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Site Followers

Daler

So i was sort of away when the social features were added including "Followers" and I found a closed thread that was discussing whether folk would be able to see who was following who but it ended without resolution.

There are a few obvious pros and cons with showing and hiding the followers list but am wondering if any actual reasons have been given. I do a little web dev myself so it's partly a professional curiosity.

I believe the Followers list is hidden even from authors but if it's not then I'd simply ask the question in reverse.

In most ways i don't give a damm as i only got seven but I'm curious as to why even have an amount showing without giving the actual list. This lacking seems to take most of the weight away from this feature. I guess it's good "site intel" for the site admins to have.

Anyways curious as to the reasons. Here is the quote from the earlier thread.

I don't know yet. I'll have to consider all the ramifications of stuff like that. I may implement it as opt-in for readers to allow authors to see them.

Ernest Bywater

My understanding is that Lazeez is very big on privacy while he tries to do what he can to let the authors know how much the readers like their works. Thus I can see him setting this up so an author can see how many people are following them and waiting for their next story and the readers can see how many people they're following while no one but the readers know who they follow. This meets both of the main objectives.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Daler

Anyways curious as to the reasons.


It's about privacy.

While on a place like twitter or facebook, a followers list is expected and mostly innocuous, on a place like SOL, it's not so simple.

People guard their access to a place like SOL. Almost nobody ever tweets or shares a story that's on SOL for that reason. So exposing a person's followed authors can be risky business and they may not want it to be known.

If I ever created a followers list, readers have to opt-in into such display. Otherwise they would be hidden by default.

Replies:   Daler
Daler

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Sure that makes sense to some degree but i would think the reason people don't tweet is because they don't want their "real" online social life to bleed into this other sol world.

I doubt it has anything to do with the privacy of sharing amongst this exclusive community you've created here. But you'd know better than me. In my view they're like separate worlds, Twitter, FB and SOL, ones that never should meet i guess.

I would think anyone concerned with privacy would use an inconspicuous nickname that couldn't lead back to them or they simply wouldn't follow someone if they cared that much.

To play devil's advocate, the advantage to authors, and possibly readers, in seeing whos following who would give a bit more indication as to the validity of one's writing.

The tools here that authors can use to determine "success" (or whatever you want to call it) is limited and that's no fault of this website.

We all know the downloads are inaccurate (the site says so right off the bat) and voting is a poor indicator as explained in length on various threads and FAQs. And hardly anyone comments on any writing except to mostly point out grammar or spelling errors from what I've seen when reading other's works. Of course there's obviously no monetary gain also.

So i would think this site would want to give any tool it could to authors and i imagine that's why yas introduced "Followers" to begin with.

All that to say, without knowing who is following you and who else they're following weakens it. For example, if all my followers were a bunch of users who followed everyone else on this site I'd think to myself, "big deal they follow everyone" but if i had a bunch of much more selective followers who only followed "quality" authors then I'd be much more impressed.

Does that make sense?

Without knowing your audience the Number could easily be dropped because we already get that info in the "Lib" stat where it says how many people have your book in their library. Seems like the same thing to me.

But at the end of the day, i don't really care that much. I don't post a ton. It's mostly professional curiosity as to how you came to these conclusions.

Daler

@Daler

Also you guys are obviously doing something right having nearly 50k stories and tons of authors posting for free. So I'm not criticizing. Hard not to be impressed actually.

You're not going to want to rock that boat too much and i appreciate you're skating a thin line with each new feature your add.

If you give the readers too much, the authors could leave or the other way around. You definitely don't want to mess up this good thing going on here.

Ernest Bywater

@Daler

I would think anyone concerned with privacy would use an inconspicuous nickname that couldn't lead back to them or they simply wouldn't follow someone if they cared that much.


I could be wrong, but I think I may be the only person on Sol who uses their own real name. If not the percentage of people who do use their real name would be low single digit ones.

With the way some people and companies do Internet searches on people it's easy to link nicknames across the various websites and also possible to often find their real name. Thus people are very careful when it comes to something that some brain dead moron at their work may not like.

Crumbly Writer

@Daler

I doubt it has anything to do with the privacy of sharing amongst this exclusive community you've created here. But you'd know better than me. In my view they're like separate worlds, Twitter, FB and SOL, ones that never should meet i guess.

That's especially true, since most of us have a specific SOL email/ID, just so nothing crosses over from SOL to our real-life work. It seems to me that building in such protections into a semi-restricted site like SOL simply limits the free communication between like-minded individuals. Methinks Lazeez is overthinking the topic.

The fear, I suspect, isn't in knowing who's following you, but the few authors who add those readers to a regularly occurring mailing list. Since most users who get inadvertently added to such lists end up cutting all ties to those who force such inane trivia details on them, it hurts the authors more than anyone else.

REP

@Daler

in seeing whos following who would give a bit more indication as to the validity of one's writing.


How ?

So what is the difference between knowing 25 people are following you and knowing the user names of 25 people, when you know nothing about those 25 users.

It sounds like you confuse the privacy Lazeez gives everyone with the fact that many readers expose themselves on other social media sites.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  Daler  Daler
Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

That's especially true, since most of us have a specific SOL email/ID, just so nothing crosses over from SOL to our real-life work. It seems to me that building in such protections into a semi-restricted site like SOL simply limits the free communication between like-minded individuals. Methinks Lazeez is overthinking the topic.


Actually, seeing what happens on the back end, with people deleting their accounts when they make mistakes to the countless readers who are computer illiterate and have no clue how to log in, let alone creating a new ID just for SOL, makes me more cautious about guarding people's privacy, even when they used a browser like Chrome.

[that's one looong sentence!]

awnlee jawking

@REP

So what is the difference between knowing 25 people are following you and knowing the user names of 25 people, when you know nothing about those 25 users.


It's the ones you recognise that make the difference.

AJ

Replies:   REP
REP

@awnlee jawking

I recognize a lot of screen names like awnlee jawking, but that doesn't mean I know anything about the person. If the person isn't using their real name or a screen name from another website, then there is no way to trace their SOL screen name back to who they are.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

If the person isn't using their real name or a screen name from another website


most people use the same nickname or screen name between sites to simplify the log on process for them, so it is possible to track most people across sites if you wish to.

BTW - At what point does being a follow change to being a stalker?

REP

@Ernest Bywater

At what point does being a follow change to being a stalker?


Interesting question. My personal opinion of the differences are:

Follower - a person who gathers information about a person from one of more sources for their own edification.

Stalker - a person who uses the information they gather on a person to intrude into that person's life.

Replies:   Keet  Crumbly Writer
Keet

@REP

Stalker - a person who uses the information they gather on a person to intrude into that person's life.

Which means facebook, pinterest, instagram, etc. are all stalkers. If you think about it: social media intrude pretty heavily in a persons life. This is not meant to be funny or sarcastic, unfortunately it's the plain truth.

Replies:   REP
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

most people use the same nickname or screen name between sites to simplify the log on process for them,


Most people seem to use the same handle between roles too (author/editor/reviewer), so when someone with a glittering writing CV posts a story comment asking for a sequel, I ascribe greater weight to it than someone I don't recognise.

AJ

REP

@Keet

Which means facebook, pinterest, instagram, etc. are all stalkers


I don't consider a website to be a person. Social media websites allow people to post comments. Those comments only intrude into a person's life to the extent the person allows them to. A stalker forces their attention on a person and the person has no control over the stalker, other than to say leave me alone or to file a complaint with the authorities.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Keet
Ernest Bywater

@REP

I don't consider a website to be a person.


The companies running the websites are considered by the law to be the same as a person , and just as responsible under the law. All of the social media websites track what you do on their site, and some even track where you go to from their site. They stalk the users in that the website managers will make arbitrary decision to block or kill your account if they don't like something you say. YouTube, Facebook are the 2 worst at killing accounts of people who don't match step with the leftist views of the managers, but others also do it. That's stalking.

Replies:   REP
Uther_Pendragon

@Ernest Bywater

Writers, I'm sure, have strong security around their identity. I'm less certain that readers do.

Why worry when you sign on to only read?

Keet

@REP

A stalker forces their attention on a person and the person has no control over the stalker,

Not a person as in a human being but this description is exactly what social media are. The worst is that even without accounts to any social media you are still stalked. Personally I consider the big social media companies to be criminals.

Daler

@REP

So what is the difference between knowing 25 people are following you and knowing the user names of 25 people, when you know nothing about those 25 users.


That's my point, we already have a "lib" stat that tells writers how many readers added their book in a library and it's anonymous. So why bother with another number like Followers if it too is going to be anonymous?

All these inaccurate, bloated, weighted and anonymous numbers aren't really giving true, measurable feedback to the authors here. And maybe we don't need (or want) that kind of hard, quantifiable data.

Maybe it's not possible to get it with privacy issues being paramount. I don't really know, but obviously the site admins thought this new feature was needed at some level.

I happen to be a numbers and data kind of guy so the more info and tools i have to measure things the better.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Daler

@REP

Also i explained earlier one way it would be helpful but i really don't care if it's all that big a deal either way.

All that to say, without knowing who is following you and who else they're following weakens it. For example, if all my followers were a bunch of users who followed everyone else on this site I'd think to myself, "big deal they follow everyone" but if i had a bunch of much more selective followers who only followed "quality" authors then I'd be much more impressed.

helmut_meukel

@Ernest Bywater

I could be wrong, but I think I may be the only person on Sol who uses their own real name.


You are wrong.
HM.

awnlee jawking

Oh goody, the authorial moniker 'Camp' hasn't been taken. If I grab it and write a story, then my followers will be 'Camp followers' ie prostitutes.

AJ

docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

I could be wrong, but I think I may be the only person on Sol who uses their own real name


I also use my real name: "nickname"+Last name.
The last name is fairly common giving the variations in spelling. The nickname is common nickname for almost all the males with the last name of Holladay. Like many other names it seems to have a natural nickname associated with it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Ernest Bywater

There is a big difference between being considered equivalent to a person and being a person. The law is applied to a company in the same way as the law is applied to a person, but that does not make the company a person. When a company, or website, shakes my hand, then I will consider them to be a person.

Companies and websites are run and managed by people. the Social media websites aren't tracking what people do on the website, it is the people who own, manage, and run the websites that are tracking what happens on the website.

I sincerely doubt that the decision to close a person's account is arbitrary. I suspect there are legal and other valid reasons not made public knowledge for closing most of the accounts, which have been closed. One such reason might be the account holder slandering others who post to the website. Allowing the account holder to slander others can result in legal action being brought against the website's owners and those who manage it. Another reason might be the posting of hate messages.

Protecting oneself from legal action is different from stalking. Stalking is generally a person pursuing a second person who has done nothing to warrant being pursued. Generally, the stalker was not harmed or even known by the person being stalked, until after the stalking began.

This may help you understand what Stalking means:

Criminal activity consisting of the repeated following and harassing of another person.Stalking is a distinctive form of criminal activity composed of a series of actions that taken individually might constitute legal behavior. For example, sending flowers, writing love notes, and waiting for someone outside her place of work are actions that, on their own, are not criminal. When these actions are coupled with an intent to instill fear or injury, however, they may constitute a pattern of behavior that is illegal. Though anti-stalking laws are gender neutral, most stalkers are men and most victims are women.


https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Stalking

Ernest Bywater

@REP

I sincerely doubt that the decision to close a person's account is arbitrary. I suspect there are legal and other valid reasons not made public knowledge for closing most of the accounts, which have been closed.


There's a lot more than that going on, and when a website has a policy of operation, be it de facto or written, then it is the site doing it. There's plenty of cases where YouTube and Facebook have banned or cancelled accounts because the politics of the people didn't match that of the site management.

I'm sure you're aware of the recent Covington College incident where a guy named Phillips claimed the kids approached him, when someone else posted a longer clip showing him going up to the college kids the account of that person got cancelled because it didn't help with the agenda being pushed. Also, the guy who reminded people about his 18 month old post about Phillips Stolen Valor received a demand to pull the video for makeing peoples information public despite Phillips having already identified himself on the news and other identifying the Covington students without their permission - yet those people never got demands about making the student info public. - - that sort of behaviour is tracking the accounts activities and stalking them.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

As far as I am concerned the owner of a website has the right to refuse to do business with anyone for any reason. The owner can define what they find acceptable and unacceptable conduct on the website. If the owner is made aware of a person's conduct, on or off the website, and does not approve of the person's actions, the owner has the right to not allow the person on their website and that decision is expressed by closing the person's account.

People do not have the right to open and maintain an account on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media website. They can open the account with the approval of the owner, they can post with the approval of the owner, and if the owner does not want the types of posts on their website that the person is making, the owner has the right to close the account. The user of the account has no rights that are not given to them by the owner of the website.

Monitoring/tracking what happens on a website you own is NOT stalking. The primary difference is monitoring/tracking is a defense action in which the actions of the users lead to an offender, and stalking is an offensive action in which the victim is targeted by the stalker.

Of course from your position, Lazeez is stalking you and the rest of us because he monitors us and refuses to allow non-stories (e.g., blogs and rants) to be posted on his website as stories, refuses to allow the Forum to degenerate into name calling and other inappropriate conduct, etc. We have the right to not use our accounts for whatever reason. If we chose to use our accounts and if we violate Lazeez's code of conduct, written or unwritten, Lazeez has the right to close our accounts.

The closed accounts you are upset about are nothing more than the owner of a business exercising their right regarding whom they will and will not do business.

Daler

@REP

Unfortunately that's way too simple an argument against a much more complex problem. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are all becoming a necessity for communication in today's world. They're quite similar in scope to the post office and telephone systems of the past. You wouldn't feel it right for the past office or phone company to cut your services because they disagree with your politics or opinions.

There is a big fight happening over this issue of deplatforming and shadow banning mainly because the majority of bans are against conservatives.

These big corps have enjoyed protection against any bad content posted by arguing to be a public square. But if you're a public square, which quite arguably they've become, then you can't pick and choose which view points are censored and accepted.

Senator Hawley pointed out that Big Tech companies already enjoy "sweetheart deals" under current regulations that make their malfeasance a matter of public concern. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, for instance, allows them to avoid liability for the content that users post to their platforms. To address this problem, Hawley proposed adding a viewpoint neutrality requirement for platforms that benefit from Section 230's protections, which were originally enacted to protect the internet as "a forum for a true diversity of political discourse."

"Google and Facebook should not be a law unto themselves," Hawley declared. "They should not be able to discriminate against conservatives. They should not be able to tell us we need to sit down and shut up!"

Essentially these companies are too big and powerful. They can destroy a person's livelihood and reputation with a few key strokes. Pressure is even being put on credit companies now to discriminate.

Soon we could easily have a social credit system by defacto, like China's where if you do socially bad things you lose points and therefore opportunities.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  joyR  REP
Ernest Bywater

@REP

The owner can define what they find acceptable and unacceptable conduct on the website.


That's true, as long as you set it out in the terms at the start and then you adhere to how it's set out.

What YouTube and Facebook have done is to cancel accounts of people who have adhered to the terms but also stated things that do not agree with the political attitude of the YouTube and Facebook managers. That's wrong, and the way they do it is a form of stalking. Name people who commit Stolen Valor activities but belong to the political party the site managers don't like you're OK, the moment you say the same things about people they do like you get cancelled.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

@REP

The closed accounts you are upset about are nothing more than the owner of a business exercising their right regarding whom they will and will not do business.


The site management make media statements about being fair and balanced while they close accounts of people who state a different political vies to theirs. They also support accounts that have violated their terms of service but support their political views. The look for posts that are within their approved terms of service but don't support their political views - that's wrong.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

@Daler

These big corps have enjoyed protection against any bad content posted by arguing to be a public square. But if you're a public square, which quite arguably they've become, then you can't pick and choose which view points are censored and accepted.


They claim they're protected from the content posted in the same way an ISP is protected from what their clients do. But the very moment sites like Facebook etc start filtering and banning users based on their content that's within their advertised terms of service they're taking on responsibility for all of the content being posted on their site and should no longer have those safe harbor provisions applied to them.

Replies:   Daler
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

most people use the same nickname or screen name between sites to simplify the log on process for them, so it is possible to track most people across sites if you wish to.

Except ... since SOL was long considered a 'sex story site', many consciously select a separate ID so they can't be traced. Personally, I'd think anyone using an established social-media ID is the exception, rather than the rule.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Interesting question. My personal opinion of the differences are:

Follower - a person who gathers information about a person from one of more sources for their own edification.

Stalker - a person who uses the information they gather on a person to intrude into that person's life.

The problem is, both begin by using the same process, gathering user information. You can't yank information already given away freely when someone eventually misuses it. The only way to protect a site's users are to restrict the access in the first place.

Replies:   docholladay  REP
Crumbly Writer

@Daler

That's my point, we already have a "lib" stat that tells writers how many readers added their book in a library and it's anonymous. So why bother with another number like Followers if it too is going to be anonymous?

Given that, it may be worthwhile to carve out an exception for SOL authors who mark others as favorites. Authors, being more conscious of what they're committing themselves to, would presumably not care whether one ID is publicized this way, whereas casual readers may not, and also knowing their IDs wouldn't help authors at all.

By the way, I'm not suggesting the Lazeez implement this change, I'm just interested in discussion how best to resolve these reader privacy concerns.

joyR

@Daler

YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are all becoming a necessity for communication in today's world.


They are only considered 'necessary' by those addicted to them.

It is perfectly possible to communicate to others without ever using any form of social media site.

Breathing is a necessity, farcebook is not.

Replies:   Keet  Daler  Daler
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

I could be wrong, but I think I may be the only person on Sol who uses their own real name

I also use my real name: "nickname"+Last name.

In my case, I started using a pseudonym, but once I started publishing, I switched over to using my actual name, but kept the original pseudonym to prevent yanking readers' favorite stories from their collections. But, my real name is on the cover I include with each of my stories, I include it in my emails and blog posts about my books, and a simple search for the book tile clearly identifies who I am. So I fall into both camps. :(

Daler

@Ernest Bywater

Exactly, they're trying to have the best of both worlds. When someone points out that a mass shooting wad live streamed on their service they say, "We can't be held liable because we're a public domain" but then when someone gets kicked off their platform for counter politics the site says "We're a private company and can pick and choose who we allow on our site. "

Funny how that argument of picking and choosing who you offer services to was completely disregarded when it involved cake shops.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

When a company, or website, shakes my hand, then I will consider them to be a person.

I wouldn't go that far. I've shaken hands with many politicians, but I don't consider one of them to be actual 'people', since they never act as a reasonable individual would. They instead act purely according to their 'interests' (i.e. donations, fundraisers, lobbying groups and other 'special' interests), rather than the interests of either their voters, friends or families).

Thus, just as corporations are considered 'people' for legal reasons, politicians should be considered 'corporations' by individuals, forever surrendering their rights to individuality.

Keet

@joyR

They are only considered 'necessary' by those addicted to them.

It is perfectly possible to communicate to others without ever using any form of social media site.

Breathing is a necessity, farcebook is not.

I agree. I never had an account to any of the social media with the only exception a professional presence on LinkedIn. The fact that those platforms have gathered so much influencing power is what makes them so dangerous and it's obvious that that power is abused regularly. If all those social media stopped working right now nothing much would change in the world except an increase of the frequency and quality of 'normal' communications.

Daler

@joyR

Sure you could make that argument but how far should we allow companies to dictate who they can and can't offer services to and for what reasons.

Also the companies say "Don't sue me, we're public, " but then say "You're kicked off my platform because we're private"

Guarantee you the admins here don't share that two standard protection. SOL would be sued into oblivion for any illegal content posted here. That's why they can kick people and content off at will. There's that accountability.

Also there's a bunch of trolls who've enjoyed success in deplatforming people but that hasn't been enough for them. Take Alex Jones for example. While most think he's over the top (myself included) i don't necessarily think it's right that the big tech firms deplatformed him simultaneously. He lost his livelihood and reputation and his political reach, for good or for bad.

But the trolls weren't done. They also pressured PayPal and square to refuse services as he sold stuff on his website to pay the bills. Now he can't accept currency or do business online easily.

But they still aren't done. There's a vocal minority that want to pressure his gas company and insurance and utility providers to refuse service to him as well.

And each company could use the exact same argument you're making. "He could accept money in a different way, or heat his home eh wood or get another job."

But is that the world we want to live in where you are ALLOWED to have any opinion but you can only SHARE the accepted one otherwise you're punished this way.

Sounds extreme i know but that's why this argument is so prevalent right now. Nobody knows how far it will go as we've never faced an issue like this in our human existence.

The government controlled phones and mail and such back in the day but we've given enormous powers to private companies and they basically control a massive portion of everyone's life whether you want to accept that notion or not.

Replies:   joyR  REP
Daler

@joyR

Last point from me on this issue (i hope). It doesn't matter if you have an account with them or not. They still have influence over you including your politicians and search results and news feeds. They decide a lot of what you see and don't see online.

Take SOL for example. This site already faced the demonization from paypal years ago and that cost them financially.

All it would take now to destroy SOL and all of Lazeez hard work would be if the "right" person came to this site and got offended by the "wrong" type of content. That person (especially if they had a decent social media following) could rain hell down on sol and bring this site to its knees.

All they'd have to do is get enough people to say "shame" and then go to Mastercard or Visa and say stop accepting money from sol. And as the laws are set up now that could.

Then sol would be finished all because it didn't fit into someone's version of acceptable content.

And it wouldn't matter if you had an account on big tech's services or not. You would no longer be able to write or read from Sol. And Lazeez would have to find another job just like Alex Jones and countless others who've faced the wrath of the online world.

Replies:   joyR
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

The problem is, both begin by using the same process, gathering user information. You can't yank information already given away freely when someone eventually misuses it. The only way to protect a site's users are to restrict the access in the first place.


For myself as a reader, following an author means any new stories are automatically added to my Library to be read. Most of those are writers I have kept my eyes open for new stories for a long time anyway. It just simplifies the watch a bit. I admit that seems to be an exclusive feature of SOL. Used to be labeled favorite writers/authors. (I can't remember the previous label's actual title)

joyR

@Daler

They decide a lot of what you see and don't see online.


No. I decide.

Just as people can choose which newspaper to read, which TV program to watch, it is perfectly possible to chose which sites to visit and which to ignore.

If a major company annoys me sufficiently, I can choose not to use them, be they a bank, a credit card company, a retailer or whatever. Nobody can force me to use a company, nor to avoid a company. For online stuff it is easy, simply close the window and move on, block the site if you wish, it is really very simple, so only those addicted find it hard to simply unsubscribe, etc.

Replies:   Daler
joyR

@Daler

But is that the world we want to live in where you are ALLOWED to have any opinion but you can only SHARE the accepted one otherwise you're punished this way.


I presume you are not a student of history.

Exactly when has that utopia been fact.?

Pre internet a popular way to express opinions was a 'letter to the editor' of a local or national newspaper. None of whom had to print any letter.

A great many people have died fighting, at least in part, for 'freedom of speech' but being free to speak does not mean others are required to listen, nor is it a requirement for anyone to amplify your voice so as to spread your views to a wider audience.

You stated that 'countless numbers' were affected, if that was truly the case, then there is nothing to stop those 'countless numbers' from starting their own site, social media etc. Except of course that realistically it's easy to count to a very very large number, in fact almost as easy as it is to exaggerate the numbers involved. Countless.? Really? It is possible to count the entire world population... of which only a fraction could be those you claim to know are supposed victims.

REP

@Daler

YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are all becoming a necessity for communication in today's world.


No, they are a convenience not a necessity. Many of us get along fine without them.

You make a number of valid points. However, the bottom line is who shakes the dog: the head or the tail. If you go back and read the TOS for those websites, you will find that by creating an account you agreed to comply with a lot of things. Some of those things you agreed to, govern the situation you are complaining about.

They should not be able to tell us we need to sit down and shut up!"


Why not; you are a guest on their website? If the owner does not like what you say on their website, why should they give you a platform from which to present your views. If you disagree with the owner, go find a different platform that supports your views.

Company size really doesn't matter, although the bigger the company the more power they have to enforce their preferences. If you walk into a small retail shop, they don't have to do business with you, but it is in their best interests to make a scene by denying you service.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

Facebook's TOS state:

Combat harmful conduct and protect and support our community:
People will only build community on Facebook if they feel safe. We employ dedicated teams around the world and develop advanced technical systems to detect misuse of our Products, harmful conduct towards others, and situations where we may be able to help support or protect our community. If we learn of content or conduct like this, we will take appropriate action - for example, offering help, removing content, blocking access to certain features, disabling an account, or contacting law enforcement.


The statement "... to detect misuse of our Products, harmful conduct towards others, and situations where we may be able to help support or protect our community." gives them the power to do what you object to. The owners, not the users, define what 'misuse' and 'harmful conduct towards others' mean. If a user with left or right leaning opinion make statements that the owner believes is harmful they can close that person's account.

1.You may not use our Products to do or share anything:
•That violates these Terms, our Community Standards, and other terms and policies that apply to your use of Facebook.
•That is unlawful, misleading, discriminatory or fraudulent.
•That infringes or violates someone else's rights.


You keep forgetting that it is the owner that defines what 'our Community Standards', 'discriminatory or fraudulent', and 'infringes or violates someone else's rights" means.

These and other terms are in the TOS, but definition of the terms is at the discretion of the website's owner.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

@Ernest Bywater

- that's wrong.


The website owner is in the driver's seat. Stop and think about the situation. I suspect the website owner warned the person that their posts were inappropriate for the website before the owner canceled the account. Of course all you see is the owner canceling the account.

Ernest Bywater

@REP


You keep forgetting that it is the owner that defines what 'our Community Standards', 'discriminatory or fraudulent', and 'infringes or violates someone else's rights" means.


No I don't! You forget the issue is they do not apply their restrictions in an unbiased way and how they define those terms varies with the political expression of the people involved. That is the problem with them.

When someone is in the news making claims and the site allows that content posted by others, then they have no right to block someone else who posts the proven facts about that same person - yet they do if the second poster's message does not align with the Facebook political agenda. That's the real issue and what moves it from being a careful comp-any to being a stalking troll company.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

The problem is, both begin by using the same process, gathering user information.


The stalker typically selects their target and then gathers information.

I was defining my view of the two terms and not addressing how they are being used in this thread.

REP

@Daler

Also the companies say "Don't sue me, we're public, " but then say "You're kicked off my platform because we're private"


If I recall the position was that they were a private company that was open to the public for posting, The management was not aware of everything that the public posted to their website, so they did not believe it was proper to be sued for content they were not aware of. But when they became aware of inappropriate content posted to the website or when they were made aware of such content, they decided to close the poster's account.

Daler

@joyR

Of course you can. By that argument you could also move to the woods and be a hermit and disown society.

I think we're talking about those who want to engage online. For many it's not a choice as they make their living there. And good luck being a politician in today's age without an online presence. Fat chance of getting elected if you're kicked off Facebook.

I didn't say they control everything you see online but they have more power than you claim to be aware.

How can you visit a site after it's been shut down like gab nearly was. They're a twitter alternative who was demonized by the big tech who pressured PayPal to stop servicing them and then godaddy into stop hosting them online. Gab had to scramble to find another hosting company and were down for weeks trying to get another. If that one drops them they're likely finished. All because they refuse to censor speech of any kind (besides hateful and threatening manners).

And how do you find new videos when YouTube buries them in your search results which they're doing now? Big media has recently been given higher priority in their search algorithms.

Or how do most find news when the search provider buries them behind CNN and big media who are given top priority. You may not get your news online but that vast majority of those 40 and younger do.

You may not be heavily invested or influenced by online sources but all those kids who will actually vote and take care of you in your old age certainly are.

Sucks if they're only allowed to hear exactly what the big boys want them to hear and everyone else gets squashed for trying to offer a different platform or perspective.

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Daler

Of course you can. By that argument you could also move to the woods and be a hermit and disown society.


Why would I? To follow your argument I'd then have to listen to you bitch about environmental legislation stopping you from cutting your own firewood.

I think we're talking about those who want to engage online. For many it's not a choice as they make their living there. And good luck being a politician in today's age without an online presence. Fat chance of getting elected if you're kicked off Facebook.


I'm not. I'm simply pointing out that what you claimed is necessary is actually not at all necessary.

I didn't say they control everything you see online but they have more power than you claim to be aware.


I made no claim.

How can you visit a site after it's been shut down like gab nearly was. They're a twitter alternative who was demonized by the big tech who pressured PayPal to stop servicing them and then godaddy into stop hosting them online. Gab had to scramble to find another hosting company and were down for weeks trying to get another. If that one drops them they're likely finished. All because they refuse to censor speech of any kind (besides hateful and threatening manners).


You presume I would want to visit that site, and care in the slightest if they continue or not. Given the plethora of way and places to host a website, if they can't find a host they don';t deserve to have a website. Hosting a free speech site should be chqldsplay compared to some of the more outlandish porn sites etc, not to mention all those scary 'dark web' sites, all of whom are hosted by someone, somewhere. So no, despite what you claim, they do have options and choices.

And how do you find new videos when YouTube buries them in your search results which they're doing now? Big media has recently been given higher priority in their search algorithms.


Simple. Learn how to search effectively, use the right keywords and search criteria and you can find what you want. Be lazy or don't bother and you get the generic results.

Or how do most find news when the search provider buries them behind CNN and big media who are given top priority. You may not get your news online but that vast majority of those 40 and younger do.


See above regarding searches. Add the ability to search and/or access alternate news sources and networks, worldwide.

You may not be heavily invested or influenced by online sources but all those kids who will actually vote and take care of you in your old age certainly are.


You very obviously don't know me, or which country I reside in. Nor are you apparently aware of how the rest of the world manages, both with and without those few, albeit popular websites.

Sucks if they're only allowed to hear exactly what the big boys want them to hear and everyone else gets squashed for trying to offer a different platform or perspective.


Sucks more if they are too lazy or ill educated to be able to make informed inteligent decisions rather than simply accept whatever is spoon fed to them.

Replies:   Daler
Daler

@joyR

Sure.

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Daler

Sure.


Thank you.

Replies:   Daler
Daler

@joyR

NP. Thanks for the discussion.

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