Regulate Twitter as a Utility?

 

Should Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram be considered as Public Utilities and regulated accordingly?  This was the question posed yesterday by Scott Adams, of Dilbert (and election 2016 prognostication) fame.  Of course the question itself assumes that the existing regulation of utilities, in their operations and services, is already a good (or least a necessary) activity of government, and that regulation in turn requires us to define what a Public Utility is.  Merriam Webster’s definition is, to my mind, unsatisfactorily circular:

a business organization (as an electric company) performing a public service and subject to special governmental regulationhttps://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/public%20utility

Other definitions are more expansive and cogent:

A public utility is a business that furnishes an everyday necessity to the public at large…  Typically a public utility has a Monopoly on the service it provides.  http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Public+Utilities

The first condition listed above is “an everyday necessity to the public at large.”  Looking strictly at traditional utilities, we would all agree that water, electricity, sewage disposal, and natural gas are “everyday necessities”.  Increasingly, internet access is considered essential too.  The companies (or in many cases the municipalities) that provide these to us are providing them to all comers (for a price) within their service areas.  Are the issues of necessity and “to the public at large” the only factors, however, in the motivation for regulation?

The corollary condition above: “Typically a public utility has a monopoly on the service it provides,” is key to understanding the motivation for government regulation.  After all, our electricity, tap water, sewage disposal, natural gas, and cable TV / internet are nearly always sole source to us as end users – that is to say we lack any competitive choice because it is highly unlikely that there would be multiple sources of any of these services available at our homes or businesses; sewers, water pipes, gas, and electric lines are expensive to lay and there just is not room to have competing branches of these under our streets and foundations.  For entirely natural reasons, we are all largely stuck with what’s there.  These are natural local monopolies, and we have more than a century of legal precedent for treating monopolies differently from other businesses.  These services are deemed necessary, we are all stuck with monopolies providing them, and so our state and federal governments regulated them.

Why the regulation?  The justification usually given is that this is for our own protection.  Monopolies (so the argument usually goes) will act with caprice towards their captive customers, inflate prices beyond what is fair, arbitrarily deny necessary services, restrict services beyond reason, and otherwise abuse customers who cannot seek redress through a competitive marketplace.  In other words, utilities have no competition and so there is no natural limit to what they might do to us, including cutting off service just because they do not like us, or do not approve of us for racial, religious, political, or social reasons.  (mind you, I’m not saying I agree with this rationale, I’m just laying it out)

A public utility, once regulated, is restricted in how it conducts its business.  Its prices are negotiated with the government.  Its services are dictated by the government.  Its every-day practices and rules are set by the government.  For instance, if you are late in paying your water bill, your water company cannot immediately turn off your water – it must follow a defined process and give you ample time to make your account current.  The utilities cannot put undue restrictions on what you do with the service either, nor arbitrarily change its terms of service.  Whether you decide to use your electricity to play video games all day, run a wood shop, or write for a white-supremacist website, your electric company cannot stop or censure you (with exceptions being made for activities or equipment that could damage the grid or degrade service for your neighbors).  So long as you pay your bills (and whatever you are doing is legal), they have to let you use their product at your own discretion, and they cannot punish you or cancel your service.

Now to the meat of Adams’s argument (emphasis mine):

My sketchy understanding of the law is that the government is only responsible for making sure the government itself is not abridging free speech. I think most of us agree that we don’t want the government volunteering for any more work than the constitution says it should be doing.

But shouldn’t the federal government get involved if a few monopoly corporations start to control the national conversation by filtering out voices that disagree with them?

Why is Adams looking at this?

For example, Twitter is apparently “shadowbanning” me because of my past Trump tweets, or so I assume. That means my tweets only go out to a subset of my followers. The rest don’t know I tweeted. My followers tell me this is the case. They have to visit my timeline to see my tweets…

Realistically, can I quit Twitter and be a successful media personality without it? Not in today’s world. The only way I could make that work is by having a huge presence on Facebook or Instagram.

But that might be a problem too…

Adams here is a necessity for being “a successful media personality”, which on its own hardly seems to about “an everyday necessity to the public at large”, but is it a necessity in a more general sense?  Is Twitter a necessity for the public at large outside of celebrities and pundits?  Is it a public necessity to be able to broadcast your thoughts to anyone who wants to listen?  Has social media in general (which Adams also addresses) turned into a necessity in our lives?  Strictly speaking, electricity is not a necessity per se, but even the Amish find ways to use it within their lives.  Has mass communication capability offered by social media raised to the level of necessity as well?  One could argue that social media is turning that way as it is now a means open to all for the spread of news (or disinformation), opinion, and gossip, and that it bypasses the traditional outlets and gatekeepers of information.

Is Twitter monopoly-like?  If it is a monopoly, is it exhibiting the worst behaviors so feared of monopolies?  Twitter is certainly proving to be arbitrary and capricious with its users, if reports from Adams and others are true.  If a customer is using the service in a way that Twitter does not approve, then Twitter will remove the user, but the terms under which this is done are opaque.  If Shadow-banning (that is filtering or blocking communications without admitting to it or citing just cause) is a real phenomenon, is Twitter not abusing its customers?  Is Twitter restricting service to its customers because of their personal politics?

If social media is a public necessity, something that, like electricity and running water, should be equally accessible to all under equal terms, and if Twitter is a monopoly for its particular type of service, should it then be audited and regulated by state or federal governments to ensure its good behavior?

I can’t be 100% sure that Twitter is shadowbanning me to limit my political speech. They might have a bug in their system, for example. But it would be a big coincidence if they are not, given how many Trump supporters were targeted by Twitter in the past year.

…That lack of transparency is just as much of a problem as an actual abridgement of free speech. if I can’t know whether my freedom of speech is being limited by corporate overlords, how can I have trust in the Republic? And without trust, the system falls apart.

I want to trust my government, but without freedom of speech, I find that impossible. That’s why I support creating a law requiring the government to audit the major social media sites to certify that freedom of speech still exists for all classes of users. (Within reason.)

You might think there is not much risk of losing the right of free speech in the United States. But keep in mind that I have already lost my free speech in a practical sense. The social media tools you take for granted are not available to me in their full form.

Is Adams right here?  Is Twitter interfering in the free speech of Americans, and should it be tamed?  Or should we allow the marketplace to eventually sort this out, letting competitors eventually break its monopoly on communication?

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  1. Joe P Member
    Joe P
    @JoeP

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

     But I do have difficulty seeing how discriminatory policies against individuals unrelated to infractions of some sort of prohibited relationship behavior serve a business model. Anyone here can tell me how this is a positive business act?

    From what I understand, Twitter and/or it’s investors believe that the platform has a problem with abuse that is hurting the experience of users on its platform. In order to address this, they decided to hire some people to implement this crazy shadow banning scheme as a part of a large plan to create a positive experience for its users. Unfortunately, at least one of the people they hired was some sort of crazy social justice warrior feminist type, so the results have been predictably lopsided and capricious.

    Also, it’s worth noting that Twitter is not a well run company. If it seems like they’re making bad decisions, it’s because they are.

    • #121
  2. Chuck Enfield Inactive
    Chuck Enfield
    @ChuckEnfield

    Joe P (View Comment):

    From what I understand, Twitter and/or it’s investors believe that the platform has a problem with abuse that is hurting the experience of users on its platform. In order to address this, they decided to hire some people to implement this crazy shadow banning scheme as a part of a large plan to create a positive experience for its users.

    This is plausible, but I have my doubts.  Wouldn’t it be more effective for that purpose if it were handled in a manner similar to Ricochet?  We know when content is redacted and members are suspended for violating the CoC.  That works not only as a remedy to the specific problem, but helps the community understand what’s acceptable and discuss it.  Think what you will about the outcome, there’s no denying that we’ve had our say and that editors have responded to that feedback.

    The shadowbanning approach is better suited to blocking speech they don’t like than it is to converging on acceptable community standards.  It doesn’t mean they’re lying, but it’s cause for suspicion.

    • #122
  3. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    I don’t think we even know what Scott Adams’ true position is on what we have been discussing here.

    No, I don’t think we do.

    Heck, maybe it’s less that “shadowbanning” is hurting his business model than it is that he believes that complaining about shadowbanning will help his business model. Americans love to root for the underdog, and Adams has made a business of being contrarian.

    After all, Adams himself professes to be a Wizard or Master Persuader.

    • #123
  4. Arjay Member
    Arjay
    @

    The primary objective of the owners of Twitter is to make it a friendly platform for SJWs.

    • #124
  5. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):
    Scott Adams is a smart guy, and it’s clear to me that he understands people and communications. This proposal makes it clear to me that he doesn’t understand economics or government.

    Maybe he doesn’t need to understand the latter, especially if claiming to “not geddit” about the latter is actually part of his success with the former.

    • #125
  6. Joe P Member
    Joe P
    @JoeP

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):

    Joe P (View Comment):

    From what I understand, Twitter and/or it’s investors believe that the platform has a problem with abuse that is hurting the experience of users on its platform. In order to address this, they decided to hire some people to implement this crazy shadow banning scheme as a part of a large plan to create a positive experience for its users.

    This is plausible, but I have my doubts. Wouldn’t it be more effective for that purpose if it were handled in a manner similar to Ricochet? We know when content is redacted and members are suspended for violating the CoC. That works not only as a remedy to the specific problem, but helps the community understand what’s acceptable and discuss it. Think what you will about the outcome, there’s no denying that we’ve had our say and that editors have responded to that feedback.

    I think you might be right about that, except I don’t think that approach would work at Twitter’s scale and organization. Ricochet is small enough that a team of mods/editors can read and respond to everything on the Member Feed. Reddit is larger, but is split in to subreddits, so there’s someone who can read all of a subreddit. Twitter has too many users and they don’t interact in a central place where discussion of moderation issues can happen.

    • #126
  7. BD1 Member
    BD1
    @

    The Muslim Brotherhood has a Verified account on Twitter.

    • #127
  8. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):

    Joe P (View Comment):

    From what I understand, Twitter and/or it’s investors believe that the platform has a problem with abuse that is hurting the experience of users on its platform. In order to address this, they decided to hire some people to implement this crazy shadow banning scheme as a part of a large plan to create a positive experience for its users.

    This is plausible, but I have my doubts. Wouldn’t it be more effective for that purpose if it were handled in a manner similar to Ricochet?

    For a large community? I doubt it. Ricochet is still small enough to give problem users many second (third, fourth, fifth…) chances, and for mediation, rather than just zapping people, to play a big role in CoC issues.

    We know when content is redacted and members are suspended for violating the CoC. That works not only as a remedy to the specific problem, but helps the community understand what’s acceptable and discuss it. Think what you will about the outcome, there’s no denying that we’ve had our say and that editors have responded to that feedback.

    The shadowbanning approach is better suited to blocking speech they don’t like than it is to converging on acceptable community standards. It doesn’t mean they’re lying, but it’s cause for suspicion.

    Here’s a thread from Coding Horror on the pros and cons of various methods. Some claim stealth banning (shadowbanning, hellbanning, etc) techniques are the only reason why some larger online communities manage to avoid breaking apart.

    • #128
  9. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Joe P (View Comment):
    Ricochet is small enough that a team of mods/editors can read and respond to everything on the Member Feed.

    Not quite that small! Mods do see a lot of it, though.

    • #129
  10. Chuck Enfield Inactive
    Chuck Enfield
    @ChuckEnfield

    Joe P (View Comment):
    I think you might be right about that, except I don’t think that approach would work at Twitter’s scale and organization. Ricochet is small enough that a team of mods/editors can read and respond to everything on the Member Feed. Reddit is larger, but is split in to subreddits, so there’s someone who can read all of a subreddit. Twitter has too many users and they don’t interact in a central place where discussion of moderation issues can happen

    This is true, but nothing that couldn’t be addressed through data mining and statistical analysis.  Even random sampling and human evaluation would work better than shaddowbanning.

    • #130
  11. Chuck Enfield Inactive
    Chuck Enfield
    @ChuckEnfield

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Joe P (View Comment):
    Ricochet is small enough that a team of mods/editors can read and respond to everything on the Member Feed.

    Not quite that small! Mods do see a lot of it, though.

    Precisely.  You don’t need to catch everything for it to work.  Perfection is never the appropriate standard.

    • #131
  12. Chuck Enfield Inactive
    Chuck Enfield
    @ChuckEnfield

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):

    Joe P (View Comment):

    From what I understand, Twitter and/or it’s investors believe that the platform has a problem with abuse that is hurting the experience of users on its platform. In order to address this, they decided to hire some people to implement this crazy shadow banning scheme as a part of a large plan to create a positive experience for its users.

    This is plausible, but I have my doubts. Wouldn’t it be more effective for that purpose if it were handled in a manner similar to Ricochet?

    For a large community? I doubt it. Ricochet is still small enough to give problem users many second (third, fourth, fifth…) chances and for mediation, rather than just zapping people, to play a big role in CoC issues.

    We know when content is redacted and members are suspended for violating the CoC. That works not only as a remedy to the specific problem, but helps the community understand what’s acceptable and discuss it. Think what you will about the outcome, there’s no denying that we’ve had our say and that editors have responded to that feedback.

    The shadowbanning approach is better suited to blocking speech they don’t like than it is to converging on acceptable community standards. It doesn’t mean they’re lying, but it’s cause for suspicion.

    Here’s a thread from Coding Horror on the pros and cons of various methods. Some claim stealth banning (shadowbanning, hellbanning, etc) techniques are the only reason why some larger online communities manage to avoid breaking apart.

    I’m sympathetic to these factors, but has Twitter even admitted that they shaddowban?  If they have, they definitely didn’t for a long time after the the accusations began.  How does secrecy help the stated goal?

    • #132
  13. Chuck Enfield Inactive
    Chuck Enfield
    @ChuckEnfield

    I apologize for my repeated misspelling of shadow.  I know some readers find that kind of thing distracting.

    • #133
  14. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):
    Even random sampling and human evaluation would work better than shaddowbanning.

    Well… Ricochet charges admission, which naturally limits the number of accounts most abusers would try to set up if their old accounts were banned or put into long-term suspension.

    Apparently, on other sites which don’t charge admission, it’s not so uncommon for the most determined of bad actors to create account after account after account, disguising IP addresses if necessary. Or at least that is the rationale for shadowbanning – handling the problematic users who just escalate and escalate when they know they’re being disciplined. Rather than reward them with the attention of an overt response (“Look, I made the hosts mad again! That means I struck the right nerve! Go me!”), shadowbanning automates the adage “don’t feed the trolls”.

    • #134
  15. Chuck Enfield Inactive
    Chuck Enfield
    @ChuckEnfield

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):
    Even random sampling and human evaluation would work better than shaddowbanning.

    Well… Ricochet charges admission, which naturally limits the number of accounts most abusers would try to set up if their old accounts were banned or put into long-term suspension.

    Apparently, on other sites which don’t charge admission, it’s not so uncommon for the most determined of bad actors to create account after account after account, disguising IP addresses if necessary. Or at least that is the rationale for shadowbanning – handling the problematic users who just escalate and escalate when they know they’re being disciplined. Rather than reward them with the attention of an overt response (“Look, I made the hosts mad again! That means I struck the right nerve! Go me!”), shadowbanning automates the adage “don’t feed the trolls”.

    I’m not saying larger communities should do exactly what Ricochet does.  I’m suggesting they respond more like Ricochet.  Shadowbanning has the same discovery problems as suspension, and deals with the problem in a manner very similar to suspension, but it’s secretive.  Ricochet’s decisions are public and subject to debate.  Twitter need not even announce the reason for blocking something or somebody.  They need only publish that they’re doing it.  The community will debate the merits either way.  There’s considerable value in the transparency.

    • #135
  16. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):

    Here’s a thread from Coding Horror on the pros and cons of various methods. Some claim stealth banning (shadowbanning, hellbanning, etc) techniques are the only reason why some larger online communities manage to avoid breaking apart.

    I’m sympathetic to these factors, but has Twitter even admitted that they shaddowban? If they have, they definitely didn’t for a long time after the the accusations began. How does secrecy help the stated goal?

    That’s discussed in the Coding Horror thread, too. Apparently, on forums where it’s very easy for users to set up alias accounts, knowledge that shadowbanning is going on prompts the worst actors to create multiple accounts to get around the suspected shadowban. If shadowbanning is not an overt policy, however, those problem users are more likely to simply give up because nobody seems to be paying attention to them.

    If you like stirring up trouble, you might look on “oppression from The Man” as encouragement: if you’ve created enough of a problem that “The Man” is shadowbanning you, that means you’re being noticed! Result! If you don’t know that it’s a shadowban, on the other hand, it just seems like nobody cares about what you have to say, which is far more discouraging than someone caring enough to find it too disruptive to be allowed.

    Apparently, it’s not hard for the tech-savvy to check for a shadowban if they’re motivated to do so (one reason why “Twitter is apparently ‘shadowbanning’ me because of my past Trump tweets, or so I assume” seems a bit coy). But being motivated to abuse the forum and being motivated to check if your failures to get attention result from a shadowban aren’t the same thing. Apparently the proportion of shadowbanned users motivated to figure out whether the lack of satisfying attention is a shadowban and to get around the shadowban if it is is small enough to make shadowbanning efforts worthwhile on several forums.

    • #136
  17. Eb Snider Inactive
    Eb Snider
    @EbSnider

    skipsul (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    skipsul (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    No

    If Twitter is acting with bias towards its customers, what would your solution be?

    Quit the service.

    He claims it is necessary for his business.

    Yes. I do think there should be some mandated process for a company platform in social media so customers or users of a service can launch an appeal or can provide feedback. And the legal code should be updated to account for this. However, I’d strongly oppose any micro managing by the Feds and Fed direct involvement.

    In addition, simply being censored isn’t the whole issue. Think about the Cold War style disinformation that gets put out. This can negatively effect businesses and individuals. For example; there is apparently a phenomenon of impostors of real public figures who have a concerted efforts to post disinformation to undermine and scandalize the public figure. These impostors hope that media outlets will pickup  the disinformation and publish or that people will forwarded it so that it goes viral on the internet. This seems to me to violate the principle that one has a right to their won identity and image. For example Pepsi can’t just start making cola adds with Michael Jordan without MJ’s permission. And there seems to be the basic idea of copyright if someone edits your post or material and then re-posts it with malicious intent while trying to give a false authenticity.

    • #137
  18. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    When it comes to things like shadowbanning on Twitter or Facebook, I must admit that I get the urge to regulate.  Not to declare these things a public utility, but to make it illegal for them to have terms of service that allow them to shadowban users without giving them information that they have done so and why.  Outright bans should of course be allowed, because of freedom of association and all that.  But a policy of deceit is another matter.

    If that means (because of the expense of interacting with users) that it’s impossible to have a monstrously large social media site and they all have to go to the subscription model that would be exempt from all these regulations, it won’t break my heart.  That would mean more Ricochets and fewer Twitters.

    But I also suspect there would be all sorts of side effects and implications of even mild regulations like this that would soon cause me to oppose it.

    However, I think it’s good to have public discussions about the possibility of regulating these abuses, because it would be good for Twitter and Facebook to feel threatened by the possibility. Then they can engage in the public debate in their own defense.

    • #138
  19. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    Apparently, on other sites which don’t charge admission, it’s not so uncommon for the most determined of bad actors to create account after account after account, disguising IP addresses if necessary.

    Some have even tried it here too.

    • #139
  20. Eb Snider Inactive
    Eb Snider
    @EbSnider

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    When it comes to things like shadowbanning on Twitter or Facebook, I must admit that I get the urge to regulate. Not to declare these things a public utility, but to make it illegal for them to have terms of service that allow them to shadowban users without giving them information that they have done so and why. Outright bans should of course be allowed, because of freedom of association and all that. But a policy of deceit is another matter.

    If that means (because of the expense of interacting with users) that it’s impossible to have a monstrously large social media site and they all have to go to the subscription model that would be exempt from all these regulations, it won’t break my heart. That would mean more Ricochets and fewer Twitters.

    But I also suspect there would be all sorts of side effects and implications of even mild regulations like this that would soon cause me to oppose it.

    However, I think it’s good to have public discussions about the possibility of regulating these abuses, because it would be good for Twitter and Facebook to feel threatened by the possibility. Then they can engage in the public debate in their own defense.

    Yep.

    • #140
  21. Chris Campion Coolidge
    Chris Campion
    @ChrisCampion

    He can complain that Twitter is reducing his presence, etc, but he didn’t build Twitter.  He voluntarily agreed to its terms when he signed up.  That it’s a ubiquitous marketing space is irrelevant, in that the content he creates could and is carried elsewhere, it’s just replicated and disseminated on Twitter.

    Twitter isn’t a public good, so no, it doesn’t rate as a utility, nor does it have a monopoly on anything, other than its Twitter accounts.  Twitter is free.  Adams may not like what they’re doing, and I don’t either, but he doesn’t have a right to that space anymore than I would if someone created a social media website with 20 followers and they limited the things I could say there, too.  If he generates income off Twitter then I’d adhere to their rules so as not to damage the income stream, and see if he can just spend some money on his own to get his content out to his followers directly.

    • #141
  22. Arjay Member
    Arjay
    @

    Chris Campion (View Comment):
    If he generates income off Twitter then I’d adhere to their rules so as not to damage the income stream,

    But the rules are secret.  And so are some punishments.

     

    • #142
  23. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    cdor (View Comment):
    Why would twitter shadow ban Adams while allowing Trump the “full Monty”?

    Because it can.

    • #143
  24. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Arjay (View Comment):

    Chris Campion (View Comment):
    If he generates income off Twitter then I’d adhere to their rules so as not to damage the income stream,

    But the rules are secret. And so are some punishments.

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):
    Why would twitter shadow ban Adams while allowing Trump the “full Monty”?

    Because it can.

    These decisions are based on politics so there’s that.

    • #144
  25. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Well, I guess I’m an early adopter at Gab.ai, as I was able to claim my preferred plain username.  We’ll see how it goes.

    • #145
  26. Arjay Member
    Arjay
    @

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):
    Well, I guess I’m an early adopter at Gab.ai, as I was able to claim my preferred plain username. We’ll see how it goes.

    Pretty slow so far, but with social media there is a tipping point and things can change fast (ask MySpace).

    • #146
  27. Damocles Inactive
    Damocles
    @Damocles

    Arjay (View Comment):

    Chris Campion (View Comment):
    If he generates income off Twitter then I’d adhere to their rules so as not to damage the income stream,

    But the rules are secret. And so are some punishments.

    And determined by the Trust and Safety Council.

    https://about.twitter.com/safety/council

    • #147
  28. Damocles Inactive
    Damocles
    @Damocles

    The takeaway from this thread so far:

    • If you’re concerned about being attacked by the SJW left, don’t count on conservatives to have your back.

    I think this is why the alt-righters are correct that they say the alt-right community will gradually supplant the conservative community in terms of influence.

    • #148
  29. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Damocles (View Comment):
    The takeaway from this thread so far:

    • If you’re concerned about being attacked by the SJW left, don’t count on conservatives to have your back.

    I think this is why the alt-righters are correct that they say the alt-right community will gradually supplant the conservative community in terms of influence.

    You want conservatives to abandon one of their longstanding principles – that private companies should be free from government control because one cartoonist believes he’s being picked on?

    • #149
  30. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Damocles (View Comment):
    The takeaway from this thread so far:

    • If you’re concerned about being attacked by the SJW left, don’t count on conservatives to have your back.

    I think this is why the alt-righters are correct that they say the alt-right community will gradually supplant the conservative community in terms of influence.

    You want conservatives to abandon one of their longstanding principles – that private companies should be free from government control because one cartoonist believes he’s being picked on?

    False dichotomy.

    • #150
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