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There is no regulation in the "marketplace of ideas"

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
766
A market needs regulation in order to function, and for the safety of consumers. When you're buying a product at the store, you can read certain facts about it on the packaging. What's important is that the packaging must not contain lies. A brand of cereal can't claim to cure cancer, restore sight to the blind, or raise the dead. The ingredients and nutritional information need to be listed. A consumer, when selecting between different items, can use these facts in order to make an informed choice.

However, it's different in the "marketplace of ideas". There are no regulations forcing peddlers to tell the truth.

Consider a subreddit like r/politics. A place like this might claim to allow discussion from all points of view, but this is a lie. They actually heavily censor and suppress conservative points of view.

Let's say that you see this censorship, disagree with it, and decide that you should start your own subreddit with less censorship so that both sides can be discussed.

Now a new user is presented with two subreddits, the original and the alternative. Because there's no regulation, the original subreddit isn't forced to advertise how they only allow one side of the argument. If they were, a new user might choose to go to the alternative instead, but since the user doesn't know about this, they choose to go to the sub with the greater amount of users, and the alternative never establishes a foothold.

Since there is no regulation in the marketplace of ideas. These platforms are free to manipulate you by lying to you. They advertise one thing, but sell another. They say that they're open to everyone and allow fair and balanced discussion from both sides, but they really don't. If the popular platforms were forced to be transparent about what they censor, they would not have the amount of users that they currently do.

Internet platforms exist in a market without regulation, and they constantly lie in order to gain users. This makes it difficult for new competitors to enter this market and hurts consumers who are either manipulated or censored.

Regulation is necessary for the real-life market, perhaps we need regulation for the "marketplace of ideas" as well?
 

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
4,335
Regulation is necessary for the real-life market, perhaps we need regulation for the "marketplace of ideas" as well?
How would you do that though without creating something that looks an awful lot like the Ministry of Truth? Should we really give any entity that much power over who's lying and who's not? Determining fraud in business deals can already be a bit shaky. There's also ignorance where people say things they don't know are untrue. How will you detect that? How will you know? These are some of the reasons why Sanctuary doesn't regulate posts in terms of their "truthfulness". That is left up to the individual users themselves.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
766
If there was merely a law that says that moderation logs must be made public, then consumers could be just a little more equipped to make informed choices regarding social media communities.

There doesn't have to be a ministry of truth, just the equivalent of a "Nutrition Facts" table and list of ingredients on the packaging so that consumers can make informed choices, and sites can't lie.
 

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
4,335
If there was merely a law that says that moderation logs must be made public, then consumers could be just a little more equipped to make informed choices regarding social media communities.

There doesn't have to be a ministry of truth, just the equivalent of a "Nutrition Facts" table and list of ingredients on the packaging so that consumers can make informed choices, and sites can't lie.
That is better, but it's still a bit questionable, because what if a site falsifies the information? Someone has to be in charge of that investigation and enforcement.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
766
That is better, but it's still a bit questionable, because what if a site falsifies the information? Someone has to be in charge of that investigation and enforcement.
I suppose it would be like how sites enforce GDPR now. Who enforces it? I dunno, but many sites do it anyway, seemingly out of fear of non-compliance.
 

Gauche

Disciple
Messages
438
If there was merely a law that says that moderation logs must be made public, then consumers could be just a little more equipped to make informed choices regarding social media communities.
Are they consuming though?
Internet platforms exist in a market without regulation, and they constantly lie in order to gain users.
People do that too
To equate social media to a marketplace is a bit of a stretch

I'm now imagining The Maury Show going "Facebook is the father!"
 

Drathnoxis

Adherent
Messages
93
There is no marketplace of ideas, since that implies trade and commerce. Ideas are in such high supply and low demand that they are by and large worthless. It's not a good analogy.

Addressing your main point about censorship. Look, society can't even keep lies out of stuff that actually matters, just look at politics. What makes you think that there's any hope for forums?

The only hope for an improved society would be if we engineered one in some isolated location, like Mars. Other than that there's just too much corruption, and most people just aren't brought up right.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
766
There is no marketplace of ideas, since that implies trade and commerce. Ideas are in such high supply and low demand that they are by and large worthless. It's not a good analogy.
To equate social media to a marketplace is a bit of a stretch
For anyone who's not aware, it's not my analogy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketplace_of_ideas

Look, society can't even keep lies out of stuff that actually matters, just look at politics. What makes you think that there's any hope for forums?
They can do it for, say, food, drugs, and taxes, three things you can't ever lie about (or you can lie about them once before going to jail).
If freedom of speech is such a sacred, important thing, and so vital for a functioning democracy, I'm surprised there aren't many laws meant to uphold it.

But I'm not so much hoping, just musing about a problem that interests me. Whether or not there could be any possible viable solution is secondary.


The only hope for an improved society would be if we engineered one in some isolated location, like Mars. Other than that there's just too much corruption, and most people just aren't brought up right.
Have you heard the good news of God's Kingdom?!


Are they consuming though?
I think so. I am treating every user as a consumer.
 

Drathnoxis

Adherent
Messages
93
They can do it for, say, food, drugs, and taxes, three things you can't ever lie about (or you can lie about them once before going to jail).
If freedom of speech is such a sacred, important thing, and so vital for a functioning democracy, I'm surprised there aren't many laws meant to uphold it.

But I'm not so much hoping, just musing about a problem that interests me. Whether or not there could be any possible viable solution is secondary.
Those things are concrete and quantifiable. If I lie about food, drugs, or taxes someone else can just do some scientific tests or look at the records and prove me wrong. If I lie about an idea there's nearly an infinite amount of wiggle room for me to twist things around to flip flop or deflect blame. It's just too hard to prove and too open to interpretation in most cases.

And moderators just don't care in most places that are really active. They sort through hundreds or thousands of posts and probably get paid very little if anything at all. Just look at the Escapist and how many people who became moderators remained active members of the community. None. Nobody who was ever a moderator still posts frequently today. It burns you out.


Have you heard the good news of God's Kingdom?!
No?
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
766
And moderators just don't care in most places that are really active. They sort through hundreds or thousands of posts and probably get paid very little if anything at all. Just look at the Escapist and how many people who became moderators remained active members of the community. None. Nobody who was ever a moderator still posts frequently today. It burns you out.
The neat thing is that the mods don't need to care. If we're talking about the "informed consumer choice" solution, all there needs to be is an additional logging system that keeps a history of moderations and is made public. They can be as burnt out as they like, the automated system will care for them. Then potential new users can peruse the log before deciding whether or not they want to join the community.

Perhaps the only punishable/enforceable thing would be the absence of such a log, or inclusion of false entries into that log, but I think the latter would be too much trouble to properly implement for a bad actor.

It's that God's gonna fix everything.

---


Even if the "public mod log" is a bad solution, what do you all think about the premise, that certain platforms choke out the competition by lying, and that this is a bad thing?
 
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Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
4,335
It's that God's gonna fix everything.
ACKTHUALLYY... Kind of.

To understand the good news of the Gospel, you really need to first understand the bad news. And the bad news is, if any of us makes just one mistake, one sin, we fall infinitely short of God and must suffer not just temporal death, but spiritual death as well which is complete separation from God. In effect, this would deny EVERYONE but those completely perfect.

But the good news though is that this was all foreseen ahead of time, and Christ was prepared from the foundation of the world to perform the literally godlike Atonement, which both justifies us and sanctifies us. Or at least all those willing to truly repent and receive it at Christ's hand. So Christ is the good news and "there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men."
 

Vendor-Lazarus

Arch Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Messages
647
The marketplace of ideas can't work if it's built on a bog, in a swamp. The infiltration within NGO's, corporations, and government is such that any attempt at grafting on a healthy aspect to make the rest of the currently rotten tree of liberty sound is ludicrous. It could work, sure, but it would such a long and arduous journey. You can't even fix it with benevolent dictator leaders, top-down. What would result in the shortest recovery is to start in education. Make sure the teachers locally are impartial and non-political. Or at least know the code of ethics they're supposed to adhere to. In order to teach young people logic and critical thinking. Allowing them to be analyzing skeptics honoring the Original Western Rights and Freedoms. Make the groups, organizations and institutions have clear-cut goals and agendas, while keeping each other in check on that higher learned foundation. Only then can the normal struggle for best idea take place.
 

Drathnoxis

Adherent
Messages
93
The neat thing is that the mods don't need to care. If we're talking about the "informed consumer choice" solution, all there needs to be is an additional logging system that keeps a history of moderations and is made public. They can be as burnt out as they like, the automated system will care for them. Then potential new users can peruse the log before deciding whether or not they want to join the community.

Perhaps the only punishable/enforceable thing would be the absence of such a log, or inclusion of false entries into that log, but I think the latter would be too much trouble to properly implement for a bad actor.
Oh, they hate that most of all. Then everyone will be constantly judging every infraction and rules lawyering every infraction.

Who's supposed to be enforcing this anyway? The government? Frankly, I don't think this is worth the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars it would take to enforce.


It's that God's gonna fix everything.
When? I don't think he's in much of a rush.


Even if the "public mod log" is a bad solution, what do you all think about the premise, that certain platforms choke out the competition by lying, and that this is a bad thing?
Lying is usually a bad thing, but I don't think it would make much of a difference even if it was public knowledge. There is an inertia to these things. People will usually gravitate to the most active and visible places, even if they aren't the best places to be. Reddit sucks as a platform for serious discussion and community, and yet it's basically forced traditional forums off the map.
The marketplace of ideas can't work if it's built on a bog, in a swamp. The infiltration within NGO's, corporations, and government is such that any attempt at grafting on a healthy aspect to make the rest of the currently rotten tree of liberty sound is ludicrous. It could work, sure, but it would such a long and arduous journey. You can't even fix it with benevolent dictator leaders, top-down. What would result in the shortest recovery is to start in education. Make sure the teachers locally are impartial and non-political. Or at least know the code of ethics they're supposed to adhere to. In order to teach young people logic and critical thinking. Allowing them to be analyzing skeptics honoring the Original Western Rights and Freedoms. Make the groups, organizations and institutions have clear-cut goals and agendas, while keeping each other in check on that higher learned foundation. Only then can the normal struggle for best idea take place.
Education won't make a difference unless the parents adhere to the same things that the schools teach. Most kids are going to learn to act and think like their parents no matter what the schools teach.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
766
Oh, they hate that most of all. Then everyone will be constantly judging every infraction and rules lawyering every infraction.
Yes, it has been my experience as well that they hate that. They don't have to allow those sorts of discussions to take place if they don't want to.
The purpose is primarily to show potential new users what kind of environment they're stepping into. This way, the site can't lie and say that it's "for everyone", when they clearly demonstrate a bias.

Who's supposed to be enforcing this anyway? The government? Frankly, I don't think this is worth the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars it would take to enforce.
Maybe citizens will be able to sue a website for non-compliance, so the effort would be spread out across private citizens, lawyers, and the court system. It would be a civil matter.


When? I don't think he's in much of a rush.
2 Peter 3:9 "Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance"

Lying is usually a bad thing, but I don't think it would make much of a difference even if it was public knowledge. There is an inertia to these things. People will usually gravitate to the most active and visible places, even if they aren't the best places to be. Reddit sucks as a platform for serious discussion and community, and yet it's basically forced traditional forums off the map.
Yes, even in the best case scenario, I would think that the majority of people don't care about how sites are moderated, and do not care to be "informed consumers". I can do the same thing at Walmart by just picking a product off the shelf without reading the box, just because I saw a commercial about it. At that point, it would be my own fault.

I'm fine with people refusing to do their due diligence. However, I see an issue with "products" being allowed to lie to you so that it becomes an unreasonable effort in order to properly inform yourself. If there was a warning label, and I didn't read it, that's my fault. If you flat-out lied to me, that's your fault.
 
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