Social Media Platforms and Campaign Ads (1 Viewer)

Steve R.

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Recently Twitter announced a ban on campaign ads. This has resulted in a spike of news articles, public concern, and calls for legislative action. Facebook, has also been caught-up in this swirl of activity.

As a quick simplistic free-speech response there should be no legislative repercussions for having political ads on social media platforms.

As with numerous other issues, the devil-is-in-the-details.

1. Exactly what would constitute a political add?

I routinely see, on TV, commercials dressed up as news reports.
In conducting an internet search on a product review, I get phony "reviews". The word "review" has been bastardized. By implication campaign ads can be similarly hidden behind other terminology.
Would an interview with a presidential candidate be considered an ad?​

2. There is always a way around restrictive legislation.

Should the government get involved to "protect" the public, innovative people will always find a way around that type of restrictive legislation. As previously mentioned above, there are commercials on TV that are presented deceptively as "news".​

3. The slippery slope.

One of the arguments made in favor of restrictive legislation and/or supporting the actions of social media platforms relates to "hate-speech". Banning "hate-speech" is an easy sell. Besides "hate-speech", there is also the issue of factual accuracy, which is also an easy sell.

While the above concepts may seem to be an easy sell to protect the public, what constitutes "hate-speech" and/or factual accuracy are hard to define and are very subjective. Who defines "hate-speech" and/or defines an acceptable level of factual veracity?​

4. Conclusion.
We supposedly live in a society were free speech is a Constitutional right (in the US). Given that, we have to acknowledged offensive speech and refute it with rationale speech.

Below one version of a popular quote:
If you deny to anyone else the right to say what you think is wrong, it will not be long before you will lose the right to say what you think is right. Defense of the freedom of others is self-defense. Voltaire stated this fact as a genius can: “I wholly disagree with what you say and will contend to the death for your right to say it.”
 

vba_php

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Steve,

Last night at my family's thanksgiving dinner, my brother, my dad and my stepmother sat around for 30 minutes yelling at each other literally at the top of their lungs arguing whether trump really committed purgury or not and how that is any different to what Clinton did when he was in office. My dad is a staunch elephant and my brother is a donkey most of the time, but he's not extreme bout it. so my brother insisted that trump's behavior should be condemned and he should be impeached, and my dad insisted that trump is no different than obama and clinton, in that everybody lies for a living. furthermore my dad suggested that the only reason clinton was allowed to remain in power after he was impeached was the fact that the economy was doing so well around that time.

after all of this upper volume activity, my dad got on the subject that Obama was the first president in history to use social media marketing on a massive scale to gain visibility and promote his viewpoint, especially with the young people. I don't really follow the presidency too much, as I've never believe the pres has much of anything to do with how business operates and whether or not a business will succeed or fail. I think the country pretty much runs itself outside of the monetary and legal policies that are required to be set by the fed and executive branch.

I get ads all the damn time and when I worked in a office at a large corporation, I even got like 20 calls a day on my office landline from all sort of political figures' representatives (most of them were automated of course) so I didn't even answer the phone cuz I always knew who was calling. so i guess what I'm saying is that it might be worth it to worry yourself about hate speech and such with regards to ads. aren't you already involved in protecting ur little corner of the world and those that you care about? I have a friend from high school that posts constantly on facebook about politicians lying to the public and how it MUST be stopped. he also posts everyday about how all christians are hateful people and they NEED to be stopped cuz they're spreading lies and causing people to believe in something that doesn't exist. I had to block his name from my news feed got it got so outrageous.

Nothing wrong with getting into a political discussion, but promise me you won't become like him!
 

The_Doc_Man

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Actually, Reagan was noted for his excellent use of the then-available media. He was definitely a communicator-in-chief and a man ahead of his time.

Here is the issue: The media outlets like Facebook and Twitter can get away with this exclusionary policy because of a distinction that was made regarding "net neutrality." I invite you to look that up rather than have me ramble on about it.

In essence, you can look at the internet as either a common carrier or a commercial facility. When net neutrality was revoked by the FCC some two or three years ago, the pendulum swung towards "commercial."

That means that the media companies are selling their services, and "let the buyer beware." Had they stayed as common carriers, there would have been an implied requirement that they would have had to sell services to anyone without bias, including political ads.
 

Steve R.

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That means that the media companies are selling their services, and "let the buyer beware." Had they stayed as common carriers, there would have been an implied requirement that they would have had to sell services to anyone without bias, including political ads.
That reminds me of an emerging deplorable tactic in obstructing free-speech. Below are some examples of politicians attempting to prevent the viewpoints of opponents from being published so that the electorate can read opposing views.

Biden Campaign Urges TV Networks to Stop Booking Giuliani

Fox rejects Biden request to not run Trump campaign ad

Kamala Harris’ Crusade To De-Platform Trump On Twitter Is Emblematic Of A Larger Problem

Free Speech Defenders Warn Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez That She Is Violating the Constitution by Blocking Critics on Twitter
 

vba_php

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How rude! Why do you say these things about your family?

Col
u don't respond to anything i post usually Col, so I have no idea if you know what I mean by that or not. surely u know of the animals that are assigned to each party, no? ;)
 

ColinEssex

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u don't respond to anything i post usually Col, so I have no idea if you know what I mean by that or not. surely u know of the animals that are assigned to each party, no? ;)
No I didn't know that. I thought you were being horrible to your family by calling them names!

US politics is not a subject the British are familiar with - except of course the clown in the White House.

BTW, I don't discriminate between posters here, I'll respond to anyone if I have an opinion - even Frothy as he hates me.

Col
 

ColinEssex

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Those images are very similar in their design with the same colours, same stars and the 50% split horizontally. I would have thought someone could come up with something different.
Still, at least I've learned something on a chilly Sunday morning so I appreciate that, thanks. I'll never remember which is which though.

Col
 

vba_php

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I'll never remember which is which though
the elephants are always called the GOP (grand old party) and to this day, i cannot figure out why they are called GOP and what it really means.
 

ColinEssex

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the elephants are always called the GOP (grand old party) and to this day, i cannot figure out why they are called GOP and what it really means.
I've heard of GOP, but only through these forums, no idea what it meant though. So thanks for the definition.

You see, the Americans on these forums use acronyms here, no doubt expecting everyone to know what they are on about, but most non Americans I should imagine haven't the foggiest, and of course the American poster is too self centred to consider an explanation.

Col
 

Steve R.

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300+ Trump ads taken down by Google, YouTube

"60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Wojcicki, "Have you taken down any of President Trump's ads at all?" YouTube's CEO responded, "There are ads of President Trump that were not approved to run on Google or YouTube." When pressed for an example, Wojcicki added, "Well, they're available in our transparency report.""
Wojcicki response raises two troubling concerns. First who would approve these ads? Second Wojcicki avoided answering the question.

Recently Mark Zukerberg asserted that Facebook will not fact check political adds. That is the appropriate response. As a quick example, it would be virtually impossible to fact check the promises of Democratic candidates to make certain things "free" such as college tuition and/or health care. There are simply too many speculations and assumptions concerning these promises.
 
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vba_php

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Recently Mike Zukerberg
ummmm....MARK. ;)
it would be virtually impossible to fact check the promises of Democratic candidates to make certain things "free" such as college tuition and/or health care. There are simply too many speculations and assumptions concerning these promises.
nobody can fact check an idiot politician's promises! there are way too many people and organizations involved with any process that is connected to a promise from a candidate. the candidate's job is to promise anything and everything that will earn the most votes. what else is there to know than that!? and they do their job damn well! each and every one of them...
 

The_Doc_Man

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the candidate's job is to promise anything and everything that will earn the most votes.
These days, that's true. And sad. It USED to be that the candidates job was to not say anything that would LOSE votes and hope that the other candidates would "screw the pooch." Candidates USED to have actual political platforms that meant something.

Which is, in its odd way, why Trump is "old school" at least in a sense. He promised to work on jobs, immigration, trade, and shady back-room deals.

He has delivered on jobs because we are at a 49-year low in unemployment.

Immigration? He has worked on that, clearly enough that I shouldn't need to explain.

Trade? Right now he is holding China accountable for their tricks with fluidity of exchange rates as a way to pay less value by not maintaining a stable economy.

Shady back-room deals? OK, this is harder because there are accusations and counter-claims flying left and right on this one, but the story goes that Biden offered a big cash bribe to the Ukraine president to fire the prosecutor who was investigating his son. So when DJT asked for an investigation and put some "skin" in the game with the defense deal, the shady back-room dealers demanded impeachment.

The problem with modern politicians is that they have no spine. People can demand anything they want and get promises for it, but when the money runs out, the voters are left with double disappointment - no money and no results.
 

Micron

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AFAIC, those platforms are businesses that don't have the same entrenched value under your Constitution, i.e. they are not "the press" and free speech doesn't apply if they don't want it to. You're free to say whatever on any soapbox that you have the right to stand on, but you don't have the right to do so on anyone else's soapbox. To me, it's obvious that they'd rather not allow the light to shine on their operations because it's preferable to police yourself than have the government step in to do it for you. None of this would be necessary if there weren't so many people who would believe everything that they read or heard, no matter how absurd it really is. The crap that often comes my way in emails from some US relatives just makes me shake my head. These people are supposed to be educated.

The extreme is when some bozo from Texas takes a gun to a New York pizzeria to free the children imprisoned in the basement by Hillary Clinton. Then it's time to do something because he's proof that there's too many who are too naive for their own good - and that of the country as a whole.
 

Steve R.

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Oops. Thanks for pointing it out. Fixed.

nobody can fact check an idiot politician's promises! there are way too many people and organizations involved with any process that is connected to a promise from a candidate. the candidate's job is to promise anything and everything that will earn the most votes. what else is there to know than that!? and they do their job damn well! each and every one of them...
Good commentary.

Shady back-room deals? OK, this is harder because there are accusations and counter-claims flying left and right on this one, but the story goes that Biden offered a big cash bribe to the Ukraine president to fire the prosecutor who was investigating his son. So when DJT asked for an investigation and put some "skin" in the game with the defense deal, the shady back-room dealers demanded impeachment.

The problem with modern politicians is that they have no spine. People can demand anything they want and get promises for it, but when the money runs out, the voters are left with double disappointment - no money and no results.
Doc's post reminded me that modern technology, through the use of video recordings, allows the media to go back in time and examine everything that a politician has previously stated. So when a politician makes new promises, his/her prior public comments can be examined and compared to what they are currently advocating.

Elizabeth Warren, through various videos and DNA analysis has been exposed as "stretching" the truth.
 
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Steve R.

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Bloomberg News Suspends Editorial Board Following Michael Bloomberg’s Presidential Campaign Launch

“We will continue our tradition of not investigating Mike (or his family and foundation), and we will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries,” Micklethwait goes on to say. “If other credible journalistic institutions publish investigative or the other Democratic candidates, we will either publish those articles in full or summarize them for our readers.”

As for Donald Trump, Micklethwait says that it will continue to investigate the president’s administration and will only “reassess” its coverage if Bloomberg ends up becoming the Democratic nominee and goes on to face Trump. As a general rule, Micklethwait says Bloomberg News will follow the same standards it did when its owner ran for mayor: report but do not investigate. That rule has also been in effect with regards to Bloomberg News’ main competitors, Reuters and CNBC.
In other words Bloomberg won't use his extensive media power to question the veracity of Democrats, but will continue to actively look for "dirt" on Trump.
 

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