13 Comments

Again I am blown away by the research that you do to write such a compelling and comprehensive article. I’m from a rural area of south western Ontario and I honestly have only met a handful of people of Jewish descent but I’ve been aware of the Neo Nazi movement and how dangerous it could become. With that being said, you have opened my eyes and mind to how potentially dangerous it is and how we must take action against it. I posted your article on my “X” account and will likely be deactivating it soon. I don’t have many followers but we have to start somewhere...

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Sep 7, 2023Liked by Justin Ling

Thanks for the work you are doing here!

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Sep 7, 2023Liked by Justin Ling

Thank you Justin. Elon, what a waste of a human being, as with those who spend their lives hating. Here's to bad karma for all of them.

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Sep 8, 2023Liked by Justin Ling

Top 50!! Dude!!!!

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As I read this, the phrase “Jesus Fckng Christ” repeated endlessly in my head

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I too have ambiguous thoughts about “free speech”. It was once a no-brainer for me based on liberal ideology, ethics, philosophy and other intellectual spheres. I also believed that most educated humans were serious critical thinkers and not influenced by political stunts. But seeing the consequences in the real world has made me question everything. To my sincere chagrin, because I don’t want to be a fascist, an authoritarian, or controller. And I’m really struggling with this.

We’re no longer dealing with (metaphorical) town-criers handing out badly printed political pamphlets. We’re dealing with well-organized, well-funded disrupters who are 100% focused on moving from fringe to mainstream, with serious political agendas. I’ve seen nasty superstitious and conspiracy theory social media broadcasting that is absolutely dazzling, very persuasive. Less well-financed players like researchers, self-effacing scientists and thoughtful analysts are not getting their message out there because they can’t afford publicists, videographers or whatever else the well-funded can do. Plus sadly many of them don’t have the exciting, charismatic personalities necessary to capture public attention. Yes, yes I understand the big question: who’s to decide what is acceptable to be included in the free speech forum? Naturally I don’t have an answer any more than anyone else. Are there some people we can all agree aren’t worth giving a public platform?

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I have so little energy for trying to push around giant companies. They squirm away from regulations faster than you can write them. Why not just write X off?

It would tickle me if governments, schools, libraries just invented their own Mastodon instances, and told all their employees to kill official X accounts (you can still use your own private account just don't talk work...)

It would tickle me more, if conservative pols and activists then stayed to resolutely "defend" X from the boycott. It would not be a boycott, just a permanent walking-away.

The weird thing is that my antipathy to X started when Jack Dorsey, whose name I did not then know, was said to have kicked Trump off X on January 7, 2021. It struck me as quite mad that this businessman happened to be in a position to decide whether the President of the United States had access to 80 million readers of a publication. And that he had decided to keep him on for a long time after Trump first broke many automatic-eviction rules, because he was making Jack money. That whole dynamic is beyond fucked.

It's not the same as Bernie Sanders not being platformed by the Wall St. Journal, because Bernie can go to many other platforms. But there is only one X, one Facebook, one Instagram: every commercial market in communications is subject to "network effects" that promote oligopoly at best, and monopoly, frequently.

Political discourse, therefore, should not depend on commercial social media; you will always be handing control of your "reach" to some Jack-Dorsey type. I just don't see anything for governments, that do not want to have their "reach" controlled by a billionaire, have any choice but to promote non-commercial social media platforms.

Maybe in the long run...

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I just read Yair Rosenberg's article in the Atlantic, "Elon Musk’s Latest Target Hits Back:

A conversation with the Anti-Defamation League’s Jonathan Greenblatt, on a feud that is as bizarre as it is predictable". You were already on it. Good work, if I may say so. Outstanding.

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I believe this is also the place to break out the joke that I'm getting good traction with on Mastodon:

Justin, I can't believe you deadnamed X. X is a corporate person, but also a trans person. Decent people should support a trans person, and it's really hurtful to break out those classic trans-bigot lines like: "I don't even know them anymore, it's like their brain has been taken over by some alien" . Don't be a trans-bigot. Be accepting and supportive of the new person, X.

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