Andrew laid out the case clearly and very well. He covered the basics of the actions taken by these companies and why Australia is such a good place to bring this case. I added some points about the deplatforming background of the social media Goliaths. If you want to deeply understand what’s really going on with advertisers dictating the moves of the tech Goliaths, you really should listen to this section of the No Agenda Show.
Back when Andrew first told me about this case, I told him to stop saying the case was worth $500Bn, nobody would believe him and he sounded like a Bond villain. As I’ve got deeper into the story I’ve realised that’s probably at the low end of what these companies have done. And when Facebook brazenly launched their Libra cryptocurrency, it became absolutely obvious that having destroyed journalism, and gobbled up global media advertising, these companies are fully intending to take over the world’s money supply.
Unfortunately, and this is something I’ve always struggled with because of the naming convention my friend used, I probably inverted Mundia and Modia in the explanation! Mundia is the real physical world, Modia is the world of interpersonal relationships between people. I don’t really like his terms, which is why I explained them at the beginning! I’m more Mundian than Modian. I suspect that what makes Trump so interesting is his ability to excel in both Modian and Mundian worlds.
Today’s show is all about the Libra crypto currency and eco system announced by Facebook this week. The White Paper on this is, truly, a chilling document.
If you want more information or you want to help fund JPB Liberty’s law suit you can read more here and if you want to directly contribute to the funding, please get in touch with me, Telegram is a good way. If you want to contribute now and especially if you’re on Steem, take a look at the project’s Fundition page.
It seems everyone I know is currently trying to sue one or all of the big tech giants. From my understanding most of the action is in the US and most of it makes a lot of noise but is unlikely to succeed. Almost all previous attempts to sue for viewpoint discrimination or arbitrary banning have not succeeded up to now.
So let me introduce a case that I actually do believe in. It’s a bit left field but that’s why I like it.
About a year ago all the tech giants took the somewhat extraordinary step of banning almost an entire industry from using their advertising services. As Google and Facebook (with Twitter desperately trying to keep up) are just vast advertising companies. Within weeks of each other all changed their terms and services (which you have no legal way to argue over) to exclude an entire industry from the most important advertising market on the planet.
Both Facebook and Google induce you to pump your information into their servers by offering you a “free” service. Once they have your data and your attention they then sell your data and your attention to the highest bidder: companies that want to advertise to you. You are their product and they sell you and your attention to become amongst the most profitable businesses in the world.
They claimed their ban on an entire industry built around a single technology most usually known as “blockchain” was because there were some scammers using this technology. It is as if they looked at some scam emails from Nigeria and decided, together, lets just take Nigeria off the internet. That would be good for everyone.
Now it turns out both Google and Facebook have reported teams looking at using blockchain technology themselves, this decentralised blockchain technology could well be a competitive way to win market share from these tech giants. Squashing an industry that might generate competitors is not allowed in certain parts of the world, especially when two companies (Google and Facebook) together control way more than 50% of the advertising spend in many countries (it’s as high as 80% in some places).
Andrew Hamilton (who I’ve known personally from his work with various pro-Israel groups like Shurat Ha’Din) is an expat Australian, now resident in Israel but with extensive legal experience in Australian competition law. He has done the work to figure out which laws these companies have broken, formed a company JPB Liberty and put a law suit together. He’s paid for independent legal advice to review his case and that’s been positive. He’s now moved into raising enough money to start the case which includes buying insurance against losing and paying the other sides costs.
BitCoin and the blockchain will replace the tech Goaliaths
Facebook and Google are very rich companies but they’ve broken Australian law and the potential scale of the damages are so big I won’t even type them. Within weeks of the advertising ban they both brought in the entire crypto currency industry suffered a monumental, public collapse in value. The crypto currency industry is one particular use of the blockchain technologies that Facebook Google discriminated against.
There are two ways to get involved, one is totally free and can even be completely anonymous:
Anyone worldwide who was adversely affected by the Crypto Ad Ban announcements on 30 January (Facebook) & 14 March 2018 (Google) and Google’s implementation of the ban in June 2018 including:
Persons holding cryptocurrency on or after 29 January 2018
Mt Gox Creditors
Owners of Crypto Industry businesses including
Crypto Wallet Providers
Crypto Projects (pre and post ICO)
Joining as a class member is no-win-no-fee. You don’t pay to join or pay any of the legal costs, if there’s a win you collect a share.
The other way is to join as a funder of the legal costs. For this you will receive a share in 25% of the damages of people who’ve signed up for the Class Action. This is a comparatively high risk, high reward investment: I’m not giving investment advice here, but it is also an ideological way to wage lawfare against these tech giants.
One of the most interesting parts of this is that should there be a win or a settlement, the intention is to pay out via crypto currencies. That would have a doubly good effect because it would pump money into these alternative currencies driving value up for those in the market already and to replace some of the losses suffered when the advertising ban was first instituted!
On Friday the UK Labour Party’s Shadow Minister for Digital Censorship and banning any speech that isn’t both Sharia compliant and politically correct, Tom Watson, issued a chilling public letter to the Chief Executive of Google (YouTube). He put this out as an image (which is annoying as hell) but I’ve turned it into text and will publish it in full here with my comments back to Mr Tom Watson.
Dear Mr Watson
Dear Mr Pichai
I am contacting with you regard to the use of your YouTube platform by a violent, racist, Islamophobic campaigner called Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, better known in the UK and globally as Tommy Robinson.
I’ll skip over the grammatical issues, as usual you appear to make a big deal out of Tommy Robinson’s “real name”. Most people quickly come to terms with why people stepping into the public eye chose to use pseudonyms. This is especially true when others who have challenged Islam have been murdered or are under continuous death threat (Pim Fortuyn or Salman Rushdie are just two examples). Tommy himself has had a number of serious attempts to take his life with multiple Islamic terrorists currently in UK prisons for attempting to blow him and other to kingdom come in the past.
On Tuesday Facebook and Instagram removed his page, related pages and materials from their platforms for breaching their “Organised Hate” policies. However, as is quite clear from the comments threads on stories documenting this decision, Yaxley-Lennon supporters are transferring over their virulent hate to YouTube.
This paragraph is also filled with grammatical disasters, we’ll just take it as read from here that this letter is something I’ll be showing to my kids as an example of how not to write. Yes, Facebook caved to far-left pressure and deleted Tommy Robinson’s wildly successful Facebook page 24 hours after the posting of his devastating Panodrama documentary and it reaching more than 1 million views on Facebook. Why did this devastating exposé of the BBC trigger such a swift response from Facebook?
Yaxley-Lennon had 294,000 subscribers as of Wednesday. Since then, with YouTube his only remaining platform of global significance, his subscribers have leaped to 325,000. Recent videos he posted have been watched by between one and two million people. He is also using YouTube to move his supporters over to a website www.globalaim.co.uk and encouraging them to make donations to keep his movement alive.
Instead of becoming the UK’s new thought police, do you want, perhaps, to consider why so many people in the UK and world wide are eager to hear what he has to say? You’ve got a problem now: if you truly believe Tommy Robinson represents an ultra-extreme position, why are so many people watching his videos so soon after they’re published?
YouTube’s policy on hate speech prohibits content which promotes violence or hatred against individuals or groups based on attributes including religion, race, immigration status or nationality. Many of his videos are clearly in breach of this policy.
Which videos on his YouTube channel today breach policies? Why haven’t they been taken down already? Clearly, if you believe it to be “many” you’ll have found them and will be able to provide them to us all as an appendix to your letter. I will be calling your office on Monday morning and asking for this list. I am in touch with Tommy and will take up any complaints you have directly with him and consider if any of his videos should be withdrawn.
If you believe Tommy Robinson has breached any of the UK’s draconian, anti-free speech laws, which have been enacted in recent years, why has he not been arrested? As you well know, I’m sure, he was wrongly imprisoned for speaking outside Leeds court. That case was overturned by the highest court in the land, last year, and his wrongful conviction quashed.
I understand YouTube suspended all adverts on his channel in January, cutting off significant revenue stream. I am now writing to implore you as a matter of the utmost urgency to follow the lead that has been, belatedly, set by Facebook, and remove forthwith all “Tommy Robinson” and related pages from your YouTube platform.
Advertiser friendly and contravenes YouTube’s community standards are two totally different categories, for now. Rational people who value free speech hope this remains so.
As the UK’s Shadow Digital Secretary I have recently been making the argument that the social media companies have failed to regulate hate speech and harm on their platforms. It is clear, as I am sure you are aware, that UK legislators are now moving rapidly towards introducing legal regulatory powers to deal with this those who seek to use the garb of freedom of speech to, instead, preach violent hate with the aim of damaging and undermining our society.
I hope UK voters can see that however bad restrictions on what was once considered “free speech” by the “mother of parliaments” are under the current Theresa May Conservative regime, they would be much worse if your Jew hating, Corbyn Labour Party ever seized power.
It is also the case that 30% of Tommy Robinson’s YouTube views come from outside the UK. What right does an out of power politician from the losing political party at the last UK general election have to determine what viewers in America can see?
The public interest is demanding an end to the laissez-faire approach to regulation not just in the UK but globally. However that should not mean that the social media firms avoid their responsibilities in the meantime to take action where it is clearly and vigorously required.
It would appear, seeing as how the Labour Party lost the most recent UK election, the last time this proviso was actually tested before the electorate, they chose the least bad option with regard to destruction of the necessary freedoms for maintaining a recognisable democracy. Freedom of speech, even unpleasant speech, is absolutely necessary to a functioning democracy. The freedom to challenge, with speech, a violent and aggressive ideology would appear to be a basic right you wish to remove from UK citizens like Tommy Robinson and the millions who wish to watch and share his videos.
I would ask that you immediately close down all of Yaxley-Lennon’s sites on YouTube before the virus of his views grooms countless more followers via your platform. I should also inform you, as a matter of politeness, that I will be releasing this letter to the media.
Fortunately the truth is sometimes a particularly virulent virus while the lies you peddle (such as “Islam is a religion of peace” for example) must be reinforced by draconian laws and repeated until the slaves understand the cost of challenging them is too high. Fortunately a few brave people exist to challenge your totalitarian dictates, people like Tommy Robinson.
I look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely
Tom Watson MP Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
I hope Google has the sense to resist this, I don’t have a lot of confidence. I look forward to hearing all the specific details of videos on Tommy Robinson’s channels which you have painstakingly identified to be “hate speech”. I shall be contacting your office by telephone on Monday (I’m working here on Sunday in Israel because we Jews start our week while you’re still in Church or at the mall). As a matter of politeness, I wish to inform you that I too have released this letter to the world.