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August 6, 2018 - 11:19am

Today's Poll: Do you support the banning of Alex Jones by Facebook and Apple?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Daniel Norstrand
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Banning such sites is tantamount to book burning. If you disagree with the things said or portrayed then battle them with reason. He's a huxter who, as a rather unhealthy looking man, peddles some kind of health elixirs. A dichotomy that does not inspire trust. I discounted him rather quickly years ago, but banning information, even bad information is a slippery slope that can and will inevitably facilitate the banning of information that the people need to stay in control of our nation. "They" have already found too, too, many ways to undermine our information. And our control.

Howard B. Owens
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These are private businesses, just as The Batavian is a private business. We have rules of conduct. They have rules of conduct. We have rules of conduct because allowing people, for example, to personally attack people in the community is bad for our brand, bad for business, bad for trust, bad for good relations, and doesn't fit with our mission to promote community.

Doing things like calling Sandy Hook a hoax, promoting pizzagate, etc. are the exact sort of things a private business that values being good members of society should consider preventing on their platforms.

These are just ideas -- it's not arguing whether or how guns should be controlled or whether Hillary Clinton would have been a good are a bad president. These are noxious accusations that some partisans believe and no amount of speech from the other side will dissuade and can and do lead to horrible results.

Karl Popper on the Paradox of tolerance
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance

david spaulding
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A company can and most likely will ban anyone and anything that they believe hurts their business. money does talk.
Now if this was the government who was trying to ban ol jonesy, I'd have an issue with it.
I still don't know how I should vote...... pass

Robert Tretter
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What about sites like- Kill Trump, Fuck White America, Fuck the South, Islam will rule the world? Antifa sites promoting violence like "It's going down". They have not been blocked?

Linda LaPorte
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I do not have a clue who or what Alex Jones is.

Brian Graz
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Howard #2, you are such a foolish person. Your proposition is so 'politically correct' and in lock-step with the progressive government rule, that you may as well have also included, 'it's time to rewrite the Constitution... the 1st Amendment is no longer reasonable'.
Thankfully the https://www.infowars.com/watch-alex-jones-show/ hasn't been banned... BUT give the New World Order Gestapo and bit longer and that "control" will be upon the globe soon enough.

C. M. Barons
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Trump has been calling news organizations fake for months. He's banished individual reporters from press briefings and broadcast a tweet-storm maligning the integrity of reporters, publishers and reporters, alike. None of that seems to ruffle any First Amendment feathers. Now. Private companies suspend privileges to Alex Jones and Infowars et al over terms of service violations and the sparks fly. Is it fair to say that the freedoms of press and speech only apply to agreeable personalities and subjects? In times gone by several established mastheads rallied around Larry Flint when it was clear that pandering DAs and courts were out to shut down "Hustler." It wasn't the content that motivated solidarity; it was the principle. The First Amendment protects against government infringement. Facebook, Apple and the others who have suspended Jones are not the government. Trump IS the government. Where is the outrage? Is Alex Jones' suspension more egregious than the reporters who have had their credentials revoked by Spicer and Trump?

John Roach
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Brian, read the Constitution. the right to free speech never was meant that a private company had to publish anything for anyone.

It was written to give the individual the right to speak on his/her own. You have no right to have Howard let you post on his private page, but you have the right to post on your own page if you wanted to start one.

And David is right. If the people who pay a publisher or business for the right to advertise and then see people leaving the page/paper/show, etc., because of content, they will pull their money from that business.

While I voted no, and whish they would let Jones stay on Facebook and Apple, I support their right to ban him. The pages are their property. Seems the only "progressive" here is you wanting them forced to let Jones stay.

mike nixon
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John I agree for the most part.

I would add........

Facebook and Apple are publicly traded companies and well with in their rights to ban.

Didn't Facebook lose billions in the last week or so because they broke the trust of the american people?

This whole thing is very Orwellian........

Howard B. Owens
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"Facebook’s stock saw the biggest one-day drop in history on Thursday, with $119 billion wiped off of its value after the company reported slower-than-expected revenue growth for the second quarter of 2018 and said it expects declines to continue in the second half of the year. The Menlo Park, California-based company also showed signs of sluggish user growth.

Then on Friday, Twitter saw its own market meltdown: Its stock plunged by 20 percent after its earnings report said the number of monthly active users on the platform fell.

In the case of both companies, part of the weakness in their second-quarter numbers was a long time coming — for example, Facebook’s market penetration in North America and Europe is already quite high. But it also stems from the multiple controversies they’ve been embroiled in and their attempts — or those of lawmakers — to fix them. And investors freaked out about it."

https://www.vox.com/business-and-finance/2018/7/28/17625218/facebook-sto...

Meanwhile, Apple became the first company in history with a valuation topping $1 trillion.

Brian Graz
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While I would agree with the sentiments here that private forums like Facebook, and the Batavian, should be exempt from any 'free speech" violations under the Bill of Rights... however I'd say "not so fast". Ever hear of the "public forum doctrine"? There is case law that has ruled that a private domain that provides public access qualifies as 'public forums under the First Amendment regulation'... 'A public access is a version of the public square.'

Halleck v. Manhattan Community Access Corporation, 882 F.3d 300 (2d Cir. 2018)

I suggest that free speech regulation over privately owned forums that provide public access is already in the works and is likely coming to a town near you sooner than you think. In the meantime Zuckerberg and Owens can get their jollies by "picking and choosing" who and what they will allow. If I was them I would do the same thing... and I also wouldn't bake a cake for anyone I disagreed with.

BTW, Howard has banned and deleted posts for much milder language that what he's allowing in #4 above... apparently the "rules of conduct" are flexible.

Howard B. Owens
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Post #4 is citing names of groups not just flagrantly throwing around profanity. If that's the names of the groups. That's the names of the groups. I fact-checked a couple of them and found the groups. These are factual statements not just profanity for profanity sake.

Halleck v. Manhattan Community Access Corporation deals with a government-authorized, required, and supported communications channel, not a private business activity.

John Roach
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It would appear that Brian, not only getting the law wrong, but he supports privately owned media companies such as the Batavian, being forced to allow content they do not want. Now that's "progressive".

Brian Graz
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John Roach is a maligner and deceiver. I NEVER said or implied that I "support privately owned media companies such as the Batavian, being forced to allow content they do not want." So who's the real progressive here? Progressives are experts at false narrative and deceiving... and Roach is at the top of that game.

Brian Graz
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I didn't get the law wrong John. Too bad if you're to thick to understand that forums like Facebook and the Batavian are 'public access'. And that there is a movement happening by some law experts to bring those 'public access' venues under free speech regulation. And I initially posted that it could be coming sooner than we realize. I NEVER said I supported it.

John Roach
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Good try Graz. You tried hard to imply in #11, that pages like the Batavian came under this. And your whining about Howard blocking things, including some of your past posts imply your wanting him and others to have to post them

Frank Bartholomew
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I know from past debate, if the derogatory tone is left to fester, it will escalate. That 's why Howard, and numerous sites have rules. I truly wish fb had a tighter lid on things, my son never thought a post on fb would land him in an isolation cell for 2 + weeks at the jail.

Howard B. Owens
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First, Brian stop the personal attacks. You know the rules. Keep it up and you will see them applied.

Second, neither The Batavian nor Facebook is “public access.” In context, that term applies to a class of TV station cable companies must make available under the terms of most franchise agreements. We need no franchise agreement with any government agency nor are we television.

Brian Graz
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Howard, why don't you do me a favor... apply your labile rules... block me permanently. Scoundrels like John Roach can malign, twist, distort and even lie about what I have said, and you have no problem with that attack [you're probably gloating over it]. But I call a spade a spade [when Roach says "Brian... supports privately owned media companies such as the Batavian, being forced to allow content they do not want" that is a lie!] And I call a liar a liar. John Roach is a liar... and you immediately threaten to enforce your obviously capricious 'rules of conduct'.

John Roach
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Graz, read your post #11. You did imply you want pages like the Batavian to be required to post anything you put on it. And it is not the first time either. You hint at it also in your post #6. As for lying, remember your lie about Assemblyman Steve Hawley supporting the SAFE Act?

Howard B. Owens
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Brian, John didn't break any rules in any of his posts. He didn't insult you. He interpreted what you wrote the way he read it. That's reasonable on its face.

Further, just to be clear, I read your post before he commented and I came to the exact same conclusion, so perhaps you should re-read your post and ask yourself why reasonable people would come to that conclusion.

You're right -- I'm not applying the rules evenly. I've given you a lot more rope than I have to other people but the rope is about at its end.

Brian Graz
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Again Roach #20 made two bold face lies about me. I did NOT "imply" that I "want pages like the Batavian to be required to post anything you put on it". And I did not lie about Assemblyman Hawley supporting the SAFE Act. Hawley in fact did vote Yea for the part of the NYS Budget that provided funding for the administration and enforcement of NYSAFE for at least 1 or 2 years after it was enacted. In the real world that is in essence "supporting NYSAFE"... [actions speak louder than words]. Of course people who thrive on twisting, distorting and lying also have difficulty with comprehending basic truths such as this.

As for Howard saying that he reached the same conclusion as Roach, he is very sly to not come right out and say point blank that I "want pages like the Batavian to be required to post anything you put on it", because I NEVER did say or imply I "wanted" such a thing. In fact if these two maligners would address what I really said they would see that my position is actually the opposite. In #11 I said "Zuckerberg and Owens can get their jollies by "picking and choosing" who and what they will allow. If I was them I would do the same thing".

John Roach
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Graz, you lied. Hawley voted for the budget that funded the NY State Police, and the State University system, the prisons, the State Parks and mental institutions along with everything else. The fact that money was in the State Police budget for the SAFE Act did not mean he supported it, but that he supported the State Police. And he in fact publicly said he did not support the SAFE ACT many times, so you did lie. Hawley does not and never did, support the SAFE Act You said he did and you lied, pure and simple.

As for your implying privately owned media being required to print things, like all of your posts, readers can judge for themselves if you or did not.

Brian Graz
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Excuses, excuses, excuses, BS, BS, BS... John Roach, you're wrong and deceiving as usual. Assemblyman Hawley voted for the part of the budget that included funding for NYSAFE. To say Hawley voted to fund the State Police but not the SAFE Act is total spin political doublespeak. Gov Cuomo would be proud of you.

Steve Hawley VOTED YEA for the Capitol Projects section of the 2014-15 NYS Budget

That section contained:
$16 Million dollars Funding for the SAFE Act!

NYS Budget 2014-2015
Section A8554-E/S6354-E
Capitol Projects

422 12654-10-4

DIVISION OF STATE POLICE

CAPITAL PROJECTS 2014-15

1 For the comprehensive construction programs, purposes and
2 projects as herein specified in accordance with the
3 following:

4 APPROPRIATIONS REAPPROPRIATIONS

5 Capital Projects Fund - Other ...... 16,000,000 65,065,000
6 ---------------- ----------------
7 All Funds ........................ 16,000,000 65,065,000
8 ================ ================

9 IT INITIATIVE PROGRAM (CCP).................................. 10,000,000
10 --------------

11 Capital Projects Funds - Other
12 Capital Projects Fund
13 Program Improvement or Program Change Purpose

14 For services and expenses related to the
15 development of a public safety solution
16 center including but not limited to a
17 records management system. Funds appropri-
18 ated herein may be suballocated to the
19 office of information technology services
20 to achieve this purpose. The division of
21 criminal justice services, after consulta-
22 tion with the division of state police and
23 the office of information technology,
24 shall submit a plan to the legislative
25 leaders setting forth the plan to develop
26 such a solutions center and assessing any
27 privacy and security implications, and no
28 expenditures may be made from this appro-
29 priation until the plan has been approved
30 by the legislative leaders (06SC1408) ....... 10,000,000
31 MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENT OF EXISTING FACILITIES (CCP) ..... 6,000,000
32 --------------

33 Capital Projects Funds - Other
34 Capital Projects Fund
35 Program Improvements Purpose

36 For services and expenses associated with
37 the design and construction of evidence
38 storage facilities at troop headquarters,
39 including but not limited to the costs of
40 studies, appraisals, surveys, preparation
41 of plans, design, construction, equipment,
42 and renovations including liabilities
43 incurred prior to April 1, 2014 (06EV1408) ... 6,000,000

NOTE: Two sections of the 2014-15 NYS Budget contained Funding for the SAFE Act.
- State Operations (S6350-E/A8550-E)
- Capital Projects (S6354-E/A8554-E)

Assemblyman Hawley Voted YES for the Capital Projects section... Senator Ranzenhoffer Voted Yes for both the State Operations and Capital Projects sections!!!

John Roach
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Graz, again good try. That was part of the New York State Police budget. Hawley has never supported the SAFE Act, and neither has Ranzenhoffer. You just continue the lie. And the vast majority of people know you have lied about him.

John Roach
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Graz, here is an idea. Next time Steve Hawley has one of his public meetings in the area, you and I go and ask him in person to explain his votes and his support or no support of the SAFE Act. I am sure we can get somebody from the media to cover it. He holds the meetings on a regular basis so it will not be a long wait.

Brian Graz
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Roach you continue to show you ignorant gullibility. If Hawley and Ranzenhoffer were truly against NYSAFE they would NEVER vote for funding it. I don't GAS how much they say they oppose it, when they turn around and vote for it's funding. A very few 'genuine' legislators actually did/do so and stand their ground [DiPietro, Katz, Nojay(late), Friend, Tenney, McLaughlin] voted NAY specifically because of NYSAFE funding. Ethics and priorities count... Actions speak louder than words.

BTW Roach, I already confronted Hawley and Ranzenhoffer about the votes to fund NYSAFE at a SCOPE meeting in 2014. Of course just like you, they made excuses and hedged the facts... but I had printed copies of the vote tally and highlighted the two budget sections that funded NYSAFE, printed and with me to hand out. I know SCOPE's membership eyes were opened a good bit that night [several members have told me so since]. So you see I don't need a thumbs up from you.

John Roach
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Graz, so you are going to duck a chance to meet with Hawley. Duck and run, but that's is OK. Again, Hawley says he has never supported the SAFE Act and you say he did. I think the vast majority here would believe Hawley and not you

Brian Graz
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The vast majority... ????? You mean the handful of Owens-Roach cronies?

I duck nothing, as I already stated and you conveniently and roguely ignored I already have addressed Hawley and Ranzenhofer about their voting for budget funding of NYSAFE.

If you are foolish enough to accept their excuse for doing so, then you also must accept my excuse for calling you a fool, because I didn't really want to, but it was unaviodable to make my points. I'm outta here.

“To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason... is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.”
- Thomas Paine

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