“Gun-control activists are demanding that Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos do something he has carefully avoided: pick a side in a hot-button political debate,” Spencer Soper and Selina Wang report for Bloomberg. “The online retailer, along with Apple Inc., Roku Inc. and other video streaming services, is facing pressure from customers protesting any corporate relationship with the National Rifle Association in the aftermath of a Florida school shooting that killed 17 people. Even though it doesn’t sell guns or ammunition, Amazon is taking much of the heat. Angry consumers started using the hashtag #StopNRAmazon on Twitter, which surfaced last week with customers threatening to cancel their $99-a-year Prime subscriptions.”

“At issue is NRA TV, a free online channel focused on pro-gun content, which many technology companies offer through their streaming services and devices,” Soper and Wang report. “Recent episodes criticized Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for what NRA TV said was a failure to act on warning signs about the shooter. In one segment, NRA TV host Grant Stinchfield shouts at the camera: ‘There was no act of heroism when these deputies were sitting outside taking cover behind a cruiser as kids were getting shot.'”

“When it’s content or free speech at issue, the stakes become even higher,” Soper and Wang report. “The protest over carrying the channel puts these services in the uncomfortable position of deciding what kind of information is appropriate based on what some people find objectionable — a challenge since the devices and services try to appeal to a range of different tastes and political leanings. ‘While the vast majority of all streaming on our platform is mainstream entertainment, voices on all sides of an issue or cause are free to operate a channel,’ said streaming-device maker Roku. ‘We do not curate or censor based on viewpoint,’ Roku said, adding that NRA TV doesn’t violate any of its policies. Apple didn’t respond to requests for comment.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still. — John Stuart Mill

Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. ― Benjamin Franklin

If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. ― George Washington

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. ― United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Petitions call on Apple, Amazon to cut ties with National Rifle Association – February 27, 2018
Apple CEO Cook prays for victims, families, and loved ones of mass murder in Parkland, Florida – February 15, 2018