that Parler decided, for whatever reason, to state several types of felonies that would not be acceptable, does not imply that other felonies are A OK. It simply doesn’t matter what their stance is. Similarly, and the GOP seem to have a great deal of trouble understanding this, we *do not* have all of our constitutional rights on a social platform. We don’t. We do not have a right to free speech, we do not have a right to assemble as we see fit. We have very little in the way of “rights”. What we do have is an agreement, that we are agreeing to when we log on, whether we have read the agreements or not.

TwitterParler
Threaten violence against groups or individualsxx
Glorify violencexx
May not promote terrorismxonly of US identified groups
Targeted harassment or incite others to itx
Promote hate speechxx
Suicide or self-harmx
Sensitive media (porn violence)xx
Doxxingxx
Non consensual nudityx
Spamxx
Platform manipulation (bots)x
Interfere manipulate civic processes (voting)x
Impersonation, deceptionxx
Synthetic manipulated mediax
Unsolicited advertisementsxx
Hateful imagery (swastika)xonly of US identified groups
Inciting fearx
Slurs, epitaphs, racist or sexist tropesx
User name squattingx
Copyright infringementxx
User consents to royalty free use by servicexx
Access to A Pi’s via application processx
Libel defamationnot specifically mentionedx
Blackmail extortion bribery criminal solicitationnot specifically mentionedx
Child sexual exploitationnot specifically mentionedx
May be terminated for any reason or no reasonnot mentionedx
Forced arbitration?x
Forced no class action?x
Forced indemnification, you pay services expenses?Developers onlyx
Share information about you to third partiesxx

Furthermore, even in Twitter’s extremely thorough agreements, they state that even if they change the agreements, they will not enforce changes retroactively. Guess what, they could change the agreement to say they are now allowing new rules to be enforced retroactively. Twitter or Parler could unceremoniously kick your ass out for any reason or no reason at all. Even though only Parler’s agreement says they can do that, the fact that it isn’t delineated in Twitter’s agreement, doesn’t alter the fact they can do it.

Most of the similarities or differences in Twitter and Parler’s agreements don’t really matter. There are a few…that really, really do matter quite a bit.

Parler’s CEO John Maetz answer to censorship is: “I don’t see why you need to censor the president’s tweets,” he said. “If you don’t like what he has to say, vote him out of office.”

*Bots. Not allowed on twitter (of course they exist). Not disallowed on Parler. Which, in this case, with their 30 man workforce, implies no effort will be made to locate them. The opposite is true. On Parler, you are encouraged to use a govt. issued ID to prove you *are not* a bot.

*Interference in civic processes. This means anything to interfere: such as mislabeling or purposeful misinformation. (wrong place to vote, wrong time to vote, incorrect requirements, incorrect candidate information, etc.) Strictly not allowed on Twitter. No mention on Parler.

*Synthetic or manipulated data. Strictly not allowed on Twitter. No mention on Parler.

Take these 3 items as a whole, and there’s potential to do a lot of harm. Post manipulated data concerning candidates, elections, or any civic process (fake, altered vids or soundtracks, faked documentation), get some groovy hashtags to identify it, employ an army of bots to amplify it, and ka-boom. Mass confusion and misinformation.

To conservatives this would be representative of the “Marketplace of ideas,” to be voted on for truthiness in the town square. An expression of our First Amendment rights. It may not be real or true, but it’s right.

Recently there was an interesting story on “Last Week Tonight,” highlighting Kpop’s efforts to not only undermine the Trump Campaign’s reservation system, but to also drown out the #whitelivesmatter hashtag to the point where it was unintelligible and meaningless. It’s neat. But, if the answer to contrary ideas or downright misinformation, like that which is allowed on Parler, is to drown the internet into meaninglessness, I have to wonder if we are reaching the event horizon of the Internet’s “Golden Age.” I’m exaggerating a little, but not much.

*Forced Arbitration. Not on Twitter. Yes on Parler.

*No Class-action lawsuits. Not on Twitter. Yes on Parler.

*Forced indemnification. Not on Twitter. Yes on Parler.

These three together pretty much means, Parler is not going to be responsible for anything. If you manage to file a successful claim against them, your only recourse is forced arbitration. Not only that, you are going to pay for their legal expenses if anyone drags them into court regarding content you upload. You may not form a class against them. Their interests are your sole interest.

In this light, moving to Parler in response to Twitter’s “lack of accountability,” is laughable.

I do think we need some really carefully crafted laws in place to protect both online social platforms, content providers, and services. This is becoming unavoidable.

It is also evident that what remains of the GOP cannot get out of their own way. They want to live in a fact free social world of strong feelings. They want lies and misinformation to be worth the same as truth and facts to the point where everything becomes meaningless. They want social media companies to be policemen of constitutional rights that do not exist. It doesn’t make any sense.

Parler’s community is so lopsided, their CEO. is offering any high profile liberal $20,000 to make a home there. Go ahead take the money and run because Parler, as it stands, will never be anything other than an echo chamber for the delusional, profoundly misguided, and the dregs of society. This does not mean that Twitter is perfect, they are not, but in the current undefined environment, they are doing acceptably well enough.

********

As a side note, I’ve had 3 accounts perma-banned on Twitter. I know why- I broke the rules. That’s life and I ain’t crying about it.

*******

PS: checked in on Parler after posting this. This appears to be an actual “tweet” in Parler from the CEO:

I’m not entirely sure what he is threatening here, but there are so many things wrong with this. The arbitrary nature of this post, its seeming threat of action from a company officer in public space, and its apparent buy-in to Donny’s fever dream regarding a terrorist designation, indicates a really creepy future for Parler. To me, there is no facade now.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw Incites Violence Against Rep. Ilhan Omar

It’s just a sensational headline. That’s all.

“Some people did something.” What kind of a monster would put those four words together in the same sentence?

Honestly, Dan is merely a truth-teller. He’s just pointing out facts. I mean, come on! tweeting this factual representation of Omar’s obvious implication, isn’t any attempt to influence white nationalists in the least bit. It’s not like the GOP is perpetually trying to fabricate narratives about Rep. Omar. Nope. Nevah!

Everyone knows, if Omar uses the inartful pronoun “Some people” with the nondescriptive “something,” she clearly means that she doesn’t consider the 9/11 attacks to be an act of terrorism. That goes without saying. Coming from the same Dan Crenshaw that continually touts self-accountability and anti-aggrievement politics, there must be something that set Dan off in Omar’s statement aside from what could be cast as childish, idiotic inferences.

I wonder if it was this that set him off?

Dan isn’t an Islamophobe or a xenophobe. That wouldn’t be a fair inference to make. He just happened to be an administrator of an 90k strong, islamophobe and conspiracy theory Facebook group for 4 months before the election. He withdrew his membership after his role was reported on, so what’s the problem. As Dan said himself,

“They contacted me once and said they’d sign me up as an admin, in case I ever wanted to post,” said Crenshaw, who removed himself from the group after Newsweek contacted him. “I quickly forgot about the page and never saw it again. How exactly is this news?”

It would be unfair to make any such connection. Just because he associated himself with that group, that doesn’t mean we should associate him with that group. Am I right?

Or, just because he implied to his followers that some state laws which allowed some undocumented immigrants to vote in rare state or local situations, meant that the Democrats wanted to flood the system to vote in federal elections, that doesn’t mean he is misrepresenting the truth to his followers, even if they pick up the clear implication. That’s their bad.

Dan is just a messenger.

There couldn’t be anything wrong with Dan pushing the fabricated “Omar is anti-Semitic” narrative. That won’t rile up the cult at all for sure.

Everyone knows Dan is speaking from a position of moral superiority. His viewpoints are unaffected from any outside influences. He is a champion of the right to free speech, except in the case to speak against the Israeli-Palestinian situation. That particular right should not exist according to Dan, unless we are 100% behind Israel. His trip to Israel, paid for by AIPAC, is a clear sign Dan is not being unduly influenced by anyone, even if they are the very group Ilhan Omar singled out as example of the influence of PACs on our political system, which is obviously an anti-Semitic stance for her to take. Everyone knows that.

So, like Dan- I’m just saying. I’m not implying anything, that’s entirely up to you. If something were to happen to Rep. Ilhan Omar, that totally wouldn’t have anything to do with Dan Crenshaw.

Fox News Gives Twitter the Silent Treatment

Fox News hasn’t posted to twitter for around a day and a half.  Many of the sub accounts, like business, Fox and Friends, and individuals do continue to post to twitter.  Supposedly, this is some type of silent protest from the parent account, to Twitter’s handling of some pretty nasty tweets concerning Tucker Carlson after his house had a late night visit by some folks with a bullhorn.  Several tweets included Carlson’s home address and Fox alerted twitter of this, but apparently those tweets have not been removed.

I have no idea if all of this story is correct because it hasn’t been verified by Fox News itself, but…

Look.  I don’t think this kind of stuff is a “matter of opinion,” no more than dealing with the insanity of the Trump administration is an “interesting political debate.”  I support giving public figures a hard time in public spaces, sans anything physical.  That’s as far as I’d go.  A large group of people showing up at someones home with a bullhorn at night when there’s likely kids inside, yelling “We know where you live,” nah man.  That ain’t okay.

Some people are pointing out Christine Ford is basically on the run and can’t report to work because of all the crazies chasing her and threatening her life.  Therefore, Carlson has it coming too because he demonized her.  No.  That’s not how it works.  We don’t stand for either situation.  We don’t allow either.  It’s not a matter of degrees where one isn’t nearly as bad as the other.  They are both bad.  We reject this.

I fucking hate Tucker Carlson.  Real, honest-to-goodness hate.  I hate that he profits off of the hate that he spews, but we cannot allow this to be the norm.  There’s no end to allowing this.  To do so makes no more sense than the “Good guy with a gun/bad guy with a gun” argument.  They’re all shooting guns with the intent to kill someone.  It’s all bad.

April 13, 2018

Resignation.  Not Trump’s.  Our resignation to an unstoppable constitutional crisis.

Trump pardons Scooter Libby for his part in the Bush Administration’s smear campaign against anyone who dare stand between them and their holy war against Iraq.  The Trump administration paints the special counsel who had charged Libby as being “out of control.”  Never mind an “out of control” special counsel would have fought to get the true source of the smear campaign, Dick Cheney, as the architect of the outing of Valerie Plame; this sudden need to pardon Libby is a message to both the FBI and potential witnesses against Trump, that he’s going to “fix” everything.

This administration is in as disgusting a situation as the Bush Administration was and fighting with equal passion to preserve their perverse desires with the pretense they are serving the nation’s interests.  Neither administration was, and both suffer from the obvious truth of their motivations.  In the current case, we have at least the potential to right the wrongs before they happen, instead of wringing our hands after the fact.

The idiot battlefield is set as nearly all parties involved prefer to head to a constitutional crisis as the ideal way to string along a battle between the administration’s self interests and the Country’s needs.  Mitch McConnell has not signaled he is interested as of yet, in protecting the Mueller investigation, and even if the bipartisan bill to protect Mueller gets to the floor of the Senate, it would never pass the gauntlet of the cult members in the House.  Mueller himself is constrained by what he may or may not do and what little time he has left in which to do it.  The FBI will have it’s own legal battles with the administration’s efforts to suppress information gathered in the warrants served on Michael Cohen.

There’s nothing much left, but to wait for the first domino now.  It’s all ridiculous and we saw this day coming from a long time ago.  It speaks to the ideological weakness of the GOP that they are so easily manipulated by their selfish interests for power; it does so now as it did in Bush’s tenure.  Were it not for the Supreme Court weighing in with their idiot ruling on the Florida recounts of Bush v Gore, we’d be living in a different world right now.  Were it not (probably) for idiot Comey deciding it was his duty to throw a monkey wrench in the Clinton v Trump election, again…we’d be living in a different world.

I’m not going to pretend a Clinton presidency wouldn’t be one Congressional investigation after another (because it would have been), but at least we’d have a fully functioning and non-batshit crazy administration and all arms of government working as they should.  The economy would have been in exactly the same place and the world wouldn’t be sick of us.  Tax reform could have still passed in Clinton’s second year, but sans the free corporate handjob.  The ACA would have been fixed.  The DACA situation wouldn’t exist.  TPP probably would have been revisited, but it would have been with a plan.  Oh hell we could go on forever about what would be.

This is where we are.  Everyone is just waiting for the first domino.  We all want utter destruction now.  Just go ahead and fucking do it.  Let’s take our fucking cues and get out on the idiot stage.  Everyone that should have power to do anything is feigning powerlessness.  So let’s go.

The midterms can’t come fast enough.  Let’s just hope the Twitterer-in-Chief doesn’t kill us all before then.

What Trump Really Cares About

I presume tomorrow, Sunday 4/8, Trump will spend some unexpected “executive time,” extolling the virtues of Trump properties.

The Trump brand was the only thing that ever mattered to Trump.  Trump and the Trump brand are inseparable.  Trump is the Trump brand.  He’s to be lauded with praise for that creation.

This fire, it is unusual, isn’t it?  Two fires at NY Trump Tower so far this year and that directly impacts the Trump brand.  People will start asking questions.  Some wild theories will be developed no doubt.  We needn’t dabble in that.  If something emerges….fine.

The most important thing to look for is how this affects the madman in the White House.  Someone probably needs to be punished for the tarnishing of his brand.  The Trump brand is not to be questioned.