Social Media

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Wants $100,000 Fines for Social Media Companies That Deplatform Politicians

It’s a terrible idea that violates Section 230, but is it actually unconstitutional? Don’t be so sure.

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On Tuesday, Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced in a press conference pending legislation that, if passed, would punish tech companies like Facebook and Twitter for deplatforming candidates for political office in his state. Companies would face a fine of up to $100,000 per day until restoring a candidate's access to their platforms

There's more to DeSantis' plan, and the bill has not yet been drafted, so the details aren't clear. What is clear, though, is that DeSantis is among those conservative politicians who want to use the power of the government to require that social media carry their messages.

"We've seen the power of their censorship over individuals and organizations, including what I believe is clear viewpoint discrimination," DeSantis said at the press conference.

It's very tempting to look at DeSantis' proposal and immediately dismiss it as unconstitutional, a violation of the free speech rights of the platforms themselves. They are private companies. Isn't requiring companies to carry political messages that they might find offensive essentially equivalent to mandating speech? Isn't DeSantis ordering tech companies to "bake the cake"? The Supreme Court has any number of precedents that forbid the government from forcing private businesses to distribute messages they find offensive. Florida couldn't possibly demand that Facebook, for example, host messages from somebody who was openly a violent nationalist just because that person is running for office, could it?

Actually, it's complicated, explains Eugene Volokh, professor of law at UCLA, co-founder of the Volokh Conspiracy (hosted here at Reason), and go-to expert on First Amendment issues. While it's true, Volokh explains, that we have a line of federal rulings prohibiting the government from mandating that private businesses carry speech, there are exceptions.

You've seen one of these exceptions if you've ever encountered a petition signature-gatherer at a California shopping mall. In a 1980 decision, Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins, the Supreme Court ruled that California could mandate that Pruneyard allow protesters to engage in political advocacy there, even though it was private property. The mall wasn't being ordered to host particular messages, but rather serve as a carrier of a type of communication, which was political petitioning in this case.

"I think it's a pretty good argument that the platforms could be treated like the law treats shopping malls," Volokh says.

DeSantis is proposing forcing tech platforms to host candidates regardless of their positions or parties (including, presumably, DeSantis' political opponents). He is attempting to force these platforms to serve as carriers of messages without policing the content, much like phone companies can't control the speech of their customers.

And so, DeSantis' proposal brings to the forefront the debate raging about social media: Are these places platforms or publishers? If they're platforms, does that also make them "common carriers" of information? Can the government treat them like shopping malls for the purposes of fostering political participation?

There is, in fact, a barrier that will get in the way of DeSantis implementing this bill as he has described it: our old friend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 clearly states, in no uncertain terms, that an internet service provider cannot be held liable for censoring content it deems "obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected." [Emphasis added.]

This part of Section 230 is why it's absolutely inaccurate when politicians and critics insist that the provision's protections require a platform to have any sort of neutrality. They do not. They never did. And this is precisely why some people want to get rid of Section 230.

But even if DeSantis' bill runs headlong into Section 230, Volokh notes that the outcome might not be the most predictable one: federal law taking precedence and overruling Florida's law. Volokh (and a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed) points to Supreme Court precedents that actually favor state mandates that force private entities to serve as carriers of speech when the state laws conflict with federal statutes, as opposed to conflicting with the Constitution. In these cases, the argument is that the federal statutes are actually interfering with the state's efforts to protect the free speech rights of its citizens.

You may not agree with such an argument, because it appears to grant states the power to declare that any number of private entities must serve as a speech platform. Volokh himself says he's not sure he's persuaded by such an argument. But the point is that these precedents exist and must be considered when looking at Section 230's future, particularly for those who support the law.

"I think this is a genuinely unresolved issue," Volokh says. "This might be a sort of thing where there might be a consensus in Congress: 'You don't want these quasimonopolisitic corporations influencing elections that sharply, not just through their speech, but through the blocking of speech.' I could see Democratic and Republican lawmakers saying, 'That's something we don't want under this private control.'"

That doesn't make DeSantis' proposed legislation good or something that should be supported. Social media platforms potentially being forced to carry obscene or violent messages because they come from a candidate for office is morally unsupportable, and the unintended consequences are visible from the moon. Facebook and Twitter shut you down because you keep accusing people who piss you off of being pedophiles? Just run for office!

NEXT: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Says Teachers Must Go Back to School: 'Enough Is Enough'

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  1. Are social media platforms supposed to have a partisan editorial voice? Was Section 230 envisaged to protect such a thing. It was rather intended to afford the similar free speech protections to minimal moderation as no moderation at all.

    It is funny though since Reason supported the Libertarian Party’s theory they had a right to a place on the stage during the Democrats and Republican’s joint campaign press conferences.

    1. Are social media platforms supposed to have a partisan editorial voice?

      Sure, why not? They can choose to have any editorial voice that they wish, or none at all. It’s their call.

      1. But why should having an editorial voice avoid liability for the posts they tacitly endorse?

        1. They want the protection of Commin Carrier status without the actual duty to behave as such.

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        2. So that people like you can continue to use their services.

          1. The 1st amendment covers that already.

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      2. They can choose to have any editorial voice that they wish, or none at all. It’s their call.

        Sure, but then they get to assume liability like any other publisher with editorial control.
        No more special treatment as public utilities. It’s their call.

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      3. Great, let’s let phone companies and landlords have editorial voices about who can live there or use phones too.

        1. Stop spilling water on his robot brain.

        2. I think it’s a pretty good argument that the platforms could be treated like the law treats shopping malls,” Volokh says.This part of Section 230 is why it’s absolutely inaccurate when politicians and critics insist that the provision’s protections require a platform to have any sort of neutrality. They do not. They never did. And this is precisely QSef why some people want to get rid of Section 230………..MORE READ

    2. You know, I’m actually almost looking forward to the day that Twitter and/or FB decide to de-platform Reason and/or their contributors. They think it won’t happen to them but someone will take umbrage at something that wasn’t sufficiently woke (perhaps a defense of firearm ownership, maybe a condemnation of Title IX overreach, etc., the possibilities are endless) and “boom” down will come the hammer.

      1. I think when the 2nd Ammendment issues come up, and given that its about the only thing Reason has in common with conservatives (assuming they are still pro 2nd), Reason will face the purity test.

        Will they stand by their arguments or be deplatformed.

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  2. “It’s just a tax.”

    1. Seems more like a campaign finance regulation. Deplatforming one candidate is a massive contribution to the other one.

  3. “Isn’t requiring companies to carry political messages that they might find offensive essentially equivalent to mandating speech?”

    No more so than forcing an artist to create art advocating a political position they are opposed to, I would think.

    1. Cake is not art, bigot.

      1. The case was never about baking the cake, it was about creating the art of the decorative frosting.
        But then, facts are never relevant to those who use slurs instead of logic and facts.

        1. If they wanted a giant dick on their wedding cake so bad, why didn’t they just go to an erotic cake shop?

          1. They intentionally went to a bake shop they knew would not make the cake so they could make a Federal Case out of it. There were many other bakeries available that would have been glad to bake it for them.

            But you knew that already.

            1. “There were many other bakeries available that would have been glad to bake it for them.”

              And I bet you know exactly where they all are, am I right?

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      2. Decorating a cake is art.

        1. i don’t know much about art but i know like cake! a dick shaped cake would cause me to wait, though…until enough slices were served to make mine seem less penisey. unless it was a recreation of MY dick…then we’d all have to gaze on it’s glory and take photos and i’d make funny cracks about the frosting…

          1. Who would want a cake that small though? Maybe Zoolander could use it in the “center for ants”.

          2. Twinkies are already a thing.

      3. Which is why the baker’s customers pay a premium for him to design a special cake for their occassion, rather than buy the $40 off-the-shelf item at the local supermarket.

        If you are going to call people names, at least get the facts right.

    2. Except we have been doing this for decades. Television channels or radio stations cannot pick and choose which candidates or positions they want to advertise. They must accept all political advertisements or none.

      The reason is brazenly simple. WE CANNOT HAVE MONOLITHIC COMPANIES CONTROLLING ACCESS TO INFORMATION. You cannot have three companies (Google, Facebook, and Twitter) with a near-monopoly on the primary form of discourse block an entire political party.

      I can’t believe I’m saying this after the past decade. We cannot have media being able to silence and prevent access to politicians.

      The Ministry of Truth is no better for being outsourced.

  4. “Section 230 clearly states, in no uncertain terms, that an internet service provider cannot be held liable for censoring content it deems “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.” [Emphasis added.]”

    I notice while you are adding emphasis, you dropped the part about acting in “good faith”.

    1. I believe they call that “surplusage,” which is a convenient way of dismissing icky words with legal implications that we would rather not discuss …

    2. The intent of 230 was to give the liability protections available to services that did not moderate to ones that moderated minimally. It was not to grant liability protections to services that moderated so extensively that posts left up amounted to the endorsed editorial position of the service

      1. +1000

        It allowed sites to moderate for decency standards like foul language and porn. Not so they could outright silence ideas.

        I’m curious at what point do we say enough is enough? Is it a workable solution for half the country getting news from one side and the other getting completely different information on the other side? Exactly how does that work long term without further Balkanization? At least being forced to carry all political messages from politicians means there’s some exposure to what is actually being said by opposing sides.

        If we had a free market, it would be one thing, but section 230 and legacy behavior in broadcasting licenses basically guarantees bad acting without competition being able to drive them out. There should be competition for FCC licenses and media whose censorship that goes beyond what Section 230 poorly defined should be open to slander and libel civil suits.

        If we want free market, then the government needs to stop shielding the big tech from the consequences of their choices. Same goes for Big Banks, Wall Street, and other Big Business.

        But I’m speaking into the wind. Libertarians don’t care about the free market anymore than the rulers of this country do.

        And that stupid “Bake the Cake” meme is misleading and poor information. The scotus never said he had the right to deny service. They ruled that the committee had no right to target him for his religious faith.

        There is no free association in this country and scotus can’t rule on a free association case without threatening the constitutionality of the CRA.

        1. If the company doesn’t extend their own protections to any clients or customers they host, then they shouldn’t be afforded the protections. That is as simple as it should be.

        2. As long as people are free to get info from both sides, what’s the problem? You want to force everybody to hear from both sides, like jury duty?

        3. On the Bakery case, I always thought they came at this from the wrong angle. The law is blatantly unconstitutional. The question they should have asked is this: If a straight person had asked for a cake with a pro-gay marriage message would it have violated the law. If the answer is yes than it violates the 1st amendment as it is clearly about the message and not the service. If the answer is no than it violates the equal protection clause, the law should be there for everyone. The religious aspect is a distraction and irrelevant.

          As for the social media, as someone who has never used Twitter nor Facebook what bothers me is the power they wield. And it is not just their customer base but the cash they have to buy politicians. And what happened to Parler should chill everyone to the bone. Imagine if Exxon, Shell, BP, Conoco and Chevron decided they were not going to sell gas to American Airlines, and the reason was not that they had broken any laws and were being investigated for such but because they had allowed BLM to fly their airline and there had been a riot associated with them. The Feds would be all over them, collusion and anti-competitive operations. Amazon, Apple, Google and a host of other companies did this to Parler and we are told, well that is how the free market works. I am just saying if the law applies to one industry it should apply to both. Unfortunately, these companies seem to have purchased the Feds and the Dems so fat chance of that happening.

          Our only hope is the states, not with this method although I appreciate the attempt. There are over 25 states that have Republicans run governments. They can use the power of the purse to persuade these companies. The first thing I would like them to do is band together to stop the witch hunt from the Washington mostly peaceful protest, and in this case it was…over 250,000 attended and maybe 200 went into the capital and of that maybe 50 were involved with illegal and violent actions yet they want to tar anyone who attended with the same brush. An executive order from the governors that the states will not do business with any company that fires someone, not for breaking the law but just for exercising their first amendment rights. This is not forcing them but giving them a choice of doing business with them or not. This would be a good start.

          1. Your first sentence is 100% right. In all of these cases, the merchant made clear that it was the message, not the gay status of the customer, that mattered. If the one of the grooms’ heterosexual sisters had ordered the same cake, he would have refused. And if a gay person had ordered a birthday cake, he would have done it.

            The way they get around this is some dictum from an old Ginsburg concurrence, that basically says that certain items are a stand in for a protected category. Her example was a special tax on yarmulkas, which she said would really be directed at Jews. Problem with that is there is no rational reason to tax yarmulkas as opposed to other headgear unless you are targeting Jews. In the cake case, the reason was made clear — he does not want to celebrate sin. He did make clear that the gay couple could buy something else in his line, like a special birthday cake.

    3. Section 230 also clearly states.

      “(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.”

      Key words being “whole or in part.”

      Information content providers do not enjoy the liability protections of Section 230.

      So Shackford’s analysis is fatally flawed.

  5. Let’s see. Is this guy a Republican or a Democrat? Republican it is. Well then I guess that means this is a great idea!

    1. Gay.

      1. Did you learn that in your creative writing course at the community college?

        1. Why do you assume everyone is like you?

          1. You can stop sucking my dick now.

            1. Why did you let him start?

              1. That’s why his wife left him.

                1. she left because he wouldn’t stop sucking her dick? i’m confused

                  1. And, also, you can’t read.

            2. Why do you assume everyone is like you?

          2. He didn’t go to even community college. That’ll show you.

            1. Now you know my education history? Stalk much?

              1. People who don’t drink to excess like you do have functioning memories.

                TMYK.

      2. by gay do you mean festive? merry? mirthful?

    2. Ever since White Knight took a break, poor sarcasmic has really had to step up his DNC shilling game.

    3. This is stupider than thinking Manson was charged with incitement.

      1. You’re the one who voted for him. You never said you didn’t, and that means you did.

        1. Jesse voted for Charles Manson? Not surprised.

          1. Not only that, but he never denied getting kicked out of the theater while Once Upon A Time In Hollywood was playing because it was unsympathetic to Manson.

            JesseAz is a monster. I mean, just look at all the things he never denied or denounced.

            1. You’re pro BLMantfia rioting and violence. We get it already.

  6. Ugh, I can’t stand this guy. He’s one of those incompetent Republican governors who totally botched his state’s pandemic response, causing Florida to have objectively worse outcomes than Andrew Cuomo’s New York.

    #HarrisCuomo2024

    1. But what about interstate commerce? That’s a constitutional principle. This law would interfere in interstate commerce which distinguishes it from the shopping center case.

      1. In what way? Seems to effect acts done in FL alone.

      2. I actually agree with you in principle… but the USSC declined a similar case over eggs with california.

        https://apnews.com/fccd9468bdd24801bb24adb2f0a04716

  7. Wouldn’t that just be enforcing the court order that the social media accounts of public figures are public domains protected by the first amendment?

  8. If a Social Media platform allows a candidate to campaign on their platform. However does not allow opposing candidates to have the same opportunity to campaign on their platform. Then this should be considered a campaign donation and be subject to campaign finance rules and regulations.

    There appears to be a serious threat of shutting down the majority of avenues for opposing opinions to be heard in recent history. Partisans forget that precedents set while in power may temporarily favor the controlling partisans, but overreach typically comes back and with karma seeking retribution with a vengeance.

    Those seeking a single party authoritarian rule flexing their power to stamp-out opponents will likely suffer under an opposing authoritarian rule as an equal and opposite reaction.

    1. There really needs to be an investigation into the DNC’s ties with Google/Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, etc., and to what extent elected government officials are directing the censorship.
      I think that there’s a major First Amendment violation going on here.

      1. What do you want to do about Republican ties to FOX News and talk radio?

        1. Same thing that should be done with demo ties to cnn, msnbc, abc news, nbc news, the wapo the nytimes…… nothing. This is about tech and 230 nitwit

          1. It’s about you wanting to give the power to punish companies that propaganda lies? I’m in.

        2. Mostly laugh.

          I have no reason to oppose investigating both sides but I always find it laughable when Fox News (reaches about 1% of the US population) and talk radio (which is notoriously hard to measure but probably reaching less than 5 % of the country) are raised as a counterpoint to Google/Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, ad infinitum.

          1. The problem isn’t the medium, it’s the message. Right-wing propaganda is a bad thing, and facts are good things, if we’re talking in a context of a democratic society where people vote on how things are done.

            I don’t care if it’s one guy shouting on a corner if it led to 70 million people voting for an insane person because they believe in the actual lizard people.

            If it were 70 million people enthralled to a Nazi message, you’d see it as a problem. And unfortunately that’s not even an analogy, it’s what’s actually going on, especially on all those progressive-run internet platforms. Nobody has been better for right-wing ideology than Facebook.

            Propaganda of this sort leads to genocides. In fact, it’s the only thing that does.

  9. I believe right here on the Reason News Feedz, a staffer considered the court order to not allow Donald Trump to block people on his private account to not violate any of the 230s, so I’m not 100% sure this violates 230 on that same logic.

    The lawsuit that led to this decision, which was filed by Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute and seven blocked Twitter users, prompted a considerable amount of dismay and criticism. But the 2nd Circuit’s ruling seems like a pretty straightforward application of First Amendment principles that constrain the government’s actions when it uses a physical space for official purposes and invites public participation.

    The way I read the logic here (as 230 wasn’t even mentioned in the original Reason article) is that it’s perfectly reasonable for the government to intervene on a user’s ability to block a user from his or her private twitter account, in contradistinction to what the platform itself allows. So the platform is “not allowed” to extend a content moderation feature to a single user (in this case, Donald Trump) because he’s a super-important public figure.

    1. I may have to open a Twitter account and pour abuse on Biden’s head and see if I get blocked.

      I’d do that if I were a nasty democrat.

      1. You may get faster results if you simply fact check AOC.

    2. Just went through that old comment thread on Donald Trump’s account being considered a “public forum” and therefore exempt from standard platform moderation rules… this may be the best comment I ever posted on Reason.com from the standpoint of “ageing well”

      Diane Reynolds (Paul.)
      July.9.2019 at 4:23 pm
      Oh, you know what else is great about this ruling? Twitter can no longer ban Donald Trump’s twitter account.

      I read that and I was all… holy fuck…

      1. Yeah, but calls for insurrection aren’t constitutionally protected and it’s congress’ job to prevent non-protected free speech (whatever that is).

        In light of your self-praising for well-aged opinions, are you still on the fence about keeping the mess that is Section 230 as law?

        1. >Yeah, but calls for insurrection aren’t constitutionally protected and it’s congress’ job to prevent non-protected free speech (whatever that is).

          Well, good job it never happened then, seem though that calls for violence and rioting are ok though.

          1. It was sarcasm. It’s specifically not Congress’ job to regulate *any* speech one way or the other. That’s what makes it free/Consitutionally-protected.

    3. The order didn’t apply to Twitter or bind their conduct in any way. It applied to Trump, acting in his official governmental capacity, which is of course limited by the First Amendment.

      1. Which is absolutely absurd. If a politician’s personal Twitter account is a public forum such that the politician blocking anyone is a violation of the first amendment, then Twitter blocking anyone from that politician’s account (eg. by banning that politician) is just as much a violation of the first amendment. The public is denied that “interactive space” regardless of who decided to deny it.

  10. It’s almost like Shackford doesn’t realize that Democratic politicians also use their power over media, usually to get someone deplatformed.

  11. Does Reason support “free minds”?

  12. Do Republicans and their supporters do anything but whine? Do you not notice this? It’s pretty much all they do, ever. Just whine.

    “Please respect my ideas!”

    “But you don’t even have a policy platform.”

    “My idea is you give me a lollipop and gold star or I literally shit on you.”

    “Oh okay well here’s a vast and complex policy portfolio.”

    1. Well, when they try to rise up and kill people, you start complaining about it …..

    2. Problem with the people who just want to be left alone is that they don’t need ideas as they don’t want to meddle with every aspect of your life. Fuck off is the only idea needed.

    3. Tony, are you so wrapped up in Team Blue that you don’t see you could just swap out “Republicans” and insert “Democrats” and your screed would make every bit as much sense?

      You rant about others whining, and you whine about others ranting.

      You only distinguish yourself from the rabble by volume.

    4. Shorter Tony: Disagreeing with me is whining.

  13. What’s next- forcing newspapers to publish your shitty opinions too?

    Cry more about being deplatformed because everyone rightfully calls out your bullshit. Party of “small govt” my ass.

    1. What’s next- forcing newspapers to publish your shitty opinions too?

      Non-sequitur. A newspaper doesnt’ enjoy section 230 protections and, nominally anyway, can be sued for printing harmful/libelous misinformation.

      Continue obfuscating like you’re ignorant or willfully malicious and continue to be astounded when people on all sides riot because of how two-faced and disingenuous you are.

      1. That’s not true. Newspapers have the same section 230 protections as anyone else for user-generated content, such as comments sections. You could repeal section 230 and a bunch of newspapers would shut down their comment sections, but you still wouldn’t be able to force newspapers, Twitter, or anyone else to host content they don’t want.

    2. Hey dumbshit, wouldn’t it be better to keep shitty opinions (like yours) out there so people can pile on?

      I mean we regularly fist you for your stupidity, but I wouldn’t ask reason to ban you.

      You are too retarded to understand this of course.

  14. It’s a strawman to say people are claiming 230 requires neutrality. What Twitter and Facebook do is violate the spirit of the law. The whole point of not treating them as publishers is to enable neutrality. We won’t say Facebook is to blame when someone uses their live streaming service to broadcast murders because it’s ridiculous to pretend they have any control over this. 230 is a way of saying go ahead, invite people to your platform and don’t worry about what they say. Instead, these companies spit in the face of that gesture by capturing the market and then blocking anyone and everyone who threatens their monopoly and narrative. I seriously doubt anyone intended for 230 to be justified in this manner and I’m glad someone finally has the balls to fight back.

  15. How does professor Volokh respond to justice Kavanaugh’s decision in Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck? This case from 2018 would clearly overrule a case from 1980 if they are in conflict.
    https://www.oyez.org/cases/2018/17-1702

    ‘In short, merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints.

    If the rule were otherwise, all private property owners and private lessees who open their property for speech would be subject to First Amendment constraints and would lose the ability to exercise what they deem to be appropriate editorial discretion within that open forum. Private property owners and private lessees would face the unappetizing choice of allowing all comers or closing the platform altogether. “The Constitution by no means requires such an attenuated doctrine of dedication of private property to public use.” … Benjamin Franklin did not have to operate his newspaper as “a stagecoach, with seats for everyone.” … That principle still holds true. As the Court said in Hudgens, to hold that private property owners providing a forum for speech are constrained by the First Amendment would be “to create a court-made law wholly disregarding the constitutional basis on which private ownership of property rests in this country.” … The Constitution does not disable private property owners and private lessees from exercising editorial discretion over speech and speakers on their property’

    A mall is not created as a space to host speech; that is incidental to its purpose to facilitate the sale of goods and services. Twitter, meanwhile, ONLY exists to host speech.

  16. There is, in fact, a barrier that will get in the way of DeSantis implementing this bill as he has described it: our old friend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 clearly states, in no uncertain terms, that an internet service provider cannot be held liable for censoring content it deems “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.” [Emphasis added.]

    This is all kinds of retarded. First, while I freely admit that ‘penaltax’ significantly obfuscates the matter, liability is a determination made in a court of law an administrative fine is not. This is why the FCC can fine radio and television broadcasters for f-bombs and wardrobe malfunctions. Section 230 prevents liability in a court of law, not legal/administrative fines.

    Second, in your quote the first three specific words are ‘whether or not’. In the former case the law, passed by Congress, says “A service provider cannot be held liable even if they are repressing Constitutionally-protected free speech.” There is no interpretation by which this statement isn’t contradictory and, if you ignore the contradiction and *only* interpret that latter case, there’s no interpretation in which the law can be meaningfully applied. Of course, we shouldn’t expect such in-depth analysis from a governing body that eliminates gendered language from it’s chamber and then closes the opening statements with “A-men and A-women.” However, you’d think the ‘Free Minds’ portion of the press would be a little less abjectly retarded.

    If Congress can command the courts to ignore liability for speech, it’s not Constitutionally protected. If the speech is Constitutionally protected, then “Congress shall make no law”. [Emphasis added]

    1. The more I read Scott’s interpretation, the more retarded it seems. Section 230 nor The Constitution speaks to or makes any distinction with regard to Governors and lower-level officials. Unlike the 2A, which says “Congress shall make no law…” there is nothing in section 230 saying “Governors cannot impose fines or levy taxes…” The interpretation is retarded assumptions and shallow wishful thinking. Of course, Shackford can’t be blamed entirely, the source material he’s working with is pretty shot through with the same.

  17. Governor Ron DeSantis has done a great job here in Florida during the pandemic.
    He resisted locking on the state down, and opened up as soon as possible.
    Business is booming, the tourists are in town, and hospitals are NOT being overwhelmed with coronavirus cases.
    He has handled the vaccination program very well, targeting it to the elderly, medical providers, and first responders.
    He made a statement that he will not lock down the state again for the virus that is 0.5% mortality rate
    I think Desantis and Noem should be the Republican presidential candidates in 2024

  18. What an incredibly anti-libertarian and anti-free market thing to propose.

  19. Since the bill isn’t drafted, we need to see the nuanced language. If a candidate is threatening violence or being obscene, then those posts should be acceptably removed. But someone running for office is unlikely to have those posts on their political sites. Even Greene had most of the despicable posts removed by the time she was running.

    Suspending Cruz or Hawley because Twitter did not like the content (that wasn’t obscene or threatening violence) is the type of protections DeSantis seems to be promoting. I don’t recall Maxine Waters being sanctioned when she was promoting violence. Her saving grace is being a Democrat. Any Republican ranting the same was would be shut down.

    1. If people are being accused of criminalized speech they should see their day in court before their 1a rights are withdrawn.

  20. “It’s a terrible idea that violates Section 230”

    Isn’t that enough?

  21. Like many other state constitutions, California’s was written to have freedom of speech positively as a right, rather than to prohibit legislation about it. Part of the logic of the PruneYard decision was that if, under that constitutional provision, the sidewalk outside the store was traditionally a forum for constitutionally protected speech, and shopping centers, indoors or out, replaced the function of shopping districts, then petitioners should be allowed on walkways internal to the privately owned shopping centers but outside of the stores themselves. If people drove to the parking lots or garages of shopping malls, then there was no pedestrian traffic on the roads leading to the stores where passers-by could be leafleted, harangued, or buttonholed for signatures.

    1. There is a very interesting supreme court case that deals with the rights of a company that owns a town square to limit speech. Marsh vs Alabama. The ruling was that a company that owned a company town could not limit speech in that town. Here is a link to the ruling.

      http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/326/501

      “ The more an owner, for his advantage, opens up his property for use by the public in general, the more do his rights become circumscribed by the statutory and constitutional rights of those who use it.”

      In other words, we carry our rights onto private property and everywhere we go.

      If you run a business which is open for the general public, you are obliged to respect ALL their human rights.

  22. DO NOT give the government *entitlement-to* rights to the PRESS!!!! And tell them to F-OFF the other 90% of the markets they’ve been governing UN-Constitutionally for years.

    If you want to FIX the root of the problem IMPEACH the Democratic Politicians that called their Big-Tech buddies to censor…. It was clearly “crony socialism” acting outside the boundaries of legal order. FIX the corruption don’t grow the *Power* of the corrupt.

  23. They are private companies.
    So is a Christian baker that does not want to bake a cake for a gay couple.
    So is a white restaurant owner that does not want to serve black people.
    So is a black motel owner that does now want to lodge white people.
    So is a Christian pharmacist that does not want to dispense the morning after pill.
    So is a private club of men that doesn’t want women, or women that don’t want men.
    So is any service business that does not want to have transgender clients.
    But all these “Private Businesses” are forced by the government to do business with people they don’t want to do business with for various reasons.
    But let’s argue an exception for proctected tech platforms?

    1. None of it should be any business of the ‘federal’ government. ALL of them is why the USA is failing and turning into a dictation.

      “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    2. “They are private companies.”

      Indeed they are. But you know what’s different about the company you object to and the ones you mean support? It’s important.
      Here it is: YOU are not the customer of any social media business. Not one of them.

  24. Who exactly is coercing the media to deplatform, censor anyone? They are the criminals.

    Free speech requires letting people talk. That exonerates the hosting platform from what people say.

    1. Democratic Politicians called Big Tech to have President Trump removed from their platforms (google it); it really didn’t give specifics on which companies and only gave 2-Names but that is what hit the fan.

      1. It only hit the fan when the sitting president of the United States was deplatformed and censored, but it’s been happening to millions of people for years.

        1. If you don’t like the way a social media company runs its operation, you should immediately stop using it. Solves your problem immediately and completely.

    2. Who exactly is coercing the media to deplatform, censor anyone? They are the criminals.

      Free speech requires letting people talk. That exonerates the hosting platform from what people say.

      The first decent defense of S230 I’ve seen.

      Still doesn’t justify the abrogation of the 1A that effectively grants (or would) Congress the power to determine which advertisers can run which ads, but at least provides a (more) reasonable defense of why the platforms themselves should not be targeted.

      I’d still argue that there’s plenty of evidence that the platform providers sought out the advertisers and offered up the solution of censoring opposition and are therefor culpable. And I’d still argue that, overall, they are situations to be taken,case by case in a court of law rather than by blanket legislation. But, still, a valid defense of hosting platforms.

  25. Instead of a fine, how about a tax on social media sites other than those that agree to abide by the same public forum restrictions that apply to the government?

  26. Google easily work and google pays me every hour and every week just $5K to $8K for doing online work from home. I am a universty student and I work n my part time just 2 to 3 hours a day easily from home. Now every one can earn extra cash for doing online home system and make a good life by just open this website and follow instructions on this page===============? More Info

  27. “I think it’s a pretty good argument that the platforms could be treated like the law treats shopping malls,” Volokh says.

    It may be an argument but its only a good argument if you really don’t know shit about land. And of course most libertarians don’t know shit about it and just think it is property like all other property.

    Land is not property that was created. It was DISCOVERED by someone way back when. Claimed – ultimately – by whichever sovereign had the greatest ease/ability of killing anyone/everyone who would dispute that claim. Sub-titled by the most loyal flunkie of that sovereign who will defend any counter-claims in the court of that sovereign.

    It is beyond ludicrous to believe that the sovereign doesn’t retain the de facto power to do whatever they want with that land merely because the loyal flunkie puts a shopping center on that land. If the flunkie doesn’t like it – well they can find an alternative sovereign to press their claims – and hey presto let’s fight another war to settle this eh?

  28. This is getting comical. Social media sites don’t deplatform politicians. They deplatform those who lie, spew hate and push conspiracy theories. Unfortunately, we had Trump for a president, and he got deplatformed for doing exactly the things I stated. Trump is gone, he’s done, it’s over. So just forget about defending him, imitating him and riding on his coat tails. Because if you do, you too will be deplatformed. Or you can build your own social media website that approved of that sort of behavior. Them you can say whatever you want. Oh wait. Parler already tried that and now look what happened to them. So be sure to build your own data centers for your own hardware. Then you can build a website that promotes lies, hate and conspiracy theories. See how fair that sounds?

    Hell, I used to work for a large corporation when I was a young man. Then I decided I didn’t want to play by their rules anymore. So I went out and started my own company. It’s actually relatively easy to do. Of I can do it, republicans can do it.

    1. “promotes lies, hate and conspiracy theories” —
      – Like pretending 1/2 the USA citizens are white supremacists?
      – Like pretending people don’t have a natural gender?
      – Like pretending the sky is going to fall down if Jack doesn’t stop loading trucks?
      – Like pretending the U.S. Constitution was a conspiracy to enslave minorities?
      – Like pretending Wall Street stole all the money while Taxation will enslave/shoot you for not paying them?
      – Like pretending the Power to Steal = Wealth isn’t criminal?
      – Like pretending the USA defending itself and its borders from foreign invasion is a plot to re-enact racism.
      – Like pretending anyone not part of the [WE] mob is racist?
      – Like pretending the USA is founded/operates by Democratic National Socialism (Nazism)?
      – Like pretending the Federal Government having LIMITS is Anti-American?

      1. – What about this.
        -What about that.
        – What about this.
        – What about that.
        – What about this.
        – What about that.

        Lots of what about’s going on here.

        That’s probably going to be Trump’s impeachment defense too. So it’s sure to be entertaining. I can’t wait to see it play out. He may or may not be convicted, but it will be fun to see how the republican senators vote. We already know every single democrat will vote to impeach and 10 or 11 republicans will vote to impeach. How will the other republican senators vote? I guess we’ll find out soon enough. It I’ve already heard rumblings of the fact that Trump had nothing to do with the insurrection of the capitol. But he did gather thousands of angry people near the capitol. He did say we’ll march to the capitol. He did say I’ll be with you. He did get them angry as fuck before they marched to the capitol. And last but not least. Like a coward, he didn’t show up at the capitol like he said he would. So I guess that means he had absolutely nothing to do with it. Hahahaha.

        1. It wasn’t Trump’s fault that the White House bunkers needed inspecting again. He had to get down there and make sure they were fully stocked and ready to use.

          1. Oh shit, why didn’t I think of that. You’re absolutely right. Trump had to do inspections, so he just couldn’t make it to the capitol to help control his minions. 😀 😀

    2. You and anyone else who supports deplatforming, opposes the first amendment inalienable right of free speech that is guaranteed in the constitution.

      Your insincere suggestion to go somewhere else to speak by “building your own platform” doesn’t achieve communication which is the purpose of speech.

      If everyone is censored and builds their own platform, nobody is communicating with anyone else.

      So stand up for the rights guaranteed in the constitution, or admit you don’t every time you open your mouth. Stop wasting the rest of our time.

      1. Here, let me make it more simplistic for you. So simple even a 6 year old can understand. You can say or do anything you like in your own house. But you can’t say or do anything you like in my house. It’s just that simple and the first amendment does not apply in your house or mine.

        Those who wish to join a site that supports their point of view are free to do so. But if you go to a site who does not support your point of view, you may be deplatformed. 8kun is probably a more suitable platform for you to post on. Twitter has made it perfectly clear that they will not tolerate lies, hatred or conspiracy theories.

      2. “You and anyone else who supports deplatforming, opposes the first amendment inalienable right of free speech that is guaranteed in the constitution.”

        No, bonehead. I understand the first amendment and how it works, which is why I know there’s actually no first amendment problem with a private company decided who gets to use its property.

    3. With you deciding who is lying, spewing hate, and pushing conspiracy theories, of course. Just wait until the shoe is on the other foot, and we’ll see how much you like it, then.

      1. “With you deciding who is lying, spewing hate, and pushing conspiracy theories, of course. Just wait until the shoe is on the other foot, and we’ll see how much you like it, then.”

        The people who are lying and spewing hate know they are doing it and don’t need me to tell them they’re doing it. They point you’re (deliberately?) overlooking is that the owner of the resource gets to decide who is permitted to use it and for what purpose. This is not one of the powers that comes with being elected governor.

  29. Mike Lindell of the MyPillow company has released his long-awaited video documenting the voter fraud of the 2020 election.

    http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/absolute-proof-exposing-election-fraud-and-theft-america-enemies-foreign-and-domestic

    1. Poor guy, he’s sooooooo oppressed. What a snowflake.

      1. You’re right to life is next.

        1. Haha I doubt it.

    2. “Mike Lindell of the MyPillow company has released his long-awaited video documenting the voter fraud of the 2020 election.”

      which probably won’t get his company’s products back into stores any time soon.

    3. Oh, by the way. I was actually able to watch 30 minutes of this video and all I saw was the same stuff that’s been said from all of those representing Trump since November 3rd. So here’s my review of the video.
      BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAhahahaha. BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhahahahahahahahaha.

  30. ” Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced in a press conference pending legislation that, if passed, would punish tech companies like Facebook and Twitter for deplatforming candidates for political office in his state. Companies would face a fine of up to $100,000 per day until restoring a candidate’s access to their platforms”

    Eminent domain would allow the government to seize the property of the tech companies. At that point, they’d be allowed to decide who can use the property. If they didn’t bother to go through the process (and, oh yeah, pay for what they’ve taken), then they don’t get to tell the companies what to do with their property. Even in Florida.

  31. Way to go “Libertarian” Reason. This is actually a GREAT idea that simply doesn’t go far enough. As the 21st Century commons, the rule should be that no “deplatforming” of ANYBODY is permitted. If something is criminal, arrest them; if not, fuck off.

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