Rachel Bovard Profile picture
Work: @CPInst, @the_iap, @defpriorities. Teach a lot. Write a lot. Catholic. Sommelier. Noted womansplainer.
EricStoner Profile picture rmack2x Profile picture Parler: @PaulSchmehl #2020GOPLandslide Profile picture human Profile picture Jackg3 Profile picture 17 added to My Authors
4 Jun 20
Hot take: social media took our worst impulses as human beings, fed them human growth hormone, and let them out of the basement to Godzilla each other by dumping accelerant on viral outrage and confirmation bias.
Corrollary: social media can rightly claim credit for exposing social ills. Yet it simultaneously gets to avoid responsibility for the voilence & human terror unleashed as a result. It’s a weird system we’ve created. The viral outrage becomes The Thing & no one is responsible.
And as we maul one another, egged on by the monetized, algorithmic amplification of our worst and darkest selves, our lords and masters in the Valley just scheme up new ways to make billions off our inner demons.
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3 Jun 20
@neil_chilson @JonSchweppe @JoinLincoln @approject I think it's incumbent upon the FTC/DOJ/StateAGs, who are all investigating this, to bring a strong case in the areas they are investigating. If courts find it deficient, it's up to people smarter than me to determine if antitrust law should be changed.
@neil_chilson @JonSchweppe @JoinLincoln @approject On a different note, however, I would point out that Google routinely violates privacy laws in a manner suggesting there is a need for some kind of federal privacy law regarding user data, potentially including data as a user property right, that does not currently exist.
@neil_chilson @JonSchweppe @JoinLincoln @approject Moreover, to the point I made earlier today, I think a lot of these questions (speech, privacy, etc) are downstream from antitrust and could be competed away in a more robust market.
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28 May 20
@amoylan As Goldman, a defender of 230 points out, it's an implicit subsidy. It's the government's entanglement with tech, and the companies admit they couldn't survive without it. Monetary or not, it is central to the industry. We debate and update these kinds of subsidies all the time.
@amoylan I think there are good arguments for keeping 230 as is, and good arguments for reforming it, but the notion that somehow this isn't an industry protection doesn't bear out. Even the tech companies admit that it is.
@amoylan Also the idea that "everyone would be sued into oblivion" is a compelling argument for keeping some form of 230 in place. But that in and of itself is more a quarrel with our tort system than it is the merits of 230.
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27 May 20
It’s my suspicion that the arrogance of the tech companies and their advocates whose response to lawmakers is “you don’t know anything/you’re wrong/you can’t do that” is a significant contributor to how we got here with Sec 230 in the first place.
This may only be my former Hill staffer bias speaking but I’ve never seen a lawmaker respond favorably to condescension as a lobbying strategy. Yet that’s probably how 75% of the tech lobby approaches the Hill. (Yes that includes think tanks.)
But maybe I shouldn’t say that out loud and just continue to let them all dig their own graves.
Read 4 tweets
27 May 20
It’s not just speech. Google said it didn’t track your location when you turned off location tracking. They do. They also told the FTC they’d never pool DoubleClick ad data w/ Google platform data. And then they did.
And now, Google may have your entire medical record without your consent. Don’t worry, they say to trust them. They won’t abuse it. 🤔 theguardian.com/technology/201…
It’s almost like there isn’t meaningful consent or information symmetry in the tech marketplace. Or a competitive marketplace to allow these concerns to be competed away.
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23 May 20
This is the co-mingling of corporate and government power that I’ve been yelling about for weeks.
I can’t wait for the all furious blogs and circle jerk tweets from DC’s Very Smart People about how Thomas Massie has no idea what he’s talking about. Hysterical, misinformed right-winger that he is. 🙄
Fact is, his statement is an intellectually honest assessment of what’s happening.
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22 May 20
A whole blog devoted to lil old me? I'm flattered. It doesn't get to the crux of my concern, however, which is the co-mingling of corporate & gov't power. That is, corps who own the public square enforcing non-binding, potentially unlawful gov't orders on 1A protected activities.
It's kind of pointless to debate the merits of Section 230 with people who don't even acknowledge that the growing power of tech can threaten individual liberty, ESPECIALLY when that power co-mingles with the government.
It's also difficult to debate Section 230 when it gets treated like a national theology. It's not. It's a law. Really, it's an industry subsidy. I make this point in the piece. Like all laws, it can be changed. It most certainly can be debated.
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22 May 20
“These companies have all willingly participated in the program.” theverge.com/2013/6/6/44038…
Or! Have Facebook enforce your non-binding and potentially illegal guidance about lockdowns by removing protest content. The govt has to constitutionally protect that speech. But not when private corps do it for them.
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22 May 20
This gets to the crux of the issue in my Newsweek piece that the critics so far refuse to address: social media companies enforcing speech per gov’t advisories and orders that are themselves unlawful.

Co-mingling of private and gov’t power over speech in unprecedented ways.
Take the Sec 230 debate out of it and the question really becomes: do people who prize their liberty have to defer it to the mega-corporations that own the public square, simply because they are private corporations? That makes them above reproach? I posit that the answer is no.
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21 May 20
@seanppugh @RepKenBuck If you watch the entire interview, that’s not what he’s suggesting. The crux of his concern is for small business innovation in a sector where hearings have raised significant questions as to whether small biz can truly still compete.
@seanppugh @RepKenBuck Particularly the ones discussed in this hearing. judiciary.house.gov/calendar/event…
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15 May 20
Over 4 million cases of #COVID19 around the world, over 300,000 dead along with untold economic destruction, but @Reuters here wants you to feel sorry for Dr. Tedros, the head of the #WHO. Because truly, he is the real victim here. reuters.com/investigates/s…
Now that I'm done 🤮 here is how the #WHO failed miserably at basically it's one job. foxnews.com/opinion/corona…
Tedros is accused of covering up cholera outbreaks in two countries (he denies it) and in 2017 was mystified when everyone was appalled that he appointed Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador to the #WHO. More here. amgreatness.com/2020/04/18/who…
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15 May 20
This rule for debate on this bill literally mutes Members of the House while jamming through proxy voting.

But hey, on the bright side, at least we aren't continuing with the fiction that Pelosi gives two hoots what anyone else in the country thinks.

Also re: proxy voting, you're never going to convince me that Congress isn't essential -- that is, to show up & do the hard things during a crisis. My neighbor's 14 y/o kid is still showing up to bag groceries. Congress can show up to their constitutional responsibilities.
It's like, we always talk in broad terms about the statesmen we want to see, the integrity of elected office, the constitutional duty of office holders. Yet when the country finds itself in a crisis? Nope, can't risk it. Just gotta stay home, get paid, and order from Amazon.
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14 May 20
Still laughing about the Senate furiously trying to deny @HawleyMO his disapproval vote on WTO.

The fact that opponents of this policy are scared to go on record opposing it should tell you a lot about the power of this idea outside of DC.
Opponents of any policy should relish the chance to vote against it, to tell the world about its failings, to proudly plant the flag. Yet, weirdly, no one seems to want that opportunity right now. 🤔
Btw this is not unique to the Senate or to Josh Hawley. It's how ideas are treated in DC when they fail to comply with the prevailing narrative. The House GOP did the same thing to Thomas Massie on his disapproval resolution for the war in Yemen. amgreatness.com/2018/11/26/rep…
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7 May 20
@Brian_Riedl Facebook isn’t just the Facebook platform. It’s also WhatsApp, Instagram, Oculus VR, & about 6 other companies all in one conglomerate. Speech is one concern, though IMO that’s more a sec 230 ques than antitrust. Digital ad dominance is another concern, as is data privacy.
@Brian_Riedl I don’t know if any of it justifies “break them up,” but I do think the power of tech companies, particularly as it co-mingles with gov’t power, is a legit area of concern for conservatives. As is their unaccountable, non-transparent use of personal data.
@Brian_Riedl ALSO last thing - Facebook isn’t free. None of big tech is free. We transact with our data. It’s how all these companies make money. They sell us - our ISP addresses, web history, activity, etc, to companies to produce extremely lucrative targeted ads.
Read 3 tweets
6 May 20
Oh good, more co-mingling of state & corporate power.

Someone tell @NYGovCuomo about Google's horrific track record of abuse regarding student data privacy (two states are currently suing them) as well as their non-transparent efforts to hoover up private individual health data.
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30 Apr 20
Why are we still treating this chart like gospel when even the FDA says it's basically useless?

In 2018 the FDA testified that "the percentage of APIs produced by China for the United States marketplace is likely underrepresented by our numbers."
But given the various inputs that we do have, it's reasonable to assume anywhere between 60 and 80 percent of APIs in US drugs come from China. But until the FDA actually is required to track this data, we won't know with certainty. More here --> threadreaderapp.com/thread/1247984…
And here is my piece on why this is a big problem. dailycaller.com/2020/04/16/chi…
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29 Apr 20
"A major source of skepticism about the infection-tracing app is distrust of Google, Apple and tech companies generally, with a majority expressing doubts about whether they would protect the privacy of health data." washingtonpost.com/technology/202…
Don't worry, guys, Google already has the full medical records of patients at certain hospital chains -- without their knowledge or consent. washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/google…
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28 Apr 20
This is the second time in my adult life I've watched mega-banks exploit the system for their own benefit. The first was as a House banking staffer during the '08 bailouts. The second is now.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them. The first time.
The irony here is that Wells and BofA were two of the worst in '08 and their leadership probably should have gone to jail.

Yet here they remain, thanks to billions of taxpayer dollars, covering themselves in federally-funded glory once again to profit off human misery.
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21 Apr 20
In addition to $250b for PPP:
-$60b set aside for institutions w/ assets under $50b
-$60b for EIDL
-$75b for hospitals & providers (rcvd $100b in CARES)
-$25b for testing, incl $11b for states for testing and $2b to states in public health grants
-$6m for HHS IG to do oversight
Senate staff got text at 2:25p for a vote at or around 4p. Which is actually better than CARES, where the final 800-odd pages of text were released about 20 mins before the final vote with no red-line highlighting the changes.
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18 Apr 20
This is a must-read.

“As it turned out, History had not ended and we were not the change we were waiting for, sadly. Davos Man, rest in peace, who has now died - and died unmourned.”
So well said.
Last excerpt I’ll post from @GrayConnolly’s really really excellent analysis of geopolitical lessons to be learned from #covid19. But he is so on-point here that I was verbally agreeing out loud while reading it. 😂
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16 Apr 20
@KMonkemuller China mapped the genome and waited over a week before releasing it. WHO said this was a public health emergency on Jan 30. Didn’t call it a pandemic until March 11.
@KMonkemuller On Jan 23, Tedros said there was no human to human transmission outside of China.
@KMonkemuller China knew this was an issue in Dec. They hid it and didn’t even admit it was contagious until Jan 20. WHO took their lies at face value and ignored other warnings, including the jailing of Chinese doctors. China made the world sick. WHO did nothing to stop it.
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