On the topic of free speech online: the Parler complaint

Updated on January 19, 2021 in General Stuff
10 on January 14, 2021
 
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0 on January 14, 2021

Damn. That could be fun.

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0 on January 14, 2021

Viva Frei breaking down the original filing:

https://youtu.be/HFp5E7akgy8

And then Amazon’s response:

https://youtu.be/GB06JtDbtvU

And then Parler’s reply:

https://youtu.be/jkiZKk4_-lA

 

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0 on January 18, 2021

Just thought to check, and as of now (Jan 18, 2021 at about noon central time) Parler is showing signs of climbing back up. Their URL now resolves again, and they at least have enough of a web server running to publish a splash screen:

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0 on January 18, 2021

Levin had Mr. Matze on his show last night. They’re still fighting Amazon but they’re also starting to get their stuff on to other servers. But one of the problems not addressed so far by Amazon is the large amount of proprietary programming stuff that Parler couldn’t get off the servers before being shut off. A result of the abrupt breach of contract on the part of Amazon.

Continues to be fascinating.  

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0 on January 18, 2021

The CEO of Rumble was also on the show. Quite an interesting discussion over offering alternatives to the mighty Google cabal.

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0 on January 18, 2021

I have a lot of gripes with Google.

The big one is that I’ve spent well over $1 million over the last 20 years on search ads with them, and yet somehow they don’t have any idea how to treat me as a customer. 

You’d think there would be some expression of appreciation along the way. Or maybe, some instance of asking “How can we serve you better?” once in a while.

Nothing.

The most I get is a quarterly “account review” phone call, which is really a sales call. Their answer to anything along the lines of “I’m not getting the results I want” is some combination of “You’re not using our product correctly” and “You need to spend more money”.

Here’s three specific gripes that I’ve been telling them about on my quarterly calls for at least ten years:

  • Our customers are businesses. The search result we want is when someone, at their desk, in their office, types in some variation of “custom binders”. That’s all we’re interested in. But Google, for all their smart people and smart AI and all that stuff they want you to be impressed with, has no facility for us to target our ads to the specific people (again, in their office, on their computer, at their desk) we are interested in. None.
  • And it’s even worse than that, since for years now Google has been convinced that mobile search is everything. So all of their metrics…which they use to determine your “Q-score” which can be roughly though of as “how much money will you need to spend to buy position on this keyword”… is based on mobile phone web performance.  Which, going back to the above point, is entirely irrelevant to us. So we find ourselves wasting cycles optimizing a mobile version of our website that we would rather not have at all.
  • Google has no idea how a business like mine operates. In their world, you either offer a “service” or you offer “products”. If you offer a service, however, they categorize you like you’re a restaurant or lawn service or something like that. They have no real conception of a “service” that operates nationally. Similarly, if you offer a “product”, they think exclusively in terms of you retailing cell phones or power drills or whatever. Things that are manufactured by someone else, have product numbers, and all the rest. 

The result of all that is that for our business, where we sell a customized product to businesses on a national basis, we really don’t slot in very well. 

Last thought: It seems like it is only a matter of time before someone figures out how to structure a class action lawsuit against Google that exposes the inherent contradiction in their entire model.

Google’s promise is “type in a keyword and we will give you the most relevant results”. (Aside – I hate that word of theirs – “relevant”. Ugh.) But they have an obvious conflict of interest, since I can have the most relevant website in a given category, but they depend on me spending money advertising, so if they give my website high position, I won’t have to spend as much on paid search ads. So they have an economic incentive to downlist my site in order to force me to buy back my position.

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0 on January 18, 2021

There’s a lot of similarity between what you said and what the Rumble guy said, although he was mostly focused on the Youtube subsidiary. Fascinating stuff.

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0 on January 18, 2021

What he was saying is that YouTube used to be a place in the mid-2000s where cute dog videos and videos of cute kids could become huge. Now they’re a permanent part of the Google monolith and now dominate search results offering mostly highly produced professional content to the exclusion of small businesses or normal folks. He was saying that Rumble still allows nobodies to post stuff and attract big crowds. Except the parent still dominates search engines and skews everything to themselves.

So now I’m considering moving the Pieces of Malarkey empire to Rumble just because.

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0 on January 19, 2021

Are you guys hip to locals.com? Started by David Rubin (Rubin report youtubey guy) to give the finger to patreon and twitter after he and Jordan Petersen had a falling out with patreon. Tulsi Gabbard is the latest to set up shop there.

In other COVID news, there’s this:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13773701/germany-covid-rule-breakers-refugee-camps-mutant-virus/

What could possibly go wrong with Germany putting social non-conformists in camps?

😀

 

 

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0 on January 19, 2021

Locals.com looks very similar to Substack.com. Thanks for pointing to it.

I follow Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Greenwald on Substack.

Time to dig in to Locals.com as well. (Although I have to confess, I find Dave Rubin to be pretty insufferable. Good news is I’m so in love with Tulsi Gabbard, she more than makes up for that.)

As a general matter, I think the summary execution of Parler is going to prove to be an inflection point. No telling where this lands, but I wonder if we aren’t seeing a return to something more like the online experience from 20+ years ago. By which I mean, fewer centralized websites (eg, Facebook and Twitter) and more independent sites with more “concentrated” opinion centers.

So in five years, it may be that Twitter and Parler  both exist, with largely non-overlapping user bases. 

*****

In a related story, Joe Ricketts (rich guy and founder of what turned into TD Ameritrade) announced the formation of “Straight Arrow News”. His professed intent is to have a non-partisan, non-biased, “just the facts, ma’am” news feed.

Since it’s to be based here in Omaha, I wish him all the best. 

*****

Those Germans! They do love a good camp, don’t they? I think Merkel needs to have a conversation with her PR people. Maybe they should call them “Isolation Spas”.

 

 

 

 

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