Techdirt Podcast Episode 270: Regulating The Internet Won't Fix A Broken Government

from the when-you-have-a-hammer dept

Questions of content moderation and intermediary liability have seeped into just about everything these days, and not just with regards to Section 230 but also a whole host of laws in the US and around the world. A lot of people seem to think that a long list of societal and political failings can be rectified by regulating content online, and don't talk about how these problems run deeper and have been around for a long time. One person who doesn't fall into this trap is Heather Burns from the Open Rights Group, and she joins Mike on this week's episode to talk about why regulating the internet won't magically fix everything else.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: content moderation, heather burns, intermediary liability, internet, open rights group, podcast, policy, regulation, section 230


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread


  • icon
    AC Unknown (profile), 16 Feb 2021 @ 6:59pm

    Re: Tankabout

    Get outta here, spambot!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2021 @ 2:41pm

    The problem is entirely technological in origin. I know what they did.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jono793 (profile), 20 Feb 2021 @ 6:34am

    Heather's comparison of the online harms framework to health and safety law makes a lot of sense. Health and safety has long been a vector for culture-warrioring here in the UK.

    Back when I was at university, there were various local controversies over licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). HMO laws were brought in in response to a fatal fire in 2000, in which two students were killed. The rules set a licensing regime, designed to set minimum standards for shared houses (fire alarms, safety checks on gas appliances, etc).

    Licenses were done by local councils. They were supposed to be granted based on "does this house meet the legal standards for a HMO?"

    instead, virtually every HMO licensing in my university town was bombarded by complaints of students playing loud music. Students vomiting in gardens. Students besmerching the community by their presence. etc. And then these licenses being refused for completely illegitimate reasons, completely undermining the policy objectives of the HMO law!

    I'm seeing the same dynamic play out when discussing online harms. No interested in coherent, workable policy objectives, addressing the overwhelming benefits of the free internet against measurable harms. Instead it's just a parade of horribles about teenage suicide, homophobic and racist bigotry, and paedophiles using Whatsapp. While having nothing to say about the vast, vast majority of law-abiding internet users, and how these restrictions would affect them!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.