back to article Trump's gone quiet, Parler nuked, Twitter protest never happened: There's an eerie calm – but at what cost?

There was supposed to be a protest at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco on Monday organized by supporters of President Trump furious at the web giant's decision to permanently ban his personal account. It never happened. Part of the reason why is because the protest had been organized over the app Parler, and Parler went …

  1. R Valentine

    Very well put!

    Spot on! Thanks.

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    A possible alternative take on this is that what's happened over the last years has been a distortion of what even social media would normally allow under Trump's political influence. As that influence evaporates we're seeing a return to normal.

    1. jake Silver badge

      And evaporate it did. The "twitter protest" in San Francisco consisted of one lone person waving a very small American flag.

      Seriously. They had a protest in San Francisco, and nobody came.

      I guess there is a first time for everything.

  3. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    1st amendment

    only applies to the government.

    If you sign up to use farcebork or twatter or amazonian forest servers , then you have to abide by the T&C they say.. as they are private organisations not government. dont abide... they have the right to pull the plug (just wish they'd done it sooner)

    As for Trump, most of the US citizens I know (from both democrat and republican sides ) are all of one opinion..... what the hell is trumpy still doing in the white house....

    1. cornetman Silver badge

      Re: 1st amendment

      Completely agree. As the article suggests though, it becomes problematic if the companies themselves come to have such enormous influence and power that they rival the government.

      Yes, Google, Facebook and Twitter cannot throw you in jail, but as we have seen, you can be cut off from society very quickly and definitively if they so desire it, so much have people come to rely on their services.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: 1st amendment

        "Yes, Google, Facebook and Twitter cannot throw you in jail, but as we have seen, you can be cut off from society very quickly and definitively if they so desire it, so much have people come to rely on their services."

        But this just simply isn't true. He can still view people's inane ramblings on Twitter, just not produce his own. And he can still use Google. Hell, he has a room full of reporters just down the corridor. But he can't send hateful drivel on the toilet now, so he's having a sulk.

        Yes, the tech giants have too much power, but this isn't proof of it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 1st amendment

        "As the article suggests though, it becomes problematic if the companies themselves come to have such enormous influence and power that they rival the government."

        I would counter that the companies waited to act ecause they knew the US Government could stop them.

        Before Trump, US Presidents didn't require Twitter to run the country - believing that has changed ignores the damage done by using Twitter as a means of ruling and assumes mob rule and an occassional half-truth is the way forward.

        1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: 1st amendment

          "

          Before Trump, US Presidents didn't require Twitter to run the country - believing that has changed ignores the damage done by using Twitter as a means of ruling and assumes mob rule and an occassional half-truth is the way forward.

          "

          But it certainly has changed. The early presidents did not need TV or radio to run the country. Or telephones for that matter.

          1. NerryTutkins

            Re: 1st amendment

            Firstly, no earlier president used television and radio to incite a mob of his angry conspiracy theorist followers to raid the capitol building and attempt to hunt down the VP and various other politicians. So it was never really an issue before.

            Secondly, television and radio have some editorial control. If a president did openly incite revolution, I am pretty sure they'd have pulled the feed at some point.

            We live in extraordinary times, but try to think 5 years ago whether the prospect of a US president openly starting to foment civil war and insurrection after losing an election by a significant margin was even a possibility. Extraordinary actions call for extraordinary responses.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 1st amendment

              "If a president did openly incite revolution, I am pretty sure they'd have pulled the feed at some point."

              Even Fox News have recently incurred Trump's displeasure by cutting away from televised White House briefings because of the misinformation about the election result.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: 1st amendment

          "Before Trump, US Presidents didn't require Twitter to run the country "

          They still don't need it. If a leader only had a blog of their own, would it be materially different? People would still visit that blog and take content to every other platform. I see "news" articles that are nothing but copy/paste from InstaPintaTwitFace and very little else. I suggest that no government agency use any social media company as their primary way of disseminating information. The parks and recreation department of my city was publishing events on FB rather than under the P&R tab of the city web site. In fact, the city web site isn't maintained much at all and puts notices out as MS Word documents rather than text or pdf. They don't seem to realize that the M$ office applications cost real money and not everybody can afford them so it just leads to piracy.

      3. iron Silver badge

        Re: 1st amendment

        > Google, Facebook and Twitter cannot throw you in jail, but as we have seen, you can be cut off from society very quickly and definitively

        I have never used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or ANY social media site. My GMail addresses are only known to two people and some cloud services. I do not need any of these companies. They could cut me off tomorrow and I would barely notice.

        Being a member of a social media network does not make you a part of society.

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: 1st amendment

          Never been on Facebook, I could cope with losing Twitter, and LinkedIn only appeals to the narcissist in me. I might even cope with losing gmail.

          But they will have to prise my commentard credentials from my warm, plump hand.

          1. Mage Silver badge
            Coffee/keyboard

            Re: 1st amendment

            Ben Shapiro or someone said, "What if it was Facebook that had been shut down rather than Parler?"

            Well, I for one would rejoice at companies having to have their own websites, the drop in suicides, bullying, misinformation campaigns, scamming, copyright violations and outright lies. The reduction in personal information being harvested and sold to advertisers. Advertising budgets switching back to print and broadcast instead of Facebook.

        2. Rol Silver badge

          Re: 1st amendment

          Well it does, but a mostly incoherent society, which without moderation would have had the reanimated body of John Wayne sat in the White House by now.

      4. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: 1st amendment

        And if you run a business from them, it can kill your business also. One of the possible issues is killing of a, what can be seen as a competitor, that being Parlor.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: 1st amendment

          "And if you run a business from them, it can kill your business also"

          Amazon is getting known for that. If you have a product that sells very well and Amazon can have it made themselves and stamp their brand on it, you will be deleted. It's been reported enough times in enough detail for me to believe they do it. I've also seen reports from some sellers that built a business through Amazon to find one day their account has been deleted due to a complaint that was still be resolved leaving them with a garage full of merchandise and a complete loss of income. They can shift to another platform such as eBay, but they lose any reputation they've built up and are starting over.

          AWS is the service provider to Netflix. How daft do you have to be to have your business relying on a direct competitor?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 1st amendment

      Take Trump & Parler out of this. This decision was made by Apple, Google, and Amazon. And I guarantee it wasn't a rogue decision made by a handful of low level managers. This came from the top, it happened, and allowing it creates a slippery slope.

      Has big tech grown too big and powerful, to the point that abuse of that power exists? Does big tech need to be treated like a utility and regulated where they cannot restrict customer access on the basis of a corporate decision? Or, in this case, corporate collusion to take out a rival social media company.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        How about imagining that the President of "the most powerful country in the world" doesn't need to use Twitter to contact his countrymen ?

        He's got a fucking Speaker. He's got a room dedicated to recieving journalists. He can have a news conference whenever the fuck he wants, and the journos will be chafing at the bit to get the news out.

        Neither Twitter nor Amazon are a condition of Democracy.

        1. niio

          You may not have noticed that the room full of 'journalists' hate Trump and the 'news' they get out is the most negative interpretation of whatever they hear. Sometimes it is stuff they didn't even hear.

          1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge
            Joke

            You don't fool us niio. You're really an antifa BLM false flag trying to make Trump supporters look like crazed conspiracy theorists.

          2. sabroni Silver badge

            re: the room full of 'journalists' hate Trump

            And, worse than that, they'll fact check using actual facts rather than alternative ones.

          3. 45RPM Silver badge

            This is demonstrably false. Those journalists, even the ones with broadly left-wing views, have given a moderate and moderated interpretation of Trump, at least when compared with what he was actually saying. Look at what's happened over the past month. If those journalists had given an accurate interpretation, they have said that Trump is not only a wannabe dictator, but he's a wannabe worst-possible dictator. They didn't. Trump's actions demonstrated quite how bad he really is.

            Remember also that if they reported "stuff they didn't even hear" then they'd be held to account for it, and they'd have to apologise - at least, if they reported it as part of News and not as part of Editorial (which is how Fox gets away with such flagrant abuses of the truth, of course). So, if you're saying that they reported "stuff they didn't even hear" as part of the news then you're going to have to cite the evidence for this. With links to reputable sites. Not merely links to what your pal Rudolf said on Parler.

            1. Frank Fisher

              That's a plain lie. I have watched a press conference video of Trump denouncing white supremacism immediately after Charlottesville and the room full of journalists reporting that he supported it. The back and forth during the press conference was a furious screeching match with journalists demanding condemnation, Trump giving it, and in the next breath journalists screeching that he had not. It was insane.

              Here, see for yourself - full conference - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ovkMSJ6svc

              And here is the moment that the press decided to lie about from that day to this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ovkMSJ6svc&t=1165s

              1. 45RPM Silver badge

                One example, and an example where Trump is on a tight leash. He knows that he's in trouble, and he's back-pedalling as fast as he can. Frank, you're on the wrong side of history.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  I guess civil war, bread lines, and poverty as far as the eye can see is the right side of history?

          4. Dave K Silver badge

            The problem is that in the past, a president talked to the media and they both published and commented on his words, plus often applied a bit of slant as well. Trump didn't like this, he didn't like his words being analysed and his statements being fact-checked. That is why he loved Twitter so much. He could speak directly to his supporters without any editors pulling him up over inaccuracies.

            This gave him a *lot* of power and the freedom to make up his own version of what "Truth" is. It's one of the reasons why so many Americans believe the election was "stolen" - because Trump said so on a platform where there is no editor, no presenters opinions or anything else. Sure there's been a little warning label, but that's nothing compared with the political analysis you usually find in the mainstream media.

            Now, Trump is screwed. He cannot spread lies via his favourite platform any more, and most media outlets who may publish statements from him will not have any qualms about pointing out the flaws, lies and inaccuracies within. Especially after Trump has spent four years belittling and insulting them at every possible opportunity.

            Or to put it another way, Trump has burned tons of bridges during the last few years, this is why he's now isolated and trapped on a quiet little island by himself. And in many respects, he only has himself to blame for this. He alienated the media deliberately, and now that he's lost Twitter, he's left with nothing but hostile journalists. It's a mess completely of his own doing.

            1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

              he didn't like his words being analysed and his statements being fact-checked.

              Well that still happens, the papers / media report and fact check his twitter ramblings

              1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

                There is also the other side of the coin. The mainstream media also frequently publishes very selected and embellished "truths." I can think of many examples where the media interpretation of particular events was completely inaccurate and designed to influence opinions. Such as the time it was reported that aparticular person could not be deported under the HRA because he owned a cat. And many cases where EU regulations were grossly misinterpreted to make them appear ridiculous.

                1. tiggity Silver badge

                  That's the UK media you are describing, which are generally dismal & mainly toe the line desired by their (mainly right wing owners), hence the anti EU stuff in many UK rags. If you see something in teh Mail, Express, Sun etc. first thing to do (after asking why am I looking at this dross) is to fact check it as its normally bollox.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                That doesn't affect the millions that read it on Twitter, especially as they then believe the "horses mouth" and any contradictory reporting they hear later is labelled "fake news"

              3. juice Silver badge

                >Well that still happens, the papers / media report and fact check his twitter ramblings

                The number of people who will actively fact-check his twitter ramblings by looking at secondary sources is far smaller than the number of people who read them in the first instance.

                Especially since it takes time to produce an accurate fact-check - and still more time to present it in a way which won't bore people or dazzle them with boring details.

                And even more so because there's often ways to justify or "creatively interpret" what's been said, thereby muddying the waters, until everyone throws up their hands and declares it all to be fake news.

                There's a very strong case to be made for freedom of speech. Unfortunately, we seem to have forgotten (in the UK and the USA) that people need to be held accountable for what they've said. Though equally, deciding what's valid and acceptable speech is a can of worms in a tangle of brambles, sitting in the middle of a minefield...

          5. MachDiamond Silver badge

            "Sometimes it is stuff they didn't even hear."

            One of the modern problems with news media is if you speak in anything more than 5 word sound bites, what you say will be chopped down and taken out of context. If it takes 2 minutes to explain something fully, it will be hacked to the 10 seconds that support the narrative that the "news" agency wishes to send out. It's a lot like scammers that get you to say "yes" on the phone so they have you saying yes in the edit to something you didn't answer yes to. Another tactic is asking a question backwards so the answer without hearing the question is damning.

      2. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: 1st amendment

        Follow the Ts&Cs... No slipperyier slope than two sets of the rules!

        https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2021/01/09/twitter_deletes_trump_tweets/#c_4183418

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: 1st amendment

        Do you know what? I couldn't give a toss. After one armed insurrection attempt last week and more planned for the 16th and 17th, your freedumbs stop where mine freedom starts.

        Big Social Network have finally learnt this lesson too, and they know they've gone to far.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: 1st amendment

          "and more planned"

          When three sit down to talk revolution, two are fools and the third is a police spy.

    3. YetAnotherBob

      Re: 1st amendment

      "what is ... still doing in the White House?"

      I will forgive your obvious ignorance since this publication is British and you are likely not American.

      The change over of Presidents takes place on January 20th. Until that day, Mr. Trump is still the President of the United States. That is why the House of Representatives is trying to Impeach him. Like the last impeachment, there is likely to not be any actual criminal charges in the Impeachment. The US Democrat Party wants an impeachment on the record but will likely not have any actual charges that could be refuted. This means it is a meaningless charade. That's what the last two attempts were.

      Mr. Trump is not a dignified person and never has been really. That is definitely true. It is not however criminal. Impeachment is for crimes actually committed. But he is also a talented negotiator in a crude way. That's why he has negotiated peace treaties with North Korea for the first time in over seventy years and between Israel and several Muslim states in the region, for the first time ever!

      You may disagree with his politics, but he has held mostly to his campaign promises, which is why the Democrats hate him. It's also why half of America supported him. If you only know about him from the latest verbal gaff, they you don't see what he really is. If you listen to what Americans call the Lame Stream Media, then you definitely don't know about the real man. He has real strengths and real weaknesses. Some of what he has done is very good, some is very bad, and some is exactly the same as the two or three preceding Presidents have done.

      But he lost. So on January 20th, Mr. Biden, a more traditional bureaucratic sort of soft politician will become President. but in spite of what Mr. Biden is saying, it won't happen until January 20th and Mr. Biden actually knows it.

      So mark January 20th. that's the day everything stops being Mr. Trump's fault and becomes Mr. Biden's fault. Like Obama who tried to blame Bush for everything for six years, I expect Mr. Biden to continue to blame Trump, but nobody is going to buy it for more than a couple of months, except the reporters. They will eagerly fall for anything, just look at the coverage of 'hackers'.

      We Americans blame everything on the President. That's why Harry Trueman in 1948 put a sign on his desk that said "The Buck stops here".

      It's all just really the typical storm of American Politics. those people who broke into the Capitol in defiance of a police order will be tried and most will be convicted. but in two years, there will be a big movement in Congress back to the Republican side. It always happens.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 1st amendment

        Impeachment will stop him of his pension and travel allowance.

        As for his successes, are you referring to the wall, his fantastic new healthcare system, or his draining of the swamp?

        The first impeachment wasn't based on nothing. If was proven. It was only a sham because the republicans refused to do anything about it.

        As for North Korea, the only situation he defused is the one he created himself.

        Finally, yes, us Brits know that the president doesn't normally leave until the 20th, due to an archaic ruling from when it could take weeks for a president to travel the distance to Washington.

        That doesn't mean "Why is he still in office?" isn't a valid question after what has happened. If I'm wrong, please also correct the democrat AND republicans who are asking the same thing,

        Seems us Brits know more then you do, mate.

        1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          Re: 1st amendment

          "The first impeachment wasn't based on nothing. If was proven. - Seems us Brits know more then you do, mate."

          Wow, you actually don't. Nothing was "proven" all they did was make an accusation, then his political opponents in the House voted "aye", then it moved to Congress and they voted "noes". There is nothing impartial or judicial about impeachment: it is just another partisan vote, just like a vote of confidence in the UK Parliament.

          "Finally, yes, us Brits know that the president doesn't normally leave until the 20th, due to an archaic ruling from when it could take weeks for a president to travel the distance to Washington."

          For a Brit, you don't seem to know much about adherence to tradition. You know: Beefeaters, The Queen, the trooping of the colours, the income tax year not falling at the end of the month, etc.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 1st amendment

            Way to miss the point. Yes, it's tradition, that's why it's the normal course of events, which us Brits are fully aware of.

            But then, it's also tradition not to attempt a coup when you lose. And the tradition is not set in stone. Your attitude that we are stupid Brits for not knowing when the president leave office is bogus. Stop digging.

            The Ukraine report:

            https://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2019/images/12/03/20191203__full_report___hpsci_impeachment_inquiry__20191203.pdf

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: 1st amendment

            "There is nothing impartial or judicial about impeachment: it is just another partisan vote, just like a vote of confidence in the UK Parliament.

            "

            Impeachment is the biggest play in partisan politics. Obama was a huge D behind the scenes while Trump could be an a$$ in public and private. The mix of D to R at the time didn't lend much hope in perfecting charges so none were brought forth. During Trumps term there has been a the mix that makes is feasible, with a few turncoats. Nancy Pelosi also has a personal vendetta that she doesn't keep tamped down. She's trying to throw as much weight around as possible in the most silly ways. Requiring the members of the House to pass through a magnetometer and surrender briefcases to searches is bonkers. It might also lead to problems if a member is carrying sensitive documents. Really it's as pointless as Microsoft patting down its board members before they sit down for a meeting. I remember a charter jet visiting the airport where I work that had another state's governor and prominent business leaders. Homemade security sent a load of "security" people to wand and vet everybody before they got back on the jet (a 737) to continue on to their next stop. They same people that chartered the jet were the ones being scanned. Pointless waste of tax payer money to bring out a van of minimum wagers and set up an impromptu security checkpoint. It wasn't a passenger airport.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: 1st amendment

          "

          Impeachment will stop him of his pension and travel allowance."

          No, it won't deny him a pension and there never has been a "travel allowance". What Nancy is hoping to do is wind up with an outcome that prevents him from being eligible to run again in 2024. You have to wonder if the Democratic party is so weak that they think they won't have anybody that can beat him 4 years from now. Not even Kamala Harris.

          ***cough, Boris Johnson, cough***

      2. juice Silver badge

        Re: 1st amendment

        > You may disagree with his politics, but he has held mostly to his campaign promises

        Really?

        According to the sources I've very quickly checked, he's mostly failed to keep his campaign promises.

        https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/trumpometer/?ruling=true

        "25% kept, 21% compromises, 50% broken, 3% stalled"

        This appears to compare pretty unfavorably with Obama ("48% kept, 27% compromises, 24% broken"), though the Washington Post is a bit more generous with it's assessments.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/01/17/trump-has-broken-more-promises-than-hes-kept/

        "Trump has broken about 43 percent of 60 key promises — and kept about 35 percent. He settled for a compromise on 12 percent"

        Certainly, the wall between Mexico and the USA appears to have stalled, taxes haven't been simplified, foreign lobbyists haven't been banned, there's been no measurable change to US manufacturing growth and even pre-Coronavirus, the economy never grew at 4% and the federal budget was continuing to increase.

        On the other hand, he did at least partially manage to stem the decline of the coal industry, even if the long term costs of this (both economically and ecologically) almost certainly outweigh the short term political benefits...

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          The one and only "benefit" that the Trump era can pretend to is demonstrating is no uncertain terms just how much Republicans are toxic for Democracy.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: 1st amendment

          What most people don't realize is the President is far less powerful than they think he it. Some campaign promises can't be met. What can the President do to increase manufacturing? Congress needs to do the work to make it more advantageous for companies to locate factories in the US. They tend to do the opposite. Fender Guitars moved most of their production to Mexico except for the really high end models. They are subject to several overlapping regulators, state and federal, to be able to paint. This means that roving bands of inspectors drop in on them out of the blue forcing the plant shut down while measurements are taken. Each band having sometimes conflicting requirements/regulations. To hell with that. Move south of the border where there isn't all of this red tape or it's easily negotiated.

          The border wall was a key issue and Mr Trump had to pull out all of the tricks to make it happen. Even so, the vast majority of the work simply replaced the rusting swiss cheese that had been the "wall" previously. If the UK abutted all of the 'stans, it would have the same problems as the US. Most of the drugs entering the US come through the southern border. Even an incomplete wall can push it to known and difficult to pass choke points. The same goes for people smuggling/human trafficking. In a perfect world, there would be lots of opportunities in Mexico and people there would prefer to stay, but that's not the case. The US gives away all sorts of free stuff, has better health care, more job opportunities and less corrupt police. There also isn't the problem of violent drug cartels to the same extent. Of course many Mexican citizens and those even further south would like to come to the US. Even with generous quotas, the US has limits on how many people it can absorb annually. I know a couple of people that have emigrated legally. It's not hard, it just takes some time. They see the illegals in the same way as people barging into queues at a shop. "Wot?, Too important to wait your turn?"

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: 1st amendment

        "I expect Mr. Biden to continue to blame Trump"

        Given Mr Biden's known gaffs, he may also blame Clinton (both), Truman and even Obama and in the next breath praises his sister (wife, actually) for all of her support. I wouldn't be surprised if he mentions the "Harris Administration" one or twice in his inaugural speech.

  4. Marty McFly
    Holmes

    AWS now liable?

    AWS has decided to be the police for their customer's users. Okay, that's fine and dandy. There is no cloud, there is only someone else's computer. In this case the computer belongs to Amazon and they are deciding what it is allowed to do, despite tenants paying money to use it.

    What happens when they fail to catch threat actors, pedophiles, and other malcontents who are using AWS? Since they are now establishing themselves as the de facto police force for THEIR infrastructure, is AWS now liable because they have created this perceived safety? They cannot pick and choose which AWS tenants they enforce their policies with. If they are protecting society from the evils of Parler, then they must protect society from all other evils. Going forward any failure to do so would seem to be a legal liability.

    And since AWS has now made that commitment to policing their infrastructure, it stands to reason they will need unfettered access in to everything hosted there. That means everyone hosting anything in AWS needs to make it available for inspection by AWS at all times, assuming they do not have back door access already.

    The bottom line is this should make everyone hesitant to use AWS for any business critical infrastructure. If they have the power to shut one company down, they can do it to anyone - whether by mistake or intent. Go ahead and use AWS for non-critical workloads, but keep control of your core business assets.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: AWS now liable?

      "The bottom line is this should make everyone hesitant to use AWS for any business critical infrastructure."

      It's The Cloud. It's somebody else's computer. We keep telling you that. Why are you surprised when you find out what that means?

      1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        At Doctor Syntax...

        *Hands you an entire pitcher of your preferred imbibement*

        Cheers! I wish I could upvote you a trillion more times. Enjoy!

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: AWS now liable?

        @Doctor Syntax

        "It's The Cloud. It's somebody else's computer. We keep telling you that. Why are you surprised when you find out what that means?"

        This a thousand times but I cant believe how many people do not realise this in the real world. Not a comment about Marty McFly but of some users I was talking to yesterday who were surprised when I mentioned this about an unrelated cloud product. To them its just the same as the version they had installed locally with the data stored local. So why would it disappear?

        1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

          Re: AWS now liable?

          This a thousand times but I cant believe how many people do not realise this in the real world.

          It seems that there is a common belief that the Cloud is more safe, instead of the less safe it really is. I think that people think the Cloud acts more like BitTorrent or IPFS and if one copy disappears that is OK because there are other copies. Even technical people seem to act like they believe this.

          Of course, the name "Cloud" doesn't help - it suggests that the servers are tiny, equivalent and almost irrelevant, instead of the reality which is that your data is smeared out and if any one of them fails your data is irretrievable. It should have been called "The Smear" instead.

      3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: AWS now liable?

        " We keep telling you that. Why are you surprised"

        I'm pretty sure this was not a surprise to Marty

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: AWS now liable?

        The future is for ever... this means if the spirit of the times may change in a way that might consider what you think as wrong think... when that day come (when ignorant people like you are in your mid 40's) when your opinion is no longer listened to and will be considered ignorant and outdated. See you in about 5 to 10 years bud.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: AWS now liable?

      "AWS has decided to be the police for their customer's users."

      They have terms of service - it's not like this is the first site taken down because the hosting provider objects to the content.

      "What happens when they fail to catch threat actors, pedophiles, and other malcontents who are using AWS? "

      The stupid have a way of incriminating themselves - long may it continue.

    3. Jim Mitchell Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: AWS now liable?

      "They cannot pick and choose which AWS tenants they enforce their policies with"

      Why can't they? (Serious question)

      1. EnviableOne Silver badge

        Re: AWS now liable?

        fully agree, they are Their T&Cs, THEY set and enforce them as THEY choose

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: AWS now liable?

          Well, within reason, anyway. Those Ts&Cs form part of the legally binding contract with the paying customers. You can't just go changing them willy nilly especially if it can be shown to be an unfair contract.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: AWS now liable?

            Except I think you'll find that in the fine print that you agreed to when you joined the service, they CAN change the rules willy nilly. And often do.

            Define "fair". Keep in mind I'm providing a service that you are not paying for.

            1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

              Re: AWS now liable?

              "Define "fair". Keep in mind I'm providing a service that you are not paying for."

              Eh? AWS is free? That's not been my understanding. I learn something new everyday.

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: AWS now liable?

        Picking and choosing, where the material is legal to publish, is an editorial judgement and ought to make them liable for what they leave up. (Enforcing whatever the law says, OTOH, is not IMO an editorial decision but simply complying with the law and refusing to be an accessory to someone else's crime.)

      3. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: AWS now liable?

        "Why can't they? (Serious question)"

        A good question. After a few court cases from folk like Parler, perhaps a "precedent" is set when AWS inconstantly apply their T&Cs, and has to pay compensation. It is one thing to sling someone off your servers, surely it is another to not let them retrieve their data?

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: AWS now liable?

          "It is one thing to sling someone off your servers, surely it is another to not let them retrieve their data?"

          It might also be an issue if it was done without reaching out to the customer and bringing the issue to their attention and leaving time for it to be resolved. Technically, a judge could uphold Amazon's actions, but they might also find against Amazon if they didn't try to resolve the problem before they acted in such a major way.

          This is certain a big warning for other companies to stay away from using a much larger companies services. There are lots of examples of companies such as PayPal objecting to somebody selling something perfectly legal to sell such as adult films or firearms and terminating their accounts while also impounding the funds in the account. PayPal is more than a P2P service, they also do B2B. When I find a company has an SJW policy, I stop buying from them or using their services. You don't want to find your account terminated because you bought something from the wrong vendor or purchased an item they don't like.

    4. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: AWS now liable?

      AWS has decided to be the police for their customer's users

      No, they haven't. They've decided that they don't want this client to be their client any longer. They have cause for termination due to the content that Parler allows to be posted.

      And since AWS has now made that commitment to policing their infrastructure, it stands to reason they will need unfettered access in to everything hosted there.

      You're making too many jumps. What was posted on Parler was hardly hidden; once you're aware of that sort of thing, you can either ignore it (and condone it) or take action.

    5. jake Silver badge

      Re: AWS now liable?

      This isn't a freedom of speech issue. It's a freedom of the press issue. And as we all know, "Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one."[0]

      I own a printing press (two, actually). I am allowed to take contracts to print anything I like, for anybody I like (obvious exceptions exist: kitty pR0n, national secrets, etc.). But it's my press, so I am allowed to reject any contract if I don't agree with the message I am asked to print.

      However, I am ALSO allowed to accept a contract I do not agree with, if I need/want the money. And I am free to reject a reprint of that contract, or further work from that party, if I no longer need the money. Or simply because I don't want to. Completely capriciously.

      It's my press. My power over its output is absolute. If I refuse to print xtian or nazi or MyLittlePony propaganda, it is not censorship. The person requesting it can go elsewhere to get it printed. Or they can purchase their own press and print it for themselves.

      Anybody who doesn't like this are free to not contract with me to do their printing. They can even ask their friends to not use my services. But they can NOT force me to print for them. The law doesn't work that way.

      [0] In 1941, Norman Woelfel published a work called “The Fourth and Fifth Estate” which included the following quote: "It is foolish to assume, because in America we do not have an official propaganda agency dictating what shall be broadcast, that American radio is free. Like the press which is free for those who own and control it, the radio is free for those who can buy equipment, hire technicians and talent, and secure profitable advertising contracts.". Today, I rather suspect he would have included "Internet Servers" in that sentiment.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: AWS now liable?

        >> Or they can purchase their own press and print it for themselves.

        And there it is in a nutshell.

        If what you want to print is against the laws of the country, your beef is with the law and your response is the courts and/or your politicians; in the extreme, standing for election yourself with the intent of changing the law.

        If what you want to print is distasteful to the printer, he is in no way obliged to print your message. You have the perfect right to go somewhere else or purchase your own press (though the possibility exists that e.g. the paper or ink makers may not supply you: same options apply).

        1. stiine Silver badge

          Re: AWS now liable?

          So you're saying we have to make our own paper and ink?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: AWS now liable?

            Well, yes, you can make your own, if you like. I have made several batches of Jane Austen's family ink recipe, and it works quite well with a quill pen (or modern equivalent, if you don't have access to foul). Paper's a trifle harder, but doable. DDG either (or both) for details. These are good projects to do with your tweenager(s). Think completely hand-made greeting cards.

            However, in this modern world you can anonymously purchase paper and ink by the ton(ne). Same for all the pre-press and darkroom supplies you will need.

            For subversive material & distribution you're on your own.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: AWS now liable?

        But it's my press, so I am allowed to reject any contract if I don't agree with the message I am asked to print.

        As a private individual, yes you are allowed to reject any contract.

        But if you run a business, depending on which state or country you're in, you're not free to do so without breaking the law. As an example, there have been multiple cases both in the US and Europe where companies refusing to decorate a cake with a same sex marriage message for religious reasons have been found guilty of sexual discrimination. Likewise, here in the UK, if you run a bed & breakfast and you refuse to allow a couple to stay on the grounds that they are gay, you will be guilty of sexual discrimination in the eyes of the law.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: AWS now liable?

          Which is the very reason that I and my family will likely never own businesses - we're not allowed to say no to things we consider immoral, no matter how politely it's said.

          1. Mark 110

            Re: AWS now liable?

            But you are allowed to say no to things which are against the law. Calling for violent overthrow of the elected government is against the law - even in the USA I think.

        2. rg287 Silver badge

          Re: AWS now liable?

          But if you run a business, depending on which state or country you're in, you're not free to do so without breaking the law. As an example, there have been multiple cases both in the US and Europe where companies refusing to decorate a cake with a same sex marriage message for religious reasons have been found guilty of sexual discrimination.

          Do keep up. There's a very fine distinction there - you cannot discriminate against an individual, but you can choose not to take jobs you find distasteful.

          The case of the "gay cake" was ultimately ruled in favour of the bakery - to cancel a gay couple's hotel booking because they are gay is homophobic and a breach of the Equality Act. To refuse to make a cake bearing a message you disagree with is not discrimination.

          In this context, as a printer you would have more or less total freedom to pick your work.

          * Refusing a print job because the customer is black or homosexual would be discrimination.

          * Declining to print Pink News because you don't want the work is not.

          Web Hosts can pick their clients entirely at will, provided their decision is based on the product and not discriminating against a customer's protected characteristic.

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: AWS now liable?

            * Refusing a print job because the customer is black or homosexual would be discrimination.

            * Declining to print Pink News because you don't want the work is not.

            Cor , that *is* a very fine distinction! i can barely see it!

            So does the printer not want the work because he's too busy?

            or because the message is gay

            or because the readers are gay?

            If he's not worming out of it with the busy lie , and its one of reason those last reasons , isnt that the same as " because the customer is black or homosexual" ?

            1. EnviableOne Silver badge

              Re: AWS now liable?

              This is why their is a law and the courts get to rule on intent ....

              and ultimatley why these high profile cases were lost.

              The right to refuse service depends on the grounds on which you refuse.

            2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: AWS now liable?

              I think the rationale behind the very fine distiction is that you can change the message but you cannot change your sexuality. Similar lines of argument apply to other characteristics such as biological sex, sexual identity, race, age and disability. Whether they also apply to religion is, I suspect, unresolved.

            3. rg287 Silver badge

              Re: AWS now liable?

              If he's not worming out of it with the busy lie , and its one of reason those last reasons , isnt that the same as " because the customer is black or homosexual" ?

              Well yes, but prove it. This is why we have courts - to make that distinction based on the available evidence.

              In this case, Asher's Bakery had sold Mr Lee cakes before, and in this case offered him the cake but declined to provide the decoration. It was actually pretty clear that the distinction was on the content, not the customer. Certain commentators like Ian Hislop correctly predicted that the initial ruling would be overturned on appeal because the longer tail of consequences set by such a precedent get pretty silly pretty quickly - like compelling a Muslim printer to run your hilarious series of cartoons about Mohammed.

              In other cases it will be harder to spot. In retrospect the example of Pink News may not be the greatest because it often contains political content and one could trivially decline to print it on political grounds. Good luck challenging that. You could not be compelled to print it any more than you would be compelled to take a job printing material for the National Front. By contrast if you refused to print generic flyers for a local company who happened to be a proudly inclusive workplace, then it might be easier to show discrimination.

              Ultimately this is going to go to the ECHR where they will most likely uphold the Supreme Court's (unanimous) finding. You can't compel people to print or manufacture product that breaches their freedom of conscience & religion.

            4. gnasher729 Silver badge

              Re: AWS now liable?

              It’s not a fine distinction at all. If the president of the local rabbit breeder’s club wants to have the club’s newsletter printed, then you can’t refuse because he’s black, white, gay, or a “she”, or sometimes a “she”.

              If I (not gay) buy a wedding cake for my two gay mates, with a message on it that you don’t like, or for my two KKK mates with a message that you don’t like, you can refuse.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AWS now liable?

            With delicious irony, I'm afraid it's you who needs to keep up. The case is heading to the European Court of Human Rights, though with Northern Ireland apparently half in and half out of the EU after Brexit who knows what the consequences will be.

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-49350891

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: AWS now liable?

              No, rg287 is referring to the USA case, not the Belfast one.

              As for your second point, leaving the EU doesnt mean leaving the EHCR, despite what brexitters think.

              1. rg287 Silver badge

                Re: AWS now liable?

                No, rg287 is referring to the USA case, not the Belfast one.

                No, I quite literally linked to a story about the Ashers case in Belfast. The Colorado one has it's own nuances which I have not delved into.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: AWS now liable?

                  The Colorado case is nearly identical - order rejected due to LGBT content, while other goods were offered to the same customer. A clear case of declining a particular job but definitely not turning away the customer themselves.

            2. rg287 Silver badge

              Re: AWS now liable?

              With delicious irony, I'm afraid it's you who needs to keep up. The case is heading to the European Court of Human Rights, though with Northern Ireland apparently half in and half out of the EU after Brexit who knows what the consequences will be.

              Brexit has absolutely no relevance, since the ECHR predates the EU by some decades and has literally nothing to do with them. It is a court of the Council of Europe, which we have not left.

              The ECHR will support the Supreme Court because the alternative is that a Muslim printer would be compelled to produce your hilarious series of cartoons about Mohammed, that a company run by an immigrant would be compelled to produce anti-immigration material for a right-wing group.

              This is an interesting case which is not actually about (homo)sexuality - it's as much about whether you can compel someone to reproduce or publish your political beliefs (Gay Marriage being a significant political matter as much as a religious & civil rights matter).

              Would they have refused to produce that cake for a heterosexual client? Also yes? Then it's on the content not the customer. Undoubtedly Ashers are bigoted and were I a local, I would avoid doing business with them. But they have the right not to produce designs they find offensive - whoever the customer. Articles 9 & 10 of the Rome Convention are pretty clear on that.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: AWS now liable?

                Now don't get me wrong, I understand the meaning of "It's the principle of the thing" ... But why on Earth would a gay couple, when confronted by a bakery which obviously is run by anti-gay bigots, want to force said bigots to do their wedding celebration baking?

                And ESPECIALLY with something as personal as a wedding cake. I may not be gay, but I am married, and I guarantee that there is no way in hell I would want my cake to have been made by some fool who hated my guts just because they disapproved of the person I was marrying.

                When I run across such stupidity on the part of a business, I vote with my wallet and go elsewhere. And I make sure to tell my friends about it, too. Life's too short to deal with idiots.

          3. jake Silver badge

            Re: AWS now liable?

            Here at the Ranch, we reserve the right to ask people to leave if the dawgs or horses get upset in their presence. It has happened.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AWS now liable?

            rg287, you're exactly right - the line is drawn between the customer and the product. To reject a customer because of who they are (assuming some protected class) is discrimination, while rejecting an order that contains something you find objectionable isn't.

            Think of the ramifications of forcing a business to put whatever the customer wants onto the product (cake, printing, whatever). Going to force a Christian business to print Wicca promotional leaflets? A Jewish company to make a neo-Nazi cake? The only sane place to draw the line is at the object/service being provided.

        3. Robert 22

          Re: AWS now liable?

          "companies refusing to decorate a cake with a same sex marriage message for religious reasons have been found guilty of sexual discrimination."

          Actually, it looks like US legal system is tending in a direction where the baker has the right to discriminate https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-cake/u-s-supreme-court-tosses-ruling-against-wedding-cake-bakers-who-rebuffed-lesbians-idUSKCN1TI1MQ

          I would say that the right wingers want to have their cake and eat it too.

        4. The Axe

          Re: AWS now liable?

          The US case about the baking a cake failed as the bakery showed that they would serve the gay couple with any other product, just not a cake with the gay message on it. As they had not refused to serve the gay couple they were found not guilty.

        5. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: AWS now liable?

          " refusing to decorate a cake with a same sex marriage message for religious reasons have been found guilty of sexual discrimination. "

          I've seen at least two where the baker/decorator won. The couple had plenty of other options to have a cake make for them. Given the high percentage of gay people in creative arts, it shouldn't be too hard to find a gay cake decorator that would be more than happy to do the work. I see the lawsuits as rabble rousing and SJW campaigns. I've been in places that were predominately patronized by "people of color" and made to feel less than welcome. I'll spend my money elsewhere in future. I'm not going to sue the place.

      3. John Jennings Bronze badge

        Re: AWS now liable?

        In the UK, that isnt true anymore.

        The 'Ashers' case of 2018 put paid to that. Within the UK, it is illegal to refuse to deliver a service offered to the public, based upon the suppliers Religeous/Political beliefs or opinions.

        A similar law exists in Canada.

        https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/uksc-2017-0020.html

        1. rg287 Silver badge

          Re: AWS now liable?

          The 'Ashers' case of 2018 put paid to that. Within the UK, it is illegal to refuse to deliver a service offered to the public, based upon the suppliers Religeous/Political beliefs or opinions.

          Um, not really. In the Ashers case the bakers won. You can decline to provide a service if the product would conflict with your own right to freedom of expression and conscience - such as the particular text on a cake or the content of a print job.

          You cannot refuse to serve a person due to them being black/gay/disabled. Those are protected characteristics and we didn't need the Asher case to tell us that breaking the Equality Act is a crime.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AWS now liable?

            " You can decline to provide a service if the product would conflict with your own right to freedom of expression and conscience"

            There are UK cases where people are refusing to deliver public funded services on their religious grounds, eg gay adoption; civil gay marriages; contraceptives. In some cases there is a legal/guidance exception for them - which may or may not affect the recipient negatively.

        2. John Jennings Bronze badge

          Re: AWS now liable?

          Fair enough, I stand corrected.

      4. stiine Silver badge

        Re: AWS now liable?

        You can actually take contracts to print those things that you said were excluded. You might be disgusted, offended, and arrested, and have your presses confiscated, but you can actually contract to print them.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: AWS now liable?

          And I can drive off a cliff, too. Your point?

      5. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: AWS now liable?

        "It's my press. My power over its output is absolute."

        Yes, that's all true. But, if you take a customer's money, print the job and then refuse to deliver it, they can sue you. You may also be on the hook for other damages if your refusing to deliver causes harm to the customer. You'd be better saying no upfront or telling the customer after the job that you won't do any more like it. You'll still get all sorts of backlash depending on the group you are against. Ask the bakers that have refused to make cakes for homosexual couple's weddings.

    6. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: AWS now liable?

      People used to run BBSes on a computer in the corner of the bedroom. Then everything migrated to the Web, sitting on other people's computers in other people's offices. I can see a migration back to the computer in the corner of the bedroom, especially as hardware is so cheap and the supporting software infrastructure is so easy.

      1. Evil Scot

        Re: AWS now liable?

        Ha. Ahead of the curve here. Amazon doesn't serve media from the likes of The Kopyright Liberation Front. So I have my own server.

      2. EnviableOne Silver badge

        Re: AWS now liable?

        https://xkcd.com/908/

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: AWS now liable?

        "People used to run BBSes on a computer in the corner of the bedroom. Then everything migrated to the Web, sitting on other people's computers in other people's offices. I can see a migration back to the computer in the corner of the bedroom, especially as hardware is so cheap and the supporting software infrastructure is so easy."

        I used to have a local ISP back when dialup was a thing. My "cloud" services was a drive at their office I could back things up to. If I needed that back up, I could visit and download the files or take the whole drive. I don't think they ever looked at what I put on the drive. They lasted a while after broadband got to be a thing and finally had to close up shop. Maybe it's time that those services come back. I don't see a difference between a somewhat local service and one that's everywhere. I see a distinct advantage to knowing the operators and being able to personally visit the location. Maybe I bring a laptop and transfer needed files from a cubicle across a really fast LAN connection. If my office burns down, I might need a whole lot of data recovered in a hurry. I would never feel that Amazon had my back. I'll always be an insignificant customer to matter to them.

    7. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: AWS now liable?

      Since they are now establishing themselves as the de facto police force for THEIR infrastructure, is AWS now liable because they have created this perceived safety? They cannot pick and choose which AWS tenants they enforce their policies with. If they are protecting society from the evils of Parler, then they must protect society from all other evils. Going forward any failure to do so would seem to be a legal liability.

      soooo by your logic, that would apply to the actual police too?

      Theyve established themselves as the police of my local area, and stop *some* of the crime.

      Can I sue the police if I get burgled?

      1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: AWS now liable?

        "Can I sue the police if I get burgled?"

        You may be able to sue them (or at least get a complaint upheld) because the Police were too busy arresting people making pug dog videos to attend your break-in.

    8. phogan99

      Re: AWS now liable?

      Yeah, services (and not just AWS) will drop you if you become a liability for them. Cloudflare dropped 8chan after links to the El Paso and Christchurch shooters, Visa and Mastercard dropped PornHub over illegal content.

      You can use AWS etc just don't be seen as providing a safe space for repugnant content and violent conspiracy, which is what Parler did.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: AWS now liable?

      No, nothing has changed. Do you really think that before this event, Amazon would have been able to freely host for paedophiles, Isis, Boko Haram, the Mafia?

  5. cornetman Silver badge

    > When faced with the fact, many months ago, that Donald Trump consistently and knowingly broke their terms and conditions, Twitter and Facebook did an extraordinary thing and created a special exemption just for him, arguing that his musings were of such public interest and value that the rules didn’t apply.

    I agree with pretty much everything in the article, although I seem to remember that at one point, was not Trump's Twitter account determined to be part of the presidential record and therefore Twitter were barred from deleting it. It was a while back. I would love to be corrected if I am wrong.

    1. spold Silver badge

      ...I assume that's what permanently suspended means as opposed to deleted. It may persist as a matter of record, but it is not generally accessible nor active.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Library of congress

      Making the failed dictator's Twitter account part of the presidential record meant that the library of congress was required to preserve it in case Twitter chose to exercise their first amendment right to cease making it available to the public for free.

    3. MarlaSinger66

      FWIW Twitter provides 'official' government accounts for elected officials including the @POTUS account that Trump appears to have used to post more innocuous tweets but the vast majority of his shitposting was done through his personal @RealDonaldTrump account. This shitposting blurred the lines between personal opinions and policy announcements, which common sense should tell anyone reflected very poor judgement on his part. Twitter and all of the other major social media platforms do need to address many issues but they aren't required to provide a free stage for anyone. As has already been mentioned here, Trump has plenty of ways to address the public other than through social media so the idea that social media sites are somehow required to serve as extensions of existing communication venues is simply ridiculous.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        "This shitposting blurred the lines between personal opinions and policy announcements"

        Frankly, a sitting POTUS can't really broadcast purely personal opinions. It's an absurd notion.

        1. YetAnotherBob

          All opinions are the personal opinions of the person making them.

          So yes, Trumps opinions were his personal opinions. So are Joe Biden's and Nancy Pelosi's and for that matter Boris Johnson's. Everything said is based upon an opinion, so everything is a personal opinion.

  6. MatthewSt Silver badge

    Distributed options

    It'll be interesting to see if any distributed (in the decentralised sense rather than the federated sense) systems start gaining traction because of this.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Distributed options

      Isn't going to happen. The systems are already in place, and in use, planet-wide (IRC, Usenet, FidoNet, UUCP et alia). However, the brain-dead idiots the rabble-rousers are trying to recruit are too fucking stupid to figure out anything more complex than point & drool.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Distributed options

        EXACTLY.

        There are still hundreds of options for these idiots. They just feel they are entitled to someone else's property and resources.

      2. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        Re: Distributed options

        I am sure they all use BitTorrent anyway (I can't imagine most of them hold down jobs paying well enough to buy their own DVDs). Soon enough they will realise they don't need Youtube.

      3. The Axe

        Re: Distributed options

        Isn't going to happen? One word - Mastodon.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Distributed options

      They won't because these systems cost money to operate.

      You can freely howl into the void. But "free speech with an audience" is merely a side-effect of a commercial activity (newspapers, TV, Twitter, Facebook....) for most of us.

  7. Marcus_Bond

    That Parler palava is an example of why we we are sorely in need an innovative solution to the addiction of centralised data aggregators... I'm keeping my fingers crossed for 'Solid'.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trump is a massive c...

    Trump is a massive catalyst. The discord / hate / paranoia that he has so easily catalysed actually started long before. Remember Fox News and the derision it received when it started? Remember 'shock jocks' and their competition to out-shock each other and consequent rush to the bottom?

    Area 51 and UFOs started off as an amusing conspiracy theory which didn't much harm anyone. The fake moon landings was probably the first really serious, widespread, lunatic conspiracy and people did get hurt - astronauts were harangued and verbally assaulted. But it was tolerated by the majority. And now here we are 50 years later where believing what should be unbelievable has become commonplace.

    All these things were the "flaps of the butterfly's wings" that have enabled the perfect storm that is Trump and his supporters.

    1. 45RPM Silver badge

      Re: Trump is a massive c...

      I couldn't have said it better myself. Well, actually, perhaps I could - I wouldn't have said it anonymously. Nevertheless, have an upvote.

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Trump is a massive c...

      @AC

      "All these things were the "flaps of the butterfly's wings" that have enabled the perfect storm that is Trump and his supporters."

      Throughout history such hysteria has been the norm. We look back on witch trials, Nazis, religious wars and all sorts of insanity and wonder how they fall for it. Yet insanity under our eyes is allowed to pass because we are too close to see it.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Trump is a massive c...

        Fer instance: Children's Crusade, Savonarola...

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Trump is a massive c...

      Time to lighten the mood

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y-Pc0cz-9o

      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        Re: Trump is a massive c...

        I abhor violence, but that punch was deserved - and there aren't enough upvotes in the world. Well done. Mood lightened.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trump is a massive c...

      "The fake moon landings was probably the first really serious, widespread, lunatic conspiracy and people did get hurt [...]"

      Don't forget "Flat Earth". A major proponent recently died when his home made manned rocket crashed. He was trying to get high enough to prove the Earth is flat.

      He could have done what the ancient philosopher did - go to the top of a high seaside mountain - and look at the sea's horizon.

    5. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

      Re: Trump is a massive c...

      "Area 51 and UFOs started off as an amusing conspiracy theory which didn't much harm anyone."

      What about the "Trump is a Russian agent" conspiracy? Did that hurt anyone? Thankfully, everyone now knows it to be incorrect. Well, except for one person, and she doesn't matter.

    6. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Trump is a massive c...

      "Trump and his supporters."

      You should also add "people that are fed up with politics as usual". Plenty of non-Trump supporters are disgusted with US politics and politicians.

      While the Sars-Cov-2 virus was taking hold in the US, Congress was laser focused on the impeachment of President Trump to the exclusion of anything else aside from the usual patronage/pork bills. They went on to blame the President for the outbreak. Mr. Trump didn't help himself with his uninformed comments and support for snakeoil, but it was the Congresses duty to be doing something. They should have been allocating resources, material and financial, to get on top of what was already know to be a serious outbreak. They did nothing and the US is paying the price. To blame it all on one person is ludicrous. If everything was down to the President, including the micromanagement, there is no sense in having a legislative branch at all.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Trump is a massive c...

        @MachDiamond

        "If everything was down to the President, including the micromanagement, there is no sense in having a legislative branch at all."

        If it is all to blame on one person then surely he should be considered for credit in pushing for a vaccine that should have taken years (originally claimed) and doing what he could to have it developed sooner (by being brash).

        More-so while the EU have found themselves at the back of the line to get the initial doses Trump was already demanding more sooner from the companies and apparently at least one is changing their production to ramp up output.

  9. DJO Silver badge

    Whoops

    Before AWS pulled the plug some hackers got in and created millions of admin accounts and did a distributed download of everything, including the user database. Also the downloaded pictures still had Exif and GPS tags.

    I imagine the FBI already have all this directly from AWS but I wonder if it opens Parler up for prosecution for insecure data.

    Story

    https://twitter.com/bitburner/status/1348558563019427842

    Sample Data

    https://gist.github.com/d0nk/ef4e58645d3250851491e4550cb16e29

    1. The Axe

      Re: Whoops

      Get your facts right. There is a more recent claim of a hack, but it's not been verified yet.

      https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/was-parler-hacked/

      1. DJO Silver badge

        Re: Whoops

        If it was a "hack" or not is up for debate, they did scrape data that was not public facing such as deleted posts and the user database - did you look at the file I linked to?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whoops

        Hrs not talking about the old claim you linked to

    2. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: Whoops

      It seems one hacker, without any need to create any admin discounts, figured out that everything could be downloaded using easily guessable URLs.

  10. HildyJ Silver badge
    Boffin

    The First Amendment

    Parler's and Amazon lawsuit - Parler argued "that on Friday, one of the top trending tweets was "Hang Mike Pence, but AWS has made no effort to suspend Twitter's hosting account." But Twitter took it down on Saturday. And Amazon cited Parler's inability or unwillingness to remove such content was the reason for banning the social media service. Google and Apple cited similar and repeated violations of their T&C in taking down their app.

    The big problem with social media platforms is that they have made political speech something different. It isn't, nor should it be. Trump (and Biden and all Democrats and Republicans) should be subject to the same T&Cs and platforms should be willing to take messages that violate them down rather than just ignoring them or putting a "clarification" on them or not letting them be "liked".

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: putting a "clarification" on them

      Might as well have labelled them "patriot updates" would have had the same effect.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The First Amendment

      Fortunately, the leaders of nearly all countries are allowed to declare war, right? Imagine if Twitter deleted Neville Chamberlains' declaration in 1939.

      1. EnviableOne Silver badge

        Re: The First Amendment

        the president isn't, they require the authorisation of congress to declare war

      2. DS999

        Re: The First Amendment

        Yeah its too bad that leaders of countries never have had any way to communicate with their citizens other than Twitter. Wait, what, you mean there was no Twitter in 1939? And if there had been Chamberlain would have been under no obligation to choose that as his method for making such an important statement?

        Trump has not been "silenced". He has the biggest bullhorn in the world, he calls a press conference and there will be networks from around the world ready to report on what he has to say. Though if what he has to say is further incitement to riot and sedition, they may choose to cut off the live feed because they aren't under any obligation to help him stage a coup.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The First Amendment

          "And if there had been Chamberlain would have been under no obligation to choose that as his method for making such an important statement?"

          Chamberlain used the popular new medium of radio to talk directly to the population.

          In 1914 the declaration was announced on street-level newspaper billboards - possibly initially communicated by telegraph or telephone.

          You have to go further back to get a situation where it takes days or weeks for a proclamation to be propagated. The presidential inauguration delay is a vestige of such times past - when a relay of horse riders carried such news.

  11. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

    AWS hosts many of the TOR nodes on which you can find services which host child porn, including child rape, illegal drugs, and even those purporting to enable you to hire hitmen. Given that, why does AWS still allow these nodes?

    1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      My guess, 3 reasons...

      1) Those things, while illegal and obviously abhorrent, are not threatening the lives of 100's of millions of people, like a US fascist dictatorship would.

      2) Technical reasons - it is very hard to work out which nodes host which TOR services. Many TOR hidden services are perfectly legal, at least in the West.

      3) If they did that, how would the police take control and run these sites to catch their operators and users? Having them hosted on virtual servers owned by a co-operative multinational company, with a financial payment trail, is much more convenient than having to raid systems hidden in a cellar in a country with a barely functioning government.

    2. Jonjonz

      Allegations are easy, if you have proof and evidence, why don't you present them to the authorities.

  12. niio

    Here are the two tweets that Twitter used to justify Trump's permanent ban. So violent!

    “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

    “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Guy Fawkes

      I can't be bothered to look up the names, but as everyone* ought to know, the reason** that the gunpowder was discovered was that someone's relative was warned not to be at the opening of parliament. In the context of threatened attacks, "I won't be there" constitutes permission to "light the fuse".

      * From UKoGB&NI, anyway.

      ** Why invoke conspiracy [hard] when there's idiocy available?

      Also a "GIANT VOICE long into the future" from Mr "just find me some votes" Trump is just yet another indication that, no matter what the voting citizens of the USA have decided, he'd be perfectly happy to step back in and pick up the pieces 'just as an interim measure' if someone did accidentally drop a nuke on the event.

      Therefore, I think overall I'd prefer him to be at the event, (properly gagged and straight-jacketed) of course.

      1. Frank Fisher

        Re: Guy Fawkes

        And did you listen to the full 70 minutes of Trump's Georgia phone call, or just what the media told you to listen to?

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: just what the media told you to listen to?

          Just the bit where he asked the governor to find the votes he needed.

          I'll be honest, i stopped listening to the cunt after pussygate.

          You elected a man who thinks enough money gives you the right to sexually assault people. Who could have foreseen that it would go horribly wrong?

          Anyone with any knowledge of human behaviour could have foreseen that it would go horribly wrong.

          Keep at it, another couple of "elections" like this and the usa will go the way of the ussr.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: just what the media told you to listen to?

            "You elected a man who thinks enough /m/o/n/e/y/ power gives you the right to sexually assault people."

            You mean Clinton- twice?

        2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Guy Fawkes

          And did you listen to the full 70 minutes of Trump's Georgia phone call, or just what the media told you to listen to?

          Why do we all have to do that? the sound of the mans voice makes me feel sick in seconds.

          Cant you just point out the bits that support whatever it is you want to prove?

          It was the same when all the Trumpkins were screaming about ballot fraud

          Watch this 1 hour video of vote count station cctv they said

          Repeated requests by me to just say what time anything interesting happened were ignored.

          becasue nothing happened!

          Its like talking to flat earthers, but at least they kow theyre taking the piss, unlike these 'patriots'

          1. MarlaSinger66

            Re: Guy Fawkes

            I listened to the entire phone call as did several people I know and it was all completely revolting. It's disingenuous as hell to claim "the media" is in any way distorting Trump's own words, Guy Fawkes, but nice try.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Guy Fawkes

              Um.. Frank Fisher, not Guy Fawkes!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Guy Fawkes (off-topic)

        Someone's relative = Lord Mordaunt. He received the letter while he was at dinner with others, and rather than wait until later, had a servant read it out in front of all the dinner guests. Which even at the time was considered a bit odd, almost as though he knew what was it contained, and wanted to make it public immediately.

        When the Palace of Westminster was searched, they found nothing. They were then told to go back and search again, for some reason. Fawkes was only discovered on the second search, along with an enormous amount of gunpowder. I think it was about half of the amount that was kept in the Tower of London, and a huge amount for private individuals to have been able to source without raising any suspicions.

        The Gunpowder Plot is one occasion where the conspiracy theory (that it was compromised from a very early stage, and was allowed to proceed so far so that as many conspirators as possible would be caught) does hold some weight.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Guy Fawkes (off-topic)

          And my memory clearly isn't what it was. I should of course have said it was Lord Monteagle. Sorry about the confusion.

          <Dodders off to make a nice cup of tea...>

    2. MarlaSinger66

      Twitter's decision to ban Trump's personal (as opposed to his official @POTUS account) was based on far more than just two tweets, the company specifically stated that the larger context of current political unrest as well as Trump's thousands of other inflammatory tweets were the reason for banning his personal account.

  13. ecofeco Silver badge

    Cost?

    What is the price of of sedition and insurrection these days?

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Cost?

      Depends if you are president or someone who believed being a Trump supporter made her bullet proof. For most people it will be somewhere in between.

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Cost?

      @ecofeco

      "What is the price of of sedition and insurrection these days?"

      Not much. Wiretaps on your opponents, dodgy dealings abroad, destroying evidence, trying to destabilize the country and funding criminals isnt deemed much of a problem.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Cost?

        "Not much. Wiretaps on your opponents, dodgy dealings abroad, destroying evidence, trying to destabilize the country and funding criminals isnt deemed much of a problem."

        Ahh, all of those three letter agencies. They've even been caught eavesdropping on the committees tasked with their oversight.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cost?

      From what I've seen lately, a free MAGA hat per insurrectionist.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Cost?

        MAGA hats are still considered de rigueur? Who wants to advertise that they are one of the Muppets Annoying Genuine Americans?

  14. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    denying trumpettes a platform is a good thing, no need to clutch your pearls.

  15. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Oracle cloud is short of customers

    As Larry Ellison likes to give Trump a venue why hasn't Oracle stepped up?

  16. Forget It
    Thumb Up

    EFF' take

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/01/beyond-platforms-private-censorship-parler-and-stack

    "Whatever you think of Parler, these decisions should give you pause. Private companies have strong legal rights under U.S. law to refuse to host or support speech they don’t like. But that refusal carries different risks when a group of companies comes together to ensure that certain speech or speakers are effectively taken offline altogether."

    1. Rol Silver badge

      Re: EFF' take

      Except they didn't act as one. They individually, and over a period of time came to their own conclusions about how to deal with a very influential man, and his frothing supporters, all calling for various people to be hung and the rule of law disobeyed.

      What a lot of the alt-right crowd are calling for, is either they get a platform to spread hate and violence or no one gets a platform.

      Knitting circles, stamp collectors, train enthusiasts, all of them should be de-platformed under the same unflinching binary yes/no law, without any regard to context and universal acceptability.

      If any group is actively conspiring to end free speech, once and for all, it is the extremists amongst us, who time and again challenge alternative views with death threats.

      As I have already said before - "Free speech - free of malice" would be an ideal starting point for humanity to move forward, and define the context where free speech is or isn't acceptable.

      It has to be something that doesn't require a legal expert to explain. Everyone should be able to understand exactly where the Rubicon lies, and the consequences of crossing it.

      1. uncredited

        Re: EFF' take

        "They individually, and over a period of time came to their own conclusions about how to deal with a very influential man, and his frothing supporters, all calling for various people to be hung and the rule of law disobeyed."

        This may be what they claim and might even have been true but the timing of these deletes and bans on not just Trump and Parler, doesn't do them any favours and might even get them in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission that specifically bans and punishes group boycotts.

        Even Ron Paul was blocked from updating his Facebook page accusing him, of all people, of "repeatedly violating community standards".

        Facebook also deleted, without any explanation, several hundred thousand posts from a group consisting of people that have left the democratic party.

        This was a political takedown, nothing else.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Twitter and FB only managed to muster up the courage to ban Trump, after it became clear he was definitely leaving and could not long do anything about it. Once the threat of retaliation was basically over, then they acted.

    As ever with any form of censorship, all it's going to do is drive the message underground, where it's not able to face public challenge and condemnation. This is how echo chambers form and how terrorists are made.

    Censorship, no matter how good the intentions, will ultimately lead to greater evil, and so should be resisted in all its forms.

    Not only that, but when a society accepts censorship, you're installing someone else's filter between you and ideas. Who do you know who you trust implicitly to decide what ideas you can and can't access? I don't know a soul I'd trust to do that, let alone a corporation, or god forbid, a government!

    No matter how unpalatable then, the only logical conclusion is that this ban on Trump is NOT in the interest of humanity.

    1. jake Silver badge

      But Trump hasn't been censored, AC

      He's free to spout his drivel anywhere he likes. But not on my systems. And apparently not on Twitter's.

      Tell me, AC, is he free to use your gear, at your expense, to spew his garbage?

      1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: But Trump hasn't been censored, AC

        "is he free to use your gear, at your expense, "

        Except it's NOT at Twitter's expense. The market has quite swiftly told Twitter, via their share price, that Trump is a product that sells well. Dropping that product line will result in fewer customers. Hence the fall in share price.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      How can it be censorship when all he has to do is announce a press conference and the world can watch him speak, live and unedited?

  18. AlexV

    Twitter is acting entirely properly, the problem is in relying on twitter

    As many people have pointed out, it's twitters platform and if they don't want you on it because you don't play by their rules then they are entirely within their rights to kick you off.

    The problem here is that Twitter, a private company, has been handed effective control of a global infrastructure that should raise so many red flags that no company or organisation should rely on them for anything more than free advertising.

    Instead we need an infrastructure like web, or email, where anyone can put up a server and anyone else can choose to either listen or not listen. The government would then have its own server under its own control where the president can post whatever he likes, and it's up to you as an individual, or your chosen trusted service provider, whether they federate (listen to) the government server or not.

    I *think* Mastodon is in this model...

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Twitter is acting entirely properly, the problem is in relying on twitter

      "I *think* Mastodon is in this model..."

      Why re-invent the wheel? We've had IRC, Usenet, Fido and UUCP longer than we've had TCP/IP.

    2. Jonjonz

      Re: Twitter is acting entirely properly, the problem is in relying on twitter

      Good luck with that!

      I guess you don't remember public access cable, now a historical curiosity after the right stomped on it.

      The right has always fought tooth and nail to prevent any public ownership of media outlets no matter the medium.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Twitter is acting entirely properly, the problem is in relying on twitter

        "I guess you don't remember public access cable, now a historical curiosity after the right stomped on it."

        See Northern California Public Media ... Seems to be working, although the internal politics leave a lot to be desired. Same story the world over: too many queens, not enough pawns.

      2. aelfheld

        Re: Twitter is acting entirely properly, the problem is in relying on twitter

        That explains why PBS & NPR are just distant memories.

        Public access cable was killed on by the cable operators, not 'the right'.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Twitter is acting entirely properly, the problem is in relying on twitter

          I don't know where you live, but we have four PBS stations here in the Bay Area. Well, three and a half. All are available on cable, dish and over the air.

          NPR was always a government organ, so who cares?

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Twitter is acting entirely properly, the problem is in relying on twitter

            "NPR was always a government organ, so who cares?"

            NPR was always a liberal organ... FTFY

    3. MarlaSinger66

      Re: Twitter is acting entirely properly, the problem is in relying on twitter

      Agree 100%, and I would add that Twitter already provides 'official' accounts for government officials yet Trump used his personal account to post about political matters. That's entirely on him, not Twitter.

    4. willyslick

      Re: Twitter is acting entirely properly, the problem is in relying on twitter

      Agreed - Twitter et al. can do what they want - its their platform. The issue is how powerful such platforms have become. And the unethical methods they used to get so powerful - e.g. stifling competition by either driving threatening competitors out of business or buying them (Facebook and Whats app). So it seems to me they can do what they want but also that they have evolved to the point where they need to be regulated by governments. And I suspect this will be the next step.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Twitter is acting entirely properly, the problem is in relying on twitter

        "So it seems to me they can do what they want but also that they have evolved to the point where they need to be regulated by governments."

        In Hungary it is the authoritarian government that is suppressing any opposition press - either by regulations or by proxies buying control.

        The Press is supposed to be one of the democratic checks & balances.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Parler contents

    Crash Override has sucked approx 70-80TB of content from Parler, including videos that users think are deleted (which contain GPS metadata, natch).

    Some of the stuff in there is absolutely beyond belief. Of course she's already getting death threats and our very own despicable Louise Mensch has already threatened to report to the FBI for hacking private data. But I'm pretty sure the Feds are all over that content (hopefully they were even before Crash exposed this stuff publicly). There are literally hitlists there with names and addresses of targets that Vanilla ISIS want dead.

  20. muddysteve

    They are private companies

    As has been said before.

    To quote The Pub Landlord - "My gaff, my rules".

    1. Frank Fisher

      Re: They are private companies

      They are a cartel.

  21. Frank Fisher

    A shameful time for big tech and supporters

    Of course this is censorship, political censorship, and built on a web of lies and distortions. Why shouldn't' people be allowed to say the US election was flakey - there are dozens of statistical red flags and hundreds of sworn statements detailing abuses. Why shouldn't people be allowed to demonstrate against such an abuse of the democratic process? Why shouldn't they be angry? And yet the media nd tech decries the anger, decries the genuine fear too. But will gagging all these people resolve the issue? No, more likely that instead of school shootings the US will now see a rash of big tech and media shootings. Censorship merely enrages it does not remove.

    And the uniform applause from the media is quite slickening and self-interested. No one points up the inconsistencies. Amazon is furious about 98 nasty posts, but amazon literally sells Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion

    This is the world's darkest day since 1945, and nine tenths of people seem to be delighted.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: A shameful time for big tech and supporters

      "and hundreds of sworn statements detailing abuses"

      Hundreds? Really? Where are they? Post proof or retract.

      Hint before you start: Several Trump appointed Judges looked at the Trump's so-called evidence and said there was no case to be made. Not one of them, mind. ALL of them.

      1. Frank Fisher

        Re: A shameful time for big tech and supporters

        Guiliani has a thousand affidavits - sworn testimony. Most of these have never even been looked at by a court. I suggest the Navvaro report is the best place to start reading up on the reality of evidence. https://navarroreport.com/

        BTW, try googling for the navarro report, and then try a duckduckgo search. It may teach you something.

        1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: A shameful time for big tech and supporters

          Being a sworn affidavit doesn't make its content correct, truthful or actionable. There is certainly no obligation for a court to examine it.

          Simply, someone believes in what they're saying enough to legally bind themselves to those statements. Whether those statements are true is irrelevant, and there are plenty of stupid people willing to believe anything and effectively perjure themselves in the process.

          Guiliani possing thousands of sworn affidavits doesn't matter in the slightest.

          1. willyslick

            Re: A shameful time for big tech and supporters

            Guiliani? Thats your legal basis?? Doesn't get more solid than that ;>)

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: A shameful time for big tech and supporters

            "Being a sworn affidavit doesn't make its content correct, truthful or actionable. There is certainly no obligation for a court to examine it."

            If that's the case, all affidavits have to be disregarded. Picking and choosing is the classic way of supporting a narrative.

            There are plenty of stupid people, but if you want to prove them to be wrong, you need the proof and then you can have them cited for perjury. If that makes other recant, maybe you can show a pattern. If the remaining people stand fast, your assertion may have some flaws.

            1. gnasher729 Silver badge

              Re: A shameful time for big tech and supporters

              What I have seen was affidavits that could have been 100% true, but were totally irrelevant.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A shameful time for big tech and supporters

          Would this be the same Guiliani (sic) that's most likely about to be expelled from the New York State Bar Association?

          It's got to be bad when even lawyers don't want to have anything to do with you...

        3. jake Silver badge

          Re: A shameful time for big tech and supporters

          Navarro report? You mean Peter Navarro's take on the situation?

          Well, he WOULD say that, wouldn't he? Massaging Trump's ... uhh ... ego is a very good way to Get Rich Quick without needing the help of Prince Ngambo of Lagos and his HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS (US) that needs your bank account number to access.

          As for Guiliani, it would seem that he failed to bring all those "affidavits" to the Judge's attention while he had the chance. Or perhaps he did bring them up, but the Judge poo-pooed them. I wonder why that might be? Could it be he is a bad lawyer? Or did he have no evidence that stood up to actual scrutiny?

        4. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: A shameful time for big tech and supporters

          Since there were 60 lawsuits where Giuliani could have shown his thousands of affidavits, and he didn’t, don’t you wonder why?

    2. desht

      Re: A shameful time for big tech and supporters

      "Why shouldn't' people be allowed to say the US election was flakey"

      Because it fucking wasn't, you conspiracy twat.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: A shameful time for big tech and supporters

        ""Why shouldn't' people be allowed to say the US election was flakey"

        Because it fucking wasn't, you conspiracy twat."

        And I believe there is enough evidence to cast a big doubt on the integrity of the last election. One point a mathematician found was nearly a half million people in one state (Virginia?) that had a unique surname. Think about that. Nobody else in the state had the same surname. No family, no long lost relatives. No complete strangers. Judges were ruling that mailed in ballots with mis-matching signatures were still valid. The list goes on.

        Even if the results would be the same, if the election can't be seen as being honest, the system is failing the US populace. That's just saying that the cheating all cancelled out, but did it really? How can we be sure. Nobody in power wants to take a very close look as it could by highly embarrassing when they've been saying there is no fraud.

    3. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: Why shouldn't people be allowed to demonstrate...? Why shouldn't they be angry?

      @Frank Fisher...

      Everyone is entitled to anger and peaceful demonstation against real or perceived injustices, errors of process, fraud, anything. You can stand in the street with a sign, shouting and ranting as much as you like. So can anyone else.

      What people are not entitled to do is form a violent mob and storm the Capitol, damaging property, causing injury and even risking peoples' lives.

      Is the distinction too subtle for you? These morons crossed the line, plain and simple.

    4. MarlaSinger66

      Re: A shameful time for big tech and supporters

      Why is it so difficult to understand that freedom of speech does not require social media platforms to make themselves available for its expression? Would you feel obligated to host someone's "free speech" if they came into your house and started yelling at you?

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: A shameful time for big tech and supporters

        Is that in any way comparable to a bunch of folks going into a restaurant chanting "Silence is Violence"? What has been just fine for the left for the last few years is just as bad or worse. The one-sidedness is the main problem.

    5. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: A shameful time for big tech and supporters

      I read one sworn affidavit, written by the wife of a Republican senator. She basically said: “The people counting the votes looked like liberals to me. There were fewer votes from navy people for Trump than there should have been. And they were rude to me.” Assuming this is all true - which it should be - there is nothing there showing any voter fraud.

      In the end, there were 60 lawsuits where Trump’s lawyers had a chance showing real evidence, and they didn’t.

  22. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Media profiteering

    The problem here is, as usual, greed. The media, both old school and so called social media, make more money when they have nice juicy stories to sell, so they gave Trumplethinskin a free reign as his ranting drivel was making them lots of cash. Then they suddenly realised that their greed had created a monster, so they put a bullet in it. This is no different in cause from the banks causing the Credit Crunch, or Brexit, or any one of hundreds of similar instances around the world. Sooner or later we need to put an end to the whole "too much is not enough" mindset but I guess that will never happen as it's "human nature" or some such drivel.

  23. Flywheel Silver badge
    Big Brother

    " policy makers uncomfortable"

    What the Policy Makers need to realise is that they are now policy makers in name only. They can talk, dictate and complain all they like but ultimately if Google, Amazon (especially them), Apple and Microsoft don't like you, policy makers will just be shouting into the wind. This is the new normal.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Misleading

    >Those same companies that have spent a decade fighting any effort to limit their users' content, and have argued vociferously in favor of the First Amendment....

    >This leap between diametrically opposed positions in just a few short days has sounded its own warning alarm.

    I think this statement is pretty misleading. These companies have fought against government censorship of their platforms, which is a first amendment issue - the government dictating what's allowed or not on their platforms (i.e., government censorship). But they've always had terms of service that state what type of content is disallowed and the consequences of breaking those terms, and that's well within their right to decide whether they want to ban racism, sexism, bullying, harassment, etc or even a simple as off-topic discussion.

    The issue is that they've also allowed politicians - particularly Trump - to get away with posting content that would've led to a ban for any other person, all under the guise of 'the public interest'.

  25. Julz Silver badge

    What

    Has changed is that Trump now has no power. The tech companies had to be careful while he was in office but now he isn't and is being distanced by his party, the game is up.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And so Conquests Second Law is proved true yet again..

    So it looks like about 80%/90% of el Regs readers are in all in favor of political censorship and suppressing anyone whose opinion they dont like. Because Free Speech is just like Virginity, its not something you can mostly have. And if you dont understand that Free Speech one of those all or nothing questions then you dont understand what Free Speech actually is. Especially those who very deliberate conflate any opposing opinion to theirs with incitement. Which is fundamentally very different and has a 400 year Common Law tradition of exactly what incitement actually is.

    Hardy surprising from the author of this piece as he lives in easily the most anti Free Speech city I have ever lived in. Where since at least the 1980's you dare not express any contrary opinion in public, even when talking quietly to friends, without the risk of being interrupted, barracked or verbally assaulted by some "progressive" zealot. Ironically enough never a problem over in Berkley because at least if interrupted there the other person is much more likely to have a f*cking clue what they are talking about and unlike in SF will actually acknowledge your right to an opinion different from theirs.

    So an essentially smug article written by someone who lives in a bubble world echo chamber. By choice. Where all contrary opinion is actively suppressed by the loud-mouth 10%.

    Kind of makes me nostalgic for the old days when I first started working in tech in the Valley in the 1980's. When it actually was a very diverse place. By back ground, especially socio-econimcally. Not full of mostly affluent middle class university credentialized exam drones who make up almost all the current generation workforce.

    Back then you worked beside people an exceptionally diverse group of people. People who grew up as white share croppers in Missouri. People who came from the nastiest inner city are of Boston. People who were such Old Money that the Signers of the Declaration of Independence were parvenu. People whose dads were world famous professors. Or won an Oscar.

    And that diversity was reflected in the lunchroom conversations. You would have a harden Nixonite Reagan supporter or hardcore libertarian argue some point with someone who once lived in a commune and was somehow connected with the Weather Underground. Or a doctrinaire marxist who volunteered in Cuba. And that socio-eceomic and political diversity was the norm up and down the Valley. And we all got along, disagreeing about a lot of stuff, and shipped some pretty good product along they way.

    And now, with a very few exceptions, an utterly uniform socio-econmic and political mono-culture as far as the eye can see. All soft-left, virtue-signaling conformity. A veritable Wokistan.

    And they also invariably ship unstable, buggy, feature incomplete products for companies which seem incapable of ever making a profit. By design. A connection perhaps.

    1. EnviableOne Silver badge

      Re: And so Conquests Second Law is proved true yet again..

      what you have to understand is that your speech is free, but so is anyone elses

      It just so happens that society in america has become so polarised, and your identity defined by Red or Blue, there are no longer shades, there is no purple.

      Each exists in its own bubble with out the other, where its view is re-inforced by opinions drressed as facts.

      There are now at least 3 sides to every story: yours; mine and the cold hard truth. with the algortihms and partisan media, all that matters to you is yours and all that matters to me is mine, and the truth ceases to be.

      1. yetanotheraoc

        Re: And so Conquests Second Law is proved true yet again..

        "There are now at least 3 sides to every story: yours; mine and the cold hard truth."

        Are those the sides? What I see are four sides.

        (1) A few experts in possession of the relevant facts.

        (2) A larger group willing to weigh up reasonable arguments.

        (3) An equally large group trying to weigh up reasonable arguments but actually unable to tell the difference between night and day.

        (4) A few disinformation experts whose every message is an attempt to manipulate group 3, confuse group 2, and throw shade at group 1.

        Group 4 lives by the smokescreen. When addressing group 3 they are pretending to be in group 1. When addressing group 2 they are pretending to be in group 3. And when addressing group 1 they use violence and intimidation, deflection by questioning of motives, or any other handy attack they can think of.

        So it's group 4 that says things like "truth is relative", "everybody has an angle", etc. Arguments from principle, free speech for example, that are so wide of the mark are actually *intentionally* wide of the mark. The idea is to *appear* confused, and more importantly to *appear to care* about principles, in the process of spreading disinformation as widely as possible.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: And so Conquests Second Law is proved true yet again..

      "And if you dont understand that Free Speech one of those all or nothing questions then you dont understand what Free Speech actually is."

      Why THANK YOU! What a lovely person you are, offering such a fine example of charity to poor little me. Please send the password to your server immediately, so I can use it to spread my message. Ta.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: And so Conquests Second Law is proved true yet again..

      "it looks like about 80%/90% of el Regs readers are in all in favor of political censorship and suppressing anyone whose opinion they dont like."

      Not true. At all. What we are is aware of the very real costs involved in running the equipment ... including the costs of dealing with feedback from the proletariat when a user is unhinged.

      One of my rules is "no abuse of the equipment". My brain is part of the equipment. If I am being abused due to your behavior, you will lose your account(s).

      My box, my rules. Don't like it? Sue me.

  27. Daedalus Silver badge

    Hidden Persuaders

    The hidden message from the tech companies reads like this:

    "We did it to him. We can do it to you too."

    At the same time, normally rational Angela Merkel has compared this to her own country's policies, implying that because she is OK with a law that can ban certain kinds of writing and speech, then the corollary is that other kinds of writing and speech must be transmitted unless they too are banned by the government.

  28. Huw D

    Does this mean my landlord can't evict me for running an illegal cannabis grow in the attic? This is what it seems people are saying, that businesses can't have terms and conditions.

    1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

      "Does this mean my landlord can't evict me for running an illegal cannabis grow in the attic?"

      No, they are saying that your landlord can evict you for watching Fox News in his/her apartment.

  29. steviebuk Silver badge

    Good article and somewhat points to what LBRY were saying

    They were saying Trumps YouTube channel was now available on LBRY blah blah. I'm a supporter of LBRY, I'm on LBRY but people were then having a bit of a go at them on Twatter. But their point was, and they do appear to admit they didn't explain this well. That Trump should have free speech, doesn't mean you have to agree with what he is saying but that he has a right to say it. And if you allow him that free speech, we can see all the bollocks he is saying and point out that what he is saying is bollocks. Yes, I guess we have the issue that a lot of Trump supporters are stupid enough that they will only listen to his view but still. If you start silencing him for being a cock, what is next?

    Its much like the Track and Trace apps and data they hold. I guess we agree they are useful but now, after all the worry that it was going to happen, Singapore have now said all the data their apps hold, the police will now have access. If you want the public to start distrusting you, that's the way to do it. Don't expect them to cooperate if there is another outbreak of something else.

    And back to Twatter, not that I care for it much but it has been amusing watching Trump have a breakdown on it. But what he did last Wednesday was the worst. I've been critical of him all the time he's been on there. But I do like posts to be factual on both sides. Lucy Lawless or Xena: Warrior Princess fame also dislikes Trump but incorrectly said about a video played, that Trump was in the tent watching the riots happening and enjoying it. I had to point out that

    "He's a cunt but that was before it all kicked off. You can't make out it was after as it wasn't. He's still a cunt though".

    Appears Twotter didn't like this and this morning I have been given a 12 hour suspension for "Hateful conduct". Ironic. Apparently I can get that down to 9 hours if I delete the tweet they dislike, so I did. But while reading the message "We've temporarily limited some of your account features" it jumped back up to suspended for 12 hours again, so that's clearly a bug. I assume if I had millions of followers and making them a nice chunk of change from adverts, I'd have probably just gotten a warning.

    Not that fuss really as not a fan of Twitter and yes, they are their servers and they pay for the bandwidth but when does it become and issue when a massive media platform decides what can and can't be said? It is a difficult one as obviously the threat of violence to others is never good.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Good article and somewhat points to what LBRY were saying

      Just about any normal level of UK swearing directed at someone on twitter gets you a suspension, its long been like that. I know people regularly get short suspensions for calling UK politicians c***s

  30. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Turns out social media is mostly a waste of time, and to make matters worse makes people even more stupid than normal.

    Good riddance!

    1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

      "Turns out social media is mostly a waste of time"

      Yes, but it IS the replacement for newspapers, so we should try and make it work, no?

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "Yes, but it IS the replacement for newspapers, so we should try and make it work, no?"

        Stop, you're scaring me! Proper news avenues with honest reporting is important. Social media is a free for all with commentary by everybody that has a keyboard and internet connection. No training, no objectivity and no motivation to check if what they believe is true and correct. The only thing SM can do is measure the level of ignorance of the people on it. The bar is really low on something like FB and really high on a forum catering to PhD scientists (commenting in their own field). The only thing lower than mainstream SM is a private forum of a political party. Pick a random US congressman and ask them a question about science. Chances are all you will get is a blank stare. Send them the question in writing and all you will receive back is a form letter reply that has nothing to do with your question. Only a statement about what they want to say. I've tested this IRL. A pretty low sample size, but uniform results.

  31. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Daily Mail angle

    "it was not a coincidence that on the same day elections in Georgia handed the Democrats control of the Senate"

    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex quit all social media later that day - coincidence or show of solidarity?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "and put political and financial considerations above all else."

    This.

    The GOP has long been in favor of the principle to "let the market decide". Ironically, the extreme factions in their party have pushed things to the point that the market decided. In this case, they decided cutting the cord was the financially responsible thing to do.

    Amazon cut off Parler in fear that the Dems are going to be in charge? Please, if Jeff Bezos was in fear of a new liberal ruling order, he'd be personally handing out union cards in his warehouses right now.

  33. Withdrawn

    How the times have changed

    Replace "big tech" with "ma bell" and many of the arguments put forth in these comments would be the opposite.

  34. Marian Hobson

    Take away the ?position? determination? that the platforms are NOT also publishers? Then subject to the same rules as any other broadcaster/publisher?

    1. julian.smith
      Mushroom

      Hmmm

      The platforms don't initiate the contribution ... thus they are clearly different to newspapers / TV

      TV for example, Faux often intiate the contribution .The distinction is between "Opinion" (clearly initiated) and "News" can be deliberately blurred .... taking Faux as an example tbeir "News" is primarily selected "Opinion"

      FaecesBook doesn't have an "Opinion" ... its motivation is profit maximisation ... They don't care what is posted ... they didn't initiate it. It's not practical or reasonable for them to moderate the flood of user / product input / filth.

      The sewer that America has descended into is the result. Capitalism at its unconscionable worst.

      A system that can not / will not control treasonable / racist behaviour is in deep shit.

      Donald the Deranged's best friend Vlad doesn't have this problem ... nor does he have the flag of treason openly displayed in his Capitol.

      Watch this space.

      1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: Hmmm

        "FaecesBook doesn't have an "Opinion" "

        You think? We know Google does: we all saw the videos from just after the 2016 election.

  35. 2Fat2Bald

    Interesting point, isn't it?

    Do you make a private company answerable to the state, or make the state answerable to a private company?

  36. aelfheld

    Not paying attentioln

    "Those same companies that have spent a decade fighting any effort to limit their users' content [...]"

    Only if you're counting that decade as being 2006 through 2016. Those 'same companies' started suppressing their users' content in 2016 & the recent actions are just an escalation of what they've been doing for years now.

  37. bleedinglibertarian

    twitter is for t ard s..

    only lib t ar ds use twitter and as for amazon, they are now blocked on the firewall both home and work.

    your welcome.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: twitter is for t ard s..

      <enid strict>Well isn't that special.</enid>

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