Saturday, August 18, 2018

Trump Blasts Social Media Censorship

President Trump sent out these tweets this morning:

This is going to be a dilemma for those who have said that social media companies are not private
organizations but arms of the government because of the government influence at the companies, since, now, the head of the government is calling for the social media censorship to stop!

Of course, what may be going on here is an internal battle between different forces within the government.

But if this is so. Trump should be focusing on stopping any government entities that are exercising such influence rather than imposing some new layer of government rules on the companies, albeit apparent anti-censorship rules.

Every libertarian should understand that new government rules, regardless of what they are, are eventually captured by the bad guys, that is the nature of government and central power.

If Trump understood this, he doesn't, he wouldn't be considering putting on a new layer of rules. He would instead order all government agencies from doing business with social media companies and pull the plug on government spying with the coerced aid of social media companies.

Free the social media companies from government interference of any kind, only then will we be able to determine if they are acting on their own when it comes to censorship or because of the heavy hand of government on their backbones.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of


  1. --- Every libertarian should understand that new government rules, regardless of what they are, are eventually captured by the bad guys, ---

    Eventually? Oh, that ship already sailed. DJT is now on that stage where he's holding hostages for ransom.

  2. I'm glad that under libertardian economic theory, that leftist have captured these major avenues or methods of publishing and it would be horrible to violate principles against entities that have none. This is why libertardians never win. It's also further proof that culture matters when trying to institute a functional society under a particular philosophy.

  3. This so right. The only intervention we should ever want is no intervention from the government at all.
    Ever. Not only will the bad guys end up using it, the ones using intervention are bad guy too.
    And people who claim to cherish their freedoms and supposedly hate the government are too many times the ones cheering and demanding intervention. We need the FCC! We need troops deployed at the border! Make social media platforms better!
    People who don’t like censorship on social media platforms should build their own platforms.
    Be the alternative.

  4. These entities are fully partnered with the government right down to information sharing and owe their existence to central bank monetary policy. They will never be 'free'. It poses no dilemma to those of us who see them as state partnered entities because there won't be more laws or regulations. Trump won't be able to get them done and the state and those who influence it will simply leverage what sustains the companies. Access to the fed money taps for one to keep doing as they have been.

    The only dilemma is for the companies in choosing what internal faction to obey. They will obey the faction that they decide most insures their future existence. That's unlikely to be Trump.

    As you've pointed out before Trump is amateur hour. That's why he doesn't understand the forces whom these companies serve. If Trump did understand and went after them, well JFK tried that. So either way through ignorance or not, Trump's only avenue is to appeal directly to the public on this issue.

    1. Exactly. Faction is the key here, not gov't per se. Deep Staters like Brennan, Clapper, et al, float freely between public and private entities and use them to claim the moral high ground, appeal to their base, and attack Trump opportunistically. It's laughable to think big tech is being coerced to cooperate with big gov't. They are simply pandering to whomever will protect them and their profits longer term

    2. Re: JJM,

      --- These entities are fully partnered with the government right down to information sharing and owe their existence to central bank monetary policy. ---

      That's a bad argument. It is no different than wielding around the "Ya didn't built that!" canard. Information sharing with government is not voluntary and cannot be construed as voluntary since the state is coercion. If you were to create your own social media company, the mere existence of the state and its threatening nature would make your cooperation with it, rather than your resistance, a better choice.

      You can argue that these companies are overreacting but overreaction is no justification to insinuate that these companies are public and not private.

  5. These companies are breaching contractual relations with their customers by violating the terms of service upon which their customers relied to their detriment. Would strict enforcement of those terms of service against the companies by statute in this government's courts (and which is the government that provides us with its pathetic excuse for a legal system) violate some important principle? Doesn't a free market assume honest dealing between parties?

    I always look to AnCap as my default model. What would happen under AnCap? Why can't we have that now, if only in bits and pieces?

    1. Re: Rob Roddis,

      --- These companies are breaching contractual relations with their customers by violating the terms of service upon which their customers relied to their detriment. ---

      Moral of the story: don't do business with companies you think violated their own terms and conditions other customers relied on to their detriment.

      --- Doesn't a free market assume honest dealing between parties? ---

      No. A free market is a market free from undue hindrances and interventions from government. It doesn't mean all people are going to deal with you honestly, hence the use of touchstones, scales and standardized weights and measures in commerce as verification devices, for centuries. People deal honestly because it is to their advantage (profitable) to maintain a good reputation, especially in an era of instantaneous communications, but that doesn't mean a free market is one devoid of dishonest actors.

  6. For those Libertarians who believe Google, Facebook, Twitter, et al, are private entities and thus can do what they want, I have a question: should they be required to respect their own Terms of Service? Meaning, can they ban a person even if that person can demonstrate that they have not violates the terms of Service? Should they be required to show exactly how the person violated the TOS (which Twitter, et al, rarely do)?

    1. Robert What, I look at the terms of service as being like the sign on someone's property about what you can and cannot do once you enter. The property owner can always change those rules whenever he wants, and can throw someone off the property for any reason. The only question is whether you would have a claim against them for changing the rules or throwing you off arbitrarily. If you haven't paid any money to enter, or otherwise transferred any property to them, in either case relying on their stated terms, then really you have suffered no loss and would have no remedy. On the other hand, if this were a paid service, and they breached their own terms, I would think that you could have a claim to get your money back, as you would have transferred title to your money in reliance on their terms, which they failed to follow, and therefore they would have taken your money without your consent.

  7. TWITTER INSISTS THAT IT IS AN "OPEN FORUM". If they want to announce that in the future, they will be whores for the Deep State, the wars and the CNN line, they are free to do that too. Except they haven't done that.

    In an interview that aired Saturday on CNN, Dorsey said his company has a responsibility to be open about its political viewpoints, but to operate without bias when applying content policies to users.

    "We need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit more left-leaning," Dorsey says.

    "But the real question behind the question is, are we doing something according to political ideology or viewpoints? And we are not. Period," he added.

    Dorsey went on to insist that his company only polices behavior on the platform, not content.

  8. These tech/media social platforms have become so large they are essentially monopolies. No alternatives have a chance to compete in this environment. They should be regulated as public utilities. The TOS for these have been applied so selectively against libertarian and conservative speech and providers while Dems/Antifa are allowed to call for violence!. Shadow banning and outright banning are effectively censorship. The rules must be applied evenly and they must bring proof of violation not just conjecture as in the case of Alex Jones/Infowars - in which the media use their megaphone to allege his wrongdoing without providing actual proof. This can't be allowed to stand as it will give one side (Statist/Deep State/Liberal/Progressives) all the speech and continue to marginalize the opposition. Providers like Alex Jones and others helped build the platforms and now they wish to disappear them to the "memory hole" ala 1984/Big Brother. Social media is the new public square - absent government rules, one side will own it and eventually all allowed thought. Where does it end?

    1. Why not first insist that their terms of service be enforced? Since we are going to have government courts for the time being, why can't libertarians support the "implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing"?
      n. a general assumption of the law of contracts, that people will act in good faith and deal fairly without breaking their word, using shifty means to avoid obligations or denying what the other party obviously understood.

      I maintain these companies have engaged in a clear breach of contract. However, if they think they have some technical excuse for their behavior (they don't), the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing should apply to them.

      If they claim to be neutral forums, then they should incur damages when they violate those terms.

    2. A quick survey of just the history of the tech space (never mind a broader survey of all history) will show that new concepts have been able to eat the lunch of big companies that were once popularly thought to be "so large that they are essentially monopolies."

      Why do you assume that those controlling the government will regulate this space more effectively than competition and consumer choice? You can't complain about "Statist/Deep State/Liberal/Progressives" controlling the media now, and then call for the state, which is "Statist/Deep State/Liberal/Progressive," to make the media more "fair."

      In fact, the one thing which can hinder new competition from arising is state regulation, since it imposes a fixed cost that is easier for the large incumbents to deal with than it is for start-ups to deal with (which is why many large companies often join the call for regulation). If you want to maximize the chances that the current giants of social media are brought down a peg or two, you should call for no regulation, not more regulation.

    3. Bob, under libertarian law, I don't think that there would be any actionable concept of "good faith and fair dealing" without more, by which I mean the law would not recognize the right to use force just for this type of poor behavior, unless there was also loss related to one's property (with respect to which, see my reply to Robert What above).

    4. So, under "libertarian law", you are promised a job and a rent-free house for two years and even send the other party a $100 deposit. The other party signs the contract in blood and swears to abide by it in a video. You spend your last dime traveling thousands of miles to the new job across private AnCap roads. You get to your destination and the other party bursts out laughing, saying it was all a joke just to watch you suffer. He hands you back your $100 which was your only possible damages to be awarded in a breach of contract action in any event. Now, you are broke and nobody will even allow you on their property to return home. Which, by the way, was sold while you were away.

      That vision has all kinds of outreach possibilities to go along with declaring our current government roads and national parks un-owned and thus offering them as places to live for everyone now living in India and Africa. I can see the suburban ladies being really attracted to these visions.

    5. Bob, it's not the job of a political philosophy to protect against counterparty nastiness and/or personal incompetence or naivete. Libertarianism doesn't "promise" to make people nicer or smarter; all it promises is to outlaw the initiation of force. The rest is up to culture, religion, family, education, etc.

      While I'm sure that there are such sadists out there as you describe, in my many years I've never interacted with such a person, and I suspect that they're a tiny minority of humans one might deal with in one's life. Moreover, I don't think it makes sense to try to design a political philosophy to nicely solve all artificially contrived examples, as no philosophy could ever succeed at that task, due to human imperfection and scarcity of resources.