Friday, September 14, 2018

If you don't like Facebook ...

Peter LaBarbera
This tax cheat wants the government to break up Facebook
Hate group leader Peter LaBarbera is only the latest conservative to complain about supposed Facebook “censorship.”

According to the right wing LifeZette: Jeff Sessions Drops the Hammer on Google, Facebook, Twitter — Investigation Looming.
Twitter, Facebook and Google could be navigating some choppy waters in the near future.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering an investigation of the companies.

Sessions will be “briefed on September 25 by Republican state attorneys general who are already examining the firms’ practices,” according to Bloomberg.
There are many, many more complaints from conservatives. Apparently, conservatives want the government to regulate social media. In doing so they would interfere with the internal policies of private companies with respect to acceptable use.

Meanwhile these same conservatives are cheering on the Trump administration's efforts at deregulation. Our air and water are becoming more toxic. Our climate is getting warmer. Our financial markets are riskier for the average investor and consumer protections are less robust. Predatory proprietary schools have been fortified with much of their revenue coming from taxpayers. The FDA is less trustworthy. Even our food supply has been compromised.

Our tax code has been “simplified.” That is code for allowing wealthy people to transform ordinary income into capital gains in order to pay less in taxes (as our deficit swells to levels that will imperil the economy in the future*).

With all of this deregulation, conservatives want to single out social media companies for government control. Perhaps they should do so if they simultaneously reinstate Equal Time requirements in order to control Fox News' propagation of bullshit on behalf of the Republican Party.

Getting back to Mr. LaBarbera:
How can conservatives go on in the most popular social media platforms under these conditions? Talk to almost any pro-family advocate on Facebook who defends biblical sexuality and you will find similar stories of heavy-handed and often petty acts of FB censorship. It has happened to us before. Perhaps it’s time to break up these leftist de facto monopolies.
I doubt that LaBarbera can properly file personal tax returns due to the underlying mess. His Americans For Truth … had its nonprofit status revoked for failure to file required annual reports. That was in 2015 and he has been unable to file the reports necessary to be reinstated. It was also the second time, having been revoked in 2010.

So here is a guy who is not a very good citizen and probably a tax cheat asking the government to regulate social media. By the way, none of these social media companies meet the legal requirements to be treated as monopolies because they are not fixing prices; they are not excluding competitors and they are not accruing power as a result of dominance in contrast to growth through product superiority and business acumen. So good luck with that Porno Pete.

Personally, I chose not to actively use Facebook because many years ago I became aware of the fact that Facebook was compromising personal privacy. If Peter LaBarbera does not like Facebook's Acceptable Use Policy then he is free not to use the free service.

If all these conservative Christians have a better idea, they certainly have the tax-deducted contributions to give existing social media companies some competition. That doesn't suit them because they want to impose their doctrine on the general public. Doing so requires them to play by rules that they do not like and that is too goddamned bad.
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* My concern is that we are running up deficits with nothing to show for it. The deficits are the result of tax cuts rather than expenditures for things like improving our infrastructure, high speed rail and developing more alternatives to carbon fuels. We might not need that stimulus now but such long term projects would provide a cushion when the economic cycle inevitably turns south. The House of Representatives is incapable of planning beyond vote acquisition for an election within the next two years.

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