Because Congress Apparently Has NOTHING AT ALL IMPORTANT To Work On, It Introduced TWO MORE Section 230 Bills Yesterday

from the don't-you-people-have-work-to-do? dept

If you were in a coma for the past 12 months, just came out of it, and had to figure out what had happened in the last year or so solely based on new bills introduced in Congress, you would likely come to the conclusion that Section 230 was the world's greatest priority and the biggest, most pressing issue in the entire freaking universe. I've completely lost track of how many new bills have been introduced this year -- in the midst of a pandemic -- that try to undermine and destroy the open internet enabled by Section 230 of the CDA. It's absolutely ridiculous.

Last week we had Lindsey Graham and his garbage Online Content Policy Modernization Act. Josh Hawley, the lying demagogue, has probably introduced half a dozen bills aimed at undermining Section 230, including one a few weeks ago. On Tuesday of this week we had Senators Manchin and Cornyn introduce their despicable and dangerous See Something, Say Something Act.

And then, on Wednesday, we got two more truly awful anti-230 bills. What's going on over there on Capitol Hill? If you introduce 12 bills to destroy the internet do you get a 13th one free?

First up, we had Reps. Sylvia Garcia and Ann Wagner introduce the House companion to the Senate's EARN IT Act. We've spent months detailing how this bill is a two-fer: it's dangerous for both encryption and Section 230. And yet, it now has bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House. Garcia seems so proud of being a part of this nonsense that she didn't put the press release on her own website (though she did have time to put up a press release for a bill to rename a post office).

Ann Wagner, you may recall, is the force behind the previous disastrous anti-230 bill, FOSTA, who has spent the years since passing that bill just flat out lying about what the bill did. She claims it's been a huge success, and yet it has yet to be used successfully, has been shown to put women's lives in danger, and has made it more difficult for law enforcement to find actual sex traffickers.

But, not surprisingly, Wagner is touting her "success" with that terrible legislation in introducing this new garbage:

“I’m proud to join with my colleague Rep. Sylvia Garcia in introducing the EARN IT Act, critical legislation that will hold accountable bad actors that facilitate child sexual abuse material,” said Congresswoman Wagner. "This bill is the natural follow-up to FOSTA, my Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which amended section 230 to hold accountable websites that facilitate sex trafficking. As I have said many times, I believe that if exploitation is a crime offline, it should also be a crime online, and I’m delighted to continue working with survivors, advocates, law enforcement, and industry to protect children from online sexual exploitation.”

Yes, she keeps saying that "if it's a crime offline, it should be a crime online" and it always has been. This bill, like her last bill, changed literally nothing about what was a "crime." What it did was blame service providers for non-crimes, and made them less willing to host perfectly legal content. And, again, her bill has harmed survivors and made it more difficult for law enforcement, meaning it has done the opposite of protecting children from online sexual exploitation.

And the EARN IT Act, as we've discussed, will again make things worse. This version of EARN IT is even worse than the Senate version, which included a narrow (and most likely useless) attempt to say that it couldn't be used to ban encryption. This version of the bill narrows that limitation, meaning encryption would be even more at risk.

And that was for the horrific bill we already knew about.

Next up to the plate is Senator John Kennedy with the ridiculously named Don't Push My Buttons Act. As you may have guessed, it's pushed all of my buttons for wasting my time in needing to respond to absolute wingnut batshittery in the form of you-can't-actually-be-serious legislation. There have been so many dumb anti-230 bills that it's hard to rank which one's worse than the next, but this one is... just bad. Basically, this would take Section 230 away from any site that tracks any information on its users, or presents an algorithmically generated feed for its users. But, it would not apply if the users of those sites "knowingly and intentionally elect to receive" the algorithmically generated feed. And so sites that want to do that will just put it in their terms of service and make people agree to it and... what good does that do for anyone?

And what does this even have to do with Section 230 anyway? If you don't like algorithmically generated feeds, it would seem that (1) you're going to have a 1st Amendment issue to overcome at some point and (2) there are other tools in the toolbox and (3) it's totally unrelated to the questions about Section 230. This is just "old man yells at cloud... and writes weird legislation."

Kennedy is trying to get this bill attached as an amendment to Graham's wacky bill that's about to be marked up, and it's just open season for crazy ideas on an issue that should not be a priority at this moment when people are literally dying by the thousands every damn day due to a pandemic that Congress seems to have decided to ignore.

Does this shit ever end?

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Filed Under: ann wagner, congress, earn it, house, john kennedy, push my buttons, section 230, senate, sylvia garcia


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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 9:45am

    I’ve yet to see any of these Republican assholes (or their asshole supporters) offer a coherent reason for why the law should force websites to host speech their admins don’t want to host, to lose 230 protections for not being “neutral” towards a broad political ideology (that coincidentally happens to claim bigotry as part of the “speech” of its ideology for some reason), and to magically prevent these new rules from applying to “conservative” websites.

    I haven’t seen Democrat assholes offer that, either. But they’re not nearly as loud and obnoxious as Republicans vis-á-vis an alleged political bias on social media services.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 10:09am

      'We're assholes. You don't like assholes. The problem is you.'

      Forget coherence, I'd love it if they would just be honest for once and own their own words, position and actions rather than constantly playing the victim and trying to shift the blame to anyone but them.

      'Look, a bunch of the people on our side are assholes of one kind of another, whether that be racists, sexists, paranoid conspiracy nuts or all of the above, and social media keeps showing them the door. As we certainly don't see anything wrong with being an asshole, and we know that most people don't want to share a platform with us, the only way we can think of to stay on our platforms of choice is to force those platforms into hosting us.'

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:35pm

      Re: Section 230 is for Public Forums.

      The Supreme Court has already pointed this up.

      https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6405555/Enigma-Malwarebytes.pdf

      Even the "liberal" 9th is EXPLICIT on the two key points:

      Page 18, starting first full paragraph:

      We must today recognize that interpreting the statute to give providers unbridled discretion to block online content would, as Judge Fisher warned, enable and potentially motivate internet-service providers to act for their own, and not the public, benefit.

      "the public" is to be the beneficiary, not "providers". Period.

      Yes, "conservatives" are in "the public", have Rights equal to YOURS.

      Page 19:

      We think that the catchall was more likely intended to encapsulate forms of unwanted online content that Congress could not identify in the 1990s. But even if ejusdem generis did apply, it would not support Enigma's narrow interpretation of "otherwise objectionable."

      Congress wanted to give internet users tools to avoid not only violent or sexually explicit materials, but also harassing materials.

      The key word is USERS, not hosting corporations. Period.

      @ "-- in the midst of a pandemic --"

      Israel makes hundreds of Palestinians homeless during pandemic

      https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/israel-makes-hundreds-palestinians-homel ess-during-pandemic

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:41pm

        Two things.

        1. Yes, "conservatives" are in "the public", have Rights equal to YOURS. — And when you’re using someone else’s private property as your soapbox, that someone else has every right to kick you off their property if they don’t like what you’re saying. If Twitter can do it, so can Parler — and if Twitter can’t do it, neither can Parler. So which one do you want: “neutrality” (i.e., compelled hosting of speech on all platforms no matter their perceived political orientation) or “bias”?

        2. Take your anti-Semitism back to Stormfront, you used coffee filter of a person.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 6:13pm

          Re: litigate

          He’s still mad His master race lost half of europe and North Africa in battle even though they said they were better then Everyone.

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

      • identicon
        Rocky, 1 Oct 2020 @ 2:52pm

        Re: Re: Section 230 is for Public Forums.

        It seems the only way some weak people can argue their point is to take things out of context. In this instance, the text referenced explicitly talks about trying to use Section 230 as a way to stifle competition - which was why EnigmaSoft sued Malwarebytes for anti-competitive behavior.

        Page 18, with context (text split to ease reading):

        We must today recognize that interpreting the statute to give providers unbridled discretion to block online content would, as Judge Fisher warned, enable and potentially motivate internet-service providers to act for their own, and not the public, benefit. See 568 F.3d at 1178 (Fisher, J., concurring).

        Immunity for filtering practices aimed at suppressing competition, rather than protecting internet users, would lessen user control over what information they receive, contrary to Congress’s stated policy. See §230(b)(3) (to maximize user control over what content they view).

        Indeed, users selecting a security software provider must trust that the provider will block material consistent with that user’s desires.

        Users would not reasonably anticipate providers blocking valuable online content in order to stifle competition. Immunizing anticompetitive blocking would, therefore, be contrary to another of the statute’s express policies: "removing disincentives for the utilization of blocking and filtering technologies." Id. §230(b)(4).

        It's amazing how some of these knuckle-draggers don't think people can read.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 5:37pm

        Re: Re: Section 230 is for Public Forums.

        How's that Richard Liebowitz defense fund coming along, out_of_the_blue?

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 11:29pm

        Re: Re: Section 230 is for Public Forums.

        "Yes, "conservatives" are in "the public", have Rights equal to YOURS"

        They do have equal rights. Conservative can use the platforms I can so long as they're not racist, abusive, despicable assholes. I would get banned if I acted like that, the same as any conservative,.So, why do you people keep acting in ways that get you kicked off?

        You have the same rights as I do. Those rights do not include squatting on someone's property after you've been kicked out for abusing other members of the public.

        "Israel makes hundreds of Palestinians homeless during pandemic"

        Dickhead posts irrelevant news stories in attempt to get him kicked off this discussion as well, so that he can pretend it was political and not the asshole behaviour...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 6:11pm

      Re: litigate

      I’d just take them to court and argue political retribution already.

      It’s not like there is any shortage of anything now that you could convince a judge with that this is being done with for petty political reasons and coercion and violation of first amendment rights and would be used as such.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 9:49am

    Ah PR stunts for the gullible...

    Gotta love not just useless but dangerous PR stunts in the middle of a pandemics that's killing tons of people on a daily basis, got to keep the gullible fools riled up by reminding them that they are totally being persecuted and/or tracked by nefarious Big Tech after all, make sure they vote the correct way come election time.

    She claims it's been a huge success, and yet it has yet to be used successfully, has been shown to put women's lives in danger, and has made it more difficult for law enforcement to find actual sex traffickers.

    I gotta say, knowing the actual facts behind that claim certainly turn it on it's head, because unless she wants to admit that she's lying through her teeth to avoid having to admit to screwing up then her definition of 'success' would have to be 'more women in danger, less ability for police to find sex traffickers', which is... not a good look to put it mildly, and indicative of an absolutely monstrous person.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 10:02am

    Congress = Nero + fiddle + Rome + burns.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 10:12am

    Right Idea

    While not all of the Senators have good ideas on how to reform section 230, it appears that they are beginning to understand that section 230 is among the greatest threats to freedom in the United States today. Today's example of bias is former Twitter CEO Dick Costello's death threat. It proves that big tech has a bias, and will censor those with whom they disagree, while permitting TOS violations of those with whom they agree, while hiding behind 230. Reform is sorely needed.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 10:16am

      Yes or no, Koby: Do you believe the law should force Twitter to host all legally protected speech?

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:40pm

        Re: YES, else NO speech, including YOURS is protected!

        Do you believe the law should force Twitter to host all legally protected speech?

        READ the Enigma-MalwareBytes PDF that I refer you to. The SC is just waiting specific case to nail it down.

        And, oh, by the way, is Congressional action too clearly indicating that YES, even "conservatives" can't be arbitrarily silenced.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:48pm

          Not an answer to my question. Do you believe the law should force any interactive web service to host all legally protected speech, regardless of whether, say, Twitter admins want to host posts containing the N-word or Parler admins want to host pro-Black Lives Matter propaganda? Remember that you can’t have legally enforced “neutrality” on one service without the law applying to all such services, so think carefully before you answer.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 11:34pm

          Re: Re: YES, else NO speech, including YOURS is protected!

          "READ the Enigma-MalwareBytes PDF that I refer you to"

          The one you haven't linked to?

          "even "conservatives" can't be arbitrarily silenced."

          Yes, we keep hearing your whining even as you claim you can't speak anywhere. Why do you lie so much?

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

          • identicon
            Rocky, 2 Oct 2020 @ 1:49am

            Re: Re: Re: YES, else NO speech, including YOURS is protected!

            The one you haven't linked to?

            He did, in his first post. If you look at my answer to that you'll understand why his faulty logic and cherry picking things out of context makes him think he's right.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 2 Oct 2020 @ 2:22am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: YES, else NO speech, including YOURS is protecte

              No he didn't, some anonymous coward did ;)

              I'm just trying to get him admit he's posting without logging in, since it does explain some of the abject stupidity we see when he's supposedly not in the thread.

              Also, so that we can definitively tie him to the Israel non-sequiter, since that indicates not only that he's even more worthless at debating facts than we thought, but probably confirms the types of views that are getting him banned elsewhere.

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

      • identicon
        Rocky, 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:51pm

        Re:

        It's kind of interesting to see that he hasn't answered your question yet. It tells us that his character is severely lacking in conviction since he can't even own up to the logical conclusion of his argument.

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

    • icon
      Cdaragorn (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 10:43am

      Re: Right Idea

      It proves that big tech has a bias, and will censor those with whom they disagree, while permitting TOS violations of those with whom they agree, while hiding behind 230

      Of course big tech has a bias. The problem here is that you have not demonstrated why that isn't ok. You're allowed to have a bias. Why can't they?
      And no there is no such thing as a "de facto public forum" so if you try to bring that up you'll only be further demonstrating your own unwillingness to let them have the same basic rights you enjoy just because you disagree with them.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 10:47am

        Numerous commenters, including myself, have explained to Koby why popular social media sites are not public property. He has steadfastly refused to listen, learn, and admit his wrongness. Assume that any time he comments on a Section 230 story, he is commenting in bad faith — then press him on whether he explicitly believes the law should force speech upon websites, which is the implicit position he takes when he supports the anti-230 efforts.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 6:19pm

          Re: they say

          He can refuse all he wants.
          It’s like watching a dog bark.
          You eventually realize he’s just doing it becuase he’s on a chain.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 10:44am

      Re: Right Idea

      The alt right going all Taliban and telling people what to think and how to behave is the bigger threat.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 10:46am

      Re: Right Idea

      Among many other dumb things in this comment, Dick's tweet was an obvious joke between friends (he and Parker are good friends who joke like this constantly on Twitter). It's only in the nutjob Trumpist snowflake rage factory that this became a thing. And I see you're a part of that gullible set of suckers. Why am I not surprised?

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        Koby (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 10:54am

        Re: Re: Right Idea

        Dick's tweet was in response to Coinbase's CEO Brian Armstrong, and their new attempt to create a neutral office.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 10:57am

          Yes or no, Koby: Should the law somehow require neutrality from all platforms for speech — on- and offline — before those platforms can have First Amendment and (where applicable) Section 230 protections?

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 11:46am

          Re: Re: Re: Right Idea

          Dick's tweet was in response to Coinbase's CEO Brian Armstrong, and their new attempt to create a neutral office

          No. It wasn't. It was in response to a discussion about Brian's post about that, in discussion with Parker Thompson -- a friend of Dick's -- as they were debating, jokingly about Brian's memo concerning Coinbase. I know all three individuals here (Brian, Dick, and Parker) and you're as wrong as you can be about this.

          You really need to get out of your stupid bubble. They lie to you Koby. And you suck it up because you're a gullible fool.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 11:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: Right Idea

          Even if it was, so what? Are you saying that Dick is not allowed free speech?

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

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 12:57pm

      Re: Right Idea

      WHICH BIG TECH?
      Because most of the sites ARE NOT Big tech. They are private concerns, as if you had created it yourself.
      And Even HERE, if someone posted a Death threat, I think there would be a Problem. Erase it or report it, Take your pick. In both cases, you would keep it, to show the police. But if you consider it NOT REAL, as in everyday mad libs, you would just erase it.

      Why erase it? Because the NEW LAW would demand that you do that, or the Site host/Server owner/SOMEONE other then the POSTER is responsible? Damned if you do and damned if you dont.

      Who is responsible if you Crash your car? The insurance because you paid for it, the Car dealer cause he sold it to you, the Manufacturer Because they MADE IT, or the idiot behind the wheel?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:38pm

      Re: Right Idea

      "section 230 is among the greatest threats to freedom in the United States "

      Where does it rank among things like 1) Donald Trump 2) Fascism 3) Global Warming 4) Pandemic 5) Domestic Terrorism?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:40pm

      Re: Right Idea

      Still whining about Twitter?

      I thought you guys were taking your shit and going to Parler, so you could speak freely?

      What happened to that plan, genius?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 4:16pm

      Re: Right Idea

      understand that section 230 is among the greatest threats to freedom in the United States today

      Little Koby, please show us on the doll, where did Section 230 touch you?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 6:17pm

      Re: litigate

      Unfortunate for you they don’t have to care if you think they are biased or even if they are.

      You know what your real problem is? That the Poeple who own Twitter? Wont let you people use it.

      And it kills you. That’s the funniest thing I have ever heard.

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 8:29pm

      Re: Right Idea

      [Asserts facts not in evidence]

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 11:33pm

      Re: Right Idea

      Oooh, what a surprise, another section 230 article, another set of lies and whining from our resident idiot after having his ass handed to him on the last thread, causing him to run away crying again.

      "Today's example of bias is former Twitter CEO Dick Costello's death threat"

      I'm sorry, whatever story you are thinking of hasn't made it outside of the right-wing echo chambers yet. If I search for that, all I see is the following stoy from 2014 being reported:

      "Twitter CEO Dick Costolo on Receiving Death Threats from ISIS"

      But, given that you can't even spell the guy's name, I'll be willing to bet you or the people you're stupid enough to hang around with, have just made it up. Unless you want to link to reliable source rather than attack people for dealing with that pesky reality you keep avoiding.

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Oct 2020 @ 6:08am

        Re: Re: Right Idea

        "Oooh, what a surprise, another section 230 article, another set of lies and whining from our resident idiot after having his ass handed to him on the last thread, causing him to run away crying again."

        What can you expect? I mean, as soon as the topic is Free Speech Koby goes off into a dark and deep place where if your restaurant, bar, or social gathering spot is popular enough you should be forbidden from showing misbehaving patrons the door.

        I used to shy away from such comparisons but Koby has lately truly taken it to the level where whenever he tries to talk about section 230 his argument is analogous to someone who tries to justify rape by referring to the Bill of Rights.

        His version of "free speech" means private property is abolished and "censorship" is redefined as daring to walk away when he speaks.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 10:58am

    Yeah... we need more people banned from Twitter, because they tweeted #LearnToCode to a left wing reporter.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 11:02am

      If you can point out any legal reason why Twitter shouldn’t have the right to ban people for that, by all means, do so.

      I’ll wait.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 12:24pm

        Re:

        • Note: Different AC.

        Because it's prohibiting people from gathering and communicating in general.

        There is a fucking limit to the allowable extent of a ban. You want to ban me from talking to you specifically, by all means. You shouldn't be able to ban me from talking to someone else who does want to listen to me.

        "But mah, private property!" Bullshit. The First Amendment was made because the government was too powerful and could threaten others. Now corporations have reached the same level of influence. ("Too big to fail" anyone?) If they don't want to be subject to the same regulations as the government, then they shouldn't rise to the same level of influence as the government. Also, it's pretty hard to call it "private" property when they link it into every fucking major site out there, and openly invite in everyone on the planet.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 12:35pm

          Re: Re:

          You shouldn't be able to ban me from talking to someone else who does want to listen to me.

          Just because you are thrown off one platform does not mean that you are banned from talking to people that want to listen to you, as you can use another platform. If people do not follow you to the alternative platform, they are choosing not to listen to you and the other people on that platform.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:00pm

          Because it's prohibiting people from gathering and communicating in general.

          No, it isn’t. A ban from Twitter is not, in any conceivable way, a ban from Internet communication in general. I don’t have a Twitter account any more, and yet, here I am — commenting on this very site. So maybe fuck off with that bad faith garbage.

          You shouldn't be able to ban me from talking to someone else who does want to listen to me.

          A ban from Twitter doesn’t stop them from listening to you. It only makes doing so a little harder by virtue of having to seek out your speech elsewhere.

          The First Amendment was made because the government was too powerful and could threaten others.

          I don’t know if you’ve noticed, dear Coward, but Twitter ain’t the motherfuckin’ gov’ment.

          If they don't want to be subject to the same regulations as the government, then they shouldn't rise to the same level of influence as the government.

          Should the law force Twitter to host all legally protected speech, regardless of how offensive or worthless it may seem to others and regardless of whether Twitter’s admins want to host speech such as racial slurs, anti-LGBTQ propaganda, and Kpop fancams?

          it's pretty hard to call it "private" property when they link it into every fucking major site out there, and openly invite in everyone on the planet

          Can you spot the one word in this sentence that destroys your own argument for you?

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:46pm

            Re: Tell me how YOUR speech is to be protected then?

            Should the law force Twitter to host all legally protected speech, regardless of how offensive or worthless it may seem to others

            What's so special about YOURS that you think will never be stifled?

            Just consider that YOU are an individual, and THE VAST MAJORITY could easily decide that you're to be suppressed. That's what you're going to cause if keep up this insane notion that corporations are empowered to keep some speech from being seen.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:54pm

              What's so special about YOURS that you think will never be stifled?

              Absolutely nothing. In fact, I once received a temporary suspension from Twitter for using an anti-queer slur in a discussion with another user about what I felt was their homophobic speech. My speech isn’t any more legally protected on Twitter than yours, in that either of us can legally force Twitter to host our bullshit.

              THE VAST MAJORITY could easily decide that you're to be suppressed.

              Alex Jones got the boot from every major social media platform. He still gets his bullshit out through InfoWars.

              corporations are empowered to keep some speech from being seen

              You’re leaving out the most important part of that proposition, so let me correct it for you:

              corporations are empowered to keep some speech from being seen on their property

              Twitter admins can only moderate Twitter. They can stop Alex Jones from using Twitter to spread his bullshit, but they can’t stop him from using InfoWars to do it.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 2:06pm

              Re: Re: Tell me how YOUR speech is to be protected then?

              People who want to force their views on others shout the loudest about free speech and tolerance, while all the while trying to use the hecklers veto to shut others down. You act like one of those people.

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

              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 2:11pm

                I can tolerate people having different views than me. That doesn’t mean I have to tolerate those views, it doesn’t mean they can make me listen to them, and it sure as shit doesn’t mean they can force someone else’s privately owned web service to host their speech.

                If’n you want to yell the N-word on Twitter, and Twitter tells you to fuck off, you haven’t been censored. You’ve only been shown the door for your refusal to play by the rules. You can still visit Gab and Parler to get your fix of racist hogwash and give some back in return.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 6:25pm

              Re: Re: SW joke

              Are you Jedi or sith in robes padawan?
              I sense darkness within haha

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 2:47pm

            'All or nothing' rears it's head up again

            Wait, not using social media platforms means you aren't allowed to communicate with people at all, such that a ban from one is the same as being gagged entirely? Damnit, as someone who doesn't use those platforms I guess I've got a lot of content on several other platforms to take down, don't want to be in violation of that rule or anything.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:38pm

          Re: Re:

          One small problem. Called the constitution. If you want to impose such limits on private, non-governental organizations, you have to first amend the US constitution. Good luck with that.

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Oct 2020 @ 2:27am

            Re: Re: Re:

            "If you want to impose such limits on private, non-governental organizations, you have to first amend the US constitution. Good luck with that."

            Or render the constitution powerless. Like, for instance, having a majority judges of in SCOTUS willing to kiss Trump's ringpiece on command.

            I'd expect the GOP to start churning out as many blatantly unconstitutional bills as they possibly can the very second they've managed to get Trump appointed for a second term.

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

        • icon
          ECA (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:41pm

          Re: Re:

          AC,
          BUT you paid to access the web.
          That does not make it public.
          The rights you have is to Create your OWN site, to stand on a Box and wave your flag, all you want.
          Section 230, is that the server OWNER nor the Server farm Maker, are NOT held liable for what you want on your site. AND YOU ware not Liable for what is posted on your site.

          Lets remove YOUR PROTECTION. And how many times would you be in court, because you BLOCKED an idiot, or DIDNT block the idiot? A viable Threat to any person, would not LEAVe you out of the loop. Even if they could not find the Author, you will be next, or standing next to them IF they do find him.
          Oh!, also leave up 1 threat to a Political person, and you are LIABLE, if anyone leaves a threat on your site.
          If someone declares they are commiting suicide, and its NOT reported IMMEDIATELY, YOU ARE LIABLE IF THEY DIE.
          Do you want the Job of monitoring the site? GO FOR IT, thats even worse.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:41pm

          Re: Re:

          "Now corporations have reached the same level of influence."

          I think that is a completely different problem.

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

        • identicon
          Rocky, 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:44pm

          Re: Re:

          Because it's prohibiting people from gathering and communicating in general.

          What? If someone is booted from Twitter they can't communicate in general anymore? Are they banned from going to a cafe and talk to their friends? You know the one where the sign on the street says Welcome in!. Or perhaps the cafe-owner also booted them out because they where using foul and obnoxious language that made the regulars complain?

          Or perhaps you think the example with the cafe-owner is bullshit also because he has a sign outside his shop that welcomes people in, or, GASP, he put ads in the local paper!!!!

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

        • icon
          ECA (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:46pm

          Re: Re:

          PS.
          The Republicans removed laws, about corps being responsible to anyone, already. Not even to the gov. And this is part of whats happening even now.
          They want autonomy. A nation unto themselves, and you cant take them to court. Not easily. and if you get to court and have a fair judge, they can keep you there the rest of your life. back and forth with no reasoning.

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

        • icon
          JMT (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 8:01pm

          Re: Re:

          "Also, it's pretty hard to call it "private" property when they link it into every fucking major site out there, and openly invite in everyone on the planet."

          Do you seriously not understand the difference between 'private' and 'private property'? Really?!

          If you invite random strangers off the street into the house you own, it's not very private any more, but's it's still your privately-owned property. If you ask them not to piss on the couch, and then they piss on the couch, you can tell them to leave!

          Do you need this simple analogy explained further?

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

        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 8:33pm

          Re: Re:

          Yeah, no. That "platforms aren't private property because they're open to the public" bullshit failed hard when PragerUwU tried to pull it over on the court in their sham lawsuit against Youtube.

          Why do you rant about subjects you know less than nothing about, troll?

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 11:37pm

          Re: Re:

          "You shouldn't be able to ban me from talking to someone else who does want to listen to me."

          I can if you're using my property to do it. GTFO and go somewhere else.

          "Also, it's pretty hard to call it "private" property when they link it into every fucking major site out there and openly invite in everyone on the planet."

          Wal Mart is private property even though they're in every town in the US. Are you saying that Wal Mart should not be able to kick out or ban people from their stores?

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Oct 2020 @ 6:12am

          Re: Re:

          "Now corporations have reached the same level of influence."

          Wow, Twitter can literally throw you in jail or tell you never to speak in public again when they block your account?
          THAT is what "censorship" means. Nothing less.

          If twitter throws you out you can use Gab, zoom, skype, your ordinary fucking phone or, barring all else, grab a bullhorn, climb the soapbox in your yard and scream your message out.

          Until corporations can block you from this your argument is bullshit from start to end.

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 8:34pm

      Re:

      And why, pray tell, shouldn't twitter be allowed to ban the trash huring abusive threats like that?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 11:08am

    And so sites that want to do that will just put it in their terms of service and make people agree to it

    Well, now, to be fair, everybody knows that nobody reads terms of service, so they can't be used to claim that anybody "knowingly and intentionally" agreed to anything...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 11:10am

    Did Twitter ban reporters who snarkily tweeted that at people? No, not at all.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 11:31am

    When you can produce this sheer number of bills on the same subject, you know the quality has got to be top-notch.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 11:34am

    Someone mind explaining how this new version of EARN IT is different from the Senate one? Cause I just assumed it was a copy-paste of the version that got voted out of committee.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 11:53am

      Re:

      There are two relatively minor changes, designed to limit the exemption on encryption (basically giving more discretion to judges to say that encryption is proof of bad behavior).

      It changed the section that was called "Cybersecurity Protections do not give rise to liability" to now just be called "Encryption Technologies" and then limited what that clause said. Previously it said that that there was to be no liability for encryption. Now it says that encryption shouldn't serve as "an independent basis for liability" but that means that encryption in combination with some other factor could be.

      And then lower down it adds in another caveat to allow judges to find encryption makes a site liable: "Nothing in subparagraph (A) shall be construed to prohibit a court from considering evidence of actions or circumstances..."

      In short, it massively weakens the section that said encryption is not a sign of liability to now mean that a judge can see that as a reason to make a site liable.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 12:05pm

        Re: Re:

        Interesting that a republican (you know, the party that abhors "activist judges") should sign on the a bill that HAS to be interpreted by judges. No hypocrisy here.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 3:06pm

        Re: Re:

        Jesus, you're such a joke.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 3:19pm

          And you’re a bad punchline.

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 3:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Jesus, you're such a joke.

          For explaining the differences in the Senate and House bills? I mean, of all the things to claim I'm a joke about... that one seems like the... least reasonable one?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 6:28pm

          Re: Re: Dodge and uppercut

          For every joke there must be a punchline
          And sadly you made yourself the punchline

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

        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 8:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          [Projects facts not in evidence]

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2020 @ 9:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh hi, antidirt. I vaguely remember there was a time when you at least tried to put some effort in being an obnoxious contrarian fucknugget - like the times when you insisted that several human lifetimes is still technically "limited times" for an author's corpse to profit off of his works.

          But I suppose at some point a few mitochondria in the void where your brain should have been must have collided, and you realized that paying for an Insider account on a website run by a guy whose guts you loathe so hard you could power a small nuclear reactor from the vitriol - was a fucking dumb idea. Especially after he wouldn't align himself to fit the twisted Twilight-level fanfiction you wrote about him in your head.

          Good to see you're still the same triggered John Steele fanboy who'll simp for out_of_the_blue's rustled jimmies.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 1:58pm

    And Techdirt still doing its HIDDEN censoring! Session blocked.

    It's not coincidence.

    Masnick not only openly but censors out of sight.

    Is that the world you want?

    Remember, YOU are a tiny minority and corporations are amoral money-machines.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 2:04pm

      Hey, Blueballs! Glad to see you’re still alive, because I have a question for you:

      How can a corporation control and enforce a copyright when you believe corporations have no legal rights, and how do you feel about corporations using copyright to censor speech?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 5:41pm

        Re:

        Glad to see you’re still alive

        Speak for yourself.

        I'll grant the Nunes spammer one small mercy and admit that he's at least still consistent to pick out from a mile away without needing his trash-tier shitty puns on TOR. What's confusing is how he still manages to suck Donald Trump's sausage (in place of where a functioning phallus should be) and not kick the bucket from COVID-19 in the process...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2020 @ 6:29pm

      Re: Re: Dodge and uppercut

      “Is this the world you want”

      For you my boy? A world of enchantment and wonder.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Oct 2020 @ 7:02am

      Re: And Techdirt still doing its HIDDEN censoring! Session block

      "Remember, YOU are a tiny minority and corporations are amoral money-machines."

      Everything's relative, Baghdad Bob.

      For instance, a corporation will be malicious only when it stands to gain a profit from being so. Most people moderated away on blogs and social media, however, are malicious even when it costs them to be so.

      So even if your nonsense argument about how private property owners shouldn't be allowed to own their property - and show unpleasant assholes the door - happened to have ANY validity I still think we'd choose to rely on the corporation which has to be paid to be evil rather than on people like you who'll spend like drunk sailors for a chance to be evil.

      "Masnick not only openly but censors out of sight."

      Oh, the horror, Mike's being evil where we can't see or notice it? The nerve! Here, I'll give you plenty of notice that I'm flagging your posts as garbage just so you don't feel moderated out of sight.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 1 Oct 2020 @ 9:32pm

    Our congresspersons are not nerds, but they disagree.

    I don't think they understand what Section 230 even does beyond something something immunity to prosecution or lawsuits regarding something something.

    Oh and a bunch of them (including Senator Harris) made a big deal about how it encourages sex slavery, i.e. human trafficking (In fact, it didn't and rather it actually helped hunt traffickers and protect sex workers.)

    But that might be enough to think they'll get points for killing Section 230.

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

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 2 Oct 2020 @ 8:08pm

    Some think that
    "He was banned" + "He was right-wing" = "He was censored for his conservative opinions!"

    The rest, in contrast, are capable of logical thought.

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


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