John Roskam: Keep The ACCC Out Of Social Media

Nearly exactly the same things said about social media today could have been said in the middle of the 15th century about the development of movable type and the printing press. People will use books and newspapers to say nasty things about each other; foreign powers will distribute pamphlets to undermine domestic governments with the result that eventually the sources of authority in society will be challenged and even overturned.

Five hundred years ago the Catholic Church could no more hold out against the printing press than can governments and the traditional mainstream media hold out against Facebook and Google and whatever succeeds them.

In a fight between government and technology, in the long run, technology usually wins. The reason technology wins is because the best and most powerful technologies empower individuals – which is precisely why, on the whole, kings and queens in the 15th century and governments in the 21st want to regulate and control technology.

This is the context in which the release last week of the report of the ‘Digital platforms inquiry’ from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission must be seen. The report is just another manifestation of the history-long, never-ceasing attempts of governments and authorities to prevent the spread of whatever it is (usually its ideas and technologies) they believe could damage their own interests.

One of the very few possible justifications for the involvement of the ACCC in the field of social media is to investigate the extent to which the traditional news media is hampered by rules and regulations that don’t apply digital platforms. And related to this is the question of whether Facebook and Google are ‘publishers’ with all the legal liability that entails. These were issues the ACCC largely avoided.

Instead of focussing on these legitimate policy considerations, the ACCC instead spent its time inventing a whole series of new regulatory burdens to be imposed on digital media companies to level the playing field with traditional companies – which is exactly the opposite of what they should have done. Unfortunately no bureaucratic organisation whose entire raison d’etre is the creation and application of regulations will ever recommend doing themselves out of a job.

The ACCC wants a whole series of new powers for itself and other regulators to control the news and opinions citizens have access to, through the ACCC’s oversight of the algorithms determining what users see on their screens. While the manipulation of algorithms of the big technology companies leaves a lot to be desired, the alternative to private companies choosing what citizens see is having the government decide.

The ACCC is absolutely wrong when it claims that ‘high-quality journalism’ is ‘essential for a well-functioning democracy’.

What’s essential for a well-functioning democracy is for individuals to have freedom of speech and freedom of thought. Journalists should have exactly the same freedoms to speak and write as any other citizen. The ‘high-quality journalism’ that the ACCC believes exists is usually simply the left-progressive opinions of journalists working for traditional news media organisations.

Perhaps the worst part of the ACCC report is its attempt to tackle the alleged problem of ‘fake news’ by requiring digital media companies to monitor the spread of ‘disinformation’ on social media. What the ACCC is suggesting is eerily reminiscent of a report into media regulation commissioned by the previous federal Labor government. In 2012 the so-called ‘Finkelstein Inquiry’ recommended that the government appoint a ‘News Media Council’ to regulate the publication and dissemination of news. After a widespread uproar, Labor shelved the idea.

Now just a few years later, the ACCC is back with very similar suggestions and it’s using exactly the same rationale to justify government censorship of the media as that employed in the Finkelstein Inquiry. Apparently, in the words of the ACCC, the spread of digital media content means it is ‘difficult for consumers to ascertain the veracity, trustworthiness and quality of the news and journalism they access online.’

Probably the only worthwhile outcome of the ACCC report is that perhaps unwittingly it highlights the stark choice we face into the future. Either we as individuals decide for ourselves the sources of news and opinion we trust or we leave it to the government and the ACCC to decide for us.

Originally published in the Australian Financial Review.

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52 Responses to John Roskam: Keep The ACCC Out Of Social Media

  1. Iampeter

    The author is on the right side of the issue but for all the wrong reasons.
    There really is no idea about politics these days from anyone claiming to oppose the left.

    I guess that’s how we get to the situation where people attacking socialism have nothing but socialism to offer instead.

  2. bespoke

    You can still hold to principle of small government and not be so dismissive of the the obstacles involved in creating alternatives. One thing the government can do is look into the actual benefit it gets from participating in social media plus how much free advertisement it gives to those companies by doing so.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    Weirdly the printers of the 15thC did not repress everyone who failed to goodthink, destroy anyone who complained and told incessant lies like this bunch do.

    I disagree. Siccing the ACCC, ASIC, HRC and any other woke bunch of alphabet quango-soup onto these totalitarians is the best possible thing. Break them up.

  4. Yes, the printing press is akin to the internet; however, Facebook and Google want to control what is printed. People are angry as they don’t want to be told what they can say, read and watch by the likes of Facebook and Google. While small government is a good thing, it shouldn’t be forgotten that governments are elected by the people to serve the people. If the people are powerless against the likes of Facebook and Google and they want government to do something about it, then the government is obligated to heed the people.

  5. roger

    I agree. Good article, John.
    And as to:

    Iampeter
    #3122227, posted on August 3, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    The author is on the right side of the issue but for all the wrong reasons.
    There really is no idea about politics these days from anyone claiming to oppose the left.

    I agree that, in relation to good governance, the Left has many more ideas, ideals and ideologies than us conservatives . Problem is, they are all shit.

  6. roger

    If the people are powerless against [insert pet peeve of the writer, be it a completely valid one, or some deranged bullshit such as some private companies in the other side of the world are somehow in a position to dictate to people “what they can say, read and watch”] and they want government to do something about it, then the government is obligated to heed the people.

    Spoken like a true Bolshevist.

  7. stackja

    we as individuals decide for ourselves the sources of news and opinion

    I believe, if it is reported by the MSM, it is probably wrong.
    The usual suspect is wrong about the left, the left lie, the left are failures, the left only exist on OPM.

  8. Spoken like a true Bolshevist.

    And what are you?

  9. C.L.

    There is no evidence the Cathokic Church ‘held out against’ the printing press.
    Kind of a dumb analogy.

  10. Chris M

    the printing press is akin to the internet; however, Facebook and Google want to control what is printed

    Yep. Goolug and Faceplant are the lefts Roman Catholic Church.

  11. Chris M

    There is no evidence the Cathokic Church ‘held out against’ the printing press.

    Not so much the printing press itself, they just burnt the Bibles and killed those found with them. Mostly in very gruesome ways, after torturing.

  12. stackja

    Catholic Church in firing line again?

  13. roger

    bemused
    #3122271, posted on August 3, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Spoken like a true Bolshevist.

    And what are you?

    A conservative. (A real one, who believes in small government, not a fake one like you.)

  14. Roger

    What’s essential for a well-functioning democracy is for individuals to have freedom of speech and freedom of thought.

    Yet our education system is working feverishly against both.

  15. LBLoveday

    “(R)equiring digital media companies to monitor the spread of ‘disinformation’ on social media“, is one thing, but when the company itself is creating and spreading falsehoods, there should be government intervention rather than leaving harmed individuals to pursue a remedy that they almost always don’t have the wherewithal to do themselves.

    Google “Blair Cottrell” and Google’s “Knowledge Panel” pops up with the following ‘disinformation”:
    Criminal penalty: Imprisoned and fined on a number of occasions.
    Criminal charge: Human trafficking

    Regardless of what anyone thinks of Cottrell, he has not been charged with, let alone convicted of, human trafficking and it is recklessly wrong for Google to generate and promulgate the ‘disinformation’.

    I notified Google 5 days ago via their “Feedback” button under the “Knowledge Panel”, but it’s still there – why would they care? How many individuals could take Google to court? And Google knows that the Australian government won’t do anything except, maybe, say tut,tut.

  16. A conservative. (A real one, who believes in small government, not a fake one like you.)

    As that old saying goes, ‘The lady doth protest too much, methinks’.

    Only those on the Left are so vociferous at accusing others of being what they are not. You can’t help it, because that’s the nature of the Left.

    Hiding behind a forum name and doing so reinforces your true colours.

  17. roger

    All the posters who complain here about Google are like someone going to a restaurant, doesn’t like the food served, but keeps going to that restaurant, at the same time calling on the Government: “make this restaurant cook better, because I deserve to eat well!”

    Leave those poor bureaucrats called collectively government alone already. (Read previous sentence in the “Leave Brittany Alone!” YouTube video tone.) Don’t like the food in some restaurant? Start your own restaurant, cook at home or switch restaurants!

    What’s so hard about this concept? Is it some idiot like bemused suggesting to you that Google somehow , asome magical influence on you, a’la Hillary’s “the Russians infiltration to Facebook did it”? There is probably no tech company in the world which we cannot live our lives without their services; most of the tech companies just care about little their financial bottom line, and the others have no ability to impinge on our freedom apart from some annoying but harmless virtue-signalling.

  18. The lady is now wailing that no one is listening to her. How twee.

  19. LBLoveday

    Roger wrote: “All the posters who complain here …”

    That includes me, who complained about Google generating a “Knowledge Panel” falsely accusing someone of “Human Trafficking”. Google generated the vile accusation, presumably via one of their “algorithms” – it did not merely allow access to a site making the accusation (and I’ve not been able to find any site making the vile accusation), but created a false panel of “highlights”; it’s all Google’s own work.

    Their falsehood has no “magical influence on” me as I know it is false, but many reading it are likely to accept it as fact.

    And you are ok with that apparently – your analogy to me continuing to patronise a restaurant is nonsense.

  20. Roger

    Roger wrote: “All the posters who complain here …”

    That’s roger with a small r, note.

    This Roger disagrees with roger’s restaurant analogy and agrees with Roskam that the key issue – are Google etc. mere social media platforms or actual publishers who then have to work within a legal framework – has been avoided.

  21. Zatara

    The report is just another manifestation of the history-long, never-ceasing attempts of governments and authorities to prevent the spread of whatever it is (usually its ideas and technologies) they believe could damage their own interests.

    Or more specifically, to exercise a bit of national thought control or mind shaping by only allowing the presentation of govt approved version of news and views via a particular medium.

    “It was the year after the war ended, in 1946, that TV took off in both the US and the UK – in the US through the granting of licenses to commercial interests, and in the UK through the sole agency of the BBC. In Australia, meanwhile, government policy was to investigate overseas developments before proceeding. In June 1948 the Chifley Labor government opted to follow the British model. It agreed, on the basis of advice from the Department of the Postmaster General, which conducted these investigations, to establish a national TV station in each capital city, and publicly invited tenders for the building of the six TV transmitters. Further, the new Broadcasting Act, also passed in 1948, prohibited the granting of commercial TV licenses.”

    From Anne Curthoys in ‘Continuum: The Australian Journal of Media & Culture

  22. Terry

    Whilst Google, Facebook and Co continue to curate content, they choose to operate as “publishers” and should be regulated as such (ie being responsible for content published on their platforms).

    If they prefer the protection of being a common carrier, then they MUST act as such and not dictate, in ANY way, the content carried on that platform.

    This is all very simple.
    1. Company to choose which it is (not both); and
    2. Enforce existing laws based on that decision.

    Nothing else needs to be done. No new boondoggles. Now increased powers. No new/expanded regulation.

    Just stop these companies pretending to be common carriers while acting as publishers. Very, very simple.

  23. LBLoveday

    That’s roger with a small r, note”

    Oops, should have copy and pasted.

    At least there’s only one LBLoveday anywhere that I’ve come across.

  24. roger

    I know it is false, but many reading it are likely to accept it as fact.

    Like the Left’s “we have to block certain opinions, which we define as wrong, because many are likely to accept as right”. (Criticism of Islam, termed by the Left “Islamophobia” and ridiculously enough, “racism”, rings a bell?)
    Nah, I can’t see any dangerous slippery slope there that could lead to the government dictating to individuals which opinions are acceptable and which ones aren’t, such as how, for example, in the USSR being critical of Marxism was defined as a psychiatric problem.
    LBLoveday, you are not, nor should you, anyone in the Left, or anyone in any position of power be in a position to dictate to anyone what they should or should not accept as fact. That should always remain within the agency of the individual in society.

  25. bespoke

    That’s roger with a small r, note.

    And not Roger with a big Rssss. 👍

  26. Howard Hill

    Their falsehood has no “magical influence on” me as I know it is false, but many reading it are likely to accept it as fact.

    You mean like all Australian media outlets do everyday?
    Bullshit is as thick as ever, where ever you look, are we going to go screaming to the state whenever we see or hear it?
    You know we already have laws to protect people from libel.
    And the internet is doing a marvelous job of outing the bullshit artists on its own. Just try spreading bullshit on here and see how far you get. No amount of government interference will stop the blind who refuse to see, ever.

    Leave it alone and the internet will take care of itself. Trump becoming president proves that. Just about every government and media outlet in the world were against him and he prevailed!
    Be careful what you wish for.

  27. Leo G

    There is no evidence the Cathokic Church ‘held out against’ the printing press.

    It did hold out against earlier English-language versions of the Bible- such as the Wycliffe Bible. Later, Tyndale was burned at the stake for his English translation effort.

  28. nb

    I agree with ‘roger’s’ restaurant analogy.
    Don’t use Google or related services such as YouTube, or use them to the degree that is useful to you, and for which you can find no workable substitute.
    Believe nothing without checking.
    Take control of the information you receive.
    However, don’t pretend Google et al are not publishers. Am I correct in thinking that deeming them platforms is a shield provided by government against some categories of claim in private law?

  29. C.L.

    Not so much the printing press itself, they just burnt the Bibles and killed those found with them. Mostly in very gruesome ways, after torturing.

    LOL.
    There are records of bibles burned, yes. They were burned because various miscreants altered the text. The most famous example was Martin Luther who doctored Romans 3:28.

    Nobody has ever bested the British when it comes to fake news: the Black Legend, hyped balderdash about the Inquisition and Galileo – these live on in what remains of the Anglosphere. Along with invented notions of Chained Bibles and stymied vernacular bibles etc. The Catholic Church – in addition to inventing the university – also invented the vernacular bible; it was called the Vulgate. The Church vigorously policed later, post-Latin vernacular bibles to ensure they were quality-controlled. Just as well. By doing so, the Bible was saved. We have already seen what that rotund old fraud, Luther, was capable of. As for the gruesome ways used in those days for punishing wrongdoers, the Lutherans, Zwinglians, protestant witch hunters, Cromwellian monastery burglars and Henrician aficionados of hanging, drawing and quartering … all did the same (or worse). Yes, it’s appalling to us.

    But no. There is no evidence the Catholic Church ‘held out against’ the printing press.

  30. Lee

    Whilst Google, Facebook and Co continue to curate content, they choose to operate as “publishers” and should be regulated as such (ie being responsible for content published on their platforms).

    If they claim to be merely purveyors or carriers of information – like, say mail delivery services – then they should be obligated to provide their services to anyone, uncensored and without exception, unless that “anyone” is breaking the law.

    Mail carriers – like Australia Post – can’t just decide unilaterally whose mail they will or won’t deliver, or who they deliver it to (contraband is the obvious exception here).

    But corporations like Google and Facebook want to have it both ways.

  31. BoyfromTottenham

    Choose between calling themselves a Publisher or a Common Carrier? Surely the likes of Google and Facebook have transcended both of these traditional business models, and a new definition is needed. For example, IMO it easy to see that these two businesses are not acting like ‘common carriers’, because they add (often dubious) value based on their customers’ information rather than just transmitting it from A to B, and they do not treat all their customers equally, and to top it off they trade in their customers information without their knowledge!
    A stronger case can be made that they are publishers, but they and/or their business clients apparently manipulate the information between receipt and publication, arbitrarily decide what they will publish and to whom, etc.
    Their customers, in hundreds of millions, have clearly voted with their feet (often is ignorance) to hand over a large proportion of their ‘private’ information, habits, etc. to these businesses without much consideration of who will make use of it, where and for what purposes, and whether it will be manipulated or deleted, used against the customer or a third party, used for political or other purposes without the customer’s consent, etc. This is surely a new type of business model that does not fit at all into the 19th and 20th century models mentioned above.
    Surely a key question is: should governments act to protect the public that use these services from itself, or come up with a form of regulation that re-balances the equation, or simply shrug its shoulders? Alternatively, perhaps the government should consider regulating these types of businesses simply because (as it appears in the US at least), there is evidence that these businesses can and do interfere in the nation’s political affairs, if not national elections, and are therefore a potential threat to good government, if not national security? Lots to think about, but a wee bit above my pay grade.

  32. A stronger case can be made that they are publishers, but they and/or their business clients apparently manipulate the information between receipt and publication, arbitrarily decide what they will publish and to whom, etc.

    As a publisher, they are entitled to do that, just like any newspaper or visual media outlet. I have no issue with publishers acting in their own interests and serving the public what they choose. For example, Their ABC can keep producing as much crap as they like and I simply won’t watch it. It does grate that as a taxpaying supporter of Their ABC, I have no say in what they publish.

    Their customers, in hundreds of millions, have clearly voted with their feet (often is ignorance) to hand over a large proportion of their ‘private’ information, habits, etc

    That’s a personal choice that people make and should be allowed to make, no matter the classification of the entity. If the entity misuses that information against what it agreed with the customer or is required by law, that’s a different issue. If people choose to give away everything about them, that’s their folly.

    So we get back to the main issue regarding carrier or publisher. In most countries, carrier and publisher have two completely different meanings and laws applying to their operations. And if you look at any example of anyone that puts anything on the internet, they are ostensibly a publisher.

    I ‘publish’ stories on my blog and I control everything that is published and can allow or deny any and all comments that I desire. I have no ability to be a carrier, as I rely on my ISP to be a carrier of my blog. In a similar vein, Facebook and Google rely on the internet to ‘publish’ their products, they do not own or manage the internet; therefore, neither are carriers.

  33. Linden

    If the ACCC has its way the likes of myself would not be able to have my ‘two bobs’ worth here or elsewhere, whether that be right wrong smart or dumb. Me thinks I am inclined to say the to ACCC get stuffed!

  34. John A

    However, your analogy fails on this point:

    The invention of moveable type and the adaptation of the printing process to use it enabled more efficient dissemination of information, especially what had previously been locked up by kings and power brokers. The technology clearly enhanced the freedom of the individual and the small group at the expense of the prevailing powerhouses, political and religious.

    The social media phenomenon under the restrictive control of the likes of Facebook, Google et al., is the opposite.

    Since the days of the “small” pamphleteer, the media industry has re-concentrated power over information and in the 20th and 21st centuries has abused its position by colluding with existing powerhouses to reduce individual freedoms.

    Facebook and Google/Youtube etc are merely the latest of these aggregators and are blatant about their efforts to control the type and nature of the information they disseminate. They claim to be common carriers of content created by their subscribers but in fact are operating as censorious publishers of content provided by others, and mostly at no cost to the publisher.

    True, the technology will win out eventually but for now, the cost of bypassing the controllers is much steeper than it was previously, and the ACCC is only battling to recapture control from the hands of private enterprise. They are definitely not trying to enhance freedoms.

  35. MPH

    There are none so blind as those who will not see – and usually they’re a conservative who thinks their opposition will play by the rules and ‘the market’ will magically equilibrate.

  36. LBLoveday

    From the outset Facebook’s purpose was defined by Zuckerberg’s nature.
    From an undisputed record of an Instant Messaging conversation he had when 19 and had just launched the platform

    Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
    Zuck: Just ask.
    Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses,
    SNS [Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
    Zuck: People just submitted it.
    Zuck: I don’t know why.
    Zuck: They “trust me”
    Zuck: Dumb f***s

    And Zuck’s one leopard that has not changed his spots.

  37. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Zuck: They “trust me”
    Zuck: Dumb f***s

    What a prick.

  38. Nob

    How people willingly submitted their info?

    These podcasts on “The Bebo Billions” are quite informative on how social media happened the way it did:
    https://play.acast.com/s/thepivot/23bcaf30-8251-4766-b830-f50e245a5f42
    https://play.acast.com/s/thepivot/fa1771f5-1073-4c3b-bcb6-c038916ee3f3

  39. http://invisibleserfscollar.com/intertwining-architects-advocates-makes-planned-mind-manipulation-both-tight-and-nearly-invisible/ provides a link to the EU report from 2018 laying out the New Media Ecosystem and the planned intention to let google and FB and other media platforms decide what is disinformation and thus should be barred. The definition of Fake News globally is about the source of the information and not the accuracy of the information. Thus, in the US, false information put out by a NYT , WaPo, or major network cannot qualify as Fake News, while accurate info from an unapproved blogger can.

    In general, we need to appreciate that the Left understands perfectly well as that post’s quote from 1943 made clear that: In practice, ideas form as effective an element in the environment in any human society as do mountains, trees, animals, the weather and the rest of external nature.” The digital platforms, however, can be engineered to create a virtual reality that is experiential and designed to manipulate the mind into believing vigorously politically useful things that are no so.

    The term in education is Guiding Fiction for a reason.

  40. Also, the Vatican is pushing a cultural evolution agenda called Humanity 2.0 and Google was a co-sponsor of the 2nd forum, held this past May. https://humanity2-0.org/2019-forum/

    That’s far more than merely controlling search platforms when it comes to the ability to control prevailing ideas. No need to control the printing press if you can control the mind’s receptiveness to certain Ideas. I call it censorship before the fact, but the UN entities call it Intrapersonal Competencies. It is a primary tool in achieving the SDGs without much of the public being aware of the nature of the shift.

  41. Crossie

    Nearly exactly the same things said about social media today could have been said in the middle of the 15th century about the development of movable type and the printing press. People will use books and newspapers to say nasty things about each other; foreign powers will distribute pamphlets to undermine domestic governments with the result that eventually the sources of authority in society will be challenged and even overturned.

    Not so, the argument is not against social media but against excluding certain opinions and participants from the conversation.p or even worse, punishing them for those opinions.

  42. Crossie

    Five hundred years ago the Catholic Church could no more hold out against the printing press than can governments and the traditional mainstream media hold out against Facebook and Google and whatever succeeds them.

    At this point Facebook and Google are the equivalent of the church of Gutenberg time, they are making sure there are no successors to their hegemony. They get their friends in the banking industry to deny payments to their competitors therefore any competition is stillborn.

  43. Crossie

    And related to this is the question of whether Facebook and Google are ‘publishers’ with all the legal liability that entails. These were issues the ACCC largely avoided.

    What is the difference between government censorship and Google and Facebook censorship? Nothing will change in the quality of reporting, fake news will simply become government mandated.

  44. Crossie

    Probably the only worthwhile outcome of the ACCC report is that perhaps unwittingly it highlights the stark choice we face into the future. Either we as individuals decide for ourselves the sources of news and opinion we trust or we leave it to the government and the ACCC to decide for us.

    What choice when it’s in the interests of ACCC and the social media companies to exclude newcomers? It will be Tweedle dee or Tweedle dum.

  45. DeanG

    This is not about technology innovation, it is about monopoly power.
    Imagine in the 15th century if one company owned all the printing presses and the entire global book distribution supply chain. And the only way to get a book published was to adhere to the editorial standards of the sole publisher that promoted monarchy and the Catholic faith. Would that have been a scenario that libertarians would have supported?
    Technology is only a game shifter if there are new markets and new opportunities to leverage. Now that everything is a global market any technology that is a natural monopoly, such as search, can never be displaced or curtailed. There is no opportunity for competitors to develop or gain traction without being crushed. Just ask Microsoft how Bing is doing.
    Market competition cannot fix this. New technology innovation that might be a threat are either crushed or more likely purchased to make the monopolies even stronger. Regulation is a poor option and will only lead to more political interference.
    The best option is to break them up. Google should not have been allowed to acquire YouTube. Facebook should not have been allowed to acquire Instagram and What’sApp. But at the time nobody really understood how this whole social media monolith would evolve. But now we do, and we need to do it now before they become so powerful that no government in the world would be willing to take them on. Maybe it is too late already.
    As much as I admire the IPA and the work it has done I had to quit due to this type of thinking. Battling the forces of collectivism and progressiveness with libertarian ideas is doomed to failure, particularly when they have completely captured all levels of the education system. You can’t light a flame when there is no kindling.
    What is needed is pragmatism, not purity.

  46. Crossie

    The best option is to break them up. Google should not have been allowed to acquire YouTube. Facebook should not have been allowed to acquire Instagram and What’sApp.

    Maybe, but it has to be accompanied by anti-collusion measures such as the banking sector forbidden from stopping payments to competing upstarts.

  47. This canard again?
    I’m starting to think libertarians are obtuse on purpose.

    OK, let’s hop into my DeLorean and zoom back to the 15thC.
    Here we are, a couple of libertarians living in theory (that’s about the only place they seem to live in).

    Lib1: “OK, let’s stick it to the man, let’s awaken the people with free flowing information.”
    Lib2: “Yeah, you go get some paper, I’ll go get some ink and we’ll print up lots of flyers to distribute.”
    ….[some time later]…
    Lib1: “I couldn’t get any paper. No one would sell me any. They said I had wronthink.”
    Lib2: “I couldn’t get any ink either for the same reason, and when I started to argue, I got banned for life.”
    Lib1: “What should we do?”
    Lib2: “We could chop down our own trees, make our own ink and build our own printing press”
    Lib1: “nah, fvck that. Let’s jump back into the DeLorean and go back. We can keep preaching the same crap we learned from books. Just don’t mention reality or this trip ok?”
    Lib2: “Yeah OK. FREEDOM…..WE LOVE EEEEEET.”

    Obtuse p r i c k s.

  48. Lee

    There are none so blind as those who will not see – and usually they’re a conservative who thinks their opposition will play by the rules and ‘the market’ will magically equilibrate.

    The Left accuse the right and conservatives of not playing by their own rules, when the same Left will not play by their own.

  49. Terry

    Lee
    #3123199, posted on August 4, 2019 at 2:14 pm
    “when the same Left will not play by their own.”

    The Left has no rules.

    They operate as they please in pursuit of their ‘end game’ – ABSOLUTE CONTROL OF EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE.

    Principles? Rules? These are merely cudgels with which to beat up on those that have them.

  50. Iampeter

    “The Left” includes anyone who wants to regulate tech companies.

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