Sure, Malcolm Smith was never able to effectively unify his Senate Democrats, or sufficiently placate turncoat Pedro Espada and his girlfriend-slashing friend, Hiram Monserrate. But ultimately, what led to the demise of the Senate Democrats may have been Smith’s bad manners. Back in April, upstate billionaire and Independence Party founder Tom Golisano visited with Smith in his office to discuss state budget issues. Especially since Golisano had helped to bankroll the Democrats’ takeover of the Senate last year, he expected that Smith would, you know, listen to him as he talked. But instead, Smith was preoccupied with his BlackBerry the entire meeting. “When I travel 250 miles to make a case on how to save the state a lot of money … and the guy comes into his office and starts playing with his BlackBerry, I was miffed,” Golisano says, and soon after, he started plotting Monday’s overthrow. Other politicians would be wise to heed a lesson from Smith’s mistakes: You can miff the Starbucks guy for playing on your BlackBerry while he’s trying to take your order. You can miff your golf buddies for holding up the game while you BlackBerry in the tee box. You can even miff your daughter for BlackBerrying it up as she stars in her school’s production of Our Town. But for God’s sake, if there’s anyone you don’t want to miff, it’s the temperamental, well-connected billionaire with the power to stage a political coup.
[Facebook’s rationale for leaving up the Pelosi video] is ridiculous. The only thing the incident shows is how expert Facebook has become at blurring the lines between simple mistakes and deliberate deception, thereby abrogating its responsibility as the key distributor of news on the planet.
Would a broadcast network air this? Never. Would a newspaper publish it? Not without serious repercussions. Would a marketing campaign like this ever pass muster? False advertising.
No other media could get away with spreading anything like this because they lack the immunity protection that Facebook and other tech companies enjoy under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 was intended to spur innovation and encourage start-ups. Now it’s a shield to protect behemoths from any sensible rules. …
By conflating censorship with the responsible maintenance of its platforms, and by providing “rules” that are really just capricious decisions by a small coterie of the rich and powerful, Facebook and others have created a free-for-all with no consistent philosophy.