FOOLISHNESS FROM THE PRIVACY COMMISSIONER

NZ Privacy Commissioner John Edwards condemned the Twitter and Facebook bans on the White House abomination.

“These are arbitrary, cynical, unprincipled and further evidence that regulation of social media platforms is urgently required.”

First; what on earth has this to do with privacy issues? Edwards will say he was commenting in his private capacity but knows full well that if he were Joe Blow, his remarks would be ignored. The only reason they were reported was because of his public office.

But on the salient issue, surely Edwards is familiar with the old “shouting fire in a crowded theatre” qualification when it comes to free speech and censorship and to equate it with book burning is infantile.

Far from being cynical and unprincipled the ban on Trumpian poison and its track record of awful consequences was pragmatic and honourable.

Edwards bureaucratic mentality in calling for regulation is ludicrous.

Every day the media in all its forms make decisions on publishing individuals’ opinions, be they letters to the editor, cutting off talkback callers and so on. That includes government agencies such as Radio New Zealand.

They have no legal or moral obligation to provide platforms for views they consider obnoxious or harmful. It’s called private property, something Edwards seemingly has anathema for. It’s noteworthy that his protests have been echoed elsewhere with the same simplistic arguments.

13 Comments

I agree this is not a privacy matter, but rather freedom of speech; if you believe there should be.

Main stream media has allot to answer for, and not allowing natural justice is one of them. Their stories are largely fictional or half truths, and have way too much power over the masses.

As they say, ‘why let truth get in the way of a good story’ when your agenda is nothing more than to generate advertising revenue and lead the masses in the wrong direction as directed by vested interests.

    100% agree. The soon there is more competition for these platforms the better. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Yes privately owned BUT public platforms. Not a large leap to “tool of the state!”. Go woke, go broke. I desperately hope Trump starts his own platforms. I don’t subscribe to any of the others but would subscribe to opposition to them. Just to piss them off and maybe send a message.

Aside from whether or not this chap should enter the debate, the subject represents an interesting dichotomy: perhaps yes, Twitter, Google, Amazon, et al, should have the freedom not to serve unwanted customers, but it is their sheer reach, dominance and influence that brings this into an altogether new sphere of concern. They weild an awesome power that may well warrant closer scrutiny. Either way, frustration grows and grows within those who have no equal platform.

    You are on to it. They are dangerously powerful and accummulate funds daily that would pay off our national debt making them more powerful. Infact so big no one is prepared to try and compete because they are too dominant.

The problem is that these corporates don’t want to be treated as media and therefore responsible for everything they publish but they do want to be allowed to monitor and select what is communicated through their services.

That is a cherry-picking option and hence the desire for regulations to specify independently which cherries they are allowed and in fact must pick.

Confusingly the US courts previously ruled these were public services from private providers and therefore Trump was not permitted to select who could view and respond to his comments yet the providers currently claim the right to ban him altogether.

These inconsistencies require legislation to resolve.

    Such regulations is unlikely to happen during the new administration.
    The silencing and the impeachment are desperate attempts to stop trump winning 2024.

      Dave
      They will make Trumps life hell for the next 4 years. He’ll be lucky to survive bankruptcy. Attacks will come from dozens of angles. He’ll spend any fortune he has defending himself while the “get even” Liberals use the public purse.
      He won’t run again.

One problem. If Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter don’t like you and then block you outright…then you don’t exist, even if you would have otherwise won an election in a landslide, if only people were allowed to know you and your ideas existed. That is power.

They need to be regulated. If not, then we might as well give people like Zuckerberg the Kings crown and stop pretending they don’t rule us.

And if the media giants don’t like it, then they can pack up their bags and find another country to operate in. It’s a free world.

As if Dorsey and Zuckerberg give a rat’s ass about the opinion of a “privacy commissioner” in New Zealand…Is there anything beyond self-importance that motivates these people?

Twitter and Facebook are publicly listed companies, not private companies.

They rely on public perception to keep their share price up. As of now enough people are still happy at their 21st century equivalent to the calls of “Juden! Juden!” when deciding who to you should do business with.

That may change. Or it may not…

Pity the media can’t somehow gag the venomous 80 year old Nancy Pelosi and her gang. My predictions are her desperate hope for finally getting Trump impeached will fail on legal grounds. These old people in control should” move on” and retire gracefully. More importantly, they should focus on the prepotent – China, and of their rise and rise instead of Trump’s game playing.

We have laws against the refusal of service (and discriminatory restrictions generally) on the basis of race, religion, gender and political affiliation etc.
Most of these bannings (including those on New Zealanders) are curiously unexplained but appear to be entirely political. Would Twitter & Co be in breach of our laws and similar laws elsewhere.

Twitter and et al are unregulated, as far as I understand and have legal liability immunity. I have family in Manhattan, Apparently the “riot” on Capitol was well expressed over social media, the FBI were informed, and all before Trump’s speech. Twitter & Co let it ride.
Ironically Pelosi’s job is Capitol security. Capital Chief of Police says ” they expected protestors”. Nancy has garbled a response to this and the “horned” clown who was so prominent in the riot was not a Trump supporter, just there for the ride or induced.
Nancy sacked the Chief of Police and has demanded an inquiry. Here’s betting her hatred of Trump is so intense, she is determined to divide and conquer – all this is in a country already divided with no thanks to social media. The private companies of the social media giants may have taken a step too far in their purging. Maybe new laws may open the gates and make these companies liable to be sued – but only in America.

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