Community guidelines, Demonetization, Twitter and Facebook bans, Hate Speech laws, getting kicked off of Patreon, getting fined and jailed for “incitement of the masses”, … etc, etc
What’s next? Loosing your job or being denied an education for anti-socialist behavior? Already happening. Getting jailed for speech against the “righteous public feeling” (de: gesundes Volksempfinden. Not to be conflated with ‘common sense’.)? The signs are on the wall.
Where will this all end? It may well end in gulags and labor/concentration camps and reeducation camps – again! Whether it’s a straight or squiggly line to the final point, we already know where this is going, where the endpoint is. We need to be aware that every single step into suppressing free speech is a step in the wrong direction, a step on the path into totalitarianism, when we start killing people for having a different opinion.
Since we’ve been there already, and know the death toll in millions of people, shouldn’t we do everything in our might to not go down this road again? Of course, you say, of course we must defend free speech, but how do you define free speech and how do you know when you don’t have it anymore? There is no lack of despicable and malevolent people on this earth, who don’t want you to have free speech, and unfortunately some of them are running big companies as owners, chairmen or CEO’s. You know, the likes of Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt, Jack Dorsey and lately it seems, like Jack Conte of Patreon.
Especially the creators and content providers who have been demonetized on YouTube, or have been denied sponsoring or income through aggregated advertisement companies, basically all of them for purely political reasons, had a “way out” until now with Patreon (and very few similar smaller companies). Now it seems as if Patreon – which is more or less a modern, very limited banking service – is pulling the plug on these “refugees from political correctness”. A few days ago they pulled the plug on Lauren Southern, who’s content I happen to like (yeah #notall) for a completely benign reason. A couple of weeks ago she was out on a tiny little boat in Italy, filming the protest of ‘defend Europe‘ activists, trying to get in the way of a big NGO vessel which traffics people from the north African coast to Europe. They threw a few flares and haplessly cruised around in the harbor to create a commotion, until, after a short while, the coast guard picked them up and arrested them. Nobody was hurt, no property was destroyed and the NGO vessel went on its merry way after this delay.
Now Jack Conte and his band of brothers (Patreon trust and safety council) declared – on a whim – that Lauren’s activist encounter potentially endangers lifes (those of the brown people who wait for their NGO ferry service in North-Africa). The only lifes that Lauren and these activists endangered was their own, by stupidly cruising in front of a big ship. On the other hand, walking through the wrong neighborhood in Chicago at night might be quite a bit more dangerous, or through a no-go-zone in Europe (just to not forget why ‘defend Europe’ exists in the first place).
Jack and his company Patreon can do whatever they want, it’s their private company, but they can’t expect to lie and be believed when they try to weasel their way out. I borrow and idea from Jordan Peterson, who says that most new companies get started by creative, innovative people, but these people are often unable to run them properly, because they lack conscientiousness. Creative, open minded people are very often politically left leaning. That’s the crux with all these new communication technologies and new services based on internet technology, they are all invented and largely run by Lefties. And these Lefties don’t like to give conservative and right leaning voices a platform.
As a precursor to the outright denial of service that’s happening more and more now, they tried to twist their guidelines, rules and regulations so that conservatives are at a disadvantage. But conservative creators have to eat as well. If they have no viable way to earn a living when they do their free speech thing, they will become quiet. Plenty of people on the right had the misfortune to have lived through loosing their job, getting their job applications rejected, getting plundered by lawyers and courts, etc., just for having spoken their mind on an internet platform. It even goes further than that. The ‘Southern poverty law center’ in the USA and Agent*in in Germany create denunciation lists of conservative people they don’t like, with the more or less explicit hint, that the Left needs to do something against these thought criminals.
In this political extreme context, where almost all internet platforms, their advertisers and the financing platforms in unison shoot against conservatives and the right, it is inconceivable how these people, with a straight face, can say what they do is “fair”. They couldn’t be further away from being fair, and they know it, and they lie about it. Dave Rubin did a talk with Jack Conte (see video below) and I’ll discuss a few points further down. There’s one thing Dave does, that often drives me crazy, which is that he rarely disputes any point his guest makes, but gives his guest “the rope to hang himself”. I’d be much more on the offensive if I had to discuss with someone like Jack. But Dave has a talent to lead his guests right to the cliff and then observe if they’re gonna jump. Admirable.
Scroll down if you want to watch the video first, in which Jack Conte is trying to weasel his way out of his predicament, without actually giving a shit about free speech.
3:22 I get it that many creative people and the ‘elite’ of the ‘new economy’ don’t adhere to any conservative dress code. But just imagine seeing this guy sitting on a side walk with an empty tin can in front of him. You might just want to put a dollar in his can and ask him if he has eaten today. Someone with a shabby t-shirt and skinny jeans just doesn’t look like a CEO to me. The first thing that this tells me is, that he doesn’t want to appeal to a conservative audience. He’s telling me: Yeah, I’m a hipster Leftist and I don’t care what you think.
7:10 MOB rule (manifest observable behavior). Jack declares that they analyze customers if they receive many complaints. As a method to come to a conclusion about if a violation of their TOS has occurred, and to avoid ideological bias, they use MOB. Then he comes up with a number of false analogies and equals the behavior of Lauren to potentially causing the loss of lifes. As I explained before, this is a straight out lie. The worst that could have happened is the potential loss of life of the activists and a longer delay of the NGO ship. The so called “rescue mission” of the NGO ship is not requested or officially endorsed by any government or the UN. The NGO’s also don’t rescue the migrants according to the maritime laws, by bringing them to the nearest harbor. These migrants can at any time decide to not get on these skimpy rubber rafts and avoid risking their lifes. Stopping these NGO ships does in fact not endanger anyone’s life, but may in the end save lifes, by discouraging the traffickers and the trafficked.
9:19 “we have to be [different] because we’re sending people money”. It’s not your money, Jack. Patreon is just a tool with which donors/supporters can send money to creators, and Patreon is making a buck (10%) for this service. Your company is just a very limited banking service and has to conform with a subset of banking laws. Just follow these laws, everything else you say is made up bullshit to defend your untenable ideological position. Don’t pretend we don’t know what kind of ideologue you are from the first second you popped up on the screen.
9:47 They have “hate speech” regulations on Patreon. Almost everyone who uses this nebulous term these days is on the extreme Left or in a leftist government. Everyone who wants to rule in “hate speech” (however they define it) is against free speech and is lying if he pretends to be pro free speech.
11:13 Jack says that he not just prevents people who are involved in unlawful activities from getting funds via Patreon, but he has over and above the law ‘content policies’. Then he weasels out with the pornography argument which is acceptable on the surface, but serves to cover up the real intent.
“For us, hate speech includes serious attacks on people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or serious medical condition.”
This, for example is their “hate speech” rule. It can be used – willy nilly – to exclude all but the most benign and harmless content providers. And who wants to fund a creator who is too harmless to create any effect in the world?
“This is not about building an arbitrary framework of right or wrong. It’s not even about what’s “legal” or “illegal.” “
Of course it is arbitrary, because the owners of Patreon define the rules that THEY want, and can change them any time THEY want. It’s not a democratic or legal process and as we later see, they are willing to fund/support illegal activities. For example the exclusion of pornography is arbitrary, since it’s totally legal in most countries. As he later says, he does not exclude users who use illegal drugs, even though this is an illegal activity in most countries and states.
He goes on conflating actual crimes (like blocking an ambulance) with thought crimes.
20:45 On the question of why Patreon has content guidelines beyond the framework of the actual laws, Jack answers “Patreon has a mission”. Well, if that’s not ideological, what is? Their mission becomes a bit more obvious when the talk goes on. It’s like “we allow the Lefties to do whatever they want, and allow conservatives to stay on as long as they are benign and harmless and ineffective.”
30:20 Here Jack spills the beans, that basically all Silicon Valley bigwigs coordinate with each other. It’s no wonder then, that Facebook’s latest rules how to ban people on the basis of some “hate speech” law in Germany spills over onto the actual (and arbitrary) decisions, other ‘new economy’ CEO’s make. It’s all the same Alphabet soup, just with differently colored letters.
38:40 Asking about if e.g. Milo would be allowed on Patreon (not that Milo would need that). Just watch Jack trying to weasel out of this. It’s kind of embarrassing. Shortly before, Jack claimed that he’s the one who has set up the content policy for months with lots of other people. Now he claims that he doesn’t make the decisions. OK, probably he doesn’t make the day to day decisions, he pays a team of 3 people to do that. But, if you, as a CEO, in the face of a shit storm, don’t care about the important decisions, you’re just a buffoon who does pretend-play CEO.
39:39 Asked about another page they took down, “It’s going down”, an Antifa account, which seemed to have simmered in the review process for quite a while. NOW Jack was personally involved, because “it was important to me”. Good, now we know from the horses mouth what’s important for Patreon/Jack.
49:30 Jack has absolutely no clue how to deal with disparate laws in different countries for his take-down policies. If a creator would be in conflict with British or German law, but not with US law (which would be highly likely a free speech issue) does he still get an account on Patreon? Who knows. Jack will probably make it up on the fly, like with all his other arbitrary rules. This makes Patreon totally unreliable for anyone but US citizens.
56:26 Black Lives Matter. A violent organization, by design, which had policemen murdered and advocates for criminal activities. Jack weasels out again. Here he needs absolute proof of ‘bad behavior’ to shut a page down. What constitutes ‘bad behavior’ is of course based on the ‘feels’ of himself and his ‘trust and safety council’.
58:28 The Cannabis question that I referred to before. Jack has no problems with someone advocating for Cannabis, even though the use of it may be illegal in many States and foreign countries. This is proof that he actually doesn’t really care about the law, but only when it’s convenient for him and his “mission”. (On a side note: I personally think all drug laws should be abolished; but that’s not the point here.)
OK, that’s it. One prominent figure, Sam Harris has already decided to leave Patreon due to their bigotry and ideological driven de-platforming of Lauren Southern, as well as the general attacks from the Left on Richard Dawkins. I personally don’t care much for Patreon; I was planing to create an account there as a Patron in order to support content creators whom I like. Guess I’ll have to wait until a new platform emerges that has no Leftist policies but a similar or bigger reach. The Patreon case, like the “hate speech” laws in Europe are a sign of the times, and as soon as the pillar of free speech falls, Western civilization is doomed.