You Own You

One of the odd developments in the technological age is that it looks like the Europeans will be taking the lead in taming the tech giants. Americans have been brainwashed into worshiping business, so any resistance to what the tech companies are doing to us is met with howls of protest. Even the American Left is in the tank for global business. Things are different with the Europeans, who maintain that old socialist distrust of capitalists. That’s what you see in stories like this one, where the Euros are trying to reign in the socials.

Leading journalists from more than 20 countries joined a call Tuesday for European MPs to approve a controversial media reform aimed at forcing internet giants to pay for news content.

European Parliament lawmakers return in September to discuss the proposal, a first draft of which was rejected last month after a fierce debate.

The so-called copyright and neighbouring rights law aims to ensure that producers of creative content—whether news, music or movies—are paid fairly in a digital world.

But the plans have been firmly opposed by big US tech firms such as Google and Facebook, as well as advocates of internet freedom.

An open letter signed by more than 100 prominent journalists from major news outlets warned Tuesday that “this fleecing of the media of their rightful revenue” was “morally and democratically unjustifiable”.

“We have become targets and our reporting missions cost more and more,” said the letter written by AFP foreign correspondent Sammy Ketz and published in several European newspapers including France’s Le Monde.

“Yet, even though (the media) pay for the content and send the journalists who will risk their lives to produce a trustworthy, thorough and diverse news service, it is not they who reap the profits but the internet platforms, which help themselves without paying a cent,” the letter said.

“It is as if a stranger came along and shamelessly snatched the fruits of your labour.”

The editorial urged the European Parliament to “vote massively in favour of neighbouring rights for the survival of democracy and one of its most remarkable symbols: journalism”.

Major publishers, including AFP, have pushed for the reform—known as Article 11—seeing it as an urgently needed solution against a backdrop of free online news that has wiped out earnings for traditional media companies.

The thing that no one ever seems to discuss is that companies like Facebook don’t make anything and their service is barely adequate. What they are doing is exploiting a natural monopoly so they can monetize the creative work of their users, including their personal information. Social media companies are skimming operations that operate on the fringe of legality. These companies harvest all sorts of information from users without their explicit permission. They are even trying to harvest your medical and financial records

The fact is, the social media companies, and that includes Google, have figured out how to transfer the value of creators from the owner to the tech giant. After all, Google’s search engine can only work if there is something worth finding. The search engine has value, but so does the content. The same is true of the content on FaceBook or Twitter. The only reason to be on those platforms is the content generated by users. The platform is a tiny portion of the value, but the platform owners consume all of the revenue from the system.

This is why, as an aside, newspapers and magazines are going broke. It’s not the only reason, but it is a big reason. If the New York Times took down its web site today, just shut it down completely, subscriptions would suddenly spike. The reason is, the entire liberal ecosystem relies on the New York Times for content and direction. It is the home church of the Progressive cult. Their regular readers would go back to buying the paper like the old days. If all newspapers followed suit, the internet gets quiet all of a sudden.

Putting that aside, there is a simple reform that addresses the abuses of the tech giants, as well as some of the other problems created by technology. You own you. That means your personal information, your image, your words, they all belong to you and anyone using them must have written permission. If FaceBook wants to sell your demographic data to some marketing company, they must have your written permission and not just through the abuse of leonine contracts. You have to consent to each sale.

This is not a new idea. Your credit record is not something the credit bureau can distribute without your permission. The propaganda on TV shows, where the cops instantly access the suspect’s credit card and personal records, is just part of the conditioning campaign against privacy. In reality, they need a warrant and it is hard to obtain. A lender must get your written permission to obtain your credit records from a credit bureau. It’s not just for privacy reasons. That information is your property and you have right to control it.

The thing is, this is a very easy solution to the abuses that have arisen from the technological revolution. The doxxing phenomenon popular with the bubble heads of Progressive media would go away with better property protections. All of sudden, they would be forbidden from using the images and personal information of people they wish to harass. Unless they could show that the information they obtained is in the public domain, they would be liable for any damages, plus the criminal use of stolen goods.

Again, this is not terribly difficult to navigate. If it is not yours, then you need permission to possess it. This is the rule with personal property. If you are found in possession of stolen goods, you are charged with a crime. It does not matter if you did not know they were stolen, because you knew the property was not yours. In other words, unless you are the lawful owner of the property, the burden of proof is on you to show you had a right to possess it. The principle is used in security clearances, so it is not an untested concept.

The result of tighter property laws, with regards to personal information, would be the end of social media as a profitable business. No one should weep for them as they are not technology companies in the conventional sense. They are parasites that exploit bottlenecks and gaps in the law to skim from the public. The internet was much more free wheeling and open without companies like Google and FaceBook. The reason for that is there were no stickup men creating bottlenecks in order to rob the users.

103 thoughts on “You Own You

  1. Google and the socials remind me of the mafia. They are leeches who skim money off of businesses and individual citizens without building much of anything themselves except for the structure of their criminal empire. Even more than the mafia, they clamp down on anyone (us) who supports a rival gang.

    At least the robber barons of old actually built and/or produced crucial building blocks for the economy such as oil, steel and railroads.

  2. I keep seeing people argue that people want Internet platforms like Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook – to be regulated as public utilities. You’re really not paying attention much if you think this is going to work out to your benefit in the longer run.

    The following is an commentary about David Horowitz being banned because the SPLC labeled him a hate monger:

    ————————- :

    My fear is that Congress will place Internet-based platforms under the laws governing public utilities. That could be the camel’s nose into the tent. The rest of the camel will follow.

    There are laws against committing an injury against someone without proof. If a third party recommends taking action, the organization that commits injury can be taken to court by the injured party.

    This is how I think the groups should defend themselves. They need to hire a legal team to make it clear to all such groups what they can do to defend themselves in court. A class action suit may be possible. If not, the coordinating group should provide advice to show threatened organizations the legal steps they can take.

    Laws against slander are still in force. If Left-wing groups violate the law, they should be at risk. Their victims should seek help in defending themselves.

    The problem is speed. The victim will have his income cut off. He may not be able to hire a lawyer. If a public interest law firm is ready to take his case, that would help greatly. This threat should be widely publicized. Leftist outfits should be made aware of this. So should bank-related firms such as credit card firms. It is illegal for them to cause damage on the say-so of some group that has no proof.

    This battle should be fought in the courts, including the court of public opinion.


    Go after left wing hate monger groups like SPLC and sue their asses into non-existence.

    That’s where the fight will be won.

    Letting the government regulate internet platforms just gets the government involved. If you really think that’s going to “fix” the problem – you’re not paying attention much.

    • “Letting the government regulate internet platforms just gets the government involved. If you really think that’s going to “fix” the problem – you’re not paying attention much.”

      They politized the FBI, the DOJ, the IRS, the….. I think you are right about this. We are much safer if the government does not regulate the internet. There might be an exception when it comes to personal information though. But in general, the government would simply kill off the internet, turn it into propaganda, circus and (even more) surveillance.

      The internet is like the 1st amendment, the less government, the better for us. B/c those who currently run government, dont like our thinking.

    • Well, AT&T nor Comcast will come and take my phone or internet service if I call you a Kike dick sucking nigger, but you can be DAMN sure I’ll lose my ability to be on FB, YT, Twitter, etc.
      If they see it. In fact, I’ll probably lose my Stripe, PayPal & other online financial services.
      Yet. I can sit in my house the rest of the day & express my option at the top of my lungs, that Carlsdad is a faggot whose wife lets Kebabs & Beakers run train on her while Carlsdad faps in the corner with his tiny cock, and when I wake up in the morning, I’ll still have electricity, water, natural gas and trash service.
      I can also go out in my local town square and say the same thing, you can get mad & press charges and what will the government say?
      Tough tittie, Carlsdad. Quit being such a lolbert-y homo.
      But, you want me to worry about the oppressiveness of the government over the oppressiveness of SolyCon Valley Antifa trannies?
      Either way, it’s oppression. I’d rather throw my lot in with the one who wants me alive paying taxes to them, versus the one who wants me & my kind dead.

  3. What information of yours should be yours to control exclusively and what should not be? There is a of different sorts of information here, from medical and financial records and history (here it is very hard not to agree that this information should be yours exclusively) to your search history (google etc will argue that you used their service to search with so they could use that data ‘legitimately’) to your picture, both in the sense of a picture you took and a picture of you, to various things you upload etc. The law could easily get very complicated it seems to me. And could then easily be used to go after ‘us’, say lawsuits for making memes or using news footage to show migrant problems or such.

    I do not entirely trust the European approach. In Europe the EU sets the tone for most laws and it is, if anything, a globalist, multiculti monster. Their real objectives may not exactly be protecting ordinary (white) people. I find this area to be quite complicated and while it is not an argument against something that the EU is for it but it certainly does not strengthen the case to me. That should not suggest I am against laws protecting personal information, only that I dont trust the EU or people of their mindset to write such laws.

  4. Every. Damn. Time. Whenever Zman brings his observations to the public, particularly those that illustrate some annoying aspect of modern society, there’s always a passel of honyocks commenting on the need for new laws, new legislation, etc. FFS, the answer is an economic one, not a legislative one.

    • One of the many reasons this blog is so addictive. And fun. I get to learn so many new words.
      “Honyoks” indeed! Thank you, Mr. Stanton!

    • Exactly.

      When you see a bunch of people screaming for more legislative fixes instead of looking into the mirror to see where the problem is – you can rest assured that not one single goddam thing is going to get “fixed”.

      This is why I keep saying : it sure seems by the responses I see show up on this blog as well as many other “right wing” sites and blogs – that what we’re really dealing with is a bunch of ever so slightly fallen away leftists who just pissed off that the darkies are forcing their way in and getting a piece of the action.

      They simply cannot give up the belief that big government is going to save their dumb asses. They just don’t like the fact that what they have supported for all so long – is now turning against them.

      I suppose if this was a bunch of people posting from other countries it would be understandable. But as far as I am concerned when I see this behavior it’s a good indicator that the person is “un-American”. Because overreaching all seeing government was NOT the intent of the people who founded the country.

      • Libertarians cling to their abstract, fantasy, idealized “capitalism” like Bible-thumping Christians cling to the Christ myths/Christianity. It is highly emotional, and any questioning of the foundational system is unthinkable, impermissible. Arguing with them is often quite hopeless and pointless.

        Anyway, unless you’re an anarchist, you already believe in vast array of laws and restrictions. The debate is what those laws should be, what would make conditions in society best. Throwing a tantrum, crying “laws are the problem” and “you’re leftists for not loving capitalism” (what ideology now dominates among the capitalists, and (((who))) has used capitalist “freedom” to wrest control of much of the West?). Libertarians simply cannot give up the belief that “freedom” is going to save their dumb asses. We had “freedom” in America, and it evolved into this. But I guess if we just turn back the clock, it won’t happen again? “Freedom” is an opening for leftists, hostile ethnic groups, degenerate culture, dysgenics, and other civilization-killers. These forces have to be explicitly anathematized, and all means, especially the state, marshaled to oppose them. Giving them “freedom” is precisely what got us to today.

    • Not at all. Only power can check power . Also power abhors a vacuum,

      I get the whole “leave me alone” ethos but it doesn’t work in a world with any interconnectedness or any cities The railroad was enough to kill it much less gene engineering , nanotechnology, robotics or whatever nightmarish tech is out there

      Rule or be ruled . You can’t opt out as it will either result in you becoming property or losing the consent of your neighbors . People in cities and that’s 8 out 10 Americans now expect the government to do things and outside of a few minrachist/libertarian types aren’t made that there is government but that the government is not being well run

      This even applies to the religious right who want state force to be used to stop abortion

      Basically very few people want a small government, they just want a good value for their tax dollars is all.

      The only way to end it is to smash all the cities on Earth more or less . I also get the attractive nation of a nice cleansing nuclear or SMOD holocaust but you aren’t getting that either.

    • But they might like the idea of regulating the internet though and once they begin this, they will be impossible to get out again.

  5. Of course all of this activity in Europe is being driven by legacy media shills. It may look different when viewed through a political lens, but in reality it’s not much different from the RIAA (remember them?) doing everything they possibly could to shut down iTunes and similar download/streaming services at the time.

    What I’d love to see is this principle being applied *TO* the Official Press. In other words, if a “journalist” from the Daily Beast or the New York Times wants to interview you, make it illegal for them to publish any quotes from you or even the fact that they interviewed you at all, unless and until you consent to the final, edited version of the article they want to publish.

    Yes, this would make journalism jobs and especially editorial jobs a lot harder. That would be a good thing. They’d have to spend more time chasing actual sources and making sure they’re represented accurately vs. rushing out fake news and writing vacuous puff-pieces.

    • Lance, if not make it illegal for them to publish such tripe, then at least make it very easy to win libel suits vs. any such conduct.

    • Are you seriously suggesting that a “journalist” actually speak to the person they are in the act of misquoting? The real irony of course, is that they will all tilt their heads up (and slightly off to the side) when they recite their credo of honor, but never actually adhere to it. To fix a cost to not adhering to your suggestions is perhaps how it should be. The catch for the “journalist” is that he cannot complain about the new conditions because, as professionals, they already exceed that threshold.

      • They generally do like to do interviews, in which they collect hours of dialogue and then cherry pick the precise 4 seconds when you said something that could be interpreted to support their narrative. Then they get to congratulate themselves for quality investigative journalism.

      • Another term for it is “contract of adhesion.”

        I think you could argue, with regards to some providers like credit card processors and banks, that the terms are so oppressive, due to their vagueness, that no reasonable person would make them and no fair and honest person would accept them. This makes them unconscionable.

      • Spell check is a funny thing. My Amazon based spell check, for example, changed “anticapitalist” to “antisemitic”. We may need to engage in a conversation with Tim Cook to interrogate this problematic result.

        • No, no problem there. Being anti-capitalism is anti-semitic.
          Now, go make me some shekels, like a good little goyim.

  6. Wall Street and shareholders demand growth. Once Google has a decent web crawler, and Facebook has servers and a program for hosting cat photos, what else is there left to generate growth? Well, we see what those things are, and they’re not good. While I despise Google, I’m a big user of YouTube simply because the breath of content is amazing. It’s a money-loser for Google however; I’m sure the plan is to get everyone hooked and then raise the price later.

  7. As an aside to the main conversation, I have been wondering for a while whether there’s a business opportunity for a social networking site with a strict peer-to-peer architecture. No centralized content storage. Any content you post to your node is visible only to the peer nodes which you have authorized to view your content. Nodes communicate via a VPN so content cannot easily be sniffed.

    I would pay a modest monthly fee for this type of network. Would anyone else?

  8. I agree with just about everything here, and hallelujah. But from a practical standpoint, I don’t think changing the law would make a bit of difference. The reason is that the overwhelming number of people using social media would continue using social media even if you displayed a disclaimer at every node of involvement. If you want to upload a photo, you’d see the message “By uploading this image, you agree that Facebook may use it for its own purposes, whatever that may entail, even to the point of using it against you.” Most people would just click “Okay” without even reading it. Those who did read it would mostly shrug.

    I remember a cartoon that showed a woman on the phone in the ’50s, thinking to herself “I can’t say that…what if they’re wiretapping me?” The other panel was a present-day woman talking to her Google Home: “Hey wiretap, you got a recipe for meat loaf?”

  9. There appears to be a lot less information on people easily available on the internet. Five and ten years ago, one could freely scroll through property and “name and address” type records to track people and the threads of history of a property or place. Now it all appears to exist behind firewalls. Facebook and the like have sucked up all the information, and one cannot easily build personal profiles without them. I assume there is an invisible hand behind all of this.

  10. The turf war between the dinosaur media and the digital Zuckopoly is probably the only barrier between here and total information control.

    Nice that the Left’s narcissism is the only thing preventing total domination over the sphere of public debate.

    • There’s been a trend for “digital journolists” to unionize. Zuckerberg, Dorsey, Page/Brin, et al, want none of that. Silicon Valley got a respite from regulation thanks to the 2010 election backlash against the unions, and manged to fool lolbertarians/cuckservatives into thinking that the shared anti-union sentiment would lead to an alliance.

      • For another example, note when Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post, he played hardball with the union and still cut positions. Bezos is the wealthiest man in the world, and one would think he could afford featherbedding in exchange for the political influence that owning the paper brings. But no, he could not let the rest of his serfs get any ideas.

        • The wealthiest men tend to be the biggest a**holes and tightwads. Not to mention total creeps as human beings.

          He could easily afford to treat the staff at WaPo decently. But he has total contempt for his workforce. That’s why Amazon is such a shitty company to work for and the average employee lasts about a year.

          Same with Google. Apple does a bit better at 2 years.

    • I haven’t noticed that the dinosaurs had the slightest beef with the Zuckopoly other than losing their livelyhoods. An unintended bonus from the new form of unithink.

  11. My great granddad lived from 1890-1996 owned his own bank, various businesses, kept his mind all the way up to the end at the age of 106 and died a very wealthy man handed out a lot of gold nugget advice (even to teenage me). The one that rattles around in my head more and more lately is that you don’t invest in a business whose entire assets can fit into a briefcase. I just don’t see the valuation in companies like Facebook and Google. I don’t think I’ve ever clicked on an add and given what adds show up for me they are WAY off base concerning my interests.

    • A pretty good rule of thumb: If it is not obvious how a business makes money, it is most likely a scam.

      • or the other one, if you can’t decide what the product is, you are the product. Something like that.

        • ‘If you’ve been playing poker for half an hour and you still don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.’ Buffett

      • If the value of the company is many times the sum of the actual assets, the corporate value can be erased on a bad afternoon.

  12. I still don’t comprehend how they make so much money. I mean, have you ever BOUGHT something you saw advertised on Facebook or google? Those ads couldn’t really have marketing value to that degree could they? There’s just something fishy about the whole thing.

    • The tech giants are extensively subsidized by the national defense and security apparatus. The information that they siphon up is paid for through tax dollars: the tax slaves are paying for their own surveillance. Quite a nifty arrangement.

      • Yeah, that’s what I think. Someone wants to insure that particular networking and information ports are on top.

      • What’s more, the surveillance equipment (microphones, cameras) is eagerly paid for by the dumb slaves. They quite willingly carry their cell phones around with them all day long, a great savings on personnel costs.

    • In my country, they stealing pension funds via Tech. You may launch some ball scratching app and when you have friend working in the pension investment, then he will claim that you app is worth billions after 10 years and pour all pension funds there.

    • In the Dead Tree Economy, there were hundreds, thousands of newspapers, magazines, and then thousands of radio/TV stations. Now there is just Google and Facebook. The only real competition possible is if Apple/Amazon create a new search engine, and if Microsoft buys the money losing Twitter. Netflix could also create a youtube competitor. That this doesn’t happen is a signal of collusion.

      • Many of us in the “google is not a verb” movement refuse to use it or even suggest that others do. For a lot of us, DuckDuckGo is our go-to resource. As for FB – easy to never have signed up, never had any use for it. So a lot of the power is just people choosing to make these resources “monopolies.” No need for a new search engine, esp not one by a corporate multi-nationals just as bad as google (apple, amazon.) They’re already there.

  13. It would be better if the social media were regulated like the telephone companies. As public utilities restricted to mere transmission of data, they would not be able to impose censorship on on their users.

    In principle, I believe the 1st Amendment free speech right should be imposed on all businesses, schools and institutions. None of them should be able to punish any employee, student or associate for anything said off the job. The idea that private organizations can punish anyone is absurd.

    This rule would have to be backed up by penalties that are truly destructive of the institution violating freedom of speech.

    • It’s relatively easy to build things on the internet – at least compared to out in the physical world. So I do not really think of Facebook or Twitter as “essential infrastructure”. The ISP that delivers their content to you – *maybe* falls into that category – the electricity that powers the whole thing probably does – but a website that does nothing but deliver content? I don’t think so. You don’t like what they’re selling – go somewhere else or build your own solution.

      Just remember – classifying them as essential – sets them in stone forever. If people start leaving because they suck – then they have a legitimate argument to get government funding – and now you’ve lost all recourse to EVER get rid of them.

      I’m not sure I agree with the regulation by the government angle – because I tend to think people should stop being stupid and just stop using things that abuse them. I realize that doesn’t always work out in reality – but then again nobody NEEDS to use Facebook either.

      Now if the DNS system, and internet service providers are being used to silence people (like what happened with Stormfront) – that is entirely in line with the “public utilities” argument.

      The problem with the 1st amendment imposition argument is that it runs headlong into the private property argument. The fact of the matter is that when you’re working at a company – you’re working in that company’s property.

      I know I wouldn’t want my lunatic next door neighbor to have the right to stand in my living room screaming about the joys of socialism – without having the absolute right to throw his ass out into the street – and beat him with a stick if he refused to leave.

      • The nature of the Internet leads to the leading provider quickly becoming almost the sole provider. There are only two search engines of relevance, only one social network is profitable, and one online store comprises at least half of the market, and only one video site, even most porn sites are actually owned by a single company. In the case of Google, they have powers similar to Ma Bell, and should face regulation or nationalization. Lots of Pentagon cash went into these companies.

        • Monopolies and government are now interchangeable, government being the great monopoly. The subject of the first anti-trust legislation, Andrew Carnegie, was most certainly no friend of government. American government will not regulate monopolies that wholly support it, unless it is to enter legislation that supports this symbiotic relationship.

        • Agreed. If Standard Oil was too big in 1911, then how come Google, and especially Amazon, are not too big in 2018? We need another Teddy Roosevelt. Oh wait, maybe we got one…

        • That’s not the nature of the internet at all.

          That’s the nature of government protected markets.

          Companies become large enough that they can then start manipulating the government to get favorable treatment in some form or fashion to protect their monopoly.

          This same thing has happened over and over and over again in meatspace with corporations that make real things and not just internet vaporware.

          If anything the internet is one thing in this world that has the least bit of this kind of “nature” to it because things are so much easier to “build” in the internet virtual world than they are in the actual physical world.

          You admitted the root of the problem: government money.

          This is why I keep saying over and over again: Attack the root goddamit.

          The left forcibly takes money from you – and spends it on things that benefit their power grab. This happens in the physical world. It happens when they fund NGO’s with tax dollars – and it happens in the internet space when they fund companies like Google with Pentagon cash – and then start deplatforming you.

          When are people going to wake the fuck up?

  14. While I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed here, there are a few legal issues that will make this a difficult challenge in the U.S. The first is that most social networking platforms are considered a public forum, so anything you post or consume therein is considered publicly available. Posting on FB is the electronic equivalent of standing on a soapbox in the town square and making your speech. Clicking “like” is the electronic equivalent of declaring your agreement with the speaker. This is why FB is “free and always will be.” There’s no reasonable expectation of privacy in a public forum. If FB charged for the service then one could argue that FB is a private forum and users are entitled to an expectation of privacy, like all those stuffy clubs that old white men visit in movies but that don’t really exist in the real world.

    Once the expectation of privacy is out the First Amendment right to free speech protects the flow and analysis of the content placed on social networking sites. If you travel from town to town speaking on soapboxes in the square then people have every right to record and analyze your speeches. This is what journalists do with politicians, or at least they used to do this before they became nothing more than the PR arm of the Democrat party.

    These and other legal principles kind of undermine the “stolen goods” analogy used in your post. The goods aren’t stolen (or even lost), but freely left in the public domain. The best advice I can give people is don’t use products or services from Google and kill your FB account.

    The acquisition of data from third parties (i.e., medical and/or financial data) would be a completely separate analysis. You have a reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to that data.

    • “Expectation of privacy” only applies to the fourth amendment.

      Again, your concerns about fair use have been addressed in other areas. Music is played to the public, but if you try to use a song in your political campaign, you better have permission from the rights holder.

      I think you can sort through issues where the user posts their image on-line. FaceBook, for example, could simply ask the user for permission to use the image when the post it. People using FB to advertise themselves or their racket would want to make their content freely available. The mom bitching about politics, on the other hand, would want her information limited to her friends.

      There’s no perfect solution. Clawing back some of your rights is just better.

      • I think the problem here is that we have two conflicting viewpoints that are both right. I can’t find anything wrong with what you both said. Social media is not exactly a public park with a soap box; but nor is my posting a re-tweet of an offensive or controversial comment of yours an infringement of your privacy.
        It’s one of the reasons I won’t use social media. It seems to be the perfect means to get mired in stupid fights with stupid people.
        People get too excited about this. If Lefty loons weaponise and politicize those platforms the way they did with the mass media the result will be the same. People will just quit.
        That probably wouldn’t be a bad thing.

        • I’m not sure the main issue is the content you post to social media. The greater issue is the fact Twitter has your phone number and most likely is pairing that with data from cell providers. That is sued to pitch marketing firms trying to sell you crap on-line. For example, I never got spam calls to my cell until I signed up for twitter. Then I started getting them daily. I was booted from twitter, so I removed the twitter app from the phone and root scrubbed their tracking data from the phone. I no longer get spam calls.

          Coincidence? Maybe.

          Like I said, perfection is never the standard. Simply making it more difficult for these forms to steal your property and sell it makes it better for us.

        • Perhaps I still cling to a view of the internet that comes from actually working in internet startups in the mid 90’s and into the early 2000’s – but I agree with your “probably wouldn’t be a bad thing” assessment.

          Quite frankly my take is that the right wing doesn’t like getting “deplatformed” off of things like Facebook and Twitter – my answer is to tell them to stop bitching and go create your own solutions then.

          One of the defining characteristics of the left wing has always seemed to be that they don’t really build anything. They come in after you have a functioning government and corrupt it and twist it to their own ends. They don’t work their asses off becoming a titan of industry and then use the money to fund a foundation , the get hired by the foundation and then worm their way into running it and spending the money to suit their own ends.

          Perhaps the internet made that different since it made “building something” so much easier than it used to be in the meatspace world. I find it actually sort of humorous to hear people go on and on congratulating themselves on what they “built” online. Compared to the amount of effort it takes to build something in the physical world – the effort is minimal online.

          It used to be that the “internet” was a place where sites rose and fell pretty quickly because of that dynamic. You don’t like the offering of one site – well then click the damn button and go somewhere else.

          The fact that people now think they’re somehow locked into Facebook and Twitter is a failure of the mind. You don’t like them – well then go build a replacement.

          • Yeah that was my gripe with Z initially too; but that is not the delemma here. Look at it this way: liberals tell us we cannot discriminate against customers based on skin colour, creed, gender, etc. Remember when Christian bakers were sued and hounded for refusing to bake a cake for a couple carpet munchers. Now they’re telling us we can’t use ‘their’ platforms because of our politics? And that they can force theirs on us? Nope, they can’t have it both ways. I think if they want a civil war over this we really need to oblige them.

          • I remember the Christian baker issue. And that is the result of the lefties torturing of the laws around “public accomodation” to force a public facing business to not “discriminate” against a certain class of customers.

            There’s a good article breaking down the 1st amendment arguments vs. the property rights arguments here:


            Masterpiece Cakeshop is owned by Jack Phillips. In a free society, it is he who decides who enters his property. It is he who decides who remains on his property. It is he who decides whom he will do business with. It is he who decides what he is willing to pay his employees. It is he who decides what benefits he will offer his employees. It is he who decides what prices he will charge. It is he who decides what days and hours he will be open. It is And it is he who decides whom he will decorate a cake for.

            In a free society, business owners have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason on any basis. Religion has nothing to do with it. Property rights have everything to do with it.


            In my view this is why the lefties take up these cases with such vigor. The left has been against property rights for a long time. Their embrace of Marxism is the proof of this. If they can FORCE you to do things with your property that are against your core belief system – then you don’t really have property rights – do you?

            Unfortunately this view of things means that the leftie run social media outlets – DO have a right to throw right wingers off their sites.

            This is why I say : with full recognition of property rights that means that right wingers can go out and build their own competing sites. The fact that they would rather complain about not having “equal access” boils down to just whining IMHO. And the reason why making arguments about turning social media sites into something more akin to a public utility that must give equal access – is that it’s completely justifying the arguments the left has about FORCING bakers to make cakes for gays.

            I really wish the right would stop fighting the left’s battles for them. But when I see so many right wing people who apparently have absolutely NO foundational principles – I wonder how much of a useless battle this really is.

            That’s when I come to the same conclusion that you apparently do – maybe we just need to start the shooting war. But then I also remember that if these same right wing people can’t even get their heads straight when the only real war going on is one of words – are they really somebody you’d want to be betting your life on if you were stuck in a shooting war – or would they just flake and run the first time the lefties started putting up the big propaganda speakers asking for people to surrender……..

          • I only have ONE principle-winning.
            Past that, I’m happy to see everyone who tries to stop me, left or right, swinging from a branch.

          • Haha. This is why people mock libertarians. “Have a problem with our titans of industry? Go make your own social network/internet infrastructure/banking system/shelter/clothes/food supply.”

            The titans of industry hate you, dude. They won’t be happy til they’ve extracted all of the wealth built by your ancestors, reduced you to a slave, and had your children put on hormone blockers.

            The titans of industry would hate you even if we lived in a libertarian utopia (which would then quickly devolve into an anarchic hellscape).

            Stop licking their balls.

            The extreme consolidation of wealth is our enemy, not just public power – because the former ALWAYS corrupts the latter. If you put down the Horatio Alger pipe for a moment, you might notice that our titans of industry aren’t self-made capitalists with whom any random person can compete in good faith. The game is rigged.

            No one businessman or company legitimately made a trillion-dollar enterprise; that’s ZMan’s point. We’d all be better off if we lived in the small communities – governed by a common morality – that were ubiquitous when Adam Smith penned his Wealth of Nations. But we don’t.

          • Are you paying attention?

            What does them hating you have to do with building your own thing?

            Stop whining about how the leftie won’t give you what you want – and do it yourself.

            Everybody’s whining about Facebook and Twitter and others banning right wing leaning people from their sites.

            Go build your own goddam sites if you don’t like it – it’s not really that hard. It’s also the correct hing to do – because then when they try to shut you down – there suddenly IS a very legitimate argument to be made about violation of speech rights. What happened to Stormfront was wrong – but nobody much cares because it was Stormfront and they were expendable. In order to make the argument and make it stick – it needs to be a big prominent target that gets attacked.

            You’ll never have that if you rely on lefties to build your platforms for you.

            If the core internet tech companies that supply bandwidth – and the DNS providers – and the electric companies…….. start shutting down right wing sites by blocking access to the wires and to name resolution and to actually powering on your servers – well then you probably have a very legitimate public accomodations issue and a free issue.

            You don’t really have one when you’re getting banned from Facebook. You have a property issue – and if you’re going to argue that Facebook should be FORCED (that’s what getting the government involved is) – then you’re also arguing that gays can force bakers to make wedding cakes.

          • Yes, I’m well aware of all the spergy libertarian arguments as to why private property rights require us to allow trillion-dollar monopolies to overrun us. I used to be a libertarian.

            What I finally realized a few years ago is that libertarians confuse intellectual laziness with high principle: there is no similarity between a cake shop and Facebook or Twitter. Social media isn’t a small business, a private club, or a private home. There’s zero reason that the way we treat these companies has to be some grand precedent annihilating freedom of association once and for all.

            Read Marsh v Alabama. When a private company owns the public square, they have no right to regulate speech. Facebook and Twitter are, whether you believe it or not, explicitly designed as public squares – and they own a share of the national public square that would make any traditional totalitarian blush.

            What’s more, Facebook and Twitter are natural monopolies. No one wants to use a social media platform with no people on it. That’s why it’s called social.

            The libertarians would have us all go off and be rugged individualists. It sounds very tough; you tell me, for example, to “stop whining,” but in truth what you’re advocating is that conservatives should quit the field and go off into our own little ghetto while the Left consolidates its control over discourse on the internet. Joe Normie isn’t going to flock to one of the sixty-eight tiny libertarian social-media alternatives. He’s going to stay on Facebook and Twitter where everyone else is already.

            What happens to rugged individualists in a war? They lose to organized opposition.

            No, the only way to handle these tech monopolists is to treat them like a public utility, requiring them to observe 1A protections for their users. We also need to get behind breaking up behemoths like Amazon and Google.

            Look, you’re a smart guy. You leave (generally) good comments here on Z’s blog. I’m hoping to get through to you, the same way I was eventually saved from libertarianism.

            Libertarianism is insidious because a) it appeals to our egos by touting the idea that we’re tough self-made men, and b) it superficially resembles a lot of our Founding Fathers’ rhetoric. Of course, what’s missing is that the Founders lived in a much smaller scale society governed by a strict and common morality. Modern libertarianism, on the other hand, embraces amorality.

            In our mass society, capitalitism morphs from the free market ideal in your head to something completely different, and much more sinister. Burnham called it managerialism – a system in which the traditional incentives are perverted, in large part because the owners have been separated from the management decisions. You’ll note that if there’s one trait that characterizes our ruling class, it’s a lack of accountability. They fail upwards, while we dirt people are persecuted for every smallest faux pas.

            The big tech companies aren’t private actors who got where they are through merit. No one here (as far as I know) has a problem with private wealth per se; what we have a problem with is the insane consolidation of wealth that also leads to private and public corruption. There are maybe two or three dudes in the history of the world who legitimately added enough value to society to deserve having several billion dollars. None of them are alive today.

            We’re a long way from Adam Smith’s conception of the local capitalist who treats his workers and his customers fairly because he lives down the street from them. It’s time we all of us on the right woke up to that reality.

          • Did you really just say “go create your own,” in a SERIOUS manner? If you don’t realize that this is an impossibility, you have no idea what’s going on.

          • Eventually that line, build your own platform, domain, hosting service, payment system… leads to… “just go build your own country!”

            Umm, we did. And then…

      • There is a body of law relating to prior restraint in libel, slander, defamation, and copyright cases which is developing rapidly precisely because of the ease of publication on the internet. One factor that courts evaluate in these cases is whether there was a reasonable expectation of privacy in the communication, akin to a fourth Amendment analysis, which is balanced against the first Amendment rights of the other party.

        If you unknowingly record me making inflammatory statements in the course of a private conversation at our private men’s club then threaten to publish this recording, I have a decent shot at getting an injunction that prevents you from publishing the recording or otherwise profiting from it.
        An extreme example is Cohen’s illicit, illegal, and legally unethical recording of conversations with his client Donald Trump. Because Trump is now the President, and therefore a public figure, he will likely not be able to enjoin publication of these recordings. But if he were a private citizen he would have a good shot.

        By contrast, if I’m on my soapbox in the town square screeching about whatever comes to my mind and you record me, even unknowingly, I would have no right to enjoin you from using the recording.

        You are correct that Europe will lead the way on this issue.

        • Yes. EU law already has a much more robust “you own you” approach to the use of personal information than does the US. And the EU has been much less open to regulatory capture by the Social Media industry. Probably in large part because that industry is U.S. based.

          • Disagree. Less open to regulatory capture would mean no hate crimes unit for patriotic Germans and Brits.

  15. Richard Fernandez at Belmont Club has suggested a digital ownership right for people on the net. The internet bandits would have to pay you to use your info. Myself, I don’t put their apps on my iPad, but read a couple of twitter accounts through my browser. Same with Facebook. Don’t know if that protects me from their rummaging through my data.

    • It’s also foundational liberal democracy. Libertarians did not invent the concept of personal property. In fact, the concept of personal property pre-dates the concept of real property.

      • Absolutely true. One of the reasons I started following modern day “libertarians” – is that they seemed to be the last refuge of people arguing for the sanctity of personal property and the logic of small government.

        And just for the record – I spent years reading the postings on Lew Rockwell and never came away with the impression that anybody there was a big fan of pure democracy. My takeaway was that that restricting voting to property owners only was something entirely justifiable in a society that properly protects personal property. They also very easily worked out philosophically that restricting immigration or segmenting society on racial or cultural lines – was entirely in line with libertarian principles.

        I have to say that most of the “libertarian” names I see mentioned here – are people I’ve never heard of before, not even once. And that is after spending probably 15 years of reading *what I thought* was libertarian-ish writers.

        My instinct is that there is an influx of people coming from the left wing liberal side of the aisle – who have taken to describing themselves as “libertarians” – and using that as an excuse to justify their positions on things. I’ve seen these types show up on other blogs and forums I frequent – and you can just smell the left wing-nutiness coming off of them in what they write. Start saying things like “property rights are entirely in line with restricting immigration – since a nation is the property of the people who built it and live within it ” – and they lose their shit and start screaming about human rights to travel and such assorted nonsense.

        The left wing progressivist virus has infected nearly everything. That is something I constantly keep in mind.

        • Libertarianism in America was always left wing, at least the dominant form of it. Guys like Rockwell, Hoppe and Paul were fringe weirdos even within libertarianism. The people behind Reason Magazine, for example, were anti-war types who opposed drug prohibition. Property rights simply became a vehicle to achieve personal freedom, as in not serving their country and getting high all the time.

          I oppose libertarianism, left and right, because I think they start from false assumptions about humanity and society. I also think libertarians work to undermine opposition to the Left and they are not honest about it. That said, some of Hoppe’s observations, for example, are useful and accurate.

          • Libertarian’s role in our political system is to play Dean Martin to the left’s Jerry Lewis. They’ll align with the left to do things like legalize gay marriage, and then they’re surprised to find out that now you’ll be baking that cake, comrade.

            To the best of my knowledge, they’re the only political sect that’s hell bent on promoting policies that will result in making their preferred political order impossible to implement.

            I’ve always thought this was the perfect metaphor for the libertarian movement:

          • Libertarianism, at least the dominant form of it, has consistently espoused the following:

            (1) elimination of the income tax;

            (2) elimination of fiat money;

            (3) elimination of the FED;

            (4) elimination of the IRS;

            (5) elimination of the ATF;

            (6) elimination of the HUD;

            (7) elimination of the gift tax;

            (8) elimination of the estate tax;

            (9) elimination of the FCC; and

            (10) elimination of public sector employee unions.

            None of the above can be accurately characterized as leftist.

            Regarding human nature, libertarians have a far better grip on it than dissident rightists as the former know that no man is to be trusted with a monopoly of force while the latter appear to be ignorant of the fact that in the last 150 years, the state has been responsible for the assaulting, battering, bombing, forced expatriation, maiming, murdering, and raping of hundreds of millions of people.

            Libertarians are not prone to being seduced by appeals to a strongman – only the intellectually challenged fall for that.

          • Right, the dominant form of libertarianism is just theater. What they want is the freedom to degrade themselves with drugs and degeneracy..

          • The employment of such a non-sequitur does not flatter you.

            Do you think that Tom Woods or Ron Paul or Hoppe or Lew Rockwell want to degrade themselves with drugs and degeneracy?

          • The greatest fatal fallacy of libertarianism is their belief that their doctrine appeals to all races equally. In practice, libertarians open the borders to the least libertarian peoples of the earth and flood countries with tribal people. Suicidally stupid.

          • This libertarian does not subscribe to such a belief.

            In practice, it is not the libertarians who are opening the borders for the invasion of the black and brown hordes; to the contrary, it is the progressive John “war hero” McCain types, the Poppy “war hero” Bush, types, the Ronnie Ray-gun disciples, the crony-capitalist Chamber of Commerce types,, the cucky conservatives, the cucky civic nationalists, the “America is a nation of immigrants” crowd, the make the world safe for democracy Wilsonians, the military idolaters, and ((( THEM ))) that are opening the borders.

            Forced diversity, forced miscegenation, and forced multiculturalism are manifestly not principles of libertarianism, notwithstanding any averments to the contrary by dopey dissident rightists.

          • In fact, what have all of the soldier boys, and all of the police, and all of the other public sector parasites who wear Caesar’s clown costumes done to stop the black and brown hordes?

            If they truly cared about heritage America, they wouldn’t be on a public payroll belonging to a public employee union and contributing to the looting of the homeland while they make and produce nothing.

          • Mike, why not just be honest and call yourself a “white nationalist?” We can sort out all the economic details out later.

          • Quite so, actual libertarianism is free association and Constitutional defense of private property. Not this blank slate fraud we see today presented as the majority.

          • Again – don’t know which libertarians you’ve been hanging out with , but that is yet again an impression I never came away with. The ability to close the borders and close them hard was always argued from the perspective of property rights. If the people of a nation don’t want immigrants – then they shouldn’t be FORCED to take them (which is exactly what is going on now). Open borders = no property rights.

            I’ve never seen that position seriously argued by anybody I ever respected for their libertarian views.

            Ron Paul got attacked for this views on shutting down the borders and getting rid of birthright citizenship. He also got attacked multiple times as a racist for saying things like blacks are not owed welfare or reparations.

            And that included plenty of attacks coming out of the right wing BTW.

          • I’ve read all of those guys extensively and I have NEVER come away with the impression that their main purpose in life was to legitimize drugs and dependency. If anything my takeaway was that they were sick and tired of being FORCED TO SUPPORT drugs and dependency thru the mechanism of big government.

            There’s pretty copious evidence that much of the drug trade is actually supported by government in some form – and much of the drug war is not much more than security theatre. Furthermore the worst drug addled class are those that are stuck on goverment welfare checks.

            All of which I have to go and bust my ass every day to pay for BTW.

          • If we leave behind the paradigm that drugs and degeneracy go together, we can start working on personalized neurotransmitting medications that can result in each of us being himself, but a much better version of it. Think of it like we do weight lifting, yoga, or other forms of exercise — one more way, within our power, of improving ourselves

            Looking at it this way, instead of automatically negatively, could well be the beginning of a golden age of transforming the human brain and body through technology and chemistry.

          • I follow that smarmy virtue-signaling prick, Tom Woods, on Twitter. If I heard next week that someone had hung him in a town square, it would make my entire week.

          • If you own you than its axiomatic than you may make such choices and that people can make such choices together

            Chesterton put it this way

            The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.

            Now if you want have an authoritarian state or a totalitarian, fine but be honest about it and understand that its incredibly costly to do it effectively.

            Modernity is misery

          • None of those things are big issues with the over-arching lolbert mvmt.
            That’s stuff ppl at the Mises Institute say, not the body of those following the (now dead) ideology.
            Today’s lolberts are just drugged up trannies who want Beaners here making them tacos, and they want to be able to buy as many firearms as they want.
            An absolute joke, and the fat naked man dancing at their 2016 event perfectly encapsulates the whole shit show in a nutshell.

        • Currently, the biggest things lolberts are pushing for are: weed legalization in every state, tranny bathrooms, the right to mangle children & destroy their sex organs, the retarded NAP, free trade for mega corps, same sex marriage, open borders, all drugs, (Inc heroin & meth), to be decriminalize and most importantly, age of consent laws removed, so they can bang 13 yr olds.
          This is what the base of lolberts want. That’s why lolberts get the bullet, too, to borrow a line from our deranged Antifa pals.

      • “It’s also foundational liberal democracy.”

        Then how do you explain to coexistence of liberal democracy and slavery?

          • As soon as you write “foundational liberal democracy” – and then add “United States from it’s founding” – I know A) you don’t know much about the history of this country – or : B) You’re coming from the left side of the aisle on this.

            The United States was not FOUNDED as a “liberal democracy”. Since I’m sick of reminding people of things they should already know – you’re going to have to figure out the correct answer yourself.

            The red flag clue in my experience that I’m dealing with a leftie is that they ALWAYS call the US a “democracy” and they usually try to work slavery into an argument if they can possibly find a way.

    • “You own you” is indeed the fundamental tenant of private property, ergo libertarianism. However, Zman’s successive arguments do not follow from the principle of self-ownership. Information, personal or otherwise, cannot be owned unless one lives as a hermit, refusing to engage in information exchange with others. From the perspective of old and good law, only scarce resources can be owned in any meaningful sense. Information is not physical. It is abundant and nonscarce.

      I’m nonetheless sympathetic to Z’s position, even if I still logon to Facebook from time to time to–freely and incidentally–give them information about myself.

      • Your medical history is neither abundant or nonscarce. In fact, it is limited and quite scarce, unless you subscribe the infinite universe theory. But even there, it is scarce within its own universe. Further, that information may or may not have a market value, but it most certainly has a value to you. Knowing that you have a predisposition to some ailment may keep you from unintentional self-harm.

        The argument from Big Tech is that it has no value, so they get to steal it and then bundle it up with some analysis and sell the package. They are the value added link between your worthless information and their highly valuable product. That’s not much different than a mining company coming along and digging up your yard for some ore they use. The rocks are useless to you, so they get to take them. No one would ever agree to such a deal. That’s why mining companies have to pay you for access.

        • Your medical history is neither abundant or nonscarce. In fact, it is limited and quite scarce, unless you subscribe the infinite universe theory.

          I take your point, and I do (Neal Stephenson’s Anathem is awesome!).

          However, you do not own your medical history unless your doctors agree that you do, but even then its best to assume that you don’t, especially now that nurses enter every damn detail about you into computers. We all know agreements can be broken, and there is no going back once information is in the public sphere. Your medical history then becomes nonscarce–there is no way to know where your information resides (brains and/or CPUs) and to what extent it has been distributed.

  16. I love the term “reporting missions”, as if they actually did leg work or even real research online. Copy, paste, steal, scan the Twitter feeds.

    In my field, it is common for Google Image search to be used for graphic content. Years ago it was well known that without explicit permission use of someone’s image content was forbidden, unless public domain.

    Hopefully Trump’s latest assault isn’t another tantrum he will abandon.

  17. “If all newspapers followed suit, the internet gets quiet all of a sudden.”

    I would have written it as “gets much less noisy”. I’ve learned all sorts of useful stuff on the internet; plumbing fixes, motorcycle repair, computer programming, gardening tips. Frankly its been no less than amazing to a kid who was born in the late 60’s, who was limited to the knowledge base of the World Book encyclopedias and a few basic “how things work” books to be able to get online and find out how to do/fix specific things.

    As far as news goes, I’m not interested. I don’t go online for any news. I’m never going to be told the truth by the media. “Journalists are just socialists why bylines.” Did I mangle that correctly? Yes, it would be great to get them off the internet. It would be great to get the monstrosity that Google has become chopped back down to size. A search engine with some ads throw in with your search results, If its makes enough money to keep the lights on, great, otherwise, fuck ’em.

    Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram/SocialMediaWhatsit is for women.

    • That last sentance is very simple. But it’s very honest, in fact there’s a fair point to be made that the social justice advertising and hyper consumerist state of most Western economies is due to women.

      • Shane, more specifically, those in the (mostly single) 15-35 age group, who are known (esp. by MadAve.) to engage in more *impulsive* spending than any other demographic.

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