Twitter’s Ban on Russia Today Ads is Dangerous to Free Expression

greg0205

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It's going to get all partisan up in here, so let me be clear from the get-go... Mark me down in the; damn straight Twitter but it's too little too late column *and* in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's corner on just about everything, or rather everything else in this case.
For commenters here, a reminder: We just had folk from mother Russia here to whisper in JZ's ear about a reshuffle to get that nuclear build going again... Which side of the succession debate and the 2019 general election do you think they stand on? How do you think that'll play out here and where will that leave you, your kids and your grandchildren?

/Discuss
 

Idiosyncratic

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Ignoring politics... With regards to freedom of expression, I think regardless of which side you're on, I'm supportive of your right to say what you want (no, don't get technical here on the incitement of violence etc - logic applies). Free speech doesn't exist to protect popular speech, it exists to protect unpopular speech.
To be frank, I don't find RT any more biased than hundreds of other news sources, and people should be allowed to get the news where they want to. It's called freedom. I don't believe there's such a thing as an unbiased media outlet, and numerous western outlets have peddled propaganda in times past also - some are actively involved in exactly that today... Who do we hire to police the truth? Who decides what's right and wrong? No, rather give me the liberty to hear the story from all sides and evaluate for myself thank you, this isn't supposed to be a scene out of 1984.

Personally, I think this is just the start of even more censorship to come....or rather, we've seen a lot of censorship even before this, and this is just another case of it.
 

Idiosyncratic

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It's going to get all partisan up in here, so let me be clear from the get-go... Mark me down in the; damn straight Twitter but it's too little too late column *and* in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's corner on just about everything, or rather everything else in this case.
For commenters here, a reminder: We just had folk from mother Russia here to whisper in JZ's ear about a reshuffle to get that nuclear build going again... Which side of the succession debate and the 2019 general election do you think they stand on? How do you think that'll play out here and where will that leave you, your kids and your grandchildren?

/Discuss

Respectfully, this doesn't in itself give us the right to censor anyone.

While I'm inclined to agree with your stance, objectively speaking, I've yet to see solid evidence whatsoever that Russia did anything more than encourage Zuma to get the nuclear deal going again. How Zuma acted on the info is his call, and Putin encouraging Zuma to get the deal going again isn't unlawful or considered "meddling" by default - Russia is definitely not the only country trying to get things to go their way. It doesn't justify squat, yes, agreed, but just thought I'd make the point....and Zuma saying "the devil made me do it" does change who is actually guilty here.

Oh, and bringing my kids and grandchildren into this is certainly not fair to this debate! :mad: :p
 

greg0205

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Respectfully, this doesn't in itself give us the right to censor anyone.

While I'm inclined to agree with your stance, objectively speaking, I've yet to see solid evidence whatsoever that Russia did anything more than encourage Zuma to get the nuclear deal going again. How Zuma acted on the info is his call, and Putin encouraging Zuma to get the deal going again isn't unlawful or considered "meddling" by default - Russia is definitely not the only country trying to get things to go their way. It doesn't justify squat, yes, agreed, but just thought I'd make the point....and Zuma saying "the devil made me do it" does change who is actually guilty here.

Oh, and bringing my kids and grandchildren into this is certainly not fair to this debate! :mad: :p

I'll make this concession then... If Twitter and Facebook are going to sell ads to foreign players, or media that skews one way or the other, then make tag lines like "paid for by..." mandatory. Everyone free to say what they like and every reader free to assess what they've read based on who posted it.

Your last point... If a deal is done and we have players, with self-serving financial interest, using the cover of free-speech we afford them, distorting issues via social media come voting time, we as a nation could be saddled with a trillion Rand debt which will take decades to pay off... How do the repercussions free-speech-at-all-cost-now not fall directly on future generations?
 

Idiosyncratic

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I'll make this concession then... If Twitter and Facebook are going to sell ads to foreign players, or media that skews one way or the other, then make tag lines like "paid for by..." mandatory. Everyone free to say what they like and every reader free to assess what they've read based on who posted it.

Fair enough, that's a good idea if it's applied to everyone across the board

Your last point... If a deal is done and we have players, with self-serving financial interest, using the cover of free-speech we afford them, distorting issues via social media come voting time, we as a nation could be saddled with a trillion Rand debt which will take decades to pay off... How do the repercussions free-speech-at-all-cost-now not fall directly on future generations?

Ultimately, the cost of censorship in this day and age is one that I don't believe everyone can fully get their head around yet (myself included)... Eroding our freedoms and liberties away under the banner of "Russian meddling" isn't going to give us a bright future either. Granting government more power and more room to control information "because government knows best" is a mistake that many made before us - and somehow the lessons of the USSR, Nazi Germany, Fascist Spain and others are ones we are quick to forget. Authoritarian governments did many good things and many bad things under the banner of "we're protecting people from themselves".

Ultimately, the effects of propaganda (which cannot be eliminated altogether) can best be countered through the spreading of the truth. Light drives out darkness sort of effect. We can't have the government act as my mother used to do back in the day when we were watching movies and a kissing scene came on..."cover your eyes little Idiosyncratic". It often just serves to make us curious as to what's being censored, and thus we see well-intended measures completely backfire.
 

greg0205

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Fair enough, that's a good idea if it's applied to everyone across the board



Ultimately, the cost of censorship in this day and age is one that I don't believe everyone can fully get their head around yet (myself included)... Eroding our freedoms and liberties away under the banner of "Russian meddling" isn't going to give us a bright future either. Granting government more power and more room to control information "because government knows best" is a mistake that many made before us - and somehow the lessons of the USSR, Nazi Germany, Fascist Spain and others are ones we are quick to forget. Authoritarian governments did many good things and many bad things under the banner of "we're protecting people from themselves".

Ultimately, the effects of propaganda (which cannot be eliminated altogether) can best be countered through the spreading of the truth. Light drives out darkness sort of effect. We can't have the government act as my mother used to do back in the day when we were watching movies and a kissing scene came on..."cover your eyes little Idiosyncratic". It often just serves to make us curious as to what's being censored, and thus we see well-intended measures completely backfire.

Let me add my fair enough to that then, more than that, I agree... In case there's any confusion, IMO government's *only* place in this should be to mandate something like the disclosure I suggested. As far as them having any hand in editorial decisions at all, yeah, that would be a Hell no from me.

Twitter took their own decision to ban RT and Sputnik and I believe that's because a spotlight is on social media right now. I'm pretty sure we'll see more knee-jerk reactions and overreactions in the next few weeks... but... If we can get to a place where they're publishing ads with the details of who is buying those ads, then that would be a form of "censorship", if its a censorship at all, I could get behind.
 

Jings

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Russian government owned RT are entitled to sabotage whomever they want to. Don't understand why people are complaining. It's like people objecting to certain customers Bell Pottinger chose to do business with. :whistling:
 

greg0205

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not banning ads from the troll farms?

This is what bothers me most about Twitter right now... I refuse to believe they can't identify bots, while I *do* believe they prefer to use the additional user numbers to inflate market value and ad rates.
 

Idiosyncratic

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Let me add my fair enough to that then, more than that, I agree... In case there's any confusion, IMO government's *only* place in this should be to mandate something like the disclosure I suggested. As far as them having any hand in editorial decisions at all, yeah, that would be a Hell no from me.

Twitter took their own decision to ban RT and Sputnik and I believe that's because a spotlight is on social media right now. I'm pretty sure we'll see more knee-jerk reactions and overreactions in the next few weeks... but... If we can get to a place where they're publishing ads with the details of who is buying those ads, then that would be a form of "censorship", if its a censorship at all, I could get behind.

100% agree. Definitely a knee-jerk reaction, and while I find censorship sad it is understandable that Twitter has done this as it is now under the spotlight.

Publishing the details of those who fund ads is just being transparent imo, it doesn't stop the info from being shared or control the info.
 

snoopdoggydog

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lol, the Land Of The Free complaining about FREEDOM to choose, listen, read or watch we want to

Why don't they start by apologizing for lying about Saddam Husseins WMD and all the other sh i t they caught on by using their military to force the world to behave as they want

They put Hitler to shame with their militaristic 'Democatic Interventions' to give people the freedom to do what THEY want or else and God help those countries who export oil thinking about changing from selling it in dollars, the currency that feeds the American Military

Absolute power corrupts absolutely
 

JustAsk

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[video=youtube;S6wH7zx42NM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6wH7zx42NM[/video]
 
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