Ezra Klein says social media platforms, I beg to differ

As someone who spends a large amount of time online and an even larger amount of time thinking about how social media facilitates bad behavior, I’m always interested in seeing a good faith attempt to discuss the issue and find solutions. Ezra Klein gives it a go in his latest New York Times column and while I think he does a fine job of identifying some of the issues around how social media feeds cancel culture, I don’t think his proposed solutions would solve those issues.

Klein starts by citing…

I will apologize in advance for the length of this post, this particular controversy has quite a few layers to unpack and I have strong opinions on all of them.

Over the past week, there has been a fair amount of grousing from progressive writers over their newfound knowledge that certain writers got financial deals from Substack to start their newsletters. Most of the complaints were sour grapes dressed up as outrage, ranging anywhere from “why is Substack paying THOSE writers and not me?” to “why is Substack giving THOSE writers a platform at all?” This whole sour grapes/outrage cycle…

Certain sectors of the media have become obsessed with a haunting fear — the fear that someone is having a private conversation somewhere on the internet.

The platform bearing the brunt of the current panic is the new social media app Clubhouse, an invitation-based platform that as of now is only available on iOS devices. Despite the platform not even being a year old yet, it currently has an evaluation of $1 billion and has attracted a sizable amount of press attention. The concept behind the platform is simple; it’s an audio-only platform that allows users to create “rooms” that…

A handy primer to prepare you for the Section 230 debate

Over the past year a cottage industry of sorts has spring up — horribly bad, incorrect op-eds about the purpose of Section 230 and why it needs to be repealed. I don’t mean the op-eds get the technicalities of the law wrong, I mean the writers misinterpret the law entirely or create elaborate strawmen in order to make a case for repealing Section 230.

In the spirit of once again offering an explanation of what Section 230 is, why it exists, and what it does and does not do…

To effectively debunk disinformation, you need to know why it persists

In the wake of the 2020 general election, there has been an ongoing conversation about disinformation and how best to combat it. The answer to the question seems simple — when you see disinformation simply correct it with factual info and the issue will resolve itself once enough people see that info. Surely people would appreciate being informed of their mistake and welcome the correction, right?

Anyone who has spent any time attempting to combat disinformation is having a sad chuckle right now.

Attempts to understand why debunking disinformation isn’t an easy task focus on concepts like confirmation bias and…

The Fairness Doctrine is coming back into fashion again — that should worry everyone who cares about free speech

Anand Girdharades asked on Twitter if Fox News should be allowed to exist. Alex Stamos questioned why cable service providers would keep broadcasting Newsmax and OAN after the Capitol riot. Max Boot wrote a piece for the Washington Post calling on Biden to “reinvigorate” the FCC in order to reign in Fox News, stopping just short of calling for the Fairness Doctrine to be reinstated. On MSNBC, Mika Brzezinski accused Facebook of “destroying the country”, with Joe Scarborough adding that “The algorithms at Facebook actually promote this extremism.”

Ladies and gentlemen, calls for censorship are coming back into vogue.


January 20th did not go as expected — and that’s a good thing

(photo credit Alex Wong / Getty Images)

January 20th, 2021 may go down in history as one of the most oddly extraordinary days in US history, notable for both what did and did not happen.

The day started with Donald Trump, who in his final tweet announced that he would not be attending the inauguration of Joe Biden, held a sparsely attended farewell rally at Joint Base Andrews. To the roughly 300 people in attendance, Trump vowed that “we will be back in some form” along with…

Some of the women on Bumble engaged in trickery to find Capitol riot attendees — was that a good idea?

In the wake of the Capitol riot an odd controversy emerged that blurred the line between cancel culture and the legitimate seeking of justice involving, of all things, the dating app Bumble.

Some background for those of you who don’t know what Bumble is — it is the Sadie Hawkins dance of dating apps. The location-based service is centered around the women using it; in potential heterosexual matches, only the woman is allowed to make initial contact. The app offers various ways to filter the results it presents, one of those filters being political orientation. …

The social media landscape has been changing dramatically in the wake of the Capitol riot. Donald Trump has either temporarily or permanently lost every social media account he had, Twitter has mass deleted over 70,000 accounts that promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory, but the most controversial decision has been the deplatforming of the social media app Parler.

On January 8th, it was announced that Apple had given Parler 24 hours to submit a content moderation policy or the company would remove the Parler app from the App Store. Google followed suit, removing the app from the Google Play store the…

Trump finally gets the banhammer, but the reasoning should concern everyone

January 8th, 2021 will be remembered as the end of an era — on that day Twitter finally decided to permanently suspend Donald Trump and delete his entire Twitter history.

I am fine with Twitter’s decision to ban Trump — he had it coming and would have likely been banned soon after leaving office — but I find the rationale for banning him now a bit disturbing. …

Jen Monroe

Libertarian podcaster and writer, alleged influencer, prolific tweeter — I deal in politics, the news cycle, and weird internet drama

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