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At the mercy of political opponents who run social media

At the mercy of political opponents who run social media

We’ve all heard of the problems faced on Twitter with the #TwitterGulag resulting from false claims of harassment and/or spam.

It’s also a problem on Facebook, as detailed by Ruthie Blum (sister of John Podhoretz) at The New York Observer.

Blum speaks of the problem faced by pro-Israel writers on Facebook and draws an analogy to the tactics used more generally against Israel, Abusing the System: Facebook Standards and the People Who Violate Them:

For the past two months, I have intermittently been barred from Facebook….

In other words, someone has been complaining about me to Facebook, reporting abuse on my part. This person clearly doesn’t like what I have to say–which is always from a conservative viewpoint–and has come up with a way to silence me through bullying.

It is actually he or she who is violating Facebook standards, not I. But there is nothing I can do about it, other than go on the defensive, and so far not very effectively.

This is exactly how the enemies of Israel operate. They repeatedly accuse the Jewish state of acting in an illegitimate fashion, thereby placing the burden of proof on the unwitting defendant. It is a brazen and shameless tactic. And it works like a charm.

Facebook is a private enterprise that has the right to choose its users. Those users do not pay for the privilege; and it is a huge privilege for writers to have access to such a massive readership. Whoever has been targeting me knows this full well.

He or she is also aware that all one has to do to ruin Israel’s reputation is to cast aspersions. Social networking takes care of the rest.

While I think Blum draws a proper analogy, I think the problem is more worrisome.

Social media is critical to the conservative / Tea Party / Libertarian movements precisely because our political opponents control almost all of the mainstream media (except the Murdock group).  We have talk radio, but that’s a less interactive medium.

This reliance comes at great risk.  Those networks, particularly Twitter and Facebook, are run by liberals.  They will decide what is appropriate for their networks or not.

It has not become a huge problem yet.  But it is a huge risk.

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Comments

You’re exactly right, Bill, and while the usual answer would be, “if conservatives don’t like Twitter and Facebook, let them build their own” it doesn’t work that way. The network value of what’s already built is enormous — it’s a big part of why they’re valuable in the first place.

It’d be great if the Koch Brothers would use their money for some infrastructure like this instead of TV ads that don’t change anyone’s minds. But the real answer has to come, for now, in continuing to shine light on the abuses so as to keep things tolerable.

casualobserver | August 10, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Seems to me there is some opportunity here to highlight the behavior of the social networks in allowing such repeated bad behavior on the part of those trying to silence or disrupt speech. Just as transparency and shining the light on Media Matters’ inaccuracies and bias has hampered their credibility with all but the most adherent ideologues (even in the mainstream media), so would a similar effort in the social media world, it would seem. Maybe it could be leveraged off of Malkin’s Twitchy….

To be honest, I find most of the networks to be more pain and effort than the valuable in what they deliver. It is like being in a large, packed room during a party and trying to listen and participate in every ongoing conversation. And you increasingly run into the annoying drunk – in social media the analogy might be the people described by Ruthie Blum.

“Video killed the radio star” as the 1979 song goes.

Facebook killed the high school reunion … for me, at least.

It’s a free and easy reminder about why I couldn’t stand all these people decades ago. They’re even worse now in these times when they bring politics into everything.

LukeHandCool (aka Billy No Mates)

    I’m a bit confused by it. Most IP’s are not fixed; you get a different one every time. You could tell I’m in Haifa, but how much more without a court order?

    Now, personally, it would be quite easy for anyone who cared to find out exactly who I am and everything about me, but that wouldn’t take an IP, my username would do it. But I assume people who care are more careful about things like that.

When Conservative Twitter learned how they were getting gulagged… the weapons were turned on the liberals.

Most times a twitter suspension is done automatically by a software program with rules it must follow.

When one knows the rules, they know how to use them.

Only way to defeat Facebook is with social media.

Learn the methods used against conservative organizations by democrats and reverse the process.

I, like many many many thousands of other conservatives, use Twitter as a politically-weaponized Social Media platform against liberal propaganda, liberals and RINOs and believe me, conservative twitter is one of liberals’ worst nightmares.

I don’t battle small-time trolls… I do ‘meme’ battles with their generals and their talking points to gain an upper hand with twitter audiences. I craft tweets to be reused by as many other conservatives as wish to use them… either as a retweet or copy/paste as their own tweet. Both happen daily.

Presently, my follower count exceeds 13,000 by several hundred and each of them is like-minded. I weed my twitter follower garden daily.

I don’t do Facebook.

Facebook censorship happens when a liberal Jew founder marries a commie Chinese.

    Let me understand this. An article complaining about anti-Semitic censoring on Facebook is to be explained by an anti-Semitic reference to the founder of Facebook?

    Sounds like a troll to me!

legalizehazing | August 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm

I actually was blogging and using twitter to post links to articles… After being repeatedly kicked off of twitter I gave up on blogging. The real duzzy though, I’ve been suspended from twitter for 4 months now! Since the stand with Rand thing. God bless America. But these socia medial companies can go to hell.

Henry Hawkins | August 10, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Social media operates in a free market. The better question is why do conservatives find themselves always with the short end of the stick despite a level playing field? We would do well to reread Origin Of Species (which just as well explains the demise of species) and learn to adapt.

[…] Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has up a great post today on “At the mercy of political opponents who run social media.” Beware of the Twitter […]

I’m a T-Rex that doesn’t remotely ‘Get It’ with the social media thingy. WTF…?? Who gives a F***..?? Everyone their own little pathetic celeb..?? No one has been able to s’plain to me in any way that makes me wish to participate. I mean, WHO or WHY give a F*** about ‘trending on Tweety’ or reporting worldwide that you’ll be right back to ‘Booking…Friending…Blathering on the Face-Thingy aftyer taking a leaky,Yo?? Ohhhhhhh…Jiminy…Did that Instagrahammcracker ya, Troops??

I use FB to comment on Powerline. It seems like if someone complains with a little check box, you are thrown off FB for a day or so. They claim there is a place to make your case, but no one responds. It is pretty much a scam where liberals have gotten used to complaining about people they object to.

And it’s not just Facebook and Twitter…other, if not all, social media sites have anti-Christian/Israel/Conservative bullies. I was a victim of liberal bullies on Ravelry…a social site for crafts believe it or not. You could join and form groups of people who say like to knit and are conservative. Liberal trolls would loft in and attack. In the run up to the 2008 election my avatar was Obama seemingly holding his hand up during a speech in an eerie Nazi-esque, Sieg heil salute. This brought howls from leftist bullies and my avatar disappeared via the liberal powers that be without any notice. At the time I was upset but like the article above realized this was a private enterprise and it was free to join. But I never would have done that had I need seen similar things bashing Bush, not to mention the vile comments about anyone who didn’t believe in progressive ideology. It’s a real problem throughout the internet and I have no idea how to fight it…unless we do unto them. I have better things to do with my time than lodge TOS complaints but I’m seriously thinking about dedicating some time to doing just that.

That we rely on blogging instead of the leadership of the GOP (we collectively have surrendered to talentless, cowardly, corrupt bastards) is the bigger story.

We fund their campaigns, vote them into office, and accept the crap sandwich they serve us?

We don’t need social media to sway public opinion. We need bold leadership at the top of the GOP, not pathetic clowns like John Boehner or Reince Prebus.

What retarded times we are living. And we have no one to blame but ourselves.

    No. As Bill Whittle says, politics is downstream of culture. Politics is the art of the possible. Even Richard Nixon was a true conservative at heart, but he worked with the hand he was dealt.

    The RNC is the player, but Facebook cuts the cards.

A friend of mine, IIRC correctly, also got his personal page removed thanks to the Arab-Nazi mafia.

The only solution is to use their tactics against them. Of course, THEN the NYT and probably the President will start complaining.

And people, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider getting involved with Wikipedia. Not as an ideologue; learn the rules and spirit, and try to correct imbalance. (Unfortunately, I had to stop a while back for personal reasons.) It is true that the Reliable Source rules work against us, but those are also open for discussion. Besides, so much there ignores them.

Wikipedia = “Truth”, whether we like it or not.

[…] At the mercy of political opponents who run social media We’ve all heard of the problems faced on Twitter with the #TwitterGulag resulting from false claims of harassment and/or spam. […]

[…] picked up on this a couple of days ago, pointing out that conservatives and libertarians, with our heavy dependence on the web for connecting with each other, should be concerned about what happened to Blum.  There is little […]

[…] picked up on this a couple of days ago, pointing out that conservatives and libertarians, with our heavy dependence on the web for connecting with each other, should be concerned about what happened to Blum.  There is little […]

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