The New York Times reported on Big Tech’s latest power grab

The Up First newsletter: Israeli-Palestinian talks to negotiate a cease-fire with Israel on a mass scale in Rafah

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Negotiators are inching closer to a deal for another temporary cease-fire in Gaza to allow for an exchange of Israelis held hostage by Hamas and Palestinians detained in Israel. Representatives of Israel, the U.S., Egypt and Qatar agreed on the “basic contours” of a deal this past week in Paris, according to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Next stage of talks will take place in Qatar. Still, despite U.S. objections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will not call off a planned military offensive in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah, where more than 1 million Palestinians are seeking refuge.

Kara Swisher: Talking Tech Leaders Before Congress and Why Social Media Ignores Meta, X, Google’s Immunity

If the Supreme Court endorses the First Amendment arguments presented by the platforms in this case, it could give Meta, X and Google the kind of immunity few businesses have ever had. The cure is worse than the disease since Texas passed a law that I can’t say I like. If the Texas law is struck down, we’d lose the ability to choose our own future using democratic means.

Congress is facing a partial government shutdown yet again. The government is supposed to be funded every year by the end of September. They’ve been stuck renewing their spending plan. The government will run out of funding at the end of the week. The top four CongressionalLawmakers are expected to meet with President Joe Biden tomorrow.

Kara Swisher came by our studios last week and had a lot to say. She’s a conversationalist: she talks of one tech leader she has interviewed and is reminded of another. She processes the world in many different ways.

Swisher’s memoir Burn Book: A Tech Love Story recounts more than three decades covering the tech industry as a beat reporter, analyst, columnist, podcaster and TV personality. She writes that she went from asking tech leaders what they were thinking to telling them what she thought of their business. Today, she’s disillusioned with many of them.

Source: Gaza cease-fire talks [inch forward](; Supreme Court hears social media censorship case

Art versus Politics: Art vs. Politics in the Tharu Community: How Free Expression of Political Thought is Under Attack in Texas

The waste left by mountaineers is a big problem in the mountains. Nepal’s Department of Tourism estimates that there are nearly 140,000 tons of waste on Mt. Everest alone. The government began to clean up the mountains in 2019. The indigenous craftswomen of the Tharu community are using their traditional skills to make something entirely new out of the garbage collected from the mountains.

Take a tour of how a group of people are changing trash into art and read about how they are trying to use the mountain waste to make money.

The computer and communications industry association, which is involved in the litigation, believes that the government is trying to dictate what viewpoints are distributed in the name of free expression. “And that’s what’s at issue in this case.”

The dispute was heightened after social media sites removed President Donald Trump from their platforms due to fear of unrest.

“Freedom of speech is under attack in Texas,” declared Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott at the bill signing. The movement to silence conservative ideas and values is dangerous. This is wrong and we will not allow it in Texas.”

Guidelines and terms of use are needed to make sure that the community isn’t polluted. “And that’s everything from posting dog pictures in the cat forum to barbeque in the vegan forum to far more serious things like trying to groom children in a children’s site.”

Social Media, Censorship, and the First Amendment: The Supremum Court to See Challenges to Texas, Florida Social Media Laws

John Whitehead runs the Rutherford Institute, a conservative-leaning nonprofit group. Whitehead, who filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the cases, said the big social media sites have become the center of people’s lives and they should not be engaging in any censorship.

“It’s out there to make people think,” Whitehead said. You can disagree in other words. If someone puts something foolish on, let’s say, Facebook, people should respond immediately and start a debate. Debating is the key to not eliminating.

Other allies of Texas and Florida argue the sites are merely hosting content, not making editorial judgments that deserve lots of First Amendment protection.

“Everyone, left right or center, should oppose government control of speech,” Szabo said. “Because as it may be your person in the White House today, we know that that will not be forever. The First Amendment is so important because of that.

Are they like bookstores and newspapers that give the highest level of First Amendment protection?

The social media giants are relying in part on a 1974 Supreme Court case, Miami Herald v Tornillo. Florida tried to force the newspaper to carry op-eds it didn’t want to publish. The Herald was won over by the high court.

Florida wants the big social media platforms to print every single letter to the editor. Users don’t want that and neither do advertisers, they said.

Source: Supreme Court to hear challenges to [Texas, Florida social media laws](

The Rise and Fall of Social Media: How Social Media Has Been Done to Protect Civil Liberties and Democracy, and What We Are Trying to Tell Them

The two trade associations — Netchoice and CCIA — are backed by groups across the political spectrum, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Americans For Prosperity, which is linked to Charles Koch, to the American Civil Liberties Union.

A bipartisan group of national security experts weighed in, too. The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was headed by a former Justice Department lawyer. She is now working at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection.

On the average day, some 95 million pictures are posted on Instagram, along with 34 million videos on TikTok and hundreds of millions of tweets. Most don’t go viral. Some percentages are taken down for violating the content rules on the platforms. Social media rules have become the most important speech regulations on the planet thanks to the volume of posts and videos.

Home-grown extremists like the Proud Boys and foreign groups like the Islamic State have deployed social media to attract converts and broadcast violence. The mosque shooting in New Zealand was live-streamed to try to inspire others.

Bhattacharyya said social media platforms should face common-sense regulations, including consumer protection and anti-fraud laws. The current content moderation policies on some of the biggest websites have real flaws.

Their court papers cited hateful speech and threats against the justices. Moderators said they delete those things now. But under the state laws, they might face lawsuits for yanking “trolls” who flood their chats with vulgar and racist posts.

It is important to understand what the tech companies are asking for. Even if it’s only displaying search results or quietly gathering your data, nearly everything TikTok or Instagram does requires a move and sorting of information. There is a simplistic position pushed by the tech giants that any conduct that involves sorting or blocking of speech is an act of speech. If the justices agree with this argument, they would be giving constitutional protection to almost anything a social media platform does, and also putting tech companies more broadly beyond the reach of lawmakers who want to restrain them. Doing so would create a kind of immunity verging on sovereignty that it is hard to imagine the framers of the Constitution ever intended.

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