Hacker News Re-Imagined

Right or Left, You Should Be Worried About Big Tech Censorship [Cory Doctorow]

1 hour ago

Created a post 122 points @DiabloD3 • 5 comments

Right or Left, You Should Be Worried About Big Tech Censorship [Cory Doctorow]

@SpywareThrow 1 hour

Replying to @DiabloD3 🎙

This is a ridiculous take. You will get censored no matter how much you try to “talk” about it. You’re dealing with people who will nod, say uh huh, and carry on doing what they were doing regardless of what’s written.

Nothing has really been accomplished in the last decade. It’s a one way ticket to surveillance and censorship.

Reply


@Nursie 20 minutes

Replying to @DiabloD3 🎙

>First of all, the internet’s “marketplace of ideas” is severely lopsided at the platform level

The marketplace of ideas itself has been show to be a bust in recent years, IMHO.

Better ideas, better models of truth and reality don't win out. People have not shown themselves interested in intellectual debate or argument. We do not see the 'best' ideas rise to the top. And before anyone asks who I am to judge the best ideas, I'll answer - nobody, but I can see that factually incorrect, scientifically illiterate, conspiratorial, harmful crank ideas gain legs in the online world we've created. Often at the root of these is a profit motive.

Is censorship the best way to deal with it? Probably not. But we do need to recognise this as a problem as well as getting het up about giant internet platforms deplatforming people.

Reply


@rektide 50 minutes

Replying to @DiabloD3 🎙

I tend to agree with this article: we all should be worried about being dependent on having only a few core systems where speech happens, especially when network effect & switching costs are very very high.

I believe platforms have the right to moderate themselves as they see fit. They get that freedom, and we're better for letting private systems regulate themselves. Or, (as mentioned) as Twitter is floating, creating an “app store for moderation”, making moderation an interoperable layer rather than integrated.

And I agree with where Cory eventually brings the discussion to: what makes everything all feel so impossible is that switching costs are astronomical. If we leave the one network our friend is on we lose all digital connection with that friend, lose the view we'd get of them interacting with others. Competitive Compatibility is needed, to let us allow private companies to create their own rules, but to not keep each of us restrained & restricted within a handful of supersized networks.

Reply


@jsnell 17 minutes

Replying to @DiabloD3 🎙

This all sounds very nice, but there's a bit of sleight of hand here since the article goes out of its way to avoid details. That way everyone reads into exactly what they want, and it's totally non-obvious whether this is actually a workable proposal or not.

But what's the concrete proposal here? How would things actually work? Will the services be forced to accept whatever unmoderated feed of filth the linked to service sends their way? If not, how is this supposed to fix the moderation problem?

How are you supposed to link together applications with totally different data, interaction, and identity models? Obviously you couldn't link e.g. say Discord to Instagram and have the interactions between the systems make any sense. Are we just going to have a predefined ontology of possible social networkign apps, populated with the currently existing models, and define an API for all of then? When and how does that ontology get redefined? Or define a single lowest common denominator covering everything? What happens with features that don't fit into the models? They're entirely forbidden? They need to go through a multi-year public review bureacracy?

Who exactly will be forced to interoperate, and who gets a free pass?

Reply


@s9w 14 minutes

Replying to @DiabloD3 🎙

No. Only the right gets censored, so the left reinforces this whenever they can

Reply


@croes 1 hour

Replying to @DiabloD3 🎙

I think that's why Cyberpunk as a fictional genre is dead, it's too real.

Reply


@mindslight 40 minutes

Replying to @DiabloD3 🎙

The real threat of big tech censorship is that it is priming governments with an expectation that all online communication can (and therefore should) be policed - the exact opposite of the decentralized permissionless Internet dream. The longer they maintain bearable levels of censorship, the longer governments have to cozy up to the idea and expect to apply it to communications technology that lacks the centralization vulnerability. So ultimately, the faster Big Tech implodes and goes the way of Digg, the better. We should cheer when they stay well ahead of what governments even want to censor - it makes it clear they are more like TV channels than letting them claim to represent "the Internet".

Reply


@daenz 1 hour

Replying to @DiabloD3 🎙

Take what you support and imagine it used against you in the worst possible ways. Do you still support it? If yes, then it is worth supporting. If it's not, then maybe you're only supporting it because of who it currently helps or harms. This exercise also works with things that you don't support.

Reply


@renewiltord 1 minute

Replying to @DiabloD3 🎙

Nah, I’m actually totally on board with big tech censorship so long as the government doesn’t act as an authority to fuse censorship across all platforms and instead acts to ensure that cartelized blackballing doesn’t happen I.e. a ban from Facebook shouldn’t cause an auto-ban from Twitter.

Otherwise, I don’t care. Kick me off your platform. It’s your house and you have a right to not share it with me.

Reply


@drstewart 27 minutes

Replying to @DiabloD3 🎙

It was certainly weird to see all the "they're private businesses, they can do what they want!" takes from the internet when Trump and Parler were banned, after the same people have been yelling for years that these same corporations have too much power over the public narrative.

Reply


@LatteLazy 55 minutes

Replying to @DiabloD3 🎙

There are really 2 options here:

1. Live with the first amendment at section 230 as. That means things stay mostly the same. Big tech will continue to censor too many of the things I like and too few of the things I don't like. And we wait for the pre-internet generation to die off and be replaced so society can progress.

2. Restrict the 1st and force fact checking, fairness, neutrality, etc. This would get us back to a functional media/societal/democratic state a lot faster. But it would require pretty radical change. Also, the biggest losers wouldn't be big tech. They would be Fox news and similar orgs.

I don't see any other option here. I don't see that "regulating" (wtf that means, different things to different people for sure) Facebook but not Fox is productive or fair or possible even really.

Personally, I don't trust the current system to do anything other than beat tech companies with a stick for no reason but that they exist and don't pay enough in "lobbying". I don't see Fox or similar, much bigger propaganda/censorship orgs being touched. Certainly not on a bipartisan basis (and that's what's needed to do more than sneeze in Washington).

So here we are, and I am glad the right and left and (stupidly) fighting each other...

Thanks for reading, you may now downvote these inconvenient truths...

Reply


@jacob2484 23 minutes

Replying to @DiabloD3 🎙

The people on the "right side of history" are usually fighting for freedom and liberty, not censorship and re-education camps

Reply


About Us

site design / logo © 2021 Box Piper