Trump Seizes on NYU Professor’s Tweet to Push Change of Libel Laws

Jan 2012
970
322
SoCal
#61
Hey first of all I appreciate you breaking down your points like I do with the mini quotes. It makes it nice to discuss things with each other. I think in this instance we might be arguing past each other a little bit.

All the results of a fractured media market (lots of choices) and the internet. People don't want to pay for what they can get for free.
Right, but I don't see how putting government in charge of who's brand value should be protected and how will help.
I haven't said government should be put in charge of who's brand value should be protected. I'm of quite the opposite view. However right now many social media platforms have claimed a form of protection that will not be granted to them if they are publishers versus platforms.

Rich people have always had advantages (and they've always owned media outlets). What we don't see is Bezos using the Post as a mouthpiece for his own ideas. The Post operates at a very high level of ethical standard with regard to Bezos's reputation.
We will have to agree to disagree here. The editorial bent of the Post and their "Democracy Dies in Darkness" focus is plain evidence to me. The fact that it doesn't even have to report financial numbers since it is private and has had several major retractions and now a major lawsuit due to false reporting all reflect that editorial bent to me.

I don't get my news from cable, but they do employ reporters who actually gather news.
We are in agreement there. I don't subscribe to any cable of any sort. I read news stories. The editorials and "analysis" that often passes for news reporting is a waste of my time. Real analysis when it happens is fantastic in my opinion. For example what 538.com used to do several years ago was amazing.

It's not the job of governments or the courts to judge the work of "major organizations." You're in such slippery territory, considering that you probably can't provide definitions for the terms you use. What's a "major organization" and why should it be treated differently than some other? Let's start there.
I'm not certain where you've decided I want government to regulate speech. I don't want that. I'm actually saying the opposite. I'm saying there is a form of private collusion occurring whereby the current big organizations and money want to remain that way and are cutting off speech with deplatforming and other such claims. I've not said Trump should sue. I've said he gains more by not suing. Private businesses can do as they want but they cannot have their cake and eat it too. They cannot be a platform and a publisher at the same time and expect the same protections in both cases.

I certainly treat it that way. If people like having their news cooked and spiced just the way they like it, that's the fault of the audience, not the providers. That's a lack of education and perception on the part of the audience. MacDonalds may suck, but people still eat quarter pounders--because they like them.Why not? Or the audience is. If people didn't like what McDonalds puts out, McDonalds would go out of business. People buy Big Macs because they like Big Macs and the way they are served (conveniently).
Well you note the trade-offs of a McDonalds. Those trade-offs are understood though. If steak houses then used their influence to demand McDonalds go through a regulatory process that would drive the cost of that Quarter Pounder to $20 so as to have it not compete with steak I'm sure you, like me... would say that regulation shouldn't be necessary to tell a steak from a BigMac. If no one can tell the difference that is the fault of the person cooking the steak.

That is my point with the news. Poorly copied, poorly sourced, bad news should not look like good news. If it does it is because the big news organizations are acting like the organizations they claim are doing a bad job.

So to bring it back around to full circle... the Post shouldn't have had an incident like the Covington story. They can afford to have reporters go out and do the research. They can afford to make calls, tap resources, investigate backgrounds and give of the full and real story. It should be the guy on YouTube who finds a clip, watches it and reacts to it (badly) who comes off as amateurish and badly informed. The reason that CNN, WashPo and others don't stand apart is the are doing the same thing as the YouTuber. They are sitting in a room letting the "news" come to them and then reacting to it.

That would be fine and the market should punish them for it but instead they are the ones trying to limit the reach of other organizations through social media and other venues by having trustworthy vs fake news attached to the provider, not the story. Like you said you should get to decide. The deal Bezo makes with Zuckerberg shouldn't decide.

Yep. But only the audience can do something about that.
But he published his twitter post on his own feed. He used zero Time resources to publish it. Again, you have a problem with definitions. What is a "journalist" and why should their speech be more regulated than anyone else's?
I've not asked to have the tweet or the speech regulated. Rather the opposite is happening. The reporter in question has a blue checkmark which means they are a level beyond most of us with normal accounts. It means they have been validated and proven to be a person of a certain standing and status for a certain reason. The blue checkmark could be they are the real Lebron James or a real reporter for Time Magazine. My preference would be that he be fired from Time and then his blue checkmark would go away so he would be a regular person again. If you made up a quote from Trump or I did, nothing would happen to us but we would not be able to also declare that we are an educated journalist working for a publication to give credence to our lies.

Ian Bremmer - Wikipedia

Ian Bremmer will have the people that defend him use the expertise and credibility he flushed away that enabled the outrage over his false tweet in the first place. That doesn't mean government regulation. However if Bremmer declares we shouldn't be allowing fake news and he should know what fake news does to a Democracy because he is a Political Scientist with a Doctorate from Stanford and thus government should prevent Joe YouTuber from being able to go viral, we should remembe that Ian couldn't remember not to make up fake garbage even with that educational background.

All different libel laws will do is make legitimate journalists afraid to publish news that's detrimental to wealthy and powerful persons. Go back and look at the cases on which current libel law is based. Southern segregationists tried to silence news outlets from reporting on their brutality by claiming tiny elements of stories discredited the whole thing. I don't think you'll find a way to differentiate in the law the kinds of "good reporting" vs "bad reporting" in an effective way. You'll just make it impossible to report news that's negative about powerful people. The powerful should have FEWER protections from libel, not more. Just like every other marketplace, it's "caveat emptor."

Harry Truman said "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." Trump should take his advice.
I fully agree. The only bit to add is that the people in the kitchen can't declare that it isn't a kitchen and they can't be responsible for your food poisoning since they don't make food and also get away with that argument. Major news organizations with billionaire owners are making deals with other billionaire owners of social media platforms to limit who can come into the kitchen. That is what I believe Trump and others are addressing when they talk about these points. Facebook, Twitter and others are not held responsible for the speech their platform enables. You cannot sue Twitter claiming Trump's hate speech made your neighbor shoot you. You'd have to sue either Trump, your neighbor or both. Twitter has an actual safe harbor exception. Just like public figures have to clear a higher bar, public platforms have a higher bar to clear when people try to sue them for the speech that happens on them. However they cannot be publisher and platform. They cannot regulate speech and wash their hands of it at the same time.
 

Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
70,961
47,800
USA
#63
Hey first of all I appreciate you breaking down your points like I do with the mini quotes. It makes it nice to discuss things with each other. I think in this instance we might be arguing past each other a little bit.



I haven't said government should be put in charge of who's brand value should be protected. I'm of quite the opposite view. However right now many social media platforms have claimed a form of protection that will not be granted to them if they are publishers versus platforms.



We will have to agree to disagree here. The editorial bent of the Post and their "Democracy Dies in Darkness" focus is plain evidence to me. The fact that it doesn't even have to report financial numbers since it is private and has had several major retractions and now a major lawsuit due to false reporting all reflect that editorial bent to me.



We are in agreement there. I don't subscribe to any cable of any sort. I read news stories. The editorials and "analysis" that often passes for news reporting is a waste of my time. Real analysis when it happens is fantastic in my opinion. For example what 538.com used to do several years ago was amazing.



I'm not certain where you've decided I want government to regulate speech. I don't want that. I'm actually saying the opposite. I'm saying there is a form of private collusion occurring whereby the current big organizations and money want to remain that way and are cutting off speech with deplatforming and other such claims. I've not said Trump should sue. I've said he gains more by not suing. Private businesses can do as they want but they cannot have their cake and eat it too. They cannot be a platform and a publisher at the same time and expect the same protections in both cases.



Well you note the trade-offs of a McDonalds. Those trade-offs are understood though. If steak houses then used their influence to demand McDonalds go through a regulatory process that would drive the cost of that Quarter Pounder to $20 so as to have it not compete with steak I'm sure you, like me... would say that regulation shouldn't be necessary to tell a steak from a BigMac. If no one can tell the difference that is the fault of the person cooking the steak.

That is my point with the news. Poorly copied, poorly sourced, bad news should not look like good news. If it does it is because the big news organizations are acting like the organizations they claim are doing a bad job.

So to bring it back around to full circle... the Post shouldn't have had an incident like the Covington story. They can afford to have reporters go out and do the research. They can afford to make calls, tap resources, investigate backgrounds and give of the full and real story. It should be the guy on YouTube who finds a clip, watches it and reacts to it (badly) who comes off as amateurish and badly informed. The reason that CNN, WashPo and others don't stand apart is the are doing the same thing as the YouTuber. They are sitting in a room letting the "news" come to them and then reacting to it.

That would be fine and the market should punish them for it but instead they are the ones trying to limit the reach of other organizations through social media and other venues by having trustworthy vs fake news attached to the provider, not the story. Like you said you should get to decide. The deal Bezo makes with Zuckerberg shouldn't decide.



I've not asked to have the tweet or the speech regulated. Rather the opposite is happening. The reporter in question has a blue checkmark which means they are a level beyond most of us with normal accounts. It means they have been validated and proven to be a person of a certain standing and status for a certain reason. The blue checkmark could be they are the real Lebron James or a real reporter for Time Magazine. My preference would be that he be fired from Time and then his blue checkmark would go away so he would be a regular person again. If you made up a quote from Trump or I did, nothing would happen to us but we would not be able to also declare that we are an educated journalist working for a publication to give credence to our lies.

Ian Bremmer - Wikipedia

Ian Bremmer will have the people that defend him use the expertise and credibility he flushed away that enabled the outrage over his false tweet in the first place. That doesn't mean government regulation. However if Bremmer declares we shouldn't be allowing fake news and he should know what fake news does to a Democracy because he is a Political Scientist with a Doctorate from Stanford and thus government should prevent Joe YouTuber from being able to go viral, we should remembe that Ian couldn't remember not to make up fake garbage even with that educational background.



I fully agree. The only bit to add is that the people in the kitchen can't declare that it isn't a kitchen and they can't be responsible for your food poisoning since they don't make food and also get away with that argument. Major news organizations with billionaire owners are making deals with other billionaire owners of social media platforms to limit who can come into the kitchen. That is what I believe Trump and others are addressing when they talk about these points. Facebook, Twitter and others are not held responsible for the speech their platform enables. You cannot sue Twitter claiming Trump's hate speech made your neighbor shoot you. You'd have to sue either Trump, your neighbor or both. Twitter has an actual safe harbor exception. Just like public figures have to clear a higher bar, public platforms have a higher bar to clear when people try to sue them for the speech that happens on them. However they cannot be publisher and platform. They cannot regulate speech and wash their hands of it at the same time.
This deserves a better response than I can give it at the moment, but I'll return to this as soon as I am able.
 
Jan 2012
970
322
SoCal
#64
No worries. It's quite long and there are upper limits to what can be done and followed here. In real life it would be a bottle of wine (or two) and evening of discussion.
 
Likes: Rasselas

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