Section 230

Mitch McConnell Agrees To Pass $2,000 COVID-19 Checks—in a Bill That Would Also Eliminate Section 230

Here we go again.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) today acquiesced to demands from President Donald Trump, a majority of congressional Democrats, and some congressional Republicans to greenlight a bill giving $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks to Americans under a designated income threshold. But there's a catch: McConnell's legislation would also eliminate Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Section 230 essentially functions as the internet's First Amendment by protecting private companies from being held liable for most forms of user-generated content. This is the second time in very recent history that lawmakers have sought to sneak Section 230 changes into legislation that otherwise has nothing to do with Section 230.

Earlier this month, Trump vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) because it contained no clause repealing the landmark internet law. Sen. Roger Wicker (R–Miss.) reportedly tried to achieve Trump's aim by inserting such language into the legislation; the effort failed, and yesterday Congress overrode Trump's veto.

Section 230 has attracted bipartisan enmity, although for completely different reasons: Republican critics say that online giants such as Facebook and Twitter are too heavy-handed with content moderation, at least when it comes to conservative speech, while their Democratic counterparts want platforms to scrub more hate speech and fake news. 230's critics range from Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) to Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, though one wonders if either would be happy with the result of the rollback once the other party was in power.

McConnell's bill would also create a committee to investigate election fraud and the impact of COVID-19 on voting practices, as Trump keeps pushing the conspiracy theory that President-elect Joe Biden stole the 2020 election.

Trump initially threatened to veto the recent omnibus spending bill if Congress failed to include the $2,000 individual relief checks—which are currently capped at $600—and eliminate some of the miscellaneous wasteful measures. (The Smithsonian, for instance, will receive $1 billion for two new museums.) Not one of those demands was met, but he signed the legislation regardless. McConnell may think today's bill gives him the best of both worlds: He addresses Trump's complaint while sinking any hope of actually passing it.

The House of Representatives yesterday approved a separate bill to increase the $600 payments to $2,000. Only two Democrats voted against that, and a handful of Republicans voted in favor.

Several Senate Republicans also support the idea, including Hawley and the two Georgia Republicans up for reelection: Sen. David Perdue (R–Ga.) and Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R–Ga.).

Both Perdue and Loeffler have positioned themselves as stalwarts of free markets, with Perdue claiming on Fox News that they are "the last line of defense" against socialism in Congress. It's highly doubtful that either Georgia senator would support such a proposal had it not come from Trump. On the other hand, it's hard to explain why someone would vote yes on the $2.3 trillion omnibus bill—whose 5,593 pages were decorated with special handouts—and say no to direct assistance for the American people.

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  1. BOOM! Everyone is corrupt.

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    2. “…demands from President Donald Trump, a majority of congressional Democrats,…”

      Trump(ism) is the full surrender of the American Experiment in growing liberty and prosperity to statists squabbling for bigger slices of a zero sum pie.

      “‘Nationalist’ Is How a Republican Spells ‘Progressive.’”
      ~ David French

      1. I have long wondered what French thinks of things…because the opposite is usually the best plan,

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    4. Eliminating Section 230 is a red herring and would do nothing to curb censorship. McConnell isn’t stupid and knows that full well.

  2. COVID relief and opinion relief? Congress is so dreamy.

    1. Big Tech picked a fight with conservatives, nobody should be surprised if they fight back.

      1. I’m pretty surprised that the “reach across the aisle”, “get along”, stupid party is actually fighting back.

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  3. Will the checks have SleepyJoe’s name on them?

    1. Sevo can only hope they do!

    2. Trump is the only President narcassistic enough to insist his signature appear on relief/stimulus checks and letters announcing same, so I’m thinking “no”.

      1. Didn’t you get banned Shreek?

      2. There’s a man named Obama I seem to be recalling…

        1. Trump is a shrinking violet compared to your boy obama or your girl harris, in fact to any dem.

      3. I guess you missed all the “this project funded by the T. A. R. P. act thank you president Obama” signs put up by Obama DOT. or those fancy engraved golden pens Nancy had made to sign the impeachment documents lmao.

        Fuck you dumbass.

  4. “The Kentucky Republican, without committing to hold a vote, said the Senate would address Mr. Trump’s demands to boost the size of the checks to $2,000 from $600 as well as his concerns about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which regulates online speech, and his complaints about purported election fraud . . . .

    “This week the Senate will begin a process to bring these three priorities into focus,” Mr. McConnell said, without offering further details. A person familiar with his thinking said Mr. McConnell was considering putting all three items into one bill.”

    —-Wall Street Journal

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/mcconnell-says-senate-will-address-trumps-call-for-bigger-stimulus-checks-11609263622

    If the three bills were introduced separately, the repeal of Section 230 would be likely to go through, the $2,000 direct payments would be likely to go through with the help of a few Republicans in the senate (at least), and a version of the investigation into voter fraud would pass in the senate but never be passed in the House.

    If the bills are wrapped up in a three way, all or nothing situation, the odds of it passing aren’t as good–but I’d say it’s still likely to pass.

    There may be a 50/50 chance of the Democrats winning both races in Georgia. The Democrats have virtually nothing to fear from an investigation into voter fraud regardless, especially with the news media all but 100% on their side. If this were about introducing an investigation into Hunter Biden’s influence peddling, that might be another story.

    As it is, however, don’t be surprised if Section 230 is repealed and you have $2,000 on the way by the end of the week.

    Oh, and ENB will probably need to update her silly headline from yesterday, “Trump Gets None of His Demands in the Spending Bill but Signs It Into Law Anyway” Trump may get Section 230 repealed, $2,000 for average Americans, and an investigation into voter fraud. We won’t know until McConnell introduces a bill and there’s a vote.

    I suspect McConnell would rather not introduce a bill, but the Georgia senate races may be forcing his hand. Being the party that denies $1,400 to every voter in Georgia isn’t likely to play well for the Republican party in the upcoming runoffs. If McConnell wants to remain Majority Leader in the senate, he better introduce that bill.

    1. Silly as her headline may be, it was accurate, and will remain accurate for what was reported yesterday. Your demand that she update it is about as useful as changing Dec 8 1941 headlines because Japan ultimately lost the war.

      1. We’re at war with Eastasia. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

        1. There are a lot of different countries in East Asia.

      2. “Silly as her headline may be, it was accurate”

        Trump may be getting everything he demanded.

        Her headline was wishful thinking and wrong. And if she turns out to be right, it will only have been by accident. I once saw a drunk hit an 18 playing Blackjack. He pulled a 3 and hit 21. I guess that means he was smart in your world?

        Telling people that Trump didn’t get anything he demanded only to see him get some or all the things he demanded is the opposite of “accurate”.

        She’s like a magic 8-Ball.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_8-Ball

        Only a magic 8-Ball’s predictions are random. Her predictions are always predictably anti-Trump–regardless of what the question is.

        1. “Trump Gets None of His Demands in the Spending Bill but Signs It Into Law Anyway”

          Still an accurate headline. Trump got nothing in the bill he signed yesterday. Just because he may get it in a different bill tomorrow doesn’t change the fact that he didn’t get it yesterday

    2. Ken, the most likely outcome in my mind is that none of the three are passed: 2K payment, section 230 repeal, voter fraud investigation. Why? Just human nature. Put yourself in their shoes. It is easier to say ‘No’ to your opponent than it is to say ‘Yes’ to your constituent.

      1. Plus, even though both sides dislike section 230, hardly anyone is crazy enough to repeal it without spending a bit of time researching and planning the alternative and working out whether repealing it could have any unintended consequences.

  5. Just have to laugh….

  6. Seems to be a poison pill. Anyway boo on Congress sending out checks when the deficit and debt are causing us to teeter on economic collapse.

    But yes on ending Section 230. Liberaltarians are wrong on that one.

    1. The only problem with the checks is the amount that is effectively “other people’s money.”

      Which is still a drop in the bucket compared to all the other silly and/or criminal spending on things the Federal government should not be doing.

      Since we are already teetering I might as well get my damned money back.

  7. Figured he would- the fuckstick he is.

    Anywho- would be great to see the most cherished “conservatives” including their orange idiot be banned immediately from every platform because they don’t want to be held liable for their bullshit.

    1. I mean, how about not being a pussy McConnell? You clearly don’t give a shit- put your money where your fat fucking mouth is you cowardly little shit. Just say “let’s vote- we’ll vote it down” and stop feeding fucking fairy tales to your idiot constituency. Let them know where you stand. Is it that hard? Man the fuck up.

      1. I despise McConnell, but seriously, you can fuck off with your progtard bullshit. I wouldn’t shed a tear if real Americans had enough of your commie crap and slaughtered you traitors by the millions.

        It would serve you right.

        1. Who are the ones trying to overturn an election by claiming fraud without evidence?

          Shut the fuck up you fascist traitor!
          Get your America hating ass out of MY COUNTRY!

          Inbred fucking waste of life.

          1. “Who are the ones trying to overturn an election by claiming fraud without evidence?”

            The Russiatards. So you.

          2. Get out of YOUR country? Who died and left you boss?

            What – and make myself eligible to be a target of American foreign policy?

            Man, talk about a Catch-22.

      2. “Man the fuck up”

        Congratulations Jeff.
        Everyone being told to “man up” by a porcine hikikomori who hasn’t left his parents basement in a decade because he can’t fit in the stairwell, is easily the most surreal experience of the week.

    2. Somebody doesn’t know how section 230 works. If the above happened, it would spawn a whole host of completely unmoderated sites and services to scoop up the disenfranchised. Twitter would/will evaporate the minute Trump stops tweeting.

      More likely, FB, Twitter, etc. will beef up their TOS/disclaimers on a per-post basis or wall off their respective ‘gardens’ and declare themselves not to be liable for speech that takes place on their platform but outside their walls. Rather than lose the content and potential revenue.

      1. I would prefer to see FB, Twitter, etc. all bankrupted. They deserve it. Just like most of the media.

    3. OH NO.

      People might be banned for their views online?

      Welcome to the world conservatives have lived in for years.

      Go fuck yourself.

  8. $2000, eh? If Biden is still all “I won’t raise your taxes one thin dime” then why not make it $20,000 and *really* recover?

    1. If you’ve kept up, Biden is not yet President so he has no input into this, and the GOP – not the Dems – are the ones objecting to giving more money.

      Did I miss your inference that your complaint was directed to Trump and the GOP, because it sure didn’t sound like it.

      1. “Biden is not yet President so he has no input into this”

        lol Shreek

      2. Pelosi was also against giving money when she saw it as political capital. Peoples’ pain was her gain.

        Quit fighting over who gets to fuck us. That’s all the entire US political system is.

  9. Term limits and a Constitutional amendment banning non-related amendments to any bill, especially spending bills would go a long ways.

    1. Both good ideas! It’s obvious you didn’t hear them from your stupid Mormon family members.

      1. Man, imagine if you said those remarks about blacks or Jews.

        Reported.

        1. Sounds like something a Jew would say.

  10. AIUI, Section 230 is a bandaid fix for a court ruling and/or federal laws and/or regulations that fucked up libel and slander laws for online forums. If that is so, the proper fix is unwinding those problems, not adding a new layer of fuckup, which is the usual government procedure.

  11. I don’t use Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, and I only use Facebook to see cute dog videos and the well-meaning but content-free stuff that family posts.

    So somebody please ‘splain to me why I should give a flying fuck about Section 230?

    1. 1) I don’t believe any of that I’m pretty sure you’re just shit-stirring

      2) nice shit-stirring

  12. “Section 230 essentially functions as the internet’s First Amendment,”

    Except it doesn’t, the First Amendment is the Internet’s First Amendment.

    1. The Binion-Boehm-Britschigi complex can’t into honest analogies.

      “Section 230 essentially functions as the internet’s pants”

  13. Section 230 essentially functions as the internet’s First Amendment by protecting private companies from being held liable for most forms of user-generated content.

    Under the 1A, most people face liability. Section 230 creates a special exemption for politically connected Internet companies.

    Reason: your lies are tedious and transparent.

    1. No it doesn’t. All it does is protect and re-affirm two inalienable rights that the Court unfortunately stripped from internet communication about thirty years ago: the right to use your property as you see fit, and the right to avoid punishment for something you didn’t do. It protects and re-affirms these rights for everyone on the internet – big corporations, small corporations, and individuals alike. And, like most laws that don’t do anything other than reaffirm pre-existing rights, its benefits go to everyone, without regard to political connection. It does not “exempt” anyone from anything that they shouldn’t by right be “exempt” from in the first place, and there is nothing “special” or unequal about how it applies. You, sir, are simply wrong in your assessment.

      1. Why did the authors of 230 not just reverse those court decisions? Why did they think they had to improve upon the pre-court conditions?

        1. Reversing those court decisions is, in fact, all that Section 230 did.

          It was affixed to a broader internet censorship bill (the Communications Decency Act) that was outright unconstitutional. Fortunately, the Supreme Court wasted little time in striking down all of the CDA except for Section 230. So the CDA as it stands now is literally nothing but the part of the bill that just reversed those court decisions, and didn’t do anything else.

          (The court decisions in question, for the record, ruled that if a platform takes down content for any reason – including noncompliance with terms and conditions of service – it becomes the “publisher” of, and assumes legal responsibility for, whatever remains up, regardless of whether they solicited it, participated in its posting, or even knew it was there. Reversing this is what Section 230 does – and that’s all that it does.)

          1. Seems like it does a little more than that to me:

            (c) Protection for “Good Samaritan” blocking and screening of offensive material
            (2) Civil liability
            No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—
            (A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or
            (B) any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph (1).[1]

            I imagine congress was thinking porn, but the social media barons were thinking political opponents.

            1. There were no social media barons yet. Myspace was the only social media that existed when Section 230 was drafted, iirc. Maybe livejournal. ie, things that basically don’t exist anymore, and never had political pull worth talking about.

          2. Reversing those court decisions is, in fact, all that Section 230 did.

            It did a lot more than that: it allowed companies that clearly exercise editorial control over content (i.e., act like publishers) to enjoy the same protections that telecoms have. That’s wrong. Section 230 was badly written.

            After Section 230 has been repealed, Congress can look at the issue again and try to get it right; this time, it should have much clearer criteria defining a platform vs a publisher; companies like Google and Facebook should clearly fall on the “publisher” side if they continue operating like they are now.

            1. Editorial control is fine, and sometimes needed. Let’s take an example of a site or page dedicated to cute photos of snakes. If someone wants to start posting political rants then those posts should be taken down. That is not the site doing editorial control, but maintaining community standards for posts.

              1. Editorial control is fine, and sometimes needed.

                I agree. It is also needed to keep libelous content off your platform. And if you fail to do that, you ought to be potentially liable for that in court.

                1. Why? You didn’t post it. The person who posted it is responsible. It’s impossible for anyone to know all libelous content at a glance, much less police all of it on a large site.

                  Your road leads to no sites where people can post content at all, because the liability is ruinous and unavoidable otherwise

                  1. It’s impossible for anyone to know all libelous content at a glance, much less police all of it on a large site.

                    Twitter and Facebook do manually verify a lot of their content (and even more with AI). Would you agree that if they manually examine a tweet and then make a choice to publish it knowing that the tweet is false and will harm the person’s reputation, they ought to be liable for contributing to the libel? Well, then you agree that Section 230 should be abolished.

                    Your road leads to no sites where people can post content at all, because the liability is ruinous and unavoidable otherwise

                    And why is that a bad thing? Having “postings on sites” has been deleterious to free speech on the Internet.

            2. No, sir, you are wrong again. Reversing those two decisions is, in point of fact, all that Section 230 did.

              It didn’t “allow” companies who have platforms to exercise “editorial control” over their platforms – because they always had “editorial control” over them simply by way of ownership. That’s how “editorial control” works – if you own it, you make the call, end of story.

              The act of publishing is a deliberative and participatory act that involves much more than “editorial control.” Simply removing text from a medium – any medium – does not make one a publisher, because publishing is fundamentally an act of “making public.” This is why the publisher assumes liability – not because he made “editorial choices” about what he made public, but because he in fact made it public.

              Although these two positions often go together and work hand in hand, there has always been a distinction made in language, law, and profession between editor and publisher. Removing, rearranging, or adding text is editing. Putting text out is publishing. On a web platform, the commenter has a lot more in common with the publisher than the platform owner who chooses what comments to leave up and what ones to take down. This is the fundamental moral, ethical, and legal distinction that the Court failed to make back in the early 90s. And this is the fundamental moral, ethical, and legal distinction – and the only moral, ethical, and legal distinction – that Section 230 makes.

              1. It didn’t “allow” companies who have platforms to exercise “editorial control” over their platforms

                I agree. You are responding to something I didn’t say. Re-read what I wrote.

                The act of publishing is a deliberative and participatory act that involves much more than “editorial control.” Simply removing text from a medium – any medium – does not make one a publisher. […] On a web platform, the commenter has a lot more in common with the publisher than the platform owner who chooses what comments to leave up and what ones to take down

                You’re arguing semantics of words, not actual points of law and responsibility. It’s irrelevant whether you feel what an Internet service operator is more like. The issue is: when libelous material appears in public, who participated in its dissemination and what is their responsibility.

                When users post libelous material on a site and that site then goes on to distribute the material to millions of people, the site clearly participates in the distribution of the libelous material, so it is reasonable to ask whether it should be liable.

                (1) If the site operators carefully read, verify, analyze, and choose what they publish, then they are clearly actively participating in the libel. (2) If site operators only take down material in response to court orders, then they are clearly not actively participating in the libel.

                But operators in category (2) might have an obligation to operate like operators in category (1). It’s reasonable to create a law that allows operators in category (2) to exist without an obligation to analyze material. That’s roughly what Section 230 was supposed to address.

                But now Section 230 is being used as a shield for operators in category (1). That is, Facebook, Google, and Twitter do carefully read, verify, analyze, and choose what they publish. They explicitly attempt to exclude material they deem untrue from their platforms; hence, they should be potentially liable for material they do choose to publish.

                Facebook, Google, and Twitter explicitly and daily set themselves up as arbiters of truth; they use keywords, artificial intelligence, and large numbers of employees to review all content that they distribute and to determine the truth of that content. Not only do they do that, they explicitly represent that to their users. So, if Twitter distributes the statement “A___ B___ has marched in a Nazi parade” without qualification or user content warning, users can assume that Twitter has verified this and agrees with the statement. Hence they ought to be potentially legally liable; the full degree of liability is, of course, for a court to determine.

                1. You’re absolutely wrong about facebook, google, twitter, et al’s method of operation. They do not carefully read every post. Something gets called to their attention, they do something. They have a few bots scumming all the posts looking for warning signs, but its basically impossible for them to block content before it’s posted.

                  If someone posts on twitter “A____B____ has marched in a Nazi Parade”, Twitter likely never saw it, and had no idea it existed, until someone complains to Twitter about it.

                  1. Squirrelloid I think I agree with NYOB if those folks do moderate which they do, see link below for an article on this they should be held accountable. If they stop monitoring then no leave them alone. I’d also agree take section that wasn’t written to what we are all disagreeing on remove it and then if it doesn’t work out, work towards something new that will. they do

                  2. They have a few bots scumming all the posts looking for warning signs, but its basically impossible for them to block content before it’s posted.

                    And who said they had an obligation to “block content before it’s posted”? The elimination of Section 230 doesn’t create automatic responsibility for everything that’s posted, it just means that courts look at each case and the degree of responsibility, instead of giving companies blanket immunity.

                    If someone posts on twitter “A____B____ has marched in a Nazi Parade”, Twitter likely never saw it, and had no idea it existed, until someone complains to Twitter about it.

                    Yes, so A.B. contacts them and says “this is libelous”. Without Section 230, Twitter needs to look at the content, make a decision, and possibly post a correction. With Section 230, Twitter tells A.B. to go f*ck himself.

                2. The assumption that you are making here is the same assumption that the Court made back in the early 90s when it first considered this matter – that everything present on a site that exercises its right to take things down is – ipso facto – there because the site consciously chose to leave that particular thing up. It was a false assumption then, and it’s a false assumption now. It’s also, I would point out, an assumption of guilt. 

                  The reason why we have trials in both civil and criminal court is to ascertain facts. Because facts, as they apply to the law, aren’t always crystal clear upfront. Yes, Facebook has, as of late, utilized fact checkers, both to flesh out information in your newsfeed and to determine what posts should and shouldn’t be taken down. But, aside from the fact that it would take hundreds of thousands if not millions of fact checkers to “carefully read, verify, analyze, and choose” every single post from all of their 2.7 billion users, there’s also the fact that fact checkers are fallible and capable of being honestly wrong. Also, in the case of something like libel, context is often necessary to ascertain truth, and context is not always fully available on the fly to the outside viewer.

                  Which is to say nothing of the instantaneous nature of internet communication, the inability of the platform, even with an army of fact-checkers, to read their user’s minds, and thus, the ultimate impossibility of compliance with such a standard in any way that would satisfy actual innocence. 

                  This is why, even under your contention that seeing libel and doing nothing is tantamount to libel itself (a position I myself, for the record, am not hereby conceding to), your further assumption that the presence of fact checkers in Facebook’s employment renders them sufficiently knowledgeable to fairly assume co-liability is flat out wrong. Libel is not simply a matter of true or false. Libel is only libel if it is done with malice or reckless disregard. And you are still assuming malice or recklessness over the very real possibility of mere honest ignorance without offering any proof of malice or recklessness that meets the test of reason. It is, once again, the same false assumption that the Court made back in the early 90s. And it is this assumption of malice – which is, in essence, an assumption of guilt – that Section 230 is intended to overturn.

                  Might I also point out that the presence of fact checkers could be taken, contra your assumption, as affirmative proof of due diligence with regard to avoidance of libel in the first place? Your contention seems to be that, because Facebook is actively trying to suss-out fact from fiction, they should be punished when they fail. Once again, I would point out that this is the same wrongheaded conclusion that the Court came to back in the early 90s, and that Section 230 was enacted to rectify. 

                  As to your comments about my misreading of your comments above regarding “editorial control” – mea culpa, i did, in fact, misread that. 

                  1. “our contention seems to be that, because Facebook is actively trying to suss-out fact from fiction, they should be punished when they fail.”

                    They are always free to not suss out “fact from fiction”.

                  2. The assumption that you are making here is the same assumption that the Court made back in the early 90s when it first considered this matter – that everything present on a site that exercises its right to take things down is – ipso facto – there because the site consciously chose to leave that particular thing up. It was a false assumption then, and it’s a false assumption now.

                    I make no such assumption. I think whether a site leaves up libelous postings deliberately and possibly maliciously is something courts ought to determine. But Section 230 has created the opposite presumption, and that is wrong. The law ought to be clarified, but Section 230 doesn’t do this well.

                    Your contention seems to be that, because Facebook is actively trying to suss-out fact from fiction, they should be punished when they fail.

                    No, my contention is simply that there should be no blanket immunity for sites that do.

                    There should be blanket immunity only for sites that demonstrably don’t try to “suss-out fact from fiction” and that act only as infrastructure.

            3. “It did a lot more than that: it allowed companies that clearly exercise editorial control over content (i.e., act like publishers) to enjoy the same protections that telecoms have. That’s wrong. Section 230 was badly written.”

              Actually no, it was decently written, but the courts have fucked it up by ignoring the actual text. Treating FB et.al as liability shielded service providers when, by the plain text, they are content providers who should have no such protections.

              (3) Information content provider
              The term “information content provider” means any person or entity that is responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development of information provided through the Internet or any other interactive computer service.

              The amount of editing, suppression, and curating of what content appears on their platforms clearly meeting that definition.

      2. No it doesn’t. All it does is protect and re-affirm two inalienable rights that the Court unfortunately stripped from internet communication about thirty years ago: the right to use your property as you see fit, and the right to avoid punishment for something you didn’t do.

        When an Internet company publishes something libelous, they did do something: they published something libelous. Courts determine the degree of culpability. This is the law that most Americans and corporations operate under.

        Section 230 was intended to provide legal certainty in cases where Internet companies clearly have no culpability, namely when they act as a mere conduit with no editorial control, similar to telephone companies. Internet companies then abused this safety net and ended up operating like publishers but claiming protection from liability like telephone companies. The correct solution is to abolish Section 230 and let courts deal with these issues on a case-by-case basis again.

        You, sir, are simply wrong in your assessment.

        Nope, sorry, you are wrong in your assessment. You don’t even understand what Section 230 was supposed to accomplish.

        1. Why should Facebook be liable for something that one of their users posts? Facebook did not write it, they do not endorse it, and likely since the sites are automated a FB employee never saw it.

          1. Facebook did not write it, they do not endorse it, and likely since the sites are automated a FB employee never saw it.

            I’m glad we agree that the criterion ought to be whether Facebook (Twitter, Google, …) endorses it and whether an employee saw it.

            But that’s not how Section 230 operates in practice.

            In practice, Facebook scans every single post using artificial intelligence and employs large numbers of human content checkers. Twitter on top of that annotates tweets with fact checks. Yet, these companies still claim Section 230 protection.

            So, Section 230 is in conflict with the very criteria we both agree on should be applied to Internet companies: if they don’t endorse posts and don’t analyze content for truth, then they shouldn’t be liable. We need some law to implement that; Section 230 isn’t that law, and Facebook, Twitter, and Google wouldn’t fall under such a new law.

          2. “Why should Facebook be liable for something that one of their users posts?”

            Why should a publisher be liable for something one of their authors posts?

        2. Yes, when an Internet company publishes something libelous, they did “do something.” That’s the law that we all live under, and that is the law that is currently in force even under Section 230.

          However, when one of the users of the message board owned by said internet company posts something libelous, it is in point of fact, the user, and not said internet company, who “did” something. This is the distinction that Section 230 makes. Making this distinction is what Section 230 was intended to do. And making this distinction is, in fact, all that Section 230 was intended to do.

          See my response to your comment above for more on “editorial control” and where it does and doesn’t fit into the act of publishing.

          1. However, when one of the users of the message board owned by said internet company posts something libelous, it is in point of fact, the user, and not said internet company, who “did” something. This is the distinction that Section 230 makes. Making this distinction is what Section 230 was intended to do.

            If a post appears on Reason saying “A___ B___ is a member of a neo-Nazi group”, Reason shouldn’t be liable since they don’t fact-check user posts. But since Facebook and Twitter do fact check user posts and have AI and real humans review them, they contributed to the libel by not rejecting such a post.

            Section 230 was supposed to protect comment sections like Reason’s; it was not supposed to protect companies that actually publish content where they themselves determine the truth or falsity of that content. Since Section 230 has been misused by those companies to shield themselves from liability, obviously Section 230 isn’t working as intended and isn’t working the way it should. That’s why it needs to be repealed.

            Afterwards, we can have a discussion whether we should have a replacement that protects unmoderated content like in Reason’s comment section. But moderated, fact-checked sites like Facebook and Twitter should not receive a blanket exemption from liability under any replacement for Section 230.

            1. See my response to your comment above.

      3. Then the social media platforms need to stop acting like publishers, or else be liable. Right now they have it both ways…something I was always told we couldn’t.

  14. Reason: Trump is pushing a conspiracy theory. There is literally video in Georgia of Democrat poll workers telling the observers to “evacuate” for a water main leak that did not exist. Then pull suitcases of ballots out from under a table. And then proceed to scan the same stacks of ballots over and over again on camera. It’s not a conspiracy. Reason is fake news. Which is why I no longer subscribe. Fun fact, Joe Biden did not get 81 million votes. Not in a million fucking years. The election was rigged. Funny how Biden ONLY performed well with needed demographics in FIVE locations. The five that just happened to change the results. And that just happened to be corrupt Democratic cities.

      1. But state officials told us that the full video shows the supposed “suitcases” were actually standard containers used to secure ballots

        What’s the provenance of those containers? Were they sealed? Who had access to them? If they can’t answer those questions and conclusively demonstrate that their answers are truthful, then the count is in doubt. And they clearly can’t do that.

        Election officials providing unverifiable explanations is useless.

        1. Not to Molly. No matter what evidence is provided, Molly will dismiss it outright or only require the flimsiest of explanations from a party member in good standing to say that the accusations are debunked. Even an obvious lie is sufficient for Molly.

          It’s the democrat way.

          1. “no matter what evidence is provided…” Isn’t that what you’ve just done?

            1. I have seen zero evidence that the counts in the contested Georgia districts even remotely approximate actual voter intent. The burden of proof ought to be on the election officials, not on people challenging the election.

            2. “Isn’t that what you’ve just done?”

              Molly just quoted the fox about what might have happened in the henhouse.

              Yet you don’t see any issue there.

          2. The GA Secretary of State is a Republican and his office debunked the claims surrounding the video.

        2. Why are you flatly saying the election officials can’t prove the provenance of the ballots? They CAN! Cameras weren’t just recording a small sliver of time. Hours earlier they recorded the ballots being opened in the normal fashion, while being observed by ballot observers from both parties. Incidentally, remember the good old days when you could ask election officials questions about their processes, and their answers – as long as they made reasonable sense – were accepted, since the odds you could corrupt every single department member – likely from differing political parties – were infinitessimal? Apparently the endless drumbeat (repeated over and over and over again since 2015) of “any election I don’t win is rigged” has had its intended affect. I can’t believe the tsunami of posts I’ve seen that say “There’s no way Biden won” or “You can’t tell me Trump didn’t win”, parrotted with passion and an utter lack of basis in fact. You literally CAN’T tell them Trump didn’t win.

          1. Why are you flatly saying the election officials can’t prove the provenance of the ballots? They CAN! Cameras weren’t just recording a small sliver of time.

            Yes, and they show some boxes coming in, being moved around, some papers in them being counted, and then mingled and moved somewhere else.

            Proper provenance and chain of custody would mean that the election board could tell us exactly what district those ballots came from, what voters they represented, what the counts in each box were, and where the boxes are now so that we can recount their exact content. Proper chain of custody uses official, verifiable seals and tamper-proof containers.

            since the odds you could corrupt every single department member – likely from differing political parties – were infinitessimal?

            You wouldn’t have to corrupt any election official to change the outcome of the election. Simply injecting a few tens of thousands of fake ballots somewhere would be sufficient, and given the shoddy procedures, nobody would notice.

            Incidentally, remember the good old days when you could ask election officials questions about their processes, and their answers – as long as they made reasonable sense – were accepted

            If you ever did that, you were gullible and naive. I never accepted those answers, regardless of who won.

    1. no, dear, there is NO video with audio showing ballot observers being told to evacuate because of a water main break. THAT’S Fake News.

      The 2 eyewitness affidavits included in the Trump lawsuit mention NOTHING about being told about any water main break OR being told to “evacuate”. They say the heard someone they assumed was a supervisor “yelling” across the room for workers to pack up & come back the next day. The shift for workers who open envelopes and smoothed wrinkled ballots and some other workers had ended, and they left.

      Also, if you watch the WHOLE video you’ll see the ballots in the containers were opened earlier that day under the watchful eyes of the poll watchers from both parties. They were just being brought out for scanning and were NOT scanned over and over again. They were scanned ONCE. Each. Really. Watch the video.

      1. Talk of the water main leak was on national television on election night. They stopped the vote in that county. So they claimed. But once all the observers leave. Then pulled out suitcases, boxes, Santa’s magical sack, call them what you want, out from a table, and scan the same stack of ballots over and over on camera. It has not been debunked. Partisans will cite other partisans to say it’s been debunked, they call their friends “fact checkers.” It’s one big circle jerk.
        Most all you said is not based in fact. The election was rigged.
        2008 Obama got 69.5 million votes.
        2012 Obama got 66 million votes.
        2016 Clinton got 65 million votes.
        2016 Trump got 62.5 million votes.
        2020 Trump gets 74.5 million REAL votes.
        Trump wins EVERY metric indicative of the winner.
        Biden LOSES every metric that has up until 2020 ALWAYS predicted the winner.
        2020 Biden gets 81 million votes.
        It’s a fraud. It’s ranked choice algorithms, massive fraudulent mail in ballot dumps, and stuffing ballot boxes like is on camera in Georgia.

        1. Because population, demographics, and turnout are static!

          Please leave you anti-american traitor!

  15. Trumpism is your fertilizer of choice if Progressivism, Fascism, and Socialism just can not grow government fast enough for you.

    “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) today acquiesced to demands from President Donald Trump, a majority of congressional Democrats,…”

    1. I have no problem with $2k to the proletariat as a tax refund. Money put in the hands of the people is the only actual way a stimulus could work.
      Rather, I have a problem with helping airlines pay their shareholders dividends and funding Pakistani gender studies courses.

  16. Fuck all those people… the squad, Trump, all of ’em. There’s no justifying this shit.

  17. Section 230 is needed. It is what makes sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and comments on pages possible. Those who write the comments are still liable, but the hosting platform is not. Platforms also have the right, as a private business, to take down posts that do not confirm to their community standards. If people don’t like a platforms standards, then they are free to use a different one. Free market.

    This is a pretty good move by Mitch. Let’s see what the D counter move is.

    1. Neither the facts nor logic matter in the face of the vote at this point. One of the few things both Democrats and Republicans agree on is that Section 230 should be burned as a witch. At this point, arguing with people about Section 230 is like arguing with them about the commerce clause. No one in any position of power is about to do anything about the terrible interpretations of the commerce clause. It’s not only spilt milk but also milk that was spilt 90 years ago. Section 230 is like that now. It’s a chat room discussion, but as soon as congress gets to vote on it, Section 230 is an ex-parrot. We’re basically talking about the way things should have been at this point.

      The principle itself will be reborn within the consent decree, which is sure to be the end product of the antitrust proceedings against Facebook and Google, but since that consent decree will be negotiated by the Biden Justice Department, the third party liability protections will reflect the Biden administration’s opinions on things like hate speech and conspiracy theories. We’re probably in the last days of people saying more or less what they want–on sites like this, even. I wouldn’t expect this comment section to survive the repeal of Section 230. The cost of meritless lawsuits is too high to justify the benefit of the free content we create for them.

      1. Then reintroduce 230 (c)(1) while letting the anti-libertarian (c)(2)(a) & (b) rot with the worms.

        1. Who wants to do that?

          Who in a position of power wants to stand up for the right of people online to oppose affirmative action, abortion, gay marriage, and immigration–besides Donald Trump?

          The Republicans in Congress don’t even want to go on record for that. The ACLU doesn’t even really care about free speech anymore.

          There is no one in any position of power that wants to stand up for the right of shit-posters everywhere.

          Like I said, they’ll reintroduce liability protections for social media companies–that sign onto their speech codes–as part of the consent decrees that are sure to come out of the antitrust cases. (A consent decree is almost always the objective of every antitrust case).

          Opposing affirmative action is racist in their book, opposing abortion is misogynist, opposing gay marriage is homophobic, and opposing immigration is xenophobic. If the social media companies agree to ban and take down all that speech, they’ll let them have liability protections a la Section 230 like provisions in the consent decree–and with Section 230 gone, the only social media companies with liability protection will be the ones that sign onto the consent decree.

          Game. Set. Match.

          Preet Bahara wins.

          There’s the way things should be and the way they are. Expecting the Republicans or the Democrats to stand up for the right of what they call shit-posting is like expecting the police to help you recover a stolen shipment of cocaine.

          They also don’t want conspiracy theories (like the theory that Hunter Biden is a crook) or people advocating violence–which is what they think people are doing when they say that the purpose of the Second Amendment is so that we can rise up against an oppressive government.

          The was a world before the internet where you couldn’t say offensive and scary things in the mass media dominated by a few large corporations. That’s where we’re headed again.

          1. Consent decrees are agreements between the DoJ and a company. They can not impose liability protections from private citizens.

            1. “Consent decrees are agreements between the DoJ and a company. They can not impose liability protections from private citizens.”

              The tobacco consent decree is an excellent example of the government limiting liability with a consent decree.

              In its essence, that consent decree limited the liability of the tobacco company in question to a certain standard in exchange for the tobacco company forgoing its First Amendment rights, etc.

              Ultimately every tobacco company in the country was forced to sign onto the consent decree in exchange for protection from liability, and they’ll do the same thing this time.

              The tobacco consent decree was opened to any tobacco that wanted to sign at the behest of the four biggest tobacco companies that were the original targets of the consent decree. The big four were afraid that they would be forced to compete with one hand behind their backs.

              The same thing will happen with this consent decree. Anyone who wants Section 230 like protection will be required to sign onto the consent decree and the speech codes the Biden administration demands, and, ultimately, this will force almost everyone to sign onto the speech codes.

              Conservatives who fight to repeal Section 230 are carrying water for progressives speech codes. That they don’t realize it is heartbreaking.

    2. Section 230 is needed. It is what makes sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and comments on pages possible.

      And why is that a good thing? Why do you want a handful of corporations monopolizing and monetizing free speech on the Internet?

      Because that’s been the effect of Section 230: it turned a distributed, non-corporate, free wheeling free speech culture on the Internet into a censorious, corporate-controlled oligopoly.

      Platforms also have the right, as a private business, to take down posts that do not confirm to their community standards.

      They do. And once they do that, they exercise editorial control and incur liability, like any other publisher.

      Free market.

      You are arguing for crony capitalism and regulatory capture.

      In a free market, companies like Google should be treated the same as any other market participant.

      1. “And why is that a good thing? Why do you want a handful of corporations monopolizing and monetizing free speech on the Internet?”

        You don’t seem to understand that they’re the only people who will be left to monetize speech on the internet when this is over.

        Do you understand that Facebook, Google, and Twitter a) want the government to regulate the speech that’s allowed on their platforms and b) want to be the only people who enjoy those liability protections?

        Please don’t throw me in that briar patch!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9oWq9zIXTY

        1. You don’t seem to understand that they’re the only people who will be left to monetize speech on the internet when this is over. Do you understand that Facebook, Google, and Twitter a) want the government to regulate the speech that’s allowed on their platforms and b) want to be the only people who enjoy those liability protections?

          You just described in a nutshell what Section 230 is accomplishing. Yet you favor it. Seems to me you are throwing yourself into that briar patch.

      2. Right now the Internet is pretty fair, someone can crate a new site and have the same protections. Google is treated the same as a new start up. But if 230 goes away, then Google, and FB, and YouTube will just hire many more content reviewers and they will be ok, but smaller or new sites would not be able to afford to police the content of the sites and they would not be able to compete.

        1. Right now the Internet is pretty fair, someone can crate a new site and have the same protections.

          Internet sites are largely financed through ads. 3/4 of the advertising business is in the hand of a handful corporations, with Google and Facebook alone controlling 2/3 of the market. You have no chance of becoming a significant competitor to them.

          But if 230 goes away, then Google, and FB, and YouTube will just hire many more content reviewers and they will be ok, but smaller or new sites would not be able to afford to police the content of the sites and they would not be able to compete.

          I don’t know what will happen. But let’s say that does happen, so what? Why do you favor a model in which free speech primarily happens as an appendage of commercial sites? That is a bad model for online speech in the first place. And we didn’t use to have that model. Disqus, Twitter, and Facebook were the end, not the beginning, of free speech and discussions on the Internet. Comment sections like Reason’s are shithole compared to what is possible and what we used to have.

      3. “And why is that a good thing? Why do you want a handful of corporations monopolizing and monetizing free speech on the Internet?”

        Neither other people nor their rights exist for your benefit.

        The idea that our rights and liberties should only be protected if and when what we’re doing is in the best interests of society is at the heart of all authoritarianism and all socialism.

        I’m a libertarian capitalist, and that mean I think people should be free to make choices for themselves so long as they don’t violate anyone’s rights–even if and when what they’re doing harms other people.

        I don’t know that Scientology, selling large sugary soft drinks, smoking tobacco, etc., etc. is in the best interests of society or for the greater good in any particular instance. But I have a qualitative preference for a free society, even if people are allowed to do things that aren’t in everyone’s best interest in a free society.

        I think it’s better when everyone’s rights and liberties are protected by the government–even if and when what’s in some people’s best interest isn’t in the best interests of society as a whole. And that includes protecting the rights of scumbag huge social media companies.

        I also support the First Amendment even when it’s about the speech rights of awful people like the Klan. I support the Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth amendment rights of child murderers. It’s not that I support the Klan, child murderers, or Facebook. I support those rights because they’re my rights, too. Yes, I also posses the right not to be forced to answer in court for things that by the plaintiff’s own admission, I didn’t do–regardless of whether respecting my rights in any instance is in the best interest of society.

        A society that only protects our rights when it’s in everyone’s interest to do so is an oppressive society.

        1. I think it’s better when everyone’s rights and liberties are protected by the government–even if and when what’s in some people’s best interest isn’t in the best interests of society as a whole. And that includes protecting the rights of scumbag huge social media companies.

          Removing Section 230 doesn’t “protect the rights of huge social media companies”, it creates a special exemption for them; it’s regulatory capture, and you support it.

          Neither other people nor their rights exist for your benefit.

          My point exactly. That’s why I was saying “I don’t know what will happen. But let’s say that does happen”.

          That is, people who advocate for keeping Section 230 are making the argument that we should steamroll over people’s rights in order to achieve some kind of benefit. I’m saying that big social media companies should face accusers in courts like everybody else.

          A society that only protects our rights when it’s in everyone’s interest to do so is an oppressive society.

          And if you favor Section 230, that’s what you’re doing.

    3. Section 230 was a bargain between Big Tech (AOL and Prodigy at the time) and the American people: free speech for liability protection.

      It worked well for a while, and it still mostly works, but the tech companies, or mainly their employees decided some speech is more equal than other speech.

      Now it looks like there’s a coalition between those who think the tech companies aren’t censoring enough, and are censoring too much.

      1. It never really worked. AOL, Prodigy, later Google, Facebook, and Twitter were monopolizing and monetizing speech and discussions on the Internet. Section 230 was just one move in a drawn out attack on free speech on the Internet.

    4. There should be no special exemption from liability for massive tech monopolies and their websites that are engaging in censorship, publishing biased news, biased algorithms, banning their political opponents, shadow banning, and putting “fact check” labels (aka partisan subjective opinions) on their users content. Twitter banned the New York Post for writing a story about the Biden’s treasonous corruption in China. That is the act of a publisher…not a platform. If they are a publisher they should not have a special exemption from liability meant for a mere platform. They are not platforms. Remove section 230, let them get sued. And let the market create new real platforms that do not publish and thus have legal standing in the courts.

      1. “There should be no special exemption from liability . . .

        Forcing third parties to answer in court for things that they didn’t write is a special exemption from the law. Section 230 simply protects people from being forced to answer in court for things they didn’t do–not even by the plaintiff’s own admission. The question is whether Reason should be forced to answer in court because Captain Kirk claims that Ken Shultz said something defamatory about him, and the answer is “no”. Reason also shouldn’t be forced to answer for things they didn’t steal, people they didn’t shoot, businesses they didn’t loot, and car accidents that they had nothing to do with them.

        Gun owners shouldn’t be held liable for crimes that were committed by others with their guns. Beer brewers shouldn’t need to answer in court for drunk driving accidents caused by people who misused their product.

        If you want to go after the people who harmed you, feel free to do so. People who didn’t even harm you by your own admission shouldn’t even be required to respond to your accusation in court. And me suing Reason because Captain Kirk defamed me should always be thrown out of court–Section 230 or no Section 230.

        Section 230 does not create a special exemption from liability. Rather, repealing Section 230 creates a special liability that doesn’t and shouldn’t exist. No one should be made to answer in court for things they didn’t do by the plaintiff’s own admission.

        I think you’ve decided that you hate social media, and so you’ve picked a position to defend Section 230–and you’re simply trying to rationalize it. Anything can be rationalized, which is why progressives so often try to rationalize everything they do. IF IF IF holding people responsible in court for things the plaintiff doesn’t even allege they wrote can be rationalized using progressive logic (as an infringement on liberty that serves a greater good), that doesn’t mean it should be rationalized.

        And pretending that forcing people to answer in court for things they didn’t write isn’t what repealing Section 230 will do is probably the worst way to rationalize its repeal.

        1. Gun owners shouldn’t be held liable for crimes that were committed by others with their guns.

          If you leave your gun on your front porch under a sign that says “Kill all Cops”, you very much should be held partially responsible when someone trespasses, picks it up, and uses it to commit a murder.

          Beer brewers shouldn’t need to answer in court for drunk driving accidents caused by people who misused their product.

          Again, that depends on the circumstances. If you market your beer as “non-intoxicating, safe to drink while driving”, then you should be held responsible.

          I think you’ve decided that you hate social media, and so you’ve picked a position to defend Section 230–and you’re simply trying to rationalize it.

          It’s you who is trying to rationalize regulatory capture, a special sweetheart deal that exempts certain favorite corporations from having to defend themselves in court.

          The default position, the equality under the law position, is to eliminate Section 230 and let courts make a case-by-case decision on liability.

          And pretending that forcing people to answer in court for things they didn’t write isn’t what repealing Section 230 will do is probably the worst way to rationalize its repeal.

          Almost everybody can be forced to answer in court for things we didn’t write; courts then determine whether there is actual liability. That’s the laws we live under. The argument for Section 230 wasn’t that this is wrong, the argument for Section 230 was that this is too inconvenient for big Internet companies. That’s the position you support.

          1. “Gun owners shouldn’t be held liable for crimes that were committed by others with their guns.”

            That was a typo. My bad.

            It was supposed to read, “Gun owners [manufacturers] shouldn’t be held liable for crimes that were committed by others with their guns”.

            There’s actually a law that protects gun manufacturers from liability for the crimes that are committed with their guns–as well there should be.

            On Biden’s campaign website, he promises to repeal it.

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

            —-Joe Biden

            https://joebiden.com/gunsafety/

            Joe Biden is wrong about these kinds of liability protections not applying to any other industry. They exist for the tobacco industry, I believe the vaccine industry enjoys some protections, and social media isn’t forced to appear in court to defend themselves in defamation cases for things they didn’t write, too.

            Joe Biden wants to repeal that law so that gun manufacturers will need to choose between manufacturing AR-15s and other “assault weapons” and being bankrupted by lawsuits after the next big school shooting. Libertarian should oppose repealing Section 230 for all the same reasons they should oppose Biden’s call to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act–starting with the fact that holding people responsible for things they didn’t do is wrong, authoritarian, anti-libertarian, and an infringement on our rights.

          2. “It’s you who is trying to rationalize regulatory capture, a special sweetheart deal that exempts certain favorite corporations from having to defend themselves in court.”

            Section 230 protects people from having to answer in court for things they didn’t do–and using loaded terms to beg the question doesn’t change that fact.

            1. Section 230 protects people from having to answer in court for things they didn’t do

              Section 230 doesn’t protect “people”, it protects a specific group of corporations. And it protects them from having to answer for things they did do in addition to protecting them from things they didn’t do.

              In particular, if a social media company makes a deliberate decision to publish libelous content, Section 230 protects them from lawsuits.

          3. “Almost everybody can be forced to answer in court for things we didn’t write; courts then determine whether there is actual liability.”

            This is false.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_(law)

            And this is as it should be. You should not be able to force people to waste time, money, and resources defending themselves in court for things the plaintiff doesn’t even allege they did.

            The judge should just dismiss the case.

            If you want to sue someone for defaming you, you should sue the person who defamed you.

            P.S. If someone shoots you, you should sue the person who shot you rather than the manufacturer of the gun.

            1. P.S. If someone shoots you, you should sue the person who shot you rather than the manufacturer of the gun.

              Your analogy doesn’t work. The manufacturer of the gun has no control over where the gun is aimed and fired once the gun leaves their hands. Facebook and Twitter are very different: they are in control over every posting a user submits in real time; they evaluate each and every posting for suitability on their platform, using human evaluators when there is doubt. Therefore, if they evaluate a user posting and choose to disseminate it widely, they are partially responsible for the libel.

              Passive conduits of information, like an ISP or a phone company, should indeed be exempted from libel; they really are the equivalent of a gun manufacturer; but Twitter and Facebook do not fall into that category and should not receive protection.

            2. “Almost everybody can be forced to answer in court for things we didn’t write; courts then determine whether there is actual liability.”

              This is false. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_(law)

              Standing deals with who can sue, not who can be sued, so it is not relevant to the point you’re trying to make.

    5. There is no first amendment as long as the Internet Oligarchy controls the major centers of speech and decides the narrative.

  18. It really shouldn’t get lost, here, that if McConnell is bundling a bill to increase direct payments to $2,000, a bill to repeal Section 230, and a bill to investigate voter fraud in the 2020 election–all into one bill–then the obvious read here is that he’s trying to undermine the $2,000 direct payments and save his fellow Republicans from the embarrassment of voting against those direct payments.

    “WASHINGTON—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to derail efforts to quickly pass larger stimulus checks for many Americans, blocking Democrats’ call for a stand-alone vote on the payments sought by President Trump but opposed by most Republicans.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/mcconnell-says-senate-will-address-trumps-call-for-bigger-stimulus-checks-11609263622?

    That’s what’s going on here. If McConnell wanted $2,000 direct payments, he’d have had a stand alone bill–and two or more Republicans in the senate would have voted for them along with the Democrats.

    The Republicans running for senate in Georgia aren’t the only ones whose asses are on the line if the Republicans are blamed for voting against the $2,000 direct payments. If the Democrats win both senate seats in the Georgia runoff elections, McConnell will lose his position as Senate majority leader. He’s lumping this stuff together because he’s hoping it will make it less likely that the Democrats will vote for it. He’s hoping they won’t vote to investigate election fraud in the House–and then the bill will die in the reconciliation committee, and it won’t just be blamed on the Republicans.

    1. I don’t see why Democrats wouldn’t like this bill. Democrats don’t like Section 230 either, and they are genuinely convinced that there was little voter fraud, so what’s the harm of investigating it?

      1. I think that deep down they know their whole party is a bunch of cheating treasonous cunts, but don’t want anything that might break their conscious delusion that the democrat party is benign.

        1. No the inbred cousin fuckers like you are the treasonous cunts for claiming fraud without evidence.

          GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY YOU ANTI AMERICAN FASCIST TRAITOR!

          1. Can you provide us some hard peer reviewed evidence on where your hate of Mormons comes from?

            1. Can you provide peer reviewed evidence that supports the rubbish Mormons believe?

              Their scriptures, leaders, and politicians encourage procreation as much as possible.

              Can you also go fuck yourself?

      2. “I don’t see why Democrats wouldn’t like this bill. Democrats don’t like Section 230 either, and they are genuinely convinced that there was little voter fraud, so what’s the harm of investigating it?”

        The hope is that enough Democrats don’t like the voter fraud investigation that enough of them will vote against it–in addition to the Republicans who don’t like the bill because they don’t want to increase the direct payments to $2,000.

        He’s hoping that enough Democrats will vote against it that the defeat of the bill will be bipartisan and the Republicans won’t take all the blame for the bill failing to pass.

        If you think that enough Democrats are likely to support he combined bill anyway–because they want to repeal Section 230 and because they want to increase the direct payments so much that they’re willing to vote for it despite the investigation into voter fraud, then I’m right there with you. I suspect the combined bill will pass despite the provisions both sides don’t like and that it will pass on a bipartisan basis.

    2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems there are two things going on. The Senate could pass McConnell’s bill with the 230 repeal and the $2,000, or they could override Trump’s veto on the original bill, which also includes the $2,000 stimulus payment but not the 230 repeal. If they pass McConnell’s bill it’d have to go to the House with no guarantee of passage – and with Pelosi being from the cradle of Big Tech, I’m not sure it would pass. Whereas the House has already voted to override on the original bill. McConnell has supported the override so the media seems to think his alternate bill with the 230 repeal is an empty move to appease Trump. Sanders is filibustering on the override to force a vote before Monday’s Georgia election, presumably in hope that the Republicans won’t vote to override and therefore will damage themselves politically.

      I can’t see any reason enough Republicans wouldn’t vote for the override. The hard-liners could still vote against it to save face and they’d still get to the 67 votes needed. Not to do so would seem like political suicide for the Republicans. So I think 230 is safe for now.

      1. Now that I’ve read more I see there are actually three things happening:
        1. McConnell’s bill with the $2k plus 230 repeal
        2. Overriding Trump’s veto on the defense authorization act
        3. The CASH act, already passed by the House, which proposes to raise the stimulus checks to $2k and not much else.

        Sanders is filibustering to delay a vote on the override, which McConnell supports, until the Senate votes on the CASH act, which McConnell had opposed but now apparently it’s saying he’ll allow to come to a vote.

      2. I suspect it’s more a delaying tactic to get past the Georgia special election.

  19. No the inbred cousin fuckers like you are the treasonous cunts for claiming fraud without evidence.

    GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY YOU ANTI AMERICAN FASCIST TRAITOR!

    1. That was supposed to be a reply to mark sextus fascist traitor

    2. No one commits fraud expecting to get caught and they usually have reason to believe they won’t.

      1. Usually if someone is accusing someone of something they have some kind of evidence.

  20. I’m against sending money out to everyone whether it be the $600 or $2000, even though I would get it.
    I would be in favor of it for those other 2 items. If social media is going to be the arbiter and censor of info they protections should be gone. I would also support cleaning up elections, the doubt is more dangerous than the policies of any party. There were enough double votes in Georgia, dead people voting (even registering to vote after death), sloppy handling of ballots. Makes no difference if it would not have changed the outcome, it needs to be of impeccable integrity.

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  22. “Section 230 essentially functions as the internet’s First Amendment …”

    No, it does not you ignorant sackweasel. The First Amendment is the internet’s First Amendment.

    Section 230 is a special license and is clearly being misconstrued by the courts. Might as well bag it if it cannot be enforced properly.

  23. I’m lost. Who’s turn is it to be hypocritical assholes?

    1. “Whose turn” (An “edit” feature would be nice.)

  24. I’m not thrilled about the $2000 checks, but it is worth it to get rid of 230

  25. Why are libertarians pissing themselves with anxiety over the repeal of Section 230? Internet comment was much freer of censorship in the pre-230 days of AOL, Prodigy and dial up modem access.

    1. True. An Austin internet provider even translated the usual legalese sign-here-or-die garble into terse Texas English anybody could understand.

  26. If you are going to have immunity from what people post on your electronic bulletin board (which is all that FB and Twitter are) you should not be able to then censor. So just tack on a amendment to 230 that says if you offer these types of services if you want immunity you can’t censor anything. Seems pretty easy and would end the far left Bolshevikism of of big tech.

  27. If conservatives are against 230 because they feel like their hatred is being censored, then I’m all for keeping it.

    1. You do not believe in free speech.

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  29. Without section 230, Twitter and Youtube can function as a traditional publisher, meaning they would actually screen and approve of every user content before uploading them. Hallmark Publishing would never publish any of my gothic horror manuscript, even if I was an agented writer, and no one here would suggest my 1A rights were violated.

    That obviously won’t work for social media companies, who make money on views, not content. Section 230 only protects a business model. Many other businesses do not enjoy this kind of liability protection.

    The solution is simple. Twitter shouldn’t be sued for the content uploaded by someone else. But if they selectively enforce censorship and manage “misinformation”, they SHOULD be sued. Section 230 should be tweaked to recognized SM users as customers, even if the service is free. Amazon Prime could never say “Oops, tomorrow 25% of you will actually receive your package 3 days later”.

    If the twitter’s position is that the can’t possibly scan over all of their content, then…. they just stop putting disclaimers and fact checks. The TOS should mention that they are not responsible for private info or illegal content being uploaded onto their platform. They should certainly ban anyone who breaks their TOS and refer their info to law enforcement in any criminal investigation.

    1. So we’re going to throw any pretense of libertarian or free-market principles out the window because you’re butthurt that Twitter won’t let fascists lie with impunity.

      Being proved right about you guys doesn’t feel as good as you might think.

  30. Does someone get to sue Twitter if their loved one took President Trump’s covid advice and died as a result?

    Jesus fuck did you guys jump on socialism for right-wing horseshit the moment someone dangled it in front of you.

    I’m no fan of social media, and I don’t actually know if they’ve provided anything positive for humanity on balance. So fuck their business model. But libertarians who think that private companies ought to be forced to publish stuff they don’t want to publish…? What the actual fuck? What am I missing?

    1. Does someone get to sue Twitter if their loved one took President Trump’s covid advice and died as a result?

      Sure. And if they can prove causality, they can even win.

      Jesus fuck did you guys jump on socialism for right-wing horseshit the moment someone dangled it in front of you.

      You are confused. Conservatives and libertarians have always liked civil lawsuits for dispute resolution; socialists like you try to replace civil lawsuits with government regulation, often either imposing new liabilities or exempting favorite industries from liabilty.

      Section 230 is socialism-style legislation, abolishing Section 230 and leaving decisions to courts is consistent with conservatism and libertarianism.

  31. The LP could delete its child molesting, good faith, uninspected entry and anarchy planks and plunk for an Amendment that “Congress shall make no law lengthier than the Constitution…”

  32. I don’t favor an all-out repeal of Section 230 though. That’s too much of a shotgun approach to a surgical problem. What wee need is to find Google, TWITter, and Failbook no longer eligible for Section 230 protections. After all, if they have made active and intentional moves to editorialize on their content, even going so far as to delete content they disagree with, then they are no longer “common carriers”, and have become “publishers” (thereby no longer eligible for Section 230 protection).

    But a blanket destruction of Section 230 is just as potentially damaging to ALL sides as the elimination of the filibuster, packing the Supreme Court, etc. The problem comes down to a lack of a review process to find if a company should no longer have protections.

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