Milo Yiannopolus, Roger Stone, Paul Nehlen, Jared Taylor, Baked Alaska, Ricky Vaughn, and thousands of supposed “Russian bots” are just a few of those Twitter has permanently banned, seemingly for expressing unpopular political viewpoints. Wikipedia chronicles the various prominent accounts Twitter has banned and suspended. Nearly all belong to right wingers. Internet viewpoint discrimination goes beyond Twitter. YouTube (Google) routinely deletes accounts and videos of right wingers, particularly in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting. The problem of Internet censorship is also not isolated to social media. Most notably, after featuring a joke about the woman who died at the Charlottesville protests, Andrew Anglin’s popular site The Daily Stormer has had to jump from host to host, prompting concerns among civil libertarians. Once a last refuge for free speech, the Internet has become increasingly less so. Perhaps we have reached the breaking point. Is it time to adopt an Internet Bill of Rights to protect our God-given right of free speech on the web? Continue Reading
Back in 2010 I witnessed the future of politics. A little known councilman went before his local party and delivered the most passionate speech of this century thus far. Though the speech concerned, of all things, the Stark County Treasurer’s office, it harkened back to the exciting and entertaining aspect of politics. As the speech went on, I felt something special happen. Politics became fun again. Continue Reading
Since I published “Fake News” three months ago, the meaning of that particular phrase has changed. It has morphed from a tool of the corporate media to silence citizen journalists into a weapon of the Trump administration to attack the corporate media. Whereas the former had the effect of chilling the free speech of everyday citizens, the latter takes the corporate elites down a peg and empowers everyday citizens. Continue Reading
Every time I read the news, I hear about so-called “fake news.” “Fake news” spread Russian propaganda. “Fake news” invented Clinton scandals. “Fake news” elected Donald Trump. “Fake news” has destroyed American democracy. And now, the mere mention of a “fake news” story could cause the loss of life.
Hysteria over “fake news” reached a fever pitch with the election of Donald Trump. The mainstream media had repeatedly declared there was no way Trump could win. Continue Reading
In a surreal display Thursday, prominent Internet sites celebrated as the federal government seized control over the last known vehicle for free expression. Twitter, Reddit, and Buzzfeed all applauded the FCC takeover of the Internet under the guise of “Net Neutrality.” As these sites ceded freedom for short term convenience, the FCC commenced its crusade against ISPs, opening the door to further Internet regulation—regulation that may not be so benevolent. Continue Reading
The following was posted at IPR (Independent Political Report) as a review of Don Grundmann’s website CandleCrusade.org.
Former State Chairman for the California Constitution Party, a 2008 and 2012 Constitution Party presidential candidate, and frequent IPR reader, Don Grundmann operates CandleCrusade.org. It hosts ten pages of documents supporting Grundmann’s controversial thesis that the true agenda of the LGBT movement is the corruption of children, ideally through legalized molestation, to solidify and normalize homosexuality. In IPR discussion, Grundmann often refers to his website as proof for his claims
As a result of Grundmann’s strongly held beliefs, IPR discussions on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) issues are often contentious and usually descend into name-calling, the lowest rung on Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement. In order to foster a higher level of discussion, I volunteered to make a neutral assessment of the content on CandleCrusade.org. Continue Reading
In March of 2008, English computer programmer and essayist Paul Graham wrote a paper discussing the unique dynamic of internet disagreement, entitled “How to Disagree.” Graham discovered that individuals tended to be more disagreeable during internet interactions than during face to face encounters; perhaps the result of a limited mental filter online. In order to promote online civility and worthwhile internet debate, Graham developed a simple hierarchy of disagreement, encouraging users to aim for the top.
Below is a graphical depiction of Graham’s theory as uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.