Section 230

The Bipartisan Push To Gut Section 230 Will Suppress Online Speech

That's a high price to pay because some politicians are angry about a little Facebook moderation.

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Keep in mind two immutable—albeit cynical—rules whenever you mull over some proposed government action. First, the public always is most vulnerable whenever there's bipartisan agreement because there's little organized resistance to the proposal. Second, the likely result will be nearly the opposite of whatever it is the government promises.

Those two points are of particular importance as Republicans and Democrats move forward with plans to "fix" a key regulation that governs the internet. I could offer a couple of other rules, too: Be wary when the government targets something that affects your everyday life, and be extra, extra wary when emotion is motivating our lawmakers. But you get the idea.

Plans to gut Section 230, which passed as a part of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, are abominations that should raise the hackles of free-speech-loving Americans. That section in federal law includes the following: "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."

It means that if Joe Blow posts a defamatory comment on a social-media forum, only Mr. Blow is liable for it—rather than Facebook, Twitter, or whatever company is hosting the forum. Those sites are not traditional publishers. They are platforms that allow you, dear reader, to post whatever uplifting or nonsensical thing that pops into your head.

Section 230 is not only reasonable from a legal-liability standpoint but has allowed the internet to foster the kind of boisterous debates that we enjoy. Unfortunately, conservatives and liberals are upset at the state of discourse on those platforms.

President Trump and his supporters believe that liberally biased tech comments are "censoring" their speech by moderating their posts. "Section 230, which is a liability shielding gift from the U.S. to 'Big Tech' (the only companies in America that have it—corporate welfare!), is a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity," the president recently tweeted.

His newly confirmed appointment to the FCC, Nate Simington, likewise wants to limit those liability protections. Democrats don't like Section 230, either, although their beef is that internet companies don't do an aggressive enough job moderating social-media speech. The incoming Biden administration almost certainly has 230 in its crosshairs.

Last week, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) introduced the not-so-subtly titled "Break Up Big Tech Act." The authors say it will "take away legal immunity from interactive computer service providers that engage in certain manipulative activities, including social media companies who act as publishers by moderating and censoring content." It might not go anywhere, but it captures the bipartisan mood.

Section 230 was a grand achievement because it allows the marketplace of ideas to flourish—and enables individuals to choose the sites that conform to their preferences. "User empowerment recognizes that some platforms may moderate more than others and users will decide which to gravitate toward. This framing ultimately favors the free market over government regulation," argued Jeff Kosseff in a Lawfare blog last year.

Despite the emotional arguments of social-media's critics, moderation is not publishing. Section 230 fixes what is known as the "moderator's dilemma." I recall when newspapers first started publishing online and we had to figure out how to handle the often-inflammatory comments that readers would post at the end of articles.

To avoid liability, the publisher could not edit comments—but could determine which comments were out of line and remove them. One might not agree with the publisher's standards for moderation, but, as Kosseff noted, Section 230 allows the proliferation of sites, ranging from tightly moderated family-friendly ones to laissez-faire sites that give voice to weirdos.

Without such protections, social-media platforms would have a stark choice. They could take responsibility for everyone's posts. They would therefore place stricter limits on what we write—and we'd see a likely return to posting delays as the sites review comments. It would undermine the informal nature of these discussions.

Or they could allow anyone to post whatever they choose, which would mean that forums—especially the more freewheeling ones that conservatives increasingly seem to prefer—would be swamped with garbage, targeted attacks, incitements to violence, and the like. Anyone with an email spam folder should know what to expect.

Instead of hobbling the big tech firms that Trump and others despise, it would make them more powerful. They could afford armies of people to review posts, whereas smaller sites would go out of business or become unusable cesspools. It would open the door to endless litigation—to the detriment of everyone except for trial lawyers.

Think it through before you embrace proposals to revise Section 230, even if they are bipartisan efforts. Instead of boosting speech, they will bridle the way you communicate. That's a high price to pay because some politicians are angry about a little Facebook moderation.

This column was first published in The Orange County Register.

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  1. To avoid liability, the publisher could not edit comments—but could determine which comments were out of line and remove them.

    Therein lies the problem. Social Media companies do in fact edit. When they assume the editing role, they take on the liability.

    1. “When they assume the editing role, they take on the liability.”

      Only because Commenter_XY (and other stupid voters) say so!

      I hear this a LOT: Either you’re a publisher, or an impartial conduit of posts; you can NOT be both! Well, this is an authoritarian power-pig stance, no matter if you persuade 51% or 97% of your fellow authoritarians, or not! NO inflexible law of physics, chemistry, or yada-yada prohibits Section 230 to straddle the middle!

      Let me draw an analogy to this black-and-white empty-headedness: Because I (and 51% of the voters) say that your teeth bacteria are either utterly evil, or are pure-white good and have souls, you must either: ‘1) Nuke your mouth once a day with ionizing radiation, or ‘2) you may brush your teeth, but if you do, you MUST find a good home for EVERY bacteria that you put out on the streets!

      Colgate MUST decide, are they ruthless killers of ALL mouth bacteria, or are they enablers of goodness and kindness for good, soul-bearing bacteria! They may NOT straddle the middle, as enablers of free-will choices of the consumers, because I, and 51% or more of the voters, have said so!

      Power-pig authoritarians all of ye!

      1. Some things in life are black and white. Either you murdered someone or you didn’t. You can’t really straddle that. You either woke up today or you didn’t. You either are employed as a gas pump attendant or you are not. Sure, other things can be messy… but even if we live in a gray world (debatable) that does not exclude the existence of some things that remain black or white.

        You either edit material before you publish it or you do not. You either decide what work of other people to publish, or you do not. You either filter content or you do not.

        1. Total evasion of my point!

          “You either edit material before you publish it or you do not. You either decide what work of other people to publish, or you do not. You either filter content or you do not.”

          Who says so, authoritarian Master? Why can’t I pick sometimes the one, and sometimes the other? Especially if I announce up front (on MY forum) that that’s what I’m gonna do? You and 51% of the voters, does that make this power-pig stance ethical and moral? “It’s either a dessert topping, or a floor wax, it can’t be both”. Says who? Who elevated the Will of the Dictatorial Majority to be the Will of Government Almighty? What next, are all of you assholes gonna line up to use the vote, to tell me what to eat for breakfast every day, and who I can marry, which church I can go to, yada-yada? “Because we said so, that’s why!”

          1. Who says so is logic, reason, reality.

            Did you, or did you not, wake up this morning?

            If you answer, then “OMGZORZ YOU AUTHORITARIAN!!! WHO GAVE YOU THE POWER TO DECIDE IF YOU WOKE UP OR NOT?!?!!?!”

            If you say there’s no way to tell, that reality is in incomprehensible, that there is no anchor to our understanding, that 2+2 can equal 5… then you are saying there is no truth, which is self defeating, because if there is no truth, then you might be wrong, which is a contradiction… which means you ARE wrong, or your point (along with everyone’s point on all things) are irrelevant.

            No one is saying they CAN’T filter. People are saying they DID filter, thus 230 is no longer applicable. The law REQUIRES that a binary definition of their actions be determined. Are they content neutral, non-editors… or are they editing? You can’t be both at the same time. You can go from one to the other… sure… but that’s not straddling the fence… it is being 100% in one yard…. then 100% in the other yard. Not the same thing.

            And please… I sense… somewhere in your blather… an attempt at a decent argument. For the sake of you, me, and everyone else here…try to be cogent and remove the histrionics. It makes you sound smarter and more worth someone’s time.

            1. “Did you, or did you not, wake up this morning?”

              You’re correct, that is binary. But no SANE and NON-AUTHORITARIAN person is advocating PUNISHING me for my choices here! For sleeping in, or waking up! YOU, on the other hand, are advocating using Government Almighty FORCE to PUNISH those who would like to straddle the middle, as they are now permitted to, by Section 230! What great disasters have been caused by Section 230 “permissiveness”? You and yours advocate tearing down a PERMISSIVE (ie, Government-Almighty-powers-limiting) law because you have YUUUUGE punishment boners! Please STOP trying to make ME pay with MY freedom of speech, for YOUR YUUUUGE punishment boner!

              1. Seriously… the histrionics aren’t making your point any clearer… in fact, it is making it harder to figure out what you are trying to say.

                No one is advocating to punish Facebook simply for being an editor. They are saying that IF Facebook is an editor THEN they are the “speaker” and are now liable for what “they” now say. If they are NOT the editor, then they are NOT the speaker, and they are, therefore, NOT liable for what OTHERS say.

                That’s not a punishment boner… that’s seeking to apply (and we will assume all law outside 230 is sound and just, but that’s a whole different argument) sound and just law to the party that it is rightly applicable to.

                No one wants to PUNISH you for waking up. They are punishing you for what you did ONCE you woke up IF you did, in fact, do something after having woken up that warrants it. As it stands… Facebook wants to claim that they never woke up WHILE doing things that can only be done after having woken up. That’s the problem. That isn’t authoritarian… no more authoritarian as me telling you that if you jump, gravity is going to pull you back to earth.

                1. “…and are now liable for what “they” now say.”

                  You want to punish Facebook for what people post (or are not allowed to post) on Facebook, yada-yada. “Liable” means being ABLE TO GET SUED IN THE COURTS BELONGING TO GOVERNMENT ALMIGHTY, obtuse idiot! Serve me papers in the courts all day is meaningless, UNTIL THE COPS COME AND BEAT ME UP FOR NOT OBEYING THE PAPERS!!! HOW can you not SEE your giant punishment boner?

                  Holding one party responsible for the writings of others… HOW is that “fair” or “just”? Do YOU want to get punished for MY writings?

                  1. “Liable” means being ABLE TO GET SUED IN THE COURTS BELONGING TO GOVERNMENT ALMIGHTY, obtuse idiot!

                    Yes, just like every other publisher and individual is subject to legal liability for their speech.

                    You are implying that in an ideal world there should be no legal liability for speech at all. That’s a communist utopia. In a libertarian society, as well as a free society, government doesn’t make laws preventing you from speaking, but you are still legally liable if your speech causes harm to others or violates contracts.

                    You’re a communist/fascist utopian, SQRLSY One.

                    Do YOU want to get punished for MY writings?

                    I or others wouldn’t publish your writings, you would publish them yourself, and you’d be held legally responsible for them.

                    1. “You are implying that in an ideal world there should be no legal liability for speech at all.”

                      Strawman! Sue the WRITER, not the PUBLISHER, for slander etc.! Do’t just go after deep pockets to feed the lawyers!

                      I’m not totally sure of the exact direction of your argument here, but SOME people here (at least one, “John”) have argued that, since there has been at least one (several?) case(s) of hardcopy rags (newspapers) sued FOR THE WRITINGS OF OTHERS, namely letter-to-the-editor writers (it was all well and good to “John” that SOME people got punished for the writings of OTHER people), then the proper fix was to perpetrate / perpetuate this obvious injustice right on over to the internet domain!

                      This is like arguing that the “fix” for a cop strangling to death, a black man (Eric Garner) on suspicion of wanting to sell “loosies” is, not to STOP the injustice, but rather, to go and find some White and Hispanic and Asian men as well, and strangle them, as well, on suspicion of wanting to sell “loosies”! THAT will make it all “fair”!

                    2. Strawman! Sue the WRITER, not the PUBLISHER, for slander etc.!

                      Most publishers are liable under current law, and they ought to be under a libertarian legal code as well.

                      Section 230 merely creates a special exemption for a few politically well-connected companies. That special crony capitalist exemption is what you are defending.

                    3. “That special crony capitalist exemption is what you are defending.”

                      NOY-Bitch can’t stop arguing with strawmen!

                      I favor free speech for ALL! If the bum under the bridge engages in “libel” or “slander”, sue the bum under the bridge! What enemies of “230” favor is enrichment of lawyers, who want to go after “deep pockets” of those who did NOT perform the “bad writings”!

                      Are you so evil as to NOT see the fundamental injustice of punishing one party for the doings of another?

                    4. I favor free speech for ALL!

                      You favor retaining Section 230. That means a special exemption from liability for a few Internet publishers.

                      Are you so evil as to NOT see the fundamental injustice of punishing one party for the doings of another?

                      (1) Civil suits are not about punishment, they are about recovering damages.

                      (2) Publishers are held accountable for their own actions, namely their choice to publish material whose contents they exercise editorial control over.

                      What is evil is your attempts to defend an indefensible exemption of certain well-connected corporations from liability for their own actions.

                    5. “That means a special exemption from liability for a few Internet publishers.”

                      Utter authoritarian bullshit as usual! You wait till Reason.com has to take down the comments here because they can’t afford ten zillion lawyers to bless your comments! Your FREE, free speech here, will disappear in a New York minute! You asshole! YOUR punishment boner is going to cost ME, my free speech! You gonna FINALLY be happy, after that, asshole?

                      Examine your conscience, self-righteous asshole!

                    6. You wait till Reason.com has to take down the comments here because they can’t afford ten zillion lawyers to bless your comments! Your FREE, free speech here, will disappear in a New York minute!

                      In the world you prefer, free speech has been reduced to a few comment sections, often heavily moderated by the corporate entities that control them. That’s what Section 230, net neutrality, and other federal regulations have accomplished. That is what you want. It’s your objective and your goal, you just said it agian.

                      In the world I prefer, people are their own publishers, uncensorable by big tech. That’s what we had on the Internet before “authoritarian assholes” like you handed over the Internet and our free speech rights to corporations and political cronies.

                    7. Who is censoring you RIGHT NOW, crybaby?

                      This forum will go down if you get it your way! Or they will charge you $5 per word to pay for all the lawyers!

                    8. Who is censoring you RIGHT NOW, crybaby?

                      Facebook and Twitter. And Reason has the power to censor, whether they exercise it right now or not. They probably send all our comments to the three letter agencies already.

                      This forum will go down if you get it your way!

                      I very much hope so. In fact, if Reason actually gave a f*ck about privacy and liberty, they would move their discussion section and their tweeting over to the Fediverse themselves.

                      You’re like a starving peasant under Stalin, oh so grateful that the state keeps you from dying for the time being, completely ignorant of the state you actually live in.

                    9. Google paid for all online work from home from $ 16,000 to $ 32,000 a month. TBd The younger brother was out of 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.. ► Cash App

                2. Seriously… the histrionics aren’t making your point any clearer

                  Save yourself some time. Flag, refresh, and and move on. I thought the same as you that there was a spark in SQLRSYs arguments, but when he can’t make the logic work, he tries to salvage it by metaphorically shitting his pants until the other party walks away in disgust. The guy needs to be ignored until he disappears.

                  1. Whoa! PhD Computer Scientist here has figured out how to move the mouse-cursor, and click on the flag icon! Congratulations, Stable Genius Junior! Maybe You could write Your NEXT Computer Science PhD thesis on HOW You do that? And thread-clutter-post it EVERY FUCKIN’ TIME that you see a post that you disagree with? And expect all the OTHER marching morons to THANK you profusely?

                    Remember, all ye persons who might like to be or become benevolent, decent, ethical persons… Do NOT become a follower of the Church of Morons! MANY of them apparently act like up-Chuck here! You do NOT want to become a Moron! Remember, kids, what comes around, goes around! Act like a Moron, and you will be treated like a Moron! As if you were a Moron! Which you ARE, if you act like a Moron!

                    1. And you are a fascist because you act like one.

            2. “I sense… somewhere in your blather… an attempt at a decent argument”

              That’s kind of you to say, but you really don’t. Sqrlsy has no intention of making a decent argument even if he were capable.

              1. Says the moose-fucker who can’t refute what I have said.

                1. You gibbered something about cops beating you for not obeying. What’s there to refute?

                  I’ll be honest Sqrlsy, I rarely bother to read anything from your nonsensical walls of text.

                  1. Obtuse moose-fucker can be led to water, but won’t think or drink!

                    Look, I’ll make it pretty simple for simpletons. A prime argument of enemies of Section 230 is, since the government does such a HUGE favor for owners of web sites, by PROTECTING web site owners from being sued (in the courts of Government Almighty) as a “publisher”, then this is an unfair treatment of web site owners! Who SHOULD (lacking “unfair” section 230 provisions) be able to get SUED for the writings of OTHER PEOPLE! And punished by Government Almighty, for disobeying any and all decrees from Government Almighty’s courts, after getting sued!

                    In a nutshell: Government Almighty should be able to boss around your uses of your web site, because, after all, Government Almighty is “protecting” you… From Government Almighty!!!

                    Wow, just THINK of what we could do with this logic! Government Almighty is “protecting” you from getting sued in matters concerning who you chose to date or marry… In matters concerning what line of work you chose… What you eat and drink… What you read… What you think… Therefore, Government Almighty should be able to boss you around on ALL of these matters, and more! The only limits are the imaginations and power-lusts of politicians!

            3. “The law REQUIRES that a binary definition of their actions be determined.”

              No, it does not. That is simply factually incorrect.

              1. So it says that liability protections are just randomly given out sans any criteria? Or are determinations on whether a firm meets criteria or not to be considered before a firm is deemed as being protected?

                Am I protected by 230 by virtue of being alive?

                I mean… I suppose there may be some super technical legal mumbo-jumbo that, ultimately, obfuscates the heart of people’s discussion on the merits of 230 and I would be willing to hear them out… IANAL after all. But even if that were the case, it would be a distinction that has little bearing on the broader concept of how to justly handle social media firms and their position in society.

                1. There isn’t. White Knight is here solely to harass and troll anyone who disagrees with an article. If you hadn’t disagreed with Greenhut you’d be safe.
                  Half the time he’s got no idea what he’s arguing about and the other half he’s lying.

                2. “So it says that liability protections are just randomly given out sans any criteria?”

                  Yes, Section 230 is a liability shield that applies uniformly to any website that hosts user-provided content. Period.

                  Reading through your comments, there seems to be a mix between talking about Section 230 and talking about what an ideal, but possibly different from Section 230, legal framework would be. That’s cool, but there should be a clear distinction which conversation we are having.

                  1. So ANY website, no matter what actions they take re: editing, filtering, censoring, etc… get’s 230 protection?

                    No matter what actions they take… simply hosting other people’s material… grants them protections? Period, end of story?

                    That is not how I have ever read that law. Again… IANAL… but that seems…. odd. That there is no other requirement to obtain liability protection. IF that is, indeed the case, then yeah, 230 should be scrapped and redone. But somehow I doubt this is the case.

                    1. “No matter what actions they take… simply hosting other people’s material… grants them protections? Period, end of story?”

                      Yes.

                    2. It is unusual. Federal regulations are typically complicated and dole out special favors.

                      Section 230 is lightweight, fair and uniform. Which is what makes it the rare well-made law, and why it sucks that partisans want to rip it up.

                    3. I am creating an honest wage from home 3000 Dollars/week , that is wonderful, below a year agone i used to be unemployed during a atrocious economy.EWs I convey God on a daily basis i used to be endowed these directions and currently it’s my duty to pay it forward and share it with everybody,

                      Here is I started……. Home Profit System

                  2. People want to change how the law works. Why is this complicated?

          2. “Who says so, authoritarian Master? Why can’t I pick sometimes the one, and sometimes the other?”

            Because the government steps in and gives you special immunities from prosecution if you declare yourself the one, so if you start acting like the other, you should lose those protections. Otherwise, you have government resources being spent on propping up private organizations which censor free speech on their behalf, which sounds like a First Amendment issue.

            “Especially if I announce up front (on MY forum) that that’s what I’m gonna do?”

            Except in this scenario, you didn’t announce that up front but 10 years later down the line after you and your 5-6 billionaire buddies dominated the market on false advertising promises of free speech.

        2. “You either are employed as a gas pump attendant or you are not”

          But enough about SQRLSYs life goals.

          1. You’re either funny, or you’re stupid and dull-witted.

            You’re stupid and dull-witted. Keep your day job or welfare mooching gig; don’t bother to try doing stand-up comedy!

          2. So, what is this snobbery against someone making an honest living working at a gas station? Judging by the sheer amount of time you spend here, it is doubtful you are filling some terribly prestigious role in society.

            1. Only snobbery, severe over-compensation, is coming from white knight.
              R mac merely asserted sqrlsy’s goal.
              White knight put the value judgement on it.

              1. Heaven forbid anyone make a value judgement.

                1. I betting you’re not actually being sarcastic.

                  1. Earning more dollars from home easily just by working 0nline j0b from home. Makes every month extra $20k or more from this easy h0me j0b. Last month i have made $22759 from this just in my spare time.CMs Every person can now get this and start earning 0nline from the instructions given to this web page…

                    Home Profit System

            2. You’re pathetic Dee.

        3. When you use the word, “edit”, are you including acts like attaching labels to user posts? Because when the blog post talks about websites being liable if they edit user-provided content, I’m pretty sure they mean literal editing: i.e. modifying what the user posted.

          1. Attaching labels, by any rational measure, IS editing.

            Did the POSTER include the label? No, they did not.

            1. Hey authoritarian asshole! HOW GOES your plan to have Government Almighty PUNISH people for NOT buying a given magazine?

              Free speech (freedom from “Cancel Culture”) comes from Facebook, Twitter, Tik-Tok, and Google, right? THAT is why we need to pass laws to prohibit these DANGEROUS companies (which, ugh!, the BASTARDS, put profits above people!)!!! We must pass new laws to retract “Section 230” and FORCE the evil corporations to provide us all (EXCEPT for my political enemies, of course!) with a “UBIFS”, a Universal Basic Income of Free Speech!

              So leftist “false flag” commenters will inundate Reason-dot-com with shitloads of PROTECTED racist comments, and then pissed-off readers and advertisers and buyers (of Reason magazine) will all BOYCOTT Reason! And right-wing idiots like Damikesc will then FORCE people to support Reason, so as to nullify the attempts at boycotts! THAT is your ultimate authoritarian “fix” here!!!

              “Now, to “protect” Reason from this meddling here, are we going to REQUIRE readers and advertisers to support Reason, to protect Reason from boycotts?”
              Yup. Basically. Sounds rough. (Quote damikesc)
              (Etc.)
              See https://reason.com/2020/06/24/the-new-censors/#comments

              1. Free speech (freedom from “Cancel Culture”) comes from Facebook, Twitter, Tik-Tok, and Google, right?

                Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Disqus largely destroyed free speech platforms on the Internet and replaced it with a monetized, unfree, managed, censored, monitored corporate platform. Regulatory capture like Section 230 and net neutrality enabled this.

                If we repeal these special crony capitalist regulations and laws, the market will slowly return to a diverse, market driven set of publishers.

                Of course, that’s what little fascists like you, SQRLSY One, hate. You love the corporate monopolization of speech and politics.

                1. You would NOT be able to have your costs-FREE stupid hissy fits right HERE, on THIS forum, self-righteous asshole, if it were NOT for Section 230! Greedy butt-wipe!

                  1. You would NOT be able to have your costs-FREE stupid hissy fits right HERE, on THIS forum, self-righteous asshole, if it were NOT for Section 230! Greedy butt-wipe!

                    Absolutely correct. I would instead be using something like the Fediverse, something that is uncensorable by corporations or government. The sooner that happens, the better.

                    And even technical imbeciles like you would be dragged kicking and screaming out of your chains into a world of free speech on a freer Internet.

                    1. “I would instead be using something like the Fediverse…”

                      PLEASE move your self-righteous, power-pig comments over there right away! What is stopping you? Meanwhile, also please stop lusting after taking away MY freedom of speech, to pay for YOUR punishment boner, power-tripping, punishment-of-others-seeking, sadistic freak!

                      What have very varied thinkers through the years said about this?
                      “Beware of all those in whom the urge to punish is strong.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
                      “Mistrust all those in whom the desire to punish is imperative.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
                      “Let he who is without sin, throw the first stone.” – Jesus
                      “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Jesus

                    2. I believe in the fundamental principle of equality under the law and accountability legal liability for people and corporations for their actions, no matter the consequences. That’s why I want Section 230 repealed.

                      It’s you who is making the argument that we need to keep Section 230 because the consequence of repealing it would be less free speech. But even within your consequentialist framework, your argument fails, since repealing Section 230 will lead to more freedom of speech.

                    3. “…since repealing Section 230 will lead to more freedom of speech.”

                      By the power of magic unicorn farts, or what? You are COMPLETELY deluded! 230 currently protects us from “deep pockets detecting radar” of greedy lawyers, who will punish “Party A” for the writings of “Party B”! All humans with ONE tiny lick of common sense, and knowledge of greedy and scapegoat-seeking human nature, know and see this! What is WRONG with you, totally deluded Noy-Boy-Toy-the-Internet-Freedom-DeSTROYer?!?

                      (Besides being evil and stupid, I mean).

                    4. All humans with ONE tiny lick of common sense, and knowledge of greedy and scapegoat-seeking human nature, know and see this! What is WRONG with you

                      Well, we certainly know what’s wrong with you: you hold the fascist believe that special government arrangements with big corporations serve our collective interests, and that absent the benevolence of big, government controlled corporations, we couldn’t engage in free speech or anything else.

                    5. Here you are, spouting your stupid ideas for FREE!!! And Reason.com is not retracting ONE SINGLE WORD that you write! How GREEDY are ye, ye of the unquenchable thirst? “Unquenchable thirst” is an evil attribute of Evil Ones, did you not know that? It does NOT lead to your Happy Place! You won’t be happy till Reason.com PAYS YOU for the stupid words that you write, will you? And THEN you will ask for MORE! You won’t even be happy after you take the place of Der TrumfenFuhrer! And you openly admit that under YOUR stupid schemes, this forum will be taken AWAY from us! And you have NO crystal ball to tell us that it will be replaced by something better, bullshitter! You’re a greedy, evil, selfish bastard! Take an honest look at yourself in the mirror, for your own good! Happy Place Trail? You are NOT on it!

                    6. Here you are, spouting your stupid ideas for FREE!!!

                      When something of value seems “free”, you ought to ask yourself how you are being taken advantage of.

                      You’re a greedy, evil, selfish bastard!

                      That may be so, but that makes me still a better person than you: you oppose equality under the law and support fascist policies.

                    7. “When something of value seems “free”, you ought to ask yourself how you are being taken advantage of.”

                      Your supposedly “logical, fact-supported” hypocritical gibberings are pearls of wisdom, in your megalomaniacal mind? Here you go! Make some MONEY from Your Wisdom!

                      Do you recall the awesome enchanter named “Tim”, in “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail”? The one who could “summon fire without flint or tinder”? Well, you remind me of Tim… You are an enchanter who can summon persuasion without facts or logic!

                      So I discussed your awesome talents with some dear personal friends on the Reason staff… Accordingly…

                      Reason staff has asked me to convey the following message to you:

                      Hi Fantastically Talented Author:

                      Obviously, you are a silver-tongued orator, and you also know how to translate your spectacular talents to the written word! We at Reason have need for writers like you, who have near-magical persuasive powers, without having to write at great, tedious length, or resorting to boring facts and citations.

                      At Reason, we pay above-market-band salaries to permanent staff, or above-market-band per-word-based fees to freelancers, at your choice. To both permanent staff, and to free-lancers, we provide excellent health, dental, and vision benefits. We also provide FREE unlimited access to nubile young groupies, although we do firmly stipulate that persuasion, not coercion, MUST be applied when taking advantage of said nubile young groupies.

                      Please send your resume, and another sample of your writings, along with your salary or fee demands, to ReasonNeedsBrilliantlyPersuasiveWriters@Reason.com .

                      Thank You! -Reason Staff

                    8. Well, SQRLSY One, I suggest you try to work out for yourself why sites like Reason, Facebook, Google, and Twitter give you “FREE” online space. Once you figure that out, you can come back and we can have a discussion.

                      Right now, you’re just spouting gibberish.

                    9. “…why sites like Reason, Facebook, Google, and Twitter give you “FREE” online space.”

                      They do so because it helps them sell advertising, and because it makes them feel good to provide a genuine service to their fellow humans. SOME of us, who are NOT assholes, are like that, you know!

                      AND they do so because Section 230 protects them while they do it! From greedy assholes like scum-sucking lawyers, and like YOU, who want to have the right to sue “Party A” for the doings of “Party B”!!! Ye who wants ME to pay with MY free speech, for YOUR punishment boner!

            2. “Attaching labels, by any rational measure, IS editing.”

              You just attached a label / comment to this article by Reason.com. You just edited their article! Are YOU ready to be SUED as a “publisher”, now? Hypocrite much?

            3. I disagree. It is not editing. It is commenting on the user-provided content.

              1. ON their post. Not in a separate post. That is editing. Your comment is as idiotic as claiming you edited my post by replying, you useless fuck nugget.

                1. Isn’t it just mindblowing how intellectually dishonest White Knight is?

            4. Do you ever use the little “Flag as spam or abuse” flag on the comments presented on this website? According to your logic, anyone who does so is “editing” another user’s comment.

            5. Do you ever reply to another user’s comment here with your own comment? Then you are “editing” their comment, according to your logic.

              1. No, that is not the case, you useless fuck nugget.

              2. No… Because that is a user VS user interaction. Section 230 deals with publisher/platform VS user interactions.

                Numb. Nuts.

        4. ” Either you murdered someone or you didn’t. You can’t really straddle that.”

          Two words: Justifiable Homicide (AKA “Self Defense”)

          1. Murder, in common parlance, is purposeful killing with malice and w/o justifiable cause.

            So… yes, this is a legal blog… but not everyone here is a lawyer. Since we are, generally, arguing ideas (which should be done before arguing law itself otherwise how do you know if the law is good or not re: justice rather than pragmatics) rather than law itself (although sometimes that is done on these blogs) it is best to read things assuming not everyone is a lawyer and give them the benefit of context and general understanding of terms.

            Thus… “murder” would not be “justifiable homicide” in conversational speak, even if they are somehow “the same” in some sense legally speaking.

            1. Re: some of my comments above… forgot I wasn’t in the VC blog. Which makes the comments about Justifiable Homicide even more pedantic.

      2. Only because Commenter_XY (and other stupid voters) say so! […] Because I (and 51% of the voters) say that […]

        You are making the majoritarian argument, not the opponents of Section 230.

        The usual legal principle and libertarian stance is that everybody who engages in speech or editorial control should be subject to legal liability for that speech.

        You want to maintain a special exemption for certain types of big corporations. Not only is there no legal or logical justification for such an exemption, its practical effect has been to put the ability to censor people in the hands of a few politically connected, powerful corporations.

        You’re thinking and arguing like a typical fascist, SQRLSY One, with special legal favors bestowed on government connected corporations “for the good of the people”.

        1. “You want to maintain a special exemption for certain types of big corporations.”

          Strawman! NO ONE, anywhere, should be held liable for the writings of other people! No matter how big or small or rich or poor the parties are! Fascists like YOU want to punish “Party A” for the doings of “Party B”, and for the enrichment of lawyers, by going after deep pockets! Are YOU a lawyer, greedy scum? Or related to lawyers?

          1. NO ONE, anywhere, should be held liable for the writings of other people!

            I and other libertarians just want an equal playing field and a return to traditional norms: you are legally liable if you authored or have editorial control over writings. So, authors and publishers ought to be legally liable, while printers and telecoms should not be.

            The situation you are defending is a situation in which most publishers are held responsible for content they publish, but there is an exemption for certain powerful, politically connected companies. That’s what fascists like you are advocating: special government benefits for government-connected corporations.

            1. And NOYB2 advocates making ALL persons everywhere obey The Will of NOYB2… Free speech for MEEE, but not for thee, right, self-righteous asshole?

              1. Where did I say that I want you to obey my will?

                I am arguing for a level and fair playing field for all publishers, for a truly free market in online publishing. For some reason, that causes you to lose your marbles.

                You are arguing for corporate censorship, centralization, and control of all communications, typical fascist beliefs where government governs via corporations under its thumb.

                1. “You are arguing for corporate censorship, centralization, and control of all communications…”

                  I see! So you’re saying that the Intergalactic Sub-Smegmonic Boogoidian-Strawmen-Hybrids have deployed booger-beams (Those unspeakable BASTARDS) and have hijacked your tinfoil hat! You have my sympathies, but no more… I have no good advice for you, sorry! Other victims of the Intergalactic Sub-Smegmonic Boogoidian-Strawmen-Hybrids that I have known? They all ended up on Skid Row, and I could NOT help them!

                  1. So you’re saying that the Intergalactic Sub-Smegmonic Boogoidian-Strawmen-Hybrids have deployed booger-beams

                    No, I’m saying that you either doesn’t understand either economics and how the Internet works, or you deliberately promote a fascist-corporatist agenda. In either case, there seems to be a good deal of mental illness involved on your part.

      3. Then in case of removal of such comments, the reason given should be actionable: if the provider claims falsely that the content removed is objectionable for a particular reason (and the statutorially-allowable list of reasons is quite narrow and tend to fit into the _libel per se_ category), then the provider has libeled the commenter and the commenter should be allowed to sue that provider for libel.

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    4. Section 230 was a huge government conferred benefit, ceding a common law right of the people to benefit corporations.

      To be sure section 230 if properly utilized benefits the public too, but it’s not being properly utilized. Rather than enabling the free and fair exchange of ideas on the internet, it enables the free and fair exchange of ideas that are favored by tech company employees. Section 230 is a revocable bargain, if we don’t think we are properly benefitting from that bargain we can amend it or end it.

      It should be amended rather than ended, a revised section 230 should have a safe harbor terms of service requirement, that not only ensures political neutrality, also has mediation or arbitration to resolve disputes over what content violates the terms of service. And it should be clear that the less the tech companies censor, the less time and effort they will have to expend in the arbitration process. That will also help level they playing field for startups, if they don’t censor they won’t have to expend resources defending those decisions in arbitrations.

      1. I think the dividing line should be pretty simple: either you are a telecom or you are a publisher. Telecoms should be exempt from liability for content, while publishers should be liable for content.

        If you are a telecom, you are prohibited from monitoring, scanning, or examining the content that flows over your wires; you are prohibited from modifying or interfering in communications unless ordered to do so by a court of law. If you violate any of those limits, then you are a publisher.

        Telecoms are automatically exempt from content-related lawsuits. Publishers, on the other hand, are subject to content-related lawsuits, both civil and criminal.

        The degree of liability, of course, still remains to be determined by the court in any individual case. Just because you are a publisher and can be sued doesn’t mean that a court would find you liable in particular instances.

  2. It’s far worse than “a little Facebook moderation” and they are actively suppressing speech to win elections for the democrats.

    1. Steve Greenhut (and Sqrlsy, White Knight, etc) is being purposefully disingenuous here. He’s pretending that 230’s “protection from civil liability for operators of interactive computer services in the removal… even of constitutionally protected speech, is intrinsic to “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker”.

      He knows full well that even without the first special government protection, an article at Reason can be treated as the responsibility of the publisher, and the comments be regarded as a public platform.

      This whole article is gaslighting.

      1. Serious question: Does Canada have any law similar to Section 230?

        1. Do they have Constitutionally protected free speech?

        2. “Does Canada have any law similar to Section 230?”

          I bet not! WAAY less free speech, and WAAAY more moose-fucking, up there, than here! Which is why moose-fucker here shows up HERE to export speech control and moose-fucking to the USA!

        3. “Serious question”

          Lol, the hell it is, but no.

          Canada puts the onus for libel and non-constitutionally protected speech, on the individual writer and not the platform. Greenhut is responsible for what he writes here, you are responsible for what you write here.

          In fact many Canadians are worried that parts of the USMCA may have snuck parts of 230 into Canadian law.

          https://hughstephensblog.net/2019/02/10/did-canada-get-section-230-shoved-down-its-throat-in-the-usmca/

          1. Wait, that article talks about worries that Canada will not be able to curtail criminal activities on websites because the website host can claim it is all user content.

            That’s an interesting consideration, but not one that has ever been brought up in debates in these comments. The typical refrain is “Twitter is censoring my conservative speech”, not “Backpage is promoting underage prostitution”.

            Your claim that in Canada “the onus for libel and non-constitutionally protected speech, on the individual writer and not the platform” isn’t all that different from Section 230.

            1. but not one that has ever been brought up in debates in these comments
              Because censorship, no matter who is doing it, is a far bigger issue for real libertarians.

              isn’t all that different from Section 230
              Only if by “isn’t all that different”, you actually mean “is the complete opposite”.

  3. Online speech is suppressed now. What’s the difference?

    1. They haven’t been able to stop mean tweets. That’s the important thing.

  4. From the article:

    “Section 230, which is a liability shielding gift from the U.S. to ‘Big Tech’ (the only companies in America that have it—corporate welfare!), is a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity,” the president recently tweeted.

    There’s your “logic” from Der TrumpfenFuhrer, and MANY conservaTurd commenters on these pages.

    By the EXACT SAME logic, ANY laws shielding gun and ammo manufacturers and-or sellers (Remington for example) need to be held accountable for the shootings of crazy users of their products! Remington, exercise better editorial control of your bullets!

    Hey conservaTurd assholes-commenters! Ye moochers off of a “liability shielding gift from the U.S. to ‘Big Guns and Ammo Tech'”…
    You ready to pay $90,000 per gun and $15 per ammo-round, or pay out the ass for insurance, for your guns? No? Then you are hypocrites ass usual!

    1. Unreadable dross.

      1. So it is MY fault that you cannot or will not comprehend what I wrote? Any intelligent 8th grader could do it, actually!

        1. Nobody can comprehend what you write, nor should they care to.
          Your posts make less sense than a random word generator, and are far more pointless.

          1. Nah, I read them, and understand them.

            1. It is not a surprise that you sympathize with the pant-shitter’s veto.

            2. I’m really sure you do.

          2. So you, too, are either too stupid or ideologically blinded (or both) to comprehend what I write. Marching morons march together! More news at 11:00!

            1. Heeble-dee-derp-bop.

        2. We understand that you are a communist/fascist masquerading as a libertarian.

          We understand that you misrepresent special exemption for government-friendly corporations as some kind of boon for free speech.

          Every 8th grader can see that.

          1. Says NOYB2, who benefits from Section 230, which allows NOYB2 to post its bullshit here for all to see… Enable fucking greedy money-grubbing lawyers to go after “deep pockets” of Reason.com here, instead of suing dirt-poor bums under the bridge who post here, and see how long NOYB2 is still able to post its bullshit here at NO costs to NOYB2… Greedy asshole!!! FREE posting here!!! What do you want? Ask for your money back, whining, greedy cry-baby! Have you ever heard of “unquenchable thirst”? “Unquenchable thirst” is an attribute of the Evil One! Do you know who I am talking about, stupid, greedy, evil one junior? “Unquenchable thirst” does NOT lead to happiness, greedy, evil one junior! If you have ears, LISTEN!

            1. Grooble-derpity-boo-bloop…

              1. That’s FAR more intelligent prose there, than you usually write! Did you swallow some “smart pills” from underneath the rabbit hutch, perhaps?

                1. “Bobble-booble-rabbit-poop!”

            2. Says NOYB2, who benefits from Section 230, which allows NOYB2 to post its bullshit here for all to see

              That’s like saying that in a socialist state, people benefit from the shit that their state gives to them, instead of recognizing that the meager rations they receive are an insult and injury.

              No, I’m not benefiting from Section 230, I’m hurt by it, as are you (you just seem to be too dumb to realize it). Government regulations like Section 230 largely have killed free speech on the Internet and handed control over it to big publishers.

              If we want to have free speech on the Internet again, we need a level playing field. Yes, comment sections like this will go away and that is a good thing because they will be replaced by something that is outside the control of a few corporations.

              1. “Yes, comment sections like this will go away and that is a good thing because they will be replaced by something that is outside the control of a few corporations.”

                That’s like saying, let’s go burn all of our cars and trucks right now, because they will be replaced by anti-gravity pods. Do you have a crystal ball that tells you the future? Are you SURE that burning down the good stuff that we have right now, will immediately result in something better? Will you please allow the rest of us, NOT to try it your way, Oh Mighty Authoritarian One?

                1. That’s like saying, let’s go burn all of our cars and trucks right now, because they will be replaced by anti-gravity pods. Do you have a crystal ball that tells you the future?

                  Even better, I know history. We had a thriving, federated, decentralized, uncensorable free speech community across the entire Internet before Section 230 destroyed it.

                  Will you please allow the rest of us, NOT to try it your way, Oh Mighty Authoritarian One?

                  I’m sure there were plenty of people under Stalin who likewise said: “Will you please allow the rest of us to forcibly collectivize farms? Stop being such an authoritarian, trying to impose free markets on us ignorant peasant farmers!” The result was the Holodomor, something that killed both proponents and opponents of collectivization.

                  Giving special legal exemptions to a narrow class of publishers is legally and morally wrong. It needs to end, period. The fact that putting an end to corruption like that happens to let markets operate and will actually improve the ability of Americans to engage in free speech without censorship is an additional benefit.

                  1. Today is Opposite Day maybe? Whatever is REALLY true, is untrue today, and vice versa?

                    Because Noy-Boy-Toy-the-Internet-Freedom-DeSTROYer says so, THAT’s why!!!

                    1. What is true is that Section 230 exempts a certain class of publishers from liability for their own actions; Section 230 is a grave violation of equality under the law. That’s why it should be repealed, period.

                      You don’t seem to care about equality under the law; instead, you make arguments about the consequences of Section 230. You believe that repealing Section 230 will lead to more obstacles to free speech on the Internet. But even that argument fails; we already know what an Internet without Section 230 looks like because we used to have just that, and there was more free speech, not less.

                      Your arguments for Section 230 are a failure no matter whether you start from libertarian principles or take a consequentialist view.

                    2. No matter how often you lie, it will NOT make your lies true!

                      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 an 11-month criminal trial! And a 4-month civil trial!

                    3. No matter how often you lie, it will NOT make your lies true!

                      You should take those words to heart: they apply in spades to you.

                      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!”

                      Since that is not a libelous statement, the case would be thrown out instantly.

                      Will you be utterly delighted to serve on this jury?

                      Sure, why not? The jury isn’t even going to get seated for that case.

                      Here’s another example: someone sends a photoshopped picture of you engaged in sexual congress with a donkey to various news outlets and posts it on Facebook; the New York Times editors put it on their front page and Facebook chooses to promote it to the top of everybody’s news stream. The NYT is liable for their choice to widely disseminate this picture, but under Section 230, Facebook is not liable. Why should the NYT be liable for their editorial decisions but not Facebook?

                    4. “Since that is not a libelous statement, the case would be thrown out instantly.”

                      Under today’s laws, probably, yes, unless you get assigned a crazy judge and a crazy jury, which DOES happen sometimes!

                      “Why should the NYT be liable for their editorial decisions but not Facebook?”

                      Neither should be held liable… The photo-shopping liar should be held accountable ONLY for what PROVEN damage has been done to my reputation… NOT for some bottomless pit for my “hurt baby feelings”! In your case here, NYT and Facebook are merely picking and choosing what to report, WHICH THEY GET FROM OTHER SOURCES! The source of the lies (liars), not the messenger boys, should be held liable! It’s that simple! And Section 230 gets that right!

                      NYT is currently sometimes screwed (treated unjustly) in cases like this, and FaceBook is NOT. Treating them BOTH unfairly, instead, is NOT a step towards greater freedom!

                      This is like arguing that the “fix” for a cop strangling to death, a black man (Eric Garner) on suspicion of wanting to sell “loosies” is, not to STOP the injustice, but rather, to go and find some White and Hispanic and Asian men as well, and strangle them, as well, on suspicion of wanting to sell “loosies”! THAT will make it all “fair”!

                    5. PS, if you dream that you’ll get your desired CONSERVATIVE wish list when Section 230 gets torn down… Conservatives will no longer get their baby feelings hurt when their posts get taken down… And you’ll ram that through Congress… And the liberals will NOT get THEIR way, and add language to allow people to sue for THEIR hurt baby feelings… Imagined racism in postings, yada-yada…

                      YOU ARE LIVING IN DREAM-LAND!!! You can’t shit on others, and expect never to get shit on, in return!!! You want to add new powers to TrumfenFuhrer, and expect said new powers to NEVER land in the lap of Der BidenFuhrer? Have you been paying attention to recent elections?! Or were those elections all rigged by the Lizard People?

                    6. “Why should the NYT be liable for their editorial decisions but not Facebook?”

                      Neither should be held liable…

                      If we retain Section 230, as you wish, then the NYT will be liable and Facebook will not be. That’s the outcome you are arguing for.

                      The photo-shopping liar should be held accountable ONLY for what PROVEN damage has been done to my reputation

                      The person doing the photoshopping didn’t choose to disseminate the picture widely nor did he misrepresent it. It was the NYT and Facebook that chose to disseminate it widely, which is why they both ought to be liable if equality under the law means something.

                    7. PS, if you dream that you’ll get your desired CONSERVATIVE wish list when Section 230 gets torn down…

                      As I explained to you, I don’t “dream of” any outcome.

                      As I have stated repeatedly, I believe Section 230 should be repealed as a matter of principle, regardless of consequences, because it amounts to regulatory capture and violates equality under the law.

                      It is you who keeps making arguments about consequences; I’m just pointing out that even within your consequentialist framework, you still analyze the situation incorrectly.

                    8. “If we retain Section 230, as you wish, then the NYT will be liable and Facebook will not be. That’s the outcome you are arguing for.”

                      Strawman yet for the 55th time! Section 230 is good but not perfect! Section 230 shouldn’t be changed, since it addresses the internet (not the hard-copy press). It should be SUPPLEMENTED by giving the hard-copy press the exact same rights! As I wrote…. “Neither should be held liable… ” You are too lazy and-or dishonest to read what I write! Using strawmen is for jerks, assholes, and liars! Are you PROUD of being a jerk, asshole, and liar?

                      AND you are too EVIL to see a VERY simple truth: Punishing one party for the doings of another, is and always will be, unjust!

    2. It’s funny how you peg FULL blame on Trump and Conservative party when there is more Democratic support of dismissing Section 230 than GOP.

  5. I await the outrage from conservatives when they have no platform to post their bullshit because no one will want the onus of legal responsibility put on them.

    Trump for instance- shouts loudest and he’d be kicked off in two seconds flat without Section 230.

    1. raspberrydinners blows raspberries at all of the diners who deserve raspberrydinners! Go, raspberrydinners, go!

      The above is short, true, and to the point! Good job!

      Winner, winner, raspberry dinner!

    2. Now do leftists.

    3. 230’s special “protection from civil liability for operators of interactive computer services in the removal… even of constitutionally protected speech”, is the most unlibertarian, anti-speech clause possible.
      It is completely unnecessary and just “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker” would suffice.

      Eliminating the first special government protection clause would in no way affect a websites ability to host user comments.

      But of course you know this, but you’re here to lie and gaslight.

      1. “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker”

        ??? So, someone posts a libelous comment on a website, and you want NOBODY to be liable for making the comment? That’s your solution?

        1. Do you believe shit that anonymous randos post on the internetz? Because the court system certainly shouldn’t. Anything a person is not willing to put up their identity to confirm should be considered opinion, and opinion is never libelous.

          1. That kinda makes sense, maybe.

    4. The only thing I’ve advocated in regards to Section 230 is to start enforcing it as written, with the safe harbor for moderation limited to good faith moderation on the basis of grounds such as were listed.

      Further, on the terms of 230, Facebook’s own content, such as the ‘fact checks’ they solicit, is in no way protected, as it isn’t user generated content, it’s content FB has solicited and pushed out to users over their objections.

      I belong to a private group on face book, some old friends who get together to discuss politics and other matters. FB has reached into it to censor content nobody in the group found the least bit objectionable, just based on politics. It’s why we’ve moved the group to MeWe.

      By the way, Facebook has begun censoring posts that invite people to switch to MeWe, too. Try justifying THAT under Section 230. Classic monopolistic behavior.

      1. I like how Twitter will put warning tags on posts based solely on the political ideology of the poster. A progressive and conservative posted IDENTICAL videos…only the conservative one got a warning.

        1. Hypocritical, but it’s their website.

          1. But is also not neutral behavior. It is, in essence, them expressing a particular view. That makes them a speaker, not a publisher. That makes them liable for what they say, and what they allow to be said, on their platform.

            If I allow anyone to use a soapbox I built… literally anyone… then no reasonable person can say I am expressing the ideas being espoused by others, even though they are standing on my soap box. However, if I decide who gets to use my soap box, then I am controlling, molding, and shaping the material being espoused on my soap box thereby making me an active part of the speaking. That makes me liable for what is said on the soap box as it is now “my” message, even if I am outsourcing the creation of the actual words and speeches used to convey that message.

            That’s the difference. Either ANYONE can use Facebook and Facebook isn’t the speaker… OR Facebook moderates the speaking thereby imprinting upon it THEIR name making it THEIR speech which they are now liable for.

            1. No, it makes them the owner of the website. Claiming they cannot do that is not respecting their private property and their right to free speech.

              1. I can be the owner of the physical soap box. I can also limit access to that soap box. No one says other wise. What IS being said is that if I employ the use of my soap box for the purpose of expressing, even with other people’s help via content creation, a particular view then all of the speeches given atop my soap box are accurately construed as MY speech.

                The other option is that I allow anyone to use my soap box (the choice of doing this or the above is use of my property, that is not being touched but instead being respected) then the contradictory nature of speech 1 versus speech 2 given by 2 different people ON MY SOAP BOX can not reasonably be construed as both reflecting my point of view, and as such, should not be seen as “my” speech.

                Not sure why this is hard to grasp.

                1. I assume you are describing how you think the regulatory framework for soapboxes should work, not how you think Section 230 does work. As I mentioned before, it isn’t clear when talking with you which of those two conversations we are having.

                  I disagree. I’ll give a couple of examples of websites I might want to create where I mix my speech with user’s speech. In all these cases, as the website owner, I want to reserve the right to not publish certain user content, and I want to shield myself from liability for user-provided content:

                  * I have a libertarian news and commentary blog, “Thoughtful”. All blog posts are written by my staff. I want to allow users to post comments on the blog posts, and I want to accommodate high volumes of comments, which precludes me from looking at each comment before it goes up on the site. I want to reserve the right to take down comments where users are acting rudely, libeling someone, threatening someone, or saying “the un-thoughful fundraising webathon” is stupid and I’m not contributing anything because “un-thoughtful” is a stupid blog with stupid, communist writers”.

                  * I have a church website where I put up videos of each week’s sermon. I want to allow comments on the sermon, I don’t want to pre-screen the comments, but I want to take down any comment that, say, promotes Satanism.

                  1. Why are you pretending that a low-traffic blog or a church website is the same as a social media network? Also what if a statist web developer removes you from their service for not wanting to use guns against people, do you really think that’s equivalent to you removing threatening comments?

                2. “Good faith” was apparently a typo in the law and meant nothing…

                  1. The “good faith” clause covers the website’s actions to remove obscenity, etc.

                    1. That’s right: They get two protections:

                      1) In regard to user generated content, which can’t be treated as their own speech.

                      This shouldn’t particularly help them in regards to content they solicit, such as fact checks.

                      2) In regards to good faith moderation to remove certain content of an objectionable nature, where the sort of objectionable nature is defined by a list with a catch all provision. Such catch all provisions are normally interpreted to mean other things of the same nature as the listed items: material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.

                      “Otherwise objectionable” needs to be something in the same nature as the enumerated items. Not, for instance, “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or news accounts that harm a candidate the platform favors”. Or, “that invites people to switch to a different platform”.

                3. Because White Knight doesn’t want to grasp it.

                  1. Because he’s here to lie, troll and gaslight, and that’s all.

      2. “over their objections”

        Is it really over the user’s objections, if the user agreed to Facebook’s moderation policy at the time they signed up for an account?

        1. Given that the unilaterally change them regularly, hardly seems relevant.

          1. You get what you pay for.

            1. Also makes them utterly unenforceable agreements.

              1. You can start a website that offers 100% freedom of expression. Who is stopping you?

                1. “Who is stopping you?” Network effects creating a barrier to entry. Duh. This is the 800 pound gorilla we need to wrestle with.

                  I don’t know what to do about 230, but something has got to change. We can’t have a free society if information exchange is bottlenecked through a few highly politicized agents censoring and shaping the public forum. Whatever contorted and legalistic descriptions or arguments one has, this is the real bottom line. Folks want to do something about 230 because of this very real problem. So, what shall we do about this very real problem?

                  Don’t want to repeal/revise 230? Fine. I get the arguments. I’m sympathetic. But we need a very real proposal about what to do instead. Revising 230 doesn’t sound so good, but it’s a better stab at things than treating these providers as public utilities. Got another idea? I’m open to suggestions. The status quo cannot continue.

                  Apparently, enough Biden voters have said they would not have voted for him had they known about the Hunter mess and other issues that the election result would have been reversed: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/trump-would-have-won-311-electoral-votes-if-media-wasnt-biased-survey

                  Why didn’t voters know this stuff? Because the stories were suppressed for nakedly partisan reasons. How could that happen? The stranglehold on the public forum of a few politicized companies, each working in lockstep with one another with the express purpose of shaping the discourse. That is not a culture of free expression. No one should have a monopoly on the public forum. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking a government monopoly or a private monopoly. It doesn’t matter if we talking a state-sponsored monopoly or a natural monopoly of the sort we predictably get with strong network effects. We cannot have a free society if anyone has such a monopoly.

                  So, we need options to get beyond this. And “go start your own” is NOT a realistic option, as anyone with even a modicum of economic sense should understand. Network effects are real.

                  So, you don’t want to repeal/revise 230. Fine. What do you propose instead?

                  1. Where is this bottleneck? If Twitter won’t post your right-wing missives you can post them on Parler. You can start your own website.

                    How in the world did anyone communicate political ideas before Twitter? Somehow they managed it.

                    1. Parler can be shut down at any time by AWS or other server hosts, domain name registrars, banks or payment processors, not to mention the government. If you don’t think Facebook and Twitter should be regulated at the website level, then that still doesn’t explain why competitors shouldn’t be allowed to use the same back-end services to compete with them. You used the analogy of repealing section 230 is bad for people who moderate libertarian blog websites and church websites, but that doesn’t help them if there’s no one who’ll give libertarians and Christians rack space or a domain name.

                2. Web hosting firms, financial clearing houses, third party IT services…

                3. Gab tried. Big Tech then coerced card payment companies to eliminate their ability to process payments for anything.

                  So, let me guess…I just need to set up my own economic system too?

                  1. “bUiLd yUr oWn iNtErNeT aNd cReDiT cArD” – regards, White Knight

                    1. Hey whining crybaby… I pay for my own web site at Go-Daddy. I say some VERY sarcastic and un-politically-correct, intolerant things about cults like Scientology there (and Government Almighty as well). I am QUITE sure that a LOT of “tolerant” liberal-type folks at Google etc. would NOT be happy with the types of things I wrote! Yet, if you do a search-string “Scienfoology”, Google will take you STRAIGHT to MY web site, top hit! #1!
                      https://www.google.com/search?q=scienfoology&nfpr=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjPzZqf0dXsAhUCT6wKHez9DNwQvgUoAXoECDEQKg&biw=1920&bih=941
                      Your whining and crying is (just about ) UTTERLY without basis!

    5. I await the outrage from conservatives when they have no platform to post their bullshit because no one will want the onus of legal responsibility put on them.

      You’re like a plantation slave saying “If my Master didn’t give me food and housing, what would I do? I would starve!”

      Rest assured, we can have online discussions and free speech without the likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Disqus, and Reason. In fact, for most of the history of the Internet, we did just that.

      1. And it was better.

  6. Except we do have suppression.

    Just look at the dichotomy. Trump’s tax return data was explicitly stolen, revealed no crimes, and was widely published despite this being a federal felony. Biden’s laptop was acquired in suspicious circumstances, revealed a host of crimes, and suddenly it’s worth shutting down the speech of newspapers to silence the story.

    An anonymous someone heard Trump say something rude about Normandy soldiers and it’s front page news, despite people who were there saying it didn’t happen. While a forensic report of Dominion voting machines is considered “missing context”.

    The Ministry of Truth does not become more palatable because it has been outsourced to private companies.

    1. “Trump’s tax return data was explicitly stolen…”

      Yes, this! Trump was explicitly a VICTIM here! A bigger victim than you or I, so we OWE Him! Big Time! ALL the BIGGEST victims are specially entitled to our sympathies and accommodations, you know!

      Also Trump (Bless His Heart!) is a Nice Guy, full of Love! If’n ye were to DOUBT His Love, see His Love Letter below (which is also relevant to tax matters as you brought up), and I quote:

      Mash Letter from The Donald to Leona Helmsley

      Roses are red,
      Violets are blue,
      Won’t you come here,
      And join My Crew?
      Won’t you please join My Quest?
      The honest taxpayers, to molest?
      I like to collect babes, as if they were Cocker Spaniels,
      You’d look quite nice, right next to Stormy Daniels!
      You’d be quite sexy, in My YUUGE harem,
      With My BIGLY contributors, I like to share ‘em!
      “Taxes are for the little people”
      For a campaign slogan, it sounds GREAT!
      Won’t you help Me fool the greedy sheeple?
      To their suffering, you and I, we could masturbate!
      Brad Parscale, My old campaign pal,
      Wants to kill himself, what killer style!
      Won’t you stay with Me a while,
      And be My campaign gal?

      1. Dude, go back to your “blow on plastic flutes” obsession. It was annoying but at least palatable.

        1. Stay ye SAFE from the flute police!

          PS…
          To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

          1. Sqrlsy dear, that’s not a flute and please don’t suck on it or we really will have to call the police, and no, Mr. Friskies doesn’t actually like it.
            And please take your Adderall and then show me, and don’t just hide it under your tongue.

      2. Haha your right, Trump does have lots of love. You can feel it in his love letter to Leona.

        1. On behalf of Trump, I thank you for your kind words for His Poetry!

    2. “Except we do have suppression.” AGREED.

      It’s way worse than suppression. It’s censorship. Twitter actually censored the Bribeden story to help him in the election.
      Google actively promotes ONLY “news” that fits its liberal narrative.
      Most people are not smart enough or engaged enough to realize that the entire four year Russia story about Trump was a LIE, bought and paid for by Hillary and Obama. That story will NEVER be told by any MSM outlet.
      I don’t like Hillary, and I think she committed treason by gathering up foreign donations for her $2 billion fake charity while secretary of state. I mentioned that to a journalist and she said: “What are you talking about?” She didn’t know about it because guess what? THEY DON’T CARE as long as the “news” is all good about the Demos.
      That’s why they shouldn’t be protected: They will censor and cover lies all day long while raking in hundreds of billions of dollars from people they loathe.

  7. Spend your money and energy on “Judicial Branch” solutions through the courts. We need plaintiffs in constitutional lawsuits that suffered “First Amendment injury” as legal standing (commonly used by the ACLU). The goal should be to completely remove unconstitutional authority, like censorship, from any official with governing authority.

    Hollywood icon, Jack Valenti, helped create the ratings system (PG, R, Mature Audiences) which empowered parents and adults (citizens) to act as censors – not an official with governing authority.

    Bottom line, it’s illegal for the government to censor under the First Amendment. Every member of Congress swore an oath of office to uphold the First Amendment. Only the Judicial Branch courts can solve this.

    1. Only sleepy Joe can solve this problem.

      1. I do like this comment, it’s kinda funny…

        A flavor of the all-too-common “Only Government Almighty can solve this problem”!

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  9. The sculpture has its roots in prehistoric civilizations, undergoing numerous changes over time and evolving simultaneously with society. During this time, the sculpture has played several roles in people’s lives. It believed that, in the beginning, sculptures had a magical role.

    From time immemorial, the sculpture has been considered a means of artistic expression, its beginnings being much more distant than those of painting. People began to carve in stone or wood either to make different tools or to create small figurines that they used for various purposes. Archaeological discoveries have shown that the sculptures dating back to prehistoric times were made of stone or ivory, but also clay.

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  10. Big Tech has become de facto propaganda arms of the Democratic party, and Reason is worried about speech being “surpressed”.

    That’s happening now.

    Heck, for example, I was placed into Facebook jail for asking– on a Reason post, no less– why Kamala withheld evidence that would have exonerated an innocent man. Facebook deemed my “harassment” / “hate speech”.

    1. Yeah, seems a bit rich to expect conservatives to dread “suppression” of speech. We’ve dealt with it. For years. Fuck all of you.

    2. You don’t understand, under TeenReason libertarianism is only something about for government.
      If groups of special interests collude with tech barons to censor millions and financially ruin individuals over constitutionally protected speech, that’s totes okay.

      Completely libertarian because after all they’re pRivAtE c0mPaNieS.
      (Yes, yes, they’re publicly owned and have never run their executives censorious impulses past their shareholders and never will, but shut up bot).

      1. Even if they are suppressing speech because of threats from Congress?

        1. Just build your own government.

  11. Zuckerberg spent $500 million on local election boards.
    How is he not part of the government at that point?

  12. It means that if Joe Blow posts a defamatory comment on a social-media forum, only Mr. Blow is liable for it—rather than Facebook, Twitter, or whatever company is hosting the forum. Those sites are not traditional publishers. They are platforms that allow you, dear reader, to post whatever uplifting or nonsensical thing that pops into your head.

    No, you can’t post whatever you want on those platforms, you can only post what they allow you to post. And what they allow you to post is whatever doesn’t outrage the professionally outraged, essentially a heckler’s veto, in service to protecting their ad revenue and their data hoovering business. Never forget, these are a business first and foremost, they don’t actually give a shit about free speech or providing an egalitarian forum or advancing the public discourse or contributing to the marketplace of ideas – they only care about the money.

    So fuck this high-minded “muh principles” bullshit, these are evil corporatist crony capitalists doing evil corporatist crony capitalist shit and they deserve whatever fuckery the government wants to fuck them with. You gotta expect that when you climb into bed with the government, you knew damn well what the government had in mind all along. In the meantime, get the hell off of Twitter and Facebook and avoid Google as much as possible, they’re brain-suckers and time-sinks and they make you stupid and lazy.

    1. “get the hell off of Twitter and Facebook and avoid Google as much as possible”

      All this would be such a non-issue if people would just heed this simple advice.

      1. Unfortunately I have a lot of older relatives that I want to keep in touch with all over the world, and they all use Facebook.
        Most are in their sixties and seventies, and convincing them to platform switch is near impossible.

        Facebook’s strength isn’t its shitty platform, it’s the people on it that you want to maintain contact with.

        1. Yeah, I still have a Facebook account, and I occasionally use it for the reasons you laid out.

          I just don’t understand how people can get so damned dependent and addicted to it.

        2. I have Facebook for the same reason. I think I have somewhere around 25 friends and I only use it to keep in touch with them. I have never friended anyone I don’t know and that works for me. I think others can post whatever they want. But if facebook flags, or deleted their posts or even deletes their accounts, then that’s what they get. If they don’t like the rules of facebook, they are free to use another site.

      2. All this would be such a non-issue if people would just heed this simple advice.

        If only getting of Twitter, Facebook, and Google ended all crony corporatism.

        1. Ha, for sure, I’m not excusing any of their unscrupulous dealings. It just blows my mind how people are so reliant on these companies (of their own volition).

      3. Except they STILL steal your info and use it whether you use their service or not.

        Don’t get why it’s OK for private companies to steal your data but not the government (BOTH seem fucked up to me), but that’s Kochitarianism for you.

  13. We shouldn’t scrap the 230 law itself. It makes sense. What we need to do is have a court decide that either these firms are meeting the requirements to receive the liability protection or not.

    If they are being neutral, not editing/censoring/filtering/etc… then they’re safe. If they are… which is fine, they can do that, they can keep on trucking exactly as they are, they just don’t get the protections. If they alter their business model and fall back under the requirements for 230, let them show it and be protected again.

    1. Screw 230… I want Reason hauled before the judge and be put through the ringer for not having a damned edit button!!!!

      Second paragraph, second sentence… If they AREN’T…. which is fine…

    2. Few people are going to want to use sites flooded with spam and porn, so you absolutely would wind up in a situation where things have to be manually reviewed, and they’re not going to want to take on the liability so very little of anything will get posted.

      It’s just not going to work out the way you conservatives are fantasizing about.

      1. Seems like “not my problem”.

        If they cannot figure out how to argue that stopping spam is good faith moderation, they should higher better lawyers.

        1. Again, Compuserve’s lawyers successfully argued “We don’t moderate and can’t be responsible for what gets posted.” and Wyden/Cox felt that was wrongly decided and penned S230 to prevent that.

          1. So because Congresspeople are idiots we should suffer?

            Wyden and Cox were simply wrong. Undo their damage.

      2. Few people are going to want to use sites flooded with spam and porn, so you absolutely would wind up in a situation where things have to be manually reviewed, and they’re not going to want to take on the liability so very little of anything will get posted.

        The same way the wedding cake and pizza delivery businesses dried up after all of the trolling litigation and no free speech/free business protections destroyed them.

        Without section 230 protections, no-name forums like Reason’s could be on the hook for thousands… assuming courts didn’t find the way they did in Cubby v. Compuserve (no moderation = no liability), a decision S230 was and is meant to prevent/reverse.

        1. Without section 230 protections, no-name forums like Reason’s could be on the hook for thousands…

          We missed the part where that’s our problem?

      3. Few people are going to want to use sites flooded with spam and porn

        That’s going to come as a real surprise to the online porn industry.

    3. If they are being neutral, not editing/censoring/filtering/etc… then they’re safe. If they are… which is fine, they can do that, they can keep on trucking exactly as they are, they just don’t get the protections. If they alter their business model and fall back under the requirements for 230, let them show it and be protected again.

      This would be a de facto repeal of section 230. Compuserve was found not liable in Cubby v. Compuserve because they didn’t moderate and Prodigy was found liable in Prodigy v. Stratton Oakmont because they did. The CDA was passed specifically because Wyden and Cox did *and do* feel that Compuserve should’ve been found liable for speech they didn’t moderate and Prodigy shouldn’t. The Congressional protection of preferred speech is the explicit intent.

      The problem with your half-repeal is the specific case for ‘Congress shall make no law’. Once you agree that speech can/should be regulated, you’ve ceded control. You no longer get to decide what constitutes free speech or good faith moderation. This leads to the irrational, inhumane paradox (which is where we’re at with S230) where the only people who can tell you what is or isn’t acceptable speech/thought are the people responsible for preventing you from saying/thinking it.

      1. I envision it as being ANY moderation means you accept liability of what is posted, sans a defense of a good faith effort but something unsavory made it out to the public anyhow. Like a radio show doesn’t get axed completely because one time out of a thousand a cussword made it on the air.

        And if that means a platform can not survive a jungle of pure free speech… so be it. Moderate and create the environment you want… I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t. I’m saying that if you become active in the speech, you are liable for the speech. If that means you limit a ton of stuff… so be it… it’s your house, keep it as you will.

        And if someone tries a free speech jungle platform… and it fails… it fails. Not a problem. If conservatives want to create “Fox News Social Media App” then they can… Facebook can continue to essentially be MSNBCbook, and Twitter can be InstaCNN or whatever. That’s fine. What people are objecting to is, just like MSNBC et al, the claim of being neutral in the face of evidence that they are not. And then receiving protections based on a patently false claim.

        1. I’m saying that if you become active in the speech, you are liable for the speech. If that means you limit a ton of stuff… so be it… it’s your house, keep it as you will.

          And I’m saying that between the FCC/Title II and the 1A, this is how it was before section 230. This is how it is for the large and growing mountain of free speech that doesn’t take place online or in the media. Section 230 doesn’t enshrine or preserve your ideal, it was designed to thwart it.

          1. I don’t see how, exactly. Not arguing… looking for clarification on your point.

            If the law states that if you aren’t involved in the speech, it isn’t your speech so you aren’t liable… how is that not what I’m advocating for?

            I must be missing something.

            1. If the law states that if you aren’t involved in the speech, it isn’t your speech so you aren’t liable… how is that not what I’m advocating for?

              Section 230 doesn’t protect you if you aren’t involved, the 1A does that. Section 230 protects you if you moderate in whatever Congress considers to be good faith, which is not being not involved.

              Again, read Cubby v. Compuserve, Prodigy v. Stratton Oakmont and Cox and Wyden’s opinion on the matter. The first ruling said Compuserve wasn’t liable for being uninvolved/not moderating and the second said Prodigy was liable because they did. Cox and Wyden did and do feel both decisions were wrongly decided and would/should be reversed. Being clear; that means they think Compuserve should be liable for others’ speech on their paltform even though they didn’t moderate.

              They felt it was Congress’ job to rein in speech on the internet to prevent it from becoming the Wild West.

      2. This seems like we have a precedent that the services would not be liable and an idiotic law was a workaround.

        1. I think you’ve confused me with someone who supports section 230.

          Outright repeal would be ideal. If there were no section 230, there would be no talk of modifying, expanding, or otherwise horse-trading on it.

      3. We’ve always made a legal distinction between the liability of printing companies and of newspapers. Yet, the poorly written Section 230 erases that and allows the modern equivalent of newspapers with editorial control to be treated like pure printing companies. That needs to change.

  14. They are platforms that allow you, dear reader, to post whatever uplifting or nonsensical thing that pops into your head

    Unless it makes the preferred candidate look bad during an election. Enough of this “both sides” bullshit. When has any social media giant suppressed stories that were harmful to non-Democrats?

    1. You can sense how furious they are at the comments section with that snippy little statement.

      Despite having politruk’s like White Knight white knighting, and fifty-centers’ like Jeff and Tony dissembling, and Sqrlsy and the spambots to bury legitimate content, most opinion down here is still libertarian.

      1. “…the spambots to bury legitimate content…” All who see things differently than moose-fucker are spambots!

        “…most opinion down here is still libertarian.” Says moose-fucker and fellow authoritarians, who want to take away YOUR freedom of speech, to pay for THEIR punishment boners! What sane person can deny that whacking the hell out of the current “Section 230”, and blaming web site owners for OUR comments, will end up curtailing our freedom of speech? Section 230 LIMITS Government Almighty powers (for ONCE!), and you power pigs want to destroy it!

        1. Section 230 LIMITS Government Almighty powers (for ONCE!), and you power pigs want to destroy it!

          Section 230 provides a liability exemption for a politically privileged and connected group of corporations, and fascists like you like that. You are guilty of the illiberal, leftist thinking that without subsidies and/or special government favors, the market simply can’t provide necessary services.

          1. No matter how often you repeat your bullshit, your bullshit will always STINK to the highest Heavens! Punishing “Party A” for the doings of “Party B” is always unjust, and will always be unjust!

            I hope that they punish YOU for what I have written, and maybe you will learn, for once!

            1. Punishing “Party A” for the doings of “Party B” is always unjust, and will always be unjust!

              Publishers are not held accountable for the doings of authors, they are held accountable for their own doings, namely the editorial choices they make over what to publish and what not to publish. That’s why publishers are liable and printers, carriers, and telecoms are not.

              I hope that they punish YOU for what I have written, and maybe you will learn, for once!

              I don’t exercise editorial control over you, so I’m not liable for your writings. Reason doesn’t exercise editorial control over their comment section, so they aren’t liable either.

              Google, Facebook, and Twitter do exercise editorial control, so they should be liable for content they choose to publish, like any other publisher.

              1. “Google, Facebook, and Twitter do exercise editorial control, so they should be liable for content they choose to publish, like any other publisher.”

                Says fascist asshole, who says everything must be done in the way that fascist asshole says it should be done! Tell us how Section 230 is such a YUUUUGE threat to civilized life as we know it, self-righteous asshole? How much money did Section 230 make you lose? How badly did it hurt your Precious Baby Feelings? Feel free to sue in court over these things, as everyone else does, if they have genuinely been punished unjustly, and see if Government Almighty will take YOUR side, whining crybaby!

                Section 230 did NOT take a single fucking DIME from you, did it, whining crybaby?

                1. “Grabble-mooble-230-moop-derp-herp”.

                  1. Section 230 did NOT take a single fucking DIME from you, did it, whining crybaby?

                    Whine some more, crybaby!

                    1. Section 230 did NOT take a single fucking DIME from you

                      Section 230 (along with some other regulations) destroyed the free speech infrastructure of the Internet and allowed a few large corporations to monetize, control, and censor speech on the Internet. We all have been hurt by Section 230, and badly at that.

                    2. The clause granting permission to censor constitutionally protected speech in 230, is the camels nose of authoritarianism.

                    3. You control-freak authoritarians are just like Lavrentiy Beria!!!

                      Lavrentiy Beria … “Show me the man, and I will show you the crime”
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavrentiy_Beria = chief jackbooted thug faces-stomper for Stalin. If Beria had a punishment boner, he would find (or creatively interpret) SOME law, with which he could satisfy his punishment boner!

                      Show me the internet company or social media company, and I will show you the crime!

                      Just like the suppressors (certainly including hide-bound Trumpistas) of “wrong-think” today! Nadless Nardzi the Nasty NAZI, Momma the Moose-Fucker, and NOY-Boy, are you perhaps the reincarnated Lavrentiy Beria?

                      What would it look like, if we assigned armies of lawyers, judges, and politicians to decide if cake-bakers are “media” or “publishers”?

                      1) If you want to be “media” you will allow the customers to write with icing, on the cake, just the same as commenters peck at the keyboards, themselves. As soon as you pick up the icing dispenser and YOU are writing it, with YOUR hands, now obviously you are a PUBLISHER, because YOU wrote it!

                      2) You also may NOT watch the customers in your bake shop, to see if they write something offensive to you or others (“God hates fags” or “God loves gay weddings”), and selectively stop one, the other, or both, from walking out the door of your bake shop, with that kind of cake! You may NOT exercise any “editorial control”, or you are a publisher!

                      3) Now your customer is able to brag that YOUR store is where he got the cake with the message that YOU don’t like! Bystanders can see what cake-messages are going out of your front door, that you disagree with! AND the customers are now free to boycott you, because STUPID laws messed with YOUR freedom and YOUR property rights as the bake-shop owner!

                2. Tell us how Section 230 is such a YUUUUGE threat to civilized life as we know it, self-righteous asshole?

                  Without Section 230, large social networks and comment sections on the web sites of large publishers would be difficult to operate because of the legal risks. You have said so yourself, so we agree on that. But for some reason, you seem to think that a small oligopoly of censorious megacorporations is a good thing; I don’t.

                  Without Section 230, discussion and speech on the Internet will become freer and less subject to censorship because instead of a few large companies, it will be a billion self-publishing people communicating in federated, distributed systems, without the threat of centralized censorship or control. That is what free speech should be. It’s the world people like you desperately try to prevent, either out of ignorance or because you actually believe in authoritarian control over speech.

                  1. “Without Section 230, large social networks and comment sections on the web sites of large publishers would be difficult to operate because of the legal risks. You have said so yourself, so we agree on that.”

                    PLEASE stop lusting after taking away MY free speech! WHO is controlling YOU as you practice YOUR free speech RIGHT NOW, putting these deluded, unreal ideas out here for all to see?

      2. Wanting the government to control someone else’s business — the epitome of libertarianism.

        1. So special government protections like 230 are out then?

          1. No. Section 230 is a lightweight, uniformly applied liability shield which helps free market activity. It makes it possible for a website to accept huge volumes of user uploaded content. If they didn’t have the liability shield they would have to pre-screen all user content, making the scale we are used to in Facebook, Twitter, Parler, even this website impossible.

            1. Just allow any content to be posted..that is free speech. If it upsets you don’t read it.

            2. Section 230 is a lightweight, uniformly applied liability shield which helps free market activity. It makes it possible for a website to accept huge volumes of user uploaded content. If they didn’t have the liability shield they would have to pre-screen all user content, making the scale we are used to in Facebook, Twitter, Parler, even this website impossible.

              https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/10/29/free-speech-platform-gab-goes-offline-as-godaddy-joins-big-tech-blacklisting/

              How does this help free market competition? If it happened to Gab, it can happen to Parler too.

              If they didn’t have the liability shield they would have to pre-screen all user content

              Okay so what? If they can’t figure out how to run major websites with normal, uncontroversial moderation policies, then strip them of the liability shield and let them figure it out on their own. Why are they entitled to immunity from laws?

          2. It is a rare example of well-crafted, free market enabling regulation.

            1. example of well-crafted, free market enabling regulation

              I’m saving this nonsense for the next time you try to pretend you’re libertarian.

            2. Wow. Just wow.

  15. I’m opposed to repealing 230. However, in the long term it will only accelerate the move to fully P2P, decentralized social networks.

    In such environments, there is uncertainty on where any content is physically stored, which helps shield the true content provider from liability. And increases the cost of enforcement.

    1. Whoa, John el Galto nails it for once! Good job John el Galto!!!

    2. …unless they work with payment processers to shut it down.

      Which, mind you, they have done.

    3. However, in the long term it will only accelerate the move to fully P2P, decentralized social networks.

      That’s what we had before Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Disqus monetized and monopolized the market.

      I’m opposed to repealing 230.

      And why do you hate decentralized social networks? Why do you want to keep online speech under the control of a few big corporations? Why do you support regulatory capture?

    4. However, in the long term it will only accelerate the move to fully P2P, decentralized social networks.

      This assumes that networks are only composed of nodes, no edges, and that the government exerts no control over the edges. And that’s patently and provably incorrect and several levels.

      1. If you’re talking about an internet kill switch, yes, you are right; they control the edges. However, if they are only willing to control targeted types of traffic, then there is no true control over the edges. It’s too easy too camouflage the forbidden traffic. It’s just impossible to fully separate it from what would be deemed “legitimate.”

        1. Again, incorrect. A network is more than just the sum of its nodes and edges. If I know which nodes are “guilty parties”, I can simply throttle the bandwidth to those nodes and innocent traffic can reroute to avoid the congestion. Only the traffic that relies on the assets at that node/nodes will be critically/adversely affected. This was done to several bitcoin exchanges when Mt. Gox was melting down and Comcast is known to throttle traffic participating in torrent applications. Tools like VPNs can circumvent it, but they come at their own costs and don’t necessarily thwart the efforts.

          1. “If I know which nodes are guilty parties”

            So you’re only able to catch the stupid violators.

  16. Not passing net neutrality ready killed the internet.

  17. They could afford armies of people to review posts, whereas smaller sites would go out of business or become unusable cesspools.

    You mean the comments section would get worse?

    1. Tell us about mean girls and how everyone bullies you, again.

  18. Much like Title IX and qualified immunity, section 230 has at it’s core something worthy of preserving but has expanded and morphed into something worse than the issue it originally was created to rectify.

    Complaints that removing 230 protections will usher in censorship ring hollow to those being actively censored now with 230 being used to protect the censorship. If the only choice is one side of an argument is to be censored or everybody is censored I’ll take equality of silence over protecting only the inane prattling of CRT proponents and the whinyest of leftist activists.

  19. Facebook (and others) could just disable the ability to post links and let it truly be social media outlet where people are limited to posting their own comments…but of course that would mean losing billions in revenue so they can’t go there…
    Hiring staff (or improving algorithms) to check each post isn’t going to work because any moderation opens up the possibility of a lawsuit.
    The third option is to go totally unmoderated which could turn every platform into a sewer (similar to this one). But if the platforms include the ability to block specific users and websites I believe people could continue to use them.

    1. This nonsense of “you want NO moderation” is laughable. Nobody has any beef with good faith moderation. Remove spam? Fine. The issue is with moderation that is very much NOT in good faith.

      1. Yea, nobody has any problem with good faith moderation that removes misinformation…oh wait, I believe the earth is flat so you can’t remove my post! That’s censorship!

        1. But that’s not what he said, Jeff.
          If you’re going to whine about shitposting, it’s probably not a good idea to do it yourself in your very next response.

        2. The difference between making a post about the earth being flat vs. a post containing a link to child porn (like that piece of shit shriek) is pretty dang clear.

        3. Maybe punishing people for being wrong isn’t good faith moderation, yeah?

        4. 1) Why should they remove your post? Let others drag you for being an idiot.

          2) Who decides what is misinformation. Big Tech claimed the Hunter Biden story was misinfo…except it very much was not.

    2. “unmoderated which could turn every platform into a sewer”

      Oh look, someone just tipped his hat.

  20. If you do not have free speech in the private sector, you do not have free speech.
    If Google, Facebook, and Twitter want to operate as arms of the democratic party, they should be treated as such.
    They used their power to limit and control our speech, changing the course of the November election.
    We don’t plan to let them do it again without consequences

    1. This

  21. I have no issue with stripping their special liability protections. This is not a libertarian issue. It’s a practical one. The fear that we will have a choice of heavily censored or completely open sites doesn’t seem worse to me than platforms that are manipulating content to serve a statist agenda. And lets face it, stuff people here might say is already being censored. More censorship by the platforms themselves just means the proggies might be censored to.

    So what

    And it isn’t as if other businesses don’t find ways to protect from lawsuits. I imagine there are more outcomes than the two polar extremes presented. If you want to have a general discussion about reform to our legal system that is a legitimate thing to discuss, but of all the organizations that deserve special protection not available to other businesses twitter is at the absolute bottom of my list.

    1. More censorship by the platforms themselves just means the proggies might be censored to.

      Doubt it. The proggies are tolerant, which means they don’t tolerate intolerance. So that means they’ll be censoring everything that offends them. Whereas intolerant people don’t try to censor everything that bothers them.

      1. I’m not sure if I’m scared because I understood that or if its because this is an accurate representation of how proggies actually think.

      2. Can you explain how people will be able to sue for being censored? You don’t get to sue a publisher for not publishing your work.

        1. Why are you asking me to defend something I never said?

    2. This is not a libertarian issue. It’s a practical one.

      This. Congress passing a law enshrining good faith moderation centers the definition of good faith in D.C.

      Imagine great thinkers of the 18th, 17th, 16th… centuries being OK with the King appointing the Church arbitrators of good faith moderation because the Church isn’t the government. Not just OK, with it, but ecstatic that the King was taking appropriate steps to defend good faith moderation and free and tolerant speech.

  22. This all boils down to conservatives wanting to sue you for informing them of facts.

    1. This all boils down to liberals being afraid of facts.

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  24. Life hack: before reading the comments, scroll through and flag all SQLRSYs posts then hit refresh. The conversation really doesn’t change at all, and the thread becomes much easier to read.

    I like to think of it as scrubbing the mental diarrhea off the comments before I touch them.

    1. Go easy on SQRLSY. He’s just a crazy homeless guy with a coke problem.

  25. Section 230 is the modern equivalent of a railroad monopoly. And like defenders of government corruption in the 19th century, Reason wants us to believe that eliminating Section 230 will somehow lead to infrastructure disappearing. Reason is making the typical economic arguments of leftists: “big corporations need special government favors or the market will fail to provide something vital”.

    In reality, we had a thriving free speech culture before Section 230 on the Internet. Facebook, Google, Twitter, Disqus, and a few other companies destroyed this, and this was enabled by exempting them from the usual legal liabilities everybody else faces on the Internet.

    Eliminating Section 230 will just mean that we go back to what we had before those companies: federated and distributed media. The infrastructure for that already exists and it works.

  26. I don’t understand how removing liability protections will mean companies will be MORE willing to platform Nazis.

    1. There aren’t enough petabytes of storage on the internet to cover everything you don’t understand.

      1. Plenty of room for your wit.

        1. Brevity is the soul of wit. Meanwhile, your ignorance known no bounds.

    2. Are you worried about being deplatformed, bigot?

  27. Section 230 does require platforms to be evenhanded in their moderation. The problem is that they have been obviously inconsistent on an ideological basis in their application of rules. Not transparent in telling users and content creators in what their rules are. Lastly, they have been making bizarre rules when they have been transparent. The idea that this only is a top down concern by annoyed politicians is whistling past the graveyard. There is a large portion of users and creators who are understandably upset by platforms moderating in ways they are ill equipped for talent wise and their employees are temperamentally poorly equipped to perform.

  28. …”a little Facebook moderation”…?

    That particular characterization should tell you everything you need to understand about the particular bias of this article!

    Calling the censorship of potentially damming information about a candidate just before a presidential election “a little Facebook moderation”…is risible! That Greenhut would attempt to slide this little “misdirection” past his readers should give us all a sense of the utter disdain in which he holds us.

    It’s been said many times already in this string of comments, but perhaps it needs to be said again: When Zuckerberg and his minions decide that they don’t like what a contributor says, and decide those comments need to be altered, appended or censored, they become editors…not just publishers, but editors…and once they insinuate themselves into the editorial process, they should lose the protections under 230 that was intended for publishers.

    1. Good point.

  29. The article focuses on Section 230 (c)(1) which is not the big deal. It is the political CENSORSHIP authorized by Section 230 (c)(2)(A).

    I am amazed that this LIMITATION of free speech causes no difficulty for Libertarians. Here the Government is AUTHORIZING (by liability protection) a private company to do what it cannot. Not leaving them alone in the civil courts but AFFIRMATIVELY putting the heavy thumb of Government on the scales of justice when weighing rights between two non-governmental actors. That is picking the winner. Isn’t that a no-no for Libertarians???

    1. Government has outsourced censorship to the private sector which as usual is much more effective and efficient than government at the task.

  30. Or the publishers could allow all speech and somehow even though Greenhut indicates this what Conservatives prefer it will lead to..OMG..spam! That isn’t what he is afraid of…he is afraid of being called a racist…another Cosmo Woke writer..so afraid of the left calling anyone who disagrees with the left a racist or white supremicist. What BS. So someone posts a study on violent crime by ethnicity…who cares…oh it hurts the sensibility of the left…or a study using FBI data that shows there is no race base disparity in police killings of unarmed Americans….oh can’t have that as it disputed the “Cathedral”. This is fing Reason…you should be screaming for free speech…as long as your not threatening to kill someone the socials HAVE to post your opinion….where does it stop by the way? Disagree with Keynsian economics…opps that’s racist and your banned. Disagree with globalism..opps that antisemitic and your banned…Disagree with parts of the Civil Rights Act (section 2 and 8)…opps your banned.

  31. Good. I wish they would just prohibit any censorship at all – other than advertising. Why are there so many asinine argument on this site now? Cant believe they are actually arguing for the ability to censor people. Fuck off.

    1. “Cant believe they are actually arguing for the ability to censor people”

      Obama wooed them and Trump broke them; and now they’re bog-standard pro-regulation and pro-censorship liberals who only give lip-service to libertarianism because the magazine hasn’t announced a focus change yet.

  32. My concern is that the media is dominated by a relatively small number of companies which share similar ideological views and have a similar degree of intolerance towards opposing views. That is worrying and can be dangerous.

    1. Been dangerous for a while. But Reason prefers mega-corporations which can participate in regulatory capture over numerous smaller companies that are much harder to control.

      1. Can’t spell libertarianism without oligarchic corporatism.

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  37. Could lead to censorship? Really? What do the authors think is going on now? Facebook, Google, YouTube and Instagram actively and openly censor conservatives while allowing liberals to say any vile or false statement they want. I’m against censorship too but I would like to see the above companies stop practicing it. If liberals end up getting censored, only then will their be an impetus to stop it.

  38. Every Lefty — “The Bipartisan Push” = Trumps Fault!
    You lefty people ARE nothing but biased prejudices.

    Why don’t you lefties tell your [D] Congress Gov-Gods to get away from the press then maybe you’ll take notice that Antitrust is entirely different than government censorship.

  39. I expected to find a libertarian proposal regarding Sec. 230 and social media company censorship here, but fail to see anything but a defense of the Sec. 230 status quo.

    How about giving users of social media the right to sue for discrimination or unequal treatment because of their political views? How is that different from discrimination based on race, sex, or nationality? That would likely change social media company behavior. The Democrats wouldn’t like such a proposal because opposing it reveals their motives and goals are for political discrimination.

    That’s one argument.

    Regardless of what the law is, IMHO the libertarian thing is to just quit using Twitter, Facebook, and Google. Otherwise it encourages political suppression of speech.

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