YouTube, Facebook and other tech giants shouldn’t have unlimited control over user content

Important read from a Facebook friend.

The Tech giants are private companies and can decide who can use their networks and how.

I disagree.

For over 100 years the phone company had similar technical capabilities as these internet companies. We did not allow them to use these capabilities and would have considered it criminal and scandalous to do so.

AT&T could easily have:
– Listened to content
– Recorded Calls
– Sold info about you to advertisers
– Given all your calls to government prosecutors without a warrant
– Tracked your whereabouts and pieced together an investigative profile of you
– Set out rules for what you can and cannot say.
– Selected a favored political ideology and decided, for example, that only one party can make campaign calls
– Provided assistance to a political party, such as data on when best to call or which calls were more likely to be fruitful
– Decided that only favored people could use their network for profit, while others were limited to personal use.
– Banned people from the network entirely

ALL of these and more, were within the technical capabilities of the phone companies. But they were never used. Not even criminals were banned from the network.

In return the phone companies were given limited liability for content: They could not be sued for allowing criminals to plan crimes over their network.

The internet is now a utility. Con Edison doesn’t get to ban the KKK from using their electric network. If the KKK commits a crime, the govt, and not vendors, steps in to limit rights and impose criminal or civil penalties. FedEx can’t scan my boxes, collect data on me and sell that to advertisers.

Companies have fiduciary responsibilities – that is they are given technical capabilities needed to perform functions, but where those capabilities can lead to their personal gain or other uses outside of an agreed to scope, they are legally obligated to limit their use of those capabilities. The bank can’t sell my transaction data or insider trade based on what they learned.

These separations are vital and not at all new. The tech giants are hardly the first or only companies to have more data and capabilities than we want used. We limit others as a matter of routine. It’s the other side of the argument – “if the tech giants want to use our civil network, such as our police, courts, infrastructure, then they have to abide by our rules”.

Without this, bedlam would ensue. What if the electric company was Republican and decided that it wouldn’t service Google. “Hey, the electric company is a private enterprise.” You see? It would never end. These powers we cede to courts and political institutions with checks and balances. Those are hard enough to control.

Letting the tech Giants ban people should not be allowed.

This entry was posted in Media, Politics, The Culture, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to YouTube, Facebook and other tech giants shouldn’t have unlimited control over user content

  1. Lucille says:

    This person’s reasoning seems sound. Congress needs to get off the stick and handle this in a much more timely manner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • stella says:

      I didn’t put his name in the post, but he’s an owner of pizza restaurants in Atlanta.


    • stella says:

      More thoughts:

      Thoughtful analysis about the difference between a publisher and a platform. Can the phone company revoke service from political opponents? If social media censor opponents then they are publishers and not platforms. Publishers can be held liable for illegal content. But these companies have secured waivers from such liabilities, arguing they are platforms.

      So which is it. They want it both ways.

      Basically, the whole “they are private companies” argument falls short. Again, can the phone company decide it will no longer give service to Republicans? It’s a private company too.


  2. nyetneetot says:

    For over 100 years the phone company had similar technical capabilities as these internet companies. We did not allow them to use these capabilities and would have considered it criminal and scandalous to do so.

    AT&T could easily have:

    Oddly enough it’s a list of things acutely done by the phone companies and their employees’.

    From my dealings with the local and national providers from the late 80’s and early 90’s for business services trying to run a multiline BBS and consulting business, my opinion is that things are less structured and controlled now then back then. The costs are nothing now compared to back then too.

    Rather than demand the government force companies to follow the law, they should defend companies wanting to compete and provide an alternate service. Get the tech company lobbyists out of there and roll back the sponsored regulations. Let the free market handle it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lovely says:

    I have to argue with the foundation of his argument. From AT&T back to Ma Bell there is a fundamental legal difference between a phone company and a social network.

    On Facebook, Twitter and all of the other various social network platforms there is for a reasonable man no expectation of privacy. On the phone there is an expectation of privacy. (Yes I am aware with technological advances some of the upper echelons of “citizen protectors” are arguing that there should be no expectation of privacy anywhere. But that is a whole other conversation.

    If the FBI, local LE, your neighbor, your friends, your family or your co-worker wants to know how you think about spinach all that he has to do is look you up on social media.

    What about phone calls.

    4 brief points of legal differences and stands.

    1) Legally any branch of LE must obtain a warrant to listen in on your phone conversation

    2) Legally your neighbor cannot listen in on your conversation, perhaps they can hear your end if you’re outside or in some other situation but your neighbor hearing your conversation is solely up to you. And if they do hear your conversation they do not hear the person you are talking to unless you have on speaker phone. So it is vey reasonable to except privacy in your phone calls.

    3) You are generally engaging one on one in private when you are on your phone, most people if not all who post on social media do so to engage with many people an “audience” this immediately changes the legal tone of the content.

    4) If you conspire to commit a crime or talk about a crime you already committed over the phone you are doing so in the expectation of privacy, if you conspire to commit a crime on social media or admit to a crime that you committed there is no warrant read what you posted, you are breaking the law and putting your lawlessness on public display.

    Straight to jail do not pass Go.

    Anyhow I have to hit the sack but I do agree with the larger point, SCOTUS ruled that the internet is a Utility and with that ruling should come some limits on what privately owned companies can do with the information that they are privy to, information that is not put in the public forum by a user.

    As to not being allowed to ban people because the owner of the company doesn’t like certain people’s views I cannot exchange one right for another. I don’t think anyone who doesn’t want to bake a wedding cake for a gay wedding should have to bake the cake. I don’t think a restaurant owned by BLM cretins should have to serve food to white people, let the marketplace decide viability.

    I hate what is happening on social media and I clearly see the Orwellian road where the Leftists censorship is leading us. But I have serious doubts that the way to fix the problem is to force a company to allow this person or that person to utilize their sire. We are at a precarious place in history and we will be judged and condemned or celebrated by future generations for what we doing these days.

    The real answer is a media which will give conservatives a voice like Twitter and Facebook does for liberals.

    I pray it happens, hey we have President Trump, kicking ass every single day, for no other reason than he loves America, Americans, and his family. Our country could be dead, our freedoms completely gone, a true oligarchy in place, we could be locked away in “Clinton Cognitive Reform Camps”.

    We beat that dog back by 74 electoral votes.

    If we could defeat the Clinton, Obama, Soros Cabal in 2016 we damn well better be ready to beat back Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg. Those two didn’t get where they are by being cerebral or financial nincompoops, they know how the real world works and I’m willing to bet they also aren’t willing to lose their fortunes by destroying the people who’ve kept their lights on. Most of their strikes have been precision blows, they are too afraid to give real power to the monster they have been feeding for the last years. Dorsey and Zuckerberg have no desire to be dragged from their cozy lives and slaughtered Gaddafi style. These men are doing a balancing act, living out their liberal views while knowing that they themselves are the antithesis of the mob they have enacted. There is a reason both men live behind walls.

    If an earthly day of reckoning comes in the way of street justice, Dorsey and Zuckerberg know very well it will not be the Right dragging them from their guided lives it will be the very people which Dorsey, Zuckerberg, Clinton, Soros, Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Waters created.

    Frankenstein knows very well the awesome deadly power of his monster and he is the most terrified of all.

    Yes the deck is stacked against us, yes Twitter & Facebook have done terrible invasive things that are immoral and is certainly in murky legal water, yes Jack and Mark love liberals using their media and hate Patriots using their media, but I have news for you folks they need us far more than we need them. If not why are any of us allowed to remain? I’m shadow banned on Twitter. I’m sure many of you are also. I don’t post political thing on FB so I’m probably not on the radar there.

    ”We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard.” __Voltaire

    I pray that I am on God’s side, I choose to the best of my abilities to do what is right, I know that Dorsey, Zuckerberg, Clinton, Soros, Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Waters are not on God’s side.

    1 Corinthians 13;13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
    But the greatest of these is love.

    We will not lose to those who have no love in their hearts it is an impossibility.

    “Put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry!”__ William Blacker


  4. lovely says:

    The Liberals are terrified, they are corners and they only have so much fight power because of the limitations of the horse they have backed.

    Sorry Charlie you lose.

    Remember a scared animal is always at its most dangerous when it is corned. Candace will go down as a heroine 😉.

    Facebook, Twitter, Instagram can’t get rid of this meme fast enough.

    BOOM! GIULIANI: “This Case Isn’t Going to Fizzle, It’s Going to BLOW UP ON THEM! There’s a LOT MORE to What They Did That Nobody Knows About Yet! “

    We went 5 for 5 yesterday folks.


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