Platform Liability Doesn't — And Shouldn't — Depend On Content Moderation Practices

from the stifling-free-speech-the-other-way dept

In April 2018, House Republicans held a hearing on the “Filtering Practices of Social Media Platforms” that focused on misguided claims that Internet platforms like Google, Twitter, and Facebook actively discriminate against conservative political viewpoints. Now, a year later, Senator Ted Cruz is taking the Senate down the same path: he lead a hearing earlier this week on “Stifling Free Speech: Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse.”

While we certainly agree that online platforms have created content moderation systems that remove speech, we don’t see evidence of systemic political bias against conservatives. In fact, the voices that are silenced more often belong to already marginalized or less-powerful people.  

Given the lack of evidence of intentional partisan bias, it seems likely that this hearing is intended to serve a different purpose: to build a case for making existing platform liability exemptions dependent on “politically neutral” content moderation practices. Indeed, Senator Cruz seems to think that’s already the law. Questioning Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last year, Cruz asserted that in order to enjoy important legal protections for free speech, online platforms must adhere to a standard of political neutrality in their moderation decisions. Fortunately for Internet users of all political persuasions, he’s wrong.

Section 230—the law that protects online forums from many types of liability for their users’ speech—does not go away when a platform decides to remove a piece of content, whether or not that choice is “politically neutral.” In fact, Congress specifically intended to protect platforms’ right to moderate content without fear of taking on undue liability for their users’ posts. Under the First Amendment, platforms have the right to moderate their online platforms however they like, and under Section 230, they’re additionally shielded from some types of liability for their users’ activity. It’s not one or the other. It’s both.

In recent months, Sen. Cruz and a few of his colleagues have suggested that the rules should change, and that platforms should lose Section 230 protections if those platforms aren’t politically neutral. While such proposals might seem well-intentioned, it’s easy to see how they would backfire. Faced with the impossible task of proving perfect neutrality, many platforms—especially those without the resources of Facebook or Google to defend themselves against litigation—would simply choose to curb potentially controversial discussion altogether and even refuse to host online communities devoted to minority views. We have already seen the impact FOSTA has had in eliminating online platforms where vulnerable people could connect with each other.

To be clear, Internet platforms do have a problem with over-censoring certain voices online. These choices can have a big impact in already marginalized communities in the U.S., as well as in countries that don’t enjoy First Amendment protections, such as places like Myanmar and China, where the ability to speak out against the government is often quashed. EFF and others have called for Internet companies to provide the public with real transparency about whose posts they’re taking down and why. For example, platforms should provide users with real information about what they are taking down and a meaningful opportunity to appeal those decisions. Users need to know why some language is allowed and the same language in a different post isn’t. These and other suggestions are contained in the Santa Clara Principles, a proposal endorsed by more than 75 public interest groups around the world. Adopting these Principles would make a real difference in protecting people’s right to speak online, and we hope at least some of the witnesses tomorrow will point that out.


Reposted from the EFF Deeplinks blog

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Comments on “Platform Liability Doesn't — And Shouldn't — Depend On Content Moderation Practices”

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113 Comments
Dino Palmer -- now there's a palindrome for yasays:

"we don't see evidence" because willfully blind.

From https://torrentfreak.com/images/grandeadopt.pdf bottom of page 41:

[footnote] 7 Willful blindness can also satisfy the requirement of actual knowledge. Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S.A., 563 U.S. 754, 766 (2011) ("[P]ersons who know enough to blind themselves to direct proof of critical facts in effect have actual knowledge of those facts."); see also In re Aimster Copyright Litig., 334F.3d 643, 650 (7th Cir. 2003) ("Willful blindness is knowledge, in copyright law . . . as it is in the law generally.")

Several times references "common law" too, in way which makes clear is separate from court decisions. (By the way, I upper-case the words only to make stand out here, but when lawyers write it’s taken as ordinary and well-known so doesn’t need even that distinction, like "hot water".)

Congress specifically intended to protect platforms? right to moderate content without fear of taking on undue liability for their users? posts.

But to "moderate" does not mean enforce a political viewpoint. Period. You’re just using a word trick there to elide the practical fact of viewpoint discrimination.

Corporations have unlimited tricks that they can pull behind the scenes (as Techdirt does, the myth of "community" doing the hiding when Techdirt provides the code and is administrator okayed), mainly of internal definitions such as "hate speech" that they don’t have to enforce uniformly.

Let’s error as benefits The Public rather than ultra-rich corporations. Anyone here against that? — No, you can’t dodge, because only other choice is to support the unlimited arbitrary censorship as masnicks want. You are acting against your own interest and promoting corporations that don’t care beans about you — see last week for the porn ban which you all objected to. These here corporatists say that such ban is all right.

Stephen T. Stonesays:

Several times references "common law" too, in way which makes clear is separate from court decisions.

?Common law? is the body of law derived from judicial decisions of the courts???in other words, judicial precedent. However you define ?common law?, your definition is clearly flawed from the get-go.

But to "moderate" does not mean enforce a political viewpoint.

If a Black Lives Matter forum bans someone spouting White supremacist ideology, is that moderation or ?viewpoint discrimination??

You’re just using a word trick there to elide the practical fact of viewpoint discrimination.

And if ?viewpoint discrimination? was legally actionable, maybe we would care.

Let’s error as benefits The Public rather than ultra-rich corporations.

Let?s not and say we didn?t.

No, you can’t dodge, because only other choice is to support the unlimited arbitrary censorship

The choice between ?all speech? and ?no speech? is no choice at all. Under your idea that no platform can moderate ?political? speech, a platform meant for LGBT people could not delete posts that decry LGBT civil rights because to do so would be ?viewpoint discrimination?. (The same would go for a platform meant for anti-LGBT Christians and posts that support LGBT civil rights, too.) Your one-or-the-other choice is a false dilemma; people can speak their minds without having the absolute right to force a platform into hosting their speech and giving them an audience, and platforms can offer a place for speech without refusing to moderate speech it does not want to host out of fear of legal reprisals.

see last week for the porn ban which you all objected to. These here corporatists say that such ban is all right.

Legally, yes, it is all right???platforms have the right to ban and delete pornography and adult content. Whether it is the morally correct thing to do, especially since non-sexual LGBT content is often caught up in such heavy-handed moves, is the actual meat of that discussion.

of course this piece is from Google-funded EFF, professional troublemakers

Admit it: You dislike them because they rejected your essay about common law and how it pertains to both the individual and the person.

Anonymoussays:

Re: "we don't see evidence" because willfully blind.

Your buddies over at Breitbart have had me banned twice simply for disagreeing with them. Here on TD your posts are only hidden and easily exposed for those who wish to read them.

Are your alt-right bed-buddies ready to accept a less insane voice in their forums?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: "we don't see evidence" because willfully blind.

Huh? This isn’t Breitbart here, buddy. You’ve clicked the wrong link in your favorites if you think it is. If I want to post over on Breitbart again I have to create yet another account and that’s more trouble than they’re worth.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "we don't see evidence" because willfully bl

At risk of being repetitive:

If I want to post over on Breitbart again I have to create yet another account

You don’t create accounts with your social security number, state photo ID and a fingerprint. You can have as many accounts as you can acquire email addresses.

So no, their bans don’t stick. No more than their bullshit does outside their little echo chamber.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

Hey, blue. What you’re looking for is not a palindrome. It’s an anagram.

But thanks for reminding me the importance of free libraries that provide a source for learning, i.e. the thing that you refuse to do, contrary to the belief of copyright fanatics who believe anything offered for free, especially knowledge, is theft.

Also, another reminder that you’re a bottom-scraping rimjobber.

Stephen T. Stonesays:

Small sites such as Techdirt that moderate article comments are not the same as mega corporations which as Facebook controlling communication access.

Facebook does not control ?communication access?. Facebook is not an ISP, and Facebook does not control any platform, social media network, or method of communication that it does not own.

This is the equivalent of Verizon deciding not to allow black people on their cell phone network because they don?t like them.

No, it is not. And Verizon could not legally deny services to people based on race/ethnicity anyway.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

Yeah, Facebook is not an ISP, it is something much bigger and powerful. If I cannot communicate on my ISP I can always use a VPN, proxy server, my phone, the library, or even work computer to get around that. Facebook is a global communication network that can block my account preventing me from communicating with anyone else on the network.

A law needed to pass to prevent companies like Verizon from denying service based on race/ethnicity. Non bigoted people unanimously agree that should cover political beliefs.

Stephen T. Stonesays:

Facebook is a global communication network that can block my account preventing me from communicating with anyone else on the network.

So can Twitter. And YouTube. And Soundcloud. And basically any other website that facilitates communication between two or more third parties. What is your point?

Non bigoted people unanimously agree that should cover political beliefs.

If a White supremacist joins a forum for Black Lives Matter supporters and starts espousing White supremacist ideology, should the law punish the forum for booting the asshole over his ?political beliefs??

The problem with theoretical protections against ?viewpoint discrimination? is that they would tie the hands of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in re: moderation. An anti-gay message could be called a ?political belief? by the person who expresses it and nothing could be done about their expressing it on a pro-LGBT Facebook page. If gay people knew they would have to put up with such bullshit because Facebook could do nothing about it because ?viewpoint discrimination? was made illegal, gay people would be less likely to use Facebook. I may dislike Facebook, but the idea of people being unable to use it only because of assholes spewing speech that Facebook could not legally delete? I despise that even more.

Stephen T. Stonesays:

I am ?deflecting? baseless accusations of supposed ?bigotry? from someone who cannot stand the idea of others disagreeing with his political beliefs.

?huh. I guess that would make my speech a ?political opinion?. Do you want to give me those ?viewpoint discrimination? protections now that you know an ideological rival to your viewpoints will benefit from them?

Anonymoussays:

Re:

I do want to give you those "viewpoint discrimination" protections. The difference is that I actually support your right to not be censored by the Internet giants that have a stranglehold on global communications. I want your idiocy to be seen by all.

You are so afraid of opposing opinions that you want your corporate masters to censor them so as not to injure your fragile bigoted mind.

Stephen T. Stonesays:

I am not opposed to opinions that differ from my own.

But I am opposed to people who try to pass off insults and baseless accusations as opinions (or facts). I am opposed to the idea that a platform should be forced to host anyone?s speech???including mine. I am opposed to the proposition that anyone?s viewpoint should be ?protected? by making sure a platform will never be able to moderate any viewpoint that could lead to real harms (e.g., anti-vaxxer bullshit).

Someone disagreeing with me is not an issue. People do it all the time. (Hell, I even do it to myself on rare occasions. You have issues; I have a subscription.) The issue here is your poisoning the well by claiming that the only reason anyone can ever be against protections for political viewpoints is bigotry, even though actual bigots would most likely be in favor of such protections because they would love the idea of platforms being forced to host their vile speech.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

Bigots would most likely be in favor of such protections so lets not have them.
Criminals would most likely be in favor the protections provided in our Constitution so lets just throw out all of them so their vile acts are not protected.
Wow, you are actually arguing that we shouldn’t have any protections because bad people would have those protections also. You make an excellent brown shirt.

Stephen T. Stonesays:

Bigots would most likely be in favor of such protections so lets not have them.

otherwording (or in-other-wordsing)???noun???the practice of summarizing a point of argument in a way that intentionally distorts the point into saying something it does not and attributes the false interpretation to the person who raised the original point; a blatant attempt to make winning an argument easier for someone who is out of their depth in said argument

Example: You can typically find the phrases ?in other words? or ?so you?re saying? at the beginning of an instance of otherwording.

See also: strawman; your post

you are actually arguing that we shouldn’t have any protections because bad people would have those protections also

I am arguing that the protections you propose would not only run afoul of the First Amendment?s protections, they would also cause real harm by allowing legal-yet-horrible speech to overrun a platform and push out everyone who does not want to see/hear/experience that much bullshit.

Like many people who argue for this sort of thing, you have failed to adequately explain the reasons why a platform should be forced to host speech it does not want to host. To that end, I will ask you a simple question that can hopefully help you in that regard: What would you do if you were the owner of a platform that someone started using to spread racist propaganda, and you did not want your platform to be a source of racist propaganda, but the law says you cannot discriminate against (i.e., moderate) their racist political viewpoints?

Anonymoussays:

Re:

they would also cause real harm by allowing legal-yet-horrible speech to overrun a platform

You don’t like the opinion of the majority so you want to shut them down? You are being forced to read it/use the site?

Publicly traded social media companies are either open to the public, or they are not.
What safeguards are in place to prevent the people you wish to ban from purchasing shares and being part owners of said platform? I mean if they don’t want them posting, they sure don’t want them to have any ownership, right?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:

TL;DR
I didn’t need you to lay out all the laws relating to trading stocks, but thanks for the detailed explanation!

"As we?ve seen, a business can?t just randomly refuse to serve someone."
"As long as the policy is applied to everyone equally, it?s not likely to violate any discrimination laws."
https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/the-right-to-refuse-service-can-a-business-refuse-service-to-someone-because-of-appearance

Brony, do you mean legally speaking as in Out of the luBe legally speaking?

Anonymoussays:

Re:

Wow, you are either to stupid to realize what you said is almost perfectly summed up by my summary or to childish to own up to it.

Your quote:
"even though actual bigots would most likely be in favor of such protections because they would love the idea of platforms being forced to host their vile speech."

My Quote:
Bigots would most likely be in favor of such protections so lets not have them.

I would say you were to stupid to actually understand the word, "otherwording", you defined except it seems be a fake word. You must be fun to play Scrabble with.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

"What would you do if you were the owner of a platform that someone started using to spread racist propaganda, and you did not want your platform to be a source of racist propaganda, but the law says you cannot discriminate against (i.e., moderate) their racist political viewpoints?"

iStephen, don’t ask questions you don’t want answered

Or is my answer an example of the legal yet horrible speech you do not wish to be exposed to?

Anonymoussays:

Re:

"What would you do if you were the owner of a platform that someone started using to spread racist propaganda, and you did not want your platform to be a source of racist propaganda, but the law says you cannot discriminate against (i.e., moderate) their racist political viewpoints?"

Make it private

Stephen T. Stonesays:

Even if you took your platform into a ?private mode?, the law might still apply. (An open-to-the-public platform and a private platform are both privately-owned platforms, after all.) If that ?no viewpoint discrimination? law could be applied to private platforms, how would you then deal with the racist? (And for bonus points: How would you do it without shutting down your platform altogether?)

Bamboo Harvestersays:

Re:

Ummm… you’re advocating censorship against "vewpoint discrimination" by anyone not agreeing with whatever that LGBTQxyz? decides is Correct Speech.

I prefer the system here on TechDirt. Blue in his/her many incarnations can spew whatever idiocy they want – and the USERS can just click to hide it. Of course, the frequency of his/her idiocy means we each wear out a mouse every month, but I’ll pay for the worn-out mouse happily to avoid true censorship here.

Stephen T. Stonesays:

you’re advocating censorship against "v[i]ewpoint discrimination" by anyone not agreeing with whatever [LGBT people] decide[ ]is Correct Speech

I am advocating for the notion that a platform should be able to legally moderate any legally-protected speech it wants for practically any reason it wants (as long as that reason does not run afoul of the law) because those platforms are not government actors. A platform?s owners/operators should have the absolute right to choose what speech it will and will not host; to force ?viewpoint neutrality? upon a platform is to force it into hosting speech its owners/operators do not want to host.

If a pro-LGBT platform wants to ban anti-LGBT speech in any context, so be it. An anti-LGBT platform should be able to do the same with pro-LGBT speech. The law should never be able to force either of those platforms into hosting the content that would otherwise be banned from those platforms.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

"In fact, when it comes to affecting speech interests it is expressly forbidden by the First Amendment to punish speakers or speech before a court has found specific instances of speech unlawful. To do otherwise ? to punish speech, or, worse, to punish a speaker before they’ve even had a chance to make wrongful speech ? is prior restraint, and not constitutional."
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190412/16591441995/wherein-copia-institute-updates-copyright-office-first-amendment-problems-with-dmca.shtml

Let me know how you interpret that comment

Stephen T. Stonesays:

The First Amendment prohibits the government from punishing speakers/speech before a court rules their speech unlawful. Social media platforms are not an arm of the government; they can punish whatever speech they want regardless of the legality of that speech. Believing otherwise means believing someone can force, say, Twitter to host speech its owners/operators do not want to host.

I have never gotten a straight answer to this question, and I do not trust to hope. But I will pose it anyway: What would you do if you were the owner of a platform that someone started using to spread racist propaganda, and you did not want your platform to become a source of racist propaganda, but the law explicitly forbade you from discriminating against (i.e., moderating) their racist political viewpoints?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

Facebook is not an ISP, it is something much bigger and powerful

What. The actual. Fuck.

Bigger? Maybe. More powerful? No. When one company can only restrict my access to their service, but another can restrict my access TO THE ENTIRE FREAKING INTERNET, I’d say ISPs are FAR more powerful.

If I cannot communicate on my ISP I can always use a VPN, proxy server,

That’s assuming they still provide you internet access and don’t block VPNs and proxies.

the library

I have yet to encounter a library that allows you more than 30-60 minutes of internet time in one sitting; let’s you install games on their computers; use VoIP of any kind; or do online shopping. Please do tell how this is a replacement for home internet service.

even work computer to get around that

Would that be a work computer used at home where you have no internet? Or a work computer at work when you are supposed to be working; where they have acceptable use policies; block many communication sites, protocols, and shopping; you can’t stream anything; and also don’t allow you to install whatever software you want/need?

Facebook is a global communication network

A network. As in one of many. Most Americans have a choice of exactly one viable ISP.

that can block my account preventing me from communicating with anyone else on the network.

Yes. On their specific network. That doesn’t prevent you from using any of the other networks including, but not limited to: Twitter, Myspace (yes it still exists), Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, LinkedIn, Youtube, Skype, Discord, Slack, IRC, etc… I could go on and on and on. Whereas an ISP cutting you off blocks your access to ALL of those. No exceptions.

A law needed to pass to prevent companies like Verizon from denying service based on race/ethnicity.

Yes, because some people are racists and no human should be treated as any less than another solely because of their INVOLUNTARY ATTRIBUTE and INABILITY TO CHOOSE their skin color. That’s not the same as violating a site’s terms of use by your VOLUNTARY actions that you CHOSE TO CARRY OUT WILLFULLY.

Non bigoted people unanimously agree that should cover political beliefs.

No, they really don’t. Some may, but a lot of them recognize that making political beliefs a protected class would lead to LOTS of issues. For example, it would make political party support rallies pretty much illegal because they couldn’t kick out anyone with an opposing political viewpoint. Which flies right in the face of the First Amendment because now the government is telling people what speech they can and cannot allow. Also, that’s not what a bigot is.

Discrimination based on attributes you can’t change and have no control over, is not the same as your voluntary personal thoughts and beliefs that you can change at any time if you so choose. Making those a protected class is absolutely ludicrous.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

If I cannot communicate on my ISP

If you get kicked off your ISP, you lose your ability to communicate via any Internet site, as they are between you and all sites. If you get Kicked off FaceBook, you have Reddit, 4Chan, 8chan, or even Myspace. If anybody want to listen to you, they will follow you onto your chosen platform. If they don’t, they won’t follow you, and you cannot make them follow you and listen to you.

Anonymoussays:

So as a noted fan of political neutrality I’m sure Senator Cruz is inviting a variety of Democrats and third party political figures to write posts on his webpage. Or is he only saying that neutrality means you can’t tell a republican that they are unwelcome, especially when they violate rules that they previously agreed to follow.

Anonymoussays:

control

Cruz and most all politicians want to control speech, restricting speech they don’t like and promoting speech they do like.
This is routine behavior by governments.
The FCC has been controlling speech/content on radio/tv for almost a century.

Social Media entities are private companies and can do as they like, absent any fraud or coercion.
Congress has zero authority to interfere, under US Constitution.

=

Odd that the primary post here asserts: " we don?t see evidence of systemic political bias against conservatives" — but also states:
"To be clear, Internet platforms do have a problem with over-censoring certain voices online… EFF and others have called for Internet companies to provide the public with real transparency about whose posts they?re taking down and why."

If "real transparency" is so lacking — how do any outside observers know who or what is being censored ??

Anonymoussays:

Re: control

how do any outside observers know who or what is being censored

Those censored yell as loudly as they can to as many people as they can to draw attention to their perceived injustice. Those who hear and agree with them then "take to the forums!" of whatever platform allegedly committed said atrocity and raise hell until they, too, violate the terms of service and get banned. Rinse, repeat. After some time you have a whole swath of people with the same political views having been banned and they interpret that as bias against their beliefs by the platform rather than concluding that people who share those beliefs tend to be loudmouthed morons who violate terms of service — another classic symptom of far right or left wingers aka sociopaths.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

That a private company who is not a state actor can engage in censorship doesn’t mean they aren’t censoring. Many of these companies want to promote themselves as having relevant conversations but those conversations lose relevance the moment someone is silenced.

Private companies are also free to censor those who are critical of its sponsors, though the sponsors wouldn’t want this pointed out to potential customers.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

A Third Circuit ruling is not landmark — that would be the SCOTUS — and 230 has been expanded to include ALL state-law claims, including negligence (such as in the Grindr case). Section 230 literally overturned over a century of well-established precedent concerning distributor liability for defamation.

Most people don’t get defamed, or targeted for revenge-porn, so they don’t care about the few who have had their names and privacy destroyed by 230’s immunity for search engines. Long as it’s not THEM, they don’t care. Many businesses have also been destroyed by malicious competitors or disgruntled employees.

Section 230 makes people defenseless against defamation, and that chills speech far worse than if intermediaries were held accountable. There is one upside though: if someone’s defamed in a search engine, all they have to do is wait for someone else to find the defamation, repeat it in their own words, and sue the person who was dumb enough to believe what they read online. Sharp lawyers can even engineer this scenario and mop up a lot in legal fees defending the person they set up. Google doesn’t warn people of this scam so most assume it doesn’t exist.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Really? It’s not a FACT that search engines would be liable for defamatory content without Section 230? Or that revenge-porn victims had difficulty suing because of 230?

What exactly is someone to do if a search turns up defamatory results which, for whatever reason (say the "original poster" was in Romania), they can no longer sue to remove? Obviously anyone dumb enough to repeat the search results in their own words set themselves up to be sued. Many individuals face this, but no provision is made for them because their reputations are an "acceptable loss" for giving Big Internet immunity. That’s in the US only of course, since in other countries they can sue.

That lawyers can set people up this way is obvious. Cui bono?

naschsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

It’s not a FACT that search engines would be liable for defamatory content without Section 230?

They might be, they might not be; it would decided case by case.

"Under the common law, distributors like newspaper vendors and book vendors could only be held liable if they had notice of a defamatory statement in their merchandise. However, the publisher of the newspaper or book where the statement appeared could be held liable even absent such notice. "

https://privacylaw.proskauer.com/2006/11/articles/communications-decency-act/distributor-immunity-for-defamatory-internet-publication/

A search engine is much more of a distributor than a publisher.

What exactly is someone to do if a search turns up defamatory results which, for whatever reason (say the "original poster" was in Romania), they can no longer sue to remove?

You’re saying that the solution to a jurisdictional problem preventing a lawsuit is to put liability on someone who didn’t do the defamation? Or did I misunderstand you?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

The search engine "did" the defamation beyond the original publication, which might have been seen by a few people, versus say an employer etc.

There have been female victims of revenge porn who have actually lost their jobs because of their cyberstalkers. The employers didn’t find them by surfing porn sites, but because they typed the woman’s name into a search engine.

blademan9999says:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

If the average reader is unable to determine whether a statement is defamatory, how is the search engine or social media site supposed to?
This would create an absolutely impssoible burden that would collareral damage many orders of magnitudes greater then a few people having their reputations ruined.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Just like the female victims of revenge porn earned their reputations by sending those pictures? Wow, that’s bright.

As bright as thinking no one ever lied about someone they deemed a threat (like a whistleblower), or a business owner or disgruntled employee never lied about a competitor or former employer?

The previous poster’s cynical argument does not address the situation where someone is harmed by 230 as outlined above. That is because to do so would be to say that the internet companies are more important than a few people who are "collateral damage."

If this were the case, we wouldn’t need libel laws in the first place.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

The people who believe this are the ones who are easily set up by lawyers, btw. They get into an internet argument, the lawyer is waiting in the wings, they’re prone to believe lies about someone they don’t like, the lawyer (cloaked, or using a third party) links them to the lies, the pawn repeats the lies, the lawyer steps in offering to "defend free speech" and the gaslit pawn spends his or her last dollar funding his or her own financial demise.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Since the previous poster (the "crybaby" who whines about others) made no logical points, there is nothing to argue against logically. It seems the poster cannot refute the notion that Section 230 has harmed innocent people. Supporters of Section 230 are effectively calling female victims of revenge porn "collateral damage" or "acceptable loss."

blademan9999says:

Re: Re: Re:

Read this here.
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190411/18521741986/nancy-pelosi-joins-ted-cruz-louis-gohmert-attacking-cda-230.shtml
TLDR.
Without section 230, due to supreme court precedents internet companies would be liable if they moderate their content but not liable if they didn’t engage in moderaiton.
In other words there would be two options.

  1. Don’t accept user uploads.
  2. Don’t engage in moderation.
Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

My post was more about censorship than 230. AOL used to censor its users and prevented them from using an AOL account for any business purpose, including talking with existing clients who were not spammed. This sent everyone onto the internet at large, which eventually developed the same features as AOL.

In 1995, however, if you had say a stock picking service and had to communicate your picks immediately to your users, AOL was the only game in town, since its e-mail didn’t leave their servers. E-mail involving non-AOL accounts could take up to two days to arrive. Now you have twitter and facebook inviting people to promote their businesses on their backbone.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

Bitch at the Wall Street Journal then.

You know, for someone who’s made it his life mission to campaign on behalf of poor traumatized celebrities and increase exposure of the issue, you sure seem to enjoy doing so on a website you consider so insignificant no one who matters will actually read it.

Unless you’re doing so on behalf, or in conjunction with a larger awareness campaign for the public. If only people knew what it was, then they’d be able to stand alongside you in your morally outraged crusade, alongside a writer who enjoys more political and social influence than Hollywood’s favorite darlings!

Ah, but that’d require some proof of who you are, Herrick, after a year of promising to tell Mommy, we’ve all seen your track record. Roughly between the range of jack shit and fuck all!

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