James Lyons-Weiler Explains: "CNN's New User Agreement Signals The End for Them"
Readers wanted more detail... please cross-post and post on Twitter, Facebook, Elsewhere, as I'm The Most Censored Scientist in America, Apparently...
CNN invites its users to engage in public discourse. But only if the public agrees to say what CNN wants it to say.
Late last night, I received a phone call from a reader who wanted to tell me that I really needed to explain the problem with CNN’s new user agreement. Since I was asleep, I missed the call and it went to voicemail.
I listened to the voicemail this morning. The caller said they didn’t have twenty minutes to read through the entire User Agreement. In my stack, I had stated that it was self-explanatory. It is. I’m not saying everyone should read the user agreement, but you already know that everyone should, but won’t. And that’s part of the problem, right?
I get that people are busy, and I have a small advantage: I’m a speed reader (I have been since the age of six when I first learned how to do it), but given the comments so many people want me to highlight the objectionable parts of CNN’s terms and conditions, I am of course happy to oblige. (The best comments called me out for evening being on the CNN website in the first place. Thanks, guys - just checking over the fence from time to time to keep an eye on the propaganda (Operation Mockingbird - yep! But no more!).
I have three major objections, any one of which would be sufficient for anyone to avoid CNN.com altogether until they rescind or update their terms and conditions:
Objection #1. Zero-Liability, Users Must Surrender of Constitutional Rights to Jury Trial (No Wrong-Doing Clause)
The first issue that that update is primarily, in all-caps, to the “no-liability” clause CNN wants to write for itself. After misleading the nation on COVID-19, parroting false information from CDC and NIAID’s liar-in-chief Fauci, CNN now realizes that they have placed themselves in the cross-hairs of liability. They emphasize:
”THIS AGREEMENT REQUIRES THE USE OF ARBITRATION ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS TO RESOLVE DISPUTES, RATHER THAN COURTS OR JURY TRIALS, AND LIMITS THE REMEDIES AVAILABLE IN THE EVENT OF A DISPUTE.” Read that part in it entirely before you use their website and see it in the full context of control of online content.
But why stop there? Why didn’t CNN just say “USE AT YOUR OWN RISK?”
Oh, wait - they do that, too. Which means they know what’s coming.
They must realize that the legal hammer on liability for alleged “mass harm” from transmitting and broadcasting misinformation is coming. Via their indemnification, they, themselves (they think cannot be held accountable in the way that Alex Jones was held accountable. By indemnifying themselves, they are setting the stage for a future in which you and I can be sued for relaying, in good faith, certain inconvenient truths, but not they, can be sued in a court of law.
Objection #2. Their rules allow them to censor - and even edit - user-provided content that might disprove their own reporting content.
“CNN reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove or edit User Content by you and to terminate Your Account for any reason.”
“CNN reserves the right, and has absolute discretion, to screen, edit, refuse to post or remove without notice any User Content posted or uploaded to the Site at any time and for any reason”
“By submitting User Content to the Site, you automatically grant CNN and its parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc., the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license, but not the obligation, to use, publish, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, translate, create derivative works from, incorporate into other works, distribute, sub-license and otherwise exploit such User Content (in whole or in part) worldwide in any form, media or technology now known or hereafter developed for the full term of any copyright that may exist in such User Content, without payment to you or to any third parties.”
Knowing that Twitter used AI to censor the discourse on COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines, along with rooms filled with relatively uneducated human bots censoring the Harvard professors, no, I won’t be reading CNN-edited user content. Ever.
Objection #3: Largely Unenforceable Community Guidelines (Morality Clauses, CNN Will Edit Your Content)
In section “2. User Content and Conduct; Community Guidelines”, CNN places restrictions on User Content that (I’ll only list the objectionable terms):
(B) Community Guidelines. By submitting any User Content or participating in an Interactive Area within or in connection with the Site, you agree to abide by the following rules of conduct:
• You agree not to upload, post or otherwise transmit any User Content that:
• you know to be false, misleading or inaccurate (unenforceable: how will CNN know what I know to be true to false?)
• contains blatant expressions of bigotry, racism, racially or ethnically offensive content, hate speech, abusiveness, vulgarity or profanity. (Really, are we here again? unenforceable: who defines ‘blatant’, ‘offensive’, ‘hate speech’, ‘abusiveness’, ‘vulgarity’, ‘profanity’? CNN?)
• contains or advocates pornography or sexually explicit content, pedophilia, incest, bestiality, or that is otherwise obscene or lewd. (agreed that no one should spread or advocate for pedophilia, child pornography, and bestiality; incest has various definitions depending on what state you’re in, but more importantly: who defines what is obscene or lewd? CNN the new morality police? WE SETTLED THIS ISSUE ALREADY WITH THE FIRST AMENDMENT.)
• poses a reasonable threat to personal or public safety (unenforceable: who defines what is a threat to personal or public safety? If you ask me, and about 1/2 of America, CNN and all major news outlets caused public harm by parroting the no-early-treatment-is-effective and COVID-19 vaccine narratives).
• contains violent images of killing or physical abuse that appear to have been captured solely, or principally, for exploitive, prurient, or gratuitous purposes (unenforceable: presume knowledge of intent. Bonus: ‘Ok for me, not for thee’) How many times has CNN posted graphic images of violence, instilling primal fear in its readers and viewers?.
• does not generally pertain to the designated topic or theme of any Interactive Area. (unenforceable and arbitrary: just because CNN cannot find or understand the link does not mean one does not exist).
• You agree not to engage in activity that would constitute a criminal offense or give rise to a civil liability. (unenforceable, given that merely talking about some things is now seen as offensive by some, and anyone can accuse anyone of offending them, so…)
• You agree that if necessary, you have the consent of each and every identifiable natural person in any submission to use such persons name or likeness in the manner contemplated by the Site. (unenforceable, given public figure image use allowances)
• You agree not to impersonate any person or entity, including, but not limited to, CNN or any CNN employee, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with any person or entity. (unenforceable, given rights to satire and parody portrayals).
• You agree not to represent or suggest, directly or indirectly, CNN’s endorsement of User Content. (The corollary of CNN publishing user content that meets their Community standards is that they allow this speech; good luck with this one, CNN)
• You agree not to interfere with any other user’s right to privacy, including by harvesting or collecting personally-identifiable information about the Site users or posting private information about a third party. (Meanwhile, news outlets dox physicians for mere suspension of their licenses pending hearings, Me Not Thee)
• You agree not to interfere with or disrupt the Site or the servers or networks connected to the Site, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to the Site. (unenforceable: “under the sun” clause (too broad) - who knows what websites CNN will connect to?)
• You agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell or exploit for any commercial purpose, any portion of the Site, use the Site, or access to the Site. (Who would want to?)
• You agree not to use any technology, service or automated system to post more User Content than an individual could upload in a given period of time. You also agree not to direct any third party to use these services, technologies or automated systems on your behalf. (So, Neurolinked humans will not be able to educate the rest of us via CNN?)
Which of these terms and conditions do you agree or disagree with? I want to know. Leave and comment and let’s engage in (GASP!) - UNFETTERED CONVERSATION…
The URL for any checkf*ckers’: https://www.cnn.com/terms0
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‘Please attribute this malapropism to me, I just made it up. Normalize “checkf*ckers”!
"checkf*ckers" is brilliant!