r/technology Dec 05 '21 Silver 4 Helpful 4 Wholesome 1

Judge tears apart Texas social media law for violating First Amendment Society

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/12/texas-ban-on-social-media-censorship-violates-first-amendment-judge-rules/
35.6k Upvotes

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u/forgottenarrow Dec 06 '21

How do state laws work with regard to the internet? Say the law goes through and someone tries to sue YouTube. How would they argue that it's in Texas's jurisdiction? Is it enough if the user suing YouTube is a Texas resident? Generally what happens if two countries/states have conflicting laws that these internet giants are supposed to follow. Do they just swallow the fines and penalties from one of the countries?

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u/RagingAnemone Dec 06 '21

I don't know, but apparently patent trolls sue in east texas someplace because the judges there are probably taking kickbacks for rulings in the favor of the trolls.

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u/[deleted] Dec 06 '21

I still remember the Prenda law fiasco where a couple lawyers were creating porn, and uploading it to torrent sites in order to bait people into downloading it so they could threaten them with over a grand total of $6 million in blackmail instead of shaming them in a court room. They're all spending quite a few years in prison now for their blackmail.

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u/KLR650Tagg Dec 06 '21

I followed the whole Prenda law thing as attorneys were discussing it on the popehat website.

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u/Abadayos Dec 06 '21

What if shaming me is my kink?

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u/evantobin Dec 06 '21

No it’s even worse. The judge for that district is the parent troll’s father. https://thepriorart.typepad.com/the_prior_art/2008/03/judge-wards-son.html

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u/TengriKhan Dec 06 '21

Judge Ward has been retired for a decade and Judge Gilstrap has been driving the EDTX patent train for awhile. In the past couple of years, more and more troll cases have shifted away from Marshall to Waco due to Judge Albright.

It's not kickbacks or nepotism. It's a combination of truly-held policy views and the degree of clout and social standing that comes from being THE patent judge.

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u/aridwaters Dec 06 '21

Marshall Texas is a shit hole. Hell I've lived in East Texas my entire life and pretty much all of it's a shithole.

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u/eatabean Dec 06 '21

Even Diboll? OMG. You mean the trooper at the Dairy Queen is on the take?

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u/FreshPrinceofEternia Dec 06 '21

He's paid in fried curds and chicken tenders with country gravy.

Edit: just started a 12 week Workout program and diet. Goddamn I'd love some curds and chicken tendies with gravy.

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u/Sexual_tomato Dec 06 '21

the trooper at the Dairy Queen

I guess one of the cops from Huntington got a promotion

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u/[deleted] Dec 06 '21

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u/Expensive_Culture_46 Dec 06 '21

I’m sorry. I bolted from East Texas as soon as I could. Sounds like you aren’t staying because you want to.

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u/aridwaters Dec 06 '21

Trapped by poverty.

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u/weatherseed Dec 06 '21

East Texas is just Louisiana with a different accent.

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u/evolving_I Dec 06 '21

Am from SW Louisiana and I'm both offended and acknowledge the truth of your statement. So glad I left.

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u/Odd_Acanthisitta_368 Dec 06 '21

I spent 2.5 years in Texas. If the country got an enema, Texas is where they would insert the tube. Out would flow all kinds of vile things! Wait! Maybe that’s already happened! Ted Cruz and Greg Abbot are here!

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u/OwlMayCuesMile Dec 06 '21 edited Dec 06 '21

They haven't shifted to Waco just due to Albright, but because of a Supreme Court case (Teva) that explained the nuances of venue that made EDTX less of a hotspot. They shifted to Waco instead of elsewhere in Austin because of Albright though.

It's not direct kickbacks or nepotism, but anyone who doesn't think that there are underlying corrupt motives to his policies are kidding themselves. Albright says he cares about the right to a jury trial, but it's really hard to believe that's anything but a front to entice potential plaintiffs to his district. He's refused to transfer cases despite over a dozen admonitions from the direct appellate court, and even though he's starting to relent now, he can't help himself but take cheap shots at the higher court, despite every single judge in the Federal Circuit telling him he's wrong. He's forced parties to pay one of his former clerk almost a million dollars in the last year or so as a "technical" expert while giving the most bare-bones claim constructions of any judge, refused to stay cases while the PTO considers whether the patents being asserted ever should have even issued, and he's refused to grant meritorious dispositive motions. The dude is an embarrassment.

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u/TengriKhan Dec 06 '21

Yeah, TC Heartland caused a big shift away from EDTX to WDTX because the outskirts of Dallas are much easier to avoid than Austin. My point was just that it does not appear to be direct, hardcore corruption of the Chicago type, but more the soft power that comes from being a big deal nationally while living in a tiny place. People want you to be on committees and speak at conferences and you get to say that the Samsung-branded ice skating rink is your doing.

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u/[deleted] Dec 06 '21 edited Dec 15 '21

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u/mnemy Dec 06 '21

Ha. I'm aware of that bullshit. I joined a company shortly after a very prominent patent troll company sold it off after stripping it of its most profitable patents. There was still a strong culture of patenting everything, which I just rolled my eyes to.

I ended up creating something pretty cool and complicated to solve a problem, and a director asked me if it was something we could file a patent for. I just said "nope, a good engineer would probably come up with a similar solution given the same problems." He even went to my other senior teammate who shrugged and said the same as I did. He pushed a couple times and gave up.

About a year later, Netflix put out an article basically outlining a very similar solution to the same problem. And they shared it with the world, rather than trying to patent troll.

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u/jmcs Dec 06 '21

Big platforms already show different results in different countries. For example Google filters out content that violates the right to be forgotten in Europe. So I assume Texas would get access to Texas only garbage content.

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u/ampersandagain Dec 06 '21

🎶 You don't have to be lonely, at texasonly.com! 🎶

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u/bowlbasaurus Dec 06 '21

Interstate commerce is under federal jurisdiction. States can pass laws as long as it doesn’t violate federal laws and protections. For example, CA has tighter internet privacy laws that don’t violate federal laws but protect state citizens more. There are lots of examples from California…

Texas can’t take away constitution rights from other citizens or corporations, thus, this law is unconstitutional.

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u/forgottenarrow Dec 06 '21

Oh no I get that. Mine was a question of jurisdiction rather than legality. Suppose a budding social media company has the resources to follow federal privacy laws but not CA privacy laws. Then are they screwed or can they use methods like geo location to prevent CA residents from accessing their site? If a CA user gets around those methods (e.g. by using a VPN), would the budding social media company be liable?

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u/Klandrun Dec 06 '21

When GDPR went through to become a EU law, some companies in the US decided to block Europe from accessing their sites. It was mostly news sites and blog type sites.

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u/[deleted] Dec 06 '21 edited Dec 16 '21

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/ChesterDaMolester Dec 06 '21 edited Dec 06 '21

Idk if it’s helpful but I live in CA and as far as I can tell, our internet privacy laws are laws that every company has the resources to follow, so they would have no reason to geofence California. Especially since the odds are that they’re headquartered here. Laws like the CCPA are easy to follow and any company has the resources to, but also easy to obfuscate.

If you ever get stuck in an endless loop trying to delete your personal data from an account online, just send and email with the header “CA resident” and the body “Delete my personal data” Works 99% of the time

As for legality? Yes any company has the right to refuse service to any person unless they are under a protected class. State residency isn’t a protected class. So companies can exclude a state if they don’t want to comply to a state regulation.

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u/wackywavingarmgumby Dec 06 '21

Just to add: it's usually cheaper for the companies to just follow the special law rather than set up location checking and serving (or blocking) areas differently. Similar for car standards; easier to have one model than area-specific ones.

Different with copyright and distribution rights of course, which is the reason behind a lot of geoblocking.

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u/reverendjay Dec 06 '21

That said, a lot of smaller American sites for a good while didn't bother to comply with the EU's cookie privacy act (went into effect in 2018 or so) and did geo-fence themselves. Pretty sure it's mostly sorted now and that's why a lot of websites generically allow you to opt in/out of cookie settings.

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u/MereInterest Dec 06 '21 edited Dec 06 '21

EU's cookie privacy act (went into effect in 2018 or so)

Warning: Pedantry ahead.

You seem to be conflating two separate EU laws. The EU cookie law (technically "directive" which was then passed as law by member states, but there's a limit even to my pedantry) was passed in 2002, and requires sites to inform users that cookies will be used. Compliance with the EU cookie law is pretty straightforward, and doesn't require anything more than a one-time popup.

The later privacy act (passed in 2016, implemented in 2018) is the GDPR, which has much better protections for user privacy. That all non-essential collection of data must have explicit, informed, and freely-given consent prior to any data collection, be restricted to a specific purpose, and that consent must be as easy to retract as it is to give.

  • Non-essential - Not related to the core product being offered by the site. (e.g. Strava doesn't need to ask explicit permission to record your location, because the location history is essential to the product being offered. A recipe site recording your location would require explicit permission, because it is not essential to providing recipes.) Providing targeted advertisement is not considered essential.
  • Explicit - The consent must be opt-in, and cannot be assumed by continued use of the site.
  • Informed - The user must know what data are being collected about them, prior to giving consent. It can't be hidden away in the small print of a page that nobody reads.
  • Freely-given - There cannot be any penalties for refusing consent to be tracked. This includes making use of the website, or features within the website, conditional on consent to be tracked.
  • Restricted to a specific purpose - Consent to have data collected about me is not a blanket consent, but is only consent to have that collected data used in a specific manner. If I give a website my phone number for use in two-factor authentication, then it may only be used for two-factor authentication and not for targeted advertising. (Actual example that Facebook did.)
  • As easy to retract as it is to give - No requiring a phone call or a registered letter to retract permission that was given by a single click of the mouse. No hiding the retraction behind several layers of menus, unless the original permission granting was also behind those several layers. If there is a single "Accept all" button to click in the initial popup, then there must also be a "Reject all" button.

Most sites fail on some or all of these conditions. The GDPR was written with the intention of protecting privacy, not of preserving existing business models. As such, there's a huge amount of misinformation about GDPR, complaining that it is overly difficult and onerous to comply with. That may be true for some business models, but only to the extent that a law against murder would be detrimental to an established business providing assassinations. Being difficult to comply with while maintaining such a business model is the entire point.

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u/Gamer36 Dec 06 '21

I still run into blocked sites occasionally. Often local news websites.

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u/DopeBoogie Dec 06 '21

The European privacy laws are much tighter so if you ever plan to interact with users in Europe you might as well just build for those and don't worry about American laws, geo blocking is messy buisness

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u/getyourgolfshoes Dec 06 '21

If you're interested in the actual answer to your questions, look up personal jurisdiction regarding corporations. "Minimum contacts" with a state are sufficient for a court to exercise personal jurisdiction, generally speaking. It gets a bit more gray when you're talking about corporations doing business in a state. See Daimler AG v. Bauman, also Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of Cal.

Life insurance companies for example typically avoid doing business in states with stringent "lost property" laws (as it relates to claims of deceased persons without beneficiaries) because they don't want to have the cost of litigation.

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u/KinOfMany Dec 06 '21

can’t take away constitution rights from ... corporations

Corporations have constitutional rights? That sounds so weird. I'm legitimately asking btw, don't downvote me for trying to learn something.

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u/hackingdreams Dec 06 '21

They add some shitty UI that asks you about your preferences based on your location, or they geofence you out. If Texas were ever to make a law like this stick, 100% tech companies would do a geofence around Texas, and they'd be stuck using less than a tenth of the modern internet. There's simply not enough people in Texas to be worth doing business with a state with laws that regressive. (It's why Google et al fight so hard to stay in China, even if it means bending over absolutely backwards - the revenue opportunities are simply too great for them to ignore, even if it means shredding ideologies like "Don't be evil.")

I mean look what happened after the GDPR with cookie notification dialogs. The law was intended for companies to reduce their usage of cookies, now every god damned website makes you consent to their stalkerware instead.

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u/scandii Dec 06 '21

I think this is a bit of the wrong take.

GDPR forces companies to notify you when they want to collect your data and why.

it is a good thing you are now annoyed at the massive amount of companies that do so than the previous situation where they were doing so silently.

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u/barrettmech Dec 06 '21

OK

cancel

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u/Wuffyflumpkins Dec 06 '21

Accept All

confirm choices

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u/forgottenarrow Dec 06 '21

Cool thanks. So they can change a user's experience based on geo location. What happens with VPNs? If you use a VPN, can you later sue YouTube for doing something illegal in your state but perfectly legal where your VPN made you seem to be?

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u/astroskag Dec 06 '21

You've just asked a question that is beyond the technical expertise of the people writing the laws. That is the problem with having people old as dirt write the laws.

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u/DamnDirtyHippie Dec 06 '21

Let’s subpoena the CEO of this VPN you speak of and get this figured out! Sounds like some kind of hacker technology!

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u/Perle1234 Dec 06 '21

It’s unrelated, but the same problem exists when legislators tell doctors what to do. There are states that require docs to say things that aren’t true. So you have to preface it, “I am required to tell you the following information, however, it is incorrect and not supported by medical evidence…”

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u/MrBubbles226 Dec 06 '21

"I don't know that, let me ask my son, he's a tech wiz. He set up my Chromecast." Lol

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u/ksj Dec 06 '21

The reality is that legislators are absolutely not writing laws. They are written by teams of lawyers, often lawyers that work for giant corporations. Just look at the FCC laws written by Verizon lawyers (SOPA, PIPA, and all the other variations of the anti-net-neutrality laws).

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u/Custard-Ordinary Dec 06 '21

The problem with laws is we were never meant to be this connected. Or never meant to be this restricted with this much connection.

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u/Kayge Dec 06 '21

Two thi G's quickly:

  1. I'd be surprised.if there isn't some good faith argument to be made. Based on the data, this user wasn't from Texas, so they had access to everything. Look at all these users actually from Texas where we followed the law....

  2. There are ways to make this work for people. At one point in Canada, everyone had a cheap VPN for Netflix that allowed region hopping. At some point, Netflix got pressure from the content owners and found a way to make sure you were from and gave content based on that.

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u/vicejesus Dec 06 '21

Google is banned in China. They wouldn't hand over the data. Now Apple on the other hand...

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u/2crudedudes Dec 06 '21

"Don't be evil."

they gave that up long before they considered doing business with China

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u/teamrango Dec 06 '21 edited Dec 06 '21

Dunno Texas civil procedure, but generally, targeting your website to people within a given jurisdiction means that you assent to the laws of the jurisdiction. Selling items to consumers in a state systematically is almost always enough to subject your company to potential lawsuits in that state. See International Shoe v. Washington.

It’s a little fuzzier for companies that don’t sell anything but still make efforts to gain users in a state. Zippo Manufacturing v. Zippo Dot Com gave the standard for personal jurisdiction in these cases, but it’s a pretty fact-based analysis and I’m far from an expert on that.

Quick note: this is a very simplified explanation of personal jurisdiction over internet companies. I tried to explain this in lay terms, but this is a complex issue.

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u/Here_For_The_Bulk Dec 06 '21

Brave of you to try and explain PJ in 4 short sentences

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u/teamrango Dec 06 '21

Could’ve summed it up better in one sentence: “It depends.”

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u/seeitmaybe Dec 06 '21

I’m not sure but I remember from my high school government class that as soon as the commerce crosses a state border its a federal matter. For example if you host a server in California and monetize actions on a user in Arizona the commerce is interstate. But I’m not a lawyer.

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u/hates_stupid_people Dec 06 '21

If it became an actual issue, sites like youtube, facebook, etc. would block access from Texas.

Texas would call it censoring and sue, then swiftly lose. Since republicans themselves have ensured that private companies can deny service to anyone they want.

Then they would remove the law to not get hanged by the voters. While screaming lies about how it was the democrats who forced them to implemented it in the first place.

And then get ready to do it all over again for the next bit of fearmongering.

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u/xaudionegative Dec 06 '21

Texas: We're going to make every law we can unconstitutional and see which ones they accidentally don't check.

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u/SuperSimpleSam Dec 06 '21

Or which ones can pass 6-3 in the SC.

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u/cogman10 Dec 06 '21

And hurray, they'll roll back every civil right possible because... Freedom?

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u/[deleted] Dec 06 '21

The state fought two wars to keep slavery.

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u/spastichobo Dec 06 '21

I count 3, Texas Revolutionary War, Mexican-American War, and the Civil War.

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u/Suspicious_Jello1583 Dec 06 '21

They also fought hard to get out of paying for debt they accrued fighting to keep slavery.

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u/AFLoneWolf Dec 06 '21

"Freedom for me, none for thee."

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u/bool_balm_bollective Dec 06 '21

They’ll make it 5-4 so it looks good. Also far-right litigants will argue the furthest right position that they think they can get a majority on, they don’t care if they lose one of the conservative justices.

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u/dilldoeorg Dec 06 '21

Pitman noted that Texas lawmakers excluded conservative social networks Parler and Gab by applying the law only to platforms with 50 million or more monthly active users in the US.

Laws for thee, not for mee!!

yeah, fuck texas qop

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u/freakers Dec 06 '21

It's also hilarious because it kind of assumes those platforms will never be that successful. It's like, not only applying rules for thee, but also comically short sighted.

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u/DarthSnoopyFish Dec 06 '21

They don’t care about those platforms. They just wanna go back to trolling and bitching on Facebook.

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u/InvisibleFriends_ Dec 06 '21 edited Dec 06 '21

The issue with a platform aimed specifically for conservatives is that “owning liberals” has become such an integral part of the identity, without any liberals to argue with, not that many people will want to go on it.

Most right wing spaces online are still mainly about liberals and talking about liberals. Because it’s become such a reactionary movement that has gradually abandoned core principles in favour of tribal identity and “wins”, they don’t really have anything to talk about besides liberals.

There just isn’t any appetite for discussing right wing policy or philosphy when it becomes more about spectator team sport entertainment and not actual politics.

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u/CloudyView19 Dec 06 '21

If you're wondering how much Republicans care about policy, the GOP can't even be bothered to publish a platform any more.

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u/Razakel Dec 06 '21

It's true. The 2020 GOP manifesto was one page and basically just read "we support whatever Trump says".

The Democratic manifesto was 91 pages, and actually contained things like policy ideas.

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u/ThatOneGuy1294 Dec 06 '21

It's the most pathetic circlejerk

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u/theganggetsmtg Dec 06 '21

Dude go onto r/conservative. Biggest bunch of butt fuckers on this whole site.

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u/cedarSeagull Dec 06 '21

There are no core principles to conservative thought outside of "maintain existing hierarchy at all costs". It's only political manuver by definition is to resist and react to the demands of those promoting egalitarianism. Hence "reactionary"

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u/tesseract4 Dec 06 '21

Right wing policy and philosophy have pretty much stopped being a thing. Just look at the current GOP platform.

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u/Troggie42 Dec 06 '21

They never stopped, Facebook is extremely lenient for right wing bullshit saber rattling, Peter Theil is on the damn board ffs

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u/JacedFaced Dec 06 '21

You know if the law passed, people would flood those sites to increase the active users so they'd fall under the law too.

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u/Dane1414 Dec 06 '21

When “make their propaganda sites more popular to own the conservatives” is actually not a bad idea…

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u/BY_BAD_BY_BIGGA Dec 06 '21

50 million monthly active users?

bro.. that's like half of the working population.

ROFL they inadvertently trying to say it should only apply to like 4 sites?

math is hard

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u/FeculentUtopia Dec 06 '21

This is an amazingly common tactic in lawmaking. For example, if I'm a lawmaker who wants to funnel government money to a refinery in my district, I can write up a subsidy that applies to all petroleum companies that have pipelines going through that city/county/region, whatever needs it needs to be so that the 'all' applies only to that one in particular.

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u/dmpastuf Dec 06 '21 edited Dec 06 '21

When NYS implemented the hike on fast food minimum wage increase, they made it 27 locations or more.

A member of the committee was from a part of New York where the local fast food taco stand had 24 locations...

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u/LordCharidarn Dec 06 '21

Nothing inadvertent about it.

It was written to specifically target certain site and companies without outright stating that it was targeting those companies.

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u/BY_BAD_BY_BIGGA Dec 06 '21

yeah.. that's what I was getting at. like it would be sold as "just a coincidence" to the judge

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u/Farranor Dec 06 '21

Honestly, I think we may need something like this if we want to figure out how to tax the biggest billionaires who get away with tiny effective tax rates while buying yachts.

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u/GetsBetterAfterAFew Dec 06 '21

Core Conservative ideology that spans from ISIS to the American Republicans.

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u/Mike20we Dec 06 '21

What's "qop"?

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u/daweinah Dec 06 '21

GOP, but the G is replaced by Q.

If you don't know what Q is, all you need to know is that people have been camped in Dallas for almost two months waiting for JFK (yes, that one) and his dead soon to reappear and proclaim Trump president because of it.

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u/ThatOneGuy1294 Dec 06 '21

Michael Jackson was also supposed to make an appearance

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u/7evenCircles Dec 06 '21

Texas according to Texas: don't tread on me, pardner

Texas IRL: Mooooooom Georgia has mail in ballots make them stooooop moooooom people are saying mean things on Twitter mooooom

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u/gj45 Dec 06 '21

Moooooom make twitter shut up but leave parler alooooone

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u/Vaeon Dec 06 '21 Silver All-Seeing Upvote

Pitman rejected a severability clause that aimed to save parts of the law if the rest was invalidated. He found that nothing can be severed from the law and survive because the unconstitutional portions are "replete with constitutional defects, including unconstitutional content and speaker-based infringement on editorial discretion and onerously burdensome disclosure and operational requirements."

This is what happens when you pretend that Bible College is just as valid as real law school.

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u/throwaway_for_keeps Dec 06 '21

Give it a few years, once all those lawyers who went to bible college get appointed to judgeships by politicians who went to bible college, or get elected into judgeships by voters who went to bible college.

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u/stemcell_ Dec 06 '21

Lol its called the federalist society

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u/sodaforyoda Dec 06 '21

The heritage institution has entered the chat.

Man the right wing has to much money.

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u/FirstPlebian Dec 06 '21

Most dangerously though the Right Wing is organized while those that oppose their ridiculous ideology are not.

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u/ErusTenebre Dec 06 '21

Well it doesn't help that the extreme right produces extremist actors that will literally kill for the cause.

Pretty much every great left-leaning leader has been killed before their time. Imagine if MLK Jr. and Malcolm X and JFK and so on were alive for two to four or even five more decades. MLK and Malcolm X were killed at 39 years old.

The same can't be said for many of the strong leaders on the right. They tend to outlive dinosaurs. Hell Rush Limbaugh was as unhealthy as he was terrible and he died at 70. He was a big influence on the disinformation machine. Look at Murdoch and the Kochs. They all made it past 80 and still heavily influence messaging. Though we're finally down one Koch brother...

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u/FirstPlebian Dec 06 '21

David Koch was just a playboy brought along by the dark lord Charles Koch to wrest control of the company from their other two brothers, it's changed nothing I'm afraid, although we are down one Sheldon Adelson, but his wife is back to bankrolling the undermining of Democracy with the money so again not much has changed.

What we need is an online forum to organize around ideas and be able to take collective action on them, say for instance promising not to support a politician unless they agree to do a thing, but importantly to be able to find and groom candidates, Voters Unions. There are a lot of sub projects that could be organized under that, and the groups in there could be effectively leaderless preventing the assassination of the leader derailing the entire thing.

Although it should be noted while MLK and Malcom were revolutionaries in a sense, the Kennedy's were silver spoon babies that were just a better side of the system, and their survival wouldn't have meant any fundamental change in our system, although JFK did tell the CIA to lighten up on their anti-communist activities the week before he got assassinated I've read.

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u/CencyG Dec 06 '21

No shit, they've spent the last 40 years taking it from us.

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u/BovineAvenger Dec 06 '21

well the entire point of everything they do is to amass more wealth and power so it's not that surprising.

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u/ldwb Dec 06 '21

Federalist society at least used to have some academic standards, started at Yale, Harvard and Chicago, now they got a chapter at fucking Cooley.

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u/FirstPlebian Dec 06 '21

Not just law schools, billionaires have been buying off colleges and influencing their curriculum and what teachers they hire and textbooks they choose and the like. The Koch faction of billionaires especially, business schools are thoroughly corrupted by the ad hoc economic theoies that flies in the face of reason to justify business interests' short term goals for instance.

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u/OriginalFaCough Dec 06 '21

Nevermind the stupid power the the Texas state board of "education" has over the rest of the country...

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u/AndChewBubblegum Dec 06 '21

Jesus you aren't even kidding. Sorry, Lansing.

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u/Historical-Ant-3036 Dec 06 '21

One crazy fact about Texas politics: the Texas Supreme Court justices are elected, not appointed. They campaign just like any other local politician, and they all have a big fat "R" right next to their name every single time.

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u/concerned_thirdparty Dec 06 '21 Silver

Well. Hopefully enough Republicans kill themselves by being antivaxx and catching covid.

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u/Prime157 Dec 06 '21

I mean, non-religious right wing idiots are already saying their vote doesn't matter. They already forgot appointees matter.

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u/nat_r Dec 06 '21

This was never supposed to pass constitutional muster. It was entirely so the politicians who voted for it could say they did.

Therefore throwing a kitchen sink of ideas into it that might somehow sneak by is entirely a valid strategy.

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u/Birdy_Cephon_Altera Dec 06 '21

It was entirely so the politicians who voted for it could say they did.

And then, when it does inevitably fail, feed directly into their politically-valuable persecution complex.

To everyone: be careful about painting these people as incompetent fools who don't know constitutional law and are bumbling idiots. The politicians who crafted and pushed this knew exactly what they were doing.

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u/translostation Dec 06 '21

Thanks for pointing that out. The “GOP is Stupid” narrative drives me crazy. Sure, Boebert or MTG might be. But they’re just the shiny objects to distract media attention. Just look at Hawley and Cruz — between the two you’ve got degrees from Princeton, Stanford, Harvard, and Yale. Are degrees EVERYTHING? Of course not. But neither of them were a Bush who bought his way in either, so they can’t be as thick as they put on. Buying the act is what they want from you, not some Iamverysmart contrarian pose.

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u/Birdy_Cephon_Altera Dec 06 '21

Yup, some of the republicans that catch the headlines are really moronic, but most of them are not. On the Texas side of things, Gohmert is definitely the flashy village idiot that you can put aside Margie Three Names and Boebert, but most of the republicans in positions of power federally or statewide are not stupid. Abbott may play the fool at times, but he's not one. Patrick and Paxton may play to a much lower-brow voter base, but that's because they are playing their voters like a fiddle. Even my rep, Chip Roy, puts on a gosh-wow act sometimes, but he's no fool.

Just because the last presidential administration was run by an embarrassingly incurious block of wood who intentionally surrounded himself with people who were less intelligent than he was so that they wouldn't one-up him, that doesn't hold true to the rest of the republican party. For most republicans in leadership positions when they do something that seems like a blockhead move on the surface, there's usually a second level of reasoning behind it. Don't get trapped in thinking every republican in office is an idiot just because most of the voters that put them in power are stupid.

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u/Th3_Admiral Dec 06 '21

Their opponents seriously need to use that in their marketing then. Just say "Look at these politicians who voted to violate the Constitution" and leave it at that.

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u/Tryhard696 Dec 06 '21

If the nut jobs had their way, it would be. bEcAuSe ChRiStIaN vAlUeS fOr EvErYoNe

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u/Prineak Dec 06 '21

Like they could even agree on what christian values are.

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u/SaddestClown Dec 06 '21 Wholesome

Not my Christian values, that's for sure

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u/Prineak Dec 06 '21

sith_kermit.jpeg

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u/IranticBehaviour Dec 06 '21

Well, they sure ain't the the ones Christ was teaching in the Gospels (y'know, the ones most accurately called 'christian', as opposed to Yahwehian or whatever you should call the biblical stuff not attributed to Christ). For SoCons, it seems to be mostly the made up ones, or picking and choosing from the fucked up stuff in the old testament. Like using some to justify being hateful toward gay people, but ignoring the ones that tell you to stone people for planting the wrong thing at the wrong time or in the wrong place or next to the wrong thing or mixing textiles, or other stupid shit that is just as irrelevant today as sexual orientation should be. Or forgiving certain people for their sins of adultery or theft or lying just because they agree with you (or are pretending to for nakedly cynical political advantage).

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u/gen-float Dec 06 '21

I don't think they can agree what values are. Considering how flaky they are, it's likely they don't understand much of anything, and it's just "what do my fears push me into today"?

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u/sativadom_404 Dec 06 '21 Silver Gold Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote

Fundamentalist Christianity is the real epidemic. 🤮

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u/atridir Dec 06 '21

This. People seem to gloss over or blatantly ignore things like the fact that, for instance, every one of the capitol attack insurrectionists when asked said that they were there ‘for God and for country’…. Evangelism is a potent machine of dangerous right wing extremist propaganda.

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u/Peterspickledpepper- Dec 06 '21

Evangelism convinces people that God is on their side and it’s their DUTY to share Christianity.

When you think you have a mandate from God itself, you cannot be reasoned with. They’re literally convinced that God cares. They don’t.

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u/Ninja_Thomek Dec 06 '21

It’s what enables republicans to get away with such outrageous politics.

They can bank on those 50% of their electorate, and don’t spend a lot of energy targeting them. (Just keep abortion as an issue alive)

So they only need another 25% of the voting public to win. Which means easier messaging, more targeted campaigns, fewer and simpler ideas to sell.

Meanwhile the dems has to gather together a flimsy alliance from the most blue haired socialist, to the conservative but responsible investor. Which is really an impossible political position to have. Which leads to milquetoast messaging, lack of credibility, more expensive, broader campaigns, more vulnerable to internal strife and political attacks.

All this leads to the hard core evangelicals are pushing the whole of the US to the right, and have a very powerful effect outside their own circles.

For the conservatives, abortion is just gold. It’s a brilliantly simple thing to be against, while arguing for it is complex, with many opinions about weeks and rules. The issue actually sways many more liberal minded people too.. It also tends to tarnish people who dare speak up for it.

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u/_-Saber-_ Dec 06 '21

For the conservatives, abortion is just gold.

It's not gold for countries with populations with at least elementary education.

The whole issue lies in the fact that the US population is living in middle ages.

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u/Leege13 Dec 06 '21

They make it complex when it doesn’t have to be. Women are the final say over whether they carry babies or not. Pro-birthers are punishing women for not settling down and having kids, not that they give a shit about babies or life in general after they are born. By the way, if they actually pull this repeal Roe shit off, I predict some of these childfree women will just say fuck it and get themselves sterilized because they don’t want to play the game anymore.

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u/Ninja_Thomek Dec 06 '21

The whole thing is a bad faith political tool bought by many, many gullible people.

They get to feel “morally superior” without lifting a finger, and only when they get pregnant themselves “at the wrong time” do they understand how important this right is, and they go ahead with their own abortion..

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u/DaphneFallz Dec 06 '21

The only moral abortion is my abortion! -"Pro-Lifers"

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u/kju Dec 06 '21

sharia law christianity flavoured

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u/Rpeddie17 Dec 06 '21

You're telling me Prager University isn't a real University?

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u/SingleInfinity Dec 06 '21

Texas does a lot of boasting about loving freedom while simultaneously passing the most anti-freedom laws.

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u/Farfignugen42 Dec 06 '21

Yes, this is very on brand for Republicans

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u/ResponsibleContact39 Dec 06 '21 edited Dec 06 '21

Why are republicans blathering on about ending regulation, and being “friends of private business” but yet are the most vocal about trying to control what a private business can do?

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u/forgottenarrow Dec 06 '21

They have to lie about their positions because no amount of gerrymandering would save the party if they were honest. They can get away with these quiet hypocrisies by screaming loudly about how evil the Democrats are. Then a portion of the country sees these hypocrisies as typical political crookedness that you can find on both sides, and still vote Republican because at least the Republicans believe in the free market unlike those socialist dems.

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u/DevCatOTA Dec 06 '21

There's a reason r/Conservative is such a safe space that doesn't allow dissent.

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u/barrettmech Dec 06 '21

I've noticed time and time again (reluctantly) how little activity is in that sub. Hell, look at the user count. Less than a million might as well be zero.

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u/TooFastTim Dec 06 '21

The vocal minority.

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u/ResponsibleContact39 Dec 06 '21

Therein lies the problem. Those assholes yell and cry like they have numbers.

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u/ApplecakesMcGee Dec 06 '21

Because their numbers, though less, show up to vote in higher percentages, which gives them control.

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u/Team_Braniel Dec 06 '21

The scarry thing is, the way that sub is run is the same way the country will be run once these fascist ideologues finally attain power.

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u/dhoffnun Dec 06 '21

I've never seen a more pathetic den of wrongly-developed children.

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u/LookHere_LOOK_LISTEN Dec 06 '21 edited Dec 06 '21

I've never seen a more pathetic den of wrongly-developed children.

They straight up ban you and delete your comment if you mention anything about the Southern Strategy or Lee Atwater.

Between the earth being 6,000 years old, climate change being fake, masks not working, "Lee Atwater/Southern Strategy never existed", and all the other factually untrue conspiracies, I'm surprised conservatives are still able to march lock-step with each other.

It's like the Orks in Warhammer 40k, where they are so incredibly stupid that their sheer stupidity ends up becoming a borderline unstoppable force to be reckoned with.

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u/LoL_Teacher Dec 06 '21

It's more than that. I got banned for my first post... Asking what someone thought. The mere mention of thinking is a bannable offence.

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u/Deranged_Kitsune Dec 06 '21

Pretty sure no other sub makes use of "Flaired commenters only" more than they do. Looks like a blizzard over there there's so many snowflakes.

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u/s_0_s_z Dec 06 '21

The vast majority of the time they are only talking about big mega-corporations, and even then it is only when it suites their agenda.

It kills me that after all these years, Democrats have not found a way to counter the GOP's supposedly pro-business image by trying to cozy up to small and even mid-sized companies. These are the companies that a vast majority of Americans work at. These are the mom & pop shops and companies with just a few hundred employees which could sway elections, and yet Democrats have never been able to connect with them. These smaller businesses have been squeezed by mega-corps just as badly as workers and average Americans have been. Get with the program guys and try to get these groups on your side.

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u/clearview5050 Dec 06 '21

It's because small business owners overwhelmingly are ignorant of actual business law. But they know republicans want to eliminate regulations imposed.

The top 3 most used strategies in small businesses:

  1. Wage Theft

  2. Co-mingling funds

  3. Tax evasion

And They think they are genius for it. "I can't believe no one thought to just put their house on their balance sheet!" "why isn't everyone deducting their vacations?"

Then when they do get penalized it's the democrats they blame.

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u/s_0_s_z Dec 06 '21

Oh I could definitely see this happening. But I think that this is like really small companies.

When you start to employ 50 or 100+ people, its not just some jamoke with an idea and a willingness to cheat the system that keeps the business going. These companies are really hurting when it comes to healthcare costs. Democrats are absolute idiots for not framing medicare4all as being a boon to these small and mid sized companies. Foreign companies have a competitive advantage against American companies and American workers since healthcare is such a big expense for them. It blows my mind that Democrats can't find a way to frame the argument for some kind of universal coverage as being both pro-worker and pro-business.

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u/MadMacs77 Dec 06 '21

Here’s what I feel you’re missing:

One: many Dems DO make this argument

Two: many businesses don’t like this idea, because if people aren’t beholden to a business for their healthcare, then they may not work for said business. They’ll want things like proper wages!

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u/Jewnadian Dec 06 '21

I think even then you're wildly overestimating the business acumen of a smallish business. When I hired in at my current job we had ~700 employees. The HR manager was a warehouse tech who decided she wanted to get out of the warehouse when the company was ~250 and decided they needed a "real" HR dept. She retired as the Vice President of HR and was terrible the entire time. Our IT was the exact same, just a guy who was willing to do it when the company was a couple hundred people and trying to make the jump. No formal training, and my god does it still show. I have a half dozen conflicting security watchdogs on my work PC because he never really understood how to evaluate them so they just keep layering them on.

I'm sure some small businesses are set up right and run by professionals from the beginning but every one I've ever been involved with was a mess of incompetence and politics because without fail the guy at the top was good at what the business did, not at running a business. Those aren't the same skills.

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u/ThrowRA_000718 Dec 06 '21 Wholesome

Texans treat the constitution just like Christians treat the Bible. They interpret it in a way that is convenient to further their agenda, they highlight and proselytize using the parts of it they agree with and they just altogether ignore the parts of it that they don’t like.

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u/[deleted] Dec 06 '21 edited Dec 06 '21

[deleted]

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u/jedre Dec 06 '21

Absolutely. They’re governing in bad faith, on purpose. They know these things won’t stand up in court, but they champion them anyway to rile up an idiot base.

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u/pseudocultist Dec 06 '21

SCOTUS is gone, bye bye, kaput. The rest of the judicial branch will fall without the hierarchy. Eventually it won't matter if the laws are bad faith because there won't be any sane, educated judges to care.

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u/lunartree Dec 06 '21

Remember, the court was literally the only thing that prevented America from autocracy last election.

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u/pseudocultist Dec 06 '21

Yep. In this grand 4D chess we've been playing against time, with climate change and social unrest and political corruption and everything else on the table. This is the moment all players realize the path to checkmate is clear, and the game is over.

We had some good times tho right? America's highlight reel plays

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u/lunartree Dec 06 '21

This is why you shouldn't treat American politics as "two sides". The Republicans want to literally end our democracy nevermind their constant drive to enact policies that kill Americans left and right.

The democrat politicians aren't your savior, but the party is literally structured as a democracy and they do actually push for laws to fix our democracy's fundamentals. Anyone who votes Republican is voting against the very stability of our country.

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u/tosser_0 Dec 06 '21

Democrats have to make attempts at laws that benefit people. Otherwise their base votes them out. Republicans aren't held accountable.

They're playing a completely different game. It's identity politics. Facts don't matter to them. Just that they're opposing the 'evil' liberals. And honestly, as a Dem. I don't even know what a liberal is or why they're considered evil.

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u/savagestranger Dec 06 '21

It seems like, to them, a liberal is anyone who's willing to be considerate towards people and facts.

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u/lunartree Dec 06 '21

And they'll take what you just said and say "see you do it too"! No, one party is a wide alliance of viewpoints that rarely agree while the other will excommunicat anyone who doesn't appease the dear leader. Look at how they pissed on John McCain for not treating Trump like his god.

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u/CaptStrangeling Dec 06 '21

Don’t forget Kay Ivey over here in Alabama, not sure if she was in a sorority though. I am sure she signed off on spending $400,000,000 of COVID relief funds on privatized prisons, so definitely the same vibe.

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u/ms_panelopi Dec 06 '21

Ughhhh. She did that? Tied with Mississippi with the mis-use of public funding. Boooo.

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u/hackingdreams Dec 06 '21

Texas- wasting taxpayer money by creating laws that are unconstitutional and don’t hold up in court.

Oh don't worry, Texas will be appealing this one.

Remember who they put on the Supreme Court? Yeah. Don't hold your breath. Even if this one is righteously slapped down like it should be, they'll be back until one sticks. Because that's the point these days.

(Remember, these are the same states that passed abortion laws for decades after Roe v Wade just waiting for their chance to invalidate it. And look what's happening right now. Ignorance has patience.)

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u/ms_panelopi Dec 06 '21

Yeah, Abbott, Desantis, and Tater Tot in Mississippi have a plan. The ignorant will eat it up.

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u/Mr_Quackums Dec 06 '21

But, but ... how else are Republican politicians going to show how much they love and value the constitution unless they write and pass laws that are in blatant violation of it?

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u/ms_panelopi Dec 06 '21

Yep, and keeping their base in fear by promoting unnecessary laws, that’ll get thrown out anyway.

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u/chiliedogg Dec 06 '21

Don't blame all of us. There's a reason they're trying to supress the vote.

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u/Columbus43219 Dec 06 '21

They don't NEED it to stand very long, and they'll never take it off the books when it's ruled unconstitutional. They just need it to stick around long enough for everyone to think it's real.

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u/regul Dec 06 '21

And they can run on removing "activist judges".

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u/No-Spoilers Dec 06 '21

They'll just keep trying to pass it

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u/DreadSeverin Dec 06 '21

Shouldn't there be punitive measures for states that actively break the sacred amendments? If they didn't know they were breaking literally Rule 1,how can they be left to govern without ability or knowledge? And if they did break it on purpose, how can they be left to govern knowing there's actual corruption?

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u/Shaggybritches Dec 06 '21

Dang. I was hoping the internet would collectively geofence Texas out. Maybe next time.

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u/8orn2hul4 Dec 06 '21

Once again, 1A enthusiasts have absolutely no idea what 1A entails.

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u/UnhelpfulMoron Dec 06 '21

It means I get to say whatever the fuck I want and you have to fucking listen!

/ s

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u/comradeda Dec 06 '21

That seems to be what they believe. It's not enough to be able to say whatever, they demand a platform and want to be taken seriously by a captive audience

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u/Icy-Letterhead-2837 Dec 06 '21

Oh yeah!? Read my brail, it's spelled in knuckles!

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u/Nulono Dec 06 '21

It's not as cut and dry as you seem to think it is. The Pruneyard Shopping Center case established that private businesses can be prohibited from censorship if they function as public squares.

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u/Shandlar Dec 06 '21

People in this thread are seriously underestimating the goal here. Texas wants to lose on this in a precedent setting manner.

Judge Robert Pitman wrote. He found that the Texas law "compels social media platforms to disseminate objectionable content and impermissibly restricts their editorial discretion" and that the law's "prohibitions on 'censorship' and constraints on how social media platforms disseminate content violate the First Amendment."

Emphasis mine. The goal here is for the supreme court to rule with this same language. If they manage that, suddenly Section 230 will trigger automatically. Publishers edit content. The goal here is to get them labeled as publishers and regulated as such.

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u/DarkOverLordCO Dec 06 '21

If they manage that, suddenly Section 230 will trigger automatically.

Automatically trigger in what way?
Section 230 has no triggers. It states quite clearly, with no conditions, qualifications or triggers of any kind, that websites are not publishers of their user's content.
It then goes on to provide immunity even if websites want to moderate.
For the courts to label social media companies as publishers of their user's content would require them to expressly contradict section 230 - the constitutionality of which has been upheld many times since it was written.

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u/LuckyWinchester Dec 06 '21

Judges need to tear apart the whole fucking state for violating the first amendment

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u/LordNedNoodle Dec 06 '21

If corporations are considered a ‘person’ could the closing of a store be labeled as an illegal ‘abortion’ if it happens in Texas after 6 weeks?

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u/HeavensCriedBlood Dec 06 '21

I never studied law and even I knew this was easily a first amendment violation.

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u/BrewtalDoom Dec 06 '21

Republicans think free speech means that you must be forced to listen to their shit, but you're not allowed to respond.

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u/TechyGuyInIL Dec 06 '21

It's like arguing with a toddler

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u/[deleted] Dec 06 '21

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u/waatdoino Dec 06 '21

It is Texas, is anyone surprised ?

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u/AdvancedAdvance Dec 06 '21

Why did social media companies have to fight this in court? I’m sure Texas would’ve granted an exception to social media companies that could eat a 44 oz. steak in under half an hour.

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u/Balor_Lynx Dec 06 '21

I just don’t get it. They say if a baker doesn’t want to cater a gay wedding it’s their right but when a social media company wants to keep users in check for the things they say; then it’s wrong?

Facebook is a cesspool for alt right ideology and misinformation

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u/ZenDendou Dec 06 '21

It mainly because of Trump and his idiotic tweets that incident the riot. Texas wanted to ban it so that people like Trump is "unranked.

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u/[deleted] Dec 06 '21

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/gamer_since_monday Dec 06 '21

The law was simply stupid.

Reality is that:

  1. Social media platform MUST moderate.
  2. Section 230 protection protects them if they distribute lies about you as long as it's user generated content.

There is really only one way from preventing Facebook and other platforms from censorship and interfering with election.

Stop using them. But everyone would have to do that.

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u/reeferthetuxedocat Dec 06 '21

Yeah fuck right off Texas.

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u/South-Philly-Metal Dec 06 '21

Ahh, Texas - all about personal freedom unless they don't like that you are free.

What a morally legislated to shit state of a shithole. Glad I left.

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u/mymar101 Dec 06 '21

Hello irony my old friend.

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u/ClusterMakeLove Dec 06 '21

Especially this: what kind of Overton window does it take to think that Facebook skews liberal?

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u/geekdetective Dec 06 '21

Guys I'm in not from the USA, but even I am aware the First Amendment ONLY applies to the government, not private entities.

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u/B4rn3ySt1n20N Dec 06 '21

Can the government be sued for unconstitutional behaviour? Is there such a thing?

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u/Technical_Ad_6730 Dec 06 '21

Republicans are so fucking stupid it’s laughable. Jesus.

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u/Crimtide Dec 06 '21

When people start understanding that the constitution only protects you from persecution by the government, this stuff will all start to make sense..

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u/sgt_bad_phart Dec 06 '21

Isn't it maddening, listening to the morons bitch about their rights being violated by a private company. When they didn't have any to begin with and in fact agreed to give them up with they clicked agree to that long document they didn't read.

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u/Analysis_Prophylaxis Dec 06 '21

I was curious if printing companies have this same kind of 1st amendment right.

Found a 2015 editorial by Eugene Volokh supporting a printing company that didn't want to print materials for an LGBT organization.

Then I found a 2021 editorial by him arguing the opposite for Facebook moderation, saying that social media are more like "common carriers" 🙄

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u/ChrisMahoney Dec 06 '21

This country is headed for a great divide.

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u/tuxedonyc Dec 06 '21

It’s almost as if the lawmakers in Texas never read the constitution

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u/Kondrai Dec 06 '21

Is this new law the republicans trying for more censorship again?

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u/dickysunset Dec 06 '21

Everyone has freedom of speech but that does not me freedom from consequences of said speech.

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u/ghow90 Dec 06 '21

When the public pays for the social media servers (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc.), then they can possibly start trying to enact laws like this. Until then, it is a private business that has the right to choose what is on its platform just as a person has the rights to choose to use a platform, under the terms and conditions set forth by that company. This is not going to change anytime soon and it is nothing new. Just Texas trying to assert it's non-existent power over these companies.

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