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Home Main Forums General Discussion Senator Al Franken Wants Google, Facebook, & Twitter Censor Political Speech

  • Stockholmer (4560 posts)
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    Senator Al Franken Wants Google, Facebook, & Twitter Censor Political Speech


    Are the days of the free and open Internet numbered?  The Internet is certainly used for all sorts of horrible things, but it has also allowed ordinary people to communicate on a mass scale that would have been unimaginable decades ago.  In the old days, if you wanted to reach large audiences of people with your information you always had to go through corporate gatekeepers.  But today, anyone with an Internet connection can literally broadcast whatever they want to say to the whole world.  Personally, my wife and I have always been amazed at how many people we are able to touch all over the planet from our little home in the mountains.  Over the past seven years our websites have been viewed more than 100 million times, and we receive emails about our work from people all over the globe.

    Unfortunately, major changes may soon be coming to the Internet.  The election of Donald Trump really angered the elite, and they are blaming the power of the Internet for his victory.  They insist that something must be done “for the good of democracy”. For example, in an opinion piece for the Guardian, U.S. Senator Al Franken proposed that it is time for the U.S. government to step in because Google, Facebook and Twitter have failed to prevent the spread of propaganda, misinformation, and hate speech

    As lawmakers grapple with the revelations regarding Russia’s manipulation of social media during the 2016 election, many are shocked to learn the outsized role that the major tech companies play in so many aspects of our lives. Not only do they guide what we see, read, and buy on a regular basis, but their dominance – specifically in the market of information – now requires that we consider their role in the integrity of our democracy. Last week’s hearings demonstrated that these companies may not be up to the challenge that they’ve created for themselves. In some instances, it seems that they’ve failed to take commonsense precautions to prevent the spread of propaganda, misinformation, and hate speech.

    Those are very ominous words. So precisely what would constitute “propaganda”, “misinformation” or “hate speech”?

    When you start regulating speech, you cross a very dangerous line.  There is a reason why our founders guaranteed us freedom of speech in the Bill of Rights, because if we don’t have the freedom to say what we want then what do we really have left? During the presidential election, there was a lot of talk about Hillary Clinton’s health.  The mainstream media insisted that she was just fine, and they accused those of us in the alternative media that were questioning her health of engaging in “propaganda” and “misinformation”.  Well, it turns out that we now know that Clinton’s health was so bad that Donna Brazile was actually considering replacing her as the nominee, and so it was actually the mainstream media that was putting out “propaganda” and “misinformation”.

    Any effort to institute some sort of “truth police” would take us significantly down the road to totalitarianism, but apparently that is what Franken wants.  In fact, he is openly suggesting that it is time for government regulators to step in… Instead of simply trusting the big tech companies to police how their services are being used and abused, Franken suggested that regulators need to step in. Lawmakers should take a closer look at the influence technology plays in the everyday lives of Americans by conducting “vigorous oversight in the form of investigations and hearings to fully understand current practices and the potential for harm,” the Minnesota senator said.




    Pastiche, ThomPaine, 99Forever and 20 othersjwirr, kath, slay, Babel 17, Blackspade, DesertRat2015, rudycantfail, Jan Boehmermann, A little weird, nevereVereven, cui bono, Ohio Barbarian, gordyfl, Lorien, Silver Witch, Eggar, HubHeaver, Dragon Turtle, Art from Ark, djean111 like this

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26 replies
    • djean111 (6518 posts)
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      1. Oh my – Al Franken sure does love those theatrical "hearings", doesn't he.

      Lots of “presidential” sound bites.   Lots of sound and fury signifying nothing but grandstanding.

      • *Obligatory disclaimer - when I say "Democratic Party" I mean the DNC - the Clintons and the un-elected people and the consultants and the lobbyists and the corporations who actually run things.  The people who work and vote and are registered as "D" are no more the actual party than Trekkies are Star Trek.   Extra credit - the Democratic Party gets to actually fuck up your life. When you vote for it.
      You think the only reason that people won't vote for a warmongering Third Way fracking-enabling cluster bomb throwing H-1B increasing lying pandering corporate and Wall Street shill who says she has no problem putting abortion rights on the table is because we are mad about Bernie?  Um, nope.
      • Ferd Berfel (6359 posts)
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        3. It's SHOWBIZ!………..Thank You

        …and you think you’re going to stop this simply by ‘pulling a lever’, in a booth, behind a curtain, every 2 years? - Know yourself. And if you need help with that, call the FBI. -  There is only ONE solution to this mess:  New Party !  
        • MistaP (8051 posts)
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          12. another laughmeister thinking they had America twined around their finger

          when they pushed Her even during the primaries–especially the under-30 viewers

          they’re just stoners and college students whose debut to the real world’s been delayed–I could get them to flock behind Pinochet with tits if I wanted to

          at least Lovitz gave us The Critic


          http://www.salon.com/2016/11/09/the-hillary-clinton-campaign-intentionally-created-donald-trump-with-its-pied-piper-strategy/ (Third Way = Bell Curve)
    • retired liberal (2184 posts)
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      2. Senator Al Franken is on the list of the last people that should be regulating

      the Internet. Another sell out DINO that looks for corporate approval first over what is good for and what the people want.

      No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up. Lily Tomlin ::: Society would be much better off if a simple law was passed... That upon a Company/Organization acting unlawfully, the Directors/Executives/Senior Management (and anyone directly involved) shall be held personally liable and upon successful prosecution will face jail time.
    • Silver Witch (6332 posts)
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      4. Oh Senator Franken how you have betrayed those of us that supported you….

      More wasted money…DAMN IT.

      I shall now rue the day I thought he was a progressive.  Censoring Facebook, Twitter and Google…of course – cause Free Speech isn’t FREE!

      Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost~John Quincy Adams  
    • MistaP (8051 posts)
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      5. and keep in mind this was all to prevent the spread of documents

      that were admitted to be true every time they were brought up, and have half-admitted that the whole thing’s a hoax they cooked up anyway to see what trouble they could get Trump in (you mean beside the time he raped his wife because a scalplift had become inflamed?)

      and we don’t just stand for it, we rationalize it

      http://www.salon.com/2016/11/09/the-hillary-clinton-campaign-intentionally-created-donald-trump-with-its-pied-piper-strategy/ (Third Way = Bell Curve)
    • whispers (1589 posts)
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      6. Senator Al Franken is an a**;

      a corporate tool.

      "There is no god higher than truth."  Gandhi
    • incognito (2116 posts)
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      7. The less access the peasants have to truth

      the better it is for the authorization fascists running this country.

      It’s our one last avenue to stopping their complete control.

      Fuck Franken.


    • Ohio Barbarian (8523 posts)
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      8. I started to read one of his books once. I couldn't make it thru the first

      chapter. All he did was talk about himself and how clever he was. He’s another narcissistic dick. The oligarchy loves that type of politician. Easily bribeable.

      Give us the courage to do what is right, and if it means civil war, then let it come. --John Quincy Adams   
    • cui bono (1707 posts)
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      9. What a disappointment he turned out to be.

      The DNC can try to squash us but we'll just come back stronger.   
    • Satan (3671 posts)
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      10. Jerry isn't happy about this, Al…….

      He never expected this type of betrayal from you. Certainly he had more faith in you than I did (I remember your shilling for the PNAC war agenda on your radio show)

      I didn't refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton because any goddamned Russian told me to. I refused to vote for her because she is a warmongering, election stealing, Goldman Sachs fellating, Republican WHORE. No offense to sex workers.
    • Jan Boehmermann (4895 posts)
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      11. I was one of the suckers who sent Al Franken money…….

      Not much money, but I sent money because I thought he was better than Norm Coleman in a very close race.

      He’s been a big disappointment. 

      • jwirr (4525 posts)
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        19. Me to and I am thinking that our two MN sellouts are not going to have any

        opposition either this election or in 2020. I am hoping MN gets their act together.

      • Dragonfli (1349 posts)
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        23. If it is any comfort, the lesser of two evil lie is expertly crafted to deceive

        even the best of us into voting against our best interests. Most of us with the greatest of intentions and the deepest desire to see positive change are intentionally targeted using psychological and propaganda techniques tailor fitted to the hopes of those that would fight back rather than demure in cowardly retreat.

        The pain and feeling of betrayal one feels after being deceived by a LOTE whore is the only cure that can lift the scales that prevent one from seeing through such deception.

        Your betrayal is also your graduation to a deeper reality, you shall no longer be fooled as easily. Your eyes are now open. For nearly all of us this bitter path is the only way to get past lesser evilism and so is nothing to be ashamed of.

        The lesson – ofttimes the “lesser” evil can, by manipulating trust, cause far more damage than the apparent “greater” evil.

        Our only potential salvation –  an understanding that no evil is less, all evil destroys and so no evil must be supported, even if the illusion would suggest the alternative obvious evil is too odious to deny support of the lesser evil that would take it’s place.

        It is best not to support either evil, to oppose them both in any way possible, supporting the predators that use the LOTE lure only proves to them the tactic works and helps ensure we will never be free of it.


        “We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust. We must dissent from a nation that has buried its head in the sand, waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away. We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.” Thurgood Marshall


    • Blackspade (3811 posts)
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      13. Al Franken has become a characature of himself.

      Just another sellout to the security state.

    • Mnpaul (1771 posts)
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      14. Yeah, we should take advice from a self admitted Luddite

      who knows nothing about computers -NOT.

      If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything - Hamilton
    • Hobbit709 (3822 posts)
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      15. Censor yourself first, Al!

      I won't shut up and I don't waste my time teaching pigs to sing
    • Babel 17 (4569 posts)
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      16. Same reason he used his power against the will of the voters in his state

      He thinks he knows better, and wants to exert his influence over people.


      TAPPER: … Senator Sanders won the Minnesota caucuses. You have endorsed Hillary Clinton. You are a superdelegate. What do you make of the argument put forward by the Sanders campaign that superdelegates who represent states that Sanders has won should consider voting for the candidate supported by Democratic voters in their state?

      FRANKEN: Well, superdelegates are part of our system. I haven’t read that in the rules, that interpretation.

      TAPPER: You can vote for whoever you want.

      FRANKEN: Right.

      TAPPER: But they’re saying shouldn’t you, as a senator of Minnesota, follow the lead of the voters, the Democratic voters who turned out for the Minnesota caucuses?

      FRANKEN: I think Democratic voters who elected me to the Senate want me to exercise my judgment on who I think would be the best president of the United States, and I think that person is Hillary Clinton.

      Bold added by me. That’s Hillaryous. They very specifically voted against the establishment candidate in the primary.

      He thought his constituents reactions should be mocked. Is he still laughing?

      • Stockholmer (4560 posts)
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        17. this is super shallow, not really germane to his banditry, but I always found

        1. Franken to be a whinging, annoying cunt. Just had to add that frivolous tag-on for some reason.


    • jwirr (4525 posts)
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      18. So Al wants to censor all of us? Is he losing it? This may be a problem as even

      here on JPR we are not ever sure of what is truth but to give up freedom of press is not the answer. Al for your information we do not trust the government anymore than we trust the media. Both parties since at least the 90s have created this situation and they will not fix it when their standing is threatened. They especially will not fix it by giving up another of our constitutional rights.

    • closeupready (2385 posts)
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      20. I never liked him, and each time he makes news, I like him less.

      Disgusting sellout.

      The opinions and views expressed herein are solely those of the author.
    • 99Forever (4467 posts)
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      21. Fuck off Franken, you turncoat piece of shit.

      Isn’t there corrupt some establishment ass you should be kissing, you spineless lackey?

    • Average Gazoo (1908 posts)
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      22. The answer for "misinformation" etc is MORE speech, not less

      The marketplace of ideas has to be open for the best ideas and truth to win. Propaganda works by limiting access to facts and viewpoints so what Franken and other Russia-Did-Its are advocating is an environment where state propaganda faces less open debate.

      I think the election of Trump proved the increasing limitations of old guard media.  This “problem” continues as polls show that the same American public which did not buy Hillary Clinton, is now not buying the anti-Russia hysteria despite 14 months of obsession by the media cartel.  They are no doubt concerned about how they sell their next big war or Rights-eroding laws in this kind of environment.  So far they are mostly trying to put the peer-to-peer genie back in the bottle — not going to happen.

      • Dragonfli (1349 posts)
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        24. P2P may well end up being the only tool left in our box in the end. /nt

        “We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust. We must dissent from a nation that has buried its head in the sand, waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away. We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.” Thurgood Marshall


    • BuySellTrade (414 posts)
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      25. Disappointed in Al Franken

      Free speech is too nebulous.

      What should be limited, if anything, on the internet is propaganda from organized government or corporate bodies that do not disclose the source and intent of the propaganda.

      Some news media needs to be subject to Fair Use and Factual clause or the like.



    • ThomPaine (5549 posts)
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      26. I don't see the problem that people can broadcast their message far and wide.

      When I try, I find out that there is no one out there listening or following.  The Powers That Rule have always been able to broadcast their propaganda.  This is an important fight.  Franken is on the wrong side of this fight and this war.