Twitter, Google’s YouTube, and Facebook use the uncompensated labor of their users. These platforms sell that labor, as a media product, to other users and advertisers for tens of billions of dollars.
Granted, not every tweet is labor, and not every Facebook or Twitter user is a laborer. But people who contribute using their professional skills or in a work-like manner (for example citizen-journalists or scientists) are indeed laborers. A single post or tweet might express the results of weeks or months of investigative journalism or research.
Twitter started as a communication utility. YouTube marketed itself as a platform for self-expression. Facebook was something of both. However, things started to change as all three companies introduced significant requirements for user-produced content. Slowly, the requirements became stricter and longer, becoming almost product specifications for the content. Only YouTube financially compensates its user-contributors, but considers this a privilege, to be granted or withdrawn at will (“demonetization”).
Labor Must Be Compensated
Since the Democrats lost the civil war 150 years ago, labor must be compensated. The compensation does not have to be financial. Many authors and other creators are happy to write or create for various publications without payment, in exchange for other types of consideration, such as visibility, promotion, and distribution (Tasini v. AOL, 2012).
But Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook (TYF) do not provide these types of compensation. They do not provide authors distribution or visibility. Instead, they want authors to bring their audience to the company’s platform. Twitter has billions of users, but so does the Internet. A typical author would not get more distribution by writing on Twitter than by writing on his or her personal blog. This is the main difference between one of these platforms and a publication. An article in a respected publication, like American Thinker or WattsUpWithThat, would be read by thousands of its readers of Human Events because they like and trust the publication, even if they have never heard of the author. On the other hand, one’s tweets are read only by a fraction of my Twitter Followers. For actual promotion, Twitter and Facebook charge fees.
Further, any attracted audience, recognition, and goodwill are attached to the username on the platform and have little value outside of it. By design, these platforms keep all fruits of a contributor’s labor inside. If a contributor is suddenly de-platformed, s/he immediately loses all of it.
The fact that the social media companies live off the free labor of their users was noticed many times. Free labor is Facebook’s lifeblood, You don’t know it, but you are working for Facebook For free are just some sample headlines. In his post TWITTER’S SLAVE LABOR FORCE, blogger Eric Posner, wondered “How did Twitter pull off this amazing feat—of not only obtaining billions of dollars per year in free labor, but from highly intelligent and educated people—academics and journalists—who are normally hard to fool?”
Contributors were attracted by TYF’s promises of free speech, neutrality, and continuity, which have been given explicitly and implicitly. Based on TYF’s past representations and behavior, contributors expected their accounts to be treated as their property, not restricted, throttled, or terminated, except for just cause. Section 230 protects service providers from liability toward third parties, not for violation of their promises to their customers and contractors.
At this point in the argument, TYF lawyers usually invoke their Terms of Service (ToS). These terms are invalid. For example, Twitter’s ToS runs 39 pages, not including separate Rules and Policies. It was changed again six days ago, on June 18, 2020. Somewhere hidden deep within are the following pearls:
“We may revise these Terms from time to time. … We will try to notify you of material revisions … you agree to be bound by the revised Terms.”
This is a textbook example of an invalid contract, and mockery of the Contract Law. A contract cannot be revised unilaterally. Some additional pearls:
“By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content … no compensation paid to you with respect to the Content … as the use of the Services by you is hereby agreed as being sufficient compensation for the Content and grant of rights herein.”
“We may suspend or terminate your account or cease providing you with all or part of the Services at any time for any or no reason …”
This is even worse. This is the definition of indentured servitude, or peonage. Compensation that can be rescinded any time is an illusory one. Unfortunately for Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, but to the benefit of the rest of us, “Peonage is abolished and forever prohibited in any Territory or State of the United States” (42 U.S. Code § 1994). Obtaining labor under such terms and certain existing circumstances, is profitable, but illegal. Among these special circumstances are: TYF are monopolies; TYF are state actors; TYF can and do inflict significant harm on their laborers without having to account to courts of law, or other authorities.
18 U.S. Code CHAPTER 77 — PEONAGE, SLAVERY, AND TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
“(a) Whoever knowingly provides or obtains the labor or services of a person by any one of, or by any combination of, the following means …
(2) by means of serious harm or threats of serious harm to that person or another person;
(3) by means of the abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process;
(c) The term ‘serious harm’ means any harm, whether physical or nonphysical, including psychological, financial, or reputational harm …
(d) Whoever violates this section shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”
Here, the term “harm” is defined exceptionally broadly, corresponding to the general understanding that obtaining uncompensated labor in commerce is wrong in itself, and even a shadow of duress makes it crime.
Many TYF contributors invested years of work in their presence on these platforms, expecting to derive financial benefits from that investment, for example by being able to promote their tours or merchandise. Many users also use their TYF accounts in professional activities outside of these platforms. They will undoubtedly suffer financial harm if they leave.
Facebook and Twitter have also become essential communication tools in many people’s private lives. If users leave Facebook and Twitter, they become cut off from friends, family, and community, and will suffer psychological harm.
TYF tell the public that they only ban hate speech, outright falsehoods, harassment, fraud and other bad conduct, and that they only de-platform extreme offenders. Due to these claims, still believed in some circles, a suspended or terminated author suffers serious reputational harm.
Remaining on a platform but not contributing labor is not an option. Contributors who use their accounts for business purposes have to continue contributing. Their followers will likely interact with them regarding previous posts, and the authors would have no other means to reply. User-contributors remain subject to TYF’s disciplinary measures (like suspension or defamation by “fact checkers”), even for past content, as long as their accounts are open. If an author chooses to leave, after some of his or her content has been banned or defamed (negative “fact checked”) by Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube, the author would suffer similar, albeit lesser, reputational harm. It is not normally public knowledge whether a user’s account is terminated by TYF or voluntarily closed by the owner. Thus, third parties, seeing prior banning of a contributor’s content combined with the disappearance of the contributor’s account, are likely to assume that the author was deplatformed for bad conduct, again resulting in reputational harm to the contributor.
Each of these examples of harm suffered for leaving these platforms satisfies the § 1589(a)(2) description of ‘serious harm’. Brandishing ToS with the clauses quoted above might be a separate violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1589 – threatened abuse of law or legal process, § 1589(a)(3).
Obamanet made this possible and democrat politicians and Obama holdovers in the DOJ allowed it to continue. History teaches us that beneficiaries of indentured labor would do anything not to relinquish such benefits.
via Science Defies Politics
June 30, 2020 at 03:17PM
300,000 views in first 48 hours…”no basis for lock-down…”falsification of scientific data”…Soviet style psychiatry for dissenters…
On June 28, two days ago, German psychology student ‘Sebastian’ released a video that completely demolishes the hype surrounding the COVID-19 “pandemic” and how dangerously authoritarian the government is handling the matter.
It claims that the basis supposedly underpinning the lock-down was “grossly unscientific” and that the numbers were padded to create fear and panic among the public.
The video is also available here with English subtitles, thanks to Tony Heller.
Released just yesterday, the documentary has already been viewed 300,000 times and surely will become controversial and attacked viciously by self-anointed “fact-checkers”.
Watering down definition of a pandemic
In the video, Sebastian begins by noting how in 2009 the WHO removed two criteria that were part of the definition of a pandemic: there had to be high death counts in a number of countries. “Today that is no longer the case,” says Sebastian. “Why the change was made is unclear.”
Padding the corona numbers
Sebastian also explains how the media and authorities use tricks to make the numbers appear worse than they actually are, for example showing how the number of “infected persons” is very different from the number of people who “test positive”. The number of infected is much higher. And so if that number were used to calculate the death rate, then the death rate would be much lower. But the authorities hide that.
There never was an exponential growth
Next the German psychology student shows how the weekly number of cases increased in late March not because the virus was rapidly spreading, but because the testing rose dramatically. More tests = more cases. But the media and authorities made it look like the virus was spreading faster when it really wasn’t. But that trick was enough to cause the panic and allow the government to get away with enacting the economy-crushing lock down.
The reality, however, is that there never was an exponential growth. Sebastian adds that there was a failure to distinguish between the number of infected and the number who are actually ill: “Not distinguishing the two is not only negligent, but grossly unscientific.”
“Falsification of scientific data”
The young German critic also sharply criticizes the methodology used to count the number of people dying from COVID-19. Every death where the patient tested positive was deemed to be a COVID-19 death, no matter what the real cause was.
“In other words, if today I was tested positive with Corona and showed no symptoms, and tomorrow I jumped out of a window, then Corona would be the official cause of death,” says Sebastian. “That’s astonishing! That’s what we call the falsification of scientific data. It’s the worst thing a scientist can do.”
And that’s how we get a “massive overstating” of the death rate, the documentary shows. The chart below depicts how 2020 has been a rather normal year in terms of daily death in Germany. Things were dramatically worse in 2018, when the country was reeling from the flu, in the absence of media hype:
Daily death rates for 2020 in normal range. 2018 flu epidemic far worse. Chart cropped from here.
“We’re nowhere even close to 2017 and 2018,” Sebastian notes. “These numbers alone are enough to convince me that the restrictions were totally over the top.”
The German student, whose video has been seen over 300,000 times since its release two days ago, also shows how COVID-19 is no more dangerous than the regular flu, citing recent publication by Streeck et al, which found a COVID-19 death rate of maximum 0.36%. Also the figures show “COVID-19 is not significantly more contagious than influenza.”
The new Germany: Soviet-style psychiatry for dissenters
The documentary also looked at the pitfalls of the COVID 19 tests, how overrated the lock-down measures really are, and how they inflicted even more damage.
One grisly aspect of the Corona “pandemic” in Germany was a call by a leading politician to admit persons refusing to go into quarantine to psychiatric hospitals. One vocal dissenter was even forcibly brought by the police to a psychiatric ward, something, Sebastian says, reminds him of “a very very dark chapter of German history”.
“That, I would have never imagined possible.”
Overwhelming viewer approval
Viewers approved of the video overwhelmingly, with over 20,000 thumbs up compared to 1,450 thumbs down. For example viewer Karin Steinbach commented:
“A great review of the facts and figures and social impact! Many thanks! As a scientist, I have long been horrified by the way in which we have been presented with ‘facts’ in this ‘pandemic’ and the way in which it has stirred up fears among the population – also in the media. Moreover, no scientific discussion is taking place at all.”
Other viewers are calling for special commission to investigate the whole panic.
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June 30, 2020 at 01:19PM
One good thing about Coronavirus is that people are suddenly paying attention to all the cheap easy ways to slow viruses. Hopefully we will get a bit better at preventing other respiratory infections too.
As I’ve mentioned before, masks stop as much as 75% of influenza, and now we know the number is similar with Coronavirus. If any drug was this effective, it would be hailed as a Gamechanging Breakthrough (!).
Indeed, just yesterday Anthony Fauci said he’d settle for 70%, 75% effective vaccine, but masks are here already. And we don’t have to wear them forever, just til we starve the virus, set up border checks, and get the cases to zero. Then we wait for a long term solution. 2020 is going to be the year of the mask.
With Coronavirus cases ramping up again all over the world, people like Mike Pence, and Australia’s Health Minister are talking about them. If we add Vitamin D at 5c a dose (which can reduce the spread of influenza by 40%) perhaps some states could avoid a repeat mass lockdown?
Given the cost in deaths and dollars of the spread of this virus, it would be cheaper to give […]Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
June 30, 2020 at 01:12PM
Dr. D.E. Koelle published in EIKE, here in English translation: Where’s the “climate crisis”? Excerpts in italics with my bolds.
Today it can be found in the brains of (unfortunately too many) people who have a pronounced ignorance of climate – what it is and what it meant in the past.
But unfortunately there are also incomprehensible statements by “climate experts” who should actually know better. The GEOMAR staff member Prof. Dr. Katja Matthes and his designated chief, in a mirror interview (in issue 21/2020) on the climate issue under the obviously inevitable title “Corona crisis as an opportunity” states that the climate is “dramatic”. And that only a reduction in CO2 emissions and even its “artificial” removal from the atmosphere is necessary to limit a further temperature increase of 1.5 or 2 ° C. This means that, in accordance with the IPCC dogma, it sees only CO2 as a climate factor and ignores all other climate influencing factors, especially the natural climate fluctuations that have occurred for millions and thousands of years.
In any case, there is no factual reason for a “climate drama” – quite the contrary: in the past (before the existence of mankind) there were repeated temperature fluctuations between 0 ° C and 28 ° C – today we are around 14.5 ° C – exactly in the middle between the extremes, ie it couldn’t be better. Today we have the best possible, the optimal climate, as the Wikipedia diagram shows:
Figure 2: The temperature history of the earth in the past 500 million years. It shows tremendous climate change in the past (without people !!) and a perfect mean temperature with fluctuations of only ± 1 ° C in the past 10,000 years. It couldn’t be better.
What happened that such a climate hysteria could occur, as it was spread in the media in competition – from CO2 as a “climate killer” to “climate catastrophe” and “doomsday”?
The global temperature has actually increased by 1 ° C in the last 100 years! A degree C. Incredible!
Only very simple types can believe or expect that nature can / must deliver the exact same temperatures every year. There are about a dozen climate-influencing factors: long-term, medium-term and short-term, only CO2 is not one of them. There is no evidence of this in Earth’s climate history. Rather, the reverse applies:
Global warming increases the CO2 level in the atmosphere through outgassing from the oceans. Warmer water can store less CO2. And since it is known that 50 times more CO2 is stored in the oceans than in the atmosphere today, this effect has often occurred in the past. Apparently some people have mixed up here.
Climate change, perceived primarily as temperature fluctuations, is by no means a new phenomenon caused by humanity (CO2 emissions), as some climate charlatans and ideologists want to make us believe (in their fight against capitalism and industrial society), but a completely normal natural phenomenon of our planet since its existence, just like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions – and no one can do anything about it! The “fight against climate change” is reminiscent of Don Quixote.
In the past 8000 years, the mean global temperature has fluctuated regularly by +/- one degree C (Eddy cycle of approx. 1070 years).
And that was as much the case 8,000 years ago as it is today! There is no recognizable anthropogenic influence. On the contrary: The regular temperature maxima of the Eddy cycle have fallen by 0.7 ° C since the Holocene maximum 8000 years ago, despite the continuous increase in CO2 from 200 to 400 ppm, which according to the IPCC hypothesis is an increase around + 3 ° C should have resulted. The IPCC, which has propagated the CO2 hypothesis, has so far been unable to provide any factual or historical evidence for it – other than “confidence”. This confirms that the IPCC is not a scientific, but a political institution where scientists are misused for ideological and political goals. His reports must e.g. Before publication, be checked by the participating governments and modified according to their wishes. A process that only exists in climate research, which has largely lost its formerly scientific character.
The above temperature diagram of the last 3200 years clearly shows the dominance of the natural 1000-year cycle, as it has occurred for at least 8000 years. We have just passed the last maximum and in the future it will go down again (if astrophysics has not changed) and is completely independent of the evolution of CO2. This has doubled in the last 8000 years from 200 to 400 ppm, but the temperature of the maxima has decreased by 0.7 ° C (instead of rising by 3 ° C according to the IPCC theory!). In fact, the current CO2 level is among the lowest in the history of the earth, which reached values of 4000 to 6000 ppm several times – without causing damage – only much stronger plant growth. We owe this to the coal deposits on earth. If CO2 is released by combustion today, it is nothing more than the CO2 that the plants then extracted from the atmosphere.
Note: I used an online translate utility for this English text, so blame any errors on Mr. Google.
via Science Matters
June 30, 2020 at 01:24PM