Administration.

Anonymity is no protection if you are up against someone with good lawyers and a Californian Judge. Also note: the #MeToo tactic is no longer working. The elite have decided to fight back. So if you accuse, you better have evidence.

Two women who used Twitter to anonymously accuse Justin Bieber of sexual assault may be identified after a judge ruled that the star is allowed to subpoena the social media platform for the info.

Deadline reports that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry Green ruled in Bieber’s favor Thursday, allowing the “Sorry” singer and his attorneys to demand Twitter turn over the identities of these alleged victims.

“We just want to uncover who is behind these two accounts, and it may be the same person,” Bieber’s lawyer, Evan N. Spiegel told the court. He also called the claims “provably false” through eyewitness and photographic evidence.

Bieber filed a $20 million defamation suit against his accusers, but the women cannot be served until they are identified. Thus far, they’ve only been identified as Danielle and Kadi on social media, with the Twitter handles @danielleglvn and @ItsnotKadi.

The SDL comments — know where the platforms you use are.

This would appear to be a very bad time to be someone who posts anonymous written defamation about people on a site operated by a California corporation.

Take a note of that. Because the big social media companies are now facing challenges — in the USA and in the EU — about their functional monopolies causing actual harm.

Generally, if a company is a monopoly or a near-monopoly, then consumers can expect to see prices increase more or less unchecked, for example. Or perhaps, with no competitor spurring one along, the quality of service severely degrades.

Shoppers do pay for products on Amazon and from Apple, but for Facebook and Google the picture is murkier. Individuals don’t hand over any cash to use those services. Rather, the business model of Facebook and Google is to harvest information from individuals that is then remixed and endlessly sold.

DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim has made the case that something like worsening privacy standards, however, may still count as diminished service. “Price effects alone do not provide a complete picture of market dynamics,” Delrahim said in June. “Diminished quality is also a type of harm to competition. As an example, privacy can be an important dimension of quality. By protecting competition, we can have an impact on privacy and data protection.

“Two companies can compete to expand privacy protections for products or services, or for greater openness and free speech on platforms,” he added. “Where competition pushes companies to develop quality elements that better satisfy consumer preferences, our enforcement can protect that sort of competition, too.”

That entire line of inquiry is the subject of a great deal of debate among economists, privacy experts, antitrust experts, and basically everyone with an opinion on Facebook’s existence. The existing theories of harm used under current antitrust law to codify the kind of damage a company that deals in data and that has literally billions of users may be inflicting on those users, or on other companies, requires abstract arguments and abstract thinking.

Competition regulators in Germany in February became the first to use antitrust regulations to impose privacy controls. The Bundeskartellamt issued a ruling imposing “far-reaching restrictions” in the way the company uses data, calling it an abuse of market power. Among those restrictions is a requirement that Facebook only integrate data from disparate sources, such as WhatsApp, Instagram, the core app, and other Web activities, if users opt-in.

These things are bubbling along, but as a fair number of the intermediary companies deplatform people, they are finding that their terms of service can be challenged. If you have a blog, you can move it if you set it up correctly and back it up automatically — to multiple places. If you need social media, there are new platforms that are not based in jurisdictions with social justice lawyers.

It is going to get interesting. I expect that some of these companies will be regulated, and without close to universal uptake, they will lose the eyeballs of the nation, and become one with MySpace and Tumblr.

A couple of small changes in the blog:

    • I have added to the menu a link for the lectionary pages and the poetry pages. That should help those who want to find those things alone. I have also added the Aphorisms and Guidance page to the menu
    • There is a new aphorism: do not get a PhD