Sun, 06/07/2020 – 22:10
New research shows that public support for a protest movement wanes as the protesters get more extreme.
The study, published this year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, says even protesters who are part of the movement become disenfranchised by things like “inflammatory rhetoric, blocking traffic, and vandalism.”
One of the authors of the study said there is a strong backlash to extreme protesting.
For example, they “found extreme anti-Trump protest actions actually led people to not only dislike the movement and support the cause less, but to be willing to support Trump more.”
And the same held true across protest actions for both conservative and liberal causes.
What this means:
The evidence supports another study which found that since 1945, “nonviolent campaigns were more successful at bringing about large-scale political transformation than violent campaigns.”
Since America is likely at the very beginning of a stage of unrest, this is important information to keep in mind for protest leaders and activists.
But it also shows that those opposed to protests have something to gain by inciting violence.
With this knowledge, whoever wants to discredit a movement–whether local police or political opposition–need only to push the protesters to extremes.
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Executive order threatens to strip tech companies of key legal protection
Twitter placed warning labels on a couple of Trump’s tweets, warning users of false information.
Trump responded with an executive order that reinterprets a key section of the Communications Decency Act.
Section 230 of the law gives immunity to platforms which host content created by third-party users.
As long as a platform, like Twitter, makes an effort to remove illegal content, like child exploitation, they cannot be held legally liable for what users post.
But the executive order reinterprets that immunity.
It says that when these companies start removing or editing legal content, they are engaging in editing.
And that, Trump argues, makes all content the website’s own published material, for which they are legally liable.
What this means:
Essentially the executive order threatens to strip Twitter and Facebook of legal protection if they selectively silence certain voices.
That will open them up to being sued for damages, or being held otherwise legally liable, for what users post on the platforms.
Conservatives may think this is great in the short term, protecting them from being “deplatformed” by left-leaning tech companies. But in the long run, weakening Section 230 immunity could be a deathblow to a free and open internet.
A recent lawsuit by conservative platform PragerU against Google/YouTube argued that YouTube was censoring PragerU’s videos, rendering YouTube a “publisher” rather than a “platform” and therefore no longer immune under Section 230.
The suit also argued that YouTube should now be treated as a public utility and thus prohibited from engaging in viewpoint discrimination. The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit rejected that argument in February.
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Lawmakers want to stop the transfer of military surplus to police
In the 1990s, a program began to transfer excess military equipment to police stations across the country.
Since then, $6 billion worth of weapons, armored vehicles, tents, and other surplus military equipment has flowed from the Pentagon, to local and state police agencies.
Now it is common at protests, even peaceful ones, to see things like armored “Bearcat” vehicles, humvees, and rocket launchers (repurposed for tear gas) used against protesters.
Some members of Congress are attempting to stop the practice with an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.
What this means:
The NDAA is the regularly re-authorized bill that allows police to, for instance, detain Americans accused of terrorism indefinitely without trial, even on American soil.
One of the co-sponsors of the amendment said, “The streets aren’t war zones. Our police officers aren’t military, and our citizens aren’t combatants.”
But that is exactly how the Pentagon has viewed the citizens ever since September 11, 2001.
The time is long past due to push back on the militarization of police.
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Author: Tyler Durden