A novel repercussion

The right-leaning social network Parler is facing an uncertain future after being removed first from the Apple app store and then from Google and finally by being denied cloud services by Amazon. The stated reason is the poor level of comment moderation which has led to large numbers of violent threats and incitement on the service, particularly in relation to the January 6 violent attack on US constitutional processes. However, even before recent events, the weak moderation problems were causing issues for the platform:

“The surge of #sexytrumpgirl posts highlighted a broader dilemma for Parler: The site’s lax moderation policies, in keeping with its claims to being a bastion of free speech, could make it a magnet for pornographers, escort services and online sex merchants using hashtags targeting conservatives, such as #keepamericasexy and #milfsfortrump2020.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/12/02/parler-pornography-problem/

However, the action against Parler is being framed by the many on the right as part of an active suppression of conservative views. Former Sad Puppy leaders, Larry Correia and Brad R Torgersen have waded in. Brad making yet another bold attempt to unwittingly murder irony:

“Larry Correia’s excellent take (this morning) on Big Prog Tech’s attack on Parler got me to thinking about how so much of what’s transpiring in America right now, is the result of lies. Or rather, people unmooring themselves from the idea that there is an objective truth.”

https://www.facebook.com/brad.torgersen/posts/5585072674852253

The calls are coming for conservatives to boycott companies that they regard as being anti-conservative. Sad Puppy Sarah Hoyt has been promoting this ideas using the slogan “Not One Red Cent” for some time.

Ah, yeah but about that plan…What’s one of those companies listed above? Amazon? Oh…oops…

“However, since last night, this has TRULY become an emergency, not because of what Amazon will do or won’t do to ebook fiction (more on that) but because a core of my readers will now refuse to buy from Amazon under any circumstances, which means that I’m going to lose a lot of my income (and Amazon won’t give a flying fig. But I get your outrage, I understand, and yet you’ll only hurt the writers, UNTIL WE HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE.)”

https://accordingtohoyt.com/2021/01/10/vignettes-by-luke-mary-catelli-and-nother-mike-and-book-promo-and-some-blather-by-sarah/

Ouch! Capitalism sucks apparently! It’s almost like there is an issue with the guy who owns the means of production being an unaccountable man with enough money to ski down huge piles of coins like Scrooge McDuck (details here).

“Otherwise I’m going to ask you NOT to carry on this boycott. We right-leaning-indies are going to lose half our sales. That’ll hurt Amazon, sure. Kind of. PROBABLY honestly at the rounding error level. But it will KILL us indie writers who have a contingent of conservative fans.”

https://accordingtohoyt.com/2021/01/10/vignettes-by-luke-mary-catelli-and-nother-mike-and-book-promo-and-some-blather-by-sarah/

So there you go, not one red cent apart from any red cents where a proportion of the red cent might go to Sarah Hoyt.

56 thoughts on “A novel repercussion

  1. I don’t think that Trump supporters can be called conservatives. Trampling all over the norms is as far from conservative as you can get. Actual conservatives agree with McConnell that the attempts to overturn the election have gone quite far enough and should stop.

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    1. Many Trump supporters seem to fall into the “authoritarian follower” category – the ideology doesn’t really matter, what they want is for someone to tell them (a) their life sucks (b) it’s all the fault of ‘them’ and (c) only I can make it better because I am one of ‘you’.
      It is almost impossible to find a consensus with an authoritarian follower since they don’t know what they believe, merely that they expect someone else will tell them because they’ve got enough to worry about.
      I think it’s also worth noting that this may be why there’s a big overlap between extreme fundamentalist believers (and I include folk like JC Wright here as he appears to be an ultra-catholic) and Trump supporters for that same reason; a God-Emperor appeals to them.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. None of the Trump followers are conservatives as they were traditionally defined. They’re all authoritarian in one form or another, some much violently inclined than others I grant you.

      And I’d be delighted if they all boycotted Amazon. Stopped buying all the product of every Puppy they know off there. And buy it elsewhere… but where? There really isn’t anywhere else for now. Like Parler, they’re truly fucked up their bleeding asses.

      Liked by 6 people

    3. I think it’s at least four years too late for this no true Scotsman-defence of US conservativism. US conservatives – including McConnell – have been happy allies with Trump for most of his presidency.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. It’s hardly a defence of conservatism. There are plenty of awful people who don’t support Trump. Worse, conservatives have enabled Trump and many have betrayed their (supposed) principles.

        What I’m saying is that Hoyt is complaining about Conservatives being oppressed when the real targets are people who want to murder conservatives, Because awful as conservatives are, they aren’t awful enough for the extreme Trumpists.

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      2. True. The right has let their nazi wing control the narrative even among people who disagree with the nazi wing. And at the risk of sounding one-note we once again saw this in 2015. The Sad Pups would say how they were utterly distinct from the Rabids and how much their own politics was quite different from Vox Day’s…but then would swallow whatever narrative he presented to them.

        They’ve trapped themselves in a fiction where they now need to believe that Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell and judges *appointed by Trump* are part of the out-group but the bare-chested guy with horn-helmet et al are just regular folk who just think there are ‘statistical anomalies’.

        Hell, they are leaping to Parler’s defence when Parler collected their personal details (including images of driver’s liscences etc) and left all that shit inadequately secured from hackers. [Day though, gets to laugh at Parler — he always wanted to see the conventional Republican right crash and burn, so for once he really does get to win whatever happens]

        Liked by 5 people

      3. Authoritarian, Libertarian, Neoconservative and Fascist seem to mean about the same in practice. Low taxes for me, police should keep the others in order and there should be enough poor people to serve me cheaply.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Forgive me for sounding cranky, Johan, but I get very tired of hearing people trot out the phrase “No True Scotsman Fallacy” as if it were inherently fallacious to ever assert that a common and useful word indeed has legitimate vs. illegitimate meanings (albeit ones subject to both dispute and to change over time), and that group designations can be reasonably asserted to encompass some example members while excluding others.

        In the USA context, it’s slightly jarring and even comical to hear people label as “conservatives” people whose political principles would not be recognised by Saint Ronald of Reagan, but orders of magnitude more jarring to see it describe persons with no political principles whatsoever, just personal loyalty and devotion to minority rule as an end in itself.

        It’s a fair point, not a fallacy, that when it becomes impossible to explain what the term “conservative” means except by pointing to whom a person likes and whom he/she dislikes, then it’s become effectively devoid of meaning until reclaimed.

        Since it’s lately been up for reclamation (at least on this side of the Pond[1]), I personally tend to clarify that I mean “espousing caution in international affairs (particularly as to military adventurism), government fiscal restraint, limited and responsive government power, and favouring a market economy”. (That’s similar to William F. Buckley’s 1960 Sharon Statement manifesto, but omitting the quaint bits about international communism and religion stuff, and adding back in international caution, which goes back to Washington and ur-Toryism.)

        [1] Over in Cis-Pondia, they have bigger problems, considering that the Conservative and Unionist Party has effectively abandoned unionism in favour of Little England and its dog Wales throwing a divorce tantrum because of too many Polish electricians doing too much good work.

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      5. “Day though, gets to laugh at Parler — he always wanted to see the conventional Republican right crash and burn, so for once he really does get to win whatever happens”

        It must feel weird for Ted, not having to manufacture a reason why his colossal and obvious loss is really a win, for a change.

        Liked by 1 person

    4. I mean your point is correct and yet there’s not a clear demarcation between the two groups other than on this point. We are back to the reality/fantasy distinction. The reality is that the ‘stop the steal’ people are attempting to overturn the principle of the electoral college and that states determine how they chose their electors but in their fantasy they are defending that.

      Like

  2. More news on Parler, Evidently a group of hackers obtained administrative access to the app and copied almost everything in Parler:

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Probably the FBI could have got a warrant to get the hard drives from AWS. They might still want to do so for chain of custody of evidence reasons.

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      1. Over the last day, I’ve heard a bunch of details of the way Parler completely and dramatically failed at competent security design for Internet infrastructure. They pretty much made every wrong design and implementation choice, a kind of glorious display of fractal incompetence (at least, as judged by those of us who do it for a living, and experience this as a sort of all-you-can-eat schadenfreude buffet).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The latest version I’ve heard is that Parler’s API is completely open – gives access to just about everything on the site (including deleted posts) – and internet archivists proceeded to adopt their usual stance when a social media site is about to go dark, i.e. archive everything that’s there.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I hear this isn’t the first time being pwned. Didn’t their database of license plate numbers and other real-name personal ID stuff get hacked?

      But I’m sure the FBI had a nice warrant to hand to Amazon along about… hmmm… last Wednesday night. Thursday morning, tops.

      This is just letting the info get out to the public sooner, and giving the FBI a nice backup copy.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They don’t really understand what a free market is. They think a free market is something that they they can control whereas a truly free market isn’t controlled by anyone but truly reminds only to market forces. Now there’s no such a market but it’s a nice fantasy in a theoretical sense. All markets are mixed markets subject to all sorts of State regulation. market manipulation and so forth.

      Hoyt and company would be truly fucked up their asses in such a market as their books are nearly worthless under most conditions. Scalzi on the other hand is a true free market asset.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They don’t really understand what a ________ is.
        Insert pretty much any random concept into the blank and the statement will be just as true.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. John Barnes’ “A Million Open Doors” takes place in a universe where Earth encouraged people with various utopian ideas to try them out – somewhere else. In the book, we visit a “Christian libertarian” society, where the free market must always produce the right answer – and any deviations from the right answer must be caused by people acting criminally irrationally (and thus those people must be punished for the good of themselves and the market). Why am I thinking of that book today…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. “And so the children of the revolution were faced with the age-old problem: it wasn’t that you had the wrong kind of government, which was obvious, but that you had the wrong kind of people.
        As soon as you saw people as things to be measured, they didn’t measure up.” – GNU Terry Pratchett

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    1. //In the UK this would happen if you built something without having planning permission. Are the Australian rules more punitive?//

      It is pretty similar here. You need planning permission and you need to build according to standards. The standards are set at a state and local level and enforced at a local level. New buildings and significant modifications need to be certified as compliant with standards and what was agreed in the planning permission. If the finished building doesn’t comply, then you have to fix it (sort of – in some cases if nobody notices or complains with a few years you can get away with it). If you can’t or won’t fix it…well, then pulling it down would be the only option.

      Tasmania is not a very urban state. That state itself is only half a million people and the biggest city (Hobart) less than a quarter-million. Freer lives on an island, off an island (Tasmania), off another island (Australia) but it is very much where he chose to live.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Dave doesn’t think standards apply to him (perish the thought!), so I imagine the inspectors (who he’s been working so hard to piss off and threaten publicly) have found all sorts of code violations. No doubt it isn’t only his septic tank that isn’t up to spec.

        We have a couple of wonky things that aren’t up to the local building code, but since they were done by the owners before the owners we bought it from, they remain. Mr. LT did fix the electrical bits just for our own peace of mind, but I don’t know how they got away with putting on the addition that has absolutely no right angles anywhere, even back then. I sometimes feel like the RAH story “And He Built a Crooked House”.
        (phew! back to a sci-fi topic!)

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I remember the problems that a lot of people got for building gardenhouse without planning permission. (Okay Germany is a highly birocratic country) I think they had to pay a lot.
      We had those problems with tiny houses.
      Now I can’t imagine someone building a house here without permission, I don’t think he or she would finish that.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, in Germany you can get in trouble for building a doghouse without permission. And issues with garden houses, sheds, garages, etc… regularly pop up.

        Like

      2. Around here it would be very rare for someone to build a whole house completely without a permit , but it’s fairly common for people to set up a small shed without doing the proper paperwork, or getting a permit for a small shed and building something twice as large, or getting a permit for building a boathouse and then outfitting it as a summer house instead. (Which is a significant difference because other people can usually walk freely quite close to a boathouse, but a summer house implies a larger private area around it.)

        The reaction will wary. I think you’re generally allowed to apply for a planning permit after the fact, and if that goes through without problems the case is closed. Sometimes you may have to make small alterations, and you may also have to pay a fine. Actually having to tear down the entire structure is rare. (Unfortunately, the net result of this is that a build first and ask later-strategy can be a good gamble if you really want something that bends zoning regulations.)

        Re. Freers description of his situation, my experience is that letters from government agencies will often mention the worst case scenario for the citizen, even when that outcome is extremely unlikely. Coupled with certain people’s persecution complex this can lead to some rather interesting “the government is out to get me!”-reactions.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. At least one radio-talk-show company has ordered its hosts to stop saying the election was stolen.

    “We need to help induce national calm NOW. [We] will not tolerate any suggestion that the election has not ended. The election has been resolved and there are no alternate acceptable ‘paths.’  . . . If you transgress this policy, you can expect to separate from the company immediately.”

    Liked by 4 people

  4. As far as Sarah Hoyt is concerned…womp womp. Hasn’t she heard of Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Apple? I’m an indie and, frankly, most of my sales come from Draft2Digital’s distribution platform, not Amazon. Tried Kindle Select and was underwhelmed.

    These folks are NOT thinking about the reality that actions have consequences.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amazon seems to be the easiest for them. I think I remember, that for the group of indywriters who slated works on the nebulaaward it was the same.
      For some people it is it always works the way, I can’t imagine to chance it.
      Perhaps VD can create an internet ebook platform to confront Amazon, will work as great as Infogalaktik.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Amazon isn’t necessarily the easiest platform, though uploading your books to seven different sites, like i just did (and since it’s a series, there were three different books to upload/update) is a pain in the butt.

        However, some indie writers make most of their money from Amazon’s subscription service Kindle Unlimited, which requires exclusivity. It also requires more work to build an audience on the non-Amazon platforms.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Supposedly, she makes most of her money via Kindle Unlimited (Amazon’s subscription service) page reads, which requires exclusivity. Which is possible – I know a few people in that situation. A lot of them are military SFF writers, since the military SF audience is very Amazon focussed.

      However, there are plenty of vendors and platforms out there. I have never been Amazon exclusive and most of my sales come from platforms other than Amazon.

      Finally, she could also sell e-books from her own site via Gumroad, Payhip or a similar service. There are solutions to her dilemma, she just doesn’t want to see them.

      Also, maybe I’m too German to get it, but I find escort services and porn sites using Parler to advertise their services a lot less objectionable than Nazis and trolls. But then Apple has always been prudish.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I find it more bad for the porn sites and the escort services that they use Parler, than for Parlet that they use it.

        Thanks for the little inside in the Indipublishing world, Cora.
        I still think that the main problem here for Hoyt is work. (I if use service x a lot, then it is the one I find easy, chance can be dificult)
        Of course I don’t know, if she is Kindle Unlimited, I don’t know how easy it is to get out of it, with or without her backlist.
        I may be more pragmatic (or have less backbone some would say) but it would take some more for me to shot myself that much into my own food.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. She is in Kindle Unlimited, since she said so in her post and also said that going wide, i.e. offering her books on other vendors, would lose her money, because a large part of her income comes from Kindle Unlimited. This is not unusual for those who are in Kindle Unlimited, particularly in certain genres.

        Kindle Unlimited requires at least three months of exclusivity BTW.

        Like

      3. And yes, I also feel more sorry for the escort services who use Parler to connect with customers, since those are just businesses doing their jobs (and getting laid would do wonders for some of those Trump supporters, though I hope the poor prostitutes get hazard pay), than for the Trump supporters and would-be insurrectionists.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. @Cora:

        A fair amount of them get laid regularly. There’s a reason hookers travel to the cities which are holding the Republican National Convention. And there’s a reason Gay Twitter calls Lindsay Graham “Lady G”, involving very buff military-type men and NDAs. Allegedly.

        They’re just not real good at cishet monogamous vanilla sex, the kind they talk up to their base. And they doesn’t care about consent or paying their bills, so the sex workers would need lots of hazard pay.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. It makes sense that Republicans would be hypocrites about this whole Christian monogamy thing. And major conventions and trade fairs of all sorts tend to attract prostitutes. Coincidentally, if you work as an interpreter at such an event, someone will ask you where to find prostitutes.

        Interestingly, book fairs, even huge ones like the Frankfurt book fair, are not good business for prostitutes. I once heard an interview with a Frankfurt prostitute who lamented that the book fair was bad for business, because – quote – those people only read in bed.

        And now I wonder how the business is at SFF cons.

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      6. @Cora:

        At one of the first few Worldcons I went to, a guy told me about the hookers complaining that they weren’t getting any takers. They were flabbergasted, since they were used to making big bucks from the business conventions that used the same facility. The guy kindly explained to one that fen sleep with each other; there was plenty of partying and sexing going on, but not with prostitutes. The lady of the evening thanked him for the info, and she and her co-workers went off to other parts of town, passing the word along that the people in funny outfits weren’t good for business.

        This has happened at other cons I’ve been to. The hookers literally say “Oh, it’s the nerds” and take the weekend somewhere else. I imagine the word has gotten out nationwide (if not worldwide) and the pros just wait till we leave and the businessmen take over the facility the next week.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Just got notice of a new book out by a friend of a friend:
    Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate:
    How the Alt-Right Is Warping the American Imagination
    By Alexandra Minna Stern

    https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/567137/proud-boys-and-the-white-ethnostate-by-alexandra-minna-stern/

    Table Of Contents

    INTRODUCTION
    The New and Old of White Nationalism

    CHAPTER 1
    Red Pills for the Masses: Metapolitical Awakenings

    CHAPTER 2
    Back to the Future: Reactionary Timescapes

    CHAPTER 3
    Whitopia: Ethnostate Dreamin’

    CHAPTER 4
    Cat Ladies, Wolves, and Lobsters: A Menagerie of Biological Essentialism

    CHAPTER 5
    Living the TradLife: Babies, Butter, and the Vanishing of Bre Faucheux

    CHAPTER 6
    Normalizing Nationalism: Alt-Right Creep

    CONCLUSION

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So much for sacrificing for a cause. And there she is demanding that her readers put *her* before their very sincere, very heartfelt wish to boycott. That they should be hypocrites going against their own nature just so she can make a couple bucks. What an entitled snowflake.

    Smart money says you diversify as much as possible. You put your books on Amazon, but also B&N, Kobo, Google, Smashwords, Apple, or even DIY like Diane Duane/Peter Morwood and Rusch/Smith do. Or form a consortium of like-minded authors, like Book View Cafe. You’d get more money with any of those options. That’s capitalism at its best.

    But of course it was completely wrong for people to boycott Amazon for having a stranglehold on so many markets, as many people have been saying for years.

    I wonder if they’re going to boycott everything that uses AWS too? That’s a lot of companies.

    If they really need cheap stuff from a company where the head honcho has billions and the workers get a pittance, plus owns both the means of production (in China) and distribution, plus puts mom and pop stores out of business, I’m sure Wal-Mart will happily provide all that and the comfort of being with their own kind as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This is really funny. The white supremacy friendly, right wing libertarian guys of Big Tech were held up as paragons by other rightwing libertarians and capitalism loving conservatives (see the cult of Elon Musk,) with their authoritarian dreams of giant ship cities filled with serf workers and Mars colonies filled with serf workers being the progress that progressives were trying to destroy. But then when extremists rampaged over more and more of big social media platforms with the alt right financially backed by right wing media tycoons, and the tech companies had to do some pruning efforts for liability issues, then they had to be cast increasingly as censoring tyrants and, gasp, progressives.

    And Amazon was championed as the destroyer of mean publishing companies that might be progressive by having a tiny handful of POC authors and it was going to completely remake everything from t.v. to snack foods. They cheered when Amazon discouraged their biggest competitor on e-books, Apple, in the courts, and bought up other rivals like Abe Books. Near monopolies are good and would be good for the indies. And now it’s we’re stuck with mainly Amazon, please don’t boycott them.

    You can’t boycott Amazon anymore than you can boycott the Koch family or DuPont or Google. They make most of their money from AWS — it’s everywhere. You can not shop at the main store if you want, but Hoyt does have a clear eyed view of what that means. The entire book-selling operation on Amazon remains less than 10% of their income. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if at this point the books are at about 2% of revenue (it used to be 7%.) The Good Place was correct.

    And while picking indie bookstores to order from or local mom and pop stores to shop from may be important to many of us personally, right wing screamers have plenty of places to publicly go plan insurrection and pass conspiracy theories about how all Democrats are pedophiles. Most of the actual violent plotting is taking place on Telegraph, not Parler or Twitter. Gab still exists. And it’s always been Reddit that’s been the boiling pot of radicalizing gunmen despite their occasional purge of sub-reddits for appearances (and they birthed 4Chan which also still operates freely, and 8chan/kun which is still leading the Q grift.) You still have plenty of right wing lie mongers plying their trade on Twitter, even if they dumped Trump. Parler’s only been in existence for a bit more than a year and only on the radar last summer and then for the election. Most of the right wing aren’t even on it.

    But it’s simply the idea that companies could say that they don’t want them, or more accurately, their “stars” and propagandists and mouth organs, around getting the companies in criminal trouble. That their “side,” despite its disparate parts seen as a side, is not winning the culture, the love of industry, etc. To authoritarians, having their authorities not be treated as powerful and righteous authorities is the ultimate crime and always must be presented as illegitimate — even when they aren’t totally sure who their authorities are. All attempts to stop them from harming their neighbors is wrong, lies, dictatorship, nefarious. Even if you have to twist into a pretzel where companies are both your chosen temple and your enemy at the same time.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. If she’s making her money off Kindle Unlimited, she’s not making that much to begin with. KU pays out random small amounts per page out of a pot of money divided by all the KU books. (IIRC)

    I’m thinking most of that goes to romance, and then she’s competing with the milSF juggernauts (hee hee) of writing factories that churn that stuff out in endless series. She’s not prolific like they are.

    So, it ain’t a lot of red cents she’d be losing anyway.

    All the more reason to get off her lazy, entitled butt and learn to upload other formats. Or doesn’t she trust her readers to figure out how to read books any other way?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The inconsistent rates per page read and the whole system with all-star bonuses, etc… is part of why I’m not in Kindle Unlimited, though the exclusivity is the main factor. Because all the other subscription services has clear terms with regard to what they pay per copy, borrow, page read, etc… Kindle Unlimited is just inconsistent. It’s also extremely afflicted by fraud attempts. And it does reward highly prolific authors writing in a handful of popular niches and genres (romance, cozy mystery, LitRPG, harem/reverse harem, military SF) or writing factories.

      Liked by 1 person

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