Section 230

Trump Tweets 'Repeal Section 230,' Something He Couldn't Do if Section 230 Were Repealed

You want censorship? This is how you get censorship.

|

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted "REPEAL SECTION 230!!!" The three exclamation points underscore his enthusiasm for undoing the federal statute that protects social media companies from liability for user-generated content.

It's an ironic statement since, without the existence of Section 230, Trump very well might not be able to tweet it. If Congress were to remove social media platforms' liability protection, then companies like Twitter and Facebook would have no choice but to remove users' ability to post content at-will. Instead, moderators would have to vet and approve content to make sure that it wasn't potentially libelous.

This would exacerbate the very problem that many conservatives have with social media—namely, that Twitter (and to a lesser extent, Facebook) sometimes takes aggressive action against provocative right-wing speech, by labeling the content as misleading or removing it outright. In some cases, the platforms' treatment of right-wing users does seem overly harsh, or selective in nature—though it is by no means the case that conservatives are the only ones to suffer from harsh and thoughtless moderation. Repealing Section 230, though, is not a solution, unless the goal is to prevent Twitter and Facebook from functioning at all.

Conservatives—and anyone whose views and statements fall outside a narrow window of mainstream respectability—should think long and hard about whether they really want to go down that road. The demise of social media would limit the ability of people to express themselves on the internet, a venue where right-leaning speech has actually flourished: Facebook posts by Ben Shapiro, Fox News, Breitbart, and others are routinely the most-read content on the site. It is Trump's great enemy, the mainstream media, which would benefit most directly from the collapse of these spaces for disseminating information.

Given this, it's no surprise that former Vice President Joe Biden also wants to repeal Section 230. This makes perfect sense: Biden and his allies correctly realize that forcing social media to adopt more guardrails would result in wider moderation of conservative speech. Regulating the internet more aggressively is a straightforwardly beneficial plan for mainstream media–friendly Biden-ism. That Trump is seemingly on board with this plan shows that the president either hasn't thought about this issue very hard or doesn't actually care about expanding the opportunities for conservative speech online. Or perhaps both.

NEXT: Don't Buy Trump's Conspiracy Theories About Ballots Being Dumped in Rivers

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I want them legally liable for everything that gets put out, and financially destroyed in court just like the local newspaper would be for constant slander, libel, tortious interference, and incitement to violence would be.

    Trump can start a blog. Go back to the distributed ecosystem of the old days, instead of having a handful of gatekeepers.

    1. Wouldn’t the company that hosts this new Trump Blog be on the hook for letting him say slanderous things in the absence of section 230?

      1. Nope, if the host is a true common carrier that doesn’t edit.

        1. Section 230:
          “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

          Repeal that and a provider of an interactive computer service is treated as a speaker or publisher. A standard web hosting service is such a provider.

          1. Which is why of course phone companies can be sued for defamation when someone else says something defamatory using a cellphone. Wait, no they can’t, because there are already protections in place for platforms that facilitate communication between people.

            1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…HTr after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

              Here’s what I do…>> Click here

              1. Best not username ever.

                1. Bot. Fucking autocarrot.

                  1. If the bots start stealing handles this place could get even more entertaining.

                    1. Tulpa hardest hit.

                    2. I’m very offended on cyto’s behalf.
                      He’s one of the best posters here.
                      At least steal the NPCs like trueman or white knight or eunuch.

            2. The reason phone companies aren’t sued is because the conversation is between private parties (so your phone analogy would be appropriate if email providers could be held responsible for defaming content exchanged between senders/recipients).

              And true, there have existed protections in place for _other_ media, but the internet was a new thing, and it wasn’t clear which, if any, existing laws covered it, so we got the CDA, detailing all kinds of things you couldn’t do with the internet, and section 230 was to clarify that, if you merely provide the sandbox, it’s not your fault when some kid throws sand.

              1. But they don’t “merely provide the sandbox” – that’s why there’s debate.

        2. So twitter would be fine with you if they just didn’t edit? WTF?

          1. Nobody should censor others, not churches, schools, social media companies, banks or publishers.

            This shouldn’t be enshrined as law but should be a social more.

            This is why libertarianism needs to be advanced as a life philosophy practiced across the political spectrum and not as some lame-ass party.

            1. So, Twitter, a privately owned company, has to provide a speech platform for anybody who comes along, publishing anything they want to say?

              And if a church website lets people post comments, they have no right to delete comments posted by a Satanist if they find it offensive?

              1. “has to”
                Are you twisting my words deliberately, or did you just barely read enough to respond because you wanted to play asshole?

                I said a social more, not a legal obligation.

                1. because you wanted to play asshole?

                  I’ve seen no evidence that he’s playing.

                2. The question still stands, either way. Do you want a social more that a Christian church that lets people post comments discussing Christianity to feel obligated to post comments from Satanists on their site?

                  1. Is it publicly traded?
                    Does it sell user data?
                    Has a court ruled it’s an official tool of government policy?

                    1. “ Has a court ruled it’s an official tool of government policy?”

                      Which no court should have. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

                    2. Something needs to be done about social media which is a threat our democracy and which if left unchecked will eventually end in civil war. It was best explained in Netflix’s Social Dilemma that it’s like if you were to read a definition in Wikipedia that you’d get a different definition than a person at a different position on the political or social spectrum. Facebook generally posts articles for your page based on similar interests to your friends. The truth be damned. Is this really what we want? How is this good for democracy? We are seeing the affects of these social medium platforms right now. They are dividing us and leading to a breakdown of our social and political institutions. When the president runs down the CDC or the FBI and uses phrases like “I heard just the other day….”before launching into a diatribe of lies and half truths, this information is regurgitated on social media along with the falsities of his staunchest supporters and more than likely Russian, Iranian and Chinese trolls who are only too happy to stir the pot. We have regulations on TV as to nudity, smoking, language etc and similar constraints (the truth would be a good start) are required on this medium as well.

                    3. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…CMs after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

                      Here’s what I do…>> Click here

              2. If it’s not illegal, yes.

              3. Twitter, a privately owned company, must provide an open speech platform for any legal traffic or must be legally liable for any material posted on their curated platform. That is the summary of section 230. Most people that actually know what they are talking about are urging the enforcement not the repeal of 230.

                What so many of the social media companies want is to remove opinions they disapprove of while maintaining legal indemnity.

                1. Only if Twitter wants to be a Publisher. Otherwise it is a common carrier.

                  Publishers can limit viewpoints. Common carriers can not.

                  1. Exactly right but you need to include the consequences.

                    Publishers can limit viewpoints but are legally liable for content. Common carriers can not limit viewpoints but are not legally liable for content (as long as they make a good faith effort to remove illegal content once it is reported i.e. child pornography, copyright infringements).

                2. Thank you! WK seems to be purposefully obtuse on this issue.

                3. I think that social media like Facebook are only interested in revenue and couldn’t care less about truth. They have no convictions one way or the other. They’ll push the truth as well as lies if it means you clicking on an advertisement they get paid to push.

                  1. I personally think they are keeping up with the silicon valley culture but you may be right.

                    The problem is that advertisers don’t want their ads next to any post that will cause the screaming progressive banshees to start a boycott. Even if the social media companies are removing content for strictly financial reasons they are removing exclusively one type of content.

              4. Yep. End of straw man argument.

              5. If they are a publisher, they are liable for libel. Pretty straightforward.

            2. This is why libertarianism needs to be advanced as a life philosophy practiced across the political spectrum and not as some lame-ass party.

              You’re very confused. Libertarianism as a philosophy says that people can do what they want with their own property. If I don’t want you to stand in my living room and shout your support for (or opposition to) mask wearing, libertarianism as a philosophy says that I have every right to tell you to get out. Same applies to a church and its pews or Twitter and its servers.

          2. Yes! Daringly libertarian, no?

    2. Fuck off, slaver. Keep your mitts off the tech companies.

      1. Even if he repealed section 230, he doesn’t get his mitts on the tech companies. Courts, claimants, and lawyers do.

      2. Yes. Tech companies deserve extra legal protections said the libertarian.

        You idiots are sounding more and more Iike the “internet will collapse without net neutrality” idiots.

        Youre advocating for favored protections. Youre ignoring SV courts extending protections to contract abuse as well. Youre ignoring unconscionable contracts in any other industry.

        1. I shut a lot of people up on that one by asking if they could explain a peering agreement.

          If they have no idea what that is, they don’t have an opinion on Net Neutrality, they have someone else’s opinion, and they’re just parroting it.

          Man that made people mad to hear, but at least they shut their stupid noise holes.

          1. Why should the peering agreements matter? I’m paying Spectrum for a given download speed from “the internet” (I don’t care if it’s on their network or AT&T’s… I’m paying them to just make it happen). I realize that my provider sees that a lot of their traffic is coming from Netflix and that makes them look at Netflix’s deep pockets and look for ways to get Netflix to subsidize the peering agreements, but they’re _already_ getting money for that peering agreement when I paid for the fast tier. Without Netflix (or Hulu or the other fish that the ISPs are trying to soak), I don’t _need_ the fast tier and I’m going to switch to a slower/cheaper plan.

            It’s like if Davenport, IA tried to get the Walmart across the river in Moline, IL to pay for the wear and tear on Davenport roads because most of the traffic is to the neighboring Walmart. They’re already getting paid, by the users of the roads, to provide decent roads. Trying to bill the destination is just a shake-down.

            1. Joe, that’s a clever analogy. I’m stealing it to use with my friends.

      3. Yes Chip, keep his hands off the people who push your agenda without fear of reprisal, no matter how much they lie and censor to do it. That’s the leftist way.ay

    3. Great idea, maybe you could start by stop posting Twitter feeds here. Not that I don’t like your posts, I find some very enlightening and/or humorous. Its just odd that you seem to really really like that tool.

      1. Biden’s more of a puppet than a tool. Tools are useful.

        1. Embrace the power of *and*. Biden is a puppet *and* a too. Puppets *are* useful, in the hands of a puppeteer.

    4. What is stopping Trump from publishing a blog here if he doesn’t like Twitter’s rules?
      https://www.donaldjtrump.com/

      1. Twitter doesn’t need a carve out, no liability but freedom to publish. If you are arguing to eliminate libel laws, make your case. Otherwise, you are just shilling for Zuckerberg.

        1. …and Dorsey. All those f***s can eat my shorts.

    5. Twitter is a gatekeeper of … Twitter.
      Facebook is a gatekeeper of … Facebook.
      Donald J. Trump is the gatekeeper of … https://www.donaldjtrump.com/ and as many other websites as he wants to start.

    6. Make 6,000 dollar to 8,000 dollar A Month Online With No Prior Experience Or Skills Required. Be Your Own Boss AndChoose Your Own Work Hours.Thanks A lot Here>>>Read More.

    7. Google paid for all online work from home from $ 16,000 to $ 32,000 a month. The younger brother was out of Abw work for three months and a month ago her check was $ 32475, working at home for 4 hours a day, and earning could be even bigger….So I started……Visit Here

  2. Sure the tech companies are totalitarian fascists who are trying to control what can and cannot be said in the country. But if you repeal 230 they will just make things worse for you.

    Is that threat? Fuck them. I couldn’t give a shit less if all of them get sued out of existence. They were not owed special legal protection in the first place. So, it is no loss if they lose it. If they go bankrupt, well I guess the market has spoken.

    1. Why can’t you understand that they will never be sued out of existence? Getting rid of 230 will mean a different law in place- something like “good faith fair moderation”. It will be the sort of requirement that ONLY those big companies can perform. And just as it took 10 – 15 years for the Dems to turn the Patriot Act against the GOP, in 10 years the dems will have control of the apparatus used to determine “fair” coverage.

      The liberal sites already credibly do this today- they remove anything that contradicts with “official” guidance by the CDC. They are absolutely telegraphing to government how they can be a part of the solution.

      Don’t give the Democrats the rope that they will use to hang us.

      1. This is exactly it. Attempting to regulate big corporations nearly always leads to the same disaster public choice economics predicts: protecting the incumbents against competition.

        1. Section 230.
          Is.
          Regulation.

          1. A succinct, light weight, well crafted bit of regulation that has been fruitful — so let’s replace it with some arbitrary, fuzzy regulatory system that can be gamed by whichever major political party is in power — brilliant foresight there.

            1. You’re projecting, as usual.

          2. No; it’s deregulation. It limits the ways in which government can control providers of interactive computer service.

      2. That is why you exempt platforms with less than say 10,000 users. Go ahead and give small platforms the protection. They are not a threat to anything.

        And you don’t repeal 230, you just say they have to not engage in moderation at all and put everything up until someone complains and it is shown to be illegal or libelous or whatever.

        1. “And you don’t repeal 230, you just say they have to not engage in moderation at all and put everything up until someone complains and it is shown to be illegal or libelous or whatever.”

          You know this is exactly how things were before, and everyone complained about that, right? Youtube didn’t pull anything without complaints. But there will ALWAYS be an army of complainers (or a bot army of complainers). So once again you have a situation where you will be in the position of determining what is “fair” or “abuse” or “fake” because the left isn’t going to settle for “specifically illegal”.

          1. That was the way it was and the only people who complained were assholes who wanted to censor everyone. Rewrite 230 to give the social media companies a way to tell the assholes to fuck off. Sure, we would love to censor all this evil “insert bitch here” content, but if we did we would lose our 230 immunity. So we can’t.

      3. It will be the sort of requirement that ONLY those big companies can perform. And just as it took 10 – 15 years for the Dems to turn the Patriot Act against the GOP, in 10 years the dems will have control of the apparatus used to determine “fair” coverage.

        This is what has already happened. The CDA was whittled away to this little piece and even then what was originally meant to ensure everyone had a fair and honest voice has been reinterpretted into ensuring that only the truthiest and most goodthinking people get to have their voice protected.

        Don’t give the Democrats the rope that they will use to hang us.

        Because if we didn’t give it to them they wouldn’t invent a ‘penaltax’ or a legal distinction between sex and gender in order to hang us with?

      4. they already do have power over ‘fair’ coverage w.r.t. tech platforms… its called the woke tech oligarchy… or am i missing something?

      5. If it was a regulation only big companies could afford it would already be a regulation like in any other industry. These companies like the power of the narrative. It also helps protect them from bad press such as their anti free market abuses like buy and kills.

      6. If I were to bet my life on the CDC or Donald Trump and the GOP I’d bet the house on the CDC. The reason why we have 210,000 deaths today and lag the entire world is due to all the lies and planted doubts of Trump. Lies kill!!!

    2. You’re missing them point. They won’t get sued because they won’t allow you or anyone else to post anything anymore. Twitter and Facebook will just become news outlet without comment sections

      1. Yeah, repealing section 230 just turns internet news sites into traditionally edited newspapers.

        1. And decimate their profit. Fine by me.

      2. It’s clear as I’ve pointed out many times that this isn’t about Section 230. It’s about the right forcing the social media companies to comply with their demands. Section 230 is the cudgel that they stole.

        Can you imagine the damage Republicans would inflict on themselves politically if they are seen as responsible for changing the way social media works? Like these apps or not, but they are highly popular.

        1. Plus think of how Trump supporters get the word out about their hero–through social media. He gores his own oxe.

        2. Section 230 is the cudgel that they stole.

          I meant to say chose not stole.

          1. It’s not a cudgel they homesteaded or acquired through a mutually agreed-upon trade!

        3. It is only a cudgel if you consider them entitled to it. They are not entitled to special legal protection. If they want special legal protection, then they are going to have to please the voting public that is in a position to give it to them.

          If you don’t want to have to play politics and please voters, don’t ask for special protection under the law.

          And by the way you made the dumbest argument regarding abortion I have ever heard the other day. You said that you agreed that life begins at conception but abortion was still okay because there is no “affirmative right to life” That takes the cake for stupidity. It really does,

          You created the life by your own actions dumb ass. It is only there because you put it there. So, there is nothing affirmative about it. You are just expected to be responsible for what you created. If creating a life creates no responsibility for that life, then all child welfare laws are unjust and just creating an affirmative right for someone else to take care of you. So heh, throw that three year old on the street. It can take care of itself. No one has an affirmative right to demand I take care of them.

          That is literally what you were saying. You might think through that a bit more.

          Right now you don’t think children are owed being cared for by their parents but you do think tech companies are owed 230 protections. That is so fucked up it is remarkable even for here.

          1. LOL, I guess I’m in your head. If there is a “positive” right to life, then explain why you don’t have a right to healthcare.

            Now back to the actual topic before it goes way off the rails. I never said anyone was entitled to Section 230. It was given to them as a way to clarify what should be legally obvious. If Congress wants to take that language away that’s fine. But don’t pretend that it’s because of the language itself and not as part of the government protection racket. Nice company you got there Twitter, it’d be a shame if anything happened to it.

            1. I don’t have a right to health care. But I sure as hell have an obligation to take care of my children. Are you so fucking stupid you can’t see the difference between the obligation to take care of a life you created and demanding people you have never met pay for your healthcare?

              Try again. Why don’t you just walk away from this argument and come up with a different way to rationalize your desire for legal abortion. I can give a couple of defenses of that won’t make you look so stupid if you would like.

              It is not a government protection racket. Twitter demanded special protection from laws that have been in force for hundreds of years and that everyone else is subject to. If that is a protection racket, then every law that has ever been written is one.

              And if you don’t care if 230 is repealed, why are you always on here whining about it?

              1. Twitter demanded special protection from laws that have been in force for hundreds of years and that everyone else is subject to.

                Section 230 is part of the CDA passed in 1996. Twitter was created in 2006. Twitter asked for nothing unless they have a time machine. Twitter is a free market reaction to a government law that already existed that limited their liability. You want to take away the legal framework that allowed for their existence because they didn’t host some content you liked.

                And if you don’t care if 230 is repealed, why are you always on here whining about it?

                Part of democracy is accepting that sometimes the majority of people don’t have their own best interests in mind. But that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t try to convince people that they’re making a bad decision.

                1. Before 1996 libel and copyright laws had existed for 100s of years. No one ever got special exemptions from them other than Congress for all of that time. Twitter is now demanding it keep this exemption. Well take it up with the voters. They are not entitled to it.

                  1. They’re not exempted from anything. 230 just makes it clear who is responsible for user-provided content — the user.

                    1. They’re not exempted from anything.

                      Besides, you know, publishing liability.

                      230 just makes it clear who is responsible for user-provided content — the user.

                      And a good thing too, because there was no legal precedent or guidance on vicarious liability and what constitutes publishing until a shitty law that got repealed in its entirety save for this one section was passed in 1996.

              2. The constitution says we are entitled to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Some might attribute life to encompass healthcare since without it a person can easily die.

            2. No one has the right to the labor and /or property of others, dumbass. That is called Slavery

              1. You just made the argument for why Twitter or Facebook should be allowed to decide what they want to allow on their website, which they own.

                1. That is not in question by anyone other than bogeymen invented by idiots like you to red herring the discussion. Any web platform could in the past, can presently, and will in the future, be able to choose to publish or not publish any content it pleases. The sole difference is that they could potentially, depending on court interpretation and precedent, face liability for some of the shit they choose to publish, in the same way that a radio station is liable for the comments made during a call-in show, or a television network is liable for the content it chooses to broadcast, or a magazine is liable for the letters to the editor that it chooses to print. This isn’t complicated, novel, or esoteric in the field of law, it just seems that way to you because you are dumber than a sack of fucking dog shit.

            3. Amazing you don’t see the difference. A right to life means a right to live without interference. A right to health care means someone has to be forced to pay for it and/or render it.

            4. It was given to them as a way to clarify what should be legally obvious

              If the legal doctrine was obvious then why don’t you trust the courts to make a proper decision based on the law if and when this theoretical tidal wave of lawsuits befalls this beneficent capitalist victim class? Literally every argument you use to defends this piece of shit law that was repealed in its entirety with the sole exception of section 230 obviates the supposed need for the law.

          2. I oppose most imagined abortion laws (WE Can Have A Blanket PROHIBITION !!!!!!!) because of enforcement problems ( that ugly privacy thing used to justify Roe. ).

      3. IF they won’t allow me or anyone else to post anymore, then they won’t have a business model. As their worshipers are always telling us, they don’t owe anyone a platform. So, what do I care if they don’t give me one?

      4. Weird because my local newpaper doesn’t enjoy any such protections and still manages to carry a ‘Letters To The Editor’. Must be some sort of black magic how they do it without getting sued into the ground.

        Or, I guess it could be up front moderation, clear statements about liability, and still being forced to wrangle with the occasional concerned citizen troll who, rightly or wrongly, calls them on their bullshit.

        1. Weird because my local newpaper doesn’t enjoy any such protections and still manages to carry a ‘Letters To The Editor’. Must be some sort of black magic how they do it without getting sued into the ground.

          Or it could be that they actually get to screen what they print. It’s almost like physical newspapers and the internet are drastically different things.

          1. Or it could be that they actually get to screen what they print.

            Right, that’s what I said in the very next paragraph, it’s called ‘up front moderation’, hundreds of internet companies used to do it prior to the passage of the CDA.

            It’s almost like physical newspapers and the internet are drastically different things.

            It’s more like papers and the internet weren’t all that different until idiots like yourself started drinking the koolaid. Hundreds of internet companies did up front moderation prior to the passage of the CDA. For some reason, ignoramuses like yourself seem to think that now, because internet, they are completely incapable of surviving while doing so. Moreover, nothing in the 1A gives any distinction to the medium. So, it’s almost like physical newspapers, books, radio broadcasts, television, movies, memory media publication, and the internet aren’t all that different from a free speech perspective and that, at several points, you are either genuinely stupid or knowingly playing stupid about the distinctions.

            1. Well nobody is arguing that this is a free speech issue, so I’m not really sure what you’re going on about.

              1. Well nobody is arguing that this is a free speech issue, so I’m not really sure what you’re going on about.

                It’s kind of important since most of the legal precedent surrounding publishing depends on the interpretation of the first amendment you drooling fucking retard.

          2. Your newspaper publishes a tiny volume of user-provided content. Section 230
            made it possible for websites like Twitter to post millions of posts a day. Hell, even the Reason comment section posts more comments on one article than your newspaper posts user letters in a year.

            1. Internet publishers need a special exemption from generally applicable laws because otherwise they would be inconvenienced. Nothing more free market than that, folks.

            2. Your newspaper publishes a tiny volume of user-provided content.

              And? Without tweet and facebook spam the internet couldn’t exist?

              Section 230
              made it possible for websites like Twitter to post millions of posts a day.

              Bullshit. Spammers, listservs, and BBSs were sending millions of messages a day for years if not decades before section 230.

              Stop inflicting your stupidity on others. Stop insisting that you have an unfettered right to do so.

              1. Idiots forget that AOL and CompuServe were effective at sharing dinner pics, cat videos, headline news, and meme GIFs before CDA/230.

                They even had armies of volunteer moderators who kept the place tidy in exchange for freebies and discounts.

                Eventually they were replaced by better priced services and more consumer choices. But they never faced massive legal problems or liabilities from slander issues.

                And both existed before CDA230.

                The legislation wasn’t needed then and isn’t needed now.

      5. Net neutrality morons said the internet would be dead by now.

    3. Haha, calling people fascist is kosher now, John? I can’t wait for your next rant when someone calls Trump a fascist.

      1. It is called hyperbole. It went right over your head. But it need make you upset, which is good. It is the small joys in life like watching dumb asses like you get upset and angry that make life worth living.

        1. Ah yes, the good old “when I say it, it’s hyperbole, when you say it, it’s unfair name-calling.”

          I am glad you are finding small joys in life, John, because you are going to need them over the next couple of months. Nevertheless, I look forward to your unhinged rants about how the world is coming to an end, after Trump loses the election.

          1. Sadly you are going to be disappointed. It is funny as hell how you dumb asses always project. I think Trump will win but if he doesn’t it will not be the end of the world. I have never said it would be. You only claim I do because you are a complete dumb ass who projects your own neurosis on everyone else.

            And yes, your misery is lovely. I can’t tell you how hard I laugh at you sometimes. I really do. It is so much fun to kick you around and make you sad. You deserve it.

            1. I am glad you are having fun, because it can be frankly pretty depressing how angry and frustrated you sound in your rants. And I really hope that you will take it in stride if Trump loses, because politics should not affect your personal life in the slightest.

              1. Politics does affect my personal life because I enjoy your misery so much.

                1. Ooooh, I am so miserable. Can’t you just taste my anger and misery?

                  1. Yes. We can. You bitch in almost every thread.

                    1. Lol, yeah, this.

                      “Haha, I’m not miserable, YOU’RE miserable! I’m not projecting, YOU’RE projecting!”

    4. I think it’s obvious that this, as everything with Trump, is a negotiation. Getting rid of Section 230 is the extreme where social media giants can control content as much as they like and bear attendant risks. At the other end is social media maintaining Section 230 rights but letting anything go out that isn’t expressly illegal. People on parts of the left and the right have tried to find ways to limit content they don’t like even if it is legal. It’s the left that has impact, though, as no one gives a shit what the far right wants. The problem here is that Twitter and Facebook have been trying to stay in the good graces of the left by making it clear they hate mean evil conservatives. They need to pay a price for that, the same way they would need to be made to pay a price if, say, they started deleting mean tweets about the Pope or Franklin Graham.

      This tweet went out after Trump tweeted, accurately, that for some demographics the flu was statistically more dangerous than COVID, and twitter censored it.

      The risk to Section 230 isn’t that Trump will actually get it repealed, but that social media players who want to stay in the good graces of the left are willing to sacrifice their role as neutral content carriers to do so and set a precedent where soon you can’t keep your pro-choice, pro-gun or, coming soon, antiwar website up and monetized but the “neutral carriers” that shut you out are considered as section 230 protected sites that only police extremists.

    5. Totalitarian? Twitter, Facebook, and other social media companies are popular places to communicate. They are nowhere near the totality of places where speech can occur.

      1. True, you could go place pamphlets on the street corner. Oh wait, that’s illegal. Well, you could go to your local university campus at least! Oh wait, that’s illegal.

    6. What they still don’t get is…we don’t care if it “will get worse”.

      Say the wrong thing, even if true, and you’re banned.

      I don’t think planning on being the last one left for the lion to eat is a really sensible life strategy.

  3. But if conservatives are already getting censored, why would they care about censorship?

    I’m not saying it’s a good idea, I’m just saying that this isn’t a very compelling argument for the conservatives that are already getting censored.

    1. Well, conservatives aren’t being completely censored. YouTube is still the place to go for lots of alternative political content. Some of their censorship has been absolutely egregious (particularly the silencing of alternative takes on teh covid situation). But it could be worse and more complete.

      1. “You should stay with your abusive husband because if you leave he might kill you!”

        Yep, super compelling when formulated this way too.

    2. That’s like saying you shouldn’t care if taxes will go up if a certain law is passed, since you already pay taxes

      1. More like not caring if tax rates rise to 95% when the are already at 90%.

    3. Yes, and slaves were already getting sold, horsewhipped, and raped. Why should they have cared about more sales, horsewhipping, and rape?

  4. Democracy dies in darkness when Big Tech controls the light switch.

    1. What’s the alternative? Big Government controlling the switch?

      1. How about just leaving the lights on. Big government got involved after Trump, using the same tactics as his predecessor won the election. Big government prodded Big tech to censor which they gleefully complied with. I don’t want big government or big tech or big business telling shutting me up. I don’t want any of them changing the TOS after I agreed to them.

        1. I don’t want any of them changing the TOS after I agreed to them.

          How does repealing Section 230 accomplish this?

          1. Contract law, no?

            1. But what does that have to do with Section 230? Even contract law doesn’t really help you, if you do not wish to be bound by the new TOS you are free to cease using the service in question

              1. But what does that have to do with Section 230?

                Because multiple courts have dismissed TOS violation lawsuits on 230 grounds despite you hopelessly stupid cunts repeatedly saying that such a thing is not possible.

                if you do not wish to be bound by the new TOS you are free to cease using the service in question

                Sweet. And they’ll return or destroy all of the data they collected on me under the new TOS that they continue to sell to advertisers, right? Oh, what’s that? You’re a brainless cunt who thinks social media users are the actual customers?

            2. Contract law, no?

              No. Contract law applies even with § 230. The problem is that people talking about “TOS” haven’t actually read the TOS.

      2. No switch. I would amend Section 230 to specify that any organization seeking its protections is required to allow the publication of anything protected by the First Amendment.

        1. THIS IS EXACTLY RIGHT! Problem solved.

          1. So if someone wants to come here to Reason and post 500 comments advertising timeshares in each thread, you think Reason has to allow all of those or be sued?

    2. Democracy DESERVES to die!!! We are a Constitutional Republic!

      1. We should all be Constitutional Republicans.

  5. https://twitter.com/JordanChariton/status/1313531597853986816

    3 years ago, when a domestic abuser blogging for
    @HuffPost
    FALSELY accused me of sexual assault—w/ no editorial oversight—my life/career was upended.

    Yet, HuffPost was legally shielded by Sec. 230 bc it was a blogger—not a staff employee. THREAD…

    1. I don’t get this. Huffpost actually did remove the content on his objection. And he had the ability to sue the blogger as well. This complaint is strange.

      1. But Huffpost is a publication. Had that accusation been made in print, Huffpost would have been responsible for it just as much as the writer. Thanks to 230, Huffpost could give the writer a platform and publish the slander just like any newspaper but avoid any liability.

        1. I do not know the particulars of the case- I tried to get some more details, but could not find them. Consider that in this case you have a Liberal who objected to what a person outside the control of Huffpo posted on their platform. Huffpo did EXACTLY what you suggested should happen- the lefty complained, and Huffpo removed the content.

          So you find yourself on the side of leftists who feel that if they disagree with the content posted on a blog, they should A) get to have the content pulled down, and B) sue the platform that allowed it to be posted.

          Do you not understand how this gives leftists the rope with which to hang you? Let’s say you post something online that the left disagrees with. I guarantee you the left will be more effective at organizing the outrage brigade to complain. Now if the platform owner is sympathetic with you, they run the risk of being sued. Their only incentive at this point is to pull down any content where people complain.

          1. They can only sue the platform if they have a cause of action. “I disagree” is not a cause of action. If the content really is slander or stealing someone’s copyrighted material, they should be able to sue the platform. I don’t see a problem with that.

            1. No John! Advertising companies that operate on the internet are super duper special! How could we possibly have a society if we held advertising companies on the internet to the same standards as every other business?

        2. And to be clear, this wasn’t “published” by Huffpo. It was on their blogging platform.

          https://guestpost.com/blog/2018/03/huffpost-close-contributor-program/

          Which, BTW, was eventually closed.

  6. >>without the existence of Section 230, Trump very well might not be able to tweet it.

    there was no internets before the tweets.

    1. There wasn’t a President Trump before the Tweets. And likely his ability to use Twitter was a big part of his election success.

      1. >>And likely his ability to use Twitter was a big part of his election success.

        63 million people voted T in 2016. I bet a few have never tweeted

        1. Just like the canard about Russian bots on social media. Moot since it turned out that most Trump supporters forgot how to connect the modem.

        2. It had nothing to do with Trump’s voters ability to tweet and everything to do with Trump’s ability to tweet. Do you really think that he gets through the mainstream media and even wins the Republican nomination without his ability to go straight to the people via social media? I don’t. A big part of his whole strategy has been to appeal directly to the American people.

          1. yes if not for Twitter there would be some other way is totally all I am saying.

            and goddam. Long live Eddie Van Halen!

            1. Truly sad. We lost a great one.

          2. He was a guest on every TV show. He got millions free coverage because they all thought he was a joke.

            Even without social media, he was in every newspaper and every magazine and on the nightly news in 2016.

    2. Tweeting for or against a law doesn’t libel or slander anyone. So this particular tweet wouldn’t be affected either way.

      But yeah, if you want unmoderated comments to go away, repeal Sec 230. If you want the big lefty social media companies to apply even stricter scrutiny to what right wing leaning messages they tolerate, repeal Sec 230.

      1. Tweeting for or against a law doesn’t libel or slander anyone. So this particular tweet wouldn’t be affected either way.

        Came here to post this.

  7. We already have censorship you dick. Trump would just post that same message on the White House page if he wanted. Twitter is a fucking sewer and should be punished for sedition. They are a criminal organization.

    1. Then file a sedition lawsuit against them.

      1. Sedition is a federal crime. I believe there has already been discussion about this topic a few months ago. If T is re-elected, pursuing this charge against social media giants will give the DOJ some shits and giggles.

  8. As opposed to now, when he cannot tweet the true statistics about the “real” flu?

  9. C’mon, the guy’s an idiot, serving up idiot bait for his idiot supporters.

    This is not a surprise, and barely worth an article. I applaud Robby for keeping it short.

    1. I applaud Robby for keeping it short.

      Checks out. Retarded cunts with no attention span generally do appreciate short, simple, bumper sticker slogans.

  10. “Trump Tweets ‘Repeal Section 230,’ Something He Couldn’t Do if Section 230 Were Repealed”

    Really? At best this should be “…might not be able to do…”. Section 230 does not allow the physical internet to exist.

  11. Robby, this is fucking stupid. There was nothing in the tweet in question that is defamatory or would otherwise impose legal liability on Twitter.

  12. Seems like most of the headlines and articles on this so-called libertarian website during the past several months have demonized Trump, while very few have criticized Biden (whose policy actions have been far worse for libertarians and libertarianism than have Trump’s).

    1. Maybe because Trump’s been expressing more statism than Biden, and thus attracts the appropriate level of coverage.

      1. Maybe because Trump’s been expressing more statism than Biden

        Would you look at that? All your evidence got censored out of your post! Musta been dem dere right wingers. Hurrr durrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    2. To be sure, on the other hand, ‘basement bunker Biden’ has not done anything worthy of a tweet.

      1. Yeah, maybe the guy who is actually the president and who is constantly making public comments naturally gets more coverage than the guy who is keeping a low profile and trying not to put his foot in his mouth too often. Reason does have some Trump issues, but the guy does work to make himself the center of every story.

        1. Yeah, maybe the guy who is actually the president and who is constantly making public comments naturally gets more coverage

          Yes, it’s perfectly natural to only pay attention to the current officeholder’s statements to the exclusion of the guy who is, you know, trying to take the fucking office away from him. Poor private-citizen Biden deserves his privacy!

          Go fuck yourself you stupid fucking pathetic cunt.

  13. Politician Rants Cluelessly About A Law!

    In other news at 11, Water is Wet and Puppies are Cute!

    1. Rossami threatens to drown cute puppies unless demands are met by 11 p.m.

      #puppylivesmatter
      #puppycideismurder

  14. OPEN QUESTIONS FOR ALL ENEMIES OF SECTION 230

    The day after tomorrow, you get a jury summons. You will be asked to rule in the following case: A poster posted the following to social media: “Government Almighty LOVES US ALL, FAR more than we can EVER know!”

    This attracted protests from liberals, who thought that they may have detected hints of sarcasm, which was hurtful, and invalidated the personhoods of a few Sensitive Souls. It ALSO attracted protests from conservatives, who were miffed that this was a PARTIAL truth only (thereby being at least partially a lie), with the REAL, full TRUTH AND ONLY THE TRUTH being, “Government Almighty of Der TrumpfenFuhrer ONLY, LOVES US ALL, FAR more than we can EVER know! Thou shalt have NO Government Almighty without Der TrumpfenFuhrer, for Our TrumpfenFuhrer is a jealous Government Almighty!”

    Ministry of Truth, and Ministry of Hurt Baby Feelings, officials were consulted. Now there are charges!

    QUESTIONS FOR YOU THE JUROR:

    “Government Almighty LOVES US ALL”, true or false?

    “Government Almighty LOVES US ALL”, hurtful sarcasm or not?

    Will you be utterly delighted to serve on this jury? Keep in mind that OJ Simpson got a 9-month trial!

    1. Keep in mind that OJ Simpson got a 9-month trial!

      The civil trial only lasted 4 mos.

      1. How about the CRIMINAL case? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O._J._Simpson_murder_case#:~:text=The%20trial%E2%80%94often%20characterized%20as,on%20two%20counts%20of%20murder.

        “The trial—often characterized as the trial of the century because of its international publicity—spanned eleven months, from the jury’s swearing-in on November 9, 1994.[3]”

        I guessed it wrong; 11 months not 9 months! My bad!

        So… Under the “words are violence” theories, my above-described future case might be criminal and not civil? Inquiring minds want to know!

        1. How about the CRIMINAL case?

          Section 230 doesn’t literally shield from or preclude criminal prosecution. Also, the same jury didn’t sit on OJ’s criminal case. The civil case “found him guilty” in less than half the time that the criminal case did.

          1. Poor Hihn. He’s so unbelievably stupid that he thought he actually had a point.

        2. still beats working from home.
          or working at ShopRite.

  15. Twitter is now the national watchdog for misleading information about Covid being spread by the president of the United States.

    Looks like capitalism beat government after all.

    1. Yeah, great. Now government gets its propaganda for free (and whatever you think of the truth of the content, Twitter and other media outlets have been acting as the propaganda arm for the government).

      1. Trump gets to air plenty of his propaganda with or without any company policy, yes.

        1. I don’t know if you are actually as dumb as people keep saying you are, or just being extra bitchy, but cut it out. This virus situation is not thoroughly understood by anyone. If you actually give a fuck about science, you need to make room for varying views on the subject. This is too important to be about shitty American political BS.

          1. I don’t have to make room for Trump’s views. His credentials as a human being with coherent thoughts are in question, let alone his credentials as a scientist.

            1. Yeah he’s not an expert like you, right you stupid little cocksucking faggot Oklahoma welfare case?

              1. The thing about being a cocksucking faggot is that you have lots of time to read since you aren’t burdened by children or constantly worrying that being educated makes you effeminate.

          2. “This virus situation is not thoroughly understood by anyone.”

            Once again, I must congratulate Zeb on his (her?) humility. It’s a precious attribute! If anyone has time to spare, read about humility in an unexpected place, here: USA Army leadership humility.

            https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/12/27/army-has-introduced-new-leadership-value-heres-why-it-matters.html#:~:text=Humility.&text=%22A%20leader%20with%20the%20right,(ADP)%206%2D22.

            The Army Has Introduced a New Leadership Value. Here’s Why It Matters

            1. Fuck off and die Hihn. You’re an authoritarian bootlicking piece of shit.

    2. “Twitter is now the national watchdog for misleading information about Covid being spread by the president of the United States.”

      Tony is a retard.

      But maybe not as retarded as some people in this thread–who think Reason should be required to answer in court because I called Tony a retard.

      1. should be required to answer in court

        Even a retard knows the difference between ‘could’ and ‘should’, but not Ken.

        1. In regards to Section 230, things are as they should be.

          1. I don’t think you know.

          2. “In regards to Section 230, things are as they should be.”

            Bless You, Ken Shultz, because ye have NOT sinned, one iota, on this matter! This is at least ONE matter, in which Government Almighty got it right, for once! Let’s hope that it stays that way!

      2. Ken, for shame.

        It’s unnecessarily cruel to people with legitimate mental handicaps to compare them to Tony.

      3. When he keels over dead later this week is covid still going to be no big deal?

        1. Does this mean you’re a bot?

        2. One case has no bearing on how big a deal it is. Why do you think this is about Trump?

          1. Does the fucking body count have any bearing on how big a deal it is?

            1. Not on Section 230 and whether companies invoking common carriers should have to actually be common carriers.

              Trump will not be President forever, but idiots left and right are setting precedents that will outlast him. The Supreme Court is not going to issue an Orange-Man-Bad do-over order where everything that was done “Because Trump” ceases to be a part of our history and no longer has an effect on how we go forward.

            2. Sure does. The body count is minuscule with a fatality rate of 1/10 of 1%. If you weren’t a mathematically illiterate stupid cocksucking faggot welfare leech with AIDS you might realize how the data undermines your panicked fearmongering.

      4. Tony would have to bring an action to the court and prove that your post was libelous AND caused him damages. Remember, truth is an absolute defense against libel. So both you and Reason would be entirely in the clear. And the court would throw out the case. And all without privileging certain advertising companies above others based on the manner in which they publish.

    3. self-appointed watchdog for squelching unapproved theories and outside-of-the-narrative statistics, more like.

    4. Oh look, the Great Barrington Declaration! Never mind, those aren’t real, government-approved scientists and doctors.

  16. The demise of social media would limit the ability of people to express themselves on the internet

    On the other hand, the demise of social media would limit the ability of people to express themselves on the internet so you have to weigh the pros and cons carefully.

    1. It wouldn’t be Reason (*drink*) without pervasive self-contradiction.

    2. No one was able to express themselves on the internet until Facebook was founded 8 years after the passage of the court-repealed Communications Decency Act, you see.

  17. The problem is not section 230. The problem is the interaction of deep pockets legal practice with libel laws.

    Theoretically some entity like Twitter is better positioned to fight a libel suit than the twitterers are, because they have more money. Practically, though, nobody wants to sue the twitterers, because they don’t have the money.

    If libel laws were realistic, though, the value of these lawsuits would soon drop to near 0, because juries should discount everything that’s twitted. “Everybody knows everything on the Internet is a lie, so your damages are 0.” It would only be platforms that tried to establish themselves as trustworthy that would wind up with liability. Maybe that’s how it should be.

    1. That’s what set off the big backlash against section 230. When platforms started moderating what was acceptable viewpoints to have, it became a joke to claim that they weren’t espousing those viewpoints. If I own a platform and I kick off anyone who accuses somebody else of cheating on their wife, except if the person is accused is my neighbor Paul, then my platform is endorsing the view Paul is cheating on his wife. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have intentionally set up a structure where that is the only cheating accusations that doesn’t get someone banned.

      1. Your analogy is a bit off. Let’s say for the sake of argument you are on a liberal site, where they ruthlessly purge all conservatives. That does not mean they endorse libelous statements, it merely means they endorse liberal ideology. The fact that they endorse a viewpoint doesn’t change the fact that the people who ARE posting are responsible for their works.

        This is the point of the law. If a company, through its moderation does promote law-breaking content, then it would likely be held liable. Which is what happens on kiddy-porn sites, or sites promoting violence.

        You seem to be aproaching the logic as “if I support any viewpoint, I should be liable for others’ content” and that is explicitly against what we want from 230. We want people to create niche sites where they moderate for those viewpoints. The last thing we want is a couple of sites where ALL conversation happens that is hand in hand with the government truth-speakers.

        1. We want people to create niche sites where they moderate for those viewpoints.

          Like Facebook with 3 billion users. Little niche sites like that. Don’t you care about the little guy, illocust?!?!?!!

    2. Section 230 does nothing to change the standards of proof in a defamation case. Repealing Section 230 won’t make anyone more guilty of defamation than they used to be–and being well positioned to defend yourself successfully is beside the point.

      Winning a lawsuit isn’t good enough. You need to avoid getting sued so that you can go about your business without that distraction and expense. Defending yourself against a deluge of frivolous lawsuits is not a profitable activity.

      The intention of repealing Section 230 is to drown social media in a flood of necessarily frivolous lawsuits.

      It’s the same thing Biden is trying to do by repealing a law that protects gun manufacturers from lawsuits when their guns are used in a crime–he wants to bankrupt the gun manufacturers with a flood of necessarily frivolous lawsuits. A gun manufacturer isn’t any more responsible for the crimes committed by gun buyers than Twitter is for comments written by users that, for instance, speculate about someone’s guilt in a high profile crime.

      1. Last time I said that, someone questioned whether it was really on Biden’s website–so just for the record . . .

        “Hold gun manufacturers accountable.

        In 2005, then-Senator Biden voted against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, but gun manufacturers successfully lobbied Congress to secure its passage. This law protects these manufacturers from being held civilly liable for their products – a protection granted to no other industry. Biden will prioritize repealing this protection.”

        —-Joe Biden campaign website

        https://joebiden.com/gunsafety/

        Everyone who opposes subjecting gun manufacturers to lawsuits for the actions of third party criminals should oppose repealing Section 230 for the same reasons. Biden is trying to run an end around the Second Amendment to destroy the gun manufacturers, and repealing Section 230 is trying to run an end around the First Amendment to destroy social media.

        1. That is a terrible analogy Ken. Gun companies don’t have any say who buys their guns. Tech companies have complete control over who gets on their site and by censoring are claiming control over that content.

          If gun companies got in the business of determining who they sold a gun to and claimed the right to take your gun back if they thought you were going to use it for a crime, damn right they would be responsible for when someone used one of their guns to commit a crime. There they would be assuming the duty of controlling who gets and who keeps a gun and would necessarily assume the responsibility that comes with that.

          If tech companies want to stop censoring and just sell their platforms to anyone without regard to content (with the proviso that they take down illegal content when it is requested), they can keep their 230 protection. Then they really would be like gun makers. But they are not doing that.

          I have explained that to you a hundred fucking times. I don’t understand what you can’t grasp about it. I really don’t.

          1. “Tech companies have complete control over who gets on their site and by censoring are claiming control over that content.”

            If I put up a sign in your front yard that reads, “John Hates LGBT!” but you don’t take one down that reads, “Go Padres!”, does that mean you should have to answer in court for a sign I put up in your yard next time that reads, “Tony is a retard”?

            I don’t think so.

            I think you should be free to do what you want with your own property. I think being free to do what you want with your property is what makes it your property. And if Tony wants to sue somebody who wronged him, he should have to sue whomever put up the sign. Because you take down some signs and not others certainly doesn’t mean you owe Tony anything–you shouldn’t even have to answer his charges in court since by his own admission, you weren’t the person who put up the sign. The person you sue should be the person who willfully wronged you.

            1. f I put up a sign in your front yard that reads, “John Hates LGBT!” but you don’t take one down that reads, “Go Padres!”, does that mean you should have to answer in court for a sign I put up in your yard next time that reads, “Tony is a retard”?

              If you do it with my permission and knowledge, yes. I am part of the slander. That has been the law forever. Newspapers and magazines are responsible for their content. If a billboard company sells you their billboard and it slanders Tony, they are responsible too.

              I guess the problem is that you don’t understand how the law normally works. If you provide a platform for someone else to slander or steal copyrighted material, you are just as responsible for the tort as they are. That is unless you are a social media company. Then you are treated differently and are not responsible as long as you take the content down when you are requested to do so.

              Is that what you don’t understand? Do you think newspapers are not responsible for content they publish if it is created by someone else? Well, they are.

              1. “If you provide a platform for someone else to slander or steal copyrighted material, you are just as responsible for the tort as they are. That is unless you are a social media company.”

                The laws are wrong in all sorts of ways, and if they currently punish people because third parties are doing something on their property, I oppose that. That isn’t the way it should be. That’s like civil asset forfeiture because someone’s girlfriend used his truck for a drug delivery without the owner’s knowledge or consent.

                Regardless, I don’t think defamation happening on your property is like providing a location for people to operate a chop shop. The fact is that the social media companies have nothing like mens rea or malice when third parties are posting text on their platform. And you taking down an offensive sign I put on your property does nothing to establish your complicity or obligation to any third party.

                1. I don’t think defamation happening on your property is like providing a location for people to operate a chop shop.

                  “I don’t think allowing one type of illegal activity on your property is like allowing a different type of illegal activity on your property, because I like the first type of illegal activity but not the other type.”

                  Yep, got it Ken, you’re both unbelievably stupid, and also a hypocrite and liar.

                  The fact is that the social media companies have nothing like mens rea or malice when third parties are posting text on their platform.

                  Not relevant for TORTS in CIVIL COURT, Ken, you legally illiterate colossal fucking retard. Also a complete fucking LIE anyway, as every major social media company has been busted both in practice and intention of deliberately and maliciously targeting certain viewpoints and not others.

            2. The notional purpose of S.230 was to promote freedom of speech by shielding companies from frivolous lawsuits when they were acting in the role of common carriers.

              S.230 doesn’t need to be repealed, but I do think that it needs to be amended to remove those protections when the companies cease acting as common carriers, and instead start acting as gatekeepers in cases where some other law is not being violated.

              Your point about private property is misguided. They aren’t ethically entitled to claim both common carrier status and private property status simultaneously.

              1. S.230 doesn’t need to be repealed, but I do think that it needs to be amended to remove those protections when the companies cease acting as common carriers, and instead start acting as gatekeepers in cases where some other law is not being violated.

                I disagree with the method but the ends are essentially the same. Title II protections predate S.230 by the better part of a century. Repeal S.230, if they want protection from suits for publishing content, let them apply for Title II protections just like everybody else who enjoys them.

              2. “Your point about private property is misguided. They aren’t ethically entitled to claim both common carrier status and private property status simultaneously.”

                I think you’re missing the forest for the trees.

                People shouldn’t be compelled to answer charges in court when the plaintiff isn’t even alleging that the defendant is the person who perpetrated the act in question–and that remains true regardless of how the government classifies us and our businesses.

                1. And I think you’re operating in a vacuum of theory. “Assume a perfectly spherical social media platform.” If they want the protection, all they have to do is actually be neutral. I realize that is basically impossible for twitter, facebook, etc, but that’s not my problem.

                  Why do you want all these sites to be able to censor indiscriminately? I’d they want the protection afforded to telephone systems, they should act like telephone systems. This really isn’t that hard.

                  1. This really isn’t that hard.

                    And, IMO, hasn’t really been that hard historically. We didn’t pass a 1A for the telegraph, a 1A for the telephone, a 1A for radio, a 1A for TV, a 1A for cellular phones,.. it wasn’t until the internet was invented that Neocons and liberals got together and decided that the 1A needed a reinterpretation because… TCP/IP or something.

              3. The notional purpose of S.230 was to promote freedom of speech by shielding companies from frivolous lawsuits when they were acting in the role of common carriers.

                Wrong. 180° wrong. The notional purpose of § 230 was to encourage companies to censor by providing that their decision too do so would not create liability for other speech that they failed to censor.

          2. That is a terrible analogy Ken. Gun companies don’t have any say who buys their guns. Tech companies have complete control over who gets on their site and by censoring are claiming control over that content.

            But gun companies do have a say over who buys their guns. Also, tech companies only have complete control in hindsight; I can go create a twitter account right now, and twitter has no way to know what I might say or do with it or who I am.

            If gun companies got in the business of determining who they sold a gun to and claimed the right to take your gun back if they thought you were going to use it for a crime, damn right they would be responsible for when someone used one of their guns to commit a crime. There they would be assuming the duty of controlling who gets and who keeps a gun and would necessarily assume the responsibility that comes with that.

            I mean, that simply isn’t right as a matter of law.

      2. Remington doesn’t make a gun that shoots at 20 million people at once. If they did. They should be legally culpable for its discharge. If they sell it to someone they know will fire it, they could/should be culpable to the degree of deaths they knew it would/could cause.

        The legion of trolls waiting to take down the internet is bullshit several layers over Ken. You fell for the childish boogeyman arguments that Clinton-era Neocons and Democrats sold you. Now, you’ve spun the argument around so that you can insist that anyone who asserts the boogeyman doesn’t exist need bring you proof. You might as well go on a rant about the evils of dietary fat while your at it. Show me the state or politician that’s attacked the EFF the way the NRA has been attacked not just by NY and CA but Federal politicians. Show me the legion of court filings that compare hand-to-hand with the number of 2A cases brought every year. They aren’t there.

        Even if they were, your assertion about these legions of trolls waiting to sue Facebook and Remington into the ground speaks much more towards a more effective and decisive treatment like tort reform than a series of legislative bandaids that SCOTUS has to peel off and the remnants of which turn gangrenous after a decade or so.

    3. It is not about libel laws. Very few libel actions produce enough damages to justify them. It is about copyrighted material. Copyright violations come with statutory damages. If Twitter had to pay statutory damages every time someone violated a copyright and couldn’t avoid them by taking the material down as soon as it is aware of it, they would be sued out of business in about a week.

      1. Then the solution is not section 230, but a deal like the one that was worked out to keep the makers and vendors of recording equipment and media in business, where in effect Twitter would pay a fee to mandatorily license every bit of copyrighted work that exists now or in the future.

      2. Copyright has nothing to do with Sec 230. The DCMA “solved” copyright for social media.

        DCMA is horrible in its own right but it’s problems have nothing to do with Sec 230.

        1. It’s DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), but yes, that’s the controlling law in question when copyright claims are made.

    4. It would only be platforms that tried to establish themselves as trustworthy that would wind up with liability. Maybe that’s how it should be.

      This is how it was. Then the CDA was passed and Web 2.0 came into being.

  18. “It’s an ironic statement since, without the existence of Section 230, Trump very well might not be able to tweet it. If Congress were to remove social media platforms’ liability protection, then companies like Twitter and Facebook would have no choice but to remove users’ ability to post content at-will. Instead, moderators would have to vet and approve content to make sure that it wasn’t potentially libelous.”

    Robby almost gets it right.

    Nothing Trump tweeted there should be considered potentially libelous. The negative impact of repealing Section 230 would not include Trump’s inability to tweet “Repeal Section 230”.

    It is also true that those platforms that couldn’t afford “moderators” to read user comment beforehand would probably close all their comment sections down. Certainly, even big players like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post would stop opening stories up to comment if the stories were likely to generate comments that speculated about the guilt of the subject of their story.

    Because you think Hunter Biden is guilty of corruption doesn’t mean the Wall Street Journal would be immune to the cost of defending itself in court for something you wrote on their website. Instead of subjecting themselves to that expense and liability, they’ll either stop posting stories like that, or they’ll cut off comments so that the story won’t be discussed.

    1. It is also true that those platforms that couldn’t afford “moderators” to read user comment beforehand would probably close all their comment sections down. Certainly, even big players like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post would stop opening stories up to comment if the stories were likely to generate comments that speculated about the guilt of the subject of their story.

      Bullshit. You just flip the algorithms from a ‘publish first’ bias to a ‘moderate first’ bias. Robby doesn’t seem to be able to (learn to code!) but even people like yourself, who don’t understand the difference between ‘could’ and ‘should’, can conceive of an algorithm that more or less gives Trump’s tweet the libel-free all-clear.

      1. You seem to be missing the point that Trump’s comments and my comments should’t be treated differently.

        Meanwhile, in countries that don’t have Section 230, only the large companies have comment sections on their websites–and the large ones close comments down on stories that might generate potentially defamatory comments regarding someone’s guilt and moderate every comment before they’re published.

        Exhibit A: Australia

        “Because there are more of you than there are of us (across our brands we receive more than three million comments annually) so we have to focus on applying our moderation resources to checking each new comment as it comes in. If your comment isn’t published, check the guidelines below and resubmit.

        . . . .

        The guidelines below, as well as the context in which a comment is made, are all taken into consideration by our moderators. If your comment does not meet these standards, it will not be published.

        . . . .

        Also, we don’t open comments on some stories for legal reasons.

        . . . .

        Comments which may cause offence, are prejudicial or profane, allege infidelity, corruption, or criminal activity, or are sexist, or racist, will not be published.”

        https://www.newscorpaustralia.com/commenting-guidelines/

        Note that “prejudicial” and “sexist or racist” is not redundant. “Prejudicial” means anything that might “prejudice” a jury or any claim that someone is a criminal before they were convicted.

        If you think Hunter Biden is corrupt, you can just keep that to yourself, but they won’t publish that–unless it’s by accident. Likewise, if you say that Harris slept with Willie Brown and was appointed to office in California because Willie Brown was her boyfriend, you can expect that comment not be published either.

        That is the future of commenting online without Section 230.

        1. You seem to be missing the point that Trump’s comments and my comments should’t be treated differently.

          First, who said they would be?

          Second, who says the shouldn’t? The 1A doesn’t. Section 230 doesn’t.

          It’s almost like you read a newscorpaustralia article and projected it back on the US, despite all the radical differences between the two countries.

          1. “even people like yourself, who don’t understand the difference between ‘could’ and ‘should’, can conceive of an algorithm that more or less gives Trump’s tweet the libel-free all-clear.”

            This was in regards to Trump’s tweets?

            Why should the rest of us be subject to a different algorithm, where Twitter isn’t liable for Trump’s comments–only ours?!

            1. It was a non-libelous Tweet that Robby snatched off Trump’s Twitter account, Trump is incidental.

              The “moderate first” algorithms would/could scan Ken Schulz’s or Donald Trump’s or anyone else’s Tweet for proper names or specific threats, find none, and publish. Otherwise, the comment gets kicked to a moderator. Same algorithm for everyone, just, unlike before where the algorithm flags a minority of tweets after publication it flags a greater majority of Tweets before publication. And that’s assuming the provider wants to moderate at all.

          2. I treat Ken’s comments and Trump’s comments differently.
            I assume Ken has thought through his comments before posting them.

  19. My favorite part of this argument is how much both sides agree. Republicans argue they are getting cencored, and the democrats are complaining that Republicans aren’t getting cencored enough. Both agree that Republicans are taking the brunt of the abuse of power.

    1. B-b-b-b-b-b-but if we repeal section 230, then Democrats would get censored just the same way that Republicans are being censored now! Don’t you see how utterly unfair and fascist that is!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!

  20. How about an all or nothing criteria for platforms? Either allow anyone to post anything, and be absolved of responsibility, or curate the content, and take responsibility for what is posted.

    1. How about doing the what You Tube does with ads? If you want moderated comments you pay extra to get them censored. Else anything goes.

      1. doesn’t that just promote and reward income inequality though?
        How DARE they!

    2. Do you really think that will be a better situation? I mean that essentially makes everyone’s site like the Reason comments section. While I like Reason, I certainly do NOT want the whole internet to look like that. If I want a forum dedicated to investing advice, I want to be able to shitcan political posts or trolls. Hell, there are plenty of times where even as a libertarian I would prefer to have a forum where actual libertarians can discuss principles instead of the shit flinging that goes on here.

      It should be the right of someone to curate a site to their tastes. If I want a site like Red State or Democratic Underground where posts from non-believers are removed, then I should be able to spend my money doing that, without having to fact check every single post for libelous content.

      1. I mean that essentially makes everyone’s site like the Reason comments section.

        He posited an either/or and you assert that both options will produce one outcome seemingly without even the slightest bit of conception or awareness that you did it.

        Earth Skeptic: Moderated with liability or unmoderated without?
        Overt: REASON!!!

        If I want a forum dedicated to investing advice, I want to be able to shitcan political posts or trolls.

        Anybody giving you investing advice who isn’t charging you and isn’t liable for their advice arguably is a political poster/troll.

      2. I left Red State back in 2008 when they deleted comments pointing out that Ron Paul was more conservative than their favored “conservative” Republican primary contenders: John “Bomb, Bomb Iran” McCain, Rudy “Who’s Crazy Now” Giuliani, Mitt “Massachusetts/Obamacare Light” Romney, and Mike “Original Neocon” Huckabee.

  21. Pretty sure he means to censor anyone who does not agree with him. Bill Barr will be the moderator for social media.

  22. Jeezus, Robby, Twitter censors Trump all of the time, so how is 230 preventing them from censoring him? This is stupidity on its face.

    Platform or publisher, pick a lane. Otherwise, stop censoring one side of a debate as “misinformation”

    1. Whenever anyone complains about being sensored reason and the rest of the tech company worshipers claim that no one has a right to complain about that. Get your own Twitter if you don’t like it.

      So people want to repeal 230 and the response is “but they will censor you”. Hold it, I thought they already had that right and it was like the best thing ever!!

      Reason has zero intellectual integrity on these issues. They just spew whatever argument benefits the tech companies.

      1. John, please explain how any company can allow instantaneous speech to be seen by millions on their platform if they are potentially legally liable for that speech. Forget about censorship… Reason is saying the very platforms themselves wouldn’t exist without Section 230. This is an important distinction that you fail to recognize.

        Get your own Twitter if you don’t like it.
        Without Section 230 this isn’t an option, because you will spend any money you might have made defending yourself against frivolous lawsuits.

        1. They can’t. But so what? Who says they have some God given right to do that? They don’t. It is not possible to allow instantaneous speech without ignoring the copyright and slander laws.

          So to operate like that they need some kind of special protection. If we are going to say that they are different and are not subject to being responsible for what goes on their platform, then in return they should lose the right to control what goes on that platform. If they don’t responsibility for that content, then they shouldn’t have the freedom to censor it absent being compelled to because it is illegal in some way.

          So, you keep 230 but to get the protection the platform has to give up its right to censor or control its content except where it is illegal and must be censored in some way.

          People like you want them to have the freedom that goes with being a publisher but get special protection and avoid the responsibility that comes with that. And that is just libertine bullshit. With freedom must come responsibility.

          1. “It is not possible to allow instantaneous speech without ignoring the copyright and slander laws.”

            Yes it is. Hold the poster responsible, not the big company.

            I really hope that in 20 years when these controls you’ve helped implemented, we have the ability to discuss what you have wrought.

            1. That is not how it works. If the newspaper publishes my advertisement that unlawfully uses copyrighted material, they are responsible just like I am.

              If you want to change that and make no publisher anywhere responsible for third party content, fine. But don’t make a special exception for internet platforms. Make it all or nothing.

              1. And platforms are equally responsible for pulling copyrighted material. That is not subject to 230 protections. As long as they make good faith efforts to remove the content when they are notified, the platform is protected from liability.

              2. If you want to change that and make no publisher anywhere responsible for third party content, fine.

                I’d prefer that over the alternative that everyone is responsible for all speech that happens on their property.

                1. Then work on passing a law in congress that modifies our 250 years of tort law to accommodate that instead of giving special dispensation only to Marxist radicals because you like being able to crush your enemies, you piece of fucking shit.

                  1. I liked you better on Cheers.

            2. I really hope that in 20 years when these controls you’ve helped implemented, we have the ability to discuss what you have wrought.

              It was impossible for human beings to discuss politics until 1996 when the unconstitutional and court-repealed Communications Decency Act was passed.

          2. John do you have any conception that your proposition would leave Twitter on the hook largely for conservatard lies?

            1. Tony do you have any conception that you’re pretty nakedly asserting that Section 230 is shielding Tech giants from spreading libtard lies?

              1. Liberals don’t lie that much.

                1. Well Trump is in a class by himself.
                  Liberals just stick to a few big lies, and make sure everyone’s on the same page.

                2. Ironically enough, this is a lie.

    1. Hopefully; RIP: Eddie Van Halen

      1. Man… Are you serious? That’s some shitty news if so. :'(

        1. Throat cancer. I never once saw him in an interview without a cigarette. Yet Mr. Van Halen blamed his throat cancer on a “metal guitar pick” he used to always carry in his mouth while on stage.

          1. Well, crap. I’ll have to listen to some hardcore shredding tonight in his honor.

        2. Meh we still have David Lee roth

          1. You are so fired. 😉

  23. I understand the progressive opposition to Section 230. I do NOT understand the conservative opposition to Section 230. It’s like they WANT the Fairness Doctrine to make a return. It’s like they WANT their speech curtailed and their posts banned.

    Sure, repealing 230 would mean Trump would have the Ban Hammer to prosecute Facebook for not adulating him, but the idea that Trump will be in power forever is just insane. Eventually someone other than Trump will get that Ban Hammer. Someone that’s not conservative will get it. And that someone might be… Biden.

    Why do conservatives want Biden to get the Ban Hammer? Is this some Sixth Dimensional Chess I just can’t fully grok because I haven’t undergone the same apotheosis Trump has?

    1. Please see my remarks below. I go into this. It’s one thing to understand libertarian ethics theoretically, but another to apply them in situations like this where obvious cases of force and fraud have occurred.

    2. Sure, repealing 230 would mean Trump would have the Ban Hammer to prosecute Facebook for not adulating him, but the idea that Trump will be in power forever is just insane. Eventually someone other than Trump will get that Ban Hammer. Someone that’s not conservative will get it. And that someone might be… Biden.

      And just as with DACA *and* the immigration ban, the duly appointed judge it fully entitled to tell Trump or Biden or Tulsi Gabbard, as President, or Senator, to fuck right the hell off while telling private citizens their suits have merit.

      Again, Section 230 doesn’t protect from federal criminal prosecutions. If Trump (or Biden) and the FBI wanted to tear into FB, there’s very little stopping them. I mean, FFS, one completely fabricated dossier about Zuckerberg’s predilection for getting peed on by Russian hookers and we’d be off to the races.

    3. If Facebook is going to accept taxpayer-funded handouts, then the government has every right to do with it as it pleases. The notion that regulating big tech will lead to big government is insane, precisely because big tech is a product of big government.

      Time to go all Teddy Roosevelt, and break up the entire industry, which has done more to advance censorship and wokethink than every institution except for the universities.

      1. *Roosevelt and break

    4. Sure, repealing 230 would mean Trump would have the Ban Hammer to prosecute Facebook for not adulating him

      Thanks for admitting up front that you have absolutely no idea what section 230 is, what it does, or what it means in a legal context. Makes it easy to dismiss the rest of your retarded shit.

      It’s like they WANT the Fairness Doctrine to make a return. It’s like they WANT their speech curtailed and their posts banned.

      It’s almost like those things are ALREADY HAPPENING. And happening EXCLUSIVELY TO CONSERVATIVES. So they have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO LOSE by applying the same standard to everyone.

  24. “it is by no means the case that conservatives are the only ones to suffer from harsh and thoughtless moderation”

    A quick check showed that that guy is a libertarian journalist (and former Reason intern – apparently they are willing to have libertarians for those positions).

    1. Yeah, it’s kinda dumb to claim “well, it’s not just conservatives” who get censored, the point is that it’s “not lefties” who get censored.

  25. It is technology companies (who’s CEO’s and representatives lie all of the time to Congress in their testimony) engaging in censorship because of Section 230 and corporations (like Facebook, Google, and Twitter) have knowingly joined the Left in their campaign to destroy their political opposition. That is using the institutions of private property and free speech to initiate force and fraud in order to achieve an outcome where one group gains power at the expense of another.

    The claim of “go start your own” rings hollow when the Left’s ethics have infected payment processing companies like PayPal and Patreon. Parler is lucky to be around but will not achieve the success of it’s competitors and could suffer a similar fate as Gab.

    Therefore, any changes to Section 230 of the CDA along with antitrust investigations and lawsuits for companies violating political activity discrimination laws are the appropriate retaliatory force to use against these Soviet Valley entities. If they are not reigned in or people do not fight back, they will get worse.

    Do we really need to experience what the French did under the Reign of Terror or for Leftist riots and the bloodshed resulting from them to spread even further for you all to get an idea about whom organizations like Facebook and Google are giving moral and material support?

    If you all think I am out of my mind, just look at Sundar Pichai Google’s CEO’s reaction when Matt Gaetz grilled him back in July about Google backing out of Project Maven yet was caught during questioning of the company supporting Communist China’s military. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hMoMgugJbw

    1. “corporations (like Facebook, Google, and Twitter) have knowingly joined the Left in their campaign to destroy their political opposition. That is using the institutions of private property and free speech to initiate force and fraud in order to achieve an outcome where one group gains power at the expense of another.”

      lol do what? What are you proposing to do about free speech exactly?

      1. Companies (like Facebook and Google) that essentially join the Left are literally at war with the United States and the civilized world. It doesn’t take another reading of Rousseau or Marx to figure out what they’re doing or whom they’re supporting.

        Consequently, they should be denied any free speech or private property rights. If they’re going to support an ideological movement hostile to such institutions then they should lose the freedoms afforded to them.

        A good first step would be to force them to carry conservative and libertarian content they originally banned or purged from their platforms. If they do not believe in free association for others then they should be denied that right too.


        1. A good first step would be to force them to carry conservative and libertarian content they originally banned or purged from their platforms.


          I’m not so sure that worked out well the first time they tried it.

          1. The tech companies conducted fraud in order to justify termination of people’s accounts and many innocent lives were destroyed. Jordan Peterson was nearly unpersoned by Google shortly after posting a video stating his objections to Canada’s anti-free speech law.

            Forcing tech companies to carry content they do not like or originally banned isn’t an issue of fair time, but rather about rendering justice.

            1. Changing the justification doesn’t change the end result if the program is functionally the same.

              1. BTW, I wasn’t changing the justification, that was my intent all along. It is not appropriate to flat out accuse someone of ulterior motives without inquiring what their original intent is. I’m sure you’re probably aware Facebook is now banning or restricting QAnon groups but ANTIFA groups and pages are largely untouched.

  26. “It’s an ironic statement since, without the existence of Section 230, Trump very well might not be able to tweet it.”

    Could be he(Trump) is in a fog from the COVID19 or the meds given to him.

  27. half the things he tweets he apparently cant tweet because he is censored by twitter… how is that any different?

  28. 2020: Preventing people from attending Church, grieving together over dying relatives, or attending sports and social gatherings is totally OK.

    Also 2020: Expecting social media to answer to the people for the divisiveness they help foment is unconscionable!

    Fuck this country.

    1. I’d like to see them answer for it. But I don’t think this is a good way to do it, nor do I think that it would be effective.

      Fuck every country. And every politician. And everyone else. And their pets.

      1. I’d like to see them answer for it. But I don’t think this is a good way to do it, nor do I think that it would be effective.

        A bit of my point. It’s the same boogeyman risk aversion as with COVID. The internet, comments, listservs, BBSs, blogs, and e-commerce all predate the CDA by a decade (at least) much the same way pandemics and influenza deaths predate mask mandates. But the “The internet wouldn’t exist without section 230.” narrative has won. Even if we avoid a mask mandate, people are still going to cast shade on those who don’t wear masks during cold and flu season because they can. Employers will want to cater to said schmucks and Karens rather than lose (more) business to e-commerce. In two decades, people will have always worn masks to prevent illness because masks just work, duh. The world population will rise to 10B people because we all wear masks. We won’t be able to go back to not wearing masks because untold numbers of viruses would be waiting in the wings to cut 100M people down.

  29. Social media companies ARE publishers. The edit or filter out content almost exactly as if they were publishers.

    Youtube is a basically a publisher that says “everyone can publish with us for FREE, but we have the right to cancel or obscure your content later”. Lack of section 230 protection for traditional publishers is less of a concern for them because they’re selective about submissions. They actually have to put out content that people would pay money for. They won’t publish a plethora of manuscript from authors with no agents.

    Is a Christian publisher engaging in censorship if they don’t accept Satanic fiction? No, they’re not. But social media is less about content and more about viewership. They make money on ad revenue. If some rando YT creator who rants about video games nets 5 mil subscribers, both that guy and YT makes money.

    With no section 230 protection, social media can either act like a true platform, or they can just admit that they’re publishers and push out content that aligns with their views like Breitbart or Media Matters. But the latter will crimp on their money making scheme. That’s the real issue here.

    1. The argument appears to be that as long as you have a comments section, you aren’t liable for the things you publish.

      The very fact you have a social media platform included in your company umbrella gives immunity to prosecution for the news production side of your business.

      This seems to be what people actually believe.

  30. Section 230 is a thorny issue. On one hand the obviously bias of Facebook and Twitter is disgusting and repulsive but giving the government any power over them is equally distasteful.
    On the other hand, considering even Zuchenberg admits that the laws and regulations today would make it nearly impossible for him to start Facebook (and he doesn’t say it ironically since he helped lobby for many of those laws and regulations, like every crony capitalist ever), the just start your own platform isn’t a reality. The correct answer is repealing these restrictive regulations to foster more competition, but that is probably the least likely scenario. I would prefer Reason focus less on section 230 and more on how current overregulations help create social media monopolies. That would be a better defense of section 230 than Robby’s current argument of fighting censorship just creates more censorship. It probably would but the answer is to open up the market not do nothing and accept the current situation.

    1. On one hand the obviously bias of Facebook and Twitter is disgusting and repulsive but giving the government any power over them is equally distasteful.

      If section 230 ceased to exist, the government would have no more or less power over Facebook and Twitter than they do. They would simply become civilly liable for torts committed on their websites.

  31. C’mon Robby, it is the very existence of Section 230 that has enabled Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to censor President Trump (and anyone else they choose) with impunity. They have done exactly that! They will continue to do exactly that!

    Section 230 protects these platforms from liability arising from user generated content. The key word here is “user.” When Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. engage in outright censorship by removing, labeling as false, hiding, or otherwise manipulating content so as to suppress or conceal it from readers, it is they, not the originator who is speaking, and it is they, not the originator who needs to be held accountable.

    I might agree that these platforms should be allowed a degree of protection, but if, and only if, they refrain from any and all editing and editorializing, whether it be through outright censorship, placing “false” labels on a tweet, demonetizing, or by burying speech so deep that it becomes tantamount to outright censorship.

    Censorship is the beginning of the end of democracy. It must be rejected by all! Why you, Robby Soave, would defend a platform’s ability to literally censor anything you might have to say for no better reason than that they happen to disagree with you is unfathomable!

    1. Indeed. Section 230 and Net Neutrality are simple regulatory capture by big corporations, allowing them to monopolize markets. They lobbied for these laws, they got them, and as a result they are politically in bed with the people who granted them these favors.

      Cutting back Twitter to the point where Trump doesn’t need to post there anymore is the point of rolling back regulatory capture.

  32. Robbie, Robbie, Robbie …. please take your medication.

  33. Know what else Trump can’t do on Twitter? Ban users from commenting on his feed.

    Because Twitter is a government controlled ‘public square’ that’s somehow an official government outlet even while it’s ostensibly a publicly traded company owned by non-government entities.

    How did section 230 ‘protect’ Twitter?

    1. Ah yes, click-bait lying headlines. Trumps’ tweet? Headline says Trump “couldn’t do if section 230 were repealed”. Really? Well … first paragraph says “Trump very *might* not have been able to”.

      The claim is 100% Soavian bullshit, absurd on its face. There is nothing in section 230 that somehow makes social media possible and it would not disappear if section 230 were repealed or never existed.

      1. There is a universe where immunity to liability for user created content helped create sites like MySpace and Facebook, it’s just not easy to say they would have never existed without those protections. I recall BBS, but I don’t remember any prosecutions over what was said on BBS. Maybe I just didn’t hear about it back in the 80’s and early 90’s, but BBS were popular prior to 1996 for sure.

        Regardless, it’s sort of absurd that when an outlet edits and manipulates people’s posts and groups that one could consider that anything other than editorial control of content. That’s more or less my issue with section 230.

        There’s also the little fact that these companies operate in authoritarian regimes, and they edit themselves accordingly. They seriously expect everyone to believe those practices are limited to certain nations they operate in?

        Seems…improbable even if it’s possible. There’s no one that seriously believes they don’t have the capability, even if it’s difficult to prove they’re doing it everywhere. After all, how does one find out exactly how they moderate? No one seems to believe O’Keefe, or that it’s just a few ‘bad actors’ that he unmasked.

        1. Maybe I just didn’t hear about it back in the 80’s and early 90’s, but BBS were popular prior to 1996 for sure.

          Uh, no. What do you think the total number of BBS users, dialing up with their 2400 baud modems, was?

  34. Annnnd, right on cue, Facebook now banning any and all Qanon groups or accounts, whether they promote violence or break rules or not.

    Antifa and BLM are fine, though. Including Rose City Antifa, that has engaged in terroristic violence for 18 weeks running. A lot of it organized and promoted thru Facebook, Twitter, and other services that ban benign Conservative content

    1. Antifa and BLM are fine, though.

      There’s literally thousands of ISIS and Al Qaeda pages on there, Antifa and BLM are small time by comparison.

  35. Trump Tweets ‘Repeal Section 230,’ Something He Couldn’t Do if Section 230 Were Repealed
    You want censorship? This is how you get censorship.

    Abolishing Section 230 amounts to abolishing regulatory capture that has permitted a few companies to control and manipulate public political discourse. We should very much hope that abolishing Section 230 will kill Twitter because Twitter wouldn’t exist in its current form in a free or libertarian society. We should very much hope that it will also kill crappy discussion sections on sites like Reason.

    Hopefully, after Twitter, the world will move to what we had before Twitter, Facebook, and Google destroyed it: federated, distributed, uncensorable communications platforms, like the Fediverse. There is no irony in this at all.

  36. > If Congress were to remove social media platforms’ liability protection, then companies like Twitter and Facebook would have no choice but to remove users’ ability to post content at-will. Instead, moderators would have to vet and approve content to make sure that it wasn’t potentially libelous.

    Umm, no. Another alternative — probably more likely — would be that they stop moderating altogether. Liability attaches through the process of exerting editorial control. The whole point of Section 230 was to allow moderation without attaching publisher liability as a result. Eliminate 230 altogether, and the most likely response would be for the platforms to stop moderating, in order to avoid liability.

    1. Umm, no. Another alternative — probably more likely — would be that they stop moderating altogether. Liability attaches through the process of exerting editorial control. The whole point of Section 230 was to allow moderation without attaching publisher liability as a result. Eliminate 230 altogether, and the most likely response would be for the platforms to stop moderating, in order to avoid liability.

      No mass market site can exist with “stopping moderation altogether.” It’s not a realistic scenario.

  37. It doesn’t need to be repealed it needs to be enforced. If they don’t remain neutral they lose the protection. One company could have and one lose it.

    1. Agreed. Or changed to clarify when a company loses Section 230 protection.

    2. Yes. But if the courts will not enforce 230 as written then there is no alternative other than to re word it.

    3. That’s not what § 230 says. You’ve been misled by ignorant people, people with an agenda, or ignorant people with an agenda. The idea of “neutrality” has nothing whatsoever to do with § 230.

      (Also, § 230 is a negative law, not a positive one; it can’t be “enforced.”)

  38. Truth can easily withstand any examination, argument, or criticism. It neither needs nor requires protection by censorship. Lies do. Lies fear truth, while truth fears nothing.

  39. Absolutely shocked to discover Robby penning Reason’s latest defense of censorship by a corporation that receives taxpayer-funded handouts and subsidies.

    Oh, wait. No, I’m not.

    1. This.
      This.
      A thousand times this.
      And,
      Fuck you rico.

  40. Every month start earning more cash from $20,000 to $24,000 by working very simple j0b 0nline from home. I have earned last month $23159 from this by just doing this 0nline w0rk for maximum 3 to 4 hrs a day using my laptop. This home j0b is just awesome and regular earning from this are much times better than other regular 9 to 5 desk j0b. Now every person on this earth can get this j0b and start making dollars 0nline just by follow instructions on the given web page……Click here.

  41. Section 230 needs to be clarified, not repealed.
    (a) A platform that accepts all postings as offered by a third-party is NOT responsible for the content of others contained in postings on it.
    (b) A platform that exercises any form of individualized control over timing, reach, content, or any other aspect of a third-party post is its “publisher” and IS solely responsible for the complete content of any such posting.
    Simplice!

    1. I feel that there is a middle ground that maximizes freedom and minimizes Nazis with platforms.

      1. Mass murder of anyone who disagrees with you isn’t really a “middle position” Tony.

        1. That’s why I said Nazis should be deplatformed.

          1. I agree Tony; National Socialists in congress should be deplatformed and probably jailed for treason.

    2. Agreed. I think this is a more desirable outcome. On the other hand, tying up Google et all in court and antitrust investigations can have the same effect as when Microsoft went through the same thing. That is how Google came about was due to Microsoft being “weakened” due to the antitrust actions brought against the company.

    3. Section 230 needs to be clarified, not repealed.
      (a) A platform that accepts all postings as offered by a third-party is NOT responsible for the content of others contained in postings on it.
      (b) A platform that exercises any form of individualized control over timing, reach, content, or any other aspect of a third-party post is its “publisher” and IS solely responsible for the complete content of any such posting.
      Simplice!

      Um, that is repealing it. That was the situation before § 230.

  42. Congress and Trump are after The Press!!!! You’ve been warned….
    And I really don’t care what your personal opinion is of what and what is not being moderated. The CONSTITUTION must stand – freedom of the press!!!

    As-if; Section 230 wasn’t perfect as-is. Sue the gun companies for murder, sue the car companies for driver-responsible wrecks, sue the media-platform-providers/press for user-content??? WTF!!!!

    1. If you tried really hard you might be able to squeeze one or two more fact-free bumper sticker slogans onto the back of the 1985 Subaru that is this post, you incredibly stupid cunt.

  43. You conservatards are gonna be real sorry when the CEO of Twitter is no longer able to threaten you with mass-murder!!! Hurrrr durrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  44. Maybe the most disingenuous article little robbie has written this year.

  45. Robby,

    We already have censorship.

    You fucking twit.

  46. The problem is that they block posts, even though they are not liable for the content of the posts. Either assume liability, or just let everyone post whatever they want.

    Another comment brought up the telephone companies’ lack of liability for what you say over the phone. The difference is that the phone company lets you say whatever you want to over the phone. They don’t cut the line if they don’t like what you have to say.

    1. Actually the Antitrust filing that broke up AT&T into multiple service companies fixed that possibility. Frankly, unless the internet infrastructure was cutting communication lines; twitter, google and etc.. aren’t an Antitrust issue since ANYONE can start a competing website. Once people wises up to the corruption going on they’ll flee for better service. In fact; I hear Facebook is tumbling down right now, IBM lost their PC popularity, etc. etc. etc. – As long as anyone is not blocked from competing; they’re no substance in claiming a monopoly.

      1. Google, Facebook, and Twitter were built based on government programs and are still recipients of lavish government handouts and regulatory benefits. Once a monopoly has been established by government intervention, it takes decades to get rid of it. I’m not sure our country can survive that long as a free country.

        Government created Google and Facebook, government needs to do something about them.

        1. Actually wouldn’t surprise me – after the Obama Administration; so perhaps what we’re really after is getting the feds out of places they don’t belong.

Please to post comments