La censure des big tech, changement de paradigme et implications. Une discussion avec Me Vincent Gautrais

Il y a maintenant deux semaines, Twitter a décidé de bannir unilatéralement Trump de sa plate-forme. Facebook et plusieurs autres outils sociaux ont suivi. Les jours suivants, 70 000 comptes de sympathisants de Trumps ont aussi été bannis de Twitter. Ils se sont alors réfugiés sur la plate-forme Parler. Cette plate-forme était hébergée chez AWS, Amazon Web Services. Les applications étaient disponibles sur Androïd de Google et le AppStore d’Apple. Elle a rapidement aussi été déplatformée de toutes les plateformes.

Quelques jours après son coup d’éclat, Jack Dorsey, le CEO de Twitter reconnaissait que sa décision créait un dangereux précédent. Selon la CBC :

Dorsey acknowledged that shows of strength like the Trump ban could set dangerous precedents, even calling them a sign of “failure.” Although not in so many words, Dorsey suggested that Twitter needs to find ways to avoid having to make such decisions in the first place. Exactly how that would work isn’t clear, although it could range from earlier and more effective moderation to a fundamental restructuring of social networks.

Durant le même moment, le copain Mitch Joël sur son Facebook, y allait de sa propre perspective.

What is “free speech”?
I saw a tweet that stated:
“Don’t be fooled. Big Tech isn’t shutting down accounts due to ‘risk.’ They’re trying to control what you READ. What you THINK. What you BELIEVE. They’re after one thing: control. Because control means power. Don’t let them win.”
I’m not a politician.
I’m not a scholar of the law.
I’m not even American.
I’m someone that pays a lot of attention to technology, consumer behavior, and media.
I’m someone that used to publish print magazines, and was a music/culture journalist in the pre-historic ages (before the web).
A time and place where ALL content was controlled through a tight and small media filter (because creating and distributing content was hard and expensive).
The web brought forward one simple (but massive) change:
The ability for anyone to publish their thoughts in text, images, audio and video… instantly and for free for the world to see.
Content was no longer hard and expensive to create and distribute.
A scarcity to abundance model.
That doesn’t mean that all content gets the same distribution.
That doesn’t mean that all content gets the same attention.
It, simply, means that whether it’s a tweet, blog post, article, podcast, video on YouTube or even a newsletter – it has the capacity to reach a massive audience without any friction.
I’m going to re-write that tweet from above from my own perspective:
Don’t be fooled.
Big Tech doesn’t really care about your tweets.
They’re not trying to control what you READ.
The more people that you follow, and the more people that create content is how their business model and platform expands.
They want you to see much more content, but – unfortunately, most people will only follow those who create content that is aligned with their values and aspirations.
They don’t really care much about what you THINK, but they do care a lot about showing you more content that you tend to follow, like, share and comment on.
They are after control… but not control of what you read, think, or believe.
They’re after control of a marketplace.
To build, as
Scott Galloway
calls it: an “unregulated monopoly” (with a large and deep moat around it).
The power that they seek is not over what content flows through their platforms, but rather that ALL content flows through their platforms, and that you spend as much time as possible within their walls.
Big Tech doesn’t win by suspending, deleting or censoring any content.
Big Tech wins by having as many people as possible on the platform, creating, sharing, connecting and spending their time on it.
Your attention and content becomes the data that makes them powerful.
Follow the money.
In fact, blocking and moderation is the way that they lose.
It costs money, time, human capital, and energy to moderate and deal with content that offends, break laws, etc…
The more that people don’t connect, or when those connections get broken (users leave, people unfollow people), the worse the platform performs.
If people question the quality of the platform, they may leave the platform for other spaces.
And, ultimately, the most important thing to understand is this: they are the platform and not the content creators.
They don’t care about your content, they just want your data.
The content creators are us.
You and I.
No content creators… no platform.
No growth for “Big Tech.”
Should they regulate what content we create and put on their platform?
Clearly, they have to because we can’t do it for ourselves.
Should the government be a part of this regulation?
I do not want a public or private business deciding what is/isn’t free speech (that’s the role of government and the law).
We know the rules.
We know what is right.
We know what is wrong.
Yet, here we are.
We’re slamming the platform that allows the content to flow, and not the content creators for publishing these thoughts in the first place.
Don’t be mistaken.
Don’t be confused.
The problem isn’t the platform.
The platform and their use of your personal data is their big issue.
The problem is you and I.
It’s our inability to accept a difference of belief.
It’s our inability to not be able to distinguish between what is right and wrong.
It’s our inability to see and hear those who feel like they have not been seen or heard.
It’s our inability to accept responsibility for what these platforms have become.
It’s our inability to know the difference between fake and true.
It’s our inability to see how locked into the cult or personality we’ve become.
That saddens me to no end.
I always thought that the Internet would enable a thousand flowers to blossom over the handful of old trees that truly controlled what media our society was offered and afforded.
That gift came true… and we seem to be blowing it.
Not all of us.
Just some of us.
Just enough of us.
But those “some of us” are awfully loud.
Don’t let them drown out what is truly there.
The platforms enable many voices, in many unique niches to have a voice, build a business and tell better/more interesting stories.
I’ve met some of the most fascinating people in the world because of these platform.
Some of my best friends and best business successes have happened because of these platforms.
Justice isn’t blaming Big Tech.
Justice is using these platforms to bring people together.
Justice is using these platforms to bring more voices out into the open.
Justice is using these platforms to make connections with people that you would never have had a chance to connect with.
Justice is using these platforms to learn, grow, share and improve.
Control may be power.
If it is, control who you follow.
Control what you read.
Control what you post.
Control what you comment on.
Control what you like.
Control what you share.
Control the messages from those seeking to do harm.
Control your knowledge of how media works.
Control your filters.
Control your experience.
Control your future

Je lui fis cette réponse :

Free speech always had it’s limits. Those limits were regulated by the laws. The web is transnational and the laws difficultly applies to a no-border environment. We solved the problem for the sea, Antartica and celestial bodies by developing transnational treaties to managed them. Big tech have become transnational states and have their own political agendas. One of them is to choose the best “friendly environment” to keep making money without having to regulate too much. Trump is not considered as a positive actor in their scheme of things. Furthermore, even tho they are transnational, they are set in the US. This is were they could more effectively be regulated or not. they also have political opinions. So I do not agree with you that they don’t care about the content. In general they don’t. But if some contents or users are perceived has a potential menace to them as a money making machines, they will surely become avid actors in the taking down of those threats and they did. My humble opinion

Je me posais alors la question, comment la décision unilatérale des entreprises de médias sociaux de censurer des dizaines de milliers d’usagers, risque d’avoir un impact sur leurs responsabilités civiles et criminelles?

Voici donc le passionnant échange que j’ai eu avec Me Vincent Gautrais. L’utopie juridique dont je discutais avec lui est ici : Une utopie qui permettrait un cadre juridique international du cyberespace

Jenna Talackova, La norme c’est quelquefois de la marde

Ces derniers jours, j’ai donné certaines entrevues et ait été questionné à propos de l’épisode de mademoiselle Jenna Talackova, une ravissante jeune fille de Vancouver qui a été expulsée du concours Miss Universe Canada parce qu’elle ne serait pas une « natural born female ». Elle ne correspondrait pas à la « norme ».

Elle est sur le point d’annoncer qu’elle va poursuivre la bataille pour continuer sa participation au concours de beauté (selon son agent de presse Rory Richards qui est aussi une amie et cliente). Au moment d’écrire ces lignes, mademoiselle Tellackova est en train de donner une conférence de presse tel qu’il est stipulé dans l’excellent document de PR de madame Richards :

Thank you so much for your continued interest in Jenna Talackova’s story. Thank you also for your patience as she sought to secure legal counsel. Miss Talackova has now retained legal counsel in both Canada and the United States.

On Monday we will be announcing details of a press conference to take the place the following day.

Jenna is deeply humbled by the overwhelming support she has received, and the important attention to trans issues that her situation has catalyzed. She understandably realizes that her case could be a significant landmark for the dignity and liberty of LGBTQ citizens everywhere.

The Miss Universe Pageant is about beauty, but it is also about values. We ask Mr. Trump, and the Miss Universe Pageant stakeholders, to be on the right side of history, and reconsider their decision to disqualify Jenna on the basis of not being a “naturally born female,” and accept Jenna as the brave young woman she clearly is today.

Rory Richards
media ~ pr ~ events

Pourquoi la « norme c’est des fois de la marde »

Selon Wikipedia,

En philosophie, une norme est un critère, principe discriminatoire auquel se réfère implicitement ou explicitement un jugement de valeur.
Par la volonté de certains acteurs, ou tout simplement de par son éducation et par le jeu de ses habitudes, l’être humain a tendance à édicter des normes précisant ce qui est normalement attendu et ce qui ne l’est pas. Ces normes varient fortement avec les époques, les individus et de manières plus générales les sociétés.

La norme est donc un principe discriminatoire, inscrit dans un temps et un contexte social. Il y a quelques décennies à peine, les Amérindiens n’avaient pas le droit d’étudier à l’université, les femmes devaient rester au foyer et ne pouvaient pas voter, les noirs devaient utiliser des toilettes, des portes et des transports différents des blancs et il y a quelques centaines d’années, la terre était ronde. Il y a quelques mois, on me questionnait aussi sur le cas de la coureuse Sud-Africaine Caster Semenya qui avait un genre « non précis » et s’il était juste ou pas de la disqualifier de sa médaille d’or. Mon point de vue était (et il l’est toujours) que nos sociétés aiment la “binarité” des concepts. Nous divisons les choses en grand/petit, beau/laid, gauche/droite, hétéro/homo, etc. Malheureusement pour les normes que nous aimons créer, la diversité de la nature s’exprime dans une très large palette avec laquelle il est difficile de tracer des lignes strictes (par exemple les hermaphrodite, l’intersexuation qui touche un enfant sur 50). La semaine dernière, une militante pour les droits LGBT me parlait d’un organisme qu’elle avait créé et qui s’appelait « nuance » (groupe d’égalité des droits LGBT chez IBM Canada). Je trouvais que c’était un nom très juste. Dans la norme il n’y a souvent pas de cette nuance et c’est pourquoi c’est souvent de la marde.

Je ne m’intéresse ni au concours de beauté ni au sport de compétition, mais cependant je remarque que jamais on n’a interdit à un basketteur de 7 pieds 6 pouces de jouer au basket parce qu’il avait une grandeur hors-norme et que ce serait non équitable pour les autres personnes « normales ». Jamais on n’a demandé à quelqu’un qui avait un QI trop élevé de ne pas participer à un concours de mathématique parce que son intelligence désavantageait ses compétiteurs. Jamais on n’a demandé à un joueur de ping-pong de ne pas être plus petit 5pieds 5 pouces parce que ce serait inéquitable pour les géants. Cependant pour les questions de sexe et de genre, il semble qu’on aime à être catégorique et que « la norme, c’est la norme ». Même s’il y a de fortes chances pour que cette norme soit sortie d’un chapeau, juste au moment où ça faisait bien notre affaire d’en avoir une…

La décision de Miss Universe Canada vient d’être renversé: Jenna Talackova: Vancouver transgender beauty back in Miss Universe Canada pageant
= wouhouhou

Une 2e MAJ

Aujourd’hui, en Californie, madame Jenna Talackova représenté par l’une des avocates les plus en vue de la planète, Me Gloria Allred, qui a notamment défendu O.J. Simpson et Michael Jackson, donnaient une conférence de presse. Me. Allred demande directement à M. Donald Trump de mettre ses culottes et de dire si oui ou non, madame Talackova peut participer à toutes les éditions de Miss Universe et s’il est prêt à renier la règle de son organisation qui est carrément discriminatoire.

“Mr. Trump qualifies it by adding conditions that are ambiguous,”

“What other competitions is he referring to? Why would Mr. Trump defer to other competitions? Does he want to be a leader, or a follower? We are asking Mr. Trump to step up and be a leader in the fight against discrimination. Or would he prefer to hide behind other organizations and say that if they discriminate, so can he.”

Les declarations completes de Mademoiselle Jenna Talackova et de Me Gloria Allred (PDF)

3e MAJ

Un autre point de vue intéressant, celui des athlètes transsexuels (elles) dans les sports de compétition. Dans le très bon article Transsexual athletes treated unfairly de CNN on peut lire, sous la plume de Donna Rose:

In 2003, the International Olympic Committee became the first international sports organization to develop a policy of inclusion for transgender athletes. Recognition that a person’s gender is more complicated than any single factor, combined with the inability to identify medically sound testing criteria, led to discontinuation of mandatory sex testing on female athletes 1999. (Tests may be done on a case-by-case basis, however.)
According to IOC guidelines, transsexual athletes must have undergone hormone replacement therapy for at least two years, be legally recognized as the sex in which they want to compete and have had “sex reassignment” surgery in order to compete in their authentic gender. Many international sports organizations, including the governing body for wrestling, have adopted or defer to the IOC policies.
As transgender people continue to integrate into all aspects of broader society, the practices that have historically been accepted as “just the way it is” will be identified as discrimination. So, too, will the daily indignities that so many of us face regarding bathrooms, jobs, housing, harassment and having to prove our manhood or womanhood be identified as unacceptable, illegal and inherently unfair.