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March 31, 2023

Down With The Restrict Act, a Patriot Act for Americans' Speech

I watched about ten minutes of the Congressional hearings on TikTok. I was digusted. Congressmen were demanding that TikTok manipulate the algorithm to reduce "harmful" content served to minors -- which is exactly what social media companies have done for five years to shadowban, restrict, and choke out all conservative content, which they claim constitutes "harm."

And Congressmen were pushing that TikTok do more of what we've been trying to get social media companies to do less of.

And when I say "Congressmen," I mean Republican Congressmen. I would not have been disgusted by Democrats pushing for this; it's all they ever push for.

But Republicans? Republicans, again knowing nothing, again learning nothing, again falling for every trap the Democrats lay for them?

The Democrats laid a trap to see if they could get Republicans to endorse the very methods by which Democrats and social media monopolies exclude conservatives from the public square, and Republicans walked right into it. They were angry that TikTok isn't manipulating its algorithm enough to choke down the transmission of "harmful" content.

The Democrats wanted to see if Republicans would endorse and support the Democrats' predicate for unending censorship and thought-policing, and boy, did Republicans surprise them by being even more pro-censorship than the Democrats.

All the Democrats had to do is introduce one of their favorite tropes -- "It's for The Children (TM)" -- and every Republican was crab-crawling over each other to endorse the social media monopolies' pretext for censoring conservatives.

They weren't careful about it at all. They didn't attempt to limit the principle they were advocating for. They didn't say "this will only apply to children under age 17."

No, they were, once again, just foaming at the mouth with eagerness to bless by legislation all the censorship that all of the tech monopolies have been engaged in.

TikTok should be banned. Period. And children 17 or under should be banned from social media. Period. And they should have to prove that by making a micro-transaction of, say, $1 with a credit card establishing that they are of age.

Instead of focusing on that, Republicans decided to argue that social media monopolies just aren't censoring enough people and manipulating the algorithms to avoid "harm."

Rand Paul is blocking the Resist Act from going forward. But not on grounds that the US would be endorsing algorithmic manipulation.

He's claiming that the communist Chinese Party's spy app shouldn't be banned, period, and insists it's not just because a top donor is connected to TikTok's parent corporation ByteDance.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has come out against a ban on TikTok, breaking from his GOP colleagues on a measure that would prohibit the use of the often-criticized social media app.

Lawmakers cited national security concerns raised by TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, after reports emerged that the company has gathered user data and spied on some journalists.

In an opinion piece published Wednesday in the Courier Journal of Louisville, Kentucky, Paul argued that banning TikTok would mimic censorship by the Chinese government.

Well, in one way, that's true: China itself refuses to allow TikTok in their own country. They have a version of TiKTok which only runs videos about science lessons and studying hacks and pro-education stuff like that. Oh, and the videos also foster respect for kids' elders.

But the TikTok we see in the US? No way, that's not allowed. China's smarter than to allow its own children to be infected with this poison. This poison is for White Devils' Children only.

Kids can only use the Chinese version of TikTok for 40 minutes per day, and they can only see kid-friendly content.

If the export version of TikTok were like the version intended for Chinese kids, we'd have no problems with it at all.

Back to Paul:

He cast the question of whether to ban the app as a free speech issue and said he would defend it even against members of his party. Paul has maintained that his opposition is not due to the ties of one of his top donor's to the company.

"I hope saner minds will reflect on which is more dangerous: videos of teenagers dancing or the precedent of the U.S. government banning speech," Paul wrote. "For me, it's an easy answer, I will defend the Bill of Rights against all comers, even, if need be, from members of my own party."

It's not about teenagers dancing. Has Paul missed out the part where TikTok is spreading every social contagion mental illness, from fake tics, to fake Tourettes, to fake multiple personality disorders, to fake transgenderism among children?

He added: "If you don't like TikTok or Facebook or YouTube, don't use them. But don't think any interpretation of the Constitution gives you the right to ban them."

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., a vocal critic of TikTok, introduced legislation Wednesday to ban it in the U.S., which he tried to pass by unanimous consent. Paul objected.

Pretty sure the Constitution allows us to restrict what children can view. Or does he also support filling the schools with gay pornography?

I'm skeptical of Paul's position. It seems to me that the US has every right to block a foreign app, controlled by a hostile power, from the US.

There is a point at which "libertarians" simply become One Worlders, denying that that there is any difference between those within the country and those without it, and this is it.

But the "Restrict Act" isn't just about banning TikTok -- it's about empowering the government to censor social media and punish Americans.

Which is exactly the sense I got from the hearings.

So I agree with Paul that the Restrict Act should be voted down.

But I'd like all social media platforms to require proof of adulthood via a microtransaction. (Or parents can make the microtransaction with their credit cards, if they want to expose their children to this filth.)

Matthew Chapman @fawfulfan

This is absolutely insane. A U.S. senator should not be learning about their own co-sponsorship of a bill for the first time on Fox News. Let alone a bill that basically gives the government massive, sweeping new powers to surveil and restrict the internet.

digg this
posted by Ace at 02:14 PM

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